Friday 1st July 2011 - Married for 2885 days

Wedding Blog

OK, so we're a bit new to this blogging business but we're going to try and update whenever we can with super interesting pieces of information about how the wedding plans are going. Please sign up below for updates if you want to be kept up with our crazy shenanigans.

That's All Folks (almost!) - 27/06/11 - 10:50pm

Sorry once again that there was no Sunday blog this week but there's very little left to say other than it's actually happening, in 4 days from now!  Eek!


Actually the main reason for there being no blog yesterday was because Kelly & I were on an impromptu tour of South London.  Who knew how much chaos could be caused just by cancelling one simple train route: Bromley South to Brixton?!  Anyway, I digress, we went to watch Bridesmaids at the Ritzy & whilst some of it was a bit obvious we did enjoy ourselves. Thankfully I don't have any of those crazy types of Bridesmaids (well, apart from the one that reminded me a bit of Lucy, I'll leave her to work out which one...), mine will all be poised & elegant on the big day.  Won't you ladies?


So, I've still got a couple of suppliers to sort out delivery times with and some stuff to pack up but other than that I think we're ready!  My garage is currently full of boxes & bags to be taken up to the venue. I never realised how much stuff a wedding could generate!  My poor car has been evicted but all in a good cause I suppose.


We spent most of yesterday afternoon packing for the 'moon.  That's when it all started to really sink in. Although of course I had to liberate my beach trousers from the bottom of the suitcase this morning as I wasn't going to wear anything non-summery to work on the hottest day of the year so far!  All those unpacked pairs of shorts were not an option as I had not yet been for the obligatory leg wax!  So, I'm sure the next few days will pass in a whirlwind of work, beauty treatments & panicking before we get to the day itself.  I might post again if I feel inspired. Then again, I might not. Watch this space......


Oh my god. 4 days!!

Bride on the Run - 22/06/11 - 10:18am

So in the final run up to the wedding I've decided to just post my thoughts as and when I can.  At the moment that means whilst being elbowed by some inconsiderate boy next to me on the train. Ho hum, I'll just elbow him back...


It has recently occurred to me that opting to get married during the Wimbledon fortnight probably wasn't such a good idea as we all know that the rain is beholden to fall during those magical 2 weeks.  However, provided that we don't see a repeat of THAT Henman  / Ivanisevic semi final weather I think we'll be alright!


The other thing I wanted to mention is all this rubbish people tell you about losing weight before your wedding.  I've been trying (admittedly not very hard!) to lose some weight before we get married.  I've managed a few pounds but not a significant amount.  Ladies, when you start planning a wedding many people will say to you "oh don't worry, the weight will just drop off you as you'll be running around doing so much in the run up to the big day!".  THIS IS A LIE!  I don't know who these people are but it's absolute codswallop.  If anything you're so busy that you barely have time to cook & therefore enjoy a few too many takeaways so that all your gym efforts are in vain!  It also doesn't help if you have a fiancé like mine who when asked if we should have a takeaway just agrees instead of saying no as he has been instructed to on many many occasions!  Still, I'm not really all that bothered. Let's face it, I'm  never going to a skinny Minnie so I've done the best I can, I've fitted into my size 10, yes size 10!!!, wedding dress and I'll suck in everything that needs sucking in during the official pictures.  At this stage I can do no more.  Matt is still frantically trying to get to the gym at every possible opportunity so he can look buff on the beaches of Hawaii but I've told him whatever we do now will have very little difference, after all we have the Bellagio breakfast buffet to contend with first.....


N.B.  The journey only got worse this morning.  The Central line was knackered and the BBC shuttle bus took about a million years to get from Broadcasting House to Television Centre, which is why you’re only just getting this now.  I’m not on a train right this minute and really late for work!


NewsFlash: Matt’s suit has finally arrived from Sweden, via Vietnam and Slough and is going into the shop for alterations this afternoon.  It’s a race against time to get it finished in time for the big day.  It’s ok though, he does have a shirt and some boots so he’ll at least be wearing those next Friday.

A Bridal Shower - 20/06/11 - 10:27pm

Firstly, I’m sorry this didn’t come yesterday.  Frankly I got so excited at the thought of having Monday off and the man coming to re-connect the gas that I forgot it was Sunday and I was supposed to be sending you an update and drank half a bottle of wine in the Bricklayers Arms instead.  Sorry about that.


As you can imagine it’s been a manic couple of weeks but I’ll try and summarise as briefly as possible.


I have averted another major crisis, catering this time, by keeping my calm, sensible head on, and started pulling everything together.  It fact my lack of Bridezilla-ness has quite astonished me!


I had the final fitting for my dress last week and everything is hunky dory, although if I was being picky I’d say she could have shortened it another inch or so to stop Matt from stepping on it, as he inevitably will do at some point during the day, but overall I’m pretty damn happy with the dress and all my fabulous accessories.


I had my make up done again at MAC and purchased the last bits that I need and I’m fairly confident that I can re-create the look myself.  The same however can’t be said for my hair.  I went to the hairdressers for my final cut, colour and wedding hair trial today.  The dark art of hairdressing is beyond me.  It took Lizzie about 10 minutes to create my wedding hairstyle which if I had tried to do it myself would have taken me at least 45 minutes.  Needless to say I won’t be doing that myself and I’m very much looking forward to sitting back and relaxing for that part of the preparations.


I’ve really started to get excited over the last few days as it’s all starting to feel a bit more real and everything really seems to be falling into place.  I’m finally at the stage of thinking that this is all truly going to happen as I had imagined it.  I’m sure about 2 days before I’ll start to panic about various crazy things but for now I’m feeling pretty calm.


Perhaps the calmness stems from the Exotic Steam Rasul Matt and I had on Friday night.  We booked it via a voucher months ago as a relaxing treat as we knew we’d probably have been through quite a lot by this point in the planning process.  I can’t recommend it highly enough!  Basically you get your own little private steam temple to go in with twinkly lights on the ceiling, 2 seats and soothing music, you rub muds on your skin and face and it’s supposed to be detoxifying and soothing.  It sounds ridiculous but it’s really fun to have some alone time together where you can just relax and forget about everything else that’s going on.  At the end of 45 minutes it rains from the ceiling and you get out and shower before finishing with a glass of champagne.  Fantastic!  We followed this with a trip to The Cuban (another voucher) for tapas and sangria which was really yummy and washed down with the sounds of a live Cuban band.  Altogether a lovely little hiatus in the wedding planning proceedings.


Back to reality today and I’ve been on the case of finalising a few things.  I’ve been completing some make and do projects, making table numbers and name cards for the front row of seats in the ceremony room and sending off final payments to our suppliers.  I also did one last charity shop run and found some amazing little items that I really wasn’t looking for but that fit in with the bird theme of the wedding remarkably well.  You will see these little bargains at the wedding breakfast on the big day!


On a completely unrelated note, the most important thing that happened today (other than the fact that I locked myself out and my mum had to get a cab over to me with the spare keys, d’oh!) is that the gas has been re-connected.  HURRAH!  After almost 4 months sans hot water, heating and hob facilities we have finally resumed normal service.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to not having to go to the gym to have a shower on the night before the wedding.  So now we’re just keeping our fingers crossed for further compensation.  That would be an immense wedding present!


See you next week for last minute panicking!!

Stag on the Tyne - 12/06/11 - 7:24pm

There are a great many things that happened on my stag do that I will not be mentioning.  This has nothing to do with the old adage ‘what happens on stag stays on stag’.  Instead this is a direct result of the amount of rum I was tricked, coerced and downright forced into drinking.


I managed to consume the better part of a litre of rum.  None of which was drunk in pubs, bars or clubs.  We spent a lot of time in pubs, bars and clubs.


So here dear readers, is a summary of what I can remember.


James, Andy, Luke, Tom, George, Mark, Chris and Giles met me at Kings Cross bright and early (for a non school day) and we went to the pub. We then stocked up with train beers and drank our way to Newcastle.  In Newcastle we went to the pub to meet Gary.  At this point I will salute Gary, when he realised there was drinking involved he was the first person in Newcastle and the last to leave. 


We headed to our hotel which turned out to be a complete result, five rooms around a courtyard that was suitable for outdoor drinking, smoking and general high-jinx.  We checked out the bar:  ‘We don’t have a bar lads so just pop to the Tesco round the corner’,  and the restaurant:  ‘We’re only doing breakfast lads so here are a few pizza menus if you’re hungry’.  It was around about now that Disco arrived.  He had decided to fly.  Nutter.  Or so I thought.......


We swiftly found a bar in Jesmond (which is quite nice, lots of bars and pubs, very relaxed) to watch the cricket before heading out.  Dinner was at an Indian restaurant where it begins to get hazy.  Chris had made top trumps of the attending people, they are brilliant and I was very touched, but this resulted in a drinking game that I was spectacularly bad at, or good at, depending upon your point of view. I was mangled.  As Brett, Kev and Paul arrived on the evening train I was having trouble.  We headed out into the town centre and it all becomes a blur...................


I awoke Saturday wondering why my head hurt so much and why I was in a room with three other foul smelling hungover men.  A quick fry up and shower later and we sat drinking in the courtyard as the troops gathered themselves together. 


We headed down to quayside near the magic footbridge and ate more food than is necessary and then back to the town centre to meet Nick, Nick2, Duncan and Rob who had got the Saturday train.  We found a pub to watch the football and I began to feel human again.


That is until we went back to the hotel to get ready to go out again and the rum based top trumps continued.  I then managed to be the drunkest man to be in a Chinese restaurant ever.  Apparently I made a speech.  A speech for which I will be forever apologising to Kev.  I remember nothing.  Pretty much from that point onwards.......


Apparently I got back to the hotel and passed out about one o’clock.  Other people were still out and some people even went out again at this point and got back at six in the morning.  You know who you are.


Sunday was just plain silly.  I got up feeling fine.  By eleven I had even opened a can of beer.


It all went downhill from there really.  I felt terrible.  For the entire train journey home I felt like death on a stick.  And the bag Giles was carrying started to smell like rotting flesh.


Disco’s idea to fly suddenly seemed so much better. 


How James and Mark managed to drink the whole way back is beyond me.  Considering that they were part of the six am contingent.


In fact,  the level of energy displayed by James on the Sunday was the stuff of legend.


Back in London the few people whose livers had not taken over and sent them home headed to the Namco bar for beer, bowling and dodgem cars. 


Monday was a write off.


I wish I could remember more, but I will thank everyone who came along for making it an amazing weekend.


Special mention to Andy and James, the best men, who got the whole thing together and then ran around like club reps ensuring everyone, especially me, had a great time.


And to Kev.  Sorry Kev.

Arsenight: An AdvHENture - 06/06/11 - 10:27pm


The Bride – JDV

Chief Bridesmaid – Amy “Big Chief” Riley

The Bridesmaids – Kelly Evans, Lynsey Baillie, Lucy Mann

Vodka and Chocolate Monitor – Marianne Burton

Anniversary Hen – Kathryn Paterson

Once Bitten, Never Shy – Jacqui Oxlade

Pouty Princess – Rachel Walmsley

Designated Driver – Caren Halliday

The Last Minute Hen – Anna Shelton

The Invisible Hen – Alison Gillison





I’m a 20 Year Old Girl And I Thought You Were The Same Age As Me – Random Bath Resident


From the same team that brought you “Kelly’s Awesome 80s Summer Party” (see Facebook for details) comes another amazing production.  “Arsenight: An AdvHENture” sees 11 women decamp to Bath for fun, frolics and garter making.


It all begins on Great Western with the arrival of the Geeky Stag Party (“Old Lady Displacement” and “Man Yoghurt”).  Thankfully they are going to Bristol and have little more than a cameo in the proceedings.   


Friday night’s highlights include roundabout snacking, service with a snarl, meat and or cheese sweats, a bubbly filled bath, Bridal Pictionary and Rude Word Scrabble (hence Arsenight).


Saturday sees things hot up to 25 degrees with lingerie lessons, communal open air bathing and the arrival of the Designated Driver (“This isn’t Hull, it’s Scunthorpe”) and The Last Minute Hen (“The Penguin Vomit Incident”).


A cocktail bar catastrophe (2 for 1 is over, there’s no table service and no Chocolate Orange Liqueur) sets our ladies off to a bumpy start in the evening although The Bride (“Abba Illusion – A Swedish Mystery”) does have Matt’s pants to keep her on the straight and narrow.  Jamie Oliver keeps the ladies waiting for fabulous Italian food but allows time for a round of Mr & Mrs.  Fortunes are mixed here but the important questions are correctly answered.  A quick run around the corner to Komedia and the heat is on once again as the dance competition begins.  Even dodgy knees don’t stop Once Bitten, Never Shy (“Limeade Terrorism”) and Pouty Princess (“The Amazing Knee/Bra Trick”) from throwing some shapes.  Enter newcomer I’m a 20 Year Old Girl And I Thought You Were The Same Age As Me and The Bride starts to unravel as shots are consumed.  At the bitter end some of our heroines get shut out of the club and others narrowly avoid a “The Birds” style seagull poop incident on the way back to the hotel in the pouring rain.  A fry up and a First Class journey home seal the deal for this instant classic.


Special mention must go to the efforts of Director and Producer Chief Bridesmaid (“Roller Disco Despair” as well as numerous other Jayne and Amy adventure features) and also commiserations to The Invisible Hen (“Escape from Bulgaria”) whose part didn’t make the final cut.


Tune in soon for the next instalment:  Stag on the Tyne: A Rum Deal.

Last - 29/05/11 - 11:55pm

I’m feeling quite the sense of achievement this evening.  I’ve actually achieved almost everything I set out to this week.  That does of course mean that I have very little time left for writing this post!


Today alone we have been to Bromley for essentials (Matt needed more pants for the honeymoon!), purchased baskets and printer cartridges, been to Hobbycraft for card, filed months worth of household paperwork, made more items with my car boot sale finds, completed the names on all the place cards and made the table plan.  The last task is the one I am most proud of as it all came together wonderfully at the last minute, mostly using bits and pieces we already had.  I used a previously discarded wedding invitation template for the backgrounds and made use of some old craft edging scissors that I found in the cupboard, extra lace that I bought from Ebay for something else and some other haberdashery items from around the house.  I have spent the last couple of hours printing, cutting, sticking and sewing and have to say I’m extremely pleased with the results.  Matt’s also been very helpful by taking care of business around the house by cleaning the kitchen (including the very smoky oven, ick) and the bathroom and doing several loads of washing.  Whilst these may not seem like the most important wedding tasks I can’t tell you how much I appreciate him getting on with all this so that I can concentrate on the fiddly crafty bits in the meantime.


We make a very good team when we work together like this, a sentiment echoed by my old pal Sammie who is helping us out with the first dance.  We learned a very little bit of a very simple routine on Wednesday and we’re pretty pleased with how it’s turned out so far.  We’re off down into Kent again next Wednesday night to work on it a little more.  We definitely can’t promise anything too spectacular but we are hoping to manage more than a little shuffle around the available space.


This week left us with very little time to ourselves as I also went out on Tuesday to the venue with the florist and Chris to sort out some of the styling details for the day.  The florist somehow managed to talk me into smaller table centres but Chris has also very kindly agreed to bulk them out with a little bit of woodwork so I’m hoping they’ll be just as spectacular as I had originally hoped and that people will also be able to see around them!


