2 Reasons This Weekend Is Special…

This weekend is special. Not just because it’s the weekend (although that always gives me cause to celebrate!) – it’s a special weekend for me for two very important reasons.

Firstly, Sunday is my wedding anniversary, and this year me and my hubby Darren will be celebrating two years of ‘Mr&Mrs–ness’. I don’t know where that time went, but I like to think it’s flown because we’ve been having so much fun
 it certainly feels that way. So I wanted to take the opportunity to wish my Mr lots of love on this special weekend. I can’t wait to share more about things in my life through the blog this year, but I’m saving all the juicy bits for another day, as today I’ve got something else to talk about….

Cake-1

It’s the second reason I wanted to tell you more about… this weekend is special because it marks A Whole Lot of Lovely’s first birthday! That’s right, one whole year!

**bring out the cake!!!!**

Well what an adventure it has been! For those of you who’ve been with me from the start, you’ll remember I chose to launch my website and business on the anniversary of my own wedding. You can go right back to my first blog post here if you want to reminisce.

I won’t lie, the first year in business has been hard graft
 it’s particularly hard when you’ve got a full time job too that takes up a lot of your time. Despite some long hours over the past year building the foundation of my little empire, I am so glad I took the leap to create something of my own.

My first year in business has taught me so much, and continues to do so. I’ve made new friends, learnt tough lessons, bamboozled my mind with new software and website skills, and I’ve really stepped outside my comfort zone and taken risks to build my little business to where it is today.

One of my favourite bits though has been getting the opportunity to help and work with such amazing people. I’ve helped lots of people create something really special for one of the biggest days of their lives or for a really special celebration. I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure to work with each and every one of you <3.

But I haven’t just enjoyed creating things for people who’ve ordered from me. When I started A Whole Lot of Lovely, I wanted it to be for everyone. That’s why a lot of what I post on my Facebook page isn’t just about me and my business – it’s there for you. To brighten your day, inspire you, put a smile on your face – I like to share a little bit of lovely from all walks of life.

c-invitations1

If you’re reading this, I want you to know that all of that is for you. You see, you don’t have to have bought a product from me to be my customer. Of course one day I hope you’ll stop by and buy something from A Whole Lot of Lovely, but I get real pleasure from being able to inspire everyone who reads my blog and engaged with the business on Facebook. Your comments, your likes, when you share something I post
 it all means you’ve found some value in it, and that makes me feel… well, really chuffed
 so please don’t stop! :-)

So what’s in store for the next year I hear you ask? Well I am really excited about what’s round the corner. At the minute I am working with some truly inspiring people to help build more free quality content for you to get stuck into. Expect to see lots more inspiring stories, tips from real people who have been exactly where you are, more pretty image inspiration and of course plenty more new designs and products to capture your imagination and treat those you love.

As a HUGE thankyou for all your support over the last year, I have two treats for you lovely lot…

champagne1

Firstly as a birthday celebration A Whole Lot of Lovely is offering 15% off all stationery orders placed between 17th and 31st of March 2014, for anyone signing up to my A Whole Lot of Lovely email updates. Just use the Code BIRTHDAY when you place your order and sign up for updates using this link.

Secondly, over on A Whole Lot of Lovely’s facebook page I am running a competition to win a fabulous ÂŁ100 voucher to spend on wedding or celebration stationery – head over to my facebook page to find out more, the closing date is 31st March 2014.

If you’re interested in either of my ‘birthday treats’ get involved – you don’t have to be planning a wedding, all designs on the site can be tweaked for birthdays, anniversary celebrations, christenings, hen parties, baby showers
 you name it, we can work it out!

If you know someone who’d benefit from this, don’t forget to share this with them using the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post.

All that’s left to say is a massive THANK YOU once again and a big “cheers!” to another year of A Whole Lot of Lovely!

Now let’s have a little champagne cocktail to celebrate! ;-)

Emma – Owner, Designer (& lover of all things pretty)
xox

{Image Credits: Cake via Pinterest; Invitations via A Whole Lot of Lovely; Champagne Cocktails via Pinterest}

A New Year Guide to A Whole Lot of Lovely

guestsI thought I’d kick off the New Year with a little post to wish you a very happy 2014 and give any of you newbies to A Whole Lot of Lovely a peak at what my little business is all about.

First things first, a HUGE Happy New Year to you all. I hope you’ve had some really fantastic festive celebrations and are now ready to leap into 2014 headfirst and make it your year! If you’re newly engaged or a recently new visitor a particularly sparkly hello from me {she waves a little crazily} and thanks for joining me in my quest to share with you all A Whole Lot of Lovely from the world of weddings and special occasions!

You’ll find more about how A Whole Lot of Lovely started over on my home page - take a look at my story here to see why I devote a lot of my time to helping create that personal touch through beautiful stationery and special decorations and gifts.

So how can you get the most from A Whole Lot of Lovely? facebook-7First up, be sure to follow A Whole Lot of Lovely on Facebook – my Facebook page is where I share regular inspiration for your special celebrations from both my business and lots of other fantastic suppliers, including styling ideas, colour schemes, real weddings and celebrations, planning tips, links to super sweet DIY ideas and gift ideas. My page is here – be sure to change your settings so you don’t miss out on any of the lovely…

If you love your Twitter, follow A Whole Lot of Lovely there to catch up on some more of the above, and to hear the ramblings of a crazy lady {yep, me!} in pursuit of all things lovely. My twitter page is here.

Finally, if you’ve not already become addicted to Pinterest like me, I would definitely recommend it – it’s like a virtual pin board of your favourite things, Pinterest is perfect for inspiration and for storing visual information and ideas for future plans or projects you might have {watch out for my forthcoming blog post about using Pinterest when planning a special occasion}. You can find A Whole Lot of Lovely on Pinterest here – select follow to keep up to date with all my lovely pinning.

Most importantly, if you want to get the most from A Whole Lot of Lovely, pop by on my website like you have today. My blog is updated every couple of weeks with a new post. I always keep a good mix of planning tips for weddings and special occasions, feature best bits from other lovely suppliers and providers, and share with you stationery, decorations and gifts that are available to order directly from me. You can subscribe to my RSS blog feed here. If you’re new to my site, or didn’t spot some of my 2013 posts, below are a few you can take a look at!

So, it’s lovely to have you with me for our 2014 journey! Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and take a little time to browse my Wedding Stationery collections, the decorations, gifts, wedding lovely and seasonal goodies in my Little Shop of Lovely, and if you have any questions, if you want to buy any items on the site, or if you’d like to book a stationery order in my diary, just drop me an email to enquiries@awholelotoflovely.com

Last but not at all at least, one thing to know about me is that I love to hear from you! Whether you’ve been with A Whole Lot of Lovely since 2013, or if you are a new visitor, come say hello in the comments below! Tell me what special occasions you have this year, and where you’re up to with your planning. Is there something you’d like to see covered in a blog post? … I can’t wait to hear from you!

Here’s to a very Lovely 2014… good to have you with A Whole Lot of Lovely for the ride!

Emma xoxo

{Image Credit – Wedding Party Celebration:- Photo Love Photography}

Bringing Personality into your Planning

 

Emma Case Photography 1

Hi and welcome to this weeks instalment of Lovely Planning Top Tips! I’ve designed this series to help my readers and clients plan a truly meaningful celebration with lots of personality and memory making quality. To give you some fab planning tips I’ll be drawing from my experience in helping my clients pull personality and the real ‘them’ into their celebration stationery.

Last week on the blog we looked at the seven questions to think about before you start the planning process.  If you didn’t catch it, have a read here, as your answers to the questions will help you with the next step of our planning.

This week we’re looking at the next steps and how to come up with a unique wedding concept that is all about you. Feel free to replace wedding with ‘baby shower’ or ‘hen party’ or ‘birthday party’ as each of the planning top tips I’ve created for you can be translated into planning any special celebration. Yep – you can thank me later!

If you want to plan a really personal celebration, read on to join me and take the next step on our planning journey


bride-and-groom-emma-case

So you’ve thought about the vision for your special celebration – the what’s, the where, the when, the who and the why (it’s all here if you still need a read!). Next up is time to start focusing on the concept of your celebration itself.

So what do I mean by concept? I mean the ideas that bind all those finer details of your day together. I always try and get a feeling for my customer’s wedding concept when I start working with them. We explore what’s important to them right at the beginning, and when I work that way with a client, the end result really wows their guests, and gives meaning to their special day.

When planning a wedding, you’ll probably get lots of people asking you all about it, and some of them will be bound to ask about the T word… what your ‘theme’ is. A theme is a style choice that runs through each aspect of your day. It can be a colour or a particular look. I’m here to tell you… don’t worry about a ‘theme’! By jumping in and choosing details and a theme without creating a concept that is personal to you, you can end up with a disconnect between your celebration style, and you. Ultimately, you could really miss a trick in making something memorable for you and your guests. But you don’t need to make that boo boo, because you know now! Before you get involved in looking into the wealth of ideas and details out there and choosing a ‘theme’, I’m suggesting you revisit some of your answers to your seven questions from last week, and then follow the little brainstorming plan below, to create your own very personal concept.

1. Recap what you’ve decided so far. First things first, have a read of your seven answers from last week. You have an idea from those seven questions the type of celebration you are looking at planning.

2. It’s all about the emotion. The next thing for us to elaborate on is the first ‘what’ from last week – what feelings and emotion did you want your celebration to have? How do you want it to make your guests feel? As you think of these answers, write these words down.

bouncy-castle-emma-case

3. What’s your style? If you want to make this celebration personal it needs to reflect your own style. So what is your music taste; your fashion taste; the style of your home
 or the style you’d like it to be? What are your personalities like? If you’re not sure, ask your friends and family to help you – what is their perception? What words do they come up with? Don’t panic if as a couple you like different things
 dig down deep to unearth any common style interests, and make a note of pertinent words that describe all of these things.

4. It’s all about your relationship. If you’re planning a wedding, it makes sense that you focus on what is important in your relationship too. Maybe you have shared interests or hobbies? You may prefer to think more generally about shared memories or things that mean something to both of you or remind you of your relationship. Again, as you’re thinking of these things, write them down.

5. Word Perfect. Turning all of these elements into your big concept can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. All of the words you have written down give you a list of things you either want your wedding to be, or that you can incorporate into your day to make it all about you. First of all, have any words come up more than once? Highlight these, as these will be important to your concept. Brainstorm the words you have and make sure you understand what they mean. Different people can have different ideas so check the standard understanding with a thesaurus. You want to be confident if you ask for a ‘chic’ cake at your bakery, they have the same interpretation of word.

6. Perfect your Concept. At the end of your brainstorming, look to come up with several common words / special things to you, that encapsulate the concept of what you’re looking for, for your big day.

These things are all about you, and all about how you want your guests to feel. Yep, that’s right, you’ve gone and done it and created yourself a wedding concept! (Big pat on the back time me thinks – you definitely deserve a little glass of vino in celebration!) Stick with me because next week’s Top Tips will move onto looking at the best ways of sourcing inspiration and ideas for your special day based around your wedding concept. Don’t forget to drop by to check it out!

Don’t forget to pin your keepsake card onto your planning Pinterest board, or cut it out and keep it in your wedding planning book. You can just click on the Pin button below and choose the keepsake card photo.

Lovely-Planning-Guide-002

I’d love to hear whether you found this weeks tips useful
 leave a comment below or drop me an email to let me know how this has helped you in your planning. Or perhaps you have a question? I’m all ears


-Emma xoxo

{Image Credits: all photography images by Emma Case Photography - thank you to the lovely Emma & Pete for allowing me to share some of their beautiful wedding photography with you in this post. Check out their wonderful work over on their website.}

 

Rustic Country Celebrations

After several scorching weeks of sunshine here in the UK, it feels we’ve been treated to a beautiful summer so far. What a better time of year than summer to celebrate a special occasion with some outdoor rustic country pretty?!

I absolutely love the idea of a country themed wedding or party. There is so much scope to bring fun into your day and really wow your guests with thoughtful little details that are sometimes more difficult to incorporate into a traditional hotel venue. A barn or outside marquee can be decorated with garlands or bunting, feature hanging test tubes with beautiful succulents in, be filled with pastel pompoms or bright honeycombs. There’s no end of options when thinking about how to style your seating and tables – beautiful burlap and pearls, lace table runners, and so many ways to bring rustic details into your table centres, seating plans and bar. And of course, what a great excuse for a fantastic band to get your guests up dancing!

With beautiful outdoor space, hay bales and the crescendo of a fun filled outdoor party knees up, a country styled event is a sure way to get create some lasting memories for all of your guests. One of my friends did just that a couple of weeks ago – with tractor rides for the guests from the church to her outdoor field wedding (watch this space as she’s on my list to nag for some pics to share with you all!)

A rustic, country celebration was very much in my mind when I developed my new Fields of Gold stationery collection. Here’s a sneak peak at the invitation for the collection… Fields-of-Gold-Invitation Inspired by fields of wheat, country bunting and ribbon details, this pretty invitation perfectly captures elements of a rustic outdoor summer celebration. Each of the elements in the invitation lend themselves to tie in with your event styling – the pretty floral bunting, the bunches of wheat set the scene for wheat inspired floral arrangements and bales of hay, and the ribbon and frame detail again are easily pulled into styling elements of the special day.

Sound like your cup of tea? Here’s a whole lot of lovely ideas as to how you can style and theme your rustic country celebration… Country-Rustic-Montage Image Credits: Country Bunting (photography by Rachael Connerton); Garland Barn Wedding Decoration; Wheat Table Centres (photography by Geneve Hoffman); Elegant Rustic Barn Setting; Beer Barrel Table; Wheat Ring Shoot; Country Bridal Couple Photography; Country Wheat Bouquet (photography by Amanda K Photography); Hay Bale Seating.

Fields of Gold will feature on my Wedding Stationery pages shortly with full collection details, but is available from today and can be tweaked to fit any special occasion you may have. Full matching stationery items are available – if you have an idea of how you’d like to use the Collection for your special occasion, please get in touch!

I’d love to hear how would you style your own rustic celebration… what special little details would you choose? Leave a comment and let me know!

Emma xoxo

Blossom Beautiful

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to another addition to A Whole Lot of Lovely’s stationery collections – Blossom Beautiful. This pretty invitation has been designed to capture seasonal influence from the first blooms in springtime. Perfect for a wedding or special occasion in spring or summertime, or just for people who want a little bit of blossom beautiful in their life!

Blossom-Beautiful-Invitation

Just imagine how unique and pretty you can make your special day by pulling elements of the Blossom Beautiful design into your styling for the day itself. Here were some of the beautiful blossom themed details that were inspiration for my design – let them be inspiration for your big day too!

Blossom-Beautiful-Montage

Image Credits: Blossom Tea via Pinterest; Floral Headband via Pinterest from Etsy; Blossom Table Centres via Country Style Chic; Bride with falling blooms via Tumblr; Pink Cake; Blossom Buttonholes via Martha Stewart Weddings; pink and blue blossom palette via Urban Design on flickr; blue mason Jars with blossom; Blossom Cocktail via Delish.com; Floral Fan via Pinterest available on Amazon; Napkin Holders via stonegableblog; Blossom crown via Bride Chic; Blossom decorated cocktails; Blossom table centres via Brideorama; Blossom sprig on Teacups via The Preppy Yogini.

The Blossom Beautiful Collection will shortly appear on the Wedding Stationery section of my site, but can be personalised to fit all special occasions. Matching stationery is also available. The best bit… you don’t have to wait for it to feature on the site, all new design collections featured on the blog are available to order immediately!

I’d love to hear your thoughts – how would you style a special occasion around these pretty details to wow your guests?

Emma – xoxo

Introducing… A Whole Lot of Lovely

As my little business grows, I’m coming across more and more people who are looking to share something beautiful with the people they love. It is that very sentiment that lies at the heart of A Whole Lot of Lovely – creating something beautiful to wow your guests and treat those you love. In every design collection, my ultimate aim is to create something pretty that means something special to my customers – that will make their eyes open a little wider and their heart beat a little faster!

This week I created a little video to share some of what A Whole Lot of Lovely is all about – click on the icon below to take a peek!

Introducing-Icon

I hope you love it! The music is all about creating memories… that is exactly what my stationery can do for you and your guests.

Thanks for taking the time to watch my little video – if you too are as passionate as me about making the world a prettier place to be, please share my video with your friends and family… my business grows by word of mouth, and I’d love to bring some paper pretty into more people’s lives!

Emma xoxo

Image Credits: A Whole Lot of Lovely Product Photography by Holly Booth Photography; Inspiration Board images via my Pinterest Boards; Styling Prop Hire via Hansley Beard.