Archive for November 2010

We’re Back!

November 30th, 2010 — 7:49pm

The last month or so has been insanely amazing, I’m still giddy!

Our wedding day was simply incredible.  We haven’t stopped talking about it, we’re constantly remembering little things that make us laugh and smile and now we’re back off our honeymoon we’re getting to re-live it all again with our family.   We really did have our perfect day and not even the rain spoilt it.  What made it so fantastic was the fact that everyone around us had such a great time too, we had so many compliments throughout the night and now we’re back people are still telling us how much of a good time they had.

I spent time on our honeymoon whilst we were travelling writing up my account of the day, it’s not quite finished but I promise I’ll have something up on the blog soon.  I also want to say a huge thank you to my guest posters.  Sarah, Gemma, Julie, Suzie and Gaynor all the posts were great, thank you for helping me keep Purple and Pearls interesting whilst I was away!

Blogging from me may still be a little sporadic whilst I find my feet but I promise from next week I shall be full of photos, recaps and “finishing off” posts… in the mean time…

1 comment » | Our Wedding

{Guest Post} DIY by Our Day by Design

November 24th, 2010 — 9:00am

Hi everyone, I’m Gaynor and you can usually find me over on my blog Our Day by Design, which documented my wedding planning and where I am currently writing my recaps {which do seem to be taking quite a while!} I came across Laura’s blog a while ago and loved her DIY items, especially those involving NYC, as it’s my favourite city in the world! I was delighted when Laura asked me to write a guest post for her, to be posted while she is away enjoying her fantastic honeymoon in the USA as a Mrs!

I made all of the stationery items for my wedding including the save the dates, invitations, order of service’, table names, table plan, menu’s, placecards, favours, guest book, painted letters and bridesmaid thank you cards {you can see everything else here}. The final thing I made was the Thank You cards for our guests. I haven’t had a chance to share them with everyone yet {since I’m still writing recaps} so when Laura asked me to write a DIY guest post, I knew exactly what I could write about!

I will admit that I wasn’t the quickest at sending out my cards, I think I finally got them all sent between 3 & 4 months after the wedding, however that wasn’t because I couldn’t be bothered, it was just the way I chose to make them! I have had nothing but lovely comments from everyone who received them, including our suppliers, so I don’t think anyone noticed the delay!

Here is the list of all of the items I used to make my Thank You cards, and where I found all of my supplies:

Card – Colorplan Col25 Amethyst Single Creased (140 x 140mm) – PDA Card & Craft;

Paper – Cryogen White Iridescent (274 x 134mm blank insert for 140 x 140) – PDA;

Ribbon – Smoked Grey 3mm from Berisfords – Swift-Hart Boxes;

Envelopes – White (150 x 150mm) – PDA;

Tools – Fiskars Drops corner rounder; Fiskars hole punch – John Lewis;

Glue – Double sided permanent transfer tape from Stix 2 – PDA / Hobbycraft;

Photos – 5×5” (127 x 127mm) Pro thick Matt –

Photo Cards – Business Cards (84 x 55mm) – Moo

I knew I wanted to use some of our professional pictures on the front of the cards, so that those who couldn’t make it or those who very kindly gave us gifts but weren’t invited, could see some of the day. It took me a while to decide whether to get cards made up from somewhere like Moo or to make them myself to tie in with the rest of our stationery. In the end the photo cards worked out quite expensive and I didn’t think they would be as nice as I had already decided that I wanted to use square cards, like the invites, and only one company I could find would print square cards {everywhere just does 6×4 or 7×5 etc}.

So once I had made the decision I had to wait for our professional photos to arrive and also had to find somewhere that would print square photos, again they are all usually a standard 6×4 or larger. In a flash of inspiration I remembered that I had gotten a thank you card from a friend last year who had put a square photo inside so I got the name of the company from her, Once I had my professional photos and had decided on which three images I wanted to use; I did the layout in Photoshop, uploaded it to the site and got a trial picture printed at 5×5″. They came out brilliant so I ordered the 110 of them that I needed and at the same time ordered a whole bunch of other prints at 6×6″. I’m planning to put them in the 10 square photo frames that I painted purple and used for our table names!

