Our 2020 Essex Barn Wedding

2

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  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,474 New bride

    Enchanted Bridal without a doubt.  Mel is brilliant.  Her website is not the best, but honestly, I cannot believe how incredible her shop is.  It is quite big, has a big range of dresses to suit all budgets/shapes, and is a really relaxing environment.  All the appointments are exclusive, so there are no brides in at the same time, and she has plenty of space for loads of people.  They are in Old Harlow.  I was in there recently, and she 100% has dresses similar to the ones above.  What I quite like is that she uses local designers wherever possible, and they make the dresses from scratch.  I have quite broad shoulder, so she just noted it, and they made the shoulders slightly wider.  

  • britbird wrote (see post):

    Enchanted Bridal without a doubt.  Mel is brilliant.  Her website is not the best, but honestly, I cannot believe how incredible her shop is.  It is quite big, has a big range of dresses to suit all budgets/shapes, and is a really relaxing environment.  All the appointments are exclusive, so there are no brides in at the same time, and she has plenty of space for loads of people.  They are in Old Harlow.  I was in there recently, and she 100% has dresses similar to the ones above.  What I quite like is that she uses local designers wherever possible, and they make the dresses from scratch.  I have quite broad shoulder, so she just noted it, and they made the shoulders slightly wider.  

     

    Thank you Britbird, my mum lives in Eastwick, which is a tiny village on the edge of Harlow so we will 100% take a look in Enchanted Bridal. I like the sound of having a local designer. 

    I have the problem where my top half is much smaller than my bottom half, so it would be good to have a dress made for me which fits perfectly! x

  • The Registrar 

    The Registrar is booked, we will be having a 2pm ceremony on the 20th June 2020, its all starting to feel a little more real now!!

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,474 New bride

    I know Eastwick. Our chickens are at the vet there. Definitely worth checking out Enchanted then!

  • britbird wrote (see post):

    I know Eastwick. Our chickens are at the vet there. Definitely worth checking out Enchanted then!

    Ahh Amazing, our dog goes to that vet too, small world! I will do thank you. x

  • Bookings, Bookings, Bookings! 

    I feel like all I have done this week is book people and pay deposits! So a quick update on what I have achieved: 

    The Band

    We will be having a male duo sing during our ceremony and the canape and drinks reception, they are called TaylorMade and were fantastic when they performed at BM BF's wedding in Sicily recently. 

    They have also given me two free tickets to go and see them perform at the National Wedding show in October, which I thought was fantastic! 

    The Caterers 

    At our venue we have a choice of either Limeberry or Stock & Bailey, I have been in touch with both companies and both have given me a quote of around £75p head for my ideal menu which is as follows: 

    5 canapes pp 

    Starter of Antipasti Sharing Boards 

    Main of either Rack of Lamb or Seabass (will be chosen by our guests in invite)

    Dessert of either Brownie or Cheesecake (to be decided before hand by us) 

    Followed by a Selection of Cheeses and Homemade Chutneys 

    Ending with Tea, Coffee, Truffles and Macaroons 

    This doesn't include any alcohol as the venue provides an all day package for £28pp 

    We are going to have tastings with both companies in the first week of October, these are both £40 per head, but I thought it would be a nice evening for us, and I would much rather try both companies than make a decision on a whim. 

    Entertainment 

    My H2B likes playing poker with his friends, or online (not with real money), so he looked into having a Casino at the wedding during the evening. He found a local company which will provide a Roulette Table and a Blackjack table with attendants for £495, so this has been booked up at we will have it at our evening reception. (The company is called Funky Casinos, if anyone is interested)

    As noted previously my future BIL is a great DJ, so we will be having him for the evening party alongside a Sax player, which he is currently sourcing. 

    Videographer 

    Me and H2B were not too bothered about having a video, as we thought a lot of our friends would record the speeches, first dance etc for us. But my Mum really wanted us to have one. 

    So I did a bit of searching around and was getting quotes of around £2,000, which was just madness! However I was trawling through planning/wedding threads for ideas and saw a few of the brides on here have used a company called Video4aday, he does a bridal prep - 9pm package for £700, so we have booked him up as his videos looked great! 

    Florist 

    I am still waiting for quotes from some of the florists, but it looks like the cost is going to be around £2,500 - £3,000 for the amount of flowers that I want, this is the amount I budgeted so its not too bad, however I am still hopeful that some of the other florists will come back with a bit of a cheaper quote.

     

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    All your plans sound lovely so far.

     

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,474 New bride

    Hopefully you will have a different experience with Limeberry- I was really unhappy with them and didn't go with their quote in the end. Exciting to have tastings booked though and sounds like plans are going well! 

  • britbird wrote (see post):

    Hopefully you will have a different experience with Limeberry- I was really unhappy with them and didn't go with their quote in the end. Exciting to have tastings booked though and sounds like plans are going well! 

     

    I do hope so, I saw that the only thing you enjoyed was the dessert! I will post an update with pictures once we have had the tastings. 

    Hope everything is going well for you in your final few weeks of planning x 

  • MrsS85 wrote (see post):

    All your plans sound lovely so far.

     

    Thank you MrsS85! x

  • Update

    I don't feel like I have any updates to give which is frustrating me at the moment. The wedding is too far away for me to start DIY (as it will just hang around in our flat which has little storage space as it is), and its too early for me to start booking other bits i.e. buying bridesmaids dresses and accessories. 

    I have meetings with florists, tastings with caterers and my first day out dress shopping in October - so hopefully I can provide a more exciting update then! 

    Weight Loss

    I thought to keep this planning blog going, and to also motivate myself, I will provide weekly updates on weight loss. I need to lose about a stone to be at my ideal weight for the wedding/hen do. I would like to get this done this year and maintain/tone up until the wedding in June 2020. 

    I am currently using the Joe Wicks books plus a few recipes from his 90 day SSS plan. 

    I love going to the gym but have fallen out of routine for the last few months due to weddings, the world cup and birthdays. I really need to get back into it for 30 days so I am in a routine, I am a member of the local gym but only really go to classes. 

    I am aiming to work out 4-5 days a week, the way that Joe Wicks works is that you have low carb meals when your not training, and a high carb meal after you train, you are also allowed two low carb snacks a day.

    Joe recommends you do 20-25 minutes of High Intensity Training (HIT) 4-5 times a week, he has multiple videos on his YouTube, check out the body coach TV if you are interested. I will be doing a mixture of these along with some of the classes at my gym (circuits and body kombat).  

    I will provide an update regarding meals/weight loss each Sunday, mainly to keep me motivated. I think it may be a bit boring for you guys, but may also provide a bit of motivation/inspiration! 

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,474 New bride

    Somehow I missed you were using Sam and Louise.  We had actually booked in with them- we loved them.... then they cancelled on us!  But you probably know that from my thread LOL.  Their style is brilliant.  

    Good luck with the weight loss- I was doing so well, but totally fell off the wagon.  I lost nearly 2 1/2 stone in the end, but wanted to do 5 :-(  

  • britbird wrote (see post):

    Somehow I missed you were using Sam and Louise.  We had actually booked in with them- we loved them.... then they cancelled on us!  But you probably know that from my thread LOL.  Their style is brilliant.  

    Good luck with the weight loss- I was doing so well, but totally fell off the wagon.  I lost nearly 2 1/2 stone in the end, but wanted to do 5 :-(  

     

    Oh no!!! I have just gone back to have a look at you planning blog and didn't realise it was Sam and Louise who had cancelled on you! Really hope we don't have the same issue. 

    Re weight loss, 2 and a half stone is so amazing!!! I think my problem is that me and H2B love to socialise, which always ends up in too much wine and eating rubbish for the next couple of days due to hangovers, hopefully if I can force myself to stay in/not drink during the weekends I can get the ball rolling x

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    Here is my plan for the week if anyone is interested or also on the Joe Wicks bandwagon, ignore Monday, that is for next week as I was rubbish yesterday. Will be out food shopping on my lunch break. 

