Our classic (but hopefully laid-back) wedding! August 2018.

Hi all!

So I've been stalking your threads for a while now and decided it was about time I start my own! Bear with me though, I've been engaged since 2016 so there is a lot to fill you in on 

How we met

This isn't the most romantic of stories but I love it anyway!

Back in 2011, I was in my first year at the Uni of Liverpool - having an amazing time going out and making new friends. The last thing on my mind was finding a boyfriend to be honest with you, I was enjoying single life... a lot!

I met H2B on a random night out in a club (a club which funnily enough we both hate). My friend had met a guy and they were dancing and all the rest of it, and then I ended up dancing and all the rest of it with his friend J (my H2B). At the end of the night we exchanged numbers etc and went our separate ways.

We texted for a while after that but it didn't develop into anything. In fact I had him saved under the complete wrong name in my phone which just goes to show how uninterested I was in a relationship!  However my friend and H2B's friend started dating so J was always kind of on my radar.

Skip forward about 6 months and one night my friend and I got in drunk and decided I should add J on Facebook. It was all so cringey but we ended up chatting again but again nothing developed and we both went home for the summer holidays. The conversation continued though and finally in October 2012 we went on a date!

And since then I have been the most besotted smitten kitten. We dated for a couple of months and have been in the happiest relationship since December 2012!

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Posts

  • The Proposal

    When J proposed it was completely out of the blue. I was in so much shock that sadly I don't remember what he said when he got down on one knee haha!

    We were in Liverpool in July 2016 for J's birthday weekend. On the Saturday night we had a table booked at one of of our favourite restaurants and as we were getting ready I burned a hole in my dress with the iron! It was the only dressy-dress I had for going out so I was so annoyed and flustered at the start of the night. Little did I know what was coming - J must have been thinking bloody hell this isn't a good sign!

    Anyway, I had been wearing a little crop top and tailored-ish trousers in the day so I just kept this on and threw on some heels.

    J had suggested earlier in the day that we head down to the docks for a cocktail before dinner which was a lovely idea but when it came to it we wouldn't have enough time to go for drinks before our dinner reservation. I absolutely hate being late but I thought to myself "it's his birthday so chill out". So away we went down to the docks. 

    When we got there, there was a bit of a fair going on nearby and we could hear 'Madness - It Must Be Love' playing which was strange because J really loves that song and we had been singing along to it on the radio earlier that day.

    And this is where it all goes a bit hazy! All I remember is J getting down on one knee, the look on his face, me being absolutely shocked and shouting YES!!

    It was so romantic and lovely and completely out of the blue, I can't believe he planned it all with out me knowing! We had been to Rome a few months before and I did suspect he might do it then but when it didn't happen, the thought of getting engaged had completely left my mind. So props to him for laying me off the scent and doing it somewhere that was meaningful to us and not just on a romantic city break!

    The Ring!

    I absolutely love my ring, it's so dainty and delicate and J picked it on his own which makes it even more special. 

    This is the only pic I have on my laptop at the mo but hopefully you can see it properly. There is a diamond in the middle and then small diamonds which twist around the band on either side.

    image

     

     

  • Yayyy a new thread for me to stalk  lovely that the proposal in somewhere meaningful. I think there is something actually really romantic about Liverpool! Lovely ring x 

  • Lots of celebrations followed and we had an engagement party in October 2016. I was reluctant to have one at first but it was so much fun and lovely for our nearest and dearest to meet and socialise!

    We had wanted to get married in summer 2017 but knew that realistically we needed more time to save. So summer 2018 it was. I am the most impatient person ever so a long engagement has been difficult!

    The Venue

    First thing's first was choosing a venue. I shortlisted so many and we went to visit around 10 different venues - I won't go through them all but here are a few highlights:

    We live in Northamptonshire in my home town but J is from Worcestershire not far from Birmingham. At first we thought it would be nice to go with a venue in between the two so we started looking in Warwickshire.

    I was obsessed with Ardencote Hotel - the website and the brochure reeled me in so J, my mum and me went one weekend to check it out. Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations - the grounds and the buildings were gorgeous but the inside felt really outdated and not very special!

