Having Fun and Getting Organised…
Hello fellow planners!… Since I last wrote we have really been getting in to ‘bride and groom to be’ mode… and enjoying every minute of it! We are researching various things almost every evening and have so many ideas floating around that we’re finding it hard to refine them and methodically place them in to the day. Like, we currently have about 5 favour ideas that we really want to do, but we will need to supply people with bags to carry them all home in at this rate! I hope that over time and in writing this, our ideas will gradually be whittled down and effortlessly make their way in to a logical order… well, that’s the plan anyway! Whilst we have been dreaming of all the fun stuff, we have also been busy getting the big stuff booked so we at least appear organised! So here’s a little update on our plans.
Save the Dates
I couldn’t wait to get crafting with these so after booking the venue I went straight online and bought stamps, recycled card and magnets, to do some DIY save the dates. I scoured Pinterest for ages beforehand and found a design that featured the thumb prints of the bride and groom to form a heart, simple yet effective… I think this will be my moto throughout the process! It only took us a couple of days to get these done and all for about £30 including the personalised stamp from Pretty Rubber Stamps on notonthehighstreet.com, and for the measly sacrifice of a red stained thumb for a few days, lovely!
Food & Drink
Working on a budget, but being complete lovers of food we quickly realised that these two things don’t really go hand in hand. Our initial idea was to have a festival, street food style feast with multiple vans serving a variety of options so that guests could pick and choose whatever took their fancy. We found some great catering vans and companies who specialise in this sort of wedding and they sounded great, but we soon realised that feeding our guests and giving them a choice, wasn’t the most economical option… Back to the drawing board! I had seen some picnic weddings on the blog but had initially thought it wouldn’t be enough food. However, keeping an open mind and determined to explore all our options, I came across Newmarket Hampers who offer gorgeous picnics served in traditional wicker hamper baskets. Each one is filled with customary picnic treats from cheese, biscuits, sausage rolls and pies, to strawberries, scones and brownies. Due to the self-serve element the price was so much more affordable but without skimping on quality. I actually love the self-serve element, as by nature it’s really relaxed, informal and perfect for getting to know new people. We were totally sold when we went to a tasting event and met Tessa and Paul who head this family run business and left with (very) full bellies and smiles on our faces. Their passion for their business and using fresh local ingredients really shone through. Tessa hand bakes all her delicious brownies and the crisps in the hampers are even made from potatoes grown in the farm next door! It will be a truly quaint, British affair and we are really excited for the most special picnic of our lives, shared with all our loved ones.
For the evening, we decided we really wanted a van of some sort as a nod to our love of street food. We have decided to go with stone baked pizzas for their ease and versatility and they’ll be cooked by Woodley’s Pizza who serve to guests from a restored vintage horse box. We did the onerous task of testing them out one cold Friday evening, and they were super scrummy! To add to the street food feel we are having an outside bar, which also happens to serve out of a restored vintage horse box, can you see a theme starting here? The Duck and Pheasant specialise in serving craft beer and real ale from local breweries, something that Nick is always championing and was keen to have for our wedding. I’m sure we’ll have another arduous task of picking and testing some local liquid specialities in the coming months, whoever said wedding planning had to be stressful?!
Another food element we have secured, and possibly the one I’m most excited about, is ice cream! We always make a thing out of the first and last ice cream of the season, and most years we usually have an ice cream from Molly Moo’s Ices, a 1971 vintage ice cream van, restored to its former glory. Molly Moo serves Essex and beyond at food fairs and other local events and whenever I see her I have to have a scoop of their delicious honeycomb ice cream, it’s glorious! This van is probably the one thing I had thought that if we were ever to get married, I would love to have! To kick off our married life in style, we have asked Molly Moo to serve our guests ice cream at the church straight after the ceremony. What better way is there to start married life!?
We have also been super organised and already secured our photographer for the day. Before we booked our venue I had looked through photos of other marriages that had taken place there and made a note of the photographers. One who really stood out for me was Rebecca Prigmore, whose photography style is really natural, joyful and spontaneous, and that is just how we’d like our day to be. When we met Rebecca she immediately made us feel comfortable, which is important as the two of us aren’t really ones for jumping in front of the camera, but I’m sure Rebecca will put us at ease and get the best out of us.
With most of the big things now booked, we have been enjoying life as wedding planners and are loving delving in to the limitless possibilities there are to a wedding these days! We have browsed round numerous wedding fairs for inspiration and I took my mum and sister to the rustic wedding show in Huntingdon in April. I would definitely recommend this show, for anyone looking for rustic, outdoorsy and alternative wedding vibes. We had a great time looking at all that was on offer, from bell tents and shepherd’s huts to stationery and prop hire. We also had a hilariously frantic few minutes posing in the photo booth, you can see the end results on our photo strip! This wasn’t actually something I had considered before but I can see now why people have them and I am thinking of getting some props that people can have some fun with in a similar way! We had a great day out and it’s wonderful to be able to have some girly time and get all excited about all the possibilities and we came home full of ideas for the day.
Next on the list…
At the time of writing we are just a few weeks away from hitting the 12-month countdown! I will be heading to a few dress shops in the coming months to start getting an idea of what I want, I am quite indecisive so I thought it best we start early! Nick is also having a ‘lads’ day with his two best men to see what the high street has to offer them for their outfits, and I’m sure they will also be testing some craft beers that day too! The next big thing on our list now though is entertainment and we are a bit stuck on this one. We aren’t really keen on a DJ although we’re still considering it, but we would love some sort of live music. We aren’t really ‘dance-y’ people but we go to a lot of gigs and just really appreciate live music and talented musicians. We still have a lot of research to do on this, but on first look we are finding it difficult to find something we like within our budget. We’ve considered a band, a ceilidh and a string covers group. We have also considered a DIY playlist simply to keep the cost down but so many things I have read online say this isn’t a good idea, and I wondered if anyone has any experience of this? We are quite relaxed on this one so if anyone has any alternative thoughts for evening entertainment that we might not have considered and might be worth us looking at, we would definitely love to hear them!
Hopefully we will have this bit organised by the next time I write, so watch this space! Until next time…