Thursday, 27 February 2014

What's in a name?

Your wedding day is obviously a massive day for any couples life but its a massive day for a girl who is giving up her surname!

Now don't get me wrong, I can't wait until I am Mrs Catherine Muldoon, but I've come up against a couple bumps in the road.

They are entirely selfish problems… For those who don't know I am the Marketing Manager at Taggled. I have been working in Digital media and marketing for a while now and have been building up my presence online. There are quite a lot of Catherine Morrises online and it took a bit of work to get my name on the front page of Google. Starting over would be even more work.

No matter what you say, everyone has googled their own name at least once! Googling my soon to be married name seemed like a good idea, kind of the signing your diary with your new signature for the 21st century.

I thought I'd do a check on who I might be up against…



That's right, the "other" Catherine Muldoon was 2012 Miss Virgina USA… Seriously! She's not just gorgeous, but she's also a Doctor of Dentistry!

So, yeah…

James and I talked about maybe being the "Morris-Muldoons". I say we talked about it… I mentioned it and James said "No Chance, we'd sound like a dance troop".  So that was out. 

Loads of people also asked if we'd consider being the Morris's. I don't think this ever really came to my mind before. Its really important to me to take James's name. As my boss Ian mentioned today, getting married is the joining of two people to become one family. It will probably take a while for me to get used to being the next Mrs C Muldoon (James' mum is also C Muldoon) but I think I can get used to it…

I best get the use out of my name (and my business cards!) while I still can. 

Miss Catherine Morris 

Monday, 24 February 2014

It's the car, right? Chicks love the car!


The mode of transportation to the wedding is very import.

They ensure the bride to be is on time and at the right place. The car makes the happy couple feel like superstars (it’s like walking through the airport with darks sunglasses on, acting like you are a film star making your way to set avoiding the paparazzi.)

In the beginning I begged Catherine for a special car. To the core of my being, I truly wanted to roll up to the church in the BATMOBILE. Now, not the Tumbler from the rebooted Batman series, not even the Batmobile from the original Michael Keaton series, but the original Adam West 1960’s Batmobile.

This would be a dream come true.

Sadly the practicality of it all wouldn’t allow for this dream. To rationalise this I told myself I have my dream girl so I can settle for not having my dream car. Besides it’s a two seater so we wouldn’t get the rest of the bridal party in it.


Next up was the DMC Delorean from back to the future. It would be so fantastic to have this as a second option. The exact line from me was “well if we can’t have the Batmobile can we at least have the Delorean?”
The car came with the same issues as before, when you take into consideration the flux capacitor there isn’t a lot of room left for passengers.



There are loads of options one can choose for the day. My sister Claire went for two vintage classic cars, while my other sister had a limo. My mate Dinky had organised a surprise for his new wife and were collected at the church in a white horse drawn carriage (she had no idea about it).


We will be using the service of Glendale Limousines. They offer a choice from the newest fleet of luxury wedding cars driven by a pristine chauffeur to add all the glamour and extravagance we could wish for, and most importantly, get Catherine to the church on time. We even have the option to personalise our limousine with wedding car decoration and a custom-made number plate.



All that being said I would still act surprised if Catherine organises me a quick spin in the Batmobile.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Dum, dum di dum...

If you are friends with me on Facebook you will know that today's post is all about music.

Choosing the music for the marriage ceremony is really Important. I am lucky as I have grown up in an area where singing is a talent which is highly encouraged, and at every wedding I have been to I have been blown away by the singers.


You may have recently seen this incredible video of Niall Donnelly singing his bride down the aisle. It's absolutely beautiful, and not only is he a local lad, but he is actually my cousin's cousin (no jokes on how we are all related in some way in Tyrone!)

 James's sister, Michelle, had the wonderful Nuala McBride singing at her ceremony as well as at the reception.  Nuala is incredibly talented across a range of instruments as well as a a singer!

I first met Nuala last year as she had entered the Tyrone Selections of the Rose of Tralee, where I am a member of the committee. Another entrant was Orlaith McGinn.

Orlaith and I had been friends since we were babies. Our parents have been friends for years. When we were younger we would hang out all the time, and one of my favourite memories growing up is sitting in the McGinn's front room and singing (well me attempting to sing) All Saints' Never Ever.  Both Orlaith and her sister Aisling are incredible singers. I can't hear the song Summertime without thinking of the rendition Orlaith did as the soloist in our school choir. 

When James and I confirmed the date of the wedding, we started looking at all the other things we needed for the day. 
Excitingly at the same time I saw that Orlaith had launched a page for the music Group OuR Music.
It was meant to be! Thankfully Orlaith was available (there was no chance she was getting out of our wedding- The Ginns were shoe ins for an invite ;) ) and she will be singing on our very special day! Now just to decide the actual songs...

