After a small wedding planning hiatus (due to long hours putting the super-useful new Brides Wedding Planner supplement to press - look out for it with the current Jan/Feb 2011 issue) the wedding planning hat is firmly back on my head and it's all systems GO!

Sang An

The venue is finally booked - the gorgeously quaint and adorable Friars Court (www.silverpearweddings.com) near Oxford. I'd originally tried to book when I first got engaged but they were full for every Saturday for 2011, eek. But then, in a fortuitous twist of fate - a wedding, on my date, pulled out. And Jeffrey, who runs Friars Court's weddings, was my wedding guardian angel! Every girl should have one - he suggested florists, tipped me off on the best caterers, discussed logistics and being an interior designer could share my 'vision' for all the pretty things. After dealing with so many venues who didn't seem to really even care about what my name was, let alone my colour theme, he was a breath of fresh air, and his emails are now a fixture in my inbox as we discuss suppliers and ideas...

So this weekend I went up to Oxford (with the mother who loved the opportunity to be involved) to see a couple of florists Jeffrey had recommended: Green and Gorgeous (www.greenandgorgeousflowers.co.uk) and an independent florist called Cindy Prescott.

Being a teeny tiny bit addicted to old Brides issues and wedding blogs, I decided rather than drown them under an avalanche of scrappy bits of pictures, to create a moodboard, not just of flower pictures I liked (bright, a bit 'just picked' in mis-matched coloured vintage glass vases) but also other décor details, food pictures and my colour palette (www.snippetandink.blogspot.com are great for ready pulled-together moodboards and colour combos as a starting point).

What I should have planned before I went (getting caught up in the pretty things as usual) was the practicalities: how many tables, what displays I wanted in the church, how I wanted my bouquet to look, how many ushers etc, although the florists were pretty good at guiding me through the options for each stage of the day. I mentioned everything I thought I might want (down to jam jars filled with flower heads, strung from coloured ribbons from the tress). It's easy for them to quote for the 'everything' scenario and then you can scale back according to budget and other costs. Now I just have my fingers crossed my 'vision' isn't a budget blowing one...