Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A piece of string is twice as long as half its length...

Believe it or not we are one week closer to the wedding than we were 7 days ago. Weeks are getting faster and it’s hard to believe we have done so much in 10 months. This bombshell brings up the issue of how long it takes to plan a wedding. – “How long is a piece of String”

It is different for everyone; in my opinion traditionally most take a 1-2 year gap between engagement and marriage. We got engaged in November 2013 so we really could have waited until mid 2015.From the very beginning this wasn’t for us.

Within the first week (I think first couple of hours) Catherine had decided who her bridesmaids would be, colour scheme and a whole load of other stuff. I helped alone the way with a few ideas now and again. By February we believe we had pretty much everything all wrapped up and kinda started taking a laid back approach. We were wrong, we had forgotten a lot of stuff. Needless to say council paper work, church paperwork designing invites. All stuff we have done now but had pushed off from completing a long time ago.

The major point of this post is to highlight the fact the whether you are getting married in 11 months or 2 years, you will like us experience the rollercoaster effect of everything happening all at once, and a lot of waiting around, waiting for things to happen of when you can do something.

So how long does it take to organise a wedding? How long is a piece of string?

You may have spotted on our social media today that we have been shortlisted for the Irish. Blog Awards in not one, but two categories - Best Newcomer and Best Personal blog. We are so pleased! We are looking forward to seeing who all gets through as finalists!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Breaking Traditions...

Traditions are a massive part of wedding. The ceremony and commitment itself is a tradition. But as you have probably realised reading the blog of having met James and I, we aren't exactly a traditional couple! James has been so involved in the organisation of the wedding, we met dressed as Jessica Rabbit and the Joker, and we even had a Doctor Who theme to our engagement shoot! 

So with the wedding speedily coming up, we've been thinking about which traditions we will be breaking and keeping to. 

One tradition that I've never truly understood, is having the bride and groom's friends and family seated on seperate sides of the church. As James and I have a lot of joint friends that we wouldn't want to have to make them decide! 
My luck has continued recently and I was able to win a commissioned project from the wonderful Tracy from Uppercase Design (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uppercase-Design/1525745490985107) who is doing us up a poster for the back of the church something like the one below- we will show the finished product after the big day!

Some other traditions are very important to me. For example, as much as I absolutely love the idea of a  "first look" shoot, I just couldn't deal with James seeing me before I walk into the church.

One of the questions I have been asked is if I will be sticking with tradition and wearing a white dress in the big day... Well now that would be telling....

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Enough is enough!

So big question, when is enough... enough? One thing I have found out is that when organising a wedding there are a million different things you can do. There are options for every detail and there are unending number of choices of entertainment.

Besides the band and food your reception is pretty much a blank canvas. Anything you can think of you can put in. You’ll see from TV shows like “don’t tell the bride” that they do everything from Oompa loompas to live circus animals. But where do you draw the line?

For us our wedding day is a day for us. We have planned to surround ourselves in things that we love and enjoy. Objects that make us geek out with excitement and decorations that incorporate who we are. How we decided what we wanted was simple, we asked ourselves if we saw “this” at a wedding, would we love it? And of course the question to each other “How awesome would... be?”.

The problem is that Catherine and I have, what seems like, a never ending stream of ideas. It gets to the point of “do we really think we need this or is it because we can”. I believe we have a healthy mix of what we like and what everyone will enjoy. Understanding that not everything is everybody’s cup of tea is very important, and that has stopped us doing things we don’t want or need.

Now that we are in the home stretch all new ideas are being pushed to the side and the loose ends of ideas that have been approved are being tied up. There is always that doubt, is it enough, have we done enough to make people go wow! 

We won’t know until the day.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Something borrowed...

I am not afraid to admit that I am totally obsessed with wedding shows on tv. The fact that TLC have Wedding Wednesday gets me giddy with excitement. My favourite at the moment is Say yes to the dress, mainly because it's awesome to see that there are crazier brides than me! 

James's favourite show is Don't tell the bride, and it has been brought up quite a few times that we should have entered ourselves into the show as everyone reckons he'd either do it perfectly or do something completely bizarre and mental! It's also my mum and sister's favourite show too, but is seem to always miss it.

Another show that we all love is four weddings, were four brides attend each others weddings and score them. One of the more recent ones I watched was an Austrailian one were one of the brides got quite upset that each of the other brides had done something that she was planning on doing on her big day and went as far as to change the colour scheme of her wedding!

