Engagement stationery

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Today on the blog I welcome the wonderfully talented stationery artisan Lorraine Burt from Caboodle Wedding Stationery. Lorraine creates the most beautiful, timeless wedding stationery for her discerning couples. Naturally I had to ask….”can you give me 3 timeless and romantic wedding stationery items to order” and here we are! Thank you for joining us Lorraine – your work is sublime!

Timeless and romantic wedding stationery items

Stationery, beautiful stationery there’s nothing quite like it is there? Stationery to grace a wedding is better still. I love the romance of it, beautiful papers ribbons and embellishments. Making something meaningful out of simple things. I’ve been creating timeless handmade stationery for many years for those special days. Every project lovingly made for each couple from bijou to grand scale events or somewhere in between. So the question is beyond the immediate stationery items such as your invitations, menus and place names what could bring more joy to the day?

Olivia here at wonderful Host Weddings & Events has asked me about extras for you to consider that can add a little ‘ooooo’ and ‘ahhhhh’ to your big day (or even before!).

The Proposal

Timeless and romantic wedding stationery items

Your proposal may have already happened and if it has, this is an idea you could pass on to one your besties for a few brownie points! It goes without saying that you want the proposal to be romantic. Unforgettable. What if you could keep a wee bit of that romance and make it last forever? Beyond photo’s, not just in your head but with a keepsake from that moment that you can bring out each year maybe on your anniversary or displayed somewhere to make you smile. Something that will last. I am a sucker for anything ‘handwritten’. I always have been.

The meaning and the care which goes into it and the story behind it. These were my thoughts with the shell ring boxes. Imagining after strolling down a beach, someone being presented with what looks like a beautiful shell, and opening it to find not only a ring, but also a little personal note handwritten and rolled inside. It might be words of a proposal, or a carefully chosen quote which will remind you forever of this moment. Or perhaps you might want to have your wedding rings with a special note instead for the ceremony itself. Both equally capturing a moment to treasure for always.

Welcome Notes

Timeless and romantic wedding stationery items

These are such a warm idea for any couple to provide. Until this year I hadn’t come across couples requesting welcome notes. I instantly fell in love with the idea. Perfect for country house retreat weddings where couples have hired their dream venue to share with the bridal party for a couple of days. It’s the unexpectedness of them for your guests that makes them so special.

A little personal note from the couple welcoming you to their celebration, waiting for them in their room on arrival. It may have a sketch of your venue which your guests can take away as a little reminder. It may give hint’s as to what’s in store or what the venue has to offer or in the case of a castle or stately home a little history about where they’re staying. Not essential but certainly very thoughtful way to say how close to your hearts they are.

Vow Books

Timeless and romantic wedding stationery items

One of my absolute favourites as they are your promise to one another held together forever. Check out the last blog post on ‘Ceremonies filled with love’ to understand more about the ceremony portion of your day. Couples no longer need produce a piece of paper from which to read their heartfelt vows. You can have small booklets created (co-ordinating with your stationery suite) with deckled edged handmade papers and silk ribbon or wax seals and beautiful script. These little booklets look so dreamy in your photos and with a gift box they make wonderful keepsakes.

Your stationer can print your vows inside or prepare them with blank pages so you can write your vows yourself. I offer both options. It is heart warming to find that most couples do choose to write them themselves, making them extra personal.

Whatever you choose for your stationery suite enjoy the time to make it uniquely yours bringing that extra frisson both to the day and long after. It’s a little way to bring that touch of magic that I delight in doing for every couple and I hope has given you timeless and romantic wedding stationery items to play with.

Instagram: @caboodleweddings

Etsy Shop: WholeCaboodleDesign.etsy.com

Website: Caboodle.wedding

Email: info@caboodle.wedding

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Today on the journal, I am delighted to have Tara Heath-Arnold join us to talk about ceremonies filled with love. Tara is a professional independent wedding celebrant. Spreading joy and love to all the couples she works with within the South West of England. Tara talks to us today about personalised wedding ceremonies and the different elements that make each and every one so unique to the couple exchanging vows. Thank you Tara.

The role of a wedding Celebrant is a role that is filled with so much joy and love. As I often talk on my social media platforms, we are with couples and families on the most important days of their lives. This really is an honour and a privilege.

Personal Wedding Ceremony

During the years that I have worked as a wedding Celebrant I have met so many amazing couples and families who I have got to know well through the journey of writing and crafting their wedding scripts. It really is such a personal and wonderful experience. The icing on the cake is delivering the ceremony of their dreams. A moment in time that they and their guests will remember for many years.