At the same time I ordered everything I needed for the actual cards, from the website PDA, which is where I got the rest of our stationery previously. I used pre-cut and pre-scored 140mm cards as well as pre-cut sparkly insert paper since you can’t really write on the dark purple card! I also ordered another roll of the 3mm grey ribbon we had used to hold the menu’s and order of service’ together, which came from Swift-Hart Boxes.

Once everything arrived I decided that although I wanted to hand write the cards, I wanted to write something on the insert paper since it would have 4 sides! I used the same as we used on our invite bellybands, just our names & the wedding date in the centre of the first page then I put Thank You on the other side of that which left the last 2 sides for me to write on.
Then it was time to get everything together and get started on the assembly; printing & folding the inserts, using the drops punch on the insert corners, folding the cards, punching ribbon holes at the top & bottom of both the card & paper, threading then tying the ribbon in a bow then finally sticking the photo on the front.
I also wanted to put little cards inside each card that would tell everyone where to find our wedding pictures online and our Flickr site information, where they could upload any photos they took themselves. I ordered business cards from Moo and they are fab, I didn’t really want to give them all away. We did end up with a few extra for me to keep! I chose Moo as they allow you to put the same text on the back of each card, which we needed, but then choose as many different images as you want for the front. The business cards come in packs of 50 so I ordered two but I also ordered one of their free packs of 10 business cards, to get the 100+ I needed. I ordered the free pack first to check they all came out ok. I didn’t want the Moo advertising on them so I did pay £3 for them. If there were any photos the guests were in, like the picture with all my friends, I got that picture card for them. This meant that around 35 of the first pack were all personalised; then rest I just choose a mixture of our images. We didn’t get that many photos uploaded to our site, as many people sent us images by CD, but it was still worth doing to share the photographer’s site link.

Then when they were finally ready, I had to start writing all 100+ of them which also took a while but I’m really glad we did them. I loved how our cards turned out and all of our guests and suppliers loved them and have all commented on them. We were even at a wedding fair at our venue on Sunday {my sister is also having her reception there, in the other function suite} and our florist had it proudly displayed on her stand!

Thanks Gaynor, your thank you cards are so beautiful and incredibly thoughtful!

2 comments » | DIY, Wedding Inspiration

{Guest Post} The Ways of the Wife

November 22nd, 2010 — 9:00am

I asked Suzie to write us a little update on married life… it seems she has a very important question to answer….!

WOW can you believe that it’s been 6 months since my last ways of the wife post about Rob and I being married for 2 months??

I guess if your reading this you will surely know that Laura and Has are away in the states enjoying their honeymoon and more importantly their first few weeks of marriage!! I wonder if this now means that MY ways of the wife posts will be ‘made redundant’ now Laura herself is a wife!?

I’m going to start this post by giving myself a pat on the back! Guess what? I’ve used the oven cleaner!! Here is the snippet from the end of my post back in April:

“For my Hen party the girls put together a perfect housewife kit – I’ve used most of the things in it – the oven cleaner is yet to see the light of day but I’m sure it will one day!”

After reading my Aprils post not a whole lot has changed if I’m honest! I’m still loving everything about being a wife. Rob and I have had our first mini holiday since the Honeymoon, we spend two weeks travelling round visiting family in Wales and Hereford and then finished off the weeks in Tenbry Wells! It was a lovely break but I couldn’t help noticing one re-occurring question that kept leaving the lips of our family and arriving in our ears….

Soooo when do you think I will become a Great Grandmother?”

“Soooo when do you think I’ll become a Great Aunt?”

“Soooo when do you think ill be a Nanny?”

“Soooo when are you guys going to start a family?”

This question seems to really be haunting us at the moment and has made is sit down and discuss, so when do we want to start?

Even on the night of our wedding we would hear our guests saying “It’ll be children next!” Erm how about we get the wedding day finished first ay?! I read a blog post recently by Beckicklesie about being a ‘Monica Mummy’

I remember very clearly watching that episode of Friends thinking gosh that’s just how I feel! I’ve always had a strong maternal instinct and have always been eager to start a family but knowing i wanted to do it in the traditional way, I wanted to be a married lady first. So now here we are 8 months married, I think any parent will tell you if you’re waiting for the perfect time to start a family you will be waiting forever, there will always be something in the back of your mind warning you against it – I can’t afford it, I haven’t been married that long, I’ve just started a new job but the more I think about the questions in the back of my mind asking myself ‘is now the right time?’ the more my heart tells me ‘you ARE ready to become a mother’

Let’s just see shall we….

Comment » | Wedding Inspiration

{Guest Post} A Day in the Life of The Wedding Genie

November 19th, 2010 — 9:00am

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a wedding planner?  I sure have!!  Julie, The Wedding Genie spills the beans…

A Day In the Life of The Wedding Genie

Wow what a fabulous thing to be a guest on a real life bride’s blog. I am super excited that Laura invited me to share with you a typical day in the life of The Wedding Genie.

I thought about what would be interesting to read and what actually is a typical Wedding Genie day.  For me “On The Day Coordination” won hands down. It’s the day when the culmination of every bride’s plans all come together for what is probably one of the best days of their lives. Oh it is a cliché but those of you who reflect after the day is over will agree with me I am sure, that it is one of the best days ever.

After reading Laura’s blog over the past couple of weeks I can see how she has really been feeling the strain in the run up to the wedding. It’s usually the two-week mark when things get this intense. The doubt creeps in that things won’t come together and you start to feel really nervous, panicky and overwhelmed. My service is all about taking that strain and stress away.

Let’s start with a day in my life on handover day. This for me is a meeting at the wedding venue with my lovely Bride and Groom two weeks before the wedding. I go armed with all the information I have, which is generally a list of all the suppliers and their details. Over coffee we talk through the day from start to finish. I want to know every little detail from what time you are getting up to how many bridesmaids are having hair and makeup done to how many button holes you order for everyone. I can work out the times for everything so there is no running around panicking because you don’t have time to get ready and pamper yourself. We chat about how long the guests are left before the wedding breakfast starts, no one wants guests left waiting around too long, getting bored and dare I say a little too tipsy before the wedding breakfast has started.

Photo credit: Jeff Ascough

We chat about how you want the venue to look and feel, what should be laid out ready for the ceremony, for instance, seats reserved so that your bridesmaids have somewhere to sit when they follow you down the aisle. When are the flowers arriving so I can be sure to pin all the buttonholes before the photographer gets snappy with the camera. We talk about taking time for me to show you your beautifully decorated room before your guests take their seats. When is the photographer arriving and what time should you have your dress on so he/she can take pre shots. The meeting usually takes two hours and at the end of it I have a complete picture of your wedding day. I am then officially the guardian of your wedding day vision.

After our meeting the bride and groom leave me with a sigh of relief knowing that they are in safe hands and they can get on and do their last minute preparation like dress fittings and honeymoon packing.

Over the next two weeks dates and times are scheduled in my diary to contact all your suppliers, have a chat and verify what time they turn up, what they need, check that they are delivering what you have paid for. Two days before the wedding I send out a timeline of the day’s events for the Bride to sign off. This is my blue print of the wedding day and all the suppliers get one too. Suppliers are happy when they know what, when, where and how.

If in the next two weeks any of the suppliers need anything they contact me and I sort any last minute details and problems.  I am in contact with the bride and she knows exactly what I am doing.

The Wedding Day is a big event for me. I spend the night before refilling and checking my emergency bag with everything I can think of, from blister plasters, to stain removers, toiletries, to sewing kits, batteries even sun tan lotion. Just in case anyone needs anything I generally have it. I have a little chat or text with the bride to assure her everything is under control and then it’s time for an early night.

