Lucie Loves… wedding planning // My hunt for the perfect dress is on. But where do I go to find the one?
A whole six 14 months seem to have whizzed by in the blink of an eye - I swear time passes quicker as you get older, or maybe it just feels that way when you work full-time. It feels like wedding planning needs to be a full-time job in order to get on top of all the things that need to get done.
So, how are we getting on with planning our 2015 wedding?
Not very productively, to tell you the truth.
A quick lowdown of what’s happened so far:
- He proposed… with a neon sign
- I cried… and said yes!
- We went looking for an engagement ring… I didn’t see any that I really liked (read: or could afford)
- We started cobbling together a guest list… it turned into a behemoth (read: huge and monstrous creature)
- We researched hundreds (felt like thousands) of possible wedding venues online
- We finally found Sarah May Jewellery… and commissioned a bespoke engagement ring design made from existing gem stones and gold, from our combined family pieces - which, hopefully, we will be collecting this week!
- We went to view our first venue and got all excited…
- and then I put in for our first catering quote (for said venue) and nearly had a heart attack when the estimate came back at £24,000!!
- We visited The National Wedding Show and got an idea of what we really did and didn’t like
- We looked online at a few more venues, made more phone calls and email enquiries
- We booked another venue viewing - different venue, different country
- We finally booked our venue
- We’ve bought our rings
- I’ve bought two dresses
- JMG has tried on a suit
- We’ve sent the Save the Dates and are about to send out the invites…
With just 13 months 15 weeks to go before we actually expect to get married, the race is really on!
We’ve looked at a gazillion different wedding venue options online, but have realised that it really does need you both to invest some actual legwork and real mileage into the search, before you find ‘the one’.
I’m sure every couple sets out trying to find something amazing, full of great expectations, hopes and dreams, only to come out of the wedding machine feeling a little disillusioned and a bit exhausted at the endless possibilities and escalating cost of it all.
I guess where we’ve gone about it slightly the wrong way is not really knowing what our maximum budget is going to be. Every wedding blog, magazine and person-in-the-know that I speak to, says that it is THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF IT ALL!
Both of our lovely parents have said they would like to contribute to our big day, and we are also saving up ourselves over the next 13 months, but how much - realistically - will we be looking at in total? My guess is that it will be around the £15,000 mark, but that’s TBC - give or take a small lottery windfall.
Other peoples’ weddings…
I had a conversation with my work colleagues over lunch recently and was intrigued to find out that two of the ladies had skilfully managed to plan and execute a whole wedding for under £5,000. But then again, there was also the other end of the spectrum, with in-laws chipping in left, right and centre, and people who had ludicrously healthy - and a little OTT - budgets too - who’d spend $30,000 on a wedding dress?! Yikes!
I’m not quite up to the ‘now pick your dress stage’ yet. Although, I have started to rally round my Mum and friends to get a date in the diary where we can go dress shopping. Saying that, I don’t think I’ll be coughing up the price of a mortgage deposit for just one day’s wear. I want a dress that feels like me, I guess all Brides say the same.
Pinterest has been marvellous for doing a bit of digging around, whenever I have a spare minute, and identifying what I think I’d like to try and look like. I now have my eye on a long list of wedding dress designers.
Places to go wedding dress shopping…
In no particular order, here are some of my favourites:
- Sarah Seven
- Anna Campbell
- Stephanie Allin
- Delphine Manivet
- Kelly Faetanini
- Reem Acra
- Samuelle Couture
- Elizabeth FIllmore
- Mira Zwillinger
- Rosa Clara
- Zahavit Shuba
- Claire Pettibone
- Elie Saab Couture
- Laure de Sagazan
I recently discovered, almost by accident, Chiltern Street in London. It’s a quiet little place just around the corner from Brown’s Bridal, lined with the prettiest of boutiques: Stephanie Allin, Bridal Rogue Gallery, Elizabeth Todd, and By Storm, to name just a few - there is also a very nice looking specialist whisky tasting shop on that street too, which would be perfect for wedding guest gifts.
I’ve also heard that Mirror Mirror and Blackburn Bridal are meant to be very good places to check out for wedding dresses. And there is also a great selection of Jenny Packham gowns and other designer beauties in Harrods. The Mews in Clifton has also flashed up on my beady-eyed bridal radar…
For vintage lovers, check out:
Or if you fancy hiring your dress, have a look at:
If you have any other great wedding dress places that I should have a look at or add to my list, please get in touch: email@example.com
I’ve also been scouring Twitter for the past year or so and creating a list of my favourite wedding suppliers - I’ve tried to find as many bohemian, vintage, independent and alternative wedding suppliers as possible.
Take a look at my list of wedding peeps and please let me know if you’ve got anymore that deserve to be on there.
Best of luck to those of you planning your own weddings - enjoy every minute of it!
*** We would love to hear from any wedding suppliers interested in helping us make our big day as amazing as possible.
If this is you, please take a look at our other wedding posts: lucieloves.co.uk/tagged/lekxjmgwedding and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org ***
Photography © Lucie Kerley