We’re hoping to make up for the lack of time to ourselves tomorrow by using up some restaurant vouchers we’d forgotten we had after we finish another fun packed day of gym, make and do and wedmin.  The bank holiday weekend has been an absolute godsend this weekend as we’ll hopefully not feel too guilty about going out, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.  If you haven’t yet planned a wedding and are thinking about it, please let me warn you now that once you get this close to the wedding nights out are few and far between. Even a relaxing evening with a bottle of wine, a dvd and very little else to think about is a bit of a pipe dream.  This is why we need the honeymoon so much.  A small child said to me the other day “but I don’t understand why you have to go on honeymoon after the wedding”.  This is why!  I cannot wait to be able to have dinner, have a bottle of wine and sit around doing absolutely nothing.  Still, it will all be worth it in the end.  Not long to go now!


We have at least one last chance to be sociable before the big day and that's on the hen and stag weekends next week so if you're going we'll see you there!

Trouble & Strife - 22/05/11 - 10:47pm

So last week I was calm.  This week not so much!  On Tuesday I had an email from Country Garden Weddings telling me that they’re going out of business and that the person buying the business from them will not be covering the South of England.  Well, thanks, thanks a lot.  Thanks for not bothering to let me know until I confirmed our final requirements – very professional.  It’s fair to say that I was a touch enraged.  Thankfully earlier on in the planning process when I had a bit more time on my hands I made a terrifyingly comprehensive spreadsheet of vintage crockery suppliers so I knew where to go to solve this problem.  Therefore, it’s a massive thank you that goes out to Becky Dixon of Vintage Crockery Hire who has stepped in to pretty much save my life.  She already has a large order out that weekend but she has taken pity on me and said she will hopefully be able to provide most of what we’re looking for so panic time is (almost) officially over.  I find it interesting that when you’re tested like this some things suddenly seem a lot less important than others.  So, we’re not going to get vintage cutlery to go with the crockery but at least the venue hasn’t subsided (touch wood).


So, other than mild panic what else did this week involve?  Well, in a nutshell:


Monday – made another make-over appointment at MAC to make sure I can remember how to do my face for the big day and bought a selection of bras to try on with my dress on Thursday, re-did the table plan, sent final requirements to the vintage crockery company (ha!), the venue and the chair hire company


Tuesday – got angry about vintage crockery then contacted Becky, phoned a clutch of videographers to enquire about getting a last minute wedding video (since we realised we have the budget)


Wednesday – the photos from our pre-wedding shoot arrived courtesy of Martin Hobby Photography and they are of course fantastic, you’ll see a little bit more of these at the wedding.  In the evening we went to Hendon to collect the wedding rings (Matt’s fitted, mine didn’t – oh well, as long as it’s ready in time - see what I mean, not important, I don’t have to wear it for another 6 weeks after all)


Thursday – First dress fitting at Blackburn Bridal Couture.  To quote the great Craig Revel-Horwood, A-ma-zing!  I still love the dress and was really pleased to find out that all the accessories I have purchased along the way match perfectly, even the rather impulsively purchased Jenny Packham veil that my mother was so sure was completely the wrong colour!


Friday – Wedding lists went live!  Also, had another Bridesmaids summit, at which papercrafting was actually achieved this time (in between a lovely dinner and several glasses of wine).  We now have a large amount of table confetti and all the place cards cut out awaiting names.


Saturday – Not a lot to do with weddings really - Matt and I went to the fishmongers for fish, to the charity shops to find outfits for Will’s fancy dress birthday party in Bexhill, to Headmasters for haircuts, came home, had a lovely seafood-y dinner and then I fell asleep during Ghostbusters 2 at about 8:30.  Rock ‘n’ Roll.


Today – woke up early (after 12 hours sleep!) and went to the Hayes Farm boot fair again.  Bought lots and lots of plates for wedding make and do and then came home.  We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon finalising our choice of wedding vows and finishing off the home-made confetti cones.  Then this evening I’ve spent some time listening to music trying to decide what I want to walk down the aisle to whilst Matt watched Miss Congeniality in the other room.  Something’s not quite right about that....


Phew.  I think that’s about it for this week.  Next week we really need to start paying some people and confirm everything we didn’t get around to confirming this week.  I’m also going to make a final visit to the venue with the florist and Chris (that’s Hone not Douse to avoid any confusion!) who has kindly volunteered to give me a second opinion on my final styling ideas.  Oh, and we still need to do something about this first dance business, sigh...

9 1/2 weeks (without gas) - 15/05/11 - 9:01pm

The title has no relevance to this post.  I just wanted you to know we are still without heating, hot water and hob cooking facilities.  I have nothing left to say on this subject.




6 weeks to go – the to-do list is still huge but amazingly we are coming in almost exactly on budget!


We’re into the final strait now.  There is a lot to do but I’m actually starting to relax now I know the cost isn’t spinning out of control.  I’ve become pretty sanguine about the whole thing.  What will be will be – anything that we don’t have time for will just have to be left out (there goes any kind of spectacular first dance, sorry!).  We’ve confirmed all the important things and made a lot of progress on the rest so it’s just a case of spending every minute we have left now on the wedding.


Therefore, aside from the hen / stag and a couple of birthdays we’re going to be a touch antisocial between now and the big day but we hope you’ll all forgive us once you see the results of all of our hard work.  We promise to be available more often for spontaneous beers once we come back from honeymoon!


This week we’ve finalised our wedding list choices and made appointments to pick up the wedding rings and have my first dress fitting.  I’ve also arranged to meet up with the bridesmaids for what may be the final make and do session and Matt has finally managed to get the Best Men to book something for the stag do.


Next week, in addition to picking up the wedding rings and having my first dress fitting, I’m going to be (deep breath...) contacting with final details the cake maker, stationery designer, caterer, chair and crockery hire companies and looking for a last minute videographer.  I’ll also be purchasing the last bits of make-up and underwear that I need, paying the registrar, working out the final table plan and meeting up with the aforementioned bridesmaids.  Oh, and I need to go over the financials with my Dad, phew!  Hence why I don’t have time left for any fun.  I’m hoping though that the drinking and dancing fun I will have on the hen will more than make up for that!


So, enough of to do lists and on to wedding lists.   Our wedding lists will finally become live on Friday 20th May.  All the information about the lists can be found here.  We have tried to add a variety of items in a variety of price ranges on both our lists.  There is also an option to just add money to a House of Fraser gift card if all the reasonably priced items have gone by the time you get there!  We really want you to know that we’ll be grateful for whatever we receive although we’d love it if our favourites on both lists do get snapped up. 


Here’s just a couple of notes that we hope you’ll find useful.  One to help us out: The bed linen that we have chosen is listed at 50% of the original price, therefore there is now limited availability across the country.  In order to make sure they don’t run out of stock before delivering our gifts it would be amazing if someone could actually go into a store and buy this in person as purchases made online won’t be picked for several weeks and they might run out before then.  And one to help you out:  The wine glasses we have chosen are listed on the wedding list at their full price, however, we noticed that these were 50% off when we visited a store this week so if someone bought these in store they’d be able to get a great deal.  I can’t stand the thought of anyone paying any more than they have to for anything so if we spot any further discounts / sales we’ll let you know!  Remember, if you do want to buy anything in person at a House of Fraser store you need to let them know before purchasing that it’s from our wedding list so they can update the list to make sure someone else doesn’t buy the same thing.  Thanks in advance for any items you’re able to purchase.  We can’t wait to see who snaps up the toilet brush!


I’ve decided to make the remainder of today’s blog all about images.


Firstly, I’d like to apologise to Princess Beatrice as I wrongly named her as the one in the terrible Vivienne Westwood outfit at the royal wedding a couple of weeks ago.  I was wrong – that was in fact Eugenie.  Princess Beatrice was the one with the incredible horns which have now become the inspiration for a cupcake!


Immense I know, although perhaps not as spooky a likeness as this comparison of 2 royal weddings that went viral this week.


Finally, I randomly decided to re-watch classic Barbra Streisand movie Funny Girl this morning and discovered that I had completely forgotten about His Love Makes Me Beautiful, a hilarious number performed at the Ziegfeld Follies.  The whole thing is worth a watch, but check out the “summer” brides amazing bird headdresses at approx. 2m30 in and tell me you don’t think they’d fit the theme of our wedding perfectly!


Speaking of images, we’re also hoping to receive our pre-shoot pictures in a week or so and I’ll try to post some here if I can.


No rest for the wicked.  I’m off to start work on my bird headdress.

Brighton Rocks! - 08/05/11 - 10:40pm

Many times since this blog began I have begun by saying what a busy week / weekend it’s been but really this week / weekend has been especially busy!


I started my new job on Tuesday and can summarise as follows.  So far I am impressed with:


·         The people – lovely.

·         My location – by the window with no-one overlooking me.  This is an internet shopping bonus!

·         How quickly I can get to Westfield and back now - could also be dangerous though...

·         Proximity to the BBC bar – 3 floors down.  I shall collect my free Radio Times from now on.


So far I am unimpressed with:


·         The one toilet.  One!

·         No longer being near Tesco or the Post Office – going to have to think more carefully about lunch and any packages that need sending back.

·         Office 2003, sigh, going back to the dark ages.  Bring on PC Refresh and Office 2010.

·         The fact that my office is so far into and up the building that it takes about 10 minutes to walk to reception to pick up visitors – let’s hope there aren’t too many!


That is all.  I have had a nice relaxing intro week work-wise as my new boss was off sick but I’m sure it won’t stay that way in the weeks to come....


This week I have been making the most of it being quiet at work by starting to get back in touch with all of our various suppliers and tying up some loose ends.  The last of the catering and stationery is on its way to being sorted and I’ve been back in touch with the bridal boutique about my dress.  Inauspiciously, the dress is due to arrive on or around Friday 13th May.  Please keep everything you possibly can crossed until that date to help my dress avoid any transatlantic transit trauma!


The week, in between gym visits (for both honeymoon buffness purposes and additional showering purposes as we still don’t have any gas, that’s 8 weeks and counting...) we also had to make time to pick outfits / pack for our busy weekend.  Much thought was required for this as we had two important events to attend.  On Saturday we finally took the important step of introducing Matt’s Mum to my parents over lunch at The George in Hayes.  I am pleased to report that the meeting went pretty well – there were no punch-ups or shouting matches, which bodes extremely well for the wedding, although those hellraiser siblings of Matts might be another matter.....


Following the parental summit we drove Matt’s Mum back down to the coast and had ourselves a nice early night in Bexhill.  An early night was required because we had to be up at 7am today to get ready for our pre-wedding shoot with Martin Hobby, our photographer.  We had originally planned to have the pre-shoot at the venue but Martin asked us to choose another place that means something to us so we could get some really different pictures from the ones we’re going to have done on the day.  We elected to have the pictures done in Brighton as it’s somewhere we really like to escape to when the weather is good and it’s also exceedingly picturesque.  With the weather threatening to turn its back on us and create a storm we decided to make sure we had an indoor venue to use so we asked The Grand if we could have some pictures taken in there.  We thought it would make an amazing backdrop as we were overwhelmed by how lovely a building it was when we stayed there last year.  We arrived there around 9am this morning and had the barman mix us a special cocktail to use in the photos (don’t worry – it was non-alcoholic!) and spent quite some time horsing around both in the bar and on the staircase which generated a fair bit of interest from the passing guests. I couldn’t help but wonder if they thought we were the next big thing being photographed for our next album cover....they probably didn’t though. 


With the weather actually holding nicely for us we made our way out along the beach and up the pier for some more shots and there was yet more “horseplay” on the carousel.  Martin assures us he got some really good photos so watch this space for some teasers in approx. 3-4 weeks time (if I can manage to get the wedsite to upload them this time!).


Following Martin’s departure we went for the best roast in Brighton (which I found when organising my friend Alison’s hen do by googling the phrase “best roast in Brighton”) at the Earth and Stars, a semi-organic pub hidden away in the Lanes.  We always visit this pub when we go to Brighton as the food really is good at the best of times and the Sunday roast is definitely the best pub roast we’ve ever had.  Matt is also a fan of the Prospect ale for the beer connoisseurs amongst you. 


After lunch we wandered up into the North Laines for a bit of antique / vintage shopping.  Matt got a bit tired and tetchy after we spent quite a long time in the antiques market but he still agreed to visit my favourite vintage shop a bit further up the road.  Now, if any of you have ever been vintage (or just charity shop) shopping you’ll know it can sometimes be a frustrating business especially if you are looking for something in particular.  How rare is it to find the right item in the right size, the right colour and most importantly at the right price?  Well, today was one of the amazing days!  Many of you will know that Matt has been searching high and low for the optimum wedding footwear, so far with limited success.  Well, the search ends right here!  Matt found an amazing pair of boots hidden away upstairs in To Be Worn Again which not only fit perfectly but only cost an amazing 10% of the price of the other boots from the Kings Road that he had previously been coveting.


So all in all it’s been a very successful wedding weekend and I’m feeling quite calm this evening.  Next week we need to order Matt’s suit, finalise the wedding lists and chase up all those that are yet to RSVP.  I think we may just be able to manage to pull this off!

The Hangover - 02/05/11 - 6:20pm

Oops I did it again.  Only this time I planned it.  2 days of celebrating (Royal Wedding and Andy's birthday) rather took their toll and yesterday I was fit only for sitting in the sofabed, moaning, wailing and eating pizza so I decided to defer blogging until Monday again.  After all, a Bank Holiday Monday is essentially just Sunday in disguise anyway.  I promise to try not to let this happen again, although I may need a little bit of leeway on the Stag / Hen Weekend Sunday!


So, let’s recap on how the week has gone.  You already know that I went to the boot fair last Monday and picked up a few items.  I have now managed to fashion those items into some new and exciting things for the wedding.  That took care of most of Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Thursday I moved on to other craft work.  I got out some toilet rolls, scissors, pritt stick, staples, a book and a hole punch and got to creating some more.  I can’t really make this very interesting as I don’t want to give away all of my secrets but I can say that I’m pretty pleased with my Blue Peter efforts and although I didn’t achieve everything I wanted we’re definitely a little bit further down the road.  


On Friday we had a little break from our wedding madness to celebrate the second most fabulous wedding of the year.  I don’t really care if some people want to be cynical and mean about the Royal Wedding, I still really enjoyed it.  It was a fantastic day for everyone in the country to get together and celebrate.  I thought the dress was fabulous (I knew I should have put money on McQueen) especially for someone whose fashion choices tend to be, well, safe (to put it mildly) and I also really enjoyed critiquing what all the guests in the Abbey were wearing.  In case you missed out here are some of the highlights:


·         Victoria Beckham scored highly with her own label midnight blue dress, although the 6 inch(!) Christian Louboutins were a bit too much like stripper shoes, especially for someone as pregnant as she is.

·         Elton John should definitely have had the wig brushed before he went in.

·         Tara P-T actually looked amazing in royal blue, although that canoe-shaped Phillip Treacy hat only served to emphasise her drug ravaged nose rather than hide it.

·         I wasn’t a fan of Sam Cam’s widely praised Burberry dress and was extremely surprised that she didn’t wear a hat so nul points for her.

·         The Spencer girls looked pretty fabulous for brassy South African blondes, sporting an array of lovely fascinators.  Chelsy Davy take note....

·         Last but by no means least – Princess Beatrice / Vivienne Westwood – WTF?!  I can only imagine that Dame Viv went temporarily blind whilst putting together possibly the most hideous outfit I have ever seen for unfortunate looking Bea.  Proof indeed that money (and Royal blood) most definitely cannot buy you taste.


The sartorial fun at the Abbey was followed by sandwiches, wine, singing, wine, burgers, wine, tv, and wine which takes us all the way up to Saturday.


Matt and I took a short detour on Saturday to my parents house to complete a couple of little tasks.  We spent some time filling favours and customising a little something for those that are staying over at the venue on the big day.  I can confirm that due to my voracious shopping habits the favours are fuller than I had expected so that’s good news for everyone!


I’ve also managed to spend a little bit more money this week on decorating the ceremony room.  I’m now awaiting the arrival of a large box of rose petals from Sweet Colours and a couple of other decorative touches winging their way to me from Ebay.


