An easy, inexpensive and delicious DIY wedding idea - a DIY cupcake bar

Whilst we love the idea of DIY weddings, we always urge caution because if you're not careful, you can end up taking on too much and getting really stressed out

However, having a DIY cupcake bar would be just perfect, particularly if you're having an informal, buffet style event. 

At a DIY cupcake bar, you create a table (with a sign on top like this one maybe, to instruct your guests) decorate it prettily and pile high with 'nude' cupcakes - maybe just plain, vanilla, chocolate.  You can also have vegan and vegetarian cupcakes so all your guests are catered for - and maybe a gluten free version. (You'll find a recipe for gluten-free cupcakes here)

Then have plenty of frostings and decorations to hand. Your guests can wander over and decide on the flavors and decor they want (there's probably going to be a bit of competitive decorating going on at some point too). 

Planning ahead

This is a great idea because you can do so much of the planning before your big day. Make the cupcakes in advance and put them in the freezer. Whip up your toppings and keep them in the fridge. We've found some delicious frosting recipes here - including cookie dough, vanilla bean, dulce de leche ... 

You can ask your caterer to lay out the cupcake table - just make sure it's obvious how you want it to look and where everything should go. 

Don't forget to have plenty of spoons in different sizes handy. 

Here's an easy and reliable plain and basic cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart with clear instructions. 

Other ideas for frostings and toppings 

  • Fresh raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries ...
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Different flavour frostings - blueberries, strawberry, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, fudge ...
  • Put sauces in pouring bottles and make handmade labels so everyone knows what they are

Decorating your table

Put plates at different heights for visual interest

A tablecloth can create a mood very simply. Opt for gingham or something floral if you're having a country style wedding or a classic block color if you want a more contemporary feel. 

Things are probably going to get a little messy! So make sure there are plenty of serviettes around. 

Don't forget to put flowers on the decorating table - small posies would probably work best rather than large arrangements.

Finally - if you've got young children at your wedding, then you need to make sure that they are supervised before being let loose on a cupcake decorating table. It could be great fun ... but get very sticky! 

Image credits: A Beautiful Mess 

Ideas for a white wedding theme with black accents

white wedding theme with black accents

Wedding trends are something that we here at Dessy keep a key eye on and one that looks as though it's going to be big in 2018 and 2019 is a white wedding with black accents. 

It's a stylish way of adding a classic individuality to your big day. 

How to get white with black accents right 

  • Think about how you're going to dress your bridesmaids. You can go for separates - a white top with a slinky black metallic skirt. Or classic stripes. Or a white bridesmaid dress with a black belt or shoulder detail
  • Opt for classic wedding invitations. White card with black calligraphy. What could be easier? 
  • On your tables, go for white chairs with black cushions. Or if you're having a DIY wedding, you could have a black table runner with white flower arrangements
  • White anenomes are the perfect flower for this wedding theme. Why? Because they naturally come with black centers. Easy! 
  • Tie a white wedding bouquet with a striped black ribbon
  • Use black charger plates underneath white plates on your table settings
  • Metallic accents - like silver or gold - also go well with this wedding theme
  • Don't forget your wedding tables. A white wedding cake will never go out of style - but have it decorated with a black or black and white striped ribbon. Have a cascade of black flowers falling down the tiers. On the table itself, make a nod to the metallic trend going on and get your caterer to cover it with a black sequinned tablecloth. 

Florals and polka dots are other ways of embracing this theme if you don't want to go for block black colors. From left: Alfred Sung Style D755FP, Alfred Sung Style D699CP

Add a bit of glamor. Sequins and metallics are having a real moment right now and this dress by Dessy on the left hits all the right notes. From left: After Six Bridesmaids Style 6784Studio Design Collection 4512 Full Length Halter Top Bridesmaid Dress

Think about separates. From left: After Six Bridesmaid style S1509, Alfred Sung Style D699, 

Main image credits clockwise from top left: Rachelle's Beautiful Bespoke CakesRachelle's Beautiful Bespoke Cakes, Dessy Alfred Sung Style D707P, Rachelle's Beautiful Bespoke Cakes, Wedding Chicks, Pinterest,  Wedding Chicks, Pinterest. 

Are these the prettiest bridesmaid dresses with sleeves right now?

bridesmaid dresses with sleeves

Just sometimes, you're in need of a little more coverage shall we say? 

