Competition alert | design your own gown with Elizabeth Stuart and The White Gallery

Posted by / Offers and Competitions

Hello brides! Today it’s a competition alert! If you have been dreaming of designing your own wedding gown, then you can’t miss this competition by The White Gallery Boutique and Elizabeth Stuart Bride!IMG_1898-2.JPGLocated only an hour from Belfast and approximately one hour from Dublin airport, The White Gallery is one of Ireland’s most fashion-forward boutiques. The exclusive Irish bridal boutique has partnered with luxury bridal wear designer Elizabeth Stuart, to give one lucky bride the opportunity to design the wedding dress of their dreams.
Brides-to-be will be invited to enter ‘The Glass Slipper’ competition by telling the story of their romantic proposal, along with a photo of themselves and their wonderful fiancé. The bride must also include a sketch detailing their most perfect wedding dress design! The entries will be reviewed by top wedding industry experts, with the top five brides being revealed on The White Gallery’s Facebook page. The brides will then have two weeks to generate the most ‘Likes’ for their entry. The bride with the most ‘Likes’ will be crowned the winner, and scoop this once in a life time prize having the opportunity to work with Elizabeth Stuart to design her very own wedding gown!
This is the ultimate fairy-tale experience and one the happy couple won’t ever forget. As the bride gracefully makes her way down the aisle in her stunning Elizabeth Stuart gown and walking towards her true love, it’s as if all her dreams are coming true. This really will be the most perfect way to start to their happily ever after …

The competition is launching today, so get your entry in :)

xx Betta

Marsala | Pantone colour of 2015 | Yay or nay?

Posted by / Colour Moodboards

Oh hi. Question for you: Marsala is the Pantone colour of the year. How do you like that?Wedding inspiration, Marsala, Marsala Pantone Colour of the Year, Pantone, Pantone colour, Pantone inspiration, Pantone wedding inspiration, Marsala wedding, Copper wedding, Marsala on Pinterest, Maroon wedding, Linen and Silk Weddings inspiration, Wedding colours, Wedding ideas, Marsala suit, Groom suit, Maroon suit, Wedding accessories, Wedding decorations, Wedding lanterns, Wedding cutlery, Marsala bridesmaid dressWhen I first saw the news online I thought I read it wrong. I mean, seriously? From radiant orchid (admittedly not my first colour choice, but certainly super bright and vibrant), to Marsala?! But then I read this:

While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.” (Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, AdWeek)Wedding inspiration, Marsala, Marsala Pantone Colour of the Year, Pantone, Pantone colour, Pantone inspiration, Pantone wedding inspiration, Marsala wedding, Copper wedding, Marsala on Pinterest, Maroon wedding, Linen and Silk Weddings inspiration, Wedding colours, Wedding ideas, Marsala suit, Groom suit, Maroon suit, Wedding accessories, Wedding decorations, Wedding lanterns, Wedding cutlery, Marsala bridesmaid dressI’m actually starting to like the sound of this… However how do you define ‘Marsala’ as a colour? I mean, it isn’t red, but it isn’t brown either. I guess it’s a mix between the two. Make sure you don’t call it maroon either! Trust me, searching “maroon wedding” on Pinterest will come up with results that will make you gag!

So, okay then, let’s pretend ‘Marsala’ is not actually as bad as it looks… Pinterest, show me what you’ve got!Wedding inspiration, Marsala, Marsala Pantone Colour of the Year, Pantone, Pantone colour, Pantone inspiration, Pantone wedding inspiration, Marsala wedding, Copper wedding, Marsala on Pinterest, Maroon wedding, Linen and Silk Weddings inspiration, Wedding colours, Wedding ideas, Marsala suit, Groom suit, Maroon suit, Wedding accessories, Wedding decorations, Wedding lanterns, Wedding cutlery, Marsala bridesmaid dressWedding inspiration, Marsala, Marsala Pantone Colour of the Year, Pantone, Pantone colour, Pantone inspiration, Pantone wedding inspiration, Marsala wedding, Copper wedding, Marsala on Pinterest, Maroon wedding, Linen and Silk Weddings inspiration, Wedding colours, Wedding ideas, Marsala suit, Groom suit, Maroon suit, Wedding accessories, Wedding decorations, Wedding lanterns, Wedding cutlery, Marsala bridesmaid dress Read more…

Modern wedding invitations inspiration | watercolour and calligraphy

Posted by / Inspiration, Stationery, Wedding Stationery

Linen and Silk Weddings, Watercolour wedding stationery, Stationery suite, Wedding stationery, Wedding invitations, Ready made wedding stationery, Etsy wedding stationery, Watercolour wedding invitations (3)For various reasons and recent projects I’ve been immersed in the world of watercolour recently. It’s been very much on trend, but to be honest, I’ve managed to ignore it for a while. I am a lover of clean designs and linearity, so watercolour stationery kind of breaks my rules of minimalism. However, I’m now actually starting to love it (late, I know), particularly when combined to calligraphy and modern, linear fonts.

I’ve spent some time on Etsy and collated some of my favourite designs: some bold, some pastel-y. Many of them are available to purchase after a small customisation – they will send you the print-ready files so that you can have whatever quantity you need printed by your preferred printing company. It’s a more than acceptable budget-friendly solution if you can’t afford a bespoke design.

All you need to do once you have received your files is find a good quality printing company, but please, do pay for a physical proof to be sent to you before they print the whole batch. There is nothing worse than having the whole suite printed and find out that the colours are of poor quality or that they have inserted a ‘white frame’ all around your design.

Click on each of the images below to be redirected straight to the Etsy seller of each design.

Linen and Silk Weddings, Watercolour wedding stationery, Stationery suite, Wedding stationery, Wedding invitations, Ready made wedding stationery, Etsy wedding stationery, Watercolour wedding invitations (1)

Linen and Silk Weddings, Watercolour wedding stationery, Stationery suite, Wedding stationery, Wedding invitations, Ready made wedding stationery, Etsy wedding stationery, Watercolour wedding invitations (4) Read more…

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)).