Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Traditions - Wedding Dresses*

"Married in white, you will have chosen all right. Married in grey , you will go far away. Married in black, you will wish yourself back. Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead. Married in blue, you will always be true. Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl. Married in green, ashamed to be seen, Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow. Married in brown, you’ll live out of town. Married in pink, your spirits will sink.”

This old poem reflects some of the early thoughts on the colour of brides wedding dresses.  Are you thinking of not going 'traditional' white? Well in this blog post I hope to give you insight into the traditions and styles of dresses over the ages.

White has always symbolised virginity and purity but the impracticalities of a white dress were apparent and so dresses with colours that were acceptable as 'best' dresses for regular use afterwards were preferred.
The wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840 was the main influence towards the current trend of white wedding dresses but even then many women continued for some time to wear different colours.

Queen Victoria was also the first bride to have bridesmaids carrying her train. I love great little facts like that!
If a bride was in mourning it was considered appropriate for her to wear grey or lilac…black was considered bad luck.
Above is a blue dress (as worn by a bride of 1870's), it's colour is said to have associations with the Virgin Mary. For some blue was the colour of choice as it represented faithfulness and true love but as the fashion changed a blue token was worn by the bride and retained as a symbol…something borrowed, something blue!
By the 1920s white became the universal colour and Coco Chanel introduced the knee length wedding dress worn with a long train. It was a fashion that was short lived as it was considered unsuitable wear for church and thereafter the long bridal skirt has remained no matter what length of skirt was the norm for that time!
So you could say that current fashion trends are often reflected in the royal weddings of the day. They certainly capture the era.
This is the wedding photograph of the Duke and Duchess of York on their wedding day January 13 1923. The dress was designed by Madame Handley Seymour, a former London court dressmaker to the dowager Queen Mary. The dress followed the essential fashions of the day, but has never been considered memorable for its beauty.  It had an unshaped bodice and a headdress worn well down over the brow.

WW2 brought about a change for many women as rationing restricted what the bride could buy with her coupons and often family and friends would chip in to help out . The bride may have borrowed a dress from a friend. Sometimes if she was in the services she may have married in her uniform.
In 1956 the film star Grace Kelly married Princes Rainier of Monaco. This dress was a lot more simple in style and has been compared to the most recent dress worn by Kate Middleton.

So to Princess Anne’s Tudor styled sleeves that led the way to another era of wedding dresses.

My childhood favorite however was Princess Diana’s extravagant bouffant dress with a long train.  Every little girls dream.  It was again a dress of its time and is summed up perfectly by this blog Order of splendor.
"Lady Diana Spencer was just 20 years old when she married Prince Charles in front of a congregation of 3,500 in St. Paul's Cathedral, gathered crowds of 600,000 in the streets of London, and a television audience of 750 million around the world.  She was just 19 years old, actually, when the engagement was announced and the dress design began.
And what do you do when you are 19 years old?  You experiment with fashion.  Nineteen and twenty are prime ages for trends.  You’re much too young to have a defined personal style (at least, not one that you’ll hold on to past the next decade of your life), and you’re still too inexperienced to understand the meaning of elegance in its true, timeless form.  Of course this dress is Eighties-orrific. Of course she looked like a girl all dressed up in a fancy party dress.  That’s what she was!  We judge the dress from today’s standards (even Diana did, later on in her life), but we often forget to consider what this dress was in the context of its time.  This wedding was an event.  The dress, accordingly, was also an event.  This is one instance in which the gasp factor as she came out of the carriage was fully realized."

Today’s you choose dresses to reflect your personalities or to fit in with a theme you have chosen and the dresses are not always white! Whatever the colour or shape, every young girl imagines her fairy tale dress! 

Images: All found on my Pinterest boards

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wedding Websites only $89!

