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: 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.

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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

A Year In……. Where we go from here

Can you quite believe it! Its a whole year since I started blogging my ramblings on weddings. Its been quite a change from creating and designing wedding cakes (which I still do!) but the process of trying to find ‘quiet’ time to put pose into my writing and find engaging content for you my avid readers has not always been so easy.

Firstly a huge thank you to you….. loyal readers and visitors to the blog. Secondly to those awesome suppliers over on the directory whose support has allowed me to continue my writings. Do check out the directory here.

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The first year has taught me an awful lot…. I love writing and I can now identify ‘my style’, i still adore beautiful weddings (working on hubby for a vow renewal!) and discovered a new respect for photography, who knew i would become such an advocate for gorgeous lighting and a perfectly taken pic could give so much joy #hygge.

But it has also lead me to where I want this blog to go…. so many of you have contacted me to ask about DIY ideas, unusual or wow factor finishing touches or where to source items and suppliers. With this in mind going forward I will be blogging more on these areas as well as promoting creative wedding inspired workshops for those of you looking to ‘do it yourself’ or have a activity based hen/stag party.

So of course to be ‘in the know’ subscribe here, if you’ve not done so already, and be among the first to hear about venues, whats hot, whats not and ways to create a unique and personalized day for your beautiful Cotswolds Wedding.

For wedding suppliers why not contact me to find out how I can help you.

Sophie

xx

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

Can You Have a Child Free Wedding?

So I know this is going to be a contentious subject but is it bad etiquette to request your guests leave their little darlings at home?

My personal view is ‘it’s your day have it your way’ but whichever way you swing how do you manage your decision?

A friend recently got married and herself and now hubby had decided exactly this – a child free wedding. They also felt that with two years between engagement and wedding,  family and friends had plenty of time to get to used to the idea and find arrangements for their loved ones, they had been pretty clear at the outset that it was a Child Free Wedding, no exceptions. The reason behind this…. they didn’t want children crying, making a mess or those in the bridal party feeling torn between wedding duties and their maternal instinct. Some may say that’s harsh but when you’ve saved up and are spending it on the day of a lifetime do you want the video of your wedding vows interrupted by a child shouting out?

So what happens when one of your nearest and dearest doesn’t think this applies to them? In this case it qued much stress for the Bride and an almost belligerent attitude from the bestie in question.

However if your wanting a child free wedding but feel that this isn’t going to sit well with your guests there are ways to minimize the ‘damage’.  It seems your not alone with many couples now hiring ‘Children’s Entertainment’ dedicated and qualified nannies that entertain the little darlings in a separate area away from the main wedding celebrations but close enough for parents to go and check on them. They provide a range of activities and sitting services to cater for all needs and age ranges. 

Rock Up and Play are one such company who can dive to the rescue, specializing in providing child care at events for a range of ages they offer a flexible service. ‘We will plan the crèche to fit around your day, allowing parents to include their children at special times during the day’. 

They can take care of the children, provide fun activities for all or parts of your special day and supervise meals if required. Some of the options for supervision they offer include :

  • the getting ready period before the ceremony (nobody wants abit or sticky fingerboard on their dress!)
  • during the ceremony (for the picture and word perfect video you’ll be cherishing for ever)
  • during the photographs and drinks (ensuring children turn those frowns up side down!)
  • during the meal and speeches (no food fights or I need a toilet screams!)

This means couples are secure in the knowledge that no child related dramas will interrupt their day whilst parents have the opportunity to relax, knowing that the little darlings are in safe hands and enjoying themselves

So can you have a child free wedding and not feel guilty! Yes you can.

 

Happy Planning

Sophie xx

 

About

Rock Up and Play  was founded by Catherine Wasley and specialise in providing childcare and nannies for a wide range of events from small family gathering to weddings and corporate events. Catherine

Want to know more then contact them today:

Telephone: 01453 511677             07977 681192

Email: enquiries@rockupandplay.com

Facebook – @rockupandplay