Celebrating 4 years of Hanami Dream!

Celebrating 4 years of Hanami Dream!

What a day for celebration the fourth of July is:  Independence Day, Alice Day and today is the 4th birthday of Hanami Dream weddings and special occasions!

four years since my first styled shoot

Yes, today marks four years since I published my first styled photo shoot under the umbrella of Hanami Dream. After that Alice in Wonderland shoot in 2014, came the Wizard of Oz, followed by a Wind in the Willows wedding in 2016. Last year saw the addition of 3 more styled bridal shoots: a modern Edwardian Secret Garden themed wedding, a real break from tradition with a Festival style wedding and also a lovely winter Journey to the Centre of the Earth themed wedding. I’m enjoying working with some amazing local suppliers!

four years since my first tweet

From my first tweet in 2014, to a steadily increasing readership (and social media following) with around 1,100 unique page views a month on average. Plus a combined social media network of over 5,400 followers and ongoing promotion and networking means this is ever growing.

four years since my first blog post

It’s crazy to think how much has evolved over the past four years; now 310 blog posts later and this year I won the Event and Wedding category at the UK Blog Awards after being a finalist for the previous two years running, I’m now a Certified Wedding and Event Planner, and have recently had one of my shoots featured in Your Glos & Wilts Wedding magazine.

four years of further accolades

I’m really pleased to continue to add to my honoured collection of accolades, which include #QueenOf Wedding Inspiration by The Royal Connection, the #SmartSocial award from Marketme, #BrightPig’s Business of the Week, WOW Winner picked by Jacqueline Gold CBE. As well as winning Theo Paphitis’s #SBS (Small Business Sunday).

I am an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Certified Wedding and Event Planner with the UKAWEP.

Plus I launched #UKWedLunch nearly 2 years ago, as well as being a guest host on #BrideHour.

four years more experience

My focus has been on developing the blog commercially, as well as providing inspiration to brides and grooms in the Cotswolds. Plus I’ve continued to combine my previous 13 years of marketing experience, with my local knowledge, in the scope of the wedding industry. It has been great to provide marketing consultation to some local, independent wedding businesses in and around Witney, Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. I’ve been affectionately titled the Wedding Inspector – a bit like the Alex Polizzi of the local wedding industry!

work with Hanami Dream

I look forward to working with more local wedding professionals, services and venues #keepitlocal. And I can’t wait to produce more styled photo shoots and have more opportunities to collaborate with local suppliers.

Please get in touch if you’d like to advertise on the blog, submit your own wedding details, would like to collaborate on a shoot, write a guest post or need some marketing advice and guidance. Together we can build the local wedding industry and inspire brides and grooms for their special day.

Happy birthday to Hanami Dream – definitely time for cake now!

 

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

Behind the scenes: Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Behind the scenes: Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Here’s a look behind the scenes of one of my recent styled shoots.

I was over the moon to be approached by a beautiful local venue last year (via a great photography partner) to style their wedding venue in order to show it off in a new light and provide all involved with wonderful lifestyle imagery.

It was wonderful to work alongside Steve from Squib Photography again (we previously worked on another styled bridal shoot last year). This time we were at Oxleaze Barn and we collaborated to produce an amazing bridal styled shoot inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It was also a privilege to be able to showcase some amazing products from some fantastic local suppliers.

Theme

I always have a number of ideas swilling around inside my head that are waiting for the right venue and season to utilise a certain theme. I’d had this particular theme in mind for a while and it had evolved and I had time to mull it over a long time before I’d even visited the venue for the first time. As soon as I saw Oxleaze Barn, I noticed all the blue accents around the 1700s barn and farm, so I knew that this theme would work perfectly there.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (published in 1864) features an expedition to Iceland and exploration through volcanic tunnels. (See some of my previous styled shoots based on other classic books.) The Icelandic edge took me to cold, icy places and this wintry theme seamlessly fitted a modern winter styled barn wedding. I especially wanted to emphasise that this wedding venue was available year round, thanks to their underfloor heating, and wanted the images to exude warmth and play on the hygge trend with a relaxed and intimate vibe. Plus it was great to have the opportunity to showcase the evergreen and expanse of their garden.

