Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hair Trials

I recently had a hair trial with my friend Mark, who also happens to be my hairdresser and also one of our witnesses for the wedding! Well, actually I had 2 hair trials - but I'll get to that later.

Here's me, all prepared for a couple of hours sitting still doing nothing!

Meanwhile, Mark patiently sewed the clips into my hair extensions. Please ignore the very lazy dog int he background.

Next, mark curled the hair extensions.

Then he got started clipping them onto my head - as you can see, he's not always gentle!

Next came about an hour of curling and spraying, before he started pinning all the curls up.

When he was finished, I was pleased with it - I love the messy, unstructured look to it because my hair will never, ever stay in a style for more than an hour or two so I wanted something that would still look good if it started to fall out.

However, I wasn't as impressed when we put the veil in. I originally wanted the veil to be attached low, so that it was coming out from the bottom of the hair. This didn't work too well with this style, as the curls are pinned quite low on  the head, so we attached the veil above the curls instead.

I do like how this looks, but it completely covers the hair style. I figured there was no point spending ages on styling my hair if the veil was going to cover it up anyway.

So we decided to have another hair trial, where we would pint he curls higher in order to accommodate the veil. We also decided to use rollers instead of a curling wand, to get more volume at the crown.

So, fast forward a week and we're at hair trial number two! It was much the same process as the first one, so I wont bore you with the same pictures again - let's just skip to the finished product.

I really love how this one turned out. There is more volume and Mark used this foam pad thing attached to a comb to make the curls sit higher.

Also, we can attache the veil underneath the curls! Hurray!

Obviously we'll tidy it up properly so that the comb wont show. But how nice does this look? I'm so happy with it all.

I even went out for a meal for my friends birthday with it in, to see how well it holds up!

This is about 5 hours after the style was first done - I think it has lasted quite well, but even though some curls have dropped and some pieces fallen out, it looks good.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Photo Booth Props: Speech Bubbles

Remember how my dad made me some wooden speech and thought bubbles to use as props in our photo booth? Well, I finally got around to painting them!

I used black chalkboard paint, which was about £7 from B&Q:

They also had this chalkboard paint in bright pink and bright blue, which looked amazing, but in the end I decided to stick with good ol' classic black.

I think I put about 3 coats on in the end, just to be safe. The instructions say to use at least 2 coats, and after two coats it did look good. I'm just cautious like that.

I also painted the backs with a single coat, even though no-one will really care, and the backs wont be shown in the photos or anything. I just like it to look neat.

After they dried I had to go out and buy some chalk so we could test them out!

How cool did these turn out?? I really love them, and I can't wait for our guests to use them in the photo booth. I hope people get really creative with them!

Quick cost breakdown:

wood: free (my dad had it lying around)
labour: free (my dad did it)
paint: £7.99 (although we still have about 3/4's of the pot of paint left!)
chalk: 99p

So that makes the total cost under £10 - and we have enough left over to be able to make a few more if we want to. Total bargain, if I do say so myself!

Little updates: bridesmaids and favours

The bridesmaid dresses arrive (super quickly!) and they are gorgeous! Only problem is, they don't fit. Fortunately, we were able to send them back to be replaced with the next size up so everything should be fine. The eBay seller that we ordered them from was so lovely and really helpful - and I really do think the dresses look lovely - even if they wouldn't fasten all the way up!

Excuse the slightly weird expressions on my sisters' faces - they did like the dresses, I promise!

I also bought the test tubes for our Damson Vodka Shot favours!

100 tubes, with caps for £15.99. Bargain!

I'm really excited about these - the plan is to make little cards to attach with ribbon, which will double as place cards. I think they're going to look really nice.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Spending money = eek!

There have been several wedding related updates since my last post - arguably the most important of which is that I finally ordered my dress! Hurray!

I'm so excited - I can't wait until it is ready and I can try it on!

I also ordered a simple bolero to wear with the dress, which I got off eBay for £15. I will try to remember to take a photograph of it at some point.

The second very exciting purchase this week was the bridesmaid dresses. You might remember the post where I revealed the bridesmaid dresses and how I mentioned that I wanted to order them soon in case they became unavailable. Well, guess what? When I checked again, I couldn't find them anywhere! Just my luck. But it all worked out okay, because while looking for the original dresses, I found some other dress that I loved!

This dress is very similar to the first dress I chose - it has the same halter neck, very similar bust and same flowing skirt. The only real difference is that this dress is chiffon instead of satin, but I think chiffon will be more comfortable in August anyway!

This dress is available from an eBay seller called Dresselicious for just over £40 each. I have ordered 4 of them, but 2 of them are pre-order because they didn't have the correct size left in stock, so they will take 6 to 8 weeks to make.

Just last night, I decided to buy the test tubes that we will be serving our Damson Vodka Favours in. I got 100 of the 20ml tubes, with caps for £15.99. Absolute bargain! And this past weekend, we got the hair extensions that I'll be wearing on the day.

