The Jones Wedding Update – October 2020 – WE DID IT!

Image of a bride and groom in front of a green background of bushes. Bride carried a bouquet of pink roses and eucalyptus. Groom wears a matching rose in his buttonhole

Well, it felt like it took far too long to get here, but I finally get to say it. On 3rd October 2020 at 2pm, we became man and wife.

Most of you know that we had to postpone our 120 person wedding back in March 2020, as coronavirus took over (I literally never want to hear that word again?). We pushed it back until October, not knowing that the c-word was very much still going to be out in force.

Bride looks into the camera holding bouquet of pink roses and eucalyptus while mother of the bride in a red dress looks into the distance

The decision was taken out of our hands again on 22nd September when Boris Johnson announced that only 15 people could attend a wedding ceremony and reception (a reduction from the original 30). I had a LOT to say about this, and most of you who follow me on social media will have seen that I was on BBC, ITV, Sky News and BBC London Radio talking about the stress the restrictions are putting couples under across England, as well as the impact on the wedding industry – and events in general. It was a whole thing. I was on telly every day for five days. Can I just say, I’d hate to be a celeb? It was exhausting!

Our COVID wedding

LUCKILY, we’d decided to reduce our numbers down to 12 (including us) anyway, so we didn’t face the heartbreaking task of having to ring people and uninvite them, like many others had to do. We chose to just have our parents, siblings and my friend Lucy attend.

Bride and groom sign the registry book after saying their vows. The groom holds the pen and both look down as he signs his signature.

It was honestly the best day of my life, the proudest I’ve ever been. We were so worried about it as we’d been told the restrictions were so intense. We weren’t going to be have a toast, throw confetti and all of the other things you’d like to do on your wedding day. But none of it mattered.

Thankfully because we were such a small group, allowances were made in that we were allowed pictures after the ceremony together and to throw that bloody confetti! We had hired the upstairs of a restaurant with a 15 capacity, so we just jolly well got on with it and ate, drank and enjoyed the day.

People keep saying nice things like hope you had a lovely day even though it wasn’t what you wanted – but realistically, it was exactly what we wanted. We wanted to stand opposite each other and bond ourselves together – which we did.

A groom smiles at his new bride after signing the marriage registry book. Their witnesses stand either side of them.

When the registrar left my room after my pre-marriage interview and it was time to go downstairs to see my husband-to-be, everything melted away and I truly wasn’t bothered whether there was 10, 50, 120 or 500 people waiting to see us tie the knot – all that mattered was him and I.

I don’t have much advice for other brides and grooms who are affected by coronavirus, except to really think about what you want. Who knows how long this will go on for? Yes of course, the planning and the vision you have for your wedding may not work out exactly, but does it matter? Realistically? Regardless, you need to do what YOU want to do and bugger everyone else to be quite frank. It’s not their wedding, it’s yours.

A bride stands next to her bridesmaid and holds a pink roses bouquet with eucalyptus. The bridesmaid wears a pink mid-thigh dress. Both are smiling.

Jones Wedding 2.0?

I’ve added a few never-before-seen pictures of our little COVID wedding here, but most of the pictures and details of the day I’m keeping back. I don’t really know why. I think maybe it’s because it was so lovely and intimate, I’m not willing to bring too many people into it, as it was perfect the way it was.

We’ve still got the renewal of the vows and big party booked in for April 2021, but whether we can go ahead with that is anyone’s guess. Of course, we’d love to go ahead with it to celebrate and give everyone the party they’ve been waiting for, but if for whatever reason we can’t, I won’t be too upset. This was enough.

Sincerely,

Mrs Jones x

A bride and groom sit at the table where they have signed their marriage document. Their family (five on each side) surrounds them. Everyone is smiling.

How To Plan The Perfect Wedding

Ella and Will are sitting at a table in a pub, playing a card game. They are smiling at each other.-this is a contributed post-

Whether you have spent your life dreaming of the perfect wedding, or you have only recently come around to the idea of getting married, you’ll want the day to be perfect. But with so much to think about when it comes to having a wedding, where do you even start with the planning?

There is a great deal of stress associated with planning a wedding – trust me, I know! So how can you cut down on the stress that you’re under so that you can relax and enjoy what should be one of the best days of your life? 

Getting Inspiration

When starting out on your wedding planning journey, the first thing that you should do is look for inspiration for the wedding that you want. There are hundreds of different styles ranging from glam, to rustic, to full-on themed weddings.

You may have a clear idea in your mind about what you want already, but having a visual guide to the ideas that you have in your mind will make it easier for you to communicate your wishes to your wedding vendors. Start a scrapbook or a Pinterest board to collate all of the images that relate to your wedding concept. 

Booking Your Venue

One of the first things that you’ll need to do is to book your wedding venues. If you plan on marrying in the same place as you host your reception, this will be easier, otherwise, you will need to check that there is availability at both the service venue and the reception venue for the date that you want. 

You may want to look for an Exclusive Use Wedding Venue. This will mean that you will have the run of the entire venue to yourself and your guests and you won’t have to think about whether there are any other parties going on nearby.

Styling Your Wedding Your Own Way 

While many people will opt for a very traditional wedding, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. This is your wedding, and you should do it your own way. Check out some alternative weddings for some inspiration of how wild you can leave your imagination run. 

Hiring a Photographer  

Your wedding should be one of the most memorable days of your life. That is why you’ll want to have a photographer there to help to preserve the memories. 

When choosing a photographer, don’t be persuaded by the price that they charge. You will get what you pay for. Don’t just rely on a friend with a camera to take all of the pictures for the day either – you’ll have these photos FOREVER – do you really want to cut corners?

A good wedding photographer should cost a sizeable chunk of your wedding budget. You’re paying for someone’s time for the entire day and potentially dozens of hours sorting and editing the photos so that they are the best that they can be. 

Remember, your wedding is your own though, so you should always do what is right for you – don’t get persuaded into choosing what other people want. It should be fun and not stressful, so make sure you find the time to enjoy the actual day.

The Jones Wedding Update – August 2020

Man and woman in front of hen do and tag do balloons drinking prosecco and orange juice

I know I say this EVERY time – but I can’t believe how MUCH time has gone by, yet again. Last update, we had accepted that we’d not be able to go ahead with the 23rd May, as COVID-19 had well and truly sunk its claws into 2020 and wasn’t letting go. 

We arranged a new date of 3rd October 2020, not thinking by any stretch of the imagination (possibly naively) that things would still be as bad. Well – haven’t we been mugged off.

The May date passed by, and while we had a lovely day by ourselves, with all of our friends and family supporting us from a distance, it was still so sad knowing that we were supposed to have been married that day. Although, the weather was shit to be honest, so maybe best. 

As we sailed through June and July, we slowly came to the realisation that we just wouldn’t be able to have the day we’d planned in October, especially with the guest limitations.

So, rather than postponing again, William and I have decided to carry on with our wedding ceremony on 3rd October, and push back the big wedding day until next year. This way, we get to have a tiny, intimate ceremony with our parents and siblings –  and still look forward to a celebration with everyone who’s supported us, in 2021. 

Although it’s sad we can’t have the full day in October, we just really want to be married to one another and don’t want to wait for what is essentially a party.

So, here we are – only 39 days out until we’re officially Mr and Mrs Jones – the closest we’ve ever got.

We can’t wait! x

4 Ways to Enjoy Your Wedding Day – Despite The Pandemic

Apple laptop, a white pen and a clipboard with a piece of white paper which says wedding list on it
How are we already in August, guys?

What a real rollercoaster ride this year has been so far, and it’s definitely double the headache if you had or still have wedding plans to organise for 2020. There’s an update to come from me about ours…stay tuned!

Some areas in the UK are slowly easing the lockdown restrictions and along with that, venues are allowing for social gatherings – although they are still limited in number. Importantly it means that you can still go ahead and marry the person of your dreams. COVID or not, you are going to enjoy your day and I wanted to share with you to ensure you can do just that.

Have a wedding run-through

Although most venues and registrars have done this hundreds of times before, it’s likely this is the first time you’ve been married, so it’s not surprising that you’re not sure what to do, where to stand, where to walk. They will probably offer it, or just ask your venue if you can have a little run through with your main wedding party – who stands where and when people come into the room. When I found out my venue offered this, I was over the moon as I was worrying about people getting all mixed up and confused. Ease your mind and have a practice run.

