Is the wedding dress a waste of money?

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

The wedding dress dread continues with price tag. I am concerned that the wedding dress is the biggest waste of money.

I just can’t get over the price tag!

You are wearing a dress you wear once, once. So the idea of spending £2000 on a dress, it just baffles me. Some of you will have already spent that money or more.

Instagram and Pinterest have a lot to answer for when it comes to dress expectations.

Gorgeous picture from Siobhan Hennessy

Is the wedding dress a waste of money?

I am going to ask you a question, except for a few close friends do you really remember the details of your friends and family’s dresses?

Because I can’t. I remember my favourite, my least favourite and my closest friends but that’s it.

My friend Jess had a gorgeous navy dress that my other friend made. It was beautiful and simple. But what I remember most about Jess’s attire was her shoes and her taco purse. She still wears every accessory today!

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Jess looking stunning

Money Vs Wedding dress

Getting into debt for a wedding is just not on my cards, literally!

I don’t want a black cloud following me around after the wedding day.

We have a house so we don’t need to save for a deposit. We have are trying to be practical but the money is still adding up. Weddings are ridiculously expensive especially when they are just a fancy party!

I know I want to feel amazing I do, but does money really need to be spent to achieve this? I won’t wear the dress again! I won’t cut it up and turn it into something else.

Sam’s wedding, I love this dress!

Memories

When I was a manager in jigsaw I remember a customer coming in with her friends looking for a wedding dress. She was beautiful and pixie sized and was looking for something different. I was at a loss, showed her pretty draped dresses.

she kept sighing at me because I just didn’t get it. So I showed her a beautiful suit dress with a French trim. It was grey fitted and sharp her Friends instantly agreed it was perfect.

I was baffled.

It was her dress, a grey suit dress. She looked beautiful in it but it was just a grey tailored dress. £140 she was happy as Larry.

Now I get it

Today I ordered a wedding dress from a high street store. If it’s not great I will send it back. If it’s perfect it means that a I didn’t have to spend a fortune but b I don’t have to stand in front of my Danettes and feel unhappy. This also means that I will not have that wedding dress experience but hey if it’s perfect I can take my Danettes out for a meal instead!

I would really prefer to have a beautiful pair of Jimmy Choos instead of a gorgeous dress I will wear once.

Is it a waste of money?

No, not if you have the money it is definitely not. I would hate to regret my wedding dress. The bargain hunter in me is hoping that this dress will be amazing. I will miss out on the trying on experience but as you know I am a bit fearful of that as well. If the dress is not right then I will have to hunt for a new one anyway.

Fingers cross it suits me!

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Sams Shoes

Traveling alone: Mistakes I made

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Travel

Lets face it. Travelling alone doesn’t have to suck. If everything goes smoothly then it is the ultimate piece of cake. Plus you can have the seat by the window or just switch off for the whole flight/ journey.

You just have to be realistic with your travel expectations. Packing light is key. I was bringing a lot of gifts and clothes so I made my first mistake by packing my maximum weight. 37kgs is not easy to lug around. But my biggest tip is travel scales. Buy them and if you need to pack them with you.

I recently flew to Seychelles from London via Dubai then back to Paris and got the train to Angouleme. Not the easiest of journeys but it was too stressful. I thought you may like to hear my thoughts on travelling alone. The parts I disliked and the parts that I enjoyed.

There were no direct flights from London to Seychelles on the day I flew. This would have made everything so much easier.

I did make a few mistakes but also wasted my time. I generally like Emirates, they are a clean and efficient airline that generally look after there passengers. There seats are roomy which is key to a long haul flight.

Organise your apps in one travel friendly place. I had eurostar, Oiugo, Emirates all in one box on my iphone. I also printed everything out and get it in my nice orange travel wallet so i didn’t loose anything.

Checking in

I took the train down to Gatwick and decided to book my lounge with LoungeBuddy . This was the first time using this app and I thought I would treat myself. Everything went wrong, the wrong time, their stupid 1 hour window ( no, I paid for it it should start when I get there unless you have over booked). It took me over an hour for online check in bag drop.

Lounge 1

Pretty sure this is the longest I have ever had to wait. I wasn’t impressed with how slow it was. Yes a few people went over there 30k allowance I was very fearful I was one of them. My case was jam packed with my sisters clothes. But I had weight it about 20 times to make sure I was under.

I didn’t want to pay any fees.

So I get to the lounge where the food was lousy but the amaretto kept me in good stead. I made sure I made that £40 for 1 hour count ( my bad judgement with the times not LoungeBuddy fault). Bad timing on my part but never mind, I was hoping to spend a bit longer there.

Emirates decided to sit me next to a little baby, who luckily was a perfect angel for the whole trip. She liked to hold my arm and press the screen buttons on her side and only started to cry as we landed.

After no sleep I felt like crying myself!

Then I got to Dubai and I felt a flutter of panic- I had an hour to get to my next flight and the air steward just smiled at me sympathetically rather than offering to help me in any way.

It turns out I had about 10 minutes to spare and the airport staff where laid out to help people like me who looked lost. I had no time for a toilet stop or to grab some food which was find by me.

Now on for my next flight. I had a massive selection of movies to watch and a book to read so I didn’t need company for this. The food wasn’t bad. My favourite thing is always the cheese and crackers anyway! Plus at the end of the flight I was met by my family which is just the best thing ever.

Tips

My tip is that as great as technology is always have a multi travel plug so you adapt to each country without needing a million plugs. But don’t rely on it, take a book! No one steals books, you can leave it on the beach, on your chair no one will take it. Books don’t need charging you can read it when the announcements are on. A book will never let you down. A note book is also helpful.

I don’t travel without my bullet journal.

So after 10 days I was back on the plane heading for Dubai then Paris. Obviously I didn’t want to leave but I was looking forward to seeing my mum.

Alcohol and Emirates

Now don’t forget I am travelling alone a women in an arab country. A women who likes to drink and I heard the story about the mother who was arrested for being drunk on the plane. As the airline gave her the booze I am not sure how they judge her but they did. She was separated from her daughter and arrested.

It kind of freaked me out so I didn’t drink on my leg to Dubai but once I was on the Paris leg I was on the gins and wine with my food.

It may sound over cautious but lets face it. I don’t like to put myself in situations and the Arab nations have very strict alcohol / sexist issues.

So I didn’t put myself in any situation.

When you are by yourself, you have to make decisions and get your self around. With two people you get to discuss it and make your dicison together.

Two heads aren’t always better than one.

A wee bit of panic

Then when I got to CharlesDe Gaul I had to find the shuttle bus. There was no trains to Angouleme after 8 so I had to wait till 7am the next day.

I bought my train ticket for 15 euros and my easy hotel was 33 euros which is cheaper than the later train. Getting to the shuttle was a bit of a nightmare, the exit marked as shuttle wasn’t the right one. I ended up walking round in circles for twenty minutes assuring myself I could work this out.

The shuttle part at exit 3 was dark and dingy with lifts straight out of horror movies, so I took the stairs.

Shuttle driver was super friendly hotel was super basic but for 33 euros a night I cannot complain. Bed was comfy and shower worked fine. I knew I was getting up early so I had a quick shower then hit the hay.

I slept in the middle of the bed…heaven!

The shuttle dropped me off at the train station the next day and the French efficacy was out of this world. The train station tells you where the carriage would stop. The carraiges where clean and tidy and took me just over 3 hours to get to Angouleme where my mum was waiting. France was hotter than Seychelles so I enjoyed a week of sunbathing, eating and yes you guessed it drinking red wine. My suitcase was filled with champagne on the way home, so not so shabby.

My train to Lille was clean and an old French man who lived in Australia propositioned me to be his new wife. We talked about Australia, food ( he was impressed by my baguette in my bag). My decision to be child free, red belly black snakes and that he still works even though he is in his 70s. He invited me to come visit him in Queensland and it was pleasant if somewhat awkward journey!

