Okay, so as a bride-to-be how many times has ‘all this, just for one day’ been said to you? Have you even thought it yourself? I have already had so many people accost me with questions about it ‘just being for one day’. Well, people, I’m about to take you on a journey of discovery.
Newsflash! It’s not just about one day.
Just for one day? Part 1…
Firstly, it’s not ‘just a day’. It’s the foundation for your marriage. The day it all started. A celebration of your love. A chance for you to show the people around you how much they mean to you, how much you mean to them, and how much you (as a couple) mean to each other. It’s pretty symbolic.
Not to mention the family & friends reunion side of it. Tell me another instance where you get to sit in a room with all the most important people in your life. In one place. Altogether. For a happy occasion. You can’t? That’s because there isn’t one.
Just for one day? Part 2…
Secondly, why wouldn’t you want an excuse to dress up in the best and most expensive clothing you can afford, drink amazing wine, eat wonderful food, and dance the night away? And whilst smiling the entire time! That sounds like the perfect day. What’s not to love?!
Just for one day? Part 3…
Seriously though, it really isn’t just about that one day. Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s about the journey.
It’s about that indescribable feeling of being proposed to, and the tears of excitement and happiness as you share the news with family & friends.
It’s about deciding who you want to stand beside you on the day, and watching their expression as you tell them.
It’s about working with your partner and making decisions about your day which reflect you as a couple, and learning more about each other as you do so.
It’s about listening to and respecting your partner’s thoughts & visions for your day and coming to conclusions that you are both happy with.
It’s about wedding dress shopping with your mum and girl-friends, drinking bubbles and squealing for no particular reason, just because.
It’s about the days out with you girls/boys and giving them a chance to show you how much you mean to them.
It’s about sharing your excitement with your parents, and watching how happy it makes them to see you so elevated.
It’s about all of those little things in the build up. All of the decisions you make because of the wedding. All the conversations you have and all the memories you make along the way.
I hope you had the most wonderful Christmas Day! Now for that perfect period between Christmas and New Year where you have the best excuse to do absolutely nothing… Blissful! I’ve used this time to collect together a few of my very own office essentials, some old and some new!
Working from home can be quite tricky, especially at this time of year when everyone else is officially off work and not doing much. I absolutely adore my office now (had a bit of a re-shuffle recently!) which makes all the difference when trying to motivate myself, but there are also a few handy items to help with organisation and general state of mind!
Firstly, although not exactly a physical thing, my general workspace has to be neat, tidy, and organised, with everything I need for the day within reach. I find I get distracted and frustrated so easily when my surroundings are cluttered, so before I start any working day I always have a bit of a tidy-up to make sure my motivation stays strong. I also love to have photos and pictures in my office (and lots of them!). Especially as it’s a ‘home office’, I think it’s so important for the space to really feel like mine, and means it’s a space that I actually want to be in!
COFFEE! I always start my day with a cup (sometimes two…) of coffee. It sets me up for the day and keeps me perky! Throughout the day I try to stay hydrated with water, but (I confess) it’s mostly with cups of peppermint tea… that counts as water intake, right? I have always got some form of notepad by my side as well. I have different notebooks for different tasks so I always know where to look if I’m trying to find something, and this one above is a new addition (an early Christmas present) which I have allocated to my gin-tasting notes!
Organisation is key! Which is where my diary comes in very handy. I got two brand new diaries for 2018 and I love them both! It’s a good excuse to separate my work from my home life, so I’ve got one for each. I have to actively remember to write every appointment/meeting etc down but I always make sure I do so that they’re all in one place and can’t be forgotten. And what is an office without a trusty computer? In this century, not an office at all! It’s quite scary how much we depend on these machines, but it is safe to say I would get absolutely nowhere without my laptop.
And lastly, reading material! I am never without a good selection of (tasteful!) magazines and informative books by my side. I love anything creative/passionate/wedding stuff/business advice etc to have a flick through whilst having a break for a cup of tea or lunch. I also use reading material as inspiration for my dress sketches in my down-time, so it’s important for me to have lots of material handy. This book is one I am particularly excited about. I’ve had a scan through it before, but I wanted a copy of my own which, thanks to my generous brother, I now have. I am so stupidly excited to read this, and work through it as my business grows. This is mostly definitely the newest addition to my absolute office essentials!
