Tag: Bridal

My Wedding in a Week: Part 7. It’s the little things

It’s the little things that can really make your day special.  From day one, we wanted the focus to be on everyone having fun, and we hope we achieved this.

Guests love things they can interact with.  Photo booths always go down amazingly, but I wanted something a little different.  I had recently been to Brighton and loved the face-in-the-hole boards that they have on the pier, which gave me the idea of building a wedding themed one.  Our talented friend crafted the whole thing and painted on a cheeky wedding scene.  We set it up outside our marquee, and was great fun for our guests to have their picture taken.

wedding face in the hole board

Tip 1:  Think of fun quirky things that your guests can interact with.  It will make your day far more memorable.

The one thing we really struggled with was wedding favours.  We had already ploughed our guests with cocktails, sweets and the wedding breakfast so we didn’t want to add any more food into the mix.  In the end we settled on cute little badges, which we had personalised for every guest.  It was a good ice breaker and a good way for the guests to get to know each other.

personalised badge wedding favours

Tip 2: If you’re struggling with the favours, think of something that represents you as a couple.  At a recent wedding, we were all given Kinder Eggs as the groom had proposed with the ring hidden in one.  Ahhh!

Weddings can be a long day in heels, so to make sure our guests danced all night long, we provided flip-flops to rest their tired feet.  Our guests were so thankful for these, and practically everyone on the dance floor was wearing them!

wedding flip flops

Tip 3: Look after your guests and they will love you for it!  As our wedding was approaching summer, the guests were delighted to take the flip-flops home.

I’ve saved the best ‘til last, and to cut a long story short, my husband and I met over a lost shoe!  It was inevitable that the shoe was brought up in the speeches, so we planned for a huge ice sculpture of the missing shoe to be waiting for us at the evening party.  The ice shoe doubled as a vodka luge which our guests did not leave alone all night!  The drinks were flowing and we had an amazing night of dancing and laughter.

Tip 4: Not all of your guests will know how you met, so try and include this in your day, even if it’s funnier than it is romantic!

wedding shoe ice sculpture

 

 

My Wedding in a Week: Part 5. Beautiful Bouquets

Choosing the wedding flowers was one of my favourite parts of the wedding planning process.  Your groom won’t be interested in this part.  He is only interested in the car and eating cake.   Don’t punish him.  The first question every bride will ask the wedding florist is when is the right time to choose the flowers?  The answer to this is when you have found your dress, and subsequently picked your bridesmaids dresses.  See part 4. Bridesmaids.

Tip 1: If you have chosen your bridesmaids dresses, you have chosen the colour theme for your wedding.  Now is a good time to start thinking about your flowers.

The wedding florist will want to see a photo of your dress.  I thought this was just to be nosey, but there is reasoning behind it.  If you go for a large skirted dress your bouquet will also need to be large, and possibly cascading to balance out your whole look.  If you have gone for a vintage style dress, your wedding florist will be able to put together a beautiful rustic style bouquet to compliment your dress.

As I had chosen black and white bridesmaids dresses, I wanted something vibrant and bright to lift the look.  I asked for a mix of red and pink roses, accompanied by smaller white blooms to add texture to my bouquet.

bride pink and red bouquet

Tip 2: When looking through wedding magazines and online, remember that not all flowers will be in season for your wedding.  Take pictures of bouquets you love and your florist will be able to advise you.

I set my heart on having glass or silver pedestal bowls for the table centres, which I had seen in a wedding magazine.  Could I find these exactly to my specification anywhere? No.  It took me months of searching online, visiting eBay and going to antique shops to find what I was looking for.  Eventually I found some beautiful pressed glass pedestal bowls in John Lewis, which I was able to sell on to another bride after the wedding.

Tip 3: If you are buying your own vases, buy extra.  You wouldn’t want one to break before your big day and not be able to replace it.

As we also had a marquee with an English tea party theme, I collected vintage looking votives, small bud vases and teacups.   These were filled with small stemmed flowers for the centre of the tables, and looked beautiful.

vintage wedding flowers

vintage wedding flowers

Tip 3: If you’re going for a vintage style floral arrangement, look for vases or votives of different heights to make the display interesting.

