Sweet dreams - the story of our 16th July Wedding with Tips

ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride
After reading so many reports on here and enjoying them all I am now doing my own ...where did the time go ?!!

My wedding on 16th July went so well and in part that was down to all the advice from people on this site ...so thank you all and hope you enjoy reading my report.

How we met

Approaching 50, I frankly thought I was never going to end up getting married but of course a girl can dream. Life has had its ups and downs and I suppose I thought I would never be lucky enough to find that special someone.

After a relationship lasting 9 years ended in 2008 I started the dreaded internet dating. This turned out to be an interesting journey to say the least...men who looked nothing like their photos...men who had no intention of committing to anything and a few who were frankly weird!! After 2 years and numerous dates I decided to give up and I resolved to be a single woman. I had had my children when I was young (my son at 18 and my daughter at 26) and then I had built a career. I had never got married. So I was OK with life but I so wanted a man to share it with who I could call my husband but reluctantly I accepted this was not for me.

Then I met Andy who frankly was the most handsome man I had ever seen with wonderful blue eyes and best of all he had a mind and a set of principles to match. The day after we met he rang and invited me on another date saying he couldn't bare a day without me...a good sign as most men on the internet play it pretty cool. Our relationship went from strength to strength. We moved into together, his 3 children and my 2 children got on really well and then In March 2011 came the engagement. We went to Brighton and he told me -we need to go shopping today..for a ring'. In the afternoon we visited my 97 year old dad and Andy asked for my hand in marriage. Andy told my dad he would always look after me and my astute dad replied -you want to look before her and only then will you see what's coming and be able to protect her'. That night in our favourite restaurant he proposed and I thought -WOW dreams do come true!'.



  • Awwww, more please image
  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride
    We then started to look for a venue....

    I looked around and was shocked at some of the prices. I looked at Woburn on the internet but it was too expensive and dismissed this. We picked a converted barn near where we lived. It was modern and perfect for the family wedding we wanted. We booked this in June 2010 and my planning began. The date was fixed for 16th July 2011 which was my mum's birthday (she had died 20 years ago). Andy works in farming and so he planned to arrive on a tractor. We were going to have a bouncy castle and other things for the kids. I kept planning things in my head and dreaming of how the day would be.

    As the months went on we were meant to be seeing the venue and going through our plans but the event company kept cancelling the open days but the manager was great and told me we could have everything we wanted but something told us something was not right.

    In the October my father got ill and a few weeks later he died but he seemed happy I had found someone. Andy was so supportive

    The Dress

    I was planning on having a cheap dress, Andy wanted it to be -classy' and so he said to spend about £1000. I am not a girlie girl and the thought of spending so much on a dress seemed ridiculous but I started to research and liked simple lace dresses. The lady in the dress shop told me the one I wanted wouldn't suit my figure and she was right....I looked like a bag of spuds in a net curtain !! She got me to try and another and that was it...Suzanne Neville -Antoine' at £2250. I thought -I can't spend that!' . I went home and told Andy and he phoned the shop and bought it !! I went along with this on the basis I could sell it afterwards. The dress was ordered in December 2010.

  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride
    The Venue Disaster

    On 17th January I got a call from the wedding planning company saying -we can't do your wedding at that venue'. She told me a neighbour had complained and that as a result there were now planning restrictions in place that meant only 60 people could be on site...our wedding was for 90. We have since found out there was never any planning that allowed 90...they had lied. So there I was... a wedding in July and no venue. I was completely distraught. I had an amazing dress and nowhere to wear it. I spent 12 hours crying. Everyone said it would work out for the best but I was convinced we would never find anywhere half decent with only 6 months to go.

    The next day all our friends and us rang round everywhere but all the nice places were booked. We found a couple with a vacancy. Bletchley Park was quirky but remains open to the public who can wander past the rooms which wasn't for us. We liked Horwood House. The reception room was not quite what I dreamed of but at least I was marrying my man. However the next day I rang the registrar and they could not do it. I then (in complete desperation) rang Woburn. The lady there was so lovely and after listening to my story said they had a vacancy and could do a discount. They knocked £5K off the price !!! The next day I rang the registrar and she went for the diary...I could hear her ruffling pages...my heart was in my mouth...she said -someone up there is shining down on you because we have the 2.30pm slot'. We were over-joyed but we still hadn't visited it...would Andy like it ?

    2 Days later we visited and the lady showed us around. We walked into the Gallery and knew it was the place for us...suddenly I was back in planning mode.

