The Wedding Series

After months of blogging about all things wedding, ‘The Wedding Series’ has come to an end! Before I sign off properly on this little project, I thought I’d write a post which includes links to each post I made – so everything’s in one place and easily accessible should anyone need it/want it. I’m going to go chronologically, from the very first post I wrote last July to last week.

Each title is linked, so you can get to each post easily!

PRE-WEDDING

I Said Yes To the Dress!

Read the story of my wedding dress shopping experience at The Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton.

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The Most Fun Things About Starting To Plan Your Wedding

All the best bits in one tidy little blog post.

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The Pros and Cons of
Wedding Fayres

Read about our experience of the UK Wedding Event at Harrogate Sun Pavilions.

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How To Manage
Wedding Stress

I can’t decide which is more stressful – moving house or planning a wedding. But it’s an epic task, it’ll take over your life, and when you’re in the middle of it, any stress relieving tips will help.

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Wedding Planning Tips Part 1

My top tips for having the most organised, magical experience possible.

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Wedding Checklist

Straight from my wedding spreadsheet (minus a few details that only our wedding needed). Grab a cuppa…

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

There’s so many pretty, quirky and fun things out there that you’re going to want to add to your wedding…these are the ones that turned me into a magpie!

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Questions To Ask:
Your Venue

…before you sign on the dotted line.

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Questions To Ask:
Your Photographer

…to check you’re signing on for your perfect package.

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Questions To Ask:
Your Baker

…don’t get carried away by yummy cake and forget the important details!

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POST-WEDDING

Our Wedding Timeline

Our wedding day in pictures.

Lynette & Ed

 

Wedding Planning Tips Part 2

A few months on from the first post, because one alone wasn’t enough!

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Wedding Skin Prep

Read about the miracle products that got my skin wedding ready.

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Post Wedding Pointers

Tips I learned during wedding planning that I had to pass on to future brides and grooms.

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DIY Wedding Makeup

I did my own makeup – see what products I used.

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10 Things No One Tells You About Planning a Wedding

You read all the nice posts, and the advice posts…but what’s the reality? The things no one talks about?

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Top Tips For Your Wedding Day

Potentially my most important post! Tips for couples for the big day itself – tips to ensure you have the most happy, magical day possible.

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Questions You Never Thought To Ask About Your Wedding

You’ll have so many questions during the planning process, ones that never would have crossed your mind until you’re knee deep in planning! These were mine…

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Wedding Etiquette

…for both wedding guests AND the couple getting married!

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and finally,

 

My 7 Fave Wedding
Purchases From Etsy

Though it could’ve been so much more if I didn’t exercise some self restraint!

Lynette & Ed

Thankyou to everyone who’s supported both my blog and my Instagram in the last year since I started running it ‘properly’, it means so much to have the support of you lot.

Onto the next adventure!

Lynette x (3)

My 7 Fave Wedding Purchases from Etsy

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Etsy! I’ve used it for gifts before, but it’s such a gem when it comes to kitting out your wedding too. There’s so many gorgeous and wonderful things on there, but here are the ones that caught my attention, and made it to our wedding. I’ve linked all the product titles so you can get straight to each Etsy page if you want!

Signage

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Finding the perfect signage for our wedding literally took months and months of browsing, until finally I came across LolaandElvis. They have a few different design options, but I loved this one. All the types of signs we wanted were available, PLUS they were happy to create an ‘Unplugged Ceremony’ sign just for us! The service was impeccable, mock ups were emailed to me to check over, and nothing I asked was too much trouble. I felt like a valued customer, not just another number, and each sign was perfect when they arrived. I honestly can’t recommend this company enough.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Proposal

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I mean, HOW CUTE are these?! I saw them and fell in love, because I thought they’d be a perfect little present to ask my girls to be my Bridesmaids 😊 There’s lots of choices for ribbon and flower colour, so yours can be totally unique!

Confetti

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It’s biodegradable, the colours were spot on for our colour scheme…what’s not to love?!

Bridal Hair Accessories

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You can get hair accessories from so many places, but I didn’t really know what I wanted. I decided early on that I was going to do my own hair, and with all the curls I wasn’t sure how I wanted to play it when it came to accessorising. So I decided to get a couple of grips like this so that I had the freedom to play around and use them however I wanted. I loved that, plus, they’re so pretty 😍

Father of Bride Cufflinks

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I wanted to get my Dad cufflinks as an ‘I love you/thankyou for everything’ present, and I stumbled across these which could be personalised with our wedding date (image from Etsy site, not ours). Personalised, yet classy…something I feel can sometimes be lost with personalised gifts. They were really special and I’m so glad I found them.

