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Planning Advice

5 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Suppliers

It is really important when choosing your wedding suppliers to be mindful of these 5 things!

It makes the world of difference when you work with suppliers who adore what they do. Who put their love and attention into everything they create. Who listen and understand you, your day and what you hope to achieve. By following these 5 pointers I hope it will help you to select a team of creatives who align with you and your wedding vision.

Are the images their own work? 

Make sure the images used by the suppliers you are considering are their own! Check for image credits, look to see if they were a part of that shoot/wedding or is it a #repost of another suppliers image or has it just been stolen as ‘inspo’?

One of the main reasons you will be considering that supplier is because you admire the quality of their work, their ability to interpret a brief and because their style aligns with you and your wedding vison. It is always worth double checking this, as come your wedding day you want to make sure they can provide this level of product/service.

What experience do they have? 

Now you don’t have to hire the most experienced person in the room to get the best level of support and service by any means. However, it is important that the suppliers you choose to be a part of your day have the right level of skill and knowledge for what you are wanting them to do.

This also leads me nicely to point number 3!

Are they sharing their knowledge? 

Are they sharing top tips, helpful advice and giving you an insight into their knowledge on their social media, website and blog? If not, it might be worth asking yourselves why?

You want to be confident that the suppliers you choose live up to your expectations and the role you are hiring them to fulfil. So, never be afraid to ask them questions, pick their brains, make sure that you have the confidence that they are the right fit for you and your day.

What does your gut say?

A gut feeling can be a very powerful thing when it comes to choosing your wedding suppliers and is something which shouldn’t be ignored.

Ask yourselves;

– Do you like the person behind the brand, their values and what their business stands for?
– Can you see yourselves working together from now until your wedding day?
– Do you feel they will take the time to understand you and your vision?
– Can they provide you with the level of support and reassurance you need?

Don’t leave it to the last minute!

A lot of suppliers (due to Covid-19) are booking up fast! When you find a supplier you like pop them a message or give them a call straight away as it is likely their diary is becoming very full.

It is never too early to secure your suppliers, 18 – 12 month prior is a good target to aim for especially if you have chosen a peak month (April – September)

So, my advice is always do your research and don’t be afraid to ask suppliers questions. Make sure you love their work so much that you just can’t wait to work with them.

Looking for more wedding planning tips and support? Then why not join my mailing list – LET’S TALK DETAILS!

Click the button below to find out more.

Image Credits: Freya Raby Photography / Hannah Rachael Weddings / Charlottes Floral Design / Skipbridge Country Weddings / Garden Wedding Tipi Hire / Ivy Alice Stationery

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Planning Advice

Your 1 Week Prior Wedding Checklist

It’s nearly the week before your wedding and you, rightly so, want to make sure you have everything ready. You’ve spent months and months planning and want the week leading up to your celebration to run smoothly. So, here it is, my 1 week prior checklist to keep you on track, stress free and ready to go.

You may find not every point on this list is relevant to you and your unique day, however I do hope it helps you to double check no detail gets missed or overlooked.

1 Week Prior

Attire & Accessories

  • Pick up your wedding attire & accessories – wedding dress/wedding outfit/suits
  • Pick up your wedding parties outfits.
  • If you are hiring suits and they are being delivered, make sure you have confirmed arrival time & location with the hire company
  • Collect your wedding rings

Top Tip

Make sure each outfit is packed separately in it’s own garment bag. That way you can keep everything needed for that outfit in one place, helping to keep everyone organised and calm when it comes to getting ready.

Pampering

  • Relax & enjoy having some pamper time getting your pedicure, manicure, tan, brows, hair cut/colour, beard trim

Top Tip

If you are planning on pampering yourself before your wedding e.g. hair cut/colour, brows, tan then my advice would be to book this for the beginning of the week.

You want to give your tan & new hair colour time to settle before the day. We all know we look our best a couple of days post pampering.

Get Packing

  • If your staying away from home the night prior pack your bag for this & the night of your wedding
  • Pack for your honeymoon. Make sure to pack this in a separate suitcase/bag to your wedding night so you don’t have to re-pack and faff later on
  • Pack any styling & décor details you are providing for your ceremony & reception set- up
  • Get yourself as organised as possible for setting your wedding breakfast tables. Make sure all the décor, linen, stationery etc. for each table is packed in a separate box and labelled with the table name/number. This way when you get to your venue it is easy to identify where everything is going and saves so much time

Top Tip

If you are setting up your wedding yourself without the help of a wedding planner or stylist then get organised.

Create a plan for how set up is going to run and what details will be on each table. Make sure you pack each table separately. This way when you get to the venue you know exactly what is going where.

Set-up can take hours so don’t add to your work by not coming pre-prepared.

