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Spring/Summer 2008

Glamorous Gowns Inspirational bridal dresses

Suited & Booted Grooms attire to grab attention

Beautiful Bridesmaids

Blushing Brides

Marvellous Mothers


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Prayers, Answered

David M Robinson has been creating the UK’s finest diamond engagement rings for 40 years. Please visit any of our stores for a friendly conversation about the ring of your dreams.

24 Church Alley Liverpool L1 3DD Tel 0151 708 9725

6 St Michael’s Square Chester CH1 1EE Tel 01244 320046

33/35 North John Street Liverpool L2 6RP Tel 0151 236 2720

14 Railway Street Altrincham WA14 2RE Tel 0161 928 7487

447/449 Lord Street Southport PR9 0AQ Tel 01704 534971

28 St Ann’s Square Manchester M2 7JB Tel 0161 834 0217

4 Jubilee Place Canary Wharf London E14 5NY Tel 0207 538 2332

www.davidmrobinson.co.uk

This is the box that says ‘I love you’.


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Contents ◆ Confetti

www.confettimagzine.co.uk Editor ❤ Sally Jones

Welcome.. You’ve been swept off your feet in a whirlwind of romance and now it’s time to create a wedding day to remember. Confetti is here once again to lead you by the hand, providing inspiration for your wedding day. The key when planning your wedding is to be organised. Make a list and tick items off as they are completed and always remember to delegate. Sharing the load is vital to keep the pressure to a minimum. Make sure your husband-to-be feels part of the whole experience and include him in the preparations - after all, it’s his day too. Choosing your dress is the most exciting part of your preparation, but remember that comfortable underwear and footwear is essential to ensure you are relaxed on your special day. With the latest in mother-of-the bride fashion and groom’s attire to die for, Confetti has the right mix of styles to suit every couple. The venue is vital too. Ensuring you and your guests enjoy the big day is a must, and the right venue can make or break your wedding day. Many offer wedding co-ordinators and have experts on hand to guide you through. From wedding cakes to transport, beauty regimes to stationery, leafing through the pages of Confetti will ensure a magical day with memories to cherish.

Sally Jones

Contents…

05 ❤ BRIDAL FASHION Gowns to turn heads 20 ❤ BRIDESMAIDS Maid to measure 24 ❤ LINGERIE Undergarments with style

Feature writers ❤ Vicky Andrews, Paul Baker, Laura Davis, Sarah Hooley, Emma Johnson, Katie Mcloughlin, Michelle Rushton, Emma Thompson, Charlene Ugbode

Art and Design ❤ Tracy Smith and Colin Harrison

Sales ❤ 0151 227 2000

Front Cover ❤ Courtesy of Kate Sherford. The dress: Tia available in a variety of colours. For stockist information visit www.katesherford.com

a Trinity Mirror business Distribution ❤ 0151 472 2803 peter.king@liverpool.com

Editorial ❤ 0151 227 2000

Advertising ❤ 0151 472 2273

Printed by: ❤ Pensord

Published by: ❤ NW2, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB

Copyright ❤ Confetti is printed bi-annually and distributed free. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any storage or retrieval system without the consent of publisher.

27 ❤ MOTHER OF THE BRIDE Designs with the wow factor 31 ❤ ACCESSORIES Inspirational finishing touches 39 ❤ GROOMS Suiting your man 43 ❤ BEAUTY The look of love 47 ❤ RINGS Third finger left hand 51 ❤ VENUES The question is where? 57 ❤ STATIONERY Invites with flair 59 ❤ FLOWERS Elegant bridal bouquets 60 ❤ GIFTS Wedding day treats 62 ❤ PHOTOGRAPHY Memories on film 64 ❤ TRANSPORT Get me to the church on time 65 ❤ FOOD & DRINK Choosing a menu to die for 68 ❤ HONEYMOONS Top 10 destinations

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MARINE PROMENADE, NEW BRIGHTON

Enjoy your special day at the stylish and elegant Queen’s Royal Our beautiful function facilities, housed in a glorious Traditional Victorian Building, provide the perfect backdrop to your wedding. All of our menus, from Buffets to Banquets, are individually created by our Chefs to suit your personal requirements. Please telephone

0151 691 0101 to discuss your arrangements

or visit us at: www.thequeensroyal.com


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Designer dresses ◆ Confetti

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Radiant Beauty With your big day just around the corner you’ll be delighted to know that 2008 bridal wear is full of beautiful designer fashion with a variety of sumptuous fabrics to make you feel like a bridal queen. This year’s brides will be able to find a huge variety, from retro designs to elegant couture and plenty of simple, yet classic cuts to fit every shape and size. If you want to achieve that effortless hourglass figure then there are a range of designers offering with beautiful gowns that will give you a super, sleek and sexy look. If you thought that your ideal wedding dress was confined to the traditional white and ivory, then fear no more because 2008 has seen a variety of shades. You can choose a fun and sexy colour such as shimmering pink, blue and even devilish red, and teamed with the perfect hairdo, you’ll create a dazzling look - perfect for any bride. With a variety of designs, you can choose from simple styles to dresses boasting a huge range of detail with sequins, crystal beading and beautiful long trains. There are many styles to choose from to make you feel like a goddess on your special day. So sit back and enjoy the journey as we take you through 2008’s perfect day dresses. By Charlene Ugbode

This Grecian pleated dress would be perfect for a summer wedding and is excellent value for money. Dress by Pearce II Fionda Visit Debenhams for more information. From sizes 6 to 18 RRP: £250

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Confetti ◆ Designer dresses

Patterned designs To stray away from the traditional white and ivory, patterned fabrics will help to give a completely original look. (Image: Poppy01) Poppy by Amanda Wyatt. Telephone 01625 522 344 for stockists. From sizes 8 to 30 (other sizes available) RRP: £495

This daring dress has achieved a sophisticated yet sexy look with a red corset and beautiful detail to create a princess line gown. (Image: Abigale) Abigale by Romantica. Telephone 08707 701 024 for stockists. From sizes 6 to 32 RRP: £595

Patterned designs This daring dress has achieved a sophisticated yet sexy look with a red corset and beautiful detail to create a princess line gown. Abigale by Romantica. Telephone 08707 701 024 for stockists. From sizes 6 to 32. RRP: £595

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Designer dresses ◆ Confetti

Bright and beautiful Charlottle Balbier brings style, glamour and sophistication to this traditional dress using a soft vintage gold to complete a stunning design. This will give you a sensational journey down the isle. Tabitha by Charlotte Balbier. Telephone 01625 521 547 for stockists. From sizes 8 to 30 (Available in other sizes) RRP:Sherford £1,100 Angelina dress from a selection by Kate (Tel: 01823 256012, www.katesherford.com)

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Confetti ◆ Designer dresses

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Dramatic entrance Adorned with precious jewels and an elegant silk bow this dress will create a lasting impression. Dress by Alfred Sung. Telephone 01909 774 471 for stockists. From sizes 4 to 34 RRP: £1,200


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Designer dresses ◆ Confetti

Stunning Perfection Just like a scene from Romeo and Juliet, this beautiful gown will no doubt leave you with the perfect groom. Dress by Ellis Bridals. Telephone 0208 888 8833 for stockists. From sizes 6 to 28 RRP: £990 (Additional 25% charge for sizes above 22)

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Designer dresses ◆ Confetti

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Elegant Beauty This satin fabric with metallic accents gives a radiant shine, and sparkles with crystal beading and sequins. Dress by Alfred Angelo. Telephone 01908 262 626 for stockists. From sizes 8 to 32 RRP: £1,399

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Confetti ◆ Designer dresses

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Simple styles This stunning gown will give any blushing bride an elegant look with diamantes to make you shine. Debenhams offers a wide range of bridal wear at very reasonable prices, with styles to suit every figure. Star by Julien Macdonald Available in selected Debenhams stores only. From sizes 6 to 18 RRP: £350


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Designer dresses ◆ Confetti

Modern styles A twist front bustier and flamenco skirt is perfect for any bride wanting to show off a beautiful figure, with the bustier giving ample cleavage and tucking in at the waist. Bustier by Pearce II Fionda From sizes 6 to 18 RRP: £250 Flamenco skirt by Pearce II Fionda From sizes 6 to 18 RRP: £120 Visit Debenhams for more information.

