Wedding Planning Part 6: Flowers

So things are rumbling along nicely – most of the ‘biggies’ have been planned, booked or in the pipeline for finalizing feeling like we are #weddingbossing it!!

Flowers were next on the agenda. Again the abundance of suppliers meant this was looking to be another difficult choice. However recommendations where the key here and after seeing Donna from The Flower Studios work it was a done deal (provided she had space!)

All we had was a single pinterest photograph – the one in which we had based the entire wedding colour around – this beautiful image of a blue and peach/orange bouquet. The bride simply showed Donna and this and said – this is what we want! Absolutely fine was the reply.

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Now THAT’s got to be the first non stressful/thinking/decision making choice right there. Really looking forward to seeing Donna’s handiwork on the day and actually a tiny bit excited too! As we have no particular preference for what types of flowers are included we have chosen to go with mainly seasonal  – it is always worth discussing with your florist what flowers are and are not in season as this may effect the final cost of the bouquet.

Happy planning

Sophie & Sarah

xx

 

About The Flower Studio:

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Donna is able to provide flowers for all occasions but specialises in wedding and funeral design. Since opening the studio in 2009 business has blossomed and was awarded the SOUTH WEST REGIONAL WINNER OF THE WEDDING INDUSTRY AWARD BEST FLORIST 2012!

Website: https://theflowerstudio.squarespace.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flowerstudio21/

Mobile: 07789 625 453

Phone: 01242 704 134

Pleased to present…. British Bridal Boot Sale

So this evening I am pleased to announce the arrival of ……. British Bridal Boot Sale.

Our aim will be to hold bi-yearly Bridal Boot Sales focusing on allowing past couples to sell on their wedding paraphernalia to those getting planning a wedding.

From dresses and accessories to venue styling items and more.

Stay tuned to find out when we shall be launching our first show in the Autumn!

Happy planning

Sophie 

xx

Wedding Series Part 5: Bridesmaid Dresses

Next up was the Bridesmaid dress but this makes me feel abit weird – I feel to old to be called a bridesmaid but perhaps not old enough to be MOH. Being a smaller wedding the bride and groom decided from the off that they weren’t keen for flower girls and Page boys.

I’ve always coveted the Annabelle dress from The Cotswold Wedding Company, and judging from their social media it’s one of the most popular designs they offer and when you see it you’ll understand why!

Naturally, like all good bridesmaids I sent a photo to the bride. Now I’d like to point out i’m definitely not a #bridesmaidzilla but preliminary discussions between us meant we’d decided that any dress needed to compliment the brides choice – which without revealing too much this dress does . Never the less we looked at lots of options and different styles but kept coming back to this one. The beauty of online browsing.

After booking a free 1hr consultation online we headed to the Cheltenham studio.

With 8 styles of dresses available, with most designs offering knee and floor length, and in a staggering 150 colour choices you would be hard pressed not to find something you and your maids love in a suitable colour choice.

The dress has arrived today and it’s beautiful – the lace up back means a few pounds lost (or gained!) between now and the wedding won’t matter – yay!

Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for the final Wedding blog post to see it in all its glory!

Happy planning

Sophie & Sarah

Xx

Wedding Planning Series: Part 3 – Stationary

Apologises I’ve been alittle lack at keeping you all informed and updated on how the wedding planning is going! Ekkk it’s T minus -27 days!!!

It’s all been abit crazy and time has flown by, not too mention being flat out with wedding cakes in my other role.

So here’s part 3 – all about Stationary. With so much choice available and only 8 months to go this was one part of the planning that was more difficult than we thought it would be.

I guess being so open minded to what was available meant we didn’t have a firm choice to chase down.

For my own wedding I DIY’d our invites as I had a particular idea and style in mind. Sarah wasn’t hugely keen to go down the DIY route or how she wanted the stationary to look we turned to a professional.

Thankfully we had Louise from Louise Rowles Designs to help us navigate the mind field of wedding stationary.

