You’re Engaged!!

So CONGRATULATIONS to all of you newly engaged couples – I do love a good engagement story – so do pop yours in the comments below 🙂
Image via Harpers Bazaar
So you’re probably still on Cloud Nine, but you’ve got a wedding to plan! Here are my top tips on where to start…

1. Write a guest list

It will give you a good starting point, and will be really helpful when you come to discuss budgets. Even the difference between 150 guests and 120 guests, can have a big impact, so this will really make you think about what (and who) is important.

2. Create a budget

This can be a bit boring, but it is essential – and needs to be done early on. It is easy to get carried away with things (I mean, who doesn’t need an 11 tier naked cake sprinkled with edible gold….) – but being able to go back to your budget will  help you to stay grounded. It will also help you decide what you do and don’t want to spend money on. Do you want a videographer? Do you need to provide wedding favours? Can you do an electronic ‘Save the Date’?

If you would like a totally FREE budget planner – email me on hello@alexandriaevents.co.uk and I will pop one over to you.

3. Enjoy!!

This is the time to be celebrating with friends and family, drinking lots of champagne, and staring at your engagement ring every five minutes. Weddings are amazing, and marriages even better, but there is nothing like being engaged, and it will be over before you know it, so make the most of this time!

I hope you’ve found this useful – and if you have any more questions please do drop me a line – hello@alexandriaevents.co.uk
A xx

Follow

Wedding Colour Palettes // Midnight Blue Wedding

// Midnight Blue //

I recently did a styled shoot based on this beautiful colour, salve at the gorgeous Millbridge Court, web with a host of fabulous wedding suppliers. Whilst I am dying to share the images with you (taken by the very talented Daria from Plenty to Declare) we are in the process of submitting them to a publication, so we need to keep them private for now. In the meantime, here is a colour palette post focussing on Midnight Blue.

This is a great colour for a wedding, and looks great in all seasons. Midnight Blue and copper or even grey looks fab for a winter wedding, or you can add peachy tones or coral in the summer. What do you think? Have you been to a Midnight Blue wedding?

This time, I have two moodboards for you, one is the same as usual, using a host of midnight blue inspired images, from patterns to home decor, to nail polish! But this time, I have also included a wedding board, giving you some direct ideas of how you can incorporate Midnight Blue into your wedding. Enjoy!

Midnight Blue Colour Palette.

Images via Pinterest 

Midnight Blue Wedding Moodboard

Images via Pinterest 

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 incorporate Midnight Blue into your wedding, I’d love to hear about your plans! For the photo credits, and more Midnight Blue-inspired images – please take a look at my Pinterest board or follow me on Pinterest for more colourful inspo @alexandriaev and I can not WAIT to share the images from our photoshoot with you soon 🙂

A x

Follow

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

Follow

Wedding Colour Palettes // Rose Gold Wedding

// Rose Gold //

I really enjoy creating these colour palette posts, 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, 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 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

Follow

What’s In My Bag – Wedding Guest Edition

What's in my Bag - Wedding Guest Edition. Chanel handbag with Coco Chanel, shoes, red lipstick, iPhone, jewellery, and purse

Print by Emma Kissatina

So, let’s face it, when you’re putting together your outfit for a wedding, style nearly always comes before practicality. Many a time, I have worn a pair of shoes that murder my feet, and wear an outfit that starts to feel slightly snug after the wedding breakfast. When it comes to handbags, things don’t get much more sensible either, but at the same time, you don’t need the huge tote that you probably carry around day-to-day either, here is a little ‘What’s in My Bag’ round up of what I think are the wedding day essentials if you’re going as a guest.

1. The bag itself

You don’t want to go with something teeny-tiny, unless you’re staying in the same venue, and can pop upstairs if you need something. You need something that is easy to hold, preferably hands free, so that you can hold a glass of champagne and a canapé at the same time! I love an over-sized clutch, that looks stylish, but you can tuck it underneath your arm, or a cute little bag with a long strap that you can wear over your shoulder.

