Our wedding day set up!

Advice, Cricut, Flowers, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

We got up at 7.30 and we were both mentally exhausted from the week. Planning a wedding where you have to bring in absolutely everything is so hard. Our wedding day set up was a labour of love, blood sweat and tears. Except on the Tuesday when we legally tied the knot we didn’t really have any time for ourselves. I stayed up each night making bits and bobs. Gav was on the computer sorting out music and checking off lists.

It was more than a full time job.

The night before I was cutting out the name cards on my Cricut, it made it easier but I still had to cut out 140 name cards 6 to a sheet. I ran out of the house at 8.30 to get to the shops when they opened and picked up a few more bits or the toilet boxes. ( I will explain in a later blog)

Then my brother arrived at 10.30 with the van he had to hire because we had so much stuff. The cake was a bit of an after thought so we precariously sat it on top and it fared well.

The last thing we packed was my wedding dress and though all the mad packing we almost left It behind. We had paid for our cleaner to clean for us so we came home to a nice clean house. She was already there when we left and promised to bring anything if we forgot it.

I hadn’t packed the top table tablecloth but we just got on with it!

Dysfunctional planner strikes again

Chris drove to the venue with me Gav and Frank on board plus the majority of the props and bits we needed for the day. When we arrived we unloaded the van. This bit was a bit disorganised and people came to me asking what they wanted to do. We piled it all on the grass and tried to get started from there.

I had dreams of clipboards and lists but none of that happened!

My brother in law set to work hanging our Mexican wedding flags which looked truely beautiful! We still have some left which I am excited to keep for a party! And also he and my dad hung some streamers behind us so the top table had a pretty back drop.

I changed the seating arrangement at the last minute so we had one kind top table and then six lines of 2 which worked out beautifully.

Give me a job

My sister took charge of the tables. She said she was going to set up one and we can work from there. The theme for the seating was snowboarding. The tables were supposed to be slopes

  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink ( no blood and bandages at my wedding)
  • Black ( the one I forgot)

I left the top tables table clothes at home still not found! Great. So I just used the ends of the longer ones to make our top table. It didn’t bother me!

I had so many good people come up to me and say give me a job! We dressed the first table then the second then the third.

Charlotte and my mum were busy making the table flowers. We used a lot of gin bottles to use instead of vases and they looked so pretty!! I asked Charlotte for bright happy flowers with lots of colour, Dahlias, sweet Williams and daisies but what she did was so incredible they were perfect. I will do a whole blog on how amazing she was later!

I didn’t want a matchy matchy wedding. Lots of colour lots textures and silly things.

Napkins and table cloths

I bought the Table cloth fabric of eBay and dyed all the napkins myself. I didn’t want black napkins so I used a yellow dye to brighten things up. I had 120 guests and made sure I had a spare 30 napkins. I was so proud of them they looked great. I had a vision of how I wanted it to look and everyone who was there helped me achieve it.

After Vicky laid out the table Becky went through and straightend the edges. Sorting out the napkins ( Vicky folded them beautifully ina loopy way) and we had to repeat it 120 times. I didn’t want too many flowers on the table because of the food going in the middle of the table.

More Cricut crafts

I bought wooden discs and made slope markers from all our favourite places, Val Disere, Chamonix , Le Duce Alps it was so hard finding photos of the markers that I had to make a few from scratch but they came out so well! We tied them the bottles.

I was going to make a seating chart but in the end I just let people find their names. It was an open venue so after the ceremony people could go in and out while they waited so it wasn’t a big deal. Also because a quarter of the wedding helped set up they found where they were sitting.

The name cards were all cut out on my Cricut. I drew a silly mountainscape and cut out that shape on the card. Charlotte being a super star made badges for everyone. We had 3 themes for our badges, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Snowboarding. We attached the badges at the top with foam squares.

Whilst we were dressing the tables my brother and his wife where folding and hand writing our peoples names!

I told you it was a team effort!

Gavs mum was in the chiller van organising the food and booze. Rosco (papa smurf) was setting up the signs helping gav with the beer. I don’t want to miss anyone out. But there was a lot of hands on deck.

Hayley arrived later with another car full of bits! We had flags of all the countries where our family’s live to semi cover the bales of hay. Charlotte used the excess bottles and flowers and put them at the end of the hay bales.

My dad cooked dinner for everyone! All the men gathered round the fire and had to test the booze while the rest of us soldiered on. I stopped when I realised I was tired and wanted to enjoy myself. It was about 8pm at this point!

