Questions To Ask: Your Baker

Welcome back to another ‘Questions To Ask’ post – this time, we’re talking CAKE! 🍰 And before I go any further, full photo credit in this post goes to Blossom Tree Cake Company.

We found our baker through a flyer we picked up at a wedding fayre at The Pavilions of Harrogate last year, and after browsing their social media and LOVING the look of the cakes they did, got in touch with Blossom Tree Cake Company. They not only offer a friendly consultation, but a chance to try up to 3 different flavours (which you pay for, but that gets deducted from the price of your cake).

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Well, WOW, we will never forget our experience! It was a warm bank holiday at the beginning of May last year (the same bank holiday that our wedding’s on this year!), were greeted warmly, and offered drinks as we looked through their portfolio (which is GORGEOUS), before trying our 3 gluten free tasters and discussing the design of our cake. I’m not going to go into any more detail than that for now (but probably will AFTER the wedding!), but I have nothing but positive things to say about the experience!

SO, the part you’re here for, the questions to ask:

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What is your baking background?
  3. How many weddings have you baked for?
  4. Are you licensed and insured?
  5. Do you offer gluten free cakes?
  6. Do you use fondant or buttercream?
  7. What flavours are your specialities?
  8. How far in advance will our cake be made?
  9. This is our theme – what design/decorations do you have/can you suggest?
  10. Can we freeze a tier, and if so, what’s your advice for keeping/defrosting/eating etc.
  11. …and can you provide a cake box so we can transport it home safely?
  12. Do you deliver to our venue? If so, what’s the charge?
  13. How much is the deposit?
  14. When do you require the full payment?
  15. When will we receive a contract?

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And as with Questions To Ask: Your Venue, and Questions To Ask: Your Photographer, there’ll be some questions that I (and you) don’t need to add to your list (eg. about flavours), because there’ll be basic information readily available on their website, or about cake stands and knives, which you’ll already know about through your venue.

I’m SO EXCITED TO SEE AND EAT THIS CAKE, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!! 

Lynette x

Questions To Ask: Your Photographer

Welcome back to another ‘Questions To Ask’ post as part of The Wedding Series! Today, I’m talking about questions to ask your wedding photographer. And let’s face it, your photographer is VERY important – they’re going to be the source of eternalising your big day!

This list isn’t as long as Questions To Ask: Your Venue, but a lot of information you’ll want to know will be readily available on websites/facebook pages/other social media. So I’m also going to talk you through our process a little bit.

Lynette & Ed

When looking for your photographer, it’s really a case of taking time to browse. Talk to your fiance and decide on what kind of style you like, then get yourself on Google, Instagram, Facebook, and check out information you get at wedding fayres too. Insta really was key for me – having access to so many of a photographer’s images that easily, really does give you a great impression of all the different kinds of work they produce. From there, I followed links to websites to find out more about packages they offered/prices/reviews etc.

Finding our photographer was definitely one of the hardest tasks of the planning process. There’s SO many amazing photographers out there, and trying to narrow it down really was a struggle. But when I happened across the Instagram page of Sugarbird, I just knew the search was over (and Ed agreed when I showed him too)!

Lynette & Ed

We didn’t even need to get to the end of our meeting with James to share a ‘look’ and know that we wanted to book him – and we did, right then and there in the pub! 🍻

It’s important to remember that whilst you can do your research and love their photos, you’re going to be spending the entirety of your special day with this person…you need to make sure you get on! Do you feel connected to their photos, and do you feel in your gut that you can trust them to capture your wedding day perfectly? These photos will stay with you forever!

So after doing all my research and arranging a meeting, here’s the list I wrote…and started quizzing as soon as I was prompted! 🙊

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Have you shot at our venue before? If not, do you plan to check it out beforehand?
  3. How much do you charge to stay an hour or so later?
  4. Can we give you a list of specific shots that we’d like?
  5. Will we receive a written contract?
  6. How much is the deposit?
  7. Is there a payment plan?
  8. Do you charge a travel fee?
  9. What time will you arrive at the venue?
  10. How soon after the wedding day will the proofs be available?
  11. Is retouching included in the price?
  12. How much is it for a second photographer?
  13. What happens if you’re ill on the day?
  14. What information do you need from us before the day?
  15. Do you have Public Liability Insurance?

And as well as those important questions, I really can’t stress enough that you should follow your gut/s. These photos are so important, you want to make sure you’re making the right decisions for the right reasons, and that the images you get back will reflect you as a couple.

Lynette & Ed

Photo credit goes to the wonderful Sugarbird Photography following our pre-wedding shoot 📸

Lynette x

 

Questions To Ask: Your Venue

Okay, WELCOME to a subcategory of ‘The Wedding Series’ – ‘Questions To Ask…’!