2. Your phone

Which is great as it doubles up as a camera too. Most phones these days are pretty slim so should slot easily into your bag. If you usually use a phone case, take it off, to make more room, and just be extra careful after you’ve had a few cocktails! If, like me, you struggle to keep your battery going throughout the day, switch it to airplane mode, you can still use the camera, and you shouldn’t really need it for much else throughout the day, and then just switch it back later on when you need to call a cab to take you home.

3. The makeup BASICS

And I mean basics. I am definitely guilty of taking too many things, and then using one or two of them throughout the day. I think the fear is that it is such a long day that you will need constant touch-ups later on. All I really think you need, is your lipstick, a little sample size of the perfume that you are using and maybe one more item – for me it would be a brow pencil as this is the thing that generally doesn’t stay on me all day, but it will be different for everyone. If you have a good skin care routine and use a decent primer most thing should stay put. I have also recently been using the Urban Decay ‘All Nighter’ makeup setting spray, and swear by it, it really sticks everything in place for hours. When it comes to it, you’ll probably be having far too much fun to worry about your makeup anyway.

4. A bank card and a couple of notes

You don’t need to take your whole purse (and let’s face it, they are usually full of receipts and other rubbish and ridiculously heavy!) Take out the card that you need, and maybe draw out some cash beforehand, especially if you think you are going to need to take a cab anywhere, or if you need money for the collection plate at a church ceremony. Most handbags have a little zip pocket somewhere that you can stash this stuff in so that it is secure.

5. Sunglasses (optional)

If you’re going to a summer wedding, you’ll all be praying for sun in the weeks leading up. Check the weather forecast and if you think it is going to be nice, pop a pair of sunnies in your bag, you don’t want to be squinting all day, especially if you’re going to be caught on camera!

And finally…6: Tissues!

Maybe you’re not as emotional as me, but I always get a lump in  my throat and a tear in my eye whenever the music starts and the bride begins to walk down the aisle, but I definitely need my tissues at a wedding. Again, you only need a couple, so take them out of the packaging and stuff them into the empty space in your bag.

And on one final note, I don’t know about you, but wherever we go (wedding or otherwise) my husband always asks me to put his wallet and keys into my bag. On a normal day, I am more than happy to carry his various bits and pieces (despite all of my suggestions, he is not that keen on purchasing a ‘man bag’), but on a wedding day, we have a strict, carry your own possessions rule.What do you think? What do you carry in  your wedding handbags? I’d love to know in the comments below.

A xx

Follow

Book Review: Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close

Book Review, 'Girls in White Dresses' by Jennifer Close, by Alexandria Events, book surrounded by a cup of tea and pink and yellow candy

I haven’t written a book review blog post yet, but it has been a while since I have read a good girly novel, so after my husband bought me this one for my birthday earlier this summer, I had to write a post about  Girls in White Dresses – by Jennifer Close

​I think he must have seen the front cover and thought it was ‘wedding-related’ so it was something that I would like! I don’t really get much time to read for fun these days, actually, not quite true..I don’t make time to read for fun these days, I always feel guilty when I sit down and read for a couple of hours as I usually have a ‘To Do’ list as long as my arm, waiting for me to return, but this one was such an easy read, I sped through it in no time, plus was I was helped by a few train journeys without any mobile signal!

​In some ways, the title, and the front cover, are a little deceptive, the book isn’t all about weddings. The majority of the story is about young, single women, from the point where they graduate from university, to jobs, boyfriends, weddings, and babies. It jumps from character to character in each chapter, so there isn’t a protagonist, which I liked, and you got to know all of the characters quite well, and they kept crossing paths in a clever way.

​Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a particularly ‘intellectual’ read, nor are you going to have your mind blown, or have any life-changing epiphanies upon completion,  but there is something about the way that it is written that I found captivating.

