WALKING KILLS!

MIDNIGHT WALK

This time last week I could hardly move! Literally every part of my body was in utter agony and believe it or not it’s taken this long for the pain to ease off. 

I can honestly say that the 13 mile walk broke me…. emotionally and physically it chewed me up and threw me in the hurt locker! 

It’s no secret that I’m not in the best shape of my life. I’m 36 years old and overweight. I don’t particularly like exercise and will make excuse after excuse not to do it because I’m embarrassed of the way I look. However just a couple of weeks before the Midnight Walk I thought it was a wise move to sign up to take part in the event and commit to doing the 13 miles. I wanted to do something good in Emma’s memory and I wanted to help raise money for St Luke’s Hospice so that they can continue to help families when they’re in the darkest of places. I joined the gym and I spent three weeks building up my strength a little and shifting a bit of extra weight…. it’s a shame I didn’t start a couple of months ago, the walk would definitely have been easier if I’d managed to shed more than a stone! 

EMMA
GYM FACE
MEDAL
FOR EMMA
START

Emma passed away three years ago on the afternoon of Sunday July 24th 2016. She had spent a week in St Lukes Hospice during the worst part of her illness getting her medication under control. It was a really tough week but everyone at the Hospice really did put the effort in to make it as easy as possible, even when she was being stubborn….she didn’t want to be there and felt nothing of making it known!

The month of July has definitely not been an easy one to get through since losing Em. As a family we decided to try to start doing a few things to replace the sadness with positive feelings. Remembering good stuff instead of letting July be filled with a big emotional black hole is proving to be tricky but at least we can say we’re trying. 

My sister loved to walk. In fact she walked everywhere.  Even when she was ill she’d refuse to let me give her a lift anywhere. She’d tell me, “whilst I can walk I bloody well will”…. and she did! I believe it was an escape for her, a chance to feel like she was still in control of something and she did it for as long as her precious body allowed her to! 

WALKERS

During the 13 miler I thought about so many of our memories together, good and bad. Several times I had to take a deep breathe and compose myself before I burst in to tears. Those last couple of miles were the worst and several times I seriously doubted that I would complete the route. Our friend Kirsty continuously encouraged us throughout the walk, at one point she happened to say how proud she believed Em would be of us both and at that very moment I looked down to see a white feather at my feet!  

So, although the pace slowed down dramatically and every single step hurt my body from top to bottom I continued to just put one foot slowly in front of the other. That may sound quite dramatic to some, you may even think I’m over exaggerating but for me this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever accomplished… (surprisingly I also did it with a hangover…. the night before was my husband’s Military Summer Ball, if you know, you know).                                

When I was in pain, all I could think about was that she’d been through so much worse and never complained… what was a few more miles?!  I was also totally inspired by my beautiful and strong-willed 14 year old niece Emily, Emma’s daughter. She walked beside me the entire way and when she noticed I was struggling she’d keep repeating, “come on Auntie Danni, we can do this”… and she was right! We somehow managed to finish the walk, and in not too bad a time at 4 hours and 18 minutes. 

Crossing that finish line felt like such an achievement, something to be really proud of and definitely one of those moments that I truly wish my sister had been there to see… or walk with us. 

When I eventually got into bed that morning I think I cried a thousand tears. I think it was a build up of so many emotions…pain, tiredness, grief and a sense of achievement that I’d actually done it and in doing so managed to raise nearly £700!! 

FINISH LINE

So, a massive, massive thank you to everyone who supported the three of us. Your donations really will make a difference to a person or family in need. Be proud of yourselves for helping because I am! 

For those of you who said they would still like to donate click HERE

So much love and gratitude to you all. Dx

walkers

HOTEL WEDDINGS

With the recent news of this much loved historic hotel being sold I thought I’d share with you a mash up of styled shoots that I’ve been a part of there…. and show you that a hotel wedding doesn’t have to always look the same.

Even if a hotel has a certain look or character, you can still totally put your own unique spin on things.

By adding or removing pieces of furniture or props to a specific room you can free up space, let more light in or even hide areas that you don’t necessarily want to be seen.

By incorporating one of the colours from the venues decor in to your colour scheme you can compliment rather than clash with your surroundings.

Just take a look at these three styled shoots and how different each one is from the other.

Art Deco Styled Shoot

A LITTLE ART DECO

I styled this 1920’s inspired shoot way back in 2018. Agata from UpArt Photography came up with the concept and asked me to come on board with styling and bridalwear. The influence of this era really suited the hotel. We didn’t want to go over the top with a “theme”, so just added little touches here and there with a nod to the style of the 20’s. You can see more images of this fab shoot and read all about it over on the Duke’s blog here.

Art Deco Styled Shoot Groom
Art Deco Styled Shoot Flowers
Art Deco Styled Shoot Stationery
Art Deco Styled Shoot Bride
Art Deco Styled Shoot Cake
Art Deco Styled Shoot Couple

Venue The Duke of Cornwall Hotel  Photographer UpArt Photography Flowers The Secret Garden Flowers 

Suit & Shoes The Vintage Suit Hire Dress Rock The Frock Bridal Cake Cut Me Off A Slice

Stationery Knots and Kisses Props: The Prop Factory Hair Stylist Wags Hair MUA Gem Ryder MUA

Bride Philippa Bowden & Groom Mark Bowden

Style & Sophistication

STYLE & SOPHISTICATION

The lovely Meg from Mimosa Photography came up with this shoots concept. She wanted to showcase something traditional to compliment the hotel but with “an added touch of opulence”.

Meg asked us to provide the dresses for this shoot.

There’s such a diverse range amongst our concession of Rock the Frock Bridal, Meg knew we’d have something perfect to fit with her theme.

She chose to use two dresses to give two very different looks. Something with the wow factor for the ceremony and then something a little more simple yet elegant for the evening look.

You can check out lots more of this shoots images here.

Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication
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Style & Sophistication

Photography Mimosa Photography Dress Rock The Frock Bridal Necklace: Lavish Lockets

Hairpiece The Lucky Sixpence Hair stylist No4 Hair Make-up Chloe Jane MUA

Florist The Secret Garden flowers Bride model Emily Ball Groom Model Stuart Mcintosh

A Vintage Tea Party

A BIT OF VINTAGE TEA PARTY INSPO

This was a little different from previous shoots at the Duke that we’re taken part in! Showcasing a more fun and colourful side to the hotel the team pulled together a mix up of vintage tea party and added a little Alice in Wonderland twist. We were asked to provide the lovely Blue Tweed Suit from our concession of The Vintage Suit Hire Co and a pretty Tea Length Wedding dress from our Rock the Frock Bridal collection. The ceremony shots took place way up in the Tower, outdoor images over the road from the hotel amongst the trees and then a pretty little afternoon tea set up in the dining room.

You’ll find way more pics and you can check out who was involved over on the blog post here.

A Vintage Tea Party
A Vintage Tea Party
A Vintage Tea Party
A Vintage Tea Party

“It is a time of change at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel as after 18 years of ownership Jonathan Morcom and Walter Combstock have handed over the keys to Bespoke Hotels. Bespoke Hotels operate over 200 properties world wide, including over 65 properties in the UK currently, with the Duke being the first in Plymouth.”

Oh go on then, I’ll tell you a little bit of interesting info about the hotel that I just learned over on wikipedia…

The hotel was built in a Victorian Gothic style. It was opened in 1865 to cater for the increasing number of travellers who were coming to the region by rail and sea.

The hotel survived the World War II Plymouth Blitz without any damage, and was the venue for regular functions throughout the war. In the 1970s and early 1980s it was threatened with closure but, helped by poet laureate John Betjeman's praise for its architecture and was saved by a major refurbishment.

So, I think if it can survive the Blitz it can survive being sold to a hotel chain…. we wish everyone at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel the best and look forward to seeing it thrive! 


A VICTORIAN BATHING HUT AND A GOTHIC BRIDE

I've spent so long in the darkness, I'd almost forgotten how beautiful the moonlight is” Emily The Corpse Bride

Gothic Bride Outside

Styled wedding shoots over the last few years have become more and more popular, which is wonderful as they’re a great way for us creative suppliers to showcase our talents and appeal to a  much wider audience. 

As well as organising my own shoots, I’m often asked by others to either provide products that I stock in the shop or come on board to lead the styling side of things. Admittedly these are the ones I enjoy the most because I love to help bring a concept to life! 

Gothic Bride

Take this shoot for example…

MUA Gemma Ryder and Hairstylist April Wagner are no stranger to a styled shoot. They’re extremely talented ladies and both have great reputations for their “pretty bridal”, however they wanted to showcase another side to their work and create a shoot that would let you see just how versatile they can be.

Gothic Bride
Gothic Bride Hair

Now, as you know I’m always up for doing something a little edgy so this was right up my street. It’s fun to get asked to style something that isn’t necessarily traditional bridal, or expected of certain suppliers. So, I was really excited to be asked to get involved with this small team and head to the grounds of Pentillie Castle in Cornwall to create a gothic inspired bridal shoot. 

Gothic Cake

Located a little distance from the castle you’ll discover The Victorian Bathing Hut which is set on the edge of the River Tamar. On shoot day the venue and river was covered with a really eerie mist. The surrounding wooded areas coupled with the river made the perfect setting for this darker styled bridal shoot.

The Bathing Hut

With both the stationery and the styling for this shoot I wanted to create something that although dark could still feel romantic. It was about trying to show how you can take inspiration from the Gothic realms and it still be as beautifully bridal as something that is light, bright and airy. 

Gothic Styling
Gothic Skull
Gothic Stationery
Typewriter

The venue itself needed very little styling, it’s history and decor lent itself to the theme brilliantly. We loaned a couple of pieces from well know Exeter based Prop Factory, had a cake made by Edible Essence and I raided my ever growing props cupboard for the smaller styling details. 

Gothic Wedding
Gothic Styled Shoot
Gothic Invite

Over the last couple of years bridal separates are growing in popularity. The model wore a long sleeved black lace top with a floor length black and red layered tulle skirt which were actually from our in house collection of Atypical Bridalwear.

Gothic Bride

Here’s what the team had to say about the shoot…..

“It was so exciting to create a really strong makeup look for this styled shoot. It gave me the opportunity to stretch myself creatively and that is every makeup artist’s dream. Not all brides are the same but a lot do prefer a natural, romantic makeup look, so to work on something darker and edgier was fun. This look of course can be paired back to a simple dark, smokey eye and nude lip which may appeal to many brides looking for a more dramatic look for their BIG day.” Gemma Ryder - MUA

Gothic Bride In Veil

“From the very first moment Gem Ryder MUA invited me to be a part of this project, I knew it was going to be special. Her vision and this collaboration was a great opportunity to showcase everyone’s unique skills, and show our audience a different take on a bridal editorial. Weddings these days are so versatile and creative, there’s a lot more room for new influences and inspiration. I loved how instead of bright, light and airy, we got to present a darker, raw and moody look for those brides who are not afraid to make a little statement, go against the current and be who they really want to be on one of the most important days of their lives. I hope this shoot will inspire future brides to play with styles and themes and just have fun creating their own vision for their wedding day.” Photography – UpArt Photography

The Bathing Hut

“What a fantastic look! I absolutely loved being part of this dramatic wedding styled shoot. It’s always an amazing feeling to reach out from the normal classic bridal looks and create something spectacular. As a group I think we smashed it! I was inspired by the ‘Game of Thrones’ look, soft curls and plaits… Then with my own imagination, a few tweaks and changes I created this more dramatic, Gothic and eye-catching look. This could easily be adapted to bridal hair, there is no right or wrong when creating your bridal style. If you love it, DO IT!!! Hair Stylist – April Wagner

Gothic Masked Bride

What do you think to a black wedding… would you risk going to the dark side for your big day? 

Gothic Wedding

The Team

Makeup – Gem Ryder Makeup Artist 

Hair – April Wagner Hair 

Photography – UpArt Photography 

Stationery & Styling – Faithful Designs at The Wedding Hub 

Top & Skirt – Atypical Bridalwear

Cake – Edible Essence – Edible Essence Cake Art 

Props – The Prop Factory 

Venue – The Bathing Hut Pentillie Castle

Model – Livi Bassett

PINTEREST PRESENTS WEDDINGS

This time last week I was stuck in traffic trying to navigate my way out of London. Believe me when I say it was utter hell! After an hour and a half, driving at 20 miles per hour….the air in the car was pretty blue. Seriously, people drive like bloody loons in that city. 

So, why was I visiting the capital? Well, I was one of the lucky few to have been sent a personal invite to attend a super cool event organised by Pinterest and co-hosted by the lovely bubbly Ellie of The Wedding Enthusiast. 

Pinterest
The Wedding Enthusiast

I was ridiculously excited to receive the email invitation. I returned my RSVP to let them know I was interested and waited patiently to hear back about the cost of a ticket…several hours later I began to wonder if it was a hoax. I couldn’t wait any longer so messaged Ellie to ask for details and the cost to attend. Those of you that frequent wedding events and workshops will know that they usually cost a small fortune, so you can imagine my utter surprise when Ellie informed me that it was a FREE educational event hosted by Pinterest because they like to help small businesses…I literally spat out my drink! A free event, in London, with awesome speakers and a brunch…. bleeding hell you’ve never seen me move so quick. I was straight on the phone to the husband organising childcare and overnight accommodation. 

Pinterest Talk

Lots of you may not know this, but I am ridiculously shy and very awkward. I struggle hugely with anxiety and lack of confidence, so being in a room surrounded by people I don’t know isn’t the easiest of situations for me to cope with. Which is actually at times really annoying, especially when I’m quietly and internally having a “fan girl freak out” moment in the corner of the room because Kat Williams (Rock n’ Roll Bride Magazine Kat) is sitting on the table opposite you chatting away to her friends. Ugh damn you silly anxiety! 

Pinterest Event
Pinterest Timetable

Uncomfortable feelings aside, I’m so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone a little and travelled up to attend the Pinterest Presents Weddings Event. 

The venue was lush. It’s a renovated Art Deco Theatre called EartH, which is currently in the process of applying to become a licensed wedding venue. So, I’d strongly suggest keeping an eye out for the updates on this place as I’m sure that any weddings happening there will be ridiculously cool! 

EartH
EartH Venue

We were greeted with a warm welcome and a friendly smile. A little networking over tea and coffee (yup the awkward part when you don’t know who to talk to, or what to say, without sounding like the awkward person that you are). There was a gorgeous brunch selection on offer, which sadly I couldn’t eat any of because I don’t really like to eat in front of people and I’d only had breakfast back at the hotel an hour before which was cold and tasteless. Needless to say I was a little gutted because this brunch looked and smelt yummy! 

Pinterest Breakfast
Pinterest Food

The educational bit, no word of a lie I actually really enjoyed that part too! Bite size, achievable and actionable info is by far the best way to teach me and have it stick in my mind (suddenly taken back to remembering studying for my GSCE’s using BBC Bitesize). Add that to doughnut breaks at half time and you’re definitely onto a winner. Shhh don’t tell but I had two doughnuts (I had a normal one and then just had to try the vegan one because I was curious), they were both bloody lovely! 

Pinterest Doughnut
Pinterest Bags
Pinterest Notes
Pinterest Doughnut

The speakers were all great. Each one giving really useful advice, tips, tried and tested strategies and encouragement. 

I found Rachel’s (Rachel Emma Studios) talk really insightful. Being a fellow stationer and stylist it really gave me hope that I too can grow my business using Pinterest as a tool, if I just learn how to use it properly.

