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Six Months

26 Mar

It has been almost six months since my last post on Bonfire Night Bride and my, how things have changed. When I decided to put my blog to bed I did so with a view to concentrate on the last minute preparations for our wedding and simply being able to enjoy the month before our big day without having to worry about the blog. I have to be honest, no longer blogging was a huge weight off my shoulders and being able to spend more time with Tom was lovely, just what we needed. After all, you only experience the run up to your wedding day once!

As many of you will already know, our wedding went with huge success and it was featured on the fabulous Brides Up North and So You’re Getting Married blogs. I had lots of support from Julia (Brides Up North) and Phoebe (So You’re Getting Married) throughout my wedding planning which was lovely and so it was an honour to grace their pages of prettiness.

My favourite wedding photo

I won’t write much about the wedding as you can read all about it on Brides Up North but I will say that I surprised myself at how laid back I was about it all. The majority of things went to plan which is amazing and the things that didn’t, didn’t matter in the end. Our favours were eaten by mice in the castle the night before the wedding (fortunately the little buggers left just enough for each lady to have one, the men had to go without!), we forgot the sparklers and our florist was late THEN we couldn’t use most of our flowers, including my bouquet, as our florist omitted to tell us that the eucalyptus leaves would leak bright red dye(!!) but in the grand scheme of things I didn’t care. We were married and that’s all that mattered.

Getting on for five months after our wedding I have to say that being a Mrs is still weird. Hearing Tom refer to me as his wife – weird. Signing a completely different signature – weird and something I still haven’t mastered. I have only managed to change my name with my main bank and my GP purely because changing things is hassle and I’m all about an easy life. I even travelled to Spain earlier this month in my maiden name. Let’s face it, in this day and age who has a spare £77 to change a passport?! Daylight robbery.

The Honeymoon

Now the honeymoon, something I’ve been meaning to blog about since we arrived home, was out of this world. We crossed the Atlantic from Southampton to New York on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the epitome of luxury. The crossing took a week and it was the perfect excuse to do pretty much nothing for seven days – just what you need after the stress of a wedding. We ate (and must have gained around a stone in weight), drank, slept and treat ourselves to time in the spa – having a massage on a moving ship is a very strange experience! The one thing that I was hoping for throughout the week was to see dolphins, it’s something I mentioned every day and I think Tom got a bit sick of hearing about it. On our last full day however, Tom and I were playing scrabble on the 2nd deck, as you do on your honeymoon, when I saw two little grey fins approach the window that I was sitting next to. DOLPHINS!! I was alone in my joy as Tom had left me, probably to go and bring us some more food, but I was like a five year old at Christmas. It was as if their display of jumps and spins was just for me as they scurried away just before Tom arrived back at our table. I’ll assure you I wasn’t hallucinating! This was magical and made my week. 

Enjoying champagne as we wait to set sail

Sailing into Brooklyn past the Statue of Liberty, a once in lifetime experience for us, was breathtaking. New York City is a favourite place of ours and after spending a year at university it New York State it holds an extra special place in my heart. A home from home. We stayed downtown at the trendy Soho Grand where it’s much quieter and you can escape all of the hustle and bustle of the busier uptown areas of Manhattan. We have done the tourist things previously so we didn’t want to spend too much time on those although we did visit the Top of the Rock as Tom hadn’t done this before. The views were spectacular, like looking over a Lego city below. As we were uptown, after the Rockerfella Building we went for an eyeful of the Tiffany’s holiday windows, it would have been rude not to!  We ate premium steak at Keen’s Steakhouse (divine) and took advantage of breakfast at The Cupping Room, conveniently across the road from our hotel! We also paid a visit to the talented Sarah Schor at Kings Avenue Tattoo for some cheeky honeymoon ink, something that we had been planning for a while to the horror of my mum and we drank cocktails at Soho House, a private members club in an old warehouse in the Meatpacking District. 

Breakfast at The Cupping Room

Taken on an evening walk across The Brooklyn Bridge

Top of the Rock

Tiffany's Holiday Windows

Before returning home we hopped on a train from NYC for a two day stay in Boston, somewhere Tom had always wanted to go. As it was Thanksgiving over in the U.S, Boston was very quiet but that suited us! Staying at the lovely Nine Zero hotel on Boston Common we were in a pretty central location, although Boston isn’t actually that big. We ate (once again), watched The Muppets and went on a Duck Tour which we loved!