If possible, I always try and meet with my couples at least twice in the run up to the wedding day. Getting to know them as a couple and as individuals is equally as important. Listening to what they want for their ceremony is always top of my list. The first thing that I ask them to do is to complete a personal questionnaire which always forms the basis of the ceremony and from there I will start to work the magic!

The giving away

The giving away is always such a breath taking moment. There have been so many variations over the past few years to include a couple walking in together, to a bride walking in alone, to a bride being given away by both sets of parents, the variations are endless.

Personal readings

I have seen not only friends and family deliver the most amazing readings over the years, but a very lovely bride herself deliver an epic reading which brought the house down! When it comes to readings, they don’t always have to be traditional love poems about marriage, but they can be song lyrics, excerpts from special and meaningful books or bespoke words written by the readers themselves.

The love story

Part of my role as a Celebrant is to also write and deliver what I call their love story or their journey. This will include highlights about how they met, when they fell in love, the proposal and right through to their hopes and aspirations for the future. And if appropriate, I always like to weave in a little humour as well. It’s great to have a few laughs within the ceremony to keep the tone light and fun.

Personal vows

If possible I also encourage my couples to write their own personal vows if they would like to. To me, this is often the heart of the ceremony. The vows are normally sent to me independently so they are not only a surprise for the couple, but also to their guests. This is such an incredibly special part of the ceremony and always fills my heart with so much joy.

Symbolic elements

Some couples are also keen to include symbolic elements within their ceremonies as an extra personal touch. These can include the lighting of unity candles, sand ceremonies, rose ceremonies and my absolute favourite, handfasting ceremonies. Handfasting originates from an ancient Celtic tradition going back as far as 7000 B.C. It literally means tying the knot! As well as the ring exchange, celebrants can also write ceremonies to include ring warming ceremonies and ring blessings, again adding variation and that very personal touch.

Support & guidance

There are also no restrictions when you decide to have a celebrant, so you can hold your ceremony at a venue of your choice, with no limitations on the length or content of your ceremony, ensuring that you get the ceremony of your dreams with all those special and personal touches.

The role of a wedding Celebrant is so important in terms of guiding and supporting our couples and families through this very beautiful process. Celebrant led ceremonies are just wonderful, they are filled with so much joy and love.

Tara is available to craft and officiate your personalised joy filled ceremony across the Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire areas. Take a look at her wonderful website here to find out more.

If you’re looking for a wedding planner to take the stress away and help you create an unforgettable, romantic and timeless occasion, do get in touch with me here.

Autumn/Winter Wedding Bouquet Bijoux Floral

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Today, I have the pleasure of publishing this guest led expert piece from my talented friend and colleague, Becci from Bijoux Floral Design. Becci was my first port of call when I decided to feature floral inspiration for autumn and winter weddings- she absolutely knows her stuff! Thank you Becci for your insight.

One of the most common questions that my couples ask when getting married in the Autumn / Winter months is ‘are there many flowers in season?’. The answer is absolutely yes!

Personally, this time of the year is one of my favourites. Woolly hats, hot chocolate, candle light and a roaring fire. As a florist I take inspiration from everything around me. The changing colours of trees, berries and when designing flowers I love to be able to incorporate these elements into the designs. It doesn’t haven’t to be anything big and bold but a little gesture to the season you are marrying in.

I start the design process with my clients by finding out about their story. What is important to them and how we can represent this through the art of flowers. Colour and style are almost always two of the most important parts. I always encourage my clients to choose a style and colour palette that represents them. Just because you are getting married in the darker months it doesn’t mean you cannot have the colour palette of your choice.

Here’s some top tips on how you can still have your chosen colour palette but making it more seasonally friendly.

Blush & White

This has to be one of the most popular colour palette for weddings. In the Autumn/Winter months I always recommend adding an accent colour such as clove. This warms up the designs and adds some real depth. It can be achieved with foliage such as dark hazel and chocolate cosmos.

White & Green

A timeless classic combination. Think about using different textures and shapes of flowers to add some interest, there are some stunning berries available such as snowberries and hypericum. If you would like a wintery look but not Christmassy then silver foliage such as eucalyptus works really well. If you are aiming for a Christmas inspired wedding then deep greens work especially well even with a pop of red ilex berries.

Rich Red & Browns

A popular choice for autumnal weddings. However this colour palette can be very strong and not for everyone. We are blessed to have some of the most beautiful autumnal blooms. The very popular ‘Toffee’ rose teams with a Vienna copper chrysanthemum work especially well with this colour scheme. I always soften these colours by introducing a secondary colour such as apricot. Adding some dried elements and bracken will help to add some texture and interest to a design. As a florist I try to stay away from absorbed / colour foliage’s as the dye can transfer to your dress. These designs work well with rustic elements such as oak tables and a simple table runner to soften the look.

