Go big or go small?

Lockdowns, COVID, Isolation… a lot has happened in the last year and it has affected everyone in different ways.

Whilst some people are wanting to make up for lost time, others are more nervous and are wanting to taking things slowly.

Differing attitudes, means we could see a huge difference in wedding themes and styles in the coming years.

Social isolation for the last year means many engaged couples will want to throw the party of a lifetime with hundreds of guests and a wedding that lasts days. On the other hand, this year may have made people realise what is most important to them and they may wish to have a smaller affair with only a select number of friends and family to witness their special day.

Which category do you fall in to – are you going big or going small? Let us know your plans below.

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Thoughts every #CovidBride has about her wedding

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, so they say. With more time on your hands than ever (thanks COVID!), who can blame you for overthinking & worrying about your wedding? Here are 5 thoughts every bride to be has had in lockdown.

Will I ever get married?

March 2020 is such a distant memory, you thought lockdown would be over in a few weeks and you could have the big summer wedding of your dreams. Now we’re stuck in Ground Hog day, and you’re wondering if you will ever get married. You wake up in cold sweats, visioning yourself being 100 years old and you’ve still not walked down the aisle.

Screw the big wedding – I want a holiday

Weddings, holidays, christenings – you name it, Coronavirus has put a stop to them all. Holidays give you a chance to explore new cultures and experiences, some of your happiest memories will be on holiday with your partner. Knowing there’s so much of the world you have yet to explore together, makes you feel like scrapping the big wedding and using the money for the holiday of a lifetime. Who can blame you, as long as you’re together, you’ll have everything you need!

I just want to be married

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that our loved ones are all that matters. Seeing people all over the world struggling and losing loved ones has made many of us re-assess our priorities. Being at home with your Love all day everyday, may have made you appreciate them even more. So much so, that you don’t care about a fancy party, you just want a small wedding and to finally say I DO!

Will I still like my dress?

Lockdown has got us having a love affair with loungewear. Your dream wedding dress that needs 2 bridesmaids to lace you into it, might not be so appealing right now. Let’s not get started on those killer wedding heels! Looking at pictures only makes us critical of ourselves, especially if you don’t have your friends to hype you up right now. Try to remember the feeling of wearing your beautiful dress. We’re totally with you if you want flat shoes though…

Should I change my theme?

You’ve had plenty of time to browse the internet (we’re looking at you pinterest), that now you’re second guessing your theme. It’s been so long since you sent your invites that you can change your theme and no-one will know! Go for it, swap your summer peonies for autumn pine cones. Go with the flow and reignite your spark for wedding planning.

The only certain thing we can take from this year is that nothing is for certain. It’s only natural to be worried when you have no control of the world around you. Take a minute to breathe and appreciate your health and happiness, and discuss any worries you have with your partner.

Comment any worries you have below & your tips for treating yourself during this crazy time.

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Black Friday Categories to keep an eye on

Everyone raves about Black Friday as the best shopping day of the year but it can become overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Some things aren’t obviously wedding related so if you don’t have a list of categories to check out you may end up missing out.

We have put together a short list of categories to bear in mind that might help you with both your wedding planning and wedding preparations. These aren’t restricted to the big day itself, they are all about making you feel good and prepared. So grab a pen and start writing your wish list.


Now believe us when we say, no-one should change who they are for their wedding. Your significant other loves you exactly as you are and that is why they want to marry you. But we can’t deny that everyone loves a good pamper, and in the stress of planning everything else this can easily get overlooked.

If you’re wanting to get your hair in tip-top condition then less heat is the way to go but if you’re a fan of perfectly styled hair then this is just a no-no. Enter the Dyson Airwrap – the reviews for this are soooo good but it is also rather pricey. We’re hoping that Black Friday will offer a nice discount and hopefully from a retailer that lets you try it and return.


Black Friday clothes sales don’t immediately scream wedding but if you keep an eye out you can find some real gems. Retailers often have occasion dresses (think Christmas ball / party) which can double up as pretty fancy Bridesmaid dresses. Filter searches by maxi dress or occasion dress to narrow it down, but remember any dress can be a Bridesmaid dress – it is completely up to you!

Shoes are also a good one to find. Absolutely any shoe can be a wedding shoe from trainers to sandals, the possibilities are endless. Look out for stores having a sale and head straight to the shoe section. Just bear in mind the length of your dress if you have had any alterations already.

Arts & Crafts

Budding DIY brides could pick up some crafty bits in the Black Friday Sales. One high end piece of kit to keep an eye out for is a Cricut machine. This will allow you to print vinyls for glasses, coat-hangers and wedding favours. Searching Pinterest for ‘cricut’ will give you an endless amount of ideas to add a special DIY touch to your wedding.

If you don’t fancy doing or spending that much, then a small craft kit or journal is the perfect way to take some time out from wedding planning and relax. Just focusing on the task in hand will allow you to practice mindfulness and de-stress.


Speaking of de-stressing, if you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, an amazing way to clear your head is exercise. Hear us out! Exercise will release endorphins which make you feel happier. We are absolutely not endorsing any kind of weight loss plan for your wedding, you are perfect as you are. But eating healthy and moving more is sure to make you feel better and think clearer. Keep a look out for fancy workout gear or even equipment that allows you to try a new fun way to exercise. We are big fans of hula hooping… try it!

We hope this has helped you to compile a small ‘wants’ list for Black Friday. Remember to only buy what is on your list to avoid overspending, that wedding budget isn’t going to save itself!

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Gifts for the Bride to Be in your life

It’s an stressful time for Brides to Be at the moment with all of the uncertainty surrounding their big day. Any Bride would really appreciate an act of kindness or little gift that lets them know that you’re thinking of them.

Here our best picks for treating the Bride in your life to a little pick me up

Last Christmas a Miss jumper

Last Christmas as Mr & Miss bauble

Amazing personalised LED Wedding balloon

White satin bag

Cute ‘Wifey’ mug

Bride to Be tote bag

Bride to Be Pyjamas

Disney Bride to Be pyjamas

Personalised water bottle to stay hydrated

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6 High Street Wedding Dresses for under £250

Standing in a Bridal Boutique in your dream wedding dress surrounded by your bridesmaids and closest family is something that most Brides to Be dream of. Even with COVID, you can still visit your local Bridal Shop and experience the feeling of joy when you find ‘the one’.

Maybe you’ve already found your dress, shed the tears and took the obligatory Instagram shot. But you don’t want your big dress to make it’s debut at your smaller COVID wedding? If you’re wanting to save ‘the one’ for your One Year Anniversary big party, then look no further, there is a great selection of Wedding Dresses available online & the high street.

We’ve picked some of our favourites for under £250.

#1 Lovely Layers – Phase Eight

You would be forgiven for thinking that this ‘Shannon Layered Wedding Dress’ by MONSOON is actually from a wedding dress boutique. It may be lower in price but it is definitely not lower in WOW factor.

#2 Angel Sleeves – Phase Eight

This ‘Avianna Tapework Lace wedding dress’ by Phase Eight oozes Hollywood glamour with it’s delicate angel sleeves, just add some earrings and you’re ready to go as this dress speaks for itself.

#3 Halterneck Heaven – Dorothy Perkins

‘Harri Maxi dress’ by Dorothy Perkins would look amazing with a soft romantic up-do. All of the detail is in the top, leaving the bottom free for you to showcase your amazing wedding shoes.

#4 Enchanting Embellishments – Phase Eight

Phase Eight’s ‘Milicent Embellished Tulle Dress’ has a certain sparkle about it, with it’s sheer sleeves and head to toe embellishments, it is sure to be a show stopper

#5 Simple & Stunning – Chi Chi London

Named after the queen of #weddinggoals herself, this ‘Meygan’ dress gives off serious Megan Markle vibes. The long sleeves and matching satin belt make this dress a perfect choice for a Winter Wedding.

#6 Beautiful Beads – SimplyBe

Another sparkly number that would suit winter and summer weddings alike, this delicate beading on this dress is sure to bring some sparkle to your special day

If you need more wedding inspiration check out our other BrideFinds blogs & Instagram page.

