Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Countdown - 5 months!

Ok so it's a little less than 5 months, last Wednesday it was 5 months!

So in UNDER 5 months Mr Mel and I will be married, yay!

There's alot to get done in the next 4+ months, most of them will be easily scheduled/managed, some others, well one mainly is a different story!

Let's be blunt, deep down, no-one wants to be a fat bride, to walk down the aisle in a tent made of white. I'm maybe probably being a tad harsh on myself, my tent would probably be a bit more of a marquee than a circuis tent!

So my mission, should I choose which I have no option but to accept is to lose some kgs & cms in the next 2 months, so I can find a dress that I like, that isn't overly tentish, and so that our photos aren't a constant reminder of me being a fat bride!

Sure I'm not never going to be a Kate Moss strolling down the aisle, but at least I could look more like Kate Ceberano than I do currently!

Kate Moss - never gonna happen!
Kate Ceberano - more realistic goal I hope!
So having been on an on & off mission to lose weight and get healthy, with a 'deadline' of 23 July looming it's the incentive & motivation I need to get a move on!

Tonight after work I'm going to go meet the girls at the local Curves, to see what sort of programs they might have to help me go hard for the next few months. I know it has to be a lifelong permanent change, but I think if I focus on the next few months, by the time 23 July comes around, my new exercise & eating regime will be part of the furniture so to speak.

So I think to keep myself more accountable I'll note my progress here under the Countdown header, feel free to ask questions about progress, to shame me into action if need be, believe me I'll probably need it!

You may have seen the style of dress I like in an earlier post, well I've decided I don't want to HAVE to wear something to cover my upper arms, our wedding will be in Winter so I'll most likely need something, but I don't want that something to be hiding my tuckshop arms!

Plus we're thinking of Vanuatu for a honeymoon, bathers/swimmers/togs and I aren't good friends currently, that has to change!

Here we go!

Start date - 28 Feb

Interim Goal weight loss - 10kg - final goal tba once we hit May!
Progress - 0kg, 0cm- day 1
Interim Goal date - 28 May - allowing 7 weeks for dress to be finetuned before wedding!
End Goal date - 23 July

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ring - pt 2

When opportunity knocks, answer the bleeping door! 

Last Friday Mr Mel's father announced our engagement (adding that we hadn't picked a ring yet) at a group he attends, and after the announcement one of the members approached him and said "You know I'm a retired jeweller?  My son is running my shop, if Mr Mel & Mel want to come in and discuss ring options, I'll make sure they get looked after'.

Mr Mel's dad didn't mention anything until the weekend, when we said we'd been ring shopping but had been discouraged by the obviously hugely inflated prices. 

While ring shopping we had found a design we love (see earlier post), then went and had a quick chat with a manufacturing jeweller in Newcastle.  They advised the cost would be approx 3 times our budget to get the design we wanted with better quality jewels & gold, so we weren't really feeling overly confident.

Last night we drove down to Sydney, and met with Mr Mel's dad's mate, which is where my opening line comes in!  

The common saying of 'it's not what you know, it's who you know' rings so true.  We knew we wanted a better quality product, but at a better price, and our drive to Sydney certainly gave us both.

We're getting our ring made, it's the exact design as what we picked (earlier post), with 18ct white gold, instead of the 14ct of the one we saw at the 'mainstream' shop, and a D colour diamond, rather than the J of the one we saw.
The design we're getting made - yay!

So our ring will be ready in 2 weeks, we can't wait!

And another bonus, because we bought our engagement ring there, we get an automatic 20% discount on our wedding bands!  Because the engagement ring is quite blingy (well for me it is!) I'll be getting a very plain white gold band, Mr Mel's will have a bit of texture to it.

All in all, we're very happy campers, part 3 of 'The Ring' posts will have a photo of our ring on my finger in 2 weeks! Yay!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Photographer

Given I usually dislike, ok let's be honest, absolutely detest and will do almost anything to avoid, getting my photo taken, the subject of wedding photos was always going to be a touchy one.

I was trying to think of the most painless way of getting photos of our special day, that we'll cherish forever.

I initially thought we'd just provide disposable cameras for our guests, but then thought we'll only get married once, and even though I'll probably find it painful, I do want some lovely, professional shots.