  • Maybe it's more appropriate at your wedding ceremony that shoulders and maybe arms are covered.
  • Maybe the weather's a little on the chilly side and you want your bridesmaids to be a little warmer.
  • Maybe some of your bridesmaids aren't too happy about showing off their upper arms.

Whatever the reason, you might be looking for bridesmaids' dresses that have sleeves.

bridesmaid dresses with sleeves

 Which are just what Dessy has designed for you. 

Take a look through our selection and you'll find beautiful frocks with long lace sleeves that work seamlessly with a beautiful bodice. 

  • Or a long flowing sleeve that's slashed in the middle. 
  • Maybe you fancy floaty chiffon sleeves, which flatter the upper arm. 
  • Or maybe you're looking for a simple cap sleeve.
  • Or a draped sleeve that works with a high neckline. 

bridesmaid dresses with sleeves

Well, Dessy has it all covered. And in some beautiful fabrics too - from filmy chiffons and elegant laces, through to soft jersey.

Maybe not all your bridesmaids want to wear a sleeve. In that case, creating a look that works throughout is no problem, as many of our gowns complement one another perfectly, as you can see from the designs above. And with many of our dresses available in the same shade, color matching isn't going to be an issue. We also have some beautiful wraps which work well as a cover up. 

Which color for you?

As for the different hues on offer - you can browse through gentle pastels, romantic pinks and baby blues. Or look to enhance your neutral palette. 

On the other hand, if you're looking for some dazzling colors which offer vibrancy, then you'll find our sleeved bridesmaid gowns in hot pinks, flame reds and rich purples. 

So many pretty colors

That's because we know that every bride has a different vision of her own wedding day - and so we offer a real rainbow of colors to help you make your visual dream match up. bridesmaid dresses with sleeves

Discover all these styles shown and all the bridesmaids dresses with sleeves from Dessy here. 

You might change your mind about millennial pink once you see how well lavender works as a wedding theme

lavender wedding

I keep a strong eye out for wedding trends and one that's going to be big is the color lavender. 

Lavender looks set to take over from millennial pink in 2018 and beyond. Why this shade? 

  • It's a soft pastel that also has depth
  • It's also a flavor - think lavender flavored macarons, cakes, desserts ...you can even get lavender flavored teas
  • It's a fragrance
  • It's a flower (almost a herb actually) that looks wonderful interspersed into wedding bouquets (and smells romantic too). 
  • It's such a versatile shade - you can use it as a base color and then introduce deeper mauves, purples and lilacs as visual focal points (see the paper lanterns in the image above). 
  • Lavender is very romantic ... without being sickly sweet
  • It's a classic
  • Decorate your wedding with lavender wreaths and pots of lavender and let the scent waft through to give your venue a soft, summer fragrance
  • You can use lavender to create an essential oil which can be used for massage to soothe headaches and promote sleep and relaxation. Maybe an idea for a wedding favor?  

When it comes to looking out for lavender bridesmaid dresses, then you'll love the choice available at Dessy (in different fabrics from lace to a filmy chiffon). The shade you probably want to opt for is 'Passion' although you could mix it up with the 'Lavender Garden' print dresses. 

Here's a selection to get you thinking - sleeveless, sleeved, flowergirl or a grown-up number for a teen bridesmaid.  

  

lavender wedding

From left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Style 6794 Lavender Garden, After Six Bridesmaids Style 6781 Passion

lavender bridesmaid dresses

From left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Style 6794 Passion, After Six Bridesmaids Style 6781 Lavender Garden

lavender bridesmaid dress

From left to right: Dessy Collection Junior Bridesmaid Dress JR543, Flower Girl Dress FL4053 Lavender Garden

lavender bridesmaid dress

From left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Style 6777 in Passion and Lavender Garden

 

Main image credits clockwise from top left: Boho Weddings, Premiere Party Rents, Pinterest, Flowergirl dress by Dessy, Clipzine, Junior bridesmaid dress by Dessy, Rosalind Miller Cakes, Floral bridesmaid dress by Dessy.

