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Furious Styles Wedding Band

Furious Styles Wedding Band

Our original band cancelled on us and I was heart broken but those annoying words ‘it will all be okay’ were beyond true in this instance. Furious Styles came to our rescue just four months before the wedding and I don’t know how we managed […]

The Sunday Garden Party

The Sunday Garden Party

I  lust over those American weddings you see in the films, the three day affairs with endless speeches and champagne in a gorgeous white tent. I guess that’s what influenced our decision to have a weekend wedding and probably why I opted for the gorgeous […]

Our Wedding Day

Our Wedding Day

Our wedding day was the best day of my life, just like it is for every other bride and I can’t think of a less cliché way to describe it. There is something so special about having everyone you love in one room, sharing a special day that you’ve spent months and months planning.

The day itself felt like it was split into loads of different chapters: getting ready, the ceremony, the drinks reception, the wedding breakfast, golden hour and the party. I tried to approach the day with the attitude that it was loads of different mini events so I could take in each element on its own.

I want to give you the gossip on all the different elements on the day in individual posts and focus this one on the day as a whole. This is an overview of what we did, who our suppliers were and how the day ran from start to finish, it feels slightly more like a logistics post but I think it will help you when planning your day.

The morning

My alarm went off at 6.30am and my nephew, Noah joined me in bed for a cuddle which was the perfect way to start the day. Ruby Slippers were due  at 7am to start hair and make-up so I spent 10 minutes doing an arm workout before I jumped in the shower. You may think I’m mad but this was a tip I got from one of my bridesmaids to ensure my arms would look their best on photos and I’d advise you to do the same.

We spent hours and hours and hours getting ready and it was so much fun, there was breakfast, champagne, chatter and make-up and I loved every single second of it. Ruby Slippers did all of our hair and make-up and Sam couldn’t have made me feel any more relaxed. I’d say that was the most interesting thing about the morning – I was relaxed! I couldn’t quite believe it myself, I assumed I’d be stressing and worrying about all the minor details but I just went with the flow and focused on enjoying the day. Opening my present and morning letter from Jonny was a really special moment for me and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears as I read it aloud.

The time soon came for the girls put on their gorgeous Maids to Measure dresses and for my Mum and Sister to help me into my dream Pronovias dress. It was at this moment that the nerves started and it suddenly dawned on me that I was getting married in less than an hour.

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The ceremony

The grounds of Dorfold Hall played backdrop to my journey to the aisle, as I walked past the lake with my girl squad in toe I felt on top of the world. I felt beautiful, loved, supported, excited and nervous, it was an overwhelming sea of emotions but having strong women by my side meant the world to me. Candice from Dorfold Hall was on hand to calm nerves, reassure and more importantly get the leaves out of my dress, she was a god send.

As we lined up down the side of the coach house I could hear Samantha Murphy start to sing my Mum’s entrance song, (so extra!), she was walking my nephew down the aisle to Songbird and at this point I really started to feel excited. I couldn’t wait to see Jonny.

Heaven (the candlelight mix) started and I looked at the girls, this was the moment I have literally dreamt of since I was tiny. Each bridesmaid walked on their cue and as each one left for their entrance, the anticipation of taking those steps myself was overwhelming. When it was my turn to walk I was genuinely excited, I could see Jonny crying and you may think I’m an ice queen (he certainly did) but all I could do was smile, it was the best moment of my life.

Cheshire East carried out our civil ceremony and Tracey Hunter was incredible, she was warm and friendly which made the ceremony so lovely. We have three readings throughout the ceremony; my sister read a poem that my Great Aunt had written, my Mum read ‘These are the Hands’ and our close friend Pete who set us up read ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley.

One of my most memorable moments of the day was the confetti moment – I bloody loved it! It was just such a joyous moment and our confetti from Adam Apple confetti made for some beautiful photos.

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The Drinks Reception

The first time we got to mingle with our guests was at the drinks reception but as expected a lot of our time was taken up having photos taken. I really enjoyed the photos though as I could still hear the buzz of our guests and the string trio, it also meant I got some alone time with Jonny as well as our bridesmaids and groomsmen.

I also made sure I had time for a couple of glasses of champagne and lots of canapés. Many brides say they don’t have time to eat but there was no way I was going to be that bride. I knew our food was incredible from the tasting but I also thought that as I was paying the bill for the food, I wanted to make sure I was getting some.

Tossing the bouquet was something I was unsure of for a while, I thought “Why do I want to ruin my bouquet by throwing it?” and “That’s a bit unfair on anyone who is single”, but I really wanted the photo… I decided to have an additional bunch of flowers created to throw for the bouquet shot and I invited all of the women at the wedding to catch it. It was perfect.

During the drinks reception, Jonny and I were also able to have a sneak peak in the marquee at the flowers by our florist David Beckham Doyle. The smell as we entered was incredible and there’s nothing more special than seeing all the plans and details come together whilst the room is untouched.

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The Wedding Breakfast

As foodies, our first meal as husband and wife was always going to be an important one and we pushed the boat out with our catering from Catherine Skates so we could indulge in all of our favourite dishes.

Starter: Chorizo Arancini

Main: Steak, chips and onion rings

Dessert: Chocolate pave

Throughout the meal the string trio continued to play and we did our best to speak to our guests, although my priority was eating (I’ll never change). I really enjoyed seeing everyone of our guests enjoying themselves (and their food) whilst we looked on in such a beautiful venue, it was a great  opportunity to take a moment and absorb all the emotions of the day so far.

The wedding breakfast a strange time because you can’t really speak to the other people on the top table and you are waiting for the speeches to start. We had four speeches as both my Dad and Stepdad did a speech so to avoid any boredom we had two speeches after the main course and two speeches after dessert. I would have loved to have a done a speech myself but Jonny asked me not to because he wanted the opportunity to say something for a change! I love it when Brides do speeches but because I didn’t do one it meant I could start to enjoy myself from the moment the ceremony was over and I wasn’t sick with nerves.

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Golden Hour

Oh golden hour, you beautiful moment. After the meal was finished John Holt arrived and was performing magic for both our day and evening guests who were arriving. I loved taking this moment to catch up with people and say hello to the evening guests.

Escaping for some semi-alone time with Jonny during this hour to capture some gorgeous shots with Jo Bradbury and The Lawsons was my favourite part of the day. By this point I was relaxed but extremely excited for the party, I was literally on cloud 9. I’d highly recommend using this ‘down time’ to get some alone time and just enjoy each other’s company.

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The Party

The Furious Styles made our evening one hell of a party, we had the seven-piece band and boy did they know how to bring a dance floor to life. They started by playing our first dance song ‘Baby I’m Yours’ by the Arctic Monkeys and continued to fill the dancefloor throughout their two sets. I took the key role of dancing whilst Jonny did a lot more mingling with guests or as he calls it, ‘dance floor recruitment’. I sometimes feel bad that I didn’t quite talk to everyone but my priority was having a great time on the dance floor.

After the first set from the band everyone was invited outside to take a sparkler shot by The Lake. I’d been looking forward to this shot all day, but I somehow managed to trip over my dress and fall over backwards, with a sparkler in my hand – classy bride!

Having the sparkler shot by the lake was an elaborate ruse from my Mum who had surprised us by booking fireworks! Jonny and I were taken over to a giant button and as our guests counted down from ten I felt so overwhelmed, this was a really special moment. On the count of one, we hit the button and the fireworks started to the music of Take That, Rule The World. I will never forget this moment or the firework display which were the best I have ever seen. If fireworks are something you are thinking of then I’d highly recommend Blitz Fireworks.

Food-wise, we had a wood fired pizza oven open for a couple of hours so people could get food whenever they fancied. ‘I Knead Pizza’ were the gods behind the pizza and I got so many compliments from guests about how delicious it was, plus who doesn’t want a pizza after a couple of drinks?

The evening ended with a massive party on the dancefloor and when the band stopped, our guests became the music as we all sang together. It was an unforgettable party, although some bits are a little hazy…

Going to bed that evening wasn’t too rough though as I knew we still had the Sunday celebrations to look forward to.

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The night before our wedding

The night before our wedding

I can’t quite believe that we’ve been married nearly four months. Time has absolutely flown by and whilst most people want their photographs and videos straight away, I’ve actually enjoyed the wait – anything for another excuse to indulge ourselves in memories again! Although it […]

The Honeymoon Post

The Honeymoon Post

Read about what we did on a honeymoon, where we stayed and what animals we saw at Richard Branson’s game reserve, Ulusaba.

Our minimoon

Our minimoon

img_6377Devon was never somewhere I imagined visiting with Jonny, especially not on our minimoon, I thought we’d be fifty before that trip took place. Our original plan was to go to Cornwall but our dream accommodation was taken (and there were lots of tears) so we booked ourselves a couple of idyllic places in East Devon instead.

We left for our minimoon on the Monday  after checking out of Dorfold, with a quick stop at home to unload and pack some cake.  Four (and a bit) hours later, we found ourselves at the beautiful Barn just outside Honiton.

The Barn

The Barn is a Beachspoke property, we’d never used Beachspoke before but we would highly recommend them if you like really fancy sheets, stunning accommodation and luxury touches (hello Bamford toiletries!). They have loads of properties but we settled on The Barn based on it’s gorgeous copper bath and beautiful scenery.

The three nights we stayed at The Barn consisted of lots and lots of food. Quite possibly the best thing about getting married is that you no longer have to be on a diet so it was goodbye salad, hello pate. We spent days exploring local beaches  – Charmouth, Sidmouth and Beer were our particular highlights and evenings drinking wine, chatting about the wedding.

The Pig at Combe

The Pig at Combe was home for our fourth and final night in Devon. I’d seen lots of buzz about this place on Instagram so I had high expectations, luckily, it met and beat every single one. When we arrived we head straight for wood fired flat breads and drinks in The Folly. This quirky lunch spot is an inside/outside restaurant set in a half derelict building with a few quirky bits of furniture which adds to the perfectly, imperfect feel. The Pig is renowned for its food so it would be rude not to have a walk around the herb and veg gardens, I’m not lying when I say that we spent absoloutely ages sniffing mint! Don’t judge us though, there were 12 different types including a chocolate mint and an orange mint – yum!

The room was exquisite, it was the perfect mix of old and new. Our room was pretty special as it had it’s own entrance and terrace with a couple of chairs on for pre-dinner drinks – bliss! The room itself was huge and there were two amazing features, one was the free-standing bath but the second was a mirror that was actually a TV!

Dinner was incredible,  we had four courses and a bottle of ‘The Pig’ wine so were pretty stuffed but it felt rude not to try everything. The most stand out element of the food was the vegetables (as you’d expect), I’ve never tasted veg so fresh and it was really nice to know exactly where the food on your plate came from.

I’d love to tell you about breakfast but we were too full from dinner to fit in and I’m using this as an excuse to visit another Pig Hotel soon. The journey back up North soon brought us back down to earth but it nice to arrive home and see all our wedding cards up in the house.

 

 

Our wedding cake

Our wedding cake

You’ll know from my wedding cake post that I loved a wedding cake trial but also struggled to find the perfect person to make ours, that was until I met Kate. This woman is incredible, her ability to go above and beyond and really make […]

A sneak peak at our wedding

A sneak peak at our wedding

After 19 months, two supplier cancellations, 100,000 tears and lots of excitement I am officially married! I can’t quite believe that the day has been and gone (it’s almost been two weeks now), it really was everything I have ever dreamed of. I’m going to […]

A sandy pre-wedding shoot

A sandy pre-wedding shoot

A pre-wedding shoot was something I always wanted (Jonny, not so much) and I’m so glad we had one. It enabled us to feel more comfortable with Jo Bradbury (and her camera) and also gave us some stunning images in ‘ordinary’ clothes.  However, I was conscious about engagement/pre-wedding shoots looking very cheesy and whilst we got a couple of those ‘loving’ shots, we got plenty that wouldn’t encourage a ribbing in the group chat.

 

Deciding a location was tricky, we debated between the grounds of Dorfold Hall and Formby Beach, but as you can see, we went for the beach! Formby Beach is really close to my home town of Southport and I just loved the idea of having some images of us paddling on a beach where we have created some of our best memories. As soon as we mentioned the beach Jo was completely on board and even created a Pinterest board for some beach shoot inspiration.

 

The shoot took place at the start of May and when we woke up it was chucking it down. I must have spent about an hour deciding whether we should postpone the shoot for another day because quite frankly, who wants beach photos in the rain? We took a punt on the weather brightening up and I rushed off to my make up appointment at Charlotte Tilbury who did the ‘Golden Goddess’ look on me. I’d highly recommend booking in with them if you need make-up for any event (I went to the Trafford Centre); you pay £35 to have your make-up done but then you spend it on products – win, win! My dress was from ASOS and made me feel amazing; it’s a great buy for a summer wedding if you’re looking for a dress.

 

Anyway, back to the shoot… we embarked on the hour long drive to Southport the rain continued to pour and we were nervous that the shoot would quite literally be a washout. Then about 15 minutes before we were due to start, the sun came out and it turned into the most beautiful evening. We spent about two hours taking photos in loads of different spots on the beach and Jo even took a flat lay shot of our invitation suite that I’m obsessed with. We felt completely comfortable from start to finish and Jo’s passion for getting the perfect shot is infectious. I am in love with our photos and on some, I can’t believe it’s me or that we’re in the UK! I really cannot wait to see what she captures on the day itself.

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My Hen Weekend

My Hen Weekend

Last weekend was my hen weekend and I have only just recovered from the hen do blues which will no doubt return as I write this post. It was a mammoth weekend of celebrations with 17 girls in one house and to top it off […]

I planned a hen do, here’s how I did it…

I planned a hen do, here’s how I did it…

When you first start planning a hen do, it’s all very, very exciting and then the reality hits. Not only is there the potential disappointment of the bride if you didn’t read their mind well enough (or sneak on their Pinterest boards), but also the […]

Wedding planning problems

Wedding planning problems

Planning a wedding is not all it’s cracked up to be… Yes there is joy in the form of dress shopping, cake tasting and venue hunting but there is also stress, disappointment and more stress. There have been lots of little things that have happened to us but the two major stresses have been our caterers going bust and our band cancelling and I’ll leave out the story of my missing bridesmaid dress…

Our caterers cancelled

If you watched my last video post, you’ll know that our caterers went bust and like many other brides in the North West I had to go through the pain staking process of claiming for this through my wedding insurance. We have now secured three other food suppliers to do the job that our previous caterers were meant to do. Luckily though, I think we’re going to end up with a much tastier weekend overall. We actually had our tasting of the canapes and wedding breakfast on Friday and it was amazing. Just have a look at the tasting room…

 

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Abandoned by our band

I genuinely thought that would be the run of our bad luck for the wedding, I thought wrong. The same week we managed to close our insurance claim, our band cancelled – oh the joys! This was frustrating more than anything as we’d spent a good month choosing which band to go with because we’re fussy and couldn’t book ‘The Rush’ because they were busy. So after seeing ‘Funk Soul Family’ live in March 2017, we decided to book them, we paid our deposit and ticked another job off the ‘to do’ list. Fast forward exactly a year and they cancelled because the lead singer was no longer available… that was all the explanation I was given. Personally brides, I don’t think this is acceptable which is why I am naming and shaming them.

 

This is the part where I should give you some tips on how to deal with wedding stress but I’m in no position to preach any type of advice because I’m not dealing with it very well (hello anxiety!). However, I have got three of smaller coping strategies which you can try… have a cuddle, a Creme Egg and a good cry!

 

 

 

Here comes the bridesmaid

Here comes the bridesmaid

2018 was also going to be a huge year for my friends, a new arrival was due (she’s here now and she’s beautiful) and two weddings were planned for the summer. They say things can only get better and 2018 just did. Six weeks ago, […]

Something blue? Why not a shoe?

Something blue? Why not a shoe?

My heart is set on blue shoes for the wedding but as Jonny isn’t much taller than me, I’m restricted by heel height which limits my options even more. I’m also worried about the amount of walking I will need to do on grass so I’m […]

Our Wedding Venue

Our Wedding Venue

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With just 100 days to go until our wedding the time has finally come for me to tell you about our wedding venue! I’ve desperately wanted to shout about it for the last year but it was important to me that our guests found out first. Although there was a sneaky peek of the venue in my wedding invite video so it might not be a complete surprise.

Our first visit

Back in January 2017 we spent a couple of weeks visiting what felt like every single wedding venue in the North West. It was on a rainy, grey and very bleak Sunday morning that we approached the gates of Dorfold Hall and quite frankly, it gave me goosebumps. We drove down the long drive to the front of the house and were greeted by the wonderful Candice (she owns the place and is simply amazing). She showed us around the beautiful house, I think it’s fair to say that some areas looked a little shabby so when we were told renovations were planned and we had a glimpse at two immaculately renovated rooms, we knew that this venue had incredible potential.

With our wellies on we made our way outside to look around the grounds, imagination was essential at this point as it was a far cry from the sunny summers day we are hoping for. Candice gave us a tour of the individual gardens and explained which flowers would be blooming in the summer as well as where the Sperry Tent would be. It was then that I realised this was the whimsical, English country garden I’d dreamed of.

One of the reasons we looked at Dorfold Hall was because we could get married outside which at the time was a definite for both of us, however Candice told us that they had started building work on the old Coach House which would in time become a ceremony room. Candice talked us through her vision for the space as we stood in a derelict building held up by scaffolding and whilst we thought it sounded lovely, we didn’t plan to give up our dreams of an outside ceremony.

After our tour, we went back into the house and talked prices and dates, whilst we still had another venue to visit after Dorfold Hall, I think we both knew that this was the place for us. Another selling point for Dorfold Hall was that we could hire it for an entire weekend, which meant we could start our celebrations on the Friday night and prolong them to the Sunday!

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The coach house

 

Watching Dorfold Hall develop

I can’t lie, booking our wedding at an outside wedding venue that hadn’t even had a wedding yet was pretty terrifying concept. Whilst there was pure elation when I saw an ‘update’ email pop in my inbox from Candice there were a good few months of worrying about what the venue, including the Sperry Tent would even look like when July 2018 arrived.

From the moment Dorfold Hall announced their Wedding Showcase, I was counting down the days until I could visit again. I really couldn’t wait to see how the venue had changed and I was not disappointed. The Coach House renovation was breath taking and seeing the tent in the flesh really calmed my nerves. I was especially pleased to see that the Sperry Tent had light coloured carpet as I had rejected other venues because of their dark carpet (sorry Hilltop!).

We are still watching Dorfold develop and as I type, the final renovations are happening in the house. We’re going to see them on the 14th April and I really can’t wait to see what Candice has done.

There are lots of other things I want to tell you about Dorfold Hall but I think that’s enough waffling for today. If you want to see it for yourself then you can get tickets for their wedding open day on 6th May here.

Photographer: Jo Bradbury
Why we needed to use our wedding insurance

Why we needed to use our wedding insurance

It’s been a busy and testing couple of months, our wedding caterers went into administration which put plans on hold but I finally found my bridesmaid dresses and we sent out our wedding invites!! Hear all about it here…

Our Wedding Invitations

Our Wedding Invitations

When we started thinking about our wedding invitations I knew that we would need something bespoke so that we could invite people to both days of our wedding. I also had a clear vision of what I wanted in my head – a combination of […]

The not so joyous task of bridesmaid dresses shopping

I love my bridesmaids, each one of them gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. When I’m with them I feel completely at home and I do believe they are the best bunch of girls on this planet.

However, this feeling started to diminish slightly when I was carrying two ASOS boxes and a TFNC bag through a rainy Manchester. Obviously it wasn’t the girls fault, but finding the perfect dresses for this group of gorgeous ladies wasn’t an easy task.

Newly engaged me was very much looking forward to this part of wedding planning and bridesmaid dresses were the first thing I looked at after we got engaged. ASOS lead me to believe that they had the solution for every bridesmaid, not only did I think this meant the task would be easy but I also thought I might be able to get them for a good price!

18 months before the wedding felt a bit premature to be looking at dresses though, I didn’t even have a colour scheme back then so I waited until August 2017. Excitedly I placed my first orders for bridesmaid dresses, I think I ordered eight styles in two sizes each. Feeling smug, I travelled to my Mums house with a box of macarons and the dresses and set up my own mini bridal boutique. I awaited the arrival of the girls and then there was a frenzy of dress trying. This was the realisation moment… it really wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

 

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My girls are all different shapes and sizes and to quote a fellow bride ‘you need to be 5’8 and a size 8 to fit into bridesmaid dresses from ASOS. As I packed all the unwanted dresses back into their boxes and headed to my closest Collect+ I decided I wouldn’t give up on the high street just yet and continued to buy several more styles, but none managed to make all the girls feel as gorgeous as they deserve to.

Christmas came and I gave up, my toys were officially out of the pram and I was waiting for a miracle/lottery win so I could go to a bridal shop and treat them all to a ‘proper’ bridesmaid dress.

That miracle did happen! In the form of the John Lewis sale, in which I found a glorious selection of Maids to Measure dresses!! I had literally hit the jackpot, I’d lusted over these dresses in Kimberley Anne Bridal Boutique and we all know how stunning Lydia Millen’s bridesmaids looked in their Maids to Measure dresses. The glorious thing about this specialist brand is that your girls don’t have to be in the same dress, they can have whatever style suits them but they won’t look like they’ve been thrown together at the last minute.

So now I have five happy bridesmaid which makes for one especially happy bride!

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My favourite bridal boutiques

My favourite bridal boutiques

When I think back to dress shopping, three shops come to mind, which I guess means they were the best ones that I visited! So here is my round up of the best bridal boutiques in the North West. Love Bridal A gorgeous little shop […]

Anxiety and the Bride

Anxiety and the Bride

It’s been just over a year since we got engaged and while it’s been extremely exciting, I spent a lot of 2017 battling with my anxiety. I spent spending endless nights googling ‘anxious and engaged’ and discovering hardly anything except for a few people discussing […]

I finally said Yes To The Dress!

I finally said Yes To The Dress!

A miracle has happened; I have actually bought a wedding dress!

 

I’m in disbelief, after 6 months, 10 bridal boutiques, an appearance on Say Yes To The Dress and trying on more than 50 dresses, I finally bit the bullet and made a decision.

 

On Saturday, I visited Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne, it was never on my list of ‘must visits’ but it really should be on yours. There are only a few shops that I feel have offered that super special bridal experience you expect, Ava Rose Hamilton was top of that list!

 

 

Reasons why you should go:

  • Loads of designers who are all different, so whatever your style – you’ll find something.
  • Private dressing rooms with gorgeous sofas, podiums to stand on and even burning fires.
  • Excellent drinks on offer. “Would you like a bucks fizz?” these are the words I like to hear on a Saturday morning.
  • Wonderful staff who make you feel relaxed; the ladies are lovely and actually offer opinions.
  • You pick the dresses you want to try and are free to browse alone/with your entourage.
  • All alterations are done on site for a fixed price.

 

I narrowed my whole search down to two dresses, which by chance were both in stock at Ava Rose. This was a dream, trying dresses on one after the other is so much better than trying them in different stores at different times. If you’re stuck between a couple of dresses I’d recommend trying to find them in the same store, even if it means travelling to try them on and purchasing ‘the one’ closer to home.

 

I’m not the only bride who has been torn between two dresses, my sister had the same problem. I wish I could offer some advice on how to choose, but it really does need to be the one you can imagine yourself walking down the aisle in. My approach was to get out of the dresses and take 5 minutes to think about it, I sat on the sofa in a robe and remembered how I felt in each dress and I felt the answer came to me quite naturally.

 

I’d actually tried ‘the one’ on in August,I remember I didn’t want to leave it in the shop in case someone else chose it. Looking back, that was probably a sign that I should have bought it on the spot. However, I can’t buy a jumper without looking around every shop in the Trafford Centre first, so it was only right that I took the same approach to dress shopping! I know over shopping isn’t the best idea when buying your wedding dress, but for me, it was a necessity and I’m glad I did it.

 

I feel so relieved now the decision is made and I can’t wait for my fittings especially as I’m making a few tweaks to the design. I’ll pop another post up about all the boutiques I visited so you can have a think if they are for you or not.

 

Happy shopping!

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Christmas wreath making class

Christmas wreath making class

Oh I do love Christmas, but who doesn’t? The lights, the smells, the excessive amounts of chocolate, it’s the perfect excuse to eat what you want whilst lying around in your sweats. But this Christmas, my friends and I wanted to up our Christmas game. […]

October wedding planning

October wedding planning

I’m talking all things suits, cakes and honeymoons in my October wedding planning diary. Hear my thoughts on lots of wonderful North West wedding vendors including Whitfield and Ward, Marie Antoinette Cakes, Vanilla Nova and Virgin Holidays at the Trafford Centre!

The Wedding Edit

The Wedding Edit

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to what was possibly the greatest wedding show of all time, The Wedding Edit. This yearly, girls only spectacular is hosted by the lovely Emma from Love Bridal and her husband/superb wedding photographer, Jonny Draper.

The Wedding Edit was held at Styal Lodge which I was particularly excited about as it may be one of the only venues I hadn’t visited in Cheshire! It’s a lovely new build barn with all the mod cons and would make for a lovely boho summer wedding or an intimate and cosy winter reception. As an added bonus, the staff were amazingly hospitable so you’d be in very safe hands.

We were greeted with prosecco, canapes and cake which set the standard for the day. Throughout the afternoon we felt like we were guests at a wedding not just punters at a bridal show.  So it goes without saying that my mum and I had a glorious time munching on the delicious food whilst chatting to the various suppliers about flowers, stationary and styling.  A couple of suppliers who stood out to me were LovefromPoppy (stationary) and TheSoireeStylists (styling.  I’d highly recommend you have a chat with both before you book your stationary or finalise your finishing touches.

As this was a Love Bridal event, the catwalk was focus and my god, it did not disappoint. The show started with a performance by Ellie Sax and Sash Sings who were outrageously good. Their performance made me consider taking up the sax (surely I’d be better at that than singing!) and I was also left swooning after their outfits. If only I had an excuse to wear that amount of glitter and sequins! During their performance, the catwalk made of pampas grass came alive with gorgeous models showcasing beautiful dress after beautiful dress. I should tell you that this catwalk show was epic and more professional than many I’ve seen at the big wedding shows.

The show was even more special because it was exclusive, there were about 80 people there which made for a really friendly atmosphere. To get on the list you have to email Emma to ask for a pair of tickets, one for you and one for your plus one. I have no idea when the next edit will be but make sure you’re following Love Bridal on social media so you can be first on the list!

 

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Wedding Cakes, the sugar highs and lows…

Wedding Cakes, the sugar highs and lows…

Cake, cake glorious cake. I blame cake entirely for my bride to be weight gain (9lbs wahh). However, the deliciousness that is a lovely slice of the sweet stuff is pretty fundamental in weddings. Obviously there are alternatives for non cake lovers like cheese, pork […]

My Mykonos Vlog

My Mykonos Vlog

I gave you my top tips for Mykonos in my last post but if you want a better insight into our trip then have a watch of my holiday vlog 🙂

Mykonos on a budget

Mykonos on a budget

Where do I even start with our budget trip to Mykonos? We needed a holiday during a particular week so we didn’t miss the arrival of my gorgeous nephew, Noah. I spent ages researching this trip due to our budget (bride to be problems) and just as I thought we’d be spending the week at home, we managed to bag our flights and stunning accommodation for £425 each, thanks Expedia!

Mykonos is notoriously expensive and with the wedding on the horizon we couldn’t justify going wild. I’m going tell you what we got up to in Mykonos (windmills aside) to show you that it can be done on a budget. Just try to stay away from the 16 euro cocktails…

 

The accomodation

It’s no exaggeration when I say that My Mykonos Hotel is hands down, the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in. From the room, to the pool, to the epic breakfast, we loved our stay in this little gem. It’s the type of hotel where you can laze in a cabana and your poolside bottle of prosecco is served to you with a fresh fruit platter. Also, as an extra special treat, you get chocolates on your pillows every evening along with a motivational quote. If you decide on My Mykonos hotel, my top tip would be prepare yourself for the walk down the hill into town and try the scrambled eggs with tomato (Kagianas) for breakfast!

 

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The food

Mykonos is full of amazing restaurants but they are far from cheap! Our approach was eating somewhere fancy one night and then somewhere more low key the next to save some pennies for ice cream and booze. Pepper is a fantastic, reasonably priced option in the town where you’ll get great food, made with local produce. They serve traditional souvlaki here but we opted to share Mykonian sausages and the veal and feta burgies (cute name!), both of which were delicious. We ate in a couple of high end restaurants too; Kastro’s was fantastic for views and atmosphere but the sunset dinner we had at Karavaki stole my heart.  Karavaki is set a little above Mykonos town which lends itself perfectly for watching the sunset. It’s also quite close to My Mykonos Hotel so we could stumble home with ease.

 

The best views

Sunset Bar is the perfect place for sundowners, it’s a little walk up a hill out of the town (or a 2 min walk down from My Mykonos) but it is 100% worth it. Nestled inside Castle Panigirakis, this place is pretty special. We went three times across the week, supping prosecco and taking endless photos. They also have blankets for you to cuddle under when the Mykonian wind picks up.

For day time views, grab a seat in Little Venice and watch the world go by with the view of the windmills in sight, there really is no place like this so it’s worth putting aside a couple of hours to enjoy it.  When we were there it was pretty windy which added to the drama as the waves would crash against the sides of the restaurants and cafes – just stay out of the splash zone!

 

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The beaches

We stayed in the town so decided to spend one day visiting several beaches. To get there, you can easily rent a quad bike or car (approx 20 euros a day) or if you want a few drinks like we did, you can take the bus! It took 15 minutes from the town to get to Paradise Beach and it couldn’t have been easier. There are loads of posts about public transport in Mykonos being a pain but we used public transport twice and had no issues at all.

Anyway, less about buses and more about beaches… Once we arrived at Paradise Beach we found a good spot and had a sunbathe before taking a break for gyros and drinks. Thus starting the beach crawl day… From Paradise Beach we took the coastal path all the way to Psarou  which meant we could visit 5 of the stunning Mykonian beaches. All the beaches have spots for food and drink so it would be rude not to have a glass of wine at each one.

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The curve ball

Unfortunately we had a couple of cloudy afternoons, so we chose to explore the island. This meant we managed to spend an afternoon at Vioma Organic Farm.  This is a family run farm and vineyard about 15 mins (by bus) outside of Mykonos town. I’d recommend heading there if you want to see a different side to Mykonos and enjoy an afternoon indulging in wine and homemade Greek delicacies.  If you do get the bus to Vioma, they will pick you up from the bus stop for 5 euros return which is well worth it and will save you a 45 minute walk!

Let me know if you’ve got any ideas for where we should go on our next trip 🙂

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Wedding Dress Shopping Part One

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So most of my fears did come true when we went dress shopping on Saturday (especially the boobs one) but I think that added to what was a wonderfully lovely day with my Mum and Sister.

If you want to see how the day went then have a watch of my vlog, you’ll see inside a couple of the shops I went to and if you keep watching you’ll see my review of each of the three shops I went to. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to film the epic bacon sandwich I had at Altrincham market, but I guess that gives me another reason to go back…

 

Dress shopping fears

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July wedding planning!

July wedding planning!

Hello again,

So now we have less than a year to go to the big day, I’m going to start doing a monthly wedding planning vlog. I’ll be telling you what I’ve been up to, what’s being stressing me out (wedache!) and also giving you some hints and tips. So take a look at July’s and let me know what you think.

Links to mentions:

Victoria Lou Bridal

Rock My Wedding book

 

 

 

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Ibiza Bliss

Ibiza Bliss

Four days, four friends IMG_7858and one beautiful island, my recent trip to Ibiza was a dream. I’d love to say I’m one of those cool people who just jets off to Ibiza for a casual weekend, but if I’m brutally honest, this was never penned as a classic ‘Ibiza’ holiday, whether it turned into one is another story… The tale about the night we got taken home in a police car is probably for another post…

For this trip, we were looking for some cheap sun so we could indulge in each other’s company; Ibiza offered us this for £100 including flights and accommodation! We stayed in Playa d’en Bossa in the cheap and cheerful Aparthotel Jabeque Soul, the inside was basic (and very clean!) but outside was paradise with white Balinese beds overlooking the sea and Ibiza town skyline.

I’m no Ibiza expert so I’m not going to tell you my suggestions for the main island. Instead, I want to tell you about the perfect day trip we took to Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands; if you’re heading to Ibiza it really is a must visit.

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IMG_79261) The boat

Okay, so, this trip isn’t for the faint hearted, but it’s 100% worth the choppy journey! One out of the four of us was sick and the others definitely felt it, however I’m not convinced that wasn’t due to the evening of shots we were recovering from…

There are boats to Formentera all over Ibiza with two stops in Playa D’en Bossa, you’ll need to set an alarm though as the last boat to the island is at 12pm. There are several boat operators running the trip, but they all average around 20 euros for a return trip from Playa D’en Bossa.

 

2) The island transport

Whilst the island is only 82 sq km, you’ll definitely need a form of transportation to explore. Bikes, scooters and cars are the top choices and boat operators will try and sell you these at a ‘discounted rate’ (don’t feel pressured into this).

We only decided to rent a car when we arrived at Formentera and it was only 30 euros for the day. As well as the obvious road trip vibes it gave us, it meant we could see both the beaches and the town, which I doubt would have been possible or as fun on bikes and I certainly wouldn’t trust myself on a scooter!

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Jess was a hero and stepped up as designated driver

3) The beach

Once we’d tuned in the radio of our little Clio for the all-important road trip, singing session (you know what I mean girls), we headed straight to the beach to see what Formentera had to offer us. We gasped in unison as we approached Illetes beach, its beauty is breath taking, the water is crystal clear and the beach is made of that soft, white sand you only think exists in the Carribean.

I don’t think my photos do it justice but hopefully they’ll persuade you to take a trip…

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Paradise

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4) The restaurant

All that exploring is bound to leave you feeling hungry, so how does an authentic Spanish 3 course meal and a coffee for 12 euros sound?

We jumped back in the Clio and drove into town for lunch at La Sal. It’s suitably stylish, the white-washed wood and open kitchen oozed Ibiza. The first course was bread an aioli (obviously), followed by the least salady salad I’ve ever eaten – it was definitely focaccia with veg on top! However, the main event was the Paella, we shared two massive Paellas between us and could probably have fed another four people with the leftovers. This restaurant is a must do on Formentera, plus it’s surrounded by stunning boutiques, perfect for a spot of retail therapy after lunch.

 

Some more of my fave pics:

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Just gorgeous
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The dream team
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The Three Muskateers
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Classic balcony shot
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Trying to be graceful and failing…
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Amorino Gelato

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DIY Bridesmaid Proposal

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I chose to create bridesmaid boxes with a twist… See how I made them and also how my bridesmaids reacted in my first ever vlog (terrifying!). I’ll post a full tutorial on how to make the boxes later in the week, so you can surprise your own bride tribe.

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This is where H&M come in, their kit comes in so many variations you end up wanting buy it more than that gorgeous dress for Saturday night! The holy grail of their athleisure department though is the Waist Shaper leggings, OH MY GOD, these leggings are the answers to your prayers. They suck you in and pull you up so you don’t feel as jiggly whilst you’re doing burpees *shudders*, all for £14.99! I’ve even considered wearing them when I’m going out for food just so I feel less bloated!

Here are a few from my collection…

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