Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Supplier Spotlight - Fabulous Flowers Make Fabulous Weddings

Founded in 2004 by partners Gary Cooper & Matthew Taylor, Fabulous Flowers has now expanded with a new store and flower school in Oxford city alongside the first shop in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. The Fabulous Flowers team are knowledgeable and passionate about flowers and floral art and excited by new trends in art, design and fashion.
Their philosophy is to provide a friendly welcoming environment for clients, and by selecting the freshest flowers from the London markets, they offer a wide range of top quality flowers creating bespoke designs to customers requirements. Gary & Matthew regularly travel to Holland and other European cities in search of new products and ideas to keep them at the forefront of floral design.
Their creativity is not limited to weddings - they participated in Style by Nature Fashion Show. This was a real fashion show with a difference with all the fashion created from flowers and foliage. Their challenge for the show was to design an outfit for Lady Gaga.
They have built a strong reputation for creating glorious floristry at a fair price with the very highest levels of reliability to back it up. The team pride themselves on individuality and attention to detail coupled with excellent customer care and staff knowledge.
They certainly live up to their name – ‘FABULOUS FLOWERS’
Whether you are looking for an elaborate or an intimate occasion, Fabulous Flowers will work with you to interpret your dream and help make your big day Fabulous. At your free consultation Gary & Matthew will listen to your ideas and work within your budget to create the style and look you desire.
For more information visit the website or follow them on Twitter.

I love visiting Gary & Matthew’s shop in Abingdon, there is always something new to see and they are so welcoming. These guys are so hugely talented that they really do take floristry to a whole new level with their inspired and imaginative designs.

Lots of Love

All images (except Gaga) © Barker Evans

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Real Weddings - Philippa & Max's Military Trainspotting Wedding

Philippa and Max got married on 8th May 2010, a date chosen because Max was due to be deployed to the Caribbean and they didn't want to wait 18 months for it to be summer again.
They had a traditional ceremony at Winchester Crawley church with a military guards salute, the reception was held at the fabulous Horsebridge Station.
A truly unique and beautiful venue, Horsebridge is an old Victorian railway station that has been painstakingly restored into an unusual wedding venue in the South of England.
A Pimms and canapes welcome reception was served on the platform, it was a perfect sunny afternoon for this country chic themed wedding.
The evening reception was held in a marquee on the Grounds of Horsebridge station with the tables named after different local stations along the old train line.
With only 16 weeks to plan the wedding, priority number one was the dress.  Philippa's friend owns a wedding shop so that was the first port of call.  Luckily her dress was the 3rd she tried on, although she tried on a total of 7, it was still the one.
The bridesmaids dresses from Coast, in a mossy green, dictated the colour scheme for the rest of the day and this was refelcted in the bouquets with gorgeous green foliage and pink roses. 
The colour theme was also carried through to the wedding cake which was three tiers covered in roses and surrounded by pink, green and cream cupcakes.  To carry on the military theme, Philippa & Max cut the cake using Max's ceremonial sword.
Hidden throughout the wedding decorations were lots of silver pegs - a personal touch that links to a fun game that Philippa and Max have played with their friends for many years - every time they visit a friends house, they steal a clothes peg from them and have built up quite a collection!
Wanting to have a day that reflected their fun personality, Philippa and Max chose a wonderfully quirky song for their first dance, and after a suggestion from a her best friend went for 'Bring me sunshine' by Morecambe and Wise. Philippa says "If you listen to the words it was perfect for us and at 1.52 minutes in length it wasn't so long that Max felt uncomfortable!"
I love the look and relaxed feel of this wedding and it goes to show just how much can be achieved in short space in time - who needs 18 months to plan a wedding!

Lots of Love

Photography by Holly Deacon

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Real Weddings - Lexy & Matthew's Oxford University Parks engagement shoot

Jesselyn Quinn tells us about this gorgeous engagement photoshoot in Oxford University Parks with camera shy couple Lexy & Matthew.
I didn't have an initial meeting with Lexy & Matthew before their engagement shoot, so I admit I was slightly nervous about the shoot. Within 5 minutes of getting to know them, however, I could tell we were going to have a blast!
They'd brought along a whole bunch of props such as a bass guitar, matching scarves, and even a winged teddy bear (there's a quirky romance story behind every couple!).
Lexy had told me that they were both camera-shy, but in reality I found them both a delight to work with. With her warm, inviting smile, Lexy had me and my camera charmed from the get-go.
Matt was so head-over-heels in love with her that all I had to do was aim my camera at Lexy, and I was sure to catch Matt's adoring looks.
We had a fun-filled afternoon at the University Parks in Oxford and before I knew it, I'd taken 440 pictures of them. 440! I think that says something about how easy they were to photograph.
Now all I have to do is await their wedding in November, which would undoubtedly be ten times sweeter than their engagement shoot.
I introduced Jesselyn on my blog last week, to find out more about her work please visit her website.

