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Bouquet & Bells / The Magazine Issue 04: Pre-Order Now!
BY CLAIRE BOON
5 MIN READ
Issue 04 of Bouquet & Bells / The Magazine is now available for PRE-ORDER!
First of all, we sincerely hope your wedding plans are back on track. It’s so lovely to see weddings beginning to happen again, and we are excited to continue to inspire you through our magazine.
This bumper issue celebrates weddings getting back on track. You won’t find anything but positivity and hopefulness here! With features including a mixture of lavish and upmarket dos along with the more alternative and intimate celebration, this issue is full-to-bursting with the best inspiration for your day. Plus, we’ve gathered together 50+ unique ideas that will make your day stand out and be remembered for all the right reasons.
We also spoke with real couples that have kindly shared their personal stories on how their wedding was affected by COVID-19 including Jessica & Jonathan’s viral wedding. We hope this gives you a sense of not feeling like you’re alone, and no matter what, love always wins.
To tie everything together, we help solve the most common wedding problems submitted by real couples.
All our issues include a full supplier directory filled with the businesses we have worked with and trust. There’s a huge selection including bridal wear, florists, entertainment and everything in between.
This bumper issue also includes articles from some of the best in the industry, sharing their top planning tips to help make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
Once again, we have YOU to thank for the cover image of this issue. We shared a poll on Instagram (@bouquetandbells) and asked you to pick your fave image from a selection of options and this was the clear winner – we think it’s a bloody marvellous choice! We have the incredible Twigs Branch Photography to thank for capturing the striking image of Harley & David at a Viking shoot we coordinated earlier in the year. See the full feature inside this issue.
Your wedding day has finally arrived! You’ve probably not slept much the night before, and are conscious that numerous people are going to begin bundling through your front door any moment. So how can you keep calm and focused? How can you actually survive and enjoy the should-be-exciting getting ready process?
I was very lucky to get married in June this year, and I was really looking forward to having all my bridesmaids and closest family members around whilst I got ready, but I knew I had to prepare and I have a lot of tips that can help you survive the getting ready process (and actually enjoy it!).
It’s all in the prep
I’d highly recommend getting as organised as possible in advance to the day. This will avoid rushing around trying to get everything done on the morning of.
Buy some yummy nibbles, a range of drinks (soft and bubbly), make sure all the bathrooms are clean and beds are fresh for a relaxed start. I also arranged designated areas for the hair stylists and makeup artists to set up and prepared it for their arrival.
I also prepared a Spotify playlist, filled with feel good songs to play throughout the morning. You can listen and download it here.
Print off your morning schedule
I created a morning schedule with all the important events of the morning listed. This included things like what time the photographer was due to arrive, what time to leave for the church etc. Basically anything I needed to remember I put into the schedule.
It’s so important to take some time out to chill, have a bite to eat and drink lots of water. The time goes very quickly so it’s good to enjoy the moment.
Get dressed in plenty of time
The bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride should get into their dresses around 45 minutes before leaving, then they can all assist you.
My bridesmaids totally underestimated the amount of time if takes to get into dresses (sorry ladies!). The final half hour turned into a mad rush to get everyone dressed and out the door. The bridal cars were outside eagerly anticipating our departure, but the neighbours kept them chatting!
It’s important to remember that it will take the longest time to get you into your dress (especially if you have buttons running all down the back like I did!) so get your bridesmaids to help as soon as they’re dressed.
I hope you’ve gained some tips and tricks to getting ready on your wedding day. Don’t forget that you can access my library of free planning resources by clicking here.
You’ve secured the date, booked your dream wedding venue and drafted the all important guest list.
But it’s the small details at a wedding that make all the difference. Guests will remember your day for the little extras, and these will make your day the most talked about wedding for years.
Here are my top simple and budget friendly picks to make your guests say “wow”.
Keep them entertained
Weddings are often a looong day. And with the wedding breakfast lasting up to two and a half hours on average, it’s important to keep your guests throughly entertained. Having games on the table is a good, simple way to keep guests alert and they can also be a fantastic ice breaker if guests aren’t familiar with each other.
