Brides Up North

pretty eclectic. a marquee wedding at Chirk Castle – gemma & david

October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (34)

I do love autumn.  Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.

This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.

If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.

For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.

String out the bunting…

With images by SMH Photography.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (8)

Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff.  We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.

We set the date for 25 July 2014.  We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays.  The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.

We were married at Chirk Castle.  It is one of our favourite places to visit.  We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (16)

We decided on a pretty eclectic theme.  There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour.  Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (21)

I chose a Maggie Sottero gown.  It was a long dress in light gold with beading.  It had straps and was corseted at the back.  I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect.  I used Aristocrats Of Chester.

David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit.  The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (32)

We used SMH Photography.  They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve.  They were very professional and worked really hard all day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (37)

Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley.  We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.

The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies.  David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe highstreet.com.

We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper.  We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit.  Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (40)

Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (25)

We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.

In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.

We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (43)

We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (47)

We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.

I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (48)

I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Operation Wedding! Supplier Showcase: The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

September 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Welcome to Thursday Brides Up North – you are on the serious downhill to the weekend now!  Between then and now, there’s a fair bit going on at Brides Up North HQ.  Last night on Twitter and Facebook we announced plans for a very special wedding industry party (more on that later – but if you can’t wait… here are all the details) and our guest list is already swelling – so much so that our Paypal system couldn’t cope, whoops! – and on Sunday it’s our first beautiful bridal event in Yorkshire: The Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Allerton Castle.  Have you registered for your VIP Goody Bag yet?  Better hurry…

So whilst we manage our chaotic diary, I’ll hand you over to a lady who’d probably be much better at all this than we are – Bernadette at The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners, a Brides Up North Featured Supplier. Planning is this lady’s middle name, and she could probably plan your big day in her sleep.  Lucky for you, she’s a little more professional than that… so lets meet her!

Hi Bernadette, please introduce The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners: how long has the organisation been running and why was it set up?

The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners was founded in 2004 for one purpose: to promote professionalism in wedding planning. The company believes that by investing in training and development and helping to grow the wedding planning industry in a professional manner we can together provide an outstanding and unparalleled service for today’s brides and grooms.

The UKAWP is owned and run by two like-minded wedding planners who are passionate about the industry. Each run a small but successful wedding planning business of their own. Each of the directors has 10 years+ experience running UK-based wedding planning businesses.

They both bring a different approach to weddings, have complementary experiences and operate in different areas, but remain committed to promoting professionalism and good and honest business practice in this field.

They firmly believe that being operational wedding planners and knowing the ‘day-to-day’ of the job enables them to successfully run the Alliance, train new potential planners and nurture and support members.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Tell Brides Up North about the service that UKAWP offer for Brides?

One of the main reasons for the existence of the UKAWP is to act as a reliable reference point for you, the bride. If you are looking for a professional wedding planner, this is the place for you. We are the only membership organisation in the UK dedicated to the ‘wedding planning industry’.

All of our wedding planner members have proven their professionalism and experience before being accepted and the majority continue their learning by attending workshops and seminars. They are dedicated to improving their knowledge to become the best they can possibly be, for you the bride. They all offer a consultation where you can discuss your wedding in detail and how they may be able to help you.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What services does UKAWP offer for its members?

We offer various educational workshops and seminars throughout the year, a mentoring service for planners new to the industry, terms and conditions to use on events and lots of support and networking opportunities.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Why should Brides use a wedding planner?

A wedding planner can save brides considerable time leaving them the fun aspects of wedding planning. Experienced planners have the knowledge of what’s hot and new in the wedding world, as well as saving their clients money with their excellent supplier contacts and wedding hints and tips!

Planners offer meticulous attention to detail and will help reduce the stress that can be associated with brides planning a wedding. It’s important to remember we do not take over, it’s your wedding always. It’s our job to take your vision and implement it.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What wedding planning services are available?

Most planners offer a variety of services so it is worth looking at individual websites, but the majority offer the following:

Full Planning – the planner designs and manages the whole wedding, recommending all suppliers and working closely with the bride to put her vision into place.

Partial Planning – the planner takes the reins somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks prior to the wedding. Most suppliers will be in place but a few may still need securing I would say anything from 6-9 months before?

On the Day Management – the planner works with the bride for just a week or two, seeing through the plans which the bride has put in place.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Why should Brides use a UKAWP member?

Our members have been vetted and reference checked, important in an unregulated industry. Our planners believe in investing in training and their continued learning ensuring they are at the forefront of the industry and offering the best customer experience.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

How can Brides Up North use your website to find a UKAWP member in their area?

Brides can pop along to our directory and simply search for a planner near to them, or near to the area they are marrying in.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What would be your top tips for selecting a good wedding planner?

Go onto the UKAWP directory and conduct a general internet search to see what planners are in your area. Look through the websites carefully for typos and bad grammar. What’s your first impression on the planners style: does it excite you? Contact 2 planners for a free consultation, during this meeting does the planner ask lots of questions about you and the wedding? In short are they interested?

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Can you give Brides an idea of a reasonable price for a planner’s services?

Most planners charge anywhere between 10% – 15% for full planning (excluding items like rings, honeymoon, attire) but with a minimum starting fee of approx.. £2,500.

Many planners offer partial planning starting at about £1,000 or day of services at circa £450.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Explain your code of business practice and what this means for Brides using a UKAWP member?

All our members adhere to our code of business practice which promotes high standards and offers reassurance to couples. One very important clause is that none of our members accept commission, all discounts are passed directly onto the bride.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

How would a wedding planner become a member of UKAWP?

The planner can fill out an application form via our website . Both directors will review the applicant’s website in detail and a decision will be made. Aside from adhering to our Code, we request a copy of the planner’s Public Liability Insurance and written assurance that they use legally binding contracts with their clients, for the safety of all.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

What are the benefits of membership?

Members benefit from belonging to a friendly alliance allowing them to build up a core of support when needed for events. We hold various social and educational events throughout the year.

A high proportion of membership fees go directly into bridal marketing ensuring planners have a far wider reach then they could afford independently.  Many of our members tell us they receive most of their enquiries via our site.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Tell us about the various training courses that UKAWP offer?

We offer two core weekend courses, Business Practicalities covers how to launch a successful wedding planning business, and Step by Step takes the planner through how to actually organise a wedding for a client.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

How can Brides or wedding planners get in touch with you/ find out more?

If brides have any questions about wedding planners in general feel free to contact us and we will be pleased to help. Should you wish to hire a planner don’t forget to look at our membership directory for a planner near to you.

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners

The UK Alliance Of Wedding Planners is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Are You Sitting Comfortably..? Tackling The Seating Plan!

March 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime

.

No Seating Plan

Always an easy option!  Image sourced via Zoe Lewis via Pinterest

.

.

Ahh, now this is a task that I remember from my own wedding.  It took hours and at the end of it all, I still couldn’t be 100% sure that everyone had a seat… Luckily, it all worked out in the end, and yours will too.  Just try to resist the urge to play matchmaker or seek revenge, and with our regular guest blogger Rachel of Mosaic Brides tips you’ll find the perfect place for everyone. 

.

Rachel says: Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

.

The task of planning a wedding sees a bride and groom go through many different emotions, ranging from excitement and happiness, right through to anxiety and despair.

.

Drawing up the dreaded seating plan usually stirs up the latter emotions causing a couple to endure sleepless nights and countless arguments as they debate where best to place guests in order to avoid family feuds, disapproving looks and Pinot Grigio-fuelled outbursts.

.

The wedding breakfast is a main feature of the big day and a carefully constructed seating plan can be key to achieving the desired atmosphere. While there is no right or wrong way to approach this tedious task, the following might help…

.

.

First things first…

.

It might be the job you’re dreading most but don’t keep putting it off. In the first instance talk to the wedding coordinator at your chosen venue to find out what size and shape tables you will have for your celebration and how best to arrange them to accommodate your guests. From here you can set to work on a draft seating plan which you can then amend at a later date when you know exactly who will be attending. To save time (and perhaps an entire rainforest) it’s a good idea to draw up a seating plan on a computer rather than by hand, that way if you make a mistake you don’t have to draw it all out again. Better still, there are handy seating plan tools available online which can make the job a whole lot easier by allowing you to make changes at the click of a button and amend right up until the last minute.

.

.

Taking Centre Stage…

.

Seating plans usually begin with the top table and deciding whether or not to have one. For those who want to stick to tradition the top table is usually made up of eight places; the bride and groom, flanked by the bride’s parents, then the groom’s parents, followed by the best man and chief bridesmaid. For those with divorced parents who have remarried the top table may need extending a little. Alternatively to avoid seating parents in close proximity who do not see eye-to-eye, you could have a top table made up of the bridesmaids and groomsmen leaving parents to join family tables.

.

Another option is to have a ‘sweet heart’ table just for the bride and groom which will allow you to spend some precious time together as husband and wife during the reception. Couples with children may want to seat them at the sweet heart table too.  Meanwhile other brides and grooms have been known to invite certain guests to join them at their table for certain courses.

.

.

Shake things up…

.

Most couples ask themselves the question of whether to mix guests up or to keep family and friend groups confine to separate tables.

.

The aim of many couples is to create an enjoyable atmosphere by seating guests where they will feel most comfortable and where conversation will flow freely. This usually means putting those of similar ages with common interests together. So beyond close family and friends, who are generally seated closet to the top table, there might be tables of extended family, family friends, childhood friends, university friends and colleagues.

.

Those who do want to mix things up will need to decide how best to do it. Perhaps you could take a couple of guests from each of the different groups and place them on a table together with a bridesmaid or groomsman acting as ‘host’. There is also the option of drawing up different seating plans for different courses so guests move tables and mingle with others (though this one sounds like a recipe for indigestion). 

.

.

Be clear…

.

In order to help things run smoothly on the day clearly display a seating plan in the entrance to the reception room directing guests to their allocated places. Also be sure to exhibit table names/numbers clearly and use place cards with first and surnames to avoid confusion.

.

.

Turn the tables…

.

For some grabbing a seat scenarios should only be experienced on Ryanair flights but for others it’s seen as a simple solution to the seating plan headache – take inspiration from the image at the head of this feature and let your guests decide where to sit. While this approach is highly likely to cause chaos in formal dining settings it can work well for more relaxed wedding breakfasts such as barbecue buffets and outdoor picnics.

.

.

And remember – you can only do so much to encourage a good atmosphere – the rest is down to your guests.

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2013 Zoe Lewis via Pinterest 

Rachel Parry is editor of Mosaic Brides and a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Make Mine A Monica: Why Hiring A Wedding Planner Works

January 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime

.

The One With The Whistle

Image credit: fanforum.com

.

Less Monica, more Rachel.

.

Our gal Rachel, editor of Mosaic Brides and regular guest blogger here at Brides Up North explains why hiring a wedding planner should be at the top of your wedding wish list.  Headsets not included.

.

Rachel says:  Think wedding planner and you might just picture a control crazed Monica from Friends when she took on the role for Phoebe’s big day – but fear not, none that I know of bark military style orders at brides and grooms whilst carrying a clipboard everywhere they go. Here I explain the benefits that a professional planner can bring without the use of a megaphone…

.

It’s a common misconception that wedding planners are just for the rich and famous. In fact, their affordable rates and varied packages mean they can help couples from all walks of life to make their dream weddings become a reality.

.

The duty of a planner is not to take over, but instead to help a couple achieve their wedding day vision whilst saving time and money, thus resulting in an enjoyable and stress-free celebration.

.

.

The One With The Wedding Dresses

Image credit: weheartit.com 

.

Professional planners can help with as little or as much of the planning as a couple desires, being involved for either a short period of time or throughout the entire planning process and during the big day itself.

Whilst your chosen venue may have an on-site co-ordinator thrown in as part of the package, their duties rarely go beyond assisting with the menu, décor, floor plan and perhaps providing a list of recommended suppliers.

.

Meanwhile independent planners offer different packages to suit individual couples’ needs. For example an initial consultation is ideal for couples who want to be very hands on with the planning but perhaps are just a little overwhelmed. An early meeting with a planner will help them establish a budget and give them an idea of what will need to be done and when. Partial planning gives brides and grooms the option to cherry pick a number of services they require as such venue searches, creative styling or on the day co-ordination. A full planning service is usually a popular choice with couples who have little time to spare and would therefore prefer to let someone else to do the leg work for them.

.

.

The One With The Headset

Image source: fanpop.com

.

Before hiring a wedding planner it’s a good idea to meet with them so you can enquire about their experience and see how you get along. It’s important you feel at ease and trust them as your planner will need to get to know you and your wishes for the wedding so they achieve, or even surpass, your expectations.

.

So how can a wedding planner help?

.

Time Is Money

.

Planners can do the groundwork of researching venues and suppliers which will save you endless hours. They can then set up meetings and appointments for you to attend to go over suggestions, present creative ideas, meet with suppliers and sample food/drink menus.

.

Money Is Money

.

Due to their contacts in the industry many planners can often score discounts with suppliers who they bring repeat business to. They also have knowledge of what things should cost so can shop around for best price and haggle on your behalf.

.

Ask An Expert

.

Planners can offer advice on subjects you might not have even thought about such as wedding laws, etiquette and insurance. Furthermore they have first hand experience with trusted suppliers/venues and therefore know those best suited to your requirements.

.

Budgeting For Beginners

.

Initially many couples don’t realise how the cost of a wedding can mount up or where hidden costs can occur. A planner’s knowledge means they can help you set a realistic budget and stick to it by keeping track of costs so there are no nasty surprises.

.

Under Pressure

.

Planners can handle the difficult/boring parts in the run up to the wedding leaving you more time to indulge in the fun stuff like dress shopping. On the day itself co-ordination and styling set-up services offered by planners will ensure all runs smoothly and looks perfect meaning no added pressure on the bride and groom or any of their guests.

.

.

The One With The Panic Attack

Image credit: Comedy Central

.

Gloves Off

.

As an independent third party who has a wealth of experience in weddings, a planner can help settle disputes between the bride and groom and or family/friends by offering impartial, expert advice to reach the best solution.

.

Creative Concepts

.

For those who are struggling for inspiration, or who have an idea but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, planners can suggest and source everything from décor and chair covers to table linen and stationery and ensure it all corresponds.

.

Brides Abroad

.

A planner is particularly useful for those getting married overseas especially if the couple aren’t familiar with their chosen destination. There are planners who specialise in certain destinations and therefore are totally clued up on the country’s wedding laws and venue options and also boast a list of trusted suppliers.

In short professional planners are the answer to a wedding fairy godmother offering priceless expert knowledge, professionalism, creativeness, guidance, stress relief and perhaps even friendship.

.

.

Check out the Brides Up North wedding planners’ page in our directory to find help in your area.

.

.

  – Images © 2013 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Blue Sky Dreaming! A Real Marquee Wedding In Cheshire – Rebecca & Stephen

August 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

.

Cheshire Wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

I promised you a whole day of Real Wedding pretty, and that’s exactly what you are going to get.

.

I’m rounding things off in style this afternoon with a beautiful marquee wedding in Cheshire, sent to me by the wonderful Andrea of Brides Up North Featured Supplier and wedding planning wonder Fabulous Day, Neil Redfern Photography and real bride Rebecca.

.

Now wasn’t this the sort of weather we were meant to have for the bank holiday?  Let’s hope Rebecca and Stephen’s gorgeous big day spreads some sunshine this Tuesday afternoon!

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Rebecca says:  We got engaged in May 2011 in Mexico, Mayan Riviera. Stephen took me for a walk one evening after dinner to the beach where there was nobody but us, he sat me down on a beach bed and asked me to marry him under the stars.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

We were married on 30th June 2012 at my parents’ home in Tarporley, Cheshire. We had a marquee on their meadow for the reception and the ceremony took place in the main garden.

.

We couldn’t think of a more intimate place to get married than my family home. My parents have the space and it was a dream of mine to get married there so we made it happen. Every time I visit now it reminds me of my wedding day.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

it was a typically English country garden wedding with vintage crockery, afternoon tea style wedding breakfast, old school garden games, sweet peas and lavender everywhere, using a colour palette of lavender and spring green. 

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

I found my dress in Agape in Knutsford, it was a Watters & Watters Dress. It was the first shop I visited, and I had a completely different style in mind than the dress I choose. The second I put it on I just knew I loved it and that my initial ideas had been all wrong.

.

It was vintage lace bodice with a sweetheart neckline and then it went out at the waist with layers of organza and lace detail.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

My bridesmaids wore a beautiful strapless knee length dress in Midori green, made by Watters & Watters (again from Agape in Knutsford) and the groomsmen hired their mid grey tails from Moss Bros, they wore lavender coloured ties to go with the colour scheme.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

I carried a beautiful bouquet of mostly English flowers and wild grasses including a vintage rose. My bridesmaids had a smaller version of the same bouquet by Fletcher & Foley. 

