What Do You Need To Include On A Wedding Invitation?

What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? Now you’ve sorted your Save The Date, and your wedding prep is making good headway, it’s time to think about Invitations. Let’s start with the basics:

Date

Including Day, Month and Year. It’s better to be as specific as possible!

Northanger Abbey Stylish Wedding Invitations - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Time 

It’s worth considering including time of ceremony, time of reception, and time of “carriages”. This information will also be different depending on whether you’re doing separate day and evening invites. Here at Giftast, we can mix and match your invitations for no extra cost;)

Location (Ceremony & Reception)

Let your day guests know if they need to anticipate travelling between venues. Again, the information provided may be different depending on if you’re sending out separate day and evening invitations.

Mansfield Park kraft paper wedding stationery rsvp - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

RSVP Details

Are you including a card, or asking people to reply by text/email? When do they need to let you know by?

Plus One

Who is invited? Are your single friends allowed to bring their current SO? Can the kids come? Specify now, to save awkward questions later, and from making your table plan more complicated than it needs to be!

What do you need to include on a wedding invitation?  Sense and Sensibility Invitation Inside

Also worth considering…

Dress Code/Theme

Want everyone to wear purple? Going for a chilled out, shorts and sandals vibe? Going Gatsby? Now’s the time to let your guests know, so they can begin planning their outfits.

Gift Requests

Whether you have a gift registry set up, or want money for your honeymoon, or even nothing at all, let your guests know your plans.

Eloisa Wedding Invitation- What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Wedding Website

If you’ve too much information to include on your invitation and don’t want to include a separate information card, then you you might want to consider making a wedding website, and including the web address on your invitations. 

Taxi Numbers

Your more organised guests will bring the invitation on the wedding day, so they will have all the timing and location information to hand. Including taxi numbers is especially useful in areas with limited internet access.

Budget Wedding Invitation - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Recommended Local Hotels

Encourage forward planning and cut down on how many phone calls you get all asking the same question – include your recommendations for hotels, including any information regarding reserved rooms at your venue, if necessary.

Directions

Whether your guests are arriving by plane, train, or automobile, and even though a lot of people will just use Google maps, save your guests some time by including some directions to harder-to-find and more out of the way venues. A lot of venues will have this information on their websites, which you can use.

 

And then… anything you like! Every wedding is different and you need to think about what works for you. When DH and I got married, we had a morning ceremony, followed by a wedding buffet which we then left at 3pm to go on honeymoon. We included this information on our invites, to let the guests know what to expect, but also so they knew that the venue was still available for their use once we’d left. 

All I would say is, the more information you include, the less questions you’ll have to answer and the more time you’ll save! 

What Do You Need To Include on a Save The Date?

If Save The Dates are something you’ve decided to go for, you may be wondering what information you need to include. Hopefully this guide will give you more of an idea of what you’ll need to know in advance.

What Do You Need To Include on a Save The Date - Mansfield park kraft paper wedding stationery save the date

Check out our post on What Wedding Stationery Do I Need? to see if Save The Dates are right for you.

The Date

It sounds obvious, but you will need to know the exact date of your wedding. You will most likely need to have booked your venue before you send these out. If your wedding isn’t on a weekend, it may be helpful to include the day in addition to the date. Timings aren’t necessary on a Save the Date, and you may only be finalising these nearer the time.

Your Names

Again, sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious things which get forgotten when you’re stressed! It’s your choice as to whether or not you include your surnames.

Note that an Invitation will Follow

Just to avoid confusion for your guests! Your Save the Date is necessarily brief, and as it’s sent well in advance of the big day, you can’t include much information because you won’t know it yet! 

Budget Wedding Save The Date

Optional – Their Names

If you’re sending the Save the Date to an address where some residents are invited and some aren’t, you may wish to include names to avoid disappointment and arguments later. Our personalised Save the Dates can include either a line for you to write in the names of your guests, or be printed with individual names. Otherwise, you can just include names on the envelope and confirm with the invitation which follows.

Optional – Location

If your wedding is taking place in a different country, or somewhere difficult to get to, it can be nice to include a location. Your guests may need to save dates around the big day for travelling.

