Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower

It's been a few months since Ali and I got engaged and wedding planning is well underway. We got engaged on the 20th September and the first thing everyone wants to know is 'have you set a date?'. Honestly people were asking us this the night we got engaged! I thought is this what people do, do they pick a date then try to find a venue and the rest from that? I'm still not sure what the norm is. We thought we would relax for a few months and figure it out later, but I very quickly realised that if I wanted an autumn wedding (my dream!) then we would either have to get a move on for Autumn 2016 or wait two years for our wedding. Waiting two years just wasn't for me, I knew if I waited two years I would find a million more things to spend money on! Ali and I have also been dating for ten years and honestly I just want to be married, I don't want to wait too long!

So with that we considered a few venues, but I always had one in the back of my mind. 2015 was the year of wedding cakes for me, I've never had a year with so many! This means I have been to lots of the best venues in Northern Ireland to set up, Ive seen them all ready for real weddings. We went to one venue for a wedding open day and we booked there and then. It's the one I always had in my mind and I was so relieved that Alistair loved it as much as I do. It's a beautiful renovated barn in the countryside, perfect for autumn! They had one date left for the end of October and we eagerly snapped it up!

Again because I set up lots of weddings I have great contacts for wedding suppliers and I know all the ones that suit our style the best. I have spent very little time on wedding planning and so far we have the venue booked (they also supply delicious catering so that's one less thing to worry about!), hair and make up for me and my 4 gorgeous bridesmaids booked, florist sorted, photographer, videographer done and I have the flower girl dresses, bridesmaid dresses and my own wedding dress arrived this week! Bar a few alterations needed on the dresses they are all beautiful and perfect and I managed to get them all at a steal which is great as we're working to a strict budget as we are very keen to pay for everything ourselves. My lovely artist friend is doing our invitations as well and I know she will do an amazing job. I have to say I have found wedding planning really fun and not too stressful so far (apart from budgeting and deciding what our big investments are) I'm sure that'll change at some point but for now I am seeing it as a fun new hobby! Having seen so many weddings, having great contacts and already having had a good vision of what we wanting has really helped but I can see how people get overwhelmed with choice and all the decisions to be made!

We don't have a theme per se but our colours are dark red and gold glitter, think lots of berry tones and autumn leaves paired with many geeky touches as we are both massive nerds. There will be plenty of Star Wars touches let's just say that. We have a really fun and relaxed day planned, hopefully less pomp and ceremony and more good food, dancing and a few sparkly surprises. Below are some of the images I've pinned to make a mood board of sorts! Pinterest is a gift, I've found wedding magazines mostly useless and I hate all the emphasis put on dieting (ugh) in them so I prefer to avoid them! Etsy has also been great, although I am making a lot of things myself I've managed to pick up some decorative touches for not too much cost and I actually found my wedding dress on there too!

Thanks for reading! Do you have any wedding planning tips or advice to share?