Saturday, 30 November 2013

Now we will try to do...

Moany post last week (can you tell it was getting a bit much?) so positive post today! The ideas and tips we have been given that are really great and we will try to remember! I might do this as a semi regular post once we get a build up of good tips as it’s great to have somewhere to record them all and they are really handy. These are just general tips we have picked up not specific to our wedding so many of them may not actually get done they’re just really useful things to think about.
Saving Money
  • Use the bouquets for flowers on the top table to save having more flowers.
  • If you do a meal then a buffet later always do the evening buffet for less people than you think, don’t cater for the whole evening do otherwise it will cost a fortune – most people having eaten a 3 course meal earlier won’t want anything else.
  • Free printable invites  
  • Free printable place cards 
  • Free printable signs.
  • Pretty much free printables of any sort…cheap way to do a few personal touches

 Decoration and DIY’s
  • Other options than a guest book – Polaroid photos, signing a canvas or photo, advice or joke cards. 
  • DIY chalk board for the table plan or timetable, or a charity shop large mirror.
  • Centrepieces – DIY discussions like growing pots of spring flowers, making candles, arranging our own flowers. 
  • To make flowers float in water (Like in a bowl with some floating candles) put them on a little bubble wrap raft, just cut a hole in a small square of bubble wrap to poke the stalk through and make sure you can’t see it under the flower  – the most epic tip I have ever had! 
  • Make favours something that guests take away from the table décor – like a candle holder or their name card holder. This way you don’t have to double up on work and can incorporate the favours into the décor. Trying to think of something to do as this is genius.
  • Don’t stress about the décor too much, if people are snarky on the day about the napkins not matching the table cloths then you've invited the wrong people.

 Hair, beauty and dress
  • Get some flat shoes for the evening (I actually thought about these before the main shoes for the daytime) even if you don’t end up wearing them it’s better to be able to change if needed. 
  • Don’t take too many people dress shopping, 2 or 3 at the most otherwise it gets too confusing, and if you go to numerous shops have at least one person who has been to all of them with you so they have seen all the options. 

 Timing and organisation
  • Make a wedding website with all the info on, to save you being asked the same question over and over. 
  • Make it so people can RSVP via the website as well, nobody posts anything any more so it will encourage people to RSVP quicker. 
  • Number the RSVP cards as someone will send one back without a name on. 
  • Put all the suppliers, what they are supplying, the quantity (i.e. caterers - how many of each dish), where it needs to be set up at the venue and when, and their contact information on one sheet of paper. Give this to the staff at the venue, your bridesmaids, your maid of honour, ushers and best man, keep one in your room as well. Then everyone knows what is meant to be arriving when, from where and where it is meant to go so most little queries or problems can be resolved without people having to ask you. 
  • Put someone in charge other than you or your fiancé on the day. Most likely your maid of honour or best man, or both. Meet with them before the day and run through what is happening when, where and with who so they can be in control of rounding people up for photos, asking people to move on to a different area, initiating speeches and generally being the person guests can ask for directions to the loos etc. 
  • Don’t worry too much about entertaining your guests at all times, they will be happy to go to the bar or just chat between themselves before the music or after the ceremony for a little while, obviously hours of nothing to do and no music might be a bit dull but you don’t need to fill every minute of the day.
  • Allow a few minutes after the ceremony for you and your husband to have some time to yourselves, just to have a glass of champagne or a quiet few minutes before starting the photos or going out to the drinks reception.
  • Plan your wedding as if it is a week earlier. Don’t actually book things for a week before the date like flowers of course but aim to be done with the planning, have all the bills paid, finish DIY projects, have all the RSVPs and table plan completed etc a week before. You then have a week buffer for any last minute issues (late RSVPs, room changes, supplier queries etc) so they are hopefully all out of your system by the day. Also you have a week to spend time with your fiancé, family and friends to relax, unwind and get pampered ready for the day!
  • Allow more time than you think you need for everything on the day! You don’t want things to be rushed or cut short. Getting ready will take longer if you want photographs taken, if you have to book the church or registrar for a certain amount of time then allow a little bit longer than you think it will take, photos might take longer if the weather or light isn’t great and you need to allow time to round up everyone who needs to be in the photos. Allow enough time for the food to be served and for a bit of time between courses.
  • Allow a bit of time after the food before the evening celebrations for people to go touch up their make up, go to the loo, check in with the babysitter, park the car etc. Otherwise you will lose people for the first part of the evening and people might miss the first dance.
General genius ideas
  • The bride and/or maid of honour can make a speech if they want to…undecided if I want to yet! 
  • Emergency kits – have one or 2 bags made up with plasters, spare buttons, sewing kit, chalk (for dress smudges), spare makeup, deodorant, hairspray, hair accessories, pain killers and heartburn and indigestion tablets, any medication you take and anything else you can think of. Have one of these left out somewhere obvious in your room and one in the maid of honours room on the day so that it is all easy access and you don’t have to send someone rummaging through all your bags to find a hair grip or a paracetamol. 
  • Get some nice umbrellas in case it rains, you can return them/sell them after if they aren’t used.
  • Don’t worry about the drinks – people mostly don’t know the difference between expensive and cheap champagne and if people don’t drink wine they can get a drink at the bar.
  • Simple is key – don’t make it unnecessarily complicated!
  • Take some money with you on the day – sounds silly but a lot of people apparently forget to take their purse and you end up having to pay for your room on checkout or paying for breakfast etc if it’s not included! You can obviously leave it in the hotel room as it’s just in case really, you won’t need to buy any drinks at the bar!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Well you must do...

