Bride Diaries: Maggie May

Following a surprise proposal in Greece, Cotswold blogger Maggie May is busy planning her dream wedding day, sharing her exciting updates with SoGlosWeddings as part of our Bride Diaries series.

The happy couple: Blogger Maggie May and her fiancé, Mr MM
Wedding date: Saturday 6 October 2018
Wedding setting: Somerset


Introducing Maggie May and Mr MM

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My name is Maggie, and I live with my fiancé in the Cotswolds. I’m a country girl who enjoys baking, travelling, and discovering new coffee shops, as well as writing posts for my blog, The Secret Life of Maggie May.


3 weeks to go…

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What a long break it’s been since my last diary entry!

Sometimes, life just gets in the way, and the last couple of months have been more hectic than ever! Also, I never like to rush writing a blog post or churn them out just for the sake of it, so I decided to wait until I had the time to sit down and write one properly (let me know when you’ve had enough of my excuses…)

Anyway, now I’m back and it’s only 3 WEEKS to go until #maggiemaygetsmarried!

In all honesty, I have been quite stressed in the last few weeks, and drinking far more coffee than usual due to sleep deprivation (induced by staying up late each night crafting things for the big day, or panic buying table confetti). The more and more people were saying to me “Not long to go now!”, the more and more I worried and thought, “Will we have everything sorted in time?”

It’s funny really, as if you ask anyone who knows me at all well, they’d describe me as super organised and efficient, with a slightly unhealthy list obsession. So how on earth did it get to 6 weeks before the wedding with loads left to do?

I think partly because, as usual, time flies, and we reached September before we knew it.

I started off super keen (poor Mr MM and his sister were subjected to drawing up the guest list with me the week we got engaged) and I remember Mama Maggie May warning me that she wouldn’t be able to listen to me spewing out the super fine details every day for 18 months.

I was also advised by many people not to have everything organised well in advance of the big day, or else there would be none of the fun side of planning left to enjoy in the final weeks.

So I took a step back, told myself to take a relaxed and chilled approach… And then became a little too relaxed!

All that aside, when I put the anxiety and worries out of my mind for a moment, I started to feel so excited that I thought I might burst.

As I see elements of the wedding coming together, I become quite emotional, and have definitely shed a few happy tears at the thought of all our family and close friends seeing us get married.

I am so unbelievably excited at the thought of Mr MM becoming my husband, and me becoming his wife. We tried our wedding rings on the other evening, and the smile on my face was so wide that I looked quite deranged…

Sometimes I can’t decide what I’m looking forward to most – the food? The music? The flowers?

And then I remember – it’s marrying the love of my life!


3 months to go…

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I can’t believe that we’re here already – only 3 months left to go until the big day…

If one more person says to me, ‘So everything’s sorted, then?’, I might either cry or push them over. There are so many things left to do! I can hear 2017 me saying, ‘My aim is to have everything finished 3 months before the wedding – I’d be happy with that.’ HA! How naive I was! (And I’m so tired, I just wrote the name Niamh instead of naive. Which is odd, seeing as I find Niamh quite difficult to spell usually.)

We’ve had a few sticky moments of late, such as when we went to pick up Mr MM’s wedding suit to find that our order had been lost (along with his measurements) and there was in fact no suit waiting for him. We also found out that the wedding planner we had been working with exclusively was leaving our venue, our RSVP deadline came and went with a quarter of the replies outstanding, and we had a few problems with music too. Basically, if you asked me to describe how I’m feeling about the wedding right now, I would not choose the word ‘chilled’.

I would however choose ‘excited’ and ‘happy’. It’s really hit me in the last few weeks that it won’t be too long at all before we’re actually husband and wife! I’ll have a new name (which will take some getting used to) and a husband. When I get stressed and worried about all the planning, I remember why we’re doing it, and that soon puts a big smile back on my face.

