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Winter on the Waterfront - December 2017

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Bridezilla

Yep, me again, with a new thread, again 😂 I have to apologise for this but its been really bugging me for ages and playing on my mind that the title of my planning thread had the wrong date in it! It would be so much easier if the forum powers that be would make it possible to edit titles...

Feel free to ignore me while I procrastinate and paste all my posts over to this shiny new thread with a relevant title.

Bridezilla

How We Met

This is nothing exciting Im afraid! 
I met h2b in March 2008. It was a freezing cold frosty breath sort of night, and I finished my shift in work at 7pm. I didnt fancy the walk home so I rang my mums then husband and aranged for him to pick me up on his way to get my mum from work 2 hours later! Lazy I know, Id never done it before and never done it since, but I just sat in the staff room chatting to people for a couple of hours.
Eventually my lift arrived and off I went to the prison where my mum works.

Now, my mum had gotten a new work partner in the October just gone, and she absolutely loved him. He was, apparently, very sweet and funny and her little protege. He was also a tragic case because his mum had died when he was a baby, leaving him and his siblings to be raised by their dad. My mum often said she would adopt him and hed be my new big brother.
I wasnt happy about this, I was the favourite, always had been, and didnt appreciate my mum fawning over her new adopted 'child'. She used to take food into work for him, and buy him chocolates. She even bought him a mug with an egg inside for easter!

So lets just say I wasnt overly fond of this lad, who Id never met.

We arrived at the prison, and when I saw the staff coming out of the gate, I got out of the car. At 20 I was still officially a child in my mums eyes, and that meant I wasnt entitled to sit in the front of the car with her in the back!
I saw my mum and she introduced me to some one of her colleagues, Phaedra, I said hello and then, there he was.
The new adopted brother. He was gorgeous. Tall and lean with big pale eyes, and much younger than Id expected. He was wearing his uniform with the black belt full of buckles and chains and batons and things.
He smiled and nodded so casually and perfectly, and said "Alright?"
I came over all shy and girly and did a stupid little smile with my shoulders shrugged up, then disappeared into the back of the car hoping nobody had noticed.
We set off home and on the way out of the car park I saw h2b again, but he didnt see me. He was walking to his car with his head down and I watched him and knew he was supposed to be mine.

I was stupidly happy for the next few days, considering I hadnt even said a word to him. I felt so confident that things would bring us together that I never even thought about the how, where or when. I just knew it would happen.
I was asked out on a date by a lovely looking lad from the safari park, under normal circumstances I think Id have accepted, but I didnt.

Then I overheard my mum and her husband talking one day, about a man at work, I wasnt really interested, I didnt know him, but then I heard her say "P goes out with his daughter, theyve been together years".

Oh.

So of course, he had a stunningly beautiful girlfriend. They were madly in love and no doubt hed be asking her to marry him soon. That was a set back.

But then, not even a week after Id met h2b, my mum started saying things like "P is doing my head in." "Why" "He keeps asking me your single, and I have to say 'yes she is, but youre not are you?!'"
I was an ice queen. I was utterly disinterested in her gossip about him. To her face anyway.
But it carried on "P is asking for your number" "P wanted to know if youre on facebook" etc.
Within days I overheard another conversation about him splitting up with his girlfriend.

Bridezilla

So I did the only logical thing. I snook into my mums room, read through her messages of P, not failing to notice him asking about me, including "is your fit daughter still single?"
I took his number, then spent all day worrying about texting him.

I eventually did it that night, just saying who I was and how to spell my name so he could find me on facebook, and not to mention this to my mum!

He didnt reply that night but he would have been in bed because he was on an early shift the next day.
I woke up fully expecting a text from him, but there was nothing!
I waited all morning and had pretty much given up hope when my mum came barging in from work demanding to know who Id been texting!

Apparently the first thing P had done was walk into work and say "guess who texted me last night?" "who?" "your daughter" "liar. How do you spell her name?" "A.I.M-" "You little shit!"

P text me apologising for telling my mum and saying he couldnt help it, then added me on facebook.
We joked about my mums reaction for a while, then he said "she even gave me permission to ask you out"

So there we have it, he asked me out on facebook!

We arranged to meet the weekend after next, but in the end he asked to see me sooner than that.
He invited me to a house party. I took a friend and when we arrived P answered the door. He looked exactly as I remembered which was good, Id been a bit worried because his facebook profile pic wasnt themost flattering!
But he was really drunk. Id brought chocolate and offered round some creme eggs. P took one and put it in his mouth and swallowed it whole. Disgusting!

Then he fell asleep. His mates took the piss out of him and tried to wake him up, saying he couldnt do that when I was there. He was out cold. He slept all night on the couch, but kept snuggling into me and hugging me in his sleep.
I stayed awake with his friends and mine watching films, and when P eventually woke up the next morning he was horrified with himself.
He got us breakfast (chocolate and crisps) and eventually drove us home. I was the last to be dropped off.
He pulled up and was obviously really nervous. It was funny and sweet. He kept asking me over and over again if Id had a nice time, he was makiong no move to kiss me and I knew if I got out without a kiss I wouldnt see him again after that 'date'!
So after letting him struggle for a few minutes I told him to shut up and kissed him.
It was a perfect kiss, the tingly skin and fireworks in your belly type.

Afterwards I said goodbye, and within minutes (he musnt even have driven off my estate) I got a text saying how he couldnt stop smiling and he really wanted to see me again

Bridezilla

We saw each other every day after that. We were both obviously smitten. We went out for meals most days, and hed drive to my work just to see me for a quick kiss.

After 2 months we went on holiday. The weather was awful the whole time but we had a lovely time and some really good memories, like the pair of laughing our heads off like idiots on the seesaw in the kids playground, and him spilling sangria over me every day until I spilt some over his face!
On that holiday he forced me to admit I loved him (he does nothing the traditional romantic way). We were having a conversation about something I cant remember when he said "thats why you love me" "is it?" "so you do love me then?" "i never said that" "so you dont love me" " i never said that either"
It went on and on, until eventually I had to let go of all my principles and admit that I did love him.
He was so obviously made up, grinning like an idiot and kissing me and saying he loved me too.
He likes to tell people I confessed my love first, like Im some simpering needy girl and hes a big macho man, so I tell them how he forced me lol.

After that we became official.

Bridezilla

Our Relationship

We had a bit of a whirlwind to be honest. We barely spent a day apart and I was so happy. I felt like some disney princess in a meadow full of wildflowers and cute animals, I just wanted to twirl and dance and sing with happiness.
Not long after we got together, my mum started talking about my 21st birthday. She decided she was going to send me and P on holiday to the Caribbean. I desperately wanted to go to Jamaica, but P and my mum were both dead against it, saying it was too dangerous, and they decided we were going to Dominican Republic.
At first I was a bit worried. Who knew what would happen in that time, maybe wed split up, it was 7 months away. But as time went on I knew that wasnt going to happen.
Once hed forced me to confess my love, we developed a sickening habit of saying "I love you" "I love you more" "I love you most" (which Im now thinking of having engraved inside our wedding rings!), and P started pointing out churches and saying "Thats nice, we could get married there" to which my ice queen response was always "were not getting married, you havent asked me". So he then started saying "marry me" all the time. I always said no, or shut up, or "ask me properly".
I thoroughly expected him to propose on holiday in the dominican, on the beach at sunset on my 21st birthday possibly.
I was so, so sure it would happen. When we were away on our (absolutely amazing) holiday, I saw a shop that sold beautiful oyster shells, that opened up to reveal a little pearl inside.
I dropped massive hints about these shells, and how much I loved them. They would be perfect for you to put the ring inside for a proposal!
On my birthday I made sure I looked gorgeous. I wore a bright yellow bikini with bright pink sash saying I was 21 during the day, and in the evening a stunning floaty multicoloured peacock lipsy dress in the evening.
We had an amazing day, the hotel sent up a chocolate breakfast, and I opened my presents and cards that wed packed. We spent the day by the pool, then in the afternoon went on a horse riding excursion on the beach. I love horses and have been riding since I was 6. P had never been on a horse, and his kept wandering off into bushes and onto dirt tracks etc. On the beach we went for a ride in the waves, and he was bouncing along in the saddle next to me laughing hysterically, it was lovely.
Once we got back we found the hotel had sent a bottle of champagne to our room which we drank while getting ready for the dinner reservation theyd made for us. Theyd also put an announcement in the daily newsletter they gave out!
We went to a japanese restaurant for dinner and it was so much fun. I wore my sash again and everyone was pointing to it and congratulating me, even those who didnt speak english.
After our meal we went for a walk on the beach in the dark. This had to be it, it had been a perfect day, and everything was pointing to a proposal.
We walked along the beach, as always pointing out the amazing stars which were so bright and clear there its unbelievable. On our way back to the hotel I was getting nervous, it was bound to be soon.
There was a wedding gazebo on some decking on the beach, all hung in white drapes blowing in the breeze. We walked up the steps onto the gazebo, and P went down on one knee in front of me, holding my hands, looked up at me and said "only messing!".
Im not even exaggerating, he did that, he had that perfect opportunity, absolute perfection, and he did that! On my birthday!
I took it pretty well, I laughed and kicked him and helped him up, and we walked back to the hotel. By the time we got back to our room I was feeling better, there was still a couple of days left of the holiday, maybe my birthday had been too obvious? But no, I flew home officially unengaged!