Hashtag Cards

Lynette & Ed

Cheap and cheerful and they worked well with the rest of our signage! Again, what’s not to love?!

Mr & Mrs Sign

Lynette & Ed

I’m going to ignore the fact that there was some confusion with delivery (twice!) because it was sent to the wrong address (on the other side of the country!) for no reason…because I really love the product. I did a lot of spray painting for the wedding, so I ordered these in unpainted wood and sprayed them myself so everything would match…and saved quite a bit of money in doing so! They sat on our top table during the breakfast, on our gift table during the evening do, and now, on our living room windowsill! 

Who else is a massive Etsy fan?!

Lynette x (3)

Wedding Etiquette

With my wedding series almost over, I thought it a good idea to write an etiquette post – for both wedding guests AND the happy couple (yep, there’s etiquette on both sides)! I’m sure in this day and age we’re all aware of the Do’s and Don’t’s…but it’s good to have a reminder…

If You’re the One
Getting Married:

 

Spouse invitations

If a guest is married, it’s required by etiquette (yeh, required, that’s the word that articles use!) to invite the spouse. I had to google this one as I was sure it was a ‘thing’ and it definitely is, so make sure you invite the significant others.

Send thankyou cards

Obviously, you’d thank anyone who gave you a wedding gift, but don’t just send a text – finish off your wedding with a flourish and do it on paper or card – maybe even using the same design template as you did for the rest of your stationery!

Don’t invite someone to the hen/stag if they’re not coming to the wedding

Goes without saying really I think, but how much of a slap in the face would that be?!

Chat to your guests

Receiving lines aren’t really a part of new traditions, but make sure you get round to all your guests for a quick chat. As well as it just being polite, surely you WANT to see them all?!

Accommodation

If your wedding isn’t close to home (be that 30 minutes, or 300 miles), you need to provide your guests with information about accommodation (and transport, for that matter)! If your venue has rooms, great, if not, hit google and find some nearby hotels that you can note down on your information cards.

Don’t put registry info on the invitation

Your invitation is something special, you’re telling people that they’re loved so much that you want them there on your special day! It may be tempting to get all your information out there at the same time (and save on stamps too, it doesn’t half get expensive when you’re posting all your invites!), but now is not the time to start asking for gifts. Save that for later.

Lynette & Ed

If You’re a Guest:

 

DON’T. WEAR. WHITE.

I can’t stress this enough. Even with a pattern on. There’s so many colours to choose from, please, just pick one of those. A bride would be totally within her rights to kick you out and never talk to you again if you turned up in white. I would’ve done had any of our guests turned up like that.
And by the same token, if you’re planning an outfit to stand out and make a statement, shame on you. Wear something nice, look gorgeous of course, but the couple has one day to themselves, one day as the centre of attention with family and friends around them – to attempt to stand out is selfish.

RSVP on time

The couple will have put an ‘RSVP by’ date on your invite. This is because they NEED TO KNOW BY THEN for a multitude of reasons, they haven’t just plucked it out of thin air. Don’t be the guest they have to chase: when it’s been made so clear, they won’t be your biggest fans for ignoring it.

No shows

Being a no show is a big no no! Weddings are expensive, and other people have missed out on the opportunity to be there because you RSVP’d yes. Unless you’re blown away to Oz in a tornado, you should be there.

Unless you’re the bride or groom, you’re a guest.

I’ve said it many times before, but weddings are mammoth tasks and very stressful. Unless you’re the ones getting married, you are a guest. Just smile sweetly, agree with everything that’s going on, don’t start questioning, grilling or making the couple feel guilty or obligated to do something (whether that’s during the planning or on the day itself) – it’s not your day, it’s theirs, and they’re doing what THEY want to do.

Turn your phone OFF

Particularly during the ceremony. The couple want you to be present with them in this special moment, not staring at them through a screen – if you’re interested in pictures, that’s what the photographer’s there for! Nothing will ruin a photo of the happy couple more than a sea of cameras and phones in the background.

Spell their names right

Whether it’s on a card or a personalised gift (especially the latter I suppose, when it’s likely to be more than a couple of quid), make sure the names are spelled right! It’s not a hard thing to double check, and it won’t be well received AT ALL if you get it wrong. Make sure you double check if you need to (with a family member or on Facebook, IT’S SO EASY so there’s no excuse)…otherwise, the gift/card you got will end up buried at the bottom of a box in the loft or in the bin, however nice it may have been! When it’s their wedding, I can guarantee it’ll be taken very personally. Anyone wanna guess if it happened to us…? 😂

Brides, Grooms, Guests – have you got all of that? Some of it sounds a little intense I know, but, I say it as it is, that’s me. 

