Top Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day

Photo of all of the wedding guests at Alexandria and Tyrone Schiefner's wedding

Firstly, ever bride gets stressed (sometimes grooms do too….), so if you’re stressing about stressing, don’t! It is totally normal, planning the biggest party of your life, is a big deal, you’re spending a lot of money, you’re hosting more guests than you probably have done before, and you’re marrying the love of your life. But the stress shouldn’t take over, and you certainly shouldn’t feel stressed on the day itself. Here are my top tips for a stress free wedding day.. Happy Planning!

1. Get organised beforehand

The best way to enjoy your wedding day (or any other big event) is to get super-organised before hand. And, yes, I do mean write schedules, plan things down to the minute, and even if things don’t happen exactly according to your plan, having this to guide you, will make sure that everything runs smoothly.

A good example of this was my own wedding, perhaps I am the extreme, being a wedding planner myself, but I had my day mapped out with military precision, I even had the number of second between each flower girl, page boy, and bridesmaid, walking down the aisle, written down on my day schedule. Now considering most of these were little people, under the age of 10, I knew deep down that they were not going to stick to my precise timings (and of course they didn’t) but just having it planned out, and knowing what to expect on the day, made me feel much more relaxed.

No matter what anyone tells you, amazing events don’t just fall into place, and the best ones are those that are well planned. The beauty of being well organised is that you can then pass all of this information on to all of your suppliers ahead of the day, and this helps them to understand exactly what you want, and when. Of course, if you do decide to work with a wedding planner, we take over this planning side for you, and liaise with your other suppliers, to ensure everything happens as it should. If you don’t have a wedding planner, number 2 (below) is crucial….

2. Dish Out Responsibility 

A bit like I said before, delegation is key, and whether this is to a wedding planner, other suppliers, or family and friends, you have to let people help you. In the lead up to a wedding, When you are planning your day, think about what you think you will need on the day, assign people to hand out orders of service, and showing people to their seats, have someone handing out confetti, or choose a bridesmaid to keep hold of your perfume and lipstick and help you wrestle your wedding dress when you need to pop to the loo.

There might be all sorts of other ‘issues’ that you might not want to deal with on a wedding day, if certain family members don’t get on, choose someone sensible to keep an eye on things, similarly, there’s always someone who has a few too many drinks at a wedding, if you think this is going to worry you, just ask someone that you trust to keep an eye on the situation, and if you really think you need to, ask your caterers/bar staff, to slow down on their topping up with that particular person.

3. Take a few days off work in the lead-up

I know you probably want to save all of your holiday for your honeymoon, but you don’t want to be scrambling to finish all of your work the day before your wedding day. If you can, take a day or two off beforehand so that you can really leave the office behind you and wind down.

4. Have some time to yourself

In the lead up to your wedding day, everyone is going to want a piece of you. People may be arriving from abroad, family and friends might be checking into local hotels and wanting to pop in and say hello. This is lovely, and can really build up the excitement but don’t stretch yourself and commit to doing too much.

If you want to bring everyone together for a dinner/drinks before the big day, try and do it ‘the day before the day before’ so if you’re getting married on a Saturday, organise something on the Thursday, as opposed to the Friday night. This means you will still have all of the excitement, but none of the tiredness or the hangover on your big day!

5. Lastly, just enjoy yourself

Little things might go wrong on the day, or at least, not exactly how you imagined it, but I bet you don’t even notice.

A x

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Wedding Colour Palettes // Rose Gold Wedding

// Rose Gold //

I really enjoy creating these colour palette posts, medicine mostly because I just LOVE Pinterest and can spend countless hours browsing for the perfect shades. This instalment is all about Rose Gold. This colour is so on trend at the moment, viagra 100mg but it is also a really beautiful hue, store and can look gorgeous in winter, paired with a cool grey, or adding a bit of glitter to the equation. It is equally as soft and pretty, to be used in a Spring or Summer wedding, and looks amazing with white and green flowers. It is also a really easy colour to carry through your whole wedding journey, from stationery, to candles, to makeup, you can luxe it up, or dress it down for a more rustic feel. A rose gold wedding is a real beauty.

 

Collage of rose gold images, an Alexandria Events Colour Palette

As ever, I hope you like these colour palette posts, and if there is any particular shade that you’d like to see featured, leave me a message in the comments below. If you’re planning to have a rose gold wedding, I’d love to hear about your plans! For the photo credits, and more rose gold-inspired images – please take a look at my Pinterest board or follow me on Pinterest for more colourful inspo @alexandriaev

A x

Four Seasons Hampshire // Wedding Showcase

The Four Seasons Hampshire, in Dogmersfield is one of my favourite Hampshire wedding venues, possibly one of my favourite places. I had my own Hen Weekend there, and Ty and I also stayed there on our wedding night, so with all of these happy memories there, maybe I am a bit biased!

