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Our Colourful & Rustic - Friday 13th September 2013 Wedding

I have really thought hard about this as i was very concerned my guests would see this, but I have finally decided to do a planning thread...

As with most of the girls on this forum I have taken endless amounts of inspiration (robbing/stealing) from other wedding and planning reports, so have decided to pass the baton to other brides to be and hope I can do the same for them as they did for me…

So here is my effort – enjoy!




  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    In the beginning….

    So I’m Gem and this is our story…

    I started my first job after university in August 2005 at a very large business in the east midlands; H2B worked at the same place but for a different department and our paths rarely crossed.  H2B then decided to leave the company and as I worked in the HR dept we came into contact with each other. A few weeks later he invited me to his leaving party – didn’t really think anything of it and in all honesty didn’t really fancy him (don’t worry he would say the same thing about me!)

    Despite some minor hiccups (him ignoring me for the most part and me denying him a kiss, much to everyone’s amusement) a few snakebite and blacks got him chatting and we obviously got on well.  I have always been someone more attracted to personality than looks, as my friends will gladly testify – however they will also tell you H2B is the best looking guy I have ever been out with!

    The day after (never the shy type) I asked him when he was going to take me out on a date….. one date led to another and we have been together ever since…

    In December 2006 bought our first home together and have renovating it for the last 6 years.  We bought our house after being together a year, which I thought was quite quick, however, I had to wait a very long six years for the proposal……….


  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    The proposal

    As I said I felt very ready to be H2B’s wife and was quietly waiting for a proposal trying my hardest not to cajole or influence, despite H2B constantly making me look in jewellers windows for years and no proposal!!

    There were a few opportune moments I thought he could have popped the question, such as when we went for a romantic dinner in Portugal over looking the beach and the biggest display of fireworks happened right next to us (I adore fireworks), or when He took me to Glyn Purnell’s Michelin star restaurant for my bday…

    One day we were in the bullring in Birmingham shopping when H2B tried to drag me over to a jeweller again and I had a massive strop and refused to look because and I quote ‘why bother looking when you’re never going get me one’. I know. What a brat.

    Finally completely out of the blue in November 2011…….

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    We had been planning an amazing two and half week trip to Thailand for many months and were very much looking forward to it.  I was a little cross he was letting me plan the whole thing and not helping at all…

    It was also one of my best friends weddings a couple of days before we went and I was a bridesmaid, so in the months leading up to the holiday I was busy helping her, attending appointments with her and also spent a week in Ibiza for her Hen Party.  Unbeknown to me H2B was plotting.

  • Loving this so far Gem! I also through a strop at a shopping centre and refused to look at rings because 'wha's the point?' haha glad I'm not the only one!x

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Ahh thanks MrsR!. Glad im not the only one who throw a toddler tantrum!! xx

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    So on Wednesday 23rd November 2011 I had finished my last day at work before three weeks off, I felt a bit poorly feeling very sick and hot, I dropped into to Tesco intending to spend my evening making pie…H2B rang me to ask where I was and I explained I felt poorly and he told me to just come home. So feeling very unwell I drove home.

    At the door I saw fairy lights. Weird I thought? Has he been very proactive and put the Christmas decorations up already? As I entered the house I realised these were no fairy lights, these were candles, lots of them-all up the hall way, upstairs and beyond. I shouted upstairs confused but also very excited. 

    “What’s going on?”  I yelled…

    H2B replied ‘we had a power cut’

    I yelled again “no we havent”   

    So up the stairs I went….to find H2b on one knee in the bedroom.

    The bedroom was covered in rose petals, candles and glitter, with champagne on ice, champagne truffles and the biggest bunch of white roses. He said some soppy stuff and popped out my amazing engagement ring – in an antique leather box, because he knows I love old boxes. I was finally engaged!!

    By the way every time I was away organising my friends wedding he drove over to the jewellery quarter in Birmingham because he had picked specific diamonds and had designed my ring himself…. what a great fiancé I had.  Also my strop in the bullring seriously put a spanner in the works as he was holding a brilliant cut diamond for me and wanted to make sure that was the shape I wanted. He eventually changed his mind and got me this little beauty…. 


     I also got to show of my ring to all my friends at my best friends wedding and then jet off to Thailand.

  • Oh wow, what a romantic proposal. Such a lovely story. Please keep posting!

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Thanks MrsFish! More pictures coming I promise!

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Let the planning commence!

    We decided to get Christmas out the way then start the venue hunt – which was long, boring and I hated it. 

    We are not religious at all and both felt it would be hypocritical to marry in a church; H2B is also not christened and was convinced he would burst into flames. So it was always going to be a civil ceremony for us. I therefore felt very strongly that the ceremony room had to be special and on the same site as the reception venue.. With this is mind we started the hunt…

  • LouBLouB Posts: 1,129 New bride

    What a romantic proposal! Love it. image And quite similar to us - we were together 8.5 years before we got engaged. At the 8 year point I started to get annoyed, kept hoping on various trips, dinners etc! Then he finaly did it a week before my best friend's wedding, so it was so nice to show everyone the ring there!

    Keep the posting and the pics up, enjoying it! image

  • What a lovely story so far and I'm really enjoying your writing style image looking forward to reading more and seeing some pics x
  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Ahh thank you for your lovely comments, im soo pleased you are enjoying it and im not just blabbering to myself!

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868


    So we were looking for:

    A civil ceremony & reception venue in one.

    Ceremony room needed to be special

    A good number of bedrooms

    Good food

    Outside space

    Within a 50mile radius of home…..

    We looked at hundreds on the internet and visited around 10. Eventually we whittled it down to 3.