Plan your party ahead of time

After the wedding ceremony is over, it’s time to kick back, enjoy and celebrate with your friends and family. Although numbers are still limited, I’ve seen plenty of wedding entertainment still going ahead – we’ve been offered small jazz bands, for example. Whether you prefer a DJ or you are looking for live music for your wedding, the decision is ultimately a question of personal taste. However, before you make your decision, there are some other things you need to take into consideration. Firstly, consider the size of your venue – is there enough space for the band, DJ and dance floor? How long should the band play, and how loud? What is your music style or your preferred genre? Once these details are all ironed out, and the entertainment is taken care of, then you can place your focus on other areas of your wedding.

After all that organising, share the load!

A great way to make sure you enjoy the day is to share the load. I’ve got a lot of suppliers coming in on the day and I will be so focused on – you know, marrying the love of my life – that I won’t want anyone to bother me. However, I’m the one who organised my wedding day, and I’m the one who knows all the details. My photographer told me a great way to get round this. If you know that you’re a control freak, then before the day arrives, consider making lists beforehand. Have a list of everything that has to be done on the wedding day, as well as a list of the day’s schedule and contact details for each supplier and whether they have been paid or not.

When the day comes, simply hand over your list to someone reliable (or a couple, we’ve chosen people who are less likely to get hammered) who can iron out any last minute details to ensure that your day runs smoothly.

Get rid of your phone

Another way to have a stress-free wedding day is to consider either giving your phone to a bridesmaid or to leave it somewhere out of sight completely, like in your hotel room. Sorry to say, but that phone is going to be ringing off the hook because you’ll be surprised by the amount of guests who will call unable to find the location – like you have any time for that! You’ve hired a photographer for the photos and no one wants to be perusing social media on their wedding day – so leave it behind! Like the lists, hand over last-minute details to someone who you trust to cover them.

I’m so excited that weddings for 2020 are still going ahead and like I say, stay tuned for our update soon. It’s such a lovely light at the end of the tunnel when back in March, we were all faced with our perfectly planned days crumbling in front of our eyes. We’ll all get there in the end!

Lots of love,
Ex

5 Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Venue

-this post has been contributed-

Getting married is one of the biggest adventures of your life – it’s a fulls day of romance, and celebration. Choosing the right venue is one of the most important aspects of your planning. You might already have an idea of where you’d like your wedding to take place, or perhaps you’re undecided. Either way, these five top tips will ensure that you make a well-informed decision.

Consider your budget

When you’re planning a wedding, it’s important to carefully determine the budget of each different element. When you’re feeling excited, it’s easy to get carried away and end up blowing the budget! Of course, you want your big day to be perfect, but if you commit to a venue that you can’t afford, you’ll only end up getting stressed out. One of the best financial tips for planning a wedding is using a financial app. Popular apps include Spendee or Mint. Good Budget is also a great financial app, perfect for couples in particular. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great wedding venue. Your wedding decorations (or theme) will enhance the space.

How much space do you need?

When you are choosing your wedding venue, it’s vital to choose an appropriate venue size. Choosing a huge venue for a smaller wedding will leave the building feeling empty and negatively affect the atmosphere. On the other hand, a venue that’s not quite big enough will create an environment that’s cramped and stressful. It’s best to have a solid idea of how many guests you’ll have before you start shopping around. That way, the manager of your venue can make the correct recommendations.

The best location

Location is everything when it comes to wedding venues. You need to consider where your guests are coming from, how they will travel there, and if there are suitable hotels close by. Rural locations are often beautiful, but if your guests aren’t able to get here, this will likely affect your decision!

Take your time 

It’s important to take your time when you are looking for a wedding venue. Shop around and see several different options before you make a choice. You might be worried about the venue getting all booked up, but if you rush your decision, you could end up regretting it. With careful decision making you’ll be sure to get everything on your wedding wish list.

A great wedding planner 

Above all, it’s vital to choose yourself an amazing wedding planner to support you with your wedding planning. Choose a service with plenty of experience; your wedding planner should be able to give you advice on everything from the venue to the catering, the theme, and the dress. Take the time to look over the weddings that your planner has been responsible for in the past. Write down all your wedding-related questions, so you can ensure that this wedding planner can meet all of your desires.