2019 wedding shows - Herts, Beds & Bucks
Sunday 14 October - Bedford (The Grand Hall) - 1 space left, FULL photography, catering, DJ, decor, sweets & cars
Sunday 4 November - Stevenage (Holiday Inn) - FULL photography, flowers & cake
Sunday 18 November - Letchworth (The Cloisters) - FULL photography, flowers
Sunday 6 January - Bedford (The Grand Hall) - FULL photography, external bar
Sunday 13 January - St Neots (The Thatch Barn) - FULL photography, photobooth, DJ
Sunday 3 February - Letchworth (Spirella Ballroom) - FULL photography, flowers
Sunday 24 February - Stevenage (Holiday Inn) - FULL photography
Sunday 10 March - Letchworth (The Cloisters) - Space for ALL industries
Sunday 14 April - Bedford (The Grand Hall) - FULL photography, external bar
Sunday 19 May - Aspley Guise (Flaxbourne Gardens) - FULL photography, DJ, photobooth
Sunday 9 June - Stevenage (Holiday Inn) - FULL photography
Sunday 8 September - Bedford (The Grand Hall) - FULL photography, external bar
Sunday 29 September - Aspley Guise (Flaxbourne Gardens) - FULL photography, DJ, photobooth
Sunday 6 October - Letchworth (Spirella Ballroom) - FULL photography
Sunday 3 November - Stevenage (Holiday Inn) - Space for ALL industries
Sunday 17 November - Letchworth (The Cloisters) - Space for ALL industries
DOUBLE award nominated business!
What an amazing month I've had since we restarted show season! Last week I had the news that I've been shortlisted for TWO wedding industry awards - for Wedding Planner of the Year, AND Local Wedding Show of the Year (Grand Hall, Bedford). I am SO SO proud, but also eternally grateful, as it's because of YOU that I got this far. I wouldn't have a business if it wasn't for you.
I've also filled the 2019 calendar for wedding shows! I'm sure I'll sneak in some last minute ones, I usually do, but for now the diary is FULL. A list of all dates is on the Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/BeckieMelvinWeddingEvents) along with availability. Places are being snapped up so please be quick if you want to exhibit! DON'T FORGET that I offer installment plans, so whatever your budget I can guarantee you, the stands are affordable.
OK that's it for me at the moment - I've waffled enough! Have a look at the diary below, let me know what you'd like to book into, & we'll get you in front of local engaged couples.
Much love & thanks again for your continued support
Choosing your dream wedding venue
Congratulations on your engagement! You have the bling on your finger, so it's time to get planning & first on your list is finding the perfect venue to be the backdrop to your big day. However with dozens of venues per county, HUNDREDS across the UK (plus destination wedding venues) it can be a daunting task selecting even just a long list of potentials, let alone a short list! So I thought I'd give you some helpful hints to get you started.
Decide on the type of wedding you'd like as this will start the ball rolling on what type of venue to go & see. For example, if you're looking for a relaxed rustic day, then a large contemporary hotel won't suit you.
Make a realistic budget. This will involve both of you sitting down & being honest on what you can afford. There is no reason to get into mountains of debt just for 1 day, so be careful & realistic in your planning.
Decide roughly how many guests you would like to invite. This will determine a venue's suitability. If you're looking to share your big day with every one of your nearest & dearest, work mates, family from all over the globe... then a venue with capacity of just 50 probably won't be your best match. Unless you're looking for an excuse to pare down the guest list that is!
Once you have these 3 key points in place, then you can start searching. Google local wedding venues, arrange meetings or go to their open days, check out their website & online presence (social media etc) for pictures of real weddings...
Good luck! I hope you enjoy the search :)
Back into wedding season, & what a start!
How has it been a month since I blogged?! Well actually I can answer that in 2 words - wedding season. I've been lucky enough to be involved in co-ordinating weddings at Flaxbourne Gardens ALL SUMMER LONG & I couldn't be happier! But it does mean the weeks fly by in a blur. So here I am, a few days past the first wedding show of the season, just beginning to catch my breath as we get the run of wedding shows started again.
