UK Academy of Wedding Planning Featured little old me!


Hi everyone!

I am sorry it’s taken so long for me to post! It has been all go here in the last month.

I have been continuing to work with Beckwith Events as well as throwing everything into marketing my own business, Sophie Clarke Wedding Designs.

Whilst all of this has been going on I am still plodding on with my Diploma in wedding planning, styling and design.  I am studying through the UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning (Great Course!).   The lovely ladies at UKAWEP ran a competition to be featured on a blog post of theirs.  I WON!

You can see my take on autumn inspiration here.

Winning this competition has allowed me to display this badge and believe me I am very proud to display it! Eeeeek!


Look at it! Wowee! :-D

As well as all of this going on, I have been readying myself for my first wedding fayre! I will be at Preston Hall Hotel/Museum on the 12 October between 12-3pm.  I would love to see you there!

Here are some designs that will be on display.

WP_20140910_014 WP_20140911_013 WP_20140911_017

I will be back soon with some fabulous cake and stationery designs from local suppliers as well as some exciting information about a recommended supplier!

Sophie <3

Choosing Your Venue…

Sefton Palm House, Liverpool. Andrew Davies Photography

This week I have been thinking about wedding venues and posting some links to local offers for certain venue.  This got me wondering, what do I think the most important points are to consider, when searching for a venue for your special day..

One of the first tasks in planning any event, is to search for a venue that fulfils your requirements.  Is the venue big or small enough, will it allow your envisioned theme and/or colour scheme to come to life and is it within budget.

A very common mistake is made is when a venue is booked purely because of the price or aesthetics without taking into account your own colour scheme or theme.  When this happens, you may find your colours clash with the interior of the venue and further down the line something that you had envisaged for your day isn’t possible, such as using outside caterers or having games on the lawn during cocktail hour.

What you want to be able to do is fit your venue into your wedding, not plan your wedding around constraints you have BECAUSE of the venue.

There are three important points to consider when searching for your wedding venue:

The first is STYLE.

Ideally, you need to have had a discussion with your fiancée about what you are both hoping for on your wedding day, in terms of themes and colour schemes.   Would you prefer something modern or vintage, relaxed or formal, intimate or grand?  If you decide on the style of your wedding day before visiting venues, it will stop you from being taken in by a particular look that doesn’t fit what you have agreed.

The other thing to consider is that if you choose a venue that doesn’t fit your envision, you may find your outlay to transform the venue into what you dream of will just sky-rocket.

It is also important to know in advance whether you are looking for separate venues for the ceremony and reception.  Separate venues will more than likely have different styling and therefore the budget for transformation will need to be higher.   If you do choose to have separate venues then the cost and implication of travelling between the venues needs to be considered also.

The second is SIZE.

Wynyard Hall Hotel, Chapel, Dick Ven Der Wherf Photography

It is imperative to have some idea of your guest list, a rough estimation of how many people will be at both the ceremony and reception, when you are short-listing venues.  You really don’t want to fall in love with a venue that means cutting your guest list in half as that just makes your life harder!  You can find out about maximum capacities of most venues on their websites, if not, it is always worth giving them a call to double check.

However, at the same time as making sure a venue isn’t too small, you don’t want to have a venue that is too BIG either.  This would affect the atmosphere of your day.  For example, if you have 100 guests in a banquet hall that has a capacity of 500 people, your 100 friends and family are going to almost disappear in the space, there would be no warmth or encouragement for your friends and family to mingle and party together!  This really can be the difference between a good wedding and a great wedding!

The third is BUDGET.

Crathorne Hotel, Britains Finestdotcom

This is such a difficult subject to discuss as there are almost always unforeseen costs and disagreements about how much you, as a couple, are willing to spend on a venue.  It really is important to have an estimated figure in mind of what you would like a venue to cost.  Saying this, if you do happen to fall in love with a venue that costs more than you have set aside, look at other figures in the budget.  Is this venue almost perfect in terms of fitting your theme?  If so, then could you cut the budget for décor or hiring costs?

Another option, is to have your wedding day outside of the main wedding season, an off-peak wedding.  At most venue’s it costs more to get married at the weekend, especially during the wedding season (June through to October).

