Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas From The Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale!

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Well, with just two more sleeps before Christmas, all that remains for us to say is we hope you all have a wonderful time and a very happy New Year! Thanks to all our wonderfully supportive friends and those who have participated or come along to events this year - we look forward to seeing you in 2014!

Special thanks too to Sera from Paper Magpie for our super-cute Christmas card!

In-keeping with all things festive, we thought we'd share a little inspiration from a recent intimate dinner party we were asked to style. If you've got your own table to coordinate this Christmas, why not try your own combination of festive props, seasonal flowers and plenty of candles. We're huge fans of a deep red and gold palette this year, alongside a backdrop of candlelight!

If you'd like to know more about our styling services, simply visit the 'What Peggy Did Next' tab above. Don't forget you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too for all the latest news!

See you soon! x

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Monday, 9 December 2013

HBBS Turns One!

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The Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale officially turned a year old this October and what better way to celebrate than with the team at the exquisite Cams Hall in Fareham. To mark a great 2013, plus the launch of our parent company What Peggy Did Next, we welcomed a host of top suppliers from across the south to partake in an evening of drinks, networking and just a dab of inspiration.

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Most importantly, we must say a few thank yous to the fabulous collaborative team on the night for making the evening quite so beautiful and such a success...

Paula Rooney Weddings for the stunning flowers and for unveiling her top trends in our 'Inspiration Station'. | Sera from Paper Magpie for our beautiful invites and for creating bespoke stationery on our Inspiration Station. | Sara from the blog Wedding Sparrow (don't miss a peek at those wonderful pages!) and MUA Victoria Bunting for also contributing to the Inspiration Station. | Ann and Gemma at Smallpiece Catering for our delicious birthday cake and toffee apples for our guests to take away. |
 Ange Ward-Brown and Bex from Wild Aesthetic for demonstrating beautiful their tintypes. |
Emma the team from Miss Bush Bridal who showcased not only amazing dresses from their 2014 range but also keep guests entertained and awed with their models (with hair by Sharon at Wonderful Wedding Hair, adorned by Paula Rooney crowns and make-up by Carolanne Armstrong). | Jen and the attentive team from Kalm Kitchen who kept our glasses filled and created the most wonderful canapé selection that was truly a feast for the eyes! | The wonderfully generous Eagle Eyed Bride who bought along their awesome giant balloons complete with sumptuous tassels and the 'Love Bug' photobooth. | Lydia Stamps for helping out with photos on the night and who's great work you can see here!

We can't forget DJ Ryan B on the decks and Victoria Fergusson for lending myself, Karen, Helen and Paula beautiful accessories.

Indeed, there were many hugely supportive friends in attendance on the night but we must say a special thanks to Laura Caudery and Sandra Young from Parallel Venues and Cams Hall for hosting the evening with us and their ongoing encouragement.

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Take a look at more of Lydia's photos here, plus, be sure to come back soon as we unveil those all important trends for 2014, as showcased in the Inspiration Station!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Easy Wedding Trends For 2014

DIY Chair Decorations

The days of a block coloured chair sash in a shiny material should be long gone in our opinion and a vintage-look DIY option is just so easy! Here at HBBS HQ we love the gathered up lace spotted on Love My Dress and Sarah-Leigh's simple ribbons tied in a bow to add a hint of colour.
{Photos by Cassandra Lane and Angela Ward-Brown}

Flowers, Fruit and Foliage

Alongside your floral displays, add a little seasonal fruit for a natural accompaniment. Don't forget foliage will help with the wedding flower budget as the green stuff goes a long way! Ask your florist for some ideas or have a good scour on Pinterest for colours and themes that might suit your big day.
{Photo by Angela Ward-Brown}

Naked Cakes

Oh how we love a naked cake. Forget the fancy icing, a simple Victoria-style sponge with lashings of cream, jam and the odd strawberry is also you need to make a statement with your wedding cake next year. Why not have a giant version of your favourite treat like Afternoon Tea?
{Photo of A Smallpiece of Cake's Afternoon Tea cake by Angela Ward-Brown; naked cake photo by Sarah-Leigh}


