The Wedding Edit – Wedding Night

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On our wedding night we stayed in a local, new 5* Boutique Hotel in Donaghadee; One Shore Street.  The hotel was stunning, I absolutely loved our room (the boy did good!), the staff were amazing, so welcoming and friendly, but gave you your own space.  We had the most delicious breakfast there.  This is definitely one part of our wedding that I would love to do again in a heartbeat and make a proper day and night of it!  Take a look at our experience.

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Signing off from One Shore Street’s first every newly weds!

xx

The Wedding Edit – Liverpool Hen

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For my third and final Hen Party I headed over to Liverpool to meet up with some of my fabulous friends!  From day dot, even before I was engaged or had a boyfriend even, I knew I would always have my hen in Liverpool.  I love the city and I have THE most amazing friends there!

T R A V E L

Sarah and I flew over first thing with Easyjet from Belfast International Airport to Liverpool John Lennon, Easyjet is one of my favourite airlines.  We flew over the first May day weekend, so prices were a little more expensive, but we got a return flight Saturday to Monday for £53.50 per person.

A C C O M M O D A T I O N

We stayed in the most amazing apartment in Liverpool; Atlantic Apartments, it was really central, clean, safe, it was a fantastic size and absolutely beautiful, much better than a hotel! We paid £308.70 for the two night stay for the 4 of us, so it was a bargain at around £78 each. I would definitely recommend it and stay again!

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B R U N C H

The first thing we just had to do after the early start was dump our stuff, meet up with friends and go for brunch.  Of course the girls had some accessories for me to wear too:

We headed for brunch at The Tavern Co, it was delicious and so quirky, definitely my kinda place, my girlies know me so well!  What a feed a got to line my stomach, and well I just had to have a cheeky little strawberry bellini.

In between brunching and getting ready to head out for night one we did a little bit of shopping, we only had hand luggage, so unfortunately we couldn’t shop till we dropped.

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Alongside stocking up on the essentials for a night out, like gin, wine, mixers, nibbles etc we of course had to get a MASSIVE personalised cookie from Millie’s Cookies.

E N T E R T A I N M E N T

On our first night of my Hen we had such a laugh, I was dressed like a unicorn had literally boked on me, the tackier the better!

Dressed to the nines we headed first to Karaoke, awh it was such a laugh, we went to MBox just down the road from our apartment,  we booked a room and paid £10 each for an hour and 2 drinks of our choice.  Awh we sung our hearts out!  I haven’t any photos, just videos (don’t worry I’ll save you from that one), but I did manage to screenshot this one.

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The rest of the night was spent going around a load of different clubs, the nightlife in Liverpool is so different to that at home in Northern Ireland!  The only thing that did kill Sarah and I were our feet, we totally wore the wrong shoes for nightclubs and the streets of Liverpool, never mind still being out at 3.30 am, it was definitely a VERY long day.

F O O D

The day after the night before and we had to feed our hangovers!  We were on the hunt for a big greasy fry, but for some reason being Sunday and after 12 by the time we actually made it out, we couldn’t get one.  However this Eggs Benedict totally hit the spot!

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T O U R I S T S

After we had been fed and watered we headed to do a bit of sight seeing and being tourists.  We did want to do the ferry across the Mersey, but we missed the sailing by 10 mins, plus it was absolutely freezing!

We also added our own little padlock to the area down at the docks, the names of all the girlies on the hen, there forever, or well until they get cut off.

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B A L T I C    M A R K E T

Before heading out again on the Sunday night for the ‘surprise’ my bestie Vicki had planned we headed to the Baltic Market to line our stomachs once again.  I was so excited to try here, my brother lives in Liverpool and I’ve seen him eating here and had total envy!  The food was absolutely to die for; Halloumi fries omw talk about a foodgasm!  We decided to divide and conquer, picking a couple of things from the different food stalls and then sharing them all at the end.

S U N D A Y    N I G H T

My outfit for Sunday night was all from Primark, I learnt my lesson after the Saturday night and went and bought myself a pair of block heel sandals and then I picked up this gorgeous little dress for under £20!

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T H E    F L O R I S T

We then headed up the road before my ‘surprise’ to The Florist, again the girls know me so well and just knew it would be my kind of place, so pretty and instagrammable!  The place was stunning, the bar tender was beautiful (well a bit of eye candy always helps!) and the cocktails were delicious and so well priced.

T H E    S U R P R I S E

My surprise was to see Million Dollar Men at a local club Circo.  We got a booth and drinks on arrival and then the cocktails were only £7.50 for any 2.

It was both horrific and hilarious all at the same time, us girlies had such a laugh but on my word I was traumatised getting a ‘dance’ (I use that word lightly) from one of the strippers.

I had such a laugh though with my girlies and our glow in the dark penis necklaces, our penis straws and my penis whistle lol pure tack!

C O N F E S S I O N

My name is Zane and I LOVE hash browns, yup they are the best, but no where does them like they do in England.  So my night was made when the local chicken shop next to our apartment sold them and little tipsy me was very happy!

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T H E     E N D

These girls gave me THE BEST Hen Party, I had an absolute ball and a weekend I will never forget for some of my best friends!

