Wedding Wednesday…Suzy’s Colour Theme

Choosing a colour theme for your wedding is quite important to establish early on in your wedding planning. It drives a lot of decisions, and can even impact your choice of venue. Most venues are fairly neutral and take on any colour theme you choose, but some more established venues may have an existing style and décor  that may not sit right with the theme you want.

It also impacts on the selection of wedding party outfits, floral choices, invitations, the cake, table and venue décor. For us, it was a natural progression for us to choose a deep, dark red, ivory and black theme for our special day. It’s a colour we both like, and we knew we didn’t want an overly feminine theme for our wedding, as it doesn’t suit both our personalities.

I’d seen this floral pin fairly early on in the wedding planning stage, and Bobby loved it too so without too much further discussion we decided that we would have those colours in mind for our wedding. I love roses and was inspired by the bouquet design along with cala lilies and the black band on the wedding dress.

We’ll do a fuller post on various other wedding colour themes and palettes, but for now here’s a few pictures of the details from our day.

Suzy xx

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Thank You!

Happy Half Birthday to us!!! We’ve been going for 6 months!

Team Blossom have had another positive get together today to discuss all things blog related (and a bit of gossip too!) and we can’t believe it’s been 6 months since we started on this adventure. It’s been a challenging and interesting process so far, and we are both immensely proud of what we have achieved since we started. That also includes our total fangirling moment when Myleene Klass liked and commented on our Instagram picture of her!

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From our first introductory posts (see here) back in October 2014, we’ve shared posts on baking, beauty, fashion and photography to name but a few. And there will be many more to come as we move forward in our blog adventure.

We wanted to say a huge thank you to all our followers, who have interacted with our blog in the last few months, we really appreciate your interest and support through our journey. You may notice today we’ve also split our twitter account into two, and you can follow us individually at @btfsuzy and @btfclare.

Today also marks the brave decision to start telling our friends and family about the blog! Whilst it’s not been kept a massive secret, we haven’t been actively promoting the blog on our personal social media accounts, but that is all set to change from today. So welcome to our loved ones, we hope you enjoy reading about our lives, and we’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Clare & Suzy xx

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Wedding Wednesday – Suzy’s Budget

After making the decision to start planning the wedding of the century, reality hit! How are we gonna pay for it all? I always knew my parents would help out, but how much they could contribute was unknown. We also kind of knew how much we could afford to contribute, based on what we’d already got saved, plus what we could save between now and roughly when we wanted to get married. So it was important for us to have a very frank discussion with our parents, to broach the subject of financing the wedding. Without this, we couldn’t start even looking at venues, deciding on guest lists, or thinking about anything else!

We were over the moon when both our parents very generously came through with some funds to help us towards our wedding, and the way things worked out, we ended up putting the same amount in each, so it felt really fair, and also, really inclusive for both sets of parents.

So how did we work out how to allocate our budget to make sure everything was covered? We obviously did a bit of research online to get some rough ideas of where the money goes etc, using sites like The Knot, to guide us in the right direction, but we also wanted to factor in elements of the wedding that were important to us to get right. I have to say, the online tools you can find are really helpful, but remember to use them as a guide, and try not to get too swamped down. At this point, you only want to split the costs down as percentages of your total budget, always considering what you would be happy to pay for each expense, and of course, your own circumstances

For us, the venue was the biggest expense, and I think it’s fair to say that is the case for most couples. You should expect to spend 50% – 60% of your budget for this.  When planning a wedding, I think it’s best to keep all the venue costs together, which includes room hire, food costs, drinks etc.  We felt it helped doing it that way, rather than splitting each element down because eventually it would all be paid to the same supplier, and you’re in the right mindset for that when you get their bill! Even if you have a separate venue for the wedding and reception, keep them together at this stage of planning. You should also include your marriage licence fees in this.

We wanted to include the honeymoon, and depending on your circumstances, you can decide to include it in your budget or not.  We included it, because we knew that we would want to spend more on our honeymoon than a normal holiday, and also considered the gifts given from our guests as a contribution towards this. We allocated around 15% of the budget for this.

The next expense to consider was the outfits, including the wedding dress. This we knew would be a changeable cost, and was very dependent on how much ‘the dress’ was! We hadn’t properly decided how the wedding party was going to be made up, so we considered what we would be happy to spend as a guide. In the end, we spent around 10% of the budget on this.

We allocated the cost of the photographer (and videographer, should you choose one) next, and after doing a little research on the internet, we put down a further 10% to this. A married friend once told me, whatever you do, do not scrimp on the photographer! The photos really are the lasting memory of the day, and can be enjoyed by so many people, so it really is worth the money.

One of the important elements we both always wanted at our wedding was a live band. Music is so important to the both of us, and having a band at our wedding was key. We budgeted around 5% for this, just as a guide.

We decided to lump the costs such as stationery, flowers, cake & venue decoration all together at this point, just to give us a rough idea. For example, at this stage, we didn’t know what kind of flowers we wanted, how many guests were coming for the size of the cake etc. In the end, we found a supplier that did a package including all of these services, and we spent around another 7% on this. On the initial budget, we allocated 5%, so we weren’t too far off the mark.

The other important cost to consider is the unknown cost! After you’ve compiled your budget, you should add an extra 5% – 10% to cover all the unexpected things and overspends you are inevitably going to incur. I honestly can’t stress this enough…no matter how much you think you are going to spend, you will spend more, and you’ll do it because it’s your special day and you want everything to be perfect.

Obviously, there are some costs you may want that aren’t included here, such as transport, rings, gifts etc. Add them in to your budget at a price you would be happy to pay and adjust one of your other expenses accordingly.

Also, prioritise your wedding expenses from most to least important. If you need to make cuts in your budget, always start with the details and expenses that are least important to you both.

Communication is key when planning a wedding, and you will no doubt get into some disagreements with your partner on how much to spend, and on what. Argue your points calmly and clearly, and listen to your partners thoughts and responses. There will be things you need to compromise on, and trust me, on the day you won’t even care about any details you had to exclude!

You should regularly revisit your budget, particularly when you are getting quotes from suppliers. Check back to make sure they aren’t way off the mark, and of course, adjust it should you decide to change your mind on things! As you start to make bookings with suppliers, it’s best to make a note of what you’ve committed to spend and note down deposits and payments you’ve made so you can always keep track of where you are with things. Making a note of due dates is also handy.

Here’s a little infographic I did showing the breakdown of the budget. I hope if you’re planning a wedding you find this useful, and if you’ve already planned one, how does this budget compare to yours?

Suzy xx

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Our Wedding Story

Bobby and I got married in August 2013, after 6 years together. Our day was the most wonderful days of my life, I’d never felt so excited, and my husband, family & friends made me feel so special, loved and cherished. It was a day I’ll never forget, and memories from our day pop into my head constantly, always bringing a smile to my face.

We first met in 2007, after finding each other on an online dating site. Our relationship blossomed very quickly, and it was obvious to those we knew that we were meant to be together (I know that cos everyone tells me so!). We moved in together after 18 months, and started making plans for our future together. And they were exciting plans too, a home, marriage, kids, the whole lot! We’d been planning to move back to the West Midlands (where I’m from) from Leicester (where Bobby is from), for a while, and when I got made redundant in 2009 it was the perfect opportunity to make the move. There was however, one thing we both wanted to do before we settled completely, and that was to travel. With the money from the redundancy we set off on an around the world trip for 10 months, and the trip solidified our relationship in ways I never thought possible.

It was during this trip that Bobby asked me to marry him. We were on a remote island in Fiji, sat on the beach one night when he bought over a couple of glasses of champagne, got down on one knee, made a wonderful speech about our relationship and he asked me to marry him! Overwhelmed with joy, I said yes, followed very quickly by ‘Have you asked my Dad?’. Of course he’d asked my Dad! Knowing how important he is to me, and how much his blessing would mean to me, Bobby had skyped my parents a few weeks earlier and asked his permission – all without me knowing! He’d also managed to buy the ring without me knowing too, and when you travel with someone you are together ALL THE TIME. No mean feat, and he pulled it off in spectacular style.

It was 2012 before we felt settled enough with home and work to start talking about planning the wedding, and after an impromptu visit to a wedding fair, we decided to get going on it! Within a couple of months, we’d booked the venue, the photographer and the accompanying suppliers so after a flurry of decision making, we then took a very laid back approach to the rest of the planning for our day. It was probably only the last 6 weeks or so, with dress fittings, meetings with the venue, meetings with the florist & cake company that we were back in full tilt wedding mode, and I have to say, the reason we did not get so stressed about it all is because we did it together. Bobby was definitely not one of those grooms that just lets the bride get on with it, he was involved in all the decisions throughout, and it was most definitely more fun that way! But more of that to come in our future Wedding Wednesday posts. Looking forward to sharing my experiences of wedding planning with you!

Suzy xx

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