Saturday, May 31, 2014

2 Weeks Married - Thank You!

It has been two weeks since Jim and I joined friends and family at Riverdale Barn for our wedding.  We still haven't come back down to earth after a day that was more than we could ever have hoped for. 

In the lead up to our wedding our families couldn't do enough to help finalise our plans, including last minute shopping, delivering bits and pieces to Riverdale, flower arranging and venue decoration. They gave tirelessly of themselves that week and the resulting day was perfect. :)

We were really lucky with the weather on our wedding day - it stayed dry and warm all day, with not too much sun, so hopefully I didn't squint in too many pictures.

The response to our ceremony has been completely overwhelming! Initially friends and family were unsure about what to expect from our slightly unconventional ceremony and some even felt that we should have just gone down the traditional registrar route, but we knew what was important to us and how we wanted the ceremony to feel.  So many people have commented that it was so full of love, so unique and so us. A resounding success if you ask me!!

A huge thank you to our friend Paul who agreed, with little information, to be the celebrant for our ceremony. It meant so much to us to have him there.

Our completely vegan menu was also well recieved and we noticed lots of empty plates going back to the kitchen after the main course.  The cupcakes and vegan ice cream seemed popular too! A massive thank you to my sister-in-law Fiona, who made our vegan wedding cake.  I didn't get the chance to sample any at the wedding, but made sure to get a few huge slices the next day - it looked gorgeous and tasted amazing!!

Lots of friends and family have commented on how relaxed the wedding day felt.  Riverdale was the perfect location for us, and other couples fortunate enough to have their wedding celebrations there are extremely lucky! Thank you to Oonagh, Davy & Diane for their part in our big day.

Our friends Aggressors BC very kindly agreed to play at our wedding party and opened the evening with Madness - It Must Be Love for our first dance.  It was perfect.  They played a mix of originals and covers - the dance floor was packed!  Thank you Marty, Patreece, Sauce, Steeky, Cormac, Dan & Elaine! We love you!! (Their album The Tone of The Times is available for download on their bandcamp site  - I highly recommend checking them out!)

Lauren our photographer posted the image below the day after our wedding. Riverdale pretty much has no phone signal so I didn't have my phone on me all day, plus I have a really rubbish camera so this was the first picture I saw from our wedding.  Lauren was unobtrusive and very professional and after having this preview I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures.  She is extremely talented, very patient and vegan :).  She was an absolutely delight to work with.

Photocredit Lauren Rutherford
To everyone who helped with the organisation, attended our wedding, sent cards/gifts and well wishes - Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!


The New Mrs D

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

10 Days : Flowers #marriedmay

It seemed only fitting that today, as party of #marriedmay (a lovely hashtag created by Phoebe over at So You're Getting MarriedI share an update on our flowers.

I share my favourite flower with Blair Waldorf - Peonies.

A few months back, I wrote a post about my struggle with all things floral for our wedding.

Thankfully my mother-in-law to be, Marie came to our rescue.

She recommended a fantastic florist and friend Sharon at Occasions Floral Design, who we met with at the start of March.

Sharon listened to our ideas for the wedding and was happy to make suggestions but ultimate take our lead on the flowers. I'd drawn some sketches of what I'd like the arrangements to look like, not the easiest way to select flowers for your wedding!!

As we really wanted to do the flowers ourselves, but we were going to struggle with executing this successful, so she agreed help us by doing as much or as little as we wanted.

We decided that Sharon (and Joan) would create some hand tied bouquets for Fiona, Jenny and I. These bouquets will be photographed a lot and we wanted them to look beautiful for the whole day.  They are also going to provide flowers for us to arrange on the tables. They've been a fantastic help at guiding my quantities and suggesting the best flowers to create the soft natural, hand picked looks we wanted. They are going to prep and condition the flowers for us and deliver them to the venue where we will still have the opportunity to arrange for the tables.

Some of the types of flowers we are using are;
Wax flower

I can't wait to see the final arrangements!


Saturday, May 03, 2014

14 Days: Thank You gifts for my Bridesmaids

I have only been a bridesmaid once.  My cousins and I (ranging in age from 4-11) were bridesmaids for my Dad's sister Anne, the summer I turned 10. The wedding was in Cambridge and I felt so grown up being part of the wedding party, getting to walk up and down the aisle following the bride.  There are some gorgeous pictures of the day, but not being very photogenic, I'm screwing my face up in most of them!

As a Thank you gift for being a bridesmaid, Anne gave us gorgeous matching bracelets which we wore on the day.  I still love mine and it still fits!

When looking for the perfect gift to say 'Thank you' to my bridesmaids I wanted to find something, like this bracelet from my aunt, that would remind them of our wedding for years to come.  With this in mind I decided that jewellery was a good idea.

I'm a fan of the Pandora range and it immediate jumped into my head as an option. Two of my bestfriends bought me a white leather Pandora bracelet before I moved to Leicester and I love it!  I've been lucky enough to receive some charms as gifts from friends, family and Jim - most recently Jim bought me an Eiffel Tower charm when we were in Paris.
My Pandora Bracelet.

With Pandora bracelets as a possiblity I began my hunt to make sure there wasn't something out there I liked even more.

I really loved Kirstin Ash's bespoke charm pieces.  You can chose between a gold or silver necklace or bracelet length chain and then customise each piece with charms for your bridesmaid. Unfortunately the silver bracelet chain has been sold out for ages and I wasn't so keen on the gold for the girls.
Image Credit: Kirstin Ash Website
Right through our wedding planning I've spent a lot of time browsing on Not On The High Street.  There are some really fantastic brands featured on the site and I've purchased lots of lovely cards and gifts from it. I love this heart locket by Hurley Burley and thought it could be a lovely thank you gift for bridesmaids but I was more keen on a bracelet than a necklace.
Image Credit: Hurley Burley

While browsing in Highcross I notived that Thomas Sabo have started a new range called 'Karma Beads' similar to the idea of the Pandora bracelets. I love Thomas Sabo jewllery but don't like their bracelet chains as much as the Pandora ones but they do have some absolutely gorgeous rose gold beads.

Image Credit: Thomas Sabo website

After a lot of research I couldn't find anything I liked more than the Pandora Bracelets. As they don't have a specific bridesmaid charm (they would probably sell a lot of them if they did!) and their 'Super Sister' charm didn't jump out at me, I thought I'd pick something that they could wear on our wedding day with their bridesmaid dresses. I chose these gorgeous pink faceted Murano glass beads on a silver Pandora bracelet. I love that the girls can add beads to these bracelets to celebrate other special occasions or memories.  I hope they love them as much as I love mine.


p.s. I gave the girls their gifts when we had afternoon tea at The Merchant over Easter as I wanted to make sure they were happy with them so I've not ruined any surprises here :)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

16 Days: Wedding Nightmare - My spell in LRI (Leicester Royal Infirmary)

25 days before our wedding I imagined I'd be knee deep in spa treatments, finalising floral arrangements and practising my vows in front of the mirror.

The reality, unfortunately, was far from this.

I've been feeling unwell for the last 3 or 4 weeks and had had a course of antibiotics from my GP.  For one reason or another, after a week the antibiotics didn't cure me completely, but the GP assured me that a few days later I should be feeling 100%.  While I was in Northern Ireland over Easter I experience a couple of nights of horrific headaches, high temperatures and lower back pain.  My heightened hypochondriasis screamed kidney stones, kidney failure, or worse, but it wasn't until I returned to work last Tuesday that I realised I needed to see doctor, ASAP.

I managed to get an emergency appointment after work.  Jim half carried me to the health centre and propped me while we waited to see the doctor.  I believe the doctor told me I had a temperature of 39.5 and that he thought my temperature was affecting my kidneys, but it felt like an out of body experience.  He said that he was going to have to admit me to hospital that night. I burst into tears.  He asked 'Are you feeling a bit emotional?' (... no duh!) Through tears I said 'I can't go to hospital, I'm getting married'.  My health is of course important, always, but particularly in the lead up to our big day, so dutifully I packed an overnight bag and went to A&E at Leicester Royal Infirmary, but not before a distraught call to my mum - the best person I know in a medical emergency.

I was seen by a couple of doctor and lots of nurses, who re-confirmed that my body was indeed, almost on fire, they took some blood, administered some intravenous antibiotics and paracetamol and hooked me up to a drip.  Unfortunately, like in many hospitals at the moment due to attempts to privatise the NHS, there wasn't a bed on a ward for me that night but the nurses made me comfortable while I waited. This was the eve of Jim's birthday, he sat/slept beside me 'til 4 am.  I did apparently sing Happy Birthday (the NoFX version, which is sweary) just after midnight while in a temperature induced high. At 4am-ish they moved me from a curtained area out to the main floor of the ward so I convinced Jim to go home as there was no longer a chair for him to sit on, and although he looked tired enough to sleep standing up, I didn't want to ruin his birthday any more.

At 6am I got a bed on a ward.  Exhausted, feverish and emotional, I was so pleased to be off the trolley and to finally try to get some sleep.

I was in hospital for 4 days, and as much as I didn't enjoy it I knew it was the best place to be.  They took very good care of me and finally my fever broke and my temperature returned to almost normal on Thursday/Friday.  I started to feel almost human again. I had a scan of my kidney on Friday afternoon/evening which thankfully showed my kidneys were fine and there was no scarring as a result of the infection.  I'm was happy to hear this as pyelonephritis can cause lasting damage to the kidney. I felt very lucky to be discharged to Jim on Friday evening and come home to my own bed.

My mum has been amazing for the last few days, taking on some of the wedding organising which felt like a literal weight off my shoulders and has meant I can just focus on getting better.  I'm not sure why I hadn't asked for help before now but I guess I've been trying so hard to cope, to do this ourselves and not to bother anyone.

I'm really testing this 'in sickness and in health' promise, but thankfully, it looks like Jim's gonna stand by me no matter what life throws at me. He was at the hospital almost instantly when I needed him and came to see me during every visiting hour even if I was asleep and only needed my hair stroked.

I don't think I've ever felt so lucky to have him, or so loved. He really is my rock.

Now, with 16 days to go 'til our wedding I'm getting lots of rest, fluids and trying to make sure I'm fully recovered so I don't relapse. I'm petrified of ending up back in hospital and missing the wedding.  Trying to re-arrange the day we've spent the last 2 years organising would be heart breaking.