Wedding Planning: Are Bridal Subscription Boxes Really Worth It ?

enjoy the little things

Hooray, we finally have a bit more visibility on wedding rules! In England, they’re planning to lift all wedding restrictions from 21st June – if everything goes to plan of course, but it’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s awesome news, it means we can finally resume planning. Everything has been put on hold for too long now… And apart from booking the venue, I haven’t done much so far. I thought it would be a good idea to subscribe to a monthly bridal box for some tips and ideas. If you’re tempted and still hesitating which one to choose, I’ve done a quick comparison of 6 popular boxes here.

With any subscription box, you are always going to receive a few things you don’t like or need. It’s part of the game. This is very subjective and every bride-to-be will have a different opinion. I have been receiving Blushing Bride Box for the last 6 months. Do you want to know what they sent me? Read on to have an overview of what I like and dislike, what I find useful but also what I don’t need.

Items I like… and will definitely use

blushing bride box items I really like

For the bride: wedding garter, hand cream, “love” ring dish, “love” necklace, engagement ring cleaner, heel stoppers. Ambiance/Decor: “love is in the air” giant balloon, “Mr & Mrs” candle set, fairy lights, confetti balloons. Gifts/DIY: “love” pretty ribbon, wax seal stamp kit, favour boxes, wedding bottle tags. Other accessories: hen party photo frame, “the blushing bride” make-up bag, “our best year yet” 2021 diary, “I do crew” party cups, “advice for the bride” cards.

I probably wouldn’t have bought most of these things and yet I’m determined to find them a purpose on my big day (or before!). I wouldn’t say they are in the “must-have” category, maybe more in the “nice-to-have” category. But surely you wouldn’t let a bridal box decide for you what brand to pick for your essential items anyway.

Items I like… but might not need

blushing bride box items I won't need

For the bride: “bride-to-be” novelty glasses (Elton John would love these). Other accessories: “do not disturb” door hanger, “Mr” & “Mrs” wooden chair signs, cake topper, countdown plaque, wooden “sweet bar” sign, “advice for the newlyweds” cards.

I might attempt some selfies with the pink glasses, just for fun. It’s the type of things that can create happy memories in the future! But most of these items didn’t really rock my boat… I’m still unsure if I should give them away or use them. Time will tell!

Items I dislike and/or won’t need

blushing bride box items I will give away

For the bride: “Bride” & “Mrs” crystal hair slides, diamond pen gift set, “little things to do before the big day” mini notebook, “Mrs” silky sleep mask, “Mrs” earrings. Other accessories: sparkling prosecco bottle bag, “drink if” card game, hen & stag party badges, bride & groom banner, mini notebook for a bridesmaid.

Now we enter the category of items I could do without… I’m not a big drinker, I don’t like too “cliché” accessories and I’m not planning to organise a hen do. But I have no doubt other brides-to-be would find some of these accessories very useful!

I was actually thinking about going through some decluttering recently. It’s easy to accumulate too many things you don’t really need… That’s why I decided to stop my subscription and start buying only things I will definitely use (and re-use). As a result, I will organise some giveaways by summer about several items mentioned in this post. Stay tuned on social media if you’re interested!

Conclusion: Is it worth subscribing to a bridal box?

I will try and keep my answer short:

  • If you love the idea of receiving new wedding items every month, you need to be reminded you’re getting a month closer to the big day (with something a bit more exciting that a calendar reminder), and/or you don’t mind accumulating things you might never use – then YES.
  • But if you’d rather stay in control of what you’re buying, you know exactly what you want (theme, colours, style, etc) and you hate the idea of accumulating unwanted stuff – then NO.

I subscribed myself as a consolation for not being able to plan my wedding “normally” (thanks COVID). It’s been a fun way to remind me it was going to happen eventually. I received a lot more things I really liked in the end so I have no regrets! There is even something I would have never bought myself but surprised me by how cute it actually looks: the “love” necklace (picture below). So I guess the real question is – Do you spend money with your head or with your heart?

love necklace from blushing bride box

Big Girl x

Getting Married? 6 Popular Bridal Subscription Boxes to Choose From

Have you heard of bridal subscription boxes? I’ve always loved receiving mystery boxes on a regular basis: from fruits & vegetables every week to beauty products every month. You pay a fixed amount (usually monthly but it varies) and someone else handpicks the products you receive. Part of the game is you never know if you’re going to be pleasantly surprised or disappointed (a bit like Christmas gifts). I’m not the only one who loves that concept… Tons of bridal subscription boxes have been created to accompany future brides from the moment they’re engaged until their honeymoon, there are so many out there that it could be a bit difficult to know which one to pick! So I thought I would do an overview of 6 options I looked at myself before making my own decision, and hopefully help you with yours!

MISS TO MRS BOX – Based in the US

Your first box with them is shipped within 2 business days, perfect if you don’t want to wait too long! Your subscription will be tailored based on your wedding date, which is kind of cool: you enter your date and it suggests the best plan for you. For example you’ll receive your boxes every 3 months if your wedding is still far away, every 2 months, every month or twice a month if you’re already close to the big day. Each box costs $35 USD (shipping not included) and there are 9 boxes in total (the subscription ends after the 9th box). Themes are always the same so you already have a good idea of what kind of items you’re going to receive.

THE BRIDE BOX – Based in the US

This is another famous subscription box, following a completely different model: you can choose between several subscriptions (3, 6, 9 or 12 months) or a rolling monthly plan that you can cancel anytime. Each box costs between $34.99 and $39.99 USD depending on the plan you choose (shipping not included). Boxes are shipped around 15th-20th of each month and contain items from various brands and artists in the bridal industry. They claim to be the original monthly subscription box (before so many others started to copy the idea!). They also offer one-off boxes you can purchase as gifts and you’ll know exactly what’s in the box – no disappointment.

THE RING BOXES – Based in the US

Same options are offered: 3, 6, 9 or 12 month subscription or a rolling monthly plan that you can cancel anytime, with very similar prices as each box costs between $34 and $39.95 USD (shipping not included) depending on the plan you choose. This time, boxes are shipped around 4th-8th of each month. They come up with a new theme every month to help future brides in their planning process and to pamper themselves. They also offer boxes for same sex couples which is always thoughtful – no awkward “groom” items for Mrs & Mrs weddings. Worth mentioning the international shipping cost is quite expensive with them ($15.95 USD).

TEAM HEN (BETROTHAL BOX) – Based in the UK

This website offers way more than just a subscription box, with various items from engagement gifts to bridesmaid proposals, but also diverse clothes and accessories. It’s a great website to get inspiration from! It’s nonetheless another competitor as they also offer a monthly subscription box for brides to be. Each box costs £25 (shipping not included) and you can choose to receive it every month or every 2 months. You can also pause, skip or cancel at any time so it’s a great option if you want some flexibility (your subscription will automatically cancel after your 6th box anyway). They are currently not shipping outside of the EU.

THE INSPIRE BOX – Based in the UK

You can choose between a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription, or a rolling monthly plan that you can cancel anytime. Each box costs between £21.99 and £24.99 depending on the plan you choose, but shipping is included in the price this time. Boxes are shipped around 25th of each month. Their website is very simple, clear to understand as it’s the only thing they offer and I like the fact that you can see what they sent in previous boxes. You can quickly have a feel if you like their products or not! They also offer a same sex couple option to make sure you receive relevant products and they like asking what you wish to receive in the future (it can always inspire them).

BLUSHING BRIDE BOX – Based in the UK

I finish with this box because it’s the one I picked for myself. I liked the fact that it’s British because I was always going to receive it quicker than a box from the States (and I also avoid more expensive shipping rates). Each box costs £22.99 (shipping not included) if you pick the monthly rolling basis, otherwise you can prepay and save with a 3 month plan or a 6 month plan (where each box will then cost £21.49 but you’ll have to pay upfront). For some it could be inconvenient but I actually like that it automatically renews unless you cancel. I also like their online shop where you can buy popular items from previous boxes. Each box is sent around 20th of each month and I’ve just received the November box today! Below what I received:

Blushing Bride Box November 2020
  • 10 favour boxes – very useful!
  • a wax seal stamp kit – to personalise your invitations with a “love” stamp made with a rose gold melted wax (I love it)
  • a lemon superfood rescue butter – it’s always nice to receive a beauty product in the box, I tend to have dry skin so this is perfect
  • a wooden “sweet bar” sign – still unsure if we’re going to have a sweet bar at our wedding but we can always use them separately
  • a notebook for one of your bridesmaids – most brides have more than one bridesmaid but they also sell them for only £2.50 in the online shop
  • a “Bride & Groom” banner – the type of things you don’t think of buying yourself but could be nice to have
  • 8 “I do crew” hen party cups – I will definitely use them with my crew!

If you fancy trying it out, you can use the code BIGGIRL at checkout to get £5 off your first Blushing Bride Box on the monthly subscription plan! You’re welcome! 🙂

So what bridal box tempts you the most? If you know someone who’s getting married soon, I guarantee they will love this as a gift for Christmas (if they haven’t subscribed to one of them already)! I can’t believe Christmas is only a month away now…

Big Girl x

How to Pick the Perfect Engagement Ring For You

how to pick the perfect engagement ring

The ring you choose says a lot about your relationship. Hence why it has to be the right one! It’s so much pressure on guys though… In my opinion, it should be something that involves both parties. And it’s also fair for the one who will wear it forever (hopefully!). But in case you want to keep it as a surprise (I can see the appeal of it), then this post aims to give some advice on the matter. Hopefully it will help you if you’re still at the very beginning of this journey.

Define your budget

The first thing to do is probably to define how much you can afford to put in the ring. And then understand what you can get for your money. It’s common knowledge to spend at least two months salary on the ring… But let’s be honest, it’s probably a rule invented by jewellers. So do whatever feels right for you! Also ask yourself what’s more important: the real value of the ring, the way it looks, or both?

Diamonds or other gemstones?

When it comes to diamonds, it’s not only difficult to see if they’re real or fake, but their quality defines their price range. It could be frustrating as sometimes the difference is not even visible to the naked eye… Diamonds are the most popular gemstone for engagement rings but you can also consider alternatives. Emerald, ruby or sapphire are also becoming popular for example.

If you’re not sure and don’t want to go wrong though, remember diamonds are a girl’s best friend! No matter where you buy it from, make sure you get a GIA certificate with it. It’s the most recognised institution among diamond grading. It will give you a guarantee of the quality of your purchase, defined by the “4C’s”.

If you opt for a diamond, learn about the 4C’s

  • Cut – How the diamond is cut is really important because it affects its sparkle. I would strongly recommend to not compromise too much on this one
  • Colour – Diamonds can go from D (colourless) to Z (yellow), it’s usually best to stick within the colourless range (from D to F)
  • Clarity – This characteristic is where you can compromise the most because imperfections are often microscopic, although it’s recommended to go for minimum VS2 (very slightly included), as close as possible to FL (flawless) as your budget allows
  • Carat – That’s the most obvious one as it refers to the diamond’s weight, which means its size if you compare diamonds with a similar cut/shape (people usually go for between 1 and 2 carats)

Do you research online

Take the time to do your own research. The links below explain quite well what you should look for in a diamond and tell you what you need to know, before you make that big purchase:

How we picked my engagement ring

I’m sure you’re curious about my own engagement ring now, given that I picked it myself! How I got engaged was still a surprise for me but as it happened abroad, my fiancé used a temporary ring instead so he wouldn’t stress about losing it during our travels.

