Flaxbourne Gardens has been involved in some of the most beautiful celebrations.
Our unique venue offers everything required to create your perfect Wedding or special event.
We tailor our weddings & events to your specific requirements with attention to detail in every way, from the stunning grounds, amazing food & marquee decor to the little touches like your favourite drink behind the bar & the DJ playing your choice of music.
Our onsite Operations Director Paul Linden has over 30 years of experience in Weddings & Events in conjunction with the Award Winning Wedding co-ordinator Beckie Melvin (yes, that's me!) We will make sure you and your guests are offered an experience of a lifetime filled with wonderful memories.
Whatever your requirements, Flaxbourne Gardens will deliver your perfect Wedding, Party or Event with panache.
Giving you peace of mind on your very special day, so that YOU, your family and your guests enjoy the start of your perfect journey.
All events at Flaxbourne are special & the staff will make sure your event is amazing in every way.
2019 has exciting changes planned, including the addition of onsite accommodation & obtaining our wedding licence, meaning you can finally get married onsite with us.
Flaxbourne Gardens is a unique Wedding & Events Venue located in the stunning Buckinghamshire countryside. We have been making dreams come true over the years with our incredibly beautiful Gardens & amazing catering services.
Contact the team at Flaxbourne Gardens to learn how we can make your special day everything you’ve dreamed of… and more.
Hello my name is Emma and I am the owner and photographer at Purple Rose Photography. I am passionate about all things photography and especially weddings.
Obviously, I am a wedding photographer but I am also married and like you had the task of finding myself a wedding photographer. There is so much choice out there that it can be a bit overwhelming. I remember spending hours on end looking through websites, comparing packages and just generally getting very confused. With this in mind, I hope this short post helps you to decide. There are many things to consider when looking at wedding photography, below are a few of them.
I think there are seven key points when deciding on a photographer.
1 - Are they free on your date?
2- Do you like their style?
3 - Do you like them as a person?
4 - Do they have a suitable package?
5- Can they work in all light and weather conditions?
6 – Are they excited about your wedding day?
7- Will they go the extra mile?
1 - Are they free on your date?
It's fairly obvious a photographer can only be in one place at a time. Summer dates can book up years in advance along with memorable dates. Lots of couple like the idea of a date such as 18-08-18 or 19-09-19. The photographer’s availability on your wedding date should always be one of your first questions. It can be very frustrating to set your heart of them to find they are already booked.
2 - Do you like their style?
Every photographer is a little bit different. We all see things a little
different and we all edit photos a little different to each other. Photography is an art and as such you are investing in a bespoke product. Look at the photographer's work, look at their wedding images, you should be able to identify a style of work. Do you like it? Can you picture those photos in your home? If you have not met face to face this is the time to arrange to do so. You can look through examples of full weddings the photographer has worked on to see the kind of finished product you can expect.
3 - Do you like them as a person?
Perhaps a strange thing to worry about? Your photographer, with the exception of maybe your videographer, is someone you will spend a lot of your day with. They can be there when you’re getting ready all the way through to the evening dancing. That's a long time to spend with someone, so you need to get on well with them and feel comfortable around them. If you don't this will show in your photos. The best way to work out if you like them is to meet them. Pop along to wedding fayre's and say hello to photographers. If that is not possible when you enquire ask to arrange to meet them. You can then decide if you click with them, it is also a perfect opportunity to look at example albums and ask any other questions you may have.
4 - Do they have a suitable package?
Think about the package you want. Do you want all your images presented digitally, perhaps on a USB? Do you want a bespoke album to remember your day, will your parents want albums as well? Do you want an engagement photo shoot? Do you want any printed photos or wall displays? These are all things your photographer can provide. There is a lot of choice out there so sit down with your partner and really think about what you want. If your favourite photographer does not do a suitable package it never hurts to ask them if they can create a bespoke package for you.
5 - Can they work in all light and weather conditions?
