PS… My wedding was everything I had hoped for and more!

If you’d like to have a nose at what we achieved (my hubby and I) head on over to the blog of our incredible photographer Alex Beckett. I can’t recommend him enough (one of my bridesmaids booked him the day after our wedding for her wedding in 2013!)

Wedding pics

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October 26, 2012. Photography, Wedding. Leave a comment.

So, it’s been a while….

So the wedding has been and gone, some 5months ago now! Everything got ontop of me and I stopped blogging. I hadn’t even checked on this little blog of mine til today and there’s been plenty of people dropping by. So sorry for not being around. I’m actually undertaking a new adventure and setting up my own business called Amy’s Button Box, specialising in running bespoke craft parties for ladies who want to celebrate in style with the people they love. So look in on my new adventure at www.amysbuttonbox.wordpress.com and if you’d like me to arrange a craft workshop party in your home get in touch! Xxx Amy C (was D) xxx

(providing Bespoke Craft  Parties in Fleet, Hampshire and surrounding areas)

October 26, 2012. Crafts, DIY, Hen Party, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Fifteen weeks and counting….

wowzers, nearly at the 100 day mark. Very exciting!

Been a very busy bee.

Made it down to Cornwall last week to finalise lots of items….

Stayed in the lovely Cornwall Hotel, Neil and I stayed there when we got engaged two years ago so it was nice to re-visit. Had a lovely time aside from the getting locked outside with the puppy at 3:30 in the morning and having to climb across the front of the hotel onto our balcony and knock on the window! Not even joking!

On the Tuesday I had my first real dress fitting! It was ace, my mum was there and I loved it. It was just the outer shell of the dress, in the most beautiful duchess satin and already it looked lovely. I was worried that as the dress has only existed in my mind (until now!) that I wouldn’t like the finished product or the style, but it is perfect and made me feel all fluttery inside. My next fitting is the big one, when it will be majorly assembled and will look most like the finished product, it’s in 6/7 weeks time! Even more exciting! My dress-maker is an absolute bloody genius! I have given the poor women the tiniest piece of lace 90cm in total and asked her to make me a top for my dress, she has come up with the most ingenious solution that I’ll be able to show you in full after the big day! Sorry!

After the fitting we were able to take my parents (first-timers to Cornwall!) to see the site of the Reception Marquee. Thankfully the sun was shining and my parents were able to see why we had chosen such a spectacular location. I was also reminded about how blustery it can get up on the North Coast of Cornwall! Might need to remind my guests too! Then it was on to our Ceremony Venue – Schooners, to meet with our very laid back venue manager. We sorted out the food and logistics for the day, the plan for the venue is to keep it simple with candles and white linen bunting. I’m also planning to ask one of my bridesmaids (who is dab hand at illustrations) if she can do some work on the chalkboards around the venue. When we showed my parents around I think they were able to understand why we had chosen a little beach bar as our Ceremony venue – the views are spectacular – uninterrupted coastal views! Then it was off to Chapel Porth for a Hedgehog ice-cream – basically a coronary heart attack in a cone – ice-cream cone, vanilla ice-cream slathered in clotted cream, rolled in broken up flapjack! Bliss!

Day two in Cornwall was just as busy! Sorted out a wedding band for Neil – we returned to the jewellers where we bought my engagement ring. It’s a tiny jewellers on Cathedral Lane, Truro. I’ll be polite and say that the lady behind the counter was a little cold in her response to our enquiry, luckily her friendlier husband stepped in before we walked out. So we have ordered and paid for Neil’s wedding band. I have decided to get mine from elsewhere but more on that later. Then it was onto looking at suits, Neil has decided hire is best for him so we went to Moss Bros, Truro. Found a lovely blue tails, with matching trousers, a cream waistcoat and purple tie for Neil, the Dad’s and the Best Man. Then Neil threw in a curve ball…..he thinks he might want to wear a Cornish Tartan kilt! Cue a mini-meltdown and then the realisation that this is Neil’s wedding too, we’re only doing this once, so if he want Cornish tartan, he can have Cornish tartan. That said have you seen it?! Mustard yellow, black, red and cornflower blue check! Doesn’t actually go with my carefully planned colour scheme of fuchsia, turquoise and purple! Last week I was stressed by this, now I am accepting! (Just)

Later that day we had Jamie of Beetham Foods our fabulous caterer came over to Neil’s parents and cooked for six of us the wedding menu to taste. We had bought along some wines – recommended by Majestic Wine Truro – who were very helpful and have offered us sale or return on any wine bought! We were worried that our simple BBQ style menu wouldn’t be special enough, we were wrong! Jamie is a genius and has worked wonders with our simple menu to create something really special, I can’t wait to taste it again soon – in 104 days time!

