Friday, 30 March 2012

Thumbpint Guest Books

It's been a while since that last post because....the drought broke, the sales and custom requests started trickling in and we have been BUSY! Busy in the very best way - making new items, filling orders and coming up with new product ideas. Today though, I wanted to share this sweet alternative to conventional guest books - the thumbprint guest book. I think they are a new trend, or at least they are to me! The first few I ever saw were the classic tree, but lately I've noticed a few variations that are really fun, if trees are not your cup of tea. Here are a few of my favourites:
Available from theinklab


Available from idoityourself
Available from FlyingClementine

I really wish that they had been around when I was married. Unlike the traditional guest book where everyone writes more or less the same comment and then the book is put away, forgotten about or even as in my case most likely lost, this is a lovely way to have a momento of your wedding day and the friends and family who attended displayed attractively where you can see it every day.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Creative Conundrum

At the end of an extremely long week where I have spent all my waking hours devoted to growing White Poppy as a business, I am feeling completely done in. If someone had told me at the beginning of all of this that I would be working 12 - 13 hour days sewing, promoting, discussing business ideas with my sister...sometimes having some fairly 'robust' conversations about the direction we are currently heading in...I probably would have run a mile. Well, actually, I probably wouldn't have because all of that time spent has been my choice, but there is no denying that starting out a little business like ours is heaps of hard work. And there isn't always reward at the end of that. In fact, at the moment, our true (and only) reward is just to see beautifully-finished, handmade items that we have produced ourselves, cutting every piece of fabric, stitching every petal, shaping every bow - you get the idea. At this point at least, the rewards are certainly not financial! It is such a feeling of accomplishment to put the finishing touches to a piece of hair couture that might one day be worn by a girl on the most important day of her life, or might even be worn by a girl on the most ordinary of days, but a day that feels special because she is looking gorgeous and rocking one of our handmade hair accessories. That is always the hope. The fear for both of us is that we have spent hours designing and creating a thing of beauty that is then going to sit in a box, never to be purchased or loved by any girl other than ourselves. It eventually gets to the point where, like today, I sit and wonder what on earth I have signed up for with all of this. I look at my work table, which is currently covered in bits of Russian veiling that I cannot seem to shape into the design that I have in my head for a really stunning little bow embellishment for a vintage cocktail hat - instead it seems insistent that it wants to curl itself up into a shape resembling an empty onion bag - and I ask myself if I have the chutzpah to keep going with this long term. For now, we are still in the honeymoon period of the business where everything should be nice, shiny, new and exciting and it still is, to some extent, but we have only made three sales so far. Promoting the business is hard work too; we have only 20 likes on our Facebook page, no followers on our blog (this feels like my personal diary now, rather than a public avenue for discussing our wedding concepts), and we are feeling a little like a very minuscule needle in the haystack that is the internet-based home business world. So I am facing a creative conundrum; do I pick myself up, brush myself off and keep plugging away at a venture that seems doomed to obscurity and, perhaps ultimately failure? Or do I try to head in a completely different direction altogether? I have toyed with the idea of actually selling some of our work at local artists markets. It would at least be a litmus test of our potential buyers' tastes and interests...if I sit there for hours at a stall and no-one even comes up to have a look at our creations, then I guess I would know that I was on the wrong track. Do you think we have given ourselves enough time to at least get a feel for how our business will perform as a simple online concern? Or do you think we need to give things more time? Sending my questions out there to our hypothetical readers... Hoping for a little love, laughter and happily ever after for White Poppy, Michelle

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Femme Fifties

50's Vintage Wedding Dress by JoJosRetroandVintage

I love 50's and 60's vintage, even if those beautiful wasp-waisted dresses from the 1950's will never even come close to fitting me! There's something just so elegantly simple about the styling of that era that makes me drool. Perhaps recently popularised by Matthew Weiner's hit TV show Mad Men, this era has become increasingly looked to by those brides wanting a vintage inspired wedding that still speaks of feminine style. Clearly I am not alone in having a bit of a fifties fetish! There are so many different options with this era, but today we are going to look at what makes a fifties style wedding so incredibly fabulous.

For your bridal gown, think tea length dresses that sit on the waist, with or without a fabulous tulle underskirt.

Take a look at the fabulous vintage 50's white wedding dress above from JoJosRetroandVintage - it's so cute and best of all, it's the genuine article!

