Creating Wedding Memories That Will Last

wedding memoriesCreating wedding memories that will last

“All of that effort, and the day goes by in a flash” – words of wisdom from about anyone and everyone I’ve met who has been married. It’s a horrible thought though, isn’t it? Spending months (read: over a year) planning your wedding, for only a few hours of actual memories. And as much as I would love for it to to be an exaggeration, deep down I know that I’ll be so caught up in the moment that the day will fly by.

It’s not easy coming up with innovative ways to create lasting memories. Of course there are the tried and tested favourites, such as photographs and videos. But I want something more.  All of this got thinking, how do I create wedding memories that will last?

Wedding Memories That Will Last

One particular item I had on my to-buy list was a wedding guest book. It didn’t take long before I found the perfect one on Not on the High Street. All I had to do was come up with something unique. A light bulb went off in my head – I had the idea that instead of dedicating it to just people’s messages, it could become a wedding scrapbook, of sorts. So over the last year, amongst all the planning, I’ve been saving keepsakes. Things such as our save the dates, customised bits from our favours, menus, ‘advice for the bride’ cards from my hen party etc. And once the big day is finally over, we plan to combine everything. It’s only something small, but it means we’ll have something physical we can look at whenever we want a hit of nostalgia. Something that will eventually combine all of our hard work, the emotions of the day, and the beauty of our wedding.

In this post:
Wedding Sign by Mee & Es Designs*
Wedding Guestbook by Tillyanna*

How did/would you create your own wedding memories?
Read more of my Wedding advice and tips.wedding memories

Planning a Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Wedding is Bad for Your HealthPlanning a Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Yes I said it, and I refuse to take it back. Planning a wedding is seriously bad for your physical and mental health. I have personally been planning my own wedding for just over a year – and there’s still 3 months to go! It might sound like I’m overreacting but it definitely ranks in the top 3 most stressful tasks I have ever willingly taken on.

You spend your spare time stressing over gigantic issues and teeny tiny ones alike. And I haven’t even mentioned the cold sweats you get as you watch your bank account depreciate, invoice by invoice. It makes sense that you’d feel a bit sick, right?

Planning a Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Not only does wedding planning affect your mental health, but it also affects your physical health – with the latter most often being linked to the former. Whereas I usually catch a couple of colds a year, I’ve found myself coming down with a ton of them; not to mention the various other illnesses…and stress! And I know I’m not alone. Unfortunately I have quite a few friends who have been/are going through the same thing.

But I don’t want to leave a nasty taste in your mouth with this post. I want to try and offer up a few solutions for those who may be in a similar situation, or know someone who is going through it. Here are a few tips for making sure you stay healthy both mentally and physically, whilst planning your wedding.

5 Tips for staying healthy whilst wedding planning

  • Ask for help
    • Where possible, ask your friends and family for help. They will love knowing they’ve contributed towards your big day, and it will ease off the pressure on you.
  • Get your vitamins
    • Stress can really mess with your eating habits, which can leave your body feeling a bit off. Something as simple as making sure you eat well can help keep nasty illnesses at bay.
  • Take some ‘me time’
    • Taking some time for yourself is so important, whether you’re planning a wedding or not. For me it’s the little moments such as sitting in a cafe with a good book, or popping on a sheet mask whilst watching Netflix.
  • Followed by some ‘us time’
    • Your wedding is a celebration of the love between you and your partner, which is easy to forget when you’re arguing about seating plans and chair covers. So make sure you take some time just for the two of you in the lead up to it.
  • Follow my 5 key wedding planning tips

So what do you think, is planning a wedding bad for your health?
Read more of my Wedding tips (and rants).

Source: 1, 2

Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Choosing a Wedding Dress: The Stress of Buying ‘The Dress’

Choosing a Wedding DressThe Stress of Buying ‘The Dress’ – Choosing a Wedding Dress

The time had come for the most memorable, and supposedly fun, part of wedding planning. It was time to buy my wedding dress. I had already decided that I didn’t want a “conventional” wedding dress. That meant no bridalwear shops, and definitely no sticking to tradition. I thought this would make things a lot less stressful, boy was I wrong.

Where do you even begin looking for a wedding dress, if not in a wedding dress store?! Well I had some ideas, but I also had one big hurdle to get over before I would be able to put them into action.

