November Wedding with Birds and Scottish Tree Roots

A Planning Thread 

I accidentally posted this on the wedding report forum- whoops! 


I thought this would be a great way to organise all my thoughts and get constructive feedback on the decisions I haven't quite been able to make yet. So feel free to follow along with the journey of myself and the OH's November 2014 wedding planning highs and lows. 



  • The Beginning


    The story starts back in February 2009. I was out with my girlfriends celebrating a birthday when I first met the OH in a nightclub out in our town. He was out for drinks with his friend, who took a fancy to one of my friends and whisked her off to a corner for a smooch. I got talking to him, feeling slightly sorry for him as he looked so lonely and abandoned, and we hit it off. We traded numbers and went our separate ways. 

    A week later we met for our first date, a meal out and a pub crawl. At the end of the evening he invited me to a gig 2 months away, a sign of a good first date! Instead of feeling put off by his eagerness, I appreciated his forwardness and agreed to go along with him and we had a fantastic time. 

    And I suppose there wasn't much out of the ordinary. We continued going out for meals, dates to the cinema and pub trips. We had lazy weekends at his, we met each others families and we settled into a happy couple-ship. 

    We moved into our first flat two years later when I was still a student and working as many hours as I could in a bookies. Yet the relationship continued to flourish and we decided to take a big leap and buy a place together, despite me always saying I would want to wait until we were at least engaged. We moved in with his older sister while we saved for our deposit, thankfully we all got on amazingly. And then we waited for our new build flat to be finished and prepared for our new home and life together...

  • The Proposal

    I had always been so adamant that I wouldn't want a mortgage with someone I was just in a relationship with. I had no reason to be cynical, but I am always a big believer in being prepared for the unexpected. I always thought if we were engaged or married we were committed to each other, so we could commit to a 25 year mortgage!

    And yet it made sense. We were spending a fortune on rent for a pokey wee flat that we loved, but wouldn't suit us in the long term (I wanted a dog desperately!). So I dropped plenty hints for a ring but gave in to agreeing to buying our place together. We chose a new build flat that would be ready to move in Dec 12 and moved in with OH's sister so we could save. 

    November 29th we signed for our flat and on the 30th we went to see it for the first time! We were shown about by the developers, told how to work the boiler, central heating etc and then they left us alone. I was deep in thought about the space we had for the fridge, with a huge worry that the one we had ordered would not fit! And OH ignored me. I turned around and he was on one knee! 

    He had a lovely speech prepared about how this is the start of our new life together in a new home and he wanted it to be as husband and wife. And he had the ring I had picked out and I said yes and we had a cry! 

    Although it wasn't the most romantic of proposals (I had pictured lots of candles by starlight) it was still so sweet and perfect for us. After we had all moved in and Christmas was over the wedding planning begun..





  • The Venue

    With all the money we had saved already spent on the deposit and furnishing our new flat, we had ruled out getting married until at least 2015. I had put everything on hold until we had some money saved and hadn't even considered looking at anywhere we could get married until then. 

    But there was a phonecall from my mum and dad. They had seen a lovely hotel in a seaside town about an hour from where we live which was doing a good offer on wedding packages. I had a chat with the fiance and decided that I could make an appointment and at least go and see what it was like. So while he went to work one day, I went down with my parents to see the venue when they had it all set up. 

    It was perfect. The wedding and reception would both be in the hotel, completely ideal for us as OH is catholic and I am not. So I wouldn't be comfortable marrying in a chapel and he would not be comfortable marrying in a church, so it was the perfect compromise. The hotel is modern, with plenty space for a 100 guest wedding and lovely drapes with twinkly lights as a top table backdrop.

    I went in completely unprepared. It was the first place we had seen but I could picture myself getting married there and with the offer they had on, it was completely achievable to not break the bank. So, with my parents there, I booked it and told OH that we were getting married 8th November 2014. 






  • Lou85Lou85 Posts: 1,854 New bride

    Ah lovely, looking forward to reading more x 

  • What Next? 

    After booking the venue package we really didn't do much else for months. Included when we booked the hotel was the cake (we will chose one from the cake design shop in the town), the bagpipe entrance, the evening dj entertainment, centrepieces (although I am planning to not use these and have my own), chair covers and flowers for the tables (although I am planning not to use these either). 

