So you’ve booked your venue
and started thinking about all the things that are going to make your day special. In fact you can’t stop thinking about it and don’t seem to be able to hold a conversation without slipping it in there somewhere. You are not alone!
Here is a fun, light hearted look at some of the ‘wedding things’ that can turn the calmest nearlywed into a fire breathing Bridezilla!
(Genuinely not intended to be patronising, with years of experience in the wedding industry and now being a bride-to-be myself I completely understand this is a very real problem…..)
Make a plan and try to stick to it. You’re probably buzzing with ideas and you may feel like your head will explode if you don’t get them all out asap but don’t let it stress you out. If you achieve today’s or this week’s most important ‘to do’s’, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself with a bit of a break.
2. Time Out
Make quality time for you and your fiance together – without talking about the wedding. Try if you can to set aside one evening a week or arrange a ‘date night’ where the ‘W’ word is banned.
After all, a wedding is one day – your marriage will be for life.
Don’t become a bridal bore, especially when out for an evening. People are likely to ask ‘how is the wedding planning coming along’ and genuinely want to know, but try and limit your answer to maybe ten minutes. Remember there are other things going on in the world than your big day – however excited you may be. Note from me, since getting engaged almost 6 months ago, I have found that actually there are some details we want to keep as a surprise but people are just sooo nosey! haha, all that said, I do always make sure to ask whats happening in their worlds too.
4. Details, darling!
There are going to be lots of finer details that will make all the difference to you on your big day – but don’t sweat the small stuff! Remember that even though you know how you pictured your special day, others won’t know about those little tiny pieces of the jigsaw which may or may not go to plan. The important thing is to remember how you feel about marrying your sweetheart – not what shade of pink your table sprinkles are.
5. Girly time!
Make a night to spend with your friends and enjoy being ‘you’. If Bridezilla shows up at your BFF’s house you could lose out on a quality friend (at least for the time being). A good friend is for life not just to hold the train on your dress.
6. *Relax* and be HAPPY!
This is the most exciting thing you can plan for and you need to enjoy the journey. Make time to pamper yourself before the big day. Even if you think you will be far too busy to find time for then you should probably make time as a priority. Those last couple of days are undoubtedly easier for having had a nice de-stressing massage in the run up to the big day itself.
7. Accept help (when offered).
A problem shared and all that. A girly get together to ask your friends for a little help with the planning might be appreciated. As bad as a bridal bore is a bride whose friends feel they are no longer important enough to be involved. Speak with them honestly about whether they want to be involved – but try not to be offended if they say no too.
8. Review your plan if necessary.
If in the first few months you feel you’re not getting anywhere, then prioritise. Is deciding on what flowers to have in your centre piece more important than the colour scheme? I would say not. You don’t have to know everything about your big day over a year before. Some of these details could easily change with current trends and you might even change or get bored of your colour scheme along the way – it can start to feel a little familiar as you go along. If all’s going to plan – great, pat yourself on the back and relax for a bit! Another note from me – We will have had exactly 21 months in between the dreamy proposal (see here, if you haven’t watched the video, get the tissues ready!) and our big day by the time it comes around. These first few months have been brilliant but I am so looking forward to the wedding that times seems to go sooo slow when all i want is to marry my soulmate! Just make the most of this time if you have what seems like years in front of you before the wedding (more time to save precious pennies too).
9. Stop worrying!
There is quite simply no point in panicking about things that ‘might’ go wrong. Worrying will do you no good and can only take away from any enjoyment you may find in today. A happy bride is a healthy bride! This will show in your skin and in your eyes and smile too.
Choose one person you can trust implicitly to deal with anything you either can’t or don’t have the time to deal with. Explain to them from the start that its not for the faint hearted but that you do trust them enough to be your first choice – and that you would do the same for them.
11. Show your appreciation!
When friends or family (maybe members of the bridal party) go out of their way spending their own free time trying to find you the perfect killer heels or sweetheart necklines, be gracious enough to say thank you. Don’t just assume that an invitation to be your maid of honour is thanks enough.
12. Shop and spend wisely.
If you’re going to be planning your wedding for the next 2 years, don’t buy the entire contents of your local craft or homeware shop on day one. So many times I have seen brides trying to sell different styles of centrepiece because the fancy took them when they got up one Sunday morning. You’re not looking to open up a shop afterwards! If it’s a special or limited offer ‘must go today’ that can sound great but just remember – those silk chrysanthemums might look nice on your dining table but do you really want them at your wedding, on the most special day of your life?
13. Don’t torture yourself!
You booked your photographer, only to find they had a special offer on 3 months later. Or that your friend’s brother’s auntie paid less for them last year. It is a pity but it really won’t ruin your big day – you picked them for a reason. Know that they will do the job you have paid them for and ultimately you chose them, so you have got the supplier you wanted.
14. Choose your suppliers carefully.
Pick ones you can trust. Cheap work isn’t always good, and good work isn’t cheap! If you take your time and choose/use quality wedding suppliers (by recommendation is a good way) build a working relationship with them. They have earned their reputation by looking after their brides, not just by fulfilling an order/request. Your wedding is equally important to them. If you can trust them to produce your wedding favours to the standard you want, to shoot the photos you asked for, to make the eye-catching, mouth-watering cake you saw in a magazine, then there’s a whole lot less for you to worry about. Have faith in them.
15. Yours isn’t the only wedding!
A little goes a long way – be courteous to keep them on side. That late night amendment to the wording on your invites is super important to you, but emailing it at 10pm, then texting at 7am and ringing at 9am on the dot to check it has been received (this happened to me on occasion) is probably pushing the boundaries a little. If you have trust in them from the start all will be well.
Daily emails hounding for more and more updates may be a little extreme. Also be aware of the seasonal shifts when trying to contact them. An unanswered phone call mid August to a photographer for example doesn’t mean they have gone out of business, but they may simply be at another wedding! May to September can be incredibly busy for many wedding suppliers often working between 10 and 14 hour days – that was probably one of the reasons you chose them, because they are good at what they do. Please just bear that in mind when you’re about to post a rant on their facebook page.
16. Just breathe!
If for whatever reason your planning does go belly up, remember the 7-11 technique. Maybe your venue has double booked you, or changed hands and raised the cost of your wedding package (this happened to a handful of my brides one year). Whatever the case, it will all be okay in the end – as they say, everything happens for a reason.
Stop thinking for a moment, breathe in through your nose to the count of 7, and out for the count of 11. This decreases carbon dioxide levels in the blood (while also giving you something else to focus on), reducing anxiety and panic attack type feelings. Or you could try meditation (I meditate every day, just for a few minutes…it helps keep me sane!) or yoga for relaxation and a little escape time.
17. Contain your ideas.
Either get yourself a pretty box file or a small treasure chest type box – something pretty. Use it both as storage and as a symbolic tool for your mind. When you are planning you can rummage through everything in there to get your ideas together, when you feel like you’ve had enough, literally just put everything back in the box and close the lid. When the box is closed, you don’t need to be thinking about whats in it, giving you a little bit of space and a clearer, calmer mind.
18. And so to bed.
I love the quote ‘Never let the sun set on an argument’. In the same way, make a pact with your significant other not to discuss the wedding as the very last or very first topic of the day – even if you’re thinking about it! Okay, hands up time, I probably did this for quite a while when we first started planning – I am just sooo excited! But it has calmed down a little for the time being, whew!
19. Hold on a minute.
If things go wrong (as they sometimes can) with any of your suppliers, your venue, or any of your plans, or if they make a mistake, don’t pick up the phone to a friend or rant it out on social media – make a point to resolve it first. Contact the involved party and try to find a solution – they should be keen to do this anyway. The more you think or talk about the problem the bigger it will become and if you haven’t first tried to find a way around it then it can never be fixed. If they don’t know you have a problem they can’t help.
20. Last but not least
Lastly, if planning your wedding seems to have taken over your life, find yourself a new hobby, go for long walks with your fiancé or join the gym together. Focus on something you can continue to do when the sun has set on your wedding day, you return from your honeymoon and seem to have a whole lot of time to spare! It could save the potential anti-climax from all those months of planning.
And of course – Good luck from myself and my fiance Bruce – we are right there beside you as we plan our own wedding. Ahhhh
For a while now I’ve been pondering how I can keep my timeless wedding stationery offerings current while still staying true to my style of work.
