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Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life (-S.D Gordon)

With only 283 days to go until our big day (thank you Y&YW for the little reminder image) I decided that it is time to make a start on my special Planning thread so I don't forget any little details when I want to look here goes!


My better half (N) and I first met in January 2012.

We had both been in long term relationships before that hadn't worked out; had gone travelling, moved around the country and generally enjoyed our early 20's and then decided that it would be nice to find that special someone to start that next chapter with...
I had moved to a new town (Leamington Spa) and N had recently returned to his parent's house in Northampton after travelling and working in Australia. We started talking online at first (his younger sister is the same age as me and we have mutual friends from my University where I had actually met her at a 21st party) and after just 2 weeks of talking both knew we wanted to get to know each other more!

Our first proper one2one"date" was just 3 days before Valentines Day in 2012. We met in Leicester as it was half way between his parents' house where he was living, and my parent's house whom I was visiting, and decided that as we both shared a love of Rugby, that we should go and find somewhere to watch the Rugby World Cup (England Vs Italy) and have a drink (so romantic!!!!!!!!!)

Now what N didn't realise is that I am actually rather passionate about Castrogiavanni (he still played for Leicester Tigers' at the time), and most of the date he spent laughing at me as I tried to push past large men in the pub to watch him on the pitch (then he got injured and was sent off image good news for N though!!!) 
We had a lovely time and after the game realised that neither of us wanted to leave yet so decided to go for something to eat, ending up at Nandos as it was snowing, cold, dark and near to the cars!! (such a romantic first date right...especially trying to decide what to eat that wouldn't be completely inappropriate and leave me with grease over my face!?!)

By this point, it had started to snow heavily and as we both had longish journeys on motorways to do, we decided to call it a night with promises of "talking soon".

I hate this bit. Will they text/ Do I text first? Will I appear desperate...oh gosh!



  • I broke first!

    I got home, waited a few minutes, pondering, and then just sent a simple "Got home safely, had a lovely day and really enjoyed myself x" (yes, I put a 'x'!)

    and waited....

    Within about 15 seconds I got one back!!! N had been having the same thoughts as me and didn't want to appear to eager (cute image cliché I know!)

    After this, we both went back to work on the Monday and exchanged a few texts when we could, but I didn't actually think he was overly interested in anything else happening. So I began to mope a bit and pour our my tales of woe to my poor housemate at the time!!

    Wednesday comes, Valentines Day. Now my ex of 7 years' best attempt at V-Day was in our 2nd year of being together, a rose from Waitrose, the day after V-Day because it was reduced down to 9p and starting to go a bit black!!! Therefore, I have never really been that fussed about it all.
    Well that is until 2012...

  • I got a phonecall from our receptionist to pop down to see her, not thinking anything of it I nipped down (we used to swap clothes/hair/make-up tips all the time!) to find a MASSIVE Interflora box for me with a dozen red roses and a little card that read..

    "Thank you for making me smile. Happy Valentine's Day, N x"

    THIS was the point I knew he was a keeper!

    No-one had EVER sent me flowers before, let alone to work, or after just 3 love for incredibly hairy, butch men had clearly made an impression on him (I will say at this point N is 6ft3, tall, fit and handsome - and definitely NOT hairy, although this isn't through lack of trying to grow a beard !!)

    Of course I immediately  sent him a gushing message. Showed EVERYONE I worked with and rang my mum!!!
    Turns out N had been feeling sick with dread after sending them incase it was too forward. (Clearly hadn't realised at this point how easily my love can be bought!!!!!!!!!!)

    We decided to meet up again on the Friday evening for a Friend of mine's birthday in Leamington. Fair play to N, he knew no-one except me (and even me not that well!) and isn't the most forthcoming or vocal of men, but he still came along and made a fabulous impression on all my friends.

    The night went on (by this point we were holding hands image already!) and people were drinking more and more, and me being hospitable me offered him our air-bed to save him going home...

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    That night we had our first kiss, and ended up spending the whole weekend with each other talking and talking and talking.

    I think I knew I had already fallen in love with him...

  • Things seemed to go by in a complete and utter whirlwind after this.
    We pretty much spent all of our weekend's together, and even 2/3 nights a week too.

    N's sister was 8 1/2 months pregnant and had moved back home as her fiancé was in the Marines, and his brother was also in the process of buying his first house so was at home again...therefore N's poor parents were at bursting point with 5 adults and a baby on the way. So N tended to spend a lot of time with me in Leamington.
    Once his brother's house had gone through, N moved him with him as he started to save up after his travelling jaunt to buy his own place. We had many a happy day that Summer painting and renovating his brother's lovely Victorian terrace house slowly falling more and more in love with each other...

    Things DID seem to move pretty quickly in our relationship, which I think actually made some people (quite a lot of our Friend's actually commented on it, which made me upset!) seem quite dubious of actually how long it would last and whether it was all just a bit of a whirlwind romance...

    We had our first holiday together in the May for N's bday, and when we got back began to talk about actually moving in together....

  • October 2012. 9 months of being a couple.
    We became first time home owners!!

    After signing for and getting our keys for our first house on the Friday, We went on holiday to Majorca at 6am on the Saturday morning! It was the hardest week ever!!!!
    We both wanted to enjoy our holiday and relax, but equally were so excited about getting back to start moving in and making our first home together.

    Decorating began in earnest and then Christmas was upon us, followed by New Year and then my Birthday all in quick succession, meaning that we didn't really have time to stop. But, I knew it was just perfect, and even though people had been muttering about the speed of our relationship and whether it was right or not (what is it to them!!?) I was having a wonderful time dreaming of our future.

    And then on January 17th 2013, everything seemed to stop when I had the phone call to say there had been a bad accident on the M1 in the snow and N had been involved....

  • Hope everyone had a good weekend!!


    So...where was I?!


    Oh yes...The Scariest Day of my life!!!!.....

  • So I was at work in Derbyshire on that day, the snow was coming down thick and fast and we were sent home at around 11am.

    I had just got in my car and was going to ring N to tell him to come home (he works over an hour away from home and has to battle the M1 the whole way J25 - 15!!) when the phone rings and he simply tells me that he doesn't know how long he is going to be, he is with the police as has had an accident and the car is very badly damaged, but has got to go now as waiting for paramedics to arrive...

    Then the phone went dead!

    At this point I didn't know what to think. I knew nothing more than he had told me, I didn't know if the ambulance was for him. If anyone else was involved. NOTHING!! I felt sick. The only thing I kept thinking was that he had been ok to call me so at least he wasn't dead!

    I turned the radio on as I attempted to get home myself and was greeted by traffic reports saying that the M1 was closed between J17 and J18 due to a 8 car pile up and the traffic was stationary back to J16. This was the point I panicked!

    My journey was incredibly treacherous, where I was it was A and B roads all the way home and no-one was able to travel over 20mph, meaning that the journey that normally took me 45 mins max ended up taking nearly 3 hours. All the while I was desperate for N to phone me and tell me he was ok and what was going on. I remember phoning his parents and just sobbing (god only knows what they must have thought!!!!). The traffic reports kept on coming every 15 minutes warning people to stay clear of the M1 northbound, and I became more and more scared!!




    I eventually got home (I went straight to my parents who live 10 mins away) and just as I pulled into their driveway N eventually calls me (this is now 4 hours on from when he first rang).
    He explains that he has been with the police and paramedics and is now waiting for recovery on his car. What had happened was, there had been an accident on the Motorway in front of him, and a car tranporter that was in the slow lane had realised he wasn't going to stop in time, swung himself into the middle lane (where N was) without indicating and slammed his brakes on, sliding horizontally across the lanes...

    N had to slam his brakes on too (as did the others behind) but there was just no way could he stop as this idiot transporter driver had taken up the whole road....N ended up underneath it image with people behind going into him.

    N's car (his NEW car!) was a write-off completely. The car transporter lorry continued to drive for about 20 yards, managed to regain control and then stopped. He didn't get out, just simply waited for a few minutes to see if anything was happening and then overtook all the other 8 cars smashed up in the middles/slow lanes and drove off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So my poor man had been standing, in the awful snow, freezing to death on the side of the road waiting for all the witness reports/paramedics/ambulances/recovery vehicles etc etc to arrive and then for the Highways Agency to shovel and grit the roads again as no cars had driven on it for so long it had become deeply snowed over!!

    He managed to get a recovery vehicle to come and collect his mangled wreck and take it to the garage in my parents village (another hour and a half!) where I walked down (tried to run but fell over twice - Ugg Boots and snow are a lethal combination!!!!) to meet him. As soon as I saw the state of the car I sobbed!!!!

    It was awful, I was just so lucky that he had escaped with just severe whiplash and a few cuts and bruises.

    I was so scared but now, every single day N texts me every morning to let me know he has got into work safely on that motorway!

    But little did I know at this point that this scary day would actually change the rest of our lives.....

  • laurapjlaurapj Posts: 726

    Aww, great story so far. What a scary day that must have been. Don't be disheartened by lack of replies, there are so many planning threads at the mo it's easy to get lost.

    Looking forward to reading more x

  • image Thank you laurapj....I have been really enjoying reading yours! Your venue is just wonderful and I WANT your bridesmaid dresses for myself...just to wear!! They are so beautiful!! xx

  • THE proposal

    Eventually, we both managed to get home that night and warmed ourselves up with baths/deep heat/fire and copious amounts of tea (and biscuits...oohhhh biscuits, back when I could eat them guilt free!!) to recover from the shock of everything that had gone on. All parents and family were rang to register our safety and sanity levels, and I think I even managed to cook something to eat too!!

    The next day I asked my mum to do my horses for me and I set aside the day to just spend time with N who was acting very odd and feeling very sore (I thought the oddness was all to do with the accident!)

    Now I am a clean freak, and even though I say I had set aside the day to be with N and make sure he was ok, I couldn't resist having just 20 minutes alone with my marigolds and some bleach in the bathroom (simple things!) So, there I was, Marigolds on, bleach in hand, happily scrubbing at my tiles when I hear the dog (who is a crazy Springer Spaniel at the best of times) going absolutely berserk - crying and leaping around in our bedroom. I kept "shhh-ing" him and eventually when the noise could get no worse I went to see what all of the fuss was about!

    He was standing, meer-kat stylee on his hind legs trying to look out of our bedroom window into the back garden, whining and barking at something in there. Now,  normally this could be anything...a light, a shadow, a bird or anything of the those things but imaginary! It doesn't take much to set his OCD off... So, to give him the courtesy I look out to see what all of the fuss is about (Marigolds STILL on at this point).

    And I was greeted by THIS........



  • My first response was to open the window and shout "Are you joking?!" (Poor N!)

    And his was "YES! But you weren't meant to look yet... I was just about to collect more snow to write "ME"" 

    WHAT A PAIR!!!!!

    He rushed upstairs to me, where I was crying and leaping around with an already lunatic dog and got back down on one knee and asked again! (cue dog in face moment here!)

    He had bought me a promise ring with a white sapphire in it and said I could then go with him to choose my own (he knows that my taste would be a lot more vintagey/fussy than his - he is the complete opposite to me in that regards!)


    Parents/grandparents/friends...the WHOLE world was rang! and I sobbed down the phone to them all....including my best friend (and now maid of honour, who I immediately recruited in to join the madness there and then!)

    We then decided to go and celebrate by taking the dog and going sledging in our nearby country park (brave of N who was suffering from whiplash, but on a high like me!)
    So we had had great fun, building lots of snowmen, sledging and acting like kids for the afternoon!!


     We were ENGAGED!!!!!


  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    What a lovely proposal!!!! I always wanted H2B to propose by writing in the sand on a beach. He got the beach bit right but was too nervous to write anything haha! Glad you remembered to take a picture!

  • ahhhhh bless him kitten2!

    This wasn't THE actual proposal, but I did so want a pic of how he had done it I made him go back out and pose again!!!!!!

    He thought I was joking....obviously I wasn't image

  • LeaMarieLeaMarie Posts: 723

    Ahh, this is such a lovely story so far!! image

  • You can tell I am quite quiet at work at the minute image

    I shall carry on and bring you up to speed with what has happened over the last 17 months to present day....

    So following the proposal I was obviously all full steam ahead with the ideas of our amazing wedding. I had pretty much been dreaming of my big day ever since I was old enough to learn the words of Beauty and The Beast line for line and swirl around my parents' house in a gold coloured blanket!!!

    At the time I was just leaving my current job and starting work in a new one (as a Wedding planner/venue sales....PERFECT!) and the venue I was working in I completely and utterly fell in love with. Therefore we decided to book our wedding here - for March 2015.

    Fast forward 6 months and I realised that unfortunately this job wasn't going anywhere...I loved every part of the weddings side of my role and the sales, but I began to struggle with the selloing of the conferences...I had basically sold the venue to lots and lots of couples, and been left with very few available dates for conferences and corporate clients, which is where most of the venue's income came from, meaning that it actually wasn't worth me being there...

    At the same time I was dealing with the hardest thing beautiful horse and best friend of 14 years had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and I devastatingly had to have her put to sleep. This really really knocked me and made me quite poorly. This little horse had been my childhood friend, I had grown up with her and shared so much together and to have to make this heartbreaking decision broke me.

    So I left my role, whispered goodbye to my beautiful girl and cancelled our big day. All in the space of a month. It killed me....






     *** R.I.P Goldie (Golden Revolution) Sweetdreams my beautiful lady ***


  • It took me a little while to get back on my feet, and I couldn't have done any of it without N by my side. He was the ultimate rock for me, he just knew when I couldn't cope with the world and was always there to just be a shoulder to sniff in to or provide a hand to squeeze.

    I temped for a little while for Boots doing their merchandising to build my confidence back up (which I LOVED!) whilst looking for a permanent role again and 6 months on also was given a new friend...George!

    Now George is a wannabe Unicorn, he would literally fart glitter if he could, except for he LOVES to roll and get FILTHY....NOT great for someone who LOVES to clean let me tell you! I think I keep Fairy in business with my bulk buy every Saturday!!

    Meet George...


    This February I also started working for an Government business who are basically a development board for Agriculture and Food this may sound weird to go from Weddings to this, but my university degree was actually in agri-Food Marketing, Business Studies and Spanish so it is pretty much perfect for me! I am the events coordinator and basically run hundreds of events a year for farmers and land-owners....just up my street!

    so...with me back on my feet and family asking if we had any thoughts about what we were going to do Wedding-wise, we thought that it would be a good idea to start a-fresh on our plans. New ideas, new venue, new colour scheme and a new-start.

    And in April this year, we BOOKED OUR WEDDING!

    Easter Monday 2015 - April 6th.

    Full steam is now Well and Truly Ahead!!!!!

  • The Venue

    We decided that we needed a new start, a new venue, new ideas, new colour scheme....a change in everything. No looking back.
    So we started looking in earnest again at venues and different ideas. Then in april it was N's mum's 50th birthday, and as part of her celebrations his sister, grandma, aunty and I organised a surprise afternoon tea at Kilworth House in Leicestershire. 

    As soon as I entered the building I just KNEW it was where I was going to get married! It is stunning - every room is just so beautiful. It screams "perfect"from every surface, whilst still being intimate. I rushed home afterwards to talk to N (who had visited before with work) and within 24 hours we had booked to meet with their wedding coordinator to view the venue properly!

    We had always originally dismissed Kilworth because we thought it would be way out of our budget, but it actually came below what we were going to originally pay for our first venue where I worked (nope...we didn't get a discount!)

    N's other grandma came with us to view it, and between the three of us there really was no question about whether or not it would be THE venue...we all fell in love, and within an hour had reserved our date before even talking to our parents!!






    The next week we got our parent's together for a viewing and paid our deposit.

    The rest, as they say, is history....

    EVERYONE is now swept up in wedding planning, as we have just 9 months and 1 week to go (N, who is subjected to endless re-runs of DTTB doesn't quite see this as I do.."If they can do it all in 3 weeks...." etc etc!)

     We are going to be having a Civil Ceremony (N is a catholic, I'm not even though I went to a convent school...that;s another story!!!) in the Orangery and our evening reception we are going to have in Kilworth's Cellar Bar. We loved how "country pub" it is down in the cellar and how intimate it felt.

    We have 75 day guests and then up-to around 130 in the evening (including children) and I am VERY excited!!!!

  • Beth90Beth90 Posts: 284

    hi golden!! What a beautiful proposal, got a bit teary seeing the snow picture!! Love the venue- absolutely beautiful!!!

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Wow look at that venue! Stunning! So sorry to hear about Goldie, it's heartbreaking when you lose an animal you're so close to. I love your description of George though. It just made me laugh out loud in the office at work!!

  • Aww thank you Beth image I still do get a bit teary myself when I see it image Boy did good!

    Kitten2, thank you. it's the worst thing ever to lose an animal. I had to have my 23 year old dog (not Toby my springer, but my old Jack Russell who I grew up with image) pts last month and even though I knew it was for the best, it did bring back those feelings like Goldie again image Yet I still can't help myself when someone tells me they know something that needs a home! I have also got another horse and 2 ginger Maine Coon kitties's like Noah's Ark here image


  • "Where we is" in our planning!

    So, with our venue booked we next recruited our bridesmaids, flower girls, ushers, best-men and page boy...
    (I have 2 'big' bridesmaids - one my best friend from uni, the other is N's sister; my MOH is by best friend from school; 2x 8yo Flower Girls who are friend's children that we have both babysat for as growing up. N's ushers are his 2 friends from uni, he has 2 best men - his brother and his best friend, and we have our 3 year old nephew as page boy)

    And then I began the shopping!!!

    We have so far booked and paid deposits on the following:

    Photographer We have actually booked with SND Photography that we found here on Y&YW...Sarah is so lovely and with her currently planning her own wedding too, it was really reassuring to know that she is currently in the same boat! Her pics are also pretty cool and we both loved her "arty" ones too!

    Videographer For this we have gone with someone I know from filming corporate marketing videos in a previous job I did. Raz from Reel Dreem Weddings is great at what he does. He is relatively new in the weddings industry but is already building up a great portfolio!

    DJ For this it was no question for me. I immediately went to Matt from Dancefloor DJ's and Events. The wedding venue that I used to work at recommended Matt to all our their couples...he is fabulous.

    Band Now this is a relatively new idea, but my MOH's fiance is a simply AMAZING guitarist and has recently joined a band called Picto Mexico (if you're on Facebook look them up!) and they are fab. They are going to play our first dance song (You're my Best Friend by Queen, chosen by N!) and also do a 2 hour set for us to mix it all up a little and get everyone up and dancing!


  • Now. As I said, we decided to completely change our colour scheme; we were originally going down the vintagey pastels route, but then when I lost Goldie I was given a yellow rose bush thats' variety is called "Golden Angel" and then a couple of days later, someone completely unrelated that knew nothing about the circumstances of which I lost Goldie, told me that she was sending me yellow roses from where she is now (She is a psychic and, if you believe in that kind of thing, was simply amazingly accurate in things she was telling me...)

    Therefore it kind of became important to me to have these yellow roses featured in our big day. 

    Now, as a natural red-head with freckles yellow is something that has never really taken kindly to me or my colouring! So it was never really an option to go with yellow dresses! Therefore we decided on a classic colour scheme of Navy with metallics and yellow roses. Classy and simple, but with the yellow still very spring like.

    And here is what I have purchased so far...

    Bridesmaid Dresses....


    And the back of them...


    These were pretty much the first things I bought, and completely by chance! I was taking a dress back that I didn't want and just happened to see these hanging up....3 of them....a size 8, 10 and 12. It was completely and utterly fate!!

    I frantically texted pics of them to the girls, and as the store was closing and they hadn't yet replied I just chanced it and got them with the store assistant's promise of 30 days to return if they weren't right!

    Luckily for me the girls' loved them, not only that but they all fit PERFECTLY!!! So, although it meant that they didn't get the girly bridesmaid dress shopping day, they did get a happy surely!! image



  • Oooh and another AMAZING thing that I have got is my beautiful ring....

    It is a 1ct Diamond halo cluster ring with a matching wedding band too (yup, can tick that off the list too...phew!), I LOVE it image 


     It is SO sparkly, and I  just love how different it is image 

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    I love Maine Coons! Sorry about your doggie. Mine are only 8 and 5 and I dread the day when I lose them. They are my babies.

    LOVE the BM dresses, very much fate and the back is really stunning. BMs are very lucky having those dresses. And your ring is beautiful!

  • Thank you lovely image 
    I am actually enjoying writing all this's getting it all together in my own head too image 

  • SHOES!!! 

    So I went to B'ham on Saturday with my MOH and another very good friend that is going to be our witness when signing register and also do a reading at the wedding...

    Turns out Selfridges had a sale on...we went to buy MOH  shoes....and I *may* have brought myself a pair of lovely Jenny Packham shoes too (SO worth it though!!!)

    Here's the lovely (and VERY sparkly bottomed) MOH Nine West shoes...




     Now originally my MOH was worried they looked a little too much like a 'Brides Shoe' but they look amazing next to the dress and as she has quite bad arthritis in her foot due a fall and a floating bone in a university night club (Don't ask!!!!!) the most important thing to me is her comfort (it is just a MASSIVE bonus that 1) they look fab with the dress and 2) they have a frigging sparkly sole!!!!!)

    And here are my lovelies....


     Now, I was ALWAYS lusting over a pair of Jimmy Choos (the Gold 'Langs' to be precise!)...and I was SO excited to strut around Selfridges in them on Saturday, but (and a very large but!) I just knew that I probably wouldn't have had a finace still if I would have had to justify a £500 shoe shop to my H2B...

    N has always said to me "never say never", so I do still live in hope that maybe, just maybe, one of us will get a nice pay rise or lottery win before the big day and all of our saving and money worries become redundant (We are paying a third for the day and our families are also paying a third each too....)

    Here's hoping hey?!

  • Just caught up with ur thread over lunch .  Really enjoying it S x

  • image Thank you Sarah!!!

    I did the same on your's lucky girl you..boy did VERY good on those Choos image

  • EEEK!

    I have just phoned up and booked our interview to give notice of our marriage at the local registration Tuesday...VERY excited image

  • This is all soooo exciting!! Can't wait to read more! x

  • Invitations

    We sent our Save the Dates out last month to give everyone enough notice with it being 1) Easter Monday and 2) the time when a lot of people go on holiday!

    I bought my STD's, day and evening invites and info cards from Feel Good Invites who I found on Etsy, Ger is WONDERFUL! I completely changes the fonts and colours of everything (I went for the Modern Script style) and nothing was too much a task for him....

    I am currently also in the process of designing all of my other bits and bobs of Stationery (Order of Service/Signs/Table Plan etc etc) and I will be going back to Ger for these without a doubt.

    I will take some pics of what we have so far and post them on here tonight image


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