    We had a conversation with my parents who had said they would cover the bulk cost of the wedding (the hotel package) so it left us having only to save about half of what we had thought we would need, and I believe we overestimated. 

    It wasn't until we had a year to go I had a small panic and thought, "I have nothing bought!". I had been a lurker on planning forums and pinterest to gather ideas about what I wanted, but I felt I liked too much and it was all turning into a mash of things that wouldn't work together. 

    I had ruled out having a colour scheme, much to the dismay of my mother. I wanted plenty ivory with some pops of colour (hadn't decided on what) and loved the ideas I saw of tree branches and bird cages. So I discussed this with the OH, who really was letting me have the free reign of the wedding and he was quite happy to go with that sorta 'theme'. 

    So we stuck with that. 

  • The Bridesmaids

    I chose two bridesmaids early on after my engagement. I had been very close with one of my friends in the last year of uni, so felt it was right to ask her! She has moved to the other side of the country, so planning things with her is quite limited to online and phonecalls/texts. My second bridesmaid, my main maid, is a girl I have known for my entire life. Our families have always been close, her mum lives doors down from mine! We were very close as children and fell away from each other as teenagers. The past few years we have been much closer again, and although I don't see much of her, we are always texting and she is taking such an interest. 

    I really wanted my girls to be comfortable on the day so was really keen for their input on the dress. I sent them a few I liked, really preferring shorter styles but both agreed they would like long. So I changed my search options and on a trip to visit my friend C who lives other end of country we went to try on some at a wedding boutique local to her. 

    We found a stunning dress in an amazing teal colour which suited her perfectly but at £250 each, I really couldn't justify the cost. I went onto the coast website and found one I really liked in a grey. I showed the picture to both the maids, and they gave me their seal of approval so I went ahead and ordered them. The first thing off my list! 


     Lyla Maxi dress, Coast.

  • VictoriaoVictoriao Posts: 1,536

    Love the hotel, such a sweet proposal. Like the BM dresses too! Can't wait to read more.

  • Flowergirls

    We don't have any children yet, but I always love the idea of kids at weddings. So I knew I wanted children in the wedding party. 

    One of OH's friends has the cutest wee girl who will be three when we get married, so we asked if it would be alright to have her involved with the wedding. I was expected a no. We are getting married an hour away from where most guests live, and many of the guests with children are planning on leaving them at home so they can enjoy the full day and night and not worry about the little ones. 

    The parents were so excited! They kept asking if we were the ones who were sure that we wanted their daughter to be a flowergirl. I said of course we were, and they are happy to have her and her older sister there for the day (on the night they will be picked up by their grandparents and taken home so the parents can still enjoy their night). So I went about looking for a dress. 

    On a shopping trip in Monsoon I saw a stunning ivory and lace dress, which goes with my lots of ivory theme. I went home and found one brand new on ebay and bought that at a fraction of the cost. 




     OH's parents are divorced but both happily with new partners. Father-in-law remarried a lady with two daughters who have three daughters between them. It had crossed my mind to have one of them in the wedding, but as there was three of them I thought it would be unfair to have only one, and I certainly didn't want four of them in total. At a recent dinner with FIL, he brought up the wedding party, and we broke it to him that we had asked OH's friend's daughter to be flowergirl. I don't think he was too happy with not including OH's step-nieces and mentioned that if we chose to have the youngest one then he would buy her dress.

    I explained that it wasn't a cost issue, but the fact that we thought it unfair on the two who wouldn't be chosen. Turns out that we didn't need to worry as the older two had already been flowergirls before and the youngest hadn't had a chance yet. Well, I wasn't at all bothered with having another flowergirl, so I went back on ebay and picked up another dress in her size.

    This girl is slightly older at 5. And as we aren't close with that side of the family, we haven't officially asked her yet, although I'm sure FIL has said to her. So I've been thinking about cute ways to ask her to be a flowergirl, any ideas?  

  • VicNVicN Posts: 1,352

    For my flower girls, I bought a card from Not On The High Street that had a cute fridge magnet on it that could be personalised with their name on it. My two flower girls loved them and still have them on the fridge 10 months later image 

  • My Dress

    As a heavier than average bride, I was dreading dress shopping!! The after-engagement diet had failed to materialise and with a year to go, I found myself thinking I just had to go and bite the bullet. 

