For anyone who doesn’t know, I had been planning my wedding since November last year (the wedding itself being on August 31st this year). So basically I had 9 months to sort it all out…only that isn’t really the case because everything BIG needs to be sorted out a loonnnngggggg way before the big day!
The venue was the first thing to be booked, and we settled on a lovely castle in Shrewsbury. Who wouldn’t want to get married in a castle, right? 🙂 We weren’t going to have a big wedding (although our first list of names came to around 100 people lol!) so it’s just a small castle, which sounds odd to say. So anyway, after flying back to England (from Italy) I went and viewed a LOT of venues. I wanted to make sure both my fiance and I had what we wanted for the wedding and with him not being in the country then I asked him beforehand if there was anything he really wanted. His reply was “Something outdoors”, which sounded good to me too. Simple, right? Wrong.
England has a crazy law where you can only get legally married in a permanent structure with a roof (that is licensed to perform weddings). So that quickly ruled out a lot of things – I had visions of being married in the woods or a forest somewhere, maybe even on a beach in Cornwall… I did my very best and even found somewhere that had purposefully built a glass-walled gazebo on a wooded island by a hotel, but they were very inflexible with the plans for the wedding day and it was clear that it would be very much their perfect wedding and not ours.
So I did a lot more hunting around, found some great places but nothing was totally perfect. By this point it was getting towards the end of November (we hadn’t decided on a date by this point, only that we wanted it Autumn-ish time in 2010) and I was so frazzled that I felt like booking it at the local Little Chef!
Long story short, I got it narrowed down to 2 places, showed my fiance and he immediately said the castle. So then I had to figure out a booking date that suited everyone! Who said weddings were easy to plan?! ..oh wait, noone. lol! We got lucky with the date because at first we weren’t offered any dates that worked well at all, but when I called again to say so the lady told me she had literally just put the phone down on a cancellation for August 31st! So I snapped it up 🙂
I made myself a list of things to do for the wedding and checked them off as quickly as possible (which wasn’t quick enough in some cases), but the one that kept nagging at me was that I didn’t have a wedding dress. I saw several that I liked, even went to my cousin’s house because she runs a bridal shop at home, but nothing screamed “That’s the one!” Well no, that’s a lie because very early in 2009, before we even got engaged, I had seen a gorgeous wedding dress displayed in a local shopping centre. I’d taken a photo of it at the time and spent AGES running around every wedding shop to find out what it was and where to get one. It turned out to be discontinued, so nowhere had one, and also a lot of money – I tracked one down on a site similar to ebay but it was several sizes too small and several 0’s too expensive!
In the end though that was all a blessing in disguise. I made a decision that my mind needed to be made up, and a dress paid for, by the end of The National Wedding Fair at the NEC in March this year. I got there the minute it opened and was there until the minute it closed. Mom and I looked at EVERY dress in there (no exaggeration) and my arms felt like I’d been in the gym for days on end – wedding dresses weigh a ton!! I had it narrowed down to 2 dresses and the store lady was kind enough to give me and my Mom free passes to come back in the next day so I could sleep on it and make my mind up without panicking and rushing. So we went back the next day, still not sure, and I did my best to try them on (one was 1 size smaller than me, the other was TINY!) and came to a unanimous decision on a Ronald Joyce dress (pics to follow in another post).
After that it felt almost like a blur, the months flew past and I was having stressful freak outs more often than I wanted :/ It’s a hell of a stressful time, planning a wedding, but it all got done in time for my fiance and his family flying over from America.
I’ll talk about the day itself in another post because I think this mini-novel is long enough hehe and I’m starting to get quite sleepy.