Category: Inspiration

25
Jan

Fun Canapés For Your Drinks Reception

It’s so important to feed your guests properly throughout your wedding celebrations – because let’s face it, who’s happy on an empty stomach? There are so many different functions throughout your celebratory week,  (or maybe even month) but one of the most important, is perhaps the cocktail hour before your wedding reception, where there should be no cutting corners at all. It all kicks off with your Hors d’Oeuvres, sliders or canapés or whatever you wish to call them. They may be small, but trust us, your guests will love you for them. Think outside the box when it comes to presentation to give your guests the perfect welcome. Here are our top 5 delicious small-bites to give you some inspiration:

1. Street food snacks

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Take your guests on a journey and stop bang in the middle of the rustic streets of India. Whether you opt for spicy chana jor garam or masala cashews and peanuts, serve these finger-licking snacks in newspaper cones to give your guests the authentic Mumbai experience.

2. Martini papri chaat

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Serve mouth-watering papri chaat in clear martini glasses if you are looking to add a bit of sophistication and glamour to your drinks reception. Even 007 would find it hard to say no to this delicious appetiser.

3. A bit of British

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If there’s one thing us Brits love, it’s our fish and chips. Complemented with salt and vinegar, serve in rustic local paper with wooden forks to give your guests that true British seaside experience. Perfect for an outdoor summer wedding.

4. Poppadum scoops

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These mini poppadums are a great way to add a bit of fun to your drinks reception. Top with your personal favourite pickles and chutneys from mango to chillies, these canapés will go down treat with your guests.

5. Skewers

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When it comes to skewers, anything goes and the choices are endless. Bring more flavours and colours by serving a selection of skewers from tandoori chicken to grilled vegetables accompanied by mint raita, there’s something for everyone.

 

(Images: Pinterest)

 

 

21
Jan

Alternative Wedding Favour Ideas

We often find our couples in a bit of a pickle about what to offer to their guests as a favour. They know they want to give out something, they just can’t seem to decide on exactly what. You see, no bride wants her carefully thought-out wedding favours forgotten or left behind, and long gone are the days of thanking your guests with organza bags filled with sugar-coated almonds (yikes!). These days, anything goes, but remember to choose something that is in keeping with your theme, reflects your personality and will be adored by your guests. To help you make this all-important decision we’ve handpicked 5 of our favourite wedding favour alternatives to give you some inspiration.

 

1. Lollipop macaroons

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Fun, colourful and delicious – everyone loves macaroons. Choose from a selection of flavours and colours to suit your theme and present with a customised sleeve to add a bit of personality. Perfect for any couple looking for a sophisticated, yet nonchalant wedding favour.

 

2. Mix-tapes

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Remember waaaaaaaaay back to the mix-tape days? Create a CD of your favourite songs that tells your story as a couple or memories of your single days for your guests to take away. This gift will be sure to leave your friends and family reminiscing of all those good times. The key to this favour is all in the presentation – go one step beyond the plastic cover and design your very own pretty music label that works with your style.

 

3. A bit of bubbly

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Miniature bottles of champagne – it would be rude to say no! Spoil your guests with a bit of sparkle and they will obsess over these for the entire night. Pop-open these miniatures during the speeches making it the most luxurious favour of them all.

 

4. Lego men and women

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A personal favourite of ours! Whether your bridesmaid reminds you of Wonder Woman or your best man is Darth Vader obsessed, there’s a Lego man (or woman) for all your guests. A truly thought-out wedding favour that can reflect each guest’s personality, both adults and children will love this.

 

5. Midnight snack

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Who doesn’t love wedding favours that involve food? Once the dinner has been served, the bar emptied and the last song of the night played, treat all your guests with a midnight snack hamper before they leave. They’ll need it after showing off all their moves on the dance floor. Ideal for couples wanting something practical yet delicious.

 

(Images courtesy Pinterest)

19
Jan

2016 Bridal Trends: India’s Biggest Designers Reveal Their Fashion Tips

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of catching up with some of India’s most highly regarded fashion designers thanks to our friends at Aashni & Co. And because we always love to keep our brides updated with whatever is happening in the world of weddings, we put some very important questions out there to those who are practically ruling the fashion scene – and here’s what they had to say:

 

 Sabyasachi – ‘Desi is the new cool’

Sabyasachi

Ok, firstly we just have to say that the mere fact that we got to share the same room as this man was just incredible, so to actually be standing next to him and to have been given the opportunity to ask him questions was a complete privilege (he’s like the Vera Wang of bridal fashion in case you didn’t know). We asked him what the biggest bridal fashion trends in 2016 were going to be and what he said just might surprise you.

“I think tradition is going to be the next big thing in Indian fashion. That’s what the Internet’s done to you; when you get easily connected to the whole world you want to go back to your own roots to identify yourself and say; this is who I am.”

While we could’ve spent hours talking fashion with him, we took away something truly important – don’t be ashamed of who you are, but actually, own it and be proud of your heritage – how’s that for wedding advice?!

 

Manish Malhotra – ‘Everyone has their own story’

Manish Malhotra

He is without a doubt one of the most celebrated fashion designers in the country. Whether it’s Katrina Kaif or Kareena Kapoor, they’re all fans of his work and rightly so. He’s a designer who’s spent years working in the Bollywood film industry as a stylist prior to launching his own line so he knows exactly what it takes to achieve a full-on glamorous look for your day. We asked him how a bride should decide what to wear.

“Everyone has their own story. Whether it’s a resort wedding, winter wedding or a cross-cultural wedding, every story has it’s own place. I’m interested in the bride’s makeup, hair, jewellery and everything else. It’s not about selling your gown but about being part of one of the most important days of their lives.”

