Friday, 8 January 2010

Star Wars, Orchids and Dress Wobbles... Introducing Suzie's Wedding!

I have something special to share with you this frosty Friday afternoon...

Suzie has kindly agreed to share her wedding planning story. Suzie and I are completely different brides so it'll be nice to see a different side to the planning.  (One thing you should probably know is Suzie and I refer to each other as Moo...)

Name: Suzie
Husband to be: Robert
Wedding Date: 20th February 2010
Wedding Venue: Forest Hotel, Dorridge

Hi Suzie!

Wow, your wedding will soon be here, are you feeling nervous yet?
YES!! A Big yes!  I'm starting to feel nervous, people keep telling me that 6 weeks is ages yet. I've been getting comments like: "6 weeks! You could plan a whole wedding in 6 weeks!" Haha what a joke!

I've been planning now for about 15 months, most of the hard work is done and it's just the little things that need tying up. But now that I don't have the major planning parts to concentrate on I have the really small, really important things like the wedding vows, the music and what actually happens on the wedding day!
HELP!  I sat and thought about it last night and I was scared to the core - I don't know what to do on my wedding day! Questions kept flying through my head like:  "How do I walk down the aisle?  How long before the ceremony do I need to be ready ?  What time do I need to wake up in the morning?  How long will it take the hairdresser to do my hair?  When do we cut the cake!?"

There is so much to think about! I know everything will be alright on the night but its just these small things that slip your mind when your doing the major planning like booking the venue, ordering the cake and choosing the wedding dress! No one tells you to think about these things!

All that said - more than nervous I am so, so, so excited! I can't wait to be Rob's wife! To marry my soul mate, to be there always when he needs me and to love him like I do, forever. The wedding day will be a wonderful day that I get to share with my nearest and dearest!

Needless to say - I cant wait!

Let's go back to the beginning.  Where and how did you and Rob meet? 

Well now this story starts much like a fairy tail ..... A long long time ago....but I’m afraid that's where the fairy tail ends!
I met Rob through my brother Jim, they have been really good friends since they met at School ohhhh a good 12 or so years ago. Rob would regularly be round our house along with some of Jim's other friends including our 2 wonderful ushers Rich and Pete. As I mentioned before this was a good 12 years ago and being 25 now that would have made me around the super awkward age of 12!! Not the most flattering time in a young girls life to meet her soul mate I’m sure you'd agree? I got to know more about Rob over a period or about 6 years. To start with I am sure I was nothing more to him than Jim's annoying little sister but as I grew and matured I was occasionally get invited to parties out with Jim and Rob got to know a different side of me and I of him.

We actually realised that our somewhat awkward relationship was changing and turning into something neither of us expected. I will admit now that I've always had a bit of a thing for Rob, we got closer and closer and unbeknown to my brother (Sorry Jim!!!) we would arrange to meet up and spend hours in the house just chatting. We soon decided that we'd make is official so in August 2003 we told my brother that we were a couple!

And that's the beginning!

When and how did you get engaged? 

Rob and I had been talking about getting married for about a year before the engagement. Rob's brother Dan got married within that year and it just made us want it more. Rob came into the bedroom one morning and said he had something to talk to me about. The conversation started.... "You know I love you and I’m really not good with the romance thing and I actually don't know how best to do this, I know we have been talking about it more over the past week but I really want to get engaged" I replied "All you have to do is actually ask me you know so he said  "Will you marry me?" to which I replied ...."YES".

He then went on to tell me that he hadn't got me a ring because he would be totally clueless on what I would like, knowing that I’m not the conventional type, so on that Sunday 31st August we went ring shopping.

Who was the first person you told?

Apart from telling my mum who pretty much knows everything before I do! I told Has!

I was a bit nervous about telling Moo that I'd just got engaged, Laura has been with Has for longer than me and Rob. I was really aware that she was itching to get engaged and just waiting for Has to find the right moment. Every time we would get together we would plan our lives and talk bout getting married.

