Jenny & Ben – Dairy Barns

   
Jenny married Ben in a beautiful Dairy Barn in North Norfolk, on Easter weekend 26th March 2016. 

Oh So Perfect’s Samantha not only had the privilege of attending  and assisting this wedding, she also had the absolute honour of performing a very special role on the day – being a bridesmaid! 

Despite being part of the main wedding party, Samantha’s ‘wedding coordinator hat’ couldn’t be completely left at home this weekend, and her pink clipboard perfectly complimented the pretty pale dress as she coordinated the day between sips of pink champagne.

On Good Friday, Samantha set to work primping and preening the beautifully selected wild flowers into rustic jars to form the centrepieces, whilst Oh So Perfect’s Daniel and the boys set to work in the barn draping home made bunting and hanging the ‘Bird Twitchers’table plan amongst the wooden eaves. 

On the wedding day itself, Samantha had the pleasure of announcing the new Mr & Mrs into the wedding breakfast, before tucking in to bangers and mash, followed by apple crumble and custard – yum! There were also scrumptious dairy ice creams and sweet pancakes to be devoured! 

OSP’s Daniel played a part in keeping the ceremony running smoothly and looking after the PA system too whilst Samantha flaffed with the wedding dress! 

There was a real ‘all hands on deck’ feel to this wedding, with the wedding cake being baked by the bride’s friend, and one of the most professional homemade photo booths ever seen hidden upstairs! 

Jen & Ben really did provide their guests with a most gorgeous day to be enjoyed by all… And it was a pleasure to be a part of it! X

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 Well, even the greatest wedding planners need a little extra time to party!! 

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk to view our full range of planning and coordination services. 

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TRULYExperiences: Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

Oh So Exclusive – Diary of a Wedding Planner

A few weeks ago, I was asked by the team at TRULY: Luxury Gift Experiences to try out one of their gift experiences, as a professional wedding planner considering its value as a wedding gift. I promptly replied that I would be crazy not to!

Let me start by introducing Truly to you, in their own words:

TRULY are the leading purveyors of luxury gift experiences in the UK and we believe that our gifts make the best wedding presents.

 They are unique gifts that make the gift giver stand out from the crowd. For the newlyweds, they create memories that last a lifetime – an incomparable wedding present.

The team at TRULY kindly offered me a selection of potential experiences to choose from and I opted for Spanish Michelin Star Lunch for Two at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction. 

I made my selection and a day later my gift experience voucher arrived at my door. Inside the box, wrapped in black, delicately scented tissue paper, was a piece of white card with the title of my experience and a unique customer code embossed upon it in silver. Very classy. All I had to do was contact the concierge team via email (a very friendly and helpful bunch of people) and book my date to attend. A few days before the experience itself, I was politely contacted by the concierge team again to see that all was still OK with my plan to visit, and was politely informed I would simply need to give my name on arrival. Nice and easy!

My lunch date and I arrived on foot and were immediately greeted with a smile and a welcome. The Halkin hotel, where the Ametsa restaurant is based, is a luxury hotel, and we were certainly given a luxury welcome as two waiters led us to our table, pulling out our chairs to be seated. A fragrant, spicy aroma filled the room as we entered – the result of a ceiling decorated with glass jars, each filled with Spanish spices – delicious!

We ordered our drinks (a bottle of the house white wine at £28) and took a look at the menu. The menu we were given was the set lunch menu, as this is what was purchased within the experience. I was pleased to note that the experience cost £55, so with the lunch menu priced at £27.50 a head, no sneaky added extras had been calculated by the cost of booking this treat through TRULY – it was an exact price match. Included in the menu (and therefore the experience) was entrée nibbles, bread and oil, a three dish tapas starter to share plus a shot of soup, a main course each, coffee or tea, and petit fours to finish. Any drinks and desserts were supplementary, but I’ll come back to this later.

The menu being a set menu is very restricted in its choices, limited to a set selection of the tapas dishes to share, followed by a choice each between two main meals only. This is great for me as I’m always completely hopeless at choosing from a vast menu (honestly, it’s embarrassing how long I take to choose!) but if you’re a fussy eater (or indeed your gift recipient is a fussy eater) you may encounter problems. I like to think though that the Spanish Michelin Star Lunch with Arzak Instruction is a pretty foodie-friendly choice of gift though, so hopefully this would be intended to be given to someone already known to be less fussy in their dining!

