Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Taking the cake!

I was sent this story from a friend and just had to share it with you.

We have all heard of brides really wanting to stand out from the crowd and have something a little bit different from everyone else. Well this lady certainly takes the cake!
Chidi Ogbuta,  wanted something special to celebrate renewing her wedding vows after 10 years of marriage and what better way than with a cake that looks just like her.Literally. The cake was a staggering  5-foot replica of herself wearing a wedding gown and a veil. Chidi said "I searched for months to find someone who'd make my dream come true, Originally the plan was for two cakes -- one of me and one of [my husband] Innocent.Unfortunately, it took five weeks to make and we ran out of time."

Barcroft Frame Pictures
What do you think?


Monday, 28 March 2011

REally Awesome

As you all know I am planning a Royal Wedding get together for some friends and family and have been on the look out for all things British to decorate. So I just had to share these glorious finds from Northumberland based RE . Founded by Simon Young & Jenny Vaughan in 2003 the shop is based In Corbridge in Northumberland and if you can't get there in person you can bowse online for all their fabulous finds.
I found these fantastic Cookie Cutters & Rusty shapes that will help me celebrate in style. Enjoy!

Rusty Shapes From RE

British Isles Cookie Cutters from RE

While we're on the subject of the Royal Wedding (I know again!) See if you can spot what's wrong with this souvenir mug. I wonder how many they made before someone realised!

Royal Wedding Souvenir Mug

Friday, 25 March 2011

Royal Throne

I know that some people out there are sick of hearing about the forthcoming Wedding of William and Kate, but not me. I can't wait! We are having a Royal Wedding get together and will sit and watch the days proceedings from sun up till sun down whilst sipping Pimms and eating cucumber sandwiches and cupcakes don't you know. No doubt the guys will hide themselves away and just let us girls get on with discussing all the details and oohing and aahing over Kate's dress, flowers, shoes etc.

I love anything to do with weddings anyway, but a Royal Wedding is always something special is it not? A chance for the rest of us commoners to dream about what kind of wedding we would have if money were no object. And which little girl doesn't imagine marrying a Prince one day?
Even if you don't have the budget of the Royal couple you can still have a little bit of luxury on your big day. I found these fantastic chairs at The French Bedroom Company.

Waterloo Vintage Chair from the
French Bedroom Company

Perfect for those who want to inject a little bit of Britannia Chic into their proceedings, they would be great for the Bride and Groom to sit on during the reception and afterwards they would be a cool addition to any home.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Much Too Young?

This morning I was sat looking at my rather gorgeous 16 year old Daughter (of course I am biased, she's mine!) when it struck me that when I was her age I had been going out with her Dad for nearly a year.To my knowledge she hasn't got a boyfriend currently and isn't considering getting married anytime soon. However, it got me thinking at what age is the right age to get married, is there a perfect time?
I had just turned Twenty when I tied the knot with my OH and I must confess that many of our guests assumed that I was either (a) pregnant (b) stupid or (c) both of the above. I wasn't pregnant, or stupid, after all twenty two years and two kids later we are still together, but looking back I can understand why many were concerned that getting married so young was a mistake.
My OH was my first proper boyfriend, I met him when I was 15 and he was 19 and I know it sounds corny, but I knew that I would end up marrying him. of course he was oblivious to all of this and had his eye on one of my friends if memory serves me correct. But I digress.
When we announced that we were getting married some two years after we had become engaged you would have thought that people would have been used to the idea, after all we had at this point been a couple for four years. Yet there were still folk that tried to tell me that we were too young, that we didn't know our own minds and that we should wait for another couple of years. Obviously, being headstrong (Pig headed my OH would say) I knew that getting married was the right decision for me.
I have friends that have married later in life, the last one being 36 the next one being 43 and one of them often says that she couldn't imagine being married at twenty and not being able to enjoy her youth. For some reason she thinks that because I was married I didn't enjoy my youth or growing up. In fact I enjoyed it just fine, yes there were tough times, but who doesn't have tough times. No I didn't have loads of boyfriends but I don't think this is a disadvantage.
What I did have was the security of knowing that I followed my heart and that I always had the support of my OH no matter what life threw at us (financial hardships and a miscarriage at 20 weeks to name but two) and we did all of the other stuff like getting drunk and making a fool of yourself too, just together.
So is there a perfect age to tie the knot, I don't think so. You know when the time is right whether you have known someone for 1 day or ten years if you have faith and trust in yourself you will know if he or she is the one you want to share the rest of your days with.
I know that there will be people out there balking at the thought of getting married so young, and that's their prerogative, after all one size doesn't and shouldn't fit all, right? And they're probably asking "What if one of your Daughters wanted to get married so young? I bet you'd change your tune then wouldn't you?" All I can say is that I hope that I have brought them up to know their own minds and to trust their instincts.
One of my motto's in life is go with your gut instinct, because 9 times out of 10 it will be the right decision.
Of course I would have my reservations what Mother wouldn't? But, I hope that I would support them in every way that I could.  But who is anyone to tell you that you are too young to know that you have met the love of your life? I want my girls to experience falling in love, even if it means that they will have their hearts broken and I want them to know that sometimes fairy tales do happen. Maybe not like in the movies, but everyday fairy tales like me and their Dad, still together after all these years despite the critics and the doubters.
I don't regret getting married so young, it has been great having the person that I love the most sharing every experience with me. I don't have a single adult memory that doesn't include my OH. Some may think that's scary but I wouldn't change it for a moment.
My Wedding 1989
What can I say... It was the fashion then!

