Is this the mother of the bride role model of all time?

You're an elegant, sophisticated lady and it's your daughter's big day. (And you're wondering how did she grow up so fast?)

Which is just wonderful. Except you're thinking. WHAT ON EARTH AM I GOING TO WEAR?

Well, don't panic. There are some wonderful mother of the bride role models out there who in our opinion got the big day absolutely right and dressed the part to perfection.



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We salute you Carole Middleton!

Carole Middleton (mother of Duchess Kate and sister Pippa Middleton). Okay, so she may have a larger bank balance than the average mother of the bride but that doesn't necessarily give someone taste and style (although in her case she has both in spades and in fact, as a role model for how the older woman looks, we don't think she puts a foot wrong really).



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Carole got a number of things right on her daughters' wedding days, namely:

  • She avoided layers of shiny silk
  • She didn't have a complicated hair-do
  • She didn't go overboard on the make-up (bright red lipstick etc.)
  • She looked comfortable and true to herself. Sure, she's in great shape but she will have enhanced her good points and disguised the bad.
  • She gets tailoring. Her outfits fitted her beautifully. Her jackets fitted her like a glove, the skirts were just the right length and fit - not too loose, not too tight.
  • She forgot about on trend fashion. Carole went for classic styling, so these wedding pictures aren't going to date any time soon.
  • She embraced pastels. She wore pale blue for one wedding and pale pink for another. Both shades flattered her skin tone completely.

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Rules for the mother of the bride

  • Don't wear white or cream (yes we know, it's obvious, but you'd be surprised ...)
  • Don't wear a plunging neckline at an afternoon wedding (change into evening dress for an evening party)
  • Don't allow yourself to be pigeon holed into a 'mother of the bride' outfit. Have a look at movie stars of a similar age and see what they're wearing. Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep tend to get it right.
  • If you think you look better in trousers, then wear them. Just make sure they're tailored and worn with a well cut jacket.
  • Don't wear an over-large hat - people will want to see your face in the pictures.
  • If you're buying off-the-peg, then consider having your outfit altered. A good dressmaker or seamstress will alter a standard fit to fit you perfectly and it's well worth spending the money on a few alterations.
  • If you're not happy to show your upper arms, then consider a dress with lace sleeves - which will flatter and disguise. Bracelet length sleeves are usually the most flattering.

Department stores are good places to shop because they have a vast and varied selection. However, a boutique might be more personal and have limited designs (so you don't run the risk of someone else wearing the same outfit!)

Alternatively, you might like to check out the new Jenny Packham range of dresses at Dessy, which feature lace and are super elegant.



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How delicious is this wedding - in raspberry pink and lime green

raspberry pink and lime green wedding theme

One of the best investments you can make when you first get engaged and you're planning your wedding is to buy a color wheel or color book. Really? Oh yes. Because it's a sure way to see which colors go together - and some shades that you may never have considered work perfectly together. 

For example, raspberry pink and lime green. The combo is fresh, original and definitely these are two shades to choose if you don't want to go down the pastel wedding route (but you're kind of fond of pink though).

raspberry pink and lime green wedding theme

Thinking about pink

Flowers that come in a raspberry shade? There's roses, hydrangeas, gerberas ... your florist is going to have a whole load of ideas. In addition, this is a theme that could save you money on flowers. Really? How? Well, greenery tends to come in less pricey than flowers, so you can focus on lime green leaves and have raspberry pops of colored blooms.

What about a green and pink cocktail for your guests when they arrive? We like the idea above of having a glass frosted with pink or green contrasting sugar. We're thinking maybe mohitos?

On your dessert table you could have raspberry and pistachio macarons, pink meringues ... and we're sure you'll have some ideas for your wedding cake. 

We love the way the table above has been decorated with green sashes and paper lanterns in pink, white and green overhead. It looks a million dollars but will have cost a whole lot less.

raspberry pink bridesmaid dresses

As for raspberry pink bridesmaid dresses, you'll find plenty of choice at Dessy - like the Dessy bridesmaid dresses shown above. Whether you want strapless, one shoulder, long sleeved, cocktail length, full length. Take a look at Dessy's raspberry pink bridesmaid dresses here. And if you'd like to move the theme a bit further, you could mix and match with lime green bridesmaid dresses and accessories for the bridegroom and his party. Look out for the Dessy colors of punch and Pantone turquoise to get the look.

