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We’ve moved…

…to take up our permanent home as part of Wedding Notebook. You can now find the blog at blog.weddingnotebook.co.uk. See you there!

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Win your green wedding

The Green Wedding Givaway is a breath of fresh air in amongst the ‘don’t tell the bride’-type programmes where the catch is that you loose all control over your wedding (as handing the reins to the groom is pretty much losing control, right!)

Clay Hill Farm in Maine, US, wants to give a couple a chance for a gorgeous wedding with green credentials, at their venue, all expenses paid. The grand prize includes outdoor wedding venue, ceremony, reception, wedding photography, bridal jewellery, wedding video, flowers and voucher for a green gift list. Anyone can enter and couples just need to answer 3 questions and submit a creative piece demonstrating their commitment to the environment.

The venue who are putting on the competition, Clay Hill Farm, are certified as a natural wildlife habitat and bird sanctuary. They hope the competition will showcase the collective small steps of real people committed to reducing environmental impact, leading to big change in our local and global community – a big ask, but as has been said: ‘one small step for a man…’

If only the whole wedding industry would have this commitment to change – either toward positive environmental care, or at least to helping couples have a unique and personal day.

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If you are setting up your wedding gift list then you are probably on the look out for exciting, contemporary, greener home wares, decorating materials and home basics.

Greener Abode is an online retailer offering products which are handmade or manufactured by small, independent designers and companies that are committed to creating modern, innovative designs with greener credentials. From small utensils to benches, beds and desks, you could furnish your entire new home here.

Choosing only the most stylish pieces, there is none of the hair-shirt image of previous eco design. As many of the pieces are handmade or unusual, each one has a story to tell and will make your home unique and styled with imagination.

Other pieces don’t wear their eco credentials on their sleeve. These stealth sustainability supporters include wallpaper, upholstered vintage chairs and contemporary beds – your friends won’t believe you when you tell them how green they are.

Adding some of these pieces to your online gift list will spread the word – enabling your guests to see the bredth of eco design out there, whilst also creating your ideal eco home from the wedding gifts they buy for you.

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I love the idea of starting new traditions. I’d love an idea I had to pass down through time. And above all I love vintage jewellery – so these bridal brooch bouquets are a combination of all thesew things – not only timeless, stunning and original, but will pass down the generations.

Anna Hardy recently photographed the wedding of Dawn & John (above), where Dawn had made her own bouquet, and fabric versions for her bridesmaids.

A few weeks ago we told you about MadeNew jewellery who use old brooches, pendants and charms to make gorgeous necklaces, bracelets and accessories. Well, Fancy Pants Weddings have written an amazing tutorial to take you step by step through creating your own bouquet.

There are loads of places to get these old brooches from if you don’t have 50-85 hanging around. Car boot sales are an amazing resource – though it does involve getting up early on a Sunday morning. A couple of visits should get you enough for one bouquet.

I really can’t imagime how brides planned wedding before the internet – just have a look and there are some amazing ideas out there to inspire – In particular, Rock’n’RollBride. Just remember to mix and match to make your wedding day how you want it, to represent your characters, not just a carbon copy of magazines.

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Shoot it yourself – well, maybe not you, but an usher or reliable friend could do it.

A little point-and-shoot camera may not be the best quality, but the people at Shoot it Yourself (as seen on Dragons Den last week) have thought of that. They rent you the quality stuff you’ll need,give you the know-how and top tips for how to shoot the wedding, and they’ll even edit it for you afterward. Hows that for a plan!

There will be no difficulty in getting your groom’s mates to volunteer once they hear about the top of the range Sony Handicams – Just don’t let them drint too much or your Nan may need to take over… It will be great having a video shot in your style, with personal touches and get away from a stuffy montage. You will be much more chilled out with your mates behing the camera that it will be a more natural feel, and makes the day, and the lasting memories better for you!

So what are the Shoot it Yourself top tips for your DIY wedding video? Well here are just 5 for starters:

  1. Don’t waste time on filming details like table decorations or flowers – the photographer will have these covered. Focus on getting fun interviews and personal messages from friends and family, these are what the bride and groom will want to remember 20 years from now.
  2. Make the most of your up close and personal access to the bride and groom; for example you can film them getting ready with their parties in the morning, complete with pre-wedding jitters! They are sure to be more relaxed with you behind the camera, so don’t worry about asking them how they’re feeling or if they have any messages for their other halves before they walk down the aisle.
  3. Have a look for examples of good videos online; there are plenty of good ideas you could organise, like group sing-a-longs, which people always love to get involved in! Weddings do involve a lot of standing around and drinking so take the opportunity to film some comedy action shots!
  4. Why not set up a video diary room at the reception for after the speeches? There are usually a few hours to kill before the First Dance and people are already feeling a bit tipsy. Put the camera on a tripod in a spare room and direct people to leave their tops tips for a successful marriage to the bride and groom.
  5. Filming is the easy part; it’s often editing the video that is people’s downfall! Look to the pros for the finishing touches that will make your video stand out. Shoot It Yourself use the latest editing software to incorporate personalised graphics, contemporary music and special effects to turn your precious day of filming into a YouTube masterpiece.

And if you want to ask guests to contribute towards the cost, add it onto your wedding gift list

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It is always great to know that Wedding Notebook is appreciated, and so it was a real boost to hear Bride Karen raving about us after her August wedding.

{September Bride Of The Month} Karen & Alan's Wedding - August 2011
{September Bride Of The Month} Karen & Alan’s Wedding – August 2011 Hosted by Official Bespoken For Blog for Bridal Jewellery Designer and Wedding Expert Jenni Bush

Karen was chosen as Bride of the Month on BeSpoken For and had this to say about Wedding Notebook:

“A fantastic website where you can have your own wedding website and gift list – fantastic isn’t even close.  For us it was ideal as we had people coming from Scotland, England and the USA and this made it easy to tell them details of the wedding, directions, accommodation and also a Gift List that meant they could shop around for the best deal for it wasn’t linked to any shop…  But the website was fantastic and now I am updating it so that we can show people photos and details of the wedding!”

Thanks Karen!

Wedding Notebook is free for brides to use. You can read more about what it can do for you here

Here is our BeSpoken For Seal of Approval.

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How to wear a bit of history down the aisle:

We don’t all have a cartier tiara to borrow from the grooms Granny, but a piece of reworked or vintage jewellery will be full of past and memories and can make just as grand a satatement.

Elizabeth from Made-New has found a way of reworking tired, forgotten or broken jewellery into decadent pieces – necklaces, bracelets and acessories.

“Jewels with a history, a life of intrigue, with love’s memories or sad regrets, carelessly cast aside, sleeping at the bottom of a tired drawer,  discarded, forgotten, pieces of life’s metal, are twisted and woven, beautifully created, sole links are partnered again, and made-new, to please and to charm, give hope and experience, reborn and released in to a brand new creation …”


Have a rummage in your jewellery box or accessories drawer, and get your mum to do the same… If you find some tired or broken chains, pendants, brooches or watches that you want to be reborn into stunning wedding acessories then contact Elizabeth so she can work her magic. Then you will not only have a new piece of jewellery, but it will be full of your own memories too.

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