Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tantrums and Tiaras

As you all know I have a guest blogger each Wednesday and as and when I can I post extra blogs. Normally our guest blog posts are about the company and product(s) they offer, which I hope are useful to you either for inspiration for your big event or as just the contact you were needing and hadn't quite found. Our guest blogger today, Kelly from Tantrums and Tiaras, gives an insight into the emotional side of working in the wedding industry which I think will help and inspire others in the business but will also be of value to anyone in any business and from any walk of life.

When asked to write a blog post it’s always hard to know what to say.  Do you tell the readers about yourself and why you do what you do and how marvellous you are or do you tell everyone about your numerous award nominations this year or your products and how fab and sparkly they are?  I could do either however this time around I thought I’d blog in more general terms about some of the highs and lows of the business.

I still work full time whilst running Tantrums and Tiaras and I make every single piece myself by hand.  My day job inspires but challenges me on a regular basis.   The stakes are high and the games played even higher, there are politics, things to say, things not to say and it’s not hard to imagine how this all fits into the big rat race that is life.  That said, on a good day, and there are plenty of them – it is the best job in the world.  It is an organisation that focuses very heavily on people and in fact without them there would be no job to do at all.  So, why tell you all of this? Well the wedding industry is pretty much the same.  It’s an amazing industry to work in but it’s not without its downfalls.  I’m particularly lucky as I get to make some pretty lovely pieces and of course, I’m never stuck for something to accessorise an outfit and if I am, I can whip myself something up! 

But there is another side and something that those of us that have been around for a while will know and understand.   We of course will kind of forget about whilst things are well and busy.  The problem is that it is during this time that it can manifest itself and you have no control.  I’m one of those people that strive for quality and works really hard to make sure I deliver that.  I also offer excellent customer service and my 10 returns in 4 years in fact is testament to that. So what is it that pops up and causes unrest in a normally sparkly world?  It’s hard to say exactly and some will be convinced that it’s the high levels of competition or because of the mutterings of others elsewhere and there’s a good chance that this is somewhat true however I think it’s more than that. 

If you are in the bridal industry because you love the business and you care about what you do, it makes every knock personal however slight.  There are some of course that will never encounter this problem as the end game for them is only ever about making money and having a successful business and as a result are not sighted on how some can be affected.  This perceived lack of passion and obvious strive for similar goals is what in my view causes the internal conflict.  That said, anyone who says that they’re not in the business to make money would be fibbing.  It’s what we all ultimately want but like I’ve already alluded to, it’s not what drives the passion inside.  This is why so many of the creative types in the industry can sometimes feel flat and disheartened and it’s a hard storm to weather.  Of course, not all people make it. 

I guess the point of this blog post is to say if you sometimes feel this way, don’t panic!  You’re normal and it’s probably because you genuinely care about what you do.  If you do not have knocks in your confidence you do not have the opportunity to use this energy to improve and come back bigger and stronger than ever.  My advice on how to deal with this is to focus only on what you do.  Do not look at what others do or how well others are doing and certainly do not read more into what people are or are not saying.  And if that sounds too much just remember to keep calm and sparkle!  
Many thanks to Kelly for a lovely and inspiring post. I have taken some images from Kelly's website so that you can all see some of her beautiful work, and I recommend that you visit the website to view more work from this very talented lady! You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter .

Life and the people we come into contact with will|  throw us the occasional curveball and sometimes we all have 'blue' or 'down' days that can sap our energy or knock our confidence. It is largely how we deal with these events that help to shape us and help us to understand ourselves and others. Being successful in life doesn't always mean earning the most money. To me it is being able to live the life I want and being able to help others. 

When I took voluntary redundancy last September there was a small part of me inside which felt a little miffed that I was no longer required, even though it was my choice. This is I think a fairly normal and typical reaction as we all want to feel that we're indispensable! I had already decided that rather than fret and worry that I was going to use this opportunity to concentrate full time on my business and really make a go of it. I have been fortunate enough to have come into contact with some lovely people who have given advice and words of encouragement that have helped enormously. There is a huge amount of competition out there but I think that this is a healthy thing, it helps to keep you on your toes and sometimes you may get or give referrals. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Wedding Booklet Company

As you probably already know, I am always on the lookout for different ideas for weddings as well as the traditional, to give you plenty of ideas to work with when planning your big day. Favours are sometimes something that couples struggle with: Do we really need them? Do we give one to everyone? What can we give that will be practical as well as a nice memento of our day? 

