Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for ...

Zero Regrets - We're having it how we like it and we're going to enjoy it. I recommend the same for anyone else undertaking any huge event. Granted you don't want any huge falling out with family and friends over a minor disagreement regarding arrangements, it's impossible to keep everyone happy, but do your best and have a blast!
Zero Debt - Stick to your budget. Don't impulse buy. If it's an extra expense, think about it for a bit. Do you really need it? If you do can you get it cheaper? We've saved a fortune by making it ourselves and sourcing prices and availability on the internet. So whilst you're watching your favourite soap - cop show - drama - you can also be saving pounds!
Zzzz - Don't forget downtime or you'll burn out, especially in the run up making sure it's all ready - about where I am right now actually LOL!

Hope you've enjoyed my A-Z - I've loved sharing our plans :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for ...

Your Day! - So if you want, a la Vicar of Dibley, your bridesmaids dressed up as the Teletubbies then go for it! Just remember to think really seriously about a decision like that - 5 years down the line looking at your photographs you might really, really regret it! Equally, if you don't want your Great-Aunt Mabel there that you never see from one year to the next, again, your choice. But be sure you can live with any backlash that may happen with the decisions you're making.

Another short one - plenty of time to catch up on some more A-Zers!
Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for ...

Okay, you've got to give me some leeway with a few letters - and X is most definitely one of them!

XOXO - Find lots of time to hold your other half for hugs and kisses (do I get away with that being an X?). You will be obliged to talk to, dance with, have a photo taken, socialise, with all your guests - just don't overlook the main person!
EXtra EXpenses - I know, I know, but it's the best I could do! Anyhow, when planning your budget it's worth including a small contingency for un-expected costs. We had planned to do a run to the nearest chippy for fish and chips on the Friday (Fryday? LOL!). Then we thought about the round trip to get them - waiting for them all to be cooked would mean some portions would be a lot older than others - trying to get them back before they went cold - and the fact that people will be arriving at different times! So we went for a fish and chip van recommended on the Suppliers List on Hargate Hall's website. Okay, it's costing more than we thought, but they serve for 2 hours, piping hot food, and just makes so much more sense!
Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for ...

Welcome Bag - see 'E is for Emergency Kit' for what we're leaving in each room for our guests.
Wine Labels - Lots of free digi wine labels on the internet - this one will only get done if I run out of things to do - yeah right!
Wedding/Event Planner - I suppose it depends on your budget. As I've been at home recuperating I've had the time to plan - and boy have I planned! But if I was working full time then think it might be money well spent to have someone else do all the planning, sourcing and preparation.
Websites - There's absolutely hundreds of websites designed for every type of budget and every event imaginable! To recap on some of my favourites:


Sweetie Bar/Event Planning




Fish and Chip Man

Chair Hire
Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for ...

Venue - That was a tough one. We knew how many people - how far afield - and our budget! We did find some awesome ones - and if we do this again for our 40th then the kids can treat us to having it in a castle! And we also found one that I loved the look of, but there was something bothering me and Jeff's learned not to ignore my witchy feelings. So we went and had a look even though it was a couple of hours there.... so glad we did, it was vile! I mean, it could have been amazing, a Gothic mansion, but the owners had obviously never heard of soap and water! When we made our escape the first thing we both wanted was a shower - bleurgh!!! But we found Hargate Hall and it's just perfect. Big enough and in the middle of the Peak District so plenty for the guests to do during the day. Working out how to sleep everyone led to an excess of use of highlighters, coloured pens and crumpled up notes! But we got there.
Vintage - Our theme is vintage - a nice word for old! I think some sort of theme is good, even it's a colour scheme rather than a topic as it allows for cohesiveness with the planning - which in turn makes it easier!
Video - Ok, camcorder but you get the picture. We've got one we use to film the kids so taking that up and asking the kids to do the filming for a change! We had the loveliest Baptism for Ella, including the boys when they were little saying a bidding prayer and my BFF leading the Our Father in song, but we didn't film it which I regret - want to make sure that doesn't happen again!
Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for ...

