BORING THINGS WE NEED TO TAKE NOTE OF IN OUR HOME

 

Running a home can be a difficult task at times. It’s best described as being one of those people who has a lot of spinning plates, running between each of them to ensure none of them drop. It’s the same with family life and work. It’s all one big juggling act. However, when it comes to running a home, certain things can cause those plates to wobble.

BILLS

Paying our bills each month isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. But yet we all have rents and mortgages to pay, alongside those necessity bills like energy and food. However, many households take their eye off the ball when it comes to the household costs. Often letting those direct debits do their thing each month. It can be a big mistake. Most households are paying more than they should be for normal bills like energy and food. So it’s important to ensure you give your financials a health check regularly. Remaining loyal to companies these days does not serve you well. Many of them provide the latest savings and deals to new customers to entice them in. Sometimes comparing things like insurance policies and energy usage will unearth better deals for you. Doing this regularly could provide you with big savings each month when changing providers. Food can also be reduced by changing your shopping habits. Things like choosing a new shop to purchase food in or even meal planning can all offer huge savings overall. We have started meal planning just this week, more for health benefits, but I noticed just the week how much money we are saving just by me not randomly popping to the shop to pick up one thing and buying half the shop.

WATER

Some people are unfortunate to be living in areas where they have hard water. For those of you who are unaware, this is where chemical deposits can get through the water during the filtering process, causing the water to be harsher. While in most cases this doesn’t affect you in the form of drinking, it can have a long term effect on your general household appliances. Things like washing machines or dishwashers. Forgetting to take into account things like this can cost your dearly in the future. Without a water softener system, those appliances could begin to fail. Thankfully, websites online offer great Water Softener Reviews enabling you to get the best option for you.

WEATHER

Finally, one of the biggest issues we can face, and something that is very relevant, is the harsh weather. As winter is fast approaching, we can forget to make sure our home is ready for the colder weather to come. Pipes can freeze and then once thawed can burst causing who issues. Storms with severe wind can move slates on your roof causing further damage from water and weather to your interior. Winter weather can spell huge disasters for you home. So it’s vital to prepare in advance to ensure those household costs don’t spiral out of control on repairs.

I hope this has enlightened you on some issues and maybe prompted you to do some checks yourself.



BUYING FURNITURE

Furniture can be super expensive, especially if your moving out for the first time, or going from living in a furnished place to then buying or renting somewhere empty! I’ve lived in both so I thought I’d share some tips on investing furniture and how to furnish your home.

While bargain furniture is often appealing, spending a little more on certain items can make sure it lasts longer. Look around for pieces worth investing in like beds, sofa and mattress etc.

It doesn’t mean you have to spend a boatload of money. Furniture stores often have huge discounts, where you can get brand new items for half the usual price, or look for things on eBay, a good sofa in good condition can always be upholstered, or a bed frame with a lick of paint can look as good as new..obviously get a new mattress…think there are a few things you should get new and a mattress is definitely one of them.

Some furniture components can wear quickly especially when it comes to metal. Things like metal fixtures on doors and cabinets can often rust and get stuck.

The best way to handle this is by getting such pieces of furniture refitted with high-quality components. To stop metal fixtures degrading, you might want to pick up some long-lasting door hinges or stainless steel drawer runners. Or if you get an awesome piece of second-hand furniture but the mechanisms aren’t great these is a way to keep the beautiful antique piece but have it actually be usable.

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Refitting furniture fixtures is a simple D.I.Y. job you can easily handle yourself. Also changing fixtures like handles and draw knobs can really make a piece look new and refreshed.

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You can  fix furniture yourself if it gets broken sometimes, but if not maybe find a new purpose for it? If a draw is broken beyond repair why not use the other draws as cool shelfs, then the main aspect of the draws…like the empty box, can be turned into like a box side table. Get some cute hairpin legs and paint it two different bold colours then you have managed to reuse an old piece of most likely trash and make a few pieces of awesome furniture.

Decorating your small space

There are many creative ideas for reusing old furniture. These can make for fun home projects as well as making sure you’re getting more than your money’s worth out of your furniture.