Viewing venues and doing your research is really fun, but what about when you get to your meetings? What are the important questions to ask before signing that contract? Same applies for your photographer, baker, florist…hence this new little category!

Our venue coordinator is amazing, and a lot of these questions were actually answered during our initial show around/sit down (that level of efficiency gave me real peace of mind moving forward!), but here’s the list I compiled last March!

And let me just point out too, that this is the list for the initial meeting, when you and your fiance are in the midst of venue viewings and trying to get a feel for which venue fits you best. There will be PLENTY more questions you’ll want to ask during the planning process, but these are the ones you want to know before booking.

Questions To Ask: Your Venue

  1. Is wedding insurance included in the price?
  2. How long can you hold the date we want?
  3. Chair decor – is it included in the package/options/prices?
  4. Vendors – do you have suppliers you recommend/work with regularly?
  5. Can we have lit candles?
  6. Do you have any rules about confetti, fireworks or other decorations?
  7. Will we have to hire/pay extra for chairs, glassware, table cloths etc?
  8. What are our lighting options for the reception?
  9. Is there a safe place for gifts?
  10. Is VAT included in the final price?
  11. Accommodation – do guests pay us, or the venue directly?
  12. Do you provide mics for speeches?
  13. Will we need to vacate any rooms for setting up (at any time during the day)? If so, what are our options during that time?
  14. Does the bar take cash or card?
  15. Is there a schedule for; initial deposit, final payment, charges for staff.
  16. Will the venue clear everything away afterwards?
  17. When can we start setting up?
  18. Do you have public liability insurance?
  19. What are your usual timings for the day (ceremony, food etc)?
  20. Can we move things around to decorate?
  21. Can we have a written confirmation email and contract?
  22. Diameter of circular tables (how much room will we have for centre pieces)?
  23. Does the DJ provide their own decorations (star cloths, uplights etc)?
  24. Do you provide easels for signs?
  25. Do you provide a cake stand and knife?
  26. Do you host more than one event at a time?
  27. Do you allow sparklers?
  28. How many guests can you accommodate in the day/evening?
  29. Which rooms are licensed for civil ceremonies?
  30. Do you/how do you cater for food allergies/vegetarians/vegans?

As I said, there will be LOADSSSS more questions that will come up during the planning process, these are just the ones to get you going before you sign on the dotted line. There are (of course) more questions that you can ask (questions that will be on wedding sites and other articles), but a lot of these will actually be answered on the venue’s website/in the brochure, before you even go for a viewing!

Things like:
Do you offer a complimentary menu tasting?
How much wine is included per person?
What evening food do you offer?

…which is why they haven’t been included in my list. These are all the questions we asked, got firm answers right there on the spot, and we came back feeling very well informed – and in a good place to move forward with the booking!

ONLY 3 WEEKS TO GO NOW!

Lynette x

Cute Wedding Things You Don’t Need…But Want!

There are SO many gorgeous ideas for weddings out there, from decor to entertainment, favours to personalised merchandise – I’m sure I’m not the only bride who’s felt a bit like a magpie whilst scrolling through Pinterest or Etsy! Today, I’m sharing some cute addition ideas with you – those that you don’t NEED at you’re wedding, they’re not integral to the day – but that you want…badly! These are just some of the things that made me 😍 when I saw them (though not all of them are part of the #BishWedding2019)!

Wedding 2019 Merchandise

I went into Matalan yesterday and they had a whole dedicated section…and I want all of it! I bought a couple of things but couldn’t justify buying any more…yet…

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Mr & Mrs Balloons

I suppose it’s not so much the balloons themselves, but the cute pictures of the newly married couple with them!

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Image from BelleepoqueCo on Etsy

Cake Topper

I know most people will opt for some kind of cake topper, but there’s so many different ways of doing it – figures, flowers, laser cut words… I suppose this has made the list because if you already have some kind of decoration on the top of your cake, it’s very hard to say no to other pretty things!

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Image from DinDinDiesDesigns on Etsy

VM Bespoke Placenames/Wine Charms

I must’ve seen these more than anything else recently, the sponsored site keeps coming up on my Facebook feed. And there’s no denying these are pretty!

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Image from VM Bespoke

Bridal Party Robes

Technically, we don’t need them, especially as you’re spending all that money to wear them (for what they are) for a couple of hours…but, like the balloons, they make for such cute pictures!

robes

Image from Love Fox Designs on Etsy

Personalised Honeymoon Beach Bag

I mean, it’d almost be rude not to proudly display your new initials on an accessory whilst you’re abroad, right?!…

bag

Image from Heart and Soul Wedding on Etsy

Expensive Shoes

I’d say that the majority of brides go for a long dress…which means, we can’t see the shoes. No one will see them really (unless you make a scene, and lift your dress up and make everyone aware of the beauties you have on), but some of the ones you see on Pinterest are just UTTER Cinderella shoes! And if you can’t wear them on your wedding day, when can you?!