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Confetti ◆ Bridesmaids

Dress to Impress Katie Mcloughlin looks at fabulous frocks to flatter bridesmaids of all ages...

Pink satin bridesmaid dress by True Bride Ltd, features scattered beads and applique flowers on the bodice. RRP: £175, for stockists visit www.truebride.co.uk.

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Many a bridesmaid has approached their wedding attire with trepidation. From the moment they graciously accepted the role, thoughts of balloon sleeved puce satin have haunted them. Thankfully, the days of unflattering, frumpy, puff-ball bridesmaid dresses are long gone, with modern styles favouring classically elegant shapes, fabrics and colours. For spring/summer 2008 the boundaries between bridesmaid attire and occasion wear have become ever-closer, with many bridesmaids opting for flattering fashion-inspired dresses they can wear again. Key trends for the upcoming season include simple, well-cut dresses which compliment the feminine figure but don’t outshine the bride, with a focus on clean lines and understated elegance. Floor length skirts with bodices or corsets, as well as strapless dresses, remain popular, with below the knee hemlines and tea party style dresses providing more lightweight alternatives for summer nuptials. When it comes to colour, bold purples, pinks, and sumptuous jade and forest greens dominate the summer palette, whilst subtle pastels look set to be the hues of spring. Arguably an unusual colour for bridesmaid attire, but increasingly featuring in more and more spring/summer 2008 collections, are rich chocolate brown and black dresses. Every girl, whatever her age, loves dressing up, so make sure young flowergirls feel like princesses too, with simple yet pretty dresses in floaty fabrics. When choosing flowergirl outfits, it’s vital to remember that youngsters often fidget in clothes that are too fussy or they feel uncomfortable in, so opt for well-cut styles, with kneelength hemlines to prevent them from tripping. Try to keep detailing that could catch or pull clothes to a minimum, and if you’re keen to avoid lengthy fittings with the younger members of your bridal party, why not consider one of the many off-the-peg dresses from the high street? Whatever style of wedding attire you plump for this season, our selection of gorgeous gowns will please bridesmaids young and old.


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Coast has launched a range of occasion footwear, (left), including these ‘Anjolie’ heels RRP: £85 plus a shoe dye-to-match service perfect for co-ordinating bridesmaid dresses and shoes. Prices start at £70, including the cost of the shoes. For stockists visit: www.coast-stores.com.

White dress, with an organza layered skirt. Red shot taffeta dress, with crossover straps. Both by True Bride Ltd, RRP £129. For stockists visit www.truebride.co.uk.

This organza and satin bridesmaid dress by Alfred Angelo, is cut to an A-line to flatter most figures. For stockists visit www.alfredangelo.co.uk

These Shot Taffeta dresses by True Bride Ltd RRP: £129, child’s and adult’s, RRP: £189, have a contrasting ruched waist band. For stockists visit www.truebride.co.uk.

Bell by Ben de Lisi ruffle dress for ages 2-12, available in selected Debenhams stores, RRP £72.74. For stockists visit www.debenhams.com

Bridesmaids ◆ Confetti

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wedding

Presence

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Emma Thompson looks at bridal lingerie to boost your assets and your confidence

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Fantasie basque (C-G) £36 and matching thong £14, available at Debenhams.

Diamante bridal lingerie, padded underwired bra with multi-way straps £18; thong £8; suspender £12; lace top stockings £8, all available from Bhs.

It’s what’s underneath that matters, so finding the right lingerie is essential to ensure you look perfect throughout your wedding day. You may think the hard part is over once you’ve chosen your wedding dress, but you have to make sure your under garments fit perfectly and feel comfortable too! You don’t want to be walking down the aisle thinking about your air-restricting corset, instead of your wedding vows. You may see plenty of beautiful lingerie, but don’t be tempted to get any until you have your dress. Whether it’s a strapless number, a lace back, halter neck or one of the other many combinations us ladies are given, you have to make sure your underwear is the right style, and won’t be on show! Make sure you get professionally measured in the shop where you buy your garments as sometimes different brands are slightly different sizes. Think practicality when buying, you may want the sexy set to sizzle your man later, but don’t forget you have to wear the lingerie all day, so make sure you can move in it too. Many stores and specialist boutiques have a wide variety of beautiful sets, whether you want plain and simple or lace and ruffles, there’s sure to be something that’s ideal for your big day.

White Opium corset, £190 and White Opium suspender belt, £90, available from MadameV.

Reger by Janet Reger multi-way basque £65; Reger by Janet Reger silk thong £20; lace top stockings £10, all available at Debenhams.


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Mother of the bride ◆ Confetti

Mamma

Mia! The mother of the bride deserves to look as important as she is, says Sarah Hooley

Elegance is just a step away in this beautiful outfit RRP: £555, from Cattiva available in sizes 8-18. For stockists call 01538 394520.

The mother of the bride plays a pivotal role in her daughter’s big day and with an abundance of glamorous new collections already hitting the shops, in 2008 she can finally look as good as she deserves. Having firmly waved goodbye to dowdy floral frocks and shapeless dresses, once a staple for the mother of the bride, today’s average mum feels younger and more glamorous than ever and the wide variety of fabulous outfits available reflects this. Sophisticated skirt, dress and trouser suits remain a popular option for many, and combined with a structured coat can instantly add an air of effortless elegance to any mother of the bride. Alternatively if you’d rather wear a dress, there are a wide variety of styles to flatter all shapes and sizes. Ranging from understated feminine beauty, to all out splendour complete with sparkling beaded detail, it’s worth keeping an open mind as you may be surprised which style suits you best. Colours are also an important element to any mother of the bride outfit and before you start searching for your dream dress or suit, it’s essential to check whether your daughter has a particular colour scheme in mind for the wedding attire. If not, gentle pastel shades such as champagne, rose-bud pink and lilac can be the perfect accompaniment for spring and summer seasons, while beautiful, bold colours including hot pinks, canary yellow, shimmering aquamarines and classic blacks are also strong contenders - ideal for mothers of the bride looking to stand out from the crowd. Try not to get side tracked by what’s in fashion, however, as it’s much more important to buy a style and shade which suits you. As for accessories, hats and fascinators can be a great way to add that extra ‘wow’ factor to an outfit and are ideal to separate yourself as the mother of the bride, plus graceful shawls and glistening jewellery can often provide the pièce de résistance. Issues of practicality shouldn’t be dismissed either, and as most mothers of the bride are likely to be in the spotlight all day too, a good, comfortable pair of shoes together with clothing made from non-crease materials are essential. But above all, just make sure that you feel confident in whatever you wear, and you’re certain to shine like the star you are this spring and summer.

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Confetti ◆ Mother of the bride

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4. 1. Debenhams: Fascinators can add that extra ‘wow’ factor to an outfit. Taken from the Debenhams 2008 Weddings range, RRP: prices are Jacques Vert beaded silk dress £199; beaded scarf £39; feather fascinator £69; Jon Richard at Debenhams Belle bracelet £12; pearl effect and pave drop earrings £10, with the sizes varying 10-22. 2.Peter Martin skirt suit: A skirt suit like this stunning example from Peter Martin, can instantly add glamour to any mother of the bride. Black jacket RRP: £175; skirt RRP £125. Both available in sizes 8-20. For stockists call 01538 394520. 3. Shine in this stunning mother of the bride outfit, RRP £938, from Coterie. For stockists call 020 7629 9696. 4. Cattiva trouser suit: Stand out in style with a trouser suit like this one from Cattiva. RRP £499, available in sizes 14-26. For stockists call 01538 394520.

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Accessories ◆ Confetti

Bridal fascinator £6 from John Lewis.

Jon Richard at Debenhams Amelia tiara £25, Alice headband £25.

Pearl on wire tiara £25 from John Lewis.

Butler and Wilson crystal hair clip £28 at Liberty.

Crowning Glory Emma Johnson offers advice on headdresses After the dress itself, your headdress is the most important decision you have to make on your bridal wardrobe. Depending on the style of wedding you are having, anything goes these days with headdresses and veils. For a fairytale bride at a traditional white wedding, you may want to go the whole nine yards with a trailing veil and even one which comes down over your face. If you like a simpler look, however, a veil may be too over the top. Instead, you may decide that a diamante tiara, a

fascinator, or loose flowers in your hair are more appropriate. In recent years, delicate tiaras sprinkled with rhinestones, crystals and pearls have been very popular with modern brides, while crystal hair ornaments can look spectacular on long-haired brides. For brides considering a veil it is important to know what the different styles are. A blusher veil is the one which is traditionally worn over the face and will usually finish at your chin and shoulder and elbow length veils are generally the more popular options for modern brides.

Main image Jon Richard at Debenhams Ellen hair comb £20.

A waltz or princess veil creates a very romantic look and will reach your knees, while a chapel veil should just touch the floor, so when you have it fitted you need to remember to wear your shoes. The longest veil is a cathedral veil which will trail to the floor - great for fairytale weddings with very dramatic gowns but they can be a little impractical. A growing trend with veils is for brides to place them directly on their hair with maybe just a couple of crystal or rhinestone clips to hold them in place. The key with accessories is that less is more.

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Competitions ◆ Confetti

Tantalise your tastebuds ∫

To celebrate the completion of its million pound refurbishment, Forest Hills Hotel is offering one lucky couple the chance to experience fine dining at its best, with a fantastic meal for two. The hotel’s Hilltops restaurant has built a justifiable reputation for quality in the area and offers a choice of exciting menus, from table d’hote and the chef’s daily fish menu to the a la Carte. And if you’re looking for a wedding venue, then the Forest Hills Hotel makes an ideal choice. Whether it’s an intimate wedding for 10, or 200, there are suites to suit everyone’s needs.

For a chance to WIN dinner for two at the Hilltops Restaurant simply answer the following question:

Win overnight stay an

How much has the Forest Hills Hotel recently spent on refurbishment? Send your answer, along with your name, address and daytime telephone number to Hilltops Restaurant Competition, Confetti Magazine, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB. A winner will be selected at random. Closing date is February 22, 2008. * Prize must be taken by the end of April and cannot be used with any other promotion. Subject to availability and does not include drinks.

The Scarisbrick Hotel in Southport is the ideal place for your wedding day. Always keen to provide guests with the highest of standards, the hotel has recently refurbished its Isherwood banqueting suite offering brand new facilities tailored to suit your needs. You can be the first to experience the stylish new surroundings by visiting the Scarisbrick Hotel’s Wedding Fayre on Sunday, February 17 from 12 noon until 4pm. Or enter the competition below to win a luxury night in the honeymoon suite, which offers a deluxe four-poster bed and Jacuzzi bathroom, with full use of the hotel’s leisure facilities and a full English breakfast included in the prize.

For a chance to WIN an overnight stay in the Scarisbrick Hotel’s honeymoon suite simply answer the following question: Which banqueting suite has recently been refurbished? Send your answer, along with your name, address and daytime telephone number to Scarisbrick Hotel Competition, Confetti Magazine, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB. A winner will be selected at random. Closing date is February 22, 2008. * Subject to availability.

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Raymond Bonnard Toastmaster Member of the Northern Guild of Toastmasters Member of the National Association of Toastmasters Equity Member

Make your special day extra special. Relax and enjoy yourself in the care of a professional toastmaster. Tel: 0151 327 4609 Mobile: 07836 323679 Email: toastmastergavel@aol.com www.raymondbonnard.co.uk


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Grooms ◆ Confetti

Groom shake the room! It’s not just the bride who should catch the eye on the wedding day. Paul Baker checks out the outfits sure to grab some groom attention.

When it comes to planning your big day, guys, do you feel like all the major decisions are being made without you? Well, at least you can still make a splash with your wedding outfit. Will sir go for a stylish yet traditional look with the waistcoat and tailcoat? Maybe a silk handkerchief to complete the ensemble? Or perhaps let your Celtic ancestry flood out with a shirt and kilt combination? Don’t forget to accessorise. From cravats to hats, cufflinks to watches, you can make a style statement about yourself on the day that you’re the most important man in the room. Check out the latest grooming products too – everything from hair care to moisturisers – to make sure you look (almost) as amazing as the bride. Let your imagination run wild and express yourself through your clothing choice. Have fun, it’s your day too. One thing though, make sure you run it by your fiancée first!

Clothing from Cameron Ross. Slate Grey Herringbone tailcoat and matching trousers. Silk Ivory Marquise waistcoat. Dusky Pink ruche & hankie. Victorian collar shirt RRP is approx £89. For stockist details please see the Cameron Ross website: www.hirewear.co.uk.

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Looking good with the BHS Wedding Collection: Men’s waistcoat and cravat - £35. Men’s wing collar shirt - £20. Men’s trousers - £25. Boy’s waistcoat and cravat - £20. Boy’s wing collar shirt - £10. Boy’s trouser - £12. Contact your local BHS store for more information. You can check online: www.bhs.co.uk.

Grey Spirit with Hawkstone accessories - from the Highland Fling collection (prices from £79) - Moss Bros Hire. Check website for local stores/stockists: www.mossbros.co.uk.

This grey silk wool mix herringbone combo is new for 2008 from Anthony Formalwear available to hire a complete outfit. RRP is £375 for jacket, trousers, shirt, waistcoat and tie. Also available to buy, made to measure. For stockists, visit: www.anothonyformalwear.co.uk.

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Confetti ◆ Grooms


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Grooms ◆ Confetti

Dermaceutical skincare products for men from SKINN: SKINN Total Shave - £24; SKINN Daily Moisture - £25; SKINN Fatigue Rescue - £32; SKINN Face Scrub - £28; SKINN Hair Wax - £24; SKINN Eye Cream - £35.

Do you love golf almost as much as your new bride? Then accessorise with these cufflinks from www.drinkstuff.com £9.99.

