Bride to Be Diaries: Our Tinder Bride is at someone else’s Hen Party

Hello you lovely lot!

Our superbly gorgeous Tinder Bride is back for her next instalment. So not only is she crazy busy as a lawyer, and organising her own wedding, she is also going to be a bridesmaid for her best friend.

Here she is telling us all about being a hen at a hen party that isn’t her own! Over to you Jenine…

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The Tinder Bride (Jenine)

Hello again you lovely cwtchers! I hope that you have been keeping well since my last article which introduced you to my lovely bridal team!

Since the last article, Tom and I are now on our 13month to wedding countdown with our excitement building up more and more each day. However in between all of our wedding planning, crazy work schedules, house buying and actually trying to have some sort of social life, I have had the honourable task of helping sort out one of my best friend’s hen party!

Helen, (see previous bridal entourage article) is a friend I have known since I was 11 years old; we met in high school and have been friends ever since. I cannot describe or express in words how happy I am for Helen and her hubby to be, Phil! They met whilst travelling approx. 10 years ago and have a gorgeous little son Harrison who if I don’t get daily pics of I think something is wrong! Their wedding is set at a beautiful location in Somerset and I can’t wait to be their bridesmaid on what I hope will be a sunny day in August.

So on June 17th, together with fellow bridesmaids Rachael and Elena, the plan was for Helen’s Hens to assemble in the big smoke where Hel actually lives. Planning initially was difficult as the blooming Bride couldn’t make up her mind where she wanted ideally to go! It went from a weekend raving in Europe to a UK trip away to just a day event which I can say was a perfect day which Helen loved! The only mess up was poor Helen’s sash which was printed wrong. It should have said ‘Goodbye Miss Assinder‘ on the back and a ‘Hello Mrs Walsh’ on the front however they both said Miss despite being ordered correctly. I was so disappointed and I still haven’t had a response from the company I ordered from with my complaint. However as Helen is a teacher, her students will still call her “Missssss” when married it did seem rather fitting… thankfully!

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Now planning a hen or( a stag even  I would think)is never easy; I think it’s even harder when there are a group of people who all have different relationships with the bride and there is therefore all different ideas floating around especially with so much choice with all wanting to ultimately ensure that the Bride has an amazing day.

Thankfully sorting Helen’s hen plans turned out perfectly on the 17th June 2017. The day kicked off with brekkie at fellow Bridesmaid, Elena’s house. El became a Mother only 10 days before and therefore understandably didn’t want to miss out on being part of the Hen celebrations. It also gave us all the opportunity to meet in one place and present Helen with a photo and message book which she couldn’t read due to blubbering more than the new-born baby in party tow!

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Next stop was onto the first surprise venue which was cupcake and cocktail making at the 5* Britannia Hempstead Hotel in Primrose Hill. . Helen loves a good drink (or 10) as well as cooking/baking so it was fitting that this class was part of her day! As a person who loves eating but hates making, along with all hens, loved it! The teacher was great, and patient, and it was actually really interesting. Look at the result!!

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Then it was onto the next event of the day…crazy golf and street food which took place at Swiggers in the City! After a round of food and drinks, it was onto the course! This was so much fun and was loved by all and in particularly the mother’s with mother of the groom coming up trumps with some great golfing moves (I am sure she had some tips from her son beforehand!) Any London based hens or stags, this venue and activity is definitely for you!

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After some drinks at a local bar it was then onto the final event of the day which was at Piano Works which is a bar/club! The process at this venue was you can request a song (together with tip!) and then the musicians play the requests. It was great to hear so many different songs and some golden oldies played by the pianist and then later a band which took us into the club might! A hired booth meant we had a base and a place to lie back and rest the feet from all the dancing and dare cards played!

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So that was a successful Helen’s Hen party complete!  London has so much to offer and actually having a hen party there was not as pricey as people would think. Definitely a city to think about for all future hen organisers! Over and out until next time when Helen will actually be a Mrs! Something I never thought would happen by I’m so glad for her that it is!