A Duck!

Quincy Market

Freedom Trail (excuse the hair!)

Since Returning Home

We returned home from our honeymoon to the run up to Christmas, it was all go with preparations and present shopping and it gave us something to look forward to rather than feeling glum about the end of our wedding celebrations. Although I LOVE Christmas and tend to go ‘all out,’ this Christmas was naturally going to be a little bit overshadowed by the truely spectacular wedding and honeymoon that we had just experienced. What on earth could live up to that?! Well… I will tell you.

I had been feeling a little bit ‘funny’ since our honeymoon. It wasn’t something that I could put my finger on, just a feeling in my stomach that something wasn’t normal. I did have a feeling what it COULD be though and on 14th December my feeling was confirmed. After a Tesco ‘big shop’ (so very glamorous) I took a pregnancy test which was positive! EEEEEEEEEKKKK!

I sauntered through into the living room, as laid back as always, where Tom was watching TV. “Tom,” I said calmly, “I think we’re going to be a mummy and daddy.” This was music to Tom’s ears. We hugged, teary eyed and ecstatic. We were planning on starting a family straight after our wedding but we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. Going by my dates it seems that I fell pregnant three days into our honeymoon! When the ship’s a rocking…

The next step was – what do I do about telling people? Due to the nature of my job in a mental health hospital I had no choice but to tell my manager which was very hard as I had suffered a miscarriage in 2008 so instinctively there were reservations about telling people before our first scan. Fortunately my manager was great. I was whisked off to an office away from patient contact and we came up with the excuse that “my back was buggered.” Then came the dilemma of telling my parents. At only 6 weeks pregnant we decided that we would tell our parents sooner rather than later. After all, we didn’t think it was fair that my colleagues knew but my parents didn’t and as my mum, Tom and I all work for the same NHS Trust with the same people we would have hated my parents to find out that I was having my first baby via hearsay at work.

So, the arrival of Christmas Eve gave us the green light to spill the beans. We had planned to tell my parents in the morning then travel over to Wakefield to tell Tom’s mum which is exactly what we did.

We wrapped up some bibs for my parents and as Tom’s mum is the driver of a 2 seater sports car we took her an Auto Trader. Obviously our parents twigged straight away when they opened their little gift, much to their delight. Mum cried, dad congratulated us followed by Tom announcing “he shoots, he scores.” Yeah, thanks for that Tom. Tom’s mum took a little bit longer to understand what we were trying to say, looking at her latest issue of Auto Trader with a puzzled face. When we gave her a little nudge by telling her she’s going to need a new car she got it with a gasp and hug! Our amazing news made Christmas a lot more special for everybody than we have ever imagined.

So today, at 19 weeks pregnant I still can’t believe it. I have been trying to get my head around the fact that I’m going to have to go through birth in five months time. I have been sick most days, some days violently (nice). I’ve had quite a lot of time off work and have been suffering from terrible head, back and leg aches. All in all I’ve been having a pretty miserable time but I do not hold anything against the little person growing in my belly. Saying that is as weird as hearing myself being referred to as a “wife.” We are so unbelievably excited however, only having two speeds – slow and stop, I have not yet looked into anything ‘baby’ other than prams.

We have settled on the Joolz Day Expedition which might not look as pretty as the traditional style prams but it does amazing things!

With a Labrador, a baby and a pram there isn’t going to be much room to move in our car so we wanted something small, light and easy to use which this is. Who’d’ve thought I’d be talking about prams six months ago when I posted my last post on Bonfire Night Bride?! I certainly didn’t. The only other baby related thing that we have is the moses basket. We are using the basket that my mum was bought for my eldest brother almost 37 years ago. It was then passed down through the family, used for both of my brothers and myself and then for my gorgeous nephew who is now two. It’s touching to be able to use something so sentimental that can now be called a family heirloom.

