September 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a distinct “Tuesday feeling” for much of this morning (the direct opposite of the Friday feeling, which is far nicer). I’m not sure if it’s a come down from the heady mix of industry and bridal events, high heels and glitter whirlwind that I’ve been spinning around in for the past week or so, but today’s huge to-do list of deathly dull admin left me feeling meh.
That’s until I started putting today’s real wedding feature together.
Stacey & Michael’s beautiful celebration at North East landmark venue Wynyard Hall reminded me exactly why I love this job and that however many VAT returns I have to chew through, I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Get ready to pretty up your Tuesday and get lost in lace, blooms and birdcage veils…
With images by Foster & Foster Photography.
Stacey says: We got engaged in October 2012. I was meant to have some annual leave from work, but had been very busy at work and consequently had cancelled my holidays. Unknown to me, Michael had planned a couple of days away. I phoned him from a work to let him know and when I got home from work, I changed into my pyjamas and began to prepare dinner. He nipped upstairs and reappeared in our sitting room on one knee and proposed.
He said that he did it because now he was uncertain as to when we could go away he couldn’t wait!
We were married on 8 March 2014. We knew we did not want a long engagement and 16 to 18 months felt about right.
I didn’t want a typical summer wedding as I envisaged the bridesmaids wearing fur capes outside. We plumped for early March as it was likely to be past the worst bits of winter (heavy snow) but still chilly.
We chose Wynyard Hall, Teeside as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the North East as this is where most of our friends and family are. We also knew we wanted an old venue as this suits our taste. We visited lots of venues, but when we drove up to Wynyard we were blown away by the building and its grounds. When we went inside and seen the amazing stain glass ceiling with grand piano below, I was sold.
When shown around, we liked that we could use three different rooms through the various stages of the day and have our own bar area. The terrace on the right was exclusively ours and allowed our guests privacy. In addition Wynyard had amazing bedrooms to accommodate our immediate family and friends, whilst being near enough to other hotels for other guests. It is an incredible venue, with lots of places for amazing photographs as well as creating the perfect atmosphere.
The team at Wynyard were very helpful and friendly and we knew we’d be in good hands on the day. Chris, our master of ceremonies, kept everything on track and did an amazing job. Maggie our wedding coordinator was very attentive, answered all my queries well and efficiently and everything went smoothly on the day.
Given the venue, I chose lace and, in hindsight, a vintage theme. The boys’ ties were a soft sage green and the bridesmaids wore nude. The flowers then picked up on these colours with ivories and soft peach. I wanted to go for pale colours and tie everything into the lace that I had chosen for the tables.
I wore a fishtail lace Pronovias dress in an off white colour (Diago). I bought it from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. I knew that my preference was for a dress with straps/sleeves and no “bling”. When I tried this dress on, the way it moved made me feel amazing and the lace detail was spectacular. Every dress I tried on after it I kept comparing to this one.
What Katy Did Next made me an amazing bespoke birdcage veil. It had a large ivory flower with pearl centre and jewelled leaves on either side. The small veil was then detachable after the ceremony. Her expertise and skill was second to none, as was her service. She also made me some heart shaped shoe clips in ivory so that my shoes were unique!
Michael and the rest of the bridal party wore a mid grey three piece suit hired from Mia Sposa. We bought white shirts from TM Lewin and bought the ties with matching pocket squares from an online retailer.
I had the bridesmaid dresses made to measure by Eve and Adam in Newcastle. They were nude coloured, sleeveless maxi dresses made to my specification. I chose to do this as I had two adult bridesmaids and two children (13 and 9) so it was difficult to find an off the shelf style to suit all. I also wanted a dress they could easily use again.
I had a bouquet of white lilac, champagne, soft peach and ivory roses and ivory peonies.
Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle provided these and they were amazing. Helen at Katherine’s really understood my vision and worked with me to achieve the look I wanted. She understood that I wanted to use fresh flowers but peonies were out of season at this time so she sourced high quality silk ones which you would not have known were silk when in the arrangement.
The bridesmaids carried very similar bouquets, with more soft peach shades and slightly smaller.
