{Monday Muse} Diary of Natalie’s Wedding Planning – The Dress!

Happy Bank Holiday!

Isn’t it such a treat to wake up on a Monday morning and for it to be a Bank Holiday. I love them. So, what have you all been up to this weekend? Anybody tie the knot?

Well, for me, I have had a wonderful weekend.  I took a trip to Brighton with my mum for a couple of nights to have a browse round some wedding dress shops, for inspiration, of course. I wasn’t going to buy anything, surely looking for the perfect dress takes months?

I had a very good idea of the type of dress that I wanted, the designers that I love, styles that I certainly wouldn’t go near (meringue-princess-style!) I envisioned a tea-length dress, something cute, 50’s or 60’s style. However, I did decide that I wouldn’t rule everything out.  This was my opportunity to try on some exquisitely made dresses, not a chance I often get.  I researched the shops I was going to, making sure that there was a selection that I loved. I didn’t want to waste their time, or mine.


Lou Lou

Jenny Packham gowns, are as gorgeous as they look, yet actually on my hourglass figure they didn’t give me that “WOW” factor that I had hoped for – as beautiful as they looked, they weren’t ‘the one’.  Caroline Castigliano gowns were gorgeous, again not for me.. Naomi Neoh – OH MY GOD! I could have snapped it up there and then. In fact, I thought I had found the one I was after. I thought it looked gorgeous, but I didn’t feel emotional about it but then, should you?  I had another appointment booked for the following day, so if I was going to make a decision, I would do so tomorrow.

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Naomi Neoh

The next day, mum and I had a leisurely breakfast and stroll along the seafront and then made our way to the shop.  It was luxuriously-fabulous. I was lucky enough to have the manager sit with me, discuss my ideas, my likes and dislikes… She grasped what I was after instantly. She was fantastic.  Pretty much all of the gowns were fabulous, how would I decide?  From Claire Pettibone to Temperley… They were all beautiful.

I tried on a range of styles and ooh’d and aahh’d. I felt like a Hollywood movie star trying on all of these gowns.. If only I could choose all of my clothes like this.  I tried another one. It was incredible… was this the one?



Then, I tried on another one. It was perfect. I didn’t want to take it off, we all smiled. I had THAT moment.  Yes, my lovelies… I had a couple of tears! haha! Sound silly, doesn’t it. Incredible.

I hadn’t intended it to happen. But it happened. I found the dress. We celebrated with a glass of bubbly. It was and is wonderful.  I can’t quite believe it, but I am beyond thrilled with my choice. I wish I could show you a picture, but I want it to be a surprise for any friends that may be reading this… (even you, Karen!) hehe! I cannot WAIT to wear it, for Daniel to see me in it… What is even more special, is that Brighton is a place that is so special to us: we got engaged here, chose my engagement ring together, I got my dress here and Daniel will be getting his suit here, too.


Claire Pettibone

My top tips for going dress hunting:

1. Have an idea of your likes and dislikes.

2. Consider your venue.

3. Don’t rule out all long dresses or short dresses.

4. If you are self-concious about any area of your body, let the stylist know. However, you may find that with the cut and fabric used, areas you were self-concious about could actually look fab!

5. Research the shops before you go, ensure they have styles you like.

6. However tempting it is, DON”T try on a dress that is way over budget – it could lead to disappointment.

7. Wear flesh coloured or at least white underwear – black knickers beneath those dresses is a no-no! I luckily thought of this prior to any appointments.

8. Trust your instincts – if you are unsure, have a think. You have to feel beautiful and truly happy in your dress so that confidence will radiate.

9. I would suggest going with your mum or best friend. Too many people could lead to confusion and be a bit stressful.

10. Celebrate your purchase with a glass of bubbly – or a bottle of bubbly, like me and my mum did.

11. One for luck – Have a fabulous time!


Until Next Time xxx

{Monday Muse} Natalie’s Love Story & Planning Their Wedding…

Happy Monday!

So, how did you all get on with your wedding plans this weekend? Did any of you book a venue? Or, if you have just become engaged and have found your way to our little corner of the web, then ‘Congratulations’!

As you may well have gathered, I too, am engaged and in the stages of planning our wedding – I know, first-hand how excited you’re all feeling! Here’s a little bit about me and my intended, the dashing Daniel.


After falling head over heels in love, I was proposed to in Brighton in August 2011. It was our first mini holiday away together and we had planned to stay in the New Forest in a cosy little cottage but the day before, we decided to  go to Brighton for the night, too.  All excited, we headed out for what was a delicious meal and of course, copious amounts of Prosecco.  We’d been talking about getting married and then, out of the blue, Daniel suddenly got down on one knee and spontaneously proposed. I instantly said “YES!” .  It all seemed like a dream – and it was, it was a dream come true. The next morning we headed out to the Brighton Lanes, hand in hand, with the biggest smiles upon our faces, in search of my ring.  Catching both our eyes in one jewellers, we found the perfect ring. Gorgeous.  Daniel, then proposed all over again on the beach, this time with a ring and to the sound of people clapping and smiling.  We celebrated with a ride on the Carousel on the Pier (yes, we are very young at heart! haha) and then headed off to our hideaway in the New Forest.  I still feel really emotional reliving that… *sigh*. Being with Daniel and now knowing i’m going to be his wife and he, my husband, is the most incredible feeling.  It’s amazing to know that i’m going to marry my best friend and soulmate and share this wonderful thing called life together. *swoon*


Just After Getting The Ring!

Choosing our venue wasn’t too difficult, as we had planned to be engaged for a couple of years before tying the knot – as i’m sure you have probably realised, weddings can be VERY expensive. We fluttered between venues in Essex (where we are from) to venues in the Cotswolds (where we were about to move to). We eventually stumbled upon an extremely unique and beautiful venue in the Cotswolds, The Matara.  It was perfect for us. Tranquil, far from ostentatious, private, beautiful.  It offered everything we could have dreamed of.  Like the cliche often goes with love and weddings, it really was ‘the one’.  It felt right for both of us.  The wedding is not and was never was just about what I wanted.  It’s about us; Daniel and I.  Therefore, how Daniel feels  is paramount to me.  We are getting married on 21st June 2014 – Midsummers Day!  WOOHOO!

That was in January and now, in July, we have come to the point where the real planning is taking place.  Only last week, we went to the Registrar and gave official notice to marry! It made it all feel so real and we were both SO excited! It felt a little like a test – but alas, we passed! Hehe! So, that’s where we are at currently… I will, of course, keep you posted on the next stages.  I’m actually starting the wedding dress search with my darling mother soon, so I will no doubt bore you with endless ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’s over different dresses.



Love Natalie xxx