Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When to honeymoon?

(Alternative post title - honeymoon vs mini-moon)

The obvious answer to the first question is after the wedding. But how soon after the wedding? I suspect many brides (and a fair few grooms) get a bit stressed in the run up to the wedding. Following a period of stress, it's not unusual to become unwell when you finally stop for a rest.

Gadget is quite good at doing this on normal holidays - he often gets a bad cold (or sometimes man flu!)  three days into our trip. This makes him feel tired and not want to do anything, and really changes the mood of the holiday. He's currently got man flu, so I'm hoping he'll have recovered by the end of next week when we go away!

So the question is how to avoid becoming unwell on honeymoon? My preferred answer is not to get stressed before the wedding, but I can't guarantee this (more on this in the next post). When I combine this question with the fact that we don't know what jobs we'll be doing next year and so can't request any holiday/leave until february (at the earliest), I reach an alternative answer - have a mini-moon.

Go somewhere luxurious but not too far away for a few days, and hopefully you won't become ill until you get back. Then, at a slightly later date, go on your "real" honeymoon. This has some obvious advantages around organising and funding the trip, but runs the risk of the honeymoon feeling like "just a holiday."

I'm thinking that honeymooning may be a state of mind rather than a luxury hotel/location though - any thoughts?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why is underwear overkill?

I realise that wedding day underwear has to be fairly specific - neutral and line free under the Dress, and comfy enough so you don't fiddle with it. (All eyes will be on you, remember.) But some people seem to have some really odd ideas about what is appropriate or normal attire under your wedding dress.

One of the books I read repeatedly referred to being naked before you put your dress on. Is there seriously a group of brides out there who go underwear-less on the big day?! I can't think of anything worse! I understand that if you have a well-boned gown with a built-in bra you maybe don't need a separate bra, but surely you still need pants?

Then it seems most "bridal lingerie" sets are a strapless bra and matching thong/g-string. Surely two of the most uncomfortable undergarments known to woman?!

Then there is the corset brigade. One of the dress shops I went to was obsessed with them, and several other people have mentioned them too. I put one dress on and my lovely father told me I needed to do some stomach crunches before I could wear it (!) - the sales answer was a corset. She even offered me one to try on under the dress. So in addition to wearing a boned gown, a train and a veil (none of which seem comfortable) I now have to wear a corset underneath? Not a chance - I want to eat on my wedding day!

Am I the only person who will be wearing the most comfortable thing I can find that goes under the dress? I may end up needing a strapless bra, but I will be wearing shorts rather than a thong. I'll also be wearing tights, because shoes always rub me if I have bare feet. I can only find my size in a few stores, but I like this set from Debenhams. Bring on the bling, even if I'm the only one who'll know it's there!

Note: My dad was right, although I'm still not sure he's allowed to say things like that!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Invitation wording - back to the drawing board?

I thought our invitations were done, but this weekend I've discovered they're not. We did have a great weekend though - we hit the ski slopes for the first time this year (yes Northern Hemisphere peeps, it's winter here!) and two of our friends got engaged! I may have someone to talk weddings with now!

Anyway, back to the invites. When I started designing them, I asked Gadget about the wording. He said he wanted them worded so that my parents were doing the inviting - as per tradition. At this time we thought we were paying for most/all of the wedding ourselves, but I'm unsure whether the wording should reflect who's footing the bill, or how the couple/family live. So when the funding for the wedding changed, the wording of the invites didn't. Since then we've been through several drafts of the invites, including a couple with my parents. We've reworded them to be more casual than formal ("would like to invite" rather than "request the pleasure of your company"), and dropped all the titles.

During the weekend, our friend that we went skiing with was telling us about her sister's wedding that she'd recently attended. Their invites read, "Together with their parents, Bride and Groom" etc. This made Gadget think about our wording, and realise that he hadn't actually thought about it before. He now thinks his parents should be named on the invite, but isn't sure how or where.

So I'm back trawling the internet for alternative options. I've found some funny ones (that mostly are not appropriate), but I do like this:

Mr. and Mrs. (Brides Parents)
Along with Mr. and Mrs. (Groom’s Parents)
Invite you to witness the wedding of their children
(Bride) and (Groom)
She’ll vow to do his laundry
And he’ll promise to come home at night
And at the end of every argument
They agree that she’ll always be right.

and this:

Mr. and Mrs. (Bride’s Parents)
Are delighted to finally give away their daughter, (Bride)
To (Groom), who has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.
Come celebrate at the reception we’ve waited a lifetime to throw!

both found here. I also found some ideas for RSVPs that are much more interesting than yes or no, so I'll be changing that too. 

The problem with both examples above is that they won't actually fit on our invite. We don't have a gate-fold card with 5 sides for me to write on - we have a one sided A5 invite. It's going to be hard to add another set of names without making it look crowded, even if I just keep it basic and add "with Gadget's parents" to the wording I've already got. Anyone got any ideas?

