Hayley Ruth Photography

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Amazing talent

It is always reassuring when organising a wedding or special event to work with the people you know.  They are worth their weight in gold when you know they are going to turn up on time and pull out all the stops to ensure everything runs smoothly.

It is also great to book someone you have never worked with before, so your list of trusted suppliers grows.  One such person at my last wedding was Chereene, an amazing violinist who is also rather stunning!

Chereene contacted me just at the right time as I was about to book everyone for a couple getting married at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire.  She had demo tracks on her website, one of them Pachelbel which we had at our wedding.  It sounded amazing and we booked her immediately. 

Chereene began playing the violin at the age of six. She studied at Chethams School of Music and The Royal Northern College of Music then went on to study for a further year at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York.  She held the post of Principle 2nd violin in the Northern Ballet Theatre and now enjoys a job in the first violins of the BBC Concert Orchestra where she regularly appears on television and radio programmes.  A few of which include Planet Earth, General Election Music, The BBC Electric Proms, Bill Bailey's DVD and Friday Night is Music Night. She has worked with countless pop and rock musicians in live gigs and on their albums and has played many times with the glamorous cross-over quartet - String Mania.

Chereene played during the ceremony and the reception while guests enjoyed champagne and canapes in The Library and on the Terrace.  I just wish I had the time to enjoy it as a guest too! I look forward to sharing the photographs of this wedding very soon.

Do have a listen for yourself -  http://www.chereene.co.uk/Listen-to-Me.html

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Country Wedding - with a twist!

I first met Sibyl and Jon in October 2009.  They are both busy Architects and had wanted to get married the previous year, but just didn't have the time to organise it.  We met at Sibyl's parents house where the reception was to be held and from the moment we met, there were lots of exciting ideas flying around and the fun began.

They were married on 3rd July the following year, in their local church by the their family friend, Rev James McKeran.



A tense time for any wedding planner is wondering when everyone will arrive and when to start pouring the drinks. It was a lovely moment when we could hear the church bells ringing, so we knew they were married and on their way.  They arrived on a tractor and trailer through the cornfields.

Jon wanted the wedding to be very relaxed and informal and loved the idea of it looking like the scene in the woods from the original film 'Robin Hood' with Errol Flynn.  Jon does actually look a bit like Errol Flynn and Sibyl and I had a joke about it, as he would always say "Now, would Errol Flynn have done that!"
See the resemblance?
I suggested the idea of having medieval archers instead of the traditional garden games to entertain the 150 guests.  They thought it was a great idea, but it proved rather tricky to source to get it exactly right.  In the end I tracked down 'The Grumpy Old Archer'  http://www.thegrumpyoldarcher.co.uk/ who was far from grumpy and absolutely wonderful.  He even made a wedding arrow for Sibyl & Jon with goose feathers and gold thread.

A folk band played while guests enjoyed Prosecco and Elderflower Presse with chunky Bruschetta's and Frittatas served on vintage platters.  The wedding breakfast was a hog roast and roasted vegetables served with whole apples and herbs.  An array of vintage crockery made a stunning display on the tables, complemented with the english flowers that were arranged to look like they had been freshly picked from the garden.  A delicious gooseberry fool for dessert and Damson vodka that Sibyl and Jon had made for the toast completed the meal.

Later in the evening they had a delicious cheeseboard served with fresh fruits and a choice of five different cakes ordered from a local bakery with coffee served in vintage tea cups from 'Vintage Flair'.

A band started off the dancing, a fire pit was lit for guests to sit around and they helped themselves to ale and wine into tankards and goblets.

There were so many special moments.  I was tearful for a long while after their wedding.  I had such lovely notes from the family, "immense kindness" and "unflappable style" - I may have to quote them again!

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Buck.

All photo's (with the exception of Errol Flynn) www.gdaviesphoto.com

Monday, 23 August 2010

Good things come to those who wait

I am very pleased with myself that I have managed to set up and design my own little blog.  I can type 60wpm and can trawl the internet looking at fabulous interiors and styling ideas, but I'm not very techy! It is a work in progress and I need to learn all sorts of things about this blogging world.  I have to confess (probably to my sister), that the book she sent to me on 'optimisation' has remained untouched under a pile of glossies. 

I am planning a few ideas for the coming months.  I will post all the lovely weddings and events I organise, but I also want to feature some of the amazing venues and suppliers, peppered with interesting finds along the way ... 

... such as these delicious cupcakes from 'Jane's Cupcakes' which
were delivered to my door for a 40th Birthday party.

I am a firm believer in 'everything happens for a reason'.  I have had some amazing jobs and experiences and some pretty awful ones too, but the thing I have learnt from them all, is to move on, keep smiling - as good things come to those who wait.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Add a little colour

I am organising a wedding next weekend and the Bride wanted my advice.  She asked what did I think about having bright red or purple shoes!  She thought she was totally bonkers! 

The majority of dresses are long, so no-one really knows if you have splashed out on Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik or Gina shoes.  I remember being totally horrified at my friend splashing out over £200 on a pair of, what were effectively bejewelled flip flops that you couldn't see! 

I love the idea of coloured All Stars or Hunter wellies - and leopard pumps from Charlotte Olympia like my July Bride.

So the answer was - "yes I absolutely love the idea!"

 Photograph Leo Petrone

Photograph Allison Garrett                                                 Photograph Kirsten Ellis     

Photograph Kirsten Ellis

   .... but don't forget the socks!

