Carmen Weddings » the little blog home of : carmen weddings

I’ve been spending a little time going through organising my blog layout as things changed when I moved to my new website… and then recently came to realise that one of my favourite inspiration shoots was never blogged on here!

Oh how could I forget this? A shoot planned from six thousand miles away AND we had it grace the very wonderful pages of Style Me Pretty.

I thoroughly enjoyed planning this alongside Hong Kong blogger, Bridelicious and putting together a gorgeous shoot with an amazing team in both Hong Kong and the UK.

Chinoiserie Chic 1

Our idea was to show how weddings in this vibrant city can be small and personalised, with an emphasis on DIY details and decorative items that can be easily found in Hong Kong; Bridelicious had birdcages and bamboo steamers painted, napkin rings were made using Chinese motifs and the bride and groom’s chair decoration were made using jade beads. We used a mixture of soft, elegant flowers and bright coral flowers gorgeously put together by Divine Floreal and paired with pops of teal coloured tea tins and bamboo steamers to create a modern and playful setting. Carnations are rarely used in Hong Kong weddings and we wanted to show how versatile and pretty this type of flower could be.

Most of the weddings in Hong Kong are held in hotel ballrooms which can sometimes be stifling, not only for the bride and groom but also the guests. From the outset, our aim was to team up with a venue that is both intimate and beautiful; to create a feeling of being a million miles away from the bustling city. One Thirty One in Sai Kung was the perfect location for our shoot, with the outdoor space as well as the British inspired wooden panelled interior, which added a sophisticated touch. We were also mindful that the shoot was a reflection of Hong Kong talent and therefore, chose mainly Hong Kong based vendors to collaborate with.

We chose this particular dress by Ranee K as she creatively transforms the Cheongsam (the Chinese dress that’s traditionally long with short sleeves) into a gown that can be worn by modern brides who usually seek for more Western-styled wedding dresses. As much as we could, we made sure to tie in the different elements from different vendors together, be it the water coloured invitation suite designed by Kalo Make Art with the dessert table that was deliciously created by Patisseries A Legna.

We were both in awe of Jada Poon’s photography, and her perfection in creating fine art images was exactly what we had in mind. She beautifully captured the details and the fabulous views at this stunning venue, bringing out the best in all the vendors.
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Planning + Design – Carmen Weddings | Design + Styling – Bridelicious | Photography – Jada Poon Photography | Floral Design – Divine Floreal | Wedding Dress – Ranee K | Stationery – Kalo Make Art | Venue – One Thirty One | Bridal Accessories –  Littledate | Bridal Shoes – DYOS| Cake + Desserts – Patisseries A Legna | Chair Rentals – Ginger | Film – Allora Visuals | Hair + Makeup –  She Make Up Studio

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  • April 22, 2015 - 10:51 am

    Katherine - Lovely shoot! I really like the floral arrangements and the flower on that wedding cake. Beautiful and elegant theme!

  • April 26, 2015 - 4:33 pm

    Carmen - Thank you Katherine!


Oh my heart – as soon as I set eyes on Yaxin + David’s wedding photos, it was just bursting with love, admiration and a huge amount of pride.

Love for every capture of the Bride + Groom. Of the sweet details. Of every loving moment. Of every emotion.

Admiration for the incredible wedding team.

Pride for what we’ve brought to life for this very lovely couple.


Eighteen months ago I was elated when Yaxin + David asked me to be their wedding planner. I knew from our first Skype call that we would be a perfect match. I instantly felt I understood their vision and I wanted nothing other than to create a day which was personal and beautiful for them. A day they would remember forever.

In May 2013 we had venue visits from Berkshire to Yorkshire and it wasn’t until they had arrived back to The USA, where they currently live, did they decide that Yorkshire will be the very place where they would  get married. The city of York was where Yaxin + David first met while studying at University and we knew that although we had visited many spectacular venues during their week visit to the UK, Castle Howard was the only venue for them.

A year of planning their Chinoiserie Elegance style day, with an amazing team on board…

this is Yaxin + David’s wedding day.


It’s been such a great pleasure working with Yaxin + David – I would like to thank them both, their families and the team for such a wonderful journey – from that very first time we visited the beautiful venues all over the UK, right to the very day we witnessed them become husband and wife.


. . . . .

