If you haven’t yet read our monthly wedding planning update blog post for October, you can read it here to find out what we’ve been up to so far. I’m loving every moment of our wedding planning, and I must admit that it’s been so nice being able to tick a lot of the things off our list. Plus it’s been really lovely seeing everything come together.
What we’re learning is that wedding planning requires a lot of coordination. Although most things have to be arranged individually, all these various things also have to connect with each other. We wouldn’t say it’s stressful, but you have to stay on the ball.
Our wedding planning in November has been filled with looking for our wedding outfits, making our own wedding invitations and getting them sent in the post, and booking the catering for the venue after our wedding.
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:8-9
Choosing my wedding dress
As you can probably already guess, this was the part of the wedding planning process I was most excited for! After looking online at wedding dress shops that were local and not too far away from me, I decided to choose one to start with which was about 44 miles away in Ely, Cambridgeshire called Heart Brides. They stock lots of beautiful wedding dresses to suit all budgets, so I knew straight away that I wanted to look here first.
Although I had a clear idea in my mind of what I was looking for having spent many months saving ideas on my Pinterest board, I kept an open mind, as deep down inside I knew that I may come out of the shop with something completely different. That’s exactly what happened! After trying on a few dresses to start with, all of which were very beautiful, I just didn’t feel that they were the right dress for me. So, I decided to try on a dress that couldn’t have been any more different to what I was originally looking for. As soon as I put it on, I knew that this may just be the one. It fitted perfectly, was the exact length I was looking for and it just felt so comfy. I think one of the best things about it for me personally, was that not one thing on the dress needed altering, something I was told very rarely happens! They say you know the right one when you find it, and I definitely knew that this was my dress. A real bonus was the fact the dress fitted perfectly so there was no additional cost involved in alterations.
As a finishing touch for my dress, the lady who was helping me brought out a little memory pouch to sew underneath my dress. I thought this was very lovely, as it enables me to put into the pouch photos of loved ones who are sadly no longer with us. As we have just recently lost my nan who was looking forward to our wedding so much, I love that I am able to hold a picture of her close to me on the day.
Lastly, my dress went to be pressed and ironed, and placed in a bag to keep it safe. I had an amazing experience trying on wedding dresses. I took my mum with me so she could help me, and we are both so happy with the dress I have chosen. I also added some little extras with my dress to wear for our wedding, 2 of which came free when you purchased a dress.
Following my experience my top tip whilst looking at wedding dresses is to try on lots of different styles of dresses and stay open minded. What I thought I wanted for my wedding dress proved to be completely different to the dress I chose. When I tried on the style of dresses that I was originally looking at getting, I just didn’t feel comfortable or felt that spark as soon as I put it on. Another tip I found is that even if there are dresses in the sale, they may not necessarily work out cheaper. To start with, I tried on some of the dresses in the sale, but when we worked it out, if I had chosen one of those dresses, it would have needed to have been altered, meaning I would still be paying the price that the dress was originally.
We had a fairly clear idea what kind of suit I wanted, both the colour and style. Lots of people said I could hire one cheaply, but as I don’t really own a suit anyway, I thought it would be nice to buy one which I could then use again in the future. Unless you’re looking for something top-end, there seem relatively few places to look these days. John Lewis had hardly any to choose from (and even fewer in stock) and of course, Debenhams has gone now. Good old Marks & Spencer it was then. From looking on their website, they certainly did the kind of thing I was looking for, but obviously, I needed to try it on. This was easier said than done because they didn’t have all the bits in the same colour, therefore, I ended up trying on different colours to get the sizes, and then ordering online. I was pleased with what I ended up with, and it’s something which I can wear again for other occasions in the future.
Planning, Designing and creating wedding invitations
Because we wanted to both be as economical as possible, and because we wanted to create something unique to us, we decided to make the invitations ourselves, just as we did for our bridesmaid and best woman. Using Canva once again, we used the same font pairing and also chose a decorative border which matched our colour theme. Although it took a little while to get the invitations to print how we wanted them (two A5 invitations on one page of A4 card), we found it to be an easy process allowing us to not only create our own but make as many alterations as we wished. The cost to us was just ink that was used from the printer, the card, and then the postage. Although we could have saved money by sending electronic invitations, we wanted to create something special that people can keep. We also thought that printed invitations were more likely to spur people on to respond, although that said, today is our RSVP deadline, and we’re still awaiting a few more replies. In addition to the invitations, we used the same font pairing and decoration to create a separate page for extra information such as to list places where people can stay, details of public transport etc.
Choosing a catering company
When it came to choosing a catering company, we had a fairly good idea of what we wanted, but it was just finding someone who did what we were looking for locally. We both knew and agreed that we would love to have an afternoon tea theme, as it’s something that we both love a lot, and wanted to incorporate it into our wedding. This is where Facebook came in very handy! After asking for recommendations in a local group, we received several replies. We looked at a few, and found someone who was doing exactly what we were looking for, a vintage afternoon tea.
The great thing about finding a catering company on Facebook, is that we were able to look at their Facebook page, especially the photos of the catering that had previously been done at weddings, so we could get a clear idea of what they provided. We were also able to look at their (very excellent) reviews.
A top tip for catering is that you don’t have to have a sit down meal. For us personally we weren’t intending on having something that went on late into the evening. We wanted to keep it informal. We also didn’t want to have to have a bar, just a glass of bubbly when people arrive.
November wedding planning summery
I feel that we’ve definitely got the main bulk of our wedding planning done now. We were very keen to get as much of it done as we could before Christmas. I’ve really loved the creative process of making our invitations together. As we both love being creative, it’s been fun and something that we can sit down and work on together. I think it also feels a huge relief to have our wedding outfits chosen and all ready. As we’ve been able to get as much done now as we can, we can begin to relax, and work on the the last few things that need doing for our wedding planning.
Please let us know in the comments if you have any tips and advice? We would love to read them.
We will be sharing our next monthly wedding planning update in January. Sign up to my mailing list in the sidebar or below, to receive the next update, to be part of my little online community, and to get my end of year wrap up email.