Tag Archives: something borrowed something roo

Something Borrowed, Something Roo: A Day With Katie

Allow me to start this post with a short disclaimer: this post is shameless. This post includes mentions of boobs, bottoms, and other jiggly bits. In this post, you’re going to see me in my undercrackers. This is a sight that few have dared to peek at – similarly; it’s a sight that I don’t dish out very easily. Like most women, there are bits of my body that I dislike for a myriad of silly reasons (“they’re too small!” – “it’s too big!” – “but that scar is so unsightly” – “overdue for a wax, much?”). For all of these reasons, and many more, I was beyond terrified at the idea of baring all at my first ‘public’ underwear fitting. The only other time I’ve ever let a professional handle my bits and bobs* was way back in my mid-teens, when I found myself crying in the middle of Marks & Spencer’s lingerie section because I couldn’t find a bra to fit my silly diddy boobs. My mum promptly marched me into a cubicle with a lovely member of staff who measured me properly, and I walked away with two beautiful new sets of underwear, and a whole load of new-found self-confidence. Such an ego boost! On the tube to Ladbroke Grove, I had a cheeky spritz of deodorant and tried to harness the emotions of that previous positive experience – hopeful that this one would be just as good, if not better.

* (N.B. Sorry, previous boyfriends – no offense)

Walking into What Katie Did exceeded all my expectations from the get-go. Kat and I were lead to a private changing area, offered cupcakes, and even gin cocktails in teacups! Our hostess, Vicky, chatted with us for a while about what it was that I needed – what my wedding dress looked like, what size I took, and what colours I preferred. We toured the shop floor, ogling cuts and hues, while Vicky steered me towards shapes that would best flatter my shape. We had the initial intention of finding the perfect underwear set for my wedding day – but after a lot of deliberation, we figured that going for a bra and brief set wouldn’t work, as my wedding dress was backless. Totally unexpectedly, Vicky offered me a beautiful pair of peach high-waisted knickers to wear with my wedding dress – plus a silky black bra and French knickers set to wear after hours… oo la la!

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: The Groom’s View by Lamb (AKA Mr. Roo!)

Lamb, by Feather Love Photography

When I started thinking about my special suit for our special day, I knew more about what I didn’t want, rather than what I did want. From the off we knew our wedding wasn’t going to be Royal Ascot; I definitely wouldn’t look right in a top hat and tails, plus Roo may have baulked at the idea. I also new that I didn’t want to rent a suit; as is evident with most things we’ve chosen for the wedding, we aren’t fans of the (con)temporary. We’re given more to the robust, the long-lasting, and sentimental. This suit was going to be mine, forever. The material chose itself – robust, long-lasting, sentimental? It had to be tweed.

But what colour? This was the easiest bit. The general colour scheme for our wedding was never a conscious decision; it just seemed to evolve out of natural choices we made in regards to the flower arrangements (mostly moss), table décor (cacti and terrariums) and even our invitations. Luckily, the decision for the colour of my suit was just as natural. It was always going to be the colours that have become apparent as reflecting us both – dark grey/greens and ashy browns – really earthy.

Probably the biggest factor that affected the search is that I’m not particularly flush with cash, so I was after something of very good quality, but with a budget of £200. I’ve never been able to do things the easy way. To get a general idea, Roo and I set around Brighton and we found that, for my price range and for the type of suit I wanted, vintage was the way to go. When asking in shops for their tweed range I was surprised to find that there were hardly any in stock, with it being summer. Being the least likely fashionista, I had no idea that suits have seasons (naïve, I know). My wardrobe tends to be identical all year round, the changing of the seasons marked by the addition of a solitary jumper. We found a lot out of my price range, so one idea we had was to buy a jacket first (as there were some great individual jackets at reasonable prices) and then to find the trousers separately. However, towards the end of a whole day of trawling Brighton, the prospect of finding my suit in two halves felt like it could have been too time consuming. I kept the idea as a back up but carried on with finding a whole suit as the plan.

I arranged for my best man, my younger brother Kevin, to come down from Liverpool so that we could have a look together. You may be aware of Roo’s obsession with listing; well I’m a seasoned addict of lists myself. We set out to London, armed with a comprehensive list of second hand/vintage shops that stocked suits, which we compiled the night before by fishing through general review websites (I’ve listed them at the bottom of this post). We hit upon a problem before we even left; Roo was working that day, so was unable to come. Kevin and I are both horrendous shoppers; fearing the crowds, harsh lights and our inability to choose one thing from the other; this was going to be more difficult than we anticipated. One thing I did personally like by taking the vintage route, rather than visiting tailors, is that you’re left to your own devices, to trawl through the mass of vintage clobber, rather than being hounded.

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: The Rings

So Roo‘s been a busy bee for the past few months. Not only has she been planning her wedding but she’s been up to her cute little eyeballs (can eyeballs be cute? I think hers can!) studying for Uni exams and turning in coursework. So she’s had a little break from writing for the blog recently but I’m pleased to report that she’s back! And as she’s now on her summer break, wedding planning is ramping up full throttle as will be the blog posts. HURRAH.