Beautiful blooms available at this time of year

Dahlias – so many shapes, sizes and colours, these are normally in season until the end of October.

Hydrangeas – as the season changes so do their colour, you will notice lots muted colours are available

Ranunuclus – if you’re a peony lover then these are for you. Full of ruffly petals and romance. Typically a spring flower we see them arrive in the market from November onwards

Anemones – these are a striking flowers, normally with a ‘black eye’ they can add a real statement to designs.

Textured flowers – at this time of year we see flowers that can also be used as a foliage such as skimmia and ginister.

Foliage there is any abundance of foliage available to you, in different shades of green. However, contrary to popular belief foliage isn’t always a more budget friendly option

Berries – there are so many berries available in shades of blue, brown. Red, white and even pink. These include snowberries, hypericum, viburnham.

The design process

When designing your wedding flowers, it’s important to look at the whole day and how styling elements will help you to achieve the overall feel of your wedding. As the nights draw in, it’s important to think about how you will make your venue feel more inviting. In my opinion you can never have too much candlelight, it adds opulent feeling to your wedding and a sense if warmth. If your desired look is on the warmer side then always use warmer shades of accessories such as gold, clove for that rich look.

If you would like your wedding to feel more chic and clean for a winter look then silvers work especially well even with accent of black. Candlelight, fairy lights work really well with this look.

Work with the experts

It doesn’t just end with the flowers and the table décor. For a cohesive look work with a floral stylist and planner we have years of experience and have managed many weddings. We will be able to advise you on the colour of your linen, cutlery and glassware. It’s often the little details that get overlooked but are so important.

I truly believe that your wedding is your own story of love and happiness and no two stories are ever the same. You’re not living someone else’s fairy tale, you’re writing your own!

Flowers take shape from stories, and I can’t wait to be part of yours.


Becci is a talented floral designer based in the South West – bringing your wedding day to life with timeless elegance and romance! You can find out more about Becci and her work here.

Differences between English and American weddings

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It’s been a while, but I am beyond excited to be back writing for you! I thought it would be rather fun to highlight differences between English and American Weddings in today’s post. So here we go….

I am so lucky to work with the nicest UK destination couples who live across the pond in the States. They tend to be dreaming of a quintessential English countryside wedding. Think Bridgerton and Jane Austen inspired occasions, which, by the way, I am totally here for! I love to use my knowledge of English culture from the landscape and locations, history, literature, venues, vendors and traditions to help my couples plan a beautiful, heartfelt celebration full of joy. I actually feel that many American wedding traditions have slowly entered British society. Quite frankly, they actually enhance the overall experience, in my opinion.

Grittleton House American Destination Wedding | Photographer: Kristin Sauttter | Planner: Host Weddings & Events Planner
All images by Kristin Sautter. Venue: Grittleton House

There are undoubtedly subtle differences that my American clients can expect from hosting their wedding over here in the UK. I get asked a lot about hat wearing, catering and guest lists – so here we are with this piece. Some of the differences are pretty generalised. Every couple’s wedding is unique and may include a plethora of different elements and traditions from both countries.

There is one caveat. This is your wedding, so you must always choose options that suit you, not because outdated etiquette books say you should. Your wedding should be a marriage (pardon the pun!) of your personalities and tell your unique love story. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to your wedding day, this piece serves as a little bit of fun which you may well be relatable.

Rehearsal dinners aren’t common place

This is a staple at many American weddings and a standard feature. In fact, the rehearsal dinner is regarded as one of the most important parts of the celebration in the US. In the UK, the couple might part ways and stay in alternative accommodation ready for preparations the next morning. However, many English weddings are following a ‘weekend wedding’ or multiple day celebration. This includes a beautiful gathering for a smaller number of guests. Namely close friends and family/bridal party to really kick things off in good old British fashion. One of my American couples enjoyed a ladies afternoon tea and dressed up with fascinators (a little nod to British hat wearing), hot footed it to the ceremony rehearsal and then enjoyed an intimate dinner for 30 with toasts. It worked so well and I actually love the concept of extending time spent with loved ones.

There’s two separate guest lists

It’s fairly common in the UK to have an ‘all day’ guest list and then a separate evening list. This may well be due to venue capacities, cost and logistics. In America, every guest attends the full day. Increasingly, over here, I see couple’s choosing venues that can accommodate all their guests rather than segregating.

Smaller bridal party

Generally speaking, the bridal party is smaller in the UK. They sit during the ceremony (generally on the first row). The groomsmen are called Ushers and the maid of honour may be referred to as chief/head bridesmaid. The bridesmaids and the groomsmen don’t tend to walk arm in arm down the aisle but generally link up during the recessional at the end of the ceremony.