Struggled with this one! Ushers sprung to mind, except it's not a wedding and we're not having any! LOL! Then I thought about just how much we're reUsing, and Upcycling, so at a stretch that's my U LOL! So .... here's a list of everything that falls in that category because I've used bits from my crafting stash or Jeff's garage or from charity shops or car boots ... you get the picture! - and you will wonder what possessed me cos that's what I thought when I read it! .......

Making 12 Candy Trees - never before attempted - eek!
Decorate old jars with old bits of hessian, twine and lace
Decorate the guests welcome bags and add a tag
Purchase and glitter a champagne flute for everyone
Hand make wine charms
Type up and decorate I-Spy lists
Little pots for hand soap, washing-up liquid and pounds for the meters
Type up and 'age' the timeline cards
Plan and type up the ceremony
Make the Save the Date cards
Make the Invitations
Decorate a collection box for Cancer Research
Make small hearts on ribbons to hang on tree with names for CR
Cut out hearts, add ribbon and type quotes from the guests
Make gifts for my girlfriends
Make gifts for the oldsmaids (bought the flower girls - I know, I should be ashamed!)
Update scrapbooks
Make flower girl ring basket
Make flower girl sign
Make signs for the venue - tea shoppe - photo booth - sweetie bar
Make blackboard sign for the photobooth
Cut small sashes of hessian as napkin rings
Source and decorate manzanite trees
Source and display all the hanging decorations
Found a quiz book in a charity shop, cut out quizzes and add to welcome bags
Individual Poundland gifts for the children
List of photographs wanted from the photographer
Source cheapest roll of hessian and cut into chair sashes
Find a florist - DIY all the floral displays
Buy two sheets and create floor plans for accommodation
Engrave cutlery
Music CD compilations
Decorate the oldsmaids and my shoes
Cook and freeze chilli's and lasagna's
Photo booth - signs; frames; props; printer; tripod; backdrop; and washing line to hang printed photos
Sweetie bar - sign; sweets; glassware; decorate name card holders; bunting; tablecloth
Tea Shoppe - signs; teapots; make some cake stands; flowers in jam jars; tins for biscuits; tea caddies
As well as ....
Purchase some alcohol and make the food for the buffet Saturday night
Organise fish and chip man and list for who's paid/to pay
Organise hiring of chairs for the weekend
Clothes for Jeff - oldsmaids - flower girls - and me
Find the right venue - you have no idea how hard that was!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for ...

Table Plan - Take one of the big frames bought second hand, cover it in some pretty card stock and find a nice font on the computer. Voila! Table plan for peanuts. Some of these other ideas are fab - I love the vintage suitcase one and the shelf with the names on the jugs :)
Timeline - We're having a timeline of our lives together. Making lots of notes really reminded me what a roller-coaster of a ride we've been on together! So once I'd jotted down the memories I got a stack of 4" x 6" index cards and inked them up to make the aged. I was going to stamp on them, but realised that would be a mammoth task, so found an old-style font on the computer and printed them up. Will hang them all on some twine, and display along with some of my favourite scrapbook pages and a selection of photographs over the years.
Tea Shoppe - Have been collecting old tea sets, and glass and china cake stands from charity shops and car boots. Also bought some plates and the cake stand stands (don't know what they're called!) so Jeff can make some cake stands too :)As it's a weekend do we thought it would be good to have a central area for chatting and so the Tea Shoppe, Sweetie Bar and Photo Booth will all be in the same area.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for ...

