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See You Never, 2017!! But You Were Amazing <3

The last day of 2017 is here, so it’s time to reflect on what’s been happening for Way Out Wedding over the last 12 months. I love doing this because you can see in one glance how many brilliant things have happened. Sometimes we worry about where we aren’t instead of celebrating how far we’ve come. Guilty! But writing these always makes me feel fuzzy and proud as punch. Not to mention fired up for the coming year!

Ellie

I think the best thing that happened this year was that Ellie Kime of The Wedding Enthusiast joined the team as my wing woman. I’ve never been any good at delegating, especially when something is ‘my baby’ in the way this blog is, but with Ellie I had, for the first time ever, zero fear. In fact, I couldn’t wait to hand stuff over as she’s absolutely breathed new life into the feel and voice of the blog. Plus it’s meant that as I choose who’s featured, Ellie actually gets it up on the blog quickly, rather than like in the past where I’d never have time to do it so you’d never hear about them. Ellie is a blogging machine and writes magic in double-quick time, all of which means a ton more content for all you couples planning your weddings!

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Changes

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Some news! Way Out Wedding is moving mainly to Instagram for a bit. Long story short, I’m a parent carer and as such my time to work on the blog is dictated by the needs of my lovely children. Just lately it’s been increasingly impossible to work at all. With blogging, you wear all the department hats of any small business: commissioning; writing; marketing; advertising; finance; etc. And when it’s just you on your own with minimal outsourcing, well that there is a full-time job and then some. People think it’s a lovely hobby, but it is a job like any other! And one that’s really difficult to balance with children, let alone if they have extra needs.

So, brains have been well and truly wracked here as to what to do… I don’t want to fold the blog completely. It’s growing all the time, organically and steadily, and I’ve really settled into my style after four years of doing this. I’ve made so many friends with inspirational creatives in the industry, many of whom I count as close friends now. And I’ve been nominated and highly commended in a fair few industry awards – well proud of that! It’s been a blast. So yes, not up for folding it!! But I do need to go with the flow and that flow is a tidal wave just at the moment rather than surf waves.

Going over to social media mainly for the time being will allow me to keep delivering what I know you love best and that’s modern and style-led wedding inspiration. As you know from my blog posts, I’m more a visual person than a writer – although I seem to be waffling a fair bit at the moment ha! – and these platforms will let me quickly and regularly bring you gorgeous and inspirational images, plus share via Facebook posts from other blogs I know you’ll love.

I’ll be finishing off some already scheduled posts, and from time to time I may feature quicky posts, if time permits. But for now, I leave you with an increase of Instagram and Pinterest images to delight you! I shall return…

As Marty McFly says…

All right guys, this is a blues riff in ‘B’, watch me for the changes, and try and keep up, okay?

 

Spring and Summer Beauty Buys

Spring beauty products way out wedding blog review

I know it’s not spring now (but woah is it summer!!!), but this post began a while ago and got neglected oops! I’m leaving the title as it is because the colours and feel of the products are distinctly of that transitional time…

I’ve bought a few bits and bobs recently that I wanted to share with you because they’re all so gorgeous and have really cheered me up! Nothing too dear, just the odd treat here and there. Mostly make-up, but also a floral crown made by Claire Austin (who has rebranded from Rosey Posey Creations, and who you might have seen featured plenty on my blog because I think she makes the prettiest things!).

Monsoon Rose Gold Fragrance

I’m actually going to begin with this one as this was a gift from Monsoon’s PR company for review on the blog. I love perfumes and discovering new ones is always exciting. This one is called Rose Gold and is Monsoon’s first perfume. It was described in the accompanying press release like this:

The fragrance opens with juicy top notes of citrus, rich floral heart notes and decadent woods which combine to create a feminine and sensual scent – creating a beautiful, rich aroma. Sparking notes of lemon combine with a soft fruity accord and hints of fresh mandarin. At its heart, opulent velvety rose combines with heady tuberose, neroli and cyclamen. The fragrance combines rich vanilla, musk and amber notes which give the fragrance a truly unforgettable signature.

When I first applied it, I thought uh-oh this is too floral for me (I go for the darker, heavier perfumes), but then it settled into this sensational powdery, musky finish with a little drama that I find ties all my favourite scents together. I know I sound like a right pretentious so-and-so saying a perfume has drama, but I think some really do – Calvin Klein Obsession, Bvlgari Black, and my beloved JPG Fragile (pleeeease bring it back!!). I would buy this a hundred times over. It’s now in my canon of favourites!

Rosey Posey Creations flower crown way out wedding blog

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Please vote for Way Out Wedding in the Wedding Blog Awards!