I also noted that there was not a choice on the menu for vegetarians. When I first made my booking through the concierge team I was politely asked whether either of us had any food allergies or dietary requirements. At this point, I let the team know that I am personally a pescetarian  and this was noted in our booking.

Luckily, of the two main dishes available, one was a fish dish and there was squid in the tapas (although I had already decided I would be sampling ALL of the tapas regardless!). Our waiter – the restuarant manager – on seating us had again asked whether we had any specific allergies or requirements which should be noted by the kitchen. He informed us that with Arzak cooking there could be up to 30-odd ingredients in one bite of food. We informed him that this was fine, but I did wonder had I been fussier in my diet choices what options he may have come up with, because if the menu was anything to go by then veggies I’m afraid you’d be a little more stuck for choice!

I’d also have been interested to know more about those 30-odd ingredients in a single bite, as the menu gave very little away in its description of the dishes on offer.

I know from my earlier research online that: the menu showcases the best of new Basque cuisine, pairing the earthy flavours and techniques of Spain’s Basque region with modern, surprising twists featuring locally-sourced and organic produce from land and sea – and from what I had researched ‘Arzak instruction’ was in essence Spain’s answer to Heston Blumenthal’s ways of experimental cooking. But sadly at the meal itself we were told very little about what we were actually eating, although this did lead us both into a lot of amused nibbling, silly guessing, and pulling faces of great intrigue as we pondered over what might have been in there.

My main meal had come with a ‘celery illusion’ which I’m still guessing about (I think it may have been some sort of apple purée shaped like celery – delicious nonetheless), and on serving us our tapas the waiter informed us that the lamb meatballs had ‘something of a surprise’ in the middle. Intrigue got the better of us and we asked about that one – the surprise was in fact grape.

But despite not knowing everything about each dish, the food was quite simply:incredible. We thoroughly enjoyed each and every bite. The cured ham in the tapas, we were told, had been exported especially to the restaurant from a region in Spain and was not available to buy in the UK, and the squid dish had taken 24 hours to prepare beforehand.

Let’s just take a moment here to discuss that squid by the way. Oh. My.

I realise squid is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those a little more open minded in their palette, the dish was perfect; the squid light and not chewy; suitably fishy in flavour but not over-powering. It was served in the most obscene looking vibrant green and jet black ink sauce, which actually we both thought looked totally brilliant! It really was quite a treat and I’ve been yearning for more ever since!

Since there were only two main courses to choose from, we selected one of each, and found that the presentation on arrival was everything you would stereotypically expect from a fancy restaurant. That is, it was artistic but actually quite small.

Well, this was where we were fooled, as although the portion looked small, once you got into it, it was really quite filling, and when you consider that we had already devoured bread and oil, three types of tapas and a cold tomato and strawberry soup in a shot glass (and actually this was only meant to be lunch after all) we were pleasantly impressed with the quantity. The quality of the food, of course, was immeasurable; and we delighted in taking as many photos as possible of each and every course that arrived.

As we tucked into our mains, my lunch date and I returned to the task at hand, and quizzed each other on our thoughts about the experience so far.

Our conclusions at this point were as follows:

Would the TRULY experience make a good wedding present for a newlywed couple? Yes. It was a lovely way to spend a day together, and at £55 for two people it was priced just about right to give as a wedding gift too.

Would the TRULY experience be suitable as a good engagement present? No. We personally wouldn’t either of us buy someone an engagement present in all honesty, it’d be far better suited to gift at the wedding.

If we were a newlywed couple, would we enjoy receiving this gift? Yes. It’d be something lovely to look forward to perhaps after the honeymoon, especially once all the wedding excitement had died down. (So many of my brides don’t know what to do with themselves after the wedding excitement has died down!)

My date and I decided that, in order to round of the experience completely, we would treat ourself to a dessert, which at £6.50 each wasn’t really too bad considering the luxury of the restaurant and its Michelin Star status.

We both agreed that the two choices given on the dessert menu weren’t really desserts we’d usually go for but, since we were already here sampling some fine dishes, we would complete the full indulgence. Thank goodness that we did, we were both in awe of what we ate and swapped plates midway to try each other’s puddings too. Delicious!

If you don’t opt for dessert though, it’s not the end of the world as you’re also treated to tea or coffee and a delectable selection of petit fours at the end of the meal within the set menu.