Now before I start this one, let’s just make it clear that I really value people’s opinions and help, after all this is the first time I've done this. Advice and opinions are always appreciated and I’d always rather people be honest with me if they think something is naff rather than just go along with whatever I say. 
However, our wedding doesn't have to be the same as your wedding, or any other wedding, in fact it really shouldn't be. There are no rules. We do not have to do anything other than sign the register with the registrar, the rest is optional. Pressuring someone to have something at their wedding that they do not want is not cool. My word, people can get funny about weddings, even when it is not their own wedding. 
I know a wedding is a traditional thing, but it doesn't mean we can't put our own stamp on it, we don't have to do something just because it's traditional. Really if we had to do everything the traditional way we wouldn't have been living together for the last 6 years, our parents wouldn't be divorced and attending with their new partnersDad would be paying for the whole thing, we'd probably be considerably younger and my unmarried sister and her daughter wouldn't be in the bridal party. Traditions move on guys, keep up.
Tom and I aren't religious, so we will not be having a church wedding as it seemed hypocritical to get married in a church just because it looks pretty when neither of us go to church regularly (or at all) and people seem to accept this quite willingly but then are horrified when I say we might not have headdresses for the bridesmaids!

My advice on this is to just do what you want to do, I'm hoping it will get easier once we've actually bought/booked things as at the moment we have just booked the venue so all this is theoretical...and people seem to think they can persuade us out of it but once it's booked and paid for they can't really do anything about it. I am taking practical advice on board from lots of people (like on flowers and the timing of the day as I have have no idea) but the stylistic and trivial things like suits, dresses, hair and favours are really down to mine and Toms taste, not up to anyone else to dictate. Also as we are planning on mostly paying for the wedding ourselves (with help from family but not them paying for it all) I think if it's our wedding and we are paying for the objectionable item then really it's nobody else's business.
Some things we are considering or thinking of not having that are a break from tradition and have caused a bit of a stir:
  • Not having loads of posed photos – I’d rather the photographer take more pictures while we are mingling, chatting etc. I hate having my picture taken (I literally cannot smile on command without looking like this) and Tom would rather be having fun, so we will have a some done after the ceremony of us together and with our families and we will get my ones with my bridesmaids etc and Tom with his best men etc out of the way before the ceremony…but no we won’t be having a 1-2 hour long photo shoot… 
  • Tom not hiring a morning suit. Oh wow people are really attached to these morning suits, and when I asked Tom what he thought he might wear his first response was 'well I suppose I'll just hire a morning suit?'. After I said he could wear whatever he wanted to (if he wanted to have a morning suit that's great I just wanted him to choose what he wore), he actually has had some really great ideas of his own what he would like to wear and what his best men and ushers could wear. Although when we say to people we are thinking of buying suits or hiring something different to morning suits (maybe a tuxedo? Maybe a designer suit? No idea yet) they say 'still go and look at the morning suits though' or 'well that's...different'. If I didn't like a certain wedding dress nobody would dare tell me I had to wear it, why should it be different for Tom?
  • I might wear my hair down…although I know an updo is probably more practical or 'bridal'. I have really long hair that I always have up, and I’d like to get it done nicely and wear it down (depending on the dress of course, I might eat my words if it looks stupid with the dress).
  • Bridesmaids – I'm having them, but I'm not going to loads of effort getting them designer dresses and asking them to spend a fortune on their outfits. I'm not worried about headdresses or hats, or complicated matching hairstyles or whatever for them.
  • Yes I am having a hairdresser, but no I am not paying for everyone to get their hair done and I am not going to demand that all my bridesmaids get their hair done. I’ll get the hairdresser up to do my hair on the morning, and anyone else can book in to get theirs done if they want to but they will have to pay for it themselves. My bridesmaids are very capable of doing their own or each other’s hair if they don’t want it done professionally.
  • I will not have a makeup artist. I've been putting makeup on my own face for years and am quite capable of doing it again.
  • Music – A bit of a sticky one for us, as we are yet to decide on ANY songs for ANY of the wedding (We both have very broad music taste which is mostly wildly inappropriate for a wedding ceremony!). We can’t have any religious connotations either as it’s a civil service. This means no hymns. People are more disappointed by this than I thought they would be!
  • Favours – Oh if I have another conversation about favours. People all say ‘Well you don’t need to go over the top...’ or ‘They really aren't that important…’ but if you say you might not have them then you’re a cheapskate or not making the effort!
  • Money – This is also a bit of a tricky one as lots of people have lots of ideas, but we don’t want to get into debt to pay for our wedding so even though some ideas really are great and I’d love to do it we just wouldn't be able to afford them or they are too over the top for our intimate wedding.
A more positive post next week on the great ideas I've heard so far!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Let's start on the pretty stuff!

I am trying not to get ahead of myself, as we aren't on pretty things yet but I just cannot help myself sometimes! So here is a little inspiration post...not necessarily anything we will have but things I love the look of. All from my wedding pin board.



So torn between up do or hair down...all depends on the dress.

Photo shots and inspiration for poses

Our 2 flower girls would look so cute in something like this shot
I might be reluctant to lie on the ground in a white dress (the most expensive dress I ever bought as well!) but I like this for the engagement shoot
There is a gorgeous staircase at our venue and I love this as a less formal couples shot.
So there we got he first 'inspiration' post, I'm hoping to do a few mood boards and more inspiration posts. Mainly to keep myself reigned in, we have so many more things to sort out like food, drinks, music and paying for those and the photographer before we can start on pretty stuff like dresses, suits, flowers, décor etc but I can't wait!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

To theme or not to theme?

People keep asking what our colour scheme or theme will be… the answer is actually that we have no idea yet! We have colours that we like, mostly blue tones as I wanted green but Tom hates it so we agreed we could maybe compromise on a turquoise or light blue. We also have our own personal styles and likes but a theme seems to restricting for me. I don’t know if nowadays you really need to have one either. We don’t have to decide just yet, but it’s not too far off that we will be looking for dresses and suits so we will need to think about it then.
I think I’d like to set a general ‘feel’ for the day but not restrict it to a theme or certain colour only. I think it allows much more freedom, for example if I love a certain table decoration but it’s not the right colour exactly to match my strict colour scheme and I have to keep looking even though I've found something I like, that seems to be adding unneeded stress to the process! I would however like to have a general feel of the day in mind to help us, otherwise it might get a bit jumbled and messy and hard to choose things.
Your wedding should be all about you and your style and personalities. Anyone who knows us would agree that a blinged out fancy wedding just isn't really us. I’d like to have a quite relaxed day so wouldn't go for a feel that’s too formal, like with a dress code and a massive load of decorations, flowers, bling and a humongous dress. Although if that’s your style of course there’s nothing wrong with that!
Some themes I've seen which I liked, but that we probably wouldn't go with (Out of practicality and just what suits us and the venue) are:
  • Circus/Fairground – Love the idea but a bit much effort to make it worth it (you’d have to go all out to make it work and I don’t have the time/money/patience)
  • Certain Films or Books - Pride and Prejudice, Water for Elephants etc – Again too restrictive and I could never pick just one book!
  • Glamour and Glitz – Nice to see everyone dressed up but would like a more relaxed day.
  • Princess/Disney – Dangerous as I wouldn't want it to be too childish or themey. I’ll be going on 30 on the wedding day so no dressing up like Cinderella but I did fall in love with these Beauty and the Beast centrepieces, so simple!
  • Literature – Like favourite books as table names, readings from books, themed favours etc. Love it. Only problem is I'm the reader in the relationship, I've seen Tom finish about 2 books in all the time I've known him so that theme would be all me.
  • Travel – We LOVE to travel, and there might be a part of this in the day but as an overarching theme it wouldn't work as although we love travelling we haven’t really been to enough interesting places to fill the whole day…that’s what the honeymoon is for :)

 Some feels that I'm considering are:
  • Vintage – I like vintage but Tom doesn't like stuff that ‘looks old’ so thinking vintage but high end vintage (i.e. Carrie Bradshaw vintage not charity shop find vintage) like 1920’s-1930’s glitter or 60’s/70’s hippie chic.
  • Almost a country fair feel, with games outside, nibbles and talking points spread around the venue.
  • A garden party or tea party – the venue lends itself to quite posh stuff really, and quite nice or old fashioned parties.
  • A general spring theme – like with the flowers and colours, it gives you a theme or feel but isn't too restrictive and is open to interpretation.
  • Festival – no tents but a general festival feel like food outside, sitting in the grass, music and a chilled atmosphere.

To be honest it will probably be a mixture of a load of things, like a vintage fair in spring with a travel and literature twist! OK that’s exaggerating a bit, but I was seriously considering favours that incorporate reading and travel, and have been looking at vintage dresses online, and the wedding is in the spring so we are almost there already on most of those…I think we will let the theme and feel of the day kind of evolve as we go...