Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!I am away now until mid-Janary and then it will be all systems go on the wedding front, starting with our appointment with the dream venue!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

My dress

Yay - they have finally uploaded pictures of the new Martina Liana collection of dresses, one of which was the one I really liked when I went to the store.

Martina is a new designer for Essence, and the first dresses of the collection are now online. Keep your eyes open for the range, when I went to the preview the shop I thought it was lovely and the marketing guy from the company were very excited about them (they could be biased though!).

It is shown in ivory dupioni as I would like it, and has a diamante belt (removable) and trim round the bottom of the skirt. Apart from that it is quite plain, which is what I am looking for. I would however have straps (I was told you can choose to have any of the dresses with straps).Photo from Martina Liana

I also spotted this dress I really liked on Randall Photography, a UK based wedding photographer.Maybe I can try to combine these two dresses somehow?! And with a blue sash too?!?! The beauty of designing your own...I think I will have to start doodling

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Advice from friends

I was very lucky to be out with some friends the other day, both of whom were able to give me some great leads.

One of them can get me a pattern cutter who is a student (cheap!) and specialising in wedding dresses!

I was also told to go to try on dresses everywhere even if I'm having my dress made, as this is my only chance. Also if I know I don't need to buy there's no pressure. Here I come Vera Wang and Liberty bridal room!

The other interesting thing was our discussion about hen nights, as they had recently been on one which was no more than ok, something I could agree with from the recent trip I made, due to a mismatched group of people and activities (to summarise: fancy dress in pubs with people you don't know). So the advice was to have something your mum can come to and then something to let your hair down at. Make sure everyone will feel comfortable in whatever you do.

I have a few ideas of what I would like to do all of which are in or near London:
Afternoon tea at the Athenaeum hotel, which includes Laduree macaroons and rose champagne

Ronnie's bar at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club - an intimate bar above the main club with an amazing cocktail menu.

Nails Inc do a hen party package including manicures at their larger stores

Choccywoccydoodah is just wow! Their shop in Brighton is droolworthy. But even better is the Choccywoccyboudoir! You and your friends get to spend 2 hours being fed chocolate. Is there anything better?!

Photos (from the top): The Athanaeum from Brides, Laduree

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Cake stands

Everywhere I go, I keep seeing cake stands. Not just multi layered afternoon tea types, but also lovely raised platters and domes.
A few lovely examples:
Pottery BarnThe White Company
I think this is my current favourite, although the picture doesn't do it justice. HabitatPottery BarnHabitat Signature now and then - it comes in various colours both bright and pastel Habitat
Laura Ashley - enamel with punched butterflies
Clara FrenchLaura Ashley
Potluck studios on Give simpleLaura Ashley

Friday, 19 December 2008

Homeware heaven

My shopping trip today gave me a new wish list of things I would love to put in my home - yes, I should have been Christmas shopping, but I'm easily distracted!

Zara home
Bubble bathroom accessoriesJug - less than £6!Marks and Spencer (classic!) candlabra - I saw this ages ago and I don't think they still do it, but as I'm writing about homewares, I thought I should mention!Habitat
Some of the stuff in here is really retro at the moment, it looks like the kind of stuff my mum has at the back of her cupboards from her younger days! - but that's not a bad thing.

Palma wine glasses (champagne glasses also available)If I had somewhere to put a screen, I would want it to be like this oneLaura Ashley is somewhere I have grown into. It's all very girly.
Butterfly glassAvignon drawersMMM! I guess that's enough for now - there was plenty more.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Actual bridesmaid dress

I picked up the bridesmaid dress for my friend's wedding today. The weather was filthy, and I had to go Christmas shopping after, so I'm surprised it is not more crushed!

I had to take a picture to send to her as she has not seen them yet.

It fits really well so I don't know if I'll need any major alterations, however the wedding is still 4 months away, and I've been eating like there's going to be a shortage recently (what with being stressed at work and eating out a lot for various reasons), so maybe not at my slimmest!

