Alternative seating ideas for beach weddings

Posted by / Destination Wedding, Inspiration, Styling, Tips and Advice

They say that wedding planning is a seasonal job, but actually, when you are a destination wedding planner, you don’t quite get to stop, particularly if you offer services places where it’s hot all year round, like Egypt. As I’m getting more and more enquiries for weddings in the Red Sea, I thought today I’d tackle a subject I’ve had to discuss with a lot of brides: what’s the best seating solution for beach weddings?

The seating arrangement for your beach wedding is something you SHOULD give some thought to, not just because it sets the tone for the rest of your wedding, but also because it can pose a hazard if it’s not been thought out properly. Bear this in mind: not all beaches are on even ground, not all beaches have perfect, compact sand, not all beaches have meters long shores, so what you have in mind may not work with the beach venue you have chosen to get married at.

For this year’s Sharm el Sheikh wedding, for instance, I suggested to my couple that we’d hire oriental ottomans for the beach ceremony. The bride, however, preferred a more formal arrangement and asked me to set up with chairs. I didn’t feel particularly comfortable with the idea, and here is why:

  • unless it’s a humid beach where the sand has turned ‘compact’ by the time you have a sunset wedding (very unlikely in super dry beach destinations like Sharm), chairs will sink in the sand more deeply than you realise they will, and trust me, sitting on them will not be a comfortable experience
  • if you’re using chair covers for any reason, they will not sit on the chairs properly if the legs have sunk in, making your set up look untidy
  • your guests will not be able to sit on them properly, and more importantly, safely (believe me, I had to rescue a guest whose chair sunk in the sand at the back as he sat on it and nearly tipped backwards!)

Linen and Silk Weddings, Beach wedding, Beach wedding inspiration, Beach ceremony, Beach reception, Beach wedding seating, Sharm el Sheikh wedding, Sharm el Sheikh wedding ideas, Beach wedding in Sharm el Sheikh, El Gouna wedding, El Gouna beach wedding, El Gouna beach wedding ideas, Egypt wedding, Destination wedding, Egypt Destination wedding, Red Sea destination wedding, Red Sea beach wedding, Wedding planner Sharm el Sheikh, Wedding planner El Gouna, Sharm wedding planner, El Gouna wedding planner, Red Sea wedding plannerIn this mood-board I’ve put together some of my favourite solutions, mixing elegant with more relaxed, rustic and even oriental solutions. I wanted you to see how it is possible to have a formal set up without using chairs.

 One of the simplest solutions is to lay rugs on the sand and position large cushions on them to allow your guests to sit up and be comfortable. It is relatively inexpensive, as you can quite easily hire hire the rugs or purchase inexpensive ones either from local shops, or from bigger chains such as IKEA (which is now available in places like Egypt too, so if you’re hiring my services, for instance, it’s something I can easily take care of for you).

 Benches are also great. They offer a lot more stability than single chairs and allow you to sit several people (i.e. 3 per bench). Don’t you just love the white benches in the picture at the top of the mood-board? I wish I could find a supplier of these in Egypt, because believe me, if I could, they would be a Linen and Silk Weddings’ trademark! They’re stylish and elegant, and being white, they work beautifully in with a sea-themed wedding reception too.

 Ottomans, poufs and ‘bin-bags’ are also incredibly versatile. You can find them in several shapes, materials and colours, so whether you’re looking for a super sleek gold themed set up as in the above, or a pure white-washed affair, hiring these shouldn’t be too much drama. Will your guests be comfortable? Well, it depends on the type of pouf you choose. Do bear in mind that beach ceremonies in hot countries should never last as long as a ceremony in a church. At my clients’ Sharm wedding in June we had about 38-40C at sunset, so keeping your guests seated for an hour would have been a terrible idea. If the ceremony is only about 1/2h long, a pouf is a very adequate solution (for adults and children, clearly not for the elderly).

If, instead, you’re looking for a super relaxed atmosphere, how about beach loungers? The ones in the bottom left image are just perfect! They work well for smaller weddings, 20 guests max. You can create a couple of rows of 4 chairs on each side, so the set up doesn’t look too ‘busy’. If after the ceremony you’re planning a relaxed beach reception / BBQ, they’re also a great lounging solution that keeps the day flowing in an informal way.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these few ideas and if you have any more I haven’t touched on, feel free to share!

xoxo Betta

For information on my wedding planning services for your destination beach wedding, feel free to visit my Services page or contact me directly sending an email to: elisabetta{at}linenandsilk-weddings{dot}com

Credits

Top left: photography by Jenelle Kappe Photography – www.jenellekappeweddings.com, event planning, floral + event design by Little Island Design // Top right: uploaded by pinner on Pinterest via Miriam Carvajal // Second from top: photography by KT Merry Photography // Bottom left:  via Simply Saleta // Bottom right: photography by Stephanie Michelle, event design by Heart’s Content Events & Design // Bottom pentagon: by Lavender Fields // Middle pentagon: via Harbour Island Event Management // Top pentagon: Photography by Karma Hill

 

Celebrating a year with the UKAWP

Posted by / Business, Events

I’ve just come back from a lovely planners-only event organised by senior The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) member and destination planner Dominique of Stylish Events, and I feel enthused. Four months ago Dominique embarked on the mission to organise an Italian Destination Wedding Show in London, to showcase some luxury Italian venues and wedding suppliers who work with non-Italian couples for their destination wedding in Italy. Today’s event, a follow-on of yesterday’s wedding show, was an opportunity for destination planners to meet the venues in person, get to know their offering and share views and ideas on our industry.

It’s been a year since I’ve joined the UKAWP as an Associate Member, and in all honesty I love being a part of this association, because, apart from the support we receive from fellow wedding planners, we also treat each other as *colleagues* rather than competitors. And that’s pretty special when everyone around us (in any industry) is taught to mistrust others and use every possible means to get ahead of the competition. Dominique’s event was one more proof of how beautiful the UKAWP‘s values and ethos are. Both Dominique and I offer wedding planning services in Italy, so technically you could say that we are in competition with each other. However, while other wedding planners would feel really uneasy with sharing their contacts with the ‘competition’ – perhaps understandably too - Dominique used her Italian Destination Wedding Show as an opportunity to give back to the venues who attended the show by giving them a chance to meet other fellow destination planners.

I regularly talk to aspiring wedding planners (particularly from Italy) and if there’s one thing I constantly repeat to them is to learn to view other planners as colleagues. Because the truth is, if I didn’t have this view, I wouldn’t even waste a moment to reply to their emails, as I could perhaps fear that they might just be fishing for information about my business. The UKAWP, however, has taught me otherwise. And with all the support I have received from them and from fellow members, I feel the duty to share and support.

If you are aspiring to become a wedding planner, I cannot recommend the UKAWP’s courses highly enough. They will help you get a really good grasp of what our job entails directly from the mouth of established wedding planners, they will give you an opportunity to demystify our profession, give you the motivation to build the foundations of your new business and, if still unsure that wedding planning is the route you want to take, they will reinforce your conviction that wedding planning is indeed the right career path for you.

If you’ve already set up your business as a new or well established wedding planner, but haven’t joined the UKAWP yet, I would also recommend you attend one of the annual UKAWP Mix & Mingle events – an opportunity to meet fellow wedding planners, wedding suppliers and UKAWP members in a relaxed and informal setting. The London event took place just a few weeks ago but the Cheshire Mix & Mingle will be held on 4th November, so if you’re based in that area, do sign up for the event and use the opportunity to mix with members who will be able to give you some feedback on their experience with the UKAWP.

Here is a beautiful highlight video of the London event organised by Katrina Otter of Katrina Otter Weddings & Events, Holly of Pretty Please Events and Rachael of Serendipity Weddings at The Balcony Room at The Swan in London. This beautiful video was created by the amazing Hang the Moon for the UKAWP.

Enjoy it, and, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask – we’re a really friendly bunch and look forward to meeting more of you at future UKAWP‘s events!

