Last summer, we at Blossom & Blush had an incredible time, but we grew the business and took on a lot more tents, and learnt some valuable lessons about bigger-scale bookings along the way.
We attended some wonderful wedding fairs across the region, and our Bell Tent Villages popped up at weddings and parties in East Yorkshire, Newark, Skipton, Cumbria, North Yorkshire Moors, Northumberland and everywhere in between! Here are a few of our tips that may prove useful to you in the days leading up to your wedding...
1.The power of a good team
Set up days can be long and physically tough, so motivation and productivity are key! You care and so should your set-up team. Being able to laugh and listen to what you want is so important and cannot be underestimated. Make sure you have a team of helpers who want you to have the best time, get your vision, and will support you fully.
2. Site access is essential!
A number of venues are down single track roads, which in themselves are fine, but when these roads lead to a sharp turn onto site then vans may well struggle. Thankfully our guys and gals manage to make it work but bear this in mind when booking a venue. It will make your life easier, and any other supplier you book with. You really don’t want to end up with your toilets down the lane because they can’t get access to the field!
3. Stay well fed and hydrated
Setting up a wedding is so much fun but is physically demanding, and in the height of summer it can be hot work. Keeping hydrated is so important, as is eating well throughout the day. It seems obvious, but so many times our team accidentally left drinks at home in the morning rush to our storage unit. When you’re on site in a rural location, popping out for drinks and snacks can waste a lot of valuable time and add extra pressure on a day when you need minimal unnecessary stress.
4. Keep covered
Hopefully it'll be nice and sunny when you are setting up, so remember to stay as covered as possible. Wear a cap to keep the sun off your head, the last thing you want is sunstroke in the lead up to your wedding. And as Baz Luhrman said, always wear sun screen; it is your friend! The lobster-look just ain’t classy! It’s not worth the risk.
5. Bugs bite!
If you are setting up anywhere near open water or in a heavily tree-covered area then bug spray is a must. As I write this I remember one particular set up in which I was so severely bitten both my calves swelled up and I had to have two days off work laid out on the sofa trying to keep the swelling down. Honestly, don't let this be you because it hurts and will ruin your day. Even if you don't usually get bitten, wear bug spray! I am one of those lucky people who is rarely bitten, but I was covered like a walking, swollen, miserable dot-to-dot.
6. Adaptability & Flexibility
It sounds like something you read in a job spec, but really, in wedding-planning these attributes are crucial if you want to actually enjoy the process. You probably have a vision, and passion and have spent months or even years dreaming it up. But just keep in mind that not everything will be possible, and be open to ideas. Sometimes where you envisage your marquee, bell tent village or decorations going will just not be possible. Ask the experts to support you in coming up with a plan. That's what we are here for. Remember that ground conditions change depending on how the weather has been. We’ve had situations where rain caused unexpected boggy ground and the whole site layout had to be altered. If you are willing to accept that this could happen and don’t set your heart on one specific plan, then it need not be upsetting if it does. Just stay open to whatever the outdoors brings, keep open communication with your suppliers, love the countryside for what it is, and you’ll still have a great time whatever the weather.
Make sure you have enough time to do everything you want to do. Write a list (as a natural list-writer, they seriously help in almost every situation. Day off, write a list. Holiday, write a list. Christmas shopping, write a list) of every element of your day. From table settings to decorations, these all take time. You don't want a rushed day, so get as much preparation done before you can get onto the site. Working out what time you can be onsite every day is also important. If you can get on at 9am, then be there for 9am. This gives you as much breathing room as possible should something take longer than you have planned.
8. Make sure guests are well-prepared
Glamping is awesome - we love our bell tents so much that in the summer we'd rather be in one than at home! Much more comfortable than a real tent, and just an all-round good-for-the-soul experience. But if your guests aren't used to camping and don't come well-prepared, they might not have as much fun as they could have had. A few important tips include: making sure they bring an extra duvet or blanket to sleep on top of as well as one to sleep under (air in an airbed gets cold at night and can make your whole body cold), bring warm clothing and waterproof shoes, and if noise or light is an issue, bring earplugs and an eye mask - the sun comes up and the birds start singing at 4 or 5am in the summer! Even in August, it can get as chilly as 4-5 degrees at 4am - being prepared for this possibility means you will be comfy and cosy, but failing to prepare could leave you shivering in the small hours. We will provide you with a lovely advice sheet to send out to your guests prior to your event to help them ensure they are well-prepared for UK Glamping!
Do you have any ideas? Anything that should be on the list? Feel free to comment, because anything you think of will help out others and save them from the dreaded pre-wedding stress.
By Josie Robinson, Assistant Manager 2018, and Kate Oxtoby, Blossom & Blush Owner