Your Step by Step Wedding Planning Guide Part 1

Most women have been dreaming & planning their big day since a little girl – this does not mean however we have got our heads together when he finally pops the question! Logic & ruling with our head goes out the window, to allow room for ruling with our hearts & becoming a great accountant trying to stretch our methodically planned budget so we can actually book that pink sparkly unicorn to carry us to our wedding at Buckingham palace!

With so many options to look at for our big day it’s no real wonder that we find it’s not just the best day of our life, but also the most stressful. When our parents married it was either a registry office or church followed by a good old knees up, buffet then followed by a party with the local DJ (potentially I am now showing my age) whereas these days there is also civil licensed venues where you can hold the entire days festivities, outdoor venues that are licensed, marrying abroad or for those of you that want something completely unique you can marry in secret at a registry office & then hold a ceremony built by you with the assistant of a celebrant where ever you wish and that’s just the ceremony! Gone are your cheese & pickle, scotch eggs & pork pie buffets and in replacement comes hog roasts, BBQ’s, hot buffets & four course sit down wedding breakfasts.

I feel that we are missing something? Ahh that would be THE dress, suddenly we have flashbacks to dressing up with our friends when we little and arguing over who was playing the bride today, memories of daydreaming in science class about how big our dress was going to be when we married that hunk of a teacher that was teaching us……sorry what was he teaching us again? These days we have gowns to suit every height, size, shape and most of all budget!

All jokes aside though most of us work insane hours – especially to pay for this now impending wedding and that means that there is now possibly less time for you as a couple. When you are together do you find yourself trawling websites, online directories, facebook wedding groups and so on to get an ideas of what you want, how much it will cost and when to do everything? Well if so may be I can help just a little on the time management side, in the hope it relieves a little stress and free’s up a little time for the odd date night. Below is purely a template for timescales on planning your big day, hopefully it will ease your diary rather than cramming it all into one weekend full of wedding shows & fayres.

With 12 months & over:

-Set a date make sure you take into account any school or public holidays

-Choose & book your venue, most well known & established venues book at least a couple of years in advance. If you are flexible on your dates look into any winter or mid week wedding discounts they may offer

-Choose a theme or colour scheme, you could even choose both!

-Start to draft your guest lists, preferably over a bottle of wine! Don’t be pushed into inviting your great aunts second cousins niece!! Do take into account people may have a plus one even though they are currently single & now could be a good time to decide whether you are going to allow children to attend

-Send out Save The Dates, that way apart from the usual family fall outs & surprise pregnancies no one has an excuse to not attend the wedding of the year!

-Now would be a great time to look into & purchase your wedding insurance. None of us like to think that something may go wrong but if it does you are covered

-Write a reasonable to do list. Don’t over stretch yourself physically, emotionally or financially

-Book your registrar or church & esure you understand what is required of you both for your chosen legal bit of your wedding

-Always confirm rules about readings, music etc as a civil ceremony can not have any religious content

-Work out your budget, carefully & politely find out if any parents are assisting you with anything and then plan & distribute your budget accordingly. It would be wise to keep a little aside as a contingency just in case you come across any unforeseen expenditures.

-Prioritise your budget to what you want & need, not what someone else believes you should want or need

-Do your homework, ask favourite suppliers for quotes so you can get an idea for your budget allocation

-Choose your bridal party wisely, don’t feel guilty this is who you want around you on the morning of YOUR big day. At this point it would be wise to decide what you are prepared to pay for if anything. Not every bride wishes to stretch her budget that thinly just so her 12 bridesmaids can all have their hair & make up paid for, don’t be afraid to ask them to pay for their own. Your groom also needs to be thinking about who he is going to ask to be his grooms men & most importantly his best man.

-Once your parties are chosen & informed it may be an idea to start considering outfits and what will compliment your chosen ideas for your big day.

-If you are considering a stag or hen do now may be the time to start looking into it as people need time to sort their finances and possibly child care as lets face it a week in Ibiza sounds pretty darn good to me!

-Consider thank you gifts to those who you have decided will receive them.

-Pinterest is now your best friend, you must have pinned what like a hundred different wedding dresses by now? Well now its time to start trying them on, take people with you that will give you an honest opinion & not blow smoke up your butt as sometimes we can look at this bit with very rose tinted glasses on, you don’t want to not love your dress when it finally arrives. Wear nice underwear! This is no joke ladies in a day of trying on dresses you will strip in front of a stranger more times than you have stripped in the past 12 months! Ask about costs of alterations when you finally chose THE ONE & also aftercare regardless of whether you plan to sell it or keep it

-Photography & videography aside from the venue & dress will possibly be your biggest investment and most definitely a worthwhile one. A number of photographers now either offer a photography & videography package or have someone they can contract in that they work together with on a number of events. If you cant afford both don’t be pushed into it, decide together the style of photographs you want as there are so many to choose from. Ask for recommendations from friends who are married & on forums or facebook groups. Think about whether you want something very traditional or something that breaks the mould and wows the crowds, ask whether they can take images with smoke bombs or in the dark with sparklers for those mesmerising shots you swoon over all over instagram & pinterest. Ensure you discuss any additional costs you may incur, how many hours coverage you receive for your fee, how long until your receive your photographs and also how you receive them. Not everyone these days chooses an album, ensure you do your research of their portfolio and reviews… do not want your day to have been & gone and only then find you chose a photographer who couldn’t live up to your expectation

So that brings us to the end of your planning guide part one, I hope you have enjoyed having a read and this helps a little with the start of your planning. Part two will be covering 6-9 months before the big day


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Inner Beauty Events

We are very excited to have launched Inner Beauty Events under the Inner Beauty banner! Many years ago I used to organise intimate wedding fayres with a friend and loved every minute of it, so with a little time on my hands after returning from maternity leave early I made the decision to start hosting them again in an effort to provide suppliers with a more affordable option, so here’s to late nights of emailing, floor plans, advertising & marketing

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Dahlia’s Blessing

Today’s beautiful bride Dahlia ❤️
Dahlia actually married fiancé Joe last month abroad & is having a blessing today with all family on both sides travelling in from India especially for the big day. Dahlia & Joe chose his local church for their blessing in Nuneaton with the reception at the fantastic @the_atherstone_red_lion
Gemma & Trudi were in hand at the venue to ensure everything runs smoothly
Suppliers were as follows
Dress – WED2B Hinckley
Venue – Atherstone Red Lion Hotel
Venue co-ordinators – Gemma & Trudi
Photographer – Mike Spencer Nottingham
Flowers – family friend
Hair & make up – @inner beauty by Zoë

Make up:
Huda Beauty Benefit Cosmetics Morphe @nyxcosmetics Mollie Cosmetics Anastasia Beverly Hills @MAC @sarazaar @ben nye Cosmetics Urban Decay Cosmetics Kat Von D
#katvondshadeandlightglimmer #annastasiabeverleyhillsbrowpalette #morphebrunchbabepalette #morphefallintofrostpalette #benefiteyeliner #sarazaarpigments #hudaflawlessfilterfoundation #huda3dhighlighterpalette #urbandecayallnightersettingspray #nyxlipsuede #benefitrollerlashmascara #molliecosmeticsmcm2 #benefithoolabronzer #bennyebananapowder #macpigmentshinespearl

Sexy Hair @schwarzkopfpro
#sexyhairsmoothandseal #schwarzkopfgot2bfreshitup #sexyhairpowderplay #sexyhairpushup #sexyhairplaydirty #sexyhairsprayandstay @ Atherstone Red Lion Hotel

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April’s magical Coombe Abbey affair

April married her fab fiance Craig at the glorious Coombe Abbey Hotel, Brinkley, Warwickshire – I don’t think I’ve ever met a more down to earth, loveable woman! The preparation was so much fun & I thoroughly loved being part of it. I didn’t get many pictures heartbreakingly but I’m hoping April will share some when they come through. Here is all her suppliers & Make Up for inspiration
Venue – Coombe Abbey Hotel
Hair & Make Up – Inner Beauty by Zoë
Wedding gown – Belda Bridal, Sutton Coldfield
Photographer –
Florist – Candice McCann, Coventry

Redken Wella Professionals Wella L’oreal professionnel
Redken hot 22, Wella professional Glam Mist & L’Oréal Professionals extreme hairspray

Make Up:
Huda Beauty Benefit Cosmetics Kat Von D Beauty Morphe Morphe Brushes Anastasia Beverly Hills Mollie Cosmetics
Huda Nude Pallete, Huda Flawless Filter Foundation, Huda 3d highlighter pallete, Morphe pallete, Anastasia Beverley Hills brow pallete, Benefit Roller Lash mascara, Katon Von D Light & Shade Glimmer Pallete, Mollie Cosmetics MCM2

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Flora’s big day

Flora renewed her vows today at Ashton Lodge, Rugby with her mum Helen & bridesmaids Rica and Sarah by her side, she chose some fantastic suppliers who all brought the big day together perfectly! Huge shout outs to:

