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An Electric Wedding, November 2018

I’ve been reading and lurking for a while and mithering about a planning thread. With the wedding in less than 3 months, things are ramping up a little now so thought I would have a go at documenting the story so far..

How we met

We met at a beer festival in 2010. I had worked with K’s Mum years before and stayed in touch with her on and off. When we met he was separated and on a night out with family that he nearly didn’t get to. I was single, in two minds about being out that night as I’d been out the night before. His Mum still says it was meant to be!

We moved into my one bed flat together after a year, along with his three cats. Since then we’ve moved twice, travelled, changed jobs, been made redundant (me), got divorced (him) and celebrated our 40th birthdays together.

We’d talked about marriage, always with a fairly practical view of it – I’m not someone who has always dreamed of a wedding, and he has done the wedding before. But it was always a someday..



  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    The proposal

    We went to Dublin for a week at the end of February 2018 and wound up being hit by the Beast from the East! The city was largely shut down but the pubs were open so we just planned to have a few days making the most of our time off. We were sat in a lovely pub by Trinity College, talking about ideal places to get married, when he just asked me to marry him! I had to check he had just asked! We had a kiss and cuddle, no-one else noticed and it was very us. We decided not to tell anyone just yet, as we wanted to sort out a ring and get some ideas about what we wanted to do.

    Our key ideas were that we didn’t want a long engagement and that we wanted our wedding to be for our closest friends and family only. So we were thinking Autumn/Winter 2018/19..

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    K had proposed without a ring as he wasn’t sure what I wanted, and whilst he had been thinking about proposing for a while he hadn’t really planned it! All I knew was I wanted white metal and not a solitaire. I don’t wear a lot of jewellery and didn’t want anything big and flashy. Happily we live in Birmingham so the Jewellery Quarter was the only place to look! After a bit of discussion we agreed that I would have a look and come back with some options. I work about a 10 minute walk away from the Quarter whereas K is all over the place for work so this made sense.

    I had a vague idea about Art Deco and simple lines, so I just googled ‘Art Deco Jewellery Quarter’ and found Victoria James, a family run jewellers. As they make all their rings in house, you can pick one of their designs and have it made in various metals and stone sizes. As soon as I saw their Chia ring I knew that was what I wanted. I had a look around but I kept coming back to it so I showed K and went into the shop that week to have a proper look and check my size.

    We went back in together that weekend and had another look and ordered the ring.

    With the ring ordered, we decided to tell everyone and managed to gather our parents under false pretences for champagne. Cue lots of ringing around to friends and family!


  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    An Electric Wedding!!

    Where we wanted to get married was easy – we had been talking about it as our ideal place! The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is one of our favourite places. It’s the oldest working cinema in the UK, with fantastic Art Deco themes and it has a ceremony license for small weddings. I had been going to The Electric since 2006 and I introduced K to it when we met in 2010. Over the years we have been many times and introduced family and friends. It was also important that the venue be somewhere meaningful to us – we’re not religious, but the idea of a standard civil ceremony in a hotel just didn’t sit right with me. Knowing that we will go back to our venue again and again makes it extra special.

    So The Electric was the only option for the ceremony, and when we started looking at dates, we knew that we would work to their availability if that’s what it took. Luckily the first set of dates we put forward (in October/November 2018) wound up with one date where everything was available – ceremony venue, reception venue and registrar, so we booked for 3rd November 2018.



  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    Being decisive

    The thing that surprised me about wedding planning is how low stress I have found it. In some ways it helps that K and I are pretty decisive about stuff, and are generally clear about what we want, what we can afford and what we are and aren’t willing to compromise on. I don’t know if that comes from 8 years together, the fact that we are both naturally quite organised and plan stuff, or the fact that this is just our most recent project

    We’ve been through buying and selling houses and some big, stressful job changes in our time. We’ve also organised a lot of events for other people, and so far it all feels a bit less stressy than those! It is nice to just focus on us for a bit in planning this one day together, and whilst I probably do more on some elements, I do really feel that K and I are doing this together.

