What a whirlwind year it has been since I got engaged. It’s so crazy that when you first say yes to your partner, your wedding feels miles away but soon creeps up on you! I’m now in the final stages of the wedding planning and it is all coming together nicely (albeit with a bit of stress thrown in!) Many of you might have seen that I recently went on my hen do… My bridesmaids organised me a 6 day bonanza of beach parties, stunning vistas, Greek food and Mamma Mia moments all on the backdrop of one of my favorite places in the world: Mykonos. I will be putting together a dedicated post about my trip there but for now I wanted to talk about some tips on wedding (or even event planning) that I’ve collected on my planning journey so far.
1) Get all the big stuff booked: one of the best things I did, for me personally, was get all of the big important things locked down as soon as I had decided a venue. I booked the caterers, photographers, florists and entertainment. Not only does this give you first dibs on the best suppliers, the earlier you book, it also means that you have more time to spend on finer details such as table decorations, stationery, outfits etc. If you have smaller bitty things to plan along with the big stuff you’ll leave yourself in a planning mess not knowing where to start!
2) Make good use of your suppliers: one thing I never realised with wedding planning is how closely tied suppliers are. They almost come as a wider team. My photographers recommended my florist and hair and makeup lady. This made things so much easier when planning
as clearly all the suppliers had the same taste and vibe that matched mine.
3) Early hen do: Last October we started planning my hen (very early I know) but we did it firstly to get dates locked in for everyone and secondly to get cheap flights booked ASAP. I knew that if I wanted a hen do abroad somewhere like Mykonos, things had to be planned as early as possible! My hen was set for May, followed by my wedding is at the end of August. Initially I was worried about them being so far apart, I felt that would the celebration be too early but actually it worked in my favour. In the lead up to the hen I just focused on that and put wedding planning on hold, now following the trip I’ve still got nearly 4 months left before my big day to plan, so it meant my full focus could be placed on my hen do without me being stressed out about my wedding.
4) Communication is key: We are just in the process of sending out our hard-copy invitations, but haven’t been stressed about the time frame because we have been communicating with our guests along the way. The first port of call, given that we are doing a destination wedding, was a digital Save the Date back in October (10 months before the wedding date). I designed that myself but there are plenty of templates online to use as well. Following on from that came our website, we launched this end of January (7 months before the wedding date). The website, again I designed myself on wix.com, is where guests can find all types of travel suggestions from accommodation, things to do in the area, restaurants etc. I felt like I was writing for my blog!! Anyway, the website was really helpful on so many levels as we could address a number of different questions guests might have had. Finally is our wedding invitations, I’m hoping these will be sent out in the next couple of weeks. On there guests will find exact timings of the day and other information such as dress code etc. We will be following up closer to the time with emails etc but just keeping guests informed and communicating as much as possible has been really key in having a smooth-sailing wedding plan so far.
Now since we are on the subject of weddings, I thought it would be the ideal moment to pass on some of my knowledge of suppliers and wedding fayres. I’ve been to my fair share of fayres over the past year and got to know some of the coolest UK wedding suppliers in the process.
- Hedsor House: The photographs in this post were all shot in Hedsor House. This stunning Manor House is the ideal location if you’re after that fairytale UK wedding. It boasts 13 guest bedrooms and the most insane bridal suite!
- Aynhoe Park: this venue is outrageously fabulous but not for the faint hearted, particularly if you don’t like taxidermy. Their collection of various makes for a quirky but super cool Manor house venue to host your festivities in the heart of the stunning cotswolds.
- Marleybrook House: If you’re looking for a venue with a wonderful twist, don’t miss out on this little gem in Kent. My friend Amy got married here last year and we had a blast! The USP of this place is their back garden fun-fair where guests can go and enjoy the rides with their glass of bubbly following the marriage ceremony. It was such fun and a wonderfully British, yet unique, thing to have on your wedding!
- Phillipa Lepley: Of course, there can’t be a wedding list without a mention of Philippa Lepley. She designs some of the most stunning dresses around, also offering Brides a bespoke dress service where they can have their gown designed from start to finish completely bespoke.
- Belle and Bunty: Sweet friends of mine through the blogging world are wedding dress designers-cum-bloggers, Alice and Hannah, Aka belle and bunty. Their dresses are perfect for those girls who yearn for a more relaxed bohemian look with their collections packed full of elegant satins and delicate lace.
- Hermione de Paula: If embroidery is your cup of tea, don’t miss this designer. She can go as wild or as dainty as you would like, but with floral touches being a big part of what’s on trend for wedding dresses these days.
- Lavender Green flowers – Based in London, this is both a flower shop and a florist for weddings and events. Their creations are utterly divine, don’t miss them next time you’re in Kensington!
- BluBelle Creative – Lovely local florists situated by the seaside in Whitstable. With her exquisite eye for detail and love of all things vintage, Helen and the BluBelle Creative team produce bespoke floral designs for all your special occasions.
- Dove & Myrtle: Based out in Hove, Brighton way, this florist celebrates all things wildflowers. She works with British flower growers and her creations are wonderfully wild and seasonal. She has a loose and unmanicured aesthetic, perfect for brides who love that natural feeling.
- Sabel: I discovered this catering company at the Unwedding show and loved their offerings. It was completely unique to what I had tasted at other UK weddings, they really celebrate British produce and give a wonderful twist on their menus. It’s the perfect caterers if you’re a real foodie like me!
- Grape & Fig: Don’t want a sit down wedding meal? How about a modern and contemporary grazing table. Grape & Fig does the most incredible grazing tables and platters, catering to the exact desires of the bride and groom. Whether you’re cheese lovers or enjoy a charcuterie of meats, they can create the most incredible spread to please every single guest!
- Nevie Pie cakes: Have you ever heard of hand-painted wedding cakes? Neither had I until I saw them at the Brides valentines event I attended earlier this year! Natasha Collins, the artist behind Nevie Pie, creates the most beautiful and ornate cakes you’ll ever lay your eyes on!
- Emmy London: When it comes to wedding shoes, Emmy London has got it down to a T! Their ornate bridal designs compliment any wedding look and I love the perfectly pastel colours so many of their shoes come in!
- Charlotte Mills: If you’re looking for more young and fun shoes for your wedding day, try Charlotte Mills. Her cute, girlie and colourful creations are perfect for a little cheeky addition to your wedding look!
- Belles & Whistles: Silk flower hair accessories are something super special that Belles & Whistles offers to brides and their bridesmaids. They are all handmade and the perfect accessory for your hair on your special day!