    We soon realised that we wanted more a blank canvas so we started looking at marquee venues instead. Also the young girl in me wanted a church ceremony as that is how I've always imagined getting married! 

    We started looking closer to home, and one of the venues we really liked was Knuston Lodge Farm. 

    It was peaceful, secluded and had a real relaxed vibe which we loved. We dreamt of hiring street food vans and having a relaxed and laid-back day where we could blend both our cultures (I'm Jamaican, H2B is English). However when we started estimating the costs of catering and hiring portaloos etc. it just didn't work out for us budget wise . Also a major downfall was there was no accommodation on site and no hotels up to my standard nearby lol!

    Finding the final venue

    So after a few months of hunting for the right place in our price range, we found the amazing Plum Park!

    Plum Park 0

    Front Door

    Lawn

    Greenhouse

    drak.jpg

    Plum Park has the intimate feel, the marquee, accommodation and we could make it work within our budget so it ticked all the major boxes. We made a decision pretty much straight away and set our date for Friday 17th August 2018!

  • Kaybridetobe wrote (see post):

    Yayyy a new thread for me to stalk  lovely that the proposal in somewhere meaningful. I think there is something actually really romantic about Liverpool! Lovely ring x 

    Thank you! I'm loving reading about your Barbados wedding too  x

  • The Theme

    I've always wanted a classic and elegant wedding so my first thought for the theme was "all white everything!"

    Atrium Wedding Reception | Classic Wedding at Botleys Mansion Surrey | Mint & Gold Colour Scheme | Tall Wedding Flower Centrepieces | Faye Cornhill Photography | http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/alice-gareth/

    White Classic Hollywood Glamour Wedding http://www.kerryannduffy.com/

    But then I love dusty blues and duck egg blue colours too so now the theme has evolved and is inspired by pictures like this:

    Megan & Andrew's wedding at the St. Regis by Details Details | Details Details - Wedding and Event Planning

    New years eve wedding ideas - go for gold

    We're also going to have touches of brushed gold/brass throughout!

  • Bridesmaids

    Picking my bridesmaids wasn't a hard choice at all! I have 5 in total including 3 close friends, my sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law to be.

    This picture was my inspo for their dresses:

    long light gray bridesmaids dresses

    Unfortunately I couldn't find bridesmaid dresses similar in colour to these - not any that fit my budget anyway. So I ended up opting for the Marks and Spencer multiway dress in duck egg blue:

    Image 2

    Multiway was the best option for us as my maids are different shapes and sizes (literally size 8 up to a 16), and I don't think one specific dress style would have suited them all. This way they can all be comfortable in what they're wearing.

    If anyone is looking for multiway dresses, I really recommend the M&S ones. They're a lot better quality than most of the high-street multiway dresses I've seen. AND they are only £49 each at the moment - such a bargain! I bought them for about £79 each only a few months ago!

    I'm leaving it up to my maids to decide on their shoes and accessories - I'm not paying for these so I think it's only fair to leave it up to them. It's one less thing for me to worry about too :)

    One thing I am slightly worried about it I didn't test the bridesmaid dresses next to my wedding dress? Everyone told me to do this but I completely forgot! Is it a big deal if the dresses don't complement each other?

  • Libby13Libby13 Posts: 243

    Yay another planning thread to read! And another August bride :) Love the look of your venue and your whole colour scheme. I think those bridesmaid dresses would go well with any type of wedding dress don't worry x

  • LOVE those bridesmaid dresses! I'm having a look at M&S now, what a bargain. I would go for the same colour too. Also love the colour scheme, I saved the same first pic on my Pinterest  

  • Libby13 wrote (see post):

    Yay another planning thread to read! And another August bride :) Love the look of your venue and your whole colour scheme. I think those bridesmaid dresses would go well with any type of wedding dress don't worry x

    Thank you Libby13! I think it's best if I don't put the bridesmaid dresses next to mine because it will just add to my stresses if they're not right! I doubt anyone will even notice on the day anyway haha x

  • Kaybridetobe wrote (see post):

    LOVE those bridesmaid dresses! I'm having a look at M&S now, what a bargain. I would go for the same colour too. Also love the colour scheme, I saved the same first pic on my Pinterest  

    They are lovely so definitely worth a look - I can imagine they'll look stunning at your venue too. Here's a picture of the colour they are in person - I tried one on myself when they first arrived .