    Clearing the house a few days later I stumbled on a photo of my mum and my son when he was about 4 standing in one of the courtyards at Woburn...it was like she had sorted everything. No photos on the internet do the Sculpture Gallery justice...it has just such a lovely atmosphere and the staff were brilliant. This time things felt -right' - the lesson was listen to your instincts!!

  • JoeyClareJoeyClare Posts: 2,737
    More!! I've been looking forward to your report.xx
  • Can't wait to read (and see) more! Congratulations! image
  • beautiful so far, dreams do come true hun image lookin forward to reading more x
  • Ezz im so glad you had a fab day, You truly deserve it image

    Had a wee tear for you x

    What a gorgeous couple you make...! Cannot wait to read more so get tying Mrs!!! image

  • icklekidicklekid Posts: 732
    More more more lovely report!
  • You look absolutely gorgeous in your dress! More pictures please! image
  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride
    A Family Wedding

    Andy had wanted to go abroad with just a few friends but my friends and family had waited a long time to see me get married and I wanted a family occasion. I was a bridesmaid 5 times and wanted our wedding to be like those family events I went to as a child. I wanted it to be fun for the children and not too formal. Lots of people dread weddings with children but I thought if the children are kept amused it should be OK. We booked a bouncy castle for the little ones and a surf board simulator for the older children and those sultry teenagers who love to say -I'm bored!'. More pics of that later

    I decided I wanted my son to give me away....after all it was he who had to -approve' of Andy. Thankfully they get on great and are always teasing each other and mucking about. They get on like brothers and it is just so lovely to see them together. On the day my son was just so wonderful. Here is a pic of him telling the little BMs they needed to walk as -slow as snails' and another of us walking down the aisle.We are close anyway but that day I felt so proud of him.

  • awww, loveing the report so far image
  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride

    In my excitement I very foolishly was open to anyone and everyone being a BM...I didn't realise how expensive they are at that stage ! I ended up with 8..my daughter, Andy's daughter, my nieces, my sister and the grand-daughters of those women I was a BM for. This meant 4 little ones and 4 older BMs...and that ended up being where the trouble began!! None of the adult BMs could agree on a colour ..at one stage I was thinking of having the colours of the rainbow to accommodate their various preferences!! Then it was the style of dress and then what shoes they would wear. I realised I was giving them too much choice and finally someone said -What is your favourite colour?' and with that the colour theme was set as Duck Egg Blue and Ivory.

    Top Tip ..if you are on a tight budget pick your colour carefully...pink and purple will save you a lot of money as you can get dresses in the high street shops in the sales. My colour was so unusual and I ended up going to Dessy.

    I got the dresses from the same shop as my wedding dress and negotiated for a price reduction of £30 per dress...most shops will knock a bit off if you ask. Be aware of the extras too as it all adds up. I spent the following ..

    Dress £180 each

    Dress alterations £20 each

    Shoes - I gave up and got them to buy their own in the end!

    Jewellery £15

    Bouquets £20 - 30 each

    Presents £15 each

    Hair £10 - 30 each

    I got the little ones Ivory Dresses from Next called Ecru. These were brilliant and looked lovely. Be aware many dresses can look nice but are itchy and have rough bits inside where bits and pieces are attached. Ecru was also reasonable.

    Top Tip - Buy ballet shoes early as they sell out quickly in some sizes!

    As with so many things I could not find duck egg blue accessories, so we bought some beads from Hobbycraft and made elasticated necklaces for the little ones

    My daughter looks so bored here but actually the shoes she picked were killing her !! image
  • You make the bride ensemble look effortless, you look absolutley stunning and it is lovely to hear of your tale leading up to you finally landing your man. Best wishes for the future xx
  • 365brides365brides Posts: 114
    We'd absolutely love to feature you on our blog!

    We feature real wedding photographs of real brides every day and we think your wedding photography would be absolutely perfect! If you're interested you can send 7-10 photos from your wedding to our email address: [email protected]

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    Hope to hear from you soon! Have a lovely day!

