Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve already? I hope that you’ve had a year full of love and laughter. Looking back my year has been full of ups and many downs – aren’t they always? But my best bit of 2016 was going to London for the Wedding Blog Awards with Samantha. My visit to the Shropshire Petals flower fields was also pretty special.
While we’re all busy enjoying the festive period I wanted to have a little welcome sitting here to anyone popping by. So here’s a little round-up of recent features you might like, plus what’s to come in the New Year. If you’re newly engaged then do take a look around.
Be sure to check back on January 1st for a fab guided tour of our eco wedding directory and blog.
You might like…Ethical rings
As it’s the busiest time of the year to get engaged we did a round-up of our favourite ethical engagement rings. Our 16 beautiful ethical engagement rings feature might give you a starting place if you’re looking for an engagement or wedding ring.
You might like…Spring woodland wedding
Not to be missed is our last Real Wedding of 2016 and what a stunner it was. Already a favourite among the TNWC team, Chloe and Sam’s modern spring woodland wedding is truly exquisite. Bride Chloe described it as bursting with “wood, metal, delicate gold dipped feathers, metres of green garlands and beautiful white spring flowers in little glass inkwells.”
2016 is proving to be a busy and exciting one for The Natural Wedding Company, which is amazing and we are embracing the opportunities but as such the workload for myself and Samantha, who juggle TNWC and motherhood, is ever increasing.
This is where you come in – we are looking for someone who loves writing (and weddings) to join us as an intern to help with our real wedding features. We receive so many beautiful real wedding submissions we want to make sure we can showcase them all. In addition to writing up some of our real wedding, there will also be opportunities to help contribute to other blog feature ideas.
This is an unpaid internship and would be suitable for someone that is available about 4 hours per week and who wants to get some valuable blogging experience (and knowledge of the wedding industry if that is where your interests lie).
What we can offer you
- Experience writing for the UK’s leading eco-friendly wedding website and blog that receives around 150,000 page views a month.
- The chance to pick our brains about all things wedding, blogging and small business related.
- Once we get to know you, we will be more than happy to hear what you’d like additional experience in that we might be able to provide or help with.
Who we are looking for?
- With a genuine interest in what The Natural Wedding Company is all about, both our weddings and our ethos.
- Who is a creative writer with great attention to detail.
- Who has experience of editing and resizing pictures.
Bonuses but not essential…
- Ideally based in the UK, but we are open to working with anyone anywhere.
- Previous experience writing blog features.
- Knowledge and experience of using WordPress.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
The wedding industry and blogging world has changed so much since I started out 9 years ago, I fell out of touch for the first few years that my little girl was born and now I’m trying to find my feet in a world that I don’t quite recognise. It is easy to get disheartened working by yourself. It is easy to get lost in why you’re doing what you’re doing.
It is emails and comments like the one I recently received (and shared below) that are rare but so incredibly valuable to someone like me, working most of their time behind a screen wondering if the work they’re doing really has a tangible impact on others.
I know how time poor we can all feel, taking the time the tell others that what they’re doing is great, worthwhile or appreciated is something I’m not particularly good at either. I don’t make the time to do this enough.
This comment I recently received on this blog post brought me to tears on a tough day when I was wondering what I’m doing.
It reminded me of all the lovely women who I have connected with through my work, those who I am still friends with via social media, those I have watched get married around the same time as me and then go on to become mothers at a similar time, and those who I have become real life friends with. It reminded me of all the wonderful people behind the businesses that I work with whom I deeply value for supporting The Natural Wedding Company and who I have come to call friends.
To anyone that has found a few moments to write me an email, leave me a comment, or even send me a note in the post, thank you. Thank you so very much, I really and truly appreciate your kind words more than you can ever imagine.
This is to thank anyone who reads the blog, has/is using the directory to help plan their wedding, or who follows us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and is thinking about reaching out, I would love to connect with you, so if you feel inclined to do so please do say hi – you are the reason that I do all this.
In 2011 when we got married I did a lot of soul searching about what those wedding vows – what the act of getting married – really meant to me. When I stood at the altar, in front of Nick, and spoke my vows to him, what was I really saying? (It’s easy to get swept up in the pretty bits of wedding planning, especially when you run a wedding blog, and forget about the meaning).
Finally the phrase that kept rooting itself for me was “I promise that I will always work through things with you, no matter how tough it gets.” It was pretty scary realising that this was going to be my commitment to him, more so than the prescribed wedding vows, perhaps because I had settled on it myself. I felt like this promise came from somewhere deep inside of me and was bound to me in an inextricable way, and what it meant in real life terms was scary as hell.
This month we are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary (back in Italy, the country where we got engaged). Twelve years together, five years married, and nearly three years now as parents. I think the last two and bit years as parents have tested my marriage commitment the most. They have been the most challenging years of our lives so far, both as individuals, parents, and as husband and wife. I have had times where I cursed myself for making – what seemed at those times – an insane commitment. I have had times where I’ve shouted and yelled and wished it undone, and I’m sure, in fact I know, they weren’t the last times I will behave like that.
I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote a ‘from the heart’ post I was saying how challenging (and bloody hard!) it is becoming a mummy whilst trying to run your own business too. I’ve had a tricky time of it, and at various points I’ve concluded how hard the first 6 months were…the 1st year was…and now here I am concluding how hard the first 2 years have been. Older wiser mummy’s could have probably told me all that.
But 2016 I feel more positive about, even if I’m sulking a little bit that the new refreshed website hasn’t been launched in time to bid farewell to 2015 (coming real soon though!). What these challenging few years with a baby (and now toddler) have taught me is huge, I have learnt so much about myself and, well, everything! I have overcome my PND/PTSD, and not just overcome it, but I’ve emerged from the fog more determined and happy than the woman I was before my daughter was born.
2016 will be good. Good because I want to make it that way. Good because I have a wonderful sweet mama working alongside me (albeit it from the other end of the country), someone to dream dreams with for this little business. Good because I will have a refreshed website that will work harder ‘behind-the-scenes’ for me on all the practical parts of running this directory, and give me back time to work on the the more enjoyable parts.
So I’m going to put away the guilt tonight that I haven’t done a round-up feature (or features!) on the best bits of 2015 from the blog, that I’m not super prepared with blog features for the New Year (although there’s loads of lovely content waiting to be shared), that I’ve been a pretty rubbish mummy (and wife) the past few weeks working on the new website (“no more wuck mummy” I hear all the time), and so much more.
Instead I’m going to be kind to myself, feel excited for 2016 and all the new couples and wedding suppliers I’ll get to meet, and all the wedding loveliness I’m going to share with you, and tonight I’m going to “savour life and all its magic.”
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
P.S. If there are any other mummy’s reading this who run their own business, or who are thinking about starting their own business, please come join our little Facebook community that I set up to provide support and advice.
I’m sure that by now some of you will have realised that almost two months have passed since I last posted on the blog. I’m pretty sure this is the longest ever stretch that the blog has gone without a feature, which makes me heart a little sad. I do hope that you’ve not all lost hope in me and continue to find inspiration among the blog archive and directory pages.
Without going into a huge long account, it felt right to share a little of where I’ve been this past few months, if not this past year, since my little girl was born. Jumping right back into regular blog posts without some note would have felt a little strange.
A month ago my little girl turned one – I can’t quite work out if the past year has gone in the blink of an eye or seemed like forever (a feeling shared by many first-time parents I imagine). What I do know, is that it’s been bloody hard! It’s been the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced, one that will undoubtedly continue for the rest of my life now that I’m a mama.
Whilst she is my first ‘real’ baby, my business – The Natural Wedding Company – was my first baby of another kind. As I’m discovering with many things in parenting, I thought I had an idea of how I would make things work once my baby burst into my physical world…well it turns out you can’t really plan or imagine any version of how your life will be with a baby.
I have found becoming a mother really challenging in so many ways and I have at various times cried buckets of tears at the ‘loss’ of my former life, most especially in relation to the 24/7 freedom I had to run The Natural Wedding Company. For numerous reasons I won’t bore you all with, about 6 months in I realised that I was (and had been from the start) suffering from post natal depression.
I have felt so overwhelmed and so frustrated and so sad and so in love and so awed and so (positively) changed by this small person and the last year of my life. Having to concede that my business had to come second (in light of all of the above) has been excruciatingly difficult, and my familiar friend doubt has been ever on my shoulder.
And so here I am, for what feels like the first time in an age, writing a blog post and reaching out to reconnect with long-time readers and TNWC businesses, to connect with new readers and businesses (hello!), and to start building back up the wonderful relationships that I had worked so hard to build over the past years.
I hope you haven’t all disappeared or lost faith in me, I have missed you all so much.
Love Charlie x
It’s a pretty exciting day here at The Natural Wedding Company, as I get to introduce you to my lovely new colleague, Lauren. You may remember a few months ago I put out a request looking for someone to join me in writing features for the blog. We received some wonderful applications and the result of that process was finding Lauren.
Lauren had previously popped into my world on a couple of occasions – they designed their wedding stationery inspired by my own, I saw their beautiful wedding on Love My Dress, and lastly I bumped into Lauren on the last day of my TNWC South West Roadtrip last summer at Organic Blooms where she was attending a course.
It seems often in this world things lead you to meeting certain people, and I feel Lauren is one of those. On reading her application we just had that feeling she was just the right person. I’m so excited for her to get involved with writing for The Natural Wedding Company blog and I look forward to you all getting to know her.
The pictures you see here are from Lauren and Matt’s own wedding captured by one of our TNWC Recommended Suppliers Julie Anne Imaging, and I would highly recommend you go have a read of all the details and soak up how pretty and meaningful it was.
We’re sending her off this weekend to attend Blogtacular in London to well and truly immerse her in the world of blogging – I can’t wait to hear all about it! All there is left to do is welcome Lauren and hand over to her so she can tell you a bit more about herself and why she came to apply for this role.
Over to Lauren…
I’m Lauren, a (relatively) newly-wed with a love for nature and the outdoors, beautiful blooms, dainty details and dreamy weddings. I cannot describe how excited and honoured I am to be joining Charlie in writing blog posts for the The Natural Wedding Company.
I’d always had this hazy vision that I’d be a barefoot bride, married in a meadow or in the woodland around a tree, and shortly after I got engaged to Matt in 2011 – overwhelmed with planning a wedding, all the choices on offer and decisions to be made – I came across The Natural Wedding Company.