Our Wedding - 0ctober 2012

I thought it was about time that I finally did my wedding report and get everything down in one place...so here goes...

The Engagement

Rob and I have been together now 10 years having met after we graduated from Uni. We lived together pretty much from the start since he still lived with his parents and I had my own place and he was "the one" before we had hit 6 months together. A few years later, Rob decided to go on the graduate training scheme for HMRC which meant putting our life on hold for some time as he was placed in the Midlands for training and we lived in Hertfordshire! At one point he even moved up there to make the commuting easier and cheaper, only coming home at the weekends. We always discussed getting married and our future together so it was a "given" that it would happen at some point. probably after he had finished the 5 year course.

On our 8 year anniversary, we went away to The Headland Hotel in Newquay for a long weekend, I (and everyone we knew) was convinced he was going to ask while we were away, the romantic walk on the beach came and went, cocktails at Sunset passed without even a hint...by the end of the weekend I was thoroughly disappointed!

However, he passed his course with flying colours the following summer, was officially promoted and placed back down in the South East which meant he could finally move home.Yay!

Fastforward to our 9 year anniversay - he booked us back into the The Headland (could this be a sign?!)


On the night of our actual anniversary, the weather had taken a bad turn, there was gale coming in from the Atlantic, it was chucking down with rain, this was the point he asked if we could go for a walk before dinner...we were both all dressed up so headed out into the bad weather down to the beach and he walked me towards a little cave and said we should take shelter...the next thing I knew he asked me to close my eyes and when I opened them he was down on one knee with the ring and asked me to marry him...and of course my answer was YES!!


 The planning started right away (after an amazing meal and a bottle of champagne to celebrate) it helped that the hotel lounge had several copies of YAYW!! 

We decided there and then that if we could get the 5th October 2012, as a wedding date, it would be our 10 year anniversary and would be perfect!

More to follow later...





  • You better finish this report missy :P I can't take another unfinished thread!! x

    Congrats by the way image

  • image

    I'm really going to try to!!


  • Same wedding date as me image more please x
  • The venue

    Right at the start we decided we didn't want anything too big or over the top, we liked the idea of Barn Venues or a small independent hotel. We "googled" a lot and put together a list of venues that could fit the bill in our local area including:

    • Tewinbury Farm
    • Tudor Barn - Burnham
    • Harpenden House Hotel
    • Notley Abbey
    • Old Luxters Barn
    • Bisham Abbey
    • St Michaels Manor

    I had fallen in love with St Michaels Manor in St Albans - it was everything I wanted for a venue, we visited and I loved it even more.


    - then they gave us the quote and lets just say, it was not going to be on the final list. I then fell in love with Old Luxters Barn - complete oppositeof St Michaels. It was tight on the budget front but it had its own Brewery attached which pretty much ticked all the boxes for Rob!!


    Out of the blue someone asked if I had ever seen/considered Taplow House Hotel - it hadnt cropped up on any of the searches we had done and I had never heard of it. I looked at their website and thought "it looks strangely familiar" I arranged to see it on my own on my day off near Christmas. It had everything that St Michaels did but it was cheaper...the staff were so lovely as they showed me around and with all their Christmas decorations up it pulled at my heart strings. I immediatly rang Rob and asked if he would come with me to see it...that weekend.

    As we sat outside in the car afterwards, we agreed to go home, look over all the papers and brochures, try to price it up and make sure we could afford it. As it turns out we both loved the hotel and could picture us getting married there. We agreed to tweak some of the budget and cut back on some of the areas to make sure we could afford it - we checked with the wedding co'ordinator and the 5th October 2012 was free - deposit paid!


    The hotel and the wedding co'ordinator were brilliant all throughout the planning - they made it all so easy for us. I think I probably drove them mad with emails every time I thought of something new.

    The food tasting we had was fantastic - there were four of us so we chose four meals each and then swapped them round so we each got to try the dish. In the end the Wedding Breakfast meal was even better than the tasting, a feat considering they were catering for an additonal 60 people rather than just the four of us!

    The Hotel even arranged for Rob to have a specific beer behind the bar to keep him happy!

    Everyone we spoke to after the wedding were very impressed with the Hotel and all the staff and said that the quality of the food and drink was the best "hotel" food and drink they had had...If anyone is considering Taplow, they come highly recommended!

