Your Wedding Dress…After The Big Day!

The age old question – what to do with your wedding dress after the big day? There are plenty of options available to you but it’s not easy to know where to go. Weddings by Rachel offer a number of free resources to help you plan your wedding, including what to do with your dress once you’re married!

You can download our leaflet in PDF format by clicking here.

Weddings by Rachel also offer additional free resources here.

Get in touch for help and advice when planning your wedding day.

Through a Brides Eyes…

One of our brides-to-be, Jenny Hanson, was kind enough to give us her perspective on buying a wedding dress – through the brides eyes. Thank you Jenny for your kind contribution. Jenny wrote:

A girl who says she has never thought about her wedding is lying. She may not have thought about the finer details but she has thought about it.

I have always known I wanted to be married and that I would want a non religious ceremony but I didn’t think I had a clue about the finer details.

How wrong I was…. here’s how it goes.

Four and a half years ago I was working in Dubai and enjoying a night at the balmy and ever so slightly glamorous Rooftop Bar at The Royal Mirage. I met a Welshman called Leigh and we ended up drinking two bottles of Shiraz. It was undoubtedly one of the best nights of my life. He was over on holiday for a week visiting his brother. We ended up spending every day that week together. I cried when he left. We Skyped often and spoke every day and six weeks later I left the UAE and moved to Wales to be with him. We shared an apartment on the water’s edge before getting a house together.

Four years later on a cold but gloriously sunny day in Cardiff he took me back to the water’s edge under the balcony of the apartment we first shared together and asked me if I would be his wife. I cried.

Shortly after this we packed up our worlds and moved to Melbourne. We booked the wedding before we left – Friday September 7th 2012 in Cardiff, Wales – his homeland. It made the move easier knowing we had such a wonderful event planned – a special time to share with our friends and family.

Leigh and I have always been organised and to a degree a little regimented with a mutual love for routine and structure. I am grateful for this because it turns out planning a wedding on the other side of the world requires somewhat of a military approach to planning and presents challenges. But it’s ok – a spreadsheet for this and a spreadsheet for that helps keep everything in perspective.

Reverting back to my original point about the finer details… turns out for years I have been storing inside my head a wedding box – and when Leigh proposed I subconsciously opened this box and discovered it contained the entire contents of my dream day. No exaggeration. The colour scheme, the menu for the wedding breakfast, the bridesmaid’s dresses, how I pictured Leigh to look, smart in a charcoal grey suit with crisp white shirt and silver grey tie… but there wasn’t a clear image of my dress…all I knew was that I did not want to look like a meringue.

So time passed quickly and I’m six months away from D Day. My Mum had said from the moment we announced we were to wed, that she would like to buy me my dress.

Me and my Mum have lived in separate countries since I was 17 years old – regardless of this we have remained very close. We speak most days, text pretty much every day and I value her opinion above pretty much everybody else I know. So early February she flew to Melbourne to take me shopping… we had three appointments booked and they were nicely spaced apart to accommodate wine before each shop! So off we went to appointment number one… a 10am at Bacinni & Hill. We were a little early so we walked past the shop to grab a coffee – stopping only to drool over a dress in the window – a little Grecian like, a healthy amount of bling and certainly nothing I’d ever a) go for and b) look good in…..

Buzzing from our coffee fix we stepped into the shop – for someone like me walking into a shop stocked entirely of dresses and nothing else (apart from accessories to go with said dresses) is beyond daunting. I knew what I didn’t want and conveyed that to the assistant. So whilst I went off and got changed in the rooms, she went off and picked some options… she returned and handed me ‘contestant number 1’… – a little Grecian like, a healthy amount of bling and certainly nothing I’d ever a) go for and b) look good in…..

From the moment I put the dress on and felt the silk georgette glide over my skin….I knew. The bling was clear to see but not a bit “Big fat Gypsy Wedding”, the way it moved when I moved made me look like I was gliding, the fitted waist and ruching showed off my good bits and covered the not so good… in a nutshell I felt like a princess.

Historically I am an impulse shopper. So there was a part of me which wanted to sign on the dotted line right there and then. Mum quickly unearthed the sensible voice in my head and reminded me the right thing to do would be to continue on to the other appointments and then decide from there. So that’s exactly what we did….Mariana Hardwick failed to impress as did another. But how can this be when their gowns are so special? Because in my head I had my dress picked… a little Grecian like, a healthy amount of bling and certainly nothing I’d ever a) go for and b) look good in…..

So we returned to Bacinni & Hill and the same assistant from earlier came bounding over to me…if I was on the cusp of a hefty sale I am pretty sure I’d have a spring in my step too. She took ‘the’ dress off the model in the window and we returned to the changing rooms to try it on one more time. It felt even better the second time round only this time round I cried. I’ll be honest – I am a softy and I cry often at anything remotely slushy. Last week whilst laying in bed I spent half an hour on YouTube watching a whole host of marriage proposals – I wasn’t howling but I did well up on more than one occasion – even at the over the top American ones! So tears were no great surprise but they were welcomed, as were my Mum’s. As a moment it was beyond special although it lasted just minutes I will treasure it forever. We both knew this would be the dress I would marry the love of my life in. All I could think of when I stood facing the mirror was what Leigh would think if he saw me in ‘my’ dress.

We did the ‘admin’ and they took measurements and then I took my Mum for a drink – a glass of champagne. Sat in the sunshine with a head full of thoughts, all I kept saying was “wow, that’s that then”.

Somewhere to say ‘I Do’

Are you looking for somewhere to say ‘I Do’? I speak to lots of couples who are looking for somewhere a little bit different to get married in and it can often be difficult to think of places to look. Here are a few of my favourite places that would be great for weddings!

Llancaiach Fawr Manor

Based in Caerphilly, this haunted manor has outstanding gardens and the staff are so helpful and friendly. Beautiful buildings and views make this venue what it is. Definitely worth a visit!

Copyright South Wales Wedding Photographers

Nash Point Lighthouse

For intimate weddings of up to 25 guests this venue is sensational. Absolutely gorgeous, picturesque and unusual, Nash Point Lighthouse is something that little bit special!

Copyright Sacha Miller Photography

St. Donat’s Castle

This is a great up and coming wedding venue in South Wales. Situated in Llantwit Major, St. Donat’s Castle is a beautiful building with great character. With sea views this is the perfect locations for the romantic bride and groom.

Copyright St. Donat's Castle

Plas Cilybebyll

Located near Swansea, Plas Cilybebyll is can hold up to 60 guests and boasts 2 acres of gardens, 2 function rooms and 11 bedrooms – all available for exclusive use allowing you your own perfect wedding hideaway.

Copyright Exclusive Use

Coal Exchange

Cardiff’s famous coal exchange is a large and versatile wedding venue which can be used to create your own perfect masterpiece. The perfect venue for something a little extravagant!

Copyright The Coal Exchange

Get in touch with us at Weddings by Rachel for help, tips, advice, support and on the day wedding coordination to help you create your perfect wedding day within your budget!

Wedding Photography Checklist

It can be difficult to know what photos you want taken at your wedding, but help is at hand. Weddings by Rachel offer a number of free resources to help you plan your wedding, including a wedding photography checklist! Just print it out and go through the list to decide which ones would be best for you!

You can download our wedding photography checklist in PDF format by clicking here.

Weddings by Rachel also offer additional free resources here.

Get in touch for help and advice when planning your wedding day.

Going Fruity!

Personally, I am a HUGE fan of Haribo double cherries, which is why I can’t stop thinking about this sweet tree from Fruity Bouquets!

But it doesn’t end there, Fruity Bouquets can do these trees with pretty much any sweets you want. These are great to double up as dessert and make such a beautiful centre piece – great if you’re looking for something a bit out there! And you don’t even have to worry about colours, for example, I love this Ferraro Rocher one for gold weddings!

