Monthly Round Up | April 2017

Happy Monday! And it's a Bank Holiday, so hopefully no Monday blues for anyone this week! I've been super busy this month, so here's a snippet of what I've been up to...

Business

April has been the beginning of wedding season for Vanilla Rose, so I've been busy beavering away in my studio finalising all details for my first wedding of the year, which took place over this weekend at a private residence in Buckinghamshire. If you follow my Instastories, you may have seen some sneak peeks of what we got up to! It was a fabulous weekend with just the loveliest family and team of vendors, so I can't wait to see the official photographs! 

I've also been finalising all of the plans for a May wedding at the beautiful Voewood in Norfolk. It's such a beautiful house, and I can't wait to work with another fabulous A-Team of vendors to bring together two years worth of planning with my lovely couple! This is just my favourite part of the journey; when everything that we have all been working so hard on for such a long time finally leaps out of my brain and becomes a reality - and always even better than I had ever envisaged it to be! I am so lucky to have the support of the best vendor teams at my weddings, which I have worked hard to build over the years. 

I spent a fun filled day at my all time fave, Aynhoe Park a few weeks ago with one of my couples for next year, to catch up on stationery designs, photography, floral design and catering. It was a bumper meeting, but I'm so exciting for the plans to continue over the coming months - it's going to be a beauty of a celebration - watch this space! The house have some exciting expansion plans happening very soon, and I cannot wait to see the results!

Image by Barker Evans Photography

Image by Barker Evans Photography

I had the pleasure of attending the Unique Cakes by Yevnig's launch of their 2017 collection at the beginning of the month, which took place in The Ritz. Always lovely to catch up with industry peers and of course eat cake! If you haven't come across Yevnig as yet, you really should take a look at her gorgeous and intricate creations. She is a very talented lady, and I could spend hours pouring over her beautiful designs!

Home

I've been busy planting lots of extra cutting flowers in the garden this month, as I love nothing more than seeing a garden full of colourful blooms in the Summer and being able to cut a selection for the house each week. I love Spring, when everything buds up and begins coming into bloom. I went a bit mad last year planting SO many peonies and soft blousy roses, so they're all looking amazing this month ready to bloom in a few weeks - I can't wait!!

Family

It was my mum's birthday on Friday, but as she was looking after Bella for me whilst I was on site at this weekends wedding, we spent the day yesterday together - for a long walk and stopping for lunch at Daylesford Organic. We just love it there, and wish we lived a little closer so we were able to just pop in more often! 

My husband is currently away in Miami with some friends...okay, on a stag weekend :-| !! So it's been a challenging week with juggling childcare and a big wedding this weekend, but luckily I've had my fabulous parents around to help and it's flown by super quickly! We had a few days away in Marrakech last month, but I've been feeling jealous of his vitamin D top up whilst it's been grey and even a little frosty last week here. So I'm looking forward to another mini European break with some sunshine in May with family. It's so important to us to take frequent short trips as a family whenever we can, to make up for all the weeks we don't get to spend much time together at all during the Summer season. Bella will be starting school this year too, so we're making the most of not being restricted to going away during the school holidays whilst we can! 

 

Hope you're all feeling ready for the Summer (are we skipping Spring UK weather this year?!).

Love,

Jeni x

 

Three Fabulous Signature Cocktail Recipes for Your Wedding

The days of a basic bar have definitely been numbered, and having worked in the hospitality and events industry for many years, I’ve seen the art of cocktails flourish into something truly exciting. London in particular is spoilt for choice with the most incredible cocktail bars, and the industry has gone from strength to strength and now creating cocktails has become a true art form -with the creation of craft spirits, molecular mixology and bespoke glassware.

I love incorporating an inviting cocktail menu into the evening offering at my clients weddings and it’s always received well by guests; but if you can’t quite justify the price tag of having a full cocktail list, then why not select a couple of Signature Cocktails in addition to your usual bar offering? Choose two or three of your favourite cocktails, and give your guests a treat with this personal touch. Remember to include a non-alcoholic number for those who are driving too!

I’ve put together a few of my favourites here with some recipes for you to try…

Rhubarb Negroni

INGREDIENTS

  • 25ml Citadelle Gin
  • 15ml Rhubarb Liqueur
  • 15ml Campari
  • 15ml Antica Formula Vermouth

METHOD

Pour all spirits over cubed ice into an Old Fashioned glass. Stir well. Line glass with rhubarb ribbons to garnish.

