This Year.

This time last year when I sat writing this post, I didn’t think I’ll be writing today’s so soon. Okay, sure it has been another 365 days but my goodness, where has this year gone? Maybe it’s true when people say ‘As you get older, the faster it goes‘ or perhaps it’s just because working in this business, every day and month is so well planned that the days are quickly filled, hence it feels like it passes you far quicker than ever before.

Writing this final post of 2013 makes me a little emotional, a whole lotta happy and that warm fuzzy feeling of contentedness… but I’m also feeling very ready for another new year. It’s almost time for me to look at what needs to change, what needs to be done even better and where to take Carmen Weddings. I’ll be taking some time to sit down in January to really have a long, hard think about the more serious business plans. It’s not going to be easy decisions but I’ll just have to make sure there’s some fun along the way!

For now, I’m so excited to be taking a look back at the year… the majority being the good. The very good. And some not so great moments of 2013. Every one of those experiences has taught me some great lessons in which I can only take with me and learn from.

Spring was traveling at a steady pace and it was all about preparing for the months ahead which meant a much needed holiday before the craziness. Not only that, my sweet cousin was getting married in Hong Kong, so with flights booked for our trip to Hong Kong, Xi’An in China and a sunny break in Penang it was my ultimate way to start the year. Giddy with excitement is an understatement to how I was feeling.

 

Pauline + Frankie – Hong Kong 

They were married on the Saturday in The White Chapel at The Auberge – Discovery Bay, followed by cocktails and dinner, then on the Sunday their Banquet was hosted at the glamorous Mira Hotel at Tsim Sha Tsui. I’ve grown up with this girl since we were babies and from a very young age we used to lie side by side in bed talking about anything and everything… including our future wedding days! So to see her walk down the aisle and marry her best friend was one of the most emotional moments for her and for me. She looked absolutely stunning in all of her stunning dresses – from her bespoke wedding dress to her glamorous Elie Saab evening gown and her Chinese Kwa…

 

Our Far East Trip

Paul and I managed to spend more time in Hong Kong with family and friends and it was really fantastic to be in the city with my parents too – the first time in my life we were all visiting together!  A huge highlight of my year.

We then had a history filled city break in Xi’An.  

A wedding planner friend suggested to me two years ago to try and get away before the busy wedding season and she was so right. This trip meant that when I was back,  I was completely refreshed for the summer.

I have dreamt of visiting the Terracotta Warriors Museum for quite some time… and we made 2013 the year to do it! It was a pretty amazing experience…

Then a short flight over to Penang was the best thing we did. Three weeks away from home and ending it with a week in the 33 degrees heat was simply bliss. I loved so much about Penang and I really didn’t want our time here to end.

 

Chinoiserie Inspiration Shoot in Hong Kong

Planning an inspiration shoot wasn’t easy being 6000 miles away but it was really worth it! More on where this was featured further along this post…

Amy + Neil | Nottinghamshire

Back on UK soil my first wedding of the year was Amy + Neil’s lovely wedding at Holme Pierre Pont Hall in April. A sweet wedding for a couple who truly deserved a special day…

Emma White Photography

 

 

Katie + Andy | Leicesteshire

Katie + Andy were married in their local village church with a most fabulous and fun filled reception at home in a gorgeous tipi. I loved so much about this couple and their wedding – so relaxed, so many sweet and personalised details… just gorgeousness all round. Katie just naturally pretty with the sweetest personality – so when I saw her in her dress with her girls, I knew her entrance to their church would be simply beautiful and Andy would be one very proud groom.

Emma Case Photography

 

Espana – A Little Last Minute Break

Paul and I wasn’t planning another break after the Far East trip earlier on the year but when friends invited us to visit for a long weekend in Spain, we couldn’t help ourselves and decided to hop on a flight and off we go!

 

Highlight Visit – Highclere Castle

One of the highlights of this year included a venue visit with my clients to the magnificent Highclere Castle, which you may recognise in the famous television series of Downton Abbey. A personal tour of every room and corner of Highclere Castle was a dream to my clients and a place I’m proud to say I’ve had the pleasure in visiting.

 

Tabitha + Chris | Oakham – Rutland

Rock My Wedding Real Bride Tabitha, and her now husband Chris were married on a very hot summers day in Oakham, Rutland… and I was so proud to have been a part of their wedding team. So many pretty details and sweet moments, a gorgeous Kula Tsurdiu dress and brilliant family and friends! These two are seriously one of the loveliest couples I’ve had the pleasure to have worked with.

Their sweet ceremony at the fabulous Oakham Castle which was then followed by a relaxed summery marquee reception at the Fox & Hounds, it really was so lovely to see every one of their guests enjoying their day as much as the bride + groom!

Tabitha + Chris Leicestershire Wedding

Carmen Weddings on Instagram

 

Rachel + Simon | Hertfordshire

Summer 2013 and we really couldn’t be more grateful for the glorious weather. Another hot summers day {in fact, it was very hot!} and this time for the gorgeous Rachel + Simon for their stunning wedding in Hertfordshire. A traditional Jewish wedding with a huge team of vendors who worked so, so hard on their incredible celebration {think along the lines of 100 plus team members!} A lot of hard work and hours were put in during the build up and on the day, but every ounce of energy we had put into their wedding made it so worth it… and a huge thank you for how welcoming Rachel + Simon’s family were throughout.

I remember all the details so clearly – the Delphine Manivet gown, the outdoor grand piano for their marriage under the stunning Scarlet & Violet chuppah to all the touching Jewish traditions… this is one wedding I will never forget.

Carmen Weddings on Instagram

 

Tracey + Hardip | Surrey

Tracey + Hardip had a very beautiful yet stylish wedding at Northbrook Park in Surrey…

The fusion of two cultures in one day is always a big favourite of mine and I’m so, so pleased to have been there on their wedding in making sure it came together perfectly. The morning’s weather was hit and miss but that moment when Tracey walked down the aisle outside in the gardens was a very special moment to them and to me. Nothing brings a planner more joy than when you see it turn out exactly the way they hoped for.

Tracey made such a gorgeous bride and I promise I will be blogging their full day with all the details very soon!

Marianne Taylor Photography

 

Lai-Chi + Yih | Derbyshire

Lai-Chi + Yih’s wedding was a mix of vintage with the cutest details along with touches of the Chinese traditions. I adored working alongside this couple in so many ways and bride looked amazing in her Kula Tsurdiu dress and her Chinese Kwa. I remember their speeches so well too… yes, I had a few happy tears too!

This couple paid attention to all the little details which made their day and it was clear that it was of great priority that their family and friends were having a great time, and this was exactly what we had set out to ensure they got for their special day.

I cannot wait to see all the professional photos and I hope I can share them with you soon!

Cuong Phan Photography

 

The Manor | Somerset

It’s always an honour to be invited to great events but sometimes in the busy months I do have to say no… but on one occasion towards the end of the wedding season, I  took a drive to The Manor in Somerset. A fantastic day and evening we had with a bunch of great wedding friends and spending some time with their two amazing Newfoundland dogs… including Bently.

Isn’t he just adorable?!

 

On Style Me Pretty

Remember the inspiration shoot I mentioned earlier which I had planned in Hong Kong with Bridelicious? Well, I was ecstatic when Style Me Pretty featured it! What a moment it was to see it grace the pages of this world famous blog and we were so, so proud that we made it happen.

I’m yet to blog the whole shoot and share all the details with you but you can see the feature here.

Jada Poon Photography

 

Laura + Tom | Edinburgh 

My very final wedding of the year was one which I had planned in just 3.5 months and took place on 21st December.

Laura + Tom’s winter wedding in Edinburgh was exactly how I had imagined a beautiful wintery wedding to be but more importantly, it was what bride + groom visioned and they enjoyed every moment of their big day in the magnificent city. A Cathedral service followed by a beautiful reception at Prestonfield House - it really was beautiful.

I cannot wait to see their professional photos but for now, here are my sweet peeks!

 

As 2013 draws to a close…

it’s clear that without the love and support I’ve had this year I wouldn’t have been able to share the above sweet moments and love stories.

A huge thank you to all who have been a part of it… from my clients, their families {I adore the mum’s and dad’s so much too!}, the suppliers I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside, my husband, family, friends and of course my sweet pooch Pugsie.

Next year will be an interesting year but I know it will be just as amazing as it has been over the last 12 months – I refuse to have it any other way!

Not only am I grateful for the opportunities and to all the people mentioned above but being in this job makes me so thankful to the kind weather I’ve been lucky to have had, the fab Costa and Starbucks staff I spend a lot of time meeting at service stations when on my travels, to all the delivery people who bring me package after package of wedding goodies… and to the florists like Planet Flowers who create such amazing arrangements for my couples and for when couples who gift me such awesome flowers! I’m a lucky girl right?!

It’s Not All Been Easy

As fantastic as the year has been and I couldn’t have been more proud of where I’ve managed to take Carmen Weddings, I’m not saying it’s all been plane sailing, that it’s all perfection, that I’ve become best buddies with every single vendor I’ve met along the way… trust me, some days are very tough.

I’m a small business owner who pours all their heart and soul into every wedding and the couple I work for and at times it brings me great challenges. Some small, some big and some you do occasionally take to heart, It’s only natural.

But I think the toughness of this job should be saved for another post, another time!

And as we’re now so close to 2014…

I would like to wish you all a very, very Happy New Year – wishing you great moments, fabulous opportunities, amazing health and a ton of happiness for 2014!

Huge hugs + love from me and my cuddly assistant – this-squishy-face-pooch xoxo

 

LucyLJanuary 7, 2014 - 2:45 pm

Awww Carmen, what a lovely post! So nice to see all the weddings you have planned and helped in 2013, and it’s always great to focus on the positive as the year ends. Although I am a teeny bit intrigued by the tough times! Hope you have an even better 2014, can’t wait to see more wedding pics, and I must send you mine too at some point – sorry! x

CarmsJanuary 9, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Thank you Lucy! 2013 was a great year and I hope this one is going to be just as amazing too. I look forward to seeing your wedding photos :) x

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