Thursday, 16 December 2010

Update: Every girl needs her mum

Hi guys,
It's been a long time since i've updated, and progress on the wedding planning has really slowed down this month, as we've been taking a break and focusing on Christmas instead: you can't assemble a tree and make mince pies by the thousand and buy and wrap a million presents whilst stressing about a wedding at the same time!But the cut outs for the photobooth are complete: here are pics of how they looked before I took them home, where my amazing dad and grandad are cutting the faces out and building frames around them so they stand up. I can't wait to get home for Christmas to see how they look (as well as because I can't wait to get home for Christmas!)

When I went home last month to visit my folks and take the cut outs up for their final creation, mum and I had three days of wedding planning and crafty fun. We choose the ribbon colours for the confetti cones (which mum is making herself) got some great inspiration for the reception, and went to Horncastle, a local antiques town, where we picked up lots of the remaining tea cups needed for the place settings, as well as tea pots for our floral arrangements on the tables, old fashioned vases, for the flowers in the bar area and cut glass bottles for our homemade vodka to sit in on the bar. We also got a giant goblet/vase which I loved, and which we will be using for the sweetie buffet:
It will brilliant to have the time with mum to talk non-stop about the wedding and make plans. My mum is ridiculously crafty (much more so than me) and it was great to hear all her ideas (and of course give her a big list of extra things to do!!!) It was a massive weight off my shoulders to know that my mum could craft half the ideas I could barely explain in my head (and didn't think they were crazy!) Like the title says: every girl needs her mum!

All in all it was a massively successful trip, and I can't believe I didn't write it up sooner!
Love, Tor xx

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

DIY Photobooth/guest book hybrid!

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since my last post! We've had a really busy time, with loads of amazing progress made, so I must keep writing these updates. My latest DIY project is currently in progress, and it's one i'm really proud of, so I just had to share its evolution so far:You know those things that have no name, those things you put your head through and have your picture taken when you go to the fair? Well we really wanted to have those for our wedding guest book. So much more interesting that a load of signatures! We intend to have one for the boys and one for the girls: An Alice and a Mad Hatter. The painting of the alice is complete, whilst the hatter is still a work in progress. The final picture is the finished Alice:
We took 6 ft by 2 ft thick gauge MDF boards, and painted them pale pink then left them to dry. Then it was time to get creative and draw on the Alice with pencil. Once I was happy with the drawing I painted in the block colours, one colour at a time. Again, this was left to dry. Then came the trickiest bit of this crazily simple process: creating the block cartoon effect by going around the painting in a thick black marker pen. Simples!

The Hatter has had his background painted, and is just waiting for me to get creative with my paints and pencils! At the weekend both boards will be making a trip to Lincolnshire, where Daddy and Grandad Fabfrocks will be cutting out their faces and building them A frames so that they stand up independantly, and safely.

Without sounding to vain, i'm really pleased with how this one has turned out. I just hope the Mad Hatter looks as good when i've finished him!

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 11 October 2010

Guest book/Photo album/Keepsake box: Done!

I've been looking for the gift box/photo album/keepsake box set for ages, but haven't seen anything I wanted: I didn't want something with "wedding" embellished across the front. Then I toyed with something Alice themed, but didn't want something that garish to sit on my coffee table for all eternity.
Tonight Mike and I popped into Paperchase to check out the Christmas stuff (which I always absolutely love!) and I saw this and fell in love. Silver leather with flocking embossing: what's not to like?! It's very simple, and very chic, which is just what you want in something you're going to keep forever. It's more surprisingly sophisticated than I expected I would like but in the flesh it's lovely: the grain of the leather is stunning!
On the subject of Paperchase, this is the display they had behind the tills: milk bottles with pages torn from books wrapped inside as scrolls. I thought it looked really effective, and if I have any nooks and crannies at the venue that need filling this would be a cheap but eyecatching way of doing it!

Love, Tor xx

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

It's the little things...

Hi guys,
I've been quiet, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! I've had lots of new ideas over the past couple of weeks, including handing out our 'drink me' bottles of booze at the entrance to the venue (instead of putting them on the table) so that guests have to "drink and shrink" to get in, just like Alice did! I've also had a great idea for a photo guest book that's quite ambitious, and involves building a head-in-hole photobooth, similar to the kind you would find at a fair!