Lynette x (3)

Questions You Never Thought To Ask About Your Wedding

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…there are SO many things involved with a wedding, so many more than you’d ever realise until you’re actually knee deep in table plans and decor spray painting! And there’ll be questions you need to know the answers to that never would have crossed your mind before. The point of this post is not to answer all these questions (I still don’t have answers to some of them!), but just point out some of the things you’ll want to research/ask your venue.

What happens with the confetti? 🌸

So, it’s arrived in a massive bag…how do we use it? Do I empty it into a big box and people grab a handful? Do I invest in confetti cones/baskets etc, and if so, how do guests get them?

Do I stand up with everyone during the speeches? 🥂

I’m the bride. People are toasting me. Is it rude if I stay sat down, or is it weird if I stand and effectively, toast myself? (I didn’t think about this until it was literally happening, I had no clue what I was supposed to do) 😳

Lynette & Ed

Where do the bouquets go after the ceremony? 💐

I think each wedding will be different, but our coordinator suggested using my bouquet as decoration for the cake table. Which was lovely! I just hadn’t given my bouquet a second thought (past the ceremony) until a couple of weeks before the wedding.

Groom – Where do I look when I’m at the end of the aisle? 🤵

Straight forwards? To the bridesmaids and approaching bride? A bit of both? This is a question Ed asked before the wedding, but I think by the time it got to the day, there’s that much going on and emotions are so high, you don’t even have chance to worry about it!

When do I take my veil off? 👰

Immediately after the ceremony? After the photos? Before the evening do? Or leave it on all day? After lots of researching, it seems it’s one of those things that is down to each individual bride. So I just decided I’d take it off when I’d had enough of it. And that came after the speeches when we were tucking into the wedding breakfast, because it was making me warm and annoying my bare upper back.

What time does the sun set? ☀️

You want those gorgeous sunset pics? You’re going to need to know what time the sun sets. Make sure you find out and add it to your itinerary so you know when in the proceedings you need to slip away.

Lynette & Ed

What happens with my engagement ring? 💍

The main answer to this question (when googling) seems to be to wear it on the other hand. Which is all well and good unless it doesn’t fit. I’ve got relatively thin fingers, so getting a ring over my knuckle is a struggle anyway, I wasn’t going to force it onto my right hand and get it stuck! So dad looked after it and I popped it on again after the ceremony.

How do I feed the photographer? 📸

Is he bringing a pack up, or do I need to find him a seat at the wedding breakfast? One I can’t answer and you’ll have to ask your venue, but we paid for ours to eat in the lounge bar next to the breakfast room.

Can we book our honeymoon in my married name? ✈️

Yes you can, because you can get a post dated passport. You’ll need a special application form, and a signed form from your officiant with details of your ceremony (don’t worry, it’s fairly straight forward). You won’t be able to use your new passport until you’re married, but once you ARE, you’re all set to jet off as Mr and Mrs.

And there’ll be plenty more that you’ll encounter during your wedding planning. Anyone else out there come across these kinds of ‘OMG I have no idea’ kind of surprise questions during their planning?

Lynette x (3)

10 Things No One Tells You About Planning a Wedding

So you have a rough idea in your head of what planning a wedding entails, and you can read all the advice articles you want…but there’s some elements of planning that no one mentions. So I’m gonna do that now. And I’m gonna start with a big one, because it’s something we had no clue about, yet caused drama, and I think anyone planning a wedding needs to be aware of this! And number two is Ed’s most important lesson.

1. Traditions have changed

There are a lot of traditions that have changed in the 30 years since our parents got married. We had an issue with corsages (I know 🙄), which was purely down to both generations doing things their own way, assuming ‘that’s just how things are done’ and not realising the others’ idea of tradition was the complete opposite! So my advice would be to stay aware, discuss lots with your family/guests, just to make sure you’re all on the same page.

2. Share your burdens

“Stress can, and WILL sneak up on you. Be sure to share your burdens with your partner and not keep them bottled up. You’re marrying this person, they’re the most important person in your life – they, of all people, need to know if you’re struggling.”