On the wedding day I arrive at least two or three hours before the ceremony or wedding breakfast, am in control of the décor, check that all the place names are correct as per the table plan. Check all the suppliers have what they need; generally ensuring every little detail is as it should be and that they turn up. One of my brides told me that she felt like a guest at her own wedding. This was so fab, she meant she could totally chill out, enjoy every moment knowing I was on hand for anything she needed.

Photo credit: Jeff Ascough

Once everything is set up I eagerly await the bride and groom, greet them and their guests and get ready to help the photographer in case they need help rounding up family for photos. My eye is always on the time to check we are not running over too much, no one wants spoilt food that has stood too long or is dry and overdone. One of the guests has a run in their tights; no problem out comes a pack from my emergency bag. The bride looks a little hot and bothered no worries a quick blot from a makeup tissue prevents a shiny face for photographs. My worst nightmare was the bride who splashed tomato soup onto her beautiful silk dress. ”Hey she said this will prove if you really are a Wedding Genie.” Suffice to say hey presto no stain, phew! That was a tough one thank goodness for baby wipes and talcum powder.

Whilst the wedding breakfast is going on I check the presents are ready for the speeches, the cake knife is by the cake, give the nod to the venue to charge the glasses for speeches and make sure everything is in place for the evening. Make sure the DJ has the all-important first dance queued and ready.

Photo credit: Jeff Ascough

Most of my brides want me to say goodbye to them and then I melt into the night. Not before I have checked if the wedding presents are secure and are sent to the bridal suite.

As I sit and put my feet up with a well-earned glass of wine, I reflect on a fabulous day. There cannot be many jobs that give such satisfaction. Wedding planning is not glamorous but it is incredibly fulfilling.

Thank you for sharing your day with us Julie, you sound like the perfect person to have on hand to help make the most important day of your life go without a hitch. x

1 comment » | Wedding Inspiration


November 19th, 2010 — 3:06am


We have reached the mid-way point in our Honeymoon and I wanted to check in and say Hi!

It has been an absolutely amazing trip so far, we have seen 2 awesome sports games where the home sides have won.  The crowd has gone wild and we couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement.

We’ve visited sites steeped in history including The Sixth Floor Museum,  The Alamo, San Jose Mission, Alcatraz and Pearl Harbor.

We’ve rode a cable car, caught a Greyhound across Texas, climbed a volcano and dipped our toes in the Pacific.

Huge hello to everyone who is still reading Purple and Pearls, I’ve had word that our Wedding Day Photos have arrived and I’ve typed up a little of my report whilst travelling.

But just in case you were wondering how we scrubbed up on our wedding day, here’s a pic from Facebook

Big honeymoon love Mrs S xxx

2 comments » | Honeymoon, Laura's Life

{Guest Post) Planning a Destination Wedding

November 17th, 2010 — 9:00am

The very lovely Gemma from Mission2Wed is getting married in Zante next year and has kindly agreed to fill us in on her top tips on planning an overseas wedding.

Over to Gemma..


My husband to be and I have decided to get married abroad. We didn’t want a religious ceremony or traditional wedding day and we’ve never been to a wedding abroad before so we thought what the heck, let’s do it. And so the planning began. We’re just 7months away from our big day. We’ve still got lots of things to do, but here are the top tips I’ve learnt for anyone thinking about having a destination wedding:

  • Before you make any commitments think about who you want to be there and how you’ll feel if they can’t make it on your day: It’s a big commitment for people to make and there are many factors that could mean that some of your closest friends and family can’t make it (money, pregnancy, school holidays or illnesses). It’s something we really didn’t think about enough and some of our very dearest friends aren’t able to make it. If I had known what I know now, I might well be doing things very differently.
  • Find out how long you have to be in your chosen country for before you get married. In some countries, like France, you have to be in the country for a whole month before your wedding day. Other’s it’s just a few days or a week, but each is different and you will need to ensure you book your flights accordingly. For Zante you can get married on the day you arrive, so we’re just going out a few days before.
  • Get help! If you choose a country with a foreign language I would thoroughly recommend getting a professional involved. Unless you are fluent in the language or know someone who is negotiating costs of venues, organising food and drink, or making sure all the things you want are in place will be very difficult to do if you don’t speak the same language. Most countries will have a wedding planning available. Do some research on the internet and get feedback from people who have used them before. Don’t be pushed into using someone you aren’t 100% happy with.
  • Take a trip. I would strongly advise that, if time allows, you visit the country and the venue before you make any commitments or put any money down. I booked my venues before seeing them for real and it’s something I had many sleepless nights about. Luckily our venues are great though. I went out to see them earlier in the year and took loads of pictures so that when we got home we could work out how we were going to decorate them etc without having to guess where things would go.
  • Tell your guests ASAP. Forget about the usual wedding planning timeline you find in magazines or on line, you need to get your Save the Dates out as soon as you’ve booked your venue.  A wedding abroad is a much bigger commitment than attending a wedding for one day and your guests will need plenty of time to save, plan, book time off work and book their flights and accommodation. I sent out letters to each of my invitees explaining what we had planned and how we’d love for them to be there, if they could, 18months before the date. It has given them enough time to plan it into their calendar and save the pennies too.
  • Keep calm. I’m a bit of a control freak and had very set ideas of how I wanted my wedding day to be. From the decorations to the cake (or the fact we didn’t want one!). The UK and USA are quite open to doing things differently, but remember that not every country has heard of a ‘cheese cake’ or they simply would never imagine why you wouldn’t want a cake to cut or to have your first dance immediately after the speeches. But if there are things you want that are different from the norm, speak to them, explain your ideas and see if they can accommodate. I took mood boards full of images to represent the ideas I was thinking of and it really helped to explain what I wanted to people that were very used to a set way of doing things. It can be done, you just need to explain what you want. But if you have set ideas, make sure you check they can be done before you book anything. It might just mean that you have to source some things yourself and take them over with you, but at least you know!
  • Paperwork. Another reason to get the professionals involved is paperwork. The legal bits you need to be ‘married’ will have to be translated into English and vice versa, so you will need to hire someone to do this. We also have to go to a meeting after the wedding to sign papers. Something I have no clue how to organise which is why I’m leaving it to the pros. But if you’re doing it yourself, just make sure you look into it. There’s plenty of information on the internet. Find out how far in advance you need to get things done by and what documents / proof of ID you need to take with you. It might mean ordering a new birth certificate if you can’t find it.
  • Become a travel guide. In most cases it’s going to be your guests holiday for the year, so make it special for them too and do lots of research. When we visited our venues we also went to loads of different places and put a review in our guests invitations. The packs included information about the area we’re staying in, reviews on hotels, restaurants and bars, tips about things we enjoyed, trips, and things like suggesting to bring a cardi for the chilly evenings. Our guests loved the detail and we’re all now enjoying the big countdown together.
  • Just because you’re getting married abroad, doesn’t mean it’s going to be completely plain sailing. I’m loving every second of it. But you really need to think of it as you would getting married in the UK – that way you won’t miss out any of the important stuff.
  • Most importantly! Enjoy it, and enjoy it with each of your family and friends that are joining you on your special day.

I hope they help you plan your wedding abroad in some way. Have fun. xx

Thanks Gemma, I can’t wait to read all about your fantastic wedding, so close now! x

2 comments » | Wedding Inspiration

{Guest Post} A Day in the Life of The Blue Door Bakery

November 15th, 2010 — 9:00am

Blue Door Bakery’s cupcake maker extraordinaire Sarah tells us how she spends a typical day, baking, crafting and sipping gin and tonic…

It’s been so cold this week! I’m very glad to get the oven switched on to warm the kitchen up. Let the chickens out of their house and have a cup of coffee. Today we have a wedding delivery to make and 2 wedding display bookings for tomorrow. We bake our cupcakes no earlier than the day before they’ll be eaten, so the cupcakes for today’s wedding order were created yesterday and are all ready and raring to go. So, first things first are to bake the cakes for the orders tomorrow. I like to get all of the baking done early while the phone isn’t ringing and so I can really concentrate later on the decorating. Today we have moist chocolate sponge in purple cases (for a chocoholic bride and groom) and classic vanilla in white cases to receive some gorgeous decorations later for a themed wedding…

