Wedding Wednesday: The Boys and The Girls

At the top of my mental list of "things you will need to get married" is a group of supportive, excited and generally brilliant people to help you prepare for the greatest day of your life.

As well as the most wonderful families, Samm and I are blessed with some great friends. So during the decision making for Bridesmaids and Groomsmen outfits, we've tried to keep their likes and what will make them feel fab on the day at the heart of it all. 

So... how do you decide what to dress your dearest friends in when you call the shots for the day?

First, we kept our colour scheme at the forefront of our minds.
The last thing you want is great dresses that don't really look like they belong at your wedding.

Here's our main colour palette...

Together with my girls, I chose these beautiful dresses from Monsoon... 
(no longer available... which is a saga in itself!)
And as Samm is Scottish, his boys will be kilted, flashed and sporraned up in the same shades of green that run through his clan's tartan. 

But what's an outfit without some cute accessories?
As our wedding is right in the middle of winter, I want to be sensible about keeping everybody warm and happy, without losing the overall style.

So the girls will be all wrapped up in gorgeous deep purple pashminas and instead of carrying bouquets, will be toasty warm with faux fur muffs and rose corsages I've made for them. 

The boys will be sporting these gorgeous boutonnieres from Cherubino Crafts and if Samm relents, they'll be treated to a cosy cashmere scarf in Campbell tartan... 
(which apparently is a second rate gift idea compared to knives!)

I'm so excited to see them all dressed up on the day. 
And with only 2 months left, I won't have to wait long!!


A week in pictures...

I spent most of this week down South with my parents.
It was a way overdue break from the norm and a lovely chance to get to hang out with two of my favourite people, eat my mum's cooking and go mega wedding shopping.

I don't know about you, 
but I love a chance to have a good nosey at snippets of other peoples' real lives.
So I thought I'd share some highlights of my week in a few photos...

1. A long train journey with the necessary cuppa and peanut butter kit kat and a good book to read. Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin is amazing by the way! 
Some really good tips for my upcoming craft stall!!

2. My brand new tea cup necklace, won from a sweet giveaway from Misty Aurora.

3. Walking upstairs and finding my mum had bought me flowers... what a gem!

4. The most beautiful sunset I've seen in years... with not a proper camera in sight.

5. A small part of a great haul from a craft shopping trip with my mum 
(at a craft warehouse that genuinely had a creche-type room for men 
with a huge TV and a sofa in!)

6. My hilarious feline friend Jynx pulling faces.

7. Doughnuts the size of my head during an immense shopping trip.

8. Another beautiful night sky.

How was everybody else's week?

There's a few more days to enter my giveaway to win 
some beautiful blog redesign or a cute art print from some gorgeous ladies...
Just click... here!


Wedding Wednesday - How to Choose Your Flowers

I'm staying at my parents' place this week, which has been a solid few days of wedding planning. I was joking to my mum last night that we just filled a year's worth of Wedding Wednesday posts in the last 72 hours. 

Today though, I wanted to share some of my tips on how to pick the perfect petals...

1. Keep the overall look of the wedding at the heart of your choices

It's great to be inspired by other peoples' weddings, 
to see sweet tea cups filled with soft pink wildflowers and fall in love, 
but if you've already decided to plan a monochrome city wedding, 
it's a love best kept to the Pinterest board. 

My favourite flowers are ox-eye daisies (or Leucanthemum vulgare - my research tells me)
but Samm and I decided in the early days of engagement that we both really wanted a cozy winter wedding - where daisies just wouldn't work.
We're having a wedding styled largely around his Scottish-ness and my English-ness. 
So lots of tartan with lace, whiskey and tea... 
so logically, thistles and roses!
I believe it really adds something when the flowers are not just beautiful, but also meaningful. 

(photo by Lillian & Leonard)

2. Do your research and know your budget

Sorry to bring up the B word in amongst all the excitement, 
but it will save you on disappointment if you flick through your latest stack of bridal magazines with an awareness of how much it can all add up to. 
A morning spent cruising the internet before you go to visit a florist can really help.
Learn about shapes - knowing the difference between a posey and a pomander will show a florist you know what you're talking about. 
Ask what's in season, as flowers easily available will save you money.
3. Think like a man

Sounds crazy when we're talking flowers, I know, but imagine if you had to
wear things based on his choices (we've all seen the Don't Tell The Bride disasters!!)
When choosing buttonholes, bear in mind what he's going to think of wearing that on his chest all day. It's got to be a good thing if he enjoys wearing his little floral piece, rather than gritting his teeth and putting up with it for fear of unleashing Bridezilla. 

