Venue Spotlight: Lapstone Barn

On a chilly February day i was thrilled to be invited to Lapstone Barns for a Champagne Lunch and exclusive look see around this new exclusive use events venue. Having heard about Lapstone on the grapevine for a while and how fabulous it was, meant it was top of my list of must see new venues.

I am always on the hunt for beautiful, unusual, eclectic venues to showcase to you and Lapstone Barn does not disappoint. Situated on the outskirts of Chipping Campden, and a stones throw from Broadway and Moreton-In -Marsh.

Lapstone barn is an Grade II listed 18th Century Barn, which up until the 1980s was part of a working farm. More recently it was granted change of use status and a series of workshops and business were run from the site before the decision to renovate the barns and create the ultimate North Cotswolds events venue.

Situated in the middle of a field, with panoramic views over the cotswolds, the barn makes an eye catching sight in her traditional honey coloured Cotswold Stone hue, making it every inch the idyllic Cotswold stone barn

As with all barns, you usually expect that slight chilly feel when you step through the doors, the thick stonework either preventing the sunshine of summer to penetrate or allowing the chill of winter to escape. In their careful renovations of this listed beauty the owners Kate and Henry have taken every consideration to retain the barns identity, whilst ensuring that every luxury and modern amenity that today’s modern bride/guest could crave.

The first thing to note as I walked through the door was the warmth…. the barn is beautifully warmed with a state of the art heating system. What was also surprising was the space available for guests to move around in, so even in inclement weather you’d still be able to celebrate in style.

In house kitchens and bar complete with roaring log fire and snug ensures that all everything has been taken care of.

You’ll Love This Venue If

Your in love with the barn wedding craze, and looking for a aesthetically pleasing, spacious venue with panoramic Cotswold views that isn’t going to cause goose bumps! The barn also has its own well stocked bar and comfy snug area for the evening.

Lapstones also have a civil license meaning you can get married either in the beautiful barn or under the trees in the central courtyard. Before moving onto the larger space for your wedding breakfast.

Can my guests stay

Whilst there is no current accommodation on site, there are plans to renovate the adjoining Edwardian farm house into luxury accommodation. Lapstones location means there are plenty of local options for guests including Dormy House Hotel, Manor House Hotel along with a variety of smaller boutique establishments and B and B’s. Lapstones can provide a list of local places to stay on request.

The barn does have a hayloft suitable for brides and her maids to get ready in – containing a wet room and spacious lounge area.

How Many Guests Can It Hold?

The barn can hold up to 200 guests for the ceremony, and able to comfortably sit up to 250.

Should you need to, a marquee can be erected next to the barn to cater for larger parties.

Why Chose This Venue

If your after that perfect barn wedding or a venue with stunning views that is a completely blank canvas then Lapstones is for you. The experienced in house team are happy to cater for all whilst the beautiful hayloft is the perfect place for brides and her maids to get ready in or to use for a few quiet moments during the day to regroup.

Not too mention it’s exclusive use offering meaning you can party freely with everything at your finger tips.

The main draw for this beautiful barn is its light, spacious floor space and deliciously warm interior. Whilst a central inner courtyard gives the option to mingle outside and provides additional floorspace meaning you and your guests will never feel crowded.

More images to swoon over:

Contact Lapstone today to secure your wedding date:

Website: https://www.lapstonebarn.co.uk

Call: 01386 849024

Email: info@lapstonebarn.co.uk

Happy Planning

Sophie

xx

Snow Wedding or No Wedding?

The last few days here in the UK has seen a Siberian polar front collide headlong into Storm Emma – the result minus temperatures, heavy snow and ice. Just in time for those getting wed over the weekend.

So if an unexpected Siberian weather front suddenly threatens your big day what do you do? Do you cancel or do you embrace the change and spend your last remaining hours wedding planning pintrest’ing the perfect snow wedding pics?

Honestly….. it’s your call and you need to do what’s right for you. But I truly believe that only you can let bad (unplanned) weather ruin your day.

Here’s a few tips for when the weather doesn’t play ball and snow threatens play:

  • wellies – don’t leave home with out them
  • blankets and wraps – nothing makes you feel warmer than snuggling in a selection of cosy cover ups – think thick, textured fabrics to ooze luxe
  • Add a touch of colour to pop against the snowy backdrop – think faux fur coats, tweeds etc why not colour coordinate with your wellies!
  • warm drinks – it may be preferable to switch the welcome fizz for hot chocolate (with cream and marshmallows of course!) and luxury coffees
  • Transportation – the beautiful Rolls Royce may not be able to make your day, consider hiring or borrowing a 4×4
  • How will your guests get around?
  • Can you hire rooms closer or at the venue for your guests?
  • As unsexy as it sounds can you get away with wearing thermals under your dress – it’ll make the outside snow shots that little bit warmer to bare 😉

For more inspiration here’s a few snowy shots:

Happy Planning

Sophie

Xx

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.

manor1

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

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 – ULTRAVIOLET

Like all those eagerly awaiting a birth announcement; artists, stylists and creatives everywhere have been waiting for Pantone Colour Institute to release the Colour of the Year 2018.

And it’s…….

Since the announcement was made the Wedding industry seems to be evenly split over whether they love or hate this shade…. and I’m definitely on the love side of this fence.

As a self confessed purple fiend I actually jumped for joy at this announcement! Now I’m not saying go all out and violet your day – did any of you see the house on Rightmove that went viral on social media that was beautiful on the outside but everything inside was this shade (and I mean everything!) if you didn’t you can find it here

According to Pantone:

Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.

Well, I like the sound of that, don’t you?

Personally I find it’s a colour with soul – a great hue to mix up any palette and pretty versatile too blending equally well with pastels or brights in shades of pinks and lilacs as it does with the cooler palettes of blues and green – even adding in a secondary pop of colour such as yellow or orange this tone can still hold its own.

Wondering how to incorporate this colour into your styling, whether your after a bold colour scheme or looking for a deep accent colour, here’s some inspiration for you:

Happy planning

Sophie

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

We’ve Been Nominated – UK Blog Awards 2018

So last week an email landed in the inbox with some very exciting news! We’ve been nominated for the UK Blog Awards for A Cotswold Wedding, how fabulous is that?!

Not just because this virtual baby of mine is a mere year old and to have been nominated this early on in our blog journey, but because it gets to showcase the amazing Cotswold venues and suppliers that I regularly recommend via all ACW’s social media platforms to a wider audience and that gives me all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings.

Now there is a voting process and I would be extremely humbled if you could spare a  minute to vote for me via this link:

https://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2018/entries/cotswold-wedding

I am passionate about what i do and bringing together couples with Independent wedding retailers –  this recognition will allow me to push ACW to becoming THE must read blog for couples marrying in the Cotswolds and provide even more for all you wonderful wedding businesses.

Thank you

Sophie

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

 

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: