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

 

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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:

 

 

Would You Skill Swap Your Wedding?

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!

 

 

Check back here in the New Year to find out how Nina’s day went!

 

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

 

 

Calligraphy the Modern Way with Ollie’s Studio


When the opportunity arose to learn calligraphy I jumped at it. My grandfather could create beautiful calligraphy pieces and I always remember being in awe of the elegant place names and thank you notes he would write. After trying it a few years ago, I thought it would be an easy way to do my own invitations, unsuccessfully I put the ink and nibs away and forgot about them.

Calligraphy is a the art of producing decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush, Modern Calligraphy is a more free flowing and informal style of calligraphy, and as such is easier for people to pick up. Even someone like me!

So what a delight I had in spending the morning with the beautiful Ofe of Ollie’s Studio in the equally lovely setting that is Tithe Barn, Bishops Cleeve. Ofe and her gorgeous daughter Ollie (Olivia) whom Ollie’s Studio is named after and her husband where warm and welcoming. I loved that this was a real family affair. Ofe is a woman of the world with Irish and Nigerian heritage, having studied in New Jersey and then Scotland before settling in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire when she met her husband. Even more admirable is at the time of teaching this workshop was heavily pregnant!

After a brief introduction to the tools and equipment in front of us and the workshop booklet that she had created we started initially learning the basics of individual stroke marks – this was a learning curve for me as it became apparent that the amount of pressure applied really is the key in creating beautiful calligraphy.

Then we moved onto letters – upper and lower case before trying out joined up calligraphy. Ofe is a patient and hands on teacher, happy to help you in any way from how to hold the pen and nib to movement of the wrist and shoulder in order to create some of the flourishings.

 

 

All of this with a mini break halfway with fresh hot coffee and scrummy pastries!

Ofe was keen to show the versatility of calligraphy, and how we could make our own style. We explored varying this with bouncy calligraphy letters, basic drawings and extra touches of flourishings.

Unlike many courses everything that we had been using was ours to take home in a little pack with follow up help emailed out to us.

I would thoroughly recommend this workshop for those who love crafting to those who perhaps want to DIY their own wedding invites, place names or table plan.

A thoroughly enjoyable morning was spent willing away a few hours learning Calligraphy, under her tutorship not a drop of ink was spilt or smudged, and I came away with not only a very useful new skill that I cannot wait to put in to practice but feeling refreshed and relaxed. Calligraphy is very therapeutic!

Ollies Studio have additional course dates available due to the popularity of this workshop and Ofe is offering a special early bird discount too. Book your place here: Beginner Modern Calligraphy Workshop Cheltenham

Sophie

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