Would You Skill Swap Your Wedding?

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’

 

YinYangD Yin Yang Therapies

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!

 

Sophie

xx

 

Nina practices her therapies in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and can be found here:

Website: www.yinyangtherapies.com

Email info@yinyangtherapies.com

Contact number +44(0)7903500837

Twitter @yinyangholistic

Facebook: @yinyangholistictherapies

Instagram: missyinyangholistic

 

 

Advertisements

How to Wedding Fayre and why you should

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.

Definite Dos

  • 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

 

Definite Don’ts

  • 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

Happy fayreing!

Sophie xx

 

Engaged? Why your Planning needs a Plan

Engaged? Why your planning needs a plan

He’s proposed, it was the most surreal and beautiful moment of your life, you said yes (it was always going to be yes!). Suddenly everything is clouded in confetti covered specs.

Then it begins…… where to have the ceremony, will it be church or civil? At the same venue as the reception or local registry office. Home or Abroad? The start of a very long list of decisions.

wedding-day
Wedding day in diary

Many a consultation has seen me chatting to Brides who have had to spend money rectifying earlier mistakes simply because the excitement of planning her wedding has completely run away with her (one client bought 4, yes 4 different wedding dresses!). Of course what Bride to be isn’t excited, and I would certainly be concerned if your weren’t but with a few simple hacks it can be an efficient and streamlined process (with minimal stress!) and a touch easier on the pocket.

The biggest mistake that I commonly see Brides make is the same one I did. Newly engaged I rushed out and cleaned the shelf off every Wedding magazine known to man. I couldn’t wait to get home and  within an hour had planned at least five different weddings.

A favorite quote of mine is one from Winston Churchill:why-you-need-a-formal-marketing-plan-3-638

If I where to do it again this is what i’d do and in this order:

  1. Have a Wedding Planning Prenup

Sit down with each other and agree upon the length of engagement, take a rough look at costings (easily found doing a google search) and agree on your budget (then add on 10%). Write this down as an informal agreement between the pair of you – saves any arguments later.

2. Treat It As A Business

Your wedding planning will become a huge part of your life for a while……. Don’t make it become your life. Ensure you have set up a separate bank account for finances so you don’t lose track of what you’ve saved (direct debits into a designated account are great!) Set up a separate email address and use this for everything from RSVPs to conversing with suppliers. Into social media – set up a Instagram account with your own hashtag ie #mr&mrsliggat so any photos taken on the big day, respective stag and hen nights or for those times that your wedding planning ie dress and suit shopping,  your friends can use the hashtag and you can save or print pics as necessary.

3. Checklist, Checklist, Checklist

Yes its uber boring but make a checklist for everything, and I mean everything. Not just for the things you need to ie book venue, get dress, order suits etc but also for example a shot checklist for your photographer to ensure that those important shorts are captured, a checklist of approximate timing on the day (make sure that you give this to a couple of people in the wedding party in case you need it for reference on the day. It also means that when you suddenly cant remember if you’ve booked or organised something you have a written copy to refer to and wont need to ring a supplier in a panic to check.

4. Be Tourists

Your venue is one of the biggest spends generally, when researching the venue it really is beneficial to visit as many as possible, stay the night if applicable, eat there, experience the venue after all that is what you will be parting your cash for: the vibe and experience of your chosen venue. Don’t be afraid either to think a little outside the box , is there a restaurant, club or cinema that has special meaning to you both? We approached our local hillclimb racing track (hubby is an amateur car racer) and had our reception there, whilst friends of ours had their reception meal at the local indian.

5. Pound The Streets

Every girl wants to sort THE dress, before you do this you need to know what type of wedding your having: a festival, traditional church, castle, beach – a full on princess dress would be perfect for a castle wedding but may look alittle out of place if you having a festival themed do. Try and hold off and save your feet, until you’ve agreed on the venue and style of your big day.

Bridal Dress shopping – the one piece of advice I can give you here is to block out time to spend pounding the streets for the ONE. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes, take your trusted maids and plan which shops your going to hit and when (most will require you to book an appointment), with military precision. Whilst you may have an idea of the style and type of dress you like, BE OPEN MINDED. The dress I ended up with was not what I thought id have. Trust the stylists, they dress brides to be every day of the week!

6.  Choose Your Entourage Wisely

Whilst we all have our besties in mind when picking bridesmaids and best men, be truthful – how are there organisational skills? Can you depend on them? They need to be the people that will be honest with you that the puffball wedding dress you’ve got your heart set on actually makes you look like you’ve gained 10lbs, that pick you up when the alcohol hits on the hen night and you have a sudden drunken meltdown. Should something happen on the day would you trust them to make the right decisions in your stead?

5. Its Ok to Social Media Stalk

When picking suppliers, research, research, research. Social media is great for finding out what suppliers you like, monitoring their work, reading their reviews.  Once you’ve a short list arrange to meet with them – its vital that you have a great working relationship with your suppliers.

6.  Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Whilst it would be dreamy that you have real confetti petals, rose buttonholes for all the males guests and a rose wrist corsage for the ladies, a harpist while guests wait outside the church, an organist for the entrance, not to mention junior and senior choirs for that ‘voice of an angel’ hymn singing. Be realistic – what is important to you. Are real rose petal confetti going to mean the difference between a good and great best day of your life? Are multi pocket invitations in gilded gold really that important? By all means if you’ve the budget and you want them, go ahead. If you haven’t….. how important is it? Equally whilst its nice to have extras such as sweet charts, favours, table confetti, you don’t have to have them.

7. Don’t Underestimate the DIY

Every bride wants to feel like they have made a personal touch to their day, some more than others. However do not, under any circumstances, underestimate the time factor in your planning if you are DIY’ing aspects of your day. If its something you can only create nearer the day ensure you factor in lots of practice runs beforehand! I made my own invites – simple enough and I only needed 50 so a couple of hours work right? It actually took me 3 days and i eventually made double that number as I tweaked designs etc along the way.

8.Your Day, Your Way

You will have to learn to be diplomatically strong. Try not to take family comments to seriously if they express a dislike to something you have planned. Calming state that this is what you and your other half have decided  – once you enter into explanations of why you have picked that and not this you will irreverently start to doubt yourself. Remember this is YOUR day so its needs to be done YOUR way.

9. If It Goes Pete Tong………SMILE

Unless you have complete OCD or have employed a Wedding Planner, things will go slightly off plan. Its unrealistic to think it won’t. However only you will know if things have gone awry. At my own wedding i totally forgot to do a table plan – yes i know. However it wasn’t an issue… people thought what an refreshing idea it was to allow people to sit where they liked! I just smiled and let them carry on thinking id planned it!

wedding-planning-mistakes

Sophie

xx

Thank You to our Wedding Giveaway Sponsors

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 1 – 10x Wedding Advice cards from Precious Times (£3.99) and Rhinestone ‘I Do’ Shoe Stickers (£3.99) from Dymonds Shoes

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!!!

Sophie

xx

Farewell 2018…. Hello 2019

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:

http://eepurl.com/dtL0ur

Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year

 

Much love

Sophie 

xx

On the twelfth day of wedding giveaway…..

On the twelfth day of Christmas……

.

This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.

Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.

To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @hatherleymanorhotel_spa .

.

and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.

.

Today’s prize:.

Supper spa day for two

Use of facilities from 5.30pm

1 x 25minute treatment each

1 course dinner and a glass of wine in the hotels main restaurant.

Valid until 30th June 2019. Available Monday – Thursday.

.

Prize value £160

.

.

UK entrants only, winner picked at random and will be notified by Direct Message.

.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.

Head to the grid to enter:

Good luck

Sophie

Xx

.

On the eleventh day of Wedding Giveaway….

On the eleventh day of Christmas……

This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.

Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.

To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @cotswoldfrockshop .

and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.

Today’s prize is a 2 parter:

Firstly @cotswoldfrockshop are allowing you to MAKE THEM AN OFFER on your dream wedding dress (this is a one time only offer!)

Alongside your confirmed wedding dress order you’ll also receive:

👰🏻 One free pair of ivory stock wedding shoes during December.

👰🏻 Our signature fragrance candle and hand balm x 1.

👰🏻Hamper of goodies worth over £200.00

Total Prize Worth: £200++

T& Cs:

No cash alternative or change given.

Please contact the Cotswold Frock Shop for full terms and conditions .

UK entrants only, winner picked at random and will be notified by Direct Message.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.

Head to the grid to enter https://www.instagram.com/acotswoldwedding

Good luck

Sophie

Xx

On the tenth day of wedding giveaway…..

On the tenth day of Christmas…..

This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.

.

.

Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.

.

.

To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @thecheltenhamcakery .

.

and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.

Today’s prize is a Fabulous Favours workshop for 6 people. Learn how to create your own wedding favours simply and easily using a range of fondant techniques along with packaging ideas and personalisation techniques. Perfect hen idea.

.

Prize value £180

.

T& Cs:

No cash alternative or change given. .

Booking dates are subject to availability.

There is a 48 hour cancellation policy with this voucher.

.

.

UK entrants only, winner picked at random and will be notified by Direct Message.

.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.

Head to the grid to enter: https://www.instagram.com/a cotswoldwedding

Good luck

Sophie

Xx

.

On the ninth day of wedding giveaway…..

On the ninth day of Christmas……

This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.

Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.

To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @glenfallhouse.

and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.

Today’s prize is a Wine tasting session for 6 people at stunning Cheltenham exclusive use venue Glenfall House.

Prize value £125

T’s & C’s

No cash alternative

Bookings can be made Mon-Fri 10am-7pm or Saturdays 10am-4pm. Booking dates subject to availability.

U.K. entrants only, winner picked at random and notified by Instagram direct message.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.

Head to the grid to find out more: https://www.instagram.com/acotswoldwedding

Good luck

Sophie

On the eighth day of wedding giveaway…..

On the eighth day of Christmas……

This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.

Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.

To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @cotswoldweddingco.

and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.

Today’s prize includes:

One bridesmaid dress – sizes 6-24 and available in over 150 colours

Value of prize – up to £100

T & Cs:

No cash alternative or change given.

Winner must visit the store to collect and choose their item, which will be ordered new for them.

Valid until 31.12.2019 – order must be placed by this date

UK entrants only, winner picked at random and will be notified by Direct Message.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.

Head to the grid to enter https://www.instagram.com/acotswoldwedding

Good luck

Sophie

Xx