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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.
Social media can be mind-boggling. Everything moves so quickly and platforms are constantly changing, meaning we have to keep adapting. However, something that rarely changes is your Instagram page.
Your Instagram page is the perfect window into your business. Whether you are a wedding photographer, makeup artist or something else, you use Instagram to feature your best work and build up a great following.
Your page offers a window into your world and it’s something you should be really proud of.
But more often that not, we see business grids that are messy, unorganised and just a bit unsatisfying. Your page needs to make people feel like they don’t want to miss your next post.
Now, I’m no expert, but I’ve recently been spending much more time working at Instagram to try and increase engagement and following. I’ve worked hard to improve my overall appearance and have formulated some of top tips that I’m about to share to help you create a beautiful Instagram page.
The first step to making your Instagram pretty is to post some high quality images. I often go to Unsplash if I’m feeling a little stuck for content. Unsplash has a fantastic catalogue of high quality, free images. It’s really easy to search for what you’re looking for, then just hit ‘download’ for instant access. Do make sure to credit the photographer though – after all, they’ve been so kind to give you their image for free!
There are plenty of other stock image services available too.
Every business should have a set colour scheme. This may be colours picked from your logo, or simply a selection of colours that you love. I’d recommend having a few tones that all compliment each other. We love everything PINK so we use a range of baby pinks, fuchsia’s and neutrals.
We love creating templates that we basically recycle constantly. It helps to keep style consistent and will help your brand become instantly recognisable.
It doesn’t have to be anything complex or something only a graphic designer would be able to create, as long as the colour and font remains the same that’s all that really matters.
Canva is a fantastic app for templates. Take a look what you can find and begin customising!
Play around with placement of images on your grid. I like to think of my Instagram page like a website – it should be attractive and organised. When visitors land on your page it should fill them with inspiration.
Create some templates and organise them in a fun way. For example, we’re currently hosting a series of Virtual Wedding Fayres so we simply created graphics with the initials ‘VWF’ and posted a sequence of posts to lay them out in different ways.
Make sure your profile picture is an image that suits being cropped into a circle. I’ve seen so many profile pictures with people’s heads chopped off, or logos with text half missing.
Also ensure it’s fairly high res so it’s super clear and easy to read if it includes any text.
I’d strongly recommend featuring your logo rather than an image of yourself, as this instantly distinguishes that you’re a business page and not a personal profile.
It needs to be super clear who you are and what you do so as soon as someone lands on your profile they’re not left asking any questions. Make sure you’ve got a precise and to-the-point tag line visible at the top of your bio.
I’d also recommend stating where you’re based so others in the industry and your clientele instantly know if they would like to make a connection. For example Cheshire, UK.
Set a category to state your business type. Simply go to ‘Edit Profile’ then ‘Category’ and search for something appropriate.
Highlights are a fantastic way or organising your stories into categories. It can be tricky to know what categories to create, so start by thinking about the most common things you post. You can publish any of your previous story posts into your highlights, so have a flick through your roll and begin posting.
Think about your colour palette when creating the cover for your highlight too. If you want to get really professional, you can create your own icons – but bear in mind that you need to publish these on your stories first to use them as your highlight cover.
Giant Grid Posts
One of the most common questions I get asked is how I create those giant images that take up multiple grids. It’s so easy! I use a free app called ‘Grid Post‘.
You simply upload the image to the app and decide how many grids you want to split it up between. I usually go for all 9 (a square post), but sometimes just 3 or 6 is a nice way of breaking your feed.
That completes my run down of top tips for creating a beautiful Instagram page.
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.
Planning your wedding can be a tough journey – to say the least. Brides often rely on the likes of Pinterest and Bridal magazines to gain inspiration on the current trends and themes, and Bridal Forums can be a planning saviour.
Your wedding day is quite possibly one of the most important and memorable days of your life. This comes with an immense amount of pressure for everything to be perfect.
But what would REAL Brides have done differently if they could plan their wedding again?
We asked a selection of past Brides this exact question and put their responses in a blog post for you to relish.
Had a photograph with their nearest and dearest
The day is often such an overwhelming blur that it’s easy to forget to be photographed with the people you love the most. Discuss your requirements with the photographer prior to the wedding and they’ll give you a little nudge on the day to prompt the important shots.
Having a photobooth or disposal cameras on tables make it easy for guests to grab shots together.
Had a wedding video
This is the number one biggest Bridal regret. Having decent photographs is one thing, but a wedding video truly captures the day.
Those that organised a professional to shoot the whole day on film were really glad they had spent the extra money.
Lived in the moment
A lot of Brides become so overwhelmed on their wedding day that they forget to take a step back, breathe and just look at what they’ve created.
It’s your day, so don’t end up annoyed that you didn’t enjoy every minute of it because you were running around making sure everyone is happy.
Hired a Wedding Planner
We couldn’t count the amount of times we’ve heard “I wish I’d had a Wedding Planner”.
Sooo many brides only realise how stressful planning their wedding would be after their big day, and they desperately wish they’d reached out for some help and guidance before it all got too much.
We can be on site for your entire day to ensure everything runs smoothly, as well as helping with your styling and decor.
Taken a spare pair of comfortable shoes
What ruins a night? Sore feet!
Don’t forget that you’ll be wearing your wedding shoes since mid morning. Your feet are bound to throb as the day progresses. Have your Maid of Honour look after some comfy flats for you.
Letting the stress take over
The day will go extremely quickly, so it’s important to make the most of it and truly enjoy every moment.
I think it’s better to accept that there will be minor hiccups on the day. Then you can at least prepare yourself for this.
As stressful as wedding planning can sometimes be, it’s a fantastic feeling to finally get everything confirmed and be in a position where you can start looking forward to the big day.
What would make this feeling even better?
Finding out that you have a spare £1,000 in your wedding budget because you’ve been able to make savings along the way would definitely have our vote, especially if you’ve planned and paid for your honeymoon within that.
So, your wedding is ready to go, but you have that spare £1,000 that you could use to add a finishing touch to your wedding. Here are some of our favourite ideas that you could perhaps spend the money on.
Photobooths are becoming increasingly popular at weddings, and for guests who don’t make it into the ‘official’ wedding photos it’s a great way for them to take something away from the day that they’ll always remember.
Photobooth companies offer a variety of options, too, from you just paying to hire the booth while guests pay a few pounds to use it to you paying for as much use as you like. As well as photos you can create GIF’s, add effects like you would on Snapchat, and add various other quirks to your photos.
If you weren’t sure what you wanted when it came to your wedding entertainment and ended up booking your venue’s house DJ, having this £1,000 left over may be a chance to change things up a little.
Now, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with a house DJ, no doubt they’ll provide you with a great party and play everything you ask them to, but this is your day, and an opportunity to do something differently.
You could consider booking a wedding band instead – just remember they’ll take up more space than a wedding DJ – or looking at other forms of entertainment such as a table magician or dancers.
Freak Music is a great website for finding a wedding band, while if you use a wedding planner such as ourselves we can put you in touch with other options across the UK, too.
Book a Fireworks Display
Despite the widespread popularity of fireworks, they’re still something of a rarity when it comes to seeing them at weddings.
One of the big advantages of fireworks is that you can have a lot of flexibility around the length and type of display you have, while if you only wanted to use a small amount of your remaining budget you could order a display but fire it yourself!
Wedding Fireworks by Firework Crazy provides a range of display options, and for self-firing packages provides you with a layout map and a remote ignition kit to make your display happen yourself, or alternatively they can come to you and wow you in person.
Invest in More Wedding Favours
Whether you have a wedding list, ask for gift vouchers, or request contributions to your honeymoon fund, your wedding guests contribute a lot to your day. If you aren’t having hundreds of people at your wedding then your £1,000 could go a long way to upgrading your wedding favours.
Brides Magazine has some great ideas for wedding favours, while of course you can come up with your own unique ideas, too.
Adding the Finishing Touches, What Will You Do?
What will you do to add the finishing touches to your wedding? If you need help in adding your finishing touches or with your wedding planning in general, you can contact us here.
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?
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