    I had a rare mid-week day off when I decided very last minute for a bridal dress shopping trip with my good friend David. I found a shop in the city who did not take appointments, you just dropped in, and made arrangements with David to go there. We turned up nice and early, 10am, to give them plenty notice and was met with rude and uncaring shop girl. 

    She explained that I could have a look at the dresses, but they were preparing for a wedding show that weekend and did not have all their stock. Fair enough. She said I would not be able to try on dresses as they had an appointment coming in and plus, the lady looked at David, said to me that it might be best to come in with the girls. I asked for clarification about the appointment she had mentioned, I was under the impression they did not offer appointments. They didn't. She didn't elaborate. And not two minutes after she said this, she said if I wanted to come back with an appointment they could arrange that. 

    I was well and truly put off and left feeling incredibly deflated. 

    After persuasion from David, we continued on. We went into the Debenhams store which has a Berketex section featured inside it and enquired about whether they could squeeze us in. And they could!

    The lady was so helpful! Let me have a rummage around the dresses, asked what I liked and what I didn't. I didn't have much of a clue, I had said things I definitely did not want- shiny fabric, princess style, too much bling, too much lace- and we picked out a selection. 

    Although the assistant was fantastic, I hated dress shopping!! It was so hot, I was wearing some horrendous dresses which made me feel like a whale, I was walking about in the most uncomfortable sample shoes they lent me (ended up walking barefoot after the 4th dress) and I felt like I was getting nowhere. 

    And then I found the dress. It was one I would have completely ruled out. But it suited me perfectly. With just the right amount of detail and lace, the waist pulled me in, the bust wasn't gaping and the train was the most beautiful I had ever seen. I was thrilled. And then it came down to cost. At £1400 it was over my budget, but I was seriously thinking about it. 

    I went home to have a think about it and looked up Berketex reviews online and on the forums. I was again put right off. Some brides had the most awful time with the shop, dresses were turning up late, extortionate alteration costs, rude service at fittings etc. I really didn't want to spend that much money and get terrible service from it. So I starting looking for preowned dresses and found one that would be perfect. But based down in England, I wouldn't be able to see it before I bought it. I started speaking to the seller, first by email and then by text message asking lots of questions about the quality of the dress, for additional pictures and alterations been done to it. 

    Happy with the response I decided to go ahead and buy it. 




     Shanessa by Rosetta Nicolini. 

    When the dress arrived I was thrilled. It was in great condition, minus a few marks and a stain the seller had warned me about. Some of the bead detailing will also need to be touched up with a needle and thread but these are things you simply wouldn't notice from afar. 

    The one issue with the dress is that it is too big. I made a judgement when I tried on the sample in the shop, but I was a bit off and now it is too big by a good few inches. But with the money I have saved I can afford to get it altered to fit and I can also make it more personal to me by having lace sleeves added as I really didn't want strapless. 

  • Thanks Vic. I actually seen them too and I think that was the front runner. Was also thinking just something simple like getting a thorntons chocolate and get them to write on with icing. Was hoping to give it as a christmas present, and running out of time for other options. There are lovely ideas on etsy, but they simply won't be here in time now. x

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    My OH cousin had those flower girl dresses and they are absolutely gorgeous, really classic and beautiful. We don't have flower girls or I would definitely have been copying! Looking forward to reading the rest of your plans xx

  • MrsE2be2014MrsE2be2014 Posts: 1,458

    Lovely thread, I'm also a November 2014 bride!!! Cant wait to read more x

  • Grooms Outfit

    As a proud scot, I had always pictured my wedding day with the men wearing kilts. My OH isn't as patriotic as myself and had always said he would prefer a suit. We discussed it often, although I was happy for him to help with more decisions, I really wanted the pictures of him in a kilt. So after my gentle persuasion, he has agreed to go for a kilt, and I will let him choose the one he would like. 

    But I would love for him to go with a grey one. 


     MIL has offered as her contribution to purchase grooms kilt, although initially we were planning just to hire along with the best man and one groomsman. OH hasn't decided whether to accept his mothers offer just yet, although it is very generous he wouldn't get much wear out of a kilt. 

