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Thought I'd start a thread to keep you updated.

We decided to have a civil wedding ceremony rather than religious, and started looking around at venues. Found some lovely ones (well looked lovely from pics) but for all of them you have to use their caterer. Trying to save pennies and using their caterers does not go hand in hand!! Not at all.

Here in the UK, you can only get married in licenced venues. And it isn't even just the venues, it is specific rooms that are licenced. So can't just decide to have it at home and cater ourselves. I was quite keen on a pretty building for atmosphere and photos, but really not the cost. So after some persuading (and cost difference explaining) Chris came around to the idea of hiring a hall for reception and getting married at the registry office beforehand. Our village doesn't have a village hall, and a brief search didn't really give any halls, but then I thought, what about the school where Chris works? It is across the road from us and would be great!

He asked at school and instead of around £1500 for venue hire (without food) it'll cost £170 :D We'll have use of the big canteen kitchen with fridges galore.

Deciding the venue (and date - May 29th 2010) is a big thing, so it has increased my excitement again. It kinda comes and goes, and currently it is present! Next we'll send out save the date postcards. We've started a list of local accommodation and will circulate that too. My mummy is American and my daddy German, so my relatives will be coming from far and need plenty of notice to book flights/accommodation etc.

The plan at the moment is to get some local caterers to do the wedding breakfast, but we may well decide to do it ourselves and nominate someone to oversee it. Decorating we can do, along with music (ipods are great :) ). We are contemplating hiring chairs as the school ones are plastic not so great ones, but we'll see how the budget streches.

Gotta decide on the dress now! Mummy is going to make it, but need to find some patterns. You might be able to help me there. I've looked at vogue, mccalls, serendipity, butterick, but haven't found what I am looking for.

I want a lace up back.

I would prefer a dress rather than bodice plus skirt, but am not set on that at all.

I want an A-line skirt.

My belly is big and my boobs small, so am looking for the top to have some sort of detail on it, so it isn't just a big stretch of white B)

Also don't like the tops of my arms, so am looking for either something with sleeves, or more likely a long lace jacket with sleeves to go over the top.

So below are some pictures - The pinkish one is the colour i'm hoping for, with a white see through jacket. The one with the jacket is the type of jacket I have in mind. The dark blue lace up back looks pretty cool, and like the stripes on the bodice to break up the top. I also quite like the fourth dress with patterns in between the white on the skirt - but might be a bit difficult, and chris isn't convinced!

So if not patterns for a dress like the dark blue lace up back one, then does anyone have any sites or patterns for similar dresses?





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I love that 4th dress and I think it would be awesome with a jacket made for it as well with both colors. I am also partial to a white and black wedding theme. I will be watching your plans as mine will be pretty simple since this will be my third and his second. However, we will marry in the Airforce Chapel at the Airforce museum here in Savannah, GA.

I think whatever you pick will be beautiful. Brides are beautiful no matter what.

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Congratulations on your engagement!

As a costumer and amateur wedding planner I have patterns in the hundreds! My collection of wedding dresses covers the early 80's to present. My historical costumes include a large number of Victorian and fantasy. So if you had a style not currently available you like, I may be able to help.

That lace up one style with the V is great for those less endowed above the waist. It was looking like my BF was going to get a job in Florida and we'd finally be settling down together. I tried on various styles of the current mode, which is how I know about the effect of the V. After trying on different contemporary gowns, I decided what I really wanted was a Victorian gown. So I picked up 40 yards (yes, 40 yards) of dollar fabric from Walmart which was the same as one $800 I had tried on. In the end, the plant mangaer decided to stay on :) !

As for contemporary style gowns, one which might be good for the belly problem is one with an assymetrical loosely pleated on one side style. If I didn't have an appointment in a half hour, I'd find some pictures to upload. There is one Vogue pattern which is what is commercially available, plus a few other from the other companies.

If you'd like, PM me with your size and I'll check to see what duplicates I have on hand.

I made my sister's wedding dress, a picture is in my Other Creative Endeavors gallery. It laced up in the back.

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Eeek, thank goodness I'm not alone. My boyfriend and I recently got engaged and now we're also planning a wedding. Hastily, I might add, as we'd like to be able to organise and forget! Get it over and done with!

