Our Runaway Wedding

So, where to start this thread??

The obvious place is the at the beginning, so here goes.....

I met my future husband in December 2011, in a somewhat strange meeting place (more of that later) yet we didn't actually have a conversation until the February 2012.

Now, everyone loves fairytales and the meeting of 'the one', you know, eyes meeting across a crowded room, the feeling of this is the man for me etc, yet, deep down you kind of know that stuff only happens in films and trashy books. BUT, I experienced that the moment I saw him. And, truth be told it terrified me. I had never had feelings like that before and it was that intense, I actually felt a little sick. Well, this happened everytime I saw him over the next couple of months.

So, when we finally spoke, my head was well and truly mashed to be honest!!

Now, I need to come clean - when we met I was actually with someone else, and had been for 5 years. But, for various reasons (more later!) the relationship was not a relationship anymore. Yes, we lived together, yes, we were a couple (loosely). But, the love had diminished (if ever there in all honesty) and we wanted different thinkgs from life.

Fast forward a few weeks and this relationship was ended and I was embarking on a new adventure with my husband to be. We got together in March 2012.

A few weeks later, my cat duly moved in with said husband to be, closely followed by me image

And that brings me to our first holiday in July 2012.... and the location of our future wedding.


  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    So, we booked to go to Sorrento in June/July last year.

    It's somewhere I have always wanted to go and has a special attachment for me - my parents used to go every year for 10 years prior to my Dad's death in 2006.

    Having only been together a few months, I kinda figured it would also be a proper make or break holiday too! Well, I am pleased to say it was the best time of my life. It strengthened us and reinforced what we already thought - this was it. Us. Together.

    Sorrento was more beautiful than I had even imagined. The scenery, the town, everything. It oozed romance and charm.

    It was whilst we were there that we had the 'future' conversations. Marriage etc. We both knew it was what we wanted and more importantly, with each other. That was the moment we both realised that our lives were to be lived together.



  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    The Proposal

    Well, we had discussed marriage and it was something we wanted pretty early on. So, the initial plan was we would get engaged in March 2013, on our one year anniversary, with the wedding following the year after.

    It didn't quite work out like that!! From around the October time, whenever we were out, we would browse jewellry shop windows and even bought a ring sizer!

    I was adamant I didn't want a traditional solitaire and that I would like a ruby with a diamond either size. We saw one of these and it was just lovely.

    Somewhere along the line in November, the ring looking got quite serious!

    So, on 1st December, we went shopping and ended up 'trying' some on! The biggest shock was when I tried said ruby ring on, it didn't actually do anything for me! I tried on a traditional solitaire, just for comparison purposes, and fell in love with one (the one I am wearing!).

    The ring was duly purchased!! image 

    The trying on exercise was a good move as Mr C said he had planned on purchasing the ruby one that week.

    So, ring purchased, the question then was were we engaged??

    I would love to report that a romantic suprise proposal followed, but not quite....

    I asked 'so, when can i wear it?' The response 'when do you want to?'. Then 'Well you have to ask me first!'. So Mr C then proceeded to tie his shoe lace (in the middle of said shopping centre) and I joked 'I thought you were proposing then!'. To which, he took my hand, 'Hannah Rach' (that's what he calls me as Rachel is middle name), will you marry me?' I am deeply ashamed to say I found the whole thing rather funny, laughed and just kinda said, 'alright then!' Who says romance is dead???!!!!

    Maybe not overly romantic, but it was perfect image

  • MondayBride2014MondayBride2014 Posts: 1,134

    This is lovely!!! Keep writing!!! image

    I tried on a few styles that I thought I wanted!! They didn't suit me either! Funny isn't it how certain rings suit certain fingers!! image

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    But Where to Get Married?

    So, after the ever so romantic proposal (!), we quickly turned to discussions regarding the wedding.

    We had previously briefly discussed what we would like to do and the general view was a wedding abroad, with minimal fuss and just the two of us.

    Whilst this isn't for everyone, we have our reasons:

    • We both aren't too good at being the centre of attention!
    • I have a rather large family with cousins everywhere, most of whom I don't really see but would be expected to invite - it would be about 30 on my side and only his mum on his so rather inbalanced!
    • My Dad died several years ago so the whole giving away thing would feel awkward; my mum would struggle doing it (even shyer than us!) and I would feel something was missing.
    • We love our holidays image

    So, where to do the deed?!

    We initially planned on Antigua early 2014 and until said proposal, this was kind of the plan.

    But, one night, discussing Antigua, Mr C turned to me and said 'you know, I would love to do it in Sorrento'. Now, I had already thought of that (honest!), but didn't think he would bee too keen as it isn't quite as exotic as Antigua, we had already been there and I worried my reasons were pretty selfish.

    To explain the Sorrento connection for me, I have already posted that the reason we went initially was as it was somewhere my Mum and Dad always went. But, more poignantly, when Mr C and I went last year, we scattered my Dad's ashes there. Sorrento, for me, is the closest I feel I could be to having my Dad at my wedding.

    I cried at this suggestion and was so happy that Mr C was wanting to go back to Sorrento, a place with so many memories and meanings and to create even more special ones image

    And the planning started.....

  • This is a great story and really interesting as we too are looking at getting married in Sorrento, the Cloisters looks absolutely beautiful!

    Could I ask what price you have found for the paperwork, ceremony and translator. Cheapest I have found is £750 through Thomsons.

    Am struggling to decide exactly where to have it though as we have a few elderley and a disabled person in our party and the original plan was to hire a villa (somewhere in the north/central) and have the reception there so said people could take themselves off to bed whenever they pleased. (We think there will be around 60 guests, including 15 kids).

    This would mean they wouldn't have to hang around for taxi's as I don't think I could find a hotel nice enough for our wedding in which I could expect everyone to fork out to stay.

    We have quite a low (?) budget (about £3.5-4k) which would need to include the translator, paperwork, cost of ceremony, reception and transfers if required.

    If anyone out there has any suggestions I would really appreciate it.

    We are going to Italy at the end of June to scope potential places (hiring a car to try and cover the north and south) and I am soooo excited!




  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    Thanks MondayBride!! image

    Hi Clare - I have booked everything through Citalia. They are a bit more expensive but were the only agent who could book us in the hotel we wanted. We are getting married at Villa Fondi. The Cloisters is so lovely but we stumped for Villa Fondi mainly due to the views (right over the bay) and it is a little more seluded, which given it is just the two of us feels more suitable.

    Re the wedding package, I think ours worked out at about £1,800, which includes all paperwork, ceremony etc, also a photography package and some flowers. We have paid a little more though to personalise the photography package to satisfy my mother!!

    For your reception, I would look at the Grand Royal and Relais Blu as a starting point. Hope this helps!!

    I can imagine it is getting exciting for you - good luck with sorting!!


  • Thanks for the help, will look into these.


    I'm looking forward to hearling the rest of your story!



  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    But Where in Sorrento?

    Unfortunately, planning a wedding abroad (when its just for 2!) does have drawbacks.

    Firstly, I did initially think that I would be glad to have no planning to do - not so!! Hence the 'non-reception' reception. More on that a bit later I think.

    So, after lots of research in to where we wanted to stay, we have booked the most amzing suite at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria.

    Pics of the hotel.....







     And our room....




     So excited!!!

    In Sorrento, there are two main places to get married; The Cloisters and Villa Fondi.

    Both are beautiful, but we have opted for Villa Fondi




     We chose Villa Fondi purely as we wanted the views; the Cloisters, whilst beautiful, is central (it has fab gardens though) and it is a little more private.

    So, after the boking of the above, confirming time and date of the wedding, the planning commenced.......

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    The Boring Bits.....

    Getting married abroad does have 'boring bits' that UK brides are lucky enough to avoid!

    Before I start to cover the important and interesting bits, I think it is only fair I balance it with this bit. Which, for us, was made a bit too interesting for my liking!

    All sorts of paperwork needs to be sent abroad prior to the wedding, but seeing as though the paperwork wasn't needed till June, I happily put it all to the back of my mind.

    Now, for various family reasons such as remarriage of parents etc, Mr C's name on passport and birth certificate doesn't match so we knew a deed poll would be needed. But, again, June being the deadline, I didn't give it a thought.

    Cue beginning of March...... image

    Phonecall from wedding planner to advise legislation changing in Italy so paperwork needed to be with them by mid-April!! Now, if we were a 'straightforward' case, this wouldn't have been too bad. BUT, deed poll.....

    Also, we had booked a holiday for a week mid March!!

    So, in the space of two weeks, we had to:

    Obtain a birth cert for Mr C (no idea where original was!)

    Get deed poll done and executed

    Get deed poll legalised by FCO

    Beg for a last minute appointment at town hall to register intent to marry

    All on priority turnaround times so I wince at the cost!

    Then, the intent to marry had to be obtained from local town hall. This couldn't be done until all said paperwork obtained. And with a holiday in the middle, was a bit of a panic.

    In short, booked appt at town hall for day after return of holiday with fingers firmly crossed that we would come home fom holiday to a nice stack of required post. Fortunately, we did image

    pleased to report, we got paperwork there with 2 days to spare! Phew!!


  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    If anyone is planning to get married in Italy, I am now an expert on paperwork so ask away!! image

  • MondayBride2014MondayBride2014 Posts: 1,134

    The paperwork part of getting married abroad is the bit that would scare me!! You've obviously got it sussed though MrsC!! Bet it was panic stations til it was all in!! 

    The venue is lovely!! you had me all teary eyed about being close to your dad there! My grandparents are buried in the churchyard where we're getting married, I feel like they're going to be there on the day! image

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    Thanks Monday!

    Yes, its nice when you are able to have some emotional with the location or venue - it just adds a deeper meaning

    I am in the process of reading your thread.... loving it so far! image


  • cherrydropcherrydrop Posts: 904

    Oooo I'm excited to get to the juicy bits then! Your venue and hotel are absolutely stunning! 

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    Thanks Cherrydrop!

    More to come.... having to be strict with myself and try and fit some real work in during the days - getting hard - I just want to write it all up and read everyone elses!!

    Will have a nosy at your thread image


  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    Now for the Planning!

    I am fortunate that I have a fab wedding planner through Citalia who is based in Italy. She really is my fairy godmother!!

    The only frustration is everything is by email. So cue google images, pinterest and anywhere else you can find pics!

    I hadn't really intially banked on having a 'theme' as it is a low-key affair and just us two.

    Well, that was the plan. And believe it or not, it all started from a flower!

    I was adamant that the bouquet they arrange for me HAD to have fuschia gerberas in it, with white roses, like the ones below.....




     And somehow, from this, the theme has evolved for our 'non-reception' reception to white, fuschia (gerberas only) and black.

    Our wedding ceremony is at 4pm, so hoping it will be a little cooler and the photos should provide a good balance of sun into dusk.

    My mum was adamant that lots of photos had to be taken, so we have arranged for our photographer to take some at the hotel getting ready, the ceremony, then back to the hotel for photos in the garden (there is about 4 acres of orange and lemon orchards for should be lovely) and will be a mix of colour and black and white.



  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    The Date

    I think this warrants its own post......

    Now, I flit between the dates concerning me to not giving a thought.

    Firstly, I must point out I am not usually superstitious.

    And bear in mind I HATE flying!

    So, we are getting married 11th September 2013.

    Hmm. I do get mixed reactions when I tell people. The year itself ('13') with the other date....

    And, we are flying home on Friday 13th.

    I'm not sure I could have put together any more days and dates to raise eyebrows!

    But, all shall be well......!!image

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    Not too Well Received by All.....

    As I have said, I have a rather large family and they are all very close knit in terms of aunties, uncles and cousins. So, family occasions such as Christmas are all about family.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my family, just I have generally not 'lived' in their pockets. I am super close to my Mum who really is like a best friend. My sister is quite a bit older than me so we have a bond but wouldn't say we are overly close. My brother - well, let's just say I tolerate him!

    My Mum has been really supportive of our decision to runaway together to tie the knot and in fact has paid for most of it. She understands our reasons and basically has taken the view that it is about us, our day and we should do what makes us happy. She is a star!

    Now, my Grandma (my Mum's Mum). I am lucky to still have her around. She is in her 90's but as healthy as anything and real head of the family. She didn't take it so well. What hasn't helped is a cousin got married last year with a huge lavish affair, lots of family and friends etc. Now, for her, it was the right decision.

    My Grandma isn't exactly pleased of our decision and I ended up in tears twice following conversations with her. She has my Mum's best interests at heart and thinks I am 'doing' her out of a wedding; no matter how much my Mum stresses she is happy with the way we are doing it/

    Needless to say I have not discussed the wedding with her since!

    What I am finding difficult is any bit of planning such as invitations and the non-reception reception, I am going over every detail in my head and am convinced Grandma will 'not approve', particularly on the back of the detail and expense of my cousin's wedding.

    Fortunately, my Mum is so supportive and really likes everything planned to date so trying to focus on that.

    In fact, this has only cemented our decision to do it the way we are doing more!

    And, Mr C's Mum is more than supportive and positively encouraged us to do it this way!

    So, rant over, more planning threads can follow now!!

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105

    The 'Non-Reception' Reception

    As I have said I do have a large family and part of the 'deal' of us disappearing to tie the knot was that we would do something when we are back.

    There is a lovely pub/restaurant near us, which we went for a meal at the day after getting engaged to celebrate.

    We felt it was the right place to hold our post-wedding celebrations.

    We decided on this for the following reasons:

    • We love it there, food is fab;
    • There is a nice function room out of the way of the rest of the restaurant;
    • We are limited to 60 people due to room size so can't get out of hand!

    Also, the staff have been really helpful and love the menu choice.

    So, Mum and I went to see the room and booked it for the afternoon of the 28th September, 2 weeks after we come back.

    Now, I can't stress enough that we really do not want a fuss, Mr C in particular. That's why we are most certainly not calling it a reception!!

    However, as the weeks have gone on after booking it, my mind has str=arted to get a little creative......

    Suddenly, I was losing sleep about room decorations and invitations! In fact, I did mention 'chair covers' and Mr C went white - he really doesn't want a fuss!

    Therefore, a little bit of planning has gone undercover......image

    With only 4 months to go to said non-reception, I went into planning mode and panic mode!

    As my earlier posts have explained, I love fuschia gerberas, so that is the theme, plus black.

    I found a great company who are prepared to rent me table centres and chair covers (they will not usually offer a DIY service but Mary was so helpful and understanding!).

    We will be having these....




     and black lycra chair covers with white table cloths.

    The planned look is crisp, subtle but bright.

    Hopefully Mr C will think it 'just happened'!! image

  • MrsHCMrsHC Posts: 105


    Who would have thought planning the invitations would be so stressful?!

    I think it didn't help that I was aware time was getting away from me and I was now obsessed with said colour scheme!

    I found a wonderful designer, but timescales quoted were 6 weeks.... again, Clare couldn't be more helpful and managed to turn them around in 3 weeks for me image

    I have nicked the pics from their website (made with love designs) below but the ribbons we are having are black and the front says 'Invitations' rather than 'Wedding Invitation'.....


     The RSVP card match.

    THey came yesterday and I was super-excited! Mr C tried to feign excitement, but, well, not quite there! image

    I'm not great at uploading pics from my phone but will try this week to get a pic up of what ours actually look like! Have also ordered a few other bits from them, such as guest book and welcome signs.... not received those yet but when I do I shall try and be technical!!

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