Best Man (left): Limehause striped suit £129, shirt £20, tie £10, both Thomas Nash; J by Jasper Conran lace-up shoes selected stores, £70. Pageboy: Jacket (3-16) £30 - £45, waistcoat, shirt and cravat set (3-12 years) £20, formal trousers (3-16 years) £15 - £20, Formal Hire at Debenhams silk handkerchief £3; moccasin loafers (size 1-6), limited stores, £24 - £26 all Red Herring. Groom: Formal Hire at Debenhams herringbone tailcoat with matching trousers and silver waistcoat £43, St George by Duffer cotton shirt, selected stores, £30, silk tie £6, silk handkerchief £4, both Jeff Banks formal hire; Jeff Banks lace up shoes, limited stores, £75 Some items are only available from selected Debenhams stores. Visit: www.debenhamsweddings.com.

Stylish King & Aces Cufflinks for the man who plays his cards close to his chest - from www.drinkstuff.com - £14.99.

Rotary gent’s Revelation strap watch holds two times in one watch to achieve two distinctive looks, £320. Stockist enquiries: 0207 434 7546.

Gent’s 1974 bracelet watch, a Dreyfuss & Co handmade Swiss timepiece. RRP £325. Stockist enquiry number: 0207 434 7544

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Beauty ◆ Confetti

Be a

blushing & beautiful bride

Whether you do it yourself or have it done professionally you want your make-up to be perfect, says Emma Johnson “On your wedding day you should look like yourself at your most beautiful,” says international make-up artist and beauty guru, Bobbi Brown, and she is absolutely right. Whether you decide that is best achieved by doing it yourself or having your make-up done by a professional, whichever you choose, make sure you have plenty of practice runs so you are sure to achieve the look that is right for you. The advantage of having a make-up artist do your look is that you can relax knowing you are in safe hands and that your look should last the day. If you do go down this route, try out a number of make-up artists and choose the one you feel is not only the most talented but the one you feel most comfortable with and who you feel knows exactly the look you are trying to achieve. After all, you don’t want to look in the mirror on your big day and see a complete stranger staring back at you. If you prefer to do your own makeup, it might be useful to take a lesson or get some advice from the experts on different looks and how to ensure your make-up lasts the distance. The artists on the beauty counters in department stores will be happy to help you with this.

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Confetti ◆ Beauty

Bridal

beauty bag Eyes Now is not the time for dramatic eye make-up. You want eyes to sparkle not to be weighed down with heavy colours. Clinique’s Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad in Teddy Bear £19 will give a natural but defined look. Apply the two lighter shades from lash to brow, then build up the darker colours in an almond shape across the lid sweeping a little underneath as liner. Mascara must not run or smudge on your big day so waterproof mascara is a must because there are bound to be tears of joy. Two coats of Clinique’s Gentle Waterproof mascara (£12.50) will give you long, luscious lashes and stay put all day.

Face A perfect base is essential and make-up artist Laura Mercier is queen of the flawless finish. Sweep her Foundation Primer £27 all over your face before applying Laura Mercier Moisturising Foundation and blending down to your neck. Any blemishes will vanish with a touch of her Secret Camouflage concealer £25.

Lips International make up artist Bobbi Brown advises that neutral and pale lipsticks look washed out in photographs, so choose a lip colour that's one to two shades brighter than what you normally wear. To make lipstick last longer, line and fill in lips with lip liner then apply your lipstick or gloss. Bobbi Brown lip gloss, which you will find in her Bobbi Brown Bridal Kit £50, exclusive to John lewis stores is ideal.

Scent Estee Lauder’s Beautiful Love is the most recent addition to the Beautiful fragrance family, and is the perfect scent for any beautiful bride. Containing lush white flowers, it is vibrant, romantic and passionate. Layer the fragrance by moisturizing your skin with the Body Lotion £29.50 then add a spritz of Beautiful Love perfume £30 for 30ml.

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Cheeks They may call you the blushing bride but a glow is what you are really looking for. Make-up artist Bobbi Brown says you can achieve this by sweeping your brush through her Shimmer Brick Compact £27 in rose or pink, dusting it lightly over your cheekbones. For a more dewy look, try Bobbi’s Cream Blush Stick in pale pink £18.


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Beauty ◆ Confetti

Guys

get well-groomed Emma Johnson discovers boys are getting in on the beauty business

She might be the one in the big gown but the bride is not the only one who wants to look her best on the big day. With the pressure on and the prospect of photos that will last a lifetime, bridegrooms are cleaning up their act and it seems the days when a shower, shave and quick spritz of aftershave, followed by a couple of pints to calm the nerves are long gone. Now the boys too are getting in on pre-wedding botox, teeth whitening and facials, like Liverpool bridegroom, Derek Wall, who got married late last summer. Worried about getting him to smile in the wedding pictures, Derek’s fiancée Jayne booked him in for a consultation on his teeth and, not only did he find himself with a sparkling new smile, he also fixed a few other niggles too. Derek said: “My wedding was a whirlwind, planned in eight weeks. With just three weeks until the big day I began to panic when I returned from my stag party looking like I had been to war. But Jayne had undertaken a beauty regime at Age Perfecting Treatments in Liverpool and kindly booked me in for a smile consultation to make sure my teeth sparkled for our big day.” Dr Tracey Bell, at APt, discussed with Derek what he wanted from his smile and, following a session with the hygienist, he underwent a short blast of intensive teeth whitening before being fitted with whitening trays to use at home. “After a 45-minute session on the APt Zoom Machine, I was shocked at just how white my teeth were,” said Derek. “The difference was amazing; I couldn’t help but smile at myself in the mirror.” With his pearly whites back on track, Derek, a plumber, moved on to a spot of microdermabrasion with APt’s skin specialist, Sarah Aroura, who performed a series of facials on his face and hands. “Being a plumber, I get covered in all kinds of dirt and debris so stripping back the layers and seeing my skin at its best was fantastic.” That left just one issue for Derek - an old tattoo on his arm. “After constant promises to my fiancée over our 17 years together, it had to finally go,” he said. A series of sessions on APt’s Whisper Laser soon meant the tattoo was nothing more than a memory. Derek added: “Surprisingly enough, it hurt much less having it removed than getting it done in the first place.” So taken was Derek with the pampering process he even popped into the salon on the day of the wedding. “The results were fantastic; I looked instantly like I’d come back from a holiday. For years I have only half smiled on photographs and my new wife was very nervous about our wedding pictures. I am now grinning like a fool and the wedding pictures show I am happy to flash my pearly whites to anyone who wants to see them. I am also still enjoying my treatments with Sarah at APt every few months, but please don’t tell the lads!” Age Perfecting Treatments on Hanover Street has a variety of special packages for grooms (and their brides!). Call 0845 869 3244 or visit www.ageperfectingtreatments.co.uk.

Derek and Jayne on their wedding day

Derek before

Derek after

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Rings ◆ Confetti

Ring the Changes

1.

Whether you want a traditional wedding band or something more modern, there is a design to suit every taste, says Laura Davis A wedding ring is a symbol of a couple’s love and commitment to each other as well as being the one piece of jewellery – engagement ring excepted – that you will wear every day for the rest of your life. Not only should you find a design that is timeless but your choice should also be good value for money to ensure that it looks as beautiful on your 50th anniversary as it did on the day of your nuptials. While many couples still opt for the traditional band, symbolising a perfect circle with no end, like your marriage ahead, some prefer to choose a design they feel is more personal to them. Yellow gold is the customary choice of metal and is believed to be a sign of warmth and love. 24 carat is the purest but also the softest, so you may prefer 14 carat or 18 carat to prevent the ring from being scratched. White gold has become an increasingly popular choice, as it co-ordinates with silver and platinum jewellery at lower cost than platinum.

