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Old Red

Old Red

Old Red

My first boss had a red biro that he nicknamed ‘Old Red’.

I learnt so much in my very first marketing job. I find myself reciting, referring to and returning back to his tried and tested mantras over and over again. The lessons are etched in my head forever.

My training with him was a proper grounding in the foundations of good marketing – a broad introduction into the vast and wonderful elements of a great marketing toolkit.
Old Red would appear to mark up my copy. At the time I feared Old Red – wondering if my copy would pass the test and get signed off without further edits or redrafting.

Two pairs of eyes

But now I completely see the benefits of what Old Red came to teach me.

‘Four eyes see more than two’ became one such mantra because sometimes you become so close to a piece of work that you can’t see any obvious flaws in it. It’s always useful to get someone to check over your work for any mistakes or to make suggestions for improvements.

One of my first jobs was to design our Yellow Pages adverts – this was back in the day of print advertising. There was no margin of error and once it was sent to print there was no going back. So it had to be perfect (unlike now, with the ability to edit websites and digital media).


It was the best way to learn my craft. And watching the same boss throw any direct mail straight in the bin (without even opening it) if his name was not spelt correctly on the envelope, made me realise the importance of getting things right. Of making the best first impression. Of the power of language and words.

So if you need a second pair of eyes to check over your existing copy, you can send it my way for editing and proofreading (where the legacy of Old Red lives on).

My Nan’s old Olympia typewriter

My Nan’s old Olympia typewriter

Keyboard antics

You may have spotted my Nan’s old Olympia typewriter featuring on posts recently. My Nan started my love of writing and sending old fashioned snail mail letters (I even got an award for correspondence whilst on a primary school residential trip!) 

My best memories of my grandparents ‘by the sea’ are of meal time entertainment from the napkin people; keyboard antics on adding machines, pianos and typewriters; watching Nanny complete crosswords while Grandad rested his eyes; and I was convinced that my Nan was a special agent in another secret life.

Greatest correspondent

As well as this, my Nan was the greatest correspondent I’ve ever known. She would write regularly to a vast list of people whom she had acquired as great friends over the years. If you were in my Nan’s address book then you had a place there for life.

Her letter writing was legendary for many reasons, the first being the infamous colour of the stationery. The supply of trusty green envelopes lasted for decades and they were easily distinguishable on my door mat, to the point when even my university house mates knew when a letter from my Nan had arrived. And she always helped me surpass the number of letters that any of my housemates received.

Illegible hand writing

The second reason her letters were memorable was because of her incredibly illegible hand writing. I could read and understand what she had written in her letters if she typed them on her trusty typewriter (or if she was kind enough to use block capitals). But it was a real rite of passage, which required code breaking skills, when I began receiving letters in her unique scrawl. It looked like she’d written it in short hand. It was just a combination of lines and dots randomly placed in a line. With (a lot of) practice over the years, I could at least get the gist of her letters.

Lastly she always thoughtfully included newspaper articles and things that she knew would be of interest and use to me. She could’ve easily got a job as a press clippings collector! She wrote to me every week, so my letter box has certainly suffered from the decidedly decreased number of letters since her passing.

I loved hearing her typewriter clatter away when I visited. I loved playing on the typewriter myself as a child. I was so thrilled when I was allowed to actually type on it when I was younger. The feel of the keys and how much force was needed for them to strike; the wonderful carriage return; the actual lock button for caps lock; and the magical slider to change the colour used on the ribbon.


I was honoured to inherit my Nan’s typewriter (and her upright piano – but that’s another story) and it takes pride of place on a bookshelf in our living room.

Nanny was always so dedicated to everything that she put her mind to and this has rubbed off on me. Her unfailing support, encouragement and pride were an inspiration. My achievements are surely a demonstration of this upbringing. I admired her intelligence, loyalty and devotion and still sorely miss her.

But her words on those green bits of paper live on in the lovely stack of letters that she sent to me.

Eulogy writing

Let me know if you need help putting in to words your thoughts for those hard to write occasions – what better way to pay tribute to your loved ones with a beautifully crafted eulogy.

Top Autumn 2022 colours from Pantone®

Top Autumn 2022 colours from Pantone®

Change of season

It’s coming up to the Spring equinox this weekend and it definitely feels like the seasons are shifting with the very welcome return of sunnier weather and longer days.
I feel like I’ve lost a whole month – February was a complete right off for me. So it’s quite a shock to be in March already!

With the change in season, comes the start of the ‘social season’ in spring and summer when it was traditional for members of the upper class to change their residence (from their country houses to London) in order to attend events of the season.

These events include Cheltenham Festival (March), the Grand National (April), The Boat Race (April), Badminton Horse Trials (May), Chelsea Flower Show (May), Epsom Derby (June), Royal Ascot (June), Cricket test matches at Lord’s (July), Wimbledon (July), Henley Royal Regatta (July), Edinburgh International Festival (August) , Cowes week (August), the Proms (July-September) and ending with Goodwood Revival (September).

