Belle's Events http://www.bellesevents.co.uk Creative, unique & quirky wedding events. Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:00:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Fox & Partridge. Tips on creating a themed wedding. http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/fox-partridge-themed-wedding/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/fox-partridge-themed-wedding/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:00:19 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4518 Creating a themed wedding which your guests will remember forever is quite a challenge. Many people go to 5 or 6 weddings a season and attending a really different and stand out one can make the whole day much more exciting. No one needs to see six versions of the same white chair covers weekend […]

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Fox & Partridge Design

Creating a themed wedding which your guests will remember forever is quite a challenge. Many people go to 5 or 6 weddings a season and attending a really different and stand out one can make the whole day much more exciting. No one needs to see six versions of the same white chair covers weekend after weekend, which is why a themed wedding can be so great.

We are Fox and Partridge, also known as Caroline and Jess, and we believe in creating unique, personalised and stand out weddings. Jess is an established wedding photographer and Caroline is an experienced Graphic Designer and Wedding Stationer. We’ve been friends for over ten years and together we can create the wedding you’ve been dreaming of and bring your Pinterest boards to life!

We believe the key to creating a stand out wedding is a strong theme, ‘a themed wedding’. This can really help to pull a wedding together, from the stationery, to the decoration and even the cake. It can make decisions about all of these things a lot easier and for people like us at Fox & Partridge – it gives us so many exciting opportunities for ideas. The photos below show how a strong theme can really bring a wedding to life – Summer Festival and Alice in Wonderland as a start.

If you’re struggling to think of a theme, here are our top 5 tips for how to choose one:

Geography

This can come in so many forms. Have you had lots of holidays together, lived all over the country or simply like visiting different pubs and bars? From making your invites look like luggage tags or plane tickets to having each table named after a different country or town, there are lots of ways that this theme can come to life.

Fox & Partridge Styling

Personalise

Have you been together for most of your lives and grown up together? This day is all about you as a couple so why not go one step further?! You could include things like facts or a timeline in your invites and maybe each table could be themed about a different time of your lives, University, travelling, first home…the possibilities are endless and by the end of the night all the guests will feel like they know you like your best friends. 

Music

Themed weddings don’t come cooler than this. Favourite songs, favourite bands, song lyrics…all of these can be used to theme your wedding. You could even go as far as making your wedding into it’s very own festival with tickets for invites, a ‘line up’ with yourselves as the headline act and mandatory wellies for all the guests!

Styling by Fox & Partridge

Era or Decade

Think you were born in the wrong decade or love all things vintage? Different styles and fashions of our decades can provide so many good ideas to theme weddings. From being born in the 80s and having a neon wedding to matching the Art Deco feeling of your venue with Gatsby inspired invites and lavish centrepieces. Decades are also a particularly good one if you wanted a subtle theme as often you only need a touch of vintage magic for the era to come through.

Styling by Fox & Partridge

Books, Films & TV Shows

These sorts of themes would suit people who want to go all out! Did you watch the whole of Mad Men back to back as a couple? Or was your first date to see Star Wars? Even Harry Potter weddings could be so exciting! Our Alice in Wonderland shoot just shows how far a theme like this can go….

So there you go…and don’t let the feeling of ‘how on earth will we ever create that?’ put you off….that’s what Fox & Partridge are for!

F&P x

Images by Jessica Jill Photography . You can meet Fox & Partridge at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on October 4th at Brighton Centre. 

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First Dance Recommendations by The Stash Dj’s Brighton http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/first-dance-recommendations-by-the-stash-djs-brighton/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/first-dance-recommendations-by-the-stash-djs-brighton/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:00:25 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4374 Choosing a first dance track is tough unless you have the vomit inducing ‘our song’. So here are some first dance recommendations from Alex Borg of Brighton’s awesome ‘The Stash DJ’s’.   1. Etta James – At Last 2. Ella Fitzgerald – Fever 3. The Beatles – Something 4. Elvis Presley – I Can’t Help […]

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Choosing a first dance track is tough unless you have the vomit inducing ‘our song’. So here are some first dance recommendations from Alex Borg of Brighton’s awesome ‘The Stash DJ’s’.

 

Photo Madly StashDJs

1. Etta James – At Last

2. Ella Fitzgerald – Fever

3. The Beatles – Something

4. Elvis Presley – I Can’t Help Falling In love With You

5. Al Green – Let’s Stay Together

6. Sam Cooke – You Send me

7. Nat King Cole – Love

8. Phil Phillips – Sea Of Love

9. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows

10. Santo and Johnny – Sleepwalk

www.thestashdjs.co.uk photo my www.photomadly.com

 

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A Very Cool Vintage Inspired Makeover http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/vintage-inspired-makeover/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/vintage-inspired-makeover/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:22:44 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4416   Helen (editor of Doily Day’s Loves Weddings Magazine) and feature writer Faye were invited for a vintage inspired makeover where bangs, peekaboo curls and victory rolls were the order of the day. With Buddy Holly playing on the radio and once pin curls were set, Ingrid deftly applied foundation with an airbrush before moving on […]

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Vintage Inspired Makover

 

Helen (editor of Doily Day’s Loves Weddings Magazine) and feature writer Faye were invited for a vintage inspired makeover where bangs, peekaboo curls and victory rolls were the order of the day.

With Buddy Holly playing on the radio and once pin curls were set, Ingrid deftly applied foundation with an airbrush before moving on to eyes, lashes, brows and a perfect pout, transforming them into a pair of wannabe 40’s Hollywood starlets. With clothes, accessories and props carefully selected the photo shoot began. The vintage inspired makeover was underway and the vintage heat was rising.

 

Faye Spiller | Vintage Inspired Makeovers

 

A few stiff and awkward poses were quickly put to rest as the talented Lynda gave clear direction and shared her top tips for relaxing and getting into character.

 

Helen on the old blower.

 

So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Dita Von Teese or a budding Rita Hayworth then Vintage Inspired Makeovers are the perfect team for the job. A great idea for a hen do or a special occasion or just for the love of vintage.

 

dd5276

 

Vintage outfits supplied by Johnny Loves June www.johnnylovesjune.co.uk

How can you contact the ladies at Vintage Inspired Makeovers?

You can call Lynda 01273 202722 or Ingrid 01273 597009 / 07901946529 or email lynda.kelly2@btinternet.com, or ingrid@finetofabulous.co.uk, find out more about Ingird at www.finetofabulous.co.uk

Words by Faye Spiller.

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It’s your wedding fair pitch, it’s your chance to shine. My Top Tips. http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/wedding-fair-pitch-chance-shine/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/wedding-fair-pitch-chance-shine/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:59:56 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=3336   Many exhibitors ask me ‘what should my wedding fair pitch look like?‘ and the simple answer is that it should make couples stop in their tracks. If you have a few cards out on an ill fitting white table cloth with your cuppa on it and you’re sat behind it texting, you will not make […]

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Miss Cake Topper

 

Many exhibitors ask me ‘what should my wedding fair pitch look like?‘ and the simple answer is that it should make couples stop in their tracks. If you have a few cards out on an ill fitting white table cloth with your cuppa on it and you’re sat behind it texting, you will not make bookings.  

Here are my top tips on using your wedding fair pitch to your advantage.

 

Rachel Grimes Flower

 

Tip One

If you have booked a table as your wedding fair pitch, take a suitable table covering that goes right the way over the table, to the floor, it can be super colourful and quirky too, it doesn’t have to be white.  There is nothing worse than seeing exhibitors boxes and rubbish under an otherwise beautiful set up (ok there are worse things but it’s not a nice site).

 

Example of a wedding fair pitch

 

 

Tip Two 

Give yourself time to make your wedding fair inviting, make sure you practise your set up before the day and on the day arrive with plenty of time, it is stressful having to throw your wedding fair pitch together surrounded by other exhibitors that are all ready set up. Don’t do it to yourself.

 

Tip Three

Showcase your product! This might sound simple but many times I have seen exhibitors set up with images of what they have on offer when they could have bought the real thing along to showcase.  You don’t have to display on a table, bring a piece of furniture or some shelves, be creative. 

