Wedding Chat With Assassynation

beach wedding

I’m really excited about today’s post because my pages are being graced with the presence of lovely Sassy, the beautiful lady behind the incredible Assasynation photography. Based not far from me in the Cotswolds, her fabulous images have been featured … Continue reading

Wedding Chat With Crown and Glory Hair Accessories

Ok so by now you must know about the sparkly bridal heaven for unique and alternative brides that is Crown and Glory right? No?! Where have you been??

Sophie’s creations have been featured on pretty much all the best blogs, endorsed by fashion mags and supported by major high street chains. It’s safe to say she’s a girl who knows a bit about making the perfect hair accessory. Personally I want one of her glitter hair bows in every colour. And one of her “whole lotta rosie” headbands too please. Actually just give me one of everything!

Just in case you haven’t heard all about Sophie and her pretty business, I recently interviewed her especially for the blog. And guess what? She also threw in a special offer of 15% off any online order of the ready to wear collection, just for my readers, all you need to do is  enter the discount code JESSIELOVES15 when you get to the checkout on her website!

butterfly bridal hair accessory

Image via Crown and Glory Lookbook Spring/Summer 2013

Tell me a little bit about yourself

Sophie, 25, from Cornwall UK. Think of me as your slightly eccentric best friend who likes cats, cooking and marathon shopping.

Tell me about Crown and Glory

Crown and Glory is an independent accessories label that was born from my delight of wearing things in my hair. From festival worthy florals to hi fashion turbans, our collections are trend led and fun, produced in low product runs right here in the UK. We pride ourselves in ensuring each piece is of the highest quality yet still totally affordable. We also take custom orders on a small basis.

How long have you been in business?

Officially trading 2 years in June, Crown and Glory started as a hobby and just kept growing. We’ve just taken on our first employee and hope to have more by the end of year 2!

crown and glory bridal

Image via Blue Daisy Photography

How did you get involved in the industry?

I fell into it a bit really – while I’ve always been in arts based education, Crown and Glory began as a hobby during university – my final year of my degree was slow and I wanted an escape, to be able to produce something just because I liked it – like I said, I’d always worn things in my hair and at the time, hair accessories were an ill thought, vague addition to high street jewellery lines or ridiculously overpriced.

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

That’s so hard! Through Crown and Glory I have found a love of fashion communications – from running the social media campaigns to that buzz when a piece of coverage is secured, so I guess you’d probably find me causing chaos at a fashion PR house.

What or who inspires you?

Cliched and contrived it may be, but my inspirations are from a vast array of sources – street style, high fashion, couture – people, stylists and designers who aren’t afraid to be a little different and have a lot of fun.

bride red hair

Image via Emma Case Photography

What do you love most about your job?

Each day is so varied – I can be bogged down in sample selection one minute and jaunting off to a meeting at Soho House the next. Receiving unexpected letters and emails of gratitude and thanks from customers warms my heart – I keep them in a little folder on my computer as a pick me up if things are getting me down.

What makes your service unique?

Attention to detail – our orders are wrapped like presents, we include luxe packaging as standard and go the extra mile with regards to customer service.

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

Sitting front row at London Fashion Week, September 2012, seeing my pieces on the models at Danillo Gabrielli for House of Evolution. The most surreal? A week earlier I was making headbands to order in the window of Oasis’ flagship Oxford Street store for their party for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. I told you, varied!

floral crown pink hair bride

Image via Lisa Devlin at Devlin Photos

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

I’m currently working on customising a piece for a bride – a family heirloom, her mother’s wedding crown, made current with silky spring hued florals. I was so nervous to begin attaching to it but it’s been such fun to see it coming together!

What’s your working week like?

I’m typically at my desk by 9am, having checked through the nights’ emails over breakfast in bed. Processing orders and customer service take priority, with a check through the press to see if we’ve gained any coverage on a Tuesday. Being based in Cornwall, a lot of my meetings with boutiques and wholesale clients are conducted over Skype in the afternoons. A quick trip to the local sorting office around 430 each day to deposit our post is a welcome 10 minute walk, especially in the spring sunshine. I get back and crack on with scheduling social media and blog posts for the next day and overview the order schedule. At the end of each working day (usually around 6-7pm) I head to the gym to wind down – spin class, Bodycombat, Bodymax and Pilates. I relax after I return with a nice dinner and a read through my favourites blogs and magazines.

