Always the wedding planner never the… oh!

Diary of a Wedding Planner

No, don’t go getting too giddy with excitement lovely people, that sentence does not end with the word ‘bride’ on this occasion but it does end with Maid of Honour and bridesmaid!

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I go to a lot of weddings – it’s my job! But very rarely do I attend a wedding as a guest. I almost got my hopes up last year when I received a save the date from a good friend only to then realise the wedding was in June – of course I’m not free in June, June is my busiest wedding month – my friend was very understanding of this though and I made up for it by offering to help set-up the marquee the day before.

Then, just before Christmas, my best friend telephoned me to announce her engagement – hoorah! – and thus immediately requested me to be her maid of honour – I actually squealed! Then I asked could I still carry my clipboard with my beautiful dress?!

Last night, I was delighted to also be asked to be a bridesmaid by a wonderful friend of mine whose wedding planning I have been assisting and guiding over the last few weeks. I’m thrilled to pieces!

So not only am I finally going to be a guest at (count them) 2 weddings, I get to play a pretty exciting role at both of these too! Now then, do you think they’ll notice if I keep my clipboard tucked in my knickers at least…?

With love,
Samantha

It’s Your Wedding; It’s Up To You!

Yesterday I met with one of my couples at their venue to talk about their décor and design ideas. It was a cold and frosty morning, so the manor house venue looked absolutely stunning. We got so much done and discussed lots of ideas to take away and get working on over the next few weeks, and all whilst lounging in front of a big, cosy log fire. Looooovely, I could’ve stayed there all afternoon and evening too!

As we discussed the décor and design ideas, and began delving into the more personalised aspects of the day, something which my bride kept asking was, “but, can we do that?” or “will that be OK?”

The simple answer here was, “Yes!”

My bride was concerned that as we moved away from flowers in the centrepieces, and swapped some of the more traditional styles for something a ‘little bit different’ to match their modern theme, perhaps we were moving too far away from what is ‘OK’ to have at your wedding. In particular, as we discussed the ideas for favours, the groom asked, “but what would the guests think?”

It made me realise that there are still so many couples out there who are perhaps a little afraid to move away from what has come to be accepted as ‘normal’ at today’s modern wedding. But actually, there is no ‘normal’ – nothing is right or wrong on your wedding day. Ultimately, your wedding is your own, and you can do anything you bloomin’ well like really!

You don’t have to have flowers if you don’t want them – so many people seem to think you have to have flowers at your wedding, but you really don’t, in fact one of my favourite weddings I assisted at had not a single flower in sight. You don’t have to have chair covers either, or sashes and swagging, if that’s not your style. And your favours can be as quirky or sensible as you want them to be. My bride doesn’t want a sash on the front of her top table, but she was afraid to voice this at first, thinking she had to have this as, well, that’s what everyone else does, isn’t it? I reassured her it would be perfectly acceptable to go without, the guests would not be discussing the lack of table sashes behind her back after the wedding, and the day would certainly not be a let down without them!

There is no right or wrong, and your wedding really should reflect YOU – not everyone else in the world.

This not to say there is anything wrong with flowers, chair covers, sashes etc. but I believe that your wedding should be whatever you want it to be, and if you want to avoid the ‘cookie-cutter’ wedding of today, then do!

Last week, a friend asked me, “do you have to wear a wedding dress on your wedding day?” Now, I should at this point mention that said friend is in fact single, so I was a little confused by this random question popping up unprompted on my phone midway through the day, but I said to her exactly what I say to you: “It’s your wedding, you wear whatever the hell you want, love. “ And the same goes to your décor.

With love,
Samantha x

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

‘Best New Business’ Regional Winners at the 2012 Welsh National Wedding Awards

We are absolutely thrilled, amazed, delighted and generally chuffed to bits to announce that Oh So Perfect were presented with the award for…

‘Best New Business – South Wales and Central’

At the 2012 Welsh National Wedding Awards, at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.

