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Hello dear readers. I hope you’ve had a nice start to September and that as summer has finally ended the autumn weather has slowly seeped in as the days go by. As I am writing this post, my cousin Savina is off to Australia and it’s been a month since we got married. I honestly can’t believe that time has passed so quickly within a blink of an eye that it’s almost quite terrifying to be fair; and so I thought I would share with you all a quote from Brian Cox about The Arrow of Time:

The Arrow of Time dictates that as each moment passes, things change, and once these changes have happened, they are never undone. Permanent part is a I a fundamental part of being human. We all age as the years pass by — people are born, they live, and they die. I suppose it’s part of the joy and tragedy of our lives, but out there in the universe, those grand and epic cycles peer eternal and unchanging. But that’s an illusion. See, in the life of the universe, just as in our lives, everything is irreversibly changing.

Brian Cox, Wonders of the Universe, BBC 2.

I think that the quote summarises beautifully how life moves on in one direction and that in this vast universe things are not always fixed and constant; just like relationships, friendships, people, interests, your state of mind. Within these relationships and lives, there are so many things that are happening all at the same time- people growing, moving on, falling in love, learning from experiences and making new connections etc. I found the quote so moving I did actually cry as I was writing out my speech- I felt extremely grateful for having and knowing so many people who care about us. And in saying that, I was going to read this for my speech but I ended up changing it as I found something else which was shorter! TBF, I lost count on how many times I ended up editing my speech until I was happy with it.

When I look back it all seems like a distant memory. I’m still looking at photos from our wedding day and whenever I look at them I always seem to pick up other people’s expressions, which gives me a different perspective during that moment in time.

So, September is another time for change (for me anyway) let’s see what happens in the next couple of weeks. My art has been a bit on the back burner lately and unfortunately I’m not feeling too inspired to pick up my pen and draw, maybe because of the stress of the wedding and starting a new job at the same time has left me slightly burnt out. I hope to start making more new artwork when I’m feeling ready and energised again. For now though, I’m not pressuring myself to make any new artwork as I now that I’ll most likely hate what’s on the computer.

This post seems more like a diary entry than anything I have written in the past. I love having this space to be honest about stuff and to let go of negative thoughts. I hope you all take care and look after yourselves. Remember, you’re not alone. Reach out to people if you need a chat about things. There are always people out there who will listen to you.

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Jo

Can I just start off with the post by saying out loudly…. we did it! I can’t believe I’m sitting here right now in front of my computer writing this up. As I’m playing back the day in my mind it went by within a blink of an eye. Looking back now it all seems like a dream. That whole year of planning, running from one shop to another to buy more paper for the paper flowers, hours of making paper flowers with my parents and two sleepless nights because I was thinking of my speech was all worth it. The day before the wedding I was that stressed out I had a cry, yup, not ashamed to admit it but I did have a solid cry for about 10 minutes. But once I had a proper cry I felt good again and the thought of marrying Sam, standing in front of everyone, and celebrating our love really got to me (pretty sure Savina offered me a glass of wine afterwards!).

Where do I even start? The whole day right from 9:00am when the makeup artist came in up until midnight the whole day was absolutely wonderful: busy, loads of family and friends around, constantly directing people what to do, talking, loud, fun, moving things out of the house, dancing, laughing, crying, feelings of bliss and excitement. As much as people tell you what to expect, take the advice and listen to them, because hell I needed people around me when things were busy. When we couldn’t even go in to set up the night before I was getting super anxious. BUT. Sometimes you have to leave things to other people to help out and we did exactly that and the venue looked far better than I had anticipated.

We didn’t have a wedding photographer but instead had friends and family to upload their photos onto a shared Google photo album, which turned out to be some rather funny and interesting photos in the end. There are no ‘best’ photos since they’re all equally as touching and meaningful, however, there are about 500 plus photos so I’m going to start off at Clissold House where we had out ceremony. Enjoy!

BTW, after I signed the certificate I almost fell off the chair as I couldn’t align my bum onto the chair as the dress was so big! Fernanda had to direct me on how where the chair was in relation to my dress!

Savina, my cousin and superstar of a person that she is, was a wonder woman right from the get go. She was amazing in giving us huge amounts of support throughout the whole day and beforehand; directing folks what to do, holding my dress and getting me in it (thanks Helen my other bridesmaid!), organising the Chinese wedding games, arranging flowers for the tables… I mean, I could list a million other things as well but you realise when you have good people in your life you’re forever grateful for it. Helen was also the same as soon as she stepped into our house. Her husband and good friend of ours, Tom, was also the same. They were both just absolutely fantastic and you really need to lean on people at times when it gets a little bit hectic!

Left to right: Savina, me (obvs) and Helen.

So up to this point I was semi-walking and running to the taxi with my mum and Tom as we were heading to the Reservoir centre for the reception. The other photo on the right is Vic, Sarah, Emma and Sam all watching from a distance me in my massive dress. By this point my biceps were big enough to lift some serious weights.

As soon as I stepped into the Reservoir centre with my mum I was completely stunned to the point where I almost cried simply because it was beyond what I was imagining. All those nights and hours spent cutting and trimming out flowers with my parents was so, so worth it. The caterers were incredible as well and we can’t thank them enough for what they did as I had written out instructions on where things should go and they followed it to a t. EVERYTHING, and I mean everything from all the booze, decorations, dresses, props etc. all of it went into a van which Sam’s dad had hired for it to go in the morning. Savina and I rearranged everything the night before so that it was as organised as it could be for the courier to pick all the stuff up without crushing the paper flowers. I cannot tell you how much team work and love comes into it! I didn’t see what was going on as I was getting ready by this point!

Here we are having a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for both sides of the family, to welcome all into each others lives by giving tea to the elders first then working our way down the family. You can tell by this point we were elated with emotions, sort of lost beyond words how I was feeling at this point. It was a joy for all our friends and family to see and be part of it too as the tea ceremony symbolises the union of families becoming one. Yes, we’re one big famalam now!

The food from FunThyme was just incredible. I don’t have any photos of the food as by this point I was a nervous wreck thinking about my speech (winged it in the end and it was all fine!) Everyone had said that the food as delicious as well as the service too.

Now we’re onto the cake. My friend whom I used to work with made our cakes for us. Two cakes you say? YES! She made one which was a dairy cake and the other one (the one tiered cake) a vegan cake. In my own cake opinion both cakes were incredible, especially the vegan cake. She said that she had spent ages researching the right ingredients for it and wanted it to be perfect. When I saw the cakes and the mini cupcakes I was literally jumping for joy, Monica had completely exceeded our expectations and funnily enough it blended in perfectly with the framed Double Happiness sign as as as well as the floral decorations.

I’m going to end it here and continue to mull over the photos for the next couple of weeks, I just wanted to take the opportunity here to say a massive thank you to everyone who were part of the day and behind the scenes. We honestly couldn’t have done it without those who were setting up and running around in the background. I will leave all the details about the suppliers below as we can only promote them as much as possible since they were also a major part of it too!

Suppliers:

Photography: David Fry plus lots of other very talented people. We shared all the photos using Google Photos and shared the album.

Dress: Jayne’s Bridal

Chinese wedding dress and red shoes: From Hong Kong

Floral hair vine: Luna Bea

Floral headband: Agnes Hart

Flower hair pins: Rene Walrus

Gold floral Chinese hair comb: Lovely Wanderers

Necklace and earrings: Wolf and Moon

Earrings for the Chinese Tea Ceremony: Rosita Bonita

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Ceremony venue: Clissold House

Reception venue: West Reservoir Centre

Caterer: FunThyme

Makeup: Spence and Oliver

Hair: Faces Hairdressing

Decorations: Me plus an army of people.

Cakes: Monica from Cook with Amore

Edible flowers: Maddocks Farm Organic

Flowers: Grace & Thorn

Flowers at Clissold House: Botanique Workshop

Oh my, I really can’t believe it’s a week from today until the BIG DAY. What happened to the time? It’s completely flown by from the moment we booked both venues and leading right up until now, time has quickly crept up on us I still can’t get my head around it!

I went on my hen do about two weeks ago to Margate and I had so much fun with my friends, my mum and soon to be mother-in-law. We were staying in a really lush house very close to the seaside and we were within walking distance to the Turner Gallery. If you’ve never been to Margate before I would highly recommend it- do a weekend like we did (minus crazy golf) and go and spend sometime walking down the little alleyways, eating fish and chips and watching the world go by on the beach.

All things end on a positive note; I quit my job at the school I was currently working at and I’ll be working in a private school at the end of the month. I had been thinking about it for months and it came to the point where it was the right time to leave. Had I stayed on I’m pretty sure I’d be feeling discontent and unhappy. Changes can only be made when you realise you have to do things for yourself. Saying that, I’m in a better positive mindset now and I’m looking forward to the big day.

I’m going to end my post here- keeping it short and sweet. The next post will be ALL, and I mean, ALL wedding related!

Thanks for reading as always and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

I’ve been off the radar with illustration work as it’s been pretty intense these past couple of weeks. I feel as though I don’t have the time and energy to make any pieces of work as the countdown to the wedding is coming thick and fast. Um, 5 weeks guys. 5 WEEKS!

I have enjoyed every bit of the journey since we started planning it out almost a year ago. But. And there is a but coming. But it’s been pretty bloody stressful at the same time. My friend did say that it’s quite common to get wedding blues about it, as in, it’s not all rosy/ Pinterest filtered dreams. The nitty gritty bits of it all come rolling in at once. So, this post is about keeping the momento going whilst looking after your mental and emotional wellbeing at the same time. After all, this is one of the biggest shifts and life changing moments in your life so trust me you’ll get there- just take it day by day.

  1. I suppose Sam and I have learnt that you can’t please everyone. Well, we knew that from the start but it’s easier saying it than accepting it completely and moving on. The food has been a mega curve ball as not everyone likes the food you like- obvs. At the end of the day it’s our day so, yes, accepting that some people may not like it BUT at the same time being mindful about what we want. I said to Sam if people don’t like the food they could always nip down to Green Lanes for a kebab and come back. Yes, I actually said that and I mean it. Guests, we love you all to bits but please try and remember Sam and I aren’t running a restaurant so if you don’t like fish or garlic, well that’s YOUR choice though isn’t it? Also, how can anyone not like garlic??!!!
  2. Divvy up the task to other people and ask for help. I’m the type of person who finds it really difficult asking for help, but when that times come and you need people to make loads of paper flowers with you just got to ask for help. It also takes that extra pressure from you and the whole process should be an enjoyable one too.
  3. I try and limit my time on social media looking at wedding images as I’ve found that I got completely bogged down by it and it was really unhealthy. If course, it’s great to get inspiration or look up DIY tips to make something. But it’s hard to get away from it as it’s so easily to access it 24/7.
  4. There are about a gazillion one things to do and keeping on top of it all can bee mega overwhelming. We’ve got a spreadsheet and list of what we need to do so that’s been great in keeping track of everything. Can’t stress enough to spend some time and get everything down. There’ll be things you’ll need to add along the way but the spreadsheet has been absolutely fantastic.
  5. You need a break from wedmin so do all the things you love to do like cooking, watching a film, going for a walk, stroking a cat (works for me), eating nice food etc. Don’t feel like you need to be doing wedding things everyday otherwise you’ll get bogged down about it.

If you have any wedding tips to share please post them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading as always and, yes, 5 weeks to go now!