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1. From a selection at www.kissingdiamonds.com 2. From a selection at H Samuel 3. 18ct yellow gold and platinum Amare 3-stone diamond wedding ring, £1,750, from Boodles 4. Raindance platinum full hoop diamond set wedding ring, £2,600, from Boodles 5. Platinum wedding ring set with five round brilliant cut diamonds, £965, from Boodles 6. From a selection at H Samuel 7. From a selection at H Samuel 8. From a selection at H Samuel

If you suffer from allergies then it is a good idea to go for a platinum ring as it is purer than gold. Conventional wisdom dictates that the groom is expected to spend a month’s salary on an engagement ring, although a recent survey from Greenbee, the direct services company, for the John Lewis Partnership, revealed the average amount paid is just £554. Diamonds have remained a girl’s best friend and it’s easy to see why – there’s nothing like a bit of sparkle on your finger to make you feel in love. David Bennett, jewellery expert atSotheby's auction house, says their allure has brought customers to tears. “They are just beautiful. They look fantastic at night, by candlelight and are the ultimate in jewellery,” he says. “But aside from the monetary value, diamonds are quite magical and I have even seen people almost in tears over their beauty. When you think they came out of rock and have been cut by man, using diamond again, to reveal such fire and light it really can be quite staggering to contemplate.”

4.

2. 5.

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Seiont Manor Hotel

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Wedding Open Day 24th February 12-4pm. Free admission to all. Come and meet our wedding co-ordinators, along with a host of specialist wedding suppliers to help you plan your special day. See our wonderful rooms fully dressed, capturing the essence of romance. At Seiont Manor you’ll find everything you need to make your wedding day unforgettable. • • • • •

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Venues ◆ Confetti

Setting the scene You can get married almost anywhere these days. Emma Johnson and Laura Davis offer some suggestions. A fairytale castle, a magnificent marquee, or a stunning stately home? Where you decide to hold your wedding ceremony and reception is by far the biggest decision you have to make for your nuptials and, with more premises than ever licensed for civil ceremonies, brides and grooms-to-be have never had more choice about where to say “I do.” The days when the bride-to-be would still be living at home with mum and dad when she walked up the aisle and the reception would take place in the lounge, with sarnies put on by the female relatives, are nothing but a distant memory. In the North West of England and

North Wales there are venues catering for just about every type of wedding, from hip hotels to homes steeped in history to intimate restaurants and even aquariums - where you can say your vows with the sharks looking on – there is something for every couple. However, no matter what sort of ‘do’ you are planning, there are important questions you should be asking at all possible venues: Will the venue offer food? Will it allow the sort of entertainment you want – how does it feel about fireworks for example? What is accommodation like in the area for guests? Is there disabled access? Will it seat the 1,000 people you plan to invite? No matter what your requirements, there is a place that is right for you and here we explore some of the region’s finest wedding venues.

Sefton Park Palm House Sefton Park, Liverpool One of the country’s largest Victorian greenhouses, set in the leafy surroundings of Sefton Park, this is a romantic location for a wedding, particularly in spring or summer. The building is essentially a living museum, housing the renowned Liverpool Plant Collection, and is filled with greenery and flowers. All profits go to ensuring the Palm House will be there for many more generations to enjoy. Capacity: Up to 400. In-house caterers: There is a list of specially-approved caterers. Photographic opportunities: Inside the Palm House itself, with backdrop of greenery, or outside in Sefton Park. Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: No, but there are smaller hotels and guesthouses near the park and the city centre is only a 10-minute drive away.

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Confetti ◆ Venues

Forest Hills Hotel Overton, Frodsham, Cheshire. Tel 01928 735255 Situated in the Cheshire countryside, the Forest Hills Hotel offers excellent facilities for the happy couple and guests with beautiful scenery nearby. Licensed for civil ceremonies, the hotel offers a number of rooms for your ceremony and reception, depending on the size of your wedding, including a conservatory which is ideal for intimate affairs. Capacity: The Vale Royal suite can seat up to 120 for the wedding breakfast and 180 in the evening. For smaller celebrations, the hotel can cater for up to 60 in the Hilltops Restaurant or The Delamere Room. Photographic opportunities: Yes, there are gardens. In-house caterers: Yes. Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: Yes, there are 58 rooms which were refurbished last year.

Radisson Hotel Old Hall Street, Liverpool. Tel: 0844 870 0123 Modern and striking, Liverpool’s Radisson Hotel is the ideal spot for anyone looking for a contemporary and cool wedding. The embodiment of sophistication and elegance, it is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want the fancy frills of a traditional day. The Radisson offers both wedding planning expertise and skilled caterers. Capacity: 130 for a wedding breakfast and 200 for reception. Photographic opportunities: The hotel has striking gardens and you are only minutes from Liverpool’s waterfront. In-house caterers: Yes. Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: There are 194 rooms, including 29 business class, four junior suites and the stunning River Suite – one of the city’s finest.

Hillbark Royden Park, Frankby, Wirral. Tel: 0151 625 2400 The perfect backdrop to a fairytale wedding, Hillbark is a Grade II-listed mansion, designed in the Tudor style. Originally built on Bidston Hill in Birkenhead for the soap manufacturer, Robert William Hudson, it was moved, brick by brick, to its current location by a later owner. As it is situated in 250 acres of lush parkland, there is ample opportunity for photographs both inside and outside. Capacity: Up to 1,000 Photographic opportunities: Many, both in the grounds and taking advantage of the house’s eyecatching original features. In-house caterers: Yes. Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight acommodation: Yes, includes 19 bedrooms – an executive suite, five suites, seven junior suites and six classic rooms, many with views of the Dee Estuary.

Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel and Spa Capel Coch, Llangefni, Anglesey. Tel 01248 750 750. Built as a grand country house back in 1882, Tre-Ysgawen Hall is a breathtaking venue for your big day. Tastefully refurbished, it is set in acres of stunning gardens and has what is said to be one of North Wales' finest spas. There are four different suites available for weddings catering for everything from the most intimate of family weddings to grand celebrations. Capacity: Up to 200 for a civil ceremony and up to 140 for the reception. Photographic opportunities: There are lots of fantastic photo opportunities. The hall itself provides a historic backdrop and there are also extensive but secluded gardens which make for the ideal setting. In-house caterers: Yes Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes Overnight accommodation: The hall offers 27 deluxe bedrooms and two four poster suites with Jacuzzi bathrooms.

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Venues ◆ Confetti

Meols Hall Churchtown, Southport. Tel: 01704 228326 This historic manor house was built in the 12th century and is set in 100 acres of private parkland. Receptions take place in the Tithe Barn within the grounds, where there is the option of a romantic candlelit ceremony. The hall’s wedding team is also able to arrange many types of transport to the venue, from horse-drawn carts to helicopters. Capacity: Up to 120 at the breakfast with an additional 60 for the evening. Photographic opportunities: The grounds are bursting with brilliant backdrops, including the parkland and cobbled driveway. In-house caterers: Yes. Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: No, but there are hotels nearby in Southport.

Liverpool Town Hall 1 High Street, Liverpool. Tel: 0151 236 5181 A magnificent Grade I-listed building set in the heart of the city, this is the place for you if you want grandeur on your wedding day. The Town Hall can accommodate up to 270 guests in its various rooms, which include the main ballroom, small ballroom, dining room and three reception rooms. Capacity: Up to 270. In-house caterers: Yes. Photographic opportunities: On the grand staircase, in the ballroom, the council chamber and outside by the monuments of Exchange Flags. Licensed for civil ceremony: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: None, but there are many hotels within walking distance.