I also wanted to include nods to the book with the inclusion of volcanic rock themes through slick agate, intricate hollow geode or timeless marble.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | mood board | 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

Styled shoot

It is really important to me that my blog creates wedding inspiration in the beautiful Cotswolds. The uniqueness of the blog comes from showcasing my own beautiful and inspirational, trend-led styled wedding shoots, collaborating with local venues and innovative wedding suppliers.

Before starting Hanami Dream in 2014, I worked for over 6 years for an international clothing brand where I planned and managed photo shoots in some fabulous locations around the world. Now I get to combine my wonderful experience with my passion for weddings whilst supporting local businesses.

A styled shoot takes almost as much time and effort to produce as a wedding day and entails bringing together everything from many different suppliers.

For me the process always starts visually. Firstly on Pinterest where I collate my thoughts, then secondly on paper where I sketch out a floor plan, each scene and how every element will come together on a tablescape. Sometimes I have an idea of a product and I search for the best local supplier to provide that item. Other times, I see something that someone has created and I file it away for the most suitable shoot in the future.

The beauty of styled shoots (versus a real life wedding) is that it is a great opportunity to be a little more extravagant and really show off what you’ve always wanted to do. You can indulge your fantasies with new trends or products that couples may not have seen yet or something really unusual.

This styled shoot was a collaboration of like minded people that created great things together but perhaps didn’t have the budget to produce this kind of work if they all worked independently.

And most importantly, the suppliers I used are all local to the venue. This means that for anyone planning their wedding at this venue, this look and feel is completely achievable and realistic. The images might be Pinterest worthy but they are not unattainable.

Whether it is a styled shoot or a real life wedding day, the key is that each event is personal and tailor made.

Table runner with candles and floral displays | 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

Brief

We are very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the UK and are surrounded by some seriously talented wedding venues, professionals and suppliers. It was brilliant that so many wanted to be involved in this shoot and they certainly didn’t disappoint with the products that they provided.

They were all given the same brief of what I was trying to achieve:

volcanic rock elements to make a statement at this wintery wedding alongside grey, icy blue, gold and white accents coupled with acres of tulle and delicate airplants

I also provided them with my collated vision and ideas on my Pinterest board.

The themes I wanted to encapsulate included:

  • winter
  • modern
  • industrial
  • tactile
  • ethereal
  • delicate
  • hygge

The colour palette followed the Spring 2018 trend colours of grey, blue and lilac, alongside gold and white accents including:

  • Little Boy Blue
  • Pink Lavender
  • Ultra Violet
  • Almost Mauve

Alongside neutrals of:

  • Sailor Blue
  • Harbor Mist
  • Coconut Milk

Designs

The creative suppliers worked wonders in transforming my overflowing pot of ideas and pairing it down in to realistic and achievable products for us to showcase.

Usually each shoot starts with a muse or product that sparks the theme and everything flows from that element. For this shoot, it was some marbled concrete pots, concrete coasters, concrete letters, and concrete table numbers. Unfortunately due to ill health, the supplier wasn’t able to provide these items in the end for the shoot. However this marble look and feel was present on other elements.

  • Cake design – I wasn’t sure that a Cotswold barn wedding was the right setting for a geode cake, so marble made the perfect theme for the cake. The Pretty Cake Company never fail to impress with their spectacular cakes and exquisite replica flower sugar work. And the beauty for this shoot included 4 different tier heights and the cascade of flowers matched the real ones immaculately.
  • Stationery design – Continuing my quest to present novel alternatives to paper stationery, I initially was keen to utilise actual shards of agate for table numbers and place names. Sourcing these locally, economically and timely proved harder than first planned. Thankfully, the incredibly talented Emerald Paper Design was able to create trompe-l’œil card replicas to give the same look and feel along with her beautiful gold calligraphy. The whole suite featured geode style watercolour stationery with gold accents and a navy envelope.
  • Flowers – despite my love of flowers, I’m discovering that a lot of my briefs recently have become almost ‘anti-flowers’ (ie just foliage, paper flowers, plants in pots) and this shoot focused heavily on succulents and air plants. Succulents are certainly one of my own fascinations and I’ve even started to propagate some for my own terrarium at home. For this shoot, I wanted the bouquets to feel modern and give a contrast against all the soft tulle. I loved the use of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) and glass suspended baubles. Plus Enchanted Floristry brought along their amazing moongate that helped encapsulate the sense of entering a volcanic tunnel.Bride looking to side in front of moongate | 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
  • Jewellery – It was brilliant to work with We Three Kings and their pieces echoed the colours and accents incredibly.Blue engagement ring | 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

Suppliers

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 showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Despite the snow machine not materialising and a last minute change of models, the finished result was well worth the effort again.

