What Tabitha Did… The Week of Wedding


Afternoon lovely RMW-ers, me again, doesn’t time fly!

We are now into single figures in our W-day countdown, yikes! Don’t panic everyone!

Since I last spoke to you we had what we call our ‘Week of Wedding’. This basically consisted of us taking the week off work and driving around the country (slight exaggeration) and ticking of some of the things on our giant to do list.

So I thought I’d take you guys along with us for the ride…

0Image from Judy Holme via Not On The High StreetSaturday… London

First thing on our list was our engagement shoot with Mr Chris Barber! We piled into the car on Saturday morning and headed to the Big Smoke to have our picture taken.

I’m not going to lie, I was bricking it a little bit/a lot. As I’m sure most people say, I’m not a big fan of having my photo taken and there are very few photos of myself that I like. I’m not what you would call…photogenic.

I spent about two hours doing my make up which meant, as usual…we were late and only just made it in time for my hair appointment at Hershesons Blow Dry Bar in the Topshop on Oxford Street. I went for the ‘wavy gravy’ and would really recommend; it was lovely to have a bit of pampering beforehand!

We decided to have our shoot around Little Venice in Maida Vale, a bit of London we really love. It’s really peaceful and feels like you’ve stepped into the countryside. It wasn’t quite as sunny as this on the day, in fact it was blinking freezing, but the sun did show himself briefly for which we were very grateful!

01Image via London Attractions

The session itself was AMAZING and so much fun!! Chris was awesome and had us both in stitches. I’m going to be a total meany and make you wait for the results but we are VERY happy with them 

Monday… Birmingham

Around comes Monday morning and again we shuffled into our bright lime green fiesta and took ourselves off to that there Birmingham!

Here I met Jodie for my make-up trial! I know the old ‘to have a make up artist or not to have a make up artist’ debate has been discussed very recently on these pages, but for me, I’m so glad I did! I can’t explain it…I looked like me just a whole lot better (ok so maybe I can explain it! Tabitha 2.0 if you will). One thing’s for sure though, individual lashes are my new best friend! Seriously they are amazing!

I’m very tempted to show you the photos but for now I will just share the photo I showed to Jodie and said ‘I want to look like that please’

02Image via Long Distance Loving

Next up we went to have lunch with Leanne from Blooming Lovely Films and needless to say Chris and I both came away with massive grins on our faces (despite the parking ticket we managed to get!). Not only is it very clear what an epic film she is going to make for us but we’re also super excited about having her there on our W day, I seriously can’t wait!

Tuesday… Newbury

Ok so this is where we actually live so not really a stop…but lets just all ignore this for now!

We finally went to give notice…and the place was posher than our actual ceremony venue…but again…not important!


Now to most people I’m sure this is just the boring admin part of planning a wedding, but I was so excited about giving notice, it made it all feel very real!

You see, when I’m not planning a wedding, moving house and writing Real Bride posts for RMW, I’m an Archivist 😀 and I look after records.

If we’re lucky enough to one day extend our little family, I love to think of our children’s, children’s, children and beyond researching us in hundreds of years time and pulling up our records and noting that on Tuesday 5th March we declared our intention to marry! Sad and soppy and completely nerdy I know but what can I say…that’s basically me!

Wednesday… Our house

Wednesday was the official day of rest, we slept in and ate cheese and Worcestershire sauce toasties… Nuff said!

Thursday…Exton, Oakham

Our wedding week took us to the very location of our forthcoming nuptials, Oakham! We went for a meeting at our reception venue, The Fox and Hounds, to discuss all things edible. It was so lovely to go back, even on a completely miserable day. The fact that I still love being there when it’s chucking it down reassures me that no matter what the weather, we will have the best day our lives!

I won’t bore you lovely lot with every detail of our menu but just to say our evening food is PIZZA!! A selection of homemade (by an Italian) massive pizzas, and trust me, they are lush!

04Image via Don’t panic

And you never know…we may get one of these to celebrate our wedding a la Kate and Wills! Although is it just me that finds it a little unnerving…

Friday… Nottingham

Phew last one…

Our final stop was my hometown Nottingham!

Not only did I go for my third fitting with the lovely Kula at The Lace Market Bridal Boutique on the Friday, but I also got a chance to assemble my gorgeous Mum and bridesmaids in one place on the Saturday, and we took a leaf out of Kitty and Becca’s books and had a ‘crafty’ day!

Altogether we decorated around 50 jars, bottles and vases that my friends and family have been diligently collecting. I hope you agree they look pretty fab!

For any of you ladies struggling out their on your own (I know I feel like that sometimes) I highly recommend a get together like this! Not only is it really productive and a great chance to get lots done…it’s also lovely to all get together and remind yourself that you’re not planning this wedding on your own! We had cream cakes, we had homemade fairy cakes, we had sweets and at one point we even had scrambled egg, but most importantly we had fizzy (well ya know it brings out those creative juices)!

05So a very productive/tiring week, but we got a lot done 

Guest Books

So since you were all so helpful last time I asked for your help, I thought I’d ask again, hope you don’t mind!

Guest books…

That’s as far as I’ve got, as in…nowhere!

So do I need one? Did you have one? What did you do? Answers on a postcard please (or in the comments box below…)

Lots of love

Tabitha xxx

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

36 thoughts on “What Tabitha Did… The Week of Wedding

  1. arrggghhhh you’re an Archivist too?!?!!? Giving notice was a fave thing for me as it meant I was creating my own historical record and also it meant Andrew actually has to know basic facts about me and get tested mua ha ha

  2. Guest book – I got a friend to draw a tree on a canvas for a fingerprint tree. Andrew loves trees and I love getting crafty messy. And it only cost the cost of the canvas (£10) and ink(£5) instead of over £50 online! Perfick.

  3. Loving the jars! And yes, not sure how comfortable I would feel eating my own face.

    Guest books – YES YES YES!! You MUST. Because when the day is over, aside from photos and films there’s not much left. But handwritten messages from your loved ones are an amazing keepsake.

    We had a wooden address box, which had quite large detail cards and asked our guests to fill in their details and write us a message on the back. Now everytime I need an address (I do send an AWFUL lot of cards) I can read their lovely comments.

    We put it on a table next to the table plan with a pretty pot of pens and a bon bon jar of marshmallows, along with a photo frame explaining what to do.

    I do love the idea of having something to keep for upcoming anniversaries (having just celebrated our second). I love little notecards with beautifully coloured envelopes for guests to fill out, seal and then place in a pretty fish bowl or vase. These can be stuck in a book (a la Martha Stewart – it really does look beautiul) and opened on your first, fifth and tenth anniversary for example. You could even place a card and envelope on peoples tables / place setting to ensure your guests fill them out.

    Oh the possibilities are ENDLESS. But I really believe something handwritten will be treasured for many a year to come.


  4. Oh goodness, 93 days made me wonder if I was into double figures yet and turns out… We have the same wedding date! Now I’ll be dreading seeing how much you’ve done in each post as I feel very unorganised!

    We do have a guestbook idea though – Fuji Instax camera, a few props and an empty book. Not sure how the oldies will feel about it, but I reckon there could be some gems…

  5. Wedding Week Sounds immense!!!!!!!
    Fabulous post as ever Miss Tabitha!

    Having had a sneak peek at aforementioned engagement shoot pictures I can say with great authority that they are belters!!! Seriously guys, you are going to LOVE them!
    Oh and she lies, she is pretty darn photogenic!!! 😉

    Love your make up inspiration, I really LOVE a great eyeliner flick (but yes, I still haven’t mastered this yet!!! haha)

    And yes I am all for the craft sessions! I have just informed from work friends that from next week, our lunch breaks will be spent making fabric flowers!!!! heehee!!

    And lastly, YES, YES, YES you need your very own Tabitha & Chris Pizza!!!!! haha


  6. Oh and nearly forgot – guest book!
    We’re doing the homemade photobooth – Polaroid or Instax camera, load of dress up props, homemade backdrop & either a frame to pin them all in or a book.
    Dave & I are known for our Halloween fancy dress efforts so figured we really should get some of that into the wedding in some way. 😀 xx

  7. @Claire – It’s like we’re the SAME PERSON!!! Yay for Archivists and Kula Brides! She’s definitely worth the three hour trip though right?

    I’m so glad someone else understands my love for giving notice…I thought I might be the only one 🙂

    Ooo and your guest book sounds lovely and bargainous, the perfect combo! xxx

  8. @Emily – Thanks lovely…I’m totally sold 😀 Love the idea of putting them on people’s place settings, I could stand over them while they fill them in to make sure they do! Bridezilla alert!! Oooo and a belated Happy 2nd Anniversary xxx

    @Philippa – That’s a lovely idea to ask your niece, they will be extra special! I must admit, I’m more than a little excited about the dress too 😀 xxx

    @Olivia – YES for date twins!! 93 days isn’t long at all is it aaargh! Don’t worry though I’m not nearly as organised as I like to make out! Tell me all about your plans xxx

  9. We’ve got advice cards and pencils to go on the table settings and a fingerprint tree. Greedy I know, but I loved both ideas! 80 Days for us – aaarrrg.

  10. @Rebecca – Lots of love for you Miss Rebecca as ever! That’s such a good idea, I’m not sure my colleagues would be entirely up for it but it can’t hurt to ask can it??

    Oh and as for eyeliner flicks, I can do the first eye perfectly but the second always looks different and then I end up putting too much on trying to make them match…Jodie’s were perfect though, so glad I booked her!

    You’re photobooth/guestbook is going to be EPIC! I WANT ONE!! xxx

  11. Oh, I want to archive stuff. Though if my great-grandchildren look us up I wonder if it will show that they got all suspicious as I got the boy’s job wrong? It wasn’t my fault, he’s like Chandler Bing, no one is sure what he does!

    A guest book was pretty low on my list of priorities but funnily enough it’s one thing Mr H says we must have – like the other Emily, he says it’s one of the things you can keep and look back at. So I’m letting him find one! We’ll see how that turns out 🙂

  12. Tabitha I loved reading about your wedding week!! Pizza, giving notice and the lovely Jodie to boot – I am so very jealous. I have to admit I loved giving notice too especially the bewildered face on the registrar man’s face when he asked my occupation.

    Your jars look immense and Little Venice looks like the perfect spot to have your e-shoot. I never knew it existed!

    And lastly definitely have a guestbook. Ste and I had our very own printed book made using the photos from our engagement shoot. We’re talking an actual printed hardback book with our faces on every other page….slightly egoistical I know but we love it. But we love all the sweet remarks from our guests even MORE especially as they got more and more merry on the special juice. We still get it out now and look at it together and have a laugh or two so definitely get one!

  13. Guestbooks – we are having little cards that I’ve made for people to write us a message on and stick into a gorgeous pinboard I’ve found (I already have the cards, the pinboard and w-day colour pins, this weekend I will spend holepunching and threading the cards with raffia!). We settled on this because we want our guests to leave us all sorts of messages; we’ve been to weddings where people have written really inappropriate, awful things which the bride and groom hated, where people were “scared” to sign the guest book in case they ruined it, where people thought too much and wrote something too formal that wasn’t really their style. I’ve made loads of cards so people can write something sensible, something silly, whatever they like…we welcome all messages! Then after the day we are going to find a lovely guestbook album and put them all in so we have them saved but can “filter” appropriately if needed.

  14. Guestbook – we used photobox and made a book out of our engagement photos, with space around them for people to write messages 😀

  15. Ooooo a whole week of WEDDINGS FABOULOUS! 🙂
    Guest books are a must I say and they come in sooooo many different forms if you dont want the tradonal “book” sort! Finger print trees, wish tree’s, time capusules, postcards to name but a few!

  16. Yay for bridesmaids weekends! I had one a couple of weeks ago with all of mine (also in Nottingham, coincidentally) and made hundreds and hundreds and triangles of bunting and all our order of service covers. It’s so nice to get everyone together, especially since not all of my bridesmaids knew each other.

    For a guest book we’re asking an uber-talented couple of friends who are theatre set designers to make us a ‘tree’ out of branches and hang various things on itin keeping with our decor (not quite decided what yet). We’re asking all of our guests to write their messages on tags and hang them on the tree, and after the wedding we’ll bind them all into a photo album along with photos from the wedding and the photobooth. I’ve seen the tree thing done befoe on various blogs but it’s also a Dutch wedding tradition – I’m Dutch so it’s nice to bring elements of that into the day and I like that it has a dual purpose as both guest book and decor.

  17. Loving the guest book ideas. I really want a book book but having read the post @Maria wrote I am having second thoughts… especially knowing some of the guests….!

    I would like to find a giant wine bottle and put “Message in a Bottle” on the label and get people to drop folded bits of paper in with notes on. Any ideas for a giant wine bottle?!

  18. Oooh, also a wedding twin it turns out! Thanks for letting me know there are less than 100 days to go, eeekkk!! 😉

    Re guest book, also on my to-do list, however I also have a word of caution. Drunk people are peculiar beings – went to a friend’s wedding where they had a bowl for people to sign, and someone wrote about divorce (of the newly married couple)??? I do wonder about people, honestly, why on earth would you do that? Thankfully I think they were able to remove it before glazing the bowl, but still, rather unpleasant. I am thinking along the lines of a traditional guest book I think, but maybe asking people to sign it during the drinks reception to avoid some of the drunken comments? Might put that one on the discussion list for this evening!

  19. I would say don’t stress yourself out about a guest book if you aren’t that bothered to begin with. I’ve heard of tons of brides who had them and they got shoved into a closet and never looked at, or well-intentioned diy type ones that just never got made up after the wedding.

    We are foregoing the traditional guest book. This isn’t a direct substitute but probably the closest thing that could count as an alternative, we are doing wedding mad libs, works as both entertainment and will be funny to look at later. Also having the photobooth and pics but won’t be set out like a guestbook, I’m just as happy for the guests to take those photos as sort of favours.

  20. We’re having postcards that match our stationery that we’ll then stick into a book with photos of the guests. I’ve already bought a book with black pages and different coloured hearts all over the front from Paperchase. And a bargain at £10. They had a good selection of covers too! Only 22 days for me *panics*

  21. Always like to read your posts Tabitha as a fellow Rutland bride! I have been dithering over a guest book recently too and loved the idea of having a Polaroid for guests to take pictures of themselves and then stick into a book with a message, as some people have already mentioned. However I’ve hit a snag with the Polaroid bit – it seems that the only instant cameras/film still in production give small credit card sized pictures, or the more traditional Polaroid cameras have film that costs £17 per 8 pictures!! With 25 children at our wedding I fear that the camera would fall into the wrong snap-happy hands! So, back to square one! But if anyone has any suggestions to assist in my instant camera conundrum I would be most interested to hear!!

  22. Love this blog! Laura – I’ve been through the whole instant camera thing as my brother did it but have major concerns re: cost with kids and drunkards! So I think we are going to do a box of props and leave it to people to share photos with us afterwards and have a conventional but nice guest book. I’ve looked at trees etc but feel a book gives our guest more scope to leave us a message rather than just sign their name.

  23. Thank you all for your lovely and helpful comments! I’m back from the hairdressers and have had my dinner so ready to reply! x

    @Kate – Not greedy at all my love, they both sound perfect! x

    @Emily – Haha mine’s a bit like that too…I just went with ‘eeeeerm a manager or something’! x

    @Lolly – thank you my dear, that’s why Little Venice is so lovely 🙂 it’s so quiet and chilled out! Your guest book sounds so so lovely, I want one tooo! x

    @Maria – I think that’s what’s worrying me about having a book, we also went to a wedding where people wrote some slightly inappropriate things as the night went on hmmm! x

  24. @Lizzie – ooo I love photobox, I hadn’t thought of them…good shout! x

    @H – Hehe it was pretty fabulous…if not completely knackering x

    @Rino – Your wedding tree sounds fabulous! It’s so good having a get together isn’t, you get so much done and is ten times more than doing it on your own! x

    @Victoria – LOVE your message in a bottle idea, that is so flipping cool! I have no idea where you could get a big wine bottle but I really hope you find one! x

    @ajk – ‘Drunk people are peculiar beings’ – hehe they are indeed! Yay for the 6th July club 🙂 x

    @Jenn – Mad libs is a genius idea 🙂 x

    @Beck – Oooo that is a good idea and something I can do quite easily too 🙂 my initial plans have had to be down scaled quite a lot and I’m all for the cheap and easy this week x

    @Laura – Thanks lovely, Rutland is beautiful isn’t it! Where are you getting married? x

  25. @Tabitha my ceremony is in a church nearby (unfortunately not the v picturesque one on Rutland Water!) and reception at Barnsdale.

  26. We didn’t want a ‘normal’ guestbook as we were worried it would just get shoved in a drawer and forgotten about afterwards! We’ve decided to have a fingerprint tree to frame and have up for everyone to see – and then I got greedy and wanted a ‘message in the bottle’ type-thing so that everyone can write a little note, put it in the bottle and open it on our first anniversary. Trying to come up with a way of displaying them after that but that can wait! 82 days for us and starting to panic now – giving our notice tomorrow and really can’t wait!

    Feel like we need to get a ‘wedding week’ organised – time is definitely getting away from us!!

  27. The lace around those jars is such a nice touch, very effective and completely changes the look and feel of them. It’s amazing how subtle and tiny changes can affect the whole aesthetic. Beautiful!

  28. @Liz – Thank you lovely 🙂 x

    @Laura – ooo sounds lovely, our reception is just down the road from Barnsdale 🙂 We were very close to having ours at Normanton (the one of the water) but decided it was a bit far to trek, no idea why really I think I was paranoid at the time about people traveling so far! x

    @Jen W – You should definitely have a ‘wedding week’, we just found we were so busy on weekends and not the most productive on an evening after work that we just needed some time off to get stuff done! s

    @Looch – Thank you kindly 🙂 that lace was brilliant, it was stretchy so went a really long way. We got it from John Lewis x

  29. Aaaaaaaah Tabs I totally missed your post! was out with work people til late last night. I shall read it thoroughly later. Sorry sweetheart.


  30. @Tabitha unfortunetly I’m only a kula bride (well not only… as its bloody brilliant). The archivist Claire is a different claire to me. I gave notice two weeks ago and also loved it. Kula is well wroth the three hours. The birdal shops locally are amazing but when i saw Kula it all just clicked. That is how its supposed to be!

  31. @Clare – Hehe oops sorry I must learn to read things properly. It is indeed, she makes you feel like you’re here only customer doesn’t she! x

    @Karen – Thank you my dear 🙂 I know it makes me all teary when I think about it too x

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