What we mean when the island has a venue for everyone: Part 1

This Little Island i call home truly has a venue for everyone, whatever your vibe is there is something for you.

Ventnor Botanic Garden, home to subtropical trees and shrubs organised by region.
Most favoured area to wed is in the New Zealand garden as it has the delightful summer house that is licensed. I myself married at Ventnor so it has a place in my heart. It truly is a beautiful location.


Osbourne House; Famous for being the summer home of Queen Victoria. You’d be hard pressed to find a more regal venue, Marrying at this grand venue you’ll have the option of choosing from three different but all glorious rooms to the wonderful areas outside such as the walled garden, the Belveder terrace and the lower terrace or even “the queens alcove” situated on the beach.

*East Cowes

The Wedding Barn; is an open sided barn with an adjoining stone barn within a working farm, providing an idyllic rural setting for weddings and parties.

*this one is somewhat new on my radar but the images i’ve seen of the place are really really lovely.


Haseley Manor;  is a 14th-century, Grade 2* listed property, a beautiful manor house with use of the barn for ceremony and feasting. beautiful grounds to get those perfect couples shots.

This venue only takes for bookings a year, currently they are booked up for 2022.

Images Credits:
Holly Cade Photography – Haseley Manor and Osborne weddings
Jess lyon Photography – The Wedding Barn wedding
Albartross and Mariner photography – Ventnor Botantical wedding

So… you want to buy a wedding dress.

Its happened, the day you’ve been dreaming of – you’re going from “Miss” to “Mrs” YAY! You’ve probably popped a few bottles of something sparkly to celebrate, I mean this is one of life’s very exciting milestones. By now maybe the cards have been put away, You’ve created the  “My Wedding” board on Pinterest, out comes the planner and its down to business, first perhaps on many girls lists is THE dress, never an outfit so planned and dreamed of than the wedding dress, its the one dress that you will hope to be a little different, something that reflects who you are and perhaps be that dress people talk about  for quite some time. But one things for sure! it will grace thousands of photos and those images will take pride of place within parents homes and you will look back time and time again – I know I do.

But before heading out, here is a little advice that I’ve seen shared and spoken of time and time again via both friends and bridal suppliers alike.

1. Firstly – Please Please Please, Don’t feel pushed into spending more than you planned, have rough budget and keep that figure in mind – any reputable bridal shop will not force your hand in buying something you’re not 100% certain of. You absolutely can have the dress of your dreams and it not blow the bank or the wedding budget.
You’ll want to factor in alteration costs, depending on what you have done I’d say around £150 is a rough starting point, Think about possible extras – for example will you need to buy an underskirt to make your princess dress that bit bigger, a vail or added details – belt, capped sleeves or bolero.

2. Be open to suggestions, Walking into a bridal shop can be a little overwhelming but the owner and their assistances are worth their weight in industry knowhow and they are there to get you the dress of your dreams, they may suggest something a little different to what you envisioned but go with it, it might be that you’ve overlooked a style because you may have thought you wouldn’t suit it- I know had this happen when I looked, I thought A-lines were what would look good on me and actually I better suited a more figure hugging dress.

3. Play dress up! Remember as a little girl you would don your Mothers wedding dress, pretending to be her? Pop a bit of blush and mascara on, and a little lippy, add some jewellery, even the veil/head piece. Bring as many elements as you can to really help bring it all together.

4. Undies! Wear good nude undies, if you’re set on a strapless number there is no point in wearing a strapped bra, you don’t want to be tucking the straps in trying to see how it would look, Nope invest in a good strapless bra with plenty of support. Also modest knickers too!

5. Heels! (If you’re wearing them) No point trying to balance on tippy toes trying to see if the length is right. Bring along a pair of heels so you can get a really good feel of how you’ll be moving around in the dress, also it’s super helpful for getting then length of your dress just right.

6.  Dance around in the dresses you try on, ask one of your bridal party to act as the groom and see how close you can get – this is partly why you asked them to be in your wedding 😉 you’ll want to be close during that 1st dance so don’t let your dress get to in the way, also walk around a bit, does it glide well or are you having to really push it out with your feet, Can you twirl around like SJP in her Vivienne Westward dress?