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Image from Pinterest

Personalised Sweetie Bags

£100 for sweet bags that’ll probably be thrown in the bin in the next 24 hours? But the message on them is so cute and romantic…

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Image from Zazzle

Individual Confetti Bags/Cones

You can spend all that money on personalised sweetie bags that’ll get thrown away, confetti bags/cones will just get thrown away too…but these cones are so cute!

cones

Image from Hooray Days on Etsy

Belly Bands

It makes sense; with the actual invite, information card, RSVP etc, they could SO easily fall out of the envelope and be lost forever, right?… 😉 So a pretty band that matches the rest of your invites makes sense, right? 🙊

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Image from Zazzle

Fairylights Overload

THEY JUST LOOK SO PRETTY IN PHOTOS, there’s no such thing as too many, right?!

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Image from Pinterest

Floral Light Decor

I saw these on Etsy, then followed on Instagram coz I LOVEEEE how they look! Letters, & signs, hearts…the temptation to buy them is unreal!

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Image from Love Letters by Analisa on Etsy

…and there’s SO MUCH MORE too! There really are so many options and ideas out there for every style of wedding, and it’s been incredibly difficult to keep my sensible head on and not been tempted to buy everything! But I’d be lying if I said a couple of things hadn’t slipped into my shopping basket… 🙊 

Lynette x

Wedding Checklist

Okay, I’ve spoken a lot on Twitter recently about my wedding checklist, so I thought it was about time I shared this with you! I started it a year ago, and I’m still adding to it now, 5 weeks before the wedding! There are things on the list that I never would have thought of before last February… Of course, you think of the big things like the dress and the venue and the cake, but it wasn’t until I started planning that I realised I needed to be thinking of things like updating my EHIC, or double checking how many chair sashes are included in our wedding package…

There’ll be some things missing from the list that you might expect to see there (transport, or hair stylist for example), and some more obvious ones, like the caterer or DJ are missing because quite a few things are included in our wedding package. But this is a list tailored specifically to our wedding. Early on, I separated it into things to buy/to book/to do/extras…so I’m going to keep that going now, though there’s no particular order. Okay, are you ready? Deep breath…

TO BUY

The Dress
The Shoes
Underwear
Garter (unless you’re borrowing)

Bride’s Jewellery
Bride’s Hair Accessories
Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid Jewellery
Bridesmaid Hair Accessories
Suit
Shoes

Groomsmen’s Suits
Groomsmen’s Shoes

Wedding Rings
Centrepieces
Centrepiece Accessories
Top table decor

Umbrellas (just in case!)
Confetti
Guestbook
Placenames
Wedding Party Hangers
Lipstick
Advice Cards
Signs for Hashtags
Balloons

Present for other half
Thankyou presents for wedding party

TO BOOK

Venue
Photographer
Venue decor
Florist
Cake
Favours
Honeymoon
Table runners
Hair cut and colour
Spray Tan
Wax
Dinner tables for evening before/day after

TO DO

Decide on which person/people to allocate to each item on the checklist
Decide on Budget
View Venues

Choose Venue
Give Notice of Marriage
Pay Ceremony Fee
Choose Witnesses

Create Guestlist
Choose Stationery
Send Save the Dates
Send Invites
Have dress fitting (and follow up appointments)
Meet with florist
Meet with baker/have cake tasting

Meet with photographer
Order Signage
Create ‘must play’ song playlist for Reception
Choose aisle music
Choose 30 minutes pre-ceremony music
Choose 3 songs for register signing
Choose readings for ceremony
Seating Plan for Wedding Breakfast
Wear in shoes
Make emergency wedding kit
Get name changed on passport
Get name changed on EHIC
Send ‘must have’ shotlist to photographer
Have menu tasting
Have engagement shoot
Create running order for the day

Get Bridesmaid’s dresses altered
Decide on Bridesmaid’s hair
Collect wedding rings
Get engagement ring polished
DIY items for centrepieces
Organise afternoon entertainment

EXTRAS

Find something OLD, NEW, BORROWED and BLUE
Book time off work
Confirm arrangements with vendors
Give vendor contact details to Maid of Honour
Make arrangements for day before at the venue (check in time, nails, dinner etc.)

And along with all of these things, you have to take into consideration how time consuming it will all be. I spent my free time for WEEKS searching for our signage for example, and the seating plan is a bloomin’ nightmare! I think our final plan is version 5 or 6! Whilst it can be stressful, and time consuming, and the checklist seems never ending, I’ve LOVED planning our wedding. It’s been such a special experience, and I won’t know what to do with myself when it’s over!