Grittleton House American Destination Wedding | Photographer: Kristin Sauttter | Planner: Host Weddings & Events Planner

The bride walks down the aisle first

Just take a look at the royal weddings and you’ll note that the bride walks in ahead of her bridal party. In America it’s common place to have the bridal party walk in first with the bride entering last. This actually happens commonly in the UK and is an American tradition that’s here to stay. It means the bride totally has her moment! If you’re a same sex couple, choose who you’d like to have this moment or alternatively walk in hand in hand and enjoy it together – the choice really is yours on this one.

What cocktail hour?

Brits have a drinks reception sandwiched between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast and this may typically include served Champagne, bottled beer, iced Pimms (I mean, this is exceedingly British!) and elderflower presse for non drinkers. It usually lasts around 1.5 – 2 hours. One of my American clients produced a signature bride and groom cocktail for this portion of the day, one American, a ‘sazerac’ and one English ‘elderflower fizz’ which was a perfect way to honour both countries.

The reception dinner is termed the “Wedding Breakfast”

No this does not mean you’ll be served a typical full english breakfast including poached eggs and bacon – don’t panic! This merely means the first meal enjoyed after marriage, the wedding breakfast as opposed to the reception dinner which American’s may use.

Grittleton House American Destination Wedding | Photographer: Kristin Sauttter | Planner: Host Weddings & Events Planner

Much loved millinery

When you think of British weddings you think hats, hats and more hats, right? Well, hats really do provide a sense of style, elegance and sophistication and can form part of your wedding dress code. It’s not a necessity at all though, at some British weddings there may not be even a small fascinator in sight – again, it’s the guests choice entirely and shouldn’t be enforced.

Morning suits and top hats for the gents

Again this is a huge generalisation. Many of the gents at American weddings will opt for a tuxedo. Whereas a traditional British wedding a morning suit (think the British high society events) is a popular choice. However, many gents opt for a bespoke tailored lounge suit, so again, the morning suits are not indicative of a British wedding, just traditional. Also, top hats are quite niche but fill your boots if you fancy giving high society a go (think Royal Ascot!).

I hope you found my musings interesting regarding this subject. What traditions do you think you’ll adopt? In short, yes, there are some minor differences but you should celebrate how you see fit. Your day, your way!

If you’re dreaming of an English Countryside Wedding, then I would absolutely love to hear from you and learn more about your love story and your UK destination wedding plans.

Olivia x

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Are you recently engaged and planning your special day? Chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed, a bit clueless and just don’t have the foggiest idea how to plan a wedding?

This post breaks down what areas needed to cover in order to get impressive, professional and unforgettable results.

  1. Time to begin

You’re still pinching yourself following on from your dreamy engagement and constantly staring at the new bling that sits on your left hand.  It’s just so sparkly! It’s important to enjoy this time, it’s a huge life event and your nearest and dearest will be super happy for you.  However there will come a point when you will need to start planning the all important day! You and your betrothed need to clear your diary for a proper wedding planning discussion.  This chat needs to touch on your preferred date/month/year, the feel and type of venue, the guest list and of course what’s available in the kitty.

  1. Set the budget

In order for you to plan effectively, you need to figure out how much you are able to afford.  Do you have savings? Will your families be contributing? Set up a separate bank account for the big day and make sure you make notes on all outgoings.

  1. Find your perfect venue

Your venue will take up a huge proportion of the day (and budget) so it need to be right and meet your criteria.  Do you fancy a castle, barn, marquee, hotel or manor house? Does it hold your guest numbers comfortably? Do they offer a catering service? You can find venues by using online directories and word of mouth recommendations.

  1. Managing your guests and their experience

A wedding isn’t a celebration without guests! Your nearest and dearest sharing this day with you will be what makes the day so memorable. You want to be able to provide a wonderful experience for your guests to ensure they are comfortable and satisfied as it can be a very long day! You’ll need to write out your guests list (I’d advise using a spreadsheet), carefully select your table plan, and think about how to manage family issues and consider how to best look after elderly, disabled guests and children.  You will also want to think about fun, original ideas to keep your guests entertained during the day.

  1. Decor, theming and the finishing touches

This is such a huge area and is the element that is most personal to you both. The overall look and feel can bring out your personalities/likes and make the day extra special for your guests. If you have lots of items to coordinate on the day and don’t want the stress of organising, I would strongly suggest hiring a stylist of wedding planner to assist with this. Not all couples are into the design elements and that’s fine too, whatever suits you both best is my motto!  You need to think about colour, flowers, linens, lighting, stationery and much more.  It’s all about the attention to detail!

