Friday, April 29, 2011

Songs for the big day - list 1

We've decided to use my iPod plugged into the sound system in the hall, rather than a band or DJ for music for our wedding & reception. And we're slowly gathering a list of songs we love that we want to include.

We still need to split them up into sections ie Ceremony, First Dance, Dancing, Background etc etc, but these are some of our faves so far.

  • All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
  • At Last - Etta James
  • Beautiful Day - U2
  • Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
  • Bridal Train - The Waifs
  • Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis
  • Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
  • Come What May - Ewen McGregor & Nicole Kidman
  • Could I Have This Dance - Anne Murray
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
  • Don't Feel Like Dancing - Scissor Sisters
  • Feelin Good - Michael Buble
  • From Little Things Big Things Grow - The Waifs & Jon Butler
  • Going To The Chapel - Dixie Cups
  • Halo - Beyonce - I'm pretty sure I'll cry like a baby but I love it (earlier post on this song) probably be either our first dance or aisle song
  • I'm Still Standing - Elton John
  • Into My Arms - Nick Cave
  • Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars
  • Kissing You - Des'ree
  • Love Foolosophy - Jamiroquai
  • Love Shack - B52s
  • My Happiness - Powderfinger
  • My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
  • Somebody To Love - Queen
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow - just love Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version
  • Songbird - Eva Cassidy
  • The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
  • Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N Roses
  • With You - Chris Brown

As you can see our taste is quite varied, but should be able to cover most genres once we get the full list together!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Temporarily Aborted Bunting DIY

I was all set for a DIY project over the long Easter Weekend, with bunting well in my sights, to use as decorations in the hall.
The aim - bunting decos for our wedding (photo source)
At Christmas my Mum gave me her old sewing machine (a Pinnock, late 1970's vintage, she was a dressmaker while home with us kids), as she had replaced hers, and as they were moving home from Qld to Vic, they stopped with us mid trip home, and lightened their load by giving me the sewing machine.
Pinnock Sewing Machine, similar to the one I've been given
I haven't sewn (apart from hand sewing hems, buttons) for quite a while (probably not since school, closing in on 20 years ago!), so I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it!

On Saturday I headed to Spotlight, after much perusing of some gorgeous fabric I thought I'd be sensible and just buy some calico to start with to make sure I could still sew, and not ruin expensive fabric.  I could also dye the calico different greens if it worked out, and use that swapped in with different pattern fabric.

Armed with 5 metres of Calico, on Monday I set up the machine, and kit of threads, scissors, unpickers, etc on the dining table.  I got the machine all threaded up no problem, switched it on, and the light works yay, I put the first strip of test calico in place ready to go, press down on the pedal and the motor starts whirring, but no action.

Uhoh, I try again, no luck, I wind in and out the tension thingo on the end, no luck.  So I call Mum, and wouldn't you know it, she actually replaced the machine with a new one 10 years ago, and this one hasn't been used since!  Excellent!

So now I have to either put it in for a service, and given it's age it could be pricey, or look at buying a new/used machine.

Extremely frustrating as I had set the day aside for my DIY project, and really fallen for the idea of using bunting as decorations for the hall.

So my DIY project is on hold, until I can get this old girl working or replace her with a newbie!  Frustration factor of 10+++!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lest We Forget

ANZAC Day - 25 April 2011 (photo source)
Not much more to say really, other than Lest We Forget

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Decorations - Ebay haul so far!

To try and cut some corners in our budget, I am scouring Ebay for decorations, which we can use in the Hall. I had sourced quotes from all of the local decorators, 6 in total, and the quotes, bar 1, were scary.

My theory is instead of paying thousands of dollars to hire items, I can buy them cheaper, use them on the day/night, then sell them afterwards.

So far my haul is:

100 x Rice Paper Lanterns (white) - $126 ($150 to hire)
150m x Fairy Lights (warm white) - $283 ($300 to hire)
2 x Candelabras - $40 ($50 to hire)
1 x Bird Cage Wishing Well/Card Holder - $66 ($40 to hire)
100 x Willow Green Organza Chair Sashes - $139.99 ($2.00 each to hire)

So on these 5 items alone the costs compare as:

Ebay - $654.99
Decorator (average quote over 6 quotes) - $740

Plus I can resell mine after the day, say if I sell them for 1/2 price of what I paid for them, that makes the cost $327.49!  Savings yay
Birdcage Wishing Well/Card Holder
Fairy Lights
Willow Green Organza Chair Sash

I've also bought:

1 x Bridal Cake Knife & Server set - $25
50 x personalised wine charms for gifts - $75
1 x Guestbook - $25
4 x White Bali flags - $25

All were much lower prices that I found through other online stores or 'real stores'.
Cake Knife & Server
Bali Flags - to use on either side of the gate to the Hall
I'll be back with more savings :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wedding Cake - the plan

After much back & forth, many (expensive) quotes, we've decided to go a bit left of centre with our wedding cake.

Instead of a traditional 3 tier cake, we're going to have a cake table.

We're asking our mums, sisters, aunt, to make one of our favourite cakes each (won't give anything away, as they've been asking if they can help with the catering side), we're going to put them on a tressle table, sitting on different level cake stands, and on the tallest stand we'll have a 1 tier 'wedding cake'.

This is the sort of layout we'll be aiming at (photo source)
At this stage, the cakes will be:

Lemon Meringue

Chocolate Ripple
Mango/Passionfruit Cake

Then a 1 tier white icing covered cake, maybe a mudcake, still deciding, topped with fresh flowers, in our green & white theme.

We'll have knifes and servers for each cake, and our guests can help themselves.

Going to scour the opshops for dessert spoons, forks and small plates, rather than disposable, then we can keep them all for future parties.

Forgot to add, also scouring the opshops for large glass containers for lollies to include on the table, and will be heading out to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Shop and the British Sweet Shop at Hunter Valley Gardens, to see what bulk buy deals they offer, to fill the containers :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

They're In The Mail!

Yes that's right, the invitations are in the mail!  Woohoo, job done!

As per earlier posts re a failed DIY project, (and my hopeful post before starting it), we were very fortunate to have a friend of Mr Mel's offer to print our invitations free, as an engagement present.

So once I'd finished fiddling with the design and layout, I emailed it off to Mr Mel's friend, a week later I received our lovely invitations by courier.
Our Invitation!
Since then I have been putting together a RSVP card and an information pack to go with the invitation.

The information pack has a double sided card which lists:

- map to venue from main street of town - directions for people staying in town and in the vineyards

- list of restaurants we recommend, in town & in the vineyards, with an idea as to cost, and their phone numbers - we have eaten at them all so safe to recommend :)
- list of accommodation we recommend, in town & in the vineyard, with phone numbers - we inspected as many as we could, and checked online for the others
- things to do and see in the area
- an invite to breakfast at our house on the Sunday morning
Map & Things To Do
Accommodation & Restaurants
So I spent the next week or so (from about 11pm - 1am most nights!) printing onto then hand cutting the cards for the RSVP, Accom & Map info, it took a hell of alot longer than I expected, but the end result was worth it I think!

I bought a box of 100% recycled brown envelopes from Officeworks, and addressed each with green pen, I also wrote everyones names on the invitations with the green pen, my penmanship isn't great, but it will do!

So they were packed, sealed, stamped and posted yesterday, yay, another thing checked off the list!  I made a minor mistake tho, on the invites I asked for RSVP by 24 June, yet on the actual RSVP card I wrote 17 June, not a biggie and if it's 1 or the other it doesn't really matter.

We also put on the RSVP card that kick-off time is 2.30pm sharp because we want to get some family photos & some of the entertainment is only available in daylight hours  :)  heehee little do they know..........

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Dress - The Tears and Triumph!

If the title seems a tad dramatic, believe me it's pretty spot on!

Seeings as our wedding is 3 and a 1/2 months away, I bit the bullet on Saturday and went dress shopping.  I was hoping to leave it a bit longer to give myself the chance to lose a bit more weight, and to be honest, to delay the agony!

On a good day I hate clothes shopping, anyone who has ever been clothes shopping in the size 18+ range will know what I'm talking about.  Going clothes shopping often makes me sad, sad that I'm not a 'normal' size, sad that I can rarely walk into a 'normal' store and buy off the rack.  Just about every time I leave feeling horrible about myself, I know it's a situation I caused, and only I can fix, and I'm on the way to that, but still, it's not something I think I'll ever look forward to.

So 9am Saturday I hit the road to Newcastle, some of the lovely ladies on Simple Savings had given me a list of shops to visit.  So armed with that list of 8 stores, I hit the road.

Arriving at Hunter Street Newcastle, I didn't realise that it was a bridal district, I parked in front of Calabro Bridal, but as I pulled up the store across the road - Newcastle Bridal House - caught my eye, so I headed there.

Entering the store was intimidating, I've never been in a bridal store, let alone tried anything on.  Luckily Angela at NBH was just lovely.  She asked me if I had any thoughts as to style, I showed her the photos I'd collected & printed, she told me she would pick a few out and I just had to go strip down to bra & knickers and she'd be with me (1st embarassment of the day).

