Personalised Gifts

One of the things I enjoyed most about planning our wedding was adding those little personal touches.

There are so many things that you can customise like candles, glasses and photo frames.

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We had a candle made to commemorate our wedding. It arrived in a lovely organza bag from Can’t Get Enough Gifts. They made and despatched our candle within a matter of days.

We also had our guest book made by them.

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They are a family run business and they offer a huge range of customisable gifts.

My husband had some custom cufflinks from Gifted In Design.

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They were really good quality and were a wonderful touch on the day. They were from another family run business and we were very happy with the service they offeref and we could not have been happier with how the cufflinks looked on the day.

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Lyme Park

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Lyme Park in Stockport has a very special place in my heart.

I first encountered it on the television screen when it was Pemberley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

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Many will recognise the great house in the famous wet shirt scene from this adaptation, but dripping Mr Darcy aside, the house stands in such majestic and beautiful surroundings that I fell in love with the house as I did with the romance between Elizabeth and Darcy.

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I have been lucky enough to walk the grounds and deer park and stand in awe at the scale and grandeur of the house. It has been too many years since I was last there.

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Unfortunately, Lyme Park is not licensed for civil ceremonies, however they do offer evening marquee receptions.

I was reminded of Lyme Park as a result of watching The Awakening with my husband.

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I have always associated the house with safe romance and I’m so familiar with the house as Pemberley. However, it was interesting to see Lyme Park in a more atmospheric, spooky setting.

Wedding Memory Boxes

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You’ve had the Big Day and have collected some wonderful mementoes and cards. Keeping a wooden keepsake box, personalised with your chosen wedding photo, is a charming way to hoarde all those little trinkets like your place name cards, speeches and cards.

Read’s Creations are a family run business based in Droitwich who specialise in producing wooden keepsake boxes for all of those special and treasured occasions.

Their boxes can be customised with your own photo, text and colours.

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Keeping letters and cards make for wonderful nostalgia and I like the idea of storing those precious memories somewhere special.

For something a bit more fun and funky, they also do a modern range of boxes.

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Masquerade Ball themed wedding

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Back when I was daydreaming about castle weddings, it was very easy to take the next step to thoughts of masquerade balls.

They make some beautiful masquerade masks at Venice Masked Ball in various styles and themes for a very reasonable price.

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These masks are decadent and designed to stand out from a crowd and awaken a nostalgia for another era.

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Whenever I thought about ballgowns I was always just a mouse click away from FairyGothMother who sell sumptuous corseted prom and ball gowns.

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Just imagine matching up fabulously feathered masks with all of the decadently divine taffeta and tulle skirts.

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The Dark Angel also have some stunning dresses that would be perfect for a ball.

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As ever, I cannot rate them enough for the quality of their products and services. Their gowns are so striking and romantic.

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They also have a fantastic range of coats, capes and waistcoats for gentlemen.

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The brocades they use are gorgeous and the colours are so rich.

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The capes conjure up brilliant visions of highway men and carriages on a moonlit road.

Gothic and Medieval tiaras

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If you’re planning a Hallowe’en or Gothic themed wedding, then the perfect accent to the black or red dress is a striking and unusual tiara.

I love this bat tiara by Gothic Tiaras.

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Where wedding jewellery is concerned, I think it’s important to find somewhere that offers a bespoke service so you can customise to your chosen colour scheme.

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These tiaras would also be great for proms, balls or Hallowe’en parties.

If you’re looking for something that’s more fairytale-like, they make really pretty tiaras and accessories at Once Upon A Time Tiaras.

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They offer a bespoke service and choices of various crystal and pearl colours to match your scheme.

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Or, if you’re leaning more towards a medieval or Elvish type theme, there are some stunning tiaras and circlets that are handmade at Medieval Bridal Fashions.

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They also make stunning gowns so you could get your dress and jewellery from the same place!

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Eastnor Castle

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So, you’ve won the heart of the handsome prince, you have the princess dress. What about the fairytale castle?

Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, with views of the stunning Malvern Hills, is a dream come true wedding venue, with its dramatic turrets, lake and surrounded by trees.

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Bedrooms are grand and luxurious, several with four poster beds. Imagine retiring to this kind of setting for your wedding night. Oh, swoon!

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Eastnor is also licensed for civil ceremonies which can be held in the Gothic drawing room.

For more castle wedding venues, visit a wedding venue directory such as http://www.weddingvenues.com/

Maggie Sottero

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Long before the wedding, I spent a long time haunting various websites and designers. Amongst them was Maggie Sottero.

I loved the dramatic and striking gowns and many of the gowns are available in different colours such as diamond white and pearl which provide a gorgeous sheen.

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I knew that I was never going to feel right in a white dress and while the dresses are predominantly in the white spectrum, I was heartened that some dresses were available in more untraditional colours like red.

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Aside from my own custom made dress, the only bridal gown I ever tried on was a Maggie Sottero design.

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My experience of this dress partly inspired what would become my actual wedding dress.

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Had I opted for this dress, I would have gone for the alternative colour option which was more me.

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Maggie Sottero definitely offers the glamour and princess factor. Unfortunately, as with many couture and designer dresses, there are some poor reproductions out there so be careful. Where quality is concerned, you get what you pay for.