Over to you sweet cheeks…

Oh yeah this photo of her and Lamb in the sea has nothing to do with the article but I stole it from her facebook because it’s ace

One thing that’s struck me as quite unexpected since getting engaged was the dismay I felt at choosing a wedding ring. Despite owning and wearing quite a bit of costume jewellery, I’ve never really worn anything expensive or precious before, and the notion of having to choose and buy something that I would wear for the rest of my life was daunting, to say the least. Couple someone like me – indecisive, picky, a bit scatty – with someone like Lamb, who’d never even worn any kind of ring before; we were quite the pair. Over the past six months we’ve gone on a few meanders around Brighton’s South Lanes (home to dozens of jewellers) and tentatively looked at the window displays, pricing up metals, shapes, and stones. I tried to explain that the best thing to do was to go in and enquire first about ring sizing services (since Lamb doesn’t know his size) and ask to maybe try on a few and see what suited and fitted. Lamb’s primary concern was that of the ‘hard sell’; that even after we stipulated to a shop assistant that we were only trying, not buying, we’d be expected to make some kind of purchase. Having next to no experience with jewellers, I couldn’t correct him nor agree with him. As silly as it sounds, it was actually a little bit scary.

Besides our shyness, there was also a matter of taste. I for one am all about statement over status – that is, that I’m not so keen on ‘bling’ or expense, I’d much rather have something unusual. This idea was further cemented during a conversation last September with Feather Love’s Noa, when I commented on how gorgeous her wedding ring is. She told me that it cost something like $20 from a market (correct me if I’m wrong Noa), and that when she saw it she just knew it was “the one”. I hoped and expected that the story of my wedding ring was going to be the same.

My engagement ring, vintage from A Second Time. Photo taken the morning after we got engaged on June 22nd, 2011, in Berlin.

This was, after all, how I’d felt about my engagement ring. The moment that I saw it on my finger I knew no other ring could have been mine. My engagement ring was relatively inexpensive, but in my mind I’ve never seen a more precious and priceless ring in comparison. Ergo, it didn’t ever cross my mind that our wedding rings should cost a fortune – I just wanted them to be ours. Besides, it’s not like we have a fortune to hand anyway…

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Help! My Fiancé & I Have Very Different Tastes – How Can We Style Our Wedding to Reflect Us Both?

Photography Credit: Sweet Caroline Photography (full wedding here)

Last week I received the following email from bride-to-be Tiffany…

Dear Rock n Roll Queen,

My name is Tiffany and I’ve been a quiet reader for a while. Reading your blog has always gotten me excited for my own wedding and I’m happy to say, that after 8 years, me and my fiance are going to get married. It’ll definitely be diverse since his parents are Scottish, mine are American and he is Canadian.

But, I digress.

You see, I have a problem. I look at weddings on your blog, admire how unique they are and can’t help but want mine the same way. After all, I’m a weird, unique dork. I wanted my colors to be neon green and hot pink, with glow sticks in my bouquet, splatter paint tablecloths, video game favors, lego bride and groom toppers and so much more. But my fiancé is so old-fashioned and ORDINARY. He doesn’t want our wedding to stand out and be memorable.

So I toned down EVERYTHING. Ordinary favors, ordinary toppers, light green and light pink… nothing unique. The problem? I don’t wanna be upset at my own wedding because there is nothing of me there. Me and my fiancé both LOVE video games but he’d rather decorate our wedding with flowers?! He said that weddings should be approached with maturity, but when I look at your pictures, it’s obvious that people are fine with letting your inner child out.

Anyway, I’m getting married in September and I wanted your advice. How should I approach Ian again? I already talked about compromising. I just figured, with your expertise, you would understand and know how to handle it.

Much love, Tiffany

So I mulled this over and emailed Tiffany back to ask if it was OK to share her email and offer some advice via a blog post. I figure that way, if any more of you are having similar woes you can benefit from this too.

I actually got chatting to the ever wise Roo about this topic as she’s had some experience with feeling like her wedding ideas were being stifled too, and so we decided that she’d address this subject. She’s good at that is our Roo…

♥  ♥  ♥

Dear Tiffany,

When Kat forwarded your message to me, my interest (and empathy) was immediately piqued. You see, I too am stifling my inner child for the sake of my wedding – for the most part, anyway. Like you, this blog has long been bookmarked as a constant source of fantasy wedding inspiration, and when Lamb and I got engaged I was beyond excited at the prospect of all my scrapbooking coming to life. I figured that our dreamy dream wedding would soon be a reality, but as luck (well, yours and mine) would have it, I was mistaken. Like you (again), there have been aspects of our wedding planning that I would say have been – for lack of a better word – hindered. Unlike you, however, the culprit isn’t my husband to be; the culprits are our parents.

We have had to compromise on a lot of decision-making surrounding our wedding – from what part of the country it’ll be in, to what kind of venue we’d like, what type(s) of entertainment we could have on offer – even down to the cake. As frustrating as it is, it’s important to remember that there are solutions; it just takes a certain amount of patience and a lot of forward thinking.

