8 Months to Go! Wedding Planning Update

8 Months to Go! Wedding Planning Update

Since I am officially getting married THIS YEAR (it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve been able to say that haha) I thought I’d do some monthly planning updates. Starting with 8 months to go!

If you’ve been keeping up with my planning posts, you’ll know that most of the big stuff has been booked. But these next 8 months are still going to be filled with plenty of planning mayhem! Hopefully, if you’re getting married too, these posts will also be helpful!

Planning Recap

Just a quick recap for anyone new to the blog! We’re getting married at our local church, and then having the reception at my parents’ house. The barn is currently being renovated (see instagram highlights!) which is stressful to say the least!

I’ve got a maid of honour and two other bridesmaids. Euan has a best man, 2 ushers and a musher (mini-usher – my brother who will be 13). We also have two flower girls and two page boys as well!

We have sorted all the suppliers, apart from live music for the reception. Save the dates have gone out to friends but we haven’t sent the formal invites yet. I have bought my wedding dress (yay!) and we sorted the bridesmaid dresses last month (phew!).

I’ll also link to some other wedding planning blog posts at the end of this one so you can catch-up!

8 months to go wedding planning update lila bailey blog

8 Months to Go – On the Agenda this Month

To keep things as stress-free as possible, I’m focussing on one thing each month. This month is all about the boys’ outfits. We’ve chosen Euan’s kilt tartan, but we need to send the company his measurements, and the measurements of his best man & brother in law.

My brothers (his other usher and the musher) will be in tailcoats which we also still need to source, as will our youngest page boy. If you follow on Instagram stories you’ll know that I visited Mos Bros the other day. I did find a suit that I liked, but to be honest they’re incredibly expensive and I wasn’t in love with it. So, my search isn’t quite over just yet.

I also want to get our mini-moon to Venice booked this month (eek!). We booked our honeymoon to Mauritius in October, so at least that is sorted!

8 months to go wedding planning update lila bailey blog

Other things we’ve got to sort…

  • Finalising the flowers
  • Live music for the reception
  • Buying our wedding rings
  • Venue signs & decor
  • Wedding favours
  • Sending out the invites!
  • Sorting the pre-wedding meal and post-wedding brunch
  • Choosing our table wines

And I’m sure plenty else!

Barn Update…

With 8 months to go, and the barn still not being finished, my stress levels are high. (I’m sure you can imagine!). We visited the barn today and it is actually coming along beautifully. The men are working in there every day now and a lot has been done even since Christmas. So it’s looking hopeful! Keep checking in with my Insta stories too as I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty on there.

the venue wedding planning update blog post lila bailey blog
The barn this time last year – it has dramatically improved since this picture!!

Previous Planning Posts…

If you’re new to the blog, here are my previous planning posts. Starting from when we first got engaged in 2018!

Being Engaged

Wedding Dress Shopping Part 1

Wedding Dress Shopping Part 2

Local Wedding Dress Shopping

A Year of Engagement

The Venue

Our Suppliers

The Bridal Party

Wedding Dress

The Guest List

Engagement Shoot!

1 Year to go!

I’d also recommend having a read of my ‘All just for One Day‘ post, and have a browse of my Wedding Tips & Advice category too!

Our Engagement Shoot! Freckle Photography

Our Engagement Shoot! Freckle Photography

I’m soooooooo excited to share a few of our engagement shoot pics, taken by the amazing Emma (Freckle Photography). We had 12 preview images only a couple of days after the shoot itself (because Emma is amazing), and we’ll get the rest of them around the beginning of June – cannot wait!

Head over to my last post to learn more about engagement shoots… And enjoy the photos below!

freckle photography engagement shoot lila bailey blog
freckle photography engagement shoot lila bailey blog
freckle photography engagement shoot lila bailey blog
freckle photography engagement shoot lila bailey blog

All images are by Freckle Photography, and this shoot was part of our wedding photography package which we have paid for.

Engagement Shoots – Why they are Important

Engagement Shoots – Why they are Important

On Easter Sunday (end of April) Euan & I were lucky enough to have the most amazing engagement shoot with our photographer, Emma (Freckle Photography). We lucked out with the weather (heatwave weekend!) and had soo much fun laughing, smiling, and chatting.

