I’m back! I can’t believe its been nearly two months since I last blogged.
So what’s been happening over the past two months that’s kept me away from this lovely little blog of mine? Well, my last blog post was on 18 February and four days later on 22 February, I can excitedly say that my husband and I bought our first marital home. It was one of the best feelings and even more so as, for a short while, it nearly didn’t happen. I mentioned in my February Goals that January was so exciting but also a month overshadowed by uncertainty, worry and sadness. Unfortunately on the day we received the contracts for our new home, my husband lost his job. As much as I wanted to try and carry on with our purchase as it was, we had to do the right thing and declare it to our lender. Luckily someone must have been looking down on us and after a few discussions with our mortgage advisor and a few tweaks to the mortgage, we were allowed to continue with the purchase.
Back to the exciting news! Our first home!! I still can’t quite believe it and even though we have spent every spare moment over the last six weeks ripping up carpets, painting walls and ripping out a kitchen, a very small part of me still feels a little like we are renting. Oh and I also forgot to mention that my husband also came down with the flu on the day we completed and then proceeded to spend the next 4 days or so recovering on the sofa meaning I had to pick up the keys on my own and start working on the house. Luckily, my ever so helpful father-in-law was our absolute saviour and came to the rescue helping with almost everything from fitting the kitchen, plumbing, fixing a leaky roof and laying flooring.
Anyway, enough talking, you want to see some photos don’t you! Well here’s a few before and during photos that I took on my iPhone. Don’t worry, there will be a bigger before and after post to come in the next month or so
1. Two days after picking up the keys, we ripped out the entire kitchen
2. To save costs, we reused the kitchen cabinets and I spent an entire afternoon scrubbing the grease off them… yuck!!
3. Kitchen going back in!
4. Worktop on and sink in!
5. Getting ready to paint our bedroom
6. Our rather attractive 60′s gas fire. Needless to say that won’t be staying!
* * *
What’s more, whilst running a business and renovating our home, I have also been busy building a website for my cousin and fellow wedding industry friends, Events of Elegance. More on this soon…
So that’s it in a nutshell. Posts will be sporadic over the next few weeks whilst we continue working on our home but I promise there will be lots of lovely home related posts in amongst the wedding pretty.
P.S. It feels so good to be blogging again!
One of my goals for 2013 is to share more personal posts on the blog in addition to the wedding inspiration posts you will find here. I’ve seen a few bloggers share what they are ‘currently’ loving, reading, etc… and thought I would jump on the bandwagon. I think it’s a great way to give insight into what I’m ‘currently’ loving and also for me to share any new finds with you guys!
LOVING: Feedly – I’m a sucker for good design and when I came across this alternative to Google Reader I was sold!
READING: Effortless by S.C. Stephens – Effortless is the second book in the trilogy by by S.C. Stephen about a difficult relationship between two people who love each other, but don’t trust each other!
LISTENING TO: Bastille – The band formed in 2010 but it wasn’t until the second part of 2012 that we really started hearing about them. I really like their new single, Pompeii which is released in the UK on February 24.
WATCHING: Revenge – I’m so glad Revenge returned for a second series this year. Although it’s a bit far fetched… I’m hooked!
Well hello February!! Can you believe we are into the second month of 2013 already?! January has been a month of mixed emotions! I think I’m one of those strange ones that loves January… A new year and eagerly awaiting Spring keeps me going. I made a lot of BIG decisions in January and a new door has opened (more on that in another post) which is extremely exciting but January has also been overshadowed by sadness, worry and uncertainty which is currently continuing it’s way into February but I’m staying optimistic and know that things will all work out okay in the end.
So onto my February Goals…
♥ Reveal my new business name – I am so SCARED and EXCITED about this all at the same time!
♥ Have AT LEAST one social media free weekend – Yep… no Instagram, no Twitter, no Facebook… Nothing for a whole 48 hours!
♥ Start planning for my next inspiration shoot – I love inspiration shoots and I can’t wait to start planning for this next one.
♥ Go on our first Alphabet Date – Alphabet dating is a great idea one of my 2011 couples are doing and I really want Dean and I to start too! It’s going to be fun!
♥ Find and book an organised 10k run and start training – One of my goals for 2013 is to run a 10k so with the evenings getting lighter, February is the perfect month to start training.
