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WW Week 23...

...no official weigh-in; we were in London instead!

I didn't even use my home scales which was probably wise due to the amount of food and drink consumed at the weekend. Our planned girls night out on Wednesday wont help either but I'm sure its OK to have a few days off!

London

We had a lovely visit to London last weekend to help celebrate my sisters engagement.The weather was fantastic so we took advantage of the sun (since we don't see it enough in Edinburgh) and had lunch and some drinks in a pub beer garden before heading home to change and have a glass of champagne to celebrate before going out for a lovely Italian for dinner.
L-R: Graham; dad; mum; Patrick; AshleighL-R: Ashleigh; mum; Patrick; Graham; dad
L-R: Me; Ashleigh; mum
We also managed to fit some baby shopping in on Sunday before we left. Mum and dad wanted to buy them their pram and we wanted to get them a moses basket when we were down so that its here in plenty time for the baby!
We haven't got any plans to head back down over the rest of the summer, and we will be quite busy with wedding planning over the next couple of months, so the next time I see them, I will be an auntie! Its so exciting and I cant wait to meet my niece or nephew.

Colorscope

Following on from my post about our wedding colour, according to Paper Source, your choice of colour reveals a bit of your personality. Their colorscope shows the range of colours their products come in along with a description about each one.

(Images from here)

The colour purple

Purple is one of my favourite colours and I definitely wanted to incorporate it into the wedding. The bridesmaids dresses are going to be purple but a really deep dark shade, rather than a bright or lighter purple.
We are also using it as the main colour of the invitations and have already made the save the date cards* with purple card backing & purple ribbon. All the other stationery items (order of service, table plan, table names & place cards) will also follow the same theme.

As the tables will already have some hints of purple from the stationery, I think we may also use some purple flowers. Since its Easter Saturday we are getting married on I think spring flowers like tulips would be lovely. Although I absolutely love orchids and I'm sure they will also be making an appearance somewhere.
Until I collect enough relevant images and get round to making my own, I leave you with some gorgeous purple inspiration boards from Snippet & Ink, The Wedding Decorator, The Perfe…

Espa

Since my facial at the Norton House Spa with mum in April, I decided to start a new skincare regime leading up to the wedding (and hopefully from then on if I feel it works). My skin has never been great and has been quite dry lately, so I thought this would be a good time to start taking care of it properly!
I loved the Espa products the spa used, they smelt gorgeous and felt great, so I bought an introductory pack to try them out at home. Now that's its almost finished, I took the plunge and purchased* the cleanser, toner and moisturiser. My plan is to keep having regular facials leading up to the wedding (if the budget permits) and since the Norton House spa is fairly close and a reasonable price, it makes sense to continue using the same products at home.

L-R: Hydrating Cleansing Milk; Floral Spafresh; 24 Hour Moisturising Complex (Images from here)
*Although when I say I purchased them, what I actually mean is that Graham bought me the moisturiser for an anniversary gift last wee…

Lego

I absolutely loved Lego when I was growing up. I spent hours playing with it and I think my favourite was my airport or hospital, although my battery powered monorail was also a front runner! Think mum and dad even kept most of it.

Not long ago, my dad found an article in the Scotsman newspaper describing how a child's choice of toy informed their future career which he kept for me. Unsurprisingly, architects were the most likely to be influenced through toys, with 99% of architects favouring Lego. You can see the full article below:

Online version of Scotsman article
(Image from here)
In case you are wondering, the whole point of sharing this article (since it has absolutely no relevance to wedding planning), was that as part of his Father's Day present, we got my dad a bit of Lego! In the form of a pair of purple Lego brick cufflinks & a Lego brick stand to keep them on from Etsy seller bitsandbadges. They are so funny and think dad loved them too. Graham also got a black pa…

Father's Day

Yesterday, for Father's Day, we went for lunch at our reception venue with both my parents and Grahams parents, as well as Grahams sister Hazel and her boyfriend Jake.