I love the UK, I love the changing weather we have, always unpredictable but never boring. Many of us dream of a sunny wedding, but what if it's raining and dull? Can your photographer cope with this? Do they have a rain plan? If your venue is dark can they work in this? I've photographed weddings is barns with no window light and the rooms lit by candles. The registrar won't allow a flash to be used during the ceremony. So you need a photographer who can work in this lighting situation. Ask to see example of this in their portfolio, ask them how they would deal with this situation. If you’re not sure and your venue is dark ask yourself if you trust them.
6 - Are they excited about your wedding day?
You may find that strange but I feel this is important. Yes their job is wedding photography and to a degree it is another day at the office for them but are they excited to be at work? Do they ask you about your wedding? Do they want to see you Pinterest board? Are they asking about your plans and not just the photography side of things? These are signs of someone who loves their work and loves weddings. If they are excited and interested just talking about your day imagine how much care they’ll take at your wedding to capture it for you. When I meet perspective clients we often spend most of the consultation just talking about their wedding plans, friends and family. Why? Because I am genuinely interested in this, we’ll get round to talking about the photography side of things of course, that’s why we’ve met but I love to hear your ideas and plans.
7- Will they go the extra mile?
When I arrive to photograph your wedding that’s my key job and I go about that. If I see someone needs help I will help you, once I’ve taken the photo of course. I’m often pinning button holes, folding pocket squares, zipping and buttoning up dresses. May bag is full of plasters, sewing kits and other items. I have wellies in the car in case it’s muddy and umbrellas in case it rains. I often deliver the button holes to the groom as they went to the bride. I’ve helped brides with shoes, garters and underskirts. Entertained tiered and bored children, they love being my assistant. I’m always keeping an eye on the time for you and pushing people along if we should be moving. I’m there to help you if I can. I spend so long with you during the day I am always going to help.
The obvious question before any of the above is where do you find your wedding photographer? The internet, Facebook and Instagram can be fantastic places to start looking. Asking friends and family for recommendations can also be very useful. Pop along to local wedding fayres. These are usually free to attend and can be a fantastic opportunity to have a mini meeting with photographers you are interested in. They will be there, with examples of their work and albums and very eager to answer any questions you have. Don't be shy about saying hello, they are probably just as nervous as you. Most photographers are not salespeople, they are not naturally pushy, they are creative people and just want to talk about their photography and your day.
Picking your wedding photographer is a big decision and should not be rushed. Take your time to research and meet various photographers until you are confident you have found your perfect match.
Emma Webster - Purple Rose Photography
Congratulations on getting engaged! Now the fun REALLY begins. However, there's something I need to say ... 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. Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram too for more information, plus the more lighthearted side of my business.
When we got engaged back in May, I had absolutely no idea where to start or what the planning process had in store. I wasn’t one of those girls that grew up dreaming about her wedding day, and I had no idea whatsoever of what it took to pull off a decent wedding.
We were away on a mini-break and it was just so lovely to have a few days to ourselves, taking it all in and talking about all the ideas and possibilities. This by far was my favourite thing, having that excitement and just being able to really get my head around what it meant and take a chance to just be excited about what the future holds.
I’m huge on planning and organisation anyway, so as soon as we were back from our mini-break and had shared the news with family and friends I got the notepad out and made a start. Please don’t do this if you can avoid it. You have all the time in the world to get down to the nitty gritty of planning, so just enjoy the celebrations and really bask in your newly engaged bliss. I [promise the venues and guest lists will still be there in a months’ time!
I feel like now were 8 months in, and have about 15 months left to go were in the really fun part of it all! We ticked off all the main things pretty early on, and decided to take the approach of lots of research, make a decision and book it, then not think about it until we need to. This means we know we have all the bones of a good day, and now we just have to look into the details and anything a little extra.
I have seen many fellow brides and grooms to be second guess and change their mind and I have even done this myself. I soon realised there will always be alternatives, there’s always going to be a photographer with more awards, or a venue with a prettier garden, but you can’t forget you booked it for a reason, and as long as you were confident when you booked them they will still be as amazing as you had thought back then.
