Wrapping a Wedding Gift and making it stand out on the present table

With Summer here and your close friends tying the knot, it’s your chance to be Wrapping a Wedding Gift and making it stand out, making the special couple feel rewarded. Even if you’re giving money or a voucher, we can make your gift look fabulous on the present table.

Arranging a wedding can be a joy but it also involves a lot of hard work, coordinating, planning and organising.  Each bride is the proverbial graceful swan, paddling away like crazy, to ensure that everything appears perfect.  Extensive effort is invested in colour schemes, dress designs, fabrics, flowers, table arrangements, stationery designs, favours, photography, menus, venues and honeymoon plans, to list but a few ‘things to do’….

gift wrapped wedding

As a guest, turning up beautifully turned out is a courteous duty to your, no doubt, immaculately polished hosts and, after you have been invited to share this precious and poignant moment in their lives, to observe, dine and celebrate, it is a wonderful gesture to, not merely give a considered gift but to present or, indeed, have delivered, a perfectly and elegantly embellished feast for the eyes, in the form of a thoughtfully wrapped and individually outstanding present.

The bride will appreciate such a wonderful gesture, as she has, no doubt, spent many months, at the very least, considering every last detail of every last minute of this very special occasion.

jane means ribbons

Salmon Ribbon by Jane Means

Your gift may not be the most expensive or flamboyant but it can be remembered for being the most perfectly packaged and for being the gift the happy couple least wanted to open because the wrapping was so utterly charming.

Sometimes it all comes down to the intricate detailing and sometimes simplicity stands out…

 

pleated wedding gift

 

Narrow grey ribbon by Jane Means

Japanese Pleating.
Just as pin-tucked, fine silk pleating adds detailed embellishment to an elegant wedding gown, once mastered, this simple paper-folding technique adds intriguing intricacy and individuality to your wrapped wedding gift.  If the bride’s colour choices are known, carefully selected papers and ribbons can also compliment her colour scheme.

 

wedding present ideas

 

Papers by Fox and Lark
Sage Ribbon by Jane Means

Joining Papers.
Just as the happy couple will be joining their hands in marriage, two contrasting papers can be used to wrap their wedding gift.  Cover the join with a good quality ribbon, tied in a bow, that may secure two small rings (curtain rings look effective, fresh or dried flowers or, if it is appropriate, a pendant in the shape of a cross.

 

Giftwrapped - Champagne bottle, step 8

Champagne.
A very special bottle of wine or good quality champagne makes a lovely wedding gift but many people tie a tag to the neck of the bottle and stop there.  We can do much better than that!  With contrasting tissue papers, shiny cellophane, ribbon and the accessories of sparkly confetti or flower stems, a bottle can become an ornamental vase of a gift.  A generous helping of confetti between the tissue paper and cellophane adds real sparkle to your champagne!

 

map gift wrapping

 

Fern Stripe Ribbon by Jane Means

Theming.
Perhaps the happy couple are adventurous travellers and a more personalised gift wrapping style would really appeal to them… Do you know where they are going on their honeymoon?  If so, use a map of that destination to wrap your gift, ribbons of that country’s flag and a card-backed photograph or postcard of the location as a gift tag.

 

wedding gift wrapping

Boxed simplicity.
Simple boxes are perfect to be dressed for a wedding celebration.  With wedding veil net wrapped around and secured with a bunch of faux roses, an ornate broach or adapted hairclip or piece of jewelry, they look dramatic and yet are very quick to wrap.  A generous, soft lining of contrasting tissue paper also adds a little richness to whatever delights lie inside the box.

 

Jane Means gift wrapping

 

Glitter Paper by Marshalls

For the bride who loves bling!  Wrapping your gift in sumptuous velvet will immediately make it stand out from the crowd.  Jewel colours of emerald green, amethyst purple or ruby red will add to the drama and, tied with a matching metallic edged, wide wire ribbon bow and dressed with lots of wired cut glass and metallic beads, your gift will have glamour and beg for the spotlight. I also love to wrap wedding gifts in bling paper and this glitter one was a remnant from Christmas. With a rich embellishment added your gift will look a million dollars.

wedding wrapped gifts

Romantic silk, pink and pearls.  A parcel presented, wrapped in light pink silk in combination with a pretty floral, pleated paper, tied with darker pink ribbon and entwined and draped with strings of pretty bridal pearls will look innocent and sweet.  Remnants of fabric can be purchased cheaply and make great wrapping for many occasions.  Add a sprig of pink and cream flowers to this gift box for extra femininity and romance. You can even use a paper tablecloth and netting as I have done here.

marbled paper

 

 

Rossi Marbled Paper by Jane Means

This luxurious Rossi marbled paper is perfectly suited to a wedding gift’s presentation.  The rich texture and variegated colours of this Italian, handmade and unique paper can be complimented with green or pink ribbon. This is a great look for a Winter wedding too.

muted ribbons floral s

 

Ribbons by Jane Means

Plain brown paper dressed up for the occasion with grosgrain ribbon, and a bouquet of (artificial) flowers, proves that it is the ‘little black dress’ of the gift-wrapping world.  It may be simple, but, with the appropriate accessorizing, it works for any occasion.

