Sunday

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
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Thursday

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! 

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Sunday

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


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Friday

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! 



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Wednesday

The Wedding: Beauty

My Wedding: Beauty by Laura Lewis

After a month or so of figuring out how to share my wedding with you lovely lot, here is the first post in my wedding-series. Sharing parts of my day on here was something I knew I wanted to do when I started planning our wedding, and with over 1,000 photos to choose from, I've managed to narrow it down. 

So let's begin the series with a little Bridal beauty...

First off, I decided not to use a professional makeup artist. Mainly as they cost an absolute fortune, and we were on a budget. It also meant that as I wasn't going to pay someone  I got to keep the makeup we used, instead of the MUA taking it back with them, which meant it gave me the best excuse ever to go makeup shopping!


My Bridal makeup look was a lot like how I usually do my makeup, but with a bit more definition and a little sparkle. If you're a regular reader, you'll know I booked the Bobbi Brown Bridal Makeup lesson (read about my experience here

On the day, one of my gorgeous and talented bridesmaids ended up doing my makeup for me. I was all for doing my makeup myself, but the bridesmaids all decided I needed to just sit back and try not to stress so the lovely Pepper stepped in.

Below are the items we used to create my natural bridal look: 

Base

Eyes

Lips

Tips:
1.       If you can, try not to wear makeup for the week running up to the wedding. It really helps your skin. I went one step further and didn’t wear any for around two whole weeks and found that my skin was in really good condition. 
2.       Remember, you need to wear a little more makeup than you’re used to. This is so it shows up in the wedding photos. 
3. Water, and lots of it! Drink, drink, drink. 
4. If you're planning on doing your own makeup, practice a few times prior to the morning of your wedding day. This will help you figure out the best way you want to apply it all on the day. 
5. Ensure that one (or all) of your bridesmaids have room in their bag for your most important makeup - touchups are going to be needed throughout the day.


Photos throughout by Allison Dewey Photography
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Sunday

The AW16 Wishlist



The temperature has definitely dropped, so I can finally share my AW16 wish list. My regular readers will all know by now that this is my favourite time of year for clothes shopping. Featuring chunky knits, boots, and a splash of leopard print, AW16 could be my favourite season so far. 

Obviously I've added a little bit of colour for those dark, grey days ahead as well as a little glamour in the form of some sparkly pieces ready for party season, plus a girl needs some new accessories - hats, jewellery and bags are on the list.

Now all I've got to do is come up with ALL the reasons to justify having all of these pieces in my wardrobe. 

A girl can dream, right?


Dress // Skirt // Jumper // Parka // Bag

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Tuesday

Floral Maxi Dress


Dress / Jacket // Boots (old) // Bag // Sunglasses

I’ve always loved pairing ‘girly’ pieces with something a little bit ‘tougher’ and this combo is perfect. Florals are a big trend for AW16, and this floral maxi dress is a great piece if you're looking to dip your toes in, so to speak.

I’ve also been wearing it as a long jacket over jeans and denim mini-skirts as well – totally versatile and under £50.

My type of trend-led clothing I can get on board with.
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