How to Have a Happy and Mindful Matrimony

I have asked Sheree of Mantra Yoga to share her top tips for keeping calm and in control in the lead up to your big day. Sheree is a specialist in yoga, meditation and positivity coaching.

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Supposedly the biggest, most magical day of your entire life, your wedding day…

It’s no surprise that brides & grooms all over the world get so worked up in the run up to their wedding. There are so many expectations on the line! What with the planning, organising, guest list, tight budget & honeymoon to organise, it is all too easy for your big day to get overshadowed with a slight tinge of anxiety, apprehension & worry.

It’s time to strip this all back & focus on what’s really important here. You should be enjoying every single second of this exciting time in the build up to marrying the love of your life…

Here are my top 5 tips for a Mindful Matrimony:

  1. Plan ahead – yes, you may have todo lists coming out of your ears, but spending time to consolidate & prioritise what you actually need to do will give you clarity. Adding these tasks to your diary means they’re one less thing for you to worry about as your future self has already taken care of them. Simple but effective (and a great excuse to buy a new planner ha).
  2. Gratitude journaling – there’s a lot to be said for gratitude, it is the best way to fast track your day to be one that’s full of positivity. Writing 10 or more things you are grateful for each day not only makes you focus on the positives, but it also manifests & attracts more amazing things in to your life. It will also be a lovely wedding memento to read back over in years to come.
  3. Give thanks –  although it’s very easy to get wrapped up in your own life during this time (as it is your day after all…), but there will also be the people closest to you doing their fair share. A simple kind gesture to say thank you to them for helping & supporting you will go a longgg way. Without them, this day wouldn’t be half as special.
  4. Stay present – it’s that simple. Take time each day just to sit & be present. Don’t worry about what you still need to do, don’t stress over tripping on your dress, no – you’re not getting fat, you won’t get spotty & everyone will get along just fine! Empty your mind, sit with a nice hot drink & just enjoy the present moment & the sensations around you. You’ll feel instantly relaxed & refreshed.
  5. Yoga & exercise – scheduling in time to do things for yourself is essential. It will keep you calm & in control. Yoga is an amazing way to clear the mind, exercise & have some well deserved ‘you time’. Embrace it.

Following these steps you can have the most blissful & mindful matrimony you could ever dream of.

Live, laugh & love – that’s what the true essence of life is all about after all.

 

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Be sure to follow Sheree’s blog for some great advice on mindfulness and positivity.

Follow her on Instagram @m.a.n.t.r.a.yoga and Facebook @Mantra – Yoga

 

www.mantramoves.wordpress.com

 

With Love and Lace . . . Featured on Festival Brides

“With Love and Lace bridal’s dresses were to die for. Soft and romantic with beautiful silhouettes”

 

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“With Love and Lace bridal’s dresses were to die for. Soft and romantic with beautiful silhouettes”

Natasha Spencer

 

A Metallic and Textured Beach Styled Wedding Shoot

 

 

Read about this beautiful styled shoot for which I was absolutely thrilled to supply the bridal wear. Expertly styled by Natasha Spencer and captured by Samie Lee Photography. I am in love with the organic textures and neutral pallets juxtaposed with the striking contrast of metallics – perfect for the beachy boho bride.

Styling: Natasha Spencer Weddings & Events
Photography: Samie Lee Photography
Flowers: Essentially Hops
Dresses: With Love and Lace
Suits: Monks Clothing
Hair: Kent Bridal Hair 
MUA: Michelle Vincent Makeup Artist 
Cakes: Orange Rabbit Cakes
Calligraphy and Stationery: Willow Beau Design
Crockery: Classic Crockery

Boudoir Beaus

There is something very exciting happening in the With Love and Lace . . . studio this week – I am creating some lovely lingerie which will be available to buy in store and online in the very near future!! 

I have a bit of a lingerie obsession, I love anything boudoir and burlesque inspired. Not that my own wedding day undergarments where anything like lovely – my backless dress and my ‘athletic’ (i.e. flat as a pancake) figure meant no brassiere and my hip hugging stretch silk satin dress called for control pants of an industrial weight!

But I did treat myself to the most beautiful bridal lingerie. And got dressed up and had a photoshoot in it!

Which brings me in a round about way to the subject of this post . . .

The Boudoir Photoshoot

I think a pre-wedding shoot is a great idea, whether it’s an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer or a boudoir style shoot, or both it’s good to practice being in front of a camera and to see how amazing a good photographer can make you look and feel!

For us an engagement or pre-wedding shoot with our wonderful wedding photographer just wasn’t practical, he was based in Leicester and we had booked him based on a glowing recommendation and so were unable to meet him before our big day. However, luckily for me my very talented friend Anna Howard was looking to develop her photography portfolio and build her business ‘Peekaboudoir’ (hashtag bestnameever) and she offered me a shoot as my wedding gift (hashtag bestgiftever).