Scoop Neck Retro Dress by missbrache
There are so many options out there for bridesmaids as well. We love this classic navy creation by the talented missbrache. Just look at those cute accessories!

If you are looking for accessories that will recreate a sense of 50's vintage glam, then I think it is important to remember that simplicity is best.  Much of the style of the time is so elegant and classic because it was simple. With timeless and feminine 50's accessorising in my mind, today I spent a great deal of time playing around with a few new headpieces for our etsy store.

Vintage Ivory Satin Hair Bow by White Poppy Bridal

The final product? This super cute ivory satin head bow! I think it's very reminiscent of the late 50's or early 60's. Worn on its own, or teamed with a birdcage veil, a headpiece like this is perfect for recreating a little vintage glamour.

What I love most about this piece is that it won't detract from those classic lines of a tea length dress, not to mention the fact that there is something just irresistibly adorable about a hair bow.

'Fabulous Fifties Finds for Fiances and Fiancees' by WhitePoppyBridal

Fifties glam for weddings!

Josie - 50s Style W...

The Monogram Weddin...

Valentine Teacup Pr...

Lovebird Vintage We...

50 Raspberry Sherbe...

Bridal Hair accesso...

Vintage Shoes 50s D...

50s vintage baby bl...

Pink Cadillac Vinta...

1950s Layered Mint ...

Vintage 50s style c...

Turquoise Vintage N...

Vintage 50s Dress /...

Vintage Cufflinks M...

Polka Dot Bridal Gl...

RARE Authentic Vint...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Forever Flowers

There was a time not so very long a go when an artificial bouquet was simply a money saving decision  with most brides choosing fresh flowers if they could afford it.  In recent years though, so many brides are now making the decision to use silk or artificial flowers for their wedding or opting create their own bouquets as a statement, rather than for financial constraints and the flowers used range from artisan created fabric flowers, to DIY paper posies to brooch bouquets without a flower in sight!

 The obvious advantage in choosing to go faux is that your flowers will last for many years to come, leaving you with a pretty reminder of your wedding day.  If you elect to use realistic silk flowers, you have the advantage of being able to use any blooms you choose in your bouquet, regardless of season.  Few brides choose their wedding date for the availability of their favourite flower and many of us have gone to visit our florist with visions of our dream bouquet in our head only to be devastated to learn that our dream will be either impossible or prohibitively expensive and very short lived.

Silk flowers have come a long way from the stiff looking plastic leaved versions of yesteryear and if quality blooms are used are practically impossible to tell from their organic counterparts.  Better still, they are robust enough not to wilt in the heat, or be crushed and damaged from over zealous embraces from happy relatives!

It's important to do your research if your decision to use fake flowers is purely based on budget.  A bouquet of handmade silk flowers will often set you back a similar amount to that of fresh flowers and it is possible that your florist will be able to work with you and suggest ways in which you can reduce the cost of your bouquet to make it more affordable.

Here are just some of the options available for purchase on Etsy if you are not inclined to make your own:

'Fabulous Fakery' by WhitePoppyBridal

Who says that your wedding flowers have to be fresh?

Petite Bouquet in All Blush

Bride's Bouquet, fabric...

Vintage brooch bouquet, broo...

White Ivory Cream Lace Fabri...

Small Coffee Filter Peony Bo...

Wedding Season Sale- Beach B...

Sparkle and Fray - Vintage r...

Build Your Own Bridal Bouque...

bridal bouquet, weddings, Na...

Pinwheel Wedding Party Set o...

Custom Color Felt and Button...

Craspedia Wedding Bouquet Br...

Silk Bride Bouquet Peony Flo...

Country Chic Bridal Bouquet ...

Sweetie Pie Bridal Package

Silk Bride Bouquet Ranunculu...

To me, the most exciting aspect of this trend is that brides now have so many options available to them and none of them are looked upon as being second rate to the beautiful but delicate fresh flower.  This opens up so much scope for creativity and allows room for real self expression.  If you choose to use faux flowers the options are endless - from artisan designed bouquets of silk dupioni to DIY posies of paper or vintage brooches.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Ultra Clutches

Let's face it...little things can add up to be major annoyances on your wedding day.  A muddy footprint on your beautiful dress.  The heel comes off your bridesmaid's shoe.  A torn hem.  A headache.  A blister.  Ordinarily you'd cope, but not today!  Your wedding day is long and busy and often there's no time to stop.