This is perhaps one of the most crucial lessons you can take away when choosing your outfit. You need to take into consideration the setting and style of your event, the time, the country and even your own personality. Everything needs to be in keeping and this is what Manish Malhotra focuses on for his brides – helping them to achieve a gorgeous and complete look.

 

Anju Modi – ‘Personal characteristics play a strong card’

Anju Modi

Echoing our previous designer, Anju Modi spoke to us in great detail about how you need to focus on your own traits and your own personality when choosing an outfit. This is exactly what she had to do when she created the much talked about, award-winning look for Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani. It’s the look she’s constantly being asked to replicate by her brides, and even though her collection is full of long layers and sharaaras, she spoke about where fashion is heading.

“The beautiful rich heritage fabric of our country is coming forward and we are bringing it back with different combinations. We then have the challenge of finding the right balance, embroidery, layering, flare and so on.”

If there’s one woman who knows how to make historical looks rock it’s this lady! She again reinforces the idea that tradition is here to stay and can look modern and chic so don’t hide away from it. Whether you opt for Banaaras or Gujarat, everywhere has something special to offer – it’s about bringing it together the right way.

 

Masaba – ‘Brides are taking the unconventional route’

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Masaba does unconventional and she does it the best. She is not afraid to experiment and be bold – and actually what happens to be rare for a designer – admit to occasionally making a bad decision. But, this is what makes her so relatable to the modern bride. Having recently got married last year herself, Masaba was able to give us some real-life advice which we can pass on to those of you searching for your perfect look.

“The biggest challenge is to decide what you’re going to finally wear because there is so much stuff coming out all the time. For me, finding jewellery that matched was the biggest challenge, so I would advise the bride to actually pick her jewellery first and then choose the outfit accordingly – that’s my tip.”

We were quite surprised by Masaba’s revelation as we’d never even dreamed of advising a bride to go down this route, but actually, thinking about it – makes so much sense. If you’re spending a lot of money on real jewellery then of course it’s got to be just right – and sometimes even decent artificial jewellery is hard to find. What she also happened to reveal was that British brides happen to take the more conventional, traditional route when shopping for their weddings compared to their Indian counterparts – So girls, take a leaf out of Masaba’s book and don’t be afraid to try something new!

 

Anamika Khanna – ‘Avoid doing too much’

Anamika Khanna

Anamika Khanna was actually the final designer we caught up with, but by no means the least. This lady has taken the industry by storm and knows what she’s talking about, she was after all the first female Indian designer to display her collections at Paris Fashion Week and was offered an exclusive contract by Harrod’s post her participation in London Fashion Week. Her global experience means she knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. So, if you want to know what to avoid, read on.

“A lot of brides in their quest to look their best for their wedding day tend to look so full on. They forget that on the day they’ll have excessive jewellery, perhaps a nose ring, which they haven’t worn before, or something like a tika on their head. With their var-mala and often excessive makeup you sometimes end up looking at everything but the face of the bride.”

It may sound harsh to begin with, but we love Anamika’s openness and blunt honesty. Please take note of what she has to say because it’s so very true. Remember you don’t need to be full on bling on your wedding day to look your best. Sometimes, a simple chic outfit can look just as good. It’s all about finding the right balance. If you feel uncomfortable, then trust us, you’ll probably look it on the day too.

And there you have it, expert advice from India’s very best. If you’ve got any tips of your own that you’d love to share with us then leave a message below or send an email to enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

photo credits: Adnan Qazi

18
Jan

10 Shades Of Red: Find Your Bridal Lipstick Match

Every girl needs a classic shade of red in her makeup bag – especially during shaadi season! Whether your beauty icon is Marilyn Monroe or Madhuri Dixit, Adele or Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, we’ve got it covered. We’ve handpicked 10 of the best red lipsticks on the market that will instantly transform you from girl next door to glamorous diva.

What you need to look out for:

Darker skin tones – Look for deep, rich colours like burgundy or warmer brick tones. Tip: Avoid coral reds with blue undertones

Medium skin tones – Pink reds will work well with your complexion and go perfectly with those golden undertones. Tip: Don’t go too dark

Lighter skin tones – Look for coral reds to add a shot of colour to your face. Tip: Stay clear of orange-based tones.

10. Revlon – Fire & Ice

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Our list kicks off with an easily accessible and equally affordable lipstick which is suitable for most skin tones. Giving off a truly classic vibe, this range by Revlon also boasts SPF 15 protection and a nourishing vitamin E and avocado oil complex. Ticks most of the boxes we say.

9. Burberry – Military Red

Burberry
This is lightweight, buildable and so comfortable to wear, but yet so very bold and beautifully British. This shade would work great for brides looking for a slightly quirkier look, who are not afraid to experiment and step away from the norm.


8. Dior – Trafalgar

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Again for those girls who aren’t afraid to be bold. This punchy, powerful and actually, all-round brilliant shade of red comes with a hint of orange. Works best for those looking to create a stylish statement alongside a simple, sequin-free outfit.


7. Lancôme – Rose Boudoir

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Promising to last 6 hours, this pink-y-coral shade is perfect for those with lighter skin. It would work well for a cocktail party or pre-wedding sangeet and has such a feel-good summery vibe, that you’re sure to fall in love with it instantly. Match with lighter outfit shades and minimalist eyes.


6. Nars – Heat Wave

Nars
While lots of people are still coming around to the idea of Nars, we are big fans. This bright orange-red hue comes with a modern matte finish that is sure to create a striking look. Will look great on those with darker skin and is best paired with soft, natural-looking eyes.


5. Rimmel – Deep Scarlet

Rimmel
Kate Moss is the nation’s ultimate stylish diva and boy does she wear lipstick well (ok she wears anything well but you know what we mean!). Her own range of colours for Rimmel are fabulous. Not only do they look great on, but they won’t break the bank either. Shade 1 is so old school Hollywood.