What made you want to work in the wedding industry?

Again, I sort of fell into it! This is my first year of ‘working the circuit’ after last year I received custom orders from brides and amazing coverage from the likes of Rock n Roll Bride and Perfect Wedding mag. I love hearing about brides details and seeing them look so happy and smiley in their wedding photos.

crown and glory red glitter bow

Image via Lisa Devlin at Devlin Photos

Have you seen many changes since you started your business?

This year, it’s all about the ‘alternative’ wedding. Naysayers claim that it’s a term that is going to implode but I don’t see what can be so wrong with couples feeling that its ok for them to out their stamp on their day.

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry/service?

That everyone is out to make an extra buck as soon as the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned. I price all wedding orders as I would a custom order for a festival or race day, and actually am often able to offer discounts if I’m creating multiples of the same piece, for example.

Have you worked with any other vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married? And why?

We love all the folks that showcased at All About EWE (aka the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza) – Veronica Dearly, Emma Case, Polkadot Fox, Elbie van Eeden, Jenny Revive, so many more!

Where can we find you?

Web: http://www.crownandglory.co.uk
Email: sales@crownandglory.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/crownandglory_
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crownandgloryaccessories
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/crownandglory_
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/crownandglory

20 questions to ask a wedding photographer

Afternoon lovely people. I’m getting increasingly busy already this year, and whilst I love to blog as regularly as possible I thought it might be interesting for brides to be (and grooms to be!) if they also got a few hints and tips from other local wedding and event specialists that I work alongside and network with on a regular basis.

Kicking off with a guest post on “20 Questions to ask a Wedding Photographer” is Kelly from Kelly Weech Photography. This article is invaluable for all of you planning your wedding in the Cotswolds, but also for anyone getting married anywhere else in the UK! I’ll hand over to Kelly now for her expert advice on one of the most important areas of wedding planning…

Searching for a wedding photographer can be a never ending trawl of websites. It can be difficult to decide who is going to fulfil your expectations and make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Photographer Kelly  Weech reveals 20 questions you should ask a photographer to decide if they will be a good fit for your big day.

cotswold wedding photographer

1) What makes you different to other wedding photographers?

With a huge amount of photographers on the market a photographer need to offer something different to everyone else. Maybe it’s their approach, personality, exclusive albums or method of editing. Find out what sets them apart from the others.

2) What is your style of photography?

Every photographer is different and we have all our own approach to photographing a wedding. Find out what the photographer believe their style to be and decide if this is the approach you would like to be taken on your big day.

3) Can I see a recent, complete wedding from bridal prep to first dance?

Although photographers may believe their photography to be a particular style this is not always the case. Ask to see full collection of images from a recent wedding and if they claim their style to be documentary make a judgement from the images you see to decide if this style is reflected in their work.

somerset wedding photographer

4) Are your images from real weddings?

With a vast amount of photography workshops on the market always check if the images you see are from a real wedding. It has been known for photographers to set up mock wedding shoots and if this is the case they should inform you. On a wedding day you are not working with models, cannot predict the weather and it is important they show you the work they can achieve under pressure.

5) Can I see an album?

Always check out the finished product to check for quality of reproduction, design and presentation. I believe an album should tell a story of a wedding day from start to finish and should blow clients away with attention to detail.

6) Will you be the photographer on my wedding day?

I would always advise you meet the photographer that will be shooting on the day itself. As a couple you need to decide if this photographer makes you feel comfortable, your confident in their ability, will fit in with your guests and bring out the best in your personalities. You can other make these judgements if you meet in person. Remember first impressions count. You may even want to consider an engagement portrait to confirm they will be the best photographer for you.

what to ask a wedding photographer

7) Have you ever shot at my wedding venue before? Worked with my wedding planner? Makeup artist etc.?

The wedding industry becomes a small world once you have been in it a while. If a photographer has previously shot a wedding at the same venue ask to see the collection or from a similar venue to get an idea of how your wedding maybe captured. Some vendors have great working relationships and this can help things go smoothly on the day. It’s especially useful if your videographer and photographer have already worked together and understand each other’s needs on the day.

8) Are you fully insured?

