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What Am I Doing?! - April 2020/2021 (A Tale Of Two Weddings)



  • Love it! and such a bargain... it'll be nice to have something a bit unique and personal to you guys! 
  • Love the wheel!!
  • I love the wheel, that will be so cool!

    I completely feel your pain re budget wedding; ours is more expensive than we planned but still nothing compared to what everyone else seems to be able to do, well under half the average UK wedding cost blah blah blah. And we couldn't manage it without my dad's extremely generous contributions. So I've been worrying so much about what people will think, if they'll turn down noses at it, etc. Especially because it's quite homemade and there will be a few odd touches (let's call them quirky or arty 😂).. but honestly I'm focusing on 3 things now . 1) if everyone's weddings were exact Pinterest replicas it would be boring. Not that the ones that are aren't beautiful, but certainly as a guest I would like a variety!
    2) the people we have invited are people we love, and who know us, so it's silly of me to worry about homemade touches and quirks because they already know what we're like and it's reflective of us and they are used to putting up with it!
    3) the one thing everyone has said to us is it's OUR day, they're right. They will be happy turning up, supporting you and having some nice food and drink! If you just hired an empty room, added some chairs, music and wine people would quite happily chat away and enjoy themselves, I think!

    And if I turned up to a wedding that had a massive wheel, I'd think it was cool and different and that's much more impactful and representative of a couple than how expensive everything is :)
  • Aw @Cecilia13 that's really kind of you thank you! Its funny isn't it, how naturally we just all compare. I look at your plans and think they're gorgeous and fun and that its the kind of wedding that looks like such a great time, but i suppose we are all out own worst critics. 

    I think i worry because honestly i'm a really boring person  :D i go to the gym, i like cute dogs, baking shows and horror movies. My general interests are sort of hard to translate to decor, but i suppose what we are doing is very us and you're right, that's what matters. 

    I also think it just feels a bit odd because all we both really care about is the food, and once we pick that we have no further input in it and just hope it turns out alright! 

    I'm wishing it was just all so much sooner now. Last night i lost my Great Uncle (somewhat unexpectedly). He was in a home and i knew he had needed some help, but i didn't think it was as bad as it was. I think my Gran was just trying to protect me bless her. It makes me worry for my Grandparents, by the time we get married my Grandpa will be about 96 and although hes doing well, you can tell things are hard and its all taking its toll. We have discussed bringing it forward but its just not feasible, so i'm just crossing everything i have and asking whatever powers are out there to keep them well, as selfish as it is i'm just not ready for it. My Grandparents were a huge part of my upbringing, and the solid rock that i didn't get elsewhere so if i couldn't share it with them i would be so devastated, but i know i cant control this one. 
  • The Proposal

    We were in Amsterdam on a weekend city break, our main holiday for the year really as we had a few trips planned, but all with other people. 

    We had booked a Canal Dinner Cruise, which takes you around a tour of the canals for 2 and a half hours, where you're served a 4 course meal. The trip felt special, it was so lovely to finally have some time just to ourselves. 

    The cruise was incredible, we saw some beautiful sights, and we were lucky enough to have widow seats! It rained ever so briefly, but they had the roof off the boat so poor M got a little drenched! We had both got a bit dressed up, as we just never get the opportunity to at home. The food was phenomenal! We're both very much into our food, and it was just such an incredible experience, finishing just after the sun set over the city. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect start to our trip. 

    M said he wanted to go for a walk around the canals, but my feet were killing (damn shoes) and i wanted to put some jeans on if we would be out til the early hours, so off we walked back to the hotel room. 

    When we got inside, M started telling me how much i meant to him (i thought this was the free wine talking!) and sat me on the end of the bed next to him. Honestly, its a bit of a blur but suddenly he was down on one knee in front of me! I was speechless, and after what felt like the longest seconds of my life i managed to eek out "is this a joke" before managing yes over and over. I can't express how insane it all felt. He chose the moment so perfectly, knowing i'd hate anything in public. 

    He completely excelled, he made sure everything was going as it should, we have been up for close to 18 hours by that point, and the whole time hadn't even hinted that this was part of his plan. We sat for a little while and just took it all in. Some crying, hugging and laughing helped to make me realise i hadn't just imagined it all!

    The next 2 days were glorious, we kept the news to ourselves until we could tell family in person, so enjoyed the sights and tastes of Amsterdam in a blissful bubble. 

