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A tale of childhood sweethearts.

Hello ladies, contrary to my profile I have been a member of YAYW for over 2 and a half years. I haven't been on here since before all the 'changes' I keep hearing about and I can no longer sign in to my old account (gemmy_bear). Many of you probably won't remember me as I frequented the August 2012 forum most of the time, but I've decided I want to come back and write my report as the reports on this forum were so helpful to me. I expect it to be long, so if you are the type of person who just likes to browse the photos, I apologise in advance! Xx


  • Mrs BoundsMrs Bounds Posts: 1,311

    oh this sounds like it's going to be a juicy one! x

  • Here goes nothing:

    It was 2003, I had no job and no idea where I was going with my life. Maybe I should choose this time to add, I was 15 and just starting my G.C.S.E's. Life was pretty good, I had great friends, I was active and social and had a loving family. Boys weren't particularly on my mind, I wasn't the most popular girl at school having been the 'ugly duckling' through most of my primary and secondary school years and even though I was growing up and out of the ugliness shall we say, there were still many a person who liked to remind me of those days.

    So, in a very dreary and rather boring day in January I am sat in art class and a new boy walks in with blonde Gareth Gates style spikey hair (seriously, that is who he'd modelled the hair style on) and blue eyes. I thought he was VERY cute.

    The boy with the blonde spikey hair and blue eyes would one day be my husband.
  • keep it coming!image

  • Awww, more details.... lots of loves started in the art room but not with my H2B! lol Hurry, want more image x

  • turns out he's moving from a different art class because he couldn't get on with the teacher.

    A few weeks later, I was really looking forward to my art class and it had nothing to do with the paint and glitter ensemble I was making at the time! Every time the cute boy walked past my table and smiled, my heart may have jumped a little teeny bit. I thought he was just a genuinely nice guy, I never thought for a second that he'd ever like me, this was the 'ugly duckling' insecurities coming out. I told my best friend Jemma (yep,same name) whilst in French class and she promised not to tell anyone.

    Boy am I glad she did!
  • I realise this all sounds like school playground stuff, but that's because in reality it really was!
  • oooh more please!

  • Jem told Kelly, another of my best friends from school. Neither wanted to break my confidence so instead gave the cute boy clues as to who I was. He was completely at sea.

    The last clue was "her initials are the same as the position she plays in netball" (goal shoot). His best friend guessed me right, to which he replied "yeah right, like she'd ever like me"

    You'd think we'd automatically get together then wouldn't you? Wrong. We were both extremely shy and awkward. Me, because I'd never had a boyfriend EVER. Him, because he thought I was out of his league. It took weeks of texting and hanging out together with friends (never alone, we'd never have managed that?!) His mate even asked me out for him over the phone. I said no, it had to come from him. So wait I did...

    It came during half term on a very cold day in February. We were all hanging out at the park, like you do when you are 15, and we'd been left alone not so subtlety by our friends. I could tell he wanted to say something important, he'd gone all quiet and weird on me, something he still does nearly 10 years later.

    He couldn't do it. I knew he wanted to, but he was too worried about the answer, after all I'd turned him down once already. So on the 21st February 2003, about 5 minutes before his half past 7 curfew...

    I asked him. He said yes.
  • This was us, not long after we got together:

  • Yay, finally got a picture to post! image
  • ahhh sounds lovely so far! We are childhood sweethearts too(sort of!!!)image

  • Can't wait for the rest of this!
  • MrsNixMrsNix Posts: 209

    Yay! I remember you, I was in August 2012 forum most of the time too! Can't wait to read the rest of your report!

  • Over the next few years we passed GCSE's, A-levels and apprenticeships. We enjoyed holidays abroad, growing up together and partying hard, there was even a small addition to our relationship. A white cat called Milo, AKA 'Dude'.

    As the years passed, people started speculating as to when Rich would pop the question. Although we had been together 4 years, this still only made us the tender age of 19 and both of us personally felt that we were too young to make that commitment to each other just yet and this is what we'd tell people.

