Wedding Perfume

A friend recently gave me a really lovely suggestion with regards to Wedding perfume, something I hadn’t even thought about yet. She said that 5 months before her wedding, on her birthday she received some Chanel No.5 perfume. That afternoon of her birthday, she was flying out to her hen do, so naturally as she was getting ready she used the perfume. When she came back she noticed that she was wearing the perfume for all her wedding related errands by complete coincidence, and most importantly not at work. On the big day, the perfume was part of the morning getting ready ritual. Now whenever she smells the Chanel fragrance, it takes her back to her wedding day and brings back all those amazing memories. I thought this was such a great idea and definitely something I will be doing!

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I did a bit of research to find out why smells can bring back memories and it seems that the part of the body responsible for our sense of smell is closely linked to the parts of the brain which are associated with emotion and memory…so just as the smell of freshly cut grass or the smell of home baking may take you back to your infant summers, your perfume could be the scent that for years to come will remind you of your wedding day….GENIUS.

A COUPLE OF TIPS…

- Don’t wear the scent for work

- Wear for all wedding related activities

- Search for a fresh or classic fragrance which you won’t get bored of over the next few months

- Buy a size big enough so that you don’t run out before the big day! (or if it is a smaller size make sure you can easily get hold of it again)

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Dress Ideas

When it comes to the wedding dress you could cave on tradition completely and wear a dress that you already own a la Keira Knightley.

Keira Knightley got married in the South of France last year to long term partner James Righton, and instead of making like the A list and spending serious $$$ on an extravagant dress, she wore a Chanel dress that she had for years; “It was my something old. And I liked not making a big deal about it. I just wanted to be in something I had had a great time in, something I would have a great time in again.”

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(Photo Credit: X-17 | Rex USA | AP Photo)

Granted Keira’s was Chanel with a handmade custom jacket from Karl to go with it but I absolutely loved this idea. I won’t lie, I want the classic white wedding dress but a great alternative if you are a having a low key wedding.

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Chosen Wedding Fair, Islington. Sunday 27th April

I would highly recommend researching a few wedding fairs in your local area, if you are looking for suppliers to help provide their services for your wedding there’s usually a varied selection to choose from, or if you want to do a lot of the elements yourself they are great to get inspiration!

I have been searching for local fairs in London, and I wanted something a little different so had been targeting vintage type offerings. I came across the lovely Chosen Wedding Fair at Islington Assembly Hall and thought it was perfect. Every stall was completely different but amazing; there was hand painted wedding cakes, vintage photo booths, 50’s singers and bespoke design wedding dresses to name a few! Even better that the entrance fee was a mere £3!! So even if you were there for inspiration it didn’t feel like you were wasting money buying the ticket.

I plan on checking out a few more as and when they come up so will make sure I post about these to, I found this website for the dates

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Catering Alternatives - Afternoon Tea

Due to the fact that we have a big guest list, the catering budget was definitely going to be an issue. The cheapest menus I could find for a 3 course meal was £24.95, that’s nearly £3,000 just for food alone for 120 before you factor in alcohol and I thought there just had to be a cheaper alternative.

I got thinking about meals I had enjoyed and that would sit well on a long summers afternoon…what better that the great British classic Afternoon Tea!

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Adored and popular in our nations capital London, Afternoon Tea has become a complete trend, with fashion inspired and children’s story themed versions to name a few, I thought this could be the very thing we were looking for.

What excited me more was after a bit of research, found out they started at around £9.95 a head. Winner!

TOP TIP: Competition is TOUGH. All the best caterers get booked up quickly, some a year in advance, so act fast.

Here are a selection of my favourites:

http://www.darbyandjoanvintage.co.uk/

http://www.penniblackweddings.co.uk/afternoon-tea-wedding-london.asp 

http://www.acupofvintage.co.uk/home/4578053962

http://serendipitystreet.co.uk/tea-party-catering/

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Wedding Supplier Profile: Mad Philomena

Further to my post about venue styling and props, today I am paying homage to an amazing wedding services company called Mad Philomena. I must admit I have been hell bent on searching for light up props since getting engaged because I had seen some pictures on Pinterest (where else?) And just thought they were fantastic.

I came across this amazing website which is like an Aladdin’s cave of wedding solutions and they have just started doing these incredible 1.5m high initials and are among the most reasonably priced I have come across (£170 for the 2 letters and the ‘&’). 

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LOVE picture - THREESIXSEVENNINE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Liz is the face behind the name; she is super helpful and goes out of her way to help with your queries, all in all everything you want in a wedding supplier. Liz also personally designs stationery unique to each couple, and offers a complete styling solution covering all creative visual elements of the wedding.

They are based in Grantham but are super flexible and happy to try to help no matter the location.

Make sure you check out their website or Facebook page for examples of their work, incredible for inspiration alone even if you are too far away to hire anything

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Wedding Themes

As you start to confirm where your wedding will be held and those all-important Pinterest groups, it will help you determine what type of wedding you are after.

You may be inspired by a specific era that you love, or your food may lead the way for your theme, for example if you’re having a BBQ or hog roast is it a more relaxed festival/barn style you’d prefer?

This may also be the case for the venue; a village hall lends itself perfectly for a summer fete style wedding. You may be more centred on a specific colour theme rather than a style.

Below are a few of my favourite ideas brought to life

VINTAGE ERA

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Benfieldphotography.net

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Christophercurrie.co.uk

FESTIVAL WEDDING

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TEA PARTY

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HOG ROAST/BARN WEDDING

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The Oast House

COLOUR

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simplypeachy.com

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Venue Ideas

Particularly if you are on a tight budget, think outside the box on this one. Village halls can be completely transformed for fate type weddings or tea parties, or if your parents have a big garden or your local school has grounds could you have a marquee?

We knew we wanted to spend as little as possible on the venue; this can be a huge chunk of the budget and you can pay in excess of £10,000 to have an incredible location on a Saturday. My parents have a field so we instantly thought why dont we just get a marquee and use our own land (you also won’t have a kerfew). My mum also started having a barn built in the field last year to house their airstream caravan, so we had the brainwave to kit this out with the marquee next to it. Pretty amazing venue sorted and we’re not breaking the bank.

**The only thing I would say about sorting something like this is there is slightly more to consider with the alcohol license and logistics like toilets but all easily sorted**

This is the barn before - I’ll definitely post pics during the summer to let you see the progress.

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MARQUEE TIPS

- Ring around a few marquee companies to compare prices, usually they will come out and do a free survey for a full quote

- Check what can come included in the price - we managed to get the lights, tables, chairs, bar, dance floor and table cloths all included in a fixed price

- The more you can bulk book the less stressful it will be to organise the deliveries on the run up to the wedding (this is what I’m hoping anyway!!)

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All pictures above from Pinterest

So get creative and save some pennies!

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Discover Pinterest!

If I could only give 1 piece of advice, over the budgets and guest lists hands down it would be to set up a pinterest. Now I am by no means a social platform wizzard, (obviously as I have only just started a blog) but if I can do it then anyone can.

You just set up with your email address and password of your choice then you are off! Start pinning…

I sound like Monica from Friends but I would 100% recommend to categorise your boards so you dont have masses of pics to search through when you want to find something….useful categories below:

Total wedding inspiration - helps give you an idea of the feel and look of the wedding you want. You can think about the vibe and venue whether you want cute church/vintage theme/super minimal/modern chic. Have this has definitely moulded the direction we went in

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Then I would recommend smaller sub categories with more specific titles:

-Dresses

-Catering

-Flowers

-Decorations

-Table settings

-Colour themes

The world is your oyster!!

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The Pinterest boards you create are especially useful to take with you to any appointments where visuals are a must - it gets your point across in seconds. (I have done this for my wedding dress appointment, caterer meetings and will take when I do my flowers in a few weeks time)

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The Dreaded Guest List

This may not be so difficult if you already know you want a small wedding and roughly who you want to invite, but if like me you have a huge family and both of you want to invite the world and his dog, it can prove VERY tricky.

Sometimes your venue will determine guest numbers or it could be budget, but either way I think this is one of the most difficult elements of planning the wedding.

Similar to my budget tip, download a template from online. I even added everything into one spreadsheet; budget and guest list planner and saved it down as the ‘Ultimate Wedding Budget Planner’. Oh yeh.

