The Bride Diaries
The Bride Diaries. Holly’s DIY Bouquets & Jim’s Suit

It’s so nearly the weekend. YAY. I hope you have some brilliant plans for the weekend :-) I know that wedding fair season is in full swing, so I am sure many of you are headed for a wedding day out.

Real bride Holly is back today to share her latest wedding planning adventures. She shares her plans for their wedding flowers, Jim’s colourful suit and invitations. Look out for a top bouquet arranging tip DIY brides XOXO Lou




I can’t believe we’re already in February. It’s difficult to imagine it’s so close to spring when the weather is so frosty out there! At the end of my last post, I listed a whole load of wedding things we hadn’t organised yet so I thought I’d take each one and update you on whether there’s been any progress!




Guess what? We still haven’t sent the invites out. Whoops. We are almost there though. We’re certainly much closer now than we were at my last blog post and I’ve even started to kid myself that being pressured for time is in fact a good thing. When we first got engaged, I thought our invitations should be perfect. I wanted to craft the most original, beautiful, personal invitations that would be cherished and beloved by all our guests… I’ve now come to realise that our guests probably don’t really care what the invite looks like or how long I spent making it, they just want to know where they’ve got to be and when.

After we’d spent an evening at a computer designing the printed elements of the invite, I knew we’d need to buy a pretty ink-efficient printer. After a bit of googling for the best printer prices, I came across HP’s Instant Ink scheme. If you don’t know about this – prepare to have your mind blown. We bought a printer that ORDERS ITS OWN INK CARTRIDGES. The printer knows when it’s about to run out of ink and automatically orders replacement cartridges so that they’ll arrive before it completely runs out. It all works by paying a small monthly subscription fee rather than paying for replacement cartridges. I’ve been pretty much raving about it ever since. It’s completely made doing all our own printing for the wedding completely feasible, easy and stress-free. It’s been perfect, especially as we had two months’ worth of printing free when we bought the printer. If you’re considering doing a lot of printing for your own wedding, I’d definitely recommend looking into it!

As much as I’d love to share what our invitations look like, I am going to keep it under wraps for just a little bit longer so our guests don’t know what will soon be popping through their letterboxes. If you’d like a little teaser though, check out We Lived Happily Ever After as we used some of her free-for-personal-use download images.


Jim’s Outfit


So we haven’t quite ticked invitations off the list yet, but we can just about tick off Jim’s outfit. In fact, we can tick it off twice! Yes, he has two suits for our wedding day. I was flabbergasted earlier in the year to receive an email from Rupert the Tailor telling me I’d won a free suit in a giveaway I’d entered! Rupert specialises in tailor-made colourful suits, meaning Jim had a whole palette of colours to choose from for his custom made suit which he was pretty happy about. He’s got an odd sort of taste, and quite fancied either looking like Noddy or Willy Wonka for the wedding so the opportunity to go wild with a colourful suit was a real treat! We spent an evening taking all sorts of body measurements and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it finally arrives, hopefully in a few weeks’ time. And the colour Jim finally opted for? Persian Plum.

As we’re having two ceremonies (a legal one and our own blessing), it made sense that he’d need two suits, especially as Jim’s wardrobe is severely lacking in a nice suit to wear for posh occasions. I’m not the kind of bride to obsess over what he would be wearing (or to obsess over what anyone is wearing really… I think I’m driving my bridesmaids insane), I just wanted Jim to love what he was wearing as much as I love my wedding dress. He tried lots of suits on in various colours and cuts and I have to say, Jim does look rather dashing in a suit! But there was nothing that popped out… Until we stepped out of the suit part of the department store and came across some wool blend jackets and waistcoats.

There’s countless of blog posts out there about finding your wedding dress, especially regarding the expectation that once you’ve tried on ‘the one’, the room will fill with tears and everyone will cry – seemingly unable to cope with how beautiful you look. Well, that didn’t happen for me. No one cried. I didn’t expect anyone to cry. I knew I loved my dress and it was the one for me without anyone’s cheeks getting soggy. So imagine my surprise as I suddenly started crying when Jim tried on this particular suit jacket and waistcoat. Out of nowhere! Just cried. I knew then we had to buy that outfit! Luckily, Jim agreed too! All that remains to decide now is which suit to wear for which ceremony.