So it was all sorted with just a few tweaks to do the next day! We enjoyed the evening, had a few cheeky drinks and went to bed early!

That was the set up. A massive thank you to everyone involved you have no idea how great full we both are.

It was a mission but it was worth it.

It looked perfect!

3 pairs of shoes is this a step too far?

wardrobe, Wedding, Wedding Budget

At first I struggled to find one pair of shoes now I have 3.

In my defence the middle pair are flatter so that I can wear them all day.

My legal wedding shoes are sky high and I love them but I know I won’t last in them. My dad treated me to my wedding shoes and I bought them on Vestiere website so they have been authenticated and had never ever been worn before.

Still I know I had 4 days before the wedding so my feet can heal plus I have bought these shoes so when I need to change I can still feel comfortable and stylish!

I went for a classic strappy sandal with a block heal and I am planning on taking them to Madrid with me so I can break them in. My Aquazurra shoes are also coming to Madrid.

This way I can break them in before the wedding and fall in love with them again.

Shoe shopping

I bought them off La Redoute as my search for silver sandals came up with them.

I love them simple and stylish but the best shoes I have are being upcycled by my friend and bridesmaids Jess. Who have covered the heal in Swarovski crystals.

They shimmer and sparkle like nothing else and I broke them in at my London hen do when I wore them for 8 hours.

I wanted mermaid colours and that exactly what I got. I love the colour and I will get to wear them again and again which I love.

Green is my favourite colour and they couldn’t be any more beautiful.

On the heel sole bit she even stuck some gold bees and a crystal.

What are you planning on wearing on your wedding day?

Pinterest made me do it! The welcome sign of my dreams and how I made it!

Wedding, Wedding Budget

Okay from the tittle that this is something that I definitely didn’t need but really wanted to make for me and for my guests!

A welcome sign that is definitely not relevant so I didn’t want to spend any money on it, or at least not a lot!

This is the image that started it. It’s nice and rustic and pretty. I just imagine having fresh foliage and flowers on it.

So I asked my step father in law to whip me one up. Let’s call him Papa Smurf as it makes it easier! He used an old palette and attached two planks across the back to secure them.

To paint or to stain

I had already painted a palette white to use as my order of the day but I was thinking maybe I had made a mistake. That it actually didn’t look that great. We had a discussion about painting them but I felt that the wood stain was better.

Then he got his blow torch out and scorched some detail into the wood. I think this was his favourite part.

It was already to stain and then decorate.

How beautiful does it look? I friggin love it.

Cricut time

Papa Smurf dropped it off so now I have a chance to decorate it. I have been practicing my hand writing and initially decided to hand paint it but I have a very clever Cricut machine that can cut it out in two minutes and then I just have to apply it.

So first I wrote it out using a font called November Easy! I down loaded it to my computer and typed it all out in word in a large font. Then I placed all the words so they would fit on a 12 by 12 square!

I then loaded this to my beloved Cricut and cut it out to check the placement and it fit perfectly. With limited waste of vinyl.

Cut it out in paper first so I could make sure that the placements were all in the right place!

Then I bought some premium gloss white permanent vinyl and cut that out. This didn’t take long although because the sign wasn’t perfectly smooth their were a few issues but I am so proud of it. I bought some longer cutting matts as an investment and I have used them a lot!

The final make

So with all this done it was time to put it all together. I was supposed to paint some flowers on it but I ran out of time. After speaking to Charlotte my talented friend and florist she planned on dressing it up with fresh flowers.

I had no idea she was going to use my favourite Cafe au Lait Dahlias on it and my other signs were all so dressed to their best shape!

So what do you think?

We loved it and judging by our friends photos of it they loved it too! It cost a few pounds to make only because I had everything all ready. We didn’t need this. It wasn’t important or necessary but it was pretty and I would make another in a heartbeat!

Darling Dahlias how does your wedding bouquet grow?

Flowers, Wedding, Wedding Budget

In April I started planting my dahlia tubers with the intention that these beauties would actually end up in my bouquet. I find that cafe au lait Dahlia are far superior to peonies in looks, just not smell.

This summer is a Dahlias dream with hot sunny days and me watering the pots like a crazy person.

Gardeners are crazy

We have to be. I watched the weather like a hawk. I studied the frost repost like it would determine how my day would go. Well it did, if it was going to frost then I would evacuate my growing bulbs into the spare bedroom

Luckily I never had to.

