Real Wedding: A Knight In Shining White – Sophie & Ash’s Modern 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. Here’s what happens when this dream is in the 21st Century, a modern cotswolds fairytale of course

So what happens in a modern fairytale? 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’s what the bride had to say:

Our day was definitely ‘us’ – we made a pact that I could choose the ceremony venue and Ash could choose the reception – knowing his passion for cars (he’s a massive petrol head!) and being Bugatti members at the time it was a pretty sure run thing he’d pick Prescott.

Our budget was pretty strict, so a few things were created/done by ourselves and our families. At the time pocket fold invites were the ‘in thing’ for invites and I knew I had to have them, I just couldn’t justify the spend, so a lot of eBay rummaging later I found a bride selling off surplus of her invites on eBay – having designed and printed all the inserts ourselves and picking up envelopes and stock on gems from the local craft store, the invites only cost £15. We also created our Order of Services too. They were our best bargain wedding item.

We hired amazing florist Donna from a The Flower Studio to do our flowers – Donna created the exact vision I had in my head – which at the time even family and friends couldn’t see working. The florals were stunning. To complement Donnas flowers (bouquet, bridesmaids, buttonholes, top table and table arrangements) a close family friend created out church displays and then we had these moved to reception afterwards to dress the cake table and reception entrances.

The cake was made by me, having recently launched my own cake business at the beginning of the year it was a given I was going to create my own.

As Ash is into his supercars, and with his racing background we were able to secure the use of a Nissan GTR for the weekend from Dreamcare Hire. This may seem extravagant, but it was a must for us. I on the other hand walked to the church!

As we had everything crossed for a nice day – we wanted our reception to be held outside, we opted for a relaxed hog roast for the wedding breakfast. As it turned out we had the only hot weekend that July (2011). We also chose not to have a defined seating plan – this made things easier for us as no added stress and guests got to sit with who they wanted to sit with!

If you had to describe your day:

A traditional church service followed by a relaxed, alittle informal, alittle quirky reception with a petrolhead undertone!

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

Dress: Sottero and Midgley

Suits: Slaters Menswear

Catering: Prescott Hill Climb

Cake: The Cheltenham Cakery

Event Decor: All About Fun

Flowers: Donna Beaver at The Flower Studio

Car hire: Dreamcar Hire

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

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

Why there’s more to it than just a few pictures- Professional Wedding Photographer Susie Mackie tells us more…..

Inspired by a recent issue with a longstanding client over fees Susie Mackie, a professional wedding photographer felt the need to break down actually what was involved in capturing one of the  most important days of your life in pictures.

Susie is a romantic, fairyale and timeless portrait and wedding photographer based on Cheltenham and covering the Cotswolds and further afield.

Susie Mackie

 

Over to you Susie:

Shared of course with love and goodwill <3
SO JUST WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR WHEN YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?


Much of the cost of a photographic image or print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The cost of TIME:
Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session.
Here is an example of a time break down:
• Booking time: 30 minutes to one hour (client contact time + emailing/paperwork)

• Pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks)

• One hour travel time to session

• 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home

• 90 minutes – 2 hours with client photographing subject

• 1 hour travel time from session

• 30 – 45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer

• 30 – 45 minutes time spent backing up the original images

• 2 – 5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images

• 1- 2 hours prep time getting ready/printing orders

• 30 minutes – 1 hour prep time for delivery/posting

• Any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

• In this example, the time spent per client can range from 13 hours to 17 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges £140 – £370 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12 – 17 hours complete time for your session – that is, the SERVICE.

• The images resulting from the service are the PRODUCT, whether they are digital, prints, canvases, acrylic blocks or any other medium, each of which has a monetary value (notwithstanding the emotional value and the longevity of this – which some might say is priceless).

The COSTS of maintaining a PROFESSIONAL photography business:
• Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from £10,000 – £30,000 costs dependent on the photographer.

• Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about £2000 there are still other costs related to photography. Most of us have at least 3 cameras.

• A good lens for portrait photography can run from £900 to £2500. Most of us have 5 or more lenses.

• A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run £2500 to £8000 dependent on the photographer. Then come lab costs for specialty products, and professional photo printing equipment, archival inks and paper. Back up costs – external hard drives, cloud computing – we back up our files three times for safety, so if the client loses their images, we DON’T, and can always replace.

• As with other business equipment, deterioration, damage, and replacement must also be factored in.

• Costs of running the business, insurance (not just for equipment, also for personal indemnity and public liability), studio rental/mortgage, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces – all add up and all have to be paid for, just like any other business.

Susie can be found at the following links, I also highly suggest you check out her My Sensuality, she will find the goddess in all of us in this luxurious yet personal shoot that will allow your confidence as well as your beauty to shine through.



Susie Mackie Photography

Website – http://www.susiemackie.com/

Facebook –  www.facebook.cogm/susiemackiepics

My Sensuality

Website – http://www.mysensuality.co.uk/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/mysen2