We’re now into those last few days where feeling festive is acceptable… So take a look at my festive blog posts here and here before it’s too late to be christmassy!
It’s a little late, I know, but there has been so much going on recently that I’m only just sitting down to really focus on a few blog posts! As you (probably) already know, I exhibited at a couple of wedding fayres in October & November (catchup with the blog posts about them here and here), and I met some super wonderful fellow wedding suppliers. Here are a couple I wanted to talk about, and (in case you missed it!) but video summary is at the end also!
The Word Forest Organisation
The Word Forest Organisation is something that I have never come across before, but I seriously like the idea. There are a number of ways you can use their company, but essentially the end result being you have your very own ‘wedding forest’ planted. I mean, how fab is that?! Instead of asking for wedding gifts, you can ask your guests to buy you a tree on your selected plot of land in Kenya. 100 guests = 100 trees. AmAZing! Or you could gift the trees to your guests/bridesmaids/ushers etc as wedding favours, again, brilliant idea! And the Word Forest Organisation do it all for you (no travelling to Kenya required!). I honestly think this is such a fantastic company who are doing a wonderful thing, and they are also a registered charity which is just the icing on the cake really. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but a really unique idea if it’s your kind of thing.
I’m still undecided about wedding magicians… Are they the next big thing or are they suitable for only specific types of weddings? Not sure! I’d love to hear what you think though, especially if you’ve had/are having a magician at your wedding, or you’ve been to a wedding with one.
I did, however, come across a magician who I really liked and thought had a great act. He was called Dan Brazier and he performed a card trick on me which, I have to say, was pretty impressive. I thought he was dressed suitable and was well presented which is, of course, very important as any form of entertainer!
The Illustrated Invitation
Lastly (I’m very excited about this one!) was a lady who was next to me at the Bath wedding fayre and her company was just to die for! Basically, they can sketch your wedding venue or church and then have the image printed on invitations/envelopes/save the dates, etc etc, and you can also purchase a framed illustration of your venue. I mean, wow! Not only do I love the idea, their style was gorgeous and simplistic which worked perfectly. The calligraphy is stunning across all their products and the drawings are in black and white which is all you need on stationary. I honestly love this company and I am 100% keeping them in mind for when I get married!
So there are my three favourite wedding suppliers from the two wedding fayres! Here are the links to their websites, and also the link to my video summarising them all.
Aaaand onto number two… With them being only a week apart, I was most definitely in the wedding fayre mood, and as we were having to travel up to Bath we decided to make a long weekend of it which made it even more exciting.
This wedding fayre (you’ll be pleased to hear, I’m sure) was infinitely more successful than the Exeter one, for many reasons. The first one being I was faaaaar less nervous. I knew which bits I needed to improve on, and (in the few days between them) had managed to make some important changes to my stand and my selling tactics, so I was feeling confident. Plus, having already done one those initial ‘first time’ nerves were almost completely eliminated.
I wasn’t totally cool as a cucumber though, which I think is important. A touch of adrenaline never ‘urt no-one!
Wedding Fayre #2; Bailbrook House
From the moment we arrived, it was clear this wedding venue was much more suited to brides in need of wedding planners (and we were right!). It’s a beautiful venue and the wedding fayre itself had been excellently publicised, thanks to event organisers Boodelicious Events.
Our stand was in a perfect location which was another massive bonus… We were positioned in the far right corner, and although that sounds a little ‘out of the way’ it really wasn’t. Brides & Grooms would enter and, as with the first fayre, not really know what to do or say for the first couple of stands. However, by the time they got to us they had spoken to a few people (but not so many that they were bored) and any uneasy awkwardness had diminished.
I managed to speak to pretty much every couple that went past which I was thrilled with, and had some really lengthly conversations with a few. It was an amazing confidence boost, and a few couples were genuinely interested in what I did and how I could help them. Of course, the services of a wedding planner aren’t for everyone, but I certainly met a few people who were promising clients.