More and more things are getting ticked off the list AND IT’S SUCH A GOOD FEELING! Bring on the next few weeks 😊

Much love,

Lynette x

Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding Planning is a mammoth task. 

There’s so much to do, more than you’ll realise until you actually start doing it! I’m still adding things to my checklist and I’ve been planning for 12 months! So I wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips for the planning experience with you – whether you’re deep into wedding planning, only just starting out – or just curious! Some of these are discoveries/thoughts I made and some came from advice from friends/family. There’s lots of advice out there, but I wanted to note some tips I discovered from my own experiences. So! Here we go:

DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET

Stick to it and keep track of what you’re spending! Whether you’re spending a lot, a little, or somewhere in the middle, it really doesn’t matter – but sticking to your budget is so important. The cost can quite quickly add up, and you want to make sure you’re not spending on unnecessary things at the detriment of things you want. So keep a note of everything you’re spending. I made a spreadsheet of all our expenditures as and when they got booked. It lists the vendor and/or product, the total amount, deposit amount, remaining balance, and a tick box for when the full payment had been made. And I’m so glad I did – it was quite sobering to write it all down and realise how quickly it was adding up!

CREATE A PRIORITY LIST

Linked to the last point…make an ordered list from the things that are important, down to the things that would be nice, but not necessary. This makes it easier when trying to stick to your budget. The order of the list doesn’t really matter, and we’re all different, so there’s no point in me sharing ours with you – but sit down with your significant other and decide where you want to splurge, and where you’re happy to pay less.

NOTICE OF MARRIAGE

Don’t forget about it! I know it’s the legal side so should be blindingly obvious, but when you’re distracted by pretty dresses and venues and cakes and flowers…going to the registry office with appropriate documents to prove you are who you say you are, and that you know the person you’re getting married to, just kind of gets lost! Also, a lot of checklists you see online have you doing that in the ‘3 Months Before’ section. Nooooooo! Unless you’re planning a last minute wedding, you have to give notice of marriage A YEAR BEFORE! So make sure you read the emails and small print about this once you’ve booked your minister/registrar.

CHECKLISTS

They’re honestly a life saver. As I’ve already said, there’s SO much to organise, so having lists makes it all so much easier to deal with.

DON’T WEAR MAKEUP TO YOUR DRESS FITTING

I saw this suggested online somewhere, and it’s an amazing idea! You want your wedding day to feel as special as possible, so you don’t want to see yourself in your dress, all made up, BEFORE then! If you’re having your hair up, wear it down (and vice versa), don’t wear any makeup, and pop your glasses on (if you have them but won’t be wearing them on the day). I did this for both of my dress fittings, and honestly, I’m so glad I did.

CHOP THE GUEST LIST TO SAVE MONEY

Brutal, but when the price per head can be so much, it’s the easiest way of bringing down the cost of your wedding. 

MAKE A SPREADSHEET FOR VENDOR INFORMATION

Or if you have a specific page laid out in your wedding planner like mine, great! Note the company name, the name of the person you dealt with, what they’re providing, their email, and phone number. When emails are so accessible on phones these days you don’t HAVE to, but having it all in one place is great. This set up of information is so handy, I found this particularly when we met with our venue coordinator a few weeks back who needed all of these details! It was a swift 30 second exchange of info rather than me having to riffle through emails and bits of paper for half an hour.

APPOINT A WEDDING PARTY/FAMILY MEMBER TO BE THE PHOTO ‘WRANGLER’

Suggested by our lovely photographer, and we’re definitely doing this! Though I’m not sure if we’ve told him yet… 😂 Your photographer doesn’t know who’s who, so it’s a good idea to use someone who DOES to organise who’s in what photo. On your wedding day, you don’t want to be worrying about doing the job yourself, so appoint a friendly helper, and the time for family shots will run super smoothly.

DESIGNATE SOMEONE TO COLLECT GIFTS/DECOR/PERSONAL ITEMS

We spend so much time prepping for the wedding, it’s very easy to overlook any time AFTER. Make sure that you’ve spoken to your venue about how/when things like this need to happen, and ask a trustworthy guest to help by sticking things in their car/room if needs be.

DIY TO SAVE MONEY

Soooo many articles suggest doing this to save money, and I suppose it depends on what you’re wanting, as to whether it’s doable. We’re doing the centre pieces ourselves: it’s working out more cost effective than hiring, AND it means we have total freedom to play around with ideas/do what we want. And everything we’re buying will be put to use after the wedding too!

WRITE A DO NOT PLAY LIST

This is a page in one of (I have two!) wedding planners – BRILLIANT idea! As part of our RSVPs, we asked guests for a song ‘to get them on the dancefloor’, but I wouldn’t have thought of a DO NOT PLAY list had it not been for my planner! There’s not much music we don’t enjoy, but I feel safe in the knowledge that we won’t be subject to The Beatles or Cyndi Lauper on our big day, should people request songs from the DJ. 

UTILISE THE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR VENDORS

They do this for a living, so if you have a question/problem/are looking for advice – ask! For example, there’s lots of theories about freezing your wedding cake – when, how long for etc – whilst Google can be a brilliant tool, why not just ask your baker! A quick email and you’ll get a reliable answer. We also got advice from our photographer about confetti, something we wouldn’t have thought of – but as a seasoned pro, he knows what works and doesn’t work!

TRY NOT TO STRESS

It’s easier said than done, honestly, I know. But it’s true. A couple of months back, I really struggled with wedding stress, but I wrote a post about it here, took some of my own advice as well as that of family and friends, and I felt much better. It’s such a special time, and it’s really not worth getting yourself worked up over it.

And before I sign off, just remember that this is YOUR day. You’re doing it for the two of you, no one else, so make the decisions you want to make – not because you’re being made to feel guilty, or forced into something, by someone else. And enjoy your planning time! It’s going to absolutely FLY! I can’t believe it’ll be over for me in 6 weeks time! I won’t know what to do with myself 😂

Until next time,

Lynette x

Tips for Coping with Moving House

Moving house is a massive task. As we were moving, lots of people kept telling us that it was up there with divorce as one of the biggest/most stressful things you can do in your life. It takes over your life, and however much you tell yourself it’ll be fine and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, when you’re actually living it, it can be a struggle. During our move, I made a few notes about things I was doing to help cope with stress/keep organised, and I’m going to share them with you now. I hope they might help someone out there!

MAKE PRIORITY LISTS

Undoubtedly, you’re going to be buying new things for your new place (woo!). If this is your first house, you’ll be buying loads of furniture. If it’s a new build you’ll be buying curtain rails and carpets too. Or if you’re a seasoned pro and have been in your old house for a number of years, you’re moving into a new space, so there’s bound to be SOMETHING you need. Make a list, browse online, go to the furniture outlet near you, and make decisions about what you’re going to do. Don’t leave it till the last minute coz you’ll just be creating more stress for yourself!

TAKE CONTROL OF WHAT YOU CAN

When so many aspects of buying/moving house are out of your control, it can be easy to feel totally powerless. And I suppose you are; your life, your future, is in somebody else’s hands – someone who isn’t emotionally invested and working 24/7 to make this venture happen. So if you’re panicking, or freaking out, take control over what you can, like organising your packing, or going shopping for new furnishings/furniture. You’ll feel better for it (rather than just sitting home, waiting for an email or phone call), and it means when the trigger’s pulled, you’re ON IT!

ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES

Whilst you can take control of what you can, sometimes you just have to accept the rubbish that comes with moving. It’s NEVER going to be a straight forward process, so it gets to a point where you just have to go with it, accept that only in a perfect world would it be a quick, easy, painless process. I found that once I accepted this and just went with it, I stressed a little less.

USE WORK AS A DISTRACTION

Whether you’re still in the purchasing process, or whether you’re into the move itself – allow yourself to take time away from it, and work is the perfect time to do this. When you’re home, your life is completely disrupted (you’re constantly reminded when the place is littered with boxes, half your stuff is missing and your telly’s sitting on the floor!). So when you’re at work, try not to let the move bother you. During the move, when I was in work I COMPLETELY immersed myself, and it really helped.

ENLIST THE HELP OF OTHERS

Family, friends neighbours – if they offer, accept their help with big thanks! There’s soooo much to do, and splitting the work load makes the task much smaller.

LABEL EVERY BAG AND BOX

So I was really good at this, I went labelling CRAZY – until we were packing up the last minute stuff. Those every day things that sit lonely in cupboards or out on the side ever since you packed up the other 98% of your belongings. All the last minute stuff happens in such a rush (coz there’s a lot more than you realise and you have to get out), and all our stuff got thrown into various bags and boxes. Which meant that when we got to the house, I could tell you exactly where the wooden spoons and the tealight holders were, but not the shampoo or pyjamas were. Not ideal.

KNOW THAT IT WILL GET BETTER

However stressed you are, however overwhelming it all is – it WILL get better, there IS an end to all of this – and when you get there, it’ll be the BEST feeling! You’ll be in your new place, you’ll absolutely love it, and the stress will slowly melt away.

RESCUE REMEMDY

And if all else fails – a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy will calm you down! It was my driving teacher that introduced it to me, and it’s a handy little bottle to have around when it all gets a bit too much.

If you’re in the middle of moving, about to move, or just nosey (coz moving is always bound to happen!) – I hope that one or two tips help you out. 

Much love,

Lynette x

How to Manage Wedding Stress

I’m writing this post at the end of January, just over 3 months before our wedding. And I have no idea what’s to come in the next few months of planning, but I’m currently lying in bed at 1am, unable to sleep because I’m feeling stressed and anxious. And I’m absolutely DONE with this feeling taking over and spoiling my experience, so I’m going to find a way to deal and manage it!

Every element of wedding planning is a mammoth task, it all takes so much TIME and there’s SO MANY things involved with each element you’re planning. Even something as simple as *wracks brain trying to think of the easiest part of wedding planning so far* the favours, can be turned into a marathon of multiple emails, tastings, design ideas, design approval, deposits, invoices, contract signing, final preparations…all with a smile on your face – because it’s your wedding, of course! Even listing it doesn’t seem to give it the credit it deserves! Whilst it’s very easy to say ‘just ask for help’, it’s really not as simple as that, when you’re the one managing the day. It’s incredibly time consuming and life encompassing, and there’s no way around that (unless you have someone else planning it for you)! I assume that it’ll be much easier to ask for help when the day gets closer and we need help organising and doing, rather than just the booking/planning that I’m doing now.

So, it’s only natural, that whilst you’re trying to plan the wedding you’ve dreamed of since you were a kid, manage your budget and keep everyone happy (along with everything else going on with planning and, you know, WORK and LIFE), you allow your mental health to deteriorate. It’s so easily done, but I really hope I can find a way around this.

The plan: to make a list of things that I think I might help alleviate these feelings. And then make a conscious effort to take my own advice over the next couple of months – I’m one of those people happy to give advice, but terrible at taking my own! I pray it works. Shout out to my incredible Maid of Honour (I know you’re technically a ‘matron’ because you’re married, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it!), who’s been so wise and supportive when I’ve needed her (as always). And a couple of her pointers made this list. I love you girl 💖

1. Make a checklist 📝

I’m a sucker for a checklist anyway, but with SO many things to do, any bride will want one! It’s an overwhelming list, and I find it so easy to see all the things I’m yet to do, panic, and try to do everything as soon as I can! But that’s not realistic, not when half of the things on there won’t/can’t happen till 4 weeks before the big day! But checking things off as you get them done will really help.

2. Formal planning time 📚

Related to point 1…have a list with dates of when you can/need to do things by. It shows that you’re on top of things and that you don’t need to have everything finished just yet! Then step back and distance yourself. Have a date/time each week when you review the list to check your progress…this way, you don’t need to think about it the rest of the time.

3. Make time to spend with a loved one 💕

Ban all wedding talk if you want, or take the opportunity to vent, but set a coffee date with a special person. Someone who you know will distract you/calm you down/let you talk your frustrations out/talk you through problems.

4. Equally, make time for you 😌

Find an activity that you find peaceful and calming, and devote time to that, and that alone – don’t get distracted! Reading in the bath, colouring, yoga – whatever it is, set aside time for you and it, and allow yourself to become completely immersed in ‘chill’.

5. Talk to your venue contact 💒

They do this for a living, it’s second nature. So if you have a question, why are you stressing about not knowing, assuming an answer, or googling it? Ask! You’ll feel better!

6. Write down any problems 📓

My wonderful Maid of Honour once told me (years ago now!) to keep a notepad by my bedside for any of those nights when you have a million things flying round your head. This has proved to be invaluable advice, as the nights are when I seem to struggle most with overthinking. Sometimes even writing a problem down, without necessarily solving it, can make you feel better.

7. Be honest 💬

Talk things out with your fiancé, bridesmaid, parent, sibling or friend, don’t keep it all bottled up. Even just getting things out in the open and off your chest can feel like a weight’s been lifted. They love you, they’ll take the time to listen, and help if they can.

8. Get some fresh air 🍃

Whether you go on a walk by yourself in silence or with your earphones in, fresh air will do you the world of good!

9. Plan a month in advance 📆

This was a piece of advice I saw on a website over summer. The woman had planned her wedding, imagining it was a month earlier…which meant that even the smaller things (that you might forget about, or stress over at the last minute) like service cards, tealights and bathroom basket were taken care of! This left her and her fiance with a calm and stress free few weeks in the run up to the wedding. I can’t remember where I read it, otherwise I would give credit, but organisation Queen over here loves that idea! I hope it works…

10. It’s YOUR DAY make YOUR DECISIONS 👰🤵

SO many people have said this to me. And thankyou, I salute you, because this has turned into a little mantra. There’s so much drama that can go on with a wedding, from family politics to the table runners being the wrong shade of blue. Whilst you will accommodate certain needs and politely take suggestions into consideration, remember it’s YOUR DAY. This is the first page of a brand new book, and the start of the rest of your lives together. For everyone else there, however close you are – it’s just another (very lovely, hopefully!) day. If you know that there’s a certain detail or two that will stress you out for months in advance, or you’ll hate on the day, just don’t do it, simple!