Historically the ‘London season’ events would’ve coincided with political business in the city and conclude when the elite would return to their country homes for the beginning of the shooting season on 12th August.

Autumn 2022 colours

Whilst we enter the beautiful and hopeful season of Spring, my thoughts drift to the cooler months at the end of the year with the recent fashion weeks in New York, London and Milan last month, then Paris earlier this month. It was good to see them back to being in person again this year (although only via invite only this time).

From these fashion weeks, Pantone® have predicted 10 colours that they think will be prevalent in Autumn/Winter 2022/23.


There are some really bright and bold colours to make a statement this autumn that are reminiscent of a roaring fire on Guy Fawkes night. Or for me, they evoke memories of the recent Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games held in Beijing. The fiery red (Lava Falls) feels similar to the Chinese flag and the Orange Tiger provides a nod to the Year of the Tiger which was marked recently for Chinese New Year.


I’ve loved watching all the winter sports coverage and a number of the colours conjure up images of cold winters on the piste (or equally on a dark polar night) such as an icy turquoise (Watersprout), a pale pink (Nosegay) and the dark navy blue night sky of Midnight.


Lastly, there is a real grounding of some earthy, natural colours that would be happily found in a luscious rainforest including greens of Amazon and Martini, along with a rich brown (Caramel).

Fall 2022 colours 

The top ten colours for Fall 2022 from New York Fashion Week are:
  • Pantone 18-1552 Lava Falls
  • Pantone 14-0852 Samoan Sun
  • Pantone 16-1358 Orange Tiger
  • Pantone 17-2624 Rose Violet
  • Pantone 18-6024 Amazon
  • Pantone 14-2806 Nosegay
  • Pantone 14-4618 Waterspout
  • Pantone 18-1148 Caramel Café
  • Pantone 19-4127 Midnight
  • Pantone 18-0625 Martini Olive 

Fall 2022 extra colours from LFW

They may have different names but in the main the colours are repeated at London Fashion Week, with Watersprout apparent at both. There was one additional colour (instead of the bright pink from NYFW) to round off the colours for Fall 2022 in the form of the purple of Meadow Violet (similar to the current colour of the year, Very Peri).

Neutral classics

Pantone® have also created a Fall 2022 Classic Colour Palette. These are a group of neutrals that are core basics in the form of white, cream, dark and light grey, plus khaki green.

The bonus classic neutral colours for Fall 2022 are:

  • Pantone 12-0602 Arctic Wolf
  • Pantone 12-0813 Autumn Blonde
  • Pantone 19-4105 Polar Night
  • Pantone 17-0210 Loden Frost
  • Pantone 16-3917 Chiseled Stone

    Colour themes

    Colour plays an important part in our lives and it’ll be interesting to see how these colours filter through to influence things around us.

    Pantone® is the world-renowned authority on colour and the Pantone® Color of the Year is always really influential in any popular colour themes in fashion, interior design and weddings.

    Pantone® announce the Color of the Year 2022

    Pantone® announce the Color of the Year 2022

    Pantone® Colour of the Year 2022

    Aside from the obvious big occasion on the horizon, the other thing I look forward to in December is the announcement of the Pantone® colour of the year.

    I must admit, I was expecting a light and airy colour – perhaps a pale pink that would act like a breath of fresh air, so I had plumped for a gossamer pale pink.

    Very Peri 17-3938 

    Instead, Pantone® have announced that Very Peri will be the colour of the year for 2022, a lavender purple colour.

    It’s not that long since another purple (in the form of Ultra Violet) took the top spot in 2018. And purple is no stranger to the colour of the year with Radiant Orchid in 2014 and Blue Iris from 2008.

    A bit of a happy, unexpected surprise as this colour doesn’t appear in any of their seasonal predictions. Instead they’ve created a brand new colour combining a cool blue and vibrant red. And purple just happens to be one of my favourite (and company brand) colours!

    Spring 2022 predictions

    Aside from two grey colours in the neutral section, the colour predicitons from New York and London fashion weeks differed greatly which made it hard to see a clear winner for colour of the year for 2022.

    Pantone® are certainly not afraid of breaking or even making the rules. In the past, they’ve picked not one, but two colours such as this year (with Illuminating and Ultimate Gray in 2021) as well as in 2016 with Rose Quartz and Serenity.

    So they are perfectly within their rights to just create a brand new colour if the right shade isn’t already in their catalogue of colours.

    “It was really important for us to come up with a new color, because we have a very new vision of the world now,” said Pantone® Color Institute’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman.

    Merging and emerging

    Very Peri, has been described by colour company Pantone® as “a periwinkle shade of blue”. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone® Color Institute said that the Colour of the Year for 2022 encompasses “the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time possesses a violet-red undertone. Pantone® 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.”

    “Pantone® 17-3938 Very Peri is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through,” the brand explained. “As we emerge from an intense period of isolation, our notions and standards are changing, and our physical and digital lives have merged in new ways.”

    I’m surprised at myself that I wished for a pastel colour. But maybe we need something comforting, rich and warm like a heavy velvet blanket right now to see us through the winter and into 2022.


    Top Spring 2022 colours from Pantone®

    Top Spring 2022 colours from Pantone®

    Late sunshine 

    I have loved the late summer sunshine this week. With the children all back at school, I’ve actually felt like I’ve been on holiday as I have managed to eat my lunch sat in the garden in the sunshine with peace and quiet. It’s been lovely to extend that summer vibe for a little longer. We had such a wonderful summertime that I didn’t want it to end. We managed our first holiday in 2 years and got to relax and breathe in the sea breeze.

    But seasons come and seasons go and I know that the nights drawing in is a signal of the entrance of autumn – quick on the heels of a glorious summer break.

    However, my thoughts are being drawn to the lighter Spring days already and dreams of holidays, as the latest Pantone® announcement predicts that the colours that will dominate the scene for next year’s Spring and Summer are calming and evocative for travels further afield.

    Spring 2022

    With the fashion weeks just kicking off, Pantone® have revealed the Spring/Summer colours to look out for in 2022 including 10 seasonal colours alongside 5 neutral classics.

    There is an abundance of blues in the mix for next year, alongside a vibrant collections of bold colours. To me, they encapsulate two of my favourite things – being by the seaside, plus a joyous celebrations of colourful florals in my garden.

    The Pantone Color Institute’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman said “Half are in calming colors. Obviously, everyone wants to feel they’re in a safe haven. On the other hand, there is the very human proclivity of wanting to get out and be active again. That’s where the more energetic colors come in. The latter offer more experimentation.” Eiseman added. “Brighter colors lift your spirits and let you abandon the rules about color that you learned, when you were older. They bring you back to being a kid again and teach you to celebrate something in your life that will give you pleasure.”

    I do like to be besides the seaside

    We were so pleased to make it to a few beaches in both Scotland and Wales over the summer. With some wonderful coastal walks, harbour visits and simply playing on the sand. Eating fish and chips or ice creams always taste better when sitting by the seaside. The change of scene and pace of life are certainly relaxing. Just watching the rhythm of the sea washing in and out provides a real sense of escapism.

    I’m delighted that blues seem to be centre stage in the mix of colours for next year (perhaps eluding to one of them being the Colour of the Year 2022?). The beautiful seascape includes Spun Sugar, Glacier Lake, and Skydiver, along with a teal blue of Harbour Blue.

    Cool pastel colours

    The fragility of things at the moment couldn’t be described better than the name of the pale pink colour in Gossamer Pink – conjuring up images of dewy spiders’ webs glistening in the early spring sunrises.

    Teamed with a warming Coca Mocha and the earthy and pale neutral colours – it feels as fresh as newly washed sheets on the washing line in the summer breeze. The refreshing feeling we all need for our health and wellness.

    Gardening companions 

    Even before lock down, I had got the gardening bug and had started growing and propagating my own flowers and vegetables. It started with an obsession for succulents and indoor plants (I daren’t say the number out loud of how many house plants I have at the moment!) which spilled out in to the outdoors.

    We have loved growing our own fruit and vegetables and now filling the garden with more home grown flowers too. Gardening is such a relaxing and a very worthwhile past time that is currently seeing a soar in popularity. The lock down has certainly made everyone appreciate being outside and enjoying improving their natural surroundings.

    So the vibrant names of some of the colours conjure up joyful colours of spring and summer flowers just as I’m planning and planting my bulb lasagne for next year (such as the bright Daffodil colour). I’ve tried growing dahlias this year and can’t wait to try more in 2022 perhaps in the purple of Dahlia, or vibrant pink Innuendo. Along with the travel inducing flamboyant Poinciana tropical tree from Madagascar.

    Old favourites 

    It’s reassuring to also see the current colours of the year 2021 still showing their prescience and easing us through the transition to another year. Although with different names, you can still identify the yellow of Illuminating (which I correctly tipped this time last year as the Colour of the Year 2021) and also Ultimate Gray in the neutral classics.

    Spring 2022 colours

    The top ten colours for Spring 2022 are:
    • Spun Sugar 12-4401
    • Gossamer Pink 13-1513
    • Daffodil 14-0850
    • Glacier Lake 16-4118
    • Poinciana 18-1564
    • Coca Mocha 18-1019
    • Innuendo 18-2042
    • Dahlia 18-3324
    • Harbor Blue 18-4728
    • Skydiver 19-4151

    Spring 2022 extra colours from LFW

    In the main the colours are repeated at London Fashion Week, albeit in different shades of browns and pinks. However the emphasis shifts from the blues and bright red of NYFW to more rusty orange colours at London Fashion Week in the shape of Coral Rose and Sudan Brown. There is also an additional neon lime green and a really striking turquoise of Cascade.

