I have so many beautiful weddings to share with you from last year, and still can’t quite believe I managed 15 weddings whilst pregnant with Augie Bear. I simply couldn’t have done it without my fabulous team of assistants and suppliers, namely my sister Georgia from Westwood Design who I trust simplicity to care for the little details as much as I do!
I thought I’d actually share one of my favourites with you today, which happened to be just three weeks before I went into labour (!) – every wedding is special, but doing full wedding design and planning brings you so much closer to a couple and their family – and I adored this chic and traditional Cotswolds church wedding with garden marquee reception.
The wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty and you can find the full list of vendors at the end.
I can’t quite believe it’s been 6 months since we welcomed our latest addition to the family, little Augustus Stanley Jack. He is just the sweetest boy, full of smiles and already sitting + crawling (so different to Flora who was quite content to sit still and play with whatever was closest at the time!).
To celebrate his birth I enlisted the help of my sister Georgia, who happens to be an incredible florist and set designer in London, and had my dear friend Ashlee from Taylor Barnes Photography come and spend a day with us in October last year. I dressed us all in white, adorned us with fresh flowers and foliage, and headed out to our local park to spot fairies in the wildflowers with Flora. I hope you love the results!
For those interested, Flora’s dress was from Zara Kids and my dress was from Asos, while Augie wore H&M Baby. Flora is also wearing an amber teething necklace – never been sure if it worked but she’s grown rather attached to it over the years!
Last year I started teaching for the first time after receiving hundreds of emails asking for business advice or help creating styled shoots for publication. It all started with the very first Illuminated Collective workshop – a one day event for wedding photographers looking to refine their style towards more fine art weddings. I did a couple of sessions on styling props + decor, and can’t wait to share with you some of the images from a selection of attendees too.
I then took part in The Wedding Academy with Flourish & Prosper alongside a cast of industry heavyweights like Kat Williams from Rock n Roll Bride, Marianne Taylor, Sinclair Sellars from Maids to Measure and many more. It was eye opening, there is just so much business know how that wedding industry entrepreneurs have yet to take on board. From blogging to social media and PR, we covered it all!
There will be more photography workshops this year that are already making my creative brain explode with excitement, but first and foremost I am collaborating with so much more amazing talent at The Styling Workshop 2015hosted by Flourish & Prosper on 27th April 2015 at the ever so fabulous Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire.
So what’s it all about?
This one day workshop is an exclusive “how to” for wedding creatives looking to gain amazing images for their portfolio and increase coverage with magazines and blogs in order to attract more of the clients they’d like to work with. We show you how to build a beautiful tablescape, style + pose models, and arrange pretty details – as well as hands on styling sessions where you’ll get top tips and have your own creations photographed by a leading European fine art photographer. PLUS a chance to get your portfolio reviewed and a super lovely gift.
This event is of most interest to stylists, planners and photographers planning their own editorial shoots – but also any other wedding creatives with products or services to sell, from cake bakers to prop hire. We’re encouraging all attendees to bring their own items to style with our guidance, and will be giving everyone a little styling homework (we promise it’s fun!).
How much is it and how do I register?
The investment for the day is £595.00 which includes all materials and refreshments, but not travel and accommodation. You can purchase a ticket here and get 10% off with discount code JESSIELOVES or request payment by instalments by emailing email@example.com – there are limited places available, in order to make sure everyone get’s the highest level of attention and teaching.
These images were taken by Taylor Barnes Photography as part of the Illuminated Collective workshop last year, who will also be speaking at The Styling Workshop on 27th April 2015. It was styled by me with an amazing cast of vendors you can find below, and is in the current issue of You & Your Wedding Magazine available in shops now.
You know what makes me happy? REALLY happy? Seeing my beautiful brides and handsome grooms gracing the pages of my fave ever magazines and blogs. It’s so nice to see all of the pretty details and sweet moments gathered together into a little love story for others to admire and share.
Ever since I got engaged myself in 2009, I have obsessed over pretty much everything that Style Me Pretty features. So to be a member of their exclusive little black book, and have my work published by them is a dream come true. Literally!
Recently they featured one of the most lovely weddings I’ve ever worked on, set in the Cotswolds was this intimate wedding inspired by the glamour of Great Gatsby. I honestly adored the bride, she is one of those girls you really want to be friends with. You know the ones?
Yup that’s right…. 10 reasons why you SHOULDN’T hire a wedding planner…. because although I am one, and I firmly believe that we are pretty much as close to fairy godmothers as you can get, it’s not always a given that you should hire one for your big day.
1. If your budget is seriously restricted. Think about it, if hiring a wedding planner means that 50% of your budget is now blown, that’s not leaving much room for other essential items like a decent venue. Or food.
2. If you are pretty much replicating your sisters (or other family member) wedding – same marquee at the family home, same suppliers, same timeline… etc. Especially if your parents are hosting and don’t mind running around in the final weeks and on the day itself. You might still want an on the day co-ordinator though, just to take off the pressure from Mum & Dad.
3. If you don’t actually want a wedding planner. That relationship is never going to work! You need to trust someone to do their job properly.
4. If you LOVE being organised, are creative, don’t have a full time job, or kids. Oh and you just happen to know who the best and most reliable suppliers in the industry are. Top tip: it’s not always those with the prettiest websites who appear at the top of Google.
5. If you have lots of friends who work in the wedding industry. Soak up their knowledge and take their advice (assuming they are good at their job!). Even then, who manages the day itself for you?
6. If you’re after a homespun, DIY, laid back, no traditions or schedules kinda wedding. Just remember, it’s the most well organised events that actually feel the most relaxed for those attending.
7. If you are thinking about booking a super cheap and inexperienced planner. Consider carefully and think of value rather than cost. Better to have no planner than a bad planner?!
8. If you have a seriously strong network of friends and family. A huge part of my job as a planner is acting as stand in BFF and counsellor, an impartial voice of reason who will never ever call you a bridezilla or not pick up your calls.
9. If you are very decisive and have a clear vision for your big day – with the help of the internet and some handy referrals then you are well on your way with planning. However you’ll also need to manage budgets, timelines and choose someone else as a point of contact for the day.
10. I actually can’t think of ten reasons NOT to hire a wedding planner. So I’m going to write another list of reasons why you SHOULD hire one next, I’ll try my very best to stick to just 10 on that one.
So I’m sitting here at 40 weeks pregnant (plus a few days!) waiting to welcome my second little bundle of joy into the world, and realised I hadn’t given you lovely readers a round up of what I’ve been busy with behind the scenes of Jessie Thomson HQ last month!
I also had two beautiful weddings at the start of August before I went on maternity leave, which I hope to share with you soon too.One a colourful barn wedding, and the other a classic marquee tent wedding.
Unique and special, in equal parts. But for now, here’s to an amazing July (and a little from the end of June)….!
I’ll be sharing behind the scenes pics from August and some official wedding photo’s and features coming very soon, possibly mixed with a few cute baby pics. I apologise in advance for the Instagram takeover!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m hoping by now you might have read a little bit about my new venture with Louise Beukes from b.loved – a brand new resource for suppliers and business owners in the wedding industry, Flourish & Prosper.
F&P came about because we spotted a small problem in our wonderful world of weddings – it’s completely unregulated, full of new business start ups (some incredible, some not so much), an industry growing hugely both in the UK and worldwide – and yet, there seemed to be very little out there for any of us to gather together, share best practices and know how, get advice on key activities required to make our businesses an even bigger success story.
Louise and I both left our corporate lives behind for a reason, but we’re ultimately also successful business women! So we decided to make a community where we offered all of the above (and SO much more), but in a stylish and fun environment that should go hand in hand with working within such a creative profession.
When we first founded this new business, we decided we really needed (ahem… yes needed!) to create a super pretty styled shoot to help launch our website and announce our plans to the world. With a host of amazing suppliers and the help of my lovely friend Ashlee from Taylor Barnes Photography we did just that! It was featured on Style Me Pretty soon afterwards, but I’ve yet to share the images here on the blog.
Well here you go, a little treat! If you are a wedding business (or if you have a friend in the industry) do make them aware of our first event – F&P The Wedding Academy – held in London on 1st November 2014. Leave a comment with your email below and I’ll send you a special Jessie Loves discount code for our shop too.
I’m so excited to announce ticket sales for the highly anticipated Flourish & Prosper: The Wedding Academy are now open! Together with my fellow biz partner in crime, Louise Beukes from b.loved, we have been busy behind the scenes over the past few months assembling a super duper incredible team of expert speakers, fabulous partners and stylish sponsors! We can’t wait to open the doors to our very first F&P event and meet lots of excited wedding pro’s looking to grow their businesses!
F&P: The Wedding Academy takes place on 1st November 2014, at Icetank Studios – a hidden gem in the heart of Covent Garden in London. We’ve got so much planned for the lucky 25 attendees who sign up, seriously this is one you really don’t want to miss!
My poor little blog has been a little quiet recently as I’ve had a super busy wedding season to take up my time, as well as getting everything planned for the first ever Flourish & Prosper event. Excited much? YES!
I’m also prepping the house for baby number two, due to arrive at the end of August. So hard to resist buying every single cute item of baby clothes that catches my eye on pinterest. Just seven more weddings and a spa date to go before I have a little time off.
Anyway, I thought it might be nice to give you a bit of a visual round up of what I’ve been doing behind the scenes at Jessie Thomson HQ since I last gave you an update in May.
Since my last update I’ve had three weddings and a tea ceremony, lots of travel around the Cotswolds and the UK, many itineraries and schedules created and sent out, smelled beautiful florals, eaten delicious macarons and mallows, and enjoyed plenty of toddler snuggles in between.
I’ve had the most wonderful start to May 2014, two beautiful and totally different weddings, an inspiring workshop with those talented ladies at Illuminated Collective. A trio of incredible fine art photographers who have collaborated to help bring their work to a wider audience, inspiring others along the way!
Some of you may follow me on Instagram already, but I thought I’d give you a little round up of images from behind the scenes of my month so far… and with two more weddings to go this weekend, it’s set to stay exciting!
Hope everyone is looking forward to a lovely weekend of weddings or relaxing!