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/

Wedding Series Part 5: Bridesmaid Dresses

Next up was the Bridesmaid dress but this makes me feel abit weird – I feel to old to be called a bridesmaid but perhaps not old enough to be MOH. Being a smaller wedding the bride and groom decided from the off that they weren’t keen for flower girls and Page boys.

I’ve always coveted the Annabelle dress from The Cotswold Wedding Company, and judging from their social media it’s one of the most popular designs they offer and when you see it you’ll understand why!

Naturally, like all good bridesmaids I sent a photo to the bride. Now I’d like to point out i’m definitely not a #bridesmaidzilla but preliminary discussions between us meant we’d decided that any dress needed to compliment the brides choice – which without revealing too much this dress does . Never the less we looked at lots of options and different styles but kept coming back to this one. The beauty of online browsing.

After booking a free 1hr consultation online we headed to the Cheltenham studio.

With 8 styles of dresses available, with most designs offering knee and floor length, and in a staggering 150 colour choices you would be hard pressed not to find something you and your maids love in a suitable colour choice.

The dress has arrived today and it’s beautiful – the lace up back means a few pounds lost (or gained!) between now and the wedding won’t matter – yay!

Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for the final Wedding blog post to see it in all its glory!

Happy planning

Sophie & Sarah

Xx

Wedding Planning Series: Part 3 – Stationary

Apologises I’ve been alittle lack at keeping you all informed and updated on how the wedding planning is going! Ekkk it’s T minus -27 days!!!

It’s all been abit crazy and time has flown by, not too mention being flat out with wedding cakes in my other role.

So here’s part 3 – all about Stationary. With so much choice available and only 8 months to go this was one part of the planning that was more difficult than we thought it would be.

I guess being so open minded to what was available meant we didn’t have a firm choice to chase down.

For my own wedding I DIY’d our invites as I had a particular idea and style in mind. Sarah wasn’t hugely keen to go down the DIY route or how she wanted the stationary to look we turned to a professional.

Thankfully we had Louise from Louise Rowles Designs to help us navigate the mind field of wedding stationary.

Louise is based in Stroud and after years working as a designer for a card company branched out into creating personalised wedding stationary under her own name. Using her creative flair to design and produce stationary that is reflective of you as a couple but also working within your budget.

All Louise had to work with was our theme colours of pale blue and peach/orange. As this is a small intimate wedding the bride felt that she didn’t want a massive pocket fold of information but something simple and classic but didn’t feel old fashioned.

Louise was patient and after a chat about the type of day and things the bride liked along with what her expectations where for guests – did they need a detailed map to find the venue or accommodation options listed? What did the Bride need from her guests – where menu choices required along with the standard RSVP?

Picking a small select handful for her gorgeous range Louise narrowed down styles that matched our expectations.

We’ll reveal the final design after the wedding and we’re sure you’ll love it but for now a literary teaser – think think creamy paper with a slight texture, beautiful modern calligraphy writing set in an edging of pale blue detailing and soft gold pearlescent….. beautiful!!

Louise also Has set collections available to purchase which may be a more budget friendly option.

Happy planning

Sophie & Sarah

Xx

The ultimate guide to Gemstone shapes: what’s best for you or your loved one?

There is such a wonderful variety of gemstone cuts available to the bride or groom to be, there really is no excuse for just sticking to the classic round brilliant cut solitaire if you do not want to.  This blog will help you to decide which one suits you or your fiancé or fiancée’s personality the best.

The name of a diamond cut is not determined by its shape alone, although in the case of the heart, round brilliant and pear shapes it is. Diamonds form naturally under a huge amount of pressure within Kimberlite (handy considering my business and last name 😉) rock and appear generally although not always in an octahedron shape.  Once mined, they are cut into the shape that makes the most of the octahedron of diamond with as little waste as possible whilst creating the most beautifully cut gemstone. The shape that they choose is the overall form description of the diamond, such as pear, cushion or round, while the cut is the diamond’s facets and proportions—basically the element that make them sparkle so beautifully.

Here are a few pointers to help you decide what shape diamond is most suited to your loved one and most suits their character – it is an interesting way to choose if you really have no idea what to go for!