I can't believe 1700 pounds just to hire a venue. Here, we're looking at $200au for a restaurant or venue.

So dresses! I love the pink one. It appears similar to Simplicity 3878, which is the pattern I am basing my dress on. Also, my dress is the exact same shade of pink! So pretty. I had a great photo of a dress with a little Victorian style jacket which I'll try to post here. As for the last dress you like, my cousin had a similar dress to that, only instead of patterns in the pleats, she had plain black. Her bridesmaids wore shorter versions of her dress, one in pink and one in blue with black trim and little jackets. Looked very cute and stylish.

Try searching for out of print patterns on Ebay. I found heaps of beautiful patterns.


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I don't agree that brides are beautiful no matter what. I have seen some that made an 'unfortunate' choice of dress.

You have plenty of time. Take someone who will be brutally honest and go shopping at bridal stores. Try on as many dresses as you can. Including bridesmaid dresses. That way, you can see what will actually look good on you before you sew. There is a style of dress that I just love, and while looking for a mother of the bride dress, I tried one on. It was awful.

While shopping with my daughter for her dress, there was a bride to be with a group of women and she came out in a dress and said she loved it and they all cooed and agreed. I turned and looked at her and them and said to go with the other dress she had tried on and I told her why. She scowled at them and thanked me. That is why I say to take someone honest with you. Not someone who will tell you what they think you want to hear.

Another thing to keep in mind, many stores will sell the floor sample when the new dresses come out later in the summer. You may be able to buy one cheaper than you can make it.

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:) dress 2 is fabulous :(

Only thing is....you have to change your date!!!!!....what are you thinking!!!!! May 29th 2010!!!!! spring fling Muriel!!!! spring fling!!!! get your priorities right woman :p B)

seriously though... what an exciting time and the school option sounds ideal :yes: :D

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so many new Brides to be!

good luck Muriel...wow what a chore to get married.

The kids had to apply for a permit for the park because it is a National Historical Park.

then get a marriage license. and have a Licensed Minister.

everything else was on us...I guess they want you to be very sure getting married is worth paying for?

I love the lace up the back two tone style very much...

But Im with Chesterfieldzoo ...GO try them ON....you do NOT have to buy to try them on.

it will give you something to base your search on...Catriona found her Formal Prom dress at a rental store and she found several dresses she wanted to try on....NOT READY FOR THAT RIGHT :banana: NOW

glad you opened this thread!...how many Brides maids? flower girl, ring bearer,ushers?


I love Weddings...I got married after Church...me Dean.pastor and 2 friends


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I strongly agree with the others - take a trip to a bridal store or two and try on some dresses to see how they look on you. If you find something that looks wonderful, have your mother with you so that she can see what it is like and know how to make it for you.

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I like the 3rd dress!

I agree. You have to have some friends who you are very close to that can be brutally honest. But their honesty will not hurt your feelings. That way..if you like a dress but your butt looks like a Lorry Truck from behind..they will let you know and you can move on to the next one.

I think your ideas so far are really good. If you have a laptop with your iTunes on it..You have your music for the party. Just have to hook it up to the PA system at the venue.

Have you thought about where you are going to go on your honeymoon? I never had one. We had Chelsea and it was just not feasible. My Mom bought my engagement ring for me (Fred went with her) so that made me happier then any trip.

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Congrats Shannon! :banana:

I will be going to try on all sorts of dresses at some point before mummy gets sewing. I'll be taking my sister at long at least, and potentially mummy too if she can get time off. Sister will definitely say what she honestly thinks :lol: and we'll be taking pictures I hope!

Lol Linda, the spring fling can keep my mind off of wedding worries next year ;)

Well, I've decided on my sister for bridesmaid. I don't have many close friends, especially not close girl friends. But I am friends with my sister, and we do get on well. Best man hasn't quite been decided yet! Chris' best friend is a girl, and he is having a little trouble with the idea of a female best man, though I'm absolutley fine with it. We'll see, he'll decide soon enough :) No page boys/ring bearers in the family, but my niece will be a flower girl. Again Ushers, not entirely sure how many. One will be Chris' brother.

We've got a circle of friends from college, and so we're currently deciding whether to give them jobs for the day too, such as photos, clearing, helping cook/dish up etc.

Our honeymoon destination has slightly varied over time! We wanted to go somewhere warm with pretty sunsets (Chris doesn't like warm summers, but for his honeymoon he does want somewhere warm! :p). His parents have taken a couple cruises in the caribbean and so we thought of that.

Then we decided that might be too expensive, and how about just staying on an island and doing a short day or overnight cruise.

Then thought, well if we're staying somewhere on a pretty island with sunsets and warmth, why not key west? We can speak the language no problem, know the currency, and won't be hassled as tourists by locals. I know that is a generalised statement, but many people I've talked to that have gone to the caribbean said that they prefered to stay near their hotel because they stood out as tourists and kept being hassled to buy local stuff. Neither of us would be comfortable with that, and we certainly would stand out! I may have been born in Brazil, but I am very pale with blond hair! :p )

Now we decided that if we're going to florida, well we have to do the theme parks too! So currently it is 3 weeks in florida, half the time chilling out and relaxing, the other half theme parking! and much more expensive than 2 weeks cruising :p

Unfortunately with Chris being a teacher, he can only have time off during school holidays. That means August for our honeymoon. Which I also gather is hurricane season. Not great! But we haven't completely decided on things and will weigh up the hurricane risk with going. Any suggestions/advice? We are planing to put our honeymoon as our gift list. We've lived together a while and really don't need anymore 'things'!


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If I could pick a place to go right now...I think I would pick the Azores. Kinda obscure huh? I saw a show all about the place and it is someplace Fred and I would like to go one day.

Most of the residents have lived in the US (Fall River Mass to be exact) so there will really be no language barrier. Someday..

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Thinking about meals while I wait for time to go dress trying on. Our engagement dinner was mexican, and we quite like the idea of that for our wedding too. We love mexican, most other people do too i think. Plus you can make your own as you'd like it eg veggie or meaty. But it can also be a bit messy with bits falling out of shells/wraps... but at the moment going for it anyway - they'll just have to make a taco salad if they're worried about mess! I was wondering if all you out there have some nice mexican food ideas for sides along with the taco/tortilla. Preferably that can be made a day or more in advance!

Also any ideas apart from nachos for starters? Doesn't necessarily have to be too mexican as our deserts aren't :p They are Eton Mess (I love it!), Chocolate and strawberry cheescake (Chris' favourite home made dessert), and an ice cream machine :( at the moment. And maybe some fruit salad for those not wanting creamyness!

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I bet Heidi and Gina have recipes!

How about a 7 layer taco dip? I don't know all the layers - a base of crumbled chips, refried beans, crumbled hamburger, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese. Maybe 2 layers of cheese or 2 layers of sour cream. I forget the last item. It's yummy anyway.

How about soft tacos? Not so messy.

Those cinnamon chips - they are like miniature elephant ears from the carnival.

I think it would be great fun to just lay out all the ingredients and let people make their own combos. Much easier than assembling it all in advance. Not everyone likes tomatoes or sour cream.

If it is not going to be a real formal affair - why not go with a tea length dress? You don't need a train for the ceremony. It would be easier to move and dance in.

I would make it white though. If you like the pink, go with a pink lace jacket or waist ribbon.

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Well a dress kinda fell into my lap! I was at a car boot sale and saw a wedding dress style ivory dress. Turns out it was a 100% silk monsoon dress, normally retailing for £180. She said it was an impulse buy, but then she didn't get married (her mum pipped in 'thank god!'), so it hadn't been worn. She wanted £10 for it, but I offered my change (£7.43) and she accepted. It is size 14 and would never fit me around the top, but i wanted it changed anyway. As mentioned, I want lace up back, and I'm sure mummy can do something with the one I bought (she's enthusiastic about adding the changes!) we'll still be adding a lace jacket to it, and maybe some colour.

Means we gotta decide on colour theme too. Like the idea of yellow-orange roses for flowers... but also thought of having orchid plants as our centre pieces, and haven't seen too many in yellow/orange for sale :( Might have a light orange/yellow/pink bouquet and then could have the pink orchids. Hmmmmm decisions decisions!

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Pictures!!! I want to see a picture!! I can't wait a WHOLE year.

You can have a regular back and just sew on little loop tabs for the ribbon to thread through for the lace up back. It does not have to be functional, just decorative. I actually have a dress like that. It zips up the side (hidden zipper) so I never had to unlace it.

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Muriel's Wedding, hm, curious. 899999999999999. Sorry about the code that's Sam the cat's contribution. Prolly his recommendation for a dress. Figure it out and you're good to go. As for me. Well you so different in each of those photos it's hard to decide. :(

There's a show on TLC that's all about selecting a wedding dress, I saw it when I was in Montana a coupla months ago, for the life of me I couldn't tell you what it was called. But the hosts really seemed to know their stuff, it was actually pretty interesting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

'Nother update!

Mummy likes the dress, and her and Sister are working away on figuring out how to put in the lace up back. Think they are making good progress! They have a clue what they are doing, and next step is going out to find some material for it.

We sent out our save the date cards a few days ago. The ones in the UK arrived exactly a year before the day (yesterday)! Ones to other countries will take a few days longer. Makes it official! hehe.

Decided to work on our drinks list today, figuring out who is likely to drink what, and therefore how much of each we'll need. Got a selection of wines, beers, a few spirits, some mixers, and some delicious alcohol free juices. Was quite fun to do! Reminds me though that we'll need to get someone to be barman/barlady. Also did a very very provisional table plan. We've only just sent out save the date cards, so we know that the guest list will change considerably, but still, it was fun and exciting to plan! Worked so well though that i'm worried when it comes to doing the final one it won't work again :wave:

Thought I'd post a pic of the basic dress I got. Please do remember that it is the basics, it isn't done up at the back, so the top looks much baggier than it will, and along with a lace up back, we will be getting/making a jacket to go with it.


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Muriel, it's lovely! It should be easy to customize just the way you want!

Sounds like the wedding plans are falling into place. Consider SC as a possible honeymoon spot! Charleston is so pretty/romantic hotels/lovely spots to eat/beautiful beaches/as you said...you speak the language. It's also easier to escape hurricanes than a Caribbean island. You can still stay on an island (we honeymooned on Seabrook Island not far from Charleston).

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Well on TLC I could find a show called Say Yes to the Dress. Watched some of the video clips - they sure have millions of dresses there! Some gorgeous ones :wave: There was one with kinda ruffled skirt that had a layer of lace around the bottom that stuck out about 4 inches below the outside skirt layer. That was pretty cool.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got a bridesmaid dress, I think. Found it, Sister fell in love with it, but it was out of stock on the department store website. Phoned them and they said it as out of stock countrywide, but that they might get another delivery in 7-10 days. A few days later the dress went into the 30% off sale, which didn't inspire me with confidence that it'd come back into stock. Anyway, sent my friend out to one of the actual stores further up north where she lives, and she found one in a size too big and one in a size too small. So we went with the bigger one with the view to taking it in if needed. Had a bit of trouble phoning through the card payment details and address (the girl on the phone at the store really couldn't quite spell, and we got cut off and couldn't get back through before she'd confirmed that the payment went through. So wasn't convinced it would arrive! Money hadn't come out of the account on monday, but had by tuesday afternoon when I rang them to check it had made it into the post. Tuesday evening, 6:01pm when people should be off work, and definitely delivery people are normally long finished, doorbell rings and it is the dress! I was impressed.

Anyway, turns out the dress isn't quite the colour it looks like on the website. Was hoping to go with a pewter and dusty pink colour theme, but the dress is much more chocolate than pewter :hug: So may just change the colour scheme, it is very early days yet! We'll try a pewter sash and see what that looks like first, see if it makes it doable with a pewter colour scheme.

Getting quotes from caterers at the moment. Well wrote lots of enquiry emails and forms last week, but have only heard from 3, with two widely varying quotes of £13/head and £30/head for the same menu so far!

Cheese stuffed chillies, cheese quesadillas, spicy mince in pastry parcels, nachos and dips for starters (dips - salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese dip)

And for main course bowls of spicy mince, strips of chicken, mexican style rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, grated cheese, and dips, along with tortilla wraps, tacos and nachos on each table so people can make up their own thing.

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