Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Photo Booths

Photos are a huge deal to me, growing up I had an entire wall in my bedroom covered in photos I had taken.  Before digital cameras I would save up my money to buy film and then to have the pictures developed, often opting for the more expensive option of an hours processing because I was too impatient to wait 24 hours.
I love taking pictures (especially with my new camera) and I love to be surrounded my pictures of people and places I love.

Picking our wedding photographer, as I'm sure you can imagine, was a major job for us.  Luckily Has and I were on the same page when it came how we wanted our wedding to be captured.  We are confident that the photographer we have chosen, Deborah Stott, will match if not beat our expectations.

We want to place disposable cameras on each of our dining tables for our guests to take their own candid shots of the day.  (There are a few taken on Suzie's wedding day that make me look naked!  Not intended I can assure you, let's hope they never make it on Facebook!)
Having spoken to friends who did this a lot of photos end up being either unusable (turn the flash on!) not printable (Who does that belong to!) or of very similar things (I believe Suzie has around 12 photos of the lamb shank we all ate for our main course!)  But some of them really do turn out good.  People pull funny faces or poses because they know they don't have to be on their best behaviour, it's not like when the professional photographer is shooting you, disposable cameras give you the licence to be silly.  That's what I want!

So how do you get good quality silly and fun photographs of your guests?  No. I don't mean plying them with alcohol, although I'm sure that helps!  I'm talking about a photo booth.

People "in the know" are predicting photo booths as the big trend of 2010 and I can see why.  A private space for your guests to leave you with a funny reminder of them on your day.  Most packages come with the option of your guests being able to print two sets.  One they can keep and another for them to stick in your guest book along with a note.  It's such a simple yet great idea!

Photo from Jasmine Star

Of course these don't come cheap, the cheapest quote I've found so far is around £500 for 3 hours. Yikes!  A definite on our "nice to have" list!

Of course there is always the do it yourself approach.  You'd need to ask your photographer or friend if they mind helping out but the results can be fabulous!

Photo from Ben Godkin

These photos from Emma Case prove my point.


I've got the Baking Bug!

Last night Has and I made what we are called "Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes"

The surprise being that they are filled with cream!

We scooped out the middle part of the cake and filled it with cream, then put the little lids back on top.
However this meant we were left with quite a bit of excess chocolate sponge... not wanting to waste any we gobbled it up with the left over cream!  Yum!

We sat down to enjoy these bad boys with a cup of tea and an episode of "Come Dine With Me"

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

What way is the right way?

Before I started to plan a wedding I always imagined I would walk down the aisle with my dad followed by my bridesmaids and never really gave much thought to it.  This is how it has happened at all of the weddings I have ever been to, so never imagined there would be another order to the entrance of the wedding party.

At Suzie and Rob's wedding her Mom was escorted down the aisle first by Suzie's brother James, then the bridesmaids and finally Suzie and her Dad.  Having seen it played out this way, I can't imagine it being any other way at our wedding.

I would love my brother and usher Paul to escort my Mom down the aisle, followed by our 4 bridesmaids and then me on my Dad's arm.  I think it makes sense for the bride to be the last person in the room.

Other things I've come across whilst planning this wedding is whether or not the bride and groom should see each other on the morning of the wedding.  Again I'd always taken it to be bad luck if the groom saw the bride before she walked down the aisle.  However I've found at some weddings in America the bride and groom share a private moment and come together before the ceremony in a "first look" meeting.  This must be such a precious and emotional time.  I can imagine the rush of happiness, nerves and love, sharing that "We're getting married in a few minutes" feeling.  When you walk down the aisle towards your groom you have all eyes on you, so this private meeting must be something special.

Saying that, I don't think we will be breaking "tradition." The first time I see Has on the 5th November will be as I walk down the aisle.  I can be a little superstitious (I'm one of those crazy people who salute magpies!) so although a private encounter with Has before our vows would be sacred it would be on my mind that it's bad luck!

Which brings me to another point.  At a couple of the weddings I have been to, the groom has not turned to watch his bride walk down the aisle.  He has waited until she's reached him before looking at her.  In fact at my cousins wedding, when her groom tried to turn to look at her, the registrar told him he wasn't allowed!  When Has and I spoke about this he told me that nothing would stop him watching me walk down the aisle.  In fact I know when I begin my walk, I'll catch his eye and won't be able to look elsewhere.  Everyone else watches as the bride makes her entrance so why shouldn't the groom?!