 

Doris Loves always have an amazing pitch

 

 

Tip Four 

Work it! Don’t sit behind your wedding fair pitch texting or using your phone, it’s so off putting for couples, but don’t be over friendly either, it’s simple really, be present and prepared. The ideal interaction is not a sales pitch but a conversation. Use your wedding fair pitch to explain what you are offering, make sure you offer business cards that show all your social media and think about offering a discount to couples that you meet on the day if they contact you afterwards with a code.

 

Doily Days

 

Tip Five

Stand out from the crowd. Couples that visit alternative wedding fairs like The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair or A Most Curious Wedding Fair don’t want to see tables and tables of beige, they want to be inspired, they want to thrilled. Don’t ever worry that you’re being over the top, this is your chance to shine. 

 

Dome Worthing Atrium

 

Images by Jennifer Smith Photography and Jenny Rutterford Photography 

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Pre Registration for The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair in October is OPEN! http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/really-cool-wedding-fairs/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/really-cool-wedding-fairs/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:00:01 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4450 We only do really cool wedding fairs and yep you read it right, you can now pre register for FREE entry to The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on October 4th at Brighton Centre. All you need to go is go to the event page and fill in the form, we’ll email back to confirm and […]

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We only do really cool wedding fairs and yep you read it right, you can now pre register for FREE entry to The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on October 4th at Brighton Centre.

All you need to go is go to the event page and fill in the form, we’ll email back to confirm and then Bobs your uncle and Mavis your aunt, you’re on the list and you’re coming in.

This time around we are offering only the person who registers the FREE entry, any guests will have to pay £2.50 on the door. Of course, if you are a couple coming you can both register.

So if it’s only really cool wedding fairs you’re after and don’t want to waste your time walking around boring ones you better pop this one in your diary. Brighton Centre, Sunday October 4th, 11am-4pm. 

The supplier list is looking increasingly impressive even if I do say so my self. Pop over and have a look, you’ll be filling in that form before you know it. . .

 

Belle of SLB
Gin & Bear It Chappies
Stick it On Party
Chichester Marshmallow Company
Doris Loves Light Up Letters BOOM

 

You might want to make a weekend of it of course so here is a great article about The Quirkiest Places to Stay in Brighton on We Love Brighton!

See you there,

Kelly

x

CLICK HERE TO TAKE YOU TO THE EVENT PAGE OF BRIGHTON’S REALLY COOL WEDDING FAIRS

 

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Fabulously unusual wedding drinks from Gin & Bear It . . . http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/fabulously-unusual-wedding-drinks/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/fabulously-unusual-wedding-drinks/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 19:00:47 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4400 We are often asked to come up with suggestions for unusual wedding drinks to keep guests happy. Many couples are looking for more than just the same old and so are turning to people like us, Gin & Bear It, for “Ginspiration”! Since gin is currently enjoying such a resurgence we would like to share with you […]

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The Gin & Bear It Boys by Sarah Olivier

We are often asked to come up with suggestions for unusual wedding drinks to keep guests happy. Many couples are looking for more than just the same old and so are turning to people like us, Gin & Bear It, for “Ginspiration”!

Since gin is currently enjoying such a resurgence we would like to share with you some of our favourite celebration drinks made with “Ginspiration” especially for your wedding day.

The Gin Fizz
Simple yet fabulous, this traditional version of a gin fizz, is refreshing as well as having a bit of a kick. This long drink is high on our list of unusual wedding drinks and very popular with our couples.

Ingredients:
2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
Cold club soda
Sprig of mint

Muddle gin, juice and syrup together in a tall glass, add lots of ice and top up with club soda. Serve with a sprig of mint and drink before someone else does.

Gin Fizz

 

The Gin Mojito
We are big fans of the Mojito, and we are always on the look out for a way to get more gin into our diets so here we go with the Gin Mojito. We aren’t trying to replace a classic, just put our own spin on it and we think you will love it.

Ingredients:
50ml. London Dry Gin
7 Mint Leaves
2 lime wedges
25ml.Sugar Syrup
50ml.Apple Juice
1 Mint Sprig

Clap the mint in your palms to release the aromas and place at the bottom of the tall glass. Chop your half lime into pieces and place on top of the mint. Add your sugar or sugar syrup on top of the mint and lime. Muddle gently to release the lime juices. Fill your glass 3/4 full with crushed ice (important to use crushed Ice to ensure maximum flavour). Pour in London Dry Gin and apple juice. Stir everything together well and top with further crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint. Unusual wedding drinks don’t come much better than this!

Gin Mojito

 

Gin Punch

Perfect for a garden party or boozy afternoon tea style reception. This is a very lovely punch recipe, light, fizzy and refreshing.

Ingredients:
1.5 bottles London Dry Gin
350ml Maraschino Liqueur
500ml Apricot Nectar
500ml Orange Juice
1liter Pineapple Juice
200ml Lime Juice
100ml Sugar Syrup
3 bottles Prosecco
2 Oranges sliced
1 Pineapple peeled and chopped
4 Apricots quartered and stones removed
2 Limes sliced
2 Lemons sliced

Place selected fruits in a bowl. Pour in Gin. Add the remaining ingredients APART from sparkling wine. Adjust sweet and sour to taste. Chill in fridge for 2–3 hours before serving. Pour into individual glasses, over ice. Add sparkling wine. Enjoy!

Gin Punch
 

English Country Garden

For something a little different to our beloved Pimms, why not give this a try. Thirst quenching on a warm day while eating strawberries at Wimbledon, you are going to wonder how you ever did with out this lovely drink.

Ingredients:
50 ml Cucumber Gin
50 ml Apple Juice
20 ml Lime Juice
20 ml Sugar Syrup
1 Mint leaf
1 slice cucumber

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add gin, apple juice, lime juice and sugar syrup to the shaker. Shake the mixture vigorously until the surface of the shaker feels chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and mint leaf.

English Country Garden

 

Gin Hugo

While in Lake Garda, we discovered this local cocktail that you can get almost everywhere and we knew it would fit into our glorious unusual wedding drinks list. It is incredibly refreshing and having had it we thought it could use the extra kick of a bit of gin so we have added some.  The recipes seem to change from bar to bar, however we think that this recipe best represents the Hugo’s we enjoyed on holiday and are thrilled it’s on the list of unusual wedding drinks.

Ingredients:
100 ml prosecco
25ml gin
150 ml sparkling water
1 teaspoon elderflower cordial
4 Mint leaves
juice of 1 lime

Crush or muddle mint leaves in a large wine glass. Add a small amount of elderflower syrup. Add the lime juice, prosecco and sparkling water. Add ice and stir well. Serve with a straw.

Gin Hugo?

 

 

So there we have it, thank you so much to John Azzopardi and Aaron Burns of Gin & Bear It who you will be able to meet at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair this October 4th at Brighton Centre.

Images of the chaps by Sarah Olivier.

 

Gin & Bear It Chappies

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Real Colourful Wedding from Across the Pond http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/real-colourful-wedding-from-across-the-pond/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/real-colourful-wedding-from-across-the-pond/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:16:57 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4386   I for one LOVE a pop of colour, be it in what I’m wearing, what I have going on in the house, even what I’m eating. Colour means life, colour brings fun. As you can imagine I was thrilled to stumble across this quirky, colourful wedding in issue one of Doily Day’s Loves Weddings […]

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Colourful Wedding Kiss

 

I for one LOVE a pop of colour, be it in what I’m wearing, what I have going on in the house, even what I’m eating. Colour means life, colour brings fun. As you can imagine I was thrilled to stumble across this quirky, colourful wedding in issue one of Doily Day’s Loves Weddings Magazine.

 

Sally & Chris are both designers. They’re from Brighton but they relocated to Asheville, North Carolina in 2011. They planned this fun, colourful wedding in just 2 and a half months. “I wanted it to be fun and a very colourful wedding, using a contrasting palate of bright green, pink, yellow, turquoise and orange.” “I had an amazing couple of friends who used to come over for craft nights and we’d sit, nibble, and make hundreds of pom poms!”