We have no idea about names or how we’re going to decorate the nursery, both of these things we haven’t made a start on yet. We don’t have a clue about sterilizers, bottles or what we need to do to prepare for having a baby but we have our next scan on 11th April where hopefully we will see that everything is ok and we will know whether it’s a little boy or girl in there. This will give us a kick up the backside to get cracking with all things baby!

So here we are. The past few months have been a huge turning point in our lives – evolving from newly weds to the prospect of being new parents in the space of a few weeks. But, it has to be said, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Laura x

Guest Post – A Thoroughly Vintage Wedding

28 Sep

Today’s guest blog is by Betty Bee whose blog covers all aspects of vintage living. Betty contact me via twitter and I instantly knew I had to share this wedding with you. I absolutely adore Bobby-Lou’s dress… and her hair!! A perfect way to inject colour and fun into such a special day.

When Bobby-Lou Hulmes started planning her wedding to fiancé Adrian she knew she wanted everything from the hen party to her wedding dress to have a 1950’s flavour. Having only become engaged on New Years Eve 2011 and with the big day set for April of the same year time wasn’t on her side but with a little ingenuity, a strong vision and creative flair she created the wedding of her dreams.

Bobby-Lou has always had a fascination for the looks of bygone eras as she explains “when I was a little girl my dad had a picture book of 1940s screen sirens and I loved them-they were covered in cellophane and I would carefully unwrap them. I was particularly drawn to the film noir pictures and have been attracted to that element of old school glamour ever since.”

For her wedding dress Bobby-Lou knew she wanted something inspired by film stars of a bygone era and was initially thinking of a wiggle dress or fishtail design but finally opted for a swing dress  “ I wanted to be able to move on my wedding day and having booked the historic Bolton Town hall for my service knew I would be negotiating many large staircases and steps and wanted to avoid any trip factor.”

Determined that she wasn’t going to fall into the trap of spending thousands on her wedding Bobby-Lou set herself a modest budget for the entire event, convinced that with a little research and imagination she could have a stylish unique wedding, which wouldn’t break the bank.

Searching online she found a perfect wedding dress at Whirling Turban. Exquisite in its simplicity and made of unbleached cotton with a pearl sheen when it arrived it fitted like a glove, nipping in her already tiny waist and emphasising her delicate collar bones and great legs. Ten denier Nude stockings with black seams and a pair of dainty ballet flats completed the look.

For her accessories her fiancé Adrian brought her pearl earrings, which her mum complimented with a gift of a pearl necklace. A Birdcage veil sourced from eBay was the perfect finishing touch adding that all-important film noir element.

Having booked Lilly Von Pink from The Vintage Pamper Box to perform hair and make up duties on the day. Bobby-Lou wore a classic Hollywood make up with three shades of brown eye shadow accentuating the almond shape of her eyes, creamy white skin and of course those all-important pillar box red lips.

For the all important wedding day hair she decided on a soft Veronica Lake inspired hairstyle. Lilly set Bobby-Lou’s hair using heated rollers with old fashioned setting lotion to create gentle cascades around her face.

Bobby-Lou’s stylish and beautiful approach continued with her choice of flowers. Classic Grand Prix roses for the bride, and a posy of pink and cream for the bridesmaid. The Groom wore a dark blue pinstripe suit and navy shirt and tie reflecting traditional union jack colours. The sun shone, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

And what did groom Adrian think of Bobby-Lou as she walked down the aisle to the stains of a ukulele playing somewhere over the rainbow “stunning” was his verdict and we couldn’t agree more.

Betty Bee x

The finer details:

Bride & Groom – Bobby-Lou and Adrian Hulme

Photographer – Nick Beedles Betty Bee Photography

Location – Bolton Town Hall

Wedding Dress – Whirling Turban

Make Up Artist – Lilly Von Pink from the Vintage Pamper Box

For more vintage inspiration check out Betty Bee Bee’s daily blog postings at the Tales From Betty Bee Towers blog. Thank you Betty! I would also like to send a huge congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Hulme, your wedding is beautiful and you make such a sweet couple!

Laura x

Guest Post – Flawless Wedding Day Make Up

15 Sep

To follow on from my wedding day skin care post yesterday all about getting your skin in top condition for your special day, today I have another fabulous guest post by make up artist Chloe McCall. Chloe, a successful freelance make up artist based in the West Midlands, tells all about achieving a flawless make up look on your wedding day.

