Event of the year – The Bespoke Bride Guide

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Wedding fairs, the daunting events where you walk around not making eye contact and have your head phones on faking a phone call or listening to anything to drown out the calls from scary vendors. Well that was my experience of them anyway, out of 5 weddings fairs I went to I only enjoyed one (where I actually met my amazing florist for my day).

However the weekend before last literally changed my view on them completely, when I decided to pop along to Devonport Guildhall to see the vendors at The Bespoke Bride Guide organised by the beautiful twin duo Sophie and Laura.

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These beautiful ladies decided to start their own wedding directory after spending huge amounts of time trawling through the internet trying to find unique vendors when planning their own weddings.

They have linked arms with some incredible designers and crafts professionals, to help brides to find something personal and unique for their special day. All coming together in a beautiful unique wedding ceremony venue they created a truly wonderful experience.

Come on Louise, I hear you say, tell us about these AWESOME people. Well I am biased of course because some good friends of mine were attending the fair, however from attending, EVERY single vendor there were not only amazing at what they do, but actually really WONDERFUL people too; people you would want to be a part of your special day, people who can add those final touches that you have envisaged in your ‘dream wedding’ plan.

First impressions are so important and walking up the road that leads to Devonport Guildhall, with the blue sky and sun shining warming the buildings Roman style architecture, it was a great view; a great view added to by the welcoming I received from Cybels Vintage Hire wedding caravan. You can hire this quirky caravan, kitted out for afternoon tea with vintage china and a perfect venue for a wedding photo booth. Photo booths have become very popular at wedding receptions, it allows the guests to have the fun of dressing up and creating some amazing memories.

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Zoe-Ann and Amanda, the lovely ladies behind the business provide an amazing hire service that can complete the theme of your day. They offer hire of teacups and saucers, tablecloths, bunting and even some vintage wooden games. Zoe-ann has been passionate about collecting vintage items since she was young and I was very excited to know we share a love of old books.

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Climbing the steps to the fair, I was passed by lots of smiling young ladies with partners, mums and friends alike. I am a sucker for a smile, so I was drawn like a magpie to jewellery straight into the fair to meet the lovely Sophie and Laura for the first time.

They greeted all of their guests personally, which displayed the passion they have for what they are doing and the service they are providing. We all know I love a good chin wag so I felt at home.

All of their guest brides received a goody bag and a chip for a free drink as well.

The first vendor I saw was a good friend of mine Danielle Donnelly who is an award winning stationary designer and owner of the newly open Wedding Hub. Danielle was sharing some of the incredible creations from the beautiful designers who display in her shop.
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The key thing that strikes me about Danielle’s businesses is her eye for beautiful creations and uniqueness. Not only are her stationary designs beautiful she stocks equally BEAUTIFUL items such as material flower bouquets, INCREDIBLE cakes and STUNNING jewellery. All bespoke, meaning you are not likely to have a guest wearing the same as you on your big day.

Danielle is one of the most confident and focused business women I have had the chance to meet and on speaking to her I am very excited for the future of her business ventures.

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Another lovely, incredibly savvy business woman and creative was next for me to see. Claire Thomas of La Beau nail studio. Claire and all the ladies at La Beau are amazingly talented and on the day of the event were even offering free manicures and pimms. These ladies KNOW how to make you feel special. The ever expanding business has been growing and growing since it opened in 2008 and has welcomed celebrity clients on their visits to the area.

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‘The salon is known for its friendly atmosphere and welcoming tranquility, as well as its host of refreshing, reviving treatments’ Labeaunailstudio.co.uk.

I had my nails pampered at La Beau for my own wedding in 2013 and I would highly recommend you visit these lovely ladies with your bridesmaids and mums. It is a beautiful studio with an amazing atmosphere.

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As I was eyeing up the Pimms at the La Beau stand I was surrounded by the most beautiful ‘rustic’ styled display from Green & Pip. I was enchanted by the rural feel of Pip’s designs, each bouquet and table decoration had an elegant wild crafted feel about it. I could imagine many a bride loving the simplicity and elegance for their special day. I didn’t get to chat much to Pip because prospected couples flocked to her original display; evidence that what Green & Pip offer is right on the mark.
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From rustic and rural to pretty and pink. Hannah Burnett floristry was displaying a collection of very feminine wedding flowers. Hannah and I met on a wedding in April, where she styled the ceremony room with beautiful hanging jars of ‘hand picked’ flowers.

