Top Of The Honeymoon List

Where to go on honeymoon. This is the age-old question and lots of couples don’t know where to start. They want something romantic. Something beautiful. Maybe something adventurous?  There are so many options available but here are a few that we love to help you get the ball rolling!


So it’s not new information but Sandals is the ultimate in luxury. You can also get some great offers too so it’s worth shopping around at places like Thomas Cook and Virgin (two places I know have done fab offers before).

For inspiration visit


Need I say more? With beautiful areas such as Capri and the Amalfi Coast, it’s perfect for those looking for a bit of romance, great food and culture.


For those seeking something out-of-the-ordinary, Japan is one of those honeymoon destinations that is truly memorable. There’s nothing quite like the bright lights and busy streets of Tokyo, but taking a trip into the more remote areas of Japan, like the Hoshinoya Karuizawa resort in the Kitasaku District is considered the ultimate escape.


For those of you who love the water why not consider going on a cruise? There are so many luxury liners nowadays that travel the world, why not look at Royal Caribbean to be inspired?

Adventure Honeymoon

Looking for a bit of adventure? Why not hire a mobile home and travel America? Or go on safari? Or for those of you who don’t mind the cold, maybe go skiing or on a Polar expedition to the Arctic?

Closer to Home

If you want to stay a bit closer to home why not look at Snowdonia or Devon – great places to hire cottages and go exploring. There are also some fantastic luxury hotels around if you’re looking for a bit of pampering.

Get in touch with Weddings by Rachel to help your wedding dreams come true. Contact us today.

2012 Trends

2012 is really upon us and, being half way through January already, it’s time to look at what’s hot for this years weddings.


As we approach 2012, the trends seem to be shifting toward more understated weddings, swapping large numbers of guests to their closest friends and family. This is allowing brides more budget to play with to ensure that they are getting exactly what they want and not having to compromise in other areas.

Green Brides

Many brides are giving up traditional wedding planning and opting for a green wedding, choosing locally grown flowers, recycled invitations, and repurposing old items to become centrepieces has become a popular style.

Not all brides are going for a totally green wedding, but many are including small touches like donations to environmental charities in their guest’s names as their wedding favours or registering for eco-friendly honeymoons.

Think Outside the Church

More and more couples are opting to be married in a location other than a church.

Outdoor weddings and weddings in interesting locations have become a popular way to make your wedding stand out, including the famous hotel civil ceremony.

If you are traditional and would like to use a church, why not look to have your reception in an unusual place like a museum or park? Often these types of spaces provide their own decoration and ambiance, and the cost of decorating is minimal.


The 2012 bride is budget conscious and ready to do a few things herself.

More and more we see brides printing invitations, writing place cards and creating centerpieces themselves. If you have the time, and the talent, virtually everything in your wedding can be home made. Although a totally DIY wedding is possible, it’s not always practical.

If you are looking to be a DIY bride don’t opt to do it ALL yourself. Look to do one or two smaller projects such as wedding stationery, or, if you’re not very crafty, look at putting together playlists for the DJ.

Also, I can’t stress enough how important it is to look at non DIY options, especially with things such as centrepieces. More often than not it can work out more expensive to do them yourself so do shop around before you commit.

Dessert Tables

These are becoming really popular. Instead of just traditional wedding cake or a dessert brought in a three-course meal manner, why not do a buffet style dessert table, allowing guests to have a little bit of everything?

Alternatively, try having a completely different wedding cake – such as a croquembouche, such as this one from Zucchero Patisserie. It can be served as dessert and will be a great talking point.

Metallic Cakes

Okay – I know how it sounds, but, how beautiful are they? Although I haven’t had the pleasure of doing a wedding with one yet they are becoming huge in America so are set to be a great trend over here too!

Statement Necklaces

They’re in! If you’re going for a strapless dress and want to make a statement, pick a big necklace to draw the attention back to your face. And, it’s a great chance to get a bit daring! We love this necklace, ‘Brooklyn’ from Tiger Lilly.

Get in touch with Weddings by Rachel to help your wedding dreams come true.

2011 Celebrity Weddings

We take a look at some of the biggest 2011 celebrity weddings for some inspiration for this year!

The Royal Wedding

Okay, okay, this one was a given – however, you still can’t help but love it! Everything was pretty much absolutely perfect. The ring, the dress, the venue, the guests…

For sheer elegance and absolutely everything you can dream of, use Will and Kate for inspiration. Maybe try adding your own twist to it too – for example, what’s your favourite family cake? Incorporate that. Or maybe mix it up a bit by adding a splash of colour.

Photo from Daily Mail

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince

Kate went truly vintage with a stunning dress and headpiece. Think very outdoorsy and lots of flowers to recreate this supermodels wedding. Kate and Jamie had a marquee in the grounds of their home and used lots and lots of roses to decorate.

She also stuck with lots of natural colours, such as creams, browns, golds etc. to enhance a vintage style.

Photo from Binside TV

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Okay so it didn’t end well. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a beautiful wedding.  The wedding was styled black and white, with guests keeping with the theme. Kim dressed up her bridesmaids in white Vera Wang dresses and they had an enormous wedding cake.

However, don’t be disheartened if you don’t have their budget (who does?) and don’t feel the need to make your bridesmaids dress in white. What about black dresses with white sashes and flowers? Add in show chandeliers and a black and white dance floor and you’ve got yourself a great wedding day.

Photo from Wakey Wakey News

Lily Allen and Sam Cooper

Lily also opted for vintage inspired for her wedding day, using lace on her dress and a full length veil to create a very romantic and traditional look. She had a modest bouquet for her church wedding and invited about 100 of her nearest and dearest. This one seems very close to home and is the way a lot of brides are going this year.

Photo from US Weekly

Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth

Reese looked outstanding in a pale pink wedding dress (nice to see a bit of colour being brought in here). Guests commented on how relaxed the wedding was with a true ‘family theme’. Reese’s daughter was maid of honour in her own custom made dress, ensuring that the nearest and dearest had very important roles. Reese and Jim’s first dance was to Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love and, in true celebrity style, Reese did have a dress change during the reception.

Photo from My Fashion Life

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

The second royal wedding of the year didn’t get quite as much hype, but that’s not to say it wasn’t just as lovely. Held in Edinburgh, Zara looked outstanding in a Stewart Parvin creation and from the sounds of it, it was one heck of a party, with the groom not getting back to the room until 2pm the following day! So for a true family party, consider Zara and Mike for your celebrity inspiration.

Photo from Daily Mail

Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell

This was a very small and intimate wedding with Nancy wearing a demure ivory knee-length gown, designed by Paul’s daughter Stella. Nancy also carried a very small bouquet of multi-coloured roses. The reception was in a marquee at their home and consisted of enough flowers to fill 2 vans and an awful lot of champagne.

Photo from Daily Mail

Did any other weddings give you inspiration? If so, we’d love to hear about it.

Get in touch with Weddings by Rachel to help your wedding dreams come true. Contact us.

Illusion Necklines

So the verdict is in…and so are illusion necklines which are making a big hit in 2012 weddings. You may ask, what is an illusion neckline? Well, Kate Middleton had one. Her upper body and shoulder area was covered in a delicate lace and many dresses are set to follow in this style, even if it’s sheer chiffon just for a bit of coverage.

I am a big fan of Monique Lhuillier’s spring 2012 collection, in particular the design ‘Lina’, which features crystal embroidered tulle over Chantilly lace.

Luxury UK designer Caroline Castigliano hit the jackpot with this masterpiece, Annabelle.

Closer to home, Cardiff based designer Angela Pitcher-Dowdell from Blue Bridalwear has designed Summer Rose, which is a tea length silk dupion gown with a whisper of Chantilly lace to prettily cover your shoulders and arms.

This beautiful success is slightly more unusual. Designer Victoria Jane has created ‘Italia’, which is a stunning strapless dress with a Tulle tunic to cover it, giving you the best of both worlds!

And finally, another one that I absolutely adore is Palace, by Pronovias.

Don’t forget to get in touch with us if you need some help planning your wedding or some support in a specific area.

So, another year ahead!

For a lot of you this will be a very exciting time. 2012 is the year you are getting married and since the New Year you have been able to say ‘I’m getting married…THIS YEAR!’.

To be honest, there are a lot of newly engaged couples who are also planning on getting married this year with quick turnaround weddings becoming more and more popular. It’s understandable really, the truth is, nobody wants to wait, you just want to make sure that everything is perfect!

