A Bright & Whimsical Northumberland Wedding Aug 2018


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I've remade my planning thread! I made a typo in the title (which I've just realised I have again for hecks sake its 2019) and some other stuff so after some thought I'm gonna use this one! I'll repost most of the things from the other one to catch it up...

So imagine a romantic mystical woodland with candles and fairy lights and greenery everywhere but now chuck in some mustard yellow and reds and oranges to look like the woodland is glowing on fire... Yeah very that.



I love having a place to write down all my ideas (As if I don't already have a Pinterest board I've been adding to for years, and have started an old school scrapbook with moodboards for every single detail since getting engaged) so these planning threads are amaaazing.

How we met & the first date...

It's hardly the most romantic story ever told to be honest. It was August 2015, I'd recently gotten out of a 4 year relationship and considering I'd met him when I was 16, I felt like I'd missed an important time in terms of dating etc. So I was seeing what was out there using - you guessed it - Tinder! So I matched with my H2B and at first he told me he didn't think he was my type just because he was training to be a teacher and I worked in a sex shop lol but I told him in typical 'me' fashion it wasn't up to him what or who I liked and I wanted to meet him. Why he did, I have no idea. So we went for a drink in a pub before I started my shift, and I'm pretty sure I came across entirely mental. He probably thought we'd never see eachother again.

That night I had a work do, and my friends were trying to help me pick someone up in a bar since I'd never done it before but turns out I'm really bad at it. So filled with cockails, wine and coke, I decided to text H2B and he dropped everything to come see me - I guess he was really lonely lol it turned out he'd just moved to Leeds from Northumberland so knew no one and had nothing to do. Anyway so we went back to his place, had a great night and then when I went downstairs in the morning, I was surprised to meet his parents who he neglected to mention lived there haha



Our relationship...

As I previously mentioned, that night I went home with him there were a lot of substances going on in my body lol so I asked him 'during' to be my boyfriend... again I don't know why he said yes lol after just a couple months it didn't work out, my mental health wasn't good enough for me to be in a relationship so we broke up.

He quit teaching, I moved out of my ex's house, got a new job and started living with my best friend. Then I get a call from H2B that he'd fallen into this 'pitstop' job while looking for something after teaching, having no idea what it was when he went for the interview it turned out to be a sex chat line kind of thing. Like an online chat. It was totally legit in a fancy office in Leeds and yeah so he got me a job and working together really sparked things back up. He invited me over to hang out as friends after a few weeks of getting on really well. Obviously a few beers in, and we weren't just hanging out as friends anymore.

A couple weeks later I told him I wanted to be with him again and he agreed. We were in a polyamorous relationship for a few months until the summer when I moved back down south with my mum because my mental health had once again taken a nose dive - and we found out I was pregnant! So a lot of planning, and 5 months later, I moved back up to Leeds, into a house we'd rented together, and agreed to be monogamous. Our baby boy was born on March 6th and we've never been happier or more in love. Since we got back together at the beginning of 2016, we've just been so strong. He is basically my carer as well as my fiancé which he didn't have to take on but he did and he bears no resentment towards me for it. He thinks I'm beautiful and does things for me what no one else would. He's kind and funny and generous and goofy and an incredible dad. He works so hard in his job as a marketer to give us a better life while I'm on disability. 



The proposal...

I actually asked him to marry me the week after our son was born but we both knew it was just because I was a complete hormonal mess so we disregarded it. We always knew we wanted to get married and we had a plan (get married summer 2019 so we can save for a year for an amazing Caribbean honeymoon in summer 2020, and start trying for a baby on the honeymoon so by the time they're born there's around a 4 year age gap) and since I don't want to be pregnant or dealing with a young baby at my wedding, it had to come in between babys lol

So the last month or so I've been teasing my partner about proposing to me, sending the least subtle hints ever (links to rings I liked, my ring size etc) and he'd even discussed things like his best man and our honeymoon well before officially asking. So I've really been planning this wedding in my mind for a few months now.

Anyway, so he told me it absolutely wouldn't be on a big holiday like christmas, new years, valentines etc and that he'd do it in his own time. There was still like 1% of doubt in my mind that thought he'd still do it Christmas day but he was adamant.

So I opened one of my gifts, and it was a toiletry bag for our upcoming holiday (which by the way is when I thought he'd propose) and inside was a little drawstring blue bag and my heart stopped. I tipped it out in my hand and it was.... a beautiful necklace haha I was still so happy because it was gorgeous and he'd already told me he wasn't proposing so I was alright.

