The fashion for flowerless bouquets

A brides bouquet is very important to the bride and says a lot about her style and taste.
This one was mine when I got married. I wanted a simple and bold bouquet and red roses fitted my style and theme perfectly. Ten years on and the photos of my bouquet are all I have left of it.

Red roses and Ivy Bouquet

Red roses and Ivy Bouquet

Bouquets and floral arrangements that are also keepsakes are becoming increasingly popular with the brides today. Flowers last a week or two at most but a fabric bouquet or one made of jewellery, like this one from the amazing Love Bouquets, is a work of art and will last a lifetime.

A beautiful bouquet from Love Bouquets

A beautiful bouquet from Love Bouquets

Fabric bouquets are perfect for the unusual weddings or those having a boho or vintage theme. There are many websites which can show you how to make the flowers for a bouquet or you can buy one that someone else has made or get a bespoke one made to fit your theme. The ones below can be found on my Etsy site which I’ll link to at the bottom

Plum bouquet 1_1

Velvet roses and organza bouquet

Fabric bouquet with vintage brooches

Fabric bouquet with vintage brooches and feathers

Don’t forget your bridesmaids and flower girls either. Smaller versions of the brides bouquet can be made for the bridesmaids and these pretty fabric pomanders are delicate and light for flower-girls to carry and can be made in a variety of colours to suit your theme.

Pink Vintage Style Pomander

Pink Vintage Style Pomander

Check out for fabric bouquets and pomanders and for award winning Crystal bouquets.

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Dan and Liza’s black, white and red wedding

I coordinated the day of a lovely fun couple who were having a family and friends day of celebration with drinks before and after the ceremony at Cucinas in Morley, the ceremony at Morley Town Hall, then a reception at Woodkirk Valley Country Club, Dewsbury.

The function rooms at the venue were a good size but not too inspiring and needed plenty of decoration to turn them into a location suitable for a wedding.

Before Love To Marry got to work on the venue

Following Liza’s vision for the room me and my assistant, Chloe, got to work dressing the tables. Anna from Wow Venue Dressing supplied the sashes and the decoration for outside (bay trees and fairy lights) and Balloon Flair supplied the balloons. I’m not usually a big fan of balloons but they worked really well here and by standing them under the red down lights they become a colourful feature and I thought these ones looked fab. The table centres were hurricane lamps with large candles stood on a mirror and scattered around with black and silver crystals and red and white rose petals. Damask patterned serviettes stood in the glasses make the tables. It draws the eye to the tables and away from the less flattering aspects of the room. In the corner was a juke box which supplied the music for the evening.

The finished room

The finished room

The Tables

The second room was to contain a video arcade game machine and photo booth as well as the buffet which was provided by the fabulous Manjits Kitchen. The food was amazing and there was plenty for everyone and seconds were had by most. Dessert was a selection of mini cakes from Dumouchel in Garforth.

Fabulous food from Manjits Kitchen

The couple also had a cheese stack cake which we decorated and looked splendid! Good enough to eat!

The Cheese Stack

Hopefully I’ll have some more photos from the photographers at some point soon. Here’s what the happy couple said about my services!

“Hazel, I wanted to write and tell you that we decided that the best thing about our whole wedding day was YOU! You *made* the whole of the evening reception. It all just flowed, and we were soooo happy to have you there organising and sorting things out. Just knowing you were in charge made us not have to think about anything stressful. You sorted out the glitches (oops, I found the missing place cards at home!) and you thought of things and sorted them out before they even became a problem. All the suppliers knew exactly what to do, and when, and where, and you whipped the whole event into the shape I wanted it! The venue looked AMAZING, from the sparkly lights and trees at the door, to the tables, candles and the cake of cheese inside! It truly would not have been the fabulous success it was, without your guiding hand, advice, and hard work. We ♥ Love to Marry! Liza and Dan xxx”

Wedding day coordination – Love To Marry
Decorations: Wow Venue Dressing (0113) 253 6982; Balloon Flair (0113) 2522853
Food: Manjits Kitchen (0113) 2161089
Cheese Stack:
Juke Box/Video Games: Jukebox45s 01604 473101
Photobooth: Timm Cleasby Photography

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A comment on Four Weddings – the TV show

Since I’ve been at home alot more recently (see previous post) I’ve started watching the reality TV show Four Weddings. If you’ve not seen it the premise is this: Four opinionated brides with different style weddings go to each others weddings, slate them off and award marks out of 10 or 25 for the venue, dress, food and overall experience. The couple with the most marks wins a holiday.

If you fancy going on this programme to win a honeymoon this is how you win:

1) Don’t do fancy dress or themed.
2) Don’t have too many guests.
3) Don’t have too few guests.
4) Don’t wear a plain, simple wedding gown.
5) Don’t wear an OTT meringue wedding gown.
6) Don’t have a buffet.
7) Don’t serve seafood/curry/fish and chips
8) Make sure your venue is attractive. Inside and out.
9) Dress the venue well.
10) Make the other brides welcome.

I’ve noticed that the majority of the brides are not open minded enough for anything new or outlandish. So those who do something unique rarely win. Which is a shame as I think they’re the best ones.

I do feel sorry for some of the suppliers though – especially the venues – when the brides sit there saying how awful the food is! I hope being on those programmes doesn’t cost them business. I’ll still watch it though – good for ideas and entertaining.

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A month of good things happening.

I’m not one to blow my own trumpet (although this blog is mainly all about me :-)) but the past few weeks have been great. Two very important things happened to me.

Three weeks ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He’s utterly adorable. Here’s a picture of our lovely Morgan!

His big brother was over the moon to have a little brother – it was just what he always wanted. So lovely to see how affectionate he is to him. Hopefully they’ll have a close relationship as they grow up.

The second thing was winning The North of England Wedding Award for Customer Service. I am officially an Award Winning Wedding Planner! How exciting is that? The award ceremony was last night at York Racecourse and there were about 15 categories including bridalwear, florist, stationery, menswear, venues, entertainment, photography etc. My category was Wedding Services and there were five finalists in that category including toastmasters and event planners from around Yorkshire. I was stunned when Love To Marry was announced as the winner. Julia from the premier wedding blog Brides Up North was hosting the evening along with Liz and Nicola of The Wedding Guide. Collecting my award was great and there will be official photos soon. I must thank my clients for voting for me and also to my assistant, Chloe, who has been helping me out this year while I was pregnant.

Me and my award!

The award is now sat above the fireplace in pride of place – hope its the start of many to come over my wedding planning career.

So it’s been a whirlwind three weeks and I wander about in a daze – mainly due to the lack of sleep – but I couldn’t be happier! Now I need sleep.

The North of England Wedding Awards ( are in association with The Wedding Guide ( and sponsored by

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Rustic themed wedding

I recently co-ordinated the wedding of a lovely, down-to-earth couple called Kate and Neil. The bride was very chilled and calm despite doing alot of the planning from The Cayman Islands! They went for a relaxed, rustic-style for their Leeds-based celebrations. The ceremony was conducted by One Life Weddings at Kirkstall Abbey and the reception was at The Cross Keys on Water Lane in Leeds. Here are some of their lovely reception ideas with photos by the amazingly talented Shelly of Toast of Leeds.

To view more photos from this beautiful wedding visit:

The seating plan – Lavender and hand-written luggage tags hung on a wooden treliss.

Rustic seating plan

Table Centres – Little groupings of different flowers and foliage in random pots and jars. Very simple and effective.

Table Centres

More vases and pots were placed along the window ledges.

Vases on the window ledges

The Guest Book – This was a box of postcards that the guest would write on and place into a wooden chest.

Guest ‘Book’ = Postcards

The overall effect was a relaxed-style rustic wedding look that worked really well in the function room space of The Cross Keys.

The Cross Keys

Venues: Kirkstall Abbey and The Cross Keys
Wedding Co-ordinator: Me

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Bold Colour in a Large Space – how to dress an impressive venue successfully

If your venue is a vast, impressive, yet empty space, it can be hard to decide how to fill it and utilise the space into different areas.

There is a fantastic venue called Left Bank in Leeds. It’s an old church that has been turned into an art centre/venue for exhibitions, events and weddings.

Left Bank Centre Leeds

As you can see from the photo – there isn’t much there except some impressive empty space and some amazing stained glass windows.
So when planning Laura and Dave’s wedding we needed a way to use the space effectively and not waste time or money on decorations that would get lost in such a large area.
My first idea was to hang large colourful paper lanterns between the pillars. But there was the logistics of hanging them.

Left Bank did own some drapes which they could hang. So we went with those to separate the centre from the two sides of the building. We then used different coloured table cloths in a rainbow effect to cover the tables which worked brilliantly at creating the main seating area, but also didn’t detract from the amazing building itself.

Using colour and drapes to define an area – photo Joe Stenson Photography

Don’t be afraid of using colour in this way. By keeping everything else simple it works. The table centres were old encyclopedias and handmade paper flowers made from old books. In the photo frames were extracts from their favourite books. Perfect for the Librarian Bride!

Simple table centres that reflect the Bride and Grooms interests – Photo Joe Stenson Photography

So dare to be bold with colour and don’t feel that table centres have to be vases of flowers or candleabras – some people aren’t flower people. Use your imagination and think about how you can incorporate your own tastes, hobbies or work into them.

There will be more photos from this wedding coming soon!

Photographer: Joe Stenson
Venue: Left Bank Leeds
Wedding Planner: Me


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Essential questions you may have forgotten to ask!

When I am hired for on the day co-ordination, my role is not as a wedding planner but as a wedding co-ordinator. I’m not (usually) involved in any of the planning processes, I’ve not chosen suppliers, I’ve not chased up supplier payments or confirmed guest numbers or arranged seating plans and place settings. My role is to go through everything the couple has planned, put together a timetable for the day, contact the suppliers to check ours and their timings match and deal with any issues that may arrise on the day. I also make sure the venues are decorated correctly and put out table plans, place cards, favours etc and do any last minute adjustments prior to the wedding party and guests arriving.

During the discussions with the couple it is important to go through how the whole day will proceed and get as much information on the decor, layouts, special requirements etc so that if any suppliers ask me about colour schemes, guest numbers, location of their services etc I know the answers. Sometimes, though, things are assumed, sometimes on my part and sometimes on the couples part when they’ve been planning the day. For example, when I’m told that all the tables will be set up and all I need to do is put out the glasses, favours and table centres, I assume that table cloths and glasses will be provided. At one recent wedding I get to the venue (a beautiful marquee in the grounds of a pub) to find no table cloths on the tables and no wine glasses had been ordered!

The venue when I got there

The assumption on the couples part had been that table cloths came with the tables and the pub would have enough wine glasses. Ironically we had discussed drinking water glasses and jugs and I had aquired enough for the reception on their behalf after discussions with the pub owner.
– so questions to ask! Have I ordered table cloths? Do I have enough wine, champagne and water glasses and water jugs for the tables?

So, I continue to set-up at this venue after the pub owner bought enough disposable table cloths for the tables and the tables started to look very pretty indeed.

Looking pretty

Now, the top table hadn’t been put up nor any chairs assigned to it. So we set up a top table and I collect a chair from each table to put at the top table. I hadn’t at this stage been supplied with a table plan so I had no idea how many were to sit at the top table or on each other table (I had asked for this information but was told I would get the table plan once the bride got to the venue). So, the next assumption: enough tables and chairs would be supplied. However – they had not taken into account the top table! So by the time I set up the top table we were now about 8 chairs short – which we found out once the guests went to sit down..
So questions: Do you have enough chairs? Have you remembered to count the wedding party to the number of guests?

The Top Table

Another problem arised when it came to serving the food. The caterers had been told to provide food for 60. The couple were also providing additional food to go with it. However, the caterers had only brought enough crockery and cutlery for 60 guests….not the 85+ guests that would be there. So we had to find crockery and cutlery from elsewhere to make up the difference.
So questions: Have you told the caterers how many guests there will be? Not just how many servings you want served? Caterers will be happy to provide extra crockery and cutlery if they are required.

So all-in-all it was an eventful wedding and considering the problems we encountered it went very well in the end and everyone had a great time and the Bride thought the venue looked amazing – Phew!

So if you’re planning a wedding at the moment and feeling a little disorganised I hope this post will help you think about potential problems you may encounter if you assume and if you’ve not ask direct questions about all the little details. If you’re still feeling disorganised and stressed then hiring a wedding planner may be a the best thing you can do.

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