Monday, 17 October 2016

Put your heart into it, how to keep the romance in your wedding day.

There's a lot of details in our wedding that I wanted to really make our own. As a hopeless romantic, things that are meaningful to us as a couple, things we could keep forever and things that would create a memory in our guests minds have been top of my list.

handmade felt wedding bouquet
Most of my vision fell away in the mix, but this week, the bits I managed to hold on to finally came to life.
One of the custom items that arrived made me full on cry like the excited bride to be I was at the start of this process.

Custom Ring bearer cushion

The cake toppers I took so long to find arrived and I did a little squeal of joy at the thought of them on top of the cake I chose. And I finally put the last few flowers on my handmade bouquet & buttonhole, this has been a real labour of love. Hundreds of petals lovingly dyed, hand cut, folded, glued and assembled into something I know I will be holding on to so tightly as I walk down that aisle trying not to laugh when I see my lovely fiance!

It's little details like this that help anchor you when you're in that big old wedding bubble. It's hard to articulate your timeline or vision to those around you when they're panicking about the things you're already on top of. That's actually the worst part of wedding planning, it's the reason you're awake at 3am stressing about being a horrible person because you said no to silver chair bows or you glazed over when the seating plan was mentioned.

gold band wedding rings

Our biggest secret was kept closest to our hearts so as not to cause widespread panic. But we only went out yesterday (3 days before the big day) to go out and choose our wedding rings. Yeah, that's a tad last minute but it was planned around our schedules and let's be honest, rings is rings, right?
I already have diamonds and rubies and we both just wanted plain bands so it was just a case of a quick hour or so to find a shop with the right sizes.

I think it's super important to have a few things your can pour your heart into that are part of your wedding day, and don't confuse that with those things you've put your soul into, they're generally the exhausting bits (plus it's usually being sucked out rather than poured in).
Something handmade, something you just saw and got excited about, something to keep forever.

I could go on a romance rant here, but I won't, because I've developed a bit of a thing about 'last time before', so I'm off to wash my hair for the last time before I'm a married woman! (My hairdresser told me to leave at least 2 days so it wasn't a frizz bomb, in case you're wondering).

Friday, 14 October 2016

Last night we got married, thank you Photoshop.

It's funny, isn't it, the way our minds process the world around us without us even thinking about it?
I remember in my Dead Island days (and nights), whenever I was out and about I'd sometimes default into zombie mode. Before I'd had a chance to think logically about a simple thing like razzing round to someone's house, my brain would be going through my weapons, health and what route was the safest. A person along the pavement would become a target and if there were any other cars on the road then this was seen as a major threat.

These days, I spend a lot of my time in Photoshop. So my unconscious mind is all about layers, spacing, colour options and cropping. It's actually pretty cool because not only do I see through my own eyes, but I can also see what I'd like as a final edit too.

Last night we had our rehearsal in the church. Just our priest and us. It was beautiful, the lighting was just how I'd imagined it when we first started thinking about things. The church was empty, how we wanted it originally, except for our witnesses and parents and the main focus was on us marrying each other in the eyes of God, again the only thing we wanted.

This morning I woke up and it's all crystal clear in my mind. I'm so happy we had the opportunity to 'run through our lines' so to speak. I now have a master layer which on the day next week I can just drop on top of everything else and bring myself back to that vision. I don't think we'll get much better than that, but I am willing to be pleasantly surprised!

So yeah, who knew that Photoshop would train my mind to do that?

Before I go, here's a picture of something that I've wanted to do since I saw this movie, but I'm not sure I'll get away with it and I'm afraid my well of 'let me explain why this is so important to me, so please don't take it away from me' has long run dry.

Well, have a great day & keep us in your prayers for next week ☺

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

What do the modern day bride & groom REALLY want as a wedding gift?

People are asking us what we want as wedding gifts and it's sort of hard to answer.
See, we've been living together for the last six years and have all the household stuff we could ever need, so it's not like a set of fine bone china will cut it (although I would feel really fancy about that).

I think in this day and age this is the case for a lot of couples, definitely couples our age anyway. So we've just been asking for money, which admittedly feels a tad strange, but that's a surefire way to ensure we can get the things we really want, the things we can't put on a gift registry.

It got me to thinking what do I REALLY want, like, as a super cool treat for myself. I asked my fiance too and we came up with a few ideas.

At age 37 I'm sad to say I've never gotten round to owning a stainless steel egg slicer.

So here's a few (mostly mine) of the things that we'd really love to purchase with our wedding pennies.

