Getting the bridesmaids together

For a while now I’ve wanted to get the bridesmaids together (my sister and Scott’s sister). I think it’s nice to build up relationships before I throw them in on the wedding day/ hen do, or whatever it may be. Because they’re my sisters as well I think it’s nice to bring the families together.

We went out for a meal at a local pub and ended up staying and chatting for hours afterwards, oops!

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The main aim of the first get together was just to let them get to know each other, and feel less like strangers. I know if I was in their shoes I’d want to know the other bridesmaids so we could get our heads together with hen do plans and have a great time on the day.
Although this was my main aim, I had a few things jotted down on my phone that I wanted to bring into conversation (slightly bridezilla I know). Some were what I wanted to know now, and others were just extras. The conversations didn’t revolve much around the wedding though, which I didn’t really mind because to me it sometimes doesn’t feel real. I’m not an adult yet!

One thing we established was what dresses they want. I’m quite laid back with this but luckily their ideas fit in with my vision. The perks of only having two bridesmaids is that they are so much easier to please and come to agreements with things. They both agreed on light blue, straps, skater dress style and short. We also chatted a bit about when it’s going to be (times, dates) and where, which has been something I’ve been debating with in my mind slightly.

I’m really pleased I got them both together and I feel so lucky to have a pair of laid back but interested bridesmaids and sisters. I know neither of them will let me down and they will be there for me through out the planning.

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Disadvantages of a wedding abroad

Last week I wrote about the advantages of a wedding abroad. This week I’m going to discuss the disadvantages. Some of these are specific to me, and others are things to consider. Personally, I feel that the advantages outweigh the cons, but they are things that can impact, nevertheless.

  1. Friends and family may not be able to make it
    Whatever the reason for it, whether they can’t afford it or a grandparent is too old to travel. This is one of the main factors to think of. There will always be someone who can’t make it, but is that a sacrifice you are willing to make?
  2. You may upset people you don’t invite
    This is the case in the UK or abroad, but even more so when you’re being selective on having a smaller wedding, which is more likely the case abroad.
  3. Wedding Fairs aren’t as necessary 
    So this isn’t a biggie, but it’s a nice one to do with bridesmaids! Going to local fairs can be a waste of time when you don’t need local suppliers. National ones can be better as a bit of fun, but wedding planning isn’t a part of it.
  4. Your honeymoon could be surrounded by friends and family 
    Some people may not mind this, but personally I’d like this time for me and Scott, so we will probably head elsewhere a couple of days after the wedding.
  5. Less flexibility and possibly less control 
    You can’t be there to decorate the venue with your decorations, and create your own vision. You have to ensure your planner knows what you want, and leave it in their hands. For some this may be fine, but for a planning freak like myself this feels slightly uneasy. Some planners may also try to change your vision into theirs, so be careful of that and stick with what you want and your budget! It’s also difficult to find suppliers, view venues, try cake etc. when sat at home in the UK.
  6. Putting your trust into make up artists and hair dressers
    You may know exactly what you want in the UK, but it can become a worry as to whether your chosen artists and stylists can recreate what you want when you’re abroad, with only a trial before the day at best.
  7. Extra costs 
    Although it may seem cheaper to get married abroad, you have to take into account the cost of your wedding planner, which you wouldn’t necessarily have in the UK. In addition, flights, hotel and spending money. Also, some have a second reception back in the UK.
  8. Leaving the EU
    Not saying this will impact weddings abroad, but there is a possibility (who knows at this stage?) It’s definitely had a negative impact on the exchange rate for Euros at the time of this post too.

The advantages of a wedding abroad

Although it was an obvious choice to get married in Italy for me, there are so many advantages of getting married abroad, for anyone who may be considering it. I may also do a disadvantages post, because there are some! Like with anything, it’s about weighing up the pros and cons, and whats important to you. In this post I’m going to talk about what some of the major pros were for us.

  1. Less guests
    For anyone wanting a smaller wedding, a wedding abroad really helps with keeping the guest list down. We will be having approximately 40 guests (as it stands).But having a wedding abroad really helps when you don’t want to invite certain people because you feel you have to. We’re keeping it to close friends and family only, and being strict on that. Plus, guests who really care for you will pay to travel to be there.
  2.  Easier to select the wedding party
    By this I mean bridesmaids, groomsmen etc. Because again, only close friends/family will be involved and pay to go abroad. I personally selected our sisters as bridesmaids not only for the fact they are my sisters, but I didn’t want my friends to feel obliged to come as bridesmaids if they felt they couldn’t afford it. I feel that being strict on guests helps you to be stricter on the wedding party.
  3. Guaranteed good weather *touch wood*
    I say guaranteed, but by this I mean it’s a lot more guaranteed than a wedding in the UK! And when the suns out, everything feels so much better doesn’t it? 🙂
  4. Your wedding is something different 
    Depending on what you want and where you go, your wedding can be more unique than the typical British wedding. Because of this, photos can be really different and amazing!
  5. It can be cheaper (sometimes) 
    Again, this depends on where you go and what it is you want. There is the added cost of your flights and hotel, but if you have less guests it can be a lot cheaper than at home. Just be careful not to get carried away, or it would be cheaper to have a UK wedding.
  6. Better quality
    In Sorrento, I feel like I’m guaranteed better quality than I am in the UK, in terms of food and drink. Everything always tastes a lot fresher and I don’t feel stuck with the traditional UK wedding food. I can’t say this for all weddings abroad, but I feel happy that going with cheaper menu options I will still get good quality food. In this aspect, I’d say its a good idea to visit your venues and destination first.
  7. A holiday for the whole family 
    It will be nice to have close friends and family all in one place on holiday. It will create happy memories for everyone, and guests can turn the occasion into a holiday.
  8. Stress free planning 
    When getting married abroad the majority of people hire a planner. They can have varying levels of involvement, but it can be reassuring to know someone else is watching over the flow of the day and making sure things are going smoothly. This avoids you having to tackle any issues on the day.

