As my own W-day draws closer (just over 1 week!) it’s the little things that I originally thought that I wasn’t fussed over and now realise I am looking forward to more than I thought possible!
Confetti is one of those things for me. If you had asked me 2 months ago how I felt about confetti I probably would have shrugged my shoulders and almost disregarded the idea. However, now, as I stand on the precipice of full blown wedding excitement I have had a change of heart. Turns out that I need these kind of shots in my life.
So, with some kindergarten style graphic design and some rather trusty brown paper I have made confetti cones and now look at pictures like these with a sense of elation that I did not know existed for dried flowers. It is funny what weddings can do to a girl.
- Nancy Ray Photography via Style Me Pretty
- The Nichols via Style Me Pretty
- EE Photography via Style Me Pretty
- Punam Beam Photography via Style Me Pretty
We’re down to the final weeks now which means my excitement levels are through the roof (it has also meant that I finally have the fear to dedicate some time to the likes of spinning and body pump…too little too late perhaps but it feels good all the same).
As the days continue I gradually tick things off the list(s); I’ve never been so organised that I work from just one list, five scattered around the house is more my style.
My most excitable ‘achievement’ this weekend was my Friday night outfit. Bicester Village is my second love and like an obedient wife I obey and succumb to its charms…
Here is a sneak peek at my Friday wardrobe:
Plus they double up for the honeymoon wardrobe (when it comes to justification I have a deep bag of tricks!)
It’s hard not to want to keep adding DIY projects and other ideas to the day but I know that we have more than enough to be dealing with and enough money has been spent on details. Here are some of the things that have caught my eye recently:
The hangover kit as a favour is a brilliant idea; I did wonder about giving those out on Friday night but decided that would encourage naughty behaviour and pounding heads for the Saturday!
So whilst I have my mother clambering a farmer’s log pile in the rain, my sisters are wrapping twine around jars, and I am bartering with a wine merchant for his wooden boxes I just want to stop and take it all in because it has been a wonderfully exciting time with only a few minor bumps along the way.
So, 38 days until I get to drink champagne and have the best weekend with everyone I love; how amazing is that!
I know that for many brides the worry of rain on their wedding day is enough to give them sleepless nights and a near on clinical addition to checking the weather reports. It can be at the root of most wedding day stress – in England even in the middle of summer you need to have thought about the dreaded ‘wet weather plan’. Unlike tropical, warm, short blasting rain, the kind of downpour we usually get is to quote Peter Kay, ‘fine rain, that’ll soak you right through’.
But at the end of the day, it is just rain. Unfortunately not even Maria Carey and her diva list as long as my arm has found a way of controlling the atmosphere.
This is not to say that I won’t ponder the affect that rain would take on the day, because I am sure that I will but I do hope to remain nonchalant about it.
This is all down to the fact that I have seen some awesome wedding pictures in the rain. The huddled under the umbrella shot, the atmospheric rain clouds which look amazing in monochrome and the image of every single member of the wedding party with a big stripy umbrella in hand as if it’s the latest fashion accessory. Genius. Pure and simple.
Of course it’s a shame if you’ve dreamt of cocktails outside on the lawn under the afternoon sun but all you need to do is come up with an alternative that makes you smile just as much – whether that’s handing out brollies and have everyone stand on the lawn with cocktails in true British spirit or moving the cocktails to a barn/dining room/stately room decorated in your own unique way.
I also recently learnt that it is in fact very good luck to have rain on your wedding day, so maybe do rain on my parade after all.
Just in case you need any more persuading just look at these, my favourite wedding day rain photographs:
How unbelievably awesome is this last bride? I might pray for rain just to re-create this photograph!
- Style Me Pretty
- IQ Videography via Style Me Pretty
- Katie Lewis Photography via Style Me Pretty
- Our Labour of Love via Style Me Pretty
- Joey Kennedy Photography via Style Me Pretty
- Simply Jessie Photography via Style Me Pretty
- Justin Marantz Photography via Style Me Pretty
- Jacqueline Poussot Photography via Style Me Pretty
I think that these have to be some of the best group shots I have ever seen.
I shall be practising my jumping shot for August…!
Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty
One of the main things that I worry about for the W-day is, ‘will everyone have fun?’ It is yet to keep me up at night but it is something which I ponder every so often.
So what do you? Do you throw every source of entertainment you can think of at them and hope that in the madness at least most guests will find something enjoyable? Or do you hope that your guests have a little more about them and that rousing/banterous/intriguing conversation will prevail?
I’m hoping for a perfect mixture of the two.
