Hayley Ruth Photography

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you all.  I hope you are having a lovely time.  I have escaped for a bit of quiet and from watching Top Gear!

I was treated to Chanel No. 5, the boys haven't argued once and my Dad hasn't raised his voice (even slightly) so that constitutes a good Christmas.

I thought I would amuse my sister with a picture of Mill End!  She thought I had lost my senses when I blogged what colour I should paint the front door.  What do you think? I'm still not sure.

I am really looking forward to organising the weddings of the lovely couples I have booked for next year and those that have not yet booked!  I can't wait to work with you all in the new year.

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas Day. 

With love & best wishes,

The Fletcher family x

Friday, 17 December 2010

Jades Flower Design

I first met Beverley Nichols, the owner of Jades Flower Design at the wedding venue I set up back in 2006.  I saw many florists during my time there, but Beverley’s arrangements were one of the most stunning.  I remember the first time I saw her work she did some dramatic tall arrangements flowing from oversized martini glasses.  

Beverley has worked on Royal and celebrity weddings and events at all of the top London and country venues and private homes. She has a flair for creating breathtaking arrangements with large displays a speciality.  Beverley believes that the clients’ personality should be reflected in the design along with styling the flowers to suit the venue.

I met Beverley again at a wedding in September.  The martini glasses were on the tables at this wedding too, but had amazing pale pink roses arranged on the side which followed through on equally elaborate displays and top table arrangements.

After 20 years of experience in the industry, Jades are sharing their knowledge and are now hosting courses in general floristry such as basket arrangements and dinner party flowers, but also a variety of courses available for wedding flowers.

As a taste, these full day courses are £130.00, but do look at their website for a list of full and half day courses.

20th January - Traditional and Contemporary Handtied Bouquets
Learn how to make a traditional handtied bouquet in the morning and in the afternoon you will learn how to make a contemporary design.  Take home two bouquets. 

14th March - Flowers for the Bride and Wedding Party
Beverley will demonstrate different types of bridal bouquets both handtied and in a holder.  You will then make one of each.   A little experience would be an advantage for this day.

16th March - Wedding Table Arrangements
Beverley will discuss different types of table arrangements suitable for various styles of venues.  She will demonstrate at least two designs and then help you make both.

To complement the business, Jades also offers wedding props to hire, from those popular martini glasses, beautiful candelabra and tea light holders through to 6ft cherubs.  For a real ‘wow’ factor many Brides are choosing Jades Willow Trees which can be decorated to suit your individual style whatever the season.  They can be covered in fairy lights or crystals and pearls can be hung from the branches.

I’m not sure how they fit everything in, but they will also be at the following Wedding Fayres in 2011.

Sunday 16th January - Smeetham Hall
Sunday 23rd January - Layer Marney Tower
Saturday 5th February - Excel
Sunday 13th February - Boreham House
Sunday 6th March - Spains Hall

I hope to see them there.

Jades Flower Design
t: 01376 563111
m: 07710 401474


Thursday, 9 December 2010

You can have an outdoor wedding ceremony!

Would you like to make your commitment to each other in a place that is special to you?

Do you want to express your love for each other outdoors, by candlelight or at home?

Do you wish to write your own vows and promises?

Kirsten Ellis

A lot of the weddings I pour over on the internet for inspiring ideas are abroad and also have the ceremonies held outdoors.  This year I organised some beautiful wedding receptions in the grounds of the families homes and I feel it would have been even more special if they could have had their wedding ceremony there too. 

I recently blogged about supporting The Any Campaign who aim to try and change the law. They need at least 1,000 British signatures to present their petition to the government.  Click on the link to add your name to the petition and do please pass it on!

So at the moment you are not permitted to have an outdoor wedding ceremony in the UK - or are you?

To legally marry in England you need a recognised religious minister or a local registrar or you can visit the registry office and obtain a marriage certificate or register a civil partnership before the ceremony. Carrying out the legalities separately removes several restrictions and enables you to declare your love and commitment to each other in more personal and creative ways. You can begin your new life together in a place, and in a way, that truly reflects who you are and celebrates your uniqueness as a couple.

Our Labor of Love

I was delighted when Katie Deverell contacted me recently.  She is a ceremony designer and celebrant and I immediately arranged to meet her.

Katie explained that she spends time discussing the dreams and desires you have for your future together and how you wish to convey your love and commitment. Working together you can design a beautiful ceremony incorporating rituals and words that are significant and meaningful to you both. Katie can write and lead your ceremony on the day or just give you ideas and a structure - whichever works best for you.