Unfortunately, i've also been busy, so no new big decisions have been made, no more vendors chosen. Instead i've been busying myself with little projects, so that I feel like i'm achieving something towards the wedding, without overwhelming myself!

Today i've been working on the labels for the sweet jars, to go on the sweetie buffet:

They're exactly what I wanted: personalised with our names and date, vintage looking, and still inkeeping with the wonderland theme. I've only made four so far, but now I have the template ready they won't take long to finish off! Next job is to go to ikea and buy the jars to stick them on....

Love, Tor x

Friday, 24 September 2010

More crafting: Hen 'do presents!

I know I haven't posted for ages, but that doesn't mean I haven't been getting busy with the wedding preparation! Today I finished the first batch of presents for my hens on my hen do: I decided to make them personalised Alice in Wonderland necklaces in homemade pouches. It seemed like a much nicer present to keep than a straw shaped like a willy!! Photobucket
I used charms from a company called My Vintage Charms: one is shaped like a stopped clock, and one is shaped like a tea cup. The bottles (similar to the Alice "drink me" bottles) were from ebay, and each one has the hens name written on it on a scroll in the middle, and inside each scroll is a personalised note. The ribbon I used is the same ribbon I am using for the bows on my Thank You cards. And here are the little pouches:
These were shockingly easy to make: I made little pouches out of blue felt, cut hearts out of red felt and secured them to the pouches with a cute shiny button! I then stamped the names onto labels and used the same blue ribbon as before to tie them to the tops of the bags - easy peasy!

My next projects for the hen do are to make candles inside teacups (i'm assured this is easier than it sounds!) and to research some personalised cotton bags to put all the trinkets into!

Love, Tor xx

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Brooch bouquet progress update

I'm really excited about the progress we've made on the brooch bouquet; so far we have around 40 brooches wired up like flowers, and I think we only need another 25 or so before I have enough to completely make the bouquet!

I've started putting it together already, just to get an idea of the shape and size. I'm crazy pleased with how it's looking, and think it's definitely comparable to the professionally made ones that i'm modelling it on. The top picture shows how it's looking so far, the bottom picture are the loose brooches I have left to add in. Although actually they aren't just brooches: i've also used scarf rings (that's what the stopped clock is - very Alice in Wonderland!) rings, clip on earrings - anything that had a solid base to hold the wire really!!

I was hoping to spend £1 or less per brooch and complete the make for £75, but haven't ended up anywhere near target: including the ones I didn't buy for myself (because everyone has been great at donating/buying brooches for me!) I think the overall cost will be somewhere between £150 - £200. As my mum pointed out though, the average fresh flower bridal bouquet costs about £150, and this way I get to keep all the brooches and have the amazing, unusual bouquet of my dreams!

I'm definitely not disappointed about going over budget, and can't wait to get it finished and show you guys!

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Potential ceremony reading?

I know it's a little unusual, but everytime I read A Lovely Lovestory by Edward Monkton I think of me and Mike (he is the moody dinosaur and I am the shopaholic dinosaur!!) For the ceremony we are having one religious reading and two non-religious ones, and we're thinking of using this as one of the non-religious ones. Its meaningful without being too soppy and over-sentimental, which isn't very "us". What do you think??

" The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Mad as a hatter!!

The first decision I made when we got engaged was that I wanted a veil: i've always dreamed of one, floating ethereally behind me, whilst I pretend to be demure. To me it isn't the big white dress or the designer shoes or the bouquet of flowers that make you a bride: it's the tulle or lace flowing behind you, trailing from your hair. I can't imagine getting married without a veil, really.

But you can't wear a veil all the night long, and after the ceremony and the formal photos I will take it off. I think I want to replace it with this hat from seamstress of avalon:
Mike is wearing top hat and tails (his choice, suprisingly, rather than mine, and I think he will look perfectly dapper!) I was planning to make a 10/6 card to slip into the brim of his hat. Now i'm definitely going to make him one, and we will make quite the pair in our matching hats! Love it!