So what else have we been up to? Mama Maggie May and I got down to the important business of wedding cake tasting last month; I brought along my test cakes and she got out hers, and we tasted our way along the row and pretended to know what we were talking about when it comes to proper baking. We then created a bespoke – and potentially interesting – recipe which combines our chosen methods and ingredients, and are hoping that the end result will be a delicious traditional wedding cake. Definitely still need a few more practices though…

Other wedding-related appointments this month:

-Hearing our banns read in church for the first time
-Choosing a suit for Dad
-Practising icing the wedding cake
-Visiting John Lewis to choose our wedding gifts (very excited about that one!)

More updates soon. Only 88 days to go… #maggiemaygetsmarried


4 months to go…

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Our wedding really is getting closer now… And it doesn’t feel like nearly a year ago that we got engaged. It makes me think that we should have been more productive with the wedding planning…!

I’ve started trying out a few fruit cake recipes for the wedding cake – so far I’ve made two, and I’m not yet convinced that I’ve found the winning formula. Mama Maggie May’s been busy baking too, so we’re going to have a cake tasting session later this month. If you’ve got a good recipe for a traditional fruit cake, please tweet me!

We’re also trying to get our music sorted out; it’s an important part of the day for us, but also because we’re both musical, it means we’re finding it difficult to choose just a few pieces – and agree on them! We’re incredibly lucky in that we have a choir singing at our ceremony, and an excellent organist, so we want to make sure we find some gorgeous compositions for them to perform.

I’m also working on our Spotify playlist for the evening disco – a few times Mr MM has walked into the living room of an evening to find me bobbing along to Wham! by myself. Are there any songs in particular which you think should feature on a wedding playlist?

It’s quite exciting (and daunting) that we have five weddings to attend this summer before ours (five!) One in June, one in July, two in August, and one in September – then it’s ours in October! It means that from now onwards we have a really fun way to countdown through our friends’ and family members’ big days until our own. And who knows, there may be the odd idea we can borrow…

Let the 2018 wedding season begin!


7 months to go…

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Seven months to go until our wedding!

I really do get more and more excited each day. I try to calm down {with little success} and tell myself sternly that it’s only one day; that it’s silly to spend so much time thinking about what is essentially just a big party.
But it’s our wedding day! And nothing can stop me from being completely and utterly over the moon and ecstatic about it. I’ve got an appointment this month for a calico bodice pre-fit for my wedding dress, where a toile will be made so my dress is the perfect fit. It’s the first of my official fittings, so it feels like things really are starting to get serious!

We’re also in the process of creating our invitations. My wonderfully talented friend is designing them for us, using illustrations of the flowers we are having to make them even more personal. I can’t wait to see them! I optimistically thought I would try and learn a bit of basic calligraphy for addressing these and also writing the place names for the wedding breakfast, but unsurprisingly it’s proving to be quite a difficult skill to master! Stay tuned for updates on that one.

Mama Maggie May and I are becoming increasingly panicked about making the wedding cake (but also relishing the challenge!) We’re going for a traditional fruit cake, with simple white icing, and our florist is going to decorate it with beautiful fresh flowers. We’ve decided we’re going to have a practice bake over Easter, so it looks like our family will be eating a lot of fruit cake that weekend…

The other big decision we’re trying to make this month is the timings for the day. It’s quite tricky trying to work out how long each element of the day will take – and how much time you want to allocate to each part. As long as there is PLENTY of time for eating, I think Mr MM and I will both be happy.

And then there are the tealights. When we first got engaged, I found it amusing how many people were selling job lots of hundreds of tealights and lanterns on eBay, thinking it quite unnecessary. But now? I need tealights. Without giving too much away about the general theme and table decor we are going for, we do want to create a warm, autumnal ambience to the wedding breakfast, and lots of flickering candles will really add to that effect.

So yep, I have now completed my initiation into the brides-to-be club. Final requirement for new members? Tealight enthusiasm.

More wedding planning news next month!


9 months to go…

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I realised with a jolt of surprise that it has been 4 months since my last Bride Diaries entry – which means there are now just nine months to go!

As you can imagine, wedding planning was put on hold slightly over Christmas, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t made a lot of progress since I last filled you in – not only has Mr MM been trying on wedding suits, but I have actually chosen my dress! No spoilers though.

