Channel flicking I came across Sex and The City reruns – and it got me thinking to Carrie’s Wedding…. you know the one where she puts a bird on her head and an oh so… More
It’s here, it’s here….. FINALLY I hear most of you say.
Following on from our Planning a Wedding series last year, here’s the real wedding in all its glory and a very Happy 1st Anniversary to my fabulous friends!
Sarah & Andy met at work, although it took some time for Andy to get Sarah to agree to a date. His perseverance won and two years later they became engaged… although it would be another nine years before they got round to getting married.
For their wedding the couple were fairly relaxed, wanting an intimate day with their nearest and dearest.
If you followed the blog series last year you’ll no that the biggest stumbling block was the colours for the day – already having an ideal palette in mind the bride wanted to have something different to her brother who had used the same main theme colour. All in all it came down to one photo… thank you Google! So from this inspiration the colour palette for the day took shape:
The venue was gorgeous Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham, a Victorian mansion set within its own grounds including picturesque lake. Its a hidden gem location wise and easily accessible to the main routes in and out of the town with plenty of nearby accommodation – ideal with so many family members travelling in for the special occasion.
The mansions stunning architecture was simply styled with fresh florals, with the only other styling being light up letters.l of their initials.
Florals were provided by Donna at The Flower Studio, all designed from the original inspiration picture, and with her own twist.
I think you’ll agree these bouquets are just sublime.
As a testament to this laid back bride the wedding dress was sourced after most of the big items had been organised. After a less than dreamy visit to find her dream dress, her stunning gown was found in bridal boutique Enchanted Brides, Cheltenham. Kaci and Jeanette are experts at putting brides at ease, and their no rush appointment, no maximum number of dresses to try per appointment approach was a refreshing change to what had been experienced before.
Enough talking for now, enjoy these pictures from their day:
If you want to catch up on the suppliers chosen please see the links below.
Lastly a huge thank you to my Bestie Sarah and her new hubby Andy for allowing me to share everything from their special day from concept to planning to real wedding.
You guys rock! Love you.
Sophie & Sarah
Wedding Invitations: Louise Rowles Design
Place cards/seating plan: Handmade by the Mother of the Groom
Dress: Enchanted Brides
Makeup: Make Up by Natasha Louise
Hair: Lady Amy Hair Design
Shoes: Rainbow at John Lewis
Accessories: Enchanted Brides
Photographer: Capture Every Moment Photography
Ceremony Venue: Manor by the Lake
Reception Venue: Manor by the Lake
Cake: The Cheltenham Cakery
Entertainment: Playlists put together by the groom
Its that time of year again when the air is thick with the heady scent that is Lavender. Lavandre, derived form Old French means Lavender. This botanical plant with its natural perfume (a fav of your grannys i’m guessing) is as English as it gets. But does the inclusion of Lavender in your celebrations mean your old before your time? Modern meanings for lavender include purity, calmness, devotion and serenity – nothing could be more fitting for a celebration of love.
We are so fortunate in the Cotswolds to have access to some pretty spectacular Lavender fields, rows upon rows of vibrant colour ranging from the palest lilac to rich purple as they stretch across the Cotswold landscape.
All the way back when in Greek and Roman times the Lavender plant was used for its medicinal properties as a complete first aid kit and today we predominately use it to relieve stress and soothe irritation – just imagine how relaxed and carefree your wedding day will be if you use lavender! So why am I telling you this? Because scent is as important as the dress – an often forgotten element in wedding planning coming last after visual elements such as colour, styling and location. More on this under utilized sense later.
So how do you incorporate lavender into your celebrations? From sprigs here and t.here to scented confetti or inclusion with its delicate flavour into cakes or cookies as favours. Why not use the distinctive flower heads as adornments to cocktails or place cards?
Although not set in the Cotswolds here’s a luxury wedding in France exclusively shot at the lavender fields at Sault, in Provence.
