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Ten more years of experience and accolades

Ten more years of experience and accolades

ten more years of experience and accolades

This year marks 10 years since Hanami Dream was founded. Each month in the build up to the 10th birthday of Hanami Dream in July 2024, I’m taking a look at how the business has changed and different aspects that have shaped the business to where it is today.

Last month, I looked at some of the blog posts I’ve written over the last ten years to share content, build an audience and demonstrate experience and expertise.

This month I’m looking back on some awards, training and achievements that I’ve added over the last ten years.

Photography by Farrow Photography

celebrating achievements

We often don’t get to look at what we’ve done but it’s always great to reflect and look back on achievements.

Business gurus, psychologists and life coaches all agree on the importance of marking and celebrating achievements whether they’re academic, professional or personal milestones. Take a look at an article I wrote on this topic before.

From early on in our lives, striving for achievement is instilled in us. Whether this was with sticker charts where small steps add up to a reward after lots of hard work. Or dancing or music exams that test learned knowledge and give certificates so you can move up to the next level. Or watching athletes compete to win gold medals at the Olympics.

There are lots of ways to commemorate achievements whether they’re personal milestones, momentous occasions, family events, team building or award ceremonies.

Photography by Farrow Photography

building on expertise

I’ve worked in marketing for over 20 years’ experience in a number of industries including publishing, motorcycle apparel, chartered accountants and businesses connected to the world of weddings.

During my career I’ve obtained my CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing and worked in various marketing roles for 13 years before starting my own business, Hanami Dream. These have included planning and managing corporate events and hospitality, plus working for over 6 years for an international clothing brand where I planned and managed photo shoots in some fabulous locations around the world.

Along the way, I’ve also gained valuable experience in project management, website development, product development, communications, operations, analysis and reporting.

Photography by Farrow Photography

training

Hanami Dream was founded in 2014, which combines my marketing skills and photo shoot experience along with my passion for language and knowledge of the local market.

During the start of my new business, I gained new qualifications with the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planners and became a Certified Wedding and Event Planner.

The course opened up my eyes to the whole wedding industry beyond just planning. My tutor gave me invaluable support and guidance, as well as some brilliant advice about playing to my strengths, entering competitions, having a niche and fitting the business around my life. I was delighted to be picked as Student of the Month in 2016.

Photography by Farrow Photography

competitions

I started taking part in (and winning) mood board competitions and colour trend challenges. I enjoyed collating inspiration on Pinterest and showcasing my visions for photoshoots and wedding planning.

I’ve been chosen as #QueenOf Wedding Inspiration by The Royal Connection, received the #SmartSocial award from Marketme, won #BrightPig’s Business of the Week and I am also a WOW Winner, picked by Jacqueline Gold CBE and CEO of Ann Summers. As well as winning Theo Paphitis’s #SBS (Small Business Sunday).

Hanami Dream was shortlisted in the West Oxfordshire Business Awards 2020.

Photography by Farrow Photography

expertise

I launched #UKWedLunch in 2016, as well as being a guest host on #BrideHour and I was the wedding judge at the UK Blog Awards 2019 (more about the Blog Awards in the next instalment of my ten year celebrations).

I was also pleased to see entries for a #WonderfulWeddingWares Instagram challenge that I ran.

Photography by Farrow Photography

published work

I have had my styled shoots published in print and featured in Your Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wedding magazine and Your Glos & Wilts Wedding magazine. Plus, an article I wrote on wedding styling trends was published in Your Berks, Buck & Oxon Wedding magazine.

I was proud to have one of my wedding marketing advice articles published on Bride magazine to help wedding suppliers to start and maintain a good company blog.

And Hanami Dream featured in the local press covering the role of judge in the UK Blog Awards 2019.

Photography by Farrow Photography

So if you’re celebrating your achievements at the moment (whether this is a big or small occasion or just giving yourself a little treat) make sure you take the time to give yourself some recognition and a little pat on your back.

All photography in the post are by Farrow Photography from our Wind in the Willows photoshoot. Look out for more images from other shoots in next month’s post following the build up to the tenth birthday.

Ten years of blogging

Ten years of blogging

ten years of blogging

This year marks 10 years since Hanami Dream was founded. Each month in the build up to the 10th birthday of Hanami Dream in July 2024, I’m taking a look at how the business has changed and different aspects that have shaped the business to where it is today.

In February, I looked at some of the photoshoots that I had the pleasure of organising over the last ten years as Hanami Dream. I organised lots in my previous corporate career for an international motorcycle apparel company that took me all round the world. But there was a huge sense of achievement to pull together something that was completely all of my own doing.

first website

Once the first shoot was under our belts, we quickly pulled together a second (images of which feature in this post) and I wanted a place to showcase the content that we had created.

