inspiration: denim

inspiration: denim

casual blues for a rustic barn wedding complete with denim stationery – embroidered denim rather than a traditional paper suite: menus on napkins, name place sleeves around milk bottle glasses, table plan labels hung on Portuguese laurels plants

See more images in our gallery and the amazing local suppliers who came together to make this shoot possible in this blog post.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Local licensed wedding venues in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Local licensed wedding venues in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Getting married at a licensed wedding venue in the Cotswolds

We live in such a stunning part of the country, commonly regarded as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Cotswolds is located in south central England and made up of 6 counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. It’s no wonder that every year 21,000+* of couples getting married in England choose to say ‘I do’ in a wedding venue in the Cotwolds.

Photography by Squib Photography

About the Cotswolds region

Mainly rural landscape, with it’s lush green countryside, the Cotswolds is a relaxing escape from the big cities. With acres of lavender fields, historical towns, stately homes and picturesque, chocolate box villages with their honey coloured limestone buildings. It’s no surprise that this region has many places that feature in the Britain’s richest towns list. And we are perfectly located amongst the ‘golden triangle’ of the Cotswold towns of Burford, Chipping Norton and Woodstock.

Photography by Farrow Photography

Wedding venues in the Cotswolds

Hanami Dream is based in West Oxfordshire and there are some truly beautiful venues to choose from in the surrounding Cotswolds. Whether in a barn, a manor house, a marquee or a hotel, there are some amazing places (with some breathtaking views) to hold your wedding or special occasion. There’s something out there to accommodate most styles, guest numbers and budgets.

Bride looking down in the garden | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Take a look at the venues with wedding licences where you can get married in West Oxfordshire:

  1. Bay Tree Hotel
  2. Blenheim Palace
  3. The Blue Boar
  4. Caswell House
  5. Cogges Manor Farm – see my wedding venue review for Cogges Manor Farm here
  6. Eynsham Hall – see my wedding venue review for Eynsham Hall here
  7. Ferryman Inn
  8. Friars Court
  9. Heythrop Park Hotel
  10. Merriscourt – see my wedding venue review for Merriscourt here
  11. Old Swan and Minster Mill – see my wedding venue review for Old Swan and Minster Mill here
  12. Oxleaze Barn – see my wedding venue review for Oxleaze Barn here
  13. The Cotswold Plough
  14. The Trout at Tadpole Bridge
  15. Oxford Witney Hotel (formerly Four Pillars Witney)
  16. Witney Lakes Resort
  17. Witney Registration Office – Windrush Room
  18. Woodstock Town Hall
  19. The Wychwood Golf Club

Not technically in Oxfordshire, but we also wanted to include new kid on the block in Chipping Campden:

20. Lapstone Barn – see my wedding venue review for Lapstone Barn here

Photography by Squib Photography

We are certainly spoilt for choice around here for amazing venues to hold a special occasion. For more details on how to pick your perfect wedding venue look out for my The Holy Trinity of Wedding Planning – Part 2: where.

*Data from Office of National Statistics www.ons.gov.uk Area of occurrence 2011. Based on 235,955 marriages in England. Based on 21,202 marriages in the Cotswolds (combined Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire).
Inspiration: festival wedding

Inspiration: festival wedding

This festival wedding was a real break from tradition – full of alternative ideas for couples to get inspiration for their big day. It showcased an abundance of hanging greenery and was really tactile using different materials such as denim, macrame, paper, wood and terracotta details.

The colour palette had a 70s vibe full of Fall 2017 colours of a pale blue Bluebell, a soft Copper Tan coral, Navy Peony blue, brown and white. It was planned and designed by Hanami Dream and fantastically captured by Cat Stephens Photography.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

On Sunday 17th September 2017, Cogges Manor Farm held a festival styled Wedding Open Day that Hanami Dream helped to organise. But this was not a traditional wedding fair – the Barn was dressed as if it were a real wedding.

Think dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl. It was a different take from the norm to provide options and open people’s eyes to the huge spectrum of ideas to bring their dream to life.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

For example, there weren’t any real flowers at this wedding. They were either paper flowers or house plants showing couples that they can achieve this look by making (or borrowing) things themselves – this is great for any diy wedding couples.

Plus, all the stationery was embroidered on to denim rather than traditional paper – menus were on the napkins, name places were sleeves around the milk bottle glasses, table plan labels were hung on Portuguese laurels plants.

It was a relaxed and informal open day showcasing a truly personal wedding option – not a cookie cutter approach at all. Take a look at some of the testimonials from the day.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Cogges Manor Farm was the ideal location for this wedding as it offers the perfect blank canvas to add personalised details. It is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns as well as a beautiful walled garden, stunning grounds and an impressive Manor House as a remarkable backdrop.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The festival vibe was hailed from the entrance with impressive towering festival flags (from Event Flag Hire) – signalling the way to the party.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Couples walked in to the Wheat Barn down a tree lined aisle. The vintage mismatched chairs (courtesy of Linda’s Vintage Hire) were beautifully decorated with macramé chair coverings (from MacrAmy’s Macrame) and the Portuguese Laurels (kindly provided by Bampton Garden Plants) guided the way right to where the ceremony would take place under a stunning macramé backdrop (wonderfully created by MacrAmy’s Macrame) and framed by two beautiful olive trees (also from Bampton Garden Plants).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

One side of the barn was decorated as a seating area to enjoy a sumptuous wedding breakfast. The vintage tables and chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire) were laid out below an impressive array of trailing plants in spectacular hanging macramé holders (from MacrAmy’s Macrame) and under spectacular festoon lighting (from Oakwood Events).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

They were set with denim napkins (gorgeously embroidered by Little Pickle Creations) containing the menu, mini macramé favours (from MacrAmy’s Macrame), milk bottles (from Mabel & Rose) acting as drinking glasses with an embroidered denim name place (by Little Pickle Creations), placed inside were stripy straws (from Little Cherry), plus amazing natural biodegradable tableware (also from Little Cherry) – a perfect accompaniment to our street food reception.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The tables were also decorated with more terracotta pot plants and impressive paper flowers (from Pretty Big Flowers) that lit up for an incredible atmosphere.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The delicious ombre ruffle cake (by The Cake Element Bakery) echoed the colours of the denim stationery and sat beautiful on a vintage barrel (from Mabel & Rose) and amongst a display of framed absent friend photographs, crates and potted plants. The wonderful props from Mabel & Rose really brought the place to life and were dotted around adding features to every area including the bar which had a vintage tin bath and giant wooden barrels.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The other half of the barn was dedicated to the entertainment and dance floor – lit to accompany a party – including an impressive 7 square metre lit paper flower wall (constructed by Pretty Big Flowers).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Over the dance floor hung a white chandelier adorned with coral and denim ribbons and a 4-point drape star that flowed to the dance floor (from Oakwood Events), along with 4ft tall light up LOVE letters (wonderfully contributed by Gilt Edge Events).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

There was also a chill out area complete with a comfy brown leather sofa, bales of hay as well as more vintage chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire). These were strewn with gorgeous lambswool wide-herringbone throws in mandarin and azure (from The Witney Blanket Hall).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Outside the party continued with a firepit to sit around, garden games and chalk boards highlighting the events of the day.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

On top of all this, there was delicious food to try (courtesy of Goujon Monkey) such as beer battered cod, Cajun breaded chicken and deep-fried brie, along with paprika dusted chips. Plus, cake tasting from The Cake Element Bakery, drinks from Firkin Mobile Bars, live music from Joely Rendle and Natalya Williams, owl ring bearer from J.E.T. Falconry, a fashion show from Rosie Red Corsetry, plus two workshops on how to make some of the décor that was on display, expertly delivered by MacrAmy’s Macrame and Pretty Big Flowers.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

There was a real festival vibe with macramé, hanging plants, dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl.

Thank you to all the wonderful suppliers that made this such an amazing wedding open day. It was lovely to meet excited couples in the midst of wedding planning – all the best with your special days!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Festival shoot

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Photographer | Cat Stephens Photography | https://www.catstephensphotography.com
Location | Cogges Manor Farm | www.cogges.org.uk
Tree hire | Bampton Garden Plants | https://www.bamptongardenplants.co.uk/
Flag hire | Event Flag Hire | https://eventflaghire.co.uk/
LOVE light up letters | Gilt Edge Events | https://www.giltedgeevents.co.uk/
Food van | Goujon Monkey | http://www.goujonmonkey.com/
Chairs & tables | Linda’s Vintage Hire | www.lindasvintagehire.co.uk
Cutlery & crockery | Little Cherry | https://www.littlecherry.co.uk/
Stationery | Little Pickle Creations | http://www.littlepickle-creations.com
Props | Mabel & Rose | http://www.mabelandrose.com/
Macrame | MacrAmy’s Macrame | https://www.facebook.com/MacrAmysMacrame
Lighting | Oakwood Events | www.oakwoodevents.co.uk
Paper flowers | Pretty Big Flowers | https://prettybigflowers.com
Cake | The Cake Element Bakery | http://www.cakeelementbakery.co.uk/
Blankets | The Witney Blanket Hall | http://www.witneyblankethall.co.uk/
Delivery | Global 360 International Freight Forwarders | http://www.globalthreesixty.co.uk/

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

This festival wedding was a real break from tradition – full of alternative ideas for couples to get inspiration for their big day. It showcased an abundance of hanging greenery and was really tactile using different materials such as denim, macramé, paper, wood and terracotta details.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Thanks to all these wonderful suppliers #keepitlocal


Photographer – Cat Stephens Photography

Award winning, Oxfordshire based wedding, family and lifestyle photographer. Full day coverage wedding packages available from £750

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@catstephensphotography


 

Location Cogges Manor Farm

Cogges Manor Farm is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns for weddings. They are a perfect blank canvas where you can add loads of personalised details to make your special day complete. Your wedding can be as individual as you are with your own choice of catering, furniture and decoration.

The magnificent and spacious Wheat Barn can seat up to 200 guests, with refurbished stone floor, and portable heating included in the cost of hire. The more intimate and adjacent Barley Barn can seat about 60 guests or is an ideal choice to use as a dance or ceremony area. Each barn can be hired separately, or as a combined hire. Cogges offers a civil ceremony license and is next door to Cogges Parish Church.

In addition to any indoor space you hire, you and your guests can use the charming outdoor space to wander and enjoy (and after 5pm you will have exclusive use of the site). Cogges has many perfect locations for your wedding photographs, such as the Manor House lawn, the walled garden or the orchard and you can even include the farm animals in your photos.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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 Tree hire – Bampton Garden Plants

We are a retail nursery in Bampton, West Oxfordshire. We have a passion for plants and our friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to help you find the plants or give you the advice that you require. We pride ourselves on having a fantastic range of plants small and large including beautiful home grown summer and winter bedding.

We also boast a fabulous café serving hot lunches everyday. The shop offers further products including hand tools, furniture, pots and planters and gardeners supplies area as well as gifts and our food shop, stocked with local produce.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Flag Hire Event Flag Hire

At The Event Flag Hire Company we design, manufacture, hire and install beautiful handmade flags, bunting and banners, perfect for your festival wedding. Our lightweight self-install telescopic poles and flags were designed to be a visually stunning but simple and cost effective way to decorate any venue. We also offer a full bespoke service which allows flags, banners or bunting to be made to a particular specification.

Our stunning flags and bunting will make your festival wedding stand out from the rest, plus we offer a 10% discount for weddings. All styles are available in hues of white and made specifically with weddings in mind. Alternatively our bright colourful silk flags will equally compliment a festival-themed wedding. We use over 70 colours of silk so can match any colour scheme.

Our flags and bunting hire represent a quick, effective and environmentally friendly way of creating a festive atmosphere. We have created simple wedding packages to make it cost effective for you to decorate your venue yourselves using our self-install flags and bunting. Prices include flags (style and colour of your choice), 6m telescopic poles and ground fixings, bunting and return next-day courier service direct to your door. All these packages are portable and will fit in a standard car.