    Here are the colours from LFW to round off the colours for Spring 2022:

    • Cascade 14-5713
    • Coral Rose 16-1349
    • Super Sonic 18-4143
    • Popcorn 12-0825
    • Potpourri 13-2004
    • Bubblegum 17-1928
    • Sudan Brown 18-1160
    • Fragile Sprout 15-0549
    • Orchid Bloom 14-3612
    • Coffee Quartz 18-1307

    Aside from two grey colours in the neutral section, the colours differ greatly which makes it hard to see a clear winner for colour of the year in 2022.

    Neutral classics

    Pantone® have also updated the Classic Colour Palette. These are a group of neutrals that are core basics in the form of a white, cream, khaki green, plus light and dark grey. Perfect grounding colours and perfect peaceful additional colours for weddings.

    The bonus classic neutral colours for Spring 2022 are: 

    • Snow White 11-0602
    • Perfectly Pale 13-0003
    • Northern Droplet 14-4104
    • Basil 16-6216
    • Poppy Seed 18-4004

    And at LFW these are:

    • White Alyssum 11-1001
    • Humus 15-1304
    • Fair Green 15-6316
    • Northern Droplet 14-4104
    • Poppy Seed 18-4004

    Colour themes

    It’ll be great to see how couples incorporate these colours in to their weddings next year. There’s plenty of scope for unique colour combinations and personalisation.

    Pantone® is the world-renowned authority on colour and the Pantone® Color of the Year is always really influential in any popular colour themes in fashion, interior design and weddings.

    Look out for my report when the 2022 colour of the year is released later in the year.

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    Weddings through the decades: 2000s

    Weddings through the decades: 2000s

    I remember feeling quite anxious about the calendar flipping over to the year 2000. We weren’t quite sure what would happen when it got to midnight on New Year’s Eve. This didn’t stop me partying like it was 1999 (Prince would’ve been proud of me) but I was relieved that nothing untoward happened when we joined not only a new decade, a new century, but also a new millennium.

    Thankfully the Y2K computer worries didn’t bring down massive worldwide infrastructures (and we hope that fixes are in place to avoid something similar in 2038 happening too).

    weddings through the decades

    My look back at weddings throughout the decades has continued and I am now taking a look at a real wedding nearly 16 years ago in 2005. Even in the recent past, we can still take inspiration which helps with wedding planning in the future.

    Paul Viney Photography

    Britain in 2005

    In 2005, employment was at a record high with unemployment benefit claimants the lowest it had been for thirty years.

    A general election saw The Labour Party returning to power, with Tony Blair as the longest-serving Labour Prime Minister. Meanwhile David Cameron, MP for Witney, was elected as Leader of the Conservative Party.

    The  Gender Recognition Act 2004 came into effect, allowing transsexual people to have their reassigned gender legally recognised by law.

    Sadly a series of terrorist bombings went off on three London Underground trains and a fourth bomb exploded on a bus later in Tavistock Square in July of 2005. Whilst British Airways grounded all flights due to a baggage handler strike.

    In addition, the aftermath of a horrendous tsunami from the previous December (Boxing Day 2004) in the Indian Ocean was still affecting people.

    inventions of 2005

    The most notable advancement of the year was the introduction to chip and pin in our country, YouTube was founded in February and Reddit in June (with Facebook launching the year before).

    Camera phones were just taking off, people could store things on USB flash drives, blue tooth was becoming more popular, along with BluRay discs, and we listened to music on ipods.

    Whilst J. K. Rowling’s novel Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was taking the world by storm.

    highlights of 2005

    Ellen MacArthur sailed around the world; Prince William graduated from the University of St Andrews; the England cricket team won The Ashes; we celebrated 400 years since the Gunpowder Plot with Guy Fawkes; and pubs in England and Wales could now be open for 24 hours. 

    Doctor Who was revived for the first time in 16 years, whilst Jamie Oliver battled against Turkey Twizzlers for school meals.

    Paul Viney Photography

    wedding trends in the 2005

    At the end of 2005, The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force, which grants same-sex couples similar legal rights to those of married heterosexuals.

    The Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles on Friday 8 April 2005 in a 20 minute civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall followed by a blessing at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Other celebrity weddings of 2005 included: Donald Trump and Melania Knauss; Heidi Klum and Seal; Michael Owen and Louise; Katie Price and Peter Andre; Aston Kutcher and Demi Moore; and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.