Signs - Jeff is planning to make - thanks to me asking him! - some wooden painted signs for directions. Want a white-washed, distressed look, not all glossy and new. Then I can use some big stencils I've had in my stash for years to write the signs. Teamwork :) Made Orla a sign to hold and you can find the photo under F is for Flower Girls ...... or you could just look at the picture I've uploaded below :) And I need to paint another frame for the photo booth so peeps can write on a blackboard and hold up the messages - knowing some of my friends, this may be an idea I live to regret! Although, I love the one in the collage of lyrics from songs :)
Save the Date bookmarks - made of course by yours truly with the help of my crafting supplies :)
Sleeping arrangements - Oh. My. God! Next to finding a dress that the Oldmaids all liked, working out where everyone was sleeping had to be the next most frustrating thing! It keeps changing but once I've put pen to paper and drawn up the plan then that's it!! Well, when I say 'pen to paper' I actually mean paint to sheets! I have got 2 single sheets - £1.00 each at a charity shop - well, buying new and painting them made absolutely no sense! - and plan to paint a plan of upstairs and downstairs on each and then add who's sleeping where with stick men and the heads cut from photographs of, wherever possible, embarrassing photographs of the guests! This is for the ground floor, first floor still to do, once I've put it through the washing machine and tried to get rid of the red paint I spilled all over it!
Shoes - already blogged about them, but here's a photo if you're a new visitor of the footwear for my oldsmaids and me - and no, you don't need to ask, yes, I did make them myself :)
Sweetie bar - I've amassed a big selection of glass jars and containers. A couple were an extravagent new purchase, but most were charity shop and car boot finds. Local wholesalers for the sweets and I've given some name holders a vintage them by covering in small strips of an old book. Here's a few I've done in the past ...
Service - Writing the whole thing myself, and as mentioned I haven't even started and with only a week to go really think I should be making that a priority LOL!
Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for ...

Renewal Ceremony - Huge, huge, huge, thanks to Mark and Ian who are going to lead our renewal ceremony - had confirmation from the RC church that I can't even have a blessing in a church - even though we've been married for 20 years ...... unless I go through the process of an annulment to Paul! And apparently it's not something that's likely to change in the foreseeable future. Why should I? He was a huge part of my life, albeit a short one. Thank God (not the church) for friends that'll help make it happen.
Rings - When Jeff's Mum, Angela, died, she left all her children some money. Now rewind to when we got married. We were pretty broke - some things never change - actually money was beyond tight! Jeff has bought me a ring when I agreed to marry him - not an engagement ring - and it was a sterling silver ring with an opal in the middle - reduced in a sale to  ........ £3.50! So when the wedding came round we bought each other wedding rings also made out of silver :) Didn't bother us, they are only symbols. So, Jeff decided, with some of Angela's money to treat us to new rings - a permanent reminder of her :) As we had been together 10 years by then he bought me a replacement non-engagement ring, a wedding ring and an eternity ring, and himself a wedding band. I still have to original rings on my charm bracelet. So my ring will be my eternity ring. Jeff's band broke a few years ago and he's not worn it since, so he's taken that to the jewellers to be repaired :)
RSVP - handmade these and sent them out with the Save the Date notices - they're for tomorrow obs!
Ring Cushion - for a beautiful Martha to hold. Already blogged about it on April 7th under F is for Flower-Girls - but here's the photo again to save you clicking around :)
Reception - Okay, so usually it's one evening in the UK, the night of the event. I know in other countries it's different, Dad and Sandra went to a wedding in Canada which went on for about 5 days! For our wedding we had a very small wedding ceremony and a beer tent in one of Jeff's sisters back gardens! Then a big disco in the evening for the world and his dog! This time we've taken over the venue for the whole weekend. So Friday night, Saturday night, and because it's a bank holiday, Sunday night as well!
Readings - At the time of going to press, so to speak, I haven't even though about what I'm going to say - but pretty sure it's going to be along the lines of thanking him for putting up with me and my loopy outlook on life LOL
Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for ...

Quiet Time - no, not reminiscing to my nursery nurse days! But when planning your event factor in to the run up a day when you can just sit back and breath. Go for a coffee with friends. Sauna. Library. Anywhere that takes you away from anything to do with the day itself ....... and no talking/blogging/googling about it either! A completely event-planning-free day :)
Quotes - I love quotes with a capital L as you will know if you're a regular reader. So I took it to a different level. I asked my friends to write down what they think relates to us. Two words or a tome (was hoping for none of the latter!). Something original, or borrowed from a book or the bible. Funny or rude. You get the picture. I didn't tell them why, but I plan to cut big hearts out of card, write out their words and who wrote them, and hang them all over the venue :) Hence the reason for praying for no tomes LOL!
Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for ...

