WHEN THE CARNIVAL COMES TO TOWN…

Colourful retro carnival wedding styled shoot (5)Now that you are engaged, you will probably find yourself looking all over the place for inspiration for your wedding, whether it it be the real weddings on blogs or the latest trend guides in magazines but have you ever thought of checking out styled shoots for a little bit of inspo?? We absolutely love sharing them here because unlike real weddings, vendors have total freedom to go all out and create something epic, no holds barred. Personally I think it’s a great way to not only get an idea of the suppliers personality but is also a great way to get your own creative juices flowing, the realisation that they sky really is the limit.

One of our favourite photographers, Schellie from Six Hearts Photography, tells us why she loves to work on styled shoots, “We love working with other professionals, so when an idea comes to mind, we jump on a chance to be creative with our “Friendors” for an non commissioned project where we have full creative freedom. We call them “Inspiration Collaborations”.

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HOW TO USE BESPOKE BRIDE TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING

DIY-ombre-tulle-skirts-two-tone-blue-purple-orange-pink-8 While many of you will be returning to work today (booooo!!), some of you will be heading back with some very exciting news to share with your peers: Christmas 2015 was the year you got engaged! If you are one of these lucky lovelies we would would like to say a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS and for those of you that have been here before we would like to welcome you back and we wish you a very happy new year.

Whether you are new to the world of bridal blogs or a wedding blog connoisseur, we have created this handy little little guide to help you make the most of our platform whilst on your wedding planning journey, so be sure to save this to your favourites as we think you are going to want to come back…

First let us introduce ourselves, we are Emily & Jess, friends and co-founders of Bespoke Bride and BB boutique (we will tell you more about that in a sec). We started the blog in 2011 after dabbling in our own startup wedding businesses and used the blog to collate inspiration, chat about our own ideas and share our own products and images. We wanted to create a platform where we could share the weddings we had come to love, those that were detailed, original, creative and innovative – those that reflected the true personality and character of the couples themselves!

So how can you use our blog to help plan your wedding?

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Photography by Brilliant Imagery

Be Inspired

“Inspired by Us, Created by You!”

We share everything from real weddings & styled shoots to engagements & bridal showers, all of which are a great source of inspiration. Our real weddings include helpful information from brides that have first hand experience of planning a wedding, this can be anything from how the couple decided on a venue, to budgets and vendor information. Styled shoots are a little different, although they are created by real vendors, the couples involved are often models and the shoot has been created in order to showcase a particular theme or trend, as well as the talents of the vendor for inspiration.

Here are some of our most popular to get you started…

A Kate Spade-esque Styled Shoot with a Magnificent Black & White Stripe Dress

This Couple Went on a Colourful Wall Crawl for their E-shoot and Found a Giant Ball Pit!

Botanical Bridal Shower: Gossip Girl Meets Pitch Perfect

Pink To Make the Boys Wink: An Eclectic Las Vegas Elopement

Gummy Bears & Nerf Guns! A Colourful Handmade Wedding at a Forest Retreat

Playful Destination Wedding Inspired by Mexican Tradition

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Find Vendors

Whether you already have a clear idea of what you want your wedding to look like or you have happened upon this blog in search of recommendations, it won’t be long until you mind is brimming with ideas. Now you just have to find the vendors that will  help make it happen, well this is where BB boutique comes in.

Our carefully curated marketplace, contains over 50 high quality, unique and stylish wedding suppliers, offering hundreds of unique products, including bridal gowns & accessories, decor, favours and stationery, many of which can be customised to fit the bespoke nature of your wedding. Here you will also find a comprehensive directory of high quality services, including photographers, transport providers & videographers. Our platform enables you to buy all the products you require from one single checkout, as well as contact vendors.

Create Wish Lists

The wish list feature on BB boutique is a very handy little tool that enables you to organise, compare and keep track of the products and vendors that you have your eye on.  You can name your wish list, add a description and choose whether to make the list private or share with your family members and friends.

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12 TIMES 2015 TOTALLY ROCKED!

Best of 2015 I have to admit I am a little sad to be waving goodbye to 2015. It has been a tremendous year for us, full of exciting new projects and milestones and one or two challenges along the way. We started the year with big ideas, we wanted to continue to grow our brand and came up with a list of things we would like to achieve by the end of the year. It was June before we realised we hadn’t really even come close to achieving any of our goals and it was time to make a few changes. Fast forward 6 months and we have all but achieved one of our goals but that is a story for another time.

2015 has been the biggest year for Bespoke Bride yet and with the launch of BB boutique, 2016 promises to be even bigger. I honestly cannot wait to get started and continue growing this amazing community of ours. For now here is a look at some of the things we are most proud of…

1.We fell in love with Instagram all over again! Instagram has long been our favourite social media platform but up until this year, we never really felt like we were using it to its full advantage. As our Instagram is an attachment of our blog, we thought it only made sense to share wedding related content however, we never really felt like it was a true reflection of our brand and we were falling in love with Instagram accounts that were wonderfully curated and colourful. We longed to make ours a creative outlet and it has since been the best thing we have done. Not only has it become a place to share our own creativity but we have been introduced to the most amazing community of Instagrammers, many of which we  have since welcomed to our blog.

You can see some of their DIY’s here: Cute Edible Donut Necklaces by Aww Sam, Christmas Light Cookies by Obsessive Cookie Designer, Autumn Leaf Pinatas by Sugar & Bash, Bird Cage Veil by Wear the Canvas, Celebrate Tassel Cake Topper by Bright Bold Design, Pastel Pumpkin Cookies by Obsessive Cookie Designer, Free Printable Fruity Cards for Well Wishes by The Lovely Drawer, Floral Envelope Table Plan by The Lovely Drawer.

DIY-Watercolour-Paint-Headband-Hairband-Hair-Scarf-Tie-6 2. Meanwhile we taught you how to create a watercolour headscarf and the Mollie Makes team liked it so much they featured it on their blog too!

Festival-Wedding-Styling-with-Bespoke-Bride-Free-People-Fashion-66 3.  We had a ball collaborating with Free People to create this festival styled wedding shoot and got to work with so many fabulous wedding industry peeps.

Bespoke Bride styles the Blogcademy 4. Of all the projects we took on this year, styling the last ever Blogcademy was the most fun! We are used to styling small areas for our own DIY’s and photoshoots but never have we had to style an event. It was a challenge to say the least, but we had so much fun doing it and it has inspired us to do a little a more styling in the future. You can see more from the event here.

Emily & Matt's big news colourful engagement announcement shoot-21 5. I never imagined we would be sharing news of an engagement with you this year and I never in a million years thought it would my own, but I am over the moon that it is and I cannot wait to start sharing our wedding planning journey with you! You can read our proposal story here.

BB-Crafty-Club-Join-Now1 6. A particular highlight was launching our new subscription service, BB Crafty Club. This was one of those projects that we had been sitting on for a while and we were so excited to get it off the ground. Unfortunately after 4 months we have now decided to cancel the service as being completely honest the numbers just weren’t adding up, but the support for the boxes has been so fantastic. So we will be using this feedback to rethink the boxes and how we can improve them and they will be back with a bang in 2016!

Dominican-Republic-La-Romana-Travel-Guide-Visit-honeymoon-holiday-199 7. Jess travelled to the Dominican Republic! Actually Jess travelled quite a bit this year. Here is her Dominican Travel Guide & check out her Travel Diary to!

Santorini-Oia-Travel-Guide-Reccomendations-Honeymoon-Colourful-Place-Greece_-61 She also went to Santorini, which looked like the most beautiful vacation! Check out her Santorini Travel Guide & Video Diary here.

We also got to spend a very festive two days in Copenhagen, which we will be sharing with you in the New Year.

Rock N Roll Bride Magazine Issue 4 Bespoke Bride Ombre Tulle Skirt DIY Tutorial8. Our Ombre Tulle Skirts featured in Issue 4 of Rock N Roll Bride Magazine and we couldn’t have been anymore excited. There is just something about seeing your work in print! If you missed the magazine you can see the tutorial here.

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UPDATE YOUR MUGS THIS CHRISTMAS WITH THESE GEO MODERN CHRISTMAS TREE VINYLS

DIY geometric tree mugs cricut vinyl christmas xmas gift idea modern-2 We love hot chocolate around here! With the days getting darker and colder, sometimes it really is the only way to warm your cockles, but with Christmas upon us, our mugs were missing the festive spirit. So we designed these geo modern christmas tree vinyls to brighten up your glassware. They are super easy and quick to make, which will mean more time to drink your hot cocoa!

