Wedding dresses of the years

The white wedding dress that we are familiar with today only became tradition after Queen Victoria wore one for her wedding. Previous to this, women wore the most expensive dress that they owned for their wedding.  The symbolism of purity and virginity was therefore attached to the idea of a white dress during the Victoria era. Since then we have seen a variety of styles over the decades.

Queen Victoria's dress

Queen Victoria’s dress

1920s

1920s

1930s

1930s

1940s

1940s

1950s

1950s

1960s

1960s

1970s

1970s

1980s

1980s

1990s

1990s

2000 onwards

2000 onwards

Since the naughties most brides have opted for a fitted and strapless dress. However, in the last few years we have seen different skirt shapes come in such as the fishtail and mermaid. Brides are also starting to be a little more adventurous by looking to history for inspiration or having a coloured dress instead of the traditional white. Whatever dress you choose, make sure it is what you want and not some else’s idea of what you should wear. Your wedding dress should personify you on your special day and only you.

Weddingy couples diet challenge

Wedding cupcakes

The wedding is in 11 months and so my inevitable commencement of the wedding diet begins. I, like most women put on weight when in a relationship. All those nights in with a takeaway and romantic dinners out, less time at the gym and more time snuggling on the sofa. As Fiancé also needs to lose weight we have decided to make it fun – a competition. A fight between lovers if you will and I am determined to win.

The challenge

Fiancé and I will compete with each other to lose the most weight every 2 weeks. The loser will have to succumb to a dare set by the winner. As my husband-to-be is over a foot taller than me, loss of weight will be determined by a percentage of what we each need to lose. On our wedding diet journey we will try different diets and workouts in a bid to find what works (and to mix it up).

Week one (initial) measurements

Fiancé

Weight 18st 4lbs
Waist 116.5cm
Chest 121.5cm

Trendette

Weight 9st 6lbs
Waist 80cm
Hips 103cm

Goal

Fiancé – 15st 5lbs
Trendette – 8st

The diet

5:2  (intermittent fasting)   http://thefastdiet.co.uk

2 days a week calories are reduced to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. For the other 5 days a week followers of the diet can eat what they want.

Exercise 

Fiancé  – Kinect UFC Trainer  x 3 sessions per week     http://uk.ign.com/games/ufc-personal-trainer-the-ultimate-fitness-system/xbox-360-78533

This is a fab way to get your man interested in working out. Firstly, it is technically a computer game. The leaflet promises to make exercise fun and does in fact include games. It is also based on the manly sport of UFC (ultimate fighting champion). Need I say more. I will let you know how Fiancé gets on with it.

NB – An Xbox and the Kinect software are required to follow the above fitness programme.

Trendette – Interval training on trampette for 30mins followed by toning exercises for 20mins x 3 sessions per week

For anyone who is not sure what a trampette is – it is a mini trampoline to be used for exercise. I will be jogging on the trampette for one minute as fast as I can, resting for one minute, jog for one and rest for one and so on for 30mins.

Exercise set is merely a minimum, if a contestant has the unlikely urge to do more, then they are allowed to do so.

For further details on rules of the challenge etc click here.

Wish me (us) luck! Watch this space for an update in 2 weeks.

Wedding cake who?

Wedding-Cake

The wedding cake cutting ceremony where the bride and groom pose for pictures and feed each other is one of those wedding day traditions that may have had it’s day in the sun. I have been to a fair few weddings of late as I am of that age where everyone is getting married, out of all of these weddings I can only think of one that actually did an official cake cutting ceremony. They all had a wedding cake, but whether it be due to time or over excitement, the cake is often forgotten and overlooked. This is a shame as not only do they cost a lot of money but someone has spent time creating a piece of art to be presented on your wedding day. Even if there is a cutting ceremony, there is often no room for the cake after a 3 course meal followed by an evening buffet.

There was a time when the wedding cake was cut only by the bride, this was symbolic of her losing her virginity on the night of the wedding – however today the groom is included. Once this tradition began the bride and groom would share a piece of cake with each other before sharing the rest of the cake with the community to symbolise their union. There are other ways of ‘sharing’ with your new husband and your guests without having to have a cake to do so. Why not have a shot of your favourite liquor and toast your marriage in a non-traditional way. Or if some form of cake is important to you, have mini cupcakes or cake bites and ‘share’ them with your guests immediately after the wedding ceremony before the reception.

If having a wedding cake as part of your day is important to you then go for it, just make sure that you make a thing of it. Ensure that your guests are informed of when you are cutting your cake and perhaps serve the cake as dessert thus assuring that it is not wasted. I must mention one of the cakes in particular that friends of mine had at their wedding, although they did not partake in the cutting ceremony, the cake was served to us the following day. This is the best wedding cake I have ever had. On the outside it looked like any traditional wedding cake, however on the inside…wait for it…it was rocky road. Amazing! If you are having a wedding cake why not experiment with the content or design and create a cake that personifies you and your partner.