7. And Lastly but so important, don’t rush the buy. Go for a coffee with your girls and have a good chat about it all, share your thoughts and maybe concerns talk it out. It’s a big buy so don’t go ahead if you’re unsure.

Images credits
Abigail Steed
Holly Cade Photography 
Jason Mark Harris Photography
Greg Milner Photography

Island Bridal Supplies:
Forget me not
Gems Bridal wear

Under garments
Sugar and Spice

Covid wedding announcement

Good morning lovely people, I hope I find you well.

Well I’m sure you must have seen the new guidelines surrounding weddings during this “on pause” new reality.

Good news, from the 4th of July weddings can go ahead, bad news – possibly for some, they have to be small.

Here are they key elements drawn up by GOV.uk

1.17 Can weddings go ahead?

Yes, from 4 July, weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place. You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people. The wedding exception is for wedding ceremonies only. Large wedding receptions or parties should of course not be taking place. Wedding celebrations can only happen when people follow the guidance of six people outdoors, support bubbles, or two households indoors or outdoors. It is critical for these guidelines to be observed to keep you and your family and friends as safe as possible.

The Do’s
Ceremonies should be kept as short as possible.
No more than 30 people to attend – this 30 includes the officiant, photographer etc.
Follow the 2 metre rule.

The Don’ts
No Singing
No food or drink consumed as part of the ceremony

Its goes on to say that “small celebrations should only take place if they follow social distancing guidelines, such as groups of up to two households indoors, or up to six people from different households outdoors”

I know this still isn’t how you would have imagined your big day. But we’re getting there slowly but surly. And if you’re looking for inspiration have a nose at my mood board.


Hello, long time no speak!

I hope I find you all well. I’ve been thinking about when and what I should post.
I’ve not shared anything on here since the early part of 2018. Wedded bliss and extending my little family have kept me from blogging, I have been lurking on my social media platforms though, so I’ve been keeping an eye on all things wedding as they’re still my favourite things.

And really I just wanted to say, i’m thinking of all those couples who have had to push back their weddings.

If wedding planning wasn’t stressful enough, throw in a world wide pandemic and well that’s another level of stress. I hope you’ve been able to find some calm during this storm.
I can’t help but feel that when you can finally have the celebration you’ve been eagerly waiting for its going to be one epic party!! and i for one can’t wait to see the photos!

Hang in there lovely couples, you will have the wedding you dreamt of, I promise.

Take care! see you on the other side.

Sharon x

Choosing the right ceremony:

Wedding planning is a big undertaking, I’m not kidding; that goes for the little weddings, big weddings or even if you decide to elope! They take time, can stir up emotions that you may not have been expecting, but it will; as to quote an old TV host “be alright on the night” And choosing how you get married I think would come up on top for getting it right
So what are your options?

Church wedding
Traditional religious ceremony, you’ll need to work out which is your parish but you are also able to wed in other churches. You can find some really helpful advise over on www.yourchurchwedding.org

Cost: The required legal fee for marrying in a church. If you marry outside your own parish, it is £497 in 2017* and £456 if you marry in your home parish (providing you both live there). This is set by the Church of England nationally and is the same for every church.

This basic legal fee includes the cost of the vicar, the church, calling your banns, a banns certificate, the marriage certificate, lighting and all administration.

Reading of Banns
Most Church of England marriages will require banns to be published before the wedding can take place. You won’t need to arrange banns until about four months before your wedding date. Read more about what’s special and important about banns.

If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people who are not nationals of a country within the European Economic Area, or if one or both of you does not live in England or Wales, it is recommended that the Licence procedure be used rather than banns.

There are some circumstances in which you may need a Special Licence, Common Licence or a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to marry in church. Your vicar will let you know if these apply to you.

*souce yourchurchwedding.org

Approved premises
Approved premises is a venue where you are legally allowed to get married, the local registrar will come out to your choose venue and conduct the service, which can be tailored to you and yours.