These included a mandarin marshmallow (the lightest, freshest, most delicious little marshmallow I have ever tasted); a divine bite of rich chocolate truffle; and the most refreshing little parsley macaroon to die for.

In fact our waiter accidentally dropped one macaroon on serving, and promptly brought out a whole mini tray of extra little macaroons to compensate, with garnish and edible flowers and everything… I may have squealed with excitement! It is a fact that every bride loves a macaron – apparently it is a taste fascination that comes automatically with the arrival of an engagement ring!

The price of this particular experience was just right at £55, perfectly reasonable to give as a gift and far more personal then handing over cash to a couple or picking something off their gift list.

Of course it must be considered that the couple will have to buy their own drinks, and dessert comes at a supplement price too,  plus there’s a service charge of 12.5% added to the bill at the end; but for the overall experience I think it’s quite fair to expect the couple to add this on their own as they’re still getting an incredible deal overall, all considered.

The total cost of our meal was as follows…

TRULY gift experience for two people which included:
– entrées
– bread and oil
– soup shot each and three kinds of tapas to share
– main course each
– tea and coffee
– petit fours
£55

Additional extras:
Bottle of house white wine
£28
Two desserts
£13
12.5% Service charge
£11.50

I guess normally I’d argue that £107.50 is an awful lot to spend on a lunch for two on a Friday; but delicious food, incredible quality, specialist restaurant, Michelin Stars, luxury hotel, attentive service and the fact that half-of-this-would-be-the-couple’s-gift-and-therefore-not-out-of-their-own-pocket-anyway considered, it’s really quite reasonable.  The newlyweds have only really spent an additional £52.50 of their own pennies to enjoy it at full expense as we did, and of course is only optional.

My thanks to TRULY and the team at Ametsa for a truly wonderful experience, we both thoroughly enjoyed our lunch date and would highly recommend this gift as a wedding present for a potential bride and groom.

This experience was kindly offered to us by TRULY but all opinions in this post are our own. To find out more about TRULY luxury gift experiences and find out what other gifts are available to purchase, visit the website: trulyexperiences.com

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

Oh, so what’s been happening?

Hello darling followers of Oh So Perfect… did you think we had forgotten you?

Bunting just married wedding cake topper www.ohsoperfect.co.uk

I know, a long time a go this blog used to be a lot more regular in its posts, didn’t it? But over the last year at Perfect HQ things have just become so wonderfully busy and our schedule so bursting full that we haven’t had as much time to dedicate to our little corner of the business blogosphere and perhaps, as a result, we have let you down a bit…

So, since I have 5 minutes of down time this afternoon I thought I would write you a little love letter, from Perfect HQ, explaining where we have been and what is happening next…

Dear Oh So Perfect blog follower,

My lovely follower, my sweetest friend – please understand… life lately has just been so full, and we’ve barely had time to breathe!

Weddings have been flying by each week at a crazy pace. It seems only 5 minutes ago we were looking forward to the start of the season, yet now we’re approaching the last few miles in the race to the end. 

Oh, and we’ve seen some beautiful weddings along the way…

Alicia and Tom – what an excellent start to the season and really just grand. An elegant, stylish marquee filled with red roses and a beautiful bride in a horse and carriage. 

Helena and Steve, our Hong Kong couple, their family party over in the Midlands went off royally in a medieval inspired setting.

Charlotte and Nick. There are no words for the beauty of this Buckinghamshire wedding. Utterly divine and packed to the barn’s rafters (literally!) with the most exquisite flowers you have ever set your petal-loving eyes on. Pure wedding day bliss. 

Rhiannon and James, so sweet and so pretty was their wedding last weekend in Wales, and a joy to be a part of too.

Yes, dear follower, I know what you ‘re thinking: “How on earth would we know, you haven’t shown us any pictures!”

Eeek, yes, slaps on the wrists all round it’s true we haven’t! But the thing is my darlings, in the excitement of all the planning and coordinating of these luxurious days we simply haven’t yet had a moment to edit and share with you the glorious details of each one individually.

But don’t fret, not for a second – we haven’t forgotten, and once the season is out we shall indeed relish in delighting you with all the images. I promise.

