Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Two weddings. No funerals!

I had a lovely telephone interview with a very nice journalist yesturday. If all goes to plan, your's truly might have found fame at last when she is part of a feature about finding love in later life. How exciting is that! One of the questions she asked was how is this wedding different than the last, and that got me thinking. How different is this wedding from the one I organised in 1989?

So, what about wedding number one....

Wedding inspiration

None.But made good use of the Yellow Pages!

 Hen do

A bottle of Chardonnay shared with my mum and sister in a wine bar in Bath, followed by a meal in a now defunct chain restaurant. Tucked up in bed with a mug of cocoa and my Big Ted by 10.30

Getting ready

The night before spent at my parents house. On the morning of the wedding I had to travel across town to my hairdressers, then onto the beauticians to get my make up done. Sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake at home before getting dressed.  


A dress made by my mum. Very 1980's. Very Princess Di! Broiderie anglaise basque, hold up stockings,Laura Ashley satin courts and a vintage lace veil topped oof with a flower circlet!


I had a teardrop bouquet of pale pink roses, something that looked like cow parsley and rosemary. My bridesmaids had similar but as posies. There were little table decorations at the reception of a few carnations stuck in some oasis . Mum and I bought buckets full of flowers from the local nursery and the church flower ladies turned them into rather lovely displays.  


My sister and future sister in laws. Mum made their dresses.Sugar pink cotton knee length dresses, straw boaters and flat canvas pumps! My sister has just about forgiven me for making her look more than a little silly in a straw hat!

Wedding transport

A vintage car. Pretty, but awfully slow. My new husband fell asleep in it on the way to our reception ! 


Husband number one wore a morning suit and a pink tie. His best man was his best friend and he had four other friends as ushers. 


The church in the village where I grew up.


A country house hotel not far from Tetbury. I'd passed it many times and always dreamt of having my wedding there.


About 120, of which I hadn't the faintest idea of who 50% of them  were! The receiving line went on and on and on...... 


I chose the photographer purely on the basis that he had a shop in what I thought was a posh part of  Bristol! I have an album of wedding photos full of people lined up and grinning at the camera. There is one risky photo of me showing a bit of leg!

The cake

A traditional three tier frit cake covered in royal icing topped off with flowers stuck in yet more oasis!

Venue styling

Hmmm....what's that!

The little details

Sugar almonds wrapped in netting as  favours

First dance

When I fall in love...Nat King Cole

Going away outfit

Turquoise silk pencil skirt and flowery silk blouse from Monsoon. It cost a fortune. Nearly £100. Pity our guests only saw it for approximately 5minutes! 


The good bit...three nights in a posh hotel followed by three weeks touring the world. The not so good bit....I had to share my honeymoon with 46 others on a hockey tour wearing a turquoise and lemon shell suit!  

And now for wedding number two!

Wedding inspiration

Magazines, blogs, websites, Twitter,  Facebook, wedding much choice. (Too much sometimes!)

Hen do

A vintage tea party followed by cocktails and tapas in Bristol with 15 of my lovely girlies . Garish pink and L plates are banned. The dress code is femininity! (If there is such a word!)

Getting ready

Me and Mr R are spending the night together in a boutique town house hotel in Bristol. At some point the next morning he will disappear to the hotel where his family are staying to get ready, leaving me with my best girls to get ready and sip champagne whilst having my hair and make up done professionally. No trips to a salon this time around!


No bespoke dress made by mum this time. I found the cheapest dress that looked ok. It'll do the job, but it's not my dream dress. Is there still time for my fairy dress godmother to wave her  wand and  magic me a gorgeous dress? Wonderbra, magic knickers, support tights and Kurt Geiger nude patent shoes. No veil, but a gorgeous vintage hair comb instead.


A posy of peonies and rosies for me. Masses of cottage garden flowers. No formal displays, just lots and lots of containers.


No bridesmaids this time, but I do have my best girls to keep an eye on me!


Initially I was toying with the idea of hopping into a taxi to get to our venue. But I could end up sitting on some chewing gum or worse, so  eventually I opted for a chauffur driven car. Only the one way though. We'll risk the taxi back to our hotel .


Mr R will look very hansome in a simple suit and tie. His brother in law will be his best man. No ushers this time around. 