Wedding Planner – Carmen Weddings | Photography – Sarah Gawler | Ceremony + Reception Venue -Castle Howard  | Hair – Emily Hawkes Bridal | Makeup – Bride’s own | Bride’s Dress – Jenny Packham | Bride’s Shoes + Accessories – BHLDN | Groom’s Suit + Tie –Acustom Apparel  | Groom’s Shirt + Cufflinks – Thomas Pink | Groom’s Shoes – Oliver Sweeney  | Bridesmaids Dresses – Donna Morgan via Nordstrom  | Groomsmen Suits – Suitsupply |  Groomsmen’s Ties –Burberry  | Stationery –Artcadia & Noble Fine Arts | Flowers – Michele Gledhill Flowers & Styling | Cake – Quite Contrary Cakes  | Music – Strelitzia String Quartet Band – The Scoundrels via Alive Network |  Videographer –Wedding Film Studio

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  • October 29, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    betta - What a stunning wedding! And, my o my, Sarah’s pictures are divine! Absolutely gorgeous Carmen! xx

  • October 31, 2014 - 10:04 am

    Carms - Thank you so much Betta! xoxo

  • November 21, 2014 - 12:56 pm

    LucyL - Oh my word, what an amazing wedding!! The pictures just took my breath away! I can’t stop staring at the beautiful bride and all the intricate details! Thanks for sharing Carmen.

    PS, I hope motherhood is bringing you many joys xx

  • November 25, 2014 - 8:12 pm

    Carms - Hi Lucy, Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s one wedding I’m so proud to have been a part of.
    Being a mami has completely changed my world – for the better of course! Thank you once again for your sweet blog comment Lucy xoxo

  • March 21, 2015 - 2:24 pm

    Earcandy G - Absolutely stunning wedding photos! The umbrella was such an intricate touch! Gorgeous location too.

Never have I ever been so besotted with anyone like I am with this girl. Yes, I can finally say, this is my daughter Alana-Bo – who arrived safely on 19th June. And my goodness, I love her so, so much! So much, my heart could burst.

Alana-Bo {Bo meaning ‘precious’ in Chinese} was born exactly four weeks before her due date and it was all a huge surprise when she made her appearance.

I attended my 36 week midwife appointment that very morning not knowing that just 8 hours later I would be holding my sweet little girl in my arms. Alana-Bo was born by emergency c-section as she was breech and unbeknown to me, I was actually having contractions and was dilating very quickly. I was laying on the bed strapped to the monitor while having a joke with Paul as we tried to guess what the monitor results were showing us – Paul Googled the bottom reading and he said ‘It shows you’re having contractions!’…

I just stared at him, laughed and said “I can’t be, I can’t feel a thing!’.

Two hours later, with a rumbling tummy as I wasn’t able to eat since I was admitted, the doctor appeared and sat on the edge of the bed and said to us “You are going to meet your baby tonight – we need to send you straight down to theatre for a cesarean”

Woah… it was happening fast.

We both remained very calm but my first thought was I don’t even have a hospital bag packed for baby and we really need to be telling our parents that they will be meeting their grandchild very soon!

I was excited, nervous and feeling emotional. But above all, I was excited and could not believe that I will finally be meeting our little one. A month early.

At that point we still didn’t have a clue whether we were having a boy or girl but I was convinced I was carrying a boy.

Forty five minutes after since seeing the doctor… our little one entered the world! Yes, it really was that quick!

All I could see was a mop of jet black hair as they were checking this little person over to the right of me. I was holding my breath as the noise in the theatre meant I couldn’t quite hear our little one moaning and groaning – eventually for what felt like forever, I heard this loud cry from across the room. I could then breathe again!

Daddy cut the cord, took one look at this little person we had created and then came back over to me, kissed my forehead and told me excitedly “We have a girl!” It was then when I felt over-whelmed and emotional. Finally, she’s here. Finally I get to hold her in my arms.

This is the start of a new chapter in my life and one I’m loving every moment of.

Alana-Bo is truly precious and I’m sure every parent would agree, she really is my everything.

Carms xoxo

{our first cuddle – just minutes after Alana-Bo entered the world!}

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  • July 1, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    LucyL - MANY congratulations on your beautiful daughter Carmen! I am sure she will bring you even more joy with each day xx

  • July 8, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Carms - Thank you so much LucyL! xoxo

  • August 5, 2014 - 11:42 pm

    Lindsay - Congratulations! She is adorable!

  • September 10, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    Matt - She’s beautiful! Congratulations!!

  • September 12, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    Carms - Thank you Matt!

Tracey + Hardip’s wedding will brighten up your day in so many ways.

This is the gorgeous wedding of a couple who were an absolute joy to work with and I’m grateful to them for having me. Anyone who knows me and who has followed my journey since the start of Carmen Weddings will know I have a huge love for fusion weddings – the colours, the traditions and that added uniqueness of who they are as individuals and as a couple. This sums up Tracey and Hardip’s very special celebration.

