Thursday, 30 January 2014

Dress up time!

So todays post is going to be a bit of a mixed bag! It will start off nice, possibly go into a bit of a rant and then come back round to being nice again, I promise! Stick with me!

So this week is a really exciting one. Ciara, my Chief of Honour (She's no ones maid! lol) and Sister, is coming home from london for the weekend, Me, my mum, Cathy (bridesmaid) and Ciara are going Dress Shopping! Sqweeeeee! Ciara has been incredible. She has organised not only our accomodation but also two appointments at two of the most beautiful Bridal Shops in Belfast. We are starting off at Angel Star Brides and then on to Pronuptia.
 Angel Star

Pronuptia

I am so excited to go! Hopefully we will be able to facetime Nuala so she can see everything!

I have some expectations of what it is like to go to a bridal shop. It will be so much fun looking at dresses, and maybe finding "the dress".

My Facebook feed has been taken over by so many Bridal shop pages. I recently saw one which was on my way home from work and saw that they had a very impressive sale, in fact they were having a dress sale were some items were only £100! I decided to stop off at the shop to have a look at their shoes and veils! 
Here's what probably should have happened;

I walk up to the door, if it was locked I would ring the bell and someone would come to the door.
Girl from shop, "Hi there, how are you?"
Me, "I'm great, thanks very much, how are you?"
Girl, "I'm doing fine, have you an appointment with us or are you just browsing?"
Me, "Actually I saw your sale on facebook and wanted to have a look at your shoes!"
Girl, "Oh thats great, what type are your looking for?"
I would then describe my ideal shoes.
Girl, "I'm afraid we don't have any exactly like that, but tell me what size you are and I will see what we have that might be another option."
Me, "size 8"
Girl, "I'm afraid we only have these few left in a size 8 due to the sale"
Me, "That's fine,  can I have a look through the veils and the dresses?"
Girl "Of course you can, we actually have an appointment in, so you won't be able to try anything on, but if there is anything you like the look of we can note it down, and maybe book an appointment for you?"

At this stage I would have probably agreed to checking with my mum and sister to see if they were ok to take a trip to this shop as well at some stage. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. I actually had the closest experience to *that* Pretty Woman scene I think I will ever have - obviously without the prostitute thing!
I guess I just wasn't their kind of person. Either I didn't look like I had enough money, or because I was on my own, I didn't have the nicest experience at all.
What actually happened:
I walk up to shop door which is clear glass and see three women standing around the desk. I attempt to open the door but it is locked, the women look at me...
I then press the door bell and one of the women comes to the door and unlocks it.
Woman 1, "It freezing out there isn't it."
Me, "It really is."
Woman 1, "So do you know what you are looking for?"
Me (a little taken back), "Oh well, I saw you were having the sale on Facebook and saw some of your lovely shoes.
Woman 1, "Yes there are here, what size are you lookin'?'
Me, "a size 8"
Woman 1, "Well I don't think we have any, these are all the shoes we have now, let me look and see"
She starts pulling down individual shoes to check their size.
Me ," Actually I have a particular style in mind"
I describe the shoe in basic - obviously can't talk about it on here yet!
Woman 1, "We only really have this shoe and this shoe in your size"
Shows me two shoes the complete opposite to what I had asked for.
Me, "No problem, I was wondering if you have any (proceed to describe a veil I had seen online and couldn't quite remember what it was called)
Woman behind desk practically groans the correct name for the veil as though it was the most tedious question anyone had ever asked. 
Woman 1, "Yes we have a few of those."
Me, "May I see them?"
Woman 1 grabs one from a rail, "Here's one, we have either white or ivory, you don't get tones of Ivory"
Me, " That's lovely"
I would have loved to have been offered to even look at the veil on in a mirror but the "ladies" were not forthcoming with any niceness.
Woman behind desk, "Do you even know what kind of style you are going for?"
Me,"Yes" 
I then described my dress, that if I can't find in a shop, or that won't arrive in time if I order it,  I plan to have made to my exact measurements. 
Woman behind desk, "I've seen it a hundred times, you'll be back looking for a dress from us"
Me, "Do you have any in (style I am looking for)?"
Woman behind desk, "Yes, but they aren't in the sale" - she then turns around and starts speaking to the until now silent 3rd woman.
Woman 1, "You couldn't try any of ours on anyway tonight as we have an appointment in."
At this stage I was done with them. I handed back the veil and said thanks very much, that I might be back tomorrow to look at the veil again.

I have absolutely no intention of heading back to that shop, and had considered naming them on here, but I wouldn't even give them the views to their website!

So my first visit to a Bridal shop wasn't the experience I was expected but I can't wait to have a real treat of going with my Mum and 2 of my bridesmaids!

The second part of the weekend with my ladies, I am super excited for! 
This Sunday 2nd February, is the Quirky Weddings' Fair! It will have everything from Venues like the Nomadic in Belfast, to a Wedding video cinema, and even some of the most amazing cakes I have ever seen! James and I went last September before we were even engaged just to have a nosey around, and to hand out some business cards from Taggled

I really can't wait and will be writing all about it next week! 
This really is the weekend for wedding fairs. some of the others happening are:
and of course

I am really hoping to make it to the Ulster Herald Wedding fair in September, just before the wedding to pick up any last minute bits and pieces we might need!

So there you have it one very long, mixed bag of a post! Looking forward to writing about what happens this weekend next week!
 


Monday, 27 January 2014

The Big ‘D’ word


This I know is a touchy subject to be coving however it is an important part. In the back of every bride and grooms mind is how they going to look standing in front of a sea of people. Getting photographs taken that will be looked upon for years to come.

The Diet

People do comment that I have lost ‘a pile of weight’ to which I normally reply “Sure I’ve got a dress to fit into”. I have actively been trying to lose weight for the last 9-12 months or so and have just come down under to the 3 stone marker. This has been tough going (I am very regimental in my eating habits). So much so I eat the same thing every day. I know this sounds a bit odd but I have worked it outI can have all the food I enjoy and it is sustainable, until I reach my target.

I do truly believe that Catherine is the most beautiful creature I have ever set my eyes upon and that I wouldn’t change a thing about her or want her to feel that she needs to change. This is about me. She deserves the best, I am no oil painting but I will do my best to try and look striking for her.

Below is my diet, I do hope that this does not cause too much controversy. I do understand that the body needs all different nutrients and vitamins. However I will point out that this is not a diet for life just until I reach my target. Basically the idea is that my calorie intake for a day is 1500kcal. I eat at regular intervals with quite large portioning.

Breakfast (7am) Approx 420 Cal

 

4 x Weetabix

300ml Semi Skimmed Milk

 

Tea (10am) Approx 250 Cal

 

2 x Brennan White Bread

1 x Galtee honey roast ham Slice

1 x Low Low cheese slice

 

Lunch (1pm) Approx 250 Cal

 

2 x Brennan White Bread

1 x Galtee honey roast ham Slice

1 x Low Low cheese slice

 

Dinner (5pm-7pm) Approx 450 Cal

 

300g mixed Frozen Vegetables (approx 180 Cal)

100g Chicken fillet cooked Sliced (approx 110 Cal)

150ml Pasata (tomato Sauce) (approx 40 Cal)

Generous sprinkle of Chilli pepper powder – kick starts the metabolism

50ml HP Brown Sauce (approx 60 Cal)

50ml HP BBQ Sauce (Green Label) (approx 60 Cal)

 

Snack (8pm-9pm) Approx 95 Cal

Half of a Flyte Bar

Check Nutritional info and eat whatever you feel like but make sure it adds up to approx 450 Cal:

Dinner Alternate

100g Chicken fillet cooked Sliced

200g mixed Stir Fry vegetables

150ml Curry Sauce

150g Pre cooked Low cal noodles

 

This is what has worked for me. I have also started back to 6 a side football. This is to keep fit but more a chance to reconnect with all the lads before the eventual stag do! – (Plans to come)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Not one for a scrap...

So yet again I am late with my post, but if you have been keeping an eye on my facebook or twitter you will have seen that I haven't been well. 

In nicer news, you will all now have seen the amazing news that we are going to be featured on the North West Brides Magazine website! The response we have had has been such a surprise! 

I always thought when I got engaged I would be living in a house full of wedding magazines, that I'd be the type of bride who would have a wedding scrapbook teeming over with ideas. But we have been quite refined with all the planning in the house. 

This is the entirety of our hardcopy wedding things. The Getting Married in Northern Ireland magazine is the first one I got and it's actually a few years old! The third booklet is the catalog from SD Kells that James picked up whilst looking for suits.

What I hadn't noticed before we got engaged was that we have fantastic publications helping you with planning your wedding in Northern Ireland. Many have the best tips for offers going on at venues, and even venues you may not have thought about. It's also amazing to see Local weddings, and having a nosey for people you might know!

Instead of having a big scrapbook I have found Pinterest really useful for pulling together ideas! I obviously can't show you mine right now because there are a few specifics that might give away all the surprises we have planned!

I am so glad that James is so decisive, as I am really not. I think that if I was left to my devices nothing would be organised by now!

I've been properly surprised by the lead time on so many of the components to the wedding! Some things I thought would only take a few weeks actually can take up to 9 months, but that's for another post!

Monday, 20 January 2014

I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair...


I have found that being engaged comes with a lot of questions and follow up questions.
Namely “how’s the organising going?” is top of the list. But there are a few key topics that are asked about frequently. The church, the venue, the photographer and then it’s the florist.

The flowers at a wedding play a larger role than one would expect. They are responsible for setting the atmosphere in the church, the scene at the reception, tying in the colour scheme throughout not to mention finding the next bride to be with the rugby scrum that is the throwing of the bouquet.
At this point I would love to say that at the many weddings Catherine and I have attended that she was one of the lucky girls that fought hard and caught the bouquet. Sadly no. However I did fall madly for her and she caught me so that’s something of a consolation.

The florist for our wedding is my Mums good friend and my unofficial Auntie, Iona Leonard. Iona was the florist for both of my sister’s weddings. The work she does cannot be praised highly enough. All fresh cut flowers delicately arranged with different types and colours all working in harmony to produce a beautiful masterpiece. She does get very excited about it and I’m sure that since our wedding is in the Autumn, she will have a range of flowers and ideas that are around in that late time of the year. I was overjoyed when she offered to be the florist for our big day.


I can say that honestly I will not have much input into the flowers of the big day that would be more Catherine’s department. I do trust that Iona will deliver a spectacular arrangement for us.
Once again we got very lucky in regards to the florist. There are plenty of resources available that can help whilst making a decision about flowers and bouquets. Simple Google searches, bridal magazines and wedding website.

This leads me on to our next exciting reveal…


Catherine and I have been approached by North West Bride magazine.

Between now and the wedding NW Bride Magazine website will be featuring the How Geeks Get Married Blog!
We are so excited to be sharing our story with even more people, and will also be featured in the Magazine!

The Blog will be going up on www.north-westbrides.com this week and we will let you know as soon as it goes live!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

whoops!

How did that happen! Two days late with a post! Shame on me! It's been a busy time since coming back from Las Vegas. We've been booking things, getting arrangements made and really doing a lot of planning. Which leads to todays blog.

 I am an iPhone geek and love me an app. To be honest, one of the very first things i did after we got engaged was look at apps that might help us out on the way to the wedding. The very first one i downloaded was one called WedPics

I love this app. Not only can I upload my pics, and organise them into Engagement, Wedding (right down to ceremony and reception), Honeymoon and memory lane, but so can my friends and family. We will be sending out invites to my friends and family soon so that they can add pictures along our journey. 









We'd love for you all to be part of it so, from our engagement party to the actual wedding, we'd love to see your photos on WedPics! To get started, share any favorite photos from our collective pasts to the Memory Lane album!
Download the WedPics App on the google app store or on iTunes.
Enter the Wedding ID Code:CatherineJames
Or upload your photos on the web:
http://www.wedpics.com/album/MTQ2NTkz



Monday, 13 January 2014

Worth a thousand words...


So yes our venue is chosen, we have our wedding party, our date but most importantly we have each other.

There is obviously a lot of sensitive information that cannot be shared like colour scheme, themes or other surprises. These all will be revealed in time however most likely after the wedding so our guests can enjoy the day with no prior knowledge of what to expect.

There are a few core elements that seem to be a requirement at a wedding. One of them is a photographer. This is quite an important role in a wedding. The photographer is the person responsible for ensuring all the precious memories are caught and kept safe.

I personally don’t enjoy getting my photo taken (although ask Catherine and she will tell you I am a poser). In a world filled with smart phones and digital cameras nobody takes the time to put the camera down and just enjoy the moment. Thus the importance of a great photographer, the responsibility of taking pictures is down to them. Even though I can imagine Catherine posing for a “selfie” at the alter.

Our photographer is in fact my Uncle, Malachy. I know from past experience he is a dream to work with. He was the photographer at my sister’s wedding back in July 2013 where I was a groomsman. There is none of this fluffing around getting people into position, no awkward moments where you feel uncomfortable posing for a shot in front of a stranger. In this sense I guess we are lucky that I have a relative that is gifted with an eye for “the shot”. I can rest well in the knowledge that he will be there for all the right moments and can try and shoot me from a flattering angle. He has nothing to worry about when it comes to Catherine as she always looks stunning, and I’m sure she will leave me breathless on the big day.
An addition note I feel I must add, do have a word with the photographer you have chosen, let them know that the wedding day morning will be hectic as it always is. Invite them to take photographs that can be taken in advance such as the dress possibly some flowers the rings, the bride and bridesmaids standing around in robes drinking Champagne (I’m sure this will happen a lot in the days leading up to the wedding). Also he may wish to visit the venue beforehand encase he has never been there before also it gives you the opportunity to share some of your ideas you may have thought up while you were visiting the venue in the first place but on the day have forgotten about since you are so happy and excited.

The wedding album becomes a cherished item in the home. Catherine and I have flipped through both of our parents wedding albums and you can tell that it brings back fond memories for them as I hope it does for us when we look back thru it for many years to come.



Thursday, 9 January 2014

The next big reveal!

So as you will have read, I have been in Las Vegas for the past week working, hence the delay in getting this blog up. Its a long trek between Nevada and Tyrone!

I guess is the blog I have been most excited about writing. I get to tell you all where we are having our reception!

Like we have said, we have spent s much time planning out the pros and cons of all our options - distance from the Church, Space for those we are inviting (a surprisingly few spots were it would feel comfortable to have 200 people!) and it had to be a place where we could have the freedom to do some of our more "us" things.

Luckily for us the spot we are having has all these things and just feels so right!

James and I are happy to announce we are having our wedding reception in Lusty Beg in the beautiful Fermanagh.

Our first trip to Lusty Beg as a couple was for my amazing friend Stacey's Wedding back in October 2012.

It was a gorgeous day and we had so much fun. We both agreed the place was just stunning, but had a homely charm that we hadn't seen anywhere else.



We made our appointment to meet with the wedding co-ordinator and have had a lot of contact with them since. But all those plans are for another post!!!

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Search continues…


First and foremost let’s clear something up… Any super sleuth (Sherlock) facebookers that noticed when Catherine shared her post on facebook “with James Muldoon” in “Las Vegas”, we did not jet off to the Little White Chapel and get married by Elvis Presley in a 1960s Cadillac Coupe Deville. This was an idea of mine but was shot down really quickly, however I still think it would have been epic!!! Sadly Catherine is there on business and I am left home alone. (Sidenote: do not watch Home Alone whilst acutally being home alone, freaked me out, there are booby traps everywhere now!!!)

As I have previously posted we have had many venues to consider all with their pros and cons.

A major contender was the Sliverbirch hotel in Omagh. The ceremony will be taking place in Omagh so this would have been really handy for us and our guests. The Sliverbirch islocated 5 minutes from the Sacred Heart Church. The grounds surrounding the hotel are very nice and the hotel itself is great. The only and reason we went against the Silverbirch Hotelwas that they hosted my sister’s wedding back in July 2013. Thanks to both my sisters the Greenvale and Silverbirch were off the list.

 



Next up was Corick House Hotel and Spa in Clogher. Once again this venue looks stunning and has loads of great places for wedding photographs. The staff are friendly and they have loads of space that could accommodate our entire guest list doubled. This however wasn’t the place for us. The fact that I would be traveling to Omagh from Aughnacloy just to go back down the road again was too much for my compulsive nature to comprehend. Added to this my best mate (Dinky) had his reception there not but 4 months ago, we share a lot of friends.

 


 

It seems that when you really start to look into it, there are a vast number of venues you can choose from, even in a not so big corner of the world like Northern Ireland. This brings me to our next choice. The Great Northern Hotel Bundoran, Ireland. This venue is located on a golf course right next to the beach. The d├ęcor is stunning and it is altogether not that far out of the way from Omagh. However it just wasn’t right for us.

 


 

At this point I can say that yes, Catherine and I have chosen our venue. However I think it would be better coming from her. But what can I say about it without giving it all away.“Spoilers” – (Doctor Who reference.)

The venue drew Catherine and I too it. It was almost like we didn’t go looking for it, it simply found us. It was one of the first places we went to go and visit when we were deciding on a venue. From the moment we left there we were telling ourselves “that was nice… really nice… hmmmm we had better keep checking around tho. The telling sign for us was that every other venue we went to see and thought about we inadvertently compared it to ours. I think the both of us fell for the place. I think it got to the point we were already making plans around our chosen venue whilst looking at others. My only advice would be do go looking around elsewhere and do consider different places there are loads out there and without looking and comparing them you will not find the one that is perfect for you. We spent many nights discussing the pros and cons of them all, eventually it will click together and the place that reflects you as a couple will emerge from the pack and you will think to yourself why did you waste the time looking around. Believe me that wasn’t time wasted, for us it simply concreted our desire for our chosen spot.


Choosing a venue is probably one of most important decisions to make when organising a wedding, I am overjoyed with our choice, so much so that I find myself every now and againdaydreaming and imagining our wedding photographs together. I’d be standing in the most fantastic surroundings holding tightly the most beautiful girl I could very have dreamed up for myself.

Check out Catherine’s post on Thursday for the venue to be revealed

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Change of Plans

I want to apologise for the major delay in this post. I am currently over in Las Vegas and the travel/prep kind of took over! Don't worry, James isn't with me, we aren't eloping or even planning the stag/hen dos here! I am here working! Promise!

Anyway, on with the reason you are reading this! Back to the wedding. This is going to be a short one!

We've had to make a bit of a reshuffle with the date of the wedding. 


People had said from the beginning that things will happen that mess things up, but not to worry too much. We've had one of those! I I'll probably write about it further down the line, it was a tough shock but it want eh end if the world and we've dealt with it now!

We are now getting married on the 9th of October! That means one less week until I am Mrs Muldoon! It's actually crazy to think that next Thursday will be 9 months to the wedding!



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