  • Dress – From the outset, I wanted to include a blue dress in this shoot. Ideally I wanted a bridal separate like the Sweet Caroline Norma J separates but these aren’t readily stocked in local dress supplier shops. However thanks to Fairytale Occasions we were able to demonstrate a blue dress alongside a full tactile tulle white dress.Bridesmaid looking to side in 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
  • LightingOakwood Events are an absolutely amazing company – friendly, reliable and highly sought after. Despite their really busy schedule, I was fortunate enough to involve their services again and showcase a brand new addition to their portfolio (which they sped through the design process especially for this shoot). It’s like they can read my mind! And luckily they don’t think my ideas are too crazy! I love that these displays give an industrial feel which is a great contrast with the relaxed vibe in the room.Banquet style seating | 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 all the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

And see more about the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot – Inspiration: Journey to the Centre of the Earth wedding

Marble cake with sugar succulent cascade | 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

Please do get in touch, if you are a local venue, wedding supplier or photographer and are looking to collaborate on a styled bridal shoot in the future.

#keepitlocal

“We would love to work with you again very soon”

“We would love to work with you again very soon”

Bride in the orchard | 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

“Many thanks to you Nicola for working tirelessly and pulling [the shoot] off so successfully.

Thank you so much for all your amazing hard work on the photo shoot, we can’t wait to see the photos as the Barn looked so lovely.

…we would love to work with you again very soon.”

Katherine, Oxleaze Barn – October 2017

Inspiration: Journey to the Centre of the Earth wedding

Inspiration: Journey to the Centre of the Earth wedding

Inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (published in 1864, featuring an expedition to Iceland with exploration through volcanic tunnels), this modern winter barn wedding shows the stunning hidden interior of volcanic rock in the form of slick agate and timeless marble.  Planned and designed by Hanami Dream and beautifully captured by Squib Photography.

Photography by Squib Photography

Acres of gentle, ethereal and floaty tulle were placed wonderfully alongside tactile sheep skin rugs and the tendrils of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) in glass suspended baubles.

Photography by Squib Photography

The industrial style lighting pairs wonderfully with relaxed seating, exuding hygge with its intimate vibe. Set in a tucked-away Gloucestershire barn with year-round warmth thanks to its solar panel and biomass generated underfloor heating.

Photography by Squib Photography

An impressive moongate wreath backdrop surrounds the cool blue 1700s barn door, with hints of blue featured in all the details, using the Pantone Spring 2018 colours of grey, blue and lilac, alongside gold and white accents.

Photography by Squib Photography

Plus, this wedding continues the quest of Hanami Dream to present novel alternatives to paper wedding stationery – this time with name places on geode slices, along with modern script style calligraphy in gold.

Photography by Squib Photography

Oxleaze Barn was a great location for this wedding – beautifully renovated with some stunning original features, yet adapted efficiently to provide a comfortable space. It offers year-round weddings which made it perfect to showcase a winter wedding. Tucked away in rolling countryside, with a landscaped courtyard and firepit, along with access to a phenomenal private garden. The ladies got ready in the spacious Artist’s Studio before making their way across the courtyard and into the wonderfully warm barn.

Photography by Squib Photography

The ceremony took place on one side of the barn with rustic willow chandeliers hanging above the guests (from Oakwood Events). From each chandelier clear baubles hung down, all holding their own delicate air plant.

Photography by Squib Photography

The aisle was lined with Chiavari chairs covered with chiffon vertical drops (from Everything Covered), then tied up simply and elegantly with a few stems of dried lavender (courtesy of Enchanted Floristry).

Photography by Squib Photography

This led to the impressive moongate (by Enchanted Floristry) which was adorned with moss, an amazing asymmetric floral display and bedecked with lavish succulents and stunning air plants.

