Category Archives: Tips

We’ve talked dresses… What about you men?

It’s very easy to get all carried away in planning your wedding. While not all of the men in the world are dead excited about the little details, some of you lot are gagging for a suave suit to send everyone swooning.

So what tips have I in store for my lovely Grooms? Girlies, look away now. I could be about to advise on bridal gifts and all sorts… DON’T SPOIL IT! 


Menswear for the Groom and party – Black Tie

Alex and Graham run a tight ship over at Black Tie Menswear… they have shops in Basingstoke and Crowthorne to show off their gorgeous variety of fabrics.  Black Tie offer fantastic hirewear for your Groomsmen, but their real speciality is bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring for the Groom. It’s actually not nearly as expensive as you think it might be, with a made-to-measure two piece suit starting at £295.
Black Tie Menswear have t
heir own tweed too, so you can be sure you’re lookin’ suuuper sharp.


black tie suit hire and tailor for occasions and weddings, shop in crowthornedetails of tailor shop and menswear tweeds, by black tie


Bridal Gifts – Betty Blue’s Loungewear

So, not sure if you know… but some couples like to exchange gifts the morning of the wedding. You can use a family member, friend or helpful photographer to present your gift… it’s probably worth talking about whether this is something you want to do! If you do, then what finer opportunity to buy some really lovely lingerie for your new wife? 

Betty makes amazing lingerie and loungewear out of the most fantastic silk and lace she can find… all of the items are proudly made in the UK. These are luxury products, they will be special for anniversary trips away for years and years to come, and will make your lady feel all glam!


betty blue

Speech Writing – Graham the Wedding Speech Coach

Graham was introduced to me by a fellow wedding professional, as I was looking for some help and advice to assist in that all important job of writing a fantastic speech. Graham and I had a telephone consultation where I found him to be informative but most of all totally approachable!

The top 3 tips from my chat with Graham (to get you started!) are…
1. Prepare! I know I sound like a teacher, but I used to be one. Get your arse in gear. Have a note on your phone for jotting down little anecdotes, feelings and stories – it’ll help you to get your content together and make the best of the material you have for your Groom’s speech.

2. Personalise! Yes, you can google topics for your speech and it’s really nice to have a framework, but everyone listening is there to hear about YOU and your wonderful partner in crime. Give ’em what they want! Make it personal and special to you, speak truly about the things you love about that person… (this also makes photos awesome, by the way!)

3. PRACTISE. Here’s the teacher in me again… but just like anything, practise makes perfect! Speak it to yourself in the car on the way to work, mutter to yourself in the shower, have a night in with your best mate and have two fingers of your beer every time you screw up… I dunno! It means that on the day, no matter how nervous you are, you’ll be better off to say what you want to without reading off a piece of paper and feeling like you’re a Groom gone wrong!


three wedding speeches by father of the bride and groom, mixed race couple and familyiphone wedding speech by the groom in the aviator farnborough


Muchos love, Groom out there – and don’t forget to share this with boymates where relevant!

Hana x


Your Wedding Dress – 3 gorgeous ways to find IT

Some of us dream about THE DRESS. Some of us don’t know what we want, and some of us agonise about the expectation. We are all different though, and there are some super, relaxed and fun ways to find your wedding dress. Through the years of working in weddings with brides and meeting suppliers at fairs I have come to have a little pocket book of suppliers. 
When it comes to my own wedding, I’ll be considering the 3 gorgeous ladies below to help me to feel BLOODY FABULOUS on our wedding day. I’m not sure if I want something coloured, something floaty or sexy, something vintage or brand new. Or even whether it’ll be a wedding dress at all… there are so many options!

If you haven’t yet sorted out the thing which will keep you from marrying in the nuddy (scary dream, huh?), then check out these gorgeous places below! 

watercress line hampshire train station with travelling bride in dropped hem vintage styled wedding dress by louise rose coutureLouise Rose Couture – Bespoke, Handmade Wedding Dresses

Louise came to my attention a few years ago as a friend of a friend. When when I moved to Alton we crossed paths again. The wedding dresses which Louise lovingly creates are all based on alternative and vintage styling with a gorgeous modern twist. There are a number of designs available to order, your experience from start to finish is one which results in a wedding dress perfectly made just for you. Prices are totally reasonable too, starting at £550. Check it out HERE.