So we got dressed, I cooked Christmas dinner. I put our son (August is his name) in his highchair with his food and was just putting the crackers on the table when I turned around and Matty was down on one knee. He was holding a little box. I screamed at him "are you really asking me???" so he opened the box and said "you marry me?" in a super cute voice and I could tell he was nervous and I just shouted yes over and over and jumped on him and kissed him and we both cried and I kept saying oh my god and then he put my ring on and August started crying and we sat down to eat our Christmas dinner :) Although I ate barely anything because I was so pumped with adrenaline I felt a little sick haha 



This is my ring! It's a gold band with a freshwater pearl (my birthstone) it's pretty much what I'd always wanted.



The venue...

Since the theme of our wedding is 'I don't want to spend a lot of money' what with me not working, and us having a 10 month old son at the minute, we aren't interested in all inclusive venues that are 3-4k+ and that's a big plus in the summer on a saturday.

We decided of between where we both grew up and where we met/currently live (Milton Keynes, Northumberland and Leeds) we wanted to get married in Northumberland because the countryside is like nowhere else.

We don't want a hotel, we don't want anything fancy or proper like a manor house or whatever.

My number one pick, if money were no object, would be Le Petite Chateau in Northumberland. But that was like 16k in the summer on a Saturday.

So at the minute we're looking at this little place called Cuddystone hall that's in the middle of the countryside and looks like an old, simple chapel (but is no longer a religious building). It's only £360 for a day or £900 for 3 days! It includes a full working kitchen, tables, chairs, plates and cutlery. 

We're planning to view it in person soon but it's looking good so far...



The ceremony...

If we assume that we're getting married at Cuddystone, I think I'd like to have the ceremony outdoors, rows of wooden chairs with colourful paper cranes dangling from the backs. I want an arch at the end with my chosen flowers for us to get married under which we could move afterwards to cover the entrance to the hall which is a bit plain from the outside. I'll use a shaped hole puncher to make confetti out of old books and yellow tissue paper and what have you for guests to scoop a cup full of before they sit down. Then my little flower babies (H2B's niece and nephew) to throw yellow rose petals down the aisle for me to enter accompanied by Clair de Lune by Debussy A lovely non religious ceremony with our own vows. Maybe if a member of one of our families wants to do a reading or something I'd consider it but I'm not overly bothered and I don't want anything religious.

I don't have any idea on an exit song yet - I've told my partner to pick anything that he wants :) 

Of course because the hall is in England, after we've gone back down the aisle and been showered with confetti, we'll have to be legally married. So we'll go into the hall with both our parents and get officially hitched!

 (I couldn't find any images of chairs with paper cranes, that was the closest thing)



The entertainment...

Seems like a weird place to start but we've got pretty solid thoughts on it.

The best thing about Cuddystone is that it allows bouncy castles which I really really want for our day!

We need a bar of some sort and I'm thinking of hiring a portable bar van type thing that serves all kinds of drinks not just gin or prosecco. Since it'll be in the summer, it'll be warm enough that guests can be outdoors during the cocktail hour while we're taking photographs, so they can go on the bouncy castle, have some canapés and they have easy access to the bar. Also, in the evening, we'll keep the doors to the hall open, with the dancefloor next to the doors, and the bar van directly outside so it's easy to replenish drinks!

Finally I'm planning to double up seating chart with entertainment - so I'll have a table with 5 polaroid cameras on it (1 for each table) and an envelope infront of each with a table name and list of the guests. Inside the envelope will be a scavenger hunt! A series of images each table needs to capture and work together to do. Then when we do the speeches we'll look at everyone's photos and either whoever got the most things ticked off, or if it's a tie then whoever was the most creative will win an extra bottle of bubbly for their table!




The flowers...

The colours we're thinking of at the minute are yellow as the focal colour, with warm oranges and reds, and pale pinks as accents.

My bouquet

So I know that I absolutely need sunflowers! They'll be the main flower, then I'm thinking a couple red roses, orange peonies, then lots of gypsophilia and green foliage in a super natural, relaxed style that just falls beautifully.


I'm also wanting a flower crown. Sunflowers and gypsophilia and foliage definitely, not sure if I'll have any red though and my hair will be pastel pink so I don't want to overdo it with the flowers on me as well.

Bridesmaid bouquets

My bridesmaids I'm hoping will wear yellow, so I want to keep their bouquets simple (to also save money) so just simple, natural gypsophilia and lots of foliage :)


So matty will have a bigger, stand out one and his best man and 2 groomsmen will have simpler ones. August will wear one as well but with a safety pin :)


My H2B and I agree that most of the budget should go on food and decor, which is going to be mainly floral.

The hall is truly a blank, cream canvas so I want 2 floral chandeliers suspended from the ceiling which will basically be bigger versions of my bouquet but with pale pink flowers too - I particularly like gerberas so maybe them.

I actually think these foliage chandeliers might be cheaper to DIY and wouldn't cost too much? I could get a kid's hula hoop, spray paint it copper and then use fake foliage to wrap around and glue etc.