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

I loved every single second but I think the ceremony was my favourite part of the day; it was so personal, we had written our own vows so they mean so much to us. Plus we said our vows to each other on my parents lawn in front of our closest friends and family, it was the best moment of my entire life!

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

We had a string quartet (Strelitza) who played for three hours before and after the ceremony while the guests drank champagne and ate canapés on the lawn. Then in the evening we had a DJ playing mostly 90’s classics.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

To add a personal touch we gave our guests gifts of handmade favours (Jam and honey), made by the mother of the bride and mother of the groom and laid out vintage garden games  like quoits, croquet and boules. 

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

My brother Richard made my cake, it was better than I ever could have imagined. It was three tiers of carrot cake (my favourite) with a cream cheese frosting. It was devoured in the evening with nothing left by all the guests.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Posh Frocks and Wellies provided the marquee and the lighting, dance floor and DJ were by HipswingStables Cuisine were our caterers, with vintage china hire from Vintage Teas

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

If you are planning a marquee wedding at home then I would really recommend a wedding planner, there is so much more to do and organise than a venue wedding.  I do not know what we would have done without our wedding planner Andrea (Fabulous Day) , she made the day what it was… perfect! In fact I would hire her for any type of wedding, she removed all of the stress and let us enjoy the run up and the day.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern    Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

In the afternoon we were in for a huge treat – an aerobatics display, organised by father of the groom, a total surprise to us but thoroughly enjoyed by all guests and surrounding neighbours of Tarporley who have been talking about it ever since!

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

After the wedding we went to Bangkok and then Koh Samui in Thailand, where we stayed at the Six Senses resort. Absolute paradise!

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that you are marrying the love of your life and nothing else matters.  If little things go wrong no one even notices, relax and enjoy because it goes by in a flash.

.

.

Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

.

.

Congratulations Rebecca & Stephen!

.

.

If you would like to see your own Real Wedding on the pages of Brides Up North just get in touch!

.

.

  – Images © 2012 Neil Redfern Photography

Fabulous Day is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Your Wedding, Only Better! Supplier Showcase: Pomp & Ceremony Wedding Planning PLUS 10% DISCOUNT

May 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

.

This afternoon I am proud to introduce two lovely ladies (who also happen to be able to plan a wonderful wedding or two) to the pages of Brides Up North. These girls are wedding planning maestros who can bring their expertise to your own wedding day and in the meantime are full of hints and tips for the DIY bride. Lets meet Caroline and Claire of Pomp & Ceremony. They know weddings, that’s for sure!

.

All images courtesy of Jeff Ascough with thanks.

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

How did Pomp & Ceremony begin?  What is your background and training?

.

Pomp & Ceremony was officially launched in September 2010 after much preparation. We are both from marketing, PR, and events backgrounds so in terms of training we were used to running events. We did however make sure that we took a course to specialise in weddings to make sure that we had everything covered. This was fantastic and fuelled our creativity and inspiration for our wedding events. We share a passion for creating bespoke and beautiful events that reflect each of our couples and also love the organisational side of things ensuring that everything is executed perfectly – a little nutty but it makes us tick!

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Tell us about your wedding planning services?  What different packages do you offer?

.

We have three main packages that we offer to couples which we feel suit the needs of most people. Full Planning which involves our assistance from the beginning to the end of the process, mood board concepts, sourcing suppliers, budget, negotiation, timeline and basically guiding the couple through the process then being there on the day to ensure that it all runs smoothly. Preparation Planning is suited to those who have booked their main suppliers but who are looking for some assistance to sort out some remaining items and décor to make sure that it is just right. On the Day Coordination is popular with those who have planned the day themselves but want to relax on the day itself safe in the knowledge that they have professionals coordinating suppliers, helping to set-up spaces and making sure that everything runs on time. This is very popular with the mums too! We also create bespoke packages to suit our couple’s exact needs so that they can get the service that they are looking for.

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012   Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012   Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

What can a bride and groom who book Pomp & Ceremony expect?

.

They can expect an individual approach to wedding planning. Each couple is unique and are therefore treated as such, some have a very strong idea of exactly what they want but want help and support to make it happen, whereas some are looking to be inspired and have a creative team helping them to work on the look and feel of their day. We strongly believe that every decision is completely the couples, and will keep going until it is perfect for their day.

.

.

What sets you apart from your competition?

.

We completely balance our creativity with our sound knowledge of event planning and coordination to provide a complete service. We don’t just specialise in either area so like to think that our clients don’t have to compromise between having someone who will help them to create a stunning visual for their day or making sure that everything is expertly organised down to the last detail.

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Why do a bride and groom need a wedding planner?

.

Planning a wedding involves a lot of work. From research and supplier sourcing, negotiation, budgeting and timekeeping down to pulling it all together for the perfect event. Our clients are typically savvy in the understanding that it isn’t their area of expertise so they look to the professionals for assistance with their wedding planning. The main reason for most of our couples is not having the time and wanting to avoid stress so that they can relax and enjoy the process. It isn’t that they are surrendering involvement for their wedding but rather working with people to support them through the process.

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

What are your top 5 wedding planning tips for a DIY bride?

.

Get Creative – Look at blogs and tutorials to find things that you can replicate and recreate for your big day.

.

Get the family on board – There could be some great skills within your family that could come in useful!

.

Involve your Fiancé – When going down the DIY route the groom can be a little left out due to the sheer amount of work the bride is doing! Select some tasks that you can enjoy doing together so that the work gets done but you also get to spend some time together.

.

Use your relationship as your inspiration – The best weddings are those that represent the couple and their relationship from a love of a certain hobby, to a favourite place or experience. Try to personalise items and details wherever possible.

.

Double-Up: A great way of saving money is to make detail items have a double-function to save on the number of items that you need to buy. Examples include: Favours doubling up as place cards, bridesmaids bouquets being used in vases at the reception for additional decoration etc…

.

