Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Engagement Party

Image by Sedona Bride/Katrina Wallace Photography

Some friends of good friends got married a couple of weeks ago. This isn't them. But I just loved the light in this photo that I had to post it as I would like a photo much like this of me and my boy (with less dramatic scenery, obviously, being England)

The photos of our friends wedding have started to trickle into sight, on mantlepieces and facebook, despite the bride and groom still being on honeymoon. By all accounts it was a wonderful, fantastic wedding and indeed seeing so many people I know as guests gave my looking through the photos extra meaning.

What it also did is make me nervous.

It is our engagement party this weekend, the formal one. I.e not the one where we invited friends round to our flat for drinks and a barbeque the weekend after we got engaged. This one is held by my mother-in-law-to-be, with champagne and guests and The Meeting of The Parents. Yes, after almost seven years, our respective parents still have not met. There will also be the meeting of the BestMan and Bride's Parents and various other relatives on both sides. It also means that there is only 1 week and 8 months until the wedding and 7 months until the hen and stag parties.

I must not panic. I must write lists.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Wedding Vendors

At what point do you suppose you don't use a potential vendor? One vendor is causing me some anxiety and we haven't even handed over any money. They didn't respond to my initial e-mail so three days later I called. Appropriate excuses were proffered and accepted and it was indicated that a quote would be e-mailed and that a meeting would be set up for us to visit. No quote arrived so I e-mailed to jog the memory and one did arrive later that day, only 10 days after the initial e-mail. So far, not too worried.

I then e-mailed about 10 days later to say that we were still considering the quote but would like to arrange the meeting to see - the whatever they offer* - in person and so we could discuss our needs more thoroughly and suggested some dates. So far, I have heard nothing, not even a 'sorry, we're working through our e-mails' e-mail or out of office response. Nothing, nada, zip.

See, the thing is, I really like the 'whatever they offer' that they do offer but I am worried that if this is their attitude to potential clients that they will be worse post deposit. So do I e-mail again and threaten/suggest that if they do not respond more quickly I will take my business elsewhere (and suffer the consequences if they make me follow that through) or do I wait, or what. Organising is stressful enough without having to hand-hold vendors. I thought they were supposed to make my life easier?

Answers on a postcard please...

*i.e. I know what they offer I just want to be anonymous about them at present.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Image by Nordstrom

Sigh. Why is it that all the bridesmaid dresses I like are from American websites. Why does it seem impossible to find plain-ish decently coloured dresses which are not around £300. These dresses are silk and $168 with free shipping (to US addresses I suspect). That makes them about £90 each.

Please shout though if you have seen something just as fab for sale in the UK. I will love you forever if someone helps me! (and please, nothing from Coast).


Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Image by Boodles
India Blue necklace
A vibrant black opal set in wispy feathers of platinum and diamonds

I know I said that I wasn't going to wear a necklace, but if I did, I think it would have to be this one...

Monday, 22 September 2008

Save The Date & Hen Party Planning

At last, we are moving forward with the hen party plans. A decision has - roughly - been made and initial e-mails sent out to all my nearest and dearest girlfriends. Those who are invited now know this and we can start sorting out where we are going. I am actually quite looking forward to it now and everyone seems very enthusiastic about the idea.

Save-the-date e-mails are also ready to leave my inbox and wing their way around the country (and in one or two cases, world) just as soon as we have finished compiling the definitive guest list and contact list. The website with all the details on is well in hand and I have made a start in sorting out the accommodation list to, so I feel almost in control... almost...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

More bridesmaids ideas

Well, if we're holding the wedding in England, in June, it's bound to rain. Perhaps I should get the bridesmaids one of these each...


Or what about one of these?

Image from http://www.prezziesplus.co.uk/


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Bridesmaid Dress Inspiration

Top Row Left to right: (1) & (2) Dessy (3) vera wang/alvina valenta
Top right: niche by Suzanne Neville
Middle: Little Jo
Bottom Left: Pocket Venus
Bottom Row Left to Right: (1) vera wang maids (2) & (3) Ann Louise Roswald
Images from Bridesmagazine.co.uk & Dessy.com

Monday, 15 September 2008

Invitations and other ways to stress

Despite being told, repeatedly, that our invitations will set the tone and theme for our wedding M and I have decided to go for simple and plain. We have bought some beautiful correspondence cards in plain off-white. We are going to write the details on ourselves with a calligraphy pen. We are going to make a stamp with a peacock feather on it for the corners and then we are going to pop them into plain blue envelopes and post them.

Not that I think this is the 'easy' way out, no, not at all. Hand-writing invitations to 120 guests (approx 75 invitations) will still take some time but it is simple and beautiful and does not involve glue.

I don't like glue. Things do not look neat or chic when they are glued (unless you are incredibly good at glue-ing, are incredibly patient and do not scream loudly when things invariably **** up.

I can do calligraphy... I can do calligraphy under pressure (75 name plates the night before my boy's brother's wedding). I can address envelopes. It will be fine. Just as long as I do not read wedding p0rn and have a similar conversation to this (but about invitations):

PeacockFeathers: (watching a wedding show and in a worried tone of voice) "Do you think I should have got a pouffier dress?"

BestFriend: (also watching wedding show, looking horrified) "what?"

P: "Do you think it's boring having a long slim straight dress?"

BF: "But you love your dress, it looks great. It's simple. Your style is simple."

P: "But do you think M will want to see me in something more, I don't know, bigger?"

BF: "No. Your dress is great. Stop stressing."

P: "But..."

BF: (firmly, ending conversation) "your dress is beautiful. Be quiet".

Aaaahhh. I no longer know if I stand by any of my choices. Maybe I do want frothy and detailed. Maybe I should stop looking at facebook weddings and wedding blogs.... I think I need a cup of tea and to worry about things in the right order. Like the fact that the wedding is 9 months last Saturday and the save-the-date e-mails still have not gone out...

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Grey days and wedding bores

The wedding planning has treaded water rather this week. I am still excited about getting married but I don't wish to give my life over to it. I would like to enjoy being engaged, which I am doing, but I do not want to be one of those people whom others think, secretly, "gosh, you'd think she was the first person ever to get married or to plan a wedding...". I would like to go out for drinks and chat to friends without the entire conversation being dominated by flower arrangements, or hair styles, or make-up themes. In short, I do not want to become a wedding bore.

Aside from wedding planning excitement, obviously, life feels a little grey. It's not that there are not exciting things happening, there are, it's just I feel a little down. Perhaps it is the time of year. It's hard to get excited about more wet and grey weather. Dampness and a chill, piles of wet washing but it is far too early to start using the central heating, never mind far too bloody expensive.

Summer is over. Autumn is here. Yet is feels like there has not really been a proper summer, nor last year either. We went to Italy for sunshine in June. It rained. We went to Cornwall and had blazing sunshine the day we got engaged and rain again the day before and afterwards. I just hope next summer is a good one. I've already placed my order for sunshine.


Monday, 8 September 2008

Our Wedding Vendors: Venue & Inspiration Questions

Secret venue near our old university town (if you recognise it, don't let on!)
{All images from Author's Personal Collection}

Wedding Inspiration Questions from Snippet & Ink (them of the amazing mood boards!)

1. What season is it?
It will be early summer.

2. What is the mood of the event? Is it formal, casual, or something in between? Is it grand or intimate? Sophisticated? Playful?
The idea is to have a casual formal wedding, if that makes any sense. I.e. We are aiming to keep things in perspective. It will be lounge suits/cocktail dresses rather than black tie but I hope people will wear hats. More like a country garden party/tea party I suppose, which will go on into the evening. But with a hog roast rather than sandwiches and probably less strawberries. Although that hasn't been decided yet. Intimate, stylish, sophisticated but laid-back, I suppose.

3. What is the location? Inside or out-of-doors? How can I play up regional/local elements? Does the architecture/scenery inspire me?
We are hiring a marquee to be stood on the tennis court lawn in front of the house (which you can see part of above on the 2nd row down, left picture) with tables and a dance floor inside. We are having local produce and our friends are combining to make the music (ranging from DJ sets to a band).
A lot of the wedding will be made by my boy and I. We are proposing to hand-write our invitations on beautiful paper and to make the seating plan, posters, decorations, cake-topping thing, bunting and so on. We are proposing to make the most of it being held in a garden and beautiful outside surroundings. We shall have wellies, blankets and umbrellas on hand, just in case.

4. What single element can tie everything together? Is it a theme? A certain flower or fruit?
The single element which will tie everything together will be the peacock feather, hence also the name of this blog. The colours of the feather have and will influence everything from my shoes to my bridesmaids' dresses. All other decorations will most likely be white to balance the vibrancy of the colours of the peacock feather. The only flowers will be the ones in the church (to be transferred to the venue) and the bouquets/button holes (vases will be on the top table to pop the bouquets in. The only other floral decorations will be dried lavender.

5. How can I stretch this idea? What is unexpected but fits perfectly with all the other aspects?
The plates and crockery we hope to use will probably be the unexpected in this theme - they will neither match each other nor the peacock feathers but I think they will be a decoration in themselves and very much fit the country/very English theme.
I also especially like the colours of the doors at the venue: exactly what I would have chosen if they had asked me to paint them!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

What a difference a week makes...

Saturday 30 August
Saturday 6 September
Parrog, Newport, Pembrokeshire

Images by me

Friday, 5 September 2008


All images by www.iced-online.com
Off for a last beach trip of the year but I foresee nothing but walks in the rain and cosy inside reading with pots of tea. Back Monday but in the meantime I leave you with these fabulous creations courtesy of Hannah at Iced-Online. More about cakes next week. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

'Custom' Inspiration Board

Images previously credited here before except:
2nd from top left by Leigh Miller
Top middle by The Real Flower Company
2nd from bottom right from Peonies & Polaroids
Bottom middle from photo stock
Apparently, people are prepared to pay quite a lot of money for customised inspiration boards. I, however, had great fun trawling the internet, saving the photos, noting the credit and then creating the board. This board is obviously inspiration for what I am going to wear. Next up, the reception venue.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Oh My!

Images from Boring Sydney
Just how fab is this fascinator/head piece? How fab would it be for my peacock theme? But just how to incorporate it with a veil I have no idea. I am so tempted to order it and wear it at the reception! I love it... (and I love etsy too)

Our Wedding Vendors: The Venue

{Image from Author's Personal Collection}
Thought you might like to have a quick glimpse of part of the venue. This particular shot is of part of the walled gardens. As we visited at the end of August I am not sure which flowers will be in season in June but I loved the riot of colours and the old wooden bench. I shall be e-mailing this to our photographer along with a selection of others from around the grounds as ideas for our posed photographs. When I get a moment or two spare - perhaps tonight - I shall try and upload some others taken on the same visit.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Ring Pillows...

Image by bklyn bride


... are not something that I have considered but these are very sweet and made by fellow blogger Brooklyn Bride. As it is September I have chosen an autumnal colour to show you and don't you think they are pretty. Beautiful though they are, we are not having any flower girls and I just can't see the Best Man producing a small cushion from his pocket. I think we shall just stick to a ring box. Boring but I need to limit the things I have to think about. If my boy wants to choose or to make one then he can organise it (so perhaps I should send him the link to Brooklyn Bride's shop!)

2 September 1978

On this day, 30 years ago, a young girl from Surrey got ready at her parents home in Leatherhead and in the bright autumn sunshine she headed to the church with her father. Awaiting her arrival was a young man from Yorkshire who stood at the front of the church with his best man. On this day, 30 years ago a love affair which started in the meadows of Oxford on the banks of the Cherwell and played out across the city of dreaming spires culminated in a beautiful wedding.

And how do I know this? Well, that young girl and young man became my parents, 3 and a bit years later and I have heard about the wedding and gazed at the photographs in their frames and albums, sepia tinged with age. The young couple, 3 years younger than I am now, for this year I am exactly half their age, look identical to their present selves, give or take a line or two. Some of their guests look so very seventies but somehow my parents themselves look ageless.

So, happy 30th wedding anniversary, Mummy & Daddy; thank you for the best start to married life I could wish for next year - the love and support of two people whose marriage encapsulates everything I hope for my own.


Monday, 1 September 2008

Not tagged but borrowed

Peony was tagged a few months ago to write 4 things about herself you didn't know. She complied but then changed the rules to read 4 things you didn't know about your betrothed. She didn't tag me (I wasn't a bride-to-be then, so my boy was simply a boy) but I thought I would join in the fun.

There are already plenty of things that you didn't know about me that you do now so I will jump straight to my boy: 4 things you didn't know about M:

1. When we first met he didn't want a girlfriend. Seven years and 4 months on and he shall have a wife. Of course, he just hadn't met anyone who he liked enough to be his girlfriend rather than not wanting a girlfriend per se. It just sounds better the other way.

2. He is a fantastic cook and provides the vast majority of the meals in our household. He also does the washing up, for which I cannot thank him enough. The provision of regular meals and the subsequent washing up are two of my most hated household chores. Funnily enough I don't mind doing the washing, cleaning the bathroom, loo cleaning, toiletry and cleaning product provision, ironing or mending. So it works rather well.

Image by The BestMan

M is the one in the pink jumper

3. I love the fact that he only wears trainers to play football. He sometimes wears converse if we go raving or partying and spends much of the summer in flip flops but the rest of the time he wears proper shoes; beautiful shoes.

4. He has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of music and films and can always be counted on to select the right music for the occasion. Much like the BestMan and my boy's longest and best-est friend. Causes a fair few arguments over whose turn it is with the ipod though...

And one thing I'm sure you did know: I love him, I think he's fab and I can't wait to be his wife!


Colour Palette Inspiration

Images from www.colorstrology.com/ (edited and chosen by me)


Nostalgia Rose, Tigerlily, Bright Chartreuse and Paisley Purple are supposedly the colours which identify with my birthday, my boy's birthday, the date of our wedding and the date that we met, according to Colorstrology. Unfortunately they don't go so well together although their names are beautiful. If I thought I could get away with naming a baby girl (should I be so lucky to have one after we get married) I would call her Tigerlily. I don't think I can so Poppy is my current favourite.


However, Veridian Green, Horizon Blue, Cornflower Blue & Celestial are much more like my chosen colour palette: peacocky blues, purples and greens. All colours inspired by my beloved peacock feathers and hopefully to be used across bridesmaids dress details, my headpiece, ribbons and table decorations. Not sure what the 14 or 24 September nor 3 or 28 December mean to us but perhaps we shall see...


Images from www.colorstrology.com/ (edited and chosen by me)