It is really nice to actually be able to buy things for the wedding, as opposed to just looking, and bookmarking websites! I am really enjoying be able to choose things and not have people say "well, come back when it's a bit closer to the wedding".
However, it also feels a bit weird - to be actually spending the money in "the wedding fund" is a very strange feeling indeed!

One thing that is making me feel better however, is the quote from our venue. The final figure was less than I was expecting (not dramatically less, but pleasingly less!) and I feel like I can relax now, knowing exactly what money will be going where.

Anyway, we will have a busy wedding related weekend coming up - we're going to finalise the guy's suit choices on Saturday, then off to a wedding fayre at our venue on Sunday. I can't wait!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

T minus 6 months: Visiting the venue again.

We booked our wedding venue in February 2010. We went to view it, chatted with the wedding coordinator and loved it (and the prices!) so much that we booked it and sent the deposit that same day.

That was a year ago (doesn't time fly?!) and, although it might sound strange considering how obsessed I am with this wedding planning business, we have had no contact with the venue over the last year. None at all, since they sent us the receipt for the deposit, back in February 2010.

I will admit, when I realised that it had been a year since we had spoken to the venue, it worried me a little. I mean, what if they had forgotten about us? What it the woman who took our booking had made a mistake, or forgotten to put our names in the book, or quit her job and not told anyone that we had actually made a booking? What if the prices had gone up dramatically and we couldn't afford it now? What if the venue said that all our ideas wouldn't work and we couldn't have them? What if the celebration garden, which hadn't even been built last time we were there, wasn't nice? What if the whole place had been burned down in a horrible kitchen accident and no-one had told me?

As you can see - I'm a worrier. You're probably wondering why, if I was so worried, I hadn't been in touch with the venue over the last year. I'll tell you - because I was worried they would think I was bothering them, being a bridezilla, or just a bit too OTT. You see, I didn't actually need to speak to them about anything over the last year, so what would have been the point in contacting them?

Anyway, since 6th February this year was exactly 6 months until our wedding, I decided to email our venue to find out when we could arrange things like food tastings and just general chats to iron out all the details. The coordinator got called us up and invited us to come in to have a chat with and another look round the venue. So that's what we did today!

We met with the lovely Carrie, who wasn't working at Pryors Hayes when we originally booked. She was so nice and extremely helpful - she answered almost every question I had written down, without me even having to ask them! We chatted about all the little details so she can get a full price quote emailed out to us soon and explained that we had booked at a good time because a few months after we did, they started charging for the use of the marquee. We still get it for free because we that's what was agreed when we booked - lucky us!

So many things have changed since we were there last - but all for the better! The menu's have been changed to be made simpler, but what we wanted was still on there, and they are willing to make us a different dessert just because that's what Karl wanted.

When we pulled into the car park, this was our view:

You can just about see the top of the gazebo where we will be married! Whoop! I was so distracted trying to see the celebration garden that I almost didn't notice the other big change...

Hang on a minute! That huge, white marquee looks much bigger than it did last time we were here! In fact, it looks like a different marquee altogether! Well, that's because it is! It is a much more solid structure, which walls and actual doors instead of just tent flaps and it is about 4 times bigger than it used to be!

To put it into perspective, last time we were there, we were told that the marquee could hold about 40 people for the meal, meaning we would have to have our meal in the club house. No big deal, the club house is still lovely, and we could use the marquee for the DJ and dance floor. However, withe new giant marquee, it can fit 150 people for the meal, meaning that we can have all of our tables set up in there, plus the DJ and dance floor! Hurray! This makes me very happy - the marquee is so lovely and it will be nice to have the whole wedding in there as opposed to dancing in one part and sitting in another. I also got very excited when Carrie started talking about the marquee being finished - it will be carpeted (dark grey) and have the white swag style curtains all around the walls. It sounds like it will be gorgeous, and here's the best part: the ceiling will have a star cloth! I might have even gasped when she told me that part - I love the look of star cloths! 
Star cloth example (source)
Amazing, right? 

We talked about the photo booth, and the various places it could go, about the timing of the ceremony and meal etc, the food we wanted, the drinks we wanted, the decorations we wanted, the music we wanted - everything! 

Then we went to look at the celebration garden. Remember, when we booked the venue, it hadn't actually been built yet. I've been drooling over the photos of it for months, but we never actually got around the driving up there to see it in person. 

It's a shame the weather was to rubbish, as it looks much nicer in the sunshine! But it's still lovely - smaller than I thought it was, but that's a good thing as it makes it more intimate and we don't have to worry about people not being able to see or hear us. 

Here is Carrie showing my mum the gazebo where we will stand to get married. It has lights in the roof so it will be lit up in the evening, and the speakers inside it will play our music, plus project our voices to out guests during the ceremony. 

