Oscar de la Renta: The bridal industry looses a legend

The fashion industry lost a legend today, with the passing of world-renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite designer was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and passed away today at home.
Designer to the stars, Oscar de la Renta created many wedding dresses for Hollywood’s biggest names including Katherine Heigl, Kate Bosworth and most recently Amal Clooney.

Oscar de la Renta’s most admired bridal gowns

 

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This week we got a chance to chat to bridal designer and Project Runway Australia’s resident judge Henry Roth to discuss his exciting project in partnership with Sealy Posturepedic

Hello Henry, tell us about this project you are doing in collaboration with Sealy Posturepedic in support of Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon.
Hello and thank you for throwing light on this phenomenal, inspiring initiative by Sealy and the Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon day. This is a fresh, unique approach by Sealy Australia to commission six Australian designers in the pursuit of creating ‘one of a kind’ designs that have been prepared for auction. The proceeds of the auction will go directly to Pink Ribbon. It is a creative and human way of drawing continual attention to the fight against cancer and it is a phenomenal undertaking by Sealy and a “give back to the community” initiative.

When you were first asked to participate in this project, what were your initial thoughts?
Initially I thought Sealy, Cancer Council, and Pink Ribbon day, this is a huge honour and collaboration. My head started to explode with a combination of challenge and humility. I felt emotional about this project because it hits home to so many people on a global level. It also made me feel proud to be an Australian because it is such a warm, real and proactive programme. I also thought this is fantastic because it is unusual and I think it is important to highlight the need to raise funds to keep the fight at the forefront.

How did you find it designing a bed with your personal style in comparison to your usual bridal gowns?
This project has come to me at the perfect time at this juncture of my professional career. I have expanded my brand catapulting my bridal designs into Henry Roth Presents.

Additionally I have now expended into Wedding MC, Wedding Planner, Mentor and host. For me being part of such an extraordinary team of designers and the expansion of my brand, I felt a surge of freedom and creativity that I applied to my design which I call “Floating on Cloud 9, Counting Sheep with Sealy”

Being a TV personality these days as well as a well-known designer – how do you find the time to do it all?
I actually think I am not unusual in being a multi-tasker. This is the decade of focusing on not only just one, but on many skills as the world becomes a global marketplace via the web and social media. When you are passionate about something then you have all the time in the world. Conversely when you are not passionate about something somehow there is never enough time in the day, don’t you agree?

When you are designing each gown collection, how important is it to be in touch with current trends?
My brand has now morphed into bespoke couture wedding gowns out of Melbourne – The Fashion Capital of Australia. To be honest I don’t look so much at trends, rather the personality and the individuality of each client. That is the trend that is the inspiration that is the creativity that becomes the gown.

Where do you draw your main inspiration from, and how do you keep your collections fresh and exciting?
Life is my inspiration, brides are my inspiration. I have always designed with the location, where the bride decides to get married, in mind. I design from the beach to the ballroom, from tiara to stiletto. Believe it or not, especially in Melbourne if I may say so, the streets are a runway of fashion and that is my excitement and keeps my designs fresh, additionally I bring MC-ing and Wedding Planning into the picture now so my involvement is much more three dimensional.

Who would be your dream bride to dress?
To be honest, on last count there is about 7 billion people on the planet, about 3.5 billion are females so each one would be my dream to dress. It’s never been about who you are but what lives in a person’s heart. I believe in a literal respect across all countries, races, religions or sexuality.

What is in store for you next – do you have any upcoming projects under your belt?
There is a plethora of projects currently given the green light under HenryRothPresents.com I am now based in Melbourne. I have been commissioned by Women’s Day to create the Clooney wedding dress for a national competition. For the winning bride this will include the dress all of your MC and wedding planning services. I am the MC and host of the forthcoming APEX Teenage Fashion Awards here in Melbourne, the MC and host of the business seminar in Darwin NT Fashion Week, and I am currently negotiating a few major secret projects that excite me just to think about. And of course right at the top of the list is the event of the Sealy Pink Ribbon day which is truly a ‘give back to the community’ that I love and am passionate and proud about.