Photography by Squib Photography

The flowers, berries and silver green foliage were echoed around the room in the table displays, buttonhole and bouquets (all by Enchanted Floristry) which filled the room with a beautiful fragrance of eucalyptus. Florals included avalanche white roses, asparagus fern, brunia berry, eucalyptus silver dollar, eucalyptus small-leaf gum, eucalyptus baby blue, dusty miller, dried lavender, leather leaf, birch twigs (sprayed white), eryngium, sea holly and thistles. But the stars of the show were all the wonderful air-plants dotted around the barn (supplied by www.andysairplants.co.uk).

Photography by Squib Photography

The bride was dressed to impress in a mix and match bridal gown by Lilly with its dual layered style to combine an intricate, beaded tulle overlay with an elegant satin slip-dress underneath. She was escorted by her attendant in an exquisite powder blue prom dress which fitted the colour theme flawlessly. (Both dresses from Fairytale Occasions.)

Photography by Squib Photography

Their make up used shimmering iridescent colours to echo the ethereal vibe and the hair was captured in a cascading braid (exquisitely executed by Blushing Brides Hair and Make Up).

Photography by Squib Photography

Standing spectacularly tall was the four-tiered marble cake (with different tier heights) embellished with edible gold leaf (which really enhanced the grain of the marble) and a dramatic sugar flower cascade. The cake was festooned with replica air plants, ivory roses, succulents, brunia berries, thistles and dusty miller leaves which complemented the dusky green/grey marble perfectly and mirrored the real flowers seamlessly. Another masterpiece courtesy of The Pretty Cake Company.

Photography by Squib Photography

The other half of the barn was laid for a banquet style wedding reception, complete with grey galley shade loft-style chandeliers (from Oakwood Events) above solid wooden tables and benches (crafted by Cotswold Event Solutions) lined up in front of the roaring open fire. The beautiful heart cut outs in the tables echoed the ceremony thrones and, for extra comfort, sheep skin rugs (from The Witney Blanket Hall) were placed over the benches for a luxurious feel.

Photography by Squib Photography

Wedding stationery (designed by Emerald Paper Design) embraced the geode style with a watercolour invitation with gold accents, an information card, an RSVP card and an RSVP envelope all tied together with gold thread and a little monogrammed tag. The menu was in the same style as the invitation with exquisite gold calligraphy.

Photography by Squib Photography

Guests could find their tables by referring to the geode style table plan tabs with gold accents mounted on a rustic pale blue barn door. At the table, the geode style watercolour place names had gold edging and modern calligraphy to represent slices of agate. (All by Emerald Paper Design.)

Photography by Squib Photography

Down the centre of the tables ran swathes of pale blue organza table runners (from Everything Covered) for a light and airy feel. Topped with exquisite floral displays (by Enchanted Floristry), along with modern gold cutlery, plain clear champagne coupé glasses, plain clear glass candlesticks with 32cm tapered white candles, along with blue glass bottle vases and glass salt bowls (all from Vintage Gold China) giving a simple, striking and delicate tablescape.

Photography by Squib Photography

The gorgeous ladies wore stylish jewellery (by We Three Kings) including an 18ct yellow gold, tear drop pearl and half carat, old cut diamond earrings with a matching pendant by the bride. The wedding ring was 18ct yellow gold with scattered, flush set diamonds. Whilst the bridesmaid wore an 18ct yellow gold pendant with three, coloured, fine quality sapphires and a selection of 18ct yellow gold and coloured sapphires stacking rings.

Photography by Squib Photography

The magnificent expanse of the picturesque garden provided a fantastic backdrop (including a great maze-like area) and the evergreen emphasised how wonderful the outside space is regardless of the season.

