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'She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within๐ŸŒน


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So after starting a thread and totally abandoning it, I thought I'd try again after stalking so many others. I'm sorry if it is long and boring, I have a habit of talking utter nonsense.

A litle bit about us

So my title kind of sums me up really. Since as young as I can remember i have been absolutely obsessed with Beauty and the Beast and the whole fairytale ending. I spent my teens and early 20s with an absolute idiot who made me believe my only purpose in life was to support him, it definitely wasn't the carriage ride away I was hoping for. 2 children later I finally got the courage to get a job to regain some independence. I finally had the confidence to leave.

In 2012 i took on an extra evening shift, which would change everything. In my job we have our regular customers, this one guy who came in most days in his work van had all the girls pressed up against the window every time the van pulled in ๐Ÿคฃ. This particular night he had pulled in, in one of these fancy cars and as my colleague called it 'The JLS top', he was going out with the boys for food and his regular garage was closed for maintenance. Having a stupid car ment we were the only garage in the area who had the super petrol for it. At this point my confidence was pretty rock bottom and I didn't ever anticipate anyone would be interested in me. When he asked for my number I genuinely thought it was a joke and When he didn't text that night it kind of confirmed it.

The morning after I woke to a text 'Hi it's ******* do you remember our chat yesterday, I'd love to take you out? ' everything seemed so perfect until the date came ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ




First date

My dad always said never get in the car with someone you don't know. At this point all I knew was he had a big yellow works van, he was a doorman in our local nightclub and he was massive. There was absolutely no way I was putting myself in a situation I couldn't get out of if it was a bad date ๐Ÿคฃ. So I agreed to pick him up. That's when the problems started, he could hardly fit in my car bless him. I was 22 and probably not been on a date since I was about 15, so my idea of a date was parking up and just kind of firing questions at him (he still reminds me now how crap our first date was ๐Ÿคฃ). Not only was his crazy ex stalking my car, at this point we didnt even know how old each of us were. He guessed I was 30 while I guessed he was around 33. How wrong could we of been he was 41 and me just turned 22. His face dropped and he told me he needed some time to have a think if 22 was too young ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ (it's safe to say even now I am the most mature). How the hell we are still together I will never know but we just kind of work and as you can probably guess it didn't take him long to decide if I was right for him ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž


So fast forward 5 years, a degree and a redheaded toddler. I had pretty much given up on a proposal. We had been to Mexico, Dubai and Disneyland 12 months prior and I had pretty much had a face on all the way home on the plane. He knew I wanted to get married before I was 30 (no idea why but this is what I had always said๐Ÿคฃ) I was 28 and in serious bi**h mode towards him.

So come the June he had gained a promotion in his day job and his boss wanted to do a 'couples' night away thing.... or so I was lead to believe. Thinking back it was very smart of him to do. His boss had emailed over the details it was at Solent Forts in Southampton and he would meet us on there. So again being the sort of person I am, I spent most of my morning panicking how I looked. We drove up from Wales to Southampton to board the boat over. Again totally oblivious to anything I was so wrapped up in being the impressionable girlfriend, I was totally blind to the fact his boss was nowhere to be seen. So we arrived at the fort, again no boss. At this stage my OH had totally disappeared but silly me was more interested in sending my friend Snapchats of how my stiletto heels weren't the best choice of shoes for a fort ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ I always thought I would know when a proposal was imminent but I genuinely had no idea. So back came OH with our room key, up to the lighthouse we went. As I opened the door, John legend - Tale as old as time was playing with the biggest ice sculpture with my beautiful ring within it. As I turned around there he was on one knee balling his eyes out ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


My Ring

So my engagement ring like anything comes with OUR story. After our first disastrous date, we had booked tickets to see a comedian in Cardiff, we passed pravins on the way to the theatre. Only being about 8 weeks into our relationship he jokingly said if you could pick any one, which would it be. My reply well which one would you pick if you were ๐Ÿคฃ... we both took a photo on our phones and it happened to be the same one. Fast forward 3 years later and we were in Cardiff again and happened to pass and decided to pop in. After discussing the story with the lady, the code was in the picture she went in the back and returned with 'the ring' .... the same ring. One had only ever been made and never purchased (fate) ... unbeknown to me a deposit was left the day after and that was my ring ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

(Excuse the weird mermaid nails, I had to be a guinea pig ๐Ÿคฃ)



So with my 30th birthday fast approaching ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ off we went to our first venue meeting. Lets call my OH 'M', M has absolutely No lifelong expectation of anything wedding related. He would be happy to go to a registra and go home. The glitz and glam does not interest him in any way. Me on the other hand, i'm the sort of person who would have glitter spraying on me walking down the aisle and would give Gemma Collins a run for her money ๐Ÿ™ˆ. Like a scene from Bride Wars, there was only ever one venue. 'Hensol Castle'

So like anything in our life, our first meeting didn't go totally to plan. Anyone with a toddler will know how unprepared you can be for a 'terrible two's' episode. Well my daughter decided to scream from the moment we entered the venue until she entered the land of nod on the m4 home ๐Ÿ™„

So anyway while a disinterested M took satan for a walk around the grounds (which so happens to be the training grounds for the Welsh rugby team ๐Ÿ™„ it's almost as if he planned it) I had practically signed the contract before even knowing what dates were available ๐Ÿคฃ After explaining I had to get married before I'm 30 to the wedding planner lady๐Ÿคฃ, I'm sure she must of wanted to resign on the spot. She came back with available 'Saturday's' in 2018. So I never wanted a summer wedding, September was when M, his brother and mum all got married (and all got divorced) so that wasn't happening. The only other available date was the '3rd of November 2018' ..... which happened to be my 30th birthday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ ... M thought it was hilarious, my mum thought it was a good idea I'd always had fireworks for my birthday and it happened to fall on the Saturday before bonfire day where people will be having displays, although initially I was reluctant the next day I rung up and paid. I was born on that date, my daughter was due on that date, surely again this was fate.. we had a venue and a date xx



So what next ........

So I have a venue, I always new I was going to go for a certain colour scheme, naturally the next step would be dress shopping or you would think.

At this stage Pinterest became my best friend. I spent hours pinning totally random rubbish and stressing myself out beyond words

Most brides have expectations, if you hadn't guessed by now I'm not your typical bride. I hate flowers with a passion and I can go days without eating a meal so food wasn't really up there.

But this was an essential, even if it ment guests starving ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

I had to find one. But I live in Wales and my initial searches were giving me very limited joy. If I fancied moving to Essex's or Manchester it was looking very slim..... until a customer came into work (fate yet again) and claimed to have one. I meet some weird and wonderful characters on a daily basis and I've learnt 99.9% of the time what they claim is normally utter nonsense. He gave me his address and me and M ventured up to his home that weekend. We were lead across a field, passed millions of horse sheds and low and behold it was there in it's full glory. I practically bite the blokes hand off and was prepared to give him my life savings. Signed I have my cinderella carriage ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


Awww what a lovely story and proposal! Love that so many things seemed to line up for you - fate as you say. What an incredible way to spend your 30th birthday too! Looking forward to hearing more. 

New bride

Loving reading this! Your ice sculpture was amazing!! More please xxx


Ashley72 wrote (see post):

Awww what a lovely story and proposal! Love that so many things seemed to line up for you - fate as you say. What an incredible way to spend your 30th birthday too! Looking forward to hearing more. 

Thank you hun. I'm not quite sure if it's a good idea or a silly one. But I've told the OH a million times don't think your forgetting my birthday every year ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ


Mags11 wrote (see post):

Loving reading this! Your ice sculpture was amazing!! More please xxx

Thank you. The ice sculpture was a big shock. How anyone gets that across the Solent I will never know ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


DandelionBlue wrote (see post):

Such a fun thread to read. The ice sculpture is such a unique idea. And I can't believe the ring was still there!

I know I can't believe it either. I tell myself it was ment to be but probably no one was as stupid as my OH to pay that sort of money for an E.Ring ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ xx


So next came the fairy godmother

So after our venue had been booked we decided to go on a long weekend to Greece. Naively I thought this would be a break from wedding planning but every conversation we had, others had with us seemed to be wedding related. The hot topic seemed to be 'what colour scheme'. It was always going to be pink but wow who knew there was so many shades of it (many of times since I've questioned why I never chose black ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)

So I stumbled across a page on Facebook, of a lady in the next town, who did the whole venue dressing. I gave her a call and arranged a meeting. Totally unprepared I turned up with 3 kids in tow, my middle daughter clearly following me as she had a list of things she called essentials (chocolate fountain, sweet cart and donut wall) plus a piece of material tied in a bow to show the lady how SHE wanted it done ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

Well instantly I fell in love. The wedding industry I've found can be quite snobby, but after the two hours of sashes, colours and centre pieces she had saved me from wanting to boil my head and made sense of my wildest dreams. Not only that she was telling the kids to call her aunty Jan and had set up the candy cart with sweets to entertain them. Anyone with children will know, someone who is happy to tolerate satan and the Cray twins for two hours, is winning in my eyes. We walked away very happy.

She was dressing the whole venue with flowers, candles, drapes etc (4 rooms), Chairs, bows and table set ups, centrepieces, magic mirror, choc fountain, dance floor, light up sign of 'our' surname, princess chairs for the top table and a cake table set up. At a cost of £2000 ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

I'm not quite sure if this is a bargain or I was royally robbed, but in all honesty I can't think of anything worst that having to tie bows on the wedding morning and would probably of given double that for my own sanity ๐Ÿคฃ what are your thoughts on the above cost? Or if anyone in the south wales area would like her details, pm me and I will happily pass them on xx


"Listen with your heart, you will understand." -- Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas)

So next had to be the dress. I had reluctantly put this off for so long, just because as above the wedding industry seemed to be a harsh world. I had booked an appointment at the 'popular' wedding dress shop but a week before the appointment a fellow bride had put a facebook review up, how the shop had basically told her that as she was a size 12, her choices were limited and she should stick to a certain style ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„.