Louise is based in Stroud and after years working as a designer for a card company branched out into creating personalised wedding stationary under her own name. Using her creative flair to design and produce stationary that is reflective of you as a couple but also working within your budget.

All Louise had to work with was our theme colours of pale blue and peach/orange. As this is a small intimate wedding the bride felt that she didn’t want a massive pocket fold of information but something simple and classic but didn’t feel old fashioned.

Louise was patient and after a chat about the type of day and things the bride liked along with what her expectations where for guests – did they need a detailed map to find the venue or accommodation options listed? What did the Bride need from her guests – where menu choices required along with the standard RSVP?

Picking a small select handful for her gorgeous range Louise narrowed down styles that matched our expectations.

We’ll reveal the final design after the wedding and we’re sure you’ll love it but for now a literary teaser – think think creamy paper with a slight texture, beautiful modern calligraphy writing set in an edging of pale blue detailing and soft gold pearlescent….. beautiful!!

Louise also Has set collections available to purchase which may be a more budget friendly option.

Happy planning

Sophie & Sarah

Xx

DIY Wedding Florals with The Homemade Wedding Company

On a beautifully warm day I was lucky enough to join The Homemade Wedding company at equally beautiful wedding and events venue Twyning Park. Nestled quietly next to the River Avon it was the perfect location to learn how to create your own bouquet and buttonholes whilst the sun glinted of the slow moving river.

The Homemade Wedding Company is the brain child of Jess Watson, who when planning her own wedding was dismayed at the lack of DIY wedding flower guides/tutorials and workshops. Combing her love of the creative with her passion for flowers Jess created her own wedding florals and honing her skills now offers couples the chance to learn how to create beautiful bouquets and flower crowns in her intimate workshops

After a meet and greet, (I finally got to meet handbag queen @harrietshandbags!) Jess introduced us to the flowers we would be using – roses, gerbera, gypsophilia and alstromeria.

What is great with the flowers Jess uses in her workshops are that they are readily accessible – utilizing supermarket flowers where ever possible although details of local wholesalers that do allow members of the public to purchase were great too if you wanted to use specific flowers or where looking for something that wouldn’t necessarily be in season at the time of your wedding.

Her advice for keeping these flowers fresh was another great tip and i am sure the brides on the workshop will be heavily using their baths in the run up to their day!

Each section was broken down into easy bite sized chunks – first watching Jess demonstrate the technique and them having a go ourselves – Jess was there for every step often stepping in to help out if needed. As someone who has the knack of wiring sugar flowers to a fine art I’m not afraid to share that my ‘twineing’ skills leave a lot to be desired.

from creating a simple hand tied buttonhole to the starting arrangement of your bouquet it was thoroughly covered. I had a fantastic time and have come away confident that I could recreate florals for a wedding.

…and just in case we couldn’t remember the details there was a handy crib sheet at the end to take away along with the beautiful florals we had created.

Here are my finished florals:

More pics from the workshop:

Happy planning

Sophie

xx

What to find out more:

Disclaimer

Whilst Jess kindly #gifted a place on her popular workshop all opinions and views are my own.

Venue Spotlight: The Grange, Hyde Barn

Hyde Barn is def in my top 3 favourite Cotswold Barn venues. Ideally situated between Stow-On-Wold and Bourton-OnThe-Water it has a really Cotswoldy feel to it and due to its good access and central location a popular choice for those couples who have family and friends spread far and wide (the handy on site accommodation is a bonus too!)

When I was offered the chance to come and check out their new Ceremony barn, The Grange, how could I say no?

The barn has been expertly styled to complement Hyde House and Hyde Barn – beamed ceilings, bespoke chairs, gorgeous lighting and stunning panoramic windows. Other than the modernity of the slightly industrial lighting it carries every inch the atmosphere of a barn centuries older.