 Looooove these geometric hanging baskets so much

I'll also have floral centrepieces!



The decor...

So I've mentioned the chandeliers and centrepieces but I forgot to mention that I'd like them to be in copper, geometric scandi style holders like a terrarium without the glass? 

Then I want cream piller candles on all the window sills and surrounding the centrepieces.

Then I want lots of fairly lights covering the ceiling to make it super romantic, lighting is very important to me to create a lovely ambience. I'll get hold of some colourful disco lights as well for the par-tay! 

The chairs are dainty light wood chairs, and I'm gonna make a shit load of paper cranes in yellows and oranges and coppers, and string them from the backs of the chairs with ribbons, and I'll use the same chairs for the ceremony before moving them indoors for the reception so the ceremony will have some colour as well :)

 I plan to see how much it is to hire gold cutlery - it's a small detail but I love it. And I just hate silver so much I don't want the cutlery to ruin all my decor haha

Idea for DIY copper charger plates (since I just want that copper pop and don't care about it being an actual plate, I'm cool with it being more like a placemat) just get like 70p cake plates from ASDA and spray paint them copper.



Favours, place names etc...

I think for the favours I'd like to give guests a choice of either a whiskey or a gin miniature, or for children/adults who don't drink, some little chocolates. I'd put a little note in the invite asking them to pick one ahead of time without specifying it's for the favours to retain at least some mystery lol 

I just like this idea because it's personal to us - they're our favourites, and I think it would go down well because they could drink/eat them there and then and I saw another thread on here about the best/worst favours people have gotten and people really don't seem to like a lot of takeaway favours and leave them behind. Which is fair enough and if it saves me time/money then I'm all for it!

For the place names, I've gotten really into paper cutting lately and I was thinking of writing each guest's name out in cursive on gold card and cutting them out and laying them across the plates :)

Update: I've had an idea for cheaper favours that people can still use there and then but they're a bit more fun??? Temporary tattoos!

I thought, cute little flowers, and then also something like "Helen&Matty" with a big heart - something kitsch and fun!



The bridesmaid dresses...

I'm going to let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses because A) whether they match or not, I'm not bothered. and B) it saves me money lol 

I just want them to be yellow (bright or mustard, not pastel) and I guess preferably short but to be honest whatever they're most comfortable in. I want them to feel confident and happy in what they're wearing on the day so they can just relax and enjoy themselves! They can wear whatever shoes they want, heels or converse or whatever. My Maid of Honour doesn't wanna wear yellow which is fair enough, she hates how she looks in it so I'm thinking she could wear a rosegold/copper colour dress with a yellow belt/sash thing? Whatever they want to do to their hair or make up I'm happy with as well.

Here's what I'm planning to get my maid's as their thank you gift - it's from an Etsy shop I'll talk about later. I'll probably have the flower be pastel pink with a smaller reddyorange one accenting :) 



My dress...

I have a few ideas! They're all very different so I'm gonna try one of each of them and then when I've decided which silhouette I like I'll try some other dresses on that are similar to find the perfect one :)

The first option is a classic silk ballgown, sweetheart neck, tight at the waist, buttons down the back. Preferably pockets! 

The second is a flowy, chiffon, Grecian gown. Like literally something you'd see draped on Aphrodite. Brooches at the shoulders, a draped neck. A golden tie at the waist. 

The third is an all lace head to toe, high neck long sleeve, very modest vintage style A line gown. No embellishment or anything, Again, buttons down the back. Maybe backless or an illusion back but I think it might ruin the lovely modesty aspect.

The last one is only if I lose a load of weight which I am planning to do to be fair. Dainty straps, and a very deep V, all flowy chiffon, with a seam at the waist pulling me in. An underskirt of blush tulle and ivory over the top. Pearly embellishments starting at the waist and fading down. Maybe some chiffon floral appliques. Backless, buttons (of course). 

For the ceremony, I have these pale pink strappy sandals with marabou across the toe strap and I love them so much and since I'm planning on having pastel pink hair and nails, I think it'll look really pretty! Then for the receprion I'll change into gold gladiator sandals so I'm more comfortable.

My H2B bought me this beautiful gold dangly necklace with a rose quartz pendant that I think I'd like to wear on the day. Probably no bracelets and only my engagement ring.

(There's a lot of pictures coming so bear with me)





The cake...

I want a lovely cake but you can probably tell already that neither of us want anything traditional or fancy like so I'm going to make the cake :) I've made wedding cakes before and I trust that I'll make it well.

Don't have anything specific in mind, probably a fresh cream & fresh very Victoria sponge, maybe a couple tiers? I'll get fake flowers to decorate it to save some £££ as well.

