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A 'Curios' Wedding

Hi All,

I have been reading this website for about a year now, and lurking on other peoples planning and reports, and think it's finally time to start my own thread! We still have no specific date, I would like for it to be Autumn 2019, but we're not sure how financially viable that is for the type of wedding we want; we have very expensive taste, so fully expecting it to end up being 2020! Although I would love it to be late Summer/early Autumn time.

About Us

We met just under 5 years ago, May 2013, when we were added to a Facebook group for the university course that we were both abound to start, we started messaging each other, trying to make friends before we started the course, and instantly hit it off. M is from Nottingham, where our course was based, and when I first moved to Nottingham he organised an alternative freshers week for me, as I don't drink and don't much like clubbing, so didn't fancy a traditional freshers week! He took me to the theatre and out to his favourite restaurants for dinner. This first week was when he met my parents for the first time, when they were moving me in I spotted him walking ahead of us, and almost get hit by a lorry, which resulted in jibes from my parents when we did later become a couple, to "hold his hand when you cross the road"!

We were best friends for about 6 months, both sort of seeing other people, as you do at the beginning of university. But just into the second term of first year we kissed in the smoking area of a club at a friends birthday party, and from then on we were inseparable. A couple of weeks later I helped him move house, and ended up staying the night, and we've never lived separately since!

Since then we have got a cat (my baby Lucifer, Lulu for short), graduated university together, moved to London, then out of London to Maidenhead, and started our careers in the art department in the film industry!

There has been no official proposal, and to be honest, I don’t think I will get one. We’ve talked about getting married for a long time, and he’s been calling me his fiancé for years. I’m still waiting on the ring, but I do know he’s currently working on it, and I have picked out what I would like. The reason I am starting this thread is because over the last couple of weeks M keeps mentioning how he really wants us to start planning now. We have also been and checked out a couple of venues we thought looked interesting and messaging vendors we like to get a rough estimate of how much we should be budgeting!

I have had a Pinterest inspiration board going for about 6 months now that we have both (mainly me) been contributing to, so will post some images of the sort of look we are going for. We have quite strange taste; we are very into curiosities, taxidermy, insects, art, and anything a bit strange. I am also very into the 70s, fashion, music, décor, I love it all! So this may influence my dress decision a little!

Hoping M doesn’t read this thread, as he knows I love this website!

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Posts

  • Venues

     

    We know we want to get married within an easy distance of Nottingham, as M’s mum is in a wheelchair and it would make it extremely difficult to have to try and find accommodation suitable for her. Plus, we wont have to worry about too many guests having to stay in hotels as most of M’s friends and family are Nottingham locals. My family is from Sheffield, so they also don’t have far to come and won’t have to stay in a hotel the night before, if they don’t want to.

    We went to visit Elvaston Castle in September last year as I had seen pictures online and it looked perfect. It is a Gothic Revival stately home, built in the early 1800s. It is not usually open to the public so we went to one of their wedding fairs.

     image

    The reason it is not open to the pubic is because the building is in a terrible state of disrepair. The main room, although looks gorgeous in photos, has an incredible amount of chipped plaster and paintwork missing. We were told there had been multiple offers to do it up, but the owners weren’t allowing it, so we shouldn’t expect it to look better if we booked there. There is also a huge, beautiful staircase adjoining the main room, but this was also it a horrible state of disrepair. The exterior is gorgeous, but looking at it from the front it looked a little like a hoarder lived there, as there were piles of junk in the windows. Super disappointing, but made it very easy for us to strike it off our list!

    We also considered Allerton Castle, for is architecture, but as it is close to York we struck it off the list, because of its distance from Nottingham. The main hall and the room in which you have your wedding breakfast are both gorgeous, and it wouldn’t have been to expensive, as it’s priced per guest and we’re only planning on having roughly 40.

     imageimage

    We also have a couple of other we considered going to see, but were discounted because of the cost, location or wheelchair accessibility inc. Belvoir Castle, Haddon Hall, and Aynhoe Park (which is my dream, because of its taxidermy collection, I’ve included a couple of images below just because I love it so much!).

     imageimage

    I think we have decided to go with Wollaton Hall, which is actually in Nottingham, but is surrounded by a huge deer park. I has great wheelchair accessibility and incredible architecture, as well as not being outrageously expensive! We haven’t been for an appointment yet, but as me and M have been so many times, we already know what all of the rooms look like, so have an idea of the space and already so many ideas of how to decorate! You can have your ceremony in the Great Hall, or one of the other rooms they offer, though will have to go for a look at those before we decide, as they’re usually close to the public. Pre-reception drinks in the Carmellia House (Europe’s oldest metal frames glass house), and then your reception in the Great Hall. The outside is stunning and has so many different locations I can imagine looking gorgeous in photos! Lets hope they impress when we go talk to them, which should be within the next month!