If you have no use for your furniture anymore, consider that it might be worth something to someone else. Passing on old furniture to friends, relatives or charity shops will put it to good use. You might even be able to make a little money back by selling it. I’m thinking of starting a regular post about my favourite round ups of popular furniture?? Thoughts?



ODE TO A CLEAN HOME

 With children and day-to-day life, it’s inevitable that our homes will not always be tidy and showhome worthy, or if like my home, never. Having a baby, somehow seems to double the amount of things we have in our home. So Archer’s stuff plus all of my crap things, and the odd box of things that’s Richards..leaves our home super cluttered. There’s a possible chance I’m bordering on becoming a hoarder..but with our new house enough is enough.

So although we have a lot of things, in the past I have always known where certain things are..but not with this house. Because it needs so much work and we are pretty much doing a room at a time in regards to big jobs, I still have 2 full room of boxes, and still clutter everywhere which hasn’t found its place yet. But I’m on a mission to sort everything. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the task at hand. So I’m trying to tackle the decluttering and sorting in a different way. I’m doing bursts of five minutes each day, and combatting one cupboard or draw at a time. Little and often can be the biggest and easiest way to begin decluttering your home once and for all. Some people also consider getting themselves a bag and walking round filling it each day.

I’ve done so many trips to the tip and charity shop, to get rid of my items in a more eco friendly way. One of the things I love about the tip is if something is usable, you can leave it on the side so someone else can pick it up. I also use freecycle a lot too, so handy!

Let’s be honest, everyone would love to be that person whose house is always spotless, their kids are always polite neatly dressed who calmy play with 1 toy at a time, if you’re this women seriously share your secret,  but some of us have wild kids, and cleaning the house to an inch of its life just isn’t an option. But I try to do a few specific job everyday. I’ve started making my bed each morning (apparently this is a good habit to get into) I do a wash every day and empty/fill the dishwasher. My evening chores after Arch is sound asleep, is putting the toys away, straightening up the livingroom which normally involves hoovering and washing the bottles…then I work..Investing in heavy-duty cleaning products and appliances like Vacuum Fox can make a big impact. Specifically, to the length of time you spend doing those chores. Oh for a super vacuum..or just a maid.

Toys. Toys are just everywhere. I actually put away a few of the toys Arch was given for his birthday, I get them out if he’s poorly or it’s a rainy day Because to him its new toys. Also having tons of toys can be overwhelming sometimes I think and they end up getting everything out but then playing with the same few favourite toys.  Decluttering the toys is always a good idea, I went through Archer’s toy and got rid of some and gave them to charity, which i felt he had grown out of. Archer also have pretty much the entire bottom row of our bookshelf for his big toys and book so at the end of each night they go away nicely in a certain space. When boredom strikes, switch the toys around.

Another issue in our home is all the little nik naks, and pretty things that I like to have on display. But making a conscious decision to only display certain things can make a room appear lighter and less cluttered…but making the decision on what things is the hard bit. So I just plan to add more shelves around my home so I can create the perfect shelfie.

 

Here is to a less cluttered home.



ERIC CAHAN: ARTSY

Now I know what your thinking, this isn’t a subject I tend to blog about. This is true, I did the art scene for a while, and it wasn’t my thing..but I do have a degree in Fine Art Photogoraphy, and I don’t think its anything you really just switch off and forget about. So when I came across Eric Cahan, I thought i’d show an artists work who I admire.

Now I came across Cahan’s work when Artsy asked me if I would be able to do a piece and include a link in a post for them. Now I get a lot of emails daily from different companies/bloggers etc asking for me to mention them. I take a look at each request seriously, and decide whether or not I think it’s something you guys would be interested in. I’ve been doing sponsored posts for a year now, and although there have been a few posts that weren’t great (especially when I first started doing sponsored posts) I only ever accept subjects that I’m interested in or that I would typically talk about. Note that most of my requests aren’t sposored they are just polite requests like this one.

Anyway to stop rambling, I was in love with Cahan’s work straight away,  I love the abstract colours of the sky and sea scapes he does. Here are a few of my favourites of his, and I’m thinking I might have to start saving up because I totally want one for my office.

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The colours are just overwhelming aren’t they. Could you imagine having this in your home? Just watching the purple haze fog into blue.

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If I had to pick my favourite. It would be this one. I think it’s because of the distant landscape. It feels like a fogginess that just gets clearer as you go up. As if you are exhaling and the top of the piece is the clarity..

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I think everyone in their lifetime should buy at least one piece of artwork, a piece that when you look at it, it inspires you, de-stresses you, invigorates you. Makes you think. Because that’s what art is for. It’s what it’s their to do. Make you think and feel. Let me know which of his works you like best.

I tempted to pull out my medium format, my beloved camera that I havent used since I graduated. Crazy right. Anyway do check out Artsy site as they have tons of artists and they believe in “making all the world’s art accessible to anyone”.



HEALTHY BREAKFAST OPTIONS TO TRY

So I’m definitely the type of person who eats the majority of their calories in the morning, great in the sense that i don’t tend to eat at night, but rubbish as I snack a lot. So as I slowly start my healthy eating in prep for getting married next year, I saw slowly because habits tak a while to break, I’ve been looking at breakfast’s that are healthy but filling enough so I don’t over eat and snack all morning and afternoon. MY plan is to trial and test some different options and get back to you, I do a bit of cooking recipes on the blog, for recipe inspiration for all meals, follow the click here to go to the cooking section of my blog.

Sunday brunch calls for pajamas, newspapers, and a long hearty breakfast. Normally it’s just me and Arch as Richard works the majority of weekends, plus lets take out the brunch bit as Sunday lay-ins just don’t happen. The latest being possibly 7am…But it doesn’t matter if you’re on your own, in a couple or with the family, I think Sundays are a great day to have the indulgent breakfast. Instead of the usual fry up why not go Mexican and spoil everyone with some delicious egg tacos for a sizzling fiesta? In a medium hot skillet saute jalapenos, chilli powder, garlic, and ham. Then take off the hob and keep warm. Then whisk your eggs until they are mixed well and cook and fold until they are shiny and moist. Then spoon your eggs into a warmed up tortilla, sprinkle with lots of cheese and add your toppings. You can also serve with a delicious salsa and coriander for extra oomph. It’s a bit different no? Or go all indulgent and try zesty lemon crepes with butter and sugar or how about waffles with maple syrup. If you want to go one step further for an all-American breakfast, you can add bacon too. For a fruity twist to your waffles add fresh strawberries or a delicious fruit compote. Have fun. I plan to have fun at the weekends..I think we all need to relax the diet healthy eating sometime.

raspberry-overnight-oats-recipe-4Living Well Mom

 

Sometimes I just don’t have the energy/time or a chance to grab myself breakfast, let alone get a chance to eat it without rushing around mid mouthful. Having an active 1 year old, and a crazy schedule makes making healthy filling choices for breakfast sometimes a no go. So i’ve looked into breakfast that can be made the night before like these overnight porridge oats.  Also grab popular flavours of instant porridge for when you haven’t been organised (happens to the best of us) and as an easy grab and go brekkie . Other quick breakfasts include oatmeal squares with your favourite toppings. Or berry smoothies made the night before and even smoked salmon on top of nutritious crisp breads.

enhanced-buzz-18812-1439318645-5Averie Cooks

If you’re looking at healthy alternatives for your breakfast, replace sugary processed cereals with porridge oats, homemade granola, and natural yoghurt. Try Weetabix with milk and blueberries and almond butter on toast. Eggs are always a good choice, scrambled, poached or fried. Vegetable egg muffins are also a great idea as they are easy to make like the ones above. They can also be eaten on the go too.

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These greek yoghurt breakfast bars look delicious too…well wish me luck while I try to curb my morning snacking! Hope you all have had a good weekend…



CACTUS CACTUS CACTUS ETSY MUST HAVES

So I love Etsy, it’s handmade, it helps local craftsmen and you get one of a kind items. But. And it’s  big but, it can be tiring trailing through all the items they have on there. For everything you search for you have about 9000 results, of which most aren’t what you’re looking for, but to find that gem you often have to sift through. I’ve spent a lot of time on Etsy, looking at different sellers and favourite lists, so my plan is to bring you an etsy list of must haves and favourites a few times a month, to save you the hassle of spending hours looking through countless products and to introduce you to some of my favourite sellers.