I was encouraged to play to my strengths and build my own website. A home for all our wonderful imagery. Thanks to my experience in my previous corporate world, I had the capabilities to design and write my own website. Alongside the wonderful support, guidance and encouragement of my former boss and mentor at Wycoria, in his new capacity as my webmaster.

Photography by Farrow Photography

Hanami Dream is born

But building a website is only half of the story. This was bigger than just a blog. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. A fresh start. Away from the corporate world. A time to be my own boss and set my own objectives. Something that would fit around my expanding family life and commitments.

I had always dreamt of being a wedding and events planner (and had dabbled in the world of corporate events in my career previously) and helping people celebrate the milestones in their life – the moments that really matter. (Look out for the wedding planning part of my career in next month’s post about how Hanami Dream has evolved over the years!)

business plan

So like I recommend to all my clients, I wrote a business plan – where I was, where I wanted to be and how I planned to get there. I wrote my core values down and started to ponder company names. I think I spent longer conjuring up my branding and company name than I did for any of my children’s names!

Hanami (pronounced ha-na-mee) Dream, my company name came about quite simply because of my love of cherry blossom. I love seeing the blossom buds appearing on branches, the trees laden with beautiful flowers and then the petals floating in the breeze like confetti at a wedding.

Photography by Farrow Photography

blogging

At the beginning, the blog posts were a way to share content, build an audience and demonstrate experience and expertise.

During the first year the blog focused on weddings, special occasions, and children’s parties. In the following year, I looked at different types of momentous life events, such as proposals, baby showers, graduations, anniversaries and birthdays, as well as weddings. By 2016, the blog looked at different elements of an event, specifically weddings.

Until my main focus was to provide inspiration to brides and grooms in the Cotswolds. In particular it concentrated on giving wedding tips, tools, trends, traditions, and local venue reviews.

tips

The blog has featured lots of posts on different elements of wedding (and event) planning such as:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-tips-for-social-media-at-your-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-tips-on-getting-your-wedding-photographs-picture-perfect/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/keep-it-local-for-an-eco-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/changes-in-marriage-law-for-outdoor-weddings/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/dreaming-of-a-white-christmas-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/dealing-with-difficult-wedding-guests/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/keeping-your-wedding-guests-well-watered/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/alternative-wedding-bouquet-ideas/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/catering-for-special-dietary-requirements/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/youre-cordially-inviteda-guide-to-wedding-stationery-and-how-to-invite-your-guests/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/excuse-me-is-this-seat-taken-a-guide-to-how-and-where-to-seat-your-wedding-guests/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-day-survival-kit/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/roses-are-red-violets-are-blue/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/lavenders-blue-dilly-dilly-but-when-will-it-be-in-season/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-ten-tips-for-a-minimalist-wedding-with-the-wow-factor/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/how-to-keep-your-wedding-guests-happy/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/to-absent-friends/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/all-change/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/thank-you-gifts-at-weddings/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/7-rainbow-inspired-tips-for-organising-a-special-occasion/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/10-steps-for-how-to-organise-a-great-tea-party/

Photography by Farrow Photography

tools

I also shared some wedding planning tools to help couples planning their weddings:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-planning-timeline/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-budget/

holy trinity of wedding planning

I was proud of my Holy Trinity of wedding planning series which honed in on the most important questions to ask at the very beginning of planning any event – who, where and how much. And they are all so intertwined in every decision you make:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/so-whens-the-big-day/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/the-holy-trinity-of-wedding-planning-part-1-who/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/the-holy-trinity-of-wedding-planning-part-2-where/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/the-holy-trinity-of-wedding-planning-part-3-how-much/

Photography by Farrow Photography

compilation lists

As my knowledge of the local wedding market grew, I started to include lists of local suppliers that I recommended in different categories. These types of posts still remain some of my most viewed posts:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-20-local-wedding-venues/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-local-wedding-transport-suppliers-in-the-cotswolds-get-me-to-the-church-on-time/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-local-catering-vans-for-weddings-in-the-cotswolds/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/alternative-wedding-guest-book-ideas/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-local-wedding-favour-suppliers-in-the-cotswolds/

