Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Revolution of Cupcakes!

Now, some months ago, I mentioned how I thought the whole wedding cupcake hype had died out for me. Well, it's back and that's thanks to the rather fabulous and incredibly quaint Sweet Tooth Cupcakery. This is, to my knowledge, the only cupcakery of its kind in Manchester.

Not only does it serve up delicious looking (and tasting) cupcakes...but the cupcakes have names! I'm not talking about the standard names like 'Victoria sponge' **snore**.. I'm talking about totally funky, retro and fresh names like 'Doris Day', which is  'Tangy lemon buttercream encrusted with chunks of meringue and lemon glitter', whilst the 'Johnny Cash' (gotta love it) - ….. 'Vanilla and Oreo cookie crumb buttercream topped with a mini Oreo' - yes, you heard oreo cookie plus a cupcake = eatery heaven! I think today I'll be sampling the Chaka Khan, a 'rich chocolate buttercream, toasted coconut flakes and gold glitter'! YUM!

You can event sit in this little joint, but be warned it's a mighty popular place (amongst the savvy few that know about it) and space gets taken quickly! They also do five dollar shakes... YUM, so make an afternoon of it and try the American, more retro and totally fun version of 'Afternoon Tea'! : )

Just to update this post - OMG imagine my delight my friend told me that SweetTooth is opening a second shop in the Northern Quarter! Wherever I am, work, play  or home, I'll never be too far from a 'Grace Jones' ….. 'Valrhona chocolate ganache adorned with a maraschino cherry'

I for one cannot wait for the opening of SweetTooth2!
Mrs O

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Big, Slim or a bit of both?

For most girls, choosing a wedding dress is the single, biggest fashion decision we have to make. I struggled for over a year to find the perfect dress. But you know what, I did!!! It really is hard to know what you want in a wedding-world so full of options!

Strapless, backless, frontless (yes, I've seen this)..big, slim or a bit of both. I wont reveal just yet what I decided on, as Mr O is yet to see me glide down the aisle! For now, I thought I'd display the best of each kind of dress... 'The BIG and Bold', 'The Slim and Slinky' and 'The Bit of Both!'

The BIG and Bold
This dress from Oscar De La Rentas Spring 2009 collection, for me embodies femininity. It truly is stunning. I LOVE the sweetheart neckline, in combination with the curly twirls of silk organza. I could just fall asleep on this dress. It is stunning! On a smaller budget, Ian Stuart has some fabulous designs that push the boundaries of bridal style over to the high fashion couture arena!

The Slim and Slinky
This lace number from Charlotte Balbier's, Imagination Collection, is called Tabitha. Simply, I heart this dress. It is such a simple statement of slimline elegance, and glamour. The plunge back says, 'sexy' in the most subtle and perfect way for a bride. In a word - beautiful. I am a huge fan of Charlotte's style. Every dress is soft, feminine and unique.

The Bit of Both
Sometimes a girl just cannot decide between fulfilling the desire to be princess in a 'Big and Bold' and wanting to show of the figure that we have TIRELESSLY tried to maintain! So, how about 'The Both of Both'? Show off the figure on the top and have a nice big 'princessy' skirt at the bottom. Here are couple of items that fit this description, that you just have to love.
Manuel Mota - Tamara, from the 2010 Collection.

Elie by Elie Saab - Carla, from the 2010 Collection

Mrs O

Wedding Planning Top Tips

Now, I'm no expert, I've only planned one wedding from start to finish...I did learn A LOT along the way though, and thought it would be fair to share....

Here are my top tips...

Big Tips
  • It's a celebration of love
Remember that the wedding is a celebration of your commitment to one another and of your surrendering your relationship to God. It's no more and no can make the 'event' as simple or as elaborate as your taste and pocket desires. But just remember the point of the's SO easy to get caught up in it all..

  • It's your day
At the end of the day, this day belongs to you and your Husband2b. It should reflect you as a COUPLE...and ultimately if you're not happy about something, you just gotta say...equally, if you just have to have something...just have it! : )
  • It's not ONLY your day
Whilst it is 'your' day, remember that other people have invested a lot in you, your partner and in your relationship. Your Mum might have dreamt about this day since you were born, that's five years more than you then!  I know it can feel like others' are taking over at times, but choose your battles wisely. lol Granted, accommodating your great Aunt Joy's sister's half-cousin might cost you an extra meal, chair cover and glass of champagne BUT not inviting her could end up costing you a lot more later...

  • The Marriage is most important - yes really!
Of course the wedding is an important day. Logistically, it's probably the biggest event you've had to organise. However, after the wedding day, there comes a next day and a next day. Spare some thought for the days/months/years/DECADES after the wedding...

  • Check, check and check again!
I really cannot stress the importance of CHECKING that you're legally allowed to get married where you want to. This applies not just to those marrying non-UK/EU partners, but to everyone. Check your parish, check with the home office, check with your relevant high commission, check with a solicitor, check with with your reverend, then check it all again - in case they changed the law on you! lol These links are useful 

Little Tips

  •  Don't rush decisions

You have plenty of time to plan your wedding. Take time to think about what YOU really want, and not what the latest bridal magazine says you should have. You can be flexible around things like your dress, accessories, reception venue... especially if it means you make the right choice.

  • Be time-conscious of some decisions
As a contradiction to that last tip, if you find a good photographer, florist, videographer or caterer...just book them. They offer a highly individual service, and the godo ones go quickly!

  • If you can't afford it...don't even go there!
Remember none of your guests will think, 'she have worn a', or 'they should have done xyz'. They will just see you and think you look fabulous!

  • Draw inspiration from the season
We had a winter wedding and adorned the reception with candles, gold twigs and fairy lights. Maybe, think fresh florals for spring, pine cones for autumn; fruit for summer or anything else that epitomises the season for you.
  • Don't pay for it if you don't have to
Our church was filled with flowers. We only paid £10 - and that was for the pew ends.

The reason - at Christmas time, the church ordered LOADS of flowers anyway!

The lessons - and this can be applied to anything - 1) ask questions; 2) ask for a discount 3) negotiate your package!

  • Think outside of the box
Just because it's in a bridal shop/magazine/fair doesn't mean it's the best. You can find the perfect items in the most unexpected places - just like my hair flowers from New Look : )

  • DIY your wedding!
Try making/doing things together that are fun. Perhaps collecting jam jars to place hand-picked flowers in, making your own centrepieces or stationary, or even practising to bake and decorate your own wedding cake! You'll feel a huge sense of achievement on the day and you'll be amazed at what you can do together. We made my bridal bracelet, necklace, centrepieces, stationary, table plan, and other decorative pieces! We're so pleased we put in the extra hours!

  • Make time to talk to your guests
They made a huge effort to come, possibly bought a new outfit, paid for a train/even plane ride, booked a hotel, maybe even took a day off work...some really nice ones might have gone all the way into town to buy a gift from your gift list! : ) The least you can do is say 'hi, thanks for coming'.

Whilst our guests were waiting serve at our buffet station, we walked round to our guests' tables to chat with them... we even took a few sneaky photos!

Relax and enjoy the day will be over before you know it...and you're only doing it once!

Mrs O

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Project W - A*

I cannot believe I haven't updated my blog since November...especially when there is so much that has been going on. 

Shame on me! 

I suppose I've been caught up in the thick of it all...and absolutely loving it... being a Christian, a mum, a daughter, and latest of all, being a wife. wooop wooop! How unfair of me not to share the wonder that was our wedding day tehe... well... just to follow-up on 'Project W' (as it became affectionately known)... everything went AMAZINGLY. We had the most perfect and downright spectacular day! Thanks be to God.

'Project W' - in 60 seconds... 

My one true love (Mr O) and I got married on Saturday 2nd January 2010!

Following this, my cousin created an album on facebook entitled ‘if Carlsberg did weddings, they’d be probably be something like this…’ WoW, what a compliment!

We decided about half way through our 18 months of wedding planning, that we would simply ‘keep it real’. There was not a chair cover, butterfly or birdcage in sight, yet our day was as fun and fresh as we are, filled with laughter, music, family and friends, delicious food, fine wine (lots of it) and topped with festive cheer …what more could we ask for?

Looking back, our wedding was somewhat of an extravaganza...and truly the perfect way to start 2010! We had 230 very important guests (no fillers!), a sand ceremony using Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean sand, a steel band to welcome guests to Sindlesham Court, pink uplighters, fairy lights, candles EVERYWHERE, hand-made touches, a dancing entrance, a HILARIOUS best man’s speech, a stunning (surprise) dance performance by our groomsman (!), beautiful bridesmaids, one tossing of my garter to the boys (*blush*), one exploding balloon, one tower of Krispy Kremes and this was before the traditional African ‘Gombe’ drums, which accompanied our change of outfit in the evening! Phew…like I said, it was somewhat of an extravaganza... 

In it's most simple terms though, it was a *celebration* of our *love*...and we truly are in love and it feels fabulous. 

Here are a few photo highlights! 

My beautiful roses - I've kept a single flower from the bouquet and my Husband's buttonhole. They look equally stunning dried!

Our 'save the date' - we handmade all our stationary..and we're really pleased we did. It made for a lovely personal touch.

Here come the boys.. they're a handsome bunch don't you think?

Mum and I sharing a moment just before entering the church.....

Our sand ceremony. My late Father brought sand from Lumley Beach, Sierra Leone and our best man brought sand from Labadi Beach in Ghana. We poured sand into the Unity Bottle...representing that our love, as the grains of sand are individual, yet indivisible...aaaawwww...

Yey! We did it!

Our stunning bridesmaids. I love these girls, with every bit of my heart! 
Thank you for everything...

A quick shot of our table plan. The tables were named after places/points in our lives that have a key meaning. Our top table was Durham, where it all began.

Our table names. 
We are planning to up-cycle the frames as gifts, by printing our favourite pictures and giving them to special guests!

A bit of a jam during the drinks reception!

Our dancing entrance!

Us enjoying ourselves at our table...

A surprise and rather stunning dance performance by our groomsman and his girlfriend...(I'll try to post a video when I get one)

Us, cutting our cake, courtesy of Margaret Burridge of

Our official first dance to Taio Cruz/Sugababes, like a star...  : )

Time for a few more photos...

Quick change into our evening gear...fabrics courtesy of Vogue Fabrics - and tailoring by Mei

A close up...

...and the beat goes! party!! party!!!

and of course our photographers Lynsey and Chris, from They were 100% fabulous. Thank you! x
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