Taking a break

The title says it all really - I'm taking a little break from blogging. 

Not for a long time, but I also don't have a set return date in mind - it could be two weeks or two months. All I know right now is that I want to step back and take some time off.

For a while I've felt that I haven't been putting much love and effort into WLDN. I've struggled to come up with content ideas, and my new job I started a couple of months ago has been consuming my life recently. I've been spending around 12 hours of my day sat at my office desk, staring at a computer screen, and when I've sat down at home to do a bit of blogging I've felt it's become somewhat of a chore instead of a passion and my heart hasn't really been in it.

2016 has been a weird year for me - full of amazing highs and pretty shitty lows. This year I've realised how important health, family and friends really are, so another reason why I'm taking a blog break is that I want to spend some time with the people I love and concentrate on them. 

There's been a lot of tears, laughter and love. But most of all it's been a little hectic to say the least, with the last three months alone involving getting married and starting a new job! 

Whilst I'm taking a break from here, I will still be around on Instagram and Twitter, so you won't get rid of my rambling and posting various photos that easily! 

In the words of Arnie, I will be back! 

Have a wonderful Christmas, and a snazzy New Year! 
L x

The Wedding: Accessories

The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The Shoes
Yep, I had not one, but TWO pairs of shoes for my Wedding day! For the main part of the day, I wore the Fleur Embellished sandals by Sophia Webster. I bought these two days after I got engaged! But, when they're in the sale on Net-a-Porter it would be rude not to...

They don't do this style anymore, but a couple of months after I purchased these, she launched a Bridal shoe collection with some very gorgeous designs. 

I knew I wouldn't last in high heels all day, and I wanted to be able to dance my feet off, so I knew I wanted some flats for the evening part of our wedding. I first laid my eyes on these Keds x Kate Spade New York trainers in their Madison Avenue store on my trip to NYC, and as I didn't have room in my suitcase I decided not to get them...and then majorly regretted it for about 3 months! After contacting their UK PR, I found out they stocked them at the new Kate Spade London flagship store so I made the trip and purchased them.  
The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The DIY Denim Jacket
As the weather in Brighton can be pretty tempremental (and windy most of the time) I wanted something to keep me a little warm whilst we were having photos taken. I didn't want anything 'Bridal' so I decided to be a little different and wear a denim jacket, going one step further and customising it. The letters are an iron-on transfer from the internet (sorry, I can't remember the website!) and the Emoji patch is from Etsy. It acted as the perfect cover up AND, I still find myself throwing it on now. 

Denim Jacket - Gap 
The Wedding: Accessories by Laura Lewis
The 'something blue'
I had my borrowed (veil), old (earrings) and new (necklace) but couldn't for the life of me think what my something blue could be. I was looking on Etsy for something different, when I can across the very talented Daisy Sheldon and fell for her Monogrammed Bow Garter I had our initials and the date of our wedding embroidered on to it for a little personalised touch. 

The Epic Christmas Gift Guide 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means it's that time of year where I don my Elf outfit and go into the world wide websphere to find some Christmas gift ideas for you lovely lot!

Go fourth and browse....Just don't blame me if you end up buying something for yourself (that may have happened to me when I was putting this post together) 