    It might not sound like much to anyone else, but to me it was perfect, and i will think back to that moment for the rest of my life with heart bursting joy. 

    wow!! Nice purposal
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    Sorry for your loss.
    My grandad is in his late 80s and in very poor health and will only be able to come to the ceremony, if at all. Sadly I lost my grandma, who I was very close to, in 2013. My dad lost both his parents when he was young so never met them, and my fiance only has one grandparent left too. We are desperately hoping they make it. It's an unfortunate side effect of people getting married and having their kids a bit later in life now I guess - our grandparents are all incredibly elderly by the time we get married.
  • I completely understand, I worry so much about being boring! I worry everyone sees all the bright colours and glitter and performing and then when it comes down to it I'm not super fun and outgoing and it's a disappointment, and so that's my concern with the wedding, that it looks awesome but people get bored. Food and drink was definitely the most important for us too, it was decided before we got engaged.
    And everything else is so easy to overthink, but honestly a few paper lanterns or pompoms or some fairy lights and it will look pretty with minimal effort and ideas I think!

    I'm really sorry for your loss. That must be really hard. I'm lucky in that my grandparents are relatively ok and a bit younger so unless something changes drastically I'm ok, but in 6 months you never know! Ralph has lost 2 in the last 2 years, as well as his godfather who was almost like a second dad when he was younger, so I'm very aware that he'll be missing them on the day. 
    Unfortunately you never know what will happen, so it's difficult to plan around! But you'll have lots of people loving you and supporting you :)
  • I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending virtual hugs xx. 

    I'm sure I have you beat on the Boring - Meter, I'm an accountant! And live in the middle of unexciting nowhereland.  I hang out mostly with my dogs too. I would struggle greatly trying to "impose" my personality on a wedding - how about calculators for table centerpieces  :p ??  Don't worry about that stuff too much; half of the weddings I see on Pinterest that are so "original" and "infused" with the bride and groom's personality look like half the others anyway.  Just pick things and ideas you like!

    Have you thought at all about having just the legal bit early? I think it was @Sian91 on here did that to be sure to include her older relatives. I think they did it 6 months in advance, but you could have a small registry 'do and dinner any time before.  It could be simple and beautiful and ensure the older folks you love are there.

  • Thank you @KittyFiennes , i really appreciate it. 

    I had broached the subject of it with M a few months ago but he wasn't keen. He's quite traditional and worries it wont feel the same if were already legally married. Even reminding him we would save a good £500 didn't sway him! I might broach it again in a week or so, just as it does feel like things have shifted a bit. It probably isn't helped by the fact 2 of Ms 3 Grandparents live a few hours away, so it is almost more inconvenient for them to make the journey twice, but it seems unfair to not include them. 

    I think even if my Grandparents are around on the day they will probably only manage the ceremony, then have a rest, then some food, and then they'll probably leave, so it would be so lovely to be able to share it with them in a more intimate way. Failing that ill probably include them a lot in the run up to things, maybe take my dress over there and do a twirl, so at least if they cant make it they have had a good time in the lead up. 

    I think i just need to accept i'm no good with mortality, it makes me feel so uncomfortable and i hate that there's just nothing you can do. I'm the worst when i have no control, i just cant function like it. 
  • So sorry for your loss xxx 

    My grandparents passed away in 1998 and 2015 and I was so close to them. It's two of the hardest things I've had to deal with. Getting married at 41 years old (later in life) unfortunately poses those problems. 

    Hopefully you can talk FH around and maybe do the legal but earlier?

    I just want to also say that your wedding looks fantastic and you really shouldn't worry about anyone else (though easier said than done, I know) xxx 

  • There is one reason I haven’t enjoyed weddings, ok two - too much standing around and bad or too little food and drink available (in the case of drink we couldn’t even purchase any easily at one wedding and it wasn’t because of beliefs: the bride and groom don’t drink as they don’t like it so simply hadn’t provided any even with the meal and turns out they’d said the staff should only open the bar if people specifically asked - well my table did!) 

    The best ones I have been to haven’t necessarily been the most expensive, they have been the ones with fun/easygoing guests where people have mixed and where there’s been a mix of tradition and things done a bit differently and where there was “heart” in them if that makes sense, rather than trying to do everything by the book. 

