Diary of a bride-to-be – part 2

Diary of a bride-to-be – part 2

It’s 7 weeks since the proposal. I watched the video again this morning. Still so many happy tears, I feel so lucky.

 

I’m sharing with you today the latest important decision-making part of our planning – I know that as a bride-to-be yourself you will have experienced this…

The Guest List!

When you first begin planning, you tend to think ‘oh, well I don’t need to decide on everyone I am going to invite yet’. I know I did.

But then I realised, if you don’t know how many people you’re inviting, how can you decide where will be big enough, or will it be too much?

As a second-time around bride, it seems to be thought that we wouldn’t want as much fuss, it would be a simple affair. We do, after all just want to be married. That’s so true, but we also know that this one day will be a long overdue celebration of our much sought-after happy ending and we have been through a lot to get here.

So why wouldn’t we want to share that with those who have supported us all the way?

It feels like it is a celebration of the journey, a brand new beginning and time to really pat ourselves on the back for making it to our real-life happy ever after.
This may sound a little deep and meaningful but that’s who we are.

 

 

But how do you decide who makes the cut?

For years now I have been training my brain to not use the word ‘should’. We ‘should’ invite so and so, because they will be upset if we don’t. We can’t invite them if we don’t invite their siblings/children/parents… I don’t think we should invite so and so because they always kick off. It’s so hard though isn’t it?

It’s SO important to remember that it is your day.

about the 2 of you. You need to feel good around those who you invite, and not be feeling as though it wouldn’t make a difference if they are there or not. Those kind of guests will be the ones who probably won’t make it.

As we worked our way through the ‘first draft’ of a guest list, the numbers got higher and higher. We already have a venue in mind, and it isn’t going to allow endless numbers of people to join us for the ceremony and wedding breakfast. Not to mention how many people we need to think about feeding afterwards. We both know that we want to share our day with those who will genuinely be delighted that we have chosen them to be there, so it isn’t easy, and this is one of the things that can cause the most stress when planning a wedding. We don’t want months and months of worrying over who we might upset so we are going with what feels good.

 

Told you my nickname was Wonderwoman!

(and if you didn’t know, he is a brilliant mix of Batman and Superman, his full name is Bruce Kent!)

Just to get things going we are having a small engagement party next week, sooo looking forward to that as we are all about celebrating the good things – I hope you have made time to celebrate every little part of the journey too? It will make it so much more enjoyable.

During the past few weeks we have had some lovely time together just ‘being’, enjoying the moment, not forgetting a very memorable trip to Brussels to see Bruce’s favourite artist Amy Macdonald. We love her music, it has become part of our story and we also had a fantastic break away, much needed.

We also enjoyed Singalonga The Greatest Showman at the Concert Hall on Monday night, a Christmas gift from my eldest son. We love this film (doesn’t everyone?) and it was a really feel good kind of a night! Love a bit of singing.

My next diary blog will be about the little details we have been working on while there seems a long time ahead of us… I can’t wait to share with you how we arrived at the songs we have decided to have as part of our ceremony, it’s been a lovely enjoyable time to daydream about the moment we become husband and wife. More on that very soon!

If you are new to the blog and haven’t seen the others in the series here is the first diary entry

Much love,
Jacqui and Bruce xx

Diary of a bride-to-be – part 1

Diary of a bride-to-be – part 1

Since my fiancé Bruce proposed a few weeks ago (I am still pinching myself, I bet you know what I mean!) I have been on a journey of discovery.

I have been working in the wedding industry for many years

but in recent weeks my eyes have opened to exactly how the wedding planning journey feels, and I thought it would be a good time to share some of that with you, with a few words of advice, so you understand that I truly know where you are coming from.

 

Enjoy the moment

It took me a while to get my head around the idea that we are actually planning our wedding – I dreamed about it for such a long time, and although I didn’t think it was going to happen when it did, 1 week after Valentine’s day, I was ready for Bruce to ask me to marry him so I just wanted to take a little time to absorb that he had actually done it! I still can’t quite believe it now, 5 weeks later. It was particularly memorable, you can read all about it here ‘I used to think that love was just a fairytale’.

Once it had filtered through a little, we began talking about dates and ideas. We set aside some uninterrupted time away (it happened to be Bruce’s birthday weekend) to start making plans and allow us to really think about the kind of day we want.

