It’s crazy to think that this time next year I will be waking up as a newly-wed.

Suddenly our engagement doesn’t seem so long as it did when Marc proposed back in Christmas 2014 and now the time has come for us to properly start our preparations.

Starting with the wedding venue. As we had only seen it once in the winter, we decided it would make sense to visit around the time of our September wedding, so on Wednesday we both took the day off work, packed up a picnic and headed out of London to the Surrey countryside for another look.

Though the weather was mixed, we managed to pitch up at the quiet Farnham park just as the sun was breaking through. We carried our picnic basket (a bargain from BHS, RIP) through to a field and settled down to refresh ourselves after our slow journey through South London.

Where to picnic in FarnhamPicnic in Fanrham park

We had bubbly, fresh Prosecco courtesy of Premier Estates wine, homemade mini avocado & salmon on crusty brown toast and our own crunchy courgetti with sweet potato, endmame beans and falafel…

Best picnic basketsPicnic in SurreyPosh picnic inspirationPremier Estates proseccoPremier Estates winePremiere Estates wineSteph StyleMarc

It was our first picnic of the summer and probably also the last, as the rain started just as we finished. No need for that sun hat really then.

Once we packed up we headed over to the venue and as we don’t want to reveal the full picture just yet, here are just a few teaser pics…

Wedding door signSecret gardenWedding fireplace
Then it was time to meet our caterers at their tasting evening at the nearby Froyle Park. After a fab 4 course meal paired with more delicious wines, it was time to waddle our way back to the night lights of London.

Not a bad day of wedding planning at all.

For more posts on our wedding plans, you can check out the below!

Mine and Marc’s story 

Our Save the Dates

Our Wedding Venue Inspiration

Rustic Wedding Table Inspiration

Favourite Country Wedding Inspiration

Modern Wedding Invitation Inspiration

Wedding Dress Inspiration

Our Engagement stay at the Rosewood Hotel

As I mentioned in my Country Wedding inspiration post, we love the idea of a relaxed, informal summer wedding and wanted our table settings to match.

Instead of highly controlled bouquets we liked wreaths of eucalyptus entwined with candles, instead of a three course sit-down meal we liked family style dining on wooden platters and instead of silver service cutlery we liked mismatching crockery.

So as my Wedding Pinterest board is looking pretty full right now, I thought I’d share some of my favourite rustic wedding table inspiration from Pinterest below!

Rustic family diningCandles and eucalyptusEucalyptus table runnerGreen table settingsLavender place settingVintage rustic wedding table settingsRustic wedding table inspirationBohemian wedding table inspirationRustic bread rolls

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Rustic save the date inspiration

Weddings are notoriously expensive so I am always searching for ways to keep costs down for ours.

As we have a long engagement (we don’t get married until September 2017), we had to send Save the Dates to keep people in the loop yet both wanted to keep it cheap so that we could save our money for the proper full invitations.

So it was time to get creative. After looking for examples of country, kraft style rustic save the dates to fit our wedding theme, we ordered some A5 Kraft card from Amazon for £7 and downloaded a bunch of free fonts from Dafont.com. The ones we ended up using were:

free fonts save the dates

 

I then saved down cute images from Google, like illustrations of lovebirds and flowers, as well as arrows, borders and other designs, to create the rustic, country effect.

Armed with all of these, I went round to my brother’s house after work one evening to create a design. Gaz works in media/film so not only has a big MAC but is also well used to working on Photoshop and Adobe After Effects – bonus for me! (N.B. If you don’t have this software already, you can normally download a free trial).

Free save the date templates

We spent a couple of hours trialling different fonts, spaces and images until we were left with this:

Kraft save the date

They printed pretty cheaply as we only used black ink and no colour and to save the costs on postage we handed them out when meeting up with friends and family.

I am SO happy with them and so proud of how they turned out! (Thanks again for your help Gaz!)

Has anyone else ever made their own invitations or Save the Dates? What resources did you use?

Last weekend my schoolfriend & Maid of Honour Rosie and I headed over to Bethnal Green to check out the Vintage Wedding Fair.

The Vintage Wedding Fair pops up all over the UK and hosts a variety of local sellers displaying anything from vintage wedding dresses to props, bands, crockery and more.

With it costing only £1 entry into York Hall, Bethnal Green’s no-frills community hall, it seemed like an affordable way to get some wedding inspiration and potentially a bargain or two…

The Vintage Wedding Fair London

There weren’t that many sellers inside the hall but one of the first we clocked was the cake stand Butterfly Icing and made a beeline for it. Marc and I are thinking of having a naked wedding cake (i.e. victoria sponge layers with no icing) so it was great to chat to Joanne, the sweet lady behind the stall, about it.

