The Bride Diaries. Beth and Ian’s Save the Dates & Dress

Hello fellow wedding planning friends!

What a busy couple of months it has been since I wrote my last update! As I work in News and Current Affairs, the last few weeks have been testing to say the least. With all the horror that we’ve seen recently – it has really put into perspective the importance of living for the moment, loving each day, being kind to everyone around you (and yourself!) and trying to focus on the positive aspects of simply being a part of this world.

I feel luckier than ever to be marrying such an amazing person who I am proud to walk alongside every day. And similarly, cannot wait to spend our special day with some very special people.


UK Wedding Blog Diary Bride Bridal Planning

In terms of our plans, some big developments to tell you about!!

First and foremost, I have found my dress!!!! This feels like a major tick in the box, though the process turned out very differently than I had expected! I am by design, an extremely decisive person, but I’m also quite an impulsive person, and the prospect of buying a dress scared me somewhat because I was worried I would find one I liked, buy it immediately and then see something else I liked when it was too late! Also, I am extremely self conscious about pretty much every element of my body and had convinced myself I would be the only bride in the history of brides to find nothing that made me feel special.

For those reasons, I chose very carefully when it came to booking my bridal appointments. I researched the designers I wanted to try thoroughly beforehand. Pinterest really helped here, as over the course of a few months I really built up a picture in my head of what my ‘dream’ dress might be, both in my heart and mind. I decided then that I would choose the shops based on 4 elements:

The designers they carried / The vibe of their shop
Personal recommendations
Customer Service (when booking the appointment)

Number 4 might seem a strange one, but a lot of the designers I loved were simply non-existent in Welsh stores. So I wanted to choose shops in towns that were obviously practical (driving to Yorkshire for fittings was probably going to be slightly ambitious!) but that would also be nice for me, and my friends and family to visit over the next year or so!

So with those things in mind I booked four different shops across the South West, and promised myself I would make no final decision until all four of them were visited! All of them stocked different lust worthy designers, and I spent a wonderful month with just my mum visiting them all. I chose to just go with my mum for the first appointments because if I had initially gone with all my bride tribe, I would have taken on board all their feedback and reactions, and probably never made a decision. I realised I had to fall in love with the dress first and then ask for opinions later but of course my mum is my most honest friend and critic, and I was so lucky to have her by my side for all the appointments.

We must have tried on 50 or more dresses! All of them beautiful, but not all of them for me. Interestingly I found with some dresses, they were INCREDIBLE designs and suited me really well but with our day in mind they just didn’t feel right, if that makes sense? I’m so glad Ian and I have a clear vision in our heads of how we would like the day to feel because this made my decision a lot easier.

In the end, the choice came down to two dresses (not going to mention any designers or styles!) but it was VERY much a choice of heart or head. And this is where my bridesmaids came in. On a wonderful Saturday in April, we travelled to Bristol and to Bradford on Avon (enjoying the best hot chocolate EVER at Fat Fowl for our sins!) and I asked them which dress they thought would suit me, and our day the best. They all went for one dress, though of course, in reality my mind was already made up but I think that came across when I tried both dresses on? I stood a little taller and prouder in the dress that will now be mine! They all went for the dress that my heart had already been sold on.

So I am happy to say, that in little over a year’s time I will be a Mews of Clifton Bride! I honestly went into this shop thinking ‘there is no way I am cool enough to buy my dress here’ and upon mentioning the designer to Gail and her team I actually said ‘my heart and my Pinterest board are full of these designs, I love them but I am not sure they will love me!’ But Gail and her wonderful ladies soon expelled all my fears, and chose a wonderful selection that incorporated all the elements I had asked for. I just know my frock is the right one for me. It is perhaps also fateful that I found my dress on the birthday of one of my heroes, Stevie Nicks. I take none of these fateful coincidences for granted!


UK Wedding Blog Diary Bride Bridal Planning

I must say though, I would seriously, seriously recommend both Rachael Burgess Bridal boutique in Penarth AND Harriet at Perfect Day Bridal in Bradford on Avon. If my decision had been based on customer service alone, both these shops would have had me walking out with one of their dresses. Both are fantastic boutiques, both came highly recommended to me, and I cannot imagine any bride-to-be having a bad experience there. So, I would just like to thank Rachael and team Perfect Day for all their help. Even though I didn’t buy my dress from them, they were an important part of helping me to find my ‘one.’

With the dress bought, I thought it was probably worthwhile investing in a little fitness regime! So I am currently 10 weeks into a Results With Lucy plan. This has been wonderful for me in a number of ways. I think in today’s society it is more important than ever for young ladies and gentlemen to feel confident and positive about their bodies. We are constantly bombarded with images of what ‘beauty’ should look like, and quite frankly most of it is rubbish. The most important thing is to be HAPPY and HEALTHY in your own skin, and embrace your individual spirit. So I’m really glad I’ve found Lucy’s plans to help me get fit both physically and emotionally in preparation for the big day as it’s all about building strength and looking after yourself in a sustainable way.

Elsewhere, the other biggie for this month, we have sent out our Save The Dates! I am absolutely honoured to be working with Harriet from de Winton Paper co for all my stationery, both invites and on the day designs. Harriet is a true artistic genius and I am beyond delighted with how our save the date designs turned out.


UK Wedding Blog Diary Bride Bridal Planning

Our day will include lots of references to our favourite films, books, and music so I chose a quote from one of Ian and I’s favourite films for the front of the card, with the date on the back. The Fountain was one of the very first films we watched together, and one of the first gifts Ian ever bought me was a graphic novel based on the film. For those that haven’t seen it, in a nutshell it’s about one man’s eternal fight to save the woman he loves, it’s about a love that spans lifetimes, that endures war and illness and the end of days – a love that is forever.

UK Wedding Blog Diary Bride Bridal Planning

Harriet made the quote stand out so brilliantly with her elegant design, and having it double sided means I can frame a copy for our wall. I am so excited to work further with Harriet on our full invites and on the day elements, and I have been so thrilled with the response we’ve had from family and friends. Particularly Penny dog (below!)


UK Wedding Blog Diary Bride Bridal Planning

So, with the ‘year to go’ fast approaching there is no slowing down now. We have super busy month ahead. On the agenda are an appointment to find some bridesmaid dresses, a meeting to decide on the style and feel of our ceremony (this is a big one!) and a little bit more work on the styling of the day, watch out for a joint post soon between myself and our wonderful stylist Kirsten of Little Wedding Helper, we’ve just begun buying little bits and bobs and I am beyond excited to share them with you!

We’ve also just booked a visit to the Isle of Skye in November for my 30th birthday celebrations and an adventure shoot with our fabulous photographer Christopher, of Christopher Ian Photography. I cannot wait to tell you more about Chris and his work, I have to say his work is an element of the day that I am particularly excited about. Here’s a taste of some work he did for another lovely couple earlier this year…


UK Wedding Blog Diary Bride Bridal Planning

I will leave you with this quote today; it’s one of the many reasons why I am so lucky to have Ian:

‘There will be dozens of people who will take your breath away, but the one who reminds you to breathe is the one you should keep.’

For now, lots of love,




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