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The Wedding Edit – Home Hen

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This was hen number one, my home hen with friends and family and we headed up to Belfast.  This was my more ‘classy’ and sensible hen party; we all headed out to dinner and a Murder Mystery.  I have always wanted to do a Murder Mystery, I love crime series on TV and for some reason it’s just always something I’ve been excited about doing.  I didn’t get to do one for my 30th birthday so I thought my hen would be the perfect excuse, plus it would give people something to talk about on the night if they were stuck for conversation.  I have a few different groups of friends then I had family and in laws so few had actually ever met before, so this would be the perfect opportunity to meet before the wedding and with the Murder Mystery as a bit of a distraction.

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P R E    H E N   P R E P

The first thing we did on the Saturday morning was go and get our makeup done.  Not one to ever have my makeup done before this was a little strange for me, but I seen it as a demo for my wedding makeup.  Initially I started following and met @rachelhenrymakeup I loved how natural her makeup was and I had booked into her to get my lashes done aka eyelash extensions for my wedding day and ended up booking in a makeup appointment.

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To turn the outfit from day to night and make it a little fancier, I added a red lip and nails.

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Nails – @revlon_uk Lipstick – Jlo red collection for @lorealmakeup  Lip liner – @w7makeupuk  All picked up in @beautyoutlets.co.uk

M U R D E R M Y S T E R Y

As I said I went for a Murder Mystery night, it was absolutely fantastic and part of a package in the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast.  We went for The Great Cadsby (1920s Theme) – ‘The year is 1922 and you are in New York – a gangster’s paradise. You are about to meet some intriguing and shady characters so be sure to take notes on everything you hear because there is no doubt that something sensational will happen tonight!’  It was £65 per person and that included the entertainment, four course meal and a cocktail (alcoholic or non alcoholic) on arrival.

You get the Board Room to yourself where there is a large table to eat at and then there is a more informal area where you can chill out on the sofas, the room is suspended above the lobby with a glass wall so you feel very grand.  The entertainment and Murder Mystery game is all carried out by four professional actors Play Dead NI. When you sit down to dinner and are given a list of characters, each with detailed background personalities, the actors then join you in between the courses and either set up the scenes or chat to you, giving you the option to ask questions.  Then by the end of the night everyone gives their guesses on who was the murderer and what was the motive?

I was very competitive and took loads of notes, sadly I didn’t win, but I had so much fun and the food was delicious!

T H E   F O O D

There was so much to choose from on the menu and they catered to dietary needs too, take a peak at the menu, followed by some photos of all the delicious food!

I have to say the staff at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, were absolutely amazing, great hospitality and nothing was too much effort for them. The night all ran so smoothly and both the staff and actors worked so in sync with each other. I would definitely recommend their Murder Mystery night if you are looking for something a little different to do or celebrating with a group of people.

P H O T O   P R O P S   &   G A M E S

We had lots of our own fun too, we had photo props from Ginger Ray and games picked up from Home Bargains. These were just a bit of fun and my chief bridesmaid had sorted a kind of Mr & Mrs game where Phil had already given the answers and I had to try and match them.

We had an absolute ball, it was a fab night and a good chance for friends and family to get to know each other before the big day.  I would definitely do the Murder Mystery night in the Fitzwilliam Hotel again!

M Y    O U T F I T

So my outfit for my home hen was an oldie, but a goodie, however I was a little raging at how bloated I was.  I think it was all the wedding stress; my hen was the Saturday, but I tired this dress on on the Monday before and it fitted me perfectly, not hugging to any lumps and bumps like it is in this photo.  But hey-ho, what can you do?!

The dress was one I picked up a few years ago for a wedding actually and it was from the Next Outlet, the shoes, I’d been busting for well over a year and are from Primark; I picked them up in the sale and my accessories are from Ginger Ray thanks to my amazing best friend and bridesmaid!

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Last but not least I had a customised clutch I bought from The Mirabelle Gift Company on Etsy. I used this clutch for all three of my hen parties.

The Wedding Edit – Hen Parties

Yes you read right, I said hen parties, not party. Of course I of all people would have more than one hen party! Well that’s not originally how it was planned; it was meant to be one semi-planned/semi-surprised hen in Liverpool, but not everyone would be able to make Liverpool, so it turned into a home hen and a Liverpool hen and then the girlies in work through in a work hen.

 

From day dot I knew I always wanted my hen in Liverpool if I was ever getting married; yup, I decided that back when I was single, long before I had ever met Phil. From the most I first visited Liverpool I loved it and then there was the fact that 3 of my besties live over there. Three girls I rarely see, we don’t even chat loads, but those friends that you know have your back no matter what and when you see them after months or possibly a year or so has passed it’s like you were with them yesterday. Two of these girls I actually met on a hen years ago. So knowing they would be at my hen no matter what Liverpool was the perfect place!

Don’t worry I’ve a whole other post about my Liverpool hen, where wee stayed, what we got up to and what I wore; I feel like I need to add a section on each of these hen posts about what I wore. There will also be a post all about my Belfast/Home hen too, again covering what we got up to, where we went and what I wore. However for now I’m going to tell you about my Work Hen.

T H E W O R K H E N

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These two are my partners in crime in work so of course they would plan a hen party for me and take me out. So we work in Ballymena (a town in Northern Ireland) and ended up just having a night out there. We started off with a meal at The Pizza Parlour, this place does the nicest food, it’s well priced and it’s BYO (Bring Your Own), definitely needed when you are going out so close to pay day!