Inside the gazebo will be just the registrars, our 2 witnesses and us. I'm quite excited about this because I think it will feel quite intimate, being slightly separated from our guests - I will be bale to pretend that we are alone! lol 

We discussed the seating for the ceremony - the chairs are gold with pink cushions, so we will be having white chair covers on them. Carrie suggested buying some purple and green ribbon and tying the together around the backs of the chairs along the aisle, which is an idea that I love! She showed me a photo of the covered chairs set up outside and it looked stunning! The chairs for inside the marquee are silver with black cushions, so we will probably cheap them as they are without the covers. I think if they were covered, it would be a bit too much white inside the marquee! 

We also discussed our photos, and Carrie told us about the pond they have out on the golf course. They will drive us over to the pond on golf buggies to have our private photos taken, which is something I am really looking forward to! Not only will it be loads of fun to ride around in a golf buggy, but it will be nice to have a few minutes away from all the noise etc, just us (and a photographer!). 

The pond is over there, somewhere...
Golf buggies!
I am so glad we went to visit Pryors Hayes again - it has renewed my excitement and put my mind at ease. The most exciting thing was finding out about the new, bigger marquee and that we can have our meal and reception in there. This also means that, since we are not taking up the golfers club house, we can set up the marquee the day before the wedding. I know that as much as I trust the staff at Pryors Hayes, I would be worrying all morning about whether everything was set up as I wanted it, and had already made plans to send a friend there early to move things around if needed. If we can set up the day before then I will be able to relax, knowing everything is perfect! 

There is a wedding fayre at Pryors Hayes on 6th March, and I will probably go along just to bask in the loveliness of our venue again. If you're int he area, you should definitely pop in to see it for yourself!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Of Bridesmaid Dresses and Wedding Licenses

I know, I know - I haven't updated for ages, but I have been crazy busy at work. Deepest apologies, and to make it up to you, I will show you  picture of the bridesmaid dress that we have finally decided on!

From the front
From the back
Pretty, right? They don't come with the belts, so I'm going to tell the bridesmaids that they if they want to wear a belt, they can choose their own black one. That way they all have the same dress, but there is a little bit of individuality coming through with the belts. They also don't come with the underskirt, but we are going to wait until the girls try them on to see if they actually need one. My mum says she could make the underskirts if we decide we want them (which we probably will).

I love this dress! I love the 50's style, the colour, the halter neck, sweetheart neckline, everything. I especially love the price! This dress is available from this eBay shop for only £34.99.

Now all we need to do is order them! I really want to order them now, because I'm impatient like that, but I know at least one of the bridesmaids wants to wait a few months because she is planning on losing weight. I might have to demand the dresses be ordered soon though, because I will constantly be worrying that the dresses will sell out and be unavailable by the time we get around the actually buying them!

I will be asking the girls to wear black shoes on the day, but I don't mind what kind, and they certainly don't need to match or anything. I will also need to speak to the girls about their hair, as I don't necessarily want them to have matching styles, but I'd like to either all have their hair up, or all have it down. 

The other very exciting thing that Karl and I did since the last post, was go down to the registry office to give notice of marriage! They will display the notice for 15 days, in which time anyone can raise objections, and then on the 16th day, our marriage license will be issued and be valid for a year. It's nice to get all the legal formalities out of the way, it makes everything feel a lot more real!
It was really simple to give notice, just lots of repeating our names and addresses, and confirming that neither of us had ever been married before. We had a few issues with the fact that Karl doesn't have a passport yet, so had to take his birth certificate and a parents birth certificate. However, the only parent he is on contact with (his dad) is not actually named on the birth certificate (long story!). Luckily, the registrar took pity on bus and let us off with just Karl's paperwork. Unfortunately, she didn't let us off the fee - £33.50 each!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Chalk board speech bubbles

I think I have mentioned before how much we want some chalk board speech bubbles to use as props in our DIY photo booth. I love the idea of them, and the fact that they will hopefully  help us to get some hilarious pictures!

Here's a few examples:


Anyway, I had definitely decided that I wanted something like this for our photo booth, but when I looked into buying them, I could only find them for £30 - which is way more than I was willing to pay! To be honest, when I actually thought about it, I wasn't really willing to spend much at all on these - I'm a skinflint like that!

Anyway, I mentioned to my dad (who is quite handy with a saw) that I would be eternally grateful if he'd have a go at making me something along these lines. I believe his response at the time was "Hmmm? Oh yeah, OK" or something equally as non-committal

So imagine my surprise when a week or so later, he announced that he'd made them for me!

Speech bubble
Thought bubble
and handles on the back to hold them with
How amazing are they? All I need to do is give them a few coats of black board paint and they're ready to go! I am so excited to have these - together with the mustaches they will be brilliant in the photo booth! I think I'm looking forward to the photo booth pictures more than our actual wedding pictures!

And of course, the fact that they were free is an extra bonus. I've been thinking that we could hang them on our wall after the wedding and use them as notice boards, to write reminders and notes on.

In other news, I plan to order my wedding dress very soon! And I should probably get started on the invitations soon too. Exciting times!
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