22 November, 2010

Real Wedding: Nathaniel and Tamara at Lillibrooke Manor, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Late this summer we co-ordinated Tamara and Nathaniel's wedding at St Lukes Church and Lillibrooke Manor in Maidenhead, Berkshire. These fantastic shots were captured by the incredibly artistic Jamie Thompson from Studio Rouge.

Tamara and Nathaniel had planned the perfect wedding, but wanted the peace of mind that the logistics were managed to ensure it became a reality on the day.
We met a year before their wedding and were in regular contact to provide supplier suggestions. Closer to their wedding we extensively discussed the day's arrangements. Following this meeting we produced a wedding day plan and a timings schedule, then spoke to and confirmed the details with all the suppliers.

Tamara paid great attention to detail with lots of special Zimbabwean touches that made their day meaningful, from the invitation design to the family wedding car, sourcing the national flower to relabelling the bottles of wine and the cake topper to the favours; there was a whole host of personal touches that made for an extra special day. During the week of the wedding we reviewed the final plans and timings together as well as collecting and storing all of their decoration items.

On the morning we decorated the church and Lillibrooke Manor, see the video of the set up here. Luckily we were equipped with our emergency kit with our ivory umbrella to hand when the rain came. We greeted all of the suppliers and supported their set up, organised the guests going to the buffet table, helped book taxis, stored the veil, moved garden games and liaised with the best man for announcements amongst many other things.

Being the point of contact on the wedding day ensured everything went smoothly and relieved the couple of any stress.

Wishing you both a wonderful married life together filled with much love and happiness x

Photography: Studio Rouge
Videographer: Capture the Day
String trio: Giardino Strings
Caterers: Complete Catering
DJ: Sound Bookings
Cake: Especially Delicious

15 November, 2010

Top 20 time saving tips - Part 2

Further to our recent top ten tips on saving time when planning your wedding, here are another ten suggestions:

11. High street bridesmaids

There are lots of dresses in high street shops such as Debenhams, Coast and House of Fraser that are just as gorgeous as any bridal shop ones, but without the time delay of ordering the dresses in.

12. Use a Wedding Planner

Ask an expert to create shortlists for suppliers you are having specific trouble sourcing. They will know of reputable local companies and may even be able to negotiate you a better rate.

13. Manage your RSVPs

Send a stamped self addressed envelope if you are mailing RSVP cards with your invites to speed up the replies. Or quicker still use an online RSVP option on a wedding website.

14. Back to basics

Skip some of the unnecessary tasks, such as having wedding favours, that can take a lot of hours to find and you may not feel are critical.

15. Thank you notes

Write your thank you notes as you receive gifts to save having a long list to complete when you return from your honeymoon.

16. Venue styling

Save time on the day by using wedding decorators to set-up and remove the decorations for you.

17. Pre ceremony photo shoot

Meet with your husband-to-be before the wedding ceremony for a photo shoot to save time after the ceremony, leaving you to relax and enjoy the arrival drinks with your guests.

18. Cheat with the cake cutting

Have an extra cake in the kitchen that your caterers can pre-cut so after your cake cutting ceremony is complete they can serve the cake much faster.

19. Skip a receiving line

Depending on how many guest you have these can take a huge amount of time, a less formal way would be to visit each table between courses during the meal.

20. Keep storage simple

Have a room aside to keep everything related to your wedding in- so everyone know where to put things after they have been used and most importantly where to go to pack everything up swiftly at the end of the day.

Photo credit: A SugarBlossom wedding at Brockhurst School, Newbury by Francis Beaumont

27 October, 2010

Top 20 time-saving options- Part 1

Time-saving options to help you plan your wedding if time is tight.
Are you struggling to find the time to fit planning your wedding into a busy lifestyle?
  1. A focused checklist Work out what needs to be done in what order to prioritise your time, always start by finding your venue and booking the registrar/church to get a date confirmed.

  2. Know your budget Before you start looking for the perfect wedding dress, flowers etc.. make sure you know what your budget is to save time further down the line having to rethink what you can afford.

  3. Decide on your guest list Scribble down a rough idea of numbers to invite for the day and even to help direct you when making your venue choice, this may rule some options out straight away.

  4. Wedding fairs Local wedding fairs can be a great inspiration at the start of your planning. Wear 'comfy' shoes and bring friendly support to help collect all the information to browse through at home.