  • Pack an emergency kit – needle & thread, pain relief, hair pins & bobbles, tissues, hand wipes, deodorant, perfume, lipstick & snacks
  • Packed any wedding gifts which are to be handed out by your wedding planner/venue coordinator during the day. Make sure each one is clearly labelled with who it is intended for
  • Make sure your vows/wedding script & speeches are finalised and printed ready
  • Have your wedding playlist ready to go including music for your ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast & evening reception (if you’re providing this yourselves)

Check-in with Your Venue, Suppliers & Wedding Party

  • Re-confirm timings & logistics with your venue & team of suppliers – if you have a wedding planner they will do this on your behalf
  • Make sure your venue & caterer has an updated version of your guest numbers, seating plan & menu pre-orders
  • Make sure you have made all payments necessary & have a plan for any on the day payments (either your wedding planner will take care of this or allocate a member of your bridal party to do this)
  • Re-confirm morning prep timings with your wedding party. Make sure everyone knows what time they have to be up ready for. Remember you will need to be in your wedding outfit 1 hour prior to leaving for your ceremony. This will give you plenty of time for photos and additional hair/makeup touch ups.
  • Create a plan for the morning of your wedding. If guests are staying over the night prior make sure they are aware of breakfast times, where they can grab a coffee etc.

Day Prior

  • Set-up all your styling & decorative details ready for your arrival (if your venue allows)
  • Final details meeting & walk through with your venue coordinator
  • Ceremony rehearsal (if you are having one)
  • Rehearsal dinner (if you are having one)
  • Try to relax. Maybe you have plans to spend time with family & friends or just chill, whatever your plans enjoy them!

Top Tip

Try to make sure that you don’t leave any jobs to the last minute. The last thing you will want to be doing is rushing around, packing for your honeymoon or creating your playlist the night prior to your wedding.

I hope you’ve found my week prior checklist helpful in getting you thinking about the lead up to your wedding. To keep updated with all my latest top tips and wedding planning videos follow me over on Instagram @hannahrachaelweddings.

On My Instagram

Want to double check that no detail has been missed or unaccounted for ahead of your wedding day? Want to double check you have everything confirmed and ready to go with your venue and team of suppliers? My Wedding Planning Hours are the perfect opportunity to run through your wedding plans and make sure no detail has been missed.

Want to know more? Then just pop me a message and I’ll send you over some more details!

Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Hannah Rachael Weddings / White Orchid Print and Design / Whitehouse Event Crockery / Yorkshire Yurts / The Little Flower Hut

Planning Advice, Wedding Planning Guides

What To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Caterer

So here it is! The next in the series of my mini Wedding Planning Guides and this has to be one of my favourites! Why? Because it’s all about the tastiest part of your wedding, your wedding catering!

You might not know but before I created Hannah Rachael Weddings I was a Senior Event Manager for a Yorkshire based wedding caterer. So, this is definitely a topic which is very close to my heart and one I know a great deal about.

And believe me this really is something you want to get right!

The food served at your wedding is likely to be one of the biggest investments after your venue, so why take any risks?! I’m here to give you my 3 top tips on what to consider when choosing your wedding caterer. As well as my 5 MUST ASK questions.

Top Tip 1

Taste the food before you commit to your caterer. This is so important! Just because everything looks amazing on Instagram unfortunately doesn’t mean it is in real life. Make sure you arrange an initial consultation and where possible a tasting before putting down your deposit. Your wedding catering is likely to be the biggest investment after your venue, so make sure it compliments you and your day.

Top Tip 2

Be true to yourselves. Food is such a big part of your day and you cannot please everyone so honestly don’t try to. It’s your day. Use it as the best excuse to have what you want, whether that be a five-course tasting menu or a dirty burger and fries. Eat the food you truly love.

Top Tip 3

Canapés are so important! They bridge the gap between your ceremony and wedding breakfast stopping guests getting hangry (which you definitely don’t want). Guests get peckish, especially if your wedding ceremony falls over lunchtime & they’ve had a few champagnes. Believe me, your guests will remember feeling hungry, so do not let that be the lasting impression of your day.

Now on to my 5 MUST ASK questions. My new Wedding Catering Guide is full of them, but these are my top 5. The 5 you need to ask in your initial consultation in order to get to know the caterer and to understand if they are the right fit for you!

Must Ask Questions

  1. How would you describe your catering style?
  2. What menus do you offer? (plated, BBQ, sharing, buffet etc.)
  3. Can you create a bespoke menu for our wedding?*
  4. Have you worked at our venue before and what do you require from our venue?
  5. Do you offer a menu tasting before we book and is there a charge for this?

*Not everyone will require a bespoke menu for their wedding, however if you are looking for a specific dish or themed menu, you must ask this at your initial consultation. Some caterers do not specialise or offer certain cuisines or variations from their set menus.

I could honestly talk about this ALL DAY LONG. Not just because I love food, but because it is such a pivotal part of your day. There is just so much to talk about from menu styles, service and presentation to how to use your food to tell a story.

But what I really want you to take away from this is; the food served at your wedding is what brings your guests together. It’s what gets everyone talking and will be what everyone talks about, good or bad, long after your wedding. As well as showcasing who you are as a couple.

You spend so much of your wedding day eating, so make sure it truly represents you and is something that you’re excited about. You only get one shot at this, so make sure your caterers are the best fit for you and your unique day.

Now this really is just a quick sneak peek into the world of wedding catering. Everything you need to know, including all my must ask questions can be found in my free Wedding Catering Guide. To get hold of your copy all you need to do is click the button below!

Use my Wedding Catering Guide as a tool to help you hunt out the most delicious menus you can possibly find.

My Wedding Planning Guides are designed for couples looking to create a day which is unique, exquisitely planned and full of detail. Why risk missing any detail when you can have your own mini wedding planner with you every step of the way? Keeping you on track and up to date with everything you need to know.

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Freya Raby Photography / The Outside Kitchen / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks Hair Design / Natasha Jane Makeup / Jessica Steele Jewellery / Haworth Menswear / The Aisle Ilkley / Emma Cox Floristry / Hannah Rachael Weddings

Planning Advice, Wedding Planning Guides

Why To Go Bespoke – Your Guide To Bespoke Bridalwear

I am delighted to of collaborated with the wonderful Felicity from Felisiti Greis to bring you my next blog – bespoke bridalwear. We cover so much in this blog including why it is crucial to find the right bridalwear designer for you. How the design process works. As well as the benefits of going bespoke and what you really need to consider when doing so.

I honestly can’t wait for you to venture into the world of bespoke bridalwear with us!

Thoughts from Felicity

Your wedding outfit is without doubt one of the most important outfits you will ever get to wear. You have probably been dreaming about every single detail that pertains to your wedding day and you probably have a clear vision of your dream wedding attire by now. There are so many different options available to you in terms of which journey you want to embark on, in your quest to find your dream wedding outfit. The different options available to you are; bespoke, made-to-measure, made-to-order, off-the-rack/ready-made.

Here are some top tips on how to choose the right bespoke bridalwear designer. As well as how to get the most out of your bespoke experience.

What makes a bespoke wedding garment so special & how can you make the most out of the experience?

Just For You

A bespoke wedding outfit is made with you in mind and is your dream and vision. The final design should be the embodiment of who you truly are. This is why it is so important that you choose a bespoke designer who has the ability to design an outfit that speaks to your individuality. Make sure to express all of your ideas to your designer in order for them to bring your vision to life.

Visualisation & Experience

The bespoke process offers a beautiful experience. One that builds an anticipation towards the completion or final fitting of your wedding gown. Most bespoke bridalwear designers will create a sketch of the final design for you to see and approve before construction of your outfit begins. Since a sketch is all you will have to go by, it is very important to choose a designer who listens. One who has the ability to beautifully translate your ideas into a sketch. This will help you visualise your wedding outfit before it is brought to life.

Trust & Expertise

The bridalwear designer you choose, like any other wedding supplier, should be one that you have total trust in. You should trust them as a person and also their expertise. This is the person/company that you will be working very closely with to bring your dream to life.

To do away with any doubts, it is best that you ask your designer as many questions as you possibly can. Make sure you are happy with all the answers you are given. I also advise to carefully look at the designer’s portfolio and past work to see if they are an expert in their field. Look out for clues like their attention to detail, finesse and the overall fit of their pieces.

Fit

Bespoke has a reputation for a great fit. The process a bespoke wedding attire goes through, requires on average anywhere between 3 to 5 fittings. The first fitting is usually what is called a toile (a toile is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected). Once the design is perfected, the designer will then usually start the process of creating the actual wedding outfit. The aim of the toile fitting is to perfect the final design of the garment. Therefore, you should take full advantage of this part of the process and all subsequent fittings.

Voice out any concerns, changes or alterations that you may want made to the design. This part; like any part of the process, requires complete trust in your designer as you see your beautiful dream take shape and come to life right before your very eyes. A great designer offers an impeccable fit and a flattering silhouette that compliments your beautiful body shape.

This is a topic I could talk about all day! With a background in fashion and bridalwear myself, this is something which is very close to my heart. It’s also an area I feel most couples aren’t aware of when looking for the perfect outfit(s) for their wedding.

Going bespoke means you are able to create something which is personal to you. To your style and your vision. Another way to make your wedding truly unique to you.

This is exactly why Felicity and I cover so much more about bespoke bridalwear in my new Wedding Planning Guide! Click the download button below to get hold of your free copy now.

This guide is full of questions to ask your designer, things to think about and how to navigate the bespoke process. You really don’t want to miss out on all this wonderful information.

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Emma Ryan Photography / Felisiti Greis / Hannah Rachael Weddings / Ponden Mill / The Petal Studio / Amore Headwear / Unity Rhodes Bridal / Aminaa Beauty

Planning Advice

The Importance of A Wedding Timeline

The Importance of A Wedding Timeline – another wonderful blog post voted by you. This is one I’m really excited to get stuck into as I know it’s a part of wedding planning that a lot of you find challenging.

Wedding timelines are something you will hear me talking about A LOT! This is because your wedding timeline is absolutely crucial to the smooth running of your wedding, set up and supplier coordination. It is fundamental to making sure all the plans you’ve put into place come to life just how you imagined.

Top Tip

Do not underestimate the importance of a wedding timeline! It’s one of the main reasons your wedding day runs smoothly and to plan.

So here is my run down of the elements you need to be thinking about when establishing your wedding timeline.

1. Venue Access

This is a big factor – the time you/your suppliers can gain access to your venue from. This plays a big part in the setup of your wedding. If you can gain access to your venue the day prior, then bonus. If not you will need to be even more organised with your schedule.

Things to consider

How much time your suppliers need to set up. This will vary depending on your suppliers, their needs and the elements they are providing for your day. The main suppliers to consider will be your caterers, florist and stylist. These suppliers will usually have the most to set prior to your arrival onsite.

The earlier you can gain access to your venue the better, you can never have too much set up time.

2. Your Ceremony Time

This is the most crucial timing of your whole wedding day – the time you get married. The length of your ceremony will vary depending on the style of ceremony you opt for.

A Civil Ceremony will usually last for 30 minutes whereas a religious ceremony will take longer. For instance, a church ceremony will usually last 1 hour.

Things to consider

I would always advise you to be in your wedding outfit ready to go 30 minutes before your wedding ceremony, no matter which ceremony style you choose. This gives you plenty of time to have a make-up refresh, grab a drink of water (or bubbles) and make sure you can have a couple of photos. The morning of your wedding will fly by so give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

Do factor in time to travel to your ceremony. If you are getting married on site, then you may only be a 2 minute walk away. However, if you are getting ready off site, make sure to factor travel time to your ceremony into this.

If you have opted for a civil ceremony be mindful that you will both have to meet with your registrars before your ceremony. This pre-meeting will be conducted separately, so they can ask you a couple of questions in private. One of you will usually meet the registrars up to 30 minutes before and the other 15 minutes before. You must be on time for this, your registrars keep to a very strict schedule on wedding days.

3. Carriages

Now consider the time you have your venue until, the time your bar closes and your epic wedding party has to come to an end.

You now have the 3 crucial timings which the rest of your day will be factored around. Now you need to work out which details will fall where in relation to these timings.

Top Tips

Always liaise with your suppliers. Most of your suppliers will advise what they need from you before your wedding day. For instance, most hair and makeup artists advise how much time they will need per person to get everyone ready. Your caterer should advise how long your wedding breakfast should take to serve. Your florist should let you know what they require from your venue and how long they will need for setup.

However, don’t be afraid to ask these questions yourself. Don’t wait for your suppliers to tell you. You can never be too organised when it comes to the timeline and the logistics of your day.

Remember there is only so much you can realistically squeeze into one day. Be mindful of this, step back and really consider what is involved in your day. Make sure you have allowed time to enjoy your day.

You can almost overfill your day, remember sometimes less is more.

1. Setup

Identify who needs to be at your venue for setup and how long they require.

2. Wedding Prep

Liaise with your hair and makeup artist to establish how much prep time you will need to make sure everyone is ready prior to your ceremony.

Discuss with your photographer what time they will be arriving to take ‘getting ready shots’ prior to your ceremony.

Make sure to give yourselves plenty of faff time – time to eat, drink, have a chat and take a breather.

3. Ceremony

Guests will typically arrive up to an hour prior to your ceremony. Make sure you have someone on site to greet them.

After your ceremony factor in time for photos.

4. Drinks Reception

Be mindful of travel time – if you have to travel from your ceremony to reception venue allow for this in your timings. This will be crucial for your caterers to know.

Your drinks reception typically takes 1 hour 30 minutes and allows the perfect amount of time to say hi to your guests and have photos taken.

5. Wedding Breakfast

Be mindful that you have to get your guests seated – I would typically allow 15 minutes to seat 100 guests.

Speeches play a big part in the timings of your wedding breakfast. This must be communicated to your caterers prior to your wedding day as it can play a big part in service. Be strict with your speeches, make sure you set a time limit on these and stick to them.

The timings of your wedding breakfast vary drastically depending on your guest count and menu choices.

6. Evening Guests

The time your evening guests arrive usually depends on when your wedding breakfast finishes.

7. Band/Evening Entertainment

You need to be mindful of when they require access to your venue to set up.

As well as what time they will start playing.

8. Cake Cutting & 1st Dance

Both traditionally happen once your evening guests arrive.

Your 1st dance usually kicks off your evening celebrations.

9. Evening Food

Again the timing of this depends on what time you have your wedding breakfast and when your evening guests arrive.

One of my favourite times for evening food service is 9pm. Not too early, but just when guests start to flag after all that dancing.

So there we have it, my insight into not only the importance of your wedding timeline, but what to consider when creating yours. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there is just so much to consider. Please remember every wedding is unique and will involve different factors, so this really is only a guide.

Creating your wedding timeline can definitely feel overwhelming, so why not take the stress out of it by creating yours together? Take advantage of my little Christmas discount. I’m offering my wedding consultancy hour at £35.00 per hour instead of £45.00 until 31st December 2020. This is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss and create your wedding timeline. To make sure you have all the little details of your day accounted for.

To redeem your wedding hour all you need to do is contact me via the get in touch button below. As long as your wedding hour is confirmed in my diary before 31st December 2020 (your consultation can take place anytime in 2021) it’s secured at the discounted rate of £35.00.

I can’t wait to help you create your beautifully detailed wedding timeline.

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Image Credits – Freya Raby / Emma Cox Floristry / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks Hair Design / Natasha Jane Makeup / The Aisle Ilkley / Haworth Menswear / Hannah Rachael Weddings

Planning Advice

3 Reasons to Hire A Wedding Planner

As you lovelies voted for my next blog to be all about wedding timelines, it really got me thinking. Thinking about how important it is to have a plan for your wedding day.

By now you’ve probably spent numerous hours planning your wedding, choosing your suppliers and the wonderful elements which will make your day special. But have you thought about how all these details will come together on the day itself? The running order, the timings and the set up? Probably not so much and why should you of? You’ve most likely never done this before. So, I wouldn’t expect you to know all the in’s, out’s and tiny details which make up your wedding day.

So, this is exactly why I wanted to put together this bonus blog. Your wedding timeline only works if you have all these other details accounted for. This is why I discuss why a wedding planner may just be the best decision you make for your wedding day. They make sure every logistic and every timing has been accounted for and that no detail has been missed. All to make sure you don’t have to worry about a single thing!

1. Knowledge

Hopefully, if you choose your wedding planner wisely, they will have worked in the industry for several years before setting up their own business. They will be able to provide you with a wealth of knowledge gained from their experience working in a variety of sectors within the wedding industry.

They should bring a wide skill set, professionalism and guidance to your planning. All to save you an abundance of time searching for answers, looking for suppliers and working out the logistics involved in your day.

2. Experience

Your wedding planner should be able to provide you with knowledge of the industry and how suppliers operate. As well as why certain elements of your day will need to be conducted or laid out in a specific way and how to get the most out of your budget.

Working with an experienced wedding planner can be the difference between you feeling stress and overwhelm instead of fun and excitement when planning your wedding.

3. Support

Unwavering, real and honest support. To guide and advise you when you’re just not sure which direction to take. Someone who knows your wedding inside and out, just like you do. Who is just as excited about your day and who wants to help you create a day like no other.

Someone on your team who can think ahead of time and make sure everything is on track, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

I want you to have an amazing experience while planning your wedding. I want it to be fun, exciting and personal to you, without causing any overwhelm, stress or confusion. That’s exactly why I work with my couples in an extremely bespoke and detailed way in order to bring to life their wonderful day.

I appreciate that you are unique and therefore, so is your wedding and your planning. That’s why I’m with you every step of the way. Making sure you are on track, happy and supported throughout the whole process, right up to the day itself.

Checking nothing has been missed or overlooked. All so you can relax and enjoy one of the most exciting times of your life!

This is a topic I discuss and delve into in much more detail in my mini Wedding Planning Guides. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by signing up to get your guides as soon as they launch!

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Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Freya Raby Photography

Planning Advice, Styling & Décor

My 5 Wedding Breakfast Styling Tips

So not to disappoint here is my latest blog post (as voted by you) – My 5 wedding breakfast styling tips to help you to narrow down all your styling ideas. This blog will walk you through the 5 details I consider when designing a wedding breakfast.

1. Colour Palette

I always start with my colour palette. Your colour palette sets the tone for the whole aesthetic and decorative details. I use my venue to draw inspiration for this.

I consider the style of room where the wedding breakfast will take place, how the room is decorated and any prominent features it may have. I also like to think about what season the wedding will be taking place in.

Then I go on to create a colour palette consisting of 5 key colours which I will draw from for my florals, linen, table settings and décor details throughout. Adding more colours than this can overwhelm and almost over power the overall aesthetic you are hoping to achieve.

Remember less is more when it comes to your colour palette. Keep it refined, considered and cohesive for optimum impact.

2. The Venue

The overall aesthetic of your tablescape should align with the style of your venue. You want to chose decorative details to compliment your venue not contrast it!

Start by considering which 3 words you would use to describe your venue? Now think about your wedding vision and the way you want your wedding to be described.

Once you have these words consider the different ways in which you could compliment and encapsulate this vision.

This is something I go into much more detail with my couples during their wedding consultations and venue site visits. Do remember, styling your wedding day is a progression of ideas and does takes time and a lot of consideration. Don’t worry if this is something you feel you keep coming back to and evaluating.

3. Table Style

What style of table will you be having? This is such a crucial factor to consider and one which plays a big part in the whole design of your tablescape.

I consider different layouts and details depending on whether I am styling a long trestle or a round table.

With long trestles you tend to have less ‘spare space’ you mainly have the space which runs down the centre of the table. Whereas on a round table you tend to have a larger amount of central space to work with.

Next I consider what the tables look like and the setting of the wedding breakfast.

Traditionally most round tables will need clothing as they tend to be pretty ugly (in my experience). However a lot of long trestle tables are designed with beautiful wooden tops and work really well unclothed. These tend to work best in a more rustic or outdoors setting such as a barn or marquee. Therefore you may feel like adding a simple table runner down the centre of each trestle to add a hint of colour and texture.

If you have opted for a stately home or hotel, for your wedding breakfast then I would definitely recommend the addition of table linen. This adds a level of sophistication and crispness to the overall look and styling of your wedding breakfast. A beautiful base layer for you to style as you wish.

4. Menu Choices

This is a big one and one a lot of couples don’t consider! Your menu choices make a significant impact on your styling choices and the way your tables are laid out.

Think about the menu choices you have made; have you opted for sharing or plated?

If you have opted to include sharing elements then you need to consider, where these will be placed on your tables and how easy it will be for guests to reach and share these dishes amongst one another. I personally find sharing menus work best with long trestle tables. Most trestles divide between 6 guests (perfect sharing numbers) and have the ideal amount of space down the centre for sharing platters.

If opting for sharing you may find you have less space for decorative details. Therefore make your food the star of the show! Create varying heights using risers and trail soft foliage along the centre of the tables to add detail and colour. Why not consider dotting bud vases, taper candles and tealights along the table to add interest and detail.

If however you decide to opt for a plated menu then really the only thing you need to make space for is salt and pepper and accompaniments. Therefore you have more space to dress and style the space on your table as you like.

5. Height Variation

Considering height is crucial to a successful table design. If your guests can’t see one another it makes it really difficult for them to engage in conversation. Your wedding breakfast is a key element to your day and takes up a big proportion of time, therefore you want guests to enjoy themselves.

You can create height variation in so many different ways including;

  1. You could mix and match the centrepieces you have on each table (this works really well if you are having round tables). Opt for a hurricane vase with pillar candle on one and then a high floral vase arrangement on the next.
  2. You could opt for one tall floral arrangement as a main centrepiece then decorate the outside of this with small votives, tealights, bud vases etc.
  3. Or why not vary the heights of the floral/candle arrangements you have running down the centre of your table. You could achieve this by alternating between taper candles, tealights and varying floral arrangements.

I do hope you’ve found my 5 wedding breakfast styling tips a useful starting point.

This is definitely an area I spend a lot of time discussing and reviewing with my couples all to make sure the venue and vision for their day aligns. If you would like to find out more or want help with elements to consider when designing your wedding breakfast then do get in touch.

I’d love to hear from you!

Image Credits – Emma Ryan Photography / Anna Beth Photography / Freya Raby Photography

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Wedding Planning Guides

5 Reasons to Download My Wedding Venue Guide

I’ve worked super hard over the last couple of months to create a selection of mini Wedding Planning Guides especially to help all you wonderful couples planning your unique wedding. Each guide is absolutely jam packed full of top tips, advice, must ask questions and so much more to keep you on track and up-to-date throughout the many many stages of your planning.

Planning your wedding can be such a mix of emotions from happy and excited to overwhelmed and stressed all within a matter of minutes. That’s why these guides are on hand to keep you focused and on top of all your wedmin.

Just think of these as your own personal mini wedding planner. What more could you ask for?!

1. Let’s Start at the Beginning

So, I thought it was only right that my first wedding planning guide covered one of the biggest aspects of your wedding planning – your venue! Be under no illusion, this guide is packed full of industry knowledge, top tips and must ask questions (the types of questions you will need & more importantly want to know the answers to before your wedding day). It is designed to help you from now until the day itself. Whether you’ve already sourced your venue, or are yet to find the perfect one for you, this guide will be your best friend in making sure you don’t miss any detail, no matter how tiny.

2. Top Tips

I have worked extremely hard over the last 9 years to build my knowledge and understanding of the wedding industry and want to be able to share this with you. I really don’t want you to miss a thing when planning your day and appreciate just how much time, effort and consideration goes into every aspect, every decision and every plan you make. That’s exactly why I’ve designed these guides! They are created to give you helpful tips, tricks and advice to make your planning as seamlessly stress free as it possibly could be.

My wedding venue guide discusses the 3 things you should consider before you even look to book a venue viewing. Saving you loads of unnecessary hours look at venues which are just not the right fit for you and your day.

3. Must Ask Questions

I don’t expect you to know or be able to remember everything you want to ask when visiting venues and that’s exactly why this list of must ask questions will be your best friend.

Each section is broken down into a separate part of your day, for instance, set-up/ceremony/wedding breakfast/evening reception etc. etc. These walk you through every detail you need to discuss with your venue from your 1st visit right up until your final details meeting. There is plenty of space for you to take notes, so gone of the days where you spent hours hunting through your emails and note pads looking for all the various scribbles you made.

4. No Overwhelm

Believe me there really isn’t an aspect I haven’t thought of when creating this guide. Absolutely everything you need to is here, all so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing. Each guide is completely free, super easy for you to print off at home and has been beautifully designed (you really will want to print this off and take it everywhere you go). It is yours to use however you want to, so why not print off one for every venue you visit? Making it really easy for you to compare your notes when you get home.

5. Cost & Budgeting

Now this is definitely a big topic when it comes to planning your wedding. It’s something I know you want to avoid discussing for as long as possible. It almost feels impossible to decipher. Well don’t worry, I’m here to take the stress out of budgeting! This guide has a full section dedicated to cost and budgeting. It allows you to breakdown the cost of your venue. While allowing you to see how much you have left to spend on the rest of your day. All with absolutely no fuss and definitely no hassle.

Planning your unique wedding takes up enough time, so let me help by saving you even more time and effort with this super easy, gorgeous mini guide.

To get hold of your free Wedding Venue Guide then all you need to do is click the link below.

I can’t wait to to help you plan your perfect, stress free wedding!

Looking for even more wedding planning tips? Then why not visit my Industry Insider Blog.

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Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Phoebe Jane Photography / Wynn Davies Photography

Planning Advice, Q&A's

Botanical Filled Q&A With The Wonderful Polkadot Stationery

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to share with you this amazing insight into the world of all things wedding stationery. In this Q&A I ask Polkadot Stationery everything you need to know about working with a wedding stationer.

This includes how to work with a stationer, how they can help to bring your wedding style to life and why it is so important to be picky!

The wonderful Beccy started Polkadot Stationery back in 2012 “as a way to explore her passion for all things paper”. Beccy loves everything botanical and finds inspiration for her hand-drawn collections from the great outdoors.

Can you tell us more about Polkadot Stationery & your design style?

Botanical and hand-drawn! I love the outdoors and there’s so much choice with which flowers and plants I could draw for the next range. I like to keep my designs quite relaxed and rough so you can see the pencil marks too. I think it adds a more human quality to the designs which I like. 

Where do you draw inspiration for your ranges?

There’s some woods near my house that are really lovely to go and have a walk in – if I see a flower or plant I like I’ll take a photograph of it on my phone so I can reference it later. I have an album on my phone called ‘Polkadot Inspiration’ so it gets popped in there until I need it. For colour palettes I find a lot of nice imagery on Instagram and Pinterest too. Sometimes the colour palette I use is based off what is trending too though, for example at the moment deep greens, ferns and eucalyptus are most definitely in as well as softer more neutral tones such as blush pinks, terracotta and burnt orange.

Which is your favourite range & why?

I’ve just released a range called Wildflowers which is probably my  favourite so far. It’s just really simple and elegant. I also love Hand-painted Dahlias – I used gouache paints for this one for the first time and I’m really pleased with how it turned out – it’s still got that rustic, imperfect loose style that’s important to me.

I love that a lot of your designs are hand drawn, do you use any other processes when designing?

It’s a bit of a mixture really. I’ll use my iPad sometimes as I have some software on it called Procreate that effectively turns it into a drawing tablet. I use an iPencil with that and I absolutely love it because you forget you’re not using a real pencil. I also sometimes just use pen and create a really simple 1-colour design – Hydrangea Garland was created just using a really fine nib pen and then the drawing scanned into my iMac. I’ve also recently started experimenting with gouache paints as I love the texture of them.

What types of paper do you use when creating your collections?

The print of all of the wedding stationery orders is outsourced to a professionals printers. They use really nice thick, textured papers as well as more unusual stocks such as recycled kraft and vellum. I think paper choice can really make or break a collection so I always take the time to really think about which paper best suits the design.

What would you say is the benefit of working with a wedding stationer?

I think knowing that you’re working directly with a graphic designer on the design of your wedding stationery means you know you’re going to get exactly what you want. If you can imagine it, we can most likely create it! Even though I offer ‘off-the-shelf’ designs, there’s the flexibility for couples to change parts of one of my ranges if they want to, so go for a semi-bespoke design. I also do totally bespoke designs for those  wanting something that’s 100% unique to them.

Have you got any top tips for couples looking to work with a wedding stationer?

For bespoke designs a Pinterest board is always really useful for me – it gives me a good idea into the style of the wedding they want to create and gives me a better understanding for the vibe they’re wanting. 

What should couples bare in mind when working with a stationer?

I think just not to worry too much about being picky and saying what you want. Tell me as much as you can about what your day will be like, what colour scheme you’re going for, the venue, the flowers…even what you’ll be eating! It all helps me build up a picture of how your wedding is going to look, so helps me create the perfect stationery for the day.

When would you advise couples start to discuss their wedding stationery?

Some couples send their save the dates out as early as a year and a half in advance and others a few months, so it varies massively. If you’re not sure which supplier to go with it’s a good idea to get some samples sent out to you to see the quality before you make a decision – we offer free samples direct from our website. If it’s a totally bespoke design that’s going to be created I would say get in touch 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send them out as this will leave enough time to make amends and finalise any artwork.

Do you offer a consultation where couples can discuss their ideas?

Yes couples are free to contact me as much or as little as they like. This can be over email, the phone or even via Zoom! To help them visualise my designs even further I also offer free samples direct from my website – couples can choose up to 3 of their favourite designs to see physical samples of. If it’s not possible to meet up in person to discuss bespoke designs, in the past couples have sent me swatches in the post of their bridesmaid dresses so I can match the colour. However they wish to work with me is fine by me, I’m very flexible in that regard.

What processes are involved in creating a bespoke stationery suite and how long does this typically take? 

Generally, if you went for a bespoke range I’d say get in touch  approximately 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send your save the dates out. Creating designs from scratch that are hand-drawn can take a lot of time, so I like to make sure that nothing is left to chance. If it’s one of my off-the-shelf designs then I would say the lead time would be anywhere between 2-3 weeks, it’s much quicker. Couples are sent PDF proofs of their designs until they are happy with them and they are then sent to a professional printers to be created. 

How long can a couple expect the print and assembly process to take? 

From placing the order with the printers, it usually takes between 4-6 days for the final items to arrive with them. This depends a lot on the size of the order though and some items can take a little longer e.g. die-cut, irregular-shaped items are more complicated so have a longer turnaround time.

How often do you release new ranges?

I’ll always try and get a new design up online as soon as I’ve created the invite design, even if the rest of the suite of matching items haven’t been developed yet, just so clients can see if it’s something they might like. Generally speaking, I would say every 3/4 months I’ll try and release something new.

What can we expect from Polkadot Stationery in 2020?

I think it’s going to be tricky this year because of the pandemic, but I would like to say more hand-painted ranges because I’ve really loved getting to experiment with the gouache paints. I’m also planning on offering a new product for summer wedding but I can’t say too much about that yet, it’s a secret! But they’re going to be beautiful!

I hope this has inspired you to start thinking about your own wedding stationery and just how beneficial it can be working with a designer. Especially if you want to ensure that level of quality and attention to detail is carried throughout your wedding.

It really is important to not underestimate how much of an impact stationery has when conveying your wedding aesthetic. It is the first glimpse your guests will be given of your wedding day and helps set the tone for what’s to come. ⁣⁣

With this in mind, I always recommend working with the same stationer to create your full stationery suite where possible. From your save the dates and invitations, right through to your place cards and menus. ⁣⁣Keeping your stationery cohesive will make sure to add the perfect finishing touch to your big day.⁣⁣

You will find out more about Polkadot Stationery and the beautiful ranges Beccy has to offer by clicking the links below.

https://www.polkadotstationery.co.uk/

http://instagram.com/polkadotstationery

Let’s bring your dream day to life!

Contact me for help and advice on how to successfully select the perfect team of suppliers for your big day.

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