Many photographers photograph weddings with no insurance. You may think this is no big deal however accidents do happen. If a photographer has wedding liability insurance it will cover the entire cost of re-staging the event should you feel your photographer has destroyed the whole event. For example, didn’t show up due to unforeseeable circumstances or lost your images. The insurance is unlikely to ever be used, but it gives you the security of knowing you are covered and shows a serious professional from an amateur.  

9) Do you have back up equipment?

Every wedding photographer should have a back up camera and lenses so nothing is left to chance on your special day. The backup camera and lenses should be just as good as the first choice camera and lenses.

bridesmaids whisper

10) What is your dress code?

Yes, ask the photographer what they usually wear to photograph a wedding! It always amazes me how many people mistake me to be a guest at a wedding and that is because I blend in with their guest however, many photographers don’t.

11) How long will it be before I see my wedding photographs?

Find out exactly when you will receive your photographs on CD or in an album. A good wedding photographer will inform you of the process every step of the way. I aim for a fast turnaround however the standard seems to be 6-12 weeks.

12) What qualifications and experience do you have?

A qualification is not a major factor if you have the experience to back up your business and your work. Sometimes a photographer can have a great eye and in the process of setting up their business and this maybe fine for some couples but it should be reflected in their price and something they should be open and honest about from the start.

vintage wedding photography

13) What happens if something doesn’t go to plan on the day?

Let’s be honest, British weather is highly unpredictable but it doesn’t have to spoil your day, a back-up plan should always at hand and a photographer should have a solution and equipment necessary to shoot in doors if required.

14) What happens if you get taken seriously ill before my wedding and can’t attend?

Most established professionals will have contacts and be able to find you a suitable replacement if required. I call upon five other professionals whose work I respect and admire so if a situation ever a rose I could ensure you would be getting the best of the best.

15) Can I give the photographer a list of shots that I want?

It is important to inform a photographer of the group shots you would like and any other images which you will hold dear to your heart after the big day. A good photographer will know it’s all about you and happy to comply with your needs and requirements. I send a pre wedding questionnaire to ensure every detail is covered.

https://jessiethomson.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/somerset-wedding-photographer-59.jpg

16) Do you work alone or with a second shooter?

Having a second photographer can be of great value to the photographer for additional support in organising large groups of people and to the clients for getting a different perspective and more natural candid shots. Every photographer is different but if the photographer shoots alone and you want another photographer ask if this is possible. How much this would be? Could you meet them before the day? Do they have a portfolio? Etc.

17) May I have a list of references?

Effectively you hire a photographer to do a job on your wedding day and a photographer should be more than happy to provide you with previous couple’s details without hesitation to give credibility to their business. Testimonials can be found on most photographers website but don’t be afraid to ask for contact details.

18) What paperwork do I need to sign?

A contract is put in place to not only cover the photographer but to protect the clients as well. Ensure you read all the terms and conditions carefully before signing the dotted line.

bride and groom confetti shot

19) Do I need to pay a deposit to secure my date?

Most wedding photographers require a booking fee to secure your date. Never assume a verbal agreement without a deposit and paperwork to be safe enough when it comes to your event.

20) What rights do I have to my wedding photographs?

Most contracts stipulate the rights and usually reproduction rights will be granted to the client but the copy right will always remain with the photographer. In basic terms, the clients can have the images printed as they wish but the photographer can use the images promotionally on their website or blog, submit them for publication and for advertising purposes.

www.kellyweechphotography.com

info@kellyweechphotography.com

07846711534

https://www.facebook.com/WorldofWeech

Twitter @KellyWeech

As if providing a ton of awesome advice wasn’t enough, Kelly is  also offering my readers a fabulous £150 discount on all weddings booked before 31st March 2013.  Be sure to quote “JESSIE” when you get in touch!

wedding photographer discount cotswolds

Are there any other suppliers that YOU as a couple planning a wedding would really like some inside advice or tips from? let me know in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do!

Until next time…

Jessie

x

http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

Wedding chat with The Slate Boutique

Bleeuuugghghh!

Ok that’s not normally how I open a blog post, but HOW horrid is this winter bug going round? Little Flora and I have been run down with it all weekend and after venturing out for a park walk this morning in the sunshine, we spent the rest of the day snuggling under a duvet. So I am delighted to cheer myself up with a lovely little interview with local wedding supplier The Slate Boutique.

