In this blog post I want to discuss the planning stages with 8 weeks to go. So let’s rewind a little bit. Let’s go back to early September…
In this period, I had (in no particular order) my hen do, Joe’s stag do, multiple dress fittings, deciding on my veil, my hair trial, a make-up trial with two of my bridesmaids, lots of bridesmaid enquires, ordered more bits and bobs for the wedding, final paperwork with our wedding venue and registar were due, a shiz load of payments were due, table plan was to be decided and planned, chasing up RVSP’s, deciding on the music for the aisle, music after the ceremony, ideas for signage, booking and organising the honeymoon, ceremony and reception final touches, gyming twice a week and attempting a diet, family dramas, deciding on final final wedding make-up, deciding on wedding readings, ordered and had wedding rings made and going back and forth with chosen suppliers to discuss ideas.
I’m sure there are a bunch of other things I’ve forgotten about, but you get the jist of things… it was pretty intense, especially if you work full-time and have a busy role.
When I look back, I barely had any time to think about my wedding whilst I was at work, likewise with Joe. So we conquered everything when we got home. Staying up till 1am or later almost every night was pretty awful, but all those late nights paid off.
You’re ticking off about 1000 things (quite literally) off your to do list. I don’t mean that in a scary frightening way. But, yes there is a lot to be done and everything needs to be perfect, and run smoothly… But just make sure you are keeping on top of things and ticking off bits and pieces every day, even if it’s something small like ordering ‘the bridal/bridesmaids hangers’. It’s one thing completed out of many.On the day, you do forget the stresses and enjoy the big day, well after the ceremony… That might just be my experience though. I’m sure there are brides out there who don’t care too much about the little details and love the idea of the ceremony. But for me, it made me a nervous wreck. Walking down the aisle with everyone looking at me and having to read my vows for everyone to hear, it was lovely, but no thank-you. Not my cup of tea at all.
Anyway, sorry, I’m waffling… What I found really really helpful, was to print of a wedding checklist. I found this one
really helpful to keep on top of things. But there are tons and tons of of checklists out there.
I also had a wedding planning diary
that Joe’s sister, Emily brought for me when we got engaged. It was this exact one from John Lewis
which was really helpful too.Joe’s idea of keeping on top of things was creating lots of ‘google sheets’, the amount of spreadsheets he had was insane, but it did help us a lot. We had everything from a wedding budget sheet to a guest list sheet to a range of supplier options and things we liked or wanted, i.e: bubbles for the ceremony from Amazon or blocks of cheeses from Waitrose. There were many many tabs on that one!So, the best bits of advice I can give on keeping on top of ‘the wedding to-do list’ is to be organised, plan in advance, delegate tasks (wish we had done more of this), do a task every day or every other day, even if it’s small. And do print off that check list!
What I also thought you might be interested in hearing about is my hen do, my dress fittings, my diet, my hair trial and last minute bow tie changes. So I’ll go into more detail about them.
If you do what me to go into detail about anything else of the above mentioned, do let me know and I’ll happily write about them in my next post, or I’ll reply in the comments section below.
My hen do.
My lovely bridesmaids surprised me with a weekend away in London. Only twenty minutes for us on the tube, but it was really nice to get away from my home town.
We all met at Euston, dropped our bags off at a nearby hotel and went to this gorgeous pub called ‘The Hourglass
‘. As we were running a bit later than expected, they had given our table away, however, the guy in charge arranged a table for us in no time. The food was stunning and I loved the quirky-ness of the pub.
It was a shame we were only there for a short amount of time and had to rush our food a little, but we enjoyed it none the less.
I actually want to go back and take Joe there!After lunch, we headed to a 1920’s inspired photoshoot, this was really cool and great fun for us girls.
After that we headed to Piccadilly Circus for a private cocktail making class, this was so much fun! We got far too drunk in short period of time but was brilliant.
Time got away with us a little bit, so we headed back to the hotel to get ready. We met up with a few of my other friends and headed out for dinner at ‘Jamie’s Italian
‘. After wards we went back to the club in Piccadilly and had a great time… although a few dramas occurred. But what’s a hen do without drama, eh?!
We ended up wandering around London for about an hour, realising that no-one would let us in as it had gone past 3am, so we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.
The next day, was fairly chilled and much much needed. We sat down for a few hours at Euston and didn’t leave our spot. We met up with Joe’s mum, and headed to ‘The Shakesphere Globe
‘, a place I had never heard of before. It was this gorgeous exhibition, artsy building with a restaurant called ‘The Swan
‘ attached to it. Near London Bridge way. It was beautiful.
We enjoyed a Midsummers Night afternoon tea with my family and friends. It was really really lovely. And I highly highly recommend it to anyone.
My dress fittings and ‘The diet’
Leading up to the wedding, I knew that I wanted to loose weight, not much but I knew that I wanted to be a size 8 again. So, I ordered a size 8 dress (at the time I was a 10) from Eliza Jane Howell
, from a bridal shop, Morgan Davies
I previously tried my dress on three times before deciding it was the ‘one’. And I still to this day, absolutely made the right choice. At the time, I tried on the design in a 14 and it was super baggy, but I actually really liked the fit of it. I didn’t quite realise how snug it was until the day it arrived. But that was ok, it just meant that I needed to consider underwear carefully, tone up a little bit and loose a bit more weight.
If there’s one bit of advice that I will give for ‘finding your perfect dress’ is that when you know, you know. It might take a while and you feel like nothing suits you, but then you find something that fits you like a glove, so do be patient and wait.
Anyway, when my dress arrived, it was quite loose around certain areas and needed to be altered slightly. It needed to be taken in at the bottom, lifted at the top (near my shoulders). But overall fitted really really well. And was so beautiful and delicate.
The shop didn’t do alterations, so I had to find a local seamstress which was surprisingly quite easy.
I visited my seamstress on several occasions, 3 weeks before my wedding, 2 weeks before and 2 days before. The process was really easy but we did have an accident on the 2nd dress fitting which I can laugh about now.
When I was trying on my dress, I noticed a pool of blood on the floor. I immediately panicked as it got on my dress and shoes!! What had happened was that I caught my foot on some of the beads on my shoes, sliced my foot open without realising and bled everywhere! Oh the dramas, only me eh! Luckily, the blood came out of the dress and shoes really easily. Otherwise let me tell you… I would not be laughing.
Moving swiftly on, by the 3rd fitting. I had lost a little bit more weight and my dress fitted perfectly, however, was a little gapey near the belly, but I didn’t mind so much. I then took it away and hung it in my wardrobe away from Joe. The temptation not to get it out every five minutes was incredibly hard.
Also, I know some of you may be keen to know, so I thought I’d mentioned my ‘diet’ on here.
I didn’t do a hardcore diet by any means, but I had a lot of soup for lunch or dinner during the week. Ate fairly healthy, ate fish a fair bit and had the occasional salad too. I tried to avoid sugar, but couldn’t resist on occasions. And, I did treat myself quite a bit at the weekend. Sometimes you just need a burger in your life, it’s called balance.
On the final week of the wedding, I was really good and did a juice diet, as well as eating soup and lots of fish. I also had a lot of coconut water which helped my skin ‘glow’ and look super hydrated.
The hair trial
I almost immediately knew what I wanted. 1920’s soft curls, yes please.
My hair stylist was incredible, I cannot recommend and thank her enough, Denise from D&D Make-up
. She’s done lots of bridal hair in the past, and some amazing editorial styled photo-shoots for big brands such as M&S.
I went to her house and she trialled my hair. She got it spot on first time round. And, I really enjoyed listening to her experiences in the fashion and beauty industry. What a hell of a job she had! Sounded like a dream.
She also did my bridesmaids’, my mum and nan’s hair on the big day. Everyone’s hair looked incredible.
I highly recommend booking a hair trial, I know it seems a little bit expensive, but believe me it’s worth it! You could pay for a hair stylist package up front and absolutely hate it when she does the trial, so, it’s good to be selective. And then again, you could get lucky like I did and flnd the perfect one.
Bow tie changes
This was a bit of an odd one, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
We found finding the right bow ties for our groomsmen so difficult. We originally wanted grey to match the bridesmaids, but it didn’t pop and the bow tie sizes were either ‘too large’ or ‘too small’. We must of ordered around 15 different styles of bowties and none of them were right, it was really frustrating.Until one evening I popped into Brent Cross shopping centre, paid a visit to Hawes and Curtis
and found the most gorgeous burgundy silk bow ties. They were pricey for sure, but after weeks of not knowing what to do, I decided it was worth paying a little bit extra to get this detail just right.
I don’t know why burgundy hadn’t crossed my mind before. It was perfect, autumnal and they went really well with the flowers. They looked awesome in photo’s.
Ok, so there we have it, the stressful period of 8 weeks to go! I hope this was at least helpful to one person or you enjoyed reading about our wedding experiences.
When I look back, the one thing I would have done differently was I wish we had delegated more tasks to family and friends. Me and Joe put a lot of pressure on ourselves as we are both perfectionists and like being a part of every single detail. But we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and stress before the big day.And, it’s true what they say, you really do feel like eloping in the last 2 or so months… but it was all worth it in the end. Our wedding day was beyond perfect and more than what we could of ever of hoped for.
As always feel free to follow me on Instagram: @zoeyoliviablog or tweet me: @zoeyoliviablog. I’m forever responding and interacting on those platforms :).
I knew I recognised the bridal store! My dress came from there too! I also needed alterations – did they suggest a local lady from Letchworth Garden City to you? (that’s who I used!) x
No way! What dress did you go for in the end? I had a lady in Watford do my alterations. x