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!

Half Marathon my first run

Fitness, Personal Experience, running

Yesterday’s blog was about prep! Today I am updating you on the race, I was too tired yesterday! I was surprisingly calm when I arrived for my first Half Marathon. Because we were a group we got to talk and laugh.

I forgot to tape my knees which was silly

I went to get my name and my boss had given my married name. This is the first time I had been called Mrs Townsend at an even which was strange. It didn’t bother me but I did think Dana PAYET was running!

We were lucky

The rain had miraculously stopped but there was still a chill in the air. I decided to set myself a target or 2hr45 as a best and 3hrs I would be happy with! I read that an average half marathon runner normally run it in 2hrs30 but I hadn’t put enough training in to get that score.

We had to fill out our incase of emergency and attach our numbers to the front of our tops. We waited at the back of the queue and I tried to stay behind my 3 hour pacer but I lost them.

So I just started going. Because of the rain the crowds were a bit thin on the ground but the cheering was lovely. I just put my head down and focused on my pace. I didn’t want to go too fast too soon.

Getting into the zone

I ran without music, and it was fine. Because my longerst run was 8k I wanted to give myself a task of no walking until I hit 10K. There was a drink station at 9k6 so I did rest before. But I kept it up. There was a nasty hill that we had to run up but the park bit of the run was lovely.

I just got into the zone of running and it was fine.

Then we ran through the fields. This road was gorgeous, nice tarmac and beautiful winding path. The 2hr45 pacers caught me up and I found new strength to run with them. The fields were so gorgeous I wanted to take a photo but I didn’t want to stop so I kept going. Then right before we turned left I had to walk for a bit.

It’s October and we were surrounded by pumpkins. I managed a quick shot and then ran on.

Pushing yourself is not the same as punishing yourself.

Then we went through a muddy lake Forrest area and it was so pretty and my second favourite part of the run. I was shattered so there was more walking then running at this point. But the group I was in was doing the same. Pushing yourself is not the same as punishing yourself! I had moments of struggle and after an hour and a half I realised I didn’t want to run for much longer. So I quickened my pace and walked less.

We had to go through streets which had people cheering us on which was nice and encouraged me to run at these points. My foot was aching and when I walked I limped so it was easier to run. As I turned the corner I saw my husband and dog cheering me on. I passed him my cap and a single tear ran down my face. We were at mile 9 and I was still running!

That’s me blowing him a kiss but it doesn’t look like it. I was very focused. Having loved ones to support you makes the run.

It got narrow and muddy but I just kept going I had to!

I caught up with Jay and he kept telling me to run when I didn’t want to. So I ran off a fair distance so I could rest to my time table not his. Running is personal and when I just had two miles left I was totally spent. Plus I beat him which made me feel great!

So I kept going.

I ran when I could and walked to take the edge off. My foot was so sore and walking made me limp so walking was only an option for a few paces.

When I saw that finish line through the fence nothing could stop me.

I just wanted it to be over!

I was so tired so I pushed through and ran.

I ran to the end. The announcement said the time was 2.45 so I ran a bit faster!

I wanted to hit my target!

And I did!

2.45.19 and I was happy!

13 miles 21kilometers I did it.

I was so tired but I did it. Gav and Frank being there filled me with such joy!

That was my elation.

It lasted about 1 minute until I was tired again!

It felt good to know that I can push myself but I needed more training!

That will have to be an update in my next blog!! Right now I need more rest!

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 beck 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.

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.

Time to be more me: Wedding Saga continues

Organising, Personal Experience, Wedding

I think, maybe I am learning that when is comes to the world of weddings that people including myself get swept up into being a bride. Bridal this, wedding that. The ideal wedding and the perfect bride.

Every bride looks beautiful and that is because they are happy. Happiness makes everyone radiant. It shine through them and make you smile.

A lesson to us all.

Matchy matchy poo poo

Everything that is not me.

I am constantly striving for this bridal perfection when it isn’t nessesary. If it’s not me then why am I entertaining it.

I think that it is easy to become a bride instead of just being you! Maybe a perfect version of you, in the photos. I am not saying that you have to look like yourself if you don’t want to. I am just saying it easy to get sucked into a theme or a look just because everyone is doing something.

Social media has a lot to answer for but at the end of the day it’s you making the decisions and you paying the bills. Pinterest made me do it is a common theme.

I keep looking at nail varnish! How silly am I. Pale nudey shades that are are really pretty and delicate but not me. I am a bright colourful person trying to pale myself down.

Not any more.

I know I agreed to the white dress even though I would prefer to be dressed in this beautiful creation but it was a request from the groom. Plus I never had ever had the budget for couture!

Ellie Saab dress

I love my dress

It suits me to a tea.

It isn’t the Ellie Saab dress I love but it is wonderful.

I won’t be having pretty nice nude nails. I am having a lovely plummy lavender for my legal ceremony and a pinky coral which is my absolute favourite colour for the wedding.

Obviously I may change my mind but I hope I don’t.

The wedding look

I will never understand why people strive to look the same and have the same feel of a wedding that they have seen a hundred times before. Don’t get me wrong I am totally inspired by other people’s weddings, I just want our day to represent us! So if our nieces and nephews want to dress up as ewoks so be it!

There are so many wedding trends that I do not understand. Prosecco walls? Surely someone has to stand there and fill them up no? Is this person not a waiter? Could they not just pass around the drinks and make sure everyone gets one?

Difficulties

It is hard when your family and friends have perceptions of what a wedding should be.

Bridesmaids in the same dress.

Just men doing speeches.

But I think explaining your look and vibe and including them in it helps. It also stops confusion.

I love a wedding, everything about it! The bride and groom then walking down the isle. The ceremony which is my favourite bit!

Confetti, oh how I love a smiling bride and confetti!

Food, drink and then dancing the night away with people I care about.

The wedding saga has to end, it will in four months!

It’s time to be more me.

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?