     The dress...cake, rings & flowers to follow...

  • The Cake

    Rob's mum is a retired cake maker - he loves showing people her work and talking about her gold award from the Salon Culinaire. We agreed that if we could, we would ask her to come out of retirement and make our cake for us. On our next visit, we asked to see her portfolio and asked the question - initially she was a bit reserved when I explained I wanted a 6 tier flamboyantly iced cake...

    Until we couldn't stop ourselves from laughing at the face she pulled and explained that actually we wanted something very simple and traditional and that it would be no more than 3 tiers and all fruit cake.

    I had seen several pictures in the Waitrose magazine of some of their cakes and we sat down and sketched out what we/I wanted. We agreed we didn't want a stacked cake and that we wanted traditional pillars a bit like the one below...


    What we ended up with was probably one of my favourite bits of the wedding as it was exactly what we wanted...



     She hand-made all of the iced flowers and went as far as matching the ribbons to our bridesmaids dresses...it fitted in so well with the rest of the decorations. Although in hindsight - I should probably have moved some of the tealights as we cut the cake...nearly burnt my wrist and Rob's suit!! image

  • MrsBeau2BMrsBeau2B Posts: 1,513

    Yay, loving the report...My venue too, but i think you knew that! image Oh and i see from another thread that we are also dress 'Brand' Twins too!

  • image

    I didn't guess it was you until Christmas!! I had a giggle as I realised I should have put 2+2 together! Glad you are enjoying the report!! Have wanted to do one for a while now!



  • MrsBeau2BMrsBeau2B Posts: 1,513

    image Cant wait to read the rest!


  • Bridesmaids

    This was a big one for me...everyone seemed to be under the impression that I wasn't going to have any bridesmaids (not sure where they got that idea from!!)

    I had decided to ask my cousin Abi and my brother's girlfriend (plus one of my best friends) Jenny if they would be my bridesmaids - they are both a few years younger than me but I thought about who I would want at my side on the big day, keeping me calm and I couldn't think of anyone better.

    I arranged to have Afternoon Tea with them at The Grove in Hertfordshire....we got all dressed up and as we sat down, I asked the two of them...they had no idea and were thrilled and a little surprised to be asked. We ate too many cakes and drank too much tea and started planning...

    We went on a shopiing trip to Debenhams in Milton Keynes - its massive and I thought it would be a good place to start. I didn't want anything too formal and we all thought if we could find a high street dress with the look of a Bridesmaid at half the price, it would be perfect. Plus I had no idea about what colours I wanted them in...

    We ended up in Coast and picked out one of each dress in every colour...some were truly awful - think long, tight Quality Street purple satin and some really washed the two of them out....some very unhappy faces...(sorry girls!!)


     As it turned out...the first dress they tried on was the one we went with (after trying all the others on of course!!) the smiles on their faces said it all and the colour suited both of them. 

    It was the Allure dress from Coast and since both of them work in retail, they went over both dresses with a fine tooth comb, found some snags/pulls and managed to get money off!!


     In the end we went without the bolero jackets and used their dresses to influence the rest of the colour scheme...perfect for an Autumn wedding.

    I spent months walking round with a sample of the fabric in my purse - matching it to shoes, flowers, ribbon etc...I might still have it in there!!


    I gave them both a necklace (also from Coast) as my gift to them and we found some beautiful shoes in House of Fraser which had been reduced in the sales.



  • Aw congratulations, cant wait to read more. My sister got married at Taplow it is amazing! Such a lovely venue. We got married up the road (lower bugget haha) at Grovefield House. Nice to see the venue again. Get writing lol xx

  • Flowers

    During one of my summers at Uni I worked at a Florist - I had kept in touch with the owner as had my mum and she kindly agreed to do all my flowers for me.

    I knew I wanted roses in my bouquet...one afternoon after a meeting in London, I took myself off for a wander around Selfrides (as you do) and made my way to the Food Hall. They have a small Florists concession in the entrance and as I passed my eye was caught by this lovely flower:


     It the Cafe Latte Rose and was beautiful - I had never seen it in the Florists but was very close to my mum's favourite Rose the "Leonardo"

    Pat confirmed she would be able to order the rose in for me and use it with some cream roses. She and I had both seen the picture below online (different wedding, same bridesmaids dresses and the cafe latte rose)


     On the day - I had completly forgotton about the flowers and wasnt even looking out for them...45 mins before the wedding, Pat finally turned up, all flustered, she had locked herself out the house with the flowers still inside...she had to wait for her husband to come and let her in!! Not only that, she had gotten lost and crashed her car into a wall!! I think she can laugh about it now!

