Wedding Planning Series – 2 The Bridal Dress

This gets number 2 because quite simply once the venue has been sorted every bride will be thinking about their dress and with some bridal shops requiring orders to be placed 9 months before needed depending on your planned length of engagement you may need to get a shift on.

Now our bride had already visited a dress shop (no naming and shaming here) and the one tip I can give you is the dress buying experience is as important as the dress.

Now the experience she had quite simply wasn’t for her – it was a large and busy shop and appointment times strictly adhered to – this meant she felt rushed and restricted, as this particular boutique limited the number of dresses that she could try on during this hour. She just didn’t ‘feel’ the experience and therefore she wasn’t going to find a dress in this establishment. Nothing wrong with the shop persau but the experience she felt wasn’t going to precipitate a sale here.

Having known the lovely ladies Kaci and Janette at Enchanted Brides I recommended she book an appointment – having recently opened there gorgeous besouite boutique in Cheltenham’s Berkeley Mews.

With a stunning array of dresses there was plenty of variety in styles. There gentle, no rush approach meant I watched my bestie relax before me and actually start looking at dresses rather than a startled rabbit grabbing her quota to ensure they were tried on in the allotted time.

So here are our 12 top tips for Bridal dress shopping:

1. Wear comfy clothes – if your hitting several shops in one day you’ll be taking them off – ALOT!

2. Comfy shoes for pounding the streets

3. If you have an idea of heels that you may wear take them – heels add a different perspective to the dress

4. Sorry girls but good old comfy neural undies are required. Some styles may be strapless, backless or thinner material – don’t ruin the look with bright straps and – this can skew your feeling on the dress

5. No your body shape – but don’t feel obliged to stick to it!

6. Experiment – try a veil, headdress, hair vine it may alter how your feel/see yourself in the dress

7. Try on different colours – yup, with bridal gowns coming in lots of different shades from bright white to ivory, champagne even pale pinks and pale greys! be bold and try on different ones to see if the shading looks better on you

8. Photograph, photograph, photograph and from every angle!

9. Move in it! Remember you are going to be wearing this dress for a whole day – walk around in it, sit down in it, is it comfortable?

10. Ask about alterations – you may need to factor this in to the dress budget

11. Check lead times for dress ordering – if you’ve left it late be sure to ask what dresses the shop will be able to get in on time

12. Ask about deposits – most reasonable dress shops will require a deposit but should have a cooling off period

For obvious reasons THE ONE is not shown below but here’s a few snaps from the wonderful experience we had Enchanted Brides

 

 

Book your relaxed appointment at Enchanted Brides now:

Enchanted Brides – http://www.enchanted-brides.co.uk/

Tel: 01452 714131

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enchanted.brides/

 

 

Happy Dress Shopping!
Sophie & Sarah xx

Wedding Planning Series: 1 – Wedding Venue Recce

Following on from ‘We’re Planning a Wedding’ post and the revelation that ACW are planning a wedding here’s the first post in our Wedding Planning Series.

I touched base that the venue was booked pretty early on – way back in September 2017. As this is the generally the one element of the day that is booked first I thought a quick blog post on what to look for venue wise was order of the day and the reason behind why the venue that the couple have chosen made the cut.

Your venue will be the largest spend item for your wedding day. Therefore its an investment that needs careful consideration and hence a sizeable chuck of time will be required researching to find your dream venue that isn’t over your budget. Things to consider are:

Style of Wedding day

Maximize your budget by choosing a venue that is reflective of your overall wedding style. If your planning a country, rustic affair then barn venues will be more suitable to your needs, if your looking for a modern wedding feel then check out boutique hotels.

Depending on your style and theme for the day it may be that the additional investment in a venue may mean that any venue styling is kept to a minimum, although personally I find that fresh florals always add that extra je ne sais quoi.

Number of Guests

Venues will have a max guest capacity  for the ceremony and reception, be sure to check that your shortlist can accommodate your required capacity. If your looking to cater for a large wedding say 150-200+ your options may be limited to larger chain hotels.

Exclusivity

Do you require exclusivity – be aware you will pay a premium for this and if the budget is tight might not be something you can accommodate. Also something to consider – many exclusive use venues have a list of suppliers that you must use – mainly caterers. Be sure that you are happy with the additional tie ins before you book to avoid a costly disappointment later.