Gypsophila is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. Used on everything from simple bouquets to arches and mantle pieces, this simple yet effective floral is big news. Better yet, its versatile and will suit anything from vintage to contemporary and really does give you bang for your buck.
{Photo by Angela Ward-Brown}

Mis-Matching Bridesmaids Dresses

There's that age-old dilemma of finding bridesmaids dresses that both you as the bride and your team of maids all adore. Plus, you've got the fact that all of them are potentially different sizes, shapes and ages to consider. A top trend is to have mis-matched dresses, yet try and find a common theme such as all the same colour but in different styles, different prints but in similar tones, or differing lengths and materials but with a common feature or accessory.
{Photo via}

Monday, 9 September 2013

Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale - September 2013

Here at HBBS HQ we're happy to report another successful sale on Sunday 1st September. Over 400 brides and grooms-to-be came to puruse stalls full of newly-weds pre-loved wedding wares, fab finishing touches and made the most of the glorious sunshine with our array of food and drink options out on the lawn!

To name but a few highlights, the Smallpiece pop-up tea room once again provided anything from afternoon tea to their famous Millionaire Shortbread (we might have 'tried' a slice or two of that ourselves), whilst indoors photographer Ange Ward-Brown and her partner Bex unveiled their tintype portraits complete with on-the-spot sittings and a mobile dark room. Upstairs guests could have a consultation with jewellery designer Olivia Lowe, not to mention getting a makeover from the Fairy Godmothers in the Beauty Boudoir.

If one of our sellers caught your eye but you didn't quite get the chance to chat, drop us a line here. Also, check out our fab line-up of awesome collaborators and suppliers below who could just help turn your big day in to something really rather beautiful.

We must say a huge thank you to everyone that came out last Sunday and most of all to our hosts Cams Hall who took care of us so very well.

Its been quite a month over at HQ, as well as the sale we also had a mention on Love My Dress and our very first set of team photos! Don't miss all our event photos plus more updates over on our Facebook page!

This time, we opened our little black book with a host of brilliant businesses, including...

3 Men and a Marquee - marquee hire
Smallpiece Catering - catering
Paper Magpie - stationery
Blossom and Bird - floristry
Larlieboo Bunting - bunting and decoration
Olivia Lowe - Meon Valley Studio bespoke jewellery
Teacups and Tandems - crockery and prop hire
Pretty Post Box - wedding post boxes
Vintage Dotty - a little caravan serving treats and afternoon tea for a special event
Uptown Curls - hair styling
The Fairy Godmothers - beauty, hair and nails for special events
Emma Crowley - balloons, ribbons and more
Indulge in Vintage - crockery and prop hire
Fishee Designs - photobooth
The Gentlemans Burger Company - catering
Angela Ward Brown & Wild Aesthetic - wedding photography and bespoke tintype portraits
What Peggy Did Next - wedding styling and Sheil's Crockery Co prop hire

Friday, 30 August 2013

Join us for Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale at Cams Hall this Sunday

On Sunday 1st September, the Hampshire Boot Sale opens its doors once again with a host of newly-weds setting up shop with their pre-loved wedding items, plus select local businesses presenting unique products, inspiration and handy DIY tips. Brides and Grooms-to-be can this time soak up the exquisite surroundings of Parallel Venues' Cams Hall in Fareham, Hampshire, whilst perusing the stalls and stopping for a spot of afternoon tea from 11am until 2pm. Entrance is just £2 per person. Here is just a little sneak preview of some of the people you can meet on the day…

On the ground floor, you’ll find newlyweds selling on their preloved wedding items in the Garden Room. There’ll be everything from vintage tea cups, dresses, decorated jam jars, shoes, veils, photobooth props, vintage suitcases. Whatever your wedding theme, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy!

Step out of the Garden Room onto the back lawn, and enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake in our pop up tea room, hosted once again by the amazing Smallpiece of Cake, all housed in a beautifully decorated marqee, supplied by 3 Men and a Marquee and dressed by our event styling company What Peggy Did Next. All of the vintage crockery will be supplied by Sheil’s Crockery Company, so make sure you pick up some of their hire details!