We have been making flags for 15 years and keep coming up with unique designs to keep up with demand. Each flag is a unique work of art hand crafted to an extremely high standard in our Bristol Studio. We cover the entire of the UK and abroad so please get in touch where ever you are!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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LOVE light up lettersGilt Edge Events

Specialists in Bespoke Wedding Venue Decoration From Centrepieces to Flower Walls, Candy Carts to Starlit Backdrops, Garlands, Fairylight Canopies, Giant LOVE letters, Disco’s Grand Floral Arch and much, much more.

A Complimentary Design Consultation to transform your chosen venue into something magical for your big day. Working with you we can create the theme of your dreams, all installed & removed with the minimum disruption to your big event.

We can supply Starlit Backdrops, Table Decorations & Centrepieces, Chair Covers, Fairylight Canopies, Garlands, Grand Floral arches, Candy Carts, Sweet/ Dessert Dressers Flower Walls, Giant LOVE Letters and much, much more.

Karen, with many years experience as a fashion designer in London, combined with Phil, with a career in the Graphic Design, Signwriting and Event Industry will deliver a bespoke wedding, leaving you to concentrate on having the Best Day of your life.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Food van – Goujon Monkey

Goujon Monkey are an Oxfordshire based gourmet street food caterer offering traditional favourites with a modern twist.

They pride themselves on serving the finest quality street food available, using only the freshest ingredients. All of their food is cooked from scratch and served from a lovingly restored vintage Citroen H van.

With menus to suit different tastes including their hand prepared Beer Battered Cod, Goujon Monkey offer a unique addition to your big day.

Our prices start from £750 for private event catering for 75 guests. Contact details Tim 07469710373 or Matt 07917284944.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Chairs & tables – Linda’s Vintage Hire

We provide a stress free vintage hire service for all occasions. If you are organising an event with a vintage flare we can supply furniture, crockery and a range of props and accessories to give your event that much loved nostalgic vintage feel.

We work with theatres, corporations, event and wedding planners, caterers, photographers and festivals to mention but a few.

So if you’re planning your vintage event whether it’s afternoon tea, the wedding of your dreams, a magazine shoot or creating something inspirational for a large festival there is no end to what can be achieved with the help of Linda’s Vintage Hire. We can deliver up and down the country so just give us a call on 07532 184174 for a quote.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Cutlery & crockery – Little Cherry | https://www.littlecherry.co.uk/

Little Cherry are an online supplier of natural biodegradable tableware and a wide range of ethical and stylish party supplies for weddings, street food, festivals and events throughout the UK.

Our aim is to make food look fabulous on our environmentally-friendly tableware. Ranges include the ever-popular Palm Leaf plates (made from naturally fallen palm leaves in India), compostable Sugar Cane and the largest selection of Wheat Fibre tableware in the UK, including a new takeaway range.

We cater for any size of event and offer discounts to caterers for bulk orders. We also have a dedicated Trade Site, can offer next day delivery and offer a sample pack service allowing customers to “try before they buy”.

Our fantastic selection of cups, cutlery, napkins, picks and skewers are the perfect accompaniment to any of our ranges of tableware.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Stationery – Little Pickle Creations

Nicola from Hanami Dream approached us to provide wedding accessories that she had imagined, but never seen made before – that’s our ideal brief!

We love a challenge, and love making unusual items that no-one has ever produced before. The wedding items we produced were around a denim theme, so we embroidered guests names onto handmade denim bottle sleeves, and made individual hanging name labels for the table plan along with napkins embroidered with the menu.

Really unique and personalised, just as it would be for any couple planning their own special day with their own ideas and themes that they wish to use. Sometimes these unique items aren’t ordinarily available from traditional wedding suppliers and that’s where we come in – creating special unique items tailored specifically to our clients requirements.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Props – Mabel & Rose

Mabel & Rose vintage prop logo

Mabel & Rose has a lovely array of original vintage and rustic props available to hire. Our large range includes old apple crates, oak barrels, chalkboards, vintage suitcases, rustic wheelbarrows, an old delivery bicycle plus lots of smaller items like vintage bottles, jars, jugs and pots. So whether it’s large milk churns filled with flowers or a selection of vintage tin baths to keep your drinks cool we would love to help you enhance your venue and create the perfect look and feel for your wedding. Styling and on the day venue dressing services are also available.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Macramé – MacrAmy’s Macrame

Macramé artist

Keeping it natural!