Something I have noticed whilst wedding planning is that there seems to be a distinct lack of helpful wedding checklists online. This will be the first wedding for the both of us {and hopefully the last…} so we cannot be 100 per cent sure that we’re not missing any of the important elements. When I went to find a handy to-do list, I was surprised when I struggled to find a good one.

So here’s mine!

I hope it can be of some use to other brides and grooms to be – you can pin this post to your wedding boards on Pinterest for those moments of wedding planning panic!

To begin...

Browse SoGlos Weddings, Pinterest, wedding magazines, wedding blogs and Google for inspiration.

Accommodation

•For the bride the night before the wedding (and bridesmaids)
•For the groom the night before the wedding (and ushers)
•For immediate family the night before the wedding
•For the wedding party the night of the wedding
•For guests the night of the wedding

The bride

•Arrange to go wedding dress shopping
•Choose wedding dress
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Arrange sessions for measuring and fittings, plus when to pick up dress
•Request fabric swatch if required
•Wedding shoes (Have a look on my blog if you need some inspiration – I wrote a post all about them!)
•Veil
•Underwear (and take to your dress fittings)
•Jewellery (earrings, necklace, bracelet, hair accessories)
•Choose hair and make-up artist
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Arrange trial before the day
•Confirm booking and timings for arrival on the day
•Arrange who is helping you get ready on the morning of the wedding, and confirm timings of when they should arrive
•Choose bridesmaids (plus maid of honour and page boys if necessary)
•Buy bridesmaids’ dresses (plus page boys’ outfits if necessary)

Catering

•Choose caterer
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Confirm booking and timings closer to the day
•Arrange menu tasting
•Choose dishes for wedding breakfast
•Confirm when caterer needs to know final numbers
•Choose canapés
•Arrange food for evening reception
•Arrange alcohol and soft drinks – including arrival drinks, drinks for the wedding breakfast, drinks for the toast, and evening drinks
•Decide on type of wedding cake (individual cupcakes, single/double/three tier)
•Arrange wedding cake
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Confirm booking and timings for pick up or delivery of cake

Ceremony

•Organise ceremony
•If civil ceremony, need to liaise with local registry office
•Pay fees
•Confirm timings of ceremony
•Check parking arrangements {check whether fee}
•Organise rehearsal if a church wedding
•Organise bellringers if a church wedding
•Choose readings
•Choose readers
•Provide readers with copies of readings
•Choose music
•For before the ceremony whilst guests are waiting
•Processional
•If a church wedding, hymns
•Signing of the register
•Recessional
•Arrange musicians (organist, singer, string quartet)
•Provide wedding party +- guests with confetti for end of ceremony
•Display arrows/signs to reception venue if guests have to travel between venues

Decorations

•Box for cards
•Wedding favours
•Guest book
•General decorations for reception venue with wedding theme (signs, photos, frames)
•Table numbers/names

Entertainment

•Activities for children (colouring books, toys, ‘kids’ table’)
•Choose first dance
•Disco
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment if using a DJ
•Confirm booking and timings for set up and arrival on the day
•Ensure PA system included/provided at venue
•Decide on specific song requests
•Book live music for evening
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Decide set list
•Confirm booking and timings for set up and arrival on the day
•Check whether they require refreshments, dinner and room for getting ready

Flowers

•Decide what flowers you require i.e. bridal bouquet, buttonholes for groom’s party and immediate family, bridesmaids’ bouquets, flowers for bridal party’s hair, decorations for ceremony venue, centrepieces for wedding breakfast, garland for head table, decorations for reception venue etc.
•Choose florist
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Arrange sessions for discussing choices
•Confirm booking and timings for pick up or delivery of flowers

The groom

•Choose suit
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Arrange sessions for measuring and fittings, plus when to pick up suit
•Request fabric swatch if required
•Shirt (plus waistcoat)
•Extras including tie, bowtie, cravat, tophat, handkerchief, cufflinks etc.
•Shoes
•Underwear
•Write speech
•Choose ushers
•Organise ushers’ outfits (plus fathers of the bride and groom)

Guests

•Decide guest list
•Send ‘Save the Date’s
•Send invitations
•Create seating plan once guests have RSVPed

