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Our Frosty Winter Wedding - The Planning Thread

I have been browsing through threads on this site for a couple of months or so, and have really enjoyed reading about other brides' plans and seeing their weddings unfold

Now that I have a few bits sorted for my own wedding I thought I would start my own thread. I don't know if anyone will be interested or want to read it, but it will allow me to keep track of my plans! 


  • The Background

    Mr W and I met about 18 months ago and got engaged on my thirtieth birthday in September. We had only been together a little over a year, and although I wouldn't have thought I'd become engaged so soon into a relationship, I just knew that it was the right thing to do. He is a bit older than me, and we decided that there was no point hanging around when we both knew that we were in it for the long run, as it were

    Although the engagement became official in September, we had talked/joked previously about 'when we get married'. Perhaps another reason for the engagement and wedding coming earlier than may have originally been planned or imagined was Mr W being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year

    He found a lump in his neck, which seemed very large for a lymph node. He hadn't been ill, and the lump wasn't going away, so we went to see an ENT surgeon. He had tests, and to cut a long story short, an excision biopsy revealed that he did have cancer. Not cancer of the lymph node, but of the tonsil. It still isn't clear whether the cyst (as it turned out to be) was part of the cancer or not, but either way, it was the cyst that led us to the final diagnosis

    The good news was that we had caught it early. Treatment was the surgery that had already occurred, plus concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The plan has been to cure the cancer completely

    As I write this tonight, he only has one further radiotherapy session tomorrow, and then the treatment is finished image the next step will be a PET scan in 3 months time to see if the treatment has been successful

    He has actually coped with the treatment remarkably well, although has had to give up work. I should probably say now that I am a doctor (Mr W isn't), and it has been quite an eye-opening process to go through. I treat people every day, but this has been my first real experience of being 'on the other end' of the process

    The proposal itself occurred at the top of Blackpool Tower. Mr W is from Blackpool originally, so he decided to take me there to propose. I did cry a little bit. He then treated me to a glorious meal of chips and cheese from a local chippy. What more could a girl ask for

  • The Theme

    I have always imagined myself getting married in winter. I have been to quite a few summer weddings and although I love the idea of a warm sunny day and having guests milling around outside playing lawn games, my dream has been to have a proper winter theme, complete with a rustic venue and warm furry shrugs. And mulled wine, of course image

    We had a think about whether the wedding should be Christmassy or not. I did quite fancy a Christmas wedding, but Mr W wasn't so sure we should mix the occasions

    Whilst looking at venues online I found a perfect place nearby that is famous for its Snowdrops. These flowers come out in January and February, and so I started to think about having a wedding during these months. It would be frosty and wintery, but without the Christmas theme. it would also give us something to look forward to in those depressing few days after Christmas when all the traditional celebrations are over

    The more I thought about it, the more it all started to make sense. Mr W seemed pretty convinced too. I read somewhere that January was the least popular month for weddings, so we decided to buck the trend and go for it!

  • The Venue

    I had looked at quite a few venues in the Midlands online, but my favourite by far was Hodsock Priory. I had been there once before many years ago. It is a stately home/country house set in an estate famous for its beautiful snowdrop gardens. Before we'd even come to the final decision that it would be a winter wedding, I had decided that I wanted to get married at Hodsock (luckily for me, Mr W claimed he wasn't really bothered where we got married, so left the venue research to me - bonus)

    We went to meet their co-ordinator, who was lovely and really helpful. She gave us a tour of the place and showed us some photos from previous weddings. I fell for the venue straight away, and we asked which Saturdays she had available in snowdrop season 2015

    She had two Saturdays in January left. The venue opens to the public in February, so by doing it in January we would actually be getting the whole estate (house and gardens) to ourselves

    The buildings and grounds are breathtaking, and even though we hadn't visited any other venues, we knew this was the place for us (although if you want the honest truth Mr W stood there and basically said 'I like it, if it's what you want just book it'). Plus it had 12 guest bedrooms along with the bridal suite, which is good news for our guests

    So we put our names down for January 24th 2015 image

    We couldn't leave a deposit until the registrar was booked, but Lynda reassured us that she would hold the date for us until we got the registrar sorted. It was at this point that Mr W was starting his cancer treatment, so we knew it might take us a few weeks to get things sorted...

  • I am also a midlands bride and looking forward to hearing more about your plans! x

  • Hi, loving your thread but can't see your picture? X

  • Such a heartwarming story, I hope your other half gets the all clear very soon. Can't see the pic either but look forward to reading/seeing more of your plans X

  • MrsE2be2014MrsE2be2014 Posts: 1,458

    As little_I_83 said heartwarming story! Got fingers crossed for your other half when the PET scan comes around!

    Winter weddings are soo romantic, Pinterest has amazing pics of this time of year I think if I had look at pics before booking I would have def gone for a more wintery month! Cant wait for more! x

  • Thanks guys, we've got home from his last radiotherapy appointment tonight, so it's now all over for 3 months! Such a relief, we just need to hope now that the scan will bring good news x

    I will try again with the picture, it seemed to appear on my screen last night but has now disappeared image

    Debs, have you found your venue yet? 

  • Booking the registrar

    Because Hodsock priory is a civil venue, we needed to book the registrar at the local office. I spent many days ringing and ringing, but nobody seemed to pick up the phone in that place! In the end we decided to just drive out there, and hope they let us book the wedding there and then

    Luckily they were able to help, and yesterday we put our names down for 12pm on Saturday 24th January 2015. We paid the deposit, and now have the official letter! The options were 12pm or 1:30pm, we went for the earlier slot as we appreciate that it will get dark early with it being January

    We would both like to have a church blessing too, but this will have to occur at a later date, perhaps with just a few close friends and family

    I emailed Lynda last night, who has confirmed that we are booked in at Hodsock on our preferred date image it's such a relief to have this main part of the wedding sorted!

  • Ohhhh exciting having the venue booked! Now you can really start planning!

    Fingers and toes crossed for your h2b, I have been on and off chemo since the year after I was we'd (4yrs) so know how soul destroying it can be, my advice is to try and take it a day at a time, and lots of communication nothing worse than either of you bottling it up not wanting to "bother" the other, we learned this the hard way. Good luck and god bless you both xx

  • Thank you HubbysPrincess, that makes a lot of sense. I think he's struggling to come to terms with now not knowing if he's cured or not for the next 3 months. I guess good communication is key to getting through the next few weeks

    Sorry to hear about your battles, it must have been really tough for you all this time. 4 years is a long time to have to go through this treatment, you must both be very strong people xx

  • Dress shopping

    So last Thursday was my first day shopping for my dress. I was so excited, I had two appointments booked and a third on the friday morning

    My mum and maid of honour came with me. The lady in the first shop (which was in nottingham) was really lovely. They had a big selection of dresses, and I tried on about 8 I think. I did have a vague idea of what I wanted, but I made sure that I tried on other styles as well. This at least confirmed that what I wanted was a 50's waisted A line skirt image

    My favourite from shop one was a chiffon Justin Alexander dress. It was beautiful!

    We had some lunch and then headed off to appointment number two, which was 45 mins drive away. Another wonderful shop with a lovely lady to help

    In this shop there were two dresses I really liked. One was Naomi Neoh and the other Alan Hannah. Both were quite different from each other. There were a couple of Naomi dresses from her new collection that hadn't arrived in the store yet, so the plan is to go back and try those too

    It was a long day, but great fun. I arrive homed to find H2B asleep in bed. He woke up about 9:30pm and felt awful, with a temp of 38.2. This can be dangerous in people who are having or just had chemo, so I rang the helpline we were given and they said to bring him in

    So I changed out of my PJs, packed a bag, and headed off to hospital. We arrived about 11pm. He had antibiotics, and by 2:30am the doctor still hadn't arrived, so I ended up going home. Come the morning I was exhausted and sad, and wasn't really in the mood for dress shopping. I cancelled the Friday appointment, and spent most of the day in the hospital with my poorly man

    He remained unwell over the weekend, and it has now become clear that his PEG tube (which we don't use) is the source of the infection. The tube was put in a few weeks ago in case he was unable to swallow towards the end of the treatment, but luckily so far he hasn't needed to use it for feeding. Ironically it was booked to be taken out in a week

    He's still there today, and I don't know when he will be home. I miss him terribly, the house is quiet and lonely without him. I'll be heading in for visiting in a couple of hours. Hopefully he will be on the mend image

    As for the weddings dresses, I guess they will just have to wait for a while 

  • MrsE2be2014MrsE2be2014 Posts: 1,458

    Awww so sorry to hear that, got everything crossed that hes ok and will be out soon! xx

  • Thanks MrsE2be,

    It's been a difficult 10 days for both of us, but the good news is that he should be out tomorrow! His PEG tube comes out tomorrow afternoon, and if he remains well and temperature free he will be ejected from the ward image

    I've not been apart from him for this many nights since we got together. Can't wait for him to be home again! 

  • Hi. I'm sorry to hear that your h2b has had to be admitted. What a roller coaster. When I started reading about his diagnosis, it all sounded very familiar. I have a friend ( coincidently he is a doctor) who also found a lump in his neck which led him to get it checked. His too was a cancer (but I think more base of tongue?)... He had excision, chemo and radiotherapy. That was 4yrs ago now...he is still clear, doing really well and returned to work as orthopaedic consultant. 

    I love Justin Alexander dresses. Hopefully, when things have settled down,you'll be able to go for your cancelled dress shop. image

  • Hi Chloe,

    I really hope your h2b recovers well after his last admission - I've got everything crossed for you.

    I am also a Midlands bride (I live just south of Derby and work in Birmingham). Hodstock Priory is lovely.

    Looking forward to reading more.


  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    Fingers crossed for your chap! Your plans so far are lovely! Xx

  • Thanks guys! I'm looking forward to picking him up later image

    Pinkstars - do you have a venue sorted yet....? 

    More to come in the way of planning very soon.... 

  • Ohhh sweetie just caught up on your thread hopefully h2b is now back home! I had infection after infection in my hicman line so I relate to what's happened if h2b wants someone to vent to then message me and I'll pass on my email/phone details xxx

    On a happier note glad you enjoyed your first round of dress shopping!

    Plus if there's anything I can do to help with the wedding or with regards to dealing with h2bs illness please don't be afraid to ask! And I do mean it, I have some awesome ideas for winter weddings lol but since we got married in may never got To use them image

  • HubbysPrincess - thank you hun, I will bear all this in mind! He is home now, and although very tired seems to be on the mend image 

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