Love, Tor xx

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Minimising the social impact of our wedding have just gone into administration, and the Daily Mail has reported that brides across the nation are in dismay/panic/(insert your favourite daily fail word here) because of the money they will lose on their wedding stationary. I couldn't help but feel a tiny bit smug, because of course we have made all of our stationary ourselves. That got me thinking about our ethical attitude towards our whole wedding, and I thought it would be nice to share:

There are some corporations that you cant avoid when it comes to planning a wedding; my bridesmaids dresses are from Debenhams, I want to wear make up from Chanel and Dior. Mike's suit will probably be hired from Moss Bros. And i'mnot going to pretend that's a problem for me: I love to shop, I love to consume, I love Debenhams! But the wedding industry is a big business, and there are lots of small companies taking part in it that are struggling to survive. I knew I didn't want to give money to the "big boys" of the billion pound wedding industry, so Mike and I made the decision that whereever possible we would only use small independent vendors, and if possible they would be Norwich based, to give something back to the community that means so much to us.

Our venue only offers locally sourced Norfolk food: it won't have to travel far, keeping its carbon footprint minimal. We're using the little florists at the end of the street we used to live on. Our photographer is both independant, and Norfolk based (low carbon footprint there too!!) The stationary has been homemade, right down to the place cards. The stamps for the stationary were handmade by a woman on etsy. Also made by hand will be the favours, gifts for the hen night, most of the decorations, my bouquet (using vintage brooches sourced from carboot sales and second hand shops) even the gifts for our wedding party will be homemade: i'm making them myself from some organic cotton I bought from a local haberdasher. Our tables will be littered with vintage tea cups and saucers mum and nan have been collecting for us. Our cake will be made by an independant Norfolk baker. Last week we brought our wedding rings from a small jewellers in the centre of Norwich: are you sensing a pattern here!?

We're doing everything we can to support independant and local businesses and to minimise the carbon footprint of our vendors. Do I feel smug about the low social impact of my wedding? A little bit. Then I think of all the driving to and from Norwich were doing, the travelling all our guests will have to do just so they can attend, and the big black carbon footprint our honeymoon will be leaving behind, and I realise i'm not doing anything at all. But at least we're trying!

Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 15 August 2010

DIY Make-up

Because of all the events I go to, i'm forever having my make up done, and I always hate the way it looks when someone else does it. So I will be doing my own make up for the wedding. But I won't be using my own everyday make up: because this is my wedding day I will be investing in some premium products for a flawless look. (Actually, lovely mum will be investing, as she's going to buy them for me for Christmas!) That means we get the fun of going to all the make up counters and trying all their yummy products before putting together the perfect package for the big day. Yesterday we tried Dior:
I love how flawless my skin looks (their colour correction base is great) the long long lashes are gorgeous, and I know I want the old-school glamour of red lips (with matching red nails) But I think the eyes are just a little too much: too dramatic for the wedding when teamed with the red lips. However i'm viewing this as a good thing: I have now learnt I don't want the smokey eyes as well, and would rather go for a subtle slick of liner, and lashings and lashings of lengthening mascara. A bit more natural on the eye front next time!

The face lasted all day, and even the lipstick survived the munching of pizza and soft drinks. I''ve definitely found a couple of products i'd like to get: next weekend we're trying Chanel (I have high hopes for their lipstick!)

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 13 August 2010

Dessert buffet table decorations

The one thing that won't happen to anyone at our wedding is that they go home hungry. Mike and I are big foodies, and we knew that we wanted to make sure everyone was full and happy. When it boiled down to it, in the choice between free bar and plenty of food, we hated the idea of people being drunk and starving! People will be greeted with canapes and champagne, then sit down to a three course dinner. Then in the evening there will be a big BBQ, and everyone will take home big chunks of wedding cake. (My nan is buying us the cake as a wedding gift, and she likes everyone to be full too, so we'll have far more than we need!) But alongside the BBQ is the part of the food that i'm most excited about: the sweet and cupcake buffet!

My sister will be making some of her famously delicious cupcakes (which she's designing to match the theme of the wedding and then putting on gorgeous cake stands) Then i'll be filling jars, sugar bowls, tea pots and anything else I can get my hands on, with old fashioned sweets. It's going to look visually amazing, and taste wonderful too. And it will look even more wonderful with the addition of these mad hatter-style stacks:

Aren't these great!? Hand crafted by my very talented mum! They look so higgaldy piggaldy, just like a stack of crockery left over after a mad party. And they have buttons and brooches spilling out of them: i'm thinking of putting sweets on each of the plates too! The brown teapot in the stand at the back was the gift my godfather gave my parents on their wedding day. I think these will look amazing sat on either side of the dessert buffet table, but I think it's even more amazing that my mum made them for us, and they actually mean something: who knew this wedding would turn me into such a sentimental old goat?!

