Personalised Hen Party Kits: Fun Idea for Jewellery Lovers… And Who Isn’t One of Those?!

I first met Working Clasp and Checkmybox at the super duper fantastic and totally awesome un-wedding fair that is the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza earlier this year. They gifted me a bright pink necklace spelling out the word “bitches” as an example of their new concept where brides looking for a non-traditional and more stand out hen do could host an event creating their own customised necklaces. I could totally imagine hitting the town with some of my girlies wearing matching naughty necklaces similar to the one they made for me! Here is the low down from the ladies behind the two brilliant companies behind the idea…..

hen party kit

In recent years the idea of a traditional hen party has evolved from Barbie pink L plates and slippery male torsos to an all the more classier affair. The resurgence of craft has given today’s hen an alternative or just an added extra when organising a party for all the girls. Here at Checkmybox/Working Clasp HQ we decided we wanted to bridge the gap between the tasteful day’s events and the scandalous evening’s chaos. We wanted to combine decorative cupcakes with fancy dresses, frilly knickers and foolish nicknames. We wanted to unite craft and celebration, with the option to make a truly unique keepsake for all the girls to enjoy.

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personalised hen do necklaces

Our kits not only include all the pieces you need to create your own customised name necklace, but also include detailed instructions to begin making jewellery and enough tools for every hen to take home and continue to create their own jewellery after the event!

We offer a fully customisable selection of letters and charms that come individually bagged with the rest of the necklace parts. We can make a variety of colours and you can pick a font from a huge selection for the range. We work very closely with our hens to make sure everything is exactly as required. And don’t worry with previous examples ranging from childhood nicknames to more outrageous, tongue in cheek puns, we’ve seen (and can make) it all! 

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If you want to find out more about hosting your own alternative hen party event then check out the Personalised Hen Party Kits via Checkmybox.

Such a cute idea don’t you think?

Jessie

x

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Wedding Chat with Great British Pizza

Hi ladies & gents,

What a grey and rainy week we’ve had after such a good start to Spring. Hope any brides getting married this month have got their wellies and umbrellas at the ready?! Always be prepared!

Every once in a while I come across an awesome new wedding supplier in the Cotswolds that I feel the need to share with you all. I was contacted recently by the lovely Rachel from The Great British Pizza Co, a new start up catering company who drive around the Cotswolds (and further afield) in their beautifully restored 1974 VW Campervan, selling delicious handmade pizzas from their bespoke wood-fired oven at Farmers Markets, Festivals and private events.

It’s an awesome alternative for delicious grub to serve up at a laid back wedding, or those wanting something a little more unique to offer guests. It’s also perfect for birthday’s and children’s parties where you want to inject a bit of fun!

Where possible, these guys use local, seasonal ingredients and, if at all possible, organic ones too. They have travelled the Cotswolds looking for the best suppliers for flour, cheese, meat and vegetables. They also source goodies from their own garden, from local growers and farmers and other excellent local producers. The menu looks delish!

So to help introduce this new venture from behind the scenes, let’s hear it from Rachel herself….

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I’m a passionate foodie and award winning chef *editors note – Rachel actually told me that she is just a good cook who knows a bit about food, but the former statement is also true!

I’ve lived all over the world, travelled even more of the world, and tried to make a living in almost every industry that interests me, from retail to property and publishing to tennis coaching, before finally settling on food, where I’ve found my true vocation.

Tell me a little bit about your service

Great British Pizza Co. captures the zeitgeist of the mobile food movement with our travelling wood-fired pizza company. We serve delicious pizzas, using the highest quality ingredients, supporting local producers where possible, freshly made to order from our bespoke wood-fired oven.

How long have you been in business?

We started three weeks ago!

How did you get involved in your profession?

My partner, Lisa, and I had a successful pub in Wiltshire (which was a lifelong dream come to fruition), but we had to give it up when I became unwell and unable to continue the 16 hour days in the kitchen. I was having some treatment in Orlando, Florida at the end of last year and came across a food truck convention in the car park of a huge DIY store – there were 30-odd mobile food offerings, serving incredible food. Each stall had queues of dozens of people. A seed was planted and it’s grown from there. It’s perfect – all the great things about cooking for a living without the stress and hassle of employees, paying rent and never having time off. The downside is the 4.30am starts!

If you weren’t involved in your own business, what else would you like to do?

Property development or interior design.

What or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by successful women in business like Karren Brady and Sarah Blakely. And my travels – food, architecture, people…. all make me look at things differently and give me lots of fresh ideas and inspiration.

What do you love most about what you do?

Producing fantastic food that makes people happy.

What makes your service unique?

Our oven. Our toppings. Our customer service.

What’s your best memory from your job so far?

When we sold out of pizzas at our second market. And the fact that two customers came back for a second pizza.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had?

Margarita pizza with banana. Seriously! The customer is, apparently, always right.

What’s your working week like?

7 days a week. If we not on our stall serving pizzas, we’re elbow-deep in dough, prepping the toppings, sending out press releases, generating bookings for festivals, markets and other events, or planning the next phase of the business.

What made you want to work in the wedding industry?

I believe that weddings are evolving and are not necessarily the formal events they once were. I think we can offer something unique to couples looking for a fun, different, delicious and exceptional value for money alternative to the formal sit down catering option.

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry?

That mobile food units serve greasy, low quality food. Though the industry is changing rapidly and mobile street food is currently a very fashionable way to eat. As Giles Coren said in The Times a few weeks ago; “The best restaurants now do only one thing, very fast, and usually from the back of a van”.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their wedding?

Have fun.

Where can we find you?

www.greatbritishpizza.com.
Twitter: @greatbritishpizza
Facebook: Great British Pizza Co.
Phone: 07730875340

So there you have it, fab idea right? Now someone please book them and let me feature the wedding on here next! 🙂

Jessie

x

www.jessiethomson.co.uk

jessie@jessiethomson.co.uk

A Cotswold Birthday Treat at Barnsley House and The Village Pub

Morning all,

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to catch up with my blog posts yesterday… a baby girl announcement and rainy day engagement shoot to die for! But today I wanted to share a few images from a gorgeous 50th birthday party I co-ordinated and styled at Barnsley House and The Village Pub in the Cotswolds back in February this year.

Weddings are a real passion of mine, but I also love any good party… especially milestone events in our lives like naming days, birthdays and anniversaries. This particular 50th birthday weekend of celebrations was nothing short of spectacular. Guests came from London and Scotland to see what the Cotswolds had to offer, and I kick started my new obsession with bay & rosemary scented candles. So darn good!!

There were spa treatments with champagne, chocolates and strawberries for the ladies on Saturday… whilst the gents watched rugby in the cinema at Barnsley House, complete with beer on tap of course! There was a fabulous cocktail party and a candle lit dinner for 80 guests that evening… and as I watched the snow keep falling I wondered if I was ever going to get half the guests back to Bibury Court that night. Luckily a few 4×4 volunteers appeared and as the roads started to clear the taxi’s came out again… I had visions of leading guests back on foot by torch light, and given that I was 37 weeks pregnant at the time, it wasn’t something to look forward to!

Hat’s off to the FANTASTIC staff  who stayed over night in make shift beds in the spa and conference room, not all of them were able to get back home and the commitment of everyone who stayed and the superb management reminded me that Barnsley House really is an elite venue in the Cotswolds.

The next day I headed back over to the picturesque village, now covered in white, to set up for a pub quiz at The Village Pub over the road for those guests who weren’t too hungover/cold to venture out of their cosy beds! Yummy food and water (!) flowed, with the winning team taking home gorgeous coffee table books about the Cotswolds home with them.

Here are a few images from the evening with thanks to Kenneth James Photography – I think you’ll agree that the birthday girl has three gorgeous daughters, all of whom I’d love to help plan weddings with in the future! The beautiful flowers were supplied by the ever lovely Rachel Jones and later that night the music was provided by Cheltenham DJ Neil Ollerton who somehow managed to get all his kit in despite the snow stopping his van getting far past the entrance to the main drive! You gotta love a good supplier!

The hard work paid off, here are a few of the lovely words that were sent to me after the excitement and celebrations were over:

“Now that things have calmed down a bit I wanted to drop you a note to say thank you for all your help during the weekend. It was great to know that someone else with an eye for detail was looking out for my guests. I particularly appreciated that you hand wrote the two missing place cards and that you got the wet coat rack moved (I had noticed it and was going to say something but couldn’t think of anywhere it could go and told myself to chill out as no-one else was noticing it – but I was very happy when it ‘disappeared’ !). I’m sure we’ll be back in touch but just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate everything and I’m sure Barnsley House would be delighted to work with you again (as I would if I could just think of another fab event to plan!).”

Is anyone working at or planning their own wedding or event at Barnsley House & Spa this year? I’d love to hear all about it.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Jessie

x

http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

jessie@jessiethomson.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/cotswoldweddings

Up, up and away!

Hello fellow brides, grooms, bloggers and wedding pro’s…

First of all I have an apology to make as I have been utterly and totally behind on my blogging the last few weeks. I’ve been super busy planning gorgeous events and also had the amazing news that I am pregnant! Now that I’ve come back down to earth and am safely out of the first trimester, bump and I can get back to business providing advice and design inspiration to couples looking to get married in the Cotswolds.

This week I have a super special feature on BALLOONS! Just the word itself conjures up all sorts of bubbly, colourful, and fun images that would suit a carefree and happy couple totally and completely.

Whether you’re sticking to a colour theme, or going all out “rainbow” there are lots of fun ways to include this fun accessory into your big day.

