What a day for celebration the fourth of July is: Independence Day, Alice Day and today is the 3rd birthday of Hanami Dream weddings and special occasions!
Yes, today marks three years since I published my first styled photo shoot under the umbrella of Hanami Dream. After that Alice in Wonderland shoot, came the Wizard of Oz, followed by a Wind in the Willows wedding. Now, I’m just about to promote my latest shoot, a modern Edwardian Secret Garden themed wedding. I can’t wait to share the images soon!
From my first tweet in 2014, to a steadily increasing readership (and social media following) with around 1,200 unique page views a month on average. Plus a combined social media network of over 4,000 followers and ongoing promotion and networking means this is ever growing.
It’s crazy to think how many things have evolved over the past three years; now 209 blog posts later and I’ve been a finalist in the UK Blog Awards two years running, a finalist in the West Oxfordshire Business Awards, won mood board competitions, launched #UKWedLunch, won accolades such as #QueenOf Wedding Inspiration by The Royal Connection, the #SmartSocial award from Marketme, #BrightPig’s Business of the Week and I was also picked by Jacqueline Gold CBE to be a WOW Winner.
Personally in the last 3 years, I’ve also had another 2 babies, managed our building project and continued to study with UKAWEP. I was proud to be picked as Student of the month and the course has (and continues) to open my eyes up to a whole world of weddings beyond just wedding planning.
My focus has changed this year and I’m concentrating on making the blog work commercially as well as providing inspiration to brides and grooms in the Cotswolds. This feels like a fantastic evolution, which really excites me and fits in with my current family life, plus combines my experience within the scope of the wedding industry.
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!
Hanami Dream is a wonderful wedding service:
marketing consultant, blogger and venue stylist;
plus inspiration for couples to start wedded bliss!
To have and hold,
In the Oxfordshire Cotswolds?
Then you should be heading
To my blog about weddings!
#UKWedLunch – Wednesday 29th March 2017
As well as general wedding planning chat, today we look at where are you on your wedding planning journey #UKWedLunch
JUST ENGAGED: Set the budget, date & guest list so you can pick a venue and planner #UKWedLunch
11-12 MONTHS TO GO: Book photographer, florist and caterer, pick your attendants, get insurance & think about decor #UKWedLunch
8-10 MONTHS TO GO: Book officiant and band, register for gifts, book honeymoon, buy dress & pick stationery #UKWedLunch
6-7 MONTHS TO GO: Pick cake, buy bridesmaids dresses, send save the date, trial hair and make up & taste menu #UKWedLunch
3-5 MONTHS TO GO: Book transport, hire suits, pick accessories, buy rings, order favours and decide on decor #UKWedLunch
1-2 MONTHS TO GO: Send invitations, finalise menu, write vows, confirm numbers, create seating plan & complete schedule #UKWedLunch
If you’d like a complete wedding planning timeline then please email email@example.com for your copy #UKWedLunch
As well as general wedding planning chat, next week we will be looking at ‘modern alternatives to wedding traditions‘ #UKWedLunch
JOIN US EVERY WEDNESDAY! on Twitter between 1-2pm BST
“I loved every moment of working with Hanami Dream, [with] Nicola’s creativity mixed with her laid back approach to the styled shoot at the Old Swan and Minster Mill.
She made me feel as though ‘no’ was never an answer and threw passion and spark into every aspect of the shoot!
I am really proud of what we achieved in such a short space of time and look forward to seeing what the future brings for Hanami Dream.”
Hannah, The Old Swan & Minster Mill – January 2017
“Cogges began working with Hanami Dream earlier this year on its first wedding open day, promoting both Cogges as a venue and recommended local suppliers.
Nicola offered helpful and friendly advice, with invaluable support to help plan the day. She has a wonderful eye for those details that make a wedding day truly unique, and an ability to bring a little bit of magic into any bride’s big day.
It was a great pleasure to work with Nicola and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hanami Dream to anyone who wants practical help and inspiration along their wedding journey.”
Kim, Cogges Manor Farm – October 2016
Over the moon to be chosen as Student of the Month with the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planners.
The course has (and continues) to open my eyes up to a whole world of weddings beyond just wedding planning.
Thanks to my tutor’s support and invaluable guidance, along with the interaction and networking with fellow students (new and upcoming entrants to the industry bursting with fresh ideas) as well as an impressive alumni, tutors and advisory board full of experience and expertise.
We are lucky in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds to have some highly talented, local suppliers who specialise in offering unique, bespoke and professional wedding services.
Plus, right on my door step, is the stunning barn venue at Cogges Manor Farm which I’m delighted to be supporting at their Wedding Open Day on Sunday 16th October 11am-3pm.
Come along for a tour of the amazing barns and gardens – perfect for your wedding venue.
I will be offering a drop in wedding planning clinic for couples who would like practical help to turn their ideas into reality.
You’ll also be able to see all these lovely local wedding suppliers too:
At Abigail’s Kitchen we pride ourselves on providing a completely bespoke service. We understand that every couple has a dream of their perfect day and that no two wedding days are alike. We provide free help and advice at the planning stages and meet to work with each couple to help them get the most from their budget, to allow those dreams to come true.
With that in mind, there are no set menus; we create each menu and service style to meet with the client’s requirements. This allows us to do everything from picnics and afternoon teas to a formal four course wedding breakfast. We also offer canapes, finger buffets, hot and cold fork buffets, pig roast and BBQ’s, cheeseboards with homemade chutneys and pickles, wedding cakes of cheese, evening food sausage and bacon rolls, and our ever popular 12 hour slow cooked pulled pork and coleslaw baps.
We use local suppliers wherever possible, and vegetables, salads and herbs are often home grown. We provide all white china, stainless steel cutlery, glasses and any serving equipment required by your menu choices, from 3 layer tea stands to 6ft long cheeseboards. We pride ourselves on our highly trained and experienced front of house staff that make your guests feel looked after from the first welcome drink to the last crumb of wedding cake.
Please do get in touch to arrange a meeting with Abigail at a time convenient to you (7 days a week and evenings and weekends). Call 07771 616415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Box Cottage Photography
As a photographer for over 16 years, assignments have taken we worldwide. I enjoy working locally within West Oxfordshire as much as being commissioned to photograph weddings around the world. I believe the key factor in supplying services is customer satisfaction. Having taken traditional wedding images for a number of years I made the decision in 2015 to take on a new challenge. Now fully trained and licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority to fly commercially, I am proud to be one of very few people permitted to take aerial images of our beautiful area and capture stunning memories. Take a look at some of my wedding clips on YouTube.
Firkin Mobile Bars
Lark Rise Flowers
Lark Rise Flowers, are professionally qualified florists, based in the rolling countryside of North Oxfordshire. They provide flowers for weddings and events throughout Oxon, Bucks, Northants, and beyond.
Stock is sourced from the major flower markets, and if seasonally available from an expanding group of British growers. The Eco commitment continues with a policy of recycling waste packaging and surplus green material.
Sandra, the Proprietor, is happy to meet with you for personal consultations and site visits. She will work with your brief, budget, or theme, to create a unique day for you both.
The Lark Rise team have a wealth of experience, having provided many wedding flowers, and decorated most of the major wedding venues in the area. They take pride and care in their work, from the simplest buttonhole through to beautiful bridal bouquets and venue décor.
“Surrounded by nature – working with nature”
Lynn Tierney Ceremonies
As a wedding celebrant, I love spending time getting to know you as a couple, your story, your dreams, what makes you tick as a couple and then using this to create bespoke wedding ceremonies that are all about you – a ceremony that your guests will remember, a ceremony that you will never forget. Using a celebrant opens up so many choices of where and when to hold your ceremony and what to include in it. Truly, your choice, your voice, your ceremony.
Mabel & Rose
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.
@Mabel and Rose
Mag’s & Tim’s Ice Cream Trike
Mag & Tim serve Winstone’s delicious traditional ice cream to your guests for approx 2 hours at a time to suit you, in either waffle cones or tubs and then guests can help themselves to the “Extras” table with sprinkles, sauces, flakes, choc sticks etc.
They have been trading for about 3 years. Take a look on their Facebook page to see some of their lovely reviews.
Oakwood Events supplies stunning lighting for stylish couples. They 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. Oakwood Events pride themselves on top quality design, professional installation and amazing features; explore their Pinterest boards for inspiration and to see how their lighting adds wow factor to barn weddings. See your wedding in a different light!
The Oxfordshire Photo Booth Co.
The Oxfordshire Photobooth Company offer you the best DSLR photobooth. Our ‘open-air’ booth creates the perfect ice breaker and talking point, an easy way to get the whole family involved. The only limit to how many people can fit in to our booth is your imagination!
We offer a range of packages for a range of budgets and can tailor any of these to your requirements. Every booking receives a fully customised start screen and watermarked image with your names in your colour scheme! Our instant photo prints, social media sharing, scrap books, photo albums, backdrops and bunting give gives your special day a completely unique, bespoke touch. For more information, please get in contact via any of our social media links.
