Friday, 28 September 2012

Choosing the menu...

So when we booked our wedding, being foodies, we couldn't wait to pick the menu. But, because our venue only use seasonal ingredients, we could only choose our menu 6 weeks before the wedding!

So the date finally came and we went to try some dishes so we could pick our favourites. It might sound easy, but it's not. What you have to bear in mind isn't just 'do I like this' it's - will my guests like this. Don't forget, probably the most costly part of your wedding is feeding your guests, so you don't want a load of uneaten meals going into the bin. Now, because our wedding was small, I knew what our guests liked to eat and what they didn't, so luckily it was empty plates all around.

When your looking at venues (prior to booking) its a good idea to ask for a sample menu, just so you can get an idea of the type of food they do - you don't want to book it then find there is nothing on the menu that you'd like. Also, check that will cater for the needs of any guests with certain dietary or allergy requirements.

Hope this helps!
Any questions, just ask.

Sweet trees...

I'll keep this one short and sweet (no pun intended). So sweet trees are the new things to look out for when you go to a wedding!

They are shaped like topiary trees but are covered in your favourite sweets! If your having a chocolate fountain (another popular choice for weddings) then why not have a couple of sweet trees covered in marshmallows, ready for dipping!

So get either get online and finds local sweet tree company, or next time you go to a bridal fayre speak to someone there (they usually have a sweet tree stall).

Hope this helps!

Room dressing...

So it's completely upto you how you'd like your venue (ceremony and reception) to look. So if it's not naturally everything you have wanted it to look like, there are things you can do about it!

You can hire a room dresser, who will work with you to create the look you want. This could include the use of chair covers, candelabras, mirror plates, fish bowls, fairy lit bay trees, aisle carpets, drapes, fairy kit back drops, thrones... You get the idea.

Now, a lot of these items are not too expensive to buy yourself so I'd recommend getting a quote from a professional, then work out how much it would be to buy. Your venue should be able to offer you contact details of the nearest room dresser.

Now, I've recently found a great website which is great for anyone who wants to add a bit more glamour to their venue. It's They have a great range of chair covers, gifts for the guests, gifts for the happy couple, postboxes,hen do' items, favour boxes...just check it out yourself. Whether your the bride or a guest, I'm sure you'll find something to buy!

Any questions, just ask!
Hope this helps.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Dressing the men...

I wasn't too sure about how to word the title of this post.

So you can go 2 ways with this. You can either hire suits or you can buy them. If you decide to go for traditional tails, I recommend hiring, unless you can think other events you'd be able to wear the suit for.

Another thing you will need to consider is who will be wearing wedding suits. Now, as I had a small wedding, only my groom had a formal suit and it looked right. I've been to large wedding in the past an there have been quite a few groomsmen. These include; groom, best man, father of bride and groom, ushers, and any male siblings.

If your hiring a suit, I'd reccomend your guys get measured and fitted a few weeks before (not too early though). If they already have shoes (not all the shops hire out shoes - mine didn't) make sure the men take them to the shop as they could change the way the trousers hang.

Once you collect the suits, make sure all the men are with you so they can try them on and if there are any problems the shop can deal with them.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Ok so I will keep this one short!

A tip from me for when buying your rings would be to buy them as soon as you can! This is because every January the jewellers put their prices up - quite alot sometimes! For example mine went up £300 and David's went up £200, so if you've got the money set aside, get them bought!

There are many styles to go for.

But always remember - you have to go for the same metal as your engagement ring, otherwise the stronger metal will wear down the weaker. For example of your engagement ring is 9ct gold, don't go for an 18ct gold wedding band.

Alot of the time you will find that jewellers do the same rings but in the different metals, and colours.

Hope this helps!

Hair and Makeup...

Right, so it's never too early to start thinking about how you'd like to have your hair on your big day. You can get plenty of inspiration online and in magazines. Now, if your like me and like to keep your hair short/medium length, then don't worry as there are plenty of up styles that can be done with short hair.

Also, think about what accessories you'd like. There's so much to choose from now. You could have a veil, a tiara, a hair slide... The list goes on. So the best thing to do is try some styles out and see what suits you. Don't forget, what might look good on a model, might not suit you so have a trial (as many as you want).