  • Hiya

    I am not doing Joe Wicks but I am on a fitness/diet kick at the minute-only 53 days until the wedding so am in full swing!

    Currently doing a mix of lifting and cardio at the gym and tracking calories/macros on Myfitnesspal.

    Would you recommend buying one of the Joe Wicks cookbooks?

  • Candice9 wrote (see post):

    Hiya

    I am not doing Joe Wicks but I am on a fitness/diet kick at the minute-only 53 days until the wedding so am in full swing!

    Currently doing a mix of lifting and cardio at the gym and tracking calories/macros on Myfitnesspal.

    Would you recommend buying one of the Joe Wicks cookbooks?

     

    Hi Candice! Wow, I can't wait until my countdown is only 53 days how exciting for you! 

    Joe has 3 different books 

    1) The Shift Plan - this what I am currently doing, you do it for 4 weeks, this is supposed to help you drop the most weight, you do HIT based cardio workouts, after your workout you can have a high carb meal, apart from that you have a low carb meals. 

    2) The Shape Plan - this is the next 4 weeks following a different workout regime involving both HIT and weights and is meant to tone your body more and help lose inches, the food plan also changes, you have low carb days when you aren't exercising and high carb days when you are exercising, there are lots of new recipes in the book 

    3) The Sustain Plan - this is the next 4 weeks after that, this is meant to help you ease into sustaining your new weight 

    If you are still looking to lose a bit of weight before your wedding I would recommend you buy the first book and follow it, however Joe recommends you just stick to cardio doing this phase, and if your lifting you may get very hungry as not many carbs are involved in this regime. 

    Not all the recipes listed above on my planner are in the books, my friend was doing the 90 day SSS plan, which is Joe Wick's tailor made plan for individuals, she passed on a few of the recipes that she thought were amazing i.e. prawn burger and buffalo chicken, but if you go on his Instagram he usually gives out these recipes on posts which is handy!x

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,474 New bride

    Honestly, I am sure you won't have an issue with them- Louise was really nice.  At the time I sort of was all fine about it, and then someone did point out that if it had been the other way round and I had wanted to cancel after paying a deposit it probably wouldn't have been the same!  Which I guess is a fair point, but these things do happen.  The only pain was that we had to start our research from scratch, and Lina and Tom, although we much prefer them, are quite a bit more expensive.  

     

    Totally get where you are coming from with the socialising- I am terrible about going out!  

  • Dress Shopping 


    On Saturday I went wedding dress shopping for the first time. I went with my Mum, Sister, Nan and Best Friend. I know is sooo early to be getting a dress, but I had no idea of the shape/style I wanted, so this was just a shop for ideas. 

    We went to three different shops 

    - Wed2B in Chelmsford

    - Rock the Frock in Chelmsford

    - The White Wedding House in Brentwood 

    I didn't find my dress on this day, but I got a good idea of the style and shape I would like. I will outline my experience and add some pictures from each shop. 

    The next time I go dress shopping will be in the New Year, maybe in April/May time, and I really want to have toned up and lost a stone. The dress shopping experience has given me the motivation to do this, so I will make sure I update each Sunday now! 

    Wed2B Chelmsford 


    We arrived at Wed2B at 10.30am on Saturday morning, it was already busy. 

    I had to create a profile on a touch screen and was then told to pick 4 dresses from the Size 14 rack (I am currently a 12 and they advise you to go up a size), once you have picked your 4 dresses they put you in a queue for fitting. 

    It took around 30 mins for my turn to come up. I was in a fitting room with 3 other ladies, my consultant was nice but made no suggestions and seemed bored. I felt a bit like cattle being herded quickly from one dress to another so they could get me out of the fitting room as soon as possible.