Vintage Wedding Fair Bethnal GreenThe Vintage Wedding Fair Bethnal Green

I also liked the signage at Lou Cooper Design’s stand, especially the idea of having your menu written on chalkboard vases/bottles:

Chalkboard wedding signageLou Cooper designs

There were button bouquets and customized handmade bunting at the Handmade by Monica stall:

Vintage bouquets Handmade by Monica

I loved the vintage china and cake stands at the Vintage Floral Teas tables:

Vintage Floral Teas china hire

The Vintage Wedding Fair York Hall

And finally these carnival lights looked great for a rustic/industrial style wedding:

Light up initials

After we left, it was so sunny that Rosie and I thought it only right to pay a visit to the nearby Columbia Road Flower Market, one of my favourite Sunday activities in London.

As you may have guessed if you follow any blogger on Instagram, it is now peony season (the blogger flower of choice), so I of course picked up a bunch for myself before we settled down in one of the side streets to drink Prosecco and Pimms in the sunshine. I love Columbia Road on a Sunday because it has a proper street party atmosphere, with people spilling out onto the streets, eating, drinking and listening to live buskers. A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Columbia Road shopsLondon flower marketRosesTulipsColumbia Road LondonSundays on Columbia Road Flower MarketThings to do in London in spring summerColumbia Road East LondonWhat to do in London on a Sunday

Beginners modern calligraphy class London
Megan Riera

As I learnt at my Quill London Beginners Modern Calligraphy class, modern calligraphy is not all fancy Shakespearean typography and rigid structure. It is freer, much more open to interpretation and, as it turns out, much harder than it looks.

Quill London are a stationary brand that also run regular calligraphy workshops in London and they are so popular that they often sell out the same day as advertised. I have been wanting to try my hand at calligraphy for a while now, especially with the wedding coming up next year, so when Quill announced some extra dates with talented calligrapher Megan Riera I quickly snapped up a spot alongside beautiful ladies Liv and Jess.

This particular calligraphy class was held in the large West Elm central London flagship store on Tottenham Court Road. Along with around fifteen other women, we took our places on one of the tables in the back rooms where every guest was given the materials they would need, including:

  • A Nikko G nib
  • Higgins Eternal Ink
  • Conqueror practice paper
  • Layout paper (a thinner paper for tracing)
  • Megan’s examples

Modern Calligraphy class

The class began as the store was closing to customers, where Megan introduced herself and outlined what would happen over the next hour and a half. We started with warmup exercises to get a feel for the nib, followed by practising individual letters and finally joined up words (gulp).

The two most important things to remember with this calligraphy are to apply pressure on downward strokes (to get that lovely contrast between thick and thin lines) and to ensure your hand and pen are always facing towards the top of the page as we naturally write slightly to the side. Also when joining up the letters to form words, it is a case of learning how to ‘end’ each letter in a way that means it can be stylishly joined to the next as it is often different to the joined-up handwriting you learnt at school!

Calligraphy class Quill LondonWest Elm LondonWest Elm coffee bar
I have to admit, I wasn’t a natural at calligraphy (and ended up being the only one who’s hands and workstation got covered in black ink) but Megan was incredibly supportive, as were the rest of the attendees, many of whom had come alone. Megan would demonstrate for the group and then check in on each of us as we practiced what we had just been shown and I definitely appreciated this one-to-one time.

The 1.5 hour class flew by and before we knew it, we were packing up our supplies ready to continue practising at home. We all really enjoyed the class and it felt good to have tried a new skill, no matter how unskilled we may have been! (Thank goodness for a long engagement). I would definitely recommend the Quill London Beginners Modern Calligraphy class for anyone thinking of trying their hand at Calligraphy – let me know how you get on!

I’ve had my bridal Pinterest board for years (don’t judge me!) and have always been more attracted to the relaxed, bohemian and A-Line wedding dresses, especially those with some lace or vintage touches.

Now that our country wedding is just over a year away, I’m starting to properly browse designers and dresses that have a lovely relaxed sheath or A-Line shape. Some of my favourites are super expensive (Berta Bridal I’m looking at you!) so I have tried to pull together a mix of prices.

Below are some of the favourites that I have found, including bridal gowns from Watters/Wtoo, Grace Loves Lace, Emma Hunt, J-Crew, Carousel, Amanda Wyatt, Mira Zwillinger, Limor Rosen, Milla Nova and Daalarna (possibly my favourite of the lot but annoyingly based in Hungary!).

Have you got a favourite?

Watters Wtoo Heaton

Sally dress Grace Loves Lace

Daalarna dress Pearl collection A line long sleeve dressDaalarna dress v neck backDalaarna long sleeve wedding dressLimor Rosen 2017
Mira Swillinger strapless dressEmma Hunt Tara wedding dressJ Crew bridal dressJ Crew Nadia bridal gownCarouselFashion wedding dress greyModern lace wedding dress ideasMilla Nova Selena dressLimor Rosen Birds of Paradise

 

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