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In the Bleak Mid-Winter – Dec 2018

So I’m a bit late to the game in creating this thread, but I’ve enjoyed reading about other people’s experiences so I thought better late than never, right?

So a bit about me and my fiancé, without boring you with the details! We met online and have been together for just under seven years (it will be seven years exactly on our wedding day!). It has been a long journey for us, mainly because I’ve moved around a lot for work and neither of us were in full-time or permanent jobs until about three years ago when we finally got a flat together. I am now 32 and he is 34. He is an absolute gentleman but still childish at heart, and I couldn't imagine spending my life with anyone else.


The Proposal

I was very much ready for the marriage proposal and I think he knew that! We had dated for nearly five years and had often talked about marriage. He’s a traditional guy, so I knew it was what he had always wanted. I was getting worried, though. Maybe he wanted to be married, but just not to me?! We had a few friends who had met their partners at the same time as us, and they were all now married and having children!

Being a traditional and romantic guy, I knew he would make an occasion out of proposing, so every time we went away on romantic breaks, I secretly hoped, but it never happened! Then my thirtieth birthday loomed and it crossed my mind that it might be then!

For my birthday, we went camping for a festival. There was a full moon that evening and, it being my 30<sup>th</sup> birthday, was the best moment for a proposal. Alas, I did not see the full moon as we were stuck in a tiny tent during a torrential downpour. Taking solace in a bottle of wine, I spent my 30<sup>th</sup> birthday as sodden pile of discomfort, and most certainly was not engaged.

I woke up in the tent the next morning, slightly hungover and not in the best of moods. My other half was getting dressed, and halfway through, for some reason, he started making a speech about me being the most beautiful, intelligent and courageous person he knew, and how he wanted me to be his wife.

He then thrust a ring in my face.

I started laughing until he told me I technically hadn’t answered. I responded by saying he technically hadn’t asked. So he got on one knee, half-dressed in the tent, and popped the question properly.

The ring belonged to his great-grandmother, who was married in 1927, so it must be around that age. It is an 18ct gold trilogy ring. One of the diamonds sparkles slightly less bright than the others but I feel that adds to its charm! Unfortunately, it was too big and the settings a bit damaged, so we had to have it resized and restored, costing quite a lot! Serves my fiancé right for thinking he could just get a free ring! I thought I wouldn’t like a gold ring, as I usually wear silver, but now I wouldn’t change it for anything. It is so special to have a family ring. I’m sure everyone thinks this about their own ring, but I genuinely think mine is the most beautiful engagement ring ever!




  • Kelly224Kelly224 Posts: 962 New bride

    Yay another December bride - when is your date?  I'm 9th December.

    Beautiful ring!!

  • Zara29Zara29 Posts: 105

    Such a lovely ring. Very special.

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Thank you.  Kelly, we're getting married on 15th December,  so the week after you. I enjoyed ready through your thread. Your dress is gorgeous!

  • Gorgeous ring! Can’t wait to hear more about your plans. 

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Thank you for your lovely comments. I'm stuck in bed after surgery today, so might be adding a few posts - writing will hopefully distract from the pain!

    Budgets and Venues and Themes, oh my…

    We very much accepted from the start that this would be a long engagement. I was in the middle of a degree whilst working full-time, so throwing a wedding into the mix was not a good idea. So, even though it was only October 2016, we decided quickly that we wouldn’t get married until 2018.

    There was never really much discussion about what time of year we wanted to get married. For both of us, Christmas is our absolute favourite time of year, so December 2018 it had to be. We at first wanted to go mid-week to save money, but in terms of people getting time off work and children out of school, Saturday was more convenient. We picked the 15<sup>th</sup> because it wasn’t too close to Christmas, but was close enough! As it turns out, we later realised that we first met on 15<sup>th</sup> December, so we will be getting married exactly 7 years after we met!

    I don’t want to go into detail about budgeting, as it’s only our business how much we chose to spend and where we got the money from, but suffice to say neither of us are rich, we’re in the process of purchasing a property and I’m still studying, so it was never going to be a Kardashian-style wedding. We had to make some decisions early on about where we would spend our money and what we could do without.

