• CeCe Dymond

Catalogue Brides And How Not To Be One!

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

A 5 part series following CeCe's 5 Tips on how to keep it custom.

We’ve all seen ’Those Brides’. You know, the ones magazine just love to tout. Always crisp and clean and white and clearly haven’t eaten a carb for the duration of their engagements. Then cut to us mere mortals. Is it wrong to want a hotdog slathered in ketchup AND mustard on our specials days and forego the three-course sit down chicken meal?

Why not indulge?

Is it wrong to wear wellies because you know what, they are just soooo comfortable and heels make you walk like a new-born Bambi? Does it matter if you and your tribe can’t get enough of that headbanging grunge band while Auntie May and Nanna would prefer an 80’s revival side step and swish? Here are my 5 tips for you to make your dream day YOUR dream day, guilt free, and a blast had by all.

1/5 Don’t paint me with one brush of colour.

Catalogue bridal question number 1. What is your date/venue/colour scheme?

Date and venue, now those are biggies. If we don’t know the where and when, we won’t be able to pick out an outfit, let alone turn up! Colour scheme? Really? This is huge in wedding world and you know why? Fashion. We want to know what colours are fashionable so we can follow trends or completely derail the track. But let’s have a look at this one. When did a colour become a definitive attribute of a couples love journey? Yes, being matchy matchy can make photographs look so very sleek, however remember the idea that a wedding’s theme should revolve around a colour scheme has more to do with clever marketing than personal representation. Let me explain:

When a colour trends in any particular year, vendors go nuts and introduce ‘new items’ tailored to this new on-trend palette. It’s always good fun to guess the New Year, New Colour as a wedding business proprietor. Emerald green is making a come-back (Thanks Eugenie!) and blush pink is SO 2018. Without fail the January mags will bombard us with new ways of using *insert colour option* in an attempt to make us believe that following the trend will make it an all magical event.


But what really makes a wedding magical? When you and your guests realise that all that effort into the smallest of details sum up to create an event that is truly representative of the couple themselves, together and as individuals. Themes can be anything and colours can be limiting and sticking to one can get expensive. Colours should compliment, but your guests will want to see a true essence of you. Don’t get me wrong, some of us are known as ‘Pink’ by nature, and if that’s you, run with it, but if a colour has never defined you or your partner, don’t feel it has to define your wedding either. You would be surprised if you just pick what you like, because you like it, and the theme will fall into place all by itself. “Oh but it won’t go with “insert dreaded colour restriction”.... Yes it will. If you like, it will work ;)

Some themes I would really love to see in 2019:

  • Steampunk Soirée

  • Donut Days

  • Festival Festivities

Don't forget to visit our 'Colour Me' service for all our Rainbow Club Collection.

2/5 Comfort really is key!

This covers every aspect of your wedding. From fashion, to attendees, to purse strings. It is never worth compromising your comfort for designer gowns, uncles who (love them though you may) get a bit ‘punchy after a pint’ and price tags that leave your wallet weeping.

Fishtail gowns are stunning, but if you are a dancer by heart, the bunny hop just won’t do and yet it may be all you can manage. Opt for a design that not only looks good but functions with your party style. Personally I am a foodie and I needed a dress that would let me eat and eat … and eat. I’m still dreaming of that goat’s cheese and filo pastry parcel with the slow cooked plum tomatoes drenched in basil and balsamic dressing. I may have had second *ahem* third helpings! #noshame. Much as I loved that zip-up buttoned fit and flare, the corset lace-up A-Line dress gave me dietary options ;)

"how can I say no?"

The guest list. Now this is a tricky one. First thing’s first; who’s paying for this? If you and your partner are footing the bill, I permit you to be as cut-throat as you like. The bottom line: everybody adds up £££. Sometimes you really will have to choose between that mate you always and forever love and adore and your mum’s uncle’s seven children who you met once when you were four. I hope you see where I am going with this one. Your wedding is once and your photographs are forever. The budget will feel very pinchy if you are splurging on people you don’t even know - or like! But if Mum and Dad have put their hands in their pocket, a courtesy table or two will surely be much appreciated for those ‘family extras’.

Now let’s talk about shoes (obviously). It would be biased for me to say “shoes really make the day”, but they really do. Your shoes will carry you down the aisle, around the courtyard for all your photographs, then to dinner -and maybe here you can give them a break - and then for a good ol’ spin around the dancefloor. The big secret to happy feet on your wedding day is…… *drum roll please*….. KEEP IT COMFORTABLE. Now is not the time for trying new trends and be sure to break them in before the big day. I find a good old vacuum around the house Freddie Mercury-style helps those soles soften. Whether you are a Wellie-Wearer, Flip-Flop-Fancy or The Queen of Heels, it is never a good idea to try something completely alien for the sake of a few good photos, especially when it comes with an eye-watering price-tag. By all means go as fancy as you like, but remember that most shoes are kicked off in time for the conga!

If barefoot isn’t your fancy, perhaps a matching pair of ballet pumps to compliment your courts, or some bejeweled trainers to keep you going well into the early hours.