I do find it difficult because my favourite designs are so simple and elegant, but nobody just wants to keep seeing the same stuff, do they?
I have access to a wide range of laser cut invitation designs, pre cut with varying options of colours and finishes. They are absolutely beautiful, but rather than offer every single design in the range I am going to slowly introduce a few at a time.
Such as this one, aptly entitled ‘Winter Wonderland’.
To start with, I’ve decided to adapt some of the ones already available on my site, while adding to with another couple of truly stunning designs. They are readily available in the on-trend colours of pinks, greys and neutrals as well as super sparkly options and I will be adding my own twist to them as well (of course).
Since I began making cards what seems like many moons ago, I never liked the idea of everything being copied so I never made any 2 cards the same (apart from when I made my own Christmas cards to send, I still do that but they are getting simpler as time goes by) which is why I always like to offer my own personal ‘tweak’ to the designs that come from the manufacturer.
I will be looking to add something a bit more ‘wow’ to designs such as this one, Pretty Petal
I will also be adding in various options for how we can incorporate these into other elements of your stationery, such as evening invites or daytime stationery so stay tuned for that. Ohhh, while I think of it, have you seen my blogs on Daytime stationery? I wrote a whole series just talking about the various elements of daytime wedding stationery – check out number 1 here.
Ian & Leanne’s post box was styled using elements from the invitation mentioned above.
I can’t wait to show you some of these and would love to know what your thoughts are, pop me a comment at the bottom of this blog, that would be wonderful.
I will be back soon with an update,
In true stationery addict style
(that’s me!) , the gorgeous books I create are offered with crisp clean pages all ready for your guests to sign their names and perhaps leave a wedding day wish for you both on your special day.
After your wedding day is done, you may find amusing anecdotes and all manner of things inside these – but it all adds to recreating the atmosphere from your wedding day in years to come. Always decorated to fully coordinate with your other items it just sets the gift table off nicely and again can be a fab way to keep your guests occupied as you slip away for a few photos, or in between courses at the table (watch out for the soup starter getting spilled on it though!)
There are LOADS of other options for these now if you don’t want the more traditional style of stationery.
You can have a ‘drop-box’ style, which is left to fill up tokens of some sort written with your guests messages and builds a gorgeous picture of the lovely people you shared your day with. You could have a ‘wishing tree’ where lovely messages are hung on it for you to read later, ohh I could go on and on but I am sure if you are keen on pinterest at all you will have seen lots of ideas for these too.
Just remember you are more than welcome to drop me a line if you have any questions about this and so much more.
Before I disappear let me tell you a little about Wedding Post boxes.
I like to use real life examples where possible, so here is one for you. At a family wedding some years ago, the majority of the guests were family. The couple received some amazing monetary gifts, it really was quite astounding. 2 years later, the bride’s sister married and had her reception at the same venue, a similar group of family members attended but she was very shocked not to have received anything at all from one relative in particular, knowing how generous they had been with her sister. It later came to light that they had in fact been gifted with something similar but unfortunately it went missing at the wedding reception.
If you don’t want something like this happening then you need somewhere safe for your guests to place their cards while you party the night away! This can be done inexpensively with a beautifully coordinated decorated and personalised post box available in different styles which would sit beautifully on the gift table on near the cake table is also a good spot for it. Why not pop your guest book right next to it?
When you have spent so much time planning your wedding (I find many of my couples spend at least 18-24 months and many of them even longer) it can be something you imagine for so long that you really want that moment to feel just perfect. As you enter the wedding breakfast room and see the room you have dreamed about taking shape perfectly, a real ‘ta-dah’ moment, you will be so pleased you made the choices that you did and knowing it all coordinates just perfectly without you having to get ‘too’ involved take away some of that stress. I love helping my couples with this piece of their puzzle so why not get in touch and see if I can help your daytime stationery dreams come true?
I have absolutely loved writing this series
to help you understand a little more about the different stationery options available for your wedding, it has also given me a lot of exciting ideas for my own wedding in November 2020. (As I wrote this last post a magical idea popped into my head for our guest book so I quickly scribbled it down before I forgot!)
Check out the epic blog post about wedding stationery packages – click here to understand more about why they can be such a time saver when planning your wedding, not to mention completely co-ordinating everything from day one of your planning!
In the coming weeks I will be sharing more about the other packages available as they are released properly into the wedding world.
It’s all here to help you so make use of it – and remember to ask me any questions at all!
Just pop me an email.
I can’t wait to hear from you,
(also a blushing bride-to-be)
Before we begin – catch up on the rest of the series in case you have missed anything:
Part 1 – What is daytime stationery, do you need it?
Part 2 – Seating plans and signage
Part 3 – Place cards
Part 4 – Table number and menu cards
It can seem like yet another expense on your already growing to do list but what is the original reason behind giving wedding favours?
Often seen as part of the table decoration at the Wedding Breakfast or Reception, wedding favours are small gifts given to guests as a token of appreciation from the newly married couple on their Wedding Day.
Here’s a little history for you.
The ‘Bomboniere’ was thought to be the first Wedding favour and was given out by the European Aristocracy and Upper Classes, consisting of a small porcelain or crystal trinket box often decorated with precious stones. The boxes usually contained sugar or confectionery which was a symbol of wealth and royalty and believed to have health giving properties.
Over the years, Bombonieres were replaced with almonds.
You may be thinking it is just another unnecessary expense
and many of my couples find other ways to say thank you to their guest, but if you did want to keep with tradition and give wedding favours to your guests, there is nothing stopping you. A beautiful hand decorated box with a sweet treat inside is always appreciated by those who choose to give it.
Alternatively you could donate x amount per guest to your favourite charity – and leave your guests with a little message explaining that is what you wanted to do, especially if you are charitable and who doesn’t love to see a worthy cause benefit from your happiness?
You can buy lottery tickets or scratchcards, make up little sweet pouches, print off personalised paper bags and invite them to fill up at the sweet cart if you have one of those, flower seeds are another lovely idea as they can sprinkle them wherever they choose and then remember your wedding day when the blooms begin to grow. (I love this idea!)
For children at the wedding there are always Activity packs, colouring books, small toys to keep them entertained during speeches…
There are so many options for these, space permitting you might be able to have a small table at the venue with pencils, activities and things to keep little hands amused, especially while the speeches are going on. But another offering I have done before is more like a child’s version of the favour, in a paper bag coordinated with your other stationery and personalised with their name, which would contain a personalised colouring book, pencils or crayons, a sweet treat, a small toy and something else to keep them amused (all age appropriate of course). These are usually suitable up to about the age of between 10 and 12 and would also be suitable for either boys or girls.
There are so many ideas around now you have probably already seen so many on your travels. If you are looking for the more traditional style I can help with that but do feel free to see what else is out there and drop me a line to see if I can assist in any way!
I won’t overwhelm you with too many ideas for now but please do get in touch if you need some help.
I said YES to the dress!!!
It’s been a seriously exciting few weeks here at Happy Ever After Towers.
A few weeks ago we booked our wedding photographer! The lovely Heather from Heather Stringer Photography will be documenting our day in her lovely, relaxed manner. We had a fab meeting and she was so excited listening to all our plans. I’ve known Heather since before I met Bruce and she has been cheering us on from the sidelines every step of the way so it was lovely to ask her to be involved on the day.
We have also booked a videographer because there are going to be so many moments I just know we are likely to miss with all the excitement.
For ages now I have been waiting for the weekend of July 13th to come around
We booked into a couple of bridal boutiques on a date that worked for both me and the 2 mums, as I felt that was a nice way to make it special for them too. As time went on, my lovely friends have all been so eager to hear about the wedding and help in any way they can so what better way than to go dress shopping with me?
If you have read the rest of this series, you will know a bit more about my own magical journey but just in case you missed any of it, here are the links: (make yourselves comfy!)
I found my soulmate: 2 years ago this month
The Proposal: I used to think that love was just a fairytale
Diary of a bride-to-be part 1: A journey of discovery
Diary of a bride-to-be part 2: All about the guest list
Diary of a bride-to-be part 3: Announcing our wedding date
Diary of a bride-to-be part 4: Bridal party attire – and so much more
As the weeks evolved, we had a little change of plan and my lovely mum-in-law to be (I don’t really think of her as a ‘to-be’ already, our families just get on so well) so it was me, my mum and a couple of my closest girlfriends who came out with me for this exciting adventure.
I have been so so excited about looking at dresses properly
with a view to actually finding something that fit the bill perfectly. I had a pretty clear idea in my head, I don’t mind telling you, of the sort of dress that I wanted. Yet again, I can’t really say too much at this present moment, I am including pics that give nothing away at all about the dress I have chosen, just some sneak peeks of our day and the things we got up to along the way. We laughed a lot that day, there were a LOT of oohs and aahs, it was a bit like firework night.
Our first stop was the Bridal Suite in Woodthorpe – its not far from me at all, and I have known the owners Alix & Chloe for a while now, because of work, so it felt like a good choice for my first proper stop as I had seen a couple of dresses that took my fancy.
As we arrived it was exciting to see my name on the board outside the shop, eek this is real!!!
I wanted a boutique experience as part of my wedding planning, whether or not I decided to order one of their dresses I really wanted that spoilt feeling and I definitely got that.
The choices of dresses in their shop was wonderful, Alix had an idea from asking me a few questions about what I wanted in the sorts of styles I wanted to go for, so I picked out my first 5 (squeal moments seeing lots of sparkles and delicate details) and stepped into the changing area. It’s a very special feeling to know that the whole shop is your captive audience – when I say that I mean it is just me, my mum and friends and Alix.
You feel very special indeed as you step out of the cubicle to eager squeals. I loved every dress I tried on actually, they all made me feel like a princess (who doesn’t want to feel like that, really?) and the centre of attention (great if you like that sort of thing, I’m quite shy in real life but no one ever believes me when I say that) as you stand in front of the mirror and examine the detail and think about how it makes you feel.
When trying on dresses its important to see what it is that you like about it and what you don’t.
The most interesting thing about this first stop was that I didn’t look at the price tags at all. They have some absolutely stunning dresses from well known bridal designers including Essense of Australia and I really just wanted to see how these dresses made me feel. Again I can’t say too much about why I made the choices I made but it really was a case of get into one dress, coo over it a bit, swish around, move on to the next dress.
I think I had already realised that the particular type of dress I wasn’t looking for perhaps wasn’t going to be in this shop – and that is absolutely fine, there’s still 16 months until the big day, after all.
In total I tried on 8 dresses at the Bridal Suite, and took specific details for a couple of them that had got that something extra special. What I thought was really lovely was that Alix said enjoy your shopping day, whatever you do make sure you are picking what’s right for you, it’s okay if you don’t buy from us, it just has to be right.
No spoilers in this pic! sorry
That does help when you know sooo many wedding professionals like I do, it can be difficult choosing and booking or not booking, in some cases people you might have known for years. It isn’t always about not choosing them, it’s just a case of doing what works best and feels right. As it should be with every wedding thing you choose, in my opinion anyway.
We had loads of time before the second shop some 20 miles away was booked, deliberately allowing time for a spot of lunch and a regroup. I was determined not to eat much but just enough to keep me going, as I knew I would be trying on more dresses and didn’t want to struggle after lunch! I even bypassed pudding in favour of a coffee, I know, right?!
A natter over lunch and second glance at the dresses we had already seen, trying to remember which was called what and the ones that were top of the list but it was already a bit of a haze. I had high hopes for the 2nd shop, I think maybe that’s why I didn’t pay as much attention to the names of the other gowns. As we pulled up in the small village of Ollerton, I had these nervous butterflies (much like when I first met Bruce actually), it was almost like I knew.
Wendy at All Things Bride and Beautiful welcomed us with open arms, she knew what it was I had in mind.
I am going to have to be careful what I say here but incredibly, the first dress she had picked out for me, I had that cliché moment – you know the one? ‘I don’t know about that’ … I truly did.
But as I got into it, something magical happened.
I just knew, this was the one. As with some of the best choices, the size wasn’t perfect. That’s not a problem Wendy explained, we can do all sorts after a first proper fitting and the tweaks that follow.
I could see me in the finished dress, it was there, in my head.
As I stepped out of the changing room, their faces were a picture… Ohhh wow!
They all agreed, apparently every dress in the first shop, I looked beautiful – but this one… this was me. I knew it as well.
I can’t really say more than that without spoilers but needless to say, the pictures within this blog don’t give anything away at all, they are just here to share the journey.
After the measurements were taken (according to Wendy I am just half an inch off the perfect hourglass figure, not bad for an old girl) and details confirmed, we took the ‘yes to the dress’ pics and made our plans to go home.
The feeling from saying Yes to the Dress are something I can’t describe.
There were tears – not just mine. I knew that dress was meant for me and I don’t think I expected to feel like I did, it’s absolutely magical. Since Saturday, I have had so many images in my head of me in this dress standing next to my handsome husband-to-be as we exchange vows and it feels more real than ever. I can’t wait for my first ‘proper’ fitting and seeing my actual dress which has been created just for me.
Oh and it was a steal too!
Since this happened on Saturday, a lot of things have made much more sense – I might even have picked out THE SHOES!!! eeek.
I will be back soon with more real wedding updates, I hope you enjoy.
Yours, a very happy bride-to-be indeed.
If you are just catching up, make yourselves comfortable as I have lots of hints & tips to share with you about Table/Wedding Breakfast/Daytime stationery.
In the first of the series here, I talked about having all your stationery made to match throughout your wedding planning – it really can make a big difference to the finished feel of the room and the impact on your guests too.
In number 2 of this series here we looked at the seating plan and any matching name or number cards and why they help everything to flow beautifully on the day.
The 3rd in this series (see this one here) was all about place cards and what format they should take, the options you have and how they can help your guests find their way around.
In today’s issue we are looking at menus and the different ways in which you can display these – really what are they all for anyway?
Make yourself comfortable as we work our way down this list, it might answer a question that’s been bothering you!
Here we have another one with various options, and it can also depend on your venue’s offerings or personal choices as to whether or not you have opted for a la carte or pre-selected the menu for them.
For a set menu – a nice simple option which will allow them to specify their dietary requirements such as vegetarian or gluten free for example (a must in this day and age!) a single card or 2 on each guest table can work really well, just offering guests a quick reminder of what’s available to eat today. It looks so lovely on the table (one of my brides simply called hers ‘Our Perfect Menu’) when coordinating with your other stationery and décor and can give them something to talk about too.
If you have gone to the trouble of a menu tasting which you then sent to your guests with a few options, a single menu card on the table serves little purpose. What you can do though, is use their place cards to serve as a little reminder what they ordered.
If you really want to personalise it you can print individual menu sheets for each guest, perhaps to be wrapped in their serviette/napkin (check with your venue or décor provider if they can set these up for you first) and tied up with a pretty ribbon or anything which matches your theme.
3 sided table cards
These are a fantastic idea for several reasons and are always popular at wedding fayres.
With 3 sides (sort of like a toblerone but standing on its end) you can make the most of the space on your table without cluttering it up with too many things.
Over the years I have had these used in many different ways but you could choose from: Table name/number, Guest list reminder for the table, Menu details, Order of the Day, A lovely quote for them to remember your special day, or you could get really quirky and put fascinating facts about each of your guests to break the ice a bit if you feel the need to. I like the idea of some kind of quiz, keeping your guests occupied by getting them to answer questions about you as a couple and see who REALLY knows you.
The thing about the way I work is there are no rules for what you have on your stationery, availability permitting. If you need them to have different things according to the tables that is absolutely fine. It does work well if they all coordinate though and the 3 sided cards can be a great way to save space and money too.
They definitely work out cheaper than having individual menu cards, place cards and table number cards so why not have a think about if they could work for you? Remember they are also included in the Beautiful Wedding Breakfast package which keeps things nice and simple when planning your wedding breakfast room. Click on the link for more info!
Do remember to consider what else is going on your tables and maybe have a chat with whoever is organising these for you to make sure they would sit well alongside everything else.
It seems like there is a lot to think about, but truthfully its got to be exactly as you want it to be. If you have this vision of how you want your tables to look on the day but aren’t sure how best to achieve that – pop me a message and I’ll see what I can do to help! I’ve been working in this industry for years now and seen all kinds of ideas in that time.
Have a good look around and see what inspires you and let’s go from there!