So, first show of the season. Where? Flaxbourne Gardens, in Aspley Guise. When? Sunday 16 September. how did it go? STUNNING! A beautiful day created the perfect backdrop to our wedding show, where we showcased both Flaxbourne at its best, plus 20 of the county's top wedding specialists. We welcomed over 110 visitors through the doors, equating to around 40 couples. All exhibitors had the time to create valuable interactions with visitors, and as a venue we at Flaxbourne had meetings ALL DAY.
So what's next? Well we turn our attention to the net wedding show of the season! In 4 weeks we'll be at The Grand Hall in Bedford, a beautiful Victorian building in the heart of Bedford. Once again we'll be bringing around 20 local wedding spcialists to the attention of engaged couples, as well as showcasing all that the gorgeous venue has to offer for a wedding. We'll be there on Sunday 14 October, so get the date in your diary. As always, the event will be free entry to the public & the day will include tours of the Grand Hall, samples, demonstrations...
In the meantime, here are some photos from the day. Thanks as every for visiting, exhibiting & supporting - this business never fails to make me smile!
Oh, the speeches! The good, the bad, & the ugly - I've heard them all in my time as a wedding coordinator so thought I'd give you some helpful hints & hopefully some inspiration. Got your pen & paper to hand? Then off we go...
OK so this might seem like a bit of a lecture, but it scares me how much debt people get into for the sake of just 1 day. It's easy to do though, especially if you're a bit of a Pinterest or Instagram fan like I am. All those wonderful ideas, which suppliers are keen to provide you with, at any cost. That's what credit cards & loans were invented for, right? Plus hopefully you'll only do this once....
STOP. Take a deep breath. You don't have to buy all of the things (as pretty as they are!)
One approach is to have a longer engagement. This way you can spread the cost & pay for things slower, in smaller amounts
Don't feel pressured into paying for something on the day at a wedding show or similar. On the day deals are great, but don't be afraid to take time to consider your budget & whether the service is one you really do need
Ask vendors if they can take payments in installments for the item/s you're interested in, again splitting the cost. Most people will work with your budget where possible, so don't be afraid to ask
Don't take risks with your wedding dress. if your budget really is that tight, then contact your local bridal shop & ask if they have a sale rail or outlet room. The prices of dresses from Chinese websites may seem appealing BUT you won't get what you paid for, plus you're supporting counterfeit items which take sales away from the original designers.
A lot of couples think that the DIY approach is a good way to stay within budget, & to a certain extent this is true. However it's stressful, exhausting, & will probably end up costing as much with you sourcing your own items as it would cost to pay a professional. Personally, I'd rather a calmer lead up to my wedding!
Finally, as strange as it seems, employ the services of a wedding planner! Honestly, the links that they have to tried & tested suppliers are worth their weight in gold. PLUS as a planner I have access to the best possible prices as my suppliers have worked with me so much, they're happy to pass on savings to my couples.
I hope you've found this post useful, I'd love to hear if you have other suggestions for keeping within your budget for your big day.
Something I've been asked several times recently is "should I invite children to my wedding?"
Now of course, it's personal preference, but you should also consider the style of your day.
If you're having a relaxed, informal wedding (such as we hold at Flaxbourne Gardens) then chances are it will be a child friendly day.
However, if you're going for a more formal, glamorous affair then it may be best to ask your guests to leave the kids with a minder, & enjoy a few hours out.
If you decide to invite the little ones to your big day. there are lots of ways to make sure that they don't become bored & restless. Here are a few ideas to consider:
You can hire professional childcare professionals, to provide a child minding service & keep the kids entertained through a range of activities - they offer things such as crafting, soft play, etc.
You could hire a bouncy castle or similar outdoor play (space & budget allowing).
You could supply some craft items (pencils, colouring books etc), placed on tables for your younger guests. This will keep them occupied during the wedding breakfast, speeches, etc.
