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  1. Wedding garter, bridal garter, with Something Blue, ivory and blue, keepsake garter, toss garter, UK, Blue Lily Magnolia
      Bow Garter, Wedding Garter UK, Bridal garter, Blue Bow, Something Blue, Blue Lily Magnolia, Toss garter  Wedding garter, floral garter, bridal shower gift, gift for bride to be, bridal lingerie garter UK, Blue Lily Magnolia  Smooth garter, lace garter, not frilly, wedding garter, wedding lingerie, bridal garter, Blue Lily Magnolia UK  Vintage style garter, vintage wedding garter, cream bridal garter, 1920s, Great Gatsby garter, Blue Lily Magnolia, UK

    Peek-a-blue! is the latest of my mini collections, and this time I have had lots of fun making wedding garters. Not everyone wears a garter at their wedding, and I must admit that I didn't wear one myself. Why I didn't embrace this lovely tradition is simply because I was wearing a silk gown which mostly clung to my hips, so a garter was more than likely going to ruin the smooth lines of my dress. However, with hindsight, I think that it would have been nice to have a garter that I could have worn on my wedding night (not while wearing my wedding dress though), if I did find a style that I liked. At the time of my wedding, I wasn't acquainted with Etsy, Folksy, NOTHS and other handmade marketplace, so all the garters that I saw were the shiny frilly type and frankly, not very exciting. 

    For this collection, I have tried to make bridal garters that are different to what you would normally see in a high street shop. I have designed them as items that I could actually wear myself, whether under an A-lined wedding dress, or under a nightie or other nightwear. As usual with my accessories, all the flower embellishments were handmade in my studio and this collection is characterised by the little dangling pearl bead strands or dangling crystal in each garter. For the ready-to-go sets, I used a lovely light blue, but everything can be customised to your liking, including using a flower colour of your choice to match your colour theme. 

    Here's a little more description on each of them:

    Garter-Discs-AvaAva:  Three circular layered flowers and a couple of beaded dangling strands adorn this ivory elasticated lace garter. This style is simple and basic, yet unique and beautiful. Great for someone who's looking for something different and handmade. 

    Wedding garter, bridal garter, with Something Blue, ivory and blue, keepsake garter, toss garter, UK, Blue Lily MagnoliaBelle: A single romantic blue flower flanked by a light ivory one and two strands, onto an ivory elasticated lace garter. This style is reminescent of the first garter I made, and  has one of my favourite flower styles.  Perfect for the romantic ones. 

    Vintage style garter, vintage wedding garter, cream bridal garter, 1920s, Great Gatsby garter, Blue Lily Magnolia, UKClara: Three tiny blue fabric roses in a row, flanked on each side by light ivory leaves, and with a strand of beads hanging from one side to the other. This garter is made with a darker cream elasticated lace with a vintage style effect, and the beads supplement the vintage, 1920's look.  This is spot on for vintage style lovers. 

    Smooth garter, lace garter, not frilly, wedding garter, wedding lingerie, bridal garter, Blue Lily Magnolia UK

    Donna: A non-frilly lace garter - if you don't like the bulk of the gathered ones, this is perfect. The little flowers are not totally flat, but this type of garter is definitely more slimline, and I tend to think, more modern looking too. In a way, they look like what hold-up stockings might have at the open ends. Ideal for the modern bride. 

    Bow Garter, Wedding Garter UK, Bridal garter, Blue Bow, Something Blue, Blue Lily Magnolia, Toss garterEleni: The classic style, with a stylish corded blue ribbon and bow, and just a little smokey blue crystal to dangle from the bow to add a little bit of extra. This is the style favoured by the traditional bride. 

    Coming from a bride who did not wear a garter, I now think, why not?! If I had the choice of the above, I would personally have probably gone for the Donna style, flat lace, more modern garter, worn after the wedding party. In fact, my husband loves this style too, so it would have been perfect. If I was going to be tossing a garter in line with tradition, I probably would have gone for Eleni, the classic style. Not tossing any garters anytime soon, but just saying! 

    If you were unsure of whether to have a bridal garter or not, go on, have one!! And for a little bit of trivia on garters, have a read of this previous blog: Garters, a Little Bit of Trivia.  


    Blue Lily Magnolia makes bespoke and unique bridal accessories and accessories for special occasions. Everything is designed and handmade by designer / maker Vanessa Gilding (aka Sharon) in her studio in Nantwich. Vanessa particularly loves creating unique commissions, and has a growing interest in alternative weddings. So if you would like to get something unique made, why not get in touch


  2. best valentines ideas

    Roses and chocolate and a romantic date out or home made candle lit dinners in are nice, why not? But if you really want to make Valentine's day special, read on for some Valentine inspiration, and make it a day to remember!