For more on Henry Roth www.henryrothpresents.com

Bidding starts on Friday 17th October http://bit.ly/Sealy-PinkRibbon

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Is this the most glamorous wedding ever?

George Clooney and British human rights barrister, Amal Alamuddin tied the knot in romantic Venice. We’ve captured the out-of-this-world elegant moments, from how they met to details of the ring. 

Words: Kellianne Wong

On September 27, Amal Alamuddin wed longtime bachelor George Clooney, a man who never seemed he would settle down. The romance began when George sent a tongue-in-cheek message to the lawyer after meeting her through a mutual friend at a charity event, when she reportedly refused to take his number. The couple have been dating since last October and became engaged this April when George presented Amal with a stunning seven-carat diamond and platinum engagement ring.

The Ring

The ring made its first public appearance in April, at a party for Cindy Crawford’s husband, Rande Gerber, in Santa Barbara.

George and Amal pictured at Rande Gerber's birthday party in April.

The estimated seven-carat engagement ring features an “ethically mined” emerald-cut diamond flanked by two tapered baguettes set in platinum, very fitting for the human rights lawyer and activist.

The huge emerald-cut rock is said to be worth $750,000.

A close up of Amal’s wedding band.

The Dress

The British barrister wore a beautiful ivory off-the-shoulder gown custom made by Oscar de la Renta. The wedding gown featured ivory tulle appliquéd with fourteen yards of Chantilly lace, its bodice hand-embroidered with beading and crystals, an off-the-shoulder neckline, “to highlight Alamuddin’s Parmagianino neck and poitrine,” and a full circular train. 

Amal at a final fitting, with Oscar de la Renta (right) and head tailor Raffaele Ilardo, in the designer’s New York studio.

We love the cut, the volume, the minimal beading and the subtle ivory hue!

Amal’s bridal look was accessorised with pearl and diamond earrings, while her long brunette locks were topped with an embellished veil. Like the dress, the cathedral veil was adorned withChantillylace and bead-and-crystal embroidery, running all the way down the back of the dress almost to the floor.

The Tux

The 53-year-old actor wore a custom Giorgio Armani tuxedo from the Made to Measure collection, consisting of a wool and cashmere blend with a white shirt, black bow-tie and oxfords. Clooney accessorised with an impressive Omega De Ville Trésor Master Co-Axial peeking out from under his customised cufflinks (a gift from Amal) inscribed with “George” in Arabic.

The Hollywood star in his custom Giorgio Armani tuxedo.

The Wedding Celebrations

Friday

George and Amal began their wedding festivities in Venice on Friday with a boat ride down the Grand Canal. Accompanied by their wedding guests, the couple headed towards the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, where they hosted a welcome gathering for their guests and friends.

 

Amal was dressed in a black and white striped dress by Dolce & Gabbana, which she paired with black Dolce & Gabbana sling pumps and a big pair of glamorous Prada sunnies.

 

Later that evening, the bride and groom separated for his-and-her parties, where Amal was pictured wearing a stunning red patterned Alexander McQueen dress.

 

Saturday

According to People Magazine, the pair “exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy, on Saturday.”

The two were married by Clooney’s friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome, and surrounded by family and friends including Cindy Crawford, Rande Gerber, Anna Wintour, Matt Damon, Bono, and Bill Murray.

Supermodel Cindy Crawford (left) and actors Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt (right) board a boat for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding celebrations.

Clooney’s father, a journalist and former TV news anchor, gave a heart-warming speech: “The loveliest, most intriguing city on the planet. Check. A glittering assembly of accomplished people. Check. A beautiful bride. Check. A nervous groom. Check.”

Sunday

On Sunday, Amal looked stunning in a lace long-sleeved Giambattista Valli haute couture dress dotted with bright flowers.

 

Monday

Following the amazing three-day Venetian wedding celebration, the marriage between the British-Lebanese lawyer and the Hollywood A-lister was finally made official in a 10-minute, €600 civil ceremony held at the historic 16th-century Cavalli Palace along Venice’s Grand Canal.