    Previously in 2001, “Friends” fans finally got to see Monica and Chandler get married in the final episode of series 7. And the popularity of films about weddings continued, including The Wedding Crashers in 2005.

    Paul Viney Photography

    Millennium couples were spending more on their wedding celebrations at nearly 32 times the national weekly wage (of £532.34) with an average wedding costing around £17,000. They had probably saved for around 4 years to pay for their big day and they were more likely to have not received financial help with their wedding costs.

    The average cost of a wedding dress was £825, and they were often strapless or sleeveless in the 2000s due to weddings being more secular and not under strict religious dress codes. Dresses were also shinier (in satin or taffeta) as well as adorned with lots of bling on bodices.

    Couples would invite around 96 guests, with the family home being a typical location for the wedding reception. Disposable cameras were a popular wedding favour and the cupcake tower was a massive trend.

    If you got married in the 2000s then you probably would’ve enjoyed a hog roast.

    weddings in 2005

    In 2005, there were 247,805 marriages in England and Wales (compared to 245,519 in 2015). There were 33.6 men marrying per 1,000 unmarried males and 31.1 females. The number of weddings has steadily declined over the years.

    The average age of men getting married in 2005 was 36.22 and 33.5 for women (which continues to steadily rise).

    35% of weddings took place in a religious ceremony in 2005 (which continues to decline).

    real wedding from 2005

    I am delighted to share another special day of an incredibly skilled local supplier, Susie Grist who married Mark on 10th September, 2005.

    Paul Viney Photography

    Susie recounts:

    ‘It drizzled with rain in the morning that got heavier as the morning went on and by the time my car arrived at the church it was absolutely pouring. There was a river running along the curb. We had hired white golf umbrellas just in case and the Ushers made a tunnel with the umbrellas for me and my Dad to get into Trinity Church, Abingdon.

    We had a church service with hymns ‘Love divine, all loves excelling,’ by Charles Wesley (1707 – 1788) and ‘The grace of life is theirs’ by Fred Pratt Green from 1970. A reading from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ was read by a good friend of Mark’s and his Dad is a retired Methodist Minister who did the reading of 1 Corinthians 13. Due to the rain we ended up having photos taken in the church. Although it had stopped at this point the ground was very wet.

    We arrived at Fallowfields Country House Hotel, Southmoor, the reception venue in sunshine to canapés and bucks fizz. We were able to have a few photos in the garden before the wedding breakfast was served.

    We had hoped to have a display by birds of prey but due to the weather being a bit stormy they were a bit on edge so we just had photos taken with one bird a peregrine falcon called Scarlet.

    We cut the cake at 8pm to start off the evening celebrations with a disco. My Auntie made the three tier fruit cake with white icing and sugar flower decorations of cymbidium orchids, white stephanotis, white blossom and ivy.

    She also made a second Victoria sponge cake with icing and two sugar figurines of me and Mark on the top.

    The venue did not require any decoration as it was a beautiful country house. It had a lot of ornaments and decorations of elephants and as I absolutely adore elephants it was the perfect venue.

    We had 65 guests for a sit down wedding breakfast of:


    • Cream of Giant Prague celeriac with Colston Basset blue Stilton soup (v)
    • Chilled greenhouse Blenheim orange melon with a soft berry compote (v)
    • Pink lamb fillet baked with rosemary and presented on a mixed salad coated in beetroot oil


    • Pan seared fillet of salmon served on a bed of creamed potato with Samphire and herbs
    • Loin of Welsh Mountain Lamb sliced onto rosemary layered potato with glazed shallots
    • Roast breast of Gressingham duck served on a casserole of autumn vegetables


    • Hot plum and almond crumble served with vanilla sauce and prune ice cream
    • Summer fruit pudding served with a caramel basket of vanilla pod ice cream
    • Strawberries and vanilla pod ice cream

    Then we had an extra 35 for the evening to total 100 guests who later all enjoyed a buffet and cake.

    Tables were named after safari animals as we were going on safari in Botswana on Honeymoon and I am a big elephant lover:

    1. Elephant (top table)
    2. Antelope
    3. Zebra
    4. Rhinoceros
    5. Giraffe
    6. Hippopotamus
    7. Leopard

    My father worked for a printers so we designed our own invitations using a photo of a cymbidium orchid that we had taken with the bridesmaid dress fabric in the background. This image was used for all the stationery including place cards, table names and the seating plan.

    Our colour theme was burgundy and ivory, along with orchid flowers.

    My bridal dress was bought from Fairytales in Witney (no longer trading). It was one of their own label dresses made by their seamstress. A strapless straight neckline bodice with a full A-line pleated skirt which looked like a separate bodice and skirt but was in fact one complete dress. The dress was embroidered and had a beaded design on the bodice and on the bottom of the front skirt and train. Plus covered buttons all the way down back from bodice to train.

    The three bridesmaids were my sister-in-law, best friend from school and the groom’s niece. They wore Alfred Angelo Burgundy satin empire line dresses with an embroidered and beaded bodice.

    The groom wore a grey lounge suit from Marks & Spencer, an ivory brocade waistcoat which I made and a burgundy tie to match the bridesmaids dresses also made by me. These matched the waistcoats and ties for the best man, fathers, page boys and ushers.

    My tear drop shape bouquet contained orchids, red grand prix roses, white bianca roses, white lisianthus, ruscus and beargrass. The floral spray arrangement was supplied by Wendy Madley Flowers (no longer trading). The bridesmaids had hand tied bouquets with similar flowers and white freesias and gerberas. The button holes were orchids.

    Paul Viney Photography

    Plus tall vases on each table with ivory glitter stones in the bottom filled with white lilies and feather grass. These vases stood on mirror plates scattered with clear scatter crystals and the tables were scattered with red rose petals.

    Me and and my father travelled to the church in a black and ivory 1955 ‘R’ Type Bentley HJM supplied by Platinum Wedding Cars. Whilst my mother and bridesmaids travelled in a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

    Entertainment was a disco in the evening by Regency Entertainment. We didn’t have favours but we did provide the children with gift boxes containing games, toys and things to keep them amused from a company called Smiles.

    Paul Viney Photography (no longer trading) was our photographer. It was still 35mm film in those days and he was a traditional group photographer so unfortunately didn’t capture many details of the wedding. Some guests had digital cameras and took some extra photos for us. We also had a videographer, Howard’s Video Service (who I’m not sure is still trading either).

    For our honeymoon we went on safari in Botswana and then a beach holiday in Mauritius.’

    Paul Viney Photography

    About Susie Grist Couture

    Susie Grist Couture specialises in designing and making individual bespoke wedding gowns. Based in Abingdon-On-Thames working from a home studio.

    She has over 18 years of professional sewing experience and has been designing wedding dresses for nearly 6 years. She makes bridal gowns, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses and even outfits for mothers.


    facebook logo@susiegristcouture

    instagram logo@susiegristcouture


    The 2000s saw the era of shiny, embellished, and strapless dresses. Country house hotel receptions were completed with cupcake towers, disposable cameras and evening reception hog roasts. The cookie cutter approach to weddings was starting to dwindle as more personalised elements were creeping in and more couples were paying for their own weddings. Social media was just starting to become a part of our lives and influence weddings, whilst couples could now create their own playlists on ipods. 


    Top Fall 2021 colours from Pantone® for autumn weddings

    Top Fall 2021 colours from Pantone® for autumn weddings

    Autumn 2021 colours

    We await the roadmap announcement next week, when we hope that there is clearer guidance on the way out of lockdown including what will happen to weddings in 2021. We can assume that weddings may not include receptions for a while and then may remain in quite small numbers for a while.

    Hopefully by autumn, we will be in a better position to think about weddings again. I’m thinking ahead for later in the year as Pantone® have announced the colours for the autumnal and winter months of 2021/22.

    Fashion weeks have been taking place virtually this year with New York last week, London this week and Milan and Paris later this month. Pantone® have predicted 10 colours that they think will be prevalent in Fall/Winter 2021/22.


    There are some bright and bold of colours to really make a statement this autumn. Leading the way, the yellow colour of the year (Illuminating) brightens the mood and provides a glimmer of sunny days ahead.

    the blues

    We may be feeling a bit blue at the moment, but the calming blues will relax us by a Spring Lake or under the Clear Sky, lazing by the pool of Mykonos or Ibiza Blue. With reliable and stable navy (Rhodonite or After Midnight).


    Rich, earthy, autumnal fiery colours are reminiscent of bonfires and sitting from a firepit toasting marshmallows, including Fire Whirl, Adobe, Root Beer, Red Alert, Tomato Cream, Daylily, Downtown Brown.

    Fall 2021 colours

    The top ten colours for Fall 2021 are:

    • Pantone 18-4434 Mykonos Blue
    • Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating
    • Pantone 18-6022 Leprechaun
    • Pantone 18-2330 Fuchsia Fedora
    • Pantone 13-1716 Pale Rosette
    • Pantone 17-1340 Adobe
    • Pantone 18-1453 Fire Whirl
    • Pantone 19-3838 Rhodonite
    • Pantone 18-4221 Spring Lake
    • Pantone 19-1228 Root Beer

    Neutral basics

    Pantone® have also created a Fall 2021 Classic Colour Palette. These are a group of neutrals that are core basics in the form of off-white, grey, cream and olive green.