Image credits top: Anne Edgar Photography.

Secrets for a rose quartz wedding day theme

Rose quartz could have been made for weddings.

The color comes from the rose quartz crystal, which is supposed to allow one the capacity to truly give and receive love from others.

Rose quartz has a very feminine energy and the crystals have been used as love tokens since around 600 B.C.

It all sounds absolutely perfect for a wedding day.

And as these images show you, rose quartz is also a very versatile wedding color.

It looks wonderful on a romantic chiffon wedding dress - or bridesmaid dress. There's something about this soft color that just lets a bride float along. 

Add pale pink roses to the mix to add to the romance. You can combine rose quartz with gold but it looks very striking with green too, as shown in the bride's bouquet here. (In fact, as you can tell, we really like the look of tying a bouquet with a strikingly long velvet ribbon that trails nearly to the ground.)

Ask your caterer to search out rose gold cutlery for your wedding tables. 

And of course, pink champagne is a must. 

Browse through what Dessy creates in rose quartz and you'll feel really inspired. Dress the bridegroom or groomsmen in rose quartz vests and ties. Gift your maids rose quartz chandelier earrings or a soft pashmina. 

This is a color that works beautifully in the depths of winter - the pink contrasts beautifully with snowy whiteness. 

In spring too you could have a wedding day of pink spring blossoms or a midsummer rose quartz celebration. 

Be inspired! 

Image credits: 

Top board clockwise from top left: Happy Wedd, Bridesmaid dress by Dessy, Grey likes weddings.

Second board clockwise from top left: Happy Wedd, Grey likes weddingsGrey likes weddings, Happy Wedd

Third board: Tuxedo, vest and cravat in Rose Quartz by Dessy, Dessy bridesmaid dress from real Dessy wedding on Facebook

Fourth board: Rose drop earrings by Dessy

Things only a newly-wed bride knows

wedding inspiration

We've talked to some recent brides about what they wish they'd known before their wedding day. 

Here's what one told us. 

"You can never be sure exactly everything is going to be exactly 100% as you want it. I was a real control freak and thought I had everything sorted. I'd Pantone colour co-ordinated my invitations, the bridesmaids sashes, my seating plan and wedding favors. Hey - even the flowers in my wedding bouquet matched up. 

And then my fiance got a black eye two days before the wedding when he fell off his mountain bike. Nope, I didn't see that coming either. Thankfully he didn't break any bones but the wedding photos were certainly interesting! "

Go with the flow

You see, there are always going to be some things that are out of your control and it's best not to stress about them. Better to take a deep breath and leave it to the Universe.

So what exactly are these things (black eyes apart)?

1. The Weather

You may have planned a destination on a hot and sunny beach. Or maybe you're having a rustic wedding. The thing is, the weather will always - but always - have a mind of its own.

If you're having a beach wedding somewhere exotic then it may be superhot that day. In which case, you need to have back-up sunshades at the ready for people to shelter underneath. And check the weather at your destination at the time of year you're marrying to make sure that it's not monsoon or hurricane season. Find out about air-conditioning. Because whilst getting married on the sand at midday might be romantic, you may all want to slope off into somewhere shady and cool for the afternoon (and then come out to dance under the stars in the evening).

2. Emotions

A wedding day is a perfect storm of emotion. Bear in mind the potential flashpoints. For example, if your parents have both remarried to other people then there could be an atmosphere. Have a word with them beforehand and tell them what you expect. Avoid run-ins by sitting certain couples separately.

Children can get overtired and scratchy - so have a chillout room for little ones where they can recharge their batteries, watch a movie quietly or nap.

And if a friend has recently broken up with a boyfriend and no longer has a plus one, put her on a table where she'll have fun.