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 Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Photographer | Squib Photography | www.squibphotography.co.uk
Location | Oxleaze Barn | www.oxleazebarn.co.uk
Models | Sophie and Elodie
Hair & Make up | Blushing Brides www.blushingbrideshairandmakeup.com
Furniture | Cotswold Event Solutions | www.facebook.com/CotswoldEventSolutions/
Stationery | Emerald Paper Design | www.emeraldpaperdesign.com
Florist | Enchanted Floristry | www.enchantedfloristry.co.uk (with airplants from www.andysairplants.co.uk)
Chair covers and table runners | Everything Covered | www.everything-covered.co.uk
Bridal dress and bridesmaid dress | Fairytale Occasions | www.fairytaleoccasions.co.uk
Lighting | Oakwood Events | www.oakwoodevents.co.uk
Cake | The Pretty Cake Company | www.theprettycakecompany.com
Bar | The Watering Hole | www.thewateringholeeventbars.co.uk
Jewellery | We Three Kings | www.wtkgallery.co.uk
Cutlery, glasses, candlesticks, candles, glass bowls | Vintage Gold China | www.vintagegoldchina.com
Rugs and throws | Witney Blanket Hall | www.witneyblankethall.co.uk

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, this modern winter barn wedding shows the stunning hidden interior of volcanic rock in the form of slick agate and timeless marble. Acres of gentle, ethereal and floaty tulle were placed wonderfully alongside tactile sheep skin rugs and the tendrils of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) in glass suspended baubles.

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.

Thanks to all these wonderful suppliers #keepitlocal


Photographer Squib Photography

I’m Steven, a full time professional photographer who set up Squib Photography in 2002 and is lucky enough to photograph some beautiful weddings in the Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. I also cover pretty much the rest of the UK and have even been lucky enough to be booked to cover some destinations recently overseas.

After completing my studies at Oxford Brookes University I started Squib Photography and have photographed in excess of 450 weddings to date. I like to provide a professional, yet flexible service offering a mixture of formal and reportage photography to perfectly capture the atmosphere of a wedding day.

Every wedding is important to me and I will strive to tell the story of the day using natural light and little posing as possible. I do so in a relaxed, informal way so the couple can enjoy those special moments and leave me to document that for them.

I am always open to new ideas, input from couples and understand that every wedding day is very different, so will always work carefully with them to make sure you receive a personalized, bespoke service.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | mood board | 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

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Location – Oxleaze Barn


At Oxleaze Barn we endeavour to offer a venue and service that is relaxed, friendly and flexible. Oxleaze is a family run business located on a working farm surrounded by Cotswold countryside. The Barn is a beautifully renovated grain store dating back to 1702. Whilst we have maintained its original features which give it such rustic charm, we have adapted it to run as an efficient event space.

We only have one wedding a weekend to ensure you have the time to decorate and enjoy your day without feeling rushed. The Watering Hole manage the bar exclusively and can offer a variety of drinks packages and a cash bar to suit your requirements. We have a list of recommended suppliers with whom we work closely, but you are not obliged to use them, and can choose your own caterer.

Oxleaze Barn comprises of The Barn and The Milling Barn. The ceremony and the wedding breakfast take place in The Barn. The Milling Barn is available for the drinks reception and dancing. The Barn opens onto a stunning landscaped courtyard and fire pit, with a wide garden gate available for late night street food vans.

Photography by Squib Photography

 

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Hair & Make up – Blushing Brides

Blushing Brides Hair and Makeup, Hair and Makeup Artists are based in Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.

With Blushing Brides you make one booking and get two artists working for you, two artists with individual skills, ideas and experience.

We are firm believers that with specialists who have honed their individual skills over many years you get a superior experience, the look you have always wanted and better value for money.

Lauren (Makeup Artist) and Laura (Hair Stylist) have many years experience working for brides and bridal parties, we bring all this to help you achieve the most beautiful look for your special day. Far better, we believe, than one person pushing themselves to do both.

Photography by Squib Photographyfacebook logo@blushingbrideshairandmakeup

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FurnitureCotswold Event Solutions

Photography by Squib Photographyfacebook logo@CotwoldEventSolutions


Stationery – Emerald Paper Design


Emerald Paper Design is a wedding stationery and modern calligraphy studio based in Cheltenham, UK. We specialise in bespoke watercolours, illustrations and calligraphy to create stationery you and your guests will love. Whether you are looking for something modern, something floral, or something completely different, we can help create something with an individual touch.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Florist – Enchanted Floristry

Enchanted Floristry is an innovative, bespoke high quality floral designer. Highly talented, incredibly passionate and driven by a complete love of flowers. Along with training by top floristry schools and an impressive array of qualifications, is her eye for detail and creative new ideas.

Operating out of a beautiful Shepherd’s hut and workshop in rural Oxfordshire, Enchanted Floristry creates and produces incredible customised floral designs with the WOW factor for weddings.