Your wedding budget. Something that Brides want to ignore, and most simply don’t know where to start when it comes to setting a budget, distributing costs and keeping track of everything.
That’s why I decided to make my incredibly handy wedding budget planner available for YOU to download, fo’ free.
I’ve used this spreadsheet numerous times during my time as a Wedding Planner, and Brides have found it incredibly useful to track funds throughout the entire planning process.
Listen up, ‘cos I’m about to discuss why it’s ESSENTIAL to have a clear budget and to manage it well.
Having a precise budget right from the start sets a clear path to follow. Here are a few more reasons why setting a budget is the most important thing you can do:
1. You won’t waste time. Avoid having consultations with suppliers you later discover you can’t afford, and rustling up ideas you know aren’t realistic.
2. It’s easy to get carried away. The cost of an average wedding in the UK is now at a staggering £22,000. Ouch. It’s so easy to want more because let’s face it, there are tonnes of options out there, so having a budget will avoid temptation.
3. No nasty surprises. Keeping track of everything throughout the process gives you a clear idea of how much you have left to spend. Forget going over budget or realising you can’t afford something after putting a deposit down.
Setting a budget and shopping around will cut costs. Fact.
1. It covers absolutely everything you could ever possibly need to budget towards for your wedding day.
2. It allows you to keep track of deposits you pay and the date you book everything, as well as a handy notes section for important details (outstanding balance, cost per head, Bridesmaids requests etc.).
3. It has an entire column of average wedding costs to help guide you.
Use this wedding budget planner throughout the process and you’ll avoid mistakes and save on cost.
Most Bride’s are unaware of hidden wedding costs. But you’re already very wise to search the net for any potential nasty surprises that will knock a hole in your budget.
With lots of hidden wedding costs sprinkled throughout the planning process, it can cause you to go way above your budget, around 30% in fact. Ouch.
So where are these hidden costs? And how can you avoid them? Listen up, my friend, cos’ I’m about to teach you a whole lot.
Grab a pen and paper to jot down some of my essential tips.
SET-UP & BREAKDOWN
Are you going to hire a florist? A venue dresser? A cake maker? Each of these will charge various fees to cover transport costs, and the time it takes to set-up and breakdown items.
This can be anything from 20% of a single suppliers total costs. And obviously, the more suppliers you use, the more you can expect to pay in these fees.
Alterations can be costly for the Brides and Bridesmaids dresses. Before you buy, you must ask what the stores alteration policy is.
It’s extremely common for the Bride and Bridesmaids to fluctuate in size, and you don’t want to be forking out potentially double your original budget in alterations.
This can cost anything from £100 per dress.
It seems most Brides are still opting for the more traditional method of posting the invitations to guests. Which personally I LOVE, however, you must remember that not only are you paying for the invitations to be delivered, but also for stamps and RSVPs.
To keep costs down, avoid bulky or large invitations and use RSVP postcards rather than letters.
This is fo’ sure my biggest tip. If you take anything away with you today, let it be this.
Ask your venue what exactly is included in your chosen package.
Table linen? Chairs? Cake table? Lighting? These aspects can be the most costly for a wedding. And do you know why? Because it’s a WEDDING, so venues know they can be sneaky and charge up to triple what they usually would.
Be very careful that you’re not purely paying for hire of the venue.
These costs can add an additional £75 EXTRA per person. Say what?!
Bringing in your own wine sounds like a good get out of extra fees, right? It can be, but be wary of the corkage charges.
If you bring your own alcohol to avoid the venue’s costs, you may still rack up a similarly priced bill. And you may even be charged glass rental fees.
Corkage fees range from venue to venue, so it’s always worth asking.
While having an outdoor wedding may initially seem cheaper, you may have to get permits to hold your event. Add on rentals (marquee, heater, generator, etc.) can begin to get costly.
Some indoor venues will also require a permit if you choose to use candles or other non-approved details. Inquire about these before signing the contract.
Additional add ons can cost from £500.
Some venues charge extra for guests to select their own meal from a range of dishes. This can cost an additional £2 per person. However, this is not expected by guests so make life easier for yourselves and just choose some good all rounders.