You have set the date, got the perfect venue and chosen the most stunning dress, now it’s time for the finishing touches. Make-up is very important for your wedding day, it’s a day that will be remembered forever. So why not try the latest state of the art makeup application, airbrushing.

After working within the industry for eight years I specialise in creating a natural, radiant and defined long lasting look. It is very important the bride feels ‘a million dollars’, that the makeup feels weightless, comfortable and it will lasts all day. To achieve this I use premium brand products by Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Mac, Temptu, Clinique, Nars and Benefit to name a few.

Photograph courtesy of Sarah Jade Photography

For those of you that want to look as close to perfect as possible, Airbrush makeup is the way forward. The silicon based make-up is sprayed on through an air compressor as a fine mist of colour that gently covers the skin, giving the appearance of a flawless complexion. Spraying microdots of makeup that rest on the surface of the face looks more natural than traditional makeup because it is not rubbed into the skin and does not exaggerate the pores and lines. This process allows the Airbrush makeup to conceal better while enabling your skin to breathe. This technique has been used in films, theatre, special effects and high end photography. Airbrush make-up is suitable for people of all ages and every skin condition. Airbrush make-up is a great way to achieve a lightweight, flawless foundation that can be blended to match your skin tone and look completely natural. Airbrush make-up will cover many skin imperfections including tattoos, scaring and stretch marks. For your wedding day the silicon based smudge proof and waterproof formula ensures you can feel confident that your make-up will last all day and night. I offer airbrush make-up to all my clients, airbrushing make-up is the best possible make-up service around.

Photograph courtesy of Sarah Jade Photography

When choosing a make-up artist for the big day, most brides will go on recommendations or from reviews. It is always best to have a trial with the artist as you need to talk through colours, looks and products that will be best for you on your big day. It is also very important to see how the make-up wears on you throughout the hours after the trial. I believe it is very important to trust your make-up application to a professional on your wedding day as you need the make-up to look amazing and it need to be long lasting. On the morning of the wedding from my experience brides feel more relaxed having their make-up done for them, the hour or so they are sitting having it done gives them time to relax and enjoy. The aim for the day is that you feel like ‘a million dollars’, that the makeup feels weightless, comfortable and will last all day.

Thank you Chloe, sound advice for brides to be! I do believe that good make up makes the world of difference. If you would like to see more of Chloe’s fabulous work you can visit her blog here or alternatively you can ‘like’ her facebook page here.

Laura x

Bride to Be: Claire

13 Sep

Here we have a bride to be, Claire, a lovely lady who is getting married at a gorgeous Spanish DIY wedding the week before Tom and I. It has been a pleasure to be able to chat with someone at the same planning stage as us, to not only share our excitement but also support when times have been stressful. It’s not long now Claire, you’re on the final stretch with a fabulous end in sight!

How did you meet and when did you know he was ‘the one?’

We are both Irish but met on the Isle of Man!  Maurice was there after finishing university and I was there working on the ferry.  We first bumped into each other in 2000 but one of us was already attached so nothing happened.  We again met in 2002 and the same person was still attached, however after speaking quite a bit on the phone we realised that we needed to be together and so once we were both unattached we got straight together.  I realised after about a year (just after we moved in together) that he was the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and so the waiting game began!

Was the proposal everything you’d dreamed it would be?

We had been together 8.5 years before the proposal finally came!  We had spoke at length about getting married and we both knew that we wanted that but life kind of got a little in the way and the time was never ‘quite’ right.  We were on holiday in USA at the time and I can remember us always saying that this was a holiday of a lifetime but I never expected a proposal.  We were in the Grand Canyon after taking a helicopter trip and were standing on the base just looking up and admiring the view when I thought ‘ where did he go?’ as I turned round he was on his knee and asked me to marry him.  I was so shocked but did remember to say yes! I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal, the boy did good!

When and where is the big day?

The big day is in around 5 short weeks!  On the 21st October and will be held in Marbella, Spain.  We always agreed since getting together that we wanted our wedding to be abroad and I’m pleased to say it is.

Do you have a style in mind for your wedding?

