top_bg
  • uk_flag
  • aus_flag
  • nz_flag

butterfly1Cutting the paper out of wedding invitations

Invite guests to your wedding in a cost effective, easy and eco-friendly way

header_right_bg

Real Wedding - Margaret and Edwin

Friday, December 4, 2015

I love these posts where I get to share with you another Paperless Wedding couple's big day. This wedding is of Margaret and Edwin that happened in mid August in Melton Mowbray. Now I am a tad bias for this wedding as my little girl was a flower girl on the day and she tried to upstage the bride by meticulously throwing every last petal, as she walked down the aisle!

It was great to be part of this special day and be able to help in may aspects of the wedding.  I also valued all the feedback about the site. Margaret shares her thoughts and details on planning their day.

"Planning this wedding was different, being a widow and second time round, I could do things just as wanted and learnt from first time what I liked and what was not so good!

The main point for me was venue, I wanted: not too expensive, local for preparation and for local people. A hotel that could accommodate friends and family from far away, and turn it into a weekend away gathering. Grounds that we could use, and staff prepared to do it all a bit different. We found this in the perfect venue of Scalford Hall Hotel.

Next booking was entertainment. I like good music and to dance. Good wedding entertainers have to be booked well in advance. I had heard George Simpson perform and was lucky to secure him for the big day and he was brilliant.

These were the main expenses, but to cut down in other areas was easy and fun. We decorated the room with home made items. Used www.myeventchaircovers.co.uk for chair covers and sashes. (A lot cheaper if you fit yourself.  I managed to rope in family members for this! ) Place names were homemade from corks, roses and a card. The seating plan from cards on ribbon placed on a mirror. For the flowers, we had red roses, not to expensive and we didn't need a lot, (A cost saving tip for you, the bunches of roses decorating the ceremony room became the bouquets for the mothers during the speech!) Our favours were pot plant miniature roses with a thank you tag .  We bought in bulk so only came to £1 each thanks to  Blooming Fresh  of Melton Mowbray.

The cake was beautifully done by my sister as a wedding gift. Photos and videos were taken by family and friends.  This was a BIG saving and meant that we had a lovely collection of relaxed and formal photos.  Then made up 2 photo albums with Albelli. Two weeks after the wedding a good quality photo album could be shown to all, and shared on line to guests, absolutely brilliant!

I said at the beginning I wanted it a bit different. First time around I did not like waiting on my own to go to my wedding (father outside looking for car to arrive!) and I was not meeting and greeting people as they arrive,  I decided I would be there to do that this time. So we both met people as they arrived and offered them a Pimms. We then had afternoon tea on the terrace and games on the lawn. This is far more sociable and I actually got to speak to people!

Our ceremony was at 5.00pm so I had to leave a bit earlier and get changed. Then because I no longer had a father to give me away, the curtains at the back of the hall were opened and I came down the grand stairs to be met by future husband, who walked me up to the front... very romantic. After the ceremony we took photos then said goodbye to day time only guests. This way everyone came to ceremony and special guest stayed for meal and evening entertainment. The day guests were mainly my clients (I'm a chiropodist) and elderly people not wanting to stay for evening entertainment, but still had afternoon tea and saw us get married.

For the food, we went for a buffet style and tables went up one at a time to an array of different salads and meats, lemon peppered chicken on skewers, and goujons of fish.  Then choice of deserts (the best bit!). Another idea for couples planning a wedding and looking at food options this was a good idea price wise. The afternoon tea and buffet, worked out cheaper than a sit down three course meal in the afternoon and extra evening food, plus all dietary requirements were satisfied.

So to Paperless Wedding. I loved that the site listed all guests and showed progress on replies.  I was able to keep the guests well informed via the website and email updates through the site, which made guests feel included in the whole event. Guests have said they loved seeing the photos on the site. Also guests enjoyed viewing a sneak peek at our entertainer, George Simpson, via a YouTube link.

We had a link to a wish list for honeymoon items. This included money for a gondola ride, with was much nicer than just asking for money. We did this all through www.ourdreamhoneymoon.com. Paperless Wedding offered so much more information than a normal paper invite.  Changes, reminders and thanks to all or some of the guests can be made. It is not just a one time email. This way of inviting and keeping people informed really worked for us.

My last bit of advice is plenty of pre planning and make lots of lists. Involve your partner so he thinks he has decided on things.(even if he hasn't!) Don't expect everything to go perfectly on the day, go with the flow and enjoy.  Smile and everyone else smiles with you 😀

A big thank you to Margaret and Edwin for sharing their thoughts and tips.  It was a wonderful day and my little lady had a wonderful time and still wants to dress up as a bride!

Welcome to the New Site!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I am so excited to share with you are new and improved homepage! We have made a number of changes to make finding things a lot more simple. We have added a login on the homepage and made it easier to find out how much it all costs.  We have also added our New Zealand and Australian sites in as well by clicking on the flags in the top right hand corner.

We hope you like it and we value any feedback you have. From the feedback we had from the 'old' site, we have made improvements to our Themes Page as well.  You can now view all the invitations, save the dates and websites separately.

This will help you navigate through and choose your favourite theme a lot more easily. You will be able to see which are printable and click through to the designer site to order your printed cards and other stationery you might need. Don't forget you will also be able to create your own theme as well. Just click on CREATE and let your creative juices flow.

 

Real Wedding - Katharyn and Peter

Friday, November 6, 2015

We have be running in the UK for only just a year, and we are now seeing photos of happy couples that have used our service.  Our latest couple are Katharyn and Pete, who got married on a beautiful sunny day in August in Northamptonshire.

They used the whole package (website and invitations), and put absolutely everything on their website. They put things to help guests beforehand like places to stay, main ways of getting to the Church and Reception venue, and a link to a wedding gift list. They put the full details of all the events of the day. It was great to see the site being used just as I imagined it would be!

Katharyn's advice is to just tackle wedding jobs one job at a time. Don't get to hung up on the little things, at the start, they will fall into place as the big jobs get sorted. Try and to at least do one job a week, idea, plan, sort, tick. Don't worry if it doesn't get done the second you want it to, it will get sorted! And get the dresses as early as possible!

They got married in Katharyn's home church at St Giles, Desborough. and had their Reception in the Wilbarston Village Hall, which they decorated themselves. Katharyn said that 'they had some of the best food at our wedding! We didn't want anything too fancy so we had a hog roast and buffet, which was done by Bitz and Bites. Our friends and family, did the flowers, both at the venues and the bouquets, for me and my bridesmaids. And the cake was made by my mother.'

I loved this piece of feedback from the couple as it really does show how much time and money we can save people.  They said, 'We really liked how we could update our website when new information became available, as send an email to our guests without having another set of post to send out with another set of postage.'

Thanks to Katharyn and Pete for sharing their photos and giving me great feedback. We hope you had a wonderful honeymoon and have a long an happy life together.

All the very best to you both!
x

Happy Wedding Anniversary - 7 years

Saturday, October 24, 2015

This is purely a personal post to celebrate that this day, seven years ago, I married my wonderful man!

We like to try and give each other gifts associated with the traditional presents for each year of marriage. So here is run down (if I can remember....) of what we have had to date.  I would also like to point out that he is far better gift buyer than I am!

First - Cotton.....we skipped this and Jim gave me a ring I with New Zealand Green Stone set in it.
Second - Paper - a card and a wonderful meal out in Sydney.
Third - Leather - Gloves and a meal in the OXO Tower, London
Fourth - Flowers - Silver flower earrings bought in Greenwich Market where we got our Wedding Rings
Fifth - Wood - An Antique jewellery box
Sixth - Sweet - A new handbag filled with chocolates from Hotel Chocolate
Seventh - Wool....

As I have written this post in advance of the evening celebration, I don't know what his gift is yet but I do know that I am rather pleased with my gift! See Facebook to find out what it was.

The 7th year gift of wool is to symbolise the warmth and love in your relationship.  It is also said to be the lucky year and to celebrate finding each each other.  No mention anywhere of the 7 year itch....which is lucky I guess. Apparently Roman brides touched their threshold of their new home with wool which brought luck. 

The orgin of wedding anniversaries stems back to the Holy Roman Empire.  This is when it was said that husbands crowned their wives with a silver wreath on their 25th Wedding anniversary and a gold wreath on their 50th celebration. Imagine a whole wreath made out of gold?! In the 20th century, commercialism brought additional anniversary gifts that we see today. 

Do you celebrate your anniversaries with gifts?  Do leave ideas for people of what you got for the year your were married. 

As it is the weekend, we have childcare, I can't wait to have a night out with the most supportive, wonderful husband a girl could wish for! Thanks Mr T for picking me. x

B is for Bouquet

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

For my alphabet blog series, B has already thrown up so many options to go for! Bride is the obvious one, band (wedding or gold!), banquet, but I am going for bouquet.

I went for a traditional bouquet of flowers with Freesias, vintage Roses and Ivy. This is a photo of me showing it to some of Jim's MANY Aunites! To keep costs down and to be environmentally friendly, try to choose flowers that are local and in season. To learn a bit more about that perfect eco bouquet Jo from Organic Blooms gives us some tips and advice on what makes a eco bouquet.