As a mum of three I definitely wasn't fit for a Victoria secrets catwalk so I quickly cancelled that appointment and spent the rest of the day wondering if I could get away with wearing my onesie down the aisle.

A few days later I seen another bridal shop advertising a 'just arrived' dress. My eyes nearly fell out ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ a few years prior I had fallen in love with Abbey Clancys wedding dress. This dress was fairly similar but without the price tag. 

After a quick conversation with the owner I had an appointment for the following Monday. Excitedly texted my mum, sister and M's mum. Mum and sister thought I was crazy but at this point in my life were fairly use to my spontaneous outbursts. M's mum totally ignored me and to this day it has really put a black cloud around my dress experience and out relationship. Monday morning came and along with Satan, we all ventured into swansea to try on 'the dress'. I had already made my mind up it was the one which had all the girls in the shop laughing. I was practically forced to try on other styles just because the owner wanted me to be certain. There's was absolutely no point of this as I had made my mind up and she knew that, following my heart was taking over the fact I probably should of gone else where and tried others on. While I was getting dressed my mum paid for 'THE dress' and there it was my dress




Thank you everyone .... I will try and update tonight about my photography/videography drama ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ


The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.....

So I absolutely love photos and videos. I love the fact my dad 'effortlessly' carried a giant camcorders around on family holidays and school concerts were watched from a little screen on the side of it. My teens were all about the disposable cameras on nights outs and getting them developed on a Monday to start it all again on the Friday. While these days it's all about facebook/Instagram, I will always be grateful that my parents kept all these memories for me to look back on.

So obviously my photographer and videographer was an important aspect not only for us, but for my children to show their children and so on.

Quite quickly I had quite a strong relationship with a local photographer so it was an obvious choice. Her style is very relaxed and she has done a few family shoots for us and new born shoots for my children. Within weeks I booked her, paid her a large deposit (stupidly without reading the contact) and she also recommended a local videographer who came in at £500 and her videography was lovely, bargain !!

Fast forward 10 months and my first hurdle/mistake/regret of the planning processes. I've FALLEN head over heels in love (literally) with another photography company (lets call them b). I spent a few weeks stalking them religiously on Instagram. As a people pleaser I just didn't know how I could possibly 'sack' anyone, so in my head I thought both would work so I sent an email to B. They replied quite quickly asking for my number. The owner called and said all the right things, he pretty much sold me at 'we fly drones throughout the day', unfortunately he wasn't available for photography as they were shooting a wedding in Dubai but videography was free, I couldnt give him the money quick enough. It was done. A few days later I plucked up the courage to message the original videographer, who hadn't even taken a deposit, who took it surprisingly well. I was pretty much grinning From ear to ear at this point ..... 



So weeks passed and I also attending a close friends wedding. I notice on the day she had easy 4 photographers snapping. I started questioning whether a one (wo)man band would be enough, to capture all angles. I messaged my original photographer (we will call her A) with my concerns, she seemed somewhat put out by the fact I was enquiring about a second photographer, but said she knew loads of photographers and I'm sure she could bring someone along on the day for £450 extra. It just all seemed very non planned (I'm a total stress head I need to know details ๐Ÿคฃ)

Meanwhile I was still stalking B's photos, tempted to lay in front of the plane to stop them going to Dubai or even kidnapping the 6ft5 giant and his beautiful wife. I had sleepless nights worried I was going to regret a's pictures but hadn't seen anyone even close to team b before.

That's when our *FATE magic* pinged up on my phone. An email from team B ' Hi. We hope you are well. The wedding in Dubai has unfortunately cancelled so if your interested we are available on your date? "

WTF I nearly collapsed. Surely this was meant to be ... yet again. Within a few days, the owner was back on the phone, I explained everything, my big problem of being tied into a contract with A. He amazingly gave me 40% off and wished me luck sacking A.

I'm a firm believer that you should follow your heart and team B are definitely made for us.

Unfortunately came with following my heart and not my head, was the fact my contract said within 3-6 months of the wedding I had to pay 75% of the remaining balance. She was not budging at all and I had to pay her £700 for basically doing .... effff all. Expensive mistake to make.

What would you have done ???


An example of team B's work



I think those photographs are beautiful, as is that dress, can't wait to see yours!

Also loving your writing, every post made me smile 

Cecilia x

My planning thread :


Loving reading this, what a gorgeous engagement ring!  I'm based in South Wales too, Hensol is an amazing venue - I can't wait to see the outcome of your day :) As a photographer, I recognise the images of photographer B and think you've made an excellent choice in him - his work is incredible, and the videos are completely amazing too.  My hairdresser also sacked her original photographer to have him, and likewise he discounted her for the trouble.  Seems like a great guy.  With regards to the contract from photographer A - did they say what would happen if you don't pay it? It's fairly standard to have a cancellation policy like that, though whether it would stand up in court is another matter...

Can't wait to see more of your plans