Blog: personal post
Charlie Charlie

Welcome newlyweds and farewell to 2016

Charlie

Shropshire Petals flower fields // The Little Caravan Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

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.

Ethical engagement ring // The Natural Wedding Company

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.”

Gold dipped feathers // Enchanted Bride Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

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Charlie Charlie

The importance of saying thank you when running a small business gets tough

Charlie

The importance of saying thank you when running a small business gets tough // Photography Mark Tattersall // The Natural Wedding Company

“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.

Natural engagement portrait // Photo Allister Freeman // The Natural Wedding Company

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.

Natural wedding photography // Photo Amie Herriott // The Natural Wedding Company

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.

Beach wedding photography // Photo Pete Cranston // The Natural Wedding Company

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.

Winter wedding photography // Photo Entity Photographic // The Natural Wedding Company

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.

Much Love,

Charlie xXx

Vintage village fete wedding // Photo Emma Case // The Natural Wedding Company

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Charlie Charlie

End of year reflections from a self-employed mummy and looking to the year ahead

Charlie

tnwc2016

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.

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Charlie Charlie

A personal post with some exciting news: my 21 week secret is finally out!

Charlie

Our wedding May 2011

How I have ummed and aahed about how to word this post, how to title it, how to share this exciting news with you.  So I’ll try to cut out the waffle and just tell you…

My husband Nick and I are expecting our first baby!  

This week I have reached 21 weeks and have a small bump (see below!) that hides a very active tiny person that regularly reminds me it’s there and growing.

Having run this business for 6 years now (happy birthday TNWC!) it has given me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people, both running wedding businesses, and brides- and grooms-to-be, and it is such a pleasure to be able to share this news with all of you lovely friends.

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Charlie Charlie

‘Something beautiful is on the horizon’: coming up next week an exciting announcement on the blog

Charlie

Something beautiful is on the horizon

I have an exciting announcement to make on the blog next week.  Can’t tell you any more yet…but do stay tuned here on the blog, on my Facebook page and on Twitter!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy catching up on recent blog posts including the latest from our TNWC Real Brides, an alternative wedding cake made from doughnut holes, a cute version of the ‘tying the knot’ save the date inspired by my own wedding stationery, and these sweet animal ears silhouette place cards.

Plus tomorrow I have another New Wives Club post to share with you, a lovely crafty idea for masking tape that I think is pretty nifty.

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Charlie Charlie

Quality time: a little update on where I’ve been

Charlie

Peloponnese, Greece

I don’t often add too many personal posts on here, but I wanted to share a quick update on what I’ve been up to over the past 10 days.  Mr Rigg and I have been away on the most lovely holiday to a part of Greece called the Peloponnese, it’s been blissfully warm (about 25°C most days) and we’ve been spoilt with excellent food.

Peloponnese, Greece

Most of all we’ve had a chance to unwind from our respective jobs and spend some quality time together – don’t you find yourself realising on holiday how much you’ve not had that time together? Not really at any rate, you might eat dinner together every night, cuddle up on the sofa, even chatter in bed with each other.  But more than ever this holiday I’ve realised those times aren’t quite the same as having 10 days completely to yourselves.

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Charlie Charlie

Being a wife is hard

Charlie

being_a_good_wife

For many of us, planning our weddings isn’t easy.  Being a wife is harder.  After all the excitement of getting married there is a the serious task of becoming a ‘good wife’.  Six months on, I’m finding being a good wife challenging.

I have a very clear idea of what I want to do for my husband and home, and for myself, but I don’t seem to be achieving many of those things at the moment.  Back in the days when I was a girlfriend, even a girlfriend of seven years, it felt a whole lot different.  I felt like the bottom line was it could just be about me, I was still Charlie Burton, girlfriend.  Now I’m a wife.  I’m still Charlie Burton (no name change yet – a much-debated topic on wedding blogs) but I’m a wife and for me it feels different.

being_a_good_wife

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many positives to this change – I feel like we’re a real team, that each other comes first and before everyone else, even family now, and that we’re setting out on this amazing adventure together.  We are committed to each other, to spending our lives together, to making our relationship and marriage work no matter what.  But for someone who can be incredible hard on herself about not getting things ‘just right’, feeling like you’re being a ‘good wife’ can be challenging at times.

I feel this desperate need to keep a tidy house and clear up my clutter, to cook dinner every night, to prepare lunches for my husband to take to work, to make our house a home, to be a happy, healthy outgoing wife – that girl Mr Rigg first met who was a little bit more care-free and giggly.  And that’s on top of all the other things we women want to be.  If that’s what I think a wife should be, it’s hard.

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Charlie Charlie

When imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery

Charlie

This might possibly be one of the hardest blog posts I’ve had to write.  I’ve spent the past 24 hours going over how to write without just screaming and shouting.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook might recall a bit of a meltdown on Tuesday evening – so without waffling around too much, I discovered that another business had taken original designs I’d hand-drawn for our wedding stationery and was selling them as their own ‘unique’ designs.

I unwittingly clicked on a Twitter link and came across this businesses website – as I began to look around at the different designs they were selling I got this sick feeling in my stomach.  Not only did one particularly wedding stationery design look unbelievably similar to what I’d designed and made for our wedding, but I began to realise that some details they were using were actually my hand-drawn images (below).

Rustic handmande wedding stationery
Designs by The Natural Wedding Company

I was absolutely devastated to think that someone would do that, and have the balls to claim that their work was ‘unique’.  And pretty pissed off.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming these are outstanding pieces of artwork, but they are mine, drawn by me, for something quite personal – my own wedding.

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