Love, Tor xx

Thursday, 5 August 2010

We've booked our honeymoon!

On July 17th 2011, this will be the view from our hotel window. Yup, window view, right on the beach (although there are also 5 separate pools if we get tired of the beach!) Everytime I google pictures of our resort I want to squeal! We have booked our honey moon and will be spending two weeks in a five star resort in Sharm el Sheik. We're going to snorkel, go on a desert safari, and of course spend days in Luxor and Cairo. There will also be much eating, drinking, and merriment: We're both so excited! I brought us guide books (they're buy one get one free in WHSmith at the minute) and i've already read both from cover to cover. I'm always like this when I go anywhere; I want to immerse myself in the culture and the history and know everything! Only 11 and a half months to wait!

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Yet more stationary pictures!

So, if we could have a small drum roll please, I can now finally show you the save the date cards:
My stationary mission for this week is to make the place cards (minus the names of course, which I won't be able to write until later!) I really want everything to match the Alice in Wonderland theme. These are really simple, so they won't take too long to do: I just add my mad hatter stamp and then use my water colour crayons (a sentence I never thought i'd say!) to paint the hat and bow tie.
I've also made about 30% of my thank you cards: finishing those is next weeks mission. Which just leaves the biggy: designing and making the very intricate invitations complete with maps, inserts, and rsvp cards. I'm feeling pretty good about the stage we are at with the wedding planning right now: and we booked the honeymoon at the weekend too!! That will be getting its own whole post of loveliness tomorrow.

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Progress updates: hitting the post office and wiring brooches

Once the Save the Date cards were made I made the envelopes (using silver and black stamps on the front and lining them with a lovely blue paper to match the cards) I'm now writing the envelopes (i'm attempting calligraphy and it's turning out OK!) which believe it or not is the hardest job: I actually don't have anyone's addresses (i'm an email kind of gal!) so gathering all the addresses is taking longer than I thought. We're planning to send these out on Monday though - I can't wait to get them out of the house, and get peoples reactions to them (and then I can show them you guys properly too!) I've also been sat in front of the TV making Thank You cards: these are really simple cards using just two stamps and a ribbon bow, so they didn't take too long to do (unlike our complicated invitation design, which i'm dreading getting started on!!)
The other job i've been working on other the past couple of weeks is starting to put together the brooch bouquet. So far only three brooch "flowers" are complete, but i'm really pleased with how they're looking. I think finding the right brooches is going to be the hardest job, because I really want to use some enamel flowers, and they're difficult to find!
To put them together I have been threading wire around the pin to lock the 'flower' and the 'stem' together. Then for extra security I wrapped a pipe cleaner around each end of the pin. The pipecleaners were then drawn into the middle and twisted all the way down the stem, making it thicker, sturdier, and ensuring the brooch can't fall off. My mum had to show me how to do the next bit: take florist tape and wrap tightly around the stem and create a bulb around the bulk of your pin and wiring work: this makes it look more like a flower, and makes sure none of the pipecleaner will be seen at the end when you put the bouquet together
This is a massive job: so far I only have 3 completed flowers, and the final bouquet will need 75. I haven't quite worked out how these individual flowers will turn into a bouquet yet, but as I have another 72 brooches to source and wire before I have to worry about that, it's a bridge we'll cross when we come to it!

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The next big project: the brooch bouquet

With my severe hayfever I knew I couldn't carry a bouquet of fresh flowers. I originally toyed with paper flowers (made from the pages of my favourite books) but then mum suggested I check out brooch bouquets, and it was love at first sight:
Apparently these are easier to make than they look, and armed with an online tutorial, i'm prepared to give it a go! To make one of these you need 75 brooches. I want lots of large enamel flower ones, as well as quirky "Alice" themed ones: yesterday my sister picked me up a door mouse, and i'm looking for top hats, rabbits, and dresses too.

