Image by Lucy Davenport Photography.
Happy New Year folks!
I hope you’ve all had a fabulously festive few days…?
We’re taking an extended break over the Christmas holidays and whilst we have just a few days left of finishing off the never-ending supply of chocolates, long walks with our pup and catching up with Harry Potter we thought we’d swing by for the first post of 2017.
January blues are well and truly banished on these pages because it’s our favourite time of year! We know a whole bunch of loved up guys and gals got engaged over the holiday and we can’t WAIT to help you start the planning…
Firstly, huge congrats on your lovely news and welcome to Coco Wedding Venues. We’re absolutely the right place to start your adventure, so give yourselves a pat on the back – You’ve already nailed step # 1.
There’s a lot to consider when you first get engaged and there may also be a few opinions thrown into the mix, plus everyone’s first question will be “when’s the big day…?” but take a deep breath and remain in that gorgeous little just-engaged bubble for as long as you want.
You’ll no doubt be feeling a mixture of emotions – if you’re a bit giddy and a whole lot of daunted then that’s perfectly normal! But, when you feel ready to pick up that first bridal magazine or sit down in front of the laptop to start your research, the first point on that to-do-list is without doubt the Wedding Venue. Your venue choice and style of wedding will influence your whole day – from the fashion, to the food, right through to the entertainment.
It’s at this very first step that I want to help!
So, let me show you around Coco Wedding Venues and spark some inspiration, but first you may want to pin this little reminder and bookmark the epicness that can unfold on this website…
Coco Wedding Venues is the UK’s only style focused wedding venue directory and it was founded in 2013 by me, Emma Hla. I married my (rather gorgeous) husband Mark that Summer and you can read more about our story here and a little about me in our fancy Official Bio.
But, to cut a long story short, when I was a Bride-to-be taking those first tentative steps into finding a wedding venue it was all horribly underwhelming and a tad disappointing. The reality of creating your dream day is somewhat different to the beautiful, aspirational images you may have already discovered on Pinterest.
Feature image by Julie Michalesen Photography.
I know most of us are so focused on packing up shop for Christmas that it almost doesn’t quite feel right thinking about January and making too many plans! After all January is the month of recovery right…? But my first month of 2017 is looking pretty jam packed with exciting meetings, planning sessions, industry events and a workshop.
The workshop I’ll be attending is at the B.LOVED Hive and it’ll be focusing on boosting your business for the year ahead! As well as listening to my fellow speakers Louise Beukes (founder of B.LOVED & the B.LOVED Hive) and Michelle Kelly (Wedding Planner extraordinaire at Pocketful of Dreams and Fearless Authentic) I’ll also be chipping in about my own start-up story and what’s happened in the three years since I decided to be my own #girlboss.
So if you fancy kickstarting the New Year with something good, then here’s Louise with a bit more info…
Boost Your Business Workshop 2017
After a successful launch and busy first month at the Hive it is time to turn thoughts to the year ahead. I’m excited to announce the dates for the very first monthly workshop, taking place from 10am – 4pm on Wednesday the 18th of January 2017. Aptly titled the Business Boost Workshop, the day is designed to help suppliers gain the confidence and skills required to dream bigger and create an action plan to achieve their business goals and really thrive in 2017.
Attendees on the day will hear my own personal business story including the journey I took to running the Hive today. No business story is straight forward or easy and my honest and frank account aims to inspire and educate, including stories on personal set backs and the mistakes I made along the way.
Joining me for the day is award-winning wedding venue directory owner and blogger Emma Hla from Coco Wedding Venues and luxury wedding planner Michelle Kelly from Pocketful of Dreams. Both of whom are leading the way in the wedding industry with their creative approach to business and wealth of experience, knowledge and insight into the world of weddings.
Images by McKenzie Brown.
Coombe Trenchard, cradled within Dartmoor’s epic landscapes, is a tranquil venue with Art Nouveau charm and stunning features. There’s a stream, sweeping lawns, an Italian terrace where marquees can be sighted with views from the Italian columns across to Brent Tor and now, a newly refurbished snug.
We love this venue and we also love the ladies at Blue Fizz Events who were the masterminds behind the styling for this piece. Whilst we’re in the midst of Christmas, fairylights and mulled wine why not take a refreshing step into Spring with this garden inspired styled shoot captured by McKenzie Brown.
Notes from Blue Fizz
The focus of this shoot is on the beautifully refurbished coach house at Coome Trenchard which offers a bar area, dance floor and snug area complete with sofas, easy chairs and an entrance area with fire pits on either side. This venue is versatile and breathtaking and our theme too inspiration from its gardens which are open to the public during the week. I wanted a focus on the flora and green-on-green that an English country garden brings with a nod to the modern for our forward thinking couples!
I imagined an informal yet decadent banquet on the lawn with rustic furniture, delicate vintage crockery and vintage champagne saucers all supplied by Combe Trenchard, complete with edible floating flowers from The Flower Mill in the champagne! I created handmade napkins from a vintage fabric and used blades of greenery as the napkin rings alongside some of our Blue Fizz Events hire items, our abundance of flowers and greenery were supplied by The Flower Mill who brought together the show stopping displays, head piece and a riot of fresh colours throughout.
Images by Rocksalt Photography.
