Would You Skill Swap Your Wedding?

Reposting from the archives today….. as couples look for ways to make the budget stretch further, would you skill swap your wedding? Here’s what happened when one bride did…..

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!

 

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

 

 

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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.
  • However if you love a bargain then head over to #britishbridalbootsale– a Preloved and Ethical Wedding Fayre

For Wedding fayres coming up take a look here

Happy fayreing!

Sophie xx

 

Thank You to our Wedding Giveaway Sponsors

Our first 12 Days of Christmas Wedding Giveaway was a whooping success over on Instagram and 12 lucky winners who either bagged themselves an item/product for their wedding or a couples and hen/stag party experience that were up for grabs.

I just wanted to give our wonderful Wedding Suppliers a shout out to thank them for their generosity. Over the 12 days we gave away OVER £1150 worth of prizes:

Day 1 – 10x Wedding Advice cards from Precious Times (£3.99) and Rhinestone ‘I Do’ Shoe Stickers (£3.99) from Dymonds Shoes

Day 2 – £25 voucher to spend in store at Infinity Dresses

Day 3 – £45 voucher to spend at Keepsake Corks

Day 4 – £27 Mini Cupcake bouquet from The Cheltenham Cakery

Day 5 – £80 voucher to spend on your bespoke paper bouquet from Stems from Paper

Day 6 – 2 hour inspiration planning session with The Homemade Wedding Company (worth £100-£120)

Day 7 – £100 to spend on veil or hair piece at Willoughby and Wolf as well as a bottle of bubbly

Day 8 – One bridesmaid dress from The Cotswold Wedding Company (up to the value of £100)

Day 9 – x1 Wine tasting session for 6 from Glenfall House (worth £125)

Day 10 – Fabulous Favours Workshop for 6 from The Cheltenham Cakery (worth £180)

Day 11 – Bridal hamper of luxury candle, ivory stock wedding shoes, bottle of bubbly AND the chance to make them an offer on your dream wedding dress at The Cotswold Frock Shop/The Bridal Gallery (worth £200++)

Day 12 – Supper Spa Day for 2. Evening spa from 5.30pm including 1 course dinner and wine, 1x 25 minute treatment each courtesy of Hatherley Manor Spa (worth £160)

So from me, the prize winners and all the readers THANK YOU, here’s to the Christmas 2019 giveaway!!!

Sophie

xx

On the tenth day of wedding giveaway…..

On the tenth day of Christmas…..

This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.

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Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.

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To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @thecheltenhamcakery .

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and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.

Today’s prize is a Fabulous Favours workshop for 6 people. Learn how to create your own wedding favours simply and easily using a range of fondant techniques along with packaging ideas and personalisation techniques. Perfect hen idea.

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Prize value £180

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T& Cs:

No cash alternative or change given. .

Booking dates are subject to availability.

There is a 48 hour cancellation policy with this voucher.

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UK entrants only, winner picked at random and will be notified by Direct Message.

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This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.

Head to the grid to enter: https://www.instagram.com/a cotswoldwedding

Good luck

Sophie

Xx

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UK Blog Awards 2019 🇬🇧 #UKBA19

It’s that time of year again and I am beyond thrilled to announce that A Cotswold Wedding has been shortlisted in the U.K. Blog Award for the Wedding Blog category….

….. Can I get a Whoop Whoop!!

This year the finalists will be judged by a combination of public vote and a panel of judges (40% and 60% weighting accordingly!)

So I have a BIG ask…. if you love our concept and more importantly our content then please vote for us!

Here’s the link:

https://blogawardsuk.co.uk/dk_vote_post_entries/a-cotswold-wedding/

it’s one vote per person and we’ll keep you posted if we get through to the final stage – fingers crossed we do because I sorely missed out on attending the glittering awards ceremony when I was a finalist last year and I have THE most beautiful Gino Cerruti gown I’d like to wear 😉

Thank you in advance for your vote 😘

Sophie

Xx

Keeping Children Entertained – Effortlessly & Stylishly

Always a tricky subject….. are you inviting children and if you are how will you keep the little darlings entertained?

For every couple who couldn’t imagine a wedding without children being involved or in attendance there is another couple that’s dead set against having children there for fear of disrupting the day.

Involving children means that having a flower girl or page boy in attendance is possible. It may allow the parents to come as they won’t need to make alternative arrangements for childcare and if it’s someone you really want to attend this can be a huge factor in them saying no!

However the other side of the coin is that children are unpredictable – from toddler tantrums to teenager moping.

And if you do both agree to allow children to your day who do you invite?