I'm sure you'll agree that Lexy & Matthew are such a cute couple and they chose a beautiful back drop for this stunning shoot.  I can't wait to see their wedding photos!

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Supplier Spotlight - Velvet Wedding - Wedding Decorations & Favours

Velvet Wedding is a wonderful wedding decoration and favours website from the founders of http://www.velvetstore.co.uk/ and the Velvet lifestyle stores in Brighton and Hove.
Couples will find a huge range of wedding decorations to suit their themes including ‘Vintage’,  ‘Monochrome’, ‘Country Garden’, ‘Feminine Romantic’, ‘Colourful Exotic’ and of course the No1. theme of 2011 ‘Royal Wedding’.

Visitors are able to shop by theme, by item or through our search function, making the perfect decorations and favours easy to find.

The Velvet Wedding website has been live for a year now and sales are still growing every week!  They pride themselves on high level of customer services; every online customer receives real service from a real person, and all orders are beautifully and carefully packed in purple tissue paper.

Velvet Wedding sells everything from cake stands, bird cages, confetti, tea light holders, favours, gifts for bridesmaids, flower garlands, faux flowers, candle holders, table decorations, napkin charms, heart & outdoor tea light holders, lanterns, garden decorations, bunting, paper chains, birds & butterflies, garlands, heart decorations galore, white wooden letters, frames & photo holders, flower garlands, fairy lights, chalk boards, gift vouchers, photo albums & wedding gifts. The product range is constantly growing and they are always on the look out for new decorations to inspire brides and grooms!

Buyers carefully select high quality products that couples can use in their homes after the big day, and love the idea of creating place settings and table decorations which can also double up as favours – how about a rustic twig centrepiece with little heart decorations hanging from it which can guests can take away and keep - perfect!
New shoppers to Velvet Wedding can claim 10% off their first order by entering FIRST10 at the checkout, and subscribers to their wedding e-newsletter receive monthly updates about new products and are the first to hear about special offers on the site.

As well as visiting the website, brides & grooms can also keep up to date by following Velvet Wedding on Twitter and Facebook.

I hope you enjoy searching through the treasure trove that is Velvet Weddings website!  Do let me know what special finds you discover to fit in with your theme.

Lots of Love

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Supplier Spotlight - Wedding Photography from Jesselynn Quinn

There is a wonderful, quirky, and unique story behind every couple, and this is what Jesselynn tries to capture with her camera. Don't be intimidated if you hate being in front of the camera, Jesselynn has many tricks up her sleeve to make even the most camera-shy brides and grooms feel fabulous.
Included in Jesselynn's wedding day packages are free engagement shoots. Yes, the engagement shoots are absolutely free of charge, no strings attached. What's in it for Jesselynn? Well, she gets to spend a day getting to know the couple and sharing photographing tips with them so that when the time comes for their wedding, they would be used to having her around and would know how to work the camera like a star!
On your wedding day, Jesselynn will be there from the start of the bridal preparation to capture every little detail: that perfect pair of shoes that took you months to locate, the vintage hair accessory that you found at an antique shop, the dress that made your mother tear up when you first walked out of the dressing room in it... the list is never ending. Being a newlywed herself, Jesselynn knows that each tiny detail is the result of weeks and months of preparation.
Jesselynn is a big believer that high-quality pictures for your wedding day should not break the bank, so all of her wedding day packages can be easily tailored to fit the client's budget and needs. All of your pictures will be sent as full-sized, high resolution images on a CD, so you are free to print out as many as you want or blow them up to frame around the house.
For more information about Jesselynn's wedding day packages, please visit http://www.jqweddings.com/.

I really like Jessleynn's relaxed and fun approach to wedding photography, you can clearly see how she puts her couples at ease.

Lots of Love

Thursday, 19 May 2011

On Location - Karaoke-me! - private rooms to hire for your hen party!