guest posts

Along with organising styled shoots, my blog became more well known locally and it covered 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):
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/5-essential-tips-for-booking-your-wedding-band/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/what-if-do-you-really-need-wedding-insurance/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/bridesmaids-all-in-a-row/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/to-love-and-to-cherish/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/first-impressions-count/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/a-complete-blank-canvas-our-guide-to-tipi-weddings/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/seasonal-wedding-flowers-a-beginners-guide/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/have-your-wedding-cake-and-eat-it/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/elope-to-the-big-apple/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/2018-wedding-fashion-report-from-lyst/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/food-food-glorious-food-a-guide-to-catering-a-wedding-reception/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/why-you-should-take-out-wedding-insurance/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/keep-calm-and-carry-on-wedding-planning/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/5-reasons-tiny-weddings-rock/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/children-at-weddings/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/finding-the-perfect-wedding-dress/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-tips-for-a-gin-filled-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/a-bridesmade-to-measure-wedding-dress/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/a-guide-to-eco-friendly-wedding-rings/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/unique-ways-to-capture-wedding-day-memories/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/get-the-bunting-out/

Photography by Farrow Photography

local venue reviews

I loved visiting local wedding venues are reviewing their offering – I felt just like the Wedding Inspector:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/venue-review-the-old-swan-minster-mill/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/venue-review-cogges-manor-farm/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-oxleaze-barn/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-eynsham-hall/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-lapstone-barn/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-ashmolean-museum/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-merriscourt/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-millets-farm/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-bodleian-library/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-caswell-house/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-venue-review-the-upton-firehouse/

And it was always great to sing about how brilliant our local area is:

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/10-reasons-guests-will-love-your-cotswold-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/local-marriage-requirements-in-oxfordshire-2018/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/local-licensed-wedding-venues-oxfordshire-cotswolds/

Photography by Farrow Photography

trends

The posts I’ve enjoyed writing the most are the ones when I’ve delved in to trends and predict areas which may be popular in the future – looking at how fashion, films, television programmes, interior design, celebrity weddings and even current affairs influence these trends.
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/royal-wedding-fever/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/royal-wedding-part-two/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/1924-vs-2024/

In particular, I love following the colour trends from Pantone and these were the posts that I kept up with even when I took a break from the business during the pandemic. They are relevant in any industry, not just the world of weddings and that’s why they are still important to me now. Here are the current colour trends for Spring 2024, Autumn 2024 and the Colour of the Year from Pantone:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/pantone-announce-the-color-of-the-year-2024/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-spring-2024-colours-from-pantone/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/top-autumn-2024-colours-from-pantone/

Photography by Farrow Photography

real wedding inspiration

The blog has been at its best when sharing submitted real wedding inspiration:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-wedding-under-new-rules-in-oxfordshire/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-african-english-fusion-garden-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-english-country-garden-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-bright-contemporary-museum-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-coral-and-gold-festival-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-french-foodies-fete-barn-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-intimate-castle-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-vintage-literary-afternoon-tea-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-rustic-pink-rose-barn-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-day-advice-from-real-brides-and-grooms/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/real-life-romantic-proposal-stories/

Photography by Farrow Photography

traditions

Looking at the past can always offer inspiration and we can adapt and evolve traditions to suit our individual needs. The origins of some wedding traditions are bonkers and always fascinating to read about:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-time-capsule/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-traditions-dont-forget-the-silver-sixpence-in-your-shoe/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/honeymooning-over-the-summer/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/happy-wedding-anniversary/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/1910s-wedding-versus-2010s-wedding/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-traditions-what-colour-to-marry-in/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/language-of-flowers/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/have-your-wedding-cake-and-eat-it/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/modern-alternatives-to-wedding-traditions/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/changes-in-marriage-law-for-outdoor-weddings/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/wedding-traditions-toasting-the-happy-couple/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/always-the-bridesmaid-and-never-the-bride/

real wedding inspiration weddings through the decades

My very favourite type of blog post to write is when I get to research the differences and similarities from the past and compare these with the present. I loved my weddings through the decades series that I wrote during lockdown and was grateful for those willing to contribute their own real life stories to the blog:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/weddings-through-the-decades-1970s/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/weddings-through-the-decades-1980s/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/weddings-through-the-decades-1990s/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/weddings-through-the-decades-2000s/

Photography by Farrow Photography

covid content

Also during lockdown, the blog showed alternative ways to still have a wedding:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/celebrate-your-original-wedding-date/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/5-reasons-tiny-weddings-rock/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/new-rules-for-weddings-during-a-pandemic/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/alternatives-to-walking-down-the-aisle-with-your-father/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/socially-distanced-hen-party-ideas/

marketing advice

As my focus changed and I branched out to offer my marketing support for wedding suppliers, I also included articles of marketing advice:
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/marketing-advice-wedding-planning-stats/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/marketing-advice-wedding-planning-stats/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/marketing-advice-how-to-start-a-company-blog/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/old-red/
https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/my-nans-old-olympia-typewriter/

Photography by Farrow Photography

affiliation

During my blogging journey, I developed commercially and joined a couple of affiliate programmes to open up further avenues for the blog. The introduction of the advertising space on www.hanamidream.co.uk promoted products suitable for the blog.

counting content creations

The blog has been the overarching thread throughout the life of the business – some of the time generating an income, sometimes bringing together contacts which led to business relationships, and always charting my news and following my journey.