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We then headed to a local bar for some impromptu karaoke! Karaoke has change a lot since back in the day, back in the day you had a book to flick through and you could choose what you wanted to sing. Nowadays you can literally pick ANY song because it’s all digital! I’m sorry but I need a prompt for something like that, my mind just went blank. So I now need to think of a song that I can forever choose as my Karaoke song so I am prepared! Do you have a Karaoke song?

Once we ran out of money, which was rather quickly, like I said it was close to pay day, but not pay day so it was a hen on a tight budget! We headed home for some homemade cocktails and games.

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Emma picked up this hen party game and it was such a laugh, it was ‘Pin the Willy on Billy’, we didn’t have a blindfold so just had to close our eyes and go for it lol!

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W H A T   I   W O R E

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Bride Headpiece/Hair band and veil – Poundland Bride to Be T-Shirt – Primark

Bride to Be sash – Poundland Belt – New Look Skirt – Marks and Spencer (old)

Boots – Dunnes Stores (last season in the sale)

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Last but not least I had a customised clutch I bought from The Mirabelle Gift Company on Etsy. I used this clutch for all three of my hen parties.

The Wedding Edit – Dressing the Bridal Party

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Today’s post in The Wedding Edit series is all about dressing the bridal party, the dramas and ease of trying to dress two bridesmaids and a flower girl. I’ve also thrown my mum into the equation as both she and I have had so many compliments on her dress and how she looked.

M O T H E R   O F   T H E   B R I D E

 

Mum was actually the first person to get her outfit for my wedding, yes she got her dress before I had even looked for mine. Keen or what?! It actually just happened to be by pure fluke, we were in a local village and mum decided she would look into a small, local boutique; LilyRose Boutique and this was the one dress she tried on and loved. It was in the sale and the only one left so she bought it there and then, vowing to cut out chocolate in prep for the wedding and fitting perfectly into the dress.

 

T H E    F L O W E R G I R L

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Next up was my niece, she was mega easy to please, all she wanted was a ‘wedding dress’ just like mine. We kinda hit the memo with the dress, but to be fair as soon as she tried on her dress she fell in love and that idea of matching mine went out the window.

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Looking about for flower girl dresses initially the prices were crazy, especially in the bridal shops, well for me they were crazy. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress she would grow out of so quickly, or I would say a dress she’d never wear again, but I know how this little lady likes to dress up. So I planned on trying the high street and went to my local shopping centre Rushmere where we checked out TKmaxx to start with, but unfortunately there were none in her size. So we headed to Debenhams and we struck gold with the first dress she tried on!

 

Now the dress was initially too big on her, but it fitted her height wise, she may only be 6, but the size/age 9 was the perfect length for her, it would just need to be taken in on the bodice. When I asked her did she like it? She said ‘No, I love it!’ So that was her sold and I was happy that she was happy and even better it was in the sale from £89 down to £24.50! I cant find it on the website anymore, but this dress is similar and also by RJR John Rocha.

 

For the dress alterations I waited about a month before the wedding as I knew she would grow in the meantime. We went to Made and Measured in our local village Moira, who were just lovely. They were absolutely fantastic, they were great with my niece and really patient, even though I have to say she was really good at standing still and following instructions!

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The charged me £25 for alterations as they took a lot off the dress and then when we returned to the second fitting (about 2 weeks before the wedding) they had to do the same all over again because of course my niece would have had a growth spurt then. So you can actually see the difference in the lengths of the dress in just a couple of months. Which is why if you are buying for kids remember they do have growth spurts, you can’t time them so buy bigger and book your alteration appointments as close to the wedding as the business recommends (you don’t want to leave it too last minute).

 

T H E   B R I D E S M A I D S

If any of you have followed me for a while on Instagram and watched my stories you will have seen the drama I had around the bridesmaid dresses; yup that one time when I cried and had a bit of a melt down. Trying to find two dresses that matched in well with my dress and didn’t cost a small fortune was so much harder than you may think. With my dress being quite plain, with a boho style vibe and not glitzy it was hard to find dresses to match that brief. We tried on so many dresses and styles and just couldn’t get the right one. For reasons such as the dresses being the wrong style for the girls, ill-fitting, the wrong colour, an awful material, see-through to name just a few. Let me share with you just some of the dresses we ordered from ASOS that hit all those unfortunate areas.

 

Then mid crisis, so many of my lovely Instagram followers recommended a range of dresses and other companies to try, one of which was Next, which I hadn’t even thought of! The first dress I ordered and the girls tried on was this one and it was just perfect and under budget in price.

 

Didn’t my bridal party look absolutely amazing? I’m so happy with how all the looks turned out and the girls just complimented my dress perfectly.

The Wedding Edit – The Dress

Today’s episode of The Wedding Edit is all about my wedding dress, where I bought it, how I chose it and how you go from trying on samples in a bridal shop to walking down the aisle in the dress of your dreams.