Then I had to walk through Lille. Here was probably the only time I wish I wasn’t alone. There were a lot of Ne’re do wells around. Watching the tourists like hawks. One purposely bumped into me and I just kept walking. The police were around, just not in that area and it was the only time I felt slightly threatened. I just kept focusing on getting to the Eurostar.

If you come out of Lille station just turn right and follow the pavement you can go under the bridge an its all laid out for you. It isn’t the best signposted but it is just a short walk to it.

Eurostar was just another train but it was quick. I could wait to see Gavin. He met me at a bar in Liverpool street and we ate and drank then went home to the fur babies.

Travelling alone is fine. I have always and will continueto always do it. But travelling with a friend or partners is also good.

The heartbreak of goodbyes

Advice, Personal Experience, Travel

I know I am lucky. I have a great family and they live in the most beautiful parts of the world. When I see them it is like we have never been apart but goodbyes hurt so much. I would give up pretty much everything to have them live closer. There is so much heartbreak in saying goodbye.

I have just said goodbye to my father. I just walked away from my sister and my nephew at the airport. I am quietly balling so much that the passport controller asks me if I am Seychellois ( soon I will be hopefully) but I just sniff to him that my father is. My family are, and they are here.

We are a close family, my parents remain friends, good friends. Goodbyes break my heart. Every airport drop off I always think that this time I will be stronger and I won’t cry. The catch in my throat lets me down and then come the tears.

This trip I travelled alone so I had no one to comfort me. No big arms to wrap around me, no kiss on the top of my head to tell me it’s alright.

So I had to pull my self together.

New Zealand is so far away.

Seychelles is so far away.

France isn’t so far but it is not up the road.

This holiday has been wonderful. Playing with my niece and nephew, eating my dads cooking. Kreole food, fresh fish everyday. The beach, seeing family and friends, a perfect holiday ( just wish Gavin was there).

What I wouldn’t give for my family to be closer to me. To be able to pop in for a cup of tea or call my dad for a recipe. I do call him to ask but I have to bear in mind if the time difference.

How did we cope without Skype?

Time difference changes everything.

I love visiting the Seychelles and learning about my family’s home and history. How Seychelles used to be but the connection ends when I leave it.

My roots.

I am on the plane to see my mum so this isn’t the saddest good bye. I will see my whole family next year at our wedding.

I can’t wait to see my mum but I know it will also be followed a heartfelt goodbye.

Exploring The Seychelles; My Recommendations

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel

I try to explore Seychelles every two years.

I have family and friends who live out there and it is my heritage so I want to live and learn as much as I can. So, I thought if you were venturing to these beautiful set of islands that maybe you would appreciate some recommendations from me.

Yummy Food

La Perle Noire Mahe

Food recommendations

Gavin isn’t a big fish eater but he will happily eat fish every day over there due to how fresh it is (caught that day)! And how it is prepared, either grilled, baked or fried. It is just gorgeous.

Just off the beach you will find fisherman with their catch of the day. Parrot fish and snapper will be bound together and you will see the locals gather and buy them. You can find saltfish samosas at most grocery stores, along with breadfruit chips (eat them and you will always return to the Seychelles or so the saying goes!) fresh fruit and cold beer.

Each shop will have their own prices but they are much cheaper than the big supermarkets in town.

This is my favorite food in the world and no one makes it better than my dad! For you guys you will have to try the restaurants and hotels. Traditionally food is served in bowls in front of you and you help yourself. No waste.

This is how I was brought up.

Lunch at Carana Beach

Seychellois have a very healthy attitude when it comes to food, they eat pretty much what they catch and they live of the land. My favourite dish is octopus curry or fried octopus it is just delicate and meaty all at the same time.

My favourite places for food

  • Café Solei holds so many memories, I told Gavin about this place on our first date. We visit every time
  • Sunset Beach Hotel ( just ridiculously beautiful we basically we live here during the day) Cocktails and fish and chips is insanely good. The views are magical, I am hoping my sister will get married here!
  • Carana Beach hotel, when we were there the waves are pretty big which was fun. It is so instagramable there!
  • La Perle Noire (Black Pearl) —————- just yum. Hospitality is like coming home, I cannot fault this place at all
  • The boat house great traditional food at a great price
  • Pizza places on Mahe – honestly we haven’t had a bad pizza there
  • For snacks we eat all the samosas we can find, fresh fruit. mmmm

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Seychellois hospitality

English is taught in schools and you will often find someone who speaks German, Spanish, Italian and Russian. They are a very well-educated people.

Okay, tricky subject. Seychellois will help you if you need it but you may find the service a bit slow.

I like to visit hotels for lunch then eat at home with my friends and family.

On more than one occasion and in multiple places I have found the service very relaxed. Waiting an hour to get served a drink. Waiting 45 minutes for a cold beer then another hour before the pizza was served. Don’t get angry get used to it. My tip is order two drinks so you don’t have to wait.

Some places you won’t find any issues, but don’t expect the same over friendly help you get in other countries.

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Boat trips

My dad has a little boat and we go across to Moyenne for lunch.

When we went with a group of friends we decided to do a boat trip to the same place. Because there were ten of us, we were the only ones on the glass bottom boat and it was great. They let us play our music, went really fast so we all got sprayed with water and were really fun guys! They dropped us off in the ocean where the swells were much bigger. There were a lot of boats bopping up and down and lots of people in the water but it was great.

The fish get bigger the further out you go. Then we waded to shore hand lunch then had a little walk round the island. Photographed the giant tortoises, visit the pirates grave and drank a fair few gin and tonics!

Grand Anse

Take your Pictures but please don’t swim here!

Explore and listen

Every islander will have their favourite beach so listen and explore. They will also know what the waves are like at that moment. I have been known to take my book into the ocean and just float along in the shallows.

There are plenty of walks in Seychelles so comfortable shoes are an absolute must!  Anse Major is an impressive hike around the coast half way up the mountain you will see some incredible views the coral and sea life there is beautiful. I followed a family of squid around for hours. it is hot and sweaty and there are a few sketchy bits (I am terrified of heights). My top tip for this hike is to get a taxi back, a taxi boat that is!

Again the views just cannot be beaten.

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Bloom Gin, in Seychelles

Night life

There isn’t that much to do, sun sets around 6-7 depending on what side of the island you are on then it goes pitch black.

That chirping noise you can hear is the geckos, don’t hate them they eat all the bugs.

As there isn’t that much to do at night so be prepared to make or take your own entertainment! Beau Vallon often has little festivals with food and stalls which are great, there are a few clubs and Seychelles do great cocktails. We always bring gin to the island and get tonic and limes in the shops. If they don’t have limes then we get the Seychelles local oranges which are sweet and sharp and taste so good with gin!

Hotel do put on shows and event nights so you are welcome to attend those, I love a good Saga night.

This is a place ripe for relaxation. The pace is slow here so leave your city legs behind and go with the flow. If things take a while don’t worry you are on holiday not in a rush. I love a nice light beer Sey Brew and lovely rum Takamaka which I prefer with lemonade rather than coke!

You are on holiday/ vacation so relax sip your ice-cold dink and watch the sunset and its incredible skies.

Seychelles is full of beauty and magic so explore it.

If you have been to the Seychelles then let me know places you have been and loved!

I hope you enjoy!

Dana

Mahe

Swimming at Beau Vallon Beach

Paradise on a tighter Budget: Exploring The Seychelles

Advice, Planning, Travel

Firstly, you can travel anywhere on any budget it is all about flexibility and knowing what you are prepared to put up with. Seychelles is a paradise but trust me when I say you can visit it on a budget.

As you are reading this I should be sitting on a beach with my niece nephew sister and dad in the glorious Seychelles. Otherwise known as home, well my second home. But even though my family are from here I don’t always stay with them. I have stayed in a lovely BnB in Beauvallon and also a house on the beach in Praslin, la Digue and also a shack on Mahe.