For an experience closer to home why not check out these local Cotswold Lavender Farms and Fields:
Cotswold Lavender Hill Barn Farm Cottage, Snowshill WR12 7JY
Somerset Lavender, Horsepond Farm, Faulkland, Somerset BA3 5WA
If your using or have used this wonderful botanical we’d love to hear how, why not drop us a comment below.
If there is one regret I have from my wedding, it is not preserving something, anything of the gorgeous florals that my fabulous florist created. The bouquet I designed in my mind that she lovingly created for me lives on in my memories and of course photographs. I shall not forget the scent or the vividity of colours and in deed my flowers are still one of the memories that my guests still talk about today (my bouquet was a work of art!)
But the one thing I truly wish I had factored into my planning was how to preserve this segment of our special day – sadly i was not organised enough to arrange to have them whisked away to be dried and captured in frame, or set into a paperweight (i’m really not a paperweight kind of gal anyways)
So after a Sunday morning scroll with a latte through Instagram I came across this gem, Buttonsy Jewellery, now it has to be pretty special for me to spill a drop of liquid gold, but I did, and here’s why.
Buttonsy Jewellery provide couples with the alternative to freeze dried frames and paperweights they can set your wedding florals in jewellery – think bangles, necklaces and rings (please consider cuff links tho for the guys!) What I love about this idea is that the flowers do not in any way resemble the ‘dried flower’ look, no muted tones and flakey petals here! They look almost as real captured in the resin designs as they will have done on your day. Its the perfect memento, thank you gift and perhaps future heirloom
Here’s the dried bouquet and the finished bangle piece……….. perfection
Anna Buttonsy runs and owns Buttonsy Jewellery alongside her husband Travis. Their beautiful pieces can be found over in their Etsy store or why not contact Anna for a bespoke custom made piece.
Buttonsy Jewellery – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ButtonsyJewellery?ref=profile_shopname
A real treat for you on the blog today… this bright and beautiful fusion wedding from across the pond. Across the pond? Well, wedding inspiration is global and today’s perfect blend of east meets west wouldn’t look out of place in some of the Cotswolds alternative venues.
So if your looking to plan a wedding with a cultural blend then sit back and soak up the sunshine vibes from Mita and James wedding.
How did you and your partner meet?
We met on an online dating app in Hong Kong. We had our first date after about 2 months of chatting online, and finally ended up meeting at a bar close to where we lived.
How did he propose?
He made reservations at Sevva, which is a classy fusion styled restaurant, and also our go-to restaurant for special occasions (many a 3 month, 6 month, 1 year anniversary and birthdays have been celebrated here).
I arrived a little late for the date as a hair appointment ran late and as I arrived, I was addressed as “Mrs Walker” and was ushered to the outside rooftop overlooking the city where James had booked a table with 2 glasses of champagne. I walked over and started going on about the hair appointment while he had a goofy smile on his face the entire time. Before I knew it, he got down on one knee, and while he reached into his pocket, I heard a few gasps around me from other customers watching the scene and that is when I registered what was happening! When he asked “will you marry me?”, I felt tears in my eyes, said yes, and shortly after, some staff came out to take our picture and open the champagne. It was incredibly magical!
What do you love most about your partner?
The fact that he is one of a kind! He is one of the funniest, kindest, brainiest and most amazing people I’ve ever met and he’s made me feel love in ways I’ve never felt before! He not only looks after my happiness but also deeply cares about people who are important to me. Also, he is extremely resourceful and motivated, and will do anything he sets his mind to!
Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:
I had 2 wedding gowns for our wedding, a white one for the church ceremony, and a red and gold one for the Indian ceremony. James and I went to Toronto in March 2018 where I had pre-bookings at a bunch of stores to find the perfect dress with my maid of honour. We had an emotional and girly 2 days when I tried on dresses in front of her. Funnily enough, the last store appointment on my list was the only one she couldn’t make it to, and that was the store with the dress that felt the most right. I sent her some photos on my phone and after hearing her response, we knew it was the right one!