The colour combination works really well; the base colour 'raisin' is a soft purply-bronze, while the pink trim brings out the pink in the base colour. It will be a good colour to suit all three bridesmaids who are all have very different complexions. I wasn't exactly sure what it was going to be like and am very pleased with it.

We are getting shoes dyed to match from the Rainbow club as it would be impossible to get any the same colour.

The dress is from Alfred Angelo (style no 6553). The photo is mine.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Converse classic

I sent this pic to J (H2B) at work today as he was commenting on how he had been complimented on his smart-casual outfit for his office Christmas do, including his Cons.

He suggested maybe he would wear them to the next wedding we are going to, so I suggested there was another one he could maybe think about...

I'm still loving brightly coloured (and co-ordinated) shoes on the bride too.

Picture from Snippet & Ink showing off the lovely wedding of Lisanne and Anthony.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Investigating dress making

I've been spending quite a bit of time trying to find patterns for a basic dress which we (i.e. my mum and I) could adapt. The sooner we start the better, even though we don't even have a target date yet!

I have had a bit more luck than previously, and so thought I would list some of the places which might be worth a try. I'll keep you posted on where I get to.

Weddingpatterns.com
Weddingpatterns.co.uk
(I know, the names are obvious, maybe should have tried these before!)
This one custom makes the patterns for your measurements
Or there's Marfy - not quite my style but still a good choice.

However, even apart from these, there is plenty to inspire me at the moment, like Celine who made her dress and has put up a great step by step here.

I'm also going to be closely watching A Practical Wedding where the dressmaking project has just started

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Blue sashes


I loved this post from {this is glamorous} about blue sashes!

I have always considered I would like one, and these pictures confirm what a pretty idea this is.

The dress I am realising is always what I come back to has a blue sash too...mmm. Definitely part of the plans then (at the moment).

Friday, 7 November 2008

Inspiration and a boat

I spotted this inspiration board on Simply Beautiful Concepts and it gave me a different take on colours. I like the combination of the blue for bridesmaids with red in the flowers and cake.

I think I'd maybe have some navy details somewhere to match the dresses, or possible the ribbon holding the flowers. The tables would be quite plain apart from a few red flowers, like the picture on the left (source).

I'm not sure about the boat, I can't say I'm a great sailor, but it would make an unusual venue.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Venue!


I got some information through about the venue we love. It included this lovely picture. What do you think?

And this is just a plain table, no flowers or other decorations. Not that you need a lot with the pictures surrounding.

picture from Dulwich Picture Gallery

Monday, 27 October 2008

Vintage romantic...

That's what they call this range.




I spotted these things in bhs today, on special offer. Slightly unusual, not their normal kind of stuff, but pretty none the less.
Not what I'm looking for for my wedding, but I could imagine them looking lovely.
And at bargain prices too!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

First dress session

I tried on my first dresses yesterday, I was out with my mum and had (mis)read that a bridal shop had a sample sale on - not the case, but they did have a trunk show on - yay!

So, on I went trying on dresses from next seasons Essense collection. I was slightly concerned as all of the ones on offer appeared to be strapless, and I cannot do strapless (MIL has specified).

The first one I tried I loved, and went back to it after trying 3 others. One was quite lacy and was definitely not me, but I was glad that what I thought I wanted suited me. Generally, not too much detail, just a little sparkle, sweetheart neckline and a-line to ball gown type skirt. I didn't try a v neck dress which was what I had in mind first, so I'll do that next time.

The prices were as scary as expected, and I have never worn so much as I did yesterday morning. The diy option is definitely the way to go to save money, so I've been searching online since I got home to try and find a pattern - difficult.

As soon as you put the dress on you do feel completely different, and I had wobbly knees for the rest of the day. It's quite exciting so even though I'm not (really) considering buying I'll have to try some more on.

