There is a really fun point in wedding planning, where your months of hard work start to culminate in the arrival of different packages. I remember the time as being a little like Christmas, with the polite nod to the delivery guy before quickly heading in to open the package and see if it is everything that you had hoped for.
This is exactly where our real bride Cassie is as it is only a few month before their big day – and it seems moments ago that she was sharing her 1 year to go post! I’ll stop before I get sentimental, so it is time to catch up with real bride Cassie who has been spending the wedding budget!
Cassie: “Wow, it really feels like things are getting real now! With only a couple of months to go, the stress is starting to mount a bit. I am still trying to remember that in terms of organisation, as long as everyone is fed and given drink, nothing much can go wrong. I like to remind myself of this when it starts to feel stressy! The most important thing is that we get married, everyone gets some nice food and has a fun time. All the other things – the outfits, the decoration, the entertainment – are a bonus.
We finally have our (almost) final numbers, apart from a few who simply won’t know until the last minute, due to illness. We should have around 40 guests on the day and while that is a lot less than we invited, we think it’s a lovely number. Enough to feel like a party, but not so many that it’s not manageable without a dedicated wedding organising team.
This month has been all about making things and buying things for the wedding. Packages are arriving on an almost daily basis and we seem to be spending a lot of money at the moment!
Here’s a run down of what we’ve been collecting, buying, booking, sorting and making:
1. Picnic plates and cutlery
For our wedding picnic plates and cutlery, we’ve ordered some biodegradable palm leaf plates and cutlery from The Whole Leaf Co. They seem like a great alternative to washing up, especially as we would have to do that ourselves, having no actual wedding staff for our big day! They look beautiful and I think they will fit perfectly with our woodland ceremony and outdoor picnic meal. Picture from Whole Leaf Co
2. Wine boxes!
My fabulous sister-in-law-to-be, Marilyn of Marilyn’s Food has been collecting wine boxes for us. These will act as the picnic baskets for each “table” (which will actually be a picnic blanket!). You can’t get more French than a French wine box! When they’ve taken out the yummy food, they can turn the box over to use as a table for drinks. Genius! She will also be doing the catering on the day, with help from the family. There have been lots of skype chats to try to decide what we’re having, but safe to say it will involve baguettes and cheese! The idea is to go to the markets near our venue in France in the week before the wedding and find the best ingredients and to base the menu around that. I think that’s a fabulous way to make the most of being out in France.
3. Picnic blankets
More wonderful family getting involved here. My mother-in-law-to-be, Lynn, just happens to be rather good at craft and pretty nifty with a sewing machine. After a LOT of to-ing and fro-ing about how to make them and what to make them out of, we finally made a decision and Lynn has been busily sewing away to create these blankets for us. We’ve used a heavy canvas-style cotton, backed with a plastic tarp and wadding in the middle to make them super comfy to sit on. They are looking really wonderful and she has managed to make seven of them for us! What a star…
Things have definitely been hotting up in this department! I ordered 60 paper pompoms to help decorate the ceremony area in the woods, our picnic area and the barn where the dancing will happen. It turns out though, that I changed my mind a bit about the colours once they arrived. I did order a pale blue to go with the corals, pinks and peaches, but when I saw them all together, the blue just wasn’t working for me. I didn’t mention it to Ed, but when I showed him, he said the exact same thing! So, the blue is gone. It’s going to be fun getting everyone to fluff up 50 of these little beauties in the week before the wedding!
Picture by Cassie
As well as these, we have also bought some cake stands in the sale from Sainsburys. They were a real bargain, so I got a few! We will be using them on the dessert table and they should be filled with delicious french cakes and tarts for the guests.
I’ve also bought three drinks dispensers from John Lewis which will be filled with yummy boozy fruit punch!
I’ve also been making the rag/ribbon “curtain” for the woodland ceremony area. I bought a few sheets in the right colours and also used old duvet covers and ribbon. It’s only part done at the moment, but I have a big piece of rope to tie it all to and I think it’s going to look great!
We’ve also bought a bunch of fairy lights, battery powered and plug-in, to use around the woods, the venue and the barn. I really wanted festoon style lights, but they were just too expensive, and you have to remember what’s really important and prioritise!
Our beautiful silk bouquets and button holes are currently being made by the fabulous Emily over at Pearl and Petal and in the meantime, I am trying to figure out what sort of accessories to wear on the big day.
Emily sent me over some spare alstroemeria silk flowers (which are special to me and the boy) and I found a couple of bits and bobs from the high street to try and make a head band of some sort. My friend Cherry, who is an amazing hair stylist, will be coming over next week to help me decide what to do with my hair on the day, so we will play around with these flowers and see what they look like and they maybe make some sort of head adornment from them!
6. The ceremony
After some deliberation and looking at prices for celebrants, we realised that our budget simply doesn’t stretch that far. So, we’ve gone for something completely different. We’ve asked both of our younger siblings to be our celebrants! As one is a talented actor (Ed’s younger sister, Beth) and one an excellent public speaker (my younger brother, Michael, AKA Frank) we think it will work beautifully. My auntie in Australia happens to be a wedding celebrant over there and while she can’t make it to the wedding, she will be helping us to put together a ceremony that we will love.
In other news, we have also been planning who stays in what room at the chateau, trying to decide between a BBQ and a hog roast (I’m going hog roast!) and a million other things besides! My dress is now at the dress shop and I’ve tried it on and I LOVE it. It doesn’t even need any adjusting, as it’s a perfect fit!
I’m sure there are a million other things I should be worrying about, but right now, I just feel super excited!”