May 7th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Ruth Atkinson Photography, image source
The star students upon you that have dutifully swotted up on the first two pro posts, should now have your date, venue, budget, theme, styling and dress in place – mentally, at least – so it’s onwards we go.
Yup, things just got really real. And they’re about to get pretty (and fun!) too as we start thinking about your rockin’ reception and all of the admin and suppliers that go with it…
Beneath The Pines, image source
Once the ceremony is over and you’re signed over to each other as legal partners (whoop whoop!), couples tend to breathe a huge sigh of relief, grab a glass of fizz and are ready to start celebrating. The options to ensure that the reception starts – and continues – with a bang are endless, and now that you’ve done the serious stuff we give you permission to think about the party. Will you be looking for a DJ, or live music? Have you considered other forms of entertainment – a magician, a caricaturist, a photobooth complete with props wardrobe, garden games? Get creative and customise according to your budget – a full-scale fireworks display might be out of reach, but what about some sparklers (plus the metal pails for extinguishing them could totally fit with your rustic, barnyard styling)? Some of these options will involve hiring external suppliers, but it’s also a chance to consider the little touches you can add yourself to make the day truly personal to you. For example, a cinema-addict friend of ours added a popcorn maker and candy-striped bags to her sweet table: charming, super-sweet and – bonus! – inexpensive. Your creativity is your only limit!
Rachel Joyce Photography, image source
Will you need transport for your wedding day – from church or home to venue, or to ferry your guests about later in the evening? It’s probably time to start thinking about logistics and researching your options. Even if you’re booking taxis, you probably want to speak to a company in advance and warn them that it’s the biggest day of your life – you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised by what they throw in! When it comes to transport decisions, our advice is similar to choosing a dress – OK, you might not necessarily go for the horse-drawn Cinderella carriage or gondola ride (the transport equivalent of a full-n-frothy ballgown), but would it really hurt you to see what options are out there? Do your research and, whether you end up going for a bike or a vintage bus, make sure you ride in style!
Emily Hannah Photography, image source
In the midst of all of the planning excitement, don’t forget about your guests and your squad who got you to this day. Whether it was your mum hand-embroidering 125 napkins for favours or your #bridesquad girls who organised The Hen Do Of Dreams (and will take the specifics of your drunken rambling to the grave with them), you’ve probably got some presents to purchase. Jewellery, flowers, vouchers? Make sure you leave plenty of time to shop or order for delivery.
Jess Yarwood Photography, image source
If you’re planning on hiring in a professional to make you look your very best, it’s essential to book significantly in advance, especially if you’re getting married at a busy time for the industry (err, so every summer Saturday date). But either way, start to think about the direction you want your wedding day look to take. A month or two before the wedding you want to go through the full makeup and hair process – and time it! – and within four weeks of the wedding have your final haircut, colour and maybe even treat yourself to a facial. The week before the big day is too late – no one wants their photographs to be blighted by a facial-induced breakout.
February 2nd, 2018 | Julia Braime
While planning a wedding is super exciting, it’s also classed as one of life’s most stressful events and so it’s good to have support to hand to ensure you’re organised and not overwhelmed by the task ahead.
If you’re already feeling a buried in the wedmin, or know exactly what you want but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, then the Sponsor we’re introducing on the blog today is going to be very useful to you. So, join us as we welcome professional wedding planners Andrea Swift (Northern Ambassador and Supreme Member of UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) and Debbie Rainford (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) of Fabulous Together.
Dubbed as “Fairy Godmothers” and “Secret Weapons” these are the ladies in the know, who can help bring your wedding dreams to fruition. Whether you require a full or partial planning service Andrea and Debbie will be there to bounce ideas off, provide professional advice and banish any pre-wedding worries.
So, let’s hear more from the dynamic duo on how their approach, services and style.
Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how was Fabulous Together was formed?
andrea & debbie say: After working together on several large-scale luxury weddings we had a ‘lightbulb’ moment – we realised that we not only shared the same ethos, the same professional values and the same sense of fun, but ultimately, the same vision. By combining our experience and expertise, we decided we could offer the region the ultimate luxury wedding planning service: Fabulous Together Weddings.