"Our flowers are grown using organic principles (we are under conversion with the soil association).  A cut flower crop can require a huge amount of resources, such as water, heat, light, cold storage and packaging.  We offer a sustainable alternative to the standard cut flower bouquet – locally grown, with no air miles, no synthetic chemicals and no extra heat or light.  We also select robust varieties and use a lot of wild flowers, perennials and herbs which cope better with fluctuating weather conditions and can be grown with less intervention."

Organic Blooms offer brides a complete experience, rather than just a finished bouquet.  Brides visit their site and see their flowers actually growing!  Some even see the seeds being sown, which is quite unique and they find adds a uniqueness and personal touch to their bouquet.  Jo adds that "they can only work with what we’ve got growing at the time of the wedding, so our best customers are those who want a seasonal mix, perhaps with a colour preference"


Photo: Nikki Kirk Photography

So if you are planning on an eco wedding Jo's top 4 tips are :

1. Think about the time of year when you are planning your wedding – the summer months have the advantage in that flowers are freely available in the UK and you won’t need to rely on flown-in alternatives (‘grown not flown’)
Photo: Tash Park Phtography

2. Recycle, upcycle, or borrow  containers for your flowers - Jam jars, milk bottles, tin cans, vintage crockery are all very popular nowadays, and can be personalised and made unique with ribbon, twine, hessian, fabric etc.

3. Hand tied bouquets and jugs, vases or jars use fewer resources than arrangements made in floral foam, which doesn’t biodegrade very well either.

4. Try and source things locally – reducing the carbon footprint/miles travelled for all the different components

There is also another option that I have come across on Pinterest! Have you ever considered not using flowers at all and doing something different? Why don't you go for a button or brooch bouquet instead? One of our Paperless Wedding brides did just that and it did look stunning and she gets to keep it too!

Then you could also do something very different.  These are some on the ideas that are now on our Pinterest boards.


Images: Pinterest
 

A big thank you to the team at Organic Blooms for sharing the tips and some beautiful photos with us. To find out more about eco bouquets do contact Jo and her team at Orangic Blooms on the below details.

W: www.organicblooms.co.uk

F: www.facebook.com/organicblooms

T: www.twitter.com/organicblooms

Photography Focus - Ross Hurley

Wednesday, October 7, 2015



A big welcome to Ross Hurley to our Photography Focus series of blog posts. I am loving hearing about tips for planning and styling your day and learning what makes your photographer happy.....hot food seems to be a running theme!

Ross is based in Kent and loves taking photos ensuring there are no fake smiles and awkward poses. He blends this with some artistic and quirky portraits of you, the wedding couple. He uses the setting sun, or some interesting photographic lights to capture some amazing images you will have on your wall for a life time. Do check out the link to his site, but not before reading this!

What are your top 2 'Do and Don't' tips for couples on their wedding day? Do make time for your pictures at different times of your day. Some in the drinks reception, some in the evening sunset and some at night for a nice range of shots. Do not make a list of 'must have' shots. The pictures should be spontaneous, unplanned and help tell the story of the wedding as it unfolds.

What is your advice when a couple is looking for a photographer? My advice to couples looking for a wedding photographer is to choose the style and quality that most appeals to them. The pictures are your lasting memory of your day, so get the best you can


Your top tip for Styling your day? Be as creative as you can for your styling. Use well known blogs and social media to create boards of ideas to implement into your wedding.

Do you think you should "Trash your Dress"? I think you can get some very artistic images with a Trash the dress shoot. I'm currently working with a previous bride who will be covering herself in powder paint. I’m really looking forward to it. Watch this space.

Engagement shoots seem to be very fashionable at the moment. What are the advantages of having one? The biggest advantages to an engagement shoot is you get to know your photographer better and become more confident in front of the lens! Couples always tell me how much they loved their engagement session and how it helped them for their big day.

What has surprised you the most about wedding photography? Coming from a pro photography level in the national press, I am very surprised at just how many people are now wedding photographers. It seems you can get a good DSLR for Christmas and by June you're a wedding photographer with a Facebook page! Things have certainly changed. ;-)



How you describe your style of photography? I mix natural documentary photography with alternative and fun portraits. I try and create quite a unique style that uses my old skills as a photojournalist mixed with my technical ability with off camera flash. 

What can a couple do for you on the big day? Be themselves and relax. Enjoy the day and let me tell their story as it unfolds around them. Oh and some hot food during the wedding breakfast as I’m not good with a empty belly. ;-)

Indoor or outdoor wedding? I love outdoor. If the weather is good and the venue has a good outdoor space, use it! That's where the money shots are. Just recently I photographed a ceremony that was on a decking in the middle of a small lake, with guests sitting around it and the sun going down behind them. Just stunning!



Themed or none theme? I would say themed. Theming your wedding with your likes and interests works very well. Or creating an era theme, such as 40's or 50's can look awesome. My most favourite themed wedding was Neo-Victorian Steampunk themed day. Everyone dressed using Jules Verne as inspiration. Simply amazing.

Local or Destination? It’s a local wedding for me. As much as jetting off to Tuscany sounds incredible, I believe the day is also about all your friends and family in one place. There certainly are not many occasions that 100 odd people are all there to see you. So enjoy it.



Big or small? Either. Big can be grand, awesome and dramatic. Small can be intimate, close and personal. I do believe you should only invite those you want. But if that's a big wedding, then so be it.

For more details, please contact Ross directly using the below contact details.  Many thanks Ross for sharing your photos and thoughts with us.  All the best for rest of your weddings of 2015!

Email: info@rosshurley.com
web: http://www.rosshurley.com
instagram: rosshurleyphoto
pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/RossHurleyPhoto/

Real Wedding - Laura and Paul

Friday, October 2, 2015

What a wonderful picture to start this blog post with!  Many congratulations to Laura and Paul who got married earlier this year. Stunning photography by Graham Fletcher-Hill  of Fletcherhill Photography

Laura used Paperless Wedding 'Website Only" package and included the website address in her paper invitation.  This allowed her to add lots of photos and details about her big day on the website rather fill her invitation with lots of additional paper. She shares her thoughts, photos and tips with us, so Laura  do tell us more about your day! 

"We got married at the beautiful St Mary's Church in Staveley-in-Cartmel, in the heart of the Lake District.  We followed up with our reception at The Grange Hotel in Grange-Over-Sands. The following day we had our garden party at our home Millerbeck, which is lucky to have a miniature railway running around its garden!

I do want to say a big thank you to Graham for fantastic photos and putting Paul and myself at ease on the day. My beautiful dress came from Frothimoon and my bridesmaid, Emma did my make up on the day. We got our hair done by Aqua Hair Spa.

Our church flowers were kindly arranged by our fantastic friend Christine Kent.  Our bouquets, button holes and table decorations were arranged by Dodds Florist.  The stunning pink rose adorned cake was made by Sugar Ruffles and had layers of fruit, lemon and summer fruit.  It was delicious!!

How did you find using Paperless Wedding?
The website was easy to design and we could include lots of information about accommodation, the venues and things to do in the area (for those visiting from afar!). We were also able to put links, maps and directions etc. which helped guests to get to our day. We had a second celebration the day after so were able to put more information about this.  We also, of course, linked our wedding gift list which we had through Abercrombie & Kent.

The guests gave great comments about the website, especially those who had not visited the area before. They said it looked professional and that it was great to have everything in one place.

Do share some of your advice to brides planning their wedding.
Start planning and booking early. The best venues get booked up really fast. We booked The Grange Hotel about eighteen months in advance and there were only 2 Saturday’s left available. Pace yourself and book things early. We chose and booked all our suppliers well in advance which meant everything was stress-free. My parents worked extremely hard to make sure that everything was perfect. So, have the support of your friends and family."

Best memory of the day.....

"There are too many to pick one. The whole day was lovely and unforgettable!"

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for using Paperless Wedding.  We wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness.

Em
x

Traditions - 1970's Wedding

Sunday, September 27, 2015

My blog post written by my Nanna, about her wedding in the 1940's, got great feedback and lots of shares and comments on Facebook and Twitter.  So I thought I would ask friends and family who have married through the decades, to give us a glimpse into their weddings.  How much did things cost? What happened during the day? Where did they get their dresses from?

Naturally the first person to ask (after my Nanna that is!) was my mum. My parents got married in Southport in the 1970's. My cousin Jayne and my two Aunties (mum's sisters) were bridesmaids. So over to you mum!

"Our wedding in 1975 would have been regarded somewhat as a ‘shot gun’ wedding as we were engaged and married within 4 months. (We had been going out together for over two years and had just purchased a new build house for the grand price of £9,000!!)

I was married from the flat that I shared with another girl, rather than from my parents home, which would have been the norm. Alan and I did all the planning and roped in our many talented friends and family to help with the occasion. This included making the cake, arranging the flowers, taking the photos and playing the organ. We also arranged for the minister from my childhood church to come and share conducting the service with the local minister. The service was held at the Methodist church where I helped run the Brownies and we both played badminton.