Today I'm pleased to welcome The Wedding Booklet Company to the blog with a practical and lasting answer to your favour dilemma!

Wives are rocking the wedding market!
Meet Rachel and Rachel – they deliver brides across the country this season’s hottest wedding accessory. The Wedding Booklet Company is the first business in the country to offer personalised booklets for guests which not only feature a picture of every single person, but also information about them and how they know the bride and groom. They are not only a fantastic conversation starter, but also a novel way of combining getting to know other guests at the wedding and a keepsake favour that lasts way beyond the end of the wedding day.

So How Does it Work?

After choosing a themed template and colour scheme, the bride or groom receive a link to a fill in a very short form for each of their guests and the rest is taken care of! Described as doing for the wedding market what match day programmes have done for sport, these booklets are completely personalised for each client and are guaranteed to give any wedding the wow factor, with price options to suit all budgets.

Meet the Team.
Rachel & Rachel!
People often say it’s the simplest ideas that are the best and after Rachel Johnson decided to produce these booklets as favours for guests at her wedding, the overwhelming feedback she received was the green light she needed to start up the company with accomplished graphic designer Rachel Fell. Rachel has over 6 years experience of working at the top level in graphic design after graduating from Teeside University with a graphic design degree. Now working for the prestigious Manchester Evening News, she is working on a wide range of projects including Urban Life Magazine, illustration and advertising design. Rachel is an extremely talented and creative all round designer who specialises in typography, layouts, logo designs and custom illustrations and is available for commissions. She is calm under pressure and always on hand to offer clients ideas on every aspect of design. "The Wedding Booklet Company is such a fantastic idea and I’m absolutely delighted to be able to create such wonderful mementos for brides and grooms. It is a brilliant feeling to produce something that really helps makes people’s wedding days extra special."

Rachel Johnson is a trained journalist who has nearly a decade of experience of working in the newspaper, magazine and radio industry and is currently freelancing as a media expert. She graduated from Newcastle University with a Degree in English Language and a year later graduated from UCLAN with a PGDip in Broadcast Journalism. Rachel’s the one who makes sure that every guest has a smile on their faces as they read their words in the wedding booklets and uses her creative writing skills to get the very best descriptions for each guest. “With so much choice in the wedding market these days, it’s really hard to find things that are truly unique, which is why I decided to create the wedding booklets for my wedding. The response was just unbelievable and after several people wanting to sign me up on the spot for their weddings, I knew this was a good opportunity for us”

How can we help you?

Both girls got married last summer and are experts when it comes to wedding planning, so don’t be afraid to ask them anything – they’ve heard it all before! They are extremely friendly and creative and are able to tailor-make your booklets to suit your theme, colour scheme and budget to make sure you get the very best service and product. They both look forward to working with you soon. 

Thank you to both Rachel's - what a fabulous idea! You can contact them through their website, 'Like' them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

New Arrival & White Gold Images

Having recently spent a few days in the West Country a tweet from a photographer about a wedding in Cornwall caught my eye this morning. I lived in Devon as a small child, had numerous happy family holidays on the Cornish coast and spent a fair few weekends driving around Dartmoor with my Grandfather in his later years, so am reasonably familiar with the area. On Friday I needed to get from Plymouth city centre to Saltash to visit my niece and the newest addition to the family, month old baby Nathan.
Fuzzy pic of gorgeous baby Nathan taken on my mobile phone
Now, I rarely rely on Wanda, the satnav, to take me anywhere as I swear she has a very warped sense of humour - she famously took Mr LG and I from village 1 to village 2 in Italy up and over a mountain rather than round the main roads. Yes there was a 'road', yes it was registered and useable (?!), but although it was a two way road it was only one car wide with a sheer rock face on one side of the car and what must have been a 1 in 2 drop on the other side - I do not have a great head for heights and Mr LG does not have a great tolerance for gibbering wrecks in the passenger seat so this was not a pleasant experience for either of us!

Anyway, last Friday I was a little unsure of how to get to my niece's house as I've only been there once before so I turned Wanda on for guidance. I was pretty sure that I should be taking the A38 in the opposite direction to Exeter and so set off following the signs whilst waiting for Wanda's gps to find me. Was a little surprised when she started to direct me away from the A38 but obeyed her anyway - should have listened to my intuition! When she instructed 'in 300 yards take the ferry' I suddenly realised that I was in a queue, one way, heading towards a stretch of water and a ferry with absolutely no idea how to avoid it. What should have been a 10 minute drive across a bridge over the Tamar to Saltash turned into a 45 minute journey involving the Torpoint ferry, thanks Wanda!