15 reasons why the convertible twist dress is a bridesmaids' favorite

convertible bridesmaid dress

  1. Every girl gets to wear a style that flatters her figure. Love your shoulders? Show them off. Self-conscious about your waistline? Adjust the draping. 
  2. The Twist Dress comes in a variety of gorgeous fabrics and lengths.You can choose jersey, a chiffon overlay, long, cocktail length, add a bandeau ...that's why they're convertible.metallic convertible bridesmaid dress
  3. Trousers at a wedding. Why not? The Twist Wrap Shimmer Jumpsuit drapes so elegantly ... 
  4. Want to look demure at the afternoon wedding but smokin' hot at the evening party? Adjust your dress accordingly.metallic convertible bridesmaid dress
  5. With 32 different Pantone colors from which to choose, you can mix and match to your heart's desire. Every girl gets to choose a color that suits their complexion.
  6. It's easy to create an ombre effect all the shades on offer - platinum, heather and tahiti shades would look just fine. 
  7. Metallics? Yep, you got them. There's a Soho Metallic Twist dress, a shimmering jersey dress and of course the Metallic Jumpsuit. convertible bridesmaid dress
  8. So the wedding is on a tropical island and you forgot to pack an iron? The Twist Dress is a perfect travelling companion and just shakes out, fresh and ready to go, with no wrinkles from long haul flying. 
  9. This really is a bridesmaid dress that will be worn over and over again. Rather than a curiosity that hangs at the back of the closet, taking up space for no particular reason.  
  10. Create color combinations by working a bandeau in one shade with a twist dress in another. Maybe monochrome. Maybe shades of pink? 
  11. The Twist Wrap Dress is a modern day classic so it's not going to look hilariously dated in photographs. The look is all in the cut and the drape, not in fussy details that are going to scream "that was 2018" or whenever. 
  12. If you've added a few pounds or lost a few in the run up to the wedding, then a Twist Dress won't mind too much. It's forgiving that way. 
  13. A Twist Dress is a great option to wear during pregnancy. Wrap your bump in whatever way makes you feel comfortable. 
  14. Nobody feels like an identikit bridesmaid. Unless of course you girls all decide to wrap your dresses in the same way. Your call.
  15. We've yet to see a photograph of a bridesmaid looking unhappy in a Dessy Twist convertible dress. 

 

 

Is this the mother of the bride role model of all time?

You're an elegant, sophisticated lady and it's your daughter's big day. (And you're wondering how did she grow up so fast?)

Which is just wonderful. Except you're thinking. WHAT ON EARTH AM I GOING TO WEAR?

Well, don't panic. There are some wonderful mother of the bride role models out there who in our opinion got the big day absolutely right and dressed the part to perfection.

 

 

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We salute you Carole Middleton!

Carole Middleton (mother of Duchess Kate and sister Pippa Middleton). Okay, so she may have a larger bank balance than the average mother of the bride but that doesn't necessarily give someone taste and style (although in her case she has both in spades and in fact, as a role model for how the older woman looks, we don't think she puts a foot wrong really).

 

 

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Carole got a number of things right on her daughters' wedding days, namely:

  • She avoided layers of shiny silk
  • She didn't have a complicated hair-do
  • She didn't go overboard on the make-up (bright red lipstick etc.)
  • She looked comfortable and true to herself. Sure, she's in great shape but she will have enhanced her good points and disguised the bad.
  • She gets tailoring. Her outfits fitted her beautifully. Her jackets fitted her like a glove, the skirts were just the right length and fit - not too loose, not too tight.
  • She forgot about on trend fashion. Carole went for classic styling, so these wedding pictures aren't going to date any time soon.
  • She embraced pastels. She wore pale blue for one wedding and pale pink for another. Both shades flattered her skin tone completely.
 

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Rules for the mother of the bride

  • Don't wear white or cream (yes we know, it's obvious, but you'd be surprised ...)
  • Don't wear a plunging neckline at an afternoon wedding (change into evening dress for an evening party)
  • Don't allow yourself to be pigeon holed into a 'mother of the bride' outfit. Have a look at movie stars of a similar age and see what they're wearing. Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep tend to get it right.
  • If you think you look better in trousers, then wear them. Just make sure they're tailored and worn with a well cut jacket.
  • Don't wear an over-large hat - people will want to see your face in the pictures.
  • If you're buying off-the-peg, then consider having your outfit altered. A good dressmaker or seamstress will alter a standard fit to fit you perfectly and it's well worth spending the money on a few alterations.
  • If you're not happy to show your upper arms, then consider a dress with lace sleeves - which will flatter and disguise. Bracelet length sleeves are usually the most flattering.

