Today on Ask The Experts, we are looking at a subject we haven’t covered before...
Happy Friday everyone, how are you all this afternoon? It’s time for another Diary of a Boho Bride entry and this time it’s the turn of Kirra. Last time Kirra told us all about her choices of wedding food and it all sounded very tasty! Today it’s about the invitations. Kirra decided to DIY her own wedding invitations, so she gives us a step by step tutorial on those. As well as this we hear about the trials and tribulations that have come regarding the guest list! Along with the all important dress hunt and also a bit about the bridesmaids and accessories. It certainly has been a busy time!
Hi everyone! Well, it’s exciting times in our world… the invites are out, the RSVPs are coming back and the registrar is booked. There’s a little countdown on our wedding website that is getting ever closer to August and I can’t believe how quickly time is flying!! Speaking to Devon Registry office on the phone about the structure of the ceremony and what the legal words are that we will have to say was SO exciting, everything suddenly started feeling so real. We were a bit unclear and confused about the differences between a civil and humanist ceremony and now that we are having a registrar come to the venue had initially been worried that we wouldn’t be able to say the things we wanted to say now that our humanist ceremony plan with separate ‘legal bit’ is now at the same time, but after a very nice chat with the friendly lady from the Devon Registrar our minds were put at ease. We had got so involved in planning the celebratory aspect of the wedding and had been thinking of it all in a very hippie “hey we could have a friend officiate” type way, that once we changed to having a registrar there we realised how many official things about the act of getting married were actually involved ie: applying for marriage license with our local registry office to be sent down to Devon etc.
We will still have a bit of coordination to work out regarding where we stand during the legal bit of the ceremony as in England you have to be standing under a permanent structure to be legally married (seems like such an odd law!) so we are hopefully going to say all the legally required bits standing under a lovely new gazebo that the owners of Colehayes recently had built looking over the fields and hold the rest of the ceremony under the tree next to the gazebo as per the original plan. We figure our guests won’t mind turning their chairs around 90 degrees for part of the ceremony! The exact structure of the ceremony is yet to be confirmed, we may have to have the civil and humanist elements straight after each other, or might be able to do the whole thing with the registrar. It’s all still a bit up in the air until they see what we have written for the ceremony, but we are still definite about what we want to say. I guess the only but that might be a contentious point are some Daoist quotes, but it is a philosophy rather than a religion so I hope it will be ok.
Ah, so many things to tell you about! But first and the bit that has been the MOST exciting this month
After getting inspired by previous Boho bride Becki’s Kraft pocket fold invites with detail inserts and by this blog post describing how to utilise free fonts and vectors to design your own wedding invite, I got on the case of making them. Using recycled card was not only cost effective but fit much better with the whole vibe of our wedding and overall the cost of the invites including Save The Date & RSVP card came to just over £100 which was great for our budget. It did take a looong time to design and put them all together though. Our ancient printer was not at all happy about the idea of printing on something that wasn’t A4(!) so we used the opportunity to upgrade and after a few swearing-at-the-laptop moments got it all printing fine.
We wanted to use the words from the great Louis Armstrong song, “and I think to myself, what a wonderful world” somewhere in our wedding, so had a custom made stamp done by Nicki at Stamping All Day from for the cover of the invites. I put the stamp onto a clear Perspex backing pad so I could line it up properly and stamped them all in white ink, with 2 blue swallows either side (from East of India) in Paris Dusk blue.
On the inside folder I bought a stamp of a tree from the English Stamp Company to use which turned out really nicely. The inserts were just designed using our word processing program and free fonts from Dafont which I put in navy blue to match the ink of the stamps.
I was particularly happy about the RSVP cards which we had spent quite a while trying to work out how to do something less formal and friendly sounding. Pinterest provided some inspiration and in the end we went for this wording:
Ironically guests have liked them so much that they all seem to be keeping them and RSVPing online, but a few have emailed us great pics of their completed RSVPs which is lovely. After all that the only thing we forgot to include on the invites was our actual postal address and contact phone number (!) but we figured that everyone has our numbers and can email or text us if they don’t have our address. Oops! The actual invite part of the invitation was printed on cream card and stuck inside the inside fold with good old pritstick, but I won’t post a pic of that until after the wedding!
After a lot of folding, sticking and stamping they were ready to send out and putting those invites in the postbox knowing that each one had been a bit of a labour of love felt really good actually. We had really struggled with how our invites should look; we didn’t want to be too formal, but also have a very high cheese-o-meter and didn’t feel comfortable with anything too overt. We feel like we ended up with something that reflected both us and the vibe of the wedding and have the added bonus of feeling proud of having actually managed to make them all in the end! It felt like it was giving personal meaning to the whole thing from the very start and was like a nice little present for each of our guests.
So that has been pretty darn exciting. It’s been hard to know how many to send out and the beginning. Assuming that at least 10 people won’t be able to make it, do we wait until RSVPs come in, or do we ‘overbook’ slightly from the start? We have gone for sending out around invites for around 5 more people than our number of 80 guests from the start and will send out others if we are able to as RSVPs come in. The only slight problem we have had so far is several people assuming that they will be bringing their partners who we don’t know. So far we have largely chickened out of saying anything because we felt bad at turning anyone away who wanted to celebrate with us, so just adjusted our guest list, but we did say on our wedding website that as our guest list is so relatively small, we are currently unable to extend invitations to plus ones but if it is a problem for anyone at all please just let us know and we will try to help as RSVPs come in. It’s a tough one, but we really wanted to be able to invite as many of our friends as possible and if lots of partners come to the wedding of 2 people they don’t actually know, it takes the space of one of our friends that we could have invited. That said, everyone will have traveled to be there, so we don’t feel comfortable saying that you can’t come with your partner. We feel that hopefully we have managed to address it as sensitively as possible. In other developments however we also have news.