Also on the lawn you can grab a bite to eat with The Gentleman’s Burger Company (sure to be a hit with your Groom!), speak with the super talented Angela Ward-Brown about her unique photography offer (it involves a converted ice cream van!!) and take a peak at Vintage Dotty!

Venture back into the house, and upstairs to the Oval Room, where you will find a handpicked selection of suppliers, all who can add a special finishing touch to your day. You’ll find stationary by Paper Magpie (who also designs our HBBS artwork!), personalised bunting from Larlieboo Bunting, Pretty Postbox’s, prop hire from Teacups and Tandems, vintage clobber from HBBS regular What Alice Found. You can even find out more about making your own wedding rings with Jeweller Olivia Lowe from Meon Valley Studio, and step into a photobooth, provided by Fishee Designs.

Once you’ve got all of your suppliers sorted, visit the second floor, and our Beauty Boudoir. The Fairy Godmothers will be sprinkling their magic over you, with hair, nails, and make up by MUS and HBBS friend Vicky Bunting. Uptown Curls will also be in the Boudoir, doing vintage style hair trials. Get a mini make over, and pick up some top tips for your big day.

Make sure you get your photo taken in the photo booth once you’re all made up. And then surely it’s time for tea again?

We can’t wait to see lots of you there on Sunday. Give us a shout on Twitter and Facebook if you’ll be coming along!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Top Tips for a Marquee Wedding

Those chaps at 3 Men and a Marquee know a whole lot about marquees. So we asked them to give us their top tips to consider if you're thinking of a marquee wedding.

A lot of newly engaged couples dream of having a marquee wedding, to give them the freedom to create a day that is unique to them. But there are lots of things to consider when booking a marquee for a wedding, so here are some of our top tips.

First things first…

Decide on your vision for the day, what do you see happening, what does the day look like. Think about the venue – Do you have an idea of where you want to put the marquee already or do need to look for somewhere? Where do you put it? Back garden, Vineyard, Venue or go on the hunt together for that perfect view – you never know if that farmer with the prefect view will let you use their field unless you ask! Ask your marquee company for their suggestions too…they’ll have worked at lots of different venues they could recommend.

Once you’ve found your venue, think about where at your venue do you want your marquee, where do you want to approach from, what view do you want to look at whilst eating?

Your Marquee

Find out what is included in the price of your marquee. We do three different packages that include everything you could need for your day, to make sure everything goes smoothly and you can get on with enjoying your day. We can also add in extras, and put you in touch with some great suppliers.

Food and drink

Whose doing the catering? Once you have a caterer booked, find out if they have any specific requirements (do they need a catering area? Running water?), and be sure to let your marquee company know. Similarly with a bar, if you are using a bar company find out what their requirements are, or if you are providing your own bar, have a think about any tables, or fridges you need.

Power and toilets

They may sound like boring things to have to discuss, but they’re really important. Power is usually supplied by a generator for a complete marquee set up (Plugging everything for a full venue set up into a mains plug could be a bit much) and there are plenty of “posh loo” companies to hire nice loos from. Your marquee company will be able to point you in the direction of some great suppliers they are used to working with.

Tables & Chairs

Once you’ve got your guest list sorted, it’s easy to work out the number of table and chairs you need, but make sure you give some thought to how you want your guests seated – on long tables, or on traditional round ones? Where will the wedding party sit? Will you be having a cake table?

You can read more of our top tips on the 3 Men and a Marquee blog.

Image credits: Anna Hardy,  Farm 3, La Belle Bride, Amy Antoinette, The Pearl Tent Company, Whimsical Wonderland, The Wed Magazine

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Top Tips on Bridal Skincare & Make-Up

We recently caught up with our favourite MUA Victoria Bunting on looking after your skin in the run-up to the big day plus she gave us a few tips on looking your best. Victoria will be joining us at Cams Hall on Sunday - make sure you head on up to see her in action in the Beauty Boudoir alongside the awesome Fairy Godmothers. Not only will the team be there to offer great advice but mini makeovers too!

Over to you Vic...

Being a make-up artist, its my job to enhance your natural beauty and make you feel extra glamorous on your wedding day, however having a radiant complexion helps give me a kick start into making you more beautiful then ever!