My 21st birthday, the night he didn't propose on a starlit beach!

Bridezilla

Children

P loved kids and came from a big family, he had lots of siblings and nieces, and was keen to start his own family with me, even though wed only been together a short time.
I was so sure of him proposing that I agreed to try on our holiday. I didn't get engaged but I did get pregnant!
I found out on christmas eve and told P, he was so excited.
The pregnancy was awful. I became really ill and lost a lot of weight but started to feel better about halfway through.
Me and P moved in together, he invited himself to live with me and my mum, while we saved and got our own place in the May, and in the August our son was born. He was a beautiful baby, blonde with chubby pink cheeks and big blue eyes like his dad. People used to stop us all the time and say what a beautiful baby he was.
We both loved being parents, and wanted another one straight away, but I was scared of being sick again.
We did eventually try again and I got pregnant straight away, again! I was really ill, but not quite as bad as Id been with my son. The baby was due in July but I went over and we had our second August baby, a little girl.

And I still wasn't engaged! I was getting impatient now, so much for my whirlwind. I stopped hinting and started just talking and asking about it, the more I did, the more he dug his heels in, silly man.

Bridezilla

The Eventual Proposal

After 5 years together and 2 children, I still didnt have a ring on my finger and was feeling really let down. I didnt want to be unmarried, and as far as I could see there was no reason not to get married, we had already commited to eachother after all!

I had been working on P for years, and he would talk about getting married a lot, but never do anything about it.

My friend got engaged and asked me to maid of honour. When we went dress shopping I sneakily tried on a wedding dress, just to torment myself.
Me and another friend made a little jokey plan about how P would see me looking beautiful as a bridesmaid, and after spending the day at the wedding, hed be in the right romantic frame of mind. It was only a joke but it seemed to go that way!

Just before the wedding we decided to try our last baby. Once again I was pregnant straight away so I couldnt drink at the wedding!
After the wedding P, ever the thoughtful romantic, showed me an engagement ring hed reserved for me. It was horrible. Well it wasnt really, but it so wasnt my style. Id always wanted a blue stone, this was just a plain white one in white gold.
So I told him how I felt about it and he decided I could show him some rings I liked and hed pick one.
So I thought hopefully Id still have a bit of a surprise! But no, he showed me which ring hed ordered!

Then one day, I started to bleed, only lightly, so I wasnt overly worried, but the next day it hadnt stopped and we were advised to go to the early pregnancy unit.
When we were sat there waiting, P showed me wedding packages to occupy ourselves. But I started bleeding heavily and got upset, so we were seen. They couldnt scan me that day to check the baby, but they checked me over and said there was nothing to suggest it was a miscarriage, and the bleeding could mean anything or nothing. They booked me in for a scan 3 days later and told me there was nothing they could do.

So we went home terrified and waited. By wednesday I was pretty sure it was game over. We went for the scan which confirmed our baby had gone. We were heartbroken. We went home and that day the ring was delivered.
Later that horrible day, I was sitting at the table staring at my dinner, when P came in with his hand in his pocket, and I knew he had the ring there. He knelt next to me and I just said "not today, it cant be today".

That was the worst time of my life, and I still cry about it. Im not a crier, but this is a different pain.
But it did bring me and P much closer together. I stopped speaking to the friend whod got married after she said some some really awful things about P and us losing the baby

Bridezilla

Over the following months, P would spring this ring on me all the time, but I really wanted him, just for once, to do it properly, so Id shut my eyes so I didnt see the ring and say no!

This went on and on, for months. Then in March this year he did it again, followed me into the dining room and had the ring. I said "arent you ever going to do it properly?" he said no, so I said "ok, give me the ring then". I was calling his bluff, I thought hed think, just for a fraction of a second, about what wed tell people when they asked about how hed proposed, but he, of course, didnt.
He put the ring on my finger. 
It was so underwhelming, after years and years of waiting and hinting and hoping and dreaming, I got engaged in the dining room. There was no down on one knee thing, no tears, no romance.
Then he went and texted everyone, and I started getting calls from people wanting to congratulate us and ask how it happened. I had to ignore them, I was feeling pretty miserable!