No pictures until February when the dresses are released and I will eagerly be looking for pics of the ones I tried on!

p.s. my mum keeps telling people I looked stunning :-)

Friday, 3 October 2008

Pretty jewellery

I keep spotting lovely necklaces everywhere, I don't know that they are all great for weddings and I realise it is quite a little detail to be thinking about when I haven't got ANYTHING else sorted out yet! Maybe I'll buy one just to wear now...


Such a pretty necklace by Lisa Galbardy on asos (of all places!)

Everlasting love necklace by Lauren Ridley


Our shared forename initial! Lovely. From Mon amour jewellery on Etsy. Plenty more on their non-etsy website too.


Mama Beth Bling on Etsy - personalised with names and a choice of colour of pearl


Nick Hubbard - Love & Kisses

Monday, 29 September 2008

One step forward, two steps back

We had our appointment with the vicar at the weekend, who said the short answer to whether we could have the wedding ceremony in their church was no, but the long answer was yes, if we became members of the church. This entails going along regularly for 6+ months, and then signing up to be on their electoral roll.

Before starting the planning I never knew how complex the rules were on where you can marry and how, it's almost like they don't want you to get married in their church.

I had never really considered joining an Anglican church having been brought up at Baptist churches, but I really haven't settled at one in the 4 years we've been down here now. So we went along to the service on Sunday. I never thought, as a Christian, that it was going to be so difficult to sort this out, but it is absolutely fundamental that we do this bit right, otherwise what is the point of doing it in a church at all?

It is important for me to emphasise that we are not trying to find a church only for the wedding. There is no way I'm going along to a church for the next 18 months just for the purpose of the ceremony. How awful would we feel if we never went along again after that.

Having a church we both like and feel comfortable in is the most important thing, and I think it is necessary as the right grounding for this lifelong commitment we are making.

We liked the church service on Sunday, so we will give it another go and see if it seems feasible to settle there. There's not going to be any quick answers on this for a while. However, we probably need to start making the other arrangements sooner.

So I might go a bit quiet here until things are more settled and a bit further along.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Vera Wang - part 2

I went back and took a piccy of the dress I saw the other day.
I had another search online as I had more of an idea what I had seen. I like it alot!

I found it finally as a pre-owned dress, here.


I really like the eyelet cut lace and the empire line waist. Didn't think I'd like a mermaid shaped dress, but this one is lovely. I suppose if I'm doing my own, I can change the shape.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Amy Atlas - drool!

This has got to be the best idea! Why have one dessert when you can have a whole table of choices? And when they look this pretty who could resist?

Here are some gorgeous examples of Amy Atlas' work providing sweet treats.

The only problem with a buffet is, when do you stop eating?

I have seen this on plenty of blogs this week but I think the first was Once Wed

Croque en bouche

We have seen these yummy looking cake alternatives, known as a croque en bouche.

They are basically a pile of profiteroles filled with pastry cream and then covered in caramelised spun sugar. This makes a crunchy coating, which gives it the name 'cracks in the mouth'.

It depends a bit on caterers, but we might quite like to have this to combine the dessert and cake in one. No-one eats the wedding cake otherwise (well they haven't at any wedding I've been to).

It will also depend on whether my mum feels up to being able to make one! Bring on the trial runs!

Vera Wang

When I was out today, I happened to see a lovely Vera Wang dress in a shop window, and was distracted by it, as I am with all wedding related stuff at the moment.
So when I got back I set to trying to find it online.

I had looked on the Vera Wang website before, but only at the images. I hadn't spent time looking through everything else.
There is a large amount of practical advice and ideas (in the Ideas and inspiration section), including ideas about colours, male attire, and other various aspects of planning. If you were to follow all the advice I'm sure you would have a beautiful wedding, possibly even to match the lovely black and white photos displayed on the site!

I couldn't find the dress though...

Thursday, 18 September 2008

DIY


I'm planning to do quite a bit of DIY for the wedding, not just as a cost saving device but just because I, as well as my mum, enjoy it so much.

The plan is to definitely do the invites and other stationery.
We were almost certain to do the cake, but I think we may want a croque en bouche (yum!) and I don't know how possible that is for us to make.