L-R: Grahams dad; Hazel; my mum; my dad; Grahams mum; Graham; JakeThe food was lovely as usual and was great to all spend the day together. Hazel and Jake had not seen the house so they were also able to take a look at the ballroom.While we were there I managed to get a few photos of the exterior of the house:Norton House Hotel

So true!

(Image from someecards)

Love is in the air...

My sister Ashleigh and her boyfriend (well, now her fiance) Patrick got engaged on Friday night.

He proposed at home, after asking my dad last week, then took her out to her favourite restaurant in London. I think it completely took her by surprise which was lovely and the ring looks fabulous!

Congratulations guys, I'm so happy and so so excited for you both. Cant wait to celebrate with you when we come down*.

With the baby on the way, the wedding will take a backseat for the time being. However, it means I will have another wedding to keep myself occupied with when ours has passed. I can already foresee plenty trips to London to go dress shopping (and to see my niece or nephew, of course).
The next couple of years are going to be so busy!*Which, as it turns out is now going to be this weekend. Mum & dad were going to be driving down on Saturday anyway, but we have convinced them to leave on Friday after work. This means we can tag along and should arrive Saturday lunchtime before…

WW Week 22...

...another 1.5lbs* lost!

Current Weight [20.06.09] - 10st 10lbs
Total Loss = 24.5lbs

*The 1.5lbs lost were since my last official weigh-in at WW, it was only another 0.5lb lost from my unofficial home scales weight last week.

Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary

Its Grahams 28th Birthday today - Happy Birthday G, this time next year I will be your wife!

Today is also our anniversary of 6 years together (wow, that's gone quick!) so Happy Anniversary too. However, taking inspiration from Rosalie at Tea & Whimsy, in 9 months & 16 days (or 290 days to be precise) it will reset back to zero!

To celebrate both occasions we are going out for dinner tonight then we will celebrate Grahams birthday with his family on Saturday.

I thought this would also be a good time to post one of our first photos together (or the only one I actually like) on our first holiday. Here we are on my 22nd birthday in December 2003, when we had been together for 5 and a half months, having dinner at the top of the Sydney Tower.

Check out how much younger we look!

Pretty vintage brooches

I really like the idea of a vintage brooch to wear on my dress. It could also serve as my something old.

Here are a couple of the examples I have been looking at so far from some Etsy sellers:

L-R: Vintage Faux Pearl Crystal Rhinestone Brooch; Vintage Trifari Pearl Brooch (Images from L-R MissCecesJewels; ANTIQUEANDVINTAGE)
Magpie Vintage also have lots of original signed styles which are more expensive:


L-R: Signed Sarah Coventry Brooch; Signed Trifari Brooch (Images from here)
Of course there are also some stunning modern brooches, although these tend to have a higher price tag. I love the ones from Yarwood White below:
L-R: Modern Heirloom Brooch; Divinity Brooch (Images from here)
These ones from The White Aisle are really reasonable, even with shipping from the states:

L-R: Chloe Brooch; Pearl & Crystal Star Brooch
(Images from here)
So many to choose from...

To get the party started...

We knew we wanted to have a live band that could also provide some ceilidh music, since its a Scottish wedding. The function room that we have chosen has a massive stage for the band to go on which also meant we could choose a fairly big band. We got a couple of recommendations from Grahams mum and one of my colleagues and set about contacting them to find out their availability and price.

After a few discussions, we have booked an Edinburgh band called Hip Operation. They have 8 members which will look great on the big stage; they play totally live and have a mixture of male and female vocalists. Nearer the time we will have to finalise the timings & details with them and decide what we want for our first dance!

WW Week 21...

...no official weigh-in; I went to order my dress instead!

However, I used my home scales and although not entirely accurate, I think I may have lost another 1lb!

Current Weight [13.06.09] - 10st 10.5lbs(Unofficial)
Total Loss = 24lbs(Unofficial)

Mission accomplished

Yippee! I ordered my dress yesterday!