I am going to leave you with this amazing video of Orlaith and Ryan from OuR Music singing Bright Blue Rose

Monday, 17 February 2014

Wherever we go, there we are…


Catherine and I would consider ourselves quite well travelled. Between us we have been most everywhere. As the wedding plans have gone on and decisions been made there is one topic that we simply cannot decide on, the Honeymoon. We have a funny thing where almost simultaneously we look at each other, think it together, and say “Problem for Future James and Future Catherine?” to which we both nod and agree to let our future selves deal with it.

There are a couple of options that we keep coming back too…

Ireland – We have lived here all our lives however there are parts of our own country that we have never seen. Although we have the gift of the gab, I have never been to kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork and neither of us have seen the cliffs of Moher where parts of ‘Lord of the Rings’ was filmed. Although Catherine has been to see some of the sets to Game of Thrones I would love to go too. This would be a grand idea for a Honeymoon however since it is supposed to be our “once in a lifetime” holiday and is so significant, I feel we should push the boat out a little bit.

Cruise – You can’t push the boat out any more than a cruise. Originally Catherine and I were all set for going on a cruise with Catherine’s family. For Rosemarie’s birthday and her and Liam’s 30th wedding anniversary (The same week as me and Catherine’s wedding, you’d almost start to think I planned all this stuff to happen!) we were all supposed to be heading for a Mediterranean Cruise. The family cruise was off. So it would almost be fitting that we go on one for our Honeymoon. Mediterranean, Caribbean, Icelandic, there are loads to choose from. My only issue with it is I am not sure how well we land lovers would handle the open seas and I don’t fancy spending the whole honeymoon portside feeding the fishes.

Spain – Sun, Sea and Strawberry Daiquiris. It is many peoples idea of heaven heading off to warmer climates for a relaxing vacation. Catherine and I went to Santa Ponza in July 2013. It might make me sound like an old fogey, after the bars there was very little to be doing, mostly it was young’uns drinking too much and making a wild racket. We really enjoyed our time there however we are not sun worshipers and we like to have a good balance of relaxation and activities. (note from Catherine - what James means by a “good balance” is that he can do the activities and I can do the relaxation!)


America – This option has been our “go-to holiday” over the plan making. Florida keeps popping up. As I mentioned we have both spent time in America. I have lived in California and Catherine is no stranger to Texas, plus last month she went to Las Vegas for her job.

Egypt – I have always wanted to see the pyramids. It is defiantly a bucket list item for me. That being said I feel that I could knock that out in a day. It would be like National Lampoons Vacation “Admire, admire, admire… ok let’s go!” Even without taking into consideration the unrest in the country, it doesn’t seem to be a place I’d like to stay for an extended amount of time.



Basically we would appreciate your input. Do not hesitate in posting a comment about where you think would be nice for us to go. Even places that you have enjoyed yourselves. It’s about time Future James and Future Catherine make a decision. We will definitely do a post on the destination we choose.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The One

So today is a massive post for me.

I am going to be talking about "the Dress".

I am going to share something with you all, and this will be this first time James learns about most of this!
I have always planned to have my dress made for my wedding, and I never planned to spend a lot of money on it. There are so many options online I was 100% sure that was the way I was going to go. I had gone so far as to get a seamstress's number to get all the perfect measurements. I had found the dress that I had settled on! I was really happy, the reviews of the page was awesome, plus I was getting a complete bargain!
I had heard from so many people that you will end up going for the totally opposite dress style as you think. Things don't always suit the way you think. I guess I wanted to cover all my bases so I found another website that did fancy copies of dresses for in and around £100. I decided to go for it. I bought myself a "just in case dress".

I was all set. Then my sister sent me a message saying she was going to be home in a few weeks, and she'd booked us in to two Bridal shops to try on dresses. It was the same weekend as the Quirky Weddings Alternative wedding fair. It was all set to be a great girly weekend!

On the Friday night my mum picked me up from James and I's house and we made our way up to Belfast. Ciara was flying in from England on Saturday morning at 7am, and rather than having to get up super early we decided to stay in the Maldron Hotel next to the International Airport. I have to say it was a big surprise! Fantastic staff, great sized rooms and free parking!

Anyway, Mum and I settled down and attempted to get as much sleep as our excitement would let us! At about 5.55am Mum decided to text Ciara and see how she was getting on in the Airport. 2 minutes later and the phone rang. Ciara had just woken and was still in her hotel, her flight was closing in 35 minutes. Next thing Ciara was off the phone and we had no idea as to whether she'd make her flight or not. We began searching for the next flights we could get her on and found nothing. Then we started talking about making our way over to see her. 30 minutes later and another phone call. She was through security and in the queue for her flight! Panic over you may say… well no. Us Morris folk don't make it easy for ourselves! Next thing we got a text, "queued for wrong flight. was going to Barcalona"



Another few minutes and another text

"I'm on the plane"
"to belfast"

At this stage mum and I are ridiculously relieved but still a little bit on edge. An hour and a bit later Ciara arrives into Belfast International and there are tears all around!