Why would you advise couples to hire a wedding planner?
Planning a wedding can be really stressful and we know how time consuming it can be too. A big part of our role is to match our clients with people we think will best suit their style, vision and personality, then deliver the wedding day they had always dreamed of and we keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest trends, ensuring each individual wedding has its own unique ‘wow’ factor.
Can you outline the services that you offer to brides and grooms?
Our Full Planning Service includes a detailed consultation and bespoke proposal after which clients are assigned a senior planner who will remain by their side throughout the whole process.
Our Partial Planning package would be better suited to those clients who have already undertaken some of the planning themselves. Fabulous Together Weddings will review all bookings and plans to-date, manage the booked suppliers and stay with the couple right to the end of the wedding day, ensuring everything flows smoothly.
Proving that distance really doesn’t need to be a barrier when creating your dream wedding, our Fabulous Together Weddings’ unique Destination UK service is perfect for couples who live overseas but want to marry in the UK.
What would you say to couples who think hiring a wedding planner means they will lose control of their wedding day?
Absolutely not! The relationship we have with our couples is always collaborative. We are here to help and bring their ideas to life. Think of us as super organised fairy godmothers – we’ll offer professional advice when it’s needed, banish worries and ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
What area of planning would you say that couples find the most stressful and how can you help?
It is always hard keeping everyone happy and it can be a delicate balancing act, especially where parents are concerned. As we have so much experience in dealing with these sometimes tricky situations, we can provide an independent view that often puts things into perspective. That and the weather! We always ensure we have a good Plan B so we are prepared for whatever the British climate throws at us!
What is it that you love about the world of weddings and what is the favourite part of your job?
Sometimes it’s the simplest thing, that moment in the ceremony where the couple are officially married – the kiss, the love, the intimacy of it all – we feel privileged to be a part of it. But we also love hearing the guests chanting for one more song on the dance floor after a stunning band set or catching them talking in the toilets about it being the best wedding they have ever been to! At the end of it all we can slip quietly away knowing we have helped our couple have the very best day imaginable!
Are you noticing any trends in weddings at the moment and, if so, what are they?
A key element now though is that couples want the wedding to last as long as possible. We are seeing more and more ‘wedding weekends’ often at lavish venues, but increasingly at home or in the grounds of a close family member’s property, providing a more personalised option.
Do you have any particular memorable moments from weddings you’ve organised?
Lots and lots of memorable moments, yes, but some real stand out ones include the groom and his eight best men singing as they walked down the aisle, it was a definite ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ moment. Of course, it did help that they were all professional singers! Then there was the wedding where we were waiting (outside in the rain), to get a call from Heathrow airport to see if the cloud base was high enough for our couple’s air acrobatic display to take place – it meant that Heathrow would have to alternate take off and landings to allow for the seven-minute display – when they finally said yes, we literally had two minutes to get the guests outside and in position. It was stressful but completely amazing when it happened as if on cue.
July 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
One piece of precious advice from our featured brides that comes around time and time again is “make it your own”. But with wedding inspo coming at you from all angles, it can sometime be a little tricky to know how to put a truly personal stamp on the proceedings.
Luckily for our readers, we just happen to know an expert in this area who is a pro at taking wedding styling to the next level of gorgeous, while it still remaining a reflection of the happy couple. So please prepare to take note as our wonderful Sponsor Louise Hughes, the fabulously stylish event designer behind One Stylish Day, takes to the blog…
louise says: When browsing Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll see the same wedding trends come up over and over again. They may look fabulous, but are a bit, well, ‘done before’. You want to create a dream day that will surprise and delight your guests. So, how can you design a wedding day that doesn’t look like all the rest? Here, I share my top ten tips for creating a wedding day that is both achingly stylish and completely personal to you…
Know the difference between trends and style
The key difference between trends and style is that a trend is for everyone, whereas style is deeply personal. Trends can be fleeting but style has longevity. Great style has confidence and authenticity – focus on finding your own personal wedding style for a truly unique day.
