Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I suppose you could call it the 'Bridget Jones' Diary' (for the wedding industry); I've created it really as a way for me to vent about my upcoming nuptials without boring my nearest and dearest about things that, well, just aren't that important to them but are all I seem to think about now I'm a fully fledged member of the Engagement Club.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Planning So Far...

Just to keep you all updated.  We have (depending on how you want to look at it) one year, 5 months, 8 days, or 17 months or 74 weeks or 524 days left until our wedding (I only know this thanks to the Wedding Caddy app on my iPhone - I'm not that obsessive, honest).

Now, I'll admit it.  I'm an organisational freak. There are two things in life that I love (other than Mr S, my family, friends and my pooch).  1. A good moan about things, and 2. Lists.  I have lots of lists.  Lists of things to do today.  Lists with things to do short-term.  Lists for Christmas.  Lists for shopping.  Lists of wedding stuff to do (obviously), and to back them all up, a list of my lists.  I can't help it.  I was once known at my workplace to have surrounded my screen, pin boards and desk with post-it notes with lists on them.  My addiction is as such, so addictive, that now even Mr S writes lists.  Not to the extent that I do but still. Anyway, you get the point.  I love lists and being organised and efficient.

I know some people may think I am getting carried away with booking and planning the wedding at this 'early' stage, but, the way I see it is: -

a)  We get our first choice of various suppliers;
b)  I want to be in the situation that with 6 months to go before wedding, I will have everything sorted so we won't need to do much else therefore alleviating a lot of unnecessary pre-wedding month stress;
c)  We know exactly how much we now have to pay off and how much we need to save each month to do so;
d)  In respect of the above, because we have more months to save, the amount we put away in our savings account on a monthly basis is less than say having to find the money within 12 or 6 months.  I liken this theory to that of a mortgage.  People opt for a 35 year mortgage rather than a 20.  Why?  Because their monthly payments aren't as high;
e)  If I spent any more time looking through the minefield of what is the Wedding Industry trying to pick suppliers and my different options, I think I would literally explode;
f)  I get to tick lots of things off my 'wedding to-do list' and it makes me smile and I get an overwhelming sense of satisfaction when I see I'm getting through it.

Now tell me they are not perfectly good reasons to have started my planning and booking.

So, so far, we have booked/paid for/put our deposit on/decided on/have, our church,which is St Mary's in Marshchapel, Lincolnshire; our venue, the Habrough Boutique Hotel & Restaurant; our photographer, James Green; our wedding transport, Silver Spirit Wedding Cars; my wedding dress, a secret for now but was from Proposals Bridal; another secret is our entertainment but we have it booked; Mr S and the other men's morning suits are from 1860; our place cards are nearly complete; our guest list is as complete as it can be at this stage; hymns are chosen; honeymoon destination is chosen but can't be booked until 11 months before; I know what I'll be walking down the aisle to; the guest book is bought; I've planned a few surprises for Mr S;  our insurance is from E and L Insurance and yesterday, we picked out our wedding rings from Ernest Jones Jewellers.  Although, we haven't actually paid our deposit as Mr S wanted to be sensible and sleep on it.

So you see, nearly all of our 'main' things are in place.  Other than the bridesmaids' dresses (and this has only been put off because one of my bridesmaids is pregnant), flowers (as I'm waiting to have a look at a supplier's work at a wedding I'll be going to soon) and cake (I've not decided on a final design yet but I'm nearly there!), it's really just the nitty gritty things that need sorting out.  To be honest, when I look at my nitty gritty list, a slight sense of panic and anxiety overcomes me.  The list is just so long and I can't get anything ticked off it yet which secretly makes me want to rip the list into little pieces.

I'm concentrating on looking out for shoes and accessories at the minute.  I've also just finished a few mock designs of different invitation styles.  I just need to show Mr S so we can make a decision on which we prefer, then I can start sourcing the materials to get them made!  

Am I too organised (as in freakishly?), or am I sensible?  Leave me a comment, I'd love to know your opinions or tips!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Magician Anyone?

I'm very excited to have Mr Mark Waddington guest posting on my blog today.  Personally, I'm already sold on the idea but if you're still not sure on whether or not to hire a magician for your wedding, read on...

Reasons to hire a wedding Magician

When you are sorting everything out for your wedding day, hiring a close up magician doesn’t really come at the top of the list of priorities. You need to sort out your wedding cake, the photographer, the dresses etc. But, when you decide you do want to hire some kind of entertainment, there are many good reasons for booking a mix and mingle magician:

Keep Your Guests Entertained!

The most obvious reason for hiring any kind entertainment is for them to entertain people! At a wedding, there are undoubtedly a few periods of time which are quite long and drawn out for your guests. One of the times where you really need to provide entertainment for your guests (and is often forgotten about to be honest!) is during the photograph period. As the happy couple, yourself and your partner will be really busy getting them perfect shots for the wedding album which will leave you little time to go round and chat to your guests, so that will just leave your guests at the bar waiting around to either see you or wait for their call for photographs. By hiring a magician for this time slot, it will keep your guests entertained whilst they wait to take a more active role in the day! Typically the photograph period would last 90 minute to 2 hours, and is usually tied in with the drinks reception.

Another time during the wedding day where entertainment for your guests is crucial is at that point between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception. Some guests may want to go back to their hotel room for a bit, but yet again, more often than not your guests will just be left in the bar waiting for the next part of the wedding proceedings. Put a magician in at that point where it’s a bit more relaxed and a bit more informal and it will go down an absolute treat. It also shows to your guests that you have really thought about them. This period of time also can last about 90 minutes, so if you are considering hiring a magician for this period of time, why not book him for about 2 hours (depending on how many guests you have of course!) so then they can entertain guests that have been invited to the evening reception too!

Bring Your Guests Together

At a wedding, two different families are being brought together in the bond of matrimony, and the chances are that the majority of them will have never met one and other before the wedding! By hiring a mix and mingle magician, the two families will have something to talk about amongst themselves (y’know, like how good the magician was, and scratching their heads in unison over the perplexity of the situation that happened literally inches away from them, that sort of thing) and as a result the bridge will have been crossed and conversation amongst them will be so much easier for the rest of the day. This also reinforces why it is good to have a magician during the photographs, as this is the first chance during the wedding that guests have an opportunity to mix with each other, making it a perfect time to throw something in to get the conversation going!

Make It Easier For Your Guests

Weddings last all day, and by keeping things fresh and different for them, it will keep them interested, keep their energy up and give them something to remember the day by! A magician gives your guests a common talking point for the day (“ooooh, did you see the magician? He was dead good, and my wasn’t he attractive…” – you get the idea) and that extra something to remember your big day by. Of course they will remember your wedding day for what it is, but they will have something extra to remember, and years down the line when reminiscing about the whole occasion the subject of the magician will crop up again

Stand Out From The Crowd

Having a wedding magician is still a relatively new concept. There is on average 300,000 weddings a year in the UK alone, and I perform at probably about 70 weddings in a year, it is still a very different thing to do and you will be safe in the knowledge that you were probably the first one in your group of friends that has hired a magician for the wedding! (But obviously, all your friends will want to book the magician when they see just how much fun they can be, so make sure you tell your friends who you booked, then you can be safe in the knowledge that you were the trend setter!) Brides want something a bit different for their wedding day, so why not have a magician for that purpose!

Well, that is just a handful of reasons to book a professional magician for your big day. When you have decided you want to book a magician, you need to make sure you book the right one or, one that actually is what he or she says he is! (Make sure if they say they are a professional magician, that they are actually a professional and they don’t just do magic to earn a bit of money on the side – don’t be afraid to check their credentials and ask for references). The right professional magician for you might be me. Have a look at my website Yorkshire Wedding Magician 

If you would like a few reasons as to why Mark is ideal for you, then take a look here: 

-          About the author –
Mark Waddington is a professional close up magician based in Yorkshire. He travels all over the UK performing magic at various functions and weddings, with in excess of 140 bookings a year, but specialises in providing wedding entertainment. You can find out all about Mark by visiting his website Yorkshire Wedding Magician

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Exciting News!