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On a rainy afternoon week before last, I got an exciting Tweet mention letting me know that I’m in the running for an award at the Wedding Magazine Blog Awards 2015. Oh, yes!!!

I went last year, too, where I was in the running for the best alternative wedding blog award. I didn’t get it, but I had a really great time meeting lots of people from the industry who I’d only ever spoken to online before. We had champagne and endless canapés, and a gossip over the £5,000 cocktail that was on sale in the bar. I couldn’t get my head around that!! A bit obscene, really, but a conversation point nonetheless.

This year, the blog is up for the best real-life weddings award. I like to feature real weddings where there’s a lot of love in the room, as well as being inspirational in terms of style. I’ve not featured that many, going instead for the editorial artistry of the styled shoot, but the ones I have shown have one thing in common: they made me smile and smile as I looked through the pictures when they were submitted. They caused an emotional reaction, rather than being solely about the decorations and style. They were all weddings that were so obviously true to the couple in their everyday life. They reflect a couple as they are, but on their best day.

How to vote

If you would like to vote for me, please follow this link. Or click any of the pics in this post. Or follow the very first link at the top. Basically, I’m being very helpful and selfless in helping you all I can to vote. Ahaha! And know that I thank you very, very much!! xxx

PS the closing date is tomorrow – I have left this very late, but I’m hoping this won’t affect things… Ever the optimist.

 

 

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Don’t You Quit

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I saw a poem on a friend’s Facebook page the other day that spoke to me as a mother who sometimes feels the pressure of knowing I can’t blog as much as I need to, and when I was wondering whether it might be more professional to bow out until less chaotic times rather than plough on erratically. It said what I always act in favour of, no matter how difficult it gets, which is ‘Don’t. You. Quit.’

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, and the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When things are pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Life is strange with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about, when he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow – you might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than it seems, to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up, when he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out – the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
You never can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – it’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.


The author of the above poem is unknown, but believed to be St Jude.

 

Honestly, this arrived, as things like this always do, just exactly at the right moment. Like a message meant especially for me. It just nailed the quiet and stubborn determination I have to not give up on this amazing new path I’ve found where I fit so exactly and at which I know I can succeed. Success to me being a happy career spent helping and inspiring other people, while also realising the artistic and creative side of me. It may be all pandemonium right now, but I do just fine, and I blog with integrity and joy. Slow and steady. Pace is not important, quality is. As long as you let your readers and your contributors know how often you can work, even if that isn’t very often at all, then all is right with the world.

Print this poem out. It’s gold dust.

14 things that inspire me

Carrie Davenport Photography

Source: Carrie Davenport

I belong to an online group of entrepreneurial women who support, advise, and inspire each other to feel great about their businesses, and to forge ahead with their ventures with pride and confidence. It is, in short, an amazing thing to be a part of. In a world where women can compete, quite viciously at times, this is a true sisterhood where there’s a lot of love, encouragement, advice, and celebration.

Every so often, members from the group meet in person to discuss things relevant to business, and last time it was ‘what inspires you?’ I couldn’t attend, but I was all over this in a heartbeat, and I emailed a list of the things that get me going. I thought I’d share them with you today.

1. Polyvore
Perfect for visual junkies like me. I use it for creating little editorial layouts. I don’t treat it like a slapdash pinboard/wish list; I make quirky collages. When you make a collection in the app, and strive to make it look like a picture in and of itself, rather than just ‘a bunch of stuff’, you start to think about negative space, rule of three, and all sorts of artistic compositional stuff. Using Polyvore like this opens my mind, challenges it, and it becomes more than just a fashion shopping list.

Always Be a Unicorn

Always Be a Unicorn

The Other Side

The Other Side

2. Scrapbooks
Old-school Polyvore, kids. I love cutting out images, words, typography, anything, and making them into a brand new image. It’s funny to put headlines or article titles against an image to give it a whole new meaning. Again, you can be much more imaginative with a scrapbook, forcing a layout to say something by being thoughtful about placement, juxtaposition, irony, and so on, rather than just whopping a load of stuff onto its pages in a mindless fashion. A scrapbook is art, a message, not a junkyard.

3. Instagram
I could spend hours scrolling through Instagram. It’s my go-to place for a visual whistle-stop tour through other people’s experiences. Again, it’s the immediate communication of the visual impact that inspires me more than anything else. It’s not only the snapshots themselves that thrill me, but the effects and filters people use, and the other people they regram and tag that all lead you to discover yet more new things. Your circle grows, and grows, and grows.

July 2014 on WayOutWedding Instagram

4. Charity shops
There’s nothing like rummaging around the rails in these places. Plus the window displays are fantastic. I used to work in Oxfam, and the new hauls each day were not just clothes and bric-a-brac, they were stories. I wrote a short story about it! I did the window displays, too, where I had a phrase or a look as my brief. Such good fun finding relevant bits to fit this while also attracting customers with the resulting looks. Really got the imagination working. I’m going to use this way of working to style some of the pages in the upcoming Way Out Wedding magazine – I’m still that inspired by it! A bit like Cheap Date, the most awesome anti-fashion ‘zine by Bay Garnett and Kira Joliffe, where they kind of poked a bit of fun at high fashion by using charity shop stuff on top models and mimicking the poses of fashion editorials. I can see this working in a bridal magazine. Sometimes you don’t want to be sold a dress, you want to be sold an idea, a spark that sets off the inspiration of what YOU want to look like.

5. Shop window displays
SelfridgesLiberty, Topshop Oxford Circus: these are the three institutions whose window displays transcend merchandising and reach up into something else entirely. It’s basically art installation. The Christmas displays, in particular, always got me peering up close and personal, gawping away at the theatre and drama of it all.

Vogue pic instagram

big fat magazine time

Source: Way Out Wedding on Instagram

6. Magazines
Highly visual ones like Love and AnOther Magazine are amazing for inspiration. Their crazy poses for the models on shoots, I love. Really quirky. Art meets fashion and goes boom. They’re also chocka with the next thing on my list…

7. Fashion label ad campaigns
Again, art meets fashion, meets art/linguistic theory. Second order semiology – where meaning is derived from the connotations and symbology residing beneath the literalness of the superficial layer – is the major player at work in couture ads. I collected them when I was at university in my scrapbooks and also put them up on my walls for inspiration. It’s amazing what things can be found there amongst the fragmented women reclining on beds, the cavorting couples both same-sex and opposite, the parted red and glossy lips – feminist theory, Roland Barthes, Marxist theory, John Berger, Walter Benjamin, Otherness, Helene Cixous, Lacan, Irigaray, Freud… It’s more than a pair of high heels when you get down to it.

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Source: Fashion Gone Rogue

Gucci 97

Source: Way Out Wedding on Instagram

8. Music
Music is such a huge part of my life. Ever since ever, I’ve lost myself in music, in the stories of songs and lyrics, in the fashion and styles of bands and singers, in every last little thing music has to offer. I get lost in it all and come out the other side with something to create or give. Music is magic. 

9. Doing something daunting
Creating the magazine for the blog is scary as heck, even though I’ve worked on magazines professionally. Feeling a bit nervous, or lacking confidence, actually inspires me to just send the scary email, ask someone I admire to collaborate, create layouts no one may like except me. It’s so very freeing to ignore the inner voice of doubt and just do something anyway.

10. Reading other blogs
Ones in your own industry are really good to read – you pick up ideas along the way you might not have thought of – for me, that’s new designers, wedding fairs, suppliers. You have to be really mindful of not accidentally being derivative, but rather stopping at inspired! Blogs outside your sphere help this. In fact, recently, I’ve read more blogs that have sod all to do with weddings, and I’ve loved it.

11. Interviewing other creatives
I interview suppliers for the blog, and as part of this I ask them what inspires them. This is how I discover a ton of new stuff to look at and be inspired by.

12. Unplug
Surprising what your brain fires at you when you can’t get near the Internet! When I go for a run, take a bath, just sit and be (rare), I’m less distracted by what other people are talking about, and I can hear once again my own inner voice and its crazy, beautiful ideas.

13. Art galleries
An obvious one, maybe, but don’t you feel completely alive and revived when you leave a gallery? I always get the urge to create something, anything, off the back of the creative hit I experience from seeing paintings, and installations in particular, in real life. I’ll never forget seeing all the famous pieces in the Saatchi Gallery: Tracey Emin’s bed, Myra Hindley created with cut-outs of children’s hand prints, Richard Wilson’s oil installation 20:50 (which was like looking into your soul or the blackness of space), or the Turner Prize the year Grayson Perry won, where I was blown away by his vases and by the Chapman Brothers’ defaced Goya ‘Disasters of War’ etchings. I still think of them now. Art is powerful stuff.

14. Architecture
High rises, in particular. When I lived in London, I loved looking at all the blocky buildings out of the train window that most would say are ugly. I loved the stark lines, the uniformity of them. I’d dream up cool lino and screen print designs in my head. For some reason, the dullness of these structures was utterly inspirational to me. What does that say about me!!

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So, what inspires you? Let me know! I love hearing about what gets others’ creativity bursting…