Downton Abbey Style Wedding

With the new season of Downton Abbey kicking off recently with a big wedding, you may be inspired to create your own Edwardian themed wedding.

In order to do this it is important to follow some essential style tips and follow in the footsteps of Downton Abbey.

First, the dress! An empire waist with lace and beading is almost essential for the Downton bride. Personally, I love this dress from Catherine Deane which is simply gorgeous made with silk satin and edged with antique silver beads and pearls.


When accessorising you may wish to look at some little lace cuffs as these are a very vintage touch. Don’t worry if you’re not fussed on wearing a veil, think about a different headpiece instead. Headwear was all the rage then so it is important to incorporate something here, but it may be a small piece if you are going for an elaborate hairstyle.

Dress your gorgeous groom in a three piece suit with tails and opt for a cravat. And opt for your little bridesmaids to match your colour.

Church weddings were the only option in Edwardian times, but if you want to opt for a civil ceremony, try to pick a venue in keeping with your theme. For your reception why not consider hiring out an old Edwardian house

Even though you’re going vintage, don’t be afraid to add colour. Keep it simple, but a splash of colour can make all of the difference. Try to work lace or feathers into the theme, but simplicity really is key here, work with the motto that ‘less is more’.

When looking at transport opt for an old Beauford. You can hire these from most local wedding transport companies and they are quite reasonable. Personally I love this one from Kennedy Classics in Cardiff.


For more ideas and to discuss how you can make your Downton Abbey wedding become reality, contact Weddings by Rachel today.

Let’s pick a date!

A big thank you to Sophie from Couture Candy for her guest blog for Weddings by Rachel!

So, you’re getting married. Congratulations!


Your boyfriend has finally proposed (or maybe you did – you go girl!), friends and family have been told, happy tears have been shed and there’s a sparkling ring on your finger that you can’t help but show off at every opportunity.


So what now?


First things first, you need to choose a date. That’s got to be simple, right? With 365 dates to choose from it can be anything but simple.  So where do you start?


Maybe you’ve already got a date is mind; the date you met, the first time you said ‘I love you’ or maybe the anniversary of your engagement. Or maybe you have absolutely no idea!


First, pick a season; Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter.  Do you want to have a winter wedding with snow, Christmas trees and shades of red, green and gold or a spring wedding with pastel colours and flowers newly in bloom? Seasons can affect the price of your wedding, with the summer months usually requiring a bigger budget, so if you’re looking for a budget wedding stay clear of the traditional wedding dates. Christmas, Bank holidays and Valentine’s day also attract premium prices and are usually booked up years in advance – be prepared for a lengthy engagement!


With your season chosen you can start to narrow down your choice of date but there are still factors to be taken into consideration. Does anyone in your immediate family have a birthday / wedding / anniversary on your chosen date? If so, it may be better to stay clear of that date to avoid clashing with anything they have planned. It’s impossible however to try and take into account the schedule of every guest you would like to attend and sadly there may be someone who cannot attend because of you chosen date.


If your friends are teachers, avoid weekday dates during school term time. Got a lot of friends who work within the financial sector? Avoid the end of the tax year to ensure their attendance.


At the end of the day however, your wedding date needs to be important to the two most important people; you and your fiancé.  It will be a date that is forever etched into your memory (well hopefully anyway – don’t want any forgotten anniversary arguments!) and it needs to be a date that you are both happy with. Whatever date you pick there may have to be some compromise if the venue you want is fully booked; which are you prepared to compromise on?


I picked Thursday 5th April 2012 as my wedding date. It was the Thursday before the long Easter bank holiday weekend which meant we got almost 18 months to plan everything, received discounts on most of the services we booked and guests got to enjoy a long weekend with us after our special day.


So for those of you who are newly engaged and trying to decide upon your date be prepared to be asked ‘Have you picked your date yet?” about 100 times every day for the first couple of months. But don’t be rushed. Everything else will depend upon the date you decide and as long as you give your guests plenty of notice of your date (send those ‘Save the Date’ cards ASAP) you’ll have everyone who is important to you sharing in your most happy of days.

Wedding planning is not for the faint hearted

Thank you to Clare from My Wedding Website for being a guest blogger for Weddings by Rachel!

Most Brides love to plan their wedding day to military precision. Myself included Christmas 2010. A number of our Guests were coming from Ireland, which left me with all the usual things a Bride has to organise, plus trying to sort out places for everyone to stay, lifts to and from the airport/ church, venue etc! Our beautiful invites started to get very full and more and more expensive as extra inserts were required for flights, directions, information on the venue, even different Wedding lists, as in Ireland almost all Wedding gifts are monetary, and they don’t tend to use Wedding Guest lists with retailers, as we do here. Postage was creeping up and up!!! Then the stressful job of waiting for RSVP’s to come back before final numbers were confirmed. I’m guilty myself of not sending RSVP’s back on-time, but never not sending them at all. However many Guests didn’t see the need to bother or forgot or left it too late! With the odd text, phone-call saying “we’ll be there” it was difficult to keep track. Then the numerous phone calls came in the run up to our big day with questions, all of which were in black and white (in our case) on our invites! The frustration!!

So all this got me thinking, and since then I came up with an idea to makes a Brides job a little easier and less stressful.

Hence, by Clare, was born.

With my 10+ years’ experience in Advertising, I decided to put my passion for Weddings and Design to good use by creating & designing stunning, completely bespoke wedding websites which shares all and any wedding information in one place, and allows guests to RSVP online. And if you have to include a map why spoil your lovely invites, I use google maps. Also, let’s face it when else will you get to have your own custom built bespoke website with unique web address personal to you and your new husband to be! You deserve the best on your wedding day!

I can work to any design and colour scheme a nearly-wed couple has, and why not include some fantastic quirky animations to entertain your Guests? Maybe your own love tree, or if Butterfly’s are your thing, they can happily flutter on your wedding website too (check out my own site where you’ll also get to meet your wedding fairy, see  for even more animations!)

You could even surprise your guests by adding some music to your wedding website, perhaps the Wedding March. Annoying if your Guests decide to make a sly visit in work, but fun nevertheless 😉

This is the opportunity to bring your wedding ideas/themes to life, and a great way to interact with your Guests. The possibilities are endless. Plus if there are any last minute changes to your day, just update your wedding website. A real must for saving time and money!