Optional – Anything else you want.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. This is your wedding, and all the above is only a suggestion. There is a lot of tradition around what is sent when and what information it needs to include. This may not always be relevant to you and your wedding. The most important thing is that it works for you.

Your Wedding, Your Rules!

 

What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need?

Following on from my previous Wedding Stationery post, let’s answer the “What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need?” question.

Unlike the last post, this one is.. well, it’s a big un. There are so many options for on-the-day that it can seem overwhelming. But again, it’s a matter of pick and mix – you may want some, and you may want none! 

What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need? Order of Service

Order of Service

Do I Need It? Maybe.

This one probably depends most on the type of ceremony you’re having. If you’re including a lot of personal readings, it can be nice to include these on your order of service. That makes this a really nice keepsake both for your guests and yourselves. You can also use your order of service to let guests know the timings for the rest of the day.

Victorian Wedding Style Table Plan - What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need?

Table Plan

Do I Need It? Probably.

For my own wedding, a very small affair, and mostly including DH’s family/friends rather than mine, we decided against a table plan, however we are the only people I’ve heard of doing it that way!

This worked for us because we had

a) 40 guests who mostly knew one another already, and

b) a serve-yourself buffet meal.

I made a poster explaining that guests could pick their place cards up at the door (copper plant markers with their names on) and stick them in the table centres (decorated herb pots) on the tables of their choice. This definitely won’t work for larger parties, and is unlikely to work for sit-down meals, but it’s worth noting that other options are available.

Elegant Table Numbers - What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need?

Table Numbers

Do I Need Them? Almost Certainly!

If you’ve opted for a Table Plan then you almost definitely need table numbers/names. But do they need to be printed? Not necessarily – this can be an opportunity to get creative with your table centres, and merge the two.

Rustic Place Cards - What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need?

Place Cards

Do I Need Them? Probably.

Unless you’re going all out on a scenario similar to my wedding breakfast, you’re going to need to do place cards. If your budget can stretch to it, I’d recommend getting your guest names printed on (at Giftast we always include a few blank spares for those last-minute changes). However if your budget is tighter, either buy blank to write yourself, or consider ideas for combining place cards with wedding favours. There are loads of ideas for how to do this on Pinterest. 

What On The Day Wedding Stationery Do I Need? Menus

Menus

Do I Need Them? Perhaps, but probably not.

Some people like their guests to know what they’re eating, some don’t mind. If your guests have picked their menu choices, this can be better added on to the inside of their place cards, as most people will have no recollection of what they asked for months/over a year earlier! If you’re serving everyone the same, a menu can be a nice touch, and also an opportunity to include some more handy information. For example:

  • Timings for the rest of the day
  • Special thanks
  • Information re any donations you did in lieu of wedding favours
  • Taxi phone numbers for later in the night.

Signs

Do I Need Them? Well, it depends on what information you want to communicate to your guests.

Are you having:

  • flip flops,
  • blanket baskets,
  • photo booth,
  • wedding hashtags,
  • Please-don’t-post-on-facebook-yet instructions,
  • welcome messages,
  • sweet stations,
  • reserved seats….

Then a sign can be a really nice way of flagging these up to your guests. But most people know a sweet station when they see it, so just go with what feels right for you! At Giftast, if you order table numbers, we will make matching signs the same size and shape for the same price (£2 ish each). But talk to your stationer, as you can also have posters, chalk boards, standing banners, table-plan sized boards… 

And there you have it! A non-conclusive list of things you can have – but don’t necessarily need. Here at Giftast, we don’t sell Wedding Stationery as a package – you can mix and match to fit your needs, and we can always personalise everything to be just what you want.

If you’d like a free consultation to talk about your options, you can Contact Me or call the number at the top of the screen to arrange a phone or skype call. 

Happy Wedding Planning!

What Wedding Stationery Do I Need?

What Wedding Stationery do I need?

When I was planning this post, I did a search on “What Wedding Stationery Do I Need?”

There are an awful lot of posts.

Do we need another one? Well, yeah, I reckon. Because the lists I saw – the lists! So long! So off-putting! So… expensive sounding.

I think there’s this pressure of what you *have to have* for your wedding, which these “What Wedding Stationery Do I Need?” lists can exacerbate. Of course, not everyone will feel this wedding-related peer pressure, but if budget is an issue, it can be difficult to decide what can be cut. 

So let’s talk about what you might actually need, as well as a couple of options which are nice to have, if they suit your purpose.

Northanger Abbey Stylish Wedding Save The Date

Save The Dates

Do I need them? Not necessarily. 

Do I want them? Perhaps. If you’re planning a wedding for, say, 2 years away, then Save The Dates are a brilliant idea. Particularly paper ones – they’ll get stuck on a notice board, so when your most important guests are planning their holidays, they can just look at it. No rooting in emails, or scrolling back through text messages. Definitely worth considering, but if you’re only planning for under a year away? Maybe not worth it.

Sense and sensibility inspired watercolour greenery wedding invitation

Invitations

Do I need them? Yeah, pretty much. Unless you’re eloping!

Do they have to be paper? No. But again, the stick-em-on-the-noticeboard thing. And I would say that, of course!

Your invitations can be as simple or as complicated as you like. If you want to go all out with a beautifully crafted pack, then that’s a gorgeous keepsake your guests can treasure. If you want to buy a multi pack of cards you fill out yourself, that’s your choice. DIYing your own can be a great option if you’re a creative person.

 

Information Cards

Do I need them? Maybe. If your venue is out of the way, or not local to most of your guests, an info card with recommended hotels and taxi numbers could be really useful, and save you answering a lot of Facebook messages individually! You can also add on your gift preferences, dress code, or any other pertinent information.

What are my options? Well, if we’re talking paper, you’ve got 3 main choices:

  1. Double sided invitations – if you’ve space, stick it on the back! Here at Giftast we do that for no extra cost.
  2. Add a separate info card – if your invitations have a back design already (we do quite a few with monograms) then you can add in another card, almost identical, but with your extra info. This will cost more, though.
  3. Add it in to a folded card – for folded invites, extra info can be added in to the front left inside page. We also do this for no extra cost, and it has the added benefit of keeping all your information together.

What Wedding Stationery Do I Need? Sample RSVP, Emma range

RSVPs

Do I need them? Perhaps, but maybe not.

What are my options? Paper RSVPs are really nice, I think, because they’re so smol. Ours are A7, so half the size of a standard postcard, and come with matching sized return envelopes, and free return label stickers to save you the hassle of hand-addressing. When they get posted back to you, they’re adorable. It’s so nice receiving fun post, and it’s a physical reminder of the excitement and build up to your wedding as they are slowly returned to you. 

But if you don’t care about smol cute post, why bother? Well, if you’ve a lot of technically un-advanced guests coming, it may be easiest for them the reply by snail mail. But if you’re on a tight schedule, or everyone you’re inviting loves to text or email, then you could just add those RSVP details on to your invitation/info card and save yourself the trouble. 

 

There we have it. It’s your wedding, it’s your budget, and there’s no one-size-fits all for wedding stationery. Have a chat to your stationer about what you actually want, and what will work best for you. 

I’ll tackle the mind-boggling array of On-The-Day stationery in another post, which I’ll link to here when it goes up. In the meantime, happy planning!

6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning

6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning
6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning

If you’re just starting your journey to Dream Wedding™ then here, here and here are some great tick lists of things you need to think about.

What I’m offering here are tips and tricks to help streamline your wedding planning and actually GET SH*T DONE.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, hopefully this will help. Don’t let it get you down – you can do it, and it will all be worth it. And don’t forget, you aren’t in this alone. Ask for help, and if you can afford it, hire a professional for some jobs. DIY is great but it isn’t for everyone.

What do I know about all this?

Well, in a former life I was an Exec PA at a FTSE 100 company, and managed the time of some of the most disorganised people you can imagine. I have balanced working full time, planning a wedding, starting a business and writing books. And most importantly, I’m an organising addict. I am addicted to getting things done, so I know what works.

Become Your Own Exec PA -Yes, I have a new letter-board-thing, and I am not afraid to use it 😂

I used to find it really difficult to get as much as I wanted to done – I still do, but that’s because the standards I set for myself are ridiculous. But then I realised that while I was really good at organising other people’s lives, I wasn’t applying those same practices to my own life. I was acting as though my things were so much less important than those of the people I was working for.

I became my own Exec PA, because it might not be important to anyone else if I don’t remember to set up my coffee machine the night before, but it will make a massive difference to my morning.

My jobs – your jobs – which are unpaid and only for our benefit are just as important as those which we are paid to do. You are worth organising your time and treating yourself with the respect you treat those you work for, or those you love.

Disclaimer – this isn’t for everyone. No one size fits all here. But what you might find is that once you start crossing things off your to-do list, you get hooked too;) Some of these things might seem obvious – great! It’s all part of the journey to getting things done.

Get Everything Down on Paper

 

1. Get Everything Down on Paper

You’ve probably started making lists already. You can’t sleep because of things popping into your head that need doing. Get it out of your brain and down onto your notebook app, some scrap paper, or in your gorgeous, shiny and new wedding notebook. What you want is a master list of everything that needs doing. Then, you need to break it down into small, easily achievable tasks.

For example:

  • Wedding Stationery:Check Instagram for stationery ideas
    • Compare stationers x 3Bespoke?
      • Colour scheme?
      • Price Range?
    • Order stationery samples
      • Finalise details:
        • Venue
        • Date/time
        • RSVP date/method
        • Guest list – numbers
        • Day/Evening numbers
        • Send details to stationer
    • Collect addresses from guests
    • Write 50 invitations
    • Write 50 more invitations
    • Post out invitations

Phew!

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and depending on how you want your wedding to work, your stationery to-do list might look very different! But have a good think about every little job which makes up all your big jobs. Think about what you’d be likely to achieve in, say, 15 or 30 minutes. Having bite-size jobs makes it easier to complete – you’re more likely to find 15 minutes than an hour, and can slot your tasks in throughout the day.

Once you’re done, take a look at your undoubtedly massive list. Feel a wave of overwhelm and panic wash over you. Let it pass. Breathe. You got this. Remember – you don’t have to do everything yourself. Write initials next to the jobs you can delegate. You know almost everything that needs doing, and you know how long you have.

You have the POWER.

Decide what’s a priority

2. Decide What is a Priority, and Make it Non-Negotiable.

Every day this year (it’s almost November), I have done at least 10 minutes of yoga. I’m not telling you that to brag (much!;p), but I’m sharing it as an example of what can happen when you make something non-negotiable. You find the time in your schedule to make it work. I’ve got up half an hour early to do yoga before I had to go out all day. I’ve travelled to and from London in a day and got home at 8pm, and done yoga before I ate my dinner so I could crack on with the wine.

I never thought I was the sort of person that could do that, but it’s the sort of person I want to be.

As soon as something is non-negotiable, you’re spending your time thinking about how to make it work, rather than how to get out of it. So for wedding planning, it might be non-negotiable that you and your partner need to sit down at some point during the week to discuss – and decide – your guest list. Eat the frog, and plan it in so you can open the wine after, or if you get it all done, you can get a takeaway as a reward. But regardless, it has to be done.

Get yourself a planner
Get Yourself a Planner

3. Get Yourself a Planner

I use a week-to-view diary for my planning. Because I have my master list of little jobs – which I can keep adding to, I don’t need to plan for, say, a month, 3 months, or 6 months at a time. I can be a lot more flexible when unexpected things arise. If you don’t want to buy a diary, or it isn’t the time of year for it, you can download loads of free, blank, weekly planners, draw one in your notebook in a couple of minutes, stick it on a whiteboard, or whatever you prefer.

Working one week at a time, pick your priorities from your master list, and slot the little jobs into your diary. I’d recommend adding in your day-to-day jobs too, like *clean bathroom*, *buy season ticket* and *go to Tesco*. You’re doing them anyway, and they get you into the habit of crossing things off. Once a task is completed, just cross it off. I score through with a line so I can still read it, but that’s because I like to be able to look back and see the things I’ve done.

Don’t forget to add in things you did that weren’t in your planner – and immediately cross them off!

I like to do my planning on a Sunday – be sure to write *plan for next week* on the following Sunday when you’re planning!

You will also have the satisfaction of crossing things off your master list, done in the previous week when you’re planning the next.