Accommodation

Will you need additional accommodation at venue for guests? what are the accommodation options like near the venue? Whilst not a necessity, it is courteous to provide guests with options available should they need/wish to stay overnight in order to attend your special day

Ambiance

Its all well a venue looking the part but whats the atmosphere like? If possible try and visit your short listed venues at varying times to get a feel of the place.

Adverse Weather

Heaven forbid that it rains but what are the venues wet and adverse weather options? Can it comfortably cater for your needs if everything has to be brought ‘indoors’? How does it feel for guests – can they flow between reception rooms freely? Is there room to breathe?

When to Book

Unless you are happy to, and your venue has the capacity to share your wedding day with another couple, if you find the wedding venue of dreams, BOOK! A small deposit will often secure your date and prevent other couples from booking. Remember popular venues can be booked two to three years in advance!

So the ACW venue for our September 2018 wedding is…. Manor By The Lake.

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This venue has been chosen for the following reasons:

  • its a gorgeous venue that the couple fell in love with and has it own lake and tree lined walkway perfect for those all important memory making photographs
  • onsite accommodation as guests will be travelling from varying locations across the UK
  • plenty of room for guests to mingle and move around – plus an option of a games room which I’m pretty sure got the grooms vote!
  • the classic styling of the manor house fits the couples ideal for wedding styling and minimal additional styling /props will be needed
  • plenty of onsite parking for guests
  • the food was delicious!
  • complimentary stay in the honeymoon suite or the option of staying in the private cottage on site

Happy Planning

Sophie & Sarah

xx

Insta #bestnine2017 – the best is yet to come

**** Soppy post alert ****

Thank you to all you wonderful readers of the blog, supporters of the online directory and all those who have enabled me to continue blogging and sharing my passion for weddings with the wider world.

Our first year has been incredible and I am looking forward to what 2018 is going to bring.

We have visited some beautiful venues, met some fabulous suppliers and got to gorge regularly on all things pretty which i have loved sharing with you over on the blog.

Here’s a snapshot courtesy of #instagrams #bestnine2017 of what happened!

So lastly I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year, congratulations to all those engaged or newlywed the next act in the play of life has begun

Happy New Year

Sophie

We’re Planning a Wedding

If you recently got engaged…. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

It’s inevitable when your bestie finally (it’s been a long engagement) sets a date and your asked to be Maid of Honor that planning fever sets in! I actually think I’m more excited than her – but that’s because I get to help plan a wedding all over again, it certainly wasn’t all smiles when I planned my own and you can read about that on Engaged? Why your planning needs a plan

Now the big days September 2018 – not long at all (9 Months! Ekk) and the couple have already chosen and booked their venue but that it! what about the other weddinphernalia? There’s still so much to do!

So join us and follow our exciting journey as we delve into the depths of wedding planning through the highs and lows for those hidden gems, hilarious outtakes and of course some of the best DIY’ing tricks we’ve come across

We can’t wait to share our planning journey with you

Sophie & Sarah

Xx

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

 

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

Win a Wedding: Baker is excited to create unique dream cake for winning couple by Lily Pattinson

If you are the lucky couple that Wins a Wedding then you are in for a yummy treat as local caker Sophie Liggat from The Cheltenham Cakery will be making your Wedding Cake.

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Sophie founded the Cheltenham based and aptly named company since 2011, her philosophy is simple, Cake should be freshly baked, look stunning and of course be absolutely delicious.

Why not take a look her creations yourself: www.thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

You can read the full article by Lily Pattinson here: http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/cake-maker-for-win-a-wedding-competition-delighted-to-create-dream-cake/story-30083079-detail/story.html

 

 

The Cheltenham Cakery  is a small bespoke award winning cakery based in Regency Cheltenham the heart of the Cotswolds, specialising in Wedding and Corporate Events and Cupcake Bouquets they delight in creating some visually stunning, fresh and mouthwatering delicious.

 

To find out more about The Cheltenham Cakery why not find them on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thecheltcakery

Win Your 20k Wedding right here in Glorious Gloucestershire

  1. The average wedding is now estimated to cost couples around 20k. That’s a sizeable chuck of moolah….. a new car, a house deposit, a year off work. So why not be in with a chance to Win Your Wedding. 


We’ve teamed up with Gloucestershire Live’s Win a Wedding worth £20k – www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/winawedding @GlosLiveOnline @QueensHotelCheltenham
With a whole host of fabulous Cotswold Suppliers it really will be a day to remember! 

The bride and groom that win this year’s competition will win the wedding worth £20,000.

They will marry at the Queens Hotel in Cheltenham on April 13, 2018.

It will include rings, a dress, a hen party and much more.

Couples can enter the competition by visiting www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/winawedding and the last date for couples to register is Monday, 6th February at 12 noon

The winning couple is simply the pair that collects the most tokens from the newspaper.

A supplement with all the participating couples will be published on Saturday February 4 along with the first token in both the Citizen and Echo.

Tokens will printed daily from Monday February 6 for four weeks until Saturday March 4.
All tokens must be received by 12pm on Wednesday March 8. The couple who collect the most tokens will win the wedding.
Here is a list of all the prizes that the winning couple will receive.

Venue: The Queens Hotel, Cheltenham

Complimentary menu tasting for the wedding couple

Red carpet in ceremony room

Room hire for ceremony

Room hire for your wedding breakfast and evening reception

Wedding breakfast menu for 50 adults

Evening buffet for 100 adult evening guests

Arrival reception in our idyllic Lounge area – with a glass of house wine or non-alcoholic fruit punch

Half a bottle of wine per person served with the meal

A glass of sparkling wine for the toast

White linen and napkins

Cake stand and knife

Evening Entertainment – DJ until midnight

Complimentary night stay at the hotel for the happy couple on the night of their wedding

Wedding venue prize value: £10,500

Don’t just take my word for it check out the supplier line up:

Wedding Dress- supplied by SJP Bridal

Suits- £500 towards suit hire, supplied by Tuxedo Junction.

Bridesmaids dresses- £500 towards two bridesmaids dresses supplied by Nina  Furness Couture

Wedding Cake- 3 tiered cake with set up and delivery to the venue, worth £400 supplied by The Cheltenham Cakery

Wedding Flowers- budget of £500 towards wedding flowers supplied by The Flower Bowl

Rings- supplied by Truscott Jewellers

Decorations- Up to 100 chair covers and sashes and 10 table centre pieces supplied by Sweet Beginnings

Photography- A full day’s photo coverage, including a personalised disk or USB of all the images. Supplied by Diamond Shots

Bridal Hair and Make up- Hair and make up for the Bride, 2 maids and 1 mum, supplied by Gloucestershire Hair and Makeup

Entertainment- Magician and other evening entertainment of the couple’s choice (fire performance etc) to the value of £2000, supplied by Ethereal Productions
Photobooth- 3 Hour photobooth hire and a photo album supplied by Party Foto Pods.

Chocolate Fountain or fruit tower- 3 different packages to choose from up to the value of £500 supplied by Maggie’s Chocolate Fountains

Ice Sculpture- Up to £640.00 to spend on an ice sculpture, table centre pieces or buffet sculpture, supplied by Ice Creations.

Stag Do- Activity day for up to 16 people, worth £800, supplied by West Country Games.

Wedding Car- A chauffeur driven luxury Rolls Royce or Bentley up to the value of £495, supplied by Azure Luxury Cars.

Hen party- 8 spa day passes (worth £200) for the bride to use before the wedding including a treatment for the bride and 20% for all others. A ‘together we spa’ day for the bride and groom (worth £92 each) to enjoy together after the wedding, supplied by Spa 6 at Cotswold Water Park.

Honeymoon Flights- A pair of return tickets from Bristol to a BMI destination of the winner’s choice: Paris, Milan, Aberdeen, Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg.
Honeymoon accommodation- A budget of £300 towards accommodation in the location of the winner’s choice – HotelsCombined
You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Good luck everybody
Sophie xx

Wedding or Event Coming Up?….. Get Pedi at Margaret Dabbs, Cheltenham

As i’ve gotten older I am more aware than ever of my hands in photographs, their pose and importantly their condition. Our hands, and feet, are the most used parts of our body yet are often neglected.