 

Alternatives to wedding cake

http://www.glamour.com/weddings/2011/09/bonappetit-10-alternatives-to-wedding-cakes

http://poptasticbride.com/2011/12/non-cake-wedding-cakes/#.UlkglNIqiSo

http://www.confetti.co.uk/cakes-sweets/alternative-wedding-cake-ideas/

The land of the brides

national-wedding-show-comp

The National Wedding Show (London) is literally like letting kids wander free in a sweetie shop. Thousands of brides to be, their mothers and maids of honour roaming the sweetie isles of sparkling tiaras, colourful rose buds and rails of princess dresses. These grown women turn into giggly, screeching teenage girls. And I was one of them. I walked into the exhibition with my MOB (mother of the bride) in tow, convinced that I was different from all of these other clueless brides; I knew exactly what I wanted. I have followed fashion my entire life, I know how to dress for my shape, no-one can tell me what I should be wearing for my wedding day. I was wrong.

The first boutique we came across (Bombshell by Katya Wildman) offered beautiful couture style dresses inspired in my mind by SATC at its simplest. I was fortunate enough to meet the designer of the dresses who was friendly and enthusiastic. Katya has worked in costume design for TV and more recently specialised in wedding attire for guests of the wedding before launching her bridal range this year. The secret appears to be in her side panels. MOB glided through the rails of jewel coloured wrap around dresses with a childlike grin; thus allowing me time to look closer at the well-structured wedding dresses I never thought I would try on [I am unable to give too many details away as my husband to be may read this], the only reason being that they are merely the complete opposite to what I thought in my mind would be my ideal dress. I fortunately tried one of them on and I am so pleased that I did as it completely changed my entire concept of my bridal look. Being helped into the dress by the boutique’s pattern cutter in a luxuriously laid out fitting room, I felt I was watching someone else try on the well cut, high fashion bridal piece. This was the first wedding dress I had ever tried on. Floating out of the fitting room to show MOB, I was greeted by oohs and ahhs from passer bys. The dress I tried on was not only the most stylish and best cut out of all of the wedding dresses I tried on that day, but it was also surprisingly the cheapest. The dress I tried on came in at £880; made to order and including 2 fittings www.bombshellbykatyawildman.com .

After trying on my first wedding dress, MOB and I giddily wondered through the exhibitors towards the Bridal Fashion Show. One thing I must mention is the sheer volume of sales people. At the end of the day all of the people on the stands – whether it be a bridal boutique or a wedding singer – are there to sell their product or service to you. Don’t be intimidated and don’t be too shy to politely say no thank you. There is absolutely no point in wasting either yours or their time when you know that you don’t want or need what they are selling. The fashion show consisted of several ‘scenes’ or themes to you and me of beautiful dress after dress, modelled by stunning women gliding down the catwalk. Throw in a couple of cute children and a pair of smouldering hot guys to model the grooms wear and both MOB and I were so high on dream like excitement that we had to retire to the Canteen for lunch. Another warning – food is VERY expensive. There is nothing you can do about it, just suck it up and be prepared to pay £7 for a jacket potato.

Throughout the afternoon I tried on various different wedding dresses including the style I thought I wanted of which although looked nice, was just not me. Nothing compared to ‘the dress’ I tried on at the beginning of the day. Again I was convinced that I knew how I wanted my hair and the accessories to go in it. Wrong. I tried on various boho forehead bands, halos and bridal fascinators. All of which were beautiful, but ‘the dress’ was a game changer and my original hair concept was no longer going to work. By Harriet (www.byharriet.co.uk) and Gillian Million (www.gillianmillion.com) were my two favourite bridal accessories stands, both designers were on hand and assisted me personally. I just need to decide on my concept and style before I can choose my accessories. Whilst passing a large stall of tiaras and veils Ivory & Co (both of which I have always insisted I will not wear on my wedding day) MOB and I thought we had nothing to lose, I therefore participated in a game of grown up princess dress up – www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk . As I tried on a small gold tiara a gasp escaped my mouth and I found I was grinning insanely at myself in the mirror. A few tiaras later (including an extremely large one that would rival the Queen’s coronation crown) I moved onto the veils. This time a shriek escaped me. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would like a veil (I am a post-feminist after all) yet here I was trying on veil after veil spinning and twirling in the mirror. Suddenly I am approached by a Producer for Channel 5 asking if I would sign a release form for a bridal documentary as they had filmed me trying on the tiaras and veils. Caught up in the moment I girlishly agreed. This however means that at any time in the future there may be an insane version of myself spinning with tiaras and veils while giggling and squealing appearing on your screens. I apologise now to anyone who actually knows me.

One thing I can say for definite is that I found my shoes. Pink is an affordable collection from Paradox London that specialise in special occasion shoes that can be dyed to any colour to fit your colour scheme. My shoes came in at £70 www.paradoxlondon.com/pink.html .

As a bride to be I would definitely recommend attending a wedding fayre generally and The National Wedding Show specifically. I would however, advise taking a day off of work and attending on the Friday. I have heard horror stories about weekend days at the show that were confirmed by exhibitors I spoke to. On the Friday although busy, we were still able to access stands and try dresses on. If attending on a weekend day, go early and have a plan of your priorities as you may have to queue for many of the stands. But most importantly – HAVE FUN – after all we only get to do this once.

The National Wedding Show

21-23 February – Olympia London
28 February-2 March – NEC Birmingham
15-16 March – Manchester Central

www.nationalweddingshow.co.uk