Now, when it comes to make up, I had 2 choices. I could find a makeup artist in the lakes and have to travel up there before the wedding to have trials, or I could learn to do it myself (don't get me wrong, I can apply makeup but I wanted something very special and products which would last the whole day). So I decided I'd do it myself (I could put the money I would have spent on hiring someone on something else).

So after looking on various makeup blogs, I found one that suited my needs and gave advice on products and techniques to achieve that 'natural' look! So check it out


Ok, so we have a venue, a registrar, a dress, favors, rings, so let's talk about flowers.

Now, your bouquet can come in many different sizes, shapes, colours - in fact, every bouquet is individual.

So, because I'm tall (over 6ft) I didn't want a hand tied bouquet as it would have looked lost on me, so I went for a teardrop bouquet which suited me as it had more length to it. The florist should have an idea of what bouquet will suit your body.

A decision to make is whether you want artificial flowers or fresh flowers. You can now get really good and life like artificial flowers, and you can get them in any colour you like (fresh flowers can only be chosen by what's in season).

If your like me and you like that extra bit of glitz and glam, you can also get 'crystal stems' to go in the bouquet and you can also get diamantes which can slip inside flowers such as roses.

A tip for all you brides to be - book a florist as soon as you can. You don't have to make any final decisions as to what you want, but if you don't book it as soon as you can, there's a chance they will be booked up (the first florist of choice was booked up so I had to find another).

When it comes to buttonholes, you can decide whether you want all of your guests to have one, or just the immediate family. Always make sure though that both mothers (brides and grooms) have that extra special corsage, and that the groom and father of the bride have something special too. For my wedding I had roses for the parents, and carnations for everyone else (I had the ladies carnations with diamantes an ribbon on).

So, get to your favourite florist and get your name down.
Thanks for reading!


Ok, so if you'd have been thinking about Favors 10 years ago, you'd have been thinking sugared almonds.

Not any more. When it comes to Favors now,  you can have anything you like. Now, I got a bit carried away with mine, and ended up having favor bags (don't worry I will post a picture).

First things first, you need to decide how much you want to spend on Favors for  guest. So I'll give you a list of possible ideas you may like.

  • Candle holders with scented tea light (candle holders 25p each from ikea)
  • Lotto lucky dip (£1 each and you can get 'lucky in love' ticket holders 20 for £3)
  • Initials heart chocolates (£1.75 each from thorntons online)
  • Personalised chocolate bars (I got mine from the chocolate library and they taste and look fab)
  •  Bath bombs or soap (these can vary in price - depends on brand)
  • Now, for anyone getting married in the lake district - grasmere gingerbread! It's amazing and not too expensive
  • Homemade items (such a fudge, cookies etc - can work out very cheap)
  • Packes of seeds in a decorated envelope (sow some love) 
So, as you can probably guess,  you can make anything into a favor! Just don't forget to budget for them, because whether you have 10 guests, or 100 guests, it will still add up!

Thanks again for reading!


Right, so now we have a venue and a registrar! Technically that's all you have to book to get married! But if your anything like me, that's no where near everything!

Now, like the venues, your best thinking beforehand about what it I'd you'd like. Do you want a big 'meringue', a simple straight dress, with or without straps, with embellishment or without... The list goes on.

What I did was have a look online for my local dress shops (haven't heard the best reports from big branded chains - no names mentioned). So I made an appointment at a shop that I'd heard good things about.

Before you go to the shop, make sure you set your budget. If not you could end up coming away with a dress that you need to remortgage your house for! Dresses range drastically in price, going from £100 up to thousands!!

If you really are on a tight budget, or would like to spend your money on other things than a dress, you can even find wedding dresses in high street chain stores such as Debenhams, Monsoon etc. I've seen a few in these shops and they are lovely at very low prices.

The chances of finding a dress on rail that is 100% perfect fit is slim. It may be too long, too short, bust too big etc so always put a bit of money aside for alterations. A good thing to have done to your dress (if it has a train on it) is to have a button placed under the dress - don't worry you will not see it. This means that once the ceremony is done and photos, you can tie up the train underneath so it's easier to move around, and it's very handy for your first dance (the groom can't stand on it and make you go flying into the guests - or the cake).

It's up to you when to go dress shopping. But depending on the dress you like, it can take 16 weeks to come in from ordering ad then you need fittings to make sure it's perfect for the big day. So I'd give it at least 6 months.

Hopefully there are a few tips here to help!

Monday, 24 September 2012

The legal parts...

