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!

I almost made my own wedding dress!

Advice, Wedding

Can you believe that two years ago I sat down and considered making my own wedding dress. I thought it would a, save me money and b, be an amazing achievement.

I can sew. I trained in theatre design and part of that was making costumes. I had a pretty in pink moment were I turned a 60s wedding dress into a Victorian wedding dress Mrs Havershem style. So I know I could do it.

Not that I have picked up my sewing machine to sew anything trickier than curtains.

But I considered it,

I started looking at material and trainings and I was even contemplating embroidery and bead work.

Because I know I can do it but would I.

I decided I didn’t want the pressure and although I was probably being ambitious with the whole idea I know that I probably wouldnt finish it.

So I googled how to buy a wedding dress.

The thing about wedding is normally you only plan one once!! So it’s not like you have any information or really know how to do things. Which is why it is so easy to miss something off.

But I didn’t go wedding dress shopping.

I bought one from the high street and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted anything else. It was perfect. Especially when Becky lent me her veil which just made it look even better!

I love my dress it didn’t need to be fitted or taken in.

I was a bit of a coward about wedding dress shopping but I was happy to cut costs where I could. £1000 on a dress still sounds like a waste of money to me. I am glad we spent that money on the guests instead.

I am also glad I didn’t try and make it. I didn’t want the stress even though I know my friend George would have helped me out in an instant as she is an amazing designer/seamstress and makes clothes for a living.

But cutting costs doesn’t mean taking advantage of people it means making the best of a situation!

Did you make your own wedding dress

Regrets about the wedding

Advice, Wedding

It was a pretty perfect day to be honest! I don’t have many regrets at all.

The weather and food was perfect and the music was awesome from start to finish!

Our friends and family all seemed happy and had a wonderful time. All the effort that was put in was well worth it. It looked amazing!

A few things….

A few silly things that had no baring on the day but I wish I could change.

I wish we hadn’t stressed as much as we did. There were a few arguments over seating plans and other silly stuff which actually didn’t matter at all.

I wish I had gathered my danettes together to give them their boxes before hair and makeup began. I bought them all hair slides and we had to open the box to give them the hair slides to put in their hair! It wasn’t important just I wish I had thought it through.

Ghosting

I wish I had had a pint. There was a lot of booze and Ghost Ship is one of my favourite ales. Gavin wished we had made a sign to tell everyone it was Ghostship. I would have loved a picture with me and a pint!

We had amazing sunny weather but when it set it was pretty cold. Luckily we had the fire pit and we bought some blankets ,then guests took to them back to their tents so they all got used!

Oh that’s a regret I wish I had bought warmer pjs! I was so cold in the tent even though we had layers of blankets! But we didn’t care. The day was wonderful and I can’t wait to share the rest with you.

The cake

Our cake was gorgeous and tasted well the best! But it was a bit neglected in styling and if I had gone back I would have asked Charlotte to dress it up with a few flowers. It wasn’t that important but as we spent a few pennies on it it would have been nice to decorate it a bit more. The taste was the best so that all that matters!

So not many changes!

That’s pretty much it. No one wore white or denim that I saw!! Ha ha but I was worried. The day ran pretty smoothly. The ceremony was my favourite bit, as it should be.

It was honestly the best day of my life.

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?

Legally tying the knot

Advice, curly hair, Wedding

So on Tuesday the 10th we legally tied the knot.

Oh my

We are now husband and wife. Everything is exactly the same I just get to call him my husband and I love doing it! He is my husband. I revel in this. Gavin has been a big part of my heart and life for so long that it is so wonderful to call him my husband.

So the legal bit.

This was supposed to be just the 4 of us but it did turn into immediate family plus a few friends. I didn’t mind but Gavin wanted to keep it small but then he added a few friends and it grew.

We had a perfect day.

Preparation

Kelly from lipstick and curls came over and did my hair and make up. I loved my dress and shoes but as I am still struggling to walk in such high heels I did have to pop a a pair of Primark pumps on my feet.

I felt wonderful my hair was up twisted and plaited exactly what I wanted and Kelly just worked her magic and created something even more beautiful. I even managed to pop a few home grown Dahlias in my hair.

I made this button hole for Gavin using the same flowers!

My sister stayed over so I wouldnt be alone as Gav being traditional would not stay the night.

So we got up, ate breakfast, walked frank and got ready.

Then we headed down to London on the train and the overground.

Little did I know Gavin was on the same train just a few carriages down trying to avoid me!

My family met in the the Vineyard where I met the very fabulous Ania who treated me and my family like a friend. She was wonderful and we can’t wait to see the photos.

Then we headed to the town hall.

The legal bit

Now we didn’t want any fuss because the legal side of our wedding wasn’t the bit we were interested in however we didn’t really have a first moment.

There was no really first look and we had to wait all together before we went in.

The registrars at Islington we’re warm, welcoming and personable. They ran a very lovely ceremony and we didn’t feel rushed at all.

I had forgotten to pay the rest of the payment so Gavin had to pop down and pay it but it wasn’t awkward they were really sweet about it.

And we got married.

The ceremony was actually lovely and I laughed and cried at the same time. My hands were in Gavs because I was shaking a bit!

It doesn’t really feel real and I have waited a long time to be his wife.

These are a few of my favourite photos from outside but we will get some more from our photographer later on.

Photos

So Ania led us of to the Islington back streets where all the cool coffee shops and boutiques and restaurants loiter.

It managed to be quintessentially British old fashioned and modern at the same time. So it was pretty perfect.

Also the weather was gorgeous. On the Monday we had torrential rain but on the Tuesday is was heavenly. While we were talking a few photos our family’s had headed off to the pub for a drink and then we joined them for a yummy meal at the Drapers Arms!

All in all it was a perfect day!

We had a few more pints then headed home there was lots of wedding bits still to do organise but it was a lovely legal wedding.

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!

The importance of a canapé: food issues

Advice, food, Wedding

So having been a wedding guest a few hundred times, kidding, I know how important it is to feed your guests! A happy guest is a happy wedding.

Pretty sure the number one complaint from your wedding guests are that they are hungry, cold or thirsty! They are basic things that should always be covered. Everything else is just about timing.

For us

We are getting married outside whether is rains or not! So when it comes to our guests they will wrap up accordingly. When it comes to our bridal party we need to look after them!

The weather we don’t have any control over but drink and food we do! Weddings in the UK are usually at lunch time which means that you may have a big breakfast but from then to the wedding breakfast is normally a good 5 hours. I have been know to put a few snacks in my hand bag.

Now I have had amazing canapés ( friggin steak which melted in the mouth) quails eggs dipped in Bloody Mary salt! I still dream about those canapés and I have had weird ones, as well as no canapés.

When you are hungry and waiting it is so important to feed your guests and keep them happy. Like a nice glass of pimms and a cold beer! Lovely!

Because we are hiring a food truck we don’t really have the option for canapés so we still need to feed our guests without filling them up.

Cold food is going to be the easiest choice but deciding on that has been tricky.

I refuse not to serve canapés and Gav agrees. I hate it when you sit down and they is a tiny bit delicious warm roll and you devour it before your starter comes.

Speeches drag if you don’t have happy guests.

Getting the right balance is hard! You want them with a drink in their hand but not drunk! You want them to have rated something but not full.

You want happy guests who can focus on enjoying the day without complaining that they are hungry or tired or dying for drink!

The legal side of getting married, giving notice

Wedding

If you are having a humanist ceromoniy which we are, then it is not a legal marriage. Which means you have to get married legally, either in a registry office or in a church by someone who is legallay able to marry you. In an place that has a perminant roof before 6 Oclock.

These are the laws.

They suck

I have said it many times before.

In Scotland it is totally legal to get married outside and probably by the time you read this they would have changed the laws in England too.

So we had to go to the registry office and declare our love is real and that our marriage will be lawful.

The registry office

There aren’t many forms but you have to go an have a meeting and apparently all the Saturday meetings are booked up till Christmas.

You have to bring two forms of ID? Two, because a passport isn’t good enough. Me and Gav think this is silly. If you are a UK citizen with a valid driver license or passport why do you need two?

You have to answer questions about what your partner does, what his father does for a job etc.

Ensue an mini argument

Gav isn’t happy that I don’t know what his job is. He works in IT testing… seriously he doesn’t talk about his job much. I know a little but apparently not enough and he got really annoyed at me.

I didn’t know exactly where he worked and his job tittle. Pretty sure if you work in IT then no one has an idea about what you do anyway. They just nod and know it’s fairly dull work.

No offence.

So we are all booked in for our meeting and this is the message Gavin sends me. He is so funny not sure we would be allowed to get married.

The day

So we booked the morning off and went to see the registra. We had to have all the information and ID and had a quick chat asking some simple questions.

Gaynor was warm and friendly and for some reason I was nervous. Nervously excited maybe. Perhaps it is because this is the first actual step in getting married.

This is the legal bit. The official bit. It was also in a really pretty place on a lovely day!

We still have to legally get married then have our actual wedding.

But this was the first proper step.

The legal side of getting married and giving notice is done.