My last thought on the subject of wedding flowers is always throw the bouquet!  This is such a classic element of a wedding day and is so much fun for the female guests.

Tip 4: Like I did, ask your florist to put together a throwing bouquet with any spare flowers.  This way you can take home your bridal bouquet, but still enjoy the fun of throwing one.  Mine looked like a mini version of my bouquet and I don’t think anyone knew the difference!

bride throwing the bouquet

Flowers by The Bee Orchid

 

My Wedding in a Week: Part 4. Bridesmaids

Choose your bridesmaids carefully as they will become an integral part of your wedding planning process.   Of course it would be lovely to ask all of your best girlfriends, but eight bridesmaids really is one too many!  Just remember that you will need to pay for dresses, shoes, accessories, flowers, hair and makeup, which can accumulate to a huge cost.  This shouldn’t be the main reason why you don’t ask someone, but bear it in mind.

Tip 1: Your maid of honour will organise your hen/bachelorette party and be your main helper on your wedding day. Choose carefully!

Depending on how many bridesmaids you have, you may want to make finding the bridesmaids dresses a group effort, or hunt for them alone.  Everyone has different tastes and we all come in different shapes and sizes, so finding something to suit everyone can be tricky.  I spotted some great dress options before I went shopping with my two bridesmaids, which meant they could pick from a selection that I loved.

bridesmaid dresses

Tip 2: Remember it’s your wedding.  Don’t let the bridesmaids pressure you into a dress that you don’t like, can’t afford or doesn’t match you colour scheme.  Respectively, make sure that everyone feels happy and comfortable in the dress you choose.

I originally planned to choose red dresses for my bridesmaids, but struggled to find something modern and non traditional.  In the end I came across a black and white satin striped number from Ben De Lisi at Debenhams, which the bridesmaids and I loved.  I think black was a bit of a risky choice for a bridesmaid dress, but the girls looked gorgeous, and the look was softened by the pink and red bouquets.

Tip 3: Don’t dismiss the high street! Look carefully and you can find some great dresses suitable for bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids

 

My Wedding in a Week: Part 2. The Other Dress

The wedding dress is probably the most exciting and expensive dress you will ever buy, and the reason my blog is named ‘The Other Dress’.

bride getting ready

This is something that you need to get right the first time (not like me).  Unfortunately my wedding dress buying experience didn’t start out great.  I have never been an impulse buyer, but jumped and threw money at the first dress I saw.  Online.

The dress was totally beautiful and princess like, and as soon as it arrived I was dying to try it on.

Tip 1: Do not buy a wedding dress intending to slim into it.  If you are planning to lose weight before your big day, do it well in advance, then go and try on dresses.

By the time I had lost enough weight to try on the dress properly, it just didn’t feel right.  Not in the fitting sense, but in the ‘this just isn’t me’ sense.  It felt too glamorous (yes there is such a thing!) and I wished I had something simple.

Tip 2: Don’t be impulsive – shopping online for your wedding dress isn’t a great idea.  You might save some money, but you will never find the best fitting dress.  Mine was non returnable and is still hanging in my spare room waiting for a new home.

So this all happened 4 months before the wedding, which was incredibly stressful as I knew dresses needed to be ordered months and months in advance.  My mum was amazing and as all mothers say ‘don’t worry, we will fix this’.  So the next day we went dress shopping.

Tip 3: Go to the bridal shops and try on as many dresses as you like.  This is what every girl dreams of and you don’t want to miss this opportunity.

So I spent the next two days visiting all the bridal shops in my area trying on gowns, which really was the best shopping experience ever.  I found my dress in a small and modest bridal shop, that had the loveliest staff.  They were so helpful and managed to order my dress just in time for the big day.

A lot of bridal shops will encourage you to try on dresses which are really not your style, but sometimes it is worth a shot.  The amount of brides I’ve talked to that end up with a completely different dress style to what they thought they wanted is countless.

Tip 4: Try everything! You never know! The staff in the bridal shops are pretty good and can normally suss out what will suit you.

So I had found my dress. THE DRESS. And as my friend said ‘you know it’s the one because you feel like a bride’. Ahhh

Tip 5: Go with your gut feeling, and if you feel ‘like a bride’ then it’s the one.