Rhubarb Negroni
Rhubarb Negroni Recipe
Rhubarb Negroni Recipe
Rhubarb Negroni Recipe

Vanilla French Martini

INGREDIENTS

  • 40ml Sauvelle Vodka
  • 20ml Raspberry Liqueur
  • 25ml Pineapple Juice
  • Fresh Vanilla Pod

METHOD

Add one third of the vanilla pod into cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with cubed ice and all liquid ingredients. Shake hard and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a single raspberry and remainder of the vanilla pod.

French Martini Recipe
Vanilla French Martini Recipe
French Martini Recipe
Vanilla French Martini Recipe

English Garden

INGREDIENTS

  • 100ml Cloudy Apple Juice
  • 75ml Ginger Beer
  • 10ml Elderflower Cordial
  • An apple
  • Fresh Mint
  • Sliced Cucumber

METHOD

Muddle the fresh mint, lime and cucumber in a highball glass and add crushed ice. Pour apple juice, elderflower cordial and ginger beer over ice, stir well and top up with more crushed ice if required. Garnish with fresh mint, apple fan and a cucumber wedge.

English Garden Cocktail Recipe
English Garden Cocktail Recipe
English Garden Cocktail Recipe
English Garden Cocktail Recipe

Concept, Co-ordination & Styling: Vanilla Rose Weddings | Photography: Cecelina Photography | Calligraphy: Away with Words Calligraphy | Copper Bar Equipment: Oliver Bonas

This post was written by Vanilla Rose Weddings, and first appeared on B.LOVED on 17th March 2017.

Monthly Round Up | March 2017

Apologies for this post being a little late, but better late than never! 

Business

This month has been an exciting one, taking on two new lovely couples for my Full Planning service, for their weddings later this year, so I've been busy with initial consultations, and bringing together their Design & Budget Plans, and sourcing the first key suppliers for each wedding. I love this part of the planning journey, and it's always so lovely working with new couples; discussing their ideas and inspirations for their wedding day and offering my guidance with their wedding design. 

Earlier in the month I spent an afternoon in Bath meeting with the super talented and ever lovely Evelyn Barkey. Evelyn is such a wonderful destination photographer, and will be travelling to some truly exciting countries to photograph weddings this year. I'm hoping we'll be lucky enough to work together on a destination wedding (for her!) in the UK very soon.

I also had coffee with a couple of my Brides for this summer who have booked my Wedding Day Co-ordination service. I love to get to know my couples, and gain an insight into their personalities and wedding plans before our official handover meeting which usually takes place around a month before their big day.

I spent a (very early!) morning at Sunbury Antiques at Kempton Park Racecourse, on a search for some props for a number of my 2017 weddings. I absolutely love wandering around this market; it's always buzzing, has such a great atmosphere, and almost always offers exactly what I'm looking for! If you haven't been, it's well worth a visit - even if you do have to be there at 6:30am for the best buys! 

Sudbury Antiques Market London

 

Home

We've finally been able to get outside in the garden and start work on some of our plans for this year. The pizza oven has now been rebuilt, and ready for the summer ahead, and we spent a weekend creating a sun-trap gravelled area to link our two summer houses together. I've also been busy painting lots of our wooden garden furniture ready for those pizza garden parties! 

 

Family

We had the best few days in Marrakech towards the end of the month as a family. Due to a family bereavement it couldn't have come at a better time, and we really enjoyed some quality family time in the sunshine exploring all that the beautiful Moroccan city has to offer. Every time we go here, I really struggle to hold myself back when shopping in the markets! There are so many beautiful things that I would just love to bring back, but I'm never organised enough to work out how on earth to ship everything home safely, and for a reasonable cost! If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears! 

Moroccan Riad
Morocco Holiday Palm Trees
Moroccan Market Spices
Moroccan Riad
Moroccan Door
Moroccan Riad
Morocco Swimming Pool
Moroccan Market Straw Bags
Moroccan Riad
Moroccan Riad

Hope you've all had a great month! 

Jeni x

Monthly Round Up | February 2017

Hi Everyone! 

I'm back with my Monthly Round Up post for February. I've had a really busy month, so it's hardly surprising we're almost in March now, but I'm definitely welcoming the slightly warmer weather and few lovely sunny days we've been having over the last couple of weeks (minus the storm at the end of last week!). I don't know about you, but I definitely feel brighter, inspired, and so much happier when the skies are blue and there's even just a hint of sunshine! Anyway, here's what I have been up to over the past four weeks:

 

BUSINESS

Some of you may know that I'm now a writer for B.LOVED, and my first post for 2017 last week featured a beautiful Spring inspired moodboard and some top tips for embracing the Spring season in your wedding design. If you missed it, you can read it again HERE

Spring Inspiration Moodboard copy.jpg

I've been planning a number of editorial projects for later this year, and I'm really excited to be collaborating with some of my absolute faves in the industry. I can't share anymore just yet, but stay tuned! 

I've met with all of my couples to catch up with wedding plans and formulate action plans for the next stage in our planning journeys. Invitations have been packaged and sent, and I've been tablescape planning for a couple of my weddings - one of my favourite tasks! 

I have been true to my word from last month, in spending one day in London each month to meet with industry friends, and this month I met with some lovely contacts :-). It's so refreshing to work in an industry where everyone is super friendly, inviting, and inspiring!

HOME

We didn't spend much time on the house in the first couple of weeks this month, but over the last two weeks we've built a home gym and also made plans for some exciting developments which will unfold over the Spring and Summer. I've held so many gym memberships over the years, but never managed to keep one for longer than a year, as I'm always super dedicated for the first couple of months, and then tend to not be able to find the spare few hours to go, or just haven't had the motivation to continue. So we decided to create one at home, as it's so much easier to find an hour of time in the evening, whilst dinner is in the oven, and Bella has gone to bed! So far, so good, and hopefully we'll keep this membership up!! 

FAMILY

February is always quite a busy one for events, as it's Valentines Day and also my husbands Birthday. For Valentines Day, we spent a lovely day in London; starting with Brunch at The Wolseley, which was just fabulous, followed by cocktails with a view at Sky Garden, and a boat trip along the Thames to Westminster, finishing with a stroll through St James' Park. We felt like true tourists for the day, which we didn't mind at all. We lived in Central London for years before moving out to Oxfordshire, but the City changes so often, and often tourist attractions are the first thing to avoid when you actually live in London, so I love going just for the day or a weekend and embracing all those things we didn't get around to doing at the time! 

The Wolseley, London

The Wolseley, London

Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge, London

Sky Garden, London

Sky Garden, London

St James Park, London

St James Park, London

For Chris' Birthday, we spent a fun family day at Bucklebury Farm Park before heading over to The Woodspeen for a delicious lunch. The food here is absolutely amazing, and it's such a beautiful venue, so definitely worth a visit if you have a chance! They have a cookery school too, which is definitely on my list for later this year.

The Woodspeen, Berkshire

The Woodspeen, Berkshire

In between, we visited the Oxford Museum of Natural History, which Bella loved. The building is truly magnificent, and well worth visiting outside of school holidays! We also enjoyed a night out in London with my brother and his girlfriend at Dinerama in Shoreditch, followed by cocktails at Nightjar. Both venues are just amazing, and so much fun. They both have a great atmosphere, and if you follow my Instastories, you'll have seen more of both of them when I was there! The cocktail menu at Nightjar is really something else, and you could spend many hours here trying out the different creations which are so intricate and beautifully presented. During the day that weekend, we spent an afternoon on a Land Rover Experience, which was gifted to us by Land Rover when we bought our car last year. It was more an educational experience than I perhaps had thought it would be, but it was a lot of fun, and I got myself stuck in the muddy ruts on more than one occasion - pretty much laughing myself out of it whilst the instructor told me what I needed to do to get the wheels to spin off! The best part was learning the angles at which the cars can get to on their side before they will tip over, and trying to see how close we could get to that, whilst holding on very tightly to our seats! 

Land Rover Experience at Luton Hoo Estate

Land Rover Experience at Luton Hoo Estate

Today is pancake day, and I'm looking forward to making some pancakes with Bella tonight. Our favourites are blueberry pancakes with yoghurt, nutella and maple syrup! What are yours? 

 

Until next month.....

Jeni x