I particularly loved the styling around the gardens – its own courtyard garden and borders ensure this is a very private and separate space from the house and barn and with careful consideration for the brides entrance via the secluded walkway to the barn doors.

You’ll Love This Venue If

Your in love with the idea of a barn or rustic wedding with a modern twist, and looking for a aesthetically pleasing, spacious venue with panoramic Cotswold views that isn’t going to cause goose bumps!

The addition of the Ceremony barn adds a wonderful separateness that you won’t get at other barn venues – meaning no ‘turn around time’ for removing the ceremony chairs and allowing the wedding breakfast to commence.

 

Can my guests stay

Hyde House is the onsite accommodation with 20 comfortable rooms allowing the couple and guests to stay and with both Stow-On-wold and Bourton-On-water within a stones throws there are plenty of options available for guests.

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How Many Guests Can It Hold?

The new ceremony barn seats 150 with beautiful views across open countryside, the barn has bar and snug area, entrance/lobby area for mingling as well as the beautiful beamed dining hall  for your wedding breakfast. The dining hall in the barn can seat up to 175 guests.

Why Chose This Venue

If your after that perfect barn wedding with all mod cons complete with panoramic open countryside views of the Cotswolds. The experienced team are on hand to help with aspects of your wedding planning and the newly created The Grange, ceremony barn gives you the option of saying ‘i do’ indoors or outside under the bespoke Arbour which is also licensed.

This venue is light, warm and spacious with options for all eventualities weather wise. Along with stunning Cotswold views the outdoor space and gardens allow guests to mingle freely.

 

More images to swoon over:

 

 

Happy planning

Sophie x

Reflective wedding. What will your wedding say about you?

Channel flicking I came across Sex and The City reruns – and it got me thinking to Carrie’s Wedding…. you know the one where she puts a bird on her head and an oh so fabulous Vivienne Westwood bespoke bridal gown on.

If you’ve been a fellow Sex and the City fan (it was the theme for my hen do) then you’ll know the history between Carrie and Mr Big and the unglamorous way he left her almost at the alter only to reconcile and marry in the way that worked for them.

 

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What a waste of a beautiful bouquet

I couldn’t help but wonder are we being led into having big glossy Pinterest weddings for fear of disdain over our choices?

Whilst we’ve seen a huge revival in alternative weddings, when it comes to wedding planning are we just ‘picking a style’ that will ensure guest delight as it conforms to the expected rather than what is reflective of us as a couple?

When Carrie picked out her wedding outfit it was a beautifully cut vintage two piece suit, from a charity shop. Her delight at finding this vintage gem was clear to see, even on screen, but the disapproval of those she showed her suit to lead Carrie to wavier from her choice and chose the Vivienne Westwood dress  (not that this gown was not absolutely flipping stunning!) but it wasn’t ‘her’, it wasn’t reflective of her or her style.

Then came the type of wedding. Mr Big wanting a smaller intimate affair (probably as he had been married a few times before) but as the screen play carried on Carrie was being talked into a bigger and more bolder wedding, clearly something she wasn’t comfortable with.

So the point of this post….. whether you favour an unconventional wedding outfit, a black diamond for your engagement ring or want to hold your ceremony on  a private strip on land, stay true to yourselves, after all its YOUR wedding so it needs to be done YOUR way. And if you’ve guests that don’t approve …. its simple they don’t need to accept your invite 🙂

TOP TOP: surround yourself with those besties that you can depend on no matter what

 

Have you ever chosen something, or chosen something for your wedding that wasn’t you but went with it to appease others? I’d love to hear from you, why not comment below 🙂

Here’s so more SATC Weddings to swoon over:

Happy planning

 

Sophie xx

 

Here’s some SATC wedding pics:

The ultimate guide to Gemstone shapes: what’s best for you or your loved one?

There is such a wonderful variety of gemstone cuts available to the bride or groom to be, there really is no excuse for just sticking to the classic round brilliant cut solitaire if you do not want to.  This blog will help you to decide which one suits you or your fiancé or fiancée’s personality the best.