A civil ceremony held at our reception venue. We want a ceremony that's personal to us through our choice of vows, readings and music. Number one son will walk me down the aisle, giving my dad a well earned rest from his giving away duties.


We chose a city centre venue so that our guests wouldn't have a problem finding somewhere to stay. Something I didn't give a moments thought back in 1989. We both love Bristol and we wanted something a little unique and a little quirky. Goldbrick House fitted the bill  exactly !


Only 39 guests plus a few more for the evening and we know all of them !


Getting the photos right was very important to us. We didn't want any cheesy shots or anything too formal. We wanted relaxed, capture the moment photos, A record of the whole day including the smallest detail. After much research we think we have found someone very talented who ticks all of the boxes. I can't wait to see what he comes up with, We've also invested in a camcorder and I've asked son number one who has just finished a film degree to make use of on the day. God knows what the results will be after he's enjoyed a few glasses of champagne, followed by a few glasses of Guiness, followed by a few glasses of Jack Daniels....!

The cake

A table laden with homemade cupcakes, a beautiful cutting cake made by a clever friend and french macarons all displayed on an eclectic mix of cake stands. 

Venue Styling

Vintage with a hint of Paris thrown in. It's been great fun collecting bits and bobs from ebay and friends. I have a lovely friend who is making me some bunting and we have a wedding stylist who will wave her magic wand and transform our venue whilst we concentrate on making ourselves look fabulous for our big day!

The little details

No favours as we feel that they are a waste of money. Conversation ice breakers on the table,guest message tags, flip flops for tired feet, photo booth props. A wedding website to provide guest information.

First dance

Nothing planned. 

Going away outfit

My wedding dress!


We will spend two nights in Bristol and then it's back to work. We will have to wait until the school holidays and then we are off to the south of France. Just the two of us this time and definitely no shell suits!






Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ducks, decolletage and a dose of cheese!

I have decided that I am turning into one of those ducks that looks as though they are gliding effortlessly on a pond, river or whatever, but under the surface they are paddling furiously away. Outwardly I think I appear calm and totally in control, but inwardly I am quietly panicing, and every waking moment seems to be taken up with weddingy thoughts! Mr R would probably disagree with the calm bit, as the poor love does tend to get his head bitten off now and again if he as much as forgets to put his dirty socks in the laundry basket! I wouldn't go as far as saying that I'm anywhere near turning into a bridezilla at the moment, but who knows what the next six weeks and four days holds !

With only a few weeks to go I have decided it's time to indulge in a little bit of pampering. My trusty "Countdown to the perfect wedding" guide tells me that by now I should seriously be thinking about the body beautiful and how to prepare to wow everyone with my perfect English Rose complexion, fuzz free skin and wonderfully manicured nails and equally beautifully pedicured tootsies! By now I ought to be exfoliating and dry body brushing like mad and applying every anti aging cream going to not only my face but to my decolletage too. (A word I'm so unfamiliar with, it's just taken me five attempts to work out how to spell it!) I should be drinking around five gallons of water a day to plump up my sagging skin and sleeping around the clock to give my cells a chance to reguvenate! Which just happens to be  another word I can't spell!
Apparently, I need to drink more!

Well, I have tried the dry brushing. I have legs covered in scratches to prove it! It takes me longer to clean the bath now of crushed shells of some funny sounding nut that is supposed to do the exfoliating bit, and I seem to spend half my life visiting the little girls room ! Last week, I went as far as treating myself to Asda's own brand of supplements that claims to improve the quality of my hair, nails and skin.Early days yet to notice a difference, but I am hopeful!

All this DIY stuff is all well and good, but what I really need is the help of the experts. I've always considered beauty treatments a luxury that I can't afford. I had a pedicure once, but apart from that, I really am a total novice when it comes to paying for a little pampering and cosseting! Not only have I steered clear of any treatments because of the cost, but the thought of baring all to some poor therapist fills me with total terror!
But it is on my to do list for this month and I have got as far as finding a salon close to home. I am however dithering about picking up that phone and making an appointment. It's worse than making one for the dentist!

 Where do I start ? Should it be

 a facial?


A turkish bath?

An inch loss body wrap...very tempted!

A subtle spray tan ?

I'm not expecting miracles and nor do I really want to be anyone other than me on our wedding day. This may sound awfully cheesey, but on the day all I need is a bucket load of happiness and a big grin to show my true beauty! ....There you go, I told you it was cheesey!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Stopwatches, lists and a little ooh la la !

Mr R and yours truly were up with the lark on Sunday to pay a visit to our wedding venue who was having an open day. I can't say that my beloved was that ecstatic about being hauled from his cosy bed to hot foot it down the M4 and endure an hour or two of wall to wall wedding talk.However, a little bribery works wonders especially when food is involved!

A way to my man's heart!

I, on the other hand was itching to take another peek at the place where we're to be married and have a bit of a knees up  afterwards. It's been ages since we last saw it and at my advancing years, I have a tendancy of forgetting what's what and what things look like! What made our visit even more exciting was that we were to see our lovely wedding stylist lady and have a chance to catch up with my vision for how the venue will be styled in just over seven weeks.

For the first time, we were able to see how the room being used for the ceremony will be arranged. It is a small space and every available space will be taken up with chairs. Seating 40 is do-able...just! Mr R wanted to time my entrance and work out at what point during our piece of chosen music I had to start making my way up a flight of stairs to then walk a few paces to meet him . Feeling a little silly, he got me at the bottom of the stairs and proceeded to shout; go, slow down, start again, speed up, stop! Up and down, up and down I went. Heaven's knows what everyone there thought. We must have looked a right pair! Rather worryingly, I now have images of my beloved shouting across the room on our wedding day...Ready steady go! So, if I walk too fast, I'll get there too soon and we'll be left twiddling our thumbs. Go too slow and everyone will think I've done a runner or think there's time to escape to the bar to get a swift half in!

Ready, steady, GO !

After all of the huffing and puffing up the stairs, Mr R was quite happy to take a pew and fiddle with his ipod whilst I talked styling with my lovely lady. We talked bows, ribbons, hearts, flowers,bunting,candles and cake tables. What to do with this finial, or that window, or how best to display photos. She saw styling oppurtunities that I had missed or would never have thought of. Meanwhile my to do list was getting longer and longer, and the pound signs were flashing away in front of my eyes at the rate of knot! I thought that I was on the home run as far as buying my little bits and pieces were concerned. Fat chance!

Does it ever stop!

So, what am I doing to add a little je ne sais pas and ooh la la to our wedding day? Well, so far we have

A bit of a postcard thing going on

A battered old suitcase ready to be decoupaged...

A collection of pretty containers for pretty flowers...

A collection of pretty plates....

Black and white vintage photos....

Made by my very clever friend...

Vintage bits and bobs......

Vintage embriodary....

Vintage cake stands......

And, of course, a very little Eiffel Tower !


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

My crowning glory !

I may moan and groan about the fact that I'm vertically challenged, have more spare tyres than a branch of Qwick-Fit tyres and it's difficult to make out if I have knees and ankles as my legs are just one width from top to toe ! I have wonky teeth and always used to think I had a big nose when I was a teenager and spent half of my time with a hand hiding the offending proboscis ! There's a lot of me that I would love to change, but there is one feature that I've always been rather proud of and that's my hair!

I was born with a shock of dark hair, and have been blessed since then with thick locks thanks to inheriting my mum's genes. I've never had problems with it's condition and it's always behaved it self. Over the years it's gone from being very long as a child, to a feather cut in the early 70's,
 followed by a Purdy cut. A poodle perm in the 80's (least said about that the better!) to a sensible short, easy to manage cut after I got married the first time around. Finally I settled for a simple bob, and that's how it's been ever since... until now!
No, this isn't me !

When I married the first time around back in the late 80's, big hair was de rigueur.On my wedding day I spent hours at the hairdressers having my hair tweeked and teased into a mass of  curls. A circlet of flowers and an antique lace veil was duly plonked on top after half a tin of Harmony laquer was sprayed on my tresses to prevent not one strand of hair straying out of place.

This time around I have opted for an up do. Something sleek and sophisticated. Something befitting my age.A way to show off my crowning glory and the beautiful comb that I've had made!  I haven't worn my hair up since my days as a budding ballerina (hard to believe now that I was once a miss twinkle toes!) so I've been rather excited about trying something new.