My wedding dress. THE dress. The one I will get married in. Gosh, never thought a piece of clothing could cause such indecision! My experience of finding the wedding dress was actually a bit stressful really and not the kind of amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience I thought it would be, just because of circumstance and it being virtually impossible to coordinate childcare, 2 busy bridesmaids and me at one time. I haven’t even had time to have a haircut in the last 9 months so have hardly been feeling glamorous and we had all these plans about having fantastic girly days with champagne, cupcakes and dress shopping but they never really materialised as we all rushed around the place in our own ways for months on end. I ended up buying my dress online from BHLDN in the USA and so my big trying-on-the-dress moment was in my living room with my mum keeping one very boisterous baby from chewing the hem of the skirt! Not especially glamorous circumstances, but luckily it was the closest to what I had pictured from my wedding dress and the soft floaty material made me feel instantly that this was special, so with a few alterations to the top it will be just perfect.
I have never been a big princess dress kind of person and always thought I’d get married barefoot on a beach or a mountain somewhere in a sun dress. We just couldn’t do a far away destination wedding though, not enough of the really important people to us would have been able to make it, so with a different sort of wedding came ideas for a different sort of dress. On a particularly girly night a few years ago with my flatmate of the time (and now bridesmaid) Tamar we googled ‘Bohemian Wedding Dress’ and stumbled across the designs of Raimon Bundo and his Ir De Bundo range. I fell head over heels in love with the dresses, so unique and a little bit floaty but rock n roll at the same time. I swore if I ever got married it would be in one of those dresses.
When Tim & I got engaged I started my quest to find some Ir De Bundo dresses that I might be able to buy within budget (ie. a sample sale or preloved). Unfortunately it’s a Spanish label and only very new to U.K. Stockists so there aren’t many of the designs here in the U.K. yet…. Also the dresses that I really loved were all in the 2011 and 2012 collections which weren’t here at all. There was also another slight hitch in that I was 5 months pregnant when we got engaged so wasn’t going to be in any state to try on dresses for a while. After Jamie was born it took a while to feel like venturing out into the world of wedding dress shops and time was rushing past. My bridesmaids, whilst being my best friends and general legends are also incredibly busy musicians who are hardly ever free and my mum would be looking after our baby at home if I went out, but I kept holding out for a sort of traditional ‘go dress shopping with your bridal party’ type excursion. Eventually though as the months continued to rush past I had to start looking seriously and started going to dress shops on my own. Whilst trying to find stockists in this country of Ir De Bundo I found that my local bridal shop Mirror Mirror actually stocked his designs and was having a sample sale a few days after I saw their website. I queued up by myself on a cold Saturday morning feeling distinctly new mum-ish with no makeup on and felt really out of place. I ended up trying on dresses in a back room feeling a bit freaked out by the whole thing, but it did at least eliminate one of the Raimon Bundo dresses I had been thinking of as it just didn’t look quite right on me, and the very helpful staff there upon hearing that this was my first go at trying on wedding dresses assured me that sample sale days were not indicative of what it was usually like, so I decided to come back for a proper appointment.
Before that though, I went to try on some dresses at Debenhams one day just in case, but they definitely weren’t for me, and had a lovely appointment at the Katerina Shuherina boutique in the West End. At the Mirror Mirror Angel shop they had several Yolancris designs that I had loved on paper, but trying them on they proved to be totally wrong for my shape unfortunately. A really useful lesson to try lots of different designs as what you think will suit you isn’t always the best and vice versa. I fell in love with a Terry Fox gown that day and went off wondering if that was the one, but realised once I really thought about the style of our wedding that it wasn’t quite right for me.
I started feeling a bit down about post-baby weight changing my figure, but then saw a dress that I had loved months beforehand come up in the BHLDN sale. It was hugely discounted and I realised that if I didn’t make a decision about it quickly then it would be gone, so my mum helped me buy it and a few days later it arrived from the USA beautifully wrapped and with the option to return it within 30 days if it turned out to be not what I was looking for. I felt so nervous about trying it on, especially given the previous dress experiences of things not looking as good in person, not to mention the fact that I hadn’t realised how much custom duty was and had to pay £277 to the FedEx man when it arrived!!! Having though I could just send it back if it was wrong, now we would lose almost 300 quid if I had chosen wrong. I actually kept it in the box for a couple of days because I was too nervous to try it on, but eventually my mum came over and I put it on to show her and it was just perfect! The skirt is exactly what I was looking for, and the top will be altered to fit me properly. I won’t say anything else, except that Tim says that he wants me to look a bit wild and I think this dress will definitely help with that!!
Now that I had the dress, we needed to find the bridesmaid dresses so Tamar and I had a fab afternoon on Oxford St scouring the shops for options. We have narrowed it down to about four, including one total wild card discovered when we popped into Warehouse: a lime green maxi dress, completely the opposite of what I had said I wanted (blush palette, knee high dresses) but just looked so good on Tamar that both of us suddenly got excited about it. We are going for a final outing next week, all three of us this time and will make the final decision no doubt over coffee and cake afterwards!
( All dresses from Coast )
Next task outfit wise is to find the right shoes and accessories for me (am looking for turquoise sandals), help my mum find a mother of the bride outfit that she feels lovely in and outfits for Tim and his Best Men. He is on the case and has been looking at brogues and waistcosts online. He is actually really excited about having a bit of wedding planning that he feels is totally his ‘area’ of expertise to be getting on with this week, that and researching Devon ales!
Well, that was a lot of news in one post but I guess as the day gets closer lots of stuff is happening at once. I keep getting inspired by other posts here on Boho Weddings and it has been just so lovely sharing this journey with you all. Until next time I wish all of you the best with your own planning, thanks for reading!