For the Indian bridal wear, the decision was a little easier. James and I made a quick trip to Mumbai in May to shop for our entire wedding attire. We went to the first and second store on my list together and James fell in love with the third dress I tried on- it was a happy and quick purchase
What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Summery with bright colours, elegant, intimate, full of love, and with a lovely representation of our 2 cultures.
What was your favorite moment from the day?
It’s hard to choose just one! One of my favourite moments was during the reception, observing friends and family from all over the world and thinking that all these people are here because they love and support us, and just feeling really lucky that everything came together the way it
Another favourite moment was walking down the aisle, locking eyes with my soon-to-be- husband for the first time and feeling a rush of emotion and excitement overcome me.
Did you walk down the aisle or have your first dance to any particular song?
For walking down the aisle, I was considering a few options of classic love songs I’d grown up with. Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ was the one that grabbed me the most and felt right. My maid of honour then helped me find a gorgeous guitar and violin version which I immediately fell in love with. We did our first dance to Amazed by Lonestar which James chose as a love song he really likes.
Any DIY décor elements?
In some Indian weddings, brides walk down the aisle with their close family and friends under a “bed of flowers”, essentially a frame covered with a pattern of flowers. This is something I envisioned for my own wedding, however, it was hard to find such a frame in Hong Kong. Therefore, James did a bit of research on how it looks, picked up blocks of wood, hard string, and an array of flowers, and constructed the frame from scratch.
Where did you honeymoon?
We are going to Israel and Jordan in February. Some key things we’re looking forward to is floating in the Dead Sea and camping under the stars in Wadi Rum.
Any tips that you can give to future brides?
My biggest tip would be to work as a team with your fiancé. I do appreciate sometimes it’s harder if your partner lives in another country, but for all the ladies whose partner is in the same city, don’t feel like you’re in the wedding process alone. Turn to your fiancé for help along the way and even make wedding planning something fun you do together. I actually found the wedding planning to be a fun project as we allocated tasks and deadlines throughout the process and had little celebrations when we saw key things being checked off the list. Having said that, I also think it’s important to not make the wedding process the key factor in your relationship. Engagement is a beautiful stage of relationship progression and the wedding is just one part of the celebration. We had 8 months to plan the wedding, and during that time, we would allocate 1-2 times a week where we’d meet and discuss wedding tasks, and the rest of the time to go on dates and enjoy being a newly engaged couple.
Finally – soak it all in! You only get to do this one time and people really aren’t exaggerating when they say the days go by in a flash. Try and stop every now and then to just take a mental snapshot – these are the moments I remember most vividly now that nearly 5 months have passed. Also try and take some time away just with your partner after the ceremony to celebrate and chat about how crazy it is that you’re finally married! We had a 2 day wedding and had a bit of time to ourselves after the first day and I remember that we were both just absolutely buzzing with adrenaline and excitement – it was a very happy way to start our marriage.
More from their day:
Real Wedding submitted by:
Tradition dictates that once wed you will take your husbands name, but the recent changes to allowing same sex couples to marry has seen a rise in the retention of the maiden or original name as well as an increase in combining surnames to create a ‘new name’. So whats the etiquette on name changing and do you have to go from maiden to married or are there other options available.
Name is hugely important, its a part of your unique and individual identify. I’m sure that most of you have been irritated when you’ve gotten a coffee and the barista has mispelt your name, or when your cold called and they mis-enunciate your name….. its a def grrr moment.Its not that I don’t love my husbands name, its part of him and his identify, so of course I do its just I don’t have the same affinity with it. Yet when my maiden name, containing a paltry 4 letters was often mispelt as a type of cheese and not the biblical gardens I like to think it came from…. I used to get so cross… how hard can it be i would exclaim I mean its only 4 flipping letters!
So the point of this post? Options…..ladies and gents you have OPTIONS!
A friend of ours once said ‘if we ever decide to get married it will be me (groom) changing my last name to hers because mines so common and boring’
Your marriage is the next chapter in your play…. its the start of your partnership (official if you like) so however your chose to start this next chapter just be sure that YOUR name reflects this, because how you feel about representing yourself will impact on how you present yourself as one half of a couple.
