Thursday, 27 November 2008

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is not something we celebrate in England but I celebrated it when I lived in California all those years ago. But today, in honour of my American readers, I thought I would wish people Happy Thanksgiving and think about some of the things that I am grateful for. I have written about this before on Little Miss Rachel so I will not repeat them here. But I am counting my blessings today.
For those who are interested the photo above is of a charity ball I helped organise last year in aid of a neurological hospital in London. Our theme was Viva Las Vegas and we hosted a Thanksgiving style meal as part of the evening. And yes, one of those dancing couples is M and I.
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Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Sneak Peek: Car Ideas

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Image by Damian Hall Photography via here
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Monday, 24 November 2008

First Photos: Red Frame

Image by Ian Mitchinson Portraits of Redframe and her BB
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The wedding only happened on Saturday yet this morning Redframe posted the first photos of her wedding. That is some speedy work by the photographer. Whilst I myself am not a big fan of jeans at weddings, in this context they somehow seem to work. The style of photography again is not how I would do it myself but again it works for Redframe and BB. Doesn't the wedding look fun and exciting and capture the mood so well you feel as if you are there with them. And that dress? Looks fab Redframe. See here and here for more photos. What a gorgeous set of photos. Looking forward to hearing all the details when you are back from Bali. *sigh*.
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Sunday, 23 November 2008

First Photos: Lovely Morning


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Images by Michele M Waite of Kristina & Brock

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These are some of the first pictures of Kristina from Lovely Morning. She is nearing the end of her honeymoon and soon shall be back and posting about her wedding, which, if the first photos are to go by, was absolutely gorgeous. What ethereal light. And the dress (and shoes). And the flowers. I am in love with the flowers. More photos here and here.

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Saturday, 22 November 2008

Good Luck Red Frame


This is Redframe and her Beautiful Boy who are getting married today. Congratulations and look forward to reading about it once you're back from honeymoon, which I believe is to be in Bali.


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Friday, 21 November 2008

Flower Board

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image credits clockwise from top left: Love Life Images, Real Simple.com,
Wynn Photography, Jennifer Skog, Marie Labbancz, Carrie Patterson
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Still collating ideas about the flowers, which I still intend to construct myself. Although I still love the idea of white roses, I also adore the flowers top left. These have the added bonus of involving another colour other than white, so the flowers will stand out against my dress. No idea what they are though - any ideas?
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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Photography Ideas

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Image by Kelli Nicole Photography

I found this photo when reading That Bride's blog and I loved the idea. Of course, one of the many things I left off yesterday's to-do list was to decide on ideas for photographs and compile a list of images that I would like taken by our photographer.
I also read yesterday in Cosmo Bride that feathers are very much 'on trend', so much so that they had a whole page of ideas including a peacock feathered cake - which I will try and find and upload at some point. Rather irritated that a wedding magazine has already featured my theme as 'on-trend' as there is nothing so passe about featuring something 'on-trend' at your own wedding.
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Monday, 17 November 2008

Are we nearly there yet?

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Images (clockwise from L): Dress by Debenhams, Shoes by Rupert Sanderson, Headdress by Boring Sydney via Etsy, the venue (by me), Peacock via Style Me Pretty, Shoes by Monsoon
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Well, we are getting there at least. I think I am happy about the way that the theme is progressing and complimenting itself. The colours seem to be working. Obviously, there is still a long way to go but we have 7 months still until the big day. I can't even remember what my original time frames were but my to-do list reads as follows:-
  • Choose readings and the people to read them, hymns and the ceremony itself. Finalise music to be played during the signing of the register. Draw up order of service draft. Agree with Vicar. Design order of service. Have printed.
  • My outfit: fill in the details but the main decisions have been made.
  • Check bridesmaids outfits fit them, check shoes fit them. Order jewellery and accessories.
  • Meet with crockery lady and decide which items are needed. Pay deposit.
  • Finish collecting glass tableware. Decide on table settings and layouts. Find napkins & tablecloths, source ribbons and labels. Make labels.
  • Source cheese for the cake. Finish cake toppers
  • Source guest book. Make photo display and decide on decorations for marquee
  • Make and send the invitations
  • Finish website
  • Decide on and book transport to and from church to reception. Book transport for guests between church and reception.
  • Taste and choose wine, champagne and beer. Sort out glasses.
  • Ensure groom purchases clothes for him and ushers and BestMan
  • Flowers and buttonholes
  • Decide on and book honeymoon
  • Design poster to advertise band and DJ. Hire PA system. Sort out transport for equipment.
  • Choose and purchase presents
  • Choose and purchase wedding bands
  • Pray I haven't left anything out...

Considering what this list looked like a few months ago I don't think we're doing too badly... These may be famous last words but for now, I feel vaguely in control just as long as I do not question my choices once they are made.

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Bridesmaids Dresses: A new direction

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Dress by Debenhams (but without the straps)

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Shoes by Monsoon

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The Westfield trip seemed to be a success. I spent as many hours there as I do at work each day, starting out on my own with very few other shoppers for company, was joined by my Mother after an hour so we picked out several dresses for my sister to try on. She duly arrived and tried things on and dress after dress was rejected.

