One thing that made me slightly sad about the location of our wedding was that it just wasn't close enough to my parents' house to get ready there - they have the most beautiful home and it would have been lovely getting ready together there, but the journey times just didn't work out and I'm 100% sure it would have been stressful af. The next best thing was renting an Airbnb; it felt like being at home, which I preferred over a hotel, and it was 5 minutes' drive from the Town Hall. To be honest, on the morning I didn't even give a second thought to getting ready there. Here are a few of my favourite moments!
I picked this apartment because basically the whole of one wall was windows so the natural light was amazing. My bridesmaids and I stayed there the night before the wedding; it was so nice to chill out with a takeaway and we ended up watching the DVD of Humble Pie, the TV show I was in! It also made sense to stay in an apartment, instead of a hotel, because we could afford to rent the apartment for a second night in a row for the same price as one night in a suite, and my bridesmaids could stay there the night of the wedding. My Mum came and joined us on the morning of the wedding and my dad arrived just in time to take us to the Town Hall...so I basically did a first look with my Dad!
We all woke up really early - a mixture of butterflies and terribly uncomfortable beds! - and pottered around making tea, having breakfast and watching Bridesmaids. We were thinking how we didn't know what to do with ourselves until we had to start getting ready when suddenly the flowers arrived, then Jo and then it was go! go! go! until we had to leave. I got my robe from ASOS - it was a lovely, thin jersey and I lived in it on honeymoon too.
I ended up doing my wedding makeup myself and I'm so glad I did. I basically just did my normal everyday makeup, with a few magic products (THIS! and some good brushes) added to the routine. I umm'ed and ahh'ed for ages about getting eyelash extensions, but in the end one of my bridesmaids brought over a huge selection of super-natural false lashes from Japan and I found the perfect pair. In the end, I was so happy to look like myself. Plus, squeezing another person into the apartment would have been a bit chaotic!
The amazing Love Hair By Lou did mine and my bridesmaids' hair. I don't know why I was so reluctant to spend money on a properly good hairstylist, but as soon as I met Lou for my trial I knew I'd made the right decision. She can do amazing things with a braid (which is what I was looking for) and she is super lovely and chilled; once she had told me the story of how she did over 15 peoples' hair for a wedding starting before noon I knew I was in the very best hands.
A few tips for finding the right Airbnb for your wedding morning:
- Windows. If your photographer is coming over to take pictures of you getting ready, lots of natural light is a must. Even if they aren't, I would always still advocate lots of light to set you up in a good mood for the morning.
- Bathrooms. One bathroom was just about enough for us as luckily we had a good 'night showering vs morning showering' split. It's definitely worth thinking about if you need a separate bathroom, or if you want a bathroom just for yourself - nervous tummies are no fun when the bathroom leads off the main room. Luckily we're all very good friends ;)
- Mirrors. I booked the apartment months in advance, but it wasn't until the week before, when I was of course worrying about whether it would be as nice as it looked in the photos, that I realised I hadn't noticed any mirrors in the apartment. With 5 girls getting ready, lack of mirrors is no joke. Luckily, the host responded quickly and I brought my own big mirror from home so I knew I would have somewhere by the windows to do my makeup.
All gorgeous, wonderful, amazing photos by Joanne Crawford.