Wedding Alphabet blog - A is for Autumn

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Today I dropped my daughter off at Playschool.  She kissed me and said 'Now go home mummy' as she ran off, no worries there. A new term, back to a routine and we are in my favourite season of the year.  Feeling inspired I have decided to begin my Alphabet blog.  What is that I hear you ask?  Well I am going to take each letter of the alphabet and write a blog about something relating to the wedding industry. It might be an obvious link or I may try for the obscure.  I also hope to feature UK companies as well.

So what will A bring?...well Autumn weddings would be a great place to start!

Traditions - Wedding Cake

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My mum offically rocks. She is amazing support to me, and a fantastic Grandma to my two little ones. She also made my wedding cake and so has offered to write a bit about how the custom of serving a special cake originated. Over to you mum!

In medieval times cakes were made of wheat as it was a symbol of fertility and prosperity. They were then thrown at the bride! I am glad that tradition has not carried forward.

The Romans had a cake of barley which was eaten by the groom and the rest broken over the brides head. If the guests got a crumb then they hoped to share in the couples good fortune. I suppose the more recent custom of giving gifts of the cake to people who were unable to attend the wedding is a derivative of this!

History also describes the stacking of small buns in a pile for the newly weds to kiss over the top. (Our modern day cup cakes?!) This pile eventually became tiered and was stuck together with lard in order to preserve the cake which was then scraped off before eating. They later added sugar to this mixture!!

Victorians introduced white icing . This was not only a symbol of purity but the whiter the cake (more refined the sugar ) the more affluent the wedding.

The multi tiered cake, traditionally 3 tiers, had a tier for the reception, a tier to send to friends and relatives in specially made cake boxes, and the top tier was ofter retained until required as the christening cake. We used our top tier for Emma's Christening.  I love a bit of tradition!

Nowadays cakes can be tiered, multi flavoured and not just the traditional fruit cake, made of chocolate, choux pastry, sponge etc. They could be cup cakes .The cake is often served now as a dessert at the wedding meal. Which leads nicely to the cake I made for Emma and Jim which was 3 tiers, Traditional fruit, Carrot cake, Lemon Drizzle, each had different icings and was served as the dessert! 

Photography Focus - Lucy Lou

Friday, September 4, 2015

Welcome Lucy to our Paperless Wedding Photography focus series of blogs.  I love the advice Lucy gives us and I hope it helps you plan and think about your big day. To contact Lucy see the end of the post for all her details!

What is your advice when a couple is looking for a photographer? Do make sure you connect with the photographer and actually like them and their personality. There would be nothing worse than having someone you don’t get on with or that is abrupt when taking your photos all day. Ask them lots of questions and make sure they are the right ‘fit’ for you and your wedding. Don’t just pick them because they have nice photos, it’s much better for both the photographer and the client to have a friendly business relationship and be some one you’d get along with in every day life as the better the relationship, the better the photos in my opinion. You want the couple to feel like they can be themselves around you. 

Your top tip for styling your day?  Do something that is completely you in all aspects. Don’t just go for the vintage/rustic theme because it’s in fashion. If you are a quirky couple, prefer elegance or even simple then be true to yourselves and incorporate this into your styling. There’s nothing worse than trying to be something you’re not and you’ll know because you’ll probably feel uncomfortable with it.

Do you think you should "Trash your Dress"?  No, not personally as they cost an awful lot of money!!! I know it’s very unlikely that it will ever be worn again but I would want to either keep it as a momento (Although it would probably just sit in a cupboard) or sell it, that way some of the cost can be recouped and it’s not hanging in a cupboard taking up space. Having said that, I’m all for a bride that wants to trash their dress as it’s a bit of fun and if they want to do it then why not!?

Engagement shoots seem to be very fashionable at the moment. What are the advantages of having one?  Couples get to meet and interact with their photograph as well as get a feel for what it will be like on the big day. The photographer can gauge the couple and what they are like together and work out what types of shots work best for the couple. It’s just a great way for both parties to get to know each other a little more as a lot of trust goes into a photographer on a wedding day and the couple end up with some lovely portraits afterwards which they can also display at their wedding if they wish.

What has surprised you the most about wedding photography? How tiring it is!…Really, you’d think taking photos wouldn’t tire you out but wedding days are very long, the equipment is heavy and it requires physical and mental ability. There is a lot of talking, guiding and thinking/being creative as well as generally moving around a lot whilst seeing moments and capturing them through the lens. Don’t get me wrong though, I love my job and the reward of happy couples that recommend you to their friends is amazing and I love my clients. I’m a real people person so like to get to know my clients and make a real effort with each couple and their family and friends. Creating pretty photos as a result is an added bonus!



How you describe your style of photography? I would describe my style as soft and romantic, natural with a hint of photojournalism. There is a slight vintage tone to my images as I aim to emulate film photography when editing and couples can expect me to get into some very awkward positions for creative shots. 

What can a couple do for you on the big day? Be happy as they’ve just got married! Also be cooperative when gathering guests for family and group shots etc. Feeding the photographer is always very nice too as it’s a very long day and we need to stay fuelled.

Indoor or outdoor wedding? I’m having mine outside as I’ve always wanted an outdoor wedding near a beach or water and I’m hoping it will be dry and the castle venue just looks beautiful on the terrace. However I would not frown upon an indoor wedding at all, indoors can be just as beautiful if decorated appropriately. Barns are beautiful from the inside and so are many other venues so do what feels right for you.

Themed or none theme? Themed…I love the rustic theme with hessian and lace, tea lights in jam jars, gypsophila, vintage suitcases, bunting, anything shabby chic, vintage or rustic is right up my street. I think it’s best to have a theme for your wedding so that everything is flowing and I’m definitely one for consistency, although I have photographed weddings with lots of different colours and no particular theme which has also worked really well.

Local or Destination?  For me, destination. I am personally getting married in Italy as we want to have a small wedding with a beautiful Italian backdrop and hopefully great weather. I do love the English heritage though and I photograph some stunning wedding venues in this country, if I was to get married in England it would be in a barn.



Big or small? I’m personally having a fairly small wedding with about 45 guests but then we’re going to come back and have a bit party with everyone. I think couples should only invite people they actually want there and have seen within the last 5 years otherwise it just gets silly and expensive. You shouldn’t feel obliged to invite people just because they might get upset if they’re not invited…Remember it is YOUR big day and no one elses and it costs a lot of money per person so really think through your guest list before sending out your invites and don’t feel bad for not inviting people.

To find out more contact Lucy here:

www.lucylouphotography.com
email - info@lucylouphotography.com
www.facebook.com/lucylouweddingphotography
Twitter - @lucylouphoto
Mobile - 07543165272


Many thanks Lucy and we can't wait to see photos of your big day.
x

 

Theme of the Month - Floral Elegance

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Our theme of the month is taking a look at our Floral Elegance design.  The designer is called Ronja and she lives in the lovely town of Titarangi outside Auckland in NZ.  Ronja hails from an advertising and illustration background and created a couple of our other designs for us in our early days.  This is the most popular of them with the other two being "Red Passion" and "Cloud 9".

Smashing article for July!

Saturday, August 22, 2015
Chitter Chatter series of blogs by Karen of Smashing the Glass that this month featured me!


I think this my favourite coverage yet about Paperless....and OK me! Love what Karen, of Smashing the Glass, did with my artwork and the whole concept of the blog piece.  I appeared along side some very well know people of the wedding blogging business. Very happy and big thanks goes to Karen!

Real Wedding - Lucy and Michael

Friday, August 21, 2015

In June this year Lucy and Michael tied the knot in the Guildhall in Bath. It was followed by a reception at the All Saints Center. Lucy was one of our very first brides to use Paperless Wedding after finding us on Facebook.  She was great at giving me feedback in the early days when we launched, so it is lovely to see her photos of her big day and know that all her hard work was worth it.

Lucy wanted to go digital to help keep costs down. she found it useful that she could direct all the guests questions to her personal wedding website. She was also very cost effective in her dress purchase too.  Her stunning blue dress was purchased onlline and a friend, who was a talior, added a bolero on for her.

Photography Focus - Fiona Kelly

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Welcome to this new series of blog posts focusing on Wedding Photographers and their top tips.  I was going to just do one combined post but each photographer I have spoken with have so many beautiful photos and bits of advice they need a post just for themselves! 

So I would like to introduce you to Fiona Kelly based in the Southeast of England and listed 19th in the Top 100 Wedding Photography Blogs and Websites on the Web. She shares her ideas, tips and stories to help you plan your special day.  

Fiona Kelly Logo

What are your top 2 'Do and Don't' tips for couples on their wedding day?

Do enjoy the day, relax, have fun and allow your friends and family to help you get everything sorted. Don't forget to spend time with your new husband/wife (let your photographer whisk you away for photos to enjoy some time together). Don't stress on the day, what will happen will happen so go with the flow. Don't let other people take over your day. 

What is your advice when a couple is looking for a photographer?

Find someone who's work really grabs you and who you actually get on with, you spend a lot of time with your photographer on the day.

Fiona Kelly wedding couple leaving ceremony

Your top tip for Styling your day?

Be yourself. Style your day in way that appeals to you. That way your wedding will be uniquely yours. 

Do you think you should "Trash your Dress"?

Each to their own. For some it will appeal and for others they couldn't think of anything worse! I'm all for people being true to themselves and what is right for them. 

Engagement shoots seem to be very fashionable at the moment. What are the advantages of having one? 

They are a great way to get to know your photographer and for your photographer to find out more about you as a couple and see how you interact. Plus, its a chance to have some fun, a few cuddles and get used to having your photo taken.

What has surprised you the most about wedding photography?

How creative you can be and also how skilled you have to be at many different types of photography techniques. It's all consuming, It's no easy option! 

Fiona Kelly Mature wedding couple kissing

How you describe your style of photography?

Relaxed, natural, beautiful and candid with hints of an editorial style. In other words I like to capture natural reactions, real moments and create beautiful relaxed portraits. 

What can a couple do for you on the big day?

Relax and enjoy the day and your time together. Don't get stressed about the small stuff. Oh, and food is always appreciated! 

Indoor or outdoor wedding?

I love an outdoor wedding. Im very inspired by nature, light and the great outdoors.

Fiona Kelly wedding couple in park

Themed or none theme?

As long as its right for the couple I don't mind either way. Each couple should choose to have the wedding that is right for them, with their ideas and personality shining through. 

Local or Destination?

I do enjoy a destination wedding but for the next year or two, while my son is still little, Im going to be sticking to weddings in the UK only.

Fiona Kelly Wedding couple in field bride in colourful wedding dress

Big or small?

Probably a rubbish answer, but both for different reasons. When we got married we did it in Las Vegas with 17 people with us. It was such fun to have a small, intimate wedding and have all our guests with us for a couple of days. When we returned we then had a big old knees up back in the Lake District and that was amazing for having all our most loved people, friends and family to celebrate and have such fun. In terms of photography both have their challenges but both their bonuses. 

To know more why don't you drop Fiona a message? Leave a comment below. Her contact details are below.

email  fiona@fionasweddingphotography.co.uk 
web http://www.fionasweddingphotography.co.uk
Phone 07879 455932 
Or fill out this online form here.

Many thanks Fiona to take the time and share these thoughts with us. 

Traditions - Flowers

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Our traditions post this month is linked to flowers. My good friend Rachel shares her thoughts on her time as a florist.

How does a Bride choose thier flowers?!

Brides vary so much in their ideas and are influenced by numerous things when choosing their bouquet style and flowers. One of the main factors I think a bride chooses a particular flower is down to sentimental reasons. For instance flowers that were given to them on a first date, childhood memories and remembering a loved one add that little personal touch and make that bouquet special and meaningful to the bride.  I would compare wedding flowers to fashion as they change constantly season by season and person to person.

Theme of the Month - Autumn

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I am not wishing away the summer I promise! However all the summer weddings for Paperless Wedding are well underway, and now it is time for the final preparations for our Autumn couples. Invites are starting to go out for those late September and October weddings. I love this time of year and it was when I tied the knot too.

Our theme of the month had to be our Autumn inspired theme by New Zealand designer Claire Hammon.

We have Save the Dates in the same design as the Paperless Wedding Invitation above. Beautiful autumnal colours!

There is a matching website.  When guests click on their digital invitation, it will link through to the website.  On the website there is the ability to RSVP as well as leave a message. The couple can also add additional questions on this page to cover food choices, travel and allergies etc.

We have a 2 week trial, so do sign up and try it out!

To help with styling the day, we have a Pinterest board with lots of ideas. Below are a few of my favourites.  See our board for more details.

Eco Tips - Terminology

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Our eco tips post this month deals with terminology. Are you confused about what these "eco friendly" terms you see actually mean? So were we! To clarify, here is a short description which us mere mortals can understand:

Eco Friendly:

This well known word refers to goods and services considered to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment. We have a great list of suppliers on Twitter that I believe are eco friendly in their values and actions. 

Green:

You can help the environment by "going green" whenever you make environmentally friendly choices in your everyday life.

 and 

Walking instead of driving - have your venue at the same venue to cut down moving between venues and events.

Combining errands into one trip instead of making multiple trips - use the same supplier for as much as possible.

Car pooling (less fuel/pollution)  - means more people can drink at the wedding!!!

Using mass transportation (less fuel required per person) - means everyone can drink at the wedding!!

Buying organically grown food (no poisons into the environment) - tasty!

Buying food grown locally (requires less delivery fuel/pollution) 

Buying items made from recycled materials - get creative!

Recycling

So basically it means to think about your everyday choices and how they impact the air, water, land, and the future. Then make choices that have the least negative impact or, better yet, choices that make a positive impact.

Carbon Footprint:

The term "carbon footprint" is used to denote the amount of carbon dioxide produced by your daily activities and use of material goods. You wedding will have a carbon footprint, you can't escape it, but how big the event is, where and when will all influence how big or small that footprint will be. 

Carbon Neutral:

You might think that carbon neutral simply means that something does not release any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is true to an extent, however, it is too simple a definition. It is possible to release CO2 into the atmosphere and still be carbon neutral, as long as it is balanced by a CO2 reduction elsewhere.

Biofuels are carbon neutral, even though burning them releases CO2. How can this be? Well, the carbon in the biofuel comes from photosynthesis, where CO2 is captured from the atmosphere by a plant and turned into glucose. The glucose can then be turned into more complicated molecules such as sugars, starches, oils and proteins. Sugars and starches can easily be converted into bioethanol, while oils can be converted into biodiesel. Carbon is removed from the atmosphere, stored in plants for a few months, then released when the biofuel is burned. For every gram of CO2 released by burning a biofuel, there was a gram removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis just a few months ago. This perfect balance is why biofuels are carbon neutral.

So how does this relate to a wedding? Can you actually have a Carbon Neutral wedding? It is true you will create carbon emissions but by recycling/reusing will offset some of it. You can also total up how big a footprint it will be and offset that through cash donations to causes that feed back into the environment.  Make sure they are accredited though! Here is one free calculator I found. 

Sustainable:

The term, in its environmental usage, refers to the potential longevity of vital human ecological support systems, such as the planet's climatic system, systems of agriculture, industry, forestry, fisheries and the systems on which they depend.

Re-use:

Is to use an item more than once. This includes conventional re-use where the item is used again for the same function.  We have featured a number of companies on here that reuse glass and chinaware and hire them out for multiple events. Check out these companies that have appeared on previous blogs. 

Vintage Dorset
Belle Journee

Recycle:

Recycling means taking materials from products that you have finished using and making brand new items from them.

Organic:

Organically grown food is a term that relates to food that is grown on a certain kind of farm using methods of production that care for the soil and the environment. Food that is further processed is done so under guidelines that ensure minimal chance of contamination and deterioration in food quality.

These are the sort of companies that supply great organic produce for weddings. 


The Organic Wedding Cake Company


Maddocks Farm Organics 

I hope that this blog has helped point you in the right direction and given you some ideas of companies to use. Happy Green Wedding planning!

Facebook Website Special Offer

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
30% off Website Only

Thanks for being a Facebook Fan!

Here is your code to redeem 30% off your wedding website. You can create your own and upload your own images and patterns or use one of our templates. 

FBJULY2015

Click here to sign up and pay. 

We hope you enjoy using Paperless Wedding and do comment, share and like our posts on Facebook.  It will help us know what kind of things you like seeing.

Also if you want to appear on our blog after you big day, do send us a photo.

Happy creating!

Theme of the Month - Dandelion

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy July 1st, pinch, punch and all that!  I hope it is a good month for you all.  The weather is certainly making it look like it could be a good summer ahead.  So inspiration was needed for the theme of the month this month and it was chose while watching Frozen for the millionth time with my toddler. You have got to love Olaf and his love of summer and dandelions!

Our Dandelions theme was designed back in New Zealand by the wonderful Charlotte at Cocoa Berry Design.  This was inspired by one of their clients who wanted to combine our website and their paper invites and other stationary.  It is a great theme, perfect for these summer weddings.  We love the teal/aqua blue in this design too.  It would look great as a colour for bridesmaids dresses.

If you wanted to, you could edit this theme and change the background to another colour linked with your theme, or even change the font and size of the text. So get creating!

Don't forget that our Save the Date option is totally free!

The invitations can all have multiple events on them but only the people invited can see their relevant events.  It means you can create multiple invitation types allowing evening only invitations too!

Also jump on Pinterest and see I have created a board with lots of ideas that would go well with this design. This fab cake is one of the them but check out more on PW Themes - Dandelions

 

 

An Eco Wedding in the City - Top Tips!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Do you want to have an eco-friendly wedding but struggling with your city location?  Fear not! Whilst I was the Eco Blogger for  The Great British Wedding blog I wrote a piece on my top tips for having an eco wedding in the city - and I wanted to share on here as well. I hope you find it useful - feel free to share any more tips in the comments below!  

1. Venue

Check out your venue’s eco policies. Some venues actually promote their Green credentials like this stunning hotel by the Thames, Hotel Rafayel. They highlight their Eco Lighting system, they have a no plastic policy and are heavy on using recycled goods and recycling the water themselves.

 

Your choice of venue has a huge impact on how eco-friendly your wedding is. My advice is to go for only one venue.  You save massively on your carbon footprint, as you and all your guests are not having to travel between different locations. Lots of places can now perform the ceremony and host the reception and party. My wedding at the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich did exactly that. I even arrived in a black cab that we hailed that morning and lots of guests arrived via public transport, this leads me nicely to...

