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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


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.


The blog has featured lots of posts on different elements of wedding (and event) planning such as:

Photography by Farrow Photography


I also shared some wedding planning tools to help couples planning their weddings:

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:

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:

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):

Photography by Farrow Photography

local venue reviews

I loved visiting local wedding venues are reviewing their offering – I felt just like the Wedding Inspector:

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

Photography by Farrow Photography


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.

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:

Photography by Farrow Photography

real wedding inspiration

The blog has been at its best when sharing submitted real wedding inspiration:

Photography by Farrow Photography


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:

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:

Photography by Farrow Photography

covid content

Also during lockdown, the blog showed alternative ways to still have a wedding:

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:

Photography by Farrow Photography


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 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.