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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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Wedding venue review: The Upton Firehouse

Wedding venue review: The Upton Firehouse

The Upton Firehouse wedding reception venue

I had the pleasure of visiting the Upton Firehouse socially in the build up to Christmas last year and was blown away by the quality of the food. As someone with (sometimes tricky) dietary requirements I’m often nervous about eating a set meal out, especially at Christmas time and especially in a smoke house (for someone who doesn’t eat meat). However the food was not only delicious but the care and attention to detail did not go unnoticed. We were so well looked after and really valued the personal attention.

“Absolutely amazing food, superbly presented, and served by incredibly friendly staff. All made for a fantastic festive evening! Will be back as thoroughly recommend.”
13 December 2019

I returned to have a proper visit at the end of February this year (just prior to lockdown) to uncover how fantastic this location would make as a wedding venue (when we are able to have larger celebrations in the future) and I wanted to review it in order to fully sing it’s praises.

Tucked off the A40

You have to drive to get there as it is out of town, just down the road from Burford, but surrounded by farmland and countryside.

Whilst nothing is around for miles, on site there is an amazing large self catering cottage for rent right next door which sleeps 12 (and the option for yurts in the garden too).

There is also the Brewery, Smokery, as well as the Farm shop (for smoked meat, game and fish).

Top quality local produce

The food is sublime at the Upton Firehouse, which serves amazing BBQ lunches and can cater for large parties. The key is the quality of the ingredients that they use and that they are constantly evolving and on trend with the food that they offer.

The BBQ restaurant serves seasonal local good quality produce including lamb from the local butcher, asparagus from up the road, crayfish from the local river and smoked salmon from next door.

Tailored menus

The experience of the chefs, Sam and Jak, shows in what they serve, with 10 years working with Made by Bob in Circencester and now in their second year at Upton.

Normally they offer breakfast and lunch on Wednesdays to Sundays, pizza evenings on Wednesday nights and special events once a month.

Meanwhile they also hire the venue and services for weddings and private parties. The food can be completely tailored to the event and diets but it really suits a shared family style, buffets or banquets. Whilst their speciality is the BBQ they also offer food from all around the globe such as Thai, English, Moroccan, and Indian to name a few. They also have innovative ways to suit vegan and vegetarian diets including 7 different vegan salads that they prepare.

See sample menu below for special events.

Chilled out blank canvas

The Upton Firehouse is a big space with lots of potential. It’s a huge blank canvas which is best filled with lots of people for an amazing celebration (which obviously isn’t possible under current guidelines right now). It can seat 150-200 people sat down.

In the warmer months, you can fling open the doors and extend the party to the courtyard and sit round fire pits. The next door Brewery is where the toilets are and can be used as an additional seating or a chill out area too.

The place is yours from 4.30pm to come in and set up (or the day before by prior arrangement) with the meal served at around 7pm. They have a licence until 12.30am (which can be extended to 2am if necessary) under normal circumstances.

Friendly service

Obviously things are a bit different with hospitality at the moment but the venue is still offering outside catering but only for groups up to 6 people and weddings for up to 15 people. They also do food deliveries.

With regards to the restaurant at the Firehouse, the following rules currently apply:

  • Table serve only
  • Maximum of 6 per table
  • Tables can’t be moved once seated
  • Wear a face mask at all times whilst walking around the restaurant
  • Hand sanitiser to be used when entering or leaving the building
  • QR code to scan to sign in


Delicious local food and drink served in a wonderful, relaxed party vibe location in stunning countryside surroundings. Well worth a visit socially in a small group or for any big special occasion (when we are allowed to celebrate in style again, in the hopefully not too distant future).


