Clockwise from top left: The cutest engagement card from our friends Ellie and Luke; my Wedding Travel Maxi Box in Asuka Gold from The Empty Box Company; Ben's new running shoes and our cringe matching water bottles; mock-Moleskine notebooks for planning from Rymans; ridiculous amounts of wedding magazines..
The biggest thing to announce, I suppose, is that I've got my dress! Unlike most brides who have to wait months to get their own actual dress, mine is sat inside what is perhaps the most expensive box I've ever purchased (from The Empty Box Company - link here), on top of my dresser at home.
This is because my first thoughts when looking for a dress was that I didn't want to spend an extortionate amount on it. I was happy to look at second-hand dresses, sample sales and even hiring (DO NOT eBay. It's tempting, but here are some horror stories to dissuade you).
When scrolling through preloved.co.uk, however, I noticed that while a dress might be pretty, you shouldn't buy it before you try it on. So really, I started by making a list of sample sale shops and second hand shops in the South East (let me know if it's of interest and I can post it on my next update!). On a visit up to the North, I also visited a few charity shops that stocked wedding dresses - these were as little as £85. I figured that if I tried on a dress at these shops, and found it on preloved, then I would buy it there.
The shop I ended up getting my dress from was All That Glitters' outlet shop at the Croydon Outlet Village. I kid you not - rails and rails of designer sample dresses from Maggie Sottero, Essense, Amanda Wyatts and more. Even on a Saturday afternoon, the shop was near empty and I pretty much had the whole of the dressing room to myself. The lovely attendant was so so kind, and I had so much fun shopping with my future cousin-in-law and her 5 months old daughter, Hattie (who, at one dress, started crying at me - so that one went back on the rails.. lol.)
The only caveat is that if you're looking for that white carpet, champagne welcome for your bridal fittings then this probably isn't the best option for you. Me? I just wanted to find a dress I'd love for years to come, and get on with planning the actual day.
Having known each other from our first days at university, over half of our lives together have been spent drinking copious amounts of alcohol and queuing at 3am in front of a burger van. Cue our busy post-university lives in London, where the vast array of takeouts would draw us in at least once a week. The words "healthy eating"didn't quite factor into our vocabulary. At all.
It was only a year or so ago when we started cutting out processed and frozen foods and diversified our menu. We've done really well but the one thing we have both been lacking was the time to exercise. Getting engaged has definitely changed that. Not only do we want to look our best for the big day, we'd rather not cut short our time together for the sake of more movie time!
Our first step was to go for weekly jogs together, and it's been lots of fun. I actually look forward to these now, because it really gives a sense of teamwork and we also have quite a laugh when we go.. especially when I start running like Phoebe, and he does his best to run ahead and disassociate himself with me. Pfft, as if he'll get away with that.
Things to Come..
I did start looking at make-up but let's face it - how was I going to resist purchasing until closer to the big day? The temptation was greatest when swatching Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk, or Chanel's Tisse Mademoiselle Quad but I seem to have ridden those out. I also tried a sample of MAC Face & Body after raves about its lovely photograph-finish. Unfortunately, I'm still a bit too spotty for that one.. boo.
Ben has spotted two suits - one from Boss and one from Charles Tyrwitt that he's really liked the colour of. He seems to have made his mind up to go for a 3-piece suit. I like!
Unfortunately the thing we wanted sorted the most has yet to be sorted - the venue. We've seen a few places in the South East as well as in London, and so far we've only seen one that we've really loved. As luck would have it, of course, it was a bit out of our budget. The next month or so should see trips up to Warwickshire and up North. Fingers crossed for better luck :)