    I suppose this also helps to explain why I am writing a planning thread now, with less than 3 months to go. It is mainly due to the fact that so many elements of the day were sorted very quickly after getting engaged and so I find myself now with not much to do – or mithering over details like cupcakes and collecting jam jars!!

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,311 New bride

    Lovely story so far! Congratulations. Absolutely love your venue. 

    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.
    Our report: A fun, classic May day in navy and blush
    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • Oooh a new thread! 😍 I'm quite new on here but have done an impressive amount of binge reading so far, just love hearing about everyone's plans!

    Your ring is stunning, so simple but elegant, I really love it!

    One of the coolest venues I've seen yet, what a great idea, are you going to have your names put up on the board above the entrance?! Can't wait to see how it all comes together!

    Also nice to find another bride who hasn't got ageeees to plan, as we booked our venue at the end of last week, and are getting married next March, so not a huge amount of time, but hoping that will encourage us to make decisions! 😂

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    Thanks GinAndBling! (Love the username btw!) 

    And thanks and welcome portilla19! Whereabouts are you getting married? I think a shorter timescale does focus the mind and make being decisive easier - well on some things at least! And yes, we are able to personalise the cinema boards (and posters if we wish). We walked past recently and they were just taking down from another wedding so got a quick photo - just need to decide on our wording..


  • MrsGtoBMrsGtoB Posts: 712 New bride

    What a fab venue, congrats and can’t wait to read more! 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    Ooh thanks MrsGtoB! I knew I recognised your username, was looking at your food pics earlier  

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    The Reception venue

    Knowing that we wanted to get married at The Electric we then needed to pick somewhere for a reception. Our initial ideas on this were very casual – literally let’s go to the pub! We had organised a couple of big parties before at one of our favourite pubs in the Jewellery Quarter, and we did research various options. There are some great ‘party’ venues locally, including pubs with rooms, and we did consider restaurants with private rooms too. However our numbers were putting us often just over or under capacity, and we had to consider accessibility too with lots of upstairs or downstairs rooms in the mix.

    I think in the back of our minds though we were thinking about others expectations of something more formal, and especially of a large number of older guests who would want to sit down! We also ideally wanted somewhere within walking distance of The Electric. Further afield would have meant adding in transport for guests. Costs aside, the logistics of mass transport in Birmingham City Centre were too much to contemplate so we focused down onto City Centre only.

    I added Hotel du Vin Birmingham into the mix, as though it’s a more traditional ‘hotel’ venue for a small wedding reception, the evening do is held downstairs in Pub du Vin, which does have a proper pub feel.

    It ticked all the boxes – it’s a small hotel so only one wedding per day, within a short walk of the Electric and with excellent food and wine to boot. We got some quotes for their packages and booked in a date to visit.


  • Ozzy2b - thanks for the welcome! 😁 We are getting married in a small village in Chippenham. We actually live in Devon, but my H2B is from Bristol, and I am originally from Surrey, so have lots of family and friends who will be travelling down, or coming from Bristol anyway, so it made sense to have it there. It's about 1.5 hours from us, so hoping we won't find that too stressful..! I feel like there is probably so much I should be doing right now, but we are still in the, 'ahhh we have a wedding date!" bubble!

    Love love LOVE the personalised touch you can do outside the venue, you could so many things with the posters too, what a great idea!!

    Already buzzing to hear more about it 😁😁

  • Candice9Candice9 Posts: 230 New bride

    We are getting married on the same day!!

    I am getting married in Newcastle but originally from Walsall.

    Can't wait to read all about it! Xx

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    portilla19 - That sounds lovely, and it's nice to be able to pick somewhere in the middle for guests. We have a mix of London/South East (where I'm from) and Scotland (where siblings live) along with all our local guests so we've sort of done the same

    Thanks Candice9 and yay a date twin! Your venue looks absolutely amazing - hopefully you will get some great views on the day!

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143


    This was a major element for us, as we are both keen amateur photographers. We were also keen to invest in the elements of the day which would last – so having photographs to look back on and our rings to wear every day were much more important to me than the dress. We also wanted candid, documentary style photography, and were conscious that we were getting married in a space with no natural light, which presented both challenges and opportunities!

    With this in mind, we looked first at photographers who had worked at The Electric previously. There were a couple who got back to us who were way over budget. Our frontrunner came back saying he was unavailable, but sent through details of the network of photographers he worked with, and from there we found Simon. As soon as we saw his portfolio we liked his use of space and light. He uses a lot of black and white photography and just seems to have a knack for capturing the ‘moments’ that would otherwise be missed.

    During an endearingly awkward phone conversation we talked about his shooting style and approach and were pretty much decided to book him. He hadn’t worked at The Electric before but was really keen to do so and was happy to talk the technical details with us. He then sent over some extra samples of his work, along with some low light shots which were fantastic, so we were sold and booked straight away.

  • Candice9Candice9 Posts: 230 New bride

    We were with you, our rings and photographers were two of our most expensive elements as they are the things we'll keep forever.

    The photos at your venue will be amazing!

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143
    Candice9 wrote (see post):

    We were with you, our rings and photographers were two of our most expensive elements as they are the things we'll keep forever.

    The photos at your venue will be amazing!

    So randomly I have just had the notification that our wedding rings are in to be collected! I have a plain platinum band which matches the rail setting on my engagement ring, and K has gone for a 5mm platinum band. An investment (though the price of platinum did drop between quote and order so we got an extra reduction with our jewellers!) 

    Photography is the exciting bit! Although we booked Simon very quickly, I have looked at a lot of wedding photography since. Less at the posed photos which I hate and more at how a good photographer captures emotions on the day. We had a pre wedding shoot a couple of months back which I would really recommend - not only did we get to see the quality and composition of Simon‘s work, but we got to see how we looked in photos too! I definitely felt comfortable and looking back at the photos I was amazed at how many times I had no idea he was shooting! Exactly what we want for the day 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    The Wedding Party

    I asked my sister to be my bridesmaid and my niece to be our flower girl. With one nearly 40 year old and one 6 year old I wasn’t bothered about matching or a theme (though we did consider an Adult Frozen costume!!) so just asked them to pick what they wanted to wear. This has stressed my Mum a little (cue “what if they clash/have mismatching shades of x colour”) plus the fact that they both live in Scotland so we haven’t been able to see their choices in person, but they have both gone with navy blue, which really suits both of them.

    K decided to ask our friend J to be his best man. J and I have been friends for over 20 years – in fact we met when we both worked with K’s Mum! – but they get along really well so it was decided. I later found out he had asked J to be his best man before he even proposed!

    We decided to ask our brothers to be our witnesses as their way of being involved in the ceremony. Both of them are also engaged to their partners, so maybe this will encourage them to get a move on (one 2 year plus engagement and one 7 year engagement with no dates in sight!). Our ushers are my brother in law (as volunteered by my sister!) and J’s daughter who will be 18 when we get married. They are both calm and level headed and used to organising people.

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    The Guest List

    We knew we wanted close friends and family only, and for us that meant people we see on a regular basis. The list was therefore pretty easy to put together, and came to 66 people for the day. That included 5 suggested by parents (all of whom we had thought of anyway as their longtime friends) and 11 children. We actually wound up with 51 adults and 5 children once all the RSVPs were in. A few friends with older children got childcare, we managed to clash with family events for all my godparents and one person couldn’t manage the travelling, but everyone responded on time, and the vast majority of people who will be coming will know people there.

    We decided to have a smaller evening list, mainly to invite colleagues. We both have small groups of work friends who we don’t necessarily see socially a lot, but that we do spend a ton of time with day to day, so having them come to the party part of the day made sense

  • Ozzyb - you guys sounds so decisive, I am very envious, me and H2B are useless! He keeps going away to rethink his guest list, and I swear every time I've looked at it it's completely different 😂🙈🙈

    You might be coming onto this, but I am curious because I know you have had a similar amount of time to plan your wedding... Did you send out saw the dates? Or did you skip straight to invites?

    I can't decide what to do! We get married on the 15th March next year, which is 6.5 months away. We only booked the venue last week, and although we have contacted the majority of people and asked if they are free, I'm now confused as to whether I should send out save the dates now, or just skip to the invites but send them within the next few weeks?

    I don't really know how soon you should send invites, everything I've read seems to give me varied answers! 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    portilla19 - trust me there have been things we have been back and forth on for ages (music and cakes come to mind!) but we were lucky in having the where pinned down pretty early which helped. Being ‘off season’ I think does make a difference in terms of availability but we still wanted to get key things pinned down quickly. 

    We did do Save the Dates. We’d checked our date before we booked with close family, but we as we knew a lot of people would be travelling we got Save the Dates ASAP. They went out at the start of May and just had the date and Birmingham City Centre on. Then actual invites went out at the end of June - so a good 4 months notice. We went for RSVPs by 1st August, and there are some evening invites going out now with RSVP by 1st October. 

    I didn’t know how soon to send them out either, but just thought it would be good to give lots of notice for people booking trains, flights and hotels! We made our own invites using Canva, which helped reduce the lead time, and used to make a wedding website. That really helped as we could go with simple invites whilst putting all the details on the website! 

    For me I do think Save the Dates are worth getting out to those people you definitely want to be there - it gives them time to plan, and it takes the pressure off getting invites sorted. 

  • Candice9Candice9 Posts: 230 New bride

    We have also used Getting Married for out wedding website! Have you used Prezola for a gift list? I am super gringe about the gift list-i genuinely don't want any but people keep asking!

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    We haven’t got a gift list - neither of us wanted one. However, my Mum‘s advice was to say something otherwise people would ask (And ask her I think was the unspoken bit!) So we have explained on the website that we have everything we need and we don’t expect gifts. We have a small local charity whose work we support, so we’ve said if you really want to give something to mark our wedding, please consider a donation here. That seems to be fine - we’ve not had any negative comments on it 

  • Ozzy2b - thank you sooooooo much for all of your help, I've literally just designed and ordered my save the dates this morning! Quick question, do you send them to evening guests too?? 

    I've been flapping about people forgetting the message we sent out to them to check in about the date, so I think this is the right thing to do. Hoping they should be here within the week! 😁🤞🏻

    I am then going to aim for November time for the formal invites I think.

    I'M SO EXCITED!!! 😂🙈😁💘

    Thank you again for being so helpful, I really do appreciate it. 

    Just had quotes back from photographers... 🤪🤪 SO much money, but I suppose it's a very important part of the day isn't it? They've both give 150 discounts because they love the venue, but still coming in at £1800! I originally budgeted about £1200, but that's before we realised how important it is to have someone who has shot at the venue before. So much to consider isn't there?! 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    No worries portilla19, happy to help! We didn‘t send Save the Dates to evening guests - seems to be a general consensus not to I think! 

    On photographers, do you really need someone who has shot your venue before? We thought we did, especially given the challenges, but a good photographer should be able to work anywhere so I wouldn’t necessarily restrict yourself on that! Your quotes are about the upper limit of what we were getting - are you looking at all day or a fixed number of hours though? We’ve gone for 8 hours (from arrivals to about an hour into the Reception) and a pre wedding shoot and came in under £1200 - though that doesn’t include any albums etc. 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    So having been decisive on loads of stuff, I have realised that the one thing that both K and I have second guessed ourselves on is what to wear..

    The Dress

    I always knew I wasn’t going to go down the bridal boutique route. I just couldn’t spend hundreds of pounds on a dress for a single day, especially knowing that there were loads of lovely options out there online and on the high street. On top of that, given that the wedding was all being planned within 8 months, I knew that I likely would be too short of time to do the shopping, ordering and alterations.

    I did a lot of looking online and had a wide variety of dresses – wedding and otherwise - I was interested in. I ruled out shorter dresses as I’m only a little shorter than K and didn’t like the look of shorter dresses with flats (also I wanted to wear my Converse if I’m being honest!) I tried on various Monsoon styles and none were quite right.  I did like the idea of a long white dress, and found Alie Street online quite by chance. After a bit of a mix up I wound up with a lovely long ivory lace dress with a v neck and three quarter length sleeves. It was really comfortable and was happily stored in a box at my Mums.

    But..I had some doubts and they were nagging at me. Eventually I went over to Mum and Dad’s while they were away one weekend and spent some time in the dress, and I just felt really mumsy. And a bit like a doily! It wasn’t the dress, it really was lovely quality but I just didn’t feel ‘right’ in it.

    So I decided to look again. My overall budget for dress, shoes, underwear, accessories and all associated bits was £500, so I knew this would be challenging but I figured maybe I could sell the first dress.

    I had seen a dress I liked in Debenhams but it was all over beaded and sequinned. The Monsoon dresses I had tried were all over embellished and had shed like mad so I was nervous, but one day I looked online and saw the Debenhams dress was half price, with an extra 10% off and so I just ordered it.

    And it was perfect. And so easy to wear! Also one I could step into where my previous dress was an over the head version. It will possibly need taking in, but the style is really forgiving and actually fits better with the Art Deco look of The Electric and my jewellery.

    And the Alie Street dress? Well I didn’t sell it and I was out of time for a refund so I was just going to deal with it later. But on a whim I emailed them and explained and they offered me an exchange! During their sale  So I got two lovely non wedding dresses instead.

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    The Suit

    K had always liked Ted Baker suits, and had in fact spotted one he liked in Dublin the day after we got engaged. He had pointed it out in store, and kept looking at it so I thought it was the one – a grey check with purple hints. One day we were in the Bullring and he rang me from Selfridges to say that he thought he had found the suit. I went to meet him and he had found a light blue –grey Ted Baker 3 piece suit which was gorgeous and really suited him. K has blue eyes and wears blue almost all the time, but this was lighter than I had seen him wear and it was perfect on him! However there weren’t any sizes on the other pieces, and when I checked I realised I had a student discount offer for 20% off Ted Baker.

    Fortunately there’s a standalone store just round the corner and when we went in we were immediately swept up by one of the assistants who was brilliant! He sized K by eye and had him try a jacket two sizes smaller than what he would usually buy which was a perfect fit. While K went off to try on the whole suit, I checked discreetly with the staff that my discount would work, and was thrilled to find that yes, we could get 20% off and that the discount ended the next day! Meant to be!

  • The dress you found from Debenham sounds similar to what I'm looking for,  could you let me know what the style was called . I find it so hard looking at dresses online, I just can't term what they'd be like in person . 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143
    Seatreasure wrote (see post):

    The dress you found from Debenham sounds similar to what I'm looking for,  could you let me know what the style was called . I find it so hard looking at dresses online, I just can't term what they'd be like in person . 

    Hi, the style is Marguerite - still on the Debenhams website and they have a few similar styles too. Their sales have been on for ages so there’s quite a few new ones on eBay as well. It is hard looking online but it is nice to be able to try things on at home (and Free returns help too!) 

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    We took a bit of a bank holiday break to get on with other stuff around the house but as K has gone back to work I’ve been getting started on some DIY today. 

    Neither venue needs much in the way of decoration in our view (part of the reason why we picked them!) but I wanted to add a few bits. So I am making jam jar lanterns to hold LED tealights for the cinema, and starting to think of centrepiece ideas. Lanterns are going ok - I’ve been collecting jars and covering them with patterned tissue paper. For Centrepieces we have gotten as far as collecting some beer bottles  as we are planning to name the tables after beers. Beyond that I am still trying to decide whether to have candles, paper flowers (I’m allergic to pollen so all our flowers are paper) or something else. First attempts at paper flowers are a bit messy - fortunately my sister is making the bouquets and buttonholes and she’s a lot better at crafts than I am! 

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Just caught up on your thread, all your plans sound lovely, Love the cinema, you will get some lovely photo's in there.


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