I did a wedding fayre yesterday and so many brides to be got engaged over Christmas, it was lovely to see so many gushing, newly engaged couples. Even the men looked thoroughly enthusiastic (a true sign of the start of wedding fayre season)!

For me 2011 was a great year. Busy and hard work, but great nonetheless. Last January I really started to get out there with the wedding fayres and the response was outstanding. Not being something I had done before for Weddings by Rachel it was really interesting to see the response. And great for me too – getting to meet so many fabulous suppliers and seeing the same faces again and again allows you to build up great relationships with people.

Then there’s the brides and grooms! Is there anything more fun that talking to a couple about their visions, helping them to create the perfect wedding day and pulling it all together? I was part of some great weddings last year of all shapes, sizes and styles and there are a lot more to come in 2012 and onwards. Very exciting!

As much fun as my job is, it is not usually one for a fast turnaround. A lot of brides are still taking about a year (maybe more) to plan their weddings and so weddings that come to me in 2011 might not be getting married until 2013! In fact, in July 2011 I had an enquiry for 2015 – and I just took on a 2014 bride. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting – I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Then late last year I was awarded with two awards at the inaugural Welsh National Wedding Awards. I was lucky enough to win the regional awards for both Best Wedding Service and Best New Business Started With 2 Years. Thank you to all of you who voted to get me there – it was such a lovely honour, especially against such tough competition!

I even managed to squeeze in a quiet Christmas (well, quiet by my families standards which is not really all that quiet, but we love it anyway) before kicking off 2012 with a wedding fayre at the Wales Millennium Centre yesterday, which had a fantastic turn out.

So here’s to 2012 – let’s hope its even more fun than 2011 and, for those of you getting married this year or starting to plan your weddings, think about having a wedding planner – you may find it’s the best thing you ever do!

To find out why to hire a wedding planner, click here.

Weddings by Rachel offer completely free, no obligation consultations to discuss your needs. To book a free consultation, call 07522 447546 or click here.

Getting the Most Out Of a Wedding Fayre

Wedding fayres are fabulous events where you can meet suppliers and discuss their services and your wedding with them. However, they are often busy and it can be difficult to know what you need to do to get the most out of going.

  • Consider what you want to get from the day. If you are newly engaged this may be the first real step you have taken to planning your wedding, so it may just be a time for looking at what is available rather than making any firm decisions at this stage. Or perhaps you are further down the line with your plans and this is the time you want to get things booked
  • Having a list of items you still need to arrange, such as cakes, photographers or bridal wear, is really helpful because you can then use your list to make sure you speak to all the suppliers you need to
  • Take someone with you. Going as a couple is best but if you can’t then take mums or bridesmaids. It’s always good to have someone with you that you can talk to about ideas and that might spot something that you haven’t
  • Have a camera handy, even if it’s on your phone. This is great to do because if you see something that you love and go back to the supplier later, you can show them exactly which one of their designs that you liked
  • Writing things down is really beneficial. Take a pen with you and possibly a notepad. After you have had a chat with a supplier, write down anything that you want to remember so you don’t get overwhelmed and forget any great ideas
  • Lots of suppliers offer a discount if you book at a show so take advantage and save a few pounds where you can. If you know that a particular supplier will be there it is always worth waiting to see what offers they will have at these type of events
  • Always ask questions!  Industry suppliers have a wealth of knowledge and are always happy to share their experience and ideas with you
  • Be open to new ideas – you may see products or services that you had not even considered. There are often products that are new to the market at wedding fayres giving you a glimpse of the latest ideas and innovations. And don’t assume that something isn’t for you – do talk to suppliers to see what they can offer you
  • If there is a fashion show at the fayre decide on a time to attend. A good tip is to get there 10 minutes early to get a good seat. Several bridal companies will often be involved in the show, so have a piece of paper handy to jot down your favourites items. Once the show is over you can visit their stand to ask about a particular item and even arrange an appointment at their shop where you will receive individual attention
  • Be patient, if a particular stand is very busy but you know that you are keen to talk with them go for a coffee and come back when things are a little calmer. Don’t miss out on an opportunity for an offer
  • You will probably be walking around a lot so make sure you are comfortable. Comfy clothes and shoes are a must to keep you focused on nothing but planning your wedding

Come and talk to us at future wedding fayres to see the services that we can offer. Want to know where we’ll be? Click Here.