Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Future Wife Finds

I just had to write a quick post about one of my recent 'finds' whilst browsing the wedding world.

Struggling to find a stylish card box for your big day? You can't get much more adorable than this.

Original  -Wedding Card Box Birdhouse  Personalized - In-Stock
Find this at Door County Woodrworks on Etsy

Monday, 5 December 2011

Do It Yourself : Wedding Bags

I wanted to share with you something I have done for my bridesmaids and let you know how I did it so that you can make your very own! Nice aren't I?

I have made my bridesmaids (and myself) their very own personalised canvas bag. It doesn't cost the earth but it's a nice little touch. My girls have been given theirs so that they can store their sparkly shoes in them, but I imagine in the run up to the wedding they will get plenty of use!

How to:
- You will need to purchase canvas bags of your colour choice, and some iron on transfer paper. I found mine on Ebay.
- Next you need to get on your computer and open up Word, or something more fancy if you are a mac user! You can add whatever words and pictures you like. I added the name of the bridesmaid, their wedding title and the date of the wedding. I think that covers most bases. I also made them in our wedding colours.
- Next you need to print out onto your transfer paper. Make sure you read the instructions and you may need to alter your printer settings.
- Next iron on your design and you are all done! How quick was that?!

Why not give it a go?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

My Carriage Awaits...

A bride's choice of carriage for her wedding has, for many years, not been much of a choice. For most, the choice would be a classic vintage car, that everyone would expect a bride and her party to arrive in. Now please don't get me wrong, I adore classic vintage cars, but I think it's important that a Bride can choose something suitable for her to transport her on the big day.

Apart from the classic vintage car, you obviously have the lovely tradition of horse and cart. Perfect for classic fairytale brides getting married in quiant little villages, that's my vision anyway!

Nowadays for the lads you have great transport, such as, the A-Team Van. Or of course the trotters van.

( Please excuse of of Rob's best men in the pic! The Trotter Van is avaliable here)

If you fancy a twist on a classic vintage care, how about going American with a classic Cadillac?

For me, there was only ever one carriage I wanted to take me to my wedding ceremony.... a VW Camper Van!!! However wanting one, and finding one is a different matter. Around Surrey you are very limited compared to other areas of the country. Then I stumbled across Pushka owned by the lovely Nathalie at Buttercup Bus VW Campers.

I drove over to Croydon and jumped into Pushka for a test ride around the block, she was perfect and I booked up straight away. I understand that arriving at your wedding in a camper van can just be more of a 'ccol' statement to some but for me it was the only choice as I am more than a little obssessed with campers. Maybe one day I will let you see the shelf that is full of camper van's and my canvas prints that adorn my walls, but for now you will have to take my word for it.

So Brides, when choosing your carriage pick what you want and not what tradition informs you that you must choose. Explore the web and find your dream!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


On Saturday we took the plunge and finally booked our honeymoon. We had been certain of what we wanted for quite a while but spending that much on a holiday sent a few shivers down my spine! But, as countless people have told me, this is a once in a lifetime. We are never likely to be able to spend this kind of money on a holiday again, so we decided to GO FOR IT!

Where are we going?

I can’t say our destination is the normal honeymoon destination for most couples but Stockholm is perfect for us. Beach holidays, we have found, don’t float our boat so we wanted somewhere worth exploring.

We both love a few things Swedish 1) Swedish music aka ABBA! Ok so this is more my OH’s thing, but I don’t mind a bit of ABBA. 2) Swedish Literature and Film. We are both big fans of ‘the girl’ trilogy and the OH also loves Let The Right One In. So we are already eager to go on the ABBA tour and ‘the girl’ tour.

There are also so many amazing museums are we are trying to whittle down which ones we want to visit. We will also be visiting during their national day, which is supposed to be a much celebrated event with Swedish flags everywhere!

Stockholm looks like an amazing city, with so many things to explore. We can’t wait!

Where are we staying?

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to The Hotel Rival.

This masterpiece is owned by Benny from ABBA and is the first boutique hotel in Stockholm. You get your very own teddy bear and ABBA cd’s in your room...easily pleased...me? And what other hotel is there, that has their own song?! Yes that’s right...

Anyone interested in reading about Stockholm can read the blog of the concierge for Hotel Rival at The Stockholm Tourist

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Fingerprint Guestbooks!

RESERVED (for pamjwu) MEDIUM guest book fingerprint balloon tandem bike (with 7 ink pads)
Bluedetoi at Etsy

This week we purchased our guestbook, it wasn't planned or on my to do list, but I was taking a wander through Offbeat Bride and found something right.

I fell in love with the idea of our guests leaving their fingerprint to create something that would look great on our wall after the wedding day. I didn't think it would be my grooms first choice so I just tweeted it! Turns out my groom loved the idea! We did have a chat about how we wouldn't have anywhere for guests to leave messages, but that's what cards are for right?

We also found another idea that we loved...

How amazing is this idea? Your guests can leave their fingerprint and make it a little person! Ok, we loved it! However having something for our wall was important.

Then I was lucky enough to find a great UK supplier of fingerprint guestbook trees. Claire from Fingerprint Tree was so helpful with my questions and extra requests, and all at 9pm!

This is what we have chosen for our guest book. We have requested some extra inks so we can have our own style and we can't wait to see the finished look at the end of our wedding day.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I Can Hear The Bells

The music for our wedding day is important to us, and I am sure it's important to a lot of other bride & grooms. We've got all of our ceremony music sorted, and Rob is still working on the playlist for the wedding breakfast. What I thought I would blog today is the music we have picked to have playing to our guests before the ceremony begins. Hopefully it will get them in the mood for a mushy but fun day ahead!

Song 1

We have a love for Hairspray the film and we can both sing all of the songs! This has to be our favourite though. I especially love how the curvy girl gets the man of her dreams!

Song 2

We both like a bit of cheese and this is a perfect duet for us!

Song 3

Have you seen the film? Rob has made me watch it!

Song 4

Again we love the mush value of this song and have sung it many many times!

Song 5

To me this song is perfect because it will be our 'one  fine day'.

Song 6

I think all of our guests will know this song, and I can already Rob standing at the front doing a little dance for everyone to see :-) At least it should help his nerves!

So what do you think to our choices? Do you have a favourite? I am thinking of making a CD of these songs so that I can listen to them on the way to our ceremony. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Anyone For Toast?

On our wedding day, we had been clear from the start of planning, that we didn’t want a toastmaster for our day. Our main reasons for this was that we considered our day not to be ‘like that’ and that we wanted our guests happy, not shouted at! We have been to a few weddings with a toastmaster and although they were lovely people, they did wind me up as a guest. I don’t like being told what to do at the best of times!

Late last year we went to a wedding fair, along with one of our best men and a bridesmaid (luckily they are a couple!). It was great to go to a wedding fair with one of my bridesmaids, mainly because she held all of my things so I felt like I had a butler, because we were able to get their reactions to suppliers, and not just our own.

Near the end of the wedding fair we were talking with a photographer and I was aware that a Toastmaster was lurking nearby ready to pounce! And pounce he did, however I stopped him short telling him that we weren’t having a toastmaster.
This was a rough idea of his reply:

What do you mean by 'That' kind of a day? You Don't want a Party Atmosphere? You don't want your guests to be enjoying themselves and have big smiles on their faces? Don't be silly, of course you do. what you mean is you don't want your wedding to be overly formal and regimented with an unbearably stuffy atmosphere. Quite right too! it's a celebration you want! We are trained as Toastmasters in all the Protocols for many, strictly Formal occasions including Royal, Civic, Diplomatic, Guild and Livery functions. there are social rules and graces that govern these functions and the toastmaster works closely with this knowledge. But it does not mean that we must bring that formal approach to your wedding, on the contrary, because we know and understand those rules we know why they are there and what they are meant to achieve and we can therefore bend, even break those rules accordingly. My style and approach to your wedding is one that uses a very useful tool... Humour, this disguises almost any amount of formality and gets the job done with far less effort!  It is all about you and your day, you tell me how formal you want it, I won't be telling you! 

The man himself is Nigel Neve (http://www.nigelneve.co.uk/), who managed to convince all four of us of his talents! It’s fair to say quite a lot of banter was exchanged and Nigel gave as good as he got! Nigel has assured us that he will literally eat his coat if our guests don’t say he was the best money spent at our wedding. Saying that, his coat did look fairly new…

What Nigel managed to do is show us why we wanted a toastmaster at our wedding. 

  - Support- My groom and his men are wonderful but a helping hand to keep them on track and keep them calm will be immediately calming for me on the big day. Nigel also offers support before the wedding from speeches to getting the timings right for the day. 

  - Point of contact- I personally, do not want anyone to ask me any questions on our wedding day apart from ‘Do you take this man. It will be such a relief for Nigel to be everyone’s beacon of knowledge!

  - Character- Having someone such as Nigel, who has lot’s of personality, is a real benefit. We want our guests to have fun and I know that by booking Nigel he will do his utmost to see this happens.

And if it all goes wrong, hopefully we will never know because Nigel will have put his coat on li
ke a cape and come to the rescue!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Listen Up Wedding Industry

This blog post is not related to my wedding but I have felt the need to have a little rant about a few problems with the wedding industry! I’m not writing this to annoy or upset anyone, and although I know a lot of Twitter folks agree, the views are my own.

To me there are three main types of wedding blogs. The big, worldwide known ones that make profit from advertising and have many many followers,  those blogs which simply share with others the bride to be journey, and those blogs that are a mixture of the two.  

In my view it’s only the first one’s that seem to cause offense. If I was a well known wedding blogger, what would matter to me most would be bride to be’s, followed by suppliers.  I understand that suppliers need to have some priority due to advertising, but if brides stop reading your blog, surely that’s no good to advertisers either?

As a bride to be what I want to see is real weddings, don’t they say variety is the spice of life? How can you use blogs for inspiration if they all look the same?

There are also things called manners. If my job was to be a blogger then I would think I need to be professional, I wouldn’t have slanging matches all over my blog and twitter and encourage others to bully those that don’t agree with me. I have seen it so many times and it makes me feel sick that bullying is alive and well within the wedding industry. I haveeven  seen one blogger, who I once respected, take a picture of someone on the street and tweet it to mock that person. The person that should be being mocked in that situation is the tweeter herself!
I have to say that blogs aren’t alone on this. I have seen a well known wedding magazine sending abusive tweets to a blogger and then saw them get deleted before other people could see them. I have also crossed suppliers off my ‘maybe’ list due to their true colours coming out on Twitter.

Let’s face it the wedding industry is massive and as human beings we all have our own opinions and views on what is or isn’t acceptable. But as a bride to be, I think my view, and others like me, should count. Business works on listening to your customers, so don’t get too comfortable folks, you may turn around to find no customers standing behind you!

Want some advice on how to make your blog or wedding business succeed on Twitter???


It really is that simple! All of ours suppliers booked for our wedding day were all picked because of their talent and the ability to be nice! If you don't think you can manage to be proffessional and be nice then why not have a private account instead?

Please don't get me wrong, there are so many fantastic people, blogs, magazines around!

Some other's suggested some titles for this blog post that I wanted to share...
Too Much About The Blogger And Not Enough Blog
Saying It Like It Is
Thought's That Would Make My Head Explode If I Don't Let Them Out
And my favourite: Never Stick Your Head Up Your Chuff And Get Too Big For Your Designer Boots As Your Punters Will Think You're A Twonk And So Will People Who Advertise With You

I think we need a 'BE NICE' badge made up for all of those people who aim to be nice! Who wants to make one?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Putting yourself first!

Looking back on the wedding planning so far, and especially this week, it's struck me that I have been doing it wrong! We have spent a lot of time and thought on other people but now I've had enough!
I know I'm not alone on this one as lots of twitter brides to be express problems with those involved in the wedding who you would expect to support you. I do want to think of my guests needs because we have invited them to be our guests, but I think there should be a limit.

Over the past few weeks, I have spent hours looking for accommodation for the night before, that would meet all the different needs of those staying with me the night before.It was getting me stressed out, so when someone changed their mind, yet again, about the night before, I decided that enough was enough. I was sorting myself out and that was that! And I have found a beauty...

This cute B&B cottage opens to a garden overlooking the river; the perfect calming scenery for the morning of our wedding.

So although it feels strange to be just thinking about my needs, it feels really good!! So to any brides to be who are struggling with making everyone happy....stop...think about you!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Wedding Cake Decisions!

Well all the talk of food has got me eager to write about cake now!

From the beginning of our wedding planning I had been planning to make our own wedding cupcakes for our cake on the big day. As time went I on, I got worried that it would be a lot of pressure close to the wedding, so I decided that my bridesmaids and mum could help. However about a month and a half ago I started to get concerned. Although my planning is going really well, I know me, and I know my stress levels will be struggling the week before the wedding, I decided I didn’t want to add more pressure with cake duties.

There are few cakes that stop me in my tracks, but in January, we went to a wedding fair at Epsom Downs and I stopped and stared at Jess Hill Cakes. So many display cakes look unlike people pictures but Jess Hill Cakes display cakes were amazing. I personally love the detail on this cake
Ivory Fair by Jess Hill Cakes

Once I recalled my stop and stare moment, I sent a email over to Sue at Jess Hill cakes and arranged a consultation. A couple of weeks ago we had our appointment. We were greeted by the lovely Sue, who showed us her room full of display cakes, and then sat us down for some tasters. The cakes were unlike any, either of us had tasted before!
So after filling up on cake we went back to the cake room, as I call it, and set about designing our cake. Sue went over so many details and gave us countless options. We also got to see how a dummy of our cake would look and collectively came to a decision on the design. I have to say that the only stipulation the OH wanted for the cake was enough room for little people on top!

White Duchess by Jess Hill Cakes

To be honest, I was nervous before our cake appointment and wasn’t sure I would be able to think of a cake that I would be truly happy with, so I can’t tell you how great it was to come out of our appointment knowing that the cake we had designed was the only cake I wanted!

Food Glorious Food!

Last night we went to our venue, The Talbot, and had our menu tasting. Picking our food to taste was a lot more difficult than we both expected. With a lot of our guests liking quite simple food, we were allowed to ask for meals that weren’t on the breakfast menu selector. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, as we were far too busy eating all the food! Between four of us we polished off a 3 course meal for 6 people!  

So would you like to know what our lovely guests will be tucking into on our big day??


Chicken liver and foie gras parfait with fig chutney and croutes

Goats cheese and cherry tomato tart (V)


A selection of sausages with chive mash and Yorkshire pudding

Pesto Fettuccine with roasted pine nuts & creamed spinach (V)


Scotch pancakes with blueberries, vanilla pod ice cream and maple syrup

I have to say that all the food we tasted was gorgeous and it was lovely to meet the head chef!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Cross Stitch Place Names

Hello everyone, it has been far too long since my last blog post, mostly due to a lot going on, but I am glad to be back.

I consider myself to be quite a crafty bride to be and always like coming up with ideas to add more personal touches to our wedding day. Early on in wedding planning I considered using my cross stitching hobby to make the place names, but I did a google and wimped out! Then I came across The Making Spot. http://blog.themakingspot.com. Now this is a blog that every crafty person needs to see, and the fantastic Zoe from @TheMakingSpot gave me the bit of courage I needed after I saw these lovelies.

cross stitched place names with a vintage feel

How fantastic do these look?!

So I sat down with squared paper and our Save the Date cards and set about designing a pattern that matched!

Our Save the Date postcards!

So here is  picture of the two most important place names for the day! 

The only thing I haven't decided is whether to have them attached to card or to attach them to pieces of material and have them laid out on the guest's table.

Maybe a little something like this from John Lewis?

So what do you think? I would love to hear your comments.

Make sure you take a look at http://blog.themakingspot.com/ and @TheMakingSpot on Twitter! 

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Plus Size Brides...Part 1: The Dress

I have been considering writing this blog post for quite a while now, but I was recently spurred on by some tweets that I saw about larger ladies. So here it is folks...

The Dress

I am and will, almost definitely, be a plus size bride on our wedding day. The only part of this fact that worried me was the wedding dress. I wasn’t worried that nothing would look good because of my size, but more worried about finding shops with plus size dresses to try on and whether or not I would have to get undressed in front of them! But I did my research on the shops and was brave for the getting undressed bit!

I’ve found two different types of bridal shops, those that cater solely for plus size and those that have plus size designs alongside their other designs.

Louise Leong talked to me about her reasons for setting up Curvy Bridal.

I opened Curvy Bridal last August, after being in the trade for a good while and seeing an enormous hole in the market, and rather than fill it with cake, my normal plan, I filled it with glamour, confidence and amazing dresses.

It first came to me that the plus size market was not really being catered for in the wedding industry many years ago, when I married my wonderful hubby.  I experienced what many of my brides still experience today and to be honest it’s shameful.  Also the majority of my brides aren't big, but size 16 and 18, or just curvy.

A bride of mine, Lisa, an exceptionally beautiful and clever young lady, walked into a well known large branded store.  Now Lisa was a size 24 and 5ft 11, and stunning.  They actually held a size 10 dress against her and said, so we think we can order one that will be big enough, well because of her strength of character she said, 'well if you get another 10, and hold that against my other side, I might get a vague idea, and promptly left the shop.  But even though she showed great confidence in the shop, she went home and told her fiance it was off, as she couldn't get a dress.  Shortly afterwards she came to CB's and now often models for me, looks fab in her dress, she has lost loads of weight since that time, and just needed to be treated like a human being.

I have to say it really helps that I am a size 28, the laughs we have had about diets, hypnosis and anything to lose weight.  I can always place a bride in a fab frock that makes them look amazing.  I have been called the female Gok by a bride. A well fitted dress will make a plus size woman look like a size 12, there is always lots of tears, a lot of patting their much reduced tummy, or boobs ( they tend not to realise they are doing it) then dancing, and I mean dancing, they feel like the princess they always wanted to be. Big brides are just the same as every other bride, Girls put on weight (call miracle worker seamstress, who I worship the ground she walks on), or they lose tonnes, let’s get them in another dress.

I have been a size 10 and a size 28 all in a few years, but I'm the same person with the same sense of style and taste, just in different size.

I have to say that I was one of the ladies who stroked her tummy over and over when I was trying on dresses that looked good. The team at Creatiques also spoke to me about what they offer the plus size bride.

At Creatiques we offer not only smaller sized gowns, but we also specialize in plus size dresses. We have a very good collection from sincerity and sincerity plus, we often wonder why the more curvier lady gets pushed to one side, when a fuller figure can look glamorous,sexy and beautiful.

Sincerity and Sincerity plus offer the most amazing fit for the fuller figure, cutting the bodices with a deeper bust cup size and adding extra corsetry into their dresses for a curvier shape. The way that fabrics are used enhances the shape of the figure.

Curvier women don't need to cover up. they should show off what they have. When a bride comes into the boutique we ask questions first, about their day, before we even consider the gowns. We look at our brides shape and offer, what we think is the best advice that a girl can get. We never look at a bride as a 'sale' we look at our brides and want them to be the best they will ever look on the day of their wedding. 

We look at curvier girls no differently than our size 12's and under, they are real women and want to look like they own the world on their wedding day. A recent bride to be, Lara, said ' these guys know how to dress real women' and we do.

One of My favourite dresses from Sincerity+

If only all bridal shops could have the same fantastic attitude of Curvy Bridal and Creatiques. I have already found my wedding dress, and so here is my advice. 1) Arrange visits to shops that have plus size ranges, different shops hold different designers so don’t give up hope after one experience. 2) Try on lots of different styles, even if it’s just to rule them out. 3) Have confidence to love the way you look in your dress, you are beautiful!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

My biggest planning day yet!

Most of you have probably seen from my recent tweets that we have been busy recently and as a result have made a lot of progress with our wedding planning! Yesterday was an amazing day and four things got sorted!



I haven't yet typed that without putting it in capitals yet. This is something I will write a lot more about later but for now I can tell you that I went to the fantastic 'Daisy Love Bridal'  in Datchet which has a whole shop full of gorgeous wedding dresses!

As I have such a long time til the wedding I have to go back in November to get measured up and then my dress should arrive in April! 


We booked our wedding photographer! We were lucky to meet with some lovely wedding photographers and there are so many talented people out there. However we are completely sure of our choice and we can't wait to be snapped by this lady! Lisa Brown will be our photographer! We love Lisa's  passion, enthusiasm and style!



After asking a few permissions, and the man himself, my brother has agreed to walk me down the aisle, alongside my step dad. This means three of us will be walking down together. I know I am very greedy! We made a deal that he doesn't have to do a speech but I would think it's worth it to travel in Pushka (the camper)!


The OH decided he would like another usher, and one of his lovely friends said yes! He now has three best men and two ushers!

I am still having to pinch myself and realise that our wedding is May 2012 but at least getting lots of big things sorted so early means I can relax and get creative with other aspects of the day!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Bridesmaid Dresses!

I have tried to write this a few times now so let’s give it another shot!
I have two lovely adult bridesmaids, Beverly as Maid of Honour and Emma. There is also the lovely Rebecca who is OH’s niece and will be 11yo when we get married! Because Rebecca is that much younger, we decided that a adult dress might show off a bit too much flesh!! So Rebecca’s dress is a whole other task!
From a bridesmaid dress I wanted- silky fabric, long length, elegance, straps and in a deep purple colour!
When shopping for my dress in Elderberry Brides in Basingstoke, we came across this lovely dress by Forever Yours.
(Forever Yours)

The long sash down the side looked really good on Beverly and the colours would be ‘Plum’ for the Silver for the sash! It was a strong contender but I was still trying to find the bridesmaid dress that had been my favourite from the start.

(Alfred Angelo)

I love the way this dress looks! It is elegant and comes with a little train! The only problem was the seams at the front that I didn’t think looked right for my ladies! However, Love Me Do Brides in Walton had the whole range of bridesmaid’s dresses by Alfred Angelo. We found this beauty...

(Alfred Angelo)

And we had found ‘the one’! This is the dress my ladies will be wearing the day I get marry the man I love! The dresses will be in ‘eggplant’ and I love the little detail on the straps. I can’t wait to see them soon!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Our Venue

The Venue

Our initial idea for the ceremony was to have it in a large country house and have a ‘do-it-yourself’ village hall for our reception. We quickly found out that the nice places don’t just let you have the ceremony on Fridays and Saturdays.

We looked through wedding venue websites but I found it more helpful to look at the places licensed for civil ceremonies on local authority websites. I had a few in mind; but after realising how many guests we wanted, our budget just couldn’t do stretch to a lot of venues.

 Our first viewing was for an old coaching Inn in Ripley, Surrey called The Talbot Inn. Neither of us had been there before, but it was just about in budget and local enough to pop in without too much planning. The wedding planner, Michelle, was also very quick with her emails, which helps when you are as eager as I was! Both of us will admit that we didn’t expect too much, and didn’t really expect it to be the one for us. Michelle was super efficient and sat and asked us about the day we wanted. Michelle then showed us all the different rooms available, and the bedrooms. We walked away feeling well informed and a bit shocked…we loved it!

The Talbot Inn has history, charm, beauty and (most importantly for OH) fairy lights! I can’t wait to get married there.
We went and viewed a couple more venues that were in our budget, and we didn’t hate them, but they weren’t for us.

So The Talbot Inn it is then!