The Stress of Buying ‘The Dress’

When I told my mum that I didn’t want a big, white ‘traditional’ dress, and that I’d probably just go out and buy it by myself, she was visibly upset. Although she reassured me that she just wanted me to be happy, I knew how much being a part of the decision meant to her. The fact that she wanted me to have a dress that was for me, and me alone, meant a lot to me. So I booked in for one bridalwear shop, and invited her – and my soon-to-be mother-in-law – to come along. And what did I do? I paraded around in some fancy dresses (see below) that cost way too much money, and made ‘the mums’ (their collective name) well up.

I’m honestly glad I did it, because everyone was so happy, and I had a lot of fun. It also brought some clarity; as I was trying the dresses on, I knew I’d made the right decision. They were beautiful gowns, and I looked damn good in all of them, but they just weren’t me.

Choosing a Wedding Dress

In the end I went to Liberty with ‘the mums’, VA, and my sister-in-law. I was worried I’d end up walking around for hours and not find anything. Again I proved myself wrong. I made a beeline for one of my favourite designers, and there it was. The dress. That’s all I’m going to say for now, but I truly can’t wait to wear it and show everyone later this year.

I think ‘the dress’ should be a reflection of you. Weddings are stressful enough without being stuck in an outfit that you’re not comfortable in. I don’t think you should be held to a social construct that says it has to be big and grand, or that you can’t wear anything other than white. Unless of course that’s what you want, in which case, you do you! After all it is supposed to be the happiest day of your life.

Need more advice than just choosing a wedding dress? Check out my Wedding Series.
Header image: Charisse KenionChoosing a Wedding Dress

5 Ways to Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding

Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding5 Ways to Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding

There aren’t many big events in life that are more stressful than planning a wedding. You have to write up guest lists, arrange menus, find a dress…etc etc. And amongst other things you have to spend a ton of money. A few of my friends are also planning weddings this year, and they’ve commented on how calm I’m remaining about the whole thing. So I thought I’d share my secret on how to keep calm while planning a wedding.

5 Ways to Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding

  • Tackle the tough stuff first
    • Getting all the time sensitive things (venue, catering, photographer etc) out of the way first; it will take some of the weight off your shoulders. Of course there’s still plenty to do, but it won’t feel as big a burden.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
    • This is one of the most important things to remember. You can’t always do everything by yourself. So whether it’s a family member who makes great cakes, or a friend who’s DIY savvy, don’t be afraid to ask for their help. You’d be surprised at how many people will feel honoured to be a part of your big day.
  • Be selfish…kinda
    • This is yours, and your partners, wedding day. Don’t let your family and friends take over or try to butt in. Most of it comes from a good place, but it can be overwhelming and stressful. Tell them when it becomes too much, and let them know that you appreciate their help, but sometimes you’ve got to do things for yourself.
  • Get wedding insurance
    • It might sound boring, but this is one important task you shouldn’t forget. Companies such as John Lewis and Debenhams offer cover on everything from your caterers, right down to the cake.
  • Take some time away
    • Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, so it’s important to remember that sometimes it’s ok to take a break. In fact it can often help to leave a task and come back to it at another time. Try setting specific dates for planning, but remember to balance them out with free days too.

If you enjoyed my ‘5 ways to keep calm while planning a wedding’ check out the rest of my Wedding Series.

Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding

Goodbye 2017, I’ll kinda miss you…

Goodbye 2017Goodbye 2017, I’ll kinda miss you…

The end of the year often brings about self-reflection. Whereas it’s something a lot of us have in common, the ‘reflecting’ part naturally differs from person to person. I think self-reflection is important for personal growth, but I try not to do it too often. So instead of making resolutions at the end of the year, I prefer to reflect on what’s been.

Goodbye 2017

The end of 2017 wasn’t the best for me or my family, but in many ways I guess it put me in a better position to think a bit about how I’ve grown over the past year, and what I’ve accomplished. You see there might have been a lot of bad things happening in 2017, both internationally and closer to home, and it can be really tough to try and focus on – let alone remember – the good stuff going on. So in an attempt to try and be more positive, I did my best to focus on the ‘good stuff’.

What did I accomplish in 2017?