We’d like to extend a huge, huge thank you to all you delicious people out there who nominated and voted for us; in particular to our wonderful couples who we so enjoyed working with this year – we couldn’t have won this without meeting such gorgeous, loved-up lovelies like all of you and we’re so proud to have been able to get to know you and be included in the making of your perfect day – thank you!

It is, of course, our duty and pleasure to thank all of the suppliers who we worked with this last year as well for making our job so much more fabulous than it already is! Well done to all of our friends in the industry who won awards this weekend in their respective categories, and commiserations to our friends who just missed out although being shortlisted is such a huge recognition in itself, you are winners in our eyes too. It was so inspiring to be surrounded by so much Welsh wedding talent in one room, and hearing the names of the suppliers we’ve worked with directly this year (and working with already next year!) called out in the running for big awards made us so proud to be working with some of the UK’s best industry pros.

A personal thank you as well to all my wonderful, wonderful friends and family for all the support you have given me over the last 12 months, I don’t know what I would do without you all. Every last one of you. Mwah!

And finally, if you have made it this far through my gushy ‘speech’ then you’ll have to put up with just one more before I’m done…

The biggest thank you of course goes to my very own Mr Perfect – my partner, my soulmate and my best friend – for believing in me and helping me to follow my dreams from the very start, for always being so proud of me, and for all the hours you smiled politely and humoured me as I made girlie squealy noises and got excited over chair covers/flowers/paper pompoms, the lot. I remember the day you asked me, “so how does it feel to be a wedding planner?” after my very first meeting, and my answer now is still the same: “not half bad, boy.” xx

 

 

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

 

 

2012… Our Best Bits!

We’re only a few days away from the Welsh National Wedding Awards and so in honour of these incredible awards recognising wedding industry legends in Wales, we’re taking a gander back over our own 2012 wedding season to find some of our very own wedding bests from the last year…  enjoy!

Starting with the serious ones…

Best Ushers

Winner: Dave, Ali, Simon, James, Paul and Scott

Not only the most fantastic, friendly bunch of lads we have ever met, but also the most switched on ushers this season, on the ball throughout the duration of the day and approaching me to offer help at every opportunity. Plus the only ushers who have insisted on me sharing a shot with them at the bar at the end of the day (physically catching me before I could escape!) – thank you, lads!

Best Best Man

Winner: South-African Andrew

An absolute star with a sense of humour to match. I have never met a Best Man more comfortable with a microphone in all my experience… there was a moment where I wondered if we’d ever get that microphone back!

Best Bridesmaids

Winner: Steph, Kelly and Emma

These ladies came from the same wedding as our Best Ushers, and what a wonderful group of friends offering their bride and groom so much support throughout the day. These ladies certainly weren’t just in it for the pretty dresses!

Best Maid of Honour

Winner: Sarah Borland

We met some wonderful women this season, all very much deserving of their titles and this winning post, however we’re going to have to give it to Sarah for attending all the bridal meetings and spending hours upon hours lovingly DIYing and teas-cup candle making for her twin-sister’s wedding.

Best Dress

Winner: Sarah Knott (and her Jimmys)

This is a tough one, because let’s face it, all our brides looked completely stunning this year… however this year we’re presenting this to one bride in particular, not because she had the best dress, but because she had Jimmy Choos, and we love Jimmy Choos!!

Best First Dance

Winner: Kate and Richard

They chose a song – we loved the song (I even bought the album a week before the wedding!) – however a few days before wedding day a last minute change occurred as the DJ felt a different song would be easier for them to dance to. All set and ready to go. That is until minutes before the dance was due to commence, Kate insisted the DJ revert back to the original, and thank goodness she did. Watching our couple humorously twirl about completely un-choreographed but totally perfect, as Kate danced in a divine dress and cowboy boots we couldn’t help but enjoy the performance. Here’s a link to their song: The Chills – Peter, Bjorn and John

Runner up: Sarah and Rob

We had to have a runner up in this category. For Sarah and Rob’s ‘second’ dance a plan was in place for our couple to leave the dance floor and seek out their respective parents, with the bridesmaids and ushers joining them on the dancefloor. However, something went wrong, Sarah and Rob stayed on the floor into the second song and so some quick eyebrow movements and head tilting from the bride meant me zipping about amongst the attendants with orders of  ‘run on and join the party’. They did. It was magnificent.

