How to plan for your wedding morning

The morning of your wedding is a special time; the day which you’ve been dreaming about and planning, perhaps for years, has finally arrived, and you’re bound to be feeling more than a little emotional. Deciding on how to spend this time will be important, as you try to juggle the nerves, excitement, and maybe worry.

Think about where you want to be, what you want to do, and who you want around you. It may be that you’ll choose to stay at the venue the night before if you’re getting married in a hotel – will you want your maid of honour to stay overnight with you, or would you rather spend the time alone for some quiet reflection? Or perhaps you’ll choose to stay the night before at your parents’ house, in which case you’ll likely be surrounded by a whole host of family and friends in the morning.

Hair and make-up are bound to dominate your thoughts, but before then you should have some time on your hands to relax, take some time to breathe, and share this special day with loved ones. Today is not the day to skip breakfast – it’s likely to be a long time before any wedding meal, and you’ll need to keep your energy levels high. Consider what you are going to wear – once you do get started on hair and make-up you won’t want to be pulling a t-shirt or jumper over your head, so choose a zip-up or a dressing gown.

Try and be fully prepared in the morning, without any last minute chores or phone calls to take care of. The wedding morning is the start of your big day; some might say that it’s the start of the rest of your life! That’s why it is important to have a smooth, relaxing and enjoyable wedding morning.

Comfy flip flops for tired bride toes

Choosing your wedding shoes is never going to be a quick or easy task; there are such a wide variety of shapes, styles and colours that finding a pair that will work perfectly with the dress you’ve chosen can seem like such a difficult decision.

One of most important feature of your wedding shoes (along with the style) is the comfort – you’ll likely wear these shoes all day long and in to the evening, and the last thing you want on your mind is your shoes rubbing. Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique carries a range of beautiful shoes by Rainbow Club, which offer a truly unique look. Each pair are handmade using the finest fabrics and materials, with time spent ensuring they are super comfortable, leaving the wearer free to enjoy their special day.

However, no matter how comfortable Rainbow Club shoes are, when it comes to dancing the night away, flip flops are the best thing to go for! You’ll have been on your feet all day, so by the evening it would be ideal to give your feet a rest by choosing more practical footwear. CFBB stock a range of both casual and more unique flip flops which could be a life saver for tired bride toes, keeping you tearing up the dance floor ‘til the music stops. And this doesn’t only apply to the bride! How often are heels kicked off under the table once the music starts and the drinks are in?! There are a lot of brides that offer their wedding guests with a ‘feet savers’ for the evening dancing! Not only will it bring a smile to their face, but also help them party the night away.

For more information about the range of shoes or flip flops for brides and bridesmaids, please contact Catherine.

Bridesmaid styles for your summer wedding

Choosing a bridesmaid dress can be a sometimes a little challenging – depending on how decisive you are! As you browse through various different styles, you’ll have to think carefully about not only your general wedding theme, but also how your bridesmaids will feel about your choice; since you’re close with them, you’ll probably know their tastes and styles.

Styles and Options for Bridesmaids  too!

There are plenty of options to choose from when deciding what style of bridesmaid dress to go for. An easy choice to start with might be whether you’d like your bridesmaids in long or short dresses. Long dresses traditionally set a quite formal tone for a wedding, however it will depend on the fabric and print you go for; choose a long floaty dress with a boho print and you’ll instantly create a more relaxed look. You should also consider the season and climate of your wedding, as the bridesmaids are sure to appreciate being in a shorter number in the blazing hot afternoon sun.

Nowadays, it’s not a must to put your bridesmaids in identical dresses and it can be way more interesting and fun to use a mix and match approach to not only hem heights, but also colours, fabrics and designs – just take care to select ones that look good together. There are plenty of options to go for; different colour, same style; same colour, different style; or different colour, different style! If you go for the latter option but would still like a unified look, go for neutral colours.

As with any part of planning your wedding, keep an open mind and be okay with change. Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique holds a beautiful collection of bridesmaid dresses; Colour by Kenneth Winston and Bari Jay Bridesmaid Collection are available in a wide variety of styles and colours that will not only complement your dress, but also be a garment for your bridesmaids to treasure in the future. For a thorough chat about your options, please contact Catherine to book an appointment.

New ring, new season of dresses

He popped the question, presented you with a beautiful ring, and you said yes…you’re engaged! Now take a deep breath; once you’ve told your parents and made the necessary calls to close friends and family, it won’t take long for you to start making a list of ‘to do’s’. One of the most exciting things you’ll need to start thinking about is the dress; as an iconic symbol of romance, tradition and femininity, the dress is such an important first step in to your dream wedding.

Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique has a new season of dresses to catch your imagination and inspire your dreams. New styles include both fishtail and A-Line dresses with fitted lace bodices and satin or tulle skirts.

A fishtail, or sometimes called mermaid, wedding dress is a slim fitting gown that has a dropped waist all the way down to the knee. At the knee the dress flares out with volume through to the hem. They are a very glamorous and extremely flattering style. If you want to have a more classic look, then choose an A-Line wedding dress; by hugging the hip line and then gradually broadening all the way through to the ankle, the A-Line look creates a silhouette that emphasises the wearer’s beautiful curves.