Have you already set your heart on a beautiful paper invitation? I don't blame you at all, as paper invitations can be amazing and a lovely keepsake. I also love them landing through letterbox. So even though I do promote all things "Green" and "Eco-friendly", I understand that it is not for everyone. This is why we offer the WEBSITE ONLY package. So what are the benefits?

  • You get to combine your pretty paper invitation with a website that you can design (or choose one of our pre designed template)
  • You can reduce paper in your paper invitation by putting all the additional details about accommodation, locations and gift lists on your website instead.
  • Your guests will love it and can even refer to it in the car on the way to the big day.
  • You can get everyone to upload their wedding photos to the site, so not everything has to be splashed across social media!
  • People can leave messages in your guestbook
  • Your guestbook could also be used as an RSVP function as the comments are not published unless you wish them to be.

So what is the next step?  Well sign up for a free trial and check it out. 

Get Designing
  • Do you have a stationer doing you paper invitations? Ask if you can have the artwork so you can upload it and create a matching website.  They might offer to help (for a fee I am guessing!) or charge you a fee for the artwork and time. 
  • If you would prefer to do it yourself you could upload a photo of both of you and then choose the background colours to tie in with the theme of your wedding. Use the "Create" button on the Theme picker to start creating. 

  • We have a few designs that have a paper option. My favourite is Cocoa Berry Design on the site and she offers all the additional paper based products to go with this theme. These include seating plans, place names, thank you cards etc etc. 
Add your details
  • You can add as many pages as you want. For example Accommodation, directions, engagement story, whose who on the big day, running order, gift list, things to do while visiting.  The options are limitless. 
  • The more information you add the more informed your guests will feel.
  • Keep updating right up to your big day - perfect if something the weather if you are planning an outdoor wedding!
This is all for only $89 for 12 months. A bit of a bargain don't you think? Sign up now and get creating!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mothers Day*

Happy Mothers Day!!

Today we celebrate about how great our mums are and to be very thankful. I thought I would look at the role a few mums have played or could play on their daughter's big day. 

Where would we be without our mums?!....(not here says my husband,,,haha very funny!).

Some take the honour, as below, of walking their little girl down the aisle.

I have been to several weddings now where both parents walk their daughter down the aisle and I think it is a lovely way to include your mother in your big day.  However, it is not always that practical when a church is involved, as there is just not enough room!

I was very lucky that my mum made our wedding cake for our big day and it was AMAZING! (Thanks again mum! xx).  You could also have your mum do a reading on your special day or even do a speech. There are so many ways they can get involved. Also don't forget about your Mother-In-Law to be!  I took mine to my final dress fitting with me, which she loved. 

I love the idea of this photo, recreating a scene your parents did on their wedding. It would be a great mothers day gift if you had managed to do it without her knowing!

Don't forget once the papers are signed and the food is eaten, that your new mother-in-law has a dance with her son! 

Have a wonderful day if you are a mum and if you are a daughter, make sure you spoil her rotten!

Photos: All credits can be found on my Pinterest Board.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Theme of the Month - Retro Bow*

Today I saw our Retro Green Bow theme heading out to guests in New Zealand.  It still gets me excited when I see invitations leaving our servers, knowing that people all over the place are being invited to an amazing day sometime in the future. 

It got me wondering what sort of wedding they might be having.  Are they going the whole hog and have a fully Retro wedding?  Don't get me wrong, I know they don't have to be having a retro wedding just because I have named theme that way! So going back to my daydream, what things could be included in a retro themed wedding? Lets look at hair and dresses first!

Images from Pinterest including Maria Louise Bridal.  I love the bow combined with the veil. 

What about this stunning dress? If you are going retro you will be standing out and why not do it by making a big statement with a black and pink dress?!  At the time of posting this dress was still available on Etsy from Vintage Vortext, just saying....

You could have a lot of fun finding different bridesmaid dresses.  These are 1950's inspired from The Fifties Wedding website.  They don't have to match to make a statement. I love the big bows on the back of these dresses!

