Thursday, 28 May 2015

We Did It....our wedding, our way!

We are back from our lovely honeymoon in Bali... so here is the who/ where / when / what and how we did our wedding weekend.  Hosted Thursday to Sunday May 7 - 10th 2015.  We arrange our whole wedding from scratch and without any help, and I am happy to say it was perfect for us and our guests.

Thursday was spent preparing; getting the car packed with all our DIY items (most of the wedding), driving up to the 20 person cottage in Derby we had hired for the weekend.  Setting up, talking to suppliers, then drinks and dinner with the bridal party (2 x bridesmaids & 1 x bestman).

Friday morning the guys were in one half of the cottage and the girls in another (so the bride didn't see the groom until the ceremony).  The guys had to collect the last few bits for the weekender and head of to set up the ceremony venue.  Whilst the girl celebrated a bridesmaids birthday, had a relaxing champagne breakfast and then dressed for the ceremony.  We did our make up ourselves but we hired the lovely Stephanie Layton to do our hair, and she was brilliant.  We had no trail and she nailed what we had in mind just from pics!

Father of the bride arrived mid morning, collecting the bridal party and arriving on time at the ceremony venue where we met my niece the flower girl and her father (my brother).  A few last minute details with the registrar then off down the aisle we went.

Friday afternoon on arriving at the top of the alter my soon to be husband was bright pink with nerves, stumbled on his first words and struggled to get my ring on :-)  As Mr & Mrs we celebrated with champagne and canapes in the venue bar whilst the official family photos were taken!  Then it was back to our cottage with all the family for food, drink, speeches and games!

Saturday morning was spent having a family breakfast cleaning up from the night before and saying goodbye / setting up the cottage field for our mini wedding festival... this took most of the day and we only finished in time for our guest to arrive at 3 pm ish.

We then enjoy plenty of drink, food, speeches, photos, games and the best of all a bouncy castle.  The evening was finished with a sparkler photo shoot and more drinks around the fire pit. Thankfully the English weather held out for us and we had a wonderful day.

What we did and how we did it!
  • Hired Sycamore Farm Barns in Wirksworth, Derby from Thurs - Mon (sleeps 20 guests)
  • Hired Cathedral Quarter Hotel in Derby City for our ceremony (3 pm Fri 8th)
  • Booked the Derby City registrar to officiate our ceremony (giving notice at Wandsworth Council)
  • Photographer Ben Pollard was good enough to do us a deal on a two day package (2 - 5 Fri 8th & 2 - 11 Sat 9th)
  • 50 person marquee hired from Tops Marquee UK Ltd (great guys, also provided us with posh loos, tables, chairs & lighting - and can provide many other wedding/party supplies)
  • PA hired from JNS Hire 
  • We hired a 72 pint keg from Derby Brewing for local ale
  • Hog roast by The Lazy Pig Co. we bought enough to feed 75, plus 5 veggie options
  • Hay bales we hired from a local farmer suggested by the barn owners (20 for £50) - these were used for set up' and seating around the fire pit.
  • We had bought several garden games, croquet, a Nerf, football but we also hired an adult bouncy castle from  Inflatamania (this brought about a lot of fun).

Everything else we did ourselves... catering / drinks and decorations
  • I bought 300 feet of bunting from eBay which was used to decorate the barns kitchen, the marquee and outside the cottage gates for guests to find us
  • We bought 4 bundles of baby's breath flowers from Smith & Green at the London Covent Garden Flower market, then used it to make the bouquets, buttonholes, ceremony flowers, table flowers and flowers for my hair (£60)
  • We bought two types of table clothes for the marquee tables, used jars from home with candles, photo booth glasses etc. and the flowers to decorate 
  • Next to the cards basket we had a guest book (i'd received as a secret Santa), plus two Polaroid cameras and plenty of film
  • We also had a fun zone; this included face paint / glow sticks / stick on gems / temporary tattoos / dressing up items / disposable cameras / sparklers / party poppers 
  • One of our lovely friends also bought 4 bottles of random booze aka taboo and strapped a go pro to it :-))
  • Along with the hog roast we provided a salad/nibbles table that contained everything from fresh salad and quiche to crisps and cheese.  We also had a dessert table that had every type of cake, chocolate cake to home made pavlova.  I also created a candy bar which guests where taking home with them!
  • We wanted to keep the wedding as cheap for our guests as we could, so we provided a completely free bar.  We bought everything you could image and not surprisingly most of it was drunk!
  • The H2B spent a whole weekend creating music playlists for the wedding, both ceremony and reception... my girlfriends ending up replacing his music at the reception within 30 mins ;-)
  • Bridesmaid gifts we bought from Oliver Bonas

Other things we did to keep costs low for guests was to host the wedding half way between both sides (London & Manchester), provided free accommodation for 20 family members and 20 friends, an option for camping.  We provided all food & drinks and put on breakfast the next day.  We also didn't set a dress code, we just suggested to come comfortable, but that wellies should be considered.

I had two outfits for the weekend, a lovely vintage beaded gown for the ceremony from House of Vintage and a white playsuit for the reception from Mango, I reused nude shoes I already own for the ceremony and blinged my wellies to say Bride for the reception.  The groom worn a similar outfit both days, shirt, waistcoat, bow tie and trousers.

Before the wedding I had my eyebrows shaped, cluster lashes added and a spray tan, the most girly I have ever been!  I bought a gel nail varnish and did my nails at home myself.

My bridesmaids gave me a lovely gift on the morning of the wedding, my something old, something new, something borrow and something blue which was then tidied to my bouquet.

Other details:
Insurance - Debenhams
Wedding bands - F.Hinds
Save the dates - Vista print
Invites - First Colour printers 
Car hire - Avis
Home made confetti 
Ceremony - 24 guests
Reception - 50 guests

Find more details here from my previous post £11k wedding, and we did manage that!!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Mini Office Hen Do!

The lovely team I work with @VivaKi or #aoduk took me for a last minute 'spa day' yesterday at Blink, Selfridges and then for food & drink at the Roof pop up restaurant.

I had my eyebrows shaped and eye lash extensions added, bough my wedding day nail polish!  Then we have several gin cocktails and fish & chips for lunch.  A lovely afternoon with great friends :-)

Wedding Beauty

Five days out from the wedding and I have so far had my eyebrows shaped (£17, pricey but they did a really good job and showed my how to fill the lighter spots) at Blink, Selfridges and eyelash extensions (cluster 2 weeks lashes £60 - this is about the average price in London) also from Blink.

Next up is a light express spray tan (£29) from Mee Beauty and then my nails.  My nails are in a pretty good condition and shape, so I've bought a gel NailsInc polish that should last a little longer and will do them myself the night before the wedding!

The night before the wedding will be spent painting nails, veeting all unnecessary body hair and wearing a face mask! :-)