The only trouble with having an up do of any significance is that you need long hair. So, since last summer I've been busy growing it. And it's now driving me totally around the bend ! There's too much of it, and as for a style, well there isn't one. I now need to buy clips to keep it out of my face, and scrunchies to stop it from sticking to my lip gloss.I know that there's this rather outdated notion that the more mature woman should stick to shorter styles once they reach a certain age, but I think that in my case I really should stick to said notion. Although saying that, I'm not quite ready for a blue rinse and a shampoo and set just yet! Still, I have to really resist walking into my hairdressers and demanding they take the scissors to it and give me back my lovely oh so neat, easy to look after bob!

 How much longer do I need to grow it !

But I will persevere.I will carry on growing it. Just two more months of looking like the wild woman of Borneo and then it's for the chop. Of course I still need to decide what colour hair I'm going to have. Do I remain a brunette? Add some copper lowlights? Do, what I do most summers and go for highlights, or not bother at all and look a picture with grey roots. Decisions, decisions!

So, what sleek sophisticated styles am I thinking of? Well, here's a few of my favorites. What do you think!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Tick, tick, tick !

Every now and again people ask me how long is it until the big day. I've been so used to replying "ooh...ages yet" that it's become a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly realise that those ages have out of nowhere turned into only twelve, eleven, ten etc weeks away ! Infact I've just seen what the date is, which means that there is now only two months or nine weeks or sixty two days or one thousand four hundred and eighty eight hours away....roughly!

 Time is running out fast!

So, am I beginning to panic and stress? Well, yes and no!  Normally, I would say that I'm very rarely stressed and would fit in perfectly in one of those hot Mediterranean countries where I could just wave a hand, shrug my shoulders and say manjana,manjana ! I am as a rule so laid back that I'm almost horizontal! Which is great up to a point, but when it comes to planning a wedding I have needed to sit up a bit and get my far too rounded arse into gear ! And I have to say, that I've been rather impressed with my organisational skills. If I were one of my little charges at school, I would deserve a big gold star and a certificate for great effort ! 

So, going back to my original question. No I'm not panicing or stressed about the big stuff, which was sorted months ago. It's the little incidentals that are making me lose sleep and reaching for the biscuit tin. (Am I to be the only bride to be that gains weight prior to the wedding!!!) I worry about not having enough jam jars, cake stands, vintage teaplates. I have wobbles over the fact that my best girls who are helping me into The Dress will have to see me in next to nothing. Nobody, but nobody sees me in next to nothing these days!! I stress over the logistics of getting so much wedding parapernalia from a to b and back again. Mr R's three door hatchback is going to be bursting at the seams. What we need is a whopping great big van! Oh, and the niggles go on, and on and on.......!

 But I know that it will all come right on the day. And if it doesn't? Does it really matter? Of course not....well, maybe, just a bit!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Mountains and molehills !

Is it just me, or does time pass at the rate of knots the nearer the big day approaches. I feel rather guilty that I've ignored my little blog for far too long, but to be honest, I seem to have been tied up, not literally of course, with all of this wedding planning malarkey. To put things right, I've made a new month resolution to find time to keep my blog up to date, even if the posts are a little shorter, which to be honest is probably good news for my readers. The days of my long rambles might just be numbered ! 
No more falling asleep reading my epic length rambles !

I have a bit of a dilemma! Is it ok to appear to use other peoples ideas ? As you know, our wedding will have a slightly vintage Paris feel  to it. I've been trawling through blogs for months now looking for inspiration and ideas and have a clear vision of  how I want our venue styled. 
A few months ago I came across a wedding featured on a blog that was held at our venue. The photos were amazing, the bride stunning, and the groom dashingly handsome. I loved how they had styled the venue because it was almost how I had envisaged styling it myself. Lots of jamjars and mismatched containers full of beautiful flowers, bunting and vintage plates . Now I worry that if on the unlikely off chance our wedding photos were to be featured on a blog, would the similarities be spotted and then I would be criticised for pinching the couples ideas or maybe congratulated for recognising someone else's great taste and style? Of course it won't look identical...that would be just wrong, but the similarities will be there.
 I know that I really shouldn't fret and am probably making a mountain out of a molehill, but it now seems that the nearer the wedding day I get the more likely that I am confusing mountains and molehills. My goodness...does that mean I'm starting to stress!!