  5. Surf the web Visit supplier websites to find pricing, see portfolios of work, and read testimonials to build a shortlist before spending time calling or meeting with lots of different suppliers.

  6. Wedding chat rooms Sites such as www.youandyourwedding.co.uk are a great place to meet with other likeminded brides to ask questions for quick answers or pick up new ideas.

  7. One email fits all Once you have found a selection of suppliers online you can draft an email with all your questions to copy and email to multiple companies. This approach will save time calling each person and help get consistent replies to compare.

  8. Let your friends and family help Make a list of things that need to be done (but not necessarily by you) and delegate! Your bridal party can help make phone calls, prepare invitations, do odd jobs when you need them.

  9. Meetings at your house Most suppliers will be more than happy to come to you to meet to save you time driving between locations.

  10. Referrals Sharing tips on excellent service providers with recently married friends will give you piece of mind that everything will run smoothly on your special day.

Look out for the next 10 time saving tips!

Photo credit: A SugarBlossom wedding at Englemere, Ascot by Neale James at www.breathepictures.com

11 October, 2010

Sneak Preview: Tamara & Nathaniel's Wedding at Lillibrooke Manor

Look out for more pictures and details from Tamara and Nathaniel's fantastic wedding coming soon!
Photo credit: www.studiorouge.co.uk
Related posts:

23 September, 2010

Details we love: bottle escort cards

A thirst quenching alternative to a table plan.
Photo credit: Jonas Peterson via 100 Layer Cake

10 September, 2010

Real Wedding: Nik and Lisa at The Dairy, Waddesdon Manor

We have been looking forward to sharing the gorgeous pictures from Lisa and Nik’s wedding, they celebrated their marriage in May at The Dairy, Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury. This stylish wedding was shot by Stuart Bebb photography. Stuart and his assistant captured photos from slightly different views which gave Lisa and Nik a wide variety of photos. Down to Earth Flowers did an unbelievable job with all of the floral arrangements.
Whilst the guests were making their way to The Dairy, Lisa and Nik had some romantic secluded shots taken in the vast grounds, the venue is pretty amazing with woodland areas and waterfalls.
Don’t the tables look pretty with these little vase name holders from Cox & Cox, they were accompanied with small bottles of Prada perfume for the girls favours and miniature bottles of Port for the guys. The band, Limited Edition, kept everyone dancing all night playing songs from Lady Gaga to Dianna Ross. We were so impressed we have already booked them for another clients wedding next summer.
Congratulations Lisa and Nik, thanks so much for letting us post your pretty day! www.sugarblossom.co.uk

01 September, 2010

Q&A: Our reception venue is quite dark, but we are not allowed to use candles. Can you suggest some alternatives for lighting up the room?

Last weekend we used battery operate candles, available from Cox and Cox , they were effective and lasted all afternoon and evening.

You could also use fairy lights to create a romantic atmosphere. They are easy to get hold of and not expensive, try wrapping them around bay trees, archways, banisters, in clear vases or look for blossom style ones like these from Debenhams or Laura Ashley.

Photo Credit: One Love Photo via Rock n’ Roll Bride

26 August, 2010

Sneak Preview: Lisa & Nik's Wedding at The Dairy, Waddesdon Manor

Look out for more pictures and details from Nik and Lisa's wonderful wedding coming soon!
Photo credit: www.stuartbebb.com

22 August, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Lillibrooke Manor Wedding, Maidenhead

Yesterday we had the pleasure of co-ordinating Tamara and Nathaniel's wedding at St Lukes Church and Lillibrooke Manor in Maidenhead.
It was fantastic to work with them to help plan their day, they are a lovely couple and had so many wonderfully unique ideas to incorporate into their wedding.
This video shows a small part of Janet and I setting up in the morning. The day began with an hour of steaming open freeze dried peony heads- fiddly, but worth it when you can not rely on fresh ones being available, they looked beautiful on the arrival drink table.
We moved on to the church to sweep away debris blown in and move papers from the doorway, before organising the confetti, spare readings, reserved seats and order of services.
The next stop was displaying road signs to direct guests to the remote manor house, after our sat nav directed us the wrong way up a one way system on the first visit we decided this was a must!
We then ran through some checks with the catering company, resulting in a quick dash to buy the missing raspberries needed for the arrival drinks and locating the lost desserts still en-route from London.
Janet and I then unloaded the decorations we had been storing and set to work on decorating the barn with many items that reflected their personalities and Zimbabwean roots. This included scattering the national flower, Gloriosa, on the top table, name settings in elephant favours, an elephant cake topper, safari animal table names, table plan, guest book, card box, wine with personalised labels, gifts under the top table, child seating, toys and much more.
The DJ arrived early to build his equipment, after showing him the space we tested the back up music we had for the wedding breakfast and the first/second dance songs.
The courtyard was the next location to organise the garden games, throws, flowers, arrival drinks and the string trio, but moments before the Routemaster bus full of guests pulled up the rain started to fall so a quick turn around and the set up was duplicated inside the adjoining small barn.
This was all simply the preparation, look out for our next post on the wedding celebrations. We can not wait to share some of the photos with you and less wobbly professional video footage, including all of the great supplier details who all made the day so special.