Next week we head to Wales again, this time to deliver our Radiant Orchid wedding for Jill and Nick, our gorgeous pair from across the pond. As I write this to you, sweet follower, they are already boarding their plane in Washington and are about to jet over for the fun to begin. We’ve been planning this wedding for a year and I can not believe it is so close to being here now – how exciting! 

Following Jill and Nick, we’ll assist Laura and Rob in a delightful intimate tea party wedding too. Then it’s on to Hollie and Andrew who will marry in a winter castle, no less.

Of course, we’re taking bookings and enquiries as ever too. Already down for next year we have mansions, marquees, gardens and a new international couple joining our books, so it’s all go, go, go then too!

But for now, it’s on with the show. A few more weddings to see out and then we’re done. We can come back and visit you some more, perhaps? We’ll share those photos as promised and who knows, maybe we’ll even find time to write a new post or two with some tips, some stories, little features – those things you once loved reading on our blog; because we still love writing them as well! 

So stay patient, pretty one. We haven’t forgotten you at all. We’re just a little preoccupied at the moment, making everyone else’s day Oh So Perfect, of course…

Perfect HQ xx

 

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations Charlotte and Nick!

I can not even begin to describe how utterly beautiful yesterday’s Buckinghamshire wedding was – utterly, utterly divine! – and I feel so proud to have been a part of such an exquisite day.

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Congratulations to the radiant Charlotte and her new husband Nicholas, such a wonderful pair of people so very in love and so perfectly suited; you both were simply stunning, all day long.

Such an honour, also, to work not just with them these last few weeks but also with their wonderful family. It is always such a joy to work with a family a second time; having previously coordinated sister Kate and Richard’s wedding in West Wales in 2012 (follow this link for the images) we were delighted to be asked to work with this family again, and it has been a pleasure to get to know them all even better and say hello once again to past guests, family members and old faces.

I am so lucky in this job to work with such warm, welcoming families like these, who were overwhelmingly full of gratitude to to have me on board once again – I can not thank them enough for their kind words yesterday both in their speeches and in the quiet words between family moments. I am truly touched, blessed and honoured to have been a part of both of these special occasions.

Yesterday was a very long day, 20 hours coordinating from start to finish, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat for a wedding – and a family – like this one.

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The above is just a little taster of images from their day for you to enjoy on this lovely Sunday afternoon, but you can expect much more photos from this wedding and indeed all of the beautiful weddings I have been honoured to coordinate this season in a few weeks to follow.

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

 

2014 Wedding Season… ready, steady, oh so go!

We’re oh so excited up at Perfect HQ this afternoon as the sun is shining in through the office window and there’s only two days to go before our first wedding of the 2014 season kicks off – hooray!

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We’ve been a little slower starting our season this year compared to last; last Spring saw us with two weddings in April and now gearing up towards our third, but this year we’re starting a little later with our first date in May. That said though, we also squeezed in three glorious winter weddings at the end of 2013 so it doesn’t feel quite as a long a gap between the seasons as the year before last!

Don’t be fooled though lovelies, starting our first wedding of 2014 a little later certainly doesn’t mean that we haven’t had a busy few months at Oh So Perfect this year already. We’ve been at our desks since January working hard on the year ahead, not only changing things within the business and updating our website (we relocated to Buckinghamshire a few months ago, did you hear?) but also writing editorial for Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon magazine, making contact with new suppliers, and of course not to mention the thing we do best – wedding planning!

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We’ve been busy working hard with international couples this year, assisting with the full planning of one very big wedding due to take place in July, and a huge family gathering (Oh So Perfect don’t just work on weddings either!) taking place at the end of this month too. We also helped a lovely Welsh couple to source a marquee with our Oh So Helpful as and when wedding planning service and held a few meetings with brides here and there to help them along their wedding planning way. Plus, next month our very own wedding planner Samantha is hanging up her clipboard for a day as she takes on the role of Maid of Honour for her best friend, so we’ve dipped our toes into the glamorous world of organising  hen parties too in recent weeks!

So, with the first big wedding of the year only 2 days away – and oh yes it’s certainly a big one (did someone say 400 guests in a marquee on the Gower peninsula….?)  – we’re busy, busy finalising schedules and plans, updating emails, and preparing our clipboard for the coming event. My fabulous South Wales assistant Anthony is gearing up his clipboard too to assist with organising and overseeing all the events at the marquee on Saturday morning as the suppliers arrive and set up, whilst Samantha will be working closely with the bride at her home helping her and her attendants get ready and arrive at the church on time. This bride has cleverly made the most of our newest package the Oh So Lovely – Bride’s Best Friend to ensure maximum support throughout the morning, afternoon and evening too.