It took me a day or 2 to perk up. P took me out for a meal and then bought me a bridal magazine.
I said that as hed robbed me of every romantic moment in our relationship, I was having the wedding of my dreams. He agreed.

We also decided it was time to try again for our third baby, and found out I was pregnant not long after the proposal. I was given a due date of 23rd December 2014, and I spent the entire pregnancy stressing about a) another miscarriage b) giving birth on Christmas day!

Bridezilla

A New Baby

My pregnancy was not a happy one.
My early weeks were plagued with soul crippling fear of losing this baby too. I would lay in bed at night with my heart racing, heavy breathing and sweaty hands just dreading it happening again. The hospital had booked my for a scan at what was estimated to be 8 weeks to check on the baby and provide reassurance that things were going well, but that felt like the longest wait of my life. In the end I knew I couldn't carry on living in that fear, so I somehow got a grip on myself and would lay at night stroking my belly and telling myself over and over that there was no reason why this baby wouldn't survive, and everything would be ok, and in that moment it was just me and my growing baby, alive and well.

I was massively relieved to have my early scan and be told there was a strong heart beating away in there. We were given a photo of what looked like a kidney bean with a flickering white spot showing the heartbeat.

I relaxed after that and moved onto the next stage of my pregnancy, morning sickness. Once again I was ill, but this time I had 2 children to take to school and nursery, so I had to drag my poor tired nauseous body out of the house 3 times a day at least. The sickness came to a spectacular end at about 14 weeks when I had to go to a&e after vomiting up blood! Luckily that was the last time I was sick.

I then had a few weeks of good physical and emotional health, before I developed a pain in my hips. It started off as a niggle, but got worse and worse as the weeks went by, until I could barely walk. I remember walking to the school, which was on the next street, 2 minutes away, and having to leave 20 minutes earlier than usual because I just couldn't go any faster due to the pain. It felt as though my pelvis was splitting in half down the front, which is exactly what it was doing. Id hobble along clinging onto walls and fences and wincing as I went.
Night times were terrible, Id be woken up by awful pain several times a night, then once the baby got bigger Id be woken up by painful kicks and a head in my ribs.

Eventually, I arrived pale, exhausted and pained into December! I did as little as possible to avoid going into labour as we approached Christmas, and to my immense relief, I made it! By 7pm on Christmas night I finally relaxed, confident that there wasn't time for a baby to arrive in the next few hours.
And besides, its comfy in my tummy. Too comfy. The days went by. And by. And as much as I was suffering I was still in no rush, this was going to be a big baby, and I was terrified!
Finally though, we ran out of time, and a few hours before I was due to be induced, our third baby arrived.

He was born inside his amniotic sac, which is supposed to bring good luck and is very rare, but less luckily, he was born with his hand on his enormous head, and I have never, ever, been through anything more scary or painful! He weighed 9lb5oz and still to this day has an enormous head!

Our 3 children, Charlie, Hazel and Harvey, who was just 6 days old here.

Bridezilla

Venue Hunting

Now, Ill start by saying, I'm not 'dream venue' kind of girl. The wedding could happen anywhere for all I care, so once the baby bit was over and done with, and it was time to focus on the wedding planning, I had no idea where to start with venue hunting.
I spent weeks googling "Liverpool wedding venues" "north west wedding venues" "Merseyside wedding venues" etc, and not getting very far.

Eventually I came across a wedding package in a hotel in sefton park. I looked at the website and I was really keen. I love sefton park. I used to go all the time as a kid and pretend I was princess and the entire park was just my garden. It has fountains and stepping stones, and swans on the lake, statues, caves, blossoms and daffodils etc.

We went along to view the venue, Alicia Hotel. I have to admit, I did love it. They had thrones for the bride and groom to sit in, thrones! The courtyard had coloured uplights and all random statues hidden amongst the trees, I remember a bear, and a horses head.
The wedding breakfast room was a conservatory with a very greek feel, there were pillars and busts in sconces. It was a bit alice in wonderland in a way, different unexpected things round every twisting corridor.

But there was a set back. P hated it. I tried, I really did try to make him love it, or even just give in. But it didn't work, and the more time went on the more stubborn he became about it. So sadly, Alicia was out. I'm still a little bit sad about it I guess, but maybe I can have it for my next wedding *hilarious joke*

 

 

 

Bridezilla

P liked the Titanic Hotel which is a refurbished section of Liverpool docks. We didn't even have to go and view this one before I ruled it out.
I hate the old dock buildings, I think theyre hideous, and as laid back as I am, just no.
It had actually been done up really well inside, it was very sleek and posh, but it was a sleek and posh dressed up warehouse, with striking views of a derelict warehouse from the windows. It was also very dark inside and I just didn't like it at all.

