Lifestyle: Our Engagement Party

Despite getting engaged well over eight months ago, we finally, finally celebrated officially with our friends and family at the beginning of August. Perhaps rather riskily we planned a garden party – and what better themed food to go for than floral?! I had the picture in my mind; blue skies, bright sunshine and a relaxed day in the garden with bunting, plenty of Pimms, finger food and friends.

 photo 2016-08-07 13.16.00_zpsxykxmyam.jpg photo 2016-07-03 19.20.10_zpscufrtcwe.jpg photo Engagement Party 2_zpspuotyqzs.jpgAnxiously watching the forecast throughout the slightly grey and very windy preceding week, the day dawned hot, sticky and rather cloudy. Yet by the time we’d finished running around the kitchen, tying up bunting (Will) and curling hair (me), there were no clouds in the sky. Many of our nearest and dearest arrived, virtually all on time having been threatened with a shortage of food if late.

But there was plenty of food. From over-ordering on Waitrose to baking vast quantities of everything, we had plenty leftover, but everything was enjoyed. My homemade quiche (which has sparked a new obsession) was demolished, the macaron tower emptied. Cheeses were virtually polished off, scones (piled high with jam and clotted cream) were devoured in copious amounts.

 photo Engagement Party 22_zpshilauu0x.jpg photo Engagement Party 26_zpswfbqja1z.jpg photo Engagement Party 23_zpstoofayia.jpgOne of the things hosting our engagement party taught us was that we are so glad we aren’t doing a DIY wedding. I’ve spent months reading wedding blogs and always loved the ones where couples did the catering, or all the decorations, but in retrospect it just isn’t feasible for us – particularly as we will be living away from where our wedding will be! Although we had plenty of fun baking in the days leading up to our party, I will admit it got very heated in the kitchen at times.

Stressful though it was, it gave us time to celebrate us, time to catch up with both older and newer friends. There were some people who, through no fault of their own, were definitely missed, and I just cannot wait for our wedding day to have everyone we love all together. Whilst this was never about receiving gifts, we were incredibly touched to receive such thoughtful presents. Several of our guests had handmade some pieces themselves, some had gone to the trouble of hunting down things just utterly perfect for us.

 photo Engagement Party 13_zpspy4smh3c.jpg photo Engagement Party 19_zpsufkoxe6v.jpg photo Engagement Party 9_zpsk4iv1nka.jpg photo Engagement Party 3_zpss4usvrlo.jpg photo Engagement Party 12_zpsbzhg4cb0.jpg photo Engagement Party 8_zpsmgujrajt.jpg photo Engagement Party 14_zpshv6vcnbs.jpgAll too quickly, our day was over, with the quite disappointing realisation that we failed to take a single picture of us together, even lacking pictures of our guests. Whoops. And now our wedding date has been announced to all our nearest and dearest, you guys here can expect some wedding planning updates soon!

Did you take advantage of the short British summer to hold a party? What’s your favourite party-food – I can’t resist a pork pie!

Wedding “Planning”: Planning the Planning

Or, how many times can we repeat a single word in a blog post title…

 photo Planning the Planning 1_zpsjplm0eat.jpgWhilst I really want to talk and chat about all things wedding on here, I’m a little reluctant for one or two reasons. Firstly, it’s our special day, and do I really want all the details splashed over the internet? Probably not! Secondly, we’re planning an Autumnal wedding in 2018. I’m not sure even I could stretch out wedding content to cover 2.5 years of blog posts!

What I have decided to do, however, is blog occasionally about weddings. I’ve got a few ideas for some rather more ‘tongue-in-cheek’ posts – things like “what they don’t tell you about getting engaged” and even some guest posts from my other half! The first is a brief chat on what we’ve made a start on whilst ‘planning our wedding planning.’

The Cake

Both of us being keen bakers, this was obviously the first thing we thought about. In an ideal world we really want to bake our own wedding cake. In reality we’re not too sure if we fancy the stress of doing that! We’re definitely thinking of staying traditional with the look (no cupcakes for us, thank you very much!), but steering away from traditional with the flavours. Does anyone actually enjoy the usual fruit wedding cake?!

(EDIT: Will objected most strongly here – saying he actually does like fruit cake…)
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The Filofax

Of course planning such a big thing requires it’s very own organiser, and what better to choose than a nude Filofax?! I’ve been after this one for a good while now (I even have the matching satchel – priorities right?!) so getting engaged gave me the perfect excuse. It’s now getting full of magazine rip-outs, but I plan to give it a good proper sort-out soon. I’m planning on filling my wedding planner with receipts, budgets, inspiration – anything and everything!

The ‘Maybe’ Guest List

In all seriousness, one of the first things we were advised to do was write a rough guest list. This meant we were able to quickly rule out venues that were too small or (more often for us) too big. We now know roughly how many people we are likely to be inviting so, as long as neither of us suddenly gets popular, we can go ahead and start visiting some shortlisted venues once university is done and dusted!
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The Dress

Ah, the most important outfit of my life. I’ll be writing more about trying on dresses in a few weeks, so I won’t say too much here…but… I was torn between wanting to try alllll the dresses after getting engaged, and waiting a bit longer. I did go and try on some (5 or 6 I believe, one drizzly January afternoon) and in reality I’m still on the fence about it. I’m glad I got to experience it, it actually really improved my body confidence (I actually looked damn good in some of them), I know what I’m looking for now. But equally I’m worried I did it too soon, especially as I’m really quite taken with a dress that’s likely to be discontinued this year…

The Wedding Fairs

So, apparently these are a thing?! I obviously knew about more local ones, where venues get in a ton of ‘preferred suppliers’ but a national wedding show was something I did now know about, and in all honesty the thought terrifies me. Even so this weekend that’s exactly where me and W will be – wandering around the NEC courtesy of Debenhams to discover all things wedding. Here’s where we come back with everything booked and ready to go…

 photo Planning the Planning 7_zps4ejkjnej.jpgSo, that’s how our planning is going. We’ve got bookmarks of places we want to visit, we’ve got a rough guest list, I have a Pinterest board of approximately 2000 dresses. And we’re off to experience the slightly scary-sounding world of wedding fairs. Wish us luck!

Do you have any advice for planning a wedding? What should we be doing?!