Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The alternate wedding venue

Todays post is a guest post from our friends at HMS President, a luxury yacht and wedding venue in London.

Anyone looking for a unique and prestigious wedding venue in London should definitely put The HMS president at the top of their list.

This wonderful boat moored in the heart of the capital is almost 100 years old and combines history with luxury to offer a wonderful venue for your London wedding, or indeed for any event.  The choice of wedding venues these days is as diverse as it is important; should you go for a pub, a hotel or a club (to name but a few)? But what if you want a wedding in an amazing location that people will be talking about for years to come?

Well in that case you need to find something a bit different and that’s where the HMS President fits the bill.    Can you imagine a romantic ceremony followed by a fantastic boat party with all your friends and family enjoying your perfect day with you? The friendly and efficient team on board HMS President takes pleasure in making each and every wedding held aboard this popular venue special. Whether your style is grand or intimate, formal or fun, the highly experienced staff will make sure that your wedding is tailored especially to you. By offering a variety of rooms and meal options HMS President can create the perfect London wedding venue for you.
Some of the rooms are truly spectacular, such as The Georgian Ballroom, with its antique wood and beautiful gold fittings or The Ward Room, which has retained much of its character from when it was the officer’s mess on board. Whichever room you choose you will be able to enjoy its unique historical style combined with modern facilities, and don’t forget you can have the outside deck available too!

Aboard our boat, moored in The City of London, your wedding will have the backdrop of spectacular panoramic views of London itself, and since HMS President has a license for ceremonies as well as the ability to cater for wedding receptions it really is the perfect setting for your special day.
Imagine a wonderful Wedding day amidst some of London’s greatest landmarks, such as St Paul's Cathedral, The London Eye and The Tate Modern, at a London Wedding Venue steeped in history with exquisite food and entertainment. Imagine a beautiful location combined with the highest levels of service and attention to detail, and imagine you and the one you love sharing your special day with your friends and family somewhere that stands out amongst the numerous London Wedding Venues.

If you want a beautiful wedding day somewhere truly memorable then HMS President should be your first port of call when looking for a wedding venue in London.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Princess or a Marquise? What Your Diamond Cut Says About You

Todays guest post is by Savannah Bobo.

As goes the cliché immortalized by Marilyn Monroe, "Diamonds are a girl’s best friend." There are numerous diamond cuts to choose from these days. The seemingly endless designs offer a wide range to suit anyone’s tastes. Wedding and engagement rings run the gamut—from classic round and pear to the elegant and stately marquise. Few may know it, but some of these rings have an interesting social significance, not to mention historical intrigue, as described below.


The first known diamond ring that was presented as a promise of marriage was given to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. The ring was custom designed into thin, flat diamond pieces that bore the shape of an M.
It wasn’t until 1880 that Cecil Rhodes founded the DeBeers Mining Company after returning from South Africa in 1873. During the next decade, the company controlled around 90 percent of the world’s diamond manufacturing.

Classic Designs

1. Tiffany settings were created in 1886 and consisted of six prongs raised so as to maximize the diamond’s brilliance. From the LA jewelry district to Southern antique malls, it is still considered one of the most sought after designs. It is generally chosen by those who enjoy its striking simplistic elegance.

2. The Asscher square with angular corner shape goes back to the late 1800s. The step cut style appears rectangular, seeming to descend into the setting. This selection is considered both meticulous and ultra-feminine.

3. Round shaped diamonds are brilliant cut and continue to be very popular, expressing a trustworthy and easy-going nature.

4. Pear settings resemble teardrops and are also exceedingly popular. Since they are more unconventional than the round diamond, they can make wide fingers appear slimmer. This choice is said to be indicative of adaptable, even tempered people.

5. Oval shapes are also unique to the round variety, offering a fresher take on timeless styles. Popularized during the early 1960s, this selection is for creative risk takers.

6. Marquise diamond cuts are oval with tips, designed to make the hand seem longer and slimmer. They also make diamonds appear larger. This style of ring is said to equate with being unique and adventurous.

7. Heart-shaped diamonds are a century old symbol of devotion. When proportioned well, they offer optimum sparkle for the dreamy and sentimental.

Glamorous Designs

6. Emerald shapes are a more glammed up version of the Asscher. As a rectangular step cut, it includes fewer facets. This selection is said to evoke efficiency and straightforwardness.

7. Cushion rectangles with curved sides first hit during the 18th century. As they evoke a modern vintage feel, they are said to represent organized and yet daring individuals.

8. Princess designs are said to represent decisive and fun-loving people. As a modern take on the square shaped cut, their geometric shape offers more sparkle and brilliance.

9. Radiant styles include the emerald’s crown with a triangular faceting. Since this design also incorporates round attributes, they are generally chosen by trendy fashionistas.