Floral gift wrapping

 

Ribbon by Paperchase
Tag by Jane Means

One step beyond, you could even tie in fresh flowers such as hydrangeas on the day for that dramatic rich look

Whatever you give to the Bride and Groom, with a little thought and effort it will make them feel really special on their Wedding Day.

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve been creative with your gift wrapping too!

 

 

 

Categories: Inspiration, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our wedding in Lake Como

wedding ring cushion

Over the years I have been to plenty of weddings, and have pretty much covered everything from being a bridesmaid 5 times, to a best man, florist, gift list person, hen weekend rep and of course the ribbon person…called in to do cars and pews.  This time I was going to be a bride.

 

Italian wedding prosecco

Normally I don’t shout out too much about my personal life, but I’ve had endless requests for an insight in to the wedding, and many of you have asked what ribbon did I use, to what dress did I wear, what flowers, food and colours and who is the new husband?

Italian wedding canapes

 

We do have a pretty unique story. I was working for Dior in Milan and met David in Malpensa airport after he threw his passport at me to keep his place in the queue, when our flight was cancelled because of snow a few years ago. Several months later we got together and met for a coffee and the rest is history.

Jane Means and husband David

To be honest getting married has never really bothered me, it’s more about being with the right person.  We got engaged en route to India and had a week to talk about our wedding plans  We wanted a total mixture of mountains, water, something cosmopolitan yet informal, special details and very intimate with only our close circle of friends and immediate family.

lake como wedding

As we met in Milan, we decided to marry there, and chose the stunning Villa del Balbianello in Lake Como as our venue (The James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ was filmed here as well as other films).

villa del balbianello wedding

With busy careers and only 6 months to plan our wedding we enlisted the help of Lake Como Wedding planner Rachel Birthwistle who did a fantastic job.

Intimate wedding

 

Getting married in Italy is certainly a challenge.  We did the notice of Impediment at Marylebone Town Hall (in the exact room where Paul McCartney married Linda!), and the documents then had to be sent to the Immigration Service in Milton Keynes, before being sent to Lenno Town Hall in Italy (this is when we let Rachel take over!)

Jane Means with her father

 

Getting married for the first time later in life, the thought of a big fat white meringue and a dribble of bridesmaids filled me with horror, so I decided to go for 1950’s glamour with a  twist of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. Here my dad is eagerly awaiting to walk me up the aisle at long last.

Stephanie Shine Pillbox hat powder blue

 

By pure fluke, I ran in to Karen Millen after a quick lunch in Soho and there was my dress… A chic powder blue satin fitted dress. I loved the bow detail at the back and knew it was a great detail as so many wedding photographs are behind the bride and groom.  The best thing is that it was in a sale! I added an Ostrich Feather Cape from Monsoon for the chilly evening and dressed it with quilted shoes and my favourite nude clutch bag from Dior.

powder blue felt pillbox hat

My very good friend Stephanie Shine is a  talented milliner (you will have seen her hats at Ascot and Royal Weddings to name a few) and I was lucky enough to have one made for a wedding present.  She created it in days with help of some sketches and I was over the moon with it.  My hairdresser Yvonne Bell from Bailgate Hair  also came out to Lake Como and did a great job of my hair, giving it a fun and natural look.

rustic wedding pew flowers italian

Having been a florist previously in life and the rip off price of wedding flowers, I decided to do all of my own flowers including my bouquet, and with Rachels help, I popped along to the florist wholesaler in Como and did everything in a day.

wedding flowers by Jane Means

We were lucky enough to use beautiful candle holders and vases from a big American society wedding several days before (that Stevie Wonder had played the piano at!).

wedding velvet ribbon

I designed my own ribbon, a baby blue and off white Stripe that I called ‘Como stripe’ and decided that this was a complete one off design for my own wedding. I also love the luxury element of velvet, so added in powder blue velvet to decorate the chairs and vases.

 

wedding place settings

 

I have always loved cameo brooches and designed a silhouette logo with the help of the talented designer Abigail Warner who put it all together from my amateur photos.

villa del balbianello wedding

With only 20 guests at our ceremony in Italy, we certainly had a really special celebration.  We wrote some of the vows ourselves and everyone had a little job or honour to do which made it even more personal.

lake como intimate wedding

 

With both of us having such demanding careers, we wanted to have some time alone during the day to take everything in.  Not only were we blessed with the view of the lake, mountains and surroundings, but the weather was perfect!

Lakeside wedding

One of my favourite moments was enjoying quality time with friends and family.  Here we are joined by good friends Artist Suzi Morris and film director Tristan Loraine, catching up on lost time whilst overlooking the lake during sundown.  It was heaven.jane means wedding ceremony Italy

I have always loved Lake Como.  On my first school skiing trip aged 14, I remember seeing the lake in moonlight whilst driving through the mountains to the resort.  I’ve never forgotten that tranquil picture, and to me it is one of the most special places I have visited in the world.  Little did I know that I would be married there.

jane means wedding dress

 

 

 

Despite working harder than ever before, I have had the most incredible year with my career.  Although we enjoyed getting married in Italy, it was straight back to work.  The last 3 months have been fully booked with private clients, luxury brands, Harrods gift wrapping training, radio and television appearances, demonstrations in Liberty’s windows and gift wrapping for the likes of Chanel, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Jack Wills and Selfridges.

borabora

I am working right through until Christmas eve, and we will finally get away for our honeymoon in Tahiti (and a well earned rest) on Christmas Day!