So what options are available to you:
- Stay as you are, your vows make your wedding not your last name
- Perhaps its your other half that wants to change their surname to yours?
- Consider combing your surnames to make a new name – this is a very popular trend right now
- Chose a completely new surname – although the paperwork side for this option can be complicated.
Whichever option you choose, just be sure its the right one…. for YOU!
So Valentines has been and gone and we look forward to the next reason to celebrate, and one of my favourites….. pancake day!!
Weddings are much the same as this…. following trends and festivals and one in particular which will heavily influence the wedding trends of 2019 and beyond is Pantone’s Colour of the Year.
Once released it always causes a frenzy between wedding stylists and planners as they take in the new tone(s) and start to include these in their future plans.
So here’s the definitive guide to Pantone Colour of the Year 2019: Living Coral.
An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge – Pantone 2019
Living coral is a vibrant yet versatile shade that can be styled across the four seasons, working equally well with feminine pastel florals for spring, as a stand alone colour to complement the sunshine of summer as well as deeper tones and berry shades for autumn whilst providing a pop of colour with the darkest of blacks for winter.
Have a look at our Pinterest collection for more ideas of how to incorporate this wonderful shade into your wedding planning:
So whenever your day is, this gorgeous shade can work with all colour’s across the seasons. Enjoy!!
Reposting from the archives today….. as couples look for ways to make the budget stretch further, would you skill swap your wedding? Here’s what happened when one bride did…..
I am always intrigued behind Brides planning processes and how they choose to go about planning their wedding. When I saw a post on Social Media from a Bride asking suppliers to skill swap my interest was immediately pipped! Do people really do this? How does this work?
After contacting the Bride to be and asking if I could chat to her about her Social Media post and to discover what this actually entailed I met up with the lovely Nina. This is her story.
Nina Jenkins is the owner and therapist at Yin-Yang Therapies, her story begins back in 2009, after trying her first Reiki treatment and the immediate health benefits she experienced Nina was inspired to learn Reiki and after studying became a qualified practitioner which saw the birth of WakeyReiki.
After combining her Reiki with Swedish massage, Indian Head Massage and Holistic Facials, Wakeyreiki has evolved into Yin-Yan Therapies where Nina says ‘ More recently I have been mixing up my treatments and tailoring them for my clients, this tailored ethos makes my offering very different to others. Yin-Yang treatments are about you and finding your optimum balance. Whilst you can sample each signature treatment as it is… I can also mindfully blend them so they are perfect – just for you’
Getting back to the Skill Swap, I asked Nina how the idea to Skill Swap elements for her day came about and how it had been received by suppliers.
How did you come up with the idea to skill swap your wedding?
I think we need to take a leaf from the old days. Bartering (or skill swapping) goes back centuries and as long as both parties are benefiting then why not? The average cost of a UK wedding is escalating beyond what modern day couples can actually afford sadly. Many are taking out loans to be able to fund large and elegant weddings and putting themselves under great pressure and some newly weds are actually paying off the debt for years after. I’m a believer of using your resources where you can, and if that’s a positive for all concerned then why not skill swap at least some of the things you would like for your special day?
How has the idea of skill swap gone down with suppliers you’ve approached?
Some have been very receptive and some have not been as enthusiastic. I think there are some grey lines with swapping, ie. are you both getting an equal share. For example, how much effort would someone need to put in to recoup the value of their services to £100? This differs with each service and product provided by suppliers so sometimes it can make it tricky.
Have you come across any difficulties with the skill swap set up?
Some suppliers haven’t totally understood the concept and this has lead to some difficulties regarding who was offering what. I was offered a swap for photography but the higher value services would have meant many hours of holistic treatments which made it unfeasible sadly. But I have found a great photograher who has offered to capture my day informally for an amazing deal.