This Laura Barton Wedding Cake sums up the retro theme perfectly combining so many contrasting styles together. 

So I hope I have got you inspired.  Do check out our Pinterest boards for more ideas and feel free to comment below and share your ideas or companies that might be able to help. 
Have a good day everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hello New Zealand

Hello there.....she says sheepishly.  I am so sorry for the lack of blogs over recent months.  The truth is I have been a little distracted with two big things. The first is this....
Taylor number two will be joining us next month. Tiny Taylor number 2 keeps me very busy as she is now 2 and running rings around me.

The second reason is that we have launched the UK site - Paperless Wedding UK.

Unlike when we launched in NZ/AU back in 2009, the UK has been much more time consuming and a slower take up rate due to more competition.  So I have been investing a lot of time in trying to get it off the ground.  The good news is we are now getting regular business, so I can now start blogging again.....well until the baby arrives!

Should you want to use the UK site instead of the NZ site, that is not a problem.  All designs you see on the current site are there, plus lots more.  We also have a much better create your own site. We will be rolling this out over the winter to all NZ users, but if you can't wait to try do logon and try it out!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Budget Tips - Keeping it small*

I don't mean to state the obvious but I am going to! If you have a small wedding, then you can save yourself a lot of money. Remember a Wedding is ONE day and a marriage is forever. Starting married life in debt is no fun so plan a realistic budget and stick to it!

I am going to look at some of the benefits of having a smaller gathering and what opportunities it could afford you.

So here is the main challenge. Getting your numbers down and still have you family speaking to you at the end of it. You could go for strictly a family affair and best friends only. This is possible when both of you have a small number in your family.  I married into the Taylor's who have 92 people up to my beloved first cousins. We took the controversial move of not inviting his Taylor cousins to the wedding, which was a hard choice to make but a necessity to allow a balance of friends and family! Unknown Object

Sit down and really think about the people you see all the time, do you both know them well?, do you exchange presents and cards at special times of year or do you just see them once in a blue moon? Good friends will totally understand if you just opt for family. Also not inviting children is cost saving as well.....never an easy thing to do though. 

My main advice is once you have made the choice, let people know and then don't dwell on it. This is the hard part over and now you can get excited about making it a memorable day for you and your partner.

The Invitations  
There is not contest here, use Paperless Wedding!! Set up your Wedding Website and customise it to fit with you theme of the day.

Change the colours, font and text to make it really personal. Upload photos and create a page that tells of your engagement. You can send out Free 'Save the Dates' and also digital invitations, saving on paper, envelopes and stamp costs.  The guests can all RSVP online too!

The Dresses  
You can buy pre-loved dresses (OK Second hand.....but it does not sound as nice).  Also you could consider buying from the high street. If you are having a really small wedding you will save money by not have bridesmaids and ushers. This saves on having to kit them out too. 

By having less people, you can save on your venue as you don't have to accommodate large numbers. Also have it at one location, which saves on traveling costs too. Another lovely thing about it being small is that you will actually have time to talk to everyone!  Think about table arrangements so you can get round and have speak with people easily. 

If you have less mouths to feed means you can maybe be a bit more creative with your menu choices, allowing people to choose their food on the day or opting for a buffet style step up. People will have travelled and spent money on being there for your day.  One thing I believe you can't scrimp on is good food. It will be remembered!

Flowers and Decoration
I think that you save a lot of money in this section by having a small wedding. You won't have as many tables to decorate and the ones you do have can be decorated with DIY ideas. Another thing you don't need is favours, as so many people leave them behind at the end of the night anyway. If you want to give people something maybe it could be related with the place setting. I loved it when I had a Christmas bauble to take home with my name on it!

However saying all of the above, you could just elope!! Get away from it all and be you two and just two witnesses? You could organise a party on your return to make sure everyone gets to celebrate the happy event.  This does save A LOT of money and is a whole other blog post!​


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