2. Transport

If you are getting married in one of the big cities, encourage people to use the public transport options. Rail, trams, boats and buses. If these aren't an option, why don't you hire a bus and collect from multiple pick-ups around the town? This is a big win with your guests too as they can all enjoy a drink!

Why don't you consider arriving on a pedicab? Check out this company operating in Bristol and Bath, Pedal Power Events.  My husband got to our wedding via the Tube and Docklands Light Railway!  It certainly can make your day memorable, just check for engineering works before you leave ;-) One of our Real Brides, Emilie, also got to her wedding on the tube!

3. Food

Cities have the advantage of being close to lots of big local markets that can get locally sourced food.  Keep your menu seasonal so for example don't have Asparagus in spring. Out of season food has to be imported and that is a big environmental cost.  It also reduces the cost as well if you stay in season and keep it local. On a side note, you can even save money by getting your friends/family to make your wedding cake. My mum did mine and it was amazing!!

4. Flowers

Just like the food, if you keep your flowers seasonal, this is VERY eco-friendly.  Why don't you go to the flower markets of the big cities and source the flowers yourself and get someone to arrange them for you on the day?

You could also consider replacing flowers with something that you can keep and reuse.  You don't have to have a flower bouquet. What about a brooch one or one made out of pinecones?! Centre pieces could be balloons, books, pictures.... Get creative!  Check out my Pinterest  boards for some inspiration!

5. Wedding Website

Reducing paper is something I know about.  I have been running Paperless Wedding  since 2009 in Australia and 2014 in the UK.  Why don't you consider sending digital save-the-dates and invitations, and setting up a matching Wedding Website so you can keep your guests up to date with everything about your wedding? Give them ideas on how to travel to your wedding, share your thoughts on your 'eco' wedding and encourage them to be a 'Greeny' for a day. This saves lots of additional paper in your invitations and lets your guest feel more involved in your day from the very beginning.

6. Blogs and Online Magazines

Finally the other suggestion I have for all you city couples, don't buy magazines - go online.  Blogs can give you everything you need.  With Wedding Mags you have to wait once a month to be inspired. Blogs can give you daily inspiration. However if you miss that magazine check out the many digital magazine options such as Mr&Mrs Unique.

So, I hope I have inspired you to go that bit green on your wedding day and maybe I have save you a few pennies too.  Do let me know below!

Theme of the Month - Dotti over you

Monday, June 8, 2015

Our theme of the month is 'Dotti Over You'  and it is proving to be a big hit for our Free Save the Dates. This is a great way to let your guests know about your big day, engagement party or even Stag/Hen dos.  Its completely free!

Should you love the product as much as many of our users, then when it comes to sorting out the big day, upgrade to the website only package or to the full package with invitations. 

There are loads of great ideas on our Pinterest board to help theme your day, be it the wedding or hen do. So do pop along and take a look!

Eco Tip - Festival Weddings

Friday, June 5, 2015

Earlier this year on the Great British Wedding blog I looked at the coming trends  for 2015.  A popular trend on Pinterest is Festival Weddings, which is something I particularly love as it easily embraces an eco-friendly ethos.  My assumptions have been right as we have seen lots of invites going out for summer outdoor weddings, with bunting being a particular favourite theme. 

So what makes this sort of wedding most appealing to us a Paperless Wedding? Well combinging outdoors, with hiring of acccessories, eco food choices and wedding websites mean that it has a low carbon footprint. 

Venues

The great outdoors is as Eco as you can get. Shame we don’t live in warmer climates to guarantee great weather, but if you have a plan B you should be fine.  Think Tipees, homemade bunting of recycled materials, cushions, haystacks and woodland settings.

Hiring or Making Props

Instead of buying everthing new, why don't you hire props to fit with your theme? There are some fantastic companies that hire out vintage teacups, mix matched glasses, kegs, chaires, the list is endless. We have featured Belle Journee on our blog already with their budget and eco-friendly business. Another company called Vintage Dorset are also ecofriendly as they deliver all at once, saving you multiple trips to shops to source the props, therefore reducing your carbon footprint. They also get used again and again.

Get creative with lighting and decoration!  Use jam jars with tea lights, garlands of local flowers, make your own bunting and decorate the place with picture frames and old books you have. Reuse, borrow and make pretty!

Accommodation

Encourage people to camp and make a weekend of it! Alternatively try and get a couple of hotels close by to offer a good rate and then organise a bus to pick everyone up so no one has to drive.  This benefits the environment as well allowing people to have a drink too.

Food

Try to source local suppliers for your catering. Instead of a sit down meal why don’t you opt for a hog roast, buffet or BBQ. Use seasonal produce so nothing has to be shipped in. What about edible flowers? 

What about an ice cream bar or seller? Little Green ice Cream machine is the eco friendly Ice Cream company based in Devon with great credentials that would be perfect for a ‘Green’ wedding.  See their blog post here.

Wedding Website.

We know a lot about this! There are Paperless Weedding websites themes to match your festival theme. All details about your day can go on there and you can prepare your guests so they have the right footwear, bring brollies and plan a long weekend in their family tent. This website can be set up a year in advance to allow everyone enough time to plan! This is a great way of reducing the amount of paper sent out, as well reducing carbon emissions.  You can update it right up to the big day and guests get the chance to comment and share photos too.  See our 2 week free trial!

Images all found on our Pinterest board - Festivals - thanks to Rocknroll Bride and Brides magazine. 

Sparkle in April

Thursday, May 28, 2015
April coverage for Paperless Wedding thanks to Sparkle Pearls and Lace.

Thanks to Kaleigh for the coverage on her beautiful blog Sparkle Pearls and Lace

Eco Tips - Fairtrade Wedding & Engagement rings by Arabel Lebrusan

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This month we have been looking at all things to do with engagement and wedding rings on Facebook.  It seemed only right to look at it from an eco perspective too.  I am currently on the Green Union directory and looking in their jewellery section I came across Arabel's company. I loved her designs and also the detail of how ethical each ring was. So let me introduce you to.....

Who are you and how did you get into the business of ethical jewellery? I began my career as a jewellery designer designing fashion jewellery at a company that manufactured in the Philippines, but has distributes across the world. During this time I learnt all parts of the jewellery process, from researching trends through buying materials and producing samples, up until selling at a trade show.  I was able to travel the world and have the chance to see firsthand all the different techniques and individuals that are part of making jewellery.

However after seeing the world of mass manufacture and consumption I was keen to create jewellery in a more intimate and comfortable environment for workers, but also in a way which revitalised the European heritage that I felt was fast disappearing and bring unique traditional techniques to a new generation of customers. The choice of using Ethical and Fairtrade metals and stones has been a natural evolution to create beautiful stunning jewellery on the outside but also in the inside.

You have won lots of awards, which is your favourite and why? It is probably being Finalist for the UK Jewellery Awards, Bridal Collection of the Year 2015. This nomination is coming as a great  recognition for all the hard work I have been putting on my new engagement and wedding rings lines the last year. They are stunning and very special designs so being shortlisted really means I am doing something very good!  (We wish you the very best of luck!!!)

What sort of proof can you get when you buy a ring? We use only recycled and Fairtrade metals in our jewellery pieces, unless stated otherwise by the customer. We pride ourselves on sourcing conflict-free ethically sourced traceable diamonds and gemstones. We are registered with the Fairtrade Foundation which allows us to use their fairtrade authentication hallmark stamp; we are one of a few selected companies registered with the Fairtrade Foundation within the UK, makes us a very distinctive brand. When purchasing one our ethically mined diamonds we provide our customer with a GIA certificate which not only lists the details of the four C’s (Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat), but even describes the mine in which the stone came from.

What are the benefits of an ethical ring? By purchasing a Fairtrade Gold ring you are making a difference to the lives of small scale artisan miners and their communities. You know that the small-scale and artisanal miners were paid a fair price, giving them financial security. They also receive an extra amount of money to invest in building the future of their families and their communities, through education, medical care or environmental projects. By spending that little bit extra can make a big difference to those who need it and most importantly deserve it. I have also notice the rise for platinum wedding and engagement rings, we only work with 100 % recycled platinum as this helps the environment around us. By purchasing a recycled platinum piece you have helped to diminish the environmentally and socially destructive effects of dirty gold and other metal mining practices. Precious metals can be recycled repeatedly with no degradation in quality; they are a naturally renewable resource. By choosing recycled gold or platinum it can help decrease the global demand of newly mined precious metals.

What is your favourite ring?
I have a couple, the Efflorescence Ethical Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring would be my first.

I cannot keep my eyes away from it every time we get our samples out! Full of that 'WOW" factor that you want for an engagement ring.

My next choice is the Foliage Ethical Diamond Engagement Ring.

It is a quirky but nature inspired design, with a split band that makes it almost into an statement ring. It also has a bit of a boho-chic style which I really love.

Have you had an famous clients? Queen Letizia of Spain has a couple of our 100% recycled silver filigree cuffs, which she wears often and we are soooooooooo proud of this. Sienna and Savana Miller also has a couple of items.

Do you have any tips for men when buying an engagement ring? I have recently launched my own blog post for men helping with what to look for when purchasing an engagement ring. The main points were to understand her style and to keep an eye out for what sort of jewellery she wears. Experimenting with different stones, it doesn’t always have to be a solitaire. There has been a recent increase on gemstone rings this may also be an option for the daring groom-to-be. Understanding the four C’s, cut, clarity, colour and carat. Once you get your head around these you can understand what makes up a diamond and why they are such amazing everlasting stones. Any small issues like her ring size can always later be solved.

A big thanks to Arabel for sharing her story with us.  Do check out her website here as it is full of beautiful pictures and many more tips on how to choose your ring. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Wedding Traditions - History of the Invitation

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Traditions are a big part of a wedding. When we decided to get married back in 2009 we broke the long-standing tradition of the paper wedding invitation by having a Paperless Wedding. We chose this for many reasons, from it being cheaper, through to our bit to save the planet!

According to an article written by Martin Karen, in actual fact the original traditionaln  wedding invitation wasn't paper based. Most people agree that the first invitations began in the 12th Century with the town crier, who would walk through the town and announce important events to the public. Word of mouth was an important means of spreading news, and anyone within hearing of the town crier was, by default, invited to the wedding! So they had Paperless Weddings back then!

Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, 1883
Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, 1883

During the Middle Ages, when great numbers of people were illiterate, noble families would commission monks to hand-letter and illuminate wedding announcements in calligraphy. These invitations often included a family crest or coat of arms, an important symbol that helped identify the family of the engaged couple. Many people today include such a family crest or coat of arms on their wedding invitations as a nod toward tradition and heritage.

In the 18th century in England, handwritten social invitations were first used by the aristocracy. Only kings and queens and other members of high society received invitations to social events. Usually the invitations were written by a butler or ladies maid. Having them handwritten was a sign of education. Even after the modern printing press was discovered, many aristocrats continued to have their invitations handwritten for this purpose. The handwriting itself was a work of art. Much time and planning was given for this process. Calligraphy pens were used, which gave letters dimension; there were thick and thin lines in each word.


1890 wedding invitation

Modern wedding invitations became more widely-used after World War II. The development of thermographic printing allowed more sophisticated designs to be stamped on invitations at less cost than tradition engraving. Thermographic printing creates a raised effect that is often used for letterheads, business cards, and even Braille. Its versatility lends itself perfectly to the artistic nature of modern wedding invitations. However it still uses a lot of paper!

Today, invitations are often creative and individual expressions of the couple's personality.  People are experimenting a lot more and moving away from paper based invites to sending photography, videos and websites.  We hope through Paperless Wedding you can be different, have a website and send wedding invitations digitally to your guests.  Upload photos and add extra pages for all the information you want to share with your guests.  If the town crier had of been crying today he would be very hoarse with all the information that is now sent out.

Paperless Wedding Tip - Website Only

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Have you already set your heart on a beautiful paper invitation? I don't blame you at all, as paper invitations can be amazing and a lovely keepsake. I also love them landing through letterbox. So even though I do promote all things "Green" and "Eco-friendly", I understand that it is not for everyone. This is why we offer the WEBSITE ONLY package. So what are the benefits?

Meet the Designer - Uniquely White

Monday, April 27, 2015

I love working with new designers as they bring a breath of fresh air to our themes. They creative flair allows couples more choice for their big day and maybe might even influence their overall theme for the day. Today I would love to introduce Lynsey White of Uniquely White.

This blog post hopes to give you a little bit more detail about who Uniquely White are and what inspires and drives Lynsey in her business. Enjoy...

Wedding Traditions - The Wedding Ring

Friday, April 24, 2015

My blog on the tradition of the wedding dress colour was very popular, so now I am going to look into the traditions behind the wedding ring. 

The purpose of engagement rings and wedding bands is to convey deep emotions of eternal love, eternal happiness, eternal commitment, and eternal togetherness. These rings signify eternity - between the giver and the recipient. A ring, of course, is a complete circle with no break and no end or beginning, which means that it just goes on and on - it is eternal. This is often mentioned during the marriage vows.

 
Photo: My lovely engagement ring that was my Gran's Ruby Wedding ring.

These days, many people take wedding bands and engagement rings for granted, and although they give these beautiful items of jewellery with integrity and love, they are often given with no real knowledge of the meaning behind them . They haven’t always been the shiny jewel encrusted bands that we see in the shops today. Now we have a lot more choice as to where and how we get them.

Paperless Wedding supports the eco wedding rings which are becoming more common.  They got a good bit of promotion when Natalie Portman got engaged. Her ring was created by jewellery designer Jamie Wolf, Portman’s custom-designed ring is made of recycled platinum and its diamonds are certified as conflict-free.

History lesson time...

The first wedding band is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt, where it is said that plant sections were fashioned in to circles to signify never-ending and immortal love. It was thought that the fourth finger (which we now know as the ring finger) contained a special vein that was connected directly to the heart, and therefore this became the official finger for the wedding band.

The Romans saw the ring as a symbol of ownership where Roman men would "claim" their woman with the giving of a ring. Some women today find this symbol distasteful as in the era of equality they do not wish to be ‘owned’.

Puzzle rings were a complex type of jewellery that were once popular in Asia, and these jewels had the charming knack of being able to fall apart and put back together again - if you knew how to do this! (They were a contemporary fashion item in the 1970s…my mum had one!). Wealthy Middle Eastern men then began to use these rings as wedding bands for their wives, who were often forced to wear a puzzle ring when their husband was away. When the husband returned and found that the ring had fallen apart then he knew that she had been unfaithful!

During Colonial times when puritanical views were held, all items of jewellery in America were prohibited due to their apparent moral worthlessness. Instead, a more practical thimble was given as a token of love and as a pledge of eternal togetherness. However, after they were married, the women tended to remove the bottom of their "engagement thimble" to form a type of ring.

In some European countries the wedding ring is worn on the right hand and in Scandinavia women often wear 3 rings, engagement, wedding and motherhood (I wonder if I might get this third ring this month!!)

Men started to wear wedding rings around the time of World War 2 when they wore them to remind themselves of the wives they had left at home.

The ancient Greeks are thought to have given a form of engagement ring, a betrothal ring, but these were more like friendship rings and did not necessarily mean an intended marriage.

Sparkling engagement rings as we know them today became popular in around the fourteenth or fifteenth century, when the rich and the royal could afford and wear these jewels although the bands may not necessarily be made of gold. It was many centuries before these engagement rings would become more popular or traditional. When Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a diamond ring as a memento the current fashion for diamond engagement rings could have been initiated!

Rings can also be handed down through a family as Prince William has given his future wife Catherine his mothers sapphire and diamond engagement ring. As I said earlier my engagement ring was originally my grandmothers!!

Whatever the ring, plaited hair, metal or gold, bejewelled or plain, are given and received with love!  Where did yours come from?.......do let us know.

Paperless Wedding Tip - Guestbook

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I love Facebook, maybe a little too much my husband might say!  I am often posting photos and commenting.  When we set up Paperless Wedding, we knew a guestbook would be needed to allow people to leave the couple messages, or to communicate to the wider wedding group of arrangements.

The Guestbook can be used by you in 2 ways. You can use it just for gathering lovely comments - which you can download and keep! You could use it as a way for people to RSVP, if you have done WEBSITE ONLY option.

For option 2 to work, you would need to mention this requirement in your paper invitation.

To communicate these options you can add some 'Intro Text' that will appear at the top of your Guestbook, letting guests know what the page is for.  If you are asking them to RSVP you can let them know that their reply won't be made public (unless of course you want to.)!

Here is a little snapshot of how your guestbook will look. A nice memory of the years events don't you think?!

If you would prefer not to have this at all, that is OK too.  You can switch it off from "Your Pages".

Happy creating!

Paperless Wedding Timeline

Friday, April 17, 2015

Do you want to know when to send out your digital Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations? This is a great little diagram that will help guide you. 

Wedding invitation timeline for delivery via Paperless Wedding

You can combine your paper invitations with a wedding website.  Maybe use designers like Knots and KissesUniquely White or Julia Eastwood.  These stationery providers have matching paper invitations to their designs that appear on our site.

We understand it is not always possible (or that everyone wants too) have a 100% digital wedding. We love working with designers. There are design tools on our site, to upload desingers themes to create your own bespoke designs. They are also available to you as well!  So if you feel brave enough, have a go at creating your very own wedding website design!!

Happy creating and designing. 

Budget Tips - Vintage

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weddings can cost lots of money, but there are ways of making things cheaper and 'greener'. I came across Belle Journée website when I was researching ways to recycle things for your wedding. Hiring is a great way of enabling an object, be it a vase or cup and saucer, get lot more use. This avoid it being bought and being put in a loft after the big day.

Lydia runs Belle Journée which is a wedding styling and hiring service for couples in South Wales. She offers hire of vintage props, cut glass vases, décor and mercury items as well as wedding planning and styling services. Lydia has great experience in all things wedding,  as well as direct experience when planning her own wedding. She found she was often frustrated with the lack of independent and unique wedding suppliers in the area. Everything she found in the area décor wise was the same in every company and nothing offered the vintage yet glamorous feel she was looking for.