Scarisbrick Hotel Lord Street, Southport. Tel: 01704 543000 Situated on the street that is said to have inspired some of Paris’ tree-lined boulevards, this hotel is a traditional setting for a civil wedding. Packages are available to suit most budgets and smaller groups are also catered for. Capacity: From 10 to 160 guests. In-house caterers: Yes. Photographic opportunities: The function rooms provide a grand backdrop to wedding pictures. Licenced for civil ceremonies: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: Yes, 90 en suite bedrooms.

Knowsley Hall Prescot, Merseyside. Tel: 0151 489 4827 A magnificent stately home set in 2,500 acres of private parkland, the hall dates back to the 12th century and was lavishly restored following Edward Richard William Stanley’s succession to the Earldom in 1994. There is a selection of state rooms in which to celebrate, from a ceremony in the fabulous Stucco Ballroom to a wedding reception fit for a king in the impressive State Dining Room, which was originally completed in 1882 and used to entertain King George IV. Capacity: The state rooms accommodate up to 156 for dinner and 200 for drinks but a marquee can be arranged for larger weddings. In-house caterers: Yes. Photographic opportunities: The grandeur of the hall itself and the romantic nooks and sweeping landscapes of the gardens. Licenced for civil ceremonies: Yes. Entertainment licence: Yes. Overnight accommodation: Nine bedroom are available for the wedding party.

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THE INVITATION SPECIALISTS With over 20 years of experience in design and print here at Sprinter Printer, we offer a complete design service for all your printing needs to ensure your special day is a truly memorable one. We know that your invitations will help set the scene for the entire occasion, and that’s why we constantly strive to make our invitations as unique as you are.

Digital Print offers full colour flexibility for small quantities

Our hand-finished Metallic Foil Print gives a touch of class

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Stationery ◆ Confetti

writeto it

Get

Be as creative as you like when it comes to wedding stationery, says Emma Johnson There are lots of rules and traditions regarding your wedding invitations. If you are having a traditional wedding where the bride’s parents are paying then it is customary for them to send the invitations. However, when the couple themselves are paying or there are relatives on both sides contributing, it can make more sense for the couple to send out their own invitations. When it comes to styles, the possibilities are endless. Department stores like John Lewis (pictured) and Debenhams offer both personalised and non-personalised stationery. If you are on a budget, there are numerous wedding stores that offer invitations including www.confetti.com. But if you are planning to individual bespoke stationery then you can let your imagination run wild. Choose from the simple – card or paper invitations – to the individual – handwritten scrolls – to the

elaborate – photos of yourselves or even a personal filmed invitation from you on DVD. Whatever sort of stationery you opt for, it is worth remembering that your invitations are the first clue guests will receive as to the style of your wedding so they should reflect just that. You shouldn’t really leave sending out invitations much later than three months before the wedding to make sure your guests have time to plan. If you are getting married in high summer or around Christmas though six months before would be wise. If you are still finalising ceremony or reception arrangements then you could always send out ‘save the date’ cards earlier and follow them up with formal invitations. As well as the invitations, there are also thank-you cards, place cards and, for religious ceremonies, order of service cards which should all follow the same theme.

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L ists d lor RK an HOTE F e us BA LL Ho HILL N HA t a RNTO THO

weddings with wow! Choosing your wedding flowers is probably one of the most important yet bewildering decisions you’ll have to make.

A• T• H • E • N • A• E • U • M

ATHENAEUM Founded in 1797 and situated in Church Alley near to the famous Bluecoat Chambers, the Athenaeum offers a prestigious setting for formal and less formal events of all kinds. Fully licensed with a friendly and supportive staff, guests never fail to be impressed by the quiet, dignified and historic ambience of this most splendid of Liverpool’s city centre venues.

Choosing Lyndaflora means you’ll receive the very best personal service from the Wirral’s leading specialist.

Day time or evening events can be arranged in the Newsroom which can cater for buffets of up to 150 and in the Dining Room which has seating for any combination up to 110. The Library provides a uniquely beautiful setting for civil wedding ceremonies.

Parking is available in the large 24 hour public car park 200 yards away in Paradise Street.

For further details contact the Catering Manager The Athenaeum, Church Alley Liverpool L1 3DD Tel: 0151 709 7770 Fax: 0151 709 0418 Web: www.theathenaeum.org.uk E-mail: info@theathenaeum.org.uk

– we don’t do ordinary! call lynda for an informal chat and begin to experience our different approach

- by appointment only Tel 0151 677 2168 Mobile 07774 792699 Email enquiries@lyndaflora.co.uk

www.lyndaflora.co.uk


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Flowers ◆ Confetti

looming BMarvellous

Laura Davis helps you choose a bouquet that coordinates with the rest of your plans for the big day

Seasonal flowers It is important to make sure you choose flowers that are in season around the time of your big day, otherwise you will find them difficult to get hold of or more expensive. Winter flowers range from deep, rich colours or fresh whites and pastels. Roses are a popular choice, as well as lilies, orchids and winter jasmine. Many Christmas brides like to include an element of festive greenery in their bouquets, such as ivy or holly complete with blood red berries. Autumnal blooms range from late summer Micklemas daisies to the more traditional choices of roses. A more unusual bouquet could include the brightly coloured catkin-style flowers of the

amaranthus, more commonly known as love-lies-bleeding. Spring bouquets tend to be filled with fresh hues, from pastel lilacs and blues to the vivid yellow of primroses or daffodils. Shades of white, such as apple blossoms or honeysuckle, are also available at this time of year. A simple bunch of freesia or crocus gives a sense of innocence to flower girls’ bouquets. A summer bride is fortunate to have so many different blooms to choOse from. Sweet peas, cornflowers and heathers add a splash of colour to a bouquet mainly made up of greenery, while orchids or irises are elegant on their own.

Flowers are just as much an essential part of the wedding as the cake and are a good way of stamping your own personality on the occasion. Before you start visiting florists, however, it’s a good idea to set a budget. That way you won’t set your heart on a bouquet you later find you can’t afford. Then you should consider the colour scheme, which you can follow through into the invitations, menus, table decorations, bridesmaids dresses and the ushers’ ties. Don’t forget to take a sample of fabric from the bridal gown to help match colours – this is a good tip even if you are wearing white and planning to carry a white bouquet because there are many different shades. Generally, large floral arrangements suit longer, more formal dresses and smaller bouquets work in proportion to a shorter dress. Popular shapes include a rounded posy of tightly arranged flowers and the ‘trailing waterfall’, which is a more flowing, modern design. A single flower can also make a statement at a less formal wedding. And you needn’t worry about tossing it over your shoulder if you think your bouquet is too beautiful to throw away. These days it is common for the bride to press or dry the flowers as a romantic keepsake. Top right: Versailles, esperance and Lydia spray, £79.50, from Marks & Spencer Above right: White and lime bouquet, £45, from John Lewis Left: Ivory Emma bouquet by www.rainbowweddingflowers.co.uk, price on application

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Confetti ◆ Gifts

Let friends and family give you the treat you deserve, as Emma Thompson finds a selection of wedding gifts to add to your list

Bamboo towels from LoveEco, three times more absorbent than cotton and supersoft, a perfect luxurious gift for £42.