4. Bobbi Brown – Red Carpet

Bobbi Brown

This creamy matte lip colour will feel effortlessly light on your lips all day. The bright red is great for a more subtle look during the day and can be layered on to give you a more glitzy look for the evening.


3. Estée Lauder – Red Ego

Estee Lauder
Definitely one of the most underrated brands out there. Whenever you’re unsure just go to Estée Lauder we say. This hydrating formula will not only transform your lips, but your whole look. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of attitude – you go girl!


2. Chanel – Pirate

Chanel
We love Chanel. We just love everything about the brand and this lipstick is no different. This classic blue-toned red is great for those with golden skin tones. This chic colour will look great on any snaps and is sure to give you a shot of added confidence.


1. MAC – Ruby Woo

MAC

Of course this comes in at number 1 – it’s practically perfect! This lipstick has a fan following of its own and rightly so as it’s great for any skin tone. It’s extra matte, extra red and will last the entire day. If you’re looking for a red for your wedding day or any other day for that matter – this is the ONE.

 

If you’ve got a favourite shade of your own that we haven’t mentioned, leave a comment below or get in touch with us at enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

13
Jan

#HusbandToBe: 5 Wedding Day Duties You Need To Complete

Traditionally, when people think of weddings, they think about the bride. When it comes to supplier meetings, you can see them gushing over the bride expecting her to have the final say, or when it comes to the actual day, everyone seems all too concerned about what the bride will be wearing and seem to almost bypass the groom.

It’s kind of sad in a way but also means the bride is often overwhelmed with so much pressure that it’s up to you to stick by her side and make her feel calm. There are a few things we recommend you should never get involved with (look out for a future post), but today, it’s all about the things you should be doing to earn extra brownie points with your wife-to-be.

1. Only intervene when necessary
We recently read the most hilarious stat. Apparently being the groom means you should be aware of the 80/20 rule, which basically means 80 per cent of your wedding costs will come from 20 per cent of the decisions (The Knot). This means it’s key that you help your fiancée with the right 20 per cent. You’re going to have to think carefully and pick the right battle. When it comes to things like catering, venue sourcing and guest list, you need to have an input – when it comes to things like centerpieces, clothing and cake – perhaps let her take the lead.

2. Write your vows and speech
This is something you will have to do yourself. Of course you can always go down the route of hiring a copywriter or if you’ve invested in a quality wedding planner, he or she may be able to help. Remember, this is your job and you need to get it right. Do not embarrass the bride in front of all her guests, but maintain a balance of being sensitive, funny and all-round adorable at the same time. No pressure!

3. Pick your Groomsmen
This is the important one. When it comes to Indian weddings, traditionally the brother-in-law was chosen to be the best man with the remaining brothers and friends all pitching in. Nowadays it’s pretty much open to anyone. Don’t pick the guys who you tend to have the most fun drinking down the pub with. Choose the men who can focus on the task at hand. They need to be able to think quickly on their feet, not be beaten down by over-the-top (almost scary) aunties and most importantly have your back at all times.

4. Pick your outfit
If you pick the right Groomsmen they should be able to help you with this task. If not, perhaps take along a female member of the family who is not afraid to dish out the truth. There are so many online publications dedicated to wedding-day outfits that should give you some sort of indication – Pinterest is also a great source. But, if all else fails, just go with your gut and wear whatever you feel comfortable in.

5. Practice your first dance
This is perhaps for some people the most terrifying part of the day – especially if they’re not big on dancing. However, those drops of sweat and stomach wrenching nerves can all be avoided by simply investing in a few dance lessons prior to the big day. If you want to surprise your bride then take the lessons without her, but if you both want to perfect your moves as a couple then enroll together – which can actually work quite well as a date night in between all the craziness of wedding planning. Just remember, there’s no need to go over the top with a Bollywood-style choreographed routine – we’re not the biggest fans.

 

12
Jan

10 Classic English First Dance Songs We Know You’ll Just Love

Ah, the first dance – one of the most intimate and sweetest moments of the entire wedding day. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll have already established a song that’s unofficially ‘yours’, but if you haven’t then picking a first dance song isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Do you opt for a timeless classic and keep it safe? Or do you go with something a little off beat and different? Whatever your preference, we’ve selected a few personal favourites to give you some inspiration for that all-important decision.

 

1. Etta James – At Last

This song needs no introduction. ‘At Last’ is a classic, feel good song that will leave your guests in tears.

 

2. Jack Johnson – Better Together

For something a little more upbeat yet romantic, Jack Johnson’s ‘Better Together’ is perfect, especially if you decide on a beach wedding.

 

3. Ben E King – Stand By Me

This is a truly timeless classic and will get everyone singing along by the final chorus.

 

4. Will Young – Your Love Is King 

Originally by Sade, ‘Your Love Is King’ is the perfect jazz number, especially if you have a live band at your wedding reception.

 

5. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

A popular choice for many couples in 2015, this beautiful ballad has become a modern classic and ideal for that all-important bridal Waltz.

 

6. Leon Bridges – Coming Home

If you’re looking for a modern song that feels like an old classic ‘Coming Home’ by Leon Bridges is a great choice.

 

7. Enrique Iglesias – Hero

If you’re looking for a romantic (yet almost cheesy) ballad, this is the one for you. It’s the one song everyone forever loves (or loves to hate).

 

8. Ellie Goulding – Your Song 

This rendition of Elton John’s 70s song is fit for any royal couple. After all, it was perfect for Prince William and Kate Middleton.

 

9. Eva Cassidy – Songbirds

This isn’t your standard Waltz or Fox Trot, but a simply beautiful first dance song sure to give all your guests goose bumps.

 

10. Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight

One of the best known Sinatra songs, this swing favourite will be sure to impress.

11
Jan

Destination Wedding Guide: 7 Things To Consider Before Tying The Knot Abroad

Destination weddings are without a doubt the flavour of the season and why not?! You get to tie the knot in a beautiful location amongst a few select guests who genuinely want to be there, and you get to have a holiday at the same time. It’s practically a win-win. While many brides and grooms may fantasize about a wedding abroad, they sometimes forget to factor in the practicalities when making their decision. If you’re at the start of your wedding planning journey, then this article is a must-read for you!

1. Location
If you’re looking to get married abroad then this is the first thing you need to consider, as it will determine everything else; your theme, cost, time-frame and travel options. When choosing a location, try and pick somewhere that reflects your personal style or means something to you both as a couple, or as a family. Remember, your guests will be making a special trip to be part of your big day so think about any extra activities they can participate in and how comfortable they will be in your selected area.

2. Date
This is perhaps the trickiest part. You need to choose a time when the majority of your friends and family are free; think Easter, summer or Christmas. But, you also need to ensure this time coincides with your chosen location. You don’t want to get married during peak season when there will be crowds of tourists everywhere you go, meaning fewer hotel availability and higher prices. Yet, you also don’t want to go when it’s completely off-peak and the weather takes a dip – not to mention a lot of local vendors will shut shop to take a holiday.

3. Visit
Make sure you have the time to head out to your chosen location at least once before your wedding to secure and source venues and accomodation, and visit local suppliers. Don’t just trust the Internet when it comes to booking suppliers for your wedding, as you never really know what something or someone is like until you see them face to face. If time is an issue for you, then see number 4.

4. Hire a wedding planner
If you can’t make it down to your country before the big day or feel overwhelmed with all the planning then get help. Planning a destination wedding is twice as hard as planning a normal wedding as there are so many factors to consider. There are many local planners who specialise in destination weddings, who have great ties with suppliers abroad and will be able to do all the legwork for you. It’s worth investing in someone if you can.

5. Vet vendors
If you’re hiring a wedding planner then they will be able to meet with potential vendors on your behalf and brief you with all the details. If you don’t have a planner, you should arrange video chats with your suppliers so you can physically see what they have to offer – and it gives you a chance to get a sense of their personality and demeanor before you sign any contracts. The best option is of course to head out to your chosen area and meet local suppliers – try and take a few samples of local items you like if you want something specific. The more costlier option is to fly out local suppliers to your location however, we tend to ask clients to avoid this.

6. Budget from the word go
You need to have a clear budget in place from the word go. Make sure you are aware of the exchange rate but do be weary that this may change, so put an agreement in place with your suppliers which highlights if you are working to a fixed exchange rate or not. You also need to think about the smaller expenses you will incur on behalf of your guests such as welcome packs, their travel arrangements, any activities and food and drink (if you’re paying for this). Some local vendors may also require travel expenses.

7. Research
You need to just get out there or get on Google and do as much research as you possibly can. Brides and grooms planning their wedding now are quite lucky as there is a lot of information accessible online (Tripadvisor is great for things like this). Look at local wedding blogs, magazines and try and find out as much about the area as you can. Ring friends and family or travel agents if you have to. And MAKE SURE you know everything you need to about local marriage requirements. These vary from country to country and you don’t want to end up breaking the law.

 

If you’d like any further information or assistance with planning your destination wedding then give us a call on 0116 268 8804 or email enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

 

Happy wedding planning!

06
Jan

How To Style Your Wedding Mandap

Choosing a wedding Mandap is one of the most important parts of your wedding as it will set the tone for the rest of the décor. If you’re going to have a particular theme, this needs to be reflected through your structure. Don’t just settle for any standard design – go ahead and think of ways to make yours stand out! There are so many ways to get creative and personalise your Mandap, which is why we’ve put together the following list for you:

1. Type

Style Alternative Mandap

When it comes to Mandaps there are so many different ranges to choose from. You can opt for a traditional wooden carved one, a simple frame which is draped in a range of different material, go for either a four or six pillar design, or even something completely different – like an acrylic structure. Get creative and make it personal, there’s no set style guide.

 

2. Lighting 

2. Natural lighting

There are so many ways to add an element of light to your chosen design. You can opt for candles to create a romantic ambience, lanterns to give a rustic feel or our personal favourite; chandeliers which will really give your event a sophisticated edge. But, don’t forget, if you have the opportunity, then nothing beats an outdoor celebration filled with an abundance of natural lighting.

3. Walk Way

Walk Way

Sadly, we feel that the aisle way is often neglected, which is a real shame considering the huge impact it has on the overall visual appeal of any wedding. Gone are the days when it’s necessary to have a red carpet running down the middle. Instead, think chic and elegant. Go for fresh flowers or candelabras displayed on podiums on either side of the aisle. To keep the traditional, religious elements intact you can have Ganesh statues places either at the top or bottom of the aisle.

4. Finer Details

4. Finer Details

Once you’ve decided on which Mandap you’re going with, think about what you can use to enhance the design. One trend is to have items hanging down; flowers, bells and lanterns would work quite nicely. Remember, your backdrops, flooring, and ceremony items all need to look the part too.

5. Seating

Floor Seating

You need to think carefully about your seating within the Mandap and for your guests. Are you having chairs, sofas, or lower, traditional stools to sit on? The less clutter around the Mandap the better, as it will help create a calmer vibe. When it comes to your guests’ chairs – think simplicity. Chiavali chairs are the style of the season and fairly easy to source, it’ll also save your décor company a lot of time as they’re not having to put out chair covers and bows. Or, why not go old-school and get your guests to have a comfy seat on the floor filled with soft cushions?

