Alternative Engagement Rings from Etsy

You’d be surprised at how many emails I get from boys about to pop the question, always asking me the same thing: where can they find an alternative engagement ring? I always reply with the same thing too – ETSY!

When once such email came in just last week I got all distracted and started leafing through myself. Literally two hours later I’d not only wondered where the time went, but had saved a plethora of beauties to my favourites.

Here are just a few of the unique sparklers that made me stop in my tracks.

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Bohemian Steampunk Wedding Inspiration from France

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If I’m being 100% truthful, I’ve been a little bit over styled wedding shoots for a while now. Some of you might have noticed that I share less and less of them on my site these days. In the most part it’s actually because I simply have too many awesome weddings I want to share instead (yay!) but in others its because there really are a lot of boring shoots being produced. Harsh but true!

Mariage Steampunk bohème par Madame Coquelicot & Poppy Figue Flower

No such words can be uttered about this steampunk-y boho-y shoot that was sent to me recently though. Warehouses! Coloured smoke bombs! Hipster models! Rad ink! Rainbows! A skateboarding bride!

There’s so much good stuff in here I almost don’t know where to begin.

Shooting inspiration Steampunk - Madame Coquelicot - Poppy Figue

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Black and White Beach Wedding: Claire & Simon

Becky Joiner My Fabulous Life

For their spring wedding, Claire and Simon wanted a laid back, beach wedding. They didn’t want any stress or anything too fussy, so they kept their guest list small and chose things that made them happy!

“Our theme was rockabilly meets surf and the beach”, began the bride, “Rockasurf? Beachabilly? We are quite different in styles but we both absolutely knew we didn’t want a generic, traditional wedding. We’ve been together 14 years and after Simon proposed in March 2013 (with a beautiful black diamond and platinum ring!) we decided we didn’t want to wait very long for the wedding considering how long we had been together already so planned the wedding for April 2014.”

Becky Joiner My Fabulous Life

Although they both have different interests, it was important that they incorporated things they both love into their wedding. “Simon loves surfing, VWs and I’m more into tattoos, rockabilly style and rock music!” Claire continued. “Red, white and black are also the colours of my favourite football team and we definitely had to have skulls in there somewhere!”

“We tried to get rid of any stress-inducing aspects so we didn’t have a table plan, speeches or a first dance. We wanted the day to be a really relaxed and informal for everyone involved. In the end Simon did do a short speech to thank people but that was it!”

Becky Joiner My Fabulous Life

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Family Dramas and Your Wedding Day

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A few weeks ago I took to my Facebook page to ask if any of you had any wedding planning woes that I could help you with. To say I was inundated might be the understatement of the century! As I waded through the comments there was a common thread that kept popping up again and again: dealing with difficult family situations. This is just a very small sample of the hundreds I received.

“I lost my Dad four years ago and while my mum is with someone new, who’s really lovely, I don’t feel comfortable asking him to walk me down the aisle. I was going to walk myself down the aisle but the reactions I’ve got off friends and family haven’t been great about the situation. Advice?” Alexandra

“Divorced (and likely to argue) parents on either side! How the heck do do deal with those?” Vicky

“Any advice for having your pops refuse to walk you down the aisle because he doesn’t get along well with your fiancé?” Aja

“Dealing with his family is our biggest stress. We’re having the wedding where we live, a couple of hours drive from where our families live, mine are all coming down and arranging to share a hotel but half of his say they won’t travel that far? I don’t know if there’s some way of making the journey seem less or if he’ll just have to have half the guests I do.” Amy

“We are getting married next year. Our biggest problems are that one parent has said she won’t come if another parent is going…” Georgie

“Having step-parents involved is a big stress for us. I’ve asked my dad to share the responsibility of giving me away with my step-dad, who was there day in and day out for me as I grew up. Safe to say dad didn’t like that idea – what to do??!!?” Aimee Rose

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Thursday Treats: Watch The Blogcademy Live from Vancouver!

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Shell de Mar Photography

Greetings from Heathrow airport! Terminal 3 does feel like it’s become a home away from home for me recently. I actually quite like being here, especially as I have my airport routine down. I know which security line is likely to be the quickest (always wait with the single people with briefcases, even if the queue is slightly longer – never get stuck behind a family!) where to get the best deal on currency and who does the most delicious breakfasts (it’s Rhubarb by the way…)

I’m off to Canada for just over a week to teach two more Blogcademy workshops. The first is in Vancouver on 7th and 8th and the second in Calgary on 14th and 15th. We still have a few spaces left for both classes, so if you’d like to come along, we’d love you have you! (Just a gentle word of warning, this is likely to be the only time we ever teach in Canada, so miss out at your peril!)

Now when Gala, Shauna and I get together, most of our conversations inevitably revolve around our favourite subjects – business, blogging and the internet! Which is why we really love hosting our FREE livestreams and inviting you in on the discussion.

We will be broadcasting a LIVE Q&A session from our Vancouver apartment on Tuesday 10th at 11am PST (that’s 2pm EST and 7pm GMT). If you can’t tune in at the time, don’t worry, we’ll record it and put it online afterwards. If there’s something you’d like to know, go through to the event page and submit a question by clicking the Q&A button.

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Maybe you have some general questions about your blog or business that you’d like us to help with? Or you’ve been wondering something about Home School or our Mixer event? Maybe you just want to know what shampoo Gala uses to get her hair so damn shiny, who Shauna’s musical heroes are or why I’m so obsessed with tea!?

We’ll do our best to answer as many as physically possible in an hour, and we promise, nothing is off limits!

OK, that’s it from me for now. I’m off to catch my flight. Enjoy this week’s Thursday Treats and I’ll see you on the other side (of the pond!)

Weddings & Weddingy Things

Gorgeous boho Sydney wedding
This outfit!!
BHLDN inspired bridal shower
♥ Economical coastal wedding
♥ Travel inspired wedding

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Kati Rosado Photography

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Video Game Themed Wedding at Foreign Cinema, San Francisco: Stephanie & Jim

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When I was in San Francisco last month, one of the most delicious meals we had was at Foreign Cinema. A super cool restaurant and bar in an old cinema building (pro tip: get the truffle popcorn – so good!), they also play silent foreign film during dinner. The vibe is laid back but super cool. Unsurprisingly, it also makes an awesome wedding venue, and I am super excited to share Stephanie and Jim’s big day with you today!

But before we crack on, can we all please stop for one minute and bask in the beauty that is Stephanie’s Monique Lhuillier dress? I mean, goodness!

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This couple love movies and video games, and so that’s where they went for their wedding styling. “I don’t know if it was a theme but we sure had a lot of Mario stuff”, Stephanie explained. “We’re 80s kids raised on Nintendo, so our seating chart and table names were all from the classic Super Mario World map. We got a bunch of Mario toys and spread them all around the tables, and of course there was the insanely awesome cake. It was so detailed, it even had a Rainbow Road from Mario Kart!”

“We had a couple of arcade machines brought in for people to play. We did do a first dance but much more important was the first game of Street Fighter 2 as a married couple. I won!”

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