Thoroughly Modern Meghan…..

After weeks of hype its all over and now we discuss and debate the details of the wedding of the year, one of which being Meghan’s choice of wedding dress.

Firstly from us here at a Cotswold Wedding we wish the newly titled Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a wonderful start to the next chapter in there lives.

With not a scrap of lace, tulle or sparkle in sight Meghan’s choice of dress was the epitome of minimalist style, reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour and that most famous of style icons Audrey Hepburn.

As expected the wedding trend will follow suit, as it did after the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s marriage and you can expect to see, simple, classic lines with tailoring as key over the next months/years. But the truth is, British brides are already choosing gowns with a simpler, more classical, elegant approach you only need to see current collections of Suzanne Neville & Sassi Holford for examples.

The chosen designer for the wedding dress, as always has been a closely guarded secret, although London designer Ralph & Russo had been hotly tipped to be the creative team behind it.  The honor was bestowed to Clare Keller, second woman only to head up a major fashion house that is Givenchy.

Given that Givenchy also dressed Audrey Hepburn for her wedding day, i cant help but feel the fashion house was first choice in creating a modern yet stylishly timeless wedding dress that clearly fits within Meghan’s fashion styling ethos – functional, classic, well tailored pieces without additional ‘accessories’ (lace, beads, detailing) in sight.

The piazza to her wedding gown ensemble was Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau. The tiara was specifically made for Queen Mary in 1932 to accommodate, in the centre, the detachable brooch which was given as a present for her own wedding in 1893 by the County of Lincoln

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With many comparisons already being made between Meghan’s dress and that of Kate’s and Diana’s – was it too plain? Should it of been bigger? I can only say this – you wedding dress should be reflective of you as a person. Meghan’s was quite frankly perfect….. for her.

Here’s a shot of these two gorgeous ladies on their respective days- both dresses and simply stunning and both reflect ‘them’ as individuals perfectly. Kate as a future Queen and Meghan as a charitable patron with a clear ethos on style.

Happy planning!

Sophie xx

All images via The Guardian + The BBC and Copyright Reuters, PA

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

Supplier Spotlight: Artrocks

Today’s Supplier Spotlight is for the very lovely Jane Gray of Artrocks. Supplier of  both contemporary and neon art.
Looking for a unique keepsake for your nuptials? Then one of Jane’s gorgeous neon signs is a must for your day! Why not use it as a cake topper and then reuse it by having it a home – Perhaps on the wall over the kitchen table? or as a feature in between the wedding canvas that you know you’ll be ordering! A permanent glowing reminder of the fabulous day that signaled the start of your married lives together.
Lets introduce you to Jane:
Tell us about you:
Hi i’m Jane Gray and i own ArtRocks.

Having lived in rental accommodation for many years, I struggled to find some affordable, yet unique and interesting artwork for my home.

I eventually sourced a hand-painted abstract painting  – with much relief when it arrived, it was of really great quality.  From that point, friends and family started asking me to order pieces for them and so the ArtRocks collection was born!

What does your business offer? 

I offer couples the chance to have something eclectic  and memorable for their wedding, special occasion or event, i have a range of Neon signs to rent as well as being able to sort bespoke neons such as married couples often go for their surname. They also made great prop backdrops too.

How long have you been in business?

Officially Artrocks has been going a year and loving it! But i’ve been sourcing artwork for friends and family alot longer

How and why did you start your business?

Having been selling a range of sourced art for a while, i decided to expanded into neons – this fitted my brand perfectly and naturally progressed into creating bespoke neons for clients and offering rental neons as well.

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

Giving a personal service, running my business around my family and the enjoyment of running my own business!

Contact details to find out more:

Additional info you’d like to share:

Get in touch for a quote to rent or buy a neon sign! currently 10% off when you sign up to the newsletter

Here’s some examples of Jane’s gorgeous works of art both neon and non-neon:

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 – 2 The Bridal Dress

This gets number 2 because quite simply once the venue has been sorted every bride will be thinking about their dress and with some bridal shops requiring orders to be placed 9 months before needed depending on your planned length of engagement you may need to get a shift on.

Now our bride had already visited a dress shop (no naming and shaming here) and the one tip I can give you is the dress buying experience is as important as the dress.

Now the experience she had quite simply wasn’t for her – it was a large and busy shop and appointment times strictly adhered to – this meant she felt rushed and restricted, as this particular boutique limited the number of dresses that she could try on during this hour. She just didn’t ‘feel’ the experience and therefore she wasn’t going to find a dress in this establishment. Nothing wrong with the shop persau but the experience she felt wasn’t going to precipitate a sale here.

Having known the lovely ladies Kaci and Janette at Enchanted Brides I recommended she book an appointment – having recently opened there gorgeous besouite boutique in Cheltenham’s Berkeley Mews.

With a stunning array of dresses there was plenty of variety in styles. There gentle, no rush approach meant I watched my bestie relax before me and actually start looking at dresses rather than a startled rabbit grabbing her quota to ensure they were tried on in the allotted time.

So here are our 12 top tips for Bridal dress shopping:

1. Wear comfy clothes – if your hitting several shops in one day you’ll be taking them off – ALOT!

2. Comfy shoes for pounding the streets

3. If you have an idea of heels that you may wear take them – heels add a different perspective to the dress

4. Sorry girls but good old comfy neural undies are required. Some styles may be strapless, backless or thinner material – don’t ruin the look with bright straps and – this can skew your feeling on the dress

5. No your body shape – but don’t feel obliged to stick to it!

6. Experiment – try a veil, headdress, hair vine it may alter how your feel/see yourself in the dress

7. Try on different colours – yup, with bridal gowns coming in lots of different shades from bright white to ivory, champagne even pale pinks and pale greys! be bold and try on different ones to see if the shading looks better on you

8. Photograph, photograph, photograph and from every angle!

9. Move in it! Remember you are going to be wearing this dress for a whole day – walk around in it, sit down in it, is it comfortable?

10. Ask about alterations – you may need to factor this in to the dress budget

11. Check lead times for dress ordering – if you’ve left it late be sure to ask what dresses the shop will be able to get in on time

12. Ask about deposits – most reasonable dress shops will require a deposit but should have a cooling off period

For obvious reasons THE ONE is not shown below but here’s a few snaps from the wonderful experience we had Enchanted Brides

 

 

Book your relaxed appointment at Enchanted Brides now:

Enchanted Brides – http://www.enchanted-brides.co.uk/

Tel: 01452 714131

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EnchantBride

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enchanted.brides/

 

 

Happy Dress Shopping!
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

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.

For Wedding fayres coming up take a look here

Happy fayreing!

Sophie xx