  • The Dress

    Dress hunting was so much fun and I'm actually kind of sad that I've found the one and can't try any more on!

    The first boutique visit was just me and my mum, and we went to a local boutique to try on a  mix of styles so I could get a feel for what I liked. After that I think I went to about 4 other boutiques with various friends and my mum and mother-in-law to be.

    I absolutely loved (and still do) a-line dresses with v-necks - I think dresses in this style are so elegant and timeless and simply stunning. At David's Bridal in London I tried this one on which I loved but it wasn't the one!

    image

    image

    I had been trying on fitted dresses too, and I was really torn between the two silhouettes. Everyone kept telling me to go with fitted styles because I'm quite curvy but I wasn't 100% sure. 

    After going to about 5 different boutiques I became a bit deflated with it all because I just wasn't finding the perfect dress. I didn't have anything particular in mind which I think made the hunt so much harder.

    Then one day I was scrolling through the dresses on the Brides Wedding Genius app and I came across the Sottero and Midgely Addison dress. I was obsessed!

    Sottero and Midgley Wedding Dress Addison 7SW331

    Sottero and Midgley Wedding Dress Addison 7SW331

    So I rang around to find out which stores had a sample and it turned out the only store in the UK that had ordered a sample so far was Savvy Cinderella in Cambridgeshire.

    My mum and I drove there one Sunday with all my hopes pinned on this dress suiting me! When we first got there I was a bit concerned actually because the store is in a warehouse building on an industrial estate lol. So not the surroundings that I pictured trying on my dream dress!

    Anyway I tried it on and absolutely loved it!! 

    image

    image

    I tried a few more on after this just to be sure but nothing else gave me the same feeling as this!

    I opted not to wear it with the straps and bow on the back because a) the straps didn't suit me and b) I preferred to wear a veil instead of the long bow and train.

    I love it so so much!

  • Love the colour of the bridesmaid dresses they are really vibrant. Also your figure looks amazing in your dress it's stunning! Congrats x

  • Kaybridetobe wrote (see post):

    Love the colour of the bridesmaid dresses they are really vibrant. Also your figure looks amazing in your dress it's stunning! Congrats x

    Thank you so much 😊 I’ve put on weight since then so I really need to shift some before my first fitting! X

  • I love your dress and the bridesmaid dresses.  I didn't even think to put my bridesmaid dress next to mine! but i'm sure it will all be ok for both of us!

  • Thanks continuitygirl . So many people said it to me but honestly I don't think it matters that much! Ivory/white goes with anything surely?! x

  • ruthie1979ruthie1979 Posts: 794

    WOW - you look absolutely stunning in your dress xxx

  • Thanks ruthie1979 that's so sweet of you. I'm heading over to read your thread now  x

  • Your dress is gorgeous! I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your planning! Xx

  • MrsA-NToBe wrote (see post):

    Your dress is gorgeous! I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your planning! Xx

    Thank you . I had the wobbles about it recently but I tried it on again and I'm in love with it again! I'll be keeping an eye out for when you start dress hunting on your thread! x

  • I'm glad you love it again... it did look lovely! Thanks, I'm thinking of waiting a little bit as I have time as I really don't know what I want yet! x

  • MrsA-NToBe wrote (see post):

    I'm glad you love it again... it did look lovely! Thanks, I'm thinking of waiting a little bit as I have time as I really don't know what I want yet! x

    Yeah I def recommend taking your time if you’ve got it. I’m sad my dress trying days are over! X

  • Photography

    Photography is quite a sore subject for me. I had my heart set on so many photographers but every time I enquired on their price, H2B and I just could justify spending that much . Everyone tells me that photography is so important and if we can find extra budget for it then we should, but we had to compromise on this in the end.

    My top choice was Ania Ames - here are some stunning shots she has taken at our venue:

    ellie-andy-plum-park-hotel-43

    ellie-andy-plum-park-hotel-47

    I shouldn't keep looking at her website because I'm so sad we couldn't go with her, but I can't help it! Does anyone else find themselves mulling over the suppliers/things they couldn't have?

    In the end we found a really great photographer for our budget called Ben Anderson. His work is also lovely so I should stop fretting really. H2B said we can always give him some hints on what we like and don't like - but I would feel too rude to show him another photographer's work and ask him to be like them!

    Engagement Shoot

    We had an engagement shoot just before Christmas in the snow and it was so much fun. It's a great opportunity to get to know how your photographer works, and also to get over any awkwardness! My H2B and I felt so odd kissing for the camera!

    Videography

    Videography is another tough one for us. Everyone says to get one and I totally understand why but again we just can't afford it right now. We've not ruled it out entirely but at the moment we're going to assess our budget situation nearer the time and if possible find a really cheap videographer. Unfortunately we can't commit to one right now. 

    It's a shame because in hindsight there are things we've spent on which we could have cut to allow for the photographer/videographer we really wanted but it's too late now. Hindsight really is a b**tch!

  • The Cake

    Although we are having a fairly traditional wedding, the cake was the one part we were the least bothered about! However my godmother kindly gave us some money towards a cake and we didn't want to be ungrateful and say we aren't bothered about cake!

    We found a lovely cake maker at a local wedding fair called Euthymia Cakes and after sampling some of her flavours decided she was the way to go!

    We've gone for a simple semi-naked cake which will be decorated with fresh flowers:

    Semi Naked Wedding Cake | Sara Lobla Photography | Stylish Wedding at the M Building in the Miami Art District | Green & White Decor & Flowers | Lace Anne Barge Wedding Dress | Groomsmen in Kilts | Semi Naked Wedding Cake

    I think this suits the whole 'classic yet laidback' vibe we're going for! Each tier is going to be a different flavour sponge but we are still to decide on flavours. Would it look odd to have the bottom layer as chocolate? I'm not sure if the cake will look right with brown sponge showing through on one tier?

  • Flowers

    The flowers are a part of the wedding that I'm so excited about! I'd pinned so many gorgeous bouquets and displays so I couldn't wait to meet with a florist and discuss.

    I know nothing about flowers but I knew I liked peonies and hydrangeas. These are some of the pictures I've using for inspo:

    RUSTIC LUXE BRIDES DIARY: THE FLOWERS and CAKE

    The bouquet

    Colour-wise I want to stick to ivory and minimal pastels mixed with grey-toned foliage. I definitely prefer looser bouquets because I think they look more natural. Also because I like whites/ivory, it was important to have foliage so people can actually see the flowers!

    Florist #1

    I won't mention her name, but the first florist I met with was a recommendation from a friend who married the year before. She's been a wedding florist for a long time and seemed really knowledgeable but we didn't really hit it off with her. It may sound crazy but I prefer picking suppliers who seem genuine and interested in the day and not just in our money!

    I told her I liked peonies so she included these in our quote. However I soon found out that peonies are not in season in August so if she were to supply these for our day, they would be poor quality and we would be paying a premium for them! So that was an instant no-no.

    She also rubbed H2B up the wrong way because she completely ignored him throughout the meeting. I know it's mostly the bride who is interested in the flowers but it's just rude to ignore people in conversation.

    Florist #2

    The second florist I met with was nice enough and I would have been happy going with her, however her prices seemed really high. So just for a final comparison I got in contact with one more.

    Our final choice!

    So the third florist I met with was Jessica Rose, and I knew pretty much straight away that I wanted to go with her. She's a lovely person and she understood straight away what I was after. I just love it when you pick a supplier and feel confident you can just leave them to it! For anyone in the Northamptonshire/Buckinghamshire areas, I really recommend her. She was also happy to make suggestions on how we could cut costs.

    After meeting with her a couple of times, we have settled on:

    - 1x bridal bouquet

    - 5x bridesmaids bouquets which will be the same as mine but smaller versions

    - 4x corsages for mothers and godmothers

    - 9x buttonholes for groom, groomsmen, father of the groom, and my brothers

    - 2x large pedestal arrangements for display in the church and then to be carried to the reception

    Image may contain: plant, indoor and food

    - 9x table centrepieces - these will be tall arrangements with loose foliage hanging similar to this:

    Image may contain: flower

    - 1x long and low display for the top table

    - 1x archway display which will look like this:

    Image may contain: plant and outdoor

    I can't wait to see it all on the day! It's hard to visualise it all at the moment so I can't wait to see it

  • Absolutely gorgeous flower ideas - I'm obssessed with the archway and desperately want one but need to think about where it might go...

    I know exactly how you feel in terms of lusting after things you can't afford. We had the same conundrum about a videographer. I totally get how lovely it would be to have a video of it all but with quotes of £1k+ I was struggling to justify it. Luckily my brother has offered to film the key parts but I still worry I will regret it. I also nearly booked an ice cream van until I worked out that even if every single guest had one, it would be over £6 per icecrean, and who wants to stand in a queue of 80 people? So that got binned. My latest is hair and make up. I found an amazing company who would do both, but would cost me £700 for me and four bridesmaids hair and make up. Wish I could afford it but just can't! But then I don't want my weding to be rubbish because I was too tight to book anything! 

    Look forward to hearing about how your planning continues!

  • BetweenTwoLungs wrote (see post):

    Absolutely gorgeous flower ideas - I'm obssessed with the archway and desperately want one but need to think about where it might go...

    I know exactly how you feel in terms of lusting after things you can't afford. We had the same conundrum about a videographer. I totally get how lovely it would be to have a video of it all but with quotes of £1k+ I was struggling to justify it. Luckily my brother has offered to film the key parts but I still worry I will regret it. I also nearly booked an ice cream van until I worked out that even if every single guest had one, it would be over £6 per icecrean, and who wants to stand in a queue of 80 people? So that got binned. My latest is hair and make up. I found an amazing company who would do both, but would cost me £700 for me and four bridesmaids hair and make up. Wish I could afford it but just can't! But then I don't want my weding to be rubbish because I was too tight to book anything! 

    Look forward to hearing about how your planning continues!

    Aw thank you! We weren't going to have an archway at first because I thought it was a waste of budget! But in the end we have decided to just use ivy and gypsophillia because they're relatively cheap.

    I'm having the same struggle with hair and makeup. I'm trying to get mine all in for £200 but it's not easy. I don't understand how make up artists more than double the price for the bride? Like I know it's more work and more product but I've had quotes where it's £80 for a bridesmaid/mother of the bride and then £250 for the bride?!

    My bridesmaids have luckily been quite understanding that I can't afford their hair and makeup. I've paid for their dresses and then have told them to let me know if they want to pay for their makeup and hair. Would yours be willing to pay for themselves?

    It is so hard having to compromise on things because of money :(. I don't want to look back and regret sacrificing the things we really wanted but also I don't want to regret spending so much money on one day either. I just keep telling myself that if it's not going to make a big difference for our day then it doesn't matter. E.g. we're no longer hiring a routemaster red bus for our guests because although it would be lovely, we can't afford it and it's not necessary! x

  • I really like the first bouquet idea and I am completely with you, I'd much prefer to go with a supplier who seems genuinely interested in what we want and how our day is going to work as opposed to someone who just wants our money! And ignoring your H2B is not okay, we saw a Photo Booth supplier at the wedding show who purely spoke to D and completely ignored me... so he was off the list! haha x

  • MrsA-NToBe wrote (see post):

    I really like the first bouquet idea and I am completely with you, I'd much prefer to go with a supplier who seems genuinely interested in what we want and how our day is going to work as opposed to someone who just wants our money! And ignoring your H2B is not okay, we saw a Photo Booth supplier at the wedding show who purely spoke to D and completely ignored me... so he was off the list! haha x

    It's just plain rude haha!

  • Yeah do not go with the one who ignored your H2B Ha! Have you found anyone fir your hair or makeup yet? X

  • Kaybridetobe wrote (see post):

    Yeah do not go with the one who ignored your H2B Ha! Have you found anyone fir your hair or makeup yet? X

    Not yet no 😔. All the MUAs that are known for black skin are way out of my budget. So I’m thinking of going for a local artist who is working out cheaper. I’ll just have to make sure I’m 100% happy at the trial I think! Same situation with my hair X

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