Here we are enjoying the sunshine and celebrating on a trip away.

Daydream

I think this is the time you have to really let loose, don’t hold back, write down every idea you have had, however it sounds, whether it be larger than life, small and intimate, or crazy themed stuff… really go for it. You don’t have to entertain all these ideas, but properly explore between you what it is that you want from this one special day. I was about to say you will only do it once, but I won’t lie, this is second time around for both of us. This has only made us think even more carefully about how we want to feel on the day – we are both sure that we want to do things differently to the first time, to keep a clear picture of our wedding day and totally embrace it, together. I think that getting married when you are a bit older (we are in our early forties) and have a different outlook on life than the younger days gives you a different set of expectations. We have both grown massively in character and strength in recent years and this is going to make all the difference to the sort of day that we are planning.

Deciding the date

I have always known there would be something about our wedding date that takes us back to when we met, it was a truly magical time (another epic blog post happened just after that, I really was completely in the moment!). Without giving too much away (as we haven’t announced our date yet) it just gives a little nod towards significant dates that mean a lot to both of us. When choosing a date, we talked about any other factors that might influence it, such as dates we wanted to avoid (neither of us want to marry in the months we did before), our children’s birthdays and that sort of thing, those are all special to them and we can choose not to mix any of that up (also means more dates in the diary for celebrations in later years! We do love a party). We talked about times of the year that we either prefer or don’t like much, for whatever reason. If you are booking your wedding on a date that means something to you, as many do, take your time to get this right and once you have decided, you will know.

Finances

Reality check time. No-one has an endless pot of money, we haven’t been saving up for our wedding (because we hadn’t talked very much about doing it pre-proposal) but we do want to have the sort of day we will always remember. We have really had to think hard about what’s important to us to spend any money on that we can put towards our day, no doubt we will be working extra hard between now and the big day to get together extra pennies and avoid the stress of how much it is going to cost (life can be stressful enough, this isn’t meant to cause stress), but we are not working with an enormous budget. I have seen weddings come together for £2.5k and I have seen weddings cost over £20k. We know how much we want to spend for our day and once that’s decided it’s easier to begin looking at the sort of places that can make that achievable.

Choosing a venue

This has been the biggest surprise so far, for me.

At the point of writing this, we haven’t yet confirmed our wedding venue, it was a completely open book when we started looking. I didn’t even know where to start, even though as I said I have worked in the industry for years. I had always thought I knew the kind of wedding I would want, and where I would want it when the time came, but as we started to talk about ideas, I actually realised that it didn’t matter as much to me where we did it. I am lucky enough to be marrying the man of my dreams, that is what’s important. We have so many ideas for what we want from our wedding day, and none of it is really about the where. Our carefully chosen guests will be there to share this happy time with us, I honestly do feel like we could do that in a school hall or just about anywhere because it’s how we feel that’s important. I thought it would be about what looked best in the photos – but truthfully I know that I will be feeling so happy on the day to be realising my dreams that our choice of venue isn’t going to make it or break it. It may not be the same for everyone but that is how it has worked out for us. We have looked at a few different types of place and each one had a certain kind of feel to it, right or wrong for our day. Take note of how a place makes you feel because you will remember that when you look back on your day in years to come.

Announce it.

I have already designed about 9 different Save the dates for us to send out in my spare time this week, I have so many ideas about how we want to tell people about our plans. I don’t just want it to happen in a passing conversation.

As we tick each thing off our decision making list, we have made sure to pat ourselves on the back. We want to do all of this so ‘properly’, that as yet we have barely begun to share our ideas of the date or venue with our closest friends or family. When we do confirm the venue we want, we will, of course be sending out Save the Dates, as it’s a while away. I want to do little cards to ask people we want involved with the ceremony in some way, and we have an engagement party in a few weeks too. It’s so exciting!!!

I’m not saying you have to do all or any of these things, but it’s a whole brand new journey we are going on together and we are embracing it. Just because we have both married before doesn’t take anything away from what we want this time around, if anything I think it just makes us more determined to be sure we are doing it right. It’s our story, it’s our time and it will be our day – our way.
As our journey evolves I will keep you updated with the different things we have discovered along the way,

I hope you enjoy reading.

