Images by Hannah Duffy Photography.
I’m back (it’s Katrina, resident wedding planner for Coco Wedding Venues BTW!) and taking over the introduction reigns again from Emma as today marks the third and final part of our practical and pretty three-part series about wedding flowers in collaboration with the inspirational, honest, creative and award-winning Jay Archer Floral Design.
In Part I, Jay provided an essential guide to wedding flower budgets (a MUST read for anyone planning a wedding or involved in wedding planning!) and in Part II Jay once again dished up a healthy dose of planning advice with another meaty topic – seasonality.
Today’s topic, emergency bouquets and buttonholes (wrist corsages also get a shout out too!) is actually the main reason why this series even exists.
You see, a couple of years ago now I was providing on-the-day support for a marquee wedding in the peak of Summer and when I say peak, I mean no breeze, no shade, sticky skin, excessive sweat… nice! As the Groom approached the Church with his boys I noticed that their buttholes had wilted in the heat and in all honesty I had absolutely no idea how to resolve the situation other than delving into my emergency wedding kit and propping them back up with a healthy covering of sticky tape and safety pins. At the time, it worked, but it also made me realise that I really should learn what the more professional solution was, just in case that situation ever arose again.
Cue my road trip to the Jay Archer Floral Design Flower School (alongside the lovely Hannah Duffy who was there to capture the experience – pretty pics from the day (apologies for my concentration face!) above / below) to expand my horizons, learn more about wedding flowers and most importantly, what to do if I was ever faced with a similar situation again.
Image by Guy Collier Photography.
Morning! Kat here from Katrina Otter Weddings. That’ll be me (the planner, not the bride!) in today’s feature header.
So I’m going to start off today’s post by being totally honest with you…
No matter what stage of the planning process you’re at, but especially the initial few months of engagement and wedding planning excitement (you know, the stage before the reality of wedmin hits!), the title and subject matter of the latest feature in our collaborative wedding planning series is probably going to register quite highly on your trés dull meter! Probably as highly as this total, but essential, snooze-athon?!
BUT before you click on another jam packed inspirational feature then please STOP and take a moment to consider the “what ifs”, the potential consequences and the added layer of stress as a result of not reading on (or at least bookmarking this feature) and therefore not having a wedding day emergency kit…
WHAT IF there’s a mini heatwave like there was a couple of weeks ago and you / your wedding party / your guests are prone to a little burn..?
WHAT IF a guest accidentally steps on your dress and tears the hem? The zip or buttons break? OR even worse, there’s a rogue wine spillage..?
WHAT IF you’re prone to hayfever and your photographer finds the most idyllic patch of tall billowy grass for your couple shots..?
… you get the drift!
So, let’s start off with the question you’re probably now asking yourself… do you really need an emergency kit..?
Well, if you’re still reading on and those “what ifs” made you sit up and take notice then I think you already know the answer is YES, right..?! Wedding day emergency kits are a must-have for many reasons.
Feature Image by Katie Mitchell Photography.
We’re busting the myths and sharing our top tips on the marquee wedding today!
Marquee weddings aren’t what they used to be as couples now have some seriously stylish options available. But not one for style over substance, we still want to arm you with all the considerations behind this outdoor wedding choice.
A Guide to Planning a Marquee Wedding
Marquee weddings hold a very special place in my heart. Firstly, there’s something really rather charming and romantic about the concept of creating your own wedding venue, to your own specifications and making it a real reflection of your own style and personalities.
Secondly, with my wedding planning hat on, there are various logistical and planning considerations that need to be taken into account when organising a marquee wedding and as anyone that’s read any of my previous features in our collaborative wedding planning series will know, I LOVE a good logistical wedding!
Thirdly, as I’m based in the countryside, marquee weddings equate to roughly 40% of the weddings I plan every year and to date I’ve organised wedding in tipis, traditional canvas marquees, contemporary clear span frame marquees, yurts, Sperry tents and unique Pearl Tents.
And finally, the main reason – on 18th May 2013 (how has it been four years already!) I held my own elegant English country garden wedding reception in a marquee.
In today’s feature, I’ll therefore be sharing my love for all things marquees and imparting my knowledge, experience and some logistical top tips for those of you planning or considering a marquee wedding.
Before I start, a few words of caution! As much as I love a logistical wedding, not everyone feels the same way as me, so if you’re not a fan of operational challenges then please go into planning a marquee wedding with your eyes open – there is, on average, A LOT more work involved and A LOT to consider. Marquee weddings also aren’t always the cheap option (this BTW is one of the most common wedding misconceptions). You’re basically creating your own wedding venue and that includes building the venue, filling and staffing the venue and then clearing the venue away after the party is over.
So… with those little notes of caution out of the way, shall we get on with the planning..?
The first thing to find is the site. Where are you going to hold your marquee wedding..? Some wedding venues (you can find an extensive list of marquee and tipi friendly venues via the Coco Venue Finder) allow you to put up a marquee on their lawns whilst still being able to use the main house for your ceremony and accommodation, whilst others will let you use their land only, with the buildings themselves forming the perfect backdrop.
Obviously, there’s likely to be a cost consideration here too but the good news is that you’ve got options.
(On a side note there are also venues that already have permanent or semi-permanent marquees, which in turn eliminates some of those word of warning operational challenges and cost considerations mentioned above and below!)
Of course, some couples also opt for a marquee wedding so that they can make use of their own gardens or land. This is a wonderfully personal option but please be aware that you’re going to have a week or so of comings and goings in the run up to your wedding and in the days afterwards too, so please be sure that everyone that this will affect is happy about this!
Feature Image by Mister Phill.
I love today’s planning piece by Katrina Otter – it’s honest, fresh and really quite personal.