It is just down the road from where I live, so we’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time there, eating at their beautiful restaurants, having drinks at the bar, and relaxing in their heavenly spa. They also have some amazing outdoor activities too, from horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, and a high wire adventure – there is plenty to do. One of my favourite things about the hotel is that it is very ‘dog friendly’ – they have their own pooch, the regal Oliver Beckington – probably one of the most well behaved labradors that I have ever met, and they welcome guests to bring along their own dogs too. We really like taking Mr Darcy for long walks in the grounds, and once Marley is big enough, he will be joining us as well. But anyway…back to weddings… I was lucky enough to attend the Four Seasons  wedding showcase recently, featuring some of their favourite suppliers (including one of my own favourites – Paula Rooney), and here are a few gorgeous images taken by the talented Adele from Adele Behles Photography, capturing some of the beautiful details of the day.

 

Collage of images from the Four Seasons Hampshire Wedding Showcase

Becoming a member of the UKAWP

Quote saying 'Your Dream Job Does Not Exist, You Have To Create It'

Image: The Patriotic Peacock

Earlier this year, I became a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, so I thought I would write a little post about my experiences so far.

The alliance works in a number of ways, but the most useful part for brides and grooms, is that it is essentially a directory of wedding planners (and some other suppliers too). The best part about this for these potential clients, is that each member has to sign up to a code of ethics, which can give them piece of mind that we all conduct ourselves and our businesses, a certain way. Because we all hold the same values, this also makes it easy for us to refer work to each other, if we are unable to help a client on a certain date.

Here is the Code of Ethics:

  1. Respond to enquiries within 48 hours
  2. Respect client confidentiality

  3. Disclose all suppliers that you have a vested interest in

  4. Always pass discounts and/ or commission onto the client

  5. Ensure your Public Liability Insurance is up to date

  6. Never give client details to any third party unless for the sole purpose of the wedding

  7. Respect copyright of all planners, co-ordinators and related suppliers

  8. Represent each client fairly and honestly

You may think that some of these are obvious, or a ‘given’, but you might be surprised at the number of planners that will happily take commission from suppliers, or share their details with other suppliers before being given express permission.

The second way in which the alliance works, is providing a support network for the members themselves. Lots of people who own businesses in the wedding industry, work for small businesses, and often, ‘one man bands’ , so it is lovely to know that there is a group of likeminded business woman, and men, who we can go to for advice, ideas, and sometimes just to let off steam! The way that I find this most useful, is through the Facebook page as it is quick, easy, and convenient, but there are various events throughout the year, which allow us to meet up face-to-face, and it is always lovely to meet new people, and put faces to names!

The third way, is access to PR opportunities, which is wonderful for small businesses like mine, where having a ‘PR budget” is not always possible. Since joining in March, I have had bits and pieces published in leading wedding magazines like Brides, and You and Your Wedding, and while I don’t think that this is the main route that my clients contact me through, it is all part and parcel of building  your brand and reputation, so every little bit helps.

Ultimately, I think choosing to become part of the UKAWP is one of the smartest business decisions I have made since starting Alexandria Events. Not only have I gained some wonderful clients since joining, but I have also made some great friends, that I have learned a lot from.

Are you a member of an organisation connected to your business? If so I’d love to hear about your experiences too!

A xx

Wedding Colour Palettes // Lavender Wedding

// Lavender //

 

This is one of my favourite colours, and I think it works really well in a wedding colour palette. It is especially beautiful for a summer wedding as Lavender is in season from May to August. It is a beautiful calming colour, and can be cool or warm, depending on what you pair it with. My advice for using lavender or lilac, is to mix it with other shades of purple, almost creating a bit of an ombre effect, or pair it with grey, to take off the ‘sickly sweet’ edge. It also looks absolutely heavenly with a deep forest green, and is perfect for a rustic, countryside, outdoorsy feel, if that is what you’re going for.

 

Moodboard full of lavender colour inspired images for a lavender wedding colour palette

Images: Pinterest

I hope you like these colour palette posts, and if there is any particular shade that you’d like to see featured, leave me a message in the comments below. If you’re planning to have a lavender wedding, I’d love to hear about your plans! For the photo credits, and more lavender-inspired images – please take a look at my Pinterest board or follow me on Pinterest for more colourful inspo @alexandriaev

A x

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Wedding Inspiration // Bonfire Night // November Wedding

November Weddings

I absolutely love Autumn, and even though it is late in the season, I think Bonfire Night epitomises the lovely cosy feeling that Autumn brings. Not to mention that I adore fireworks.

As it is fast approaching, it got me thinking that Bonfire night traditions can actually be translated into lovely November wedding styling…let me show you how:

Sparklers

So I know that these are already really popular for a wedding send-off these days, and for a good reason. They are magical, fun, and make for gorgeous photos that you can look back on for years to come. Logistically they can be a bit of a pain (getting them all lit at the same time can be a nightmare) and I would certainly recommend the extra long ones, but I absolutely love them.

collage of sparklers images

Images via: Hola Mama, Polly Frances Elizabeth

Toffee Apples

They might pull your teeth out, and get your hands all sticky, but nothing says Bonfire Night like a toffee apple. I remember that they always looked far more appealing than they actually tasted, but they can make for a very pretty table favour for your guests at a November wedding, and are relatively easy to DIY as well. If that isn’t your thing, then you could always go for this toffee apple, date, and walnut cake – WOW!

collage of toffee apple images, and a toffee apple cake

Images via: Peter Geekie, Sainsburys Magazine, Waitrose

Cosy Blankets

Maybe your guests aren’t going to be sat outside on a chilly November evening, but cosy blankets can still come in handy You might want to have a stash at your church so your guests can keep warm while you say your ‘I Do’s’, later on, during your reception, having them dotted around will give a cosy and intimate feel, and those guests who aren’t killing it on the dance floor might appreciate them, especially the older ones. And I’m sure those who smoke will definitely appreciate grabbing one before they head out into the cold!