 

 

 

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Themes, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dyeing your own ribbon

For many years when my clothes have started to look a bit shabby, I have popped them in the washing machine with a sachet of machine dye and have been delighted with the results.

beetroot balls

I have often looked at black coffee, black tea and beetroot juice and thought I would take the plunge this week and have a go at dyeing ribbons the natural way.  I particularly love beetroot in salads and usually use the juice to make a vinaigrette.  This time I had my eye on the juice for something else….a natural dye!

white stitched ribbon

 

So I picked a white stitched ribbon from the shelves of the Haberdashery Closet and wanted to see if it worked, and if so what shade of pink I would be left with?

beetroot bowl

 

I placed the ribbon in the beetroot juice and left it for about an hour to work its wonders.  I’m sure if I had left it overnight, I would have ended up with a richer shade, however curiosity got the better of me!

pink stitched ribbon curl

 

I was really pleased with the soft shade of pink that appeared and the vintage tone works so well with lace and delicate papers

pink ribbon spool

 

When the ribbon has dried you can wind the length of ribbon around a vintage style wooden bobbin and secured with a pin for another day

pink gift wrapping

 

With wedding season in full force, I decided to wrap a small gift adding pleats in the paper and customising it with lace

If you have any other great ingredients for dyeing fabrics and ribbons please pop a comment below!

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wedding Decorating Ideas

I have always loved beautiful presentation whether a shop window, dinner table or displays at a local farmers market or craft fair.  I especially love all of the effort and small touches that go in to a wedding and even ran my own wedding courses several years ago after styling many weddings and parties for friends.

We all love nothing more than a good wedding.  Lots of fun, laughter, new people to meet and a day full of beautiful dresses, hats, delicious food and wine in stunning surroundings with lots of additional touches, the cake, favours, gift table, flowers…the list goes on…

 

 

Recently I did the WedCraft event at Lincolnshire Showground and ran through several ideas in my decorating seminars and covered everything from DIY projects, table plans, bunting and even dressing the very important toilets!

 

 

Vintage milk bottles are wonderful for a few stem of flowers tied with raffia or pretty ribbons.  They can also be used for sweets and cocktails if you want the vintage twist.

 

 

They can also hold paper straws for children which always go down a storm.  I’ve also tied on a brown tag with some contrasting ribbon.

 

There are always plenty of flowers at weddings and I love to use the left over ones.  A small jug of flowers can be placed on the present table, on the bar or with a basket of toiletries in the loos.

Ribbons is a great versatile item to use. It can tie wedding favours, place settings and tags and can also make cutlery look really special.  Here I’ve tied some cutlery and placed them on a contrasting blue napkin. You can also pop a single flower or ivy leave in too to give it an extra dimension.

I love to incorporate lace too.  The romantic element can be introduced in to wedding stationery, place settings, ring cushions and flower arrangements.

 

I particularly love to tie in scented foliage and fresh flowers.  If you are trying to prepare before hand you can use dried lavender as an alternative.

 

 

I love it tied in to gifts too, and here I’ve used our Lavender stitched grosgrain ribbon to highlight the theme.

 

 

Dried rosebuds are a fantastic medium to use.  The can be scattered on tables, placed in shot glasses or a large vase and can easily be glued on to favour boxes and tags.

 

If you are wishing to give vouchers or tokens to friends and relatives who have helped on the big day, place the item in a pretty envelope and tie on an artificial rose.  This is also a lovely idea for favours too.

 

 

I love this heart shaped candy, and these too can be scattered on tables as a decoration, placed in glasses as a feature or glued on to labels and favour boxes.

 

As a kid I loved ‘Love Hearts’ (and still do!).  These can be used as an alternative to heart shaped candy and rosebuds and make a fun and nostalgic decoration.

 

Paper flowers are extremely useful for wedding styling.  I have glued them on to a photo frame for a table plan, as well as use them on favour boxes and place settings. You will usually find these in a good bakery or sugar craft shop.

 

 

They are a great embellishment if you are wrapping wedding gifts.  On this project I have wrapped a luxurious body scrub for a bride to take away on a Caribbean honeymoon.

 

Washi tape is a real must for decorating and you can add it to anything from photo frames, furniture, wrapping paper and tags.

 

Whatever the style of your big day, the one thing I always remember along from the great company, gourmet food and stunning venues are the small touches.  Photographers are always quick to pick this up too and for many more tips and ideas, check out my wedding board on Pinterest.

 

Having just got engaged myself, I will be putting lots of ideas together for my forthcoming wedding in September, and will keep you posted on developments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Projects & Demos, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , ,