I haven’t done a wedding planning update in a while, so I thought it was about time! We passed our -1 year wedding anniversary at the end of May and the day was super exciting for me. I can’t quite believe in less than a year I will be a Mrs! And we’ve now got the big bulk of things booked and planned now, mostly only smaller details to go now.
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve recently had a couple of minor panics about wedding planning. Not bridezilla level (I hope!) but I made a list of details we want and had a think about the theming and colour scheming we were thinking and may have changed my mind. It’s not exactly a complete mind-change, I suppose, because we hadn’t really fully decided in the first place.
The thing to realise is that Ben and I have known for approximately, um, 5 to 6 years that we’ll get married one day, it was just a case of officially deciding! That means that we’ve discussed a lot of wedding planning over the years and had lots of ideas already. Ahem, too many ideas. That’s the problem. So we had a colour scheme we liked which we always thought we’d go for, then I got another idea I liked better, but recently I’ve gone back to liking the first idea with a few differences. It’s a case of matching up my dress (which I already have!), the venue and the theme and colour scheme ideas (I’m thinking bridesmaids, flowers and details) altogether to get something fairly comprehensive that we’re having trouble with…Basically, we’re both Libras and have always been notoriously terrible at decisions. Throw my Pinterest wedding board into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for an ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING wedding, so we’re trying to pare it down to make some proper decisions!
So enough rambling – here’s where we’re at right now:
This was the first thing we booked, but we didn’t rush into doing so. Originally we warned friends and family to expect that we may get married abroad. In the end, we decided against this as we had so many people we wanted to be there and didn’t want people to feel pressured to travel to do so. We then reverted back to our pre-engagement idea of getting married near home, somewhere that was beautiful and a little bit DIY.
The venue we decided on is an old priory not far from where we live. It means I can get ready at home with my bridesmaids, be in a location I love and also be somewhere beautiful. We knew we didn’t want to get married in a church – even though I’m more religious than Ben, he’s not comfortable in churches and it is our day, I suppose ;D Ideally we wanted the ceremony and reception venue to either be close or the same location. In the end, we were lucky as the venue runs legal ceremonies in a beautiful room with huge bay windows overlooking the gardens then we can have the drinks reception indoor or outdoor (depending on the weather – ideally we’ll have it within part of the priory ruins) and a marquee on the lawn later on.
Next up, we researched about a bazillion marquee companies. Mostly because I’m fussy. I had initially written off every venue that required a marquee as I had a picture in my head of those standard ones made of plastic that feel claustrophobic. Then I realised that there are beautiful ones…very beautiful ones. In fact, it completely matched my dream of having a wedding that felt open and spacious and outdoors without being actually outdoors, because…England.
We contacted several companies and got pricing for a few. I ideally wanted something a little retro with a village fete feel, but the company we decided to go with, Shades Canvas, made a suggestion that we loved a lot. I’ll leave the reveal of the marquee itself until the day! The marquee hire also includes the furniture, some lighting, the dance floor and some extras, so we made some decisions on that, and that part is now booked.
Food & Catering
This was our next big one, and we actually booked it before the marquee since we were still discussing details with them. Food is a massive part of mine and Ben’s lives as we both love cooking and eating good food. We had lots of ideas about what to go for, but we knew we didn’t want it to be too fancy. The whole feel of the day will be fairly casual and the food will match.
We had a really great meeting with the company owner in a bar he also runs before we booked. This was awesome as he ran through all the different aspects of the day with us, where we might want/need food and drink, and when it gets closer to the date, we’ll work closely with him to tailor exactly what we want. They also do the bar too, so that’s awesome. And they’re very flexible with types of food, presentation of it, how they serve it etc.
This was a tricky one for us! We weren’t entirely sure what we wanted for entertainment. We were both pretty adamant we didn’t want the typical DJ and dance floor combo, and we toyed with the idea of just having an iPod and some awesome speakers (Ben’s speciality). In the end though, we decided this might be a little bit flat for the whole evening so decided we wanted a band. We’ve ended up deciding to book a band through Ben’s sister’s friend which is very exciting, but we’re also keeping Headliner as a back up which you can use to book a replacement act in case of emergencies. I’m starting to prep my “in case of emergencies” list for a lot of things right now actually!
As I said, my dress is bought – woop! More on this another time ;D The bridesmaids, I am struggling with. I think I’ll go into more detail on that too another day.
For the boy part, they have nothing yet but we have plans. Ben and his best man, Frankie, went out shopping but came to no conclusions as Ben refused to try anything on! I think there are plans for more shopping in store for them.
I’m going to count rings in this section too – we know where we’re getting them for and have a couple of possibilities for which ones. Soon to be decided!
We booked our registrar with the local council pretty much as soon as our venue was booked. We didn’t want any panic if they weren’t available and it was an easy one to sort. The appointment to give notice is at the start of August (I’m very concerned about this as apparently you’re asked lots of questions and I feel like I’ll panic and answer wrong 😀 Married people, please reassure me!).
Our local council seems pretty awesome as it’s all been arranged smoothly and we can edit the ceremony however we like online. We’re looking at what readings we want now and decisions on vows.
Only recently booked! We wanted a photographer who would capture the day really naturally with fun, light and clear imagery. We selected a list of about 15, cut it down to 5 faves and emailed them. We’ve ended up going with the one that I emailed to Ben saying “This is my absolute fave!”. She’s based fairly locally and we love her imagery. Also funny, Charley emailed me an image the other day to show me a style she liked and it turned out to be one of our photographer’s: it’s a sign!
Oh, there are so many! The order of the day is now loosely planned based around the ceremony and food. Save the Dates are on their way out right now (I’ll share these when they’re all out). Flowers are tricky as I don’t want to commit to anything until we have a firmer decision on colour schemes and themes but we’ve enquired. Honeymoon planning is underway and soon to be booked. Then all the small details of decor and more are slowly coming together.
Phew! Writing it all out makes me a bit more reassured actually – we’ve got a lot done and apart from smaller things, there isn’t a huge amount to do. Just need to get my head straight and sorted on colours and theming then we’re ready to go, eek!