This got me thinking. Is copying/doing something similar to other peoples weddings really that bad? We've been to some amazing weddings, have seen some amazing ones on tv and lusted after some of the gorgeous real weddings in magazines.

I am constantly reading wedding blogs to get ideas so why would you not take inspiration from other weddings? Is it really a big deal? I reckon it's going to be nearly impossible to have a totally individual and unique wedding. The point of a wedding itself is a tradition. There are things that are the same at everyone's weddings. If you really loved something you've seen, why would you not have it on your big day? That's the whole point of fashion etc!

We will be taking bits of inspiration from some of our friends and families weddings and even some items from weddings we've seen on tv, in magazine and on blogs. I can't deny that we will be including something's that are just totally us - but would you expect anything else? 

What do you think about having similar things from your friends and families' weddings?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Getting there...

A mere 9 weeks to go. I know it will get on the nerves that each post will contain the ETA to the wedding however it is the only thing that is constantly going through our heads. “8 weeks this Thursday”, “this day 9 weeks...”. That being said I’m glad I have no jitters or real nerves surround the day. Only that the day goes off without a hitch so we can get hitched without any hiccups.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be trying to tie off some loose ends in our wedding plan. For example Saturday past Catherine and I went to visit Father Carville. Father Carville is my parish priest, he is a lovely man and very approachable. In order for me to get married in another parish (Catherines) he has to go through the pre marriage enquire form. Basically it is the freedom to marry form, including Baptism and Confirmation certificates. I believe that Catherine still has hers to go through but all the paperwork on my side is finished.

We also went and spoke to the lovely Iona about our flowers for the day. We came to her last Thursday armed with 2 pieces of information, colour and the only flower we knew that colour. She was brilliant and talked us through some great ideas and different flowers. All in all a great visit to put our minds at rest. We joked about getting Venus fly trap buttonholes (no flies on me!) a joke but the more I think of it the more I warm to the idea.

Catherine has been amazing; she has been setting herself tasks each day and following through on them. Micro managing different cogs so the whole machine will work as one. Making phone calls, doing research and comparing different services Catherine really has begun to smoothing the edges.

There is quite a lot yet to sort out and tick off the list but we are ahead of ourselves and keeping on top of things.

Monday, 4 August 2014

T minus 10...

So the wedding day is looming around the corner. Only 10 weeks to go. We have come to the realisation now that no matter what else we do the important stuff is sorted. All we need is the priest,the church and the council legal papers in order. Everything else is just icing on the cake. But seriously who doesn’t love icing.

The only problem with our blog is that we have so much to share but are hesitant to reveal all. We want our wedding day surprises to remain surprises for our guests. For example I have a secret project in the works since January. The only people privileged to the secret are the wedding party. All will be revealed but not at this time.

For myself there are several key points that make a wedding great. And just like a shuttle taking off from NASA there is a check list.

The Weather – Dry and sunny but not too warm. This is completely out of our hands. We live in Ireland and a general rule of thumb is to expect rain every day. Catherine and I being our obsessive selves however did research the last few years’ weather in Northern Ireland. According to the research we are due a crisp day with no rain with sunny intervals (I know that as I write this the commentators curse is now upon us and it will bucket out of the heavens) all I can say is we had a late heat wave last year on that week so fingers crossed.

The crowd – this is partially up to us. We make the wedding day but our guests will make it a day to remember. Every couple getting married get to choose who they want there and every couple will experience the “if you invite them you’ll have to invite...” or “I bet you’ve forgot...” even “invite them both but don’t sit them anywhere near each other!” Thankfully we haven’t had a tough time of it. The biggest problem is cutting the numbers down to fit the venue.

The food – anyone who has just come back from and a wedding will be asked the same question “what was the food like” no matter who you are male or female; the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Bad food can ruin a day. Thankfully we have had the good fortune to try Lust begs wedding service as well as their pub grub and each time we were not disappointed.

The entertainment – what’s a wedding without a bit of boogie dancing, jiving and general “ohh look that the effort that went into that”, Catherine and I believe that we have a good mix of entertainment. Things people will love, things that people might not understand and things that nobody would think of doing.

That one thing – the list could go on and on but basically I think we have set ourselves up for a great day full of quirky details that will make our guests think “totally James and Catherine...” now we have 10 weeks to round off the edges, let the glue dry and hope it all comes together. There is one last thing to add to my NASA check list for a perfect wedding day and for me it’s the most important thing of all. The only thing that actually matters, that’s Catherine. She is the one thing that is going to make the day perfect for me. Nothing else matters as long as she is there. Everything I organise for the day is all for her to hopefully make her happy.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Things to do when you are on the wedding countdown

HSo as James mentioned on Monday, we are seriously on the countdown! 9 weeks today I will be marrying my best friend! (See I can do cheese just as well as himself!)