So I strip down to bra & knickers, holding my tshirt over me (yes body image issues), then Angela came in, opened the curtains (hello embarassment) told me to drop the tshirt, turn around, arms in the air.  Luckily I only had about 10 seconds to think about it (and I'll be honest the option of pulling on pants, top and bolting to the car was high in the thought list).

The first dress was ok, but when I walked out to the mirror, I was popping out the top and my arms looked HUGE, and standing at the next mirror was a skinny mini size 6-8 who looked like a model in her white gown, my confidence immediately hit rock bottom, so I embarrassingly said no not this one.  She stripped it off me, said be back in a minute, and I stood there, almost in tears, feeling like a whale, and about to tell the lovely Angela to not worry about it.

Angela came in with another dress, I think she could tell I was feeling horrid, so started some smalltalk which got me out of the funk a little.  The next dress was better, lace ups sucked it in at the waist, and it fitted better at the bust, so the mirror image wasn't as horrifying.  But still not the exact right one.

I tried on 2 others, then Shizam I found the one.

One of the first dresses that caught my eye in my online search had rouching across the bust and waist.

One of the first dresses I liked online 
This dress had embroidery and bling on the bust over chiffon, then the chiffon fell in rouch style down across the waist and into the skirt.

Another dress I liked had a bit of bling on the shoulders, and back, I tried on a similar grecian style dress and the style really didn't do much for me, but the dress I tried on that I was warming to had a bit of bling on the skirt and the back.

Another I'd liked, with a bit of bling
The dress is a lace up and the cross overs under the bust really help bring the waist in, and made me feel secure across the bust.  It's made from chiffon, and I think the soft fall is really flattering, plus with the rouching, helps hide the bumps!

So all is going along swimmingly, I think I've found my dress, then Angela asks when my wedding is, I tell her 23 July, she replies 'oh excellent, that's plenty of time for alterations (the one I tried on was a little small, puckering at the back)', I'm thinking woohoo excellent, job done, then she says 'you're very organised having your dress sorted a year ahead of your wedding!


I tell her no, it's not 23 July 2012, it's 23 July 2011, as in 3 and a bit months away.  The look on her face makes me feel sick straight away.

She says that all of their dresses are 6+ months minimum, even with a rush order (more expensive) you wouldn't have it before late August, early September.

So we're standing there looking at each other, me close to tears, she with a concerned look on her face.  Then she says head out to our Boolaroo store, they have more sizes and might have something similar.

So I leave NBH and heading to my car decide to have a look in Belles & Beaux, recalling the positive comments on Simple Savings.  The store was packed to the brim with deb dress hunters, brides and bridesmaids.  I had a look, found a couple, tried them on, but wasn't taken with them, plus they said 5-6 months to get anything made.

So I head to my car, I'm deflated and tempted to head home and forget it, Mr Mel calls to ask how I'm going, I try to keep it together so he can't tell I'm an inch away from crying, but he can tell.   He says 'chickadee go to Boolaroo, don't give up, your dress is out there'.  I call my sister, and she gives me a pep talk also.

So after I have a bit of a cry (due to Mr Mel's sweetness & the dress situation!)  I head to Boolaroo, with not a great deal of confidence.

The ladies there were lovely, I told them straight up that I was on a time crunch, so they knew from the get go I was a bit shall we say, emotional!

Again I went and stripped off while the ladies go picking dresses for me.

The first 2 were nos before they were zipped up.  The next one was very nice, but satin, and the shiny-ness (word?) was offputting, and not overly flattering on my figure.  I tried on a few grecian styles, nope, a 1 shoulder one, nope, a halter neck NO!  Then she brings in the chiffon dress I'd tried at the Hunter St store, in the next size up.

I try it on and I know straight away it's the one, one of the ladies comments that she'd never seen it on a girl before, that it was much nicer than on the hanger, the lass who was dressing me (yes I've forgotten her name!) had the biggest smile she'd had all day.

I tried on the satin one again, tossing up between the satin & chiffon, trying both with a chiffon bolero to cover the arms a bit.  And there's no competition, the chiffon dress is divine, I ask both ladies to give me their thoughts as I was flying solo, and wouldn't be able to have anyone come back with me. They both agreed the chiffon one, and seeings as it was cheaper than the satin I'm pretty sure they were being legit.

The next thing was the time crunch with getting one made in time.

While I was getting dressed the ladies had a bit of a pow-wow, then said that while they don't usually sell the samples, if I wanted the one I'd tried on, I could have it.  I could have kissed both of them.