On the day

•Allocate family and friends to each ‘on the day’ job
•Provide wedding party and immediate family with schedule of timings for the day
•Decorate the ceremony venue – check whether this can be done the day before
•Deliver order of services/programmes to ceremony venue
•Confirm what time bridal party and groom’s party are meeting in the morning and where
•Decorate the reception venue – check whether this can be done the day before
•Organise pick up of any last minute items such as flowers and the cake

Optional extras

•Arrange dinner for wedding party and immediate family the night before the wedding
•Arrange breakfast/lunch/coffee for wedding party and immedate family the day after the wedding
•Any extra catering elements, such as sweet buffet, ‘Pimp your Prosecco’, hot chocolate station, cake table, popcorn and candyfloss cart, ice cream van or bicycle – the choices are endless!
•Gift list
•Gifts for wedding party, parents, family and friends who have helped with your wedding
•Hen do
•Stag do
•Honeymoon
•Wedding cars
•Wedding insurance
•Wedding rings
•Ring box
•Insure engagement and wedding rings

Photography

•Choose photographer
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Confirm booking and timings for set up and arrival on the day
•Create photo list
•Organise engagement shoot
•Choose videographer
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Confirm booking and timings for set up and arrival on the day

Reception

•Choose reception venue
•Pay deposit and arrange timings for final payment
•Confirm booking and timings for set up and arrival on the day
•Confirm what is provided with booking i.e. linen, crockery and cutlery, glassware, chair covers, cake stands

Stationery

•Save the Dates
•Invitations
•RSVP Cards
•Seating plan
•Place cards
•Orders of service/programmes for ceremony
•Menus
•Thank you cards

Finally...

•Kick back, relax, and enjoy your wonderful wedding day. X


13 months to go…

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There’s just over one year to go until our wedding! Now, some people respond when we say this with, ‘Oh, so it’s not for ages then.’ (I fall into this camp).

Others, however, helpfully reply: ‘Gosh, that’s not long at all is it? That will fly by! Not much time to save up and arrange everything!’

Luckily, we have both thrown ourselves into wedding planning and getting things sorted. I’m not sure how we’ve been quite so efficient – we’ve certainly been told numerous times that we are a very organised engaged couple!

I think it’s partly because we wanted a fairly short engagement, partly because we agreed on what sort of wedding we would like pretty early on – and partly because we’re just so excited about getting married and having a brilliant day!

We’ve actually started to make some of the big and important decisions (aside from deciding to spend the rest of our lives together, of course). We officially have a wedding date, and not only have we booked the church, but we’ve booked the reception venue too.

We’re lucky to have a friend of the family who is an excellent photographer, so that made one of the major wedding decisions very easy. It’s nice to think that the person snapping photos of us on the day will be a familiar face – so hopefully we won’t feel quite so uncomfortable to begin with!

Since my last entry in The Wedding Diaries, I have been on another wedding dress shopping trip with Mama Maggie May. This time was more relaxed and a bit less daunting, as I had a better idea before we started of what styles suited me and what I wanted to try on.

I am still completely and utterly undecided as to what I’m going to go for (is it possible to have ‘that feeling’ with TWO dresses? Because that’s the pickle I’ve got myself into) But that just means more visits to bridal boutiques, and that can’t be a bad thing…

Mama Maggie May has started looking at mother of the bride outfits too. I cannot wait to see how she looks on the day. Helping her choose her outfit is so much fun (especially the shoes).

The other big wedding decision I think I want to address soon is the flowers. It’s something I don’t really know much about in terms of styles and prices, but I assume it’s going to take up quite a large chunk of the wedding budget – so it would be good to know what we’re dealing with soon! And then there are the suits to think about, and the wine – and we haven’t even started thinking about the honeymoon…

OK, OK, so there’s still quite a lot to do, but we DO have plenty of time. It feels good that we’ve started making some of the major decisions, but I’m happy to keep going at a steady pace in the run up to next October…


14 months to go…

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We’ve started wedding planning!

