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TNWC Real Brides: Em's sharing details of the floral theme that's emerging for her summer wedding at Norton Priory

Firstly a huge apologies from me as I am so behind on this year’s Real Brides posts. The lovely Em, Fern and Vicky have been diligently sending me their posts and I haven’t been posting regularly – so apologies both to them and to my readers who have been following along. 

Over to Em…

Floral theme for summer wedding

In terms of planning, on my first blog post I thought time was going quickly; now it is positively racing past. After deciding on a venue which was dear to our hearts at Norton Priory Gardens, and sending out the ‘save the dates’ in midwinter tones, I guess I began to sit back a bit as life carried on around the wedding organisation.

The twist in our tale has been that within months of sending out the ‘save the dates’ to close friends and family, I have landed a new job and we have sold our house – effectively meaning that we are literally upping sticks to make a new life together this year. Within a couple of months, we are hoping to move, get married and start new roles; so 2015 is becoming a big year for us all!

With that in mind, I am so glad that we made key decisions early on about a relaxed quite bohemian vintage feel to the wedding and had arranged the venue and location for the ceremony early on, as this has made it much easier to style what we wanted without becoming distracted by magazines, bridal fairs and the plethora of wedding related paraphernalia!

Norton Priory Gardens

Walled garden wedding venue

As we are based at Norton Priory in the walled gardens, we were both keen to have a floral theme to the wedding that brought ‘the outside in’, and this has precluded having any real colour scheme running throughout the whole day.

There will be a palette which nods to the wedding vibe, and deciding this linked to a vintage fun look has enabled us to tone everything else around key features for our day. While we made the ‘save the dates’ ourselves, with big – and fun! – life changes afoot, we had to think practically about our choices while retaining some creative control and quirkiness.

I didn’t want to sacrifice the individuality which was important to us, and we have trawled through lots of examples of designs to find images and styles which we feel suit our personalities.

I have to say books have been invaluable – I particularly like these three which I bought second hand and therefore saved a packet, plus it’s nice to think someone is passing them on after their own wedding/crafty projects! All of these books have given me ideas about print and colour which have informed my choices for the wedding.

Book inspiration for wedding

Books – Cath Kidston’s ‘in print’, Emma Arendoski’s ‘The Handcrafted Wedding’ and Lucy Morris’ ‘The Complete Vintage Wedding Guide’ all sourced from Amazon second hand.

Bright butterfly and floral wedding invitations

The invites we are particularly happy with, and these have been sourced from Not On the High Street, from a seller called Skinny Malink in Edinburgh who has a range of beautiful designs. The colours on the day invite really ‘pop’ and reminded me of Andy Warhol designs, which seemed perfect for the beginning of summer when the gardens will be a riot of colour.

Butterfly and flower wedding invitations

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TNWC Real Brides: Fern's 'how to' guide for the pretty envelopes she made for her bird and wildflower inspired wedding stationery // The Natural Wedding Company

I have just the loveliest post today from TNWC Real Bride Fern, who has not only made the most heavenly bird and wildflower inspired wedding stationery (and with my favourite brown craft card featuring!), but she has put together an easy-to-follow ‘how to’ guide for how she made the pretty envelopes. Plus she’s also shared details of how she created her different wedding stationery items. 

I just know you are going to love this wedding stationery and it’s beautiful little details. If you are on the hunt for eco-friendly materials to make items for your wedding, do check out our DIY Resources section of the directory for a great selection of businesses that we love.

>> View Fern and Dominic’s woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding here <<

How to guide for pretty envelopes

Brown craft card bird and wildflower inspired wedding stationery // The Natural Wedding Company

It is always lovely to receive special parcels and post by mail, and wedding invitations can tell you so much about a wedding. Most of the weddings we have been to, couples have handmade their invitations and I never considered doing my invites any other way, but I really wanted my wedding invitations to have a wow factor as soon as they land through the letter box. So it was clear very quickly that I was going to make my envelopes as well.

I have included a ‘how to’ guide for making envelopes below, but I will tell you about my other stationary first.

DIY Floral Envelopes

DIY guide to making your own floral envelopes // The Natural Wedding Company
Full ‘how to’ guide below!

Invitations, save the dates and RSVPs

I designed all the stationary myself in Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word, inspired by my finds on Pinterest. As I had decided that my envelopes would hold lots of colour it meant that I could keep my invitations more simple.

The fonts were Segeo Script used for our names on the save the dates and the rest of stationary we only used Traditional Arabic but varied use in all capitals or italics. The save the dates I made in Publisher by using the layout guides to divide the page into 8. I did for the RSVPs in Word; it is do-able but a lot fiddlier. I printed them on A4 and then cut them up with a guillotine.

Fern's bird and wildflower inspired wedding stationery // The Natural Wedding Company

The card for the invitations I found in a local shop with 10 brown kraft and 10 white sheets in. The design of my invites was dictated by this and its size. These were designed in Microsoft Word by customising the page size, even the map on the details.