    I was impressed with the quality of dresses for the price they were (max £700). But I wouldn't come back here as the experience was just not what I imagined for dress shopping. 

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    I loved this dress, by everyone else said it made me look bigger than I am.

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    This was my favourite at Wed 2 B 

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    I really didn't feel comfortable in this dress, I think you can see it in my face. 

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    I hated the sleeves, they were so itchy! 

     

    All in all great for getting an idea of shape, but I wouldn't return to this shop. 

     

  • Rock The Frock

    This shop had been recommended on many different blogs as a place to find 'different' wedding dresses, I had to pay £10 for the appointment. The staff were great and not pushy at all, however I think the dresses were a bit too boho for me, I didn't find anything I was overly drawn to at this shop.

    If you are looking for something a bit different I would 100% recommend this shop, however it just was not for me. 

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    This was the best dress in the shop for my shape, but it still did not feel very bridal

     

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    I loved this dress, but my guests did not! 

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    This dress was different, but just not for me. 

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    This dress had no support in the top half at all, but I loved the skirt. 

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    This was the dress above, with a different top - again just not bridal enough for me. 

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    I did fall in love with this veil though, so different. 

     

  • The White Wedding House - Brentwood 

    This was the best shop out of the three I visited on Saturday. I loved every dress I put on! 

    The shop was beautiful, the consultant was so helpful and every dress she picked out for me I loved. 

    I will definitely be returning in the new year when they have the designer's new collections in. 

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    The last two pictures are of my favourite dress in the shop, loved the extra train. 

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    Similar to the dress I loved, but this sample was a size 6 so I look horrendous in it at the moment!

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    I loved this dress so much, I am still confused as to whether I would like a big dress or a fitted dress!

    Please do let me know your opinions! 

     

  • Hey 

    Just caught up on your whole thread and love the plans so far!

    Dress wise i your last post I LOVE the 3rd one down the slim fit one! It is really lovely. Have you thought about adding a detachable skirt so you can have the best of both worlds! That is what I am doing so I can feel like a princess during the ceremony and then be all sexy ad slinky for the partay!

  • Kaybridetobe wrote (see post):

    Hey 

    Just caught up on your whole thread and love the plans so far!

    Dress wise i your last post I LOVE the 3rd one down the slim fit one! It is really lovely. Have you thought about adding a detachable skirt so you can have the best of both worlds! That is what I am doing so I can feel like a princess during the ceremony and then be all sexy ad slinky for the partay!

    Thanks Kay, that dress was my fave too, ohh i didn't think of that!! Will be asking if they can add a skirt next time I go dress shopping thanks for the fab idea! I have just binged your thread and it looks sooo amazing! x

  • Update

    Apologies for neglecting this thread for a little while, work has just been so busy!

    Caterers

    Back at the start of October we went to see our two caterers, Stock and Bailey and Limeberry for tastings. 

    Limeberry: 

    We had the following to try -

    Starter:

    Sharing platter of Antipasti: 

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    Really wasn't happy with the presentation of this, H2B and myself thought we could easily make a platter like this ourselves for under £2pp at home. This starter was an extra £5 per head, not sure why as it was most probably the cheapest to make. 

    Prawn and Crayfish Cocktail:

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    Really enjoyed this starter, the sauce was lovely and light and it was just the right portion. 

    Main

    Rack of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal veg and a redcurrant jus:

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    Loved this, lamb was cooked lovely and the sauce and potatoes were amazing. 

    Seabass with garlic mash, asparagus and a creamy chive sauce: 

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    Really did not enjoy this, the Seabass was overdone and the sauce was not good at all. 

    Dessert

    Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel ice cream and popcorn:


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    The brownie was rock solid and the popcorn was stale, the ice cream was lovely however. 

    Salted Caramel Cheesecake:

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    This was lovely, just thought the presentation could be improved. 

    Cheese Course: 

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    Boring and bland cheese, Tesco wrapper was left on the blue cheese. We asked for a selection of crackers and got just oatcakes. No butter provided. 

    Overall the staff were lovely with Limeberry, we found that one option was always great, whilst the other was always disappointing, this worried us both somewhat as we couldn't understand why the quality was so different.

    Presentation was not as good as we wanted it to be.

    The lamb was amazing, however. 

    Stock and Bailey

    Starters: 

    Antipasti Sharing Platter

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    Loved this, presentation was much better, again this option was £6 per head extra and me and H2B believed this the cost price to make this would be much lower. 

    Smoked Salmon Roulade:

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    We both really enjoyed this, and after this decided that we would like to have a fish starter and knocked the antipasti idea on its head. 

    Mains: 

    Rack of Lamb with Dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal veg and a gravy: 

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    Really enjoyed it - just would make a couple of changes:

    1) We would have the lamb pink 

    2) We would have a redcurrant jus rather than gravy 

    Seabass with crushed new potatoes, seasonal veg and a shellfish sauce: 

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    Really enjoyed this, the seabass was cooked perfect and the sauce was lovely and light 

    Dessert:

    I forgot to take photos for this course as I was enjoying them too much. We tried:

    - Chocolate brownie with clotted cream - the brownie was warm and lovely, we asked for the cream to be changed to ice cream for future tastings 

    -Chocolate cheesecake - this was yummy, but we were having a cheese course to follow dessert, so decided from this point we wouldn't be having cheesecake for dessert 

    Cheese Course: 

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    This was served sharing style and we loved it! The cheese was amazing and strong, the crackers were varied, and butter was served! We really enjoyed this and it rounded off our meal nicely. 

    Overall we found the quality and presentation of the food much better at Stock and Bailey, although communications were slightly slower than Limeberry the owners were lovely. 

  • The Verdict 

    We asked for quotes from both companies. Both were reasonably on par, with Stock and Bailey being around £5pp more expensive. 

    We overall went with Stock and Bailey as the quality was just so much better. We have booked them up for our wedding and have an inital menu (for £80pp) of: 

    - 6 canapes per person 

    - Starter: Fresh & Smoked Salmon & Dill Roulade with Citrus Dressing

    - Main: Rack of Lamb (served MR) with Redcurrant Jus OR Seabass Fillet with a Shellfish Cream Sauce - to be selected in invite 

    - Dessert: Chocolate Brownie with chocolate sauce & whipped cream (hopefully to be changed to ice cream) 

    - Cheese: Selection of French & British Cheeses served with biscuits, celery, chutney & grapes

    - Followed by tea, coffee and truffles 

    So glad the caterers are booked, we are very happy with our choice! 

    Just need to book our pizza van for the evening and food for the day will be sorted. 

  • Florist 

    A couple of weekends ago we went to meet with some florists (H2B came with me and was very interested, which I loved and did not expect!). 

    We met with the owner from the Flower Mill (Essex), we instantly clicked with her and she saw my vision, so we have booked and paid a deposit! 

    So excited that she will be doing our flowers, every wedding she has done before looks beautiful. 

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,474 New bride

    Interesting re Limeberry; we were very unimpressed as well. Terrible about the cheese! The options from Stock and Bailey look much nicer. Glad you enjoyed it and have made a choice!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,611 New bride

    The Stock & Bailey presentation is significantly better than Limeberry, obviously I can't taste it but looks like you made a great choice paying a little more for much better quality.

  • britbird wrote (see post):

    Interesting re Limeberry; we were very unimpressed as well. Terrible about the cheese! The options from Stock and Bailey look much nicer. Glad you enjoyed it and have made a choice!

    Thanks Britbird, really looking forward to your wedding report now! 

  • MrsCToBee wrote (see post):

    The Stock & Bailey presentation is significantly better than Limeberry, obviously I can't taste it but looks like you made a great choice paying a little more for much better quality.

     

    Thanks MrsCToBee, we thought the slightly higher price was worth it for the quality! 

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