I wouldn’t say that we have an exact style in mind, we just want it to be fun, relaxed and hopefully a little bit sunny.  Our colour scheme is Purple and creams with hearts for good measure.

Are you having Bridesmaids?

I have decided to only have one adult bridesmaid and 3 flowergirls.  All of which are our family.

What have you enjoyed the most about wedding planning?

There has been so much that I have enjoyed about planning the wedding, I suppose the nice stuff jumps out first like picking the colour schemes, dresses and rings. I have made all of our wedding stationary and although some parts of this have been quite difficult now it is finished I would say that I really enjoyed doing it all and am so pleased to think that they were all made by me. I have also enjoyed picking our church and venue which meant that we got two weekends in Spain! 

 

Have you encountered any problems?

Our main problem has been the logistics of planning our wedding in Spain.  At first it seems like a great idea but sometimes, language barriers and general differences in traditions can cause a few minor problems,  Also Spain is a lot more relaxed than us so never rely on a quick response from anyone would be my mantra.  Also figuring out how to get everything and everyone there has caused a few headaches.

Have you discovered the Dress?

Yes, Yes, Yes!  Although it is not what I went shopping for.  I know that is what you hear from the already married all the time but I never thought that would be me.  I had a very specific style in mind and tried on quite a few like that, but a shop that I went into didn’t have any in that style and instead of wasting my appointment I tried on a few that she had.  As soon as I tried it on I realised that this was it, I bought it there and then.

What are your hopes for the future as Mr & Mrs?

I hope that we grow old together, that we can always rely on each other and that we never forget how we both felt when we decided to get married.  He is the love of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing about him, the one thing that I would like to do for him is to make him a Dad and I really hope we can achieve this in the near future.

Do you have any advice for other future brides?

Don’t be afraid to do things a little bit differently if that is what you want.  You can have your wedding abroad and people will come if they want to share the day with you.  Relax and enjoy the wedding planning but don’t let it take over your life completely.  One thing we have made sure to do is have regular date nights where the wedding is not on the agenda!

I have been blogging about my journey though planning a DIY wedding abroad here:

www.fromscotlandtospain.blogspot.com

Very impressed with Maurice’s proposal, how romantic! You can also follow Claire’s final wedding adventures on Twitter here. I’d like to say thank you for keeping me sane throughout everything and I absolutely cannot wait to see pics from your big day, it’s going to be beautiful!

Laura x

Just a small get together…

9 Sep

… or not.

On Tuesday I attended the Brides Up North Yorkshire tweet up at The Mansion in Roundhay, Leeds which was fabulous. The venue was stunning and so was the lady Julia herself! I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely terrified at the thought of turning up to a room of people who I know only by a logo on their Twitter profile however, after meeting the lovely Phoebe Miller and Rachel Beasley for the first time I was soon at ease… and we have photographic evidence to prove it! I met some lovely people but unfortunately missed some. I can’t wait til next year’s!

Phoebe, Moi and Fiona from Firenza Floral Design

Beasley and I

Me, Miller & Rachel

Miller & I

To see all of the photobooth photos from the night (there are some corkers!) click here for the Brides Up North blog post.

Laura x

100th Post Thank You!

8 Sep

Back in January I was off work ill with a bad case of flu – real flu, not man flu. Due to daytime tv not being as good as it used to be (bring back Going For Gold) I had to find something else to fill my days with – I began to get more into the wonderful world of Twitter and wedding blogs and subsequently ‘ummed’ and ‘aahed’ about starting my own blog as a journal of my own wedding planning.

After much deliberation Bonfire Night Bride, named after the date of my own wedding, and its first post went live on February 20th 2011 and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of the blogging world! It started from nothing and has slowly but surely evolved into not only a hobby but a great love of mine. Meeting and featuring new and amazing wedding suppliers, photographers, brides to be amongst many other wonderful wedding folk has become a real passion of mine and I would like to take this opportunity as my 100th post to thank each and every one of you who have been involved with Bonfire Night Bride, you have all been amazing and without you there would be no blog! So here goes…