No frost

Our bathroom over looks the garden so I got to watch my baby’s grow. I already told you I was a crazy plant lady.

I looked over them, made sure that they we happy squeezed when they started to grow and felt bad for the ones that never got to make it.

These are my first,

little pom pom jewels. To me they are perfect but it’s evident that even if I cut them to encourage regrowth they still won’t be flowering in two months.

I can’t be sad about it though as these are beautiful flower that make me so happy!

Saving pennies

They will make it to the wedding though, I am drying the petals and turning them into confetti. So nothing will be waisted. I still have my peonie petals from June splurge.

Confetti isn’t massively expensive but myself and the venue only want biodegradable confetti. To me this should be rule everywhere. I don’t buy that many flowers but I will be using my stocks, and all my flower petals for the wedding.

The cherry blossom petals went a bit brown so I am looking at perhaps dying them. I am going to do some research and see what was best. This will also save me money.

Dahlia hopes

I still have a hope that Dahlias that I have grown will make it into my bouquets but if they don’t I won’t be too disappointed. They still may be in my bouquet but just shop bought ones!

This is my harvest from today and I think they are pretty perfect. I hated cutting them but I know they won’t grow if I don’t.

I am a novice gardener but I will definitely be growing Dahlias next year and the year after!

It’s two months to go and still so much to do

Organising, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

These past two years have flown by. I thought we were having a long engagement but I still think I would benefit from another year.

I could wait to get married now I feel like I need way more time.

It so strange how you feel. We are on top of pretty much everything there are just a lot of little jobs to do.

  • Buy wedding rings
  • Give notice ( this is booked we just need to do it)
  • Cut table clothes up
  • Dye the last batch of napkins
  • Plan the table plan
  • Make the table plan
    organise table decorations
    Sort out canapés
    Desert
    Cheese
    Welcome sign and order of service
    Loose a few pounds

I need to get these all ticked off as soon as possible. There isn’t a lot of time left and I am trying to complete everything this month so it’s not a rush in August.

Oh well we will see!

Kindness is key: wedding planning is stressful

Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

I know I keep harping on about being kind. But I think it is so important. When my scorpion tail whips out with cruel or bitter words I have to stop myself.

Why the vitriol?

Planning a wedding is stressful especially when you are arranging everything. We both work full time so it’s just our spare time that we are fitting everything in. Our venue is an empty box. So we have nothing to work with, it’s brilliant but a lot of work!

Our first year together! 10 years ago.

So it gets a bit much

Sometimes we snap at each other. Mostly is miscommunication sometimes is tiredness. But then he does something so small and lovely I remember why we are doing this.

Because we love each other and we want this. Our weddings isn’t massive but it’s not small either. It’s what we want, where we want and the majority of it is how we want.

I read a blog where the bride said if you find it stressful then you are doing it wrong. I am pretty sure she didn’t have to arrange every little bit. I think being so positive about the stress can put a dampener on those who are trying to deal with it. Yes this is a first world problem but I am working pretty much everyday to sav for this.

We are not getting in debt for one day!

I feel like stress and negativity are like childbirth. When the wedding day is over you kind of forget about the rest of it. My best friend appears to have forgotten the calls she made about things going wrong etc!

Truth

I am loving planning our wedding.

When things get made and ticked off the list I am so happy!

Things come up all the time. Little issues that we haven’t thought about and have to solve. Saving has been hard but so far none of the issues have been about money.

Just organising and getting things done. A lot of this has fallen on my shoulders and has made me weary. Folding a hundred invites hasn’t been to bad. Thanks to gin and YouTube! It’s still time consuming and as this blog goes out it will all be done!

Writing things down and setting a plan has helped. My helpful family ( that includes his) has helped so much!

My advice to you….

  • ask for help when you need it. Understand there will be stressful times. I almost killed Gav over stationery! But we went for a drink and sorted it out.
  • Talk to your partner there is a reason you are marrying them.
  • Do dye 130 napkins if it makes you happy!
  • Be kind to yourself and to others!

Enjoy it!

Makeup trial and fail

Beauty, confidence, Make Up, Personal Experience, Wedding, Wedding Budget

Okay so I am a nervous bride. Nervous in the fact that I am not glamorous or elegant. I can scrub up well but it’s never been me really. Having a makeup trial made me nervous.

How do I look like me without looking like me.