The content on the blog helped to raise my profile and gave me the confidence to enter competitions and awards, plus submit and get articles in publications.

So here we are – 371 blog posts later.

Photography by Farrow Photography

All photography in the post are by Farrow Photography from our Wizard of Oz photoshoot. Look out for more images from other shoots in next month’s post following the build up to the tenth birthday.

Celebrating 10 years of Hanami Dream

Celebrating 10 years of Hanami Dream

where it all started

This year marks 10 years since Hanami Dream was founded and it has evolved quite a bit since those first few tentative steps in to working for myself.

For starters, the logo looked a bit busier and more floral back then, plus the focus of Hanami Dream started off looking at all of life’s momentous milestones such as weddings, special occasions, children’s parties and baby showers.

But the blog has been the overarching thread throughout the life of the business – some of the time generating an income, sometimes bringing together contacts which led to business relationships, and always charting my news and following my journey.

Hanami Dream - Weddings & Special Events - UK wedding blog, Oxfordshire

tenth anniversary

Each month in the build up to the 10th birthday of Hanami Dream in July 2024, I’ll take a look at how the business has changed and how different aspects have led to where the business is today.

This month, I’m looking at some of the photo shoots I’ve organised as Hanami Dream and you’ll see more photos from each of these over the next few months.

After all, it was a photo shoot that started things for Hanami Dream in early 2014. The shoots combined my experience of organising lifestyle shoots and my passion for weddings. But the first shoot wasn’t actually a wedding shoot – they came a bit later down the line.

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. A photographer friend of mine asked if I would organise a styled photo shoot with her to provide some photos for her portfolio. She knew that I’d organised lots of shoots in my previous corporate world. One slight complication was that I was 6 months pregnant at the time with my second child – but I always like a tight deadline!

Photography by Farrow Photography

alice in wonderland

For the first shoot, we had a very clear vision of our theme and sourced and made most of the props ourselves and used our own children as the models.

Hanami Dream and Farrow Photography joined forces to bring to life some inspirational themes for special occasions. Sandra (from Farrow Photography) wanted to show something different for baby and toddler photo shoots and I showcased how you can use a theme to enhance your milestone event, whatever the age of the guest.

Here are the photos for our cute Alice in Wonderland tea party for children to mark Alice Day (4th July) in 2014:

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/how-we-organised-our-alice-in-wonderland-tea-party/

Photograph by Farrow Photography

wizard of oz

By the second shoot, we started to use other suppliers and show case their products too. We collaborated again in August 2014 when we went over the rainbow to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the Wizard of Oz film.

We followed the yellow brick road with another themed children’s party, showcasing some amazing products from local suppliers – after all there’s no place like home.

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/how-we-went-somewhere-over-the-rainbow-with-our-wizard-of-oz-party/

Photography by Farrow Photography

wind in the willows

Following the success of our previous themed photo shoots, we collaborated once again to produce an amazing bridal styled shoot based around another well-known story, The Wind in the Willows. By this third shoot in 2016, we expanded things completely using bride and groom models and having a full lifestyle wedding shoot on location at Minster Mill, a nearby wedding venue.

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-autumnal-marsala-gold-wind-in-the-willows-wedding/

Photography by Farrow Photography

secret garden

For my fourth shoot, I was delighted to work with a new photography partner on a styled bridal shoot in 2017. It was wonderful to work alongside Steve from Squib Photography. We collaborated to produce an amazing bridal styled shoot based around The Secret Garden. It was also an honour to be able to showcase some amazing products from some fantastic local suppliers and also showcase local Witney venue, Cogges Manor Farm.

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-modern-edwardian-secret-garden-wedding/

Photography by Farrow Photography

festival

To coincide with a wedding open day that I coordinated at Cogges Manor Farm in 2017, the Barn was dressed as if it were a real wedding. This was not a traditional wedding fair – it was a relaxed and informal open day showcasing a truly personal wedding option – not a cookie cutter approach at all. Images from the day were fantastically captured by Cat Stephens Photography.

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-festival-wedding/

Photography by Farrow Photography

journey to the centre of the earth

I was over the moon to be approached by a beautiful local venue in 2017 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 great to work alongside Squib Photography again. 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.

https://www.hanamidream.co.uk/inspiration-journey-to-the-centre-of-the-earth-wedding/

Photography by Farrow Photography

networking

The other brilliant thing about the photo shoots was they provided great networking opportunities and getting to work together with other suppliers. For me, they also helped lead to the next steps in the journey of Hanami Dream.

Firstly they gave me things to share on my blog and helped to raise my profile and gave me the confidence to enter competitions and awards, plus submit and get articles in publications.

Secondly, they were a great way for suppliers to see me working first hand. This developed opportunities to work more closely with some suppliers and provide them with marketing support in their own businesses.

published articles

Hanami Dream styled shoots have been published in a number of places in print and online including: Bride Magazine, Your Glos & Wilts Wedding magazine, Your Berks, Buck and Oxon Wedding magazine, and SoGlos Weddings.

My shoots brought together wonderful local suppliers. Together we showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry and all benefitted from the lifestyle imagery and promotion.

Photography by Farrow Photography

All photography in the post are by Farrow Photography. Look out for more images from other shoots in next month’s post following the build up to the tenth birthday.

Join me for my next Cotswold wedding styled photo shoot

Join me for my next Cotswold wedding styled photo shoot

Following the success of the recent Secret Garden and Journey to the Centre of the Earth bridal styled shoots, Hanami Dream are proud to announce their next styled shoot for spring time this year.

The shoot is planned for this spring in the Oxfordshire countryside of the Cotswolds and I’m excited to offer the opportunity for local suppliers to join with me. So let me know if you’d like to provide products to bring my creative ideas to life in a wonderful new inspirational shoot.

 

The beauty of styled shoots (versus a real life wedding) is that this is your opportunity to be a little more extravagant and really show off what you’ve always wanted to do. You can indulge your fantasies. Maybe you’ve got a new product that couples won’t have seen yet or you want to create something really unusual that you wouldn’t normally do.

Styled shoots are a collaboration of like minded people that can create great things together but perhaps don’t have the budgets to produce this kind of work if they all worked independently.

Everyone works pro bono, so it is just your products that you’d need to provide to be involved. Nicola from Hanami Dream organises and styles the shoots. And the rewards are amazing with great imagery of your products in an amazing lifestyle surrounding, plus inclusion in all my promotion of the shoot and a feature on Hanami Dream’s blog, which is a UK Blog Awards winner in 2018 and wedding judge of the UK Blog Awards 2019. So there’d be plenty of exposure of your beautiful products.

Hanami Dream styled shoots have been published in Bride Magazine; Your Glos & Wilts Wedding magazine; Your Berks, Buck and Oxon Wedding magazine; SoGlos Weddings.

My shoots bring together wonderful local suppliers. Together we showcase the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry and all benefit from the lifestyle imagery and promotion.

If you’re local and are interested in showcasing your products in my next shoot then please email Nicola from Hanami Dream and outline what your product is and how you think it would fit in and enhance the theme. I’ve put together a mood board I can share if you want to get an idea of the kind of things that I’m after.

I am looking for some of the following (although this list isn’t exhaustive – if you can offer something I’ve not thought of I’d love to hear from you too): 

  • Accessories (jewellery, bridal hat, shoes)
  • Bridalwear (separates with one part black – maybe dip dyed)
  • Cake (dark/black icing with fresh flowers)
  • Celebrant (and clothing)
  • Décor (dark, reflective and metallic)
  • Favours
  • Florist (wild flowers, dried flowers and grasses)
  • Hair & Make Up
  • Lighting (neon)
  • Suit (and dark floral tie)
  • Stationery (mirrors and bright florals)
  • Tableware (unusual crockery, cutlery, coloured glassware)

I’ll only be including one supplier from each category (ie only one florist will be used for the whole shoot) to provide clarity and clear communication.

You can see from my previous shoots that I really like close up detail shots which show off everyone’s products very nicely – it is all about the little details that bring any event to life.

I look forward to sharing more news as plans unfold for this collaboration.

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Another styled shoot featured in a wedding magazine

Another styled shoot featured in a wedding magazine

Feeling so proud to have another of my wedding shoots in print! Check out page 65 of the latest edition (December/January) of Your Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wedding magazine to see my Secret Garden styled wedding shoot featured.

And also page 78 for an article I wrote on 2019 wedding styling trends which also includes a shot from the same Secret Garden shoot (and a few others too).

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.

Images on this shoot were taken by Squib Photography from Hanami Dream’s secret garden wedding styled shoot at Cogges Manor Farm. See all the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot.

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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

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

Vintage Gold China logo

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.

Photography by Squib Photographytwitter-1@theblankethallfacebook logo@witneyblankethallinstagram logo@theblankethall


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: 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/