 Photography Credit: The Rogue Magnolia (full wedding here)

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Undercover Bride: The Wedding Dress Boutique

So Roo and I came up with a new blog series idea…she’s going undercover. Many wedding blogs who review the places they visit only write about the good stuff – the glittering service, the elegant decor and the impeccable attention to detail…but you know we’re not like other wedding blogs. Sure, when the service is good we’ll be telling you about it, but similarly when it’s shocking, we ain’t holding back!

And judging by Roo’s experience on her first assignment it’s going to be a very interesting series indeed!

This post was originally intended to be my Bridesmaids post for a multitude of reasons – mainly, because my SILI (Sister-in-Law-Ish) Louise had concocted what we all thought would be a funny, silly, lovely day together, doing the one thing we weren’t expecting to do as a bridal unit: visit a wedding dress vendor and ogle as I tried on all manner of meringues and a plethora of puffballs. We all presumed we’d forego the opportunity because I didn’t want to buy my wedding dress from a shop; I wanted my mum to make it for me. With that in mind, the cogs in Louise’s mind started whirring and she suggested that we go ahead and do it anyway – what better excuse to get together and act up a little before we get serious?

Lamb and I had planned a very short visit up north to finalise our venue arrangements, so Louise offered to book us in somewhere fancy where we’d be treated like royalty, and I’d feel like the (rock n roll) princess that us brides-to-be are supposed to when finding our dream dress. Neither of these things happened, and so here we are.

Unfortunately for the vendor we visited, I can smell a ring-bearing rat a mile off, especially since I have tried wedding dresses on before (with glittering service), and six years of on-off retail experience have taught me a thing or two about how to treat a customer, potential or otherwise. My experience in this bridal shop made me feel undervalued and altogether a nuisance – who you gonna call? My fairy weddingmother, of course. When I told Kat, she was as dumbfounded as I was. My dismay and her brainpower concocted this new series of posts, in which we hope to educate, reassure, and warn you (where appropriate). This is not a witch-hunt, nor is it a promotional feature. I’m simply a budding bride, just like you, and I don’t want you or I to be left jilted or jaded by the experience.  This should be one time in our life when we feel particularly invincible, so this is purely an educational exercise in marital mystery shopping. Without further ado, I present to you: Undercover Bride.

NB: As I had originally envisioned that I would write this experience up as a fond memory shared with most of my bridal party, I had asked my sister Jo to bring her camera along. When we arrived at the bridal shop, Jo asked the vendor whether we were able to take photographs, and we were told no. Jo took all the photos that appear in this post covertly, and I want to make readers aware that omitting any image of the vendor’s face in these published shots is a deliberate decision, as Kat and I agreed that it would be unprofessional to make her identity known. Anyway, on with the show!

♥  ♥  ♥

As we walked through the door of the shop, our vendor exclaimed, “I wasn’t expecting so many of you!” – this might have been a throwaway comment, but I was instantly unsettled by it. In all, there were only 7 of us; I could have taken it a little to heart, but to my ears she made it sound as if the number of us was a problem for her. She called out, “who’s the bride?” and I raised my hand, introducing myself. Instead of offering her name, she just asked me what kind of dress I wanted. After telling her I wasn’t sure (not a lie) I took to the rails with Rea and Louise. I think we half-expected for a barrage of monstrosities, but I was surprised to find a few little gems that ticked my proverbial boxes – admittedly, they weren’t really to my tastes, but this place had some genuinely “WOW” dresses on offer if feeling like a Disney princess is your bag.

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: Choosing My Bridesmaids

I’ve been thinking it over a lot this past week, and I figure that we know each other pretty well by now. There’ve been ups and downs as far as our wedding journey goes – so far – and you’ve been there through it all. I reckon I’m right in saying that you all know what makes me tick, but I realise that I’ve neglected to tell you about some of those who make me tick. In this instance, I am talking of course about my bridesmaids.

It wouldn’t be right for me to write this in the usual style of a how to, because the decision to pick (or not to pick) your bridesmaids/best man is such a powerful, personal decision that no one can make it but you. There was a time when I thought that not picking certain people would ultimately offend them or others, but in the end I went with my gut and I chose the people who’ve always supported me and my decisions, and will certainly be a huge part of my life forever.

I feel extraordinarily lucky to know these girls, and luckier still to stand beside them through one of the most important journeys of my life. This isn’t just an introduction for you; it is also a tribute to them, and a public thank you note to express how grateful I am that they’re a part of me, a part of my day, and a part of everything I stand for. I love you girls.

Emma

There is so much of who I am that I owe to Emma, and her unrelenting friendship. She’s like listening to Björk, and eating roast dinners, and falling over in the snow. She’s my identical, and she’s everything that I could want in another person. She’s beautiful and terrifying and on more than one occasion, I believe she’s saved my life. I once stayed in Emma’s house for a whole week watching TV documentaries about dragons, and she taught me that it was okay to cry at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Emma is the single other person on the whole planet who loves CocoRosie as much as I do, and if there’s such a thing as a soul mate or an other half, then Emma is it (sorry Lamb).

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