Bridezilla

The Venue

One day, me and P went for afternoon tea in the city centre, which was very nice. But while we were there P mentioned that we were only a couple of streets away from a hotel he liked for the wedding, and asked if we should go and look.
I was pleasantly surprised, so off we went for a nose, although I wasn't sure you could just do things like that without an appointment!

Apparently you can though.

We were met by the wedding coordinator and she showed us around. Ive actually been a bridesmaid in this hotel when I was about 13-14 so I did have some memory of it, and I certainly remembered bits as we went around.

The hotel is called The Atlantic Tower, and is designed to look like the hull of a ship. It has a clear view of the liver buildings and waterfront, and is pretty much all windows which is great for the view.

The wedding reception room was an unusual layout, it sort of goes round in a hoop, which I actually like. There is a black granite looking area which is where they lay out the buffet and looks a lot nicer than just tables. The bar is in the middle of the room, with a wall behind it, and a comfy couch seating area on the other side, which has huge windows with a brilliant view. The table are laid out in front of the windows for the wedding breakfast, and for the evening the dancefloor is there.
Then round the back again is a bigger area with a piano, and where the evening tables will be.
I'm not sure that's a great description but its the best I can do!
The layout is great because it keeps it from looking like one huge room, which will be good for the breakfast which we are aiming to keep quite intimate with only immediate family and close friends. Its so bright and airy too.

Theres also a balcony terrace, again, fantastic views.

So needless to say we both liked it, especially when we moved on to the price. It was by far the best deal of the three, at £3500 for a complete package.

I should say that we have had by this stage a 2 year engagement, and I have an eternally reluctant fiancé, so I kept very quite during this whole process, and let him do the thinking. This approach worked well, and he ended up requesting dates for just over a year away.

We went home, and the coordinator got back to us with quotes again and available dates.

I wanted April, because this is our special time of year, we had our first date in april and although I love all the seasons, spring is special.

We were given a choice on 1st April and 22nd. We never even realised that the 1st is april fools day! But P, with minimal input from me, decided on 22nd and said "oh, lets just book it! well pay the deposit tomorrow".

I still didn't really believe him, even in the car on the way there, or walking up the staircase into the lobby, or signing the forms. It was only when we handed over the money and got given our wedding confirmation that I really believed we were actually getting married!

 

 

Bridezilla

~*Ceremony Venue*~

We were, at the stage of booking our reception venue, not too sure about the ceremony location.

We had previously considered St Georges Hall, which is very beautiful, and in the city centre so close to the hotel, but I noticed that almost everyone from school was getting married there, and that put me off.

The hotel package did come with the hire and decoration of their reception room, but I wasn't overly keen. We sort of went along with it "were thinking of having the ceremony in the hotel but its not decided yet", and it slowly became our location rather than a possibility.

However, after a few weeks I knew I wasn't happy with it. I spent a lot of time looking at photos trying to figure out how to make it nicer, and I knew it wasn't for me.

I then considered Speke Hall, a gorgeous old tudor building. I love tudor things, I'm really into history in an 'wow that's so pretty and interesting' way, not 'I'm a historian'. It was quite a trek away though, and £1200 just for the hire. Still I contacted them and was hopeful I could work on P.  But they got back to me and said they can only do early morning or late evening ceremonies due to their opening times for the public. So I sadly let my dreams of pretending to be a tudor queen drift away.

Then P suggested our local church, which Id originally thought he was against. But I'm a Christian and this church is around the corner from our house, easy to find for guests, and beautiful.
So he arranged for us to meet the vicar at the next church meeting.

P had a panic outside because he realised he was wearing a tshirt and his sleeve tattoo was on display. He made me google to check if CofE allows tattoos!

Luckily while I was googling, another couple went in, the man had 2 full sleeves which settled Ps nerves.

The church itself is currently under renovation so the meeting was in the hall opposite. The vicar was really nice, talkative and quite funny in a christmas cracker kind of way. 

There was a tense moment when he thought our date might already be booked, but he was mistaken so were now pencilled in!

He told us that there seems to be a thing lately for the weddings to be postponed because the brides to be keep getting pregnant! Im very hopeful that this wont effect us!

I filled in the bans form. P shot himself in the foot by volunteering me due to my 'neat handwriting'. The vicar promptly pulled out an even longer form for him to fill in, ha. I didnt like to give details of my dad, I have no contact with him and he wont be at the wedding, and the vicar  praised his proffession, I was just like "mmm yeah I suppose". But he told me that dads dont come into it and wont be mentioned or thought about again.