UKAWP Mix & Mingle Social Event – London 2014 from UKAWP on Vimeo.

xoxo Betta

Meet Italian bridal designer Marianna Lanzilli

Posted by / Bridal Wear, Wedding dresses

Linen and Silk Weddings, Linen and Silk blog, Marianna Lanzilli, Italian designer, Italian bridal designer, Italian wedding dress designer, Italian wedding dress, Milan bridal boutique, Milan wedding dress designer, Romantica collection, Bridal collection, Wedding dress collection 2014/15, Short wedding dress, Trousers wedding dress, Bridal veil, Bridal lace, Romantic wedding dress (1)As I said on my Facebook page on Tuesday, I knew you’d be in for a treat today with this swoon-worthy set of images from Marianna Lanzilli, one of the most fabulous Italian wedding dress designers I’ve come across recently. Marianna contacted me in person a few months ago, and quite frankly I was disappointed with myself for not spotting her divine gowns before! As far as I’m concerned, Marianna Lanzilli‘s gowns ticks all the boxes: they are romantic and cutting edge at the same time,  they are daring, they represent today’s discerning brides but, more than anything, they  cater for a bride who has a real appreciation for high quality and who understands that there has to be affinity between a dress and the kind of woman she is.

Marianna Lanzilli speaks to Linen and Silk blog about herself, her work and her collection. Here’s an interview:

 Three words that describe your brand: Made in Italy, made to measure and chic

 What kind of bride is the Marianna Lanzilli bride? My bridal collections focus on femininity and have a very unique and precious flair. My brides are incredibly romantic and elegant. But I also make sure I represent more urban and dynamic brides, and it’s for that reason that my collections always include short bridal gowns and a variant with trousers. However, what matters to me the most is making sure my clients feel beautiful; it’s a simple concept, but the most important one as it sums up the essence of my work as a bridal designer.

 What’s the inspiration behind your latest collection? My last collection is called ‘Romantica’ – it features flowery organza and soft shapes, but also silhouettes and lace that gently reveal a naked back.

 What are your favourite materials to work with? Fabrics are what dictate shapes. At times it’s as if they’re talking to me. All I can do is follow and naturally yield to them. Working with fabrics is what I enjoy the most and for that reason I stock a lot of different types in my shop. My brides are often mesmerised by the sparkle of intricate embroidery, light lace and floating organza. We also have a range of vintage fabrics, which is something brides that choose ‘made-to-measure’ seem to prefer.

 What’s one thing Marianna Lanzilli does REALLY well? What I do really well is bringing out the best of every woman who comes to me for her wedding gown. Dress making has taught me to work with and celebrate all shapes. We help every woman emphasise her strengths and beautiful features while detracting attention from the small things she feels less confident about.

 Can you see any trends emerging in the next season? I always struggle to talk about ‘trends’. When someone asks me this questions I have to break it down but then always come up with the same old cliches. So for once I’m going to say what I really think: the only trend you should follow is to *try and be yourself.* Everything else is literally just that: a cliché. 

 Where can brides find you? You can find me online more often than not. I regularly update my Facebook page, Instagram, a little bit less Pinterest, and recently Steller too. You can visit my site www.mariannalanzilli.it, but even better, come and visit a smiling Marianna in my boutique, in Milan (Corso di Porta Romana 116 a Milano (Italy)).
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A rustic minimalist couple shoot | by Tara H. Photography

Posted by / Cake, Inspiration, Styling

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So when I received this couple shoot by  Tara H. Photography to feature on Linen and Silk blog it was an immediate yes.  Tara photographed Bret, a bride with a minimalist style, and Dallon, a charming, hilarious groom from the US, combining some effortless romantic details (who doesn’t love a bit of a naked cake?!) to some modern touches, et voilà! – a rustic minimalist shoot is born!

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Thank you  Tara, Bret and Dallon for sharing this lovely couple shoot with us!

xoxo Betta

Credits:

Vision/Photography: Tara H. Photography and Nhiya Kaye Photography // Cake Designer: Carrie’s Cakes // DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Danani // Invitation Designer: Jess Kasteler Design Studio // Makeup Artist: Lisa Frehner Hair // Dress Designer: Peony by Stella // Dress Store: Sweetheart Bridal // Floral Designer: The Magnolia Flower Company

The Clooney wedding | a lesson of class and composure

Posted by / Photography, Uncategorized

Destination wedding, George Clooney's wedding, Italian wedding, Venice wedding, Wedding in Italy, Wedding in Venice, Celebrity weddingSo far every picture of Amal Alamuddin I have seen has been perfect. Granted, she has an amazing figure, but the woman appears to have fabulous taste too! But, wait, this post isn’t about Amal’s fashion sense or a praise to the designers she’s been wearing who will receive exposure for the next two weeks until the Clooneys’ craze has passed. What I want to celebrate, actually, is George and Amal’s class and graciousness in the way they have embraced their visibility throughout the past few days.