So if you are recently engaged or have your wedding approaching its essential for those ring shots that you hands are in tip top condition. When the opportunity arose to pop along to Margaret Dabbs for a party hosted by CheltenhamMaman how could A Cotswold Wedding say no, I mean the promise of a mani or pedi taster on its own was always going to be a winner but a taster of the new Margaret Dabbs Medical Pedicure – i was not going to pass that by! After all Brides and their entourages need to know where the hottest place for hands and feet in town are, right?

 

On arriving at the salon i was surprised to find a small beautifully light room filled with colourful bottles of polishes and potions. After a very warm welcome, and champagne in hand  I was shown upstairs where Kate from CheltenhamMaman had the party in full swing. Upstairs is a bright and airy space with several consultation rooms that covers not just the world renowned podiatry services but also kitted out to cater for a wide range of additional beauty therapies.

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A little nervous of getting the old tootsies out, they weren’t looking their best after being rammed multiple times a day by children’s toys and stepped on by little people. I was treated to a taster of the Medical Pedicure by Simone, professional and friendly throughout she guided me through the basics of foot care, made observations on my feet’s condition and suggested a few tweaks to my current regime.  Did you know that buffering your nails isn’t just to make them shine? It closes the pores that are in the nail and helps to protect the nail from foreign particles!

Now i’d heard the pedicure was good but wasn’t expecting miracles, dry skin, slightly scagged toe nail, dry cuticles, it was alot to ask from a taster. Within 15 minutes I had silky soft feet and toes I didn’t recognize, they looked like they’d spent a life being pampered and my feet have never felt so light…. so much so i wanted to embrace the freezing temperatures outside and pop on the flip flops!

So Brides and bridesmaids (even Grooms!) Give those hands and feet the treatment they deserve and pop on down to Margaret Dabbs, Cheltenham, based in beautiful Montpellier, overlooking the Queens Hotel and Imperial Gardens it is the perfect serene spot to while away a few hours, being pampered and getting yourselves in tip top condition for your wedding or special event. There really is nothing more relaxing than a manicure or pedicure using the most luxurious products, by highly trained podiatrists and then lashings, if you choose, of gorgeous polishes that are again enriched with nail loving ingredients.

Why not contact the team at Margaret Dabbs today and book in – they cater for hen parties and large groups so what better way than to have quality ‘bride and bridesmaid’ time? OR why not spoil that mother of the bride or bridesmaid and treat them with a gift voucher for a mani or pedi? I mean its a guaranteed ‘will you be my bridesmaid’ yes.

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I wish that Margaret Dabbs had been in Cheltenham when I got married – I would have definitely had a medical pedicure – the full treatment is a luxurious 45 minutes long and i can guarantee that you will be leaving with not only the most gloriously pampered toes but walking on air! I shall definitely be booking in for the full treatment in the future.

 

Signing off with the fabulous feet!

Sophie xx

 

About Margaret Dabbs

Margaret Dabbs is herself a podiatrist and foot expert,  and her passion for not only foot care but the importance of creating and using products that offer  a treatment but didn’t compromise on beautifying, anti-ageing and luxurious lead her to create the Margaret Dabbs London brand. More recently Margaret and her team have pioneered the now world renowned Medical Pedicure .

More photos from the event:

Real Wedding: A Modern Day Knight In Shining White – A Cotswolds Fairytale

Most little girls start dreaming of their wedding young…. probably something to do with the abundance of Disney films where the princess/girl next door wins the heart of the handsome and charming prince who rides to her aid on his trusty stead.

So what happens when this fairy tale is set in the 21st Century? The trusty stead is replaced with modern day horsepower… a Nissan GTR Supercar of course. Married in a traditional church ceremony at the stunning St Michael’s and All Angels Church before riding off into the sunset (or to the reception!) at the historic hill climb racetrack that is Prescott Hill Climb.

Here are the snapshots of this beautifully unique day.

 

 

 

Ceremony: St Michaels and All Angels Church

Venue: Prescott Hill Climb

Wedding Photography: Shane Cox and Robert Leons

Rings: Edwina Edwards

Dress: Sottero and Midgley

Suits: Slaters Menswear

Catering: Prescott Hill Climb

Event Decor: All About Fun

Flowers: Donna Beaver at The Flower Studio

Car hire: