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How An Expert Plans Their Wedding - Part 3

How An Expert Plans Their Wedding - Part 3 | CHWV

It’s time for the third instalment of Tamryn’s wedding planning diary. Dress shopping, DIY and wedding food are all on the menu.

It’s been a while since my last wedding planning update and there are a few BIG things to catch up on. If I mention the words ‘dress shopping’ and ‘menu tasting’, you’ll see why I’m super keen to get started with this feature so, without further ado, here’s what we’ve been up to over the past few months…

How An Expert Plans Their Wedding - Part 3 | CHWV

The dress search begins

On anyone’s wedding to-do list, wedding dress shopping has to be one of the most exciting entries and it’s fair to say that I was most definitely excited! It’s weird because I spent a large portion of my working life writing about wedding dresses, bridal boutiques and even writing about dress shopping. So, I thought that I was pretty prepared. I knew the styles that I liked, I was wearing the recommended strapless bra and I had one of my best friends by my side, it was set to be a good day.

We headed to Sass & Grace and Brides of Winchester. Both have a gorgeous selection of designers, including some that I know I love, and the owners of these two boutiques are just fantastic. And, there was even post-shopping afternoon tea to look forward to!

How An Expert Plans Their Wedding - Part 3 | CHWV

Image courtesy of Sass & Grace


However, when we stepped into the first boutique, everything changed. All the fabulous dresses set those butterflies a-fluttering in my stomach and all of a sudden, all I could think about was that I might be wearing one of these very gowns when I say my vows. It was pretty overwhelming to be honest.

And then even more changed! Whenever I’d thought about my wedding dress before this point (and, I have to be honest, I thought about it A LOT!), I’d imagined a very specific style and that would definitely include tulle. I knew what I really didn’t like and I was very sure on the style that you’d never ever get me into.

How An Expert Plans Their Wedding - Part 3 | CHWV

Image courtesy of Brides of Winchester


But, as I’ve written so many times, it’s so important to go to your appointment with an open mind and, encouraged by Sam at Sass & Grace and Laura at Brides of Winchester, I tried on some styles that I would absolutely not have chosen myself. Yes, given the sample sizes of some of the gowns, there were a few unflattering moments but my goodness, I was surprised. And in a really good way.

Those styles that I’d mentally written off actually suited me and the styles that I thought I’d like weren’t actually the most flattering. It was a brilliant, eye-opening and utterly ‘wedding’ moment but if you want to know what I’ve chosen, you’ll have to wait!

How An Expert Plans Their Wedding - Part 3 | CHWV

Image courtesy of Sass & Grace


The other thing I’ve also been thinking a lot about recently is wedding DIY. I really enjoy craft and making things so it’s a given that I’m going to be embracing wedding DIY with lots of help from Keith and my lovely friend, and dress shopping buddy, Jess. There’s a list that outlines what needs to be made and the details of the make itself. So, over the coming months, we’ll be searching for fonts, ripping pages from books (eek!) and doing all kinds of things with wax seals, trugs and rowing oars!

A groom’s eye view

Keith’s been ticking things off the wedding planning list this month too and our menu tasting means that the food and drink for the big day is all confirmed!

“So I have discovered two things which are definitely on the list of highlights when planning the wedding. Firstly, the menu tasting. We have an awesome catering manager, Suzanne from Thomas Franks, at our venue and she invited us in to taste the full range of food and drink that would be served on the day, from pre-drinks to our street food inspired evening snacks. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but the amazing chefs had been hard at work all morning producing the most incredible meal. To compliment this, we also had to taste the accompanying wines as well. Tam has many great qualities, but on this particular day, her willingness to not drink and then drive home was much appreciated. I can safely say the menu is ticking all of our boxes and the drinks were superb. I think what impressed me most was how well Suzanne had listened to what we were trying to create and what she had come up with in return. Food is so important to us and like any bride and groom, we are desperate for our guests to leave with happy memories. Many of which we believe will come from the wedding breakfast, which will be a prominent part of the day. I have to say that prior to the tasting day, I had never heard of an Aperol Spritz. It looks like Irn Bru but actually doesn’t taste anything like it. It also goes down very easily from what I can remember. I am a convert!”

“Following on from the menu tasting, my groomsmen (whom I have asked to organise the stag do) are getting busy. The list is confirmed and it turns out they have been meeting in secret to hatch a plan for early next summer. Why has this been a highlight? We boys do love a stag! The excitement is clear on people’s faces at the prospect. Naturally, I am excited too, but also wary of what is to come. The last stag do I went on resulted in the stag bailing quite early through going too hard too soon…I hope I can learn from his mistakes!”

If you’ve missed Tamryn’s previous planning updates, don’t worry – you’ll find instalment number two right here.

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