Being exposed is a direct consequence of their status, a consequence that makes any celebrity that tries to avoid it (which is totally understandable, mind you) come across as bitter, annoying and ungrateful. George and Amal could have insisted on a ‘private’ wedding, but then they would have had to compromise on getting married in the most romantic city ever. Because, let’s face it, there is only so much you can do to keep the press and paps at bay if you get married in Venice. Instead, the Clooneys have managed to find their special, happy moment while being surrounded by the media. And they haven’t just accepted the presence of camera zooms; they have welcomed them, waving at the cameras, parading on the canals, and offering happy smiles, the kind of smiles you should be expecting from a newly-wed couple.

Destination wedding, George Clooney's wedding, Italian wedding, Venice wedding, Wedding in Italy, Wedding in Venice, Celebrity weddingI absolutely love that. They have given the rest of the celeb world a lesson in composure and class, one that I’m not sure I have ever seen in my life time (with exception perhaps of Brad and Angelina, who manage to have the most private of weddings in France, a wedding that was the reflection of them as a couple with celebrity status but that love and cherish the intimacy of their close nit family more than anything else).

One thing many of us struggle with on the wedding day is forcing a smile for 12-15 hours even when, to be quite honest, you feel exhausted, dehydrated, and your jaws ache from too much smiling for the camera. On my wedding day one of the things that I remember most vividly is guests following us around with their camera asking to take pictures together. I loved it for a while, but towards the end of the day I remember struggling to pull a genuine smile. If that’s how I felt on my wedding day, imagine how I’d feel if I had lenses pointed toward my face   a l l   d a y   l o n g  on the entire wedding weekend!

I’m not posting this to make you feel like you should spend your entire wedding day smiling and waving at Uncle Bob recording you despite you already having a wedding videographer. You (and I) are not George Clooney who has been living with this day in day out for the past who knows how many years. But one thing you don’t want to lose on your wedding day is class and composure. So, if you are not the best at posing, perhaps do choose a wedding photographer that will document the whole day in the most natural of ways, without you and your husband having to pose. And if you don’t want to spend the entire day being asked by your guests to take ‘just one more picture together please?’, then let them know that after the family pictures, you and your husband will do a small session with guests so they can take pictures with you. Hopefully this will reduce the number of requests during the day so that you can really and truly let your hair down and enjoy smiling happily without feeling the pressure of a camera pointed at you :)

xx Betta

Image: via Daily Mail // Hapers Bazar

 

Wedding indulgence: push pop confetti

Posted by / Decorations & Accessories, Planning

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Confetti confetti confetti… They are the pet peeve of wedding venues, because quite frankly, who fancies cleaning up after they have been scattered on steps, grass, entrances?

But hey, it could be worse. If you were Italian, you’d have rice thrown at you, which actually is the pet peeve of brides and grooms too as it get literally e v e r y w h e r e (your hair, your veil, your cleavage, your shoes, the groom’s pockets …) When I got married I actually requested that no confetti were to be thrown. Bridezilla much? Yes, but (1) I don’t really like the symbolic meaning of rice being (gently) thrown at us, and (2) I just didn’t fancy having pictures with rice stuck in my hair … Can I be forgiven please? :)

But this Push Pop Confetti idea totally rocks!

Are they messy? Yes. Do they get everywhere? Yes (but they’re not as fiddly as rice when you’re trying to brush them off you). Are they fun? Yes yes yes! Way more than rice or rose petals or confetti cones!

You can buy this from Etsy in the Thimblepress store. At £4.70/ unit they’re not exactly cheap, but should you have an intimate wedding, they’re definitely a lovely indulgence!

xoxo Betta

Credit: Etsy