So how, where and what can you do to stimulate this fun and conversation.
Signing the register
Whilst you and your family may well be caught up in the emotion of signing the official paper, it can be a dull time for everyone else.
You could captivate your guests with a reading from one of your ‘best voiced’ friends.
Musical talent within your guests? Ask someone to sing or play whilst you’re away.
Digital talent within your guests? Ask someone to prepare a montage of pictures set to music and project this in your church or room…admittedly the technicalities of this one are dependent upon the venue.
Think Sister Act and hire a gospel choir…although beware, if you don’t have a choir to call upon then they can be a pricey option.
Games, games and more games. If you have outside space with your venue and are planning on a sun shining day then why not offer up some lawn games…croquet, giant jenga, throwing coconuts at things on sticks, French cricket…or invent your very own wedding day game.
During the meal
Ok, so people should be entertained here – after all, the food should speak for itself. But if you are mixing your tables and want an ice breaker then there are plenty of things you can do.
Hire singing waiters to surprise your guests with your favourite song.
You could jump on the competitive nature of your guests and supply them with a quiz or table crossword for them to complete and a prize for the winning table. I think you’ll be surprised just how competitive some of your guests will get and they’ll be bonding in no time.
If you’re worried that the novelty of seeing you in a white dress might wear off then inject some life into your party with some of these ideas.
A live band is a brilliant way to get people of all ages up and throwing some moves on the dance floor.
A firework display can have your guests ‘ooohing’ and ‘aahing’ in harmony.
Flying lanterns are a great way of creating some awesome night time photographs and gets all your guests involved to write messages and aid in the physics of the lantern take-off.
At the end of the day, every one of your guests will be so excited and happy to be there that you should never worry about the ‘boredom’ factor. I, like many brides, just want our guests to have the best time at our wedding, full of giggling, excitement and stories to tell for the future.
Photo Credit: Zimbio, Style Me Pretty & Italian Country Wedding
Why is it that everything seems to be half price in America? I have lost count of the number of times I have searched for my latest idea e.g. a bamboo parasol, found two sites offering them for $6.99 (£4.44) and so I get excited because even on ebay they are £8.99 but alas, they do not offer international shipping…….excitement is crushed.
However, I have found a site that could potentially banish all my ‘I want to buy it in America’ woes - Bongo International. Could this be the answer to all bridal needs? After all, sites like Save On Crafts and The Knot offer all that I desire and more, plus, think of the added bonus of ‘accidently’ slipping in a few J.Crew and Victoria Secrets purchases!
Hmm, on second thoughts, it is potentially lethal for me to merrily shop my way around American sites ‘for the wedding’.
For the more self restrained of you though this may well be a money saving site.
I have been lucky enough to get advice from a wedding planning expert and I wanted to share her expertise with you. So without further ado I will hand you over to Clare Ridd, Director of The Beautiful Wedding Company
So you’re engaged and you’ve merrily soaked up all those champagne bubbles with friends and family and now people are starting to ask about your wedding day details. Civil or Religious ceremony? Venue or Marquee? How many bridesmaids? Colour schemes? Table themes? Flowers? Transport? The list is endless and all of a sudden you’re feeling hugely overwhelmed with the practicalities of what needs to be done to get you and your hubby-to-be down the aisle! Well you’re not alone. Once the initial engagement celebrations have died down (and seriously make the most of those moments!) You need to take a step back, take a big breath, sit down with your fiancé to get some ideas on paper, this does not need to be everything from venues to hair and nails, my advice, start once piece at a time, like a jigsaw and you will see the pieces coming together naturally.
First thing you both need to be brutally honest about is if you have enough time to devote to organising your wedding. An average time to plan a wedding is between 18 – 12 months, from weddings with 50 guests to 500, of course weddings can be done in 6-3 months if needed, but the pressure to pull it all together is understandably greater. If your lives are busy and stressful enough you might want to think of hiring a professional wedding planner, they can save you money, cut out the stress of trawling the internet for the perfect supplier, and leave all design and final (fun!) decisions to you. Don’t think you need a big budget for a good planner, they often offer bespoke pricing packages to suit all budgets.
If you have the time to invest in planning your big day, great, start with choosing the date and venue. If you have a favourite venue in mind contact them first to see if your date is available. Once you have the date and venue confirmed you can start building in your other key suppliers, and send out those all important Save the Date cards!
