What actually happened to 2021, does anyone know?!
It was a very strange but very exciting year for me as I took the leap and finally went completely self-employed. It was something I’d wanted to do for a long time but never really thought would happen - my last few years working in corporate catering had been going okay, and I didn’t want to give up a cushty salary when I have a mortgage and bills to pay, and nobody else to help me!
But Covid didn’t really give me a lot of choice. After being on furlough for eight months and finally receiving my P45 in December 2020, I took the plunge. January 2021 I was off! For the first few months I was struggling to get things off the ground, which I knew would be the case for a while, but it doesn’t ever stop you feeling like you’re totally inadequate, shit at what you do, and wondering if you’ve made a huge, huge mistake.
But by the middle of last year, things were looking up and eventually two FANTASTIC venues asked me to work very closely with them. I couldn’t believe how lucky I had gotten. I worked on three weddings last year with three incredible couples, and was feeling very fortunate that things were picking up so quickly. As the year drew to a close I was getting bookings for 2022. I said to myself I’d like to end the year with 10 weddings in the diary for the next one. Well, I got my ten. And then a few more. And then some more. I ended the year with 18 weddings, which to some may not seem like a lot but to me really means the world.
So, what will be happening chez Chouette in 2022?
My first priority is to give everything I can to the couples I have booked in for this year. In most cases, I have been booked as an on-the-day co-ordinator which means my focus is on the wedding day itself and not on the planning that leads up to it. But inevitably people need support and I’m so excited to start diving into table plans, logistics, timings, setups and having coffee and catch ups with all of my lovely couples!
Those who have put their total faith in me and chosen me to plan their wedding from the outset… what a vote of confidence. Everything is coming together beautifully, and I’m so excited to see everything happen for real!
My bookings so far are happening between April and October time, although I’m often contacted at the last minute and can jump into a wedding at any given moment! So far each wedding I have been approached about has been totally unique with its own little twists and touches and I can’t wait to see each and every one of my couples have their own special day. Most will be taking place at my number one venue, Elmbridge Farm, where I am the preferred coordinator and am lucky enough to be doing the majority of weddings which happen there. But each of these will have their own quirks and charms and it will be great to see how everyone chooses to use the space in their own way! I also hope to work this year at Oakfield Gardens, another of my favourite tipi venues where I am also preferred coordinator. Not to mention the couples who have contacted me independently to ask me to help with your marquees, barns and receptions at home. What a year this is going to be!
If you haven’t heard me mention it yet (that would be… no-one), I’m hosting my own wedding fayre this year! It’s a pretty big undertaking and one I didn’t get into lightly as I knew (and have now been proven right on) that it would basically take over my life. But I really wanted an opportunity to put on a showcase for my favourite suppliers, to get them all together in one place and create something magical, to meet with lovely couples and help to get you inspired for your big day, and to challenge myself to do something big and bold that would help me make a name for myself.
I can’t stand boring wedding fayres. I think it’s time for something new! So, why wait for someone else to bring it. Why not make it myself?!
I’ll also be popping up at other wedding fayres and open days this year, primarily at my preferred venues so please come and say hey if you’re around! I also often pop up at other local events in my own name, so that you can book me as a planner or coordinator for your own day wherever that may be. And I often come along to represent Elmbridge at local fayres, too. 2021 gave me the chance to meet some amazing people at fayres small and large, as well as spend an epic weekend at The National Wedding Show talking all things tipis too. I’m hoping for more of the same this year please!
Small Business Subscription
We’ve been doing the subscription for one whole year - can you believe it?! We’ve partnered up with some brilliant little businesses already so far - homemade brownies, candles, reusable products, eco-friendly wrapping paper, dried flowers, illustrations, cocktails, sweeties, christmas banners and more! So I can’t wait to see what you make of our goodies in 2022.
Do we have any small businesses out there who’d like to team up and send their products to our subscribers, getting a few extra orders under their belt? Any recommendations of what you’d like to see if you signed up? Pop us an email or a message with your thoughts.
If and when I get the time, I have a few other little projects up my sleeve too. I’d love to create more content for you guys, and maybe branch out onto different platforms so that we can have some fun, be educational and give you lots more information and guidance too. How would you guys feel about more video content? Should I be brave and move over to Youtube? Perhaps a podcast about good wedding stuff in the Midlands? Maybe some wedding planning workshops? You let me know what you want to see!
And while we’re at it - what would you like to see on our website and our socials? What elements do you love and not love?!
Any other suggestions of what you want to see more or less of online?
I’d love to hear what you guys think.
Let me know what your plans and goals are for this coming year too!