Select Page

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:

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.

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.

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.

Photography by Farrow Photography


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.

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.

Photography by Farrow Photography


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.