    The flowers were beautiful - she had added in some stems of wheat to the bouquets which was unexpected but worked...




     She had also put together some small cube vases to be dotted around the hotel and along the mantelpieces...


    A word of advice for future brides - practice holding a bouquet!! I practiced everything but this (sitting/walking in my dress, walking down the aisle, posing for pics) and wished I had...I felt awkward holding it and looking back on the pics felt I was holding it up too high which meant my arms were at funny angles...image

  • Thanks Amanda! x

  • Rings

    We are very lucky as Rob's uncle is Jeweller and agreed to make our wedding rings for us. He agreed to make both rings for us and donated his time so that all we had to pay for was the gold.

    I have a very simple white gold band which is of a similar width to my engagement ring and Rob went for a Yellow Gold D shaped wedding band.

    We are also lucky in that because the rings were made in 2012, we would be able to get the Jubilee Hallmark added as well as his Uncle's own "makers mark"



  • Photographer

    Photos were one the very few "contentious" issues between Rob and I in the planning. I love photos and love looking at other peoples albums etc and felt they should be an important part of the day although neither of us are particular comfortable infront of the camera!!

    Rob thought the complete opposite and did not see why we had to pay in excess of £1000 for a photographer - he also did not want them there all day. In the end we compromised - we would have a photographer there for an hour before the ceremony until just after the speeches and he would not pay more than £700-£800 (a big ask!!)

    Google came in very handy - I found a website where you can submit your job and the area and then it brings up a list of possible people.

    I went through the list, looked at their styles etc and whittled it down (in fact as was proving to be a running theme in our planning  - the first website I looked out turned out to be the one we chose!!)

    We met and subsequently booked a lovely lady called Amy Scaife, her background was in media photography but had started to branch out into weddings, when we met, she explained she loved the whole wedding experience and being there on such a special day. She had a very informal nature to her portfolios but had exactly the look we were going for. Amy was keen to learn more about us and what we wanted from the day and didn't want to trample too much over what we wanted (compared to some we spoke to!)

    This is her website...


    Some of the pictures she took were brilliant...really captured the whole feel of the day...mainly that most of us either had massive smiles on our faces or were laughing..these three are my particular favourites...



     Not particularly flattering...I know!!

  • Love the pictures! Looks like it was such a fun day!x

  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    Fab photos!  I especially love the first one- because the lady in the mauve (your mum?  OH's mum?) looks so serious!  image x

  • That would be my mother in law!! The crazy side is my side of the family!! image

  • Gosh - I am struggling to get this finished...must keep going!!

    Wedding Party Outfits

    Rob decided that he wanted to go with a light gray suit, he didn't want top hat and tails or anything too formal (I admit I got a bit scared at this point - coming from the man who is either in Cricket whites at the weekend or has swear words on his t-shirts!! )

    I agreed to leave him to decide but asked for a final veto - he wanted to save up and pay for a proper tailored suit, made to fit him as he has broad shoulders and finds it hard to get a properly fitted suit.

    He used "A Suit that Fits" an online up and coming company who appeared on Dragons Den or something...he went to see them in a local office, got measured up and then got to choose the the whole design of the suit online.

    A month before the wedding - he still hadnt had his final fitting...I kept nagging him to chase them...he managed to get a final fitting in London, so off he trekked only to be told that they had messed it up and the suit jacket was all wrong - it would usually take 6 weeks to get a new one made...we only had 3.5 weeks left!! Stressed out is not the word!! I started talking about hiring or buying a cheaper suit from M&S just so he would have something to wear. As it was they pulled it out of the bag with 4 days to go!! He looked incredibly handsome on the day and so smart...albeit a little nervous...


     All the boys were told to wear a greay suit of their choice - we wouldn't mind if they didn't match but we did buy them all ties. Armed with my trusty fabric sample we got a tie that matched the bridesmaids perfectly from M&S.

    My brother gave me away - my dad passed away when we were young, so I asked him very early on to step in and walk me down the aisle - we even practiced walking arm in arm!!

