A wedding in the Gower

Hi everyone! Thought i'd start my own planning thread as I've spent way too long reading through everyone else's and would love to have everything written down in one place!

 

A litle bit about us

D and I met in 2011 officially but had known each other previously at a Judo club as kids (were from a SMALL town!) We met through D's best friend Bill (our best man) who i dated very briefly (sounds more awklward than it actually is, were all great friends now!) We bumped into each other at the pub a few weeks after I stopped seeing Bill and have been pretty inseperable ever since! I was 18 and he was 20.

We moved into our first apartment a year or so later and have lived there ever since, until now! We are going to be spending a year living back with my parents in the lead up to the wedding so we can afford our dream of going travelling around Asia for 6 months as an extended honeymoon! We'll settle down and become proper adults once were back but not thinking about that for now!

The Proposal


 We planned a 3week trip to Thailand for Feb 2017 and had the time of our lives! 

We were spending the day/night in floating bungalows on Koh Sok National Park about half way into our trip, the day was perfectly relaxing, we'd spent the whole time floating around on rubber rings, sunbathing with some new friends we'd made earlier on in the trip, eating amazing Thai food and having a few beers. D seemed pretty excited to take out a canoe but I wasn't so keen, I finally (reluctantly) gave in and jumped on the back of a canoe, we rowed out a little way and D started turning around in the front to face me in the back, I was shouting at him as we didn't have life jackets on and the canoe was rocking! Thinking back, he did seem on edge as we floated around but I was oblivious! He then pulled out a ring that was tied to the string of his swim shorts and I've never been so shocked/happy/giddy in my life! I can't tell you what he said, I don't think I really took any of it in, I was over the moon! We spent the rest of the day celebrating with (almost) strangers in the middle of a lake, the nearest mobile signal at least an hour away! 

The whole family were waiting at home for our news, everybody knew except me! 

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Posts

  • Suzie1974Suzie1974 Posts: 126

    What a lovely proposal..can't wait to hear more..I love the Gower it's a beautiful place I've had many holidays there when i was young, A beautiful place to get married. ❤

  • VegasLouVegasLou Posts: 821

    Ah what a lovely proposal. Looking forward to hearing more

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    The ring

    the ring D originally proposed with was a "cheap ring from Argos" (his words) so he didn't have to worry about losing it from his backpack whilst we were away, so on our return we took a trip into town to pick one together, we had a lovely day looking around the jewellers and I was pleasantly surprised how involved D was, in fact he actually pointed my ring out first ad said it was his favourite, luckily it was mine too and when we went to pay it was £100 less than the marked up price! image

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

     

    The Venue

    i have always dreamt of getting married abroad on the beach with all our closest family, having a BBQ and everybody being relaxed. We told all of our family this was our plan and everyone seemed relatively on board with the idea, but it was turning out to be more hassle than I thought, I couldn't choose a country let alone a venue... we both liked Mexico but it was too far/expensive for most of our family and I couldn't marry without my nan there so we were looking at Cyprus/greece..we toyed with big villa in cyprus but realised it wouldbt work out all of family staying in one villa!

    We we're also looking into travelling for a longer period of time at some point and didn't know where we would fit in around the wedding.

    D and I went camping for a night up at three cliffs bay in the gower and spent the whole afternoon/evening drinking cider and chatting about the future, we made lots of decisions this day, firstly.. our wedding will be at home rather than abroad, we loved the idea of adding personal touches which would have been impossible abroad and also decided we did after all want a bigger guest list. We also decided we were going to move into my parents house for a year to save up for the wedding and we were going to apply for sabbaticals from work to take a 6 month "honeymoon" to travel around Asia/australia! (We've now been granted these and move into my parents in 6 weeks)

     

    so...we then stunbled across oxwich bay hotel, its perfect for us, a small intimate ceremony room, the hotel is right on the beach so hopefully we'll still have beachy photos and the reception is held in a beautiful marquee! We booked it straight away when we viewed for the 4th of September 2018imageimageimage

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,453 New bride

    Congratulations Georgina74 Great to see another 18 planning thread.  We are venue hunting at the moment for 2018.  So exciting.  

  • MissSMissS Posts: 265

    I'm getting married in the Gower too!! I love Oxwhich Bay its stunning! Our wedding is in Oldwalls! I'll have to go back and read to see when you're getting married I was too excited to comment! Another Gower bride!! Ours is 05/11/17!x

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    Yay! Another Welsh bride! I used to live in Swansea and know Oxwich Bay well. 

  • Charlotte237Charlotte237 Posts: 272

    I'M GETTING MARRIED AT OXWICH BAY TOO!!! In 5 weeks!! You have picked a fab venue - they have been amazing so far! You actually sound quite similar to us - we like travelling, would have loved a beach wedding abroad but couldn't bear the idea of not being at home with family and friends, and are having a BBQ! My OH is Welsh. Excited to hear about the rest of your plans! 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Sorry for the slow replies I've been away this week!

    so exciting to meet other Gower/Oxwich Bay brides!! Your big days are so soon! Wish I could fast forward the next year! Haha

    I love the idea of the BBQ option, we haven't made any decisions on food yet as we can't seem to agree! 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Bridesmaid and Groomsmen


    After choosing the venue we were both bursting at the seams to tell anyone who'd listen about our plans so thought our next step should be to ask our bridesmaids/groomsmen.

    i invited 4 of my closest friend round for a catch up/cup of tea and had personalised mugs with their names and will you be my bridesmaid on them. I brought the mugs out on a tray so they had them all together, everyone was so excited! My eldest friend from primary school burst into tears, we spent the whole evening chatting, I even got banished to my kitchen so they could start discussing hen plans! I also wrote out cards with lots of memories in and ended each one with "anyway I just wanted to say I couldn't say I do without you!" 

    As well as my adult bridesmaids Ive also asked my younger cousin who will be 3 days from 18 at the wedding and our niece who'll be 10. I gave my cousin a life charms "will you be my bridesmaid" bracelet and a countdown plaque and my niece a teddy bear with a build a bear bridesmaid dress and a t shirt with will you be my bridesmaid written on.

    D had his best man and groomsmen over the weekend after, he gave them a beer tankard with their names and roles on whilst they see watching a football game, they were just as excited as the bridesmaids and a similar scenario saw D and I in the kitchen while they talked stag!

    D's cousin and my brother will also be groomsmen but couldnt make it that night. 

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  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    The Dress

    the first time I went to try on wedding dresses was because my mum had tricked me! We work together in our family business and had a late afternoon shift so she suggested we go into Cardiff to look round the shops before work. I should have known what she was up to as she'd been asking me every day for a couple of weeks!

    I think she managed 1 shop before mentioning it and next thing i know we're in Alyson Jayne Bridal shop! I think i was a bit overwhelmed and I thought we were being silly trying dresses on 18months before the wedding but it was good to get some styles of what I liked and didn't like.

    Over the next month or so I went to a few shops, one time I took both my nanas, my mum and cousin and the other time I took my mum, nana and auntie. I had decided that an A line style suited me best, and found one dress I really liked:

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    I drove past a small wedding dress boutique everyday called Wynter Isabelle and always had a little look in the window so I decided to book an appointment. I went for dinner the night before with my parents and mum asked if my dad could come, I wasn't over the moon with the idea but if he really wanted to i thought it could be quite nice and I was convinced I wouldn't see anything I liked there. They come to pick me up to go the next day and dad decided he didn't want to come afterall so he sat in the car outside the shop and i'm SO glad he did!

    I tried on 5/6 dresses all of which I didn't like and was about to put my own clothes back on when the shop owner pulled this fit and flare/fishtail style dress of the shelf, i just said nah but she pushed for me to try it on. WOW. I was so shocked that a dress so fitted could look good  on me (even though it was 2 sizes too small) I loved it! But as it was just mum and I there I booked to come back and try it on next week!