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These are my hints and tips of exploring Seychelles

Rainy season is always cheapest and I have been twice during this and suffered just two days of rain! So, I basically got to catch up on a good book for a day and didn’t have to leave my room. Not so bad when you have family and friends around you, but we also took a trip into Victoria and had a mooch around. If you don’t want to risk the rainy season just don’t book during the school holidays, flights double in price.

Packing for the tropics is easy

All you need is light breathable airy clothes. Floaty trousers or dresses for the evening mosquitos are every wear and love me. And beach casual clothes for the evening.

Natural materiels like silks linen and cottons will let your skin breath and keep you cooler. Please check out my blog on packing tips for more inspiration.

You can check our me Clothes and Skincare recommendations here.

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My family are based in Mahe the largest island in The Seychelles and to me the most beautiful. The tiny islands offer pristine beaches tropical hang outs expensive hotels and incredible waters.

Guess what?

You get all of this on the main land too.
It’s the people who make the place not just what nature has created.
Most people who visit or honeymoon in The Seychelles, land and then fly out to a tiny island missing some great places. If you can sit on a beach or by a pool every day and not do much then fine, I can’t do it, I like to explore and take in this exciting country.

Mahe is glorious and it is really, really hard to find an ugly beach. It is also a lot cheaper than the smaller island and has a lot more to do.

Accommodation

Air Bnb , apartments, hotels with special offers you can kip for cheap, you just have to shop around. Booking.com lets you reserve a room, search for bargains etc and cancel without paying fees. Like I have said before if you are flexible then you can find a bargain I am going to recommend two is where we stayed Georgina cottage, Eddie the manager was a fountain of local knowledge for that side of the island. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t plug my uncles apartments http://www.chezpayet-guesthouse.com/ which are near to the airport and a short drive to some gorgeous beaches.

Hindu Temple

Hindu Temple Mahe

Getting around

Yes, do book your airport transfers so you don’t have any stress but after that, taxis can be expensive and I live in London. My sister and I stayed in a gorgeous guest house in Praslin, the beach was just incredible. We decided to go visit one of the exclusive hotel for cocktails and booked a taxi there. When we were done for the night we tried to order a taxi home (there were three on the island) and they wouldn’t come and pick us up!
The bar manager said that if we were still there at the end of the shift then he would drive us home ( he was so lovely). His shift didn’t finish till 2 and it was 9.30 and we were ready to go back.

The sun set at 6.30pm
We had to walk back through the tropics late at night night.
Luckily, nature wise nothing really can kill you here.
It was still scary but actually made one of the best memories I will ever have,  me and my sister on that incredible beach lit up by the light of the moon.

The bar Manager said when you book a taxi, make sure you arrange your pick up and on the smaller island only pay them half, they can pick up the rest when they collect. I am not sure you will have that issue on Mahe but on Praslin it is a gem!

Use the Tata

My top tip though is the bus, get the Tata. It goes everywhere around Mahe it is beyond cheap. You can take it from any bus stop and they have a main bus depo in Victoria. Its less than a pound and are fairly regular but there aren’t many night buses so just watch the times.

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Carana Beach, those waves were fun!

Beach Life

My last trip to Seychelles I invited a group of friends with me and Gav. It was great there were ten of us in total. We spent most of the time in the water. If you love snorkeling or diving then this truly is the place for you. Most days we swam for four hours watching the fish, exploring the corals.
You need to pack your snorkeling gear!

Knowledge and Safety

All the beaches in the Seychelles are for everyone, there are no private beaches. But there is private land. There is nothing wrong with hiring a boat (and skipper you don’t know the water so don’t be foolish) and parking it up on a tiny beach. We have had many a BBQ on a beach where it has just been us!

Listen to the locals there are two main beaches in Seychelles that have warning signs about not to swim there. Yet every year a tourist drowns and lives are destroyed because of foolishness. There are hundreds of perfectly safe beaches on Mahe and on the smaller islands please use them.

Grand Anse

Take your Pictures but please don’t swim here!

Respect the Water and the locals

Waters and beaches change all the time. In the rainy season your favourite beach maybe a bit rough and the rest of the year it is like a mill pond. So a general rule of thumb is if it is rough on one side of the island just go to the other.