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Bride to Be Diaries: The Procrastinating Bride is being forced NOT to Procrastinate!

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Procrastinating Aug 2017 Tash and Steve

The Procrastinating Bride is being forced NOT to Procrastinate!

Hey, Cwtchers! Time seems to have flown by since my last blog post, and I don’t really have many things to update you on. It’s the evening before the blog deadline, in typical Procrastinating Bride fashion, and I’m sat here wondering what to write…

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I did, however, receive this lovely welcome card and badge in the post on the weekend, so I am now officially a Cwtch Girl. Yay! Although I’ll have to make sure that I don’t leave writing these blog posts to the night before going forward…

Anyway, while there isn’t much to report on, Steve and I have given some thought on centrepieces. We haven’t even considered our honeymoon yet but, for some reason, centrepieces have been the topic of conversation recently.

I’m leaning more towards a tall centrepiece, whereas Steve is drawn to something small, “so people can still talk across the table to one another”. He has a point.

The picture below is exactly why Steve doesn’t want a tall centrepiece, as he kindly pointed out when we went for drinks the other night:

Procrastinating Aug 2017 Centrepiece Steve

And, of course, I’m planning on sticking tree trunks in the middle of the tables…

Anyway, our planning seems to be on track considering it feels like we haven’t done that much. The venue wants us to have things finalised 2 months before the wedding, so I can’t be my typical self and leave everything to last minute. We’ve finally decided on our menu choices, now we just need to make sure that we get our guests choices in on time; we really should get cracking with those invites!

I’ve been looking on Etsy, which is great for invitation templates. There is a huge range of wedding invitation templates to suit all tastes, colour schemes and budgets. However, it has been tricky to find a template that enables you to list the choice of starters, mains and desserts for your guests to choose from.

I’ve spent many evenings trying to find a template that would enable us to include this information, but we came to the decision that it wasn’t possible for us to use a template. The invites are currently a work in progress!

On a slightly more productive note, we did manage to send these save the dates out a while back:

Procrastinating Aug 2017 Save the Date

By we, I mean my mum, my sister and I. Steve may have his view on centrepieces, but he’s not quite into the minor details. My sister found these cute little fridge magnets online and I love them.

I’d never thought about doing save the dates, but what with our wedding being just a few weeks before Christmas, we thought it would be a good idea to give our guests plenty of notice.

That’s all for now. I’m sure by my next blog post, I’ll have much more to tell you about.

Until next time, Cwtchers!

The Procrastinating Bride xxx

 

Bride to Be Diaries: Our Unexpected Bride is Making Decisions

Morning everyone!
The gorgeous Rachel aka The Unexpected Bride is back, and this time, she’s making decisions!
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Wedding Planning – The Indecisive Parts

During our wedding planning there were a few things which we have been indecisive on. I knew that if I got married that I really wanted to get married in a church, had an idea of my dress and bridesmaid dresses but I was indecisive and debated with myself and fiancé on a few things. Make Up Artist, Wedding Videographer, Wedding DJ/band, wedding breakfast menu, honeymoon destination… lots of decisions to make!
Make Up Artist
I do enjoy playing with make up both on myself and anyone else who may let me! Having said that, I never end up adventurous and rarely move away from light pinks, brown and smokey eyes.
I thought it would be exciting to treat myself to some new make up and maybe a lesson on creating a wedding look. Both MAC and Charlotte Tilbury offer this but seemed to be booked up for Saturday’s during the Summer. I kept changing my mind on what to do, do I attempt it myself or book a Make Up Artist for the day.
Last year, my sister had Carrie from Beauty at Carrie M as her Make Up Artist for her Bridal make up. I was lucky as Bridesmaid that Carrie also did my make up.
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I asked if Carrie could keep to similar colours that I already used and I didn’t expect the result to look so different to my attempt at make up using the same colours. Sophie’s make up looked perfect and I was so happy with mine and realised that I definitely needed to improve my make up skills to attempt to recreate the look for another special occasion (or book Carrie again!).
So I have decided for my wedding day, rather than doing my normal make up, that I will book Carrie for my special day too.
Carrie is such a lovely, friendly and professional Make Up Artist that I know that she will also help me feel relaxed in the morning in addition to looking my best! She is open to talking about my ideas and happy to incorporate my favourite make up (currently my NARS Multi Purpose stick and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick!).
Conveniently, Carrie also does manicures and pedicures so I am booked in for those too which will last for our honeymoon!
To help me decide the colours,  I recently tried out pink for my holiday to Croatia and will try another colour before I decide for the wedding day!
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I have been following Carrie on Instagram for some inspiration, along with lots of other wedding related follows.
Make Up Artist – ticked and booked
The Unexpected Bride xxx

