Friday, 31 May 2013

DIY: Chalkboard Table Plan

Our very own co-founder Karen (@thepeonytree) got married last year and has already sold lots of her items on at previous Hampshire Bridal Boot Sales. She loves a bit of crafting, so made a lot of different aspects of her big day, and over the coming weeks will be sharing some top DIY tips to have a handmade wedding on a budget.

I thought I’d share how to make the table plan I used for my own wedding, which was back in August last year. I knew very early on that I didn’t want an average out of the box table plan with calligraphy writing on little cards. I also knew I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money on one either. So obviously the only choice was to DIY it and make my own.

We decided to write our table plan on a chalkboard, in a vintage style frame.

It is such a simple idea, and only cost about £15 to do, but we got so many complements on it.

1) Firstly buy a really lovely frame. Ours was from The Range and cost us about £7. Make sure you buy a frame big enough to write the names of all of your guests…it might help to plot out what you want to write on paper first to visualise how big you need to go!

2) Remove the glass from the frame – you are not going to need this for the table plan.

3) Next remove the back panel, and paint this with chalkboard paint. You can get this from most DIY stores (I think ours was actually from The Range…clearly a big wedding supplier for us!)

4) Once that has dried, put the back into the frame, and you are ready to write your table plan! We used a chalk pen, which was much easier to write over 70 names with than actual chalk!!

Top tip: Write your plan with the board inside the frame. There is nothing worse than writing it all and then realising that it doesn’t all show once you’ve put it all together!

You don't have to limit yourself to your table plan either - we made signs for our sweet table, and you could use it for table names, or place settings in smaller frames.

Photo by Darren Cresswell

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Introducing... Paper Magpie

Next up in our 'Introducing...' series is the lovely Sera from Paper Magpie, who creates stunning stationary. We met Sera at the last Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale, and loved her so much, she's designed the poster for our latest she comes highly recommended from us! Over to you Sera...

I started Paper Magpie a little over 3 years ago. I had been working as a Graphic Designer but I wanted to explore more creative illustration, type and wedding stationery. My studio is a lovely bright corner of my little Hampshire cottage where I get to create a range of quirky, cool and pretty designs.

I have always loved graphic arts and typography and I love using a combination of pattern, hand lettering and little pictures to make my designs unique! Anything can be inspiration and living in this beautiful part of the country there is never a shortage of things to ignite that creative spark!

I love weddings, working with couples to make their day rock in their own way is very cool, but also I get to work with other awesome wedding suppliers, like the fabulous Mia Photography who took photos of my range, and of course the wonderful Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale, which is such a fantastic and useful wedding fair.

If you're the sort of couple who wants to put a unique spin on your big day I have a range of designs all ready to go or I offer a very popular bespoke service! I also have a range of on the day products and can offer help with styling too! Your stationery sets the mood for your wedding and gives your guests a tantalising sneak peek!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Introducing... Rachel Drewer

Next up in our 'Introducing...' series is top milliner and all-round lovely lady Rachel Drewer, over to you Rachel!

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I’m always being asked how I got into hats and millinery, and the honest answer is via a rather winding path! From when I was a little girl I always enjoyed making things in my spare time, everything from clothes to cushion covers and Christmas presents, but since doing well at school and reading Physics at university I went and got a ‘proper’ job in London. It was only after I got married and moved to rural Hampshire in 2009 that my creativity re-surfaced, and one morning after a friend’s wedding I literally woke up and thought ‘I’d like to be a milliner’! And here I am.

Having completely re-trained, I started the business in 2011 and now so enjoy my job of designing and making hats for ladies to wear on special occasions like weddings and the races. A lot of my clients have daughters and sons who are getting married and want to look special on the big day. I also love the opportunity to work with brides to create a bespoke headpiece to tie in with their dress and theme for the day, be it vintage, floral, or something a little avant garde.

All my pieces are handmade from scratch and tailored to the client, so every last detail is unique to them. I love going the extra mile for clients by sourcing extra special beads, lace and silks, which all make the final design more personal and meaningful to them. I also offer millinery workshops for hen parties and birthdays, which is a fun way to celebrate with girlfriends, and something a little different. For ladies who’d like to make their own unique headpiece for the summer, I’ve also got some open workshops coming up in Alresford – see

I’m so excited to be part of the Hampshire Bridal Boot sale, I’ll be there with my hats to try on, and also be demonstrating some simple yet effective millinery techniques to try at home. I look forward to meeting you on 16th June!

Photo credits:
Hayley Savage 1 & 2: © Cooper Photography 

Penny Dixon: Stephen Mark Photography 
Kirsty Stewart: no credit 
Harvest by Rachel Drewer & Whittle by Rachel Drewer: Angela Ward Brown Photography 
Liz by Rachel Drewer: © Gem Hall 
Rachel Drewer studio: Adrienne Photography 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Introducing... Victoria Fergusson

Next up in our 'Introducing...' series, we delve in to the exquisite work of local accessory designer Victoria Fergusson.

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Victoria has created a small but exquisite accessories collection for 2013. Every bead, sequin and gem is hand stitched from scratch by the designer from the studio in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Each piece is a small work of art.

By mixing beautiful materials and intricate beading techniques the designs are brimming with texture and pattern. There are recognisable influences from the Art Deco Period, William Morris Arts and Crafts and The Golden Age of Couture. 