Paper Tree Design was created through a love of paper and a desire to produce beautiful and personal stationery and decorations. Thoughtfully designed, we focus on quality and attention to detail to make your stationery truly individual. With a background in Fashion and Textile Design, and 15 years experience in retail buying and product development Suzanne has a wealth of experience to draw on and is passionate about delivering design with little personal touches that reflect the clients loves and interests.
Living in rural Oxfordshire Suzanne cannot help but be inspired by the beauty of the natural world and the changing seasons, and can frequently be found in lanes and hedgerows with her camera and a sketchbook. Specialising in paper cutting, at Paper Tree Design we create your handcrafted wedding stationery to order. Choose to personalise a card from one of our ranges or commission a bespoke design. I am at my best working with your theme and ideas for a truly personal invitation and welcome you to come and have a chat and a cuppa in my Oxfordshire studio to discuss plans for your wedding.
The Pretty Cake Company
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.
Richard Young is a professional wedding magician who will amaze and amuse your guests throughout the quieter parts of your big day with his amazing close-up magic and mind reading. Magic is one of the few forms of entertainment you can book that will connect with all ages, nationalities and cultures at your wedding because everyone loves to be amazed and made to feel like a kid again. Richard’s magic will create lasting exciting memories of your wedding and create a fantastic atmosphere as he moves from group to group. Richard can perform during your drinks reception, wedding breakfast or evening reception, the choice is yours and Richard has different packages available for different size weddings and most importantly different size budgets.
Richard has been a full time professional magician for 10 years and lives in Oxfordshire, he is a full member of The Magic Circle and he performs at over 60 weddings a year so you can be assured of a top notch product that will go down an absolute storm at your wedding. You will soon see him on the brand new ITV1 prime time TV show ‘The Next Great Magician (7pm November 6th 2016 on ITV1) and he is also the headliner magician on the touring theatre show Champions of Magic. Richard is recommended by all the top wedding venues in Oxfordshire including Blenheim Palace, Le Manoir, Eynsham Hall and Caswell House.
I am Rosie of Rosie Red Corsetry & Couture, creating luxury bridal wear for all body types. My garments are made with the utmost of love, bespoke for you in Oxfordshire, England. Whether you’re plus size or petite, I promise you a fabulous experience from start to finish.
My growing celebrity following includes Helena Bonham Carter and Billie Piper.
I am such a romantic and a fan of love, creating your bridal gown is so much more than just a job to me. I would love you to be a Rosie Red Bride.
Every body deserves to feel beautiful ♥
Occasion Hair and Make up Artist specialising in Bridal and Occasion Hair and Make up. Twists offer a professional and creative service throughout Oxfordshire and the Cotswold villages, in the comfort of your own home or venue.
We understand that your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Therefore we endeavour to ensure that your wedding hair and make up is one to be admired and remembered.
Wates & Co Delicatessen
Look forward to seeing you on the 16th!
I’m delighted to be supporting Cogges Manor Farm with their Wedding Open Day on Sunday 16th October 11am-3pm in Witney, Oxfordshire.
See more information at http://www.cogges.org.uk/event/cogges-wedding-open-day
Hanami Dream will also be offering a drop in wedding planning clinic on the day.
Watch out for more details coming soon.
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#WeddingWednesday #weddingfair #openday #barnwedding
“(What) an amazing wedding! I was in awe of your planning, organisation and attention to detail. In fact all of us involved (were).
It was the slickest wedding I’ve ever attended…. And been to a few! It was also one of the most easy, beautiful and happy weddings.
You’re amazing at what you do and always with such heart felt passion and caring.”
Geraldine, Oxford Frocks – July 2016
Farrow Photography & Hanami Dream
“Having worked with Nicola on a variety of projects as a photographer, on each occasion she has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with and a lot of fun.
Her energy and enthusiasm for creating the perfect environment, is matched by her ability to be extremely well organised and flexible. Once she has an idea she will research it in detail, create mood boards for inspiration, and then meticulously plans how everything is to unfold.
Her careful attention to detail has meant that nothing was missed on our photography shoots. She always thought of everything. Her creative abilities shone through, from making tutus and fairy doors to decorating the location with props that we had bought, borrowed or made.
She is highly motivated and has a natural ability to organise others, develop, manage and evolve strong relationships. She is an indispensable asset to the organisation of any event.
I only wish that she had planned my wedding!”
Sandra, Farrow Photography – October 2015