Sunday, 17 May 2009

(Almost) Finding a Wedding Dress

From Bridalwave, part two to follow shortly...

When the venue was booked, thoughts began to turn to THE DRESS. Initially, I was more excited about the shoes, and I never thought I'd be too bothered about what I wore as long as it was simple and nice. But when it came down to it, of course...I was wrong!

I spent a lovely Saturday with my Mum and Gran trying on dresses in wedding shops in Shropshire. I'd been told by every married friend that the dress you pick is always the one you're least expecting to like, so we had great fun trying on everything from big frilly frothy numbers to sleek satin ones.

We worked out pretty quickly what would suit me - as I'm not very tall, nothing with a big skirt! However, I didn't really love any of them, and my very emotional mum remained dry-eyed all day. As she cried more than I did when I rang to tell her I was engaged, this wasn't a good sign!

Back in London, I decided to bite the bullet and go and try on the very expensive but very lovely wedding dresses from the designer I'd had my eye on for ages.

However, when I phoned the only London stockist to book in an appointment I was told in no uncertain terms that their next weekend appointment was in three months time - if I was lucky. And as they take a minimum of six months to make the dress, I'd be "pushing it" to have one for September.

Planning a wedding in such a short timeframe had seemed easy up until that point. I began to despair - would I ever find the right dress?

An Inviting Question

My post on invites from Bridalwave (P.S - if you have any suggestions about this or anything else, let me know!)

I have to admit that invites are one of several areas in which I seem to be missing the bridal gene. Apparently the average bride spends £700 on wedding stationery, which seems like an awful lot to me - surely that's £700 that could be better spend on Champagne or shoes?

I'm all for sending out nice thank-you cards, but stories I've read about brides who obsessively match the colour of their hand-made invites to their dresses both confuse and scare me in equal measures...

So Alex and I decided to computerise our invites and email rather than post them (and my mum would then make a couple for non-computer literate Grandparents). We figured it was slightly more environmentally friendly, cheaper, and also far less effort, leaving us to spend more of our energy on grappling with the guest list.

However, that's as far as we've got! Has anyone done this before, or is there a company you'd recommend? We'd love to know, as the clock is ticking!

Picking a Venue, Setting the Date

Here's my second post for Bridalwave, on picking the venue:

Since we got engaged, I'd heard horror stories about wedding venues, which apparently get booked up years in advance. The people telling me these stories were the ones who were most shocked when I told them we were planning on getting married in September - "as in THIS September?!"

So we knew we had to start thinking about the venue pretty fast.

We decided on having our wedding in Shropshire, which is where I grew up and where my parents still live. This was mainly because I wanted us to be married in my childhood church, and it seemed easier than having two sets of relatives descend en-masse to London (especially as Alex and I live in a one bedroom flat, so space is at a premium!)

We enlisted the help of our Shropshire-based wedding planners - my Mum and Dad - to scout out all the local venues, and we went down one weekend in late February to view their top three.

In the end we decided on Madeley Court in Telford, which is a restored 16th century country house and hotel, with a really lovely mill building which is where our reception will be held. We picked it because it's practical - easy to get to, lots of rooms for visiting guests to stay in - but mostly because we both just instantly loved it.

Conveniently there was also a free Saturday at the end of September...and so we set the date.

It's a Bridal wave...

So I'm getting married...think I mentioned that before, right? ;-)

Anyway, I'm also blogging about my wedding planning on Bridalwave, the Shiny Media wedding blog. In the run-up to September, I'll be writing all about dresses, cakes, venues, shoes, rings...and so on.

Here's my first post: Gill''s Wedding Countdown Begins

I'll always remember the breakfast my boyfriend Alex made me on the morning of Saturday, February 14th this year. The food itself was lovely, but the most memorable thing was that shortly afterwards he proposed, I said yes, and he became my husband-to-be.

Even now I still can't stop looking at the amazing ring he picked for me! Being engaged is exciting and very, very lovely. I spent most of my early twenties unconsciously attempting to be as much like Bridget Jones as possible, and until Alex and I got together about two years ago I'd never really thought much about getting married; yet a few months into our relationship it was difficult to think of anything but.

However, I was never destined to be a typical bride-to-be. I've not had my perfect day planned since I was five, I shudder at the thought of anything approaching even a hint of a meringue dress, and I think the idea of putting so much time and effort into perfecting a single day is a bit extreme - let alone expensive! I'm most looking forward to us making a commitment to each other in front of our friends and family, and starting the rest of our lives together as a married couple... and obviously, attempting to look lovely at the same time :-)

So once I'd stopped crying, we'd phoned everyone we knew and updated our Facebook statuses, we started thinking about when we were going to get married. Apparently the typical wedding takes 18 months to 2 years to plan. We knew we didn't want to want to wait anywhere near that long, so decided on September of this year. And as for the rest - it can't be that hard to organise...right?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Worlds first speed job interview - Big Yellow Self Storage Star Search

Love the sound of this - Big Yellow Self Storage (as in, the storage places that are huge and yellow – I’m always really fascinated by the idea of what secret things are hidden away inside) are currently running a campaign to offer rising social media stars the chance to win a one month internship with the company. The winner gets to work with the online comms team – and it’s a paid-for opp.

However, the best bit is the application process, which is via 12 seconds TV (the video microblogging site). The right candidate should be able to sell themselves via an virtual online interview that lasts no longer than 12 seconds. hence the world’s first ‘speed-video job interview’. You can even film yourself on your mobile and upload it to the site - perfect for lazy students who don’t want to get off the sofa and miss the second repeat of Neighbours.

I really like the way Big Yellow has applied an innovative social media approach to something as boring and traditional as a job interview. The idea of picking someone in 12 seconds is great – it reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ – about intuitively making instant decisions. And it’s surely got to be a relief for anyone that’s sat through hours of questioning when going for a job.

What’s also really nice and in the social media spirit of sharing is that they will showcase all the video entries - not just the winner - in the hope that other quality entrants will attract the attention of other recruiters. Students, what are you waiting for?

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