Amal chose a stylish, cream-colored, tailored Stella McCartney trouser suit with a matching wide-brimmed hat.

 

The Photos

The couple’s official wedding photos have been featured on various magazine covers – People in the United States, Hello across Europe and Vanity Fair Italy.

 

All profits from the couple’s wedding photos will be donated towards charity, with the bulk of the proceeds going to the Satellite Sentinel Project.

Even though Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor is off the market, at least we can look forward to seeing more of his stylish wife’s sartorial choices on the red carpet.

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Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014 – Jason Grech

One of Melbourne’s most celebrated couture houses, Jason Grech premiered its collection on the runway this week. Enchanting designs and billowing fabrics filled the stage mesmerising the audience. Jason Grech has an uncanny talent for creating breathtaking couture bridal and red carpet gowns that are both sexy and romantic.

 Photo Credits: Lucas Dawson

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Emmy Awards 2014: Red Carpet Fashion

Words: Kellianne Wong

Last week marked the biggest night of the year for TV fans, the 2014 Emmy Awards, a night of glitz, glamour and sweeping wins. While there were certainly winners in the awards department, what’s more important were the winners on the red carpet. We saw Hollywood’s hottest celebs channeling the latest in Winter/Spring trends, from 90s-inspired high necklines to plunging V-neck dresses. Paired with statement jewellery and killer accessories, these trends will give you inspiration for a sleek and sophisticated bridal look.

Leaving their little black dresses in the wardrobe, the stars instead opted for stunning white gowns. Kate Mara wowed in an angelic J. Mendel with a pearl and crystal bodice and asymmetric pleated skirt, while Padma Lakshmi and Michelle Monaghan stayed classic in white column dresses.

Necklines are a key design feature in dresses, with the ability to flatter, elongate, minimise or emphasise. The daring, deep-V neckline requires killer confidence and careful balance between classy and trashy, but when done correctly, it creates a bold and stunning look. Hayden Panettiere, Lucy Liu and Keke Palmer stepped out in dresses with eye-catching plunging necklines.

    

On the other end of the scale, the modest yet sophisticated high neckline and flirty crossover neckline are establishing themselves as more than just short-lived trends. Michelle Dockery, Taylor Schilling and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are fans of the elegant high-neck, skinny straps design.

    

A newer twist on this trend is the crossover front dress, worn by Halle Berry in a soft dusty pink and Lizzy Caplan, who opted for a stunning two-tone Donna Karan Atelier gown with cut-out detailing.

   

A trend pioneered by Angelina Jolie’s notorious Oscars look, the thigh-high slit has been popping up everywhere, including the red carpet. A deep-V and sexy peek-a-boo slit spices up Kristen Wiig’s classic Vera Wang dress, while Anna Gunn shows off some leg in an elegant one-shoulder Jenny Packham. Dare to bare with a sexy slit that will make a strong statement.

  

Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo and actresses Angela Bassett and Julia Roberts rocked long-sleeved dresses, a stylish trend that carried over from the chilly winter months. Balance the look with sheer arms like Behati or a plunging V-neckline like Ms Roberts.

     

Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt turned heads in racy backless gowns. Worn with an elegant up-do to leave the focus on the backless detail, a backless dress will make a major statement.

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2014 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet arrivals

Take a squiz at the hottest looks from from last nights MTV Video Music Awards for some gown inspiration.
We’re noticing asymmetrical styles with one shoulder, long sleeves and plunging necklines.

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Fresh is best – 7 tips to make your bouquet last longer

Jayde Ferguson has some excellent tips to keeping your bouquet nice and fresh long after your wedding.

Nothing brightens a room, and your mood, like a bunch of fresh flowers. The space is immediately enhanced, the sweet-smelling aroma lingers in the air and you can’t help but feel a little happier – that is, until they die.

Although flowers offer a mood-boosting, room-loving vibe there is nothing more depressing than when they begin to wilt. Dead petals begin to occupy your table and yet, you still find it hard to part with the once-beautiful bunch that brightened your day.

If you’re lucky, your garden may be blooming with colour making it much easier to go and pick another bunch. But for those that have received them as a gift or you’ve spent the money on them yourself – there’s nothing worse than them just going to waste after such a short amount of time.

