Planning Our Wedding: One Year On

Photo courtesy of Natalie Dalziel / The Gibsons

Photo courtesy of Natalie Dalziel / The Gibsons

A year ago, on a beautifully cold and sunny December afternoon, I was sat in the Champ de Mars in Paris, celebrating eight years with my amazing boyfriend. And then, in a flash, he became my amazing fiance and the rest is a bit of a whirlwind. That day remains the best day of my entire life so far, and I can’t quite believe it was already twelve months ago.

So, we’re now nine months away from our wedding day, and since my last proper wedding update for you all was back in June, I thought I’d better check in and let you know how our plans have been going.

Planning a wedding is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work. There’s things that are tricky that you wouldn’t even have imagined having to deal with, but there’s also so much celebration to be had and so many little moments to make the most of. It’s an interesting time, and I’m sure the final months leading up to the wedding will have their stressful moments, but at the end of the day, we chose having a ‘proper’ wedding over eloping, and that means we chose to take on this stuff (for better or worse, haha!).

And it will all be worth it, I’m sure. The trick is taking a breather when it all feels a bit too much to be dealing with. We really threw ourselves into it all for the first six months, then took a breather for a few months and now we’re picking up the pace again, with the aim that we never have too many things to juggle at once. We’ll see how that goes!

Venue: Our venue, as you might remember, isn’t completely finished or fully functional yet, and there’s been some delays with the works. It was initially due to open in autumn, but now looks likely to be ready to go in February. I would never have imagined that I would have picked an unfinished venue, but I have faith that the completed works will be amazing; we’ve seen the architect’s renders and they look beautiful, and we also know that there are around fourteen other weddings scheduled in before ours next spring and summer - so we’re feeling pretty confident that it will all be fine. There’s been some interesting reactions to us choosing an industrial, warehouse-type venue for our wedding, which has been a little disheartening at times, but really, it’s our day and what we want, so that’s all that really matters.

Food: The food has been so much fun to organise, but really took a lot of time, thought and effort to pick the right menu for us. Unlike a lot of wedding caterers, ours offer no set menus or limited options - you can literally have whatever you want. Which is amazing for a couple who love food as much as we do, but it also means that you start from scratch and really have to think about the menu you want to serve your guests. We did end up choosing our dishes, comprising our favourite foods and some dishes that have sentimental meaning to us, and had our tasting back in November, which was just fantastic and so exciting. I can’t wait to eat those dishes again!

We’ve also started the process for looking into a wedding cake, so that’s our main job for January. We’ve found a bakery that we like the sound of and have booked in for a tasting in the New Year, and we’re super excited about that part - who doesn’t love cake?!

Squad: I didn’t write about this in my last update, but back in the spring, we signed up our respective squads. We both knew immediately who we would want to have as best men, bridesmaids and groomsmen, but we wanted to wait to ask them until we had a date and venue all set. Asking two of my best friends and my future sister-in-law to be my bridesmaids remains one of my favourite parts of planning so far; they all cried, and it was just gorgeous, just a really solidifying, beautiful experience.

Lewis’s asking of his own squad was a bit more low-key, but they’re all pretty excited about being a part of our day too. Lew and his group have all been friends since school, and his two brothers are his best men, so it’s a really close party with a lot of history there, and it’s just lovely that they’re going to be such a big part of our day.

Outfits: As I wrote about last time, my dress is purchased and with the exception of accessories, I’m pretty much ready to go. Lewis has dithered between his options a lot over the past few months and I think he might be honing in on a decision soon. There’s a lot more options for men than there used to be, and as he cares a lot about clothes, he’s very keen to make sure whatever he wears is absolutely perfect for him and for the occasion.

So we haven’t got outfits for the groomsmen yet, as we don’t know what the groom is wearing, but I’m finally getting there with the bridesmaids. We have a colour palette rather than a strict colour scheme, which was intended to make things easier but actually presented us with more options to choose from (duh) making the decision-making process a little trickier. But I think I might have chosen the colour now, and I’ve ordered some dresses for the girls to try on in the next week or so, so i’m keeping fingers crossed that they might be sorted soon too!

Music: We booked our band before we’d officially booked anything else. We had the date held with two venues and knew we’d be picking one of them, but the band were looking in high demand and I just decided to go for it. I’m so glad we did; we saw them play live at a party in October and had so much fun, they were brilliant and their repertoire has some of our favourite songs, we’re convinced they’ll have all the guests on the dancefloor.

Flowers: I hadn’t actually planned on looking into getting a florist until January, but when I started moodboarding during a week off over the summer, I noticed that a few had posted messages saying that they were already fully booked for 2019 and in some cases, 2020 too. That put the absolute fear into me and we decided that we had to get ahead of our own schedule and start looking into the flowers.

A friend recommended their wedding florist, Natalie Dalziel, to us, and after seeing her work and chatting on the phone for well over an hour, we decided we had to have her - she’s just incredibly lovely, so enthusiastic about our ideas, our venue and our aesthetic, and her work is just completely beautiful, exactly the style we were hoping to achieve. We’re meeting up properly in the New Year and I’m already excited - we saw Natalie’s work at our friend’s wedding a few weeks back and it was just so pretty, so colourful and natural. I know she’s going to do a gorgeous job for us!

Decor: Decor has been one of the main things we’ve chatted about over the past few months, as we start to whittle down ideas and make decisions about how we want our day to look. I’m going to keep it vague, as I want elements to be a surprise for our guests, but it’s safe to say that we’ve had very similar ideas from the beginning and we both have the same vision for how we want our venue to look. So now we’re making the most of sale season and buying in those bits and pieces that we want to dress it all - seeing them all piled up in our living room makes it all feel really real, and it’s also seriously reassuring seeing how well all of the elements are going together so far!

So, with nine months to go, that’s where we’re at. We’re feeling pretty organised and on the whole, pretty calm. I do have a tendency to blow up small problems into bigger issues in my head, but I’m also trying to remember that there’s lots of things outwith my control and they’re really not my problem to fix - my only job on the day is to say ‘I Do’ and have a great time!