I said yes please, I'll have the dress and bolero, and bonus Saturday was 15% off all in store, woohoo!

So I have my dress, yay, sigh of relief.  I am leaving the dress at the store, and will go back in 5-6 weeks for alterations/fitting, am considering having cap sleeves made out of chiffon, embroidery and bling added.

Between now and the fitting I need to sort underwear & shoes, compared to the dress shopping, it should be a breeze!

So now my spiel is over, this is my dress, it's not a great photo, it looks so much better in person, ivory chiffon, adding caplet type bits of chiffon, with an ivory chiffon bolero (very plain).

Not a great photo - but this is my dress!

Cap sleeve - probably going to add to my dress, similar to these
Extra warmth for winter wedding & to help hide arms! (couldn't find my exact bolero online)
And it goes without saying, when I rang Mr Mel to let him know I'd found my dress he was very relieved, he said if I'd not called in the next 1/2 hour he was going to ring my sister and ask what to do!  How sweet is he!

After calling Mr Mel, I rang my sister, and she said she'd been stressing since speaking to me, and was so happy to hear I'd found a dress I loved!

I would have loved to have had her with me for the dress shopping, but living in different states makes it very difficult, as soon as I got home I emailed her a photo from the website, and she loves it too.  She'll be the first one to see it, as she's my 1 and only bride slave.  Plus she needs to lace me up/in!

Another thing crossed of the to-do list, woohoo!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Brides Slave Dress

I have known since forever, that whenever I got married I would be having just the one bridesmaid/matron of honour/slave, my sister.

Now that it's actually happening, I'm so excited to share it with my sister.  She was the first person to know about our surprise wedding.  I made her install Skype, and told her 'face to face' (she lives in Country Vic), about the wedding, and then asked her to be my Bride Slave and the look on her face was priceless, she was dumbstruck and had that deer in headlights look.

After a few minutes chatting she took it in and was so excited, for us, and for her involvement.

She immediately went to dresses, colours, styles, etc, I just told her as long as it's in a similar green family as the one I love I'm happy for her to pick a dress she loves, and more importantly one that she will wear again.

After a few more minutes of chatting we signed off.

The next morning (Saturday) I get a text at 9.30am with a photo of my sister in a green dress, then dingding, another comes thru, she's a tad bit excited!

The first was very bridesmaidy, and even though she said she would, I know she wouldn't wear it again, the second was more of an evening wear style dress, just gorgeous, a lovely green with black and purple embroidery.

Because it will be the middle of winter, she's going to get a wrap or shrug or similar, probably in black or purple to go with her dress.

I asked her to tell me honestly which she liked better, she agreed the second one, so she bought it, job done!  Not great quality shots, from my sisters phone.

The Runner Up - too bridesmaidy
The Winner - My slave, sorry sister's dress
I'm going dress shopping for myself this weekend, lets hope it's as easy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To Bunt Or Not To Bunt

To Bunt Or Not To Bunt that is one of the questions I'm asking myself.

Our venue is quite large and so far I'm thinking of decorating it with white chinese lanterns, 3 different round sizes, along with fairy lights.

I'm meeting with a lady this weekend who is going to help with the decorations, I'm buying/renting/supplying everything, she'll put it all together for me.

Because it's a surprise wedding I can't rope in friends & family, and because we don't get access until the Friday afternoon, which happens to be when all of my family are arriving from Vic, and I'll be shuttling between home & Newcastle Airport, I was struggling to work out how I was going to manage to decorate everything.

Over the past 3 weeks, my hairdresser, our accountant and a lady at Curves have all suggested I call the same lady to come help, so I did, and we're meeting up this weekend.

One of the things I've been tossing up is bunting, I've been touring around the web quite a bit getting inspiration for decorations, and quite a few photos of bunting, and I'm loving them.

(photo source)
(photo source)
I'm still trying to work out if I have the time and skill to give it a go, but having asked the question at Simple Savings, the girls have filled me with confidence, even pointing me in the direction of a tutorial.

My Mum gave me her old sewing machine at Christmas when she upgraded, and while I haven't sewn a stitch (apart from hand sewing socks, buttons & hems), in over 15 years, I don't think it'd be too much of a struggle to pick it up again!

This weekend I'm heading out wedding dress shopping, well at least to meet with a dressmaker hopefully, and will stop at some Op Shops on the way to see if any sheets or clothes made out of green & white material that would look nice in bunting form.

Not sure if it's a fool's folly to add another thing to the to-do list!  But we'll see anyway!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...