I get to work with some of the most wonderful people, and it’s lovely when I am able to keep in touch with clients, whether they are regulars for beauty, or whether they are past brides of mine where we just clicked.
Lucy and I first spoke on the phone back in 2013 regarding me styling her big day. It was a relationship which would span two years and beyond, as she contacted me way at the beginning of her wedding plans. After various meetings and conversations over time, it led to me being honoured to work with her and her bridal party on her big day.
I always think it’s good for brides to be to get advice from those that have done it all, so I asked Lucy if she would like to guest blog for me, not just about beauty, but about her experience of the wedding planning process. I think you will agree she has done an amazing post here! So without further ado here is Lucy’s story, plus some images from her big day, courtesy of Nicki Komorowski Photography.
‘ I have been asked to write about how mine and the now husband’s special day came together from the moment the ring hit the finger to the I do’s.
My blog is all about how it all came together.
Lets get to it….
After the big announcement of our engagements it was time for both families to come together. Everyone was involved from where the ceremony was to be, to what was on the tables.
After much deliberation we decided on a church wedding. It was something close to our hearts.
We picked a little church in Ash, near Sevenoaks, where my now husband grew up. When selecting the church we found out that Keith, his brother and his parents had all had a part in the church from being in boys brigade to marriage blessings.
Upon visiting the church we noticed they had the old style pew cushions. We looked at a couple and one of them had Keith’s mum name sewn on the back. It was like puzzle pieces where fitting together and this was our place of marriage.
We set the date and now the real planning took place.
Unknown to us the 28th March was significant, it was also Keith’s parents and grandparents wedding anniversary and other family members had got married on the 28th of other months. Our day was becoming more and more special for all of the family.
When it comes to budget, everyone is different and has their own personal preference. Some like to spend £10’s of thousands on their special day and some like to keep it simple and under a certain amount. For us it was what we could afford and save each month until the month before the wedding. We were lucky enough that family wanted to help with the wedding finically. In all, our special day cost just over £11,000. This was affordable for us and our bank balance. Most importantly we didn’t start married life off with a debt.
Picking the theme came quite natural to us both. We both liked the old vintage lace feel but with modern quirks to it, plus I always liked a bit of sparkle thrown in. It was easy for us, but for brides planning, know what you would like to see on your day and think of things that will go together.
To help with other planning I found wedding fairs were the place to be. You can see everything in front of you all set out with different themes and they cater for each time of the year. Don’t be afraid to approach the suppliers, they are there to help you. Wedding magazines always help and other peoples weddings (haha). Never be afraid to steal ideas.
We got married outside of peak wedding season which is not unusual, but it did help with our budget.
As we planned to get married in a church, we now had to find a reception venue. Ours came easy again. On the wedding day of Keith’s brother we drove them to their over night stay. On arriving at the hotel a large banner was advertising weddings from £999. We took interest. When walking in and seeing the old fashioned but modern twist theme thoughout the hotel, it took us by surprise. We got to see the bridal suite, which was simple and modern but was enough for what we wanted and not over the top. The restaurant where we would have the meal and reception was large enough and was wonderful for what we wanted. We were set. We arranged a meeting with the wedding planner and took a brochure with all the details and that was it! Done. Some things just come out of the blue.
Now that two big chunks were confirmed, everything else needed to be thought about. From what the men are going to look like, flowers, transport, what are the girls going to wear, decorations, gifts, and me. What would i look like?
How did I want to look and feel on the most special day of my life, to make my hubby proud and excited of who he was about to marry.
After a long time looking online, at magazines, and at wedding fairs at all the different styles of wedding dresses, I found one, or so i thought. In a small boutique in Essex there was a wedding dress sale. I’m a bargain hunter so sales were my happy place. I found a dress that i loved. Corset back, sweetheart neckline, lovely beading, full skirt with a lace trim. So I got it, and shoes to match. I felt amazing. Time had passed and it was time for a fitting, I had dropped three dress sizes!!
Alterations could of been made but it would of cost more then what I had paid for it. So it was either put the weight back on (Er no!) or put it up for sale.
It went on Facebook, gumtree and eBay. After a few months it sold. Ironically a lady from Essex brought it at a slightly lower then the sale price but she looked stunning in it. One happy bride down and me to go. So I went to the power of the internet. I had a photo of a dress i liked from the moment I started looking. So on Facebook I placed a post on a wedding swop shop site asking if anyone had seen this dress or knew of a similar one. About an hour later a wedding dress shop contacted me and they said the dress I was looking for was in HER SHOP WINDOW!! OMG!
I was over the moon. SHOCKED! and in disbelief that it was there. Country Brides of Faversham were my saviours! So that was it, I booked an appointment, went to see it and BOOM I looked like a million dollars. Felt amazing. now it was time for the hair and make up.
Through looking at magazines, online and bridal fashion shows and bodies of work of makeup artists through recommendations, I couldn’t decide what ! wanted to look like. Confused!
At this time I was still looking for my head wear, transport, flowers , photographer and decorations, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Calm…….keep clam……need to be calm. There is no point in stressing out even though you want to.
About a month later we found the transport. Lovely 1960 vintage Austin Sherline for me and Keith and the Princess for the girls. They were lovely. Fitted in so well. They were supplied by a little family run company not a chain. They are Amanda Wedding Cars. AMAZING! So helpful and understanding in every way.
The flower appointment was then booked with Sarah Poole. Another amazing supplier. I was her last private wedding before she got her wedding venue (Westenhanger Castle) to do it all in house. Which I would also recommend. Magazine clippings at the ready myself and my mother in law to be went to the appointment.
We talked, shared ideas, done mock ups and discussed the flowers for the time of year. I went in with one thing in mind and walked out with something completely different. I loved what we had arranged. So I gave her my budget and left her to come up with the flowers and decorations for our wedding day.
Sometimes you need to have faith and trust your wedding suppliers.
On my wedding morning when Sarah delivered the flowers to the bridal suite I was taken aback. They were amazing! Nothing what I pictured in my head, but even better! They fitted so well with the colour of the bridesmaids dresses (Bargain from Amazon) and had that vintage feel with the lace wrapped around the stems.
Within this time I had looked and contacted several wedding hair and make up ladies and looked through their body of work. After not much deliberation I booked my trial with Hayley at Flame Beauty. We got on so well chatting to each other and she was on the ball with what I had in mind and was ready to help make me look amazing!
I had thought of other times that I had been made up for events and thought that would do, but with more of a vintage feel to it.
My hair and make up lady was found via Facebook, come to think of it 90% of my suppliers were from Facebook (LOL). The power of Facebook.
So the day of the hair and make up trial arrived. I had also been to see the lovely Lisa at Crystal Tiara Creations for my headband. If your anything like me i couldn’t make my mind up. So she kindly lent me 4-5 headbands to choose from once i had my hair done.
So Hayley came to my house with two big bags of make up and hair bits at the ready. I had a few girls over to experience it with me and to give me opinions and tips.
I chose a half up and half down curly style with a bit of volume on top. My make up – smokey eyed, eye liner, and red lips. The whole vintage look.
From my before and after photos i looked completely different. I didn’t recognise myself. Was this a good thing or an unnatural thing.
You are told by your hair and make up artist that you will look different depending on the look you go for. If you don’t wear a lot of make up maybe go for a more simple softer look.
I kept looking at my before and after photos and at how different I looked. I think it was how different I looked that I didn’t like. So I went on the search for a different style. I kept in touch with Hayley and she gave her input on the looks that I sent her.
Google was my best friend at this point. I googled Vintage hair and make up images. Putting things together to find something I liked. I went for a less dramatic vintage look and it suited me much better. I looked like me. I had a black tie dinner event coming up and booked Hayley again to do my hair and make up not only for the event but for another wedding trial. IT WAS A SUCCESS! I felt and looked wonderful. I looked like me! Just more glamorous yet simple, classic and timeless. The head piece i chose fitted perfectly. I was ready to put my wedding day look all together then and there and walk down the aisle.
We attended a wedding later on in the year and we were still looking for our photographer. She happened to be just what we were looking for. Her quirky ways, style and her connection with the couple and the photos were just beyond words she captured things I wouldn’t even think of. To top it off she was Keith’s old English teacher. After a meeting with her and seeing some more of her work and discussing what we would like, we both knew she was the one for us. So we booked her. Done!
The invites we had made but I would have got them done more locally then I had done but they were lovely, simple, elegant and to the point. Don’t be afraid to put as much information in there as you can. The guests will need to know everything from who your parents are to what they can chose to eat.
Our wedding cake was picked by the hubby to be. A pillow cake with each layer different from the others. I googled cake suppliers and Snell’s came up. She was local and a good price for what we wanted. We went to view the cake the day before the wedding and what she had done was AMAZING. I couldn’t wait to see it all together.
Now, I have been told by my friends that I’m like Monica from Friends. You know the episode where she plans to marry Chandler with the folders and filo faxes, note book……..well…….yeah that was me but not as Monica as she turned out to be at the beginning hehe.
I am not ashamed of it, it helped me keep all my ideas, booking, invoices, photos all together. I even did a spreadsheet to keep track of all the suppliers, cost, amount paid and what was left. Weddings can be stressful and confusing so you need to keep track of things.Advice for budgets is to keep a record, bargain with your suppliers in a nice way to get the deal you want but with the expectations of what you will get in return.
Now, This is the bit where I would say, do this and do that, but to be honest it is your day. You will plan and prepare for it the way you will, but if advice is what you reading this, needs then here it goes……
Last thing you need is to look haggard, break friendships and be a bridezilla on your wedding day. Keep calm and have people help with everything.
Don’t be afraid to plan your day in advance. Some brides plan 2-3 years in advance. This can sometimes lead to fixed prices when you book in advance.
Changing your mind:
Its ok to change your mind, with anything in your wedding. Just not the groom LOL. If you do change your mind on something, contact your supplier(s) first and see how they can help you, they maybe able to help you more then you think.
Do your research on each and every supplier from your venue to your garter. Compare and discuss with your hubby to be, your options, opinions and what each other would like, but obviously not your dress!
If you have set your heart on something and know that is what you want then place your deposit on it. You could miss out on that supplier by another bride.
Focus on the importance of the day, don’t worry what everyone else will think, its your day.
Whatever it may be, helping set up the church, delivering invites, coming with you to appointments, place settings – delegate! Everyone will be more then happy to help you.
Invite who you want to invite. If you haven’t seen cousin Fred in over a year then don’t invite him. Its your day, the closest friends and family are more important then distant relatives that you haven’t seen since you were a nipper.
If you a big family person who loves kids and want them at your wedding then that’s your choice. Some weddings we have been to including ours we decided to keep a limit on children. We wanted the adults to be more relaxed and enjoy the day and not have to run around after children.
Favours, tables of remembrance, gifts and little trinkets can really set off the day. Guests will remember them, and they don’t have to be big grand gestures.
Enjoy your planning, relax, take time during the big day to take it all in with your new hubby as then day will go so quickly.
Lastly, Congratulations to the newly engaged and those who have recently married! Im sure what ever the day, theme, time of year your day was or will be just perfect.
Lots of love
The New Mrs Nolan
Thank you Lucy for that wonderful insight! If you are interested in any of the suppliers mentioned in this post (including me! He he) then please do get in touch email@example.com and I can get their details