(Images courtesy: Pinterest)

05
Jan

7 Must-Have Wedding Trends For 2016

A new year brings with it a range of new styles and trends which are predicted to take the wedding industry by storm. Impress your guests by being bang on trend with our top picks for 2016!

1. Bold Lighting

Candeliers

Lighting is so key for any event and in 2016 it’s really going to come to the forefront. This year is all about being bold. Whether you go for candles or statement chandeliers make sure you wow your guests with your lighting design.

 

2. Mix & Match Styles

Mix Match


The days where you had to pick one theme and stick to it are well and truly gone. You can go vintage-Bollywood, rustic-meets-glam or even bring the outdoor inside with pops of colour. The year 2016 is all about mixing and matching different styles and layering textures to create unexpected, bold, yet gorgeous looks.

 

3. Patterns

Patterns

Don’t be afraid to make a statement at your event whether it be your linens, plates, invitations or other stationery. While colour is making a comeback, if you really want to take things to the next level then go for patterns and layer them up.

 

4. Loose organic Florals

Loose Organic Floral

Brides want their weddings to be elegant and subtle but unfussy at the same time, which is why less structured floral arrangements are becoming more popular. Loose, wild romantic florals were big in 2015 and this trend will be carried into the new year, but enhanced with more organic outdoorsy elements such as feathers, greenery and wood.

 

5. Pre Wedding Cocktails

Pre Ceremony Drinks

Before the civil ceremony begins many couples are opting to treat their guest to some pre-ceremony cocktails to lighten the mood, helping the festivities to kick off before even taking their seats. This can be accompanied with a round of canapés or nibbles for the guests to mingle over.

 

6. Calligraphy

Cake Topper

We love beautiful hand-written calligraphy so it’s exciting to see it everywhere in 2016. We’re not just talking on the invites or paper goods, but from laser cut cake toppers to leaf place cards – calligraphy will be popping up everywhere.

 

7. Be Seated

Seating

The typical round-table seating is now being faded out with couples tending to opt for a mix of either very long, rectangular tables, or a mix of long tables, surrounded by smaller square and round tables, to create a more intimate vibe. Lounge areas are also back in, helping to create a more informal vibe for cocktail and after-party hours.

(Images courtesy Pinterest)

04
Jan

How To Pick The Perfect Engagement Ring

Hello and welcome to 2016! It’s the start of a brand new, bright year, so what better way to kick-start our blog than with a post about some shiny new diamonds?!

It is proposal season after all, and no proposal is complete without a bit of sparkle, which is why we’ve put together the ultimate guide for you (with a little help from the folks at Tiffany & Co who make us feel some serious diamond envy).

 The 4 Cs

 

The Cut:

Cut

 

When we think about a diamond cut, we think about the shapes, whether it be round, emerald, pearl or so on. However, a diamond’s cut grade is really about how well its facets interact with the light. Out of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyse.

 

The Colour:

color-grading

You evaluate a diamond on the absence of colour. For example, a chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond without any hint of colour (like a drop of water) has a higher value. The most widely accepted grading system is the D-to-Z colour-grading system, which measures the degree of colourness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.

 

The Clarity:

tiffany-co-setting-engagement-ring

 

Evaluating the clarity of a diamond involves determining various characteristics such as the number, size, relief, nature and position of the stone as well as seeing how they affect its overall appearance. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value. There are usually 6 categories, with 11 specific grades used to determine the value, with many inclusions and blemishes unnoticeable by the naked eye, which is why an accurate assessment from an expert is so important.

 

The Carat:

Carat

This is the measurement of weight. Each diamond carat is subdivided into 100 points to allow very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal. Therefore a diamond can even weigh as little as 0.25. Typically, the price of a diamond increases with its diamond carat weight, however you should remember that even two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values depending on the other Cs.

If you’re looking for someone to accompany you on your diamond shopping trip then give us a shout. We’re always happy to shop for something new and sparkly. Jokes apart though, we hope your 2016 is full of many bright and shiny moments.

21
Dec

Wedding Hashtag Etiquette You Need To Follow

Warning: If you believe all mobile phones should be hidden away during wedding celebrations and turned on silent mode then this post is NOT for you.

If however, you aren’t afraid to embrace social media and technology (which let’s face it, in the digital world we live in today, is not such a bad idea) then you should definitely be thinking about personalising your wedding with a unique hashtag. Why? Because it’s totally on trend!

During Shahid Kapoor’s wedding to Mira Rajput there was a different hashtag trending on Twitter for each occasion, whereas celebrities attending Salman Khan’s sister Arpita’s celebrations were going crazy with their hashtags on Instagram.

According to a (2014) survey conducted by TheKnot.com and Mashable, more than 55 per cent of couples used a personalised hashtag for their wedding, while figures described by other high-end wedding planners happen to suggest much higher figures.

For those of you unsure of how a wedding hashtag works, here’s a quick breakdown: The idea is that whenever someone uploads a picture from your wedding (on Instagram for example), they will use your unique hashtag – let’s use #RajWedsSimran in this instance. Whenever you click on this hashtag every single picture uploaded with this hashtag will automatically load and it’s a great way for everyone to share their memories across a single platform.

However, there are a few hashtag rules you will probably need to follow:

Research
Make sure your hashtag is unique. Do a quick search before hand to see if anyone else has used the same one as you as if this is the case, their pictures will also load every time someone clicks on your hashtag and this is something you want to avoid. If #RajWedsSimran is taken then try #RajSimranKiShaadi and so on..

Don’t go overboard
However, in a bid to be original and come up with something unique, don’t go overboard. Try and avoid any puns as they tend not to go down too well and could actually end up becoming a lifetime joke.

Publicise your hashtag
To ensure there aren’t multiple hashtags floating around related to your big day, make your guests aware of your hashtag in a subtle way. The best way is to upload a picture of yourself with your chosen hashtag ahead of the day (because you’re not going to have time during the wedding of course) – hopefully the majority of your invitees should be following you and get the message.