The Epic Christmas Gift Guide 2016 by Laura Lewis
Glitter Compton Bag - Sophie Hulme // Amore Stripe T Shirt - Whistles // Flamingo Pen - Mustard // iPhone case - Rifle Paper Co // Striped Makeup Bag - Bando // 2017 Agenda - Kate Spade // 
Glitter Trainers - Kate Spade x Keds // Tumbler - Bando // Dinosaur Charm - Sophie Hulme // Patches - Topshop 
The Epic Christmas Gift Guide 2016 by Laura Lewis
Midnight Magic - This Works // Hand cream - Roger & Gallet // Balm dot com - Glossier // 
Makeup Brush set - Bobbi Brown // Best of Becca Youthful Glow Kit - Becca // 
Object of Desire Giftset - Marc Jacobs Beauty // Mini Lipstick Charms - Charlotte Tilbury // 
Volume Kit - Ouai Haircare // Dreamy look in a clutch - Charlotte Tilbury // 
Festive Mini Beauty Box Burberry Beauty // Survival of the Chicest - Nars // 
Pretty Honest - Sali Hughes
The Epic Christmas Gift Guide 2016 by Laura Lewis
Wool scarf - Wool and The Gang // PJ's - Hush // Passport Holder - Kate Spade // 
Lingerie Set - Topshop // Merci Sweatshirt - Whistles // Card Holder - Kate Spade // 
Studded Ankle Boots - Topshop // Tote Bag - Whistles // Personal Planner - Kikki K // 
Ring - Monica Vinader // Leather Pouch - Anya Hindmarch
The Epic Christmas Gift Guide 2016 by Laura Lewis
Measuring Cups - Anthropologie // Wild Sage Basil, Mint and Thyme - The White Company // 
Cactus Vase - The Conran Shop // Wine Glasses - Kate Spade // Palm Leaf Mug - House of Hackney // Cup and Saucer - Disney x Cath Kidston // Mini Candle Set - Diptyque // 
Hurricane Glass - Anthropologie 
The Epic Christmas Gift Guide 2016 by Laura Lewis
Grooming Kit - Aesop // Power Bank - Cheero  // Watch - Tsovet // Glasses - Tom Dixon // 
Decanter - Ralph Lauren Home // Virtual Reality Headset - Urban Outfitters // 
USB Charger and Key Set - Native Union // Alpaca blend Scarf - COS // 
Hero5 Action Camera - GoPro // Rucksack - Sandqvist // 
Limited Edition Jeremyville Men's 2016 Christmas Set - Kiehl's // Trainers - Our Daily Edit

The Wedding: Dress

The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
The Wedding: Dress by Allison Dewey Photography
Eeeek the dress. THE DRESS. It’s fair to say I love my clothes, and I’ve shared quite a few of my outfits on here, but this is by far the best outfit I’ve ever worn. 
My main wedding dress shopping goal was to find a dress I would be comfortable in ALL day. It’s always been a little confusing to me as to why you’d want to wear something that you wouldn’t be able to eat or breathe in. When we got engaged, I knew I wanted to wear a short dress - mainly because I wanted to show off my shoes, and also because I wanted to be able to dance my feet off without having my dress get in the way. 
It’s safe to say I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to shopping - it’s something I’ve clearly got from my mum. But, shopping for a wedding dress was a little bit different to other shopping trips I’ve been on. For a start, I don’t ever wear white dresses - not even in the Summer, so I did find that a tad weird. Secondly, wedding dresses can be expensive and when I first started looking I was slightly nauseous as to how much they were costing. I think it totally depends on where you want to spend your wedding budget, but our main budget priority was the food and drink - I was definitely more interested in our guests having a great time and eating amazing food, than spending a small fortune on a dress I’d only wear for one day. 
I only visited one Bridal boutique, and I tried on a total of 5 dresses - the third one being the one I went for. I did try it on twice before committing, the first time was just over a year before our wedding day which was a good test as I can be very indecisive but, I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I knew it was the one and, when I went the second time round with my mum, we were in and out of the boutique in less than 30 minutes.
My dress is from the Brighton Belle collection by True Bride and is called Lois. What I think made it more special for me is that it was created in Brighton, just like me! The polka dot tulle totally sold it to me, and it was so much fun to wear.
Plus, it allowed me to eat all the cheese I wanted and dance my feet off. 

Photos by the wonderful Allison Dewey Photography

The Wedding: Decorations and venue

The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura LewisThe Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura LewisThe Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Decorations and venue by Laura Lewis
Next up in my Wedding series (read the other posts here) I’m talking all thing decor. You will have already got a little glimpse in my last post, and on my Instagram but I thought I’d go through the whole look of the venue.

As soon as we got engaged, I knew that I wanted our Wedding reception to be at Fabrica. Located in the heart of Brighton it is the most amazing space. Having been a church back in the day it still has a fair amount of its original features and is now used for art installations, craft fairs, and exhibitions.
We only looked at this one venue - we’d been to a wedding there a few years back, and I’d fallen in love with the space then. It has lots of natural light, and as it’s ‘dry-hire’ (meaning you basically get the venue totally empty) you can do a lot more with it.

As I’m an Events Manager by day, there was never any doubt I wouldn’t plan my own wedding - it would’ve been weird if we’d have had someone else planning it! Friends, family and my wonderful bridesmaids helped out in the run up - I bribed a few friends with a picnic and prosecco to help with making the decorations, and my wonderful bridesmaids and close friends helped at the venue the day before the wedding. 

We wanted the space to be filled with colour. As I’m not a fan of bunting, we made over 200 paper pompoms in all different colours and sizes, and hung them across the venue. We had balloons around the altar and emoji balloons on the kids table (which also went down a storm with the grown ups!) We used some festoon lighting from a contact I have, and hung it across the venue in between the pompoms for a bit of extra lighting. We found some inflatable seagulls to hang around the venue to give it a bit of a Brighton theme, and to match our wedding stationery. 

Each table was named after Mr WLDN favourite whiskies, and we placed photos of our family members that are no longer with us, on the tables that our families were sat on. We collected jam jars from family and friends to put the flowers in, and dotted a few of those around on each table.

The tableware we used was recommended by our Caterer. As our food was a picnic (more on that here) we wanted to use something that fitted well with that theme, and not your usual china. Little Cherry offer eco-friendly party supplies. We chose from their Palm Leaf range, and were really pleased with them. Made from naturally fallen palm leaves in India, collected, soaked in spring water before being heat pressed into shape and dried. The lovely variation in colour makes each plate unique, and looked great with our food.

Lastly, we wanted a photo booth but didn’t want to spend a fortune hiring one. I looked to local businesses, but I found them to be a little out of our budget. So, we decided to create one ourselves using a clothing rail, ribbon, and other decorations. We then used my SLR and tripod for the camera set up and got a load of silly little props from ebay and some friends. It totally worked!

Right. That's it - I've totally rambled on and probably bored you to death now!

Next post up soon: It's all about THE dress! 

The Wedding: Food & Drink

The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
I’ve been to a fair few weddings over the years, and everyone always remembers the food. Maybe I just have a lot of food-obsessed friends, which isn’t a bad thing... 

We ummmed and aaaahed about whether to feed people as they arrived, but because we were keeping to a strict budget and there were a couple of time restraints, we decided to keep it to welcome drinks.

The food was top of our Wedding priority list and very important to us. One of the main reasons we chose our wedding venue, was because we were allowed to use any caterer we wanted. We chose Yolk Catering based here in Brighton. The lady behind Yolk, Lizzie Bett was amazing to work with and so supportive throughout the whole planning process. 

We wanted the dinner to be really relaxed, laid-back and delicious without being too heavy, and we also wanted the food to be sourced as locally as possible. We love a good picnic, so decided to go with that type of style.  

Scotch eggs, mini Yorkshire puddings with rare roast beef, finger sandwiches with fresh poached salmon, Gallettes of spinach, red onion confit and stilton, baked spiced Sussex ham, and pickled peach, green bean, feta and hazelnut salad were all served to our guests. There were alternatives for the veggies and Gluten-free guests as well. There were no leftovers and our guests still talk about the food now – mission complete!
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
We decided not to serve dessert to the tables, as we felt that was too formal. One of my mums best friends has her own cafe in Brighton, and makes the most amazing cakes. So we asked her to create miniature versions of her cakes and treats, including white chocolate and raspberry, lemon drizzle cupcakes, Brownies and Millionaires Shortbread.
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
We also decided against the traditional wedding cake, and created one made out of our favourite cheeses. We had a great time cheese tasting at our local cheese monger, La Cave à Fromage and Lizzie built it for us on the day. As we were having further guests joining us for the evening celebrations, the cheese became a huge cheeseboard with crackers, chutneys and pork pies which kept everyone going all evening. 
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
There was so much cheese and cake, we knew there would be a lot leftover. So, we arranged for boxes to be made up so that our guests could take some home for a midnight feast / breakfast. This went down a storm, and we had a lot of texts the next day thanking us for the edible gifts! 
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
 Next up, was the booze. The venue had a bar, but didn’t supply the table wine and fizz, which was fine with us. After doing the rounds of the supermarkets and wine merchants, we went with Aldi and had everything delivered a couple of weeks before. Aldi were by far the cheapest and their wines and Prosecco were great. 

One thing we (and all our friends) love is a good cocktail, and we wanted to include them in our evening celebrations. Our favourite local pub/restaurant/bar, The Ginger Pig in Hove do the best cocktails in town (in our opinion) and we’ve become good friends with the staff there. So, we asked the super talented Rob and James (find them on Twitter @Robtheboozer and @JamesDuncanRoss) to create a few cocktails for our guests. I can safely say ALL the sore heads were down to these guys and their delicious cocktails! They even made a batch of one of my personal favourites, the Hugo as one of our welcome drinks.

We also had a self-serve beer station with a few kegs from Adnams in Southwold for our guests to help themselves to.
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Food & Drink by Laura Lewis

Table wine and fizz: Aldi
Cocktails: James & Rob at The Ginger Pig, Hove


The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs)

The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs) by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs) by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs) by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs) by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs) by Laura Lewis
The Wedding: Stationery (and cutting costs) by Laura Lewis
Being a huge fan of stationery in general, I had so much fun thinking up ideas for our Wedding stationery. We wanted our invites to be fun – ones that reflected our personalities, and what we wanted the wedding to be. 

We wanted to have a little fun with our guests at the wedding, so we made bingo cards and played wedding speech bingo. We also placed a wedding mad-libs card at each guests place for them to fill in - on the back of those, guests had to draw a self-portrait  This was a great alternative to a guest book, and we had so much fun reading them all a couple of days after the wedding. 

We also wanted to be able to keep costs low. Printing and postage can be so expensive, so this is what we did to cut costs. Hopefully these tips may come in handy if you’re planning a wedding;

We made our Save The Dates digital….
A HUGE money saver, we decided to send all our guests an email (via Mail Chimp) with a digital version of our Save The Date. We had over 100 to send out, so with no printing or postage costs this really helped. 

Talented friends….
We're lucky enough to have some very talented friends, and so we asked our friend Karl to design them for us. He was totally AWESOME, and put up with my indecisiveness and changes. As you can see from the photos they were totally amazing. we decided to have character versions of us on the stationery, and some cute Seagulls characters.  Seagulls played a huge part in the whole wedding – living in Brighton and having a little sentimental factor (yes, really. Seagulls. I know) they had to be involved in some way, so they featured on all our stationary. 

Printing….
Once you have your designs you of course do need to print them. Luckily, a friend of mine recommended printed.com that does it all for you and is relatively cheap! I had looked into have them printed at a local shop, but the costs were so high. 

We asked Karl to design the invite in black and white as that saves pennies on the printing, and we chose a post-card design rather than a folded card as that also makes a big difference. 

I ordered envelopes from Amazon, and had some personalised colourful stickers printed from moo.com. We didn’t bother with inserts or surplus paper, opting for a wedding website instead. 

I built the website myself using The Knot. It was small enough to be hosted for free, and I didn’t even have to pay for a domain. This is where we had further information regarding the day, plus a City Guide for those who were travelling from outside of Brighton and making a weekend of it with hotel and restaurant recommendations, as well as things to do and see around the city.

Postage….
We purposefully printed everything we needed to in small sizes, and sent invites via second class. A lot of our guests are local to us, so we were able to deliver them by hand. It may seem small, but believe me we saved a lot of money posting second class.

All in all we managed to save a fair amount of money which went towards the booze

More on that in the next post!