The dress above was the last one that she tried. I wasn't sure about it on the hanger but I thought it worth a bash. I'm glad I did because on her it looked super flattering and very pretty. Turns out that her boobs in the Monsoon dress I picked first were less "I'm a bridesmaid" more "hello boys" which wasn't the look she, or I, wished her to wear on my wedding day. Turns out the dress above looks sexy and demure at the same time. It also looks a lot better on my little sister than it does on the model above. So, Debenhams, if you're reading, you need some new models. May I suggest my sister?

We then decided we should look for some shoes to match it, whilst the dress was with us. A good plan, as every time I picked up a shoe or sandal I thought would work and then held it up to the dress, it didn't. And then, in Monsoon, I saw the shoes above. I think they match rather than go for overkill.

BestFriend then arrived with my own wedding shoes, which I had forgotten and she had picked up on her way to join us. I took them out of the box and held them up against the bridesmaids dresses. And would you believe it, they match the blue ribbons on the dress exactly.

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Friday, 14 November 2008

The Marriage Course 3

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"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" (Voltaire)

Apparently this is not how all married or to-be-married couples think (!) and so yesterdays session was entitled Resolving Conflict. It may have been that we managed to get home and have some supper together first, or that it was simply more interesting or maybe the course is having some effect, but yesterday's session seemed more interesting and helpful than the past 2.

According to the course, people generally behave in one of two ways at the first sign of conflict: that of a rhino (head down, charge at the other person) or that of a hedgehog (curl into a ball and withdraw, prickles out). Apparently the vast majority of couples split down into one of each type. And yes, M and I seem to be no exception to this. The trick to resolving conflict it seems is to assess which kind you are, what causes conflict, how you behave and then try and find a way of supporting each other and reducing inflammatory behaviour. Sounds obvious but I did find the process of assessing what causes conflict and working out how we behave during scenes of conflict (and then how our partner views our behaviour) helpful. M and I are lucky in that we talk a lot anyway and I was already aware of how I behave - despite having less success in changing it - so it did not come as too much of a surprise, but apparently it really does to some couples.

We also had to list things we appreciate about the other and it did surprise me to see that M listed my 'stubborn and determined' attitude as something he appreciated in me, despite me knowing that this, combined with low blood sugar, is almost always the trigger for my shouting. OK, I admit it, I am a rhino.

Last on my list of things I appreciate about M I listed this: "I love it when M brings me a cup of tea in bed". This morning I was woken up by M telling me it was time to get out of bed and that he had moved my phone (alarm clock) to the bedside table. And there, on the bedside table, in my favourite mug, was a cup of tea.

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Thursday, 13 November 2008

Marriage Preparation Course 2

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We actually attended this session last week but it seems to have taken me this long to find a moment to write about it.

This session was called The Art of Communication and, surprise surprise, covered the topics of communication, or talking and listening. Sounds obvious but a lot of people are good at talking and not so good at actually listening to what the other party in the conversation has to say in return. As the presenters showed, for some other people's chat is something to be endured before it is their turn to start speaking again.

So, useful tips inside a marriage or relationship but also useful thoughts to carry into everyday life. We discussed a number of issues surrounding communication but the most useful one, in my opinion, was the plenary when we looked at 'bad habits' such as jumping in and reassuring, giving advice, intellectualising, going off at a tangent, interrupting and so on and realising which ones we are guilty of and then taking steps to work out communication habits which prevent us from using these habits.

I won't go into what M and I discussed and agreed but what I will say is this: next time you are having a conversation, be it with your husband, fiance, boyfriend, friend, Mum or well, whoever, really listen to what they have to say. You might think you want to help them or tell them what to do, or interrupt with something you want to say or just to steer the conversation to a safer or more interesting topic. But try, for once, to really listen and you might be surprised at the result.

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Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Flowers (2)

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Supermarket carnations transformed into a wedding bouquet
Image from RealSimple.com
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This is one of the things I love about blogging, the sense of community, the sense of friendship. I posted about flowers and since then several readers have pointed out helpful things to me. Guilty Secret (who should be busy being married) indicated a nursery which sells roses for 1/10th the price of the independent florist. CeeCee told me that A cup of Jo featured a piece on doing wedding flowers with wraps bought from the supermarket.

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Bouquet of roses by Marie Labbancz

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The roses are much like how I imagine my bouquet to look, except with less ribbon (and it being blue) and without the diamante and pearl rosary, which I am sorry to say that despite allegedly being blessed by the Pope I feel it looks rather tacky. Or perhaps I am just not a diamante sort of girl. But I love the roses.

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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sorry to post this again but it turns out that this is actually a competition won by reader votes so if you did like this board and wanted to see the others and/or vote for it, you can do so by clicking here and leaving a comment!

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Monday, 10 November 2008

Flowers


Images by Real Flower Company except top right (by me) and the one underneath that which is Vera Wang.

Question: Why is it when you go to a florist and mention that you were recommended them by a caterer and that you are looking for flowers for your wedding but you want them as cut stems, not bouquets, they look at you as if you smell bad?


Our caterer recommended a florist. Although I am pretty sure that I will order the flowers on-line I thought I might have a look and see what a local independent florist could offer. I asked about cut stems. He could provide them for £2.50 a stem in wraps of 10 or 20 but became immediately scathing when it became apparent that I intended to parcel them up into bouquets and buttonholes myself.


Obviously I am not stupid. I will have a trial run with some roses from a supermarket and I shall attempt to make my bouquet and a buttonhole or two. If they look alright I shall order something from the online florist to check the service and will hope that everything goes alright on the night before. Clearly if the bouquets look terrible I will reassess my options. But I really don't see the need to spend £75-£100 on my bouquet when all I want is a bunch of roses tied with a ribbon...


Which is probably the answer to my question. Florist hears word 'wedding' and suddenly imagines all the profit they can make on the flowers. Which is not so much if I do it myself. Next time I will not mention the wedding. Probably for the best.

Please excuse the thing splashed across the photo board - until I find a better free option it has to stay
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Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sneak Peek...



Further details to come as and when they are sorted. Colour of ribbon to change and size of dress to be altered but you get the rough idea...

Back in London now so more to come during the week.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Style Me Pretty Little Black Dress Competition

I wrote a while ago about this competition - I don't think it was a competition as such now but hop over to Style Me Pretty to see my entry and all of the others. Some fab ideas if you are thinking of using the LBD theme for your bridesmaids.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Good Luck Guilty!

Tomorrow is the wedding day of Guilty & Baddie. Many many congratulations to them and hoping that their day goes according to plan.

Personally I cannot believe it is already their wedding day and it is November. Only 7 months to go now until my own.

Am off for the weekend now to visit the town of our wedding, catch up with our DJ, meet the Chaplain and visit my parents on the way home to try on my wedding dress again. Last night I bought the most gorgeous cashmere cream cardigan/jacket to wear over the dress in the evening in case it was cold. Reduced from £195 to £25 and it is absolutely adorable. I will share further details and maybe even some photos when I am back next week. We also attended session 2 of the marriage course, so expect an update on that and hopefully I will also get around to the postponed shoe post next week.

Have a good weekend, especially Guilty & Baddie...

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Thursday, 6 November 2008

Hen Party

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As far as wedding planning goes, we are getting there. Most of the big outline decisions have been made (venue, dress and so on) and it is just the sketching in of the details to bring the event to life which are needed. And most of them are in hand, so I am not worrying too much. We still have seven months to go.
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What is worrying me though is the hen party. Traditionally one or all of the bridesmaids would organise this event. My involvement would be limited to deciding who is to be invited and giving a broad outline of the type of party I would like. Sadly, in my case, this is not the case.
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Bridesmaids, as I've said before, are sisters A1 and A2 and sister-in-law-to-be. A1 lives in Australia, A2 is in her final year of university, SILTB is a busy bee in the fashion industry. No one has anytime for hen party planning (least of all me, but someone has to do it).
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I have invited 19 or 20 people. Some can make it for the Saturday only, some can come for 2 nights. I initially wanted to go abroad for a mini-holiday for some sun and relaxation but that plan didn't work. A2's exam dates came through so we moved the weekend to 2 weeks before the wedding.
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I decided we should stay in the UK. I decided I wanted a 20s themed afternoon tea. I found someone (more than someone, I will reveal details when deposits are paid etc, but she is a fab find) to do the tea party.
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I tried to find a house, or collection of cottages which will sleep 15. The one place I found is already booked. Some cottages will not cater for groups of 15 at 'that time of year', others will not do a short break in the school hols (my chosen weekend is the last weekend of half term). I am pretty flexible on requirements save that it must be in the Vale of Glamorgan (because of the afternoon tea). I do not know where to turn now.
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If anyone knows of a solution to this problem, I would be very grateful to hear it.
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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Bridesmaids Dresses -The saga continues

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After all that, it looks like the Monsoon dresses may be a no go. I will not go into further details as I do not want to embarrass my bridesmaids, but something to do with the shape of the dress and the shape of the body and neither the two shall meet.


So, back to the drawing board again. Some more ideas have turned up as has a plot to visit Westfield in Holland Park and see what can be found there... Stay tuned, if you can stand the excitement!
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Images (L-R): Dresses by Oliver Bonas, Oasis, Warehouse, Monsoon & Oliver Bonas.

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Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Please Vote!

Rachel says it better than I can (as it is lunchtime and I am on a course)

"Dear American readers, If you are lucky enough to have a vote in the US elections, please use it. Even though the lines may be long, the system chaotic, the weather bad, your feet sore, the pollsters telling you that you don't need to, he'll win anyway...please vote. Thank you. Really, thank you. And I hope that you have a great day."