I’d heard lots about the team behind this Bristol based company who make bespoke slate gifts and homeware from Cornish slate, so naturally I thought my readers would like a little more insight into what they do and why.

Also they are currently running a super duper wedding offer, with FREE Bride and Groom place names with any wedding order placed in February 2013. They will be at the Love and Lace Wedding Fair in Sapperton Village Hall, Gloucestershire on Sunday 17 February and at the Gloriously Vintage Wedding Fair in Cheltenham on Sunday 17 March, if you’d like to see the products up close and meet the folk that make these pretty products.

The slate boutique

Tell me about The Slate Boutique

Based in Bristol, we’re a husband and wife team, offering a range of unique, practical and personalised slate gifts and homeware and a bespoke wedding service. We use the normal dark slate, but also in the more rustic, country-feel Reclaimed Cornish slate, and individually handcraft all products ourselves.

Our wedding offerings include small heart favours that double up as place names and allow the guests to take something home as a momento of the day. These hearts also look amazing tied to the chairs for the wedding party, or just hung around the room for decoration. We also offer personalised signs and plaques, depending on the venue and needs of the bride and groom, which  can add a fun element to the decoration. There’s also circular and square table centrepieces to provide a depth of colour to the table and cake or cheesecake stands. A popular choice is our heart-shaped food platters, which look fantastic with cakes or chocolates on.

We also take commissions and are happy to speak with a bride and groom about any specific requirements, and truly believe our products add those extra special touches that contribute to making the day unique and personal.

Slate wedding sign

 

How long have you been in business?

We officially started selling at the end of June last year (2012) as that was the first shop I approached to stock our products (Old Down Country Park). Following that, I had meetings with a few others, and, fortunately our products were well received. We now have almost 10 stockists for our general products, but only sell our wedding products direct as it’s such a personal service.

How did you get involved in the industry?

Justin has his own roofing business, so is a dab hand with cutting slate! For our own wedding last April, we had a very personal and informal day at Wick Farm, Farleigh Hungerford, and needed a sign at the end of the lane to tell people where the wedding was. We decided to make our own arrow out of slate, then also used arched slates in their raw form to make our own ‘slogan slates’. One said ‘Love is in the air……’ and the other said ‘Better late than never’ as it was a standing joke amongst our friends that Justin took so long to propose! We also had the canapés served on slate, which looked fab! We had lots of comments about it all, and started thinking of other shapes and items we could do………and the rest is history!

Slate Wedding Sign

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

Justin still has his own successful roofing business, and Kate, having worked in advertising and marketing for years up until having children, still does some freelance PR and marketing.

What or who inspires you?

Not strictly related to slate, but my inspirations are entrepreneurs in general…..people who work hard, follow their instincts, believe in their product/service and take calculated risks to achieve success. Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish spring to mind, the creators and owners of Not on the High Street, who have achieved huge success with their idea, but only after hard work, dedication and always believing in their idea.

What do you love most about your job?

Seeing a dusty piece of slate get turned into beautiful, natural products, and the lovely feedback we get from our customers about how gorgeous and practical many of our products are. It’s a lovely feeling not just to sell something you’ve imported or bought in bulk, but to have made it and taken it through the stringent process yourself. I also love wedding orders as that’s how it all began for us, and it’s a lovely thought that our products are forming part of someone else’s special day.

slate wedding place setting

What makes your service unique?

Many slate companies use machines to cut their slate, which is quicker, but leaves a straight, clean-cut edge. As we individually handcut each piece, our products are slightly more rugged and natural….their slight imperfections compliment the natural product.

Our bespoke wedding service is just that…..we have a range of ideas to offer, but we’re also happy to take commissions and can personalise any of our products for that extra special touch.

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

Not related to the wedding industry, but a slate seahorse!

What’s your working week like?

Difficult to answer this yet as we’re still quite reactive rather than proactive due to our other work and family commitments and the fact that it’s taken us by surprise how busy we’ve become so quickly! Each week is very different, and the months of November and December were just bonkers!!! January has been very busy with wedding enquiries, so, it’s also different each month, but that’s part  of what I love about it!

What made you want to work in the wedding industry?

That’s how it all began for us, and since planning our own wedding, I have become slightly obsessed with everything wedding-related anyway! I love and believe in our products and always knew they would look beautiful and unique in the right wedding venue, so I specifically put time into thinking of ideas for weddings.