Sometimes, if I’m not sure how a job will turn out, or I’m not sure of what I’ve got on all week, I’ll only plan for a couple of days at a time, rather than the full week. It’s about making it work for you, and allowing yourself some flexibility.

I like to go easy on what I put in my planner on weekends. This means I can add in more if I’ve got time, go back to things I didn’t get to, or I can use my free time to do other tasks and get ahead of myself.

But then again, I am a planner addict whose only idea of fun is strictly organised fun.

I have a Pusheen diary for this year, which is just DARLING, and the little pictures of cats make using it more fun. Next years’ is a bit more boring, but I needed it in July, when limited diaries were available. It’s still really pretty, and it has larger spaces so I can write in more little jobs.

Challenge Yourself
Challenge Yourself

4. Challenge Yourself

Once you’ve started, you might be surprised by how much you can get done. By making your master list, the most difficult part is over. Thinking about what you need to do can take longer than actually doing one or two of your little jobs. You can crack a couple of these out in a lunch break, if you’ve planned ahead.

If one wedding task a day is working out, maybe knock it up to two some days! If you’ve a really busy day coming up, find one of the more fun or quick tasks (eg looking at instagram for inspo/texting your third cousin for her address) and pop it in on that day.

Cut Yourself Some Slack
Cut Yourself Some Slack

5. Cut Yourself some Slack

Unexpected things happen. Sometimes you have a bad day, there’s a traffic jam, you just need to sleep. Other people need your time, you have to work late, or what you thought was a little job turns into a big one.

Don’t stress. You got this, remember?

That’s the beauty of working through these little, little jobs, and only planning up to a week at a time. You can cross it off another day. Or you can push it back to next week. Maybe you can give it to someone else to do. The important thing is that you’re in control of everything that needs doing, and you can move things around. You know what’s non-negotiable and what there’s some flexibility with.

There are days – and weeks – where the best thing for me has been to ignore my planner, or not plan at all. If it’s all too much, give yourself a break. You deserve it. Planning a wedding should be fun for you, not just the day itself.

You are allowed to go at your own pace.

And here’s another thing – plan in some fun. Yes, I love organised fun, but that’s not what I mean here. Plan doing nice things. Schedule in a long bath for yourself, or to read a couple of chapters of a romance novel. Schedule in some time with your partner where you don’t talk about the wedding, perhaps over a romantic dinner. Be nice to yourself.

Bask in Your Own Brilliance
Bask in Your Own Brilliance

6. Bask in Your Own Brilliance.

As you work through your week, and then go back to your master list, you’re going to start to be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve got done. Suddenly, big jobs are completed and you barely broke a sweat.

Using a planner and crossing things off works best for me because I can look back at a week and see everything I achieved. There’s no way I can remember everything I’ve done each day, but when I look back at what I’ve crossed out, I’m genuinely always surprised by how much I’ve done.

I do find that putting something in the planner means it has a higher chance of getting done. Little things I’d otherwise forget, like *take dinner out of the freezer*, *brush the cat* or *soak beans for tomorrow’s tea*. They all get done because I don’t even have to think about it.

I just look in my planner.

So them’s the tips. I know it’s not for everyone but I really hope it helps. The most important thing I can suggest is writing that big list. Seeing exactly what needs doing, physically in front of you, gives you so much more control over what you can get done and how and when you do it.

Don't Worry, You've Got This.
Don’t Worry, You’ve Got This.

What do you find helps you get stuff done? Are you a planner devotee? Or if you’re struggling, what do you find your biggest obstacles are? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Reduce Wedding Stress with Giftast Loves… Chilling the H*ck Out – Part 2

Want to reduce wedding stress? Let’s talk about relaxing! Continuing from my first post about letting go and Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, here are three more things which help me chill the h*ck out and which I, a person with more anxiety than I know what to do with, definitely need. 

As always, still not a doctor, and please don’t use this advice in lieu of consulting with a medical professional.

Down Dog

Click the picture to visit their site. So much battery life <3

Yes, but have you tried yoga?