 

 

My top tip is to plan you hair and make-up trials for the day of your shoot – I planned my make-up trial with the amazingly talented Holly Kathleen. It was lovely to put the make-up to the test and see how it would fare in front of the lens. Select one or two ‘outfits’ which make you feel great about yourself, everyone deserves lovely lingerie! Look for and practice some pin-up style poses, slightly adapting your posture can completely transform your body shape. Most importantly relax and enjoy the experience!

A boudoir shoot will make you look and feel a million dollars. And once you have confidently posed in front of the camera in your pants being snapped on your big day will be a breeze! 

I have been talking to a very talented local photographer and am excited to announce that we are planning to off With Love and Lace . . . brides a very special discounted package. Watch this space!!

 

New Home 

We are moving!

I am thrilled to announce that today I collected the keys to my fantastic new studio space! I am relocating to beautiful historic Rochester to a lovely spacious and light studio

St Margarets Banks, 302 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1HS. 

Just twenty five minutes from my current location, moving to Rochester has been my dream for many years and I have finally found the ideal space. The studio is just a five to ten minute walk from the train station and has a car park nearby. Any of my current customers are of course welcome to continue their fittings at my home if that is most convenient and I will be in contact to make arrangements for your bookings.

I’m having the best time planning and designing the space – drowning in colour swatches and Pinterest ideas. But tomorrow the real work begins as we pull out the carpets and throw paint around, luckily with the help of my ever supportive family.

I am super excited (and nervous!) about this huge new adventure for With Love and Lace . . .

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The TOTALLY WOW Wedding Fair 2017

A Totally WOW Weekend Wedding Fair Extravaganza . . .

On the 27th and 28th May 2017 I joined 40+ unique wedding suppliers at the Creative Brides Totally WOW Wedding Fair at the fabulous Kent venue The Nightyard.

The venue itself was spectacular, beautiful buildings with so much versatility for couples to either step straight into a dream of a vintage / boho / festival chic wedding or to use the space as a blank canvas. There was a real buzz from brides to be who had booked the venue and were excitedly discussing their plans for how they are using the space. It was packed with friendly, laid back suppliers with nothing but excellent quality products and services on display and no pushy sales pitch.

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If you missed it I would highly recommend checking out the awesome selection of suppliers you missed here and be sure to add the 7th and 8th October to your diary for the next Totally WOW Wedding Fair at Chafford Park.


Some Totally WOW Suppliers

I had a great time meeting brides to be and their families and hearing about their exciting wedding plans. I also met lot’s of great suppliers, too many to list but among my favourites were :

The Vintage Bobbin Bridal

Offering the most beautiful hand stitched bridal accessories, with a touch of vintage and a hint of fairy tale – the most exquisite pieces expertly crafted and as beautiful on the back as they are on the front.

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The Vintage Bobbin Bridal
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A match made in heaven The Vintage Bobbin Bridal and With Love and Lace . . .

http://www.VintageBobbinBridal.etsy.com

Fox and Braces 

Offering a complete DJ and entertainment package, Fox and Braces are a one stop shop for your vintage themed DJ, live music, photography and more.

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http://www.foxandbraces.co.uk

Mr and Mrs Ebbage

The creative dream team offering beautiful hair and make-up by the lovely Jess and amazing photography by Matt – how perfect to have a talented husband and wife duo with you on your big day to capture you at your very best.

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http://www.mattebbagephotography.com/

http://www.jessicahawkinsmakeup.com

Hire-Love

Amazing prop hire and event styling – their stand was full of vintage beauties and was pretty much just my dream living room!

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http://www.hire-love.co.uk

Epic Love Story

Beautiful colourful and creative alternative wedding photography by the super friendly and lovely Emma.

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http://www.epiclovestory.co.uk

 

And then there was me . . .

If you would like to arrange a free design consultation or to view my current collection please contact me. 


A huge thank you to Clair of Creative Brides as well as Nancy and Charlotte of the Nightyard for making the day a huge success. Also to Mr Love and Lace and The Little Love and Lace for helping me get my collection together. And especially to my bestest, Hannah for being my marketing and life guru and being right there by my side. 

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TOTALLY WOW!

I am excited to announce that the first ever With Love and Lace . . . collection is to be unveiled at a very special ‘POP Up Boutique’ at the Totally WOW Wedding Fair on 27th and 28th May 2017.

 

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The event, hosted by Creative Brides will bring together an eclectic collection of wedding suppliers who offer couples quirky, stylish and bespoke products and services; and it will also be your first chance to see my new designs!

CB Exhibitor at Roundel

This fantastic one-of-a-kind wedding fair is aimed at couples who want to personalise their day by making it bespoke to them and will feature : The hottest trend in Weddings – TIPI’s by MyTipiEvent; Pop Up Bridal Boutiques; FREE DIY craft tutorials by Creative Brides and exhibitors; Funky live entertainment; Birds of prey, archery and laser pigeon shooting; Vintage, retro and classic vehicles; Unique caravan bar; Pizza oven serving food all day; Pop-up tea room serving cake and treats; Licensed bar serving refreshments all day; Picnic area; Creative Brides pop-up decoration and craft shop and loads more!

Playing host to all of this awesomeness is The Nightyard, one of the most exciting new wedding venues in Kent.
General Fair Information:
•Free entry both days
•Free parking
•VIP Bridal bag for pre-registered brides (CLICK HERE to register before 25th May 2017)
Check out the organisers Creative Brides, a great website for brides-to-be that is absolutely bursting with wedding inspiration, DIY makes and amazing suppliers.
And don’t forget to pre-register HERE for your FREE VIP goody bag!
Come along and be the first to see my newest creations. I can’t wait to see you there . . .

With Love and Lace LOVES Every Body

I wanted to share this lovely inspirational article about the importance of body positivity for your big day –

http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/real-weddings/real-bride-diaries/plus-size-bloggers-powerful-message-to-brides-of-all-sizes/21987.html

Every bride is beautiful and every body is amazing – regardless of your size or shape. Having worked with women and clothes for a very long time I can tell you no ‘body’ is perfect; even the models who are used to fit and develop clothing for the major brands will hardly ever fit them correctly with all of their body measurements conforming to the specifications set out by the fitting professionals. We are all unique and that is what makes us beautiful. Fashion retailers endeavour to make garments to fit the majority but the reality is that will never be possible, it is highly unlikely that any two people will ever fit the exact proportions set out by a fitting professional. Big or small we all have our imperfections and insecurities, even the fitting models and professional dancers I have worked with have body hang ups; just please remember how beautiful and amazing your body is in all its unique glory!

Your other half loves you for who you are on the inside, as do all of your friends and family.

For quite a few of the brides I have worked with, the bridal boutique experience just hadn’t proved to be the magical exciting day we had anticipated. For me, I am a small size ten so finding good fitting off the peg dress should be easy right? Wrong! I felt like the dresses were wearing me. They felt so alien and I felt like a little girl dressing up in my mums clothes! I have an athletic body shape – wide shoulders and no bust. So the cup was only half full so to speak and I knew that after all of the alterations needed the whole shape of an off the peg design would be compromised and I might never be happy with the final result. There was only one option for me; I decided to make my own dress and I am so glad I did. I felt so comfortable and confident and had the best time; now I feel honoured to be able to give that feeling to other brides on their big day.

At With Love and Lace . . . every  bespoke gown is made using a unique pattern carefully drafted to your every measurement to make sure it fits every beautiful muscle, bone or lump and bump of your body. I will work with you to ensure that you feel great in your gown, drawing attention to your favourite areas to make you feel happy and confident . . .

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so that the most important thing you will wear on your special day is a huge smile!

 

Making Plans . . .

for your big day!

You finally have that ring on your finger. In a rush of heady excitement you’ve grabbed all of the beautiful glossy magazines and are planning the Pinterest perfect wedding of your dreams. But, how do you start to make all these exciting ideas and dreams a reality?

First stop – give me a shout and we’ll get cracking on making your dream dress a reality. Seriously, do get in touch – you won’t regret it! 

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Then, it’s time to get the other things organised. I personally started by establishing a budget and having those oh-so awkward conversations about money. In my personal life I am a real dreamer (I like to think of that as a creative trait!) and I had to be sure to keep my feet on the ground when planning my wedding. I found organising such a big and expensive event a truly terrifying prospect but luckily my best friend Hannah aka The Blunt Bride was on hand to help me out every step of the way. She helped me to set out my planning tasks month by month in the lead up to the big day, it was so important to feel organised – especially as I really put myself under added pressure by taking on so many DIY projects for the big day. She was absolutely my saviour in the lead up to my wedding (and just all of the time!) and now she is offering her services to other bewildered brides to be – with a range of packages to suit every budget I can highly recommend her.

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The Blunt Bride

 

So, as you might have guessed I am slightly wedding obsessed. I loved every minute of planning my own wedding and now I love to hear about the plans of other brides to be. It really is a huge honour to be involved in a wedding and I love to be part of the journey in creating wedding dresses; it just fills me with excitement and I really do love my job! 


My Top Three Wedding Planning Tips :

Enjoy the engagement ‘honeymoon’ period – gaze lovingly at your sparkly new rock fiancé, then go crazy, buy all of the glossy wedding mags and pin like a mad woman! Let your imagination run wild and envision the wedding of your dreams. It’s important to dream, its a huge part of tapping into your creativity – then you can start to be practical and reign in your ideas, picking out the parts that are most important to you to start to make it a reality.

