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Sharelle & Graeme.

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I first met Sharelle earlier this year when she made an appointment to discuss her wedding reception requirements with me.  Two of her future sisters in law had recommended me as I had styled their weddings in the past.  In our meeting Sharelle explained that she and her fiancé Graeme had booked an intimate wedding for just the two of them in Las Vegas with a reception being held back home in Scotland at The Gailes Hotel   meaning all their  family and friends could look forward to  celebrating with them.

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This gorgeous wedding chapel is part of the MGM Grand Hotel where the couple were staying in Las Vegas and is where they were married,  a live video link ensuring that parents and siblings could watch their vows being taken live.

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Various photo locations were chosen by  Sharelle and Graeme for their photos around Las Vegas at the Venetian, Paris, and Bellagio. Finishing with a window view of the Bellagio fountains they then had their wedding  meal at the Eiffel tower restaurant.  The photos are just stunning!

Sharelle definitely had the right idea as she got to wear her exquisite wedding gown twice, both at home and abroad – it was part of the Signature Collection from Wed2b – Graeme hired his kilt from Slaters Menswear and again wore it to both celebrations.

As a surprise for Sharelle, just a few weeks before they were due to fly to Vegas, Graeme’s sister Emily sent me a message to ask if I could style a little afternoon tea in the form of a chic hen party; this was for Graeme’s mum Dianne to host in her home as a lovely way to welcome Sharelle and her mum to the Dunlop family.  As pretty pink tea parties are so my thing, I was thrilled; I used some pastel pink vintage china together with various Team Bride pieces from Party Pieces – Dianne baked all the food which I heard was such a hit with all the guests that they each went home with a box of goodies!

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For the evening reception at The Gailes Hotel, Sharelle chose simply elegant pieces with a vintage feel and pastel colours; the lace lanterns echoing the lace of her stunning wedding gown.  To enable a soft touch of Vegas was with them on the evening, I made some table name cards with Vegas hotel names of their choice.   The guests were all treated to a video of the wedding in Vegas on the big screen then the speeches were heard before a fabulous evening of dancing and celebrating was had by all.  Family photos were taken by   Monument Photos who was also the photographer of choice for the  past weddings in Graeme’s family I had styled.

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I would just like to thank Sharelle and Graeme for choosing Vintage Venues to style their wedding and wish them all the best in their future as the newest Mr & Mrs Dunlop.

Much Love, Joanna X

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Venue (away)  MGM Grand

Venue (home)  The Gailes Hotel

Sharelle’s Gown  The Signature Collection at Wed2b

Graeme’s Kilt      Slaters Menswear

Photographer (home)   Monument Photos

Sharelle’s Makeup  https://www.facebook.com/ellisdewhurstmakeupartist/

Autumn Decor – bleaching pine cones.

I absolutely love seasonal decor; my most favourite time being late Autumn and Winter… I always turn to nature first for my decor pieces and love a little forage down the lane right outside our house for twigs, acorns, ivy and of course the all time favourite – pine cones!

Every year since we moved in I have collected these pine cones from the 200yr old spruce trees in the lane as when the boys were little I always took a stand at the village Christmas Fayre held in their school. I crafted lots of pieces such as hanging tealight holders, Cath Kidston fabric pouches for paper tissues, sweetie jars and bath salt jars etc…However, my best sellers every year without fail were my organza bags of pine cones tied with a large red gingham bow. I collected, washed, dried the cones out in the oven then oiled them with Christmas Spice festive oils.

This year however I have taken a different approach to preparing the cones as I have a winter wedding to style using some and thought the paler colour could be good with the other pieces I’m using. My friend Sarah suggested I try bleaching them (thanks Sarah, it worked! ) Here’s how I did it and the results are fab!

Using 1 part household thick bleach to 2 parts cold water I filled the basin with the cones and covered with the bleach mix… This should be left for 12-24 hours.

The cones will close up when the water soaks into them but once you take them out to dry (I pop mine on egg boxes on top of the radiators for a couple of days) they will open out again.

My style at home especially at Christmas is quite Nordic and these paler cones are perfect popped around the home in baskets, on wreaths, buntings, as place name holders… The possibilities are endless and all for the price of a bottle of bleach.

(I recommend wearing gloves and an apron and also popping a tea towel under your basin when working with bleach)

Happy foraging and styling.

Love Joanna X

Mini Rosewater Eclairs

davIngredients

225 ml water

3 oz butter

100g plain flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 drop of rosewater

Double cream

Icing sugar and pink food colouring

 

Method

Melt the butter in a large pan, once melted add the water and bring through the boil.  Remove from boil and immediately stir in the plain flour until it comes away from the edges of the pan as a silky dough.

Transfer the mix to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly before using an electric handmixer to add in gradually the two beaten eggs.

 

Using a piping bag with no nozzle, pipe out lengths of around 6cm onto a greased baking tray.

Bake into oven at 180 deg fan oven for around 12 mins – take out and check and if they need longer do them for a minute at a time checking along the way.