Collage of cosy blankets

Images via: Costal Cottage, My Ideal Home

S’mores

Personally, I don’t really get the big deal about S’mores – but I do agree that they look cute, and would make a lovely little table favour, packaged like the image below.

Green boxes filled with s'mores ingredients

Image via: Bride and Breakfast

Bonfires

If you do have a venue where you’re allowed to have a bonfire – this could be a fun way to transition your guests from the afternoon reception to the night-time party. Who doesn’t love a campfire sing-a-long. You could ask your band to play a few acoustic tunes outside, and ask them, and your guests, to wrap up warm!

Bonfires.001

Images via: Steven Leonti, Christian GIdeon, What a Lovely Photo

Mulled Cider

Or any yummy warm drink works perfectly at a November wedding. See my blog post for some perfect winter warmer cocktail recipes.

Collage of winter cocktails, mulled wine, mulled cider, winter Pimm's

Images via: Jamie OliverShutterstockThe Pioneer Woman

Fireworks

And finally, the best part of all….Fireworks! I love them, especially when they are accompanied by an incredible soundtrack. For some reason, fireworks always give me a little lump in my throat, and if there is ever a good time to have a little sniffle, it is at the wedding of your nearest and dearest.

 

Collage of fireworks and firework displays

Images via: The Art of Accessories, Hellanne, Marcus Donner

I hope this has given you some November Wedding Inspiration, and I would love to hear from you if you’ve had, or are planning to have a November wedding, and what you’ve got planned!

 

A xx

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Warming Winter Wedding Cocktails

The Recipe Book

At this time of year, whether you’re at a wedding or just having a cosy night in, there’s nothing better than a warm, wintery cocktail. Here are some of my favourite recipes, that are easy enough for a drinks reception, or to make at home:

Winter wedding drinks station, with mulled wine, mince pies, candles, and a gingerbread wreath

Photo Credit: Department of the Interior

Pimm’s Winter Cup

I’m not a great lover of a regular Pimm’s, but when the nights draw in, I can’t get enough of this warm version. Here is what you need:

Ingredients

Per Person

  • 50ml Pimm’s Winter
  • 150ml clear apple juice
  • Apple and orange slices to garnish
Method

Warm the apple juice in a pan, then add the rest of the ingredients, including the Pimm’s and serve in a lovely mug, it really is that simple!

Blue cups of Winter Pimm's with cut out star shapes as lids. Surrounded by frosted pinecones

Photo Credit: The Pioneer Woman

Spicy Cider

This is a recipe borrowed from Mrs. Lawson, and you can’t really go wrong with Nigella can you?  A lovely alternative to Mulled Wine (although I am partial to a glass or two of that as well – see below!), and bonus points, it doesn’t give you red wine lips!

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings 

  • 1 litre dry cider
  • 60 ml dark rum
  • 250 ml apple and ginger tea (made from a herbal teabag)
  • 40 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 clementines (or satsumas)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods (bruised)
Method
  1. Pour the cider, rum, and tea into a saucepan, add the sugar, and warm over a low heat
  2. Halve the clementines, pop a clove into each half, and add them to the pan
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks and add to the pan along with the bay leaves and cardamom pods, allow everything to come (almost) to the boil
  4. At this point, turn down the heat, and serve into heatproof glasses

Glasses of mulled cider with a vanilla pod and a stick of cinnamon

Photo Credit: Jamie Oliver

Mulled Wine

This has to be my favourite winter warmer. Every sip makes me think of afternoons on the ski slopes, our annual Christmas Eve party, and generally having a jolly good time with my nearest and dearest. Here is a lovely recipe from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients

Serves 10

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod , halved lengthways
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bottles of red wine
Method
  1. Peel some pieces from the clementines, lemon, and lime
  2. Add the sugar to a pan, along with the peel, and the juice from the clementines
  3. Throw in the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and a few gratings of nutmeg
  4. Add enough red wine to just cover the sugar, and add the halved vanilla pod. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved and then bring to the boil until you have a thick syrup
  5. Turn the heat down to low, add the star anise, and then the rest of the wine, and warm it gently, mixing it with the syrup, and then serve

Pan of mulled wine, surrounded by mugs of mulled wine, dried oranges, star anise, cinnamon sticks and star shaped cookies

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

All of these recipes can be served non-alcoholic, by just removing the alcoholic element, and adding more fruit juices of your choice.

So…that has definitely made me thirsty, tempted to go and whip up a few of these now, Which one do you fancy?

A xx

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