I will be honest I had quite a bit of anxiety when it came to dress shopping, no idea why, but I did; so finding the right shop for me was really important. I had no idea where to start, or even how to go about wedding dress shopping! I had seen a few different bridal stalls at the many bridal fairs I had worked at and had talked to a few people, I suppose it was more last Spring that I approached the stalls as I was now a bride to be and got a lot of mixed reviews of when I needed to buy the dress etc. I was also a little put off as the majority of companies bring their size 8 dresses down with them to display, so me, a size 16 looks at them and goes ‘I’d never suit something like that’ or ‘they would never do my size in their shop’, which is lies; the majority of shops go up to a size 28 odd.

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Anyway, my first experience of a proper bridal shop was one my friend and I nipped into ‘Go on’ she said, ‘why not? Just a wee look’; they had an open day or sale or something. However we were about 30 mins too late and we were told we couldn’t have a quick look at the dresses (that were upstairs) but that I could book an hour and a half appointment. Well straight away even though the staff were lovely that put me off, thoughts went through my head like; ‘but what if I don’t like any of the dresses’ or ‘what if I can’t find anything and have a horrible time and just waist both mine and their time?’. As we left I asked the girl could I have one of their little brochures which had photos and links for their social media accounts. Right away I knew my gut had been right, the photos of dresses were not what I was after or my taste, yes they were beautiful, but no that slinky, half there or glitzy princess style dress was not what I wanted and I knew I’d have to wear about 10 pairs of Spanx to look anywhere half decent in them! Imagine if I had went ahead and made the appointment, my face would have dropped when I seen them all and I would have struggled to pick at least one when they would ask what I’d like to try on, never mind fitting into them!

Perhaps it was from here my anxiety formed as I didn’t want to feel forced into trying on dresses I didn’t like or have to wear Spanx on my wedding day. My brief was always; I want a dress I can move in, feel good in and be comfortable in; not one that I am constantly pulling and fixing at the control underwear in.

D I V I N I T Y B R I D A L

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With that in mind mum and I were in Lisburn one day and decided to pop into Divinity Bridal, a couple of friends had recommended them to me, I had spoken to them at a couple of wedding fairs before and they were really really lovely, and from day one I had said to mum that I wanted to try them for my dress!

Straight away we were put at ease and of course it was no problem to have a little look around the shop as they were in between appointments. This meant we could browse through the dresses and I could see ones I wanted to try on and say to the girls a few ideas I liked and get some advice from them, and most importantly for me, control underwear and Spanx were not a necessity! After this 10/15 minutes of just looking at the dresses and talking to the girls with no pressure at all, I knew I was ready to make an appointment with them and I had, no let me rephrase that, mum had actually spotted a dress that when I seen it I had a feeling it could be the one!

P I C K I N G T H E D R E S S

And as you can see, just a couple of weeks later we were back in and I was trying on dresses. My appointment was with Rachael, who was so lovely and absolutely fantastic, she put me at ease straight away, as did the other girls. Seriously if you choose to visit and make an appointment at Divinity Bridal then you will be spoilt for choice with amazing, welcoming, knowledgeable and friendly staff to help you pick your dream dress with no pressure to buy! Rachael initially asked me my budget; this was to make sure I didn’t try on and fall in love with a dress that I couldn’t afford. However Divinity Bridal are so reasonable with their prices, they have an amazing range of dresses that you won’t have to remortgage your house for!

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First off I went straight for the dress I had spotted on my first visit and then I picked a couple of others I liked the look of. The girls also showed me some of the dresses they thought I would suit and ones they thought matched the idea of the dress I wanted.I was able to pick out as many dresses as I liked to try on, then I headed to the dressing room area. I tried on 5 dresses in total, with Rachel choosing the order I tried them on in, asking each time what parts of the dress I liked and disliked, this made it easier to narrow down the number of dresses I picked to the number I tried on, all in order to find my perfect dress.

*Note some of the photos are not at a very flattering angle, but it gives you an idea.

T R Y I N G O N T H E D R E S S E S

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First off the aim is to find the shape you want and then that helps to reduce down the number of dresses you have picked, no point in trying dresses in the shape you don’t like. I had also previously been watching The Posh Frock Shop on Channel 4, and I had remembered them saying about you wearing the dress, not the dress wearing you. I didn’t really get what that meant until I started trying wedding dresses on, but that first dress above wore me; it was just so heavy and I had to keep lifting it and dragging it along with me. I liked the shape, but just knew straight away it didn’t tick the comfort box and that train was a pain in the ass, I kept getting caught in it.

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This dress was lovely, but what you can’t see is the sequence all around the bodice, I liked the lace but not the sequins, it was a little too glitzy for what I wanted and also it was so uncomfortable! I must have had this on for about 10 mins max and I actually had cuts/scratches under my arms from the sequence; apparently some brides will ignore this for the perfect look they are after, but not me.

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This dress (terrible angle) would have been the one probably if Philip and I had gone for that ‘traditional’ wedding where we would get married in a church and then head on to a hotel or wedding venue, but for our wedding this was just too formal.

T H E D R E S S

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Quite possibly the most unflattering photo ever, but this is THE DRESS! Yup the dress my mum spotted the very first time we went into Divinity Bridal and the dress I fell in love with, it just ticked all my boxes, it was comfortable, I could move in it, I felt good in it, and it just matched what I was going for in my head. Now the belt I have on there was extra to the dress, there was a line of diamante around it, but I really didn’t like it so was able to choose a belt I preferred. This is the belt I went for and bought separate to the dress from Divinity Bridal, however you can get ones made or buy ones elsewhere.