I've learnt so much during my time as an engaged lady.  I've come to realise that there is no right or wrong when it comes to weddings.  What ever YOU want to happen on YOUR day goes.  Just because it's the "norm" or "that's how it's always happened" doesn't mean it has to be that way for you.  

At my best friend Suzie's wedding she broke tradition and totally rocked a stunning midnight blue dress because it was her.
Just because ever woman in my family before me wore a veil, doesn't mean I have to.  If I want to wear purple shoes or wellies on my wedding day then I will!

I'm not saying our wedding will be a million miles away from "traditional" but we will be personalising our wedding to suit us.  In my opinion I think that is what helps make a perfect wedding.

Monday, 29 March 2010


Ever since I started trying on wedding dresses and I was forced to try on tiaras and veils with the dress to "complete the look" I realised I didn't want one.

I'm 99.9% sure I won't be wearing either a veil or tiara on my wedding day.
It's just not me.

As stupid as it sounds, wearing a veil and tiara conjures up images in my head of me as a little girl playing dress up.

Therefore, I want a headband that makes a statement.  I love the headbands which have the detailing on the side.  Flo and Percy have gorgeous accessories.  Suzie wore their Clarice headband from the Gatsby collection during the evening at her wedding, which is absolutely gorgeous!

I really like their Chesire headband from their Wonderland collection

(model is a bit scary looking though!)

I'm having a real struggle at the moment finding something I'm in love with.  Don't get me wrong there are loads of gorgeous headbands out there, I just have trouble picturing them being worn.  A lot of websites provide photos of the headband, but I think it really helps to have one of a model wearing it.

They have quite a few cute ones on Etsy.

This Rhinestone Headband is from TessaKim

Swarovski Rhinestone Headband from Brenda's Bridal Veils

I like the pearls in this Heirloom side tiara headband from Glitzy Secrets

I found the Jennifer Behr website a while ago.. she tempts me with her stunning headbands.  Especially Dahlia

Want to know a secret...?  I haven't actually tried on a side headband!  Yes, I could be fantasising on something that will look completely pants on.  Only one thing for it, mass headband trying on session is in order!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

How was your weekend?

I've had a lovely relaxing and quiet weekend filled with my favourite things.  Baking, crafting, visiting Hobby Crafts and watching films in bed with Has.

First of all my ring from Oh, hello, friend came.

It's gorgeous and I love it!

Saturday I visited Hobby Craft and picked up some ribbon so I can make a start on the invitations.  I also picked up some purple sample paint pots for a separate project I'll start soon.

Has' Mom Sue found her wedding outfit yesterday too!  A complete bargain and it's gorgeous!  Not only did Sue manage to find her outfit she also walked straight into Next and found the perfect shoes to match... extra bonus, they were on sale!!

We've spent most of the day in the kitchen  Has made his famous meatballs and spaghetti and I made a chocolate sponge cake.  The frosting didn't turn out as chocolatey looking as I had intended but our local shop only had milk chocolate rather than dark  Oh well it tasted yummy!!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Some Things for the Weekend

I've decided to expand my Friday Photo feature into "Some Things for the Weekend"

I read so many great blogs, forums, articles and tweets daily about weddings, crafts, design and a hole host of other things that I want to share and remember.   I thought instead of dedicating a post to each I'll collect them up and post them at the end of the week.  So without further ado... Some Things for the Weekend!

~ I heart We Heart It - in fact I'm addicted

Check out this bad boy!  *drool*

To hire or not to hire?

~ The cutest little Easter craft project... will I have time to give it ago? Hope so!

~ An engagement shoot with cupcakes? Now you're talking!

10 top tips for getting the best photos on your wedding day

This wedding blew me away!  Love, love, love the polka dot ties!

Hawaii in pictures

Easter brunch inspiration

Half price sale now on at Debenhams!

To die for!

Crushing on chalkboards

OMG posters, OMG indeed!

The cutest stationery I've seen in a long time!

What do you think? Some Things for the Weekend better that Friday Photo?

Happy Weekend xxx

Amazing Animation

Such a cute, cute video!

A Toronto animator made this video to play for his wife during their wedding reception.  Enjoy

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Engagement Shoot Style

I've had a couple of ideas for our engagement shoot.

I'd love to be able to carry a small bouquet of tulips in some photos.  They are my favourite flower and seeing as I can't afford to include them in the wedding it would be nice to have a few shots of them.

My other thought was related to our "Thank You" cards.  We won't have the opportunity to write these out before we go on honeymoon, so I wanted to prepare as much as I could for when we get back.  We'll be away for 3 weeks and I don't want to leave people too long without a proper thank you.

I have been thinking about having a few photos taken during our shoot specifically for our "Thank You" cards  so I can make these us ready for us to write out when we get back.  I love the idea of having the words "Thank You" written out and held by us.  Something like this...

It's really different and cute!  As chalkboards seem to be featuring quite heavily in our wedding, I had thought about using the boards we are having for our menus.

We can also have a lot of fun with other different messages


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Choices, choices!

A few of the dresses I like at the moment.  I think the style we're going for is definitely swooshy! 

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

30 Before 30

I came across this article today from The 30 Skills Every Woman Should Have Before Turning 30

It got me thinking.  When I was at school we were set writing assignments with questions like "Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years time?"  At the age of 15 I would always say "In 5 years I will almost certainly have a successful career, be living in my own home and be with someone I care about.  In 10 years I expect I will be married with children"  Well 10 years have past.  I don't own my own home, I do not have a successful career and I do not have any children.  I am however very much in love and will be marrying my best friend in just over 7 months.

For some reason growing up I always imagined I would settle down early.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that my Mom was married at 19 and had me when she was 21.  When I was 15, 21 seemed an age away and everything I thought I could do in 5 years felt within my reach.  As it happens at the age of 21 Has had just left University, we both had very little money and the idea of owning our own home was laughable.

When I was 21, 30 seemed even longer away - even though people couldn't help but point out to me that my "next big birthday was 30!"

I'm now 25, very nearly 26.  30 really doesn't feel that long away!  I've made a new realistic list of things I hope to achieve before I'm 30.  (Some of them, you'll see have already be set in motion)  In no particular order...

  1. Get married!
  2. Move in with Has before our wedding (We'll be renting to start with)
  3. Own our first home together.
  4. Start to think about a family
  5. Visit Alaska
  6. Learn how to knit
  7. Do something I love for a living.
  8. Decorate my house in a style to suit me and Has.
  9. Teach Has how to drive.
  10. Create a "places we have been map"
  11. Become confident in the kitchen and be able to cook edible meals!
  12. Visit Harry Potter World
  13. Run/Walk the Breast Cancer Race For Life
  14. Learn how to sew
  15. Watch all the first (last?) 3 Star Wars films (I get flamed for not seeing the originals!)
  16. See the New York Giants play at home
  17. Perfect the art of cupcake making
  18. Host a dinner party
  19. Buy a pair of designer shoes
  20. Get a professional massage
  21. Get a professional facial
  22. See the Macy's Parade on Thanks Giving 
  23. Host Christmas dinner.
  24. Have a garden
  25. Be a comfortable size 10
  26. Go to Iceland
  27. Climb a Volcano (Extinct!)
  28. Trace my family tree
  29. Learn to play the Bass
  30. See Poison play live.

Does anyone else have a 30 before 30 list?

Monday, 22 March 2010

San Francisco

All the blogs I read are telling me Spring is here...  I'm not convinced (Although I did go the whole day yesterday believing the clocks had gone forward and my mobile phone had "auto-corrected" the time whilst I was asleep... no I'm not a natural blonde!)

Outside is grey, dull and rainy.  It feels like ages since I've seen the sun, in fact we had a discussion in the office about the last time we had seen a beach.  Sunday 6th December in Rhyl.  It was freezing!  Before that I can't remember!

To cheer myself up I've been looking at pictures of the places we'll be going on our honeymoon.  Yes, not everywhere we go will allow us to wear shorts and t-shirts, but none the less it's cheered me up.  I feel like I need a holiday but today November seems a million miles away.

I found posts about San Francisco on the English Muse, which instantly lifted my spirits

from here

I visited San Francisco in 2002 with my family when we travelled around California for 3 weeks and loved it. We flew into San Francisco and had only 1 full day to explore the city.  We took the boat to Alcatraz, walked around Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 to see the famous sea lions and queued for what seemed like hours to travel via cable car (worth it!)

I'm really excited about going with Has.  He's never been but I think it's a city he will love.  I think the main reason Has wants to go is because his NFL team The Oakland Raiders play only 20 minutes away and he's hoping he'll get to see a game!  Despite this I know he'll feel the same way about San Francisco as I do.