Pinterest Speakers
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The overall feel for the day and what the speakers were saying was that Pinterest as a platform genuinely want to help us little businesses. As a company they are transparent, they tell you what they have to offer and they encourage you to really use all of it. There’s someone at the end of an email to answer any questions with an honest response, and you don’t need to throw money at them to make their product work for you. They’ve definitely won me over. Ooh and their goody bag was awesome! 

Pinterest Flowers
Pinterest Florals

I’ve already implemented some of what we were told on to my own Pinterest and have seen my unique monthly viewers go from a teeny tiny 2.6K to 73k in just a week…. I’m a little hooked now and aim to keep growing those viewers!

 Thank you to Pinterest UK and Ellie for a fantastic event, it was well worth the 6 hours each way driving from sleepy old Devon! Lots of Love Dx

Pinterest

With Thanks to the Speakers

Reena Rai | Annabelle from Love My Dress | Elle Linton of Keep it SimpElle and Emily Murray of Pink House

Doughnuts by Vicky’s Donuts

Flowers Designed by Nature

Photographer Clare Lewington




BOHO CORNWALL

Dancing with Her

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.” 
― William W. Purkey

Handfasting
Handfasting Ceremony

More and more lately I’m reminded that there still needs to be way more out there in terms of education around the subject of LGBTQ+. I believe myself to be completely inclusive and in support of same sex relationships. I have no problem with two people of whatever gender loving each other and wanting to show that love in public. I admit I may not be totally clued up on all of the titles given to said sexual minorities or how each one would prefer to be called or know, but I am trying. I also hadn’t until recently realised that what written content on my website may or may not say about my opinion on inclusivity. I think that I have corrected some of my wording now so that it is totally clear that I wish to work with, for and along side, any person who is in love regardless of gender, colour, size or even birth place….

Tie The Knot

I believe in love, I believe everyone has the right to choose who they love and how they wish to live their life, as long as they are not causing harm to anyone else by doing so. Life is far too bloody short to spend it alone, or worrying what other people think about our choices…. because they are OUR choices. 

I have total admiration for those of you who are out there making a stand against homophobia and trying to educate people about equality and inclusivity within the wedding industry, and the rest of the world for that matter! I take my hat off to one of my faves doing just that.. Chloe Bond Weddings. It takes courage, bravery and consistency to make a difference. Chloe is the the UK’s first Wedding and Events Planner to cater just for lesbian and queer women, and by all counts is doing a really great job! 

“FOR MANY QUEER COUPLES MARRYING THEIR PARTNER IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF THEIR LIVES (COUPLED WITH SEEING THEIR FIRST PRIDE PARADE AND THE DAY THEY CAME OUT).” Chloe

There are many many platforms out there now that offer help and advice for the LGBTQ+ community when looking for suppliers to help with wedding planning. Just a few that I know of personally are Gay Wedding Blog, The Gay Wedding Guide and The Big Gay Wedding Directory

First Kiss

I feel that sometimes I can be quite naive. I think that no one really cares who does what with who nowadays, but I was reminded recently when seeing that hideous and heartbreaking article on Facebook about the lesbian couple who were beat up on a London bus because they refused to kiss for the entertainment of a gang of men, that we still live amongst some bloody vile human beings! I’m not sure educating these people is even an option, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to teach others. I personally have many friends amongst the LGBTQ+ community. My children have teachers who are gay, and as parents we have never made an issue out of same sex relationships nor will we ever. 

Love is a right, not a privilege.

Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.

All things break. And all things can be mended.

Not with time, as they say, but with intention.

So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.

L.R. Knost

Thinking about this reminded me of a gorgeous Elopement that I had the honour of styling last year at the beautiful venue BoHo Cornwall which is known for it’s intimate weddings, picturesque views and wonderful hospitality. 

I traveled down to the depths of Cornwall to team up with some awesome creatives and this beautiful couple to create a very natural boho vibe elopement.

Wedding Rings
Flowers
Vintage Car and Flowers
Wedding Ring

Both brides were wearing outfits from our wedding dress concession collection. Zoe was wearing a gorgeous floor length bohemian floaty dress called Etienne from Francis Bridal and Marta wore separates consisting of a Mocha coloured long sleeved lace top from Atypical, one of our in-house designs, paired with a floor length tulle skirt from Rock the Frock Bridal. 

Bridalwear and styling: The Wedding Hub

Flowers : Twigs & Greens

Venue : BOHO Cornwall

MUA : Amy Pike

Hair : The Updo Girl

Jewellery : Bloody Mary Metal

Vintage car : On Time Hire

Catering : The Cook Book St Just

Photography: Verity Westcott photography

Celebrants: The Cornish celebrants

HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP

I can’t bloody believe it was a week ago today that I was packing my overnight bag in preparation for my little jaunt to Bristol for the #hustlehardwerkshop with the Costa Sisters.

I’ve been following these two super gorgeous sisters via social media for quite some time now. No not in a weird stalker way but in a fan girl crush kinda way because I’m genuinely in awe of their contagious creativity and infectious personalities. Seriously you feel it hitting you over the airwaves, they’re those type of people! 

They know who they are and what they want.

I’d promised myself that if I ever saw they were putting on a workshop close to home that I’d find a way go get myself booked on one…. the workshops I’d previously seen were generally advertised for videographers or photographers.

Obviously being neither of the above I decided to contact the girls, explain a little about what I do for a living and see if they’d let me attend anyway. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get…. and as you can see  they said yes! 

We bang on all the time about doing things to attract our “Ideal Client”, but we also really need to be aligning ourselves with those types of suppliers that share the same values, ethos, ethics and goals. 

Find your tribe, grow your gang, pack, clan, herd… you get the gist!

I admire anyone who is brave enough to stand out from the crowd. It takes courage to aknowledge you’re not the same as the flock of sheep that you’ve being encouraged to follow blindly and it takes guts to try something different without a guarantee that it’ll be a success. 

These two bad ass boss ladies did just that. They created a place in the industry that wasn’t previously there. They ran with an idea, totally ripped up the rule book and are bloody killing it! They utterly love what they are doing and each other, which is totally evident and pretty endeering. 

Despite their continued and growing success Elena and Sofia are really down to earth and almost appear surprised by it, which is very humbling, especially in an industry that can sometimes be hideously pretentious. 

After any workshop I have attended I have often come away feeling a little flat, disheartened and even once or twice disappointed. No matter what feelings though, I always try to give my self time to digest and reflect what I’ve been taught. There is always something positive learned.

If I’m being truly honest I did have a bit of a wobble about heading off to Bristol. I spent the day before worrying that it wasn’t the right kind of workshop for me, stressing out over feeling guilty thinking about other things I could have or should have spent the money on that would probably have been more worth while for my business. I overthink a lot, which makes me anxious and then nervous but I knew I had to go with my gut, and my gut said I had to get my ass on that workshop! 

HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP
HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP
HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP

I am so glad that I did because it was such an uplifting afternoon. I learnt a few new things which I’m already beginning to implement into my business. I made some lovely new connections with other awesome creatives from further afield. Most importantly I realised that investing that time and money on me doing something that I wanted to do just because, is something that I can’t put a financial amount on, attending this workshop was actually invaluable. 

Witnessing the pure excitement (and the happy dances) of the photographers and videographers when they captured their perfect shots was infectious. It actually made me want to pick up a camera so that I could see and feel what they did when looking through those lenses… I didn’t though because I’m a scaredy cat and didn’t touch one incase I broke it (you only need to look at my current iPhone to see I’m a clumsy sod).

HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP
HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP

There’s a part of one of my all time fave quotes that came into my head whilst I stood back watching, mesmerised by the passion in that room.

HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP
HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching” ― William W. Purkey 

So yes it really was well worth me joining in on this workshop, if only to help me realise that I need to try harder going forward to only say yes to those things that will make me do my happy dance, even if I look like a div! 