Finally, I’ve been playing around with my draft table plan, which was all going well until I managed to accidentally delete the original.  I knew the week couldn’t go entirely without disaster.  I do have a .pdf copy of one version but I can’t manipulate it so I’ll have to start again if I want to make any significant changes.  Still, it’s not the worst thing that could have happened as it’s only a diagram and the part constructed real table plan is unaffected.


So overall, I’d say it’s been a successful week although I do wish that I’d done a few things a little earlier in the process.  Not because they actually needed to be completed earlier but just because they could have been and then I’d have less to do right now.  I’m becoming slightly concerned that my new group of colleagues (whom I shall meet formally tomorrow) may just think I’m a complete mad person for the next 2 months in the run up to the wedding.  Fingers crossed that Mum and the bridesmaids will come to my rescue if I start to unleash my inner Bridezilla!

Drunk and Disorderly - 25/04/11 - 3:17pm

It’s finally happened.  For the first time since we started to write this blog back in September we have failed to upload a post on our designated blogging day.  I blame Easter.  Yesterday we went to my parents house for Sunday lunch and then went straight to the Crown & Anchor for a few beers.  Although we devoured a large amount of roast chicken, and an even larger amount of home-made chocolate cake at lunchtime going straight out after this meant that we didn’t have any dinner and that after a few drinks staying out until closing time seemed like a really good idea.  Apologies to those of you that usually stay glued to the computer on a Sunday afternoon / evening awaiting the email in your inbox to say that we have updated the blog.  We are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience caused!


Actually the update is fairly short and sweet this week as I’ve had very little opportunity to do any wedding related stuff whilst clearing up all the things I needed to do in my last week at work.  My cunning plan was to spend the holiday over this week doing nothing but wedding tasks.  So far the plan has not exactly been followed to the letter (see above re: drinking) but I have managed to achieve a few small goals.  I have updated my spreadsheet with all the replies and menu options received so far.  We have received about half the responses but are still waiting to hear from quite a few of you.  If you could try to respond either by post or online by the end of the week that would be great as we will need to confirm numbers / menu choices to the venue in May.  Today we have managed to achieve a small goal by attending the boot fair at Hayes Farm at which I purchased a number of wedding related items for my make and do projects, mainly from a couple that were selling items used at their wedding.  Matt also took this opportunity to buy a small selection of vinyl, which will look very pretty in a bag in the cupboard as we currently have no record player.  So now I have only 7 days left during which to achieve a rather long list of tasks.  I intend to be very industrious whilst Matt is at work on Tue, Wed and Thu (BTW – is Matt the only person in London who is actually going to work over the next 3 days?!) which will hopefully help to expedite matters.


It has occurred to me recently that not all of you will be aware of the theme we have planned for the wedding.  Although many of you who have been reading the blog for a wgile will have picked up on the generally vintage theme surrounding the wedding you won’t all be aware that I do also have another overriding theme as well.  When I say the wedding will be themed I don’t mean a ridiculously over the top costume party kind of day just a general theme running through and tying certain elements together.  The theme is birds (which you may have guessed from your wedding invitations), so I have been looking for birdal, rather than bridal accessories for the day!  If anyone feels they’d like to join in with the theme on the day I’d love to see vintage and / or feathered outfits, although I do draw the line at full bird costumes - I’m not sure Big Bird would be welcomed at the ceremony!  Seriously though, even if you’re not a vintage or feathery kind of bird I would love to see everyone dressed up to the nines.  Whether your budget is Prada or Primark I want to see beautiful ladies (and gents) lined up for the photographs.  In my opinion it doesn’t matter whether you wear something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue (except jeans, no jeans at wedding ceremonies surely) as long as you look fabulous!


Enjoy the long holiday, if you’re having one.  Let’s reconvene next week for stories no doubt about how the make and do has once again not gone exactly to plan...

Something Old, Something New - 17/04/11 - 10:20pm

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve made a couple of spur of the moment decisions.


2 weeks ago there was a Jenny Packham sample sale which I just couldn’t resist going to.  Obviously I couldn’t take advantage of any of the amazing dress bargains on offer (£4500 down to £1300 anyone?!) as my dress will be arriving in a couple of weeks but I thought I’d pop along and have a look at the accessories instead.  Unfortunately I wasn’t very impressed by the headpieces and jewellery on offer but I did try on a few other things.  Rashly I decided that the knockdown prices were too good to pass on so I did in fact purchase a veil.  Now I just need to find out if it matches my dress.  In the heat of the moment I decided that the worst that could happen would be that I have to list it on Ebay or similar wedding dress sites such as Preloved to recoup my money.  I’m sure the Jenny Packham name alone will ensure that I get back at least what I paid for it if it really doesn’t work with the dress as it was an absolute bargain.


This weekend I had to go to Norwich for an Abba gig, but happily this trip into the wilds of East Anglia coincided with A Most Curious Party’s Vintage Wedding Fair so I set off early in order to join in the vintage fun.  Despite Norwich’s one way system trying to thwart the progress of my journey I managed to find the hall full of vintage loveliness with plenty of time to spare.  There were quite a few stalls there that I didn’t need to visit (cake makers, florists etc) but I must say that all the exhibitors were well chosen and presented their wares beautifully, particularly Debbie Carlisle Bouquets, one of whose bouquets I would secretly have loved to have but unfortunately I just couldn’t afford the ones I really admired.  More happily I got a chance to meet in person the lady behind Eclectic Eccentricity over whom I gushed in a most unbecoming way and proudly displayed one of her necklaces that I was wearing.  I did very nearly purchase a gorgeous lace coat from one of the vintage clothing stalls but decided to restrain myself on this occasion as I was only supposed to be buying wedding items.  I settled instead for a stunning vintage necklace from Lovely & Vintage which I decided was a worthwhile investment as I will definitely wear it anyway even if it doesn’t prove to be the right necklace to go with my wedding dress.  I have to say I was very impressed by the quality of all the merchandise on offer and by the mostly non-London prices offered by most of the sellers I visited.  I’m still thinking I might have made a mistake about the lace coat...


So that’s the purchasing update.  The last couple of weeks have also involved yet more make and do.  Mum, Amy and I had a good session of sewing last weekend, the results of which you will be able to admire in due course.  I have also been taking my make and do sessions on the road (well tube) and making some unique table confetti sitting at my desk during my lunch hour.  I think some of my current work colleagues are actually a little bit sad that we won’t all be together when the big day comes as they have rather had to live and breathe every decision, make and purchase with me so far.  Unfortunately I won’t be around in the final moments as I am finishing working in my current department next Thursday and starting a new job in the Vision Transformation & Delivery Team (ooh fancy) when I return after the long holiday on 3rd May.  It might not seem like the best time to be starting a new job what with all this wedding business but it was an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse so, whilst apprehensive, I am very excited, particularly after meeting my new boss the other day who it turns out I have quite a lot in common with as she used to be a singer on cruise ships.


So my next few days promise to be full of me trying to do everything I haven’t done in the last year and a half in my job followed by a glorious 11 days off during which time I shall be make-ing and do-ing to the best of my abilities.  By the end of the next couple of weeks we should hopefully be ahead of the game with many of the little details sorted out and (with any luck) my dress having arrived for me to start accessorising.


Hopefully most people will have received their invitations by now so if you haven’t replied already please do either put the RSVP card in the post to us or RSVP online if you prefer.


Oh and lastly a big shout out to Amy who has been working tirelessly at getting everything booked for the hen weekend whilst simultaneously training for the London Marathon.  I can confirm that both have now been completed so that’s both huge thanks and congratulations to her!

When We Are Married - 10/04/11 - 9:54pm

When we are married I hope we have more weekends like this weekend. 


Friday – a couple of drinks after work followed by a civilised Italian meal in a conveniently placed independent restaurant near Victoria and a late night deli shop in Sainsburys. 

Saturday – dance class followed by a gossipy lunch with Mum and Amy and a very successful make and do session, followed by a fabulous fish pie dinner and a grown up sleepover at Lynsey and Brett’s. 

Sunday – driving home in the sunshine, a picnic in the park and shopping for honeymoon clothes followed by gym, sauna and a healthy dinner at home.


When we are married I hope we will still go out for dinner dates together be able to make each other laugh for the whole evening.


When we are married I hope we will still enjoy good food with good friends and never be too old to stay up drinking (even if now we prefer a spare room to a night bus or passing out on the sofa).


When we are married I hope we will still make the most of every sunny day to enjoy feeding the ducks in the park and never take it for granted that the sun will still be there tomorrow.


When we are married I hope we will still want to visit the gym regularly so that we can look (somewhere close to) our best for ourselves and one another.


When we are married I hope we will not be stuck without gas for weeks on end, although if we are I hope it will happen in warm weather and that they will once again compensate us with a 4 figure cheque that we can spend in Vegas or Hawaii.


When we are married I hope that everything changes and yet everything stays exactly the same.


I Love Lucy - 03/04/11 - 9:08pm

This week it’s been all about getting through the “to do” list.  We’re starting to tick off some of those tasks that we said, “oh, we’ve got ages yet, we’ll do that in a few weeks/months”.  Suddenly, actual deadlines are starting to come around and dependencies are becoming apparent, certain tasks have to be completed in order for others to begin.


The balance of the payment for the honeymoon was due this weekend and after a bit of a wobble, “where the **** is all that money going to come from?!” the ISA proved its worth and provided the necessary funds in the nick of time.  We also finally managed this week to get some information off to the wedding ring people so that they can shape my ring slightly according to our specifications so I’m sure the next task is going to be picking them up and wondering where the money for that is going to come from!


We did a bit of ordering online of wedding essentials this week as well so my parents are going to have a bit of a shock when a rather large package arrives on their doorstep within the next four working days.  Hopefully there’s still room in that cupboard under the stairs....


We’ve spent our evenings writing, hole punching and ribbon-ing wedding list inserts and have also taken delivery of our lovely invitations.  I have to say I’m really impressed, they’re even better than I had imagined and arrived on my desk beautifully packaged on Friday afternoon.  The seal of approval has been given by my long suffering work colleagues so once they’re named and addressed they’ll be straight in the post to you.  Huge thanks go out once again to the lovely Lucy, our invitation designer, who worked really hard to get them to us as quickly as possible.  I haven’t given out her details on the wedsite yet as I didn’t want people to see the style of invitations she makes before receiving ours but I will make sure that her details and the details of all our suppliers are on the wedsite for future reference as I know it can be really helpful to have some inside information when you’ve never planned an event like this before.  


Whilst we’ve been planning our wedding I have become so much more aware of so many other weddings going on around me and now we have had some more happy news.  Unfortunately we will be on honeymoon but we’ve just found out that old friend Mark Haas is finally to tie the knot with long term girlfriend Alice in July this year so we wish them lots of love even though we won’t be able to attend.  I’m also really looking forward to Rachel Walmsley and Richard Dubourg’s impending nuptials next year.  Jacqui and I were very excited whilst poring over potential wedding dresses with her last night and I tried to give some advice on which designers are likely to be in (and out!) of budget as they don’t always reveal this information on their websites.  I’m really pleased that Rachel and Richard are going for a completely different style of wedding from ours as it will be great to experience something entirely different and imagine how we might have done it.  No chance of post wedding blues with all that going on!


As for the boys, we descended upon Austin Reed on Regent Street on Saturday (after a libatious warm up in The Phoenix at Cavendish Square) to get the groom’s party measured for suits.  Now I have been impressed from start to finish with the Austin Reed experience.  However had the fella let everyone play dress up at the same time it would have been a faster process and we would not have got bored and started misbehaving.  But it was a success and the boys will look dapper.  I’m still looking into ordering my peacock feathers but the search has narrowed and I’m just waiting until the credit card levels are no longer critical to send my measurements off to Sweden to see what they can come up with.


Last 100 Days - 27/03/11 - 9:12pm

Double figures.  I told myself not to panic about any wedding based stuff until we had less than 100 days to go before the wedding.  Well here we are with 95 days to go.  And I’m still relatively calm.   I’m trying to avoid the things to do versus the time and money equation, which may explain how calm I am.  However, things will now start to hot up.  April sees at least one of us busy every weekend and May is beginning to get booked up.  Thank god for Bank Holidays.  Now if I can manage a lottery win it will all be plain sailing.  As I write this my level of calm is deteriorating and I’m going to stop until next weekend when I should have sorted out at least half of the clothing dilemmas for the big day.

I’m still pretty calm myself but then I have been busy busy busy this week.  My trousseau is quickly growing larger as more brightly coloured dresses, shorts and kaftans find their way into my wardrobe courtesy of the devil’s playground that is Westfield.  I have also managed to find the perfect dress for the post wedding party on Sat 2nd July.  Something bridal, but not too formal, and linking in with the theme of the wedding flawlessly!  So obviously I’m over the moon about that.


I have also been busy this week with my various make and do projects.  I have been to Hobbycraft and the 99p Store, charity shops and market places throughout the county and beyond and have spent a fair bit of time either covered in glue or poking myself with needles in order to put those little personal touches onto our big day.  Sadly though, the make and do session with the bridesmaids on Saturday turned out to be mildly disastrous.  Due to the combination of thread that was probably too weak, a determination to work a little too quickly and a collective love of the wine bottle very little was actually achieved, but as usual Kelly put on a good spread and we’re planning a more serious session in April when we can take advantage of the long holiday to get creative with our bad selves.


I’ve also been concentrating on not making do with my current look this week and partaking in some cosmetic improvements.  Not only have I lost 2 pounds (hurray for the aerobathon!) but I’ve also made inroads into improving myself in other ways.  I’ve had my teeth whitened with a laser and I’ve allowed a man to poke me in the eyes / try to fit me with contact lenses.  Having never worn contact lenses before I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the appointment other than knowing that I was going to find the whole process a bit icky.  Apparently I had quite a violent reaction to him sticking his fingers in my eyes (qu’elle surprise!) and the lenses we tried didn’t really work for my rugby ball shaped eyes, but I’m planning on persevering as I can’t bear the thought of spending my wedding day in glasses which no doubt will not complement my frock, or the alternative of feeling drunker than is strictly necessary with blurred vision and a constant headache.  Hopefully with enough appointments we’ll be able to find something that I can actually bear to leave in my eyes so I won’t be bumping into doorways all day.  I’m also crossing everything that the laser teeth whitening effect will last as long as possible and am making an effort to brush my teeth twice as often as usual in order to keep that it going.  My teeth aren’t exactly Hollywood white yet but they are a good deal less yellow than they were before and I’d sincerely like to keep it that way.  I have to say though I’m not entirely sure that 3 days after the treatment was the best time to take up drinking red wine for the first time.  Having been a dedicated pink / white drinker for as long as I can remember I have been persuaded today that red is not all bad.  We were in the local off licence a few weeks ago and when I told the sales assistant that I didn’t drink red he recommended a “starter” bottle to get a heathen like me interested.  We finally opened it this evening to add some body to the Bolognese and then poured a couple of glasses to try.  I have to admit it’s actually rather drinkable (you can even put it in the fridge!) and whilst I’m not a fully fledged convert yet I’m willing to give it a try.  I just need to find something else that tastes like a South African Cabernet Sauvignon/Cinsaut/Shiraz blend and I’m away!


So anyway back to the wedding, not a lot of other new stuff to report really.  The invitations should be winging their way to us in a week or so, the wedding list is still being modified and the making and doing is a constantly moving feast.  Fingers crossed that the boys’ suit measuring appointment goes well next week and I think we’re pretty much still on track.  Stress levels, what stress levels?!