This attitude only really manifested itself when looking for The Dress. In the industry anyway there’s so much pressure put on a wedding, but on the Bride especially it felt quite hard. How do you know you’ve got The One? What if you change your mind? There are so many gorgeous dresses out there, personally if I had the opportunity to wear them there are about 12 I could have gone for! In all honesty though, all you can ask for is a dress that makes you feel absolutely incredible and unstoppable when you try it on, because that’s how you should feel on your wedding day. I did that thing that everyone tells you not to do when you first get engaged and I bought a wedding dress 4 weeks after getting engaged. I was adamant I didn’t care about a dress, I wasn’t going to spend a silly amount on a single dress, and it didn’t matter to me enough. The dress I got was gorgeous, and everything I had wanted on paper. Problem was every time I tried it on, as the weeks and months after buying it had passed, I just didn’t feel me. I didn’t feel confident and strong, like I could walk in the room and not feel uncomfortable. So I kept looking, and found one that did make me feel fantastic! I know a lot of women feel quite uncomfortable about the dress process, but please just don’t be so hard on yourselves and take your time.
It’s so easy to get caught up in these details, they are what make the planning process seem fun, but you don’t need to add to the pressure you’re already under. Being kind to yourself is SO important during this time. Your partner asked you to marry you because they love you, and they want to be with you for the rest of their lives. They aren’t saying they will only love you forever if you have a great wedding dress, a candy cart and a photo booth.
We still have so much to do, and I’ve been on a hiatus since around Christmas. I just keep moving things on my To-Do list to the next month, which isn’t ideal as I’ll start running out of months at this rate!
I’m counting down to a brilliant day with all my loved ones, but I’m more excited about the thousands of days that follow where I get to say I’m married to my best friend.
So, you've spotted a wedding show in the area, you've marked the date in your diary, you've convinced your other half &/or family & friends to come with you... but how do you get the most out of the wedding shows you visit? It can be a little overwhelming when you first visit one, so here's a few things I thought would help you. Of course if you think of anything else or want some more info, then please do pop me an email. I'm also on Facebook & Instagram, where my feeds are filled with a mix of both business of shows & also some lighthearted stuff, so be sure to follow me there. Beckie xx
Good morning! Our latest wedding show has been & gone, how we're halfway through January already I have NO idea.
Sunday 13 January saw us at The Thatch Barn in Yelling, St Neots. It's a beautiful barn wedding venue set in the Cambridgeshire countryside, with views of rolling countryside from the terrace & gorgeous, carefully refurbished features inside.
For our wedding show & venue open day, we brought just 10 of Cambridgeshire's top wedding specialists to the attention of visiting couples. Wedding cake, wedding flowers, wedding DJ, wedding decor, wedding dresses, wedding planning & wedding photography, all set against the backdrop of this lovely barn.
We had a wonderful day talking to couples about their plans & all came away with a warm glow - which was helpful as the weather was pretty bloomin' chilly! A few pictures are below, or see our Facebook page & Instagram pages for some more information.
Hope to see you at an event soon, let me know below how your plans are going! Beckie xx
Sunday 6th January, we started our new season of wedding shows, this time back at our old favourite The Grand Hall in Bedford. With 20 local wedding specialists lined up at this beautiful wedding venue, we threw open the doors to welcome engaged couples from in & around Bedford.
The weather was cold but as always, the atmosphere was warm & welcoming, with all visitors spending a long time chatting all things wedding. With such a lot of talent on offer, who can blame them?!
Wedding venue, wedding catering, wedding cake, wedding flowers, wedding cars, wedding entertainment, wedding DJ, wedding decor, Love letters, magic mirror, wedding photography, photobooth, wedding dresses PLUS wedding planning all under 1 roof - I love seeing it all come together!
A few photos are below, plus more info on our Facebook page & Instagram account too. Thanks for reading, let me know below what you think.
