Picking the right wedding vendor

Picking the right wedding vendor

I have spoken before about how the wedding industry can work and how mental it can be. There is never an in between is there? Either they go above and beyond to help you or they expect big £££.

The whole thing can be pretty overwhelming so I got some tips for ya;

  • Write out of list of vendors you need to tick things off. Start ticking things off and you will feel confident that things are going well. When you write the list cut each topic up and place most important at top to the lesser at the bottom. This will help you when budgeting.
  • Budget and stay true to that price. I set a big budget for flowers because that was important to me but put a smaller tag on the extra decorations because that was less important. Don’t put yourself in debt if you can’t afford it and certainly don’t compare yourself to celebs. Kimye spent $12 million on their wedding because they can afford it, you can’t and you aren’t the Wests so don’t put yourself in a hole (tough love guys, tough love!).
  • Find vendors near the location to save on delivery charge. Local vendors mean you can meet with them and consult with them with what you’re buying. Sometimes thousands of to and fro emails can be a headache.
  • Get plenty of quotes. Someone offered me a cake for £600 and they wasn’t very helpful or eager to please which put me off I waited and found someone through a friend and found someone less than half the price plus biscuit favours for the children! She offered a discount and dropped in cake samples to taste without even batting an eyelid. I also asked her 20+ questions and nothing was a hassle so she could of quoted 10 times the price and I would of booked her.
  • Always book who you trust. I spoke to a local florist who my family had used for YEARS and she just did not get my vision even down to the way the bouquet was wrapped (I didn’t want sparkle pins but she insisted) so I went to a new florist who opened down the road. She knew exactly what I was picturing, gave plenty of options, gave alternative tie methods with ribbon and hessian and just hit the nail on the head. It sealed the deal for me when I asked her when payment was due and she said “final pay is due on **/**/** but if you wanna pay a little here or there and drop some money in that is fine. Do whatever you feel comfortable with”. I booked immediately! She said she would post me a quote out to have a think about and if the price was too much we could skim it down in places, I told her I was paying a £30 deposit the date because I didn’t want to loose the date. Her quote was a third of the price of the family florist which was even better.
  • Haggle where possible. If you can get a discount ask! Be savvy and cheeky if you can! If they aren’t up for helping you out then you shouldn’t be up for lining their products.
  • Always have trials where you can. I had a couple of bad make up trials where the make up wasn’t to my taste even after trying to explain my needs and I also had a trial and the make up didn’t even last two hours!
  • Get EVERYTHING in writing. Some of the wedding vendors are people I know but I still have things in writing to cover wedding insurance and my back.
  • Always ask for receipts and hold onto them. File them away in an planner/box/file because who doesn’t love an excuse to buy more stationary.
  • Check previous clients and ask for references. Its the extra reassurance that they are good at what they do!

Good luck planning guys!

 

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Modelling for Lucky Sixpence Bridal @ ASOS Marketplaces

Modelling for Lucky Sixpence Bridal @ ASOS Marketplaces

We had absolutely no idea what we was letting ourselves into when we starting booking our wedding nor did we realise how cut throat the people who worked in the industry were.

There are two types of people… number 1 the look down their nose and holds out their handing waiting for you money to drop into their account for the slightest thing (we was once quoted £200 for someone to set up a colouring table *head explosion*) and the second are people who genuinely want you to have the most magical day of your life and help/support you whether they can.

Anna of Sixpence brides is the later of them two types of people. She sources eco and ethical true vintage bridal wear for the girls who want to take a road less traveled for their big day and are conscious for of their environmental impact.

So when she advertised that she needed models for her new campaign to be featured on ASOS my hand went up quicker than a race horse at Grand National.

Myself, Sophia (@sophiakatyea), Ana (@pieceof3_14), Ashleigh (that_ginger_mama), Lianne (@blondearmy) and Robyn (robyn_burton) who brought along the ADORABLE Dolly a little maltese met Anna at Peony Vintage store where we all got ready with the help of MUA Sasha (@sashajadeprebble)!