Cost: Approved Premises Mon-Thur £375 (excludes marriage certificate)
Approved Premises Fri £400 (excludes marriage certificate)
Approved Premises Sat £425(excludes marriage certificate)
Approved Premises Sun/Bank Hol £450 (excludes marriage certificate)
for approved premises please check out Council Approved Premises

Requirements: Before a civil partnership can take place, couples must give formal Notice of their intention to enter into this partnership. This must be given to the local register office in the district where you have been living for at least the last 8 days. Giving Notice of Marriage or for a Certificate of No Impediment £35 each

A non-refundable booking fee of £45 is payable to secure a venue, date and time with the Isle of Wight Register Office

*source www.iow.gov.uk

Registrar’s office
Cost: Register Office Ceremony (Mon – Sat) £50 (inc 1 certificate)
Requirements: Like the approved premises you’ll have to give notice and pay a Booking fee £45 (non-refundable) as well £35 each for giving notice.

A celebrant is someone will is able to conduct a more personified ceremony/blessing, In parts of the UK certain religious ceremonies are not legal but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the celebration you’d like, they cater to handfastings (although you would also be able to opt for a pagan priest) unity candle ceremony and many other symbolisms that work for your big day.

Cost: UK average £300
Requirements: You will have to go to your local registrar and do the legal bit. But after that you and your future spouse can have a blessing pretty much anywhere you wish with permissions from landowners and venues of course.

Island Celebrants – http://roger-holmes.co.uk/, http://www.love-me-do-ceremonies.com/

Or of course if none of those things tickle your fancy and you’re thinking of  a far flung wedding, the world is your oyster.

Cost : £35 and up
Requirements: Each country does their legal stuff differently, so first up you will have to call the local authorities of where you intend to marry and they will give you all the information you need to go ahead with your wedding, You’ll also have to go to your local registrar to give notice and attain a CNI (certificate of no impediment)
for more information please check out https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad

So, I hope this helps!

Images Holly Cade Photography


You’re Engaged!

Huge congratulations!!! It’s such a wonderful feeling isn’t? emotions all over the place feeling like you’re in one big loved up bubble? I still get all warm and fuzzy thinking back to the morning when my Mr proposed to me, it was so lovely. That’s been almost two years now and I’m very much in the throes of planning.

If you were to read my post about tips for the Newly Engaged” it’s one written by someone who was just perched on the top of something so much bigger.

So let’s update it!

Then: Well for starters set up a wedding only email, this is sooooo handy as when you start messaging companies/venues and all the other vendors it’s great to have them all in one place not getting lost or forgotten.

Now: Yes! Do this! You will want somewhere safe to put all the communications with suppliers and venues, Its so handy. If you don’t want to do that then make a folder in your current email, it saves so much time when you need to pull out a price list or re-print an invoice.

Then: The budget, this is an important one, everyone loves a wedding and wants it to be memorable but don’t go into a marriage with debt. And this is where the email comes in handy, for all those quotes you’ll be after.

Now: Still just as important, but this can be hard to do if you don’t know the cost of things. For example, Venues vary a lot in price depending on what you want and what you can afford, I’ve typed this topic out and deleted it again just trying to think of the best and quickest examples to give you, so you have an idea of costs. Yes you can do a wedding for under £5000 you will have to shop around but it’s doable. Hotels such as Ryde Castle and Lakeside offer good deals on wedding packages, Ryde Castle starts at £999* and Lakeside around £3750*… I’d say the biggest costs would be the venue and photographer, with photographer’s prices between £700 and £2000, you can find cheaper but do your homework. Social media really is your best friend, you will find the same names suggested time and time again there is a very good reason for this. Venues and photographers are the two things I booked as soon as I could. The good ones go quickly.

Then: A drafting of the guest list, while your wedding may be a while off, when we did this ourselves it became clear that we need a venue to hold a biggish amount, so no dreams dashed once walking around and finding out that venue only holds x amount.

Now: This will change so much other the course of your engagement but it’s still a really good thing to do, places to tend to have a max capacity for the ceremony but the reception more are allowed. There are a few venues on the island that only hold around 50 so it’s helpful to have rough numbers as it saves you looking at smaller venues.