Jasmine Star

Tec Petaja Photo

Jimena Roquero

A Bride that has booked Katie for their wedding next year, sent her this note.
"This has turned out much better because the structure of the ceremony is so personalised to us rather than the rigid format the registry office expected us to follow.  You have put our ideas and beliefs together eloquently".

Katie also designs commitment ceremonies, relationship blessings and renewals of vows, along with some other key milestone celebrations, including:

Significant birthdays
Renewing vows
Retirement and leaving work
Illness and recovery
Adoption or fostering

I am very excited about the opportunties that this can offer to many couples and of course, I would happily help you plan every detail of your outdoor ceremony!

t: 01245 345548
m: 07745 291421
e: info@ceremonydesigner.co.uk

Friday, 3 December 2010

A Bespoke Design

Having followed Emma on Twitter for a while, it was great to finally meet up recently.  We knew a lot of people in common in the industry and ended up drinking quite a lot of tea and coffee!

Emma makes the most beautiful bespoke wedding stationery, aptly named 'A Bespoke Design Ltd'.  She showed me the most exquisite samples, including one in a box with elegant inserts and the other was a 'Save the Date' for her own wedding next year.  After she got engaged to Ed, they had a photo shoot with Hayley from Hayley Ruth Photography www.Hayleyruthphotography.co.uk and they made little copies of some of the images and sent them bound in brown paper and string, the image above - gorgeous!

Some images of her recent designs.

I knew Emma's style would fit in perfectly with my new venture in the new year and asked if she might be interested in working with me.  Luckily she said yes and we are busy working towards ideas for all the new Brides-to-be.

My task this week was to think about ideas for a logo.  I trawelled through hundreds of fonts narrowing them down to about ten and sent them over to Emma for her expert opinion and to see which one she liked best.  Within about ten minutes of receiving my email, she had returned it with some ideas for the logo!  I was totally amazed.  We are now working on the design and look forward to showing you the completed logo.

If you are thinking of some bespoke stationery for your wedding or event, please arrange to meet Emma first.

A Bespoke Design
07740 372527

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Belchamp Hall

I feel I have unearthed hidden treasure!  I visited Belchamp Hall near Sudbury in Suffolk recently. 

I thought this picture was most appropriate to include as the country is covered in a blanket of snow.

Belchamp Hall is famously known for the location of the series 'Lovejoy' which ran from 1986 to 1994 starring Ian McShane (Lovejoy), Caroline Langrishe (Charlotte Cavendish), Diane Parish (Beth Taylor) and Dudley Sutton (Tinker Dill). 

The 'Lovejoy' cast

Apparently they still have visitors turning up to see the house today.

I was shown round by Vanessa Maskell, who has worked at Belchamp Hall for seven years.  She told me a few tales of the things she has had to do in the past, so I certainly feel that she works above and beyond to ensure everyone has a special day.

Belchamp Hall is the perfect setting for a quintessential English Country Wedding.  St. Mary's Church is directly opposite and are open to couples who wish to marry outside the parish. 

St. Mary's Church

The venue fee is for exclusive use of the grounds and includes an overnight stay in The Stables bridal suite.  The wedding reception is held in a marquee which is an additional cost.  You can organise all your own arrangements, although Belchamp Hall have a comprehensive list of wedding suppliers and are more than happy to help. 

The Stables Bridal Suite

Bridal Suite

As it is a private family home, they take a limited number of wedding bookings each year which makes it so much more exclusive. 

Vanessa can be contacted at:-

Belchamp Hall, Belchamp Walter, Sudbury, Suffolk  CO10 7AT
01787 881961 / 882216

It is in a very special setting and I hope I might be able to organise a wedding there in the future.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Two birds!

After my visit to Modern Bride at the beginning of November, I mentioned I had seen 'Twobirds Bridesmaid' and promised I would write a dedicated post about them. Having seen their website before it was great to see the dresses in the 'flesh' and to meet Michelle, the Regional Director.

The concept was founded by Ariane Goldman who was frustrated with spending too much money on bridesmaid dresses she would never wear again.  In 2007 Ariane was married in Jamaica and by this time had designed a dress that would enable all her bridesmaids to look and feel beautfiul.  Guests were anamoured and her friends loved their dresses so much that she knew she had found a solution to an ever-challenging problem.

Twobirds is a rather unique boutique bridesmaid dress company.  The concept is one dress that can be wrapped in 15 ways, available in 18 colours and 4 lengths, you will easily find a style to flatter all body shapes and tastes.  The beauty of these dresses is your bridesmaids will undoubtedly want to wear the dress again and again.  I doubt I will be a bridesmaid any time soon, but I would love to own one myself!