Much love,

Jacqui (and Bruce, he is sure to contribute to this diary at some point soon!)

xxx

 

Happy couples + wedding talk = A tea room appointment, on me.

Happy couples + wedding talk = A tea room appointment, on me.

I love my time with excited brides and grooms to be.

Meeting face-to-face with happy couples is essential to building the trust they put in me. There’s so much more we can discuss by getting really ‘hands-on’ with gorgeous samples and swatches.

There’s nothing nicer than a sit down and a cuppa!

It’s a lovely, relaxed way to have a bit of a chat about the big day, find out what sort of feel it has, and see if my work suits the style of the wedding too. There’s a lovely tea room local to me on Mapperley top which works really well for this – they know me really well in there now as I’ve been using it for a couple of years, I have a table earmarked which gives us plenty of light to see colours as clearly as possible, with enough space should you wish to bring any family or friends with you for the appointment.

There’s always a nice relaxed atmosphere in there, it’s one of those lovely places where they have quirky teapots, all sorts of different teas, coffees, soft drinks and a delicious choice of cakes should you wish to try those too (rude not to!) – in fact one of my couples at an evening appointment not so long ago opted for a beer and a gin instead so there’s always that option if you really want to!

I often have a cappuccino or a mocha rather than tea – depends on my mood!

I don’t book my appointments too close together so that you can take your time making any decisions that you might need to make, about the designs, choosing any colours to coordinate with your theme, and have a full brochure of font choices, wording ideas and gift poems too – not so many it confuses but enough different options to really help you personalise your invites and stationery so they suit your personality and really ‘feel’ like you (there’s none of that fill the blanks stuff when you book with me!)

I don’t ‘do’ the hard sell

(I’m no good at it!) but I tend to find the couples that choose to go ahead and book do so because they love my work and feel comfortable and confident in me and my way of working. I talk you through the booking process at the appointment so you know how and when things will need to happen – and you receive a printed version of this later on once the booking Is confirmed too. I like to make it as easy as possible for you because there’s already so much to think about for your wedding!

The main reason for our appointment

Is to get as much information together as possible about what you want for your stationery. I will get the ‘nitty gritty’ detail down, such as names, venue, times and dates for your wedding so that when it comes to creating a sample invite – which costs £5 if you would like one – it looks and feels as close as possible to your finished invites as possible. We can tell from this if the chosen colours and embellishments (if relevant) will work with everything else you are having for your big day. None of this is set in stone, but its so helpful to have a design in front of you with your own names (and makes it feel sooo real too!) so we can make decisions about it moving forward to getting your invites booked in.

I do love a nice cuppa and a chat

I do find that by the end of the appointment my couples already have a pretty good idea whether they will be wanting to book with me once the sample has been completed (some just pay their deposit there and then!) so its important for you too as I want you to know that I am the right person to trust with this very important job.

Now that you’ve found out a bit more… if you’d like to book your own tea room consultation (no obligation) why not pop me an email and find out what availability there is or to ask me any questions you may have about it. I am all about making this easier for you and I don’t bite – in fact I would love to hear from you and find out more about your wedding.

It’s never too early to have that first conversation about your wedding stationery.

I can’t wait to hear from you,

Much Love,

Your friendly wedding stationer.
PS, did you know I am also a bushing bride-to-be? So I truly understand the journey you are going on !
I used to think that love was just a fairytale

I used to think that love was just a fairytale

A surprise marriage proposal for your favourite wedding stationer!

A week ago today, I joined your very special club. Make yourselves comfy, I have a gorgeous tale to tell about the evening my soulmate asked me to marry him, in front of about 100 people!

I still can’t believe it happened – I know if you had one of those memorable style proposals you will know what I mean, I just didn’t see it coming.

We are members of a Tuneless choir in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Their motto is ‘Sing like no-one’s listening’.

Last Thursday, to my surprise, Bruce and I were invited up to do that in front of everyone at choir – to a song that has so much meaning to us – ‘Suddenly’ by Billy Ocean.

I had thought he was up to something for a while, but didn’t dare to dream he was planning something like this. Up we went, and began belting out this song which reduces me to tears every single time we sing it together (usually at home in front of no-one!). I had warned them it was very rare I get through it without crying.