Love You More Than




I’ve still not really gotten anywhere with flowers… I’m fairly determined to do them myself. Back in October, Jim and I went to a bouquet making workshop at a posh wedding fayre and it was actually easier than I thought it would be! I really enjoyed it and I don’t think our bouquets looked that bad. One of my bridesmaids Katie also did her own flowers at her wedding so she brings some experience to the table – I shall definitely be roping her in to help with ours. Top tip: if you’re planning to wrap ribbon around the stems of your bouquet, wrap some sticky tape (sticky side up) around the stems where you’d like your ribbon to sit. This will hold your ribbon in place and ensure it doesn’t slip or slide throughout the day.


Our Bouquets (more…)

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The Bride Diaries
The Bride Diaries. Jess’ Amazing Cinema Save The Dates

It’s Friday. Yippeee. Before you log out to enjoy the weekend resident real bride Jess is back. She is sharing her epic save the dates, super organisation skills and new year detoxing plans with us. Thanks Jess :-) XOXO Lou


Real Bride


Hello Lovely Bride’s !

It is the last week of January and I have made it!… No caffeine, No Diet Coke No cheese (I ate over indulged and New Year and threw up), No chocolate, No booze…. No Fun!  I received the nutri bullet on my Christmas wish list (gifted to by me!)  I have become the detox bride to be with 4 months and 2 weeks to go, will this last?  I’m not going to commit and say absolutely, because I don’t even recognize myself… not a day would have gone by without at 3 cups of Yorkshire Tea’s finest and now I can’t believe what I am typing – I was relieved to find there is a de-caf version, so all is not lost!

So the wedding…. 2015 has come and it’s real, this wedding is definitely happening!  Save the dates went out and there is no turning back!

While we’re on the subject of save the dates, here’s what we did!  I have got to say a big thankyou to the lovely lot at Screen on The Green in Angel, London.  The 2 lovelies who got up a ladder in the pouring rain to change the letters and to our mate Gus for taking such a wicked snap!  So it all came about from a recent project I did with the team at the cinema and thought why not ask the question… don’t ask, what’s the worst that can happen!  It was definitely a pinch yourself moment walking away and seeing your name in lights…. PLUS your wedding date!  A photo that will last for a lifetime!


Cinema Save The Date Cinema Save The Date (more…)

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The Bride Diaries
The Bride Diaries. Amy’s Engagement Shoot & Sad Loss

This afternoon real bride Amy has some devastating news to share with us.  I am sending her all of my love and thoughts at this time and I know you will all want to do the same. Thank you for sharing Amy. I so love her gorgeous engagement shoot images with Ashley by Toast of Leeds. Stunning XOXO Lou


Engagement Shoot


Hello there lovelies ☺ I hope you are all feeling fabulous and are settling into the New Year nicely. Serious January blues over here, I was a right little miss piggy over the festive season so I’m hitting the salads hard to try and get my body back to some kind of normality, all the while having a massive box of Continental winking at me. Damn you Viennese truffles!

You know when you get back to work after Christmas, and the first thing every single person asks you is ‘did you have a nice Christmas?’ – I’m totally guilty of this – and you’re all like ‘yeah it was great thanks, I’m so sad to be back here’. Well I didn’t have that this year, don’t get me wrong everyone wanted to know how my Christmas was, but I couldn’t give that usual response. See my wonderful mum unexpectedly passed away on the 15th so it was impossible to have enjoyed a day which normally brings me so much happiness.


Bride Diaries


I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and kill the mood, so I’ll try to keep this as brief as I can (I think by now you know me and brief don’t really go together!) before I move on to the good stuff. I’ve read a lot of real wedding posts on various wedding blogs, where brides sadly don’t have one of their parents with them on their special day. I’d always read them and thought ‘aawww how awful it must be not to have both your parents there to see you get married’ because of course you never imagine that it’s going to be you. It’s true that no one can say or do anything to make you feel better, you just have to try and get through each day, hoping that tomorrow will be better than today. It’s not fair that my mum was taken from me without warning, so suddenly. At the moment I feel so angry that, although our wedding day is going to be wonderful, it’s now going to be tinged with sadness at the loss of such a fantastic lady.

Ashley wondered whether I would want to postpone the wedding, and in truth I think if the day was a bit closer I probably would have wanted to, but really if anything this has only made me want to marry him more. He has been so wonderful the last few weeks, I guess calling him my rock would be a little cliché but I don’t know how else to describe it. Ash has had to put up with my tears, my silence, my screams, instinctively knowing when I needed a cuddle and when he had to leave me the hell alone. He really is my soul mate, it makes me so happy to say I marry him this year.

Ok then, let’s sweep all that horrible stuff under the rug for now, and move on to some wedding planning gossip! We’ve been quite the busy bees lately, what with wedding rings bought, florist chosen, and honeymoon booked – ridiculously excited about that last one as I’m sure you can imagine, I’m going to keep the details under wraps for now though, but I’ll leave you with one little clue…..


Ash Amy USA


I’d like to leave you guys with some amazing pictures taken by our fabulous photographer, Shelly Mantovani of Toast of Leeds, from the engagement shoot we had one chilly Sunday morning in Leeds city centre (it was also VERY windy!)

I’m going to echo what many a bride to be has said, including the lovely Holly and Katy, it was great practise! Ash and I were so awkward, I suppose not really knowing what to expect, luckily Shelly knew just what to do – talking about the latest edition of Playboy was a great ice breaker! Looking at these photos we know we made the right choice in Shelly, not only is she going to be a trusted supplier on the day, but it’ll be like having an extra guest ☺


Engagement Shoot Engagement Shoot (more…)

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The Bride Diaries
The Bride Diaries. Rosie’s Scrumptious Food Choices

Is your wedding menu important to you? Well for foodies Rosie and Elliot it is top of their list. When you hear their menu choices you may well feel your mouth watering. Have you chosen your wedding food? Why not share with us what you are going for XOXO Lou


Wedding Planning

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Food, good food, is incredibly important to Elliot and I. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that is the main pivotal point to what our days, and particularly our weekends revolve around. Elliot has a bottomless stomach and a great love for big hearty dishes, I love herbs and spice, and most particularly, bread.

I work for an organic food company, so there are always conversations flying around the office as to what people are eating that night, what they had for breakfast, where they’re going out at the weekend. There is always this subject to turn to if there is no other conversation to be found. I find that food brings sometimes the most unlikely of people together.

And at a wedding, this is no exception! This may be terrible of me, but from all the weddings I’ve ever been to, I tend to judge the wedding on the type of food that was served. Isn’t that terrible? I particularly dislike food that involves ‘drizzles’ and ‘parcels’. It became clear to us as we were viewing venues at the beginning of our journey that a ‘Menu A’ or ‘Menu B’ offering was not going to satisfy our hungry appetites.

So when we discovered Parsonage Farm, Upton, we were thrilled that Sarah and John (the owners) said we were absolutely free to do whatever we wanted food-wise. Hurrah! And – veggies and vegans look away now – what is even more fantastic, is that Sarah and John make their own charcuterie meats from their own pig and cow herd. We thought a selection of cured meats with delicious crusty bread would be perfect for a starter and it’s sourced as local as it could possibly be, which is really important to me.

El was absolutely adamant that a Hog Roast was the best way to get people talking. It has the element of spectacle that would suit the atmosphere we’d like to create and would suit a hot September afternoon, or a chilly one. As long as a people still thinks the bride looks beautiful munching on crackling, then I’m cool with that too!

I, quite naively, thought that we would be able to do the accompaniments to the main meal ourselves… When I voiced this to my mum, she was not so sure and I realised that most of the responsibility would fall on her – which wouldn’t be fair at all, even if she is the best cook in the world.

Our next stage was finding a caterer. Mum took the reins on this one and steered Elliot and I to meet the most fantastic and understanding caterer we could have ever hoped to meet. When we met Emma from Taste Food, she immediately got us. She understood the importance of sourcing as locally as possible, and asked if we’d ever looked through Ottolenghi’s recipe book Plenty. At that, I was putty in her hands! She also recommended some fantastic sounding vegetarian mains that could be as show-stopping as the hog, and were definitely not the soggy ‘cheese & tomato quiche’ of my nightmares.

Aside from all of this (and most importantly), she understood our budget and worked with my mum and I on seeing what we had (napkins, table cloths, plates, bowls, tea cups & sauces) and working around a figure that we looked at and thought – ‘that’s totally worth it’.

Within a week of meeting us, Emma sent us through a choice of 12 wonderful salads that could accompany the hog. They look fresh, full of flavour and have some beautiful combinations that will hopefully excite the guests as much as us! And now it’s up to Elliot and I to decide which 4 we would love to see decorate our guests’ tables. I am SO excited!

Next time, Elliot will be writing an entry all about the plans for his Stag. This will be news to me too, as he’s been very quiet as to what secrets the ‘Mission Stag’ Whatsapp group holds…

Ciao for now!

Rosie x

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The Bride Diaries
The Bride Diaries. Holly’s Polaroid Save The Dates & Guest List Woes

To start the weekend and really get that Friday feeling, we have one of our wonderful WWW real brides here – Holly. Those of you about to embark on a wedding planning weekend may find Holly’s words comforting and useful today. With awesome DIY save the dates (plus a top tip) and her guest list woes. We’d love to hear from you too about how you are choosing your wedding guests :-) XOXO Lou


Save the Dates


After a wonderful Christmas, which included our annual Boxing Day walk up the Clent Hills, it’s now 2015 and that means I can officially say ‘We’re getting married this year!’ I can’t quite believe it.  Time definitely flies when you’re having fun. With just over three months left, the realisation has set in that we’ve still got a mountain of things to do and not a great deal of time to do it in. Whoops. But we have got all the big things sorted and it’s about time I let you know about them.


Boxing Day Walk


Let me introduce: Hatton Village Hall. Our wedding venue. Understandably, it was the first thing we ticked off the list. Very early on we knew we wanted to do as much of our wedding ourselves as we could – including the décor and catering, so we needed a venue that would allow us to do this. A village hall was the perfect shout, although we didn’t think we’d find one as beautiful as this. The main part of the building was purpose built in 1924 but the second part of the building used to be the old school house – the school coat hooks are still there and are a lovely welcoming feature!


Hatton Village Hall


We’re holding both our ceremony and our reception at Hatton Village Hall but we made the decision to restructure our wedding day a little differently to the norm – mainly because it enabled us to save quite a lot of money! In order to cut out what I considered to be an extortionate fee to have an official registrant come to Hatton to conduct our ceremony, we’ve decided to ‘do the legal bit’ in the morning. Nothing fancy, just us two, our parents and two witnesses in our jeans and t-shirts at a local registry office. We won’t be saying our proper vows or exchanging rings – we’ll literally say the legal minimum required, sign the certificate and skedaddle back to my parents’ house afterwards for a nice big family breakfast before getting ourselves dolled up for the main event. Even though we’re still having a wedding ceremony at Hatton (albeit not a legal one), they amazingly still said they would only charge us as if we were holding a reception. Bargain!

The other main component of our day is our lovely photographer: Louise Holgate. As soon as we met her, we knew she was the one for us! We just had to look at each other to know we’d made up our mind. Not only are her photos breathtakingly beautiful, but she’s just lovely. She’s been a real source of wedding wisdom and support throughout our engagement so far and I know we’ll feel 100% relaxed around her on the day. (more…)

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