I can’t believe I’m writing my fifth blog post for RMW already – where has the time gone?!?
With less than 5 months to go, the pressure has definitely mounted and it feels like I’m carrying out wedding tasks every weekend (sometimes every day!). Some of it is really fun (shoe shopping!), but some of it has become tedious and tiring. Yep, I’m feeling a little wedding fatigued and am looking forward to it actually being the 21st July.
Nonetheless, there have of course been some great highlights this past month, mainly my mum finding a beautiful MOB outfit (we still have the hat and shoes to find, but one step at a time!), buying accessories to complete The Outfit and, last but not least, my toile fitting.
Just in case you were wondering, a toile is basically the dress but in a cheaper material. It is altered directly on you before being used to make The Dress. The ladies at Sassi Holford were a little amused (bewildered?) when I told them that I felt quite glamorous in my toile and black slip, but hey, how many other times in my life will I have a toile??? Plus I got to meet Sassi herself (who by the way is very relaxed and down-to-earth!) who made doubly sure it all fitted perfectly.
So, in terms of self-indulgent moments, I’d say that my hour spent prancing around in a corset is high up there and, despite some very mini-wobbles, I’m still massively in love with my dress!
Over the past month though, most of my energy has been dedicated to wedding invites and the bridesmaids’ dresses (and the gym!), so let me tell you all about my trials and tribulations (and successes!)…
I debated whether to post our invites since you’ll see them before our actual guests but honestly, I’m just too excited about them to keep them to myself (I’m generally terrible at keeping good surprises…)
They are being printed as we speak and I have to admit I’m really quite proud of them! Not that I had anything to do with the actual design of it… No, no. All the credit goes to Melissa and Amy from Atheneum Creative. Not only are they incredibly talented, they are also some of the most patient, flexible and understanding people ever!
So, let’s rewind a little here, and tell you how I found Atheneum Creative. After we sent our save-the-date postcards, Tom and I decided we wanted to keep the travel-theme running through our invites too. Google spurted out a whole plethora of invites at me, from the old-school letter style to the boarding pass and even to passport invites! In fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to travel-themed wedding invitations…. Me, obsessed? No…
In all of them, there was just something slightly missing: while they perfectly fitted a relaxed exotic destination wedding, they just weren’t quite formal enough for us. So we kept looking until I found the perfect invite on a blog called Nothing But Bonfires (which I recommend in general):
A couple called Holly and Sean created this invite for their wedding in 2009 and, whilst I couldn’t copy it, I did study it in detail to narrow down what it was I really liked about travel-themed invites:
- Maps needed to be included
- he invite itself should be traditional with just a little bit of added flair
Nailing those two aspects actually really focused my research and it was only just a few days later that I came across Atheneum Creative’s take on map-themed invites on the US stationery blog called Oh So Beautiful Paper (yet another blog I recommend!):
And the rest is history.
Uhhh, well, actually, no.
This is where the real hard work started…. The first thing to do was have the map designed. I was tasked with sending Melissa an outline of the map we wanted illustrated, and a list and pictures of the places that had meaning to us. I had to seriously get my thinking caps on for that one! But look at how amazing the map looks now:
The second task was combining French and English. For our save-the-dates, we kept the two languages completely separate but both of us wanted our invites to be bilingual, as that has become a strong part of our identity as a couple. I’ll spare you the details but this was definitely one of the hardest problems (I’m so not looking forward to planning the ceremony!!)!
Melissa and Amy remained cool as cucumbers when presented with this additional challenge and suggested having one side in English and one in French. To add a little colour to the whole design, we went for one side in pearl white with letterpress and the other side in pink digitally-printed.
The final task was choosing the green, the pink and the white. Up until now, I’ve been quite proud to call myself the ‘anti-matchy-matchy bride’ and I insisted that our wedding would be all sorts of pinks and greens and whites.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have fallen from my pedestal and the experience was painful (for everyone involved). I spent a week looking at different pinks: one was a little bit Barbie, but then the other one didn’t look quite romantic enough and the dark one just felt a little too modern. I was not a pretty sight and, after receiving about 40 emails, Tom banned me from sending him anymore that mentioned the word ‘pink’! And let’s be honest, will our guests really comment on the choice of pink?! Uhhhhhh…. Nope.
Anyhow, I made it out of this dark dark place and I’m really excited about seeing the result. Here’s a preview of what it will all look like:
The final big item I’ve been working on has been The Bridesmaids’ Dresses. This process is ongoing but I thought you might enjoy a little taster of where my mind has been wondering.
First things first, here are my four lovely ladies that have accepted the precarious task of getting me to the church on time and in one piece:
Alia and I met on the first day of French sixth-form back in 2000 and have been besties ever since despite living in different countries for the past nine years. Frances, Simone and Sophy are, quite simply, my been-through-it-all and couldn’t-live-without university friends. All four have been amazing and really supportive so far, in particularly just listening to me ramble on and on and on about dresses and pinks.
So it’s only right that I find them fabulous frocks to show them off at their best on the big day. The question is though, which frock will they all rock?! Regardless of their different heights and skin tones, they all have very different personalities and styles, so this was always going to be a challenge.
I’m not a big shopper on my best of days, so I decided to make this effort a collaborative one (delegate, people, delegate!). In terms of likes, my own googling showed me that
- I preferred cocktail/ tea-length to full-length gowns.
- I really liked the traditional ivory/ white dresses with some sort of coloured sash or accessories, though I would be perfectly happy with pink dresses too.
With this in mind, we started out with Dessy, just because they have soooo many dresses! Well, it turns out that bridesmaids’ shops can be just as awkward as bridal shops… When we went for our appointment, not only were we left out in the cold (on the coldest day of the year) for 25 minutes, the sales assistants made no effort to advise or help us! Lucky for me, I have four very stubborn bridesmaids and they weren’t going to be easily deterred. So they went ahead and tried on every knee length dress available in the shop! The girls must have tried on about 20 dresses, and, fortunately, we finally came out with ONE winner:
As a general rule, though, I’m never satisfied with just one choice so I have continued searching high and low for dresses, and here is the current selection of favourite dresses:
For any one interested, the current favourites are all catalogued on a Pinterest board. Naturally.
I also have two more appointments lined up over the next month at The Dress Consultants and Maids to Measure (they literally didn’t have an available Saturday appointment until May!!!!). At this point, I’ll probably have too many choices to choose from and it’ll all start merging into one, but hopefully, the girls will all like one dress and that’ll be that.
I would be very curious to hear how you all got on with bridesmaids’ dresses. And if anyone has spotted some cool-looking dresses for me to check out, please let me know!
Well, as usual, I’ve rambled on for way too long. By the next post, we’ll have made our final trip to Brittany (via a romantic mini road trip in Loire Valley – woo-hoo!) and we should have a whole bunch of to-do’s completed…. At least that’s the plan.