So far I have four brooches that would be perfect (3 from my collection, plus the one found by my sister) but I intend to thrift and check out carboot sales. Family are also contributing pieces, making it even more special, and mum is going to help me weave my late Grandma's wedding ring into the stem.

As i've mentioned, my mum and sister are really crafty, so i'm confident that if I can't make this work, they can. What can possibly go wrong?! HA!

I will keep you updated with my progress: I just ordered my florist wire and green pipe cleaners (believe it or not, that's the base of the stems!) so I should have at least a couple of brooch flowers to show you next week.

Love, Tor xx

Wedding party gifts

When it came to getting presents for my bridesmaids, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. Similarly, Mike and I both had the same great ideas for gifts to give our parents and grandparents. But the groomsmen? We're at a loss! A lot of the groomsmen gifts seem a little cliche: something silver and engraved. Mike seems to think silver and engraved is a good idea, so we're going with that, but I didn't want anything tacky. Today I discovered Simply of the gifts are the standard cliched fayre; engraved paperweight or champagne flutes, anyone? But some of the gifts are actually really quirky and funny. All of our ushers, groomsmen and best man are Mike's old school friends, so I loved the idea of giving them sterling silver prefect-style badges as momentos, perfect for invoking memories of when they all met.

I admit, they're pretty useless presents that I doubt any of the guys will use after the wedding day, but then how many people do you see carrying engraved hip flasks, or wearing cufflinks that say groomsmen on them? I think i'd rather we got them these as a novelty keep sake (they cost just £5.50 per piece) and then paid for them all to play a round of golf on the morning of the wedding.

What do you guys think? Clever or naff? Do you have any good ideas for groomsmen gifts? I'm completely stumped, so i'd love to hear them!

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 12 July 2010

It's getting late, so save the date!

Yesterday was a flurry of activity in the home of chief crafty sister Lucy: chief cupcake bakey sister Amie and I turned up for a day of hard work creating the save the date cards. We'd decided we wanted to get them created in one day. So we organised ourselves into a production line, and got to work! It was actually a lovely day (although both sisters complained their hands were left like misshapen claws) It was nice to sit around a table and have a good gossip, whilst having an activity to keep our hands busy!

I don't want to reveal the final card design until we send them out next month (I want it to be a suprise for some of the guests that might be reading this!) But I will share some pictures of the "making of" (usually saved for the special edition DVD!) Here we go:


I'm really excited about how they turned out, and can't wait so send them: we're going to do that at the beginning of next month. The cards are now finished, I just have the envelopes to work on. I've stamped the fronts of them (and they're looking great!) They now just need lining with some lovely blue paper, which is very time consuming and a labour of love. Yes, apparently, love is lining envelopes. Who knew!

Love, Tor xx

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The right dress for you?

I love this kind of article: finding "the right dress for your body shape" and when I saw that Gok Wan had written one for I knew I could design (just for fun you understand) the dress of my nightmares.

You see, i'm what Gok would call a Petite girl, a curvy beauty, and a cleavage diva. So I should be wearing an above the knee halkerneck or one shoulder dress (the image shows a mini party dress), a 50s dress with a pleated or gathered skirt and a bolero to cover my arms (the image shows a mother of the bride outfit in white) or a slim fitting dress with a deep v. (the image shows a night gown slashed to the waist: what the "cleavage diva" is supposed to do with her breasts, given there is no room for a bra, I have no idea)

Imagine what all of this put together would look like: my "perfect" dress is a nightmare!!

Instead, here is some proper dress porn. I don't know what I want my own dress to look like yet, but I love all of these:
Screw Gok and his rules: I want tulle, ruffles, and bows!

Love, Tor

Friday, 25 June 2010

Prop hire: Now that makes a theme!

So the wedding planning is plodding along nicely, but it just hasn't been feeling theme-y enough. Not enough Alice, not enough quirkiness, not enough of us. So imagine my delight when I found that Event Prop Hire has a whole section of Alice in Wonderland props.