If you need more convincing, Louise writes a blog about bespoke wedding dresses, too. Just to help! 
mint green wedding dress by louise rose couture in front of steam train at watercress line hampshirevintage steam railway building with bride in louise rose couture tea dresslouise rose couture vintage pink polka dot wedding dress in moody image at winchester cathedral

The images above were shot as part of our styled Steam Railway Bridal Shoot, and you can see more here!


vintage lace and satin wedding dresses from edwardian to 1980s by real green dress odihamReal Green Dress – Genuine Vintage Wedding Dress


I stumbled upon Erica’s wedding dress wonderland quite by chance. She’s fairly near my house and does AWESOME stuff. Real Green Dress finds, restores, and cleans vintage wedding dresses in sizes 8-16 from Edwardian to 1980s. I’d heartily recommend giving this lady a visit for a true one-off gown. To add to the experience, Erica has a fine eye for styling and detail. She was a definite expert in her stock. Wowzer!

Check out Real Green Dress here, and book yourself in for an explore!

vintage wedding shop real green dress matching vintage jacket1920s art deco flowing wedding dress with peach slip by real green dress odiham

I have recently shot a very exciting 1920s/1930s styled shoot with this dress above. It looked incredible, so watch this space!


vintage style wedding dress in styled shoot by twirl bridal boutique petersfield

Twirl Bridal Boutique – Unusual Wedding Dress Boutique


If you are looking for the traditional bridal shop experience with your Ma and MOH, Twirl Bridal Boutique! Based in Petersfield, Twirl Bridal gives the most typical experience when shopping for THE wedding dress. Despite this though, they don’t carry typical wedding gowns. A large range of coloured, floral and unusual length dresses are available to try on.

If you want something a little different, then this is a fabulous place to start looking. 

mint green floral wedding dress on bride, couple kissing in front of campervantwirl bridal boutique petersfield present lace back wedding dress with button closurealternative wedding tea dress in golf course driving range with bride and groom


So there we have it, my three top picks for choosing a wedding dress. If I was YOU (which I’m not so bear with), I’d be looking for something which got me all excited. That may well not be what I’m suggesting here, but then I do cherish the unusual!

52 Weeks – I made my own dining table! 

This week has been about finally sitting down to enjoy the table I lovingly restored with the help of my handy friend Sheila.
The table was one of those pine monstrosities which had seen far too much orangey varnish from its time in the 1990s, and needed some serious TLC from the scratches and dinks in the wood.
It was gifted to Chris by his brother Rob when he lived in his “man house” with friends Gerry and Simon – it didn’t matter what it looked like for boardgames back then but it matters now! 

table, diy, gold leaf, cutlery detail, table top, shabby chic, chalk paint, americana decor, pastels, decoupage, decoupage legs, patchwork table, vintage, rustic

The wood was sanded back and took a day but oh boy has it come up lovely! We then used gold leaf to apply cutlery place settings (and Chris eats backwards so his are the wrong way ’round!) Then after trying numerous different inks and stains we found that black acrylic paint worked the best for the outline and dotted place settings.
Really pleased with the table top, it’s quirky with a purpose!

table, diy, gold leaf, cutlery detail, table top, shabby chic, chalk paint, americana decor, pastels, decoupage, decoupage legs, patchwork table, vintage, rustic

I used Americana Decor chalk paint and Decopatch paper from Hobbycraft to decorate the underneath of the table. I’m really pleased about this effect because it looks AWESOME..

table, diy, gold leaf, cutlery detail, table top, shabby chic, chalk paint, americana decor, pastels, decoupage, decoupage legs, patchwork table, vintage, rustic

So there we have it. A bloody masterpiece if I say so myself 😉

I’ve got some lovely wedding friends!

Being self-employed has naturally gravitated me towards other people in the same boat. This post focuses on one lady I met through wedding fairs, and one friend-turned-wedding-caker! Here’s to wedding friends; old and new!
It’s wonderful to be able to seek advice from others and to celebrate our successes – we even have a self employed Christmas party at the end of every year – so we don’t miss out! 

wedding friends, wedding fairs, doily days, doily days wedding special edition, doily days loves weddings, doily days cake, rainbow cake, wedding rainbow cake, bake to differ, steph eastty, layered cakeDoily Days is a wedding feature mag run by Helen Ruff since 2009 – she’s on issue 10 and this is a really special edition. I’m very glad to be alongside some other gorgeous suppliers. and you can buy a copy here. (The cover feels super nice. Honestly, it’s really soft. That’s weird. I know!)
This magazine features alternative wedding supplier adverts from across Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey etc and also has some really useful and helpful articles on how to have a different and quirky wedding to suit the individuals. Class act! 

That gorgeous slice of cake then! My long standing friend Steph turned to professional cake making 14 months ago and she’s absolutely bossing it with Bake To Differ! For a long time I’ve confessed to not being that much of a cake fan, but Steph’s are moist, light and unbelievably tasty. ALSO they don’t look like crap, which is a total bonus. Some of her cakes have been absolutely stunning and you can check them out here. I will warn you though, she’s very busy so you have to ask nicely/in advance!
(Steph brought us this gorgeous rainbow wedding cake as a housewarming snack and we’re SUPER grateful. Hooray for wedding cake trimming!) 

Tips – Find a photographer on Facebook!

Okay, so you’ve got the venue sorted, and you’ve contacted the person who’s going to marry you (the Officiator, not your beloved, silly!). So how do you find a photographer – an awesome one at that? Facebook can be a great place to start looking, so this is the first of my tips! 

tips, hana laurie, awesome photographer, wedding photography, facebook,

Firstly, depending on your friends’ tastes, you might want to ask them for a recommendation. Sometimes it seems like everyone you know is getting married or having babies, and that means that your friends are going to be experts in photography and can give you tips and tricks. 

tips, facebook, how to find a wedding photographer, awesome photographer, wedding, recommendation

Aw, thanks Sarah!

Next, check out the reviews and don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials. This is especially good if the reviewing bride or groom are contactable, as you can have a lovely chat about how awesome your wedding photography is going to be. All photographers are going to shout about how unrelentingly wicked they are, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else, yanno?

tips, facebook, how to find a wedding photographer, awesome photographer, wedding, recommendation

Next up I’d want to know that my photographer was living and breathing photography – oh boy do you want them to be committed! 

That’s not to say that we’re glued to our laptops and phones waiting like a sad dog outside a shop to answer your queries (honestly, sometimes we’re asleep on the sofa), but a photographer who is easy to get hold of is going to put your mind at ease. Planning a wedding can be stressful, and most likely a new process to you – I can answer any number of questions and point you in the right direction, so don’t be afraid to be in touch, friend

tips, facebook, how to find a wedding photographer, awesome photographer, wedding, recommendation

Wedding Fair pages can be particularly helpful to find a photographer. These are companies who are set up with the aim of promoting wedding suppliers, and photographers can be found displaying their wares on Sundays in venues across the country. If you’ve been to a fair and seen someone but lost the details, then a wedding fair page is a great place to look – get on and give ’em your “Like” power!
Area specific wedding groups can be pretty helpful with tips too, there’s a heady mix of brides and suppliers in here, so make your requests specific otherwise some bothersome people can let themselves down and get all spammy. Rubbish.

tips, facebook, how to find a wedding photographer, awesome photographer, wedding, recommendationHaving a look at pages on Facebook and following things which interest you is a great way to get yourself in the loop about what’s happening. Your awesome wedding photographer might also cover any number of other events or bookings. If they share the same interests as you and they’re going to ace Whiskey festivals then I’m pretty sure you’re going to want them at your wedding.

tips, facebook, how to find a wedding photographer, awesome photographer, wedding, recommendation

The Whiskey Affair is an awesome event. Hic.

Finally, when you think you’ve got someone – chat to them! Get in their local pub or in their kitchen or put them in yours… You’re going to spend a lot of time with this person and you do NOT want #weddingphotographerhate 

To sign off, here’s me and an owl – my decision to put this here may help you decide whether to message me on Facebook. Click the photo to do so! That’s it, go find a photographer! (Hello!)