I know, I know.  I've neglected my pink pages of blogginess for a while but I've had so much going on in my non-wedding world, it seems to have taken its toll on my ability to find any spare time to update you. 

Anyway.  My exciting news that I'd like to share with you all is that (insert big fanfare noise here) I've finally chosen my wedding dress! Decision made, deposit paid.  Bish, bash, and indeed, bosh.

About a month and a bit ago, I'd asked one of my local bridal shops to order in a specific Maggie Sottero gown that I'd seen grace the pages of many a bridal magazine, and, me being the sensible soul that I am, decided that before I put my deposit down, I needed to try it on first.  It was the Maggie Sottero Isadora Marie.  An absolutely stunning gown.  I actually can't fault it and would be jealous of any bride who has this as their dress.  But, I just felt like it wasn't as timeless, classic, elegant as the one I have chosen for me.

Isadora Marie
My dress is the first dress I'd picked out.  I love how 'me' it is and know that Mr S will love it too.  This is the dress I've had in my mind all along and as I stood there, looking in the ivory, carved wooden mirror, and a tear pricked at my eye, I knew right then, it was The One.  This was the decision that the other brides to be and their friends/sisters/mums had chipped in with too while watching me prance around the bridal shop floor.  I won't lie, having all the people in the shop look and compliment me was such a good feeling.  Who doesn't like to be told how beautiful, elegant and timeless they look?

As I got dressed back into my jeans, coat and scarf, I felt frumpy, cold and sad (it was a very cold day). I'm one of those annoying 'cold people'; you know, the ones that still wear tights in summer and have a jumper and slippers on at night time even when it's still 20'c outside and the one who asks her colleagues to put the heating on even when they're sat there in a summery top and turning their desk fans on.  I hadn't noticed until then that in my dress, I hadn't even felt the cold.  I'm hoping this will still be the case come April, otherwise I may have to find a way of strapping a hot water bottle under my dress as a mini central heating system.  I'm not even kidding.

I sat down to fill in the paperwork with the assistant when I noticed the final price was higher than the actual price of the dress (which, may I add, was only £35 about budget which came as a nice surprise as I thought it would be a lot more).  I didn't even take into account the alterations charge, the 'ordering in' charge (I'm still not sure what that is) and the price of the hoop that I'll need.  

As you know, I'm on a budget and charging £65 for a hoop because they don't hire them any more, is ridiculous.  I'm very aware that you need a decent quality hoop for your dress so that it looks and fits right under your gown but seriously, £65?  I'm planning on looking for one similar on eBay, which I've found for a modest £15.99.  In the words of Mr Tesco, every little helps.  

My bridal shop was running a promotion and have generously given me a £100 voucher to be spent on any accessories I'd like, such as a veil, shoes, jewellery that they have to offer.  The veil they gave me to try on with my gown cost an equally ridiculous £129.99.  So really, if I wanted it and used my voucher, it would only cost me £29.99.  I think I'll probably search for one on eBay, Preloved or Sell My Wedding and use my voucher on a statement piece of jewellery or hairpiece.   I have found a pair of shoes on Chockers Shoes which are lush and only £35 so feel like using the voucher against a pair of £70 shoes would be wasteful.  I'm aware I'm probably coming across as tight-fisted but I'll never wear ivory shoes again and my dress is floor length.  I'm trying to be savvy!

Mr S has been very inquisitive, asking what my dress is like.  Of course, I haven't told him anything about it but if I look like the image in his head;

"it'll be straight across (at the neckline), long, skinny-fit with a small puddle-shaped bit at the back.  Oh, and have a net thingy on your head".  

I think he meant veil.  I'm glad we're not on Don't Tell The Bride, that's for sure!