We went to Rachel Scott for my appointment and had a quick look around, even though I was pretty sure I was going to get my original choice! I didn't see any others anything like the one I had chosen so I tried it on and yes, its still the one!

Everyone (my mum & my 2 aunts who were with me) agreed it was beautiful so I handed over my card and signed on the dotted line. Rachel was also lovely and I'm really pleased to be getting my dress from her shop.

Since I'm still losing weight I don't need to go back until the start of October to get measured, then they will make the dress to come around February (4-6 weeks before the wedding). Seems like ages away until I will get to try on my actual dress & one that fits since the shop sample is tiny!

Now I can start thinking about flowers, accessories & bridesmaids dresses!

The dress search continues...

I have been trying to make another appointment at the original shop I found my dress at for a couple of weeks. Helen had been trying to make an appointment a while ago and could never get through on the phone which I thought was a bit odd. I did manage to get through to them on 28th May and was told that they were getting some work done in the shop in the next couple of weeks and they weren't taking any appointments. So that seemed to explain the issue with the phones.

I tried again on Monday this week and again, the phone number wouldn't work, it just kept saying 'this number doesn't receive incoming calls'. Talked about it with mum who agreed it seemed a bit strange and maybe we should go past the shop. The same thing happened on Tuesday, so I drove past on my way home from work. There wasn't much life in the shop (to be expected if it's getting re-fitted) but there were a couple of paper signs on the windows saying 'Bridal Enquiries; Rachel Scott Cout…

The search for the perfect dress...Day 4

Saturday 9th May:

The first 3 days had just been me & my mum but my sister came up from London for the last day of shopping.

Caroline Castigliano - All of the dresses in the eighth shop were fabulous and they had quite a big selection. They leave 2 hours for each appointment, rather than the standard 1 hour, which gives you plenty time to try on lots of dresses. When we arrived we were given a glass of wine and the assistant talked about what my day was going to be like and what I wanted for my day. We haven't really thought too much about the exact details of the wedding so I explained that I had already been to loads of dress shops and I knew what shape / style and material I wanted already. I had on 5 different dresses here, 4 the material I wanted and another the assistant wanted me to try which I didn't like.

All the dresses were beautiful, lovely materials and really high quality. There were 2 I liked and 1 favourite which I tried on twice, along with the bolero & v…

The search for the perfect dress...Day 3

Sunday 3rd May:

Ivory Whites - The seventh shop was really nice, and is situated on a private estate. I had originally met the owner at the wedding fair at Norton House. They didn't have a huge selection but as I had already narrowed down to what I wanted, this wasn't a problem. I tried on 3 dresses, by Lyn Ashworth & Ritva Westenius, and the first 2 were lovely. The 3rd, although the material was nice, was a slightly different shape which just didn't look as good so the owner didn't even bother doing the back up. I took the details of the first 2 and they went into the favourites pile. They also stocked some nice veils and tiaras, which is worth remembering for the future. The owner was lovely here and I would have loved to have found my dress here, however I will definitely be back to look at their bridesmaids dresses.

So now have tried on 33 dresses.

The search for the perfect dress...Day 2

Saturday 2nd May:

Kavelle - The fourth shop had a big selection and was run by a lovely family who were really nice and friendly. I tried on a variety of styles here, including some that I hadn't tried already, but discounted most of them, which I guess was kind of the point. This was the only shop which had decent sample sizes which meant I could get into most of them and some were even too big. I tried on another 5 dresses here, some more by Pronovias, and they gave me plenty of accessories to try on as well. My favourite dress from here, although lovely, was so so heavy and there is no way I could have kept it on all day.