A clever way to keep costs down when looking for a venue is to try and find a venue that isn’t commonly used as a wedding venue, such as a farm or gardens.  To have a legally binding wedding ceremony in this type of space, there needs to be a solid structure in place which is licensed.  Some venues get around this by erecting an open barn space or something similar.  However there are other types of ceremony that you might want to consider, such as a humanist ceremony.  If you do have a humanist ceremony on your wedding day, you would usually legalize your marriage at a register office either just before or just after.

I hope you have lots of fun searching for your wedding venue and that my words have helped keep (or put) things into perspective for you.  If you would like to know how I, as a wedding planner, can help you to search for your dream venue then please email me at

Remember, location is the most important consideration when choosing your wedding venue.

Sophie <3

(Image used above Sefton Park Palm House, in Liverpool as photographed by Andrew Davies Photography).

(Image used above Crathorne Hall Hotel, in Durham as featured on Britains Finest).

(Image used above Wynyard Hall Hotel, Chapel in Wynyard as photographed by Dirk van der Wherff Wedding Photography).

It’s All About the Neckline…

There are so many styles of wedding dress available to you and it can all be a bit mind-boggling, can’t it?  Well, never fear! I have put together some useful information on the different types of necklines available to you.


v neck - pronovia

This style of neckline has a v-shaped plunge, which will vary depending on your chosen dress.  The V-neck is formed with two diagonal lines of material coming across from your shoulder, exposing your neck.  This neckline suits a lady with a fuller chest.


Sweetheart - RJ

This neckline forms the shape of a heart along your chest.  This neckline is very good for ladies that wish to accentuate their chest, it also works with most styles of dress.


Boat - Amelia Sposa

This style of neckline is wide, the material spans from shoulder to shoulder in a swoop across the chest.  This style helps to being attention up to your collarbones and shoulders.


Square neck- HTT Fashion

This neckline is, as it’s called, a square.  The material will sit straight across your chest and can be found on a dress with or without sleeves and straps.


Scoop - Anne Barge

This neckline is formed with a ‘U’ shape that sits across your chest, some dresses with scoop necklines will also have the scoop on the back.

I hope that this post helps you to find you way around the abundance of wedding dress styles available to you.

Sophie <3

Psst! Did you see my TREND ALERT post?  Have a look here :


All about the Dress…


Today I am going to let you know about a few local bridal wear boutiques, local being Middlesbrough, Stokesley and Northallerton. As you all probably know, I am based in the North East.

First up we have Elizabeth George Bridal, they are based on Oxford Road in Middlesbrough. This boutiques stocks beautiful dresses from designers such as Sophia Tolli, Amanda Wyatt and Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner. If you would like to make an appointment to look for your wedding dress, give them a call on 01642 868 688, I am sure they would love to hear from you!

Next is the Bridal Factory Outlet in Gaskell Close, Northallerton. Now, this is where I found my beautiful Ronald Joyce Wedding Dress. I had a lovely experience and the ladies really knew what they were talking about! They stock dresses from popular designers, such as, Ronald Joyce, Sacha James Bridal, Alexia Designs, Diane Harbridge, Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner, Sottero and Midgley and many more.  You can contact this boutique to make an appointment on 01609 774 199.

Back in Middlesbrough we also have Laura Day Bridalwear. This boutique is based on Linthorpe Road and they stock brands such as Pronovia, Veromia, Je T’aime and many more. You can contact them on 01642 222 357 to make an appointment to look for your dream dress.

Also in Middlesbrough is Destiny Bridal. This boutique used to be based on Stokesley High Street but have not relocated to Newport Road in Middlesbrough. They stock gowns from designers such as Phoenix Gowns, Romantica, Justin Alexander, Sincerity, Airs & Graces and Kay Mason. You can contact them on 01642 240 705 to make an appointment.

Last but not least we have Amore Bridal Boutique on Aryesome Green, Middlesbrough. The lovely ladies here stock Ronald Joyce, Eternity Group, Art Couture and Maggie Sottero gowns. You can contact them on 01642 812 895 to make an appointment.