    He is a very casual person - he works outside so never has reason to dress up and wear a suit or proper shoes. I did agree that he could loosen his tie and put his trainers on once the official duties were over...so at 6pm, after the speech he went straight out to the car and changed shoes!! Bless him!

    His suit came from House of Fraser - there is a lovely picture of him as he came to see me in my dress getting ready - he hadnt taken any of the tags off and he still had them stiched into the arms...he thought that was how they were meant to be - cue small pair of scissors...


    Just before the doors opened and the ceremony started - in keeping with family tradition (according to my mum, who was asked the same thing by her dad) he squeezed my hand and asked if I just wanted to go Dog Walking instead...very tempting...until the music started and I couldn't wait to get down the aisle!!


  • My mum's outfit caused some issues - my mum is usually very glamorous, however, she said she wanted to wear a black dress...we all put our foot down and said no,  her next suggestion was that she wanted to wear cream...she was trying to drive me mad I think!!

    We had seen a dress in Phase 8 which we knew would be perfect so took her to see it - she immediatly turned her nose up and said she hated it and not her thing at all...strange considering she had similar in her wardobe!! She refused to try it on or even consider it...and walked out of the shop in a strop!

    For the next 5 days, she didnt stop going on about the beautiful dress in Phase Eight...so we all chipped in and ordered the whole outfit for her online so she could try it on in the comfort of home and then take it back if she really didnt like it...she LOVED it!!


     Rob's mum looked as equally pretty in purple - although much less stress about her outfit!! (the joy of being the mother in law I suppose!!)




  • My Dress

    This was the one thing that caused me concerns. I have never been a slim girl and have really struggled over the last few years with my weight...I knew I couldn't lose a drastic amount healthily in a 12 month period so settled on being healthy and concentrating on the parts I disliked the most (arms/tummy/hips)

    I am also not very girly, i like getting dressed up on rare occasions but prefer being in my jeans...I didn't wear dresses very often especially long ones as I quite short and felt they made me look even smaller.

    I had seen in various magazines some designs by Sassi Holford:




     But they were massively outside my price range as I didn't really want to spend more than £800. I started building a collection of cut outs from magazines to get an idea of what I wanted in a dress. Nothing meringue like, nothing tight fitting and I wasnt keen on strapless or would want my shoulders/tops of arms covered in some way.

    I then successfully claimed back my PPI and got quite a large tax rebate a month after getting engaged so knew I could afford to go slightly over my initial dress budget.

    On a trip to a local wedding fair with my bridesmaids we stopped at a stall for The Bridal House in Aston Clinton - they had my dream dress on display...it turned out that one Bridesmaids sister had purchased her dress from there and thought their service was fantastic. The lady on the stall was lovely, she understood my concerns about dress sample sizes and reassured me I would be able to try some of the dresses on.

    I took 2 days off work and agreed to go with Jenny for a look around on day 1 with a view to doing a whole day the next day with both bridesmaids going round various shops.

    The Bridal House is a beautiful shop:


    We had the whole place to ourselves for the morning and with a glass of Bucks Fizz in hand I showed Donna my ideas and she asked me to go through all the racks and pick out the dresses I liked....I found 8 dresses...a selection of which are below:




    As has been a running theme and previously mentioned...the first dress (the top one) I tried on was "the one" - I just knew straight away...it suited my figure , pulled me in, in all the right places and when I looked at myself in the mirror I could picture getting married in it...i was told to try them all on (which I managed with the exception on which refused to go past my thighs!!) before I made my decision.

    I kept going back to dress one...both Jenny and Donna said my face lit up when I put it back on and I almost refused to take it off...we tried tiaras, shoes and veils and I walked up and down so many times in it - I loved it!

    Here was the problem - I wanted both Bridesmaids with me when I chose the dress...Abi was still at work. We rang her but she couldnt get away but was happy for me to buy if it was the one...Donna said that she was prepared to include the Veil in the price of the dress if I put a deposit down that day as they didnt have any other appointments available for the rest of the week...bargain!

    My Dress - Cayman from the Blue by Enzoani Collection...


  • Sorry the links to the selection of dresses not working!!

    I'll do a post with jewellery, shoes etc in mo..

  • Jewellery & Accessories

    Tiara - Jenny and my brother agreed to buy my Tiara for me as my something new...which was amazing...I love putting it back on...just for fun and was even tempted to wear it to the work xmas party for a bit of sparkle!! My inner girliness has taken over!!