We decided to trim all the corners to tie in with the envelopes, hole punch and tie together with ribbon. I then also made an afternoon invitation in the same way by customising the page size to A5 and then putting amended details inside. I printed everything at home on my own printer. It has cost around £35 for everything, not including postage, but I still have things left over for other projects.

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TNWC Real Brides: Lisa's pretty floral bridesmaid gifts and edible Welsh cake wedding favours

We’re back with 2014 TNWC Real Bride Lisa with her final pre-wedding post on the gifts she made for her bridesmaid and their yummy edible wedding favours.

Over to Lisa to tell you more…

Bridesmaids gifts

This idea was unashamedly stolen from another lovely wedding blog called Lucy Says I Do – handmade floral dressing gowns. This looked so perfect that I really wanted it for myself and so set about copying it.

TNWC Real Brides: Lisa's pretty floral bridesmaid gifts and edible Welsh cake wedding favours

I felt this was the perfect bridesmaid gift and so choose each fabric to suite each of the bridesmaid’s personalities. With the help of my mother we spent one Sunday at our sewing machines stitching the dress gowns up.

TNWC Real Brides: Lisa's pretty floral bridesmaid gifts and edible Welsh cake wedding favours

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Rustic floral stationery from Sarah Wants inspired by The Blue Carrot’s cutting garden in high summer

I can’t think of a nicer outing than a visit to a working cutting garden, full of British blooms – choosing the flowers was definitely my favourite part of wedding planning! I remember visiting a local grower on several occasions and seeing little seedlings flourish into gorgeous wedding-worthy flowers was quite a privilege. 

There are some wonderful florists who grow their own on the directory and if you’re lucky, you may even be invited to visit their cutting garden as part of your consultation.

The Blue Carrot's cutting garden in Cornwall

When Charlie was planning the TNWC South West Roadtrip back last summer, scheduling a visit to meet Suzanne of The Blue Carrot in Cornwall was high on her priority list. You can read all about what she got up tohere.

On the day of her trip, Charlie was also joined by Sarah from Sarah Wants, an award winning wedding stationery designer and self-confessed country bumpkin who today shares with us the idyllic visit which inspired a new collection. Plus there’s an exclusive discount for TNWC readers!

Over to Sarah…

On a day of sunshine and blue skies, I met Charlie and Suzanne for a lovely lunch at the Hidden Hut just above the beach in Porthcurnick. Afterwards, I was very privileged to visit Suzanne’s beautiful walled cutting garden which was such a treat, it felt like a little hidden secret!

Flowers from The Blue Carrot's cutting garden

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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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English country garden bridesmaid dresses

I’m delighted that the incredibly creative Lucy from Lucy Says I Do, a recommended TNWC supplier who designs beautiful wedding stationery, will be joining us for a series of guest blog posts whilst I’m off on maternity leave.  Lucy had a stunning wedding that was featured on Love My Dress and she booked wedding photographer Mark Tattersall after seeing his photos of our wedding.

Lucy created so many lovely things for her wedding, that I’m really excited to share some of them here with you – I just know you’re going to be inspired.  Love Charlie x

Over to Lucy…

I knew I wanted to make dresses that suited the wedding, so my thoughts were: English Country Garden, summery, fun, and natural.  In addition to this I wanted the girls to feel really special when wearing them, so they needed to be high quality, feminine, soft and elegant.

My sister (one of my lovely bridesmaids) and I designed the bridesmaids’ dresses together.  We decided to design the print as an English country garden story.  When developing the design I created an ‘English Country Garden’ inspiration board to help focus my ideas for the print.  Here’s my print inspiration board:

Moodboard for English country garden bridesmaid dresses

Taking different natural elements of the English Country Garden idea we developed the print to include lots of detail including: flowers, fruits and insects.  I loved the way the print developed, and the way that every time you looked at it you’d notice something different.  Including the little bumblebees!  We made sure we incorporated botanical elements such as the strawberry plant, but we balanced this with soft painterly effect flowers to make sure the print maintained a softness, like that of wild flowers.

Here’s a sample piece of the print, how many different elements can you spot?

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People Tree fairtrade organic dresses

People Tree is one of the original fair trade clothing brands in the UK and one that I love.  As ‘ethical’ and ‘fairtrade’ has become more mainstream it has been great to see People Tree’s collections grow and there to be even more choice of beautiful clothes.

I ended up on their website checking out what was in their sale when I spotted a number of dresses that I thought would make perfect summer bridesmaid dresses and knew I had to share them with you.

Please bear in mind these are currently in the January 2013 sale so they might not stay around long.  Even if you come across this post later, do check out their current collections as I’m sure there will be more lovely items – www.peopletree.co.uk.

Lora V Neck Dress

This vintage inspired dress is made from a pretty floral print in 100% organic Fairtrade certified cotton and is £37.50 (50% off) in the People Tree sale.  Perfect for a English country garden wedding.

Vintage inspired floral print bridesmaid dress

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