20 August, 2010

Book your free wedding consultation - Wokingham & Maidenhead fairs

These short 20 minute slots are an easy way to quickly gain expert help and guidance from experienced wedding planners from SugarBlossom. Meet with us to discuss a wedding issue or to ask any questions you may have about wedding planning, such as choosing your venue, your theme and styling, money saving tips, choosing and managing suppliers or wedding etiquette. We are taking a limited number of bookings for complimentary wedding consultations at:

Both fairs are free to attend and open from 11am to 3.30pm. After each consultation you will be given a SugarBlossom Wedding Planner to check you are on track with your all important tasks. Simply click here to let us know which fair you will be attending and your preferred time to meet. We look forward to hearing from you, Hannah and Janet

http://www.sugarblossom.co.uk/ info@sugarblossom.co.uk 0783 225 4187, 0118 988 7988

02 August, 2010

Q&A: Do you know if there is a gift list company for outdoor present, we’d love to create our dream garden?

Absolutely, although many of the department stores with wedding lists have garden options they may not be as varied as you may like.

The Bottom Drawer is a more flexible online gift list option, you can choose to have your garden landscaped or pick products from turf and flowers to lights and decking.

Enjoy relaxing in your new garden!
Photo credit: www.gardenvisit.com

28 July, 2010

Balloon Save the Date

Found on FPO via Green Wedding Shoes

This is an incredibly fun and creative idea for a Save the Date.
"After ten years together, Jen + Kevin got engaged in Paris – a location they subtly acknowledged in a nod to Albert Lamorisse’s short film The Red Balloon when designing their save the date announcement. Wanting to treat their wedding as a big party more so than a traditional event, each guest received a deflated, red balloon tied to a letterpress printed card reading: “Hello! Please inflate the balloon.” Once inflated, the piece reveals all relevant information and sets the desired tone with humor and playfulness."

15 July, 2010

Q&A: I was hoping to wear a vintage dress, but can’t find anything suitable- do you have any ideas?

We have lots of beautiful bridal boutiques here in Berkshire, but not those that specialise in vintage dresses so a trip to London would be the best approach.

Make sure you book appointments in advance, a good place to start and reasonably priced is Annies Vintage Clothing in Islington with original Twenties mid-calf lace wedding dresses with silk under slips that sell for around £200 (www.anniesvintageclothing.co.uk).

Other city options to visit are Candy Anthony (www.candyanthony.com), Half Penny London (www.halfpennylondon.com) and The Vintage Wedding Dress Company (www.thevintageweddingdresscompany.com).

Have a fabulous day out and be sure to update us on your search for the perfect dress.

12 July, 2010

Equestrian name setting

If you are an animal lover add a touch of personality to your tables with a tiny chalk horse. These horses can have names scribbled on in chalk to make a unique name setting. They are available here on Etsy.

08 July, 2010

Easy tool to create your seating plan

Simply register with www.marthastewartweddings.com to access the online seating chart tool, you add your room dimensions then start populating with tables and names to drag and move around to get the ideal arrangement. Easy peasy!

29 June, 2010

Q&A: How can I make the RSVP process easier?

An online RSVP option is becoming more common as wedding websites grow in popularity, this is a quick way for guests to reply and easy for you to manage whilst being environmentally friendly, although it may require a few calls to Grandparents and those less comfortable with the internet.

Expecting guests to send a postal reply can be a slow process unless you include your own RSVP cards, removing any delay in guests having to find a suitable acceptance card. Including an addressed and stamped envelope makes this even simpler and speeds up the time for you to get your numbers confirmed.

Tip: Number the guest list and the backs of the RSVP cards, in case someone forgets to write in his or her name.