    1) Get Away 
    Quite predictably, getting away should be one of the best ways to celebrate love. Why? Because the hustle and bustle of life often makes it difficult for us all to unwind at home, when there is a pile of laundry waiting and when the clutter of our lives removes any romance. Take a day or two off work and book into a hotel where you don't have to do anything except talk to each other, love each other and enjoy each other. 
    2) Enjoy a Spa Day 
    A bit of the same concept as getting away, take the day off and book yourselves for some treatments and a bit of pond-side chilling out with fluffy gowns. With many spa places offering treatments for couples, this is perfect if you both need to de-stress and unwind, and disconnect from work before you can feel human and loving again.
    3) Look Back at Memories 
    Create a little happy book or slide show of photos of your favourite moments together and cosy up to go through your happy memories with your choice of nibbles and tipple, and lots of cuddles too. Looking back at good times strengthens the bonds you have already established, and makes you feel all gooey and lovey, perfect for Valentine's day. If you have time to prep it up, go for it! 
    4) Breakfast in Style
    I am a little biased here because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but what better way to start the day on a positive note. The great thing is that potentially, if your fridge is already well stocked, this involves minimum planning. Make yourselves your favourite morning treat and enjoy it in bed, have lots of cuddles, and be late for work if you can manage it. Gifts in bed optional of course! 
    5) Have a Good Old Natter 
    About what, might you say? Certainly not about the chores that need to be done, or the issues with the kids. But it all comes back to carving out time for each other, and remembering the reasons why you fell in love with each other. So, pack the kids and the chores off, and open up, have a laugh, talk about the past, make happy dream plans. And cuddle a lot. 
    6) Get Active 
    Nothing better than releasing good endorphins together on Valentine's day, so for the adventure seeking ones of us, book yourself an activity session, something unusual, something you've never tried before and always wanted to have a go, or just something you love doing together. Brave the cold and go free climb that mountain or book that kayaking or outdoor climbing session you always dreamt of, and reward yourself with a warming treat at the end! Or if high adrenaline boosts are not your thing, wrap yourself warm and go on a long walk hand in hand and put your feet up afterwards in front of a warm fire. 
    7) Make Something Together 
    Creating something together is one of the best ways to strengthen a relationship, so if you don't do a lot of that, give it a go. Whether it is a simple meal, a fiddly dessert, a complex art work, a piece of furniture, Lego sets, build something together in a bit of team work, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour together at the end. 
    8) Learn Something New Together 
    If you've always wanted to Tango like Anton and Erin, skate like Torvill and Dean, cook like Nigella, make your own pasta, chocolate, beer, wine, or whatever you fancy, book yourself on a course together. Learning something new while having fun at the same time is a fab way of keeping your relationship fresh, and giving you more things to talk about in the future or for 5) above. It doesn't have to be physically or technically challenging either. Wine tasting is an example of learning something new with minimal effort required!! 
    However you want to approach it, the best thing to remember is that making time for each other and for you two as a couple is probably better than just spending money without real thoughts behind. Of course everyone loves gifts and treats, but sometimes, something immaterial can have bigger value in the eyes of the receiver. With that in mind, no matter how you choose to celebrate or not to celebrate Valentine's day, hope you enjoyed this short read! 
    Blue Lily Magnolia designs and makes bridal accessories, including gifts for brides to be and grooms to be. Based in Nantwich, Cheshire, UK, every item is handmade and either in very limited edition or one of a kind. A bespoke service also gives you the opportunity to have something totally individual and unique for your big day - and for other big social events in your life. 
    Photo Credit: Mr G. C. Perfect Moments, via Photopin (License)


  3. Following on to my post on January wedding fairs in the Cheshire area, here's the February list: 

    4-5th February 2017 - Bride: The Wedding Show, Tatton Park, Knutsford, 10am - 5pm, £10 advanced ticket or £15 on the day

    12th February 2017 - Crewe Hall Wedding Open Day, Crewe, 11:30am - 3:30pm, 01270253333

    12th February 2017 - Cheshire Wedding Fayre, MacDonald Craxton Wood Hotel and Spa, Chester, 12noon - 4pm, Red Event, catwalks at 1:30pm and 3pm

    19th February 2017 - Rookery Hall Showcase Day, Nantwich, 10-4pm, 01270610016

    19th February 2017 - The Park Royal Open Day, Stretton, 11am - 3pm, 01925730706

    19th February 2017 - Designer Asian Wedding Fair, Thornton Manor, Thornton Hough, 11am - 6pm, 01513531155, catwalks at 12noon and 4pm

    26th February 2017 - Designer Wedding Fair, Thornton Manor, Thornton Hough, 11am - 6pm, 01513531155, catwalks at 12noon and 4pm, £5