The name of a diamond cut is not determined by its shape alone, although in the case of the heart, round brilliant and pear shapes it is. Diamonds form naturally under a huge amount of pressure within Kimberlite (handy considering my business and last name 😉) rock and appear generally although not always in an octahedron shape.  Once mined, they are cut into the shape that makes the most of the octahedron of diamond with as little waste as possible whilst creating the most beautifully cut gemstone. The shape that they choose is the overall form description of the diamond, such as pear, cushion or round, while the cut is the diamond’s facets and proportions—basically the element that make them sparkle so beautifully.

Here are a few pointers to help you decide what shape diamond is most suited to your loved one and most suits their character – it is an interesting way to choose if you really have no idea what to go for!

Round Brilliant Cut = Classic & Elegant

Commonly known as the round brilliant cut, round diamonds are without a doubt the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings, accounting for more than 75 percent of all diamonds sold. This is the most classic of all the cuts.  Round diamonds have 58 facets, which refracts the light which bounces from the bottom of the diamond back through the top, creating that unbelievable sparkly effect. The shape is extremely versatile, elegant and timeless, looking clean and modern in simple settings, yet equally as wonderful in more elaborate styles – you really cannot go wrong.

Emerald = Glamorous & Art Deco

If you’re all about Art Deco glamour, this is the diamond for you. A rectangular shape with long, angular facets but it’s the large table that shows off the diamond’s clarity better than any other cut. What it lacks in brilliance, it more than makes up for in undeniable elegance.  Think Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly who wouldn’t want to follow in those icons footsteps, I know I would!

Princess = Refined & Sparkly

The name says it all! The princess cut is a classic, elegant choice that’s similar in vibrancy to the round brilliant cut but with a more modern, linear look.  Flirty and fun, the princess cut is most commonly set as a solitaire and is the second most popular shape. It’s experienced a revival over the past few years. Because the additional facets add brilliance and increase the diamond’s inherent sparkle, flaws may be less noticeable which is a definite plus point.

Asscher = Vintage & Glamourous

The asscher cut is striking and dramatic, evoking a very 1920s-1930s, art deco feel. The asscher cut is a beautifully simplistic cut with a classic elegance. It shares similar characteristics to the emerald cut, meaning colour and clarity are important factors if you decide to opt for a diamond in this shape.  The only real difference between the asscher and the emerald cut is that the asscher is square and not elongated.

Cushion = The Romantic & Whimsical

For the woman who knows what she wants, it’s probably the romantic cushion she’s craving. Cushion cuts can either be square or look rectangle with rounded corners and have larger facets to increase their brilliance, so they are rarely cut in smaller carat weights and sizes. One of the most popular diamond shapes a century ago, cushion cuts reflect and era of romance and elegance.

Oval = Innovative & Creative

Right up there with the round brilliant cut diamonds, oval diamonds have a wonderful brilliance. Even and symmetrical, this shape looks well balanced as a solitaire among those with smaller hands or shorter fingers (I fall into this bracket!), because the oval’s elongated shape gives the illusion of length to the hand (there is hope!).  The oval is often set with side stones, sometimes smaller diamonds, sapphires, emeralds or other gems, appealing to a wide range of tastes and making for a very personal and unique design.

Marquise = Dramatic & Striking

Like most things interesting, the majestic marquise is swathed in dramatic history. Legend has it that this cut was invented during the 18th-century reign of Louis XIV, allegedly named for his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, and inspired by her smile. The unique cut, essentially an oval with rounded sides and points at each end, is distinctive and dramatic.  The marquise cut can look larger than it actually is, and due to its elongated shape, can make fingers look more slender….now that’s a winner! It’s ideal for those looking to maximize carat weight, and for those who like a little opulence and are after a statement piece of jewellery rather than following the crowds.