3. Pregnant Bridesmaids

You probably selected your bridesmaids a while ago - and a lot can happen in the meantime. Including one of your bridesmaids announcing that her delivery date is very close to your wedding day. In which case, don't give her too much to do, just in case she doesn't make the wedding. Rope in another girl who's unlikely to be expecting a baby then who will be available to help you. (Also check out Dessy's maternity bridesmaid dresses.)

4. The Way You Look

This one might take you by surprise. After all, you've got your dress right, your hair right, your makeup - it's all decided. However the lead up to your wedding day can be stressful so if you're prone to breakouts and skin conditions exacerbated by stress (eczema and psoriasis for example) just bear in mind that you might end up with a blemish on your skin just when you least want it. To reduce the likelihood of this happening don't have a facial just before your wedding day and don't embark on a new skincare routine either. Stay as calm as possible - you might want to investigate meditation techniques to help you stay grounded.

5. No Shows

Some relatives - particularly those flying in from distant places - could have their travel plans interrupted by bad weather, strikes or even illness. Again, be prepared for this to happen and if somebody can't come last minute then don't make a big deal of it. There's nothing you can do about it. Instead, make sure that your wedding photographs are wonderful, that you get the event videoed so that you can share it with them afterwards.

The important thing to remember is that it's your wedding day and there are always going to be unforeseen hiccups that you can't do anything about. Take them in your stride and enjoy every moment, rather than focusing on what can't be changed and what can't be helped.

Image credits clockwise from top left: Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks, Dessy


Wedding Etiquette A-Z

wedding etiquette



It's a tradition that the bride never arrives bang on time at the ceremony - just a few minutes late.

Bridal Registry 

Nowadays many couples live together before they get married, so they may have much of what they need already. However, guests still love to give the bride and groom something for their home, so maybe it's time to upgrade your bedlinen, your cutlery or china? Some couples ask for money towards their honeymoon. 

Whatever you decide, it's a good idea to have a list of gifts you'd love to receive. 


Think about whether you want children at your wedding. If you're having an evening do then it's not really appropriate and in any case, the parents may be glad of an evening off!


If you and your new spouse are planning on opening the dancing, then think about having some professional dancing lessons beforehand. It's a good life skill to know how to waltz properly! 


A newspaper announcement reads as follows: The engagement is announced between (groom's name), son of (parents' names) of (parents' hometown) and (bride's name), daughter of (parents' names) of (parents' hometown).


A bag of five sugared almonds for each guest used to be the traditional favor, representing fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. Nowadays favors can be much more extravagant but you don't really need to have them and if you're on a budget, then it's probably best spending the money on your food or drink. 


One of their most important jobs is to show each guest to their seat at the ceremony. Make sure they've been well briefed beforehand so they don't stand chatting around at the entrance, leaving people wondering where they should be sitting. 


Traditionally the groom should organise and pay for the honeymoon and make it a surprise for his bride. 


Do you want to invite plus ones? If you're not keen, then a singles table or tables at your wedding could be the solution. 

All individuals over 18 should always receive their own wedding invitation. 


Don't wear any rings other than your engagement ring on your wedding day. Before the ceremony, put it on the third finger of your right hand and then place it by your wedding ring after you're married. 


Giving your bridesmaids a gift as a thank-you is a lovely idea. Jewelry to wear on your big day is perfect. Don't forget to give your young flowergirls and pageboys a framed photograph of themselves in the wedding group. 


Make sure your bridal underwear fits you perfectly, is comfortable and does its job as well as looking beautiful. Get yourself fitted out in a lingerie shop so you're measured correctly. 

Morning coats

It's a good idea to have a dress code on your wedding invitations. If morning dress should be worn by everyone then say so. Or if tuxedos or lounge suits are the order of the day then make that clear. 

No show

Hopefully this won't happen but make sure your caterers know to take away empty place settings, so that there are no gaps. 

Order of service

  • Entrance of the Bride
  • Welcome and Introduction 
  • Hymn
  • Readings
  • Sermon
  • Exchange of Marriage Vows
  • Prayers; Hymn
  • The Signing of the register
  • The Final Blessing
  • Exit


Try not to have guests hanging about waiting for group photographs in cold or wet weather. 