Workshops and evening classes…

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Lighting – Oakwood Events

Oakwood Events supplies stunning lighting for stylish couples. We design and install lighting schemes for barn weddings using fairy lights, festoon lights, bare bulbs, paper lanterns, chandeliers, drapes, uplighting, bunting and dance floor lighting.

Lighting is a unique addition to your wedding and can be used to highlight features like beams or stone walls, change the atmosphere between day and night or make a colour or design statement to match your theme. We pride ourselves on top quality design, professional installation and amazing features; explore our Pinterest boards for inspiration and to see how our lighting adds wow factor to barn weddings.

See your wedding in a different light!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Paper flowers – Pretty Big Flowers

Our self-assembly kits let you create stunning giant paper flowers. Why settle for factory made sameness when you can create a totally unique display at a fraction of the cost?

We’ve taken the guess work out of self-assembly – even a crafting beginner can get professional and consistent results.

Paper flowers add a touch of feminine glamour to lots of situations. Enjoy creating your own decorative accents with our giant paper flower self-assembly kits for a wall at home, a stunning backdrop for wedding photos or an eye catching motif for an important event. And of course you can take the credit because the flair you add is all your own (we’ve just made it effortless!)

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Cake – The Cake Element Bakery

We are a successful duo of husband and wife working together to produce a really superior product.

Any size and any design, we love making wedding cakes. We offer a variety of delicious flavours and fillings. We use the best ingredients and passion to create a beautiful and delicious wedding cakes, making your special extra special.

We are committed to quality and excellent customer service. Our cakes are fleshly baked to order and crafted by hand.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Blankets – The Witney Blanket Hall

Witney Blanket Hall was built in 1721 by the Company of Blanket Makers. For over 120 years, every blanket woven in the town came to the Hall to be weighed and measured, and upstairs in the Great Room the Company set the Rules for the Trade. After 1845 the New Mills established their own measuring, and the redundant Blanket Hall became variously a Brewery, a Lemonade Factory, Engineering Shop, Office of births marriages and deaths, Dancing School, and latterly, a distinctive gentleman’s house. During most of its history, the Hall is also where many of the town’s Public Meetings took place, the death of Kings solemnly commemorated and the birth of Princes celebrated with great feasts. In the 18th Century, the Hall housed the town’s Fire Pump. In 2015, the Hall reopened its doors to reveal this illustrious past and offer woollen blankets and throws, coffee pies and assemblies, both commercial and cultural. Visitors are always welcome and are invited to come and find out more about the infamous Witney Blankets.

The Pie Shop offers its famous pies and platters, as well as tea, coffee and cakes. We are licenced so wine and Blanket Hall Beer are always available. The Hall can also be open outside hours by arrangement and is often available for hire by Companies and Societies.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Delivery – Global 360 International Freight Forwarders

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Take a look at a behind the scenes look at the briefs that were given to these fabulous suppliers and how the Festival theme came to life with their designs and products.

Inspiration: festival

Inspiration: festival

A real break from tradition, this festival wedding showcased an abundance of hanging greenery, dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl, using different materials such as denim, macrame, paper, wood and terracotta details.

See more images in our gallery and the amazing local suppliers who came together to make this shoot possible in this blog post.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Happy 1st birthday to #UKWedLunch

Happy 1st birthday to #UKWedLunch

Last week marked a whole year since my Twitter networking hour came to fruition. Having partaken in many local and wedding related networking I noticed that most hours are in the evenings and sometimes don’t include many brides or grooms to be. #UKWedLunch was born to cater for couples and wedding professionals planning a wedding in their lunch break.

A year on and #UKWedLunch is going from strength to strength; with 1,156 followers and counting; a different discussion topic every week; and lots of lively interaction between brides and grooms to be looking for recommendations and UK based wedding professionals networking in their lunch break.  Lots of connections and new contacts have been formed as a result of #UKWedLunch. I’m incredibly proud of how it is developing and look forward to the next year of networking. Please spread the word so others can join us on Wednesdays 1-2pm on Twitter. 