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I may have scared Hannah off her seat with my approach to her table as she was very focused on a task, however she continued to greet me with a smile. What I love about Hannah’s business is not only are her flowers eye catching and beautiful, she continues this style through her business stationary and website.

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Now I am a stationary geek so when I see any invitations, name cards or table plans I go walk at the knees. Knots & Kisses, owned by the beautiful and eccentric Nikki (who has a love for the same films as me, yes I talk about everything. Being nosey is my job) was a delight to talk to and was helped on the day by her hubby, who was showing proposed clients the beautiful designs Nikki creates.

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It was an absolute pleasure to speak to such a lovely industry professional, it always makes my day to know that brides are getting amazing, friendly and special service.

What I also love about Knots & Kisses is that as a business it thrives to meet a very high standard, ‘you are only as good as your last wedding’ was the discussion I had with Nikki.

I am looking forward to the rebranding that is currently underway, to see what Nikki will do next.

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Are you enjoying this? I know I am, we have already had some amazing professionals with a huge variety of skills but also huge personalities. I would love to hang out for coffee and cake with these people.

The overall feeling from Sophie and Laura’s event was that of uniqueness and that ‘something special’. For me nothing could have been more true to this than the services of The Guide of Cornish Celebrants, who provide bespoke wedding ceremonies in any location and style. Talking to the founders Nicola and Denise time flew, I could have conversed with these passionate and dynamic ladies for hours.

Nicola and Denise have a wonderful vision of providing unique and truly special ceremonies, they have a true love and dedication to people and it shines through when you meet them. I was so interested in what they do that I am actually writing an article dedicated to them soon, so for now I will leave the full details (if you are an eager beaver then please visit their website).

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Speaking of cake…

The Little Lark Cake Company where showcasing some incredible designs, including a ‘chalk board’ style cake finished off with some delicate and beautiful hand crafted icing flowers.

Each cake that was on display showed just how varied you can be and how you really can add your own personality, even to the cake. These were no Victoria sponge (though that is my favourite cake as my grandma well knows).

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From sugar bouquets to broaches. The last vendor I had the privilege to speak to was the owner of Flourish, who’s stand was not to disappoint any magpie’s eye.

The team are just about to open a physical shop in Hooe, allowing them to display more of their incredible broach bouquets for you to see as well as their flower arrangements. There will be a VIP opening event, so do keep an eye out for that.

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At this point in the fair I had actually stayed for nearly 2 hours and I had to leave before I was able to have a huge conversation with Flourish or the remaining vendors who attended. I met a wonderful photographer, Meg’s photos, who not only had a great visual display, she did attempt to kill me with her lazer vision when I told her I was a photographer too. Ironically I spent so much time chatting to Meg I didn’t focus on getting any shots of her display (sorry Meg).

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What I want to say to you all, if I did not get a chance to see your display or speak at length with you, I can only apologise but I can not take the blame for every one of you being so awesome and friendly that I got lost in the world of unique weddings.

It took me so much longer to write this post, due to the volume of awesome pictures I was able to capture and the vast amount of wonderful, positive and inspiring experiences at the event.

I LOVE weddings and anything to do with them, but I will admit that Sophie and Laura’s event have made me rekindle with the WHY!

Go and check out the guide NOW!

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Personalise Fathers Day

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I would say one of my greatest skills has always been shopping. I know where to find most things, I LOVE sale rails and charity shopping. However over the past year of meeting new creatives and having Ollie I have developed a huge passion for all things hand-made when it comes to crafts and gifts.

So when I decided to look at an online card site for our fathers day cards, it suddenly occurred to me that although these cards would be lovely and arrive on time to our wonderful dads and grandads, the sentimental value was really a big fat ZERO.

Then Ollie shouted me from his room and the idea was formed to create memories with him for the role models in our lives.

It was a simple process that formed some stunning results.

Step 1 – I set up some paper on the floor with masking tape to secure it down.

Step 2 – I poured 3 colours of paint into a thin tub

Step 3 – I laid down all of the cards in a row

Step 4 – I stripped Ollie down to his nappy (our new washing machine had not yet arrived)

Step 4 – We got our hands dirty 🙂

We had a great time dipping Ollie’s fingers into the paint and pressing them onto the cards. He really enjoyed moving his fingers around and feeling the paint on his skin. He did keep rubbing paint on his legs and giggling as well.

We had to create 9 cards all together.

Me and Dan then added the squares and the text to each card (of which I have to admit Dan’s looked better than mine this time shhhhhhhh)

Once we had them all written out, we involved Ollie even more and photographed him posting each one individually.

OlliepostmanHappy Fathers day to our wonderful dads, step-dads, grandads and great-grandads we LOVE you so much, your wisdom, love and stories fill us with wonder and hope.

For all of those who may not be able to share their love with their dads today, my thoughts go out to you; even though this day may make you feel sad, feel AMAZING that they are with you and created you for AMAZING things 🙂 Make them proud.

A massive Fathers Day Hug to Dan too from our beautiful boy. You have made our world a wonderful place to be and I thank you, as does Ollie, everyday for what you are doing for our family.

HUGE LOVE and Happy Fathers Day

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Gratitude

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‘Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioural and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.’ (http://www.thechangeblog.com/gratitude/)

What are you thankful for?

Do you say thank you daily?

One of my new tasks that makes me see the abundance in my life everyday is saying THANK YOU; I say thank you to people who provide great customer service; I say thank you to those around me who love and support me; I say thank you for the feeling of the sun on my skin, I say thank you for the laughter of my son.

I read a book about 6 months ago called ‘The road less travelled’ (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Less-Travelled-Arrow-New-Age/dp/0099727404). One part of it in particular CHANGED my life and I would like to share that with you.

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I was reading this book whilst I was at the doctors one morning, after what had been a very difficult month relationship wise. Me and my partner were experiencing very high stress levels and this was causing arguments. We were getting married very soon, our son was starting to be mobile and all the changes from the previous few months were putting a pressure on our relationship we had not experienced before.

Sitting there, in the surgery, not wanting to talk to anyone; I buried my head and absorbed the words, looking for something to help raise the smiles in our house again… and then in one chapter it said ‘SAY THANK YOU’ (I don’t want to spoil this for anyone that reads this so I am not going to quote the book, I want you to experience what I did when reading it).

SAY THANK YOU!

So what nerve did that hit for me?

I realised I had spent months putting pressure on my hardworking husband to ‘help more’ and although that help may have been needed, what I was not doing was thanking him for what he HAD been helping me with. It was a lightbulb moment for our relationship.

When I left the doctors I called Dan straight away and said something along the lines of:

‘Hi babe, I hope your having a good day. I just wanted to ring you to say that I know I have been talking about needing more help lately but I have realised that I have not been appreciative of what you are doing for me and I just wanted to call and say THANK YOU’

It was a lovely phone call and on hanging up the phone I felt AMAZING, I felt grateful, I felt positive and I felt appreciative.

That one phone call CHANGED the course of the next few months leading up to our wedding.

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MOVING FORWARD

So moving on from that call I have looked more at the power of saying thank you. I have said it to family members, I have said it to cashiers, other drivers, random people that do something I can be grateful for…even myself.

WHY? Because it makes me realise just how much others do and how much a little appreciation goes along way; it helps build relationships and it makes people smile. It made me realise I had the power to work on some important relationships in my life by showing my gratitude.

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Sometimes I may not see anyone, or experience something to say THANK YOU for personally. So every day I make sure I know what I am grateful for and I thank the ‘universe’ for everything I have and will have.

I write a gratitude list every evening before bed, then in the morning I re-read my list and start my day with a HUGE feeling of positivity, abundance and love.

As i write this just before I head to bed I thought I would share this list with you this evening:

1 – I am grateful for my supportive family and friends

2 – I am grateful for my new relocation to Brighton

3 – I am grateful for my fantastic business partners

4 – I am grateful for my health

5 – I am grateful for the ease of technology to keep in touch with family

6 – I am grateful for my self development journey

7 – I am grateful for the sunshine today for a day out with Ollie and friends

8 – I am grateful for my successful online business

9 – I am grateful for the amazing customer service from Cafe Nero and Accessories

10 – I am grateful for Ollie’s laughter

11 – I am grateful for meeting new people who can enhance my business and life

12 – I am grateful for my determination

13 – I am grateful for my vision

14 – I am grateful for my husbands tenacious, hardworking personality

15 – I am grateful for LOVE

If I am grateful for something or someone I tell them, I have even texted people randomly when I have thought about how much they mean to me 🙂

What are you grateful for? I would love to hear what meant something to you today.