    365 Brides x
  • MrsFaulkyMrsFaulky Posts: 6,671
    Loving this si far!! I'm so glad your fairytale came true! Congratulations to you both. I love your dress you look stunning and the colour of the BM dresses are beautiful image
  • Absolutely loving this more please you look stunning hunny xx
  • Aw congrats what a beautiful wedding! Can i ask if you bm's necklaces are from jon richards? I think ive just ordered those for my bm's! xx
  • MiaLeaceyMiaLeacey Posts: 1,184
    Approaching 50? You're kidding us? Absolutely stunning! Can't wait for more!
  • I can't believe you are as old as you say you are! wouldn't never have believed that if you hadn't said. Couldn't believe how old your son was in the cpiture of him walking you down the isle! thought he'd be like ten!
  • RoofiesRoofies Posts: 280
    Eek this is such a lovely report! More more more please image
  • SarahMor84SarahMor84 Posts: 1,493
    You and your wedding look wonderful, it is lovely to read a report of a date twin image We pickedthe best dateimage

    More please!
  • Quoted:
    Approaching 50? You're kidding us? Absolutely stunning! Can't wait for more!

    I second that - you must be joking you are stunning!

    Gorgeous wedding pics, you made me reconsider having flower girls!
  • Stunning, you look absolutely beautiful! Love the romantic story
  • Hi, congratulations on the wedding! it looks like you had an amazing time.

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  • MrsRuddersMrsRudders Posts: 2,761
    I third the fact that you do not look your age AT ALL!! and your husband is a right dish image Can't wait to read more xx
  • MrsPLMrsPL Posts: 417
    Beautiful wedding and grea report but can I just say....50?!!!! you don't look a day over 35!!!!!! xxxx
  • monkey197monkey197 Posts: 254
    You look lovely and so happy walking down the aisle. cant wait to see more xx
  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride
    Arhh thank you all...what lovely comments!

    Mrs Rudders I agree with you...here is another pic of Andy. He chose the suits which he hired and he scoured the shops for a duck egg blue tie.


    I decided I wanted all my stationery to be on the same card (hammered ivory)and the same font (copperplate) . My invites were a simple design and I got them from daisychain.com. It was a very fast and efficient service. 150 invites and extra info cards cost less than £70 and they looked lovely...simple and elegant. I then ordered the same card from ebay (£15) and did the order of service, menus, table names and place names myself. I also did the table plan. It was fun making all these things even after H2B tipped a glass of water over them and I had to re-do them !!

    Our table names were places special to us and lots of guests commented on this. The little wooden menu holders were made by my brother in law..I loved the way so many family and friends helped out...it resulted in that family wedding I was after.


    Our Best Man's mum offered to make the cake and we went round to her house to discuss it. I hadn't realised how talented she was. She went through the options and then at the end she announced it was her gift to us. We were so touched that she would give up so much time for us.

    I did not see the cake until the day before and when I did I was bowled over...it was so beautifully made and matched my theme so well.

    At Woburn they put the cake in the room with the statute of Eros...this leads to a certain issue. Some people ask to have a screen in front of him...but I loved the humour of it all. And besides it saved me buying a cake topper!!!


    I got several quotes but they ranged widely. Florists with shops were so expensive, almost double what we paid a freelance florist. One of the brides I met through the cancelling of the first venue recommended Elaine Sturges. Her flowers were so fresh and received lots of compliments.

    I wanted an informal bouquet mainly white with touches of pink. Freesias were included as my mum loved them. We also had eucalyptus to tone with the duck egg blue

    Top tip - Ask when your florist is making up your flowers and if it's not the day before find another florist !

  • JoeyClareJoeyClare Posts: 2,737
    Ezz! It's a good job I wasn't drinking anything when I saw that photo. I love your 'unique' topper. Great tips as well. xx
  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride

    We did not want a DJ playing music we hated and coming out with naff comments. My friend put together playlists with care choosing all our favourite tracks and thinking about the mood. She did classical for the reception which were from Andy's favourite films and then disco.

    If you are wondering about using an iPod ..go for it! It was brilliant and everyone commented how good it was. The dancefloor was full most of the night and from the start!

    Top tip - you may need to hire additional speakers and an equalizer. We hired a whole package including lights from Brightlights in High Wycombe. Steve came in the morning and set it all up and it worked without a hitch. Cost £200

    Andy's son played the double bass as I walked up the aisle. He played Arioso by Bach. It was so moving . As he finished he tripped up on the amp and it made a huge awful noise..but he stayed calm , switched off the amp and he then said -You may continue!'. Everyone laughed and it broke the ice.

    During the service Andy's daughter sang the Adele song To make you feel my love. She's only 11 and she was so brave..it was beautiful and everyone cried. We were just so proud of her.

    As we walked down the aisle we played Etta James -At Last'...given how long everyone had waited to see me married it was very apt and lots of people smiled.
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