The collection is available in the 'classic', the 'rosette' and the 'two-toned'.  All the colours are beautiful and include Rosewater, Chocolate, Cabernet Red, Peacock Blue, Butter Yellow, Aubergine and my favourite has to be Slate.

Twobirds Bridesmaid is based in Notting Hill and can be contacted on 020 7243 8647 or visit their website on www.twobirdsBridesmaid.co.uk

Friday, 19 November 2010

Rose and Aster

I have mentioned my friend Sarah in my first post.  We have known each other since we were nine years old when we both lived in a lovely town called Yarm in Cleveland.  We had some adventurous times and our friendship was put to the test when my family moved from the North to the South of England when I was 14.  I would go on a National Express coach to visit her and when I passed my driving test, I would bomb up the M1 in my Mark II Escort!  We have shared such a lot together and it is quite amazing that we now live only an hour away from each other.

Sarah helped me get my own business off the ground and designed and built my website.  She did it out of the kindness of her heart and I am so very grateful to her.  I'm sure there were many moments when she could have done without my obsessive calls and emails.

Sarah is now fulfilling a lifelong dream by starting up her own business selling beautiful things from a gorgeous log cabin in the grounds of their family home.  She lived in the most gorgeous town house on the banks of a river in Buckinghamshire with her husband and daughter and I was green with envy.  They then decided to buy, what I can only describe as a 'shell' in the heart of the Chilterns.  I thought they were totally mad and I couldn't imagine Sarah 'roughing it' throughout the build.  Luckily she has a gorgeous husband who built her a beautiful log cabin for them all to live in.  It was rather cosy I have to admit and they lived in it much longer than anyone anticipated.

When they finally moved into their new home, transforming the 'shell' into a stunning home, life became more settled and Sarah has pursued her dream of creating a business selling the things she loves. 

Rose and Aster is a hand picked range that you too will love for yourself, for your home or as a gift for someone special.  A little taste:-





I love Sarah's style, but I am most excited about the imminent arrival of a range of wedding accessories for the bride, her wedding party and her guests which will obviously complement my business and will mean we can work together.

Please do look at her website and order something lovely for yourself or for a gift for Christmas.  Visit http://www.roseandaster.com/ or email sarah@roseandaster.com to arrange to visit her in the log cabin!

I wish you well and lots of love, B xx

Monday, 15 November 2010

Taking the plunge!

Quite relevant to write this post today as I've noticed a couple of tweets about fellow wedding professionals wanting to give up their day job. 

It never feels like the right time to give up full time employment and start your own business.  I had made an attempt five years previously but was soon working for a venue that demanded too much of my time to be classed as ‘self employed’.  I reluctantly became an employee, but the upside was I really enjoyed the job and having worked in corporate entertainment, this was the start of my ‘wedding’ career. 

The best thing about the job was I discovered Thaxted where we now live.  I was on the hunt for B&B’s to recommend to clients and I had arranged to visit ‘Crossways’ http://www.crosswaysthaxted.co.uk/.  After looking at the rooms, the owners Michael and Beppe offered me a drink and whilst we chatted over coffee, I thought ‘I want to live here’.  I was soon trawling the internet looking for properties, much to my husbands horror as we had just spent the last eight years renovating our previous home.  I quickly found the perfect house and much to everyone’s surprise, we moved in 12 weeks later! 

I then went on to work in Saffron Walden organising weddings, christenings, funerals, birthday celebrations, Christmas parties – even working for Jamie Oliver at his home in Clavering and on the set of his TV shows.  It was when I was asked by Michaela Doherty to organise her wedding to Jimmy on their farm in Suffolk, that my dreams really had come true.  Unbeknown to Michaela (and my husband) I had an article on Jimmy pinned to my wall at work four years previously!  So organising their wedding to me was like organising Robbie Williams and Ayda Fields!

With Jimmy & Michaela

After their wedding I soon realised I should go it alone, as I really enjoyed working so closely with them to organise every detail.  Working for a venue is great fun, but you don’t get to offer creative advice to the couples and to work with them on colour schemes and styling ideas, something I am most interested in.

It was a big step to take as we were used to the security employment brings, but I had spent such a long time putting my energies into other people’s businesses, I thought now was the perfect time to put them into my own. 

It is the best decision I have ever made and whilst every month varies financially, there is nothing more rewarding than working for yourself.