Round Brilliant Cut = Classic & Elegant

Commonly known as the round brilliant cut, round diamonds are without a doubt the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings, accounting for more than 75 percent of all diamonds sold. This is the most classic of all the cuts.  Round diamonds have 58 facets, which refracts the light which bounces from the bottom of the diamond back through the top, creating that unbelievable sparkly effect. The shape is extremely versatile, elegant and timeless, looking clean and modern in simple settings, yet equally as wonderful in more elaborate styles – you really cannot go wrong.

Emerald = Glamorous & Art Deco

If you’re all about Art Deco glamour, this is the diamond for you. A rectangular shape with long, angular facets but it’s the large table that shows off the diamond’s clarity better than any other cut. What it lacks in brilliance, it more than makes up for in undeniable elegance.  Think Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly who wouldn’t want to follow in those icons footsteps, I know I would!

Princess = Refined & Sparkly

The name says it all! The princess cut is a classic, elegant choice that’s similar in vibrancy to the round brilliant cut but with a more modern, linear look.  Flirty and fun, the princess cut is most commonly set as a solitaire and is the second most popular shape. It’s experienced a revival over the past few years. Because the additional facets add brilliance and increase the diamond’s inherent sparkle, flaws may be less noticeable which is a definite plus point.

Asscher = Vintage & Glamourous

The asscher cut is striking and dramatic, evoking a very 1920s-1930s, art deco feel. The asscher cut is a beautifully simplistic cut with a classic elegance. It shares similar characteristics to the emerald cut, meaning colour and clarity are important factors if you decide to opt for a diamond in this shape.  The only real difference between the asscher and the emerald cut is that the asscher is square and not elongated.

Cushion = The Romantic & Whimsical

For the woman who knows what she wants, it’s probably the romantic cushion she’s craving. Cushion cuts can either be square or look rectangle with rounded corners and have larger facets to increase their brilliance, so they are rarely cut in smaller carat weights and sizes. One of the most popular diamond shapes a century ago, cushion cuts reflect and era of romance and elegance.

Oval = Innovative & Creative

Right up there with the round brilliant cut diamonds, oval diamonds have a wonderful brilliance. Even and symmetrical, this shape looks well balanced as a solitaire among those with smaller hands or shorter fingers (I fall into this bracket!), because the oval’s elongated shape gives the illusion of length to the hand (there is hope!).  The oval is often set with side stones, sometimes smaller diamonds, sapphires, emeralds or other gems, appealing to a wide range of tastes and making for a very personal and unique design.

Marquise = Dramatic & Striking

Like most things interesting, the majestic marquise is swathed in dramatic history. Legend has it that this cut was invented during the 18th-century reign of Louis XIV, allegedly named for his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, and inspired by her smile. The unique cut, essentially an oval with rounded sides and points at each end, is distinctive and dramatic.  The marquise cut can look larger than it actually is, and due to its elongated shape, can make fingers look more slender….now that’s a winner! It’s ideal for those looking to maximize carat weight, and for those who like a little opulence and are after a statement piece of jewellery rather than following the crowds.

Pear = Unique & Feminine

A winning combination of the marquise and the oval, this cut resembles a twinkling teardrop. Popular for pendants and earrings, the pear shape is also a unique and excellent choice for engagement rings, and can be “fatter” or more elongated, depending on your preference. Due to its unbalanced shape, it’s not usually set with elaborate accent stones however it does look wonderful with a diamond halo surrounding it or complimenting diamond set shoulders.

Heart = Sentimental & Soft

This cut is the ultimate symbol of romance and sentimentality. Often more of a novelty and not commonly used for engagement rings, a special and select few do choose a heart shape.  The way they are cut is similar to the pear shape they can be “fatter” or more elongated, and it’s the skill and precision of the diamond cutter that defines the sparkle and beauty of this shape.

Radiant = Stylish & Confident

This cut can be hard to find but most definitely not impossible.  The radiant marries the elegant glamour of the emerald cut shape with the brilliance of the round, resulting in a rare sparkly square with trimmed corners. Its extra special sparkle is the result of the way its underside is cut, with 70 facets to be exact.  I personally love the fact that this shape isn’t worn by many, so if you are after something totally different to your friends this is the perfect option.