What else?

On Friday I visited Rust Jewellery to try on a wedding band that I had seen online – I can’t even remember how I came across them but they are beautiful. I had wanted to buy my ring from the same jewellers as my engagement ring but the one I have found and it is another small independent jeweller that I am supporting so I don’t feel too bad. I’m so excited about it!

So much more has happened in the past week, but it is late and I think this post is long enough for now!

 

February 20, 2012. Decoration, Dress, Jewellery, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Words of Wedded Wisdom from Love My Dress

Words of Wedded Wisdom…

“Don’t be afraid to be yourself and be original. Follow your instincts and believe you can achieve what you want. Also – remember why you are getting married and that everyone coming is going to be there to support you (it will keep you sane!).

We had about four months to plan it all which isn’t long especially when you’re also making four dresses – if you can, give yourself about six months to plan it all. Any longer and it could drive you mad with ideas and any less – you can feel a bit pressured.

Above all else, make sure you enjoy it all – it is a fantastic time!”


February 7, 2012. Blogs I like, Marriage, Wedding. Leave a comment.

What I’d do differently …. explained….

I’ve been thinking about my post yesterday.

I’ve been thinking about calling all those lovely little extras ‘fluff’.

I’ve been thinking that might offend many people and I wanted to explain.

Many of the people who look at this blog will be looking for ideas, ideas that will help make their wedding individual to them, they’re seeking inspiration and they’ll be seeking inspiration from many places.

I have done the same, I have trawled many a website, read and subscribed to many a blog. Wondered at all these incredibly creative, crafty people and their fantastic wedding days. Rather than just being an inspiration I’ve found that they’ve made me feel inadequate, like I’m not doing enough, I imagine there must be many a bride feeling the same.

By calling all those lovely, pretty extras ‘fluff’ I wanted to trivialise them in my own mind, to make them lose their stature so that I am able to enjoy the next few months of final preparations rather than getting stressed out about them when they don’t go just as I planned. I fear that people may be offended if they imagine that I am suggesting they are being superficial by considering and thinking about all these extra things that go into a wedding. I am not. I am having lots of pretty elements, I have spent months collecting glass cake stands, and vases, I’ve agonised for weeks over fabric choices for my Bridesmaids, I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on Swarovski crystals for my headpiece and so on and so on. I am as consumed by all these lovely extra details as the next Bride, it’s a major day in anyone’s life and you want it to be ‘just so’, that’s only natural.

I’m just trying to reign in my inner-Bridezilla!

 

February 6, 2012. Tags: . Marriage, Wedding. Leave a comment.

What I’d do differently….

The wedding is fast approaching, I love every decision we have made, we have even said that if we won the Lotto we wouldn’t change a thing. Which I think is nice, we’ve planned our day our way, and for the most part people have been happy and supported our decisions.

The wedding is 119 days away! And I’ve been thinking recently about the mad merry-go-round that is wedding planning.

Neil proposed almost 2 years ago, we never wanted a long engagement, but somehow it happened. The day we got engaged we discussed a list of 3 ‘must have’s’ each. Neil’s were low-key: mini-sausages, Skinner’s Ale and to be allowed to wear flip-flops at some point during the day, all of them are happening. Mine, were expensive and tricky: mini-patiserrie from Maison Bertaux, Soho (we’re getting married in Cornwall), my hair to be done by my London-based hair-dresser (we’re getting married in Cornwall), and I can’t even remember the third! None of mine are happening and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I don’t mind. We’re having a cake competition instead where guests will bring an entry and Neil and I will be judge’s, my hairdresser is teaching me to do the hairstyle and I might get her to teach one of my bridesmaids too (just in case!).