All

Whether you’re having a fairy tale wedding with hundreds of guests or a family gathering in a beautiful setting, one thing remains the same, guests will want to know what gifts to buy. It may not be as easy as it sounds compiling a list of items your guests can buy, as nowadays many couples have been living together for a while so have all the home starter items such as a toaster and cutlery. So, have a think, but don’t be too hasty to dismiss essential home items. Wouldn’t it be nice to have luxurious bedding, crystal glasses, or a top of the range crockery set and a bale of towels you can indulge in? Nowadays, many couples have decided the best gift their friends and family can offer is to pay towards the honeymoon, or even the wedding itself. So, even if guests only have a small amount to spend on a gift they can contribute towards your dream day or holiday. Remember though, not all guests will want to give you money, so have a back-up list of gift items you would like so people have a choice.

wrapped up

Toast to the future with these beautiful glasses. Crystalline Toasting Flutes, £235, from Swarovski.

Indulge in some fine dining with this Royal Doulton Fusion Platinum and White selection with prices from £6 to £64, along with a Arthur Price Jazz wedding cake knife, £48, from Debenhams.

Something to treasure, fill this photograph album from Next, £12, with special memories.

Capture all your moments with this brand new High Definition Handycam from Sony, RRP £699.

Many guests will happily contribute towards your honeymoon as their wedding gift.

Relax under cover with this pure cotton lilac Dream Damask duvet cover, from £49, pure cotton lilac Dream Damask Oxford pillowcase £19.50 and pure silk Autograph Oxford pillowcase £29.50, from Marks and Spencer.

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Confetti ◆ Photography

Frame by

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Frame Vicky Andrews tells you how to capture a day that’s picture perfect

A moment can last a lifetime and choosing the right photographer will ensure that you can look back on your wedding day with fond memories. But where do you begin? Every photographer has his or her own style. David Bailey, Mario Testino and Patrick Lichfield – whose group shot taken at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was a lesson in getting the best out of a large family group – each developed distinctive traits which shine through in their images. The same is true of the high street photographer, so it’s important that you choose one with a style that suits your taste. You may have a preference for a photographer whose work you have seen before and this is always a good starting point. Have a look through general magazines or photography books to find the style of pictures that appeal to you. Get on the internet and start looking up photographers in your area - you’ll be able to tell a lot from their website, which should feature sample work. Many photographers rely on word of mouth so start asking around friends, family and work colleagues. Your chosen venue or caterer will probably have worked with dozens of photographers before and may be willing to let you in on some they recommend - or those to stay away from! Create a shortlist of around five photographers and compare their portfolios so that you get the style you are looking for. If you are still undecided, speak to them on the phone or in person about your requirements and this should give you an immediate feel if they are the right person for the job. Booking a wedding photographer can cost anything from £400 to £2,000 with the average cost around £850 and you may have to book up to 18 months to two years in advance. As a rough rule, you should put aside 10% of your wedding budget but remember, wedding photography is one area where you really do get what you pay for. Make sure you clarify the cost and establish what you’re getting for you money - is it just a CD of digital images or will you get a photo album? Some photographers offer a range of packages, including a video or DVD service, or little extras thrown in like thank you cards with a small photo enclosed. Apparently, the number one grumble from wedding guests is that too much time is spent standing around waiting for the photographs to be taken! Wedding photography often tends to be quite formulaic, however, it is like this for good reason. Your big day may cost

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Photographs by Nigel Barlow. www.barlowpics.net

Photography ◆ Confetti

thousands of pounds to organise so it’s important that the photographer doesn’t miss anything. The usual format will obviously show the groom arriving at the venue and a series of preceremony shots. When the bride arrives, the photographer’s work really begins and that expensive dress needs to be recorded in all its beautiful detail. While a photographer should never disrupt the ceremony, pictures of the exchange of rings, signing of the register or the first kiss can be stunning. Find out if your chosen venue is ok with discreet photography if not, a good photographer can still capture that special intimacy with shots taken from a distance. The default set of wedding party photos usually consists of the bridal party, the parents and families which should only take about 10-15 minutes and cover all the most important guests. But you don’t have to have group and formal shots taken if you don’t want to, and many photographers specialise in a more reportage style of natural shots taken as the day unfolds, producing lively images and an uninterrupted schedule for your guests. Or you might choose somebody who skillfully blends both classic and modern styles of photography to capture the atmosphere, emotion and fun of the day. The reception is a perfect time to snap the wedding party and guests as they let their hair down - not forgetting that magical first dance for the happy couple. For more informal and spontaneous photos you could also put some single-use or instant cameras around the guests tables. Whatever you want for your big day needs to be agreed with the photographer in advance. Let him or her follow your lead, not the other way round. Your wedding is a day that will never be repeated but, with the right photographer, you can capture those special moments forever.

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Confetti ◆ Transport

Arrive in style

If you don’t want to turn up at the church on a bicycle made for two it’s time to start choosing transport, says Laura Davis Whether you want a fairytale journey, like Jordan in her Cinderella wedding carriage, or would prefer to keep it simple a la Billie Piper, who walked to her ceremony in January, transport is one of the many important details of the big day. Traditionalists may go for an oldfashioned car, such as a Rolls Royce or Bentley, while more modern brides could arrive in style in a helicopter if the budget and venue allows. There are horses and carriages for the romantic and there’s always a tandem for the eco-conscious! Things to consider include distance from home, the number of people that need to be ferried about and how good access routes are to the location – it’s no good planning to ride in on a white horse if the only entrance to the site is directly off a motorway slip-road. If you live near the wedding venue, you may get away with just one vehicle, which can do more than one trip to drop off the bridesmaids and mother of the bride before returning to collect the bride. If the reception is being held at some distance from the church or register office, it may be advisable to also arrange some form of transport for the guests. When hiring a car, make sure

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thecompany you borrow it from has a replacement just in case it breaks down and the groom starts worrying about wheather he has been stood up. Check there is enough room inside to fit your dress, some vintage models are very restricted on space and could be problematic if you have gone for an enormous train or if the fabric is easily creased. You should also consider how you want your choice of transport to be decorated – with ribbons or flowers for example – and what you would like the chauffeur to wear.


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Food and Drink â—† Confetti

Foodglorious food A formal breakfast or a light buffet, wedding catering is your decision, says Emma Johnson

It is going to be one of the biggest expenses but after the bride's dress and the moving vows, the food and drink is also going to be the thing that guests remember the most. While traditionally the ceremony is followed by a wedding breakfast with a Champagne toast and then an informal buffet in the evening, these days the rules on food are not as strict as they used to be. Everything goes, you could have a formal sit-down banquet or, if you are getting married late in the day, you might just opt for canapes. You could have a buffet or even serve up fish and chips like Steven Gerrard and Alex Curran did at their celebrity nuptials. It really is up to you and your budget. How much you want to spend is going to dictate the sort of food you offer your guests. If you are on a limited budget then caviar and salmon starters followed by roast pheasant and chocolate souffle with lashings of pink champagne is going to be out of the question. Generally 40% of the wedding budget will go on the reception, so it is worth bearing that in mind and choosing accordingly. And, while you may think it more important to splash out on a great band or fabulous table decoration, if your guests go home hungry they won't remember the incredible ice sculptures, only their rumbling tummies. Whether you do go for a buffet or a three-course meal, or both if it is a long day, chances are that your guests will be more impressed with something simple but substantial than they will with the fiddly and fussy. What sort of food you plan to have at the reception will affect everything from the venue you choose to the number of people you are able to invite, so it is one of the first things you need to consider. If you do decide to go for the formal sit-down meal followed by a buffet then you need to choose a menu that will please you and your family and friends. This doesn't mean it has to be dull but remember, it pays not to go too crazy with the dishes on offer. Shellfish is usually a no-no because of allergies, as is pork (because of religion) and remember spicy dishes won't be to everyone's tastes. If you don't want to limit people's dining choices you could offer more than one main course and mention this on the invitations and you must remember to check if you have any vegetarian guests attending and make sure there is an alternative for them. Most of all, when it comes to the food, start planning well in advance, have lots of meetings with your caterer and be sure that they know exactly what it is you want.