DIY geometric tree mugs cricut vinyl christmas xmas gift idea modern-3 You will need: Plain white mugs// Vinyl in your choice of colours// Geo Christmas Tree Template 1 & Template 2// Cricut Explore// Transfer Tape//

Step 1: Simply download your templates, upload to the Cricut Design Space and follow the instructions on the screen for cutting.

Step 2: Pick out the design then using Transfer tape, remove the vinyl from the backing paper and transfer to your mug.

Step 3: Continue placing all the trees making sure they are evenly spaced around the mug.

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HOW TO HANG YOUR STOCKING WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A FIREPLACE?

the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her (8)We are well and truly getting into the spirit of Christmas around here although I am a bit late to the party when it comes to putting up our Christmas decs. This year will the first time we have stockings in our house, something I haven’t had since I was kid. I am going to go totally traditional and hang ours above the fireplace but what can you do with yours if you don’t have a mantle? We invited Marina from The Roc Shop to share her advice on styling your Christmas stocking.

“Stockings serve as holiday decor hanging on the mantle for an entire month patiently waiting to be filled on Christmas Eve. Why not make them as beautiful as possible and hype up the anticipation of presents to come? Whether your style is classic, modern or even your well-loved childhood stocking that’s been used since you were a babe, we’ve got ideas to style and fill them all this year! the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her (1) the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her (2) the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her (3) the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her (9) the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her (10) the roc shop holiday inspiration. how to hang a stocking when you dont have a fireplace + fun stocking fillers for him & her.

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WANT TO OWN A PART OF BB BOUTIQUE? WE ARE NOW OPEN FOR INVESTMENT!

BB Boutique devicesHave you ever had a business idea but insufficient funds to get it off the ground? Or perhaps you have already started your business but need money to grow? Well that is what happened to us 2 years ago. Sat on a sun lounger in Mexico (that’s how all great stories seem to start around here!) I read ‘How To Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table’, written by retail experts Sophie Cornish & Holly Tucker founders of Notonthehighstreet.com. Their story was incredibly inspirational and I totally related, as we too have always been extremely passionate about championing small, unique & innovative wedding businesses on Bespoke Bride.

I thought about how awesome it would be to create a similar platform for weddings, not only selling stylish and personalised items, but also promoting creative services such as photographers, venues and videographers. When I got home I shared the idea with Jess and she was instantly onboard. For some time we had been chatting about how impractical traditional blog advertising had been for our couples and thought this would be a fantastic tool to effectively help couples find the best suppliers to make their weddings personal and unique.

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As we started our search for a web designer we soon realised our business idea was going to be costly and we would definitely need a lot more cash. We exhausted our own savings, took out personal loans and even borrowed money from family but it wasn’t long before that had run out too. By chance we happened upon a competition being held by Upstart Women, looking for women in startup tech businesses like ours to enter for the chance to win a place on a business incubator and a £10,000 investment. This was the first time we had ever seriously considered investment, and we certainly didn’t take it lightly. So after a lot of research we finally decided if we were ever going to grow this little business idea of ours, we would need to take the leap. To our surprise we ended up winning and since then a business idea born on the beaches of Mexico is finally a reality.

Products & Services 9Arrow Cinema Sign by Hey Style Hire

So why raise more investment?

Since its launch, it was soon obvious that we desperately needed more manpower if we were to make BB boutique the success we had always wanted it to be. Some also rather unforeseen circumstances meant we were forced to release a beta version of our site instead of the more complex software we had originally planned, which meant it wouldn’t be long until we would need to find more money to help evolve our software and that is where we are at right now and is why we have turned to ‘crowdfunding’.

We already have an extremely supportive community here at Bespoke Bride, many of you have shared your words of encouragement for both our blog and BB boutique and have told us how excited you are to see us grow! You guys are our ‘Crowd’! And a pretty rockin’ crowd at that!

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HOW TO MAKE CUTE EDIBLE DONUT NECKLACES FOR YOUR BRIDESMAID BESTIES!