So thats that! Were getting married in our pretty local church!

Bridezilla

Date & Budget

As people who read my other planning thread will know, about 7 month before our April wedding date, we had a major wobble. This resulted in us decided we wanted to get married abroad. This had been my dream and the original plan when we first got engaged, but we felt guilty that people wouldn't be able to come.
We ended up cancelling the whole wedding and attempting to book a Caribbean wedding, but this proved ridiculously expensive. Because we have 3 children and couldn't guarantee that other guests would attend, it meant booking a larger room, which came in at 31k. For a standard 4 person room is was 5k. So we were paying a hell of a lot of money for one extra small person!
If other people had been able to commit we could have said the toddler was in their room with them and it would have been doable, but alas, it wasn't to be.

We tried many other options, including small UK weddings that were still far away from our home city, we considered Europe but it didn't really do anything for us, and it was all one big headache.

In the end we emailed our original vendors and every single one of them (bar Thomas cook with the honeymoon) agreed to honour or deposits and reschedule the original wedding, which was by far the easiest to organise.

So we booked a new date, chosen by P, 17th December 2017.

One thing we had to do was reconcile with the cost. Were not hard done by, we do have a decent income, but we just didn't want to spend a lot of money on one day. At first I was so annoyed and sickened by the cost of everything, but equally I didn't want the very low budget wedding. I wanted a nice wedding that didn't cost a lot! So something had to give, and that was my attitude towards the cost.

We agreed that outfits wouldn't be budgeted for, we would pay for them ourselves, and then there would be no guilt about taking money from the wedding fund if we wanted something different, or extra for the outfits.

So minus the outfits our budget is 6k. I know this is cheap compared to a lot of weddings, but I just couldn't justify spending any more than that, especially as we have 3 children, it would have just seemed selfish and frivolous to spend anymore than that on whats basically a party.

We wanted to still be able to enjoy a good standard of living rather than saving every penny. The kids have their clubs, we enjoy buying them clothes and toys and things for their bedrooms, going on days out, for meals etc. We still wanted to eat out or go out with friends, treat ourselves to new things, buy each other presents, have trips away, me to get my hair and nails done if I fancied it. P also has a lot of hobbies that he wouldn't want to give up!

So I have come to terms with the 6k spend, and we have it there now so we no longer have to save at all, just buy extras or bits and pieces for the outfits as we go along etc.

Bridezilla

Bridal Party

When we first booked the wedding, I knew who 3 of my bridesmaids would be straight away. I didn't propose to them with any fancy boxes or anything though!

My Maid of Honour is my best friend Diana. We met in year 7 in school, and it was a fairytale friendship from the start. She disliked me and I don't remember her at all! Shes told me we sat next to each other in numeracy (this explains me not remembering, I must have zoned out), and apparently I broke the screen on her new calculator with my compass.

By year 8 we were best friends, but I don't remember this happening either, she phased herself in I guess. We were, and still are, both very emotionally unavailable, so although I really loved her I would never have let on, and neither would she. We never even admitted to being friends.

In year 11, on the last day, we walked our usual part of the way home together, got to the point where we separated, looked at each other and said "bye then" and walked out of each others lives for the next 7 years.

We were eventually put back in touch by a mutual friend, and it was like wed never been apart. We are a bit more soppy now, and we say were soul mates, P gets jealous of this. Diana lives in London now, so we don't see each other very often, were in contact most days though, and always catch up over a hot chocolate (me) and coffee (her) when shes back in Liverpool.

Bridezilla

Bridal Party Continued...

I have a lot of siblings, and I knew Id have my 2 teenage sisters, Ellie and Grace, as bridesmaids. We aren't hugely close, theres a 10 and 14 year age between us, and they are my half sisters to my dad and stepmum, so I didn't see them often. I was old enough to mother them when they were babies, I remember feeding them bottles, playing with them with their rattles, walking them in their prams etc. But it seemed a natural choice, now that theyre older we have much more in common, and we have a mutual love for Harry Potter and Disney so that's all it takes!

I have my brother, Michael, walking me down the aisle, something I'm really looking forward to, and my daughter Hazel and little sister Emilia will be flower girls.

 

I also acquired a new bridesmaid, Laura, very recently. Id decided I didn't like the odd unsymmetrical look of 3 bridesmaids, and Diana is too far away and too tomboy to be an effective maid of honour, while my sisters are too sweet and agreeable. I decided I needed to ask someone opinionated who would give me honest feedback on my ideas. Id decided to ask Laura, but was feeling nervous about it, when she offered herself as a bridesmaid and saved me the job!
She filled her role brilliantly.
I met her in year 7 too. She was very pretty and popular and nice to everyone no matter what, whereas I was standoffish and cold. We became friends because of our mutual friendship group, and shes always been lovely and caring, but funny and confident. I remember her telling me I was pretty, which coming from her, was the most amazing compliment! Shes just beautiful.
She was one of very few friends who bothered to stay in contact with me after I had children, the rest all ran for the hills! 

Bridezilla

The Cake

Cake. I love cake. Every sane, rational person loves cake. P doesn't love cake. Whenever we buy birthday cake, he eats one slice and me and the kids get to eat the rest (possibly why I'm getting fat).

And not only do cakes taste amazing, they look good too, and are a wedding centrepiece in their own right.

Early on after booking the wedding, I had an offer. My nan asked if I wanted her sister to make the cake, and she and granddad would pay for it.
She came out with it really suddenly, and I was put on the spot, and my initial instinct was to decline. But my brain let me down and a came out with some bumbling non-excuse "well I haven't really thought about who will make the cake yet, I think my mum knows someone", which was apparently the wrong this to say, because my nan puffed up and said "well, that's the end of that then!". My mouth ran away with me while it tried to diffuse the situation and ended up promising to ask my mum if shed planned anything and to let my nan know about Auntie L making the cake.

Auntie L works in a cake shop, and has made lots of birthday cakes over the years, but from my memory they all seemed to be very old fashioned, and I remember her spelling my name wrong on my 21st birthday cake. I also had no recollection of taste or texture which could only be a bad thing, because I remember good cakes.
So I text my stepmum and explained the situation, and allowed to reassure me that the cakes were, in fact, lovely.
I accepted my nans offer, but still had doubts, although P encouraged me because it meant getting a free cake.

A few months later it was sisters 18th birthday party. Things were going great, until, they put the bloody cake on the table, and I knew in that instant that I was going to have to sack Auntie L, offend her, my nan, upset P and his bank balance, and probably cause WWIII.
The cake was awful. I imagine if a novice made it they might be pretty pleased with it, until the icing started to crack, bits started to full off etc. And the writing looked like a child had done it with a stick dipped in ash.
It was supposed to be one of them, you know, lipstick and eyeshadows pallettes, and makeup brushes etc. The brushes were so sad looking, the make up pallete was so dry it snapped in half, The lipsticks were barely recognisable and one was hung off the cake precariously.
Yet everyone else was raving about this amazing cake. Clearly, they were being polite.
I explained the situation to P, whos response was "what do you expect from a free cake?" well, I didn't expect a free cake, I expected something lovely and to pay for it myself, and that's what I was going to have to do!

But I was so nervous about telling my nan Id changed my mind. I worried about it for weeks, and told myself I was just allowing enough time between the birthday cake wreak and my change of heart to make sure there was no link.

Meanwhile, I started cheating on Auntie L with another cake maker, one I know and trust, who has made birthday, christening and wedding cakes for my mums side of the family, and who has never, ever let me down.
I had a secret rendezvous at her house, and after that when my decision was final, that I plucked up all my courage and sent my nan a text explaining that I was choosing another cake maker.
I expected her to be really offended and upset, but to my great surprise, she replied saying "ok that's fine we will tell Auntie L. How much is the cake?" which kind of sounds like shes still offering to pay, but I'm not sure and I'm not asking, she is too scary! But really, all that worrying for nothing!

Bridezilla

More Cake

The day before I met with the new cake maker, P, who had been completely uninterested in cake, decided he had an opinion, and that was that wedding cakes must always be plain and white.
So I was straight onto pinterest, desperately trying to find something we could both like. We did manage to find a few pictures, so off I went almost completely unprepared to talk cakes.

I went to meet her was irritated immediately (not with her if course) when she said your mums already briefed me, you want bling bling bling! I was like "well actually, no, my mums just trying to take over!"

I told her about Ps new found opinions and we had a look through her photos and my ideas, and she gave me some pictures to take home and show P.

She told me the different flavour sponges I could have *drool* and quoted me £250 for 4 tiers which is only half of my budget, result!

Later that day I made P sit down and think about what he'd done, by helping to choose a cake design. It was like dealing with a sulking teenager! But he cant just wade in, ruin all my ideas, and then expect me to come up with something alone.