Note: I realise I'm being vague, but I'm trying not to publish the invite on the blog. There's a couple of fun things on it that I don't want people to see yet!

Friday, July 20, 2012


I have a complicated relationship with my hair. Mainly it annoys me; it won't do what I tell it to, it's so fine it can't be longer than my shoulders, it likes to fly off in all directions, it's very dry (so is my scalp) and also a mousy brown boring colour. For years I've gone through cycles with my hair, and whenever I'm in need of cheering up, I tend to have something reasonably dramatic done to my hair.

This has (almost always) worked because I have a great hairdresser. Urban Angels in Selly Oak, Birmingham have been doing my hair for years (throughout two previous salon locations and names). I go in, ask for something a "bit different," they suggest something and it looks fab.

For quite a long time I had an angled, shaped bob with red and blonde streaks. Then I moved to NZ, and discovered hairdressers are expensive and if you don't know them it helps to know what you want! I've currently got a classic bob with subtle blonde highlights - and I am bored. 

It's definitely time for a change, but if I do something that doesn't work how long will it take to sort out before the wedding? I want my hair to look something like this on the day (obviously I'm pinning ideas regularly, but this is the favourite). It may take some work, but it may not - curls sit well in my hair as they add volume and hide frizz! I was going to have a DIY practice before the real trial next year, but it turns out I can't curl my hair with straighteners so currently that's not an option.

Maybe I'll just add the fringe (bangs for those of you reading this Stateside) and some red for the moment? Or maybe this is my last chance to go crazy and still have enough time to fix any problems?!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bridezilla? Try groomzilla!

I love that Gadget is involved with the wedding planning, and genuinely cares about the details of the day. But this week he has taken caring to a whole new level, from which the only sane option was rapid and complete RETREAT!

We don't plan in the same way, and are very aware of this. So whilst we are planning the wedding together, that does not literally mean we sit together researching the same topic. That inevitably leads to me getting annoyed with the length of time it takes him to make a decision (he's as bad with holidays, food etc.) and him then feeling pressured. I do my research (making almost instant 'no' or 'maybe' decisions) and present him with my results. He then goes away and does his research, spends ages thinking, and then comes back to me with his opinion/decision. Then we jointly agree on the decision, and one of us carries it out.

I mentioned earlier that we've been struggling to find blue and purple ties. My parents went shopping this week and found some, so they emailed us photos. The photos don't represent the colours accurately, and Gadget can't cope with this. Add to this that fact that the Thomas Pink website is still on dial-up speed, and his research becomes difficult.

He is very concerned with how the ties will look in photos, and that the outfits mustn't look "cluttered." You'll have to take my word for it when I say there is no chance of that - his idea of cluttered is most people's idea of fairly plain. I suspect he will end up waiting until he can see the ties for himself, which means January at the earliest.

I belong to the "decision made, job done, one less thing to think about" school of planning. There's already too much stuff that has to wait until January. I would have told my Dad to buy four ties, and happily crossed it off the to-do list. Instead I got a headache listening to Gadget's concerns about the size of the pattern and how it wouldn't look right if there was any other shade/colour on the tie.

So choosing ties has come off my to-do list, and onto his. I am having nothing more to do with it (Dad please take note all future emails go to his inbox!) apart from setting the budget. I feel better already!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A little philosophical

Today is four years since Gadget and I met. It's the last time this day is important, as this time next year we'll be married! So I'm feeling a bit philosophical today, and wondering how our relationship will change after the wedding.

I'd like to think it won't, but that feels very naive. It's going to change massively in the next year even without the wedding, as we'll be moving back to the UK and hopefully buying a house. I can sort of imagine how that will change things, but I can't work out how being husband and wife will be different.

Maybe I'll just have to wait and see, and be prepared for whatever happens?

On the thoughts of maybe, I found this online and thought it was fabulous. Can't find out who wrote it though.


Maybe we are supposed to meet the wrong people before we meet the right one so when they finally arrive we are truly grateful for the gift we have been given.
Maybe its true that we don’t know what we have lost until we lose it but it is also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until it arrives.
Maybe the happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, but make the best of everything that comes their way.
Maybe the best kind of love is the kind where you sit on the sofa together, not saying a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.
Maybe once in a lifetime you find someone who not only touches your heart but also your soul, someone who loves you for who you are and not what you could be.
Maybe the art of true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Get out of my swimming pool!

Seriously. If you want to swim in it, that's fine. But if your idea of swimming involves large amounts of splashing and generally looking like you're drowning, or worse still standing in the shallow section talking, then GET OUT!! You are interfering with my plan to get (wedding day) fit.

We are very lucky living in Auckland. Most apartment blocks have a pool in them, and ours has big glass panels which allow you to look at the bright blue sky as you swim. Mostly there's no one else in it, and it's free - bonus.

Which just means when it is full of idiots (as it was when I went down today), I get a bit annoyed. I actually turned round and came back again this morning, it was so bad.

Luckily two hours later there was only one drowning person, and two chatters. I suppose I can deal with that.

Not that my w-day fitness plan is exactly on track. I did well for the two weeks of gym membership, but I've been tired and headachy recently (I need a holiday) which has given me the perfect excuse not to exercise. Until my mum pointed out that I'll be picking up my dress at the beginning of december, so I can't lose any weight after november. That changes the timescale slightly!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Outfits for the boys

I'm going to have two page boys at the wedding - not because page boys are essential, but because the two boys are an important part of my life, and I wanted to recognise that at the wedding. It gives me a chance to look at some really cute outfits though - I've got ideas about waistcoat and trouser suits from next, with ties to match the men, and maybe sneakers instead of proper shoes. Something like this:

Image from Andrew Scott Clarke via love my dress
How cute is the little one on the right with the bright blue shoes?! It seems that a lot of places don't do suits for 2 year olds though, or if they do they're not the same as the older boys' suits. I've managed to find a lilac shirt/grey waistcoat/trouser combo for £34 from Next, or Matalan have grey suits for £30-£35 that start from age/size 18months (check them out on Pinterest). I also love the ideas on this blog, written by a fellow North Yorkshire bride.

The eldest will be happy as long as he's wearing the same as his heroes - his Uncle G (my dad), Gagdet and his Daddy. The little one will be happy as long as he gets to copy his big brother. I'm sure the clothes will end up less-than-clean/almost ruined (especially if we ask the Lodge to put the football nets up!), so I'm not prepared to spend a fortune. I feel a visit to the Next Clearance shop may be in order!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Outfits for the men

As I've spent the last three posts talking about my outfit, I thought it was time to turn the tables. Hope everyone had a good 4th of July? I love fireworks!

Gagdet's suit should be ready today - I'm really excited to see it, I have high hopes for him looking fab on the big day. He still needs a shirt and tie, and has decided to wear a waistcoat (so that he stands out from the other men). I can't see how a "traditional wedding waistcoat" (the kind you'd hire with your suit) is going to go with his slim fit merino wool pinstriped suit, but he disagrees. He thinks a cream satin waistcoat will work, but grey or navy won't. Hopefully once we have the suit it will be easier to work out what looks best!

We're asking the men in the wedding party (the dads and Gadget's brother/best man) to wear their own grey or black suit. We haven't decided what to do about shirts yet, but we'll be supplying ties and pocket squares for them all. It's proving tricky to find blue and purple ties, but we're working on that one!

This is the kind of thing I have in mind for the end result:
Image from Green Wedding Shoes
Gadget's suit is slightly darker than this, so we may need to go with a light coloured waistcoat, but the array of purple ties is fab!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Dress - part 3

It's just occurred to me that I should have written a trilogy in four parts - my dad would appreciate that (so would Gadget, except he doesn't read this!). Maybe I'll think of a final instalment later...

My parents arrived at the end of March, and the big shopping day was set for April 5th. I'd had a final blast of inspiration from rock my wedding, plus reassurance from Jenny that it's a good idea to take your time finding the perfect dress!

I took both of my parents shopping with me. Many people (Dad included!) have been shocked/appalled/baffled by the thought of my dad going dress shopping, but he was much more analytical and specific than my mum (as we knew he would be; she was more emotional). We went back to Jenny's and Jessica Bridal, and they liked the Jessica dresses but not the Jenny's ones. They could see why I was having problems with the train - and also why I'd decided against a veil (they look ridiculous on me). My dad also said that some of the dresses were wearing me, and not the other way around. There was one in particular that my friend and I loved, and my dad hated (the word used was "yuk"). Clearly not the reaction I wanted!

So we went back to the dressmaker where I'd tried on my very first dress, and she's going to make my dress. It's inspired by one of the Jessica dresses and a second anonymous dress, but takes details from several different dresses so will be totally unique. This is where my mum's talents came to the fore - she used to make dresses quite often, and actually made my gown for my university Leaver's Ball, so she was able to talk technically with my dressmaker about the details. I can't tell you about the second dress as it gives too much away, but it contains elements from both of my grandma's wedding dresses and was the closest I came to having "the moment."

Here's what I will tell you. It's cream, has straps, some lace, and no train. I couldn't show you a picture even if I wanted to, as there isn't any! I'm more than a bit nervous about ordering a dress that I've never seen, let alone tried on, but I'm trying to have faith! It was also very reasonably priced, especially for a custom made gown (the Jessica dress was nearly twice as much).