Would you recommend it to to Brides on a budget?
Yes I would as it can help cut costs and help others. My advice is to think about a fair deal between both parties (not just in terms of money but time and effort) and set out the guidelines so there are no grey lines before agreeing to a skill swap. I know that every supplier that has offered to swap with me is benefiting from receiving some lovely holistic treatments that will make them feel much better, help them to relax, de-stress and restore themselves, which makes them more happy and productive in work and in general life. And that makes me happy.
If you hadn’t of skill swapped some services, how would this have impacted on your wedding day ideas/designs/atmosphere?
I would not have been able to splurge as much on some things that I really wanted too. I have managed to skill swap flowers, bridesmaid presents, hair styling trial and hair styling on the day, wedding nails and some essential beauty treatments in the run up to the wedding, these really eat into your budget. For example, 2 months prior to a wedding it is recommended you get regular facials every 2 weeks so you can look your absolute best on the day, so if a facial is £45 that really adds up and many brides don’t factor nails, regular facials and hair into the equation when budgeting.
Any other tips for Brides looking to cut costs?
I would also recommend offsetting any crafty DIY wedding tasks to bridesmaids and close family to help even further. For example, do you have an Aunty that can make your bouquets or an uncle who can MC on the day? Can you make anything yourself? Asking for support from those close to you can often mean you don’t have to spend quite as much from the budget.
Also check out free wedding downloadables you can get from sites like http://offbeatbride.com/diy-wedding-printables/ they are really brilliant!
Nina practices her therapies in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and can be found here:
Contact number +44(0)7903500837
If your currently planning your wedding and wondering why everyone is taking an age to get back to you its because many suppliers are in the last deep throws of wedding season, being one myself i can assure you there are LOTS of late nights at the moment helping guarantee that my clients dreams become reality.
Its now September, and the start of Autumn, will be here and with it brings Wedding Fayre Season.
Now from experience Wedding Fayres are like marmite…. you either love them or hate them. I am definitely in the love side of this relationship (hubby was definitely on the hate side, perhaps its a bride thing?)
So heres a guide on how to Wedding Fayre, with the pros (and cons) and find out how to get the most out of your experience.
The Wedding Fayre (fair, inspiration day, showcase, open day) are often held at a wedding venue, if there a venue your interested in its a good way to see how your day will ‘look’ – tablets will be dressed for a wedding and with lots of people milling around it will give you an idea of what space you will have available for your guests. If the weathers not great it will also showcase the use of the indoor space!
Wedding Fayres can be themed ie a Vintage Wedding Fayre, these are perfect if your looking to create this styling as all the exhibitors will fit this brief and save you time looking at suppliers that may not fit.
- Wedding Fayre like a pro – plan your fayres, make a list of what your after, are there suppliers you’d like to meet in person at a fayre before moving to the stage?
- Register for the event – although nearly all fayres are free these days be sure to register – you often get perks of a goody bag containing exclusive offers, early entry and a glass of bubbly!
- Choose comfort over style – believe me comfy, sturdy footwear is a must, you’ll totally underestimate the amount of walking that you’ll do.
- Do bring a spare pair of hands for all the goodie bags you’ll get – I mean that’s what bridesmaids are for, right? But be sure to bring someone whose opinions you completely trust and value
- Check out what suppliers are offering for on the day bookings – many suppliers run ‘Fayre only offers’ and a small deposit will secure potentially larger savings later on – helping your budget to stretch a little further
- Equally you’ve got to be in it to win it – some suppliers will run competitions on the day, this is a great way to win a total or partial product or service or a free upgrade
- If you’ve found the ‘ONE’ supplier – BOOK. In demand suppliers can often get booked up 2 years in advance, don’t end up disappointed because you didn’t deposit
- Be a fair weather Wedding Fayrer – heaven forbid but this is England and it may, just may rain (sleet, snow, hailstone or occasionally sunshine 😉 on your day. If the fayre is at a venue your interested in it will allow you to scope out the rainy day options
- Avoid leaving it until the last minute – if you’ve turned up with 15 minutes before the close of the event, you may not get all the information you’ll need as you scan the suppliers. Plus suppliers will be looking to start packing up and this can take quite a while!