Online shopper

When it came to my wedding dress I was so nervous about trying it on and falling in love with an expensive out of my budget dress that I whimped out completely and shopped on line.

When it came to my shoes I did go to Harrods with the cash in my hand. I went to Jimmy Choo with the full intension of purchasing my wedding shoes and when it came to buying them it turned out I didn’t love them enough. I did however check out the slightly ridiculous Aquazzura shoes that I ended up purchasing online. I love them they are perfect.

Beautify

So when it came to hair and makeup I was like get a professionally do it. I want it to stay on all day and I want to look good. I had a good makeup artist and hair person but my MIL talked me out of them because they are in Kent and the dart ford crossing may be an issue.

So I looked for someone more local and found someone. I am not going to name them because they were very nice just not for me.

Not my style, baby

I should have seen the warning bells when I saw there Facebook page. 12 year olds with make up on. They issue a lot of makeup and weren’t really my style. But they were local!

I turned up to the salon and it was cool. I felt like a movie star. My mum and lil Sis were with me to tell me if I liked it.

Now because I am open about my opinions people think that this means that I can voice my concerns.

I changed my lip colour and asked for cat eyes which I didn’t get. So I asked for them again and I still didn’t get them.

I should have asked for more blusher but I didn’t. Wearing glasses means that you can’t really see the mirror. This meant that I just had to rely on the makeup artist.

They did a nice job on my makeup. Did I feel amazing?

No

I hate the face that no product or effort was make on my hair! Look at all those flyaways!

I wanted to feel amazing

The makeup lasted all night which was impressive. The lipstick endured me eating a burger. I am a classy bride after all.

But my hair was such a let down. She spent a total of 45minutes on my hair and makeup. She twisted it in a bit and put some tendrils back. No product on my curls and I had prewarned them I was most nervous about my hair. I would have done a better job without looking in the mirror.

Unhappy bride

I looked nice, maybe I will never look any better than nice but in which case I would rather save the money and do it myself!

It is so disheartening when you spend money on something that the girls at the beauty counter could have done and excelled at. I am a DIY bride, I don’t have the money to spend £100 for every trial I do. It’s fairly frustrating.

I did discover Bare Minerals lipsticks are epic and long lasting. But other than that it was a fail.

So now I am looking again.

How was your makeup trials or did you do it yourself?

DIY wedding, dying my own napkins

Wedding, Wedding Budget

Our venue is beautiful and magical and it one of the those set ups where you do everything yourself. Hire everything, including the linen.

It means a lot of work but then I guess it’s a bit more special.

We also have the venue from the Friday till the Saturday which is amazing. We have a lot of time to set up and get ready.

So I started thinking about where we are and what sort of food we are having. I truly believe in a well dressed table, it hurts my eyes when table cloths have thick folding lines. It makes me want to Holt the wedding breakfast and iron the tables..

I don’t even have ocd I just hate an in-ironed tableclothes.

I love a dressed table, flowers, nice glasses. If someone has made the effort then I really appreciate it. So I decided to dye my own napkins.

DIY napkins

Is that crazy?

My friend Charlotte showed me a picture of her sisters birthday where they ombré dyed the napkins a gorgeous grey and well I fell in love.

She found the napkins at a place in brick lane where hotel and restaurants get rid of perfectly good seconds. And so she bought mine.

Task as hand

Yup all 120 napkins plus a few spares.

This sounds like a mammoth chore but it’s not.

I did the first batch in a few hours in a patch of sunshine the British weather bestowed on me.

Instructions

So I read the instructions and like any modern women I watched a few YouTube videos to boot.

The best piece of advice I got was that the fabric had to be wet in order to absorb the dye better.

I used two different strengths of dye and dipped my first batch of napkin. I put them in different buckets. So I popped them in my weaker green bucket. Then into the darker second. I am just going for a ombré effect and I love the results so far.

I used the length of my glove as a measurement and held my napkins at an angle so that one corner was left white.

They are still drying in this picture I had to cover the deck with plastic you get for painting so that I didn’t stain everything. I used gloves so my hands didn’t go green. Only when I moved the dye it exploded onto my hands and I now have green tinged fingers.

At least it matches my ring!

I really enjoyed myself.

I only have 90 more to dye as these are currently in my bathroom drying over night.

I can’t wait to have these finished and another job ticked off my list!

What DIY jobs have done, doing?

Growing my own bouquet: a budget step too far?

Flowers, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

So on an early post I wrote about how trying to find the perfect September flowers are hard. I also said that it’s hard to find what actual flowers are in season.

My mum and Charlotte are doing my flowers.

My sister said I should try growing my own dahlias , so for my birthday I bought two lots of dahlia tubers.

Sarah Raven has got the most beautiful selection and it’s where I bought mine from!

This beauty is the Rubens collection

Which are the most Devine colours ever! These are all dahlias but all so very different.

I figured that if it works great!

If they don’t flower in time then my garden will be beautiful. If I just get one bloom I will be over the moon!! If it’s a Cafe au Lait even better.

I fell in love with them so much I bought a second set of tubers in a slightly different palette. This is the Flamboyant selection!

I figured that they would all work beautifully together if I was lucky enough to grow them all.

I am on Dahlia watch

I planted them just after the last frost and have been monitoring the weather ever since.

I am like a crazy plant lady.

I actually screamed when the parcel arrived. And then I had to wait almost a month because the weather was bad.

I also bought cheap pots that I had to cut wholes in so my plants don’t drown with the amount of rain we are sure to have.

I also ran out of soil and had to top up a week later.

Being a planner I had to plan which ones to do first!

Luckily everything is written on the bag so while I was writing out the sticks I could match it to the tuber. Makes me happy!

My friend said to write the name on both sides because rain and sun will fade them.

Measure twice, cut once

This makes me so happy. I am pretty sure I am supposed to snip the top so that I get more flowers but I will do a bit more research before I make the final cut.

My garden is now covered with plant pots and Dahlias.

I have used plant pots because my garden is dark and this means I can find the best spots for them.

Idle hands are the devils online shopping subscription

Beauty, confidence, Make Up, Wedding Budget

I have signed up to too many beauty / home websites. This pay day I had a ridiculous amount of emails offering me money off discounts, free postage ahhh. I want it all. my idle hands are shopping as soon as the subscription emails roll in.

My account looks healthy and my fingers start emptying it again.

I went on Cult Beauty filling up my basket with Zoeva brushes and Charlotte Tilbury makeup. When I got to a £100 of products I took a step back. What am I doing?

Stop the splurge

Yes I want to buy a lot of gorgeous things for my home but right now I don’t need them. I am not a shopaholic but there is something about a pay check that makes me want to spend money That has literally just entered my account!

I need to save

It’s not long till the wedding! This month has been all about paying for wedding deposits and payments. Blah blah blah. My savings are looking pretty empty.

Time for less outings

More walking ( bus fares add up)

Definitely no beauty, I have enough. I don’t wear much makeup so why am putting all this makeup into my basket? I am too susceptible to advertising and influencers. I do use all my skincare products but everything else is just money I could have spent on the wedding!

Idle hands

Luckily I also need to watch my diet! Which means less takeouts and premade meals.

As it’s a big sunnier I do want to eat better food with more veg and in the evenings I need to keep busy.

Idle hands are the devils online shopping subscription. They sit and wait for my pennies to roll in then they send me what I have always wanted but have absolutely no need for.

Yes I want velvet cushions with embroidered bees on, yes I need more plants! I just topped up my rather sad makeup collection with my Boots points. It really is the bare minimum and didn’t cost me anything however did I need it?

Plan

I need to be busier without exhausting myself like I did over Christmas.

I have so much to do so rather than spending my weekends completing tasks I am going to complete them in the weeknights instead. I will still schedule nights where I can just cuddle my best friend the sofa ( I wrote a blog on my lack of energy)

I will still relax when I need to, I won’t even look at my subscriptions this month unless Elizabeth Arden has an amazing deal on ( never going to happen).

I won’t delete them because I do have enough will power to stop buying them. This month will be a no buy month!

No spending on silly things

No make up

No skincare ( Cult Beauty I already miss you)

Do you have the same problem with pay day offers?

So obviously I bought the new Birchbox because Rock My Wedding sent me a naughty email and I wanted to try out half the items in it! It arrived within two days and I will try out the bits tomorrow when I go shopping with mum.

On Sunday I got a call from my mum suggesting that I had, HAD to buy the new Gatineau tanning accelerator.

“You don’t want to be a pale bride darling”

So thank you QVC for your special offers! I look forward to looking like a bronze goddess at our wedding.

So I failed!

But a few treats here and now are important to me not going insane with all the wedding planning.

Or so I tell myself.