2017 in Review: Adventures and all of the Weddings

So what can I say about 2017? For me personally it was a year of highs and lows. The lows were really low but the highs were the best days ever so I feel grateful for this year. Topher and I did a whole bunch of decorating in the house, went to a huge amount of weddings, got hitched ourselves and went on the most amazing honeymoon ever. I did also struggle a lot with my mental health in the second half of this year but I got through it and that’s all that matters. So without further delay, here is my 2017 in review.

2017 in Review

You can see my previous years in review here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016.

January

2017 in review - JAN

I started the year strong, launching Begin.Create, setting up a new bullet journal and making a start on our wedding DIYs. This was also the month that I attended my first WeBlogNorth event. I’m so thankful for finding this community this year as it’s been a great year meeting new people and attending great events and workshops. I also did my first recipe post in awhile and it went down well – I love this chicken biryani and still make it now.

February

2017 in review - FEB

So many restaurant visits in February! Topher and I had a date night for Valentines day where we had dinner and went to the cinema at the Printworks. We saw La La Land and didn’t like it (sorry, not sorry). I wrote a wedding post on how to stay zen during the planning (this came in handy in the lead up to the big day). And finally, we put up floating shelves in our bedroom. 10 months on and we are looking forward to taking them down! They don’t work with our walls at all and have been threatening to fall down ever since (one of the ones on Topher’s side went pretty much immediately). I think we’ll replace them with something that involves brackets in the new year.

March

2017 in review - MAR

This was an awesome month as two of our best friends got married! Claire and Steve had a hand fasting in front of family and friends after doing a quickie legal registry office wedding the day before. Topher was a witness and I was the ride/camerawoman. I also went to Nottingham to visit my brother for a weekend which was nice – it’s been years since I’ve been to the city. There was more experimenting in the kitchen – I made yoghurt bark! And I also attended another WeBlogNorth workshop where we worked on our photography skills. So many photos of this cake on my phone. There may have also been another home decor project that I started.

April

2017 in review - APR

April started off with another wedding – family friends were getting their vows renewed. Topher’s mum turned 50 so we got her a massive rainbow cake. I discovered that calligraphy is hard at the Viking Arty Party. As well as redecorating my office, Topher and I also spotted a great deal on wood flooring so decided to move up our living room plans and get it done. It was also an excellent excuse to finally get rid of the wallpaper I hated in there. Topher also wrote about wedding planning from the grooms point of view.

May

2017 in review - MAY

So many wedding crafts this month! Wedding planning was going full steam ahead; I had a hair and makeup trial, had my first  dress fitting, wrote a post about the good and bad things about wedding planning and we worked on the seating plan together (Pickles and Luna tried to “help”). We visited Lucardo which is an escape room in Manchester and is awesome. Looking forward to going back even more now that they have a Harry Potter inspired one. I also did some more experimenting in the kitchen and we visited a few restaurants – nom.

June

2017 in review - JUN

Such a busy month! We had two weddings to attend, I attended the IWOOT Fathers Day event, Topher had his stag do, I went to London for Blogtacular which included spending a day in our capital by myself, Emma and I went to the Ideal Home Show and Food and Drink festival, I turned 29, we got a new sofa, and Emma voted for the first time. All this and I was still doing a tonne of wedding DIYS. This is the point where I burned out so decided to take a blogging break until after the wedding.

July

2017 in review - JUL

Another busy one but as I said before, I was on a blogging break so didn’t write about this at the time. I had my hen party which included Crystal Maze, Afternoon tea and all the cocktails at a sleepover at my house. Then Topher and I had to fly to Jordan for my cousin’s wedding the week before ours. Then we got married! I wrote about the day itself, the DIYs and details and shared our wedding video. Afterwards we had a mini moon at the Mere hotel in Cheshire. The rest of the month was spent recovering!

August

2017 in review - AUG

A quiet month indeed but it was definitely needed. I blogged mainly about the wedding but in real life I chilled with my new husband while we got excited for our upcoming honeymoon the next month. I dyed my hair black and we attended our final wedding of the year.

September

2017 in review - SEPT - Honeymoon

Honeymoon time! We visited New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and it was the best holiday ever. I wrote about New York and what we ate there, San Francisco and what we ate there, The Color Factory, our road trip and the Madonna Inn, Los Angeles and what we ate, Universal Studios and Disneyland.