However I’m not always good at celebrating my successes. I’m often guilty of looking at the ‘hole rather than the donut’ – whilst I may have ticked plenty off my to do list, I’ll still be thinking about what I haven’t done. Earlier this year I fell in to this trap and felt a bit despondent as there wasn’t enough time to bring many of my ideas to light. It resulted in me blogging less and this made me feel more disappointed. What I had failed to do was recognise what I had managed to achieve alongside the growing demands of another baby joining our family.

It is now (following a fantastic break away in France with my family) that I look back on the year so far with fresh eyes. Now I can see and celebrate the great things I have achieved rather than dwelling on what I haven’t yet done. Before my holiday a series of exciting things happened which over whelmed me as they all came at the same time. After a bit of a step back, I now can appreciate and shout about these great achievements.

Firstly, my most recent styled bridal photo shoot (a modern Edwardian Secret Garden) was featured in Brides magazines online – a great honour especially to show case the amazing local suppliers involved.

Secondly, another shoot I organised last Autumn (a gold and Marsala Wind in the Willows) was used throughout the latest UKAWEP Wedding Academy wedding business magazine being shared globally with the wedding industry, fellow students, alumni, contributors, editors, tutors and prospects of the academy.

Thirdly, I also embarked upon on a 100 Day Goal challenge run by The Business Bakery that reached its climax last week. The essence of the strategy is to try to do a little every day to chip away at your ultimate end goal. Back in May, I challenged myself to monetise my blog which has been an ambition and business objective I’d set my sights on this year. These 100 days have enabled me to see little steps that can build to a whole. And in the last 100 days I’ve achieved this goal – not via the advertising route I’d envisaged but I’ve discovered to take opportunities wherever they arise and I’ve been really pleased to do some consultancy for a local wedding venue. The next 100 Day Goal starts again on 1st September and I look forward to seeing where this mind set takes me in the build up to the end of the year.

Additionally, some other great forthcoming opportunities have come my way include styling the Wedding Open Day at Cogges Manor Farm next month – watch this space for the images from this festival inspired shoot that will I will feature on the blog.

I continue to receive more wedding styling enquiries so I’ve now included a venue styling page on my website so couples can see the types of services I offer.

Plus more plans are afoot for another photo shoot in the autumn as I’ve been approached to style one by a local venue.

And lastly (and most importantly), I was lucky enough whilst away to celebrate my own wedding anniversary with my amazing husband. I continue to be grateful for the love and support he gives to me. We’ve done quite a lot in the 6 years that we’ve been married and I look forward to our many adventures to come too. Six years of marriage traditionally would warrant getting an iron as a gift (which could be more inappropriate for me – I can’t remember the last time I ironed anything!)

So, after a brief social media break (forced due to lack of wifi!) but a wonderful family time away en vacances, I come back refreshed and raring to go.

Wedding venue review: Cogges Manor Farm

Wedding venue review: Cogges Manor Farm

Couple outside the wedding barns at Cogges | The Secret Garden | modern Edwardian styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | greenery | perspex | Cogges Manor Farm | Witney | May 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Cogges Manor Farm is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns which provide a wonderful setting for celebrations.

I may be a little bias, as this venue has a special place in my heart – not only is it a beautiful local licensed wedding venue in my home town, but it is also a haven and wonderful place to escape with the children.

More than just a farm museum and set location for Downton Abbey, it also offers two rustic and untouched barns as a wedding venue. They are a perfect blank canvas where you can add your own personalised details to make your special day complete.

More and more couples are shying away from the cookie cutter approach to weddings and demanding a more unique and individual wedding.

This venue certainly helps couples who want to fulfil this ‘diy’ desire as there are hardly any restrictions or prescriptions. You have the freedom to use the suppliers of your choice, you can choose your own room layout and your own decoration to suit your theme for the day. Therefore, you have the option of taking this venue in a variety of different directions. It’s a really versatile space.

Don’t be under any illusions – it may take a little extra work than a ready made venue but you can make this place fit your theme perfectly.

And embrace the fact that it’s rustic – you’ll need to think about your catering options cleverly. For example it would lend itself very nicely for a hog roast, bbq, picnic or food vans.

It feels like the location is really rural but you’re actually right by the centre of town. And this is more than a shell of a building in the middle of a field – there are facilities (although you’ll need to bear in mind it is still rustic and a short walk to the toilets), accessible and ample parking, plus it’s close to bus routes and hotels.

What you do get is a lot of space (both inside and outside of the barns). And the beauty of Cogges is that it is more than just a wedding venue. Your guests can benefit from all the other facilities and attractions around the site in between the formalities of the day. And after 5pm, as well as the barns, the rest of the site is exclusively yours to enjoy too.

There’s a lovely laid back and friendly atmosphere at Cogges Manor Farm and loads of charming locations for photographs, such as the Manor House lawn, the walled garden or orchard and you can even include the farm animals in your photos!

They have a limited number of wedding slots per year and there is only one wedding per weekend.

I will be styling the venue for their Wedding Open Day on Sunday 17th September 11am-3pm. Come and see the barns dressed for wedding planning inspiration.

And see how stunning this venue looks in my Modern Edwardian Secret Garden inspirational styled bridal shoot.

Couple by walled garden | The Secret Garden | modern Edwardian styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | greenery | perspex | Cogges Manor Farm | Witney | May 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: www.cogges.org.uk
Location: Church Lane, Witney, OX28 3LA
Wedding season: March-October
Guests: 200 in Wheat Barn: 60 in Barley Barn
Marquee option: weighted marquee permitted
Ceremony: Licensed inside from £300
Venue hire: from £3050
Nearest church: St Mary’s Cogges, Church Lane, Witney, OX28 3LA (0.0 miles)
Wedding breakfast: bring in own catering suppliers
Accommodation: local b&bs
Wedding fairs: Open Day in Autumn
Other things worth a mention: so much more than just a wedding venue and very family friendly

St Mary’s Cogges Church | Witney

Inspiration: modern Edwardian Secret Garden wedding

Inspiration: modern Edwardian Secret Garden wedding

Based on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (published in 1911), this modern Edwardian styled wedding shoot is a perfect harmony of traditional and contemporary elements brought together with sheer glamour and sophistication. Planned and designed by Hanami Dream and wonderfully captured by Squib Photography.

Photography by Squib Photography

This elegant and delicate wedding is set in the grounds of a local English Manor House in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds of the UK (also used in the filming of another 1910s drama, Downtown Abbey). The lush greenery of a walled garden is discovered behind a secret locked door and its unseen natural beauty is unearthed after being concealed for many years.

Photography by Squib Photography

Complete with an intimate ceremony on the croquet lawn, drinks in a secluded corner of the garden, followed by a celebration in a stunning Cotswold stone barn, this wedding features modern twists on traditional wedding styles with a real sense of rejuvenation.

Photography by Squib Photography

With clear acrylic ‘stationery’ and signage with white brush lettering (where the greenery of the garden can be seen through), a hoop bouquet, a fresh take on the time-honoured wedding dessert of a croquembouche, vintage pearl details, antique keys and a friendly robin redbreast motif. Mary and Colin would be proud to attend this stylish wedding.

Photography by Squib Photography

The colour palette is soft and understated so nothing distracts from the abundance of sumptuous cascading foliage. White is accented with hints of pink Pale Dogwood and plenty of the Colour of the Year of Greenery. There’s a definite nod to the Pantone® Spring/Summer 2017 colours with some subtle inclusion of blues (a navy Lapis for the groom’s suit and a denim Niagara of the manor house internal doors), Hazelnut and more greenery in the form of Kale.

Photography by Squib Photography

Cogges Manor Farm  was the ideal location for this wedding with its very essence in this era. It is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns as well as a beautiful walled garden, stunning grounds and an impressive Manor House as a remarkable backdrop.

Photography by Squib Photography

The couple got ready in the peaceful setting of the Manor House, strolled romantically through the walled garden, encouraged their families to ‘choose a seat not a side’ on vintage chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire) on the croquet lawn, and enjoyed the perfect blank canvas of the Barley Barn where modern, personalised details make this wedding complete.

Photography by Squib Photography

Hanging from one of the impressive beams is a large rustic wooden cartwheel from Oakwood Events, adorned with greenery along with stylish bulb cages around Edison type filaments, plus some added alliums (from Lark Rise Flowers).

Photography by Squib Photography

The top table is awash with greenery running down the whole of the table and spilling off the ends to the floor, courtesy of Lark Rise Flowers. Plus, the fragrance of the foliage was a delight to the senses with hosta, hedera, honeysuckle, laurel and hebe. Along with gentle inclusion of white flowers in the form of campanula, astilbe, lady’s mantle, sweet william, viburnum, rambling rose, helleborus seedheads and valeriana.

Photography by Squib Photography

The sturdy wooden table, along with vintage chairs from Linda’s Vintage Hire, is set simply with white crockery and silver cutlery, plus clear acrylic menus sit on green moss. Alongside each setting is a clear acrylic place name (with guest names paying homage to the character names from the book) attached to vintage keys, along with favours of charming wooden robins by Muffat Prague.

Guests are directed around the farm with stylish clear acrylic signage and find their places by referring to the reclaimed window pane table plan with white brush lettering thanks to The Paper Hare, completing the stationery suite of clear acrylic invitations and clear acrylic table number tubes.

Photography by Squib Photography

In the garden, the couple relax and enjoy a smooth glass of brandy whilst listening to the gramophone and admiring the remarkable cake by Cotswold Baking, a reintroduction of a traditional wedding dessert. This impressive croquembouche plays on the trend of wedding cake alternatives and sits on top of a plain white cake. The choux balls are decorated with edible pearl balls of varying sizes.

Photography by Squib Photography

The bride chicly carries a hoop bouquet by Lark Rise Flowers leaving a beautiful scent of jasmine wherever she sashays. She has strong smoky eyes, pinched cheek blush and barely-there pale lipstick reminiscent of the times and beautifully recreated by Blushing Brides.

Her hair is ornamented with a delicate pearl hair vine by Designed to Sparkle and gathered up to reveal the breathtaking backless dress.

Photography by Squib Photography

She perfectly fits the glamourous, champagne coloured bridal gown, made from Lux Charmeuse, featuring a high neckline, flutter sleeves, low back, attached silver beaded waistline and godet train by Justin Alexander, provided by Proposals of Witney. This 1910s styling is teamed with a multi-strand bracelet and necklace by Designed to Sparkle, made with navette set Swarovski crystal stones and pearls, in creamrose light shade.

Photography by Squib Photography

The suave, slicked-back groom suited the era with a blue three-piece suit made from a British fabric 100% wool, cut in a traditional style but more modern in shape from The Cotswold Tailor.

Photography by Squib Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Secret Garden shoot

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Secret Garden shoot

And here’s the video from the shoot too – Video: Secret Garden Wedding

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Location | Cogges Manor Farm | www.cogges.org.uk
Photographer | Squib Photography | http://www.squibphotography.co.uk/
Models | Úna and Daryl
Hair & Make up | Blushing Brides | http://www.blushingbrideshairandmakeup.com/
Bridal dress, shoes and veil | Proposals of Witney | http://www.proposalsbridalstudio.co.uk/
Groom clothing | The Cotswold Tailor | http://www.suitstailored.com/
Jewellery | Designed to Sparkle | http://www.designedtosparkle.co.uk/
Florist | Lark Rise Flowers | http://www.larkriseflowers.com/
Cake | Cotswold Baking | http://www.cotswoldbaking.co.uk/
Stationery | The Paper Hare | http://www.thepaperhare.com/
Lighting | Oakwood Events | http://www.oakwoodevents.co.uk/
Chairs, glasses & gramophone | Linda’s Vintage Hire | http://www.lindasvintagehire.co.uk/
Favours | Muffat Prague | www.muffatprague.com