Best in Bridesmaids: Navy

Welcome to my Best in Bridesmaids series! As I’m in the middle of planning my own wedding,which takes place in just under a years time!, I thought it would be quite nice to share my research and hopefully provide some inspiration for those of you who are also getting married! Each week I will be taking a different colour scheme and presenting my top picks of gowns currently available. I’m sticking mainly to high street brands and want to cater for a variety of budgets – I’m sick of looking at articles which only show dresses above £100! Kicking off this series is navy blue, my second choice of colour for my own bridesmaids (it would have clashed with the royal blue suits my fiancé has his heart set on for the groomsmen, so I had to go with something else!). I have 5 dresses which are available now, and will hopefully give you an idea of the different styles popular at the moment!

 

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Maya Cape Sleeve Tiered Maxi Dress in Tonal Delicate Sequin with Bow Back. Asos £105. I love the Maya range on ASOS and have yet to find a piece from them that I don’t really like. This is modern, unusual and a great pick for fashionable bridesmaids!

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No. 1 Jenny Packham – Blue stone embellished ‘Mayfair’ evening dress. Debenhams £48. Jenny Packham is definitely my favourite wedding designer- this floaty dress is a winner for me! 

9195364057118Linnea Maxi Dress. Monsoon£50.70 (on sale!) If this is unavailable, they do a similar style: Buttercup Maxi Dress £169. This dress is perfect for a more vintage style wedding, or for a ceremony that is going to be quite classic/glamorous. I love the gold detail – it’s something quite unique!

dzz86667_navy_xlMay Crochet Lace Top Chiffon Midi Dress. Boohoo £30. I absolutely love this one! Great for younger bridesmaids but still classy for adults too – it’s sweet, simple but somehow screams wow! to me. At £30 it’s a steal!

1493719313-63089400Navy Embellished Neck Maxi Dress. Little Mistress £82. This simple chiffon dress will suit lots of of different figures – great if you have bridesmaids of different shapes and sizes! I also love the simple detail on the neck which makes this gown extra special.

Low Back Maxi Dress. MissGuided £30. I love the classic look from the front with a hint of sexy at the back! And the price means this dress is a real bargain- a great pick of you have lots of bridesmaids to buy for!

 So those are my top five! Thanks for reading and I’d love to see snaps of your own bridesmaids- navy or not! If you have any recommendations for future posts- let me know: leave your comments and pictures below!
Thanks for reading.
Laura x

*All images for this post have been taken from Google images. This post is in no way sponsered.

 

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Top Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping.

  1. Have an open mind. I can’t stress this one enough! By the time you are ready to go shopping, you will probably have a Pinterest board full of dresses, all of a similar style that you are particularly drawn to. That’s a great starting place but what I will say – and other brides I know have said the same- is that you usually end up with something completely different to what you first thought. And that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to try on things out of your comfort zone. Which leads me to my next suggestion…
  2. Try on a dress that you aren’t bothered about. Not a dress you loathe on the hanger because chances are, you’re not going to like it on you either. But choose a dress which doesn’t necessarily jump out at you straight away. Lots of wedding dresses look unremarkable on the hanger but once you get them on, look completely different and 100 times better!
  3. Listen to your assistant. They watch hundreds of women try on dresses. They have seen pretty much every type of body shape there is and although they don’t know your personal preferences, they will know what shapes will flatter your body and help you to look your best – trust them!
  4. Do your hair and makeup. Obviously, I’m not talking about arriving at the store dressed up to the nines, and you don’t want to get foundation and fake tan all over the gowns, but wearing some subtle make up and putting a loose curl in your hair can work wonders and make you feel much better. Take a clip with you so you can try your hair in a couple of styles and with a veil – just to give you a better picture.
  5. Wear a strapless bra (and underwear you don’t mind people seeing!). You don’t want to be trying to tuck in straps to hide them; it way easier to just wear something strapless. It’s also a good idea to think about the coverage and tummy control (if you need it!) your underwear gives. I took a pair of cycling shorts to help smooth things out – I didn’t end up needed them, but felt better that they were to hand!
  6. Don’t take a big entourage. The more people with you, the more opinions to consider. Take one or two people you trust to be honest with you and supportive. If they aren’t in your bridal party then so what? It’s better to be relaxed and make the right choice for you then end up trying to find a dress to please everybody.
  7. Visit an outlet first. There are lots of them about (Wed2be is where I visited) and they have dresses at a fraction of the cost of a boutique. The main reason you should go there first is because they have a much more relaxed atmosphere. There is no need to make an appointment and you have the freedom to explore yourself, and test different styles. And if you happen to find a dress there, it will be a lot cheaper than the  gowns at traditional bridal shops.

Do you have any more tips for brides to be? Share them below! If you have an more questions about my personal experience then please get in touch!

Laura x

I said “Yes!” to the dress!