Don’t pressure your guests
Please bear in mind that not all of your guests will be social media savvy and some may choose not to hashtag. This is ok. Don’t irritate them by plastering your hashtag all over your event on napkins and stationery and practically everywhere else.

Take the good with the bad
Understand that if you are going to have a hashtag then you have no control over what people are posting. While the majority of your pictures will be amazing and will be a mix of pictures of you and your guests, every now and again the odd image you don’t approve of will appear. You need to be prepared for this and remember that once something is on the internet – it’s there to stay!

17
Dec

Why You Need Something Old, New, Borrowed And Blue On Your Wedding Day

You can call it superstition or a wedding-day tradition, but we love this saying that comes from an Old English rhyme; Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe. Usually a friend or relative will gift these to a bride on the morning of her wedding as a special gesture or token of love – which often results in a few tears of joy.

This is largely a British custom and the items are either worn by the bride or carried with her throughout the day. Though it’s typically something that works best for the civil ceremony, there’s no reason why a South Asian bride can’t incorporate these into her Indian wedding. Here’s how:

Something Old
This typically represents continuity and can be something precious that has either been passed down through generations, or something which belongs to an older sister, aunt, mother or grandmother.

Our pick: A pair of old gold bangles, which are likely to match any outfit.

Something New
This is all about looking forward and represents optimism for the future. Your wedding outfit can technically be classed as your something new, however it doesn’t really count as a gift, so if you want to buy something new, here’s what we suggest.

Our pick: A pair of classic earrings that can even be worn post the wedding day or a pair of beautiful anklets.

Something Borrowed
This is an emotional one as it’s usually something which is cherished but given to the bride just for the day, representing borrowed happiness.

Our pick: A cherished ring or perhaps even a traditional broach to enhance the wedding outfit.

Something Blue
Out of all the above, this is perhaps the most difficult for an Indian bride, mainly because blue tends not to match well with the usual classic reds, whites, greens and even pinks. The idea of something blue represents purity, love and fidelity.

Our pick: Perhaps blue undergarments or maybe a handkerchief for the bride to keep beside her throughout the ceremony to wipe away any tears.

The Sixpence In Her Shoe
Well this might have to wait until the bride leaves the mandap as it’s a no-shoe zone. Alternatively, she could carry a sixpence with the ceremonial coconut, but whether or not this would still be valid, we’re not quite sure.

15
Dec

Top 10 Bollywood Songs of 2015 That Must Be Played At Your Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception is a chance for you and your family to finally let your hair down and basically party the night away – you so deserve it after months of vigorous wedding planning! So, what is the key component to throwing a successful party? It’s all in the music of course. As 2015 is coming to an end, we thought we’d round up some of the year’s biggest Bollywood hits guaranteed to freshen up your playlist and ensure your guests stay glued to the dance floor.

 

Top 10 Bollywood tracks of 2015 for your wedding reception:

 

10. Dolly Ki Doli – Phatte Tak Nachna

Taken from a film all about weddings and picturised on the gorgeous Sonam Kapoor, this upbeat track in the vocals of Sunidhi Chauhan is both fun and catchy.

 

9. Welcome Back – Tutti Bole Wedding Di

Don’t focus too much on the lyrics of this song and just enjoy the music. In the vocals of Meet Bros and Shipra Goyal it’s sure to get your guests tapping their feet.

 

8. Queen – London Thumakda
This track actually released in 2014 but was still a favourite on the dance floor this year and so we just had to include it. Amit Trivedi did a fab job with this one alongside Labh Janjua, Sonu Kakkar and Neha Kakkar.

 

7. Phantom – Afgan Jalebi

Definitely the most popular track from the soundtrack and also picturised during a wedding scene, Afghan Jalebi struck a chord with the audiences as soon as it was released. Syed Asrar Shah lends his vocals to the Ya Baba version while Akhtar Channal sings on the film version.

 

6. Hero – Dance Ke Legend

This full on dance number is modern and edgy and features Meet Bros (who have had a fantastic year) and Bhoomi Trivedi. Though the film didn’t do as well as expected, this song was certainly a chartbuster.

 

5. Dil Dhadakne Do – Gallan Goodiyaan

Definitely one of the most underrated films of the year in our opinon. Exotic locations, slick styling and a string of A-listers certainly made this one appealing and this track bought all of that together. Featuring a whole host of voices including Farhan Akhtar himself, make sure you add it to your list.

 

4. Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Selfie Le Le Re

The selfie phenomenon is in full swing and Bollywood certainly used it to its advantage with this song. Of course it always helps when one of the biggest superstars on the planet is featuring in the video. Whether you like it or loathe it, it’s fair to say there was no escaping this one.

 

3. Tanu Weds Manu Returns – Banno
What a few years it’s been for Kangana Ranaut. This album was full of hits, but it’s Banno that caught everyone’s attention early on and we’re still loving it. This one features the voices of Brijesh Shandllya and Swati Sharma.

 

2. Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Aaj Ki Party

Bajrangi Bhaijaan not only dominated the box office but also the music charts. You want your wedding reception to be the party of the year, which means this track is an absolute must! And let’s face it, Mika Singh is certainly the flavor of the season.

 

1. Roy – Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan

There was no escaping this one in 2015. The film may have bombed but everyone was loving Jacqueline Fernandez looking all gorgeous and cute, but she’s not the only lady getting a lot of love. Kanika Kapoor came into her own with this one and it seems like there’s no going back for her now.

 

 

 

 

10
Dec

#ChairSwag: How To Make Your Wedding Chairs Stand Out

Chairs – they’re so simple really, and yet when it comes to wedding chairs it can be quite tricky to ensure they’re looking just right. Over the years we’ve been to plenty of events as guests, and sadly it seems like most people assume there’s only one way to dress their chairs, when in fact, it’s a great opportunity to unleash your creative side. Here are five different styling options:

1. Swept to the side

Wedding Chairs

This classic look is a favourite of ours and is complemented by the ghost chairs so well. This look will work for pretty much any theme and can be used for wedding chairs down the aisle, on the head table or even for seating for all the guests during an evening reception (though you may need to limit the bouquet to a single flower for budgeting purposes). While here it’s pink on pink, with peach and ivory, you can use bright contrasting colours if your theme is more exuberant.

2. Soft ruffles

Wedding Chairs

This look is so chic and glam at the same time and would be perfect for a vintage-glitz event – think Great Gadsby. The soft ruffles add a touch of warmth to the decor, and the plus point of covering the majority of the chair with material, is that you can really bring out the colours of your theme. The downside..more material equals more time and more money.

3. Mr & Mrs

Wedding Chairs

This obviously works best for the bride and groom but to make it more fun you could add ‘father of the bride’, ‘mother of the bride’ or ‘best man’ and so on at the head table. Alternatively, you can even use them as place cards and have each guests’ individual name written on.

4. Centre knot

Wedding chairs

This style works great with chiavari chairs as a large part of the actual chair is still visible. The long material ensures a splash of colour is added to the room while the bow on top keeps everything looking tidy and in place. With the material dangling at the bottom, it would work well for rooms with plenty of floor space.

5. The weave

Wedding Chairs 

This is perhaps the most intricate of them all and to get this right, you need to ensure you are going with a quality décor team. There’s nothing worse than having chairs all looking different to one another. This design works best with the plain coloured material and of course can only be done with chiavari chairs. If there’s not enough time to weave all your guests’ chairs then perhaps opt to do the top table, but use the same material, but different design for the remaining wedding chairs.

 

Images: Pinterest

09
Dec

Alternative Wedding Breakfast Ideas

If you’re having a traditional Indian wedding ceremony followed with an evening reception then chances are your day will be starting fairly early. If this is the case, and your guests are expected to arrive early (before 11am) then it’s nice to welcome them with a wedding breakfast. While there are always a few common choices that often prove to be popular when it comes to food, sometimes it’s nice to be a little unconventional in your approach and surprise your guests from the offset.

1. The traditional Gujarati mix

Thepla

Gathiya and jalebi served with a side of pickled chillies and fresh sambharo (spicy cabbage and carrot stir fry) is always a favourite, but often fairly common – so try and make it different with your presentation. You can also opt for other classics but give them a slight twist. You could choose mini bhakri’s with a spicy curry on top or mini rolled up theplas filled with a sweet and sour pickle, held together with a cocktail stick. Bateta poha and patra can all work equally well if presented the right way.

2. South Indian favourites

Idli

South Indian food isn’t always typically served for breakfast at weddings in the UK, which is quite surprising considering the food is so light and tasty. Mini uttapams with fillings of your choice, mini rolled up masala dhosas, or even mini medu vada would all taste delicious dipped in a spicy coconut chutney or soaked in some sweet and sour dhal. If you’re one for being healthy then go with a classic idli – and there’s no way you can go wrong.

3. North Indian delights

Chole

Parathas are loved by pretty much everyone. They can be served plain or filled with aloo, gobi or paneer and served with lashings of butter. Pair up with any sabzi of your choice or go for the much loved chole bhature. The simplicity of these dishes however means your focus must be on the presentation. Think minatures, colours and neat and tidy. 

4. Continental highlights

Waffles

Pancakes, pastries and peanut butter is what this breakfast is all about. Those with a sweet tooth will love it. Keep a selection of syrups and toppings on the side; maple, golden, toffee, nutella, chocolate and so on (you get our drift). Bear in mind not everyone wants to over indulge in sugar first thing in the morning, so opt for some classic croissants, breads or fruits to keep them satisfied.

5. British classics

Toast

Sometimes when it comes to food, it’s best to go with what you know. Though Indian weddings typically mean Indian food, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Put on a spread of different breads so your guests can enjoy some simple toast topped with butter, marmalade or jam. You could even opt for a cereal station to really stand out or pick your favourite fry up sides if you want something hot.

08
Dec

How To Enjoy Wedding Planning

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Yes, there will be times when it can get stressful and confusing, but on the whole, it’s a beautiful time which can actually bring you closer to your loved ones. Here are 7 ways to enjoy the whole planning process:

1. Hire a wedding planner
Your wedding planner will be your best friend during your wedding planning journey. He or she will help you make important decisions, give you a reality check, make sure your money is spent wisely and do all the hard work to ensure you’re left with all the fun bits.

2. Use it to bond with your girls
If you use your planning time well, it can actually be a lot of fun. When it comes to things like dress shopping why not turn it into a girls’ day out? Finish off with a champagne afternoon tea to get the giggles and gossip really going. 

3. Get the groom involved
If you can get the groom involved then it’s a win-win all-round. You get to spend time with your loved one and it also helps take the load off. Remember to make it fun. Perhaps stop over for a round of cocktails when you’re venue hunting and turn it into a date night or date afternoon.

4. Splash out
You can use your wedding as an excuse to splash out on all the latest wedding and fashion magazines. It doesn’t just stop there. Why not dig out all your favourite wedding rom-coms and get comfy with a bowl of popcorn on the sofa? It is for research purposes after all…. 

5. Eat as much as you like
Weddings are partly all about food. So whether you’re food tasting or deciding which flavor cake to go with, you can enjoy as many delicious treats as you like without feeling guilty about it. 

6. It’s your moment
It’s your big day and it’s all about you. Wedding suppliers will be going out of their way to impress you, while friends and family will be showering you with plenty of attention. Take it all in your stride and simply enjoy being the centre of attention. 

7. Think honeymoon
The world is your oyster. Yes, the focus will be on the wedding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t daydream about which exotic location you wish to soak off all those hours of work in. Once it’s booked you won’t be able to contain your excitement. 

To get in touch with us email enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

04
Dec

5 Must-Have Drinks For Your Winter Wedding Reception

Many people assume weddings are all about summertime but actually, we think some of the most beautiful weddings take place in the winter. There are so many alternative ways to theme your event during the winter, which you just can’t do at any other time of the year. A great way to start is with the drinks you’ll be serving your guests as they walk through the entrance. We’ve put together a great mix of choices for you, which are likely to be a hit all-round.

1. Signature Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate
A hot, frothy cup of chocolate is sure to be a favourite with guests – especially if it’s cold and frosty outside. Decorate with sprinkles or powder and finish off with some helpings of whipped cream and marshmallows to create a true wow factor.

 

2. Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider
If you’re in the mood for an all out party then this drink is definitely the way to go. It will leave your guests feeling refreshed and ready to hit the dance floor in no time. Decorate with winter fruits or serve with a fancy straw to add a bit of colour.

 

3. Masala Chai

Masala Chai
This classic Indian drink has been a favourite for generations back home before the high street café chains clicked on. To create a truly authentic feel serve in see through glasses straight from a rustic Indian kettle. Pair up with some homemade biscuits and just watch as your guests come back for seconds.

 

4. Cranberry Mojito

Cranberry Mojito
The vibrance of colours in this drink will catch the eye of anyone from across the room. The tanginess of the cranberry paired with the freshness of the mint creates a zesty concoction that will send a bolt of energy running right through your guests.

 

5. Mulled Cranberry, Apple and Pomegranate Juice

Mulled fruit juice
These warm fruity flavours are perfect for both adults and children. If you’re looking for something that’s sophisticated and tasty then this is the one. It’ll make your guests feel relaxed, comforted and right at home.

03
Dec

5 Wedding Cake Alternatives For Your Big Day

If you’re having a wedding reception then you’re probably thinking about what sort of cake you’ll be wanting as your big centerpiece for when you make your first entrance as a married couple. There’s so much to consider; from the flavours to the colour to the number of tiers. But, what if we told you that you don’t even need cake to create a focal point? Here are our top 5 wedding cake alternatives.

 

1. For those who like a bit of fun

Doughnut Cake
From children to adults, everyone loves a good doughnut. You can serve them glazed, sprinkle them with sweets, or ice them in any colour you wish to match your theme. A doughnut tower is sure to give your guests a burst of excitement.

 

2. For those looking for sophistication

Macaron Cake

These originate from Paris and will instantly ensure your event oozes style and elegance. They come in an assortment of flavours and colours and look neat and clean when stacked in a tower. Go for macarons if you want to impress your guests.

 

3. For those who dare to be different

Cheese Cake

Who would’ve thought of a cheese board instead of a wedding cake? But actually, it is sure to get your guests talking. Layer up a host of different tasting cheeses, dish out some figs. grapes and wine, and your guests will be having the time of their lives – admiring your creativity at the same time.

 

4. For those who want ultimate luxury

Profiteroles

Cream, pastry and dollops of warm, gooey chocolate – what’s not to love? You can even experiment with different fillings inside the choux pastry if you wish. This is definitely dessert heaven, guaranteed to satisfy those guests with a sweet tooth.

 

5. For those looking to create a relaxed vibe

Waffle Cake

Sometimes all you need is a bit of sweet. It doesn’t need to be complicated, over the top, crazy stuff – it can be something loved, comforting and easy to eat. This simple layering of waffles with syrup and fruits (don’t feel shy to go crazy with the toppings) is something your guests will love, if they’re looking to kickback and have a chilled out evening.

 

16
Sep

You’re Engaged! What Should You Do Next?

He’s finally popped the question and you’re enjoying copious amounts of fizz and chocolate. Go for it, it’s a time for celebration after all! But once word has got around and the congratulations messages have slowly stopped coming in, it’s time to get serious. Your mind is probably buzzing with so many unanswered questions that you have no idea where to start. But don’t worry, here’s our top 5 guide on what you need to do straight after you’ve announced your engagement:

1. Set a date
Have a chat with your other half, your parents and anyone else who you feel should be included in the decision making process (i.e siblings). The first priority is to set a date because everything else will follow. Once you’ve got a date in place notify your guests – which leads us on to point number two.

2. Know your numbers
Start making a guest list for two main reasons; 1) It will enable you to send out save-the-dates to everyone to ensure they keep the date free, while you work on the finer details of your big day. 2) You need to know what sort of numbers you’re dealing with when you’re conducting your venue search.

3. Set a budget
Let’s be honest, when it comes to weddings everyone tends to get carried away. We mean EVERYONE. Think about how much money you realistically want to spend and then work your way backwards. Think about the things you want to prioritise and which you’d be happy to spend more on (we tend to suggest things like venue, caterers, and any video/photographers).

4. Know your style
What kind of couple are you? Think about your style and the type of look you want to go for on the day. You might want vintage, rustic, traditional or modern chic. Don’t rule out any unconventional themes or settings. Look at all the possibilities. Think bridal magazines, blogs, websites and Pinterest. These will become your best friend.

5. Start venue hunting
Once you have an inkling of the type of setting you want, start looking at venues. This is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your wedding day, as things like timings, logistics, food etc will all be determined by the venue itself. Make a prior note of any questions you need to ask on your visit, if you have a wedding coordinator then he or she will prompt you on these and most likely accompany you on any visits.

If you have any further questions or would like to arrange a complimentary event consultation with our event experts, send across an email to enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

Team Carriages

xo