This is our adventure - this is me.
I'd like to start my very first blog post as a letter. The reason for this is that I feel I don't know any of you yet, and so perhaps I need to start with a welcoming letter. And of course, you don't know me yet, so I feel I need to explain myself!
My name is Zoe. I grew up in a little village in the Forest of Dean, on a smallholding. We were brought up to make do with hand me downs, create our own fancy dress outfits for village fetes, take part in the bake sales at the local market, and hay bale in the sunshine. We were taught to work hard, and reap the benefits. And with that, came my morals, attitudes and values in life. We had a wonderful community when we grew up, and we were expected to be part of it, and we were grateful for that opportunity too.
As I mentioned, we were taught to work hard, and make do. So at school, I was a hard worker. And now, I'm still a hard worker at school! I am a teacher, amongst a few other things, at a secondary school, and I have been for 10 years. I could go on and complain about the long hours, the ongoing planning and marking and the bureaucracy of the education system, but you haven't clicked on this article to hear me complaining. You want to know why I'm doing this!!
One key thing I absolutely love as part of my job, is planning. I plan lessons. I plan trips. I plan events. From Christmas Concerts (yes, music teacher!), to day trips to see a musical in the West End for 50 children, to taking 100 12-year olds to Adventure Camp for a week, to taking 50 children to New York and to Iceland. I've had the most fantastic of experiences, but what I really loved, was planning, managing, and making these events come to life, and seeing the wonder and enjoyment in their eyes when it all came to fruition. I felt great pride in what I had accomplished, along with some pretty amazing colleagues too.
This has made me realise, that this is what I love the most. I love to plan an event to absolute perfection, to make it come to life for other people.
When I started planning my wedding, it became quite a large affair. Without going into too much detail (this will come in future blogs), we ended up having 150 guests on our field, that went from literally an empty field, to an outside ceremony, inflatable pub, 2 marquees, fully catered and a full band, fully decorated. And we absolutely loved it. We wanted to do everything ourselves, and that we did. From the wedding arch we stood under, to the wedding favours, everything was hand made, hand crafted, gathered from people we knew or people who wanted to help.
I love the fact that my wedding was made by me (I do of course, include the wonderful support of all those who helped). And I'm sure that I can do that for other people. But as you know by my upbringing, I feel quite strongly that you shouldn't have to pay over and above to have a great occasion. My passion is to help people create their dream event, without the cost that's attached to it. We all know that as soon as you type in the word 'wedding' to Google, dollar signs start rolling in front of your eyes! My rationale is to plan, design, assist, help in any small or large way to someone's event, within a realistic budget.
So, that's it. I'm stepping off my soap box. I look forward to sharing blog posts with you of free printables, ways to keep your budget low, DIY opportunities that you can create for yourself, and of course that we can create for you. But for now, I'm signing off.
Love, Zoe (partner in crime to Sam, sister-in-law, see below)