See our ‘Customise Me’ service for all your custom shoe needs.

3/5 Hashtag Sorry Not Sorry

Whether you have been dreaming about your Big Day since you were five years old or the thought never really came to mind until the last year or so, your wedding day is kind of a big deal. And unless you are running off hand in hand on the edge of the sand returning to the tune of “We eloped!” or an impromptu registry office service, the chances are you are about to drop some serious £££’s and no decision may be taken lightly. Welcome to the wonderful world of Wedding Politics and Budget Bouncing. There is but one way to survive this madhouse of emotions and outsider input: “I want it that way” - sung to the tune of Backstreet Boys obviously ;), Standing your ground is key. Let’s not forget who this is all about after all. If only it were that simple, am I right!?

Let’s start with budget politics. A cringey topic, I know, but one we simply cannot avoid. The reality is whoever is paying for this majestic event will hold a level of control as to how it may pan out. In an ideal world every couple would have unlimited funds they’ve managed to accumulate themselves, and therefore would not owe anybody exemption or explanation as to how they would like their day.

Vendors in particular are loyal to those who are paying the bill. Never forget that. If that’s you it’s plain sailing all the way. But the reality for many of us is that The Bank of Mum and Dad (or similar) have a hand in where the funds are coming from and therefore are - for lack of a better word - “owed” a courteous control or two. This could range from input on flowers and colour-schemes to who is getting an invitation. Should Mum and Dad have a table for their friends who you don’t really know? Have they contributed financially to help make this day happen? If you have answered yes to the second chances are it’s a yes to the first. We cannot pretend there isn’t some unspoken rule on ‘Mother-Dear’s input if she has paid for your peonies.

Now that’s out of the way, let us get back to what this day is really about. You! (- ahem and your fiancé of course). There is no point spending all this time, money and mental stability for a day that isn’t what you wanted. It saddens me when I hear stories of “I wish we did this instead of that”. I am guilty to a few of them myself. In hindsight I truly wish I had done it MY WAY!

So why do we cave and go a route less desired? It’s because we are people-pleasers. Curse those guests we hope to entertain and impress! Curse them all! In our undying need to please our friends and family there is a good chance we sacrifice the little things that really do matter.

Today I permit you to have it your way. And why the heck not!? If you are vegan, have a vegan wedding. Your meatier friends may enjoy a culinary culture shock. “Wow, i thought you just lived off beans and broccoli”, said the two-piece pink shirted man as he scoffed down his second helping of vegan cauliflower tacos with chipotle cream. My husband and I insisted we had his signature Goat’s Cheese and Filo Pastry Parcels as our starter. Did we care that half the attendees don’t like goat’s cheese? Did we heck (as previously mentioned I may have had a few servings that were going unloved).Let’s face it, they had two courses and an evening buffet and cake still to come. I wasn’t concerned about anyone going hungry.

The unbearable lightness of 'Bean'

If you like rock music that takes you back to those festival days downing country cider and nights in the mosh pit under the stars, hire a rockband and leave the 80’s tribute act well alone. If you don’t want to see Auntie Anna do the Conga, chances are no one else does either. And remember, the tradition of wearing white is a fairly new one (look out for my upcoming blog of wedding trends and how to smash them) so feel free to go all out in that purple ball gown or pink and butterfly inspired gypsy affair. Enlisting your friends’, cousins’, siblings’, neighbours’ and colleagues’ daughters under the age of 12 as ‘flower girls’ is a sure fire one-way ticket to insanity town. Pick you favourites and do so ruthlessly. Weddings are not all kisses and rainbows. Weddings are dark, scary, thunderous battles of will power, cut-throat decision-making and only true warrior brides stand the tides of decisiveness.

The aim is to only do this once, so do it right. Do it your way. There is no shame in shameless wedding planning. It all comes down to you and your partner and all the things you both like. Invite the people You love. Hire that band You like. Eat the cake You want. And don’t let anyone guilt you otherwise. Chances are all these decisions that you make about you, will have your loved ones looking on adoringly at what a personal event it really was.

(*Disclaimer: We do not advocate BRIDEZILLA behaviour. A future blog on how to slay the zilla will be coming soon!) Looking for that perfect pair of shoes you know no-one else has, has had, or will ever have again? Head over to ‘Customise Me’ for your very own custom made pair to walk you down the aisle and dance the night away.

4/5 Don't reinvent the wheel!

We all reach that point in our lives where all our friends and relatives are buying houses, getting married and celebrating their latest crib-midget. For me that was around the 30 mark. It seems we hit 30 and our once devil-may-care entourage of singles and “happy as we are” friends decide they have to grow up and do the deed. And so begins the onslaught of save-the-dates, engagement parties and anxiety driven shopping sprees to find a perfect wedding guest outfit, that maybe with some creative styling, you can wear to two or three of these events. And if you think keeping things en vogue is exhausting, spare a moment for our poor betrothed comrades. Finding that balance between keeping things fun, different and yet in keeping with tradition can be an absolute nightmare. Every year brides (and their grooms) enter into this competition of “One-Up-man-ship” in order for their day to stand out from the crowd.