    Contender number one: Stubton Hall



    When we looked at Stubton we thought we would never be able to afford it... its amazing but at the top of our budget.

    It was also a tad too far and H2b wasn’t keen on the ‘fake old’ reception room, which they had newly built.  They have around 30 bedrooms which I thought was amazing all individually decorated. My family loved it too...

    The ceremony room was to die for...



  • Oooh Gem your ring is beautiful! More more more image
  • BuddletBuddlet Posts: 1,289

    Yay Gem so glad you are doing a thread! I felt the sameoriginally - worried ppl would see - but then as you say its nice to pass on some ideas/inspiration to other brides and return the favour.

    What a romantic proposal image and what a ring! wow gorgeous

    Keep it coming!! xxx

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Thanks everyone! yes i am rather fond of it! more coming up...

  • Lovely story so far! Keep writing! And pics....we all love pics!!!! image x
  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Contender number two:  Sutton Bonington Hall



     Lovely venue but just a little too small and we would have to cut the guest list... Also the bedrooms needed a makeover..

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Contender number three: Norwood Park



    Now this one was nearly had a fab outside reception area with an outside bar and dance floorperfect for glorious weather but if it rained the reception area would have been unusable and we would have to go into this little room, which i didnt like.

    I also hated the mural on the wall!!! I did tentatively ask about painting it - needless to say they werent keen!




  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Something just didn’t feel right with any of them. We weren’t sure why, but I was sooo fed up with looking we nearly booked Norwood Park out of frustration. But we didn’t….

    After joining the forum in January 2012 I was talking to some Leicestershire brides about venues.. then I got a recommendation from ‘FloAnt’ on the forum  to whom I will be forever grateful… 

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Contender number four - Swancar Farm

    We had been looking for stately homes all along, why? Because all the weddings we had ever been to were in big old houses and we didn’t think we would have anything different.

    However, once we saw this we realised we were just looking for the wrong thing all along. It wasn’t us and a more relaxed barn type of venue was much more fun, informal and more us!






     So that was it, booked. It was brand new at the time, they only had three weddings there before. It felt very special.

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    So we had the where, what about when?

    I had always wanted to get married in September – it’s my favourite month and it is our anniversary on the 9th.

    So we had two Friday options (because it’s cheaper) 6th or 13th.  

    We decided that we wouldn’t get away from the seemingly unlucky year, so why not go the whole hog AND I get to annoy superstitious folk!

    So we went for Friday 13th September 2013 @ 13:00 hours. 

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    My Best girls

    I asked my best girls to be bridesmaids – 4 of them. These are my little sister C, my best school friend J, my best uni friend H and my parent’s god daughter and part of the family L.

    The next thing on my list was bridesmaid dresses. Now my mum and dad got married in 1976 – in the hottest summer on record. I have always poured over their wedding album with my mum in her ringlets and pretty dress and her five bridesmaids in pastel colour dresses of varying shades… pink, blue, green, yellow and a flower girl in cream.

    Now this seemed quite unusual thing to do in 1976 and so I decided to create a new tradition and have multi coloured bridesmaids! What a great idea I thought. Now H2B wasn’t oh so keen, however he has come around to the idea – he simply cannot visualise until he sees pics, so with the help of my little scrap book and pinterest he was sort of sold.

    My dad on the other hand is not and remains such. He said he didn’t like it at his wedding and he wouldn’t like it at mine.. “why not have everything one colours, like a deep red” no no no!

    So in order to shut everyone up and I went to a local dress maker and booked them to make 4 bridesmaid dresses, picked the material and colour so people could get over the ‘there is no colour theme’ thing!

    I have My sis C in Purple, J in mint, H in pink and L in blue.

    Inspiration Pics:






     Now it’s probably time to say that I have the worlds best bridesmaids, they are seriously great. They have each purchased nude platform shoes from next and pretty much respond immediately to any texts/emails/calls/questions/advice etc they are like I’ve hired them from a specialist ‘rent a bridesmaid’ shop, but I haven’t. Honest. I don’t want to sound like im bragging to all you ladies who have had bridesmaid issues. It’s more of a massive thank you to them, for being so fantastic.

    This is the style i wanted:



  • Just read your thread Gem! I love it! I can tell I'm really going to enjoy it! We have lots of similarities, my proposal was all candles and rose petals when I least expected it after ages of trying to convince h2b to buy a ring! They finally got the hint eh?image

    Plus he got a ring designed and made in the jewellery quarter too! Our venue is a barn style one too! We looked at the country houses but they weren't for us either! image

    Our anniversary is the 8th of Sept, and our bridesmaids are in different colours too in the same style as you have chosen!

    SPOOKY!! We obviously have very good tasteimage look forward to reading more! image
  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Good lord that is spooky! Glad you are enjoying it...

  • All looks fab and your venue is stunning!! X
  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Thanks Amalfi - next shoes!!!!

  • I love that you have gone all out on the 13's! Friday 13th September 2013 @ 13:00 hours... genius! Your venue is so lovely, we are also having our reception in a barn. I cannot wait to read more, keep writing pleeeeeeeease

  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868


    So almost as soon as we got engaged i started looking for shoes. I had always admired the sparkly Dune wedding shoes and envied the lucky girls that got to try them on in John Lewis..So once engaged off I went!

    Now im a very budget conscious girl and I LOVE a bargin. I also LOVE Ebay.  So I spent a few weeks hunting down some Dune shoes for a bargin price. A few weeks later and £30 lighter I had these lovelies in my posession...




  • Gem83Gem83 Posts: 868

    Thanks Mrs Fish - thats really lovely of you to say!

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