 

bespoke wedding sign slate

What’s the biggest misconception about your service?

Most people appreciate the work that goes into producing our products, but every so often someone comments about the cost ‘just for a bit of slate’! They don’t realise the long process, time and quality control that goes into it!

On a personal note, because Justin is a roofer, many people think he gets slate from the roof when he’s working. This is most definitely not the case!! He takes time to select each slate himself from a number of suppliers; many slates can be ‘wonky’, which is no use for a cheeseboard/cake stand/placemat etc!

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

My own personal advice is to make it your own; don’t just copy from a magazine or do what you think is ‘in’ at the moment. Personalise it and be happy and comfortable with your choices; don’t try and be someone you’re not.

Have you worked with any other local vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married in the Cotswolds? And why?

I can thoroughly recommend Lee Bishop at Strawberry Fields Catering. He is a fantastic Front-of-House Manager and the food is fantastic. I’ve worked with Maria from Sorori Design, who is a wonderful florist and really listens to what her brides do and don’t want! She’s great at interpreting the look and feel of the day the bride would like, and adding her own ideas and touches to make it all a reality.

Where can we find you? 

www.facebook.com/theslateboutique

www.twitter.com/slateboutique

theslateboutique@gmail.com

07800 895184

 

Wedding chat with The Wedding Tree Company

What a beautiful day here in the Cotswolds! So lovely that I thought I would buy myself some pretty flowers from Bloomers who are just down the road from me, to cheer up my office desk – also dining table/craft table – can’t wait to move house next month! – and inspire me to pick up my blogging pen again.

Bloomers of Cheltenham

I thought I’d start by writing up an interview with a fantastic local supplier who is relatively new to the wedding industry, The Wedding Tree Company.

Tell me a little bit about yourself…

We are Mr & Mrs Ford. Richard and Jennifer, along with our 2 year old daughter Ava-Grace, the family behind ‘The Wedding Tree Company’. Richard is a hearty tradesman with big hands and an accurate eye for joinery. I am a primary school teacher with ever changing hair colour and a love of art.

The Wedding Tree Company

Tell me about The Wedding Tree Company…

The Wedding Tree Company offers Brides and Grooms bespoke and totally personalised wooden wedding products, props, venue accessories and keep sakes. Venue accessories and props includes items such as menu boards, directional sign posts and signs for photographs, rustic wishing wells for guests to leave cards and gifts and oak frames to surround table plans. Smaller items include uniquely crafted wedding favours such as willow dragon flies, engraved coasters and personalised wooden key rings or name tags.

Our personal favourite and very popular with the public, is the ‘Oak Wedding Guest Book Plank’ a quirky alternative to the traditional paper guest books which tend to live in a box after the wedding day and gather dust on a shelf. The Guest planks are personalised with the couples own initials, date, venue, and any other unique drawings or details they choose and are then send out ready for guests to write well wishes on. Supplied fixings then enable the guest plank to be hung in the home, on display as an everlasting reminder of the special day.

wooden wedding menu

How did you get involved in the industry?

Richard has been successfully running his own joinery business for the last 7 years, carrying out bespoke furniture commissions and domestic joinery. On the lead up to our own wedding, last August, I kept Richard busy making wooden props to personalise our own special day, as I was having very little luck sourcing the items I had conjured up in my head. This is when the light bulb went on in Richard’s head, ‘this is a business’ he chirped down the phone to me. And so it began, after a relaxing honeymoon it was time to hit the ground running, we have now been branching out in the world of weddings as The Wedding Tree Company for 5 months.

What do you love most about your job?

Richard is in his element in when he is in his workshop, there is nothing he would rather be doing. The Wedding Tree is all about giving other couples the chance to personalise their day with quirky props and keep sakes, so for us to be a part of that, really makes our job worthwhile.

bespoke wedding sign

What makes your service unique?

The personalisation, quirkiness, and the insight into the couple who are tying the knot. Due to the personal nature of The Wedding Tree Company’s products, couples have the opportunity to create something that is totally personal to them. With Richard’s joinery skills and my artistic flare all we need is the ideas given by the couple to make there items unique and totally bespoke to them, giving their guests a talking point and making it a day to remember.

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

Not so much as unusual but quirky. Our hand painted signs have proven to be a very popular product amongst our range and my favourite one we’ve done so far, has to be for a bride and groom who wanted a polite, but humorous sign asking parents to look after their children during the wedding day. The Couple were more than happy to invite children to their special day but, quite understandably, didn’t want them running around causing chaos. The sign simply read ‘All unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy’. As we have our own 2 year old and many of our other friends have young children we also had quite a few little ones at our own wedding, so this, I think, would be a brilliant way of reminding parents to keep an eye on their kids, without being too formal, we loved the idea!

wooden wedding sign

What’s your working week like?

After a wedding show at the weekend, the beginning of the week is usually pretty hectic, emailing the new brides-to-be that we have spoken to, answering emails and enquiries and responding to any orders placed. The Wedding Tree HQ is a bright pink room at our home address in Tamworth, Staffordshire which also doubles up as a two year olds play playroom.

This is where the day to day running of the company takes place, replying to our lovely customer’s emails, quoting jobs and coming up with brilliant new, unique ideas for your special day. All of the fun stuff takes place at our workshop, also based in Tamworth. Bonehill farm is home to around 17 small businesses like ours and is a lovely place to be creative. The workshop is around 150sq foot and is large enough for all of the machines and tool required to produce our wonderful products.

wood guest book

Have you seen many changes since you started your business?

As we have only been up and running in the wedding industry for 5 short months, it’s all new and exciting, our products and services are changing all the time, as new ideas are being developed. For any of you who know my husband, the driving force behind The Wedding Tree, he can’t sit still for longer than two minutes, there’s always a new project or idea to be worked on, changes occur on a daily basis!

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry/service?

The main misconception is usually about the guest book planks, we have had people query how we engrave the wedding guest’s messages on to the board once they have been written on. We don’t in fact do this, the only engraved part is the couples Names, initials, wedding date etc. that is agreed prior to us sending out the completed guest book plank, the guest simply write their messages and well wishes directly onto the Oak, using a marker pen and the process is complete, ready to hang on the wall as a lasting memory.

wedding wishing well

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

Don’t overlook the small things and the personal touches, that’s what our guests loved the most, the attention to detail. Most of all enjoy it, every bit of it, from the moment you start planning to the minute the last dance ends. Savour every moment of the big day and make time to take it all in.

Have you worked with any other local vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married in the Cotswolds? And why?

Not as yet but through wedding fayres and social media we have been introduced to a lot of fabulous suppliers based in the Cotswolds that we hope to work alongside in the future.

Where can we find you? 

Website – http://www.theweddingtree.co.uk

Email – theweddingtree@live.co.uk

Phone – 07791323 525

Facebook – The Wedding Tree Company

Twitter – @TheWeddingTree

I’ve seen their products up close and they really are as good as they look, a company clearly driven with passion and skill. Now THAT is what I like to see!! Although based in the Cotswolds Richard and Jennifer cover the whole of the UK and beyond.

Jessie

x

All images via Stephen Hayes Photography

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

Wedding Chat with Chris Fordham of Fordham Hair Design

Hello wedding folks… I have been so super busy with my gorgeous couples getting married this year that I’ve been far too slow keeping the blog updated.

Though I think it’s been worth the wait as I’m delighted to introduce you to Chris Fordham from Fordham Hair Design

This is the first of a series of interviews with lovely and local suppliers in Gloucestershire the Cotswolds.

I was first introduced to Chris in March this year and I’ll think you’ll agree he is a super talented and all round pretty lovely bloke! I really hope you enjoy the interview and if you’re a bride looking for some inspiration…. well you’re in for a treat.

Tell me a little bit about yourself …

I’m Chris Fordham and I’m a professional hairdresser, I own a freelance hairdressing company specialising in bridal hairdressing and also offering a 5 star hairdressing service at your home or other venue of your choice. I owned a salon in Ledbury, Herefordshrie with my sister for 18 years before setting up Fordham Hair Design in Gloucestershire nearly 3 years ago.