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5 perfect intimate wedding venues for your 2020 COVID wedding

It’s fair to say Coronavirus has well & truly messed with your expectations for life in 2020, let alone your wedding plans. One minute you were writing out a list of everyone you’ve ever met to invite, the next you were being told that your wedding might not even go ahead. Enter, intimate romantic weddings!

Current guidance is that smaller, more intimate weddings have the green light to go ahead, although the exact guest numbers is an ever changing figure.

BrideFinds have put together a list of perfect venues for your more intimate wedding with fewer guests. And remember, a smaller wedding doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any worse than a bigger wedding, just different. Having to change your plans may mean you look at things you wouldn’t have previously considered and who knows it may end up being more memorable than you could have ever imagined

These venues are all based within 2 hours of Leeds, West Yorkshire

Broadoaks Country House

Broadoaks have always been a good choice for intimate weddings, not just due to the COVID pandemic. Their ‘Small & Intimate Wedding Offer’ not only includes a 5 course wedding breakfast menu but also luxury accommodation & breakfast for up to 15 guests. You can also add on a live streaming option so your nearest & dearest who are far away can watch your special day.

Broadoaks are fully licensed so you can have all of your wedding in one place without having to move between venues. There is also an indoor & outdoor option, so if the weather is on your side you could get married in their beautiful grounds.

One of the Bedrooms included in this offer is ‘The Retreat’ which features a wood burning stove & a sunken bath out on it’s private deck. You’ll be able to have your perfect day & retreat to The Retreat which will feel like a little getaway in itself, just what we all need after this year.

Little Seed Field

Are you upset that Glastonbury got cancelled and now you can’t have your big dream wedding either? Little Seed Field allows you to create that festival vibe with your wedding guests and you & your partner are the headline act!

The ceremonial barn will allow you to fulfill all of your rustic decor dreams and your DIY pieces won’t go to waste. Once you have tied the knot you can celebrate with a tasty afternoon tea before Glamping in true style.

Little Seed Field’s rural location will make you feel like you’re the only 2 people in the world. A truly romantic location which will be made even more special by the intimacy of having a select number of guests.

Check out their Facebook page for more details on their intimate weddings

Ashmount Country House

Ashmount are the boutique intimate wedding specialists. They only ever cater for up to 35 wedding guests so they know how to create that special romantic feeling.

Set in the beautiful surroundings of Haworth, Ashmount offer you the choice of getting married indoors or outdoors in their Victorian Folly. They hold a full wedding license so your wedding will be the done deal as soon as you sign on the dotted line.

If you want to celebrate a little longer and have your guests stay over, their are 12 King size bedrooms, 5 of which come with private hot tubs and some even have their own sauna! How cool (or HOT?!) is that…

Holdsworth House

Holdsworth House is another venue that has always held intimate weddings with high regard. Their website shows a range of intimate wedding packages depending on guest numbers.

Seen on TV programmes such as The Last Tango in Halifax & Antiques Roadshow, Holdsworth House is steeped in history and is a timeless, classic venue to get married in.

All weddings include use of their stunning secluded gardens and historic halls for wedding photographs and drinks receptions. You can choose from a range of food menus to suit the surroundings from a vintage tea party to Four Course formal Wedding Breakfast.

Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel

Rogerthorpe Manor has the ‘Rose Room’ which was created with intimate weddings in mind. They have also recently introduced private hire of their separate on site Jacobean Pub, if you wanted a relaxed feel but with pure exclusivity.

Weather permitting, Rogerthorpe has a stunning outdoor garden temple for you to say your vows under. The beauty extends to their award winning gardens which feature beautiful blooms and even a swing for the perfect photo opportunity.

Rogerthorpe maintain a close relationship with some specially selected local wedding suppliers who are able to offer exclusive discounts to Rogerthorpe wedding couples, they even have their own Wedding Facebook page so everything is all in one place. It couldn’t be simpler.

If you need more wedding inspiration check out our other BrideFinds blogs & Instagram page.

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To TOP Table or not to TOP Table?