I was at a BBQ that day to celebrate Laura's birthday and me and Has got talking about weddings, knowing that they were jetting off to Las Vegas soon I had a feeling he was planning to pop the questions whilst there, when I mentioned this to him with a little wink he said something along the lines of..." If you could keep your inkling to yourself it would be a big help - you may be thinking along the right lines"

Well.... Being at the BBQ with Laura there and being privy to this information and as those of you who know me are aware I am a TERRIBLE secret keeper!! I just wanted to shout my congratulations to her! But I couldn't! I just remained secretly ecstatic. Knowing that it wouldn't be long until Laura was as happy about being engaged as I was I felt a little more comfortable in sharing my good news with her. As I was leaving the party I asked her to see me out... We walked along her path and I said I had a favour to ask her.....cluelessly she replied...."Oh yeah what's that"....."Be my bridesmaid?"

Well she jumped up and down and couldn't be happier for me... oh how I longed to do the same - but Has I didn't breath a word honest!!

What's the ring like?

The ring! I went shopping in Birmingham Jewellery Quarter for my ring the following weekend I tried on ring after ring, after ring and was completely uninspired! I knew I didn't want anything too conventional and wanted something different so I tried on rings with sapphires, ring with rubies, rings with emeralds.  Nothing seemed to fit the bill.

I decided to look at diamond rings and again none of the conventional solitaire types were me.  I then stumbled upon the perfect ring.  We were tired and it was about the 100th shop we had been into but as soon as I saw it I knew its what I wanted.

It's 18ct white gold with 4 diamonds in an offset square design.   Its perfect! The engagement was official!

What was your first official wedding related purchase/booking? 

I've been thinking about the question for a while and it's a difficult one for me to remember. We got engaged on August 31st 2008 which is quite some time ago. If I had been as clever as Moo doing something like this blog would have been a wonderful idea - documenting all the wonderful planning and run up to me big day - but of course I’m not that clever!

I took my mum and mother-in-law-to-be to the National Wedding Show at the NEC that October where I think I found my first wedding purchase. With no venue booked, no colour scheme picked and no idea of the guest list I bought my wedding dress!

How wonderful for my wedding dress - such an important part of our special day to be the start of my wedding planning!

Tell us in one sneak peak word what your dress is like?

What has been the best part of wedding planning?

I am thoroughly enjoying all my wedding planning, the up's and the down's. I've have found the experience on the whole very easy and natural.

If I had to pick one thing that stands out about being the best part has been planning it with my mum and my two bridesmaids, Beth and Laura. I don't know what I would have done without them! They have helped me in times of need and calmed me in times of sheer panic. Planning alongside Moo has been a big help - our ideas of a perfect wedding day are totally different but we have been able to help each other with ideas and inspiration.
I will really miss all the planning when its over

What has been the toughest part?

I have experienced a couple of wobbles during the planning of our big day.

The most major of which, was a dress panic! As I explained earlier my wedding dress was the first thing I bought. Not only that, it was the first dress I saw and the only dress I tried on! I thought it was perfect and no other dress could be more suited to myself and my personality! This was all great UNTIL......

The time came when Laura was looking for her prefect dress - it was really nice for me to be involved in the search and I feel quite bad for my bridesmaids that they weren't involved in all the excitement over my dress search as there really wasn't one! Laura tried on dress after dress and even though they all looked stunningly beautiful and Laura also being stunningly beautiful it was difficult to imagine the the two would not look outstanding!

We were wrong. Don't get me wrong its not like any of the dresses looked bad on Laura some just suited her shape much better than others, some where a brighter white, some had more bling - they were all just very different. This got me thinking......

Unfortunately I’m not a stunning size 12 like Laura - I’m a more rounded 16. This causes a problem when dress shopping as the in-store dresses all seem to be in small sizes. The shop girls do their best to pin you in and make it look ok but you really don't get to see how the shape of the dress will compliment your own shape when its all pinned and bodged at the back.

I started to have a major wobble about how the shape of the dress wouldn't suit me and I'd made a huge mistake.  The day came that my wedding dress arrived at the shop in my size ready for me to try. So on Saturday 31st October I rallied my troops (Mum, Laura and Beth) and off we went. They girls had to calm me down and I finally stepping into my dress.... Wobble over - it looked perfect.

Have you found any amazing wedding bargains? 

I think the best wedding bargain I have found is my veil! I don't want a conventional veil and wanted something more along the lines of a birdcage veil to sit on my jet black hair. I searched and searched with no luck. Ones I did see, although they were perfect, were in the region on £100 - £150!!! WHAT!!! Just for a bit of net I will wear for about 2 hours! Give over!

I was just about to give up on the veil idea and just go without when I stumbled upon a great Burlesque style pillbox hat with attached veil on eBay by a seller called Kalandra. Well she became my saviour! The original one I saw was a little heart shaped hat in burgundy with a white veil attached. It was perfect except for the colour! I wrote to the seller and she emailed me back to say she would make one for me. I paid my £24.99 and awaited it in the post. When it arrived I was gobsmacked! It was perfect and a steal at under £30!

This is the one I have.

What websites/resources have been invaluable to you whilst planning your wedding ? 

After Laura's advice I have been looking up wedding blogs. I now read them everyday and find them really useful!

Daily I visit:

Rock'n'Roll Wedding
Offbeat Bride
The Alternative Bride
Snippet and Ink
And of course Purple and Pearls!!

I also really love wedding magazines! My favourites and the only ones I really buy now are Wedding Ideas Magazine and Perfect Wedding Magazine. I have a feeling I will be still be buying them after the wedding! I really like to read the real life wedding section and see how others have celebrated their special day. It always amazes me how different and personal a wedding can be. Ours will definitely not be run of the mill, traditional!

How would you describe the theme of your wedding?

The main theme of our wedding is Blue and White. The sub theme of our wedding is... Star Wars!

Star Wars started as a very subtle theme with just hints like the table names being named after the Star Wars planets, the groomsmen all wearing Star Wars cufflinks and socks. The theme has some what extended and we have now acquired a Space/Star Wars backdrop to go in the smaller reception room along with a couple of Storm trooper cut outs directing people to the toilets, guest book etc...

I think its really important to include things that the groom wants as well as the bride. Its not something the groom will have dreamt about his whole life but it will be the most important day of his life too so I feel the day should reflect both of us as a couple. Plus I think it will be quite fun!

Lets just hope Darth Vader doesn't make an appearance and spoil the day!

The wedding flowers will be Orchids too, I’m looking a a bouquet style like this:

Where are you going on honeymoon?

My wonderful in-laws-to-be, Gill and Al are giving us money towards our Honeymoon - this has enabled us to book our dream getaway!

We are jetting off to Thailand on 23rd February for 2 weeks! We will be staying in the slightly quieter Khao Lak, it will be a little less touristy and more relaxing. we have booked the 5 star Le Meridien Khao Lak. I cant wait! It's just dawning on me that not only do we get this amazing wedding in 6 weeks time but we get to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

We plan to go elephant trekking through the jungle, bamboo rafting on the rivers, snorkelling off the world famous Similan Islands and speedboat to Phi Phi Island. It will be the prefect way to start our married life.

Any words of wisdom you can pass along to newly engaged brides to be?

The best advice I can give you is:

1) Do it your own way. You can do whatever you like. Have whatever theme you like. Wear whatever you like! Its all up to you!

2) If your planning an offbeat/alternative wedding don't give up when you cant find what your looking for - it will be our there!

3) Never lose sight of why you are planning this special day - its all just run up to the marriage not just the wedding.

4) Its the grooms day too! Let him be involved when he wants to and make him get involved when you need him to be.

5) Have fun - the planning may seem endless and daunting but take it from me - when its drawing to a close you will miss it!

Thank you for sharing Suzie!  I really can't believe we are now just weeks away from the wedding.  I seriously can't wait, I'm so excited for the morning where we'll busy ourselves about getting ready, sipping champagne and watching Shrek!  (Suzie and I reckon if we watch Shrek on the mornings of our weddings we won't feel as nervous and won't cry!  I'm not sure why or how we think this will work, but if it does we'll have cracked the wedding morning jitters!)

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