Well where to start – this year truly has been an amazing year. Year three for Bellissimo Weddings and Simply Events on the non wedding side of events which we plan.
Frances was with us until half way through the year after completing her placement year from Bournemouth University with us and had been a huge help in moving the business forward. 2011 has seen us work on over 10 weddings in a mixture of full planning, partial planning and on the day co-ordination. This really has been the year of the marquee! Melanie has become known as somewhat of an “expert” on marquee weddings and no wedding had tested her more than a wedding in June where we were brought in very late in the day where the bride and groom were experiencing some difficulties with suppliers and pulling their marquee wedding together and to say there were quite a few challenges to get over is very much an understatement but we pulled it off and were thrilled to have some wonderful testimonials from couples who really did “get” the value of what we do and what we offer – often not fully appreciating the extent of what we do until after the day when they get to see it in full.
The early part of the year saw us working on numerous wedding shows which we organise for local venues which is hard work but fun at the same time. We have had some wonderful shows including RNLI College in Poole which was a new venue for us this year and gave us the chance to offer a waterside venue with a great selection of local suppliers on board for couples to meet.
The team at the RNLI show
Guests at the RNLI show in March 2011
The year continued with a pace with lots of weddings and events to work on including various charity events and corporate events. Then, we were nominated for a Langtry Manor Small Business of the Year Award – what a privilege to have someone nominate us for that and then to find that we had been short-listed as one of the three finalists. It was a lovely awards dinner and whilst we didn’t win it was such a great feeling to have been recognised so early in the our business.
Melanie at the awards in May
We were short-listed as a finalist
More recently, we were also nominated and short-listed for a regional award as Wedding Planner of the Year 2012 – its been the year for nominations! Maybe next year we will get a little closer!
The weddings continued throughout the year and we have worked in some amazing venues including Lulworth Castle, The Italian Villa at Compton Acres, Exbury Gardens and some stunning marquee settings.
Melanie helping one bride into her gown
Melanie chatting with Father Bruce before a wedding this year
We also started offering baby showers and the first was in the spring of this year – going into the home of the mum to be or a friend and setting out lovely food, cakes, and running the event with some great games and hosting the guests as they arrive – great way to welcome the new mum to be
In March Melanie took part in Wedding Planning Excellence and was asked to speak to fellow planners with both her planning and legal hat on and was pleased to do this.
Melanie in a public speaking role
Melanie and the fellow planners at WPE 2011
Moving into the warmer months we were really pleased under the Simply Events side of the business to work on a joint birthday and anniversary celebration for some wonderful clients in Dorset. The theme was the Caribbean and we set up a small marquee in the grounds of their property and brought in Beales Gourmet to provide a sumptuous Caribbean themed menu for our clients and their guests.
One of the tables at the Caribbean themed event complete with boat shaped napkin folds in black, yellow table cloths for the Jamaican flat and tropical flower centre pieces.
One of the most stunning weddings we worked on this year was over at Studland in a ti-pi! Below are just two images we took on the day showing the ti-pi going up – more to follow on a full blog on this wedding in the New Year.
And don’t let anyone say that the life of a wedding planner is glamorous! Scrubbing floors and cleaning or unblocking loos is often the order of the day at marquee weddings!
We had a really hot spell at the end of the summer and sneaked in another wedding show…or two!
Winner of a floral prize at one of our shows
Fashion show at The East Cliff Court
We worked on several charity events this year – and the Sunflower Ball in aid of Lewis Manning was just one of them. This was a fabulous event with auction and raffle and amazing big band music. A great night was had and some great donations were made to enable a really good sum to be given to the charity.
A huge and important part of 2011 was celebrating our third business birthday in September. We were thrilled to take over The Italian Villa at Compton Acres and had the most beautiful balmy summer evening to entertain clients, suppliers, friends and family in the gardens with bubbles and canapes.
Some sweet treats for our guests
Vicky and Richard sing and play for us
Our guests in the gardens of The Villa
Melanie and some fellow wedding planners who helped celebrate the night with us
Melanie saying a few words of thanks and announcing the Beach Weddings contract! More about this below
One of our last weddings of the year was a stunning marquee wedding in Dorchester which was an absolute pleasure to have worked on through 2011. This is one of our favourite images from the wedding as the Bride and Groom emerge from the Church
Image courtesy of Angela Ward Brown Photography
Image courtesy of Angela Ward Brown Photography
The Marquee at our Dorchester wedding all laid out waiting for the guests
End of October saw another wedding show – year two of us organising the Wedding & Lifestyle show at The Italian Villa at Compton Acres
Guests browsing through the stands at the Italian Villa
Image courtesy of Ina Halsor Photography
Our models getting ready to hit the catwalk
Image courtesy of Digitally Different Photography
Melanie with twin page boy and flower girl from our last wedding of the year
And so, as if that wasn’t enough, in October we learned that we were successful in our bid to become the operators of www.beachweddingsbournemouth.co.uk. What a hugely exciting project this is going to be. We have a 5 year contract to be the operators of this unique beach wedding venue and its the only place in England & Wales were you can legally marry right on the sand. This has proved so popular during the 2 months since we launched at the end of October. We are very excited and thrilled to be part of this project. Its hugely exciting for wedding world and for Bournemouth as a beach resort and will certainly bring some amazing weddings to the beach in 2012. The bookings are filling up for the 2012 season and we are really excited to be getting everything prepared.
Image courtesy of IanH Photography
Our launch weekend marquee set up on the beach
Early morning photoshoot for beach weddings – these images were featured all over the press – locally, nationally and internationally!
The Beach Weddings crew in action!
Images courtesy of IanH Photography
A collection of images from our hugely successful launch weekend for beach weddings.
That just leaves us to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has worked with us and supported us in 2011. The business really is flying now and its been a lot of hard work and long hours but 2012 is looking to be a very exciting year for us and we look forward to welcoming lots of Bellissimo Brides, Simply Events clients and Beach Weddings Bournemouth couples. We will continue to work hard and create magic.
A very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year to all our followers
Melanie, Natasha and the team