The dress is almost certainly going to be made by my mum, however the patterns I have seen as so 80s! Mum says that is not a problem, and that we can mix and match, and that we don't have to use bridal patterns. But it is hard to visualise.

Not the dress I want!
I would quite like to do the flowers too, but can't work out if that is going to be economic, or even viable, as it depends a bit on being able to get the flowers we want on the day before.

I haven't really got much further in terms of the stuff we might need. So far the invites seem like the only simple bit, but we still have to design them.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Money talks

We held the very important parental money talks today, as J's mum was down for the weekend.

The meeting was after a delicious lunch at the Sportsman, and I should really mention that first as it was so good.

I ate:
Wood pigeon, split peas and pistachios
Roast Hake, bacon and parsley sauce
Jasmine Tea Junket, strawberries and breakfast crunch

YUM!

It is a bit off the beaten track in Seasalter, Kent, but my sister delivers meat there from her farm so she knew it was good.

We then went for a walk along the sea wall, sent the siblings up ahead and had a grown up chat. Money is a difficult subject to broach, but everyone knew what they were in for so it was fine. Overall we had general agreement on the plans so I think it went ok.

Before the chat I had to do some estimates of the costs of things, as everywhere you read that you should! I started with an average wedding budget from You and your wedding, which is based on their surveys.
And as we are doing some bits ourselves I had a look for costs of flower arrangements, which was fine; cakes (no luck), invitations (card, card everywhere) and dresses (aargh the patterns are sooooo 80s!). The budget was then edited and a bit added on for contingency, and voila, a rough total to present to the parents.

Now we just have to stick to it!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Dresses

I appreciated this post from A Practical Wedding talking about the dress.

"And yet, somehow, it left me with a empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I looked like A BRIDE, ie, a dress up doll of a bride. I looked like a bride, but I didn't feel a thing like myself. My inner sass, I'm afraid, was completely muffled"

"We each deserve to feel fabulous on our wedding day, and on my wedding day I would like to feel fully, absolutely, and radically like myself. And I'd rather wear a amazing cocktail dress then a beautiful wedding dress that doesn't feel a thing like me"

The dress seems like such a fundamental thing to the day, and it is also the only chance (most people) will get to wear something of such scale. I haven't tried any on yet, but must have looked at hundreds of pictures.

I think I have an idea of what I want, but I will also be aware that if it doesn't feel right, it isn't right!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Dress your wedding

I have been having fun with this tool at David's Bridal where you get to dress up your wedding party. I was never really into dolls and stuff but this is fun!

I've done a couple of quick ones, but keep in mind that it is not a good representation of us as people!!
I thought I'd try ones with the same dresses for all the bridesmaids and one with different for each. I can't decide what I think of these combinations, so I'll keep playing!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Too much chat

I was out with my friend who is also getting married (much sooner than we are) and I am going to be her bridesmaid. I'm helping to sort out her hen night, but that's a whole other story. Anyway, we were also out with another girl and I didn't realise how much we were talking weddings, it was only pointed out to us after she had gone. Oops! We'll have to watch out for that, I don't want to get a rep!

We were mainly chatting about the details, such as our shoes which we are having custom coloured by Rainbow Club. I haven't tried the dress on yet, so I'm not sure which shoes to go for.

The dress is going to be like this one from Alfred Angelo, I think. I've been told the colour (raisin) is actually darker than it appears on screen. Can't wait to try it on!

And relax...

I feel a bit more relaxed this week as we have been in touch with some people who have given us a bit more guidance over what is possible ceremony-wise. We're just planning a meeting with the vicar so we can discuss our arrangements, but it is definitely sounding more positive.

Phew!!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Blue love

I love love love this inspiration board on The Finer Things blog for their 25th Wedding Wednesdays!

Makes me feel secure in my want of a blue wedding...They posted more blue boards, based on the invite in the top row, during the day yesterday. Beautiful!

Yes, I know I said I was stopping looking while the first crisis is happening, but those blog posts don't stop arriving!

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