Saturday 3rd February saw me and Al traveling 227 miles up to Tatton Park in Cheshire, where Bride: The Wedding Show was being held in association with Cheshire Life. I have been eagerly waiting for this event to come around, as I was curious as to what exactly made this show the leading wedding event in the North West. From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by deer roaming around in the 1,000 acre park and despite the grey skies and drizzly weather we needn’t of worried about our spirits being dampened.

When we saw the huge white marquee, nothing could have prepared us for what was to come. It was everything a bride imagines at her first wedding show and more! I instantly fell in love with the magnificent 4 Weddings Gospel Choir and String Infusion, who sounded like angels singing. And despite the event attracting hundreds of couples from across the UK, we were greeted by a lovely gentleman who directed us to the VIP desk for our tickets to the Fashion Show – more on that later!

Confetti and Crumbs

After collecting our tickets, we proceeded through the main entrance where I was given my very own copy of the latest Cheshire Bride magazine and a showguide which outlined over 150 exhibitors that were showcasing as this year’s event. With the show in its 16th year, brides and grooms where spoilt for choice and really could plan their whole day under one roof.

Whilst, I was eager to meet all of the incredible exhibitors, Al was keen to grab a beer from the Prosecco Pot and locate the toilets – we had just travelled non-stop for over 4 hours. So we headed to the other end of the marquee, with me ohhh and ahhing as we went, poor Al. Once we had freshened up we took a moment to soak in the show, whilst listening to Six15 Events who totally changed my perspective of jazz music and made me reconsider my music choices. The prosecco went down a treat and got me in the mood for exploring, first we made a beeline for Church Mouse Cheeses who do the cutest cheese cakes and actually got Al excited. I swear you mention food, beer or cars and his ears go up!

Red Floral Architecture

Owen House Wedding Barn

The Prosecco Pot

Church Mouse Cheeses

The lovely John from  Church Mouse Cheeses was incredibly helpful and told us a bit more about what they offer and explained that delivering to the South East where we reside, wasn’t an issue at all. I might have been nibbling on some of the rather tasty cheddar, whilst digesting this information. John’s passion for the product left us both feeling excited about the prospect of a ploughman’s buffet for our wedding in the evening.

 

Everywhere we looked we were amazed by the incredible designs and floral arrangements from Springbank Flowers, Red Floral Architecture, Owen House Wedding Barn and Knutsford Bloom.

After a jam-packed morning full of inspiration, sensational performances and prosecco, it was time to make our way to the VIP area for the choreographed catwalk show which featured Cheshire Bridalwear, 7th Heaven Bridal, Maria Modes, J&J Designs, The Bridal Lounge, Knutsford Wedding Gallery, Nigel Rayment, Slater Menswear and Groom. All of the models were absolutely brilliant and made the show feel relaxed, fun and professional.

Sadly, like all good things, the event flew by in a haze of beautiful dresses, entertaining performances, delicious food and drink, friendly faces and breathtaking floral displays. Bride The Show really did live up to its reputation as the leading wedding event in the North West. Whilst, my bank balance is begging me not to go planning the renewal of my vows just yet, if you are lucky enough to be planning your wedding, then make sure you check out one of their shows, that are up and down the country, and definitely book VIP tickets for the fashion show – it’s not to be missed!

 

I would love to know how your planning is going. Leave a comment below.

 

Love Emma.

XxXx

 

I was invited to this event by Carousel PR, however all opinions and photos are my own.

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With just over a year until our Wedding day every penny really does count and saving is definitely top of the agenda for Al and I, but with the latest iPhone 7 on the market and more pressure to deliver Insta-worthy flatlays, I am beginning to feel the pressure when it comes to purchasing a new phone. Luckily for me my phone contract is almost up but after signing up to a deal that didn’t meet my needs and paying over the odds for the last couple of years, I decided that this time I would do my research earlier to ensure that I purchased the right device for me.

la blonde voyage

Flawless Flatlays.

But what if you could compare mobile contracts and SIM-only deals in one place when it suits you? Luckily for me you now can, as a gentleman named Adam Cable founded MobilePhoneChecker back in 2006 to help find the best deal for us.

Now if I am honest I love saving money on the things I want, but I  don’t exactly want to spend hours on the internet just so I can source a good deal. I would much rather be capturing the perfect flatlay with my built in 12MP camera. So I decided that whilst I won’t be purchasing a new mobile device until later in September 2017, I better check out the latest deals. I may even consider switching my mobile provider as I have been with O2 for several years now, but just recently I have struggled to achieve a decent mobile signal.

The deals I found that met my exact requirements included:

  1. EE came out at the top with unlimited minutes, texts and 5 GB for my data allowance on a 24 month contract. Despite having to pay £89.99 upfront for the handset  the monthly cost was only £42.99 with an average monthly cost of £46.74.

With my last three bills being £71.50 or higher, this could potentially save me £24.76 a month. That means that I could save £297.12 on my device plan alone! I have to say I am surprised just how much I could save, that would almost cover a deposit for our honeymoon and with the upfront cost being £10 less than what I would normally pay that is £307.12 that I could save or £604.24 as the contract is over 24 months.

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Dreaming of crystal clear waters and sandy beaches.

If you have a particular network provider that you would like to stay with then mobilephonechecker can also search for the best deal for you with that provider. So the next deal I looked at was with my current provider O2

2. The best deal with o2 was their 24 month contract with unlimited texts and minutes, 10GB of data  and an upfront cost of £79.99. However, the average monthly bill came in at £58.33 that’s £11.59 more than the EE offer. As my average monthly data usage is only 3.3GB I don’t require 10GB of data. So for me the EE deal is defiantly the winner and I am most likely going to switch my network provider after seeing this

My Requirements where:

  • 4GB of Data
  • 500 Minutes
  • 500 Texts

 

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Summer Dreams.

This website is incredibly easy to use and can find you the best deals literally within seconds. To help me ascertain what my needs where I used the o2 app which showed me my usage for each month as well as a monthly average and then I just selected the applicable option for me on the mobilephonechecker website it really was that easy.

Why not check it out today and see how much you could save

mobilephonechecker

Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to go and have another look at our dream honeymoon destination in the Caribbean. Steel pans, Rum and sun here we come.

Love Emma

XxXx

This post is a paid for collaboration with mobilephonechecker.co.uk  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Every little girl dreams of the day she will try on her dress, the one that makes her feel like a real life princess. Of course after discovering the one a bride turns her search to nailing down the perfect dress for those special ladies in her life – her bridesmaids.

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Today I was that bride that took a very exciting journey down to White Dresses and Tiaras. From the moment I stepped into the boutique I was greeted with an array of stunning bridal designs adorned with beautiful intricate details and glistening beads that sparkled as the sunlight captured them. We were quickly greeted by the lovely Jodie who immediately offered us refreshments and showed us to our very own private corner where we could enjoy the VIP experience even more.

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After receiving mediocre customer service from other bridal shops in the past, it was wonderful to be able to enjoy a bridal experience like no other. Jodie was incredibly helpful and offered both myself and my special ladies a tailor made service that met our every need. No request was too much, White Dresses and Tiaras really do set the perfect tone for pure bridal bliss. From appointment confirmations and reminders to personalised fittings for each one of your special ladies, I can’t recommend White Dresses and Tiaras enough. My only regret is that I didn’t discover this incredible boutique sooner. Moral of the story like all great things, you can’t hurry love.

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With Thanks to White Dresses and Tiaras for an unforgettable day.

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Love Emma

XxXx

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I first discovered Natalie’s beautiful bouquets and floristry back in 2006 when my Sister got married. Fast forward 10 years and I met her at a local wedding fair in Arundel where both myself and Al fell in love with Amberlilys.  They often say that your relationship with your wedding supplier’s is crucial to the overall success of your special day and Natalie was great at answering our questions, sharing her expertise and putting us both at ease. After trawling Pininterest for just over a year and sending numerous emails and messages to Natalie, me and Al both agreed that we couldn’t think of anyone who we would rather have as our florist, so we went ahead and booked Natalie for our 2018 Summer wedding.

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A cute idea for your wedding photograph’s perhaps?

How much of our wedding budget should we allocate for our flowers?

Mmm, general guide would be 5-10% of total cost of wedding.

We are having a 2 year engagement when should I book my florist?

If your florist is recommended she will probably be booking a year ahead especially during wedding seasons typically June through August.

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A symbol of a long life and good luck makes the Sunflower the perfect choice for your wedding blooms.

I am on a really tight budget, what can I do to ensure I get the most from it?

Make sure you choose seasonally abundant flowers i.e. Don’t ask for peonies in August as their season is May to June. Ask your florist to help you get the best for your money as they’ve made many weddings to many budgets. Above all be realistic as the Internet can show lots of designs but not all will be in your reach.

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Natalie is guaranteed to make all of your floral dreams blossom!

I really want peonies but I am getting married in August. What alternatives should I consider?

There are many open blousy roses such as David Austen or Equadorian varieties that look similar to peonies. Remember that buying peonies if put of season will be costly if they’re available and they’ll not be at their best either!

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Peonies are the perfect choice for a Spring Wedding.

What made you want to become a florist?

 I was made redundant from my job, I’ve always been arty so I went to an open day at an Agricultural college and decided to sign up for Floristry! Took all my qualifications and got a job in a florist to get hands on experience whilst I learned.

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This stunning assemble would look great during the Summer.

Do you have any other hobbies?

Yes I love to draw and paint, use pastels and I am teaching myself crochet!  I Love to be at the seaside or in the woods with my best friend Little Pip

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“Stop and smell the roses.”

What is your favourite flower and why?

Favourite flower is Lily of the valley, beautiful delicate and highly scented

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With just over 150 types of roses you are guaranteed to find one that means something to you.

Have you always work as a florist?

No I’ve trained as a mortgage advisor, worked in a bank and in Insurance and whilst in Canada I worked in a telecommunications company!

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Another romantic floral dream.

 

What would look great for a barn wedding?

A barn wedding….most have beautiful interiors and I would always try to keep to the theme to match the venue. Lots of foliage’s and candle light in particular is a favourite of mine.

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“Lots of foliage’s and candle light in particular is a favourite of mine.”

Any tips on how to find the right florist?

I think you need to meet the florist, I love meeting my brides to be…it’s an exciting time. Share any ideas with them and ask them for their help as they will guide you. Make a scrap-book of designs and colours you like before meeting as it helps to have a starting point. You’ll know if they’re right and don’t just go for the cheapest, especially if their work is not your style.

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Just one of the many bouquets created by Natalie that I am currently dreaming of for our special day.

Well that concludes this week’s Bride diaries from the talented Natalie from Amberlilys. If you are considering a florist and would like to see some more examples of her fantastic creations then you can find her over on Facebook . Whilst I am disappointed that I am unable to create my dream Peony filled bouquet, I am confident that Natalie will exceed all of our wildest dreams when it comes to creating some floral masterpieces for our Summer Barn wedding and I know that with her guidance we will create something that we all love.

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Precious moments captured.

As a Bride-To-Be I am all too aware of how intense it can be when it comes to choosing those special people to make your big day one to remember – for all the right reasons. After all, your wedding suppliers can make or break your day. So, I have decided to start a series of posts called ‘Bride Diaries’ where I will interview some of the industry’s top suppliers on all those questions you need asking.

Here to help me kick off this series is the lovely ‘Nicki Feltham’ whose personality not only shines through in her work, but also in everything she does. You may have already heard me mention her a couple of times over on Instagram and that is because me and Al have decided that she would be the perfect person to capture all of our precious memories on our wedding day. So, over to Nicki and all things wedding related.

How much should I expect to spend on a good Photographer and is it something worth spending money on just for one day?

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. Everyone has a budget and everyone has priorities – for some they want to spend all their money on their dress or the food or mode of transport but they’re not fussed who takes the photos so they get a friend to take some snaps. For some they will cut corners everywhere possible in order to afford the photographer whose work they love and trust just so that they can have beautiful lasting memories of what was important to them on their wedding day – not the car that drove them there, not the dress they wore but all the people who came to see them get married… their beloved friends and family, So you could say the price is irrelevant. Personally I think if I fell in love with someone’s work and they were priced reasonably (around the £1.5 -£2k mark) then I would make every step possible to hire them for my day. Although a wedding isn’t really just one day either, it is the beginning of the book, the start of the first chapter in a married couple’s lives. So you could look upon photography as an investment rather than a one-off payment – also to a photographer it is much more than just one day’s work of course.

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Non-intrusive, natural shots simply capturing the day as it unfolds.

There is so much choice when it comes to photographers. How do I pick one that is right for us?

There are a lot of photographers out there it’s true! Anyone with a camera can call themselves a photographer now, in fact that’s how I started! Look for someone’s work you love, who’s consistently good, who’s been around a while, who comes recommended … ask to see a full gallery, chat to them to get a feel for who they really are. Then If you click (excuse the pun) it’s all good!

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A good relationship with your photographer is important if you want to ensure you achieve images like this one.

When should I book my photographer?

The popular ones do get booked up a year or so in advance for the key dates in July and August – to avoid disappointment book as early as you can I’d say!

Any tips on how to find the right photographer?

Ask your friends on Facebook for recommendations then just start trawling the web! You can search for hashtags on Instagram too. Alternatively, you could look through the wedding blogs to see if anyone’s work jumps out at you.

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See whose work stands out.

Any questions I should ask my photographer when meeting them?

Just get to know them – more important than anything is that you get along with the photographer so you could ask them anything and chat about what ever you want. You could ask how they shoot a wedding day too…but if your photographer is right for you and you have checked their work out prior to meeting them then you’ll know roughly how they shoot – be it staged and posed with a big flash set ups or natural ninja style so your guests don’t really notice!

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Nicki working her natural ninja style.

What made you want to get into wedding photography and have you always been a photographer?

I love to make people smile, I’m a people pleaser I think – always have been. Capturing people smiling I’ve realised is just as rewarding as making them smile so rather than become a wedding crasher I thought it best to pick up a camera and still go as a sort of guest – happy to smile and chat with guests but with a hidden agenda; when they all relaxed and happy in my company I step away and capture the fun, laughter and smiles and I love it! I didn’t at first the thought of capturing a wedding day filled me with fear… I still get nervous before every one I shoot but once I’m there it all goes away as the feelings around me and the happiness I witness takes over. Before I became a photographer I was a full-time mum-Oh actually hold on, I still am a full-time mum! No one’s taken over that job for me…I just work long crazy hours! Before that I worked as a tour operator and booked people’s holidays for them!

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“I step away and capture the fun, laughter and smiles and I love it!”

Apart from photography, what else do you like to do in your spare time?

I love walking, playing the guitar, going out with friends, having friends over, visiting family…I fill my time with as much fun and happiness as I can I’m not happy unless I’m busy, for someone who sits and edits an awful lot I don’t do sitting still very well.

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How beautiful is this bouquet?

Can I specify what shots I want taken by my photographer?

Yes – if you have a god parent or special relative or friend the photographer wouldn’t necessarily know about and you have a lot of guests it might be worth letting them know…also occasionally it’s a wedding taking place in a family church and the bride’s grandma had a certain photo in the church gardens by the lych gate that she wants replicated and that’s fine. Maybe there’s a charm on your bracelet that was your mum’s…all things like this that the photographer wouldn’t automatically know about are good to mention. Otherwise again with trust you can be assured your photographer will do their own thing and be capturing all the fun from their eyes.

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“A good photograph to me is one that portrays emotion and feelings.”

What makes a good photograph?

Being in focus is good, the perfect light helps, composition is handy but honestly…truthfully… a good photo to me is the one that portrays emotion and feeling. One that makes you go ahhh or laugh out loud. One that causes you to react – maybe even cry. That’s a good photo!

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Pinterest worthy photography.

What is your favourite subject matter to shoot?

People – definitely. I love capturing people…

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“A wedding isn’t really just one day either, it is the beginning of the book, the start of the first chapter in a married couple’s lives.”

A big thank you to the beautiful Nicki from Nicki Feltham Photography  for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some wedding related questions. If you are thinking of booking a photographer for your big day and would like to see some more of Nicki’s stunning work, then click on the links below.

Nicki Feltham Photography

Nicki’s Facebook

I really hope that this post has left you feeling inspired and perhaps even excited, not only for your big day, but also when it comes to finding the best photographer that you both so deserve. Getting married in 2018? I would love to hear all about your plans or just drop me a message for a chat. Have a fabulous Friday.

Love Emma,

XxXx

This is not a sponsored post and all views are my own. Any images used throughout this post remain the sole property of Nicki Feltham.

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