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

Snap Happy – A guide to finding the perfect wedding photographer, by Alexandria Events

Choosing a wedding photographer can be tricky business. On top of the fact that you’re trusting someone to capture one of the most special days of your life, viagra you also have to spend a significant amount of time with them throughout your wedding day, information pills so you need to get it right. Making the right choice is a deeply personal decision, sick and most of the time you do just get a ‘feeling’ about someone, the same way that you do with people in your personal or professional life.

Here are some top tips, on what we think is important when making your choice:

1. Start searching early! Make choosing your photographer a priority (once you have secured your date of course). Give yourselves ample time to shop around, trawl the websites, and check out all of their online galleries, shortlist your favourites, and then start contacting them! Here at Alexandria Events we know some incredible photographers and would love to help you with your shortlisting – contact us here

Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

2. Meet face-to-face, unless they live at the other end of the country, there is no reason why they can’t do this. If they say that they are too busy – do you really want a wedding photographer who can’t find the time to meet you? Skype and Facetime can work too, but it is  important to build a rapport with your photographer. They should be willing to meet at a time and place that is convenient for you.

Snap Happy - A guide to finding the perfect wedding photographer, by Alexandria Events

 

3. Word of Mouth –  ask friends and family who they have used and if they would recommend them. It is far more reassuring to get this information from someone you know and trust, than any ‘kind words’ on suppliers websites.

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

4. Ask lots of questions – when you meet up, come armed with a list of things that you want to know. This will tell you a lot about their professionalism and flexibility, whether they are willing to work around what you want, and whether you ‘get’ each other.

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

5. Ask to see their previous work – this seems obvious, but if they are showing you picture after picture of the same wedding, ask to see something else. Even if they have only shot a handful of weddings, a keen photographer will have plenty of other material (portraits/landscapes/reportage) that they should be able to show you. Everyone has to start somewhere – I know that from personal experience! But do you really want to risk being their ‘guinea pig’? Which leads me onto my next point…

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

6. Have an engagement shoot! When these first started to become popular, I was a bit dubious myself, and thought the idea was a bit ‘cheesy’ but having had one myself, and talking to other brides – I think that they are crucial. Not many of us are totally relaxed in front of a camera, so an engagement shoot allows you to get used to it before the big day. It also helps you to see how  your photographer works, and gives them the opportunity to get to know you better too. Let them know what you do and don’t like, and learn about posing, and what looks good from them. It is their job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, and most of the brilliant photographers that I know are experts at this.

 

All images by Lorraine Claire – a talented photographer and very good friend. Lorraine and I are in the process organising a very special styled shoot this winter, along with our team of fantastic suppliers – watch this space for more details!

 

A x

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Say Yes to the (Right) Dress – A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

 

Last week I met the lovely Rebecca, physician one of the designers at The Farnham Boutique, and it got me thinking about ‘the dress’…

  

         Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                       Image by Esther Sun Photography                                                     Image by Anna Campbell

When you think about it, the concept of a wedding dress is utter lunacy.  Most of us spend more on this dress, that we’ll only wear ONCE in our lives, than any other item of clothing in our  wardrobes, and on top of that, they are typically white (ish), the most impractical colour in the world – all it takes is one drunken uncle and a glass of red wine and it is game over. So why do we do it? 

Some women (myself included) have dreamt about wedding dresses since childhood, I even went to a fancy dress party as a bride when I was six….I’ll dig that photo out some time so you can have a good laugh at me! Others only begin to get excited about the prospect of them once they are engaged, and planning the big day. And for some, the dress search is just something else to tick off the list.  But one thing that we all have in common though, we want to look, and feel, amazing when we’re walking down that aisle.

So this got me thinking of the process, and having gone through it fairly recently myself, here are my ‘top tips’ on making it as enjoyable as possible…

1. An obvious one here, but BE OPEN MINDED, most brides will tell you that they had an image of their dream dress, and then chose something completely different!  Even though you might think you’re a  ‘Kate Middleton’ you might be a ‘Kate Moss’. You never know until you try it on. Be brave! 

              Kate Middleton Royal Wedding Say Yes To The Right Dress - Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events - Kate Moss Wedding Dress

                                      Image by Vogue                                                                             Image by Full Time Fab 

2. Don’t get upset if you don’t find ‘the dress’ straight away. It can be tempting to start panicking when you start hating each dress that you try on more than the one before. THIS IS NORMAL, we are all different shapes and sizes and what suits you might look bloomin’ awful on the next girl. You WILL find something that you look gorgeous in. Don’t panic buy, don’t cry (in public anyway), just keep looking, keep trying on, and keep smiling.

   Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                           Image by Phillipa Lepley                                                                                Image by Pronovias  

3. Decide on the kind of wedding vibe you are going for before you start looking for dresses. Think about the kind of wedding you are planning, if you’re having a low-key, festival-style day, you might not want an enormous ball gown with a long train. Similarly, if you’re getting married in a posh hotel, your barefoot,  bohemian, floaty number might look out of place.  Having said that, if you fall in love with a particular style – go for it! It is your day, do what you want!  

                Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

               Image by Grace Loves Lace                                                   Image by Style Me Pretty  

4. Wear the right undies. Wedding dress shopping not the time to get your sexy lingerie out, (even though you’ll  probably have more seeing you in your knickers than any other time in your life!) It is all about the flesh coloured, seamless, no VLP pants, and a really well fitted, strapless, nude bra – trust me, you will look so much better on the outside, if you are well supported underneath. Once you have more of an idea of the style of dress that you want, you can start thinking about the need for basques/shapewear etc. but for now – get out the granny pants! 

             Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress- A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                                     Image by Lauren Conrad                                                                    Image by Style Me Pretty  

5. Think LOCAL, there are probably a number of fabulous bridal shops on your doorstep that you just haven’t noticed before because you haven’t needed to. In my area I love The Farnham Boutique and The White House, in Alresford, what they both have  in common is a truly personal feel and excellent customer service (as well as gorgeous gowns!). From when you walk in the door, you are made to feel a million dollars, and this makes a difference to your whole experience By all means, check out the big names as well. but give your local high street some love too. 

                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events, The White House, Alresford, Hampshire Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events, The Farnham Boutique, Farnham, Surrey

                              Image by White House Brides                                              Image by The Farnham Boutique 

6. Do take your time, don’t let yourself be put under pressure to make any decisions or part with any money if you’re unsure. Most bridal shops are wonderful and far too professional to do this, but some can be pushy, so stand your ground, and tell them that you want to think about it. It is your decision, your money, and your wedding – take control!   

                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                                    Image by The Fuller View                                                        Image by Grace Loves Lace  

7. Enjoy yourself! Take your loveliest friends or family, people that will be honest with you, and who want to find the dress of your dreams as much as you do. Try not to take TOO many people to your first appointment, it can be overwhelming to have all of the different opinions in one go, and you really need to concentrate on yourself and what YOU think, at least while you are narrowing down styles. Once you have got a general idea, invite more people along, have fun, and crack open the champagne! 

Hope this helps! 

A xx

 

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