    This didn't stop my nan though. She'd clasp her hands together and ask whether 'he'd popped the question' every time I visited. I was more like her daughter than granddaughter and she always wanted the best for me.

    Our cat Milo

  • I wouldn't change the proposal for the world and it was very "us" The other half, or "dude" as he is more affectionately know to me (yep, same as the cat. It's a running joke that they are the 2 men in my life) was gutted that I didn't cry and made it his W-day mission to have me blubbering into my hankerchief. My argument is that as he didn't make a big grand speech I didn't feel the need and to be fair I was too flipping excited. MIL2Bs argument is that "She probably thought it was about blooming time!!" In all honesty, it's not that I'm not an emotional person, I just always end up feeling like a plonker when I cry in public and I'd rather not have my eyeliner running down my face. Anyway, I seem to have gone off topic.....

    It is February 2010, we are both coming up to 22 and have been together for 7 years without so much as a hint of an engagement. Yes I know what people are thinking, we are still young etc etc. This actually became my own personal mantra for a while when people asked, not that I believed it or anything. It was just easier than saying "I don't bloody well know why, so stop flipping asking me!"

    Rich is beginning to act really weird around this stage, being very secretive about where he's been and his stories just weren't making sense. He told me He was going shopping in bath with his best friend to get my valentines present and then on valentines day I was presented with a 50p fake rose that is no bigger than my hand? I knew something was up and I was hoping beyond hope that he was going to propose soon.

    So anyway, we arrive on the Saturday to torrential hailstorm showers but we brave the weather anyway and head into town. Rich buys me a "build a bear" as an anniversary present, he sure knows the way to my heart, give me a new teddy any day and I'm happy. I don't know if you have ever seen these shops? Once they have stuffed the bear they ask you to take a heart from the box, rub it on your own, kiss it and make a wish. The poor guy had to do this with a line of children behind him, but bless him he took it all in his stride. We then proceed to writing his name on the computer and printing out his certificate, we call him "Dude" (I know, I know we are very sad, but this is our sense of humour.) We go out for a meal in the evening to a really nice place that overlooks the sea front, Rich seems a bit distant again and it's hard work getting him to have much of a conversation.

    I didn't sleep well, Rich was being really fidgety and kept me awake for a lot of the night. (Remember what I said about him going all weird when he has something important to say)...

  • The Proposal

    We didn't have to be out of the hotel until 10am on the sunday, but we were up, fed and checked out by 9. Rich suggested a walk to the beach along to the pier, I love the beach at any time of year and walking along the beach hand in hand on our anniversary seems like the perfect way to spend it. Once on the beach, he stops to look out to sea:

    R "Look at that man canoeing out there?"

    Me: Craning to look at the insane person canoeing in the sea in FEBRUARY?!

    Whilst I'm busy looking out to sea, he puts his arms around me and puts something pretty and sparkly in front of my face.

    Oh my god! This is it!

    R: "Gem.......... Will you marry me?"

    Me: " Oh my god, are you serious? Really?"

    R: "So......What's the answer then?"

    Oh yeah, I have to answer don't I!

    Me: "Yes, of course I will!"

    He then had to ask me for my hand so he could put the ring on my finger. I always imagined what it would be like when he proposed to me, but for some reason when he did it I completely forgot what it was that I needed to do. So there we were, on Bournemouth beach on 21st February 2010, 7 years to the day since we first got together, a newly engaged couple and very happy.

    We didn't stay at the beach long after that, Rich had kept the engagement a secret from both his family and mine, except to ask for my dad's permission and we wanted to get home to share the news with them. As you can imagine, they were all really happy and we had 3 toasts that day. One with his parents, one with my mum and one with my dad.

    online photo sharing


    If you are still with me, thank you! I know it's long, but I'm writing this for myself so that I never forget how it all happened!

  • Beautiful so far, keep it coming. image
  • Sorry ladies, really busy at the moment. Will post more when I get the chance!

  • The venue search

    We started to look at venues pretty much straight away as even though we had over 2 years to plan we wanted to get married in the summer (I work in a school) and we knew it would book up early. We were driving through a village on the way to my mum's house one day when I pointed out a possible venue to Rich, a very pretty Victorian house set back in the countryside just 2 minutes from my Mum's house. He suggested we pop in to arrange a meeting with the wedding planner there, we were in awe as we drove up the drive, the house and grounds were beautiful and the entrance hall was very grand with all the original or restored features inside, we made an appointment to go back the following week. After looking around the venue and negotiating a deal with the wedding planner, she came back with a price we were both happy with and it took all my will power not to book there and then, after all I thought we should give some other venues a chance, but I wasn't optimistic about them. What could possibly beat the dream venue?

    The second venue we looked at was a barn restoration deep in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, it was ok but nothing wow and nothing compared to my dream venue. Rich on the other hand loved it, he loved the big draped ceilings with fairy lights in and the big comfy armchairs, but for me it lacked any kind of character and it definitely wasn't what either of us had imagined when talking about what we wanted in a venue.

    Aaaaaaand on to number 3.

    Venue 3 was also very pretty and the idea of getting married in a conservatory really appealed to me, as did the price. But the older part of the house reminded me of my Nan's living room, with the outdated brown flowery carpets and curtains. It's such a shame really as the venue has the potential to be a lot better than it is and as it happens my MOH's friend got married there and I didn't want our mutual friends to attend 2 weddings at the same venue so that was out too.

    The last venue we were to look at had an open evening about a month after we had seen venue 3, this gave us a chance to slow down and take a bit of a breather from the wedding venue searching and gave me a chance to realise something quite important too. I'm quite an impulsive person and tend to jump into things quite quickly without really thinking things through and my "dream venue" I'm sad to say is just yet another example of that. You see when I started to think about the dream venue I started to get niggly doubts about things that I hadn't thought about before, was it really what I wanted? I already knew Rich wasn't 100% set on it. Was it too pretentious? Yes I think it might be. Wasn't it a little bit old fashioned? Hmmmm, yes it was that too. Did it really suit either mine or Rich's personalities or was it more about putting on a show? No it didn't and Yes I think it was.

    "If I'm really that happy with our venue choice why is it that I'm still pouring over wedding venue websites trying to find the perfect place?" was the question I put to Rich one night. If I really was that certain about it surely I shouldn't have been looking for something better? Also I wanted Rich to be as happy with the decision as I was, after all it was his day as much as mine.

    I had a good feeling about venue 4, without even seeing it I was feeling excited about it and the pictures on the website just seemed to fuel this even more, the thing that worried me was that it was in Bath and likely to be way out of our budget. On the day itself Rich happened to be in a particularly bad mood, he didn't want to go, he'd been working all day and was tired, but I insisted we go along and take a look at the place. We turned into the long sloping driveway and round the corner to the most beautiful Georgian house.......
  • bellingtonbellington Posts: 1,662

    Loving this report.

    Your cat Milo, is the double of my Zeus. Zeus has different coloured eyes though.

    Hurry up and do more report please.image

  • Thank you image

    Zeus is a cool name for a cat, I had a rabbit called Icarus once! Sadly Milo doesn't live with me at the moment. We recently moved and are currently in talks with the landlord to let him come live with us. I really miss having him in the house!

  • MrsSMcMrsSMc Posts: 384

    More More!!!

  • Bailbrook house

    Wow, wow, wow. We went to the reception where they sent us to a side room with various canapes to try and different wines and champagnes to taste, I had something pink and yummy. We were there about 5 minutes when a lady popped in ready to show us round. She took us into a room that is often used for ceremonies and has big sliding windows that lead out onto a massive balcony and looks out over the whole of Bath, by this point I'm sold, no question about it, this really is the perfect venue. I look at Rich, he's pleased but is not entirely wowed at this point and is beginning to think that he will never be happy with anywhere; especially as I have found something positive in all the venues we have seen together.

    The woman took us down to the conservatory area (I like my conservatories after all) where the drinks receptions are usually held, it has it's own private garden, bar area and nice big comfy squashy sofas; great for the older members of our families. Perfect. Rich again thinks it is nice, but he still hasn't spotted the wow factor in the place, anyone would think he was walking around with his eyes shut!

    The last stop is the Brunel suite, I had already seen this in the brochure and I knew it wasn't anything spectacular, in fact they use it for big meetings so I was expecting it to be quite businesslike. We walked in and I actually blown away, I looked at Rich and he was smiling for the first time, we both knew this was it. The room had been transformed into a marquee, tented and lined with silk, something Rich had loved in venue 2. From the ceiling hung twinkling fairy lights that could be turned up or down according to the time of day, there was a wooden dance floor in the middle with the round tables surrounding it. The tables had lovely pale green tablecloths and wooden chairs, that didn't need a chair cover! (I was particularly excited about this because I'm not a fan of chair covers, they make the room look too white in my opinion) We both knew it was the one. The woman asked if we wanted to see the bedrooms and gym and sauna. Rich, now being very enthusiastic, was talking about staying over the night before the wedding, using the gym and sauna and maybe having a football match on the courts outside on the morning of. Rich doesn't like to let the wedding planners know when he's impressed with a place, something about making them work hard to show us the best bits about the place apparently, but it was written all over his face, this was it.

    Not our colours, but you can see the atmosphere it creates.

    We sat down with the wedding woman (I say that because she wasn't the wedding planner and I can't for the life of me remember her name) to talk numbers. I knew it wouldn't be good, especially as we would now be wanting the marquee effect which would add on a few thousand alone, add that to the fact that the venue is in Bath and we wanted August and you have yourself a recipe for disappointment. We told her an idea of the numbers we would be having for the day and evening and she promised that the wedding planner, aptly named Jemma too, would be in touch in the next few days. It had
  • Sorry it's cut off what I wrote! I'll do it again underneath!

  • Continued...

    It had started to get dark when we left and the fairy lights had lit up in trees further adding to the romance of the place.

    Rich: "Right, I think we've found our venue."

    Me: *squeals with delight*

    Now just to wait and hear back about a price.

    Jemma emailed me the next day and quoted us at 2,000 pounds over our budget. Oh dear. I guess it's back to the drawing board then. But this was the only venue Rich had truly loved, sure we could get married in the lovely conservatory with the grannyfied (Is that even a word?) carpets; after all, the most important thing is that we are getting married, but every girl dreams about the perfect venue and this was mine (or should I say ours.)

    Me: "Why don't we go back and talk to Jemma, tell her we love the place, but that our budget won't stretch to what they are asking. It can't hurt right?"

    Rich: "Ok, you better ring and book an appointment then."

    So I did.

    More oohs and aahs ensued as we pulled up the drive once again, Rich told me not to get my hopes up. We had a long chat with Jemma and she agreed to break down the costs so that we could include what we wanted, she said she would come back with a quote by the end of the following day and we were to let her know what our decision was. If no, she would have to let our date go.

    And you know what? We managed to knock 1,500 off the price.

    2 weeks later, 50% of the deposit was paid and the date (11th August 2012) was ours.

  • Gem, it's great to see you're back! I was wondering if you'd write a report! image Looking forward to reading the rest, and so far I absolutely love the story about Rich making the teddy for you! As a sucker for teddies myself, I thought it was soo damn cute!!


  • Thanks, he is a bit of a cutie when he wants to be!

    How's everything for you? How was the wedding? Have I missed your report? X
  • JoeyClareJoeyClare Posts: 2,737

    I don't come on here very often, but it's great to see you have started your report Gem! Looking forward to reading more. image

  • Ooh, another August 2012er! How did everything go for you joeyclare?

    I can't do an more at the moment, photobucket is playing up and all my wedding planning pics are on there! image

  • JoeyClareJoeyClare Posts: 2,737

    Had a brilliant day thanks! Mad to believe it was over 3 months ago! 

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