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.

For Wedding fayres coming up take a look here

Happy fayreing!

Sophie xx

 

Advertisements

When life gives you lemons………

I write this as I am sitting in the trauma waiting room waiting for hubby to go down for surgery (severed his thumb tendon in a work accident) 

And as I sit here, listening to bells pinging,  trolley wheels whizzing by its got me thinking and reflecting on some pretty big events that have happened in our lives;  buying a home, birth, death and of course marriage. 

Back when we planned our own wedding, I remember the utter feeling of disparity and dispondment, the date was getting nearer, the budget was stretched to breaking point and I felt a huge weight of all the things that we still had to organise, and pay for.  It took a mini meltdown for me to take stock, re-evaluate what was important. Cutbacks and changes to your minds eye plans are always tough and any deviation from ‘the plan’ can feel like failure, but by celebrating the positive and embracing the negative you can adapt and move forward. You’ll be an amazed at your own inner strength and what you can achieve – styling your own flowers, venue decorations, cake making, stationary etc 


In reality the importance of place names or favours, whether you’ve had a flora extraganzena or hired the latest big boy band are in many respects the ‘small stuff’, you know the bits that aren’t really important, (the important bits are your commitment and vows to one another) but you’d dearly love to have. And please don’t  get me wrong if you’ve the budget and it’s there then go for it! But if things are tight and it’s getting you down re-evaluate what important to you, what is important to you both as a couple. 

And being actually married…. yes there’s the fluffy honeymoon period but life goes on.. it doesn’t remain fluffy and there will be trials and tribulations along the way (gosh that sounds bleak!) but there’s all the fun amazing stuff too that will define you as a couple and strengthen your bond. 

So I think what I’m trying to say is don’t sweat the small stuff and when life throws you a curveball, or a lemon,  it doesn’t mean panic, disappointment, disaster. Embrace that lemon and definitely make lemonade, of course  with extra sparkle 😉 

Sophie xx

Immortalizing your Wedding Flowers – the Modern Way

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!)

il_570xN.1145144074_9cp1

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

So if your getting married or just want to check out some serious swoon worthy jewellery head on over to Buttonsy and be amazed and in awe of Anna’s beautiful craftsmanship. In fact i’m heading over now to browse (swoon) some more.

Happy Planning

Sophie xx

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Buttonsy/

 

 

Lavandre, Lavandula, Lavender, Love

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.

 

Happy Planning

Sophie xx

 

Why the biggest trend this year is: DIY Weddings

How many times have you opened the covers of a glossy magazine or your browser and seen something so delectably fabulous you’ve just had to have? Only to be brought sharply back to earth with a thud when you’ve managed to find the price tag? (why is it cost is always so cleverly hidden when its out of budget, the search only makes you want it more, clever marketing!)

This year has seen an abundance of luxury wedding suppliers offering those who don’t have start studded wallets but do want to gain a touch of luxe for less with the rise of the creative workshops – suppliers in their niches are offering a wide range of workshops and classes where for a fraction of the cost you can go along and learn how to create one of their products, services or learn the skills to have that item or look for less. Often with some delicious nibbles and a glass of bubbly (because we know how to treat you creatives/brides to be!)


Its fast becoming thee way to Hen Party with Brides and their gals opting for some creative therapy instead of that boozy night out or sun filled weekend away – because a Spa day has become soo last year (although a day of pampering is always gratefully received) but as Brides realise that they can better spend their cash upskilling AND having fun with the girls.
However its not just a way to stretch the budget further but as more Brides are wanting to add that personal touch to their special day, its the satifsication that they have created a part of their day that is trully theirs. Their really is nothing better than watching the satisfied faces of those appreciating something beautiful that you have made. After all who doesn’t love a handmade gift?

So if you are looking to learn a new skill then some of our featured workshops may be of use, who knows you may enjoy it so much that it takes you on a different path.

 

Happy Planning

Sophie xx

 

Mauve is the New Pink (that makes the boys wink ;-)

As far as trends go Wedding colour’s are up there, the slightest shade variance determining whats in, whats out. Blush tones have been the colours of choice for the last few years but is that all set to change?

Greenery is set to be huge this year as its Pantone Colour of 2017. But what else is proving popular? Trending on Pinterest right now is Mauve and its official….. Mauve IS the new pink.

The boring bit…… Mauve is a pale purple colour that contains more grey and blue than straight purple, not dissimiliar to the tone of a dusky pink (and how popular was that trend) according to good ol’ google.