When it comes to wedding planning, I’ve taken a pretty relaxed approach so far. However, the big day is still 14 months away, so that might change closer to the time when I suddenly have to juggle florist appointments and table plans! I didn’t intend to purchase a dress so soon; I have some slimming down to do and to be honest, I thought it would be a battle to find one I really, really liked. My problem is that I never honestly love what I’m wearing. I’ll always find fault or feel slightly uncomfortable because my arms are showing or a bit of fabric is clinging to my wobbly bits. Even when I go out and buy a specific outfit for an occasion, by the time it comes to wearing the clothes for said event, I usually don’t like the way I look anymore. So I imagined it would take a miracle to get me feeling good in a wedding dress and had already resigned myself to the fact that I would probably like a dress and feel happy enough to wear it; but probably wouldn’t get that wow moment that brides-to be often talk about (you know where they feel amazing and want to twirl around like a princess all day long!).

All of these doubts came true in my first experience of bridal shopping. I went to see my sister get fitted for a prom dress and they also did wedding dresses in the shop. I had no intention of even looking so early but was tempted by the lace and tulle, so decided to try a few styles on to see what sort of thing I liked. Well, I hated the lot. Firstly, the sales assistant didn’t bother to mention that wedding dresses tend to be a whole size smaller than normal clothes so you have to select a size up. As a result, we couldn’t do up any of the dresses, so she had to hold them closed for me. Not a great start. I looked like a toilet roll holder. No joke. Even in the less fussy dresses; I looked awful! So that was that. I went home dejected and miserable, thinking this was going to be a more mammoth task then I had anticipated.

A couple of weeks later, my sisters and I found we had a day off together (a very rare occurrence!). I decided on whim to go and look at a bridal outlet; I wanted to get to grips with the styles and find one that I felt more comfortable in (or could at least fasten up!). I had no intention of liking anything enough to buy and the first trying on session went very much like the first experience. (My sisters and I crammed into a fitting room laughing at how ridiculous I looked.) For the next trying on session, I grabbed a random 4 dresses without much thought – if I liked it a little bit, I chose it. There was one dress I didn’t even like that much, it was just different to the others so I thought I would try it out. And you can guess which one was the winner.

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The second time round, I had an assistant to help me and my sisters sat outside, so it was more of the traditional set up. I tried the dress I didn’t care about first and stepped out of the curtains. When I looked in the mirror I honestly, couldn’t believe how I looked- it flattered my figure and I didn’t immediately hate it – result! The more I looked at myself, the better I felt and then the assistant brought some accessories over (a belt and veil) and my youngest sister began to cry! I instantly felt like a bride and the fact I was getting married suddenly hit me – I basically had that wow moment that brides mention when they finally find the dress they love. For obvious reasons, I’m not going to describe it in any way, you’ll have to wait 14 months to see it! I continued to try on the other 3 dresses, but although they weren’t as bad as the first ones I tried, they only made me realise how perfect the first one had been.

So in the end, finding something to wear for the big day wasn’t as painful as I first thought.

I’ll write a ‘top tips’ on finding a dress soon but for now, thanks for reading and I’d love to hear about your own experiences – were they similar to mine? Or much more stressful? Please leave a comment below!

Laura x

 

*Images for this post were taken from google images.

Moleskin Wedding Journal Review.

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I’m certain you will be able to see just how comprehensive and detailed this planner is from the images  and will also be able to imagine how useful a tool it will be when planning your own wedding! (I should probably mention at this point that I am in no way sponsored by Moleskin and this is not an advert – I purchased this journal myself and want to give my own, honest opinions!) 

 

What I love most about this particular product is that it is a hybrid between organiser /planning tool and a memory book. I like that it is called a journal and provides pages to record thoughts and ideas, moods and inspiration. I know that once I have filled it and used every section to plan different aspects of our big day, I will have a lovely scrapbook to look back on and remember the planning process. After all, you spend so much time looking forward to the wedding, it would be a shame to forget about all the build up that came before the ceremony!

Another huge positive aspect for me is the size of the book. Lots of organisers I looked at were actually ring binders ranging from A5 to slightly larger than A4 in size. They were quite bulky and once filled, I presume, quite heavy and I couldn’t imagine having to carry one in my handbag! The Moleskin is petite and practical and manages to contain enough room for everything needed without being overbearing and wasting space.

I also really enjoy the different layouts of each section! Many of the other planners I looked at were quite basic and had a title/ header at the top of each page and then a pretty simple layout which was the same throughout the whole book. With the Moleskin, each tab has a different purpose and pretty much every page looks different. This makes it so easy to organise your notes on the go and means you can concentrate on what you are doing at the time, rather than making sure your notes are in order! It’s really easy to go back and find information you need and this is aided by the three different coloured ribbons which mark your pages.

The last thing I have to mention is the bridal book which is hidden away in a pocket at the back of the journal. This is a great way to record ideas and inspiration for your dress and accessories, lingerie and everything else you might be using/ wearing on the big day! It can be removed from the book completely or you can keep it hidden from a groom’s prying eyes in the pocket at the back!

I hope that this post was useful and has given you a better idea about what to expect from this wedding planer! One concern I do have is how well this diary will stay closed once I have filled it with ideas, clipping and leaflets! I’m hoping the elastic will keep everything in place! Once I have filled it up, maybe I can do another post and show you how it’s holding up!

Much love,

Laura x

*featured image for this post was taken from Google.

 

 

 

 

I’m engaged! Now what?

First of all, congratulations! Getting engaged really is one of the happiest and most memorable moments of your life, so enjoy it while it lasts! Two months on, I am still somewhat in the “newly-engaged bubble” where I notice the ring on my finger or spot photographs from the day and find myself standing there with a goofy smile on my face. I love that feeling that jolts my stomach when I remember that we are getting married and I never want it to go away! I imagine it will eventually, so my advice is to take the time to enjoy being a newly engaged couple as long as you can.

So you have a wedding to plan?

I’d always imagined what it would feel like to get engaged and even thought about what the wedding day might actually be like. What I had never considered was how that wedding would materialise and what it would take to make it happen. A day or two after the engagement I found myself thinking, how on earth do I actually plan a wedding?! I did some research and have managed to get together a to-do list of everything I think I need to get done which I will compile in a separate post some time in the future. For now, I’m going to focus on the first few steps; the most important things that need to be done  and basically where I am up to in the process, 2 months after announcing our engagement.

Step 1: Find inspiration.

Get on Pinterest, find some wedding magazines, chat to other people about their own weddings, look on youtube and generally get into the wedding spirit. You will quickly realise what sort of things you do and don’t like. Decide on a general type of location where you would like your ceremony and reception to take place. And by that I mean very unspecific- do you fancy a wedding abroad? a church wedding in your home town? a barn / outdoor location? a stately home? Getting this pinned down early will help you decide a budget and a theme, but you don’t need an exact venue or style just yet. Then decide a time of year you would like to say “I do” and how long you want your engagement to be before tying the knot.

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I’d also recommend buying a wedding journal/ planner at this point to gather all of your ideas and make notes. I’m going to write a post about my planner in the near future- so look out for that!

Step 2: Set a budget.

This is the one of the hardest things and takes some careful consideration. How much can you realistically put aside each month before the wedding? Guy and I initially budgeted £10,000 but this went up less than a week later after we had done some more research into the venues we wanted. Be prepared to reconsider your budget – the average couple spends around £24,000 on their big day – a price tag Guy and I cannot justify, but we also knew that to get the things we want, we needed to allocate a little more money.

It’s also important to set some money aside now because a venue will need a deposit, as will a registrar. If you are getting married at a popular time, for example during the summer, then you will need to send out save-the-dates as soon as your day is secured to avoid guests booking holidays so you will also need the funds for these!

Step 3: Find a venue.

I personally found the best way to do this was online. I decided on a general location and type of venue (I wanted somewhere quiet and private, where we could have the ceremony and reception in one place with room for family to stay over). It’s important to think about how far you will be asking guests to travel and whether you need accommodation on site or nearby. Venues generally do not offer prices on their website, so you need to email and ask for brochures and price lists. At this point I strongly suggest having a second email  address just for the wedding or a least a separate folder in your current inbox because venues will persistently  email you once they have your contact details. Look at the price and see if it will fit into your budget before going to visit a venue – the worst thing you can do is fall in love with one and then it be out of your price range! Create a list of possible sites and ring to arrange viewings!

Step 4: Ring the registrar office

Your venue should provide information on how to contact the local registry office and I’d recommend doing that sooner rather than later if you want to get married at a specific time – 2pm is the most popular as it gives guests time to check in and be ready for the ceremony, but isn’t too late in the day to eat afterwards. They will provisionally book your date and then offer advice on how and when to proceed with the legal details.

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Step 5: Send Save-the dates!

Our wedding is a year and a half away and at first, this seemed a little premature but as we are having a summer wedding, I wanted to give people who may want to book a holiday plenty of notice to avoid them being unable to make it. Save the dates don’t have to be physical, they could be an email or text, but I suggest letting your definite guests know the date and location as soon as you can. Remember – you only send these to your day guests – not those only coming to the evening!

And there you have it! Those are the first major steps in booking your wedding day! I hope this post gave you a good idea of where to start and the first few things you need to think about. I’m anticipating a bit of a lull in buying and booking now I’ve got the major things sorted and I’m now concentrating on saving up and gathering inspiration for the finer details!

Feel free to get in touch with any questions! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have fun planning the first stages of your big day.

Laura x