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!
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 – 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!
Other things we’ve got to sort…
Finalising the flowers
Live music for the reception
Buying our wedding rings
Venue signs & decor
Sending out the invites!
Sorting the pre-wedding meal and post-wedding brunch
Choosing our table wines
And I’m sure plenty else!
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.
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!
Congratulations! You are engaged. How incredibly magical, and no doubt you are both over the moon! Now it’s time to kickstart your wedding planning, right? Obvs. But (as I’m sure you’ve gathered) it’s not quite as easy as that.
The most common question I get asked as a wedding planner is ‘where do I start?’. And it’s a good question too! Wedding planning can be so exciting, but it’s also a complete minefield. So many choices, so many decisions, and – more often than not – you’ve never done this before; how on earth are you meant to know what to do?
Obviously, you could hire a qualified wedding planner (aka, me…). Which is something I would absolutely suggest doing, if you’re able to. Having someone who knows what they are doing is actually priceless, and can relieve so much stress. At the same time, you might just want a quick answer to know where to start… I’ve got you covered.
Kickstart Your Wedding Planning
If you are thinking of having an extra pair of hands, whether thats just for some supplier recommendations, on-the-day co-ordination, partial planning, or the full works… I’m your gal. Let’s have a chat – no obligation – and see how I might be able to help. Honestly, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Plus, not only have I spent my whole adult life working in the wedding industry, I’m actually qualified in it too.
You might not be able to hire a wedding planner, and that’s fine too. As a blogger, I love giving information away for free (lucky you…). I’ve recently added a resources page to my website where you can access graphics I’ve created to help you with your wedding planning… Hooray! I’ll be adding to it fairly regularly, so keep your eyes peeled!
The first graphic in the resources page is a guide to help you kickstart your wedding planning, or at least know where to start. The second is a fun ‘guestlist manager’ to help you decide who you should and shouldn’t consider inviting… Enjoy!
Okay, enough of autumn (for now). Let’s get back to some wedding stuff! Corks & candles – what on earth do I mean? Basically, Euan, my dad, and I have all been saving wine & champagne corks for literally years. We have so many now, it’s beyond a joke… And naturally we’ve just got to incorporate them into our wedding, right?! I have many fabulous ideas of how we’re going to use them (and I’m sure I will not get around to doing them all…) but here is quite a simple corks & candles idea I came up with and thought I’d share…
Corks & Candles – The How To
You may have watched my insta stories from earlier on today (if you didn’t have a watch now. I’ve also saved them to my highlights if you’re reading this after the 24hrs is up!). That’ll show you a little video clip of me putting them together, but here is the written version…
A loooaaaddd of corks (I used red wine corks for the smaller vase and champagne/prosecco corks for the larger vase)
Cylinder shaped vases (I got mine from Ikea – links below)
Pillar candles (again, mine are from Ikea but you can get them from lots of different places)
Something for the candles to sit on (this isn’t necessary, but I think it’s a good idea)
The How To:
Place your candle into the middle of the cylinder
Strategically place the corks around the candle so they are unmovable, but still look nice (much easier with red wine corks than champagne corks!)
Take a pic, and tag me in it!
Haha – it really is suuuuper simple. And I think they look great! Especially if you’re into wine. We’re using ours for general decor around the barn, but if you’re having round tables they would make a fantastic centrepiece. And why not add a bit of foliage around the outside to bring it even more to life?
*Disclaimer* I am slightly worried about them catching on fire, but Euan assures me they won’t… Anyway, I think I’ll soak them all in water beforehand just to be sure. And if they do catch light, hopefully it’ll be contained in the vase…….!!
If you fancy creating these corks & candles decor pieces, here are the links to items I bought. But, we saved the corks ourselves so you’d better get drinking!!
Over on Instagram last recently I’ve been chatting a bit about The Harrogate Bridal Show. I’ll be visiting the show as an exhibitor this weekend, and I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about what it’s actually all about!
What is The Harrogate Bridal Show?
The Harrogate Bridal Show is an annual trade exhibition and takes place in the exhibition centre of beautiful Yorkshire town, Harrogate.
It’s where wedding dress designers & manufactures go to showcase their newest collections which are yet to launch. Bridal shop owners attend and it’s a chance for them t not only preview the new collections, but also to catchup with the designers/brand owners and chat all things weddings & business!
The show doesn’t just host wedding dresses though. You’ll also find bridesmaid dresses, men’s suits, Mother of the Bride outfits, and bridal accessories. Fashion shows also happen throughout the exhibition (my favourite part!), which makes everyone feel super glam. Oh I do love the bridal industry!
Why am I going?
In January, you might remember I wrote about what I’m up to at the moment. One of my posts was about The Empty Box Company. Not sounding familiar? Have a read of it here.
The Empty Box Company is my parents’ company and over the course of this year I’ve become more involved. Their company has been a part of my life since the day I was born (they actually set it up in 1988 – 7 years before I came on the scene!). And as an adult I’ve really started to realise what an impact it’s had on me as a person, and how much I care about the business. So I feel it’s only natural I’d want to dip my toe in!
Right, back to Harrogate… I first attended the show when I was 14 months old (my parents were brave), and I went back pretty much every year of my childhood. Whilst it’s an incredibly hard-working weekend for my parents (Something I’ve recently come to appreciate…) for me & my brother it was a bit of a jolly. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from our time in Harrogate, but as an ‘adult’ I’ve always had other commitments so haven’t been back. However, this year I’ll be there, working away, and I can’t wait!
