Wedding Planning | Our Ideas / The Inital Stages

I have been a little absent on my blog lately, and that’s because I’m into serious wedding planning mode! I can’t say that it’s been easy, but that’s something I’ll go into detail a little later on…
Joe and I got engaged on my birthday last year, he proposed to me whilst we were on holiday in Turkey. And, since then, it’s been go go go with the wedding (…literally)!
We were going to settle for a 2017 date, as it gave us a lot of time to save and prepare for the wedding. But, after a lot of consideration and because of family reasons, we decided to choose a date at the end of this year instead.
I’ve been happily pinning away on my Pinterest board since November, of these big, beautiful and wonderful ideas that I would love to have. From the colour scheme, to decor, to my dress and so on.
Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss our wedding plans, our ideas and where we are now with our wedding plans.
The Venue
Joe and I aren’t religious at all and we both loved the idea of getting married in a barn. We started looking at venues from December onwards and settled on our dream one back in February.
We got really lucky with dates as a lot of couples had booked their venue two years in advance, and they had one or two ideal dates left!It was also really hard to find the right venue because Joe’s family are from Corby and mine are from Watford, so we needed to meet in the middle and find somewhere easy for everyone to get to.
But oh my, it’s perfect, absolutely perfect. I won’t give away where it is for privacy reasons, so the pictures above and below are just to give you an idea of what we had in mind. I will of course share where it was after the wedding!


The Dress
After choosing our venue, the dress hunt was on. I must of tried at least 70 different styles on before finding the right one! It honestly felt like we went to every bridal boutique in Hertfordshire…
But I’m in love with it, it feels very me.
Below I’ve picked four of my favourite dresses that I tried on.  I know my friends, family and Joe read my blog, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
I’ve also got my shoes! Initially, I really wanted one of Emmy‘s designs but they are way out of my price range. But I’m completely happy with the ones I picked! I won’t tell you the exact ones that I bought, but I will tell you that they are a stunning pair of shoes designed by Rachel Simpson.
Now that I’ve got my dress and shoes, I still need to get my veil, head-pieces, lingerie and bridal jewelry!
Photographer and Videographer
While hunting for my perfect dress, came the huge task of selecting a Photographer and Videographer. These are both super duper expensive but I love my photography and videography, so it’s something I was willing to spend a little extra on.
Our photographer for the day, is the lovely Cat Lane. I just adore her work and I’m so excited for her to shoot the day. And, our videographer is Tim Spatz, who creates the most beautiful films.
Tip: If you are also planning you’re wedding, I recommend booking these are soon as you find your venue. They get snapped up pretty quickly!
Colour Schemes and Bridesmaid Dresses
Our colour scheme is blue, grey and sliver. With a little bit of burgundy here and there.
Originally, I had my heart set on navy sequinned bridesmaid dresses but instead we’ve gone for some beautiful grey embellished dresses. Which they will pair with some strappy sliver heels.
We may consider a fur shawls for them to wear too.
Joe’s suit is a dark cobalt blue and the groomsmen will be dressed in navy, with *hopefully* some braces. We’re not sure if we are going to have grey ties or powder blue as of yet.
Invitations / RSVP’s
Another huge job was doing the invitations! We have around 90 people coming to the day and 50 extra in the evening. So, we had around 100 invitations to send out.
I really wanted to make our invites special, so I designed and printed them. Hours upon hours of feeding paper through the printer to achieve the doublesided-ness… boy was that a workout. Then they were left to dry, and Joe finalised them by wrapping each individual one in twine.
Whilst doing that, we collected our guests address’ on an excel spreadsheet (one of many) and sent away. Chasing down some our RSVP’s was a tad annoying, but I let Joe handle that part ;)!
For the reception and table plan, we love the idea of having a ‘world/travel’ theme of all the places we’ve visited in the world. Other than that, we’re going for the rustic farm vibes, but in a classy way.
Decorations and Sweet table
The venue/barn itself is beautiful and to be honest, we don’t need to do an awful lot of decorating to it.
I would love to have more lights across in the reception but it’s costly and I don’t know if it would be ‘too much’. We may also have a bunting running across, but again to be decided.


At this stage, the only decorations that I know we would be splashing out on, are the table decorations. I vision tree log slices with kilner jars and floating candles in them. A jar filled with photo props. And maybe a globe on each table. Oooh and vintage suitcases!
I do also like the idea of having balloons near each table… but may look a bit out of place!
I would also like a lot of signage. Lots of cute quotes here, there and everywhere.
One of my must-haves is to have a sweet-table in the evening! I’ve been to various friends weddings where they’ve done this and it always goes down really well with the kids and adults, and well it looks super cute too.
I’ve been looking at vintage glass sweet jars on eBay, but may have to find some more affordable ones so it doesn’t end up costing a bomb!


The Flowers
I don’t know why, but I found choosing a florist one of the hardest and most frustrating things. One, because I didn’t realise how expensive they are, two, because the majority I contacted weren’t available and three, because I really couldn’t make up my mind of what I wanted…
Luckily we found a supplier who had been recommend by our venue. She’s really lovely, and I’m excited to see what she makes!
We didn’t want to spend a fortune, so we had a budget for £300 (seems like a lot… but believe me that’s the bare minimum) which includes my bouquet, five bridesmaid bouquets, corsages and buttonholes for the groomsmen. And one table decoration on our main table.
With colours, we decided to go down the burgundy route as I personally feel that it will compliment the greys and the blues. I also decided on having quite a lot of green foliage. And, the design will be a hand-tied bouquet with twine holding it together.
The cake
A family member of Joe’s will be baking our wedding cake which we are super grateful for. It adds another personal touch to our wedding!
For the cake, we originally wanted a cheese tower wedding cake as it really fits in with the barn feel. But after seeing multiple pictures of naked tower cakes, I think our hearts are set on one of these instead. But we may be cheeky and have both…
I also really love these personalised cake toppers that I keep stumbling across, something like this would look perfect on our cake.


There are lots of other bits that I want to share with you all as we get further into planning the wedding… more decorations, food, the honey moon, bridal hair, make-up and so on. But I think I will leave it here, otherwise we will be here for years…

With less than four months to go, we’re into the nitty gritty stages now. There’s been ups and downs but I’m really excited to see everything come together!

I’d love to know what you think of our ideas so far, or any advice or tips you have for our wedding planning!


Feel free to follow me on Instagram: @zoeyoliviablog or tweet me: @zoeyoliviablog. I’m forever responding and interacting on those platforms :).


  1. August 10, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Their in-house catering is remarkable. The food was delicious. So many of our guests (including and especially the foodies) have told us it was the best food they'd ever had at a wedding. The service at Seattle Wedding venues was impeccable but not overly formal.

  2. April 17, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    Hey Zoey, just reading through your wedding blogs so helpful! Who was your florist – would you recommend them?
    Thank you!

    • May 29, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Hey Alex, Thank you for your kind words and apologies for replying so late!
      My florist was Julie Cambridge (, she was really affordable and just brilliant! Did an amazing job on the bouquets and corsages :).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *