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…

IMG_9831.jpg

Mr & Mrs Balloons

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

balloon

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!

cake

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!

vm

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?!

shoes

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…

sweet

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? 🙊

band

Image from Zazzle

Fairylights Overload

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

lights

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!

Letter

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

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

The Pros and Cons of Wedding Fayres

Before I start, full photo credit goes to the UK Wedding Event website. I made sure that all of the photos used were taken on the day we were there – so you can actually get a sense of the vibe we were feeling when we were walking round 😊

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After we got engaged, the main thing people said to me (after congratulations!), was ‘Go to a Wedding Fayre/Fayres’. A lot of Fayres are on Sundays which is one of my work days, so we only managed to get ourselves to one, back in the Easter Holidays. Which some might think was a shame, but honestly, it was a lovely afternoon, a great experience, and we didn’t come away feeling like we needed to source more ideas – we actually had too many!

I’d already done a fairly substantial amount of research by the time we went to the Fayre, hosted by The UK Wedding Event at the Harrogate Sun Pavilions. It was 6 weeks after our engagement, and by this point we already had the venue booked, colour scheme decided, and I’d sat for hoursssss on Pinterest looking at centre pieces, flowers cake, decor ideas… (Yes, organisation Queen is in her ELEMENT with this wedding planning malarkey!) There’s SO many ideas out there for any kind of wedding, and social media has proved to be a WONDERFUL tool (particularly Etsy, but I’m going to come back to that another time).

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I’ve put together a list of Pros and Cons about the event. Obviously, this is totally personal so I’m not claiming it’s the gospel truth, but I thought you might be interested 😊

PROS:

Meeting Local Suppliers:

One of the things that Ed and I had decided quite early on, was that we wanted to source as many LOCAL suppliers as possible. For a multitude of reasons, but the main two being:
a) We want to support local business
b) We have so many ties to the area (including him proposing at Knaresborough Castle)…it just felt like a really nice bow to tie our whole relationship together.
THIS was where the Wedding Fayre really delivered. We were able to meet local businesses (it turns out that one company that we’re definitely going to go with LITERALLY lives round the corner from us!), that we wouldn’t have found had we just sat on Google. 

Getting Ideas:

This is the main reason for all of my friend’s Fayre recommendations…there’ll be things there that you won’t find scrolling through Google or Pinterest (unless you have a million free hours). There was a guy at ours for example who did engravings and carvings into a variety of objects for place names, seating plans etc etc. I’d never have thought of using a mirror engraving as a seating plan, but there you go!

Goodie Bag:

YESSSSS who doesn’t LOVE a goodie bag?! With The UK Wedding Events team (who organise Fayres all over Yorkshire), you get a canvas tote on arrival with a floor plan of what’s where, and a bunch of wedding magazines and flyers. You’ll pick up more little freebies as you go round, but my fave (obviously) were the food stands 😉 Stood in Valley Gardens, eating strawberry/champagne fudge is NOT a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Spending time with your fiance:

Ed and I live together so we see each other every day, but because of work and house stresses the last few months, we’ve not had an awful lot of time to spend together in a ‘going out and doing things’ sense. I value every minute I spend with him anyway, but getting out of the flat and doing something adventurous or different is always lovely – and fun! 
As much as anything else, it’s nice to be able to start your wedding journey together. I know lots of partners will have different plans for who does what, as it’s not possible to do everything together. So being able to spend some time ‘wedding-ing’ (just the two of you as well, without any family or friends present) is really special. Especially when you’re recently engaged and it’s all still new and exciting and a bit weird, and people keep on congratulating you!

CONS:

Businesses going for ULTRA HARD SELL

I would definitely recommend going with a BIT of an action plan about what you want (or perhaps more accurately, what you DON’T want), because some people will try to do the HARD SELL. And I mean like, jump down your throat before you even get to their stand and won’t let you leave without signing up to their mailing list. So BE STRONG and just say no 💪 (Politely of course, you don’t have to barge past them, by all means have a conversation with them…but stand your ground). 

It’s Busy

We went later in the day in an attempt to avoid the crowds (although this COULD mean you miss out on freebies, but it was a risk we were willing to take). And it paid off for us getting there at 3pm, but I can imagine it being very cramped in there earlier in the day.

Getting emails MONTHS later from companies you had no idea existed

Kind of linked to the Hard Sell point I made. This is the problem with anyone you show any interest in…they insist on you writing down your name and email address. Which is great to essentially get a free reminder a few days later about the suppliers you liked, but I got a GDPR email from a random company a few weeks ago, which sent me into a mild panic: the name wasn’t anything to do with weddings, and it took me Googling the website link to realise it was a wedding ring company! Panic over, it wasn’t a stalker. But I’d totally forgotten I’d even given them my details. We weren’t interested in the slightest but I felt bad for the guy who had very few names on his sheet, so I suppose I’ve contradicted my earlier statement. At the end of the day though, it’s totally up to you how you choose to spend your experience; a s**t ton of emails might be a help to some, but may be a nuisance to others. 

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All in all, they’re great events to attend, and whilst there are a couple of cons, they really don’t outweigh all the pros – and this post wasn’t necessarily about reviewing the experience, it was to give you a general idea. I hadn’t read much about what to expect from a Wedding Fayre when I googled ahead of our visit, so I’m putting this out there in the hope it finds someone who really needs an honest opinion. OR, maybe you just fancied a nosey…it seems people are curious about wedding related thangs!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, stay tuned by subscribing/following my blog because I’ve got plenty of other wedding post ideas! 😊

Lynette x

The Most Fun Things About Starting to Plan Your Wedding

So whether you’ve just gotten engaged, have been engaged for a while, are married and are feeling nostalgic, or single and just curious…this post is for you! Getting engaged is such an incredibly special time, and is exciting in sooooo many ways! There’s a lot of love flying round and when it was such a big part of our lives, it seemed only right to share with you lovely lot 😊

Being a Princess 👸🏻

Whether you’re trying on sparkly jewellery, walking round a Manor House, meeting vendors or the big one, trying on wedding dresses – it’s all just utterly magical. You’ve imagined how it might be for years, so you can’t believe it’s actually happening – it feels like a fairytale!

Admiring your ring at every opportunity 💍

It feels so weird (and very grown up) to have something on that finger, and 6 months later, I still find myself playing with it. FULL CREDIT to Ed for picking the most gorgeous ring ever, I’ve been in love with it since I clapped eyes on it, and will be for the rest of my life. Cringe? Maybe, maybe not. But this is a wedding post, if you weren’t expecting a bit of mush then…well I don’t have any words, because mush is GOING to happen! 😂 Please feel free to click close now if you don’t want mushiness. Because there will be more 😉

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Getting special Wedding Planners 📚

I’m super organised anyway, so this is SO FUN. I actually have two different books, plus a checklist on my iPad (I’m totally ON THIS 😂), and they’re a great way of:
a) The obvious one, planning (Guest List, Colour Scheme, Vendor details etc.)
b) Scribbling down potential ideas (that may come to nothing, but are good to have: signature cocktail, signage ideas, decor thoughts, etc.)
c) Noting down special meetings, dates or thoughts, to look back on in years to come.

Plus they include fun pages! One of mine includes ‘Our Wedding Guest Predictions’ (where we can guess who’ll cry the most, who’ll be the first on the dance floor, and who’s most likely to be found at the buffet). They also include space to write your vows (if you’re doing your own), plan your fitness regime (if you want to do one) and a colouring page, for when you’re mega stressed and need to chilllll.

Seeing beautiful venues 🏰

This was our first port of call when it came to planning, and it’s a bit of a surreal experience…
You get to see beautiful places, gorgeous grounds, get treated like royalty (because everywhere you view wants your dolla)! We thoroughly enjoyed our venue viewing experience, not just for those reasons, but it was the first time it was actually ‘real’. And the love is allllllll around 😊

Browsing on Pinterest 📸

I can’t believe how much you can find on there! My favourite thing has been to put in our wedding’s colour scheme and get ideas for venue decor, flowers, cake design…the list is potentially endless with so many things on there!

Following Wedding Dress Boutiques on Instagram 👰🏻

I’ve never Insta stalked as much as I have on the Bridal Factory Outlet‘s account. Before I got my dress, it was just amazing to get ideas and get wrapped up in wedding-ness. Now, it’s a comparison game, and basically thinking everything is mediocre compared to yours (in the least horrible way possible I might add!)… there are SOOOO many gorgeous dresses out there, but surely, if you’re still falling in love with other dresses, your dress isn’t YOUR dress. So, the feeling of ‘well it’s lovely, but not amazing’ is just a sign that the dress you bought really is ‘the one’. Which by the way, I thought was just a turn of phrase. Until I put mine on. And now I can totally vouch for the fact that it’s not, and ‘the one’ is a genuine thing.

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Starting to Check Things off your to do list 📝

I mean, I love a checklist anyway, but when your wedding checklist is SO long (I had no idea how much there was to do until I started planning, there’s so many things you wouldn’t think of), it feels good to start making a dent in it.

Browsing through etsy 💻

Until I started planning, I had no clue about the amazing-ness of Etsy! For ANYTHING, not just wedding decor, stationery and gift ideas, there’s THOUSANDS of things on there! Things you’ll never have known existed, let alone thought of before; and what’s best, is that you’re supporting small businesses (more on this another time)!

Being in an engagement bubble with your beloved 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

The first month or so of our engagement became a whirlwind: we were running out of room in the fridge because it was full of Prosecco (#priorities) and everything in life seemed to have a shimmery haze around it, just because there was so much LOVE flying around! It’s almost cringey, and almost movie script worthy, but it really is such a special time, and I had no idea how magical (and insane!) it was going to be. Plus, I had NO idea that Ed was going to propose, so it took quite a while to actually believe it was happening! I was speechless that day (which has NEVER happened before), and I really struggled to be sociable at our celebratory meal that evening with my parents 😂

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Wedding plans have been put on hold for now (we’re distracted with work and moving), but all the BIG things that need booking way in advance, have been done! Which is VERY exciting! More on these another time…

If anyone has any fun planning memories or something they’re looking forward to, please feel free to share below!

Lynette x

I Said Yes To The Dress

This weekend is a double showcase weekend, so the stress is definitely real. Because of that, in my down time I’ve really tried to distract myself. And the way I’ve done that is to binge watch the LIFE out of ‘Say Yes To the Dress’. Which has thrown me back to the beauty and excitement of MY wedding dress experience ❤️

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So I got engaged in February, and I threw myself straight into Wedding Planning – which by the way is the MOST fun. We’ve cracked on and got the big things that need booking in advance, booked, which I will talk about at a later date. But one of the FIRST things I got…was my dress. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just the way it ended up working out! There’s so many suggestions out there for timelines for all parts of a wedding, and my Wedding Planning book suggests getting your dress 9 months ahead of your wedding day. Which I guess is part of the reason why I was so surprised to get it sorted so quickly – I ended up getting my dress 13 months early! But I suppose I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t ticked it off my to-do list agessssss in advance! #OrganisationQueen

Mama P booked a day off work in the Easter Hols and we headed up to The Bridal Outlet in Northallerton. There’s no appointment necessary so we rocked up at about 11am and had no time to wait at all (though there was quite a queue forming when I’d finished so if you head up there, it definitely pays to go early).

The system there works in a simple way…

⁃ Have a look through the dresses
⁃ Pop a tag on 3 you want to try on
⁃ When it’s your turn they’ll take the dresses into the changing room and call you in.
(You do get to try on more than 3, but those are just the starting point, for you and your consultant to get an idea of what you do/don’t like).

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Browsing through all the dresses was probably the hardest part – they’re all in protective translucent bags, and although you can see the top part clearly, you can’t see the skirt, so it’s a struggle to imagine what it’ll be like actually on. But it was fun regardless!

I don’t want to give away any details about dresses I tried on (yet), but maybe in a year or so when I’m actually married! Main reason being, I don’t want anyone (particularly Ed) to have any inkling of what I’ll be wearing. So that’s where the description of the experience ends, soz!

But I can tell you, that the dress I bought was the FIRST DRESS I picked up off the rack. And I love that it ended up working like that, coz it was the same for my mum 😍 I didn’t go with the intention of buying my dress that day as I said, I went expecting to use it as a fact finding mission; to find out what I did/didn’t like, or what did/didn’t suit me…but I fell in love with my dress. And the second time it was on, I knew it was the one.

The feeling really is as incredible as people say. 
When you know, you know ❤️

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It was a very surreal experience, I couldn’t believe was stood in a wedding dress – it really is a pinch yourself moment. If I’m honest, I think I’m going to struggle to comprehend that I’m getting married right up until the big day itself, maybe even after! At the risk of sounding super cringey, our whole relationship has been fairytale-like and I still can’t believe how lucky I am (for those who know us, it was a LONG time coming) 😂So trying to get my head around the fact I’m going to be Mrs Leigh in less than a year is WEIRD.

It was a real whirlwind, I couldn’t believe that less than an hour after walking into the store, I was walking out of the store with my dress in tow…
…and it’s been hanging up in my old bedroom at Mum and Dad’s ever since! And yes, I have sneaked a peek at it virtually every time I’ve popped round there in the last 3 months!

At 5’4, it’ll need some altering, (I wasn’t blessed with long limbs), and although it won’t be for a while yet, I’m looking forward to the excuse of getting back into it! It makes me feel like a princess which is a nice change from the frizzy, sweaty, workout gear wearing dance teacher I usually am 😊

It was such a special day, and every part of it was perfect. I got to share the precious experience with my wonderful Mama P, and that was just incredible – honestly, I can’t put into words just HOW incredible it was, I’m so lucky to have such an amazing relationship with her. I’d never have had it any other way, but she deserves the shout out coz I love her so damn much.

The choice of dresses at The Bridal Factory was top notch, the customer service was impeccable and the help given by my consultant was amazing – honest, informative, helpful…Jamie was a star. I would highly recommend the Outlet to anyone in the North wanting a friendly, magical wedding dress experience.

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And until the next time I get my dress on, I get my fix being judgmental of all the dresses that come on my TV screen!

Lynette x

Images of The Bridal Factory Outlet taken from www.bridalfactoryoutlet.co.uk
Have you got a Wedding Dress story? Let me know below! 👇🏻