Wedding Skin Prep

It’s your wedding day, the biggest day of your life, you want to be FLAWLESS. Ironically, that’ll make you worry, (and coupled with the stress you’ll already have), your skin may not be as radiant as you’d like. UNLESS you take good care of it.

So many wedding articles suggest getting regular facials in the months leading up to your big day, but honestly, I didn’t have the money or the time for that. So I did some research, coupled some products I already used with some new ones, and did it myself! I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my skin (I still get the occasional stress spot, but I don’t think I’ll ever avoid them), and because I organised it myself, I can easily continue my wedding skin prep in general life!

I know skin can be a big deal (whether you’ve got a big event coming up or not), and I’ve been at a loss with my skin, and had no confidence in it, for years. So I’m writing this post in the hope it reaches and helps someone else. It’s worth mentioning that of course, we all have different skin types, and different things will work for different people – but after such positive experiences, I couldn’t not write this post.

Pink Clay Mask

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We’ve seen big brands advertise these…but I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money on a face mask. I had a little look on Amazon and found this one for £15. Still a bit pricey I think, but I wanted to give it a go. And OMG it’s one of THE BEST purchases I’ve ever made, I would recommend this to anyone! Use it a couple of times a week, and very soon you’ll notice a change in your skin. My skin was softer, brighter, pores tightened, and redness cleared up. It’s an absolute DREAM.

Clear Start Toner

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I’ve used this for a couple of years, but still stand by it. It reduced the amount of spots I got from the first time I used it, and it will always be in my bathroom cupboard.

Clear Start Emergency Spot Fix

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Good for when you feel a pesky spot brewing. It’ll only work if it’s the start of a spot, not if it’s already there. And in my experience, it hasn’t stopped the spot coming, but when it HAS come through it’s been much smaller and disappeared quicker than usual. 

TCM Scar and Acne Gel

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My miracle purchase! I saw this advertised on Facebook, and with spot scars on my face, thought it was worth a try. YES YES YES! It works! I mentioned bio oil for the same job in a previous post, but this stuff is so much better! Noticeable results in only a few days, I’ll never be without this now!

Garnier Anti-Blemish Moisturiser

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Recommended by a fellow blogger (I’m so sorry I can’t remember who it was!). It smells amazing, makes me skin feel super smooth, and when ‘spot reducing’ moisturisers in the past have actually caused more problems than they’ve helped, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that this seems to have worked.

Biore Charcoal Cleanser

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I’ve used this for a while, and still love it. It’s really helped my blackheads and the menthol leaves my skin feeling tingly fresh.

St Ives Apricot Scrub

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This is what I use when I’ve got dry skin (so was perfect for the couple of colder months in the run up to the wedding)! It’s the only scrub I’ve found to work properly, and scrub away all that dry skin – it’s like sand mixed with moisturiser. I’ve used it since I was at school, so I think that’s proof of how much I like it!

Loreal Milk Cleanser

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I started using this last summer to remove makeup when I realised my skin care routine could be better. Unlike wipes, they get ALL the rubbish off your face. I even use them on none makeup days, coz they get rid of dirt that’s made it’s way to your face, dirt you didn’t even know was there! I’ve seen a noticable change in my skin since using this to cleanse my face.

I’ve been a bit of a cheerleader for a few products there, but I’m just being honest following my experiences with them. As I’ve said, skin is a big thing, and I know so many of us struggle with it for so many reasons. Even if this helps just one person out there, my job is done 😊

Lynette x (3)

Wedding Planning Tips Part II

Planning your wedding is life encompassing. (As well as there being so much to do), I think it’s because despite the months and months of energy that goes into it, you’re never finished. There’s always something else to do, something else to plan – you manage to get one thing ticked off your checklist and there’s ALWAYS going to be something else that needs your attention, right up until the wedding is over! You’re planning the most magical day of your life and you want it to be absolutely perfect – so naturally, it’s stressful too.

I wrote a planning tips post before our wedding, but I needed to add some more – so here I am! You can check out Wedding Planning Tips Part I here.

There are so many wedding tips out there, but based on my experience, these are the biggest and most important ones that I felt needed sharing.

1. Write a checklist

There are honestly more things involved with planning a wedding than you think – I had no idea until I made our list, which I still kept adding to up to a week before the wedding! There’s no point trying to remember it all, so get it written down, and tick things off as and when they’re sorted (this’ll make you feel happy too!). Although not everything is on there (for example, I didn’t need to state obvious facts like ‘Mum take dress to venue’ or ‘have favours delivered’) you can see My Checklist Here.

2. Keep track of your spending

Firstly, you need to decide on your budget, a point I included in Part I. Once you have, stick to it and keep track of what you’re spending. Not gonna lie, it’s easier said than done, especially when you start getting magpied (yep, I’m turning that into a verb!) by gorgeous venues/decor/stationery/accessories (I’ve got a post about Things You Don’t Need But Want). 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!

Lynette & Ed

3. Make a priority list

Linked to the point above, I think it’s important to sit down with your fiance and decide which elements of the wedding you want to throw money at, and where you want to save. Some may want to splurge on the venue, some may want to save. Some may want to splurge on the decor, some may want to save. And this applies to every single thing you’ll organise, because there are so many options for every aspect of a wedding. We’re all different, all our ‘dream wedding’s are different, so make your own list. And an easy way of saving some pennies if your budget’s starting to weep…

4. …chop the Guest List

Ruthless, but it feels less so when you’re faced with a long list of names, each of which costing you a gazillion pounds per head. 