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Confetti ◆ Cakes

Sweet dreams Michelle Rushton meets leading wedding cake designer, Sophie Constable

Sophie Constable is enjoying the taste of sweet success. For the owner of Daisy Hill Cake Company in Wirral is celebrating her recent win at the northern finals of the Wrapit Wedding Industry Awards and is preparing to enter the finals at Claridge’s in February. But it’s hardly surprising. Her wedding cakes are nothing short of spectacular, combining elegant bespoke design with the finest ingredients. Her showroom in Thornton Hough is a delicious dreamland of confectionery masterpieces where towers of smooth white icing like freshly fallen snow, adorned with delicate petals, mingle with giant chocolate fortresses you could dive headfirst into. And her designs are sought after throughout the UK from Scotland down to Devon. It’s a dream come true for Sophie, who only recently ventured into the world of wedding cakes. She explained: “Working as head of business development in London for a national healthcare provider, I decided to take a career break and learn some new skills.” Moving to Paris, Sophie trained as a patisserie chef at the Cordon Bleu Academy, graduating with Le Grande Diplome. But it wasn’t easy: “Training was intensive and was similar to the conditions in Hell’s Kitchen! Anyone who couldn’t swear in French before they started training was fluent by the end of week one!” she laughed. Sophie then gained a world-recognised qualification in decorative cake art in Chicago before returning to Thornton Hough where she launched the Daisy Hill Cake Company. “I opened the business in May 2006 – without a single order! We now create up to 12 wedding cakes per week and are opening a second showroom in Manchester soon which is really exciting,” she revealed. Each cake Sophie creates is completely unique, taking up to several weeks to complete. She explained: “Everything I do is a one-off – there’s no brochure. “We ask brides to bring us invitations, fabric swatches, details of their dress and the menu etc so we can design a centrepiece that will be the focus - and talking point - of the reception.” Sophie has created some really stunning and unusual cakes, but when asked which are her most memorable, she replied:

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“The cakes that spring to mind include a six-tier chocolate cake covered in edible gold with each tier separated by fresh fruits of the forest for a high profile celebrity client - it was fabulous! “We also created a replica of Battersea Power Station for a couple who had got engaged there and were having a London-themed wedding.” Sophie is finding her range of dessert-style wedding cakes growing increasingly popular, as they double up as the dessert at the wedding breakfast. “Flavours include Chocolate Aphrodisiac Cake with Baileys Truffle Cream, Chocolate Velvet Cake with Cointreau Cream and Spiced Caramel Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream,” said Sophie who constantly experiments with new ingredients and techniques, in her quest to create the ‘wow factor.’ “Edible gold is one of our more unusual ingredients, although we have been commissioned to create four foot towers of meringues set amongst fresh strawberries, croquembouche profiterole towers stacked with fresh roses and individual chocolate truffle cheesecakes on 10-tier stands!” Looking back, Sophie is so glad she made her career change. “It is a privilege to be part of the most special day of people’s lives,” she confessed. “The highlight of my career was being commissioned by the publishers of Vogue, to create cakes for their national wedding magazine ‘Brides.’ “Seeing our cakes in print alongside the most well-known London cake makers was a great feeling!” For more information, contact Sophie at The Turret, Thornton Hough, Wirral, on 0151 353 0111or view her creations at www.daisyhillcakeco.com.


Confetti Ad pages:Confetti Ad pages

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Confetti ◆ Honeymoon

Heavenly honeymoons Laura Davis takes you through the top 10 most popular destinations of 2007 When the big day is over there’s no need to feel a sense of anti-climax because, of course, there’s the honeymoon to look forward to. Honeymoons these days have come along way from a weekend in a B&B in Bognor. There are many specialist holiday companies ready to cater for everything from an African safari to a couple of weeks on a Spanish beach. Some couples prefer to fill their fortnight away with lots of shared activities, while others are looking for a picturesque location where they can simply enjoy spending time in each other’s company. Independent holiday company, Travel Counsellors, has produced a list of the most popular destinations that happy couples booked in 2007.

Thailand

Dubai

not enough to sway you, If the incredibly designed hotels are sunny weather. and dry ed ante Dubai also offers guar rious side, with the luxu the on itely defin is n Accommodatio a billowing sail. The like world’s tallest hotel designed to look ently under curr is l hote ry world’s first underwater luxu will include that ent lopm deve n £15b construction, as is a urants. resta 1,500 Dubailand theme park, 30 hotels and

Singapore

of is is a melting pot s Raffles Hotel, th alaysia and M , ina Home to the famou Ch ing lud from countries inc different cultures n chewing gum is ibly clean city – eve red well as India. It is an inc bars and shops as s stunning hotels, banned – and boast es. erv orest and nature res being close to rainf

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With turquoise sea s and beaches just begging to be sunb on, Thailand has be athed come one of the mo st popular holiday destinations in rec ent years and tour ist facilities have im as well. The largest proved island is Phuket, wi th ancient building parks filled with wi s, ldlife and luxury ho tels right on the san ds.

Italy One of the most romantic countries in the world, Italy is the perfect destination for a cultural trip to Rome or Venice, a shopping spree in Milan or a chill out holiday at Lake Garda. Famous for its laid-back atmosphere, gorgeous scenery and stunning architecture, as well, of course, as the delicious food, this is a great place for couples looking for a European honeymoon.


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Honeymoon ◆ Confetti

New York

Hong Kong

the capitalist, Hong Kong’s With a balance of the spiritual and been built under have fascinating commercial buildings offers plenty of It er. mast shui consultation with a feng ping yet you are not shop and king drin g, eatin opportunities for deserted beaches, are too far from the rural areas where there opportunities for and ies tuar wild walks over the hills, bird sanc dolphin watching.

Whether you want romantic strolls through Central Park, iceskating in Central Square or a mooch around the many art galleries, New York has something to offer everyone. Take in a Broadway show or a Sex and the City tour or simply enjoy spending time together in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Maldives Kenya Due to the current proble ms in Kenya it is curren tly inadvisable to travel there, despite it being a popular honeym oon destination in 2007. If you are planning far ahead how ever, and the Foreign Off ice lifts its no go advice, then this Afr ican country provides breath taking safari experiences and startlingly beautiful beaches.

Mauritius

les who want a This beautiful island is perfect for coup lent watersports excel honeymoon filled with activities, with stay, the seas are ing relax e mor a facilities and golf courses. For are plenty of spas there and en, gold hes beac crystal clear and the to choose from.

Romantics will love this chain of some 1,000 tiny islands south west of Sri Lanka. A week spent here, far from civilisation, will feel like you have been marooned on a desert island but with the added luxury of a five star hotel. It’s also great for couples who love watersports, as snorkelling is one of the main attractions here.

Seychelles These tropical islands are unspolit by the tourist trade and are the picture of paradise – lush palm trees and white sand stretching into the warm blue sea. If you fancy taking in more than one destination in a single trip, you can break-up your journey home with a stop in Dubai.

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25/1/08

16:14

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28/1/08

10:44

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25/1/08

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Confetti Magazine, Spring/Summer 2008