Brides Up North

Danby Castle

Schuh

Hello! Lucky

Knots & Kisses

Britt Chudleigh

Wedding Sparrow

Vintage Amethyst

Cute as a Button

Celia Mannings

Lady Amy Bespoke Wedding Design

The ‘Bridestock’ Bride

Marie Lloyd

Fiona Kelly

McAvoy Photography

Blue Lights Photography

Travel With Jules

Matt Foden

By Gina

Carolyn Scott Photography

Shabby McFabby

Dreamy Weddings

Beyond White

South House Boutique

Crafty Pagan Stationery

Jollydays Luxury Camping

Orly Lyndon Photography

Chris Jackson Photography

Amy Georgina

Vickerstaff Photography

Elle is for Love

Steve Oatway Photography

Bobbi + Mike

Yestercake

I Am Nat

Precious Petals

Graham Young Photography

Frosted Delight

PH Weddings

Victoria Mary Vintage

Michael Marker Photography

Fatamadrina Wedding Planning

Rob Grimes Photography

Misha Linden

Jel Photography

Bill Corris Photography

Belle & the Bunting

TMT Photography

Dream Veils

Peachey Photography

Nicola & Guy Wakefield

Sheena Holland

Elizabeth Davis Photography

Laura Babb

Emma White

Whitney Lee Photography

Rachel Beasley

Karen Ard Photography

Katie Byram Photography

Laura Hampson

Two Bright Lights

Leah Golden Apple

Last but certainly not least, I would like to send a HUGE thanks to my Tom as without you I wouldn’t be a bride to be and you wouldn’t have been the inspiration for all of this!!

Laura x

Bride to Be: Laura

5 Sep

The wedding world is so vast and varied that it’s always great to meet other brides to be. Hearing their stories is something I love and so it is a pleasure to introduce to you the lovely Laura, a bride to be taking the plunge in February 2012.

How did you meet and when did you know he was ‘the one?’

We first met one Saturday night in December 1999 at 2am in a rock club, I was 17 and he was 18. We’d both been going there for years but had never come across each other before despite later discovering we had a fair few mutual friends. We bumped into each again other the next Saturday in the same club and we’ve hardly been apart ever since. The week after our second meeting, he made the 13 mile drive over to see me one evening after I’d spent the day in a pub celebrating finishing school for the Christmas holidays and at my insistence he stayed round till the early hours to meet my Dad. I don’t really remember realising he was ‘the one’ it just always felt right with him. Eurgh, pass the sick bucket.

Was the proposal everything you’d dreamed it would be?

I don’t think I ever envisaged a particular scenario for the proposal, in fact I didn’t really think it’d ever happen. I’d harangued him for years about getting married and finally given in, accepting that you didn’t have to get married, after all we had a house together and a 10 year relationship, who needed marriage on top of that? Then the day after our best friends got married as we left the hotel I said “so, has all that changed your mind?” I knew he’d say no, he categorically didn’t want to get married, owning a house was enough for him… “well, I was going to say now theirs is done, shall we get on with planning our own?” I was so taken aback I said no then immediately retracted it and said yes.

When and where is the big day?

With both our birthdays in February we knew it had to be that month and after a few weeks of deliberation about the date we eventually settled on Friday 10th February 2012 and chose a city centre hotel in Chester.

Do you have a style in mind for your wedding?

We didn’t set out a particular style in mind as such it was more about whatever we like the look of and seems to say “us” but as the planning process has gone on we seem to be creating a fairly traditional wedding but with a few quirky touches, here and there. We (the royal we) settled on a black and purple colour scheme early on and so we’re incorporating those colours in the stationery, dresses, suits, flowers, decorations etc. One of our favourite things to do together is go on mini adventures in the car, last year we drove from one coast in England to the opposite coast just for something to do, we drove there, turned round and came home so amongst other personalised details we’ve settled on table names relating to our escapades.

Are you having bridesmaids?

Yes, my best friend from school who I was bridesmaid for last year is my Chief Bridesmaid and has been a brilliant sounding board for all my secret plans that Ian can’t know about and one of my sisters is going to be my other bridesmaid.

What have you enjoyed the most about wedding planning so far?

We really enjoyed viewing potential venues, we’re both pretty nosey so venue viewing was an ideal activity for us. Also, it’s been nice in general to plan things together as a couple, with equal in put from myself and from Ian. I’m beginning to wonder what we’ll talk about after the wedding! We’re both incredibly indecisive, we could umm and ahh over things for months before deciding on anything, even something as basic as what to have for dinner can become an hour long debate so a lot of wedding decisions have involved hours of deliberating, but it’s been fun all the same. I’ve found rambling about the process on my blog quite therapeutic also it saves me boring friends and family too much and I think it’ll be something nice to look back on once everything is over.

Have you encountered any problems?

There’s a fair bit of family politics on my side to deal with which has the potential to give me a headache but other than that, so far the only real problem we’ve come up against is the guest list, it’s been really hard to decide who to invite as our numbers are pretty tight but we want our day to be about including the people who are important to us, whoever they are. Oh and we’ve spent months trying to find a suit in the style we like which will fit my incredibly slim brother, there just aren’t enough suit hire companies with short jacket styles for the more slender chap. In fact, this is an area where we’re having to learn to compromise and settle for something we might not have chosen if budget were no option.

Have you discovered THE dress?

Dress shopping wasn’t what I’d thought it’d be, I had visions of it being like an American film from the late 80s, all giggles and twirling around in dress after dress but in reality it was much more arduous than that and I tried on a lot of dresses which just weren’t right and that can made the experience disheartening. The dress I eventually settled on was one I only tried on to humour my Chief Bridesmaid who picked it off the rail and said “try that on, it’ll be hilarious…” I came out of the fitting room in it and her face dropped, it wasn’t so funny when it was off the hanger and on me, it just goes to show, try on every style, you might surprise yourself.

That said, even a year after buying it, I keep seeing dresses I think I like more than the one I’ve bought but I’m sure on the day everything will be just right. Only this week I fell in love with a stripey Ian Stuart creation but I figure you could spend years looking for the dress and in the end you just have to bite the bullet and buy one.

Keeping my entire outfit secret from Ian has been so very hard. I usually tell him everything so to come home from shopping and have to remain tight lipped has been killing me but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it in the end and he’ll like what I’ve picked and if he doesn’t, well then that’s just tough.

Do you have any other suppliers booked? If so, who?

We’ve got most things we need booked. The florist and photographer are small businesses local to the venue and that was important to us, along with them having the sort of attitude we felt we could work with, if we didn’t feel like we clicked with them on the first meeting then they were immediately off our list, for a day as important to us as this is, we need people we really like and who understand our vision of the day. Our stationery supplier is also booked, a local company called Tatty Lashes, they’ve been more helpful than I could ever have wished for and have put up with the umpteen changes and requests for samples with excellent humour.

Our favours are from a shop we discovered one day when we decided to get in the car and see where we ended up which just so happened to be a 200 mile round trip to the Peak District that we’ve repeated many times since.

What are your hopes for the future as Mr & Mrs?

I know it sounds basic but I’d love for us to stay as happy and as close as we are right now, I’m hoping (maybe naively) that being married won’t change anything other than strengthen the bond we’ve got, we’re best friends already and I think things can only get better. Oh and I’d like to think we’ll be going on a lot more mini adventures, perhaps we can turn our honeymoon into one.

Do you have any advice for other future brides?

  • Do your research and remember you don’t have to take the first price offered to you by suppliers. If you’re up front about your budget and realistic about what you can get for your money then you’ll find they’ll be a lot more flexible with you.
  • Your wedding is about both of you, if something is right for you, do it. Just because Great Aunt Mabel may turn her nose up at the thought of bridesmaids all in black doesn’t mean you have to rethink your colour scheme, as long as you’re happy then do what pleases you.
  • Finally, don’t get carried away with what you think you ought to have, focus on what you actually want, if floral centre pieces aren’t your thing, you don’t *have* to have them just because a florist or a wedding magazine says so.

If you would like to follow Laura’s thoughts and feelings in the run up to her big day in more detail you can read her personal blog –

http://neuroticbridediaries.blogspot.com/

Thank you Laura, I totally feel your pain when it comes to keeping your bridal attire a secret. I’ve had to give in to a certain extent and have already shown Tom my shoes! I hope you will be sharing a few of your wedding pics with us!

If you are a bride to be and would like to share your story with Bonfire Night Bride please get in touch!

Laura x