11. Take a breath, try and find a solution 💪

Whether your brain’s in a muddle over the seating plan for the third hour, the vendor you really wanted to use can’t supply a specific item you had your heart set on, or you can’t have the band/DJ you wanted – it’ll be okay. Naturally, when it’s your wedding, every task becomes personal because you invest so much in it. Every element is just one building block in the tower that is ‘your big day’. And sometimes, something will happen that will shake the tower, or a brick will be removed, and you’ll feel like you’re absolutely powerless to keep it all together. Take a moment, take a breath…find a solution. Work out HOW you’re going to deal with that problem guest, talk to family, source other vendors, get on Pinterest and fall in love with a new decor idea, ask for recommendations from whoever let you down, knowing they’ll recommend similar products/services to their own. I promise, that as soon as you find a solution to the problem, your stress and anxiety will melt away.

12. Acceptance 💖

Nobody can control everything. You can only do what you can and then ride out the rest. Focus time on accepting that what will be, will be, and be disciplined when your mind tries to tell you that you need to control everything. You don’t! Things will fall into place.

If you reached this point, well done and THANKYOU for sticking with it. This is probably the longest post I’ve ever written, and I had no intention of it turning into an essay…but it’s something I felt passionately about sharing. It’s something I’m sure every bride and/or couple will struggle with, and if I can help in any way, it’s worth the rambling!

Much love,

Lynette x

#DancerProbs Part II

Something a little different for you today…

Back when I was just dabbling with blogging a couple of years ago, I posted ‘#DancerProbs Part I’ – a post with my first 5 problems that dancers encounter in everyday life. And with so many #dancerprobs out there, it seemed only right to do another post…this may even turn into a little series, you never know! And shout out to Graham Hebron for the images – they’re a couple of years old now, but he wanted a dancer project in his portfolio and I had a studio so… 🙊

6. Choreographing to Every Song On Your Phone

The best time to create is when you’re NOT TRYING to plan something, so often for me that happens when I’m out on a walk. Or driving to work. The latter is much more annoying – has anyone else tried voguing whilst driving on winding country roads? Don’t. 🙈

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7. Bad pirouette days

It’s totally a thing. I don’t know why, but it is! Sometimes you just can’t turn well, regardless of the amount of effort you put into your technique , or the amount of times you try to correct/alter what you’re doing. And it can be INFURIATING! 

8. Dancing Down Supermarket Aisles

I have to say I haven’t found myself doing it as much recently, perhaps because I’m the sensible one in our relationship and have to keep Ed in check when HE skips down the aisles, salad bag and shower gel swinging in hand. I did it a lot when I was at college though. And often, I wasn’t alone, it was an entire group effort – yes, sometimes we got in people’s way or our trollies accidentally collided – but I’m sure a bit of entertainment by the frozen veg is exactly what the people of Sidcup wanted, right? 😂 

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Photo Credit: Bob McLennan
One of the few images of Ed and I together on stage in Rock of Ages last year 🤘🏻❤️

9. Waking Up With Mysterious bruises 

Again, less common for me now – I teach more therefore I dance less, so any bruises I DO get, I have a pretty good idea where they come from. But back in the day, you’ll wake up to bruises on strange parts of your body with no idea where they came from. The most juicy, recent bruise I had (a few months back now) was on the shoulder…and I wasn’t the only one. Sorry gals. Bring your pillows next time we try shoulder freezes 😂

10. Relaxing Your Smile When You Turn Away From the Audience

It makes me feel bad, but sometimes it’s necessary! If you’ve never tried smiling for a long period of time, try it. It’s painful! On stage, after months of grueling rehearsals the pain in your face can be a good distraction from the pain in your arms or quads or calves perhaps, especially when your cheeks start shaking from being fixed in that position for so long. But that doesn’t mean it’s pleasant! I don’t like dropping character on stage, even if I AM facing the backdrop, but if it’s between that and getting facial twitches (they happen if it’s fixed for too long) mid kick line…

Stay tuned, there’ll be more dancer probs posts to come, as well as some ‘new home’ and wedding planning posts!

Lynette x

New Year: Q & A Time!

Hey guys, welcome back to Life With Lynette! It feels like so long since I last posted, I got so used to posting every two days for Blogmas! Whilst it was fun, it’s been nice not to have to consistently think about the blog, I can’t lie about that! So I’m going back to posting once a week. Or that’s the plan anyway…on top of regular work I have an exam session, dance showcase and wedding to both plan for and do over the next few months, so we’ll see how we go!

Anyway, getting back to it, I thought it’d be fun to a little bit of a Q&A! Thankyou to those who commented on Twitter or Insta, you’re all wonderful 😘 And you lot reading this should go and check them out. So, here we go!

1.What’s the one thing that has always inspired you/inspires you most in life? Tasha at Tasha Lifestyle and Sophie at Sophie’s Choice – my two blogging bezzies asked virtually the same question, what are the chances 😂

I’m a perfectionist, so I suppose the feeling of always wanting to better myself. Whilst training it was about being able to jump higher, turn more precisely, perfect technique as much as I could. Now in work, it’s about trying to produce better material in classes, create more emotional, or fun, or slick show routines, and the aim to please is a big factor I guess. My dad’s always had a gorgeous little saying… “Aim High, Dig Deep and Never Give Up”, and that’s been my mantra for as long as I can remember. It works!

2. If you’ve seen that episode of Friends where Monica has to choose between the dress of her dreams or the band Chandler really wants, what would you do if you were in the same position with your wedding? Hannah at Hannah Mary

Haha I love this! With our wedding only months away, I can feel Monica’s pain – but, I’d go with the band. If I had to choose between a pretty dress (knowing how many gorgeous wedding dresses there are out there) or my future husband’s dream band, he wins hands down 🤵🏻

3. Who’s your favourite blogger and what do you like about them? Lav at Lavrax London

This is really tricky because there’s a few faves I have for different reasons! If we interact regularly, you can put money on me loving your blog, I always read them when you post them (even if I don’t always get chance to like/comment) – but I have to shout out to Sophie’s Choice. I love her content, I love how she writes, and (in both life and blogging) I’m forever proud of her for her commitment and determination, and the journey she’s been on.

4. What kind of blogs do you like to read? Lav at Lavrax London

I dabble, and sometimes if the pictures grab me, it really doesn’t matter what genre it is! I like to read a lot of lifestyle blogs, but recently I’ve got into reading beauty posts too. With our wedding coming up, I’ve been taking more of an interest in skincare and good makeup, and reading blogger’s reviews (bloggers who are of similar age/skin kind to me) is really useful! Much better than a general online or magazine review. My next mission is to find my wedding lipstick, so if you’re reading this and have any recommendations, drop me a comment! 💄

5. What’s your favourite colour combo? Lav at Lavrax London

Our wedding theme – Midnight Blue and Rose Gold 😍

6. Why did you start your blog? Soph at Soph Isobel

It started a couple of years ago when I came back to my home town and started working as a dance tutor. People kept asking if I was going to create a blog – so one day I just got on with it! It was purely dance/teaching based, and I wrote once every few weeks and shared on FB with friends…that’s it. It wasn’t until July of 2018 (after a long period of no posts) that I decided to re-vamp my site, create Twitter and Instagram pages, and start to blog on a bigger scale about ANYTHING that tickled my fancy. I enjoy it so much more, now that I feel I have total freedom with my content. And I’ve met some amazing people through it!

7. What’s your guilty music pleasure? Soph at Soph Isobel

This is hard because I have quite an eclectic taste anyway, especially with this job – so I don’t necessarily feel embarrassed about anything I listen to. 
BUT, I suppose I enjoy the Cha Cha Slide more than I should! Probably because it gets played every week in my 18+ and Senior Commercial classes every week for the Cha Cha plank challenge! 

8. What’s your favourite post you’ve ever written? Ruby at Ruby Captures

I think it’d have to be my 25 Discoveries post on my birthday! I wrote down 25 things that I’d discovered during my 25th year (lifestyle, beauty, musings, mental health – it was a real mixed bag)! It was fun to create, and was a post I was really happy and confident to share with everyone. And that was a really good feeling 💖

9. How do you grow your blog and other social media platforms? Alisha at Inside the Voyage

I’m not sure I’m necessarily the right person answer this, but I’d say engagement is key. Interacting with people (people who’s content you take an interest in, don’t be one of those people who fakes it just for likes) has helped my traffic, as well as follow/comment trains – they can be really effective tools when you’re trying to reach new/different people.

10. How do you stay motivated with your blog? Taiwo at A Lifestyle Nerd

The biggest motivator is writing about things I want to. Posts feel much more organic when I write about what I want, when I want, rather than pushing it (like I did a couple of years ago when I was just blogging about dance). And I find that by doing that (even if I go through a quiet period), I feel much more inspired to write…and therefore, motivation just keeps ticking over!

Thankyou to you lovely lot for your questions, this was a fun post to write! It’s been a really busy start to the year, and it feels like my attention has been everywhere BUT blogging…but I’m still here, and I’ll be getting back into the swing of regular posts soon. Thankyou to all of you who read or continued to visit my blog (even when I’ve been quiet on social media!), it really means a lot.

Until next time,

Lynette x