Best Theme

Winner: Emma and Andy

This was a tough one this year – we had modern, vintage, lots and lots of lace, trees in marquees and a whole castle to play with, but with exact colour-match glorious bespoke bunting and big, beautiful paper floofs involved we had to hand this one over to our Laugharne Couple.

Best Cake

Winner: Emma and Andy

The level of detail in the sugar craft on this cake made it very difficult to tell apart the real flowers from the fake ones – it simply had to be our winner.

Runner up: Eleri and Tim

But we couldn’t ignore this beautiful table either by Darcy’s Cupcake Creations.

And now for some fun ones….

Biggest ‘almost’ Disaster

Let’s face it, there are very few disasters when Oh So Perfect are involved, after-all that’s one of the reasons we’re there to help! However, being a wedding planner involves thinking on your feet and this year we saw flowers changed a day before the wedding, suppliers insisting in sudden changes of schedule, a mother’s tears for cake wrongly placed in a fridge, a missing DJ moments before a first dance, delayed whiskey tents, rain rain and more rain… but ultimately we’ll be keeping the biggest disasters to ourself for this category… will have to keep you guessing!

Longest Speech

Definitely awarded to Mr Randall this year, there were rumours amongst the guests that this father of the bride was famed for his long speeches and they weren’t wrong. Almosty 40 minutes later we were finished, but by golly it was a lovely speech he could have carried on for the rest of the evening if he fancied!

Funniest Speech

There’s always a lot of pressure on the Best Man to provide the best speech – this year our favourite came from Ollie at Richard and Kate’s West Wales Wedding who had plenty of funny tales to tell us about the former Cambridge-student groom.

Most Famous Guest 

BBC Radio 1’s very own Mr Matt Fincham!

Strangest Wedding Planner Request

Our Oh So Emergency Kit Box is full of wonderful tricks and treats for couples and their attendents… this year we found ourselves spraying peppermint foot spray onto many a bridesmaid’s feet, sticking toupe-tape in loose high heels, glueing together corsages at the last minute and stuffing tissue in places you didn’t know existed!

Biggest Surprise

First place goes to Emma and Andy who enjoyed a surprise firework display organised by the bride’s parents, whilst in second place we award Eleri and Tim for treating their South African guests to a surprise from a traditional Welsh Male Voice Choir.

Most Unglamorous Moment

It’s not all glamour being a wedding planner! Looking back over the season, eating my dinner of a car bonnet in a field was probably my most unglamorous moment, but there were plenty of others believe me!

Most Heart-felt Moment

Weddings always bring on tears, and I love the moment when a father walks his bride down the aisle. However, watching the groom choke up to see his long distance family all together in one room on his big day was probably one of the loveliest things I’ve seen this year.

Favourite Photo

We’re wedding planners, not photographers, but even so we still like to take a few snaps on the day to profile our work and bring the best shots to you our followers. But my favourite self-taken picture this year has got to be the mother of the bride in all her Jimmy Choo glory, doing what mum’s do best… preparing the room for her beautiful daughter’s dress:

What an incredible year of weddings…. and so much we simply don’t have time to tell you about! But, all our weddings are available to view on our blog so click the following link to visit them all….

Oh So Perfect Portfolio

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

Oh So It’s Your Birthday!

Well don’t mind us while we just wish ourselves a big, fat, fabulous

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

One year ago today not only did we launch our official website www.ohsoperfect.co.uk but we also brought you our first little blog post… ‘Oh So it begins…’

We can not believe a whole year has flown by since Oh So Perfect became oh so independent, established, professional wedding planners and what a wonderful year we have had…

So, don’t mind us either while we say a big, fat, fabulous THANK YOU! to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far… the suppliers, followers, friends, family and of course our gorgeous, gorgeous couples… you have made this year marvellous!

So how will we be celebrating you wonder? Well there’s no time for a big party this year (we’re just oh so busy these days!) but next Sunday sees the 2012 Welsh National Wedding Awards and we’re delighted to have been shortlisted for two awards… so our table of 10 will be wined, dined and entertained as we join the best businesses in the country to celebrate all things amazing in this super-talented Welsh wedding industry… and whether we come home winners or not, we’ll certainly be toasting to an Oh So Perfect first year!

In celebration of our 1st year on the blog, here’s a few links to some of our favourite posts from the last year for your pleasure:

Dance The Night Together – Oh So Exclusive Diary of a Wedding Planner takes a look at the real romance behind a wedding with a view to finding your live wedding entertainment.

Happy Fathers Day – Why we love daddy-dearest on wedding day.

Wedding Planning Dos and Don’ts – Well we wouldn’t be wedding planners if we didn’t give you a few of these along the way.

An Evening In Laugharne – Combining business and pleasure in one of our favourite Welsh towns earlier this summer.

International Women’s Day – We saluted all of the inspiring ladies in our life back in March!

DIY Tissue Paper Pompom Tutorial – A how-to on these super-cheap, super-effective decorations.

Something Kinda Vintage Wedding Fair – and relax! – The photos from our fab day out at the Brangwyn Hall.

A Perfect Anniversary – Samantha takes a trip down memory lane with Mr Perfect, and asks when do you celebrate your anniversary?

Kate and Richard – We loved all our weddings this year but something about the exquisite Edwardian dinner party theme of this wedding really tickled your fancy… or was it just the magic of seeing trees inside a marquee?

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

Dance The Night Together

Diary of a Wedding Planner

This week I have been busy researching musicians for one of my big theme weddings next year. It’s a break away from the themes and styles of the weddings I’ve delivered this year already, a fun modern Hollywood rom-com movie themed  and is so far proving great fun to design and style!

Researching the singers to perform in the church has got me thinking about how best to identify the right live music for your wedding, and the overall experience of planning a wedding as a whole.

It’s often very easy when planning your own wedding to get caught up in the stresses and trials of spending hours upon hours on the internet, flicking through magazines or gazing around wedding fairs looking for the different components of your big day, and as a result some couples find themselves in danger of loosing out on the enjoyment that planning your special day can bring, missing out on this opportunity to spend more time together as a couple, and on some very sad occasions even find themselves forgetting why they were planning a wedding in the first place!

My fab couple, Sarah and Rob, who booked an acoustic duo to play at their ceremony who they used to go and watch down their local pub.

I recently had the pleasure of discussing my job as a wedding planner with a very lovely lady – a writer – who wanted to know why I loved doing what I do. She told me that another, more unfortunate, wedding planner, had admitted that seeing her couples loose sight of their love as they became more concerned about flower arrangements and colour schemes drove the passion for wedding planning out of her system. I’m lucky enough that that has never, ever happened to me, and that’s because I believe it’s not just my job to plan and coordinate your wedding day (you lucky couples, you!), but also to help you along the way to feel excited about the decisions you make together and give you reasons to celebrate your love not only on the day itself, but in all the days leading up to this wonderful moment when you get to say “I do!”

So, going back to the live music… (I’m getting carried away in a love rant I fear), I feel it’s really important when you decide to go hunting for your live entertainment, to use this as an excellent opportunity to spend some time together, relaxing, and enjoying the experience of being oh so in love!

Get out there! Stop trawling online and look into your local area… Most of us live in or near enough to some brilliant towns and cities with plenty of opportunity to scope out some live bands who you may never have even heard of before, let alone found on a wedding directory. Head to your favourite pub or bar one evening when you know they have live music planned, and enjoy it! Listen to it, dance to it and perhaps if you like it, have a chat with the singer after their set.