It will never sound the same again.

I held back the tears as I stood up there with my gorgeous soulmate, totally caught up in the moment and meant every word I sang.


He seemed to be a little less vocal than usual – I was just about to find out why.


As the song ended, we drew in for a kiss and I remember thinking to myself, they don’t need to see us snogging, quick peck let’s go and sit down. Ohhh, how wrong was I.

Down he steps off the little stage, drawing a ring box out of his pocket and getting down on one knee.

Ohhh my goodness, what?! Is this real? I had to be sure.

What seemed like hours (we both said everything went into serious slow motion) later, the whole room erupted – it went totally crazy, whoops and claps and cheers – a standing ovation in fact! Is this really what he meant to do? Of course he did, he is a proper romantic. After a moment or two I realised he was still crouching.

‘Can I get back up now? I’m still down here, have you got an answer?’

Would you do me the honour?

My answer was yes, a million times yes.

The crowd went wild. I had waited so long to hear him ask me to marry him, and it was so loud in that room I didn’t hear a thing!


Everyone at choir was absolutely delighted having shared in our story from very early on (we have been going there together since about 2 months after we met in July 2017 – read this post to find out how our love story began) and most especially as Nadine and Bernie who are the organisers were behind him the whole time. It had begun as an idea in Bruce’s head in December, and they had been plotting it between them for a few weeks.

I’m sorry if I have spoiled the ending, but here is a lovely video on YouTube of what happened that night – you can see from my face I was not expecting it. I know I am biased but it is well worth the watch.

I think he is a little bit relieved! Many thanks go to Nadine and Bernie for their Wedding Proposal Fairy Godmother skills.

I look forward to sharing some of your journey as a bride-to-be. Now that I am on the other side of it, I expect I will discover things I never realised myself, and will of course share all of those with you along the way.

If you have a proposal story you would like to share, I would love to invite you to comment on the bottom of this post and tell us what happened.

I will never forget this night as long as I live, and I can’t wait for the next part of the journey.

With much love and extra sparkles

Now also a blushing bride-to-be!

PS. Go on, I know you will be wondering… Will I be making my own wedding stationery? You bet!

What styles of designs do I make?

What styles of designs do I make?

I am often asked upon meeting couples at wedding fayres

 

whether I am able to work on a commission, or a bespoke design for them. More often than not, I realise the answer can tend to sound a little bit vague.

You see, I am quite selective in the sort of designs I work on.

Primarily so that the end result is not me running around like a headless chicken, with 18 different designs all on the go and not a lot of ‘me’ left to show for it.

Less is definitely more, in my case. I prefer the detailed, sparkly, kind of designs which require much more attention to detail, resulting in much less of a conveyor belt style of wedding.

 

“Innocence” – for years I have loved making this design.

 

The designs I always find more popular are those you can visibly see I have put much of my heart into designing and creating.
What this can mean is I don’t allocate too much of my time to creating lots of new designs every month, or working for hours on creating just one design for one couple developed from their own idea.

The timeless, classic nature of my creations

 

means I can re-introduce them to you as I go along, and by altering the colours of a sample invite to really show you how versatile it is, we can often find something that is just simply beautiful, and perfect for your special day.

Can I offer any design in any colour?

Pretty much, yes, but I prefer to present them in an elegant, beautiful and simple way to begin with as I do tend to find the brides who find their way to me like the no fuss kind of approach, keeping their colour choices neutral, and with a relaxed attitude to their wedding planning. They still know what they want and allow enough time to make everything flow seamlessly (most of the time it does, anyway).

 

 

As you can see there are many colours of card (and ribbon) available to co-ordinate with your colour scheme, should you wish to see them in your sample invitation.

 

If you have read this and you are still wondering if I am the right person to make your wedding stationery, have a think about whether you have seen anything on the site that ‘feels’ right. The thing is, I do make everything myself, but I don’t make just ‘anything’. So drop me a line and I will tell you honestly whether it is something I can help with.

 

I don’t offer graphic design services

(honestly, I wish that was one of my skills),

but if you’re looking for a printed design of some sort, I’m probably not the person for you. I would love to offer the handwritten, calligraphy styles that seem to be so popular too, but so far I haven’t managed to set aside the time to hone that particular skill (although years ago I did hand write an entire poetry collection and set of letters to my son, it was very therapeutic).

I hope this has answered a few questions you may have, but if you should happen to have any more, here is the FAQ page, or of course you can always email me here.

 

Much love to you, beautiful bride to be,

Jacqui x

Before you book your wedding stationer…

Before you book your wedding stationer…

The planning!
Planning a wedding is a BIG thing! It’s like a project in it’s own right, but as such the thinking behind planning your wedding stationery should also be treated the same.
Why?

There are lots of important details you need to be clear on before you can really be clear on how your wedding stationery fits in. The thing about your wedding stationery is that it sets the scene. It really does begin to tell the story of your special day, it’s the first and last clue your guests will have about the journey the two of you have taken together, from sending Save the Date cards to Thank you cards when the big day has passed.

I’ve met so many brides over the years who’ve sent save the dates ordered from one of those internet printing places (you know the ones) before they’ve even looked at wedding dresses, it’s something that’s often done as soon as the venue is confirmed.
There’s nothing wrong in this at all, there’s no right or wrong when planning your wedding, but it can be such a missed opportunity.  By just waiting a couple of weeks in the really excited period of your wedding planning you can create such a pretty picture in the storytelling and really wow your guests from day 1. You might have started a pinterest board where you can see everything else taking shape and then realise those bargain postcards just don’t fit in with the theme at all.

Having said that what a lovely unexpected surprise for your guests to then be presented with beautiful handcrafted loveliness inviting them to your special day a few months later – it truly does depend how much the ‘whole’ picture matters to you. Does it all need to be just so?

So before you stock up on stamps and update your address spreadsheet have a think about your theme. Have a think about the ‘feel’ of your big day and what you want guests to remember it for. Do you want it to feel a bit ‘thrown together’ or do you want it to be seamless? Every little detail you take the time over is what will leave a lasting memory, for them but also more significantly for you.

‘There is no Should’

You can make this a picture perfect memory from whatever point feels right to you. Don’t rush into sending Save the Dates just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Here’s a few things to consider before you begin planning your wedding stationery.
1.  Guest list – are there any restrictions on this ie venue or budget?
2.  VIP guests – make sure you consider grandparents, godparents or anyone extra special in your life.
3.  Dates – when do you need to to send them, when do you wish to receive your RSVPs by?
4.  Timings – are you allowing enough time to have them made?
5.  Wedding details – are both venues confirmed?
6.  Themes – there is a world of choice out there!
7.  Colours – your colours are not your theme, they can be different but still related in some way.
8.  Evening numbers – remember you only need to count your daytime guests once!
9.  Cost to send by post (are they bulky or especially large?)
10.  Your budget – an important one to consider for every aspect of your wedding planning.
11.  The reliability/ reputation of the supplier – have you found them by recommendation or by chance?
12.  Have you got a clear idea what wedding stationery items you need? if you sign up here to receive my newsletters I can send you a FREE wedding stationery checklist!
13.  Can they provide you with bespoke design if that’s what you want? And will this cost extra?
14.  Do you need to make time for an appointment or can it be done via email instead?
15.  Are you ordering from a real person or a website? Consider if its not a nearby supplier that there may be extra costs for them to be sent to you before you can post them out, and the extra time needed for this.
16.  Have you seen their work or any samples or are samples available?

Once you have all of these answered and if you have already found a supplier then move on to the next stage of booking an appointment or ordering a sample. You should always ALWAYS make sure to see a sample of their work no matter how pretty the pictures look, if time is of the essence then see if you can get to a wedding fayre where they are showing their work or something like that, and set your mind at rest. I can’t stress this enough having met so many brides over the years who were really disappointed once they had received samples from individuals whose work just wasn’t of the standard expected. Make sure there is going to be enough time to get everything done as is needed.

I’ve got so many hints and tips to share with you so I won’t keep waffling on for now but I hope this has helped and perhaps given you something to think about that you might not otherwise have thought of.
I’m always here if you have any questions about planning or booking your wedding stationery – I’m just at the end of an email address and available for a cuppa and a chat if that is what you would prefer.
What lovelier way is there to begin organising for the biggest day of your life?

I look forward to hearing from you if you need to know any more,

Much love,
Jacqui xx