On their wedding morning I was greeted by a calm bride, her bridesmaids and three amazing gowns – and Elie Saab was Tracey’s chosen designer for her main white gown. Simply stunning. But they were all beautiful and I couldn’t wait to see Tracey make her entrance in each and every one of them. But first, the bride was beautifully made up by the lovely Mariam Jensen and hair with Jenny of Yuko London.

That morning the weather was a little unpredictable – sunny, then drizzly, sunny, then cloudy… and all I could think about was ensuring Tracey and Hardip were going to have their beautiful outdoor ceremony in the gardens they both so hoped for. But in the meantime, the fantastic team at Euphoric Flowers were creating some incredible arrangements for the bride and groom and adding some gorgeous touches for the ceremony.

The day flowed smoothly with beautiful traditions such as the Chinese Tea Ceremony and the Indian Sagan. In The Orangery the most amazing cake and dessert table by Rachelle’s created a wow factor, the fab team at Simon Clarke Films were capturing all those precious moments, emotions and details… and one of the best moments for everyone has to be when the grooms ultimate favourite band made their surprise appearance for their guests to kick start the evening – The Brand New Heavies!

You can see  how this very pretty day flowed by these stunning captures from a very wonderful and talented photographer – Marianne Taylor

Marianne Taylor PhotographyElie Saab Wedding Dress - Marianne Taylor PhotographyChinese Bridal Make Up - Marianne Taylor PhotographyMarianne Taylor PhotographyMarianne Taylor PhotographyNorthbrook Park Wedding - Marianne Taylor PhotographyChinese Door Games - Marianne Taylor PhootgraphyNorthbrook Park Wedding - Marianne Taylor PhotographyEuphoric Flowers - Marianne Taylor Photography

Northbrook Park Wedding - Marianne Taylor Photography

Chinese Tea Ceremony Wedding - Marianne Taylor PhotographyChinese Tea Ceremony Wedding - Marianne Taylor Photography

Chinese Tea Ceremony Wedding - Marianne Taylor Photography

Indian Sagan Wedding - Marianne Taylor Photography

Marianne Taylor Photography

Northbrook Park Wedding - Marianne Taylor PhotographyOmbre Wedding Dessert Table - Marianne Taylor PhotographyRachelle

The Brand New Heavies - Marianne Taylor Photography


. . . . .

Photography – Marianne Taylor Photography | Wedding Co-Ordination + Styling – Carmen Weddings

Venue – Northbrook Park | Dress – Elie Saab | Shoes – Jimmy Choo | Florist – Euphoric Flowers

Cake + Desset Table – Rachelle’s Bespoke Cakes | Make Up Artist – Mariam Jensen

Hair Stylist – Yuko London | Stationery – Coppia Creativa | Videographer – Simon Clarke Films

Catering – Sanctuary Catering |  Band – The Brand New Heavies

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  • February 4, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Nathalie - Buttercup Bus VW Photobooth - Wow – this wedding really caught my eye. The food issuing my tummy rumble. The traditions really add to this lovely, colourful wedding. What a gorgeous outdoor ceremony setting too!

  • February 8, 2014 - 9:55 pm

    Bernadette - Such beautiful styling Carmen, looked like a stunning wedding

  • February 10, 2014 - 12:07 pm

    Carms - It sure was a very pretty day! Thank you for your lovely comment :)

  • February 10, 2014 - 12:09 pm

    Carms - Thank you Bernadette – it was a very pretty day! x

  • June 17, 2014 - 4:54 am

    Tooba - wow it looks so beautiful . Simple,classic and stylish.

  • September 8, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    earcandy - The photography and the bride in groom in this are stunning! Fantastic work, thanks for great post as well.. The food is mouth watering :-)

  • October 10, 2014 - 6:19 am

    Phil - Hi,

    These pics make me so happy, Carmen. I’m so happy for you guys. Thank for sharing! May I feature one of your pics on a dating/social networking website I am building?

  • October 14, 2014 - 7:41 pm

    Carms - Hi Phil,

    This wedding is a clients wedding – please contact the photographer, Marianne Taylor Photography’ to ask for permission as they are copyrighted to her. Many Thanks

  • March 18, 2015 - 11:42 am

    Yogesh - Gorgeous wedding ceremony of the Chinese and Indian couple and congratulations to Tracey and Hardip. I am also a Indian guy and really glad to see here a Indian man who got married in such a wonderful way.