CFBB also has more open back styles and sleeved dresses, which means you’ll easily find a perfect dress whatever season you’re getting married in. Open back dresses allow you to flaunt your behind walking down the aisle, ensuring that nobody’s eyes leave you. Incredibly sexy, these designs are great for Spring and Summer. And if you think that a long-sleeved wedding dress implies a conservative, cautious attitude, think again. No longer just for traditional celebrations, long sleeved dresses can be as modern, romantic or even as avant-garde as other, more skin-bearing styles.

CFBB knows that everyone wants something different from their wedding dress, and has a beautiful range to inspire your dream wedding. Contact Catherine to book an appointment today.

Drip drip drop little April showers… why April weddings are fast becoming the month of choice for weddings!

The wedding date, or more specifically the season that it falls in, can impact on every other aspect of your big day. It will dictate where you see yourself walking down the aisle, how much you’ll pay for that dream venue, even what type of flowers might adorn your tables.

In general, summer tends to be the most popular (and therefore the most expensive) season to get married in, with the exception of December which is considered a prime wedding month due to the festive celebrations. However, one of the most beautiful times of year to say ‘I do’ is springtime; even the future King and Queen, William and Kate, chose April for their wedding in 2011… So why is April becoming a more and more popular choice for couples to tie the knot?

The weather can be absolutely gorgeous in April, and even in the brilliant sunshine it’s unlikely you’ll have the heat concerns that you would in high summer. Of course there’s always the risk that you’ll encounter some April showers, but if you’ve accepted this and planned for it, even if Mother Nature does bless you with some rain drops, you can take advantage by getting some unique and fun shots using coloured umbrellas and matching wellies.

Spending a little extra on guest comforts such as throws, extra heaters, or a hot chocolate station can add that special touch to the day; the blankets could even double up as guests’ wedding favours, and your photographer can have some fun getting some arty shots of steaming mugs in front of smiling faces.

One of the main attractions of an April wedding is the combination of new buds in bloom and crisp fresh air. Daffodils in particular are a spring time pleasure and will be blooming in abundance by April. They are a beautiful and inexpensive flower to use for both centrepieces and bouquets, or even just for a dazzling backdrop to outdoor pictures.

So consider an April wedding and you’ll not only be likely to save money, but you’ll have Mother Nature at her best to inspire you.

For April 2017 weddings, you need to consider ordering your dresses soon! It’ll come around pretty quickly, so contact Catherine for an appointment.

Best wedding tips for 2016 for a realistic budget

You want to throw the wedding of your dreams; a fairy-tale day full of beautiful dresses, romantic settings, and delicious food. But all these special touches can really add up. It’s stressful enough planning the biggest day of your life, without having to worry about breaking the bank.

Some ideas to reduce your wedding budget

According to experts, the current average cost of a wedding is £20,500 – that can seem a daunting prospect! But there are ways to beat the budget and save on parts of your wedding without sacrificing the magic of the day. Here’s a few of our best wedding tips for 2016 that you might not have thought about:

  • Choose an unusual venue, such as an aquarium, a zoo, a gallery or an historical site. Site fees are usually not as high as traditional wedding venues, and you’ll save on décor because the venue already supplies ambience
  • Consider the season you’re choosing to get married in, as you’re likely to get a much better price for a venue in January than you would for the same spot in June. Also think about whether you can stretch to a Thursday, Friday or Sunday wedding – you pay a premium to book a venue for a Saturday
  • Use fruits and vegetables as centre pieces or to add to floral arrangements – you can create a colourful and natural look without excessive cost
  • Shop in charity stores for vintage containers of different designs for your table to achieve a unique look
  • Try enlisting the help of any artistic friends – there are plenty of ways they can pitch in, from creating the invites, to flower arranging, to baking and decorating the wedding cake. Homemade touches create unique effects that you wouldn’t get with shop-bought products
  • If you’re set on having a live band, hire talented students from your local college or university. Ask to hear them play — they may be just as good as professionals, and charge you much less!

Whichever way you choose to spend your money, try and think outside the box. It’s totally possible to have a gorgeous wedding on a smaller budget by making a plan and sticking with it.

Why having a wedding venue plan B to account for the weather always makes the day less stressful.

When you plan a wedding, particularly for the summer months, the last thing anyone dreams of is rain. Even though rain on your wedding day is supposed to be lucky, representing fertility, new starts, unity and renewal, it can cause havoc with the plans you have made for an outdoor venue.

When you first choose a venue and want to have elements, or even all of your wedding outside, make sure that you can see a backup space just in case. Locations to look for would include under-cover balconies, barns, or gazebos. Try to look for places with as much natural light as possible to bounce light around.

Rainy Advantages at your wedding venue!