.

What are your wedding planning words of caution for a DIY bride?

.

Go Easy – However tempting it is at the beginning to take on everything to do with the wedding be mindful that only so much is possible. If you take on too much yourself it can get quite intense and stressful.

.

Prepare Ahead – Enjoy creating things for your wedding before the big day, such as favours, but don’t take on DIY jobs that will require your attention on the day, such as the floral arrangements! Few brides will enjoy having to be there on the morning rushing around putting it all together when they should be relaxing.

.

Play to Your Strengths – Don’t attempt to learn a new skill unless there is a lot of lead time before the wedding, instead look at your skill set and use this to create a list of DIY items. Be realistic.

.

Delegate – Put your family and friends to work! You’d be amazed how honoured those around you will be to help make your day special by contributing to helping you make or do something. Don’t take it all on your shoulders.

.

Go OTT – There are plenty of things that can be embellished and personalised yourself to save money without having to do it all yourself and go DIY OTT!

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

What wedding styling trends and colour schemes are popular for 2012?

.

Last year nudes and whites were the key look for super stylish elegant weddings, and coral colours for those looking for a more statement look. This year the bright corals are being toned down for a more knocked back powder pastel look. Inspired by the designer fashion catwalk shows of this year which showcased lots of very pale yellows, greens, pinks and lavenders these are set to be key for 2012/2013.

.

.

What is your all-time favourite “look” for a wedding? 

.

As mentioned earlier we both genuinely believe that each wedding should be unique and reflective of the couple. Once this is established it’s all about working within this to form an amazing colour palette and style that will create a remarkable look.  

.

.

What new styling trends have you really excited?

.

We adore the American ability to style weddings with amazing bespoke details; they really have got the whole industry down to a tee over there. It really excites us that increasingly we have access to their products over here, and it is so easy to source things from all over the world for couples these days which is amazing. Some items that have blown us away over the last year are gold edible paper dragonflies to decorate the edges of wine glasses, personalised retro couple cake topper, paper pom aisle decorations, glass drinks pedestal jars with taps, glass ball tea light holders suspended with ribbon the list could go on and on!

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012   Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Are there any really memorable weddings that you have worked on? 

.

We have been very lucky to work on fantastic weddings with amazing couples over the past few years. Some examples include…

.

A Sweetie Theme in Cheshire – A whimsical fun affair including a handmade museum pattern dress, individual flavoured cupcake tower, ice cream cart, sweets aplenty and a lovely palette of sage, lavender, lemon and rose.

.

White Ethereal Elegance in Yorkshire – Relaxed elegance with a Buddhist inspired outdoor ceremony, white chandeliers hanging from the ceremony tree, A pathway lined with lanterns and petals, white Chivari chairs and a first dance on a lake surrounded by white lanterns. The colour palette for this wedding was whites and nudes.

.

Vintage Travel in Cheshire – Inspired by the couple living and working in Singapore, vintage travel is a wonderful theme. Lots of old luggage, cameras and postcards, luggage card seating cards and place names, maps, stamps you name it. The colour palette was navy and white to provide a stylish edge to the vintage travel look.  {Editor’s note:  you can see the wedding here on Brides Up North}

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Where are you located and will you travel?

.

We are located in Cheshire but cover all of the North West, Lake District, Manchester and extending up to the whole of Yorkshire. We are happy to travel and love working in a variety of locations and destinations.

.

.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

.

Our Full Planning service is percentage based at 10% as we feel that it is easier for couples when the cost is incorporated into their existing budget rather than adding it on top. This way it shouldn’t cost any extra to benefit from our services, it’s down to us to make sure that the other areas of their budget come in at the right price!

.

Full Planning – 10% (existing budget)

Preparation Planning – £1200

On the Day Coordination – From £400

.

.

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

.

We would love to offer Brides Up North readers 10% off any of our services for 2013 weddings – quote BUN when enquiring.

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

How can Brides Up North see more examples of your work/ find out more?

.

Visit our website www.pompandceremonyplanning.co.uk to see more about us, read our testimonials from clients and view our gallery.

.

.

Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

.

.

Why do you read and recommend Brides Up North to your customers?

.

It’s all happening in the North when it comes to weddings and it’s so great that Brides Up North exists to keep us all in the loop about this! We are spoiled with amazing venues and suppliers on hand to create amazing wedding days. It’s great to be linked with a professional wedding blog who ‘gets it’ and promotes excellence in the local industry.

.

.

  – Images © 2012 Jeff Ascough

Pomp & Ceremony is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Wedding Planning SOS: Perfect Timing!

April 22nd, 2012 | Julia Braime

.

www.carolinewhitephotography.co.uk

.

.

Afternoon all!  I’m proud to announce the addition of another fabulous guest blogger and wedding planning expert to our SOS series this afternoon – the brilliant Andrea of Fabulous Day

.

On my own wedding day, I was ridiculously lucky. Obvs I was getting to marry the man of my dreams in a gorgeous gown, but I also was super chilled about the running order.  It helps having an experienced wedding planner as Mother of the Bride! 

.

I realise that this is not a common luxury, so that’s where Andrea steps in – to talk timings.  Not a subject that should be overlooked! Printers at the ready!  

.

.

.

Over to Andrea: One of the most common replies I get when I ask clients “What are your priorities for the day?” is that they want the day to flow well – so what does this mean? Usually it means they want everything to go smoothly and as planned, with no hiccups and no unpleasant surprises! So then it is my job to deliver that. But what if you don’t have a wedding planner working with you, what things can you do to make sure your day flows just as well?

.

Well, there are a number of small things you can do to help and considering how much effort I know you will be putting into the planning of your big day, just thinking like a planner for some of it can make a big difference.

