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Welcome to Chelsea’s second memoirs on her wedding planning journey. Today we get a sneaky peek of her engagement shoot and how she went about picking her bridesmaids…….

An exciting development is our engagement shoot. Early Jan we travelled to London one VERY cold Sunday (minus 5 I believe) and had our shoot within Highgate woods. I have to say even though I cannot recollect a moment in my life where I have been that cold the lighting in the photos was so beautiful. We worked with a camping set that was designed by Tiffany Grant Riley and was SO adorable and we were photographed by the amazing Lisa Brown. She was brilliant at directing us into poses, making us feel comfortable and then taking some damn good pictures. I was so excited to get the pictures back and they didn’t disappoint. The only problem I think I’m going to have now is narrowing down which ones to use within our wedding website!

When I got engaged the first thing I thought of, long before even the venue, was my bridal party. I was so excited to ask people who were so significant to me to be part of the most important day of my life. I first made a list of who were the potential options and it came to a list of 6 yet as I’m buying their dresses I could really only afford 3. Here were my options:

Beth: I met Beth at university and starting out as part of a much bigger friendship group we grew closer through having very similar ideas of what constituted a good night out. Since our friendship began we’ve both been through really difficult times and have always been there for one another.

Annie: Chris’s sister. When I met Chris Annie was only 9 and we were given the responsibility to look after her at weekends and she was like the little sister I never had. She’s continued to be just like a sister with us sharing clothes, having girly nights in together and me making her cocktails under the premise ‘she doesn’t tell mum or dad’.

Vicky: Vicky and I became friends at school as we had quite a lot of mutual friends however we bonded over our joint phobia of PE, our willingness to avoid high school drama and our ability to embarrass ourselves whenever a camera is pointed our way…

Sophie: My cousin’s daughter. Sophie is 9 and when I got engaged Sophie was really excited, drawing me the wedding dress she thought I should wear (it contained a LOT of ‘sparkles’) and enthusiastically telling me about her own wedding!

Alia: I met Alia very early on in secondary school and we always sat together in lessons. We would mess around the whole lesson; one common game was seeing how many times I could throw her bag out the classroom and then locking her out (I swear it wasn’t bullying! She may tell you differently…). Alia is planning her own wedding so our lives are running very parallel.

Rima: My oldest friend! Rima was the first new person I met when I started secondary school and we connected through a mutual hatred of maths which meant us coming in late to EVERY lesson citing ‘we banged our heads’ as our excuse.

My first ‘elimination’ was Sophie. As she was so young I felt like she would be hard to dress if I went for a high street option and while of course she would be very cute as a bridesmaid there wasn’t really any role she was fulfilling, however I didn’t want to disappoint anyone by not making her part of the party. Therefore Sophie became a female usher. It’s a perfect solution! She gets to spend time with my brother who she actually knows and adores, I will buy her a dress but not one that has to match the other bridesmaids and she can have a little job of handing out the wedding programs.

I then decided on Rima to give a reading instead as she is the most confident public speaker out of the group and Alia was ‘eliminated’ when she sat me down and said that she understood budget was tight and she didn’t need to be a bridesmaid to be there for me.

At first I was so excited I blurted out to my friends they were to be bridesmaids but after seeing cute ideas on wedding blogs I decided I wanted to ask them ‘officially’. I wrote them out little information packs containing bits and pieces on things such as hair and makeup and bridesmaid dresses and I wrote out each of them a personal letter on why I had chosen them.

I then went out and brought each of them a vintage handkerchief which my Nan embroidered with their initial. I made them a little goody bag containing mirrors, lip-gloss, socks, notepads and sweets. I also made a late addition and brought Alia back in as a bridesmaid. She was just so helpful and supportive and I knew I wanted her by my side on my big day! Last week we had our first bridesmaid lunch so now everyone knows each other and things are looking good, they all had very similar ideas concerning their dresses!

My next post will be on favours for your guests, a do or a don’t?

Chelsea xx

Would you or have you done something similar to Chelsea and ‘Officially’ asked your bridesmaids? Also how cute is the engagement shoot! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Jo xoxo