2017 in review - SEPT

Also in September we celebrated a friend’s 30th, saw Fluffy/Gabriel Iglesias at Manchester Apollo and I attended the In Colourful Company Manchester Colour Walk as well as the Reeves Show Your Colours Event.

October

2017 in review - OCT

At this point, my scheduling was all out of whack so though I posted about things in November, they actually happened in October, so bear with me! In October I had some great blogger opportunities including World Pasta Day with Vapiano, Thai Taste Tour at Tampopo and Sky High Tea with Roberts Bakery. The latter was my favourite as how many people can say they’ve had afternoon tea 100ft in the air hanging from a crane?

November

2017 in review - NOV

In November I visited home and went to an Instagram workshop held by Katya. Both were fun and were the highlights of my month. Otherwise, this was where my mental health took a nosedive and I spent a lot of the time not leaving the house if I could help it. The clocks changing definitely didn’t help!

December

2017 in review - DEC

Christmas time! I’m happy to say that even though my mental health wasn’t much better, I definitely got myself out of the house this month. I did some work at the Christmas markets for an illustrator and I went to a lot of Christmas events. Once again I find myself having so many more Christmas do’s now that I’m freelance. I did some festive crafts and hope to do loads more next year when I’m feeling better.

Topher and I had a nice meal at his mums on the 23rd before grabbing the cats and spending Christmas at my parents. It was so nice to see everyone. When we got home, it was Emma’s birthday so we went ice skating (I didn’t fall!) followed by dinner at Dimitri’s. As for New Years Eve, we’ll be spending it with friends at a flat party (anyone else not like going out out?).

So that was my 2017. How was yours?

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My Week #61 – Camping & Cats

*Wifefest *Fish and Chips *Pickles *Working hard

Did not do too much at all this week

The one cool thing was that Topher and I attended the wedding of one of my Freelance Folk friends, Michelle. It was festival themed and called Wifefest. We had such a great time! It was in a barn and there were games and irish dancing and a fish and chip van. Topher and I even stayed overnight in a tent. I’m not much of a camping person (like not at all!) but we survived the night and it was actually pretty fun. Afterwards we headed to a pub near our house for a Sunday lunch and then went to the cinema in the evening. I’ve now seen The Dark Tower and Girls Trip. Both really good.

I put on another 2 pounds at Slimming World

I’ve kinda lost the plot a bit. My focus is completely gone. But I haven’t lost hope. I think I just need to take a bit of time and get the honeymoon out of the way. Once that’s done I can climb aboard the wagon again. One of the Slimming World ladies pointed out to me that once I get back it will be about 14 weeks until Christmas so if I lost a pound a week that’s a stone. Until I get back I’m not going to beat myself up over it. In other news I really seem to have gotten my shopping bug back. And I blame this bag.

my week - bag It’s from Primark and it was all sold out but I managed to find one on eBay. Of course it was more expensive but I just really wanted it! I expect I would have paid that much anyway at another high street store so it doesn’t really bother me. Can’t wait to skip down Main Street with it. Less than 2 weeks to go!

How was your week?

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Our Wedding DIY’s and Details

There were so many little wedding DIY’s and details that went into our day.

So today I’m going to give you a little inside look into what we did and where everything was from. Photos are a mix of our friends and also our photographer Nikki Cooper (you can tell which ones are her – they’re super good!).

So lets dive in! I already talked about my outfit during the main wedding post so now it’s Topher’s turn. His suit was from Moss Bros, as was the rest of the groomsmen’s suits. His little pin is the Rock n Roll Husband pin from Veronica Dearly (a collaboration with Rock n Roll Bride) and I have the matching Rock n Roll Wife one which I attached to my bouquet. The buttonhole I made myself.

Wedding DIY's - topher's suit

The buttonholes were the last DIY I did before the wedding and I had no clue what I was doing. I knew how I wanted them to look but I had no clue how to achieve it and mainly how they would be attached to the men’s jackets. I made the flowers and the dinosaurs I spray painted but then what to use for the main stem? Luckily this is where my dad stepped in and suggested using a safety pin.