.

Most importantly create an accurate timeline for the day whilst considering your guests’ needs! This will prove invaluable to you, your suppliers and the venue and as you get closer to the day you can factor in what time suppliers will be arriving and ask a trusted member of the bridal party to keep an eye on things for you.

.

.

www.smhphotography.co.uk

.

.

So here is a guideline to working out the timings for your big day:

.

Think carefully about your ceremony time – for example if you are having 5 bridesmaids that is a lot of hair and makeup to get done! So don’t book an 11am wedding (as one of my grooms tried to do), unless you like 5am starts!

.

Arriving at your ceremony – make sure you calculate how long it will take you to get there by your chosen mode of transport.  If you are going by horse and carriage for example it will take a lot longer than by car at approximately 15-20 minutes per mile.

.

Ceremony – a civil ceremony will take 20 minutes without any readings and 30 minutes with two readings, a church ceremony is usually 40 – 45 minutes and if you are Catholic and having Mass add another 15 minutes to that, plus allow some time for photographs. Next, consider the time it will take for you and your guests to travel to the venue, allowing a few minutes either side.

.

Your drinks reception will usually last one and a half to a maximum of two hours (depending on the venue and your photographer).  If  you decide to have a receiving line this will take time out of the drinks reception and to be honest it is usually best not to if you have more than 100 guests as it will take far too long and everyone will be bored rigid! During this time you will be busy with photographs as well as trying to circulate, but you can make sure guests are well looked after, with drinks flowing or access to the bar, if possible some canapés (think about whether guests will have had time to eat lunch) and some entertainment. Allow time for seating guests – say you have 100 guests, it will usually take 15 minutes to seat them.

.

For your wedding breakfast including speeches, cutting of the cake and three courses allow 2 hours 30 minutes – although this is where the timings can go astray, as the speeches can vary hugely in time.  If you are keen for the day to stay on track or have evening guests arriving then it is always worth speaking with all those doing the speeches and asking them to keep to around 10 minutes each.

.

After the meal there is generally a ‘comfort break’ and this is when guests are asked to leave the main room whilst it is prepared for the evening. The time this will take can vary enormously as some venues will need a good hour plus to turn the room round, particularly if you are having a band as they will need time to set up and sound check (most bands need an hour to do this).  Alternatively, you may be in a marquee and the band may have set up quietly whilst you were having dinner and then just need to sound check for 15 minutes.

.

If you know you are going to be out of the room for a while it is a good idea to consider having some additional entertainment for guests at this point such as a casino, photo booth or magician. Guests are often glad to have a break from sitting at tables and a chance to stretch their legs. During this break is a good time for any evening guests to arrive as you can be on hand to spend some time with them.

.

Evening entertainment – think about how long this will last for.  Usually a band will play 2 x 45 minute sets, often with the second set a little longer if they do encores. Check with your venue what time the evening can go on until (I know one venue where music is off by 10.30pm and everyone out for 11.00pm!).  It is usually best to leave people wanting more so around midnight to 1am is late enough. If you are planning fireworks remember they have to be over by 11am (5th Nov and NYE are exceptions) so think about what time it will be dark!

.

My top tip: Take a deep breath and write it all down.  To see how your day will flow time-wise use your ceremony time as a starting point and build from that.

.

Happy planning!

.

.

www.carolinewhitephotography.co.uk

.

.

Other guest blogs in the Wedding Planning SOS series:

.

Wedding Planning SOS- Have Your Cake & Eat It!

Wedding Planning SOS- Hello Petal!

Wedding Planning SOS- Practical Paper- Wedding Invitations

Wedding Planning SOS – Picture Perfect- How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Wedding Planning SOS- Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn- Wedding Venue Rescue

Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin?!

.

.

  – Image © 2012 www.carolinewhitephotography.co.uk and www.smhphotography.co.uk as tagged

Fabulous Day is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Wedding Planning SOS: Practical Paper: Wedding Invitations

February 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

.

Anyone thinking of proposing today?! Good luck!

.

We’re getting down to business here on the blog today too.  Letter press, digital, foil edged or DIY? This morning, my regular guest blogger Helen from Bash helps you to navigate the paper jungle as we focus on picking your wedding paper! 

.

.

Over to Helen:  As a result of working with couples and helping them to overcome hurdles at various stages of the wedding planning process, I’m all too familiar with some of your most frequently asked questions and throughout this series of Wedding Planning SOS, it’s those gems specifically that I’m here to help you out with.

.

In this week’s instalment, we tear open a debate about stationery in an attempt to prevent you from making any embarrassing or costly faux pas.

.

.

Flair Designery

.

.

Imagine you’re on the receiving end as a perfectly wrapped package drops through the letter box, addressed to you. As you carefully peel back an outer edge of the envelope, what hits you? What hits you is the first glimpse of what you can expect to experience on a very special day, a day unlike any other. What does it feel like?

.

If you don’t quite get my drift then of course you can be forgiven for thinking that the correspondence you’re holding in your hand is, well, just a piece of paper. And whilst that might be true, whether you like it or not, this piece of paper sets the scene for what’s to come. Regardless of whether you make a statement with a bespoke design or cleverly create something by hand, it’s a reflection of your personalities and an opportunity to offer your guests a taste of what’s in store.

.

Whether to go for a modern, cute, formal, friendly, contemporary or traditional style will undoubtedly be influenced by other factors, such as the venue and any colour palette you might have in mind. Perhaps it’s not a piece of paper at all. Maybe it’s a message recorded in some other way? Printed ribbon wrapped around a parcel containing all the information required, or some other form of keepsake? By all means be creative but before you set your heart on anything, be it hearts, flowers, ribbons, recycled, illustrated, embossed or letter press, there are some things to bear in mind:

.