Brides can choose from headdresses, hair combs, belts, brooches and more. Creating a themed ensemble or choosing a single statement piece, such as the newly created Peter Pan collars, a pretty and unusual accessory for brides seeking something a little different.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Timeless Memento

Showcase video from Film Your Own on Vimeo.

Words by Charlie Waldron

 I’ve always loved the quote ‘a picture's worth a thousand words’; especially as it can be particularly apt for wedding photos. For example, the beautiful moment the groom first lays eyes on his bride, the flower girls giggling at the first kiss and a tear rolling down the father of the bride’s cheek. However, despite beautiful photos they can’t always capture the atmosphere and the ‘buzz’ surrounding the big day. Many brides I have spoken to have expressed the desire for their special day to be forever captured on film but this comes at a cost that doesn’t always take precedence on the long ‘to-do’ list especially as you could pay up to £3,500 for the pleasure.

So how do you capture your day on film without spending a chunk of your budget? The answer? Get the wedding party to capture it for you! There are now companies out there that will give you several HD cameras for your guests to film your wedding from their perspective, you then send them back and the company will edit your film, put music to it, add captions, whatever you like. And you don’t bear the cost, with prices starting at £349!

So if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a video worth? So, on that note I’ll leave you with a taster from a great company called “Film Your Own”.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sarah-Leigh's Top Tips for a DIY Wedding

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Our very own co-founder Sarah-Leigh (@sarahleighw) is due to tie the knot in just a matter of weeks and here she shares her top tips for a DIY wedding. After spending months rummaging at boot sales and antique fairs or glued to eBay hunting for her perfect finishing touches, Sarah’s become a bit of a pro at spotting bargains and the perfect raw ingredients to create something beautiful. 

Today we talk haggling and patience, while over the coming weeks Sarah will share some great DIYs and a few valuable tips for creating fab wedding looks on a budget. 

Finding the perfect venue – get to know the team. 

My fiancĂ© Ryan and I decided pretty early on that we wanted our wedding to be a unique representation of us – our style, our ideas and our own effort to achieve it. Hotel packages and all their rules and regulations just weren’t for us and while many can be beautiful, we were after a little freedom.

If I could impart one bit of advice on venue hunting it would be to get to know the owners or team who will help you achieve your big day. These people will be entrusted with every detail and most importantly every hard-earned penny so it’s imperative they ‘get’ what you’re aiming for, especially in DIY matters and most basically, its important that you like them!

We have been so fortunate in this area – we found our beautiful venue by chance and the owners quickly became a huge part of our day. Their invaluable advice, soothing words at times of stressful details and awesome creative ideas have helped shape what we hope will be a uniquely beautiful day in just a few month’s time. Being a private venue, their flexibility and willingness to let us try a few things out has made planning completely enjoyable.

(Sarah & Ryan are getting married at Hill Place)

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Set a budget for decorations and finishing touches 

Though boot sales and second hand shops are by far the cheapest way of kitting out your wedding, all the 50ps and £2s do add up. Set a budget up front on how much you want to spend of this kind of stuff and stick to it. I’ve kept a tally all the way through and set myself a monthly ‘rummaging’ budget!

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Hunt down your perfect finishing touches

From car boot sales to antique fairs, charity shops and of course HBBS, I’ve spent many weekends over the last year hunting for anything from tea cups and saucers to old keys, brooches and milk urns… Two things are very important when searching for your own finishing touches – be patient and keep hunting for the right thing – you can always come back to the first thing you saw – and haggle.

It also helps to have a vague theme at least (ours is the 1930s) and try and stick to it. I could have paid over the odds for things I wasn't too keen on because I felt time was running out or I was busy with other things, but patience pays off and you’ll be happier with your finds if they truly hit the nail on the head.

My top haunts for pre-loved items in Hampshire & nearby are:
Bursledon Car Boot Sale 
Ardingly Antiques Fair 
Shirley High Street’s charity shops
Winchester High Street’s charity shops
Molly’s Den 
Lymington High Street for quirky independent home and gift shops

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Get heaps of inspiration online 

For great DIY ideas you can’t beat Pinterest, wedding blogs and YouTube. Team HBBS taught ourselves how to make poms poms with a handy video and I’ve recently decided on our male guest’s favours thanks to everyone’s favourite ‘Pinning’ site (we plan to stick bespoke stickers from Moo with our names and wedding date on supermarket bought cigars).

Don’t be scared to have a go at things yourself, with a little time and patience you can achieve some fab decorative ideas easily. I was stunned at how simple poms poms are (see the DIY here) and I’m really not that crafty!!

My favourite sources of online inspiration for DIY weddings are:
Pinterest (search ‘DIY wedding’)
Green Wedding Shoes 
PS I Made This
Martha Stewart Weddings

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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hampshire Bridal Boot Sale: 16 June 2013

We've got a new date and a new home! We're thrilled to announce we'll be setting up shop at Milner Hall, on St Peter Street in the centre of Winchester, on Sunday 16 June from 10am-1pm.

As with our previous two events, we'll have a host of newlyweds setting up stall to sell on their wedding wares to brides to be. Think tea cups, bunting, table decorations...even dresses! If you're looking for those special touches for your big day, or even just want to be inspired by what other people have done, then we highly recommend you pay us a visit!

Alongside our newlyweds will be some carefully selected suppliers to add the finishing touches, which you can buy on the day!

We'll also have cake (because no event is complete without cake, right?), crafting tutorials, and a whole host of other fun!

Entry is just £1.50 per person.

We hope to see you there!!

(the beautiful photo is by HBBS friend, photographer Angela Ward Brown)