Type of venue: barn restaurant
Find out more:
Location: Upton Downs Farm, Burford OX18 4LY
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 150-200
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: not yet
Venue hire: £1500 year round price
Nearest church: Burford Church, Church Green, Burford OX18 4RY
Wedding breakfast: £19.50 per person (for 60 minimum)
Accommodation: Upton Downs Farmhouse via Stay Cotswold (sleeps 12)
Wedding fairs: n/a
Other things worth a mention: The best bit would be coming back to the Firehouse the next day after the wedding for lunch with your wedding party having stayed overnight at the cottage next door.

sample menu

Thai vegetable fritters with tamarind dipping sauce
Miang of crab and sour fruits
Wild mushroom and gorgonzola arrancini with gorgonzola dip
Deep fried squid with pimento, harissa and basil dip
Tuna and avocado sushi rolls with pickled ginger and wasabi

Bread on oils on the table

Spiced Kofta with mint yoghurt
Smoked Salmon
Diary free Chicken dish
Pulled pork
Brisket with harissa
Hoisin duck

Salads x 3
Red cabbage slaw
Little roast potatoes with herbs

Victoria Sponge fairy cakes with vanilla piped icing, decorated with berries
Plates of Chocolate Brownies – with jugs of cream

Cheese board for 30 people
4 x cheeses, biscuits, bread and chutney

Tea and coffee station for 40 people

Mini sausage ‘butties’ for 40 people

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Weddings through the decades: 1980s

Weddings through the decades: 1980s

One of things that has been great about lockdown is the community camaraderie. No longer were our neighbours solely the people that we lived near by chance, but these became some of the only people that we saw for several months earlier this year. Spotting neighbours whilst out on your outdoor exercise for the day, or stood on our doorsteps for the weekly clapping for the NHS on a Thursday night. We all became more aware of our those that lived nearby because for once we were all around, all the time, at the same time.

We are really lucky that we live in a lovely cul-de-sac which already had a Ramsay Street quality about it – where everyone knows each other and there often is an annual street party (for some kind of royal occasion or national anniversary to observe) complete with street games, music and cakes.

The lockdown did make us all look out for the elderly and vulnerable more, we supported one another, shared and formed a neighbourhood What’s App group. For those of us who celebrated a birthday during lockdown, all the neighbours gathered (at a social distance) to sing happy birthday on the doorstep.

Whilst people have returned to work and are on the street less often, our neighbours now have names and we all know more about each other.

weddings through the decades

As well as several birthdays during lockdown, there were also a number of momentous wedding anniversaries marked down our road as well. In particular, one set of neighbours celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and shared a snap shot of the day on the What’s App group. This spurred on my idea to look at real weddings throughout the decades to look at differences, similarities and things we can learn to help with wedding planning now.

Britain in 1980

Not unlike this year, the country was facing recession in 1980 with rising unemployment (due to economic policies such as spending cuts and taxation rises) at a 45 year high of 2 million people (out of a population of just over 56 million in Britain back then). Plus there were steelworkers’ and miners strikes. And we were on the cusp of the Falklands war.

We had the first British female Prime Minster in the shape of The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, who famously said that ‘The lady’s not for turning’ regarding her strong policies. Despite or because of her stance, the 1980s was a revolutionary decade which has shaped the way we live for ever.

highlights of 1980

Gone were the thifty days of the 70s, as people now had credit cards to borrow and flash their cash on fast food, exotic holidays, over the top clothes and shiny new computers.

Six out of ten British women were going out to work (higher than almost every European country) and it saw the rise of the yuppies (young urban professionals) with their chunky mobile phones, filo faxes and red braces.

Also in 1980, Alton Towers opened, the pre decimal sixpence coin was withdrawn from circulation (and is now only sported in brides’ shoes on their wedding day) and John Lennon was shot.

inventions of the 1980s

For me the 1980s was about Back To The Future movies, ET, Star Wars, Rubiks’ Cube, Sylvanian Families, dancing flowers, McDonalds, cassettes (I didn’t make it on to CDs yet), synthesizers, music videos and BMX bikes.

Music was typified by the New Romantics or pop factory soap stars like Jason and Kylie, along with Michael Jackson and Band Aid. We only just had 4 tv channels and front seat belts were only compulsory in 1983.

