not a wedding blog

I don’t want this blog to turn all wedding-y, but my IRL life.laura.london has become all wedding-y since Alex and I are trying to plan a wedding in under 6 months.

Rather than do a billion posts on all things wedding related I thought I’d put a few of my life.laura.london wedding-related thoughts in one post.

Must Have-s

A wedding planning spreadsheet will help you remain sane during the insane first few months of planning. You can get crazy complicated ones (which I personally love – more macros!) or simple ones. A Practical Wedding has a good selection, and you really just need a tab for guest list and budget to start off with.

A USB stick & Google Chrome. If you’re like me you work on at least 3 computers a day and can only Gmail yourself so many things. The USB stick helps by keeping the above mentioned spreadhseet close at all times for emergency Great-Aunt address updates, and Google Chrome keeps all your bookmarks together on any computer you want.

A Pinterest account. If only to keep your ideas in one place (I pin everything to my wedding board). And to go beyond pinning – use your ability to cut/copy/paste into Paint and make your own mood boards.

A colour scheme. I was hesitant about this at first, especially since for our wedding we’re using venues that have their own charm and colours and not necessarily decorating them with chair covers and ribbons and such.  BUT grabbing a few ideas of colour schemes is never a bad idea and if you can get to a paint store – great, but if it’s the wettest April in London ever, why leave your home? I found the Design Seeds website that groups colours based on nature/seasons/food and gives you a great palette to work with. Feathered Friends anyone?

Luck. It’s no secret that I love contests and have been lucky to win my fair share since I was 9 and won a BBQ at the local grocery store.  Once I got engaged I started to engage with wedding websites and blogs and entered every and any wedding related contest and won one of them! The $100 off custom invitations really helped out that wedding budget.

Inspiration

I read more wedding blogs before I was engaged. (Probably not what guys want to hear, but it’s true… Girls like weddings.)I think it’s because actual wedding planning is all about making decisions and if you get too many ideas those decisions are much harder.  I’ve been sticking to the amazing Before the Big Day blog that effortlessly combines perfect British wedding inspiration and practical DIY tips. 

It’s also important to stay within the boundaries of reality – so a quick check here http://oveninafield.blogspot.co.uk/ always reminds me not to get too absurd.

Crowdsourcing Venue, Vendors and Very Important Details 

Use your friends. Take a piece out of the Royal Wedding on this one and get out there and ask around your social network who knows of any great places or vendors to get married.  Over a few pints in the pub one afternoon I found my venue (thanks Emma!) and a quick tweet led me to an amazing photographer (thanks Louise!).  Not only do personal introductions help you develop much stronger relationships with the vendors, but they usually lead to someone or a place that is more you than any Google algorithm can predict.

More weddings to the unique route these days, and that means you can find vendors that don’t traditionally do weddings.  Our photographer is a event/documentary photographer who photographs marathons among other things and our venue is a pub where a friend had a great meal last year. Ask and you’ll save yourself hours of stress and confusion while planning. 

Dresses

This one is simple.  The UK has the best high street stores in the world. I love the idea of going to bridal boutiques and trying on bespoke wedding gowns and doing that whole hoo-ha, but there’s no need to anymore.

Almost every high street store has a bridal range (or great white dresses) that are priced way below anything you could ever even hope to find at a bridal sample sale. Obviously the dresses aren’t perfect, as a tall girl I had a hard time finding a dress that was long enough as they’re still all made in set sizing.  But if you save on the dress, you can always spend a bit more on alterations or a shrug to complete the look.

A copycat Kate dress anyone?

Monsoon
Marks & Spencer
Topshop Bridal (coming soon – June 2012)
TK Maxx
BHS
Debenhams 

DIY… but not too much 

I am much to ambitious when it comes to crafts. I love the idea of DIY projects and attempt a few a year, but they never come out as professional as I planned (save for this project at The Make Lounge last year). The DIY aspect of wedding planning has taken off in the past few years with guides on how to do everything from make your own dress instructions to constructing your own pompoms on blogs.  I picked my battles and decided on 2-3 somewhat easy DIY projects to focus on for my wedding (Bouquets, I’m looking at you!).

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