When it came to getting married - I didn't have a clue what to do. I mean when I've watched people getting married on the TV, they just make a decision that they want to get hitched, and 5 minutes later the bride is walking down the aisle with all the guests either side. Surely that's how it happens?

Well I'm sorry but I'm going to pop that bubble now! It takes weeks!

After choosing the venue, I Got in touch with the registry office in the region of the hotel (the venue will be aware of which it is) and asked if they were available for that date, and they were. I was then told, I'd have to get in touch with our local registry office and make an appointment to have our 'notice of marriage' done. This is the part that checks that you are who you say you are and that you and your husband to be do really want to get married. So I thought to myself, ooh we are both off work tomorrow, I'll try and get it booked in for then - wrong. I rang up and got told there was a 3 month waiting list! So I begrudgingly booked it for what seemed far in the future (I don't know about you, but I am very impatient and like things doing sooner rather than later).

Anyway, I managed to get a cancellation 5 weeks later. When we were going, you have to bring ID with you, like birth certificate, passport, utility bills (you get a list of requirements) . Initially we had to be seen separately to be asked questions about each other (I'd never been good at quizzes so was slightly panicked) but luckily we passed and our notice of marriage was done - nearly. It just had to go on display in the registry office so that members if the public can disagree with your choice to get married (unlikely I hope).

Once the 3 weeks were up, we were told to collect the notice of marriage. So once these were collected, I had to send them in the post to the cumbrian registry office (the one carrying out the wedding).

We then got the 'wedding pack' through from them, which is basically your plan of the ceremony. So what music do you want, who will be the ring bearer, who will be giving the bride away etc.

So now the legal parts done,melt the fun start!


When it comes to venues, you need to sit down and work out - what do you want? Do you want to get married in a church/chapel, do you want to hire a house and caterers separately, do you want to have a huge marque somewhere you love, a registry office, or do you want to get married in a hotel and have everything done under one roof like I did.

Now, I'm on the the ones who didn't think about this at first, so I spent hours, days, even weeks, looking at a mixture of places without just thinking 'what do I want'. Eventually I made my mind up and decided that I wanted to a lovely hotel in a lovely setting, where all of my guests could stay - I just had to find it.

So I got on the Internet and began looking. However, I made the mistake at just searching for hotels in the lake district, without looking at the Cumbrian registry office website, to see the list of hotels where your permitted to get married (that's right, it's not ALL of them) Luckily the hotel that caught my eye was on the list!

Eventually I had my list of 5 hotels to go and look at. First up - Lakeside hotel in Newby bridge. I rang up and made my appointment. When we got to the hotel, I had the feeling (cliché I know) about the place. It had everything we wanted. It was on the lake, had 2 beautiful wedding rooms (one for a large wedding, and one for a small wedding like mine), the Taff were friendly and helpful, and it was surprisingly affordable.

Now, it might have seem hasty but we both decided that this was the venue for us, so we cancelled all of the other appointments and made a provisional booking for the Lakeside hotel. All we had to do now was everything else...


Now, I don't know about you, but I have a huge family! So when we got engaged and began to plan the wedding, we had to make some tough choices. Do we have an 'ok' wedding, that we could barely afford, and have everyone there, OR do we have our perfect wedding day somewhere we both love and could afford, but only have parents and siblings? I think it's obvious.

Once we decided on the small and intimate wedding, I knew we could be more flexible on where we could get married, and I knew it had to be the lake district (can you imagine asking 200 guests to drive 2 hours on country roads for 1 day?)

Now obviously I would have liked to have celebrated starting married life with all of my family, so I had to switch my brain on and get thinking about how I could have my dream wedding AND still have my family's support. Then DING the light bulb flashed. The weekend after the wedding we decided to have a casual house party where everyone could toast our marriage.

So now you know hoe we come to the decision to have a small wedding. It gets exciting from here - honest!


Hi, im Kim. I've recently married the man of my dreams, and we had a magical day - without going into debt. now, you may or may not know, but the average cost of a wedding is now over £20,000. Now I don't know about you, but if I was to wait for the day until I had that amount of money to spend on ONE day, I would be waiting until the end of time! The  aim of this blog is to bring you tips, advice and recommendations on how to create a magical day for you and all of your guests, without going into debt!

I'll be discussing favours, venues, photographers, entertainment, cakes, dresses - you name it and I'll talk.