Monthly Round Up | July 2017

We're now into the second half of the year, and I'm super proud of myself for posting one of these round up posts at the end of every month so far. I was determined to keep the momentum going, and it's actually really nice looking back at previous posts to remind myself of how much I've achieved in the last 6 months. I'm not usually one for constantly looking back, I prefer to spend my time planning for the future, but sometimes a little reflection is just what's needed to allow myself to continue to grow and flourish (particularly with my business). Here's a little of what I've been up to in July:

Business

I had a super busy final few weeks in June with two big weddings, so for the beginning of July, I made sure I dedicated plenty of time to my couples for the rest of the summer. I ensure I'm as organised as possible with the plans for every wedding before the busy season starts in April, and I always stay in touch with my couples throughout the summer months. However, it's such a busy period for all industry vendors, so each task can take a little longer around this time! 

If you haven't yet come across the fabulous venue that is The Lakes by Yoo, then please do take a moment to check out their website. They have recently made the decision to offer The Barnhouse as a luxury venue for weddings, so I spent an afternoon there earlier this month absorbing all that the exclusive development has to offer. The interiors at The Barnhouse have been exceptionally designed by Kate Moss, and it is now available for intimate weddings. If you'd like to find out more about The Lakes by Yoo as a venue for your wedding, please do get in touch and I'd love to share more about it with you!

Last weekend saw a gorgeous wedding in the Great Hall and Long Library at Blenheim Palace, with floral gorgeousness created by the fabulous Joanna Carter Flowers. It's always a pleasure working with Joanna and her team, and they created some spectacular arrangements which were perfect for the grandeur of the Palace. The cake in particular was certainly a showstopper, and many of you sent me lots of messages on Instagram about this one....!

Asian Wedding Cakes | Wedding Planner at Blenheim Palace

Home

I have tried to embark on a huge decluttering mission this month, as we seem to accumulate so much which we really don't need. I have succeeded in clearing Bella's wardrobe and drawers, which took me a couple of hours one rainy afternoon (with her help!), and ended up with two bin bags of good quality clothing which we donated to our chosen charity. It was much easier than I thought, and I'm not sure why I've been putting it off so long - so in August I'm planning to tackle my own wardrobe (and this gives me an excuse to buy a couple of new pieces - just don't tell my husband!!). 

I'm planning a new gallery wall and Library space at the moment, with some new family photographs by the lovely Sarah Hannam Photography from our mini getaway to Ibiza last month, so this is next on my horizon (along with the Utility Room plans which are now underway!).

Sarah Hannam Fine Art Family Photography
Sarah Hannam Fine Art Film Family Photography

Family

We were in Tuscany for a wedding at the beginning of this month, and then spent a couple of days child-free at a beautiful Italian spa resort before heading home. It was really lovely to spend some quality time together, as it seems such a rarity these days; so a pool overlooking the beautiful golf course with a couple of spa treatments thrown in was just what the doctor ordered! 

I met some girlfriends for lunch one Saturday afternoon at the new Ivy Garden in Marlow, which was a lovely treat to ourselves. The food was absolutely delicious and the setting was lovely, but we came to the conclusion that the Chelsea Garden outlet is still our absolute fave for an all round experience! The following day we welcomed some friends for a pizza afternoon at home in our garden. The pizza oven hasn't had many uses this summer yet, so it was great to fire it up and enjoy some delicious stone baked pizzas, alongside a few healthy salads to balance them out! 

It's been my birthday and also our wedding anniversary this month, so I have been rather spoilt to say the least! We spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon at Cotswold Lavender, near Broadway wandering through rows and rows of purple gorgeousness (somewhere I've been meaning to go to every July for the last 3 or 4 years!) followed by a lovely Sunday lunch at Willow Crossley's new venture - The Swan at Ascott, for our anniversary weekend.

Cotswold Lavender Farm
Cotswold Lavender Farm

For my birthday, we spent a lovely day in London catching up with friends over wine and cocktails at my favourite Ham Yard Hotel, before spending my actual birthday a couple of days later having brunch with my parents, and a family day with Bella at Bristol Zoo, followed by an amazing evening at The Pig near Bath. If you haven't been to The Pig before, you absolutely should! The ambience, service and food were all just incredible, and we couldn't have enjoyed it more. The setting of the hotel is just lovely, with an array of home grown produce finding its way to the majority of their delicious menu. It was so difficult to choose what to have. As a vegetarian, I often find when eating out that restaurants only offer one choice, which of course isn't actually a "choice" at all. You either have it, or you don't! At The Pig, there were around 5 or 6 vegetarian options, and all of them sounded equally amazing! After much deliberation, I opted for a few of the small nibbles as a tapas style starter, followed by a preserved tomatoes and burrata salad with fresh basil and edible flowers, teamed with a side of chilli quinoa. For dessert, we shared a bread and butter pudding (divine!) and the Piggy Fours - a fun take on Petit Fours, which were delicious! We're always looking for new pubs and restaurants to discover in and around Oxfordshire, so if you have any recommendations which you think we'd love, do get in touch! 

