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



  • CharleahCharleah Posts: 248 New bride
    Aww your calligraphy is cute ☺️ I don’t think you need to do anything more than send an invite which is what you’re doing! Hopefully she’ll appreciate that and want to come! 
  • Thank you @Charleah , hopefully ill be better by the time the main invites are due! 

    We've got our first florist appointment on the 5th Jan, and sending off enquiries has been bloody exhausting! I don't know if i'm just not a typical bride, or if vendors ask what they think you want to talk about, but i've had people just stop replying when I say "sorry we don't have colours for the bridesmaids, they can wear what they want - I just want it to look like spring, I don't care about colours"

    I love the huge beautiful arrangements you see on Instagram, and have no doubt they can change a wedding totally, but were working on a budget of about £ i'm well aware we're getting a few bouquets, button holes, 1-2 corsages and then I know i'll have to fork out for some foliage for the tables. But that's it. It makes me feel like when I talk to florists i'm just wasting their time, because why would they waste time and energy on something that frankly isn't going to make them much money? 

    I'm going to look into artificial flowers too, even though they can cost the same or a tad more, at least they wont be dead by the time were back from our mini-moon. 

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    Have you looked into M&S wedding flowers? Their packages are really reasonable. Probably a bit more boring than you could get from a florist though.
    I'm a bit of an amateur florist so if you PM me some pics of what you like I'd be happy to send you a list of flowers you could use to achieve the look you want.
    Alternatively, have you thought about doing them yourself? As my whole wedding is going to cost £200 for everything, using a flower wholesaler who sell to the public called Triangle Nursery. It's easy to do after watching a couple of Youtube tutorials.

  • @MrsCToBee thank you so much!! I'll send something over later today, you're such a star! I have heard of triangle nursery before and was thinking of using them for all the table and aisle flowers, but like you say I just don't have a clue where to start, I don't have favourites and never buy flowers for myself haha. 

    <3 thank you 
  • They're Done! 

    So after many an hour practising I decided FUCK IT they're only envelopes! They look nice anyway, and it's still achieved the same sort of look I was going for. I just didn't want biro scribble on the front really, it's not very me. 

    Below is a little snapshot of the different stages and then alll the envelopes in their glory (I say that like there's loads, we have 32 to give out haha).

    They didn't come in at the budget i originally set at all, but things like the pens and the ink will be used for other crafty tasks so i dont really know if they count. The stamp was the most expensive part at about £11 i think, but they still came in at about £20.

  • I just booked our appointment to give notice and although its obviously not actually any closer, it feels like an actual important thing is done, therefore were a step closer!! 

    We've managed to book it so I'll take the day off  and it's when M has Easter break so we get a long weekend, and the week after is the actual Easter holidays so i'll have 3 weeks of a shorter week! 

    Yesterday marked one year since we got the keys to our first home, so I feel like i'm in a lovely little bubble <3
  • MrsGtoBMrsGtoB Posts: 712 New bride
    I love your save the dates and happy 1 year home anniversary, ours was last weekend! xx
  • Happy New Year! 

    Hope everyone had a lovely festive period, and hopefully didn't have to work too much. 

    I was absent from the forum pretty much as soon as i finished work on the 21st, as i generally only have the time to be on it when i'm working, but it looks like most other people were also just off enjoying themselves so thankfully there wasn't too much to catch up on. Getting time to sit and catch up here has definitely softened the blow of going back to work <3 

    Not much has really happened over the holidays, although it's nice to officially be able to say i get married next year! I know its still so far away but it feels a bit more serious now, like people wont just go "oh that's ages away don't think about it now"  :/

    We gave out most of the save the dates, which people seemed to like. We got a few comments of them being a good idea, some brownie points from others for having made them, and then a few breaking out the magnifying glass to read it but whatever, cant please everyone. 

    I do feel a minute bit of pressure placed on my shoulders now, as this is the year i actually have to do stuff, and its not really going to just be me getting ahead of myself anymore. Better get cracking! 