Grand Anse has a sign up all the time warning of the rip tides, so paddle your feet, take your pictures and drive 10 minutes down the road to find a glorious safe beach to swim at. Rip tides are dangerous and more people drown or get into trouble by going out to help!

If you choose to swim in an area where you shouldn’t then you need to know this. Rip tides generally don’t last long, so float with them don’t fight them!

Intendance in la Digue is worth a visit but again not worth a swim. We have a great photo of my sister in the surf as a toddler. Two seconds after my mum put the camera down a wave took my sister off her feet and dragged her out to sea. My dad new the waters and was near her when it happened but he still had to jump in to save her.

Seychelles is a pretty safe place.

Because tourism is there bread and butter you will find security on most beaches even the obscure ones that you have to hike to get to. They want you to be happy here so they provide it. That doesn’t mean be obnoxious and leave your iPhone and iPad everywhere but just that you should always keep an eye on your stuff but there is generally security on the beaches.

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Sunscreen and cover up

Everywhere in Seychelles you can buy it and it is not that expensive. You will need it whether it is hot or overcast. Seychelles is fairly close to the equator so the sun is hot all day long!

I was burnt to a crisp once when on a very overcast day.

Too little to late and sunstroke to boot!

If you are by the water all day then please sure you top up constantly.

Food

Like the people Seychelles food is a mix of all the surrounding countries Kreole food is so good. If you love fish then you must try the Red Snapper or bourgeois, fresh tuna, octopus and parrot fish. Seychelles food is often fried or grilled and served with lentils rice and a salad/ salsa. I am so hungry typing these words.
You will never have fish and chips like this!

Island hopping

Please do this, please do visit the other island. I know I said Mahe is beautiful but hire a boat or do a trip to the other islands. Praslin and la Digue are expensive so it will be a treat. But Moyenne is pretty for lunch, we also go snorkelling there then have lunch it is all included in the price. Going during the weekday means they will be less crowded and sometimes they do special offers.

The Capital

Victoria is a tiny capital but here you will find pretty trinket shops along the streets but the liveliest place in Victoria is the market place. If you go early you can see sharks and the huge fish. This is a real market and no they don’t mind you taking photos but try and stay out of their way.

Seychelles it totally achievable if you do your research, check flights and boats and just budget for it. We found we could eat lunch in the most expensive places then save our pennies for dinner in the cheaper places.

I hope you enjoyed and let me know if you have been to the Seychelles.

Suitcase for The Seychelles: My clothes Packing list

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel

I love packing, love it. Writing a list and creating outfits, remembering what you didn’t use last time. I get so organised packing for holiday it is ridiculous. I don’t really like to over pack and always get frustrated at the end of the holiday if I haven’t used something.

I am such a planner.

As you are reading this I should be sitting on a beach with my niece nephew sister and dad in the glorious Seychelles. Otherwise known as home, well my second home.

Packing for the tropics is easy. All you need is light breathable airy clothes. Floaty trousers or dresses for the evening mosquitos are every wear and love me. And beach casual clothes for the evening.

I wouldn’t describe my style as minimalist but I hate to over pack. I am not good with rules so I like to have lots of colour in my wardrobe and I think it all works together so I don’t really care. I don’t wear black as a general rule as it does nothing for me. I also tend to stay away from white except on holiday. I love stripes and prints. Especially tropical prints on everything.

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Sun hat, sunscreen and beach coverups!

Basically you need to able to protect every part of yourself.

Mosquitos, in the evening it gets cooler but not cold. I would recommend

If you visit Seychelles you will be spending most of your time on the beach!

Bikinis and cover ups

I am going for ten days so I am taking a swimsuit, classic navy and white striped. My gorgeous Roxy bikini top, with matching cover up and high waisted black pants and then another pink and black bikini top. That’s it for swimwear. Although I think cotton sarongs are nice I feel like you spend for ever arranging them so I have always used a silky shawl instead. You just tie it on your hip I don’t need anything else. I love them.

I also always pack one of those elasticated dresses. The ones that are ruched at the top and made of cotton. You can throw it over your bikini and get on public transport. Rinse out with water let it dry and hey presto you can keep using it.

A hat is a necessity. Sun to stop it bleaching your hair and drying it out. It also keeps the sun out of my eyes. This beauty is from Accessorize and I bought it on the way at the airport.

Shoes

Okay let’s be practical here. You are going to live in sandals and flip flops. I actually hate flip flops on the beach. I find them useless on the sand and even worse when they get wet. First thing I do is kick them off but they are great for slipping on from beach to the bus or car.

Sandals

I love my tan sandals they are plain and smart and go with everything. I bought them from Schuh and they are so comfortable. I have no problem teaming them with a log floaty dress or shorts and tea. I also don’t mind taking them onto the beach either.

Heals

The practical part. I have told my sister not to bother with heals fancy hotels don’t mind you lounging about in wedges so stick to summer shoes rather than stupid heels. Seychelles can be very steep. Short walks may have bumps in the road. If you don’t want a twisted ankle then be practical and save your skyscraper heels for city breaks.

Trainers or walking shoes

If you plan on doing a lot of walking or traveling then comfy shoes are key. You will see the Seychellois walking, climbing and hiking in there flipflops but they know the paths. I am taking some small plimsols that I can walk for hours in. can fly in and still want to put them on at the end of the day.

Seychelles has long smooth beaches however I hate walking on sharp thinks like shells, especaily when I am swimming so I have bought myself some very unsexy swimming shoes to offer a thin layer of protection to my feet.

Attire

Well this is my list you may have more or less. My trip is actually 2.5 weeks in two countries so I need to make sure I have everything I need.

I prefer dresses in the heat. The less clothes that are touching me the better.

My trusted Jigsaw silk Maxi dresses great as a cover up if you are getting too much sun. Perfect for the evenings to hide from the mosquitos. They can be dressed up or down.

Vintage cotton printed dress that has a 50s vibe. It hugs my body so well and the full skirt means I can eat all the food I want.

Black tropical print floaty short dress. I bough this in Tesco’s a few years ago and honestly it is the perfect dress. Looks cute doesn’t cling to your body and washes like a dream.

My palm tree jump suit. Pretty much speaks for itself. Its cream so another good coverup for those mosquitos that love me. I feel like it looks like resort wear! Ha ha

Bottoms

Shorts are key to my tropical outfits I have two pairs from Boden a knee length pale blue pair and a short navy pair. Plus my denim shorts that Gav bought me five years ago. They go with everything and my slightly chunky thighs don’t rub together when I wear them.

I also pack a pare of hareem pants, either my silk ones from jigsaw or my printed pair. Both can be dressed up and down are nice to travel in and breath. I also pack a thin pair of jeans to travel in.

Tops I just choose a selection of tee shirts and vests normally 3 of each. I am into my slogan tees at the moment so there may be a few in my packing this year.. A white linen shirt for a beach or coverup or tied at the waist and you get tropical elegance.

With underwear that is pretty much it.

I will be taking my pale blue rain mac in case it rains in France or England on the way back. A thin cardigan for the flight I wont need it in Mahe.

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Giving Up My Name and Other Wedding Traditions

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding

So firstly, I am a feminist I am not sure who doesn’t believe in equality. That is what feminism is, wanting to be accepted with respect, as equals. I am struggling with giving up my name and other wedding traditions.
I am going to be truthful with you, I find lots of things about a wedding old fashioned. But I also like some of the traditions. This doesn’t mean I judge you for keeping the ones or all of them if that is what you want. I believe a wedding and the start of your marriage should represent you both not what others think you should do. If traditional suits you, do it. If you just want to do it your way, do it.
A marriage is a tale of two halves coming together to create a whole. Two equal halves coming together. Sounds like harmony and feminism to me.
Some might say that it’s just words “giving away” “Honor and Obey”. That these are just traditions you don’t have to put any power into them. But I am betting a few of you rolled your eyes at my self-label of Feminist. Some may have  stopped reading.