    The bonus classic neutral colours for Fall 2021 are:

    • Pantone 11-1007 Coconut Cream
    • Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray
    • Pantone 13-0919 Soybean
    • Pantone 18-0527 Olive Branch

    Fall 2021 extra colours from LFW

    They may have different names but in the main the colours are repeated at London Fashion Week, along with a couple of additional colours (instead of the bright cerise pink and cream colours) to round off the colours for Fall 2021. There’s also a bit of a rejig of whether some colours sit in the neutrals or the main set (as navy gets demoted at LFW to the neutral basics). Here are the extra orange and burgundy shades:

    • Pantone 19-1537 Winery
    • Pantone 15-0956 Daylily

    Colour themes

    It’ll be great to see how couples incorporate these colours in to their weddings (hopefully) later this year.

    Pantone® is the world-renowned authority on colour and the Pantone® Color of the Year is always really influential in any popular colour themes in fashion, interior design and weddings.


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    Top blog post in 2020 on Hanami Dream

    Top blog post in 2020 on Hanami Dream

    1. Winner at the UK Blog Awards 2018!
    2. Top Spring 2020 colours from Pantone®
    3. Top Fall 2020 colours from Pantone® for autumn weddings
    4. Top Spring 2021 colours from Pantone®
    5. Top 13 local catering vans for weddings in the Cotswolds
    6. Wedding venue review: Bodleian Library
    7. Inspiration: wedding under new rules in Oxfordshire
    8. Wedding venue review: Ashmolean Museum
    9. Inspiration: african/english fusion garden wedding
    10. Wedding venue review: Caswell House
    11. Wedding venue review: Lapstone Barn
    12. Weddings through the decades: 1970s
    13. Get the bunting out!
    14. Wedding traditions: Don’t forget the silver sixpence in your shoe!
    15. Top local wedding transport suppliers in the Cotswolds – get me to the church on time!
    16. Celebrate your original wedding date
    17. Socially distanced hen party ideas
    18. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride
    19. 5 reasons tiny weddings rock
    20. A guide to eco-friendly wedding rings

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    Pantone® announce the Color of the Year 2021

    Pantone® announce the Color of the Year 2021

    Pantone® have picked not one but two colours of the year for 2021. It’s only the second time they’ve picked more than one colour (since 2016 when it was Rose Quartz and Serenity).

    The Pantone® Color of the Year 2021 is Illuminating 13-0647 AND Ultimate Gray 17-5104.

    I’m over the moon that my top tip for the colour of the year has hit the mark (take a look at my review of the Spring/Summer 2020 colours) although a little disappointed that Illuminating wasn’t strong enough to be one colour on it’s own.

    However, I think that the bright and fresh yellow of Illuminating is the ray of sunshine that we need after 2020. A spark of warm hope. Whilst the neutral grey provides stability and a reassuring foundation.

    Sunshine on a rainy day.

    I look forward to seeing couples incorporating Illuminating and Ultimate Gray into their wedding colour schemes in 2021.



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    Weddings through the decades: 1990s

    Weddings through the decades: 1990s

    The soundtrack to my lockdown since March has been Fearne Cotton’s Sounds of the 90s on BBC Sounds. These tunes and memories from the 1990s have accompanied me whilst gardening, doing chores around the house or out for runs. These songs of my teenage years have brought back wonderful memories, including my University days dancing in the union bars and clubs.

    weddings through the decades

    My reminiscing has continued and I am now taking a look at a real weddings 27 years ago in 1993. Take a look at other real weddings throughout the decades to look at differences, similarities and things we can learn to help with wedding planning now.

    Britain in 1993

    Back in 1993, Britain was finally seeing an economic recovery after 3 years of recession. John Major was the Prime Minister, who introduced a nostalgic ‘back to basics’ campaign appealing to traditional values such as “neighbourliness, decency and courtesy”. Unemployment started to fall for the first time since May 1990 and interest rates were lowered to 6% – the lowest since 1978.

    Meanwhile, sad news of the year included an oil tanker running aground near the Shetlands, bombings in Warrington and Bishopsgate, two high profile murder cases, and the separation of Princess Diana and Prince Charles as she leaves public life (mirroring Prince Harry and Meghan’s story of this year). 

    inventions of 1993

    Notable products to come to market in 1993 included the Ford Mondeo, the Vauxhall Corsa (which was my first car in 1999!), Beanie Babies, fidget spinners, Dyson’s first bagless vacuum and Teletex replaced Oracle.

    highlights of 1993

    Buckingham Palace opened to public and the Channel Tunnel opened (I still remember my first trip on the Channel Tunnel train and overhearing a little girl saying she could see an octopus swimming past!)

    In music, the big selling singles were Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), UB40’s I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You, Whitney Houston with I Will Always Love You and Snow’s Informer. The year’s Christmas number one is an all-time classic: Mr Blobby by Mr Blobby

    TV shows of 1993 included: Friends, Dawson’s Creek, Gladiators, The Brittas Empire, The Crystal Maze, Noel’s House Party, X Files, The New Adventures of Superman, Peak Practice and Diagnosis Murder.