    Veil - I wanted my veil to be quite simple and opted for a waist length one with little diamantes studded throughout...


     Shoes - I loved a pair I tried on in the shop with the dresses - the right height and actually quite comfortable...I didn't want to spend too much on shoes as I knew they would only be one once...they were £85 to buy at the shop...determined to get them cheaper I hunted online and found them in a sale...reduced to £50.00

    India by Belle


    I also wanted a pair of flats and they had to be sparkly...

    I saw a pair that another bride on the forum was thinking of buying and loved them, they are by Miss KG and knew I could wear them again and make use of them...


     Earrings/Neclace/Bracelet - I hunted for ages to find the right combination...I wanted something quite simple to make sure the dress stood out...

    The necklace and bracelet came from Chez Bec:




     And I found my earrings in John Lewis:







  • My Something Old/Something New/Something Borrowed/Something Blue

    Jenny organised this all for me although I only found out what they were two weeks before the wedding!!

    My something old was my great grandmother's amethyst necklace which my mum gave to me on the wedding day (turns out tradition is that it should be gifted on the day and you do not need to wear it)

    My something new was my tiara

    Something borrowed were a set of hair pins from Jenny's sister (again tradition states that it should come from a happily married woman)

    And my something blue was a gift from Jenny - a beautiful handmade garter from Debbie Howe (debbiehowe.com) with a blue ribbon instead of white:


    My husband was very impressed!! image


  • MrsBeau2BMrsBeau2B Posts: 1,513

    Ahemmm - keep it coming!

  • Decorations

    At the Headland Hotel, being by the sea, they had lots of hurricane lanterns dotted round and I loved them...if I could have nabbed a few I would have done.

    I hunted high and low for hurricane vases in the early stages of planning but couldn't find what I wanted. I then thought about having candelabras as my centrepieces to keep it all very simple and elegant...


     The room where the wedding breakfast was being held is incredibly pretty and I wanted to let that speak for itself rather than making it very cluttered with lots of things going on. The then ikea catalogue dropped through the letterbox...guess what appeared everywhere..Hurricane Lanterns! So off we went and picked up 10 lanterns and church candles and a whole load of stones to go in the bottom...just what I wanted...they were our table centrepieces surrounded by tealights to create that sparkly feel I wanted


     I also wanted to create this look on the two mantelpieces in the ceremony room and reception room


     So bought lots of different tealight holders and arranged to have them dotted around...unfortunatly I don't have any pics of the evening when they were all lit but you can probably get the idea....

  • Decorations ctd

    We had been gifted two wooden initials which I wanted to use...so spent a very wet sunday sat inside painting them a lovely antique gold...

    They then sat on the main mantelpiece with some tealights and the flowers either side of them...


    Both Rob and I wanted to keep absent family close by on the day...in particular my dad and my grandparants if possible...as a result of my addiction to Pinterest I came up with the idea of gather pictures of both our parents wedding day and if possible my grandparents wedding as well...






     It was on the same long table where we had our guest book and postbox - the hotel lit all the tealights around them and it was really quite beautiful...



  • Postbox/Guestbook

    I made both of these myself - I wanted to be more creative but time just ran away with me!

    But I had an idea (from Pinterest) to use some decorative brooches, a roll of brown paper from WHSmith and raided my mum's big bag of ribbon, lace and fabric offcuts in the loft for a beautiful length of lace... I found a great website recommended by a friend at work for the brooches


    A scrapbook from Paperchase and a box from work...


     And on the day:

    If anyone is interested in the little photoframe sign let me know - I purchased it from a lovely bride on here and would love to sell it on to someone else and keep it going!

    We had great fun when we got home ripping the paper off the postbox and pulling out all the lovely cards we got from friends and family...a great idea to have it all sealed up for the security conscious!! image




  • what a lovely thread! and your wedding looks like it was beautiful and such a lot of fun. congrats! 

  • RinaGeeRinaGee Posts: 753

    Oooohh, I never knew the 'something borrowed' needed to be from a happily married woman. I'm ridiculously superstitious so will be bearing that one in mind!

  • Thanks ladies! I'll keep it going next week.

    Jenny was great as she properly researched all the traditions and told me all about them the night before as we were swapping gifts...
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