As I’ve rambled on for long enough in this post, in my next post I’ll chat more about the work I’ll be doing at the show and the preparations that I’ve been involved with in the build-up.
All the photos from The Harrogate Bridal Show have come from their Facebook page. And the images of the boxes belong to The Empty Box Company.
So I thought I’d write a little more personal post today, and explain what’s been going on in my world recently… Navigating the early to mid twenties is something I’ve found surprisingly difficult. Did anyone else just assume that everything got easier once you were officially an adult? Because I definitely did, and I was definitely wrong. It’s not been an overly easy time and I hope this post might help others who could be going through the same thing.
24 is here, and I can only describe the earlier part of this year as a bit of a quater-life-crisis. We all know about the mid-life crisis, but no-one really talks about the earlier years: namely your early to mid twenties. Perhaps it’s just a part of growing into adulthood, and something everyone goes through. But anyway, it’s nice to shed a bit of light on the subject nonetheless. For a while I was really struggling with the whole topic of ‘the future’. I know where I want to get to, but how on earth am I going to achieve it? How do I get from here to there? Will I ever make it? You get the idea… And part of that meant falling out of love with most things, especially in a work sense. I wondered about a total career change numerous times, but mostly I just wanted to run away to a remote cabin by the lake (with Euan, obvs) and hide away from the world.
Maybe I should get into travel blogging… (jokes, although how fun would that be!).
I’ve not been amazing at talking about it either, not even to Euan. Which I think is mostly down to the fact I can’t actually put it into words, or certainly not whole sentences. I guess overwhelmed is probably the most accurate way of describing it, but it goes a whole lot deeper than that. Also, I’m very good at beating myself up over the tiniest thing. So in a slightly more fragile state than normal you can but guess how unhelpful that trait has been…
Basically – in short – I spent a good few months feeling like a total failure, for no reason other than it’s what I kept telling myself. (Yes, Euan, I did just manage to admit that I’m my worst enemy). I knew deep down that I was actually doing fine and actually in a really good place. But despite knowing that, the doubt still came and still felt totally overwhelming when it did. I would get stuck in a place which I found incredibly hard to pull myself out of. A lot of crying and soooo much self-doubt. It makes you want to give up everything and start over again, and feels like you’ve ruined your life somehow. When I managed to get out of one of these moods, I’d look back and think how utterly ridiculous it was to have thought all of those things. But that somehow doesn’t seem to make it any easier at the time.
I guess it’s largely to do with the fact that the decisions I make now really are starting to shape and impact my future and the direction I take my life in. And I think this is pretty common for people in their ‘early to mid twenties’, and probably beyond too. The older you get, the harder it is to have freedom in a lot of ways. If I want to make something of my life, if I want to have a thriving future, I have to work towards that now. And in my moments of despair it often felt like I wasn’t achieving that and so need to just give up.
It’s not something that’s always easy to talk about, but the few times I have had conversations about it I’ve felt sooooo much better afterwards. I’d be surprised if there’s a single person on this planet who didn’t spend large portions of their 20s feeling like this. Which I found to be a huge comfort. You’re not weird. You’re not a failure. You’re not destined for disaster. In actual fact, you’re just human.
Some Top Tips
To be completely honest, I don’t think there’s any ‘quick fix’ for something like this. But if you’re navigating your early to mid twenties (or any age for that matter!) and feel like you’re having a bit of a quarter-life-crisis, here are a couple of tips that have helped me:
Firstly, something that really really helped me was weirdly enough a personality test. I actually took it just to calm myself down, but when I got the results and they described my personality to a T it made me realise that I am who I am and the reason I think/behave in certain ways is all part of my personality. Not because I’m broken or weird, but because that’s just who I am. Even just answering the questions properly & honestly opened my eyes to a lot about myself. It probably won’t work for everyone, but here is the link if you fancy giving it a go.
Talk about it. It’s so easy to pretend everything is fine, especially when other people around you assume that everything is fine. But keeping it all to yourself is detrimental. Trust me!
Don’t compare your life or achievements to others. Whether that’s your friends or – like me – people (‘proper’ adults) who have made it already, it’s just not healthy and makes everything worse. Everyone is walking down their own path, and there is no right or wrong way to do life. So just do you!
And closely linked with the above, don’t keeping focussing on what you think you should be doing. Like I said, there’s no right or wrong way to do life so there’s no should or shouldn’t either. (Well, to a point. I mean you shouldn’t break the law for example…).
Lastly, figure out what you want and keep going. Let your mind wander, put yourself out there, and invest in yourself if you need to. Even on the bad days, keep pushing and don’t give up because if you stay on the right path and are determined, you’ll get to where you want to go.
I hope that if you’re having a hard time, this post has helped a bit. Talking about it has definitely helped the process for me, just to get my head around it for the most part. And if you’re going through something similar and want to talk, I’m just on the other end of email or Instagram for a chat! And this isn’t necessarily felt by people in their ‘early to mid twenties’, it just so happens that it is the most common time for a quarter-life crisis, and it’s also the age category I fall in.
And for something a little lighter, take a look at my last post.