As I said, I mostly read it on the train to and from London, and definitely got some funny looks at the ‘laugh out loud’ moments. some parts are really touching as well, and there are some parts that my former ‘single girl’ mind, definitely relates to. The characters are likeable, and infuriating at the same time, sometimes you want to hug them, other times you want to scream at them and tell them to stop being a complete idiot. Overall, it is a witty, fun, read, it would be perfect if you are looking for an easy read for your holidays, or daily commute.

I’d definitely recommend this one, let me know if you’ve read it yourself, or if this post encourages you to give it a go, let me know what you think!

Book Review, 'Girls in White Dresses' by Jennifer Close, by Alexandria Events, book open at the beginning of a chapter and surrounded by a cup of tea and pink and yellow candy

Follow

My top 5 ‘liked’ Instagram photos

 

I am absolutely in love with Instagram, I adore sharing images, and even more, ‘liking’ other people’s posts too. Being a small business, social media is a crucial tool, perhaps even more so, when you do such a visually creative job as wedding planning and styling. So I thought it would be interesting to go onto Iconosquare and check out what my top five most ‘liked’ Instagram posts ever are. Some of them seem obvious to me, others not so much, let me take you through them, and let me know what you think too.

 

5. A beautiful Afternoon Tea Wedding, by At Home Catering at Fetcham Park

Beautiful venue, beautiful table full of delicious afternoon tea goodies – it’s not hard to see why this image was popular, what wasn’t particularly great, was the quality of the image as I just took it on my iPhone and then played around with the brightness before posting. This is one of the reasons why I love Instagram, it is accessible for everyone and you don’t need to have professional photos all of the time, sometimes the content of the image just speaks for itself.

 

4. Roses hanging from the tree in our front garden

Flowers hanging from ribbons on a tree at Alexandria Event's own wedding in Hampshire

This is an image from my own wedding, the reason I am surprised that this one is up there, is because, although the image is lovely, they just looked even more beautiful in real life. I suppose to me, the photo doesn’t quite do justice to the reality. These particular roses are the handiwork of the fabulous Paula Rooney, and were the first thing that I saw when we pulled up to the house after our ceremony, seeing this image really transports me back to that day.

 

3. A beautiful bouquet by Nikki Tibbles

Beautiful Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart bouquet, with pink and cream peonies and peach roses

So…if there is a pattern here, it has to be flowers, and no wonder, everyone loves a good flower photo, and people definitely liked this one. Nikki very kindly gave this to me as a gift after a meeting that we had a couple of months ago, and without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful bouquets I have ever received. The colours are amazing, there is a lovely variety of textures, and shapes, it was just an absolute beaut. So kind of her, and I am so glad that the people of Instagram loved it as much as I did.

 

2. The confetti shot

Alexandria Events, UK based wedding planner, gets married in her local church. Confetti shot outside the church with bridesmaids and flower girls

This is one of my all time favourite photos. It is from mine and Ty’s wedding, and was just a candid shot taken by one of our friends outside the church. The reason I love it so much is that it is just such a natural and happy photograph full of all of my favourite people. Those of you that are already married will recognise the feeling of absolute elation that you feel just after your ceremony and I think this photo really captures this perfectly.

 

1. Mini eggs!

Cadbury's mini eggs in a china bowl, and edible flowers, designed by Alexandria Events, UK based wedding planner , for a styled shoot at Oakley Hall Hotel

So this one did baffle me a bit, it is a pretty shot that I took behind-the-scenes of a styled shoot that I organised earlier this year, but it certainly isn’t anything special. I love mini eggs and I love pastel colours, and pretty mini flowers, so I decided to take a little snap, and I guess other people do too! You can see the proper images from this shoot, by the fantastic Jacques from Real Simple Photography, here or on the English Wedding Blog

 

I’d love to see your favourite Instagram pics – or the most popular ones on  your feed too! If you want to see what I’m up to on Instagram – I’m @alexandriaevents
A x

Follow