What accommodation is nearby? What do the couple want as a gift? Where can I park? The mother of the bride is a good person to field questions - just make sure she has the right answers and has been briefed properly. 

S is for Speeches

The bride's father gives the first speech, followed by the bridegroom and then the best man.

Thank-you notes

If you want your wedding day to be remembered for the right reasons, then make sure you write those thank-you notes. It's particularly important to thank guests for their gifts because a) they will know you received the present b) it's very rude not to.

Umbrellas (and parasols)

These should be at hand for guests if you're marrying on a rainy day or if you're somewhere very bright and sunny. If guests have to walk outside from the ceremony to the venue, make sure they are protected from the weather if necessary. 


Wear the right veil for your wedding style. If you're marrying on a beach, don't opt for a cathedral length veil and if you're marrying in a large church, a birdcage veil will look out of place. 

Traditionally pregnant brides and second-time brides don't wear veils. 


Think about the weather at the time of year and location you're marrying in. Make sure that guests are going to be warm enough in a marquee and if you're having a destination wedding, put the temperature it's likely to be on your wedding information. 

X factor

Do you really want to invite your ex to your wedding? Or are you happy if your other half does? Sometimes it's best to leave the past alone. In any case, it's something you need to talk about together, to see how you would feel about it.


Always have a chill-out area for small kids and elderly relatives so they can relax a bit and take time out if they need to. 

(Image via Dessy real weddings Facebook page)

Why you should combine blush and earth tones

blush pink and beige wedding

Look at these images and you'll see that blush and earth tones work together just beautifully.

Sometimes a color combination for your wedding may just spring out and surprise you. These shades work as the pink has very soft earth tones - it's a classic. Not overpowering - just a gentle, elegant hue. 

blush pink and beige wedding

Work out which of your maids will suit each color - our fabric swatches or Pantone color tools would help you here. And then mix and match your bridesmaid dress styles too - there's nothing to say you have to dress your maids all in the same style. Mix it up a bit for some extra sophistication.

(If you're looking for these colors, try Blush from Dessy and Topaz to get the look.)

If you like blush pink but don't particularly want an all-pink wedding, this is the way to use the shade but downplay it a little. And of course this color combo will work all the way through your wedding plans if you want it to.

Using Your Color Theme For Stationery, Flowers, Decorations ...

Use blush and beige for your wedding stationery - Maybe have topaz shaded envelopes containing a pink invitation? Or mix and match the colors on the typography.

When it comes to your bouquets you'll be spoilt for choice. Classic wedding roses come in this color pink and you should find some tinged with a topaz shade. Discuss with your florist to see what's in season when you're getting married and show him or her the colors you're thinking about so they can be matched.

And What About Decorating Your Wedding Reception?

To give your theme the wow factor, think about dressing your venue in these shades - with chair sashes, chair covers and tablecloths. If you find the room a little lacking in character (but the venue is in the perfect place) you might like to consider room draping, which basically transforms a lacklustre space into something special. 

Let's not forget favors either. The classic wedding favor is sugared almonds (which were traditionally thought to signify wealth, health, longevity, happiness and fertility) and you're sure to find some in pinks and beige.

But if you want to get a little creative with your wedding favors then you could give packets of seeds for pink and beige flowers ...

Get your colors right and you'll probably find that the rest of your wedding theme flows seamlessly.


Image credits: 

Main image, clockwise from top:  Wedding Chicks, bridesmaid dresses by Dessy in Blush and Topaz, place setting by Jan Garcia Photography, real wedding via Dessy Facebook page 





Giving your wedding a GOLDEN glow

gold wedding theme

(Image credits from left: De La Creme Creative Studio,  Wedding Chicks, Dessy, Jimmy Choo, VP OnSale Wedding)

The BIG wedding news of the moment has of course to be Prince Harry's engagement to Ms Meghan Markle. 

It's a golden moment for weddings indeed. And actually, your wedding day should be one of the most golden moments of your life.

So this inspired us today to think of using the color gold on your wedding day. 

Why is gold a glorious color for weddings? 