Bride to Be Diaries: Our Procrastinating Bride is feeling on top of things!

Good morning one and all!

Sweating enough!? Sheesh its a hot one this week, not that we are complaining particularly, just wishing the UK was a little more equipped with air con and ceiling fans!

So its time for our gorgeous Natasha, aka The Procrastinating Bride, to let us know how her planning is going in her second instalment.  And considering her moniker, she appears to feel on top of things…

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Our Procrastinating Bride is feeling on top of things!

Tash1Hey, Cwtchers!

Hope you’ve been enjoying the glorious sunshine we’ve been having. I can’t believe that this time last year, Steve proposed! He came home with a bunch of beautiful lilies last week for our engage-iversary (we didn’t actually celebrate this by the way) and it suddenly dawned on me that there are less than 6 months until our wedding, eeek!

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Now, considering I’m the Procrastinating Bride, a lot of things seem to be sorted. I say a lot of things, we’re talking on Tash terms here. By a lot of things, I mean the venue, the dress, and we’ve almost come to a decision on food. (We’re both foodies so narrowing our choices down needed a lot of thought.)

If you’re an organised bride, you’re probably thinking that I’ve only scratched the surface with planning but, in my head, we’re on top of things.

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So, what did we do first?

We booked our venue pretty quickly. My mum and I were browsing at venues online a few weeks after Steve and I got engaged; admittedly, I wasn’t really looking properly because it seemed like early days, but there was one venue that stood out from all the others. It happened to be holding a showcase event the following week so Steve, my parents and I decided go along. We loved it and so it was decided that we’d get married at Oldwalls: the first and only venue we went to see.

As I said earlier, Steve and I are foodies so it only made sense for us to go to a cake tasting session. I was in my element. Not that I ever need an excuse to eat cake but, when it’s part of the planning process, wedding planning instantly becomes more appealing when cake is involved. Particularly when you’re not a planner anyway.

We stuffed our faces with a range of delicious favours, including chocolate and salted caramel Italian buttercream, and around two hours later, we rolled away with full stomachs and happy hearts. To all couples getting married: cake tasting is an experience not to be missed, even if you just come away from it with ideas.

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I came across Cakes by Katy at Cwtchfest. Go along to the next one if you can; it’s worth it and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Cwtch Girl!

Next: the dress. I won’t share details of my dress on here for obvious reasons but, Laura May Bridal on Cardiff’s Crwys Road and Allison Jayne in Swansea are two shops that I’d recommended to any bride who hasn’t yet found ‘the dress’.

Not only were the dresses beautiful, the overall experience at both stores couldn’t have gone any better. When you’re trying on a dress, the last thing you want is to feel rushed or under pressure to make a decision and I can honestly say that Laura May and Allison Jayne did not even come to close to making me feel this way. I tried on my first ever wedding dress in Laura May, an Enzoani number, and remember feeling how surreal it was to be trying on wedding dresses!

That’s all from me for now. We’ve got our 6-month meeting with Oldwalls next week, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to update you on next time!

Happy planning to all brides and all grooms! If all else fails, eat cake.

The Procrastinating Bride xxx

Bride to Be Diaries: The Tinder Brides Wedding Party!

Good morning everyone!

Time for your second instalment from the gorgeous Tinder Bride, and its time to be introduced to the girlie contingency of her wedding party!