As well as being the perfect bridesmaid gift, a custom made clutch, if packed correctly can be an absolute lifesaver on your big day! 

This beautiful collection of clutches comes from talented Etsian Eclu.

Emergency essentials for your maids to carry between them can include:

Spare stockings
Band aids
Headache pills
Baby wipes  in a ziplock bag (these are great at removing marks from clothing, mud from shoes etc)
Threaded needles in your dress colours
A tiny pair of manicure scissors & nail file
Safety pins
Bobby pins
Pressed powder & lipstick for touchups
 And believe it or not....superglue (you'd be surprised how it may come in handy!).

Styles and colours are limited only by your imagination!

These clutches by KarrahDesigns are very sophisticated.

And we love these cute little numbers by EmmaGordonLondon.


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Autumn and Winter Romance

As we head into the early days of autumn here in Australia, I thought it might be timely to write about cool weather weddings. Many brides are hesitant to marry during the colder months of the year, but an autumn or winter wedding can be so beautifully romantic, with an atmosphere that just can’t be recreated in warmer weather. How do I know? I got married in Melbourne in July!

We hadn’t originally planned to marry at that time of year, but things just fell into place that way; we knew our honeymoon destination of the Cook Islands would have excellent weather at that time of year (and it did!), the venue that we fell in love with had limited availability outside of that time period and best of all, it fit in with the general busyness of our lives. I was teaching at the time, so the three week mid-semester break in July worked well in terms of time off from school.

I did have a few concerns about our winter wedding and most of my anxiety was about the comfort of our guests, and their potential unwillingness to suffer the frosty weather in attending our day. Most of my relatives are from Queensland, so these concerns were real, and it was important to me that people weren’t put off by the season. I decided to openly acknowledge the fact that it would be cold, and so I just went with a winter white theme in my planning, and warned my guests that it would be chilly. Our cake gives a pretty good indication of the styling of the day – lots of crisp and snowy white, flowers, and a recurring ‘snowflake’ design that we used not only on our cake, but also on our invitations, place cards and orders of service. 
The 'frosty' icing on our deliciously decadent cake,
by Splendid Servings, Melbourne

We had lots of fun with the whole winter theming! I also chose venues that were more suited to the season – our reception venue was decorated in a very warm and inviting style, perfect for our cosy guest list of 35 people, and we also decided upon a church wedding ceremony, rather than a garden ceremony.

I have heard of brides who do choose to go the outdoors ceremony route who offer complimentary throws and pashminas for their guests and I think this is wonderful idea. It would really make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside as well as on the outside to know that the couple had thought of my comfort and offered me a snuggly pashmina as I arrived at the ceremony! If the venue permitted, you could also go crazy with braziers, candles and fairy lights to create a bit of winter romance in an outdoor reception venue.

There are a few other considerations that a bride should think about when planning a wedding outside of the ‘prime’ wedding season. It is really, really vital to remember that you will most likely be having photographs taken outside for at least some of the time. I purchased some gorgeous faux fur stoles for my girls and I had my own snow white wrap as well (and a muff! Ok, it probably was overkill but I absolutely loved it and it looked fantastic!). I think all three of us were very pleased to have those to snuggle into when the chilly winds threatened to cut through to the bone. In retrospect, dealing with the cold weather during the photography was probably the only part of having a winter wedding that I really regret and I was certain that our photos would show us with forced smiles and goosebumps in some of the pictures, but thankfully that didn’t happen! The biggest benefit of the winter setting for our photography is that we ended up with some truly striking photographs, due in part to the softer light and also because the trees were so stunning without their leaves on.

Check out some of our ideas for a beautiful autumn wedding in this week's featured treasury, A Woodland Wedding.

'Woodland Wedding' by WhitePoppyBridal

Classic Box - DIY Weddi...

Handmade pop-up book st...

100 Personalized SAVE T...

Deposit on a spring flo...

Wild Garden Dress, One ...

Woodland Needle Felted ...

ANNA Handmade earthy f...

Sunflower Table Number ...

Lace Flower Girl Dress ...

14k Palladium White Gol...

Orchids & Moss Vine Pom...

Wedding Place Cards, Ye...

Ring Bearer Pillow Nest...

Men's Beach Wedding...

Sample Woodland Rustic ...

Just Married Banner

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.