    We decided that the most important things for us to spend money on were:

    a church ceremony

    a good party with all our friends and families

    a good photographer

    Unfortunately, this meant we had to sacrifice our dream of being married in a castle or fancy hotel. Crunching numbers, we realised that we would only be able to afford half of the number of guests we actually wanted to invite if we had such a venue, and it was more important to us to have everyone around us rather than a fancy venue. Ultimately, we chose to book our local town hall, which is currently undergoing regeneration so is really cheap. I do feel a bit sad when I see some of the stunning venues that get posted on here, but the cost really was not an option for us. The hall is a place where my friends regularly book parties, so we know the people people who run it, and have lots of memories from it already. Another pro of booking the hall is that we get to decorate it ourselves.


    More important than the reception venue is the church. We chose a beautiful Edwardian church near where we live, where I went to as a child and young adult. I have so many memories of lazy Sundays and seeing in Christmas at that church that it was the perfect choice. The church is so beautiful that it doesn’t really need extra decorations, although so close to Christmas there will hopefully be a Christmas tree or two around!

    imageRelated image

    Overall, the church is our perfect venue, and hopefully the hall will be amazing once we're through with it, but more on that later!

    In terms of a colour scheme, I didn’t want us to tie ourselves down too much to having to have one colour, but it made sense t

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    So, still very much in pain and having spent most of the day sleeping... but now trying to stay awake for a bit and thought I would write this short entry:

    The wedding party, a.k.a. who’s the best?

    Very early on my fiancé and I sat down together to discuss who wanted to share in this special day with us. Fortunately, we both have both parents still married to one another, so no extended families to worry about! For me, it was important that I had my girls with me to be sounding boards during the planning period, to help DIY and set things up if necessary, and to enjoy the morning with me.

    My fiancé said he knew from the start who I would pick, but for me it was more difficult. I have three girl friends who I feel closer to than any others (we were at school together), but three people is a lot to pay for dresses, accessories, hair and make-up. Two are already married, and I was not asked to be bridesmaid at either of their weddings, which was a little hurtful at the time. But in the end, I decided to go with the vision I had always imagined – all three as ‘best ladies’. I never intended to have a chief bridesmaid. Apart from not knowing which one to choose, I didn’t want any one of them to feel the pressure of having to organise the others.

    I was going to invite them round mine for dinner to ask them, but another friend hijacked that evening and I felt wrong doing it at her dinner party. Instead, two of the ladies were having a joint-birthday spa day. I hadn't meant to ask them then, for fear of taking over their birthday with my wedding, but it just happened that the four of us were sitting in the spa cafe with glasses of Prosecco and one of them asked if we'd started our wedding planning yet. It just slipped out!

    They were of course very happy and very excited about it, and I was nervous about asking, so I'm glad it all happened spontaneously in the end!

    My fiancé spent some time deciding on his best man – he had four candidates! In the end, he decided to match my three ladies by having a best man and two groomsmen (the fourth candidate doing a reading instead).

    We picked my brother and my fiancé’s sister to be witnesses and sign the register. We thought this would be nice as we hadn’t included them in the wedding party elsewhere.

    So the venue is chosen and the characters are in place…

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Oh, go on then, let’s talk about the dress!

    We can talk all day about how important the ceremony is, but we all know the dress is the upmost thing on most brides’ minds when they begin planning a wedding! Alas, for me, it was for all the wrong reasons. Struggling with anxiety, the dress was one of the things I fixated all my anxieties onto. I was convinced I would never find one that I both loved and could afford, and that wouldn’t make me feel fat, and that would make me feel like a bride but was also unique.

    Thank goodness for my best ladies! I must admit that sadly due to the anxiety there have been many times during the planning when they have seemed more excited than I!

    My first foray into the dress hunt was in the Christmas sales two years ago. I was doing the traditional Oxford Street sales shop with one of the best ladies, and she said it would be fun to go and try on some dresses in Debenhams. Despite promises to myself that I wouldn’t look at dresses till closer to the wedding, I bowed to her demands and in we went.

    Eugh, I found the dream dress! It was so beautiful – a ballgown with a sweetheart neckline, white roses embroidered over a champagne skirt, an embroidered train, and lots of beads! I was so tempted to buy it on the spot, but I didn’t. It was a bit over budget, and I felt that two years was really two early to just buy the first dress I tried on! However, it showed me what style I wanted. I loved the embroidered flowers and the long train (perfect for the long aisle at the church) and I loved how sparkly it was!


  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride


  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

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  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride


    Here's the first dress - the photo is not very good and please ignore the dark bra underneath - I wasn't expecting to be trying on dresses that day!

    Of course, I got all overly anxious about my decision not to buy it. Would I find anything as beautiful again? The answer is, yes!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    I live near Westfield in Stratford so when I heard there was a bridal store there I decided to have a look. I had heard mixed reviews about David’s – some wonderful, some terrible – but considering it was an affordable shop with so much choice that I could just walk into and nose around in, I decided to give it a go.

    I saw The Dress on a mannequin. It was quite similar to the one I had tried on before, except instead of champagne, it was blush, and instead of just over budget, it was just on budget. After a bit more encouragement from the Best Ladies, I booked an appointment to try it on.

    The day was both wonderful and terrifying! I was dreading trying on the dress and looking fat. I was dreading the store assistants being pushy. But actually, I had a good day.

    Each of the best ladies and the store assistant picked out a dress they thought would suit me. I must admit at first I was enthusiastically looking at the dresses but then the anxiety hit and I dragged them all into the changing room shouting ‘right, let’s do this!’. I tried all the dresses on, but only two stood out. One flattered my figure and made me look like a classic, classy bride. I really did look lovely in it. But it felt like it was just me dressed like a bride. The other was The Dress. And that one made me feel like me as a bride.


    Here is The Dress.Obviously too long on me and with ill-fitting under-garments!

    There unfortunately were issues – as I’m short I knew the dress would need altering even before it was made! I spoke to their in-store alterations team and the cost tipped the overall cost back over budget! Some negotiating later, they agreed to sell me the very dress I was standing in at a discount. It was too big and too long, but, knowing about clothes-making, I knew I could find a cheaper alterations service elsewhere, so I took the discount, the dress, and ran! Overall, I think it was better for my anxiety to buy the dress off the peg, as I had the actual item in my house rather than worrying about it being made somewhere.

    It is now with at the alterations shop, and I have my second fitting next week!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Sorry about the multiple blank posts - the thread didn't seem to like what I was posting so published it as blank instead! I don't know how to delete them!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride

    Gorgeous dress.....but then I would say that, it's incredibly similar to mine 😀

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Glad you enjoyed the dress shopping experience overall, your dress is lovely, very classic and I love the colour.

  • Lovely dress! 

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Annoyingly, I had to have further surgery this morning, so still bed-bound! More time to get this thread up to date!

    Hair and make up

    My hair is rather frizzy, so I decided to splash out on a hair dresser. I originally planned to do my own make-up, as I’m not big into make-up, like it natural and prefer not to have people touching my face.

    I admit I didn’t do a thorough search for a hair-dresser. My friend had gotten married a year or so before and her hairdresser had done my hair. I trusted that my friend had already done the research for best value, and I really liked how she did my hair, so that made my choice easy! My friend talked me into the make-up too. She told me how well it had stayed on and how it had resolved her worries about spot outbreaks, so I decided to give it a go too.

    After my trial, I felt amazing in the make-up. My hair was also beautiful – it was up in a classic wedding bun thing. However, it wasn’t quite right. I kept looking back at photos and trying to convince myself that it was amazing, but in the end I just gave up after waking up in the middle of the night to a wedding-hair-induced panic attack. The hair had to change!


    Here's a photo of the second trial (please excuse the bra-strap!). The first style was fully up, but in this one I have gone for half down, so that it was like a long ponytail down my back. As I have long hair, I felt this suited me better.

    Very much looking forward to all the pampering again on the actual day!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride

    Oh my word the hairdo is gorgeous!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Thank you! I'm so glad I had the guts to change my mind. The other one was nice enough but this one is much more "me".

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,136 New bride

    Your hair is to die for!! Will complement your dress beautifully too 😍

  • oh that looks gorgeous!! Its going to look so gorgeous all together

  • I love that hairstyle, gorgeous 

  • Your look beautiful in your dress and your hair is lovely too, you have nothing to be worried about on those fronts! 

  • Hair and dress both look beautiful, can't wait to hear more!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Thanks you for all your lovely comments! I am having a difficult week trying to get back into work and chasing RSVPs but hope to add more soon!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    I haven't posted in a while as I've been rather ill after surgery, and unfortunately the black dog has been sitting on my shoulders ever since. It's been a stressful few weeks.

    We've got back most of our RSVPs. Funnily enough, it's mainly been the married people who haven't responded without being chased! You'd think they would be the first to reply! We've had a few declines, mostly for sad or frustrating reasons, which is a shame, but most of the people we invited are coming. Plus, a lot of them have decided to leave their children with babysitters, which suits us fine! (We only invited the sprogs because we didn't want people to feel like they couldn't come if they had to bring the kids.)

    It's all beginning to get rather stressful, although whether this is me not being able to cope due to my illness, I don't know. But it feels like I suddenly have to write a lot of emails and make a lot of phone calls about things where I don't really know what's going on! We also need to find time to go back to the hall to measure and count the tables before we attempt to make a table plan, but this is proving difficult as we work different hours and only have one day a week to do stuff!

    I know it will all come together on the day, but at the moment I feel like I am drowning a bit!

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Hope the surgery went well, sorry to hear you are feeling down, take some time for yourself to do whatever you like to do to feel abit better, make a list of all the wedding tasks, is your partner helping you or any family members? to help you feel less overwhelmed. It will all get sorted eventually.


  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    Thanks, MrsS85. The fiancé and I are organising the wedding together, but it's difficult because we work different hours and only have one day a week together. We're also buying a flat, which is taking up a lot of our time.

    Unfortunately, none of my family live nearby. I have my three best ladies, but they can't really help at the moment. It's not their faults - massive life-stuff is happening (births, bereavements and break-ups) so I'm trying not to bother them with wedding stuff. But it is frustrating it's all happening so close to the wedding when I need them most!

    I think because of the OCD and anxiety I need to be entirely in control and I want to have all the details sorted now, whereas everyone else thinks we've got six weeks, so plenty of time! I'm trying to distract myself by doing crafty stuff for the hall so there will be less to do nearer the time. That and baths to relax - Lush bath bombs are my new best friends!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    So I had my second dress fitting last week! I was very excited because the dress was way too big for me, so I couldn't wait to wear it and have it actually fit!

    Sadly, it was still far too big. I'm not sure how that happened, as I've not lost any weight or changed my diet/exercise regime at all. Fortunately, this was only the second fitting, so my seamstress just had to pin it tighter around me. It was also still too long (I had to pretend to walk down the aisle around her shop to make sure I didn't trip!). We also sorted out a few additional bits - attaching a belt and a bustle.


    I still love the dress so much! I'm going back next week to pick it up! I really hope it fits this time!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride

    So I had a lovely day. The fiance is currently out on his stag. Me, one of the best ladies and another friend drove to Suffolk to my final dress fitting. It was so much fun! The dress was stunning and perfect.  We also kept stopping for food and drink, and shopping. I had a great time.  As I've mentioned in other threads, I've been ill recently and too depressed to be excited about the wedding. But after this week the excitement has built up again and now I feel back on track. Can't believe it's four weeks away!

    I hope the fiance doesn't get too drunk, as we need to go to church tomorrow to pick up the banns certificate!

  • Sounds like a wonderful day, the dress is stunning, so pretty! Sorry that you have been unwell but glad you are feeling better now x 

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