Meet Fiona, Emma and Leanne, our three resident brides-to-be (there always seems to be a lot of wedding action at notonthehighstreet.com HQ). These lovely ladies are at various stages in their wedding planning, so we’ve used our amazing powers of persuasion and convinced them to talk us through the whole process and to share their ideas and inspiration in the run up to their big day. They’ll be blogging about everything from save the dates and planning the hen do to decorating the venue and finding gifts for the bridal party. If you’re planning a wedding yourself, they’ll guide you along the way by sharing tips, advice and great product finds, as well as talking through any issues that they’ve faced. Each of our brides-to-be have created a pinboard on our Pinterest profile, so you can see what’s influencing their wedding style as their journey progresses. Here’s their story so far…
“Josh and I have been engaged for just three weeks. We’ve been together for just over two years and he couldn’t have surprised me more with the proposal, mainly as I didn’t think he was capable of a) that level of planning and b) actual romance. I received a mystery text message while I was shopping telling me to go home and pack an overnight bag, and that a taxi would be picking me up an hour later and I wasn’t to ask any questions. I was collected and driven to Claridges (he picked Claridges as I got a little bit obsessed after the TV documentary series). I was escorted by the woman from the front desk into the posh lift (with the real life lift-button-pressing man from the TV series) up to the Penthouse. Josh was waiting on one knee on the balcony with a gigantic plastic ring he’d picked up the day before (fitting for such a venue I thought). We then stayed overnight in the hotel and ate the best food I’ve ever eaten in the restaurant – the whole weekend was just amazing. This was all from the man who’d smugly presented me with two Cadbury’s Creme Eggs the previous Valentine’s Day (they were on offer – two for £1 at the petrol station).
Getting engaged has given me an excuse to unleash my exceptional planning skills; in the last three weeks we’ve set a date, booked the venue, picked the caterers and have finalised a guest list. We’ve ordered the materials for our homemade save the date cards and I can’t wait for it all to arrive so I can get making (and blogging) about them. I now spend every lunchtime scouring bridal sites and wedding blogs for inspiration – it’s great being able to do this because I’m actually getting married and not just because I’m a bit mental. We’re getting married at Gate Street Barn in Guildford on the 6 April next year and I’m planning a huge home made bunting and paper pom pom fest. Needless to say, I’m VERY excited!”
Emma and Paul
“Paul and I got engaged last January in Sydney. We had decided to do a road trip up the East Coast of Sydney, taking it in turns to pick a place to stay on the map. One evening after a lovely day on the beach, we went back to our beautiful hotel. Sitting out on the balcony, Paul said he was going to get a glass of water. He reappeared a couple of minutes later and got down on one knee. Despite the fact he had blood pouring down his arm (he cut it when trying to extract the ring from the lining of his suitcase where he’d hidden it from me as I’m SO nosy), I gleefully accepted. I wish I could say I was graceful but I sobbed hyena-style for five minutes before I pulled myself together and said absolutely, yes.
We’re getting married in about eight weeks (eek!) on the 25 May. Our ceremony is in a tiny village in Devon called Drewsteignton, followed by a reception in Fingle Bridge right next to the river. This area is very special to me as not only is it a stunning location but my grandparents used to live there so it carries so many fond memories. Paul’s family are from County Down in Ireland so, luckily, he was keen on having a rural wedding too.”
Leanne and Rory
“Rory and I have been together for five years and he popped the question in November. Having just returned home, tired and bedraggled, from a long and rainy shopping trip, Rory greeted me with the news that he had a small present waiting for me in our dining room. Romantically, I guessed that it might have been a microwave as we had been discussing our need for one earlier in the week (oh domestic bliss!). Needless to say I was completely taken aback to be greeted by lit candles, scattered rose petals and an abundance of photos from our many travels together adorning the main wall. Rory proposed with a beautiful aquamarine and diamond ring that he had commissioned – I couldn’t have picked anything more perfect myself.
We have chosen our venue and are getting married in December at The Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor. We loved that the hotel has a historic, vintage feel, while still remaining relaxed – ideal for a Winter wedding. It is also perfectly located for Rory’s friends and family in Ireland to fly over and join in the celebrations. Rory and I are both quite decisive (or perhaps just impulsive) and so have ticked off a lot of the larger items on the wedding ‘to do’ list, leaving plenty of time to focus on the fun aspects such as wedding styling, entertainment and bridal styling. I’m looking forward to putting our mark on the day with a focus on our love of travelling and music and, of course, adding a Christmas twist!
One of the issues we’ve already faced in the process of our wedding planning is the number of guests we want to invite – we need to be realistic with our budget and select a guestlist according to what we can afford. Other difficulties include taking a traditional venue like a hotel and stamping our personal style on it and choosing bridesmaids – how many and who?!”
If you’ve got any words of wisdom for the girls, or your own wedding or engagement stories to share, let us know in the comments below.