Being Engaged and all it entails…

being engaged lila bailey blog post

Being engaged is one of the most magical & special periods of life. The endless words of happiness and excitement from family & friends. And the promise of a beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful future with the one you love. But, it’s not always just a love bubble or clouds of happiness. How do I know? Because I’m right here with you.

I’ve been engaged for almost 2 months and it has been absolutely wonderful, for the most part. We’ve had our friends over to celebrate, special dinners with family, and loads of exciting conversations. On the flip side, though, there has been a lot of stress and many arguments…

being engaged blog post ever after blog

Photo by Richard Murgatroyd

We’re in those early stages of being engaged where you get the ‘big’ things decided, whilst leaving the details for later. Often this is the hardest part of the engagement because even the most decisive people will come up against decisions that they just don’t know how to make. And whatever you do, someone will always be offended.


The Guest List

Oh yes, the guest list. Anyone who is or has been engaged will no doubt be squirming reading that word. I’m squirming writing it! Before I got engaged I seriously underestimated the guest list problem. Like, seriously. Both myself & Euan couldn’t understand why people found it so difficult. That was, of course, until we were doing it for ourselves. I’m going to be honest here, we still currently have absolutely no idea what to do. Yep, the people who thought they’d know within the first day exactly who they’d invite and how many people they’d have, have no idea what to do.

being engaged blog post ever after blog

Photo by Richard Murgatroyd

There are a number of politics involved with wedding guests and unfortunately (even though we’d quite like to) we can’t avoid that. And we’ve just got to come to terms with it. Something we’ve found to have a huge impact on the guest list is the fact that we’re having the wedding at my parents house and they are therefore ‘hosting’ the wedding. The advantage of an unconnected-to-your-family venue is that the venue is hosting the wedding, therefore the discretion is yours. Whilst we are so lucky my parents have the space to host our wedding, it does mean that the venue is essentially theirs and there are a number of people who will be offended in this scenario who may not have been if we had opted for a proper wedding venue (far, far away…).

being engaged blog post ever after blog

Photo by Freckly Photography

On the flip side, though, we are incredibly lucky to have so many people in our lives want to be invited. Whilst this does make guest culling hard, it’s also important we look at the positives and take it as a huge compliment. There are worse things than having too many people on your guest list, right?


Bridesmaids, Ushers, and all that stuff

Okay, this one I have to say we’ve completely tucked away in a little cupboard somewhere (for now). I know a decision has to be made at some point, but luckily we’ve left ourselves plenty of time. Do you ask your whole group of girls to be bridesmaids, or just one or two and risk offending the others? Do you pay for the usher’s suits or expect them to? Honestly? I don’t know. Neither of us know exactly who to have, or how to involve people we don’t choose. And it is really really hard! Like I said before, someone will always be offended. We’re still learning how to come to terms with that, and I daresay we’ll get there. As for the bridesmaids & ushers, I’ll keep you updated…

being engaged blog post ever after blog

Photo by Luna Weddings


Being Engaged and enjoying it

Both of us have to keep reminding each other to just enjoy being engaged. Weddings are so difficult, and nothing prepares you for them (not even organising other people’s, trust me!). Whoever you are & whatever your situation, the same problems will crop up with each and every wedding and it’s about managing them the best you can. Being decisive is good, but so is being understanding and accepting. And relaxing. I’m terrible at relaxing, and so far have completely failed at having a relaxed engagement. But I’m trying, and that’s the main thing.

being engaged blog post ever after

Photo by Richard Murgatroyd 

The guest list and the bridesmaids/ushers are (so far) the only things we’ve found difficult. So it’s not all bad! A church wedding has always been on the agenda for both of us so no qualms there. And working with the abundance of incredible suppliers that I do, choosing the photographer, florist, and videographer has been the easiest part so far! Not everyone will find the suppliers as easy as we have, but not everyone will find choosing bridesmaids & ushers as difficult as we have. Just keep focused on the reason you’re having this wedding in the first place; your marriage. Your future, your lives together, your love. Notice a pattern? You. And everything else will fall into place (well that’s my philosophy anyway, so let’s hope I’m right!).

being engaged blog post ever after blog

Photo by Lucy Turnbull

No doubt there will be many more developments throughout this engagement, and many more excuses for some blog posts!

Arrival Drinks – The Options at Ever After

arrival drinks options at ever after lila bailey blog post

When it comes to your wedding day, there is a lot to think about. My best advice would be to split the day up into manageable chunks. Starting with arrival drinks, for example. In this blog post series I’m going to be talking you through the different drink options available at Ever After and suggestions about what to provide.

As you probably already know, I work full-time for the gorgeous wedding venue Ever After. I do a lot of blog posts over on EA’s website, so I thought why not bring some of them over here! So sit back and enjoy some tips & tricks about how we do things at Ever After!


Arrival Drinks

If you are getting married at the venue (rather than church), then you will probably invite your guests to arrive an hour before the ceremony. You guests will then gather by the ponds (weather permitting) and enjoy a beverage (or two) before being ushered to the wedding barn to watch you get married.

arrival drinks at ever after

An hour is not actually that long, especially when you factor in 5-10 minutes or so seated before the ceremony begins. Also, legally, there cannot be any alcohol in the ceremony space. So guests will have to finish all drinks before being seated. With that in mind, it’s worth thinking about simplistic drinks to serve at this point of the day. But, more on that later…


The Options

You may or may not be familiar with Ever After’s drinks package, new for this year. The package widens your options, and is designed so that you won’t need to source a mobile bar. You, of course, don’t have to use one of our packages and are still free to provide your own drinks (still no corkage!).

arrival drinks at ever after

Here are your options…


Bringing your own drinks– As I said, you are still welcome to do this and there is no charge for doing so, although you will have to pay waiting staff.


Ever After’s Splendid Package– This package is £6pp and includes; prosecco or pimms with garnish & straws, bottled lager, soft drinks.


Ever After’s Premium Package – For £10pp your guests can enjoy; English sparkling wine, bottled fruit cider, bottled lager, soft drinks with straws. This is also an unlimited package (for the duration of arrival drinks).


Ever After’s Ultimate Package – Another unlimited package for £13pp, including; Gremillet NV Champagne with optional edible flowers or West Country Pimms with straws, premium bottled beer, premium soft drinks with straws.


All the Ever After packages include staff costs.


Drink Suggestions

As I mentioned earlier, this part of your day is usually only 45 minutes to an hour long, so not huge amounts of time for complex drinks. Things like ‘pimp your prosecco’ stations are best saved for the reception drinks as they are time consuming and guests may end up having to leave a half-finished drink before heading into the ceremony.

arrival drinks at ever after

For your arrival drinks, keep things simple and don’t offer too much of a choice. Complicated cocktails are wonderful for the post-ceremony drinks reception, but pre-ceremony not so much. You also don’t want to end up with half-cut guests before the ceremony has even started, so spirit based drinks are best avoided.

Some drink suggestions…

  • Prosecco & bottles of beer, as well as a soft drink option (such as cucumber water).
  • A glass of pimms & bottles of cider, with an elderflower fizz for the non-drinkers.
  • Wine & lager, and a non-alcoholic raspberry lemonade.
  • Keep things simple and just offer soft drinks; guests will have plenty of alcohol throughout the rest of the day.

And if you want to make a simple drink more interesting, you can always add garnishes such as edible flowers, fruit, or colourful straws.

arrival drinks at ever after

Take a look at some of last year’s weddingsfor inspiration…