I’m going to share a few of our preview images soon, but I wanted to first talk a bit about engagement shoots and why they are important.

Engagement Shoots

Also know as pre-wedding shoots, depending on how close to your wedding you have it! Firstly, what are engagement shoots? Well, they’re basically a photoshoot with your wedding photographer which takes place during your engagement period. Not much to it really!

Some photographers will offer engagement/pre-wedding shoots as part of their photography package, and others will offer them for an additional price. Either way, I highly recommend.

Why are they important?

I’ve always thought engagement shoots were incredibly important. Seeing the difference between couples on their wedding day who have previously had a photoshoot with their photographer and those who haven’t solidified it in my mind a long time ago. But, having never had one myself I didn’t want to be too vocal about how important they are until I had experienced it for myself.

But, now I have! So why are they important? Time for some bullet points I think…

  • You get to meet your photographer properly. You’re going to be getting quite up close and personal in front of your photographer, so you want to feel comfortable around them. And the best way for you all to get to know each other is to go out and have some pics taken!
  • It’s good practice. When do you ever stand in front of a camera for 30 minutes solidly, kissing & cuddling your other half? It’s an alien concept, and is surprisingly difficult. Even the most confident of people will feel a tad shy when there’s someone telling them to have a smooch with a camera pointed in their face.
  • Your photographer gets a chance to photograph you. Obvious, right? What I mean is during engagement shoots, photographers can figure out your most flattering sides & angles, work out where best to stand you both in relation to each other, and all the other clever photography tricks. I have zero photography experience (can you tell?) but in any walk of life, things are almost always easier second time around. And if you have an engagement shoot, your wedding day won’t be the first time your photographer has photographed you.
  • Photos will probably take up less time on your wedding day. This is tied pretty closely to you both being more comfortable in front of a camera paired with your photographer knowing you through their lens. Since you’ve ‘been there done that’ you won’t need to spend quite as long faffing around trying to get the perfect pic.

There are many other benefits to having engagement shoots, the photos for example! Your engagement period is one of the most special times in your life, so why not have some killer pics to remember it by? And also, why not?! Go for it! We had the most amazing evening having our engagement shoot, and that in itself was pretty special. Let alone the amazing pics Emma took!

Planning Update

Keep your eyes peeled for some preview images on the blog over the next few days… And in the meantime, why don’t you catch up with my planning update blog post series?

Wedding Dress – Wedding Planning Update

Wedding Dress – Wedding Planning Update

Possibly every bride’s favourite thing about their wedding… the wedding dress. Because of my background of wedding dresses galore, I always knew this might be one of my hardest tasks. But, I was prepared for that and it’s not stopped me from enjoying the journey!

Wedding Dress – Where I’m up to (Part 1)

So I have indeed found my dress. Well, sort of!

I’ve always thought I’d design my own wedding dress. I think growing up around wedding dress designers gave me that inspiration. But whatever it was, when it came to actually shopping for my dress it only became more apparent that I really did want to create my own dress.

I’m lucky enough to know Alan & Marguerite, aka the wedding dress designers ‘Alan Hannah’, from working in the industry. British made wedding dresses (or anything for that matter) are – in my opinion – a must, so who better to go to than a company who designs & makes their dresses in London? Before I got in contact with Alan Hannah I thought I’d find a shop or two stocking their dresses so I could try a couple on. This meant I could go to Alan Hannah with a good idea of the fabrics & fit etc of their dresses, and go from there (I could get quite technical but I won’t bore you, for now…).

Wedding Dress – Where I’m up to (Part 2)

wedding dress wedding planning update lila bailey blog
This is the window display at Olivia Hooper

During my search, I found ‘Olivia Hooper’ located about 1hr 45mins from me. This was perfect, and I loved the look of the shop so my mum & I went on a girlie day trip one Saturday. And wow, what an amazing turn of fate! Naomi took my appointment and she totally got what I was trying to say. After a good few hours, we had sketched the dress design I had in my head and made a rough appointment for getting my measurements done in the new year. Naomi has worked with Alan & Marguerite for 25 years so she knew they’d be able to create my dress from scratch, just like I had always dreamed!

