Lovely RMWers! We have 55 days to go. Yep, LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!
Hope you all had a fantastic Easter. I have just eaten a whole Lindt bunny. All that is left is his red ribbon and I feel ILL!
I know what some of you are thinking… what about the dress wobble?! Well, after the amazing advice and support from you lot after my last post, I emailed Dot, explained my concerns, and got this lovely, wise response…
“… It doesn’t fit you well and will take quite a lot of work to get the fit right – which I can do. However, in my experience, it really comes down to how you feel in the dress…
It is vital that you have confidence in how you look, if you are going to enjoy your day. The last thing you want is to be worrying about whether it makes you look as you want to look…
Come and try it on again and see what your reaction is, then take it from there…and don’t worry – these things have a way of working out for the best!”
What a star! So, I took my friend, Sarah, who a) got married last year and didn’t like her dress, even on the day (FYI, she looked completely amazing) and b) hadn’t seen me in the dress before. MrsA Snr also brought the veil.
Again, I put the dress on and really didn’t like it. Without giving too much away, it has a V-neckline and, as I thought it was too low, Dot had pinned everything ‘up’ to make it higher. This made everything higher – the underarms were rubbing, the waistline was around my ribs etc.
It looked pants, I felt pants, hell, I would have been happier only wearing my pants! Dot mentioned that, at that stage, making a new dress would be easier(!) We settled on a new bodice. I sketched it. She brought out the most brilliant box of patterns (jealous, moi?) and we designed a new top for the dress.
Dot began removing the pins from the front of the dress, leaving the side pins in place. The whole thing dropped down an inch or so. Silence, nervous glances all round; then we all burst out laughing – it looked EXACTLY how it should look! We’d never had just the sides pinned (without the front) and I think the number of people at the previous fitting had resulted in too many opinions and too much pinning, rather than simply letting Dot do her job.
I felt so relieved, but also a teeny bit daft for having moaned for almost my entire last RMW post. I mentioned this to the other lovely Real Brides on FB and they allayed my fears – imagine if I HADN’T moaned, hadn’t bothered to tell Dot, hadn’t gone for the refit. I’d either be wearing something I was unhappy with, or buying a whole new dress 2 ½ months before W-day.
This very long-winded account leads me to say one VERY BIG thank you to all of you for your advice. Oh, and those of you that gave details of your dresses after that post – they all look stunning!!!
So, having sorted the dress wobbles, we were free to spend the Easter holidays completing the long list of wedding jobs that were outstanding…
First up, make up. The aforementioned Sarah is doing my make on W-day and booked me in with a well known brand as the first port of call. I had high hopes but, alas, they were dashed.
You can see from the picture that (apart from the fact I look knackered – last day of term), it looks very, well, ‘meh.’
I wasn’t allowed a) powder over my foundation (I got home and MrA told me I looked very oily!) b) any more mascara c) any more blusher. The eyeshadow made me look like I had mud on my lids and, having said that I needed to be drinking more water (dehydrated skin), the lady later told me I might want to consider fake tan OR A SUN BED!! My flabber was gasted – surely nothing is going to dehydrate my skin more than actually cooking it?! Suffice to say, I purchased nothing and felt a wee bit disheartened.
The Clinique counter beckoned (my usual brand of choice). We booked for the following week…
I had kind of written them off for not being ‘wedding-y’ but I honestly cannot praise Clinique highly enough. Suzie (in the Milton Keynes branch) was utterly lovely. For two hours, she was patient, helpful and completely un-patronising. Interestingly, she matched the foundation to my neck and blended upwards, rather than matching it to my face and telling me I needed a sunbed/fake tan to get my neck to blend in!
This was the end result:
I bought it all! My super W-day kit consists of:
- Superbalanced Foundation, Blended Face Powder and Iced Lotus Blusher.
- All About Eyes Concealer (dark circles – GONE!) and Touch Base for Eyes (Gutted I haven’t found this before – my eyeshadow looked exactly the same hours later!)
- Lilac Truffle Eye Duo (Gorgeous pale lilac all over, with a slight shimmer, then a chocolate shimmery brown to give the daytime-smokey-smouldery-without-being-heavy look I wanted).
- Grape Quickliner – such a lush colour, picked out by Sarah 😉
- Woppin’ Watermelon Chubby Stick. Actually looks like a bright pink child’s crayon but is a tinted balm. Not sticky, so my hair/veil won’t get stuck on it, and light enough to not come off when Mr A and I have our ‘I now pronounce you man and wife’ smooch! *goosebumps*
The only thing I didn’t get from Clinique was mascara, simply because I had a Maxfactor voucher. I purchased their new False Lash Effect 24hr in black and can vouch for the fact that it does lengthen, it does volumise, and NOTHING budges it, so I can blub away to my heart’s content!
**HELPFUL TIP ALERT** I have always wondered why, in photos taken with a flash, my face looks lighter than my body, despite me wearing foundation. Well, it’s to do with having SPF in my moisturiser/foundation. The flash bounces off it, thus giving the dreaded facial ‘glare.’ If only I’d know before, there’d be less photos of me looking like Caspar the Friendly Ghost’s head on Jodie Marsh’s body (in colour, I mean, not size or shape!)
Food Glorious Food
Next up, our food tasting. This was a very surreal experience for me as Lemon Zest are my old company. I have done many, many tastings in my time, but always on the ‘other’ side of the table – the side where you want to eat the food but can’t!
Now, I may be biased, but the food was INCREDIBLE. Beautifully presented (and I know it will look the same when reproduced 160 times over – they always manage it!), seasoned to perfection, and served with an exact explanation about what was what. I’m not going to give away the menu (some things need to be kept a surprise for our guests!), but I am 100% certain that I will not be a bride who doesn’t eat anything at the wedding breakfast. I am also 100% certain that they will ensure that we have the most perfect food and slick service by friendly staff.
It all felt a bit more real after that!
We went straight from there to our cheese tasting. (HEAVEN!) And then on to John Lewis to ‘zap’ our gift list, where we were given complimentary coffee and cake… Probably the yummiest day ever!
One thing that Mr A left me to sort on my own was flowers 🙂 Part of the reason for getting married in June is that it’s smack bang in the middle of peony season. The wonderful Emma from Emma Walker Flowers is one of those amazing talents who can listen to your garbled ideas and instantly ‘get’ what it is you’re trying to achieve. I first met Em when working at Blenheim Palace, when she created some beautiful arrangements for a client and ensured that they went to a hospice afterwards, rather than going in the bin. She is a floral genius and it is SO exciting to now be working with her on our wedding! Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but my bouquet will be something like this:
The bridesmaids will have hydrangeas or sweet peas tied with coral ribbon to match the waistband on their dresses:
For the wedding breakfast, our table will include lots of vintage items (or ‘tat’ as my father will say). The theme/names are another secret, but this is what we have collected so far…
I may have to hire these bits out, along with the teacups, after the wedding so I can justify keeping it all!
So, once again, I have used up my word count without telling you everything I had hoped to. I’m sure Charlotte and Adam won’t mind if I quickly whizz through the other things we’ve done in pictures…!
Delicious turquoise water glasses hired from Top Table Hire (amazing company, with some FABULOUS hire equipment) a must visit, especially if you are having a marquee wedding along with Festival Hire, from whom we have hired our cutlery, crockery and chairs:
The invites are OUT! I have a little squeal of excitement when the post arrives each morning. Thank you for all your advice on the wording for the dress code. We went for ‘Smart suits and fancy frocks. Ladies: Fabulous millinery encouraged’ 🙂
We had a little production line going, with me stamping the names, Mr A sealing the envelopes and back to me for addressing (Yes, I have the neater handwriting!) Huge thanks to Jenny O for the AMAZING stamps – they have had many compliments!
Seriously though, people, HOW MUCH for a first class stamp these days?!
The suits have been chosen; navy blue morning suit, looks FAB! And MrA, along with both Dads, has a shiny new pair of shoes 🙂 My MoH and I also spent an awesome day shopping in Birmingham with the mini bridesmaids! They were SO excited, even though they kept having to go back to shops we’d already been to, take everything off and try on dozens of dresses. We absolutely loved these pretty rose print dresses from Monsoon:
But, with the bigger bridesmaids having patterned dresses, we opted for these simpler, but equally pretty dresses from Zara. A steal at £25.00 and completely adorable when coupled with flower hair garlands from Accessorize (and minus the tights!!).
My wedding ring has been ordered from the ever-helpful Serendipity Diamonds (eeeeeek!!):
The hymns and readings have FINALLY been decided.
Weather balloons have been sourced through the fantastic Qualatex.
The amazing Roger Goodgroves (marrying our lovely Shirley in TWO DAYS!!) has offered to take the photographs in our photo booth 🙂
Small jam jars and little bottles have been sourced through JBConline (for the favours).
The Prosecco has been chosen, thanks to a very boozy evening filed with A LOT of Italian food…
And lastly, Lois and Vicky, two of my awesome BMs, gave me the most fantastic hen weekend, along with 11 other friends.
It started like this on the Friday night journey to the Peak District:
On the Saturday morning:
Back to the house for some pampering (faaaaabulous facial!) and a MAMMOTH afternoon tea (including these amazing biccies, made by Mr A’s sister, Kate, to match our wedding invites!!):
Followed by the caterers arriving to cook us three yummy courses for dinner, and a game involving A LOT of loo roll…
An EPIC weekend, and not a plastic willy in sight. Thank you, beautiful ladies!
See you soon for my FINAL pre-wedding post!