Identify your Couple Style
Think beyond superficial fashion or design details to get to the heart of what makes you tick as a couple. Are you fun-loving explorers or city dwelling culture vultures? Are you famous for your cocktail parties or kitchen table suppers? The wedding style should be comfortable for both of you and reflect both your personalities.
February 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Following a surge of engagements over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s, we’ve been welcoming lots of lovely new brides-to-be to our pretty pages. If you’re one of them you may well be looking to steam straight into the wedding planning process, though feel a little overwhelmed with all the different elements to consider.
What areas should you tackle first, where should you invest the majority of your time and effort, and what should you look for in suppliers? Here to assist with some of the questions is our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning catering and events specialist Dine.
Catering for more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team has drawn on its vast experience of hospitality and event management, whilst also taking into account comments from some of its happy newlywed couples, to share its top ‘do and don’t’ tips to planning the perfect wedding.
We will be hosting one of our Luxury Bridal Show with the Dine team at its flagship venue The Mansion at Roundhay Park in Leeds, on Sunday 12th March, 11am till 3pm, free entry where you can gain further pointers and advice while meeting some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers. You can pre-register for the free-entry event here.
Now, on with those tips…
Images supplied by Dine/ Joel Skingle Photography
make sure you do
Give yourself plenty of time to plan and appreciate every part of the process. As the actual day goes by so quickly make sure that the anticipation and build up is also something you will remember with fondness.
Think carefully about the expense and research all aspects to ensure that your budget isn’t overstretched. You may well end up spending more than you originally planned. Wedding planners like ourselves can be a great asset when it comes to budget planning, as we have lots of experience and can advise where savings can be made and where it is worth splashing out.
Book the main aspects of the wedding such as venue, photographer and the registrar first as these often get booked up the quickest. Once these have been sorted it’s much easier to plan the rest of your wedding around them. For example, if your wedding is going to be in a stately home you may decide to theme the day accordingly.
To avoid disappointment, sit down with your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure they are fully aware of what you want to achieve and the photographs you’d like to be taken.
Communicate with each other and family, friends and suppliers. It is important that both the bride and groom with the plans for the day and communication is the best way to make sure this happens.
Remember that you have your partner to rely on. Even if everything feels like it is getting out of hand, the relationship between you and your partner means more than anything and should come before any wedding planning.
Make sure you involve all of your guests on the day as it is important everyone has fun. Think of the different age groups that will be present and plan elements, such as food and entertainment, accordingly.
Enjoy the day! It goes by in a flash so make sure to take it all in and take time out with your partner. Having an events caterer such as Dine means that you can spend more time with each other, as they will be checking everything runs smoothly, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy.
Leave planning to the last minute. Foresight saves you money, hassle and stress and no stress means you enjoy planning the big day far more.
Book suppliers that you don’t trust or whose work you haven’t looked at otherwise there’s a very high chance you’ll be unhappy with the results. Responsible suppliers also mean that on the day you can relax as you know they will be doing a great job.
November 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime
An expert in both catering and event management, some might think that Michelle would have it easy planning her own big day, but having seen so many weddings from week to week she was looking for something that bit different.
Cue a stunning lakeside wedding at the beautiful Lingholm Estate near Keswick, with a church ceremony, followed by marquee (top class) wedding breakfast and a stately home evening party. Impressed? Us too!
We must say Michelle and her beau Adam pulled off a truly elegant wedding to perfection with Michelle looking nothing short of stunning in her swoon-worthy Pronovias gown.
So let’s hand over the blog to the leading lady herself to tell us more about her dream day…
With images by Wynn Davies Photography.
michelle says: We got engaged on the 14th December 2014. We went on a weekend away with some friends on the Isle of Arran where Adam spent a lot of his childhood with his grandparents. On the very last day we went for a walk on the beach in the pouring rain and he proposed; after nine years of being together it was a big shock. I remember a lady walking past with her dog, saying “Isn’t it a miserable day” and I was ecstatic! He knew I loved all things vintage and had bought the ring six months beforehand in Whitby. The ring dates back to 1909.