One more thing of a very long list of jobs to do!

Next we have to get our rings!

Wedding update: unconventional organisation

Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding

Okay so not long to go now and I am freaking out at the time.

Or no time. Did any one else feel like this?

Me and gav had a sit down and went through the things we need to do and things that are a waste of time!

Lots of our original plans were a little ambitious and a waste of time and money. As time is getting closer and money is getting tighter it’s happening.

The wedding is happening.

Update

We also got a few more bit done

We finally booked our cake tasting with Konditor and Cook! I am so happy and thinking of my curly wurst wedding cake. We want to try a few other flavours so that there is choice for our guests and I can’t wait for this.

This will be a proper wedding thing that we have done as so far every thing we have done has been in a different order.

Food

We ate at a restaurant and then asked if they did weddings! That’s how we landed our caterer. And we are so happy we did because they are so busy now that if we had asked even a month later I don’t think we would have got them and their food is divine.

All the bridesmaids dresses have been ordered. They are using there own shoes but I am worried about rain and wondering if I should by them wellies… I guess I can leave it last minute!

Gardening

From now until for ever I will grow Dahlias they are amazing. Every time I go into the garden they present me with the most insane blooms. I picked peaches and pinks with some dark purples to play with. It’s like the perfect bouquet everyday! I love them. The way they are blooming I won’t be having any for the wedding but I don’t mind.

My cafe au laits haven’t bloomed yet so I may get my favourite flower!

Charlotte is coming with me to check out the venue so we can start planning flowers and the set up. I can’t wait!

Panic stations

Actually I can. I can wait I know I have said it before but seriously it is coming around too quickly. I need more time but I am working 6 days a week and filling my weeknights with crafting.

It will get done but I am trying to get it done before the end of August so that September is not about creating but curating.

We are really excited to become husband and wife.

Thank you for joining us on our journey!

Oh Madrid, flamenco and the Danettes: Day 1

Travel, Wedding

So last weekend I was in the most incredible people with the best bunch of girls any one could ask for. A few of my friends couldn’t make it but honestly the girls were amazing especially my best friend Becky.

Hen do do do da do

We arrived about 11.00am Spanish time went straight to our gorgeous hotel and hit the roof top bar.

Madrid is full of amazing bars and restaurants and our hotel was awesome it also had a tiny pool that we took advantage of after a short but alcohol fuelled flight!

We drank a really nice white wine which was ice cold and perfect. Did I tell you it was 38 degrees and super super hot.

Hence our mini dip in the pool. We had to wait for a lot of posers to take their photos before we could go in ourselves!

We all gave ourselves time to get ready. This was my hen do, and I wanted to look really nice. The girls had a flamenco lesson organised for me so I offered them dress options and they chose my black swishy dress.

Apparently non of them thought it was black because it had a tropical print on it!

they should really know that I don’t really do black clothes as I find it drains me! And

Dyspraxia and dancing

I love to dance, you put a song I love on and I rarely leave the dance floor. At Weddings I am the guest who will dance with your grandma or distant cousins if I love the beat.

But I can’t sequence. Learning dance routine I find so difficult. Remembering how things go is so tricky I stay away from a lot of routine aerobics. This is a part of dyspraxia I have had to deal with my whole life. So I was freaking out when I was told it would be flamenco dancing.

Flamenco is about your whole body especially your hands and feet. We didn’t do to bandly if I do say so my self. I really really loved it and so did the girls. Our tutor was exceptional and really chilled. I red

Reading about Madrid

I read Victoria Hislops The Return which is about Spain and the Ramirez family who are caught up in Francos civil war. The youngest is a flamenco dancer who dances so much her shoes are transparent. Franco banned dancing and Flamenco. I had this vivid image in my head of flamenco dancing and it totally lived up to it.

So flamenco dancing left me feeling an even deeper connection with Spain then I had before. I really do love Madrid and I have been to a lot of places but this city is spectacular.

Dinner and drinks

After Flamenco we went upstairs to watch a flamenco show as well as eat really good food.

We were starving and had just exercised and it was still 35 degrees at this point. The Sangria was flowing and the food kept coming and I was getting really drunk so I had to slow down.

We decided to head back to the bar in the gardens which was near my hotel. As I was a bit tidly me and half the group decided to walk.

Half an hour into the walk I had sobered up a bit and was now tired. It was a long walk in the heat. So we popped in a cab and headed to another roof top bar this time in the middle of the gardens.

It was so beautiful up there!

On the way out we discovered there was a club underneath so the dancing commenced.

Unfortunately I may have drunk too much!

Far too much but I had the best day ever with a great bunch of friends!