Establish a budget. And stick to it! Think about what you realistically can afford to spend on your big day and then consider the things that are most important to you in order to divide out your budget. If you overspend on one area, be mindful that you will have to be more thrifty in another.

Get help! I am the worst at asking for help, but friends and family will all gladly chip in to make your day extra special; the best memories of my wedding are friends and family helping in the lead up to the big day with all my crazy DIY projects (thanks mum, dad, MIL, FIL, BIL, the groomsmen and team bride for the 100’s of tissue paper pompoms, the feather buttonholes, the flowers, the cakes, the last minute run to ikea, the venue dressing the day before, the band, the performers, the master of ceremonies – so many of our friends and family that just made the day magical!). Think about your strengths, if you are super organised and planning is your strongpoint then source the help of local creatives to handle the practical hands on tasks. Or on the other hand, if you are a creative type then you can save money and add crafty finishing touches yourself but if you need help with organisation then do consider enlisting the help of a wedding planner.

 

Most of all – DON’T PANIC! There is so much pressure now to have the pinterest perfect, hash-tagged the sh*t out of,  wonderful wedding – but at the end of the day, it’s all about you and your beloved. Take everything one step at a time. And remember, no matter how well organised you are things may not go entirely to plan on the day,  but none of it matters – as long as you and your partner are there making those promises surrounded by your loved ones, that is really what it is all about. Enjoy every second! 

Looking forward . . .

to the biggest trends coming in Spring Summer 2018.

Full of inspiration from images of last weeks’ Premiere Vision (the fashion industry’s global trend forecasting event) I am glancing into my crystal ball and putting together some of the most inspirational material from around the web for you to enjoy on your wedding planning journey.

Natural Beauty

Crystals, minerals and raw metallics are likely to feature strongly in 2018 weddings; with the current trends for shimmering gowns (sequins and sparkles galore) and gold leaf on cakes and stationary going from strength to strength into the next year.

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Image Credits : Crystal Heart by Olive Deer / Crystal Cake / Tutu’s Bleu / Sequins

Image Sources : Teal Tablescape / Leaves / Enzoani Handbag / Tutu’s

All things Bold and Beautiful

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Image Credits : Top three images Collezioni / Paintings (last image) by Matthew Withey

Rich natural earthy tones, highlighted with metallics and iridescence will be a key component for spring summer 2018. For wedding palettes, I foresee a move away from the neutral greys and nude tones and a return to more bold colour combinations.

Metallisation

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Image Credits : Back Tattoo / Bride Tattoo / Place Cards / Gold Feathers / Gold Beading

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Metallics are a key trend – luxurious lace with lurex thread highlights or metallic cloths shimmering gently beneath layers of tulle whilst the most bold brides will sparkle in an all over sequin gowns. cropped-with_love_and_lace_bespoke_couture_bridalwear_jo_withey_designer_kent_wedding_dress_logo3.png

If you are a 2018 bride looking for a beautiful bespoke dress for yourself or your ‘maids please get in touch to arrange a free no obligation consultation.

Anna

Anna wore a bespoke beauty for her vintage winter wedding; long sleeved fine lace with scalloped cuffs and collar with a full satin skirt.

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Beautiful Anna

Anna approached me just ten weeks before her big day, a bewildered bride in a slight state of Pinterest panic. She had collected some beautiful ideas so I was really excited to work with her to create her dream dress but she was feeling overwhelmed and slightly stressed about her dress. I knew that deep down in her heart of hearts she knew what she wanted so we worked together to

Her dress started life as a full layered tulle skirt with a fitted knee length satin bodice with illusion mesh sleeves with embroidered motifs :

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Anna’s Original Design

However, this design just wasn’t to come to fruition – Anna had some doubts about the sheer sleeves and the fullness of the skirt and I was really pleased that she felt able to raise her concerns after the design had been confirmed and work had commenced. With just four weeks until the big day it was a bold move to make a complete change of design but I am so glad that she did this rather than settle for a dress that she wasn’t completely in love with.

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The Revised Design Pack

The pressure was on with just one month to start over but Anna was the most calm and laid back bride and I felt wonderful knowing that she had complete trust in me. Anna had seen a lovely photograph of a dress with a full satin skirt so we selected a beautiful soft satin and an absolutely stunning fine lace to create a long sleeved bodice.

I really enjoyed getting to know Anna, she is such a beautiful person inside and out. She even text me on her wedding day with the most lovely photographs and message :

“Everyone loves the dress. A passer by stopped and said that my dress made me look like a fairy princess!! I have felt so wonderful in the dress all day so thank you again, I just can’t believe how beautiful it looks. What a perfect day. Xxx”

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Photography By Nina Jarman