    I'm not a resolution person, but my wedding aims for the year are:
    - Don't leave DIY until next autumn, if it doesn't happen before then its unlikely to happen - minus small bits.
    - Lose the last few kg that i want to, and work on creating better routines of stress reduction and self care. ( I hit my 9kg weight loss mark on New Years Eve!)
    - Never lose sight of the end goal - to simply be married. 

    I'm tempted by some things in the sales but it seems a bit silly if i wont be needing it for over a year... is it "normal" to just buy things and stockpile this early? Just shoes, craft stuff, nothing major. 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    I don't know if it's 'normal', but I've just bought things as I've seen them! With the exception of veils and shoes (all of which were cheap enough not to worry about) I haven't changed my mind about any of it, just ticked it off the list and moved on. I have 3 huge boxes of weddings stuff plus dresses in wardrobes etc!
  • CharleahCharleah Posts: 248 New bride
    I think it’s normal to just see and buy even if it’s a long way off. Our box room is just full wedding junk as me and OH like to call it 😅 
  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 260 New bride
    If we all do it, it's normal, right?
    I'm 5 months tomorrow (eeek!) and have shoes, my handbag, my jewellery, emergency wedding umbrellas, emergency shrugs in case it's cold for me and the adult bridesmaids, an emergency cardigan for my toddler bridesmaid, and all the vases for our table flowers in case Ikea stop selling them between now and then...  :D 
    Oh, and I have my ring cause I was over-excited and also wanted to spread the cost a bit.
    I actually have "order bubble guns" on my to do list for the next month or so too.
    Although I have had pretty much the whole festive period off from weddings, and am just catching up from Australia after going to a friend's wedding on Saturday!
  • @cs2thecox you're so organised!! I hope Australia was fun, must have been a great start to the New Year!! 
  • Oh yes! I've got a big box of wedding bits and bobs. But it's quite nice because now I know that all the centrepieces are done and are just sitting waiting for the day... it's one less thing to worry about if you buy as and when!
  • Thats very true thank you!! I think i worry because if left to my own devices i am a BIG spender, with a teeeeny wage, so since buying the house i have worked really hard to rein it in but i can't always tell if i'm buying things for the sake of it, or because i have a genuine need for it. Christmas always puts me in that odd place of being able to spend guilt free - but its hard to get my head back into mega savings mode again. 

    So this weekend gone we had our first florist appointment at a local florists just down the road. Two bottles of wine down on the night before we realised we probably should have some idea of what we actually want, colours and styles ect. Turns out being half cut is a great way to make wedding decisions! ( I kid - not when money is involved!) We came up with a general idea of pinks, blues, ivory and greenery. 

    So just like every other wedding on Pinterest. 

    I literally hate the thought of being another cookie cutter standard wedding but M likes blues, its spring time and we don't want to go for bright colours, rather keep it muted but natural, so thats what looked best with it.

    Also as much as i say im not girly and i hate pink - a variety of pink flowers do look lovely. 

    They seem very modern and they're really friendly and personable, so i'm hoping their quote comes in at a reasonable price! We have basically decided i can have "what i want" for my bouquet (i don't actually want anything in particular) but they were SO accommodating when i said "i just want it to look natural and like spring" Like there was a risk of this not happening with locally grown flowers, in that same season...

    I have got a few other general quotes and ideas as back up, but we also decided seeing as on the day the only people setting up will be M, the Groomsmen (who are a bit useless) and my Super Aunt, it doesn't seem fair for me to make decisions that give them more work, just to save me maybe £50. I hate that my decisions impact other people, so i want to make their lives easier where i can and i'm at that stage of planning where as long as i'm not pissing money into the wind, i'm realising the value of spending where it's worth it. 

    We may still go down the route of artificial flowers, and i may still get all the table ones from Triangle Nursery and just prep them as much as i can if they come in at too much from a florist, but were going to decide when we have all our quotes back. 

    Wed Team
    M finally asked his brother to be his best man too! 

    (sorry its huge!) 

    I found the label online and it was just a bit of fun, but he was so pleased and loved the sentiment. 

    I'm still a bit torn on who to have for my side of things. My sister is my MOH and theres no doubt about that, shes the best, but i'm sort of second guessing asking Ms sister now, and i'm not sure if i should ask my friends, even though ive been a bit dubious. 
    Ms sister is lovely, but shes in her first year at uni and lately shes been taking the uni lifestyle really too far, which is unlike her, shes incredibly smart, but i cant be dealing with her getting to the point of throwing up and passing out on a hen do... (although i might not have one - that's another story). I'm sure shes smart enough to know theres a time and a place though, and at the end of the day if she wants to get that far she will do it as a bridesmaid or a guest i suppose. 

    Then theres 2 of my close friends, maybe even 3. No1 - she is a bit of hard work, i feel like im putting in more than im getting out, but she HAS been trying a lot more lately and i know she doesnt mean any of it maliciously, shes just naturally a bit fickle and if you arent in front of her she forgets to check in. No2 - shes having her first baby soon, is MOH for her sister 6 months before, will have a 11 month old by the day, and we have drifted apart a lot. No3 - He's notorious for being obnoxious and inappropriate, but hes my oldest friend and i do love him dearly, he just needs to sort his life out. 

    Still, no rush, so ill keep mulling it all over! 
  • We don't need flowers right? 

    So after being ever hopeful and probably rather naive, the quote we were waiting for has come in, and has come in over £300 over budget. I'm going to put a little breakdown of general prices below and what it covers, as i'm really interested to see if its "average" or if they're maybe just the more expensive side of things. 
    As a starter note, i was always under the impression gypsophila was a cheaper filler flower and was a very cost effective option (please correct me if i'm wrong- a friend has told me it's more expensive because its harder to work with due to delicacy) 
    -Hand tied bridal bouquet with foliage - £100
    -Bridesmaids bouquets of a single hydrangea with ribbon - £20 each 
    -Groom button hole of Gyp and a rose - £10
    -Button holes of gyp bunch - £7
    -Corsage of bunch of gyp - £7
    -10 single stems for aisle ends with gyp - £100
    -Assorted flowers and foliage for 30 jars - £300

    Firstly, i know to a lot of people this probably is normal and isn't a big spend at all, but i really struggle that it will cost £100 for 10 individual tulips and a few sprigs of gyp in each one? I could buy a sh*t tonne of flowers "normally" for that amount of money. 
    Same really for the tables, i think £300 is a huge amount for one large flower and then foliage. Plus seeing as you can buy 25 bunches of Gyp on Triangle Nursery for £20 it seems like the mark up is huge ( this is where i think my friends right with it costing more due to being delicate and fiddly!)

    I am not saying they are over charging or the work isn't worth it ect - just i was expecting from our conversation of wanting to keep it all cheap and low key, that it wouldn't be this much. I was definitely under the assumption by using gyp for basically everything it would hugely reduce the cost. 

    So were a little bit back to the drawing board. We both love the look of flowers and the vibe they give, but we aren't flower people at all, and as M rightly pointed out last night, the tables will all be moved after eating so are we really willing to pay all this money for something that will be put in a side room after 6 hours? 

    Were thinking over options, and we are leaning towards artificial, purely because at least we can either sell them on after or we will get a bit more enjoyment out of them, but the thought of paying £100 for a bouquet that will be forgotten about after the photos and dead before were back from our mini-moon just seems bonkers. At least if i forked out that for an artificial one i can make it a place in the home and it will continue to bring me nice memories (if i don't just sell it haha). 

    I know im a super cheapskate, but all and any input or opinions welcome here! 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    edited January 2019

    You knew I'd be along didn't you? 😂😂

    Gyp is a cheap filler flower in bouquets - when used on it's own it's a bit harder to work with but should still be cheap. Hydrangea is an expensive flower but as it covers a large surface area it can be worth it, as in this case. Here's my sort of educated opinion:

    -Hand tied bridal bouquet with foliage - £100 - expensive side of average, but depends on which flowers they are using and size of bouquet
    -Bridesmaids bouquets of a single hydrangea with ribbon - £20 each  - OK price, but you could make these yourself so easily - plus Hydrangea is very easy to get hold of, loads of people have huge bushes of it in their garden. I snipped some from my mum's garden for my brother's wedding.
    -Groom button hole of Gyp and a rose - £10 - I've seen £6-8 as more of an average buttonhole price, these seem expensive since they are cheap flowers
    -Button holes of gyp bunch - £7 As above
    -Corsage of bunch of gyp - £7 As above
    -10 single stems for aisle ends with gyp - £100 absolute extortion, flowers would cost £5 max!
    -Assorted flowers and foliage for 30 jars - £300 - again, very expensive - 1 or 2 stems and a bit of gyp/foliage for a jar would cost maybe £2, absolute tops - so £10 per jar is a massive mark up.

    I appreciate florists have overheads but the mark ups on the flowers seem above average high to me! Florists can buy flowers wholesale even cheaper than you can from Triangle Nursery tbh.

    I honestly think for what you want artificial will work out more expensive than real flowers, and the resale market for them is absolutely flooded. Cheap artificial flowers look cheap to be honest.

     I genuinely think for what you want you could do it yourself - with a bit of help from a couple of friends or relatives, how long would it take to put a couple of flowers and a few leaves in some jars? An hour tops. I can make a buttonhole in 5 minutes and I taught myself. I really would think again about if you have anyone who woukd be willing to help.

    Is this a sort of fashionable hip Instagram worthy florist? Because what you want is so simple your basic high street florist will be fine.

  • Oh @MrsCToBee i actually think i love you! Thank you so much, i did wonder if i was just being a bit of a brat about it. I HUGELY appreciate your input and advice on this! 

    Ill have a little look into it, and maybe buy some supermarket ones and have a practice one weekend. I'm happy to pay Triangle Nursery prices because they're still really reasonable and where i am would mean a bit of a drive to a flower market anyway. 

    I think my main fear is giving myself things to stress about in the days before, but i suppose even if i have my bouquet made and the button holes that means i have hardly anything to do, and ill pay maybe £150 all in. 

    You are really such a bloody star, thank you so so much!! <3 
  • In regards to flowers i didnt even get a quote. I couldnt justify spending tons of money on flowers i know i wont care about after walking down asile and photos. Ive gone for 100% artificial. Ive got white rose bunches ready made from the range and the same white rose bunch for me which i have added red roses into. For tables we have glass bowels with lights and some artificial flowers in again from the range. It may not look as nice as real flowers but we have loads of scented candles to use to give us smell. Id rather spend money on wine!!! 
  • @Emma940 aha i love that attitude!! It sounds really lovely! I think i might take a look and see what i can find and maybe do a mix, but i suppose at the end of the day a lot of it comes down to how stressed i feel nearer the time! 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    Timings wise, it's actually better NOT  to do them the day before as wholesale flowers come tightly closed and you need to wait for them to open. For my brother's Sunday wedding, I had them delivered Thursday, and trimmed, stripped and conditioned them overnight, arranged them on Friday and they were just left all day Saturday as I was at a different wedding. They were fine on the Sunday, and in fact I could have had them delivered 1 or 2 days earlier and they still would have been fine.

    Have you watched the Triangle Nursery Youtube tutorials? They are fab and there are loads of different ones. I also found this book invaluable and worth it's weight in gold when I did my brother's wedding

    For buttonholes you could literally just snip a rose and pin it on on the day to keep it totally simple, then you wouldn't have to wire them, thoigh they will stand up better wired.

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    edited January 2019
    Also I know you really wanted the spring flowers, but have you considered using M&S for the bouquets and buttonholes then just either doing the jars yourselves or doing non floral centrepieces?  They do a quite spring-y looking rose, freesia and gyp package amongst others.
     How many bridesmaids do you have and how many tables?

    Another option for cheap centrepieces is potted flowers - if you go in any supermarket or M&S you can buy an orchid or a nice spray rose in a pot for £5-10 each. Dot a few candles around it and voila!
  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,311 New bride

    I thought I'd add what our quotes were for similar things- I can't remember where you are based off of the top of my head but anyway! This is for our florist based in Leicester. 

    -Hand tied bridal bouquet with foliage - £75  Mixed handtied of Roses, Peaonies, Freesia, Nigella and Hydrangea with some foliage.
    -Bridesmaids bouquets of a single hydrangea with ribbon - £35 pp as smaller versions of the above
    -Groom button hole of Gyp and a rose - £3.95 rose buttonholes with folliage, groom to have a special version 
    -Button holes of gyp bunch - as above
    -Corsage of bunch of gyp - Pin on £8.95 each Wrist £12.95 each  Handbag £9.95 each, roses and folliage 
    -10 single stems for aisle ends with gyp - we aren't having but quote of £6-20 each for pew ends
    -Assorted flowers and foliage for 30 jars - we aren't having 
    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.
    Our report: A fun, classic May day in navy and blush
    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • Thank you @GinAndBling that really puts it into perspective for me! 

    I only have 2 Bms and max 10 tables, probably more like 8, and we are moving the 12 aisle ends onto the tables so there will only be maybe 2 more jars on each table, one i thought with a statement flower like Hydrangea and then the other just foliage. 

    Thanks for the tip @MrsCToBee Iv'e had a look at the M&S offering and it seems really good! I've also found the Great British Florist and it looks like they have a pretty decent offering too if i just wanted to order a bouquet and button holes from there and do the rest myself. 

    I definitely don't feel as hopeless about it as i did before though which has to be a good thing! 

  • MrsGtoBMrsGtoB Posts: 712 New bride
    We didn't do corsages or buttonholes and no one noticed! I thought some older folk might have asked but no.  My bouquet was £80 (eucalyptus, pheasant feathers, foliage etc), £20 for real petals for flower girl and £15 delivery to two venues. Centrepiece tops and ceremony decoration (I moved to cake table at night) were included in my package. 
    I loved our florist she got what I wanted exactly right, she also gave us some free extra feathers which my mum put in her fascinator and my sister made a headband out of.

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,311 New bride
    No worries :) ah I really loved Great British Florist, I thought the packages that they offered seemed good value and the idea of grown not flown was really appealing. In the end we decided against it for various reasons but they seem to review well. 
    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.
    Our report: A fun, classic May day in navy and blush
    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride

    Just looked at Great British florist and they seem quite expensive, same prices as a florist really.

    Have you considered that you could just buy yourself a bridesmaid's bouquet  though - will just be slightly smaller but if you choose one of the loose, wild ones should still be fairly sizeable.

  • That's not a bad idea.... I suppose especially if they're having something smaller anyway it wont look out of place at all. 

    I always knew flowers would be the biggest headache haha. 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    When I was a bridesmaid last year the brides's bouquet was enormous and so heavy (I had to hold both hers and mine for an hour long Church ceremony!), and the BM bouquets were probably about the size I will be aiming for for my bouquet. so if you aren't fussed about having enormous flowers it could be a solution.
  • I was stressing over the flowers too, as the quotes were coming out so high and then I found out that our local florist who used to have a shop still works from home.  I got in touch with her and this is what I've been quoted:

    £50 - Bridal bouquet
    £35 - Bridesmaid bouquets
    £3 - Buttonholes
    £15 - Wrist corsage
    £60 - Ceremony table arrangement (this will then be moved to the top table)

    I'm more than happy with these prices, as may even add some extras on when we meet with her at the beginning of February.  As I'm being walked down the aisle by both my dad and step dad, I may have a wrist corsage rather than struggling to carry a bouquet as well (I'll still have a bouquet, which can be waiting for me on the top table).

    Maybe ask around to see if there's someone local you can use?

    Another thought I had and I haven't actually tried it, but what about ordering a nice bouquet of flowers, as though they're a gift and then just re-tie them for a bridal bouquet.  Has anyone tried this before? 
  • @Jessica Rabbit thank you for sharing, that all seems really reasonable! 

    I did debate that idea too, as some of them are gorgeous and i have no issue putting it together myself in some form, its the selecting the right flowers that gets me, but im not fussed by whats actually in it, if that even makes sense! I cant imagine its that hard, The Great British Florist website even has an option where they post the boquet flowers and you build it yourself, so surely it isn't any different? 

    I like that idea of the corsage! I still haven't decided what i'm doing with regards to Dad & Step Dad, id like them both to walk with me but i cant see them taking it well. 

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