So that's when the brainwave hit me. I work in the Thoroughbred Industry, and have always admired the work of a topnotch photographer who specialises in horse photos. So I contacted her (through Facebook, don't you love technology!) and asked if she would be interested in photographing our day. And not long after I received a very positive reply, yay.

Sure reading this you might think why on earth is she getting a horse photographer for her wedding!  Well our photographer Katrina Partridge is no ordinary animal/horse photographer.

Katrina has an amazing eye for a moment to be captured, and that's what we're after, we don't want the usual standard shots, we want a more informal approach, we're happy for her to wander around and photograph what she thinks need capturing, along with a few requests obviously!

Website of our photographer - Katrina Partridge
We're meeting with Katrina in the next couple of weeks to go through the type of shots we like, then we'll meet again at our venue, to go through the best places to get shots, how the light falls in different areas, etc. Then on the day, we'll have her with us for 3-5 hours, depending on which package we decide to go with.

Very happy to have found a photographer who isn't a stranger, because we know Katrina, not well, but enough to be comfortable, I know I'll be more at ease come the big day, and hopefully she'll be able to capture some great shots!

Last night while wandering around the web, I stumbled upon this surprise wedding, just love the photos, I've sent the link to Katrina for inspiration!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Ring - pt 1

I can't count how many texts, emails, FB posts, calls I've had this past since we got engaged last Monday (Valentine's Day), of 'show us the bling'.

Prior to Mr Mel proposing we had discussed engagement rings, that the 'easiest' thing to do would be for us to pick it out together.

Well last weekend we went 'bling' shopping. Holy moly, what a nightmare!  Seemingly acres of rings of all shapes, sizes, and pricetags.  'Friendly' staff trying to maneuver you into a sale. We stayed strong and resisted.

We went to a few 'mainstream' jewellers, and tried on a range of styles. I had originally been certain I wanted a 3 stone square cut ring, I tried them on and liked the, but then I tried another style on and knew straight away that was the one!

The staff member gave us a printout of the ring, so we took that with us to another couple of stores, nothing came close.

We were a bit disheartened by the prices, so went home empty handed.

Over the weekend Mr Mel's father mentioned that he has an acquaintance who is a retired jeweller, did we want him to see if he could recommend anyone, did we??????? Of course!

Turns out the retired jeweller still makes jewellery for friends, so he's offered to meet with us, source the jewels and make the setting for us for near cost price!  YAY!!!!!

So this week we're heading to Sydney to meet with Mr Mel's father's friend, and hopefully start the journey to getting our engagement ring made!

This is the one we've chosen

Engagement Ring we've fallen in love with, just not at it's current pricetag!
Altho we're definitely open to suggestions, very much looking forward to our meeting!  Shall report back post meeting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Cake Toppers - so cute!

So we haven't even considered what we're doing cake wise, but I just couldn't resist the most gorgeous cake toppers.

Mr Mel calls me Chickadee or Chicken, and I call him Monkey or Monkelicious, just so you don't think I'm completely crackers!

I've requested they both be around 9cm tall, and the monkey won't have bananas.

Chicken Cake Topper
Monkey Cake Topper
We're thinking of going with plainish white cakes, with a green ribbon, maybe some green orchids on top, with the chicken & monkey sitting amongst the orchids.
They're made from gum paste, I'll be receiving them in an airtight container in the next week or so, then just need to keep them away from air, light, moisture, and Mr Mel :)

I realise they won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I know Mr Mel will love them as much as I do, and really it's our day, so there :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Song!

Beyonce's Halo, need I say more?

What a beautiful song, it's going to be our 'main song', not sure when we'll use it, I just know whenever we use it there better be a good supply of tissues and makeup touchups!  I just can't help it, the song brings me to tears just about every time I hear it!

Mr Mel calls it 'the crying song', secretly I think he's a bit worried he'll ball like a baby too :)

This is a link to the Youtube vid

And this to another Youtube vid that just has the lyrics.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dress Options

To set things out from the get-go, I'm not a girly girl, I rarely wear dresses, the last one I wore was a couple of months ago to an engagement party, and that was the first dress I'd worn in 15+ years.  Plus I'm no skinny minnie, so while I'm on an urgent health kick/weight loss extravaganza for the next few months I need to be realistic, I'm not going to be a size 10 any time soon!

