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Our romantic champagne and ivory wedding 1.7.17

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Bridezilla

Hi everyone, 

I have a been a lurker on here for a few months now and have loved reading everyone's planning threads so thought I would start my own. I knew I wanted a memory of planning my wedding, so I hope that people enjoy reading it and I would love for your input and suggestions. Lets start at the very beginning! 

How we met

Through an online dating website!

It was March 2010 and I had been a member of this dating website for one day when the future love of my life messaged me. Three days in, I asked for his personal email address and left the site. I had never had a date with someone I didn’t already know, so purposely scheduled our first date for an early dinner before my part-time evening job, back when I was a student. We met at a well-known pan-Asian restaurant chain, it was Easter time and he bought me a chocolate gorilla Easter egg. I then found out he is obsessed with chocolate (even more then me) and so felt guilty I didn’t bring him one. He had never been to said restaurant before and I recommended him a meal which he found too spicy but he handled it really well and didn’t tell me until weeks later! We got on really well, conversation was flowing and I found him very attractive.

Unfortunately, just after the first date was Easter holidays during which I was going to Berlin to visit a friend. So I went back to my hometown, and realised two days before my flight that I left my passport in my student house so headed back to collect it. This was the perfect opportunity for date number two, for which he took me to one of his favourite restaurants, a cute little Portuguese place. We got a taxi home and when I went to get out the taxi, I wanted to give him a kiss but was too shy!

I then headed to Berlin and we were in almost constant email contact. Unfortunately my flight was cancelled and I was in Berlin for 5 extra days due to the Icelandic volcano eruption! When I eventually got back, he came to meet me and unpack my car, including my pet fish tank! We then went for dinner and watched a film and the rest is history!

I was soon planning a move to London, and he immediately planned on coming with me. In fact, he got a job before I had finished my degree so ended up moving 9 months before I did. So we were long-distance for 9 months, and then moved in together. We soon got our beloved cat, Aura. And 2.5 years ago we got our little doggy, Zac. We have never been happier. 

Bridezilla

The proposal

I, light-heartedly, had always said that if a man doesn’t propose within 5 years, then he can “sling his hook”. Well......five years came and went with no proposal haha, despite going to a very romantic restaurant. We had spoken about marriage quite a bit, and both our families asked us about it whenever they saw us, so the pressure was really on my man!

I decided to shut my mouth about marriage and try and forget about it but nevertheless, every time we were doing something nice it would be in the back of my mind. On a random Saturday in June, we were having one of our pyjama days. I think I got out of bed the wrong side that morning and was a little irritable so was playing on the XBox (we are a little geeky like that, privately!) and getting frustrated with that. He had suggested that we go to the local pub for lunch as we didn’t have food, to which I reluctantly agreed (not intending on getting dressed that day). He dragged me off the sofa into the bedroom to get dressed, where my cat was sleeping on the bed. And as I always do, I sat on the bed to give her a stroke and felt something on her collar. I looked and saw it was sparkly and looked back at Ollie, who was down on one knee, with our doggy on the floor next to him and said “I thought it was about time I asked you to marry me?!”

My jaw hit the floor from which point I don’t remember much, except saying “of course!”, us both taking the ring off Aura's collar, him putting it on my finger, and me jumping on the bed screaming.

After examining the ring (with tear-filled eyes) and lots of hugs and kisses, my fiancé told me that for lunch he had actually booked us lunch in our closest Michelin star restaurant and that we needed to leave in 15 minutes. 15 minutes from PJs and bed head, to Michelin-Star just got engaged.....needless to say I didn’t look my best!

Here is the ring. He picked it all by himself and it fit perfectly! He later told me that he had been carrying it around in his bag for just over a month, too nervous to pop the question. I honestly don’t believe he could have found a better way to do it, his miraculously managed to surprise the girl who couldn’t be surprised! And he did it surrounded by our favourite things, our home, our little family and pyjamas!

At lunch, we had champagne cocktails, a bottle of wine and Irish coffees. Then when we got home we sat in the garden with a pen and paper working out a guest list with a bottle of champagne which we finished. Needless to say we were rather drunk by that evening. I am a generally a tee total person!

We were seeing my family (who aren’t local) the following weekend, and Ollie’s family in 3 weekends time, so we managed to keep the whole thing off social media and secret (except a small number of friends who we couldn’t avoid at work). Exactly one month later we announced it to the world on facebook and the real planning commenced 

Bridezilla

That is a lovely story. My fiancé proposed to me at home with our cats and I love how small and intimate it was! (I was in a robe after a Shower and he was in his work gear!) Lovely story so far xx

"I am learning to trust the journey, even when I do not understand it"

Follow my TTC journey on Instagram @the_truth_about_ttc

Blog is https://oneletterdifferentblog.wordpress.com/

Bridezilla

i was about to say the same as mrsm - great proposal story! i too am another home proposal bride lol.

looking forward to hearing about your plans - i am having a white theme. white/ivory...it's the same isn't it?! (sort of!) x

Bridezilla

Aww thanks for your kind messages ladies - I was thinking hmmm no-one will read this! Yeah whenever people ask how he proposed I always say oh it is really boring and tell them the story and they all think it is actually really sweet - meant a lot to us and very personal! I'm just working on the first instalment of the actual wedding plans 

Bridezilla

Being a wedding obsessive person, I thought I already had strong ideas as to what I wanted. However, when I started reading advice on wedding planning and browsing Pinterest I realised how many decisions are needed to be made in this process that I had never even considered! One thing I did know was that I wanted a champagne and ivory colour theme, a barn location and rustic theme decoration. Here are some of my favourite Pinterest inspirations:

Log slices to elevate table decorations - I am thinking a small ivory arrangements which I will do myself, in Jam jars, with tealight holders.

Placecard holders

Arrangements similar to this but solely ivory flowers

Inspiration for my bouquet

Bridesmaids bouquets

 Confetti cones

Gold table runners

Plenty of gold tealights

Table plan using vintage photoframes and ladder

Bridesmaid dresses - though I am only having two ;)

Bridezilla

Love your proposal story! Although if we tried that with my cat I would have added 'long bleeding scratches on arms' to my outfit that day lol. We only tried to make her wear a collar once and let's just say we never attempted that again...

Bridezilla

Sammykate wrote (see post):

Love your proposal story! Although if we tried that with my cat I would have added 'long bleeding scratches on arms' to my outfit that day lol. We only tried to make her wear a collar once and let's just say we never attempted that again...

Aww bless! Ours is very docile on that front but I did say to him after what would you have done if she had gone out in between him putting it on her and dragging me into the bedroom...! He shut her in there though - clever cookie!

Wedding addict

Love your colour scheme!  I am thinking along similar lines for ours as well.  Looking forward to reading about the rest! x

Bridezilla

The Venue hunt

So a girl from pilates who just got married had told me the venue was the hardest thing to decide on and I just thought “Oh I know what I want, it’ll be fine”. This was a mistake...

My fiancé and I had already decided that we wanted to get married in the New Forest as we both spent a lot of time there as children as we have extended family there, it is convenient for both families and we have holidayed there together and love it. We are planning on eventually living there so it was the clear option.

Key things that we wanted out of our venue were: a barn, in the forest setting. We wanted it to be able to hold our entire day including a civil ceremony licence, preferably with accommodation on site, for both us and our guests ideally.

We spent two full weekends viewing a total of 13 venues. I didn’t anticipate so much variety of packages available. It seemed that nothing met all of our main criteria, and we were further confused by variations in price, location and variety of packages. We were soon debating whether we wanted a complete DIY setting (where nothing was included and we needed to source everything, from lighting and all decoration, to catering, a mobile bar and cleaner afterwards) or an all in package which even included DJ, stationary, flowers and photographer!

We eventually narrowed it down to two of the venues we had seen and eventually decided on a venue which was not even built yet, but I just had “the feeling” that it was right. It promises to be a bright and airy barn, set in the grounds of a gorgeous manor hotel in the heart of the New Forest. The catering is a drawing factor, with the restaurant having 2 AA rosettes (we are massive foodies so this was a big plus), and the staff sold the venue as providing a bespoke to service to their clients. We were the very first couple to book to venue and so far the service has been spot-on. They are accommodating, patient and I can really tell that the customer always comes first. We are going to view the completed barn in March and I simply cannot wait! Here are some of the pics used for the designer’s inspiration and the designers drawing. 

The outside of the hotel

The outside of the hotel

The inspiration for the barn

The designers drawing

New bride

Congratulations!  What a wonderful proposal and such a gorgeous ring! Very lucky lady. xx

Fantastic choices, the Barn in the Forrest sounds wonderful and exciting, that'd be the one i'd pick if i wasn't married already. hahahahaha. Looks like you have the more important things almost taken care of, have you found a dress yet? 

Look forward to reading more posts in the near future. Good Luck with the rest of the planning. xx

Bridezilla

Hey Metoo - thanks for reading my ramblings!

Yes I have a dress and a couple of other things sorted, these posts are yet to come! Ill try and get the dress installment done tonight! 

Bridezilla

So the day after we booked the venue I thought to myself “Fantastic, we can now book the registrar”. Alas no.....I am starting to learn that nothing is simple in the process of planning a wedding. Of course they needed to know a time.