 

Why a Sorrento Wedding?

I’m beginning to get so excited about being back in Sorrento this year. I’m counting down the days (there’s 91 to go!). So I thought I’d do a post on why we’re getting married in Sorrento, and just to remind myself on why I love it so much (as though I don’t know already).
The main reason I’m so attached to Sorrento is because my grandma was from a town near Naples. Although she died before I was born, my parents have always took me and my sister there to visit family. We always stayed in Sorrento and got the train over for our visits. I always felt so lucky growing up and being able to have these holidays and family visits. I will always have happy memories of sitting around my aunty’s table, chatting and eating endless amounts of food. We used to bring over gifts which always included boxes of tea for the whole family. We then had so many gifts to take back home for ourselves and the rest of the family, which one time included a massive stick of salami and a children’s tent! People wouldn’t believe the things we have put in our suitcases!

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Dad back in 2008 watching Formula One at my aunty’s house
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My sister on my aunty’s balcony 

My mums aunty, who I considered my second grandma, sadly passed away in 2009. Pictures such as these are special to me as it reminds me of all the happy memories in her flat.

I think having the wedding in Sorrento is really sentimental for me, it’s like a second home and it will always be special to me. I can’t imagine getting married anywhere else and I don’t think I’d even consider a wedding in England. I’m lucky Scott is happy to go with this! Although my family aren’t from Sorrento, I have lots of great memories staying there, and it’s a great tourist base for all of our guests

Sorrento
As well as my main reason, there’s really not anything to dislike about Sorrento. It is a town on the Bay of Naples, on a cliff edge. If you are a fan of beaches I wouldn’t really recommend Sorrento. Although it has had tourist influences, it is still massively Italian. On a night, the main road, Corso Italia, is shut off and Italian families and tourists go out for an evening stroll. Bars, restaurants and shops are open until late. It is not a rowdy area, so would be no good for a crazy hen or stag do. Drinks (and Sorrento in general) is quite expensive, so it’s something to keep in mind. It’s a great base for guests, with lots of hotels all in close proximity. If it’s all inclusive you are after though, this is not the place. There is a train station, busses and a port (Marina Piccola), which means tripping off is easy. I would highly recommend using the public transport as it’s really straight forward and cheap to do. From Sorrento you can go to Positano, Amalfi, Capri, Pompei, Ercolano, Naples, Vesuvius and probably more! So if guests want to come over for more than just the wedding, there is plenty to do.
Everyone I have spoken to (and the many people my family have taken to Italy over the years) have fell in love. Many people you meet in Sorrento have been before, because once you have been, I guarantee you will want to go back!

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The view from our balcony in 2013 

 

 

Introducing my bridesmaids!

A few months after our engagement party, I was itching for something else to plan for the wedding. I was going to wait until this year, 2 years away from the wedding, to ask my bridesmaids. But me being me had to go ahead and do it. I always have to have something to do and some kind of project and so I made my bridesmaids a bridesmaid proposal box (pinterest inspired). I think it’s an American trend but it seems to be becoming popular over here. I’ll do a blog post on that later on.

Anyway, I knew I would always have my sister, Lucy, as my maid of honour for the simple fact she is my sister. Despite us always having our ups and downs as sisters do, she is my sister and she will always be there for me and I will always be there for her. I would never not have her involved in my wedding. Family is something in my eyes that is there for life and that to me is important. I know not everyone will share this view, and families can be tricky, but she was my first ‘obvious’ choice.

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Me and Lucy on our last holiday together in Sorrento in 2013

Bridesmaid 1: Lucy
Lucy is my younger sister. She is 2.5 years younger than me. We have been bridesmaids as children twice for our cousins. She will make a great bridesmaid because I know she will tell me exactly what she thinks and won’t hold back and I appreciate honest opinions! She is also very familiar with the Sorrento area so that’s a great advantage for all sorts of reasons. 

I see the wedding as bringing our two families together, and I’d like to think I’m becoming part of his family like he is becoming part of mine. Making his sister, Amy, my bridesmaid seemed perfect because I’d like to think I’m gaining another sister when we get married.