With thanks to my traveling companion and roomy Verity Westcott Photogprahy

Thank you Elena and Sofia for being the inspiration that I currently require to shake things up a little! With a huge heartfelt girly cuddle and lots of love from me to you Dx

HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP
HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP
HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP

In need of a ridiculously cool wedding video….Yes, yes you are!! Go check the girls out at Costa Sisters Productions.

Images from Emma & Dan of the uber talented duo and beautiful Aussie souls that make up Through The Woods We Ran.

Venue Colston Forge Bristol 

Models Jimi and Tave

HUSTLE HARD WORKSHOP













SEASPRAY MEETS 80'S ROCK CHICK

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SEASPRAY

Living in ‘The Ocean City” better known as Plymouth, gives us plenty of opportunities to hang out by the seaside.

So, what better way to spend a cool spring evening than head down to the seafront for some fun near the water?

The lovely bubbly Louise of Mrs Jutson Photography is always up for my little impromptu styled shoots, and thankfully so are some of my friends. I’ve been known to think of a shoot in the morning and be styling it by tea time… this one being a prime example!

Devil’s Point is a well known location and one that I love to visit with my children several times a month, especially when the weather is nice. There’s a small outside pool that fills and empties with the tide, and a cute pebble beach area either side of it. 

We had planned to take a few more images down on the jetty, but we were taken by surprise when the water decided to come in a little to thick and fast… poor Lauren may have got a teeny bit wet! 

Like I said before, this was an off the cuff mini shoot so our team was a small one, literally just the three of us! 

Lauren did her own hair and makeup and for the first part of the shoot wore Aria by Vintage Atelier from our concession of Rock the Frock Bridal wedding dresses, teamed it up with a Leather Jacket and some kick ass boots from Charla Tedrick (which I actually won via an Instagram comp from my lovely pal over at Way out Weddings). The handmade golden Fabric Bouquet was from our very own in house sewing queen Magenta Rose Designs. Cute golden Bird Cage Veil from Crown & Glory.

“Love is like the sea. It's a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.” - Zora Neale Hurston

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OUTFIT CHANGE

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Just a stone’s throw away from the water you can find Devil’s Point Park, also know as Western Kings which is an iconic part of Plymouth. For many years families including my own have shed a tear or two as we’ve waved off or cheered home our loved ones on Royal Navy ships leaving or returning to Devonport Dockyard. 

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This part of the park has quite an urban feel to it, with a mixture of overgrown foliage and graffiti  wall art which worked well for the second part of our impromptu shoot and outfit change…the 80’s Madonna inspired vibe! Oh how I remember prancing around the living room as a child with wildly untamed crimped hair to “Like a Virgin”… actually I may have also done this as an adult! 

Channelling her inner Cyndi Lauper, Lauren totally rocked the 80’s retro look! 

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Wearing “Epic” by Tobi Hannah, also from our Rock the Frock Bridal concession, the funky “Carrie” veil by designer Karen Dornellie,  as before those awesome boots by Charla Tedrick and second Fabric Bouquet from Magenta Rose Designs. Strutting her stuff up and down an uneven ground, battling a little bit of wind and balancing on a wall, all whilst wearing those insane heels… I don’t think we were asking too much in the name of art! 

Ahh I bloody love so much about the 80’s, not that I was old enough to remember too much ( I’d just like to point out that I was only born in ’83 and am a mere 36 years young). 

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My head is now spinning with ideas for a much bigger styled shoot! 

Flipping heck, “It's All Coming Back To Me Now”,  to quote the 1989 by Pandora's Box and not the Celine Dion 1996 version!

Come on, who else remembers wasting hours playing video games like Pac Man, falling off of Skateboards, throwing your Rubiks Cube across the room because you could do it, (funny enough I actually have a tattoo of a rubrics cube, fun fact for you right there), speeding around the Roller Disco’s and lets not forget the fashion… good old sweaty Shellsuits and Dynasty style shoulder pads! 

Hmm actually, on second thoughts maybe we’ll just leave it there for now before I get distracted on Pinterest for the rest of the day looking at all things 80’s! 

Until next time…. lots of love Dx

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A CHANGE IS GONNA COME....

There's been a few changes going on behind the scenes over the last couple of months. I've been trying to juggle lots... not being great at that I've managed to let a few things fall to the way-side.

I've had to reevaluate, accept some stuff and make some tough decisions.

My family, my health and my business are all extremely important to me and all of them have had to take a back-seat on this rollercoaster of life I’ve been trying to navigate for some time. No one has really known where they stand on my list of priorities, including me! 

I know now that when I initially took on my first tiny shop it was so that I had something other than my poorly sister to focus on, something positive. In hindsight I think maybe it was a silly thing to do, I couldn’t give it all of my attention. For the first two years it was actually almost impossible to really concentrate on anything but Emma, her progress, her decline, her appointments, her death…. so my little business was a welcome distraction at times. 

Fast forward five years, the small shop is now a big shop. The small worries are now big worries. The small bills are now big bills…. 

Being so up and down both emotionally and physically meant that when I created The Wedding Hub I actually didn’t start off very well! I had no business plan, no targets, no goals, no clear vision for the direction I wanted to take. I just saw an opportunity to move all of my stuff to a shopfront and took it without much consideration at all…. I’m known to make impulsive decisions on the spot and think about it much later when the dust settles! Same thing happened when the second shop-space came about and then again when the 3rd one did...I get excited easily and let that guide me! This method doesn’t aways end well, it’s been known to land me right in the shit before! Thankfully not too often though!

So, I find myself in a place where the dust is well and truly starting to settle and the reality of my choices made in excitement and sometimes denial are now coming to the surface. I’ve had to stand back, take a good look at what is and isn’t working for me and my business. It’s never nice or easy to realise that you’ve made poor decisions and mistakes that could have been avoided. I’ve not been thinking clearly for ages, my head has been a foggy fuck-up and my vision well and truly clouded. I suffer massively with anxiety, it physically pains me. I worry about everything and nothing all at the same time, which doesn’t make life very enjoyable. I’m still not very kind to myself but I’m working on it… which has been one of the biggest reasons and helping factors in making my decision to reevaluate my work. I need to be nicer to me. If I look after myself better, I can look after those I love better. If I’m happier, they’re happier. It’s not rocket science after all…. 

I had considered closing my business completely but having to say goodbye to something else that I love really isn’t something I want to do. So, instead I’m scaling things down. I’m focusing on the parts of my business that make me happy and that are working. I LOVE to design, create and make so the stationery and styling elements are staying as are the suits from The Vintage Suite Hire Co because frankly the lads are easy to please and fun to work with. Our selection of Rock the Frock dresses are now all in the sale so once they’re gone they’re gone. If you want to grab a bargain get booked in.  I’ve also got lots of little bits and pieces in the shop that need to go because I no longer have space for them. I’ll be listing them over on my Facebook page.

Due to the fact I have decluttered I now have a large space to fill!

Let me tell you the big plan…. Jenny South Photography is moving in to No 63 Hyde Park Road with me. 

We will both continue to run our own individual businesses and we will also be teaming up together to offer something new and exciting, more details to follow on this! 

There’s sure to be a welcoming party for my new shop buddy so keep your eyes peeled for that info! 

For now though, I guess I just want to say that it’s ok to change you mind, it’s ok to not get it right the first (or 2nd or 3rd…) time because life doesn’t come with a rule book. There’s no easy path to success, there’s no magic formula to get you from A to Z. It’s up to you how you get there and what it looks like. If you don’t like the way things are then change them, because life’s too short to just settle for settling's sake…. 


Love Dx

GIRLS JUST WANA HAVE FUN

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Back in December I asked my daughter Faith what she would like to do for her birthday. Closing my eyes, internally begging the powers that be not to hear the dreaded word…. PARTY! That whole ask the universe thing was obviously more on Faiths side for this one, yep she wanted a party! When trying to get pregnant we didn’t really plan wisely, both of our children were born two weeks either side of Christmas… expensive time, however I do believe I managed to get away with 10 years of using that excuse! 