New Theme - Delicate Lace by Uniquely White

Friday, April 10, 2015

We are really lucky to have another theme on the site!  Lynsey for Uniquely White has created her magic again and come up with this lovely lace themed design.

Lace wedding website theme in apricot

March 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
We got featured on four sites this month!

What a busy month March has been and we have had some great coverage. First up was on:

Then it was quickly followed by this great post by:


As it says, if you sign up to our site you will be able to access a code on the Gift List page what will get you 30% off Buy Our Honeymoon.

We then featured on Bewildered Bride as well. 

It was only 18th March and we go another mention on #Bridehour Blog.

Happy Easter!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

My daffs are blooming and the tulips are coming through too. Spring is well and truly here!  It is a lovely time of year to get married, as long as you don't mind an April shower.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married in glorious sunshine at the end of April a few years ago. Are you going to be as lucky? 

With Spring comes Easter and now we have a lovely 4 days off in a row, more for some. So while I being my nesting in earnest (only a couple of weeks to go), I am sure lots of you are planning your weddings or maybe even going to weddings. There are several bank holiday weekends coming up so there could be weddings a plenty!

I have created a Pinterest board inspired by Easter.  I love the above idea, that can be homemade, as a favour for your guests. They could make great centre pieces too, that then can be taken away!

These napkin folds are a perfect little nod to Easter and make your table arrangement look fun.

One Fab Day did a lovely spring/Easter colour palette that got me thinking about designs that would be perfect for a springtime wedding. 


Peonies designed by Coeur is available on Paperless Wedding now. Do go and check it out.

As a bit of fun on your day, you could send the kids off on an egg hunt. Perfect way to keep them entertained while you get the photos done!

Photos: All credits attached to Pinterest board links.

Theme of the Month - Love Birds

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Theme of the Month this month is a design by the talented Stephanie at Stelloberry designs. Steolloberry designs is based in Sydney, Australia.  It was at a wedding networking event that I met Stephanie and she agreed to do a design for me. 

As with all my posts now I spend time looking at ideas to match this theme on Pinterest.  I was surprised to find so much with the tag "Love Birds". Taking the bird cage and the birds as the key themes in this design, your wedding could easily be accessorised. Here are a pick of my favourites that I spotted that stood out for being a bit different.


There were loads of cake designs and on the one right has been repinned on my board over 30 times, so I know this is a popular theme.

This is not some thing I have seen before!  A crossword as an ice breaker on wedding tables. I love that the birds are so similar to our website design. 


Image: From the London Bride Blog

I love this bold print on these bridesmaid dresses. They are really different and unique.  Is it something you would consider?


Image: Confetti Daydreams

LOVE this idea as a thank you gift for coming to the wedding. Very useful and eco friendly. 

So sign up today and check out this theme and all you can do with it! 

Paperless Wedding - Love Birds

New Theme - Vintage Rose

Friday, March 27, 2015

A new theme and a new designer!!  We welcome Lynsey ofUniquely White and a BIG thanks goes to her for creating this wonderful theme. Vintage Rose will also have matching paper invitations and accessories if you want to go for this option. Just contact Lynsey via her website and she can arrange it all for you. 

Paperless Wedding Tip - Photo Gallery

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our new and improved photo gallery section on the site is really cool. OK I am biased but once you have tried it I am sure you will agree.  It gives you lot more options of how to display your photos and which ones you want to make public.

From this new homepage you can set up multiple albums.  Before the wedding, they could include your engagement shoot or maybe a 'Whose Who' at the wedding. After the big day you can set up new albums for your official photos.  As guests upload their photos, new albums are created for them.

Woman In Business - Baby Boom

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time travels a lot quicker when your pregnant! I am pregnant as the photo suggests and heading towards a mid April due date, at a great rate of knots.  So much to do and so little time both professionally and personally.

I am currently almost 34 weeks and the bump is touching the desk and my 2 year old daughter is rather bemused by my size and the number of 'new' things appearing in the house. One thing about this pregnancy is that it has meant that I am much more focused on what is important. Trying to stop daydreaming about new themes, the mobile app and migrating our NZ/AU sites over, instead focusing on the here and now. Making sure our new clients are happy and getting the best possible experience, ironing out any issues quickly and scheduling blogs, Facebook and Twitterposts to give me some slack on the other side.

Traditions - Mother of the Bride

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy Mothers Day!!

Where would we be without our mums?!....(not here says my husband,,,haha very funny!).

Paperless Wedding - Couples Homepage

Friday, March 6, 2015

We have some exciting news for you all. We launched back in September with our beta site. Over the last 4 months we have been making improvements, listening to feedback and this week we did a bit of overhaul of the couples homepage.  There is now a place to go and see what you have done, what needs doing and updates on RSVP's and if any comments or photos have been added.  This will be launched on MONDAY!!!


We have improved the menu navigation on the right of the page and given you a percentage of how complete the site is.

The biggest changes are that we have created an area that you can see what needs doing and what has been done. You can quickly access each area that needs completing by clicking edit or add.  There is also an new area where you can see who has replied and uploaded photos. It also shows what you have done, for example changing the theme.

We have also removed the step process and streamlined the set up to make it quicker and easier. For those on the site already, this won't affect you but for new sign ups it will. Try it out here.


The other section that has had big improvements is the "Our Pages" part of the site.  This is where you can add additional pages for example: accommodation, things to do, engagement stories or a whose who on the big day. It is a chance to make the site more personal to you. You can update these pages right up to the big day, so your wedding guests know exactly what is happening.

We have also given options to reorder the menu on the guest site and switch on and off pages according to your requirements. So if you don't want a guestbook or a gallery you don't have to have them!

The Gallery, Guestbook and Gifts have been split out into their own tabs.



The Gallery can have multiple albums. You can preview photos your guests upload and then publish them on the site. You can also download the galleries to your desktop too, so no photo will be lost!

You can now add text to the top of your guestbook page to make it that bit more personal. You can preview comments before publishing them to the book and when everyone has commented you can download all the comments and keep them.

We think that this will really help you navigate the site and keep you up to date with everything that is happening.  Do let us know what you think once we launch on MONDAY!

Happy planning
x

Theme of the Month - Bunting

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Spring is here, roll out the bunting!!

We have two great bunting inspired themes for you to choose from. These are perfect for your festival inspired wedding, or converted barn or woodland setting. Bunting is simple to make, reusing old materials or you can hire them from a vintage supplier or even try your local village hall!! Since the Jubilee there seems to have been a big increase on bunting decorated venues. 

Eco Tips - Ice Cream

Monday, March 2, 2015

I am loving discovering companies that can add something that bit different to your 'green' wedding. You don't have to be having an eco consious wedding to use them, but they would be the perfect fit you did. This month I would like to introduce Olly from TheLittle Green Ice Cream Machine. We 'met' on Twitter during a very busy #weddinghour (Wednesdays 9-10pm, hosted by The Wedding Affair). It is a great place to talk with vendors and for companies to meet like minded companies. He agreed to be our vendor of the month. So lets learn a bit more about him and his great company.

Paperless Wedding February 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015
The month of love and we have felt the love from The Great British Website and also Green Union!

The month of love and we have felt the love from The Great British Website and also Green Union. Many thanks to both for featuring us this month! Click on the images below to be taken to the sites to see more.

 

Real Paperless Wedding - Ben and Ali

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ben and Ali Wedding by Alexa Loy Photograhpy - Wedding Balloons

I love a festival wedding and this was an amazing wedding. The marriage of Ali and Ben took place at Brighton Town Hall before they were transported to this amazing venue called Keepers Mead, West Sussex.  They had erected some fab Tipis, created a forest of adventure for big and little people to explore. Truly magical wedding! All of this was captured by the talented Alexa Loy.

Wedding Traditions - Changing your name?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

To change or not to change name, that is the question I am posing in today's blog. This is a long standing tradition that a woman changes her name to that of her partner.  It is so funny when lots of couples opt for a traditional wedding but then buck the trend when it comes to name changing. 

Happy Valentines Day!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!!

What are you up to today? Planning your big day or taking the chance to spend some quality time with one another? 

Mr T and I (plus a two year old and 7 month bump!) are planning a bit of romance.  I am sure like many of your men out there, the way to their heart is through the stomach.  So the plan today is to go out for a hearty brunch, a walk in the park and a nice meal, once the little one is in bed.

Have a wonderful day, whatever you are up to. This is for you Mr T.....

xx

Real Wedding - Anette and Mattias

Friday, February 13, 2015

We are casting the net a bit further a field for this Real Wedding of the week. Anette and Mattias celebrated their marriage at a Swedish vineyard, Flädie Mat & Vingård, which is located in the small village of Flädie, between Lund and Bjärred.

New Theme - Peonies

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


It is the month of love and so it calls for another new theme.  Last month we were in the romantic city of Paris, this month we are gazing upon some beautiful Peonies. This has been designed by Louise of Coeur. She has also designed the popular Dottitheme as well as Soiree Magical

Real Wedding - Matt and Ruth

Friday, February 6, 2015

Our wedding of the week is Matt and Ruth, who got married at their local church, Woodford Baptist Church in South Woodford, London.