If there’s no set price for a three course meal, be cheeky and save some buck by opting for the wedding cake as desert instead.
TAXES & SERVICE CHARGES
Did someone say taxes? Yawn. Listen up though, cos’ this is important.
Tax varies from country to country, however you can expect to fork out an extra 20% on food, drink and rental fees.
Make sure that the venue package is inclusive of VAT, or at least be aware of the extra costs you’ll possibly have to pay. Sometimes, you will even be taxed on the service charge, increasing costs more.
Taxes and tips will be around 1/3 of your budgeted amount.
I truly hope you learnt some useful tips. The bottom line is, always read the small print to avoid hidden fees.
TOTAL COSTS: £8,460+
Did you know you can access a range of free, useful documentation including spreadsheets, checklists and guides to help you plan your wedding, the RIGHT way?
Deciding which flowers you’d like at your wedding will help you to focus your discussions with your florist, and most importantly, stay within budget.
It always amazes me how much of a difference flowers make to the overall look of a wedding. They are an essential factor of the venue dressing, particularly now that most florists supply decorative fixtures and fittings too.
The first step to finding the perfect blooms is to sit down and put together a list of all the floral elements you could ever possibly need for your wedding day, including your favourite flowers. We’ve made things super easy for you by creating a pre-made checklist.
Not only that, but we’ve also attached a completely free downloadable version of the checklist for you to print off and take along to your florist appointment. So get your pencil out and start ticking off which flowers are the most essential for your wedding day.
Stuck for a professional, reliable florist? We’ve got an extensive list of trustworthy contacts that we’ve worked with all over the North West. Get in touch for some guidance.
Number of daytime guests: Number of evening guests:
Type of preferred flowers:
Bride, Bridesmaids and Flower Girl:
Number of Bridesmaids:
Number of Flower Girls:
□ Bride’s bouquet
□ Bride’s hair flowers
□ Bridesmaids’ bouquets
□ Bridesmaids’ hair flowers
□ Tossing bouquet
□ Flower girl’s basket
Grooms, Groomsmen, Ushers and Ring Bearer:
Number of Groomsmen:
□ Groom’s boutonniere
□ Groomsmen’s boutonnieres
□ Usher’s boutonnieres
□ Ring bearer’s boutonniere
Family Members: □ Mother of the bride’s corsage
□ Mother of the groom’s corsage
□ Father of the bride’s boutonniere
□ Father of the groom’s boutonniere
□ Grandmother’s corsages
□ Grandfather’s boutonnieres
□ Entryway or welcome table arrangements
□ Altar/chuppah arrangements
□ Pew or chair arrangements
□ Aisle decorations
□ Confetti for guests
Reception Flowers: Number of guest tables:
□ Entrance arrangements
□ Bar arrangements
□ Gift table arrangements
□ Table plan arrangement
□ Top table arrangements
□ Bride’s and groom’s chair decorations
□ Guest chair decorations
□ Buffet-table/food-station arrangements
□ Lounge area arrangements
□ Flowers for wedding cake
□ Cake table arrangements
□ Bathroom decorations
□ Getaway car arrangements
One thing you should consider when you buy wedding favours for your guests is if they’ll keep and use them. After all, it’s such a waste of money if your guests are binning the favours as soon as they get home. Here are some of the best wedding favours (I believe) that will make your guests think twice about throwing them away.
A unique stunning wedding tea favour for your guests with a choice of tea carefully packed into a corked bottle. A number of variations are possible with this from the size of the bottle, the type of tea blend, the style of tag and the type of stamp you would like.
These handmade macarons make a yummy wedding favour. Beautifully wrapped in organza bags or small boxes containing 1 or 2 macarons each, you can even personalise your favours with your own personal message and choice of ribbon colour to match your events colour scheme.
Perfect as Wedding favours, this attractive gift set contains 40 beautifully & individually boxed Votive Candles in the ever-popular ‘Wedding Day’ fragrance. Ideal for your guests as a reminder of your big day.
6. Lotto Tickets
Package the lotto tickets up nicely, perhaps in an elegant envelope or paired with a small snack. Giving them on their own may come off tacky because the tickets aren’t very visually appealing.