Kelli and Chris were married in the bride’s father’s backyard. They wanted their wedding to be super colourful, super laidback and themed around their love of Mexico. Mission accomplished!
“I must admit, in the beginning I was all over the place with wedding ideas and styles”, began Kelli. “I wanted rose gold and pewter… then a garden theme…. then shiny things… then burlap! I had looked at WAY too many Pinterest boards and was suffering from total wedding ADD. I knew I wanted to be true to myself and have a ton of fun, but never in my wildest dreams did it even come close to reality.”
“The two people that helped me figure it all out were my BFF and MOH Marika, and my dear friend/ wedding planner Korinna. Marika owns and operates The Stationery Collection in Montecito. Unknown to me, Marika had already set aside wedding invitations chosen especially for me years prior. I cannot possibly describe how excited I was, and how relieved! The style was perfect, and once she put her own personal design spin on it I was in love. The only problem was I didn’t know what I wanted for anything else.”
Sam and Mike got married in Vegas. They eloped and only told their parents they were doing it. Their friends had no idea, in fact they thought they’d gone to Greece on holiday! The couple didn’t have any professional pictures taken of their Vegas elopement (they just snapped a few on their phones). When they returned home, they decided that they did really want to celebrate with their families too. So they decided to have a party in Manchester, with Tandem Photo there to capture the magic.
This was a super budget-friendly wedding, with the couple spending just £2000. The bride’s dress was £28 from eBay and her headpiece was £3! They bought and arranged their own flowers, designed their own invites and decorated the space with help from their army of besties.
“The inspiration for our Manchester party was retro vinyl, the sixties and the seventies and festivals,” said Sam. “Our invite was a rip off of the original Woodstock poster. Mike is really into 70s rock, prog and southern rock and I’m a bit more mod and psychedelic 60s. I guess the theme was ourselves with a nod to Vegas.”
“We didn’t want the day to be too formal”, she continued. “We didn’t want to be taken too seriously or too stylised. Hence the ‘bad album cover’ theme for the tables with vintage teapots and glass jars. The decoration was all done by us and friends. We had fairy lights, pendant lights and bunting from eBay and lanterns from Ikea. The table markers (vintage vinyl) were from our own record collection as well as some from my bridesmaid Dani who has the best collection of horrendous album covers known to man.”
Chris and Kimberley wanted an unconventional and small wedding in the city where they met: Belfast. “We knew we didn’t want a religious service or a big wedding”, began the bride. “We didn’t want to spend our wedding day talking to people we didn’t know or didn’t want to! We had 38 guests, which was perfect.”
The couple also knew they didn’t want a traditional venue, so the wedding was held on Holohans: The Belfast Barge. “It was the first place we looked at and the last. We had the ceremony and the meal on the top deck and then we moved downstairs below deck for the evening. Calvin, the owner, is such a great host. We had so many people telling us how brilliant he was and how much they loved the staff (and food!). It was a small intimate wedding and the location lent itself to that perfectly.”
“Our wedding was relaxed and fun, will no bullshit!” she laughed when I asked about their theme. “We also did a lot of DIY. We designed and printed all the stationery, invites, table plan and name settings. We also created a ‘wedsite’ for our guests with useful travel info etc. as a lot weren’t from the area. We made the bridesmaid’s flowers, men’s buttonholes, and pom pom flowers that we placed in old beer bottles. Also a few hundred metres of bunting! Chris also made his own beer for the toast, so each guest had a bottle.”
They say that first impressions count, and no more-so is this apparent than online. While in person, we might put someone’s slightly chaotic nature down to being nervous, or actually find it quite charming and endearing, online we are used to everything being a bit more polished. If your online presence is a mess, people are much less forgiving.
When it comes to hooking new visitors in, the design and usability of your website are the most important things. Your design doesn’t have to be complicated or over the top, in fact I think it should be the opposite! A recognisable brand and visual consistency (with your colours and fonts) and a lot of white space is a great place to start.
How easy your website is to navigate is crucial too. Allegedly you have just 2.5 seconds to grab a new visitor’s attention. If they don’t like what they see, or don’t know what to do to get them to where they want to be, they are very likely to simply close the window. Make sure your navigation is crystal clear and your content easy to access.
A fun little test that we talk about at The Blogcademy is ‘the mum test’. Show your website to your mum (or someone else not in your industry) and see if they’re able to navigate easily to certain areas of your site. If your layout isn’t obvious, or there’s something there that doesn’t quite work, you’ll quickly be able to find out about it. It’s impossible to do this ourselves, as we look at our own websites everyday and know them like the back of our hands. Other people do not!
Brady and Sara both wanted a simple wedding that reflected their own style. They didn’t want to spend a huge amount, and their budget was just $2000, but they managed to pull it off. They kept their guest list tiny, and reused a lot of things they already owned.
“We didn’t have a lot of money to put into the wedding but that was okay with us”, began Sara. “It was laid-back, outdoors in the beautiful nature and just a freaking blast the entire weekend.”
“I wore my mother’s wedding dress that she wore in her wedding to my father in the early 1980s”, she explained. “It is also the wedding dress that my grandmother wore in her wedding to my grandfather (over 60 years ago). The dress was modified to fit my body and be a bit more modern, but it still held the vintage style as well. In my hair I had a handmade fabric flower hairpiece made by one of my best friends and her mother. It was made from extra material from my/ my mother/grandmother’s wedding dress. My bouquet was the same.”
Are you sitting down? You might want to before you read this one, because you are not going to beeeelive how amazing today’s competition is! How would you like to win your dream wedding cake? But not any dream – the weirdest, most fantastical, extreme dream you could ever possibly have?! Your wildest wedding day fantasies are about to come true and (in case you can’t tell) I am SO BLOODY EXCITED about it.
I first heard of Choccywoccydoodah when I was in university. A friend I’d made there was from Brighton, and one day we started talking about what we might do for our weddings. She told me that she had no real clue, except for the fact that she knew she had to have a Choccywoccydoodah cake. They were a small chocolate shop in the seaside town who were fast becoming known as the place that would do things that no other chocolatiers could even dream of. Quickly gaining a cult following for their unbelievable confectionery creations, there were nothing like the wedding cake powerhouse that they are today, but I was hooked instantly.
From that moment on, I knew that if Gareth and I ever got married, I too wanted a Choccywoccydoodah cake. Unfortunately when we actually came around to getting hitched, we just couldn’t afford one. They are incredible, in fact THE most incredible wedding cakes in the world, but that kind of skill and creativity doesn’t come cheap. I thought my Choccywoccydoodah dreams were forever dashed. That’s until I became a wedding blogger and made it my mission to become friends with them!
OK, enough fan-girling and gushing, let’s get on with what you could be winning. One very lucky couple will have a wedding cake from their own imagination created for them by Choccywoccydoodah. So to enter, we want you to come up with an idea for a mind-blowing wedding cake.