Each month, my goals will be a mix of business and personal goals which work towards my overall 13 goals for 2013. That’s all for now. I’m busy working on some exciting things behind the scenes and hope to share more soon. Until then…
Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was a nice balance of work and relaxation with a splash of my mum getting locked out of her house thrown in. After trying to open the door ourselves, we had to give in and call a locksmith. Two hours later, she was finally in. Drama!!
The weather in the UK has turned the last few days and it is finally starting to feel more like winter round here with snow forecast for a lot of the UK today which is perfect for today’s colour palette. A gorgeous palette of winter neutrals, ideal for a cosy winter wedding.
I’m still not 100% happy with my branding. Don’t get me wrong, it’s getting there, perhaps 70% there but it’s still not quite there! I’ve been feeling like it for a while now but haven’t wanted to admit it with the fear of coming across as flaky and indecisive but I guess when it comes to my business branding, I am.
Don’t run away… please!! I promise that although I may be flaky and indecisive when it comes to my branding, when it comes to my clients and planning one of the most special days in their lives, I most certainly am not. The reason for this… When I am planning and designing weddings, I am on the other side of the fence. Stay with me guys…
My branding in 2010
I started Bow Occasions in 2010 and have always done the design myself and I think that’s the problem. I’m too close to it. I can change it too easily. I rush into getting it out there without stepping back for long enough, without getting honest opinions from others around me and without taking the time to really review it. Simply put, when designing my own branding I am both the client and the designer and I’m pretty sure that when it comes to me, myself and I, that’s not a match made in heaven. That’s not to say you can’t design your own brand or plan your own wedding, of course you can, but everyone is different and some people, like me, need a little helping hand from someone who is detached from the process – at least at the beginning
My branding in 2011/12
I know what I want for my brand – I want it to reflect me as a person. After all, I am selling myself – my knowledge and my passion for weddings. I want my brand to be clean but still bright, girly but not overly so and sparkly; it most definitely HAS to sparkle.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you may see things changing around here again lovelies. I wish I could afford to employ a designer and whilst I definitely see it as an investment, we are also making a huge investment and buying our first house (exciting!!) so I can’t afford to do both at the moment. So I will be gradually changing things around here and maybe one day soon, I will be able to bite the bullet and employ a brand professional. You know what they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
*edit* I was so nervous about posting this but after seeing a post on the new look Rock n Roll Bride yesterday, it gave me the final push to do so. Kat wrote two things that really hit home with me. These being:
“I am a firm believer that the best brands are constantly evolving”; and
“Strong brands are rarely built overnight. They’re a constant evolution and they take hard work and dedication”.
I’m back with the first inspiration board of the year and what better colour to start with than Pantone’s Colour of 2013 – Emerald. Such an unusual colour and not one often seen in weddings, it was tough to put this board together. Now I don’t know about you but I absolutely love it! There are so many ways to style this colour and I am already planning an inspiration shoot based around it. I have paired it today with a soft blush pink, gold and a lot of glitter. I do love sparkle!
PHOTO CREDITS: Top Row – Studio222 Photography via Every Last Detail / Caught the Light Photography / Middle Row – Katie Cassidy Photography via Style Me Pretty / Sweet Sensations via Once Wed / Bottom Row – Katie Cassidy Photography via Style Me Pretty / Ruffled
So what do you think? Do you like this years Pantone Colour? Will you be using it in your wedding? Let me know!
Happy Friday! Don’t you just love these short weeks! For those of you who are recently engaged and new to Bow Occasions – The Blog… CONGRATULATIONS and WELCOME!
Once engaged, you may be wondering what’s next? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are so many timelines and guides out there that it is common to feel overwhelmed at first, however, it’s much easier when you know where to start.
Figure out what’s important to you.
Yes it really is that simple. I promise that once you have worked out the most important things to you, everything will start to feel a lot less overwhelming and in turn you will start to feel a lot more positive about the fun journey ahead of you. From here you will find planning your timeline and most importantly your budget a lot easier.
Remember, it’s YOUR wedding.
Despite what you may read in magazines or online, there really are no hard rules on how to plan a wedding. Yes guides and timelines are helpful but they are just that… guides. So please don’t worry if the timeline tells you to book the florist before buying your dress because in your eyes, these may be the wrong way round in order of importance, if at all. Just remember, it’s your wedding!!
ENJOY. If time allows, take your time and enjoy the wedding planning process. Wedding planning should be fun, not stressful.
STAY ORGANISED. Lists and spreadsheets whilst not being the most exciting part of planning a wedding are essential in keeping on track and will make everything a lot easier.