Their impressive moongate, a freestanding 2 metre high wreath, provides a spectacular backdrop for your ceremony and can be dressed to suit the theme, season and colours of your wedding.

Photography by Squib Photography

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All the Air plants were supplied by Andy’s Air Plants
Photography by Squib Photography

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Chair covers and table runners – Everything Covered


Chiffon Vertical Drops for Chivari chairs and Organza Table Runners.

Ellie Tanner is a venue stylist who started out in the industry in 2005 with chocolate fountains and soon found her passion for beautiful wedding decor.  She has built up many years of experience working with many various venues around the South West, transforming venues into memorable and stunning weddings and providing excellent customer service to couples.

Photography by Squib Photography
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Dresses – Fairytale Occasions

Our quaint little bridal boutique is based in Highworth, Swindon, Wiltshire and we currently stock designer wedding dresses, prom dresses & a full accessory collection.

We aim to make the whole experience of finding and purchasing your dream dress relaxed and stress free, whether it be a wedding or prom dress. We offer a friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere for all our customers and operate an appointment system to ensure that everyone receives an exclusive one-to-one service to help build your dream look.

Photography by Squib 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 Squib Photography

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Cake – The Pretty Cake Company

Pretty Cake Company logo

The Pretty Cake Company offers a friendly, personal and bespoke wedding cake design service to produce breath taking wedding cakes that will be remembered for years to come. Our aim is to produce a wedding cake that is individual to the bride and groom – always focusing on the attention to detail that makes all the difference. We have over 10 years of experience in designing and creating wedding cakes and work closely with numerous prestigious wedding venues in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds.  We will work with you and take your ideas and inspirations in order to create a truly memorable wedding cake. We pride ourselves on using the finest quality and freshest ingredients available.

Unlike many other cake companies, we now specialise only in wedding cakes, as this is our true passion.  Now we are able to focus on keeping up to date with current bridal trends and ensuring that our clients receive expert advice in the wedding cake field.

Clients are guaranteed a friendly, efficient service where quality is never compromised. Consultations by appointment only. We are based in Minster Lovell, Witney, West Oxfordshire and can deliver to a wide area.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Bar – The Watering Hole


The Watering Hole Events offers a range of superb mobile bars, including the latest edition – the ‘Edison Light’ bar – creating the perfect atmosphere for any event. We have a wealth of experience in the industry, with our event cocktail bars and staff attending a multitude of functions, including: weddings, corporate functions, and milestone birthday parties all across the UK – particularly focussed around Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Birmingham.

A range of your favourite cocktails can be chosen, along with real ales, cider and lager on tap. We can also arrange your daytime drinks package, which includes welcome drinks as your guests arrive, a toast drink and table wine, chilled and served, until the evening cash or free-bar opens.

Our event teams recycle all bar waste, from glass bottles to plastic cups, at every event. So you can continue to enjoy your party with a “green” conscience. Every event is unique, exclusive and exciting, so we believe that every bar service should reflect just that!

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Jewellery – We Three Kings

We Three Kings was established by Bill and Nicola Maddocksin 1995 and is situated in a 17th Century listed building in the Cotswold market town of Witney, Oxfordshire. The gallery workshop in Bridge Street is where Bill and Nicola Maddocks design and make beautiful pieces of jewellery at the bench. They offer a specialist jewellery service, their bespoke designs allow them to tailor the design and materials to suit your style and budget.

Working closely with other specialist trades enables them to offer hand engraving and an assortment of other services including CAD, casting, plating and stone cutting of the highest quality. We Three Kings also offer to service and repair your jewellery whether it is a general check-up or complete overhaul.

Bill is a goldsmith working in residence within the gallery and is happy to discuss design ideas. Appointments are free and you are not committing yourself until you are happy with the design and the price. After that a deposit is required if you decide to have the piece made up. It takes approximately six to eight weeks after designing to create the finished piece.

They work in gold, silver and platinum and can source practically any stones you require from the highest quality diamonds to semi-precious stones and beads. It is also possible to remodel existing pieces of jewellery. Bill can melt and reuse old gold if it has a sentimental value and old stones can be cleaned and reused to create a new unique piece.

