Engagement drinks – Do it!

We had our drinks to celebrate our engagement ages ago and it was one of the best nights in a very long time.

I wasn’t really sure we should have a ‘engagement party’ however now my recommendation to everyone is DO IT! If you have any doubt that people do not want to come and celebrate with you then ignore it.

So many people came to join us in our bubble of lovely happiness and the evening was filled with friends we have not seen in ages and laughter and obviously Vodka and tonic. So much vodka. The after shots are not so pretty and the train ride home was an experience! Martin slept most of the way whilst me and my best friend made several new friends and took a ridiculous amount of drunken selfies.


Poor Martin………..

Also check out the amazing engagement card!



Progress on the paddock

We stopped by the paddock today after church and there has been some progress made on clearing it.

We talked through lay out options for the marquee and seating areas.

As you can see it is starting to look a bit different





Still a long way to go! What do you think?

Possible theme – It does not have to be original, it just needs to be beautiful.

Since getting engaged and really looking at weddings it seems all the things I ever dreamt of are pretty standard wedding fair.

It’s practically impossible to be original today unless it’s a hello kitty theme or the bridesmaids dress as a palm tree or a pineapple. I have spent several weeks now getting a bit stressed with trying to be original and different from all the current trend’s for vintage and pretty. Martin and I want a relaxed affair and not a formal stuffy day so I was almost trying to make it un-wedding like. Ridiculous I know. It was only when a very good friend said to me

“It does not have to be original, it only has to be beautiful”

I regained some composure before then worrying about it being beautiful! Argh what is beautiful??

I used to love pink and green and that had a bit of a season a few years ago. I had progressed to no colour scheme however When did multi-colours become so popular? Should it be all white? Maybe just green and white? I thought I had an original idea. Remember the days when everyone was a lovely purple and white, or red and white? Not any more it’s patterns and a mix of colours all the way.

Floral is another great love of mine. I love anything pretty and floral. Big blooms, again this appears to be very trendy now. Even patterned wedding dresses which I thought was going to be a really original option. One of my other close friends then pointed out that I might blend into the crowd if wearing what essentially looked like a floral maxi-dress.

This is not a floral maxi-dress this is beautiful!

Bunting is another super trend now isn’t it. There is a brilliant blog called F**k off Bunting which just about sums the trend up for me in terms of bunting overload but (lowers head in guilty way) I still really like it! Except when it looks rubbish!

Afternoon tea and vintage china, it’s all in cafés now and most marquee weddings. So fashionable to drink from a vintage cup and saucer. I am not sure if my plan for a vintage tea party with original china will be quite so unique now and can you even find china cups and saucers anywhere?

So where did I get to with my thoughts on themes?

Basically it doesn’t matter what we decide! All these things are popular for one simple reason and that’s because they are beautiful and timeless. My urge to be original was distracting me from focusing on the fact that this is the most exciting event of my life now and I can’t actually wait. It will be……
Floral, vintage, multi-coloured and full of vintage china with more floral patterns and maybe a few more flowers.

If it looks like every other wedding out there I don’t care! (Although I hope I can make it original with all my DIY ideas).

Has anyone else out there had the same dilemma? How did you reach your theme and is anyone else sick of the vintage fad yet?

What’s next – Jetson style modern?

maybe another marquee idea?

What to look for in a Marquee – Some helpful tips

Through my quest to try to find a good deal with our marquee a friend, Tom,  at West country Marquee’s offered some advice on what to ask and what to look for. Unfortunately we are a bit to far away for Tom to help us with our needs as I would have used his company. The basic quotes I had through were helpful but oh how I had missed a bit of a trick with the potential extras!

Does the website show pictures of the company marquee’s?

Are they dated and old-looking marquees? Are these what they will be using? Do they have the styles you are looking for? Some of the companies I had requested a quote from only showed pictures of the Georgian windows and all the ivory linings with artificial flowers in the swags however when we asked they did all the parts we wanted. Another website had pictures they had obviously purchased to use on their website but their own marquees looked very different.

Can you go and visit a marquee set up by that company

Ask to go and look at a marquee they have set up at another event. This way you can see the quality of their products

Does the quote include a set of entrance doors

This was not included on any of our quotes until i asked specifically about them. They are helpful for when it is raining

Find out about heating quotes

They vary a great deal and range from blowing machines to patio heaters. This was important with us because we are planning a May wedding and the evenings can be chilly. Most companies will let it be removed from the quote later on if its not needed and some will take off the price if its not used on the day also.

