Patience is a virtue!

With a royal wedding in our midst, 2011 is going to be all about everything regal!   How fabulous!  Better get into the spirit of things and purchase a tiara for my big day or maybe we should follow in the footsteps of the Beckham’s and get ourselves some thrones?!? Now that is an idea!

But on a more serious note its fantastic and I have to say it’s about time he got down on one knee (does a prince do this or is there a more regal way of proposing?) and finally made an honest woman out of Kate.

I already feel as if I have a connection with dear Kate, not only is she a bride to be and potentially getting married around the same time (I do hope there isn’t a clash!) but she has Yorkshire blood and also had to wait an age for Will’s to pop the question, something I can empathise with!  But I am sure she would agree, its seriously worth waiting for!

But if they are going to tie the knot next spring or summer they have some serious planning ahead.  Planning a wedding for us mere mortals can, at times, feel rather stressful, so can you imagine the preparation that’s involved for the their big day! I thought I had guest list issues!

But is fantastic news so congrats to William and Kate!

xx

I am a wedding marketers dream

Some may think I was mad for getting up at the crack of dawn to head up to Birmingham this morning for the National Wedding Show.  Whilst most of London was tucked up in bed I was heading north, to the bridal mecca.  God created Sunday’s for worship, so I was just celebrating everything that was bridal.

This wasnt my first encounter with a wedding show so this time round I knew what I was letting myself in for.  I headed off feeling wiser and fully prepared.  I was armed and ready with a clear plan of attack, a to do list, THE wedding folder (aka the wedding bible)and most importantly comfortable shoes!

Whilst I knew what to expect, today’s show seemed to bring out a more advanced form of bridezillaitis.  Every stall seemed to be enticing me with something that our wedding needed.  Thank goodness I was escorted by my mum, if I had been left to my own devices you would not be have been able to move in the reception as it would have been filled to the brim with all sorts of wedding paraphernalia, or as my other half would put it “a waste of money”, such as a photobooth, the funky diva juke box, chocolate fountains, candelabra’s, personalised sweets and not to mention the drag queen, Cherry Darling.

The only stand that I didn’t need was the one providing confidence coaching, don’t think I will be needing that as I will be skipping down the aisle!

xxx

Wedding insurance?

I can understand insuring your home but doing the same for your wedding seems a bit mad to me, it’s like one step on from insuring your hamster.   Its hard not to escape the notion when leaflets trying to convince you to buy it are included in pretty much every wedding magazine.  So I have taken my bridezilla hat off to become a bit more sensible and reasonable when it comes to planning the serious stuff. 

I have had to put aside the flowers and bridesmaid dresses (the fun stuff) to read up on wedding insurance!  It all seems pretty straight forward and I can understand the reasoning behind getting it but for the insurance cover that I was looking at I liked the fact that the main exclusion is “the bride or groom deciding not to marry”, surely this would be the main reason for getting the insurance!!!  I wont be telling my other half this as he thought the insurance was a good idea but that’s probably because he thought he had a get out clause!  Then there’s cover for “ceremonial swords”.  I didn’t even realise you could take a sword into a church, its seems a tad dangerous to me!  Again I am going to be keeping this to myself otherwise I may find that he tries to recreate a scene from Gladiator. 

 

But the one thing that did make me chuckle is that this particular insurance cover includes “professional counselling”, I’m not sure this is the best way to start married life.  Although I am sure my family would think that this is a great idea and that I should sign up now to get some help with my wedding obsession :-)

Managing wedding stress

Eight months still sounds like miles away but as any bride to be, or should I say Bridezilla, knows the stress seems to intensify a little each month. It may seem mad to hear this especially coming from a wedding fanatic like me, but planning for such a big day can become a little stressful at times. Even writing a simple invite sent me into a spin, I never realised there we so many ways to word your invites. Thank goodness for the wedding etiquette section on the Brides website.

I’m going to try and nip this wedding stress in the bud so here are my tips:

- watching Don’t tell the bride will always make you feel better, just think things really could be a lot worse. A willy wonka themed wedding, need I say more! 

 - indulge in a wedding mag or treat yourself to Vera Wang on Weddings, it’s a fantastic book for inspiration.

 - never leave home without your to do list, it should become part of your every day essentials. You never know when something crop into your head.

- talking it over with your bridesmaids will always help especially if wine is involved.

- but most of all always remember what it’s all about and that it’s your day (oh and your fiancés).

xx

Don’t tell the bride – you must be nuts!!

Bridal tv is like the icing on a chocywocydoodah cake.  Mixing weddings and reality tv is a winning combination and last night’s Don’t tell the bride was no exception.  As much as I love the show I will never quite understand the brave (or mad) souls that put the wedding of their dreams into the hands of their Fiancé.  I hate to think what would happen if it was left to my other half, the groomsmen would probably be wearing Spurs shirts, the budget would be blown on some “awesome” cars and the reception, well it would probably resemble something that should belong in last vagas!

At times during last night’s episode I was almost having palpitations at Ryan’s laid back approach.  An old steel works  is certainly not the place for a wedding and its also not a wise decision to blow the budget on a 3 day stag trip to Prague and leaving no money for the hen party!  Dare I mention the invites, sending them out the day before the big day is just pure madness.  If I was his bride I would have had some sort of nervous breakdown.  I would have also been slightly concerned at the groom and bestman trying on wedding dresses but that’s a different matter altogether!

That being said I was totally impressed with the end result, it all came together in the end.  I especially loved using a helicopter as transport to the reception.  I’m sure our venue has a helipad…

Wedding magazine heaven

No matter how many magazines I read I still get a flutter of excitement every time a new one hits the shelves. I think the staff at my local newsagent may think that I am some sort of obsessive nutter the amount of times I “pop in” to see if a new one has come out. 

Having returned this weekend from sunny Portugal I was heading for a serious case of the holiday blues until I was welcomed home by the Sep / Oct edition of Brides. This month’s edition has not let me down and has topped up my bridezilla thoughts to the brim. I’m now trying to work out how to the incorporate a snow machine into a spring wedding!

I’m loving this month’s DIY ideas and how can any girl resist the beautiful dresses in the catwalk feature, particularly those by Jenny Packham and Amanda Wakely. Although they are stunning, in my eyes they can’t compete with my gorgeous Charlotte Balbier dress :-)

For newbie brides who have entered this new found world of wedding planning my fave magazines are brides, Cosmopolitan Brides, Wedding Magazine and You & Your Wedding. Signing up to a subscription will save you money and will make your post more exciting but there is nothing like the thrill of finding a new one on the shelves.

 Happy reading xx

Twlight wedding?

Personalising our wedding vows had never really occurred to me until last night, when I finally watched the latest instalment of the Twilight saga.  I am still buzzing this morning.  After watching Eclipse I feel inspired!  Now I’m thinking that I can combine my two passions, weddings and twlight!

 How can you not feel inspired by Bella’s closing speech:

“I’ve always felt out of step—like, literally stumbling through my life—I’ve never felt normal, because I’m not normal. I don’t want to be. I’ve had to face death, and loss, and pain in your world but I’ve also never felt stronger—like, more real; more myself—because it’s my world, too. It’s where I belong.” 

I am thinking that it can be incorporated into our vows.  Could they get any better.  Now all I have to do is convince my finance to get some vampire style contacts and sprinkle glitter over himself

 

or am I team Jacob and should I convince him to just wear his cut off jeans bearing his torso! 

Either way I really will have the perfect wedding!

DIY SOS

As you can imagine a wedding organised by an accountant and pr advisor is being planned with almost military precision. I think one of the first things that we did when we got engaged was to start our wedding spreadsheet. But it’s not just any spreadsheet it’s the masterplan, I have never been so fond of excel! As our plans have expanded and my bridezilla tenancies have started to emerge so have the numbers on the spreadsheet! We started to look at all of the costs and soon realised that we would have to reign in some of the expenditure, there’s goes the ice sculptures of us and the fireworks :-(

Whilst trying to manage my working capital (a new term I have had to learn) a new me started to emerge, the creative and crafty Cocker. I may have not performed to my full potential with my GCSE graphic art (would have helped if I had gone to whole of the exam) but I could feel that this was somewhat different, how hard can it be to make your own stationary!

I started to research wedding stationary for inspiration and felt quite chuffed knowing how much money I would save us, maybe I could reinvest the savings into the beautiful Benjamin Adams shoes I’ve seen! Now that’s being frugal!

I have never been so overwhelmed with different styles for save the dates and invites. I didn’t even realise that so many existed.

Trawling through stationary websites became a bit of an obsession (as with the rest of my wedding planning) but I soon began to piece together what I wanted, sorry what we wanted ;-) But that’s only half the battle, then you have to choose your weapons, the materials. I don’t know if there is something wrong with me but when I visited the Tottenham court road Paperchase I felt like I was home. How can paper and card make a girl feel so happy. I guess it’s so much more than that, it’s not just any card! Let’s not even mention envelopes seen as I was reviewing different sizes and styles for 15 minutes. Maybe I really have lost it!?!

After a couple of trips to other craft centres (as any professional shopper knows you don’t just buy from the first place you’ve been too) I had all of my materials and equipment, including a fancy hole punch that makes pretty patterns. Ok, so I may not use it for the invites but you never know when you may need one.

As you’ve probably guessed I’ve taken great pleasure in planning my DIY stationary but I’ve learnt many things along the way:

- Find a style you like and copy it!

- Don’t over complicate things, stick to a design that’s simple and easy to create.

- Try to restrain yourself at Hobbycraft, do you really need a laminator and candle making kit!

- Only take one person with you when you go shopping as too many creative minds can cause chaos!

- Make plenty of prototypes until you’re happy with the design.

- Give yourself plenty of time to make them, putting yourself under pressure only takes the fun out of it.

- Finally, enjoy it!

Picking THE dress

I think every girl dreams of their wedding dress, the big white frilly meringue, the huge veil, 6ft train and puff ball sleeves (it was the 80′s). As bridezilla in the making I remember watching repeats of princess diana’s wedding thinking that I wanted my dress to be just like that one!  I had big ambitions at such a young age. Although I think a dress by David and Elizabeth Emmanual might have been a bit out of my budget!

So when it comes to shopping for THE ONE it’s hard to contain the excitement.  I was itching to start my shopping spree (it doesn’t take a lot) after watching sex in the city were Carrie tries on the most amazing dresses from osca de la renta to vivenne westwood. Quite a contrast to those I witnessed in My big fat gypsy wedding. Rather than admiration I found it amazing that people actually wear these dresses.  Although I have to say, some of the dresses were really quite amazing, but not necessarily in a good way.  Why would you want your dress to be so big that it inflicts wounds, apparently its proof of how amazing your dress is.  Personally I think it’s just a sign of being nuts!!! But the crazy dresses didn’t just stop at the brides, it included the whole bridal party. When your bridesmaid looks back in years to come is she really going to thank you for making her look like something that should sit on top of a toilet roll??  I know my sister wont.    

So after watching these inspiring programmes I booked an appointment at a local wedding dress boutique.  When I called to book myself in I was told that I could have a free makeover, I’ve never had this done before so I jumped at the chance. Little did I know.

Turning up on the day I couldn’t wait to have my hair and makeup done before I had my meeting with the wedding dress designer.  When I met with the hairdresser he seemed like a really nice guy who knew what he was doing. Things started off well but the alarm bells should have gone off when he told me he had just come back from working as a stylist at universal studios.  I wanted to go for something quite simple and elegant, maybe something similar to what you would see in pride and prejudice. But oh no he didn’t agree, I ” needed glamour” apparently as he thought I was “a glamorous person”, I wasn’t sure if he was actually talking to me, as I sat in his chair with no makeup on in yesterday’s clothes. So off he went pulling my hair this way and that but then he dashed off and reappeared with something that can only be described as looking like a dead animal which he then planted on top of my head.  Not only did it look like he had placed a dead guinea pig on my head but it was also very lopsided.  Now those who know me understand that I also have OCD as well as bridezilla tendencies so anything that isn’t straight sends me into nervous twitches.  When the big reveal came I didn’t really have the heart to express my real feelings as he seemed so pleased with his achievement.  So off I went, with my new found pet, to meet the designer.

I had to ignore the fact that my head was now weighed down with a furry creature to concentrate on dress shopping (actually quite a hard thing to do).  After looking at so many beautiful dresses I managed to try a few on, it was quite a test trying to get my head through them without knocking my new found friend off my head.  It came round to trying on the one dress that I wasn’t too sure about as it wasn’t really what I was looking for but as soon as I slipped it on, I knew it was the one.  But when we added the veil (yep it was a huge one, bring it on) it became clear that I couldn’t leave the shop without buying it. So many people told me to go with a clear mind and that if you don’t you will end up getting the opposite of what you were looking for.  It’s so true, so may I pass these wisely words on, keep a clear and open mind when picking your dress unless you want something that should have been in my big fat gypsy wedding, if that’s the case you’re simply nuts!

Action stations!!!

Although we have been engaged for a fair few months now, we have finally passed that one year mark.  For anyone that’s planning a wedding that’s over a year away this really is quite a monumental moment! I’ve been trying (and seriously failing) to hold back on making the plans for the big day.  But now that my countdown timer has passed that one year milestone I feel as if I have the licence to plan away!   Yep, I do indeed have a wedding countdown timer downloaded onto my desktop.  Although my team may have laughed at me I still think it’s quite ingenious!

So with the one year mark firmly behind me I decided it was finally time to wade through the piles of wedding magazines that I have already managed to collect or should I say hoard.  I cunningly kept them in separate piles hidden across the flat to convince myself that I hadn’t bought that many (out of sight out of mind), more importantly hiding them from my other half who won’t work out how much I have spent :-) But when I collected my secret stashes of wedding mags, putting them all together I suddenly realised that I had a small forest in my living room.  I couldnt quite believe how many I had managed to collect in such a short period of time.  Although I have to admit that  it didn’t take long for the guilt to disappear, it soon vanished onced I started to flick through the lovely glossy pages of pure wedding indulgence.  Although I really must try to plant a tree to counteract my actions! 

So I can proudly say that I successfully worked my way through my vast collection of magazines, enthusiastically tearing  out pages of inspiration so that I can start  to build my own bridal bible.  Whilst I thought this was a great idea I have actually just scared myself after watching tonight’s episode of Corrie where the “eccentric spinster” Mary (as discribed by Corriepedia http://coronationstreet.wikia.com/wiki/Mary_Taylor ) starts talking about her “Wedding Dossier”.  mmmmmm a little too close for comfort for my liking!  But at least I didn’t start making mine at the age of 10 so I’m not that nuts.    

On a serious note though, I would definitely recommend making your own  bridal bible.  How else will you store all of those moments of inspiration like the inflatable doves, the m&m favours which have your faces on them on or even the great idea of training your pet dog to be the ring bearer. 

So now that the bridal bible is well underway the next stop is turning my spare room into the wedding HQ, I am creating mood boards and everything!

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