Christmas always surprises me with its arrival – time seems to speed up from the end of the summer onward. But this year it feels particularly emotional to be approaching December 31st. These last 12 months have been big! I started the year in utter happy shock at being named Wedding Planner of the Year at the Wedding Industry Awards, and I’m ending 2019 by heading across the world with my family to pastures new in Australia. We fly to Sydney on New Years Eve to start a new chapter in our lives, and I cannot wait.
Life Down Under
This move is something that has only come about in the last couple of months. It’s scary and exhilarating and full of potential and butterflies and sleepless nights and stressful unknowns. But however much I might feel anxious about it, I am 100% confident that it is the right decision for me and for my family, and also for my business. The business will be going through some changes as I adjust to life down under (for a start, my little black book will be exploding with a range of talented Australian suppliers!), but at its heart, For The Love Of Weddings won’t be changing at all. I’m expanding my love affair with the wedding industry to include another continent, and am hungry for the inspiration I’ll gather there, but the UK still holds my heart. I’ll be working with courageous romantics in England and Australia from 2020 onwards.
I’ll be sharing snippets of life in Sydney as we adjust to our new home (and there’s a shiny new look for the business coming soon too – watch this space), and I am excited and jittery to see what awaits us on the other side of the world.
What Do I Stand For?
Watching my business grow this year has made me focus on the sort of planner I am, and really zone in on what it is I want to be known for. I’m going into 2020 feeling peaceful and ready for the challenges ahead, and I have each of my couples this year to thank for that. Every one of the weddings I’ve worked on this year I am truly proud of, and each one has taught me something about my business and reaffirmed why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m beyond thankful to each of my couples for their trust and faith in me – together we have made magic this year.
So, join me in a trip down memory lane as I look back on this year’s weddings and what they’ve taught me. If you’re after a bumper crop of styled shoot gorgeousness and an abundance of nitty-gritty beautiful detail, then I’ve got you covered in this post right here.
Clarissa and Sho, Notting Hill & Kew Gardens, March 2019
These two beautiful people taught me about opulence on a grand scale and a short time-frame. I came on board this amazing wedding at Kew Gardens (I mean, wow) thanks to powerhouse award-winning florist Emma Soulsby. We worked hard and fast to build something truly spectacular. The combination of soft grey, deep purple and lush-yet-whimsical floral installations made for an incredible sight on entering the glass orangery. Kew Gardens had long been on my list of must-style venues – thank you, Clarissa and Sho for making one of my dreams come true.
Faye and Paul, Garthmyl Hall, May 2019
Ah, Faye and Paul. Your wedding weekend was so bloody beautiful! This three-day extravaganza at my favourite UK venue, Garthmyl Hall, reaffirmed my love of the tiny details, and the way they add up to a subtle, graceful and oh-so-beautiful whole. The way the stationery mirrored the bridal suite’s mural, which was again reflected in the colour of the seasonal flowers and the indoor meadow created along the top table. The way that a bohemian spirit was woven through the walled garden and marquee for the ceremony and reception… Everything felt cohesive and had that ‘just the way it should be’ sense to it, that I find immeasurably satisfying.
Kate and Adam, Garthmyl Hall, June 2019
Back at Garthmyl and this time to celebrate Kate and Adam’s amazing day. You guys were like human sunshine during our entire planning process, and the beautiful bubble of love we created together in the walled garden at Garthmyl confirmed how important it is that I design what is a personal and completely safe space for each of my couples. A space that reflects their love story, and gives them room to be vulnerable, and to express themselves and their love as freely, emotionally and gleefully as they like. And boy was this wedding a gleeful one. I’m so glad you two came into my life, and I can’t wait for our paths to cross again, whether in London, LA or Sydney.
Lana and Richard, Hampton Manor, July 2019
Lana and Richard – you gorgeous pair – you taught me the importance of rolling with the punches (in the best possible way). During our time planning this stunner of a wedding day, Lana and Richard’s circumstances changed – first with the arrival of their beautiful daughter, then with a house move. Their wedding needs had to change alongside this, but I cannot imagine anything being more perfect for the two of them than the final scenario we designed. It’s such an important part of my role as planner and stylist to be able to adapt and flex the plans in order to best fit my couples and their changing needs. The finished set up for this Hampton Manor wedding day was enough to bring both Lana and me to happy tears! (A huge shout-out to my partner-in-crime and fellow planner, Laura, for this magical collaboration!)
Matt and Emma, Wilton's Music Hall, August 2019
So much of this wedding encapsulated the things I love most about this job. A venue thrumming with character and history (Wilton’s Music Hall), the warm glow of fairy lights, abundant flowers and swells of meaningful music. Emma and Matt, thanks for giving me a real life Love Actually experience with your epic brass band surprise during the ceremony. Thanks for being so joyously, proudly in love with each other and so generous with your celebratory spirit. This wedding was one for the books!
Becky and Graeme, Barns & Yard, October 2019
Sometimes, the universe throws out something amazing. This pair of lovebirds came to me via the owners of their chosen venue – the lovely Lisi and Kate at Barns & Yard. Becky and Graeme lived for years in Bondi, Sydney – where I’ll be making my home come January. As well as providing amazing information, friendly guidance and support about my move, their wedding was, quite frankly a dream. It was a completely beautiful explosion of love and fine art details, lifting this stunning barn venue away from the traditional