 

My Wedding in a Week: Part 1. Choosing your venue

So he’s proposed! Then broken his leg days later…. Yes my wedding planning was put on hold for 3 months.  Although a badly timed break (but when is it ever a good time to break your leg?) I was able to prove myself as a good wife-to-be before the wedding commenced.

When he was finally healed, I couldn’t wait to go out searching for our wedding venue.  I’d had plenty of time to research, so knew exactly where we wanted to visit.  After a handful of ‘no that venue just won’t work’, we went back to the drawing board (Google).  We eventually came across a beautiful city centre venue that we had originally dismissed because of price.  It was walking distance from the church and surrounded by greenery.

park house club cardiff
Park House Club, Cardiff

 

Tip 1: Don’t instantly dismiss a venue because you don’t think you can afford it.  Some venues are very up front about the costs, so you know exactly how much you’re spending.  Some venues can sometimes seem cheaper because they haven’t included all the costs.

When we visited the venue we loved the diversity of it.  It had a courtyard marquee for the drinks reception, a traditional grand room for the wedding breakfast and a city style cocktail bar for the evening party.

Tip 2: Think about how many guests you’re going to invite.  Is the venue to big?  Too small?  Will you need two rooms for the evening party so guests can take a break from the music?

We were sold after our first visit and the venue staff were brilliant from the first moment, right to the end of the wedding day.  The food and drink were fantastic and we couldn’t have asked for better service.

Tip 3: Make a list of every question you have, and get the venue to put it in writing.  This is your special day and you want it to be perfect.

Bride and groom

Venue: The Park House Club, Cardiff

 

My Wedding in a Week

It’s been over a year since my wedding day, and looking back there is a lot of things I wish I’d know.  Planning everything yourself takes a lot of time and energy, but all your hard work really does pay off in the end.  I would definitely say I had the best day of my life, and would do it all again tomorrow if I could.

bride and groom

So, from experience I am going to try and help and guide you in some of the difficult decisions you have to make when planning your wedding.

From Monday I am going to be posting a 7 day series of planning your wedding tips.

To start you off, my number one tip for planning your wedding would be:

Delegate! You may want to control every aspect of the day yourself, but you are not a super hero and you can’t do everything.  I had the crazy idea that I would be able to go to the venue on the morning of the wedding to check everything looked perfect and help dress the tables.  Reality: you will just about have enough time to get yourself ready and to the church on time! So do ask your friends and family for help.  They will be delighted to be involved.

Coming up:

Part 1. Choosing Your Venue

Part 2. The Other Dress

Part 3. Wedding Photographer vs. Videographer

Part 4. Bridesmaids

Part 5. Beautiful Bouquets

Part 6. Cake Cars and Candy

Part 7. It’s The Little Things

 

Second wedding dresses

I wonder how many brides go for a second dress to wear in the evening?  I would love to know how many of you did this and what kind of dress did you go for?  As I have already purchased two dresses I sadly will not be able to do this, but in another life I would go for something like the Pearly Queen by Kittie & Dulcie.  They also have a video displaying this gorgeous frock.  What a great idea!

Bride to be

I’m Liz, an excited bride to be in love with all things pretty!  I got engaged in October 2009 and jumped straight into the planning, most importantly – looking for THE dress.

I may have jumped a little too fast, and in a crazy spontaneous moment purchased my dream dress. ONLINE!  This was a huge risk having never seen the dress in person, and knowing that it was a little too small (or a lot – I hate to admit!)  When the dress arrived it was absolutely beautiful and I was thrilled.  I had a go at squeezing into the white satin sparkly number but knew that I had a long way to go.

8 Months later and a lot of pounds lighter I slipped into the dress, and with my mum’s help, laced up the back.  This should have been a pinnacle moment, the kind where your mum sheds a tear in awe at her beautiful daughter, but it was me that was crying.  I hated the dress.

So, moral of the story is… the dress will ultimately be one of the most important parts of the day, so don’t skimp on it and definitely don’t rush it.  Go to the bridal shops and try on as many dresses as you can and find the style that defines you.  So with 5 months to go before the wedding I had a big task ahead and was cutting it fine!