5. Invite who, and do what YOU want

I can’t stress enough, that you must remember this is YOUR day, and no one else’s. (Weddings work very differently now to 30 years ago, which some people may not realise – it may be worth just getting them, and yourself, clued in to these changes so there’s no confusion/unintentional ill feelings). YOU are the ones in charge, not anyone else, so don’t feel bullied into anything. And I only stress this so strongly, because after talking to other brides, this seems to be the biggest problem in 21st Century Wedding Planning, and the area that causes the most upset. 

6. Make a list of questions before meetings

Whoever you’re meeting with, whether it’s your wedding coordinator, favour vendor, dress seamstress (the list is endless), make a list of all the questions you want to ask – the ones you’ll want to know the answers to before signing on the dotted line. I’ve got lists of questions for your venue, photographer, and baker if you’re curious.

Lynette & Ed

7. Don’t be afraid of buying/booking early

In fact, the sooner the better! Particularly with bigger things like your venue and photographer which can get booked up years in advance – get booking to avoid disappointment! With all the craziness of moving house, and then life and work getting hectic, I’m so glad that I cracked on with a lot of things, despite worrying that I was doing it too soon. It meant a lot less stress later on, and trust me, you’ll want to have as little of that as possible close to the big day – there’ll be plenty of other things to be worrying about!

8. Ask for help when you need it

During the planning, the truth is, you and/or your fiance may feel like you want to tell everyone to back off and let you get on with planning your day by yourselves. But there will be plenty of family and friends offering their help, because it’s exciting for them too, and there will be occasions (however stubborn you are, or happy you are to be in control), that you WILL need that help. Take them up on their offer. Then it’s up to you how much instruction you give (depending on how much control you want to hand over/hang on to)! Just saying it as it kids. No planning articles tell you the truth about these things.

9. Write a separate checklist for your the wedding party of who’s doing what

From who’s attending what appointments, to who’s in charge of taking what to the venue, it’s not only peace of mind for you to have a note of this, but the family will feel happy to be kept in the loop, and clued in with what is/isn’t required of them.

Last, and most importantly…

Lynette & Ed

10. Work as a team with your fiance

I’ve spoken about how much of a stressful time it can be – mainly because that’s the bit no one tells you! But it will also be the most wonderful. It’s such a special time, and for me, it was made even more special by Ed and I doing a lot of it together – I have so many fond memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Make time for each other, share the work load, and enjoy every minute.

There are plenty more tips I can give, but these are my top 10 based on our experience. Not enough? Stay tuned, I’ve got a ‘Post Wedding Pointers’ post coming to you soon! 

Lynette x (3)

Our Wedding Timeline

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I last posted on the blog! I’m sure you know why (and if you don’t, you can guess by the content of this post)…WE GOT MARRIED! Welcome back/hi lovely readers. After THE MOST INCREDIBLE DAY OF OUR LIVES last month, our photos came back earlier this week. Sugarbird managed to capture our day perfectly, and we’re over the moon with every single photo!  

Whether it’s a cliche to say or not, it really was the most magical day of our lives, and we’re so incredibly grateful to every single person who celebrated with us or sent messages of congrats and well wishes – the love we’ve experienced in the last month is extraordinary and we feel so lucky. I could waffle on for multiple paragraphs about how out of this world the whole experience has been, but that’s not why you’re here…you’re here for a photographic timeline of the day! So here we go:

7:00am – Alarm (may or may not have already been awake)

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7:30am – Bridesmaids arrive, bridal party start getting ready

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8:00am – Groom gets ready

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9:00amSugarbird arrives and starts snapping away

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9:30am – Flowers arrive

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10:00am – Groomsmen are ready and preparing to meet guests

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10:15am – Guests start to arrive

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10:20am – Last minute hair tidying

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10:30am – The dress goes on

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10:40am – Dad arrives in Bridal Suite

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10:50am – Guests seated, Groom trying to remain as calm as possible

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10:59am – Show time

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11:00am – Ceremony

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11:30am – Mr & Mrs

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11:40am – Slip away from guests for ‘us’ time

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11:50am – Return to drinks reception and mingle

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12:00pm – Confetti and formal photos outside

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12:20pm – Get the bloomin’ sixpence out of the shoe, because after 2 hours, it hurts

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12:25pm – Couple shots

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12:40pm – Breathe. The adrenalin’s wearing off and exhaustion setting in…

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1:00pm – Second wind! Call in to wedding breakfast

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1:15pm – Speeches

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1:45pm – Food!

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3:45pm – Quiz

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5:00pm – The Great Bishy Bake Off

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5:45pm – Guests mingle, photo time for us

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7:00pm – Evening guests arrive

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7:30pm – Cut cake

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7:35pm – First dance

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7:40pm – Parent’s dance

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7:45pm – Buffet, sweet cart, PARTY!

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8:30pm – Outside for sunset shots and a walk around the grounds together

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10:00pm – Sparklers and Fireworks

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10:30pm – Hot dogs and more dancing!

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12:00am – Home time. Thankyou to everyone who shared in our special day ❤️

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Lynette x (3)

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 (3)

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)!

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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 (3)

 

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 (3)

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!

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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?!…

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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!

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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 (3)

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 😊

Lynette x (3)

Wedding Planning Tips Part I

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:

1. Decide on your budget

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 and make sure you have enough left in the kitty for everything you need.

2. 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 spend, and where you’re happy to pay less.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Appoint a family/wedding party member to ‘wrangle’ guests for the formal photos

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.

7. 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!

8. Write a DO NOT Playlist

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. 

9. 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!

10. 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.

These 10 not enough? Check out Wedding Planning Tips Part II for another 10 tips!

Lynette x (3)

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. 

Lynette x (3)