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Amy and me on holiday in Kos, 2016.

Bridesmaid 2: Amy
Amy is Scotts sister. She is 5 months younger than me. She has never been a bridesmaid before and I’m hoping she will have a great time being mine for the first time. She will be a great bridesmaid because I know she will always be up for all things wedding and she will never let me down. 

 

I’m so excited that I get to share my wedding day and the whole experience with these two. They will both be with me for life and I hope this is a time we will all be able to look back on. Before I asked them, I spoke to my friends about the fact that I would’t be asking my friends to be bridesmaids. I have close friends and not many friends that are just friends. I wouldn’t be able to ask one or two without the others, and I was facing the prospect of having 6 possible bridesmaids. Having a wedding abroad, trying to keep within a budget, and having a small guest list anyway just meant that 6 bridesmaids wasn’t practical. It’s the first time in the wedding process I’ve had to be harsh! But I’m happy with my  decision and I hope that my close friends can still make it to Sorrento for the wedding.

 

Bride Rant #1: Our ‘long’ engagement

I think I’ve come to a stage now where there’s just nothing I can do, and I feel the need to have a rant. Is bridezilla emerging already? haha!
Officially, we’re about 2 years and 8 months away (although as we are in 2017, and the wedding is in 2019, I like to say 2 years away!). It’s hard at the minute because we can’t book our ceremony date until next year. That’s just how it works in Sorrento unfortunately, you can’t book a wedding until the year before. This is what’s really annoying me, as I like to be organised and plan things! With this there’s literally nothing I can do! I’m a massive planning and organisation freak, and to me this is torture! It’s like waiting I’m waiting for the go ahead. I already have ideas of what I want, but that’s literally all it can be right now.

Scott hasn’t visited Sorrento yet either. This is massively annoying to me right now! I can’t help but feel excited, but that’s because I know Sorrento and I can visualise it all. For him, he feels it’s really hard to picture at the minute. This really puts a downer on my excitement because I feel he isn’t excited with me. He does try his best though bless him, and he keeps buying me a wedding magazine here and there. I like to chat about the wedding but to him its a total no go at the minute. Not only because he can’t visualise our wedding at a place he has never visited, but because he probably doesn’t care less about colour schemes and types of flowers. I’d chat with my bridesmaids about it, but I know they’re busy at the minute and I also don’t want to start boring them 2 years away from the wedding.

I literally can’t wait until June. Scott feels excited to visit Sorrento and view venues, and I just feel excited to be able to finally share it all with him! I would say my best childhood memories are of being in Italy with my family and being able to show him where part of my roots are is just going to be the best feeling.

If anyone reading this is also like me and likes to plan things and be organised, but literally is unable to be that way right now, here are a few things I’ve done which can fill some of your time. Top tip: Try to space it out so it lasts longer! It’s difficult.

  1. Engagement party/ meal
  2. Asking your bridesmaids (a chance to get creative!)
  3. Researching and contacting wedding planners
  4. Researching venues
  5. Visiting the destination & venues
  6. PINTEREST! (a massive one!)
  7. Setting a budget
  8. Creating a draft guest list
  9. Enjoy it! Watch programmes like ‘Don’t tell the Bride’ ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and read wedding magazines
  10. Wedding fairs
  11. Create a blog! (I know, I’m really scraping the barrel..)

Doing these things can save you time in the long run, like doing research in advance. However, its a double edged sword in the way that it just makes you want to power on and continue on with the planning. I sometimes wish I wasn’t a planning freak.

Maria xo

2017 Wedding To Do List

Our wedding is officially in two years time! Which sounds crazy. This year I have a few things on the to do list before things start to get hectic!

We think we have found our wedding organisers in Sorrento, the Don Pedro family. I have read so many great reviews about them and after being in touch with them over the past month, they seem great. We are meeting up with them in June and they are picking us up from our hotel, along with both of our parents! They have been so accommodating so far, I’m really looking forward to meeting with them and seeing their venues.

So this year I’m going to steadily ease myself into the planning and prep, because there’s literally nothing much we can do until we can book our ceremony date and time early on in 2018.

Here is my list:

  1. Create a rough guest list
  2. Set a budget
  3. Pick our reception venue
  4. Pick our colour scheme
  5. Pick some date and time options for the organisers
  6. Join the gym
  7. Lose some weight

We have already made a start on a few. We think we have our guest list along with a B list, we think we have our heart set on a venue (we will see in June!) and we have a rough idea on the colour scheme. I’m also joining the gym this week because I want to make a start for when I start trying on dresses, whenever I decide to start doing that, probably next year.

Ir’s all really little things but we have so much going on this year, saving for a house and buying one later this year and me finishing my teacher training and changing jobs later in the year. All that is quite a mission for us at the minute so this is a steady start.
Can’t wait to see the venues in June and it’s so exciting that both of our parents will be there for that too. Hopefully they like the one we do! Hopefully we like the one our heart is set on, which is a farm.