Monday, 8 November 2010

My visit to Modern Bride

I had been looking forward to visiting Modern Bride, a new vibrant contemporary wedding show at Excel.  I went on Friday to avoid the crowds that were undoubtedly expected at the weekend. 

Not long after I arrived, I bumped into the very lovely Andri Benson from Always Andri http://www.alwaysandri.co.uk/  A fellow wedding planner and member of UKAWP.  She is always inspiring to talk to and whilst we chatted we saw Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company http://www.thebespokeweddingco.com/ one of the Directors of UKAWP - it was great to see familiar faces.

The show was much smaller than I expected, but they had certainly attracted some great suppliers.  A few highlights for me:-

Two Birds Bridesmaid http://www.twobirdsBridesmaid.co.uk/  I am going to write a dedicated post on this wonderful company soon as I think the concept is amazing and dresses you can certainly wear after you have waved the Bride & Groom off on their honeymoon.  I had seen their website before as one of my Brides this summer had come across them.  One dress, two sizes, four lengths, eighteen colours! Although I doubt I will be a Bridesmaid any time soon, I would love to own one.  My colour choice would be 'slate' or 'deep ocean'!

The stands looked great at this show, especially the beautiful handmade invitations and wedding stationery by Ivy Ellen http://ivyellenweddinginvitations.co.uk/  They were attracting a large crowd, so I hope they had a successful show. 

A very busy stand!

I also hope they enjoyed Peter Kay at the O2 who I had seen the night before.  London two days in a row - too much excitement for me in one week!

There were many wedding dress designers, one I had the chance to speak to, Madeline Isaac-James http://www.madelineisaacjames.com/  In her words, a collection of stunning, stylish and highly desirable wedding gowns, this British designer creates wedding dresses that capture the bride's spirit and imagination, ensuring that she looks fabulous and feels confident on her wedding day.  It was great to meet Natalie and to see her amazing collection in the Fashion Shows.

The two Matts!  It was a nice surprise to see the very talented Matt Pereira exhibiting http://www.mattpereira.co.uk/  I had met him recently at a workshop we both attended.  I loved his 'vintage style' stand.  Maybe he will borrow some pieces from my Vintage Style Hire collection for next year?  I had heard a lot about Matt Tyler http://www.matttylerphotography.com/ so it was great to finally meet him - his stand was rather cool too!

I was amazed by the chic and stylish bespoke wedding cakes made by Zoe Clark at The Cake Parlour.  Again her stand was very busy and I didn't get a chance to speak to her, but luckily she has the most gorgeous website, so do check it out http://www.zoeclarkcakes.com/

Candy Rose

Applique Blossom

Little Roses

Painted Blossom

How gorgeous are these!  Her designs would tempt any Bride.

I'm sure this is the last show of 2010 for most.  I am looking forward to exhibiting in 2011 and meeting many more wonderful suppliers I can recommend to my new Brides.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Vintage Style Hire

Following in the footsteps of my Mother, I have been collecting vintage items from reclamation yards, boot fairs, charity shops, even skips for as long as I can remember.  Our home is furnished with the treasure I have found along the way, my most prized possession is a ‘Stockman’ mannequin which I bought from a flea market for just £30.

My wedding and event planning business has grown over the last year and has offered a great opportunity to combine my interest in interiors to style weddings and events.  Take a vintage sofa, an old travelling chest and an occasional table with a vase of flowers and you have the perfect outdoor seating area.

Probably due to the weather and the opportunity of getting married outdoors, this style is most often seen across the pond, but there are so many inspiring ideas we can recreate over here too.

Photo oh darling!

Photo April Smith

My new venture will supply brides, wedding planners, stylists and photographers with unique vintage items to give their weddings, events and photo shoots style and originality.  I have an extensive range of one-off items available for hire.  Tables and chairs for reception drinks, glass storage jars for sweet table displays and pressed glass cake stands for the cake table.  If there is something you had in mind, or a look you are trying to create, I will happily try and source the perfect vintage pieces for you.

Photo Jessica Zais

Photo Rock Paper Scissors

Please forgive my amateur photography, but I have taken a few shots of a selection of items, soon to be styled into stunning sets and arrangements! 


To complement my existing wedding and event planning business, I am working on a website design, organising photo shoots and cataloguing stock, so there is a lot to do.  If there are any photographers or suppliers that would like to be involved, I would be excited to hear from you. 

If you are planning your own wedding, organising a wedding for someone else or photographing and styling a wedding or event that needs a little 'vintage style', do get in touch kate@katefletcherevents.co.uk

Photo Gabriel Ryan