All of the groomsmen had button holes of champagne roses, along with Michael’s grandparents and mum. My mum had a pearl wrist corsage with a champagne rose which was beautiful.
We cannot praise Sarah and Mark enough for the huge part they played in our wedding day. We were recommended to use Foster and Foster Photography by several friends and from the minute we contacted them for a quote the service we received was exceptional!
They met with us prior to the wedding to understand the approach we wanted for our photos, get a feel for our wedding and just get to know us in general. They guided us on the optimal way of getting the crucial group shots we wanted whilst also allowing us to spend time with our guests.
On the day they were very much in the background, but still managed to capture amazing images! They made us feel very relaxed throughout the day. Michael in particular was nervous about being put into staged shots and feeling uncomfortable, but Sarah and Mark really made us feel at ease. They were brilliant at taking the group shots we wanted without being intrusive into the natural flow of the day.
The finished product was beyond our expectations and the follow up service has been exceptional! They sent us a small sample of their shots the day after our wedding which was amazing as we were jetting off on honeymoon. They then quickly produced a slideshow to send to our friends. All of our friends and family adore the images and commented on how well executed the photography was on the day.
We also opted to have an album and they worked with us to include all of our favourite pictures. More importantly they used their expertise to produce a professional finish which flowed well and captured all elements of the day. They also helped us to get some extra shots printed for our family. Small things like arranging specific times to deliver our disk of photos and album (to ensure we would receive them quickly and in perfect condition) really added to the already exceptional service.
I would not think twice about recommending Sarah and Mark as any couple’s wedding photographer. The service was faultless and they are a lovely couple who work incredibly well together. We are very lucky to have such amazing pictures from our special day!
We did not want people to sit on certain sides in the ceremony so had a personalised framed picture made saying “Today two families become one, choose a seat not a side”. I reserved the first two rows of the ceremony room for immediate family, bridesmaids and groomsmen and had names badges made which I used as place names in the ceremony room.
Down the aisle we sprinkled petals and had white lanterns with big candles in them which looked amazing.
In the room where we were married we had to two tall slim vases with large ivory hydrangeas. These were moved to our wedding breakfast room after the ceremony. Each table had a centre piece with tall vases containing a combination of the bouquets flowers with some ivory hydrangeas.
The top table had several small vases and jars dotted along the table with one or two of the bouquet flowers picked out. There were then five circular vases into which my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were dropped before the wedding breakfast. These were all supplied by Katherine’s Florists.
In addition, as part of our wedding package, Wynyard supplied a floral pedestal display and a floral spray for the registrar table in ivory colours.
I made some vintage style ladders for the table plan which were very unique and stood out next to the piano. We also had a table of family wedding photos next to the piano, which was brilliant as some people had passed away and it was a way to recognise them.
I also had made some extra frames with M&S in as well as some Mr and Mrs signs. One of my bridesmaid’s bought us a Mr and Mrs Hall sign for the top table which finished it off perfectly! She gave it to me the night before which made it an extra surprise!
I hired Posh Chair Covers and Bows to do the lace bows and hoods on the chairs as well as lace runners down the tables which fitted perfectly with the theme!
The cake was one of my favourite things! It was off-white to match my dress and covered in flowers in pale green, peach and ivory to match my colour theme. They cascaded down the cake and were more closely gathered near the bottom.
The bottom layer was fruit cake made by Michael’s brother (and the best man) who is a chef. There were then two layers of chocolate cake and one of vanilla. It was made by a family friend, Sue Hall. We also had a huge stack of cupcakes to match the main cake as cupcakes are a favourite of mine!
For the wedding ceremony and drinks reception we had a piano player Mark Deeks of Music Newcastle. We knew we wanted to use the grand piano in the main hallway where guests would be chatting. It was the perfect accompaniment to our ceremony and Mark provided an excellent bespoke service! He took requests on the day which our guests really enjoyed!
On the evening we had a local band, The Fontains. They were better than we could ever have hoped! They performed our first dance song “Read My Mind” by The Killers and the arrangement was fantastic! The atmosphere they created was beyond what we could have hoped for!
My favourite part was walking out of the wedding ceremony to the drinks reception because I was officially married to Michael, everything looked perfect and everyone seemed to be having a brilliant time.
I felt I could relax as everything had come together as planned!
For our honeymoon, we went to Barbados for two weeks. The first week we spent on the west coast near Holtown self catering and the second on the south east coast near St Lawrence Gap.
The weather was perfect for us as it was hot with a breeze. We explored the island in the first week, visiting various places by bus and foot. This included going on a catamaran cruise and Landrover off-road island tour.
The second week was absolute luxury in an all inclusive Sandals resort which was amazing and very relaxing after the hectic wedding build up!
One of the last things we booked was a wedding videographer, Ben at HNE Media. It was one of the best decisions we made as it allowed us to relive the day and listen to the speeches again. Ben was brilliant and the final product was perfect!
As my top tip for other Brides Up North I would definitely recommend splashing out on a videographer.
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May 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Friday morning bacon sarnie and brew at the ready? Good. Then we’ll begin.
Franki and Anthony’s Real Wedding – high on the beautiful Otley Chevin – packs a proper Yorkshire punch. With flippy skirts, powerful polka dots and super hero details, this celebration is cute and quirky, but also seriously authentic. And very cool.
They had me at those heels.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Sarah Mason Photography.
Franki says: We got engaged in April 2010. Anthony had booked us a short break in Skipton for my birthday. He proposed to me as we were walking around the moat at Skipton Castle.
We tied the knot on 17th August 2013, we had originally set the date for the 18th August 2012 but decided to push it back a year to give us more time. It turned out to be a very wise decision as later that year I found out I was pregnant and my due date would only have been a few weeks before the wedding!
We got married at Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa in Otley.
We had been to many venues on our hunt for the perfect place and although some of them ticked all the right boxes they just didn’t feel right. We visited the Chevin on a whim one day and loved it even though it didn’t tick as many boxes as the others. The wedding coordinator told us we could basically do what we wanted on the day bar letting off sky lanterns. It just felt right and every time I thought about getting married after that first visit I always pictured us there.
We had a slight 1950’s theme, but it was a mix of a few things. It was a bit rockabilly, a bit vintage, a bit geeky, a bit buttony and a whole lot of us! Our wedding colour scheme was navy blue, white and pink.
I always knew the style of dress I would wear, a short, 1950’s style, halter neck circle dress with petticoat. I bought mine from Vivien of Holloway and my petticoat was custom made by Honeypie Boutique. I wore a custom made birdcage veil from What Katy Did Next which had a big white button covered heart to tie in with all the other buttons throughout the wedding. My shoes were a bargain as they were massively reduced when I bought them, from an online store called Nelly. They were pale pink suede with spikes running all the way down the inside of the heel. The finishing touches were my pearl necklace like the one stolen by Cat Woman in the Dark Knight Rises from a seller on Etsy and my navy belt also from Vivien of Holloway.
My five bridesmaids wore the exact same dress as me, just in a navy polka dot pattern with pink petticoats all from Vivien of Holloway. My niece was a little bridesmaid too, she wore a pink polka dot dress similar to the bridesmaids which a very talented family friend made for her.
We had five groomsmen who all wore the same suit as the groom but with just the navy polka dot pocket square.
We had three little ushers, our son Luca and my oldest friend’s two little boys. They wore grey chinos from Next with a white linen shirt from Gap. The had navy blue Converse, navy blue braces and navy bow ties both from eBay.
Between family, bridesmaids and myself we made six button bouquets and a mini button bouquet wand. It was time consuming but definitely worth it and my bouquet has pride of place in my kitchen now.
As I chose not to carry flowers we needed an alternative for the buttonholes as well. We decided on Lego superhero buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen and some button button holes for the wedding party. We DIY’ed them all.
Buttons played quite a large part in our day from being flower replacements to decorating our card box and being part of our centrepieces. They were everywhere.
The best money we spent was definitely on our photographer Sarah Mason. She captured our day absolutely perfectly and is a lovely, lovely lady who I cannot praise enough, we think she is a little bit fabulous!