Make sure you see a sample. It’s so important to touch and feel the material.

.

Which font to use and how to address the invitation depends just as much on who the invitation is coming from as who it is intended for – we could dedicate an entire article to this alone! As a minimum requirement, you need to state the date, time and place of your wedding and reception, names of the parents or hosts and the full names of the Bride and Groom, including middle names.

.

Get a grip of the guest list! Begin by creating four lists. Traditionally this would be the Bride’s, the Groom’s and both sets of parents’. If your budget allows invitations to people other than immediate family and closest friends, do give some consideration to those who’ve supported you individually and as a couple. Be as tolerant as possible of Parents’ requests, but don’t lose sight of what your day is about. Weddings are not opportunities to pay back social obligations or re-coup what you’ve spent on other people’s wedding presents in the past. And don’t send invitations to people you really don’t want to invite on the basis that you don’t think they’ll come. You can bet your money they’ll be the first to accept and if anyone refuses to speak to you again because you left them off the list, don’t bat an eye lid. They didn’t deserve to be there anyway!

.

Ordering the entire ‘collection’ at the same time, including save the dates, invitations, rsvps, order of service, thank you cards, menu cards, place cards and table plans can not only save money but also ensures consistency in terms of paper weight, art work and colour.

.

Order extras, as reordering afterwards can be expensive. If you’re getting married in a Church, it’s a good idea to allow an order of service for every guest and a few extra for any other people at the ceremony such as the choir.

.

Provide your guests with as much information as possible, including the availability of accommodation and transport. This takes time and effort but will make things easier for everyone in the long run.

.

If you want a dress code, say so. Don’t skirt around it. Be specific. If you want guests to dress up, state Black Tie, as opposed to saying that it is ‘optional’ or ‘encouraged’.

.

Proof read EVERYTHING. Read the content very carefully yourself but always involve another person, preferably someone who knows nothing about your wedding. Obvious typos are often the easiest to miss and you can’t blame the printer or designer for any mistakes. It’s your responsibility to sign them off. End of story.

.

Include a note if you cannot accommodate children. Or if you are inviting children, let parents know if you have arranged any childcare facilities.

.

And finally, assuming they’re involved…don’t forget to send invitations to your parents! You might even want to send one to yourselves to see how long it takes to arrive and in what condition. Take one to the post office and have it weighed. After all, your guests might not take kindly to paying for the postage.

.

.

Helen is owner and wedding planner at BashClick here to read an interview with Helen

.

Previous guest posts by Helen:

.

Wedding Planning SOS – Picture Perfect- How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin?!

Wedding Planning SOS- Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn- Wedding Venue Rescue

.

.

Would you like to be a guest blogger for Brides Up NorthContact me

.

.

  – Image © 2012 Flair Designery

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Wedding Planning SOS: Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn? Wedding Venue Rescue

February 4th, 2012 | Julia Braime

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Princess Castle

.

.

You know what (a wedding, duh!), who (you, him, plus a few others), why (that’s amore!) and now its time to  sort out where.  Oh. Tricky.   

.

Luckily, this wedding blog’s fab guest blogger Helen of Bash Wedding Planning is here to help.  You loved her last Wedding SOS post… so she’s back with more words of wisdom…

.

Do leave a comment to contribute to the conversation.  I love to read what my readers have to say!    

.

.

.

.

Over to the expert: Just as soon as you’ve pin pointed your priorities, armed with the answers to some extremely important questions – who, what, when and how – and with a budget in mind, the one remaining decision you need to make is WHERE?

.

Choosing a venue for your dream day can be problematic, not least because there are so many options available. Whether it’s to be a hotel, banqueting suite, village hall, stately home, sports club, marquee, castle, church, beech, barn or tee pee, is entirely up to you. But where do you start?

.

Unless you’ve been dreaming of a day unlike any other in a special location since you were twelve years old, chances are you could do with a helping hand. Before you jump feet first into making a decision that sets the tone for your wedding and determines so many other factors, relax! We’re here to provide some practical pointers to prevent you from making a costly mistake. After all, the venue is likely to be your biggest expense.

.

Before you start your research, let’s just think things through…

.

What type of ceremony would you like?  Unless you’ve set your heart on a religious ceremony, in which case you’ll probably be married in a church or place of worship, there are numerous options available. A Civil Ceremony can take place in any licensed location OR, providing the legalities (signing of the legal marriage documents) are carried out separately, you can actually say ‘I DO’ anywhere you please. The main things to consider are how formal or friendly you want your ceremony to be, which might also be determined by how modern or historic an environment you choose.

.

Do you have a theme in mind? Are you searching for a city chic urban backdrop or a rustic romantic retreat? You have the opportunity to express yourselves and choose the mood you want to create, so please consider this carefully.

.

Size matters! Knowing approximately how many people you intend to invite and whether or not they’ll require accommodation is key. Some venues insist on a minimum number, whilst others may simply be way too small to accommodate your crowd. Do you want guests to stay together throughout the day and mingle? In this case, the shape and format of the venue is every bit as important as its capacity.

.

What’s the order of the day?

.

Do you need separate locations for the ceremony and the reception?

.

Armed with the answers to these questions, you’re ready to do some research. Check out your Regional Tourist Board website where you’re likely to find comprehensive listings of venues including hotels, stately homes and museums. But brace yourself. Whether you start on-line or ask for recommendations, you’re quite likely to be overwhelmed by the options available (or lack of them, depending on how well defined your criteria is!) At this point, it’s worth getting in touch with an experienced Wedding Planner. Chances are they’ve already done the leg work, developed some great contacts and are able to produce a shortlist for you, saving you oodles of time and stress.

.

Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, it’s time to hit the road. Most venues appoint a Wedding or Event Coordinator whose responsibility it is to show you the venue in its best light and explain your options. Make an appointment to see them and go with a list of questions, the answers to which will help you to identify the pros and cons and ultimately, fine tune your choices.

.

HEARTDoes the venue offer a wedding package? If so, what’s included?

.

HEARTWill there be any other weddings on the same date?

.

HEARTWill the designated Wedding Co-ordinator be there on the day?

.

HEARTAre any parts open to the public?

.

HEARTIs parking available on site?

.

HEARTAre there any restrictions in relation to sound – i.e prohibiting live entertainment/fireworks

.

HEARTWhat are the payment and/or cancellation terms?

.

HEARTAre there any plans to redecorate or renovate?

.

HEARTCan you attend an open day or sampling session to see the venue as it is set up for a wedding?

.

Write the answers down. If you haven’t already assigned a note book to the cause, do it now and don’t go anywhere without it.

.

Remember, it’s the little details that make a BIG difference!

.

.

Helen is owner and wedding planner at BashClick here to read an interview with Helen

.

Previous guest posts by Helen: Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin-!

.

.

Would you like to be a guest blogger for Contact me 

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2012 via www.ww2aircraft.net

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS: Where On Earth To Begin?!

January 25th, 2012 | Julia Braime

.

Image via weheartit.com.

.

Good morning !  Can you believe that it’s half way to the weekend already?  Actually, yeah, me too. 

.

I’ve been back on tour recently at exhibitions all over the better half of the country and I know lots of you lovelies are rather recently affianced (I am happy to announce a sharp hike in visitors to this wedding blog since the turn of the year).  If you’re feeling anything like I was, you’ll be happy, excited and, er, a bit overwhelmed. 

.

As a , I know better than most just how much inspiration and ideas are out there (just have a good old browse of these swirly silver pages for a start), but with a wealth of choice comes a side order of confusion.  Sometimes you can be left wondering simply where to begin.

.

I hear ya!

.

Which is why I have called in the professionals.  In the first of a recurring series, my newest guest blogger, Helen Davies of Bash Wedding Planners, is here to help you on your journey.  So, lets start at the start, shall we?

.

HEART

.

Over to Helen: If you’re recently engaged, CONGRATULATIONS! What’s about to happen next as you embark upon the preparations for what will undoubtedly be the most amazing day of your lives is going to fill you with a sense of excitement and anticipation. Before you know it, you’ll be inspired by the most interesting, creative ideas and your nearest and dearest will find it difficult to talk about anything that isn’t directly wedding related. All of a sudden, your dream day is the topic du jour and everyone close to you wants a piece of the action. The excitement is infectious!

.

.

Image via society6.com

.

.

Then it hits you. What began as a result of a romantic proposal amidst a very private moment involving just the two of you is now a family affair. Your boyfriend’s sister wants to be a Bridesmaid, your Mum’s set her sights on an elaborate marquee in the grounds of a stately home, your Father in law wants fireworks and everyone’s having their say.

.

Frustrating? You bet!

.

.

Shannon Blue Photography

.

.

It’s extremely important to remember that this is YOUR day and it’s vital that every aspect of it is exactly as you would want it to be. You might need to take a deep breath and politely explain how important this is to you but such potentially awkward conversations can be avoided, providing you prioritise and are clear from the outset about the way you envisage your day and what you’re absolutely not prepared to compromise on.

.

First things first…

.

Prioritise early. Set aside some time to sit down with your other half specifically to discuss your dream day. Make a point of listening to each other and draw up a list of all your likes and dislikes, the things you especially want and any definite no nos. Great communication is a factor in any strong relationship, so make sure you take the time to talk things through. You may find that you need to compromise on a couple of things but at least you’ll be confident in the knowledge that you’ve made the big decisions together. You’ll be glad you did and will feel far more comfortable for it, come the big day.

.

Once you’ve identified your priorities, write them down.

.

This list will become the basis upon which so many other decisions are made, such as;

.

Who?

.

Who do you absolutely, definitely want to invite to your wedding? Who would you like to appoint as your attendants? Who can you trust to delegate some of the important tasks to?

.

What?

.

What are you not prepared to compromise on? Is his heart set on a helicopter flight? Do you have to have that wedding cake?

.

Where?

.

Where do you want to get married? Do you want a church wedding or a civil ceremony? Are you thinking of an urban backdrop or a rural retreat?

.

When?

.

When do you want to get married? Do you have a special date in mind? What time would you like the ceremony to take place?

.

How?

.

How are you going to plan and co-ordinate it? Can you do it without professional help?

How much will it cost and how will you pay for it all?

.

.

Image via etsy.com RetroLove Photography

.

.

As well as staying true to yourselves and avoiding the temptation to get carried away, it’s advisable to prioritise early in order to ensure you don’t end up spending far more money than you intended. Being up to your eye balls in debt is no fun and is certainly no way to start married life.

.

By identifying your priorities and how much you’re prepared to spend on the things which are most important to you, it’s more likely that you’ll feel happier reducing or eradicating completely the amount of money you might otherwise spend on things that don’t matter as much. By setting up a simple budget spread sheet and updating it regularly, you’re more likely to stay on track throughout the planning process. In a nutshell, prioritising early means you’re far less likely to break the bank!

.

By all means add to or edit your list of priorities as you go along, but ALWAYS keep it close at hand. Maintaining your vision for your perfect day is essential if you’re going to enjoy the planning process. This is just the beginning of an exciting journey that will ultimately lead you – joyfully – into happily married life.

.

Whatever happens and whoever attempts to influence you, PLEASE don’t lose sight of that!

.

.

Helen is owner and wedding planner at BashClick here to read an interview with Helen

.

.

Brides Up North – Images © 2012 via Pinterest: weheartit.com, society6.com, Shannon Blue Photography, RetroLove Photography

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone