Wedding Sustainability: because #thereisnoplanetB

As the real threat of climate change is never far for the fore, just look at the horrific out of control bush fires that Australia are currently suffering; it falls to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own choices and actions. This includes wedding planning and the wedding industry as a whole.

I make no apology for my love of weddings. Some may argue a unnecessary tradition in today’s modern world.

But I cannot ignore that as a whole the wedding industry can be a fairly wasteful one. The majority of items can be classed as ‘single use’ and with the average cost of weddings rising each year couples look to source the cheapest items, which are often mass produced, aren’t sustainabley sourced and have poor recycle ability. For example are you aware of how plastic is in your wedding dress??

As a bride working within a fairly stringent budget myself I understand the need, pressure and stress associated with organizing the ‘perfect’ wedding.

But at what cost to the environment not to mention your wallet?

Having taken part in Tent:Talks at the Spring Showcase earlier this year on collaboration with Timber and Canvas and Cotswold Field of Dreams, there seemed to be equal measure of those wanting to purchase everything sparkly and new and those who were happy to source preloved items.

Its those that aren’t comfortable utilising preloved items that I want to challenge – why the unease? and what do we need to do as an industry to break this taboo?

Equally we need to make it easier for couples to source sustainable and preloved items – I’m hoping the launch of our new online marketplace will help with this!

To reiterate a common hashtag – #thereisnoplanetB and we all have a duty and responsibility to care for and nurture this planet regardless.

Stay tuned to find out how we plan to do our bit in the Wedding Industry and hopefully encourage other both couples and suppliers to do the same

Happy planning

Sophie

Xx

 

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Engaged? Why your Planning needs a Plan

Engaged? Why your planning needs a plan

He’s proposed, it was the most surreal and beautiful moment of your life, you said yes (it was always going to be yes!). Suddenly everything is clouded in confetti covered specs.

Then it begins…… where to have the ceremony, will it be church or civil? At the same venue as the reception or local registry office. Home or Abroad? The start of a very long list of decisions.

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Wedding day in diary

Many a consultation has seen me chatting to Brides who have had to spend money rectifying earlier mistakes simply because the excitement of planning her wedding has completely run away with her (one client bought 4, yes 4 different wedding dresses!). Of course what Bride to be isn’t excited, and I would certainly be concerned if your weren’t but with a few simple hacks it can be an efficient and streamlined process (with minimal stress!) and a touch easier on the pocket.

The biggest mistake that I commonly see Brides make is the same one I did. Newly engaged I rushed out and cleaned the shelf off every Wedding magazine known to man. I couldn’t wait to get home and  within an hour had planned at least five different weddings.

A favorite quote of mine is one from Winston Churchill:why-you-need-a-formal-marketing-plan-3-638

If I where to do it again this is what i’d do and in this order:

  1. Have a Wedding Planning Prenup

Sit down with each other and agree upon the length of engagement, take a rough look at costings (easily found doing a google search) and agree on your budget (then add on 10%). Write this down as an informal agreement between the pair of you – saves any arguments later.

2. Treat It As A Business

Your wedding planning will become a huge part of your life for a while……. Don’t make it become your life. Ensure you have set up a separate bank account for finances so you don’t lose track of what you’ve saved (direct debits into a designated account are great!) Set up a separate email address and use this for everything from RSVPs to conversing with suppliers. Into social media – set up a Instagram account with your own hashtag ie #mr&mrsliggat so any photos taken on the big day, respective stag and hen nights or for those times that your wedding planning ie dress and suit shopping,  your friends can use the hashtag and you can save or print pics as necessary.

3. Checklist, Checklist, Checklist

Yes its uber boring but make a checklist for everything, and I mean everything. Not just for the things you need to ie book venue, get dress, order suits etc but also for example a shot checklist for your photographer to ensure that those important shorts are captured, a checklist of approximate timing on the day (make sure that you give this to a couple of people in the wedding party in case you need it for reference on the day. It also means that when you suddenly cant remember if you’ve booked or organised something you have a written copy to refer to and wont need to ring a supplier in a panic to check.

4. Be Tourists

Your venue is one of the biggest spends generally, when researching the venue it really is beneficial to visit as many as possible, stay the night if applicable, eat there, experience the venue after all that is what you will be parting your cash for: the vibe and experience of your chosen venue. Don’t be afraid either to think a little outside the box , is there a restaurant, club or cinema that has special meaning to you both? We approached our local hillclimb racing track (hubby is an amateur car racer) and had our reception there, whilst friends of ours had their reception meal at the local indian.