W H A T N E X T ?

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Now that I had decided on the dress, yup I didn’t look anywhere else, no other shops; I knew this was the one, I tried it on a couple of times and yup I knew it. I then got measured, as you can see in the photo the sample didn’t fit me (it’s rare that a sample size will fit you perfectly so don’t ever worry about that!). Another thing not to worry about is the size they actually order, wedding dress sizing is crazy! So I would be a UK size 16 in dresses, however my wedding dress was actually ordered in a UK size 24. Yup I nearly died too, but like I said wedding dresses are sized really strangely depending on individual designers, I know someone who is a UK size 12 who fitted both into a UK size 6 wedding dress by one designer and a UK size 28 dress by another designer.

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Divinity Bridal had a promotion on at the time that if you said YES TO THE DRESS on the day of your appointment you got a percentage off your dress. This was fantastic as it meant the money off could go towards the belt I wanted and the addition of extra length on the bottom of the dress as I am tall. I went ahead and paid my deposit and then all I had to do was wait for my dress to be made and arrive in.

I T A R R I V E D

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I had to wait a few months, but the dress arrived in January. I was filled with mixed emotions, excited to see my dress again, but scared in case I didn’t like it anymore, I mean it had been about 4 months since I had first tried it on. But it was all good I still loved it! The dress was massive on me, so Rachael bless her had to stand behind me and pull it all in for me to have an idea of how it would look. Just by fluke the straps I suppose you could call them fell down just off my shoulders because they were too big, but it made the dress look completely different and for me 100% perfect!

A L T E R A T I O N S

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Finally it was time for the alterations, with any wedding dress you order, you always will need alterations. The dress you get will not fit you, the size they order for you will be to fit the largest part of your body and then the alterations are done on the rest of the dress so it fits you perfectly. I was really lucky that Donna from Sew Handy was able to fit me in. She is one of the seamstresses Divinity Bridal work alongside and recommend for their dresses; this worked out great for me as Donna was able to pick up my dress from Divinity Bridal and take it up to her studio in Banbridge, just 15 minutes from me.

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This is the beautiful, amazingly talented, down to earth and fabulous Donna, the face behind Sew Handy she didn’t just alter my dress, but she basically totally redesigned my whole dress! She totally got my vision and went with it, she was able to make me feel absolutely fantastic in my dress. When you choose Donna and Sew Handy for your bridal alterations, you get:

  1. A minimum of 3 secured fitting appointments
  2. The services of an independent seamstress with 40+ years of sewing experience
  3. Complimentary storage and steaming of your gown in preparation for your wedding day
  4. The option to “add on” other dresses to the fitting appointments regardless of where they were purchased
  5. Security in the knowledge that your seamstress carries independent insurance to store, work on and transport your dresses
  6. Professional advice- what can and can’t be done, what should and shouldn’t be done and loads of tips and tricks that will help you on your wedding day
  7. A “ morning of the wedding “ dressing service (dependant on my availability)
  8. A bit of craic !

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I went for the 3 secured fitting appointments, however thinking back there could have been 4, because one part of my dress wasn’t playing ball. Donna’s experience is amazing, like I said some parts of my alterations were a bit tricky, but nothing to Donna, I had my gown steamed for the big day, she added on a little extra embroidery for me and I got so many tips and tricks (‘Boobs and Bellybutton’) and oh my word so much craic and laughs and the stories she could tell. Honestly Donna is one of the loveliest people I have ever met and she 100% put me at ease and was a total perfectionist about my dress and what I wanted!

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‘On her wedding day a woman should be certain that she has found a dress that makes her feel confident and above all else, beautiful.’

Carolina Herrera

A D V I C E

Oh and just before I go, the one think I had no clue about and wanted to know before going dress shopping is what to wear or what to bring so:

  • Strapless bra
  • Heels the height you think you’ll be wearing
  • Pants you feel comfortable in
  • Spanx are optional
  • A hair bobble because boy it gets hot trying on dresses
  • Minimal makeup, you don’t want to leave half your face on the samples

The Wedding Edit – Small & Local

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One of the main things I wanted to do when planning our wedding was to use as many small and local businesses as possible and it was something I succeeded in doing. In no particular order take a peak at who we used, I’ll later go into more detail about them as my ‘The Wedding Edit’ blogs continue to develop.

T H E    R I N G S – Ellison Jewellers, Belfast

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Photo: Ellisons Jeweller’s website

The first place we started off our wedding journey was Ellisons Jewellers to pick my engagement ring back in 2017, we met Ciara and she was so helpful and understood exactly the style I wanted and the budget we had.

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If any of you read my post Engaged Life – Wedding Prep, you will have seen that we also went back to look at wedding bands. Again Ciara was there to see us through the whole process; I had an idea in my head of the type of wedding band I wanted, but she was able to explain the ones that would go best with my engagement band. She was also able to advise Phil on the material to choose for his ring in relation to his job and durability of the ring.

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Photo: Bannon & McCabe

Once we picked our wedding bands we went on to get them engraved; with my ring being so fine mine needed to be hand engraved and Phil’s was machine engraved.