Department stores are good places to shop because they have a vast and varied selection. However, a boutique might be more personal and have limited designs (so you don't run the risk of someone else wearing the same outfit!)

Alternatively, you might like to check out the new Jenny Packham range of dresses at Dessy, which feature lace and are super elegant.

 

 

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Which pastel wedding color matches YOUR personality?

pastel wedding colors

Are you more of a soft baby blue or a rose quartz? Or is a pale green more your shade? 

Look at the images here and see which colors just jump out at you.  (If none of them strike a note, then you're maybe better off with bold shades or maybe monochrome? 

pastel bridesmaid dresses

Alluring pastel wedding colors

Combining pastel shades with chic vintage designs creates a picture perfect wedding day. A pastel theme is actually extremely versatile - you can use just one shade - or combine it with one or more pastels. Above we've mixed After Six Bridesmaid Style 1505 with Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Style JP1007 (which comes in plenty of other different colors too. 

Mixing pastels and prints

We're all about mixing up different looks for your maids - which is why we have created a whole selection of print bridesmaid frocks in different pastel shades. 

 pastel bridesmaid dresses

From left:  Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Style JP1005Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Style JP1003.

If you're having a romantic, dreamy rustic wedding, then you're going to nail that wedding look completely. Offer your girl a print gown with a pink, green or blue base. Intermix with block pastel colors. 

Dessy has recently introduced a range of bridesmaid dresses by Jenny Packham and they are just so, so elegant ... your maids are going to love them. 

 

pastel bridesmaid dresses

From left:  Dessy Collection Style 3012, Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Style JP1006.


Complement your pale blue bridesmaid gowns with this delicate Country Rose wedding cake by Sweetness, detailed with vintage pink roses and a subtle polka dot pattern. Investigate having pretty rose, bone china tea cups for serving afternoon tea, like those shown here. 

  • When looking at a combination of colors, why not have your bridesmaids in the same dress, but each in a different pastel shade? Each bridesmaid could carry the same bouquet of flowers, with a flower in each bouquet corresponding to the shade of the bridesmaid's dress. 
  • The ladies could also wear stunning corsage bracelets in pastels. Your bridesmaids could wear them in place of a bouquet, the mother of the bride could replace a fascinator or hat with one, or you could give them out as wedding favors to all your female guests.
  • When it comes to decorating your venue for the reception, the possibilities are endless. Think about having a pastel-themed dessert table, a sweet delight ... 

 

Image credits clockwise from top: Jenny Packham bridesmaid dress by Dessy, Rock My Wedding, Pinterest, Bridesmaid dress by Dessy, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, Pinterest, Shropshire Petals, Bridesmaid dress by Dessy, Rock My Wedding, One Thousand Words

5 looks for wedding place settings that even YOU could create

When your guests enter your wedding reception you want them to react with a stunned, delighted silence. You want them to admire the decorations and the stylish setting. Be blown away by the artistry ... 

Well wedding place settings are a really easy thing to DIY, even if you don't consider yourself much of a crafter. You don't need to be able to draw - just have the ability to put things tidily in place. Yes, really. 

Lay out the tables beforehand

Check whether you can have access to the reception venue the day before so you can lay out the tables. Alternatively, take photographs of how you want each place setting to look and then give these to whoever will be setting the places so they do it exactly as you want them to.

Here are five ideas for you to be thinking about ...

1. Take a linen napkin, write the guest's name on a parcel tag, tie with string and pop in a sprig of rosemary (you could also use lavender). Pretty, simple to put together and inexpensive.



2. Wanting to get a rustic look? Choose country style flowers, add a table runner and make sure your plates have a floral design (you can hire these from specialists).

3. Pop a macaroon (in your wedding color theme) at each place setting with a flagged cocktail stick to show each guest where they are placed. Now how difficult is that really? 



4. Having an Autumn wedding? Get pine cone collecting. Now who do you know with beautiful handwriting? (Or you could print out scripted cards on your computer if your copperplate isn't so beautiful.)

5. Run out long, slim labels with each guest's name and attach to lollipops. These double up as favours too.
 

6. Match your glasses to your table napkins. Then place name cards in a similar color to your flowers. This would work either with pastels or bright colors as shown here. 

