Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Tradition of the Wedding Garter

Today, we are pleased to introduce Jodie Ford as our guest blogger, who has written a piece on the traditions of the wedding garter.

"Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue."- Opt for a wedding garter with a hint of blue to fulfil ‘something blue’, which symbolises purity, loyalty and faithfulness… or maybe, you could try ‘something different.’

Like a four-leafed clover, the tradition of tossing the bridal garter is seen as a symbol of good luck, dating back to the 14th century. The romantic history of the garter still lives on and is a fundamental custom to any wedding ceremony.
It then came to be that the bride would instead throw various items to the crowd - including the garter. The accessory is taken off and thrown into the sea of bachelors or groomsmen, as opposed to the bouquet in which eligible ladies have their eyes fixated on and anticipate that it will fall to their hands.

The removal of the garter originated from the view held by guests at weddings that owning a piece of the bride’s clothing, would bring them good luck. As you can imagine, this did not bode well with the bride, having guests lunge at her to ruin and rip at her wedding dress.
The wedding garter was also associated with the bride’s virginity. When the groom removed this item from her leg, it represented the idea that she would be forsaking her virginity.

Generally brides have two garters - one to carry out the tradition during the ceremony and one to keep as a cherished keepsake. Charms can be added such as a horse shoe, double rings or hearts which add a personal touch.
Wedding garters are still very popular and they are lovingly-made with silk, lace and bows. However, lots of different materials and colours are available to take your pick from – wedding garters don’t have to be blue! Choose one that means something, reflects your personality or simply integrates with your wedding theme.
Wedding Paraphernalia offers a wide variety of beautiful wedding garters (blue or not), ranging from traditional, vintage garters to contemporary, pure and delicate pieces.

Friday, 11 February 2011

It's your Wedding DAY, not a mish mash of colour

Recently, we have found that brides are purchasing lots of items in their colours but from lots of different suppliers - maybe because they are cheaper or maybe at that moment in time you just love those so have to have them!

But stop and think for a moment. Is everything going to match? Whilst we don't want everything exactly the same colour, we want tones coming together; remember that there are different sides to every colour. Your purple bridesmaids may be the red side of purple, but the chair cover sashes you have ordered are the blue side and will actually clash on the day.

Slow down a bit, use suppliers that will work backwards with you. Make you look at the whole picture of the whole day. It's your wedding; it's not your wedding favours are from here, your invites from here and the chair covers are here; it's a day, it's your wedding day.

So you've already bought the wedding favours, because you couldn't resist. Let's start from there. Let's put that wedding favour on the white tablecloth, with a white napkin, glassware and cutlery. Now let's add a ribbon round the napkin, that complements the wedding favour. Now let's add a place name tag to that ribbon. Ooooo let's use that lovely plum card as a backing because it complements the wedding favour box and the napkin ribbon - and suddenly your wedding stationery "look and design" starts coming together.

Don't be frightened to say to your suppliers "how will that flow with everything else?". A good wedding supplier will walk you through it - we do it every day, hopefully you will only do this once and we only get one day to make it work.

At the end of the day, it will also save you money - stop buying lots of bits on e**y and hope for the best .... look at your day as a whole and it will come together.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Winter Wonderland

You probably think we've lost the plot and should now be talking about spring and summer weddings .... but no we aren't as mad as we think we are.

The great thing about this time of the year is the January sales! Christmas brings lorry-loads of glitz and sparkle to the shops and no sooner have you deckled your halls, you've got to take it all down again but this is when the fun can start. Whilst you are rummaging through the fashion rails don't forget to shop around for decorations, ribbons and glittery bits that could be perfect for your wedding.

Candles are a perfect example. Opt for pillar candles and tealights, avoiding scented unless you can guarantee the scent will last until your wedding. Store in a cool place, keeping them away from direct sunlight or any where warm.

Dark, winter colours and crisp, bright white lend themselves to any wedding. Look out for wreaths which can be bulked out with artificial foliage and make fabulous centrepieces. Sparkly and organza ribbons can be found at knocked down prices great for your flowers or wedding favours. Look out for gift wrap, raffia and bags for your bridal party gifts.

Providing they will keep for your wedding, Christmas confectionery can be bought and stored in a cool place (not the fridge). Look out for silver and gold balls, foiled coins, fortune cookies and jellybeans.

But stop and think ..

Remember that a sale buy is only a good buy if you needed it in the first place and you therefore save yourself money.

Avoid bargains in unusual colours unless they are the colour of your wedding. You run the risk of discarding them at a later date.

Sale goods are often end of line which means you may not be able to purchase more in the future - make sure you buy enough at the time.

Have fun!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2nd January 2011

Ok, so we missed 1st January 2011 with a post, but are posting today so 1 out of 2 isn't bad.

The blog today is more about a catch up, than anything and we are hoping to blog every week, if not every day so you can keep up with Wedding Paraphernalia Towers!

December was a very hard month for us. Unfortunately our father has been taken ill and has finally been diagnosed with lung cancer which is unoperable and terminal. Mum is a pillar of strength and support, we don't know how she is doing it. I was on holiday at the time, and it was very difficult spending Christmas Day abroad, when the paramedics were trying to stabilise him and admit him to hospital.

He is now at home and comfortable but we don't know for how long; we don't know yet how far it has progressed. We are being brave for him, but deep down we know both mum and dad are struggling - they WILL be celebrating 45 years of marriage in October.

We don't know how 2011 is going to progress. We have a very strong business and an excellent book of orders. We will endeavour to keep ourselves strong and keep going - dad has been a rock and supported us since we started and we won't let him down.

Love you both mum and dad, and here's to what may be a difficult 2011 but we will get through it. Mandie and I will be strong for them both. xx

Monday, 8 November 2010


2010 has been very black. Black and white, black and silver, black and red, black and green, black and ...... black.

Sarah and Paul's colour was black and we mixed it with a light silver and a dark graphite, and finished everything with clear Swarovski crystals. With all that black you would think the Pavilion at Rushton Hall would be dark, but far from it.

We folded the napkins and finished with a double tied ribbon - black sheer ribbon and a silver satin. Each napkin had a personalised menu; the ladies then had a little white notepad with the bride and groom's name and the men had chocolate cigars.

Beautiful white roses in black martini glasses graced each table - the white roses were dipped in black ink and finished with crystals.

We finished the tables with black table crystals, clear dewdrops, frosted tealight holders and diamond bubbles - how very sparkly!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Envelopments in the UK

We're proud to say that we've been a licensed reseller for Envelopments since about 2004 and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Envelopments are probably best known for their pocketfold invitations, which we use for corporate, events and weddings. They are available in so many colours, patterns, sizes and styles and are of the highest quality.

We are yet to try out their new range of pocketcards and pocket envelopes, but their time will come when we get a chance to draw our breathe! In fact, we are currently designing our own corporate terms and conditions around the pocketcards.

They are constantly looking at new ways to stay as the market leader and this year have brought us the Twist Card - which are going to be great for Christmas cards and will be featured in our 2012 wedding season.

So how will you let us inspire your creative touches, with an invitation that is designed entirely by you, but created by us?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Planning - Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

When we started Wedding Paraphernalia in 2003, we found that many bride and grooms were taking the planning process quite slowly. They would build their dream wedding over the space of a year, maybe two years. During that time, they were able to think their plans through and save for the paraphernalia they wanted. By booking early, they were able to secure the photographer, venue, church and cars they wanted too.

So when we look back at 2005, we found that we had been talking to these couples for anything up to two years, we knew the couple really well and they knew and trusted us. They had excellent relationships with their wedding suppliers.

Fast forward to 2007, suddenly there was a boom of "we've remortgaged or taken out a credit card to pay for the wedding" and budgets went through the sky. Couples were coming into the shop and booking us for a wedding that was literally in six months and there was no limit to their budget. Yes, we had great business relationships with them, but didn't get invited to half as many weddings as we did in 2005!

But this was the start of the recession years .... and suddenly reasonable budgets did matter and ebay was looked upon as the place to buy lots of cheap items and "do it yourself" - and many weddings were postponed until a later date.

Roll on to 2010 and a reflection of the weddings we have been a part of this year. We've had a really excellent year turnover-wise and have helped with lots of last minute weddings, where couples have secured venues at cut-price offers and taken cancellations but suddenly we are taking bookings for 2012, what about 2011?

We think we are going back to the days of carefully thought out budgets and savings plans; the budget-savvy bride is going for a 2012 date and will carefully think through her ideas and suppliers, whilst saving every penny for it.

So, what about 2011? Will it be mainly last minute weddings again or are couples sitting tight until the New Year now before booking? Just remember, come January and you will be paying the VAT increase!