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2019 seems a long way off!

So here goes.... having spent many an hour perusing lots of your planning threads I thought I'd have a go with one of my own. Let's see if I can make it interesting.

How we met

I own a little holiday home on the south coast and one of my very close friends who also owns a holiday home on site was bringing her family down for the weekend. Little did I know that 48 hours, some crazy golf, and a few pints on the seaside prom later I'd have found my new significant other! So as a result my close friend is now gonna be my aunt you in law! It really was as quick as that. Only down side is that we live at opposite ends of the country so for the most part only get to see each other at weekends but more of that to come later 😬


The Proposal

skip forward 18 months... S takes me on a wonderful romantic holiday to sunny Mexico. He arranges a moonlight dinner by the beach. On arriving at the sand by golf buggy there's a photographer about to take some sunset shots of us both when S tells him to wait before pulling out a box from his pocket then dropping to one knee. I obviously say yes! The lovely thing was the photographer kept shooting throughout the proposal so I've got some wonderful photos capturing my surprise on the day. imageimageimageimage


  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    So having got over the excitement of the proposal, now was the time to answer all of the big questions.

    when to get married? Long or short engagement

    where to get married? I've been divorced, it's S's first time.

    where do we live? North or south? (More on that later!)

    both of us decided that we wanted to get on with the planning but give ourselves enough time to arrange things properly. 2019 seemed like a good plan - winter or autumn sounds good. I am not a girly girl and couldn't see myself as a spring bride.

    where - well, we wanted something 'different' just didn't know what that meant or was. So off I went to my first wedding fair!

    The wedding fair

    Oh my giddy aunt - who even knew these things existed. I go with my mum in tow. I'm older than the average bride I know, being in my forties but most of these lasses look like they oughta be in school! I arrive at the door to a sweet lady asking if the bride is present - when I say it's me she promptly stickers me up, with my 'bride' badge then hands me over my carrier bag full of what's probably responsible for the destruction of half the amazon Rainforest! And so off we go wandering through stalls full of chintz and jazz hands. Being accosted at every turn until I wisely figure out I need to remove my bride sticker and can wander in peace. Never have I been asked the same question so many times - when's your wedding date? By the end of the day I'm hyperventilating- am I leaving myself enough time, is 18 months not long enough to plan a wedding, will all the best bands be booked? Argh!!!!!!!!

    but before I leave it just there - let's skip back to those carrier bags! I get the idea of freebies, but whose idea was it to stick in packs of multivitamins, suntan lotion factor 50, and decidedly odd smelling deodorant!! 😂😂😂

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    This is like talking away to yourself!  therapeutic or maybe a bit self indulgent - perhaps a bit of both Lol

    so onto our first big step. The hunt for the venue...

    we (gotta say S has been great up to this point doing his fair share) had a good search through probably every venue in the south east , ruling them out, too big, too small, too expensive, too cheap!  Before coming up with a list of favourites time to go off and see a few

    venue 1 brands hatch hotel

    visited this one because they do an all exclusive option which I liked given we'll have people travelling from all over the country and will need accommodatio. However on visiting I found there was another wedding taking place and we were shown round right in the middle of it by the wedding planner! Now if it were my wedding and I'd paid all that money I wouldn't be wanting me in my boots and leggings turning up for a nosey just after I'd said my vows. So fraid not that one was ruled out pretty much straight away (plus they didn't even offer us a cuppa!) 


  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    venue 2 the hop farm

    Remember I said I wanted something different, ok the hop farm was next on the list, beautiful setting, obviously lots of experience running weddings, but for me it was probably just a bit 'too perfect' cant put my finger on exactly why but this one just didn't have the 'x factor' - ah well, on with the search. image

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride


    Venue 3&4 high rocks and Kent country farm

    so I promptly booked in two more venues only for the heavens to open and down to earth fell lots of very cold, wet white fluffy stuff. There was no way I was going to make my appointments that weekend. In the meantime me and S had come across another venue that was having a wedding fair and boy was this different. Unfortunately S couldn't make it down so off I trotted with mum yet again in tow!

    Venue 5 Shepherd Neame Brewery Faversham

    englands oldest brewery, get married amongst the hops, party in the brewery storehouse, yep it's quirky and yep S liked this idea - beer! 

    So the visit went wonderfully, the wedding would take place in the 16th century room with oak beams, dried hops overlooking the market square, drinks reception in the traditional bar downstairs then wedding breakfast and evening reception in the storehouse. Opportunity for quirky photos amongst the vats and hops, I loved it. Straight on phone to S, let's get all paperwork, review t&cs and go for it! 



  • Hello fellow 2019 bride. Looking forward to following your thread.

    I am waiting until September to go to my first wedding fair (there's a local one the day after my birthday so combining two things in one) but feeling anxious as I like to look in peace instead of being harassed. If I get given a sticker, I'll know what to do

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride
    KerryNash2B wrote (see post):

    Hello fellow 2019 bride. Looking forward to following your thread.

    I am waiting until September to go to my first wedding fair (there's a local one the day after my birthday so combining two things in one) but feeling anxious as I like to look in peace instead of being harassed. If I get given a sticker, I'll know what to do


    Hi Kerrie - I must be a glutton for punishment - I'm now doing two fairs over the weekend! The National Wedding fair at excel on Saturday and then the Kent fair at Detling on Sunday, but this time S is coming with me. I want to specifically look at invitations and save the date cards, as well as look and listen to some of the bands. I am a little frustrated that two I wanted (bands that is) are already booked up for sept 2019 - so beginning to think I need to book them sooner rather than later! But this weekend - no stickers!!!

  • Hi 👋 lovely to see another 2019 plsnning thread 

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    so it's been a while since I last posted but lots has happened. It's as of today 410 days to go!!!

    which feels like an age but it's already going so quickly


    The Dress

    So I'm a big lass, second time round  and an older bride so didn't want the whole white princess thing - think that's okay for others just not me. So picking a dress was not going to be easy. I tried a couple of full length ones on at a wedding fair in ivory but they just looked like they swamped me. Oh yes - added complication - I had breast cancer in my early thirties and couldn't have a reconstruction so am missing two lady bits lol so my dress also has to fit with two prosthetic things!! I said this wasn't going to be easy!

    anyway I found local to me the most delightful little shop that specialises in tea length dresses, offers single person appointments and lets you try on as many dresses as you like. It was comfortable, I didn't feel rushed and ended up buying a dress on my very first visit!!! It was Rosie by True Bride. Ivory with a button up back and lace v neck frnt with tea length skirt. Who'd have thought it. So now that's it - dress purchased - this is really happening!!  the photo is of a model not me by the way lol



  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride

    Hi, I'm another Kent bride, getting married in Tunbridge Wells! 

    What a lovely proposal, and venue looks great :)

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    Our theme


    so as you know - we're going for a September wedding at the brewery so our theme is autumn and hops. Want to incorporate purples and oranges and hessian.  It's hops season so they will be lovely and fresh and i intend to have them in our floral displays and in my bouquet along with all the buttonholes speaking of which....


    the florist


    the florist was was a bit of a nightmare to start with. We went to meet the one recommended by the brewery she seemed lovely and really got behind my idea of using hops. I also wanted a really deep colour purple to set off the green of the hops which she was happy to go along with. So we ordered

    one bouquet

    one MOH bouquet

    two flower girl bouquets

    one top table display

    9 table display

    8 'special corsages / buttonhles'

    70 buttonholes

    2 thank you bouquets


    so quite a lot of flowers, paid the deposit and then never heard from her!! Took three weeks of emailing / ringing etc before getting everything confirmed in writing and then it was wrong - chased again and finally a month later got it right. I learnt my lesson check, check and check again and don't be afraid to be a bridezilla!! Sometimes you just have to lay it on lol  

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    The favours


    as part of the brewery package each guest will be given a bottle of beer with our picture and the date of the wedding on it. But I wanted something else so thought about the autumn theme again - jams and chutneys. I found these little jars at out local garden centre and am going to make hessian tops  add luggage labels with individual names on  and for the children (we've got about ten coming) jars of sweeties 



  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride
    MrsCToBee wrote (see post):

    Hi, I'm another Kent bride, getting married in Tunbridge Wells! 

    What a lovely proposal, and venue looks great :)

    Hi MrsCToBee thanks, I've been loving reading your blog too. :-)

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    The cake


    yum - the best part of the wedding planning so far - cake tasting! At a wedding fair I'd seen a cake that went perfectly with our theme of autumn so arranged to go meet the baker in deepest darkest Kent for a cake tasting - we'd decided on four layers ended up with five, changed half of our ideas regarding flavours by the time we left but I loved the cake - the baker will now do architectural drawings and send them to me to approve!! I never heard of such a thing - it's a cake!! Lol but once they arrived they were truly beautiful and lovely to keep as a reminder of our special day. Attached are some of the pics - our flavours are: dark fruit, lime and coconut, Jaffa chocolate orange, prosecco and strawberry and mango and passion fruit, and they all taste great!!


  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    The wedding party

    Realised I hadn't mentioned who was who. So as I told you right back at the beginning, i met S through his aunt who was a close friend of mine so it was only fair she would become my matron of honour. S has asked his brother to be best man, and his uncle, stepdad and my brother to be his ushers. My other brother is going to give me away as unfortunately my dad passed some time ago now. My mum will also form part of the wedding party along with my two nieces under 12 and my 3 & 5 year old nephews as page boys. 


    The groom, guys and page boys will all wear morning suits in slate grey we are thinking at the moment with purple or lilac cravats and the MOH will wear purple or lilac with the bridesmaids in ivory with purple or lilac sash. My mum is wearing a lilac colour outfit from jacques vert. 

    Its lovely that because neither of us live near the venue we've booked hotels in town. The girls and some family will stay in a hotel just round the corner and the boys about a five minute walk away - this means the night before we can all get together for dinner before parting ways and getting ready separately. We have two photographers the next day one with the girls and one with the guys which I think will be great. I'm walking to the venue from the hotel as it's only a couple of minute walk so that should be fun providing it's not raining!!!



  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Your plans all sound lovely Louise, I think the brewery will be a very popular venue with your guests! Your cake looks and sounds amazing.

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,136 New bride

    Your cake flavours sound amazing! I’ve never had line and coconut but it sounds right up my street. I think the theme will work beautifully, using the hops in your flowers is a great touch.

  • Louise400Louise400 Posts: 24 New bride

    Thank you both. The brewery is a fabulous venue, a cross between old fashioned charm and industrial background. An opportunity for photos amongst the wooden beams and hops and then the metal vats. 


    Yes i I love the cake flavours - wanted really unusual ones and our baker - the good and glorious cake company - cetainly came up trumps and she's so very reasonable price wise 

  • Mags11Mags11 Posts: 13

    Loving reading this...your cake sounds amazing! Love your dress too!

  • Wow so much has happened. So firstly apologies for not updating sooner - hopefully you'll understand.

    so in the middle of starting to plan last month I went for a routine scan - unfortunately I had breast cancer 8 years ago But had fully recovered 😃 However on the scan this time round they found lots of nodes and I've been diagnosed with secondary cancer. This has all come as such a shock and for a month or so I haven't wanted to even think about weddings.

    but I have decided that the wedding gives me something to look forward to and even now I've started back on chemo and am likely to lose my hair (again!). And have to think about how that might look on my wedding day I'm gonna carry on fighting and working towards having the most amazing day


    ps. My h2b is just the best! 

  • I've just found your thread! I love your dress!!! I'm not a fan of long dresses so am also thinking of tea length. Did you do to Cutting edge brides in Bromley? 

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, as you say focusing on the wedding will give you something positive to look to. 

  • I'm so sorry to hear about the cancer, I know it must be so hard for you at the moment but really glad you've decided to get back into planning! I agree it helps to have something positive to focus on and also having the love and support of H2B is invaluable! 

  • RoseyGold wrote (see post):

    I've just found your thread! I love your dress!!! I'm not a fan of long dresses so am also thinking of tea length. Did you do to Cutting edge brides in Bromley? 

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, as you say focusing on the wedding will give you something positive to look to. 

    Hi Rosey - I went to Cutting Edge Bridal in Bexley Village - they were amazing - the whole store focuses on shorter dresses. It's family run and there was no pressure and they dedicated sole time to you. Definitely worth making an appointment x

  • Thanks!! I'm not local but love that they do lots of tea length.

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