The lovely Jodi (@mcfaydenmilliny) provided the headwear and Naughty Floss (@naughtyfloss) provided the delicious candy floss bouquets for us too model along with the stunning dresses from Lucky Sixpence.

One of the wonderful things about Margate is that it is SO instagramable, from shop fronts to the beach everything is so aesthetically pleasing.

We photographed in front of shops, walls, doors and even a junk yard! The talented Sarah (@sarahannwright) photographed us and did an amazing job.

It was such a fun day too and I almost feel a bit gutted that I’d picked my wedding dress already because I just want to try on more and more dresses. There is something truly special about being in a bridal gown and a world of boring mermaid shaped dress with a bit of embellishment there is the wonderful world of vintage dresses to explore.

Lucky Sixpence bridal are dropping their new stock this month (April 2019) check them out at https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/lucky-sixpence-bridal where Anna is sadly taking a new adventure on and is selling her dresses on a discount.

 

 

sh*t you didn’t think you needed for your wedding!

sh*t you didn’t think you needed for your wedding!

Now, i’m sure i’m about to offend the people who’s sole income that they put food on the table is to specialize in these jobs so for that I am super sorry but JESUS CHRIST I didn’t understand how much was involved with planning a wedding and paying for everything.

INVITES

“Couldnt we just text them? Babe I really don’t think the boys are going to care about a fancy bit of paper”

“JUST PICK A FUCKING WEIGHT AND TEXTURE OF PAPER OR YOU WON’T SEE ME NAKED FOR A LONG TIME”

Now obviously invites were a given but you have to consider save the date cards, the information card, the RSVP, the envelope, invite pockets.. there is so many! A simple  invite can go from 75 pence per invite to £5.75 very quickly. Multiply that by 100 and you’re talking some real cheddar. we bought save the dates at a bargain price of £17 and I went to buy the stamps for them and they were £40!

My advice? shop around! Look for a good price and always take in consideration the price of postage. Also even though you have 4 guests (2 adults + 2 children) they all live in one house so that is 1 invite! 

FAVOURS

I went to a wedding and they didn’t even have them. Did I care? no. Did I love that my wine glass was constantly filled? hell yeah! Moral? put your money where you want it.

I’ve been to tons of weddings the amount of money that gets spend on little chocolates in organza bags or little seashells which always get left behind! I see tons of companies advertising favours for as little as £2.99 each but my god multiply by 100 and again its another huge bill.

For my wedding I *am* having favours and we are giving all the adults a shot each and all the children personalised drink bottles for squash. 1 to save parents buying tons of bloody fruit shoots and 2 it’s a nice little keepsake for them that I know they’ll appreciate. My friend did this and it was a hit!

CHAIR COVERS

In the words of Anna WIllatt (@sixpence_bridal) “FUCK CHAIR COVERS”

It’s as if venues work closely with chair cover companies by having ugly chairs so that you HAVE to have white covers and sashes on them to make them look better. Now £2.50 per chair doesn’t sound to bad does it? All together now MULTIPLY IT.

Personally i’m getting in chiavari chairs and it was honestly one of the key selling points for me. Each to their own but spending extra of frilly shit on the back of my chair was not top of my priority list.

WEDDING CEREMONY 

Again, the whole event is TO GET MARRIED DUH but to get a registrar out and for all the legal bits (bands being read etc) its costing us just out of £900 because of the date. One Saturday I got a phone call whilst I was at one of Delilahs school friends party so I nipped out to take it and it was the registrar from my local council. When she told me the cost my mouth dropped to the floor.

When looking for venues consider;

  1. If they even hold wedding ceremonies and if not find your local church/registry hall
  2. If the can hold a legal marriage. My friend is getting married in a barn and having a “wedding” in front of friends and family then separately going to the registry office. This means they can personalise it and make it as special as possible!
  3. The cost of the ceremony and what it includes. We got quoted the church for £400 but then there was extras for example to have the heating on would cost an additional £50, for having music played down the aisle was another £20, £100 for choir. I’m not even joking i was ridiculous.
  4. Check if you can add speakerss, singers, personal vows etc as some venues don’t allow it. It might be the special additions that you feel passionately about that they wont allow.
  5.  If it’s exactly what you want. Dont settle for a ceremony at a church because that’s what great granny Dorris says you HAVE to have. If you want something more intimate/personal do it your way! My brother and sister in law got married at the registry office with just the best man and bridesmaid then they came to the venue after and everyone celebrated then. It worked out pretty amazing I thought! In my brother in laws words “everyone just wants the fun bit!”.