With everything going on, I wanted to make a bit of a rundown of things I am currently doing to prepare for the big day that might be useful to other brides/grooms-to-be!

1. Make a list

So like I said before, I have been making lists of lists for the last wee while. But making an up to date list can really ground you into realising what you really have to do. I thought we were nearly completely done, but turns out we had way more to do, even the pretty important stuff. Which leads me to...

2. Meet your officiant

I'm not sure what it's like for other denominations, or for civil ceremonies, but in the Catholic Church we need to meet with our priest before the wedding to first let them know you are ready to get married (that neither of you are being coerced into it) and that you are who you say you are ( ensuring you aren't married to someone else already/ of age to get married). It's also nice for both of you to get to know the person you are marrying so that you are comfortable coming up to the day. Our priest is the wonderful Father Eamon Graham, who married my mum and dad 30 years ago. He is just lovely and has been full of advice for the wedding prep. He also enabled us to get another item ticked off our list...

3. Let the officials know

I mentioned in my last post that I'd done something pretty official at the end of last week... Something that you have to do before you get married is enter your Notification of Intention to Marry. Fr Graham had to sign it to confirm he would be marrying us. Both James and I needed to fill in a form each, but only one of us needed to hand the notice in. When I arrived and handed over the forms with our passports and birth certificates, I had to fill out a form telling them who our witnesses would be. We will now be able to pick up our Schedule from about two weeks before the wedding for us all to sign on the big day!

4. Have you stag/hen

As you all know I had my amazing Hen two weeks ago, and it was incredible! I am still talking about it and having a wee giggle to myself every time I am reminded of some wee thing that happened! James's Stag isn't for another 4 weeks, and I have to admit, I am a little nervous with how close it is to the wedding! 5 weeks is not enough time to grow back eyebrows, quiffed hair and is certainly not long enough to heal broken bones. I have the stags all warned, that James must be returned in one piece, even if he doesn't feel like he is. 

5. Treat yourselves

Last week James mentioned that he was having serious pains in his shoulder. He also has a major habit of cracking every bone in his body. So thinking we were in serious need of a treat (see I am still a fan of presents, surprises and treats), I decided to book us in for full body massages at the Wellbeing Spa (http://wellbeingspa.webs.com).
It was fantastic! Coming home we we both feeling incredible, it was just what we needed - James even  wondered out loud if it was something we should do every Saturday morning. We might fit another one in before the big day! 

So there you have it! My five to-dos in the run up to the wedding day! If you have any items you think should be added let us know - email us on howgeeksgetmarried@gmail.com, @geeksgetmarried, @cittiecait or @jamesdoon85

Friday, 1 August 2014

A little bit of a round up!

So with me (Catherine) doing the big post unusually on Monday, I thought james an I might swap days, but I think I need to keep myself tied down to a Thursday. Talking about being tied down, anyone else disappointed with the 50 Shades of Grey trailer? Anyway I digress!

I am so excited that we are not only shortlisted for the Cosmo Blog awards (http://tinyurl.com/votehggm) but we found out this week that we have made the long list for not one but THREE categories in the Irish blog awards (http://www.blogawardsireland.com/category/long-list-2014/). 

It's so so exciting to have been nominated and to be seen as fitting the criteria for best Humour blog (James is incredibly chuffed at this!), best personal blog and best newcomer!
 We hope you have all signed up to be judges (I think there is still time to apply - http://www.blogawardsireland.com/apply-to-be-a-judge/).

So I thought that since we have so many new folk coming along to join us on the journey I'd do a quick round up of links to the posts that will catch you up fastest! 

So here goes!
How it all began - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/how-it-all-began.html
Evil plans and stuff - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/jamessfirst-blog-silence-will-fall.html
One very spoilt girl - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/one-very-spoilt-girl.html
Just an old fashioned guy - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/just-old-fashioned-guy.html
The one you've been waiting for - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-one-youve-been-waiting-for.html
Choosing my band of Merry Maids - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/choosing-my-band-of-merry-maids.html
The Three Musketeers - http://howgeeksgetmarried.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-three-musketeers.html

That should be enough to keep you going! Feel free to continue on from there to see how all the planning is going!

There is only 9 weeks and 6 days to go! I did something very official yesterday, so will fill you in on that next week!
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