Leave to completely cool on a wire rack then fill with piped double cream and water icing made using a drop of rosewater, icing sugar and pink food colouring.dav

Waterpark Barn Weddings

I was delighted recently to be invited along to meet with the lovely Sharron & Brian who run Ayrshire’s latest exclusive wedding venue. The stunning venue itself is literally a few fields away from my home and I’m really looking forward to working with the team on a few projects soon. The venue provides beautiful limewash chiavari chairs teamed with rustic tables and in a venue like this less is most definitely so much more; just the simple addition of some of our rustic pieces and twinkly fairy lights could work well for the tables together with perhaps our hanging jars as pew ends. Meanwhile here are a few photos I took on my visit of this stunning local rustic laid-back venue which I know is going to be such a huge hit with couples looking to tie the knot soon…but if you fancy having your wedding here, best be quick to view it as it’s so exclusive there are only 18 dates available per year!

Follow this link to the IG page for Waterpark Barn Weddings to keep up to date with all their news.

Thanks for reading,

Love Joanna X

Elopement & Rustic Wedding Reception

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Julie and Chris eloped to Glasgow together with their little daughter Grace around Christmastime. After lots of careful secretive planning, their day went to perfection, just the three of them. They stayed in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow prior to the wedding and were married in the City Chambers, Montrose Street in Glasgow. Afterwards, they had a walk around Merchant City and the funfair in George Square followed by a lovely meal at The Bothy – the photographers Gail & David  also acted as their witnesses!  The photos  look simply magical and you almost feel as though you were there with them!

After the elopement Julie and Chris quickly settled into happily married life and when friends and family heard the news they instantly asked when and where  the wedding reception would be! So on with some more planning – little Grace is a keen bowler and so it was settled, the wedding reception would be held in the hall of the Bowling Club she belongs to.

And that is where I came in – Julie described her vision to me and shared some ideas but wondered would this even be possible in the plain hall – I assured her I would transform the venue for her and she was thrilled with the results on the night. I used lots of fairylights and created a fairylight drape on the ceiling together with some paper lanterns and bunting from Party Pieces and the result was stunning – on the tables fresh flowers in  hessian and lace jars made by Julie were placed on log slices over lace tablecloths.  Tealights in little jars and some  with some extra greenery and flowers were placed around the room and hung along the balustrade. I used these cute hanging jars  also from Party Pieces which are perfect for either little flower posies or tealights.

Their rustic wedding cake was placed on an upturned crate with mini bunting and  by placing sweet treats made by family and friends on our vintage cake plates we created a lovely dessert table.  All the guests loved the decor and I feel it shows that by using just some simple key pieces and a bit of creativity it really is so easy to transform any venue into something chic, elegant and magical.

Chris is a chef on the local Arran ferry and had made most of the sweet treats for the dessert table – the tablet was especially delicious and I was delighted when he handed me a little package of tablet to take home.

Hope you have enjoyed reading about Julie and Chris’s elopement and celebrations, I wish them and Grace all the very best in their future together.

Love Joanna. X

Venues City Chambers  Bothy Glasgow

Wedding Photos in Glasgow by Gail & David  Rooftop Mosaic

Julie’s Dress  Oleg Cassini, David’s Bridal

White Bunting, Lanterns & Heart hanging jars, Party Pieces

 

Red Gooseberry Jam

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This year our soft fruit shrubs in the garden were the best they had ever been and so this meant we had an over abundance of fruit;  I decided to make some jam with some of the red gooseberries.   With the loganberries I have left over I plan to make some cordial and will share the recipe on here too. davAs I like to use easy no fuss recipes with natural ingredients I settled on using the one I found on BBC Good Food.  As gooseberries have a lot of natural pectin, there is no setting agent required, just 3 ingredients of gooseberries, sugar and fresh lemon juice. I have shared the recipe below.

 

 

I used the BBC Good Food recipe and you can either click the link or use the copy from their page below.

bbc good food gooseberry jam

 

Once the jam was ready I poured it into the sterilised jam jars and made some labels using plain white paper and double sided sticky tape – I find it best to put these on when the jam is still piping hot in the jars as it seems to adhere better. davmde

I added a little tissue paper jam pot cover to the jars and secured with a piece of twine.  And that’s it!  Easy yummy jam to enjoy a taste of summer through into winter.

Thanks for reading.

Love Joanna X

 

Lavender & Lemon Drizzle Cake

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I make this lemon drizzle cake on a regular basis as it is my husband’s most absolute favourite but in summer I like to give it a little seasonal twist by adding a few pieces of lavender.

We recently visited Yorkshire Lavender while on holiday in England and I bought some plants for the garden together with some fresh bunches of lavender to dry and use at home in herbal remedies.

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So this is the lavender I used to bake the cakes today and here is the easy recipe.

Lavender & Lemon Drizzle Cake

3 eggs

6oz caster sugar

6oz soft margarine

6oz self raising flour

zest of 2 lemons

2 sprigs of lavender petalsdav

 

Mix all together in bowl using an electric whisk

Spoon into 2  x 1lb lined loaf tins and bake at 180 deg fan oven for around 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cakes are in the oven, prepare the drizzle by squeezing the juice from the 2 lemons you used the rind from earlier and add enough icing sugar to have a pouring consistency – I would recommend around a cup and a half of icing sugar, this makes the cake so moist and yummy!

Whenever you remove the cakes from the oven, whilst still in the tins, use a metal skewer to pierce them all over right to the bottom of the tin.

Immediately add all of the drizzle and sprinkle over some more lavender petals as a decoration.

Once cooled a bit, remove from the tins and leave on a cooling rack until cool.

Slice and enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

Love Joanna Xsdr