Sunday, 31 August 2014

Choosing a Wedding Abroad

Making a decision

When I first got engaged four years ago I went straight to the travel agents and picked up three of the 'Weddings Abroad' brochures.

I looked at the beautiful outdoor settings and thought about how lovely it would be to know that the weather would be amazing on your wedding day.

The brochures were filled with gorgeous hotels that we wouldn't normally stretch to budget wise and I researched different areas of Europe, including Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

Photos like this inspired me. 

For me, places like the Caribbean were a little to far from home. I thought it might be a bit much to expect people to pay lots of money for a long haul holiday just because I was getting married. But I really enjoyed looking at the amazing places that you can get married in America, such as central park in New York, Florida and Las Vegas.

After getting engaged we decided that we wanted to save up and buy our own house before we considered planning a wedding. That took a couple of years of us living at my mum's house, but eventually we had saved enough.

I had never dreamed of a big fussy day where everyone would be looking at me - that's not me at all. We looked at some local venues but we both have quite a big family and the expense just seemed crazy!

The fact that I also couldn't think of anything worse than hundreds of people looking at me pushed me to go ahead and book the wedding abroad. I wanted it to be as fuss free as possible. I couldn't find many people who felt like me but I just wanted to be married! Without the big wedding...

We decided on the Greek island of Kos - the place where we met. I booked through a private wedding planner who is British but lives on the island. This meant we could just go for one week as paper work is completed earlier.

Big holiday companies tell you that you must go for two weeks because of residency. When you look into it this isn't true - not for Greece anyway. They just complete some paper work that takes 7 days as soon as you arrive, when a planner would have done it before hand. That means you get married in the second week of your holiday - fine for most people, but two weeks at a really lovely hotel was a bit too expensive for us. 

If I was going to do it all over again, I would still choose my wedding abroad :) 

Our wedding in Greece

Our ceremony location.

We had a small group of twelve guests which was great. Out of personal choice we decided to stay in our hotel alone, and the guests chose to stay in the sister hotel next door. It was going to be our honeymoon too so this meant a good balance between spending some time alone and time with family. We met up with them every night for drinks and sometimes saw them in the day. My auntie had got married abroad a few years before and had done the same thing, so we followed in her footsteps. 

Everything was how I had imagined - very relaxed, nice photos, gorgeous weather... A hotel worker drove me, my mum, my auntie and my sister through the hotel grounds to the ceremony in a golf buggy. We had the ceremony outside at the hotel chapel courtyard, then went into the village for a very chilled out afternoon reception at a bar called The Garden. We had the back garden area to ourselves and they put out the most gorgeous buffet for us - it was delicious. Later we had an evening meal else where at a restaurant by the harbour. When we walked through the village the locals were so friendly, congratulating us, beeping car horns and some even came out of their house to throw confetti rice. I changed my dress at about 7pm - the wedding was at 1. I never thought I would last that long in my princess dress but I didn't feel as hot as I thought I would. 

Afternoon reception: The Garden

Now that we are back home we are having a party at a hotel soon. I ordered a wedding cake and lots of decorations to make it feel as 'weddingy' as possible for those who didn't come away with us. A family friend will be taking photos.   

For me this was the best way to have my wedding day - I didn't have the pressure of a huge day and it was a little different to your standard wedding. I'm glad I stuck with what I had wanted from when we first got engaged over four years ago.

Would you consider getting married abroad?
Or do you know anyone who has done this?



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Michelle Keegan at Lipsy

I was searching for the perfect winter coat when I came across the pre-fall 14 collection - Michelle Keegan at Lipsy by chance. I had no idea that Michelle Keegan was working with Lipsy but I'm so glad I stumbled across this range. I love it a lot and so I wanted to share my enthusiasm!

I'm afraid I've fallen in love and want pretty much everything.

Michelle is so gorgeous... who wouldn't want to look like her?!

But anyway, here are a few of my favourites...

Have you seen the collection at Lipsy?
What do you think?
You can find the whole collection here.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Three things I love

With the stress of sorting out our wedding, working and paying lots of bills, I've recently been trying to make sure I enjoy some of the smaller things in life - a good bit of TV or a nice magazine to help you relax after a busy day at work.

I wouldn't normally consider a tv programme something that can help me to feel relaxed, but recently a good laugh while cuddled on the sofa with snacks has become a great way to spend my spare time!
I've started to make sure that I appreciate the little things at home that make me happy - I've learnt that it's a great way for me to de-stress. Here's my current top three:

1. The Big Bang Theory

We discovered the Big Bang Theory by chance when relaxing in our hotel room in Australia last year. What an amazing discovery that was! I absolutely love this programme. I watched it on the flight home from Aus and was laughing out loud - I've loved it ever since. 

We picked up the box set and started from series one and it's really one of the few TV programmes that can make me laugh! Sheldon & Raj are my faves - hilarious!

I find myself acting like a true geek by suddenly blurting out big bang quotes to my husband, dad or sister - anyone who will listen!

One of my favourite moments is when Sheldon gives Amy a tiara...

"put it on me put it on me put it on me put it on me!" 


2. Style at Home magazine

I like having a nose at most home magazines but some of the more expensive glossy ones feel irrelevant to me. Lots of the items featured would be way out of my budget, for example. Like a £300 lamp.

Style at Home is my absolute favourite home magazine. It's a good price and features gorgeous home ideas and accessories that can be bought at affordable stores, such as Dunelm. The 'stylists at home' always seem so down to earth and I love reading about their projects. It gives me inspiration to improve and look after my own home.

They always have useful features such as ideas on upcycling old furniture and a delicious recipe section. I recommend this to anyone who likes to make their home look pretty!

3. The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Recommended to me by a colleague who's a fellow Real Housewives of Orange County fan, I love NJ just as much! 

It's definitely very dramatic with a few more arguments than Orange County but I've come to love Teresa and her family and also Caroline. I think they are both fab ladies in different ways. 

Great escapism TV - helps me to get home from work and forget all the real life problems for a while as these people just live in a different world to me!

 How do you relax at home? 
Any other Big Bang fans out there?

Friday, 22 August 2014

So now I'm a married lady...

Hello! We are back from our holiday and are now Mr & Mrs!

After months of stressing and feeling on edge everything went well at our wedding abroad and we had an amazing day.

The photo above is the spot where we got married, all set up and ready to go. It was just how I had hoped it would look. 

Being in Greece the weather was perfect, our photographer was great, the guests had a lovely day and we ate lots of yummy food and drank slush cocktails!

I'm happy to say that it was a small but perfectly formed wedding day. 

I've been feeling all out of the blogging world recently so will be getting back into it with a post about the beautiful Greek island that we got married on - Kos. I'm still working on that at the moment :)  

To anyone getting married - I would say there really is no need to stress over the little things... it all just seems to work out nicely on the day!

Now that it's all done I will be catching up on lots of your lovely blog posts & getting back into the blogging world properly. I've missed it!


Saturday, 2 August 2014

High Street Bridesmaid Dresses

I was recently searching for a bridesmaid dress for my beautiful sister to wear at my wedding in Greece this month.

My budget was quite low - £80 max. However there are loads of beautiful high street dresses around right now that I think would be perfect as a bridesmaid dress.

I think that buying from a high street store allows you to have flexibility - there's loads of choice and you can pick them up instantly.

Prices can also be far better - especially if you find some beautiful bargains in the sale!

These are a few of my favourites. Links from left to right:

Kaliko Chiffon Maxi  Coast Short Mint Dress  Alice & You Pink Maxi   Peach Quiz Dress

Which is your favourite?
Would you buy high street dresses for your beautiful bridesmaids?