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When it comes to design and DIY Aww Sam is quite simply the queen! Her fun and modern blog sees some of the most easy alternative DIY projects I have ever laid my eyes on, which is good because you will want to do them all. Add to this Sam’s A class baking skills and the coolest instagram account in town and I promise you, she will be the next best thing you have added to your blog reader in a long time! (Aside Bespoke Bride, of course!)

Over to you Sam…

“There’s nothing like telling a friend how much they mean to you by sharing the other half of your “best friends” necklace with them! Or at least that was the hip thing to do in middle school anyways. Ha! (I totally think best friend necklaces are the bomb) So, we’re doing a throwback and transforming one of your favorite pieces of statement jewelry into a donut to to give to your friends or bridesmaids to say, “you’re my bff!”

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YOU WILL NEED:

Fried donut dough// Broken heart cookie cutter// Frying oil// Pink icing// White icing// Piping bag//

STEP 1:

Use your favorite dried donut recipe to make the dough. Roll out the dough and use the broken heart cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. Allow to rise for 30 minutes and fry in a pan and frying oil. Allow the donuts to cool completely before icing.

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YAY!! YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS DIYS CAN ALSO BE USED AS WEDDING FAVOURS

Are you looking for a unique wedding favour ideas, but have feeling feeling a little uninspired by your latest traditional pinterest finds? Well how about looking to the holidays for inspiration instead? Christmas is the ideal time to look for fun and funky favour ideas, that can be used for your wedding. Turn advent calendars into modern favour boxes and baubles into glitter balls! Get ready because christmas just made your wedding a whole load more magical!

  1. Take – Out Box Advent Calendar: You can fill these boxes with candy, small gifts or even confetti. Add names instead of numbers and you’ve got yourself the cutest favour boxes ever!

2. Glitter Dust Filled Balls: This really is super simple and super easy! All you need is some clear christmas balls and fill them with glitter dust or confetti!

3. Modern Hexagon Advent Calendar: You had me at geometric! The boxes for this modern advent calendar also work as some seriously chic favours for your guests! Fill them with candy or small gifts.

4. Candy Ornaments: I got candy on my mind! These delicious but non edible sweeties are so fun, your guests would love them!

5. Colour Dipped Gingerbread Cookies: These on the other hand are totally edible! These are not only quick and simple to make, but would also be very kind on your pocket! Cant promise they will be as kind on your hips though!

6. Chocolate Filled Geometric Decorations: Another geometric themed favour to add to the collection. These boxes are a perfectly modern way to keep those sweeties safe!

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DECK THE HALLS WITH THIS DIY 3D PAPERCRAFT UNICORN HEAD + CRICUT GIVEAWAY!

Unicorn head DIY christmas decoration tutorial 3d papercraft cricut card xmas modern_-4

YOU WILL NEED:

Card Stock in the colours of your choice// Cricut Explore or Scissors & photo resizing software// Glue// Unicorn Templates//

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STEP 1:

Download & resize the templates below, then upload to the Cricut Design Space. Follow the instructions on screen for cutting. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a Cricut as this is still super easy without one, however you will still need photo resizing software. Instead just download & resize, then print & cut out the templates by hand – including the slits.) And if you don’t have a Cricut, then hang in there as you can be in with a chance of winning one, just scroll on down to the bottom of this post.

Mount Template (9.5″ x8″)

Unicorn Head Template A (6.8″ x4″), B (5.3″ x3.6″), C (7.1″ x 4″), D (6.1″ x4″), E (5.3″ x 3.6″), F (9.6″ x 7.6″), G (9.6″ x 7.6″)

Unicorn Horn Template H (5.7″ x 1″), I  (0.7″ x0.03″)

STEP 2:

It might make it easier if you start by making sure you letter you templates as we have above. Start by lining the base (A), up with the slits on the mount. Then insert the body of the unicorn (F) into one of the slits. This will secure both the base and body of the unicorn to the mount. Fold the tab over at the back and repeat with G.

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STEP 3:

Now slot in the rest of the neck sides with C next, then E, followed by B and finally E

STEP 4:

Glue the two sides of the unicorn horn together (H). Then starting at the widest end of the horn insert the horn sides(I) from big (at the bottom) to small (at the top). Last but not least insert your horn onto the middle neck side, just below the ears.

You can now glue the tabs at the back of the mount down for a more secure finish.

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