More tricks than a circus?

The entertainment gets bigger, budgets are forlorn and in some cases guests have left a reception wondering if they have attended their loved ones nuptials or the latest exhibition at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Of course those who stick to their “keep it simple” ethos are left plagued with doubts as to whether their efforts have come across as “samey” or dull.

Here are some hard truths:

Your guests are going to compare your wedding to every other they have ever attended. Fact! Embrace this secret judgement and move on with your life.

We are all here for the food and drink. Whatever else you want to throw at us is much appreciated. But keep us fed and warm and you’ll have a happy group of guests.

Weddings cost money FOR EVERYONE. Of course Mr & Mrs are going to be footing one heck of a bill, but don’t be believing that outfits, transport, hotels and babysitters come free. Not to mention the wedding gift you say you don’t mind going without but, let’s be honest, definitely want! Asking your guests to stick to a particular theme, travel to far away places or take 3 days off work will have your attendees dropping like flies.

It can all be a bit too much

My advice is to steer clear of any wedding plans you may have, solely on the grounds of being different. If you have never attended a festival or worn wellies in your life, this Festival themed wedding is not for you. If you want a Highland castle exclusively for your day, and only 20 guests to fill it, perhaps a good hard think about venue is needed. Doing things outside of the box is wonderful, but not always wedding wonderful. Your guests will enjoy a day that reflects your personality far more than some random experiment of ‘what type of bride’ you think you might be. Many of whom no doubt will be leaving with an echoing chorus of “Who does she think she is?!”

Planning a wedding can actually be a lot of fun if you stick to one simple rule:

Be true to who you are. This means, colours you actually like, venues that reflect some portion of your personality or love-journey, bands, dances, parlour games, whatever they may be. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for everyone to have a good time. If you are having fun then odds are they are too! Looking for that timeless pair of wedding shoes? See our Rainbow Club and Avalia Collections by clicking here.

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5/5 Remember the Who’s, the Why’s and the Happy Ever After!

In the madness of all the planning, panicking and pre-nuptial prepping, it is very easy to forget what this all comes down to. You and your Mr! All too often we read those horror-stories of brides who have lost friends, families and dare we say it, their groom because of overly tenacious organising, unrelenting demands and beyond tolerable execution. Funny though it may be to watch some t.v. Bridezilla terrorise the neighbourhood, it really isn’t funny when those footprints are your own. Of course it is about you. No one is saying it isn’t. Just don’t let your tiara sit too tightly.

Queen for the day

Remember, however much you choose to put into it, you get ONE DAY (or a weekend if your budget and guests allow!) Before you know it, reality will come crashing back and whether or not you have a friendship group or spouse at the end of it will depend entirely on your etiquette during the build up. Future blog on ‘Taming The Zilla’ to come soon.

Now let’s not forget all those poor souls who have to witness this affair. The majority will no doubt be overwhelmed with joy at your union, and as mentioned throughout, many will be more than pleased that they don’t have to cook. Remember though, pleasing everyone is an impossible task. It’s not a Feit worth trying. Your friends will surely have similar interests or at least associate with you both because of your own. And family… well they can just make do. We’re kind of stuck with them regardless. They will enjoy as knees up as much of the rest of us.

Cheers all around

Our grooms. Now these are tricky creatures. Each one is very different. Some are very hands-on in the planning from the start. Some only perk an interest once the countdown reaches that 100 day mark. Some literally need to be told what to wear, when, with whom and how much. Whichever species of groom you are taking on, remember you cannot fault him for his lack or over interest in his own wedding. Is this really his sort of thing? Yes? Then delegate and let him be involved too. Chances are his mother has been dreaming about this day as much as yours has. However much you can involve his family, do so. Never let anyone else take over! There is a line of course, but even a small task can bring such joy to the most willing relative. I know my poor boy (who is but 8 years old) will have some task trying to keep me away from cake tastings, dress fittings and flower purchases. I almost feel sorry for his future bride/bridegroom…. But only ‘almost’. Only the best intentions of course! If it’s really not his thing, don’t push him. He wants to marry you. Some grooms are only looking at the big picture: I married my best friend. That really is wonderful. As long as you don’t have to compromise on how you do it, he will appreciate not being nagged over peonies or gypsophila. (I’m amazed by any man who can name either of these two)

Pretty Peonies

Does your partner have a hobby or interest or quirk that is ‘them to a tee’? If so, try and add it in, even if its just in a small way. I saw one bride in her very stylish denim jacket she had made especially, with hand-painted roses and nettles on the back. It took a second to notice, but amongst the acrylic thorns and petals of rose, Iron-Man, Captain America and The Hulk sat quite happily. As her groom was a massive Marvel fan I thought this was the sweetest touch. No matter how macho they may (try to) be, even the boys like to be reminded “You Were Always On My Mind”.

Ultimately, it is your day. You are a couple. You are a team. You are in this for the long haul. Take no prisoners. Make no apology. It is what it is. Your day. You way.

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