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Photo: Bannon & McCabe

T H E    D R E S S  – Divinity Bridal, Lisburn

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Photo: The Wedding Collective

Again you will see I featured Divinity Bridal in my post Engaged Life – Wedding Prep, I talked about the reason I chose Divinity for my wedding dress was the recommendations I got from friends. On my first visit with Mum instantly we were put at ease and of course it was no problem to have a little look around the shop as they were in between appointments. This meant we could browse through the dresses and I could see ones I wanted to try on and say to the girls a few ideas I liked and get some advice from them, and most importantly for me, control underwear and Spanx were not a necessity! After this 10/15 minutes of just looking at the dresses and talking to the girls I knew I was ready to make an appointment with them and I had, no let me rephrase that, mum had actually spotted a dress that when I seen it I had a feeling it could be the one! That dress actually became the one. Check out ‘The Wedding Edit – Dresses’ to see the process of picking the dress for me.

T H E    D R E S S – Sew Handy Designs, Banbridge

With any wedding dress you order, you always will need alterations. The dress you get will not fit you, the size they order for you will be to fit the largest part of your body and then the alterations are done on the rest of the dress so it fits you perfectly. I was really lucky that Donna from Sew Handy was able to fit me in, she is so busy and nearly always fully booked unless you book in well in advance, only because she is so amazing! If you are interested, contact her, you never know if she’s got a cancellation or is free around your wedding date. Now Donna didn’t just alter my dress, but she basically totally redesigned my whole dress!

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Photo: Innocent Chaos
 From the moment I met Sharon, the beautiful face behind Innocent Chaos I knew I wanted her to do my wedding flowers (I was single at this point, so I had some pretty high hopes!). I knew I wanted one of her floral crowns/headbands and a hoop rather than a bouquet, and that is exactly what I got. There is a bit of a sneak peak at Sharon’s studio in Engaged Life – Wedding Prep and I will be showing you more about how I went about picking my flowers in ‘The Wedding Edit – Accessories’ but for now have a look at our beautiful flowers.

A C C E S S O R I E S – Emerald & Opal Design

For ages I wanted a painted jacket, so when it came to my wedding day I thought to myself why not? So mum found on recommendation the lovely Sarah who is the face behind Emerald & Opal Design. She was able to hand paint this beautiful design onto my coat and she made my bridesmaids some hair slides to match in with the colour scheme. Be sure to check out my post ‘The Wedding Edit – Accessories’ for more info.o

B E A U T Y – Rachel Henry Makeup

Never one to get my makeup professionally done I was adamant that I would do my own on my wedding day, that maybe I’d just go for some lashes prior to the big day. Well that was until I started following and met @rachelhenrymakeup I loved how natural her makeup was and I had booked into her to get my lashes done. I ended up doing a trial go aka getting my makeup done for my hen night and loved it so decided that OK I would get my makeup done professionally for the wedding. Rachel was and is fantastic, she came to the house and did mine, my mum’s and my bridesmaid’s makeup, she was so well priced and calm and fun to have there with us. I would definitely say I see Rachel as a friend now, she is so calm, puts you totally at ease and is so comfortable to be around. I could happily lie for hours chatting as she applies as many ‘fans’ as possible to my lashes. A true
professional!

B E A U T Y – Tan – Lusso Tan

Anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while will know I love a good fake tan, the darker the better. I’ve actually just applied some for the weekend ahead. When I contacted the lovely ladies at Lusso Tan about where I could buy some more of their self tan lotion as I wanted to wear it on my wedding day they kindly gifted me a set. It’s a tan that works so well on me and always looks so natural and OMW it’s actually the only tan that ever leaves my hands looking half decent. Yeah after all these years I’ve still not mastered hand tanning lol. So any wedding pics you see of me it’s @lussotan I am wearing, like these photos below.

N A I L S – Sitting Pretty Nails – Cheyenne

I was in two minds about going for something classic for my wedding nails, but then classic just isn’t me. @cheyennenails_ from @sittingprettynails was able to incorporate both my styles and hand painted my ring finger with flowers to match in with my wedding flowers.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y – Bannon & McCabe Wedding Photography

I am very lucky to have such talented friends (I’ll go into them in more detail in ‘The Wedding Edit – Creativeness’) and friends in the wedding trade so of course when I got engaged I asked Malcom and Alan aka Bannon & McCabe Wedding Photography to do my wedding. Lucky for me Alan was free on our wedding date and was fantastic, these are just few of my favourite photos he took.

P H O T O G R A P H Y – Rural Lane Photography

So this is my wonderfully talented friend Vicki, the face behind Rural Lane Photography, she did an absolutely amazing job at snapping away at our wedding. Vicki took over taking photos after the speeches and I love the natural photos she got, so many we didn’t even know she was taking! These are a few of my favourites.

F O O D – Sunflower Sandwich Company

I couldn’t have got married down at home in Bangor without having a platter of Sunflower sandwiches to line our stomachs before the ceremony. Sunflower Sandwich Company is hands down the nicest sandwich company around, their sandwiches are always packed with the freshest, most flavoursome fillings.