Just think of it as a dusky lilac and your somewhere handy!

Mauve

The versatility of the shade means the lighter tones are perfect for spring and summer providing a wistful and romantic twist, think #wisteriahysteria; whilst the darker aspects of the colour add dimensions for depth to autumnal and winter weddings, working well when paired with green/silver/grey toned foliage alongside  other colours such as white, cream, pink, lilac & purple.

Here’s some mauve inspiration to get your juices flowing:

Happy Planning

Sophie 

xx

 

Bridal Confidence – The elephant in the room

Weddings are a source of excitement and enjoy, admittedly there may be tense moments, families are a rich and diverse collection of people and on occasion may not blend together, but on the whole its against the grain to think that for some their wedding day just doesn’t conjure up quite the same thoughts of eternal elation.

The thought of posing in countless positions for photographs, to speaking in public about their undying love is enough to bring about a cold sweat and thoughts of eloping or in extreme conditions ‘calling it off’! Even the most confident bride can experience a wobble and may need alittle help to channel the beauty from within, because yes brides to be… you are all beautiful.

So whether you need a pep talk to get you going or to talk through how to stand or pose for the best pictures we have the experts on hand to help.

Two such ladies who understand the pressures of wedding planning and more importantly women are Susie Mackie and Dawn Swinley.

Susie Mackie is a wedding photographer who is passionate about photographing people. However Susie’s passionate goes deeper than just capturing your perfect day. Recognizing a need that some Brides needed a little boost she created My Sensuality  – a boudoir experience that she originally created for brides to be which revealed the beauty within, whilst giving brides an experience that they found liberating, confidence building, empowering and fun!  For some it has changed their lives forever, and for others they simply see themselves as others do – beautiful.

Susie says:

My style is timeless, emotional, and genuine; I capture your natural sensuality revealed through your eyes and body language, talking you through your poses and enabling you to feel truly liberated. To me, people are unique “living art” – the texture and tone, character and curve – and I celebrate this through my imagery.

My mission is to give you the confidence to feel good about all of you – from the inside out! If a very brief encounter with Penny and me at a My Sensuality shoot can empower you to feel good about yourself and love your images, then we have achieved what we set out to do!

Dawn Swinly is a nutrition and wellness coach , her business Mode-De-Vie provides a variety of solution’s to today’s modern women’s issues and her aim is to help you enjoy all that life can offer without you being burdened with unattractive and unnecessary body fat or health issues that drain your energy, ruin your looks and diminish your self-confidence.

Dawn says:

‘Many people don’t understand the power of nutrition and its impact on their mind, body and spirit. Or they think to be healthy, you have to live on rabbit food or starve yourself or not enjoy any treats. No Faddy Diets or Finger Pointing Here. What you will get is someone who is a qualified Nutritionist who understands what you need to feel amazing and it’s not starving yourself, being scolded or trying to sell you the next “Magic Bullet” to being slim.

So what have these two fabulous ladies who understand women been up to? and more importantly how can they help you!

They bring you – Complete Bridal Confidence

img_0567

The ultimate in boosting your Bridal confidence by dedicated experts in a relaxed, warm environment with of course complementary fizz. Helping you to look and feel fabulous both inside and out and allow the best possible version of you shine.

Susie and Dawn will be introducing their amazing new concept CBC – Complete Bridal Confidence on 8th May 2017 at The Greenway Hotel and Spa, Cheltenham.

There support network includes a private Facebook group called Brides United, you can join it HERE. This is a place of sanctuary where you can ask questions, find out information and discuss your wedding with other contributors.

Be sure to join them and enjoy a glass of fizz, soak up invaluable information, ask our experts for advice, and enjoy our short but enlightening presentation when we will outline the concept of CBC – and share a super special offer for the first 5 brides to book a CBC package!

By the time you leave, we are confident that you will be happy in the knowledge that we are all there to hold your hand during your wedding planning, and will help make your dream wedding a reality, because as the L’Oreal adverts say ‘you’re worth it’.

Get your tickets for the launch event here:   Complete Bridal Confidence Tickets

It promises to be a fun, informative and enlightening experience, why not book tickets for mother of the bride and your maids too?

Happy planning

Sophie xx

She Callers Herself a Wedding Blogger

Its official……. I call myself a Wedding Blogger now.

6ff568f85f6f2ebe12467830fdb18055

 

Looking back at that sentence fills me with slight trepidation, but its true and I am thrilled to bring you the latest trends, news and of course my ramblings with regards to Weddings in the Glorious Cotswolds. So who am I?