CONFETTI 

I can’t even believe this has made the list but my GOODNESS is it when you look into it. Pre wedding i’d of said a couple of quid maybe a tenner max HAHAHA roll on confetti shopping and I’m reading an email from a company who had quoted me £156.50 for 90 people. That’s without cones or bags for them. Just the teeny paper shapes that get thrown on the floor. FFS.

I bought 4 packs of tissue paper (99p from Card Factory), pinstripe candy bags (99p for 100 on ebay) and 100 personalised stickers (£4.50 from Etsy). I cut it all into squares but if I wanted to push the boat out and get a heart, butterfly etc hole punch I could of done but we wasn’t fussed. We mainly wanted rainbow confetti for the photographs. Total cost? £9.45, time took? 3 hours (whilst watching netflix with coffee and cake), money saved? £147.05! JOB DONE.

OUTFITS

Not essential but if you’re having a bridal shower, hen do, night before wedding dinner etc you wanna look good especially as the bride! There are so many online boutiques with cheap dress and discount codes the options are endless! Always search for a discount code, borrow a mates student ID/uni days or if not ask for one!

VAT

That cheeky three lettered middle finger.

Don’t forget to ask EVERY vendor. It always crops up and it’s a ball ache by racking up the price.

THANK YOUS

It is really important to send thank you notes to everyone came and their gifts. I do it for my daughters parties so I should 100% do it for my wedding. We have friends coming from New York for goodness sake they deserve thanking alone for the 10 hour flight! But also the special people like your parents who footed the bill (thanks again ma and pa) and the bridesmaid who held your dress up to pee!

MEALS ON THE DAY

We are having a late wedding so there is still breakfast and lunch to make sure we cover too. Make up and hair are arriving from 7:30 so it’s all GO GO GO until then. I will probably get breakfast early from our hotel and maybe bring a few picnic bits in the room for everyone to graze on (and soak up the pinotpinot cans!).

With all this spending make sure you enjoy it!

xoxo- Fifi

The NHS let me down

The NHS let me down

I’m writing this blog post because I have been asked a lot about it before so I wanted to tell my story properly and get it out. I would like to clarify that I am great lover of the NHS and everything it does for us however in my time of need they let me down.

I was 18 when I fell pregnant with Delilah, not practical or a great time but still a blessing, I had no idea what I needed to do or what the process was so I did the only logical thing I could think of.. I booked a doctors appointment. I sat down very timidly as I forced back the tears. I was still in college, living at home and barely even paid my phone bill on time let alone take care of a baby. I hadn’t actually decided what I was going to do but before I had a chance to even think about it BAM the fill in GP slapped leaflets to the local abortion clinic down on the table before I could even think or work out what the process was. She told me to book in with the midwife at 8 weeks but I didn’t because I was too frightened so I just left it until I had an appointment with my regular doctor to follow up a recent PCOS issue where he questioned whether I might be pregnant, a routine question, and said that yes I might be. I was 14 weeks and I left it because I was to afraid of being bullied again by the people who were supposed to be ensuring my health was a priority.

It didn’t stop there. I went to the NHS maternity classes where unfortunately Pat couldn’t come with me because he was working so I was in a room filled with middle aged, middle classed married couples who all wanted the same thing. I felt like the black sheep. I relayed this back to my midwife who told me also how this had happened with two other younger mums to be and they just got up midway through.

I went to view the maternity unit and again Pat was working to save up all the money we could for the baby. I was singled out yet again because I was on my own there was subtle digs about how “women could do it on their own”, “don’t worry we’ve had young mums here before”. Why was it necessary? Did they say to older mums to be “ohh we’ve had geriatric mothers before!”.