Pear = Unique & Feminine

A winning combination of the marquise and the oval, this cut resembles a twinkling teardrop. Popular for pendants and earrings, the pear shape is also a unique and excellent choice for engagement rings, and can be “fatter” or more elongated, depending on your preference. Due to its unbalanced shape, it’s not usually set with elaborate accent stones however it does look wonderful with a diamond halo surrounding it or complimenting diamond set shoulders.

Heart = Sentimental & Soft

This cut is the ultimate symbol of romance and sentimentality. Often more of a novelty and not commonly used for engagement rings, a special and select few do choose a heart shape.  The way they are cut is similar to the pear shape they can be “fatter” or more elongated, and it’s the skill and precision of the diamond cutter that defines the sparkle and beauty of this shape.

Radiant = Stylish & Confident

This cut can be hard to find but most definitely not impossible.  The radiant marries the elegant glamour of the emerald cut shape with the brilliance of the round, resulting in a rare sparkly square with trimmed corners. Its extra special sparkle is the result of the way its underside is cut, with 70 facets to be exact.  I personally love the fact that this shape isn’t worn by many, so if you are after something totally different to your friends this is the perfect option.

I hope that this helps all of you engagement ring purchasers out there…if you are still confused there are professionals out there, like myself, who can point you in the right direction contact a designer for more information on how to set your perfect cut, my details are linked below.

Hannah xx

About our guest blogger:

Hannah Kimber is the creative director and talent behind Hannah Kimber Jewellery.

Hannah specialises in bespoke commissioned pieces of exquisite jewellery using the finest ethically sourced gemstones and precious metals. With expertise in diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and a huge range of precious and semi-precious gemstones, Hannah is highly respected in the jewellery industry throughout the UK and

She prides herself on quality craftsmanship and attention to even the tiniest of details, however it is her instinctive flair and creative brilliance that sets her apart from the rest and has led to her numerous awards and accreditations.

http://www.hannahkimber.com/

Hannah@hannahkimber.com

01242 574468

Supplier Showcase: The Cheltenham Cakery

Today’s Supplier Spotlight is for Cakery Queen and multi award winning cake artist Sophie Liggat from The Cheltenham Cakery.

We caught up with Sophie to find out more about her love of sugar craft

Tell us about you

Hi my name is Sophie Liggat and I am the owner and caker at The Cheltenham Cakery. Originally creating anything in cake I started to specialise in Wedding and corporate Cakery along with cupcake bouquets and I’ve not looked back! I love the creativity that my job has and the ability to create realistic flowers out of sugar always gives me a real buzz of joy. There’s nothing better than watching my clients faces when they ask you ‘are they real?’ And you tell them they are made from sugar paste!

How long have you been in business?

I started The Cheltenham Cakery in October 2011, but I have been home baking my whole life and my recipes are hand me downs from generations before me, I’ve just given them a Modern ‘cakery’ twist

How and why did you start your business?

I began baking more when my now hubby started working nights and I was getting bored of an evening, and if I’m honest a little lonely. I’d baked one to many cupcakes one evening and had to take them into work with me…. people loved them and it wasn’t long before I was being asked to bake. The rest they say is history.

After a few years I decided to concentrate on specialising in Wedding and corporate Cakery.

For you what is the best part of running your business?

I pride myself on creating unique and delicious Cakery – Too often I have couples come to me after searching Pinterest with designs they like to copy – I adore helping them explore and find their creative sides and incorporate this into their cake.

The wedding cake experience from tasting to designing and the end result is just as important to me as the final finished product.

It’s also a great feeling when you get the professional shots of your cakes come through – I’m always like ‘I made that?!’

Additional information:

To ensure the highest standard of work I only take on one wedding order a week and as such do get booked up quickly – if your interested in a Cheltenham Cakery design drop me a line and let’s start talking cake 😃 🎂

Contact details to find out more:

Website: www.thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thecheltcakery

Email: info@thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

Tel: 07766346788

Here’s some more works of edible art:

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

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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