I attached the flower stem to the bulky part of the pin by wrapping blue twine around it and securing with the glue gun. The dinosaurs were placed on top and also secured with the glue gun. And they held all day – score! The flowers were a little worse for wear by the end of the day but nothings perfect. They looked good for the photos and that’s all that matters.

Wedding DIY's - buttonholes

Topher really wanted some nerdy cufflinks so I scoured Etsy to find the perfect ones. He had a clear idea of what he wanted so I ended up finding an awesome cufflink shop called Showstopper Supplies who did a custom order for us. He wanted the eye of Sauron on one and the Deathly Hallows on the other one. To represent the two of us and our nerdy loves.

Wedding DIY's - cufflinks

So onto the bridesmaids & bouquets. I actually forgot to say my earrings are also from Etsy and you can’t see them but these are the girl’s hair clips which are also from Etsy. The dresses were a pain to find but we got them from eBay (all the way from China!) and then altered locally.

The bouquets were made by me. The main pink flowers in my bouquet were made using this tutorial and the blue ones and the bridesmaid bouquets used the middle section with just one layer of petals glued straight on. To make stems I just used pipe cleaners in green which worked pretty well. The pink flowers are tissue paper (Paperchase), the yellow middles are crepe paper (Hobbycraft) and the blue petals are actually napkins!

The main pink flowers are also what I made for the centrepieces and decor for the ceremony table and seating plan. To finish off the bouquets I just added ribbon that I found on Amazon.

Wedding DIY's - bouquets

To thank my bridesmaids and also give us something to use as handbags on the day, I purchased these little clutches from Oh Squirrel. They were so cute and I filled them with things I got from the pound shop for us to enjoy on the night before the wedding.

Wedding DIY's - bridesmaid bags

So, back to the flowers! These were all of the centre pieces. The flowers sat in light cream terracotta plant pots from IKEA. They were just under £3 each so not bad going! I’m really happy how they turned out. Thanks to my mum for cutting out all the petals for me! I kept getting them in the post from her which was pretty funny. And thanks to Claire’s mum and step-dad for helping me get all these (and everything else) to the venue – something tells me my little car wouldn’t have been able to handle them!

Wedding DIY's - centrepieces

As I mentioned before, the ceremony table also used the centrepiece flowers but I had to be a bit more inventive with how to display them. Luckily I spotted this garland in Hobbycraft. Since the flower stems were pipecleaners, it was all too easy to wrap them around the garland.

Wedding DIY's - ceremony table

The main decor in the rest of the room was definitely the streamers. Another buy on Amazon, I think they looked great. The venue even took the left overs and put them around the venue (like the stage and the balcony). They actually ended up dropping kind of low so the venue cut them down the middle after the meal and they rested against the white curtains at the side of the room and looked just as amazing. Good call Bowdon Rooms!

The same ribbon I used in the bouquets were also used on the chairs as you can see. Thanks to Claire and my mum for making them!

Wedding DIY's - room

Wedding DIY's - streamers

The seating plan was a combo of paper flowers and more ribbon. The actual grate is something I’ve had lying around my parents have had lying around for me for years. Look familiar? My dad printed out the table cards on his nice printed and I fixed them on with mini clothes pegs along with some polaroids of Topher and I.

We weren’t sure at first what to call our tables at first but then we decided on locations from nerdy films and programmes we both love.

Wedding DIY's - seating plan

The last little bits of ribbon were used on our cars. Since my parents have nice white BMWs, we decided to use those instead of wasting hundreds on wedding cars.

Wedding DIY's - car ribbons

So, onto the tables!

Wedding DIY's - table

The candles are from Primark and IKEA – we managed to find them in all 4 of our wedding colours. And the tea light holders are also from IKEA.

As I mentioned, we named the tables after locations in nerdy stuff and we added in a romantic quote from each. The frames were from Claire and Steve’s wedding (thanks guys!) so keep in mind if you have friends getting married not long before you that you can use each other’s stuff!

Wedding DIY's - table names

Now, the dinosaurs! People asked us a lot, why dinosaurs? We could only say, “Why not?” So as cool as they look, I had no idea how hard it would be to source the dinosaurs. Either kids aren’t playing with them anymore or they really are and are not willing to sell them. There were so many times when we considered changing them to something else but I’m glad we stuck to our guns. We managed them all in the end and though we might have had a table with some slightly much bigger dinosaurs, I don’t think anyone noticed.