Instant pounding heart and sweaty palms at the concept of having to entertain a bunch of pre teens who were not my offspring! Sixty seconds trying to figure out how to say “Hell No” nicely, led to pangs of mummy guilt and then the actual words leaving my mouth being “Of course you can flower” WTF!! There was one condition though, which was that she helped me to plan it. Help me she did, even creating her own Pinterest board (the kid is hired, just as soon as it’s legal for her to be self employed and send me her invoice).

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Faith is very friendly, gets on well with lots of her peers but actually only really likes to hang around with a few close friends. So that big party I had freaked out about was not what she had in mind… phew!

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Faith decided she’d like a tea party for just four, a photoshoot and a glitter bar. Now this on paper sounded easy, totally doable, completely within my capabilities because after all I do style weddings for over a 100 people on a regular basis! Then why did I get so stressed about it? I wanted so bad for Faith and her little friends to love it. I wanted to make up for all the years I’d said no to her having a party and I wanted them to just have fun! 

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THE PREP

I spent hours blowing up balloons, knotting, stringing and gluing them together to create a colourful installation backdrop for their photoshoot. Spray painted lids to coordinate with the colour scheme for sweet jar favours. Made place cards. Went backwards and forwards to the shops to find cute little extras to add to the table styling and days stressing over small details I may have forgotten. 

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Working in the wedding industry has given me fantastic connections and so many suppliers offer way more than just wedding services, the majority of us are very creative and can transfer ours skills to any occasion. 

CALLING IN THE CREATIVES…

Family Photographer and now lovely family friend Jenny South Photography agreed to do us a mini friends shoot.

Festival & Party Makeup wonder woman Chloe rocked up with enough glitter to cover attendees at Glastonbury, I must admit I wanted to have mine done because they all looked awesome! 

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Close friends and cake creator extraordinaire Jenny of Edible Essence made the most adorable birthday cake… it was so lovely we didn’t want to cut it up. I think I had a piece of cake every day for about a week, it was seriously scrummy! 

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If the smiles, giggles and spinning each other around on my shop floor wasn’t signs of a successful party then the statement Faith made on the way home was definite clarification that I’d done a good job…. “Thank You Mummy, that was the best birthday I’ve ever had”.

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PARTY PLANNING & STYLING PACKAGES

If you dread the thought of putting a party together and would like someone else to do it for you then get in touch.

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We can arrange a suitable time to meet for a planning session. We’ll talk over all your requirements and ideas then create a moodpboard together. If you require more than styling we have a black book full to the brim of who’s who when it comes to entertainment…. magicians, face painters and even circus act performers!

From our meet up I’ll pull in all the right suppliers, find the perfect venue and decorate the space to utterly wow your little people.

From a Princess Glitter Party to a Monster Ball we can cater for any theme and any size 

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ITALY STOLE MY HEART

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I am so thrilled to finally be blogging about this amazing experience!

Some of you may remember at the latter part of last year a team of us traveled to Italy to take part in a styled shoot organised by Italian Wedding Planner Jo of Accent Events. It’s taken several months for us to be allowed to share the images with you due to exclusivity, however TODAY the shoot is featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine and can be purchased all around the country!!

So, without further delay let’s go behind the scenes and show you just how special Italy and its people are and give you a small glimpse of what we all got up to in 48 super filled hours!

Art Hotel Villa Fiorella - WOW, where to start? The hospitality provided to us from every member of staff at this beautiful boutique hotel was utterly outstanding! We were looked after so well, nothing was too much trouble. The hotel was still open to the public whilst we were there shooting, so not only did we get to witness how well they treated their guests, we were given the same exceptional service. I do truly believe if you chose to elope and tie the knot at this venue, you wouldn’t be disappointed. The service, location and oh my days the food are out of this world! Set in the hills about Sorrento with the most amazing views you can’t help but feel utterly relaxed. Getting married aside, if you ever get the chance to visit I highly recommend you get yourself booked in to this place and enjoy a little slice of heaven!

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Team Work….

When working with new people it’s important to get it right, to feel at ease and relaxed in each others company. Styled shoots are no exception to the rule, you really have to communicate well and understand what vision the shoot creator wants to achieve. Thankfully, Jo of Accent Events had a clear idea of style and concept for the images she required. Jo wants to focus on providing a memorable experience for couples wanting to get married in Italy who have a deep love for travel, adventure, culture and all that this majestic country has to offer. It was wonderful to watch and listen to her excitement and passion in her explanation and enthusiasm for why she’d chosen the venue, location and suppliers involved in this project.

The experience was intense! It was very fast moving and not without obstacles, but I do believe we all managed to create something really wonderful and I think the images speak for themselves!

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MUA to the stars Joanna Falanga created a soft, beautiful and timeless look with her makeup and hair styling skills on Victoria.

Wonderful Carmela of Carmela Ceremonies, who speaks both English and Italian, is your go to lady for all civil and symbolic celebrant services!

Beautiful venue decor can be hired from Wedding Chairs &/ Co. They have some wonderful props and furniture which would totally enhance the look and feel of your wedding day as it did on our photoshoot!

Talented local florist Giuseppe & Luisa Terrecuso provided all the floral arrangements. It was so lovely to see them pulling up in the cutest little truck laden with a boot full of flowers, dreamy rich lush autumn colours!

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Our two gorgeous models travelled from Tuscany to be with us for the shoot. It was a delight to hear all about their own italian love story. Victoria (who is actually a super talented artist) had packed only a backpack of belongings several years ago heading for adventure with a one way ticket, quickly meeting and falling head over heels for this cheeky chap and Italy! They were total naturals and provided us with some great entertainment along the way... Adriano couldn’t wait to whip his shirt off at the end of the day for a giggle!

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Victoria wore “Wendy” by Saja from Rock The Frock Bridal and a stunning hair vine made by Claire Austin. Adriano looked rather dapper in the Southwold Suit from The Vintage Suit Hire Co.

Photographer and travelling side kick Mrs Jutson Photography

Stationery & Styling was provided by moi….Faithful Designs.

Thank you to Jo & her awesome husband Martin for being wonderful hosts, travel guides and overall lovely people! I hope you have great success with the rebrand and continued success in the wedding industry!

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I hope to one day return to Italy and explore more of its beauty… until then I’ll continue to reminisce over these images!

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THE DARKER SIDE TO WEDDINGS

It’s good to change things up a little sometimes….

Who says weddings have to be light and bright to be beautiful? I think dark and moody can be just as breathtaking!

When ever Halloween comes around I always kick myself because I forget to post any spooky images… this is mainly due to the fact I have none! So this year I decided to get my shite together and rope in a little help from my talented family and friends!

After a little persuasion my niece Emily agreed to model for me (she hates any attention and very rarely lets anyone take her picture) but being as I told her she wouldn’t even look like herself once we’d finished the makeup she said yes! I am so ridiculously proud of this beautiful girl… she totally stepped out of her comfort zone and smashed through it! She’s braver than I am for sure…well done Emily x

My mum is a bleeding wiz when it comes to sewing so I knew she’d be able to create something wonderful for Emily to wear… and she did. Seriously check out that cape!!

My friend Zoe literally made Emily look unrecognisable which was handy because I can barely apply mascara let alone anything else.

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Dark Bride
Model Emily-jane. Top and skirt from atypical at the wedding hub. black bridal ware.

Model Emily-jane. Top and skirt from atypical at the wedding hub. black bridal ware.

Model, Outfit and Makeup sorted all I needed was a location and a photographer …. thanks to Jenny South for coming on board with both location suggestion and camera.

Channeling my inner witch wasn’t so hard, I was a little obsessed with the likes of Charmed, Buffy and the Vampire Diaries books as a teen… (I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve recently bloody loved the TV series based on those books). Given more time and thought I’d have gone BIGGER but I think with only 24 hours prep this micro shoot was awesome and considering it was not something we’d all usually do I think we did pretty well!