Do you have a specific style of music in mind? Whether it’s a full band, a quartet, a harpist, acoustic duo, singers – whatever! Look up local music festivals and event listings in your area and go out on the town for a night to enjoy them in person. It’ll mean even more to you when you dance your first dance to the sounds of the band you first discovered in that little cocktail bar – your little cocktail bar – after that romantic wedding-planning-free evening you enjoyed 6 months ago…

Mr. Perfect and I in our favourite cocktail bar, shimmying along to the Spanish guitar, on one of the many occasions we failed to resist the urge for a little boogie… even on a quiet Sunday afternoon! 

Mr. Perfect and I used to spend many an enjoyable evening out just the two of us, dancing the night away together to whatever live band or duo happened to be playing that evening in our favourite little local cocktail bar. Yes, I admit it, we were that couple, the ones always dancing away whilst everybody else was sitting down with their drinks, but we never minded what people thought of us (well, maybe a little bit the next day!) – we were too busy enjoying what being a couple is really all about… spending time together and having fun with your best friend, and remembering why you got together in the first place.

Now, go book yourself a night out on the town!

With love,
Samantha x

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

Lovely Things From Lovely Friends

Diary of a Wedding Planner

As a wedding planner, I’m very lucky to be able to meet and work alongside some very lovely people here in wedding-land. When you work from home, as I do, it can sometimes become rather lonely day to day, compared to working in a busy office with lots of colleagues who don’t mind taking the odd five minutes out of their day for a quick chat while making a cuppa. So when, like me,  you’re lucky enough to meet lovely people in the industry through the weddings you end up working on together, who quite often work from home or on their own as well, it’s quite common to find that friendships quickly form.

This week I received a lovely little late birthday present from one said friend out there in the world of Welsh weddings – the rather marvellous Kelly White of White Crafts, and what a fab gift it is too! Because, when you get to know other suppliers/colleagues/ friends in the wedding industry, you become very appreciative of what those other suppliers/ colleagues/ friends actually do in the wedding industry too! Working together means you come to understand the different trials and tribulations that planning a wedding can bring with it, and how important each person is in making that big day so special. You also come to realise the physical differences in your job… which is probably why Kelly sent me this fabulous thing:

Now, technically this marvellous foam pad is meant for when your down on your knees doing a spot of gardening. However, I often find myself down on my knees at weddings: tidying up table linen, placing petals down the edges of aisles, helping brides with wedding dresses, polishing shoes, and getting on with other general coordination tasks, and my knees sometimes get a little bit sore! So I shall be digging out my tippex and pens and altering this very funny yet very practical little gift to read ‘Keep Calm and Carry On Wedding!’ in preparation for when I’m next down on my knees at a wedding.

You can read Kelly’s guest post on our blog from earlier this year, offering Wedding Stationery Tips and Advice by clicking this link.

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

Diary of a Weather Girl

Diary of a Wedding Planner
….

When I Facebooked/tweeted earlier this week “Rain, rain go away, come again another day… Just not Saturday, because that’s Eleri and Tim’s wedding day…” I was only being half serious, and when I later informed followers that I’d be performing a series of rain dances in preparation for just a tiny bit of blue sky this weekend, I really wasn’t being serious at all!

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The weather this week has been absolutely dire – between those sneaky false offerings of blue sky it has simply poured down with rain, not drizzled a bit or been ‘slightly spitting’, really, truly poured, and believe me I’d know, I’ve been caught in it enough times (my leopard print loathers are still drying out!).

So when I crossed my fingers earlier this week and whispered “please, please, please” to the sun gods I really didn’t think there was much hope, but it seems someone up there must have heard my plea because look! Blue sky and big, fat, round sunshine forecast for Saturday surrounded by days and days of rain – hoorah!