3. Who arrives when

The guest list itself will probably be quite easy, and you’ll keep adding names to it for a few months (you’re bound to forget a couple of distant relations or make new friends that you’d like to have there). The tricky bit, is deciding who comes to what part of the day – particularly if you have a set amount of guests that you’ve agreed with your venue, and adding an extra head costs a lot of dolla! You’re just going to have to be ruthless (you’ll find your own way of doing this), but know it’s going to take a while to decide. Make sure you have a bottle of wine (or two!) handy…

Lynette & Ed

4. It’s a nightmare trying to find a photographer

Not for any negative reason though, I might add. It’s just – your photos are the one thing that immortalise your wedding, the one reminder of the day, the only professional documentation you’ll have. And that comes with a lot of pressure, because you don’t just want to jump into something for the sake of it. You need to sit down with your fiance and have a chat about what kind of style you like, how much you’re willing to spend, and the kind of package you want. There are lots of wonderful photographers out there, and maybe some couples get lucky by stumbling across their perfect match straight away (remember, you’ve got to get on as well – you’ll be spending a lot of time with them!)…but it took us months to find Sugarbird. Worth the wait though 😉

5. You’ll be spoilt for choice with decor

Honestly, it won’t be a case of trying to find decor for your day that matches your theme, rather, you have to decide what NOT to have. You only have to type your colour sceme and ‘wedding’ into Pinterest to find THOUSANDS of ideas. Everything looks so gorgeous, there’ll be creative ideas you never thought of, and it’ll take you weeks (perhaps months!) to decide what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to do it.

Lynette & Ed

6. Wedding Fayres will expose you to so many LOCAL suppliers

Which is amazing! We both grew up here, went to school here, met here, decided to move back here independently of each other (but at the same time) after a bit of adulting, bought our first house here, and Ed proposed here – we have such a special bond with our home town, we wanted to source and use as many local suppliers as possible for our wedding day. As well as loving supporting small businesses, it just felt right. And we wouldn’t have met all these lovely people were it not for our trip to the Sun Pavilions in Harrogate for the UK Wedding Event. We discovered our Favour suppliers there, who turned out to live just round the corner from us! Can’t get more local than that 🍬

7. You’ll be refreshing your email every 30 seconds

Whether it’s waiting for confirmation from a supplier, or the answer to a burning question, you’ll be refreshing your email so often it’s not even funny. And when you see an email coming in, the mini heart attack happens – it dies down again if it’s just spam, but then you’re back to square one! Waiting. Refreshing…

8. It’s easy for the budget to get out of control

No, SERIOUSLY. It’s so easy it’s not even funny. Set your budget, try to guestimate how much you’ll spend on each element, and keep an excel spreadsheet of how much you spend on every single thing you buy. It’s all well and good thinking of the big things like the dress/flowers/rings/cake etc, but if you don’t keep track of the placenames/confetti cones/passport name change/registrar fees – you’re going to find yourself in deep doo doo.

Lynette & Ed

9. Whilst it’s your day, you want to keep your family happy – AND IT’S HARD

I’ve said it so many times before and I’ll say it again – it’s your big day, do what YOU want, don’t feel pressured into anything by anyone else. But that being said, obviously it’s natural to listen to wants/requests. It’s your family, you love them, and you want them to be happy, so if there’s a decision you’ve made that totally conflicts with a problem they have – it really is tricky. Out the other side of it, I still stick by my statement of ‘DO WHAT YOU WANT’, but just be aware that it’s hard. And try not to get ill from the stress like we did. Only a little bit bitter about that… 🙃

10. It’s stressful but you’ll feel SO MUSHY

I’ve never felt as 😍 and mushy and warm and fuzzy as when we were wedding planning (until we got married that is, the ice heart has officially thawed). It’s so exciting, so special, and you will ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Yet no one says how magical it feels!

Did I spill the wedding tea a bit? I suppose I did! But they’re all points that I think any bride or groom needs to know. It’s such a MASSIVE part of your lives, it’s wonderful but it won’t be easy, and I don’t think you can ever know too much!

Lynette x (3)

DIY Wedding Makeup

I made the decision quite early on that I wanted to do my own wedding makeup, for a couple of reasons. I’ve spoken before about making a priority list when it comes to spending, and (personally) I couldn’t justify spending a couple of hundred on makeup (and hair) for me and my bridesmaids – I decided I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. So, I did some research, talked to some MUA friends, and made my Wedding Makeup Bag by myself.

And I’m really glad I did! I was happy with my makeup on the day, I still looked like myself, and I came across some life changing products that I’ve introduced into my regular makeup routine too! Winner winner! So, here we go.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

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I’ve never spent this amount of money on makeup before, but I thought it was worth a go after a few glowing reviews from fellow bloggers. And oh my. It’s worth EVERY PENNY. It goes on gorgeously, makes your skin feel amazing, and since I started using it in January, have never had a problem with foundation going patchy or coming off easily. It’s nothing like any other primer I’ve used, and I’ll never use anything else again!

Max Factor Eyeshadow Primer

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I hadn’t used eyeshadow primer before, so I don’t have anything to compare this to. But I used it, and my eyeshadow stayed on all day so…tick!

Barry M Green Concealer

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You might not need it, but it’s one of those products you want with you, just in case! The green neutralises any red patches or angry spots, which is fab..just make sure to pop some concealer over the top before your foundation, you don’t want any green patches peeking through!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

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I struggled for years to find a concealer that was the same tone as my skin, so when I found ‘extra fair’, I was over the moon! Great coverage, it doesn’t leave me with orange patches on my skin, I love it!

Wunder 2 Last & Foundation

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I’ve always struggled to find a good full coverage foundation that isn’t cakey but has really good staying ability. I’ve never had much confidence in my skin so have needed good coverage, but with all the dancing and sweating, I’ve needed something that will stay…so I’ve always been on the look out for ‘revolutionary’ products. I saw this advertised on Facebook a few months back, and thought I’d give it a go. And I’m so glad I did! It does all that I want it to, plus it doesn’t rub off onto clothes! The only negative is that the palest shade isn’t THAT fair, and only matches my neck when I have tan on, so I don’t use it all the time. BUT it was perfect for the wedding and I highly recommend it.

Revolution Cream Contour – Fair

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Contour is new for me, so I went for this kit as it seems to be aimed at contour beginners. I’m sure there are other great kits out there, but this works great for me, and I’ve found it fairly easy to use. I love that it has a yellow cream in there too – perfect for battling those dark circles after sleepless nights! With my fair skin, I also use the lightest cream in here as highlighter…which works really well.

Rimmel Insta Fix & Matte Setting Powder

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I’ve used this for about a year, and coupled with good staying foundation, is an absolute dream!

Collection Blusher – Bashful

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An old faithful – I like it, it works, it’s affordable, so yay!

Loreal True Match Highlighter

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Again, it’s been in my makeup bag for years, and is a dream on my fairer skin

Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner

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I’m rubbish with eyeliner, so I stuck with my old trusty liquid Collection 2000.

Ardell Demi Wispies

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I’ve used lashes for years when I’ve been on stage, but I’ve never needed a natural lash before. After umming and ahhing for ages, an MUA friend recommended Demi Wispies, which she uses on her brides. I invested and immediately fell in love! They’ve got enough volume to make a difference, but are still nice and natural. Highly recommend these – thankyou Tors! 😘

Bourjois Volume Reveal Waterproof Mascara

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100% you need waterproof on your wedding day! I’ve used the same mascara for 10 years because it’s perfect and I love it, so this one was bought purely to avoid panda eyes, based on good amazon reviews. Because of the lashes, I wasn’t too fussy because you could only see the mascara in action on the lower lash.

Revolution Eyeshadow Pallet – Flawless Matte

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There are so many pallets out there for us to fall in love with, but it’s something I didn’t want to spend loads on. I’ve got 2 Revolution pallets, one sparkle, one matte (I used the latter for my wedding makeup) and I wouldn’t be without them. Plenty of colours to choose from for all looks, and very affordable!

Rimmel Brow This Way

Again I’ve used this for years now, have always been happy with it…so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it 😊 I only just started using the gel, but it’s great at keeping any little strays in place.

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – Eastend Snob

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An old favourite, good old Rimmel! It’s a twist up, which I’ve found recently to be more sharp and accurate than pencil liners. I used pink but have it in a couple of other colours too.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips – Liv It Up

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I struggled to find the perfect lipstick shade for MONTHS, but finally found myself on the Charlotte Tilbury website. I love than you can mock up all the lipsticks on different skin tones/hair colours online, so after a bit of playing around, opted for Hot Lips in shade ‘Liv It Up’. It was the perfect shade of pink – pink enough to be ‘look at my pretty lips’ but not too over the top. I was obsessed as soon as it arrived, it worked perfectly with the rest of my makeup and my dress, and I continue to be now as I use it in every day life!

Lipcote

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Part of the reason for struggling to find a good lippy, was that I was looking for the perfect colour, that wasn’t matte, but most importantly, was long lasting. I gave up on this when my mother in law told me about Lipcote, the product that locks your lippy in place. After all my years of performing, I can’t believe I’d never come across it before! After a few hours it CAN become flaky, but I just went upstairs before the evening do, wiped my lips off and started again. I’m so glad I used this because it meant I could wear my PERFECT lipstick shade 😊

Smashbox Setting Spray

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I didn’t even THINK about setting spray until a couple of days before, but thankfully, my mother in law had a little Smashbox tester! Hooray for Smashbox!

I’m so glad I did my own makeup. I was totally in control, I saved money, and I ended up discovering new (really good!) products that I’ve been able to add to my makeup bag! Yay! 💄

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)

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 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)

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)