I knew I wanted it to be an earlier wedding to take full advantage of my day, but I couldn't decide a time until I knew what time we wanted dinner. We have some family members who are very particular about what time they would like their dinner and then we also had to factor in that there would also be an evening meal and that this shouldn't be overly late.

One thing I did know was that I wanted a long reception drinks as my family have spread to all four corners of the country and know I want plenty of relaxed time to chat with them, as well as some time alone with my new husband and time for photos.

So we decided on the following timetable which we feel works for us best. Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

12.30 – Ceremony

13.00 – Reception drinks with string quartet, garden games

13.30 – Canapés

14.30 - String quartet finish and time for photos

15.00 - Bride and Groom photo session and some time alone

15.45 - Receiving line

16.00 – Wedding breakfast

17.30 (approx) - Speeches

19:30 – First Dance and start of the evening music

20:30 – Evening food

22.00 – We leave

23.00 – Bar closes and music finishes

The only thing that concerned us was the long gap between finishing the speeches (approx 6pm) and our attempt to kick of the party with a first dance at 19.30. So our next task we planning entertainment for this time and for the evening.......

Bridezilla

Holy gorgeous venue - one of the prettiest inside AND out that I think I have seen on here to date! 

I can't wait to hear about your dress - more, more! 

I wouldn't be too concerned about the gap between the eating/ speeches and the start of the party/dancing. I've been married before, and I found that most people are very content to just eat and relax, have a few drinks and catch up on chit chat with family and friends, many that they haven't seen in a very long time. I would definitely have music playing, whether it's favorite tunes loaded onto a iPod, a pianist, a string quartet, or the like. Also, once you finish your meal, this is a GREAT opportunity for you and the husband to try to get around to a few tables and say your hellos. EVERYONE is going to want to speak with you and congratulate you; they will be more excited to do this than any other entertainment that you could possibly offer.

Bridezilla

Aww thanks Kitten! 

I can't wait to show you my dress! I will get writing soon! 

That is very good to know about the evening as well :) Thanks. What you have said totally rings true for us as our family really are in all fours corners of the country so it will be a lovely family get-together for everyone. 

Bridezilla

Keep in mind that with a 12.30 ceremony, guests will be arriving at 12 and possibly travelling before that, so nobody will have had lunch! So 4 seems a little late for the meal to me. Also as the meal can take up to 2 hours, that means you could be serving your evening food only 2.5 hours after your meal ends.

I'm sure none of the above will make for a real problem, it's just that people might be getting pretty hungry come 4pm, unless your canapes are substantial! And you don't want the evening food to go to waste if everyone is still full from the meal.

 

Bridezilla

I totally understand you wanting bride and groom time and photos,  but from a guests point of view that means they will get their food 45 mins later! I would serve canapés and welcome drinks at the same time to stop people getting too sloshed straight away and then do my couple photos after the meal? Perhaps arrnage some guests entertainment for then and have 45 mins? Most photographers suggest doing it then as the lighting is better too. I just think it is a long wait for food otherwise and people get grumpy. What are you serving as evening food? I don't think it needs to be huge as above ladies said, its 2:30 hours after breakfast gas stopped. And why are you leaving at 10? Don't you want to stay until the end?

"I am learning to trust the journey, even when I do not understand it"

Follow my TTC journey on Instagram @the_truth_about_ttc

Blog is https://oneletterdifferentblog.wordpress.com/

Bridezilla

Thanks for your inputs girls

Sammykate - I was always considering having the meal at 3pm and still might change it (especially after you mentioned that the evening food is only 2.5 hours after the breakfast). The main reason I didn't do it was because then that will mean longer hanging around after the meal before the evening party. So I thought either way there is going to be hanging around. But as kitten pointed out above, I am sure my guests will just be pleased to have the family altogether and will be happy chatting amongst themselves. 

MrsM - We are leaving at at 10pm as we think we will be zonked by then and just want time alone together. Plus I am pretty sure that the music needs to stop by 2300 and neither us nor our guests are are big drinkers/party people anyway. This time is flexible though so if we want to stay we will!. Good idea to serve the canapés at the same time! So you think do the bride and groom pics after the meal? So something like this? 

13.00 - receptions drinks, canapés, string quartet and garden games

14.30 - Group photos

15.00 - receiving line

15.15 - Wedding breakfast

16.45 - Speeches

17.15 - Bride and groom shots 

18.00 - Our evening entertainment as planned (we have something planned for 18.00-19..30 now which I will go into in a later post )

 

Bridezilla

That seems like a better scheduale to me- as said above, there will always be waiting around at some point, but people would probably rather wait around full rather than hungry!

I'm planning to split our bride and groom photos- half an hour in the gap before the meal, half an hour in the gap after. Then we aren't away from our guests for too long at any point, and we get different light for each set. Also I don't want to leave them all until after the meal in case I spill something on my dress...!