I have moments when I get caught up in all the ‘fluff’, thankfully I’ve only had one meltdown, I don’t want to turn into a Bridezilla! Whenever something isn’t going strictly to plan I think about my parents wedding. They married 29 years ago, they had very little money and came from modest backgrounds, they married in their local church, dad wore his No.1 Army Uniform, mum wore a dress that cost £70 from Debenhams (her eldest brother paid for it), they had their Reception in a local Social Club, the family made the buffet. Has their marriage been any less because they didn’t spend a small fortune on the day? In a word, no. Like all marriages they have taken the rough with the smooth, but the amount spent on the day has made no difference to the quality of the marriage.

If I were to have my time again I would by a dress from the High Street, I would ask friends to bring along a dish for the buffet, I would have the Reception in a small village hall, and I wouldn’t worry about all the ‘fluff”.

That said ‘Operation Fluff” is well on it’s way now, so I’m riding the wedding roller coaster, only thing is I’m not going to worry anymore if things don’t quite work out the way I originally planned. My marriage isn’t going to collapse if I’m missing ribbons off my napkins on my wedding day! And ultimately it’s the marriage that counts, the wedding is after all only one day.

February 5, 2012. Marriage, Wedding. Leave a comment.

I am a ‘recovering perfectionist’…

A few years ago, during a therapy session I was receiving for a bout of depression I was suffering with, I described myself as a ‘recovering perfectionist’, I came up with the phrase whilst writing in my journal and reflecting on my ways, it describes me perfectly. I guess what it means is that I am a perfectionist but I try consciously not to let it rule my day to day life.

If I am honest, it’s my perfectionism that stopped me from pursuing a career in Theatre Design which is what I originally trained in, I found the whole process of designing for the theatre so incredibly stressful that when I first graduated I couldn’t accept any work that came my way, I was too scared of failing.

As a Newly Qualified Teacher I struggled for the first couple of years until I realised that all the work would never be done and it would definitely never be done to the standard I wanted, so the important thing was to prioritise the work that needed to be done and do it as best I could in the time available without working myself into the ground, I think I’ve mostly succeeded but I still have moments when I push myself too hard, but I think most people do.

It is my perfectionist tendencies that prevent me from really pursuing a more actively creative and crafty lifestyle. I think the creative process is fabulous but as a perfectionist I find the process challenging to say the least, creativity does not, I believe, go hand in hand with perfectionism. I might be wrong? I am envious of those people who can really pursue their creative passions without self-censoring. And yes I know, I just need to get over it!

Anyway, I find it very hard to quash my perfectionist tendencies, in many aspects of day to day life I tend to manage it but I am finding it hard with this wedding malarkey. I am desperate not to turn into Bridezilla, but small things just seem to keep going wrong and I’m finding it hard to deal with. My perfectionist tendencies seem to get worse whenever what I am doing will be seen (or in my mind, be judged) by others, and our wedding will be seen by all those who are nearest and dearest to me. Whilst I know that they won’t be there judging me, a part of me (that is often very powerful at times) believes that they will. I myself have described all the extra things that we are including in our wedding day as ‘fluff’ and as such I KNOW that they are not important, that mistakes will be over-looked or won’t even be noticed, etc but I still find it tough.

Knowing is one thing, feeling and believing often another.

Well, what have I done to ‘fix’ this? I had a good old moan to the lovely ladies I have met through the RMW Real Brides competition and as per usual they were incredibly supportive and kind. I have spoken to my Neil and I have taken a step back from all the wedding stuff for a couple of days to spend a bit of quality time with my Neil and put the real reason for our marriage to the fore-front of my mind.

Any other ‘recovering perfectionists’ out there? How do you ‘quash’ your tendencies? What’s your trigger?

Anyone else having to step back from all the wedding ‘fluff’ to gain a bit of perspective?

 

January 28, 2012. Marriage, Wedding. 2 comments.

19 weekends and counting: Headband & Bridesmaids…

So I decided to make my own headband/tiara…..

I saw a beautiful one in a local bridal shop Tilly Mint, but it had a £400 price tag, I thought to myself “I could do that” and so off I went to buy some beautiful crystals from Beadworks in Covent Garden and a headband from Claire’s Accessories, originally it had little pearl beads on so I took it apart and removed the pearl beads. I spent a day on the sofa in front of the telly and ended up with a half finished product….