Hope you've all had a fab month! :-)

Jeni x

Monthly Round Up | April 2016

Last month I started a new trend for my blog, with a monthly round up of behind the scenes here at VRW, and it sparked a really lovely positive response from you all, so here I am again with what I have been up to in April!

Business

I have had a huge influx of new enquiries this month from some super lovely Brides-to-be, so have been busy with initial consultations, and learning more about their plans. I absolutely love this part of my job; meeting a new couple for the first time, and hearing all of their exciting ideas and inspirations for their wedding day. I've noticed that more and more couples are hosting their Receptions at home, either in their barn or within a marquee, and it's such a lovely idea which will turn into a truly personal celebration. There can be many more logistical issues to consider with this option however, so be sure to think these through before committing to hosting your wedding at home. Some guidance and advice available for weddings at home on Boho Weddings here.

At the beginning of the month, I was invited to attend the Quintessentially Atelier at The Dorchester in London, which was a really lovely experience for a 'wedding show'. All of the suppliers were delightful, and absolutely the best in their game, and I picked up some great ideas for my clients (as well as tasting some amazing cake!!).

I also got together with the lovely Susie and Kate from The Little Top, to get to know them both a little better and about what they have to offer in the way of childcare for weddings. I absolutely adore their concept of creating an amazing environment for the little people at weddings to really enjoy themselves and am really looking forward to working with them for two of my weddings later this year...I think I might sneak into the tent during the film and popcorn evening to enjoy a bit of Toy Story myself!! ;-)

The rest of the month has been full of client meetings, finalising plans and those last few details for their weddings this year. Some couples I have been working with since mid-2014, so I'm really very excited to see our plans to come to life in just a few short months! 

I have been so lucky that I have received so many amazing applications in response to the position I have available for a summer work experience Assistant. I've been quite overwhelmed by just how many people would love to come and work with me to experience some beautiful real weddings this summer. I'll be scheduling some quality time next week to sit down and read through every single application and CV, before inviting a shortlist of candidates to a Skype interview. Sometimes working in this industry can be a little lonely, especially when working from home most of the week, so I can't wait to share this amazing experience with someone else who is as passionate about creating knockout weddings as much as I am! 

Family & Friends

I enjoyed an afternoon and evening in London with some of my closest friends at the beginning of April, to celebrate my best friend turning 30 in June. I know it's a bit early...but my hectic wedding season means I sadly won't have time to celebrate with her in June, and of course, any excuse for a glass of bubbles or two! We had a lovely dinner at The Ivy Chelsea Garden (their Chocolate Bombe dessert is to die for.....!), followed by cocktails and dancing in at Jaks.

I stole some time with my 2 year old daughter when we had some great weather a few weeks ago (doesn't that feel like forever ago already....?!), and we had a walk and picnic in Christchurch Meadows in Oxford, which was just the loveliest day. Being self employed, I still find it hard to effectively manage my time between family and my business, so it's really lovely to spend quality time with Bella and take a break from emails and phone calls! 

My Grandparents celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on the 20th April, which is a huge achievement, and amazing to even imagine (considering I have not yet been married 2 years!). My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary back in February, and I turn 30 in the summer, so 2016 is a big year for celebrations in our family. And today, we're going out for dinner for my mum's birthday, which was on Thursday! 

Speaking of celebrations, I'm a Bridesmaid in June for my friend Caylie (eeeek!), and so we enjoyed a weekend having beauty treatments, and making cocktails in London last weekend for her Hen Party, which was a lot of fun...although this was only the beginning, as we're going to Vegas in May for some slightly warmer hen festivities. May the pre-Vegas diet begin.....!

Home

We have been busy working on our garden plans for this summer, and I've planted in my vegetables (although I was a bit eager with the tomatoes, and the frost has already killed them off!). We've just ordered a pizza oven to be built and currently planning the decking design which has been in the pipeline for about a year, since we bought a summer house! It looks a little lonely at the bottom of the garden at the moment, so I'm excited for bringing that corner to life this year, and using it as an outdoor dining and entertaining space! 

I've played around with some of the decor in my office, and finally got around to hanging the tassel garland from Bubblegum Balloons, which has been packed away in a box since our wedding in 2014! But it's such a lovely reminder of our wedding day, I'm pleased to finally have it up! 

 

Hope you've all had a great April, and I'll be back again at the end of May to share what I've been up to (if I've made it back from Vegas in one piece!!)

Jeni x