1. That egg slicer. We used to have one of these when I was a nipper and I remember being fascinated with it. Not only does it slice eggs to perfection, I spent many a happy time strumming little tunes on the strings!
2. Paper. Now this is a pretty run of the mill item yes? Well NO, actually. If I run out of paper round here then I've pretty much had it shop-wise. My other half asked me once what I wanted for an upcoming birthday, paper I said. He knows me well enough to not question it, so he got me a ream and wrapped it up all nice.
3. Cat(s). Always room for more fur babies, no more explanation required.
4. Envelopes. Same rationale as paper.
5. This one is Pete's. Some sort of pedal thingyo for his guitar.
6. This little badboy makes my mouth water. Mugs have now become the backbone of my little biz and I do worry what I'll do if something ever happens to my current mug press. So this 5 in 1 powerhouse is my dream wedding gift. (I may have to have a word with Father Christmas if we don't get a fat enough wad).
7. You'll never catch me without my nails done. I've said this many times before but I may have a hairdo like Worzel Gummidge and an outfit that looks like I've slept in it but my nails will always be tarted up. My varnish of choice is Barry M, so anything from there and I'm made up!

I'd love to know what unconventional items you bought with your wedding wad, or did you have the balls to put it all on a gift registry?

Monday, 10 October 2016

October is life (and zombie death)

Oh October, you sweet, sweet usher of seasons. Blasting out that big ole confused summer with your crisp sunny mornings and iced air nights. You're the alarm bell gently chiming in the distance letting us all know that special time of year is close.
Your musical score is the sound of geese chatter as they set off to their winter holiday destinations and your cold breath gives us an excuse to get some new tops to go underneath our chunky cardigans & jumpers.
You make casually bloodying yourself up during the day and prancing around acceptable because hey, it's Halloween soon, flip damn it!
Nick fear the walking dead
Image via AMC

But best of all, it's that time, that for 6 years in a row has further cemented my love for October. It's the new series of The Walking Dead. Of course this year we've had Nick and the gang in Fear TWD to tide us over which has been a dream.
It's interesting watching both as the FTWD guys seem to have things a lot more figured out, every time they step out they're bloodied up, they've captured and cleared a hotel and even have a kickass compound protected by the zombies themselves.
Pretty sure along the same timeframe the original guys were living in a convoy and running round mostly looking for Sophia.
the walking dead season 7, who dies?
Image via AMC

So yeah, I'm untold excited about the new Walking Dead episodes, all we need to do is get this wedding out of the way and it'll be within sight.
What's your favourite thing about October?

Monday, 3 October 2016

What's your level? A personalised birthday card for the gamer in your life.

Wouldn't it be great if we marked our age as a level? I remember when I was playing Dead Island back in the day I was pretty pleased with my scores as it meant I was an accomplished kickass zombie killer, I also play solo, like always, so yeah. Smug mode.
Anyway, getting a high level in gaming means you're pretty revered, you're strong, you've experienced some hardcore shit and you know what you're doing.

With our age however, sometimes we're not as excited when the number goes up are we?!
custom gamer's gift
Since launching this birthday card last month it is proving to be one of the most popular cards in my range. It's great for that gamer in your life and when an order came through for the card below it actually brought a tear to my eye!

gamer dad birthday ideasI mean how cute is that?
A lot of the cards are going out to people around my level, my generation who actually played on those controllers. Not tooting my own flute or anything but this is certainly one of my favourites ☺
birthday gift for gamer
Of course it's not just guys who are the recipients of these personalised cards, I love seeing other gamer girls out there too.

So yeah, if you're looking for a custom card for that game head in your life then there you go.


11 things not to say to a bride before her wedding and the dirty secret nobody will tell you before you start planning the big day.

With 16 days to go, I'm SO looking forward to the day after my wedding when all this will be over.
Most of the planning has been managing expectations and fielding the same questions over and over again. So here's a compilation of things you'd probably be better off not saying to a bride before her wedding day. Not in any specific order, apart from number one, there's also some handy alternatives should you feel the need to unintentionally drain the life from the expectant bride in your life.

1. Are you going to go on a diet?

Yeah, someone flat out asked me this. Although I have no issues at all with being a tad over weight, I know that my guy loves me 100% but this question only added more 'shit to do' onto my list. After I'd already ordered my made to measure dress I decided that yeah, I'm not worried about it & I don't care if anyone else is.

There's no alternative to this, just don't!

2. Have you set a date?

This has got to be the most asked question. It's frustrating af, as the reason we kept putting it off was we were scared and each time someone asked it sort of made us die a little inside. Trust me, you'll know when the date is set, so just stop asking.

Why not ask 'so are people harassing you guys about your date yet?' Letting them know you sympathise & understand, even if you don't. You'll probably get more details this way and you may even be able to offer some words of wisdom.

3. Aren't you worried about the weather?

If the happy couple is having an Autumn/Winter wedding it's most likely because they want to. They will have considered the weather naturally, but as we can have a hail storm in summer these days they're just going to take their chances and roll with it. 

Why not tell them their Autumn wedding makes you feel all warm and cosy and it's gonna be so cool being newlyweds around Christmas.

4. Are you excited for the big day?

You may not think it, but this is a really complicated question and when asked, brings up a straight NO in the throat. Chances are there's been no time in between the keeping everyone happy and involved, compromises & hours and hours of Pinterest research to even think about the real point of the 'big day'.

Try something like, 'so how are you? I know wedding planning can be tough, I'm here if you need to vent.'

5. Couldn't you just elope?

While you might be saying this as a joke, don't worry, it's certainly been considered, researched and deemed impossible. Eloping may seem like winning the lottery for the bride and groom who must be married in the Church so this question is another soul killer.

Probably best not to mention this one at all.

6. Well can't you just change the date?

A couple's wedding date isn't usually something that's just pulled out of a hat. They've thought about it hard and it will either just feel perfect or have some sentimental value to them.

Even if the wedding date doesn't fit with your schedule or plans, please don't make this known. If you can't make it, just say. If you can't understand a midweek wedding, Google it.

7. What's the colour theme, what should I wear, what is such & such wearing, should we change this or that?

Colour decisions may not be top of mind for the bride de jour. If there's a set palette then this will be communicated early on. They'll most likely not know (or care) what guests are wearing on the day and the decisions they've made already, they are happy with. Asking to add or change things further down the line lead to decision paralysis and the infamous soul drain.

Why not ask how they envisioned the day originally, the feelings and the tone they wanted. This will bring out a far more descriptive vision and I can pretty much guarantee you'll get your answer without them knowing they're being questioned!

8. Are you sure you like that?

Sometimes it seems like the bride is a bit slow, disinterested or pissed off. This is because they make decisions instantly but are constantly asked if they're sure. If they've been planning the big day since they were a nipper or are just coming round to it now, just be sure that they know what they like and the first answer is right.

It's great for a bride to have helpers and believe me she really does appreciate it, but remember she is constantly making choices, narrowing down, researching, pro and con listing and she knows her vision inside out. So when she tells you she loves that floral display, please don't make her prove it to you.

9. So what are you doing about the cake/flowers/cars/photographer/insert other wedding stuff? 

Well listen, I know a guy.

Certain tasks around the wedding are very often snapped up and dealt with by the wedding helpers, which is fantastic!
However, you probably don't know who's doing what, if they need any help and if they've sorted it yet but wait, you know a great guy! So asking the bride is the right thing to do, right? She knows exactly where everyone is up to at any given time.
Actually, she doesn't. Maybe Aunt Mabel said she really wanted to sort out a posh wedding car. So when you ring the bride and are told this and still say 'shall I ring my guy' it's an instant brain cell killer for her, she'll probably come off rude and evasive but she's trying to work out how to tell you again that someone else is looking after that whilst being polite and thankful for your concern.

If you 'know a guy' it's probably best to either wait until the bride puts out a FB 'anyone know a guy' post or ring the parents/parents-in law.
It's really nice to want to help and in any normal situation the bride would be truly thankful but she's being asked where she's up to with stuff more than she likes and it's starting to get her down. A great alternative would be a quick text saying you're free if she needs any help with anything. 

10. Oh, I invited (insert name/s) to the church because they'd be really upset if they weren't invited.

This is quite possibly THE worst thing to say and do, maybe even more so than the diet comment. A church v's night do guest list is a finely balanced work that teeters on a knife edge of emotional blackmail.
Just one person invited without the bride & groom's approval can knock the whole balance off and could then result in the whole list having to be re-jigged. Plus you've probably just ruined the day, and they are no longer looking forward to it, just saying!

Don't ever, ever, ever invite people to the church that the bride & groom haven't already. You have created unnecessary stress for the couple, gone against their wishes and it actually upsets them far more than the uninvited. The bride and groom will remember this for the rest of their lives, the guests, not so much.

11. It's your day, you can do what you like.

The people who make comments like this are either the long-time hitched or the un-wed. It's quite possibly the best kept dirty little secret in matrimony. You can't learn this without going through the planning phase and boy is it a steep curve!
It's a lie, a straight up big fat lie and the people spreading these lies are those closest to you! I guess that's the worst news since you found out Father Christmas isn't real, right?
If you're around a bride and groom in the planning stage then simply DO NOT use this phrase, after day one of announcing their date, they will know you're talking bullshit and you may well be the person that reaches the 'it's your day' limit for that day (the venue lady tipped me over).

The best version of this is something like, 'I bet people keep saying it's your big day, right?' and then do some evil laugh. This will totally break the ice and the couple will instantly love you. Maybe even add something like 'well what can I do to help you through it?'.

I'd love to know what seemingly innocent questions and comments you've been asked in the run up to your wedding that were super hard to answer/sucked out your life force.
Let us all know in the comments.