One advantage to a rainy wedding is that the lighting can be very pretty for photos – the colour saturation in your photos is going to be 10 times more beautiful in overcast or rainy weather than in the brilliant sunlight, trust me! And, if you’ve prepared for the situation in advance, you can create some fun and unique shots using coloured umbrellas and matching wellies… Even dancing in the rain can look very romantic!

So try not to spend the last few weeks before your wedding refreshing the weather app on your phone to find out whether or not there’s going to be rain on your wedding day. If you’ve chosen to have parts of your wedding outdoors, presumably it’s because you want to get close to nature – what better way than to have Mother Nature blessing you with a few drops of rain! However, arming yourself with a backup venue which you love just as much as the rest of the venue, will help you stay calm and keep that ‘go-with-the-flow’ attitude. For wedding accessories including jackets and cover-ups, please contact Catherine.

Planning your summer 2016 wedding? Here’s what to think about now!

There are 4 or 5 months to go until ‘the big day’… You have booked the venue, sent out the invites, and the dress of your dreams is on order.  It can be an odd time for the special couple – hopefully you’ll have all the big stuff sorted already, but it’s too early to get the last minute preparation done. So what do you have to think about now?

Here’s a handy list of some things to think about in the next few weeks:

  • Finalise your honeymoon plans and check your passports are in date if you’re planning on going overseas – it should only take around a month to get your passport back once you’ve applied for a renewal, but it can take longer at the beginning of the summer or if you haven’t completed the form correctly – don’t get caught out
  • Book the men’s formal wear – they might need a few appointments to choose their attire and get the fittings right
  • Visit your local florist to finalise the arrangements for the day – waiting until now to book your flowers means you can choose in-season blooms
  • Research what wedding cake design you would like to go for, then either order it through a shop or online company, or if you’re lucky enough to know someone with Mary Berry skills, ask them sweetly if they might be able to create a custom design
  • Shop for bride and bridesmaid accessories, taking care to match the accessories with the dresses each will be wearing, and don’t forget to also consider lingerie, hosiery and jackets

Now that the countdown is on until you walk down the aisle, try to prioritise what you must get done (and when!) before the big day. But try not to get too overwhelmed; if you can start to check these things off your list, you’re in great shape!

For more information about your wedding dress fittings, please contact Catherine.

Wedding accessories – to sparkle and shine on your wedding day

Wedding accessories are a hugely important and significant part of the bridal ensemble that should not only make the bride look even more beautiful and elegant, but they must also suit her personality and the wedding dress she’s going to wear. It’s important to make sure you absolutely love your accessories as they will be noticeable in the majority of wedding photos. They also make wonderful heirlooms for future generations.

One of the most traditional and popular accessories is a wedding veil. They come in a range of lengths and can be embellished delicately and beautifully with Swarovski crystals, pearls and diamantes. The most traditional is a double tier veil, but they also come as a single or three tier veil if you want something different. For a real statement piece choose a colour other than white! Other choices for a headpiece include tiaras, combs, flowers, hairbands and hairpins. Elegantly decorated with beads, lace and flowers, they can be used to attach the wedding veil in place, or you may choose to skip the veil altogether.

Jewellery is a sure way to add some sparkle and shine to complete your bridal look.  You should take into account the engagement ring and wedding band when choosing what necklace, earrings or bracelet to wear. Most importantly think about the style of your dress, as well as the entire wedding theme, when choosing whether to have a statement piece or a vintage touch.

The wedding shoes can really add a finishing touch to your bridal wear. Comfort has to be the main priority when looking for this bridal accessory, since it is likely you will be on your feet most of the day! However, they can still be beautiful and elegant by choosing delicate sparkly embellishments or clips, or create an even more stunning look by dyeing them to match your wedding colours precisely.

From the beautiful wedding veil and tiara, right down to the perfect bridal shoes, you can find all the wedding accessories that complement the style of your day by contacting Catherine for an appointment.

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes! Why your wedding shoes can influence your wedding style

One of the most important accessories for your wedding day is your shoes. Often overlooked for the more obvious elements or hair, makeup and jewellery, the shoes are going to influence how you walk, how comfortable you are, and can even influence the style of your entire wedding!

Even if your dress is floor length it’s likely that your shoes will still peek out from underneath your skirt. Some brides will want their shoe to match their dress completely, and a traditional white-heeled option will complement a wedding theme of a similar style. There are, however, some brides who will want to add a little bit of quirkiness and fun to their wedding, and so choose a bright colour or design for their shoe which lets their personality shine.

What is your style of wedding shoe?

A chic sandal, a brightly coloured converse trainer, or a stiletto princess pump are going to conjure up very different concepts for the style of the wedding, so it’s important to choose a shoe which is going to suit not only your personality, but also events that the day will hold. If your ideal wedding shoe is a pair of funky flip flops or comfy wedges, you’ll probably suit a relaxed style of wedding, perhaps set at the beach or in a woodland!

It is likely that you will be on your feet all day at the ceremony, having photos taken at different locations, and dancing and mingling the night away with your guests at the reception, so keep this in mind when selecting your shoes.

Get inspiration for your own wedding style from our comprehensive shoe collection by contacting Catherine to book an appointment.