This Year’s Big Adventure

It’s been a busy and exciting start to the year and we’re only three weeks in!

Usually January is the month when I get my travel plans in order and try to arrange a schedule for the year according to my annual leave. This year there is only room to focus on one big adventure – I’m getting married!

Engagement, wedding planning Sara Hardman travels

After a very romantic Christmas day proposal, I have been caught up in a whirlwind of wedding venues, dresses, colour schemes, guest lists, menu choices, seasonal flowers, cake tasting and lots and lots of celebratory Champagne. It’s fair to say that this will be the start of my biggest life adventure to date.

I thought planning a two year solo backpacking trip was hard work but this a whole other level. It requires ten times the brain space, strategizing and organisation and it’s just one day!

First big decision? The dress.

There are so many choices and so much to learn about veils, train length, the difference between silk and satin  – and what on earth is tulle??
My wedding dress shopping tip is to abandon all hope of dignity and floating gracefully through the shop whilst shedding a tear like a scene from the movies… It’s been two weeks of stripping off, only to have several ladies’ hands up my skirt as they fluff and puff and smooth and preen you to perfection so you can waddle out to stand on a box in the middle of the store, trying to read your mother’s expression.

I have sampled around 20 gowns, had car-wash sponges pushed down the back of size 16 dresses in an attempt to demonstrate a size 8 fit. I’ve learnt that you cannot just breeze in, try and buy – there is an average 5 month waiting period when you order a bridal dress! Order? I thought they were just hanging on a rail ready to be picked in my size… So much to learn and so little time as we plan to make the big day this summer!

Wedding planning, Sara Hardman Travels

The dress has been on my mind day and night since the engagement, however, today I found ‘the one’. The dress that will take me from Miss to Mrs. Friends told me I’d just know when I found the right dress and it’s true. It’s beautiful, no description would do it justice and it’s the first step on my next big journey.

Five months to go:
Next? The venue.



  • All wedding tips, advice and planning ideas VERY gratefully received! Please leave a comment if you have any wedding ideas to share.
    Thank you 🙂





14 thoughts on “This Year’s Big Adventure

    1. Thank you, Dan, I appreciate that. I’m sure once some of the major decisions are arranged I can slow down and really start to enjoy it along the way.

  1. Exciting!! Make sure you do trials on your hair. My friend had a freelance beauty/hair professional but didnt do enough trials and wished shed tried lots of style options before the day x

    1. Great advice, thank you! I still have no idea whether I want to have it up or down or curled…I’m getting lots of ideas from pinterest at the moment as a starting point.

  2. Congratulations, beautiful rings. Looking forward to dress photos! Just make sure you please yourselves don’t try to please everyone else because it’s impossible. It’s YOUR day 🙂

    1. Thank you. I love the ring, he did an incredible job, it’s exactly what I would have picked if I was doing it myself! I’m really trying to make sure we plan the day as we would like but it’s very difficult because I do worry about how the choices/time/date/location will affect guests. I expect as it gets closer and the stress increases I’ll get more ruthless 🙂

  3. Hi Sara, Many congratulations on your engagement. My website now has a new Wedding and Special Occasions Magazine featuring several Norfolk wedding suppliers and many wedding blogs including one on venue choices that might help you with your wedding planning. Please contact me if you would like any advice.

  4. Congratulations to you both, Sara! I can’t really help tips-wise, but I will say one thing – just try to enjoy every moment of everything… don’t let anything stress you out, as it were. Now – another adventure begins!

  5. Wow, wow, wow! Many congratulations to you both this is fabulous news. I wish you both every happiness. Also when you change to your married name you’ll have to keep Hardman for this site 🙂

    Planning with 5 months to go is going to be a quick turnaround but I know lots of fun. My sister got engaged at Christmas time too yet she is holding off until Spring next year. Just about got her venue sorted though.

    As for tips? Well I got married in 2013. The thing I remember the most is the people who said “it is your day, do it your way and don’t worry about anybody else”. As it turns out they were the ones who complained the most when they didn’t like what we planned and it was family! Just ignore them is what I say and get on with it.

    You’ll enjoy it no matter what.

    P.S. Don’t make Geoff watch too many episodes of Don’t Tell The Bride.

    1. Thank you! It’s all getting very exciting now that people are starting to RSVP and gradually the plans are coming together. We’re finding it really important to take occasional evenings or weekends off where all wedding talk is banned.
      Thanks for the advice, too. It’s hard trying to just think about ourselves because that goes against all instincts to make sure everyone else is happy but I think we will need to, otherwise we’ll never get through all the decisions!
      Tragically I am a fan of Don’t Tell the Bride but Geoff can’t stand it 🙂

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