  • Because traditionally it's the color of wedding bands
  • It's a precious metal
  • Gold signifies security 
  • It also denotes real value - "she has a heart of gold"

Any month of the year

Gold looks wonderful at any time of year. It's warm and embracing in the winter (and of course is a given at a Christmas wedding) but also adds sparkle and shine to a summer wedding. Spring is a golden time too, with naturally golden flowers like daffodils and tulips in abundance and as for fall - well you have all the golden colors from the trees to be considering. 

In different venues

If you're having a city wedding, then a gold theme would be ritzy glitzy enough for the smartest venue

Of if you're getting married on the beach, the whole wedding party could be dressed in white with gold accents (like jewellery, sandals ...) The bride and bridesmaids could wear goddess-style dresses like this one from Dessy. 

gold wedding theme

(Image via Wedding Chicks)

Ways to use golden accents on your big day

Well, you could go all out and have a golden wedding dress. There are some beautiful ones around. But if that feels a bit too much for you then consider a frock with golden thread woven through it, on the bodice maybe.

Tie the look in by dressing your maids in Dessy's spectacular gold sequinned dresses - or put them in gold sequin separates (which they will LOVE wearing).

You could also have your wedding veil edged with gold.

gold wedding theme

We always love it when brides choose metallic shoes - particularly as you're much more likely to wear them after your wedding day than traditional white or ivory. (So it's time to treat yourself to those strappy metallics you've always had your eye on). 

gold wedding theme

Image credit: De La Creme Creative Studio

Gold leaf on your wedding cake would look AMAZING. 

And you could investigate using gold on your place settings. 

gold wedding theme

As for your stationery, gold has just so many options. You can be ultra traditional and have gold edged wedding invitations on white card. Or gold calligraphy. 

Have your seating plan written in gold calligraphy and place it inside a golden frame.

We could go on ... there is just so much potential with this theme. But just check out the images we've found here and then take a look at Dessy's gold weddings board on Pinterest  which is just packed full of inspiration. 

Why floral arches are a fabulous choice for weddings

Floral wedding arches

(Image credits clockwise from top left: Green Wedding Shoes, Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks)

 One of the most important thoughts to bear in mind when you're styling your wedding is to spend money where it will have the most impact. And a floral wedding arch certainly creates the wow factor when your guests arrive at your wedding venue.

Floral wedding arches

(Image credits from top: Green Wedding Shoes, Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks)

 A bower of flowers is a good idea for plenty of reasons:

    • It gives a sense of welcome at the entrance to your venue 
    • It provides a focal point for the area in which to say your vows or where you sign the register
    • If you're having a Jewish wedding, then you'll want a floral huppah to be married underneath
    • It's a great backdrop for photographs
    • It can beautify a less than beautiful doorway
    • Or create a doorway wherever you want one
    • If you're marrying outside, you can set an arch up with spectacular scenery behind
    • You can use flowers for the season and theme of your wedding day 
    • A flower curtain can disguise an indifferent area at your reception
    • You can use a floral arch or arches to direct guests to where you want them to go. For example, if you want people to head to the bar while you're having your photographs taken, have an arch placed there that calls out 'this way to where the party starts'. If you're having a country-style wedding day in summer, think about old-fashioned flowers like roses and peonies.
    • In the winter, think of holly, berrries, ivy.
    • In fall, use trailing vines, mini squash and have an earthy palette. 
    • If you're having a Jewish wedding, then you'll want a floral huppah to be married underneath
    • Floral arches are a great backdrop for photographs
    • Fancy making one yourself? Here's a DIY guide to making a floral wedding arch
    •  Talk to your florist and say that you're interested in having a decorated floral arch and see what is suggested for the time of year and your location. 
    • Maybe take some Pantone swatches if you're keen on matching up colors to flowers. 

Think carefully about where your flower budget goes - after all, table decorations are all well and good but they don't feature big time in the wedding photos, do they? A floral wedding arch is a styling trick you really shouldn't miss. 

Floral wedding arches

(Image credits clockwise from top: Taryn Baxter Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks.

Why you should choose colorful wedding flowers

colorful wedding flowers

Interior designers have long known that a ‘pop’ of color in a neutral room can add a fabulously vibrancy.