  1. Supplier sourcing

Suppliers are the wedding professionals who will help your day come alive. They have the skills set needed to assist you to make your wedding day go without a hitch! So who will be chosen for your wedding a-team? Have you been given recommendations or have you searched online? From cake makers to wedding gift lists – you have to cover all bases.

  1. Wedding Day Schedule and Checklists

The day needs a clear structure and time line.  Start with your ceremony time and work from there.  There are also certain things you need to do in advance of your special day to ensure nothing is forgotten!

  1. The big day and post wedding

It’s now time to enjoy your special day!  With all your hardwork behind you, you now must relax and take in the day from start to finish.  Once you are married and have gone back to reality, there are some tasks that need to be addressed such as thanking guests, dry cleaning your dress and legally changing your name amongst others.

So that’s what you need to cover to make your wedding the best day ever, but how do you go about it? Cue my signature 8 step wedding planning course – The Online Wedding Planner.  Covering all you need to know to plan your wedding like a professional.

The course includes:

  • 8 easy to follow modules (using the headings above)
  • Video tutorials
  • Course notes
  • Downloadable files – checklists, venue visit sheets, guest list planner, table planner, budget planner, venue decor sheets
  • Access to facebook group for ongoing support and advice
  • Anytime access from the comfort of your own home
  • Bridges the gap between hiring a wedding planner and doing everything yourself

The best thing is that I’m offering £100 off for a limited time only, so sign up here today!

Happy Planning!

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I don’t know about you but between Christmas and New Year, where you get a little time to yourself, I always like to reflect on the past year.  It’s really important to take stock, learn from any errors or mistakes and show gratitude for the people and experiences that have shaped the past 365 days.

2018 has been a really fabulous year for Host Weddings & Events but also personally for me and my family.  I will always think fondly of 2018 – the year that I tied the knot myself and that endless summer which seemed to just keep on going.  I have worked with the best clients this year, helping them make memories that will last a lifetime and for me that’s just the best part of my job.  I always feel very honoured to be a part of a couple’s wedding day or involved in a family celebration.  That’s what life is about isn’t it – celebrating the good stuff in life and I’m lucky enough to be able to plan these life events!

So here’s a little round up of 2018 – an absolute belter!


A flurry of enquiries came our way in early Spring and I was so excited to start working with new couples, each with their own ideas and personalities.  It’s so important to me to get to know my clients as people.  I always schedule in a lengthy call at the beginning of the enquiry process, followed with a bespoke, personalised proposal.

I enjoyed working with two couples on their May weddings one at Arnos Vale in Bristol and the other at The Guildhall in Bath.


The summer time is always a busy one here at Host HQ, but this summer especially was jam packed with the addition of my very own special day! Mine and Mr R’s wedding can be found over on wedding blog Whimsical Wonderland Weddings – feel free to have a nose.  We had the most amazing day full of love and laughter.

We were so lucky with the weather weren’t we?! Oh my goodness – it was a blessing really as all my Summer weddings had outdoor elements from outdoor ceremonies to marquees and tipi’s.  I love the relaxed feeling of the countryside weddings that I plan.  The majority of the weddings were held at family homes, which adds such a personal, chilled out feel to proceedings.  As well as the private homes, I also got the chance to work at the absolutely stunning The Lost Orangery in Wiltshire.  I actually felt like I had traveled to Italy for the day – the views, the architecture, the lake, the gardens – wow – just wow!


Animals also played a huge part in the weddings I planned this year from one of my brides arriving to her ceremony on horseback, llamas attending as a surprise to the groom at another and dogs being ring bearers – they all had such a big part to play and were all wonderful!


I was lucky enough to help organise a golden wedding celebration at the marvelous Maunsel House in Somerset.  My client was based in New York so we arranged many a video call.  The event was booked over a three day period with family and friends attending from all over the world.  My client wanted to use this occasion to bring their loved ones together and treat it as a reunion.  It was such a special event with cultural ceremonies and traditions thrown in.

Behind the scenes I was working on my new brand with my designer Louise, ready for it’s launch in November.  I also planned on launching a brand new venue consultancy as I have a passion for wedding venues and what they represent.

I also found out that I had become a finalist in the wedding planner category in the South West with The Wedding Industry Awards – exciting!


November was all about my launch party which was held at The Florist in Bristol.  You can read about it here.  It was such a fabulous evening with so many people taking the time to celebrate with me.  It felt great to have the new brand out there, live for the world to see.  I’m so pleased with the outcome!

The following week I attended The Wedding Industry Awards South West Regional final.  The awards ceremony takes place every year with a different South West venue hosting.  This year saw the turn of the very beautiful Rockbeare Manor in Devon. The night was full of anticipation and although it wasn’t to be for Host this time, I was so chuffed to have made it to the finals and so delighted that my couples had voted for me – thank you so much for your support – it means so much!

