Hi everyone, been toying with ideas for a blog post today as my fingers were itching to write. I have many posts up my sleeve that take a bit more researching so, in the meantime, sitting here with naff all on TV (what happened to Saturday nights?) I thought I would take a quick look back over a whole year of marriage and say out loud what I’ve been contemplating since our wedding: if I went right back to the beginning, would I change anything? I’m still pretty convinced on the man. I definitely got that bit right. But, did I spend long enough on choosing my dress? Should we have had chair covers? Did we have the right colour flowers? Why didn’t I bring the iPod charger? But seriously, I’ve thought about it over the last year, since being propelled into the world of weddings and having the privilege to meet the most amazing suppliers I didn’t know about before, and have come to this conclusion:

The dress

I never expected to find my dress in my hometown. I never expected to find it in one day! I had dreamt of a vintage gown, probably 60s inspired (as that has always been my favourite era) yet, here I was, with a modern, 50s inspired dress which cost double my budget. Having said that, this is why I am sticking with my Justin Alexander.

Because I had no idea of which style I wanted, I literally gave everything a go. I tried on 20s style column dresses, more traditional gowns and am AMAZING full silk 50s style dress that Princess Margaret would have swooned over. After three appointments at pretty much all the bridal shops in Chelmsford, I’d completely confused myself about what I actually wanted. I loved them all. Without sounding pretentious, they all looked kinda good and my mum was pretty unhelpful as she liked them all! But, in the last shop of the day, and the penultimate dress I tried on, I had that “moment”. Like walking into your dream house, or locking eyes with that perfect partner, I just knew. It was “it”. People who know me, know that I’m not an emotional person, but I literally could have cried. It took my breath away and although it was nothing like I had imagined, it WAS my dream dress without me even knowing it.

Jewellery

As I had chosen a dress with a neckline which wouldn’t work with a necklace, I decided to make a statement with my tiara. I knew I didn’t want a princess tiara look and researched vintage tiaras and headbands. I found two local companies who provide utterly beautiful pieces but, being the impatient sort, I chose the company who gave me the earliest appointment I could get! And boy am I glad! My beautiful 50s inspired tiara was from the amazing Julia Beazley whose home is a treasure trove of fabulous pieces. I literally could have bought them all, and my mum and I spent a good few hours salivating over the pieces. Julia is the most accommodating person and didn’t rush our decision, nor pushed us into any decision. The tiara moment was very much like the dress moment, and I just knew. The compliments I received on the day made me realise I had definitely made the right decision – the tiara sparkled spectacularly in the church and was a real wow factor. I can’t recommend Julia’s tiaras enough to anyone looking for a piece of very special jewellery.

The venue

Church: People who have known me for a while would probably have never thought I would have got married in church. I always considered church weddings for non-religious followers to be hypocritical. However, what I hadn’t considered was connections. The church we got married in was utterly beautiful, but it was also the church my husband’s grandparents were married in, and where some of his family are buried. Furthermore, our vicar was a dream. She got to know us personally and the service was just beautiful. It was informal, funny and warm and we couldn’t have wished for more. And besides, where else would we have got this amazing shot!

Reception: Well, this was a no-brainer. We are exceptionally lucky to have a farm in the family and it had always been the place we would hold the reception at. There is nothing better than arriving at the farm whenever we go, looking at that meadow and knowing that was the place we had the best party of our lives. Our wedding wasn’t lux. It wasn’t meticulously styled. But that’s not what we wanted. We wanted an easy-going, friendly, intimate and fun wedding where people could simply hang out and have fun. And I’m pretty convinced that’s what they got. We had so many lovely comments about the day – that it was the best wedding for just that reason, that it was relaxed and fun. So, a big tick for the farm. And in no way, shape or form would I ever change that special place.

The stationery

Since being married, I have been lucky enough to find the MOST amazing stationery suppliers (Something Kinda Cute, Dotty Pink and Claire Spake to name but a few!). I am frequently blown away by gorgeous artwork I see for weddings and swoon at it, wishing I had the skills these people do! Our invitations had this front cover:

It may seem a little weird. But for people who know us, they will understand! I would never have changed these, even though it was a little embarrassing giving them to people like the boss and elderly relatives! Buying a minging dress from eBay, heading down to the farm and having photos taken while breathing in the awful smell of rubber was no fun at the time but I absolutely adore our invitations because of the fun element! And I think (I hope!) our friends & family appreciated them too!

The styling

Let’s get this straight from the start. We never had a theme. I hate “themes”. Why would you make your wedding a sideshow? I’m adamant that weddings should be a day that represents the couple and that was THE only rule we followed. Having only 6 months to plan and organise our wedding and a completely blank canvas of a venue, we relied heavily on others to help us in the styling of our marquee. “Vintage” wasn’t a theme we went for. My husband wouldn’t have married me if I hadn’t allowed the Capris as cars and the farm had certain restrictions in terms of catering so afternoon tea and our wedding transport was kind of secured without even thinking about it. And I’m really proud of what we achieved. In six months, we collected all our styling pieces along with help from parents and family. Every piece of bunting was handmade by my mum and our beautiful flowers were grown at the farm and arranged by my mother in law and husband’s aunty! This was the ultimate in personal weddings. The only thing I would have absolutely changed was our chairs. I would have loved wooden folding chairs but we simply couldn’t stretch our budget any further. And I can live with that.

The man

The first year of marriage is a funny old time. Things don’t change, they are exactly the same as not being married! But you do feel different. In a good way. I take advantage sometimes – I demand cups of tea when I know it’s really my turn. I take for granted my breakfast made for me every morning. My husband remains the most amazing man I know and has been the epitome of loyalty and patience for the last year. So, wooden chairs aside, and the annoying iPod incident laughed off, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because our wedding was all about us and that’s all I ever wanted.

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