Images by Hannah Duffy Photography.
It’s Katrina here (resident wedding planner for Coco Wedding Venues), taking over the introduction reigns from Emma and stepping away from my usual features about budgets, timelines and my love of all things schedule related!
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing the first of a practical and pretty three-part series about wedding flowers and all in collaboration with one of my biggest wedding supplier crushes – the phenomenal, inspirational, award-winning Jay Archer Floral Design.
As a Wedding Planner, I think it’s vital that I’m constantly learning new skills and fully understanding the industry that I work in. In previous years, I’ve freelanced for caterers and worked back-of-house as well as stepping in to support venues with their on-the-day management. Last year, as I stood outside a Church desperately trying to construct an emergency button hole for one of my Groom’s, I realised that it was about time that I added wedding flowers to the learning agenda!
Jay Archer and her Floral Design Flower School was the obvious place to start so off I headed on a road trip to Hampshire (alongside the lovely Hannah Duffy who was there to capture the experience) to expand my horizons and learn more about the ins and outs of wedding flowers.
The result is a three-part ESSENTIAL series breaking down wedding flowers and hopefully shining a light on an area of wedding planning that isn’t often fully understood, especially when it comes to today’s feature – wedding flower budgets (you know I said I was stepping away from my usual features about budgets well, I lied!).
The reason why today’s feature is so vitally important is because very few people understand the true cost of wedding flowers and as a result, allocations for flowers within wedding budgets is very rarely realistic. SO, if you’re in the throes of pulling together your budget or allocating your expenditure then reading the below first is a wedding planning MUST!
Just as a heads up… Part II is all about seasonality and colour palettes and in Part III I get to tackle the practical side of bouquets and buttonholes!)
Your Wedding Flower Budget
The flower budget… ‘’do we even have one?!’’ Ugh… where to start.
As a wedding florist, I meet couples everyday who come to me for advice on their wedding flowers – what to have, what’s in season and, more importantly, what it will all cost…?
I try to be as helpful as I can right from the off, giving people advice on typical spends for marquees and, say, the church. But the thing is, and here’s the bit where people think I am being evasive or difficult, there really isn’t an average. There are so many variable factors when thinking about your flowers.
Hopefully, if I do my job right, I’ll wipe out some of the myths with this post and actually provide some information that’s useful for the couple planning their wedding.
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 Freckle Photography.
Whether you’ve just booked the venue or are yet to discover the wonder that is Coombe Trenchard, this is a beautifully written piece by a bride who recently married at this eclectic Devonshire country house. But the thing is, Emily loved the venue so much she’s decided to stay as their new Wedding Coordinator!
Emily has some truly wonderful tips below, not just for those of you marrying at Coombe Trenchard but also for those embarking on the magical (and sometimes challenging!) adventure that is planning a wedding.
Here’s Emily’s tales from the other side…
Notes from a Coombe Trenchard Bride
Am I basking in the glow, or still completely exhausted..? This is the question I am still asking myself 4 months into married life. It feels the same but different; marriage is comforting presence in an otherwise familiar sea of work, Sunday food shopping and Netflix decisions.
Relief is palpable; the 18 months of my life spent considering, communicating, dreaming and pinterest-ing were utterly and totally worth it. Possessed of a certain surreal, dreamlike quality, our wedding day went exceptionally well; sunshine, happy smiles and our favourite people investing and involving themselves in a day that meant so much to so many.
With such a momentous build up, it is a strange sensation when the day is actually happening, but also when it has happened. That constant stream of wedding thoughts in your head cease and allow contemplation and fresh ideas to burst in, the future suddenly opens up like the first green buds in Spring.
In my new capacity as Wedding Co-ordinator at Coombe Trenchard, I have the honour of assisting and supporting our 2017 Brides & Grooms as they take this same journey. Wonderfully, Coombe Trenchard is incapable of holding the same celebration twice; it is possessed with too many unique spaces, has too much room for interpretation and allows its beauty to be channelled in so many glorious ways. My excitement at being involved as others create their ‘Best Day Ever’ is huge, my passion and true love of everything that weddings represent ensures that this responsibility feels safe and well placed amongst my positivity and enthusiasm.