6 very special venues, which one will YOU choose?
How much do you know about the venues on my books?
At Beckie Melvin Events, I'm lucky enough to work with a wide range of wedding venues across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire. From large marquees in award winning grounds, to intimate barns, to contemporary inner city hotels, to historical & intriguing buildings, to amazing grand halls...
Here's a little snapshot into each, with more information available on request. I've listed the dates of upcoming shows under each photo.
Our next one is Sunday 6 January in Bedford at The Grand Hall, I hope to meet you there!
The Grand Hall in central Bedford.
Wedding shows on Sunday 6 January, Sunday 14 April & Sunday 8 September 2019.
The beautiful Grand Hall, Bromham Road, is located in the heart of Bedford town centre and is a fully licensed premises for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies for up to 150 guests.
Benefiting from distinctive Victorian décor, The Grand Hall has lofty, ornate ceilings and impressive doors that provide a lavish and unique backdrop for the perfect wedding ceremony.
The Thatch Barn in Yelling, St Neots.
Wedding show on Sunday 13 January 2019
This beautiful, Grade II listed barn overlooks beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. The Thatch Barn is beautiful, over 400 years old & is ideal for any celebration but especially wedding ceremonies.
The Holiday Inn in central Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
Wedding shows on Sunday 24 February, Sunday 9 June & Sunday 3 November 2019
Recently refurbished, the Hertfordshire suite is based on the first floor of the Hotel and is fully air-conditioned and beautifully basked in natural daylight. It offers exclusive and dedicated space during the couple's special day. The Hotel has 7 rooms fully licensed for ceremonies to cater from 20 – 400.
The Spirella Ballroom in Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Wedding shows on Sunday 3 February & Sunday 6 October 2019
The magnificent Spirella Ballroom is the centrepiece of the Spirella Building in Letchworth.
Beautifully light and spacious, the Ballroom retains period features including its sprung maple floor, impressive chandelier and ornate domed roof windows, whilst benefiting from the latest presentation facilities.
This truly unique setting is the ideal location for a wide variety of events.
The Cloisters in Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Wedding shows on Sunday 10 March & Sunday 17 November 2019
Tucked away in leafy Letchworth Garden City, The Cloisters certainly gives an impressive backdrop to your wedding. Full of history & intrigue, you need to visit to get the full picture!
Flaxbourne Gardens in Aspley Guise, near Milton Keynes
Wedding shows on Sunday 19 May & Sunday 29 September 2019
Flaxbourne Gardens has been involved in some of the most beautiful celebrations.
This unique venue offers a blank canvas for you to put your personal touches on, both within the grounds and the marquee - from fairy lights within the gardens & arches, candles in the waterfall grotto, to personalised table decorations - everything you need to create your perfect wedding day.
Back to school time
If you're on my Facebook page you'll have seen a few mentions of me studying, getting my coursework done etc. Well I'm not going mad or making excuses for spending hours off work, I really am back to studying.
I'm currently doing a diploma in Venue Coordination, with the Wedding Planning Academy, & I'm LOVING it! I'm learning so much, as well as having the knowledge I've already gained over the years reinforced. It's a fascinating course, at time of writing I'm around 25% completed & hoping to graduate in Spring to early Summer 2019.
So there you have it, at nearly 40 I'm still learning & improving my knowledge, & loving it too. What have YOU done recently to increase your business skills? I'd love to hear, leave a comment below! Bxx
Pantone trends for 2019
Well it's nearly the end of 2018 so I figured it's time I investigated the anticipated colour trends for 2019.
This year's key colour was purple, beautiful regal purple. So what's on the board for NEXT year?
According to the Pantone website, we can look forward to the following colours gracing our homes & fashion:
Bright & vibrant
Click on each colour to see the "official" name, I'm very excited to see how these play out into the 2019 wedding scene!
Beckie is a qualified wedding planner, with a passion for assisting overwhelmed couples to achieve their perfect wedding day.