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F O O D – Wolf and Devour & Tricycle Trading

For our food we wanted something different, not your typical sit down three course meal. We decided on Wolf and Devour food truck and went for Burgers and Hot dogs with loads of side salads for our mains and then a French Fry bar for our night food. They are also linked with Tricycle Trading who served ice cream to everyone as they arrived at the wedding reception. There will be more info and pictures on the food in ‘The Wedding Edit – Food & Drink‘.

F O O D – Born and Raised Waffles

Michael and Born and Raised Waffles was actually the first wedding thing we booked! Phil and I were up in the Antrim in December for their ‘Winter Wonderland’ event and I tried a waffle from Born and Raised Waffles. Nearly straight away I asked if they did weddings and the reply was yes, within a few days I had contacted Micheal and paid our deposit! There will be more info and pictures on the food in ‘The Wedding Edit – Food & Drink.

V E N U E – Field of Dreams

Phil and I didn’t want a hotel venue; we have both been to quite a few hotel weddings and as beautiful as they all were, they just aren’t us or what we wanted. We wanted something a lot more laid back and casual. After looking about I found Field of Dreams, to me that was just what we were after. Straight away I just knew this was the place! Phil was a little more hesitant, more because he isn’t someone who rushes into things, he says I’m the impulsive one. I had so many ideas of what we could do with this blank space; exactly what we wanted, a place to make our own and put our stamp on it. It took him a few days to agree on Field of Dreams and perhaps right up until the day of the wedding for him to realise how perfect it was and how personal it could be. Check out just a few of the photos, you will be seeing a lot more of the venue as this post goes on and the range of ‘The Wedding Edit’ posts are published.

D E C O R A T I O N S – Swift Wedding Services

Like most brides to be Pinterest has a lot to answer for, I had an idea in my head that I wanted the roof filled with paper lanterns and fairy lights and initially I had planned that we would do it ourselves. However the more we thought about all the logistics the more of a hassle it sounded so I did my research and came across Swift Wedding Services. Sinead and her team did a fantastic job and as you can see in the photos below were able to create just what I wanted. They came down 2 days before to set everything up and the day after the wedding to remove it all.

D E C O R A T I O N – Cake Topper – Dindindies Designs

We kept our cake very simple, a semi naked cake one of my best friends made for us (more about that in the ‘The Wedding Edit – Creativeness’ post). For our topper I was originally wanted some handmade edible flowers, but the budget didn’t allow that, so I went for this personalised Wooden Mr and Mrs cake topper from Dindindies Designs, isn’t it so pretty!

M U S I C – DJ Jason Carson

I’ve known Jason for a few years now through work and know of how fantastic he is as a DJ, he comes with so many recommendations and not the ridiculous price-tag some DJs have! DJ Jason Carson had everyone up on their feet, young and old, he had a great mix of music and he even through in a fun game of Mr & Mrs.

T H E    S U I T S – Focus Menswear, Bangor

Now I couldn’t be forgetting about the men, we had 5 of them to kit out for the big day; Phil, his best man, his groomsman, my dad and his dad. From day 1 I said about Focus Menswear and it took a little while for Philip to realise (as always lol) I was right! Originally with most of the men living in Banbridge he wanted to go local to them, however there were no places that could accommodate the size of the groomsman. At my wits end and panicking at how laid back Phil was being I nipped into Focus to see by any chance did they do a suit in his size and they did. That sealed the deal, within a week Phil was down sorting the suits. Micheal and the guys were absolutely fantastic, they went above and beyond, nothing was a task to them!

And that’s it for the small and or local companies we used for our wedding, it felt so good supporting small and local where we could and I would 100% recommend you do the same if you can too.

Welcome to The Wedding Edit

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Well it’s official I am a married woman, Friday 24th May 2019 I married my best friend and greatest love. We had the most amazing day from start to finish with our friends and family, it was everything I had planned and imagined. Even though I spent the whole day yawning and telling people I couldn’t wait to get to bed, seriously planning and creating a wedding is exhausting!

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Would I do it all again, I just don’t know, it went by like I was in a dream, I felt as if everything was happening around me and I was just drifting through. The best thing we decided in advance was that Phil would drive down to the wedding venue and then once we were married he would drive us to the wedding reception so we would get time alone, just the two of us.

Surprisingly for me, Mrs Anxiety I wasn’t nervous or anxious once, Mum said it was because deep down I knew it was right and I had nothing to be worried about. I also knew as long as Phil was there that I would be fine. Phil on the other hand was a tad nervous and I think knowing he had to hold it together for me made him even worse, when I met him at the top of the aisle his hands were purple, sweating and cold; lets say it was a struggle to get that ring on him.

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However when it came to the reception I just couldn’t settle in some way; I had had a headache all day (thank goodness for pain killers) and once we got to the food, the wedding cake, drinks, dessert and night food I could barely touch a thing. I don’t know what it was but I felt really full (even though I hadn’t eaten since the morning), perhaps it was the dress, perhaps it was the heat in the room, or perhaps it was people’s eyes on me coming up at the first dance, who knows.

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Yup this is me sitting outside on my lonesome (however there were loads of people and kids floating about so I was never actually alone) outside because I just couldn’t cope with the heat of the barn in my dress. I look like I’m eating away here too, but actually this was probably all I could manage to eat. I was absolutely raging too, because the food was so good! So for that reason nope I don’t think I would like to do it all over again, yes as a guest at my wedding, but not as the bride. That way I could still have the fun I did with my friends and family and of course with Phil for the few brief moments I saw him, but that I could also have enjoyed all the food and drink.

