June and July and a bit of August– 2 and a half months in the life of an event planner!
People are often asking me “So, are you busy at the moment? Do you have any events or weddings coming up soon?”, to which I always reply – “Yes but I’m working on them now”. Event planning is a complex way of life that involves multi-tasking and versatility on a mass scale. Yes, the event or wedding may be on such and such a date but most of the actual work goes on beforehand and sometimes in the weeks and months afterwards too. Add to that the range of events and projects that may be on the go simultaneously and constantly overlapping in various ways, as well as the everyday tasks of trying to run a business, and you soon find yourself spinning lots of plates in the air. Luckily for me, I quite like plates!
So, I thought it might be a useful exercise to list some of the things I’ve been up to and who I’ve been working with in the last 2 and a half months. So here it is – a rough synopsis of 2 and a half months in the life of an event and wedding planner (but please remember to add all the emails, site visits, meetings and phonecalls that go with it!):
Outdoor Garden wedding:
Last weekend I set up, decorated and managed Alyx and Jonny’s outdoor marquee wedding in York. It was held in Alyx’s parents’ 3-tier garden which goes down to the river Ouse. We’ve been planning it since last year and has involved hundreds of emails going back and forth, organising the creative theme, decor items and purchases, generator, PA hire and outdoor lighting. We’ll be talking more about the wedding and sharing the photos from it, on the blog shortly….
Wedding Venue Search:
J and D were looking for an informal countryside rustic barn setting within about 1 hour of Sheffield. This sent me off looking at more barn and outdoor sites particularly in the Peak District. Amongst those we visited were Beechenhill Farm near Ashbourne and Foxholes Farm in Bradfield. Foxholes is great as you can rent the whole site and cottages for the weekend and there are no restrictions as to when you need to turn the music off!
Beechenhill Farm is one of the most beautiful barn venues I’ve been to with strong environmental standards, gorgeous country views and near to lots of accommodation for your guests, inlcuding some on-site. The wedding ceremony takes place upstairs and then there’s room downstairs for your reception:
We recently partnered up with Valerie from Left Luggage Creative Training and Facilitation to run two events for Sheffield Hallam University. One was a guest speaker and dinner evening in Sheffield city centre’s Millennium Galleries:
Guests were entertained by the highly talented classical guitarist Andrew Clegg:
Flowers by Swallows and Damsons:
Lovely desserts served at the Millennium Gallery event:
The next event was a creative day workshop at the beautiful ‘countryside in the city’ venue Kenwood Hall Hotel in Nether Edge, Sheffield:
Both venues were brilliant and all the staff looked after us very well indeed!
Indian Kashmiri Restaurant:
In June we were asked by Azad’s, the new Kashmiri restaurant at Woodburn Road, Darnall, to organise flowers and decor for their opening night. Anna from Swallows and Damsons did me these wonderful arrangements in a very short turnaround time. Thanks Anna!:
40th Birthday Party:
‘E’ recently contacted me to organise her future 40th birthday weekend in the Peak District. This prompted me to visit some beautiful grand youth hostels and cottage complexes in the Peak District. It took me back to the days when I used to organise residential retreat weekends at venues and youth hostels around Scotland. Lots of people nowadays are opting for more informal and relaxed celebrations where they can hang out with friends and family and feel at home. I think this would be my ideal sort of party too!
Dessert Bars and Candy Buffets:
Enquiries to hire our candy buffet jars are increasing, so much so that we decided to buy some new stock and different sized jars and containers. I’ve also been working on some new design concepts for various events.
One of my friends contacted me for some tips and advice as she has been organising Britain’s first national Breastfeeding Festival which has been taking place this week, in Ulverston, Cumbria. We were able to help her look at the project plan, logisitics, venues, speaker and costings.
Our plans are progressing well for next year’s historical events with a circus twist, based around one of my famous Victorian relatives. Watch this space!
We attended the Creative Exchange ‘Through the Looking Glass’ day tour of creative enterprises and met lots of new and inspiring creative people! Thanks to Rachel for the great organisation of a great day!
For a bit of light relief I’ve been reading the novel ‘Wedding Babylon - The Confessions of a Wedding Planner’ by Imogen Edwards Jones which follows a week in the life of a wedding planner and is full of funny anecdotes based on true stories!
Check out my vintage blog for what I’ve also been up to in the last 2 and a half months on the Vintage Front!