Our thought process behind our choice:

  • I knew I wanted to go for a solitaire (classic and traditional, simple and beautiful) but I also liked the idea of a trilogy (representing the past, present and future) so we went for a solitaire with 2 mini diamonds on each side of the stone
  • Most solitaire rings feature a round diamond but I liked the idea of something a bit more unique so we went for a cushion shape, a square with rounded angles (like my personality, according to my mum)
  • The band had to be platinum because it’s the most durable and solid metal, it’s also hypoallergenic so no risk of getting irritated skin
  • Last but not least – It had to be a real diamond from the Earth (not lab created) because our relationship is genuine and we are from completely different ethnicities, representing a big part of our planet’s population (especially if we go back to our ancestors)
my engagement ring

We bought it online

We chose the stone and the band separately but on the same website: James Allen. Their engagement ring section is very nice and they have a great selection of diamonds, with an online tool that allows you to design your own ring. We really enjoyed playing with it to create the perfect one for me to wear. The only caveat – unless you live in the US – is that you will have to pay an expensive customs fee (roughly 20% of the total cost of the ring). But overall it was still worth it and cheaper than most jewellers in the UK.

We found the best value for money was online and we were so impressed by their service! We decided to use them again for our wedding rings… Unfortunately we won’t get to wear them until only end of next year. I can’t wait!

Hope you enjoyed reading this and that it gave you some insights about how to pick the right engagement ring, whether you’re doing it together or as a surprise… What type of ring will you go for?

Big Girl x

We Got Engaged in Bali, in a Pre-COVID World

How I Got Engaged

You may be wondering… “Ok, she’s decided to focus on her health and change her lifestyle for good. Any particular trigger?”. Of course, the fact that unhealthy people tend to be the most likely to die from the virus is one of the reasons. I love my life and I don’t want to take the risk to shorten it. Especially if I have the power to increase my chances to live longer. But there is something else… I’m a bride-to-be and I want to look my best for the wedding! Let’s go back to how it all happened for us.

Communication is key

I would like to think this article will not interest only girls but guys as well. There is so much pressure on men’s shoulders to make it right! Let me tell you something guys, you don’t have to do it all alone. After all, are we not evolving towards an era of equality between genders? When you’re in a serious relationship, you know it’s inevitable to talk about your future together. Do you want to get married? Do you want kids? It could compromise your entire relationship if you disagree on one of these questions. Nowadays, it seems like couples don’t invest so much on relationships and tend to call it off too easily. Are you scared of being hurt or missing out by committing too soon? You better be aligned on these two points before you invest too much time in it.

We made our own rules

Now that you know that you both want to get married, it’s a matter of when to pop the question. My boyfriend (now fiancé) and I knew we were at that stage of the relationship and discussed about when would be the right moment for him to propose. It’s a formality we didn’t want to skip (he even asked my dad’s permission beforehand) but we also wanted it to be at our image.

So we agreed on the following: he picked the moment and the location (but we decided it was going to happen at some point during our 6 months travel) and we picked together the ring I was going to wear for the rest of my life. The ring is a big investment so I don’t really think it should be left to one person only to decide. You know what, it’s actually a lot of fun to compare options and agree on what to buy together. Don’t forget this symbolic ring reflects your relationship, whether you go discreet, extravagant, unique or traditional etc.

Tip for those who are planning to propose abroad: Bring a fake temporary ring with you! It’s not worth the stress to bring THE ring with you and worry about losing it!

The element of surprise

I left him to decide the date, the location, the setting etc because it’s important to leave these decisions to the one who’s proposing: it kind of maintains an element of surprise when you’re making sure you’re at least aligned on the bigger picture. So here we are, he proposed in Bali! He booked a dinner experience with a rice terrace view at sunset, we had our own waiter at our disposal and a sophisticated set menu of 5 courses… You get it, we’re both foodies and we could enjoy our meal in all intimacy! The setting was amazing and they even made a heart with flowers on the floor.

Kupu Kupu Barong Bali

Happy memories

This place is called Kupu Kupu Barong, in Ubud. It takes me back to December 2019, just before the pandemic started to affect us all in the world. I can say these memories will stay in our heads forever. Are you also engaged? If yes, please do share your experience in the comments below!

Big Girl x