So my dilemma is, I don't want a big fancy dress, but I do want something that says yes I'm getting married.  I obviously will also want to disguise the bulges as well as possible. Plus I'm quite well endowed in the bustages area, so may need some scaffolding or some over shoulder securing!

I'm not sure yet if I want to wear white, remember I'm a tad up the range of sizes!  I don't want to look like a schmozzle of white, so I'm thinking maybe cream/offwhite, not sure as yet.

From first few searches online the dress below (photos stolen from Ebay!) has caught my eye, I'd prefer not such a flouncy skirt, and I'm not yet sure if it meets my above outlined criteria!  But at least it's a start!

Any advice, suggestions, etc gratefully accepted!

Monday, February 14, 2011

He Proposed!! :)

I know we've done it a bit about face, but rules are made to be broken aren't they?

Last night Mr Mel proposed (yay!), while we both knew it was a given, he still managed to surprise me!

He had booked dinner at one of our favourite restaurants Sanctuary, and on the drive there he asked if I wanted to have another look at the Hall (our future venue).  I had been trying to remember the name of the caterer listed on the wall at the Hall to get a quote, so thought that's a great idea.

When we arrived there was a pilates group in the hall, so we wrote down the name of the caterer, and Mr Mel stood back and looking at the view, commented how perfect a spot it will be.  Then he gave me a Valentines Day card.

In the card he said some lovely stuff I won't list here (heehee), but ended the card with a PTO, on the back he'd written "I can't wait to have Valentines dinner tonight with my fiance', and I read it, looked at him and said no way!  He replied with 'Chickadee will you marry me'.  Of course I said yes  :)

Such a perfect spot to have done it, I'm so proud of him, for keeping it a secret and picking the spot of our future marriage to propose, makes me tear up thinking of it :)

So we headed off to Sanctuary newly engaged, and was greeted by a glass of champagne, and a delicious dinner, a night to remember forever!

So there you go, we're engaged!!  We're going ring shopping on Saturady, after the tasting at the caterers!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Flower Scheme

After much googling to see what flowers are in season in Winter, we, well let's be honest, I (poor Mr Mel has little input on it heehee) have decided on our flowers for our surprise wedding.

Because it will be end of July, mid winter, we're going with a white and pale green theme, and I just adore the floral display below from Lily And Rose.
Green Cymbidium Orchids, Leucodendrons and Dodder Vine
At this stage we're going to have mainly white, with pale green features, through flowers, and maybe seat sashes and/or tablecloths for the cocktail tables & stools.

An update on progress so far, given it's just over 5 months till d-day!!

Catering - we're meeting with our preferred caterer this Saturday at their kitchen near Newcastle

Decoration - I've received a few quotes, and will visit the showroom of a local supplier to have a look at options, she has decorated the Hall for previous weddings, so it will be great to get some input.

Also scanning Ebay to see if any deals on fairy lights to hang on the ceiling of the verandah and in the hall itself.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Our plan is to cater cocktail style, with a couple of servers wandering the crowd with plates of canapes, as I've mentioned earlier it's the first time our families will meet, so we want some serious mingling, and I don't think that would happen at the usual sit down dinner reception.

We're getting quotes from 5 local caterers, and have 1 hot favourite at the moment.

They're doing either 9 or 12 canapes per head, plus cream, fresh berries, coulis to be served with the wedding cake, plus coffee & tea for $21 or $25 per head, depending on which way we go. Plus they'll provide 2 servers, 1 kitchen hand and a barman for the night, for an additional fee.

We're going to their kitchen at Merewether next week for a tasting, then to sign up!

Examples of canapes we'll be having
Then we're looking at getting a spit roast, at around $10 per head, meat only, we'll do our own salads.

The Hall has tressle tables & chairs available as part of the hire fee, so we'll set up a few tressle tables, for salads, coffee, tea, drinks, and have chairs setup inside, on the verandah, and on the lawn, so people can still sit, but just not sit and not talk to anyone bar their neighbour :)

We're hoping the wedding/party will run from 3pm till early hours of Sunday morning, so want to ensure everyone is well fed, especially given it will be the middle of winter!

We will provide all of our own drinks, with the caterer providing a barman for 5 hours, then it will be help yourself type setup.

I'll post the list of canapes, plus a better idea of the overall costings for the food, once we've confirmed the caterer we're going with.
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