Throughout my pregnancy I being only 5ft 2 and 18 was smaller than the average child baring mother. Time after time I was constantly reminded about “how inappropriate it was for my body to be carrying a baby at my young age”. At the end I was being closely monitored with scans every week and midwife appointments every single day. It was emotionally draining.

I made it 39 weeks and was more than ready to give birth.

I was 6 cm in active labour in a birthing pool breathing through contractions when a midwife came in and read my notes. She commented on my age which was the same as her daughters but said “well I wouldn’t allow my daughter to be pregnant”. I was at my most vulnerable with a baby being squeezed out of my birth canal and this b*tch had the audacity to have a dig at me?!

Once I returned home I was so grateful to be in my own environment and I wanted to celebrate my beautiful baby. All I got was grief.

“Its normally the teen mums that get their make up back on and get out again”

“You can’t go back to normal you need to grow up and become a mum”

“It’s usually the young parents who feel depressed”

“Your friends are at different stages of life”

“No more going out and partying”

“You can’t afford to shop at Next you’re a young mum!”

“Young mums always give up on breastfeeding”

Again and again I was bullied my health visitor. I stopped answering the door to her and blocked her number. Enough was enough.

When I had Indiana I was scared to go to appointments, I missed appointments, I withdrew from any sort of help that was offered. Luckily I had a really good midwife named Steph and she was amazing. I was blessed to have her but my GPs were less than helpful with my aftercare. I had given birth twice in 15 months and my body knew about it! I went months without periods and when I did I bled for weeks. I bled so much that it went through a tampon, 2 maternity towels and a mattress. Unable to move I was blue lighted to hospital and treated. I was taken seriously and I was desperate for help. 6 times I went to my GP and begged for help. Again and again and again I was turned down. The NHS have let me down time and time again.

We aren’t planning on having a baby anytime soon at least not until we get the wedding out the way. We have said that one more baby would be the perfect addition to our family for sure! What we do know is that when the time is right we will plan it properly and go privately this time round. I’m sure I will get stick for saying that but it’s the truth.

I got my two healthy babies yes and I am more than grateful for that.

Fin

 

FOR AISHA- let’s cook!

FOR AISHA- let’s cook!

When weaning came around with Indiana I struggled to find baby food I could give him because they all cleverly smuggled in dairy which wasn’t suitable for poor little Indi because of his allergies. I came across For Aisha baby food one day in Asda and thought I would give it a try because all the ingredients looked healthy, organic plus dairy free! Victories don’t happen often when you have a baby with allergies, reflux and couldn’t sleep because their belly was never fall. I did my research and found that their products were not only dairy free but Halal and all ingredients were sourced ethically.

When making baby food you always need to prepare, prepare, prepare! Do your sleepless minds a favour and bulk cook and portion them to heat them up after a busy day. I took a recipe from the For Aisha cook book soon to be released! I made the Chicken and Sweet potato meal, it went down a treat.

You will need:

• 100grams of chopped onions

• 1 tsp of garlic puree

• 1 tsp of ground ginger

• 1 tsp of ground coriander

• 1 tsp of black pepper

• 4 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander

• 50grams of chopped chicken breast

• 200grams of lentils

• 100grams of boiled and chopped butternut squash

• 300grams of peeled, boiled and chopped sweet potatoes

To make:

1. Make sure you clean your hands!

2. In a non-stick large casserole dish, place all the ingredients together over medium heat, except the sweet potatoes and squash.

3. Pour 100ml of water over the ingredients.

4. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes (to ensure lentils are fully cooked).

5. Stir occasionally to ensure the ingredients don’t stick to the pan.

6. Once cooked put all ingredients (and the potatoes and squash) into a food processor and dived up into jars to freeze or refrigerate. I got about five portions out of it. When processing the food get it to the right consistency depending on the age of the baby. Indi prefers it lumpier but smaller babies beginning weaning are going to need it really smooth. Add warm water for this.