 Samm and his men will be wearing these gorgeous dried boutonnieres  
made by Ann Marie at Cherubino Crafts
They tie in perfectly with the theme and with my tastes and with the rest of the flowers,
but they also have that man-friendly rustic edge, so he loves them too. 

4. Don't be afraid to be different

This probably goes without saying to most people judging by the amazing variety of images out there... But just to reiterate - It's ok to love what you love. In fact, it's not just ok, it's great! 
Sadly, I've spoken to lots of older and wiser women who speak about their wedding day and say "...but I do wish I'd had what I wanted, rather than caving to somebody else's opinions"
So, in fact, if you are planning the monochrome city wedding I mentioned, but you really do want tea cups filled with wild flowers, don't let my suggestions stop you. 
Ultimately, magazines are just a guide, Pinterest is just a tool and your friends' and parents' opinions are secondary to yours.  

My choice to make bridesmaid corsages instead of having bouquets 
has been questioned by a few people, 
 but it's an idea I love and I'm so looking forward to seeing them on the day.

5. Get your DIY on

If you're one for making every detail yourself, 
I've always thought it would be fun to have a go at making your own bouquets. 
It would likely be a much cheaper option and if you live close by to your bridesmaids, why not invite them all over and get them all in on the act too?

This lovely creation from Elsie Larson's wedding was made by hand with her friends at her bouquet making party before the big day. 
She's written some great tips for people who are considering giving this a go.
The results were absolutely stunning and so full of personality!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway, 
with great prizes from KV and CB, open until October 31st.


Nikki Joy Craft Stall *plus 100th post GIVEAWAY*

I'm very excited to tell you that I am currently preparing for 
the first ever Nikki Joy Craft Stall!

It's something I've wanted to do for months.
Although I've sold things casually through friends and online, a craft fair just has such a draw for me. I love the community, the chance to meet other creative people and be inspired by one another.

It's going to be a "Late Night Christmas Shopping Gift Fair"
so I'm thinking lots of cute stocking fillers - hair accessories and earrings, as well as some lovely winter-themed goodies like snoods and my fur muffs.

I've already been looking at some pretty inspiration for craft stall ideas in terms of branding and displays and I've been reading up on some tips for running a stall smoothly.

But this is where I need your help oh crafty blogger friends...

You see, I'm not just excited because I'm soon to be a stall holder...
but also because this is my 100th post here on Nikki Joy!

So... In true celebratory style...
It's giveaway time!!

And to add to the excitement,
I've got two of my favourite blogger ladies to kick things off...

The gorgeous Kristen is to thank for the recent makeover of my blog.
Her eye for design is just amazing and she's genuinely the most delightful person to work with... whoever wins this is in for a treat!

Kristen is offering 1 Month "Sidebar Sweetheart" Ad Space with Custom Button Design (200x100) and Custom Blog Signature Design (total $25 value)

Since very early on in my time blogging, cb has been a real encouragement to me.
She always has something  sweet and thoughtful to say and I have learned so much about what it means to be part of the blogging community through this lovely lady.  
Her love of bicycles even inspired me to buy my Priscilla! I digress.

cb is offering this adorable print from her shop of Miss Charollette 
to one lucky winner...

Make sure to check out her shop too for 30% off for the whole of October with the discount code HELLOFALL.

How to enter

You need to be a follower of Nikki Joy via GFC to enter this giveaway.

In keeping with my upcoming craft stall,
I want to know at least one of the following things from you...

1. What's your favourite handmade item you've ever bought?
2. What's the best handmade gift you've ever received?

Simply leave a comment below to enter.

Additional entries

1. Follow KV on GFC.
2. Follow cb on GFC. 
3. Follow Nikki Joy on Twitter @NikkiJoy_ 
(and give me a Tweet to say hello!)
...and while you're at it, why not follow and say hi to my ladies too?
6. Blog / Tweet about the giveaway.

That's 7 whole entries you can have!!
There will be two winners... so that's kind of 14 chances to win!
And they say nothing good comes for free.

Entries close on October 31st and winners announced shortly after.

Good luck everyone.

Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry.


Wedding Wednesday - Favour Inspiration

One of the little wedding details I've been really looking forward to planning is the favours. 
It's such a great chance to get creative 
and say a little thank you to all the people who have 
come to celebrate the day with you.

I've been collecting ideas for months and months 
for the perfect favour and here's a few that I love...