THANK YOU for being amazing and spending the time reading my ramblings. Goodnight.

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The New You – Breaking the habit

habit
          1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

 

To all of you lovely people who have missed my posts. I am back with clarity and focus of what I want to share with you. I have spent a lot of time on my personal development, I have been reading and listening to audio and putting all of the things I am learning into practice.

 

A huge part of this has been looking at self destructive ‘habits’ that were not helping me move forward in my life and my business; they were stopping me from developing and reaching my potential in every area of my life especially my business and my relationships. I have really enjoyed this development and have now put in place positive habits that are helping me progress and grow.
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It takes on average 30 days of doing something consistently to make something a habit. So I have set my habit changes for the month, we are only 8 days in and what a difference it has made. (I have created a habit sheet with 30 days on, I tick each day I use the positive habit instead of the negative).

 

It seems so easy to stop something that may be ‘difficult’ or ‘new’ but if you are consistently challenging yourself you are growing and ‘If you are not growing, your dying’ (Anthony Robbins)
So what habits have I set to change… well I had a few that I would like to work on but at the moment I am looking at my productivity in my life, business and relationships; what do I mean you ask? I am glad you asked. I, like many others, HAD a ‘habit’ of procrastination, this can mean I WAS not meeting up with friends and family and maintaining those important relationships. It can mean I WAS using excuses to not do something like ‘oh I will do the washing then make a phone call’ (It takes longer to do the washing Louise – yes head fairy I know).

 

It also means that I LEFT tasks that are very simple to be done another time, that other time TURNED into the ONLY time that I am able to do anything so I feel stressed because I have to do EVERYTHING that I set for myself. NOTE TO SELF: Just to do it NOW!

 

So this is habit one that I have been working on. DO SOMETHING WHEN IT NEEDS DOING!
The second is a little more specific but in the same area of productivity…ready for it FACEBOOK! Ok now I know that sometimes a good Facebook stalking session is therapeutic but be honest, do you really need to look up this new contacts great aunt and see what they were doing in 2009 and what hair colour they had? NO.
‘Hello my name is ……………………….and I have a Facebook addition’ (How many people just added their name?)

 

It is incredible the power that social media has on our lives, for others they use different platforms but for me it WAS always Facebook. I would lose myself for hours, the tea would burn, the bath overrun and a number of times I did not want to take that all important loo break.

 

So how have I now tackled this habit?

 

I like to read and I like to read self development and business books… so I have set myself the NEW habit of:

 

Read for at least 30 minutes or 10 pages of a book, that is helping towards building yourself or your business, BEFORE checking Facebook. Now you will be pleased to know this is going really well, the trend that has set in is that I will get up to read INSTEAD of Facebook stalking (or reading every post I read the night before bed) then Ollie will wake and my day starts. I actually am not checking Facebook until about 9:30am now WOW I know right????
SO my third ‘negative habit’ that I have challenged is again for productivity in my life… Ollie’s nap times.

 

Now as a mum it is VERY tempting to use this time in 1 of two ways (I tried both and it was not successful) 1: Vegetate or 2: CLEAN EVERYTHING (That will be messy in an hour anyway).

 

How many of you mums reading this can relate to that? Now I am a full time mum and yes I am busy being a mum. But I run a successful business alongside a chaotic baby boy HOW you ask? NAP TIME!!!!

 

Neither of the above were really working for me and my productivity would drop over the course of the week (after nursery on a Monday). I have now stopped creating more stress for myself by worrying about ALL of the things I need to do during the day and I ENJOY the time with my son. I use nap times and after bedtime to do all of those business tasks that having a toddler hanging off your leg hinders a little.
When you want to ANYTHING successfully time management is KEY to that success. All of the above ‘habits’ that I wanted to change were all achieved by the use of effective time management.

 

Now that I have tackled these habits I am a new ME:

 

I am in control

 

I am calm

 

I am successful

 

I am positive

 

I am happy

 

I am motivated

 

I am proud

 

I am ABLE

 

I am inspired

 

I am educated

 

I am ME

 

 

This has been a really fun journey and I am excited for the future ME.

 

What are your negative habits? What would you change in your life?
I hope you find some of my journey useful.
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