Exotic Ring Settings
In 1918, Cartier created the Trinity Ring with hoops in pink gold symbolizing love, white gold for friendship and yellow gold for fidelity. The ring was custom made for Jean Cocteau, who gave it to his lover, the poet Raymond Radiguet. In France, the style still remains popular as a traditional wedding ring.

In 1950, at the time that Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s book was published, the cracker jack ring was created as an homage to Holly Golightly’s engagement ring.

Despite their long history, it wasn’t until the early 1940s that diamond engagement rings became a leading jewelry line in department stores. In an effort to corner the market, DeBeers, the firm that started it all began using the "A diamond is forever" slogan in 1947.

Savannah Bobo is a blogger and freelance writer from Atlanta interested in shopping, fashion, film, art, and literature. Diamonds are classic fashion accessories and there are many different, expressive styles to suit all types of brides. Icing on the Ring in the LA jewelry district provides ideal diamond cuts and exquisite designs.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdickert/477633679/
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickwebb/4982635397/

Thursday, February 21, 2013

White Peonies

White peonies are very beautiful and also are very popular for wedding flowers. Some years the color most commonly requested might be pink or fuschia but a common theme from year to year is that white peonies are the most often requested peony for the brides white peony wedding bouquet.  

Some brides go with a pure white peony bouquet, while others may mix the white peonies with some other flowers that give the bridal bouquet a little color.  Hypericum berries or some green foliage are also often mixed in with white peonies to give the bouquet a little bit of color.    I personally prefer to have a little color mixed in the white peony bouquet so that the bridal bouquet stands out against the brides white wedding dress. 

Some varieties of white peonies are pure white like peony Ann Cousins and peony Elsa Sass while others may have a few red specks on a few of the flowers petal edges like peony Evening Star and peony Festiva Maxima.  My favorite varieties of white peonies that we grow at Bridgewater Gardens include:
Early Blooming White Peonies
Festiva Maxima
Kelways Glorious 
Duchess de Nemours

Mid-Season Blooming White Peonies
Yang Fei Chu Yu (Chinese peony in English it translates to Fat Concubine)
Evening Star
Lillian Wild

Late Blooming White Peonies 
Elsa Sass
Mrs. Frank Beach
Ann Cousins (our latest blooming peony)

Peony Ann Cousins
Peony Ann Cousins

Here are a few examples of white peony bridal bouquets that were made using our beautiful white peonies.  Thanks to Sarah and Matt for sending us their wedding photos.

White Peonies Brides Bouquet
White Peonies Brides Bouquet

To order peonies for delivery or for your 2013 wedding please visit Bridgewater Gardens

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fresh Peonies For Wedding | Order Cut Peony Flowers Online

For information on order peonies for 2014 weddings please visit 

Bridgewater Gardens is taking orders for peonies flowers for 2013 weddings.  Because every order is customized to the brides needs we do not have online ordering.

Please complete our contact form and be sure to include the date of your wedding or special event and your zip code.   We will get back to you with a customized quote including shipping if you are outside of the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. 

Once we determine your peony flower needs and shipping costs we will add you to our list.  If your flowers will be shipped to you we will invoice you with Paypal in late April.  Or if you are picking the flowers up you can pay with check or cash when you arrive.

For additional information on ordering peonies for delivery please visit our peony page on our website or fill out our contact form.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

White Peonies Wedding Bouquet Pictures

About a year and  half ago we transitioned to a new e-mail address and have not been paying too much attention to the old e-mail address.   Tonight I was going through the old e-mail address and found way buried at the bottom a couple of e-mails from brides who purchased peony flowers from us for their wedding flowers.   It was a nice surprise and I was really glad to see the photos of our lovely peony flowers at their weddings.  The brides and grooms looked fantastic too!

We just posted peonies wedding pictures from Sarah and Matts wedding on June 11, 2011.   Their wedding took place at Saint Edwards church in Little Rock, Arkansas and the wedding photos are absolutely stunning.  Everything from the brides white peonies bridal bouquet, to the bridesmaids pink and white peonies bouquets, to the white peonies table centerpieces are drop-dead georgeous.  Below is one of their photos, to see the rest please visit Sarah and Matts Wedding Photos

White Peonies Brides Bouquet

I also found photos from Lydia and Adams wedding and we will be posting those  soon so be sure to check back in a few days.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Peony Flower Mrs. FDR

Peony Mrs. FDR is one of my very favorite peonies.  It opens a nice pale pink and slowly fades to white as it opens. The petals of this popular wedding flower are very ruffled.  We classify this peony flower as blush or a pale pink.   When brides request blush colored peonies Mrs. FDR is one that we might send if it in bloom at the time.

The photo of Mrs. FDR below shows a young peony plant making one of its first peony flower blooms.  You can see how the outer petals are more pink and the center of the flower is more of a blush pink.

