Oh my lordie - you're getting Married!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow everything is sooo exciting and your head is spinning with ideas :) So where do you start? From telling the folks to making wedding decisions make sure you do it the right way...
After you've spent several hundred hours on Pinterest pinning all the gorgeous bouquets and floral installations you are going to have to talk to and meet a real life florist at some point to get those dreams into actual bouquets and floral arches.
Chances are your mind will go blank as soon as you sit down to chat! So here are my 5 top things to discuss with them and actual useful questions you can ask them....
How do you get motivated when you're really not feeling it?
If you're planning a wedding then you'll never be short of things to do, but what if you just can't get your get up and go to tackle it?
I've pulled together 5 easy ideas to jump start your motivation, click below to see what they are...
Choosing a wedding car can be a bit overwhelming and with sooo many companies to choose from, how do you know which car is right for you?
Choosing colours for your wedding might be as easy as saying I Do!
But what if it isn't?
Somewhere along your planning journey you'll have to decide on a colour or colour scheme (even if it's only 'all white') Colour can be used in so many area to tie your wedding together and create a Wow factor!
So exactly HOW do you choose a colour scheme if you havent got a clue where to start?
Read on for where you can get your inspiration...
I’ve never been a big fan of paper confetti - it’s always been on the naff side of wedding planning, I mean how many fantastic wedding props start with a trip to a local newsagents to buy it?
Add on top the fact that it’s a single use product and using traditional confetti at your wedding probably isn’t filling you with joy! Many venues have already banned paper confetti simply because of the ‘mess’ it leaves behind, although I always used to smile when I walked by the church on a Monday morning and the confetti left over from the weekend’s wedding danced in the wind, it wasn’t that great by Thursday…
Don’t get me wrong - throwing confetti can make some of the best wedding photos so I’m not suggesting you ban it all together but wouldn’t you like some fun, alternatives that are great for the environment?
Petals - Fresh or dried these make a wonderful. colourful confetti. Choose smaller delicate petals to flutter through the air or larger petals for a hit of colour in your photos - combine the two sizes for a great display!
Bird Seed - 100% eco-friendly you’ll be feeding the local bird population too. Choose a mix of seeds to get some great photos but remember these can be sharp so remind your guests not to throw it too hard!
Feathers - If you are having a small get together I LOVE this idea, feathers will gently float in the air and when the wedding is over, birds can take them to build their nests.
Wedding Rice - NOT the rice from your kitchen cupboard this special rice is safe for wildlife, and is shaped into little hearts.
Wildflower seeds - perfect for outside boho weddings you could actually be making the meadow more beautiful for future couples! DO check with the venue first though if choosing this option - no one wants a wildflower seedling right in the middle of their manicured lawn, no matter how pretty it is!
And don’t forget how you’ll hand out the confetti too - how about swapping paper cones for people taking handfuls from a larger basket?
Your big day is all about the two of you but the good news is you can include your nearest and dearest too...
Choose the right team for your big (or intimate) day and it can make your wedding day a million times better!
It’s all about picking the right people for the right job in your Bridal Party….
Traditionally, these roles are split into support for the Bride or Groom
Maid of honour
First of all consider how important this question will be!! Aside from the ‘Will you be my bridesmaid’ question turning into a whole bridesmaid proposal in America, (and there are signs of it catching on over here folks) once you’ve asked someone to take a role in your wedding, it is nearly impossible to take that request back!!
So how do you make sure you are asking the right person for the job?
Each role will need a specific set of skills
Maid of Honour - A maid of honour is you’re main goto in the run up to your wedding and on the big day! You’ll probably go to her for help planning, deciding and for emotional support too. She’ll also be responsible for planning your hen night. This will probably be a close friend or family member. Choose someone who is well organised, supportive and calm in a crisis and you’ll be on to a winner!
Bridesmaids - These are your support on the wedding day but can also help in the run up to the wedding with tasks & jobs. The number of bridesmaids you choose is up to you (up to 5 seems to be about the average with our bookings at the moment) but remember if you are paying for their dresses it will all add up! You also need to make sure that they all get on and that there aren’t any divas in there! Try to find someone who is happy to support you and your choices. Plus points for those that really don’t mind what colour / style dress you choose for them to wear!!
Flower Girls - Not a necessity but a flower girl is a great way to involve a younger member of the family. Just make sure they are confident enough to do what you want (e.g. walk down the aisle) without running off to mum!
Best Man - The best man is pretty much the main support role, standing up there with you in the ceremony, in charge of the ring and delivering one of the speeches! (Oh and the stag night too!!) Make sure your choice is reliable, confident enough to take a starring role (including delivering a speech in front of a room of potential strangers) A sense of humour also helps but one that isn’t too risque. Choices are often between a brother or close friend.
Ushers - Tradition is you have as many ushers as bridesmaids, but really anything goes! Ushers are your ‘on the day helpers’ showing guests to their seats, handing out order of service. Pick helpful friends and family that won’t offend older guests
Page Boys - Another cute addition to the wedding party, they make great ring bearers, and although I’m not keen on the ‘Last chance to run’ board wearing ones I do smile at the ‘don’t worry ladies, I’m still single’ ones!
Should you always ask a family member?
Short answer no, not always. But do consider them first! Siblings and family members will be by your side for the long run whereas even the best friendships may fade over time. Don’t pick them if they are really not suitable though, however hard your mum insists. Just be ready to explain to mum why you aren’t picking your sister., although secretly she’ll know their timekeeping is atrocious and ultimately she’ll agree your college room mate is much more organised and perfect for maid of honour.
If you do go with other (non family) choices for say best man / maid of honour, do try and make sure your family is included elsewhere.
Other ways to include special guests in our wedding include asking them to
Don’t stick to Traditional roles
If your groom wants a best woman go ahead, likewise men of honour and bridesmen are also not unsual now.
And if your pets are like family why leave them out of your big day? We love cute little bridesmaid dogs and will even let you bring well behaved ones in Lily our Bay Panel Camper!
It's not every day you make a new friend that makes you feel so comfortable it's hard to believe you haven't known them for years, but that's exactly how it felt when we met Lou and Colin from The Old Milking Parlour @ Cavokay House. I've a sneaky feeling she makes most people feel that way!
As part of our standard enquiries to meet the venue and discuss practicalities of driving the bride on the day - which side of the car is the main door on, where would be good locations for photos if the bride wants them - we arranged to pop down to Henstridge (near Wincanton) and view the venue. What could have been a courtesy 10 minute look around turned into an afternoon of relaxed chat, woodland walks, rides in Hettie & tours of the old milking parlour ...
The Old Milking Parlour is a perfect rustic venue. More than just a space to hire, the OMP also has some amazingly fun touches, like their hanging cake stand and bride swing!
It soon became clear we were both cut from the same cloth, both excited about our businesses, loving the interactions with our brides, feeling honoured to be chosen to share their day and going the extra step to help them out. As pretty laid back ladies ourselves it seems natural that we both found our focus on relaxed style weddings.
So if you're a relaxed kinda couple that would love a rustic venue get in touch with Lou & Colin at The Old Milking Parlour.
And If you choose The Old Milking Parlour for your Wedding why not book Hettie to take you there? Quote code OMP18 when booking your car for a 5% discount.
Choosing a wedding supplier (Florist / Photographer / Wedding Transport / Tiara polisher) is easy right? Wrong! Chances are, as soon as you said ‘I do!’ you started flinging off emails to every Tom, Dick & Harry, now they have all sent replies back you’re suddenly overwhelmed and don’t know which ones to choose! It’s ok, take a nice deep breath, I’m here to guide you through it...
Before we start, download your free Wedding Supplier Worksheet
Most things come down to two things style and budget. We’re going to explore them both.
Start with ONE supplier category - cakes / flowers / venue etc
I know it's tempting to get it all over and done with in one go but you’ll have information overload with all that information whizzing back and forth I guarantee you’ll end up mixing up the supplier. No? How about when you researched you last mobile phone and all the deals out there for it, didn’t you swear that the package you had included phone insurance but in reality that was the offer from the first shop, not the second. Let’s not make that mistake again, stick to one supplier category at a time and cut down the choices straight away.
If you haven’t already emailed any suppliers, research local suppliers whose style you like and jot them all down at the top of the sheet. Don't list any more than 12!
We aren't going to contact everyone on this list, just the three we work out below.
You might be able to find out the basic info you need (price and availability from the suppliers websites. If not shoot off some enquiry emails asking if they are free on your date and what price their services start at. Don't get into specifics just yet, we'll do that in the next phase.
Now cross off any suppliers that weren't available, unless you are willing to change your wedding date!
How to Work out which Suppliers are your best bet...
Pick the two suppliers that you like the style of the best (your ‘dream suppliers’).
Next pick the 3 best suppliers (whose style you like best) that are within your budget.
Did any supplier end up in both picks? If yes write them in your final3!!! box and pick your favourite one or two in budget suppliers to make your choice up to three suppliers.
List them in your Final 3!!! box
Did no ‘dream supplier’ quote within your budget? If not then choose your FAVOURITE ‘dream supplier and put them in your Final 3!!! box along with your two favourite in budget suppliers.
Now email your 3 suppliers back. Ask them a few more questions that will help you make your decision. This might include the following types of questions....
If you are emailing a ‘dream supplier’ this is the time to be honest and to start an open dialogue, Don’t beg for a discount, instead explain that you love their work but your maximum budget for flowers / photography / cars is X and ask what they could supply / what you can trim from your request for that budget.... Maybe you CAN afford a bouquet from them but would have to make all the table centrepieces yourself.
If along this process they aren’t helpful, they are heavily pushing their style rather than listening to what your style is or you don’t gel with your supplier, take them off your list.
Now you’ve had these extra conversations, hopefully you’ve got to know your suppliers a bit better and one has come out into the lead? If not then it’s time for the next step.
Meet your suppliers! If you haven’t done so already, now’s a good time to plan a meeting to check any last details and see if it ‘feels right’.
Book your Supplier, once you have met them all, its time to book your favourite supplier
Don’t forget this last crucial step... Email the suppliers you have contacted but discarded and thank them for their help but tell them you have gone with another firm. If they were helpful along the way, leave them some feedback that might help future brides! e.g. ‘Jenny was incredibly helpful with all of my questions and always emailed back super quick!’
Now repeat with your next supplier category.
Hint - if you get one supplier that really gets you and what you’re trying to achieve ask them for recommendations for suppliers with a similar vibe to them.
If you're having a relaxed rustic wedding, chances are a traditional white iced fruit cake is not on your wish list. Good news is there are lots of other ways to create a stunning and tasty focal point. Rustic Wedding cakes focus on texture, natural tones and nature’s decorations - which will you choose?
No icing, no problem! Naked cakes showcase the sponges and done properly can be just as stunning as an iced caked if not more so! Personally I LOVE a naked cake and contrary to what you might think - they are incredibly versatile. To begin with you can have as many tiers as you want - pile them up high for an impressive centre piece or keep them low for understated elegance.
Next play with the shape and flavours for added drama. Sponges can be square or round and a range of natural hues. Play with the recipe and you can go from the palest vanilla sponge to a deep dark chocolate or even a red velvet cake? Decorations can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose. Decorate your naked cake with flowers, fruit or a simple trail of ivy.
A hint of colour
The next step up from a bare naked cake is to introduce just the barest of colour, like this pretty pink cake above. It’s a great way to coordinate with your bridesmaids or bouquet. Don’t go over the top with colour here, the key is to keep it understated and let the cake shine through. But don’t be afraid to repeat the colour throughout your dessert table ... pale lilac frosted doughnut anyone?
Keep it Simple
If you'd like a rustic twist on a traditional white cake why not add some texture to add a relaxed vibe. This is a great way to keep the traditionalist aunties happy but reflect your own style too. And just because its a white cake on the outside doesn’t mean it has to be a heavy fruitcake underneath. Chat to your cakemaker about using your favourite type of cake instead.
Whatever type of cake you choose decorating with flowers can help give it a rustic them. Try and keep them relaxed and informal though or it will look too 'staged'. Discuss ideas with your florist or pick some from your garden to keep it rustic.
Do something different
Big fan of Brownies? how about piling them high as a centrepiece! Don't just stick to the expected - a table of homemade (or professionally 'homemade') bakes fits right in to a rustic theme.
When we got married we didn't have just one wedding cake, oh no we broke the mould and had over a dozen!
We asked every family to bring a cake for the dessert table, we ended up with the most fantastic selection & everyone got to pick their favourite or three to nibble.
Think outside the flower box....
Don't just think flowers when you are decorating your wedding cake, how about herbs? As well as a fab rustic look you'll get a great aroma to fill your venue! We love this look above where they've tucked extra sprigs of herbs into the napkins too!
There was a time you could only find a great Wedding Dress in a boutique, but more and more now we are seeing beautiful dresses from shops on the high street and the bonus is they could save you a chunk of money too. I've rounded up 6 of our favourites high street bridal collections below... just click on the name to go to their bridal collection
Monsoon have been a go to for high street brides for many years now. This season their collection of vintage glamour and bohemian spirit mix to create beautiful silhouettes.
Prices £229 - £499
Yes, I had to look twice too. Good old Dotty P's have a bridal collection! Offering both separates and dresses they are well worth a look.
Prices £50 - £225
If you can travel to London then check out Top Shop's bridal range that launched last year. Only available in the Oxford Circus or Knightsbridge store and you'll need to ring them to make an appointment first.
Vintage beading, tape work and hand embroidery work, its all in the detail at phase eight this season. Beautiful vintage inspired gowns.
Prices £275 - £595
Newly launched in February 2018, French Connections range is absolutely perfect for Boho brides with fluid floor length gowns and edgy lace separates.
Prices £65 - £295
If in doubt, head to a department store! Lots of designers all under one roof and some designs are exclusive to JL only. Don't be fooled by thinking they'll all be traditional gowns, there are some fab original designs (& colours) in the mix too!
Prices £105 - £595
As the 2018 Wedding Season starts, its time to go looking for lots of lovely treats for our refreshment hampers. My thought was simple, use local independent shops, small / local brands where possible...
My goal, to create hampers that have a little bit of everything...
And of course , to have a variety of options for different tastes or requirements!
So this week I hit the shops! And boy was I overwhelmed - Sooooo many choices!
First I ruled out anything that would melt or get too sticky, then anything produced too far away. Then I bought a few samples - It's a hard life but someone has to do it!!!
What you you choose to go in your hamper?
Whether you enquire about a Wedding Car, or any other wedding service for that matter you'll probably be asked quite a few questions! Get in and ask your own too but make sure you tell them these 6 things and it'll all go a lot easier...
1. Your Wedding Date...
If you know the exact date great! If not then try and give some idea, if you reply 'not sure' alot of suppliers will just assume you are sending out multiple requests to every company just to get a vague idea of costs for your budget. Many suppliers won't even reply to these sort of enquiries.
If you do just want a rough price, lots of companies will give an example price or 'prices from' quoted on their websites.
If you really haven't set a date try and give as much detail as you can 'one weekend in June next year' is more helpful than you can imagine. The supplier might be fully booked that month, or low on bookings so they can give you a better deal!
2. Exactly what you need...
Where do you need to be collected from and where are you going too? Try and include postcodes so the supplier knows the exact location! How many people will be in the car, will you need more than one run? We're not expecting you to be the expert but give the supplier all the details and they can help you work out the most effective solution. Hoping to drive a certain way from A to B (past a memorable location or nice view) tell them that, otherwise the might just go the alternative way!
3. Any extras bits you might assume are included...
There's nothing worse than expecting something to be there on the day or even it's there but you were charged extra for it. Double check what's included and what's not.
Will there be ribbons, a floral decoration ? Does it include a stop on the way from church to reception for photos? Will you be able to squeeze in auntie mabel or the photographer on the trip last minute?
Tell the supplier what you are expecting them to provide as their service and you can sort out any difference way in advance.
3. What your theme is...
Sharing exciting things like the theme of your wedding with the supplier is fab! Firstly it should confirm that they are a good fit or not.
Secondly, it should start all our creative juices flowing! We might be able to suggest similar themed supplier we can work with, or adjust our colour schemes to match!
This is definitely one of my favourite bits - I just LOVE working with brides to help them personalise our cars to their wedding theme or personality!
4. About your dress, passengers, house location...
No they're not being nosy, and they won't blab about it to everyone! We need to know simply for the practical issues,..
if your dress is big, will there be enough room for it in the back? if it is a close fitting dress will you be able to get out of the car easily or up the grand staircase into the hotel?
Tell the supplier if your 3 passengers are slim teenage bridesmaids that don't mind squishing up together or 2 aunties that prefer room to move!
Is your house difficult to find? Tell them the best way to find you!
Basically Talk to your supplier, we really want to help you wherever we can!
5. Tell them your Timings
You probably have a lot of times you need to be places on your wedding day, help your supplier by telling them when things are happening...
What time is the ceremony?
How long do you expect the ceremony to last?
What time do you need to be at the reception?
No one can expect everything to run exactly to time but by providing the schedule upfront we can help you as much as possible to keep on time!
6. How they did..
So they big day has come and gone! Don't forget to keep talking to your supplier - let them know how they did! Email them directly with any feedback, this will help them improve! And help other brides out by leaving reviews on websites. Suppliers LOVE reviews too!
I hope that little list has helped you prepare for meeting with your suppliers.
If you'd like to know any more about us or any of our cars just drop me a line & I'll be happy to help!