They had their photos taken at Canary Wharf, which was also where their reception was held. They opted for friends to do the photography with Murray Hancock taking the formal shots and Jonathan Osborne taking the reportage shots. (This is also what we did too!)

Ruth's advice is, "planning a wedding does not have to be stressful, don't believe the lie. Matt and I had a great time planning our wedding, we had no stress, it was lovely." 

Keeping lists, keeping within budget, keeping focused on the reasons of marriage, helped guide them through the process. Don't forget the day is about the two of you making that commitment and sharing your joy with family and friends. 

Eco Tips - Wedding Cakes that are green!

Monday, February 2, 2015

New week and a new month! The month of romance, I hope you have something nice planned.

This months Eco themed post I wanted to look at the Eco Wedding cake.  My husband, declared the other evening, that there was no such thing. However there is, depending on how you source your ingredients. So I am about to prove him wrong and also hopefully get you thinking about another aspect of your wedding that you can make that little bit greener!

Photo: Wedding at http://www.coombefarmwoods.co.uk/

While on twitter I "met" Clare Neilson who is the founder of Conscious Confections. The company was created after her lecture told her she would have to create her perfect job and with help from a Business Bootcamp (hosted by MMU Centre for Enterprise) Conscious Confections was born. Her first two clients wanted wedding cakes. She said " I agreed to do both but then discovered they were both due the same week! It was a bit stressful, but I delivered both cakes on time. “Made of Honour” was such a perfect name (I love a good pun) that there was no other option."

So what makes a wedding cake eco-friendly? Claire allows customers to specify any ethical ingredients they want. Fair-trade, organic, local and national produce are all options. Her advice is, "don't let recipes confuse you with the phrase “good quality ingredients.” – that doesn’t tell you much. I'd rather have British grown and milled flour than slightly better flour that's travelled miles from Canada. Conversely, I'm happy to use fair-trade brown sugar as much as possible for chocolate cakes and biscuits, and British caster for lighter cakes. It supports the national and global economies at the same time."  

Another aspect to consider is the size and packaging of both the cake and the ingredients. When Clare attended the Cake and Bake shows in both Manchester and London, and she could not believe the size of some of the cupcakes and pastries intended for one person - they were huge! From an environmental perspective: single use, non-recycled plastic cases for these creations were a huge waste of money and resources. She couldn't find any of the widely available compostable plastics at the show.  Thinking about the portion size will reduce waste. A 4 tier cake for a wedding with only 50 people might be a bit excessive. Get your cake maker to guide you about size. 

 

So are you baking at home and would like so top tips?  Here is what Clare has to say.


Photo: Clare Neilson

"Home-made is best. Only you know what you like and only you know what you would be happy putting in a cake. Free-range eggs give a lovely pale yellow colour to the sponge. If you know anyone with chickens, use those eggs, and remember to thank the hard working ladies with some of your leftovers. Patience is a virtue: Beat the fat and sugar as much as possible before you add the egg (it makes a higher volume mixture which holds the egg better) before you finally fold in the flour."

To find out more about Eco Cakes do contact Clare!

Email cake.neilson@gmail.com for Made of Honour celebration cake enquires and quotes.
Tweet @Made_Of_Honour 

Email clare@consciousconfections.co.uk for business to business enquires, cycling logistics and sustainable business practices.
Tweet @c_confec
www.consciousconfections.co.uk for online gallery, blog and delivery area.

January 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015
Lots of great coverage to start the New Year with!

I loved this blog post that really captured me and my business! Thanks to Mrs Robertson of A Real Brides Guide. 

 

Also we featured on the Wedding Tattle blog as part of her talent Thursday! 

Finally my monthly blog post was published for The Great British Wedding Blog. This month it covered festival weddings. 

New Theme - Je t'aime

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I love adding new themes to the site so here is our first one for this year!  It has been designed by Louise of Coeur. She has also designed the popular Dottitheme as well as Soiree Magical.  Entitled Je t'aime, it is perfect for your French themed wedding.

Traditions - Dress colour

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Married in white, you will have chosen all right. Married in grey , you will go far away. Married in black, you will wish yourself back. Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead. Married in blue, you will always be true. Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl. Married in green, ashamed to be seen, Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow. Married in brown, you’ll live out of town. Married in pink, your spirits will sink.”

Competition time!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What a busy month we are having as everyone starts 2015 planning their weddings.  It has been great seeing so many sign ups, save the dates and websites being created. So to say thank you, we are going to give one lucky couple a FREE package.

Sign Up to Paperless Wedding,

AND

Like our Facebook page to be in with a change to win. 

If you have already signed up, make sure you like our Facebook Page and vice versa.

The prize is a full package which consists of the ability to create or choose theme, a wedding website, unlimited email invitations for your guests, Online RSVP and the chance to pick up 30% off code for Buy Our Honeymoon

The name will be picked out at random on Sunday 1st February and announced on Monday February 2nd.

Get sharing and signing up. You have to be in it to win it!!!

Real Weddings - Rachel & Stuart

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We only launched in September so we don't have any recent Paperless Wedding brides.  In the meantime we have some lovely brides who are going to share tips with you about their big day.  First up are Rachel and Stuart!

Rachel's advice is brilliant and not something I had thought of before.

'One thing that I did on my wedding day was to ask my family members to keep something special from the day and collect it up as I wanted to create a memory box of the day.  Some super things were collected from the day and my box was full in no time.  I really treasure all these objects such as a shell from the beach where we had some of are photos taken, a Times Newspaper on the day of the wedding , a Champagne Cork from the Hotel and a menu from the Reception venue.  All these random objects mean so much and remind me of my special day.'

Rachel and Stuart got married in the Isle of Man at Castle Rushen, Castletown.

Photographer was Orry Maddrell

Wedding Budget Tips - To Have and To Hire

Monday, January 19, 2015

In 2015 I will be asking companies to contribute to my blog that I believe have a great ethos on the environment, as well as having a keen eye on the budget.  So to kick this off I asked Annalisa Jones, the Director of To Have & To Hire Limited, to give us an insight into her world of the high end wedding dress hire business. This company can save you thousands on designer dresses, if that is what you are looking for!

To have and to Hire logo

Paperless Wedding Tips - Creating your Gift List

Friday, January 16, 2015

We all dream of the day we can walk down a John Lewis aisle with a scanner, selecting all the gifts we hope to fill our homes with. However it is not always practical today.  Two houses are often combining or have combined and more homeware is not what is needed. People are getting creative with their gift lists and back in 2009 we decided to do something that bit different.  We created online gift list that allowed us create a perfect list without tying ourselves to one provider and giving us freedom to come up with a honeymoon filled with experiences and adventure.Buy Our Honeymoon is similar to the company we used and we highly recommend them.

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 5, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

This is the first day back to work for most people. The weeks of over eating and drinking are now behind us.....except me, as today is my Birthday.  A rotten time of year to have it (thanks M&D!) but thanks to a wonderful husband, as you read this, I will be out for a rather nice lunch. 

I just wanted to share with you some of the highlights of 2014 with you before we embark on an exciting year together. We launched this beta site in September which was an amazing feeling after months (and months of work). By the end of Jan, we will add the final new features before considering it 100% Live.  

We have grown on Social Media:

Over 150 new followers on Facebook
Over 100 new followers of our Pinterest boards and over 
Over 500 new followers on Twitter.

New Designs:

We had a lot of designs from when we launched in Australia and New Zealand.  However we have added to them with several new themes and collaborated with several new designers.

We are loving working with Nikki from Knots and Kisses, Louise from Coeur, Simon from Skyblue and Sam from Purple Tree. We look forward to adding more themes over the coming months. 

Visitors to our site:

We have had sign ups on the site to try our free Save the Dates and people are testing out our two week free trial. We have sent out invitations to New Zealand, South Africa and America to name but a few. According to Google analytics we have reduced our bounce rate from 60% to 30% and people are staying on our site longer and longer which is awesome news. 

Press Coverage:

We have been featured in several blogs and appear in many directories, see our News and Press section. I love sharing my story and inspiring people to go digital. I am loving working with The Great Britsh Wedding as their Eco Wedding blogger and have been featured twice already with another one being published later this month. 

So what does 2015 hold?

Looking forward to appearing on Smashing the Glass Blog, working with Buy Our Honeymoon and being featured on A Real Brides Guide. There is also a lot more in the pipeline.

We working on number of things on the site, including this blog. We are improving the creation of your own pages for your website, adding new packages, new themes, improving the theme selection display and fixing an bugs that have been logged. There is also work to be done on the display and interaction on tablets and mobiles as it would appear a lot of people use these mediums over the desktop and laptops now. 

We will continue to be a regular contributor to the #weddinghour on Twitter, which is hosted by The Wedding Affair on a Wednesday between 9-10pm. We hope you will join us there. We will be posting regular blog posts and Facebook updates, so you are across all things weddings on a weekly basis!

That just leaves me to say thank you for the support for 2014 and roll on for a busy, wedding filled 2015.

Thank you.

Emma
x

December 2014

Thursday, January 1, 2015
The latest Eco Guest blog post on The Great British Wedding blog.

I am really enjoying being the resident Eco Blogger for the Great British Wedding blog. This month I covered everying to do with the winter wedding

butterfly2butterfly3