Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bespoke Dress

The little girl inside me decided from the beginning to go with a bespoke dress as I have a very specific image of how I wanted to look on the day. Googling local dress makers was my starting point and I came across the following options:

http://www.dressmakingdesign.co.uk/danna2/home.htm - costing between £1650 - £2000

http://www.jennylessin.co.uk/index.html - starting from £1750

http://www.veryme.com/ - starting at £750 plus materials

I contacted Kerry at Very Me and arranged a consultation - thankfully Kerry could see where I was going with my idea and was very helpful in terms of deciding materials, the total cost was estimated at £1300!!

Kerry had suggested I try wedding dresses on first to be sure of what I wanted, so I took this opportunity to consider all my option, starting with alternative bespoke services and found two online where the company is a UK based online retailer with a factory shop in China.  You provide your measurements (I am waiting for my mum to take these on my next visit back home), select the style dress you would like (either a copy of a designer dress, or an off the peg dress made to measure).



Now I am unsure what to do... I have 9 months until 'W' day, I have time to look about surely?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Don't forget others this Christmas!

Please remember others less fortunate this Christmas!!






Wedding Dress - cheaper options

I have been looking into all different options for wedding dress, and in this month Brides Magazine are several helpful suggestions...

Before I was only considering wedding dress shops, looking online or having a bespoke dress made - where you only find two outcomes ... off the peg dress not exactly what you want and at costly prices, online dress at very cheap pries but with no definite that it will turn up looking like it does in the picture or that it will fit and hand make bespoke dress costing an arm and a leg.

I never even considered looking on the high street - House of Frazer, French Connection, Net a Porta, Debenhams, Bhs.... and so on.

I've narrowed the search down to a couple of options now:
1 - Bespoke dress
2 - Online dress
3 - High Street dresses

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Dress - let the hunt begin

I have this image in my head of how I should look on the big day... a simple, elegant shape, pure style but with a slight edge.

All the questions that go with it... what shape will suit me?  What style is best?  Will it go with the theme of the day?  Will it be comfortable?   Will I be to cold or warm?  How easy will it be to move in?  What is the right colour?  Will it match the bridesmaids dress, does it have to match the bridesmaids?  What jewellery can I wear with it?  Should I buy expensive shoes if I wear a floor length gown?  What will my H2B think?  How much should I spend?

I began with the budget and set a limit of £1200, and decided to go with mid price range for the shoes, because even if no one sees them I'll know I am wearing them!

Next I decided on a material, and style....but I am still going back and forth on the style...

First I considered having my dress made, and researched a few local dress makers, but after several weeks to-ing and throwing I have decided the next step should be to try dresses on first, so I have arrange a couple of weekend shopping outings with the gals to look at style, material and length!

You never know what they will look like until you try them on - that would be my first piece of advice.  Even, if like me, you are intimidates about trying wedding dresses on, it is the best place to start!!

Dress shops to follow!!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Giving Notice & booking the registrar

Once we had confirmed our wedding venue I went about contacting the local registrar for our civil ceremony, as we are not getting married in a religious ceremony.  I contacted the local council to find out if the registrar was available on the date we required, thankfully they had 2 spots available, one at 11 am and one at 3.30 pm - and since we wanted to get married in the afternoon 3.30 pm worked brilliantly...

So today we went to 'give notice' of our marriage... this didn't take long, and they ask for the minimal amount of information, but my gosh it was intense, and now it really feels official - we are getting married!

To give notice firstly we had to arrange the local registrar for the county we are getting married in, then 'give notice' at our local registry office.  You can do this between 16 days to12 months before the wedding.  You are required to live in the burrow you 'give notice' in for at least 2 weeks prior to the date of 'giving notice' - then you take a proof of identity and proof of address plus £33.50 each to pay for the certificate which you receive 16 days later and provide to the registrar marrying you...

All information can be found at:



Thursday, 25 November 2010

Planning the Wedding Budget

The next step for me was the decided on a budget, I do not want to spend my life savings on the wedding (because if I am honest I'd prefer to run away and get married rather than have a big party for everyone else)!  So I set an amount after a bit of research, and settled on £12k, plus any extra provided by our parents.  The average wedding budget in the UK is £11-12k, and in the US $19.5k (but most spend between 14-25).

I feel it is very important to keep track of the costs because once you start going deeper into the wedding details there is so much you want to include or add and soon you'll be a few thousand over budget, at one point our budget was edging toward £16k!! :O  Because of this though I found lots of way to save on cost which I will share with you all as I take this process!

I used a simple excel spread sheet to keep track of costs, budgeted, deposits, and total spend - I also used this as a list of what needs to be done, and where I had found ideas, plus contact names etc.

If you do a Google search you'll find plenty of wedding planner checklist free to download.  http://www.savvysugar.com/Wedding-Planning-Checklist-3039079

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Mood!

Theme, Colour, Style!

After picking, viewing and confirming our venue (lucky the first one fit the bill perfectly), I started planning the theme, colour and style as the mood of the wedding and the rest of the planning would flow from these ideas... so I started cutting out from magazine and the Internet things that appeal to me and work together then created a mood board!

We are going for a relaxed, outside family feel, with a fun fair theme, and royal blue and purple colours!!


We had been away for along weekend to the Kent coast, and a week before hand I had shown my H2B the ring I wanted... so all a long I was hoping for the proposal to come.  When we returned home and nothing had happen I continued as usual.  The following Saturday came, we were at home cooking dinner in our 'comfy' weekend clothes when he appeared behind me and pulled a box from his pocket...

'You still want the ring?' and there it was, THE ring!!  Of course I said yes.

Turned out the day I had taken H2B to see the ring he had gone back and bought it then spent two weeks walking around with it trying to find the right time.

Making me dinner in our home was the right time for us, it was so personal to who we are.

My engagement ring is a old cut, 1.1 carat diamond from 1880, with 3 diamonds = 0.4 carat either side on a platinum band, bought from Aurum at Grey's Antique Market on Bond Street, London.  http://www.greysantiques.com/

Where to start?

So after confirming the venue I had found earlier online was still available for the date - everyone was informed...

I used www.weddingvenues.com to locate venues in our desired area and narrowed it down to a couple online, once we confirmed the date, we set time to visit the venue before putting the deposit down.

We went to see the venue on my birthday, a couple of months later than when the wedding will be...but we fell in love, it is perfect!!

Next I set about planning a list of what to do to plan the wedding...


- Style
- Location
- Vows
- Registrar
- Civil/Religious
- Registering
- Disco
- Band
- Fireworks
- Games
- Magician
- Doves
- What style dress suits you?
- Flower girls
- If you have a sister do you have to make her BOH?
*Bridal party
- Save the date
- Invites
- Name cards
- Seating plan
- Favors
- Order of Service
- Gifts
- Master of ceremony's
*Hen Do
*Stag Do
*Wedding Presents
*Guest list
- Do you include children?
- Should you invite family members you never see?
- Receiving line
- old, new, borrowed, blue
- is it acceptable?
- taboos/bad luck
- what if?
*Extra - unique ideas

I will provide links to sources I have used, ratings, Q&A and  my experiences as we get closer to the dates!  As the one thing that I have found missing in the process is someone reliable to ask all these questions to, my mum is from a different generation and has a very different style to me, my girlfriends are all unmarried and probably sick of 'what you think of this' every 5 minutes...

Please get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions for me, it would be great to recieve them.