We made our way to the Beautiful Angel Star Bridal shop on the Lisburn Road. We were meeting Cathy there (unfortunately Nuala Couldn't make it over, but she is coming to visit soon, so I am super excited to see her!). The girls where lovely and the room was just incredible. The dresses were just beautiful! I had the chance to try on three gorgeous ones over my 1 hour 45 minute appointment.

Now brides to be, I am going to be totally honest. Although the dresses were absolutely stunning, I just didn't feel like they were for me. I felt like I was dressing up as someone else being a bride. The girls oo'd and ahh'd and I tried on veils. I'm not great with being the centre of attention at the best of times, but not feeling like myself, I just freaked out a little bit. I ended up having to rush myself out of the dress. The panic attack took over. Apparently I may have even snapped at the rest of them :S

So once we had left the shop and got me a bottle of water I was back on form! I had manage to clear my head and realised that this was just another shopping day where I got to try on pretty dresses and twirl around!

Off to our next stop! We made our way over the Pronuptia. As soon as I walked in through the door it felt special. Even though there were a few other brides in the shop, it didn't feel like we were all in each others way. Everyone was so engrossed in their own groups no one had a chance to have a look at the others!



I was greeted by the lovely Lynn and went straight to look at some dresses. Lynn was just fantastic! I felt like it was one of my friends helping me in and out of stunning dresses that I felt comfortable in.

Now I am a big girl, so no shop is going to have samples in that would fit, it just wouldn't make sense! Thankfully Lynn clipped me into each of the dresses. It was just a fantastic experience. And then in the third dress I tried on I felt it. The feeling that nearly every bride that I have spoken to says they have felt. Before I even looked in the mirror I knew it was it.

The One. My Dress.

And then I walked out into the room. I don't know whether it was my face, they felt that my vibe had changed or if the dress was just that gorgeous, but the girls all had tears in their eyes. That was it. I was buying my dress, in the most amazing shop, with friends (including Lynn) all around me. Even Jacqueline the fabulous owner of Pronuptia came over and recognised that it was the one.

So I had headed to Belfast expecting to have a girly weekend and I was 1 day in and I was paying my measurements deposit! I just didn't think it would happen.

So now it will be 6 months until I see my dress, thats 2 months before the wedding! It's really going to fly!!!





Monday, 10 February 2014

Interesting Fact…

The term 'honeymoon' first originated in Babylon, about 4,000 years ago. Honeymoon came into use for the month after a wedding, when the bride's father would give the groom all the mead he wanted. Mead is actually a honey beer, and being so, the Babylon's calendar was a lunar calender, which is based off the moon. They then started to call that month, the 'honey month', which we now have adapted to be honeymoon.

This interesting fact is brought to you by Wikipedia. Not always the fountain of truthful information but I like to believe it’s true.

Three months before my 28th birthday, around the time I had decided to ask for Catherine’s hand. I decided that I wanted to add another skill to my quiver of past times. By this time I had become quite the Baker with a long gallery for cakes and buns (yes a future post will go into this in more detail) also I had hit a pinnacle point with my work in crochet. My next adventure was the magical world of brewing beer.
 

 
It was a random Thursday when I arrived home from work when I ran into the house to be greeted by Catherine, once again I was like an excited little boy who thought he had invented sliced bread.

“CATHERINE...” (pause for dramatic effect) “I have had the best idea ever!!!” (more dramatic pausing) “I am going to start brewing my own Beer!!!! I’ve even got a name for it all figured out… LIQUID COURAGE”

Catherine - “How the heck did you know I was going to get you a Beer brewing kit for your birthday?”

This was all the proof I needed, if I ever needed proof to begin with. Catherine is my soul mate, my other half. She knows what I want before I even dream up the crazy thing I want. She completes me.

This all leads me back to the interesting fact. Honey Mead. Whilst brewing my beer, which I received in time to brew and serve at my birthday (Clever move Catherine) I decided to go the extra mile and brew my own Honey Mead. This was a simple process of fermenting honey in water with yeast. I had even thought of a name “MORRIS MEAD”.

Trust me there is a connection.                                                                                     

So Honeymoon – Honey Mead… I thought it would be an awesome idea that as our wedding favours that each person would receive a miniature bottle of honey mead with a tagline about the interesting fact. This idea is not the one we will be using for our wedding however feel free to use it yourself.

This brings me full circle around to where my next post will continue… the Honeymoon.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Everyone likes a bit of Quirk in their life...

It's been a very productive week since my last post! If you recall I mentioned I'd be heading to Quirky Wedding Alternative Wedding Fair in the Waterfront in Belfast!

This was my second visit to the fair. Last February, I attended it as a girlfriend. The wonderful Cate Conway invited me again this year as a blogger which was just lovely (thank you Cate!). 

It was amazing this time going with a date (the last time we went we ended up making up a date for our non-existent wedding due to everyone asking when it was!). There were some incredible vendors there again and I am planning on doing interviews with some of the super awesome ones (all of them were incredible!). 

I thought I'd give you a quick guide to attending a Wedding fair! 


  • Do your research - have a look at the fair's website, or ask friends who have been there before. Having an idea of what companies and services are going to be there can help. It can be a very overwhelming experience at your first wedding fair!

  • Make a list of questions – what are you looking for, is there a particular service or product you want to research, what would you like to know from the venue, what are your burning questions? Use your phone, or a notepad to record these so you don't forget!

  • Take a friend/parent/partner – don’t attempt it alone as you’ll need someone to bounce ideas off, help gather information and get a second opinion. I brought my mum and two of my bridesmaids!

  • Wear comfortable shoes!

  •  Don’t forget your diary so you can schedule any appointments and work out dates

  • Quotes – be sure to collect as many quotes as possible so you can compare and contrast once you are home, don’t get carried away by the details and distracted by the free samples!

  • Take your wedding scrap book / swatches / colours. If you have settled on your colour theme, or have strong ideas about decor – don’t forget to take samples, or your scrap book of ideas to show to the suppliers. They will be able to give you advice and bounce off your ideas, and you’ll find out if they are doable or just wild fantasy! It may also help to secure more realistic quotes if a supplier can visualise your ideas.

  •  Fill in all the free prizes and give aways – you never know what you might win! There were some amazing prizes!

  • Consider setting up an email address specifically for your wedding – to give to wedding suppliers, this will prevent lots of annoying spam and you can close this account after the wedding.

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself! Take the chance to check things out that you might not normally have thought of.  Check out the video below that I made  of some of the incredible suppliers!



Don't forget to click on the tags for more information! you can even buy the track from within the video!




Monday, 3 February 2014

I am Iron Man…


There is one thing that is required of a groom on the day of the wedding (other than showing up early and worrying about his bride to be showing up) and that is to look sharp, dapper, distinguished; basically he has to scrub up well. This post will centre on my hunt for the lads suits.

 

When I took the time to sit back and ponder what I would be wearing that day 2 styles came to mind, one was slightly outrageous and the other ever so slightly less outrageous. I ended up choosing the latter. (I will not go into my choice, as I believe it should be as much a secret as the brides dress, however I did get Catherine’s approval.)

 

I did say that I had something in mind but it was more of a general idea than a set in stone plan. My first stop was SD Kells in Omagh. Catherine and I were on one of our frequent visits to the lovely Morris’s when the talk turned to wedding. I had shared my ideas with Catherine and Rosemarie and after a quick google image search they understood what I was after, and I was met swiftly by “Sure go down the town and see what you can see”. Off to the suit emporium.

 

I am no stranger dressing up and looking snappy, let’s just say when I arrived at SD kells I was like a kid in a “suit” (sweet) shop. 


There is nothing better than suiting up. I don't know a man who doesn’t derive pleasure from sticking on a suit and imagining he is James Bond on his way to Monte Carlo as he promenades in front of the mirror. The selection in SD Kells was very impressive and was quite reasonable on price for a package. I received a brochure that I could peruse at my leisure and bit of advice… “It’s great you are taking an interest but grooms usually wait a bit closer to the time”. It dawned on me then that although I do not give off the impression, I am a complete GROOMZILLA.

 

Whilst in town, I visited Bowes Brothers of Omagh, another establishment that deals in suits of the wedding variety. They were also very helpful and they directed me to their distributor Debonair in Magherfelt.

 

I decided that I would leave my hunt for a couple of weekends and check online what was available.

 

My next trip would kill three birds with one stone. I checked out the selection in Tom Morrows in Dungannon, RED in Cookstown and Debonair in Magherfelt. In one day I made it to all three comparing prices and selection. First stop Tom Morrows, very affordable local and friendly, however the only suit that I like was the one Dinky had used for his wedding and this just wouldn’t do. 

Next on my travels was RED, a lot of selection however it seemed too modern, I… like my good wife to be, have quite vintage tastes. Lastly Debonair, this was the only place that I could find any hint of my first slightly outrageous idea but alas it was too much even for them and I headed home. It was this drive home that I made my decision.

 

I burst through the doors and excitedly started to ramble that I had chose what and where. Turned out that it was simply incoherent babbling forcing Catherine to use the phrase I’ve heard so many times whiles excited “James… use your words”. After calming down and actually explaining what I had planned, Catherine seemed puzzled. I tried a Google image search but my efforts were fruitless. 

I ended up in the closet finding different parts of suits that could possible show what I was thinking. Finally she got it. 


Job done.

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