  • Only invite children in the immediate family?
  • Do we invite all children of guests? Or will they be offended or unable to attend if we don’t invite their children?
  • And if we have several children to cater for, will they be bored?
  • What will they do all day? And no, we are not having a bouncy castle or a mountain of brightly coloured plastic strewn across our wedding venue! Aggghhhhh………..

However, with the right planning, involving children in the celebrations can be fantastic fun without compromising on a stylish and stress-free day.

Hedgerow Circus is a local company based in the Cotswolds, hiring beautiful play areas set up at weddings and events, and their teepee play corner complete with toys and art pack can be courier delivered to any UK mainland addresses.

We’re talking aesthetically pleasing displays that will have children entertained for hours and with nearly all the activities focusing around the teepee set up it won’t take up too much space if your short on it!

So whether your for, against or undecided you can rest safe in the knowledge that Hedgerow Circus can help.

Take a look at www.hedgerowcircus.co.uk or follow on Facebook or Instagram for more details…

Happy planning

Sophie

Hedgerow Circus:

✉️ hello@hedgerowcircus.co.uk

📞 01993 220778

https://www.hedgerowcircus.co.uk/

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.

Supplier Spotlight: Bellapeach Creative

Today’s Supplier Spotlight is for bespoke stationer Annabelle Gallagher. Annabelle specialises in creating contemporary stationary for any occasion but loves to design quirky styles for weddings.
We caught up with Annabelle to find out more about her stationary.
Tell us about you
Hi my name is Annabelle Gallagher and i own bespoke stationary business Bellapeach Creative.

I design and create beautiful stationery and handmade gifts for any event – from weddings and birthdays, to anniversaries and religious celebrations.

How long have you been in business?

1 year

How and why did you start your business?

Since planning my own wedding five years ago I have been creating wedding stationery for  friends and family on the side while working in range of marketing roles. In April 2017 when I went on maternity leave I decided to set up Bellapeach and pursue my dream of running my own wedding stationery business while looking after my little girl.

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

Making peoples dreams turn into reality by creating bespoke designs for their weddings.

Contact details for more info
  • websitehttp://www.bellapeach.co.uk/
  • emailannabellegallagher@hotmail.co.uk
  • contact number07900695661
  • facebook@bellapeachcreative
  • instagram@bellapeachcreative
Additional info you’d like to share:

All designs are created with the individual couple in mind. I start each project with a consultation session, this can be either over the phone or via email to find out exactly what you are looking for.  I then take our agreed detailed brief and turn it into reality. Before printing you will be involved in the review process to ensure you are happy with the design.

More pics to swoon over:

Happy planning

Sophiexx

Supplier Spotlight: The Homemade Wedding Company

Today’s supplier spotlight is for passionate DIY weddiner, and homemade wedding expert  Jess Watson of The Homemade Wedding Company. I love the passion that Jess has in helping couples create beautiful homemade items themselves for their weddings to add a personal touch.

I caught up with Jess to find out more about her and The Homemade Wedding Company:

Tell us about you:

Hi my name is Jess Watson and i own The Homemade Wedding Company.

What does your business offer?

My aim is to work with couples to help them create the day they’ve always dreamed of whilst staying within their wedding budget. I offer DIY wedding workshops which show couples how to create their own beautiful wedding flowers, favours and decorations at home.

I also offer help with generating ideas and inspiration. How to use their wedding budget effectively and efficiently and provide advice on where to source the best value for money materials.

How long have you been in business?

The website has been running since 2016, the services and workshop side of things will be officially launched summer 2018.

How and why did you start your business?

Whilst planning my own wedding in 2016 I struggled to find enough DIY wedding inspiration and information. I was really keen to take on a lot of the wedding prep myself as I knew I’d enjoy it – which I did- and also thought I could save myself a bit of money along the way.

After the wedding I started the blog with the aim of providing inspiration and information for other brides like me who wanted to make and create elements of their wedding themselves but perhaps weren’t sure where to start. It was only after my daughter was born in 2017 that I realised I could turn it into business and actually share my passion for wedding DIY and money saving with people through workshops and one-to-one sessions.

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

Speaking to couples about their wedding plans is always pretty special for me but I love being creative and that’s what really makes me happy day to day.

Contact details to find out more:

Additional info you’d like to share:

My first DIY wedding flowers workshops will be taking place on Sat 30th June 2018 and Sat 28th July 2018 at Twyning Park, Tewkesbury. Places will be limited but if you’re interested in booking, please get in touch. Find out more here

What you can expect from The Homemade Wedding Company:

Real Wedding: Wayne & Clare, Win a Wedding in Association with Gloucestershire Media, by Sophie Flowers

Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but for one couple from Gloucester the day was a dream come true.

Wayne Cox and Clare Phillips, of Kingsway, were the lucky winners of the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen’s Win a Wedding competition 2017.