Good luck with finding your dream wedding dress’s ladies, it’s a truly wonderful experience and I would really recommend trying on as many styles of dress as you can, so you can really know what you want from your dress.

Also coming this week will be lots and lots wedding dress inspiration and advice.

Sophie <3

Please do contact me using the form below if you have any feedback or comments <3


Shoes, Shoes, Shoes to suit any budget!

Good morning everyone on this lovely Tuesday morning :-D

Today, I am thinking about the ultimate accessory that is the crowing glory of any bride’s ensemble, SHOES!  Now, I think, a lot of brides get so caught up in the excitement of their dress and hair/make up choice that they forget about shoes, which is a shame.  There are such amazing shoes out there to suit any outfit, personality and budget.

I am going to introduce you to a couple of my favourite places to look for shoe inspiration.  I will be covering the highs and lows budgets.

First up I am going to show you some gorgeous shoes from Emmy London, now, these shoes are for a higher budget BUT they are stunning and.. your only doing it once… right! ;-)

Emmy London Elizabeth

These beautiful shoes are called Elizabeth, oh yes, they have a name! I love that.  The Elizabeth shoe is a classic ivory kid suede number with a smooth round toe.  They are designed in a typically 1920’s style, although they would definitely do justice to any brides outfit.  They are finished off with a stunning pearl fan accessory.  These shoes are £425.00, but bear in mind that with them being kid suede, Emmy London offer a service to dye them a different colour so they can be used again and again after the wedding! OR if you were looking for a real statement shoe, they why not dye them a different colour for your wedding day…

Other delectable shoes from Emmy London include:

Leila, £430

Emmy London Leila-Gold

and Verity, £630

Emmy London Verity


Next up I have chosen a couple of shoes from top high street brand, Monsoon. These shoes are absolutely stunning and I think they can definitely stand proudly next to the Emmy London shoes above.

Monsoon Rosa Vintage Corsage ShoeMonsoon Lilliana Vintage Bow Peeptoe

On the left we have the Rosa Vintage Corsage shoe (£89), isn’t that corsage just beautiful?  It is made with double layered tulle and net petals with a sparkly glittery centre, stunning.  The Rosa shoe is a very classic shape, a satin peeptoe, with a modern twist, in that the shoe features a small platform allowing for a higher heel.  I love them!   Now, the shoe on the right is very now, I think, a vintage lace pattern with a peep toe and a smaller heel allowing for dancing all night long!  This shoe is the Lilliana Vintage Peeptoe (£89) and they feature a cute satin bow on the heel.

Last and certainly not least, I have a beautiful, sparkly and completely indulgent Gina shoe.

Gina Lori

Wow! Now let me firstly let you know that all of that gorgeous sparkle comes in the form of Swarovski ‘crystal’ diamonte arranged over a satin silver shoe.  The Gina Lori (£895) shoe would be a beautiful statement for any bride in any setting.

So there we have it, beautiful, stunning and bang-on-trend shoes for every bride and every budget.

Sophie <3

Lets Salsa Dance and Live The Fairytale today!

Good morning everyone, happy Monday! :-D

Today, I am going to be sharing a couple of inspiration boards that I have created over the weekend, at the request of my lovely followers over at my Facebook page.

First up was requested by the lovely Mandy.  Mandy asked for an inspiration board that featured duck egg blue, cream, silver and pearls.  Now, this immediately made me day dream about castles, romance and lots of flowers.

Fairytale Wedding Inspiration Board

I particularly love the detailing on the dreamy wedding dress designed by, Elle by House Of Mooshki.

The second inspiration board I am going to share with you was requested by the lovely Samantha.  Samantha asked for an inspiration board that would feature around her favourite pastime, Salsa Dancing.  However, I was not allowed to use the ‘go-to’ colours for salsa dancing of orange and green.

The theme I came up with would create a wedding that is very colourful yet very, very grand.  The colour scheme I have fallen for is passionate red and deep black with tasteful touches of canary yellow.

 Salsa Dance YRB

My favourite part of this inspiration board is the venue, the chandelier picture (top right) is the Mirror Room at Wynyard Hall.