Walking Away


And a Big Big thank you to mrspanp.com for blogging this shoot!!







Thanks ladies!

Concept & Styling - Me

Model - Emily Fraser

Separates and Cape - Atypical

Photographer - Jenny South Photography

MUA - Zoe



















EARLY MORNING WEDDING DAY SURF

When I met C & J way back at the beginning of the year I knew they were going to be fun!

From designing the invitations, recommending the right suppliers, arranging a seamstress to alter two beautiful (but way too big) wedding dresses and providing on the day styling I really enjoyed the whole experience.

Both C & J are very active people so it was no surprise to me that they’d want to incorporate their love of surfing and Acroyoga in to their wedding day schedule somewhere!

The day began with an 8am surf on a very very rainy morning…. poor Louise got drenched taking that first lot of images and had to dry herself off whilst bridal prep was underway!

Ready to hit the waves

Ready to hit the waves

Friends who surf together….

Friends who surf together….

Getting in the dress

Getting in the dress

Mrs Jutson Got a little wet on the early moring beach walk!

Mrs Jutson Got a little wet on the early moring beach walk!

Amazingly after watching the weather forecast every hour for the last 24 we were delighted when the sun came out just in time for everyone to hit the beach for the ceremony….admittedly Kirsty and I were very dubious of the almighty winds still swooshing around, so roped a couple of willing guests in to holding down the floral arch whilst we headed back to finish up at Retorrick.

i do … i do too!

i do … i do too!

Time to reflect

Time to reflect

sandy toes

sandy toes

beach acroyoga

beach acroyoga

They managed to throw in a little Acroyoga and a woodland walk before heading to the venue for their wedding breakfast and an evening full to the brim of entertainment… karaoke, tattoo stations, team Acroyoga and of course dancing in to the early hours!

Congratulations to C & J on their wedding x

wedding flowers

wedding flowers

Fantastic entertainment idea for your guests - Temporary tattoo station from Doris Loves

Fantastic entertainment idea for your guests - Temporary tattoo station from Doris Loves

cake and cake pops from edible essence

cake and cake pops from edible essence

it’s fun to use areas of your venue to display your wedding decor.

it’s fun to use areas of your venue to display your wedding decor.

wedding cake goals! edible essence

wedding cake goals! edible essence

acroyoga with your wedding guests

acroyoga with your wedding guests

post box available to hire from  the wedding hub . floral arrangement from escential blooms

post box available to hire from the wedding hub. floral arrangement from escential blooms

wedding cake information sign - cake from edible essence

wedding cake information sign - cake from edible essence

order of the day signage from  faithful designs

order of the day signage from faithful designs

Wedding Welcome Sign from  Faithful designs

Wedding Welcome Sign from Faithful designs

bride and a rodeo….why not?

bride and a rodeo….why not?

C & J decided against a first dance in favour of a first song!

C & J decided against a first dance in favour of a first song!

Supplier Love to all these wonderful people….

Stationery/Signage/Styling - Me!

Venue - Retorrick Mill

Photographer - Mrs Jutson Photography & Margo R Photography

Florist - Escential Blooms

Cake - Edible Essence

Grooms Suit - The Vintage Suit Hire Company

Heart Guest Book - Made for You Gifts

Temporary Tattoo Station - Doris Loves









IT'S OK TO BE INSPIRED BY OTHERS....

Wow, the summer holidays always throw me out of sync and messes with my creative dreams to dominate the wedding world… (it’s a dream so why not go large?) Ok so I don’t actually plan to dominate the wedding world as a whole because in all honesty I’m just not Lux enough, I’m fine with that because that very large part of the industry is covered and it’s totally holding its own. I do however want to take my place amongst the weird and the wonderful, the way-outers, the rock n’ rollers, the quirkily unique, the coolest of cool and the crazy in love!

Whilst doing a little bit of homework on the Why’s, Who’s and Wants behind my business I had a real “Aha!” lightbulb, kick up the arse style moment. I’ve really been struggling with feeling out of place, not knowing if I fit anywhere in particular within the industry. If I was a spiritual person I’d bet my aura has been a muggy colour and my chakras all unbalanced but I’m not (well not really) so lets just say I’ve had my head up my arse, plodding along hoping things will just get better and fix themselves. What a dick, stuff doesn’t fix itself, we have to! So I stripped things back, started at the beginning. I made lists of things, people and places that make me happy. I pinned images to my vision boards of what and who inspires me. I rediscovered a few things I’d forgotten and realised some things that I’d overlooked…

When we’re small our parents tell us we can do anything, that we should dream big, reach for the stars and never give up. Then when we go to school so much of our hopes, desires, strength, imagination and courage is knocked out of us. You're told that you couldn’t possibly be The Hulk (that’s what my little boy wanted to be when he was asked in playschool) because he’s make believe, you are too big or too small to be dancers or gymnasts, you can't recite all 154 of Shakespeare’s Sonnets so those dreams of being a writer are out the window, you don’t know the square root of 784 or what Pi is so the chances of you getting a job without that mathematical knowhow is next to none, you can’t sit still for longer than five minutes or give eye contact to strangers….well then you’re literally destined for a life of drugs and the doll!! If even a tiny glimpse of those dreams remain once you get through childhood well bloody done, hold on tight to them because the scary world you’re about to enter is know as adulthood and that can be a dark place, believe me! Fit in or fall out, put up or shut up, find a job, any job because you’ve got bills to pay. Depressing right? I call BULLSHIT on all of that…. I’m a rebel at heart, I’ve always questioned things I don’t agree with so why have I not questioned myself? I’ve made some stupid mistakes over the last few years, financially crippled myself, procrastinated and made excuses about almost everything I needed to do in order to build my business up. It’s like I’ve been so petrified of failing on a grand scale that it’s made me too scared to completely commit to being successful. Which in turn has made me miserable and broke… yeah wise move Danni!

The good thing about hitting rock bottom is you know how it feels to be there, it really sucks. So when things are crappy you have to learn how to overcome them, you either acknowledge it and move forward or cut your losses. This is a good point for that childhood determination and the ability to believe in ourselves to kick in…. luckily for me it did! I’m an 80’s kid and that’s where I found inspiration before and again this last week!

We always hear they’re copying me, that was my idea, I did that first! In the past I’ve said some of these, been hurt by others ripping off my designs or bringing out the same product or service at which point everyone loves to quote a bit of Oscar Wilde’s “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” Yes it sucks but shit happens and in this day and age it’s really hard or dare I say impossible to come up with something new and unique. This has been one of the biggest reasons I’ve found it so difficult to start my rebrand for the last 18 months, I haven’t wanted anyone to say those things about me.

So I thought maybe I’d come at it from a different angle and publicly shout out loud about those who I’m inspired by, those who I look up to and admire. The people who I am drawn to because of their styles, vision, ethos and personalities and say THANK YOU, thank you for being brave and courageous, for dreaming in big and bright bold funky rainbow colours and for being unapologetically you!

On that note… I am looking to work with someone who can get inside my head (which really you could do from reading a few blog posts) and pull out the perfect rebrand for me. I’m thinking more illustration than graphic, bold over pastels and most of all more typically me…. (great, now I’m quoting Britney!). If you think we could work together or you know someone that fits the bill then please do get in touch. 

Yay to finally getting this all off my chest, I'm so excited! Lots of love Dx

 

 

With love and thanks to just some of those that I find inspiring....

Way Out Wedding // Rock N Roll Bride // Costa Sisters Productions // Mr & Mrs Unique // The Un-Wedding // Not Another Salon // Rock the Frock Bridal // All About Ewe // Gay Wedding Blog // Offbeat Bride // Boho Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

 

SLOW DOWN OR HAVE TO STOP!

After nearly a month of trying to fight off a horrible cold due to my work load I finally gave in and went to the doctors last week. Turns out said cold is in fact a right nasty case of acute Bronchitis and believe me when I say there is absolutely nothing cute about this hideous infection! Apparently under Doctors orders I'm supposed to rest.... that is obviously easier said than done!

Those of you that are self employed and work alone will know just how impossible a task that can be. I have children to look after and a shop to run, both of which at present I already feel I'm neglecting and that really does sucks. 

I'm exhausted, grumpy and seriously emotional which is never a great combination for me (or anyone else I imagine). These feelings always make me over think everything. I start to question why I do what I do and that nagging doubting Thomas rears his bloody annoying head! “Get a proper job”, “Go work for someone else who will pay you an hourly wage, holiday and sick pay”… shut up Thomas! 

It's no secret that I have a few demons that enjoy to rattle my cage on a frequent basis, I’m not afraid anymore to talk about my issues (oh bloody hell, why is it every time I say that I hear Julia Michaels  song “Issues” playing in my head?). Grief and anxiety can make simple daily tasks almost unbearable, literally getting out of bed can be like climbing Mount Everest!  What matters is that we find ways that help us to cope and that we at least try to show up every day, even if it's only for part of it! We really do need to learn to listen more to our own bodies and look after ourselves otherwise those demons I mentioned can take over and that's no good for anybody! 

I haven't managed to take time off completely but I have tried really hard to take things slowly. The shop is only open by appointment for the next week over the Easter holiday so at least I'm able to work form home in my PJ’s if I wish to… or at least as much as possible between coughing fits and naps from exhaustion!

This morning I woke up with an overwhelming need to get the juicer out for the first time in forever and make something to hopefully lift my spirits (don't worry it didn't actually include any spirits, I've not got to that stage up to now). Nope it was a wonderful bright green concoction of fruit and veg. Pineapple, Ginger, Spinach and Celery all of which have amazing natural healing qualities for inflammation, antibacterial and a whole heap of needed vitamins. I’ve got a shelf full of awesome juicing books so trust me when I say there’s bound to be a juice that you will like even if you’re super fussy like me! I highly recommend getting a juicer, even though I hate to clean them out afterwards because that’s pretty gross, especially if you don’t do it straight away…. big tip, do it straight away!

The wedding season is fast approaching so making time now to get myself healthy is essential otherwise I'll burn out before it starts. Not only does being run down make us feel physically crappy the knock on effect for our mental health can be worse and be a long term side effect of neglect. Sometimes we struggle to put the effort in for ourselves so why not do it for the people you love, because your decline honestly can be bloody hideous for those close to you watching it. Listen to your body, if you feel like you're coming down with something don't ignore it! Stock up on vitamins, fill the fridge with good stuff, get outside in the fresh air and find time to breathe. Starting to struggle with your mental health, please do something, anything that makes you calm your thoughts and takes you away from the every day grind that’s getting you down…read a book, draw, sing, dance, talk to someone, have some fun! 

….. so until next time love you, love from Dx

 

 

MIDNIGHT MADNESS AND CRAZY CONCEPTS!

Sometimes I shrug them off because they’re just too way out there and other times I run with them…The Get Your Freak On Wedding Showcase concept was one I am so glad I decided to embrace!

After hearing lots about all the work that Toby & Jo from Street Factory have done and continue to do for our children, young people and their families in and around the city I was totally inspired by them and knew that I wanted to help in some way. 

I made contact and then arranged to visit Toby at the Street Factory. I instantly fell in love with the space! No the makeover hasn’t begun yet, yes it is totally industrial and in a raw state but that’s what I loved! My head was buzzing listening to the plans for the Hip Hop Kingdom project and everywhere I looked I could imagine something cool. Head filled with ideas and a plan I headed home to start the preparation for the event. The following week I was back there accompanied with my small but wonderful team creating the styled shoot to start promoting the event. 

I was thrilled when both Toby and Jo said yes to me using their venue for the showcase and even more pleased when I had wonderful exhibitors embrace the concept and agree to come on board with it even though it was the first one. That’s dedication to the cause, that’s a real show of trust to say yes to someones “idea” without any promise that it’ll actually work….

I believe with all my heart that everyone deserves to be loved, to get married if it’s their choice to do so and have the wedding that they truly want! 

"Get Your Freak On” in my head was a bit of a two fingers up to the “norm” that can be the wedding industry. A sod you to those who think you have to do things a certain way. Who says that models have to be professional and look like they just stepped out the pages of a bridal magazine? Who declared that all wedding fairs should be in a posh hotel? Who ruled that there had to be rules? 

There are no rules!! Not one wedding should be the same because not one person is (not even your doppelgänger would want the same things as you). 

So in the words of Missy Elliot “Gimme some new shit”. I’ve decided to begin a revolution joined by some rebels with a cause! We aim to shake things up and show the sleepy, safe and samey Southwest that we really can provide whatever is needed to make your day perfect for you! Now this isn't a new concept, I've always liked to do things differently... ask my mum! I also do not proclaim to be the first to try giving things a little wobble. There's some awesome examples amongst the industry of creative geniuses, blogging, providing products and putting on events up the line and beyond (Way Out Wedding, Rock The Frock, Most Curious, EWE, Rock n Roll Bride to name a few). But, they're not here, we are! Therefore it's our job to move things forward here! 

Our first event may not have been huge but we needed to start somewhere! I can honestly say I am so super proud of everyone who exhibited, helped, supported and attended…. you are all wonderful! Thank you for joining me on a whim, I promise it was the right decision! 

With Special Thanks to...

Venue - Street Factory  Prop Hire - The Prop Factory & Rustic Love  Exhibitors -  Verity Westcott Photography - MargoR Photography - Urban Disco - Pole Fitness Plymouth - Ashleigh Jay Embroidery - Mimosa Mobile Bar - The Beautiful South Photobooth Company - Made For You Gifts - Magenta Rose Designs - No 4 Hair Boutique - Chloe Jane Makeup Artist - Ezzicakes - Inky & Grace - ID Fashion On The Day Event Photography Miss Imagination Photography & Martha Fitzpatrick Photography MUA's for the Catwalk Models Katy Short Makeup Magic Gemma Ryder MUA & Chloe Jane Makeup Artist and Hair Stylists for Catwalk No 4 Hair Boutique Last but not least, thank you to all the wonderful ladies who modelled on the day for me...you are amazing! 

 IMAGES IN THIS BLOG POST BY MARTHA FITZPATRICK PHOTOGRAPHY

IMAGES IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW ARE FROM MISS IMAGINATION PHOTOGRAPHY

IT'S COOL TO BE DIFFERENT!

I bang on all the time about loving people, spaces, things and ideas that are different and I do that because I actually like being different now....
 
I wasn’t one of the cool kids at school, hard to believe right (only kidding). Actually, I tried for the most part of school life to be invisible, to fit in and not draw too much attention to myself. I was nervous, shy and afraid to stand out…. not confident at all! 

That’s not to say that I’m the total opposite now, I still struggle with my confidence daily.

However life has taught me so much these last few years, mostly that it’s to short to play silly buggers pretending to be someone you’re not just to fit in! 

Fuck it! What’s being cool mean anyway? 

I champion the odd bods, the weird and the wonderful, the unconventional and the quirky…. we all deserve to be loved!

Which got me thinking, where are all the real cool people? The ones who think differently, the ones who don’t want to do things in a “traditional” or “normal” way. Where do they go when they want to plan their wedding? 

Do the high street bridal shops and generic wedding fayres leave you feeling flat and uninterested? 
Do social media platforms excite you visually but then overwhelm you because you don’t know where to find the right suppliers that can help you accomplish the dream pinterest board or have received way over 600 recommendations on the Gossip Girls Facebook page but have no idea who to go with?

There’s this weird pre conceived misconception that the UK ends at Bristol and nothing cool or quirky happens this side of the Devon border…. utter bull! The southwest is full to the brim of creatives who will not only help you create your perfect wedding they will go above and beyond because this is more than just a job to them, it’s their passion! 

I like to prove people wrong, it’s a trait that hasn’t always worked out so well for me but with that in mind I wanted to bring some of these uber talented and lovable souls together to show you that it really is cool to be different and because I love to support a good cause it makes perfect sense to me that it should be a fundraiser!

Get Your Freak On a Wedding Showcase & Catwalk Fundraiser Event, for the couples who like to be different!! You can find all the details about who'll be exhibiting at the event here .

All profits will be donated to Street Factory CIC to put towards their inspirational project to create the first ever HipHop theatre. Go check out what they’re about here... Street Factory .

If you are getting married and want some inspiration then go grab a ticket here
If you know someone who's getting married please tell them so they don't miss out.
If you would like to get involved by either exhibiting, modelling on the catwalk or perhaps know somewhere that would put up a poster for us then please send me an email here .

 

GET YOUR FREAK ON

Be You, Be Different!

Well what can I say, I'm a total sucker for a good cause! 

I've admired the work of Street Factory for several years and have been in total awe of their dedication and support for our local children and community. I believe that their ethos and values are something many more should aspire to follow. 

Street Factory have big big plans and a wonderful vision to build something exceptional right here in Plymouth. They currently have a crowdfunder campaign running to raise £45,000 and need our help to obtain it. 

Obviously this got me thinking about ways in which I may be able to help.... 

I've wanted to organise another wedding event for a little while now so why not kill two birds with one stone and do it to raise some money for a worthy cause!

As you may know, I like to do things a little differently and I know that there are lots of you out there who are looking for something different for your wedding....so let me help you! Let me match you up with your perfect suppliers who'll blow your mind and in turn we can help make a difference too by supporting people that dedicate all their time and effort to making a difference.

Get Your Freak On  

Wedding Showcase & Catwalk Fundraiser Event

You do not want to miss this! It's going to be awesome.... 

2pm - 6pm on Sunday 25th March 2018 at Street Factory

What should you expect?

Friendly advice and inspiration from a selection of Devon & Cornwall's creative wedding suppliers. A catwalk featuring wedding dresses from Rock The Frock, Suits from The Vintage Suit Hire Company and a gorgeous selection of dresses and accessories from up and coming fashion label ID Fashion.

There'll be a raffle, demonstrations and entertainment. 

The first 50 couples to buy a ticket will receive a bag full of goodies.

Free drink on arrival.

To purchase your ticket to the event click here

*All funds raised from this event will be donated to the Street Factory

Wed Magazine
Mimosa Mobile Bar

GOT YOUR TICKET YET?

GET IT HERE

 

WHAT DOES A FIVER GET YOU?

Well not much these days, not much at all!

However buying a ticket for the upcoming Get Your Freak On Wedding Showcase & Catwalk Fundraiser on Sunday 25th March 2pm - 6pm will not only get you some awesome things it means you’ll be giving back too, that’s gotta feel good, right? 

Each couple will receive a copy of Wed Magazine and a welcome drink from Mimosa Mobile Bar.... that alone is worth more than £5, you’ll also be entered in to a free prize draw to win an engagement shoot!!

The first 50 couples to purchase a ticket will receive the above AND a gift bag full of promotional offers and discounts. There’s going to be some super cool and creative wedding suppliers to chat to, entertainment, demos and a raffle full of fantastic prizes!

UPDATE - The crowdfunder to raise the amount of 45K was reached literally hours before the deadline!  All profits raised from this event will be donated to Street Factory to put towards their overall 2 Million target for their project to open the first ever HipHop Theatre.

 

ARE YOU A GIVER OR A TAKER?

Now I'm no neuroscientist but I do know that it is a proven scientific fact that giving or even just thinking about giving or doing something for someone else lifts your mood and makes you feel good! 

Hi, my name is Danni and I'm a giver! 

So being a giver doesn't necessarily mean you need to go out and buy extravagant or uber expensive gifts for people... I definitely don't because in general I'm skint! Giving can be anything from your time and attention, love, encouragement and support... and nice little gifts if you can afford it (just incase my husband reads this!). 

I want to help people! I want to be amongst those that are making a difference, those that want to make the world a better place...don't you?

On that note let me introduce you to husband and wife team Toby G and Jo. Now these two have done some truly amazing things and quite rightly so are starting to gain acknowledgement and recognition for their huge efforts over the last decade. They are both so inspiring and have given so much to disadvantaged children and young adults throughout the city.  If you live in Plymouth you will or at least should have heard of The Street Factory Studio and the massive plans to build the world’s largest Hip Hop theatre and Hip Hop education programme. 

There really is way too much for me to write here in a blog post so why not head over to their Crowdfunder page or visit their website streetfactorycic.com and watch some of their videos because honestly they're seriously inspirational! 

As you know I'm a mummy and I'm extremely passionate about teaching my children about manners and principles, respect and gratitude and I believe that we should all try our hardest to always be kind and help others especially those around us... love thy neighbour and all that. So I want to help the wonderful people at the Street Factory because they are our neighbours and they're trying to help our children and our community. They're making a positive impact and they need our help...

I'm not a dancer... although I fancied myself as a bit of a shaker and a mover back in school when I was part of the dance squad jigging away to BeWitched, ooh and if I'm being honest also when I first discovered alcohol and Union Street I loved to hit the dance floor when a bit of RnB was blasting out from the DJ booth! What I'm trying to say is don't worry I'm not about to announce that I'm going to attempt to do a dance off to raise money.... instead I'm going to organise a Bridal Fashion Show and all the profits from ticket sales and the raffle will go to The Street Factory Studio Fund! 

So the date for the "Get Your Freak On" Bridal Fashion Show will be in March! Date and venue location will be announced asap. I only came up with the idea a couple of hours ago so I'm still waiting for people to reply to me, I guess it is Saturday evening and people have social lives so I'll look to fill you all in Monday/Tuesday of next week with more details! 

If you would like to be involved in some way then send me an email. I'll be ever so grateful for anyone who would love to sponsor the event, donate raffle prizes, model our awesome dresses and suits, wedding suppliers to help before and after and of course wonderful couples to buy tickets to come along and have some fun!

 “Give. Even when you know you can get nothing back.” Yasmin Mogahed

 

Love and respect D x

 

THAT SPECIAL WEDDING

Wow, it's taken me a bloody long time to get this blog post written....sorry!

It was never going be an easy one to write about was it?!

So, instead of lots of words and emotional ramblings I'll let the amazing photos and video do the majority of the talking for me this time. 

Looking back at these photos as they each upload on my screen has me in tears. They are a bitter sweet reminder of a wedding day that I loved planning and one that I never will... 

The entire experience was just amazing. From the initial idea to the actual day there was so much thought and love put in to it. So many amazing people gave so much time and effort, honestly the generosity from those involved was heartwarming. 

The preparation that went in to the last 48 hours behind the scenes for this wedding was something else. It was physically and mentally nuts!! I'm my own worst enemy sometimes, often thinking of little things I'd like to add right at the last minute.. Pretty chair decor for example! Thanks to my wonderful mum who has a little ribbon obsession and is always on hand when I say, "Erm, do you think WE could do this" when ever I come up with an idea. I can just see her rolling her eyes now because it's never ever as simple as just saying yes. We were up cutting and tying ribbons until late in to the night and that was after I'd had her helping me fill a hundred vases with wild flowers.. thank goodness for my mum! 

The two days before the wedding we'd had the worst weather ever! It rained non stop, which obviously wasn't great considering we'd planned to have the majority of the day outside in a garden! Thankfully on the actual day it only rained a couple of times for short periods... good job we stocked up on the brollies and Dan had added sides to The Lowarth the day before, just in the nick of time!

The sun did shine throughout and at one point there was even a double rainbow..

I do believe that was a gift from Emma!

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I have so much love and gratitude for everyone involved because without you the wedding auction and the wedding itself would never have been possible....I am so proud of what we all achieved.

Love and blessings to L