I hope that this helps all of you engagement ring purchasers out there…if you are still confused there are professionals out there, like myself, who can point you in the right direction contact a designer for more information on how to set your perfect cut, my details are linked below.

Hannah xx

About our guest blogger:

Hannah Kimber is the creative director and talent behind Hannah Kimber Jewellery.

Hannah specialises in bespoke commissioned pieces of exquisite jewellery using the finest ethically sourced gemstones and precious metals. With expertise in diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and a huge range of precious and semi-precious gemstones, Hannah is highly respected in the jewellery industry throughout the UK and

She prides herself on quality craftsmanship and attention to even the tiniest of details, however it is her instinctive flair and creative brilliance that sets her apart from the rest and has led to her numerous awards and accreditations.

http://www.hannahkimber.com/

Hannah@hannahkimber.com

01242 574468

Supplier Showcase: The Cheltenham Cakery

Today’s Supplier Spotlight is for Cakery Queen and multi award winning cake artist Sophie Liggat from The Cheltenham Cakery.

We caught up with Sophie to find out more about her love of sugar craft

Tell us about you

Hi my name is Sophie Liggat and I am the owner and caker at The Cheltenham Cakery. Originally creating anything in cake I started to specialise in Wedding and corporate Cakery along with cupcake bouquets and I’ve not looked back! I love the creativity that my job has and the ability to create realistic flowers out of sugar always gives me a real buzz of joy. There’s nothing better than watching my clients faces when they ask you ‘are they real?’ And you tell them they are made from sugar paste!

How long have you been in business?

I started The Cheltenham Cakery in October 2011, but I have been home baking my whole life and my recipes are hand me downs from generations before me, I’ve just given them a Modern ‘cakery’ twist

How and why did you start your business?

I began baking more when my now hubby started working nights and I was getting bored of an evening, and if I’m honest a little lonely. I’d baked one to many cupcakes one evening and had to take them into work with me…. people loved them and it wasn’t long before I was being asked to bake. The rest they say is history.

After a few years I decided to concentrate on specialising in Wedding and corporate Cakery.

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

I pride myself on creating unique and delicious Cakery – Too often I have couples come to me after searching Pinterest with designs they like to copy – I adore helping them explore and find their creative sides and incorporate this into their cake.

The wedding cake experience from tasting to designing and the end result is just as important to me as the final finished product.

It’s also a great feeling when you get the professional shots of your cakes come through – I’m always like ‘I made that?!’

Additional information:

To ensure the highest standard of work I only take on one wedding order a week and as such do get booked up quickly – if your interested in a Cheltenham Cakery design drop me a line and let’s start talking cake 😃 🎂

Contact details to find out more:

Website: www.thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thecheltcakery

Email: info@thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

Tel: 07766346788

Here’s some more works of edible art:

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

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

Are you ‘Getting Married’ or ‘Having a Wedding’?

Contentious Post Alert……… the cost of Weddings is always a tricky subject and if you believe the multiple media articles that have been written on the subject, mention the W word and its curtains. But have we created a false impression?

According to glossy mag Brides Magazine the average cost of a UK wedding is £30,000 (September, 2017) up from £20,500 in 2015 (You and Your Wedding)

iStock_000049367202_Large

Having experience from both sides of the fence, as a Bride planning a DIY wedding and a Wedding Supplier I can appreciate and understand the misguided frustrations that sometimes surround the cost of products and services associated with this special day. I mean we can’t all afford 200K on a Givenchy haute couture bridal gown now can we?!

So with the costs rising were do you start?

Spoiler alert: The thing is – your wedding is as expensive as you choose it to be.

I know you’ve probably heard all this before and guessing your eye rolling right about now. This post isn’t going to tell you have to DIY like a pro or how to barter for wedding services but hopefully will help you put into perspective what is important for you to gain from your wedding day (vows aside) so that you can prioritize your finances.