When I looked back at my year and started really thinking about how I’ve grown, and where I am now, I realised that amongst the rubbish stuff, a whole lot of good things did happen. I actually accomplished a lot, both personally and with my friends and family. It was the year I…

Some accomplishments were bigger than others, and some will continue on in to 2018 (hello, wedding planning hell!). And I couldn’t have done it without the support of my close friends and family.

Thanks to all of my new & old readers who stuck with me on the ride that was 2017!
You can read more of my lifestyle posts here.
Goodbye 2017Goodbye 2017Goodbye 2017

 

Choosing My Bridal Party | Wedding 101

bridal party

Choosing my bridal party was surprisingly easy compared to deciding on my wedding guestlist. I was never going to have 10 bridesmaids, and an entourage of flower boys/girls following me down the aisle. Much like our actual wedding, I decided on something small. I wanted those closest to me to be a big part of my day, and more than just an invitee.

Bridal Party: Maid of Honour

Obviously the first person I had to think about was my Maid of Honour (aka Head Bridesmaid). I didn’t really need to think too long about it either, because I knew exactly who would be my perfect Maid of Honour. My best friend and partner-in-crime, none other than Chopstickpanorama. It’s a tough job, and I know I personally would freak out if someone asked me to be their MOH. All the organising, the budgeting, the hen party…need I go on? But true to form, after a few tears and hugs, VA reacted exactly how I had hoped – she said yes!

‘Will you be my Maid of Honour?’ Biscuits by Lavish Slice*
‘Will you be my Maid of Honour?’ Card by notonthehighstreet.com

Bridal Party: Bridesmaids

Choosing my bridesmaids took slightly longer. Not because I was unsure of who to choose, but because I was unsure of how many to have. I’ve been to weddings where there are no bridesmaids at all, and others where there are enough to man a small ship. It’s safe to say I had no idea what the ideal number was. But after deliberating symmetry – coz what else would I consider? – and who I wanted to follow me down the aisle, I decided on three people:

  • My sister – Whom I love dearly, and could never even begin to think about celebrating my big day without. She also probably thinks I’ve forgotten about the dance pact we’ve made. But she would be wrong.
  • Jemi – A woman who has been with me through thick and thin, and who still loves me even after witnessing all of my awkward style choices throughout the years.
  • Ffion – My soon-to-be Sister-in-Law, and someone I can rely on when it comes to all the important things in life: good food, style, and telling me how it is.

‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ Card by Jade Fisher*

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This post is in collaboration with notonthehighstreet.com, however all views, photos and words are my own.

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Save the Date: Choosing Your Wedding Guestlist

Wedding GuestlistSave The Dates by Sugar & Spice Designs*

We must have written, erased and re-written our wedding guestlist a hundred times. It’s been one of the hardest parts of planning our intimate (read: small) wedding. And today I’m going to let you in on a little secret…it’s not even finished!

Choosing Our Wedding Guestlist

Obviously the first people we wrote down were immediate family. Then it was the bridal party, and our closest shared friends. After that it became a bit more complicated. We have to stick to numbers, and it’s horrible trying to figure out where to draw the hypothetical line. It was also important to take into consideration whether our friends and family could make it to our location wedding. I say “location” because it’s outside London, and in the middle of nowhere. Honestly it won’t be easy for everyone to get there and find accommodation, and we understand that. We would love to be able to pay for everyone’s hotel/airbnb, but let’s be realistic – it’s not possible on a budget.

Choosing Our Save the Dates

Choosing the guest list may be tough, but there is a fun side to it as well – deciding on our save the dates! We both wanted something that reflected our personal style, as well as the theme of the wedding. I went straight to notonthehighstreet.com as I’d fallen for their wedding stationery at the press day I attended earlier this year. We narrowed it down to a couple of our favourite designs, and eventually we ended up with the Luxury Eucalyptus Save the Dates by Sugar & Spice, which you can see above (and below).

We were so happy with how the ST… note to self: don’t try and abbreviate ‘Save the Date’. But seriously, we were so happy with our final Save the Dates. The handwritten calligraphy in the form of our guests names (on the envelopes), added an extra personal touch. They’re simplistic, yet memorable, and the design matches our theme perfectly. We may still be finalising our wedding guestlist, but at least we have some awesome save the dates to help us along the way!

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My saves the dates were gifted to me by Sugar & Spice, however all views, photos and words are my own.

Wedding GuestlistWedding GuestlistWedding Guestlist Wedding Guestlist Wedding Guestlist