    I keep worrying now that people won’t have a good time at mine and will be standing around too much because it is quite hard to get right. Or that there won’t be enough food and drink at the right points. But we’ll never get it bang on perfect and I think if you are having a good time and guests have the basics and can let their hair down then it will all be ok. I’m hoping so anyway! X
  • @Ruth126 i totally agree! I haven't started on my timeline at all yet but if we have gaps i'm going to do all i can to keep everyone entertained! We're quite lucky in that we have quite a bit of space to work with even if the weather is naff (it's April - i'm not holding my breath!) so im thinking if needed i might set up a little games room. 
    Here's a bit of an overview of where we have at our disposal: 

    Ceremony Room:
    Image result for milling barn wedding venue

    The Reception Room: 
    Image result for milling barn wedding venue

    Upstairs Mezzanine: 

    Image result for milling barn wedding venue outside

    I'm not too sure yet how to best use the space we have, so any suggestions welcome. My only fear is i also don't necessarily want to encourage people to go into the ceremony room or upstairs area when the DJ is going, i just worry about people staying in there occupied with other things. 

    The reception room will be set up in the morning, as will the ceremony room, after the meal the reception room will be turned around for dancing so guests will either go outside or into the ceremony room, which can also have been turned around into whatever I decide for this stage. The top for mezzanine can also be set up in the morning with the reception room. 

    Aside from the decor which i'm working on, and suggestions of actual use is welcome!  
  • Wow your venue is much bigger than ours (two rooms upstairs in a London pub) so I think you will be ok whatever the weather! We plan to turn one room into a room with board games etc for those who don’t like dancing anyway. Somewhere you can still have a nice time but nothing to tempt dancers away from the dance floor as you say.
    We are April this year and it does feel like a risk with the weather at this time of year. We could inadvertently have a winter wedding even - much as that’s lovely I really hope not as it’s not part of the plan! 
  • Wow your venue looking amazing!  We have different rooms for our venue, chapel for the ceremony, which then wont be used again, then reception drinks will either be outside the main entrance, followed by another outside area or if the weather is rubbish, it will be in the parlour and then moved upstairs.  Afterwards, these areas wont be used again, so that we can keep everyone together.  The meal will be in the main room, which will then be turned around for the night do.  The main room is connected to a cafe area, so anyone wanting to be a bit more relaxed can sit there but still see / hear the party.  We've got live music in the day and evening, so we're not providing any other entertainment other than that, I think you can go overboard with these things, I'm hoping that less is more.  
  • Thank you @Ruth126 and @Jessica Rabbit I think you're both right! Some quiet space but nothing that is too enticing really, maybe even just in the ceremony room i'll set up some tables and chairs with coffee and bits for the older rellies to get some quiet. 

    Thinking about it, I don't know that i want to use the mezzanine area really, or maybe i'll just chuck some beanbags and bits, so again its nothing that makes people want to stay there instead of the main party.  I know it will be a long day for many so i have no issue with people wanting to chill out, but i just don't want anything that might end up drawing people away from the dance floor. 

    I feel like my brain has gone back to liquid after our lovely time away. It was only a short weekend but god it was so good! Super relaxed, really really good fun and it felt like the first time in a while i felt like myself. 

    All it has taken is a few days back to reality and i cant focus or hold a thought at all, i definitely need a proper holiday! Work is stressful, family is family, and i'm hyper focusing on everything, but without being able to actually think about it if that makes sense?  I'm trying mindfulness, but honestly i think i just need time away from everything. 
  • I saw a wedding that instead of the stereotype photobooth with props, they had loads and loads of props (like from Poundland) that they provided (with the DJs help) to encourage people on the dance floor. For example, they had inflatable "electric" guitars whilst the DJ spun 80s hair band music, plastic gold chains whilst they played rap, sombreros and maracas during Tejano/ salsa music, etc.  People had so much fun with the stuff and it really kept people on the dance floor (even people that didn't like to dance). 
    You could always make a cute little sign by the stairs to the mezzanine that says "Bridal Party Only" and save that area for closest family and friends to store things, decompress, freshen up. Like @Ruth126 said, you are lucky that you have as much space as you do (and a gorgeous space at that!) 

  • CoffeeDogAddictCoffeeDogAddict Posts: 1,514 New bride
    edited February 2019
    @KittyFiennes i love both those ideas!! I'd never thought of anything like that at all thank you so much! 

    I'm really loving the idea of a Wedding Party section - it makes me feel like we aren't wasting the space but its not going to distract anyone. My sister will love it too, as she isn't big on crowds and people in general, so at least it means she will have somewhere to go for a bit of space if she needs it. 

    We saw our wedding photographers again at the weekend at a fair we were taking a look around. they completely put my mind at ease, even though they thought we were this year not next! They were so relaxed and spoke about their latest couples as though they're all friends, so its really put my mind at ease. They also had new work to show which was really lovely. 

    We started looking a bit at cakes, as we aren't looking for anything traditional but there were a few there and we saw one absolutely gorgeous one!
    White and Gold Wedding Cake by Serendipity Cake Company

    Apparently that arrangement at the top is really fiddly and she said it'd be £300!! Not a hope in hell when it serves about 20 people  :s 

    We're still planning on our dessert bar in cake form - so hopefully 6-7 tiers each one a different sweet treat, with a cake to cut on the top. 

    Things are slowly coming together idea wise, and after April were going to get cracking on the DIY bits which i'm excited for! 

    I got a bit stressed out thinking about bridesmaids and stuff over the weekend, because my sister and Ms sister are polar opposites in both physical build and personality, so the thought of going shopping with them both filled me with so much anxiety. I then realised i can just go with each of them separate, and i can make sure then they both have a really fun experience with it and i get two shopping trips! 

    I'll do a bit of a run down below, mostly to shock me into actually pulling a finger out and getting on with it all! 

    Venue & Caterers
    DJ (evening only)
    Registrar booked preliminary - TBC after giving notice
    Appointment to give notice arranged

    Still To Do
    Make Up Artist
    Hair Stylist
    Videographer? Or sort sound & editing 
    Other entertainment - music for ceremony/daytime
    Bridal Accessories - still debating what and how. 
    All decor 
    All stationary
    Transport? Not needed but might surprise M
    Bridesmaids dresses
    Finalising bridal party people!

    Looking at it like this, where its taken me 9 months to sort 6 bits (although they are the bigger bits to a degree) and i have quite a handful of still very important things to do, i think i need to get a rocket on! 

    (If there's anything i've forgotten please let me know - i've been broad with the suppliers so know the actual to do list will be much more detailed)

  • I'm glad you liked my ideas on the venue (but would not have been the slightest offended if you found them daft!)  I know when we had our original big day, I would have loved to have had an area to escape to, to just enjoy my new husband for a moment, to take a break, and to refresh. I don't think we ever even spoke all day to each other :( we were so busy trying to be good hosts.
    The only things I can think of to add to your list would be to make sure to include undergarments in your "accessories" list.  The right bra/ panties can be more troublesome to find than a veil or shoes. And don't forget about picking readings and music for the actual ceremony. (I'm about to start that process now.)
  • CoffeeDogAddictCoffeeDogAddict Posts: 1,514 New bride
    edited March 2019
    @KittyFiennes thank you for the tips! I really appreciate it, you are always a fountain of helpful ideas! 

    Very little has happened (what a surprise!) but i'm still very much in the "I cant be bothered" mindset. 

    We have our first menu tasting at the venue on Wednesday, which i'm really looking forward to. This one is their generic one where you get a bit of everything, and anyone is invited if your wedding is in the next year or so. I'm hoping it will settle my nerves about how well they run an event and i can see in person if the staff are actually alright. 

    We're going to use this one to confirm our ideas for the menu, and then in May we have our private one that they offered us to apologise for being such hard work and giving us false information. Hopefully by then we will actually have made some decisions! 

    We have potentially changed our mind on the colour and style again, purely because i found a pair of shoes i like but they wouldn't go with the current look and colours  :D i'm lucky M is so chilled and is just like "yeah sure we can do XYZ instead". 

    I'm dreading having to make a decision and actually stick with it, i'm not sure it's in my bones! 

    Very comforting for someone about to commit their life to someone, I know....
  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 951 New bride
    I wouldn't worry too much about sticking rigidly to any colour or style or theme. I know such things make weddings look more picture perfect, but the best theme is "buy or make what you like and can afford and then throw it all together into a wedding that is uniquely yours"! Chosen colours and styles should guide your decision making, not make you exclude stuff you really like.
  • @OmRum yeah that's pretty much where we've ended up haha. We kept seeing things and going "oh i like that but it doesn't go with the colours" (not that we ever had a set 1-2 colours, it was always more of a neutral soft version of anything, so very light but of any colour) and at the weekend it just clicked, why do we keep turning ideas down because they don't go with the "theme" when they are apparently the things we seem to like! 

    There's still no set colours, but were going with a more vibrant look now, so pretty bright and bold colours. It seems to be what we are both drawn to and it seems more appropriate for spring time. I'm sure we can find some dresses for the bridal party that they like within that, even though not all of them are particularly bold people. 

    I know there is of course a tonne of time, but bloody hell that crept up fast! It feels like 18-13 months went by in a blink, which doesn't fill me with confidence for this time next year! 

    I've been flitting around ideas of accessories, I know a while back I wrote about probably making a topper to go over the dress and some kind of veil, but i'm feeling quite undecided now. I worry a topper might take away from the fun and quirkyness of the skirt, and I don't want to end up looking like someone has just thrown up a bunch of ideas onto some fabric and doesn’t really have much of an actual style or look going on (which is exactly how it feels in my head XD)

     I ordered the below belt off Wish (they had similar ones on Etsy for £60 but this was £9!) which I think is quite cute, but at least it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work. I just thought maybe a belt and then a veil would work instead of a topper? It also feels mad to spend either lots of hours of time making one, or spending £50+ on something I’ll probably only wear for 2-3 hours.

     I’m basically trying to get my head round whether I do a “statement” topper and plain veil, a “statement” veil and no topper, or just rein it all in and keep it plain! (I know this is exactly my previous issue – but if you hadn’t noticed I can’t make a decision on anything haha).

     I like the idea of being able to personalise all this to be “Me” but as someone who’s sense of style equates to ill-fitting jeans and her fiancés t-shirts, I’m not in my element. 

    I like the look of toppers like this: 

    image 0

    but with my dress having no lace at all i dont want it to look out of place and mismash. 

    I also love the look of veils like these below, but i think all of it is just too much so i really need to pick one or the other haha. 

    image 0

    I really do like the idea of a lightly ombre veil in the above sparkle tulle, but again i worry its a bit gimmicky and too much. I do think the sparkle is beautiful as is too. 

    I'm also throwing around the idea or maybe just a veil and a statement necklace, backdrop necklace or shoulder jewellery. 

    Its like there's so many combinations i cant pick!

    Any ideas or opinions are welcome!! 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    edited March 2019
    We have gone from a year to 5 1/2 months in the blink of an eye!

    I can't help you on the style front as I have none either. I'm also torn between a topper or straps, am hoping my visit to the seamstress on Monday helps me decide.
  • I think you had your dress pics up shortly and then took them down and I missed it (?) Or am I mistaken? I'd be happy to try and help if you wanted to PM a pic of your dress. I don't want to weigh in on the veil/ topper dilemma without an idea of the dress.  I really love toppers - I think they are so cool because you basically get two looks in one (if you take it off later in the day). But I also love some of your unique veils ideas, esp the one with the white-washed ends (the second pic). But yes, it would def be easy to get carried away and have way too much going on.
    Don't feel badly about struggling to make decisions. I'm like that all.the.time. to the point where I sometimes think there must be something wrong with me I change my mind so much.  I will say with weddings, one thing I found out was that mind-changing gets expensive! 
  • Ah of course @KittyFiennes , I completely forgot i took the picture off! 

    This is the dress:

    I'm not keen on any of the pictured of me in it anymore haha but you get the idea. 

  • Sci-Fi NerdSci-Fi Nerd Posts: 65 New bride
    edited March 2019
    Your dress is STUNNING!!! 😍😍😍😍😍
  • Your dress is STUNNING!!! 😍😍😍😍😍
    Aw thank you <3 i still feel a bit awkward about it because its the opposite of what i thought i wanted, but its fun and it feels more "me" than anything else did. 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    I forgot how stunning your dress is! My friend's dress had a similar skirt with a lace top if that helps, I'll PM you a pic later.
  • MrsCToBee said:
    I forgot how stunning your dress is! My friend's dress had a similar skirt with a lace top if that helps, I'll PM you a pic later.
    Oh fab thank you! 

    I'm currently drowning in about 300 pics on my phone and 200 ish on pinterest of soooo.many.ideas i cant actually picture anything at all. 

  • Red_LHRed_LH Posts: 21 New bride
    That's a beautiful dress, so weird how you have something in your head and then you end up getting the complete opposite! I thought I'd go for an Aline and then ended up buying something fitted! I also thought I wouldn't want a veil and as soon as I tried one on in the shop I changed my mind. Picking the veil ended up being more difficult than getting the dress! 
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