Mrs. FDR is an early blooming peony for us and it blooms towards the end of the first week of our bloom. Because it is an earlier blooming peony it is not one that we normally refrigerate and save for our late June and early July weddings. For late June or early July weddings we usually only refrigerate from our very last peony cuttings so Mrs. FDR is never one we would put aside on purpose as it is an earlier blooming peony flower.  And it is also a very commonly requested peony for weddings.

Our practice is to sell only our best and largest peony flowers for weddings. This peony flower is smaller and would have come from a younger plant which would make smaller flowers until the plant matures at about 4 or 5 years old.

Peony Mrs. FDR
Peony Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Mrs. FDR)

To see more photos of our beautiful peony Mrs. FDR flowers please visit our website 2010 Peony Flower Bloom Photos Scroll down the the 2nd and 3rd row and the photos are on the right hand side.

To receive information on peony availability for the 2013 season be sure to sign up on our e-mail list at located at the right side and you can also Contact Us Be sure to include your 2013 wedding date and zip cdode.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How To Make A Wedding Speech Fearlessly

If you are supposed to give a speech at a wedding you might realize how daunting it could be. But there are ways to overcome the fear and make a successful speech.  Apart from the foods and drinks served, the wedding speeches and toasts are definitely one of the biggest attractions of the wedding reception parties. Giving wedding speeches or toasting the newlyweds at the wedding reception party is an age old tradition and are enthusiastically practiced with all bells and whistles.

However, not all the men and women who are supposed to make wedding speeches might not be in a similar state of mind. They are rather nervous because they scared of making a speech in public. You could well imagine the situation unless you aren't one of those few individuals who're blessed with the rare opportunity of making a speech in public fluently.

But since there's no way you could avoid making a wedding speech if you are supposed to make one as being one of the key individuals in the wedding, you should look for ways that would help you to overcome the fear and come up with a decent speech. The good news is, should you be willing, it's not hard at all to accomplish this objective.

The first big step to make a good wedding speech, no matter if it's a groom speech, a best man speech or a maid of honor speech, is to actually start preparing for the speech - the earlier you start the longer you'll get time to practice and so, the better your chances are of making it successful.

I am sure you have seen others giving their wedding speeches several times in your life. But you would still want to do some research to get some ideas on what to say in your speech and how. Going through some sample wedding speeches and even watching some videos online could help you to a great extent. Once you have brainstormed the ideas, it's time to write your speech in full.

After you have written your speech, start rehearsing it. This is the most important stage of the speech making process. The more you practice the more conversant you become. Once you become conversant with your speech it would help you grow in confidence. And you know when you are confident you would no longer be afraid of making your wedding speech standing in front of the guests at the wedding ceremony.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wedding Favour Ideas

The tradition of giving wedding favours to guests goes back decades. Couples gave favours as a way to thank their guests for sharing in their special day. While the favours given will vary considerably, the thought behind the gesture is still the same.

Brides everywhere typically choose the favours to be handed out to their guests.  You can find so many good wedding favour ideas online these days.

Wedding Favours are not a new conception to weddings, however in recent years they have become more popular. It used to that your choices were limited to matchbooks and napkins this is no longer the case and many brides these days have a varied choice to choose from with all of the new designs available, you are bound to find something that will add to your wedding and give your guests a special trinket to remember your special day. 
Here are some great wedding favour ideas:
Personalized Candy / Sugared Almonds Containers are increasingly popular among brides. These containers can be personalized with your special day, names can be incorporated onto the boxes and kept by loved ones and family members as a keepsake of your special day. The boxes themselves can be tailored to suit your wedding theme and colour scheme making these little favours a great choice.

Key Chains – These favours have risen in popularity over recent years with brides wanting a special favour for there guests that they can use and keep with them. There are many unique designs available to choose from, you may even be able to get a key chain designed especially for your big day which is unique to your wedding and theme. Which may become one of your guests favoured key chains.

Candles – Candles are a great favour to send your guests home with. These can again be personalized and have many colors and designs to choose from to go with your wedding theme . You could even look into scented candles as favours. However if thinking of scented candles look for lightly scented and not too strong. For full votive candles you personalize them with pictures of the bride and groom and then you can also decorate them with designs and motifs relating to your wedding theme. These will be sure to be great souvenirs of your wedding add a pleasant fragrance and beauty to your guests' homes

Disposable Cameras – Although not a traditional favour, these are becoming increasingly popular as guests can take photos of the happy couple and once developed have they will have there own happy memories of the day to share with other guests and the happy couple.

Wine Bottle Stopper – These are a fairly new but modern concept as wedding favours however they are appealing as there are many unique designs and will provide your guest with an unusual momento of your special day.

My friend Kelly just had her wedding and it was the happiest day of her life! She used the wedding favor ideas outlined here and put them in a nice gift bag for everyone.
  The gift bags add a special touch.