Pretty Woman - I wasn't as impressed with the fifth shop as I thought I would be. I'm not sure what I expected but I used to live near this shop and passed by it daily and always thought the dresses would be nicer. They did have a good selection and they stocked some dresses in more than one size which was also helpful. Again, I tried on 5 dresses in dif…

The search for the perfect dress...Day 1

I think* that I have now found the dress, after 3 weekends and 4 days of searching. I went to 9 different shops in total, all in or around Edinburgh, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Here is a quick recap of my experience on day 1 (days 2, 3 & 4 to follow).Saturday 25th April:I wasn't sure what to expect but by the 3rd shop, I was definitely loving it! It was so good to try on loads of different styles & fabrics to get an idea what suited me and what I liked, with all the veils & tiaras too.La Novia - The first shop I went to didn't have a huge selection and the shop was quite small. They have lots of Ian Stuart dresses here which are a bit too wacky for me as well as some Pronovias & Mori Lee. Since this was the first shop I had been to I tried on 5 dresses in a variety of styles including a few strapless and others with straps. I had first wanted a really plain dress but after trying them on I realised they didn't look special enough. The…

To travel in style...

We knew from the beginning that we would prefer to have some old classic cars to get us and our bridal party to the church and reception in style!

We chose Ecosse Classic Cars as we had spoken to the owner at a couple of wedding fairs and had only heard good things about them. They are also based near Edinburgh and therefore close enough should anything go wrong on the day and have a large selection of cars to chose from.
Graham had his heart set on an old Jaguar we had seen at a wedding fair although I had always imagined arriving in a Rolls Royce so we went to have a look at the cars on the 15th March with my parents. After looking at all the different cars and trying them all out for size, we eventually decided on the following:
A white Rolls Royce Silver Cloud to take my dad and I to the church and then take both sets of parents from the church to the reception.
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
(Image from Ecosse Classic Cars Website)

A black & white Jaguar Mk IV to take Graham and his best…

To capture the memories...

So with the church and venue booked, the wedding planning took a back seat as I was in the middle of my professional exams to become an Architect. It wasn't until after my exams were over in March that we started to think properly about other things.

Saying that, we did go to 4 different wedding fairs during February; Dedicated to Weddings Exhibition, Assembly Rooms (31.01.09); Scottish Wedding Show, Ingliston (08.02.09); Scottish Wedding Show, SECC (21.02.09) & the one at Norton House (22.02.09). Despite his protests, Graham did come to 3 of the fairs and only managed to miss the biggest one at the SECC which I went to with my bridesmaid, Helen, who is also planning her own wedding (trying to explain to each supplier that, yes, we were both getting married but also both each others bridesmaids was fun!).

At each fair, we mainly concentrated on photographers & cars, since they were next on the list. Of course we did sample plenty bits of cake, saw all the fashion shows, look…

Where to eat, drink & party...

So with the church decided we started thinking about venues for the reception.

We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted and there was one hotel near the airport (Norton House) that I had always thought would be perfect and that was added to the top of the list. However, in the spirit of wanting to make sure we had the perfect place, we searched around and made a list. We then spent some time gathering lots of brochures & information and taking a drive round some of the venues. The list included the following:

Norton House Hotel - Top of the list especially when the brochure arrived.
Marriott Dalmahoy - Other possibility.
George Hotel - Centre of city, too big & expensive.
Dalmeny Estate - Too far away from church.
Hopetoun House - Too far away from church.
Dundas Castle - Would need marquee for amount of guests which we didn't want.
Melville Castle - Would need marquee for amount of guests which we didn't want.
Dalhousie Castle - Too expensive and one of my bridesmaids got m…

Where to say I Do...

The ceremony location was probably the easiest and quickest decision we have made so far.

We knew that we wanted to get married in a church and there were only 2 choices - the church in our hometown where I am still a member & was christened at or the church in our city that my parents now attend.

We did visit my parents new church but decided fairly quickly that we would prefer the church that meant something to us both. So we chose the West Church in Haddington since we both used to live (and grew up) in Haddington and since most of Grahams family and some of mine still live there.

