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

 

 

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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

 

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