Which is exactly why you should consider colorful wedding bouquets and wedding flowers.

Because if you’re going down the traditional wedding dress route, then your bridal gown is likely to be white or ivory – neutral in fact. And an splash of carefully-considered color could give some serious styling to your big day.

colorful wedding flowers

(Image credit: Style Me Pretty

Bright colors, blue skies

If you’re getting married under a tropical sun or somewhere hot, then bright colors work really well. Pastels can look a bit washed out under palm trees and on white sands – but brights really come into their own. Same applies with your bridemaid dresses. Under a cloudless blue sky think about dressing your maids in stand-out shades and jewel colors.

Think about the heat too – maybe it’s time for one-shouldered bridesmaid gowns like these.

(Image credit: Wedding Chicks)

On a beach, have a colorful wedding arch created from local flowers to give a focal point for saying your vows (and having your photograph taken).

(Image credit: Casaecozinha)

Think about how your flowers are presented too – we love the idea of using tropical fruit – like the pineapple above – as containers for your floral décor.

White dresses, colorful bouquets

A vibrantly colored wedding bouquet will look fabulous against the white of a wedding dress – like the bride shown. She’s cleverly chosen to echo the color of her bouquet in her bridesmaid gowns too (and better still, has given her maids different necklines so that they’re confident they’re wearing a dress that suits them perfectly).

(Image credit: Burnetts Boards)

Colored wedding flowers aren’t just for bouquets either – think about ways to use them to decorate your wedding cake, around doorways and on chairbacks (we’ve some great ideas for decorating wedding chairs here too). Enjoy! 

(Image credit: Wedding Chicks)

One last word: Always talk to your florist about which flowers are in season for the area you are in. You'll be saving money and you'll also be doing your bit to help the environment, by not having expensive out-of-season blooms flown in from distant countries. 

Image credit: Aisle Society)

(Image credit: Wedding Chicks)

(Image credit: Ruffled Blog)

11 things to know about wedding cakes

wedding cakes with flowers

Wedding cakes with flowers like the ones above are perfection if you're having a very romantic kind of a wedding theme.

Of course, your wedding cake is going to take center stage on your big day.

So you need to make sure it says just what you want to

And you have so many options. Deciding on the look of your wedding cake might be one of the more difficult decisions you make when planning the catering for your big day.

(Image credit: The Cake Parlour)

Here are a few wedding cake tips from us

  1. Have wedding cake tiers in different flavors - a chocolate sponge, a traditional fruit cake and a citrus flavored sponge. 
  2. Offer a gluten free cake on the tier so all your friends can indulge
  3. Have a nude wedding cake - with minimal icing, like the one shown above. 
  4. Don't forget the bridegroom. Surprise him with a groom's cake as your gift. Choose his favorite recipe. Prince William had a chocolate biscuit groom's cake when he married Duchess Kate. 
  5. Don't want a traditional cake?  You could go for a tower of cheeses if you prefer savoury to sweet. Or put one on your dessert table as another option for guests. 
  6. Watching your budget but still want to have an impressive tier of cakes? They don't all have to be real you know. Just have one or two tiers that are cake and get your caterer to ice boxes for some tiers. Nobody will know the difference except you and the caterer. And you're not going to be saying anything, are you?
  7. A spectacular wedding cake could make a really good gift from somebody
  8. Give your caterer fabric swatches or Pantone refereces (Dessy makes it easy here) so that they can get colors EXACTLY as you want them. For things like ribbons and paste flowers.
  9. If you're marrying somewhere really hot, a citrus flavored cake could just hit the spot
  10. On a budget? Buy a good quality iced cake from a baker or supermarket and decorate it yourself with flowers. Here's a tutorial for doing just that.


  11. Finally, choose a cake that reflects your style of day. Your wedding dress. The venue. The time of year. If you're having a boho or rustic wedding, you probably won't want to opt for a formal tiered iced cake. Or if you're having a chic city wedding then you might find that decorating your cake with rustic flowers doesn't look quite right. 

(Image credit above: Wedding Chicks )

Image credits above and below: Maisie Fantaisie



Image credit: Rosalind Miller Cakes