Ok so this list today is cactus inspired. I have always loved cactus’, purely because they are impossible to kill, but also they are pretty awesome. So I tend to be drawn by anything with a succulent or cactus pattern on it…and here are some of my favourites. Please remember to check postage before you fall in love with items on Etsy, as especially with items from abroad it can be super expensive.

cactus-etsy-wishlist-musthaves-blog-decor-baby1. Cactus stamp, Etsy, £3.46  2. Cactus Rattle, Etsy, £9.00   3.Cactus enamel pin, Etsy, £6.00  4. Cactus fabric banner, Etsy, £25.00

5. Cactus baby vest, Etsy, £20.40+   6. Cactus pillow, Etsy, price unknown   7. Cactus embroidery hoop art, Etsy, £30.00

 

cactus-print-etsy-wishlist-list-decor-gifts-etsy-favrouties1. Cactus organic baby blanket, Etsy, £39.23+   2. Cactus You’re a prick card, Etsy, £2.75   3. Cactus,instant comfort pocket box, Etsy, price unknown

4. Cactus Print, Etsy, £7.77    5. Cactus dog teepee, Etsy, £66.70   6.Cactus coasters, Etsy, £24.33   7. Cactus scratch mittens, Etsy, £5.49

 

So there are my favorites cactus print item. If I had a puppy i’d totally get the cactus teepee. Rather wishing Arch was a small baby again so I could get all the baby cactus gear too.

 

Hope you are all having a good weekend



CHEAP BUT AWESOME WEDDING DIYS

I know what your thinking blimey lots of wedding posts…she must be full swing with her planning. Don’t be silly! This is me guys. It’s just while looking at countless sites for inspiration I get inspired not to plan but to blog..I hope you appreciate this guys, because planning a wedding can be particularly stressful  but I’m here to help you out. Let’s plan our weddings together. P.S if you guys don’t have a venue I mean like your way behind…

But lets look at fun things you can make way in advance, that will save you bundles.

Table Numbers

diy-packing-paper-sack-planters-tutorial-_-fallfordiy-1Fall For DIY

So let’s look at table numbers, lots of different ways to go about naming and presenting your tables. A great idea which i’m thinking of doing is putting table numbers on sticks stuck in little plant pots. This DIY above is super cute and simple but so effective. You can decorate them how you like, and succulents and cactus’ aren’t overly expensive, plus they are just awesome. ta da.

You can get 3D cardboard numbers from crafts shop like Michaels. Then you can paint them in your wedding colors, or cut off once face of the letter and fill it with fake flowers.Don’t forget to look for a discount voucher such as these Michaels discount codes on the internet, if you are buying this sort of thing in bulk.

Centerpieces

diy-tapered-candle-holder-21Sugar and Cloth

 

Consider the style of centerpiece that you are looking for. You can go with tradition like a big floral piece, but this can be expensive or you can buy bulk packs of vases or jam jars on sites like eBay and fill them with flowers. To save even more money use flowers that have to be gathered from your garden. Or if it is out of season you can attend a flower market to get some bargains in the right colors. Or go for something completely different and make a statement with rainbow candles like above…so pertty right, and would look amazing if you do your seating in long tables too.

Invites

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The vast majority of people are sensible with their wedding invites now, and make them themselves or like me get an awesome friend/bridemaids too design them. Have fun with it and look around the web as there are tons of free printable, DIY tips or even cheaper alternatives on sites like Etsy, like the one above. To the point and awesome.

Favours

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Long gone are the day of sugared almonds, thank goodness! People tend to get a bit more creative when producing favors for their guests. Some of the most successful favors include things like personalized bags and tea towels for the guest to take home. But getting these printed can cost a pretty penny. Why not make an edible gift, cookies, hot chocolate like the one above, just have fun with it guys!



WEDDING OUTFITS GONE WRONG 


Being invited to a wedding is a big honour. Whether you know the couple well or not, a wedding invite shows they want you to be present on the biggest day of their life. Once you accept their invite, the pressure is now on to find a suitable outfit.  I don’t know about you but I hate event dress shopping. And I’m going to be honest with you I have made so many mistakes with outfit choices for weddings, which have left me wanting to hide under the covers.

But to help you guys out here’s my advice when shopping for wedding outfits. Learn from my mistakes.

Don’t dress too seductively

In most cases, weddings are family events which children and elderly relatives are usually present at. So it’s vital that your wedding guest outfit is not too seductive or daring. I broke this rule. I wore a rather short, shorter than I realised, dress to a wedding and accidentally flashed more than one of the guests.. Not fun! To make it worse I don’t think I was wearing great knickers either!

Also steer clear of sheer fabrics and low-cut tops. Do the bend over test, do your boobs come out? Or when sitting down does the dress ride up? Is there any chance of a massive dress malfunction resulting in a body part being exposed? No? Grab that dress!

Wearing white

Yes an obvious one I know, but to avoid this I had to dye my white dress lilac. I considered getting another dress but at the time I was 35 weeks pregnant and huge, so being comfortable was my main priority. But I did it. For the bride I dyed my dress purple. Because I’m good like that.

Even if white is your favourite colour to wear, avoid it at all costs don’t be the dick who tries to upstage the bride..as bridzilla might end up coming after you.

Instead use this opportunity to discover new colours that suit your skin tone. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and experiment with colours you’ve never considered before….any colour…except white..duh.

If you can’t get the idea of a white outfit out of your mind, take my advise and just go with white accessories. You can wear white pearl drops or use a white handbag to complement your outfit.

You need two pairs of shoes

Heels can help a woman walk taller and feel more confident…if they can walk in heels. Which I can not. So hello to big outfit disaster at a wedding number 2. Heels +me + grass….you get the picture. I was sinking like nobody’s business and ended up with muddy feet and eventually I physically couldn’t walk or stand. I just couldn’t  endure wearing the heels anymore. Hello bare muddy feet,with the short dress. It just summed up the day really. If you’re not into heels but want to try them again, start off small with a kitten heel! And please please take a spare pair of flats with you.  Unless you want to have blistered and painful feet throughout the wedding. So just invest in a pair of flats. Getting cute ones that fold up and fit in your bag? Perfect!

Getting the tone of the wedding right

Bad outfit 3. Trying to go bold when everyone else was classy…I don’t mind being a little bold in my fashion choices, but when you clearly stick out in photos because of your patterned dress and hot pink velvet clutch (oh yes!) maybe it’s an idea to think about the person who’s wedding it is…and the venue.

Take my bad experiences and learn from them. Dressing the part can add to the experience and can help make it the perfect wedding for the special couple. So make sure your wedding guest outfit is remembered for all the right reasons.



WEDDING SHOTS YOU NEED TO HAVE

So to me the photography at our wedding will be pretty important. There’s a reason it’s has been the only aspect of our big day that i have had planned, our photographer Mary Anne weddings, is a friend from uni,who is rocking the wedding circuit, and I know that she will be able to capture our day perfectly. But it’s not all down to the photographer. It’s best to come up with a list of shots that you particularly want, if you’re not sure, there are tons of ready done lists out there that you can just edit. It’s good to just give them a rough idea.

A great thing about everything being online, and the lovely world of blogging, is that if your lucky enough your venue might be on one of the many wedding blogs, and you can get ideas from other brides who have had their wedding at your venue. So I have some must have shots, which are all from weddings at our venue! If you haven’t read our post from last week, that’s right we have a venue, next year we will be getting married at Cripps Stone Barn.

robbins-photographic-industrial-rural-wedding-cotswolds-37Rock My Wedding

Ok so a popular shot, is of the bride before she goes to the church or venue, this can be of her getting ready, just about to walk down the aisle, or if you’re doing the fancy car thing of her getting out the car. This can be particularly effective if you’ve hired a vintage car or limousine. If you haven’t organized your transport yet, you might want to consider VIP Chauffeur Car Hire who provide luxury cars for weddings. Or you can get a lovely shot like the on above of the bride and groom posing with their car.

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Every bride should aim to have at least one or two portraits of them in their full wedding outfit. Especially as it’s the one day where its ok to be the centre of attention and your only going to get one chance to wear your weeding dress.This photo will remind you of just how beautiful you looked on your wedding day when you look back it in years to come. Consider where you intend to get ready before your wedding begins and choose possible locations where this photo can be taken.  If you would prefer to have this picture taken at your wedding venue, aim to visit before your big day. This gives you a chance to scout some possible locations for your portrait both indoor and outdoor. The lighting above is just gorgeous, and so is the bride.