Here are our best tips to keep your flowers lasting longer:

1. Cutting Time Matters

If you enjoy indulging in your own freshly grown flowers, when you cut them makes a difference to their lifespan. Garden flowers should be cut first thing in the morning – as early as possible. Avoid cutting them on a hot day as the sun draws moisture from the petals and they won’t last as long.

2. Remove Leaves

Before you put your flowers in a vase of water, remove any leaves from the part of the stem that will be submerged under water. Removing these lower leaves will keep the water clearer, thus provide a better and healthier home environment for your new flowers.

3. Placement is everything

Let’s face it – flowers look amazing when they’re set aside on a sunny windowsill. Because they are a plant, most people think that this is where they’ll be happiest but it’s not the case. Flowers that have been cut react the opposite to potted plants or flowers that are still growing in your garden and mature with exposure to heat and sun causing them to wilt. Flowers that have been freshly cut or bought thrive best in spots that are cooler and darker to keep them at their peak of perfection for longer.

4. Check Your Flowers Daily

Like us, flowers rely on water to keep healthy and replenished – and they drink a lot so it’s important you check your flowers daily. Keep the water level high to encourage long lasting flowers and make sure the vase or container is full so they don’t dry out. Large flower arrangements can easily drink all the water in the first day or two – be mindful of this when you first bring them home or cut them.

The water will also need to be changed every few days so bacteria don’t build up. Flowers are highly susceptible to germs but by a quick water change, even if it hasn’t been used up, your flowers will stay fresh for longer. A water change every few days will also help to avoid the rotten smell that can develop from leaving them.

5. Re-Cut Their Stems

A big mistake people make when it comes to fresh flowers is not cutting their stems once they’re on display. When you do the water change (every few days), remove the flowers from the design and re-cut the stems with a sharp knife or sharp scissors – about 5-10cm is good. This gives your flowers the best chance to drink the water. Using blunt scissors or not cutting the stems on an angle can actually destroy the water vessels and prevent adequate absorption. Sharp utensils ensure these stem cells are left unharmed.

6. Add Flower Food

As crucial as fresh water is for the survival of your flowers, so is flower food. There are homemade solutions you can make up but commercial flower packet food is recommended. Every water change, you’ll need to top the flower food up too – each packet is normally enough for one pint of water so if you’re buying the flowers from a florist, ask for a few extra packets of food.

It’s vital you don’t over feed your flowers as this can do more harm than good. In addition to the food, a small amount of bleach can be added to the water to help keep it clear of harmful bacteria. Again, using too much will kill the flowers so stick to the bare minimum – ¼ teaspoon per pint of water is best. Alternatively you can add a teaspoon of sugar to the water to help renew the flowers.

7. Take Note of What You’re Buying

When shopping for flowers, it’s easy to get distracted by the beautiful colours and varieties but there’s so much more than meets the eye. Don’t be afraid to touch the flowers before you buy them to feel how healthy they are. For example, roses should be firm where the petals meet the top of the stem. If they are soft and squishy, then the roses are old and you should avoid buying them.

Jayde Ferguson writes for A Touch of Class – Perth-based florists with a difference, sourcing only the freshest flowers daily with delivery six days a week. You can catch her on Google+.

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Organising your wedding from the other side of the world – tips for long distance planning

Wedding photography specialist and writer for Viva Photography Jayde Ferguson explores planning your dream wedding abroad.

Let’s be honest, wedding planning can get a little hectic at the best of times. The little things build up quickly, the running around and all the decisions and even when it’s right in front of you, it can be hard to keep everything together. But, if that wasn’t a challenge enough today’s increased mobility has given brides and grooms a brand new wedding planning dilemma – and that’s the long distance wedding.
Whether it’s to go back to your roots or to say ‘I do’ on an exotic island, planning a wedding from the other side of the world can make you want to tear your hair out. At the end of it though, when you’re sharing the special day with your spouse, family and friends in your awesome location – it’ll all be worth it. How do you make the ride there smooth though? We look into some tips to give you the wedding of your dreams, in the perfect location, with the least amount of stress possible.

