Hi guys, Claire here!

I’m the BM editor, but for the last year or so, I’ve also been the blog’s resident real bride, sharing all the lead up to getting hitched to the lovely Marko.

Chic-St-Tropez-Elopement-Inspiration-Ashley-Ludaescher-Photography-Beautiful-Occasions-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-19

Photo by Ashley Ludaescher Photography via Bridal Musings

I’ve waxed on about everything from my dress shopping and our decor planning, to that time we were about ready to sack the whole thing off.

And now (finally!) it’s the week of the wedding. I’m feeling relaxed, excited, and just really really happy.

But I’ve also got a lot to do!

Tuesday is our civil wedding (I’m wearing a cute blue dress and a short retro veil!), Wednesday I meet the florists, Thursday is all about tan, nails and setting up the venue, and Friday, I finally get to kiss the groom (well I’m sure there’ll be plenty of that during the week too, though we’re not really ones for PDAs.)

Beautiful-English-Barn-Wedding-Matt-Esther-Photography-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-25

Photo by Matt & Esther via Bridal Musings

So, while I’m taking time off to prep, I figured I’d leave you with a round up of my planning posts from the past year.

Stay tuned for Friday, when I’ll have one last pre-wedding post on all my last minute musings (I’m not going to lie, it might get emotional).

But until then, here’s my practical (and not so practical) posts on how we pulled our big day together…

1. The Proposal

Claires-Engagement-Ring-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-630x840

My ring by Heidi Gibson Designs

This post is all about the very simple, very lovely, very ‘us’ way Marko popped the question. I still find myself staring at my ring sometimes when I’m supposed to be typing up blog posts!

2. The Venue Search

Ruffled - photo by http://www.paulaohara.com/ - http://ruffledblog.com/irish-destination-wedding-inspiration/

Styling by Alise Taggart, Photo by Paula O’Hara via Ruffled.

This was a round-up of our hunt for the perfect venue (in two countries!) along with some handy tips I picked up along the way.

We weren’t picky at all, I swear!

3. The Time We Nearly Called It Off

What-Do-You-If-You-Want-To-Cancel-Your-Wedding-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-5

Photo by Arnau Dubois Photography via Refinery29

This one is part rant/part advice on what to do when wedding planning all gets a bit too much.

Thankfully, we got over that little meltdown!

4. The Wedding Dress

Daughters-of-Simone-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-630x840

Me meeting the gorgeous Daughters of Simone ladies, Ashley and Brit at Bridal Fashion Week.

Spoiler alert: I bought the first dress I tried on. And I still love it!

Read my best tips for finding ‘The One’.

5. The Food

10-Ideas-for-a-Street-Food-Wedding-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-61

Photo by Jose Villa Photography via Style Me Pretty

Food, glorious food. This post was all about how we planned our menu and our advice for helping you plan yours.

Top tip: Everyone LOVES ice-cream and pizza!

6. The Traditions (And Lack of Them)

Mix-and-Match-Bridesmaid-Dress-Ideas-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-22

Photo by Dan O’Day via Hello May

Wedding traditions can be awesome, but only if they feel right to you.

This post was all about why we’re not having a bridal party, a bouquet toss or first dance, but why I will be changing my name.

7. The Photography

How-To-Choose-a-Wedding-Photographer-Navy-Blur-Photography-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-4

Photo by Navyblur

Choosing a wedding photographer is hard. So, so hard. Especially when there are so many talented ones to choose from.

This one was all about how we whittled them down and found the perfect pair of photographers for us.

8. The Money Conversation

20-Non-Cheesy-Poses-for-Your-Engagement-Shoot-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-10-630x945

Photo by High Five For Love via Bridal Musings

Weddings are pricey, talking about money is awkward, and having to rein things in is tough.

This was my post all about what we saved on, and what we splurged on in the lead up to our wedding.

9. The Decor

Styling by SposiamoVi Wedding Planning, Photo by Divine Day Photography via Bridal Musings

This post was one of my favourites I put together all year.

A rundown of all things decor, from our ceremony styling to our signage, and our table layouts to our DIY projects (I really hope it inspires some of you guys too!).

10. The You’ve-Simply-Got-To-Download-It Playlist

Cool-Urban-Wedding-Alexandra-Wallace-Photography-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-19

Photo by Alexandra Wallace via Bridal Musings

Another fun post to do, I shared all about our plans for the music at our wedding, and (just because I’m nice like that) put together a list of dancefloor must-haves to get you started on your own wedding day playlist.

These songs are guaranteed to get you excited about your big day!

11. The Beautification

Hair-and-Make-up-Inspiration-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-

Photo by Kelsea Holder Photography via Wedding Chicks

I’m not normally one for pampering, but in the run up to our wedding, I’ve thoroughly embraced facials and mani-pedis.

This was my round up of all my hair, make-up and accessory plans for our wedding.

12. The Ceremony

Wedding-Ceremony-Inspiration-Real-Bride-Diary-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-2

Photo by The Nichols via Style Me Pretty

To me, the ceremony was always going to be the most special part of the day, so in this post I talked about music, readings, and our awesome officiant Dan.

(I’m really hoping everyone cries!)

13. The Groom

Fun-Lobster-Wedding-in-Maine-Zac-Wolf-Photography-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-8

Photo by Zac Wolf Photography via Bridal Musings

You didn’t think I could do a whole year of Real Bride Diaries and leave out the most important person at the wedding!

In this post, I chatted to Marko about his take on planning a wedding, and how he’s feeling ahead of the big day.

Planning-a-Wedding-Budget-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-

Photo by Lauren Balingit via Style Me Pretty

So there you have it, my entire planning diaries so far!

I’ve still lots of bits to fill you in on, like some of the details, my hen night, how we planned our honeymoon, along with lots of advice we’ve gathered during the course of planning this big party of ours. But there’s plenty of time for all that after the wedding.

Plus, I’ll have lots of (hopefully gorgeous!) pictures to share with you by then too!

So, keep your eyes peeled for Friday’s post, keep your fingers crossed for me that all goes well this week, and next time I chat to you, you can call me Mrs McGowran!

Check out all my Real Bride Diary entries here