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Later this afternoon I’ll be taking out the Oh So Oh No! emergency pink kit box and ensuring that it’s once again full to the brim with everything a good wedding planner could possibly need to help with any hiccups on the day… not that there will be any hiccups, this is an Oh So Perfect wedding after all! We’ve already loaded the car with our big white bridal brollies just in case, though with the current weather forecast showing blue sky and sunshine here’s hoping we won’t need them, but better to be prepared!

The 2014 season is about to kick off, and we have weddings taking place through May, June, July and August already on our books, but it’s not too late to add yours to the mix too so if you’d like any help with some Oh So Supportive – On The Day Coordination for your wedding day in England or Wales this year, make sure you get in touch quick to make the most of the wonderful packages and services we have to offer!

Until next time, lovelies….. xx

 

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping: Top Tips!

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I have planned plenty of weddings, I’ve coordinated dozens of wedding days, I’ve been a bride’s best friend on several occasions, but I have never been a Maid of Honour!

This year that changes as mixed in amongst the summer season of Oh So Perfect weddings, is the wedding of my best friend, and as such I have been bestowed with the ultimate wedding-planning privilege – I am her Maid of Honour. Excited, much?

As a wedding planner, I get involved in lots of lovely personal moments with my bride and groom, helping them to identify themselves as a couple and sharing their ideas for their perfect day, but I like to take a little step back when it comes to ‘being with the girls.’ One of the loveliest things about being a bride is choosing your bridesmaids, asking the ladies closest to you to support you in the biggest day of your life, and one of the fun parts of being a bridesmaid is going bridesmaid dress shopping!

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From Sarah and Gareth’s movie wedding – http://www.ohsoperfect.co.uk

I recently had the pleasure of joining my best friend and two of her other bridesmaids for a very fun afternoon of bridesmaid dress shopping. We had a lovely day together all of us, and it only took 3 rounds of trying things on before we found the dress and what a gorgeous dress it was! It gathered a resounding ooooh! from all of us as we each slipped into it, and a a big thumbs up all round as we all realised it was perfect!

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We were very lucky to find something so perfect, so quick, but it’s not always as easy… shopping with 5 – 7 – 10! other girls can be a lot harder than shopping with just 3, so with this in mind, here are a few little tips for brides and bridesmaids to consider when choosing the perfect dress…

1. Think about your colour scheme and theme.
OK, sound obvious, but it’s important to remember that your bridesmaids will play a big role in carrying on your chosen colour scheme and theme of the day! It is important to have a clear idea of the sort of colour you are going for – take some swatches or an example of your stationary to help you find the right shade, and if it’s a particular style you’re going for (50s/Gatsby/minimal etc.) then keep the theme in mind when choosing the dress. Cut out some images from magazines, or build up a board on Pinterest first to share with your girls so they all have a clear idea of what it is you’re looking ahead of the shopping trip.

2. Do your research.
Got a very specific style/colour in mind? Remember that the evening wear/bridesmaid dress shops on the highstreet will all be working to current fashion trends, so you may find it difficult to get the exact colour or fashion style you’re after if it’s not akin to what’s currently going on in the fashion catwalk too. Look online first, check which stores are currently stocking what dresses and what dress specialists are in the area, and draw up a plan of where you want to visit before you hit the shops.

3. All girls are different!
What do you love most about your bridesmaids – the fact that they’re your nearest and dearest friends, right? And with that, you must remember that each of them is an individual, they’re all different and that’s why you love them! But I’m not just talking about personality, it’s also important to remember that each girl looks different too. We all have different shapes and sizes, different hair and skin tones, and it can be very difficult sometimes to find one dress which ultimately suits all styles! We were very lucky when buying our dress – a long empire line with floaty fabric, and a bold dark colour tends to hit if off with all different body shapes and tones too, but bear in mind if your girls are really different, squeezing them all into an unusual shape, fit or colour dress may prove tricky!

4. Talk to your ladies.
It’s important to speak to your girls before you go shopping.Ultimately the final decision is yours, yes, but following on from my last point here, each girl knows her own style and has a pretty good understanding of what will or won’t look good on her – she’s been buying clothes for herself longer than you have don’t forget! Talk to your ladies about what styles they think suit them – and more importantly what styles they would feel most comfortable wearing, because you want your bridesmaids to look and feel good on the day too so that they can relax and enjoy themselves rather than worrying that they’re not comfortable in the outfit you choose. You never know, they may inspire you to think of something different you hadn’t considered!

5. Think about your own dress.
What does your dress look like? Remember to consider your own style, and perhaps even take a photo from your own fitting with you so you can decide whether the bridesmaid dresses you choose ultimately compliment the tones, fabric and styles of your own dress too.

6. Don’t be afraid to try something on.
My best friend was adamant that she wanted us in knee length dresses. Yet, take another look at the picture at the top of this post…. floor length! When we found these dresses, she ummed and ahhed as it was short she had in mind, but I suggested we simply try them on anyway – you never know – and fancy that, they were just the ticket and she loved them!

7. Be clear on your budget.
Before you hit the shops, make sure you’re clear about how much you want to spend and who is spending what. If you are buying the dresses for your girls, make sure they know the price tag limit and what is included – do you want to include the shoes and accessories in this budget or will the girls buy these themselves? Be clear. Talk to your girls, find out how much, if anything they’d be willing to contribute if the budget needed to be stretched, or, if you’re asking them to buy the dress themselves then be sure how much they are all comfortable to be spending (with all accessories considered too – do not forget those extra penny pinchers!) and remember to respect their set figure when you’re looking too.

8. One for the bridesmaids…
One final point, and this one goes to the girls themselves. Ladies, we all have our tastes, and as a bridal party it’s our job offer help and advice to a stressed out bride, but ultimately, and the very end of the day, the decision is hers. It’s your best mate’s big day, so let’s keep it that way. Sure, speak up if you’re really unhappy or uncomfortable, but for goodness sake do not cause a full blown drama because you’ll be off that bridal party list quicker than you can say “top table.”

From ’27 Dresses’

Remember that scene from 27 Dresses where Ms Heigl pulls out all her bridesmaid gowns-gone-by? Yeah, there’s some real stinkers there, but you know what, she wore them, because that’s what a good bridesmaid does.

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

A Valentine from Becky Lord

Diary of a Wedding Planner

Ahh… Becky Lord. What a lovely lady! I first discovered this graphic designer and stationery whiz last year, when Becky sent me a gorgeous box of goodies in the post.

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The box consisted of a whole host of designs, bespoke invites and off the peg stationery for me to sit and peruse at my own leisure. The fact that the box also came with a cup of tea and box of scrummy biscuits made the experience all the more pleasurable!

A few months later, I found myself booking Becky to design some gorgeous bicycle stationery for one of my couples, and what a grand job she did do!

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So, you can imagine my delight last week when something new arrived in the post from this designer…

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Doesn’t it all look so lovely laid out on my desk? Becky Lord had sent me some glorious valentine treats – and of course the obligatory sugary snack to accompany my browsing!

In the package I discovered note-lets, postcards cards, cute confetti, patterned package tape, luggage labels and a lovely little print too; all themed to Valentines Day, love, and spoiling oneself.

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I may have squeeled a little as I sorted through and decided which pieces to display and which to send on to friends.

I particularly love the ‘Love, is the new black’ print Becky had popped in – I think I may have to frame this and pop it on my desk!

All of these items and many more splendid things can be found on Becky’s website. So I suggest you go and take a peep!

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

Road Trippin’ in Radiant Orchid

Diary of a Wedding Planner

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I admit, it’s been a long time since we brought you a diary of a wedding planner post. In fact, with the exception of the few galleries we’ve managed to upload recently, it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to bring you many blog posts at all!

We’ve simply been so busy, lovelies! But, alas, despite our hectic wedding planning schedule and all that, we’ve decided to try and dedicate a little more time to the blog again bring you some more regular diary of a wedding planner posts, as we know you do adore them!

So, this week, Samantha jumped into her Fiesta and headed West, back to Wales to meet up with our international American couple, Jill & Nick – my ‘radiant orchid’ couple.

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You know how we like to label our couples by their theme or colour scheme, and it seems a little unfair to refer to Jill & Nick as our ‘Americans’ so radiant orchid it is, after their chosen Pantone colour of the year colour scheme.