So what’s left to say is thank you for your continued support.  Thank you for the talented and hardworking suppliers I’ve worked with this year, thank you to my clients for booking me and trusting me to do them proud.  Thank you to my wonderful family for always supporting me on this journey! I couldn’t do it without any of you!

I am so looking forward to what 2019 holds for Host Weddings & Events.  I cannot wait to work with more clients, planning life’s celebrations and helping them to make everlasting memories.

Happy new year to you all – I wish you health and happiness for the year ahead.

Olivia x


Photography credits

Laura Power

Adrian Hibbert

The Springles

Irena K

Albert Palmer

Emily & Steve 

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Welcome to my journal! This is the first post that I have written and published since I re-branded and launched my new-look website.  What do you think? I’m basically in love with it! I love the neutral tones, the soft black and the hints of gold.  What I love the most though is the tagline “Planning life’s celebrations” because that’s the business I am in and it’s what makes my job so rewarding.  So massive thanks to Louise from Fleurir Creative!

Not only have I re-branded this business, I have launched a brand new venue consultancy – Host Venue Consultancy.  Helping venues achieve the success they truly deserve.  Earlier in the day, I held a mini shoot to showcase my new business with the lovely Sam from Vaughan-Stephens Photography.

Naturally, to celebrate a party was in order.  In my opinion, there should be a party to celebrate all life events and as it’s what I actually do as an occupation, I didn’t really have a choice!

The party was held at The Florist, Bristol.  Probably one of the most instagrammable bars in the city and a venue that has the most perfect exclusive use area with a private bar.  Good job I had Adrian Hibbert on hand to take images of the party unfolding!

My lovely sister and talented, award-winning MUA Jessica, made me party ready with her makeup skills.

My guests were treated to a “florist bellini” cocktail  on arrival, created by their top mixologists.  They included apple, passionfruit and grapefruit liqueurs topped up with fizz! Those who required a mocktail got something very similar just without the booze!

As a sweet treat and favour, guests were provided with a delicious lemon and elderflower cup cake with metallic gold foil case, edible rose petals and my new “h” monogram on top. Thank you Katherine from Cherish Cakes – they were divine!

For me, an event is all about creating a welcoming atmosphere and entertainment (in my book) is so important.  I was lucky enough to have the uber talented Richard Parsons AKA Glos Magician.  His close up magic really did have my guests guessing and blew them away.  Alongside Richard we were lucky to enjoy the dulcet tones of Mr Pat McIntyre, Bristol’s top singer and guitarist (he actually performed at our wedding).   I also had a promotional video running silently on a TV, showing all my guests exactly what I do.  It had great visual impact and was expertly edit and filmed by Rob from Taylor’s Videography.

As the Florist is beautiful in its own right, there wasn’t a huge amount of decoration but fresh flowers are my fave so the lovely Rachel from the Roseshed provided some seasonal flowers that complimented by brand colours.  These were dotted around the space along with some tiny candles.

I was joined by friends, family, clients and industry colleagues and I honestly had the most amazing evening celebrating this achievement.

Are you re-branding or launching a business in 2019?  Here are my top tips in order to create an unforgettable launch party that everyone’s talking about!


Stick to your budget

In the first instance think about the amount of money you wish  to spend on this event.  Think about why you are holding it in the first place.  You probably want some exposure, right? It’s a PR activity at the end of the day, so will be coming from your annual marketing budget.

Choose a venue that’s on brand

When searching for a suitable venue, yes the capacity and facilities are massively important but is it on brand? Does it go with your brand’s colour way, what it stands for? So for example, my brand is soft, romantic and feminine so The Florist with it’s muted tones and abundance of flowers made for the perfect choice.

Write a guest list of influencers

Again – why are you hosting this party? To gain exposure of course! So think strategically about who you should be inviting.  Think local journalists, industry experts, bloggers, you tubers, celebrities, TV.  You may have to sweeten them in order for them to turn up.  What can you do for them? Give them VIP access for a goody bag or a special area perhaps?

Create a hash tag

Create a memorable hash tag that guests can use throughout the event. Choose something that’s not already taken and kindly ask your guests to use this in the invitations, have a sign up at the event and then mention it in the speech! I got tonnes of new followers and likes in a 24 hour period and it was great to see all the posts easily by typing in the hash tag.

Provide freebies

Provide some value to your guests and surprise them with treats.  Now I’m not saying go crazy with designer goody bags that cost a fortune, I’m talking something that’s worth photographing, on brand and makes them smile.  I toyed with the idea of a gift but I decided that my event was all about the atmosphere an as I plan events, I wanted to showcase that more than a personalised product.  I opted for a bespoke cocktail on arrival, a monogrammed cupcake, live music and social magic.  It all went down a treat and those suppliers got great coverage too.

So, if your company is looking to launch a new brand, a new product or is about to take their area of business by storm, then do get in touch today.  I can help you create a fabulous launch party that works really hard for you and more importantly is enjoyed by all!


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If you’ve never heard of a mini moon, where have you been? They are an increasingly popular option for newly married couples who choose to wait a bit before venturing out on their proper honeymoon. The clue is in the name – mini moons are short breaks taken by newlyweds after the wedding, while waiting for the proper honeymoon at a later date.


There are obviously various reasons for choosing this type of holiday and choosing to delay the official honeymoon. Budget constraints after the wedding, work commitments or personal reasons are all common answers you could hear from a couple setting out on a mini moon and postponing their official honeymoon.


The location and length of mini moons both tend to be shorter – both shorter distances away from home and shorter lengths of stay. For couples based in London or the south of England, they might venture slightly up north or to Scotland or Ireland for their mini moon. The same is true for couples based in Ireland or in Scotland, they tend to travel slightly further away from home for the mini moon, but never abroad. With the multitude of beautiful hotels, towns and sights to be seen throughout the UK and Ireland, it’s the perfect choice for couples not ready to take a full honeymoon just yet.


Below is a list of some of the best locations to consider if you’re planning a mini moon. They all are set in beautiful, stunning parts of the country, and offer complete relaxation and comfort for you and your new partner and are the perfect getaway before the real thing.


  • Beaverbrook, Surrey. This luxury, country house hotel comes top of our list for a reason. Located very centrally just a short drive from London, this British Country Estate is the perfect mini moon for couples across the UK. The estate is set across the beautiful Surrey Hills and is surrounded by countryside and nature – ideal for a stunning mini moon away from the hustle and bustle. With several accommodation options available, you’re sure to find something that suits you and your partner perfectly, and allows you that bit of luxury while still staying close to home.


  • Galgorm Resort & Manor, County Antrim. Northern Ireland is a good choice for any mini moon, with good airport connections throughout the UK. The Galgorm Manor is a short drive away from both airports, and the manor is set in the middle of the Irish countryside, allowing you to relax and enjoy your newlywed bliss. There is also a spa onsite, should you wish to spoil yourself a little more.


  • Springkell, Dumfries. One of Scotland’s most popular mini moon destinations is the Springkell Manor and Hotel in Dumfries. Set in beautiful Scottish countryside, this is a good option for anyone hoping to explore Scotland in comfort and is close enough to the border to make it accessible from England. The hotel offers plenty of restaurants, golfing options, a spa and some stunning views.


  • Gleneagles, Auchterarder. Another Scottish destination comes onto our list, this time great for any golfing fans who want a spot of sports while relaxing on their mini moon. Set on Scotland’s beautiful west coast, this is another great spot for anyone looking for relaxation and a spot of exploring up North. The hotel boasts great restaurants and beautiful rooms, but also a world-class professional golf course for a spot of sports while on your break.


  • Gilpin Hotel, the Lake District. The last of our top mini moon destinations is the family-owned Gilpin Hotel in the Lake District. This lovely country estate is sure to give you a slice of the honeymoon feel, helping you unwind and have a bit of romance while staying close to home. The hotel is centrally located to the motorway, meaning it is easily accessible for a short mini moon getaway. It overlooks Lake Windermere, meaning you’ll never be short of views out of your bedroom window.


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At the beginning of the month, I was very lucky to be invited to visit the Costwold House Hotel & Spa along with other wedding planners and bloggers.

Set in two acres of beautifully landscaped gardens this grade II Regency luxury townhouse, in the heart of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, makes for the perfect location for your Civil Ceremony, Wedding Reception or special occasion.  The hotel is available on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

The hotel has a warm, friendly and personal feel. On arrival I was checked in earlier than expected and my bag (it was heavy!), kindly taken to my room.


The room itself was modern, light and airy but with traditional features such as wooden beams. There are 28 air conditioned en-suite bedrooms at the hotel with most providing fabulous views out onto the manicured gardens or the pretty high street. There are luxurious suites available for the bride and groom.

Food & Drink

We were served a glorious afternoon tea with a wide selection of tea to choose from and 3 tiered stands with miniatures cakes, scones and smoked salmon sandwiches.

In the garden there is a charming gin bar where we enjoyed gin from local business Cotswolds Distillery,

I was lucky enough to dine in the 2 rosette awarded restaurant Fig.  We were served a 5 course tasting menu and it was simply gorgeous.  I thoroughly enjoyed each course and can imagine that the wedding and special event catering at this venue would be of the same very high quality standard.

Wedding & Event Spaces

There are two rooms available for us for weddings and events:

The Montrose is a lovely light-filled room with a pitched roof and beams seating up to 90 guests for a ceremony and wedding breakfast and 120 for an evening reception.

The Fig restaurant encapsulates the original Regency Manor House but with contemporary decor.  This room can seat up to 45 for a ceremony and 30 for a wedding breakfast.



The hotel boasts a beautiful spa in a separate garden through the pretty gardens.  There is a full menu of treatments available, a hydrotherapy pool with jacuzzi and relaxation area, an aromatic steam room and relax room, retail area and changing facilities. All guests are offered complimentary robes, towels and slippers on arrival. Complimentary Herbal Teas can be taken at your leisure.  I loved the sorbet I was given after the treatment – very refreshing!


Local Area

Chipping Campden is a quintessentially English Cotswold town.  It really is stunning! There are some fabulous businesses on the high street who can cater for your wedding or event including:

www.thebaytreeatcampden.com – Flowers

www.louisepocock.com – Millinery

www.aneatabootedesign.simpl.com – Silver smith

www.robertwelch.com – Luxury cutlery and tableware

I had a wonderful stay at the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa.  The staff were incredibly helpful and gave great customer service, the room was comfortable, the spa relaxing and the food exquisite.  If you are looking for a boutique hotel to hold your wedding or event, look no further than this hidden gem of a venue – you won’t be disappointed! Thank you Craig and Mandy!


Olivia x

All photography by KLP Photography

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Creating a wedding gift list allows you to have the newlywed home of your dreams or a perfect honeymoon. They give your guests guidance with selecting the perfect wedding gift for you both. If you’re not sure about a gift list, here are ten reasons why having a registry a great idea.
​1. ​Create the perfect newlywed home
Whether you and your partner live together or separately, a wedding gift list an ideal time to update your home décor to luxury items you have always wanted. Create a new style to reflect both of you and choose from thousands of gorgeous products with all of your favourite items in one place.
2. Your guests prefer for you to have a gift list
Friends and family all want to buy you a gift to celebrate your special day. Creating a wedding gift list makes it easy for them to buy you a present you treasure and it’s an essential part of your wedding day planning.
​3. ​Receive gifts you’re sure to love
A gift list ensures that you will love all of the gifts your guests choose. Add any item from any retailer in the world, and have all of the best brands on one list. Bring together timeless heirlooms, top luxury brands, cool lifestyle gifts, well-known heritage brands and unexpected treasures all on one list. We can source any item for you.
​4. ​Politely ask for honeymoon funds
Your guests will want to give you a gift to commemorate your marriage and if money is what you want, they’ll be more than happy to help. A gift list allows you to ask for cash contributions in a polite and elegant way. Create bespoke cash ‘gifts’ such as cocktails on the beach or flight upgrades, and receive all of the money given by guests in your bank account without commission fees or third parties.
​5. ​Find a special heirloom to last forever
Add luxury items to your gift list and create long-lasting heirlooms to pass down to future generations. Whether it’s a crystal vase or sterling silver photo frame to hold your wedding photos, guests will love to purchase a gift to celebrate your special memories.
​6. ​It’s convenient and easy for everyone
Creating your wedding gift list at Prezola is simple, plus your own expert gift list curator will be available to help you and your guests. With our express checkout,  guests can choose a gift, write a personalised message and opt for gift wrapping in a matter of minutes.
​7. ​Celebrate newlywed life in style
You’ll receive all of your gifts after the wedding, so there’s something to look forward to after the big day. It’s all your guests want: to know they’ve helped towards starting you off on the right foot, with their love and support and everything you need for a happy life together.
​8. ​It feels better than Christmas
It’s such a joy to open everything at once after your honeymoon. Your guests won’t have to carry large gifts to your wedding or reception – very convenient for destination weddings – and you can arrange a convenient time after your wedding for us to deliver all your gifts in one go.
9. ​It’s easy to write thank you notes
We send you a list of all the presents in your delivery along with the names of people who sent them so there’s no more matching up handwriting or second-guessing.
10. Donate to a charity close to your heart
Your wedding gift list is the ideal way to turn “I do” into “I do more”. Ask family and friends to donate to any charity of your choice and we’ll send you the money to donate, so you can further benefit them with Gift Aid.
I’m an official Platimum by Prezola Ambassador and I always recommend using fabulous gift list provider Prezola to my clients.  I used them for my own wedding and they did not disappoint! Why don’t you head on over to their site to have a look at what goodies they provide!