Location, Location
The location of your wedding should be chosen carefully, from cost to guest travel and the significance of the place for you and your partner. Once you have decided on the location, consider the venue and have a wedding planner, friend or family check the place out in person and take photos. Don’t forget about your guests too; long distance weddings will require friends and family to book flights and sort out a place to stay so make sure the venue is easy to get to and near accommodation.

Know the Marriage Requirements
Once you and your partner have decided upon the location, one of the first things you need to do is check the marriage requirements. Each place has something different to consider. Some require a special wedding license and for others you will need to sign and sort out the paperwork when you get back home to make the marriage legal. It’s important you check out this information early in the planning stages (and before you start booking flights and venues).

Here or There?
Not everything you plan for your wedding will need to be done from the one location. Make a ‘here or there list’ to figure out what can be done from where you are and what can be arranged at your wedding destination. The more you can get done from where you live, the better – your dress, bridesmaid dresses, accessories, invitations and favours can all be organised from home. Catering, makeup and hair stylists will need to be booked from the wedding location or require great communication and pictures to get exactly what you are after.

Know When to Go Local
Depending on the whereabouts of your wedding, some things are just best to be done locally – whether it works out more cost effective or a better option for you and your partner. For example, some couples opt to use a photographer based in their hometown, fly them over and pay for accommodation. When there is someone you really want to work with, it can be an ideal option for many couples especially when wedding photography can be such a personal preference and tends to require meeting the photographer first. This is also a common decision with music organisation, where the band or DJ is flown over from the couple’s hometown.

Simplicity is Key
Planning a long distance wedding doesn’t need to be made any harder than it already is – so keep it simple. Minimalism will make life easier for you and take a good amount of the headache out of planning. It doesn’t mean to say though you have to opt for paper plates and plastic utensils, just be flexible with your decisions.

Plan a Planning Trip
If you have family and friends living in your chosen wedding destination, they will be able to help a lot with checking out the venue and organising things from that end. Regardless though, you and your partner will need to plan a planning trip to meet face-to-face with the venue coordinator, marriage celebrant, DJ / band and any other vendors.

Get Tech Savvy
The computer and internet will be your best friend for long distance wedding planning, especially if there’s no family or friends over there to help you out. There is nothing like face-to-face interaction during the planning stages so Skype and Facetime will be a huge help. If you have no-one to check out the venues and suppliers on your behalf, reviews on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor will be a huge help.
Apps like Dropbox and Google Docs will be perfect for sharing large files and countless amounts of quotes, emails, pictures and ideas. They will also be a great way to track the planning process and keep everything together.

Delegate
Regardless of how organised you are it’s near impossible to manage everything yourself so it’s best not to even try. Balance decisions with your partner and delegate things to organise to them, friends, family and a point of contact in your desired wedding location. Create a wedding checklist so you don’t forget any of the smaller details and assign a person you can trust to each task.

Author Bio
Jayde Ferguson writes for Viva Photography and specialises in wedding photography throughout Melbourne and Perth. Catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

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Planning an overseas wedding

Thinking of taking a trip overseas to your favourite holiday location? Why not have your wedding there too!

Many couples are moving their nuptials to an exotic location and are taking their families and friends with them for the ride. According to recent studies, Bali is one of the top wedding destination for Australian couples, followed by Thailand, Fiji and Tahiti. However, unlike planning a holiday, organising a destination wedding takes a whole lot of work, and maybe a few stressful moments.

To help couples wed overseas, the team at Cheapflights (cheapflights.com.au) have created a comprehensive and fun eBook – Getting Married Abroad.

Here are some of their top tips for planning that all important day:

  • Get your Save the Date cards out to guests as early as possible
  • Research the country you will wed in – every country has different laws, rules and regulations when it comes to wedding ceremonies
  • Speak to the wedding co-ordinator at your destination – many resorts have a qualified event planner that can help foreign couples get what they need to plan their wedding
  • Find a gown that will be easily packed, isn’t heavy and doesn’t require too much fiddling – such as a flowing kaftan or lightweight silk dress
  • Check weather forecasts for the area you would like to marry at – this helps with the theme of your wedding and also helps you decide what to pack
  • Find out what official documents you will need to have with you. This includes birth certificates, valid passports etc. They will need to be translated to the destination’s official language.
  • Decide on your budget – this is needed for any wedding, but is especially important as you can get carried away when staying overseas. Don’t forget all your guests have to book accommodation and flights too!
  • Organise some activities for your guests to do. This is after all a holiday for them too. Maybe organise special welcome packs in their rooms that introduce them to the area.

The eBook also has great suggestions on where you should have your destination wedding, from the castles of Rome to the Island of Nevis.

It may seem daunting at first, but once you are standing across from your loved one with your feet in the sand (or wherever your heart desires!) you will know planning a destination wedding was worth the trouble.

For more information and to download the eBook, visit cheapflights.com.au/travel/getting-married-abroad/

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Social Media: the Unwelcome Wedding Guest of #2014

Rachel Bentick, Bridal Coach from Inlighten wedding photography, explains how to navigate the murky waters of social media and weddings

With the wedding season truly upon us, an emerging new trend is showing that social media is fast becoming the greatest wedding crasher of all time. In earlier days, a wedding crasher was easy enough to spot, but thanks to social media, a single compulsive sharer can make a wedding privy to thousands of uninvited guests as they watch the event unfold in real time.

To put it into perspective, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush. Combine this with the knowledge that more than 90% of all humans who have ever taken a photo have only done so on a camera phone, and you can see why this phenomena is becoming a major concern to modern day couples about to tie the knot.

As a Bridal Coach from Inlighten, I have been involved with over 1,000 weddings and seen firsthand the damage that can be done by shutter bug guests. I know that social media can turn a joyful day into a catastrophic one with just a single Tweet. From unflattering photos to the untimely ‘reveal’ of the bride before the groom has even seen her, the online sharing of a couple’s eternal and extraordinarily private moment is becoming an increasingly tricky dilemma for newlyweds.

So as a wedding guest, before you whip out your phone to tweet, post or hashtag at the next wedding, take a look at my expert advice:

1. Don’t post wedding snaps on any social media site before you know what the deal is. To no-one’s surprise, newlyweds often like to be the first to share their official wedding photos with the rest of the world. So, although you can’t wait to share their special moment with 2,000 of your closest friends, think twice. Find out if the wedding is social media friendly and avoid being guilty of bursting the couple’s matrimonial bubble of bliss.

2. Do think twice about what and how often you post if social media is allowed. Just because you’ve been given the green light to chronicle the wedding online, doesn’t make it okay to post a selfie while downing shots in the bathroom after the ceremony. If you’re unsure how the bride and groom might receive your photo then don’t risk offending them. The same can be said for too many photos. Posting updates as though you’re live-streaming the wedding to a major news network is a big no-no.

3. Don’t act like the paparazzi. Unless you’ve been specifically instructed or paid to document the wedding, then you’re considered a guest. You’ve been invited to experience the wedding not capture it’s every moment, so don’t waste the big reveal by watching it through an electronic screen.

 4. Do stay out of the photographer’s way. Nothing kills the romance of a wedding better than a line of glowing iPhone screens bordering the aisle. Stopping at nothing to capture the best shot not only irritates other guests; your backside certainly won’t impress the bride and groom when it features in all of their treasured wedding photos.

And for the bride and groom, I recommend:

1. Don’t tell people they can’t take photos of themselves at your wedding. While ‘unplugged’ weddings are becoming very common, telling guests that they can’t take photos of themselves is border-lining Bridezilla. Instead, ask guests to take pictures but embargo them until after the wedding.  For ease, make this clear on your invitation.

2. Do provide guests with a hashtag. It’s becoming increasingly popular for brides and grooms to provide guests with a ‘wedding day hashtag’. Not only can it help you to monitor what’s being put online, it also means you can crowd-source candid snaps for yourself – just make sure no-one else has used the same hashtag!

For more expert wedding advice on social media wedding etiquette, click here

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