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It seems there may be some magic in talking to the skies after all… or perhaps on this occasion it’s just a lucky weather forecast… either way!

We hope it stays dry for your plans this weekend too!

With love,
Samantha x

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

Swansea’s Women in Business Awards 2012

Diary of a Wedding Planner

Regular followers of the blog may remember that last week we celebrated all things ‘girl power’ in preparation of the 2012 Swansea Women in Business Awards by giving a huge shout out to two fabulous business women, and very good friends – Stacey Adamiec of Revue Studios, and Ronnie Kerswell O’Hara of Bluestocking Lounge – both of whom had been nominated in categories at the awards.

Well, I’m sad to say that neither girlie won first prize (booo!) but what an achievement all the same as both of these incredible ladies were highly commended in their categories, and have been recognised as inspirational women and excellent entrepreneurs in Wales – well done you two!!

But even though we weren’t celebrating wins, we still had a rather fun afternoon. After a spot of networking, photographing and general schmoozing we were wined and dined with a 3 course meal which included a rather delicious hazelnut crème brulee dessert and complimentary cup cake from local celebration cake baker Meinir Morgan (she makes fab wedding cakes too!), and treated to an inspiring talk from the owner of confused.com, Debra Williams, a local lady from the same streets as Mr Perfect of all places! Plus we took away some amazing goodie bags packed full of facemasks, lingerie vouchers, jelly beans and of course, what every business woman needs, a pocket tax book…

And there was even time afterwards for a sneaky cocktail with all the other winners and nominees… although of course I was far more engrossed in the Swansea Business Life magazine to join in… well at least for a little while anyway!

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, highly commended, and of course to all the winners! Here’s to next year!

With love,
Samantha x

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 Perfect Anniversary

Diary of a Wedding Planner

The day you walk down the aisle, look your partner in the eye, and say those magic words “I do” is a day you’ll never forget, and one you will look back on for years to come, as every year, on that day, you celebrate your anniversary. But what other anniversaries do we celebrate in love? And when is it appropriate to celebrate your love before you get married?

Once a couple is married, that date becomes the ‘anniversary date.’ It’s the day that you openly celebrate your love with friends and family, or together on your own. It is the day you count as ‘Day 1’ – the day your lives came together in love and unity, and the marker from which you refer to when considering how long you have been together as couple.

But what about before you became Mr & Mrs, which day did you celebrate your anniversary on then? And do you still celebrate that day even after you’ve tied the knot?

Today, for me, is a special day: 6 years ago yesterday, I moved to Wales. 6 years ago today, I met a boy with a black eye. 6 years ago tomorrow, my jigsaw puzzle was complete.

I’d found the missing piece: I’d met my Mr. Perfect, and today is the day we celebrate the most, as it was the day our story started. Not only that, but trying to pin down an actual ‘anniversary date’ was quite a task for us, and so generally speaking the next fortnight or so is full of memorable dates we celebrate together, day by day.

2nd October… the first kiss… 1st October… the first almost kiss!

8th October… the date we pretty much called ourselves a couple… 17th October… the date everyone else called us a couple!

14th October… the date I giggled like a school girl, twiddled my hair and said ‘Will you be my boyfriend?… or is that the 15th October…? It was 4am after all! (Incidentally the ‘giggling like a school girl’ bit was quite apt. It was ‘Back To School’ night and we were both dressed as school girls… was it the blond wig that finally sealed the deal perhaps?!)

5th December… our first date (work that one out!)

But whichever date we finally called ‘ours’ we knew one thing for sure; when we met on 23rd September 2006 something started that would last forever. I knew I had to be near this boy, and he knew he needed me near him too. So, happy anniversary to my very own Mr. Perfect. The black eye faded, but the love never will… xx

When do you celebrate your anniversary? Do you mark all those little dates that tell your story, or stick to the one day you define as yours? Will you change your anniversary date once you’re married, or celebrate both? 

With love,
Samantha x

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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