Category Archives: Sponsored Post

Win a Week’s Worth of Prizes with Flourish & Prosper and a Place at The F&P Wedding Academy!

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One of my favourite things to do is speaking at events. As someone who used to suffer from crippling stage fright (and would avoid public speaking at all costs in school) this has been nothing but a surprise to me, let me tell you! But once you get over the anxiety, it really is super fun!

Which is why I was thrilled when the babes at Flourish and Prosper asked me to be involved their workshop, The Wedding Academy. This is the first business workshop specifically aimed at people in the wedding industry, and I for one can’t wait to attend!

The idea was dreamt up by two wedding industry heavyweights; stylist and editor of the b.loved wedding blog Louise Beukes, and wedding planner Jessie Thomson. Their inaugural one-day workshop is being held on the 1st November at Icetank, in London.

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There will be speakers from all areas of the wedding industry. I’ll be chatting about how you can build a loyal audience of potential clients using your blog and social media, developers Swash and Fold will be discussing SEO, wedding planner Pocketful of Dreams will be covering marketing, and Sweetpea PR are talking about – what else – PR.

Erin from Ward Williams Creative, an expert in accounting for creative businesses, will be showing you simple ways to keep on top of your accounts, while business mentor Jenny Hyde, bridesmaid dress designer Maids to Measure and Emmy Shoes will be sharing business stories, lessons and advice!

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Win a Beautiful Bouquet from Serenata Flowers!

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There’s nothing sweeter than treating yourself to a bouquet of flowers. Of course it’s nice to be given one too, but we can’t always control when that happens. So how would you like £50 to spend on yourself at serenataflowers.com!?

Whether you want to splash out on a giant bouquet to carry on your wedding day, you’d prefer something pretty to sit on your desk at work, or you’d like to go wild and splash the whole lot on wine and chocolates, I can’t think of one good reason not to enter this competition!

Serenata Flowers are different to a lot of online flower delivery services. They pride themselves on their guarantee of fresher, finer and all-round more fabulous flowers. Their Heathrow based ‘flower emporium’ receives daily deliveries of most stunning blooms from local and international farmers. Each of their bouquets is personally prepared by an in-house florist before being sent by courier direct to your door. Best of all delivery is completely FREE all over the UK, and you can order as late as 8pm for next day delivery.

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Think Affordable Luxury is Impossible in a London Hotel? Think again…

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One of the biggest problems I have when looking for accommodation in London is the price. I want to stay somewhere reasonably nice, but I don’t want to have to splash £350 a night for the privilege. So when I discovered CitizenM Bankside I was thrilled… and I hadn’t even got there yet!

Branded as ‘affordable luxury’, this is a chain hotel with the feeling of a boutique. The décor is out of this world (for an instagram-addict like me I was in heaven!), the bed one of the comfiest I’ve ever slept in, and the staff friendly and accommodating without being in-your-face annoying.

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It reminded me a little of the famous capsule hotels I’d seen in Japan. While the rooms are compact, they ooze cool. The coma-inducing king-size bed was incredible, the pod-like shower and loo cubical weird but awesome, and free movies (including adult ones oh la la!) a surprising addition. Each room also comes equipped with international plug sockets, a Samsung tablet and free WiFi. In short, literally everything you ever could need.

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Are Brides Who Wear Glasses Any Less Beautiful?

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Brewery wedding

Watch any teen movie from the past ten years and you’ll recognise this cliché. In order to get the guy, the heroine, who starts off an ugly duckling, first needs to be transformed into a beautiful swan. Whatever the premise of the film might be, the classic movie makeover formula is tried, tested and invariable. Her hair is tamed, ‘sexy’ clothes are donned, make up applied, glasses removed… How exactly she’s going to see the man of her dreams without that vital accessory never seems to be a concern.

I started to ponder this phenomenon recently while watching The Princess Diaries (don’t judge, it was a rainy Sunday afternoon!) As Mia’s glasses are viciously snapped in two by her stylist, I wondered if that also meant she’d be frame-free if she ever got married. Well, of course she would, I reasoned, she’d be a princess by then, and princesses don’t wear glasses.

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Daisy chain wedding

If you wear specs yourself, then whether or not you’re going to have them on your face at your wedding will undoubtedly be discussed at some point. People will start to innocently ask you about contacts or laser treatment. Yet if it’s your groom that’s bespectacled I doubt he’ll get the same questions. When men wear glasses they’re considered dashing, smart and sexy. Girls, on the other hand, are always encouraged to remove their frames in order to look their most beautiful.

