Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Its 2012: Don’t Panic!

January 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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…advice that this very busy is trying to take as we storm ahead into an action packed new year, an inbox brimming with wedding inspiration and real wedding gorgeousness, even higher hits and a bigger subscriber count than ever before.  I think I need a lie down!

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Have you survived the first week of 2012? To me a New Year means a fresh start, new challenges and a chance for Brides Up North to be bigger and better than ever.  Check back here on Sunday evening when I’ll be announcing some plans to shake up the wedding blogging schedule in 2012.  It’s out with the old and in with the new!

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Meanwhile, back with her words of wisdom, our very own newlywed and guest blogger, Alison.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Image via Wake Up Mr Singh

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Over to Alison: This time last year I’d been merrily drifting along. When people asked me about our wedding, I’d say “It’s next year”. I was confident, I was relaxed, everything was in hand and I was on top of it all. I’d go so far as to say I was smug!

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But as I stood on Vauxhall Bridge at midnight last year, watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks pour out of The London Eye I felt a cold chill run right through me. It wasn’t next year any more. It was 2011 and our wedding was now THIS YEAR!

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DON’T PANIC – DON’T PANIC!

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Count to 10.

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Now breathe.

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If like me, you’ve started the year of your wedding on the cusp of a melt-down – let me introduce the cavalry. As the voice of experience (kind of) I’ve got some top tips to help guide you through the start of this, a new and very special year.

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Some New Year’s Resolutions for the 2012 Bride:

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Image via The Itsy Factor

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And also…

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HEARTIf you haven’t already, set up a spread sheet. Fail to plan – plan to fail. You don’t have to go mad (like I did with 22 separate sheets) but make friends with Excel. It will help you control your budget, mail merge your invitation address list, keep track of acceptances and manage your ‘to do’ list. People mocked my love of a good spread sheet. However, they were the first to coo that it was the best wedding they’d ever been to. So I guess the proof is in the pudding – which thanks to my spread sheet came out precisely on time and in the correct quantity!

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HEARTNo time like the present to get into shape. You will never have an incentive like this ever again.  Don’t do what I did and start the year with good intentions and then do nothing about it until a month before the wedding. To say my wedding dress at that point was snug is an understatement. There is only so much ‘panic pilates’ can do. If I’d only had the Brides Up North Bootcamp in my corner I could have worn much more comfortable knickers!

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HEARTEmbrace the New Year sales. There are bargains galore. The only person who will know its last season’s stock is you and you can save yourself a packet. People traditionally do ‘sorting out’ between Christmas and New Year. It’s a national obsession which means we don’t have to speak to our relatives. Get yourself on e-bay and pick up some bargains. Remember – whatever you save now you can spend on yourself later – in my case my beautiful Jenny Packham wedding dress.

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HEARTSend out your invitations. At the very least make sure everyone has the date. While you are busy organising your life, so is everyone else. Now that Christmas is over people are busy booking holidays and mini-breaks by the barrow load to make themselves feel a little less depressed about grey January days back at work. Don’t give them a dilemma later on because a previously booked holiday to Disneyland may well win out.

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HEARTRemember, no matter how fraught and stressful things get – don’t panic – enjoy your wedding year. Throw yourself in and roll around in the whole wedding experience. Take every opportunity to make choosing flowers and cakes and dresses and wines as much fun as possible. Believe me, when the excuse has gone, you’ll miss it. Which leads me to a question – is your first wedding anniversary too soon to renew your vows?

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Alison writes her own personal blog at http://alison-staples.blogspot.com

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Alison’s latest posts for Brides Up North:

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Santa Baby- A Bride’s Letter To St Nick

Christmas Weddings In Soap Land – Some Very Un-Real Weddings!

Up For Discussion- Money Can’t Buy You Love – Bringing It In On Budget

Up For Discussion- Don’t Tell The Groom! Man Management

Up For Discussion- How To Do “I Do”- Writing Your Own Vows

Up For Discussion- Empty Chairs

Up For Discussion- Achieving The Perfect Level Of Wedding Morning Zen

Up For Discussion- The Name Game (and meet Alison!)

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Would you like to guest blog for Brides Up North? Email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk

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  © 2012 – Image via Wake Up Mr Singh & The Itsy Factor both found at Pinterest

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Up For Discussion: The Name Game (and meet Alison!)

November 4th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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This morning on the bridal blog, we have a visitor!

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I recently featured Alison’s wedding story and super fun Chester Zoo wedding on Brides Up North and we started chatting by email.  Alison writes her own blog over at www.alison-staples.blogspot.com and I have been heartened by her upbeat and optimistic approach to life in the face of some pretty steep recent hurdles.  Her writing also made me giggle, which is always good. 