Contact us at Weddings by Rachel for more tips, support and advice on planning your wedding day!

First Dance Suggestions

Are you struggling to pick a song for your first dance? Can’t agree on one or don’t know where to start? Weddings by Rachel offer a number of free resources to help you plan your wedding, including first dance suggestions!

You can download our first dance suggestions in PDF format by clicking here.

Weddings by Rachel also offer additional free resources here.

Get in touch for help and advice when planning your wedding day.

An Alternative Table Plan

I have completely fallen for this heart shaped memo board table plan, by White Crafts. For something a bit unusual or to make a statement, speak to Kelly at White Crafts – she is very helpful and as you will see from the website, has some fantastic ideas!

I particularly love this design for bringing in the blues with silver and for creating something extremely unusual which doubles as a great talking point for the drinks reception and wedding breakfast!

Visit us at Weddings by Rachel for great planning tips and advice and on the day wedding coordination. Contact us today!

Wedding Speech Templates

Are you or a member of the bridal party struggling with their speech and don’t know where to start? Well, do not fear! Weddings by Rachel offer a number of free resources to help you plan your wedding, including speech template guidelines!

You can download our first dance suggestions in PDF format by clicking here.

Weddings by Rachel also offer additional free resources here.

Get in touch for help and advice when planning your wedding day.

Weddings to watch out for 2012

2011 was a great year for weddings, but who is getting married in 2012? Which weddings are the ones to watch out for?

Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman

This lovely couple has been engaged for quite some time and although there is no date officially set we’re hoping it sooner rather than later.

Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy

Engaged in early 2011, Kate and Matthew will hopefully tie the knot in 2012 following the birth of their child in July.

Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson

Another couple who have been engaged for a while, Jessica and Eric were due to get married last year but delayed the date due to the birth of their first child.

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied

Engaged in 2010, Natalie and Benjamin are rumoured to be tying the knot this year.

Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

They’ve been together for five years and Matthew popped the question at Christmas.

Britney Spears and Jason Trawick

Britney and Jason announced their engagement in December at the celebration of Jason’s 40th birthday.

Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne

Elizabeth and Shane got engaged during their vacation in Scotland. Warne proposed with a ring worth nearly $100,000!

What weddings are you looking forward to this year and what do you think will set some trends?

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

Dominating Colour Schemes

Colour schemes are often one of the most difficult things to decide on. Especially if you are doing things such as dressing bridesmaids and ushers in it.

2012 is seeing a lot of colour with some old favourites coming back to the forefront and dominating all over again.


A true favourite for brides and, matched with silver, it makes a real statement. Use different shades to create depth in your decorations and outfits and match with flowers such as the exotic orchid Vanda, freesias and stocks.

Black and White

The impact theme! This is a real favourite for me – it is very dramatic and can really set the scene for an elegant and formal wedding. However, it is important to utilise it well. Use different linens to create the style you are looking for and incorporate black chargers and beads to create an almost theatrical look.


This is not limited. I am seeing all sorts of greens from sage and olive to turquoise and grass green. It is very popular to match them with creams and golds, or, if you want to go bold and bright, why not match with pinks for a great contrast? Green bridesmaid dresses with a pink sash look fantastic. Also, why not try hiring lots of trees to create a romantic, outdoorsy look.


Blue is making a comeback this season and also doubles up as the bride’s ‘something blue’. Why not have blue stationery – this will have a great impact on your wedding day with menus, table names and a table plan. You can do this with a blue background or blue text and mixing different shades will add a textured feel to your stationery.


With vintage being right at the top of 2012 themes it’s no surprise that naturals are very big. Golds, browns, coppers, creams and the like are well and truly ‘in’. Try incorporating the colours into your table centres, for example, why not have a copper lantern? You can always decorated with cream flowers for that added touch of opulence.

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