Katrina and I both had elements of our day that went against the usual wedding format; For starters my Mum walked me down the aisle. My Dad’s sadly not with us anymore and whilst I know that on the day I missed his presence terribly, I couldn’t think of a better person to have by my side in that moment. She was a legend and steadied me as I made my way towards my future husband. So a big wave to all the amazing Mums out there!
I was also heckled into making a speech. Whilst I’d actually prepared one I felt like one more speech might have sent everyone over the edge a little so I quietly bowed out. I judged the crowd wrong! So yes, I made an off the cuff speech, straight from the heart and I think I did OK.
As for Kat… Well she’s a one-woman-warrior for breaking the wedding party roles! She had her Victorian Bulldog Betty act as her Maid of Honour, she firmly held the microphone and addressed her guests in her own bridal speech and she’s also been a Best Woman for her brother’s wedding at the gorgeous RSA in London.
So folks, it really is up to you to decide what’s right and what’s not quite right when it comes to your own wedding party.
Kat’s here to guide you through it all…
A Modern Day Guide to Wedding Party Roles & Responsibilities
Let me tell you a little story…
Rewind the clocks to the start of 2013 and the boy and I were in the final few months of our wedding planning journey. One evening we were discussing the traditional order of speeches (for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the Father of the Bride followed by the Groom and then the Best Man) when the realisation suddenly hit me… Hang on a minute, how are we going to factor in more than one Best Man, when does MY Best Woman talk AND what about me..?
This in turn opened a whole can of worms… Why couldn’t my Victorian Bulldog Betty be my Maid of Honour, why did the Best Men have to be in charge of our wedding rings; they lost their passports on the stag do so why on earth would I entrust them with our rings..?! You get the drift and from that moment on, I picked up the roles and responsibilities rule book, threw it out the window and haven’t picked it up since!
SO, if you were thinking that my latest feature in our collaborative wedding planning series was going to be like any other readily available and easily Google searchable guide on roles and responsibilities then think again!
(BTW if you do want to stick to tradition then there’s nothing wrong with this (I’m just shaking things up a little) but this feature is definitely not for you and you may want to look here instead!)
Even 4 years on from my own wedding, it’s safe to say that wedding party roles and responsibilities are still incredibly traditional. Weddings themselves have changed hugely over the past few years but we’re still working with the same lists and allocation of roles that we have for decades. Now I’m not sure why that is but I am sure that today’s feature is a modern-day guide to roles and responsibilities and I think / hope you’re going to like it!
Images by Hannah Duffy Photography.
I’m feeling all kinds of emotional this morning and I’ll tell you why…
Today is the first post of the New Year from my dear friend Katrina Otter. Kat is our resident wedding planner here at Coco Wedding Venues and she provides us with a wealth of planning tips and advice on these very pages. But she also happens to be the Wedding Planner of the Year 2017 as of last week’s The Wedding Industry Awards and I was there to scream, clap and ugly cry at this brilliant announcement.
This award-winning planner has the most incredible vision but her skills are firmly rooted in the logistics, schedules and spreadsheets that are the backbone of your wedding day. Planning a wedding can be quite a daunting process and for some couples this might be the very first (and only!) time they try to organise such a big event. If you’re finding yourself a little lost right now then this feature is perfect for you as Kat will be taking you through the 5 w’s of hiring a Wedding Planner – who, what, why, when & where.
We hope this post offers some guidance about what Wedding Planners do and if their services are something you feel you require, we’ve also included links to some of our absolute faves for you to research. To kick things off we have a beautiful behind-the-scenes film by Roost Film Co. from a private garden wedding Kat planned last Summer. This couple are also quite special to us as we introduced Claire & Tom to Katrina and together they created a truly stunning day.
So press play and see the role of a Wedding Planner in action!
The Five W’s to Hiring a Wedding Planner!
A big hello, a belated Happy New Year from Katrina Otter Weddings and welcome to my first wedding planning feature for 2017!
If you’re recently engaged (congratulations BTW!), new to the world of wedding planning or a newbie to the beautifully stylish pages of inspirational pretty here on Coco then here’s a quick re-cap about me and my partnership with Coco Wedding Venues…
- I’m an independent Wedding Planner and have been organising weddings throughout the UK since 2012.
- I’m one half of Coco & Kat – Creative Direction for Wedding Venues & Beyond.
- I’m the Resident Wedding Planner for Coco Wedding Venues.
- Together, Emma (aka Mrs Coco Wedding Venues!) and I have written a pretty fab series detailing all of the planning basics you’ll need to get you going.
And in 2017 we’ve got some more deliciously detailed and essential collaborative planning features in store for you, covering everything from roles and responsibilities to a three-part series with florist supremo Jay Archer.
Kicking off our 2017 series is today’s feature, the five W’s to hiring a Wedding Planner.
I have to be honest with you, today’s feature has been a rather long time in the making and one that I’ve postponed for at least a year now!
Well, over the years that I’ve been working as a Wedding Planner I’ve met with, learnt from, collaborated with, supported, mentored, listened to, socialised with and formed friendships with some truly incredible and inspirational UK and destination Wedding Planners.
As a profession, we work incredibly long and unsociable hours, our job can often be stressful, tiring and frustrating, we’re on call 24/7, we go above and beyond for our clients and we do all of this with a constant and unwavering sense of calm and positivity.
It’s because of all of this that I’ve procrastinated – I desperately want to do justice to this feature, our profession, the role we play and the work we do and of course to my wedding planning colleagues, mentors and friends.
So, it’s finally time to stop procrastinating (one of my 2017 wedding planning resolutions) and breakdown the Who, What, Why, When and Where to hiring a Wedding Planner…