Image credit:

16 April, 2010

Q&A: When should we send our thank you cards?

Try to send hand written thank you notes no later than a month after your wedding referring to the gift they have given you. To make it easier to manage start writing them as soon as people start buying you gifts rather than having masses to do after your honeymoon.

07 April, 2010

DIY: Seed Matchbook Favours

These floral favours make a pretty decoration for your tables and symbolise the beginning of a relationship that grows over time, a unique memento for your guests. The free template to edit and directions can be downloaded here.
Found on Martha Stewart via iDIY

06 April, 2010

Hannah & Pauls Easter Wedding: Wokefield Park, Reading

This Easter weekend we had the pleasure of working with a lovely couple, Hannah and Paul, for their wedding at Wokefield Park in Mortimer, Reading.
Once they are back from their honeymoon in Thailand we shall look forward to sharing some professional pictures and details of their day.
They incorporated so many personal touches into their wedding and were incredibley well organised, even taking the time to write us a thank you note in the midst of all the wedding mania….
“Thank you so much for all of your support and assistance in the run up to our wedding. You have been fantastic ever since we met you... I know our guests will love everything you have done...”

29 March, 2010

Berkshire Wedding Fairs

Yesterday we exhibited at Dream Wedding Fair's event at the Reading Town Hall, it was a fantastic day with lots of recently engaged couples having the opportunity to meet a huge selection of local suppliers. The wedding fair was one of the largest in Berkshire with a massive amount of wedding inspiration spread across two of the large ballrooms.
If you did not manage to make yesterday's fair there is one left this season before the summer wedding season break, then lots more from September. Furthermore all of the fairs are free entry, often include fashion shows and from 11am-4pm, here is a list of what is coming up, we hope to see you at some:
  • Ramada Newbury Elcot Park - Sunday 11th April 2010
  • Fredrick's Hotel -Sunday 5th September 2010
  • Donnington Valley Hotel -Sunday 12th September 2010
  • Hampshire Court Hotel, Basingstoke -Sunday 19th September 2010
  • Reading Town Hall - Sunday 26th September 2010
  • Wokingham Town Hall - Sunday 3rd October 2010
  • Grovefield House Hotel -Sunday 3rd October 2010
  • Ramada Newbury Elcot Park -10th October
  • Norton Park Hotel - Sunday 10th October 2010
  • Badgemore Park Gold Club, Henley - Sunday 24th October 2010
  • The Royal Adelaide Hotel, Windsor - Sunday 24th October 2010
  • Trunkwell Mansion House, Berkshire- Sunday 7th November 2010
For more information on any of these visit: http://www.dreamweddingfairs.co.uk/wedding-shows-berkshire.html

24 March, 2010

Venue Spotlight: Sir Christopher Wren's House, Windsor

Last Saturday and Sunday we planned and co-ordinated a full weekend of celebrations in Windsor for a 60th birthday- from a traditional afternoon tea with a view of the castle to a show at the Royal Theatre, followed by a Thai feast and drinks in a traditional English bar.
The grand finale of the festivities was dining for twenty five at Sir Christopher Wren’s House in their pavilion room. This beautiful space included a bar and relaxed seating area, with the circular dining room having the most amazing views right on the River Thames with glass dome ceiling too- wonderfully light and airy.
The staff were polite and professional, the food was beautifully presented and being located next to Eton Bridge only metres from the castle makes the venue equally well suited to a wedding.
Emma Vinters, Sales & Marketing Manager ,comments "Our location by the River Thames, makes the hotel an ideal setting for a wedding. Brides often choose to arrive in style aboard our very own private boat ‘Larus‘ which adds a classic touch to their special day."
This room is licensed for civil ceremonies and can seat 70 ceremony guests or 40 dinner guests.
Photo credits: SugarBlossom's own

17 March, 2010

Venue Decoration Service Launched!