I can’t predict the future nor will claim to know that this new year is going to be one amazing year… but at the end of 2013, I just knew I had some very exciting planning ahead and yes, it may just be my most amazing year E.V.E.R… and here’s the very reason why…

Baby Scan 12 Weeks

… yay! hello to our little one, our bebe Muffin, who is very happily tucked inside my tummy : )

On Monday morning, when life was kinda getting back to normal after the holidays, the very first appointment we had was for our 12 weeks scan. As this little one is our first, I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew I had to drink a lot of water and be ready for that pressing down on my tummy feeling during the ultrasound!

As I laid on the bed in a dark room, Paul and I held hands and gave each other a little squeeze as the sonographer started maneuvering her device over my already biggish belly. Feeling a little anxious but then… there it was doing a little jump! I wondered whether the pressing down on my tummy startled bebe. I let out a little squeal as we spotted our baby’s head, it’s legs and the little flashing white dot of it’s heartbeat. Throughout the scan, bebe had it’s hand over it’s face too… maybe it’s a little camera shy.

Oh my, this is it. This is our little one.

Finally, we met our baby who is growing healthily inside this tummy of mine. It’s exciting. It’s a little strange and it was yet to still fully sink in that by this summer we will have a little one of our own. It’s special. It’s scary but at the same time it feels so, so natural.

Paul and I are absolutely ecstatic and with a more accurate due date, we now know he or she is due just before our 5th year wedding anniversary in July.

I have to be honest, I’ve already had to turn down weddings for this summer {which is so, so hard} but thankfully the sweet brides totally understand and I really appreciate their amazing words of congrats.

Although for now I’ve made the very difficult decision that I’ll be taking things a little slower, I am however, already taking bookings for 2015 and I’m going to spend more time on my blog as I’ve so missed it during last year as I was just so busy.

I’m really looking forward to what this year is going to bring and I hope to be sharing more features on my blog on weddings and the snippets of life as a soon-to-be-working-mami!

And in case you’re wondering if I’m beginning to show, here’s a piccie of me and my 10 week bump {I’m now 13 weeks, so a little bigger than this photo!}… from my final wedding of 2013 with the very gorgeous Laura who got married in Edinburgh back in December.

Heaps of love

Carms xoxo

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  • January 10, 2014 - 11:08 am

    Lisa Baker - Carms,

    I’m so happy for you and Paul! It is such an amazing experience and so exciting when you get to see it for the first time on the ultrasound!

    I totally understand where you are coming from with regards turning down work and having to take things a little bit slower – it doesn’t come easy when you run your own business and are used to going full throttle – but it will be totally worth it and you’ve made such a success of your business so far that you will have no trouble picking up where you left off when you decide to!

    I’ll pass on any tips I get after having our little one in March!

    Congratulations again!


  • January 10, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    Carms - Thank you so much Lisa! It was very exciting and now we cannot wait until our 20 week scan :)

    It’s amazing to know when other planners understand how hard it is having to work a little slower and every time I feel more energetic, I try work at the same pace again because that’s all we know! Thanks for the reassurance – I really hope after bebe’s arrival, I can pick it back up from where I left it.

    I look forward to your tips and I’m so very excited for you right now! Not long to go and I wish you a very healthy pregnancy over the final few months.

    Lots of love xoxo

  • January 27, 2014 - 11:27 am

    LucyL - CONGRATS Carmen, what wonderful news!! I am sure life as a mummy will bring you so much joy that you shan’t miss work too much :)

    On the other hand, I look forward to more blog posts from you!

    Lucy xx

  • January 29, 2014 - 8:08 am

    Carms - Thank you so much Lucy! It’s going to be a nice little challenge this year but all in all, it’s going to be good.

    Carms xx

  • February 8, 2014 - 10:01 pm

    Bernadette - How darn exciting, I’m so excited you’re starting your journey into parenting this blog post might be helpful

    Lots of love

    Berni xx

  • February 10, 2014 - 12:16 pm

    Carms - Thanks so much Berni! And what a fantastic post you’ve shared – it was definitely worth a read and I will no doubt re-visit again. You’ve always inspired me with running a very successful planning business, the UKAWP and juggling life with 3 children so there’s definitely no better person to write the post!! xoxo

  • February 10, 2014 - 6:10 pm

    Louise - Bow Occasions - Belated congratulations Carmen. I have only just seen your news. I too am expecting our first baby due in April. Must be the year for wedding planner babies :) I hope pregnancy is treating you well xx

  • February 11, 2014 - 11:26 am

    Carms - Congratulations to you too Louise! Not long to go until baby Bow Occasions – I hope you’ve had a good pregnancy so far. What an exciting time for us planners with so many babies due in 2014 xoxo