I've also looked into alternative cakes which interest me a lot! Pavlovas and cheesecakes yum!



The Venue (part 2)...

So from my other posts/threads, some will already know that my parents have offered to pay for the wedding if we do it down south... we've taken time to consider this 'bribe' and have decided we're open to it. We're going to view venues in both Northumberland, and Buckinghamshire (and surrounding areas) and make our decision based on which venue we love most. We'll have slightly more money to play with if we do it down South which is definitely something to consider.


Cuddystone is still our #1 choice and we've set up a viewing for 17th Feb.


Bucks and surrounding

The first place we like, is Flaxbourne Gardens. It's a bit pricier, but it's beautiful, and they provide a fair few things. And it's such a beautiful place that the decoration budget could easily be cut because it wouldn't need it.

The second place Matty picked - it's called The Danish Camp. It's a log cabin in Bedfordshire that operates as a café usually. It's on the river Ouse, and in a national trust park. It looks lovely, I just want to make sure the interior isn't just generic commercial café.





I've found these absolute BEAUTIES! I'm absolutely going to get one as my garter to wear under my dress, but I'll be ordering them with the latex being white and the lace hopefully being pale blue as my something blue!


OR! Transparent latex and white lace oooooh!


I have found the most incredible store on Etsy - MagaelaAccessories.

I found the most perfect ever belt for my dress (see below) which I'm going to get:

I'm also going to be buying my floral crown from them - I was going to get my florist to make me one with real flowers but for their prices I'd rather have one that I can keep when the quality is so high - they look like real flowers!

And I'm torn between these two earrings also by the same store:



Dress shopping part one...

My first ever time trying on wedding gowns!! I was so excited, I've spent so long watching shows and looking at magazines and it was finally my turn!

It's made me realise that I need to drastically lose this baby weight - he's 10 months old now I no longer have an excuse. Before I got pregnant I was a size 8, flat toned stomach, tiny perky tits, a big firm button... I was just smoking hot - I was so hot I made my money selling pictures and videos of myself because I was that hot. Now I'm just a flabby mess. She could barely zip the 14s up. The pictures made me feel physically sick to look at. But! I've heavily edited them to be more palatable so here are the dresses I tried on...


A beauuuutiful one shoulder flowy grecian gown that made me feel like an absolute goddess.

This ball gown with a blush underskirt and beaded bust and straps, with pearls (to match my engagement ring) and backless. It matched my pink hair and fluffy pink marabou sandals! It's very similar to sketches I've done in the past from my head.

I love the big frou frou skirt on this ball gown! And I love that it's white. It has cap sleeves and an illusion back with buttons all the way up 😍


It was only my first time trying dresses on - there are many more silhouettes I want to try (I did have a trumpety fit and flare but it wouldn't go over my fat ass) but if I had a gun to my head and was told I had to choose between the second two I would have no idea! I love them both for different, contradictory reasons! 



The dress (part two...)


And it's neither of the ones I posted before!

After my Wed2b experience I felt like I'd had an itch that hadn't been scratched. While the dresses were beautiful i could only try 3 and 2 of them were very similar. It was too rushed and impersonal. I think it's the kind of place you go if you're looking to buy a dress that day. I wanted the experience.

So my fiance and I went to a dress shop on Friday thinking I was just going to try on different silhouettes so I could narrow down my vision. I tried on like 8 different dresses in different styles and I found the one. I wasn't expecting it at all! I thought it was gorgeous enough on it's own then I tried on a bolero with it but put on backwards and I just knew it was it. I loved my body in it I thought I looked amazing!

The dress is Mori Lee 5108 but here's the catch, it's £1200 and I was wanting to spend half that on my dress! Anyway, I found a sample for sale on eBay for £300!! It's a size too big but can be easily altered. I managed to get them down to £250 and now it's mine!!!

The best thing is, I can now afford the jacket, a belt, a veil AND if I want, Wed2b sell an overskirt for £299 that's like the ruffled skirt of one of the above dresses that I could get. So it could be ballgown or fishtail!



Decor (part two)...

I have made 4 cranes (out of 1000... I'll get there!) and I put them on my dining room chair and it's just not enough...


But! I remembered I saw this picture (credit: mrsdivine) on another thread...


She'd DIY'ed like 13ft of it with a cheap Christmas garland, some fake ivy and foam roses and I realised I have a Christmas garland upstairs I never used! So I'm gonna cut in into foot long pieces, maybe add some sunflowers and gypsophilia (fake of course) and attach them to the tops of the chairs to cover up the ends of the strings??



The venue (part three...)

So we've got some viewings set up!

Northumberland (17th&18th Feb)


Stanton Hall Gardens

High House Farm Brewery

Bucks & surrounding (10th&11th Feb)

Marsden Vale

Newton Park Farm