    The big films of the year were Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, Sleepless in Seattle, Mrs Doubtfire, Philadelphia, Schindler’s List (which won the best picture Oscar) and the wedding films that people got obsessed over were: Father of the Bride, and not forgetting the stammering Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

    wedding trends in the 1990s

    Regardless of the decade, every wedding photo is a time capsule for dresses (material, styles, length and colours) along with bouquets, veils and hair styles. They are an exaggerated example of fashion trends of their day and epitomise moments in time. Some decades certainly have common trends.

    Famous faces that tied the know in the 90s included: Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, David Bowie and Iman, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, and David and Victoria Beckham.

    On 19 June 1999, Prince Edward (youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II) married to Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle making it the only royal wedding of the 90s but not a state occasion.

    This is also the era that weddings venues could be local pubs, hotels and country houses as the Marriage Act of 1994 allowed legal marriages to take place in certain “approved premises”. (Before this amendment, marriage ceremonies could only be conducted in churches and register offices.) So now a countryside hotel was a typical location for the wedding reception and ceremony. 

    Couples were spending more on their wedding celebrations around 15 times the national weekly wage (of £340.18) with an average wedding costing around £5,000. The average cost of a wedding dress was £690 and was often a corseted off the shoulder dress with a full skirt and a coat or bolero in matching material (to cover up shoulders in church), or a bias cut, sheath dress.

    Couples would invite around 80 guests, who would have disposable cameras on their tables to capture their own candid photos of the day.

    If you got married in the 1990s then your starter was probably smoked salmon or soup, followed by a choice of chicken, beef or fish, whilst pudding was probably some sort of pavlova or cheesecake.

    weddings in 1993

    In 1993, there were 299,197 marriages in England and Wales (compared to 240,854 in 2013). There were 37.7 men marrying per 1,000 unmarried males and 38.1 females. The number of weddings has steadily declined over the years.

    The average age of men getting married in 1993 was 29.2 and 27.2 for women (which continues to steadily rise).

    49% of weddings took place in a religious ceremony in 1993 (which continued to decline further after the introduction of legal marriages in other approved premises).

    real wedding from 1993

    During lockdown, I reached out to local supplies to share their own weddings across different decades. I was delighted that Julie Lane, a hugely talented celebrant, shared her own special day in 1993.

    Julie and Andy got married on 19th June 1993. They chose that date because a friend of theirs had got married the year before on 13th June and the weather had been perfect.

    The wedding was held at the village church where Julie was brought up in Stapleford, Wiltshire (bizarrely Andy was brought up in another Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.) They met in London where they both had moved to.

    Peach was the colour for the bridesmaids’ dresses and the lining of the marquee, napkins etc. There were three bridesmaids – Andy’s sister, Julie’s cousin and a close friend. The men all wore top hats and tails with pin striped trousers. Lesley Shaw designed and made the wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s. She was based in Salisbury and the bridal dress was made in ivory silk duping. Andy had a waistcoat and cravate made to match the bridesmaids dresses.

    The transportation to the church was a complete surprise until the day of the wedding. The weather was a little uncertain so it was at the last minute that the bride’s dad took the roof off with his JCB so they had an open top horse drawn carriage. They trotted round from the bride’s parents’ farmhouse to the church, waving to onlookers en route to the church.

    After the traditional church ceremony Andy and Julie rode in the carriage back to the reception. There was a jazz trio playing in the garden and Pimms was served whilst the families greeted the 153 guests (the maximum that the church could squeeze in).

    There followed a wedding breakfast in a marquee in the orchard. A local caterer provided a simple delicious buffet with melon and Parma ham starters; Coronation chicken, poached salmon, new potatoes and salads for main; and strawberries and cream for dessert.

    After the traditional speeches, they had the cutting of the cake. The timing was perfect – as the speeches finished, the evening guests began to arrive to make a total of 250 with a jazz band playing in the evening and a cheese and bread supper provided.

    The happy couple stayed the night at a local hotel The Pembroke Arms, Wilton and spent the following day with guests (who had travelled and stayed overnight) with a barbecue. The following day they flew off on honeymoon to the Maldives.

    about Julie Lane

    Julie Lane has done quite a few weddings in Oxfordshire – Blenheim Palace, Eynsham Hall and The Perch, as well as Cripps Barn in Gloucestershire. After over 10 years as a Registrar, Julie became an Independent Celebrant and is relishing the freedom to help couples and families through those important milestones in their lives, including weddings, vow renewal, baby naming and funerals.

    instagram logo@julielanecelebrant@juliecelebrant@JulieLCelebrant


    Weddings followed quite a cookie cutter approach in the 1990s but had a lot to live up to with big films like Four Weddings and a Funeral released. Thanks to this era, weddings could now take place in a variety of different types of venue opening up possibilities to couples.

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