Photographer - One optional extra that I didn't want to cut corners with. I felt I had managed to make so many savings and plan (hopefully!) a fantastic event that I wanted photographs taken professionally as a permanent reminder of the weekend. We went for the Gentleman Photographer. His portfolio looks professional and he's super-approachable.
Post box - Postboxes are 'in' at the moment as somewhere to put cards at the reception. However, what we want, instead of pressies (think I mentioned before about how much 'stuff' we have accumulated after nearly 25 years) was a charity post box for Cancer Research UK. So I found a plain box in my burgeoning craft stash and decorated it myself for pennies.
Photo Booth - Had most of the bits you need from the children's parties, but if you haven't,
  • Charity shops and car boot fairs for some frames. Or ebay - got the most amazing huge frame, pick up only, for 99 pence - nobody else had bid on it because the picture was so cr*p - but we just took the picture out! Did check first it wasn't a Van Gogh! 
  • Poundshop for some props. 
  • We also bought a second hand photo printer for a tenner so peeps can print their photos straight away and display them.  
  • Tripod and remote control for my camera came to £15 - and which I can use again and again afterwards
  • Lovely backdrop from AliExpress for £15 - again can share it around afterwards or sell it.
So I've paid less than £50 for my photobooth - try and find one cheaper than that ;)
Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for ...

Oldsmaids - Jeff's nickname for my bridesmaids/ matrons of honour/ attendants/ partners-in-crime/ Racal Rejects / and 101 other adjectives I could use to describe them, but not on my blog! LOL! I've known these 3 girls since we all worked at Racal together, 25 years ago, and we have supported each other through marriages, pregnancies, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I love them all  :)
And this is a handmade gift I've made for all 3 of them to pop a photo of us in our celebration outfits in :)
Organisation - This one is essential. Last April, when we decided to do this mad cap celebration we found the venue, paid the deposit and sent out the Save the Date cards (will be under 'S' when we get there!). I kept my eye out for dresses for me and the oldsmaids. Just as well I started early! Finding something that 4 adult women could agree on was not easy! At one point I had them dressed in Teletubby outfits as per Alice's wedding in The Vicar of Dibley LOL! Took 6 months - I think my sigh of relief probably caused a tidal wave somewhere! Then I created a month by month plan of what needed booking, paying for, making and creating. It was so worth it as it's on me all the time, easy to refer to, update and see exactly what still needs doing - at time of writing ... A LOT!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for ...

Another hard letter!

Nails - I really don't do false nails - with my hands mostly inking and sticking they tend to be pretty much abused. So I'm thinking a simple coat of nail polish. I have been recommended a set of false nails that aren't expensive and stay on quite well. But with my track record they'd be pinging off left, right and centre!

Napkin Rings - Very simple ones. Following the theme I plan to use strips of hessian and lace to tie the cutlery sets together :)

Think this is my third short post! Oh well, can't pull N's out of nothing - ooo, Nothing LOL!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for ...

Music - I knew instantly what 2 songs I wanted. Jeff's song for us is Some Kind of Wonderful by The Drifters which I happily adopted for years. However as soon as I heard A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, lyrics and tune, that was it! So that's been my song for us since. There will be tears when it's played. But I have to say John Legend's new one gives me chills! And as mentioned under 'D' Joshua, who's taste in music is as wide and eclectic as mine, will be providing all the tunes :)
Mood Book / Board/ Scrapbook - Somewhere to put your thoughts, ideas, cuttings from magazines, web addresses, contacts, etc. Just a cheap one from Poundland will work. Here are mine - one's all pretty, stamped and doodled in, the one that I've had on display throughout the A-Z. And the other's the day-to-day planner with all my scribblings and notes. The plan is at the end to transfer the notes into the pretty book, as well as all the A-Z posts - which should create one awesome memento of the lead-up to the do.
Manzanite Trees - I love these. You can dress them blinging - vintage - country - or whatever theme takes you :)
Menu - We've booked a fish and chip van for the Friday night and everyone's buying their own. Saturday night is a buffet and Sunday night a cooked meal. And yes, catering for ourselves :) Don't even want to think how much it would have cost to pay caterers!