My name is Sophie and I am addicted to Weddings. After running my own very successful award winning wedding business (and continuing to do so) I have learnt that as a sole trader it is hard to keep the numerous plates spinning with regards to running a business and that in the Wedding industry, in the long term, it is collaboration and not competition that is the key to success. Its also the way to make life long friends to share the soletrader road with! Having planned my own wedding I remember only too well the minefield of options that presented itself and looking back how the sheer vastness of the task meant I did somethings the hard way and other things with not enough thought! Don’t get me wrong i will always remember my special day as the best day of my life (along with the birth of my children) but would I do things differently? There would most certainly be some additions and a couple of tweaks of course!

My experience has shown me that being a small fish in a big pond mean couples may miss out on electric suppliers quite simply because they couldn’t find them! Looking back, and hindsights a wonderful thing, I really wished that there had been a resource that detailed suppliers in this area, I’d often find something I really wanted for our wedding (normally in the glossy mags) only to discover I couldn’t source the item locally and hence for us became unobtainable either due to distance or courier costs.
title_planning

My aim….. to provide an informative, inspiring and sometimes funny, take on Weddings in the Cotswolds mixed with hidden gem venues and fantastic local suppliers ensuring that couples can connect with the resources and knowledge they need to make their very special day amazing. I hope you’ll love the content here at A Cotswold Wedding, if your getting married be inspired by our blog and find what you need in our directory.

Sophie

xx

#WeddingWednesday

Every Wednesday we’ll be running #weddingwednesday!


We’d love to focus on a topic that’s relevant to our couples? Perhaps you have a guest dress code issue? Or are you unsure whether to theme or not to theme!

We’d love to hear from you so drop us a line with what you’d like featured and we’ll do our best to cover it in the next few weeks!
Sophie xx

Wedding Hair Flair

The last couple of years the trend for wedding hair styles has been lots of side plaits, buns, chignons and soft curls. Classic up dos that will never date. What will the trend be for 2017 ?
 As weddings get a lot more casual with some choosing tipi tents, camping sites and countryside locations,  hairstyles are opting for a much softer look, vintage, waves, twisted rolls, bohemian.
 img_0022-1
So how do you go about choosing a wedding hairstylist, what makes one stylist better than another ?  It’s easy to be the cheapest but it takes skill, expertise, and experience over many years to be the best choice. With so many websites and social media to look through it can all be very helpful but also mind blowing !  
Recommendations from other suppliers and venues is a good starting point. Also go to their Facebook page to see if they are exhibiting at a local wedding fair this way you get to meet them. Presentation of website, gallery and feed back from recent brides is always a good sign.
A lot of stylists now do a complimentary consultation before making a booking so you get to know your stylist, this is also a good opportunity to discuss  hairstyles for you and the bridal party  and what can be achieved with your hair. It’s very important you are happy with their presentation and most of all want to have them around you on your special day.  If you do not have the time to meet, give them a call it’s nice to have an informal chat instead of just an email.
img_0021-2
If your thinking about hair extensions for those brides who do not have enough hair in length or thickness to achieve your chosen hairstyle this can be discussed with your stylist at the consultation and she will give you the best advise. Some supply their own but make sure they are the best quality real hair and not synthetic ones which can badly damage your hair. 40% of brides now use them. Plus you get to keep them to use for another occasion.
It’s important to have a hair trial to see if your happy with the style, sometimes slight changes can be made on the wedding day but major changes are not possible to get you and your party finished on time. For any reason your not happy at the trial don’t be afraid to tell your stylist  it’s better for her to redo it, and get it right, rather than you having to rebook or trying to find someone else when there are all booked up. 
Make sure you take along your hair accessories so your stylist can create a style that compliments them.
 img_0019-2
Booking a wedding hair specialist will make you look and feel glamours, and compliment your whole outfit, you will have the photos to admire for the rest of your life
Todays Wedding Hair blog is courtsey of Valerie Butler from The Big Hair Day
Valerie is a fully qualified and highly experienced hair stylist. After initial training Valerie moved to London, gaining invaluable experience working in some top-class salons. An opportunity arose for her to travel the world, working on luxury cruise liners. It was during this time she developed a passion for creating elaborate hair styles
Turning her passion and creativity to the wedding market you can be confident that Valerie will create a truly reflective hairstyle for you on your special day.
Contact Valerie:
Valerie Butcher
Tel: 01684 566421
Mobile: 07812 540133
Email: valerie@thebighairday.com