Off to deliver the cakes for today’s wedding to the lovely Wedding Genie. These cakes are going down to a wedding in Windsor, so as the wedding planner, Julie is going to deliver them and set them up. We do lots of our deliveries, but often people who are getting married further afield, or where we can’t squeeze in another delivery, come and collect their own cakes. They are quite easy to set up and often wedding venues will offer to display the cakes for the couples. Stop and have a cup of tea with Julie and a chat about wedding trends, she loves the cakes, which are in a vintage style, we secure them all into her car for the journey.

12.00 noon
When I arrive back home, I sit down with laptop to answer emails. Some gorgeous photos from photographers of cupcakes from last weekends weddings, cupcake workshop enquiries and bookings and wedding enquiries for 2012, very organised!

Make batches of buttercream to decorate the cupcakes for tomorrow and then get cracking with my piping bag! The first order has a whole host of purple sprinkles, so I go into my sprinkle supply and find the styles that the couple had chosen and we’d specified on their booking form. (We have over 100 sprinkle styles!) When these are finished and I’m happy they are perfect, I box them up in our safe and secure cupcake boxes as one of the bridesmaids is collecting the cakes this afternoon.

Get cracking with decorating the next order, each of these cakes are being simply topped with either handmade sugar pumpkins (made earlier in the week) or pumpkin sprinkles, for an Autumn themed wedding! They look so special and unique! These are packed in our reusable carriers as they’ll be delivered tomorrow and set up at the venue.

A lovely couple visit for a consultation to talk about their gorgeous Summer wedding next year. They love the samples and we chat about their marquee wedding next August and how hot it may be. It feels odd when it’s so cold outside today!

4.30 pm
Notice that all of our workshops have sold out, so send out confirmations to all those that have booked and add some more dates on our website, along with some more lovely testimonials from people that attended in the last few weeks. I love the workshops, everyone is so excited to learn something new and so impressed with their creations at the end of the class. It’s such a privilege to meet all of these people that travel far and wide to learn to make cupcakes like ours.

Prepare notes for tomorrow’s workshop attendees and lay out the mountains of kit, sprinkles and glitter ready for their arrival tomorrow.

After clearing up the icing sugar and leaving the kitchen sparkling for another day tomorrow, have a large gin and tonic and put my feet up!

How much do I want to work in the Blue Door Bakery kitchen!  Thanks for sharing your day Sarah x

2 comments » | Wedding Inspiration

Gifts: Making the boxes

November 11th, 2010 — 9:00am

As well as spoiling my bridesmaids with lovely thank you gifts, I wanted to be able to present them beautifully – I had a number of ideas but my love of DIY and chalkboard paint made this the front runner.

I bought 4 cardboard boxes from hobby craft and 2 pots of paint in two shades of purple.  Darker for the older and lighter for the younger.  Back when the weather was a lot warmer Mom and I set about painting the boxes.

Once happy we then spray painted the lids with chalkboard paint.

It wasn’t long before the boxes and lids were dry and I was able to personalise them.

I wrote each girls name on the lid of the box, then they were ready for filling!

I loved the way the boxes turned out and I love the fact they can be used again – in fact in each box I wrapped up 2 pieces of chalk so the girls can doodle on their lids!

2 comments » | Bridesmaids, DIY, Gifts

Happy Birthday Sophie!

November 9th, 2010 — 9:30am

Happy Birthday wishes to my beautiful bridesmaid and cousin Sophie.

Love you loads, princess xxx

1 comment » | Laura's Life

Happy Birthday Mommy

November 9th, 2010 — 9:00am

Probably the first ever birthday I haven’t been around to celebrate with you…  we’re both wishing you an happy, happy birthday!

Love you lots and lots


1 comment » | Laura's Life

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