Quite often when working with clients based oversees, I don’t have the privilege of meeting the couple in person until the big day itself, or a few days before, for obvious reasons. Sure, we email regularly – it’s unavoidable when planning something so important – and we’ve had ‘face to face’ meetings over Skype, but it’s never quite the same as meeting in person when you’re discussing things so personal and exciting, is it? However, in a rare opportunity, Jill and Nick were able to visit the UK for a few days this week, and as such we panned three days together on the road with back-to-back meetings, consultations, trials, tastings, and even a photoshoot thrown in for good measure.

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On Sunday we met – at last! – visited the venue, wondered casually around a wedding fair, discussed ideas, and even booked a fab photo booth. My couple have visited the venue before, but it was nice to walk around together, and a joy to listen to the mother of the bride’s reaction to the views as this was the first time she had visited Wales herself. It was a reminder that St Donat’s Castle really is breathtaking, and likely to be a real Welsh wonder to all the American guests who don’t often get to visit historic castles like this one! It was quite quirky to see the great hall set out ready for the college’s exam week, rather than the usual wedding breakfast set-up – how very Hogwarts!

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On Monday, we packed in as much as possible. Our Radiant Orchids took tea with the vicar – how charmingly British! – before we met with chosen florist Verity, from Blush Floral Art in Cardiff. A world of creativity awaited us, and much talk of purples, whites, roses, lilies and hydrangeas… Oh I do love a pretty bouquet!

We then moved on to our consultation with Jacqui from Cakes 2B Seen where we ate plenty of tasty, delicious samples, and discussed the merits of fondant vs. buttercream icing. You’ll have to wait for the final wedding pictures to see which argument won!

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The day ended with a meeting with the caterers and I left the radiant orchids and their respective moms to it as they tucked into their evening tasting to select the dishes for their wedding breakfast.

The next day, bright and early – the sun was shining hooray! – I picked up Jill and her mom and whisked her off to meet the talented wonder that is Kate Petersen. One trial was all it took to get Jill’s hair and make up wedding day perfect! Leaving us with plenty of time to chat weddings, proposals and bridesmaids. I won’t show you a picture of Jill’s finished bridal look it’s a surprise of course but here’s how she looked as we left for our next meeting…

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We regrouped with the groom and met photographer David Long, who photographed my wedding with Annie and Humphrey last year too. An engagement shoot ensued, at Ogmore Castle – the site of Nick’s earlier proposal on their last Welsh visit – and another trip to the venue and the beach on site. The couple took to the photography session like a fish to water… almost quite literally at some points as those waves grew closer to the shore!!

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We had a wonderful week, and achieved plenty. It was great to spend time discussing the wedding at length and the flow of the meetings made everything appear to come to life with great clarity – the wedding became a bigger reality, and the anticipation for the big day and it’s splendour grew before us! My radiant orchids have returned to the states beaming and full of excitement – hooray!

It was lovely getting to know both Jill, Nick and their moms along the way, spending time together discussing not just their wedding but the differences and similarities between American and British weddings I general. I have learned a lot, and enjoyed doing so.

Finally we said our goodbyes – for now anyway, we still have plenty to do! – and I was so touched to receive some yummy Californian candy bars from the bride’s mother in thanks for a splendid week of wedding planning. How very sweet indeed! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have weddings to plan… ahem… and chocolate to eat.

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Samantha

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination packages and services.

Top 10 Wedding Planning Dos and Don’ts – Western Mail 24th August 2013

Oh So Perfect – In The Press

Our wedding planner Samantha has been at it again,  this time sharing her oh so handy tips and advice in South Wales’ biggest newspaper – The Western Mail. Samantha’s article ‘Top 10 Wedding Planning Dos and Don’ts’ was featured in the Western Mail’s weekend supplement wedding special on Saturday 24th August 2013 – here’s a catch up of the article in case you missed it!

Samantha Imbimbo and Oh So Perfect in the Western Mail

Samantha Imbimbo and Oh So Perfect in the Western Mail

1. DO start with the budget. Sit down together and realistically discuss how much you would like to spend on your wedding, and how you will fund it. Will you use savings?  A loan? Will your family want to help out? Only spend what you can afford – you don’t want to end up with debt spoiling the honeymoon!

2. DO put together a rough guest list as early as possible. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, and it may change here and there as the months go on, but it will give you a clear indication of numbers for when you start booking your venue and catering.