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You also feel super organised and in control of everything which is nice and you always have 1 document to refer back to even after the wedding for things like ‘thank you’ notes

Now back to the guest list - definitely test run your first drafts on notepads and DON’T forget to include you and partner into the number(!!)

There are different approaches to writing your guest list…just go all out and put down everyone you’d want there in no particular order (we did this and it makes it extremely difficult to cut down) or after reading a few tips, you could categorise your guests. It all sounds very boring and serious but it makes you address who are your absolutes and who you can actually afford to leave off the list in the end saving yourself a lot of hassle and heartache.

You would need to compile 3 different lists A list - non negotiables (close family/friends) B list - you would love them there if budget/numbers allow C list - acquaintances

So you know you have to take everyone from the A list, you can hash it out with the B list if numbers are tight then C list you don’t need to invite.

Good Luck!

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Money money money

First things first, the BUDGET. We didn’t have a definitive amount we wanted to spend on the wedding but we just wanted to make sure it was affordable for all parties involved. I work with budgets in my day to day job and think they are a great way to track costs.

All I can say is the Internet is fantastic, a few google searches later I had a wealth of budget layouts to choose from. I found the best ones are split by activity e.g ceremony/reception/evening/sundries, have a range of different columns and already contain the formulas which will calculate as you’re adding everything in

I downloaded the below budget here 

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Estimated costs - you can fill in each of the costs to give you a rough idea of what you would ideally spend on each thing, at least this gives you a total figure. Be realistic (but don’t freak out if this is higher than you originally thought)

Actual cost - once you start receiving quotes back add in the actual cost, this is quite a slow process as you won’t know the actual costs for somethings until right near the day

Deposit - if you pay any deposits add this in here, the formula set up will then calculate in another column what the balance is left to pay (I also added in the dates I paid deposits for things just so I could keep a reference)

Keep this up to date as and when you are researching and booking, it’s a great tracking tool especially if you are keeping to a tight budget. It also will help to identify where you are going over or areas you can cut from

Once you’ve got this in place, it’s all the fun bits to follow…

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I do!

My name is Lucy and my partner Rich and I are getting hitched in a mere 5 months and 19 days on 27th September this year. We have been together for over 8 years now and I sound super cheesy when I say I absolutely can’t wait to be married, but I actually can’t. I also in complete unorthodox fashion, popped the question to him! I even surprised myself when I made this decision as I was ever the traditionalist but we had a turbulent year with several family members not very well and the pressure on Rich to propose was mounting.

I had envisioned the perfect proposal when we were due to go on holiday to the South of France last year (which he had also confessed to friends a few months before), then 2 weeks before we left we received the terrible news that my granddad had passed away. The holiday then preceded to be a mixture of fun and reflection and it just wasn’t the right time.

A month and then 2 went by without a proposal and I had the strong feeling that if we wanted to get married, we should just do it; throw caution to the wind. As the weeks went by the idea grew on me, especially when Rich confessed he was terrified to ask my dad which I knew he should not be worried about.

So on Sunday 22nd September 2014, I made enough cupcakes to ice with the letters to spell out ‘MARRY ME?’ and over Sunday afternoon tea with his favourite ham and mustard sandwiches (he knew something was suspicious when this happened) I gave the cakes to him and proposed. I have never seen a person so shocked before and said yes instantly!

I always wonder if he ever regrets that I did it, but to me especially after the loss of someone so special in my life, I knew I didn’t want to wait any longer and it didn’t matter to me how it happened, I just knew I wanted to spend my life with this man. It almost seemed to add a spring in his step as it took away the nerves and pressure of him having to do it….

….So here we are 6 months in to our engagement and we have the church booked, a marquee and barn reception sorted, just the small matter of putting it together and making it all happen! Which is where the blog comes in. Over the coming months I’ll be updating with my trials and tribulations of planning a wedding on a budget and filling these pages with ideas and inspirations, and finally the big day in September!

Even if no one else reads this, I thought what a lovely diary of events with the wedding at the end for me and Rich to look back on. But if you are reading, thank you…hold tight and enjoy!!

Lucy (Lula) and Rich (Rye) xx

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