Top Ten Tips
It seems fitting as I transition from Bride to Wedding Co-ordinator to reflect on my own experience and attempt to support those within the whirlwind and joy of planning their Big Day. So, here are the top ten tips from the new Mrs Colwill:
- Invest emotionally in Coombe Trenchard. This may seem obvious, but I almost see Coombe Trenchard as a being. Arranging meetings with Sarah, visits with Parents and seeing Facebook and Twitter posts gave me such warm feelings. I do believe this magnificent home is imbedded with its own character and arriving the night before the wedding felt like greeting an old friend. I highly recommended booking tastings, trials and cups of tea in the lead up to your big day; it feels like you are sharing your loved ones and memories with a place that holds a very special place in your heart.
- Use your time wisely. I remember the see-saw effect of wedding planning well. You go through hugely productive flurries, before focusing on normal life for a short time. Do try to book in a weekend a month or an evening a week to keep up to date though. I felt very organised but still found the fortnight beforehand hugely stressful. You do not want to be handcrafting signage or frantically buying bridesmaid’s presents in the grand build up. Make lists, involve friends and family and enjoy the time spent on your day in a measured and thought out way. Discuss the day in detail with Sarah and myself at Coombe Trenchard and give due thought to exactly how you want the day to flow and feel from the outset.
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…
These days, the minefield of wedding etiquette has thankfully eased and you’re generally able to create a wedding that breaks the norm here and there – or everywhere! – to create your own very special occasion that’s a true reflection of you both, and the same goes for your Gift List.
Friends and family dearly want to help you get set up in your shared home (even if you already live together), and with Prezola, the’ve got it covered. There’s 30,000 gorgeous gifts to choose from, supplied by 300 top homeware brands, including favourites like Wedgwood and The White Company, together with specialist boutique brands such as Nkuku and OKA, so you’re bound to find items you love. It’s everything the high street has to offer, in one place. And if you opt for our Premier Plus account, which costs just £59, you’ll be able to add an unlimited number of honeymoon funds, cash contributions, charity donations and custom gifts of your choice to your list, too with no fees, third parties or commission.
The key is to include lots of different price points, and both traditional items such as quality linen, cutlery and ovenware with more modern choices that show your personalities and hobbies, from art to outdoor items to useful kitchen equipment to fun experiences and day trips.
So where do you start..? Compiling a wedding list can be quite daunting with so much choice! Here’s my top must haves that should be on every modern couple’s wedding registry.
This is all about useful, quality items you’ll love cooking with for decades. It’s hard to beat Le Creuset, which is one of our number one sellers. It will last you a lifetime so think carefully about your colour choice if you’re the sort who likes to coordinate. Or just go ahead and mix it up with a rainbow of options!
Le Creuset Coastal Ovenware, £7.00 – £220.00.
A quality dinner service
A clean, simple, white dinner service is a must-have. Look for elegantly rendered fine, white bone china that’s versatile enough to dress up or down at your next gathering.
Wedgwood by Jasper Conran China, £16.00 – £170.00.
Quirky personalised gifts
One of the big trends we’re noticing in wedding gifts is for couples to reflect their true personalities by choosing bespoke gifts like personalised wall art or retro decor. It’s a chance for your guests to buy something that’s really you.
Home Sweet Home
Some of us like to take on a little more than we can chew at any one time, right…? If you find yourself saving for the wedding and that home renovation then here at Prezola we can actually help with those costs! As part of the New Beginnings inspiration you can ask guests for a cash contribution towards your new home, whether it’s that fancy bathroom that’s on the wishlist, a kitchen makeover or just general home improvements.
New Kitchen Fund, £50.
Electrical items are no longer the functional but necessary items on a wedding gift list! For instance, if one of you has a love of vinyl, you can enjoy listening to your favourite records wherever you go on one of our Crosley Cruiser Turntables. It’s modelled on a vintage suitcase and it’s surprisingly lightweight, available in a huge range of colours with a built-in stereo speaker too.
Crosley Cruiser Turntable, available in various colours £74.99 – £89.99.