5 Hours of Work Out, 2 Bridal Kates and some bargains for you and me - 20/03/11 - 8:58pm

I’m very tired this evening so this week’s blog will either be very short or very poorly written.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide which it is.  The reason for my general knackeredness is completely unrelated to the wedding but I wish to brag about it nonetheless.  I have just completed a 5 hour aerobathon in aid of the victims of the New Zealand Earthquake.  Yes, that’s 5 hours of intense physical exercise, something which doesn’t exactly come naturally to me!  If you wish to sponsor my endeavours belatedly then please send me some cash in an envelope and I’ll pass it on to the organiser next weekend!  Please don’t send your gold in an envelope though – that would just be foolish.


So, back to the wedding business....  This week I have discovered that Kate Moss and Jamie Hince are getting married on Sat 2nd July.  At first I was slightly horrified that they were hijacking part of our wedding weekend (yes, we’re having the whole weekend.  You will be invited to celebrate with us at a local hostelry on Saturday as well) but then I decided that it’s just a good thing that she’s getting married after me so I can’t suddenly decide I want an entirely different kind of wedding a few weeks before we’re due to get hitched due to the overwhelming fabulousness that will surely be present at Kate’s do.  Rumour has it that she may still wear a bespoke Galliano gown despite the recent debacle, but whether she does or not I predict whatever she wears will be some kind of stunning silk bias cut 30s style dress which is probably exactly what I would have chosen if I had no hips, breasts or stomach to worry about as well.


Speaking of other people’s weddings I’m actually quite excited about the other Kate’s dress as well.  Again, a rumour has been circulating that it will be designed by Sarah Bruton, heir to the McQueen throne, an idea of which I highly approve!  I really hope that just for once Kate Middleton breaks free of her Sloane uniform of wrap dresses and knee high boots and goes for something truly fabulous and, gasp, a little bit fashion forward.  Fingers crossed.


It’s actually been rather a busy week here at Wedding Towers.  We’ve finally confirmed all the proofs for the invitations and they should hopefully be with you in the next 2-3 weeks.  I have great respect for our amazing invitation designer Lucy who worked well into the evening on Friday in order to get all the wording / design exactly right.  Hopefully you will also appreciate the results of her hard work when they hit the doormats.


We’ve also continued working on the wedding lists this week, spending Saturday afternoon running round a department store with what was actually more like a PDA than a scanner gun, zapping lots of things for our lovely friends and family to buy!  We still need to make further changes but this and (hopefully) the other wedding list will be open approx. 6 weeks before the wedding for you to make your selections from.  It’s worth noting that if any of you do decide to spend £50 or over on  the sensible wedding list then you’ll also get a £15 voucher back, a great incentive to get involved I’d say (not that I’m trying to make you spend lots of money but you know me, I just cannot resist a good bargain!).


On the subject of money saving I’d just like to point out one more thing.  If you book a double room at Sundridge Park Manor for our wedding then the price is definitely £75 per room per night including breakfast.  If you book a room for single occupancy then the cost will be £65 per room per night.  Our venue appointed wedding co-ordinator, Sam, will be on hand to answer any queries re: price on the day so please don’t worry, you won’t be charged the full rack rate of £105.  Around half the rooms at the venue have already been booked so please make sure you book soon if you are planning to stay at the venue.  You won’t have to pay until the day itself so please don’t leave it until your next payday to pick up the phone and make a reservation!  For those not planning to stay at the venue there’s also the option of getting a good night’s sleep at home and then coming back and laughing at us all at breakfast the following morning.  You can have breakfast with us at the very reasonable cost of £10 per person on the Saturday morning, although I suspect most of you would prefer to have a nice lie in and meet us in the pub later on!


I’m looking forward to the week ahead as I have a make and do session planned with all of the bridesmaids that are not in Wales on Saturday and am also expecting delivery of my brand new iPad at some point this week which I hope to put to use in the rest of the wedding planning process.  There must surely be an app that allows me to drag people around and seat them at different tables.  Oh what fun I shall have!


(It’s not short is it?  Oh dear...)

Save the Last Gas for Me - 13/03/11 - 9:26pm

So the plan for this week was to finalise the menu choices, finish the insert wording for the invitations and get everything over to the invitation designer for printing.  You’d have thought this was a relatively simple plan that could be achieved with the minimum of fuss.  You would however have been wrong.  This week has been completely disrupted, mainly due to the fact that on Tuesday night a man with a pneumatic drill intruded upon our slumber.  Around 11pm we’d just started to drift off when we were rudely awakened by a thunderous noise.  We traced it to outside the living room window where it turned out to be a man from Southern Gas Networks drilling through the concrete to get to the gas main.  Already we knew that this was not a good sign.  To cut a long story short “several gas leaks” (gulp!) have now been identified in the pipes supplying our entire block and we’ve been told that it could take up to 5 weeks to fix.  On the up side we have received a free hot plate and fan heater and are in line for £30 compensation per day.  That means we’re up to £150 already.  Compensation is capped at £1000 so if it does go the full 5 weeks then that would be a good chunk of honeymoney for us to spend in Hawaii (provided it’s still there by the time we go.  Slightly nervous that there have been both a volcano eruption and a tsunami threat there in the last couple of weeks!).


So basically this means we still haven’t made it to the venue to lock down the food choices and I still haven’t revised the first draft of the invitation insert text to send to the invitation designer.  Sigh.  So if your wedding invitation only arrives at the end of April you know who to blame.  (Southern Gas Networks that’s who, not me, in case you were confused, it’s absolutely, definitely not my fault.  The speed of my brain cells has been compromised by the lack of warmth in my flat and I cannot be held accountable for any of the crazy decisions I’ve made this week.)


We have made a miniscule amount of progress this week on choosing the first dance.  That’s pretty much all I’m going to tell you as I don’t want to raise any expectations or give anything away.  Let’s just say that if everything goes to plan then I’m hoping you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  If it doesn’t then we’ll just shuffle around the floor.  That is all.


To recap on last week’s news I’m really incredibly pleased with the way my cake stand turned out and have spent some time this week mulling over the idea of starting a small craft business after the wedding – this may also partly be due to the fact that I spent 2 days on a Project Management course this week which has gotten me all excited about things like Milestone plans and Gantt charts (woo) and also pointed out to me the fact that I was already using crude versions of these tools in the wedding planning process.  Of course, this could just be me getting overly excited about something new as usual so let’s just get on with the wedding planning and then see what happens once we’re back from the ‘moon.


I do need a little bit of crafty help though in order to at least get all the bits I want to make made for the wedding.  If you know of any local boot fairs happening any time soon can you please let me know so that I can purchase a few more plates etc in order to make my multiple cake stand dreams come true?  In particular if you know when the Hayes Farm boot sales start up again then please let me know so that so I can drag myself (and Matt, he’s not getting away with lounging whilst I work, oh no) out of bed on a Sunday morning to see what dubious treasures are on offer.

Lady Bracknells Handbag (or similarly capacious storage items) - 06/03/11 - 8:54pm

Oh god, oh god.  There are less than 4 months left until the wedding and my spreadsheet only seems to be getting bigger!  I have however tidied up the wedding file and attempted to stop all the bits and pieces I’ve been buying for the wedding from taking over the house (mainly by shoving them in the cupboard under the stairs, that repository of all things unloved and underused).  We’ve actually had a day off this week and I still don’t feel like I have managed to get everything done that I wanted to over this weekend.  However, this is a place for joy not for panicking so here’s what we have actually achieved.


On Friday we went to Bromley Civic Centre to register our intention to marry.  I had to be interviewed by the registrar by myself first and then Matt was brought in and asked the same questions.  I can confirm that thankfully we did give the same answers to all the questions (and that we are not related by birth, marriage or adoption!) and that our details are now on display in the Civic Centre for 16 days should anyone wish to object to our marriage.  Please, no practical jokes on this occasion....


I’ve also managed this week to locate the perfect wedding shoes at the perfect price!  I did have to order 3 pairs and then take 2 back (no change there then) but the search is finally over, hurrah!  The pile of honeymoon outfits is getting larger as well, although I now know that I need to be a little bit careful about how much I pack as I’ve just discovered that we definitely only have 20kg luggage allowance each.  Apparently the airlines (particularly to the States) are getting hotter on this as it’s a great money making scheme in the current climate.  I think we’re going to need to buy one of those things you use to weigh the suitcases before you get to the airport as I’m notorious for having more than I’m allowed (just ask Amy!).


We learned about the baggage allowance issue from our Travel Agent, Danny at Dreamtime Travel in Bexhill.  We went down there this weekend to catch up with Matt’s family and decided to pop in and see Danny whilst we were there.  It turns out he’s an absolutely top notch fella and is willing to go even more than the extra mile for us.  Not only did he give us some great recommendations for restaurants and shows in Las Vegas but he even offered to pick up a pair of wedding boots for Matt when he goes to the States in May!


Whilst we were in Bexhill this weekend we also decided to take the opportunity to visit their (very) many charity shops for some extra items for the wedding.  We purchased some useful glassware and porcelain and this afternoon I have made my first ever vintage cake stand from some of the items we found.  I’m extremely pleased with the result (especially considering it only cost us approx. £1.80 and about 20 mins of my time!) and can spy another potential Ebay business for the future. 


In more make do and mend news I also started putting together our table plan this week and am again more than happy with how it looks at the moment.  The biggest challenge I’m sure will be getting all the names in more or less the right places once we have sent out the invitations and received all of the replies.


My next big tasks are getting back in touch with the caterers at the venue in order to confirm our final menu choices so that we can finalise the wedding invitations and get them printed.  I also need to contact the florist in order to show her the venue and discuss a few tweaks to our original requirements.  Despite my panicky moments I am now getting really excited as all the different elements of the wedding start coming together and am very much looking forward to my next session with the bridesmaids when we’ll finally get down to some creating.  I have already started filling up my parents’ house with the favours and bridesmaids dresses and the results of that next afternoon may also have to be transported over there somehow.  I think their dining room may have to become the new cupboard under the stairs as I’m not quite finished acquiring things just yet.....

Hunting High and Low - 27/02/11 - 9:13pm

As the wedding train rumbles on we have stopped at a variety of destinations over the last week or so.  Firstly we went to the venue to taste the potential food.  We definitely missed a trick here.  We thought it would be just bits and pieces to taste and a chance to chat with the chef.  Oh no, it was a proper sit down meal with 2 different starters, 2 main courses and 2 sets of desserts between us.  There was one couple who had clearly brought both sets of parents with them.  They must have been in the know.  Had we known it was going to be such a formal (and free) affair we might have invited some guests from the wedding party to help us come to a decision.  In summary though, we haven’t made a firm decision yet on the menu but we can assure you that the food will be delicious and that there will be a choice, something we weren’t necessarily expecting.  We are also extremely chuffed that we have been told by the chef that something we really wanted but had pretty much ruled out for the evening buffet is something that they can definitely do, so we’re looking forward to some really tasty food for all of our evening guests as well.

This week the wedding train also made a special request stop at the Kings Road.  Amy and I decided that we deserved some time out to treat ourselves to an afternoon of pampering and shopping Chelsea style.  We started with a facial and a massage at The Chelsea Day Spa (courtesy of a very good value for money Groupon voucher) and followed it with trips to all the beautiful shops along the Kings Road.  If you haven’t been I can highly recommend a trip to Anthropologie which is the most relaxing shopping experience ever in a beautifully planned outlet with lots of wide open space and a glorious water feature!  It’s like an even better version of Urban Outfitters with an eclectic mix of vintage, kitsch and retro knick-knacks, stylish coffee table books and some cool modern designer label clothing.  If Anthropologie did wedding lists they’d probably be the coolest wedding lists in the world.


Wedding lists, now there’s something I have been thoroughly looking forward to.   Essentially shopping without spending any of your own money; a plan with no obvious drawbacks!  This week I have begun the process of setting up 2 different wedding lists.  The plan is to have one fairly sensible one for the basics: towels, saucepans etc and one slightly more eclectic for some of the more individual pieces to put in our marital home (when we eventually get out of the current one!).  I’ve spent several hours today trawling one of my favourite websites for some “keep for life” bits and pieces and am really happy with the list so far.  Unfortunately the sensible list won’t allow us to start adding items for another month or in case there are stock issues, so we’ll have to hold off on that one for now, but I’m looking forward to going up to Oxford Street and arming ourselves with scanners so we can zap our favourite items for the list in a some kind of cowboy gunfight way.


This weekend it was time for another bridesmaid summit.  On this occasion I took 100% of the bridesmaids over to Chateau de Ville in West Wickham to meet my Mum.  We feasted heartily on French bread, cold meats and chilled sparkling wine and there was much merriment.  Following the great spread it was time for the fashion show.  All the girls got into their dresses together for the first time and I presented them with the necklaces I bought them a few weeks ago from Eclectic Eccentricity (a website whose praises I have been singing for years now).  Now it’s mainly just a question of underwear and shoes which I’m reasonably sure they can pick by themselves (although I am of course available for shopping trips if any of them need my help!). It was lovely to see them all dressed up together and it almost brought a tear to my eye as my wedding vision finally started to become reality.


Speaking of tears of joy, I nearly shed some more when I received some fantastic news this week.  I’d like to offer massive congratulations to Rachel and Richard who got engaged in New York over the weekend.  I’m looking forward to hearing the story, seeing the Tiffany rock in person and passing on a huge bag full of wedding magazines.  Love, it would seem, is in the air.  That’s also good news for all the unmarried ladies coming to the wedding.  If I do decide to throw my bouquet then that’s one less body for you all to clamber over to get to it.  Happy hunting!

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman - 20/02/11 - 8:36pm

Well all in all it’s been easier than I expected.

Friday saw myself and James (50% of the best men) take a trip to Parsons Green to visit the marvellous gents outfitters Marc Wallace.  I can’t recommend them enough.  They do fantastic shirts at a reasonable price (reasonable for a good shirt that is, cheap they are not).  They also do bespoke suits, but alas that is out of budget for now.  And despite being all flash and expensive the staff are friendly, helpful and don’t look down their noses at scruffy hairy people.  Or perhaps it was because I had James with me who tends to be well turned out.  Either way Marc Wallace is my new favourite designer.  I have purchased my shirt for the big day.  I just need to find a suit to go around it.

There’s even a great pub opposite Parsons Green tube station, the name escapes me but it has the best selection of beers I’ve seen in this country.  And I go to a lot of pubs.

Friday then descended into beer, live music and a lunatic dash across London and back by cab that ended my finances for the month.  But I’ll let JDV explain that one.......................

Saturday saw myself, James and Andy (100% of the best men), my brother Luke (50% of the groomsmen) and Nick (also 50% of the groomsmen) met in town to seek out suits.  My requirements being a tad exotic for a suit hire company Saturday was all about making the four boys look both dashing and cool.

We had a one o’clock appointment at Austin Reed, and as it turned out it was all we needed.  We found what we needed with the minimum of fuss and hassle.  James and I had looked at a few other places Friday but had not found anything anywhere near as good. Done and dusted.  We will be heading back in March for the next round of measuring and fitting.  Not only do they have great suits at rock bottom rental prices, they also have a bar.  Another place that gets my recommendation.

With the suits found so quickly we had the rest of the day to spend in the pub.  Which was nice.

So the back of it all is broken.  We just need to argue out the shirts, ties, waistcoats and all that jazz.  We’re keeping with the non traditional theme but we’re going to be looking good.  It’s not going to be straightforward, having decided that I will be wearing a completely different outfit to the rest of the groom’s party, but I stopped listening to that little voice that screams `What? No, stop and think’ many years ago and not trusting my instincts has served me well for a long time now.

Two days so productive that I feel perfectly happy wasting Sunday lying on the sofa.  My mission for the coming week will be to contact a few companies that make suits to see if I can find what I’m looking for.  Top it off with some snakeskin boots and a pair of aviators and I’ll be ready to marry.

So, it would seem that all of our boys and girls will be looking fabulous on the day.  I picked up the bridesmaids dresses earlier this week (which arrived 2 weeks early, very impressed!) and have been parading around in Lucy’s at home wishing I’d bought an extra one for me.  In fact if I have any other weddings to go to next year I may well be asking if I can borrow it!

I also managed to fit in a quick trip to a Rigby & Peller sample sale which netted me a very nice bikini for the honeymoon (pictures to follow) and some much more expensive than I could ever afford at full price wedding underwear (pictures not to follow) for next to nothing, about which I am very pleased!

Today was spent being fabulous at fashion week with Amy.  We attended the Osman Yousefzada (no Marianne you shouldn’t have heard of him!) show at Somerset House courtesy of a friend of mine who is a friend of Osmans and then whiled away the rest of the afternoon stroking very expensive potential wedding shoes in Selfridges shoe galleries.  Touching Christian Louboutins is so much fun and thankfully in no way illegal (even the ones that cost £1500, eek!).

The Final Countdown - 13/02/11 - 7:00pm

Happy Valentines Eve everybody!  I hope you’re having a lovely romantic day if you are choosing to celebrate today instead of tomorrow.  I hope your day is not (like mine) filled with budgets and spreadsheets. 


Today I decided it was time to get down to proper organisation.  Yes, I have the wedding file (which is getting fatter by the day) and I’ve been diligently researching and purchasing over the past few months but so far it’s all been done without the final goalposts ever really being in sight.  Finally I’m starting to realise how much still needs doing in the run up to the wedding.  There are certain things that can only be done further along the line such as dress fittings, purchasing confectionery and finalising seating plans.  However, it’s becoming imperative that we schedule all of these tasks to fit in with everything else that we need to do.  I’ve spent some time this afternoon creating a spreadsheet showing all the tasks we have yet to perform on a per month basis.  The lists are terrifyingly long!  It has made me realise that we do need to keep up the momentum otherwise there will be an unmanageable list of jobs that need doing in the final weeks before the big day.  I’ve categorised all the tasks with a traffic light system showing which tasks are urgent, which are pending and which don’t need to be addressed yet.  I’m now considering a career move into project management (although not until after the wedding of course!). 


I’ve also filled in a little wall chart (thanks Avon!) showing all the important dates we need to note in the lead up to the wedding.  By important dates I don’t mean Amy and Andy’s birthdays, the hen do and my multiple hair appointments, I mean due dates for certain items to arrive, e.g. bridesmaids dresses (due in 2 weeks, yay!), wedding dress etc, and dates of final payments due (boo). 


This all makes it seem unbelievably real.  It really is all going to happen in only 138 days from now.  If I can manage to get one task started per day it might all come together just about on time!  I’ve even started writing to do lists for Matt as well as for myself just so I can make sure he’s helping out as much as possible.  His to do list for this week includes: booking honeymoon transfers, buying stamps for the invitations and calling the registrar’s office at Bromley Council to ensure that we register our intention to marry.  The council need us both to attend an appointment to prove our identities and check that we’re not getting married for immigration reasons, sigh....  Just another day we’ll need to take off work to complete all the planning.  I have to admit I’m extremely grateful for the fact that the BBC are quite generous with their holiday allocation and that they give me the opportunity to purchase an extra 5 days of holiday in addition (which I will definitely be doing) as there are some things that it’s just impossible to get done out of office hours.  Thankfully one of the things that can be done outside of office hours is the food tasting.  We’ve been looking forward to this for some time and it’s finally happening on Wednesday at the venue so next week we’ll update you on how tasty (or not) the food you’ll be filling up on at the reception is going to be.


Finally, we decided that it was about time we uploaded details of the accommodation and travel for the day.  Accommodation is available at the venue at a cost of £75 per room per night.  This includes breakfast in the morning.  You can’t book this online as the hotel will appear fully booked.  If you want to book a room please call the venue on 020 8313 3232 and explain that you are attending our wedding and they will be happy to book accommodation for you.  If you don’t want to stay over but you do want to share the morning with us on the following day then you can also come back to the venue in the morning for breakfast at a charge of £10 per person.  We will be congregating in a pub somewhere on the Saturday afternoon though if you just want to come back and meet us then.  We have also done a little bit of research into other hotels in the area in case anyone wants to stay nearby but not at the actual venue.  I can’t vouch for any of these hotels as we haven’t actually visited them but they are there in case you need them.  We’ve also uploaded the Transport & Travel page in case anyone is unsure about how to get to the venue on the day.  So, as I’m still in project manager mode here’s your to do list for the month:


·         Book day off work for Matt and Jayne’s wedding (if currently employed!)

·         Book accommodation at wedding venue

·         Decide on travel to and from venue

·         Start researching impossibly gorgeous wedding outfits

·         Clear schedule for further drinking on the afternoon of Saturday 2nd July


Is that ok with you?

Make up, make up, never ever break up - 06/02/11 - 11:14pm

As I told you in last week’s post I had an appointment booked this week at MAC in Westfield to discuss wedding make-up.  Well, I went along on Monday and it was a great success!  I cannot recommend them enough.  The make-up artist, Jenny, sat me down in the back room and asked a few questions about what I was looking for, which as usual I had pretty strong opinions about (no brown eyes, I look horrible in brown)!  Then she prepared my face and gave me a couple of options of different eye colours to work with and surprised me by giving me exactly what I was looking for but in a new and exciting way.  I asked a number of questions as she was applying the make-up in order that I would feel confident enough to re-create this look on the day, which thankfully is not nearly so complicated as I would originally have imagined.  I found her advice about brushes and shading to be particularly useful.  I purchased several items on the day and will consider buying one or two more once I have been paid again.  I can highly recommend the lip conditioner (for very soft lips), pro longwear concealer (a revelation, you only need a tiny bit so it should last for months and months) and new colours of the pro longwear lipcolour that I already swear by!  These products are not only perfect for the wedding day but will also go into my everyday make-up bag from now on so double win there!  Even better though is the fact that although the appointment costs £25 that money is redeemable against any products you buy on the day.  That’s great value for money.   So, if you schedule a visit to MAC determined to buy at least a couple of items then it’s definitely worth taking advantage of their specialist expertise to give you a few new tips and suggest colours you might not otherwise have selected. As both a wedding and everyday make-up supplier MAC gets 10/10 from me!


Along with considering which products I might use to transform my look on the big day itself I have also been concerned recently with other parts of my beauty regime.  I performed a mini facial on myself today which has definitely improved my skin so I have decided that this should be a weekly ritual in the lead up to the wedding.  I have also been having laser treatment under my arms which should get rid of 80-90% of the hair there and had an appointment last week to trial contact lenses for the first time so that I don’t have to wear my glasses whilst walking down the aisle.  I find it fascinating how having a specific time-related goal to work towards suddenly focuses one’s attention on finally getting things done that could / should have been done years ago, and with a little help from The Daily Chic I’m not only getting these things done but getting them done at a very reasonable price!  I’ve even managed to book Matt and I an Elemis Exotic Steam Rasul treatment for some final relaxation between the stag / hen and the wedding which we’d never usually be able to afford.  All this, along with eating healthily and trying to get to the gym more regularly should help us to be in tip top condition for the big day, something else as well as the make-up that will benefit me beyond just the wedding day. 


This concentration on details not specifically related to the events of the big day has led me to the realisation that a wedding isn’t just about what happens on that one special day.  Ok, I know it’s about the actual marriage and our future life together etc but it’s also about other things as well.  It’s easy to get carried away when planning a wedding so that it takes over your life but I think in order to remain sane (and well-liked by your friends) you have to consider the ways in which what you’re doing now is changing your life and lifestyle for the better.  For example, if I’m skinnier and have better skin (and better clothes!) then I can only feel more confident about myself in the long run!  And whilst getting these things done might mean you don’t go out and socialise as much as usual for a few months because you have more appointments than ever you do also need to stay connected with all the important people in your life throughout the planning period as it will bring you all closer together in the long run.  This revelation came to me this morning whilst nursing a hangover from the final bridesmaid’s 30th birthday (they’ve all had them in the past year, phew).  I had a great time last night with so many of our friends and I think it’s great that so many of them are so excited about the wedding and helping out with it and that it’s good for us to remember that people’s talents are there to be taken advantage of!  When planning a wedding it’s so easy to get caught up with the idea that everything has to be a certain way and that you have to pay an expert to do each individual task when actually if you just take a moment to look around you there are plenty of people you know that may have particular talents that you can draw on for help.  We’ve already started advocating this principle by getting an old friend of mine to do the photography (although as a professional he is being well paid for the job!) and by involving the bridesmaids in the forthcoming make and do sessions.  We hope to involve a few more people before we’re done so that our wedding has a certain amount of community feel to it.  So, in advance, in case we forget to tell you, before we come creeping to ask for your help; thanks, we’re really grateful you could be a part of our special day.


Last but not least, in the interests of keeping all our friends involved I’d also like to thank Foz and George for helping us win our first ever meat raffle on Friday night!  Biggin Hill Social Club may not be the most glamorous of locations for a night on the town but at £2.20 a pint and with no travel costs (it’s a bus from just outside the flat there and back) it’s certainly a great option when you’ve spent all your money in MAC and can’t afford to go for an expensive night out.  On top of which, the pork joint we won made a smashing no cost roast for this Sunday afternoon!  Mmm, crackling.....

The Shoe Must Go On - 30/01/11 - 8:39pm

WARNING: This post is mostly about shopping, sorry boys!

 During a recent fire drill at work a couple of my colleagues and I started discussing our respective shopping addictions.  One girl rarely buys anything new but splashes out on the odd real luxury item.  She maintains that her c. £480 Louis Vuitton scarf is one of her best ever buys when it comes to cost per wear!  Another is also getting married this year and said her friends had been telling her she needs to buy pretty much a whole new wardrobe for her honeymoon, her trousseau if you will.  This rather old fashioned idea piqued my interest so I googled trousseau to find out what this ought to encompass.  I found the following definition: Throughout history, single young women all over the world have prepared for their change in marital status by accumulating a trousseau. A traditional trousseau -- stored in a hope chest -- included bridal accessories, jewellery, lingerie, toiletries and makeup, plus bed linens and bath towels for her new home.  From Victorian times till today, the trousseau also has consisted of brand-new outfits to see a woman through her wedding, honeymoon, and newlywed days.  So, with that in mind I’ve been on a bit of a shopping spree....

I’ve decided that from now until the wedding I’m only going to buy clothes & accessories:

a.            For the wedding

b.            For the honeymoon

c.             Basics that I can wear everyday (come on, you can’t expect me to limit myself too much!)

Basically, I won’t be allowed to buy other “going out” clothes as I have way too many of these already.  I have in fact cleared out my wardrobe this weekend with this in mind and rediscovered a few items of clothing that remind me I do actually have something to wear most of the time.

So, back to the shopping.  I’ve already purchased a couple of items for the honeymoon that I hope will be the sort of forever pieces that I’ll wear on every beach holiday for the next 10 years or so: a little white poolside shift dress (very 60s bridal) from the queen of swimwear Melissa Odabash and a gorgeous black chiffon waistcoat with gold studs by Diane Von Furstenberg (thank you Net a Porter sale!).  I was also very tempted by a Matthew Williamson kaftan but these are still over £300 even in the sale so I have managed to hold myself back, for now.... 

I’m still however looking for the right “day after the big day” dress.  I suppose it’s in lieu of the traditional going away outfit but I really feel like I want something semi-bridal (well, light coloured!) for the lunch / all day session we plan to have on Saturday 2nd July just so our wedding weekend can continue for as long as possible.  I purchased a nude silk chiffon dress by Halston Heritage (I love their 70s disco style) with this in mind but sadly it’s not the right one, the fit was all wrong around the hips so I’ve sent it back and the search continues.  If you see anything you think might fit the bill please do let me know by emailing me at wedding towers!

I’ve also been considering accessories for the big day itself.  Last week at the bridesmaid summit I revealed to the girls that I had bought them all hair accessories which they loved and started trying out hairstyles with straight away.  This week I bowed to the excitement of the sales and bought them all necklaces from one of my favourite websites.  The bridesmaids haven’t seen these yet and I only hope that they look as good as I think they will when they arrive!  As well as the bridesmaids I have also been considering my own accessories.  The same favourite jewellery designer has brought out a new bridal necklace that I absolutely love but unfortunately it has already sold out on her website.  I’m crossing everything that she’ll be able to make some more and am eagerly awaiting an email dropping into my inbox with news to that effect!

Not content with customising the venue decoration (as per last week’s post) I’ve also been haberdashery shopping for extras to customise my dress.  VV Rouleaux came up trumps with the perfect piece of trim for the back of my dress which I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to spot on the day!

So, onto the final element, once again it’s the shoes.  Whilst I love the shoes from Emmy that I tried on back in December they are VERY expensive!  I think they would perhaps have been perfect if I could afford the £4000 dress as they would have been about 10% of the dress price which seems like a reasonable ratio.  However, if I’m to find something which costs about 10% of my actual dress price then I think I need to keep looking.  Nevertheless this makes me nervous and, just in case, I managed to purchase a contingency shoe this week!  They aren’t as exciting a pair as I think I would normally have picked but they are a very lovely pair of shoes.  Now, you may mock the idea of a contingency shoe but I think it’s quite sensible.  This means that if I can’t find what I’m looking for or if I have a Cinderella moment and leave one behind or break one on the day I will always have some spares.  And they were cheap (I mean good value cheap rather than Primark cheap).  £24 reduced from £99.  A total bargain, still leaving me a large percentage of that 10% to spend on a real pair!

So, going back to the trousseau description that leaves me with toiletries and make up (I’ve got an appointment at MAC, Westfield on Monday lunchtime to cover that) plus bed linens and bath towels.  Phew, I think I’ll leave those to the gift list and give my bank account a little rest.


Decs and the City - 23/01/11 - 10:51pm

Last week’s new found sense of purpose has continued on into this week.  Most excellent progress is being made on many of the tiny details of wedding planning.

We have been tweaking the proof of the wedding invitation and finding many of the other little bits and pieces of decoration that will make our day special and different.

The main part of the table plan arrived this week in a humungous package (which was cruelly quarantined in the post office for 2 days until I was able to find time to pick it up) and sits awaiting pretty appendages with the names of all of our lovely guests on to complete it.  However, until such time as the invitations go out and the RSVPs arrive it will remain a great hulking entity in the corner of our newly tidied living room.

I have been buying this and researching table number holders, hangers and stationery sundries from, amongst others: Not on the High Street, An Angel at my Table, Papernation, Nina Campbell and Rockett St George. 

You may have noticed that the invitations and other associated items are not all going to be purchased from the same supplier.  This is a conscious decision not to make everything match.  Whilst it is undeniably convenient and time saving to ask the invitation designer to apply the same theme and produce place cards, table plan and numbers etc I don’t think it’s the most imaginative way to proceed.  If we were going for a more minimal, elegant type of wedding it would perhaps be appropriate but the style of our wedding is planned to complement our personalities; old-fashioned, quirky and full of contradictions!  So, mis-matching is the order of the day and we’re going down the route of creating our own table plan, numbers and place cards, with a little help from our friends....Well, the bridesmaids and my Mum mostly!

Said bridesmaids and I had a wedding summit on Friday night, which all became a bit WI as I performed show and tell and we discussed afternoons of make and do.  As a bit of a glutton for punishment I intend not only to put together the favours, create the table plan, numbers and place cards but also make other little bits of decoration to place about the venue.  This will involve afternoons of sewing and sandwiches which we look forward to over the next few months.  Despite protestations from my mother about how much of my time all this will take up I’m actually rather excited to contributing to the organisation of the day in this way.  I hope to be able to look around and feel like I’ve really put my stamp on the day and that rather than being a cookie cutter wedding from the pages of a magazine I’ve injected a little bit of our sparkle and personality into the proceedings.