I don’t want to be that person. I mean, really. But, as with everything in this list, it’s stuff that works for me. Down Dog is an app which plays you video yoga routines of your choice of length, style and difficulty. It’s really simple to use and you get loads of functionality on the free version.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to do at least 10 minutes of yoga a day, and so far, I’ve stuck to that. Having this non-negotiable routine I have to work around means that I accomplish something for my own well-being and health every day, and now have tiny muscles in my arms which I refer to as my guns and will flex at the least provocation. The routines are just the right side of difficult meaning I can do them without injuring myself, but that I do have to concentrate to do them correctly, thus making my internal monologue shut the hell up for at least 10 minutes. If you’ve been fancying yoga, I’d really recommend giving it a try. There’s a dog, as well, which you sometimes see a picture of. It’s pretty fluffy.

:’)

Yogi Tea

Urgh, Katherine. First yoga and essential oils, and now yogi tea? Next you’ll be telling me you’re a vegan!?

*cough cough*

Not remotely unnerving. >_< Click to view on Amazon – As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

In some cases, some stereotypes are true. I’m also British, so of course I love tea. The chocolate one helps me sleep. It’s really nice. The little phrase cards on the tea bags are like opening a fortune cookie, so there’s a tiny bit of joy in that.  

Brendan Burchard – Release Meditation.

Under different circumstances I’d highly recommend High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, another Marie Forleo guided find and another self-help thing which I have found really beneficial. But in the context of this blog about chilling the h*ck out, I will instead recommend Brendan’s release meditation. 

It’s a tool to help reset your attitude, and make a break between tasks. If you’re feeling annoyed by your extended family’s insistence that they bring their umpteen kids, but you need to speak to, I don’t know, a vicar next, maybe try the release meditation to help you diffuse that anger and bring your best self to any visits with clergy. Or whatever. This is great if I’ve had a bad day at the side-hustle but really want to recharge and bring something positive to my work on Giftast, or spending some time with OH without spending another 2 hours complaining about how I was deeply, deeply wronged. 

So clear 20 minutes if you can, and I’ll let Brendan explain.

So there you have it, my six tips and tricks to chill the h*ck out. I’d love to know what you think, and what works for you!

Giftast Loves… Chilling the H*ck Out – Part 1

What does this have to do with weddings, Katherine?

Oh, ye of little faith. As I continue in my quest to prove that I can relate almost anything to weddings, I invite you to beat wedding stress and join me in chilling the h*ck out. 

Wedding planning is a stressful business. I know it, you know it, we all know it. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person engaged in planning a wedding must be in want of chilling the h*ck out. So while I can help take some of that stress away by sorting your wedding stationery (plug, plug), other things out of your control may go a little awry and send you into a stress spiral. As the big day approaches and your guests/family/significant other may be less than cooperative about who sits with who or on how urgent it is that they RSVP, you may find yourself feeling a little… tense.

Even though my wedding is well over, I still, as I always have, find it very difficult to switch off. Sleep is one of those things other people are good at, but it’s just so hard to shut my brain down most of the time. I’ve complied an arsenal of things which help me, which, if you’re close to the end of your tether with wedding planning, or you just need a few moments of chill, might be helpful.

Not a doctor, obviously, and please do not use this advice in lieu of seeking medical help.

Relax Melodies

Click to visit the Relax Melodies website.

If I’m in a strange place or OH is on night shift, then I am constantly vigilant. Any noise, and I’m not only planning my escape from the (presumably) masked intruders but also speculating on exactly how I’ll be murdered. 

I know.

So in order to drown out the tiny little noises which are absolutely not worth my time and worry, and to shut off the racing, survival part of my brain which is straining to hear them, I use Relax Melodies.

You can mix and match repetitive sounds from birdsong to womb (!?) and orchestral to oscilating fan. You can then layer over a mix of meditations to help with a range of things from sleeping to tinnitus relief. When wedding stress gets you down, you can tune out to a cat’s purr.

Just LOOK how much battery life I have left. <3

I shelled out for premium for the full range of meditations, but the free version has plenty of sounds and meditations to get you started.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – Haemin Sunim, Penguin.

 

We know the world only through the window of our mind.
When our mind is noisy, the world is as well.
And when our mind is peaceful, the world is, too.
Knowing our minds is just as important as trying to change the world.

