Monthly Round Up | January 2019

It’s been 16 months since I last published a monthly round up post, and I’ve actually kind of missed them! I took some time away from weddings in 2018 as we welcomed our second child into the world in June last year. Leo has been such an incredible (final!) addition to our family, and although I think I’ve been riding a whole rollercoaster of emotions over the last 12 months, I honestly couldn't be happier, and I’m so delighted that our family is now complete!

I’m looking forward to getting back into blogging this year, and I’m making a promise to myself that I am going to keep these up for the whole of 2019. I need you all to keep me accountable for that too, and I’d love for you to get in touch and request any specific topics you would like me to cover and I’ll do my best to get those added into the schedule for this year!

2018 was a busy year for me on a personal level, but I’ve been super excited to start 2019 back at work and I have some absolutely beautiful weddings planned for this year. Here’s what I have been up to in January…


I started off the month with a final planning meeting for a beautiful upcoming early February wedding in Surrey. It’s promising to be a gorgeous marquee celebration with a true party vibe for a fun-loving couple, so I’m very much looking forward to kicking off my wedding season with a bang! Follow along on my Instagram this weekend, and I will be sharing some sneak peaks of the action!

I’ve also had a number of wedding planning meetings both in Oxfordshire and London with my couples for the rest of this year, whilst scheduling appointments and tastings for clients with their key suppliers, confirming lots of new details, and responding to lots of lovely enquiries which have come in over the Christmas period. A lot of time has been spent in the office this month, getting to grips with 2019 plans, but I also visited a couple of new wedding venues in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire which was incredibly exciting, and I hope to share more with you soon.

Alongside my weddings in 2019, I am also working on a couple of editorial projects for the Spring, which I promise to share more with you about when I can, but in the meantime I’ve been working on details for those which will be super pretty!

Family & Home

When I said 2018 was busy, I wasn’t kidding! We ended the year by moving into our new home the weekend before Christmas(!!), so this month has been spent unpacking approximately 167 boxes slowly. Isn’t it incredible how you seem to accumulate so much in such a short space of time?! We only lived in our previous house for just over 6 years, but somehow we seemed to have acquired enough to keep us going for life…! I managed to condense our belongings a little in the months leading up to our move, but the removal team did an absolutely amazing and speedy job of packing our entire house in just two days. I did go all Marie Kondo before we moved and had a huge de-clutter in a bid to reduce the amount I would need to unpack once we arrived to the new house, but we do all still seem to have much more than we need!

Leo has learnt to sit up by himself this month! He’s a super happy baby anyway, but he’s now even more delighted that he can sit up and play with his toys around him and see much more of what’s going on!

We have enjoyed a few weekends seeing friends that we haven’t seen for a while, which has been lovely, and I managed to escape to London for a few days to catch up with two of my best friends - one for wedding dress shopping as she’s getting married this year, and another for a delicious (and definitely not part of my New Year Diet!) Afternoon Tea at my favourite, Ham Yard Hotel.

I hope you have all had a January filled with positivity, planning, and an abundance of Gin (no time for Veganuary or Dry January in this household!), and now feel like you’re now fully ready for whatever 2019 will bring! Catch up next month….

Jeni x

Design Inspiration | Styling your venue: Stately Home

I am working on a number of weddings at the moment which will be held in a stately home or a building of grandeur status. They can be spectacular wedding venues, and will truly allow you to feel like a princess for the day! Nothing is too over the top here, so they are the perfect backdrop for your fairytale wedding. When considering your decor, I would advise "the bigger the better"! In fact, anything too small can be at risk of being overpowered by it's surroundings. It's important to make an impact, make the most of any historic large opulent features... Hello candle flooded fireplace!!

Image by Robert & Kathleen Photographers via Style Me Pretty

Image by Robert & Kathleen Photographers via Style Me Pretty

Banqueting rooms often offer high ceilings, and are crying out for oversized (and tall) centrepieces to make the most of the space. Crisp white table linen often looks best, but don't be afraid to experiment with colour if the venue surroundings would suit this look. Grey or navy linen look spectacular with pink and white florals, but remember to just select two or three colours to create an elegant look - any more will look messy. Using gold rimmed or decorative crockery and glassware with gold cutlery will really enhance the historic grandeur (Helene Millot Furnishings have a beautiful range of these). 

Image by Anouschka Rokebrand via Helene Millot Furnishings

Image by Anouschka Rokebrand via Helene Millot Furnishings

If there isn't enough natural light in the dining space, it will give you the perfect excuse to fill the room with candles (always make sure the venue are happy for you to do this first!), but if the room already has plenty of natural light flooding in through beautiful large windows, allow the light to take over, and save the candles for your evening reception. 

Venue: Bowood House

Venue: Bowood House

Timeless and classic stationery styles work best with historic buildings, such as letterpress printed onto luxury paper stock, and paired with an essence of calligraphy throughout the design. If budget allows, offer a personalised menu for each place setting, along with beautiful calligraphy place names. Be creative with your table there a feature within the house which you love, and could be used for hanging escort cards or table plan cards from?

Stationery by Oh So Beautiful Paper

Stationery by Oh So Beautiful Paper

When it comes to your menu, opt for a traditional 3 or 4 course meal. But that doesn't mean you need to stick to traditional dishes - work with your caterer to come up with some creative options to really impress your guests. Perhaps an amouse-bouche between courses, a Heston Blumenthal style chocolate dessert with dry ice smoke when guests lift the lid, or offering a different wine to complement each course. All of these have gone down very well at previous Vanilla Rose weddings!


Here are a few of my favourite stately home venues:

Fetcham Park, Surrey


Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire


Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire


Sezincote House, Gloucestershire


Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire

I hope that has given you some ideas for using the space within a stately home to its full potential, but if you're planning a wedding in a historic building and would like a little extra help, I would love to hear from you! 


Jeni x