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  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    Wow, for what it's worth I think your figure looks much better in the fitted dress!

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    Wow, love the second dress! 

  • Giraffe888Giraffe888 Posts: 678

    I love the second dress! X

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    The dress part 2

    i was so nervous that i might have the dress! Think it was partly because I thought we'd have lots of shopping trips left and partly because id actually only tried one in that style (fitted rather than A-Line) so I managed to book 2 shops in Cardiff to try some more on before I made my decision. 

    I tried so many dresses on that day and found none that I even remotely liked. The ladies in the shop were trying their best and in the end one even said "im sorry but you are describing an exact dress which we don't have". That and the fact that my auntie said "youve brought me out to pretend to look at dresses when you've already got your mind set on one" made it so much clearer for me!

    So I went the next day along with my mum and auntie and tried on the dress! I'm so pleased! Just got to kickstart my diet now... 

     

    So the dress is Eternity D5225 in ivory and I have added a fishtail hoop and sparkly belt! 

     

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    (Wish I wasn't standing on the box in the picture So the train could be seen better but one of my favourite parts of the dress is the lace around the train! im a cake decorator and I think dresses need to have a nice finish at the bottom just like a cake would!)

    I also love the sparkles in the skirt part and spent the whole time swaying side to side so the light would catch, musn't make that a hobby on the day!

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    Oh wow, you look beautiful!

    I love the lace at the end of my train as well. 

     

  • Aimee73Aimee73 Posts: 96

    Wow i love your dress, it suits you so well! And your venue is beautiful :) 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Thankyou futuremrsthomas! We'll have to make sure we get plenty of pictures showing off the lace train on the day!

     

    Aimee73 that's so kind! im currently taking any opportunity to go up there, let's go for Sunday lunch, they do a special Father's Day afternoon tea! Trying to convince h2b we should stay at the hotel this year on the 4th sept a year before the wedding! 

     it seems to be wales' worst kept secret! I had no idea it existed but since all I've heard is ooo i love it up there! We've been to a wedding there! Etc luckily all good things although im sure nobody would so youve chosen that as your venue? I hate it! Haha 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Save the dates

    I really liked the idea of magnets for save the dates bit wanted to introduce  a rustic/natural theme. After a bit of googling I came across some wooden heart shaped with all the details engraved on eBay:

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     I ordered 50 magnets for £39 which delivered within the week I was really impressed with them! Although they were a little smaller than I'd imagined the writing is really easy to read and think they look good for the money!

    i bought kraft cards from hobbycraft and printed a little poem on the front (using the printer from work hehe) and stuck the magnet to the middle 

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    i bought the card as actual cards as it was cheaper than buying card and envelopes but cut the other side off hopefully I'll get some use out of it further down the line!

    The hessian is a little wonky on the one pictured as it was the first one I made and I pulled it tighter than i should have but the rest of them turned out pretty well! 

    Also got these cute little stickers for the back of the envelope although I'll have to properly seal the ones I'm posting as they keep unsticking 

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  • Charlotte237Charlotte237 Posts: 272

    Those save the dates are amazing!

  • Your dress is beautiful and I love the save the dates! 

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    The save the dates are fab! 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Thanks guys!

    I have only given out to the immediate family so far as I'm still fretting over the guest list. Originally we settled on 70 day guests and up to double that for the evening (although we knew we'd never have this many for the evening)

    I would like to keep the day list below 80 if possible as the marquee isn't huge and when we went to visit it was set up for 110 and the tables seemed really squashed. I'd like us to have room to move around freely and be able to spend the day with our closest friends and family rather than spending hours "catching up" with people we've only met a handful of times.

    At the moment the day guest list is around 85 and seems to be increasing daily, its our parents adding people here and there and i'm getting nervous about the budget! The wedding is on a tuesday though so I'm hoping this makes it difficult for a few of the additional great aunties/uncles etc (does that sound really bad?!)

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Photographer

    So we've booked our photographer and videographer this week!

    A videographer wasn't even something we'd discussed properly and I hadn't given it that much thought prior to searching for photographers.

    I had a few musts, the most important being they must have shot a wedding at my venue. I thought this was really important as I wanted them to have prior knowledge of the area and the beach etc.I think if they know the hotel aswell were onto a winner as they'd know the lighting etc. We're really keen on going up to the cliff and getting some photos there but obviously that depends on the weather etc.

    Just in discussion with D it became apparent we were drawn more towards candid style photography rather than posed.I've seen a few example albums from local photographers and they are beautiful and romantic and capture the emotion spot on but tended to focus mainly on this rather than getting fun/ in the moment/candid images which we prefer. We'd much rather an album of funny faces/ laughing (hopefully not bored/sad faces!) rather than continuous posed photos, We were also drawn towards male photographers  as D is not confident in front of a camera and think he will be really nervous, having a guy there will hopefully make him feel more natural and get into it a bit more.

    I was reccommended "The Wedding Guys" by a work colleague who went to school in the area were getting married. They are a team of 2 guys, one photograper, one videographer who work together. I loved their work straight away and they'd done our venue a few times and had examples on their website!

    We met up with them and went through their albums, we loved how relaxed they were and knew the area very well as they grew up there. The package was £1800 for all day photogrpaher and videographer, a digital copy of all images on a engraved wooden USB and 5 prints aswell as a 20min highlight video and footage of the whole ceremony and speeches. We came away from this meeting 100% confident that we'd have exactly the images we wanted but the price was much higher than we'd considered since we'd only been looking at a photographer beforehand.

    I set up another meeting with a package for £1000 for all day photographer, an album and digital copy of all photos aswell as a photobooth in the evening. This was the sensible choice but I just wasn't as in love with the images and came away nowhere near as excited as the first time.

    We thought about it for a while and worked out our budget etc. In the end, I thought I'd just Email them and explained that we'd love to go with them but they were over our budget and I cheekily asked if they had any discounts with it being a weekday wedding. They got back in touch within the hour and said they don't usually but since we'd met and they liked our vision etc they'd take £200 off! I was chuffed! So booked and paid the deposit straight away!

    I'm SO pleased!!

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Bridesmaid dresses

    The other day I had a email from boohoo that gave 30% off maxi dresses, I'd been browsing a bit and came across this dress beforehand:

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    I loved the colour and although id prefer straps as my dress is strapless for £25 each I thought it'd be easy to add some in at a later date aswell as a sparkly belt. I ordered 5 for my adult bridesmaids but a few days later had an email saying one had been refunded as it was out of stock.

    The remaining 4 arrived the day after, they were already no good as they'd already told me there wouldn't be anymore but when they arrived the colour was really different: 

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    I dont hate this dress and think for £25 it's a bargain! The colour is very different to what I'd imagined. If I had all 5 Id be able to think about it properly but maybe it's fate 1 didn't arrive, who knows! Back to the drawing board!

  • Charlotte237Charlotte237 Posts: 272

    Georgina, I had my wedding at Oxwich at the weekend an I just wanted to say you have chosen a SPECTACULAR venue! It really is amazing and it was the best weekend ever. Their DJ is terrible but everything else was as perfect as could be. If you have any questions about the venue please message me! Have an amazing wedding xx 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride
    Charlotte237 wrote (see post):

    Georgina, I had my wedding at Oxwich at the weekend an I just wanted to say you have chosen a SPECTACULAR venue! It really is amazing and it was the best weekend ever. Their DJ is terrible but everything else was as perfect as could be. If you have any questions about the venue please message me! Have an amazing wedding xx 

    Ooo! Congratulations!! great news that everything went to plan for you! Thanks for saying about the DJ that's really good to know! We'd love to have a sax player to play alongside the DJ for a house sort of vibe so may look into getting a duo! (DJ and Sax). Are you writing a report??

     

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    All under one roof

    This is not exactly a wedding update but it is a big part of our journey towards the wedding/travelling.

    August marked us moving out of our lovely first apartment and back in to my parents house in order to save save save! We're very lucky that they live in a 3 storey house and the bottom floor was pretty much unused so we've hijacked their spare room downstairs, bathroom and utility room as a little kitchen. 

    We've been there 2 weeks now and it's all gone smoothly so far, the fact that I now work AND live with my mum has the potential to be problematic but we shall see!  It's nice to be back in our hometown and will be interesting to see whether we've outgrown the sleepy town or whether we'll eventually opt to settle down here!

    The move has certainly made everything seem closer! 

    Also! We've now sent all of the save the dates and therefore finally settled on the guest list....phew!

    AND....big update! I bought 20 pairs of flip flops for 99p each in Asda (Obviously this is a big part of wedding planning and needed to be done 13months beforehand!) 

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Themes and Colour Schemes!

    We... (well okay I)  had so many ideas and visions but no fixed theme/colour scheme. Originally I thought it wasn't necessary to have a uniform colour or theme throughout but the more I was looking (pinterest!) the more i realised I needed to work towards a structure or i'd get far to carried away and the venue would end up looking like a jumble sale!

    I came across a venue dresser on facebook who seemed to do Oxwich Bay a lot, she had hundreds of images of the marquee dressed and every single one looked beautiful, I had never considered hiring a dresser but didn't think I had the DIY capacity to fulfill anything like she could, I sent off for a quote and referenced these images:

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    The quote came back way over budget (as i expected!) and I couldn't justify over spending on centre pieces/ decorations, but at least I have a good idea of what we're aiming for.

  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    All the fun of the fair!

    Very early on in our planning, might have even been the night we booked the venue as they put the idea into my head, there was a wedding the day before that they were clearing up and they'd had donkeys on the beach which gave me an idea of having a funfair vibe for the drinks reception!

    Didn't take me long to find this website: www.traditionalfairground,com.

    They offer packages specifically for weddings and we both fell in love with the idea! We knew we wanted something a little different and this ticks all the boxes, especially with it being right on the beach, we loved the traditional element as 99% of our guests are adults I'm hoping it breaks the ice and gets everyone playing along together.

    The prices are reasonable but as the venue is so out of the way delivery cost will be £200. This did put a bit of a downer on it for us and made us delay booking for a few weeks to make sure we definitely wanted it, but we've now booked! I just REALLY hope it's not pouring down as we don't have any room to move the games inside... think we'll invest in some big brollys!!

    This naturally gives us our theme, were not going to run completely with a beach/funfair theme but it will be a big part of the day.

    So... our package includes the following traditional games:

    High Striker:  (Hammer and bell game.... i'm hoping to get a funny photo of D and my dad having a competition with this one!)High Striker

     

    Ball in the Bucket:Ball in the Bucket

     

    Coconut Shy: Coconut Shy

     

    Beat the Buzzer: Beat the Buzzer

     

    Hoopla: Helter Skelter Hoopla we had the option of having this one instead: image but decided to keep them all traditional.

     

    Hook a duck: Hook-a-Duck (think the kids will love this one, although there is only 3 of them!)

     

    Tin Can Alley: Tin Can Alley

     

    Peep Board: Just Married Peep Board (Choice of B&B/B&G/G&G) we had lots of different options for the peep board but decdied to go for the just married!

    I'm SO excited! Its meant a bit of a juggle around with times/ order of the day but I think its worth it! Just hope everyone gets involved and enjoys!

    Also (I know its a bit of a random thing to have at a wedding) but I highly recommend the company so far, Zelda, the lady I have been emailing is so kind and friendly, i honestly can't wait to meet them on the day.

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