Well welcome back ladies and gents, hope you all had a wonderful break over Christmas and a very happy new year. It seems there has been lots of engagements announced which is VERY exciting, and many couples really kicking into full planning mode now 2012 has come around.

Recently I shared a few of my thoughts on wedding trends for 2012 via Facebook, and promised to do a full blog post on it for the new year…. so here you have it! Just a few of those key themes I expect to continue throughout 2012, with photo’s from REAL Cotswold weddings taken by the fabulous Marcus Ward from Bigeye Photography and the talented Kay Ransom from Kay Ransom Photography.

<<a big CONGRATS to Marcus who has just announced the birth of his beautiful baby boy!

Many thanks also to the gorgeous couples who submitted their wedding photo’s for this post. All of them were simply stunning!

Now, feast your eyes on this….

Budget Friendly

Due to the trend for not being seen to be too flash when times are tough, I’m continuing to see couples tightening their purse strings and sticking to much smaller budgets for their wedding days. This is something I’d expect to continue in 2012, but couples will also be getting more creative with decorations and personal touches to make the day incredibly special. I predict a continued love affair with vintage finds, flea market chic, upcycled decorations, DIY projects in abundance, contributions and support from family and friends in the wedding party.

Family photo's of the bride and groom displayed on a shabby chic pin board
Budget Friendly Decor

Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

A touch of flea market chic used for the guest book
Vintage Typewriter Guestbook

 Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

A gorgeous DIY inspired wedding sign with country flowers
DIY Wedding Sign

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

DIY tissue paper dahlia's with hyacinth bulb favours for eco-friendly and budget weddings
DIY Plantable Favours

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

CD favours for music loving couples or those with a festival theme - a fun, budget friendly DIY project!
DIY CD Favours

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

Jam Jars and Wildflowers

Table displays and venue decorations are increasingly done DIY, and collected jam jars with twine and ribbon around them, filled with blooms, are still the number one choice for brides on a budget and those looking to boost their eco credentials. They’re also often used for tea light holders and favour displays.

wildflowers in jam jars

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

a pretty display of flower filled jam jars tied with ribbon

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

Snap Happy

Photo booths are everywhere! From hired in booths, photographers offering the service as part of a package, to DIY inspired backdrops with props. Don’t expect this trend to go anywhere in 2012. Guests love it, and some fabulous photos are created.

DIY Photobooth

Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

Royal Wedding Mania

Kate and Wills showed us all how to hold a grand affair, yet kept it simple and chic. The popular couple will still be more than likely to influence weddings next year, with brides increasingly seeking simple white flowers and modest lace dresses for their wedding attire.

Royal wedding inspiration
Lace wedding dress with simple white flower bouquet

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,

Environmental Bliss

Year on year eco-friendly weddings are increasingly popular and I don’t see that changing in 2012, as the general public become more aware of their impact on the environment. Who hasn’t watched Frozen Planet?! From responsible venues, to seasonal flowers, locally sourced suppliers, vintage and second hand dresses, upcycled decorations, plantable favours, UK honeymoons… the possibilities to be eco-friendly AND fabulous are endless!

Eco-friendly table display and favours

Credit:  Photography by Marcus Ward,

Eco Bride and Groom Place Cards

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

Eco-friendly chilli seed favours

Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,

Setting the Theme

Almost all of the brides I’ve worked with this year have wanted to have a design concept or a theme to base their whole wedding day around. Having a unique and personalised day has become top of the agenda, with more and more daring ideas and dreams being realised!

1920's film inspired invitations

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Stationery by Megan Alice England,

1920's film inspired place names

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Stationery by Megan Alice England,

Moroccan Themed Wedding

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,; Props by Oasis Events,

Goodbye Fruit Cake

It’s pretty rare to see a traditional wedding cake on display these days, and increasingly popular are alternatives such as sweet buffets, cupcakes, ice cream bars, pudding tables, “cheese” cakes, cake pops… all completely mouth watering for guests to enjoy!

Shabby Chic Cupcakes

Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Cupcakes by Cirencester Cupcakes,; Design inspired by Jessie Thomson,

Sweetie Cart

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Sweet cart provided by Something Borrowed Something Blue,

Clash of the Colours

Next year I predict that we’ll see a real contrast between weddings with very simple and pale colour schemes versus those with a mix of bright splashes of bold colour! I predicted that Kate Middleton would chose a simple bouquet of sweet lily of the valley for her wedding, and it’s a craze that’s been kicked off. However I’m also seeing brides wanting to inject more fun into their big day, especially at barn weddings where colour can really add further dimension to the room.