No doubt you have a failsafe relaxation routine to calm your mind under pressure...but what about your complexion? Being stressed can really play a big part in how your skin looks.

Here are some top tips of mine to help you along your way to a blooming complexion...think of it as a relaxing spa for your skin but without the cost!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Top Tips for your Stationery - make it yours!

We know all about how fabulous Paper Magpie are...they design the Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale posters, and we just love everything they do! Paper Magpie's superbly talented Sera gives us her top tips for how to make your wedding stationary rock...

Long gone are the days of italic black type on a crisp white card, your paper good for your big day can rock out as much as you like! Stationery is a great way to inject a bit of personality into your wedding day. Its essentially a big old blank canvas for you to fill with… whatever you want!

If you're having a theme to your day you can use this space to project that to your guests so they know what they're getting into - be it circuses or kitty cats! If you don't really want a theme and are sticking to florals or colours and type, why not add a little secret nod to you and your other half?

Adam and Rachel went for a gorgeous country tea party feel to their stationery and decoration but there is a subtly cute addition to their bunting - one leaf has a little game pad to represent Adams love of gaming and another leaf has a representation of the tattoo that Rachel has on her wrist! Along with a custom initial set which was placed around the stationery suite - it takes a pretty design and makes it personal!

Kate and Ed went for their names in scrabble letters and polaroid style photos of themselves on their stationery!

Another bride wanted to feature her dog on her place settings, so I made some bone shaped cards with a little portrait of Claude!

An illustrator like me will talk to you about your plans for your day and what you and your partner are like to find a bit more about what style you want! It could be the theme from your day or perhaps you're both keen surfers or have a pet you just can't leave out of your big day and want that to feature on your stationery - having your personality on paper is exciting!

I have a few big projects coming up which are going to be absolute reflections of the couples I am designing for! And I can't wait!

Tips for DIY!
If you're looking to make your stationery yourself there are lots of ways you can add a bit of personality!
Why not get some mini stickers from made with pictures of you both on and use them to seal the envelopes? Hunt through and get a personalised address stamp to use on the back of your RSVP's. Even has a service where you can personalise your stamps!

Whatever your choice of paper make sure it rocks!

Look out for my 2014 range launching soon!

Sera will be at Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale on 1st September at Cams Hall in Fareham. Make sure you stop and say hi!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Introducing...3 Men and a Marquee

We're really thrilled to be working with 3 Men and a Marquee, who are proving us with a space for our tea rooms at our Cams Hall event. We love working with these guys and their energy is huge. If you are thinking about a marquee wedding, then make sure you get in touch with them.

3 Men and a Marquee was born after a particularly massive year in 2012. After attending sixteen weddings in one year, including two of their own, the men of 3 Men and a Marquee felt they could help give happy couples exactly what they wanted on their special day.
The decision to be a Wedding Marquee provider isn’t totally out of the blue as the guys have been putting marquees, tents and all sorts of other tented equipment up for a combined time of approximately 70 years due to them all being involved in Scouting in Hampshire.
So, 3 Men and a Marquee was born to ensure that Bride and Grooms to be are made to feel special on their big day by us and to provide a premium and professional experience throughout yours and their time together.
Your special day is an amazing day that will be with you forever. You may have a location very special to you, but may be put off by the potential confusion of a marquee wedding. Well, our packages ensure you get everything you need to help create the weddings of your dreams in your very special location.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Top Tips for Choosing a Mother of the Bride Hat

We asked top Hampshire Milliner to give her top tips on choosing hats for weddings. Make sure you pass this link onto your Mother of the bride and groom to help them out with any hat related headaches!!

‘Whittle by Rachel Drewer’ © Angela Ward-Brown

So, your daughter or son is getting married and you need to find a hat.  Where to start?!  I know how it can feel when you’re faced with the big occasion, and you really want to look your best but are not sure how to.  Especially when it comes to hats.  Big ones, small ones, fascinators, flowers, feathers…  Does it fit, will it stay on, will I be able to see anything at all?  I know the task can feel overwhelming and impossible, so here are my top tips for choosing a hat to complement you and your outfit.

‘Horizon by Rachel Drewer’ © Angela Ward-Brown

Less Can Be More

Firstly, think about how much detail there is in your outfit.  A very plain shift dress will look great with a statement hat.  A busy outfit (think lace, patterns, multicolours) will look better with a simpler hat.  It’s better to create one focal point in your outfit and stick with it.  So, if your dress is doing the talking then perhaps don’t go for the flamingo print pineapple-shaped handbag.  Are you with me?

‘Will and Rebecca Ascot’ © Rachel Drewer

What’s Your Angle?

When trying on hats, ladies often plonk them in the centre of their head towards the back and then say “Hats just don’t suit me!”.  As a general rule, all hats look much better worn near to the face and at an angle – 45 degrees is a good starting point. It may feel unnatural at first, but trust me, it will look much better and you’ll be well on your way to hat wearing heaven.

© Highacre Studios

3 is the Magic Number

I don’t know why it is, but when faced with a smart occasion ladies often automatically go into monochrome mode and want to wear one colour from head to toe.  I’m talking lilac dress, lilac jacket, lilac bag, lilac shoes, lilac hat…  We’ve all seen it, but why??  I always encourage my clients to use at least 3 colours in their outfit and accessories.  This makes for a more stylish and natural look that adds interest and depth.  After all, you don’t want to look like you’ve come out of a box.  

Rachel Drewer Studio © Adrienne Photography

Rachel designs and creates hats and headpieces for brides and wedding guests.  She offers a bespoke service with tailored advice from her millinery studio in Tichborne, Hampshire, and also offers millinery workshops and hen parties.  For more information see

Monday, 19 August 2013

Real Weddings: Sterling Advice for Getting Hitched Stateside - Part Two

Here's the final instalment of Mrs G's story... she married Mr G in NYC's leafy Central Park back in May. See Mrs G's top tips for getting married abroad here.

See Part One here.

We knew we wanted to add some touches of our own to the decoration of the venue, it was such a pretty canvas but we wanted to personalise it rather than leave that to the place, so I set about finding details that would travel easily; light, compact, unruinable and then ignored the whole criteria when Rich came home suggesting we served our welcome drinks in glass coke bottles! I loved the idea instantly but realistically we didn't want to be traipsing around trying to find 40 bottles the day before the wedding so we set about drinking our body weight (great for the dress diet), washing and saving the bottles and packing them within our clothes and plenty of bubble wrap for a trip across the Atlantic! Remarkably, every single one arrived without a problem! The rest of our details were more sensible, lace table runners which were just strips of lace from eBay, they cost next to nothing and were beautiful and rustic.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Real Weddings: Sterling Advice for Getting Hitched Stateside - Part One

Our good friend Mrs G married Mr G in NYC's leafy Central Park back in May. Here, she tells her story of getting married across the pond, with some great advice on how to make the most of such a special adventure!

See Mrs G's top tips for getting married abroad here.

Home or Away

Before the dress and the finer details, one of the first factors a newly engaged couple must decide on, is where. For me, this was easy, I knew I definitely didn't want a big English country wedding for a number of reasons but primarily for the cost. My husband and I by nature are both very impulsive and impatient so the idea of having to save for years was out of the question to us. I am also a massive control freak and fiercely indecisive so I knew a wedding that needed lots of details and fine tuning would drive me crazy and I really wanted us to be able to enjoy the build up as much as the day.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Top Tips For a Wedding Abroad

New to the blog is REAL tips, tricks and advice from REAL brides... today, our pal and HBBS
regular Mrs Green shares her thoughts on getting married overseas.

Mrs Green married Mr Green in New York earlier this year - we can tell you first-hand it was the most beautiful day! Stay tuned as we'll be bringing you more on these NYC nuptials in the coming weeks!