Here is my dream wish list of all the props I would like to bring my wedding to life, but I worry it might be too much, both in terms of the athetics and the expense. I've just sent off for a quote, so we'll see! It could be that my wedding looks like this:
And this is what that all is:
Giant drink me bottle (pink)
China tea cup (pink)
China tea cup (white)
Giant crockery stack
Small crockery stack x 2
Flamingo on grass base x 2
Looking glass entranceway
Giant 3D white rabbit
Silhouette panel - Alice
Silhouette panel - White rabbit

I love the looking glass entryway and the idea that people would have to walk through the looking glass to enter our wedding. The silhouette panels are life sized (as tall as a man) and are the same picture style that i'm using on all of my stationary. These would come into their own during the evening part of the wedding. The drink me bottle would look amazing next to the bar, the small crockery stack on the dessert buffet table, the taller stack by the evening food. The flamingos on the lawn, and the rabbit - well I don't quite know where he would go but who doesn't want a giant white rabbit at their wedding!?

What do you guys thing? Is it too much? If you had to cut this list in half what would you opt for?

Love, Tor xxx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Wedding planning: the update!

Can you believe we only got engaged a month a go? Neither can I! It has both flown by and simultaneously feels like we've been engaged forever! Sorry I haven't updated for a little while, but before you get to have fun with the pretty stuff (the bit I am most looking forward to!) you have to sort out the big things first. The three big things I wanted to sort by the end of July are: date, church, venue.

Date: This was the easiest decision of the three, and one we made fairly quickly. We know we wanted to get married next year, and that we wanted to get married in the summer (for the rainless weather, although that's never really guarenteed) August is too hot (we're both fair skinned and don't really react well to being in the sun for too long) June too unpredictable (look at the rain we're having at the minute!) so we settled on July. We think it will either be the 15th or the 22nd depending on the vicar (The venue can fit us in on both dates)!

Venue: I thought I wanted a big country manor with sash windows and old fashioned charm. But all the country manors we saw left us both feeling cold. Turns out what we actually wanted was the blank canvas only a modern hotel could provide, and we've found the one that's right for us: Barnham Broom hotel is actually a country club with a spa (yay!) and lots of room for all the props and fuss my aesthetically minded heart desires! They also have award winning catering, and mouth watering menus: that's us sold!

Church: This is the hardest of the three. Who knew there were soo many rules to having a church wedding?! We aren't eligible to get married in the church near our dream venue. We didn't think we would be eligible to get married in Norwich at all, but that has been overcome due to the new prior residency clause and we can get married in the small (less pretty) local church nearby to where we used to live. My heart is set on the big pretty one near the venue though. We're meeting the vicar of that church on Sunday: fingers crossed I can turn on the charm and we can make it work. Wish us luck!

Mike and I are yet to have our first wedding related fight: all the big decisions have been mutual and come together fairly easily (touch wood!!) I know we'll have to have one eventually, but that's one task I am prepared to put off! Other than that everything is progressing well: as soon as we have set the final date (hopefully this weekend) I will need to send out our save the date cards, as we have relatives spread far and wide. That's the next pretty job on my list, and I will be posting samples shortly!

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 28 May 2010

Vintage twee party picks

I love these party picks from etsy shop vintage twee and think they would be perfect for my evening dessert buffet, to incorporate the theme of the day into the food! They cost $5 for a pack of 8, which I think is pretty reasonable if you are looking to take the easy option and buy everything ready-made. However I am very lucky to have a crafty family, and armed with toothpicks, a luggage tag shape cutter (I know it sounds bizarre but my mum has one, I know it exists!) and clever printing, I am going to have a go at making these myself.

Love, Tor xx

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

More on Bridesmaids dresses

Don't you just hate the phrase "online exclusive"? It implies that your getting something better than you can get in store, but really it just means that you have to order bridesmaids dresses without any of the maids having tried the dress on, and invariably, it means you have to send it back!!
This duchess silk dress from Coast is an "online exclusive". It costs £125, and would be perfect for my maids as it's a slight A line skirt: such a flattering shape! Its also the perfect colour, and I have been finding it so hard to find bridesmaids dresses in the perfect shade of blue. The taffeta sash is very "alice" and is also removable, which means the girls can lower it or change it: basically adjust it in such a way that it is flattering to their figures. I just don't know if i'm brave enough to order them online without knowing if they'll fit, only to have to risk the hassle of braving the post office and sending them back!