We set the date for 3rd September 2016, as Adam’s birthday is on the 9th of September and he always has great weather. However, on the 3rd, it didn’t stop raining – all day!
Being a wedding planner and events caterer I have been to a lot of wedding venues so it was very difficult to find somewhere that I hadn’t worked at, or that was a bit different. Adam actually chose the venue after working up in the Lake District. The venue is owned by friends and has only been a wedding venue for a very short time. It is truly breath-taking; it is called The Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter wrote many of her books. It’s situated on Derwentwater, not far from Keswick.
We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. The sail cloth marquee that we hired from Paul at Shades, had transparent sides all the way around and so I wanted the view to be the focal point. The later part of the evening was up in the house, where we just lit all the fire places with hundreds of candles, contrasting with the old panelled wood, it looked lovely.
Our colour scheme was gold and cream, with blush tones brought in by the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties.
Choosing a dress when I see them every week turned out to be hard. I wanted something less weddingy! My only conditions were no lace or sparkles, I wanted something elegant and super plain. I chose two dresses from Pronovias that they were able to combine. I had a capped sleeve, fitted, slightly fish tailed dress with a low back and buttons to the floor with a detachable bustle which made the most beautiful train. I didn’t want to take it off! I bought the dress from Eternity Bridal in Warrington.
Adam wore a Hugo Boss black suit, shoes, socks and shirt. All the gents had personal cufflinks made by Chimo Holdings, my father’s silver company in Sheffield. All the cufflinks were personalised with my nana’s hallmark.
For our wedding transport, we used my father’s car, which used to belong to my uncle, who has sadly passed away. The bridesmaids’ car was Adam’s BMW, which I had bought a personalised number plate for as a little pressie.
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August 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We all know that while wedding planning can be a fun and exciting, it can also be a daunting and stressful task, which is why having an expert to help can really lighten the big day load.
Contrary to what some may think, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t mean a couple are left out of the decision-making, but instead the bride and groom-to-be work with a professional who knows the industry like the back of their hand to piece together their perfect big day, saving time, and in some cases money, along the way.
Cue an introduction for our fabulous new Sponsor, wedding planner Justine Vincent of Silver Sixpence Weddings. Whether a couple just need assistance certain elements, such as venue and supplier suggestions, or instead want a professional on hand at every point of the planning journey for guidance and inspiration, Justine is the lady for the job.
Described by her clients as “amazing” and “a godsend” perhaps we could all do with a Justine to organise our busy lives, but for now we’ll leave her explain how she can help to plan your perfect big day…
Tell us a little about your background and how you came to set up Silver Sixpence Weddings?
justine says: As long as I can remember I’ve always loved planning! Whether it’s been a party, corporate event, holiday or wedding. Over the years I’ve helped many friends, family and even the odd work colleague plan their special day. Before starting my new business I worked various organisational/planning roles, however these were never as fulfilling as my passion for wedding planning – for me was the best thing ever.
After having my little boy I decided it was the right time for me to do the one thing that I have wanted to do all my life and that was to become a wedding planner. After lots of research in to the wedding industry, hard work and planning Silver Sixpence Weddings became a reality.
Do you offer full planning packages or can couples opt to just use one or two services, such as venue search assistance?
I do offer a full planning package, however this I know is not necessarily for everyone. That’s why I offer a number of services, including venue and supplier searches as well as on the day management to ensure the smooth running of the day from the bride and groom’s perspective. As I’m independent anything can be tailored to suit each and every couple. I can even help the bride to find her perfect dress!
Do you offer your services nationwide or just in a particular area?
At this moment in time my clients are Yorkshire based, however I’m more than happy to travel to any couples that require my help.
What is it that you love about working in the wedding industry?
I love all the different people that I meet in my job. These people enable and help me to create a wedding that’s as individual as my couples’ personalities. Creating ideas with them and seeing them come to fruition is truly amazing. What could be any better than being involved in the best day of someone’s life?
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