Image credits: StyleMePretty, GreenWeddingShoes, BobkaBaby (pinecones), BelleThe Magazine

10 things we LOVE about this real rustic, DIY wedding

A simple but impressive rustic wedding theme 

Everything down to the bamboo plates, wooden table numbers, and burlap seats sings woodsy rustic in this impressive DIY wedding.

Those of you planning fall weddings will find plenty of inspiration here. Leaf tagged mason jars, tree-themed programs, ribbons softening a burlap edge, neutral colors. Here's what we particularly love about it and what sang out to us. 

  1. The way the bride really thought about her color scheme - it's all neutrals really, down to the bridesmaids dresses. But not dull - there are plenty of textures going on here. (You can buy similar bridesmaid dresses at Dessy here.
  2. Covering benches with burlap is so simple and inexpensive but so effective. Tie with a co-ordinated ribbon for a pretty detail.
  3. We love the raised wooden platform and the simple, draped arch behind the bride and groom.
  4. Being rustic is also thinking sustainable and these bamboo plates fit the bill, besides fitting in with the color thing that's going on. Also the wooden knife and fork set
  5. Possibly our favourite thing are the mason jars, tagged with leaves. Something you really can prepare in advance, writing the labels and what a beautiful favor they make. (You can find similiar leaves on Etsy here.
  6. Also we've loving the overhead paper flowers festooning the trees. Here's a handy tutorial to watch on how to make them. 

  7. Whilst we love burlap, you need to be sure you don't make it too much of a good thing. Burlap tablecloths would have been a tad too much - we like the classic white used here.
  8. The simple calligraphy on the wedding programs - on recycled paper.
  9. The sweetie table and neutrally frosted wedding cakes
  10. The setting. What could be better for a rustic wedding like this than to be married under the branches of a forest? 

Photography by Hugh Forte 

Are these the ultimate chocolate wedding cakes?

Wedding cakes aren't what they used to be. Oh, no. 

Back in the day, you had a tiered fruit or sponge cake, with white frosting - and maybe some colored paste flowers. And that was pretty much that. If you were feeling adventurous you'd have a skyscraper of tiers - but the decoration would follow a pastel, white or ivory iced convention. 

Well those days are over. Cakes are a little more adventurous these days. Well, quite a lot actually.

Today's brides have cast their eyes over their wedding cakes and decided they wanted something quite radically different. 

And if that sounds like you - and you love chocolate - then there's no reason why you shouldn't have a chocolate wedding cake.  

Why a chocolate wedding cake is a great decision

 Well, just about everyone loves chocolate.

You could have different layers frosted in white, dark or milk chocolate.

If you're watching your budget, then an indulgent chocolate wedding cake will stand in perfectly for dessert. In fact, people will probably be expecting it.

A chocolate cake would be completely perfect at a winter wedding when you want rich, intense flavors to combat the cold outside.

It's a real talking point

You could have tiers of sponge in different flavors (we're thinking red velvet, vanilla and chocolate) finished off with a chocolate ganache. (Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream, melted together and used to glaze or fill a cake or whip into frosting.)

If a friend wants to make your wedding cake and they are a good baker, then a chocolate cake might be a good option. Ask your baking friend to make cakes in graduating sizes so you can have tiers or a naked cake. 

Going naked

Naked chocolate cakes are getting really popular and with good reason. (What's a naked cake?  It's when the cake is left unfrosted or has a minimal scrape of frosting and decorated with fruit and/or flowers, like the cake above.)

Another decorative option would be to have a 'drip' cake like the one below. That's when ganache (a sort of liquid frosting) is poured on the top of the cake and allowed to 'drip' down the sides. Something to think about if you don't want to go overboard on the chocolate part. Have a vanilla cake with minimal frosting and then a chocolate 'drip' topping. 

We've found this video here to show you how the drip effect is created.

 If you're thinking that a pure chocolate wedding cake might be a bit too rich, remember you can break up the intensity with fruit layers - and as we know, strawberries and raspberries go with chocolate just perfectly ...

Seasonal berries would also work well, as would freshly cut figs. 

Credits: 

Top image, clockwise from top left: Cake Parlour London, I Take You, The Hudson Cakery, Jeff Brummett

Second image, clockwise from left: Pinterest, Cake Parlour London, Steven Leyva

Third image, Cassie Rosch 

Four image, drip cake by Buttery Bakery

Fifth image, DessertsvilleLondonCocoa Bakery