5. Pound The Streets

Every girl wants to sort THE dress, before you do this you need to know what type of wedding your having: a festival, traditional church, castle, beach – a full on princess dress would be perfect for a castle wedding but may look alittle out of place if you having a festival themed do. Try and hold off and save your feet, until you’ve agreed on the venue and style of your big day.

Bridal Dress shopping – the one piece of advice I can give you here is to block out time to spend pounding the streets for the ONE. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes, take your trusted maids and plan which shops your going to hit and when (most will require you to book an appointment), with military precision. Whilst you may have an idea of the style and type of dress you like, BE OPEN MINDED. The dress I ended up with was not what I thought id have. Trust the stylists, they dress brides to be every day of the week!

6.  Choose Your Entourage Wisely

Whilst we all have our besties in mind when picking bridesmaids and best men, be truthful – how are there organisational skills? Can you depend on them? They need to be the people that will be honest with you that the puffball wedding dress you’ve got your heart set on actually makes you look like you’ve gained 10lbs, that pick you up when the alcohol hits on the hen night and you have a sudden drunken meltdown. Should something happen on the day would you trust them to make the right decisions in your stead?

5. Its Ok to Social Media Stalk

When picking suppliers, research, research, research. Social media is great for finding out what suppliers you like, monitoring their work, reading their reviews.  Once you’ve a short list arrange to meet with them – its vital that you have a great working relationship with your suppliers.

6.  Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Whilst it would be dreamy that you have real confetti petals, rose buttonholes for all the males guests and a rose wrist corsage for the ladies, a harpist while guests wait outside the church, an organist for the entrance, not to mention junior and senior choirs for that ‘voice of an angel’ hymn singing. Be realistic – what is important to you. Are real rose petal confetti going to mean the difference between a good and great best day of your life? Are multi pocket invitations in gilded gold really that important? By all means if you’ve the budget and you want them, go ahead. If you haven’t….. how important is it? Equally whilst its nice to have extras such as sweet charts, favours, table confetti, you don’t have to have them.

7. Don’t Underestimate the DIY

Every bride wants to feel like they have made a personal touch to their day, some more than others. However do not, under any circumstances, underestimate the time factor in your planning if you are DIY’ing aspects of your day. If its something you can only create nearer the day ensure you factor in lots of practice runs beforehand! I made my own invites – simple enough and I only needed 50 so a couple of hours work right? It actually took me 3 days and i eventually made double that number as I tweaked designs etc along the way.

8.Your Day, Your Way

You will have to learn to be diplomatically strong. Try not to take family comments to seriously if they express a dislike to something you have planned. Calming state that this is what you and your other half have decided  – once you enter into explanations of why you have picked that and not this you will irreverently start to doubt yourself. Remember this is YOUR day so its needs to be done YOUR way.

9. If It Goes Pete Tong………SMILE

Unless you have complete OCD or have employed a Wedding Planner, things will go slightly off plan. Its unrealistic to think it won’t. However only you will know if things have gone awry. At my own wedding i totally forgot to do a table plan – yes i know. However it wasn’t an issue… people thought what an refreshing idea it was to allow people to sit where they liked! I just smiled and let them carry on thinking id planned it!

wedding-planning-mistakes

Sophie

xx

Wedding Diets… DON’T EXIST!

Yep you heard it here first…. Wedding Diets Do Not Exist.

Following on from the uproar caused when this week a large UK Wedding Inspiration Blog haplessly used the hashtag, #loseweightgainahusband i write this post from the comfort of my soap box. There is no science behind what I’m about to write (rant!) just 34 years of personal experience with a healthy dose of common sense and a dollop of reality.

WEDDING DIETS DO NOT EXIST

When this first popped up on my insta feed I did a double take – no one could be that insensitive, Could they? I’m appalled that in this day and age this old fashioned and quite frankly outdated view is still out there, why?

Put simply, this came across as body shaming – the ideology that you won’t get (or hold onto) a husband if your not skinny or less than you are now. Don’t get me wrong if your all for getting into shape for your wedding and wanting to tone up or shape up then fine…

What is NOT FINE is the pressure (and body shaming) placed on brides to be (and bridesmaids to be) to be stick thin and too look a certain way….