 3. DON’T forget to think about your venue’s interior. If you’re already set on a colour scheme or theme, try to find a venue which compliments your existing choices, or else choose a theme which is supported by the colours already present in your venue’s décor. A blue colour scheme in a room with red carpets and gold curtains, for example, will only clash, so use your venue to its full aesthetic advantage!

4. DO design the invitations carefully. The wedding invitation is the first ‘clue’ guests receive about the overall style of your big day – so try to create an invitation which ties in to your colour scheme or theme so your guests have a clear indication of what they can expect on the day.

5. DO DIY Cut costs and add a personal touch by doing-it-yourself where you can. Involve your friends and family by asking them to help you make your own favours, build your own sweetie station or craft some decorations of your own. Online blogs are a great place to pick up ideas and tutorials.

6. DO seat friends and family together. It was once tradition at the wedding breakfast to seat your guests with people they hadn’t met before, but often this can leave the room feeling very sober as guests exchange polite chit-chat. Scrap formalities and seat your guests together with the people they know – the atmosphere will be lively and your guests will have a more enjoyable experience.

7. DON’T forget the kids. If you’ve invited guests to bring their children, make sure there is something available to keep them entertained. Place a colouring book or packet of bubbles on the tables with children seated at to play with during the speeches, or even hire-in an event nanny who will keep the children entertained with toys and games all evening while your guests are busy dancing.

8. DO practise your first dance. All eyes are on you here, and it can be embarrassing if you’ve not prepared. You don’t have to book a dancing lesson or choreograph a routine, but make sure you have a little slow dance at home together to your song a week or two before just to make sure you’re used to each other’s pace and movements before you take the stage. Plus it’ll spark a romantic evening for you both before the wedding!

9. DON’T forget the groom. Girls, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of planning a wedding, but remember there will be two of you exchanging vows, so be sure to include your man in the decision making and allow him the personal touches he’d like too. (Except the perhaps the bunny-girl waitresses – there’s a limit!)

10. DO have fun, and hire an on the day coordinator! Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do, and many people do it without the help of a wedding planner; but do consider hiring a coordinator for the big day itself– you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the day you spent so long planning, knowing someone else is there to set up and keep watch while you’re focusing on having fun.

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning, styling and coordination packages and services.

A ‘Thank You’ Gift from Katy and Stu

I always feel quite sad at the end of the wedding day; saying goodbye to the couples I’ve often come to know like old friends, and walking off into the sunset leaving them to dance the night away with their friends and family, knowing that I probably won’t see them again now the wedding planning is complete. Saying goodbye after months of working together can be hard, but it’s all worthwhile knowing how happy they are at the end of their wedding day, and leaving them to start on their journey together as husband and wife.

A gorgeous gift – a Pip Studio teacup and saucer!

It’s rare that I get to meet up with my couples after the wedding, although many do keep in touch, but when I get an opportunity to catch up and meet with a past bride it always makes me smile to hear them tell me how wonderful their day was, how perfect everything went, and -always! – that they couldn’t believe how quickly the day had passed!

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of meeting up with my previous bride Katy, whose wedding we coordinated at St Donat’s Castle back in May this year. Three months have flown by, but it is clear to see that Katy is still on an absolute high following her big day, although she’s been left wondering what to do with her evenings now that she hasn’t got any wedding-work to do – this bride was a DIY-legend!

Katy surprised me with this gorgeous gift – a Pip Studio teacup and saucer – it’s absolutely delightful, I feel very spoilt indeed! I really am a very lucky wedding planner, working with the loveliest and most grateful of couples, it’s such an honour and a pleasure to work for them all on one of the most important, memorable days of their life.

There was a little thank you card hidden in amongst the tissue paper too, so I thought I’d share Katy and Stu’s message with you too:

Samantha,

Just a little note to say a very big *Thank You”* for all your help, support and hardwork on the day of our wedding and the few weeks before leading up to it!

Knowing you had everything under control let us really relax and enjoy our day!! The ceremony and dining hall looked amazing!

Thank you again for making our day so special…

Now then, I’m off to make a cup of tea in my new cup and saucer. Go and make yourself one too then sit down and follow this link to see all the lovely photos from Katy and Stu’s ‘Castle by the Sea’ wedding…. enjoy!

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning, styling and coordination packages and services.

 

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