Hellooooo everyone and Happy New Year!! What a delight to be writing to you all again… I missed you madly, although it’s been so sweet having time to get back to breathing normally again after the big bang wedding of 2015 in Italy!! Hurrah!!!
I’m slowly decompressing and getting back to my normal busy life. I have to say it’s been a bit of a shocker what with nothing to plan, I don’t know what to do with myself??.. So, I’ve latched onto being somewhat of a party animal, taking people up on any half decent mid-week and weekend offers of dinner and drinks which although was THE best fun (catching up with friends and family and even older friends), has done no favours for my waistline….. so I’m afraid DRY JANUARY has come into effect and I, like 90% of the universe am on a diet! Sad face… no fun.
In saying that, I hope you all had a magical Christmas and fun and fabulous New Year. It was so lovely to be a newlywed and spend quality time with Richard, Dad and my pet Maltese fur baby ‘Lulu’. We spent Christmas at the Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow and just ate ate ate and laughed laughed laughed. It’s so special there with the stunning surroundings and walks and I even managed to persuade the powers-that-be to put an Xmas tree in our room, it was so wonderful and very festive! Christmas was busy there from Brian Kennedy singing in the bar to Keith Duffy and his family relaxing in the lounge, there was no shortage of celebs to spot. So, although I troughed through tonnes of Quality Street, guzzled vats of wine and left the Powerscourt a stone heavier, nothing was more glamorous then our NYE Ball in Dromoland Castle, yes, as a Christmas present Richard treated me to 2 fabulous nights of luxury and decadence for one the best New Year’s I’ve ever had! We had such a fantastic time and we made lots of new friends and sampled all their culinary delights, it was truly special…. but it’s back to business now as it’s a New Year, so for us on Xpose it’s all about fishing out the latest trends and finding out what is hot and what’s not for 2016!
For my blog, I’ve been pounding the pavement for you and sourcing what I believe will be the hottest trends for the next 12 months when it comes to weddings and having spent over a year and a half preparing for my own last year, I know that flowers NEVER go out of style. I was over the moon delighted when I found out that the wonderful people at RSVP magazine made me the most inspirational bride of 2015 so for that I bow down, I couldn’t have done all the styling and choosing of flowers and colours without the help of my dear friend and confidant Josephine Higginbottom of ‘Wedding Flowers by Josephine’ who is based in Co. Kildare and is I firmly believe Ireland’s best florist. Having been in the business for over 25 years or more I went with her guidance and professional knowledge and I would urge every bride to listen to her florist, they know what’s in season, what will complement each other and what most importantly you can afford!! I knew that there were certain things I couldn’t compromise on such as hydrangeas and ivy (which believe it or not Josephine grew in her mother’s garden in Ireland and brought over to Italy to intertwine with my chiffon outside the church in Florence). I used some extra special harlequin roses in ivory and dusty pick and mocha. Josephine added some baby’s breath plus a myriad of other delights and wonderful flowers including some fresh herbs from the garden of a local Italian woman. Now, although I had the added luxury of Italy at my fingertips, I know that the colours and trends for 2016 will follow suit. Ladies love a bit of romance and softness for a wedding so I can’t see the classic old Hollywood or traditional ever going out of style, but if like me you love romance, do a bit of a twist on it! I’m afraid a bouquet of straight roses is on its way out… no depth or diversity. Wild, fresh, simple flowers with a bit of personality is what is most inspiring and actually looks most beautiful! I also would stay away from orange in your bouquet, it ends up taking over rather than complementing everything around it. That’s my advice… but before we leave flowers, if you’re a bit more on the daring side why not try a simple bouquet of fresh ivy and baby’s breath with some trailing white ribbon and lace – very vintage and something that is soft enough for a wedding abroad or indeed a civil wedding.
Next, let’s look at accessories… now this is my forte. I’m a devil for the detail and am obsessed with everything looking pretty and having meaning. My table plan was designed by Paul from ‘Top Table Designs’ and Ailbhe from ‘InkPretty’ who did our Vera Wang Wedding invites and Church Booklets. I’m afraid here is where I firmly believe more is more. Why not have fun with your table plan and do something other than countries, drinks, counties of Ireland (they’ve been done to death). This is where you can really excel and think outside the box. A theme is most important… ours was ‘Heroes’. I thought this was a great theme because I wanted Richard and I to name each table with those who have inspired us or made us happy in our lives. There are so many good and talented and honourable people I’ve loved and admired over the years who deserved a spot. Richard chose some of those close to his heart who have influenced him in Wales, such as Roald Dahl and The Stereophonics who are one of his favourite bands. We had a centre photo frame with the picture of the person on the front and then a little biog about WHY we chose them as our heroes, each had a little story of their own and then finally if it was Roald Dahl or one of mine which were John Lennon and Walt Disney, we had the films and the movies and the songs that we loved the most on it too. We got tremendous feedback from guests who loved the idea and loved rocking up to the Welsh Rugby Table or for me, the Pacino and De Niro Table was a hit! I named the top table after my beloved mother Laura and I think the reason she was my hero needs no explanation.