  • Ceremony

    As we are marrying at the hotel, we had thought about getting a registrar until my mum had talked about having a Humanist Ceremony. I hadn't heard of this before so did a bit of research on it online and was very keen! 

    "Your humanist ceremony is a unique opportunity to pledge your love and to express how you feel about each other and why you want to join the rest of your lives together.  Your ceremony is for you, it’s about you, and we are sure that an Independent Humanist can assist you in creating  a  ceremony that reflects the depth of your feelings for each other."

    I loved the idea of this! I looked at both the Humanist Society and the Independent Humanist Ceremonies. The main benefit of going with the Independent was that you did not need to join and pay a yearly fee. OH was very keen not to 'become' a humanist as he is was brought up Catholic. So we made an arrangement for the celebrant to visit us at home and discuss what we would like. 

    The man who came to see us was lovely! I couldn't recommend him enough. He asked lots of questions about us and what we would like from our service. He gave us lots of suggestions and talked about what other people do, very helpful as we were so clueless! He talked a lot about the symbolic gestures that they can incorporate into the wedding, such as a ribbon tying where myself and OH's hands would be tied together representing the 'tying the knot'. I thought that one would be really good. You chose your own ribbons and can frame them afterwards as a keepsake. 

    We paid our deposit and are awaiting our first draft of the service coming in January. 



  • Walt

    In between with all the planning going on. OH and I decided to take another step and we bought a cute little cavachon (cavalier king charles spaniel x bichon frise) puppy! 

    Welcome Walt to the family. 


     Would love for ways to feature him in the wedding without it being too 'cheesy'. He won't be there on the day. Saw a lovely idea on a thread with the dog posing with the table numbers in a picture (sorry can't remember who to credit for that) and I thought that would be really ideal. 

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Awww what a lovely dog! How big will he grow? x

  • Thanks Toad Bride. He'll be a quite small dog, both mum and dad were small. x

  • MrsE2be2014MrsE2be2014 Posts: 1,458

    Ahh thats what we are doing with our dog......we have made it a little cheesy by adding a bowtie outfit for him! But hes super cute and I love that he is apart of our special day as dog are a huge part of your life! xx

  • MrsE yes i think it was on your thread I saw that idea! I thought it was really sweet, and not cheesy at all!! xx

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Oooh Walt is too cute! I'm having a registrar but want a hand blessing. The ribbon ceremony thing is lovely though.

  • Wedding Stationary

    I have always been such a huge fan of beautiful stationary and I had been looking at wedding invitations long before becoming engaged! 

    I am also quite a crafty person, so had really hoped to make the stationary myself and be able to save costs doing it. I really wanted to incorporate some of the theme, so wanted something with trees/branches and birds and with not much colour. 

    My designs were useless. I'm not the greatest with any sorta fancy computer program, so attempted to make something using basic paint on the computer and it looked dreadful. 

    I did some research online, and looked about for someone just to make them for me. But I was blown away by costs. I had really wanted pocketfold invitations and for 100 guests (potentially needing around 70 invites) with all the inserts and save the dates it was going to be a fortune. I came across a seller on etsy who designed stationary and then sold them as pdf options to save costs. I thought this would be really ideal and had read about a few people doing that. It was also a good way to do some diy and not make it look dreadful. 

    We threw ideas back and forth and then I was sent a few designs of some samples she made. 






    Although they all looked great. I loved the last one and decided to use that as my design. She personalised the sample and sent me the PDF. I printed off copies from Vistaprint and I have sent them out with the guest's Christmas card- saving on postageimage

    The rest of the stationary will be designed to that theme when I have settled on arrangements. I also purchased blank pocketfolds as the base for my invitation and have ordered tiny bird embellishments to tie onto the outside with ribbon. 




  • Centerpieces

    My theme inspiration came from seeing a stunning image of a centerpiece!! It was a manzanita branch with beautiful crystals and flowers hanging from it. 


     I knew right away I wanted something similar, but after pricing these (I would need 10), I was totally shocked! I couldn't justify spending so much before even thinking about what to decorate them with. 

    So I went into research mode again and found some lovely images that people had for their weddings using branches found in their garden. 




     So I'm planning to try out this. I hope to gather some good sized branches within the next few weeks, make sure they are dried out and then spray paint them white and add some fine silver or white glitter to them to give them some sparkle. 

    I have seen some stunning tissue paper pompoms/ flowers that I think will look great around the top of the vases I will put the branches in. 


     Anyone done/doing anything similar and have any tips for me? Thanks image 

  • So we're into 2014 now and after all the Christmas/New Year mayhem I'm hoping to get right back into the wedding planning cause I'm getting married this year image 

    I started working on a wedding website which I will give out the address with my invites, aiming to send them out about May/June time to give people opportunity to book up accommodation. 

    Currently deciding on my hen do. It's looking like I'm arranging it myself seeing as the bridesmaids didn't know what to do and I wanted it sorted pretty soon so that people can book time off work and actually be there. Anything last minute I know I will get all sorts of excuses why people aren't coming. So looking at different cottages/lodges in scotland where we can have a wee girlie weekend away. Pretty excited about that. 

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Oooh those tree centrepieces look fab. I am hoping for something similar to have as an arrangement in a big alcove I have and I will have paper pompoms hanging from them as well as they're so cute!

  • Little update!!

    Totally changed my ideas about the centrepieces. After looking at the pictures of the venue again, I'm just not sure they will go. Plus I am thinking it's a lot of diy! I would need enough twigs to decorate 10 tables, drying these out and spraypainting in a wee flat isn't the best choice and then transferring 10 complete centrepieces 30 miles away in a suzuki swift. So back to the drawing board, and I'm thinking along the lines of fish bowls with some flowers. 

    I diy'ed the mini birdcages I had bought to go around the centrepiece with lace and pearl ribbon and this is the end result. 



     Opinions? I ordered the ribbon online without taking measurements and had thought it would be a bit thicker. I also tried it with the ribbon in different positions which also works well bit I quite liked it at the bottom. 

    Inside is a partylite tealight in iced snowberries. I think the light is so much brighter than any other tealight and the scent is amazing. Planning on getting a whole bunch of partylite tealights for the wedding, just need to decide on my favourite fragrance and it can be my 'wedding day scent' image 

    Booked the hen do aswell. Got a lovely mountain lodge in aviemore which can fit up to 16 people. Got 13 confirmed so it should be perfect for numbers. Just chasing everyone up for deposits now then I'll pass on responsibility to my bridesmaid who is quite happy to plan the rest of the weekend. 

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    OMG your hen do sounds fab! Eeeeeek!

    I really like the mini birdcages. How big are they? They are really cute and I think the pearl and lace combo is so delicate and pretty. I'm thinking of scented candles as well, I might look at these. Are they expensive?

  • This is the lodge that we have booked up. Think it should be amazing! I can't wait now. 

    The birdcages are about 18cm tall, so I think they will look amazing around the main centrepiece in the middle, whatever I finally decide on. 

    The candles are dearer than the typical tealights you can buy. But I'm completely a convert, I used to just buy the cheap ikea tealights but partylite are no comparison. Plus they also burn for 4 hours, so thats plenty time to get through the meal and to get well into the night, when I first bought them I compared it to the last of my ikea ones and they only lasted about 2 hours. 

    My friends used them at their wedding and the whole room just filled with the most beautiful scent- they used iced snowberries. I'm thinking once I've decided on my flowers I could go with a scent that will compliment them well, they have lovely fragrances in a pink shade, so if I have pink flowers then I could get them to match. But then again I'm likely overthinking it, and as they are in the birdcages you won't really see the colour of the candle. 

    My friend is a consultant- take a wee peek at their online shop. If budget isn't an option (which for me it is unfortunately) they have great centrepiece ideas. 

  • Wedding ring bought! My engagement ring was bought from a seller on etsy and it is quite an individual design, the shape of it is quite unusual, so I'd find it difficult to find one off the shelf that would fit perfectly with it. 

    So I was messaging the seller, who had just designed a wedding band to fit my engagement ring and I love it!!



    This is the one he made, pictured with the engagement ring. What do we think? I've went for the exact same one. All ordered and paid for. Can't wait until it arrives!! 



    Just to get the OH's ring now, but he isn't wanting anything fancy so shouldn't be too tricky. 

  • MrsE2be2014MrsE2be2014 Posts: 1,458

    Wow thats a lovely ring.....looks brilliant with your engagement ring! Do you have to wait long for it to arrive? x

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