A family friend played acoustic guitar as our ceremony music before singing with his partner during the reception drinks.
Our centrepieces were milk churn glass vases from Ikea. We tied ribbon that matched our wedding invitations around them and glued some buttons around the top. They were filled with some play sand and a white candle in which Anthony had carved numbers out of and filled with navy wax to make table numbers.
Our wedding favours were wine glasses dipped in chalkboard paint with a ribbon tied in a bow around the stem. We then chalked names onto them to double up as place settings.
Our chair covers were provided by Lindsey from Ambience Venue Styling, who I would highly recommend. Everything else was made by ourselves, family or friends. We made over 40 metres of bunting to decorate the balcony around the lake at our venue from blue, pink and white polka dot fabric.
We set up our own sweet stall for the evening reception for people to help themselves and instead of a guest book, Anthony’s dad made us some speech bubble chalkboards and another friend took pictures of people with messages they had written for us which we have in an album.
My friend made us a lovely three tiered chocolate and sponge cake that she covered in icing buttons. We had a Lego bride and groom as our cake topper.
We then had an absolutely amazing band for the evening reception called The Jukebox Jets. They are a rock n roll band and were absolutely fabulous as well as being super lovely. We literally danced all night, I have no idea who was at my evening reception as if they weren’t up dancing with me then I didn’t see them. They held a little dance competition too. Anthony and myself had to eliminate a couple after each song until we crowned a winning couple. They wore their crowns the whole night.
Obviously getting married and becoming a real family was the best part and the speeches were really good, the boys did themselves proud. Truthfully though, my favourite part was our first dance, we danced to Hallelujah I Love Her So, played by the band, our first dance as husband and wife, it was so much fun!
We went on a mini-moon after our wedding to a beautiful little cottage in Staffordshire. It was lovely as it was our first break as a family.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff. Things more than likely will go a little bit wrong on your big day. Our guitarist broke his guitar five minutes before I made my way up the aisle (he still managed to play), we lost the buttonholes for the grandparents, a pair of shoes turned up for Anthony’s dad in odd sizes plus a few other small things. Apart from us, nobody else knew and it made no difference to the day whatsoever. Designate two people you trust as problem solvers, make sure suppliers and other people know they are the people to contact if needed on the day and let them deal with any issues that do arise, leaving you to enjoy yourselves and relax.
Congratulations Franki & Anthony!
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February 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you follow the blog over on Twitter and Facebook – you’ll probably have guessed that I am just a little bit excited about kicking off our jam packed season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions with one of my very favourite events, North East SUPER show, the Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition at the gorgeous 4* Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield, County Durham THIS SUNDAY (that’s come around quick!) on Sunday 23rd February 2014.
If the level of pre-registrations that Team Brides Up North has received from you lovely ladies is anything to go by, it’s going to be an amazing day! We love hearing your little stories and getting excited with you and we can’t wait to meet so many of you in person.
Other wedding fairs? Pah! What’s the point?! We are very proud to run OFFICIALLY the largest and most exciting FREE ENTRY bridal exhibitions in the North East (our last epic event at Hardwick’s sister hotel, Ramside Hall, attracted over 2,000 visitors in one afternoon – now that’s big!) with two specially choreographed professional fashion shows and almost (and sometimes over) 80 – 100 exhibitors at each, tempting on the day discounts and stuffed goody bags tailor made for each event. I might like things big and exciting, but I also like them personal.
And yes, you read that right, the events are FREE ENTRY. Cos I love ya, baby.
So, get the first of our huge North East events firmly in the diary (in indelible pen please) and come along to support the most fabulous wedding suppliers in your area – I only work with the best, dahlings – for an inspiration packed afternoon of all that is pretty, new and super gorgeous in the wedding industry. And the most important bit? Local to YOU.
And can I vouch for the beautiful 4* wedding venue that is Hardwick Hall Hotel? Well, I chose it to host my own wedding day back in October 2012 – and what’s a better recommendation than that?!.
If you would like to beat the queues, gain speedy entry and grab yourself a FREE Brides Up North Goody Bag packed with little treats from Brides Up North, the regions’ best bridal glossy magazines well as some fab on-the-day-only exhibitor discounts – while stocks last only – you can pre-register for VIP Bride to Be access now. What are you waiting for?
To register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag fill in your details below, marking the Brides Up North event venue of choice e.g. “HARDWICK HALL” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibitions. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not wish to use the contact form. VIP Bride- To-Be Goody Bags are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served polic
This is a Brides Up North Event
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September 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This afternoon’s feature is something really rather lovely. If you’ve got your knickers in a twist about your wedding lingerie, look no further. After today’s pretty post, with images by Lissa Alexandra Photography, I have a feeling that you’ll have it sorted.
Laura’s designs are uber feminine and pretty and she wanted really soft photos to reflect this, which suits my photography style perfectly! We discussed different shot ideas and wanted it quite ethereal and not too posey. We also didn’t want stick thin models either, the girls had to be natural and pretty and look like a ‘real’ bride to be, in fact one of them was! Fortunately the girls who work at Danby Castle very kindly offered their services and they fitted the bill perfectly!
We didn’t want a plethora of suppliers involved but we invited Katy Howieson from What Katy Did Next to supply the headpieces as I’ve worked with her before and absolutely love her creations. She does very intricate designs with natural materials like feathers and leather and the two designers complemented each other’s work fabulously.
For makeup we used Kate Pymm, she is recommended by Danby Castle and I often get to shoot her lovely work. The makeup was soft, with earthy colours to highlight the model’s natural beauty. Hair was styled by Meg Horton. Meg works at Danby Castle but also does bridal hair in her own time. Meg is a fab stylist who listens to the brief and delivers the vision.
On the day of the shoot itself Em, the head chef at Danby, provided us with the most amazing spread including oysters, salmon, champagne jellies and much more, it was quite the treat I can tell you! So I simply had to photograph it as it was so beautiful (and yummy!) The tents and cars are a new service offered by Danby Castle as part of their ever expanding wedding packages.
Little Black Book
Photographer: Lissa Alexandra Photography
Lingerie: Laura George
Venue: Danby Castle
Makeup: Kate Pymm
Hair: Meg Horton
Headpieces: What Katy Did Next
Cars: Danby Castle own
Tents: Danby Castle own
This is not a sponsored post
August 10th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its been an epic week of beautiful Real Weddings here at Brides Up North, so I thought I’d wrap up with another stunner this Saturday. As you all head off to enjoy your weekends, I’ll leave you with Kelly and Greg’s cool blue celebration in Middlesbrough, proving that beautiful can be done on a budget.
With images by Sally T Photography.
Kelly says: We tied the knot on 23rd March 2013 at Middlesbrough Town Hall. We choose this venue as it was somewhere different, nobody had ever held a traditional wedding ceremony there and we loved the historic value and architecture of the Town Hall.
We decided to use the décor and colours of the town hall as part of our inspiration, deep reds, navy and dark wood, and all the little touches like the bouquets, flowers and bridesmaids dresses tied in together with that.
I’ve never dreamed of my wedding day so didn’t have any particular ideas and just went with the flow. I wanted to make the day relaxing and enjoyable for us and our friends and family.
Each bit of our wedding was about us. We tried to spend as little as possible and spent money on what we thought mattered which was the food and alcohol! Everything just fitted into place and the venue just made the day even more special and it’s in the centre of our Town where we grew up. We hope we showed everyone how much me and Greg love each other through the most wonderful day of our lives and one we will treasure and never forget.
My dress was from Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. It just felt right, it fitted perfectly and looked beautiful. I loved the detailing of the pearls and stones on the dress and just felt like the dress was just made for me.
My earrings were given to me by my mam. I didn’t wear any other jewellery as I felt I had enough sparkle in my bouquet and on my dress. My beautiful garter was made by What Katy Did Next.
We wanted something simple and pretty for the flower girls and my adult bridesmaids wore navy on cream and cream on navy dresses from Debenhams accessorised with gem headpieces I found in a boutique in Middlesbrough.