Top Tips for getting Married Abroad
  • Work out what you want before you start to look, there will be some compromises but as long as the things that are really important to you are kept, you'll be fine.
  • Trust your instincts and only work with people you instantly feel happy with, there will be lots of emails pinging back and forth and having people who will answer quite quickly and help you as much as possible is really important.
  • Take recommendations, if you don't have personal ones use websites like Trip Advisor to get a feel for places and link up with them on social media sites so you can see what's happening with them currently.
  • Be organised! Work out what you need to do and what you need others to do/transport over for you in plenty of time so no last minute panics.
  • Take and send pictures, show people exactly what you want, this way there will be no confusion and no disappointment later.
  • Be nice! It might sound silly but getting stressed and going all Bride or Groomzilla on people isn't going to make them want to help you more and it's a whole lot easier to ignore emails so proof read all your mail and never press send when you're mad!
  • Make sure you know all the legal requirements, they vary a lot dependant on the country or even US state you're in, having somebody to help with this bit can be helpful and avoids last minute stresses.
  • Write off a couple of days before your wedding, the last minute details always take longer than you think, don't plan to be able to do anything more, then any exploring time you get will be a bonus!
  • Be realistic, make your life easier by trying not to take the 6ft cardboard cut out of you both on the plane! This applies to dress choices too, remember it needs to be stored somewhere on the plane!
  • Relax! Although we were so lucky and everything was perfect, by the night before I was completely calm and told myself the two of us and our friends and family are the most important thing about this day, if something isn't exactly as planned, just smile and enjoy everything that is right!
  • Enjoy and have's the biggest cliché in the book but it really is all over before you know it so remember to step back with your husband and take it all in on a couple of occasions.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Top Tips For A Wedding Photobooth

We've been asking some of our most trusted suppliers for their top tips on their expert areas, so that we can share their wedding wisdom with you! Here the very lovely photographer Angela Ward-Brown shares her top tips, and things to consider if your considering a wedding photobooth.

So you want a wedding photobooth?

Wedding photobooths can be a great idea for adding extra life & fun into you wedding day.  They act as an alternative group shot, and are a great way of making sure that having friends & family photos doesn’t become a chore for anyone.  So, what do you need to think about...

Going pro or DIY?

There are bags of great photobooth suppliers out there offering products such as genuine vintage booths, modern digital photobooths, and portrait shoot-style set ups supplied by a photographer. Alternatively you could set up a camera on a timer, flash, tripod, props & backdrop & leave your guests to make photographic mischief on their own...

Whilst budget is always a consideration, if you do it yourself you need to bear in mind safety (make sure no one trips over that tripod!), skill (your possibly inebriated friends might take a series of fuzzy & oddly framed images, and it only takes one budding David Bailey to ‘improve’ the settings in order for things to go badly wrong), and supervision. That last point may seem a little stern, but I have presided over many photobooths which would have no props (and possibly no camera) left if I hadn’t been there to gently redirect a happily sozzled guest or two!  If you can afford it, a professional will ensure you get good looking photos of the right parts of your guests.


We have seen window frames, vintage fabrics, photographic backgrounds, old doors, streamers, glowing letters and lord knows what else used as photobooth backdrops - check out Pinterest for great ideas to guide you.  Personally I would love something like the elegant set up from Dawn Porter & Chris O’Dowd's wedding below; dreamy staging & big statement decoration with plenty of room for your guests to get funky!


This is a tough one.  If your wedding has a strong theme or identity, maybe go with that as your inspiration.  Or maybe just find some items that are frankly a bit odd & see what your guests do with them.  We have maybe seen more moustaches on sticks than we need to now, but hit the party supplies shop & see what takes your fancy.  Again here, Pinterest is our friend.  Maybe base it on your favourite TV shows or films? What is not to love about a Game of Thrones or Soprano’s style booth?  If you are hiring someone to do the booth for you, check what kinds of props they bring - if cheesy giant glasses & top hats aren’t your thing it could make a real difference, and your supplier wants you to be happy with the images as much as you do.


In my experience, the best time for a photobooth is in that time between the end of a meal and midway through the evening party - often venues need that time to change rooms so guests are ushered into alternative spaces with little to do, a photobooth proves very popular if you put it in the right place at the right time.  Maybe make some little tickets to prompt people that it exists if you have had to plant it somewhere else?

Above all a photobooth should be fun, creative and (I hate to say it) a bit organised!

Later in the year Angela will be launching a unique fine art photobooth concept involving photography processes from the 1850’s for your guests to keep as one of a kind, beautiful favours. Make sure you stop by and see Angela at the next Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale, at Cams Hall on 1 September, to find out more about this, and her beautiful photography.