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Here’s the first part of the first ever Memoirs of a Bride to Be from the gorgeous Chelsea. I’m so excited to be featuring her planning of her absolutely amazing pirate/vintagesque wedding to her fiance Chris.

So I’ll hand it over to Chelsea…….

Once upon a time a girl called Chelsea met a boy at school. Was it love at first sight? Teenage sweethearts? No it was a lot of tears, a lot of tantrums and a lot of public arguments in the common room. 3 years later they relocated to Manchester for university, brought an apartment together and spent more time arguing and moaning about washing up, hair dye on the bathroom floor and whose job it was to take out the rubbish. Then they grew up. Things got wonderful, so wonderful in fact that they decided to get married and set a date on their 8 year anniversary, 17th March 2013. 

Guess what? I’m Chelsea! Chris and I have now been engaged for over a year and I frikkin love it! I can now officially say we are getting married NEXT YEAR and I cannot wait, we have achieved SO much in 2011.

Venue

We started off where I’m sure most people do, the venue. We aren’t at all religious, so knew we wanted a venue licensed for civil ceremonies and I also wanted a hotel as it’s so appealing to have everything in one place. I wrote up a list and we spent a hardcore week visiting several venues a day. I was having trouble ‘clicking’ with the places we visited; sometimes it was only over little things. There were the wedding planners who totally ignored Chris the whole time (not even asking his name!), the menus that allowed NO flexibility, the places that would require us to use 5 different rooms and the places that just looked like conference rooms. A March wedding means we are planning the whole wedding indoors so it can have the most beautiful grounds but it was the inside decor that was most important to me. The last venue on the list, Villiers Hotel in Buckingham, we nearly cancelled on. There was no budget information available; as the packages are all bespoke and I was concerned we would be wasting our time with a venue out of our budget. We went anyway and the planner Jean was so lovely, taking time to find out about us and giving us a great tour of the whole hotel, including several amazing bridal suites. The hotel own what used to be Buckingham town hall so it’s actually a separate building next door to the hotel. When we stepped in I was blown away. Silk lined walls, chandeliers and it was HUGE! Instantly I felt sick, I knew it was out of our budget. I was so disappointed and when we got back home I fired a quote off to Jean, expecting nothing positive back. She had stressed that we would be able to specify any menu we liked so I asked for information on a good drinks package including a custom-made champagne cocktail, a 3 course meal (bangers and mash for main with our own custom designed wedding sausage!) and a Spanish tapas buffet in the evening (our favourite food). The quote came back…much cheaper than any of the other places! We took our parents as soon as we could and she treated us all to lunch and then the venue was booked!

Decor

I’m obsessed with pirates. My engagement ring was a black pearl ring (after the ship in Pirates of the Caribbean) and I have a pirate display case in our apartment so I HAD to have some kind of pirate influence however Chris (or our families for that matter) weren’t on board for a full on pirate theme but as I also love vintage things we are having a vintage sweet wedding with a strong skull influence in pink and teal, I know sounds all a bit gobbledygook! But so you can get an idea in your head the decor pieces I have collected so far are fishbowl centerpieces which will be filled with flying saucers, pink doily placemats, cardboard skulls which will be painted with teal blackboard paint and used as table numbers and a teal fringed banner for the ceremony space.

The Dress

My outfit is also totally sorted, sounds organised I know until you find out that my Mum also has her whole outfit sorted, organisation runs in our family! I’ve brought a beautiful vintage 50’s style gown from Heavenly Vintage Brides which I fell in love with. A friend and I (also getting married) went vintage wedding dress shopping in London with the aim to try on different styles, see what suited us but NOT to buy anything. In 2011 I lost 5 stone to get down to a size 6 so I could get into a vintage gown so I was so eager to see what I had achieved. Well trust me to fall head over heels with a gorgeous gown but you’ll have to wait for more details. For my birthday Chris brought me some Vivienne Westwood heels and I’ve got a felt bouquet from Jennifer Rae and together they look perfect!

Part two Chelsea will show us what else has been booked so far in her preparations for her 2013 wedding, this is one seriously organised bride!!

I’m still looking to feature other brides to be and their planning journeys just email me mywhimsyways@yahoo.com I don’t bite…promise!

Jo xoxo

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