Monthly Round Up | May 2017

Hi All! I hope you've had a great May, and have enjoyed the few Summers days that this month has (reluctantly!) offered us! Here's what I've been up to this month:

Business

The end of April saw a fabulous weekend for Grace & Dan's wedding celebrations at a private residence in Buckinghamshire, and the Mother of the Bride left me such a lovely review on my Facebook page:

"Having organised my son and daughter-in-laws wedding 8 years ago I was confident to do my daughters. However after booking all the suppliers I started worrying about all the last minute organisation and how I was going to get everything done and still enjoy the actual day. 
I found Jeni after doing a search, I think I had an image of horrendously bossy wedding planner taking over the day......nothing could have been further from the truth.
I met Jeni about three weeks before the wedding when she came to our home (where we were holding the reception) she was so lovely and calm, putting me completely at ease and filling me with confidence right from the start. I handed over all the relevant information on suppliers to her and discussed our vision for the reception, and she took all the worry and anxiety away from me. 
All my suppliers have said to me that she was an absolute pleasure to deal with.
On the day before the wedding she was amazing, styling and decorating our home and marquee, it was literally breathtaking .
On the day of the wedding Jeni seemed to float around us all like an angel, sorting any queries or problems out without me even knowing about them, she liased with the caterers ,band, florist and photographers effortlessly; leaving myself,bride and bridesmaids to relax and enjoy our special time.
I could go on and on about how wonderful she was.... 
Put simply, Jeni made what was always going to be a special day into a truely wonderful day!
I have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone who is planning a wedding,she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Thank you Jeni!"

I absolutely love hearing feedback like this following a wedding day, as it truly means everything to hear that I've ensured each and every couple have had the best possible celebration they could have imagined, and it re-affirms my love and passion for what I work so hard for in my business :-)

Buckinghamshire Wedding Planner
Buckinghamshire Wedding Planner
Buckinghamshire Wedding Planner
Buckinghamshire Wedding Planner
Buckinghamshire Wedding Planner

All images by Green Antlers Photography

I've had a number of enquiries this month for weddings later this year, and have been busy with consultations and proposals for lovely new couples. I still have some select dates available in the Autumn and Winter, so if you're struggling with those last few months of planning, or feel you might like a Wedding Day Co-ordinator, then I'd love to hear from you!

Last weekend was a wedding that has been long awaited! I've been working with Jamie & Christian since July 2015 to plan their nuptials at the simply stunning Voewood in Norfolk. I have absolutely loved every moment of working with them to guide them through their wedding planning journey, and I've been so excited about seeing everything come together since the beginning of the year! It certainly didn't disappoint; it was a fabulous weekend, everything looked incredible, and I had just the best team by my side! Thank you especially to the lovely Annabelle at Florentina who made everything possible! Here are a couple of sneak peek images from their beautiful outdoor Ceremony:

Images by Julie Michaelsen Photography

Home

I've spent a lot of time catching up in the garden this month; potting up lots of new Lavenders and Cosmos for the front of the house and my plant stand, cutting back some of the wild Eucalyptus that seems to grow at an outstanding rate(!), and keeping everything watered during a super dry spell at the beginning of the month. I think we even had a couple of days of frost towards the end of April/beginning of May, which took effect on some of my hydrangea, the fig tree, and tomato plants. I was mistaken for thinking it was the tail end of Spring, but the weather had it's own ideas, and it's taken me all month to get them back to being healthy again! We had a pizza evening in the garden with our neighbours, which was super lovely, and great to be able to use our pizza oven again. I can't wait to use it every week throughout the Summer (or am I wishfully thinking with the awful weather we had a couple of weeks ago...?!)

Garden Wood Fired Pizza Oven
home grown Lavender
Garden Wood Fired Pizza Oven

Images by Julie Michaelsen Photography

Family

In between a few London days and evening industry events, I enjoyed a rare date night with my husband halfway through the month for a trip to the theatre in Oxford. I've missed being able to go to the theatre spontaneously since we moved out of London 5 years ago, so this was especially exciting for me!  

It was Bella's 4th birthday a couple of days ago, and we had made sure she had a special weekend of celebrations! We went to Peppa Pig world on Friday with some friends, which she absolutely loved! We went a couple of years ago for her 2nd birthday, and this year she was able to enjoy so many more of the rides. We all (the adults!) needed a glass of wine after a day surrounded by small people however. It's definitely a special occasion trip! Over the weekend we held a Frozen party for her with a group of friends from pre-school. She had just the best time, and we had a craft company come to do lots of Frozen themed crafty activities with the children, which was much more structured and calming for the (parent!) soul than just letting them all run loose on a bouncy castle! 

We're currently in Ibiza for a few days of 'Vitamin Sea'. It's been a super busy start to the year, and in the midst of our January Blues, we promised ourselves that we would take regular, short breaks throughout the year to continually keep us feeling motivated and energised. We got engaged on the simply idyllic island of Formentera (which is a small island just a short boat trip from Ibiza) almost 5 years ago, so we just love going back there to spend some quality family time together, as it's somewhere very special to us. Here are a couple of my iPhone snaps from Fomentera, as it's just too pretty not to share, and the colour of that water is the stuff of dreams!

Fomentera, Ibiza
Illetes Beach, Fomentera, Ibiza

I'll write more about our trip when I'm back in the June Round Up :-). 

We spent four days in Marrakech back in March, and we're off to Tuscany at the beginning of July for a wedding and a short break. It's so important to me to take these breaks, as we don't get to spend much time as a family throughout wedding season, particularly as 90% of my weddings take place over a weekend. Bella will be starting school in September, so this is also the last year we're able to take advantage of booking trips outside of school holidays!

June will see two super gorgeous weddings, so I'll look forward to sharing those with you next month too.

Until then....

Jeni x

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