Ashton Country Lodge, Rugby, Warwickshire – venue

Platinum Bridal Boutique, Leeds – wedding gown

Tom Bond Photography, Northamptonshire – Photography

Debenhams – accessories

Myself – Hair & Make Up 

Ebay – bridesmaids gowns 

Products used:

Hair: @redken @wellahair @lorealpro 

Redken hot 22, Wella Pearl Shine & L’Oreal Professional

Make up: @hudabeauty @anastasiabeverlyhills @benefitcosmeticsuk @katvondbeauty 

Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation

Huda Beauty Nude Palette

Huda Beauty 3d Highlighter Palette

Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder

Kat Von D Light & Shade Glimmer Palette

Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Pomade

Benefit Hoola Blush

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara 

#zoepope #innerbeautybyzoe #bridebook #weddingwire #ukbride #hitched #bridalhair #bridalmakeup #weddinghair #weddingmakeup #warwickshirewedding #makeupartist #bridalmakeupartist #bridalhairstylist #hudabeautynudepalette #hudabeauty #anastasiabeverlyhills #benefit #katvond #wellaprofessional #lorealprofessional #redken

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NEW FOR 2020

New for 2020 & beyond is the pop up hair and make up bar!

There are many ladies who have events with their friends where they all want to get ready together, or some weddings love to have the affordable extravagance of being able to offer their female guests a treat, this is why I’m bringing the pop up bar to life.

All the person booking is required to provide is a separate room or area from the main event where I may set up, I can provide just make up, hair or both! There are several options when booking as you will see below. The Inner Beauty by Zoë pop up bar is available to book from January 2020


Pop Up Bar Costs:

After serious consideration I have decided two options for costs – where exact numbers are known of ladies wanting to be taking part a cost per head will be the better option than an hourly rate incase not everyone is able to be done in an allotted time. For example at an event, party or wedding reception where exact numbers would not be known as to how many ladies would want to taking part it may be best to look at the hourly rate. There is also the option of whether it’s just for make up, hair or both.

Pop Up Bar per head (min 4 people)

Just Make Up: £25 pp without lashes / £30 pp with lashes

Just Hair: £20 pp

Hair & Make Up: £40 pp without lashes / £45 pp with lashes


Pop Up Bar per hour (min 2 hours)

Just Make Up: £105 ph without lashes / £120 ph with lashes

Just Hair: £90 ph

Hair & Make Up: £155 ph includes lashes

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Emma & Stuart at Ettington Park

Emma married her fiancée in the awe inspiring backdrop of Ettington Park on the outskirts of Stratford Upon Avon. They opted for a peacock feather and subtle 1920’s theme. Emma had her stunning 1920’s feel gown from The Bridal Lounge in Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire with her bridesmaids dresses coming from high street store Marks & Spencer’s. Becky Foster at Ettington Park over saw every aspect of the big day being wedding co-ordinator ensuring Emma was able to relax in her fantastic bedroom suite. Amanda Luther is one of Ettington’s first choice of florist & was chosen by Emma for the event – creating the most beautiful bouquets in subtle hues blew everyone away as they were brought into the bedroom for the bride to do her final check!
As always Ettington’s favourite photographer Suzanne Fells Photography was there to capture the day perfectly and we can’t wait to see the images

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Gwen’s Sandon Hall Affair

Yesterday the truly stunning Gwen married her beau at her family church in Weston followed by a wonderful blessing & party at the magnificent Sandon Hall Staffordshire. Her traditional wedding dress was purchased while she was abroad on an off the cuff appointment at a boutique, a stunning illusion & beaded back coming up over the peak of the shoulder the dress was fitted and floor length with the most beautiful chapel train. We can’t wait to share the professional photographs taken by Will Fuller Photography

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Ricoh Arena 2019

What a fantastic weekend spent at The Ricoh Arena, Coventry for the West Midlands Wedding Show hosted by Perfect Brides! 100 exhibitors, over 2000 visitors & lots of time chatting to brides to be. It was fantastic to see some familiar faces exhibiting such as Albie & Lonnies in Rugby for men’s suits, Sammie Lou bridal in Rugby, Confetti Bridal in Hinckley, Morton’s Vintage Hire in Coventryn& so many more

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Early Bird Offer

So far this January I am in awe of the amount of brides who have got this! I have had so many enquiries for 2020 & 2021 it’s impressive.


I am currently offering brides 15% off the total of their quote if booked before 31st April 2019 when the following is adhered to:

1. Two are more people must be included in the party

2. The 15% discount is applied before any incurred travel charges are applied (there may be no travel charges dependant on where you are based)

3.  Deposit must be received on or before 31.04.19

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