Cake in a Jar
Kim from Oh, Sweet Joy shared this great tutorial including recipe a while back 
for these adorable cake-in-a-jar favours. 
I love how these look when their all lined up
and they sound like they'd taste delicious.

Coffee Bean Pouches
This great idea is from Miss Alyssa
I wish I had more coffee drinker friends so that this would go down a storm. 
I think it's lovely and I adore the personal touch of the stamping.
I imagine the room would smell great with these as well. 

Hot Chocolate Kits
For a winter wedding, I think it's nice to embrace the cold with seasonal favours.
Design Sponge features this sweet idea for festive DIY hot chocolate kits.
Why have sugared almonds when you could have sugar in liquid chocolate form??

 Style Me Pretty shared this beautiful image of mismatched scarves 
for those lovely ladies who may well sacrifice warmth for the perfect outfit. 
I love the idea of doing this for the evening when it gets cold, but you'd need the budget for it. 

Honey Jars
Because jam is so Summertime, 
but I just love stuff  in jars... 
and winter is best with honey on toast. 
These beauties are available on Etsy from Pam Powell of Melys Favours
(from her very own honey bees' honey!!)

I'm spending this weekend at my parents' house, 
where we'll be making my favours ready for my fast-approaching big day (thanks, Mum!)
I'll make sure I share photos and maybe even a tutorial when we're done! 


Sketchbook Sunday

It has been one of those crazy busy weeks around here, 
celebrating friends' birthdays and doing the latest bits and pieces of wedding planning.
So this afternoon, I took a break to listen to some of my favourite music 
and to paint and draw and have a bit of alone time.

I'm really enjoying doodling away at the moment. 
I feel like I've been apart from an old friend for years and we're just reconnecting.
I'm thinking of doing a couple of big pieces soon, 
now that I'm a little more back in practice. 

As a counsellor, I've also been doing a lot of reading 
about therapeutic writing and journal keeping, 
and it's totally changed the way I keep my journal.

And it gave me this cool photo!

I hope you're having a lovely weekend x


Wedding Wednesday - A Weatherproof Wedding

I've been at the sewing machine again!
After gathering lots of lovely inspiration for ideas for projects using faux fur,
I've set to work on winter-proofing my New Year's Eve wedding.

Instead of bouquets, my bridesmaids will be adorned 
with a handmade cream rose corsage each...
...and to keep their little hands warm, 
they will each have a cosy faux fur muff. 

I've been practicing with this lovely pale brown colour, 
but the final versions will be a delicate cream.
(and yeah, I have dyed my hair... thanks for noticing!!)

What do you think?

Anyway, I thought - being Wedding Wednesday and all,
 I'd share some of my ideas for a Weatherproof Wedding...

1. Keep everybody warm

The fur muff idea is one of the little styling touches I'm most excited for on my big day.
Any younger wedding party members?
This hooded cape from Monsoon is stunning for a little flower girl!

2. Choose surroundings to fit the season

We had to realise that having a winter wedding was going to mean sacrificing beautiful outdoorsy running-through-fields-of-daisies type photos.
So instead of planning despite the weather, plan to embrace it.
Our reception venue is going to have an open fire, 
and a lounge area where people can curl up 
in comfy couches with a glass of red or a cup of tea.

3. Turn your concerns into hopes

Positive mental attitude will get you far in this life.
So many people have said to me "Oooh but what if it snows? What will you do??"
Umm snow would save me a bomb in confetti costs!
And who wouldn't genuinely love a Friends-esque Phoebe and Mike wedding?
"What about rain though? Surely rain would ruin everything!"
Sounds just lovely to me!
Some of my favourite wedding photos are those of couples cuddling up under a giant brolly.
Also a perfect way to avoid the rain smearing your bridal make up all down your cheeks.

4. Recreate your favourite chilly days

Winter is not the time for outdoor lawn games or sky lantern releases,
but it is the time for cosy board games, hot chocolates and blankets. 
Have a word with your venue, most will be ok with you spending the day before designing your space to be exactly how you'd like it.

5. Use the "traditional" bits to do something different

We're swapping champers on arrival for mulled wine.
Instead of confetti as we come out of the church, why not hand out sparklers?
(These heart shaped sparklers from Confetti are just too adorable)
Instead of a guest book, we're opting for a bare white tree which guests can adorn with their messages of love to us (more on that in a later post!)

Any other ideas for a perfect chilly day wedding?
I'm always open to last minute additions to my own plan!