If you're worried about babies or little ones interrupting your vows & ceremony, you could consider asking parents solely to the afternoon & evening celebration. Or again, an activity bag should provide a distraction while you say "I do".
Of course, parents should also be able to put your mind at rest & keep their children from causing a disruption - I remember leaving several ceremonies when my son was very young, to avoid disrupting the proceedings.
I hope you've enjoyed this blog, please do get in touch with any further ideas you have!
First of all, DON’T PANIC! It's not a problem. Below are a few things that haven't gone to plan at weddings I've been involved in, & the ways in which they were dealt. Of course, I'm not trivialising your feelings & need for it all to be perfect, merely pointing out there are quick & simple ways to address the issues. Anything else you think of, please do let me know, let's work on them together. Bxx
It’s raining? Traditionally rain on your big day is lucky! It also provides some great atmospheric wedding photos. Why not provide some personalised umbrellas if you’re getting married outdoors?
Perhaps some of the details are the wrong colour - for example, the cake ribbon, the floral centre pieces or chair sashes? Only you will notice. Don’t let it spoil your day, enjoy yourself and follow up with the relevant vendor afterwards to discuss if applicable compensation.
Has a family member or friend made too much of the alcohol that's available? A quiet word with your wedding planner or venue manager & they will move them to a side room with a strong coffee, & gentle coercion to sober up.
Depending on what's gone wrong, the chances are that the guests won't notice, so it's not worth worrying yourself about.
Whatever you think is a problem, it's NOT insurmountable. As long as there's you & your beloved, promising your best to each other, then everything else is extra.
This is maybe the point to once again reiterate the importance of employing a wedding co-ordinator. With their help, all these hiccups can be dealt with without you even noticing.
There are lots of ways available for you to make sure that those you have loved and who have passed on can still be part of your big day.
Here are just a few suggestions, if you have more ideas I’d love to hear them! Bxx
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”
Ah, many congratulations! You got engaged, time to get your best girls involved in the planning. Who's going to be your chief bridesmaid? Your "regular" bridesmaids? Your maid of honour?? What even IS a maid of honour?! Well you've come to the right place!
According to Google, the official line on these roles & their traditions is as follows:
The bridesmaids are members of the bride's party in a wedding. ... Traditionally, bridesmaids were chosen from unwed young women of marriageable age. The principal bridesmaid, if one is so designated, may be called the chief bridesmaid or maid of honor if she is unmarried, or thematron of honor if she is married.
The principal bridesmaid, if one is so designated, may be called the chief bridesmaid or maid of honor if she is unmarried, or the matron of honor if she is married.
So there we go, that's how - traditionally - the ladies in your special day are viewed. Of course, you've chosen them because they're your closest friends & family, which is a lovely way to have them involved in your big day.
On the subject of getting involved, traditionally they're there to assist you on your big day - holding your dress out the way, tidying your hair for photos, holding your flowers during the ceremony. However these days, bridesmaids tend to be a bigger part - organisation of your hen party being the main task before your wedding. They will also no doubt be on hand to help with any pre wedding jitters you have, maybe helping with seating plans, generally making life a little easier for you.
A subject that often comes up is who pays for bridesmaids dresses? Well, these days the girls pay for their own. But it's up to you to source the dresses, tell them the style & colour you'd like them to wear, ensuring the styles chosen are flattering to all those in your bridal party. remember though that not everyone has unlimited budgets so that's something to consider when choosing - perhaps leave the Vera Wang dresses for now?!
I hope this has been helpful, if you have any thoughts on this subject I'd love to hear them!
Photos here from my sister's wedding in September 2017 - what a fun day! Didn't stop laughing the whole time we were together <3
Middle photo credit to Leigh Spary Photography, gorgeous photographer with an eye for all things natural
Beckie is a qualified wedding planner, with a passion for assisting overwhelmed couples to achieve their perfect wedding day.