Source: Justin McCallum Photography

If you ask any bride how they are getting on with wedding planning, it’s likely that they will reply with ‘Good BUT I’ve not even started the table plan!’. The poor old table plan is known for being difficult & straining – especially when it comes to the top table. 

From the moment we started wedding planning we knew we wanted a sweetheart table just for the 2 of us. Although I was 100% set on this, I decided to research other options which only further cemented my want of a top table for 2.

Here is why I decided to do away with the infamous Top Table:

#1 – Separated / Single Parents

My Husband and I both come from families where our parents have separated – some of our parents have got new partners and some haven’t. When we started looking at table plans one of the main problems that presented itself was that ‘traditional plans’ were for couples whose parents were still married / together. Once you start really thinking about separated parents it becomes a logistical nightmare, especially if you know you will have fussy family involved. Who will look after smaller children if your dad has remarried and now has younger children that need supervising? There won’t be room for your dad, his new wife & 3 younger children. What if one of your parents doesn’t have a new partner? So you’ve got your 3 sets of remarried / re coupled parents and then your mum sat on the end – although your mum probably wouldn’t mind – I wouldn’t be able to stop myself worrying about who she was going to talk to during the meal. What if you’re not that close with your Husband to be’s Dad’s new girlfriend  – sure she might be lovely but if she’s relatively new to the scene and you’ve only met her twice – do you really want to share your top table with her?

#2 – Bridesmaids

A lot of the images of the ‘perfect top table’ include Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (seriously, these top tables can go on for miles & miles). I only had 2 Bridesmaids so the size of the Top Table wasn’t going to be an issue for me. One of my Bridesmaids was my sister, so I didn’t want the rest of my family to feel left out if she was sat up there with us – and I thought she might want to spend the some of the meal catching up with relatives that she doesn’t normally get to see. My other Bridesmaid was my Best Friend whose Partner was also invited to the wedding. As much as I’m sure she wouldn’t have minded not sitting with her partner for the meal, I felt more comfortable for both of them that they could sit together and enjoy the meal, rather than her partner being sat with other people that he didn’t really know.  Also, regarding Groomsmen, my Husband’s Best Man was his dad which leads back to point 1 re Parents & top tables!

Also, regarding Groomsmen, my Husband’s Best Man was his dad which leads back to point 1 re Parents & top tables!

#3 ‘Small’ Wedding Guest Numbers

The number of guests at our wedding was less than 50 so it falls into the ‘small / intimate’ category (even though it seemed like plenty of people to me). When trying all of the different Top Table combinations you could have e.g. parents plus bridesmaids plus family and not forgetting the Bride & Groom, by the time you had everyone you ‘should’ have on there, there was no-one left for the other tables. I had visions of sitting at the Top Table and looking out onto this beautifully decorated room and there being no-one there, because they were all sat on our 100ft long top table! We wanted to be able to look out & see all of our Family & Friends enjoying themselves and for us to really be able to soak up that memory, rather than leaning over 10 people to see my Mum at the very other end of the longest top table ever.

#4 We just wanted it to be US

One of the top pieces of advice people have for the Bride & Groom on their Wedding Day is to spend some time alone. We had spent all of our time & money on creating this magical perfect day so we wanted to be able to really appreciate it together. Think about all of the effort you put into choosing your favourite dishes for the meal & your favourite colours for the decorations, don’t you just want to sit back, relax & enjoy it together? The wedding day itself is so busy, make sure you really carve out some time to be alone together, after all it is your day.

I hope explaining my thought process behind choosing a Sweetheart Table / Top Table for 2 has helped with your decision making. Other alternatives to the Traditional Top Table are the Happy Couple sitting on a regular round table with guests or banquet style long tables which can have a formal or relaxed feel depending on your decor. 

Remember, it is your day & it can be crafted to suit you. There is no wrong choice if it is what you want to do.

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Why you CAN wear flat wedding shoes – and where to find them!

Why do weddings make the smallest everyday items such as a pair of shoes feel like the end of the universe? 

Every morning we wake up, complete our morning routine and blearily eyed, we put on our shoes and head out of the door. Do we give these shoes a second thought? Sure, might make sure we wear the polished black ankle boots with our tights instead of the old flip flops that we keep by the door for emergencies. But do you spend hours, days even, agonising whether they will go with the new dress you’ve bought for work? So why do we do it for our wedding? 

On all of the TV shows and pictures we see, you see a beautiful bride slipping her foot into a 6” designer heel and she looks elegant and put together. But although they look nice, I know for a fact that I couldn’t even stand in those heels, let alone take one of the most exciting walks of my life. Yet when I suggested to my friends that I was going to get flat shoes as I wanted to be comfortable – I was met with confusion. ‘But you have to wear heels so you have nice posture’ & ‘but you won’t feel special if you’re just wearing flats’ were some of their reactions. Well, on my wedding day I felt pretty damn special and I couldn’t have cared less what shoes I was wearing. 

I am a very indecisive person and I like to make sure I have explored all of my options before committing to something. This meant that I spent many a night trawling through every website known to man in order to find the perfect flat wedding shoes. So, to ensure that all that woman-power doesn’t go to waste, I thought I would share some of my findings with you, in the hope that it saves you some time.

Treat Yo’self – Frankie by Charlotte Mills

Image: Charlotte Mills Website

These just ooze luxury and scream ‘Wedding’. All Charlotte Mills shoes come with an embossed ‘something old, something new’ poem on the sole of the shoes and have a silver sixpence on the inside. Imagine the photographs on your wedding morning… Pinterest goals! 

SATC vibes – embellished slingbacks from ASOS 

Image: ASOS

If you’re struggling to find your something blue these are perfect and the big embellishment on the front is a good modern verison of those shoes from Sex and The City but FLAT. If blue isn’t your thing, these are also available in a classic ivory. What’s not to love? 

Simple yet effective – Amazon

Image: Amazon

These are very similar to the flat wedding shoes that I wore to my own wedding (which are all sold out – I was lucky I managed to snap up a brand new pair from eBay). The pointed toe was perfect as it when I was walking in my dress it could pop out from underneath but still look classy – a pointed toe is a good option if you want to give the illusion of heels but the comfort of flats – the best of both worlds. 

Comfort first – Precious Metals Converse

Image: Amazon

I wasn’t a huge fan of trainers / Converse when looking at flat wedding shoes for myself but I know that some people swear by them. If you live in your Converse and feel that they are a part of your personality then this is a great way to let that shine through. This particular pair have shiny extra bits to set them apart from your standard everyday pair, plus you can wear them time & time again and they’ll always remind you of your special day – bonus!

Your one for one – Crochet Toms

Image: Office

Continuing the comfort theme these are sure to make your heart feel good as well as your feet. For every pair of TOMS purchased, TOMS will donate one to a child in need. This classic lace design is fitting for a bride & the feeling that you’re doing something good will make you radiate from within.

To Dye for – Alise by Rainbow Club

Image: Rainbow Club
Image: Rainbow Club

If you change your colour theme so often that you’re still not sure what colours your bridesmaids will actually turn up in on the day, these are the shoes for you. You purchase your shoes, try them on and then by purchasing a colour pack and returning your shoes to Rainbow Club you can have them dyed any colour you want. Literally any colour. Their experts will accurately match your shoes to any fabric or swatch that you desire. Or if you prefer, you can just keep them in their classic ivory satin.

Each shoe features padded lining and underfoot cushioning so your favourite walk will also be your comfiest.

Designer delights – Vivienne Westwood

Image: Office

If you thought your dreams of coveting designer footwear for your big day died when you vowed to wear flat wedding shoes… think again! Available in Blush & ‘Moon Shimmer’ with rave reviews, these will be a pair that you can’t wait to un-box.

So there we have it, you can be stylish and comfortable on your wedding day. Although, TV and Films would have you believe it, you don’t have to add inches to your height to be a glamorous bride. Enjoy the rest of your wedding planning in the comfort of your flat wedding shoes.

If I find any more amazing flat shoes I’ll add them over on my Instagram so be sure to follow there – @BrideFinds

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