Karaoke-me! offer private karaoke rooms for hire by the hour, each one perfect for a ridiculously enjoyable night out in Bristol.
Soundproof, air-conditioned and equipped with the best karaoke system you've ever seen, their rooms allow you and your friends to rock the night away in total privacy. Each one even comes with its own 'call button' - press it, and your waiter will come running, bringing food and drink straight to your room. It's Karaoke, but better.
Their system allows you to choose from over 6,000 songs via the touchscreen in your room. Your selection in queued up and ready to play instantly, so grab your two wireless mics and away you go! You can pause, play and rewind…and you can even change the pitch!
They have 7 rooms of varying size from 5 to 13 people but if your party is too big to fit in one room, don't worry, larger groups often book more than one room at Karaoke-Me! or even book the whole venue! With more systems to play with, everyone gets more of a chance to sing.
Karaoke-Me! is proving to be exceedingly popular with hen parties from all over the UK on their visits to Bristol. One reason for this is the relaxed environment in which a real party atmosphere is created. They understand that many of us are scared of Karaoke because we may have to sing in front of strangers. At Karaoke-Me!, this isn't the case, you are simply partying with friends.
If you'd like to know more about how your party might best be accommodated, please get in touch with the guys at Karaoke-Me! through their website

What are you waiting for - dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to sing!  What would your karaoke signature song be?  You know what mine would have to be - Ruby by the Kaiser Chiefs!

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Supplier Spotlight - Take The Floor - Wedding Dance Lessons & Hen night dance workshops

Take the Floor is an Oxfordshire based company offering wedding dance lessons and hen/stag dance workshops. They cover the surrounding counties including Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire.
Instead of the dreaded ‘wedding shuffle’ around the dance floor for a long 3 minutes, why not have a few moves up your sleeve or even a full routine for your first dance. In as little as one to three sessions you can learn some moves to really impress your friends and make that 3 minutes go a lot faster.
Take The Floor teach private lessons in the convenience of your home. You don’t need a massive space – a couple of strides worth in each direction is usually fine. Alternatively the lessons can be held in a hall or studio convenient to you. What you will learn in 1 session is more than equal to at least 10 group lessons and is tailored specifically to you and your partners’ requirements. They teach all sorts of styles - traditional ballroom, salsa, jive, street dance, bollywood, country 2 step or anything else you want to try; whether you want a full Strictly style extravaganza or just a few steps to get you through.
1 Session: Cover around half of a normal song or give you a repertoire of a good selection of standard dance steps.

2 Sessions: Complete the whole song and learn a few moves to help you feel confident on the dance floor through out your wedding night.

3 or 4 Sessions: Clean and practice the routine really well and then maybe work on more freestyle moves. You could also combine two dances or a combination of styles (eg start with a slow song and link the music into a more uptempo number), or include other members of the wedding party.
Lessons teach the man to lead and the girl to follow his cues so you can enjoy dancing together as a couple when the moves aren't pre choreographed.

Dance lessons are not only for the couple alone – why not include the bridesmaids, ushers and even parents in on the act if you want to make it a bigger event.  Take The Floor also do hen and stag workshops where you can have a fun dance class, learn a routine or even re-create your favourite pop video. Again many styles are covered from street dance, disco, showstoppers, to the newly popular burlesque. These sessions are 2 hours long and include a complimentary bottle of bubbly. There’s also fun dress up clothes to complete the look for the final routine.  Check out the video of Billy and his Ushers for inspiration and a giggle!
Check out the website to see some photos and videos of some past clients. If you want to get in touch you can email or follow Kerry on Facebook or Twitter.

I think for most of us, the thought of dancing in front of a room full of people fills us with dread, but a few dance lessons from Take The Floor could not only chase away that fear but also turn it into a fun experience.  And if that wasn't enough incentive for you, mention Ruby Weddings when you make a booking and get a fabulous 10% discount.

What will be your first dance song?  Are you filled dread or excitement at the thought of it?  I'd love to hear your views on this.

Lots of Love

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Supplier Spotlight - Fine Art Wedding Photography from Rockstars to Palaces with Barker Evans

I'm so excited to be introducing the most fabulous Susie & Harley of Barker Evans in Oxford.  These lovely ladies are completely down to earth and they are particularly good with people who don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, their wealth of experience means that you don’t have to turn your day into a photo-shoot to produce the most beautiful pictures.
They seamlessly weave gorgeous shots throughout the day building an extraordinary record, capturing moments, details and of course any request shots. They see themselves as mirrors of the day, reflecting the individual style and personality of each couple.
Susie & Harley have been very lucky to have been invited to photograph so many amazing weddings in the UK and internationally and they just love them all, from the small intimate affair to grand occasions in palaces, and everything in between!
They have been photographing weddings for nearly 20 years and their natural glamorous style has grown out of a background in fashion, true old-style photojournalism and fine art photography. They have worked very discreetly and privately for a number of well known clients in the public eye.
Susie & Harley also co-founded The Wedding Bible Company where they were the photographers and designers for the best selling, Amazon top 100 listed, Wedding Bible Book and Wedding Bible Planner.
If you love photography, they would love to hear from you.  Check out their new website and fabulous blog.

Harley, Boris the studio cat, and Susie
 I totally adore Susie & Harley, they are absolute gems!

Lots of Love

All images are © Barker Evans