- Don’t assume that the larger the fayre the better, by all means the larger fayres will have a much larger number of suppliers and with most organizers limiting the number in each category you can be sure of a diverse selection however don’t discount more boutique fayres if your planning an eclectic or more personalize day – they may have that one eclectic supplier you’ve been looking for!
- Its not the place for bartering – whilst we all love a bargain, a wedding fayre is not a bazzar, its not the place for haggling with suppliers to obtain the price you want to pay.
- However if you love a bargain then head over to #britishbridalbootsale– a Preloved and Ethical Wedding Fayre
For Wedding fayres coming up take a look here
Our first 12 Days of Christmas Wedding Giveaway was a whooping success over on Instagram and 12 lucky winners who either bagged themselves an item/product for their wedding or a couples and hen/stag party experience that were up for grabs.
I just wanted to give our wonderful Wedding Suppliers a shout out to thank them for their generosity. Over the 12 days we gave away OVER £1150 worth of prizes:
Day 2 – £25 voucher to spend in store at Infinity Dresses
Day 3 – £45 voucher to spend at Keepsake Corks
Day 4 – £27 Mini Cupcake bouquet from The Cheltenham Cakery
Day 5 – £80 voucher to spend on your bespoke paper bouquet from Stems from Paper
Day 6 – 2 hour inspiration planning session with The Homemade Wedding Company (worth £100-£120)
Day 7 – £100 to spend on veil or hair piece at Willoughby and Wolf as well as a bottle of bubbly
Day 8 – One bridesmaid dress from The Cotswold Wedding Company (up to the value of £100)
Day 9 – x1 Wine tasting session for 6 from Glenfall House (worth £125)
Day 10 – Fabulous Favours Workshop for 6 from The Cheltenham Cakery (worth £180)
Day 11 – Bridal hamper of luxury candle, ivory stock wedding shoes, bottle of bubbly AND the chance to make them an offer on your dream wedding dress at The Cotswold Frock Shop/The Bridal Gallery (worth £200++)
Day 12 – Supper Spa Day for 2. Evening spa from 5.30pm including 1 course dinner and wine, 1x 25 minute treatment each courtesy of Hatherley Manor Spa (worth £160)
So from me, the prize winners and all the readers THANK YOU, here’s to the Christmas 2019 giveaway!!!
Gosh what a year 2018 has been!
I am so proud of what of A Cotswold Wedding has become and I have you all to thank for that.
As a blog your engagement has nurtured and allowed a creative writing to flow from me that I never knew existed, let alone LOVE! and I plan more, much more wedding ramblings for 2019.
However its the growth of my blog baby that I wholeheartedly thank you and love you all for – it has seen the development of something very passionate to me, the empowerment of couples to have a stunning and stylish wedding there way – affordable, sustainable and ethical. This year saw the launch of our first Premier Preloved Wedding Fayre, #britishbridalbootsale and finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2019. WOWSERS.
Having been and still am, an independent wedding supplier myself, it really is a role juggling 9 million spinning plates all at once, and unless you work within the industry you’ll never know or appreciate the behind the scenes that go on – the late nights and early starts, the running on adrenaline and caffeine in the strive for clients perfection/vision, so to be able to give something back by supporting and providing networking opportunities to my fellow suppliers as been intensely rewarding.
So whats the plan for 2019…. more of the above. #britishbridalbootsale will be returning not once but twice, and our feedback from its debut means that our fayre is evolving! The ethos will remain on preloved with the additional of ethical in the sense of local, independent sellers – ensuring that couples can have a sustainable wedding that can be a green as possible should they choose.
With two new events in the pipeline also – Style and the Bride and Find Your Dream Dress we have lots to look forward to.
If you’ve not already signed up for the newsletter you can do so here:
Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year