Engaged after 11 years together - finally planning our big day!

Well since I now we have our hearts set on a venue, I suppose I can start a planning thread!

I'm Catherine, mum to Stevie, who is four, and Lucy who is just three months. I got engaged on Valentine's Day to their wonderful father, Steve, my partner of eleven years.

Steve and I met twenty years ago. I was an awkward eleven year old, he a horrible thirteen year old. We went to the local leisure centre with our big sisters who were best friends, he asked me out and became my first ever boyfriend. We even held hands once. Our romance lasted a whole two weeks.

Nine years later, after a long time chatting over good old MSN, he asked me out again. We went to a local pub on 20th October 2006 and we've been a couple ever since. We've had three homes, two children, one dog, and now the next big adventure: planning to celebrate our marriage....



  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    The ring:


    Our Beautiful Children:


  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    Today we visited PowderMills Hotel in Battle.

    I have fallen head over heels in love and Steve is very happy with it too. It is a beautiful old country hotel with stunning grounds, including a lake and a lake house where we can have our ceremony.


    One small problem of course: cost.

    our parents have kindly offered to help a bit and we are pretty good earners, but with a young family to raise and family holidays, we're going to have to be fairly economical...

  • Abigail56Abigail56 Posts: 102

    Congrats on your engagement! Venue looks beautiful!

  • Mrs2018Mrs2018 Posts: 398

    Absolutely love your venue :) it' stunning!

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    Thanks so much ladies!

    So originally I wanted a ceremony about 1pm, followed by afternoon tea in place of a wedding breakfast, speeches etc and an evening do with a BBQ buffet.

    However, in the interest of saving money, we are strongly considering getting married 3/4pm, having the photos, canapes and drinks, then straight into the evening do. This saves not only the cost of the sit down part, but the favours, place settings etc. It's also a good way of my poor, painfully shy H2B to skip the speech and not be made to feel bad about it.

    I meet with the wedding co-ordinator during the week, so we'll have a good chat about our options, make some decisions and hopefully set a date!

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    colours and flowers

    my all time favourite flowers are daffodils, I love how the symbolise the arrival of spring, perfect for a wedding which is all about new beginnings. However, having these as our wedding flowers gives us a fairly small window, in a time of year when the weather is extremely unpredictable!

    Our colours are pale yellow (based on the idea of daffodils) to be completed by lilac/purple and the flowers will be tulips, my close second favourite.

    Pale yellow, short 50s style bridesmaids dresses with bouquets like this, and a yellow bouquet for me.



    I'm really chuffed to have already found a florist who will do four bridesmaids bouquets, my bouquet and five buttonholes, delivery included for £105 :)


  • JdotJJdotJ Posts: 183

    I've been to this venue before, it's stunning! Congrats, 


  • ruthie1979ruthie1979 Posts: 794

    Congratulations - beautiful ring and stunning venue xxx

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    Oh god - I dreamt non stop about weddings last night. All my friends were getting married obe after the other, and they all had the same dress as me!

    all those dreams whilst also doing night feeds with the baby = very tired school run mum today but happy bride!

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride


    We have some progress! Good news and bad news though...

    The venue has said we can have afternoon tea in the ceremony room and we don't need to pay extra for room hire. Woo hoo. So a full day is back on. Afternoon tea instead of a wedding breakfast which is what we always wanted anyway. BBQ in the evening.

    Bad news is we are very restricted on dates. Because our guest list is relatively small (40 people in the day, 100 in the evening) the venue have said we can't have a Saturday. This means that realistically because of work and kids schooling, we can only really have a bank holiday Sunday. The only bank Holiday available for 2019 is the early May holiday - so we are looking at 5th May.

    I am happy with this, albeit a bit of a risk with the weather but h2b says no. He says it's too soon and we will have to wait until 2020. I'm gutted. After 11 years I really don't want to wait that long and feel he is worrying far too much about the financial side when we can afford a small wedding. He says he will think about it.

    Ah well - so we'll see what happens. In the meantime, heres some more pics of our beautiful venue 


  • KittyFiennesKittyFiennes Posts: 775 New bride

    Oh no, I would be gutted too. I agree with you, after this long, it is time to get it done!  Have you looked at any other venues? You certainly don't have to go with the first one you've seen; it is beautiful (love the purple flowers on the building), but there are loads of beautiful venues in the UK.  Surely there's another beautiful place in budget that could accommodate you sooner than 2020?

    I was an early May bride once - definitely not the finest weather. It pissed down all week leading up to the day, but the sun came out on our wedding. But then it was very cold and windy. The excessively bright sun coupled with the strong winds made photos outside nearly impossible.  Everyone was either squinting at the camera or being blown away!

    Your children are super cute BTW, what little darlings! 

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    The date has been agreed!

    We are getting married on Sunday, 5th May 2019 at Powdermills Hotel, Battle.

    Just got to call the venue back, confirm the date and pay the deposit!

    So excited!


    In other news, I've changed my mind about tulips.I'm thinking of more rustic, country cottage flowers...

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 1,762 New bride


    Powdermills looks lovely, we looked at it online as it's only about half an hour from us, but as OH is from further afield we decided it would be easier for guests to keep it closer to home. We are also similar to you in that we have one son who is 2 and we were together for over 6 years before OH proposed and we are having a long engagement - engaged Feb 2017, getting married August 2019. Our venue only does weddings on Sundays and OH was insistent it needed to be a bank holiday, so Aug bank holiday Sunday 2019 was the first available by the time we booked!

    The first year since getting engaged has gone so quick, so I'm pretty sure the next 17 months will too!

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    Where do you live, MrsCtobe? We are in Eastbourne, so we could be close to you!

    The deposit is paid. It's all booked! Eek! It's happening!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 1,762 New bride

    We are in Tunbridge Wells, have family and colleagues who live in Eastbourne/Hailsham area though!


  • MrsRichardsonMrsRichardson Posts: 301 New bride

    Congratulations! I got married on the 6th May last year, it was a wonderful time of year to get married and the run up from Christmas flew by. Enjoy planning :)

    Never late to the party if I’m late to the party with you!
  • DandelionBlueDandelionBlue Posts: 935 New bride

    Congratulations on booking your venue!

    It is so exciting when you finally have a date. It makes everything so real.

    I really like the idea of a tulip bouquet. I had never really thought of that before.

    I look forward to following our planning journey.

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    I'm actually changing my mind about tulips. I'm thinking of going for more country-cottage type flowers and a bit of a rustic theme. I'm not sure if it matches our venue though.

    I have an album on my phone with a mish-mash of ideas.

    Next important job is to speak to the registrar. I'm now paranoid they will tell me they can't marry us on our date 🙈

    Sone of my scrapbook ideas!


  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    registrar all booked!!

    goodness, they like to charge you an arm and a leg, don't they?

    I have also made my first wedding purchase today - my daughter's flower girl dress, it was £10 in Tesco!! :)imageimage


  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Your venue looks lovely, your daughters dress looks super cute too, Enjoy your planning


  • BallieBride wrote (see post):

    registrar all booked!!

    goodness, they like to charge you an arm and a leg, don't they?


    Your venue looks very nice, and congratulations on booking your registrar! They definitely do like to charge a lot. The flower girl outfit you’ve bought your daughter is really cute!

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    There's a lot to think about when planning this!

    I've managed to get a good deal on flowers (at least I think I have) I've got mine and all four bridesmaids bouquets, plus five buttonholes for £105 with a free courier. I've paid the deposit and I'm back to having tulips!

    Steve wants a band we saw at his dad's angling club moths ago. He can't remember the name or even when we saw them. I've narrowed it down to two bands that I think it must be. 

    These guys:


    OR these:



    I like the look of the second. Steve is away working so I will see what he thinks when he is back!

    I made another wedding purchase today. After reading another bride's wedding report, I bought these gloves from amazon :) £1.99!


    Our total wedding spend so far is now £1086.99

  • Loving reading your thread so far - we're also a Catherine and Steve, who have been together 11 years!

    I hope the rest of your planning goes well and look forward to you posting more here!

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride
    FutureMrsMilner wrote (see post):

    Loving reading your thread so far - we're also a Catherine and Steve, who have been together 11 years!

    I hope the rest of your planning goes well and look forward to you posting more here!


    Aw that's so cool! will be following your planning also!


  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    This is a comment to see if my sig works

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    does it work yet?

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    I give up on the sig!

    Now, because I want to go tea-length, shoes are very important as they will be on display all day!

    I am thinking of wedges for two reasons, because they look a bit funkier and because I can actually walk in them!

    Opinions on these appreciated! I won't actually buy them until I have my dress!


    Speaking of the dress, I have the ultimate in budget-saving lined up. I found a lady on a facebook selling site who has the perfect tea-length dress with lace, just like I've been picturing. Her wedding is in August, and she will sell me her dress after her wedding for £50!

    So I will wait until August, and if that doesn't work out for whatever reason, go dress shopping! Not sharing any pics of my dress though 

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    Another wedding decision and purchase made!

    These are the bridesmaids dresses   I'm so happy I found them, they are exactly what I was looking for! They were also just under £25 each, so just under £100 for them all.


    we'e also paid for our flowers. I'm having a mix of these two shades with some daisies and wild flowers:


    the bridesmaids have these two with some baby breath and lavender:


    things starting to come together!

    total spend so far: 1290.75


  • KerryNash2BKerryNash2B Posts: 78

    Wow, you get married only 2 weeks before us but you are far ahead with planning. Looking foward to reading the rest of your thread.

  • BallieBrideBallieBride Posts: 67 New bride

    We asked SIL2be to be one of our witnesses this evening. I'm really pleased she said yes. I'm glad we have a way to include her and really it's the most important job there is!

    Ive felt bad from day one about not having her as a bridesmaid but with only 38 day guests I would feel silly having more than 4 and my three sisters and niece just came first. She has been a bridesmaid before anyway wear as my girls never have.

    The other witness will be my cousin. I haven't asked her yet but I know she'll say yes. I'll put a note in her invite

    we also figured out which band it was. After listening to them on YouTube, Steve changed his mind, he doesn't like them! So we get to have fun watching more bands and choosing a new one :)

    im really enjoying the planning right now

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