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by Emma Hla

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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.

# 1

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.

# 2

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 2017Read More.

# 3

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.

# 4

My Glamping Adventure at Walcot Hall

As I sit writing this piece, August is on it’s way out and with it our fleeting summer days. But sunshine or no sunshine, I wanted to you talk about glamping or alfresco living as I like to call it.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that the last time I went camping I was still in primary school, so when the opportunity came up to stay in a yurt on the Walcot Hall estate in Shropshire I pretty much jumped at the chance! Team Hla were well prepped – eggs, bacon, wellies, layers and dog all packed, we set off! Read More.

# 5

The Magic of Clovelly Village, North Devon

Back in May I embarked on a road trip to the West Country to work on a beautiful coastal styled shoot for Clovelly Village in North Devon. I’d picked this particular Devonshire cove because I felt sure I would discover Mermaids. The village of Clovelly is quite honestly enchanting. A timeless beauty, you can feel the pace of life slowing as you make your way down the steep cobbled stones into the heart of the village.

This is a place where cats stand tall on whitewashed walls and dogs sit outside their owner’s cottages waiting to greet you. This is a place where the fisherman illustrations from your childhood books actually come to life, white beard, pipe ‘n’ all! This is a place where doors are made of shells and secret gardens are waiting to be discovered.

This is a place where magic can most certainly be found. Read More.

# 6

Tropics in the City at Wimbourne House

At Wimbourne House in East London, you can absolutely let your imagination run wild… And that’s what we did. Channeling the hot, sultry tropics for our City Chic styled shoot, this vast loft space provided us with so much inspiration. From the man’s corner complete with brick wall, boxing gloves and a gym horse (because every Groom needs one on their wedding day right…?) to the elegant grey paneled ‘room’ with the most beautiful parquet floor; this studio-space-come-wedding-venue was the perfect canvas for our vibrant styling.

To us, Tropics in the City meant industrial vibes, flashes of pink, luscious botanicals and hot love… Read More.

# 7

Host with the Most

Last year when I was designing our Classic Elegance styled shoot at Pynes House there was only one person to call on for a tablescape-to-die-for. Step in Ali and her Prezola team! With their interiors expertise, eye for detail and exquisite brands I just knew it would be perfection.

In fact, it was this beautiful scene that was the inspiration for my very first ‘grown up’ gathering and this gathering just so happened to be on Christmas Day (*gulp*). Panic most certainly set in when I realised I was missing most of the elements that go into a picture-perfect tablescape like this one; serving dishes, matching cutlery, napkins etc. etc. However, having invested in some simple, classic pieces I now feel like I’m ready at any moment to host our friends & family!

Although this particular tablescape is rather elegant in style, the fab thing about Prezola is that they have so many different styles and home brands to suit your individual tastes. Here’s Ali to explain how to create your own ‘Host with the Most’ Wedding Gift List… Read More.

# 8

Bridal Boutique Tour of Britten Weddings

Earlier this month I got in my Mini and set off on a little road trip to the West… My destination was Bradford-on-Avon with a little overnight stop in Bath (you may have seen my glamorous accommodation on Instagram!) My 24 hour mission was to visit not one, not two but four beautiful wedding brands and today I’m going to take you on part of my journey.

When you have an online business it’s quite easy to get stuck staring at a screen for days or weeks on end, so it’s always rather lovely (and important!) getting out to meet the people we know and love in this little industry bubble. One of our faves has to be Britten Weddings. Not only because I’m an absolute veil fiend (I swear I would wear one everyday if it was socially acceptable) but also because behind this bridal accessories empire is a seriously stylish husband & wife. Read More.

# 9

Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Suppliers

One of the key ingredients to planning a wedding is taking the time to thoroughly research, shortlist and enquire with potential wedding suppliers.

Why..? Well, if you rush the process and book the first suppliers you see / who are recommended to you, without doing any research or asking the right questions, not only do you run the risk of booking suppliers without knowing the full facts, you also risk booking suppliers who aren’t necessarily the right fit for you, your budget or your style of wedding. Read More.

#10

Aimee & Joel’s Godwick Great Barn Wedding

I’m feeling somewhat nervous this morning…

A huge honour has been bestowed upon me; telling the story of Aimee & Joel’s wedding at Godwick Great Barn.

So what’s so different about today’s tale…? Well, Aimee & Joel are the owners of Godwick, an utterly dreamy rustic wedding venue in Norfolk.

As I’ve written this beautiful real love feature I’ve felt so many things – Being able to write about one of the most important decisions and days of someone’s life is pretty special and the fact that I’m doing this for the owner of one of my favourite wedding venues…? Well shucks. Read More.

Lots of love…

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