We all want the same thing, a beautiful day surrounded by those we love and who love us, celebrated in a way that reflects the personality of the couple tying the knot.  So the obvious aside: The dress, beautiful pictures, stunning florals, wow factor cake. Why are you getting married? And more importantly:

Are you getting married? OR having a wedding?

Wow now that’s a game changer!

By breaking it down: getting married, its actually pretty straightforward –  the saying of vows and becoming legally bound to one another. A necessity if  you want to get married and have that all important piece of paper.

Having a wedding, is all the extras that are associated with getting married, the dress, stunning venue, gorgeous florals, wow factor cake etc.

So rather than why are weddings so expensive? Think of it as how much do I want to spend on celebrating getting married……….. after all you are choosing to cater for an all expenses paid party for a number of guests albeit with a ton of things that you wouldn’t normally do if you were organising a birthday party.

Lists will be your friend

Try and list everything that you think you’d need at your wedding or perhaps you’ve seen at other weddings – then go through and prioritize (i used a traffic light colour system: green – definite must have, orange – would like to have if budget allows and red – definite don’t want/not going to have) Try and be as thorough and detailed as possible ie catering to table confetti! Try our version here

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With your list of whats important to you be mindful when chatting with suppliers about your requirements –  understand the VALUE, SERVICE and EXPERIENCE that is each supplier is offering along with the service/product cost. As with most things and party planning – there will be things that you will want which you will find non-negotiable, and there will be other things that will hold little value to you and your celebration….. this is absolutely fine and many suppliers understand this.

But please do not expect suppliers to undervalue their product because it holds a lower value for yourself. Would you haggle with the sales assistant at Chanel or Christian Dior?

Want something but can’t quite make the budget work?

Remember whilst your wedding day will always be a special day its the journey and experience of getting to that moment – think outside the box if you need to- are you creative or perhaps you have creative friends and family that may be willing to lend a hand.

With DIY being hugely popular and ‘on trend’ right now check out local courses or you tube to find ways to ‘do it yourself’ everything from flowers to cakes, favours to stationary are covered. Why not check out our workshops page for what on and the nest bit your learning a new skill.

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So as a final thought: Creating memories to last a lifetime…… What price do you put on this and more importantly what memories do you want to cherish the most and do you really need all the ‘extras’ to have these memories.

My advice: be sure to secure the capturing of these memories for eternity

Happy Wedding Planning

Sophie

xx

Supplier Spotlight: MakeUp by Natasha Louise

Our Supplier Spotlight today is for Natasha Davies, the businesswoman and make up artist extraordinaire behind Natasha Louise. Natasha and her handpicked team of artists are just want you need on your wedding day or special event to ensure your are looking your absolute best.
We caught up with Natasha to find out more about her, her business and of course the make up!
Tell us about you
Hi my name is Natasha Davies and i am chief make up artist and owner at Makeup by Natasha Louise.
My business ethos is to ensure our brides/ clients look the very best version of themselves whatever the occasion, i have now expanded the business and developed a team of professional make-up artists, and we make it our responsibility to put our clients mind at ease, leaving them free to treasure every moment of their special day.
How long have you been in business?

4 years, including a relocation from Herefordshire to glorious Gloucestershire.

How and why did you start your business?

Since suffering with teenage skin, I had to become the master of cover up and quickly loved how makeup made me look and feel. I started formal training 10 years ago and soon after I got asked to help out with friends and family weddings. I then realised how much I LOVED being part of a someones special day. My hobby quickly turned into a business, and after a move to the Cotswolds the decision was made to pursue Makeup by Natasha Louise full time. With a handful of stylists in my team we’re now able to accommodate bookings across the three counties.

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

I love the flexibility that self employment brings. I can do a job I love and spend quality time with my children without the ‘mum guilt’

Contact details to find out more:
Additional info you’d like to share:

Your wedding day is one of the most wonderful days of your life, which is why you should look the very best version of you.

You can expect your trial to last between 2-4 hours. This gives you plenty of scope to try as many looks as you need to until you are 100% happy with your bridal makeup. The trial can take place at your home, or if you’d prefer your makeup artists home. 

Some more pics to swoon over:

Happy planning
Sophie
xx