(and yes I do feel like telling the doubters I told you so on every anniversary... but  I don't)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Bargain Buys

If you are planning your Wedding and are trying to save some cash, you should check out the Wedding Boutique at TK Maxx, featuring beautiful dresses for all of the wedding party starting at just £29.99.

It pays to keep checking the website or your local store regularly as stock can change quickly, so if you see something grab it while you can.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Very Important People

Ive had a busy day today. I've met lots of new people and met up with some old friends that I haven't seen in a while for catch ups. The one thing that was common about meeting all of these wildly different people is that they were all fascinated by what I do for a living. I had lots of questions about what types of events I've been planning and what kinds of themes are around at the moment through to who was the most demanding customer. (No I didn't reveal that) But the one thing that nearly all of them asked is what is the most important part of a wedding or any other type of event? Is it the dress, or the venue, the flowers or the cake they all asked, eagerly waiting for a response.

From my point of view the most important part of any event, are the guests. If you are inviting someone to any event, surely it's because you think enough of them that you want them to share in your celebrations? As a good host or hostess you will want your guests to enjoy themselves, feel comfortable, relaxed, be entertained and leave feeling happy. So for me the comfort and entertainment of your guests is paramount.

Most people will be delighted that they have been invited and feel excitement and anticipation about attending. They will invest significant resources into attending (especially if it's a wedding) and if they are met by a hosts that haven't put any thought into their enjoyment of the day and focused entirely on their own, what does that say about them? If you are not bothered whether your guest are enjoying themselves  then why invite them in the first place?

This may sound harsh, I know, but I feel that it is simply bad manners not to consider the comfort and entertainment of your guest no matter how large or small your budget may be. You do not have to spend a fortune it's about being welcoming and making them feel that you value their presence.

A few years ago I was a guest at a really lavish wedding of a friends Daughter, no expense was spared for their cherished only child. She had the designer gown, an abundance of flowers, a marquee, a Daimler to take her to the church and reception, 10 bridesmaids. The reception was held on the lawn of a stately home and the food was delicious. Sounds lovely doesn't it? Well although it was lavish I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the wedding of a colleagues daughter who only had a fraction of the budget to spend.

The first lavish wedding was all about the Bride and what she wanted, everything she asked for she was given, she had no interest in who attended, only what they had brought as gifts. She or her new Husband made no effort to thank anyone or to ask if they were having a good time. Guests were left to their own devices while the Happy Couple flounced around in their own little world (the Bride threw a couple of tantrums too because the waiting staff did not tell her how lovely she looked. Honestly!) the rest of the wedding party, including the 10 bridesmaids and Ushers, (yes there were 10 of them too did I not mention that?) looked uncomfortable and unhappy as did the majority of the two hundred guests. The Bride and Grooms parents, looked uncomfortable and embarrassed at their children's ungratefulness as to how many people had come along to help them celebrate, only to be ignored.

My colleagues Daughters wedding in comparison was a lovely day. The couple could not afford the expense of two separate parties so they decided to get married as late as they could and invite everyone to a party that started at 6.00pm. The reception was in a local pub, the food was basic party fayre, there were no fancy cars and the only flowers I saw were the ones the Brides and her one Bridesmaid were carrying.

However, from the moment we arrived at the venue, the Bride and Groom took the time to thank us for coming, they both looked happy and radiant. Both sets of parents were keen to make sure that everyone had a drink and a place to sit, we were introduced to everyone around us and throughout the evening we were asked if there was anything that we needed, was the music OK, was the food to our satisfaction, could they get us anything else. They were extremely attentive hosts and we were made to feel extremely welcome and part of the overall celebrations  It could not have been more different to the first, no expense spared, celebrity style wedding.

So you see it doesn't matter how much cash you flash, if it's all about you and your guests do not enjoy themselves they will be talking about your celebrations for years to come but.... for entirely the wrong reasons!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Special Day

When you mention to anyone that you plan weddings, among other things, they automatically imagine frothy white dresses, flowers, a radiant bride and groom, lots of good food and great company.
While this is happily quite often the case, there are times when as a planner, your skills and expertise are stretched. For example, there are some people for whom the decision to get married is one that has been made during difficult circumstances, such as a member of the wedding party having been diagnosed with a life limiting illness.
Because of the circumstances there are quite often heavy demands already placed upon the immediate family and organising a wedding is another strain that becomes a weight on their already overtaxed resources. While some will savour the prospect of having something to distract them temporarily from the reality of their situation, some prefer to use an outsider whose expertise can be relied upon to make things happen.

It is situations like this which will stretch your professional skills to their extremes.
Whilst there are still details such as dresses, flowers and food. The most pressing challenge becomes one of time and making sure that an event can be executed flawlessly and on budget in a very short timescale.
Hospital appointments and treatment regimes become the main focus of attention which means that quite often, schedules have to be re-arranged at the last minute to be able to accommodate such changes.
When sourcing a venue, access to rest facilities, privacy for ongoing treatment and fast transport links to and from hospitals become the focus of attention, rather than the capacity of the dance floor.
 Choosing the right transport to accommodate wheelchairs or IV drips is a factor that needs to be considered as is the availability of a private room where members of the wedding party can rest or receive treatment if needed.
 Finding a great photographer and videographer to ensure that magic moments are captured and that the appurtenances associated with the illness do not dominate the event are crucial to the couple having the best day possible. And all of this has to be sourced within the tightest timeframes.
Even though all these factors need to be considered there are still activities such as choosing the dress / cake / flowers etc that are just as, if not more so, important to ensuring that the occasion is not eclipsed by the dominance of the illness and which will allow a short respite from the daily reminders of a diagnosis.
 It is important that the couple and their family enjoy their Wedding Day for what it is and not as something that is second to an illness. Although the wedding may not be the one that a couple would have chosen in the first instance, it is imperative for them to celebrate their special day with those people that they love the most in the way that they want.
Although these weddings are quite often emotional, and more so than average, it is impossible not to be affected by the proceedings, after all we are only human. However, it is imperative that as a planner, you remain focussed on the task to ensure that you can give someone a very special day to remember.
It is an honour to plan any wedding, but when you are given the responsibility under such difficult circumstances it is an opportunity to help ease a little bit of the personal burden of someone who may need not just a planner but a shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Christening Day

I've had a busy day today. It was Baby M's Christening and I have to say despite of the weather everything went well apart from baby's Grandmother driving off with the keys to baby M's Parents car.
Luckily the lovely people at the St Cuthberts Church let Mum and Dad sit in the warmth while the keys were retrieved and soon everything was back on track.
Baby M behaved impeccably and hardly made a murmer throughout the service which was beautifully delivered by Canon Mike Nelson, who coincedently married me and my Husband some twenty two years ago! Baby M was wide awake throughout the whole baptisim and then promptly went to sleep straight afterwards.
It has been a lovely day with a truly lovely family I feel very honoured to have been part of the days proceedings. Next to Weddings, Christenings are one of my favourite celebrations and today has been a beautiful experience.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Let them eat cake

Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot on April 29th at Westminister Abbey and it seems like the whole world has gone Royal Wedding crazy. Ten American cake designers have come up a confection collection for the upcoming Royal Wedding.  Below are a sample of what the designers think will appeal to the royal couple.

Image by Elizabeth Hodes
 New York-based wedding cake artist Elizabeth Hodes has come up with this regal creation. Thedesign elements of the cake were taken directly from Prince William's coat of arms, including the unicorn and lion gumpaste pillars. A sugar gem sapphire fashioned after Kate Middleton's engagement ring is the central gem of the crown cake topper.
Image by Shelly's Cake Studio
Westminster Abbey provide the inspiration for this cake by Shelly's Cake Studio. The Abbey's stained glass rose window is the focal point, and is made with melted sugar. A handmade three-dimensional crown is perched regally on the top.

Image by Colette's cakes

This cake by Colette's Cakes apparently reflects the couples spring wedding. Hundreds of handmade sugar flowers adorn each tier with significance to the royal family, including daffodils, lily of the valley, and English bluebells

You can check out the rest of the designs at abc news international. You can be assured that whatever design the Royal Couple decide upon it will no doubt taste amazing and be copied by bakers across the world.

Friday, 11 March 2011

FINomenol Changes

There comes a time in everyone's life when they need a bit of a push in the right direction when it comes to overhauling your image. Most of us will have a certain lipstick or eyeshadow that we love and are comfortable with. One that makes us feel confident and in control.

However, every now and then it pays to step outside of your comfort zone and try something different. Hence Trousseau Weddings is now FINomenol Events.

I needed a brand and logo that reflected exactly what we are and do. So why FINomenol? Well my surname is Finnemore and I create Phenomenol Weddings and Events that your guests will talk about for years to come. I don't know why I didn't come up with it earlier, after all it is a pretty obvious name. But as I say we all have our comfort zone right?

So here it is our new name and logo I hope you like it. You can be assured that although our name has changed you will receive the same great service and value for money.
Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


With the economic climate as it is, many Brides who have dreamed of marrying abroad maybe can’t afford to. However, it is possible to add a touch of the tropics to your proceedings here in the UK.
Where do you start? How can you give a feel of a Hawaiian idyll without donning a grass skirt and your husband to be settling for a loud shirt and a pair of Bermuda shorts? The last thing you want to do is take any theme to the extreme. A gentle non in the direction will create just as much impact as swathing everything in bright colours. Remember it's a Wedding Reception and not a theme party, plastic pineapples and inflatable palm trees are not the look you’re aiming for.

Hawaiian Moodboard

To give a feel of the tropics think white starched table linen and Bamboo chairs; the scents of Hawaiian tuberose mixed with a fresh sea breeze. Garlands of tuberose scattered around the room and hibiscus blooms floating in wooden bowls. Coconut candles, shells, an abundance of fresh fruit and banana leaves used as placemats. 
lauhala woven favour boxes are a tasteful way of fitting in with the overall theme of a Wedding Luau. Fill them with whatever treat takes your fancy.

Bridesmaids can be dressed in short bright dresses and carry posies of bright gerberas or simply have a wist corsage of one bright tropical flower. Male ushers could wear linen suits in shades of taupe and beige with a bright handkerchief to tie in with the overall theme. There are many ways to bring a tropical twist to your wedding celebrations and many online suppliers have items available that you may not have previously considered. Ultimately, it's your day, have fun and enjoy yourself.
You can find lots of supplies, including these fabulous favour boxes at The Hawaiian Wedding Shop.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


If you are a bride looking for some truly exquisite lingerie then look no further than Tallulah Love . Based just up the road from me in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, they have a fabulous array of spectacular lingerie that will make you drool. Their Blue Birds range is just perfect for your wedding day and their luxury packaging is to die for!

Blue Birds Bra Knicker & Suspender
from Tallulah Love
Pictured here is the Blue Birds Bra, knickers and suspender.
Stunning Blue Bird printed silk knicker with delicate ivory chantilly lace back and duck egg blue candy striped bows add a quirky edge. Delicate detailing in the form of vintage gold TL embroidery finishes the look. A collectors item for luxury lingerie lovers, a truly enchanting keepsake.

The Luxurious silk balconette bra featuring limited edition blue birds print. This lightly padded bra fits like a dream and creates the most amazing silhouette. Delicate ribbon slot lace trims the cups and a vintage gold TL logo completed this decadent look.

Their prices are amazing and they have something for everyone. Every girl should have some Tallulah Love in their Bridal Trousseau.  Why not drop some subtle hints to your Husband to be. A gift from Tallual Love will keep you both happy!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Custom Jewellery

If you are looking for some unique custom jewellery check out Brightstar 109 for these lovely Little Gem earrings.

Brightstar 109
Little Gem earrings
 Handcrafted in Dalton in Furness Brightstar 109 offer a full range of styles in sterling silver and copper using hand chosen gemstones of every variety. Brightstar 109  do not use fake, lab grown or imitation gemstones and specialise in rare and one of a kind hand cut and polished jaspers and agates from around the world.
Using only sterling and fine silver and occasionally copper for the jewellery designs, all findings are sterling and guaranteed nickel free.
If you want something unique for either yourself or to gift to a bridesmaid you should check out their designs soon

Friday, 4 March 2011

Cool Britannia

Victoria Threader Cupcakes
Celebrating the trend for all things British Victoria Threader has created some charming little cupcakes that would be fabulous additions for a Cool Britannia themed wedding. Check out the recipe at Good to Know

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The official Royal Wedding Website has launched today

details of the Wedding including Kate's dress, will be

reported here first. only eight weeks to go!
"I do" Rhinestone Shoe stickers
The contemprary Home
I am so loving these “I do” Rhinestone shoe stickers available from The Contemporary home website at just £3.99. They are a fun and budget conscious way to add a little bit of sparkle and something blue to your special day. How cute they’ll look when you are kneeling at the altar! Snap them up quick.
Royal Footwear?

Manolo Blahnik
photo by Courtesy Photo

The people over atWWD footwear News have asked some well known designers to come up with bridal footwear fit for Royal Princess to be Kate Middleton
Manolo Blahnik has designed an ivory silk pump with organza lilies of the valley and sea pearls
"It represents springtime and everything fresh and new, which is what Kate Middleton is all about."

Giuseppe Zannotti
Photo By Courtesy Photo

Giuseppe Zanotti created a black satin sandal with large sapphire centrepiece and surrounding diamonds, on a metal-tipped stiletto
"I wanted her shoes to match the classic and sophisticated elements of her ring, but with a younger, modern edge. Jewellery for the feet is my DNA, so designing for a princess comes very naturally."

Georgina Goodman
Photo By Courtesy Photo

Georgina Goodman came up with an antique Welsh lace pump with Scottish seed pearls and pearl-inspired heel
"I wanted to create something special with an intrinsic emotional value; something old and at the same time mirroring Kate's fresh modernity. ... I have aimed for a balance between history and femininity fitting the occasion; a kind of luxury recycling."

Rene Caovilla
Photo By Courtesy Photo

René Caovilla’s design of a white satin sandal with marabou feathers and multicolour Swarovski crystal gems is a real eye catcher.
“This shoe is fit for a princess because the sandal is elegant, sexy and precious, and it suggests a magical atmosphere.”

Cesare Casadei
Photo By Courtesy Photo

Cesare Casadei has created a single-soled silk pump with jewelled straps and embroidered floral details“Kate reminds me of a 2011 Audrey Hepburn. ... This elegant design is customized with embroidery and multi shaped clear crystals, to create a waterfall of stones dancing down the foot. I can see Kate dancing all night in this ‘new tango’ heel.”

I have to say that Georgina Goodman’s design is my absolute favourite of the lot, although all of the designs are gorgeous. I do wonder how easy it would be to walk down the aisle at Westminster Cathedral in them! Whatever the future Queen Katherine chooses to wear on April 29th, you can rest assured there will be a
 flurry of look a likes so that even the budget conscious
bride can have wedding shoes fit for a princess.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

With the upcoming nuptials of a certain Mr Wales & Miss Middleton, the fashion for all things British has never been hotter.
For those couples who are sharing their Wedding day with the Royal Couple why not try the “Distressed Jack” invitations featured here.

The A6 design features a distressed cream background, and Union flag with the couples names and date of Wedding above.

Distressed Jack

The inside features a distressed flag overlay on a cream background with the wording in Red and Blue.

Distressed Jack insert

Insets are printed onto 90gsm parchment paper

For those who prefer something a little less patriotic why not try the vintage teal ribbon design.
The A6 invitation is printed in soft shades of teal and cream on pearlescent 350gsm card and finished with a soft teal satin bow.

The inside is printed in the same soft shades with the wording of your choice.

Both designs are available from Trousseau Wedding, please telephone 07414265703 for further details

Vintage teal ribbon

vintage teal ribbon insert

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