And the beat goes on…

I have a long list of wedding related tasks to work through, but every time I tick something off I remember three other points I need to add on. One step forward, three steps back, as they say.

Thankfully Mr CB and I marked another two biggies off our list. The first is the DJ, which we have booked through Prelude – one of Kew’s recommended entertainment suppliers. Actually, this was one of the responsibilities I gave Mr CB to sort out, along with booking with wedding transport, wedding night accommodation and booze.

He decided on a DJ called Steve who does events for the Sultan of Brunei! Well if it’s good enough for the Sultan, I suppose I’m ok with it ;) The cost was about £500 for five hours, which seems pretty steep to me, but then I suppose all wedding related things are. The downside is that there is no extra money in the kitty, so we will not be able to have any live music, which I would have liked… such as a string quartet for the ceremony, and in an ideal world a cool band for the evening (although that was NEVER going to happen!).

We have also booked our wedding night accommodation at the Radisson Edwardian at Heathrow (a nice looking deluxe room), so we can fly out the day after the wedding.  It will mean taking our holiday luggage with us to the wedding venue, and then taking it to the hotel when we leave the reception in the evening. Complicated! We have a shortlist of destinations for the honeymoon, but I’ll leave that for another blog.

Radisson EdwardianRadisson Edwardian

If we weren’t planning to fly out the next day, we would have stayed in either the Petersham Hotel or the Richmond Hill Hotel (the image below on the right doesn’t do it justice) – both of which are very beautiful hotels on the top of Richmond Hill, which is a short drive from Kew Gardens.

petersham

richhillhotel

Finally, I and one of my bridesmaids met with a florist last week, who seems lovely. Her name is Jennifer, and she runs Best of the Bunch on Harrow on the Hill. She doesn’t have her own florists shop, but works out of a studio from her home. We spent an hour going through different ideas, and she was really accommodating and helpful when she realised I was on a budget. She has given me quotes for displays of various sizes, ranging from £15-£45, pedestal displays from £80 and bouquets at around £50.

These prices were a vast different from a beautiful florists called Lilyma, which is on Harrow on the Hill. The place is gorgeous, but with bouquets starting at £70, it is very much out of my price range.

I’d really like flowers in soft, antique pinks, peaches and creams, and I understand a good way to keep costs down is to pick local seasonal flowers. However, for me as long as the colours are right I couldn’t care less what type of roses are used or whether the displays feature hydrangeas or sweet peas. I really think a talented florist can make anything look beautiful.

One thing I know is that my bouquet has to be small and neat to suit my small hands and frame – a cascading display would just look wrong on me! But I can’t decide whether I want a mixed bouquet with different textures, or a simple one of two-tone Cezanne roses that give that vintage wedding flowers look, like in the picture below.

wedding-bouquet-rose-cezanne-vfh-e

Anyway, I really liked Jennifer, which I think is incredibly important – after all you don’t want to part your cash with someone who you don’t like. My sister and I will go and visit her again this Saturday and hopefully get her booked. I will then report back on what sort of displays I can afford!

CB x

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A U-turn somewhere between Lefkada and Kew Bridge…

I am grateful that organising a wedding is nothing like driving down a one-way street – you can make a U-turn and head the other way at any point. Yes, I’m heading for one destination (to get married) but thankfully there are a number of routes to get there.

What does this waffle mean?

Well, a while ago now – pre-knee dislocation (which explains my silence on the blog and twitter-sphere) – I made a massive U-turn in my wedding planning. I had been certain I wanted to get married in Greece, and had even met with a lovely planner, and was trying to decide which island would suit a wedding abroad. And then, I changed my mind. It is not that the plan ceased to appeal to me, it’s just that the thought of having to organise two events, one here and one overseas, began to concern me.

Would it be double the effort or double the fun? I have no clue, I’m the Clueless Bride. I was worried that this about-face would freak out Mr CB, so I secretly resumed my research of UK venues. I wanted to make sure that when I confronted him about my neurotic change of mind, I would be able to offer him a Plan B.

In short – Mr CB did freak out initially, but thankfully Plan B has worked out to be better than anything we originally imagined… and now we have a venue and caterer booked for next July. Hooray! This has lifted a massive strain between us, and we are finally enjoying the prospect of the big day.

The venue is the gorgeous little Cambridge Cottage in Kew Gardens. The venue can fit up to 80 people during the day and 120 in the evening. It has a very well sized private garden, where guests can have drinks and relax in the sun, which opens onto Kew Gardens itself.

There were a number of reasons why I went for this venue –

  • It is beautiful and elegant but in a casual, understated way.
  • It is fabulously light and airy, which will hopefully mean great pictures.
  • They work with a large selection of caterers – so there is a great choice of wedding breakfast possibilities (more of which later).
  • The aforementioned private garden.
  • There is no minimum number requirement, which I like.
  • Great transport links.
  • Kew will provide us with a buggy, to be driven by the photographer, so that we can have our wedding photos taken around the grounds and make the most of the stunning park!
  • There are extras, which we have decided not to take up as they will push us over our budget, however they would be a lovely touch if your purse allows it. The first is the possibility to have a reception in one of Kew’s glass houses; the second is a tour of the grounds for all the guests on the Kew Explorer (which I wasn’t blown away by, as I’d prefer the guests to be talking to each other and enjoying the wedding).

    The venue works with seven catering companies that you have to choose from – including Indian specialists. Exactly what I was looking for! There were two options – Ragamama and Laguna. I had heard great things about the latter, so they are now all confirmed.

    Here are some photos of Cambridge Cottage:

    Cambridge Cottage outside1 Cambridge Cottage outside2

    Cambridge Cottage outside3 DSCN5729

    DSCN5738

    We are also required to book our entertainment from two companies that Kew work with – Prelude and Sternberg Clarke – but aren’t too sure which one to choose. Florists and photographers do not have to be on Kew’s approved list, although they do recommend a few… There are so many things to think of now, but as the venue is such a massive part of the planning, at least I have something to work around.

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