    imageimageimageimage

     

  • I thought I would attach a few photos of our ideas for decor from my Pinterest board, so you can get a rough idea of my sort of aesthetic we will be going for. As mentioned previous we do have ‘odd’ taste, and love anything a bit creepy, especially taxidermy and insects, and already own a modest collection ourselves, and so will be using the wedding as an excuse to buy ourselves a load of new home décor, as well as using the things we already own to decorate our wedding, and use as centrepieces. I am thinking that we will use cloches with different creatures for each tables centrepiece, and use the creatures name as the table names.

     

    imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

  • AwhelenqtAwhelenqt Posts: 819 New bride

    I'm not usually a fan of taxidermy but that Aynhoe Park looks amazing!!

    I love your aesthetic it's like gothic decadence - I'm picturing lady gaga as the countess in American horror story.

    Will definitely be following this thread - I love anything quirky or unusual! And the more drama the better ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  • Awhelenqt wrote (see post):

    I'm not usually a fan of taxidermy but that Aynhoe Park looks amazing!!

    I love your aesthetic it's like gothic decadence - I'm picturing lady gaga as the countess in American horror story.

    Will definitely be following this thread - I love anything quirky or unusual! And the more drama the better ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Gothic decadence is a great wording for our aesthetic, I might be borrowing that in the future to describe to suppliers what were going for!

    I know, Aynhoe Park, is so gorgeous, but so far away from where we need to be, and ridiculously expensive! Packages start at £38,000, so could never happen in a million years, but a girl can always dream! Did think about booking a tour under the guise of being able to afford having the wedding there, just so I could nosy around!!

  • The Proposal 

    Ah! So much to say! 

    So, because M had been reading my thread, despite promising not to, he saw that I wrote that I didn’t think I would be getting an official proposal being we were already beginning to plan and budget and organize. We had previously decided to have my engagement ring made by our old flat mate, who we lived with at university, as his family has owned and operated a jewelry business for generations. But we’re still not sure if and when it will be done, as he’s so hard to get hold of, as he lives in Mexico. 

    I came home from work one Friday evening, and M arrived home shortly after and immediately asked if there has been any packages delivered for him; there had not. This visibly made him annoyed and I could tell something was bothering him, despite his protests. We know each other well enough, that in seconds I had guessed what he had ordered that hadn’t arrived, and it didn’t take long for him to crack and tell me. He had ordered a plain hammered silver band on etsy as a temporary engagement ring, until my lifelong one was finished by our friend, as we both were getting impatient about announcing our engagement (which is my fault as I didn’t want to announce it until I had a ring).

     He told me he had been planning to propose whilst we were in Nottingham visiting his family over the weekend, although he wouldn’t tell me his exact plan, as he thought there were still salvageable parts.  He was still quite upset that his plans had been ruined despite me telling him it was fine and not to worry, and this led to a tense 2 ½ hour car journey up to Notts, with us deciding we would go around the city center’s jewelry shops and pick something out together so we could finally tell people. Well, this went horribly. I have extremely specific taste and we wanted to keep the price low as possible with this ring only being temporary, and after about 3 hours of searching and finding nothing we both decided that the whole thing didn’t feel right and wasn’t how either of us had pictured us getting engaged! We enjoyed that rest of our weekend and went home, saying we would a while before we would think about it again, as just carry on planning and plotting in secret like before.

     A couple of days later the silver hammered ring arrived on our doorstep, M opened it and handed it to me, saying I should check that the sizing was right for future reference. He had already got a refund for it as it was over a week late, and we thought it would never arrive. It was tiny and would barely fit on my little finger; so it was immediately shoved in a drawer, and will probably now go to a charity shop. M asked about a website that I had consistently been showing him pieces from over the last year and we had a flick through their ring section together to see what kind of ring I fancied, but told him to pick whichever he liked the best. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for a few months, maybe for something to happen when we go to Paris in June, but then at the earliest!

     I get home the next Friday and crash on the sofa, waiting for M to come home. I hear his car pull up outside and he comes through the door calling my name and exclaiming “Have you seen your sunflowers?” so I jump up saying “If there’s nothing there I will never talk to you again” and follow him outside to the front of our house. I stare down at the lifeless pot and tell him that there isn’t anything and he says I should look closer, pointing at a specific spot of the dirt. I lean closer and he flips the hand he’s pointing with he reveal a black, velvet, rose shaped ring box with a gorgeous art deco inspired ring in the centre. I instantly throw

  • Continued as I rambled too much!

    throw my arms around his neck and stay like that for what felt like forever. Probably 2 minutes later he pulls away and goes “Will you marry me then?”.

    At this point my parents are in Sri Lanka and will be away for another week, so we decided to keep quiet for that week, only telling a few people at work, his brother and a couple of close friends. Then went and surprised my parents at the airport. As soon as they stepped out of the arrivals gate I stepped out from behind a pillar, directly in front of them, my dad looked through me for a full 45 seconds before realising I was stood right there! We had also called M’s parents earlier in the day, and then rest of the family later! Everyone delighted all around!

    TLDR; We got officially engaged!!!!!

    Here's my ring (and my planner!)

    imageimage

     

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,519 New bride

    Beautiful ring, congrats!

  • abbigeorgiaabbigeorgia Posts: 61 New bride

    The Dress

    So, I went to try on a dress for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was more a spur of the moment thing as I spotted a dress on the French Connection website from their bridal range, it was £250 and I thought I have to go and try it on as it was so cheap and didn’t want it to sell out before I even had a chance to try it. I showed my parents and they both said that it was “very me”, and I also showed M (were both so rubbish at secrets and cant keep anything from each other – we call each other at least 3 times during the working day!), and he loved it, but I told him that if it was THE dress he wasn’t allowed to see any pictures of me in it.

    image

     We just happened to be going up to Nottingham to see his family for the first time since we got officially engaged, and I found that the closest store that had the bridal collection in was Meadowhall in Sheffield, which is luckily where me parents are. So I ditched M for the day and sped off to Sheffield to meet my mum and sister for lunch and to try this dress on!

     When we arrived at French Connection I said that I had reserved the dress in two sizes to try on and the assistant hurried away to find them. When she brought them out they were horrifically creased and terrible looking, but I went back out to the shop floor and grabbed one off a hanger to try on instead. I thought because this was a high street store we might be left alone to try the dress on, but the assistant would not leave my side and any time I would try and speak to my mum she would just talk over the top of me. It was quite awkward as we were just in the regular fitting rooms, as it was very, very cramped with there only being 6 cubicles packed in very closely, luckily it was very quiet and we were the only people there, but that meant there was nothing to distract the assistant!

    I liked the dress. I did. (Apart from the hem near the bottom of the skirt). But it didn’t give me any kind of special feeling as it looks like a dress I would wear on any other day, if it was in a different colour. I am very much into 70s fashion and love boho-esque dresses with long floaty sleeves, deep V necks, and flowing skirts, and already own a number of similar dresses in floral prints. I also think that it made me quite a lot bigger than I am, which I wasn’t expecting from the style of dress. I am fairly slim and tend to vary on sizes as I have a large bust, but very small waist, so getting dresses that fit is an ongoing struggle. I liked how it looked from the side, but not the front as I felt it made me look short and dumpy. This style of dress usually suits me really well, and its made me a bit concerned about what shape wedding dresses will suit me.

     I always imaged myself in a big princess ball gown, but everyone I have spoken to says they never expected me to go for something like that, and I see where they are coming from, its very much not my usual aesthetic, but I was still considering it. Until M told me that he despises ball gowns and that they look tacky. Now I have no idea what I want as I want something dramatic but ‘me’! Although M says he wouldn’t mind a wine red ball gown, which I would love, but not sure how well it would go down with family on either side!

     I have attached pictures below of me in the dress, BEWARE the dress is super see through, and I did not wear light colour underwear (my mistake, wont be doing that again!!).

    imageimage

  • MrsL-GMrsL-G Posts: 86 New bride

    The dress looks like it's a low empire line so the band is above your waist and not emphasising your narrowest part. Keep looking! And check out Rembo Styling 

  • abbigeorgiaabbigeorgia Posts: 61 New bride
    MrsL-G wrote (see post):

    The dress looks like it's a low empire line so the band is above your waist and not emphasising your narrowest part. Keep looking! And check out Rembo Styling 

    I thinks it because my chest is bigger, it pulls the waist up higher than its supposed to be! Thanks for the suggestion! The problem I'm having with boho wedding dress sites is that they all look similar to things I already own, and I really want my dress to feel special and be something that I really can only wear for this event!

  • MrsL-GMrsL-G Posts: 86 New bride

    That is tricky but I'm sure you'll find something you love  BTW, great thread, very unique. 

  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    Love this thread!
    I'm sure there's a boho dress out there that gives you that 'special feeling'.
    If you have a *healthy* dress budget, this one is gorgeous...
    https://clairepettibone.com/products/sauvignon-gown

  • abbigeorgiaabbigeorgia Posts: 61 New bride
    Jodielou wrote (see post):

    Love this thread!
    I'm sure there's a boho dress out there that gives you that 'special feeling'.
    If you have a *healthy* dress budget, this one is gorgeous...
    https://clairepettibone.com/products/sauvignon-gown

    So many gorgeous gowns on that site! Definitely over my budget, but amazing for inspiration images to take with me to showrooms! Wish they were a UK brand so I could go to their sample sales!!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,519 New bride

    It's lovely and you still look slim in it but in another colour, you wouldn't know it's a wedding dress.

    Have you looked at Monsoon bridal? 

  • abbigeorgiaabbigeorgia Posts: 61 New bride
    MrsCToBee wrote (see post):

    It's lovely and you still look slim in it but in another colour, you wouldn't know it's a wedding dress.

    Have you looked at Monsoon bridal? 

    Thats what I thought! I have had a look at Monsoon and nothing really caught my eye, but I still haven't been to an actual bridal salon, so wanting to go soon to try on a few different shapes and maybe what I'm looking for will change!

  • abbigeorgiaabbigeorgia Posts: 61 New bride
    MrsL-G wrote (see post):

    That is tricky but I'm sure you'll find something you love  BTW, great thread, very unique. 

    Thank you so much! I love our aesthetic, but am struggling at the moment with discussing it with family members as they keep going "thats a bit morbid for a wedding"! I can find lots of great reference pictures, but none in a wedding context which makes it hard to illustrate to them what I'm going for!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,519 New bride

    Phase Eight is probably also worth a look for wedding dresses, some of them are quite laid back/boho.

  • So, I haven’t updated this in forever, but it was only today that we finally booked our venue, and locked in our date! So we are getting married at Wollaton Hall on 27th August 2020!!

     image

    In between the time I last posted and now we did go for a look around another venue we thought could be a contender, Newstead Abbey, and for the most part it was gorgeous. The ceremony room and the area you have drinks were amazing, but the reception room was not to my taste at all, awful conference centre-esque rooms, not at all in keeping with the rest of this incredible building. We were told we had to have our reception here, and the only time a catered event was allowed to be held in another room was over 10 years ago for a veterans dinner, and that it had to be cleared by the Nottingham Councilor for Leisure and Localities, and M piped up and went “I was in the pub with him last night, I’ll have a word”! He did end up giving up permission to use another room, but the disabled access here was so poor we had to discount it. Have attached pictures below.

     imageimageimageimage

    We went for a tour of Wollaton Hall and the guy who did our tour could not have been any friendlier and useful, even though he was just filling in for a colleague and didn’t usually do the wedding tours. We have been many times before but we got to explore the whole building and he even let us go out onto the roof! Needless to say we were sold. I mean, we were 90% sold before we went for the tour, but this really sealed the deal. We decided to push our date to August 2020, as I really think I need that amount of time to get everything done. It took us 3 months to choose a date and book it! But now I have something concrete to work towards! Let the mayhem begin!

    Here is a few pictures of our venue, not mine, all the ones I took were awful!

     imageimageimage

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride

    Wow! Gorgeous venue. 

    I love your ideas and can’t wait to see how it all comes together. We thought we were having a really long engagement but time absolutely flies so it’s no bad thing at all you’ll have plenty of time to make everything a reality without it taking over your life! Congratulations!

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    I love Wollaton hall- is there disabled access to the blue room? 

    Which room do you use for what? It’s such a gorgeous venue/place I can’t help but be excited for you! 

  • Ashley72 wrote (see post):

    Wow! Gorgeous venue. 

    I love your ideas and can’t wait to see how it all comes together. We thought we were having a really long engagement but time absolutely flies so it’s no bad thing at all you’ll have plenty of time to make everything a reality without it taking over your life! Congratulations!

    I'm so terrified of not having enough time to do everything, I work 60 hour weeks and live 2-3 hours away from venue! Hopefully 2 years and 1 month will be enough! It sounds a lot, but you're right, it will go insanely quickly!

  • Sian91 wrote (see post):

    I love Wollaton hall- is there disabled access to the blue room? 

    Which room do you use for what? It’s such a gorgeous venue/place I can’t help but be excited for you! 

    No, there is no disabled access to the blue room; its only accessible by two very narrow and slippy stone spiral staircases, which I wouldn't want all my guests to traipse up anyway! but we may slip off for some photos up there!

    They let people have their ceremony up there, if you thought everyone would manage to claim the stairs, but it's impossible for anyone with even minor mobility problems!

    You can have your ceremony in the green room (which is usually the gift shop), or the Great Hall, and your reception in the Great Hall, and drink reception in the Carmelia House!

    I'm so excited!!!

  • At the end of June (before we had booked the date and were still think about Oct 19) I went down on my own to my nearest Wed2Be, which is the Chesham branch, to try on some different silhouettes of dresses and just get a feel for what I might want. Obviously, now we’ve decided on Aug 2020 I wont be looking for another year or so, but I love wearing fancy dresses and will almost certainly not be able to hold myself back from trying stuff on if I spot something incredible online!

    I had a really lovely experience at Wed2Be. I went on a weekday when I was in between jobs, as I knew it would be quieter, and the girl working was absolutely lovely, but I have a problem where if I’m talking to a stranger that is really nice I will just say all the things I like and not mention anything bad even if I absolutely hate something.

    So here were the couple of dresses I tried on, the first of which I really did like, not as “the one” but it was pretty. The second one I detested, kinda trashy looking on me and my boobs were literally about to fall out,  but pretended I liked. Plus I hated the cape on this one. And the third wasn’t ‘me’, but wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I also tried on a couple of capes, and a veil, but I didn’t like the fact the capes came around to the front, an think I would just like it to be attached to the shoulders, if I do end up going for one!

    Please ignore to sweaty face and greasy hair, it was a billion degrees outside and I spent and hour in the car to get there.

    Dress 1 (with and without cape)imageimageimage

    Dress 2 imageimage

    Dress 3imageimage

     

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Love that first dress abbiegeorgia, I think something like that would really suit a grand venue like yours. I agree the 2nd one is abit booby, I also think the waist line is quite defined and that is cuts you in two, I prefer the way the first one blends from top to bottom. The third one really sets off your figure but if you don't love it you don't love it. Enjoy the rest of your dress shopping!

  • MrsS85 wrote (see post):

    Love that first dress abbiegeorgia, I think something like that would really suit a grand venue like yours. I agree the 2nd one is abit booby, I also think the waist line is quite defined and that is cuts you in two, I prefer the way the first one blends from top to bottom. The third one really sets off your figure but if you don't love it you don't love it. Enjoy the rest of your dress shopping!

    I agree, I feel the need for something dramatic that goes with the venue! I felt good in the third one I just felt no emotion towards the dress at all, no positive or negative feelings!  Excited to go again at some point!

  • Peaseblossom wrote (see post):

    https://www.rocknrollbride.com/2018/08/autumnal-glamour-wedding-celebrating-artists-taxidermy/ this wedding reminded me of you!

    Only just seen this! Thanks for sending me this link, have pinned a couple of images! <3

  • So, I haven't updated in a while. We haven't made that much progress but chipping away at little bits.

    I have booked the registrar for 3pm, so if anyone has any suggestions about how to structure my day around this timing, it would be much appreciated! We have to vacate the venue at 12am, but everything is at the same venue so no faffing and moving people from a to b. But I'm just not sure what time to schedule the meal for and how much time to allow for photos and such!

    I have also booked a consultation for the florist I have been lusting after for the last few years! They, helpfully, are located about 10 minutes from my parents house, so were going up to meet the florist in mid November. The shop is called 'Swallows and Damsons', and I have attached a couple of her arrangements that I love below.

    imageimageimageimageimage

    I dont have any particular colour scheme in mind, but I love muted jewel tones; dark teals, burgundy/wine tones, deep mustard, and greyed out greens. We especially love blue thistles and proteas. We really want to evoke the look of old Dutch master still life paintings with the flowers, and I know for sure I am going to go way over board with how many I want and when she gives us the quote I will have to reel it in a bit!

  • I also absolutely love the idea of incorporating feathers, fruit, and other organic objects into our floral arrangements, as I think it fits well with our naturalistic, natural history theme! I especially love the look of figs, pomegranates, pheasant feathers, and strange mushrooms! 

    imageimageimageimageimageimage

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