We have well and truly thrown ourselves into it, and are incredibly excited – although we’d both agree that I am perhaps a little too excited…

Although I don’t want to give away very much (I’m hoping there will be lots of surprises left for the guests on the day!), I thought I’d share with you a few of our thoughts so far.

When? We were both certain that we didn’t want our engagement to be too long, and what with me being happiest when surrounded by the colour and warmth of autumn, we’ve decided on October 2018.

Where? Following tradition, we’re getting married where I grew up, and where my parents still reside – in beautiful Somerset.

What kind of ceremony will it be? This was a tough one! We discussed at length whether we would prefer a religious or civil ceremony, finding pros and cons for both, and spent literally hours talking about it. Our final decision? We’re getting married in a church. (Yay!)

Will there be a theme? I’ve been asked this quite a few times. We’ve not chosen a particular theme or colour scheme, but we’re hoping for a traditional and elegant country wedding, with fresh flowers and beautiful music thrown in!

Have you chosen a venue for the reception? Maybe! It’s not definite yet. We’re looking at stately homes/country houses, and we’ve found one that ticks nearly all of the boxes, which we both fell in love with when we looked around…

Have you thought about your dress yet? Yes! But my lips are completely and utterly sealed on this one. Mama Maggie May and I have been on one wedding dress shopping trip so far, which was so much fun – who wouldn’t love trying on lots of stunning, expensive dresses?

What about bridesmaids? I’m very lucky in that I have a gaggle of gorgeous nieces, nephews and godchildren who are going to accompany Dad and I up the aisle. They are going to look adorable, I’m sure.

And the food? Mr MM and I are foodie people. We’re thinking a proper three-course meal is most likely – the more food, the better!

There is so much to think about over the next few months – it’s all very exciting, but also a little daunting too! Mr MM has created a wedding spreadsheet so we can have everything all in one place: our guest list, to-do’s, budget etc.

As a self-confessed organisational freak, who loves writing lists and completing projects, I’m enjoying evenings spent doing wedding admin (I’ve been reliably informed that this is known as ‘wedmin’), but what I love most of all is that while we’re both SO excited about our big day, we’re even more excited about being married, and becoming husband and wife.

More wedding updates soon!


15 months to go…

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The last few weeks have been… A whirlwind!

The end of June saw us escape for a week to our second home; the beautiful Greek island of Corfu. After a busy and stressful few months, we definitely deserved a few days of rest and relaxation.

On the penultimate day of our holiday, as I snoozed on the beach with my arm lazily draped across Mr Maggie May’s belly, I sleepily asked him if we’d ever get married. It was then he told me that he’d actually been planning on proposing this holiday, but hadn’t yet found the right time… So how about now?!

After a lot of gasps and ‘No, this isn’t happening – this CAN’T be happening!’ from me, he popped the question. And of course, I said yes!

That afternoon we tracked down my parents in the local beach bar, and told them our wonderful news. With Mama Maggie May in floods of tears, my dad ordered a bottle of Prosecco, and we all toasted our new future together. I didn’t stop smiling for one second.

The next few hours flew by as we phoned the rest of our family, and I excitedly sent messages to my closest friends. Having been together for over seven years, some of our loved ones had been desperate for us to tie the knot for some time… (Mum and Nan, I’m looking at you two in particular.)

After watching the sun set with caipirinhas in our hands, we went to the jewellers owned by a family my dad has known for years. We walked in with entirely open minds, not thinking of specific designs or cuts, when we both spotted it glinting in the window.

A beautiful, old-fashioned design (very me), with a sparkling white sapphire, surrounded by smaller white sapphires, and with a few more set in the 14-carat gold band. We both fell in love with it straight away.

Since we returned home, it has been amazing. We’ve received such lovely cards, messages and gifts from our family, friends, and colleagues. We have both been touched and pleasantly surprised by how much celebration this has caused, and are so incredibly excited to become Mr and Mrs.

We’ve already thrown ourselves into wedding planning, as we’re both pretty keen to get going with the I do’s. I can’t wait to share some of the adventure with you all on here, but I also promise not to become completely wedding-orientated…


© SoGlosWeddings
Wednesday 19 September 2018

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