Love, Tor x

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Stationary money saving tips part one

Today on folksy I fell in love with these gorgeous Alice in Wonderland place cards:
However at £5 for just 5 cards, they were a little over my stationary budget (I need 75 cards plus there is all the other stationary to get too!)But i'm not one to be deterred, and a little research found the exact same stamps used on these cards from Kaycee Crafts and each stamp cost just £3.25 and you can use it as many times as you like!!

Obviously there is a little more work involved in making them yourself, and it's lovely to be able to pay someone to do the work for you, but I am looking forward to doing some of the wedding stuff myself! You can buy the blank place cards on ebay for£2.99 for 100, which means the total cost of creating my place cards will be just £9.49 (plus the cost of the ink), leaving me with 25 cards left over in case of errors, and the best thing is, i'll have the stamps to use again to really bring the Alice in Wonderland theme to the fore. It's all starting to get very exciting!!

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 24 May 2010

More on Cake....and what is in a name?!

...I'm becoming even more cake obsessed than usual lately, as not only am I thinking about cakes the usual amount (which for me is alot!) i'm also thinking about cupcakes for our dessert buffet and wonderful elaborate Alice in Wonderland wedding cakes.

My nan (my mum's mum) has wonderfully offered to buy us our wedding cake, so I immediately set about looking at designs, so I could show her the kind of thing I had in mind. At first I thought I wanted something really elaborate with vibrant colours and tea cups incorporated:
But then Mike and I sat down, and discussed our very different tastes and ultimately we chose this one, but in powder blue. Its everything I wanted: slanted tiers, alice in wonderland blue, mismatched tier decoration, a little unusual. I did have a picture of this in blue, and with a slightly different design but I can't find it anywhere! Still, this is the basic idea. Although more subtle that I originally thought I wanted, it isn't a compromise cake: I love the shape and the details, which we want to emphasise a little more. What do you think?

Speaking of compromise, Mike and I spent an hour having the Big Name conversation yesterday. I knew it would be difficult, because we have such opposing views. I love Mike with all my heart, and cannot wait to be his wife. But my name is such a massive part of my identity, and I don't feel comfortable just shaking it off. I'm proud of being a Brierley and, especially in my career, i'm proud of everything that i've achieved as a Brierley. I've done so much, so quickly, and i've done it all as me: with the Brierley tenacity that I also see in my mum and dad. I'm not ready to let that go. I can see why Mike would want me to take his name (so if we have kids we all have the same name, and because he's a traditionalist and an old romantic at heart) and the romantic part of me likes the idea of being a part of him, but the feminist in me hates the assumption that I should abandon my name and be "taken" by a man. So the compromise is that for my career: my job, my freelance work, my blogs, I will be Tor Brierley. And in my personal life I will be Tor Hampton. Anything that crosses over into both categories (My passport for example) will stay as it is! It's a funny old compromise, and I might change my mind: but for now it works for us.

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 21 May 2010

Present from my mummy....

I am in love with this butter-soft cream leather wedding planner. It's small enough I can carry it in my handbag, but has everything you need in it: there's a tab inside to help you plan your entire wedding! I particularly like the budget planner and the monthly planner sections for ultra organisation: I can't wait to start filling it in.

Aren't mums brilliant!??

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Hello Lover - Seven Favourites

I've been tagged by teawithonesugarplease to reveal seven pairs of my favourite shoes. However, as tea herself says, this would be like asking a mother to reveal which of her children she likes best. (Unless my mum is reading in which case the answer is me) So, because it's too hard to choose, and because this is a wedding blog, not a blog about my wardrobe, i'm going to cheat slightly: so here are the seven pairs of shoes I would most like to wear when I get married

1. Vivienne Westwood Melissa (Lady dragon) in Pearl/Red
Actually when I had decided on my theme I immediately thought of these shoes. They have the perfect whimsical 'Alice' feel, they aren't too high so i'd be able to dance in them all night, and the peek of red would look great when I flashed it from under my wedding dress! They're only £90, but for the next 2 weeks Vivienne Westwood has an offer on all it's summer Melissa styles: 20% off. I've been toying with going to pick them up (Even if they don't end up matching my dress, they're great summer shoes!)

2. Lanvin satin shoes
I saw these on the outnet, reduced to £468 from £780, and thought they were everything you would expect from a good wedding shoe: diamante detail, metallic heel, lovely satin detail, and the extra fashion detail of the black ankle strap.