Then: Picking a date, working out what month you want to wed will be handy as to when you really need to get on the ball with picking a venue, these and photographers tend to booked up well in advance especially for those summer months! – June July and August. Also, prices go up a smidge more for peak times. So, put that as a factor in your budget.

Now: I still suggest this one as well nothing add. Apart from if you know you want certain place or person book it as soon as you can.

Then: Always be on the same page. I’ve always believed that it’s the groom’s day as much as the bride. So when it comes to hosting one of the biggest events of your lives, be sure that its full of you both.

Now: My Mr has been super helpful, he’s been a part of the whole planning process. What I’ve loved most is all thesemonths he’s listened to me waffle on and then in those moments when we’re talking with a supplier he’ll mention something I’ve said and has had his own input on things, after all its our day so he can add and take as many things as I do.

Have fun!! Enjoy this and all the best with planning!!

*Image credits; top to bottom
Abigail Steed Photography
Oscar May The Occasion

Holly Cade photography
Adam Jervis photography

Wedding trends for 2017

It feels just like yesterday I was doing the same post about trends for 2016! How quickly a year passes!

So happy new year, I truly hope this year is filled with more laughter, more smiles and lots of happiness!

Heres just a snippet of what 2017 has in store

Colours: Pantone have named their 2017 colour  “Greenery” as colour of choice. And it’s already made its way into the trends of 2017.

Themes: This year seems to be about the world around us. Foliage in all its glory, be that woodland or tropical, marble and watercolours seem to be firm favourites.

Décor: There are some “here to stay” items such as jars, burlap and hessian that rustic look has a firm footing for weddings. Something a little different and that’s industrial style, so think cooper colour vases, venues with bare walls and simply decorated with globe/cadged string lights, metal candle holders, folding wooden chairs and even the use of little concrete items, such as plants holders.

Flowers: It looks as though just having greenery is going to be the bouquet choice,  it may seem a little lacking in the colour department but you can have a fab arrangement of different greens and the use of textures such as succulents, herbs, palms and grasses do a make a stunning combination, but also cascading bouquets look set to make a comeback.  


Treats: Out goes (it would look like) the sweet buffets and in are cake tables, one big wedding cake isn’t quite enough these days, growing in popularity is having multiple cakes… more cake in my eyes is most welcome. Doughnuts! I saw plenty of these last year as go to options, they come in so many flavours, styles and toppings I think they are a great choice! The last few years naked cakes have been widely popular, but i think this next trend will become very popular, made hot by Anges de sucres these drippy cakes can be done any whichway you want! nothing is off limits, anything you like! Have a sweet that does it for you why not have that for decoration? Like macaroons have those adorn the side, heck even have popcorn or biscuits… I could go on and on, but go and have a browse on Pinterest and you’ll see something that you’ll like!.

But of course, whatever your style, interest or likes bring that into your big day!
Happy wedding planning!
Sharon xxx

#bridalmusings YES to the dress

Good morning, I hope you all had fab weekend!…. i know i did,
I’ve said yes to the dress!!! 50 weeks till W.day and I’ve got the dress!! I actually thought this would have been a quicker process, having the group and page for isle of wight brides I’ve seen many many dresses and I thought that when it was my turn I’d bag a dress and be on my merry way. Well 3 wedding shops and multiple dresses later I was starting to think I’d never find one, that all changed this past week, Gems Bridal posted a few new sale dresses – I’ve said from the get go I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress, so when one of them caught my eye Wednesday I got in contact straight away made an appointment for Saturday and waited till I could go and try it on. We showed up and the girls were lovely they brought out the dress I had seen but also encouraged me to pick a few others as well, I’m glad I did as it cemented that the one I had seen was the dress, as it slipped over and fitted into place I had that “yes, this is it” moment, the other dresses were truly stunning but I had found mine, I keep looking back at my little snap shot and I still can’t quite believe that I will be saying I do in under a year!