Garthmyl Hall is a recently opened wedding venue nestled in the Welsh countryside. Indeed, you might have already spotted our stunning Home Tour of this venue courtesy of our lovely friend Jade Osborne. Well, today we’re taking you back inside this eclectic country house with two creative styled shoots by For the Love of Weddings.
Wedding Planner Krysta uncovers the diversity of this beautiful, undiscovered venue.
Creative Diversity at Garthmyl Hall
This elegant venue boasts ten bespoke en-suite bedrooms, a grand dining room, a Gentlemen’s bar, a luxurious living room, a striking dining room – each complete with gilt ceilings and atmospheric mirrors. The concept for the shoot was ambitious; “go big or go home” was our motto as we showcased the venue’s potential to be both striking and exquisite, with two extremely contrasting styles. The Vintage Glam look in the ballroom was soft, feminine and completely timeless. Whilst we experimented with Bohemian Luxe in the summer house, gardens and dining room, and not to forget the incredible en-suite.
Couture bridal designer, Claire Mischevani, showcased some of her new collection in the shoot. Featuring embellished details, delicate lace embroidery and dreamy trains, the flowing gowns suited Garthmyl Hall seamlessly. Photographed against a dramatic red background of one of the venue’s bedrooms and in the grand majestic ballroom, this shoot really does capture the romance of the venue. The look was completed with feminine shoes from Rachel Simpson that added a subtle touch of must-have sparkle.
Be won over by the sumptuous chemise sets from Daisy Sheldon Embroidery – featuring silk satin flowers and hand-beading – perfect for any honeymoon. Glitzy Secrets provided the stunning bridal accessories, displaying dazzling hairpieces that simply ooze glamour, whilst still achieving a traditional element for the Vintage Glam look. Whilst the florist for this shoot, Pheasant Botanica, created a show-stopping floral crown made out of pheasant feathers and exotic blooms for the Bohemian Luxe twist.
Image by Hannah Duffy Photography.
Today we turn three.
Three years since I pressed the button that put these pages live. I hoped that a few people might find us, like us and use us to discover their wedding venues. I couldn’t possibly have imagined I’d be in the position I am right now just three years later.
We’re winding down the year now that December has hit and we’ll be taking a blogging break over the festivities. As always, it’s a wonderful time of year to reflect and make new goals.
I think when you have your own business, it’s difficult to build things slowly. Difficult because there’s so much noise surrounding us and if we tune in too much we can get distracted by others launching their new products, sneak-peeking their re-brands and generally just doing things bigger. My goals for this year were simple – to grow. I wanted to reach more brides, to showcase more beautiful venues and to just be consistently good at what we do. I think we’ve achieved this.
When the New Year hits we’ll be launching something pretty big for our venues behind-the-scenes, we’ll be revisiting our wonderful Survey to keep up to date with the couples and their venue search needs, I’d love a fresh lick of paint for the website & brand at some point and I’ve also got my eye on the next natural step to Coco Wedding Venues so watch this space… I’m also really excited to build on Coco & Kat – my wedding venue consultancy in partnership with Katrina Otter Weddings.
But, we’ll never be distracted. This little space will continue to be the most inspiring wedding venue directory out there!
As it’s our birthday post, I’ve rounded up 10 of my favourite blog posts that reflect what our website is all about. We have advice pieces from our lovely experts, real love stories, wedding inspiration, supplier love and beautiful venues, obvs!
Before I go, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of our story this year. But mostly, I want to send a big virtual hug to our couples, I’ve shed many a happy tear this year seeing your wedding photos. Just being a small part of your big day love story is pretty darn cool.
The A – Z of Wedding Venues (Part I)
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the wedding venue… Right…?
Well, to break down this somewhat daunting process I’ve come up with an A – Z of Wedding Venues; hopefully this will bust some myths, make you feel well-prepped for venue visits and of course settle those planning nerves.
This feature is broken into two digestible parts so swing back Wednesday for the next instalment and make sure you pin the bookmark image at the end for easy reference!
Let’s get started… Read More.
Garthmy Hall Home Tour
Garthmyl Hall is unique, relaxing, flexible, friendly, accommodating and beautiful wedding venue in Powys Wales. We adore the eclectic charm of this country house and we sent one of our fave photographers, Jade Osborne Photography, to meet the owner Julia and to experience a sleepover at the Hall.
We asked Jade for a few words about her stay and if this leaves you wanting to know more about this unique wedding venue then read on because we have a beautifully honest interview with Julia including their ethos, prices and plans for 2017! Read More.
The 2017 Wedding Trend Report
The style of your wedding is completely up to you – it’s personal and should reflect the two of you, together. This is the whole basis for our wedding venue directory – individual style. But for this reason, the word ‘trend’ has become a bit of a controversial word to use in the wedding industry for fear it will promote a wedding that’s not honest to your style or your loves.
Whilst I completely understand this and don’t promote the cookie-cutter big day, if like me, you love to gaze at the new emerging interior trends, the latest colours and shapes hitting the high-street and have a wish list of current coveted pieces as long as your arm, then a trends feature is most probably for you.
So…. It’s back. Our BIG annual Wedding Trend Report in collaboration with our resident Wedding Planner Katrina Otter Weddings. In 2016 we coveted everything from the still bang-on-trend spring greens, oversized blooms and marble to bolder patterns, prints, palms and how can we forget… parrots! Read More.