Colourful Spring Flower Bouquet

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

Bright Colour Bouquet

 Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Flowers by Rachel Jones,

Bright and colourful DIY inspired decor for table decorations

Credits: Photography by Marcus Ward,; Styling by Jessie Thomson,


Under the Veil

Brides are becoming more adventurous with their accessories and that includes ditching the veil or tiara. Instead bespoke creations, vintage heirlooms and wreaths of flowers are being wrapped around flowing locks – a distinctly bohemian vibe will stay strong for 2012.

Floral bridal headpiece

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

Boho Alternative Veil

Credits: Photography by Kay Ransom,; Headpiece by Gillian Million Designs,; Design inspired by Jessie Thomson,

Delicate Details

Lots of brides like to add a personal touch to their wedding day now and there is a lovely trend growing for incorporating family heirlooms into dresses, jewellery, headdresses and bouquets. Vintage buttons from Grandma’s wedding dress, or a family member’s engagement ring…. Either way it’s a nice way to cover your something old or something borrowed.

Antique ring detail on brides bouquet

Credit: Photography by Marcus Ward,

So there you have it folks! Were there any ideas on this list that you plan to incorporate into your own wedding plans this year? Or are you being more daring and doing something completely “off trend”?! Would love your comments!

Now, off to write up some proposals and prepare for a big event in February… it’s a good ‘un and a big birthday bash rather than a wedding, so hopefully lots of fab ideas to share soon.




Good morning,

It’s a rather cold but glorious morning here in the Cotswolds, and as I sit looking out at the sunshine I’ve been reminded to do my latest post on the FABULOUS Leaky Boat Design, run by Bernadette Horrell who’s based in Australia. It’s an unusual one for me as I prefer to showcase local suppliers wherever possible – but sometimes someone special comes along with a truly unique service that I feel you should all know about when planning your big day.

Bernadette lives in Perth and has just started a little boutique business doing stationery which mixes two of her favourite things…. design and illustration. She’s looking to branch out into the UK with her utterly fabulous and completely bespoke stationery. So to give a little helping hand I’ve interviewed her on the blog. Tell me what you think of her work… don’t you just love it?!

Tell me a little bit about Leaky Boat Design?

I chose the name from my favorite song by the New Zealand song writer Neil Finn… its a little bit of home, hence the paua shell in the logo. Designing is my true passion, so its never really been a job or a business for me – just something I feel I need to do.

How long have you been in business?

I’ve been a designer for over 12 years but only recently ventured into the wedding industry. It’s a very exciting time for me, and I’m looking forward to creating designs bespoke to each couple I work with.

How did you get involved in the industry?

I jumped straight in! I did test the waters with a few of my friends wedding invitations first, they went down so well I decided to give it a shot.

If you weren’t involved in your own business, what else would you like to do? 

Interior designer? Furniture restoration? I have never thought of anything seriously other than design, but any other job I would do would have to involve an element of creativity and art.

What or who inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere, though colour is always a great starting point.

What do you love most about your job? 

I love being able to take a brief and mix all the different ideas into a cohesive design… that’s how my wedding stationery will really reflect the personalities of the couples I work with.

What makes your service unique?

I love design… and I work really hard to make sure all my work is special. The fact that each design I create is unique to the people I am creating them for makes my work stand out. It’s for anyone who wants something a little different.

What’s your best memory from your job so far? 

The absolute best memory is watching my first job come straight off the press. That was a very proud moment.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had?

This answer might be a bit disappointing… but there have been no  really odd requests from clients yet.. someone take up the challenge please.

Jessie: ooh go on engaged couples, I’d love to see something really wild!

What’s your working week like?

The day is divided up between work and family, and occasionally the two do overlap! But from chaos great things come… isn’t that how the saying goes?  🙂

What made you want to work in the wedding industry?

It’s an industry that increasingly people are valuing uniqueness and I can combine my love of illustration, design and collecting bits ‘n’ bobs to add in to bespoke creations.

Have you seen many changes since you started your business?

Over the years design has sometimes suffered the loss of old hand skills… a computer should be part of the process, but not the whole.

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry? “

“Oh I could do that myself”. Not always so – the simplest design is usually always the trickiest

What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their wedding?