I was thrilled with my stand set-up this time too (how perfectly matching was Euan?!). I had borrowed some miniature white easels from Euan’s boss, which I rested signs on, giving the table an extra dimension. And, as mentioned in the previous blog post, I printed out more ‘Lila Bailey’ postcards and gave one to each bride who went past, consequently starting a conversation with them.
The atmosphere at Bailbrook House was brilliant too; the room was beautiful and warm, and the suppliers were friendly and happy to have a chat. I thought the organisers were brilliant and would definitely work with them again! It felt much more natural, nurturing, and almost like we were all in a little wedding family (despite having never met any of them before!).
Soooo… All in all, it was a great experience and a successful one at that. Big love to all the fabulous couples and suppliers I met, and hopefully you’ve enjoyed this post!
Naturally, I vlogged the Bath wedding fayre which you can find below… Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and follow my social media pages! x
I recently embarked on my very first experience of exhibiting at a wedding fayre with my own little company. I’ve visited wedding fayres in the past as a “bride” (pretend bride as I’m not actually engaged), and I’ve also exhibited at trade fairs with my parents’ company, but this was Lila Bailey’s debut.
I was terrified.
Because wedding planning isn’t a physical product, I was essentially selling myself (get your mind out of the gutter…), and this is something that – especially for me – takes a whole lot of courage. Although I have a huge amount of confidence in my ability and I know that I can do it, when it comes to telling people I can do it I seize up and just wish someone else could tell them for me. I hate talking about myself and my achievements, and I especially hate ‘bigging’ myself up. Whenever I see or hear anyone bragging about themselves I find it super cringey, awkward, and embarrassing (for them more than me) so when people said to me ‘you’ve just got to let people know how great you are’ I felt like holding up a big fat ‘NO’ sign. But, as I discovered, there’s a way to do it that isn’t cringey, awkward, or embarrassing. The trick is to be open, honest, and – most importantly – yourself.
Wedding fayre #1; Exeter Racecourse
I originally booked the Bailbrook House wedding fayre in Bath first, and then came across the Exeter Racecourse fayre which happened to be the weekend before. Because the Bath wedding fayre was the bigger one, and would therefore be a bigger deal for me, I thought it would be good to experience one beforehand to ‘break the ice’ so to speak. And I am so glad I did! I was insanely nervous and really wasn’t sure exactly what to do/how to talk to people, so Euan and I decided this would be the ‘tester’ fayre to see what needs improving ahead of the next one.
The two main things I discovered were…
Despite thinking having your stand right by the entrance is a good idea, it’s not.
Always have something in your hand to give to people. It’s a conversation starter and something for them to take away to remind them of your company.
At the Exeter fayre, we arrived super early (much earlier than we needed to) and I chose a table which was pretty much the first table you saw when you walked in. I thought this would be great because people would come straight over, but what I didn’t realise was that most attendees were pretty nervous themselves and didn’t actually know what to do or where to go, so just walked around and didn’t talk to at least the first two stands. They would eventually come back round again and speak to me then, but by that time they were getting a little bored and tired, and (particularly the grooms) probably just wanted to go home!
I had got some postcard size cards printed to hand out to people, but a couple of weeks before the fayre the organisers emailed to say we could put leaflets in the attendees goody-bags, so I decided to allocate the postcards to them instead. Although putting the postcards in the bags meant that every attendee went home with one, it did mean that I had nothing to offer them when they came to speak to me, and I figured that brides and grooms were having so many conversations with so many different people, if you didn’t actually physically give them any material then they may not remember the conversation they had with me once they were home.
However, as we had discussed, this was just my ‘tester’ wedding fayre and it was the perfect opportunity for me to make a couple of changes for the next one. It was also my introduction into the world of vlogging! Which is super exciting. Here is the Exeter wedding fayre vlog… enjoy!
Keep your eyes peeled for the second blog post about the Bath wedding fayre… and don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel (many more vlogs to come!).