We'll have the weekend to spend in the city and there is loads I want to see, do and explore.  Lombard Street, The Painted Ladies, Union Square, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Park just to start with!

A lady in my office kindly sent me this link 24 hours in San Francisco, definitely liking the idea of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge then stopping off at the Atlas Cafe for hot chocolate and a pastry!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The glamorous job of a bridesmaid

Saturday morning the plan was to, pick up Mom, pick up Natalie, pick up Suzie and be at the bridal shop for 10.45.  Easy...

Problem 1.  I struggled to get out of bed so didn't arrive to pick up Mom until 10:18.  After throwing a jam sandwich (breakfast) into my mouth we raced off to pick up Natalie.

Problem 2.
Mom "What time did you tell Natalie we would be picking her up?"
Me "Erm I didn't! I thought you were telling Natalie what time we'd be picking her up..."

Cue lots of frantic phone calls to poor Natalie who was still in bed!  Change of plan, grab Suzie - who was wearing the "Bridesmaid" rhinestone t-shirt I had made her when I first asked if she'd be my bridesmaid (Isn't she super!) - then shoot round to Natalie who had only had 15 minutes to wake up and get ready!  (Sorry Natalie, next time I promise I'll give you more notice!  Thanks for being such a star!)

We arrived at Sallie Bee Brides a little late but it didn't really matter.  The shop was heaving.

Problem 3.  Despite the Mark Lesley website saying that this shop stocked the dress I had originally wanted to see, they didn't have it in.  A little disappointing, but they did have something very similar.
The owner of the shop Silvia was lovely.  She advised us on colours and styles and after grabbing a few dresses off the racks we were shown to the quieter changing rooms upstairs.

The first dress Natalie tried on was by True and she instantly fell in love with it.  An a-line taffeta dress which ruches at the side and has bead details.  Suzie later tried it on and I have to say it's a strong contender.
Another dress I really liked was by Mark Lesley, it was a simple taffeta dress with a diamond brooch detail

Both girls looked lovely in this one.  Although it's a little over budget!
It's certainly given me a lot to think about! The owner, Silvia allowed us to take pictures which is usually really rare, but this will allow me to make my mind up and compare these dresses with others.  Silvia was really very lovely and after we had finished trying on dresses we had a conversation with her about other bridal shops and the fact that she's been in the business over 30 years.

I have to confess I think the hunt for the bridesmaids dresses will be harder than the search for my dress.  I hope you girls are up for a few more Saturdays of taffeta, satin and net!  I promise I'll give you plenty of warning next time!

Best picture of the day, oh so glamorous! x

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Aftermath!

Happy Saturday!

I know I said we would split Suzie's wedding into 5 parts but we thought it would be nice to finish it properly so we have extended it to this post.

Thank you Moo for sharing your day in your words. x

Back to Suzie.
I have to say that it’s been really great to extend my wedding celebrations! They started early on the Friday morning and finished on the Sunday afternoon!

We all woke up relatively early and met downstairs for breakfast about 9:30. We had booked out the hotel for the night and even though there are only 12 rooms that made 24 of us for breakfast, it was really great to reminisce over the night before. We all tucked into our cooked brekkie and slurped on lots of tea! I don’t think there was anyone who was too worse for ware that morning! We all looked bright eyed! 

After breakfast people started on their way, wishing us well and saying goodbye. Rob and I collected all our bits and pieces from the venue ready to take home including all our wedding cards and gifts and Darth Vader of course! We then started to divvy up the remaining cake to thrust upon people. 

Once all our guests were gone Rob and I slumped into the chairs in reception feeling tired and a little deflated waiting for our parents before heading home. 

Back to normality! Once home we sat with a brew and started to open our cards and read the lovely words and wishes that were written! Rob and I didn’t register a gift list and didn’t ask our guests for anything, we didn’t want anyone to feel under pressure and let’s face it we had each other so nothing else mattered! We were soooooo blown away with how generous people were contributing to the start of our life together! So for anyone reading a HUGE thank you (thank you card in progress!).

By the afternoon it was just dawning on it that tomorrow we departed for Heathrow for our AMOOOZing honeymoon! We jetted off to Khao Lak in Thailand for 2 week R&R and it was bliss! 

What more can I say! Today is our 1 month anniversary so Happy Anniversary Darling, I love you more today than yesterday but not as much as I will love you tomorrow.

Married life is wonderful.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Friday's Photo

I know this doesn't really follow the whole Friday Photo theme but it sums up my week pretty well and like it!

Happy Weekend! x

Let’s Dance! Part 5

By the time the evening guests started to arrive the atmosphere had really settled down – there was no stress in the air everyone was having a great time. The DJ had started playing, I was floating around the room greeting people and telling them what a wonderful day it had been so far.

The shrugs were off and people started to filter onto the dace floor, it was time for me to pop back up to the room with my lovely bridesmaids! My GORGEOUS Vivienne Westwood shoes as amazing as they were killed my feet so I quickly snuck into my trainers and hoped no one would know (of course everyone knew as soon as I started dancing, bouncing around like a lunatic!).

We went back down stairs and all started to dance and before I knew it they were announcing that we were going to cut the cake, now this is another one of those things that no one really tells you that you should practice but I think that you should! How do you cut the cake?  If it's tiered which tier do you cut? How do you hold the knife…..?  So many things to think about! We had no idea what we were doing, I thought back to friend’s weddings and what they did.  Right, ok Rob place your hand over mine and we basically just hold the knife over the cake and then cut... we seriously fudged it up! At one point Rob put his hand across my chest, God only knows why!! Well we did our best that’s all I can say!

In keeping with the Star Wars theme Suzie and Rob "mock" cut the cake with a Light Saber!

After the ‘bodging of the cake’ the buffet was open, I was told the food was amazing – I didn’t actually get chance to eat any of the food as I was still stuffed from lunch but it looked really good! The DJ announced that the first dance would follow shortly. Now about our first dance, I had gone back and forth from song to song and couldn’t pick one! Rob was getting rather tired of me being so contrary so decided he would choose the first dance and it would be a surprise! I was nervous... but excited! 

To my delight the DJ announced that our band “Fatlip” would be playing the first dance song, Rob and I made our way onto the dance floor and Pete (long time friend, lead singer of “Fatlip” and top class usher) started to play. Rob had chosen a really funny, sweet song as our first dance, its called "Grow Old With You" and is sung by Adam Sandler in the film "The Wedding Singer"

I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you

I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you

I'll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold

Need you
Feed you
Even let you hold the remote control

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you've had too much to drink
Oh I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you 

Neither Rob nor I are very good dancers so luckily the song only lasted about a minute and a half, we romantically shuffled around the floor, it was lovely! As soon as our first dance was finished the band struck up and just blew the night away! They were incredible!! Everyone commented on them! If you need a really good funk, soul and blues band let us know!

The evening continued with dancing, drinking and lots of general merriment until the wee small hours of the morning. As Rob and I said goodnight to our few remaining hard core party guests and retired to our room we were greeted with such a lovely surprise, Moo and Beth had decorated our room up with loads of battery tea lights that flickered in blue, blue rose petals scattered on our bed and on the floor it looked so lovely! There was also 2 ice buckets on out table one containing a bottle of champagne and one containing a 2 pint of skimmed milk... WHAAAA I hear you say… haha…

Also on the table were 2 champagne glasses decorated with Mr & Mrs E and 2 cereal bowls one with Bob and one with Squish and a box of Weetos!! I heart Weetos!!!

Thank you girls im not sure if even you will know this Moo…but when Rob and I arrived in our room and enjoyed all the decoration we went to turn on the lights and we’d had a power cut! It took me a while to realize that we had actually had a power cut and it was not something you girls had done!! Rob had to go down to reception and get them to turn on our lights!! As Rob and I turned off the lights (once we had then turned back on of course) and settled down to sleep it was such a wonderful feeling knowing in the morning I would wake up next to my husband for the first time...

Sneak a peak tomorrow to see the dreaded morning after pictures!

Supplier List
Wedding Venue – The Forest Hotel - Dorridge
Wedding Dress – D2031 - Eternity Bridal
Menswear – Moss Bros

Bridesmaids Dresses - 6537 - Alfred Angelo
Cake Makers – Elite Cake Design
Photographer – Stu Moles – Razorsmile
Decoration – Balloon Heydays 
Make Up – Liz Burrows – Beautiful Day
Hair – Katie –
Perfexion Hair
Shoes - Vivienne Westwood
Veil - eBay made by a seller called Kalandra
Headpiece - Flo and Percy

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