The biggest technological changes in the eighties were the introduction of home computers and by the end of the decade the world wide web, plus digital mobile phones (although these were very large and very expensive), microwave ovens and the first electric vehicle was invented in the 80s. 

wedding trends in the 1980s

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.

Wedding of the 1980s can be summed up by the royal weddings of Prince Charles and Diana (30 July 1981) and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (23 July 1986). And the much anticipated Neighbours wedding of Scott and Charlene, plus The Princess Bride movie. Think of these and you’ve got over the top, puff sleeves (which are back in trend now), frills, lace, big tiers of wedding cake and the start of videography to capture the day.

These weddings showed that more is definitely more. After a church service, the reception would be held in a hotel with a disco and lots of dancing. Typical food could have included prawn cocktail for starters, a chicken main, followed by a black forest gateaux for dessert.

Couples were beginning to spend more on their wedding celebrations – around 7 times the national weekly wage (of £145.88) with an average wedding costing around £1,150 and they started to invite more guests.

weddings in 1980

In 1980, there were 370,022 marriages in England and Wales (compared to 245,513 in 2015). There were 60.4 men marrying per 1,000 unmarried males and 48.1 females. The number of weddings has steadily declined over the years.

The average age of men getting married in 1980 was 29.4 and 26.7 for women (which continues to rise).

50% of weddings took place in a religious ceremony in 1980 (which continues to decline).

real wedding from 1980

My neighbours, Karen and Paul, married on Saturday 26th April 1980, 40 years ago. Their ceremony was held at 3pm at St Martin’s Church in Bladon, followed by a reception at Long Hanborough Pavilion.

They travelled in a brown Ford Cortina. The bridesmaids had a pale baby blue and white colour theme.

The food served at the reception was a cold sit down meal, and a buffet in the evening. During the afternoon there was soft background music and then a disco in the evening.

And they went to a hotel afterwards which was a surprise present from the best man.


Big may have been better in the 1980s (even if couples had to borrow to achieve it) but we owe a lot to that decade – imagine planning a wedding now without the internet on your phone or computer!

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Top Spring 2021 colours from Pantone®

Top Spring 2021 colours from Pantone®

Some normality

2020 has been nothing like normal. So it is almost reassuring to have some familiarity appear in the calendar this week, with the fashion weeks starting and the announcement of colours for the forthcoming seasons.

In light of new government laws, it seems that things are going to tighten again and we should strap ourselves in for a rocky winter time. So thinking forward to next Spring (when experts suggest we may start to hopefully emerge on the other side) is not only apt but a ray of sunlight to yearn for.

Spring normally brings new hope and the start of the growing season. And next year also brings new promise and a chance for us to finally breathe again (please forgive the unintentional pun) after, what we pray, is the worst of Covid-19. By Spring 2021, I’m hopeful that we will be able to hit refresh and the mood can finally be lightened. 

The latest Pantone® announcement predicts that the colours that will dominate the scene for next year’s Spring and Summer are light, bright, fresh and soothing. Just what we’ll need after a dark few months.

Spring 2021

So with the fashion weeks kicking off, Pantone® have revealed the Spring/Summer colours to look out for in 2021. And it’ll be great to see the colours appearing in (possibly postponed) weddings next year. 

I’m not usually a massive fan of pastel colours, but this set of colours seems so calming. To me, they paint a wonderful picture of being by the seaside with bright colours of the sun, calming colours of the sea and sky, along with pale ice cream colours, cheerful beach hut bunting colours, plus some grounding sand colours. 

There is the chance to have fun with these colours and create some beautiful and unique combinations. The Pantone® Color Institute’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman said “What it’s playing to is this whole idea of more choices for people. The idea is that they have had so little choice in so many other areas of their lives in the last several months, let’s try to have some fun again. That’s what we’re looking for and fashion gives us that opportunity.”


It’s no secret that I love being by the seaside. In fact, I also dreamed of living by the sea which has bubbled up more to the surface during lockdown. We live in probably one of the parts of the UK that is frustratingly furthest away from the seaside. During lockdown we longed to be more remote and get away from the same four walls.

Thankfully over the summer we had a couple of day trips to a wonderful secluded beach and it felt like complete escapism. It was great to be by the wild sea, where the kids could run free on the beach, and we could feel energised by the sun. The change of scene gave the opportunity to relax and forget. 

So I’m pleased to see that blues (of Cerulean, Colour of the Year in 2000, and French Blue) will continue to feature in the colours for next year. Creating a great seascape of the sky and sea. 

Sunny colours

Despite the current autumnal mornings and evening becoming a bit chillier, there’s some more sunny weather on the way next week. Hopefully this will keep us going until the longer days return in the spring.

In the meantime, the page lights up with the sunny shades of Marigold and Illuminating leading the way in the Spring 2021 colours (which are my hot tip for Colour of the Year 2021).

Beach huts 

The glorious shades of Green Ash, Burnt Coral and Amethyst Orchid (not a million miles away from Radiant Orchid the Colour of the Year in 2014 and one of my favourite colours) could easily be the frontage of beach huts, all butted up next to each other on the sea front. Or perhaps adorning bunting blowing in the sea breeze.

They are beautifully unique and make a statement which is exactly the personalised way weddings will be next year.

Ice cream 

Even the names of some of the colours conjure up mouth watering fantasies of dripping ice creams, ate in deckchairs on the beach. Delicious Raspberry Sorbet or palette cleansing Mint could easily be scooped in to a cone and enjoyed watching the waves crash in.

Or perhaps you’d prefer some sugary candyfloss that is evoked by one of the pastel colours. 


Nothing quite beats taking off your shoes and getting the sand between your toes and walking along the beach with the sea lapping around your ankles, avoiding seaweed and tidal driftwood. It is grounding and feels likes getting back to nature.

A number of the Spring 2021 colours such as Rust (along with the neutral colours like Buttercream, Desert Mist and Willow) are natural, subtle and far from over powering.

Spring 2021 colours

The top ten colours for Spring 2021 are:
  • Marigold 14-1050
  • Cerulean 15-4020
  • Rust 18-1248
  • Illuminating 13-0647
  • French Blue 18-4140
  • Green Ash 13-0117
  • Burnt Coral 16-1529
  • Mint 16-5938
  • Amethyst Orchid 17-3628
  • Raspberry Sorbet 18-2043 

Spring 2021 extra colours from LFW

Plus a few additional colours from London Fashion Week round off the colours for Spring 2021; paler variations of pink and green (in Piroutte and Pickled Pepper), and a brighter orange and turquoise (with Orange Ochre and Blue Atoll).

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 black, grey, cream, taupe and khaki green. Perfect grounding colours. 

The bonus classic neutral colours for Spring 202 are: 
  • Inkwell 19-4016
  • Ultimate Gray 17-5104
  • Buttercream 11-0110
  • Desert Mist 14-1127
  • Willow 16-0632

Colour themes

It’ll be great to see how couples incorporate these colours in to their weddings next year. Especially as there could be some couples having to rearrange their weddings in 2021 and perhaps in a different season than they first planned. 

I can see how the classic neutrals will play a big part in coupling up with some of the brighter choices. Plus, 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 2021 Colour of the Year is released later in the year. 

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“Your work is invaluable to us”

“Your work is invaluable to us”

“Thank you very much for the work you have done investigating new business opportunities and advising on improvements to existing revenue activities at Cogges.

Your work has been extremely thorough and enabled us to make both immediate service and sales improvements and to consider the potential of new income streams for the future. 

Your work is invaluable to us, particularly as we now pick up the pieces of the Coronavirus season and look towards making ourselves more resilient to future disruptions.”

Chair of Trustees, Cogges Heritage Trust, September 2020 

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