7. Let baby enjoy!

For Aisha is available from Boots, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and even Whole Food!

This was a sponsored post by For Aisha, I would like express that I have always used their baby food and wouldn’t promote something that the children or I didn’t completely love.

#savvysleepover @ Fair Oak Farm

#savvysleepover @ Fair Oak Farm

It started last week when I had a bad day, a bad day that would rival all bad days. I was ordered to go and get in the bath by Pat whilst he cleaned up the pig sty that was Thursday. I soaked in the bubbles and promised myself better things were coming. So imagine my surprise when Hanna (@the_savvy_mummy) messaged me invite to the #savvysleepover! It was exactly what I needed.

Emma (@mumofmadlads) and I set off out into the middle of nowhere and after a breezy drive down country lanes we spotted pheasants and tractors so we knew we had made it!

The land was simply beautiful with a huge farm house, 2 treehouses, a huge barn with a bar, coach houses, huts and barns to sleep in! With a cinema barn, outdoor play area, zip line, huge trampoline, teddy bear cottage, alpacas and peacocks to admire so the kids were perfectly entertained.

Hanna (@the_savvy_mummy) organised plenty for us to do from wine in the hot tub, afternoon tea, blow dries + hair braiding (thehairstylist_vc), pizza making (@notherndough) and even a lovely Easter egg hunt for the children!

The cinema barn was loaded with popcorn (@propercorn) for us to chill out too.

Indiana my wild child was set free to roam about and walk where he pleased which was lovely to see him enjoy the freedom of running and playing sticks. Delilah had her pick of the girl gang to play with too.

It was so nice to get out of town and breathing fresh country air and spending quality time with them. It was also nice to meet up with the mamas who you see on their tiny squares but not in real life!

Well done Hanna it was a hit! Can’t wait for the next ❤️

This was a gifted experience and the following companies sponsored the event including:

  • Fair Oak Farm- http://www.fairoakfarm.co.uk
  • Best day ever party shop
  • Nuby UK
  • Vita coco UK
  • Dorset Cereals
  • Little light PR
  • My little piccolo
  • SNS cocktail
  • Fearne Mccann for Poundland
  • Peanut
  • Nothern Dough
  • Propercorn
  • Allwrappedup UK
  • My Freda
My children have colds AGAIN

My children have colds AGAIN

**** sake

Why are we in for more snow?! Why are we still wearing a million layers and why oh why are my children’s noses still running!!!

It’s the end of March and spring needs to hurry up. Fun fact: Delilahs middle name is Spring because she was born on the first day of Spring. With her birthday on Wednesday I feel as if we should of called her Winter or Snow.

If your children go to nursery/school/baby groups/after school clubs they are bound to get the horrid ‘sniffles’ too. Here’s what I do;

  • Calpol. Dose them up! It has sugar in also so will boost them up a bit.
  • Snufflebabe rub on their chest and on their feet (with socks on) it helps tremendously)
  • Snuggle up in warm fluffy clothes with hot milk and movies (Paddington 2 for us) the milk soothes their throat. If you’re trying to ditch the dummies/comforters then save it for when they’re better.
  • Cuddles! Lots of mama/daddy love to nurture them.
  • Sterimar breath easy- I had never hurt of it until my Paddys mum bought it round (along with everything to make an entire roast, beer, treats) and it’s amazing! It’s sea water and it helps clear out all their boogers to help them breath easier which is a god sent. Delilah can blow her nose lucky but Indi puts up a fight.
  • For night time I use a Calpol vapour. The pods last around 8 hours to help them breathing allllll night long. They also glow so double up as a night light!
  • Fresh air- even for 20 minutes round to the park for a quick swing. It won’t help being bunged up all day with the heating on and it certainly helps you mentally!
  • Olbas oil- drop a little into their bedtime bath to help steam out that bug.
  • Clean- dettol spray everything. I turn into a bit of a freak when the kids get ill, I sterilise everything too to refresh it all!
  • Wine- (that’s for you) a poorly child is de stressing for both parent and child so stay calm and chill. They’ll be back to drawing on your walls in no time!