3. Carvella Guess shoes

I wanted to throw in a high street option, and also something on a really high stiletto: i'm not the tallest girl in the world, and toy with wearing stilts under my dress so that I look tall and lean on my wedding day! These beauties are probably a little too disco-y, but I love the heel and the angles.

4. Chistian Louboutin sparkly heels
You can't put together a wedding shoe list without two things: diamante, and Christian Louboutin. This pair encompasses both. At a wince-worthy £1,225 they are well out of my budget but I don't think a single girl wouldn't want to wear these on her wedding day.

5. BHS Bridal, £24.99
I've put these in because they're pretty, and to show that bridal shoes don't have to cost over a thousand pounds. I think it's important sometimes to take a step back and remember that why you're doing it is important, not how much you're spending!

6. Dune Jezzy
These shoes are gorgeous and just £99 - In fact, Dune has a really good collection of wedding shoes. If you're looking for something traditional but with an interesting twist then I would really recommend Dune as a place to look - I find their shoes suprisingly comfortable too!

7. Diane Hassall, Buttercup

I really love the vintage shape and feel of these shoes, as well as their sensible heel. They're great for a wedding, but I cant help but think that if i'm spending £189 on a pair of shoes, i'd like to be able to wear them again. And I don't think you could with these.

Of all the pairs, I think its the Vivienne Westwood ones for me! Which is your favourite? And what kind of shoes did you/will you wear to your wedding?

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Our dream venue: Dunston hall

Mike and I met at the beginning of my third year at University in Norwich. Two years later I went back to Norwich to study for my Masters degree and Mike was a regular vistor: they were such fun times and we have such happy memories of being in Norwich together. We decided almost immediately that it was where we wanted to get married. And almost as quickly after than we both knew our dream venue: Dunston Hall.

They say a picture says a thousand words, and I think these pictures probably explain why this is my dream venue more than I ever could: it's breathtakingly beautiful, slightly gothic, has been lovingly restored and the grounds couldn't be more perfect. I'm already imagining having our photos taken by the lake with the hall in the background. It has one of those long sweeping drives that awes vistors when they see it for the first time, the food is exceptional, and inside it looks just as gorgeous as it does from the outside.

There are lots of other venues in Norwich and because Dunston Hall is quite expensive i'm sure we will consider our options (Mike loves considering all the options, he's so much more sensible than I am!) But Dunston Hall are having there annual open day on Sunday and we're going, along with our mums (the first time they are meeting, which is pretty exciting!). I know I won't be happy unless I come home with everyone agreeing that its the perfect place for us to get married: and then we can get on and book it, and hang the expense: after all, you only do this once!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Eat me cakes, trial one

Middle sis makes the most delicious vanilla sponge and regularly brings Mike and I cupcakey treats - I'm going to have to go a bit easy on the cupcakes if I want to look presentable in a wedding dress though. Flabby cupcake induced bingo wings are not a good bridal look! This weekends batch were a trial of the cupcakes for the cupcakes and candy evening buffet we're toying with. (Mike and I are both sweety addicts, so it seemed like a great idea!) Don't they look fab!?

These aren't the colours we will be using (as they were samples she just used what she had in her cupboards) and the writing needs some work (I know nothing about cake making, but i'm told she used a rudimentary writing pen from Sainsburys where usually she would use something more sophisticated from the specialist shop she usually frequents) but I thought they were gorgeous, and absolutely perfect for the theme too! It's so exciting to see something that we might actually use on the big day so quickly - I can hardly believe i'm already planning a wedding and everything feels like such a whirl, but I'm so excited. I'm sure i'm going to drive everyone I know crazy, but it's all I can think about at the minute.

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and given that Mike has eaten all but two of the cakes shown above (and is now lying on the living room carpet with a greed-induced tummy ache) these are going to be a roaring success!

Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Dress: Love at first sight!

I haven't even started trying dresses on yet, but I know I want one that looks like this one! I'm not a traditional white dress kind of gal, and I knew straight away I would want something unusual: this is perfect and so in keeping with the theme! If they could change the band to a cornflower blue it would be my dream dress. I would team it with a short veil and white fur shrug. Perfection!!