They make jewellery for all types of occasions and appreciate it can sometimes be difficult for customers to be confident when having a piece made as a surprise so they offer a service where you can present a sketch in a box allowing the design and materials to evolve so the final piece is exactly what you want. Another option is to choose a stone which can be given in a presentation box and you can come in and design the piece together.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Cutlery, glasses, candlesticks, candles, glass bowls – Vintage Gold China

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Vintage Gold China is a boutique vintage china and gold cutlery hire company based in Gloucestershire. We specialise in hiring elegant, fine china, bronze candlesticks and genuine vintage gold cutlery. From small tea parties, village hall get-togethers, hen party evenings, showy dinner parties, wedding breakfast or celebrating your golden wedding anniversary, Vintage Gold China will help you create the perfect, glamourous vintage setting.

With access to our beautiful collection of elegant tableware consisting of quality vintage English fine bone china, French porcelain, vintage bronze gold cutlery, Victorian style glass dessert plates, bronze and glass candlesticks and many styles of votive – you will find all the tableware accessories you need to tastefully style your event. We can also supply luxury table linens from our sister company, Table to Dine For.

We supply to events in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Avon and Wiltshire areas.  For weddings, parties and events, contact us for your tailored quote.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Rugs and throws – 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.

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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 Journey to the Centre of the Earth theme came to life with their designs and products.

Inspiration: icelandic rock

Inspiration: icelandic rock

Inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, this modern winter barn wedding shows the stunning hidden interior of volcanic rock in the form of slick agate and timeless marble. Acres of gentle, ethereal and floaty tulle were placed wonderfully alongside tactile sheep skin rugs and the tendrils of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) in glass suspended baubles.Hanami Dream | inspiration | mood board | 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

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 Squib Photography

2017 Review of the year

2017 Review of the year

I hope you’ve had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas. At this between and betwixt time, I often take the time to reflect on the past year. And what a fantastic year it’s been for Hanami Dream weddings and special occasions in 2017.

Photography by Squib Photography

This year, my focus has been on developing the blog commercially, as well as providing inspiration to brides and grooms in the Cotswolds. Plus I’ve continued to combine my marketing experience, with my local knowledge, in the scope of the wedding industry. It has been great to provide marketing consultation to some local, independent wedding businesses in and around Witney, Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. I’ve been affectionately titled the Wedding Inspector – a bit like the Alex Polizzi of the local wedding industry!

I’ve also organised a festival style wedding open day, along with three styled bridal shoots with some amazing local suppliers this year. These have included The Secret Garden, Festival and Journey to the Centre of the Earth themes (look out for images from the latter of these coming soon). I was chuffed to have these shoots featured on Bride Magazine online and SoGlosWedding too.

#UKWedLunch has been going over a year now and attracts new followers every week. This is a great Twitter hour for wedding planning in your lunch break with other brides to be, grooms to be and wedding professionals in the UK.

I’m delighted to have enquiries for different aspects of the business including venue styling and consultancy, as well as such lovely testimonials from happy couples and suppliers I’ve worked with in 2017.

The blog featured posts on different elements of wedding planning, local wedding venue reviews, wedding fairs, wedding transport, favours, alternatives to bouquets, wedding cakes and some wonderful guest posts from local wedding professionals (with top tips and an insight in to different elements of wedding planning from their area of the wedding industry). Plus my series titled ‘the holy trinity of wedding planning’ looked at wedding budgets. See the top posts of 2017.

My blog has had an exciting year and continues to go from strength to strength. The highlights of 2017, were being a finalist in the UK Blog Awards in April again, having one of mood boards picked as finalist again in the UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning SS18 Pantone® colour trend challenge, plus I was proud to win Theo Paphitis’s Small Business Sunday #SBS recently.

Now is also a great time to look forward to working with more local wedding professionals, services and venues in the brand new year ahead. #keepitlocal. And I can’t wait to produce more styled photo shoots and have opportunities to collaborate with local suppliers.

Please get in touch if you’d like to advertise on the blog, submit your own wedding details, would like to collaborate on a shoot, write a guest post or need some marketing advice and guidance. Together we can build the local wedding industry and inspire brides and grooms for their special day.

Many thanks for your support in 2017 and here’s to an exciting and very Happy New Year!