Tag Archives: wedding themes

Nautical and Beach Themes

17 Jul

It´s now summer, the perfect time for beach weddings! If you are thinking of celebrating your big day on the beach or on a boat, you´ll find these ideas below are ideal.. And if not, they are perfect for bringing the sun, sand and sea to wherever you are 🙂

As you can see by the photos, you can add a little summer to any part of your wedding preparations, from the invitations, to the cake!

(Images by Martha Stewart Weddings)

Autumn Weddings

9 Nov

Firstly, let´s get a few autumn wedding myths out the way before we start. Just because you celebrate your big event in autumn, that doesn´t mean that you have to use leaf-hues for  your wedding,  some couples tend to rely too heavily on these and other earth tones. Consider other rich and glamorous hues that fit this time of year like plum and aubergine combined with shades of cream and blush, or classic navy blue paired with a glam shade of gold. If you have your heart set on brown, try mocha or cappuccino hues rather than chocolate, which combine beautifully with black, cream, and even red.  You can use any color you fancy, even bright electric colours or baby pastels, as long as you combine it with a darker hue to create balance. I love Tiffany blue with mocha, hot pink with charcoal gray, bright pink with chocolate and  or fuchsia.

You shouldn’t feel obligated to dress your bridesmaids in heavy fabric just because of the season either. Lightweight fabrics like silk will look perfectly appropriate, remember, it’s more important to choose a fabric that flatters everyone’s figures and a color that will complement their complexions. Rust, aubergine, and deep green are widely flattering shades or go for a totally original look with pale gold dresses accented with sashes or flowers in mango or fuchsia.

You don´t have to forsake your dream of holding a wedding outside just because winter is closing in either. With enough patio heaters, you can hold the ceremony, cocktail hour, and possibly even the reception outdoors regardless of the temperature, however, you may want to retreat inside for dancing and dessert after the sun sets and you should let your guests know on the invitations so they bring jackets and wraps.

Bearing all this mind, there are lots of ways to incorporate this lovely season into your big day. Let´s start with the tables;

–          Napkins are a clever place to work in seasonal accents. Tie them with a piece of crab apple or use wooden napkins rings with gold finishes.

–          Tablecloths and napkins in tactile materials like quilted or ruched silk, linen and velvet look and feel fantastic.

–          Try onyx crystal goblets or vases filled with seasonal flowers, fruits and dry leaves for your centerpieces.

–          Another great idea for your centerpieces are brightly hued candles that coordinate with your wedding’s palette, spray-paint wooden candle holders of varying heights to match them.


Add a little autumn to your menu:

–          During cocktail hour, when there is nip in the air, it is nice to serve a warm drink along with the traditional offerings. Consider a mulled cranberry cider or spiced wine.

–          For the hors d’oeuvres, try smoked sausages with a variety of mustards, cheese puffs with pate such as wild mushroom and walnut or a fish mousse, a selection of cheeses with different types of crackers or a hearty, warming soup such as pumpkin and chestnut, curried butternut or  celery and potato.

–          For the main course go for something different like pot pies filled with chicken and fall vegetables such as carrots, turnips, onions, and leeks. Or go for meats glazed with cider or honey such as roast pork loin or Guinea hen accompanied with roasted root vegetables, braised red cabbage with apples and bacon, or wild rice with pecans . A nice vegetarian option could be ravioli or manicotti stuffed with butternut squash and spinach, with a sage-walnut cream sauce or mushroom risotto.

–          A bread basket accompanied by herbed butters is a lovely addition to the table. Go for breads such as rye, walnut-whole wheat, or jalepeno-cheddar corn bread.

–          For dessert try apple pie, pumpkin tarts, cheesecakes or gooey brownies. Another brilliant idea is to have a ginormous chocolate fondue to dip pieces of fruit in 🙂

–          For the cake go for a deeper, different flavor like ginger, carrot, caramel or applesauce. These pair beautifully with cream cheese frosting. Decorate the cake with flowers or fruit that herald the season. Dahlias in rich hues such as burgundy, red, orange and yellow,  sunflowers, crab apples, pears, and grapes will look great on top of the cake. An alternative is rich chocolate cake with orange icing.


Give out seasonal gifts to your guests such as:

–          Salted caramel apples. Add wood twigs to tiny apples, dip the fruits in caramel, and roll them in sea salt

–          Wrap seasonal fruit in tissue paper with your names printed on for a sweet and healthy gift for guests.

–          Chocolate is always a favorite favor, consider chocolates in the shapes of maple leaves and acorns.

–          Miniature pots of seasonal jam with your names on are will wow your guests.

–          Little bars of apple, cranberry and pumpkin soap wrapped in ribbon would look so cute!


Pick the flowers to match the season:

–          Late-season aubergine dahlias with white-tipped petals will look lovely in your hands as you walk up the aisle.

–          Try a combination of white and orange roses tied with a velvet bow.

–          Decorate the church with dried grass, wheat, dried leaves and thick satin ribbons.

Autumn weddings can be so much fun and as the weather tends to be nice, they are a very popular choice. I hope these ideas give you inspiration with yours! 🙂

Dressing your Bridesmaids

3 Nov

Bridesmaids come in all colours, shapes, sizes and likes, just like dresses! Not all colours suit everyone and some shapes look better in a specific style of dress. Although your main focus may be on finding bridesmaid’s gowns that fit with your theme and co-ordinate well with your wedding dress, it is important that the dresses you choose are flattering to your bridesmaids. Bear in mind that these are your close friends and relatives for whom you are picking outfits, think about their individual personalities and tastes, and don´t expect them to wear something you wouldn´t be comfortable in. This doesn’t mean having lots of different bridesmaids’ dresses because there are ways of making it all work while keeping everyone happy.


A popular option is to choose a fabric and let the bridesmaids get their dresses made from the same material, that way they will be able to choose a style that suits them and still retain the bridesmaid look. When choosing the material however, keep in mind that some material will be more figure hugging and shiny and this will not work for all your bridesmaids as some may feel uncomfortable bringing attention to certain parts of their body. Choose soft flowing fabric rather than the stiffer satins or traditional taffeta. The only drawback to letting them pick the shape is that you will give up total control on the overall look of your wedding theme. But as long as you reach an agreement on the length of the dresses in order to create uniformity within the wedding theme (it can look a little odd if some are in full length silk and others in short mini dresses), this idea can work very well.


Darker colours tend to make people look slimmer. If the bridesmaids are going to be wearing a pale colour, keep the shape very simple, preferably straight. If you have your heart set on a particular colour theme, you could suggest that each bridesmaid chooses a style of dress most suitable for her within that colour range. This is a very popular approach in America. You could also choose a colour and have each bridesmaid wear a different shade of that same colour. Look for jewel or pastel shades which complement each bridesmaid’s natural skin and hair colour. Tie it all together with matching shoes and wedding flowers and the theme will look elegantly natural. Here´s a quick guide on which colours match which skin tones:

Red and Pink Bridesmaid Dresses:

  • Blonde and fair-skinned beauties look good in pastel pink shades.
  • Brunettes could go for a deeper red, cerise or magenta dress.
  • Redheads look best in very pale pink.
  • Dark skinned women look wonderful in strong pinks and reds

Blue Bridesmaid Dresses:

  • Blondes and brunettes can wear most shades of blue.
  • Redheads look best in deeper shades with a hint of green.
  • Dark skinned bridesmaids could go for the more purple blue shade but not too dark.

Lavender and Purple Bridesmaid Dresses:

  • Almost everyone looks good in lavender or deep purple.
  • Redheads and dark-skinned bridesmaids should go for the stronger shades for purple.

Orange and Yellow Bridesmaid Dresses:

  • Yellow is a really difficult colour for bridesmaids. If it is the chosen theme, look for very pale golden-yellow or deep gold.
  • In the same way, orange can make all skin tones look washed out or sallow. Go for the richer bronze end of the orange spectrum and soften with a cream trim or lace at the neckline. Alternatively, choose peach shades for brunette bridesmaids (no, I´m not thinking about the typical peach shades of the 80s!)

Green Bridesmaid Dresses:

  • Redheads look gorgeous in most shades of green, especially emerald.
  • Blondes and brunettes could go for the more aquamarine tints.