DON’T GO IT ALONE. Ask friends and family to help and remember that your wedding party are there to help you along the way. Alternatively look into hiring a wedding planner to help with your plans. I promise that we aren’t as expensive as you may think and the time you save in searching for suppliers or filling in yet another boring spreadsheet is more time to be spent with your precious fiancé. Surely that must be worth it!
♥ ♥ ♥
Special New Year Offer!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2013 is getting off to a great start and continues to be fabulous for you all.
I love goals – personal goals, business goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals… Last year I started posting monthly business and personal goals on the blog and I fully intend to pick this back up this year starting with today’s post for yearly goals. This is inspired by The Start-Up Wife, who started Twelve for 2012 and has just posted a Thirteen for 2013.
Source Unknown via Pinterest
1. Alphabet Dating – I first saw this great idea on Florence Finds blog. One of my 2011 couples, Martha and Stu have started Alphabet Dating and as a believer in the importance of date nights, I plan to do this in 2013 with my hubby. Head on over to Florence Finds to read more about Alphabet Dating.
2. De-clutter and simplify – I saw this on Emily’s list and thought it would be a great one to add to mine. Dean and I have been living with the in-laws for a while now and everything has become so cluttered. We plan on buying our first house in the next few months so this is the perfect time to clear out unwanted items and simplify our lives.
3. Learn how to use my DSLR and capture memories – I got a DSLR for my birthday nearly 18 months ago and still haven’t fully learnt how to use it. I want 2013 to be the year I do and to capture memories.
4. Keep fit and run a 10k – I joined the gym in May last year and actually haven’t been too bad at going although there have been a few points throughout the year that I have fallen off the wagon. In 2013 I want to stay healthy and work towards running my first 10k.
5. Book 5 weddings – I’m going to put this one out there. In 2013 I want to book at least 5 weddings. Whether this be full planning, wedding styling or wedding day coordination.
6. Introduce my husband to three new foods – My lovely hubby is extremely fussy and this year I want to introduce him to three new dishes.
7. Give up fizzy drinks – Even though I love fizzy drinks, my teeth don’t, so on strict instructions from my dentist I need to stop drinking them.
8. Take a holiday – Our honeymoon in Cuba was amazing and I think it is so important to take a break and see the world. Even though finances may not allow a big holiday in 2013, I hope we can still have a lovely break somewhere nice.
9. Find out my blood type and give blood – This is pretty self-explanatory really but in 2013 I want to give something back.
10. Grow my blog – I love blogging and like most things (particularly the gym), when I get into it I really enjoy it but then something happens and I find it hard to find my groove again. In 2013 I want to put together a proper blog schedule featuring wedding inspiration and advice and business and personal posts.
11. Style 2 inspiration shoots – There has been a lot around the blogosphere recently regarding inspiration shoots and doing things for free. I personally love inspiration shoots as they are a great way for me to get to know other suppliers who I can then recommend to my couples but I am very careful not to ask for too much as I know they take up a lot of time.
12. Make time for hobbies and learn something new – I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a pretty busy year so I want to make sure I still make time for doing things for me and this includes learning something new.
13. Make new friends and network – This is something I was really good at in 2011 but rubbish at in 2012 so this year I’m going to do better!
So that’s it, my Thirteen goals for 2013. Have you got things you want to do in 2013? Have you made any resolutions? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
I hope this post finds you happy and healthy and ready for Christmas! As of today, Bow Occasions is closed for Christmas until January 2, 2013 and I will have limited access to email, phone, and social media during this time. I appreciate your understanding, because after all, Christmas is a time to slow down and focus on family, friends and love.
Merry Christmas! See you in 2013!
Good morning you gorgeous people, I hope you all enjoyed last week’s Christmas Gift Guides.
It’s Monday so that means it’s time for an inspiration board. This week’s inspiration board was inspired by the cute girl in the wool, tulle and rhinestone outfit in the inspiration board below. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be great for a winter wedding design. Imagine your bridesmaids in something similar, they would look fabulous!
Photo credits: Top Row – Emily Steffen Photography via Style Me Pretty / Jenny Haas via Green Wedding Shoes Middle Row – Source Unknown via Pinterest /Simply Bloom via Green Wedding Shoes / Christie Graham Photography via Style Me Pretty Bottom Row - imeondesign on Etsy / One Handspun Day via Green Wedding Shoes