 

But I think the colours are too ‘cold’ so I’ve bought some warmer coloured crystals and some gold wire to hopefully ‘warm’ it up. I’ll keep you posted…..

On a side note, if I weren’t having my dress made I think I probably would have bought my dress from Tilly Mint, the staff were SO helpful and lovely and kind. And the inside of the shop is just delish! (Also, my mum used to call me Tilly Mint when I was a little girl so it’d be kind of sweet!)

Now, Bridesmaids and their dresses……

It was all sorted, then it wasn’t now I think it is again. Here’s the story….

I started with 3 bridesmaids, now I have 4 fabulous girlies to help me on the day…

Initially I toyed with the idea of a 1950s style pencil dress a la Vivien of Holloway

But my Bridesmaids were worried it would draw too much attention to the hips, and I was worried that they’d feel constricted in a fitted dress.

Then I thought about 50s style full circle dresses…

But I didn’t want our wedding to start looking 50s themed, please don’t get me wrong, I love the 50s vibe, it’s just not the look I’m going for with our wedding.

Then I saw a Jason Wu dress, that looked like the perfect compromise in terms of shape…

I loved it, the Bridesmaids loved it….done!

Then the hard part….the fabric!

It took lots of trips to the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road, London (an amazing treasure trove of fabric shops, selling fabric at reasonable prices) & lots of samples from my dressmaker and I finally found a great bold, colourful floral….

…fabulous but I thought it would be too much for 4 dresses, I decided to use it for my Chief Bridesmaid’s dress and so the search began for a fabric to match the floral. More trips to Goldhawk Road and more samples from my dressmaker, found a lovely silk in the perfect colour, but with a not so lovely price-tag. Cue another (stressful!) trip to Goldhawk Road, after visiting EVERY fabric shop on Goldhawk Road I finally set upon a lovely purple fabric and bargained the man down to £5 per metre. Phew!

Then there was the dressmaker saga. Well, not so much a saga, as a lack of foresight leading to complications, leading to the need for a new dressmaker.

My wedding dress dressmaker, Annie Wallwork of Ann’s Couture was originally going to make them, it made sense, she is fabulous, so of course she was the natural choice. However she lives in Cornwall, my Bridesmaids live in London, my Chief Bridesmaid lives in Germany this equaled a pain in the neck getting them all together anyway, never mind shipping them all down to Cornwall for a weekend, this would have been fine had it not been for the RIDICULOUS train prices! £100 return from London to Truro! PER PERSON!

Cue a couple of hours spent on-line for nice, purple Bridesmaids dresses that don’t cost the earth, apparently purple is not ‘in’ this season, not yet anyway.

Then…a brainwave! My fabulous friend Miss Miri who works mainly in costume for the Theatre and who is a dab hand with the dewing machine…. a few emails later and I have a new dressmaker for the girls, who can do the fittings at my house! Emails sent to the girls with provisional fitting dates…everyone is free…dates in diary…phew!

Lessons learnt…

  1. If you want a simple life, stick to a white wedding dress…every colour goes with white so you have a lovely wide colour palette to work from.
  2. Buy your dresses from the High Street, have an open mind.

January 21, 2012. 50s, Bridesmaids, DIY, Dressmaking, Fabric, Wedding. Leave a comment.

What I did this weekend…Rock My Wedding Real Bride Hen Party

You may or may not know that last year I competed with a number of other wonderful brides to become a Rock My Wedding Real Bride.

Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in my bid, however I have made some fabulous friends. One of the Brides Shirley Herron got in touch with us all winners and non-winners and we created a little group. We message each other regularly with ideas, problems etc and everyone is SO SUPPORTIVE. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever been part of such a supportive group of people. We are all doing such different things for our weddings and all ideas and thoughts are accepted, probably one of the most common phrases said to one another is ‘It’s YOUR wedding, do it YOUR way’, and often that is just what you need to hear!

Well….pretty soon after getting in touch with one another, the idea was floated of meeting up, this turned into us having a Hen Do together and so after several months of planning (mostly by the fabulous Shirley Herron!) we finally met yesterday!

I haven’t any photos, I wanted to just enjoy the day and the lovely Ben from Touch Photography was there taking professional photos throughout the day, so hopefully we’ll get a peek of those pretty soon! The gorgeous Laura Babb, a fellow RMW Real Bride applicant, and an up and coming wedding photographer (if you’re looking for a photographer for your special day I would definitely look her up!) also took a few snaps, which I can’t wait to see!

So, we met, and it was fabulous. Everyone was so lovely.

We met in the Balcony Room at the Shakespeare’s Globe, which is a lovely little venue for a party or get together. I didn’t know this before but you can even get married there!

Charlotte of RMW fame hooked us up with Kim from The Pink Pumpkin, who planned an amazing day for us!

We had jewellery making, some paper crafts, makeup and hair…. cake and cocktails….and lots of talk about weddings.

It was lovely to finally meet all these fabulous ladies in person, and to have a day of completely guilt free wedding indulgence!

I have SO much more to say about the day and all the fabulous people and suppliers that I met, but the puppy is whining and needs to be walked so I will have to come back to this post and fill you in with all the details…..come back soon!

 

 

January 15, 2012. Blogs I like, Hen Party, Wedding. Leave a comment.

20 weekends and counting…and the invitations are done…

I’ve started counting down in weekends now as that is when I have most time to jobs for the wedding. We now have 20 weekends to go… panic much!

The past two weeks have been very busy, with work and family reunions and meeting new friends, all that and finalising the design of the wedding invitations!

I wanted to do the invitations on Adobe Illustrator, but couldn’t really justify the expenditure to buy the software. But I took inspiration from Rock My Wedding Real Bride Kelly Hardman who uses Microsoft PowerPoint. I had never used PowerPoint to create anything like this but I thought I would give it a go. Admittedly you don’t have the flexibility that you would have when using a professional graphics product, that said I am more than happy with the results I have managed to achieve, please let me know what you think!

We wanted the ceremony invitation to be a more formal affair, but we still wanted it to reflect us as a couple, so Neil edited the image we had taken for our Save the Date cards and we made it into a banner to go across the top of the invitation. The font we used was HandTIMES from Dafont.com.

It had a nice formal quality to the shape but the hand-drawn effect made it feel more relaxed and more appropriate for our beachside wedding.

We wanted the Reception Invitation to have a more relaxed and fun quality to them. Initially I liked the idea of a carnival inspired invitation and I had Pinned (if you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you have to check it out!) a few to my Wedding Ideas Pin Board:

These beauties were designed by Erica Miller over at Thoughtful Day, she really does produce some fabulous work. I had wanted to show you what I had managed to create but I can’t find the file. Anyway, Neil felt that it was a bit too ‘themed’ for our wedding so it was back to the drawing board.

I had liked all the typographic based invites out there and so I started playing around. Our wedding colours are turquoise and fuchsia and I’ve used the colours as backgrounds for the Reception and Evening Reception invites. I’m not going to lie, it took AGES, about a month in total, working on them on and off, downloading countless fonts from dafont.com. Here is what we ended up with:

Hopefully it conveys the more relaxed feel we want from our wedding reception. It was great fun to produce however the last week before it was finished I was getting tired of tweaks and changes but I am happy with the results.

And finally… the Evening Reception invite, we wanted this to be simple and bold. I had seen this print some time ago, and loved the quote on it:

So I took the words and the font Grenadier from dafont.com and created this:

And so the invites are designed, we have sent them off to the printers, they should arrive next week!

We decided to use Vistaprint.co.uk on this occasion, just because of their price, we had used moo.com for our Save the Dates but they were more expensive. Whilst the price of Vistaprint.co.uk was cheaper than moo.com it was much more fiddly and complicated to use and we had to do lots of formatting to the images we had created using PowerPoint to get them to fit. For ease of use I’d definitely recommend moo.com, but you can’t argue with the price of Vistaprint.co.uk.

All of the information regarding times and detailed locations are being printed on the back of the cards and we opted to go for Vistaprint’s Oversized Postcard option.

Are any of you designing your invitations? Where have you found your inspiration?

What do you think of the fact that the invitations don’t ‘match’ one another? I like the fact that the different ‘feels’ for the different parts of the day are conveyed in the invites. That and I don’t like things to be too ‘matchy matchy’.

Please feel free to comment…the Blogosphere can be a lonely place at times!

January 15, 2012. DIY, Invites, Wedding. Leave a comment.

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