Black Bridesmaid Dresses:

  • For evening weddings, bridesmaids can look beautiful in black. The dresses should be short, simple and with thin straps. Dark skinned bridesmaids should have a white or silver trim at the neckline to soften the effect.


If you want to go for the same colour for all of your bridesmaids, a good idea is to go for a different style of dress depending on their shape. Here are things to bear in mind:

Full figured:

  • You should choose bridesmaid dresses that are as simple as can be, avoiding fabric embellishments like ruffles to achieve a slimming effect. Steer clear of two-tone bridesmaid dresses because these will only shorten the silhouette and hence make your full-figured bridesmaid look more, well, full-figured… Styles like halter necks, empire waists, A-lines, crossover necklines and bias cut skirts are ideal to accentuate full figures while hiding the flaws.

Pear shaped:

  • If your bridesmaid is conscious you could opt for halter neck dresses since these necklines broaden the shoulders and provide the illusion of smaller hips. Necklines with pretty details can also distract attention away from heavy hips. For those who love their shape, go for a fantastic 50s look with a cinched waist to provide definition. Choose A-line, subtly flared or gathered at the back/front skirts.


  • You could opt for bridesmaid dresses that break the long lines of a tall bridesmaid. Pretty details at the hips and waist like sashes and belts will do the trick of providing definition between the torso and the lower limbs. Depending on the bridesmaid’s choice, she can either choose to wear a tea-length dress or a floor-length gown.


  • Short skirts, preferably knee-length, sheaths, fitted dresses that provide an illusion of length, dropped waist bodices for longer-looking torsos and higher necklines are the designs for a petite girl. Most importantly, keep the dress knee-length or above. And high heels do help!


Empire-line dresses are a very popular style as they are elegant and feminine but they flatter just about any body shape. The waistline is raised to just below the bust, and is usually complemented by a deep v shaped neckline, making it perfect for larger busted bridesmaids. For smaller busted ladies try an empire line with a halter neck. The full length skirt of the empire line gown skims the stomach, hips and thighs, cleverly hiding any lumps and bumps. The length of the skirt gives the illusion of height, so it is a great choice for petite bridesmaids, or those with short legs.

Baby doll dresses are a shorter version of the empire line gown, often with a sweetheart, round, or scooped neckline rather than a v shape. The short skirt requires long legs, shorter bridesmaids will only look stumpy in a baby doll dress.

Flapper style dresses are currently providing inspiration for many modern wedding outfits and are sure to be a big hit. Sleeveless and high-necked with dropped waists, they skim the body in a straight line so aren’t especially flattering to curves. They look great teamed with a tousled up-do and a wide coordinating hair band.

Shift or sheath shaped dresses are a tailored classic, perfect for curvy figures. They can be almost any length, although just below or above the knee is a popular choice for bridesmaids. Small chested bridesmaids can get away with a high neck, while bustier ones will look better with a lower wider neckline. This style works well in strapless form. A sheath dress tends to have a deep V shaped neckline and is generally more figure hugging than a shift.

Tea length dresses: Taking inspiration from 1950s Hollywood, tea length bridesmaids dresses have full skirts with layers of underskirts, which finish around mid calf. A very defined waist means that they are only really suitable for slimmer figures, but they can make a perfect statement for a fun themed wedding.

Wrap over dresses may not seem like an obvious choice for a bridesmaid’s gown, but for a daytime wedding it can be a very flattering style. Best suited to curvy figures, the wrap over front draws attention down between the breasts, suiting larger chested ladies, and then skims over the hips and stomach. Keep wrap style dresses fairly short, perhaps knee-length, to avoid the appearance of drowning in fabric. Wrap style dresses work best with sleeves for those that don’t want to show off their upper arms.


The most important thing to remember is be considerate. While it’s an honor to be asked, being a bridesmaid is also an obligation of several hundred pounds. Talk to your friends about a dress budget and stick to it. Also have a brainstorming session about the dresses. Let your bridesmaids voice what they will and won’t wear. Look over some bridal magazines to see what styles appeal to them. All in all, I think you should have fun with your bridesmaids as they will be a big part of your day and taking their opinion into account will save tears and tantrums at the wedding and ensure confident smiling bridesmaids in your photos! 🙂