– The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – Haemin Sunim, Penguin

Click to view on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This book is adorable. I saw a guy reading it over a couple of weeks on my commute to my side hustle, and he looked really chilled. Which could have been because he had a seat, while I was squeezed into the aisle between a rucksack, some guys’ spread out knees and someone who ABSOLUTELY HAD TO read a newspaper at full stretch. Yeah, you know what I mean. Anyhoo, I checked it out, and it’s filled with tiny wisdom to help you get things into perspective. Made for dipping into rather than reading in one sitting, this is great for grabbing a few moments of chill.

Tisserand Essential Oils

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Now, I don’t know how essential oils work. Do they work? Is it a placebo effect? I have no idea. But what I can tell you is that this little box of Energy from Tisserand does seem to have helped me focus, get more energy and have happy vibes, depending on which I’ve used. I’m writing this now while dotted with the Focus bottle, and not only does it smell lovely, but I am rattling out words like there’s no tomorrow, having just finished designing a stationery suite. 

TREMBLE BENEATH THE POWER OF MY LASER LIKE FOCUS.

*ahem*

They also do a little box of sleep which I’ve not tried yet but, ya know, seems like it’s only a matter of time. 

There’ll be three more things I use to chill the h*ck out (yes, I need six) and which might help if wedding stress is getting you down. They’ll follow in Part 2 next week. In the meantime, what helps you when you’re feeling stressed? I’d love to hear in the comments below <3

Giftast Loves… Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

This isn’t always going to be books. Just mostly books, because books are literally the best things. I grew up on a steady diet of fiction, discovered Mills and Boon at 18, then diversified into mystery and thriller in my 20s. One genre I’ve never really got into until the past year or 2 is Self Help.

I was always quite dismissive of self help, because sometimes, when we are younger, we’re assholes. But as I got older and realised just how much my Self could do with Help, I decided to go for it. I think it was spurred on by starting my own business – nothing shows you how little you know than starting a business. But we digress.

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I guess most people will know Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love, but I am not one of those people. Was it a historical romance? No? Then Katherine wasn’t interested. I first heard about Big Magic on the Marie Forleo podcast (see, I am 100% embracing the self help, and I love, love, love Marie). You can see the Marie TV episode below, and I’d highly recommend it.

So, Big Magic.

About 7 years ago I completed an illustration degree, and in the process had completely fallen out of love with drawing. I’d been slowly getting back into creating art over the past couple of years, as you can probably tell by this whole “Giftast” thing, but there was still this cloud of doubt in the back of my mind. I feared that I was wasting my time and wasn’t good enough.

There are lots of things I want to do, to make, to create. Fun things, big paintings, tiny, detailed drawings. I want to make a pack of cards, entirely hand painted. I want to make massive posters and experiment with gold leaf finishing on one-off portraits. But I haven’t. Why?

Quote from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - "You do not need your fear in the realm of creative expression"

Fear.

If you don’t do it, you don’t fail. This mentality has held me back in a lot of things in my life. But now… Big Magic.

I read chapters of this and was moved to start creating – this has reaffirmed my love and helped me remember why I drew in the first place. It’s all about the joy.

The book is written in easy to digest chunks that you can dip in and out of, and Glibert’s style is like that of an old friend who deeply cares about you. I’d recommend this to anyone considering taking up a creative pursuit, returning to one, or who finds the process of creating difficult. Gilbert’s insights about the trickster/martyr were particularly useful to me, and I’m sure I’ll revisit this book many times in the future.

Quote from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - "You do not need anybody's permission to live a creative life."

Fear and doubt don’t go away, just like that, just because you read a book.

But what this did for me was to put those fears and doubts into perspective. Creativity is a gift, it’s fun, and when you’re practising drawing and you just can’t get the eyes right because you keep forgetting to check them in a mirror, it can be easy to misplace that feeling of fun.

How does this relate to your wedding, you may be asking? Well, if you’re planning a wedding, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. There may be things you want to do yourself – table centres, the cake, the dress, the invitations – but if you’re out of the creative habit, it’s easy to assume you won’t be able to do what you want, or it won’t look as good as it does on Pinterest… If it is something you’re unsure about, maybe give Big Magic a read, see if it helps?

Check out Big Magic here, and don’t forget to watch Elizabeth Gilbert on Marie TV!