Charlie Charlie

TNWC Real Brides: introducing Emma and Shane’s natural wedding in the city



Recently we saw the final ‘just married’ post from last year’s TNWC Real Brides – I am so sad to say ‘goodbye’ to those lovely ladies who made such an inspiring contribution to the blog. But today is a wonderful day, because I get to introduce to you the first of this year’s TNWC Real Brides.

We have five brides-to-be who are going to be blogging about their upcoming weddings over the next few months, I have been privy to reading all about their plans already and can’t wait to get them sharing all their lovely ideas with you. This morning I’m going to hand you over to the first of our TNWC Real Brides – Emma – who has a rather sweet long distance love story, in fact very similar to my own (apart from it was me that moved thousands of miles away to Vancouver shortly after meeting my now husband).

I do hope you are looking forward to following this year’s TNWC Real Brides, so it’s over to Emma to tell us all about her plans for a natural wedding in the city…

Emma and Shane engagement shoot - photography

Long Distance Love

It was on one of our first dates that Shane told me he was planning to emigrate to Canada. Our love story began as an office romance, flirting over cups of tea in the staff kitchen. It took me a while to realise that he actually liked me and it wasn’t until he moved in for a kiss at a cocktail bar one night that I was convinced!

We fell in love in the summer of 2010 ~ giddy, breathless, starry-eyed love ~ but at the end of the summer, just as he promised he would, he got on a plane and flew 5,000 miles away!

Map heart - photography

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Charlie Charlie

A guide to making pretty floral dressing gowns as for gifts for your bridesmaids from Lucy Says I Do


Handmade floral bridesmaid dressing gowns

Can you imagine making your bridesmaids a beautiful floral dressing gown as a wedding gift to them?  Personally my sewing skills don’t stretch that far, but if yours do then read on to find out how Lucy from Lucy Says I Do created them for her wedding in today’s guest post.

If you’re inspired by Lucy’s handmade wedding, then check out her other guest blog posts for us on her bridesmaids dresses, growing your own wedding flowers, her Edwardian wedding dress, and personalised wedding stationery.

Over to Lucy…

When we got married I wanted to give my bridesmaids something special, something they could keep, something personal to say thank you.  Together with my mum’s help we made each of them their own dressing gown/robe that I gave them the evening before the wedding.  It was a great surprise and they absolutely loved them!

Floral bridesmaid dressing gown

First we bought a simple dressing gown pattern online (from here).  Then when we knew how much fabric we needed for each dressing gown, we bought the fabric.  I decided to make each one different, as a way of showing each bridesmaid’s different personality, so I spent a long time choosing the different fabrics.  I bought the fabric from a variety of places: Shepherds Bush Market and the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road, Etsyebay and Liberty.

Liberty print fabric bridesmaid dressing gown

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Charlie Charlie

Harriet and Paul’s homemade, eco-friendly wedding on a community farm with a dried flower headdress and barn dancing


Harriet and Paul’s homemade eco-friendly wedding – photography

Eco-friendly wedding on a community farm

One of the best parts of my job is when an email pops into my inbox from a bride who has been inspired by ideas they’ve found here on my blog, and used some of the wonderful suppliers we feature in our directory.

Today’s bride, Harriet, sent me one such email shortly after I had my baby last autumn. She described her wedding to me and I fell in love with her commitment to creating her wedding with love, making many things by hand, and doing so all on a budget. It was so nice to hear she was inspired by my blog, and now I hope by sharing her wedding here you too can be inspired by her.

Over to Harriet…

Harriet and Paul’s homemade eco-friendly wedding – photography

Vintage wedding car – photography

Harriet and Paul got married on the last day of August at Riverbourne Community Farm in Salisbury, in a wedding full of handmade details and surrounded by their loved ones.

“We wanted a homemade, eco-friendly wedding. We didn’t have a huge budget as we were both students so I handmade most things and sourced lots of car boot sales, charity shops and recycled lots from friend’s weddings (such as bunting). 

Dried flower crown from – photography

Dried lavender in an earthenware pot – photography

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Charlie Charlie

TNWC Real Brides Married! Stephanie’s back to tell us all about her homepsun vintage fiesta wedding by the sea


Izzy Burton illustration

Here we are with our final blog post from our 2013 TNWC Real Brides. Today we are back with Stephanie, our lovely bride in the USA, to share all about her wonderful wedding day. 

It has been such a lovely journey with last years ‘real brides’ it is somewhat sad to say goodbye to them with this final post. But, we are about to embark on a whole load of new wedding planning adventures with our 2014 TNWC Real Brides! So excited!

So it’s over to Stephanie to tell you all about her wedding – it’s more like a real wedding feature with all the stunning photos she’s sent me from her photographer Red Anchor Photo…(and don’t miss the skateboarding groom!)

Stephanie and Justin's homespun vintage fiesta wedding - photography

Okay, maybe I’m slightly biased, but I’d have to say my wedding weekend goes down in history as the greatest weekend ever. About four months later and I am still buzzing with the love and beautiful energy my (now) husband and I felt that weekend surrounded by family and friends.  The day of our wedding also happened to be the windiest day in history, but more about that later.

Bridal bouquet of succulents, dahlias and lavender by and photography

Cupcake wedding cake with 'day of the dead' cake topper - photography

Eclectic vintage wedding tables - photography

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Charlie Charlie

Colette and Simon’s vintage eco wedding with an original 1950s wedding dress, homegrown flowers and a vegan feast


Colette and Simon’s vintage eco wedding – photography

Vintage eco wedding

Such a pretty wedding today! Do I say that every time? But each and every wedding is beautiful, and yet so different and personal to the couple. Colette and Simon got married in August on the Cornish coast (you might recognise their wedding venue from last week’s wedding), with a real vintage-cum-eco feel.

Colette told me that for her and Simon, “it wasn’t too much about the look, rather more about the feel we wanted to create which was, beautiful, relaxed, sustainable, vegan and fun, fun, fun!”

I’ll let you see for yourselves – over to Colette and exquisite photography from Mark Tattersall (TNWC recommended wedding photographer and Colette’s brother-in-law!)…

Vintage bride in faux fur stole – photography

Homegrown wedding flowers in mismatched glass bottles – photography

Origami paper crane wedding ceremony decorations – photography

Colourful vintage inspired baby bridesmaid dress – photography

“We wanted a kind of a mixture between an eco wedding, a vintage themed wedding – 50s style and a handmade really relaxed wedding. This kind of just reflects our favourite kinds of weddings and our personal likes and dislikes. We wanted everyone to be comfortable and to have lots of fun.”

Homegrown purple and yellow bridal bouquet with buddelia and sunflowers – photography

Vintage inspired bride and groom with paper crane ceremony decorations – photography

Homegrown summer wedding flowers in vintage bottles – photography

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Charlie Charlie

Win a copy of new book The Cut Flower Patch so you can grown your own cut flowers all year round



A competition to win a book all about how to start your own cut flower patch – I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me! Well that’s what I have for all you lucky readers today.

I was delighted to be contacted about a new book that’s just been published called The Cut Flower Patch: Grow Your Own Flowers All Year Round by Louise Curley, and to then receive a copy in the post to review. Rather than keeping this beautiful book all to myself, I’ve decided to run a competition for one of you to win it.


You’ll also find an offer code at the bottom of the blog post if you wish to buy yourself or someone else a copy – now that I’m giving away my copy I’ll be off to put in an order! A big thanks to publishers Frances Lincoln for sending me a copy to review and giveaway.

The Cut Flower Patch: Grow Your Own Flowers All Year Round 

What I first noticed about this book as a I started to read it, was how accessible it was – I might be a huge fan of cut flowers and growing my own veggies, but I’m by no means an expert, so it’s great to find a book that explains it all in a way that made me feel confident I could have a go myself. And if I did get stuck, I could just dip into the book for advice.


The book is broken down into various sections from planning and making your cutting patch, through to cutting and arranging your homegrown flowers. For all you brides-to-be out there planning on growing flowers for your own wedding, you’ll be delighted to hear there’s a section on growing flowers for a wedding, including essential top tips.


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Charlie Charlie

Emma and Chris’ feelgood film of their colourful Cornish outdoor wedding



Did you see yesterday’s beautiful wedding? If not, you can view it here – it’s a down-to-earth and relaxed celebration with an outdoor ceremony at an eco park in Cornwall.