Their prize was a magical wedding on Friday, April 13 at The Queens Hotel Cheltenham – Mgallery by Sofitel.

The couple have been together for six years after they met while both working at Tesco in Quedgeley.

Wayne, 38, said: “It was absolutely fantastic.

“The whole day was amazing, it all fell into place on the day.

“Luckily we’re not superstitious and Friday the 13th was lucky for us.

“Friends and family being there was the important bit.”

Clare was given away by her son Ben, 16, while her daughter Paige, 27, was a bridesmaid dressed in the colour theme of the day of Cadbury’s purple.

Clare with her son Ben, who gave her away

The couple are especially thankful to all of their friends, colleagues and customers at Tesco Quedgeley, who helped them collect tokens for the competition.

Clare, 44, works on the customer service desk while Wayne now works as a store manager at the Tesco in Kingsway.

The groom and ushers wore traditional morning suits from Tuxedo Junction, Westgate Street, Gloucester, while the bridesmaids were dressed in gowns from Nina Furness Couture, in Cambray Place, Cheltenham and Clare wore a beautiful gown.

“She looked beautiful,” said Wayne, of Clare.

(Image: Diamond Shots Photography)

The ‘fantastic’ flowers in the purple colour scheme were designed by the Flower Bowl, in London Road, Gloucester.

The whole day was captured by Diamond Shots Photography.

And the finishing touches, such as the purple chair covers and sashes from Sweet Beginnings, St Oswolds Road, Gloucester, and the photo booth from Party Foto Pods, in Staunton, really added a sense of occasion.

“The guests loved the photo booth,” Wayne added.

The wedding also featured a traditional ice sculpture of two swans by Ice Creations, and Chocolate Fountain from Maggie’s Chocolate Fountains, Pershore, which the couple would highly recommend.

Guests were kept entertained by a magician from Ethereal Productions. Clare and her friends loved the hen party at De Vere Cotswold Water Park Spa while the newlyweds still have the couples’ pampering to enjoy at the spa.

The pair were whisked away to a five-night honeymoon in romantic Paris with flights from bmi regional and hotel from HotelsCombined, where for the first two nights they stayed in a hotel overlooking the Eiffel Tower before arranging their own accommodation for the remainder of the trip.

Thanks to the Win a Wedding suppliers:

Venue

The Queens Hotel Cheltenham- Mgallery by Sofitel

The Promenade, Cheltenham. GL50 1NN

Contact:

Ellie Murray

Conference & Events Coordinator

H6632-sb@accor.com

01242 514754

www.queenshotelcheltenham.co.uk

Suits

Tuxedo Junction

Westgate Retail Park, The Island, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2RU

Contact:

01452 380 066

info@tuxedo-junction.co.uk

Bridesmaids dresses

Flowers

Cake

The Cheltenham Cakery

Linwell Close, Cheltenham, GL50 4SD

Contact: Sophie

07766346788

info@thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

www.thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Photography

Diamond Shots Photography

Contact: Becky

07835 042 319

contact@diamondshots.co.uk

www.diamondshots.co.uk

www.facebook.com/DiamondShots2012/

Rings

Wedding Car

Azure Luxury Cars

30 Greenway Lane, Cheltenham GL52 6LB

Contact: David

(01242) 51 00 00 & (07714) 20 90 78

david@azureluxurycars.co.uk

www.azureweddingcars.co.uk

Chair covers and Sashes

Photobooth

Chocolate Fountain or Fruit Tower

Maggie’s Chocolate Fountains

Hill Furze, Pershore, Worcestershire. WR10 2NB

Contact: Maggie

07725 339209

maggie@maggieschocolatefountains.co.uk

www.maggieschocolatefountains.co.uk

Ice Sculpture

Ice Creations

Contact: Alan

0800 999 6555

info@icecreations.co.uk

www.icecreations.co.uk

Entertainment

Ethereal Productions

Contact: Joshua-James

07947369422

Productions.ethereal@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/EtherealPerformance

Hen Party and Couples Pampering

Stag Do

West Country Games

Gatcombe Farm, Weston Road, Long Aston, Bristol, BS48 3QT

Contact:

0117 370 0640

bookings@westcountrygames.co.uk

www.westcountrygames.co.uk

www.welshgames.co.uk

Honeymoon flights

bmi regional

Pegasus Business Park | Herald Way | East Midlands Airport | DE74 2TU

Contact:

0330 333 7998

customercare@bmiregional.com

www.flybmi.com

Honeymoon accommodation

About the Writer:

Sophie Flowers is agenda editor for Gloucestershire Live, leading the team that covers  the county’s big issue

Email: sophie.flowers@localworld.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Flowers_S

Phone: 01242 278076