I never really looked at it from this point of view till I got engaged. I maybe overthinking somethings and also American traditions like the garter toss (never happening)  and bridesmaids buying there own dresses (WTF) have influenced lots of weddings in recent years.

So you may be questioning my engagement?
I had to be asked, because he would have said no to me.
I also wanted to be asked. I want to be his wife: his partner in life and love.
Wedding traditions I have issues with:
• Dad giving me away
• Asking my dad’s permission
• The term maids (come on!!!!!!!)
• Giving up my name
• That humanist ceremonies are not lawful weddings but they are in Scotland (come ONNNN)
• That mothers don’t appear to have apart in the ceremony? Think about it….no role at all.

 

My Father giving me away

My Father will be walking me down the aisle. I need him to calm me down and to hold my hand. I can’t wait to share this moment with him. He won’t be giving me away he doesn’t need to. I have been independent since I moved out of home when I was 18 but that doesn’t mean that my parents haven’t been there for me. If my Oncle was still alive he would also be walking me down the aisle with my dad. But that won’t be happening.

 

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Asking for my father’s hand

I love my dad, I am a daddy’s girls. When my brother in law asked my dad for my sisters hand in marriage his reaction was amazing. Brad was so nervous, I mean shaking. My dad’s words were
“Why are you asking me for, I am not marrying you”

 

 

 

 

Brad went white………… watching it was so funny, I kid you not. My Dad is a feminist too, although he never talks about it.

He has raised two independent daughter and a son who treats women with respect.
Brad had asked my sister first. He also asked my mum for Vicky’s hand. He was just as nervous asking her, my mum was so overwhelmed she didn’t really hear Brad, so he had to repeat himself.
He turned bright red at this point.
My mum loved it but she had a massive cry and my Oncle asked us to give her a minute as this was a big moment for her.
Gavin didn’t ask my dad for my hand, but he did let him know he was going to ask me. My dad told him he liked him and he was happy for us. I am glad he told him.

 

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The term maids

Bridesmaids just doesn’t sit well with me and tradition behind it sucks, I am sorry but come on. Just call them spinsters and get on with it. Maid of honour, yuck. I am not having a maid of honour. I am having 5 amazing women stand next to me, and I know I have called them bridesmaid in my previous blogs but that will have to change. I just don’t like all the alternative names out there. Tossing the bouquet to other maids…… okay I have caught 3! It was silly and fun but still. Don’t think I will do it. I think the maids will just have to get married without the lucky bouquet.

 

Giving up my name

 

Okay so this is an easy fix, I don’t have to. The majority of my friends who have gotten married in the last 5 years haven’t done it. A few just didn’t get around to it and now don’t care that much. I am a Payet through and through. I love my heritage, the light with the dark. I am proud to be a Payet and I always will be. But should I be a Townsend…. This I am stuck on. So, I am thinking that I will take it on. Not a double barrel just as another name.

 

I like it.

 The Law

That humanist ceremonies are not lawful weddings but they are in Scotland
This truly makes my blood boil.


Mothers don’t have a part in the ceremony

Its all about the men, think about it.

 

Father of the bride, best man and groom all do speeches. Women sit there looking pretty. Now I have no issues with you keeping it that way with your wedding.
None, nada.
You may hate talking or have nothing to say but the roles of a wedding party are old fashioned and outdated. I think my mum would kill me if I asked her to do a speech but if my friends wanted to say anything or my mum did, I would encourage it.
Both my mother and mother in law are creatively helping us out with our wedding. They are both strong amazing women who have been through a lot. They are role models to both me and to Gavin and have already talked us through lots of wedding plans.
So traditionally they will have huge role in helping us with the planning but absolutely no role on the day?
I find it baffling, I also had never really considered it before I got engaged.
Will I say anything at my wedding?
The answer is yes. You know it.
The wedding is the start of our marriage. I feel it should start of as we mean to go on. Equally. Humanist ceremonies mean that we can do it however we wish so we don’t have to OBEY anything.
What are your views on traditions in a wedding?