Today we have the film from Emma and Chris’ wedding, created by videographer Pete Cox. It’s one of those films that will bring a smile to your face and there’s no better way to start the day.

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Charlie Charlie

Emma and Chris’ relaxed festival wedding on the Cornish coast with outdoor ceremony in an ampitheatre and colourful flowers


Emma and Chris’ outdoor festival wedding – photography

Relaxed festival wedding

Well what an utterly wonderful way this is to start the week – a stunning, sunny, Cornish wedding. The wedding of one of my lovely TNWC Real Brides from last year, Emma (you can read all about her wedding planning and handmade details here). I do hope you’ll check back tomorrow as well as I have their wedding film to share and it is a feel-good way to begin your day.

Emma and Chris got married in July on a stonking hot sunny day in Cornwall. They planned a day that was relaxed and informal, full of colour and with a festival type vibe. I’ll let you decide but I think they achieved all those things they dreamed their day would be.

Over to Emma…

Seasonal summer bouquet of coral peonies and yellow poppies by – photography

Emma and Chris’ outdoor festival wedding – photography

Colourful summer wedding bouquets by – photography

“The Natural Wedding Company and Pinterest played a bit part in the planning process. I used the internet to search for all sorts of things! I  also bought a sketchbook and started scrap booking images and very quickly formed a strong theme for the day.  Most the ideas came from the festival theme – we booked the venue and the flags in the same day – the rest sort of followed naturally.”

“I just want to say that despite the hiccups nothing could have ruined our day – it was just perfect in its imperfection – all the bits that didn’t go according to plan just make for good memories. Something will always go awry but it is those differences that make your special day yours and your only – and the things you will chuckle about when old and grey!”

Bride and groom on beach – photography

Bridesmaid in coral pink dresses and wedding campervan – photography

Emma and Chris’ outdoor festival wedding – photography

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Izzy Izzy

Unique, handmade and guilt-free ethical wedding jewellery with colourful gemstones by Lilia Nash


Ethical diamond ring by Lilia Nash Jewellery

Today’s guest blog post addresses the issue that many of us go out and pick jewellery we like without much thought to where it has come from or what efforts have gone into sourcing the gemstones and metal. Lilia Nash, who is one of our recommended jewellery businesses, not only creates beautiful wedding and engagement rings, but she ensures she knows just where her raw materials are sourced from.

Over to Lilia to tell us a bit more about her gorgeous ethical wedding jewellery…

Ethical gold diamond engagement ring by Lilia Nash Jewellery

I fell in love with gemstones when I was young, and when I decided to start designing engagement rings and wedding jewellery, I wanted to do so without damage to our planet’s resources.

You may not know when you buy a piece of jewellery from a store as to whether or not it has been made from recycled gold or fair trade gemstones. Very often you just fall in love with something you see. I would like us to pay more attention to what we are buying, so that the jewellery we buy is responsibly sourced.

Ethically sourced sapphires from Lilia Nash Jewellery

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Charlie Charlie

Tamara and Ed’s elegant country wedding in Dorset on a friend’s farm with buckets of sunflowers and live music


Tamara and Ed’s elegant country wedding – photography

Elegant country wedding

It’s been all about farm receptions in recent real weddings, and today’s beautiful wedding is another stunning example of a simple but elegant way to hold a party in a barn. Tamara and Ed’s wedding was sent to me by their photographers Louise and Teo, who run Taylor & Porter Photographs, one of our recommended suppliers on the directory, who only use film cameras and do so capturing exquisite images.

Over to Tamara to share their wedding day with you…

Tamara and Ed’s elegant country wedding – photography

Elegant vintage wedding tables with wild flowers and grasses – photography

Tamara and Ed’s elegant country wedding – photography

Elegant rustic barn wedding – photography

Tamara and Ed got married on the last day of August, one what looks like an incredibly bright sunny day in the Dorset countryside. “We got married at Powerstock Church in Dorset. I wanted it here because my mother and father were married there.”

Tamara and Ed’s elegant country wedding – photography

Wild and natural country church wedding flowers – photography

Tamara and Ed’s elegant country wedding – photography

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