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Hello Cwtchers!

I hope that you have all been keeping well since I did my last Tinder Bride post!

The Tinder Bride (Jenine)

I think most girls in their lives have been asked or have thought to themselves ‘If I ever get married, I would ask so and so to be my bridesmaid or part of my wedding’.  I can actually remember having hypothetical questions growing up with my girlfriends. Although for me it was simple when the hypothetical became reality it was also a very hard as I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

I do not want to come across bigheaded or arrogant but I genuinely feel that I am a very lucky lady and I thank God every day for blessing me with not only an incredible family but also an amazing group of friends. Coming from a Welsh/Arab background, I have a large and very close family filled with two fab sisters, three gorgeous nieces and two lovely sisters-in-laws who are all involved and so supportive along with my mother and mother in law to be. My friends derive from various walks of life and I genuinely didn’t want to let anyone down. However I had to draw the line somewhere and decided on having 2 maids of honour, 6 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls. I’m sure there has and will be some negative mutters or expressed views away from our ear shots about how our wedding is big and/or too expensive but it is our beautiful big day and Tom and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

From my perspective I couldn’t envisage my wedding day without my two sisters and three nieces by my side; it was not even something I would even contemplate. I am the middle of two sisters (5 siblings in total!) and we have an incredible bond. It was therefore an easy decision to ask each sister to be my maids of honour. Rema is my big sis and the rock of the family. She is the sibling who everyone goes to and I always turn to her as I trust her opinion as being on the same par as that of my Mother’s. Rema is the type of sister who doesn’t like a great fuss or the limelight but I’m making sure she encompasses her main role on my big day and she feels like the special sister she is to me.  Rema says ‘To be asked to be my sister’s maid of honour is a huge privilege. I was so emotional when I was asked as the gift they gave me to ask was so personal and thoughtful. In Tom she has found the perfect person who is loved by the whole family – they are perfect together. I am so looking forward to seeing my beautiful sister marry her prince charming’. Sariyia is little sis and the youngest sibling; she is also the most famous non-famous person I know! She loves being the centre of attention and we love her for being like that.  She truly is unique and I love her and all of her ideas to date! Both sisters have an amazing bond with my fiancée Tom. In fact when they are all together it’s like they are the three sisters! ‘When I was called by JOM to tell me they were engaged, I sobbed uncontrollably; together with the rest of the family we are ecstatic. I cannot wait for the wedding of the decade and I am so honoured to be their MOH. Jenine will look beautiful but I will definitely be better looking still!haha!’. 

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Aleah is the eldest of the grandchildren and I became an aunty when I was 14; we have always had a special relationship as I do with each of my five nieces and nephews especially as I have been such a big part of their lives as they have been in mine. Tom is adored by them and they adore him too.  Aleah is going to be a bridesmaid along with her sister Farah who will be 14 when we wed. To think of these two in their bridesmaid dresses makes me feel very emotional. Aleah says ‘I was so grateful to be asked to be a Bridesmaid on my Aunty’s special day; it is a day we are all waiting and looking forward to. Jenine has always been there for me and she could not have found a better husband and Uncle in Tom’. Farah’s thoughts are: ‘When Jenine asked me to be her Bridesmaid, I wanted to cry with happiness as I always wanted to be a Bridesmaid and I keep counting down to the big day; it is even more of a dream come true as my Aunty is so special to me. I especially loved the bridesmaid gift they gave me which I will treasure forever’. 

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Gabriella is who we refer to in the Abdo Family as Princess Abdo – she is the little apple of everyone’s eye. Although she is 5, she constantly looks online for flower girl dresses and matching shoes which is so very cute. She once told Uncle Tom that she found a dress which ‘only cost 50pence and that she and Holly-Mae would love to wear it’ it was in reality £500! Gabby ironically was the main reason I chose my wedding dress but I’ll talk about that more another time. Holly-Mae is 2 years old and is also our flower girl. Being the eldest and currently only grandchild on the Sulley side it will be lovely for my fiancé’s family as she is understandably adored by them all.

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I know that Tom is so happy to have his niece involved and for me having Gabby and Holly-Mae holding hands together walking down the aisle will not only epitimise ultimate cuteness but also will personify and will symbolise our families coming together. I just pray they don’t get stage fright!

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Although I could have kept my bridal party at just family, I couldn’t not have my best friends by my side either. Kate is a friend who I first met playing netball at the age of 10 years old. We were marking each other on the netball pitch. This game should have been the battle of the best- the battle of rival Primary Schools – instead we bonded sisters from other misters growing up together and even our sisters are the best of friends.  Kate is currently a teacher at an international school and I can’t wait to have her back home this summer!

‘Over the years Jenine has definitely earned the title of my sister from another mister. We have been there for each other through the best and worst times and I am so excited to be a part of what will be one of the most important days in her life. Being Jenine’s bridesmaid is a massive privilege and I can’t wait to see her looking amazingly beautiful walking down the aisle to marry the man she loves and luckily for him we approve. Jenine and Tom deserve to have the best day and I look forward to having a role in making that happen. I promise to be caring, attentive and I will NOT turn up hung over to anymore official bridesmaid duties unlike when I had my bridesmaid dress fitting!

Rachael – I first met Rachael when we sat at our High school induction day. We both turned around to each other and acknowledged our checked trousers which were both wearing! Our friendship began in the Howell’s School sports hall and has seen us through to living together in London and back home again. Rachael is such a thoughtful and kind person who shares my love of RnB music, comedy, pizza and nacho Saturday loving winter nights in watching Strictly and the Xfactor like no other!

‘Jenine is probably the most organized bride I have come across and I love hearing all the plans she has got for the wedding! We have been friends for over 20 years so I am excited and honoured to be part of the big day and I cannot wait to see everything come together’. 

Claire – my real life Barbie doll! I not only went to high school with Clairey but also ended up very randomly at the same university. We have shared so much together whilst sharing two sets of different friendship groups due to school and uni which in turn means we are part of a ridiculous amount of WhatsApp groups. My fiancé is basically the male version of Claire – always happy, positive, fun and annoying early morning people. 

I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of happiness when reading a poem written to me about our blossoming friendship over the years and asking me to be her bridesmaid. It is safe to say that I welled up. To be part of your friend’s big day is so special and I am so privileged to be by her side when she says I do’. 

Helen – I have known Hel since my high school days too right through to living in Wimbledon together with Rach. Helen is my straight talking, quirky and inspirational friend of mine. Hel is not only an amazing science teacher, cook and baker, but such a fab mother to Harrison and wife to be this August! I am so proud to be in turn Helen’s bridesmaid this year and having shared the experience of being engaged and organising a wedding with her.

‘Every girl has a different idea of how her wedding day should be, but what unites every woman is the desire to be surrounded by their best girlfriends leading up to and on that day. He role of a bridesmaid is truly an honour and I am so excited to have Jenine by my side at my wedding this August and to be able to reverse that next September when I am one of her bridesmaids. Our friendship has always been extremely strong and full of love; to be able to support each other and share the fun and laughter throughout the intimate stages of planning a wedding takes that bond to the next level – bring it on!!’  

Then we have three amazing ladies giving readings. Bonnie is one of my best friends who I met when in high school and I was Bonnie’s bridesmaid in 2014; Bonnie is one of the kindest and funniest people I know, as well as being the most caring and best Dr ever!

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Caitlin is my Twinny – fellow Solicitor who I met before we qualified at work. We soon realized we shared a love for football and also our Birthdays hence the nickname! We also have Tom’s girl best friend Kelly. Kelly has been so warm and welcoming since Tom and I met and it was fab knowing Tom had such a close girl-friend as it resonated with myself having close boy-friends too!

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That’s my female entourage..keep watch for the introduction to the male party in due course..!

Disclaimer: Please note I did not bribe the above mentioned people for their overwhelmingly kind comments – thank you xxx