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Building A Magical Atmosphere.

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Friday is finally here, and with it we have a visual feast of a wedding for you.

Lindsay and Daryl married at the height of summer in a beautiful 17th Century House in the Brecon Beacons – it truly does look like a magical occasion.

With Martin Ellard’s images and Lindsay’s words, the sense of building anticipation that surrounds a wedding has been captured beautifully.

So please – get yourselves comfy and indulge in this sumptuous Welsh wedding.

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Spectacular But Not Fussy

Lindsay The Bride: The venue was perfect from the first time we saw it. We wanted an outdoor and relaxed wedding, nothing too formal or traditional – and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Penpont had a touch of the spectacular without the usual fuss, and just getting married on a porch was so easy and natural. The porch just happened to be that of a 17th Century House set in a 2000 acre rural estate within the Brecon Beacons.

It’s tough to find a place outdoors to get legally married, and the fact that the porch was a licensed area of the venue meant that we could stand outside and read our vows, with our guests sitting outside too. All we needed now was the good weather. You can’t guarantee good weather, but we had picked the hottest day of the year – statistically speaking – so we gave ourselves the best possible chance.

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We setup a giant tipi on the front lawn, ready for dinner and the reception. We also had games and bales of straw.

The surroundings were vast and open, yet seemed so intimate. We also loved that guests could camp if they chose, it added to the relaxed feeling surrounding the wedding. When the band arrived the day before and started practicing it all started to click into place and the atmosphere began to build.

Guests that were staying, either in the courtyard wing or camping, started to arrive and the night before the wedding ended up being a magical event of it’s own – sat on straw bales with the band playing, singing around the camp fire until the morning sun arrived.

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A Classic Bride

I wanted classic vintage style with finger waves and a red lip. I also wanted to continue the relaxed feel with the bridesmaids having loose curls and flowers in their hair. My daughter Skye had something slightly different as loose curls wouldn’t have lasted long when she was doing kartwheels! She had a plait at the top of her head in a shape of a heart, also with flowers.

The make up was done by Farhana Ali, she did a beautiful job, I looked like the vintage bride I hoped for, with a bright red lip and black eyeliner. She also did henna on my feet, I always wanted it done and the wedding was the perfect opportunity. She free hand drew it and it looked stunning, a lovely addition and perfect for the honeymoon.

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The Last Shop

I hunted high and low for my dress, I loved dress shopping, maybe thats why it took so long to find… Ironically I found it in the last shop, the dress by Mori Lee, was ivory fishtail with lots of lace and quite a lot of sparkle. I’m never one for a lot of sparkle, so it surprised me the most that this was the perfect dress.

I loved it, especially the back and lace cup selves. The dress had quite a long trail but easily clipped up with the bridesmaids help!

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A Touch Of Tweed

Daryl wanted to wear something that combined country, vintage and a sense of occasion. His initial idea to tackle this was to wear a tweed suit. But tweed suits are a little hard to come by. Tweed jackets, sure, but the whole suit – no. Not unless you had one made – An expense which we didn’t think was worth it, especially given that suits would also be needed for The Father of the Bride and Best Man.

After looking online, Daryl found a forum talking about suits in London and someone suggested Suit Supply as a good value option, with a unique range. After checking out the website and loving the style, we went to London to visit the shop. Daryl walked in looking for a tweed suit but left with something entirely different – A blue cloth Italian style suit, which although not tweed, was ‘different’ enough to tick the right boxes.

He found tweed waistcoats online that worked perfectly, and I found ties in Topman that helped the navy and brown colour scheme go together along with a white shirt and brown shoes.

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Simple And Elegant Jewellery

I decided against a veil as I found it took it away from the dress. So I went with a ‘very sparkly’ diamond head brooch. Jewellery was kept quite simple as there was enough going on. I went for simple diamond studs and very thin necklace. Shoes were a similar colour to the bridesmaids dresses, a light blush colour – not that you see your shoes!

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Light Blush

My Bridesmaid, my sister Rebecca and Maid of honour Kelly, wore dresses from Debenhams.

We were in there one day not looking for bridesmaids outfits and came across them, they were perfect, the light blush colour, really floaty and slight ruffles at the bottom. They matched them up with coral strapped shoes. My daughter Skye wore a dress similar to the girls but was from Monsoon UK, it had a little sparkle detail which suited her perfectly.

Groomsmen wore a blue cloth Italian style suit with tweed waistcoats and brown shoes. My son wore a tweed suit from Marks and Spencer, I paired it up with braces and it looked delightful – not that he stayed in it for long!

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Vintage China

Rustic and relaxed was the theme with a splash of fine china. I didn’t really have a colour, I really liked the colour blush and the bridesmaids were that, but as for the rest I had lots of colours.

We had lots of different colour vintage china and the table decorations were created by My Vintage Flower, they were perfect for our theme, fine china and wooden trunks engraved with our initials just like our wedding invitations. The centerpieces displayed beautiful flowers with lots of green and pink set in vintage tea cups and glasses.

Organic And Relaxed

The flowers from Blush were perfect, natural, just picked out of a field look. With moss, daises, mint and ponies taking center stage. My bouquet had the same flowers loosely tied with a little lace, very organic and relaxed.

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Cloudy With Sunny Spells

Remember that we picked the date because it was (statistically) most likely to be the hottest day of the year? Well, I think that might have been the day before! It was sweltering, and left a lot of our guests considering their outfit for the next day. Many men even considering wearing Tshirt and shorts to the reception!

On the day of the wedding, however, I woke to find dark clouds covering the sky. Fortunately, the clouds broke and, while not as hot or as clear as the previous day, it didn’t rain and was in fact probably the most perfect weather we could imagine – I guess they’d say cloudy with sunny spells. It was dry and comfortable – and that was gorgeous!

The weather meant that we could get married on the porch and our 40-50 guests could sit outside. With a week to go before the wedding, we decided to get a harpist to play while we waited for the bride to arrive, and of course to ‘walk down the aisle’. It was a good decision looking back, as we only had live music the whole time.

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Fashionably Late

I was 30 minutes late for the ceremony, which was quite a while seeing as I had been getting ready just upstairs in the bridal suite of the house! But no one had told me I was that late and so I was unaware. Apparently Daryl had a few comments about it as everyone waited for me to arrive!!

After the ceremony we had drinks on the lawn, peach bellini’s and canapes. We disappeared for a few photos before sitting down for dinner, drinks and speeches in the tipi. Dinner was delicious and everyone’s speeches were both touching and funny, exactly what you hope for I guess.

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An Explosive Party

The evening reception was also held in the tipi where we had a band, a bar and a dance floor! It had been the perfect day but I really think we saved some of the best til last – our band, Hermitage Green, were incredible and really helped top the day. Everyone joined in dancing, singing and having the time of their life.

It all started with our first dance – ‘I Will Wait’ by Mumford & Sons, the perfect choice. I think it surprised everyone when we started swinging around in circles! I remember feeling dizzy and my hairpiece falling out but most of all I remember everyone smiling and singing along.

Even the generator catching on fire couldn’t ruin the day. The power cut off for a little while and the band played a song or two acoustically while Daryl’s brother in law (also a fireman) and friend (that lent us the generator) got to work putting the fire out and getting the generator back up and running! Much to the band (and caterer’s) relief.

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A Dessert Tower

Prickly Pear did the food and it was delicious, we had pate for starter – Daryl’s favourite. For our main course we had Beef with sweet potato mash, greens and red wine jus. I LOVE dessert and couldn’t decide on one, so we went for them all! We had a dessert tower with lots of mini delights, it was perfect and went down a storm.

The wedding cake followed the natural theme with a vanilla and chocolate sponge covered in fruit and flowers and topped off with a little mini bunting with the words ‘Hitched’ made by My Vintage Flower.

For wedding favours we went with scratch cards, we asked everyone to wait until we finish the speeches so everyone could scratch them together. It was a great finish to all the formalities and we had a few winners, nothing big though!

We decided to do a bring-your-own with drinks and also had a free bar and two cocktail drinks dispensers with Daryl and I’s favourite cocktails. We labeled them up and we wanted to see who’s would win, but to be fair they both went by the end of the night but I was drinking his too!

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Our wedding invites were designed and printed by Colourbox. They captured the feel to the wedding exactly, it set the tone for what was to come. They were hand tied with ribbon like a little parcel, stuffed with note book confetti and sealed with a seal.

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Engraved Forever

My advice would be don’t buy expensive shoes as you don’t see them! Also, choose an amazing photographer as they will capture every special moment for you to relive again and again.

For me one of the special moments was just dancing on the dance floor and looking around and seeing everyone we love have an amazing time dancing and laughing – wicked! Da’s favourite moment was the first dance, because it was funny and special as we got the band to play our song.

Also the day after the wedding we engraved our initials into a tree at Penpont, just like out wedding invites and table decorations, hopefully it will be there years to come.

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Everything And More

Our photographer Martin Ellard from My Big Day Photos was outstanding. He captured every single detail and special moment. He was dedicated and stayed until there was nothing else to shoot. The final photos are magical, they are everything and more we’d hoped for.

The styling from My Vintage Flower looked wonderful – from the kids fun suitcase to the vintage bunting. Such a personal touch, it represented us totally.

Each centerpiece was original and unique for us, every piece of china was sourced to suit our relaxed and organic feel. The table looked magical with our personalised rustic tree trunks and old worldly books. We were really pleased with it all.

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Bride’s Gown – Mori Lee
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Debenhams
Flower Girl – Monsoon UK
Groom’s Suit – Suit Supply
Hair – Lyndsey Jerman at Boho Hair
Make Up – Farhana
Florist – Blush
Catering – Prickly Pear
Invitations – Colourbox
Band – Hermitage Green
Venue – Penpont
Styling – My Vintage Flower
Photography – Martin Ellard at My Big Day Photos

The images make you wish you were there don’t they?

Martin Ellard really has captured both the hazy warmth of a summers day AND the overwhelming sense of love that only a wedding can bring.

And don’t worry, it’s ok to have cake for breakfast on a Friday…

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Lots of love,
Fern x

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Not The Royal Wedding…

So, we are loving the Royal Wedding. Thats a given. But although a match made in heaven (Royal Wedding meets Wedding Blog) it’s also somewhat of an ironic relationship… after all Kate is hardly going to be doing it her way, is she?

Not so todays bride! The antithesis of the Royal wedding, totally irreverant, relaxed, casual and her-day-her-way, Polly (and Josh!) are just as much of an inspiration. And a welcome break from the Regal anticipation, ready for some full on flag waving tomorrow. Bring it on.

But first, meet Polly, and her seriously laugh-a-minute, crazy write up!

A Magical Garden Party

We were married on Saturday July 25th 2009 in Granny Pixie’s garden….The ceremony was held on the drive outside Cedar Court, our family home where my mom & her 3 brothers grew up and I spent all of my childhood playing amazing games of hide & seek, building dens and 20 for sunday lunch was all part of ‘the norm’!! It was a scruffy old house, all dusty with a funny smell…. the most magical home in the world!!

As soon as I phoned Pixie to tell her Josh (who I call ‘tree boy’ because he is a tree surgeon and climbs tress all day!) and me (Polly) .. (Josh’s mum and dad call us ‘Posh and Jolly’ its a good spoonerisum, full of irony!) Anyway… what was I saying.?! oh yeah, telling granny we were getting hitched…. she said “well of course you are, and it will be here” Infact when I first took Josh to walk around the fields of this precious loving land, in our early ‘dating days’ he said, quite out of the blue “you’ll get married here.” In my fariy tale la la world I thought then. “we’ll get married here”!!

The Deed itself

Well we actually did the official marriage bit on the Wednesday 22nd in Lichfield registery office. I wore a ‘hand me down’ Aunty Pauline’s vintage sequined pearl white ‘dream girls’ dress. So that cost only £50.00 to be re lined and have the back cut out and a massive slit put in!! (she was slimmer than me when she was 21! (40 years ago) so the alterations were to allow me to breath…

The magical garden party dress I found in Kendals, Manchester. It was on the Sale Rail in ‘ANOUSHKA G’ and cost £80.00. I wasn’t sure what I wanted really but it needed to be fairy tale like and I love flowers and butterflies and sparkle… My best friend Flippy saw it and called me over, I knew it was the dress I was going to buy!
Prior to this, me and my sister-in-law has tried a few on, I LOVED Jenny Packham designs and had wedding dress envy when my friend floated down the isle in ‘PAPILLION’. I booked an appointment at the Jenny Packham boutique and me and fabuolus Andrew Stephen Lavin went to try some on….. A perfik full grey sequence dress I fell in love with… just too too too too too too expensive! This was a wedding built on fresh air and love, not ridiculous spending and so I let the idea of ‘designer’ go… the ‘trying on’ experience was all I really needed!

Vintage Fever

When we went engagement ring shopping in York we found this amazing Jewellers called ‘Cavendish Jewelers’ They specialise in vintage and 2nd hand pieces. I noticed a pair of Art Deco diamond and rose quartz earings in the window… sooooooo pretty! anyway I was quickly told thats not what we’d come for and so I turned my attention to the rings… I had the moment when I put on an Emerald and Diamond Art Deco ring and my eyes filled with tears… I left the shop and Josh appeared 10 minutes later in a full sweat having buckled under the presure of the purchase and inserted his pin number incorrectly 3 times!! After frantic phone calls and a beer or 2, I had my fairy tale ring. On our wedding night of the 22nd, Josh produced the earings I’d seen in the window… so spoilt, so happy fresh air and love and a lot of tears… needless to say, I wore then to our garden party wedding on Saturday along with my great grandma ‘Lady T’s’ emerald and diamond necklace! I had worn it to my mom’s wedding in 1981. The morning of my fairy tale day, I woke up to find it next to me, on the pillow with a letter from mom…. it was an effortless choice of accessories, Love mostly! With a load of fresh flowers to twine it all together in my curly hair!

I brought my shoes before the dress… full multi coloured glitter sparkle from Nine West. They weren’t expensive – about £50.00. I loved them, but was never intending to skip around the fields in heels! So after walking up the drive to meet my man, strutting in the sunshine all sparkles and smiles, to Areatha Franklin. I then changed into a pair of gold HAVIANA flip flops and danced and skipped till I dropped!

Hair Heaven

On Wednesday Flippy did my hair and make up. She is like this sunshine of creative magic and she heated up the rollers, painted my face and I felt like a Hollywood screen goddess!! Glam but not over made up. On the Saturday for the garden party Shabaz ‘Shabba’ Hussain ‘The Fabulous’, the best creative hair magician this side of the Mississippi!! One of my bestest friends and dream weaver….curled and pinned my locks with fresh flowers and dazzle. Flippy and my very glamorous cousins painted my face…. I was a fairy princess, Titania from Midsummer nights dream. The look was soft, easy, pretty but not try hard or heavy. I didn’t want to look ‘different’ and so ‘coiffered’ I would be uncomfortable and Josh would be like ‘what have you done with Polly?!’ Infact he made me promise I wouldn’t do that!! I trusted my friends!! (I’d had the hen doo, they’d done their worst, so no more pay back was in the wings waiting!!)

Wild Flowers

Wild flowers, meadow flowers, any flowers that were at the flower market at 5am on the Friday! Me, Lala, Flippy and Chalky went on a mission and spent £70.00. this made my bouquet, 3 bridesmaids bouquets, loads of button holes and fillied tea pots and coffee pots to the brim with flowers….

Chalky made the bouquets and button holes! She is clever! And Pops and Joe filled the tea pots and coffee pots for the tables and made the most beautiful centre piece at the head of the top table! Pop’s and Joe are just so special. It was the two of them that ‘saw’ my fairy tale and from the very beginning built it with us!

We had a planting day in May, all the family gathered at Granny Pixies and planted sweet peas, those that couldn’t make it planted pots at home and brought them to the garden on the Friday!! It was brilliant fun. Everyone loved being involved. Pixie called it the ‘Armarda’! I was also given a load of silk flowers that my girlies twisted and weaved around a chandelier fitting and hung on of the trees!

The bridesmaids brought their dresses themselves!! I said a purple, lilac, mauve-ish pallet… but be comfortable and make sure it’s something you’ll wear again! I don’t think you can dress people in something totally out of character and expect them to feel relaxed and happy… especially when they have such individual style… it worked, they are all stunning so I knew it would!!!

We Heart pictures

There is only one! HECTOR MORA!!! Hector and Charlie together (We Heart Pictures) are just mind blowingly brilliant at capturing love, at seeing magic… We had no idea what we ‘wanted’ other than nothing formal!! I honestly cannot tell you how utterly brilliant they are. I have never seen wedding photo’s like it. You see for yourself! My friend had them do her wedding after seeing our album!

Queen of Cupcakes

My friend Babbit, queen of cup cakes made us a 2 giant cup cakes for tree boy & polly pocket and a hundred or more little ones!! They all got eaten, the kids were all sugar loved up! But the fairy tale castle cake was a total and complete surprise! I had no idea until I saw it on the wedding day! Momma Brown had kept the whole idea a secret. It was a triple layer fruit cake that she decorated with turrets!

This was a wedding built on love and friendship… my friends from uni are very talented and Tim played the guita and bobin the double bass and my cousin with a voice like velvet sang Sister Sledge ‘I’m thinkin of you’ as part of the ceremony! I cried… it was goose bumply beautiful!!

Blooming Bunting!

Bunting…. over a thousand metres of it! Made lovingly by me and Flip in the kitchen!! My Mom and Momma Brown posted us triangles and between us we pinking sheered and stitched what felt like miles and miles of it!! It went all around the top terrace, the marquee and the fields… it looked ace!

Because we we’re in Pixie’s garden and the Marquee went up on the Thursday we had access when we wanted and no short time scale to get it all done! Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard grafting sweat shop but we did it and enjoyed it!
I guess because I had a ‘vision’ of how I wanted the day to feel… the process of building it was dreamy… It wasn’t stressful (although to be fair my mom is pretty organised and dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s with stuff I might have forgotten about!) like table clothes and helpers!!

The marquee company gave us 240 old seat pads…. and I hoarded any fabric I could… borrowed a few staple guns, set up a sweat shop in my lounge and covered every single one in colourful, crazy fabric!! they looked like tubes of refressers when we were getting them to the tent! Everyone helped.. even at school ( I teach Art & Photography) the lovely ladies on reception were bringing my in bags of material! I have to say the seats looks stunning! The idea was that after tea and scones, you could take your seat pad into the field to sit on while you ate your picnic!

The ‘High Tea’ was set out in the marquee and was the only ‘formal’ bit of the day. All the tables 4 rows of tressels we’re laid up with mish mash china that my mom, dad & joe and I had been buying up from charity shops and car boot sales for the 6 months prior to the wedding! The Norm and Hat had car booted coffee pots and tea pots and the babbit lent us her hord of cake stands too!!

A Booming Dance Floor

For the evening we had a band… about a 9 piece band we’d seen at a friends wedding and had danced all night on a booming dance floor. They travelled up from Bristol ……. They were awesome… really fun. We wanted live music for the main part. After they had finished around midnight we had a mate DJ Mike spin his 7” records… when he had beer breaks someone else produced bag of records and so it was open decks really!

Another of my best friends Jo ‘The Norm’ and Jon ‘The Hat’ who own a pub in Salford ‘The Kings Arms’ (which is THE most ecclectic fusion of proper beer, busking, knitting, art and theatre you could ever put in one building) built a bar, but up lights and video projects all over the garden and in the trees and marquee… it was a visual sensation… Ken even played the video of the ceremony onto the ceiling of the tent!! Bloody brilliant!

Family Favours and DIY

On the Friday we asked family and close friend to come and help build up the wedding! They did!! we had people laying tables, putting up dressing tents, and ting up bunting. Josh spent the day hanging in the trees hanging lanterns I got my students to help me make at the end of term!! All in all the wedding was a festival…. soooo much fun! Built on love and friendship.

As a result we have now set up a shabby chic wedding hire kit.. we have 300 tea cups, saucers and side plates… 100 tea pots cake stands and miles of bunting….. if any one wants to share the love email me at pollyflower10@hotmail.com!!

Top tip…. have a picnic – saves £1000.00’s of pounds, mingling aound a field was so much fun, people playing badminton and football and frisbee… and enjoy the adventure. It’s the best party you’ll ever go to!

Photographers – We Heart Pictures

Dress – Anoushka G

Shoes – Nine West

Earrings – Cavendish Jewellers, York

Shabby Chic Wedding Hire – (The bride) pollyflower10@hotmail.com

Breath of Fresh air anyone? This is like a tropical breeze…

And a totally inspired reminder that if Royal simply isn’t you… then there’s still a perfect wedding to be crafted.

After all, Regal and Royal or Magical Garden Fairytale, they’re all about the L.O.V.E.

Yours Truly,

Rebecca
xoxo

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What Julie Did… Decorations, plates and don’t forget cakes!

An old post from the Real Bride archives, but a handy DIY nonetheless. We’re working on updating this post soon.

In the meantime… Enjoy a bit of Retro RMW DIY-ing.

For our most recent and stunning do it yourself inspiration, visit our Wedding DIY & Tutorials section.

We have just approached Big Day- 8 months, and I have to say I’m feeling pretty organised and relaxed. We have sorted most of the big things such as the church & venue, the dress (FYI I’m not giving anything away on this one!), the cars, the band, the piper and the photographer. Not bad I think! Oh and for those of you keeping up with Jp’s duties you will be pleased to know that after almost 1 year of deliberations he has officially booked our wedding cake! He has organised it all on his own, so like you, I will have to wait until the big day to see it! I’m still trying to convince Jp to take on the honeymoon project but for some reason, he’s not too keen, I can’t be that hard to please……can I?

Now my thoughts are turning to the smaller details, the finishing touches that will set our day apart from the rest! These are the creative bits I’m most looking forward to. It’s easy to send someone a cheque then tick something off your list but putting your heart and soul into the details of the day you are creating is much more time consuming, and will achieve results money just can’t buy.

I have always loved the delicate and pretty patterns on vintage china tea sets. As a result, I have accumulated a large collection of ‘orphan’ cups and plates. These have been picked up in charity shops and boot sales over the years. When planning the wedding I knew I had to incorporate my treasured items, or perhaps just find an excuse to buy even more!

With some of my odd plates, I decided that it would be a nice idea to make some cake stands to serve the food for our evening buffet. I thought these would add a pretty and decorative element to a part of the wedding that can look a bit dull. I have seen vintage cake stands for sale in many places; however, I really want everything about the wedding to be so personal to Jp & I so it didn’t feel right to just buy them. Each item I have collected has a memory attached to it, an all those memories and events are a part of me and made me who I am today.

I found plenty of cake stand handles on eBay, the best deal I could find was 10, 3 tier cake stand handles for £28 including the postage, This was a bargain too good to miss so I went for it. I now needed a drill and a drill bit suitable for drilling through the plates. I found a basic drill in B&Q for £10.48, and a Bosh tile & porcelain drill bit for £10. This was expensive for the drill bit; however, I was too excited to wait for one to be delivered!
 

 
The first stage was to mark the centre of the plate. To do this, I turned the plate upside down on top of a piece of paper. Then I drew around the plate and cut the circle out of the paper. Next, I folded the circle in half, then quarter, and with scissors snipped off the point of the folds to create a small hole exactly in the centre of the circle.
 

 
I placed a strip of masking tape roughly in the centre of the plate; placed the paper circle over the plate, and using a pencil marked the centre spot on the masking tape, through the hole of the paper.

I now secured the plate on a piece of scrap wood. Holding the plate securely with one hand, I placed the tip of the drill bit on the centre mark and manually turned the drill a few times to scrape the top layer of the glaze. Then I turned on the drill and push gently down. It does take a few minutes for the hole to go completely through the plate, but you can always stop and start to give your arms a rest. If you are going to try this wear eye goggles for protection.
 

 
Once I had drilled the holes in the three plates I had chosen, all that was left to do was screw the cake stand handle together securing each plate between the handle pieces.
This is soooo easy there is no excuse for not giving this a go! 
 

 
The only thing I have to do now is to work out what to do with all those leftover cups.

Love

Julie x

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