If you have any colour combinations or themes for an event in mind and would like me to make an inspiration board for you, please pop on over to my Facebook page and send me a message.

Sophie <3

My Top 5 DIY Wedding Decorations

Doily Tablerunner 2

Hiya there *waves*

This post is a little different to what I have posted in the past, I am feeling brave and as usual any feedback is more than welcome.

I am always trawling other people’s blogs and Facebook pages for ideas and inspiration or just to be plain nosey!  I thought I should make the most of my trawling and note down some of my favourite things I come across… so here goes…

Today, I have been looking into decorations that can be used for any of your upcoming events, be it a wedding, party, family meal or christening party, literally anything! Not only are they adaptable, BUT, you can do them yourself.  I will be linking you to the creators’ blogs which have DIY instructions, enabling you to have a go at home! Fantastic stuff, yes?

1. DIY Doily Table Runner

Doily Tablerunner 2Doily Table Runner 1

I came across this idea whilst flicking through a booklet that came through with my You and Your Wedding Magazine Subscription.  The doily table runner would be perfect used in any wedding design, be it modern or vintage as you can dress the table according to your theme and use bright white doily’s or coloured one’s for a modern theme in comparison to grandma’s vintage doily’s for a vintage theme.

If you would like to know how make these yourself, pop on over to Under The Sycamore for a list of instructions.  It’s so simple and effective!

2. DIY Floral Letters

Floral Letters 1Floral Letters 2

Now, I don’t know about you but I LOVE this idea, I want to go out right now and create a set for my house… just because!

I think, it really goes without saying that this idea is 100% suitable for any event in any theme. You can never have too many flowers, right?

For the DIY instructions for this make, pop along to Honestly Yum. (psst, I have just bookmarked Honestly Yum, Fabulous blog!)

3. Mini Message In a Bottle

Messag in A Bottle

Well, aren’t these just adorable?  They are mini bottles with lovely touching messages inside, that would put a big smile on anybody’s face…   I envisage these being great for a beach wedding or a garden / barn wedding; it’s all in the way you display the bottles.  They could also double-up as escort cards too!

For the step-by-step instructions on how to create your very own message in a bottle, pop over to Living Well Spending Less.

4. Framed Table Number

Vintage Framed Table Number 2Vintage Framed Table Number 1

This is such a pretty DIY make and oh so effective.  I have chosen a vintage styled option, but really the options are endless with this type of creativity.  You could literally fit the framed table number idea to any event decor you have in mind.

You can find the instructions over at Project Wedding.

5. Herb Napkin Ring

Herb Napkin Ring

I have to say I am completely in love with this idea, I can just imagine the smell of the fresh herbs drifting around the venue and can picture myself sat in front of fresh rosemary, waiting for my roast lamb to be delivered to me!  This is honestly, such a simple make and very effective, in a subtle way.

For instructions on how to make the herb napkin ring, pop over to Gardenista, and have a look.

So, there we have it, my top 5 DIY wedding decorations, that would add the finishing touches to any of your events.  I would love, love, LOVE to see how any of you get on if you decide to have a go at creating any of them, please do send me a picture and as always feedback on my blog posts are more than welcome. I want to hear from you!

Sophie <3

Assignment 13

Hi everyone! 

It has been a while since I have posted, as usual I have been very busy completing my assignment, raising my boy and also keeping an ear to the ground for any potential jobs within the events industry!

Assignment 13 was an assignment I was most looking forward to, I had to physically get a design out of my head and create it!  It was still going down the lines of the ‘Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend‘ themed wedding I have been working on over the last few assignment.  Basically, I had to design and create a tablescape design that would fit with my concept for this wedding. 

Would you like to see what I came up with? Please do let me know what you think?  Can’t grow and learn what you all like if I don’t get constructive criticism :-D



Part of this design included some wine glasses which I was lent by a very talented lady called Nicola! Thanks! You can see what she does best on her website, Blingtasia, go and take a look!  I think her glittered glasses would make fabulous name cards for tables or even wedding favours! They sure helped add the finishing touch of glitz to my design :-D


p.s. If you know of any jobs within the industry, give me a shout ;-) 

Bye for now :)