The Utterly Inessential Wedding Shopping List: From beautiful bouquets to romantic getaways

As the excitement of last night begins to fade into memory, we hold dear in our hearts those who are about to embark on months and months of careful planning, menu tasting and reckless spending. Alexandra Fraser presents to you everything you (may or may not) need to get through the wedding planning season and your special day.

The day after Valentine’s Day is a relief to many: the ones who can wake up well-rested and reassured that their loved one will continue to love them for at least another week in light of such a romantic evening, the ones who can wake up safe in the knowledge that their single status will no longer be thrown in their faces by every shop, restaurant and cute couple in town and the most-relieved, the true masters of expectation-management, those who wake up and realise that their partner also forgot to do anything for them. Thank goodness.

However, for one group of people, this morning will not come as a relief, but as the start of a twelve-month rollercoaster of tulle and table placements. For them, this morning will have been a flurry of phone calls to family members, to caterers, to locations which are out of their price range but firmly in their dreams.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newly-engaged. Newly-engaged, I give you our wedding team’s must-purchases for that special day which now seems so much closer than it did yesterday.

Oh, and congratulations.

One for the men before they stop reading

Acqua di Parma

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Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is his special day, too. Acqua di Parma hasn’t forgotten, which is why they opened Barbiere, a grooming shop in Selfridges. Sure, he only shrugged when you told him about your spa day with the girls, so show him how fun it can be by booking him and his groomsmen in for a quick trim or two.

Hair tidy-up £20, traditional Italian shave £45, see full list at

Roses are red, violets are purple. Sorry.

Living National Treasure - Florist

Florist Shane Connolly believes that couples are becoming more aware of the season and sourcing of their flowers, so have a quick google of what’s blooming around your chosen date before you set your heart on snowdrops in May. The upcycling of flowers after weddings is another great trend, with charities such as Floral Angels recycling wedding flowers for hospices and hostels.

Contact Shane Connolly for a quote at

A handy list for honeymoon bliss

Royal Davui Island, Fiji - fit for a royal honeymoon

Just book one. Don’t look back.

Click here to see our top ten best travel and honeymoon spots of the last year.

A spectacular idea 

Fireworks are sure to add a bang to any party and your wedding should be the party of the century (and definitely better than your sister’s last year). Serena Foyle advises keeping them a secret for maximum impact, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll accidentally tell people during your vows. Choose a great soundtrack and some colour-changing rockets and you’ll have an incredibly memorable end to a beautiful night.

Foyle Fireworks start from £1,500 per minute.

Something blue for you

CAUDEDO - BLUE - SATIN_262542162_469268371

What could be a better something blue than a blue shoe? This subtle satin is so icy that it wont detract attention from your dress, while still nodding gently to a tradition older than time (not really. Victorians times at the oldest).

Caudedo blue satin pumps, £620, Manolo Blahnik,

Something blue two

Wild Bluebell Cologne 100ml_262542212_469268371

…and something ‘borrowed’ too, when your favourite perfume runs out during the honeymoon.

Bluebells symbolise constancy and everlasting love; I cant think of a better way to start the rest of your lives together than with the scent of them in the air (I’m not crying, you’re crying).

Wild Bluebell Cologne from Jo Malone, £94 for 100ml,

If you purchased our entire shopping list this week, you will have spend £6,674 and from the bottom of my heart and the entire Country Life team, congratulations and best of luck for your future together. Our address is on the website, I’ll await my invitation in the mail. 

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An experienced father of two brides, Alan Titchmarsh offers advice on what's involved in hosting a wedding at home, from