Take a peek at this bright canary yellow and orange theme below. Not a colour combination I’d usually be drawn towards but I adore this splash of summer brights against the wedding party’s more subtle outfits. Just peachy!

Bridesmaids with balloons

Or perhaps you’re wanting to inject a more subtle blend of colours, but love the idea of using balloons to create impact with your guests and treasured photographs. There are plenty of shades to choose from… love the idea of a pastel collection of soft pinks, sage green, lilac, duck egg blues and white. It’s like sugared almonds and sugar mice with a sprinkle of loveliness.

Pastel colour balloons

My absolute favourite use of these fabulous childhood friendly props is when they are a kaleidoscope of colour, which is a theme carried out throughout the venue and decor. A bit Glastonbury meets Wizard of Oz! There is so much to get creative with when you’re not stuck to one colour palette – unmatched bridesmaid dresses, bright shoes under a wedding dress, groomsmen with multi-coloured mixed ties and shoes, flowers that truly stand out from the crowd… endless possibilities! Some inspiration below to get you started…

Fabulous multi-coloured bridesmaids

Colourful wedding - flowers

Amazing, right?!

If you’re not feeling brave enough to take all this on for your own wedding day, but love the idea of balloons featuring somewhere you could always have a fun filled engagement shoot using balloons in whatever colour you chose. Or why not have a fun “guest book” asking guests to write a good wish to the bride and groom on a tag or label, ask each guest to tie it to a balloon – and then with a suitably favourite track in the back ground ask everyone to release them all at once and watch them romantically drift away.

Of course ladies and gents, you know I love to support local wedding businesses – so let me introduce you to the rather wonderful and super lovely supplier… The Balloon Lady! Based in Oxfordshire, with 17 years experience, there is nothing they don’t know about these inflatable goodies. Oh, and they also do flowers. Great combo huh?! I was lucky enough to be sent a rather gorgeous story of one of their weddings that they loved decorating. It featured rocket balloons, party poppers, bubbles and streamers for the guests to play with – but the piece de resistance was for the end of the first dance, where they hand hung four exploding balloon bombs from the beams in the barn… at the end of the first dance these were burst, showering the room with small balloons and slow dropping table confetti! Magic!

See a photo from the day below, balloons used in pinks with a very classy theme in a gorgeous barn:

Venue decoration by The Balloon Lady

So, who’s gone full balloon theme on their wedding day? Or perhaps you’ve been more subtle and only featured them somewhere in the event? Would love to see creative photo’s from those who’ve already tied the knot.

Righto, off to watch Up (the movie) now… all this inflatable talk has got me feeling cheery.

Take care.

Jessie

xx

http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

Twitter: @Jessie_Thomson

Are you a local supplier waiting to tell the world about your services? Are you an inspiration to the industry or to your clients? Please get in touch for future interview opportunities on the blog!

Credits: Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, Bridal Musings, The Balloon Lady

Cotswold Wedding and Weekend Kookiness!

Afternoon wedilicious readers… I came across a website today that I just LOVE love love. Seriously, it rocks out some awesomely good ideas for anyone spreading their wedding day festivities over a long weekend and looking for something a little alternative for their family and friends to do in the Cotswolds… I present to you Kooky Cotswold Tours….here’s the website blurb…

kook-y –adjective, kook-i-er, kook-i-est. Slang . of, like, or pertaining to a kook; eccentric, strange, or foolish

At Kooky Cotswold Tours we make sure you see the best of what´s on offer – plus a little bit of what you never knew existed. The Cotswolds are all about honey coloured villages, cream teas and grandiose manors, but what about the underbelly? The people behind the scenery? What is off the beaten track?

What you´ll get with Kooky Tours are all the bits in between that most people visiting the Cotswolds never get to see. The real life, the peculiar, the kooky. The unique people and places behind hedgerows and down hidden lanes that make this part of the world what it is.

We travel in smaller groups, which allows us to get a little deeper into the countryside to see the real charm of this part of England without upsetting the locals! Tours are relaxed and informal, yet professional and safe.

Yup. I’m a massive fan of the eccentric so this is right up my street! What better way for your guests to spend the pre/post-wedding days than an afternoon of wild swimming or the local past time of Aunt Sally (grown men throwing sticks at a dolly. seriously).

I  also dig a wedding with a little unique style, and one of my fave ideas for wedding transport is…

Image from Snippet & Ink: http://www.snippetandink.com

Oh the fun you could have with running this theme all the way through. Perhaps picking up on the “daisy” theme from the chorus of the famous song:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do, 

I’m half crazy all for the love of you. 

It won’t be a stylish marriage – I can’t afford a carriage, 

But you’d look sweet upon the seat

Of a bicycle built for two.


Image from: Wedding Talk blog; Sara and Rocky Photography

I am dying for a couple to chose this theme for 2011/12!! Adorable.

That’s all for today… hope it inspires you.

Jessie x

www.jessiethomson.co.uk

www.jessiethomson.co.uk/services