West Church (Image from West Church Website)
So I called and spoke to the minister, who I have known for years (my parents were also elders at this church before they moved), and he pencilled us in for our date which thankfully was still free (despite it being Easter Saturday). We are due to contact him again around August to start thinking about the ceremony and details.

Something old, something new..

Following my last post, another traditional rhyme:

Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue,
And a silver sixpence in your shoe.

I definitely plan to have one of each and so far I'm thinking the following:

Old - Vintage brooch on dress (will make sense when you see dress) or Grandmothers sapphire ring
New - Dress
Borrowed - Jewellery
Blue - Grandmothers sapphire ring (she left me this ring when she died so would be a lovely way of including it but can I use the same thing twice if its also my something old?)

Marry in April when you can...

I've seen this rhyme on a few other wedding forums and blogs so thought it would be nice to add it to mine. Apparently the legend below describes how each month could have some bearing on the fate of the marriage:

Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true,
When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate,
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know,
Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man,
Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day,
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you will go,
Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bred,
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see,
Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine,
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry,
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember,
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.

Seems we made a good choice with our wedding month wit…

Bridal party

For our bridal party I have 5 adult bridesmaids and a flowergirl / junior bridesmaid while Graham has his best man and 2 ushers. We knew almost straight away who we would ask to be involved in our wedding and we wanted to include lots of our family & friends.

My bridesmaids are my sister Ashleigh (who will be chief bridesmaid), Grahams sister Hazel, & my 3 best friends from school, Lucy, Helen & Karen-Louise. My flowergirl, Georgia, is a family friend who I used to babysit a few years ago and who's mum is friends with my mum.

Grahams best man is his cousin Andrew and his ushers are his sisters boyfriend Jake and my cousin Murray. Me, Murray & Ashleigh
Me, Helen, Karen-Louise & LucyHazel & JakeAndrew & GrahamI was a bridesmaid at Karen-Louise's wedding in July 2005 (almost 4 years ago!) and I am also going to be a bridesmaid at Helen's wedding in August 2010 in Italy, only 4 months after our wedding. I cant wait to be part of Helen's big day and …

10 Months to go!

I cant believe its only 10 months until the wedding which means that we have been engaged for almost 9 months!

When we first got engaged I thought April 2010 seemed so far away but its going to be here before we know it!

So now plenty still to do - next on my list is to order my dress, start looking for my veil & tiara, contact some florists then start searching for the bridesmaids dresses (as well as actually updating this blog with all the things we have done already - like the church; venue; photographer; band; cars; dress etc).

I love Etsy!

I have recently discovered the delights of Etsy and the hundreds of wonderful handmade items in the shops. I have already managed to find and purchase a couple of items with a good few more listed in my favourites to go back to at a later date.

I found some customised return address labels from Etsy seller lettercdesign to use on the rest of the save the dates we are posting - they are fab as they have the same font that we used on the save the dates as well as a dandelion in the centre which is similar (or at least the same sort of thing) as the single flower stamp we used on the save the dates and their envelopes! Dandelion - Return Address Labels
(Image from lettercdesign)
I also found some other stickers to use on new baby gifts, cards or even envelopes. I wont share a pic here in case all the mums & dads to be that I plan to use them for are reading this!

So the big question?

Thought I should start by telling the story of our engagement.

Last September, Graham took me to New York City, which is one of my favourite cities, for a long weekend. As soon as we booked it all our friends kept saying that he was definitely going to propose as why else would he take me all that way for just a weekend.

Now I cant say that I hadn't been hinting, especially after more than 5 years together! However Graham isn't one for being pushed to do anything so he was very good at making it seem like it wasn't going to happen, especially because everyone would expect it. He was even like this on the actual night, which was obviously his tactic to put me off the scent.

As we started to plan how we would spend our 4 days in NYC, we decided to go up the Empire State Building on the first night. Graham has always known that that is where I would love to be proposed too, which also gave everyone we know a few more clues.

After being grounded due a hole in the runway at Edinbur…