On Saturday, consumed by the belief that we ought to use every waking hour to actually do something rather than just spending our weekends lying in front of the television and visiting the local hostelries, Matt and I decided to take a trip to the City and Hatton Garden and check out their bounteous selection of wedding rings.  Once again I was amazed by the dizzying array of styles on offer even though I thought I knew what it was that I wanted.  As soon as we chose my engagement ring I knew that I wanted a plain white gold band for my wedding ring, having decided that any further embellishments would be unnecessary given the amount of diamonds already on my engagement ring, yet still I find myself torn when it comes to the choice of wedding band.    There are myriad different types of ring, court shape, d-shape, flat, curved, platinum, palladium and engraved to name just a few.  Despite the many warnings that the prices wouldn’t hold long as the price of gold fluctuates so frequently (although all those warnings seemed to indicate that the price could go up but didn’t mention what would happen should the price of gold go down!) we decided not to purchase anything straight away (although of course this could also have been because we’re not sure where the money is coming from!) and to mull it over for a while before making a rash commitment to a piece of jewellery that we’ll both be wearing for the next 50 years or so.  Gulp!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Home - 16/01/11 - 9:53pm

So here we are, all of a sudden, two whole weeks into 2011 and time is passing faster than ever, but I feel strangely serene.  I believe the cause of this unprecedented serenity to be our New Year’s resolution: Just do it.   Three simple words, (nothing to do with Nike or any other Greek goddesses), that seem to sum up my / Matt’s current state of mind.  Despite a propensity for procrastination we’ve decided to grab the metaphorical bull by both horns this year and just get on with all the jobs which need doing (and in some cases have needed doing for some months!).  For example, this weekend we decided it was about time we cleared out the cupboards and made our flat presentable for any potential buyers.  We even treated ourselves to a few extra home comforts for the kitchen (kitchen roll holder) and bedroom (drawer organisers) by way of a late night trip to Ikea on Saturday night (yeah, we know how to party!).  Fulfilling this task has left me feeling a sense of achievement and purpose that I invariably find wanting so I am trying to apply this sentiment to wedding planning as well and have already written our “to do” list for the next 6 weeks.  It goes a little something like this:

·         Research and buy wedding rings

·         Research and decide on outfits for Groom’s party

·         Decide upon / buy gifts for attendants

·         Approve proof for invitations

·         Research readings and music for ceremony

·         Apply for marriage licence

·         Start preparation for First Dance

Check back with me in 6 weeks and see if we’ve managed to achieve all these things!  The spirit is definitely willing and the flesh has also proved strong this weekend so confidence levels are currently high.

I have already made a start on a couple of these tasks.  We received the first proof from our lovely invitation designer this week and it’s almost perfect already.  It feels amazing to have someone seem to poke inside your head, understand the slightly crazed instructions that you give her and interpret them into something beautiful.  I’ve already said that I decided against making my own invitations because I didn’t think I could get them up to standard and I know now that I was absolutely right.  It’s completely possible to make gorgeous, elegant invitations yourself but this takes an awful lot of effort and the inexpensive unadorned ways just don’t square with the type of wedding we’re having.  The only way I would have made invitations would have been by adding lots of costly embellishments and would have ended up costing us more than having someone else make them so I’ve decided to go down the route of paying someone to design us a completely bespoke invitation that will fit the theme of the wedding with a minimum of effort on my part!  It means the invitations can be both detailed and simple at the same time and it’s something we never could have done ourselves unless, for example, one of us worked for a design agency, oh hang on....  Well, I guess it’s a bit too late to call in favours now, and anyway, I’m not sure I want my wedding invitations looking like a bottle of Cif, although that would have been a very quirky and unique idea for a wedding theme.  Lemons and limes for decoration to go with the yellow and green motif and then it could tie in with a bit of 50’s housewife perhaps?  Cath Kidston tablecloths and so on...  I should so be a wedding planner, I could make your wedding dream come true, no matter what outrageous theme you gave me!

Ok, back to the real world.  The other task I’ve made a tentative start on is looking for readings.  I’m finding this one quite challenging so far.  There are a lot of “popular” readings out there we wouldn’t touch with a barge pole, we’d much rather have something obscure that no-one knows than something people have already heard at four weddings this year, and then the rest seem to fall into two distinct categories.  Either very schmaltzy, over the top declarations of undying love or the supposedly tongue in cheek “alternative” wedding readings supposed to make everyone laugh, e.g. there’s one which mentions all the little annoying things “he” does such as leaving the toilet seat up.  Well, call me fussy if you like but I’d rather leave the lavatories out of my wedding ceremony altogether!  Why can’t there be something out there that’s touching without making you want to vomit and mildly humorous without having the congregation dissolve into ungainly guffawing?  What I think I’m looking for is the wedding reading equivalent of “Lark Rise to Candleford”: poignant but not tear-jerking, gently comedic but not offensive.  I may have to speed re-read a large chunk of Austen, Bronte and other classics in order to find something that will satisfy my delicate sensibilities!

I know Matt’s also on the move with his plans and has now scheduled a date for the Groom’s party to go (drinking) suit shopping so serenity continues to reign in our (newly tidied) household for now.  Watch this space for temperatures and tensions rising in the weeks to come!

The Hirsute of Happiness - 09/01/11 - 7:21pm

So whilst thinking of all sorts of wedding based requirements I have come across the most important one of all.  What facial hair to sport for the big day.  There is no way I’m going to be clean shaven.  I’ve not been clean shaven since the early nineties.  That’s for grownups.

Recently I have been cultivating a winter beard and I’m quite fond of it.  I don’t think a full beard is right for the wedding though (and I will need to get the JDV seal of approval for whatever I decide upon). 

So here’s the plan, today I shall shave and over the coming weeks I will chart the growth until the perfect length has been achieved. I can then reverse engineer this process and I will know the perfect point in June to shave in time for the big day.  I had considered posting pictures for an interactive poll so you can all vote for your favourite.  However it’s going to be a full time job for me to keep track of the days and I have trouble turning a computer on let alone uploading pictures.  So I’m not going to go with the poll.  Just the beard tracker, which will consist of me not shaving until JDV says ‘stop, that’s just about hairy enough’.

Now the New Year has arrived I’m getting the guys together and we’re going to go and try suits on.  We’re going to try this sober for the first run. Pictures of the groom’s party will be appearing on the site soon. The guys will not be in suits in these pictures, nor will they be sober.  

I now need to scour the interweb for suitable suit hire type places.  If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, then please drop me a line.  I need a mix of smart, cool and different.  In short I have no idea.  Generally suits and I don’t mix too well.  In fact I only have two suits and both I inherited from my father and were purchased in the 70s.  Back when my haircut was fashionable.  Still, James (50% of the best men) knows about suits, he even owns several of his own, and I’m trusting in his sartorial knowledge. 

Much of the wedding planning seems to be sorted (by JDV) and I seem to be in the limbo period of ‘too early to sort out yet’.  Could prove for an interesting April through June, especially the learning how to dance bit.  Still, in six months time we’ll be in Hawaii...........

What's in a Name? - 02/01/11 - 4:32pm

So, after saying I thought we’d have nothing to write about last week and managing to pull a fairy story out of the bag we really have had a wedding lite week this week.  We’ve done nothing, zilch, zero, nada.

I could expand upon the frustrations of undelivered parcels (damn you DHL!), cleaning up the computer hard drive and the 90 mins or so it took me today to install the drivers for our new printer but you probably don’t want to hear about those things.  Although seriously, what happened to the days when you just put the disc in, followed the installation wizard, switched the printer on and it just worked?!  Whilst all this has been going on Matt has been washing up, cleaning the kitchen and hanging up the newly washed bedclothes.  He seems to fit more happily into this more traditionally feminine role rather than showing any flair for technology or some of the more manly DIY jobs around the house (Thanks to Gary for the bath panel and Russell for sorting our plumbing dilemmas).  He does claim to be proficient in shelf-putting-up but until we move house I am unable to confirm this rumour.  However, he is taking me out to dinner this evening so I’ll let him off as he is good for those sorts of things!

All this thinking about traditional roles gives me an idea.  We’re very keen not to have a “traditional” wedding but equally there are just some things you can’t do without.  How do you strike a balance between traditional and unusual?  Here are some thoughts...

Traditional must haves:

·         Favours (although these shouldn’t be boring old sugared almonds these days, they should be much more interesting, great suggestions include pashminas for the ladies or little fans with the menu on)

·         Traditional role for Father of the Bride (no-one else is walking me down that aisle, although I might ask him to keep the speech brief!)

·         First Dance (you have to do this, even if it is just a shuffle round the floor, although a full on Strictly routine might be a bit of a big ask considering all the other things we have to organise and the uneven number of left feet we have between us)

·         Wedding Album (yes it’s great that we can fit years of holiday photos on one SD card these days but how sad would it be not to be able to flick through your wedding photos at the drop of a hat)

Traditional no thank-yous:

·         Wedding cars – we have no need for these, everything under one roof – it’s the future, I’ve seen it

·         Toastmaster – a stranger at my wedding, er no, we’ve got plenty of loudmouthed friends to boss everyone around

·         Bridesmaids bouquets – what for, honestly?  They’ll walk down the aisle with them, put them down, get drunk and lose them.  Corsages are way more fashion forward, prettier, cost effective and age appropriate

·         Bad cake – rock hard horrible fruit cake with a bad plastic bride and groom topper, yeuch, pick nice seasonal cake in an unusual style instead please

·         Chair covers – no need for these horrible bed sheets when you can hire stunning chairs for a small amount extra

·         Church – keep religion out of weddings (Ok this one might not be for everyone but it certainly suits us!)

Do let us know if you have any ideas of ways to make our wedding less traditional and more interesting.  They have to be cheap though as unfortunately we don’t have the means to fund an entire room full of fancy dress.....sigh.

Lastly, on the traditional / non-traditional point, is the changing of the name; or not.  I have not yet decided what I’ll be known as post-wedding and can’t seem to make up my mind.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with Keeler as a married name, it’s just I can’t help but think de Ville is still better!    I’ve been Jayne de Ville for more than 30 years and I’m not sure I’m ready to give her up for Mrs Jayne Keeler.  Who’s she?  Nobody knows her!  Help me make up my mind by voting in our newest poll for your favourite moniker.

Some Enchanted Evening - 26/12/10 - 10:05pm

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying the spoils of yesterday.  Matt and I are sitting here in our new socks eating leftover turkey and ham (thanks Mum!).  We’ve spent all day in our pyjamas watching MGM musicals and children’s films.  Today we have managed to get through Kiss Me Kate, SpyKids, Anchors Aweigh, Enchanted and The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (at least it was a different Mummy film this week!).  As I write we are enjoying a bit of period drama with Upstairs, Downstairs.  These are the things that make Sundays (and Christmas) great.

What with this being Christmas week you’d think we would have no wedding news at all as we’ve been so busy with last minute present buying and the all important last minute drinking, however, that is not the case.  I have a magical tale to tell.  Are you listening carefully children?  Here’s the Disney version:

Once upon a time in a snowy frozen land a beautiful maiden set about trying to plan the perfect wedding to her one true love, the Prince of Charming, California*.  The enchanted mirror in her mind showed her beautiful reflections of a ball in a country mansion containing tables decorated with incomparable floral arrangements, lace trimmings and stunning mismatched vintage china.  The maiden knew she needed to work fast to find the china she desired as the sands of time were running out.  She searched far and wide throughout the land and even resorted to employing the help of a wicked sorcerer named Excel in order to procure the best solution to her dilemma, but even the magic of the Microsoft Office wizard could not help her.  The maiden sighed an enormous sigh and cried out in frustration: “Can no-one provide me with the crockery I covet at a less than considerable cost?!”

Suddenly she heard a mysterious sound: “PING!”

Hotmail, the fairy godmother, had provided her with a magical key to open the portal to the fulfilment of her dreams.  Upon tumbling through the portal the maiden was introduced to a magical nymph at Country Garden Weddings just waiting to grant her wish.  You see, it turned out that another rather fickle maiden had changed her mind about vintage china after winning a competition in a wedding magazine.  Therefore the magical nymph had an excess of wishes weighing her little gossamer wings down.  “Please take this wish for as much vintage china as you desire from my shoulders, so that I can fly once more throughout the land and grant wishes to brides to be everywhere.”

“How can this be true?” gasped the maiden.  “Are there no hidden conditions?”

“There are but 2 provisos”, said the nymph.  “You must provide me with pictures of the ball and pay me £0.40 per mile after the first 25 miles for delivery”.  The maiden was bowled over.  “Done” she cried.

And they all lived happily ever after.

*Sorry, if you don’t watch Sons of Anarchy that won’t be very funny!

I'll Have a P please Bob - 19/12/10 - 7:04pm

All I can say at the moment is thank goodness we opted for a summer wedding.

Picture postcard perfect it may be outside if you’ve always dreamed of an ice white wedding with gorgeous fur accessories and petite penguin waiters (if I was Mary Poppins I would have tried to bring them home with me) but what a nightmare if you actually need to travel anywhere.  I’ve missed out on 2 gigs this weekend because of the snow which is not good news for my paltry pecuniary position in January!  Imagine if we’d opted for a December wedding and none of the guests had been able to make it up from the coast or the chairs or crockery couldn’t make it to us.  Disaaaaaster (as prime-time princess Craig Revel-Horwood would say).  I know that’s what we have wedding insurance for but still, I can only imagine the tantrums and tiaras that would get thrown around the room if that were to happen.

Speaking of crockery, I’ve spent all day today creating an amazing all singing all dancing formula laden spreadsheet  (Excel, it’s essentially witchcraft I tell you) which is supposed to tell me which supplier I should use to procure some pretty period pieces to add the unique vintage touches to our special day.  The possible permutations are plentiful.  Is it reasonable for a company to charge a mammoth £3.00 to hire a sugar bowl when they only charge £0.50 for a dinner plate instead of the £0.75 that other people do? And just what constitutes reasonable delivery / collection costs?  Certainly not a total of £80 for a journey of only 15 miles each way I can tell you.  Then again, if someone is willing to deliver from 40 miles away for free does that mean it’s perfectly permissible for them to charge more for cutlery?!  My brain hurts, where’s the accountant when you need him?  Oh, he’s sitting on the sofa with a lemsip pretending to be poorly whilst watching The Mummy, for the umpteenth time.  In a nutshell, the sorcery of Excel has allowed me to prune the poor proposals from the piles of paper parallel to my person but revealed that the final decision has to be based on further negotiation with the people providing the preeminent propositions.

I can now confirm that you will receive your usual update next week on Boxing Day.  We have decided you will get your post as predicted on the day in between private parental obligations.  There is currently some debate about what will be in this particular post although if providence prevails in the photographic area the Wedding Party Profiles will be presented.

Time now for the Gold Run.....


A Brides Right to Shoes - 12/12/10 - 8:41pm

As I sit backstage at a small theatre in Essex I can’t help but wonder where the past 5 months have gone.  Planning a wedding takes over to such an extent that time seems to disappear at an alarming rate.  When people asked me when the wedding was going to be I used to say, “oh, not until 1st July next year”, as if I had all the time in the world.  Now, I’m panicking that I only have another 6 ½ months to get it all completed.

I had an appointment to try on beautiful handmade wedding shoes at Emmy in Islington on Wednesday and was told that they would take 3-4 months to make.  Eek, that’s practically last minute!

This wedding shoe conundrum haunts me slightly.  The shoe must be:

a.      Both beautiful and fashionable

b.      High heeled yet comfortable

c.       Bridal yet recyclable

This is the one shoe I have to get right, and as we all know, I have a problem getting shoe buying right the first time, which is why there are in excess of 100 pairs of shoes, boots and sandals cluttering up the bottom of wardrobes and staircases in our flat. 

The possibilities of wedding shoe buying are endless.  If I’m to pay hundreds of pounds for a handmade pair how can I be sure that they will be the perfect shoe and that I won’t stumble across an even more wondrous pair a few weeks before the wedding?  But if I don’t buy an expensive well fitted pair how can I sure I’ll be comfortable in them all evening and that I won’t resort to dancing around the floor in my stockinged feet whilst the bridesmaids tower above me.  On reflection, choosing such Amazon women as bridesmaids could prove to be my undoing!

Oh well, I’m stuck with them now so I’d better get the dresses ordered.  You see now, this is what happens at this time of year, not only am I immersed in the planning of the wedding of the year but I also have Christmas, snow, parties and gigs to contend with.  Speaking of which, I’m due on stage soon so I really ought to keep this short.  After emailing the dress woman everyone’s measurements.....

Before the outraged masses of Bromley send multiple letters of complaint my way I’d like to state for the record that I’m very happy with all my lovely bridesamids.  In fact, I think over the next few weeks we might start to upload the Wedding Party Profiles on to the wedsite so that you can get to know them all better.  That will give you all something to look forward to on the Wintry Sundays ahead (oops, nearly typed sindays – that would be something entirely different!).

Christmas opening hours for the blog have yet to be decided so I’ll let you know when you can expect your next couple of posts next week as we may or may not be up to it on Boxing Day!

Groomed to Perfection - 05/12/10 - 5:47pm

Is it just me or were snow days so much better when you were a kid?  Two days off work this week due to public transport falling at the first meteorological hurdle.  And you know what, I kind of feel like I’ve wasted two days.  Yes I watched season eight of 24 and yes we even made it to the pub at the end of the road for a cheeky pint.  However (and it must be a sign of age) spending two days mostly in bed watching Jack Bauer make the world safe has left me feeling like I should have done more.  Even though it was impossible to get anywhere or do anything.  Snow never stopped Jack.

Mind you I generally feel right now that I should be doing more.

I’ve been mightily impressed by the way JDV has pulled the whole wedding planning thing together without becoming any crazier than she was when I first met her. It must be a girl thing.  Men don’t seem to see things in relation to the big picture.  I’m having trouble considering cake colour schemes and vintage styling when thinking about what cowboy boots to buy for the big day and where can I get a suit with flared trousers.  I’ve no idea what impact this will have on the table decorations.  My head hurts. I’ve managed little more than agreeing (to be fair actually agreeing, not the anything for a quiet life ‘yes dear’ kind of agreeing) with most of the decisions she has made. Left to my own devices our wedding would have looked like a Black Crowes video. (To be honest that would probably be brilliant and if the brothers Robinson are reading this you are more than welcome to attend, bringing your guitars is optional but preferred). Don’t get me wrong I’m really excited to be tying the knot, I just don’t find the planning process as easy as my beloved.  As a result it feels like she has done most of the work.

I did manage a few beers with the best men on Saturday and they are setting about planning a stag do for me.  They assure me that the twin requirements for alcohol and young ladies taking their clothes off to Motley Crue records will be met.  As Steve McQueen said in the Magnificent Seven ‘So far so good......’

Actually, much as I’m loathe to admit it Matt’s been quite helpful so far.  He took on the difficult job of finding us the perfect honeymoon and (albeit with a little bit of prodding) delivered on his promise much faster than expected.  He has also contributed a few lovely ideas to the planning process, such as making our Mothers the 2 witnesses to our marriage to help them feel more involved.  He has also been helpful on the practical side, e.g. tying all the ribbons on the save the date cards whilst I did all the stamping, and this Saturday he sat with me and helped to unpack all the individually boxed favour parts from 2 enormous boxes that arrived despite the snow (much thanks to Parcelforce!) on Friday.  It took us the best part of 2 episodes of 24 to navigate all the polystyrene, plastic wrapping, tissue paper and attached labels with scissors and fingers alike.  I bet Jack Bauer wouldn’t have managed so well.  Mind you, he probably wouldn’t have got the chance, after all, look at what happened to all the women he got involved with.....

All Quiet on the Wedding Front - 28/11/10 - 6:16pm

This week I have been mostly tying up loose ends.

Over lunch with 100% of the bridesmaids we made a final decision on 100% of their dresses, I have re-visited one of my potential florists, confirmed the chair hire and made enquiries with videographers and a potential invitation designer.  Phew!

The bridesmaids have also indicated that they are up for a make do and mend session in order to fulfil some of my vision!  We’ll let you know how that goes in due course, although I suspect anything like that will have to happen post-Xmas now.

Whilst many of the big things are now well on their way to being sorted I still feel a bit nervous about some of the more meaningful parts of the big day.  We have yet to make any decisions about readings, music and vows.  These are the parts of the day that will say something about us as a couple and I’m not entirely sure we know what it is that we want to say at the moment!  If you can think of any good readings or innovative pieces of music you think might suit us then please feel free to email us here at Wedding Towers with your suggestions.  One thing we do know though is that we won’t be writing our own vows.  I know it’s all the rage with trendy Hollywood types these days but I just can’t imagine writing anything that would come close to saying how I feel in an eloquent and non-cheesy way.  No thanks, we’ll take the best parts of the traditional sets of vows we’ve seen and splice them together rather than making fools of ourselves.  We’ll leave the writing to the blog, which we’re really quite enjoying actually!

Thanks to everyone that has voted in our cake poll so far.  The results are currently looking fairly even, although it is clear that no-one favours the fruitcake!  We’ll leave that one up there for those that haven’t yet voted and post some other ones in the coming weeks.

This week I will be mostly concentrating on finding the right supplier of the vintage crockery which I would like to use on the day.  The trick is finding someone to deliver to Bromley for a reasonable cost.  For some reason most of these people seem to reside in Devon or Norfolk.

The Bear Necessities - 21/11/10 - 10:40pm

It’s been a bit of a busy week this week, mainly due to the annual placating of the great Bear God or “Children in Need” as the uninitiated may refer to it.  To sum up my activities in a nutshell I have been raising money by playing BBC theme tunes and Bohemian Rhapsody arranged for flute choir (seriously!) in various BBC buildings and devoting my time on Appeal Night once again.  Sadly, this year I was unable to Blush my way through the event but that did mean I spent a lot of time doing some stealthy celeb spotting.  Spots this year include Alf from Home & Away, Fiona Bruce, Nick Knowles, all the Dragons, various Eastenders (Darren, Fat Boy, Heather) and a very happy and exhausted looking Take That being hustled out of the back door of the studio after their performance.

All this hard work (!) means that wedding plans have taken a back seat this week.  We have, however, made a few decisions that we can share with you.

We have chosen our photographer, Martin Hobby, an old friend of mine with lots of interesting ideas about how to shoot our big day, and we’re looking forward to the pre-shoot in the spring.  Martin will be around all day and all evening to capture the important moments and perhaps have a little fun with our guests later on.

 We have also made a decision about the cake.  It will be made by Zoe Clark and we are very confident that it will taste as good as it looks.  In fact, we’re launching our first interactive poll today to see which cake flavours you prefer.  We might not take any notice of your answers but we’re interested to see what you think!

Our next major decisions to be made are on florists and invitations.  We haven’t finished our floristry appointments yet so unfortunately we’re going to be a bit behind in making that decision but we hope to have that done in the next couple of weeks.  Invitations are another matter.  We had hoped to make them ourselves but I’m starting to think twice about that.  I’m sure there are all sorts of inventive things we could do to create some stationery but I’m a little worried that they might not be up to the standard that I would require!  Besides, there are other bits and pieces I’d quite like to manufacture along the way and I’d rather spend time on the things I’m going to be good at.

As for me, I’ve spent the last week generally annoyed with everything (except my beloved bride to be), swearing lots and for the latter part of the week nursing various hangovers.  On reflection I’m really happy with the way the wedding plans are coming together. If I can deal with the pending distraction of England thrashing the colonial upstarts in the world’s greatest sport we’ll be full steam ahead in planning the best wedding of 2011.  And yes I’m bloody well talking to you Windsor.

One Dress to Thrill Them All - 14/11/10 - 8:45pm

Today’s entry is mostly about The One.

No, not my wonderful soon to be husband.

The dress, One dress to thrill them all....

Firstly, let’s dispel a few myths:

There is not one dress per person and you will not “know” instantly when you find the one.

There are a number of perfect dresses out there for each bride and it’s about finding the right combination of:

a.       Your personal style

b.      Your wedding style

c.       Comfort level

d.      Price

I had a number of ideas of what I wanted and had researched enough to find out who my favourite designers were before venturing into a bridal boutique but I have still tried on a vast selection of dresses in different shapes and sizes and by different designers and found that not everything I liked was what I’d hoped it would be and that not everything I didn’t like was as bad as I had initially thought.

What I also discovered is that there is no substitute for great design and beautiful materials.  There are so many dresses out there with little or no personality along with more cheap polyester than you can rustle a petticoat at (one word, Berketex) but innovative design and sumptuous fabrics come at a premium.  There are certain things it is imperative to get right when planning a wedding and the dress was definitely one of my no compromise areas so we have thrown the net and the budget wide to discover The One.

I am pleased to inform you that it has now been selected from Blackburn Bridal Couture in Blackheath and I am looking forward to it arriving from America in about 6 months time.  Couture takes time darlings.

Now, clearly I’m not going to tell you anything specific about The One but I thought you might want to know about the runners up.  I am confident that they are different enough from my final choice for this sneak peek not to give anything away about the gorgeous design I will be wearing on the day.

I can’t tell you how almost swayed I was by the first runner up.

Carmen by Jenny Packham.  A pure silk halter neck Art Deco style gown with hand sewn sequins and bugle beading with a gorgeous fan feature at the waist.

N.B. This is the oyster version.  I would have opted for the ivory version which is a bit more bridal.

Jenny Packham art deco silk wedding dress

The only way I can possibly describe the way I felt when I put this dress on in Morgan Davies, Islington was “a million dollars”.  It is a truly stunning dress which clings in all the right places.  I would absolutely wear this dress and am tempted to look into the Jenny Packham ready to wear range for something similar next time I have a fabulous event to go to!  Ultimately though the look was very Hollywood glam and 1920s which, whilst being things I love, are not really in keeping with the spirit of the wedding we are planning.

From White One by Pronovias. A strapless corseted lace dress with a-line splits at the front and a long train at the back.

Lace strapless wedding dress from White One by Pronovias

This dress was something of a surprise to me as I swore I wouldn’t go anywhere near a strapless creation.  However, the internal corsetry provided me with plenty of support and a fantastic figure, enough to make it the second runner up.  It also looks fantastic with a full length mantilla style veil and was the only dress I looked at seriously that came in at under £1000, an unbelievable price given the quality of this dress.  However, the fairytale feeling I felt when I first tried it on faded quickly away when the woman in La Boutique, Beckenham told me it’s one of their best sellers.  Clearly, she doesn’t know me very well!  She couldn’t have talked herself out of a sale more quickly if she’d told me someone from Big Brother had recently been seen in one.

There was also the £4000 dress.  Don't worry, I wasn't about to spend £4k on a dress.  Even I know that would have been too much given the overall wedding budget.  However, I did see someone selling a pre worn one online for half that and was very tempted.  I won't show you a picture as it is by the same designer as The One but I can say that whilst it was very much up my rock n roll street, when I tried on the sample in the boutique (a catwalk size 6, eek!) I decided that whilst it was definitely a one in a million dress it didn't quite match the style of our wedding and ultimately I wasn't prepared to go through the hassle of buying a dress that had been fitted for someone else and have to pay for any other subsequent alterations as well.

I could write pages more about all the different dresses I have tried on, including the obligatory huge princessy one (Not for me, I can’t stand the idea of no-one being able to sit next to me all day and having to be helped to pee!), but I think other subjects need addressing as well.

Whilst we’re on the subject of dresses:  I finally took 100% of the bridesmaids to Notting Hill this week to try on their one dress!  One dress to wrap them all....

Without going into too much detail the dresses I have picked for the bridesmaids are a novel American (again) design allowing each of them to style the dress to suit themselves.  With 4 adult bridesmaids of varying shapes and (bust) sizes I didn’t think it would be fair to shoehorn them all into one dress that wouldn’t necessarily suit them all so I have chosen a design that can be adapted for each person’s figure and hopefully be worn again many times in the future.

I am pleased to say that everyone looked fabulous in the dresses and pending a few discussions about lengths we are pretty close to making a purchase!  We’re keen to do this before the new year VAT rise makes them more expensive, along with everything else we need to buy.

Next wedding steps are stationery and confirming other ad hoc wedding suppliers.  Then wedding plans will inevitably tail off as we move towards Christmas.  Following that I’m looking forward to getting some bargains on bits and pieces for the wedding in the January sales.  Fingers crossed!


Cool Hand Matt - 07/11/10 - 9:33pm

It’s been an interesting week, with the trials of normal life invading the game of wedding planning.

Now, breaking a freezer whilst attempting to de-ice it is stupid, but when the freezer is part of the same unit as the fridge it borders on the moronic (and managing to burn your hand on the freezing gas that escapes a broken freezer doesn’t bear talking about).  So Saturday evening and Sunday morning was spent purchasing new white goods.  None of this activity was helped by the monster hangover I was sporting due to a smashing evening of beer and bourbon with a group of work friends down in Lewes for the fireworks.  We also have a new balcony feature, that I call knackeredfridgefreezerbuggerit, until I can talk someone into coming round to manhandle it to its final resting place.

On the plus side I’ve booked the honeymoon.  Vegas baby!!  Then aloha Hawaii!!  I was recommended, by several people, a terribly helpful chap called Danny at Dreamtime Travel in Bexhill.  I can’t recommend him enough people.  If you want to book a trip to any of the former colonies then he’s your man.  If anyone reading this has any helpful hints ‘n’ tips for Vegas, Hawaii or honeymoons in general then please drop me a line.

We’re cracking on through the other plans for the social event of the season and I will hand over control to JDV to bring you up to speed.

Thanks Matt.

We are indeed stepping up the planning now (in between appliance purchasing) in order to get a number of things booked before the onslaught of the festive season and all the attendant beer-related activities.

On Tuesday we visited Hall of Cakes in Bexley for more cake tasting and cake construction discussion.  (On a complete tangent, you wouldn’t believe how much planning a wedding teaches you about all sorts of things, I can now talk with confidence about what makes a diamond acceptable, how to stop the tiers of a cake from sinking into one another and what types of roses I prefer!)  We instantly warmed to Nicola who talked enthusiastically about her craft and was very interested in getting the design just right for the type of wedding we’re planning.  We also munched our way through several flavours of cake during the hour or so that we spent with her.  I think that had we visited her first we would have been very impressed and liable to book her on the spot to create our wedding cake such was the impression she made on us.  Now, before I continue I must stress that it was indeed good cake.  It was tasty and delicious with lovely buttery buttercream icing of a quality far superior to that of the Sara Lee gateaux from Iceland that your mother probably rolls out on special occasions.  However, it just wasn’t quite as moist and flavourful as the others we have tasted.  Unfortunately her prices were also much higher than anticipated so despite the fact that we liked Nicola very much her place in our wedding must be relegated to this soon to be obsolete post.