I have been to so so many weddings over the years and the ones that stand out are the ones that have a little bit more imagination! I would very much like to say that you don’t need to have a budget really for this, you can be as creative as you like. My good friend chose her and her husband’s favourite music and gave each person a CD as the favour – quite an ingenious idea. Another chose the pebbles from her father’s favourite beach and named each table after her pets over the years with a picture to accompany it which was quite sweet. Just go for it and even if you’ve to spend a night googling and thinking up silly ideas, do it – it’s a big talking point if you have a bit of fun with that side of it!
I think for 2016, favours and accessories are going to be key. Why not try macarons in zany colours, or cigars, tiny clocks or something quirkier like homemade relish or bottled miniature olive oil or whiskey. Whatever it is blend it into your theme.
Photo by DKPHOTO
I know candy carts are very popular which I don’t see going out of fashion but if I was to add something I think the cake is also a very focal photograph. I used Tracy Desmond of ‘Trace of Cakes’ for our wedding and I designed the cake with Tracy which was a lot of fun. The cake was spectacular and I would suggest having a think about your colours and what works best for you. We went with the mochas, truffles, ivories and pinks and other added bits such as fresh willow and iced flowers mixed with fresh flowers plus some diamonds and butterflies! I think for cakes for 2016 we will see a lot more large tiered cakes of yesteryear. Kim Kardashian was the catalyst for this with her 8 tiered cake but to let you in on a little inside secret, the cake was mostly Styrofoam and then the last two layers were cake! Ha… so if you’d like to go big or go home then this handy trick can be used – just mention it to the person who makes the cake for you and remember to keep it under wraps!
I think colour wise for bridesmaids, although I went a mocha/truffle colour designed by Synan O’Mahony who did the most incredible job and is a personal friend, I would shop around and look at the time and location of your wedding very carefully. If you plan to go abroad, those softer colours work a treat in the heat but for Ireland I have seen winter colours such as berry and taupe and almost a deep emerald green look stunning. One of my favourite summer colours is a soft pea green or a shallow dusky blue. I’m afraid for me the strong reds and tiffany blues don’t work on the eye and again stay away from black. It might seem like a good option but low and behold it takes away from the overall look, unless of course your theme is monochrome!
One look that always works if you’re looking for a stronger shade is royal blue or deep navy – it looks classy and elegant, and finally the debate is out on white on white. We saw it with the Royal wedding with Pippa and again at Kim Kardashian’s wedding, my final thought on this is ONLY if you feel your bridesmaids can pull it off. Think long and hard about it because it’s nice but somehow it can take away from you and can look like 4 girls walking up the aisle. Be careful with that one and try a few on your pals and see, take pictures of them on your phone and mull it over at home – that’s my advice.
And last but not least – you! My dress was a ‘Suzanne Neville’ bespoke full length dress with encrusted diamond shoulders and a soft train. I worked alongside Deirdre Kelly in ‘Kadee Bride & Boutique’ in Athlone to make it perfect. It was my favourite piece of the wedding, I had around 3 to 4 fittings in the UK with Suzanne herself in her London store and then some final fittings and alterations with Deirdre in Athlone. With both women together, I was in the safest hands. My dress was a collaboration of the bottom of one dress and the top style of another… a little risky but it was so worth it! I adored the dress and people still come up to me in supermarkets and the like and say how much they loved it! If my advice is worth anything for Brides of 2016 I would say try a good few on. Have fun with it, try 4 to 5 shops around the country and make it your business to look at what suits your body shape. Google celebrities with a similar body shape to you and take some inspiration from them! Add your own personality and voila.. be true to you. Maybe slinky and saucy might be your bag or full length and classic. I couldn’t decide so I went with 2!! And if your budget doesn’t stretch why not try the high street (Coast, Debenhams, Reiss, Karen Millen) or Oxfam or Done Deal for maybe a second dress that could add even more fun to the night as a change for dancing???
I changed my hair up, put fresh flowers in it and popped on red lippie – it took me no joke 10 mins to change! Why not look at that as a moving trend for 2016, or one that is emerging now is brides in the US and UK are altering their mothers wedding dresses into shorter lengths or simply altering them as their second wedding dress… how sweet! Depends on the dress of course!!! If it’s a full on 80s puffy shoulder number you might want to avoid!
So ladies that’s my wee bit of advice and some subtle trends moving forward for 2016. I hope you have full on fun planning your weddings and remember there are no hard and fast rules – it’s YOUR day along with your partner and to be honest everyone else should respect that, guide you a little but it’s YOU that makes the final stamp! You know best and that’s the truest word. Be happy, be merry and above all be in LOVE!
Happy New Year fellow Brides and enjoy the ride…. it’s one hell of a one if nothing else! Hurrah…!!!!!
Love and Light always,
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Lisa Cannon is best known as a presenter on TV3's hugely popular movie show, Box Office. She blogged all about the lead up to her Big Day in Italy in September 2015.