Rachel's Wedding Diary


12th March 2019 | Rachel Hirst

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With less than two months to go, the wedding heat is well and truly on.

As such I had a small wobble last week about the amount I felt we still had to do – not big jobs, but all the nitty gritty organisation, logistics, making final decisions on elements that we’d been blissfully putting off and reviewing and re-reviewing the budget. However, after a weekend of sitting-down-and-getting-on-with-it planning, I’d say we’re back on top and so the excitement, not just for the wedding, but for my impending hen do too, is almost at fever pitch!

Since my last post there have been a fair few meetings with suppliers, including two visits back to our amazing venue, The West Mill. Literally every time I see an image from the venue appear on my Insta feed my heart jumps up into my throat thinking that will be Andy and I in just a matter of weeks.

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Returning to The West Mill for our three-month-to-go planning meeting with our dedicated wedding coordinator Abi, we were instantly reminded of why we fell so hard for this spectacular venue: its cool and chic spaces across four floors, amazing original features that set it apart from any other and the faultless service delivered by its helpful and enthusiastic team.

Going through our plans for the day made me realise how much will be happening in just a few precious hours and drawing up the itinerary almost felt like a military operation – ceremony at 1300 hours, drinks reception at 1400 hours, wedding breakfast at 1600 hours etc. However, as Abi was keen to point out, all this is noted down and studied by the team in advance so the day can run smoothly without Andy and I, or our guests, needing to worry about a single thing – phew!

We also returned to the venue for a meeting with our super-talented florist, Jane Steel of Wedding & Events Floral Design, who, along with her wonderful team, will making the trip from Thirsk to Derby to supply the dreamy blooms and décor for the day. We studied the spaces and went through our visions with Andy eagerly chipping in too, though as a huge fan of Jane’s work I whole heartedly trust her to deliver something truly beautiful that I know we will love, working to our brief but also putting her letting her creativity flow freely to produce something unique to us. Literally too excited!

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Elsewhere I have had my makeup trial with the fabulous Anna Cordelia Mason, something that has been a long time coming, as since the very first time I met Anna through work more than three years ago, she said that she would love to do my makeup, and, in particular, my wedding makeup when the big day came.

As a go-to for both beauty and skincare advice, Anna is already pretty well informed on my likes/dislikes and hang-ups but we discussed coverage and colours and she set to work. The end result was in-line with my brief and I soon warmed to my glam reflection, feeling extra special for the remainder of the day and was able to see how the makeup lasted/settled on my skin over the course of the afternoon and evening. The following day I fed back my thoughts to Anna on just a couple of tweaks that I think would help nail the look; just a slight change in foundation and differing shade of eyeshadow, which she agreed on and had partly second-guessed I would say (see, told you she knows me well!)

What I would say to other brides-to-be, whether you know your makeup artist personally or not, is don’t be afraid to feedback your thoughts, both during and after your trial. Your makeup artist won’t be offended, it’s part of the job and the whole idea of a ‘trial’ is that’s exactly what it is, an opportunity to have a go and narrow down what you do, and do not, want. As the most important and photographed event of your life, it’s imperative you feel both comfortable and confident. So, absolutely take on board your makeup artist’s advice and ideas – don’t forget they are pros in this field and know how makeup photographs – but equally don’t sit in silence if you feel things need switching up a little – are you happy with the foundation coverage, colour and finish? Do you need a little less eyeliner or some fluttering false lashes in order to feel like you? Then just ask. Many makeup artists that we work with say the aim is for a bride to be a more polished version of themselves on their wedding day, and I couldn’t put it better myself.

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Now for a biggie! My dress has arrived and is currently in the loving hands of the bridal boutique being altered by their talented seamstress for the perfect fit. This is one area I don’t want to give too much away on, saving the big reveal for the wedding but I have to say that the team at the bridal boutique where I’ve purchased my dress from have been a total dream to work with, and the one thing I’ve not had a wobble over is my dress. From the first time I spotted it, to trying it on and then receiving it, I’ve just grown to love it even more and no other wedding dress (bearing in mind I see a LOT of wedding dresses) have managed to turn my head. Trying it on most recently for my fitting it once again reduced my mum to tears (God help my uber-emotional dad come the wedding day) and so reinforced that I’ve made the right decision.

If you are currently searching for your dress, I would say in my experience it really is all about getting that feeling and having no desire to continue the hunt further. I found in doing so I was only looking for a better version of the dress that I had already chosen and then it dawned on me – what if there is no better version, what if I’ve already found it, and so the search was officially called off.

Having already bagged my dream shoes from the princess of bridal footwear, Charlotte Mills, I’ve been starting to think about the other accessories and jewellery I will wear on the big day to complete the look.

As a good friend of mine (who will be in attendance at the wedding), I instantly turned to the lovely Debbie Carlisle to advise me on hair accessories. Attending an appointment at her welcoming Sheffield studio, I went through details of my dress, bridesmaid outfits and general styling for the day as well as ideas on how I would be wearing my hair so we could zone in on the best suited pieces for her amazingly beautiful collections – no easy feat when there is so much pretty!

However, following a wonderfully fun dress-up session, trying on different pieces, one stood out to both me and Debbie. It was something she had put together bespoke from two existing pieces in the collection while I was there for effect, and so she is currently making up the unique design ready to top off my attire and I really can’t wait to wear it!

Did I mention that it has been a busy couple of months?! And the next couple look to be equally active with pre-wedding loveliness as I prepare for my hair trial with stylist extraordinaire Jen Ashton of Wildflower Hair Company, get ridiculously excited about my hen do *whoops aloud*, have final chats with my suppliers and then go ahead and get the hell married. I’ll be back with one more Wedding Diary post before the big day though, so be sure to watch this space.

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