Greg had his suit made especially for him by G Russell Tailor in Billingham.
Floral Dreamz made my and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I had been searching for a florist that made crystal brooch bouquets for a long time when I came across these on Facebook. I didn’t like the idea of spending a lot of money on bouquets that were going to be thrown away at the end of the day so I wanted something that I could keep forever. I couldn’t have been happier with my choice as they were beautiful and every time I look at my bouquet, it reminds me of our wonderful day. One of my bridesmaids has had hers taken apart and had jewellery made with the brooches which I thought was a lovely idea.
My car was supplied by my father in law donning his own chauffer’s hat that he got from a fancy dress shop! He made me giggle!
There are so many moments but my favourite part was the church service. It was so relaxed but still intimate and having all our family and friends there watching us say our vows was very emotional and special for us both.
The flowers on the table were by local florists in Middlesbrough called Butterflies. Greg and I wanted to keep them simple and not too big as we wanted our guests to be able to see each other across the table.
I decorated a wall in the room with three heart shaped metal memo boards. To the left heart I attached pictures of me growing up, the one on the right had pictures of Greg growing up and the one in the middle had pictures of me Greg and Sebastian – our son – as a family. I thought it would be nice to show friends and family a story of then and now.
After searching the internet for ideas for an alternative guest book I found the idea of using a ‘Fingerprint Tree’ I purchased a canvas and my friend drew a very beautiful tree on the canvas for me. We then got our guests to put their fingers in ink and put their fingerprints on the tree as leaves and finally writing their names next to it. It looks amazing and from what I’ve heard people enjoyed taking part.
We used Sally T Photography. Sally is a truly unique photographer, she captured moments that I would have missed if she wasn’t there to see them for me. Her style is unlike any I’ve seen and we were overwhelmed by her amazing photographs. She captured all those important moments that mattered to us. We couldn’t have chosen a more talented photographer.
Greg and I wanted a cake that wasn’t iced as we both don’t like icing. I also wanted the cake to be like the wedding ‘a bit of everything all rolled into one’ it was colourful as we didn’t really stick to one colour scheme for the wedding. I had seen a few naked cakes that I liked and showed them to Debbie from Cakes By Debbie. Each tier had a different flavour jam – strawberry, lemon and blackberry – which gave it some colour too. It was then sprinkled with dry icing and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit (strawberries and blueberries). It looked amazing, I didn’t expect it to look as gorgeous as it did and taste as amazing as it looked. I didn’t want to cut into it. I’m happy to say that every last piece was eaten.
The gorgeous peg cake toppers were made by What Katy Did Next.
We choose Flavour for our catering. Paul our caterer went above and beyond just organising the food. His team helped set up the room and ensured that the day went smoothly by my schedule. As they’ve catered for a lot of weddings I turned to them for lots of advice. I couldn’t have found a better company to work with.
We meet at Middlesbrough Football Club where I work as a Hospitality Bar Supervisor and Greg is a big fan of the Boro so we wanted to include that into the wedding so we named our tables after Middlesbrough Legend Footballers.
We had a saxophonist to play whilst guests were arriving and during the meal (Harry of Mellow Moments). He was fantastic. The saxophonist was a surprise for Greg. He loves the saxophone so I knew he would love it.
The band was my uncle’s band called Still Active. They played songs from Stone Roses, Killers, The Beatles, Kings of Leon and many more. They were fantastic and had everyone up dancing.
We had our first dance to”Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship. We choose this song as Greg and I were born in the 80’s and that song seemed to follow us around. We didn’t want a slow song – nothing soppy – and to be honest we don’t have a song that we call our own. We choose this song because we love the lyrics, as cheesy as it sounds the words in the song sum us up.
We are going to Italy for Greg’s sister’s wedding in the Summer so are going to honeymoon for a week around that to relax.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t stress about the small things and if friends and family who have already been married offer you advice don’t just brush it off, think about it as they’ve done it before and know what they are talking about. Take as much help as you can if you are organising all of the wedding as trying to do it all yourself is exhausting. Enjoy every minute!
Congratulations Kelly & Greg!
This is not a sponsored post
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