Does the quote mean your seating will be on the dance floor?

If the space quoted for means some of your tables and furniture will be placed on the dance floor, if its raining you may have limited space for people to move around in. This may also mean that in the evening you will have to take away tables to give enough room for the bar etc. There also may not be enough room for people to enter and exit the marquee without having to pass through the furniture.

Is a Bar included on the example layouts?

Even if you are providing your own bar and using tables you will need space so ask where it could fit when looking at the example layouts.

What flooring is in the quote?

Everyone will tell you wooden floors are the most expensive and its correct but make sure you have a good strong option if going for another type such as coir and carpet etc. Carpet should have a weave or coir matting under it or a solid board. The carpet should also be new for a wedding. When you ask to visit one of their marquees you can look at the flooring then and see how they do it.

Always ask for a discount!

Even if you only get £100 off you will have saved. They expect it so don’t be shy. Also tell them of anything other companies have offered as most will match prices too.

Don’t be fooled into having facilities you don’t need

2+1 toilets are enough for about 200 people (a stretch but possible) so ask about and make sure you are not paying more for items you wont really need. Generators are another item you can shop around for and make sure you have not been quoted for one that’s too much power. 45KVA was recommended for a wedding of our size so ask about. You can also hire your own independently and save even more money! Some companies were charging by the hour for the generator and this was very expensive and you also had to pay extra+VAT.

Damage waivers and insurance

5% is normal, look to see if it is on the Quote. You can also source your own wedding insurance that covers marquees. John Lewis does a popular one.







Finding our marquee

If anyone is reading this and has spent hours on Pintrest (as I have) you will know there is endless choice in what marquee you can have and how you can decorate it. I am pretty sure this all depends on how much you want to spend (obviously). I can’t make my mind up ( as usual) but some of my favourite types of marquee are below.

The first one is more of a tent it’s so pretty especially if it does not rain! It just oozes expensive too don’t you think?


The next is a traditional marquee. This looks really popular now especially with the vintage theme so popular. It reminds me a bit of a circus tent with the poles inside giving it a pretty shame and the ropes tethered outside (possibly dangerous for my drunken friends)


The next style is the tipi style. I really think these are cool but not sure they will fit in my budget or my idea of how things will look. Love the cosy feel if it was autumn and not spring when we are getting married I think I would consider this as an option.


This is a clear span marquee and the ones we have seen used at most venues. Metal frame and outer with all the fabric on the inside. You can also have clear panels put in the roof and rather than the traditional windows you can have clear panels. Clear is more expensive too (of course) it’s a real blank canvas and no poles on the inside.




I better start getting quotes. All these grand ideas are not going to find something that’s good value for money and good looking whilst not forgetting watertight!!

I don’t suppose I can add marquee to my list of things to make once I get a drill………

I am really keen to hear from anyone who has hired a marquee or tent. What sort of things should I be checking and what tips do you have in picking a style?

Where to start? Obviously the pretty stuff!

So with a date (23rd May 2015)
A church
A field

That’s it! Sorted!……..right?

Errrrrr apparently not, I can’t just get on with my crafting and making and collecting. Nope. One of the joys of a beautiful paddock in the middle if a beautiful English county is it’s all from scratch (amazing and exciting speaking to my control freak personality).

Next on the list is a Marquee and caterers then and maybe at the same time I can get sewing!

I am really pushing for a floral theme rather than a football one, but with so much choice (what did people do before Pintrest?) I am finding it difficult to decide things.

Right off to do the save the dates (another thing that we apparently need to do)

St Andrews – Hurstbourne Priors

The quaint little church next door to the paddock is St Andrews. It’s the oldest church in the diocese of Winchester.

I first emailed Rev Terry Hemming with our inquiry about getting married there. He emailed me back from his trip abroad! It was all really positive and all we need to do if follow up on our attendances to the services by joining the electoral register.

The Church of England recently changed the Laws that stet where people can get married to make it easier to get married in a church outside of your parish that you live in. There are seven different options and you need to be able to demonstrate one.

The seven are

That one of you:

  • has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • was baptised in the parish concerned or
  • was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
  • has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

  • has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married in the parish

If you move into the area then you are immediately connected and so no need for the special license. (We can’t quite afford the posh village of Hurstbourne Priors so unfortunately not for us this one!)

The forms are really simple to join the electroral register. Its all worked out much easier than I had expected.


The website below has all the info you need. It gave me all the information and forms needed to apply to get married here and explained it really well.