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.

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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

Wedding Diets… DON’T EXIST!

Yep you heard it here first…. Wedding Diets Do Not Exist.

Following on from the uproar caused when this week a large UK Wedding Inspiration Blog haplessly used the hashtag, #loseweightgainahusband i write this post from the comfort of my soap box. There is no science behind what I’m about to write (rant!) just 34 years of personal experience with a healthy dose of common sense and a dollop of reality.

WEDDING DIETS DO NOT EXIST

When this first popped up on my insta feed I did a double take – no one could be that insensitive, Could they? I’m appalled that in this day and age this old fashioned and quite frankly outdated view is still out there, why?

Put simply, this came across as body shaming – the ideology that you won’t get (or hold onto) a husband if your not skinny or less than you are now. Don’t get me wrong if your all for getting into shape for your wedding and wanting to tone up or shape up then fine…

What is NOT FINE is the pressure (and body shaming) placed on brides to be (and bridesmaids to be) to be stick thin and too look a certain way….

So please join me in saying that beautiful is beautiful and love is love – size has got nothing to do with it!

When your partner proposed or if you proposed to your partner did you say ‘I want to marry you but please lose X amount of weight first’ – NO!!

Just a rough guess here 🤔 but reckon it might be because they love you for who you are?? You know the personality, little quirks and idiosyncrasies that we all have, the things that make us individual and unique unlike a generic size 10 – I mean anyone can be one of those.

For those of you currently trying on wedding dresses this can be a scary and vulnerable time, especially as we have a current gap in the market with many designers only making wedding dresses up to a size 12/14. I still recoil in horror recounting an experience i had trying on wedding dresses – i was not body confident, a size 12 which wobbled in the slightest breeze. To undress in front of a total stranger and then have them try and help you get into a wedding dress is embarrassing enough – but when the design you really want to try on and your both struggling to pull it up your body and the assistant then remarks ‘well it is a size 8, do you want to come back at a later date’ – I was mortified. I walked out there and then.

Its also no secret that weddings are stressful….. the downside of being a woman is this:

Stress increases the level of Cortisol AKA the stress hormone. Increased levels of Cortisol can cause higher insulin levels which in turn means your blood sugar drops causing you to comfort eat. And where do those extra calories go?… yep the hips, thighs and bum. Its true what they say, a moment on the hips a lifetime on the hips!

My own wedding dress had a lace up back, whilst a pain to get on and off I will be forever grateful for the chance to go up and down thanks to this clever design… why? Because i put weight ON in the run up to my wedding, not amount of clean eating, exercise and water helped – probably all due to the stress hormone mentioned above, I even attended an intense 6 week bootcamp to shift those extra pounds, I was unsuccessful. Happiness is to do with the person inside not their dress size.

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Here I am on my own wedding day. What size do i look like? 

It is our duty to be empowering our brides to feel fabulous no matter what size or shape they are and to put their best wedding foot forward as they embark on the next chapter of their lives

So whatever your size, shape or inclination – beautiful is beautiful and love is love, size has NOTHING to do with it so be happy in own skin.

Sophie

xx

Cover image taken from Rock the Frock

 

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