I’ve now had my measurements taken and my design will be coming to life at the Alan Hannah HQ over the next month or two. I’ll have two calico fittings (basically mock-up drafts of the dress, but in a basic fabric), before the real thing gets made early next year. Eeek! Because I’ve never actually seen my dress in the flesh it’s quite a scary process, but I have sooooo much faith in Naomi & Sarah at Olivia Hooper, and the whole team at Alan Hannah, so I know it’s going to be okay.

Wedding Dress – Shops to visit?

wedding dress wedding planning update lila bailey blog bridal shop
This is bridesmaid Ruby outside The Bridal House of Cornwall (look how cute she is!)

I trekked to a lot of bridal shops (despite never intending to do so!), but it was surprisingly hard to find shops that are actually worth going to. Everyone is different, and will be looking for a different type of dress and/or experience. However, if you do want a lovely trip to a gorgeous bridal shop then below are my recommendations!

Pirouette, Exeter – one of the shops I’ve previously worked in. And it is lovely. A stunning medieval building filled with beautiful dresses from 3-4 different designers. It’s an intimate shop so don’t bring many people with you!

Ellie Rose, Bath – I had the most fabulous appointment at this magic little shop. Super close to the Royal Crescent, and stocking New York designers (including Hayley Paige). Highly recommend!

The Bridal House of Cornwall, Truro – the definition of an experience. I had the best day at this bridal shop, partly because it was the day I asked my bestie to be my bridesmaid. But also because it’s such a wonderful shop with lovely staff who were so enthusiastic & helpful. Plus you get to have a little photo sesh at the end! What’s not to love?!

Olivia Hooper, Wedmore – and of course, the bridal shop to end all bridal shops. Olivia Hopper! A perfect & pristine bridal shop with only the best of British Bridal Designers. Expertise is invaluable, which is what makes this shop even more amazing. I would recommend no shop more than this one

The Bridal House of Cornwall photo sesh!

Wedding Dress Shopping – Top Tips?

Oh how I could go on (and on, and on) about wedding dresses and all the advice I’d give. But I won’t. Instead I’ve picked a handful of my top, top tips!

  • Do your research, but don’t limit yourself. Easy, right? What I mean is search for designers/dresses and find a limited few that you like. Because if you have no idea at all it’s going to be a hard process for both you and the bridal shops you visit! Having said that, still keep an open mind because you never know what you might actually fall in love with.
  • Don’t try on too many dresses. The worst thing you can do is try on so many dresses that your mind starts to explode. By all mean try on different styles, but once you know what you like don’t waste time trying on things you know you won’t fall in love with.
  • Don’t take a huge entourage. I know everyone wants to be involved, and the thought of having everyone squealing around you might seem super cute. It’s not. In fact, it’s usually unhelpful and dampens your experience. I only ever took 1-2 people with me and it was the best decision I made! A lot of bridal shops are catching onto that now and don’t let you bring too many people. So don’t be alarmed if that happens, it’s for your own good.
  • Following on from that, listen to your bridal stylist. Especially if they really do know what they’re doing. These women see brides-to-be trying on dresses every day, so they know how it works. They know what shapes, necklines, and fabrics will best suit your body. And at the end of the day they’re there to help you find the dress of your dreams, so don’t dismiss what they have to say.

I honestly could go on for hours about wedding dress shopping tips, but I think I’d say those are my 4 main ones. If you’re struggling with your dress and want some advice, by all means give me a buzz or comment below!

And, finally…

If you got this far, well done you! That was a long post. You can find my last post about our bridal party here. And super excitingly you can now sign up to my mailing list – yay! Sign up here.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

The Bridal Party – Wedding Planning Update

The Bridal Party – Wedding Planning Update


Ahh the infamous Bridal Party. Often the most difficult thing couples face during their planning process – us included! So here’s a bit about where we’re up to, what’s been easy/difficult, and my top tips for choosing yours!

The Bridal Party – Where are we up to?

If you keep up to date with my Youtube channel, you may remember I made a video last year about my Bridesmaid & Bride Tribe boxes, (you can find the video here) and I touched on our bridal party decision making process then. But, I’ll fill you in a bit more on here.

So with Euan, it was most definitely an all-or-nothing approach. He could either have all of his close friends, plus my brothers and his brother-in-law (totalling 8!) or he could scale it back and just have family plus his best friend as his best man. After a lot of going back & forth, he decided to keep things simple (and therefore offend the least amount of people) by having my brother and his sister’s husband as ushers, his best man, and a musher (mini-usher) aka my youngest brother who will be 13 when we get married.

And then there was the bridesmaid decision! Don’t get me wrong, Euan found his decision hard, but I definitely found mine harder. I have a fabulous bunch of girlfriends from this area and I also have some wonderful childhood besties from where I grew up. However, I was even more adamant than Euan about having small numbers for my bridal party. Anyone else feel like they would just end up doing things to keep everyone else happy rather than themselves? And the thought of finding a dress that 6-7 young women will agree on surely makes your head spin? It certainly did for me.

I also started going down the round that I’m sure many of you are familiar with; the ‘well if I have them, then I really should have them too. And if I’ve got her, then I should definitely have her’…. And so on! My head could honestly have exploded.

In the end I went back to where I started and asked my cousin to be my maid of honour, and my childhood bestie and a very close friend from later years to be my bridesmaids. And I feel so good about my decision!

The Bridal Party – Extras!

Euan & I both have a close friend with a little one, which has been perfect because we’re involving them by having their children as our flower girl and page boy. Even more perfect is my friend has a daughter and his friend has a son – so we’ve got one of each! We’ve got another flower girl and page boy who are yet to be asked, so we’re keeping that close to our chests until we’ve had a chance to ask them.

And, back to my gals. Although I didn’t feel right having everyone as a bridesmaid, I still wanted my closest girls to be involved. So instead of bridesmaids, I’ve got them as part of my ‘Bride Tribe’. They can still help with all the fun parts of a wedding (the hen party planning, getting ready in the morning, etc) but without the whole bridesmaids dresses & walking down the aisle thing.

Start writing or type / to choose a block

The Bridal Party – What has been difficult?

I’ve pretty much already answered this one – the most difficult thing was actually making the decision. Some people are bound to find this easier than we did, but I do think it’s a tricky one for most people. Neither Euan nor I like upsetting people, but at the end of the day we had to do what was right for us.

Most of our friends were absolutely amazing about it and respect our decision (especially my girls, bless them!). It’s never smooth-sailing though and we did have a bit of trouble with someone, but we knew that would happen! Can’t win with everyone now can you?

The Bridal Party – What has been easy?

Choosing our flower girls & page boys was incredibly easy, and I cannot wait to see them all in their little outfits!

My 3 bridesmaids are yet to hang out together, but we’ve got a group chat and they’ve all been amazing on there. So supportive, excited, and genuinely full of love for me & Euan and our wedding, which makes life so much easier. We’re all meeting up in June to go bridesmaid dress shopping which is when the four of us will properly get to meet up together – and I know it’s going to be super.

The Bridal Party – Top Tips?

Okay so my top tips for The Bridal Party…

  • Choose people who genuinely love & support you and your fiancé. You want to be surrounded by people who want to be part of your day because they love you. Not because they don’t want to be left out!
  • Don’t choose someone your other half doesn’t get on with. You might feel super close to them, but if they don’t see eye to eye with your fiancé then you’re fighting a losing battle, and it won’t be pretty.
  • Find jobs or other roles for those who aren’t in your bridal party but who you don’t want to upset. There are so many things people can help with/be involved with when it comes to a wedding. And you might find they will prefer that to being in your bridal party anyway!
  • Make the decision for you, and make sure it’s the right one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this is your day. People will get over not being in your bridal party, but you only get one shot at your wedding day. Each and every decision should be made because you want to make it, not because you feel like you have to keep everyone else happy.

So that’s our bridal party update! If you missed my last post about our wedding suppliers, you can find it here.