 

 

Colourful Wedding Couple

 

 

“My most memorable moment was when Chris’s niece sang a song at the ceremony in Welsh, their native language, and our little 3 year old held her hand and did a swaying dance all the way through, it was just so sweet.”

 

 

Colourful Wedding Bride & Balloons

 

 

“I had a lot of inspiration from pinterest – it was my invaluable source for ideas and a great place to keep an online scrap book of how I wanted the wedding.”

 

Colourful Wedding Caravan

 

 

“I run a business designing and making interior products so I used the fabric for the bunting, the ring pillow, the sashes on the bridesmaids dresses, and wrapped it around the bouquets. I also made napkins for dinner and had my candles on the tables.”

 

colourful wedding

 

Thank you to Sally for her words and to Doily Day’s Loves Weddings Magazine for sharing this real colourful wedding from 2013.

First Dance: Mirrorball – Elbow

Photography – W.ScottChester

Sally’s Shop – Etsy Sally Noodle

 

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Q & A with River Jones, Independent Celebrant http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/river-jones-independent-celebrant/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/river-jones-independent-celebrant/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 19:34:47 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4363 Nowadays fewer people hold fixed religious beliefs, but this doesn’t make the occasions we’ve always marked with ceremony any less important. Helen of Doily Days holds a Q & A with River Jones, Independent Celebrant 1) Where can my ceremony be performed? Anywhere you want! One of the best things about working with an independent celebrant […]

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River Jones Celebrant

Nowadays fewer people hold fixed religious beliefs, but this doesn’t make the occasions we’ve always marked with ceremony any less important. Helen of Doily Days holds a Q & A with River Jones, Independent Celebrant

1) Where can my ceremony be performed?

Anywhere you want! One of the best things about working with an independent celebrant is you get the freedom to choose. I’ve done ceremonies in people’s homes, on the beach, even on the Brighton Wheel!

2) Is it legally binding?

No – you need to deal with the legal aspect separately via your local council. This can be done in about 10 minutes for around £50.

3) What kind of different ceremonies are there?

As many as there are couples! The starting point is your outlook – whether that’s humanist, spiritual or includes some religious aspects – the ceremony has to feel natural and create the right atmosphere for your big day.

 

River Jones

4) What’s the most popular ceremony at the moment?

There’s lots of interest in Handfastings , especially for outdoor and festival weddings. Handfasting is based on old traditions of our islands.

 

5) Where do we start with our vows?

I spend lots of time supporting couples to think about what this step means to you, what promises you want to make. Having won a few prizes as a poet and taught creative writing for many years, I can help – whether it’s putting words together for you or inspiring and supporting you to write your own.

 

 

River Jones Ceremony Outside

6) How can we involve our family and friends in our ceremony?

You can have the traditional attendants and I always ask if there’s anyone special you want to involve. I always suggest including a moment when the whole gathering can express their support – it’s great for everyone to feel fully involved.

With thanks to Helen and River.

Kelly

x

Read about the awesome Eco-Friendly Brighton Wedding that River was part of on Rock N Roll Bride.

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Budget friendly wedding tips from Helen Ruff http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/budget-friendly-wedding-tips-from-helen-ruff/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/budget-friendly-wedding-tips-from-helen-ruff/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:40:14 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4346   There’s so much to celebrate! And so much to do… how will you ever plan a wedding on top of work commitments? And how much will it all cost? If you’re organised, creative and budget savvy you can save £££££’s and have the wedding of your dreams. Here are my budget friendly wedding tips, […]

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Doily Days Issue 1

 

There’s so much to celebrate! And so much to do… how will you ever plan a wedding on top of work commitments? And how much will it all cost?

If you’re organised, creative and budget savvy you can save £££££’s and have the wedding of your dreams. Here are my budget friendly wedding tips, you can thank me later.

To keep costs down maybe you can hold a marquee reception in a friend or family’s garden. Barn venues on farms can also be cost effective and are a great choice for a rustic/blank canvas. You might know some local land that would work. It’s time to think outside the box and track down the land owner.

 

brighton-photo (H&T) (848 of 1329)

 

A big chunk of your budget will go on feeding your guests. Hog roasts are a nice option for a rustic wedding. Prices vary from £6-£25 per head. The former being a man with a knife and a bun and the latter will include staff, crockery and an array of accompaniments. A cost effective solution might be to book the man with the hog and ask your friends and family to bring big bowls of coleslaw, potato salad, bread rolls etc. Maybe you can ask some guests to bring salads and some to bring a cake or dessert. Set up a cake table, fete style with whole cakes, trifle and fresh berries. No need for an elaborate wedding cake then. Simply cut one of the cakes and allow your guests to tuck in.

Is your Mum or Auntie itching for a task? Ask them to make a big batch of homemade jam and distribute it as wedding favours. You can buy jars online. Handwrite the labels and tie circles of fabric around the lid.

 

D&C-806

Make bunting to decorate your venue. Invest in a pair of pinking scissors, cut big flags of fabric from your dad’s old shirts and attach them to long lengths of ribbon. For a more eclectic look you can tear strips of fabric, use vintage scarves and handkerchiefs or even old doilies. Fairy lights can be bought cheaply at DIY stores and strung up to create a magical effect.

Shop for flowers at a local wholesaler – you don’t need to be trade, you just need to buy in bulk. When choosing flowers make sure you have a good balance of colours and shapes i.e. rounded (roses and peonies), spires (Delphiniums and Stocks) and fillers (such as waxflowers). You can collect jam jars and bottles to display your flowers. Soak off the labels, add some pretty ribbon, or wrap with lace. You can pick up vintage glass bottles on Ebay but you can also use teapots, jugs, tins and crystal cut vases. You can even make hand tied bouquets for the bridal party. Start with one stem in your hand and add to it, gripping the stems tightly and making sure the arrangement looks good from all angles. Secure with a rubber band, wrap with ribbon or lace and cut all stems to the same length.

Mismatching china adds colour and interest to your dining tables. Vintage main plates are great for a hog roast. Hire some and raid your friend’s cupboards. The eclectic mix of old and new, patterned and plain will look great.

 

Doily Days Issue 1

 

Plain tablecloths can be livened up with lacy runners and doilies. You can pick them up at boot fairs for pence. They can be arranged along trestle tables in a haphazard way.

Make a table plan using a mix of old frames. You might have some knocking about at home or you can pick them up for 10p each at boot fairs. Grouped together they look fantastic.

You can search for a second hand wedding dress online on sites such as preloved.co.uk and Oxfam.org. Save money on bridesmaids dresses too – give them a loose theme i.e. pastel colours/florals and let them buy their own dress. They’ll still look the part with their rustic bouquets.

By Helen Ruff of Doily Day’s 

If you love Helen’s ideas you will love Doily Day’s Loves Weddings Magazine!

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Choosing your reception venue by Rob of Stick It On! http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/choosing-your-reception-venue/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/choosing-your-reception-venue/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 15:10:11 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4250 I get a sense that when a venue is selected for a wedding, the evening reception party (let’s call it the ‘disco’) is not high on the list of priorities. But why? Choosing your wedding reception venue should be a priority.  Obviously, there are a lot to factors to take into consideration to ensure your […]

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Stick It On Couple

I get a sense that when a venue is selected for a wedding, the evening reception party (let’s call it the ‘disco’) is not high on the list of priorities. But why? Choosing your wedding reception venue should be a priority.  Obviously, there are a lot to factors to take into consideration to ensure your wedding day is as good as it can possibly be. With this in mind, here are my 5 top tips to help when asking questions about the evening disco/soirée/rave-up.

 

Stick it On Party

1. Does the venue have a sound limiter or have noise restrictions in-place?

When choosing your reception venue ‘sound limiters’ might be the last thing on your mind, but they shouldn’t be. These beasts are commonplace at the majority of wedding venues and to be completely honest are the bane of a DJ/band’s life. Now I don’t have a problem with them in principle….no actually I do! They are a massive pain in the bum. The biggest bugbear I have with them is that some venues have them set so low (sometimes they are legally told to do so) that they have no right (in my opinion) in selling their venue as a viable wedding option. It sickens me that they charge thousands of pounds for the use of their space and when everyone is all psyched up after a fantastic day the evening reception disco limps along due to the low level sound restrictions that have been pre-set. It can be a massive anti-climax with the DJ being on the front-line and getting persistent requests to ‘turn it up’, knowing that by doing so will either set the limiter off which will automatically dampen the sound down or worst still cut the power off to the DJ equipment bringing the whole show to an awkward halt until it resets itself. Not great for dance floor or DJ!

