A few days ago we passed the one year mark! It feels like the countdown is definitely on now. Thinking this time next year we’ll be married is a very exciting, but very strange thought.
Since my last post I’ve been busy moving house, shifting myself and a couple of really heavy suitcases half way around the world to live in Hong Kong. We decided a year was just too long to do long distance so now here I am, back in Asia. I arrived on the 6th August, our wedding date next year (yay!), and we celebrated one year to go. So now we’re experiencing the other sort of long distance wedding planning; we’re in the same place, but on the other side of the world from where we plan to get married! We’ll be back in England at the start of July next year, so we’ll have a good six weeks of solid wedding prep time, as well as doing as much as we can from over here over the next 11 months. I just hope its enough!
Before I left England I got stuck into a few of the wedding projects that will take a little bit longer to complete. Serious wedding gardening has begun in our venue – my Mum’s garden. The most exciting aspect of this is deciding what plants and flowers we want to have growing this time next summer. I’m hoping for a really colourful garden, with blooms and bursts of colour everywhere. We’re planning to decorate the tables in the marquee with flowers grown from the garden too, so we’re hunting for just the right plants to grow. We’re planning quite a relaxed look for the tables; think jam jars and mis-matched vases filled with wild flowers like cornflowers, sweet peas, daisies, and scabiosa, sprays of foliage, and big heads of hydrangeas. Mum and I have started making the metres and metres of bunting that will decorate the garden too.
The less glamorous part of the process has seen us pulling yards and yards of brambles out of hedges (which, as the scars on my legs will tell you, is not a fun task), and attempting to lift some very dry, very unhelpful turf. It turns out that the lawn needs to be levelled before we can put the marquee up. Prices to get a landscape gardener in to do the job were astronomical, so we decided we’d do it ourselves. Lets just say this one is still a work in progress….
Andy came back to England for a couple of weeks at the start of July, and while he was back made our save the dates. As we’re inviting quite a few friends from Hong Kong, and Andy’s family will all be travelling down to Surrey from Yorkshire, we wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible. The inspiration came from a very simple save the date, where the couple were turned into very basic line drawing cartoons. Since both of us are hopeless at drawing, we utilised the talents of Nikki, my brother’s girlfriend and one of my bridesmaid’s, and she did an absolutely fantastic job.
Once she’d designed the pictures of Andy and I, I sent the images to the English Stamp Company who turned the pictures into stamps. If you’re looking for personalisted stamps I’d really recommend the English Stamp Company. The stamps are all set into wood and print really well. The service is great too, they helped me resize the files so they were exactly how they needed them, and the stamps arrived within 3 days of ordering. I used the design tool on their website to make a stamp with the wording for the front and back of the cards, playing around with fonts, sizes and styles until we hit on the design we liked.
The brown craft paper postcards proved surprisingly tricky to track down. To start with I couldn’t find ones in the right shade of brown, or the right weight of paper. I found some cards I really loved with rounded corners, but they were from Thailand, and the postage alone was about half the money we’d set aside for the entire cards. We hit on a much cheaper option buying square edged cards online along with a nifty little corner cutter. Poor Andy painstakingly cut off all the corners giving every card lovely rounded edges! Sorry Andy….!
It took us an evening and a couple of bottles of red wine to make all the cards. We made a production line of stamping, and Nikki hand finished the flower crown on each card with a little bit of metallic gold paint. A few little red hearts, and a bit of sparkly gold tape later, and we had a stack of save the dates ready for the post.
So there we are, venue starting to look the part, and guests with the date in their diaries! If any of the green fingered amongst you have any flower ideas, or tips for getting the garden looking its wedding best, I’d love to hear them!