If you are having a civil ceremony at your wedding venue remember to call your local registry office exactly a year to the date of your wedding, (you cannot do this sooner) to book your registra for your big day. You do not want to have everything ship shape for your big day, but no one available to marry you! Your registra should advise you of next steps in terms of all the legalities involved. Similarly with religious ceremonies the priest will arrange a series of meetings with you and your fiancé to discuss legalities and the ceremony itself, again don’t forget to speak to your Church asap to book your wedding, especially for weddings in popular seasons such as Summer or Christmas.
Next get your photographer, videographer (if having one), florist, cake, band and / or DJ, and the wedding transportation booked. Break these down and do two supplier bookings a month if time is tight. My advice, try to get these all booked between 9-6 months ahead of your wedding day.
By this stage you should have seen a lot of wedding supplier websites and blogs during your supplier researching, it’s inevitable that design and theme ideas will have come to you during this time. Please do not worry about taking someone else’s idea, you’ll be able to personalise it in some way, all weddings have elements of borrowed ideas in them, it’s unavoidable in this industry! Even better if you have a definite idea that you want to incorporate into your wedding, my advice, just make sure it’s practical too, i.e. If you wanted your ceremony outside with guests sitting on hay bales or picnic blanks, think of elderly guests and their comfort during the ceremony, you may need in improvise with some sturdier backed hay bales, or rustic wooden chairs. You would also need to consider the unpredictable English weather, perhaps make sure each guest has a pretty umbrella, or that an awning of some sort is available if it does rain.
Lastly, you’ll probably be frantic thinking you’ve forgotten something, so keep lists of booked suppliers, write down all your ideas, and if you need help that’s what bridesmaids and ushers are for so don’t hesitate to draft them into the wedding day plans too!
Mostly, remember to enjoy every moment, everyone says it (because it’s true!) Your Wedding day will come soon enough and the day itself will go by so quickly. Top Tip – Keep a scrap book of your engagement journey, from engagement celebrations to cake tastings and the days leading up to your wedding day, it’ll be a lovely memento for you and something to show your children.
Clare Ridd, Director of The Beautiful Wedding Company
Photo Credit: The Beautiful Wedding Company
I have been an army girlfriend for over 4 years now, and during those 4 years a girlfriend to the army is often what it has felt like. It starts with the first 5 weeks at Sandhurst where communication with the outside world is forbidden, although even if it were allowed, the boys and girls are so fatigued that conversations with anyone is near impossible.
In fact, during Sandhurst HTB would regularly fall asleep on the phone, sometimes after as little as 7 minutes. Now, I know my conversation topics aren’t always exhilarating but I like to blame the army and not myself for his sudden inability to remain concious. When he was eventually allowed out at the weekends he fell asleep more than once during the meal at a dinner party, literally, head bowed almost touching the steak left on his plate….embarrassing? Sure.
But I am also immensely proud. HTB, like so many servicemen, put their physical and mental capabilities to the extreme; something which I often wonder if I would be capable of, probably not is the answer.
Tiredness is not the only obstacle. The aspect which I have always found the hardest is the inflexible timetabling of exercise and weekends off. So what if it’s your girlfriend’s birthday and you haven’t seen each other for 4 weeks…tough sh*t. Weekends promised and taken away at the last minute, trips to Belize for a month, the inevitable stationing with your battalion, tour dates to Afghanistan; all out of control. So yes, I suppose I had to ‘man up’ quite a bit over the years, but I am so glad that I did.
I know that the level of real and terrifying perspective that being an army girlfriend brought to our relationship is one of the best things to come out of it. The army has stirred more emotions within me than I thought possible; anger, yearning, dread, exhilaration but the constant is pride. My chest feels like it might burst with pride when I think of all that HTB has done, and it’s not just him, it’s the whole of the battalion, the whole of our armed forces. Incredible people.
I suppose now I get the best bit of all, I get to marry HTB in a super fine looking uniform with swords and a proper guard of honour. Ooooh, yeaaaah. Oh and I have also put in a request for at least one champagne bottle to be sliced open by HTB and his sword – if Cameron Diaz can do it then so can he!
Photo Credit: Top two are publisher’s own, bottom via twp.tyepad
If you want to grab a bubble bargain there are 2 prominent times of year to do it: Christmas and Valentines. Supermarkets offer half price deals and if you are controlling your own wine supply then it saves a huge amount of money, either that, or you get twice as much. Depends which way you like to look at it.
To keep a track of live prices, and save supermarket traipsing, this is the best website http://www.winesdirect.co.uk
If however, you would prefer to add an adventure to your champagne buying then a trip over to the Champagne region itself is a must. Just make sure you pack light to ensure maximum capacity.
Photo Credit: How Stuff Works