We, I mean, I keep changing my mind about the design of the cake, but I do know were having unicorns and Pegasus cake toppers.
Everbody knows P has no interest in the wedding and I'm pretty much planning it alone, so people keep joking that hell turn up on the day to a unicorn themed wedding.
This gave me the idea of a unicorn cake topper, but I really didn't think P would agree. I waited until the right moment (when he was asking if I was sure I didn't mind him spending hundreds on new fishing rods) to mention my vision, and showed him some animal cake toppers.
He offered no resistance at all, I was shocked, and said hed prefer his animal to be a Pegasus.
Hazel has taken a great interest in the cake, and wanted us to have a topper with "all of us" on it, so I'm going to buy some little figures, a unicorn and Pegasus for me and P, Pegasus foals for the boys, and a unicorn foal for Hazel.

Bridezilla

Photographer

Choosing a photographer was pretty easy really. At first I had no idea where to start, as usual, so I googled Liverpool wedding photographers and began the process of working my way through the ones with good reviews.

There were 2 that I really liked, something about the colour and light of the pictures attracted me, both had very similar styles. So, I moved on to price and quickly made my decision!

One was in excess of £2000 just for the photographer, the other was £895.

I sent an email and by the next afternoon it was booked. The man on the phone was lovely, really chatty and friendly, so hopefully hell be able to get us relaxed and on form, because poor old P is not very photogenic but just occassionally gets a picture taken where he looks lovely and like his real self.

So we have gone with Keyhole Studios, and were just having photography. I think a videographer is a waste for me personally, I know Id watch it once and then never put it on again!

Here are some photos from Keyhole that caught my eye, the ones with the big fancy building as a backdrop are from our venue.

 

Bridezilla

Flowers

I haven't had much luck with florists. At first, my mum booked someone without asking me, someone in her work who does flowers as a sideline. I wasn't too fussed about flowers as long as they looked nice, so I brushed aside my initial irritation that my mum was overstepping, and thought whatever, Ill just go with it.
I sent this woman a friend request on facebook which was ignored. I called her numerous times, ignored. My mum double checked and she said she would do the flowers, but still continued to ignore me, so I gave my mum the task of sacking her and moved swiftly on.

The second florist was a lovely little shop near our doctors surgery. My baby has problems with his ears, so we are always backwards and forwards, and I like to look into this shop window every time I pass. So I made an appointment, and the woman seemed to know what I was talking about and was really keen.
I went along and showed her my photos and she was saying "oh yes, I know exactly what you mean" but from then went on to refuse every flower request, and ignore all my preferences. My idea was for a bouquet that was sort of messy looking, with trailing bits and lots of foliage and grass, taller flowers, all mixed varieties and colours in lilac, light green, pale pink, and a splash of bright pink.
She showed me her ideas, a tight, jam packed, neat, tidy ball of flowers covered in diamante, and she kept saying "I'm going to do this" "I'm going to do that" "And tie the stems with a cerise ribbon". And to top it all off her quote was ridiculous, £75 for a bridesmaid bouquet! I'm sure some might be worth that, but not what I'm after!

Florist 3 was one who had done my mums wedding flowers over 10 years ago, and the bouquets were gorgeous. Her facebook page looked good too. I got in contact and she knew what I was after, agreed my flower and colour ideas were good and mostly available in my month, and offered alternatives for the ones that weren't.
All seemed to be going well, and she said shed get back to me with estimates. And that was the end of that, no more messages.

I went to see my 4th florist today, and I had high hopes. She was recommended by a girl in work, and her facebook page looked really nice. Her shop was a bit of a drive away, on the other end of the city, but I went anyway, and first impressions were bad. The shop was so scruffy and bare, there was nothing to see other than tatty posters and scraps of ribbon etc.
It went from bad to worse. I showed her a picture of a bouquet, which was burgundy and peach, and I said "I like the style of this, the way it looks a bit messy, and I like the snapdragons, but obviously in my colour scheme", her reply "I could definitely do that in red" "I don't want red" "what about peach?" "no, my bridesmaids dressed are lilac and green, I want those colours with some pink" "but this bouquet is red and peach" "I know but I'm just showing you the shape and style, I like that sort of bouquet, but in different colours" "Ive got a pink and yellow rose" ARGH! And she kept trying to match the flowers to the fabric ones on the flower girl dresses when that really didn't matter at all. In the end I had to go through her tatty book pointing out individual flowers, and she wanted me to choose every single little thing right down to the grasses, but I wanted to give her an idea and let her be creative. Obviously shes not a very creative person!
I was in there for an hour and in the last 5 minutes I found a bouquet on her facebook page that was sort of right, and she suddenly seemed to click. Bloody hard work!
She said she will get back to me with a quote but she kept warning me how expensive it would be.