    Photograph Jill Thomas

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kate Fletcher Events on RocknRoll Bride

I am very excited to tell you that one of the recent weddings I organised was posted on RocknRoll Bride yesterday - 16th August 2010.  Look out for 'Archery, Tractors, Tents - A British Summertime Wedding with a Twist'!

Sibyl & Jon Buck were wonderful to work with and two of the nicest people you will ever meet.  I will post my own blog about their wedding soon, but take a look at www.rocknrollbride.com

I stumbled upon RocknRoll Bride when I joined Twitter.  Since setting up her blog in 2008, Kat has a Twitter following of over 5,000 people.  Not bad at all!  For those of you that don't know her, she started her blog when she was planning her own wedding and the prospect of giving it up was too much to bear, so she continued to post stuff she loved.

RocknRoll Bride is all about ordinary people's extraordinary weddings.  Although there is nothing 'ordinary' about Kat. She has bright pink hair and a sleeve tattoo, as seen in these stunning pictures by Eliza Claire Photography http://www.elizaclairephotography.com/

You have to pretty confident to carry off 'hot pink' hair! Whilst I don't think I'll be reaching for the bottle of dye just yet, I hope the enthusiasm she exudes is contagious!

Eliza says "I've been photographing people since I was a teenager, but never really thought of doing it as a career.  A couple of years ago, an acquaintance asked me to assist him at a wedding.  And I fell in love!  I realised there and then how much fun wedding photography could be.  My style is relaxed, a little bit vintage, a little bit quirky, a little bit stylish"

Thanks Eliza for sharing your great photographs.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Jimmy and Michaela Doherty's Wedding

Unbeknown to Michaela, I had a picture of Jimmy on my wall at work four years previously! So organising their wedding to me was like organising Robbie Williams and Ayda Fields!

I was working for one of their friends at the time and she asked him if I would be interested in organising their wedding. She didn’t have to ask twice! We got on really well and I loved every minute. They booked four amazing Tipi’s which were to be located in front of the old farmhouse. Most people think this is where they live, but it is totally derelict and has a friendly ghost!

We would chat in the Herb Garden about their plans. Sadly, I very rarely saw Jimmy as he was always away filming, but I also had a lot to do with his Stag do and had the pleasure of speaking to a few of his famous friends!

The weather on the day of the wedding couldn’t have been more perfect. Jamie Oliver was one of their ushers and did a very funny reading in the church. They left the church on Michaela’s pink tractor that Jimmy had given her as a Valentines present.

                                                                     © gdaviesphoto.com

Do you remember the episode in 'Friends' when Monica took over the arrangements of Phoebe’s wedding and had a microphone and clipboard? We had a laugh about that, but there was one moment when the tractor came up the drive and I ran over to Daisy, the beautiful singer to start singing. I laughed to myself, but when she started playing her guitar, I had tears in my eyes. The emotion of being a wedding planner!!

                                                                     © gdaviesphoto.com

They had champagne and canap├ęs in the Herb Garden and a Hog Roast (what else!) for the meal. In the evening a band played, along with a stint with Jamie on drums and Jimmy singing with a group of other friends. A fire pit was lit and fireworks were set off over the meadow. It was perfect.

                                                                      © gdaviesphoto.com
Saying 'thank you' ah!

Michaela said after the wedding “it was just magical and completely as we dreamt it would be”.

Their first wedding anniversary is imminent, but they have recently celebrated the arrival of their baby daughter who was born on 4th August. Congratulations to them both.  I love having wedding babies!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A little about me!

I have been anxious to start my blog for quite some time.  I like writing and talking (that has never been a problem) and I spend hours looking over endless wedding and lifestyle photographs, so this should be fun!

My career path came about completely by accident.  Having returned from a couple of years travelling and living in Australia, I started temping in the marketing department of Cable & Wireless Marine.  I worked closely with the Event Director who was a great mentor and I was soon arranging and attending exhibitions and events throughout the world.

My 'wedding' career also started by chance when I saw an article in a local newspaper about a stately home that was developing a derelict coach house and stable block into a wedding venue.  I wrote to the owners and offered my help.  I started work almost immediately and helped them market the venue and meeting couples to pursuade them to book.  I would ask them to bring their wellies when they came to look around the building site!  It was certainly a challenge, but I managed to convince most of them.  Working with the couples to plan their wedding at this early stage was fantastic and I was always sad to say goodbye at the end of the wedding.

Another role led me to organise the wedding of Jimmy and Michaela Doherty at Jimmy's Farm in Suffolk (more about that later).  I used to watch their programme avidly when they first set up their farm, so to organise their wedding was a dream and one of the highlights of my career.  After organising their wedding, I realised I should 'go it alone'!

So here I am ... 

The personal bit!
I live in Thaxted, a lovely market town in north Essex with my husband Jonathan, a Firefighter and our two boys Angus and Toby and our recent addition to the family - Flora, our black labrador puppy.  I love scouring junk shops for hidden treasure and my addiction to interiors magazines is slightly OCD.  I hope one day we will build our own house.  I also drink too much wine!

She now chews more than watering cans!

On this first post I would like to thank my friend, Sarah Spence who I have known since I was 9. She has created my website and been very patient with my constant emails and visits.  I can hopefully repay the favour and help her new business 'Rose & Aster' which I will tell you about very soon.