We also went and had a nose around our venue, it was wet windy and very grey! but also quite romantic at the same time. The gardens were very quiet, who wants to wander around in cold and wet…. well we did, I fall in love with this place a little more everytime we visit. Although the weather merisble the plants and flowers were beautiful. We took a few snaps and like my dress i keep looking and that flutter of excitment rises everytime, i’m like a child waiting for father christmas. i’m loving it!14324358_10157458725190338_2953551779137094783_o



#bridalmusings: Hello September

Hello September!!!! a2f1c653a40c8b8fbfe0c2e521eb897f-tile-horzThe month of the changing of the seasons, it’s one of my most favourite times of year, there’s still that summer warmth but the evenings draw in ever closer and you start pulling out those comfy blankets to take the chill away. For me going into September means the year countdown till our big day, I’ve sorted quite a bit but still a lot more to do….. Heres just a snippet of my to do list

  • Find “THE” dress
  • sort the suits
  • Get our rings
  • Decorations
  • finalise the invitations


Autumn/winter starts giving way to what trends will be making their way into the new year and it’s also when the wedding fayres start up again, Myself and the Mr will be going to along to a few more of these as things get closer.

Also on our to do list is to pop over the our venue, it means we can see what the light is like, what is in bloom – getting married at the botanical gardens means seasonal beauties and we don’t want to miss out on any fab images, October will see us giving notice which again makes everything feel more real, I plan to go and have a test run with our florist, it’s a perfect chance gage what will be in season and what you’ll be able to have.

When we got engaged and we told friends and family that we were to be wed in 2017 we got a lot of “but that’s ages away” it’s really not, it has come around so quickly I’ll just have to remind myself of what past brides have said and shared about their big days – don’t stress, keep calm and enjoy”

These next few months I think the blog will become abit more active as it’ll see me go into full on planning mode. I can’t wait to share little titbits with you, it’s going to be one hell of a year!!!

Sharon xXx

Wedding Panning: Wedding Stationery

This is the latest area of planning I’m going through. I’m not in any way a DIY’er but this past weekend I’ve been firing off ideas to a friend to see if she can help me create! we’ll be adding a few more details to make them just so, and  I’ll be sure to share what we come up with, once they’ve all been sent out of course! But it’s more fun than I first thought it would be.

What do you need to think about when looking at invites and all the other bits that go with it? I’ve always said and thought, that an invite is the first little wedding something that guests get to see, most recently we got an invite which was fab, it had wellies, and bunting and set the tone that perhaps we should bring a tent to get into full festival mode it was great. So go for it, add those real personal touches and make them yours.

So here’s little list to get you started!

Save the Date
Just a little card to let people know the date of your wedding, I like them as it gives plenty of notice when it comes to booking time off work or if other arrangements need to be made, especially if you’ve got to travel further afield to get to the celebration.

The Wedding Invitation
Has a host line – Together with their families. A nice turn of phrase to include immediate family from both sides.
Your names
Action line – Invite to share in celebrating their wedding
Information line – Date, time and venue
Party line – Dinner and dancing to follow or reception to continue from “specified time”
Sam Lucy InvitationEvening Reception invitation
Your names
Action line – Request the pleasure of your company at their wedding reception
Information– Date, time, venue
Party line – Food drink and dancing

*Tip! Remember,You only need to send an invite per house hold!!

The little response card to let the couple know If you can delightfully attend or regretfully can’t make it, it will also have space for dietary requirements, as well has having a “reply by date” It may not seem like you should rush this, but it’s a huge help for the couple to sort out final numbers, table planning and just makes life so much easier so don’t dilly dally! Now there’s normally an email to reply to or even a text response will be fine.Sam and Lucy RSVP

Details card
A card to inform guests how to get to your venue, possibly letting them know of good accommodations to stay in and what the couple are asking for gifts wise.

*Tip: Other stationary – Menus, thank you cards, placement cards and seating plan.

Order of The Day
This will have information for all to see and will detail the order of events of the day on the day, and will for example have the time of the wedding, when photos will be happening, food, speeches, cake cutting and so on, this can either be hand held or big enough to pop on an easel, which will be placed near the entrance of where guests arrive.

Lucy and Sam Order of Service
We’ve some fab talents on our Isle who can help you create the perfect invite for your wedding. And i’m pleased to be able to have shared “Katy Rose Designs” images for todays post, please go check out her stuff! , You’ll find her working alongside The Events.co  who offer a whole host of wedding accessories to help make your day something extra special.


Til next time