How did that happen, it is Belle Bride Jess’s last post before she heads off to get married and today she is sharing her last Belle Bride post which is the final weeks of wedding preparation. If you want to catch up on Jess’s journey to marrying in France so far, catch up here.
So for one last time as a single lady here is Jess: “This is my final blog now before the wedding and we’re in our final weeks of preparation, the closer it’s getting to our wedding day the more excited we are!
We’re in the ‘crazy’ month at the moment and arranging our Hen and Stag do’s! Dane leaves shortly for Magalluf and mines at the end of the month in Cardiff. To be honest planning the hen do has probably been the most stressful part of it all! One thing I would suggest with planning a hen do is have a clear idea of what you would like and then leave it to your bridesmaids or someone else to organise. Don’t get so concerned about how it will turn out as long as you leave it in the hands of someone who is good at planning. My problem is I was too involved in discussions and when there was a difference in opinion with my bridesmaids I got involved. I should have just stayed out of it all and let them battle it out!
We are also in the process of finalising all the finer details of our wedding such as menus and what photos we want. This has been the most exciting part of planning now because this is where the day starts to become personalised and we are deciding these details together as a couple.
All in all the whole planning process has been a lot less stressful than I expected, everything has fallen into place really well. Part of this is down to the fact that we have our wedding planner Jo across in France arranging a lot for us, but having had past experience in wedding planning myself has also helped. There are a few decisions we are yet to make – for example choosing whether to have a makeup artist on the day and also whether to have a videographer. These are things we have left until last to see if we have the budget (as we could get by without them) but are now concerned we may regret if we don’t have them. I have been in touch with a few vendors and just trying to get the best quotes.
We have now paid the big chunks of expense such as the venue, photographer and catering deposit. It’s quite a relief to have this out of the way. The financial pressure of the wedding does cause a little stress no matter how big or small the budget. Weddings involve a big financial commitment as well as making the biggest commitment of all – to each other. However, I think it all comes down to how you view your day. Money comes and goes, yes it’s important to be wise but we view our wedding is an opportunity for us to spoil our families and friends who have supported us in life and our relationship thus far and also celebrate LOVE – the greatest power on the planet!
We have managed to keep to our budget so far. I expect there will be some last minute details that may pop up in the final weeks of planning, but otherwise we are right on track. One thing I would say when it comes to setting a wedding budget is be realistic and set it a little higher than you think you need. When we set our budget, it seemed like so much money to us and lots of people said they could plan a wedding with a couple of grand, however, knowing what we wanted and knowing how it is in the industry, I had a pretty good idea about the amount we needed to set.
We set something we could afford, and an amount that wasn’t going to cause us problems in the future with any loans/repayments we needed. We have had to limit our choices and plans, but still got the majority of what we wanted.
Having two years to plan our wedding has its good and bad sides. A lot can change in a couple of years including friendships, health, finances and life circumstances. A good thing about our long engagement is it has meant is we’ve had the time to shop around for items and wait for the best deals to come out. For example my bridesmaid dresses – I bought the lovely summery dresses in the Boxing Day sales, in the cold Northern winter! It has also meant we have been able to make payments when the Euro is at its best, however, we did have to re-asses our budget not too long after we booked our venue due to the dramatic change with the euro. This part was difficult as we did have to extend our budget but still kept it within our means.
We have still managed to keep our honeymoon destination a surprise and have decided to incorporate this secret into our wedding day. We are having a competition running on the day – who can guess which airport we will be flying into?! We also have a few other surprises on the day. One thing I struggle with is keeping my mouth shut about plans because I’m so excited and want to tell everyone, so this has been sooo difficult for me!
I have now had my hair trial and currently working with my hairdresser (who is coming to the wedding) to get the right hair colour for the wedding. This has been something I have never been able to decide on, having gone from very dark hair to blonde…I think I have finally decided on blonde. I actually asked Danes opinion on this!
I have also just had my wedding dress alterations done. I left this a little late (purely because I forgot about it), however a friend recommended a local woman from our town and she got this done very quickly.
The last thing we have to organise is the groomsmen suits. If it was down to me these would have been sorted months ago! This has been left up to Dane and he hasn’t sorted these yet, thankfully he has at least sorted his suit just not his friends. He’s a laid back kind of guy and there will probably be a rush trip out to the shopping centre about a week before we leave for France! Otherwise everything else is pretty much sorted!
I do have a few concerns leading up to the big day, which I believe is normal. Of course the worry of having bad weather is something most worry about…however, I know this is a possibility and just keep thinking of creative things we can do with this if it is bad. I’m concerned about the possibility of flight cancellations – there have already been a few changes to people’s flights. I’m aware this time of year can be bad as there tends to be French airspace strikes (we have previously had a holiday cancelled before due to this). This is out of our hands though and all I can do is pray everything goes smoothly. I just hope every can make it and everyone has a great time, I hope Dane and I have the best time too. It will surely be a day, in fact a week, we won’t regret!
That’s me done rambling, next time you hear from me we will be married!
Jess’s Wedding Vendors so far:
Top image by Samuel Shipperlee
If you are looking for ideas and inspiration on planning your wedding in France, don’t forget you can catch up with Belle Bride Jess and you can find all the Belle Brides past and present here.