THANK-YOU NOTES AND CUFFLINKS

THANK-YOU NOTES AND CUFFLINKS

Hours before anyone else stirred, I woke up to slip handwritten thank-you notes under the doors of my maids, parents and future in-laws. We were all staying at the venue and I was worried that amid the morning’s prep I wouldn’t get a chance to say how much I loved them. I also delivered a git to my iancé Jon’s place at the breakfast table; antique gold culinks that matched my engagement ring. Sneaking around to make sure he got a nice surprise was worth the risk of being spotted by the groom’s party.

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SLIPPERS, DRESSING GOWN AND TEDDY

I was more nervous than I’d expected, so spending a few hours mooching around in comfortable clothes gave me back a sense of normality. I’d remembered to pack my teddy too, a throwback to childhood, when having him around made me feel happy and safe. BALLOONS he most nerve-racking part of the day? Seeing how all the balloon decorations would turn out. Luckily, they worked exactly as I wanted. I’d hoped the brightly coloured helium balloons would transform the marquee and personalise the gardens, but I wasn’t able to test that theory until the morning of the wedding when they’d all been blown up. By 10am our venue was a riot of colour. I was so grateful to everyone who helped me place hundreds of them.

THANK YOU NOTES AND CUFFLINKS

DECOR DETAILS

It was well worth doing a last-minute check of the decor before the guests arrived. he wedding party and I had spent months hand-making stuf, so there was no way that I was going to leave the personalised inishing touches to anyone else. We’d decorated most of the venue the day before, but I made sure the paper lowers were attached to the backs of the chairs and the 1,000 origami cranes were still strung up from the balcony. here was just time to curl a few extra ribbons for the sweet and savoury bar, and add menus and quizzes to the tables. Having a inal once-over meant I could get ready without worries about wonky decor details playing on my mind.

THANK YOU NOTES AND CUFFLINKS

THE TABLEPLAN

Putting my tableplan up was surprisingly exciting as I remembered that, in just a few hours, 120 of our favourite people would all be in the same place, together. It rarely happens, so looking at the list of names reminded me just how special the day was going to be.

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SHOES, SHOES, SHOES!

I’m so glad I brought three pairs of shoes to try on (plus three pairs of earrings and a handful of diferent necklaces). I never wear the irst thing I try on before a night out, so I predicted it’d be no diferent the morning of my wedding. And how right I was! I chose a cheap pair of H&M faux-pearl studs over the expensive droplet earrings I’d brought especially for the day, and borrowed Mum’s bracelet minutes before we let the bridal suite. Having a mixture of accessories to hand meant I got the right look for how I felt at that moment, without any ‘I wish I’d packed that’ regrets.

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MY HEADPIECE AND BOUQUET

As soon as the hairdresser pinned my Piers Atkinson bespoke headpiece into my hair, I knew I’d made the right choice. I’d igured that getting married was the perfect excuse to splash out on something like this – and it was worth every penny. It was more beautiful than anything I’d found and, while it’s a cliché, I felt a million dollars from the minute I put it on. Piers knew that I had ‘Having a mix of accessories to hand meant I got the right look for how I felt at that moment.’ 1,000 origami cranes… and (below) the cork tableplan The paper chairbacks Friends helped blow up hundreds of balloonsi.

THANK YOU NOTES AND CUFFLINKS

BESPOKE ILLUSTRATIONS

I was blown away when I heard a knock on the door of the bridal suite, and there was illustrator Jacqueline Bissett. Without me knowing, Jon had commissioned her to sketch me and my bridesmaids –and all because I had once mentioned how much I loved her work! Once we’d slipped into our dresses, Jacqueline drew portraits of us all as we sipped champagne and gossiped about the arriving guests. It was bliss.

MAKE-UP AND COMFY UNDERWEAR

I did my own make-up on the day – which was just an exaggerated version of my normal, everyday look – using products that I own already. he only investment I made was a MAC foundation and blusher. Comfort was also my priority in the underwear stakes – Marks & Spencer came up trumps (again!) when I found a strapless support dress that didn’t dig in at the thighs like most support wear does.

HONEYMOON PLANE TICKETS!

On the morning of the wedding, as I was inalising all the last-minute details and rummaging around for my phone, I happened to come across our honeymoon plane tickets. I knew that, 24 hours later, the wedding would be over – but this was a wonderful reminder that two weeks in Cuba, relaxing and drinking daiquiris, awaited. pastel pink, coral and lime lowers, so he added one of each so my headpiece and bouquet complemented each other. He also snuck in a turquoise and lilac lower, to match the ‘spring brights’ palette.

MY BRIDAL DRESS

My mum and bridesmaids helped me into my dress a couple of hours before I said ‘I do’. It was an of-the-peg dress, which I picked up from a local bridal store for £450. It was the perfect colour and shape, but the wrong length as I wanted a short dress. But I knew a decent tailor could cut the front of, trim the netting underskirt and turn it into something that looked more couture. I tried the dress on many times beforehand, but nothing compares to how it feels when you inally put on your bridal gown on the morning you get married. here’s no doubt wearing the dress reminds you that today really is the one you’ve been waiting for.

FIX-IT ESSENTIALS

I was so relieved I’d packed a small bag of ‘ix it’ essentials – it turned out no matter how much planning and thought I’d put in, the unexpected did happen. he safety pins came in handy when a maid’s necklace snapped minutes before the ceremony. he double-sided tape was the only solution when the wind tried to make of with half our ‘welcome’ signs. And a pair of scissors were my surprise beauty lifesaver when I glued two diferently shaped false lashes on and had to trim one to match!

PAPER HEARTS

My heart skipped a beat when I looked out of the bridal suite window and saw my dad and future brother-in-law planting the paper hearts I’d made around the gardens. When I’d woken up the clouds were looming, so I thought the decorations I’d lovingly created would go to waste. Fortunately, with an hour or two to spare, the clouds parted, the sun came out and they lined the paths with my coloured paper. (Note to self – waterproof materials for any future outdoor decor will save on weather- related stress!) Paper streamers brightened up the ceremony room A easy way to personalise your venue – balloons! The ‘spring brights’ blooms ‘No matter how much planning we had put in, the unexpected did happen.’ Perri on the day – as seen through the eyes of illustrator Jacqueline Bissett.

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