We have recently launched SugarBlossom's Venue Decoration service, previously it was only available as part of the Day of Co-ordination package. This has been in response to the number of brides who have been surprised to discover that many of the setting up tasks they expected their venue organiser to do are not offered, or worse still they had planned to go and decorate the day before- only to find out they could not access the venue due to another event or wedding booking.
Will the staff at your venue set up and decorate your room(s) according to your specifications on the day of the wedding?
Few venues take on this responsibility to create the style and atmosphere you have planned for, so you may need to make arrangements with family or friends. Alternatively we offer venue decoration in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire. Read more... or email us with any questions, info@sugarblossom.co.uk
Photo credit: SugarBlossom's own image

16 March, 2010

Kissing Booth

This print would be perfect to encourage some impromptu photo silliness if you are planning a photo booth at your reception. In the past we have set up informal photo areas to capture some ridiculous shots with:

  • Wigs
  • Empty photo frames to pose behind
  • Silly sunglasses
  • Fake moustaches on sticks
  • Piles of marker pens and doilies to make signs
  • Boxing gloves
  • 'I'm married!' flags
  • Piles of hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Piles of disposable cameras
  • oh anything wacky we could get our hands on!

To buy the kissing booth sign for notonthehighsteet.com. click here

Photo credits: www.notonthehighstreet.com and www.breathepictures.com

15 March, 2010

Q&A: How should we say it is a child free wedding without offending?

Once you have made this decision you carefully need to communicate it without upsetting anyone. If parents only are named on the invite it should be assumed their children are not invited, but you may need to be clearer with a specific mention, for example: “We hope you understand that we have chosen to make our special day adults only" or “Due to numbers, and the maximum capacity of the room, we will not be able to invite children to the wedding or reception.”

26 February, 2010

Vintage teacup: Charming favour and name setting

A beautiful favour, table decoration and a name setting all in one from sugarlily. The tag can be personalised with your own message and colours to fit your theme, they look prettier still with a cupcake or flower in each cup. Visit www.sugalily.co.uk for a browse of the gorgeous and arty site.

19 February, 2010

I'm engaged! Now what do I do?

Firstly congratulations on your engagement! Enjoy this exciting and happy time with your fiancé. The important initial wedding considerations are when you would like to get married, what your budget is and the venue.

Is there a particular season you would prefer, is it important to have a summer or winter wedding? Are you inclined to opt for a traditional Saturday over weekdays? These considerations can affect the cost, out of peak times can mean venue hire and many suppliers are less expensive.

Do you know how much you want to spend on your wedding? Are you planning a long engagement to give you time to save, have your family been able to offer to contribute towards the day? Be honest with yourselves to eliminate any anxiety further in the planning and use this budget as a guideline when choosing your suppliers.

Will you have your ceremony and reception in one venue, or is there a church’s alter you have dreamt of walking up? Is it an urban city wedding, a sandy sunny destination wedding, a marquee in the countryside or a grand stately home celebration? Regardless of where it is held, the venue must be one of your first decisions to book and set the date. When you walk around take a check list with you to help compare against other options, does it match your vision for the day, is it easy for guests to reach, is there accommodation, is there parking etc

Once you have decided on when, your budget and the venue, you should start selecting the team that make your special day happen. It really is crucial to take the time to find suppliers that match your requirements and that you like. This may be when you decide to hire a wedding planner who can help source options that fit your style and budget.

Photo credit: www.stylemepretty.com

14 February, 2010

Q&A: What size wedding cake do I need?

Janet from The Cake Fairy in Reading helped us with today's question by providing this handy chart we ofter refer to.
The table illustrates how many and what size tiers you should choose to have enough cake to serve your guests, varying on the shape of cake you prefer and the slice size.
Fruit cake is generally served in finger size portions and sponge in dessert size portions. However the finger size slices are perfect if you are having different flavour tiers and would like to give guests a selection to taste.
Don't forget to consider extra if you would like to keep your top tier after your wedding.

Enjoy picking a delicious cake!

10 February, 2010

Venue spotlight: Brockhurst, near Newbury in Berkshire

We co-ordinated Nicola and Chris’s perfect wedding day at Brockhurst and it truly is a gem of a venue.
As a boarding school it is only available during school holidays limiting the number of weddings the house hosts, maintaining an air of exclusivity for your day.
Brockhurst is licensed for both civil marriages and partnership ceremonies and also has a beautiful ancient church in the grounds just steps away from the house.
The fairytale setting is complete with stained glass windows, a huge oak staircase, open fires, a high beamed ceiling, chandeliers and outside sixty acres of sweeping lawns with a lake.
At a glance:
  • Civil Licence - 120
  • Indoor Dining Capacity - 116
  • Marquee Dining Capacity – 200
  • Address- Hermitage, Newbury, Berkshire, RG18 9UL
  • Telephone- 01244 571208
Look out for Nicola and Chri’s wedding photos which will be posted here soon.
Photo credits: SugarBlossom's own