Forget trends, they come and go…. go with something you truly love and it’ll always be unique and never date in your eyes

Have you worked with any other local vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married in the UK? And why?

Not yet, but I hope to work with many more over the next year or so. I stumbled across Jessie’s blog and was drawn to her original ideas and inspiring images.

Where can we find you?

I’m just on Facebook at the moment, though I plan to add a website once things roll along and I get a few more orders!

Jessie: check out Bernie’s amazing work here – there is a massive gallery of inspiration, so if you liked some of her images in the article then make sure you pop over on Facebook!!

Photography Credits: All images supplied by Leaky Boat Design, please contact her on for further details.

Are you a local or new wedding supplier in the industry, waiting to tell the world about your services? Are you an inspiration to the industry or to your clients? Please get in touch for future interview opportunities on the blog!

You might also like

Wedding dress trends for 2012

Morning beautiful brides to be!

It’s a beautiful day here in the Cotswolds, but certainly starting to feel a bit more autumnal now. I’ll be blogging about a gorgeous winter wonderland wedding style soon but for those of you still looking for THE DRESS I thought I’d sum up a few faves and trends for 2012.

The Illusion Dress

This neckline is both elegant with a touch of sexy. It’s a perfect dress for ladies who like the idea of a strapless number but would really prefer straps to avoid hitching it up all night. A style that’s not been seen everywhere and that suits both the modest and the outgoing.

Monique Lluillier
Anne Barge

Two-Tiered Loveliness

For daring brides who want a bit of structure in their gown, and a flattering shape for those of us with slightly wider hips than our smaller framed friends.

Anna Maier
J Crew

Horsehair (but not real horses!)

This is where the hem on a dress is created with a horse hair braid. This is not actually made from horse hair (!!) , but is a synthetic nylon or plastic braiding.

This style creates a flexible but slightly stiff hemline, adding shape and movement to a skirt. It can also help to keep a long train in shape and allows you to move more easily. The new take on this look is almost a fluffy cloud like cappucino effect. Tres romantic.

Vera Wang
Vera Wang

Blushing Bride

More and more brides are tempted to opt for a bit more of a colourful wedding dress, throwing out traditional white for something more interesting. The colour for 2012 is a soft blushing pink, perfect for vintage brides and anyone with a gorgeous warm skin tone. Monique Llhuillier is definitely the queen of this shade.

Monique Lluillier
Monique Llhuillier

Lace Sleeves a la Kate Middleton

She looked the picture of a classic but contemporary bride, and the look is catching on. This is a beautiful style to wear if you’re getting married in a church and want to retain your modesty whilst ticking all the trend boxes. Lily Allen also rocked this style at ther wedding this year.

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
Lily Allen in Chanel

Sometimes you fall in love with a dress that just doesn’t fit into current trends or traditional styles, it just feels, well, YOU! I spotted these two in my research and just love ’em. Not sure I’d be brave enough to rock gladiator style boots though. 🙂

Alquimia - Wedding Inspirasi

Have you rocked an unusual dress for your wedding in the Cotswolds? I’d love to see your photo’s! Or are you planning something unique but keeping it a secret? Post your comments ladies!

See you soon.




Hello wedding folks… I have been so super busy with my gorgeous couples getting married this year that I’ve been far too slow keeping the blog updated.

Though I think it’s been worth the wait as I’m delighted to introduce you to Chris Fordham from Fordham Hair Design

This is the first of a series of interviews with lovely and local suppliers in Gloucestershire the Cotswolds.

I was first introduced to Chris in March this year and I’ll think you’ll agree he is a super talented and all round pretty lovely bloke! I really hope you enjoy the interview and if you’re a bride looking for some inspiration…. well you’re in for a treat.

Tell me a little bit about yourself …

I’m Chris Fordham and I’m a professional hairdresser, I own a freelance hairdressing company specialising in bridal hairdressing and also offering a 5 star hairdressing service at your home or other venue of your choice. I owned a salon in Ledbury, Herefordshrie with my sister for 18 years before setting up Fordham Hair Design in Gloucestershire nearly 3 years ago.

Tell me a little bit about Fordham Hair Design …

Fordham Hair Design is the culmination of several years of planning to offer a bespoke hairdressing service which isn’t limited to location. Traditional mobile hairdressing has a make do and mend image and luxury hairdressing is normally only available in salons, Fordham Hair Design changes that by offering a 5 star service with latest techniques, a salon experience that comes to your location. Daily hairdressing like foil highlights, cutting, colouring etc form one side of the business. My love of bridal hairstyling forms the other side as I travel around the Cotswolds and the South West styling hair for brides at their homes and stunning wedding venues like Barnsley House, Cripps Barn, Kingscote barn and many more.

How long have you been in business?

I have been hairdressing for 22 years since the age of 16 years old when I started a hairdressing apprenticeship. I went into business with my sister at the age of 19 years old and I have been self-employed ever since.

How did you get involved in your profession?

I grew up in a hairdressing family, both my Mother and sister were hairdressers so I had a very creative upbringing, hairdressing is in my family blood and I just knew it was my chosen career too.

If you weren’t involved in your own business, what else would you like to do?

My secret love is garden design; I have designed several gardens including my own garden from scratch which won The Best Garden in the Gloucester in Bloom competition. Garden design is what I do to relax and switch off but it’s just as creative and rewarding as my hairdressing profession.

What or who inspires you?

In hairdressing I am inspired by the world famous Trevor Sorbie for his amazing creativity, he invented so many hairstyles that we take for granted and that have helped form modern hairdressing. Personally I was and will always be inspired by my late mother who showed how creativity and style could be accessible to all.

What do you love most about being a Hair Specialist?

With the right haircut and style anyone can look great and I love showing people how great they can really be! I’m a people person, to have a career that allows me to make people feel good and where I can meet great people has to be a great career. As a bridal hair Specialist to be able to help a bride look stunning on her special day is truly amazing.

What makes your service unique?

I would say the attention to detail and quality of service I offer to my clients make my business my unique selling point, I still have clients that I first had over 20 years ago, I think that says something. In my bridal side of the business I have spent many years developing my skill which means I have a huge knowledge of creating bridal ‘updos’ and planning a stress free wedding morning.

What’s your best memory from your job so far?

Probably teaching others to learn the skill of hairdressing, when you see a trainee hairdresser grasp a skill or concept that you have taught them it is a great feeling.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had?

The most unusual request so far is when my Mother-in-law asked me to tint her hair bright pink for her 60th birthday celebrations! She is an incredibly ‘pink person’ and she looked amazing as she celebrated her retirement and landmark birthday with bright pink hair!

What’s your working week like?

As a freelance hairdresser no 2 weeks are the same. I spend most weekends styling hair for weddings mainly around the Cotswolds but also further into Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath and the South West, some weekends can involve up to 3 weddings. Weekdays are taken up with regular hairdressing, cutting and colouring my regular clients. My free time is spent with my partner and our dog at our Gloucestershire home, either relaxing at home, walking around the beautiful commons above Stroud like Rodborough Common or visiting friends and family.

What made you want to work in the wedding industry?

To be involved in helping a bride look stunning on her special day is a real privilege. The atmosphere on a wedding morning is great, the expectation and buzz is addictive. Bridal hairstyling also allows more creativity than every day hairdressing.

Have you seen many changes since you started your business?

The obvious change since I set up my business is the hit of the recession. I think if you offer a top quality service and you are passionate about your business and clients you can weather the storm.

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry?

The biggest misconception is that hairdressing is only suitable for school leavers with poor exam results. Prospects in the hairdressing industry are fantastic and there are many avenues that can be pursued including theatre, television or specialising in a particular section like bridal hair. With real passion and dedication to the job it can be an incredibly rewarding career.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their wedding?

Fix your budget early on and stick to it! It is so easy to get carried away and spend more than is necessary. A good wedding planner can be invaluable to help you with finding suppliers and helping your plans and budget to stay on track.

Have you worked with any other local vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married in the Cotswolds? And why?

Clare Bryce Bridal Make up Specialist …Clare and I have worked together a lot over the last couple of years, she is an amazing make up artist creating beautiful bridal looks with natural mineral make up. We often work on weddings together offering brides a seamless link between hair stylist and make up artist, we work so well together that we almost know what the other is thinking!

Where can we find you?



Phone 07735 055 146


Twitter @FordhamHair


Photography Credits: All photographs supplied by Chris Fordham, please contact him on for further details.

Are you a local supplier waiting to tell the world about your services? Are you an inspiration to the industry or to your clients? Please get in touch for future interview opportunities on the blog!

1 10 11 12