Tell me a little bit about Fordham Hair Design …

Fordham Hair Design is the culmination of several years of planning to offer a bespoke hairdressing service which isn’t limited to location. Traditional mobile hairdressing has a make do and mend image and luxury hairdressing is normally only available in salons, Fordham Hair Design changes that by offering a 5 star service with latest techniques, a salon experience that comes to your location. Daily hairdressing like foil highlights, cutting, colouring etc form one side of the business. My love of bridal hairstyling forms the other side as I travel around the Cotswolds and the South West styling hair for brides at their homes and stunning wedding venues like Barnsley House, Cripps Barn, Kingscote barn and many more.

How long have you been in business?

I have been hairdressing for 22 years since the age of 16 years old when I started a hairdressing apprenticeship. I went into business with my sister at the age of 19 years old and I have been self-employed ever since.

How did you get involved in your profession?

I grew up in a hairdressing family, both my Mother and sister were hairdressers so I had a very creative upbringing, hairdressing is in my family blood and I just knew it was my chosen career too.

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

My secret love is garden design; I have designed several gardens including my own garden from scratch which won The Best Garden in the Gloucester in Bloom competition. Garden design is what I do to relax and switch off but it’s just as creative and rewarding as my hairdressing profession.

What or who inspires you?

In hairdressing I am inspired by the world famous Trevor Sorbie for his amazing creativity, he invented so many hairstyles that we take for granted and that have helped form modern hairdressing. Personally I was and will always be inspired by my late mother who showed how creativity and style could be accessible to all.

What do you love most about being a Hair Specialist?

With the right haircut and style anyone can look great and I love showing people how great they can really be! I’m a people person, to have a career that allows me to make people feel good and where I can meet great people has to be a great career. As a bridal hair Specialist to be able to help a bride look stunning on her special day is truly amazing.

What makes your service unique?

I would say the attention to detail and quality of service I offer to my clients make my business my unique selling point, I still have clients that I first had over 20 years ago, I think that says something. In my bridal side of the business I have spent many years developing my skill which means I have a huge knowledge of creating bridal ‘updos’ and planning a stress free wedding morning.

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

Probably teaching others to learn the skill of hairdressing, when you see a trainee hairdresser grasp a skill or concept that you have taught them it is a great feeling.

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

The most unusual request so far is when my Mother-in-law asked me to tint her hair bright pink for her 60th birthday celebrations! She is an incredibly ‘pink person’ and she looked amazing as she celebrated her retirement and landmark birthday with bright pink hair!

What’s your working week like?

As a freelance hairdresser no 2 weeks are the same. I spend most weekends styling hair for weddings mainly around the Cotswolds but also further into Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath and the South West, some weekends can involve up to 3 weddings. Weekdays are taken up with regular hairdressing, cutting and colouring my regular clients. My free time is spent with my partner and our dog at our Gloucestershire home, either relaxing at home, walking around the beautiful commons above Stroud like Rodborough Common or visiting friends and family.

What made you want to work in the wedding industry?

To be involved in helping a bride look stunning on her special day is a real privilege. The atmosphere on a wedding morning is great, the expectation and buzz is addictive. Bridal hairstyling also allows more creativity than every day hairdressing.

Have you seen many changes since you started your business?

The obvious change since I set up my business is the hit of the recession. I think if you offer a top quality service and you are passionate about your business and clients you can weather the storm.

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry?

The biggest misconception is that hairdressing is only suitable for school leavers with poor exam results. Prospects in the hairdressing industry are fantastic and there are many avenues that can be pursued including theatre, television or specialising in a particular section like bridal hair. With real passion and dedication to the job it can be an incredibly rewarding career.

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

Fix your budget early on and stick to it! It is so easy to get carried away and spend more than is necessary. A good wedding planner can be invaluable to help you with finding suppliers and helping your plans and budget to stay on track.

Have you worked with any other local vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married in the Cotswolds? And why?

Clare Bryce Bridal Make up Specialist …Clare and I have worked together a lot over the last couple of years, she is an amazing make up artist creating beautiful bridal looks with natural mineral make up. We often work on weddings together offering brides a seamless link between hair stylist and make up artist, we work so well together that we almost know what the other is thinking!

Where can we find you?

Website www.fhdmobile.co.uk

Email chris@fhdmobile.co.uk

Phone 07735 055 146

Facebook www.facebook.com/fordhamhairdesign

Twitter @FordhamHair

Blog www.fordhamhairdesign.blogspot.com

Photography Credits: All photographs supplied by Chris Fordham, please contact him on chris@fhdmobile.co.uk for further details.

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!