Nicola & Ross wedding

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When you first lock eyes with your partner on your wedding day, it will be difficult to hide your emotions. This is a genuinely wonderful photo for your photographer to capture and is bound to be a favorite from your big day. Some couples prefer to see each other for the first time when the bride enters the church or venue. Whereas others like to see each other before the ceremony starts. It’s up to you to decide what you think might work best. But remember to keep your photographer informed of your plans. To make this moment even more spectacular, look for inspiration on Pinterest to see what other couples have done with theirs.

Here are some more shots that I think are a must. A few shots of you and your partner, outside the venue maybe, just you both. I love this pic below especially as it’s raining and they still look like they are having fun.

michelle_lindsell_photography_ellie_harley_rmw-252Rock My Wedding

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Having pictures of all the little details are a must too. You spent ages deciding and crafting so why not have images to remember them. The cake, the stationary, the flowers and decor.

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Like I said above these are all weddings from our venue, and I love the outside sparkler shot! Perfect for a winter’s evening.

If you still need help compiling a wedding shot list for your photographer, take a look at the extensive checklist on The Knot website. Alternatively, why not ask your wedding photographer to help you. Remember guys have fun with it.

 



STRESSES OF PLANNING A WEDDING

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When you get engaged, planning a wedding seems like the best thing in the world. You’re marrying the love of your life and get to plan a big day that celebrates your relationship together. But many couples don’t realize just how frustrating, stressful and time-consuming wedding planning can be. This can come as a big shock when they start to look at venues, go dress shopping and create invites. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with this mammoth task, like me, then take a look at these ideas to help simplify the wedding planning process. A total throwback picture above to when I was heavily pregnant at my brothers wedding with Richard..the last wedding I went too!

Reduce your to-do list

As you progress with your wedding plans, it’s likely you will compile a number of to-do lists. But there are probably items on these lists that might not be necessary, or maybe something you can delegate, which can be removed. So take a break from your planning and reassess each item on your to-do lists. You might want to skip taking dance lessons or forget about making wedding programs. Anything you don’t deem important to the success of your wedding should be taken off your list straight away.

This will leave you with a concise list which will also reduce your workload.

Once you know what items you absolutely want to keep, you can use an online luxury wedding directory. Using one resource to find suitable florists, photographers and dresses can help to simplify your plans and save you a lot of time.
Make a website

Many couples don’t think they need to have a wedding website, but they can be extremely useful. Throughout your wedding planning, you will have people asking you questions constantly. These questions might be referring to the type of gifts you are accepting or the time your reception starts.Or even just wanting to put in some music request, all this can easily be done and kept in one place.

Rather than ringing up every person you’ve invited to tell them this information, your guests can refer to your website. They can find out the information they need quickly and easily without having to bother you. You can set up a wedding website for free online, and you can include its web address of your invitations. Keep this regularly updated to ensure it’s as effective as it should be.

Cut down your guest list

You and your partner will understandably want plenty of people to share in your wedding celebrations. But the more guests you invite, the more you have to do, which will increase your stress levels significantly. It can also cost you more money and use up more of your valuable time. So compile a list of potential wedding guests you want to invite ranging from close family to work colleagues. Then go through each name to see if you can make any reductions. This will not only reduce your numbers, but it can also help you create a wedding that’s more intimate and personal. Me and Richard have cut our list dramatically, to only friends we see regularly, and family. We didn’t want a huge wedding, and even with the cuts, we are still looking at about 75 during the day and an extra 25 or so in the evening..
Don’t let the prospect of planning your wedding make you stressed out and unhappy, I know this coming from someone who has been engaged for 2 and a bit years, purely because she couldn’t handle finding a venue. Well not anymore! By us just booking the venue I feel like a massive load has been lifted. Planning a wedding should be fun, so use these ideas or some of your own to making it enjoyable rather than loathsome. It’s your special day, you can dictate how you want and who will be there, it should be fun!