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I have invited Alison to contribute a series of guest posts here on the wedding blog about her life as a newly wed, so she’ll be here for the next few Friday mornings, sharing her wisdom in her own unique way.  First up, she tackles a difficult issue – To take his name or not to take his name?  That is the question.  Enjoy! 

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.Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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But first, meet Alison…

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I’m Alison Staples and this summer my trusty bloke and I finally ‘tied the knot’.

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For many reasons, never thought I’d see the day:

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I’ve always been clueless with men and managed to go through all of the ‘90’s and most of the   noughties without a boyfriend.

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When I finally did find someone who wanted to go on a second date, I promptly left him behind and went on a round the world jolly for 6 months without any guarantee that he would be waiting for me

…….when I got back. Thankfully he was.

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I dropped so many hints and created so many ‘perfect proposal’ opportunities, it made him all the more determined to do things in his own way and in his own time.

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When he finally chose his moment I managed to cock it up by getting cancer. We had to cancel our holiday to New England, where he’d planned to propose, at a day’s notice.

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Once engaged (on ‘The Lovers Island’ on a trip to Anglesey), I refused to set the date until I knew I was on the mend and would have a decent thatch of hair.

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I wanted our wedding to be an amazing celebration and for it to be an opportunity to say thank you to all our family and friends who had stuck with us and helped us through our ‘difficult time’. We chose Chester Zoo – and it was amazing. I was both cancer free and had a full head of hair. You can read about it in our real wedding feature.

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As a professional charity fundraiser, I’ve organised a few events over the years, however I found getting married a completely different kettle of fish. It was mammoth and a bit overwhelming at times. Ultimately though, I did manage to navigate my way through wedding maze and popped out the other end with a near perfect (and on budget) day.

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As a new bride, Julia has asked me to share some of my newlywed know how with you, her readers, as one of her ‘guest bloggers’. I’m someone who has been there, done that and got the tiara!

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I’m sitting on the fence and it’s not very comfortable.

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Everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to do about my name now that I’m married.  But while I feel really honoured to become a member of the Pocock family, Alison Staples is who I am. I’ve spent 42 years building ‘my brand’ and I feel very deeply rooted in my family history.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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With everything that’s happened over the last couple of years (I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2009), there is a lot to be said for drawing a line under Alison Staples and making a new start now that I’m well. It’s an opportunity to re-invent myself. But I’m also very aware that my sister and I are the last in our current line of Staples. It’s a line that I’ve traced back to the 1650’s.

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I know at the end of the day, I’m still the same person whatever my name, but I spent 18 months fighting hard to make sure that Alison Staples didn’t disappear. She’s a precious person – a big part of me needs to hang onto her.

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Since I got married in June, it has felt at times like my identity has disappeared. Our joint letters are now addressed to Dr & Mrs T Pocock. Where am I?

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I suppose I could hyphenate. Alison Staples-Pocock? Alison Pocock-Staples? No, I don’t think so.

Another option would be to ‘mesh’ our names. Apparently it’s very trendy at the moment. Alison Stacock? Alison Poples? That doesn’t work either.

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Finally, in an attempt to tackle the issue from a different angle, one evening after a particularly competitive game of rude word scrabble – we played ‘the name game’.  With our scrabble tiles, we put the letters P O C O C K S T A P L E S into the bag and pulled out just 6 tiles with a view to seeing what we could make from our combined letters.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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The first one out of the bag was SPACKO!

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Not a very good start, Try again: POCKAS, COPASK, SPACOK, COPOSE

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All rubbish, so we kept trying and eventually they started to improve: PACKET, POCKET, CASTLE, CLASPE, SLACKS, SCOOPE

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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Then we got a bit silly and started to organise them into categories:

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TV series name – SPOOKS

Mollusc name – COCKLE

Tour de France names – SPOKES

Rapper name – T-CLOCK

Clairvoyant name – STOKES

Star Trek name – SPOCKS

Prison names – SLOPPS & SLAPPS

Cash n Carry name – COSTCO

Greek name – KOSTAS

French names – PASTEL, POSTAL, LE-SACK & LE-COCK

Spanish name – EL-COCK

German name – SPLATS

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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However, I think my absolute favourite has to POLPOT. We’ve never had a Cambodian dictator in the family.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Name Game

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It was a fun game to play on a warm summers evening fuelled by a bit too much wine, however I’m still confused about what to do and who to be. In the mean time, I guess I’ll carry on being a bit schizophrenic and answer to everything until I get fed up of procrastinating and finally have to jump off the fence. Fingers crossed for a soft landing.

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So, what do you lot think?  Do you plan on taking your new husband’s name?  Are you looking forward to being Mrs His-Last-Name or are you still on the fence?  Leave a comment and me know.  Its officially up for discussion!

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Would YOU like to guest blog for Brides Up North?  Email me at julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk

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  – Images © 2011 Alison Staples (for now!)

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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