So the plan was to have each table to have all the same coloured dinosaurs on it – I think it would have been just a bit too messy looking if we had just mixed them up. The spray paint was from Hobbycraft again (I lived there this year!) and I had my dad, Claire and Emma help me spray paint them. Then Topher and I tied the names to them in coloured twine.

Wedding DIY's - dinosaurs

Having been to so many weddings in the last 12 months, I’ve found that edible favours are always a winner so I thought long and hard about what to include. Having been to Blogtacular a month before the wedding, I stumbled across Honeywell Bakes who make the most amazing looking and tasting biscuits. How cute are these?

Wedding DIY's - favours

We finished the favours off with a sticker that had Topher’s and my names in Arabic. I think it’s safe to say the biscuits were a hit – not a single one was left behind!

Wedding DIY's - stickers

And finally, what’s a wedding without cake? Our wedding cake was made by the super talented Sarah from Pink Cocoa and it was perfect. It looked good and it certainly tasted good too. Since we served it as dessert and also with the evening buffet, there were only a few slices left to take home – it went down a treat. It was chocolate, vanilla and Butterbeer! I always dreamed of a drip cake and she even made our flowers out of sugar.

The cake topper was a combo of eBay and DIY. The Wall-e and Eve models are from eBay and the rest including their accessories and the bunting was made by me. The bunting is actually from hobby craft but I cut off all the little flags and added my own. I think it worked really well.

Wedding DIY's - cake

And that’s it – I think I covered everything!

Did you make anything yourself or plan on making anything yourself for your wedding?

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Our Wedding Video

We got our wedding video back last week!

Just in time before Topher headed off to Bloodstock so we got to watch it together. I may have watched it a few times since…

The video is by Tregoning Weddings and I think they did an awesome job. I definitely recommend them.

Check it out:

I’m so glad we decided to have a wedding video – as much as I love photos, video just captures a little bit more.

Enjoy!

Check out my other wedding day posts:

Our Wedding Day – 15/7/17

Our Wedding DIY’s and Details

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Our Wedding Day – 15/7/17

Our wedding day without a doubt was the best day ever!

So far we’ve only had sneak peek photos from the day but they were so awesome I couldn’t wait to share them. Prepared to be photobombed.

All photos by our amazing photographer Nikki Cooper who I highly recommend – it was like having another friend there with us on the day.

There’s a running joke that Topher can’t dress himself if it’s more fancy than jeans and a t-shirt so I had to laugh when I saw they included a photo of him trying to put on his cufflinks. Bless!

wedding day - cufflinks

I had both my hair and makeup done professionally and it was really nice to feel pampered.

wedding day - makeup

It was such a humid day so this was inevitable. I love my bridesmaids!

wedding day - fan

We got married at The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham and the venue were amazing every step of the way. They made my vision come to life. I’ll be doing a separate post with all the DIY details next week so stay tuned.

wedding day - ceremony

I love this picture!

wedding day - confetti

wedding day - everyone

Of course I had to get a jumping photo in there. I definitely don’t have enough jumping photos in my life so this is a great start! Will be getting at least one in on the honeymoon.

wedding day - jump

wedding day - diane and topher

wedding day - woods

My dress was from The Case of The Curious Bride, the bouquet I made myself and the veil was a custom piece by Crown and Glory adapted from their Nebula Ombre Embellished Veil that they collaborated on with Rock n Roll Bride. I felt like a princess. One that had free movement and didn’t need any help in the bathroom!

wedding day - veil

wedding day - speeches

We didn’t have any entertainment, just a spotify playlist. We were worried but it turned out amazing. Since we made the playlist ourselves it was perfect – actually a little too perfect. We spent the whole night on the dance floor and had friends saying they needed the bathroom but didn’t want to miss a song! So lesson learned, throw in a few less loved songs.

wedding day - dance

All in all it was a perfect day. I loved having everyone we loved in the same room and I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos and also the video.

See here for all my wedding planning posts:

We’re Engaged!

The Proposal – His Story

Our Engagement Party

Adventures in Paper Flower Making

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips for Introverts

How to Stay Zen When Planning a Wedding

Wedding Planning – The Groom’s Point of View

Thoughts on Wedding Planning – The Good, Bad and the Ugly

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