My advice to anyone booking a venue who is planning to have a DJ or band or both (which is the majority) is to check to see if there any sound restrictions already in-place, and if there are, what are they? I would also insist on seeing an event in action (wedding, corporate function etc) as a demonstration. Empty rooms are no good, as this will not give a true representation of what it will be like on the day with 100+ guests jumping about and making a noise.

To avoid any disappointment it would be my No.1 piece of advice. If the venue is perfect for all the other reasons you have on your checklist but fails on the noise issue one way to get around this is to hire in ‘silent disco headsets’ for everyone. It could add a couple of hundred pounds to your entertainment budget but will solve any noise issues (apart from the bad singing) as your guests will each be able to don a pair of headphones to wear on the dance floor and boogie away to their hearts content. A novel but extremely fun way to enjoy good music as it was intended.

 

Stick it on Djing

2. Is the bar in the same room as the disco?

Ideally, when choosing your reception venue ask yourself, ‘is in the same room?’ Nothing splits up a party more than having a bar in another room. Please bear in mind the more areas you have open (garden, games room, bar, room for buffet, lobby etc) to your guests the more they will be dispersed. Sometimes it might be a good idea to close the space down so you can provide a more intimate, atmospheric party whereby all your guests are mingling together.

3. How big is the room where the evening reception is going to take place?

Are your guests going to rattle around in it after the dinner? Think how you can utilise the space. Are you booking other suppliers/services? A photo booth and an evening buffet for instance. Can both be set up in the main room? Another good tip to close down the space is not to remove too many tables after dinner. This will limit the amount of floor space people can occupy and help push people together.

4. Curfews – what is the finish time for your wedding?

From my experience the majority of wedding timings get pushed back as the day progresses with photo shoots taking longer than expected, possible delays in food service and of course the best man’s speech taking forever to finish. This results in the evening reception starting later than planned, so do factor-in these possible delays into your timings as one thing that won’t shift back is the curfew time. That will be set in stone by most venues. If you’ve planned a lot for the evening (i.e. DJ, band, buffet, photo booth etc.) this can all get squeezed into a shorter space of time for you and your guests to enjoy and you may feel that you’ve not got your money’s worth with the evening flashing by in the blink of an eye.

 

Stick It On Bride & Groom

 

5. Some venues insist on a DJ/band using the in-house equipment. Quite often this is absolutely fine but make sure you ask a couple of questions beforehand;

– Is the equipment well maintained and can you have a demonstration to hear/see it in action. Any professional DJ worth their salt will be happy to accompany you (providing they are reasonably local to you and the venue) and give their recommendations on its suitability.

– The other question to ask is whether the equipment is linked into a sound limiter. More times than not this is the reason they’ve insisted you plug into their system. Please refer back to point 1 above and make sure it’s worthy of your wedding party and doesn’t resemble a portable stereo.

I hope the above points will help you ask the right questions when sourcing a wedding venue for your big day to ensure that there are no hidden surprises and you get the party you ultimately want.

I’m happy to help in any way with advice and thoughts although I won’t profess to have all the answers.

However, please drop me a line rob@stickiton.org.uk and I’ll do my very best to assist you.

Over and out

Rob

Stick It On Chooon

 

Rob is founder and owner of unique entertainment concept ‘Stick It On‘ which turns the guests into DJ superstars by getting them to play three of their favourite tracks under the close guidance of their helpful crew.

We are very pleased to be exhibiting at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on Sunday 10th May in our hometown of Brighton.

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10 fun wedding tips by Lex of Fleming Photo http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/fun-wedding-tips-fleming-photo/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/fun-wedding-tips-fleming-photo/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 20:22:05 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4237 I’m all about finding the fun and laughter in things. Whether its photographing saucy 1950’s pinups with my company Rockabetty Studios, or photographing kick-ass, awesome couples at their wedding with Fleming Photo, I just love to watch life unfold before my lenses and capture all the positives that come with it. Weddings happen so quickly. […]

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Fleming Photo Wedding Smoke Bomb

I’m all about finding the fun and laughter in things. Whether its photographing saucy 1950’s pinups with my company Rockabetty Studios, or photographing kick-ass, awesome couples at their wedding with Fleming Photo, I just love to watch life unfold before my lenses and capture all the positives that come with it.

Weddings happen so quickly. It only feels like 5 minutes ago I watched the bride and groom exchange rings and suddenly the bride’s dad is standing to give the first speech. Time races by! The message I’m always sure to impress on all my amazing couples on their big day is to relax, smile and savour what’s ahead (and that includes marriage itself!)

Here are my #top10 fun wedding tips, here’s how to actually have fun at your wedding, or anyone else’s for that matter.

No 1. Go with the flow

This is a day you’ve been planning for months or, lets be honest ladies, even years. So it’s very easy to start your wedding day frantically trying to clock watch, field calls, greet distant aunts, buttonhole bleary-eyed ushers, print out a couple of extra order of service or bark orders at your bridesmaids who are still in their pj’s knocking back the prosecco an hour before the ceremony…so relax. Breathe. Things will change. Times will move. In my experience, the best weddings are the ones where a couple rolls with the punches of the big day and remains most stress-free during the whole event. Rather than get stressed, I always tell my couples to see the silver lining in everything! Yes – even that dark cloud over your garden drinks reception.

 

Fleming Photo Silly Couple

No. 2 Play a game!

Who doesn’t love a secret game that no one else is in on? Why not come up with a secret nod between the two of you. Perhaps your brand new husband has to give you a pound every time Uncle Bob drinks a glass of sherry. Or perhaps see who can stealthily get the most pegs on their guests without them realising (yes, this is an actual game I’ve seen at a wedding!) Whatever it is, giving your new life partner a secret nod to an in-joke will make the day even more fun for you both on the day. Points can be tallied or cashed in once your both back in the privacy of your honeymoon suite!

 

No. 3 Don’t drink too early

No one likes to hold a beautiful veil out of the way as they watch the bride whispering secrets to the toilet bowl before the speeches. While a tipple to toast to your new married life is definitely in order, just remember to pace yourself. You’ll be grateful further down the line when you can remember the whole day, not just the wedding vows without the aid of your trusty photographer (we’ll come onto this in number 6.

Equally, ignore this if you are more in favour with no. 8

 

LOVE by Fleming Photo

No. 4 Say cheese!

I know this one sounds really simple but some people really do struggle to remember the basics – amidst all the other nuptial goings-on. Plus a smile is incredibly infectious and exactly what you want to see all your guests equipped with (as well as cards and gifts). Also, you don’t want to get your images back from your photographer and find out you have a deeper frown line than you’d ever realised. If you smile, your guests will smile and will know just how happy you are!

 

No. 5 Break tradition/ DO IT YOUR WAY!

If following tradition just isn’t for you, then don’t do it. It is that simple! It’ll make you happier to know that you have decided on all the little things of your wedding, and not feel pressured by relatives to do it their way. Don’t want the first dance? Have a ‘first rap battle’ instead!

Did you know that the tradition of the cutting of the cake started because it was seen as the first wifely duty for the woman to cut her husband a slice of cake? It was only when the Victorians rolled round and iced their cakes with an inch thick of fondant that it was so hard to cut into that their husbands had to help them cut into it. And thus a tradition is born!

 

Fleming Photo

No. 6 Find the right people

One thing that I always make people aware of is; make sure you get on with not only your suppliers but your bridal party too. You shouldn’t feel pressured to have your old neighbour as your bridesmaid. Do you think she will happily hold your bouquet while you go to the toilet? No! These are the people that you will be calling on to help you celebrate your marriage. Friends will understand your choices, and if they don’t, then they aren’t friends.

While we’re on this subject you’ll probably see your photographer more than your own mother on the actual day. So find someone who not only is awesome at his or her job, but that you get on well with. I always love to have a consultation meeting with potential client couples to watch how you both interact, and to learn lots about you. I love having a chat and hanging out with people. This gives me a great idea about YOU, which at the end of the day, its all about. So choose wisely, don’t be swayed by the ease of choosing a co-workers nephew who recently bought a camera. Run a mile, infact!

 

No. 7 Have a round 2!

So, want fun weddings tips that involve making the most of it? Why not have a lovely Sunday BBQ the next day? Event better: let someone else host it for you! More fun, less tidying up. When a wedding day whizzes by, there is nothing nicer than getting everyone back together the following day for a Sunday Funday and de-brief (so to speak) and get the low down on all the shenanigans that you weren’t aware of the night before.

 

Fphoto4

No. 8 Shots bar

I think this speaks for itself.

 

No. 9 Dance off time!

Picture this now: Your Aunt Dorothy is doing the worm to Beastie Boys while your Uncle does the mash-potato, all the while your guests form a circle round them, cheering like it’s an underground club in the 1980’s. This is a sure fire way to get the dance floor pumping.

 

FPhoto2

 

No. 10 YOU find ways to have fun!

This is the most important suggestion; find ways yourself to enjoy your day. Whether its silly underwear you make each other wear under your outfits, or fancy dress requests, give yourself a day to remember, with whoever and however you want. It’ll be the biggest day of your life so far, so why not remember how you want to?

Lex 

x

Thanks Lex, we’re loving your super fun wedding tips!

Kelly x

Lex of Fleming Photo

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Self employment and mental health, the positives, by Daryl of Vintage & Very Nice and other small businesses! http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/self-employment-and-mental-health-the-positives/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/self-employment-and-mental-health-the-positives/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 17:07:01 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4223 Depression and Bi-Polar disorder are an unlikely starting point for self-employment, but that is how it happened for me.  I had worked for others for years, including as a tax inspector and a claims advisor at the job centre.  You can imagine this didn’t help my mental health! So I decided to work for myself.  […]

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Chichester Marshmallow Company

Depression and Bi-Polar disorder are an unlikely starting point for self-employment, but that is how it happened for me.  I had worked for others for years, including as a tax inspector and a claims advisor at the job centre.  You can imagine this didn’t help my mental health!

So I decided to work for myself.  From starting to trade in vintage homewares in 2010 I now run Vintage and Very Nice Market Bazaar, a monthly vintage market in Chichester. But I am fickle and get bored easily so I also wanted to get back to my first passion, food!  I love making people happy with food, and I really, really enjoy it myself.

I run ‘Bear and Boy Bakery’ a catering company, as well as ‘A Good Vintage Supper Club’ a monthly pop up restaurant in my own home, but what I love most is my squashy sweet treats.

I have always loved marshmallows but the chemicals used are several alphabets long and you only get pink or white flavour.  So while leafing through one of my cook books (I have over 100) I found a recipe for hand-made marshmallows.  The amazing thing was you could flavour them anyway you liked.  The first I made were Pimms, and from that the Chichester Marshmallow Company evolved.

 

Chichester Marshmallow Company

 

So far we have made about 25 different bespoke flavours, Chilli and Tomato and Garlic are, I think, the strangest flavours we have made, others like Dr Pepper and Rhubarb & Custard have been a revelation.  The thing with being able to make these bespoke flavours is that people can choose a flavour that means something to them, something they had on their first date, or their favourite meal.

The way we make them in small batches by hand means that they are artisan, but without the pretentions that word sometimes gives out.  I use three vintage Kenwood mixers who’s motors get hot after a few batches, then they are set overnight, ready to be cut.  I always taste test!  Well they are fat-free!

For weddings we offer several services, from a whole block of mallow weighing a kilo and squares per kilo, which can be used on a sweet trolley to small mallow bites and favours and place settings.  And with our bespoke flavours you can pretty much have what you want!

 

Marshmallow maker Daryl Bowen Vintage and Very Nice

So with all this I have more of a workload than I did when I worked for the government, and I am solely responsible for all the decisions for four businesses. You would think that this is more pressure and would not help with my mental health at all. Well in fact it has helped enormously. Everything is my fault, but then every triumph is mine too, it really helps with self esteem and I know that if I need to have a few days in bed away from everyone I can at least do admin at 2am in the morning in my pajamas, not something the DWP ever let me do. Knowing I only have to get up and be somewhere at an appointed time about 4 times a month is a release, as I can plan for it and also plan strategies if one of those days is a bad day.

Working for myself has been the best thing for my metal health. As is being open about it. Sadly you can see a broken leg, but not a broken head. There is still a taboo about mental health, which is why I am open about it. I still have depression and am bi-polar, but I know the boss understands about this, and I work from home, my safe place, and I am making a living. So there you go, self employment and mental health works for me. It isn’t 9-5, it isn’t easy, but its bloody fun!

Daryl Bowen

Head Vintagemonger Vintage and Very Nice and Cook/proprietor A Good Vintage Supper Club and Mallowsmith The Chichester Marshmallow Company

Thank you so much Daryl for writing this heart felt blog.

Kelly

COME AND MEET DARYL & SAMPLE HIS MARSHMALLOWS AT THE QUIRKY BOUTIQUE WEDDING FAIR

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Madame B’s #Top 10 Tips for Wedding Fair Survival http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/madame-bs-top-10-wedding-fair-tips/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/madame-bs-top-10-wedding-fair-tips/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:25:19 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4191 Wedding Fairs are a mine field, Madame B shares her wedding fair tips to help you make the most of them. Going to a wedding fair for the first time can seem like a daunting prospect, but armed with these 10 handy tips, you can avoid the stress and make it a fun, productive day […]

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Madame B and her Wedding Fair Tips!

Wedding Fairs are a mine field, Madame B shares her wedding fair tips to help you make the most of them.

Going to a wedding fair for the first time can seem like a daunting prospect, but armed with these 10 handy tips, you can avoid the stress and make it a fun, productive day out instead.

1) Choose the right type of fair for you. In the past few years, the number of wedding fairs has increased dramatically, so make this work for you by choosing one that best suits your needs and personal taste. If you’re a non-traditional couple, avoid the traditional big wedding trade shows and look for smaller, indie and alternative events instead, like the lovely Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair Brighton!

Belles Vintage Wedding Fair

 

2) Choose your companions carefully. One or two friends who can offer sensible advice and make you laugh will help with objective decision-making and stop you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It can get crowded at wedding fairs too, and it’s easier to move around with a smaller group.

3) Mind your budget – don’t feel pressured into spending more than you can afford. Get quotes from a few different suppliers of the same product or service so you can do a comparison, and look online as well so you can get a good idea of the average price in your area. If your budget is tight, you can save money by sticking with local suppliers so that you’re not paying for travel costs as well.

 

Liv of Nitty Gritty at The Dome Vintage Fair Fair

 

4) Having said that, price isn’t everything – personality is very important too, particularly when it comes to choosing people like the wedding photographer who are going to be with you for most of the day. Chat to suppliers to get a feel for their style and how they like to work. Go with your gut instinct – if their ideas and yours don’t gel, it’s probably better to try elsewhere.

5) If possible, bring images of the styles, colours etc. that you like along with you to show suppliers. This is really helpful from a supplier point of view, as the more information we have about what you want, the easier it is to make it happen.

6) Swap contact details. If you find a supplier you really like, it may be difficult to have an in-depth conversation about what you want in a noisy, crowded hall. Most wedding suppliers will offer one-to-one consultations, so swap contact details ask if you can arrange a meeting at a later date. Add your name to the lists of suppliers you particularly like too, as they will often use these to share special offers and new products just for subscribers.

7) Don’t feel pressured into making snap decisions. Wedding fairs are mainly for information and idea gathering, so if you want to go away and think about it that’s perfectly OK. Most wedding suppliers know this and won’t try and push you into buying from them on the spot. If someone does make you feel uncomfortable, just smile and walk away.

 

Ooh Mrs James at Belle's Vintage Wedding Fair

8) Collect the details of all the suppliers you like and keep them in a safe place. Trust me, you won’t be able to memorise the names of all of them and it’s really annoying if you’re trying to remember someone afterwards and can’t find their details! I kept mine in a big folder that I could go back to when it came to making bookings, and wrote notes on some of the cards if I wanted to remember certain details about the supplier (e.g. type of bouquet in their portfolio I liked).

9) Most wedding fairs will offer refreshments of some sort. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take advantage of this and recharge with a cake and a cuppa or glass of fizz!

CINCINPomegranate bellini

10) A few days or weeks after the fair, sit down with your friends and family and go through all the cards, leaflets and notes you made. Don’t try and do this immediately after you get home, as the chances are you’ll be pretty tired, and a bit of space will help you to be more objective.

I hope you find these wedding fair tips and that you get to put some of them in to practise.

Beth

x

(Image below of Madame B’s Boutique’s headpiece // Pocahontas Wedding)

 

Pocahontas Shoot Madame B

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#3TopTips to get your dance floor BOOM-ing by Doris Loves . . . http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/%ef%bf%bc3toptips-to-get-your-dance-floor-boom-ing-by-doris-loves/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/%ef%bf%bc3toptips-to-get-your-dance-floor-boom-ing-by-doris-loves/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:36:55 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4166 If anyone I have met over the past 5 years knows about how to create a ‘vibe’ on a wedding dance floor it’s Amanda of Doris Loves, no, she’s not a DJ, she’s no technician, it’s simply because she and her divine husband Darren are the creators of the most awesome ‘LIGHT UP LETTERS’ on […]

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Doris Loves - Dance Floor Blog Post - Image 1

If anyone I have met over the past 5 years knows about how to create a ‘vibe’ on a wedding dance floor it’s Amanda of Doris Loves, no, she’s not a DJ, she’s no technician, it’s simply because she and her divine husband Darren are the creators of the most awesome ‘LIGHT UP LETTERS’ on the wedding hire market. Doris Loves has exhibited at each and very one of my wedding fairs and the reaction to the light up letters is always the same  . . . W.O.W

So, here we go, the lady herself offers her Top 3 Tips for making your wedding dance floor B.O.O.M

Tip1 Think about the lighting.

The number one thing to guarantee an empty dance floor is a BRIGHT dance floor. When people throw those shapes they want atmosphere and they don’t want to feel like they’re under one giant spotlight. (OK a few will, there’s always one!) The easiest way to do this is to dim the lights and most good venues will be prepared for this. Just don’t forget to ask.

Tip2 Signage, spell it out to your guests.

Doris Loves - Dance Floor Blog Post - Image 2

Here’s a great example from Pinterest, it sets the scene for your guests and lets them know just what your expecting.

Doris Loves - Dance Floor Blog Post - Image 3

Want to tick off tip one and two it one easy hit? Then hire our ‘Light Up Letters!’ Not only is it another great way to create a great lighting atmosphere, but with over 70 battery powered letters in stock, you could spell out the word D.A.N.C.E or D.A.N.C.E.F.L.O.O.R. then theres no way of missing it!

Tip3 The 2nd song.

So you’ve set the scene, the dance floor is looking fantastic with it’s atmospheric lighting and light up letters. You’ve spelt it out clearly to your guests, your expecting some serious shapes to be thrown.

 

Doris-Loves-PARTY-Photo-by-Sarah-London-Photography-e1419607133283-960x600

 

You’ve thought long and hard about your first dance, you’ve picked the perfect song, everyone starts joining in at the end, everyone is swaying away… and this is when you hit them with the ultimate dance friendly song! This way they can’t resist staying and dancing the night away.

So there you have it ladies and gents, if you want to keep your dance floor BOOM-ing follow these tips and your sure for some dancing success! (and some footage you’ll watch again and again).

Amanda

x

You can meet Amanda and Darren and see Doris Loves ‘Light Up Letters’ at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on May 10th at Brighton Centre. 

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A sleepover to find out more about Blue Door Barn Events . . . http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/blue-door-barn-events-sussex-wedding-venue/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/blue-door-barn-events-sussex-wedding-venue/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 18:28:20 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4026 Blue Door Barns is a stunning array of rustic, unique barns that have been renovated by owner’s Bryony and Emma, snuggled at the foot of the downs just outside Lewes. Helen of Doily Days and I needed somewhere to stay for some planning and gossiping and I wanted to know more about the three venues that […]

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Firle Susex Wedding Venues

Blue Door Barns is a stunning array of rustic, unique barns that have been renovated by owner’s Bryony and Emma, snuggled at the foot of the downs just outside Lewes. Helen of Doily Days and I needed somewhere to stay for some planning and gossiping and I wanted to know more about the three venues that are linked to this bolt hole. (Sussex Wedding Venues, Glynde pictured above, Firle below)

firle1

As I drove up the gravel drive way towards Blue Door Barn I saw a glimpse of what was on offer and I knew instantly that I was going to love this place. There are 4 very beautiful places to choose from here, 3 are converted stables and 1 has been built by this dynamic duo. Sleeping 12 in total, across two family lodges which sleep up to four and then two double rooms perfect for couples, they are all unique and stylish, the details like the hide rugs, vintage pepsi box side tables and stag heads makes this place. I did a little squeal when I was shown into The Lodge (pictured below) where Helen of Doily Days and I would spending an evening planning and gossiping.

BlueDoor3

As we were here to review and blog about this glorious bolthole and what it has to offer I thought I should probably sample a treatment, a half hour of pure indulgence shortly after my arrival in the warmest, most relaxing ‘shed’ called The Snug was just what I needed. I would definitely recommend booking a treatment if you come to stay here, it was such a fab start to mine.

So what’s this got to do with weddings?” I here you cry! . .  Bryony picked me up after I had recovered from my deep tissue massage and told me the story of how her and her partner Emma and their two children had relocated from London, to transform a country house and it’s rundown out buildings into something really special, and by Jove have they got it right. This small but perfectly formed team brings a mix of experience in PR, marketing, event and celebrity management, photography, interiors and styling. Not only do they run the barns as B&B accommodation, they also hold the key to three of the most unique and awesome Sussex wedding venues.

Bryony then drove to a wedding venue like no other, Glynde Place

Glynde Sussex Wedding Venue

Think old school elegance in the heart of East Sussex with a view over one of the finest stretches of countryside that is also home to Glyndebourne Opera House. This place oozes style and grace but has an undertone of gothic, with a twist of aristocratic quirkiness. I was that couples can get married in the house (with up to 140 guests) and was shown a room that took my breath away with it’s dark wood, chandeliers, enormous works of art and views to die for. Reception drinks take place in The Long Hall, an impressive stone-floored room with pillars, giant fireplaces and steps leading down a gravel terrace. Outside, a flint bridge is placed over the ha-ha (dry moat to you and I) which leads you to your wedding yurt/tent/marquee. This places is screaming out for a chic festival style wedding, with it’s stunning outside space and the awesome backdrop of the house itself.

Glynde Sussex Wedding Venues

From Glynde Place we drove through the village, past ‘The Trevor Arms’ (one of my favourite names for a pub ever!) to Firle. Bryony took me on a lovely stroll though the grounds of Firle Place and explained to me that Blue Door Barns Events has exclusive access to two private areas of Firle Place, all very different from each other, where you can hold your wedding. I should also mention the most idyllic little church within the grounds that is available to all couples booking Firle Place for their reception.

Firstly, there’s the divine South Lawns that include two separate areas: the ‘dingly dell‘ of my dreams with it’s walled garden and little round, thatched, dairy house; the actual South Lawns, Lord and Lady Gage’s private gardens tucked behind the stately home with views of the Downs and a sweeping space for a marquee/yurt/tent. All in all, it’s an utter delight and can accommodate up to 200 guests. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Secondly and particularly apt if you are a couple that love the outside and all things nature, there is the 18th century Firle Place Herb Garden, a tranquil, magical space created by Lady Gage. When couples book this space, they lead their guests through an archway of a forest into the herb garden for reception drinks and then into an adjacent orchard where a marquee/tent/yurt can be pitched for a party of up to 120. This place has some truly quirky elements to it and I reckon one viewing and you’ll be begging to hold your celebration here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Unfortunately I was unable to visit the third venue that Bryony is involved with, Mount Harry, as there was rather a well known ‘shabby chic’ shop holding a photo shoot there but I tell you what, I can’t wait to go and have a look. Situated in the South Downs National Park this is a georgian-style country house set on Mount Harry Hill with 40 acres of private, formal gardens, mixed woodland, horse paddocks and a working vineyard, not to mention the camping yurts and bell tents. Watch this space for a further blog about that little gem.

After a day of being shown around by the utterly divine Bryony it was a pleasure to sit down, sip wine and talk shop with Helen in The Lodge.  I can’t not mention breakfast, again, divine styling in the space and a utterly delicious food.

You can meet the team from Blue Door Barn Events at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair at Brighton Centre on May 10th.

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Lib of Bettie Rose & her #top5tips on choosing your wedding florist. http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/lib-of-bettie-rose-her-top5tips-on-choosing-your-wedding-florist/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/lib-of-bettie-rose-her-top5tips-on-choosing-your-wedding-florist/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:00:18 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4036 I think many people find talking flowers a bit daunting – especially wedding flowers. There is that worrying feeling of ‘but I don’t know anything about flowers’ and the fear that you are going to come out of your wedding consultation having agreed to some arrangements you weren’t really sure about but the wedding florist […]

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Lib of Bettie Rose, Wedding Florist

I think many people find talking flowers a bit daunting – especially wedding flowers.

There is that worrying feeling of ‘but I don’t know anything about flowers’ and the fear that you are going to come out of your wedding consultation having agreed to some arrangements you weren’t really sure about but the wedding florist seemed to LOVE!

But rest assured (most) of us florists are down to earth people who really enjoy talking flowers and love nothing more than helping a couple design the flowers for their dream day.

1. Finding a good fit

It is as important as with any part of your wedding that you choose a supplier you feel truly suited to as we’re all very different. Wedding florist’s all have different styles and ways of working so I’d advise you do a little bit of research into who you are choosing and take the time to talk to them properly. Have a look at their website or ask to see their previous work so you can get a feel of what their style and experience level is. If you are into sleek and modern you probably don’t want to head to your local traditional florist which had been selling the same style bunches for 60 years…

2. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas

There’s no way around it, some people can be pushy and that is no different with florists, if you don’t feel you are being listened to then perhaps you haven’t met the one yet. But, remember there is a fine line between expressing your ideas and being forceful yourself and not listening to the advice and experience of an expert!

Lib, Wedding Florist of Bettie Rose

3. Beware of occasions

All flowers have their moments and also are subject to pretty extreme price fluctuations. It is worth checking out if there are any large scale national or international days or events any time near your wedding as this will really affect the price of your wedding flowers. Red roses are going to be at least double the price near Valentine’s day yet in July the price often comes right down – sometimes even half their normal price. An experienced florist will know important dates, in Britain but also in Europe and how they will affect prices.

4. Choosing seasonal

Hands up who loves Peonies? Yep you guessed it – they are an extremely popular choice for weddings (I get it – they are super beautiful!) as a wedding florist I have brides asking all year around for Peonies but they really only have a very short season between late April – late July and this is also weather dependent. It might be that the beautiful bloom you had your heart set on just isn’t available at the time of year you need it. Alternatively you may be able to get your favourite flower but it will be imported from the other side of the world and will be twice the price!

By choosing seasonal you are always going to get the most for your money, flowers are not only abundant but at their very best.

Wedding Florist Bettie Rose

5. Be realistic

Budget is an uncomfortable subject but it really is best if you are upfront about your expectations and budget limitations. A good florist is able to work within a budget and suggest the best ways to make your money go as far as it can. That being said – we aren’t magicians and we can’t produce something out of nothing!

Best of luck with the wedding planning and I look forward to meeting you at the Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair.

Lib at Bettie Rose x

www.bettierose.co.uk

 (Bridesmaids looking up – Blinc Photography//Green dress – Ride Again Photography) 

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So, you’re engaged! Sue Kwiatkowska shares her #top5tips for planning a wedding. http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/so-youre-engaged-sue-kwiatoswska-shares-her-top5tips-for-planning-a-wedding/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/so-youre-engaged-sue-kwiatoswska-shares-her-top5tips-for-planning-a-wedding/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 18:45:43 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=4010 The question’s been popped, you’ve said yes and now you’re officially engaged – congratulations! Planning a wedding is a hugely exciting time but it can turn into a daunting task. To help you navigate your way through what can be a minefield of decision making over the next 12 months or so, here are my […]

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Brighton Seafront engagement shoot by Sue Kwiatowska.

The question’s been popped, you’ve said yes and now you’re officially engaged – congratulations! Planning a wedding is a hugely exciting time but it can turn into a daunting task. To help you navigate your way through what can be a minefield of decision making over the next 12 months or so, here are my top 5 quick tips for what you should do right away!

1 Celebrate!

Before you get cracking planning a wedding, first crack open a bottle of bubbly and celebrate! This is a special time in your lives and you’ll want to share your big news with family and friends, soak up the excitement and positive vibes, maybe even throw a little party. Give yourself time to just enjoy being engaged.

Planning a wedding? Get the diary out QUICK!

 2 Set The Budget

Once you get down to business the first thing you should work out is your budget and stick to it. Boring but essential! Knowing how much cash you have to play with will help enormously when it comes to looking for and booking the right venues and suppliers for your big day.

3 Pick The Date

Dig out the calendar and decide on a rough date that works best for you both, your immediate family and close friends.Planning a wedding in the summer months will always be more of a challenge as it’s the busiest time of year to get married and more than likely, many of your guests will be planning their summer holidays or even their own weddings. Firm up that date as soon as possible to ensure your suppliers are still available and your chief bridesmaid is not sunning herself on a beach in Barbados the day you pick to walk up the aisle!

Your Engaged! Choose a wedding venue pronto.

4 Find The Venue

The venue you choose will no doubt reflect your vision for the day and influence the overall ‘theme’ of your wedding. Sought after venues, be they retro luxe supper clubs or rustic barns in the middle of the countryside, can be booked up to, and even beyond, a year in advance of your date. Lock that venue down early folks to avoid disappointment.

Planning a wedding? Find the best photographer for you!

5 Book Your Photographer

Good wedding photographers, much like sought after venues, get booked up quickly. To make your search simpler and your booking quicker ask your newly married friends for recommendations or start by googling photographers in your area and photos of weddings already shot at your chosen venue. Narrow your search down further by preferred style and get in contact with the photographers whose work you really like as soon as possible.

Happy Planning!

Sue

x

 

 

 

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Bye bye Belle http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/bye-bye-belle-selling-a-small-business/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/bye-bye-belle-selling-a-small-business/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 09:34:21 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=3988   What a strange feeling. I never thought I would be in a position of selling a small business. Tomorrow Belle will be driven away by her new owner. Over three years ago I received a phone call from my boss at Amex telling me the that we were both being made redundant. Shortly after we […]

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Belle

 

What a strange feeling. I never thought I would be in a position of selling a small business. Tomorrow Belle will be driven away by her new owner.

Over three years ago I received a phone call from my boss at Amex telling me the that we were both being made redundant. Shortly after we were at a friends wedding at Grittenham Barn, and having quaffed a few glasses of bubbly it was decided, Joss and I were going to buy a VW Beetle and start a chauffeur business for people that wanted something unique and vintage as their wedding ride.

Being married to a geek has it’s benefits, the website was built soon after Belle arrived.

 

IMG_0073

 

I have so enjoyed being part of over 40 weddings in Belle and let’s face it, without the little lady Belle’s Events would not have happened. Taking Belle to some beige, chocolate fountain filled, heartless, passionless wedding ‘fayres’ spurred me on to create somewhere that creative types that put their heart and soul into making likeminded couples big days amazing, can shine.

So it’s with a mixture of emotions that I will be waving goodbye tomorrow, but the over riding one will be pride. I am so proud of myself that I started a little business off the back of a redundancy and that I grew it and have now sold it. Selling a small business is much harder than I expected but we got there in the end.

 

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Above all the sale of Sussex Love Bug means I get to spend way more time with these two beasts during the summer, and that my friends, is priceless. 

 

Kelly-36

 

(Photo by Jayne of Sacco & Sacco Photography)

 

 

Thank you so much to all the lovely couples we have driven around the Sussex countryside, it’s been emotional.

Bye bye Belle

Kelly

x

 

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Looking for DIY wedding ideas? Make Your Own Personalised Wedding Cookie-Pops by Miss Cake http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/diy-wedding-ideas-by-miss-cake/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/diy-wedding-ideas-by-miss-cake/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 18:30:45 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=3920   I love DIY wedding ideas and tips as I know more and more couples want to add their touches to their big days. I have here a little amalgamation of some techniques I taught myself as a cake maker and crafter and an opportunity for you to save some money and make your own […]

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DIY Wedding Ideas - 1 cookie in jar

 

I love DIY wedding ideas and tips as I know more and more couples want to add their touches to their big days. I have here a little amalgamation of some techniques I taught myself as a cake maker and crafter and an opportunity for you to save some money and make your own edible wedding favours. There are no tricky techniques involved, just a bit of patience and baking. I suggest making these in small batches and making a few extra in case of breakages (and snackage along the way!)

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

Supplies needed:

Ingredients for cookies:

400g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)

200g unsalted soft butter

200g caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Icing sugar for dusting

Optional flavourings (pick one) – grated zest of 1 lemon or orange, seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or for chocolate replace 50g of flour with 50g cocoa powder

Note: this quantity will make between 10-20 cookies depending on the size of your cutter.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

Equipment 

Rolling pin

Greaseproof paper and baking sheet

Cookie cutter in your choice of shape (I got mine from eBay)

Lolly sticks

Fondant icing (such as Regalice or supermarket own brand)

Food colouring paste (try cake decorating shops/online)

Letter stamper (mine is a 5mm letter sized one from eBay)

Vodka (you can use water but it will not be as effective)

Paint brush

Small heart plunger cutter (try cake decorating shops/online)

Cello bags for packaging

Ribbon for decoration

Step One – Cookie Baking

This can be done by hand or with a mixer. Cream the butter, sugar and optional flavouring until well mixed and it is just becoming creamy. Then beat in the egg until well combined, add the flour and mix until a firm dough forms. You then need to shape it into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Two – Cookie cutting

When the dough has chilled, knead the mixture briefly then roll to an even thickness, use a dusting of flour to stop the mixture sticking to the rolling pin. It can help to the lolly sticks to guide you to the right cookie thickness, you need to be able to insert the stick through the cookie’s middle and make sure it doesn’t stick out at the back. Once you are happy with the thickness use the cutter to cut out the heart (or other) shapes. Then carefully insert the sticks, ensuring that they stay within the cookie and not poke out of the back (I find a gentle wiggle helps) and place on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Three – Cookie baking

Bake the cookies at 180 C/gas 4 for 6-10 minutes until they are golden brown at the edges. Follow step four whilst they are baking.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Four – Cookie icing

This need to be done whilst the cookies are baking. Roll out the fondant icing to approximately 2mm thick using a dusting of icing sugar to stop it sticking, then when you are happy with the thickness use the cookie cutter to cut heart shapes. Immediately as the cookies come out of the oven place the icing on each cookie and smooth down gently so that the heat from the cookie will weld the icing to the cookie. I used white icing here but you can try different colours by colouring the icing using the colouring pastes.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Five – Cookie personalisation

Leave the cookies to cool down for a few minutes then you can stamp the writing on each cookie, making sure you carefully line up each letter against the last. It is best to practice this on a bit of spare icing before you do the cookies.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Six – Cookie colouring

Leave the cookies to completely cool. To make the ‘paint’ mix a little bit of colouring paste with vodka to the consistency of watercolour paint. Here I used ‘Ice Blue’. Alcohol is best as it evaporates leaving the colour behind. You can use water instead of vodka but it will take longer to dry (and frankly, if you are in a cookie making marathon hell by this stage you could do with a shot of vodka!). Use the coloured vodka solution to paint onto the cookies to see the writing stand out.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Seven – Cookie prettifying

At this stage you can add some additional decorations before the ‘paint’ has dried. I made some red hearts by colouring the icing (I used ‘Red Extra’), roll out thinly and cut with a heart plunger cutter then place the hearts onto the cookie whilst they are still wet so they will stick. You could also add sprinkles or little sweets.

 

DIY Wedding Ideas

 

Step Eight – Cookie Packaging

Make your cookies look pretty! Here I used cello bags and ribbon. If you ensure that they are wrapped well and stored in an airtight container then the cookies should keep well in a cool dry place for a couple of weeks. And you can panic about the rest of the wedding!

 

4 cookies in rowDIY Wedding Ideas

 

Thanks so much Sarah!

 

Well there’s a lovely little project for you leading up to your big day, I would definitely be asking one of my food hens to make these for me if I were doing it all again. 

You can meet Miss Cake at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on May 10th where she will be with her awesome toppers…

He's Her Lobster Cake Topper Fuschia-400x400

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Small business inspiration from Helen at Doily Day’s HQ… http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/small-business-inspiration-helen-doily-days-hq/ http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/small-business-inspiration-helen-doily-days-hq/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:27:14 +0000 http://www.bellesevents.co.uk/?p=3938   When I started Doily Days back in 2009 it was after a lot of soul searching. I wasn’t happy in the jobs I was doing and wanted something to satisfy my creative side and fully embrace my passion for vintage styling (this was before vintage went MAD and took over everything). I just loved […]

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Doily Days Mini Bar

 

When I started Doily Days back in 2009 it was after a lot of soul searching. I wasn’t happy in the jobs I was doing and wanted something to satisfy my creative side and fully embrace my passion for vintage styling (this was before vintage went MAD and took over everything). I just loved how things ‘looked’… especially vintage/country/cosy things. I used to pore over images in mags and on blogs. I just didn’t know how to get into this world and I was frustrated. It’s crazy to think that six years later I have my own magazine, a fully styled flat I rent out and some amazing, professional images of projects I’ve styled and shoots I’ve worked on.

I guess I just wanted it so badly it happened. I’m a bit of a wacky spiritual person too and I believe in The Law of Attraction (thoughts become things and all that jazz. If you haven’t seen The Secret by Rhonda Byrne make sure you check it out). Of course, I have worked hard but if you’re working on something you love it doesn’t feel like work. I think some people don’t start things because it seems like an uphill struggle, and feels like it will take ages. Well guess what? It does. But the time passes anyway so you may as well get started.

 

Doily Days lounge at Belle's Vintage Wedding Fair

 

I have learnt a lot about myself and the way I work over the past few years. For example, I can procrastinate and I’ve found I need pressure in order to get things done. For example, I’ve been saying for almost a year I’m going to launch a mobile bar. I’m actually annoying myself that I haven’t done it. The bare bones are there and all it needs is a bit of thought and attention but I keep putting it off. Last month myself and Kelly from Belles Events found the perfect venue for our next party in Brighton. It’s huge and there is no bar. What better place to launch Doily’s Mini Bar than to 100 plus wedding industry pros at my own event? So the date is set – 16th April – and now I have no excuse. It’s happening.

 

Helen of Doily Days

 

I have also learnt that I love people. Something that came as quite a shock to me really as I have previously found some social situations overwhelming. Those I most enjoy meeting are like-minded people – driven individuals who have followed their passion and have carved out a dream life for themselves. Happy people. I feel so lucky that these kind of folk notice me these days and regard me as an equal… even happier that some of these people have become more than business associates, they’ve become friends.

 

Doily Days shoot at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair

 

So, if you’re thinking about starting a small business, or taking up a hobby, spend some time searching your soul and finding out what REALLY makes you tick. If you put your heart and soul into something, it can’t fail.

Helen

x

Thanks Hels, fab small business inspiration! Kels x

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