Ages ago the lovely Yvonne shared some valuable advice for those of us who hate having their photo taken. This morning I've been reading her blog  and I felt I just had to share with you the beautiful and intimate wedding of Vannavy and Oliver in Cornwall as captured by Yvonne. With a mixture of black and white and colour photos Yvonne has captured perfectly the joy and happiness of the day in a way that Vannavy and Oliver are sure to treasure forever. Please do read her blog and visit her website!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Cute as a Button

Since giving up the day job last September to concentrate fully on my business I have become rather addicted to Twitter, as I think it may have been mentioned before! The wedding business is a particularly friendly and happy one to be involved in, and I have built up a solid base of both brides/grooms to be and other suppliers. Twitter is my 'office gossip' as well as being a support network and sometimes a sounding board for new ideas.

Emma Buzec was a bride to be when we connected on Twitter and has since started her own business and I'm very pleased to welcome her to the blog today with her alternative to the traditional flower bouquets and buttonholes.....
Cute as a Button was set up in March 2011. The idea was born from looking for ideas for my own 2012 wedding when I came across button bouquets on the internet and had my heart set on getting one. However, our wedding is being put together on a very small budget and I could not warrant spending so much on a bouquet - so I tried to forget all about it!
After quite a few discussions with friends, family and hubby to be, I decided I would try to make one myself. I tweeted photos of my progress and got some amazing feedback. Through tweeting I was contacted by another bride to be asking how much I would charge to make her a button bouquet - so that's how my first order came about!
I now have a website, Facebook page, and am of course on Twitter! I have had further orders, and one of our bridal bouquets was used in the catwalk show at A Most Curious Wedding Fair in Norwich this year. We had our first ever wedding fair stand at "Truly Vintage" wedding fair, Glemham Hall at the beginning of June.

Many thanks to Emma for sharing the story behind Cute as a Button with us and I wish her much success with her business. I had a beautiful fresh flower bouquet on my wedding day and have tried to preserve it as best I can but inevitably it will never look the same as it did on the day. Perhaps Mr LG and I should hold a renewal ceremony each year so that I can use all the new and exciting ideas that I keep coming across! 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

French Bubbles

One of the things that I, and perhaps you, associate with weddings (or indeed celebrations of all kinds!) is champagne. For our wedding I completely overordered (ooops ;-) ) - I didn't exactly see this as a problem though as the extra bottles came in very handy afterwards!

Today, with the wedding season in full swing, we welcome French Bubbles to the blog......
Frenchbubbles - Champagne
We are an artisanal collection of fine quality, limited-production Grower Champagnes with personality and heritage. Our champagnes come from five different growers in the region of Champagne. We differ from our competitors by organising Champagne Events for Privates and Corporates. As part of our business, we also focus our attention in working with Charities.
 Great tasting products that all have international awards
Best value and fine quality starting from £19.95
Fantastic next day delivery, on time and free over £50!
Providing a unique and personal service, French Bubbles will always endeavour to meet your expectation when it comes to quality and budget and with your guidance, select the perfect Champagne with you to celebrate your marriage in style.

French Bubbles will help find out what champagne(s) you would like for your special day. We can arrange a tasting for your wedding. French Bubbles are a member of Vows part of this association of Wedding Expert.

Our team of experts will work with you and your catering team to discuss themes and menus as well as your guest list to recommend the perfect marriage of Champagne for reception, meal and toast. A pink Champagne or Chardonnay style makes the perfect reception wine. The richer, Blanc de Noirs styles can be
selected for serving during the meal or with the cheese. For the special moment of the toast, a special Vintage Champagne will add to the creation of a joyous lasting memory.

We can guarantee you that our Champagne will be perfect for your budget. It will be more interesting to buy our Champagne and pay the corkage of the venue than just drink the Champagne proposed in the package. Without mentioning the outstanding quality of our Champagne!

We will liaise directly with your chosen venue for the delivery and the logistic with nothing to do for you! Giving a Little Back By choosing French Bubbles Champagne, you can give a little bit back to a good cause. Supporting a charity of your choice, for every bottle of Champagne served, we’ll donate £1 to the cause.
Any customer’s wishes can be granted because of the diversity of our products. We can provide champagne for any type of events: birthdays, parties, aperitifs, etc. The delivery times are short and the delivery reliability is proved.

Many thanks to Odile for the photos and information, you can visit the French Bubbles website, join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter