Monthly Round Up | June 2016

Wow. June has literally flown by. I mean, the last time I looked, it was the end of May and I was in the final preparation stages for two weddings, one corporate event, and a friends wedding, which were all within a two week timeframe. If there were ever a time to be the most organised Planner, this was it! 

It's been a phenomenal month, and I have loved every second of it, so I'm excited to share some snippets of what has been happening in my world this month with you today.

BUSINESS

I'll start at the beginning! The first week in June was spent finalising all of the smaller details for my upcoming events. With the lovely weather, I spent lots of time in the garden at home arranging on the day stationery from Megan Riera, putting together Order of Service booklets with the most gorgeous custom dyed silk ribbon from Kate Cullen, and preparing photo booth props, cushions and decor details for a corporate summer party. I also accompanied one of my Brides to her final floral meeting with the lovely Rachel at Green & Gorgeous. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of visiting Rachel's flower farm in Oxfordshire, you should definitely add it to your To Do list! Acres and acres of beautiful blooms grown especially for your wedding, and the ability to walk through the farm a week or two before your date to select exactly which florals you'd like to include within your designs is such a special touch. Not to mention the scents floating around - perfection! 

H&J renewed their vows at Greyfriars Church, Oxford, followed by the most beautiful reception at the Bodleian Library. It was the first time I've had the honour of attending one of my couples Ceremonies, as I'm usually busy co-ordinating the Reception setup during this time, but we weren't able to access the Reception space until later that afternoon. It was truly a joy to witness such a heartfelt Ceremony, and the Bride surprised the Groom with a performance of a song close to their hearts along with the Choir. The Bodleian Library looked spectacular for the evening, with stunning table arrangements by Joanna Carter, luxury stationery from Megan Riera, and blush pink glass charger plates from Duchess & Butler. It was an absolute pleasure to work alongside such an amazing team of suppliers. Here's a sneak peek at a few images from the day by Julie Michaelsen.

The following weekend was the long anticipated wedding of my gorgeous couple E&S. I have been working alongside them for two years planning their festival inspired wedding in Oxfordshire, and I feel sad that it's now over. They have been an absolute pleasure to work with, and I truly hope we stay friends now that my work is done! Their wedding weekend was spectacular, and I loved working alongside such a great team - both at the venue and externally. Everyone worked super hard to bring so many logistical elements together to make this day happen, and I am so grateful for having such a supportive and motivated team around me. We spent a day and a half in raincoats and wellies setting up each different tent and area, before the rain finally stopped and the sun shone in time for a 2pm Ceremony on Saturday! A special thanks to Things by Laura and Merrie & Bright for being incredible on Friday, and to my Assistant Esmee for being my right hand woman on the day, especially when we nearly didn't have any flowers due to the florists van breaking down on route! Who says being a Wedding Planner is glamorous?! Needless to say, everything came together in the end, and here's a couple of sneak peek images from the day by Martin Beddall Photography.

The rest of the month has been spent preparing for a special tipi wedding at Aynhoe Park which takes place this weekend, and also final meetings for a country wedding at the end of July. I love seeing all final plans come together, and it's such a privilege to be so closely involved in orchestrating each couples special day! 

FAMILY

Although this month has mainly been spent working, I managed to sneak a day off for Father's Day, which we spent as a family together with my parents at the Blenheim Palace Flower Show. It was a beautiful day, and I always love visiting Blenheim. There were flowers aplenty, with lots of local growers showcasing their best blooms. We also enjoyed a date night one Friday, venturing out for dinner and drinks in Oxford - a rare occurrence, but something we always plan to try and do each month! 

Last weekend we spent a few days in Leicestershire for our friends wedding, for which I was a Bridesmaid. It was my first time ever being a Bridesmaid, and it was such a lovely experience - both families were so welcoming and I honestly felt like one of the family for the weekend. Caylie & Ben's wedding was held at Ben's Uncle & Auntie's house in a marquee on their grounds. The marquee looked gorgeous when it was set up, and the thunderstorms miraculously parted over the marquee and outdoor Ceremony at just the right time! It was lovely to see Zena Birch again, who conducted the most special Humanist Ceremony, and I'm looking forward to seeing the images from Holly at Belle & Beau Photography, whom I've adored the work of for a long time! I already adore the sneak peek Holly has posted on her Instagram from Saturday of the Bride & Groom, which you can see here.

HOME

When we were at the Blenheim Palace show, we finally purchased some chairs for our summer house, so I'm looking forward to them being delivered in a couple of weeks, ready for my birthday! The garden is starting to look gorgeous now that all of the flowers are coming into bloom, and the colours are super pretty! Our pizza oven build is well underway, and should be finished (weather dependent!) this weekend, so I've been practising my pizza dough skills ready for a summer of dining outdoors. Any recipes or tips for cooking with a wood fired pizza oven would be well received! 

Phew! Hope you've all had a wonderful June, and I look forward to catching up with you again at the end of July! 

Jeni x

Monthly Round Up | May 2016

Hello! Hope you have all had a wonderful May, which seems to have incorporated all seasons and weather conditions available...but I'm so pleased that at least some hints of summer have finally arrived, as it's felt like we have been in the depths of Winter for far too long now!

This month has been very busy indeed, so prepare for a long post....!

Business

This month I have been busy with meetings and admin, finalising arrangements for June weddings. I have been creating super detailed schedules, confirming a few last details and logistics with key suppliers, finalising the floral and tablescape designs, on the day stationery, and collating final numbers and guest menu choices and dietary requirements, before arranging the seating plans to send to the catering team. The last four weeks leading up to each wedding are crucial in ensuring every last detail has been thought of and covered, and planning deliveries and setup times so that everything runs as seamlessly as possible on the day itself. 

Vanilla Rose Weddings Oxfordshire

Consultations with couples planning their wedding for 2017 have been popular this month, with a few planning celebrations at home, and the others in beautiful Oxfordshire venues. In addition to a couple of exciting new weddings for next year, a luxury Oxford wedding for later this summer, a bohemian summer office party is also now in the planning for early summer, so something a little different for me, but an exciting challenge!

At the beginning of the month I travelled to Norfolk with some clients to meet with potential caterers for their wedding next year at Voewood. We had such a wonderful day, and travelled to all four corners of Norfolk in a day to see everyone, so a long day but super productive. It was so lovely to see their venue again, and at the same time of year as their wedding day (Top Tip: try to do this with your wedding venue if planning more than a year in advance, as it will be invaluable to you when planning what the gardens will look like, and where the sun/light is throughout the day).

I held a final run through of timings for my first two weddings in June with the venue teams to ensure everyone is up to speed with the plans, and of course to identify any logistical issues that may occur or have been missed. 

Excitingly, I have now found an Assistant to work alongside me for this summer. I spent a lot of time earlier this month reading carefully through all of the applications I received. It was a really hard decision, as every single person I interviewed would have been amazing, and I'd love to have worked with them all, but I only had one position available, so please welcome the lovely Esmee to the VRW team!

 

Family

The main event from this month is that my little girl turned 3 at the weekend! I'm not entirely sure where the last 3 years have gone, but I'm so proud of the clever, thoughtful and caring little girl that Bella has become. She makes me laugh every single day, and although she is without doubt a challenge most days too, I wouldn't have her any other way! We had a family day on Friday last week at London Zoo to celebrate her birthday, followed by a full bank holiday weekend of celebrations and all round spoiling! We spent the afternoon on Saturday at Blenheim Palace for their Food & Drink Festival, and Bella thoroughly enjoyed the Pleasure Gardens and live music!

I spent 4 days in Las Vegas mid month too with friends to celebrate a Hen Party. I'm not quite sure how I expected Vegas to be, but it was a truly amazing fun-packed long weekend! Walking along the Strip almost feels like you have dived right into a film set; with the most elaborate hotels, fountains, gardens and signage. We took some time to explore some of the hotels, and one of my favourites was the Venetian, with it's gondola filled canals, ornate wall murals and huge shopping centre! We stayed in the Aria, which was amazing, and contained everything you could ever need (and some....!). We dined at some incredible restaurants, with my favourite being Hakkasan. I've never been to the London venue, as it's not the type of cuisine I would normally choose, but I will definitely be visiting after experiencing it's Vegas establishment. So Delicious! 

The Fountains at The Bellagio

The Fountains at The Bellagio

Gondolas at The Venetian

Gondolas at The Venetian

Home

We have spent some time this month getting to grips with the garden, and finally starting our decking area and pizza oven base, ready to take delivery of a wood fired oven in June. Our Summer House has looked a little lonely at the end of the garden for the past year, so I'm really looking forward to making the most of it this summer as it becomes part of our outdoor entertaining area.

A few months ago I planted up a cutting flower bed, full of pretty blooms to cut later in the summer. There's nothing better than filling the house with fresh flowers, and the peonies are doing especially well at the moment, almost ready to burst with colour! 

 

June is a super busy month for me, as it's when my peak wedding season begins. I have two beautiful and very different weddings, a corporate bohemian party and I'm also Bridesmaid for a friends wedding! 

Hope you have all had a great May, see you again in a month!

Jeni x