So please join me in saying that beautiful is beautiful and love is love – size has got nothing to do with it!

When your partner proposed or if you proposed to your partner did you say ‘I want to marry you but please lose X amount of weight first’ – NO!!

Just a rough guess here 🤔 but reckon it might be because they love you for who you are?? You know the personality, little quirks and idiosyncrasies that we all have, the things that make us individual and unique unlike a generic size 10 – I mean anyone can be one of those.

For those of you currently trying on wedding dresses this can be a scary and vulnerable time, especially as we have a current gap in the market with many designers only making wedding dresses up to a size 12/14. I still recoil in horror recounting an experience i had trying on wedding dresses – i was not body confident, a size 12 which wobbled in the slightest breeze. To undress in front of a total stranger and then have them try and help you get into a wedding dress is embarrassing enough – but when the design you really want to try on and your both struggling to pull it up your body and the assistant then remarks ‘well it is a size 8, do you want to come back at a later date’ – I was mortified. I walked out there and then.

Its also no secret that weddings are stressful….. the downside of being a woman is this:

Stress increases the level of Cortisol AKA the stress hormone. Increased levels of Cortisol can cause higher insulin levels which in turn means your blood sugar drops causing you to comfort eat. And where do those extra calories go?… yep the hips, thighs and bum. Its true what they say, a moment on the hips a lifetime on the hips!

My own wedding dress had a lace up back, whilst a pain to get on and off I will be forever grateful for the chance to go up and down thanks to this clever design… why? Because i put weight ON in the run up to my wedding, not amount of clean eating, exercise and water helped – probably all due to the stress hormone mentioned above, I even attended an intense 6 week bootcamp to shift those extra pounds, I was unsuccessful. Happiness is to do with the person inside not their dress size.

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Here I am on my own wedding day. What size do i look like? 

It is our duty to be empowering our brides to feel fabulous no matter what size or shape they are and to put their best wedding foot forward as they embark on the next chapter of their lives

So whatever your size, shape or inclination – beautiful is beautiful and love is love, size has NOTHING to do with it so be happy in own skin.

Sophie

xx

Cover image taken from Rock the Frock

 

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/

Have your cake and eat it. Has the Wedding Cake had it’s day?

As we enter ‘wedding season’ (not that its such a season these days with weddings being popular all year round) planning fever will have set in for many couples tying the knot over the next few months and with this hastily made budget adjustments.

As a result, the wedding cake which has long been regarded as a work of edible art, from origins back in the Middle Ages, back when it was originally a pie, it was a status symbol – the larger the cake, the more wealthy you were and standing within the community – so why is the traditional wedding cake suddenly falling from grace?

It started nearly 4 years ago with the cupcake trend. The last 18 months however has seen an explosion of couples shunning the oldest of traditions in favour of brownie and macaron towers, cake pops, meringue kisses, dessert towers and croquembouches, wheals of cheese and more recently the rise of the humble doughnut. And not forgetting the naked and semi-naked trend which is still going strong or the slowly gaining popularity of tiered savory pies!

These sweet treats are beautifully served, arranged on towering tiered cake stands, to pilled artfully high on ornate platters to being displayed on ring walls.

The ‘cake’ has become interactive, allowing couples and their guests the chance to experience the full monty – visually pleasing display, decadent smell, tantalizing taste buds and the comforting sounds that only a brownie or macaron makes when you bit into it. And here the clincher – it allows each guest to have some fun – unlike the cake which is solely looked at and once the ‘cut the cake’ shot has been taken, typically whisked away where it is quickly and efficiently divided up and brought out on platters for the guests. Now where’s the fun in that?

Perhaps we should provide guests with their own knife so they can cut their own portion  (or if your me – slab!) of cake?

It seems a shame then, that the traditional wedding cake is falling by the wayside – not just the victim of ‘nobody remembers the cake anyway’ cost saving but due to current fashion trends where its ultra modern to serve bitesize yumminess.

For me the cake will always be king and with many cake designers offering a wide range of luxury sponges of which each tier of your beautifully designed cake can be a different flavour – whats not to love!

What do you think? Has the wedding cake had its day?

For me a beautiful tiered cake will always be top of the list, as a society we now have more options available to us in the cake stakes than ever before. but as for the wedding cake having its day….. I think it’s here to stay, it’s just sharing it’s cake crown.

So whichever sweets your fancy, enjoy 😊

Sophie

xx