By hopeandgraceweddings, 08-May-2013 12:43:00
We are really pleased to be featuring talented wedding photographer Debs Ivelja on our blog today. One of the most important aspects of planning a wedding is hiring the right photographer. Every bride and groom wants their photos of the big day to create special and lasting memories and that's why we've asked Debs to give us her thoughts on the best way to achieve beautiful wedding photography. We hope you find Debs' advice really useful and you can head over to her website Debs Ivelja Photography to see more of her work....
Light really is everything so do think about using venues and locations with lovely natural light. How about getting ready in a well-lit room, or choosing an outdoor location for your family portraits? When you are looking around venues, and thinking about your day, do keep in mind spotlights and mid day sun… the least flattering light of all!
For both brides and grooms, try and keep the room you are getting ready in tidy and clear. A cluttered room will not make for spectacular photographs! As profession photographers, our job is to find creative ways to tell your story, but hugely cluttered rooms do limit what angles we can shoot in.
Do think about where the sun will be shining if you are getting married outside. Sometimes under a tree or shade will be more comfortable for you and your guests than in the direct sunshine, and just as beautiful. And it will mean no squinting! If this is not an option, do consider giving out umbrellas for guests to be shaded under.
To help your photographer in the morning, try to have all your details together before they arrive. I will usually start capturing these from the start of your coverage as you have your hair and makeup done and would much rather let you get on with it, than have to keep asking you for things!
Always have a bad weather plan for your day, and your photographs. A pre-arranged location indoors for your couple portraits, a simple gazebo or marquee to keep guests dry ... bountiful umbrellas. Check out this post by London Bride for some inspiration and ideas.
It is not uncommon for priests and registrars to not want photography in the service or only allow the photographer to stand in one particular place. Do speak to your registrar or priest before your day so you understand their approach and ensure you are fully aware before your day.
Do allow time for your family group photos and don’t underestimate how long they can take! The photo itself takes a few seconds, it’s getting everyone in the right place that takes the time. I always suggest to my couples that doing 6 to 8 variations of groups will take around 30 minutes. It really can take up to 5 mins each group to get all the right people there. Someone is always off at the bar! If you must do more, I suggest prioritizing your list so that if you get to a point where you don’t want to be away from your guests any longer, you know you have the most important images taken.
Don’t forget to make some time in your day to get some beautiful mages of just the two of you together. My suggestion is usually somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour if you can. It is a chance to go for a wander, find a nice spot, be creative, have a chat and a little chill out and get some beautiful images in the process.
Don’t worry with tradition if it’s just not you. If you want a cake cut, awesome ... my approach is to find a way of capturing it as a moment rather than too much of a posed formal shot. If cake cuts and first dances are not your thing, that’s great too, you don’t have to have them!
Smile, laugh, have fun, truly forget the camera is there... the shots of everyone having a good old chuckle are the best images and the ones you will truly cherish.
Above all enjoy every moment! It really is all over so fast and your photos will be the precious memories and reminders of your day that you look back on in years to come.
By hopeandgraceweddings, 18-Apr-2013 13:21:00
As you know, we are great fans of Pinterest here at Hope & Grace and we recently launched our new Hope & Grace Pinterest boards.
Pinterest is now one of the top ten online social network sites and has become so popular that there is even a waiting list to join.
If you aren't already aware of it, Pinterest is a sort of online virtual clipboard....an alternative to tearing pages and ideas out of bridal magazines, if you like. The site can help you collect, or pin as they like to call it, images of your perfect dress, accessories, venue styling idreas etc from other internet sites and from other Pinterest users. Each image which you pin to your virtual clipboards links back to the original website from which it was pinned, so that you can buy the products or read a full blog post etc.
As we love Pinterest so much and find the ideas on the site so inspirational, we are planning a regular post to showcase some of the pins which we like best and which we think will help you plan your wedding. So, here are the first of our Pinterest Picks. Hope you like them....
Dog with floral wreath from Southern Weddings. Such a cute idea to include your pet in the service and make them look so pretty at the same time!
Girl with rabbit from Burnett's Boards. We think this is the perfect inspiration for spring and love the yellow wedding dress.
Table setting from Magnolia Rouge. With spring in mind again this table setting is so pretty.
By hopeandgraceweddings, 12-Apr-2013 08:30:00
We were going to do a feature on top 5 flower girl dresses until we came across the super-cute Tutu Du Monde. We just couldn’t choose a dress from their range to make it into our top 5 as they are all utterly gorgeous so we thought we’d share a selection of their range with you.
Tutu Du Monde is an Australian company that now sells to the UK via its website and UK stockists so if you want cute-as-a-button flower girls that will have your guests reaching for their camera’s then look no further! Oh, and your flower girls will thank you too, these dresses make fabulous party dresses that can be used long after your wedding!
Left: Sleeping Beauty Tutu, Right: Giselle Tutu
Above: Prima Balerina Tutu
Above: Swan Queen Tutu
Left: Crown Princess Tutu, Final Act Cape. Right: Giselle Tutu, Plie Caplet
Above: Giselle Tutu in Daffodil
Left: Crown Princess Tutu, Final Act Cape. Right: Madam Butterfly Tutu
See what we mean, they are utterly gorgeous aren't they! Let us know what you think...
By hopeandgraceweddings, 11-Apr-2013 09:26:00
It looks like spring is finally here, so we've put together the first of our spring inspiration boards of the year. Our inspiration here is duck egg and gold with lashings of tulle and chiffon. We'll be back with more spring inspiration soon x
Image credits: rose dessert Elle Food and Cook, bridal headpiece Hope & Grace styled by b.loved, glitter envelopes The Persian Laundry on Etsy , chair with flowers Wedding Chicks, bridal gown Style Me Pretty
By hopeandgraceweddings, 19-Mar-2013 17:12:00
So it's been exactly one year to the day since Hope and Grace was launched. It seems like yesterday since we decided to take the leap and launch the range of beautiful bridal accessories which we had planned for so long.
Since we launched last year, its been a whirlwind of activity here at Hope and Grace HQ. We've linked up with some fabulous designers and been fortunate enough to have had the support of some amazing people along the way who have helped us to make the business a success in so many different ways. We'd like to say a great big thank you to all those who have helped us and who have been great sources of inspiration.
So what now? Well, we will definitely be adding some fabulous new products to our range as well as continuing to stock some of our original line of designs, such as our most popular like the gorgeous Verity stole.
So, we're off for a celebratory glass of the bubbly stuff and we'll be back soon with more wedding inspiration. Make sure you check back soon for our new Pinterest picks post, where we'll be bringing you a weekly selection of the most popular images from our creative boards.
By hopeandgraceweddings, 12-Mar-2013 15:47:00
If you’re a bride or bridesmaid tasked with organising a hen night or weekend, the pressure is probably on to find something well, a little different. To help you out we’ve done our homework and come up with 5 fabulous hen party ideas to wow your hens.
1. Become a culinary queen
They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so why not impress your man by taking a cookery course. L’atelier des chefs can tailor courses covering anything from Thai cooking to cooking the perfect steak. Prices from £36 for a 1 hour lesson. Or why try Recipease from Jamie Oliver (London & Brighton) where one of Jamie Olivers team will give you and your hens an exclusive cooking lesson. Prices from £45 for a 1.5 hour lesson.
2. Walking the tight rope
Always fancied yourself as a bit of a performer? Well why not take your hens on a circus skills course where you can learn trapeze and walk the tight rope. We can’t guarantee that you will be auditioning for Cirque du Soleil at the end of it but you will have immense fun with your hens! The Circus Space offer courses for hen parties from £75.
3. Get down and dirty
If spas and afternoon teas are not your thing, why not get active with your hens and take an assault course. Get your hens into teams and organise prizes for the winning team – that’s sure to generate some competitive spirit and fun. Amazon Events organise a woodland assault courses including scramble nets and rope swings from £20 per person. Funktion Events also organise assault courses for hen parties from £22.
4. Relax in style
If trapeze and assault courses sound too much like hard work why not live the lifestyle of the rich and famous for the day and hire a yacht. Enjoy a sophisticated day sailing with a luxury picnic and champagne or dig out the white bikinis and liven things up with an 80’s inspired theme (think Duran Duran!!) . Solent charters offer a yacht hire package from £79 per person.
5. Become a shoe designer
This is one activity that your hens will really thank you for…why not learn the art of shoe making for the day. Prescott and Mackay will create a bespoke shoe making course for you teaching you and your hens the art of making your own shoes. Courses start from £75 per person.
Well we hope we've inspired you with some unique hen night ideas. We'd love to hear what you are planning for your hen party!!
By hopeandgraceweddings, 25-Feb-2013 13:28:00
Back in November, we caught the Pinterest bug and launched our own Hope and Grace Pinterest account. You can check out all of our lovely pins here. We've been fuelling our addiction to this wonderfully creative site on a daily basis and we have added lots of pins to help you with ideas for your wedding day and today we are revealing out new wedding DIY board.
We love the idea of adding lots of creative, individual touches to the wedding day and so we've brought
together lots of ideas on our wedding DIY space to help you do just that.
We love the idead on our new board so much that we just don't know where to start. Over the coming months, we are going to try our hand at some of the DIY ideas and we'll let you know how we get on. We'd also love it if you want to try any of the ideas on our board and send us your pictures. Or, if you have any great DIY ideas of your own, please do share them with us by emailing us at email@example.com and we can share them via our new Pinterest board.
By hopeandgraceweddings, 15-Jan-2013 18:43:00
This week saw the 70th Golden Globe Awards take place in California at The Beverly Hilton. Once again, the wide screen a-listers doned their best outfits and we have been checking out the best dressed of 2013.
The most notable trend at this year's event was the strong resurgence of the statement-making colour red in all of its resplendent variations, from cherry red, to burgandy and deep plum. Our favourite of this trend was the beautiful Dior couture gown worn by Jennifer Lawrrence. This pure red dress was accessorised with a metallic belt which emphasised the dramatic full skirt.....we just couldn't take our eyes off this one.
Image souce: Getty
We also looked on in awe as actess Naomi Watts hit the red carpet in this stunning oxblood gown by Zac Posen. The conservitive long-sleeved design was offset by the beautiful open-back detail and dramatic train.
Image source: Getty
A more retro version of the red trend was worn by actress Zooey Deschanel. She teamed this lovely strapless Oscar de la Renta gown with an oversized pearl necklace to bring the whole look up to date.
Image source: Getty
Another Oscar de la Renta gown which was seen at the awards was this amazing figure-huffing fishtail design worn by Jessic Alba. The strapless bodice was teamed with a show-stopping statement necklace by Harry Winston and a clutch by Roger Vivier.
Moving away from the red trend, we also spotted some beautiful gowns on the red carpet which we think would work wonderfully as bridal gowns. Here are some of our favourites:
This lovely bejewelled ankle-length Miu Miu dress which was worn by Kerry Washington oozes understated elegance and would be perfect worn with flats for a destination wedding.
Image source: Getty
Well known British bridal designer Jenny Packham was also represented at the Golden Globe Awards this year with this dusty grey chiffon and jewel empire-line gown. Perfect for the bride looking for something slightly different.
Image source: Getty
Any bride-to-be looking for simplicity would love this pure white Chanel gown worn by Anne Hathaway. The elegant column design is encrusted with glittering crystals and the structured bustier top flatters by flaring out slightly at the waist.
And finally....we just had to include our favourite of all the designer gowns seen at this year's event. We were absolutely blown away by this beautifully unique cobalt blue and black silk chiffon Valentino gown worn by Homeland actress Morena Baccarin. The beaded front panel and sweeping contrast aesometric train make this gown something really special and it definitely gets our vote for best dress.
Image source: Getty
So, that's our round up of this year's best dressed at the Golden Globe awards. Here at Hope and Grace we love a bit of Hollywood glamour and we can't wait to see what the stars will be wearing at next month's Oscars. Keep an eye out for our review at the end of February.
By hopeandgraceweddings, 06-Dec-2012 14:14:00
we were recently lucky enough to bump into the lovely Alice from Sternberg Clarke, one of the leading suppliers of entertainment for corporate events, weddings and private parties. We asked Alice if she would give us an insight into how she goes about working her magic when it comes to making sure that couples have the right type of entertainment in place to complement their personalities and the style of their wedding. Here's what Alice had to say...
When talking about entertainment, I like to ask people about the first ever concert/gig that they went to. It always creates an interesting conversation starter, and you can start to see the twinkle in people’s eyes as they reminisce. Maybe it was a country and western gig that your parents dragged you along to when you were younger, and you loved it because it reminds you of wonderful family time. Or how about a festival with all of your friends, where you were all running around like mad things in the rain, and couldn’t care less that you hadn’t slept properly in 3 days and stank to high heaven? The people that you go to these events with are obviously a big part of your enjoyment, but the music that you saw is the really the basis of the emotion. Music can hold a lifetime of memories, from older jazz that your grandparents used to play to you, through to ‘your song’ that you share with your partner. Consequently, entertainment and music at a wedding can be incredibly important, because it can make a wedding yours.
But often entertainment isn’t at the forefront of a newly engaged couple’s mind. I’ve certainly met more than one couple who, on mentioning ceremony music, looked at me completely blankly as if I had asked if they were going to skydive into the reception. This is completely understandably - florals, head pieces (like the wonderful Hope and Grace!) and dresses are featured heavily in wedding magazines because they are beautiful, tangible things. Almost every newly engaged woman will be dreaming of the beautiful Jenny Packham gown she will be wearing, rather than which classical piece they will chose for the signing of the register. But, it doesn’t need to be daunting or something that is not thought of immediately. It can be so so simple to really create something bespoke and imaginative for the entertainment that will really make your wedding memorable.
For the ceremony or reception music, something traditional such as a harpist or string quartet can be beautiful and can work perfectly in a traditional setting. But remember that song that you sang at the top of your lungs at the gig you went to before your fiancé proposed? Why don’t you ask if your performer can play it? Hey, we’re not promising that they definitely can, but if you start to think outside the box in small areas like this, it can have a huge and wonderful impact on your wedding. And before you ask, yes we have had a harpist play an Iron Maiden song.
The idea of theming, or having a particular style can also be linked to entertainment. The vintage style which has been so prominent over the last few years is actually wonderful to work with as there are so many acts around that work well with this style. The female vocal harmony groups are brilliant and are not only lovely to listen to but also dress in authentic clothing and many also use the vintage style microphones. Again, the repertoire for these types of acts can also vary dramatically, from traditional songs from the era that the girls dress in (normally between 1920’s-1950’s) through to acts who perform well-known recent pop songs in the vintage style (my favorites’ are the group who changed the words to create a bespoke London version of ‘Empire State of Mind’)
There are so many options, too many to really put into one post so maybe some of the requests that we have come through the Sternberg Clarke office are tales for another time (I know the ladies at Hope and Grace know what I am talking about!) But hopefully this should help you newly engaged couples to really think about how entertainment can change your wedding into something bespoke and different. At the end of many blog posts on real weddings, many couples say that their words of wisdom are to do things exactly how you would like them done, not how you have seen them done in the past. And entertainment can be a great way of doing this. Who says you have to have the traditional ceremony/reception music and then a band or DJ for dancing? Why not do what you want to do and in that, your guests will also love it.
If you are planning any unique entertainmennt for your upcoming wedding or if you had a particularly interesting idea which worked well for your wedding, we would love to hear from you....
By hopeandgraceweddings, 27-Nov-2012 10:38:00
Today's blog post is about that all important detail - your bridesmaids! We all know that kitting out our bridesmaids is a priority for any bride. Forget the groom, after guests have finished ooohing and ahhhing at the bride, it's the bridesmaids that everyone turns their attentions to. Gone are the days when we dressed our bridesmaids up as a blancmange in the hope that they wouldn't outshine the bride, thankfully most brides now want their bridesmaids to score high in the style stakes.
So, if you are looking in vain for the right bridesmaid dresses then don't lose hope. We have scoured the high street to bring you some gorgeous bridesmaid dress inspiration. With party season in full swing it's a perfect time to buy high street dresses for your bridesmaids. What's even better, your bridesmaids will thank you for buying dresses that they can wear again and again!
So without further ado, here are the dresses that made it onto our Top 10 list. We hope you like them...
First up is this beautiful dress from Mango (price £139). We fell in love with the colour and think this is perfect for a glamorous winter wedding.
If short is your thing, how about this cute little number from Asos (price £65). We just love the pattern and capped sleeves.
If you are aiming for super elegant bridesmaids this next dress from Bastyan (price £325) might just be the dress for you. Your bridesmaids will be thanking you long after your wedding day for this one!
With a growing trend for 1920's we couldn't ignore this beautifully sleek dress from Ghost (price £199). Available in lots of colours, we loved this rich purple!
If Hollywood glamour is your thing why not let your bridesmaids make a statement in this beautiful Diva Sophie dress (price £285). What could be more Christmassy than that!
If your bridesmaids are all lucky enough to have the legs for it, we just love this Asos dress (£85).
With the trend for black dresses we couldn't ignore this dress from Mango (price £49). Simple but elegant, we love it!
If it's classic styling you are looking for then look no further than this stunning dress from Coast (price £156). We can just picture Kate Middleton wearing this one!
At number 2 on the list is another shorty. We love the cut of this dress from Whistles (price £165). Your bridesmaids will love dancing the night away wearing it.
Top of our list is this grecian number from Gorgeous Couture (price £349). We think this dress scores highest in the glamour stakes!
Well we hope you like our run down of the best the high street has to offer. Let us know what you think and what bridesmaid dresses you have chosen...
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