Wearing glasses does not make you quirky, geeky or nerdy, it just means your eyeballs do not work as well as other people’s. It’s not right to judge anyone, either positively or negatively, for this unavoidable deformity. Tattoos and piercings are considered by many as beautiful, and what we choose to wear says a lot about who we are. I expect that the majority of you would be in agreement with me that self expression is sexy.

So why is it so hard for the movie and wedding industries to find beauty in a girl’s choice to wear glasses instead of contacts?

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Eclectic bric-a-brac wedding

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Unplugged Weddings, Wedding Hashtags & Feeling Like a Digital Leper

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For a while now there seems to have been a bit of a backlash against this hyper digitalised age in which we live. Especially when it comes to weddings. It is no longer unusual for a bride and groom to request that their guests don’t spend the entire wedding snapping photos on their phones, or glued to the instantaneous Facebook updates. Asking your guests to not share any photos online is no longer weird, or rude, it’s just a personal choice.

BUT (and this is a big but) I am an unashamed internet addict. I have no problem with my desire to always have my phone glued to one hand, my camera to the other. I love to document, I love to share, and I love to capture and save those memories constantly. Digital detoxes are all the rage right now though, and because of this I’m actually starting to feel a bit like a leper.

If, like me, you are a fan of embracing everything that social media has to offer then listen up. If you’ve ever wondered if there was a way to take all those snaps that your guests are taking at your wedding and using them in a more tangible and visible way, then you’re really going to love this.

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Bridesmaid 101

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This may seem trivial and self-centred, but I’ve always wanted to be a bridesmaid. As a child I didn’t once dream about my own wedding day, but I coveted the pretty, flouncy dresses that bridesmaids got to wear and the beautiful bouquets they got the carry. I wanted to do that so badly. “One day”, I thought, “one day it will be my turn”.

But it never was.

I have never been a bridesmaid. I’ve never planned a hen do, held the bouquet for a friend while she said her vows, or had to make a speech. And I’m not going to lie, I was starting to feel a little left out.

So you can imagine my extreme elation when my best friend from University, Carly, asked me to be her one and only bridesmaid when she came to visit last week. In fact I was so excited that the very next morning I was on the phone to a local bridal boutique to see if we could get an appointment to start dress shopping! I am taking my role very seriously as you can see.

I am a massive research nerd, so the next thing I did was to Google “bridesmaid duties” and “things to remember when you’re a bridesmaid.” Sure I might work in the wedding industry, but I want to make sure I do this thing right!

However I was disappointed to discover that nearly all the bridesmaid advice style articles I found on my internet travels came with a heavy dose of snark. What to do if you hate your dress, how to deal with a feuding bridal party, just how much it’s going to cost you… ugh, how depressing. This is not what I wanted to read at all!

So as the antithesis for all those awful articles, here are the real things you need to know if someone has asked you to be a part of one of the most important days of their lives.

Realise that it’s not about you

Your main duty is to help the couple in the lead up to their wedding; it’s not just about wearing a fancy dress and looking pretty! There are lots of little things you can do to assist, so be proactive. Offer to be the one to make the appointments, run errands, stay up late addressing invitations, organise a craft party to make these 100 metres of bunting that she has her heart set on…

Making the process easier and less stressful for your girl is your main prerogative. She’ll have a million things to do throughout the planning so anything you can take off her list will be massively appreciated.

Start with the fun stuff

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always want to do the fun stuff first! And by fun stuff I of course mean dress shopping! It was the first thing I did when I got engaged and so it was the first thing I suggested Carly and I tackle too.

When it comes to finding that dream dress, all girls are different. She might be a super-eager forward planning type, or a more reluctant, slightly clueless babe. The key to being an awesome bridesmaid is knowing what kind of help your girl needs from you.

I don’t think Carly will mind me saying that she was crapping it about the whole dress shopping thing. She’s gorgeous, but she was stressing about not liking any of them and looking totally ridiculous. Now, I knew as soon as she tried some on she’d a) realise that they’re not as terrifying as she thought and b) that she’d look beautiful in them all. So, my first plan of action was to get her into something big and white so she would realise just how fun this whole wedding planning thing can be.

And it worked! After our appointment last week she turned to me and said “Well that wasn’t too bad, I actually liked a couple of them. I can’t wait to do it again!” RESULT!

By starting with some tasks that you know the bride will enjoy, you’ll help to elevate the “holy-shit-I’ve-got-to-plan-a-whole-wedding” pressure. If you have a nervous bride on your hands, start with the fun stuff – the dresses, the cake, the food tasting! Who cares about doing things in the ‘right’ order? Start with whatever you think she’ll most enjoy and take it from there.

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