On Wednesday we had arranged to meet our second photographer for a discussion.  After an initial false start (yes Wednesday was the 3rd Martin) we spent an enjoyable evening going over all the different styles and shots we’d like to see and coming up with weird and wonderful places to shoot at Sundridge Park Manor.  Now, given that Martin is an old friend who still knows a number of people that will be reading the blog it would be unfair to dissect our meeting in the manner of the above, but I think we can say that we were very impressed and that the photography decision will be one of the most difficult we have to make.  Check out Martin Hobby Photography to see some of Martin’s work and perhaps spot a few people you might recognise.

Friday evening was spent enjoying cut price Soho cocktails with Amy (whilst the freezer fiend was working on that hangover at the coast).  Most of the evening’s conversation is legally privileged under the Best Friend Act 1998, however we did sketch out some basic hen plans and once Big Chief Riley has completed some further research she will be in touch to find out who‘s in.

Next week the fearsome foursome and I are off to try on bridesmaids dresses so I’m sure there will be plenty to report from that outing!  I’m also getting closer to making a decision about THE DRESS (why oh why do I have to decide now!) but obviously I won’t be telling you too much about that.

Lastly, Matt’s gone all Columbo on me....

Just one more thing gang.  On Friday night at The Hob in Forest Hill The Electric Experience (the band that will be rocking our wedding) will be playing.  Anyone with no other pressing engagements please feel free to join us (assuming I don’t break anything else in the flat) to enjoy the rock and help me work on my next hangover.




Let Them Eat Cake (lots and lots of cake) - 31/10/10 - 9:47pm


N.B. You must appreciate this post doubly much this week as I have had to write the whole thing twice!

This week Matt and Jayne headed down to Brighton for a well deserved break from wedding planning to relax and re-energise.  This break was mostly spent shopping (vintage and antiques of course darlings), eating (seafood and wood pigeon), drinking (Perrier Jouet and organic ales and ciders) and playing retro seaside games on the pier (2p pushy-pushy machines, crane grab and, er, Tokyo Police Interceptors).


Highlights included:

·         Finding a groovy hat shop

·         Drinking cocktails and champagne in the Art Deco surroundings of The Grand Hotel

·         Matt winning Pirate Duck on the pier after only 4 tries

Low points were:

·         Wind and occasional rain

·         Not going back in time to get that vintage Jaeger cape I had my eye on

·         Our room being hotter than a Swedish sauna (even with the window open!)

We would recommend:

·         The Grand Hotel, central location, good restaurant and great service

·         To Be Worn Again, reasonably priced vintage clothing

·         English’s of Brighton, immense seafood restaurant

·         The Earth and Stars, best pub food ever and great selection of local beers

We came home with:

·         Pirate Duck

·         Bowler Hat

·         Playboy August 1978

All in all 2 days of fun were had by all!  Pictures of Pirte Duck to follow when I get the computer sorted out!

Still we’re home now and it’s straight back into the wedding planning.  We had a consultation today with Zoe of Zoe Clark Cakes (soon to be The Cake Parlour) in Wimbledon.  Zoe gave us a number of ways to bring our ideas to life, along with a large package of cake to take home and taste.  We can confirm that the cake was moist and delicious and we look forward to her full quotation with full stomachs and happy faces!

We have our next cake tasting session on Tuesday at Hall of Cakes in Bexley.  After that we think we will have to make a decision as all this cake tasting is threatening to undo all our good dieting work.  Speaking of which, we are about to begin the second annual Detox November during which we will be preparing for the Christmas party month of December by eating less, exercising more and drinking as little as possible.  Please help us out by suggesting only healthy outings over the next 4 weeks!

Last but not least our weekend has been topped off by the one and only Alice Cooper performing our song live on BBC1.  Watch his performance on the Strictly Come Dancing results show.

You're the Gymspiration - 24/10/10 - 9:10pm

It’s been a bit of a lean week for wedding planning, but on the up side I have had my hair and nails done, warmed Big Chief Riley’s new flat and celebrated Bridesmaid Evans’s 30th birthday.

Today I was supposed to visit another vintage wedding fair but fatigue got the better of me and my mother.  We decided it might be better to go to one next year once I already have the dress and need some accessories.

I’ve mostly spent this week researching wedding dresses online.  The designer that has caught my eye is American and unfortunately there are only a few stockists in this country.  I’ve tried on a few dresses from the current collections but I’m also looking into second hand dresses from last years Rock and Roll bride collection (could that be more appropriate?!).  Some people might not like the idea of a second hand dress but I’m all for it.   If it’s only been worn once then why not?  It could be a way of getting a dress I might never be able to afford otherwise.  I’m feeling the pressure to choose the most fabulous outfit possible so I’m not making any decisions until I’m absolutely sure!

Today has mostly been spent researching the exciting topic of chair hire.  The chairs currently on site at Sundridge Park Manor are those horrible conference chairs you get when you go on a course (see below) so unfortunately they won’t do at all.  Is that “chair covers?” I hear you say?  No, please no!  I know it’s a bit snobby but neither of us can bear the white sheet and tacky organza sash look either.  So, chair hire it is.  If anyone knows of a reasonably priced chair hire company in London / Kent please let us know as this is not the most fulfilling piece of research I have had to do so far!

One last little thing to mention is that we’ve made some progress on ideas for the first dance today - the iPod provided us with Gymspiration.  We haven't fully decided yet and we’re not telling you what it’s likely to be, but we can tell you it won't be this classic:



So many appointments, so little time... - 17/10/10 - 9:43pm

Today Jayne and (a slightly different) 75% of the bridesmaids went along to (yet another) wedding fair at Sundridge Park Manor.  The main purpose of this was so the girls could get a sneak preview of the venue for the wedding of the year!  I am pleased to say that the approval rating was high and we made a few discoveries and decisions along the way.

We now have an appointment booked in to try on the bridesmaids dresses I’ve chosen and I’m looking forward to getting the girls further involved in all my crazy creative schemes.  I’m hoping that when Kelly moves back into her house at the end of November it can become Wedding Central and we can all sit around the kitchen table having wedding and wine summits!

Plans for the wedding are finally starting to fall into place now, although we don’t seem to be getting much time to ourselves!  We also have appointments booked in over the next four weeks for: a 2nd florist, a 2nd photographer, 2 further cake tastings and a vintage wedding fair as well as dealing with my imminent 33rd birthday.  We’re looking forward to spending a couple of days away after my birthday in order to re-group a little and focus our minds.  In reality we’ll probably get drunk, eat too much food and fall asleep in front of a hotel television at a very un-rock ‘n’ roll hour but all of that sounds pretty good to me right now as well.

Final word: It’s also important to note that the wedding slimming is going quite well.  We’re managing to get to the gym a good deal more and I only have a few pounds left to lose to get down to my goal weight.  This is making getting mostly naked in front of total strangers whilst trying on wedding dresses somewhat easier to handle.

A Groom with a View - 10/10/10 - 4:07pm

Today went downhill from the point I dropped my lunch on the living room floor and had to replace it with yoghurt.  Much as I like plain yoghurt it’s not as good as a jacket potato.  Mind you, you can eat both with a spoon.

JDV is happily destroying the kitchen whilst investigating party favour making.  It’s a little too early to be sure what they are but they involve lots of chocolate and swearing.

So I thought I would seize this opportunity to write my first ever attempt at a blog type thing for the interweb.

It appears that we are on track with wedding plans.   We’re set a date and booked a venue, met some cake people and some photography people and JDV has even started looking at dresses.

As for me, well, having spent thirty two years assuming that my responsibilities were:

·         Buy Ring

·         Buy Suit

·         Arrive Sober

It now becomes clear that there is much more for me to do. 

True, some of it involves just nodding and making approving noises when shown colour swatches and pictures of flowers in the ever growing pile of wedding magazines in the living room.  (Seriously, I had no idea there was so much mileage in wedding mags, I’m going to build a fort out of them to hide in as soon as I get over the tragic loss of my lunch).

But there are plenty of games for me to play.

Thus far I’ve booked the band (it will be rock) and started to sort out the music that will not be provided by the aforementioned band (it will be rock). 

Honeymoon planning is also underway and I’ll be spending the next month playing different travel companies off against each other to come up with the best deal we can.  If anyone has any great tips for Vegas or Hawaii then please let me know.

I’m waiting for the New Year to gather the best men and groomsmen together to discuss suits and stag do but I’m thinking outlandish, exceptional and just the right side of unnecessary.  For both.

Over the next week we will be further investigating cakes, flowers and photographers, but everything will be taking a back seat to watching Guns n Roses at the O2 on Wednesday.

So it’s still early days but the time keeps ticking down and we’re still on schedule for the social event of the season.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.  I’ll be the grinning idiot in the daft suit.

Crazy Wedding Fair Month - 03/10/10 - 8:31pm

It would seem that October is crazy wedding fair month.  Every wedding supplier in the country is out there promoting their wares to anyone that will listen at every given opportunity.  Thankfully, it’s now 4 down, 2 or 3 to go!

On Saturday Jayne and 75% of the bridesmaids went to the National Wedding Show at Earls Court 2.  This is “the daddy” of all wedding fairs and consists of sweeping aisles of stalls presenting everything from photography, wedding cars and cakes to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Puppetry of the Penis and pants that give you a bigger behind!

The highlights of the day included trying on a Jenny Packham dress (amazing!), finding a local supplier for something I have been scouring the UK for (hurrah!), and of course, the champagne bar (mmm!).

The amount of information on offer is almost overwhelming but having returned home with bags full of leaflets and magazines I should be kept quiet for some time....

Following large amounts of bubbly (still a good idea) I decided to get up on Sunday morning and do it all again.  At the not so bright and early time of 12:00 I met my mum on the train in order to attend the London Vintage Bridal Fair at the Olympia Hilton Hotel.

There were some beautiful vintage (and vintage-esque) items on sale but overall this was a little bit disappointing.  The dresses available were, according to my mother, dirty looking and worn (so not getting what vintage is all about!).  However, wear and tear aside they were, unfortunately, erring on the frumpy side of vintage as opposed to the elegant and poised side.  There were a lot of very high necklines (ok for your small breasted bride) and long sleeves (ok for your winter bride) and very little of the 30s satin chic I was hoping for.  Thankfully we did get in for free as I picked up complimentary tickets on Saturday so every cloud and all that.

I think these events are better suited to finding vintage accessories to complement your dress rather than for finding the dress itself.  Still, second time lucky when I attend the London Vintage Wedding Fair in Notting Hill on 24th October.  Maybe?

Behind the scenes Matt has been researching the honeymoon, a mammoth task involving finding the best possible deal for this staggeringly expensive slice of paradise.  If anyone has any recommendations for Las Vegas or Hawaii please let us know as we’re determined to squeeze as much as possible out of our burgeoning budget.

Carnage & Cake - 26/09/10 - 6:04pm

Warning: Wedding fairs and hangovers do not mix.

This morning Jayne and Matt dragged themselves out of bed following a heavy night over at the Crown & Anchor.

We made our way over to the wedding fair at the Bromley Court Hotel to source further local suppliers.  We needn’t have bothered.  Most of the suppliers there were offering cheap and / or tacky goods (with the exception of Beckenham Flower Studio whose flower arrangements were innovative and interesting) and even the chocolate cake tasting did nothing to assuage the sickness within.

Speaking of cake tasting, let’s talk about Choccywoccydoodah.  We visited the infamous Brighton store yesterday for a consultation with their Creative Director, Christine Taylor.

We were led up the stairs behind the counter to a dark, windowless room all swathed in red velvet and full of amazing cakes.  We were sat on a curved sofa opposite a table covered in starry black cloth.  It was a little bit like visiting a fortune teller.

Christine asked us a number of questions about colours and styles for the wedding and came up with an idea for a design.  Then, we tasted the cake....

There’s no other way of saying it, it was heavenly.  Even the flavours we didn’t particularly like, we could tell that they were very good cake indeed.  We do have cake tastings booked with a couple of other suppliers but they will have to go a long way to beat this.

We will admit that we did have one misgiving.  We felt that, given the shop’s reputation, we were supposed to be awed by the whole process and she did nearly lose us when she started talking about adding something to the “storyline”.  It’s still only cake woman!

However, we do know that if we do to purchase our cake from Choccywoccydoodah it will be one of the most interesting designs you could envisage and be some of the best tasting cake you will ever have had!

We’ve had some feedback from our subscribers about commenting on the blog.  We thought this was a service that Getting Married offered but unfortunately we were mistaken.  We’re going to try opening the Guestbook now so that you can comment in there instead.  We’ll see how this works for everyone and then keep it open or close it down depending on how it goes.  If you are commenting on a specific blog post please reference the title / date in your comment so that we can respond appropriately.

Finally, today is the day we have chosen to reveal our top secret location!  We hope you like it as much as we do!

And so it begins.... - 19/09/10 - 3:50pm

Jayne has been checking out old and new things (although nothing borrowed or blue) at the Best Brides Wedding Fair with Foz this morning.

I can't recommend this kind of event enough.  It helps give you a good idea of what you do want (and what you don't....  Cheap cakes from Croydon and flat champagne from Costco, no thanks!).

Old things discovered today: our friend Davinia (also newly engaged) turning up as we were leaving, an old university friend's wedding in a photographers leaflet and the dress I wore to my friend Alison's wedding as a bridesmaids dress at a wedding featured on another photographer's website. Go compare!

Bridesmaids Dresses Complete PhotographyAlisons Wedding

New things discovered today: some lovely local suppliers - I met a couple of great DJs with insider information on our venue, some fabulous cake makers and enthusiastic florists.

Actually, this is the first time I've started to be quite overwhelmed by the whole process.  How on earth do you choose between all these wonderful people?  Any tips greatfully received!

Ladies - I'd like to run something past you....

To have a make-up artist or not?  I met one today who runs Mary Kay parties.  Do you think I should book her for a party so we can see what she does, and maybe get some good products at the same time?  (Obviously, it won't be as good as Gwenda's Virgin Vie party though...!)  Let me know what you think.

Next week Matt & I will be visiting the scrumptious Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton for a consultation with their Creative Director.  Then I might be doing all this again on Sunday as I have discovered there's a wedding fair at the Bromley Court Hotel next Sunday.

After that we'll be revealing our top secret venue to those not already in the know....

Save the Date! - 17/09/10 - 1:28pm

Welcome to our wedding blog!


If you are reading this inaugural post you are the lucky holder of one of Jayne and Matt’s limited edition golden (er, some of them are pink. Ed.) tickets.


Attached are some images of the other designs you could have won.


Save the date cards for Matt and Jaynes wedding 1st July 2011 save the date designs for Matt and Jaynes wedding 1st July 2011


We hope you’re finding it easy to navigate our wedsite.  We know it looks a little bare at the moment but we have lots of exciting pages prepared to upload at various stages in the process.  We’re particularly keen that everyone looks out for the lift sharing page so that people can be green and travel together to the venue.


You can be notified when new pages are uploaded by signing up for updates from us so that you can keep abreast of our ups and downs and, where appropriate, comment on our progress.  We know some of you will be dying to pass comment on some of our crazier ideas (Doves, who mentioned doves?)….


Even if you are too shy to comment there will be other opportunities for you to help out in the wedding making process by taking part in our upcoming interactive polls, e.g. Which kind of cake do you prefer?  What would you choose as the first dance?, which will be popping up along the way, or by uploading your favourite photos of the happy couple.  Bear in mind we do have approval of any photos / comments so any fat pictures will be rejected!


Thanks for checking out the site, remember to sign up for the updates which we aim to upload every Sunday – the top secret venue to be announced next Sunday – and we will leave you with this breaking news:


Jayne will be spending this Sunday morning at the Best Brides fair at Bromley Civic Centre hoping to find local suppliers for the wedding.  We’ll let you know how that goes but in the mean time if you have any recommendations for local cake-makers, florists or photographers please leave a comment to let us know.


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