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What I would do again in a heartbeat is our wedding night and no don’t get all smutty about it. I would love to stay and really make the most of our night at One Shore Street, check out The Wedding Edit – Wedding Night for all the photos and our review of the place, but to really make the most of the day and night and enjoy the pampering. Actually I am trying to talk Phil into going for our engagement anniversary while we have some wedding gift money in our account, so I will keep you updated on that one.

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So now that I’ve introduced myself as a married woman; officially Mrs D now, let me introduce you to The Wedding Edit series of blog posts. My plan is to create a range of blog posts surrounding the run up to the wedding; the hen parties, the planning, the dos and don’ts etc and once they have all been published I will link each of these blog posts below. I have written these to share with you guys, my followers (some of which have been around for the 8 years I’ve been blogging), for the brides to be and also as something for me to look back on in years to come, so I hope you enjoy!

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THE WEDDING EDIT SERIES Continued. . .

  • Episode 2 – The Wedding Edit – Small & Local
  • Episode 3 – The Wedding Edit – The Dress
  • Episode 4 – The Wedding Edit – Dressing the Bridal Party
  • Episode 5 – The Wedding Edit – Hen Parties
  • Episode 6 – The Wedding Edit – Home Hen – Coming Tues 23rd July
  • Episode 7 – The Wedding Edit – Liverpool Hen – Coming Thurs 25th July
  • Episode 8 – The Wedding Edit – Get Creative – Coming Tues 30th July
  • Episode 9 – The Wedding Edit – Accessories – Coming Sun 4th August
  • Episode 10 – The Wedding Edit – Wedding Traditions – Coming Fri 9th August
  • Episode 11 – The Wedding Edit – Food & Drink – Coming Wed 14th August
  • Episode 12 – The Wedding Edit – Wedding Night – Coming Mon 19th August
  • Episode 13 – The Wedding Edit – Dear Bride – Coming Sat 24th August
  • Episode 14 – The Wedding Edit – The New Wives Club – Coming Thurs 29th August

White Chocolate Mini Egg Rocky Roads

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This originally was a recipe I picked up a couple of years ago on the Sainsbury’s website, they don’t seem to have it on there any more so let me share my tweeked recipe with you.

INGREDIENTS

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  • 400 grams of white chocolate
  • 100 grams of digestive biscuits
  • 50 grams of rich tea biscuits
  • 150 grams of mini marshmallows ( I picked up these Mini Rocky Mountain Marshmallows from Sostrene Grene)
  • 100 grams of Cadbury Mini eggs
  • 50 grams Milky Bar Eggs

Basically you can just pick whatever ‘mini eggs’ you like.

METHOD

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  1. Break up your white chocolate in a bowl and melt it over hot water (be careful not to let it burn)
  2. Break up your digestive and rich tea biscuits into pieces, not too small as you want to have bits of crunch in your Rocky Roadsimg_20180218_204858936689662.jpg
  3. Line a dish/tin with with either grease proof paper or clingfilm
  4. Once your white chocolate has melted set it to the side for a few minutes just to cool slightly, in the mean time set aside a quarter of your ‘mini egg’ mix (these will go on the top at the end)
  5. Pour into the melted white chocolate your broken up biscuits, mini marshmallows and 3/4 of your ‘mini egg’ mix and mix together
  6. Pour your Rocky Road mix into your lined dish/tin and use the back of a spoon to level it out.
  7. Top the Rocky Roads with your remaining 1/4 of ‘mini egg’ mix and push them down into the Rocky Roads as much as possible and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  8. Once set remove from dish/tin and cut into squares, serve and enjoy.

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Super easy to make and personalise as your own and an eggs-cellent activity to do with the kids to entertain them over the Easter Holidays and use up all those Easter Eggs.

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enjoy xx

American Pancake Recipe

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My second pancake recipe for Pancake Tuesday or again you may prefer to call it Shrove Tuesday is my one for American Pancakes; the thicker fluffy kind.  Equally as quick and easy to make and equally as tasty.  I suppose it’s just your preference to what kind of pancake you prefer, or maybe it’s the time you eat them.  I like to have my American Pancakes for a weekend breakfast/brunch and the crepes I would have more for a dessert.

SO HERE’S THE RECIPE FOR AMERICAN PANCAKES 

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INGREDIENTS

–  300g self raising flour
– 1tsp baking powder
– 1tbsp caster sugar
– 2 medium eggs
– 300ml milk

METHOD

1. Mix together the dry ingredients
2. Add the eggs and whisk
3. Gradually add the milk whilst whisking
4. Cook in a frying pan – a few minutes on each side (you will know when to flip your pancake when all the bubbles rise to the top and most of them have already popped).  If you are using one of the heart frying pans (I picked up mine in Dunnes Stores), cook your pancake on a lower heat as they burn very quickly in this thin pan.
5. Eat straight away
6. Serve with a topping of your choice

I SERVED MINE FOR BRUNCH WITH SOME JIM JAM’S HAZELNUT SPREAD, SQUIRTY CREAM AND A MUG OF TEA

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enjoy xx

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