The wedding countdown is on – 4 months to go
I honestly can’t believe that two months have passed since I wrote my 6 months to go wedding update: the wedding countdown is really on now!! Excuse the double exclamation marks, but it’s coming around at breakneck speed and I’m getting so excited. Sometimes I feel like we’re not getting anywhere with our preparations, but then I realise we’ve actually managed to get quite a lot sorted. I’m really big on planning, so there are spreadsheets left, right and centre. Some with guests’ addresses on and colour coding to remind me if I’ve posted their invites or not and others such as the dreaded budget spreadsheet… I also finally caved and bought a ‘wedding planner’ notebook to jot all my thoughts and to-do lists down, having previously tried (and failed) to go paperless. Turns out my list-loving self just can’t cope with that when planning such a big occasion. And it’s a good job I did get it because I feel much more in control if I can keep writing endless lists.
So, if you enjoyed my last post and can’t wait for your next fix of wedding planning, the next update is here. Also – I’m not going to lie, this post is basically just as much for my benefit as it is for yours, as I’m hoping it’ll make me realise things aren’t as wildly unplanned as they sometimes seem in my head. Will update you on how I’m feeling at the end of the post.
The Wedding and our week in Barbados
- Food: I mentioned last time that things got a bit heated when we tried to choose our menu options the first time around. However, I’m delighted to share with you that after a scheduled mini-meeting it took us less than 5 minutes to settle on our food options. It’s definitely been beneficial actually scheduling meetings in and working to a specific agenda. This is actually my top tip for wedding planning so far: it turns out your other half is unlikely to be receptive and excited about making decisions when you’ve been mulling something over for hours and then spring it on him when he’s busy doing something else…
- Music: Filling me with slightly less dread than it was this time last week but still a bit of a nightmare area. I’d describe myself as musical and should be someone who has a good understanding of music for different occasions but choosing my own wedding music has been terrifying. Our wedding planner sent over a really detailed list of different points during the day that need musical accompaniment and let me tell you, it’s a lot of music that we need to choose. Anyway, I’ve chosen around 6 songs to play whilst people are arriving, I think I’ve settled on my processional song and we may even have agreed on the recessional too! The recessional choice was actually really difficult because we don’t have a song particularly. I mean, we occasionally like to dance around like crazy people to Tiesto vs. Diplo – C’mon after a glass or two of prosecco before we go out but that’s not quite the vibe we’re going for in this instance. I’ve also managed to narrow down the list of songs for our steel panist to play at our cocktail hour. So we’re not 100% sorted for music, but definitely getting there.
- Wedding dress: Obviously the most exciting part. I checked in with the store and my dress is on track to arrive mid-July so I’ve earmarked a weekend to go for my first fitting. I’m having a few alterations and a matching lace pop over made to wear at our at-home reception in November to make it more winter appropriate – like two dresses in one!
- Wraparound events: As we’re dragging all our guests to the other side of the world, it’s only fair to put on something to say thank you. We’re planning a BBQ at our villa the night before the wedding but I’m still trying to get a decent quote for this. We’re also hoping to do a catamaran cruise after the wedding for guests who are still on the island but we need to wait for the RSVPs before we can sort this one out!
- Invitations: I finally posted them! Yesterday! This took us a while because we’ve insisted on having a website and RSVPs online. I’m glad we’ve done this though as it saves on paper and we won’t have loads of replies cluttering our house. Just need to cross our fingers that all the logins work now.
- Flights: This was really the only thing left on my list to do as everything else has been booked for a while. We’ve got direct flights from Barbados to St Lucia and then from St Lucia to Antigua with Liat.
- Airport transfers: To make sure we can really make the most of all of our trip, we’ve opted for a chauffeur service to and from the airport in the UK. It’s all booked and ready to go – very early I know but I like to know these things are sorted. To be honest, the cost probably works out as only a little bit more than paying to park our car for 3 weeks. Also, we’re flying from Gatwick which is a bit of a trek from home so it’ll be so much nicer not to have to worry about the driving and be able to truly relax from start to finish.
I haven’t really gone into much detail about this yet, probably because it has seemed quite far away until now. As we’re having a small wedding overseas, we wanted to have a bigger celebration at home with everyone who isn’t coming to the actual wedding. We’re having this near where I’m originally from in Staffordshire at the end of November. It suddenly hit me a few weeks ago that although this isn’t that complicated an event to organise, there is still quite a lot to confirm and suppliers will start getting booked up. Anyway, we’re nearly there with this now and I’ll breathe easier once we’ve paid all the deposits.
- The event: We’re going for a straightforward hog roast and dancing afterwards, with wedding cake served as dessert. We’re also having a candy cart and a photo booth to jazz it up a bit.
- Suppliers: I’m pleased to say that I’ve now paid the deposit for the event dressers who’ll take care of ribbons on the seats and centrepieces. I’ve also sent over the deposit for the candy cart, which is another one ticked off the list. Finally, I think I’ve just about settled on a photo booth and will get this booked and confirmed ASAP. The cake is also already on order and I think the only thing left to do is send over inspo photos for the fondant flowers. Whew, what a lot going on. (I’m literally adding notes in my wedding planner as I write this post).
- Save the dates/invitations: Literally the worst thing about planning this whole destination wedding/at-home reception arrangement is that I have to go through the pain of save the dates and invitations twice. If you haven’t done this before, I’m not going to sugar-coat it: I think sorting this out is the absolute worst. It’s basically just full-on admin. And it’s expensive. And we’re inviting over 120 people to the reception so that’s a lot of addresses to collate.
Other miscellaneous prep
- Hen do: it’s confirmed, I’m going for a spa weekend for my hen do. I’m really not up for a girls’ night out on the town as the thought of being at the centre of that fills me with dread so it’s relaxing instead. It’s not booked yet but I’m hoping to get it all sorted in the next month or so. I’ve chosen Hoar Cross Hall in Staffordshire as it’s a lovely spa with lots of space and different pools/areas to relax in. It’s also one price for everything so really easy to organise. At this point, it’s all about minimum effort for maximum returns.
- Wedding rings: something I find really fun: jewellery shopping! Any excuse to get some more bling. I have an idea that I’d like a wedding ring with channel set diamonds because I love the sparkle (any other magpies out there?). But to be honest I have no idea if that’ll look any good with my engagement ring. So we’re going to try some on in July and see what we like.
- Beauty prep: Something not to forget – all the pre-wedding beauty treatments. I’ve booked one appointment for my nails before my hen do and then a further, more intensive treatment session the week before we fly out to Barbados. I usually get Bio Sculpture gel nails, which are super durable and let your nails grow, so my plan is that the pre-hen do gel will allow my nails to grow out for a few weeks without breaking, ready to be done again before the wedding. #planningpsycho
Wow so I feel kind of relieved, kind of exhausted even writing that out. But it’s definitely heading in the right direction. I think it’ll be an amazing time celebrating everything but I’m looking forward to waving goodbye to all that wedmin!