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Older and wiser?!

Like other brides to be on here, I have really enjoyed reading other planning threads so thought I would have a go at my own. I can't promise it will be as funny or emotive as some but it can be something that I can look back on after the big day. If this works well, I might even do a story of the big day.

So this is the second time around for both me and my other half (to be), hence the title, 'older and wiser?' Predictive text actually just made that 'older and wider'! I definitely don't need a question mark after that title, I certainly am wider than I was at my first wedding in 2008.

So, who are we?

I'm Mrs F to be, or S for short. I'm 39, will be the big 40 by the time I get married. I never thought I would be doing all of this again but nevertheless, am very excited to be planning a wedding. I have two gorgeous boys which obviously were the best things to come out of my first marriage. The first one cheated whilst I was pregnant so that put an end to what I thought was a happy marriage.

Mr F, or P for short. He is 44, will be 45 on the big day. He is currently a Teacher, has been for 18 years but has hated it for a long time now and is currently waiting for a start date with HMRC. A huge change to make but hopefully he will be much happier. I can't see him sitting in an office all day long but the job sounds like it will take him out of the office quite a bit. HMRC seem to be like most government jobs; they don't really give much away as to what the job will actually be! P also came out of a cheating, very long term relationship with a gorgeous boy.

So here I am, living with 4 males!

How did we meet?

How does anybody meet these days? Online of course. After my marriage ended, it took me quite a while to start thinking about dating again. Looking after 2 sons kept me very busy. I joined Plenty of Fish which led to me to having one fairly successful date (together for 3 months) and a couple of those awkward dates where you spend the whole date plucking up the courage to tell them you don't want to see them again, then, at the end chicken out and say 'oh yes, i'd love to see you again'. Then you take the coward's way out and send the sorry text when you get home!

After starting to despair and believing I would be an old cat lady, I saw P. I can't remember what drew to me towards his profile, maybe it was the fact there was no penis picture or gym selfies!


  • I was sat watching Crimewatch when I sent the first message (odd what you remember). P replied almost instantly to say that his friend had called round to see him. Several more messages went between us that night, nothing overly flirty, just friendly banter. I went to bed and woke the following morning thinking that actually, maybe I wasn't that interested. I actually messaged him this but throughout the day after a few more messages I found myself missing him! Daft I know. I was still quite guarded but finally agreed to meet for a coffee later that week.
  • Yay, a new planning thread 😁

    Welcome Mrs F x I am an older bride too, I'm 41 and FH is 43. It's first marriage for both of us xx 

    Looking forward to reading more xx 
  • The first meet

    I call it a meet, rather than a date as we were just meeting in a local shopping centre for a coffee and we both went straight from work. He said afterwards that he regretted having not made more of an effort with what he was wearing (think typical teacher clothes).

    What I haven't mentioned is that the same night we met, I had actually arranged to meet somebody else that I had been chatting to on Match. All the conversations between me and this other person had been completely normal until a few nights before we were due to meet when he sent me a message along the lines of 'how do you feel about me and you having kinky sex where I tie you up and blindfold you and do whatever I want'. Now, the innocent part of me thought, 'is he asking me this because, if I say yes, then I am obviously not the type of girl he wants'. I replied asking if he was being serious and he was, deadly. Bear in mind that this came completely out of the blue and no previous conversation between us had ever really been of a flirty nature! I asked him why he was on a site you had to pay for when he could find a girl like that on plenty of free sites and told him that I was not the one for him!

    Off I went to work the morning of the date and laughed with my colleagues about the kinky sex offer I had received and one guy I worked with joked that he bet I was still going to meet him. After work I was walking around the shopping centre as P was caught in traffic and I bumped into the guy from work who said 'you are actually meeting kinky sex man aren't you!' haha. I hadn't told anybody that I was meeting P instead so silently prayed that my colleague didn't walk past costa coffee in 15 minutes time and see me with P and make all the wrong assumptions. I don't think I would have lived it down at work.

    Sorry, I am waffling along a bit; all this is coming back to me as I type! I got to the coffee shop first and kind of hovered awkwardly waiting for P to turn up. He arrived and we got a drink and sat and made small talk. It was a bit odd meeting so early and in work clothes. It felt a bit more like a business meeting than a date. Anyway, we got on well and coffee turned into pizza and what I thought would be an hour turned into much longer. When it was time to leave, P had parked his car at the other end of the shopping centre so I gave him a lift to his car. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and we parted company after arranging to go out for a meal that weekend.

    Over the next few days I was torn. We had had a very nice first date but I really wasn't sure if it would turn into anything or whether I was attracted to him in that way. I went to the restaurant for the second date fully expecting it to be the last time I would see him. How wrong I was. I don't know if I was just in a more relaxed environment or what but I felt so much more relaxed and had a very nice time. We went to a pub afterwards and I couldn't get enough of him! I couldn't believe how well it went and how sad I was when we parted ways!
  • As we both had children who lived with us, it was a bit complicated finding nights that we were both free. We were both wary of letting our children meet the other. However, the first time I went to P's house (and stayed over), his ex-wife brought their son home several hours earlier than she was supposed to so I ended up meeting him much earlier than planned. I had been really undecided about meeting somebody with children as I already had my hands full with my 2 but on the other hand, how could I expect a partner to take on my children if they had no prior experience of children. As we lived in different towns, I was also really adamant that I wouldn't move my children out of their school etc so didn't know how this would work.

    We didn't need to worry. Meeting each other's children and them meeting each other went really well and we very quickly realised that this was going to be a long term thing. We very quickly exchanged the 'l' word ( I can still remember the conversation). Anyway, after 12 months we decided to sell both of our houses and buy one together. Selling mine happened literally immediately meaning me and the boys had to move into P's house whilst we tried to sell his. This eventually happened and after one house purchase fell thorough we found another one. Even though I have been through marriage, divorce and childbirth, buying this house was the most stressful experience of my life! But we got there in the end.

  • The Proposal

    As a surprise for P's birthday I booked us all a family holiday to Bulgaria. I kept this secret from January to July and from July to travelling in August we kept it a secret from the boys. I honestly don't know how I managed it! I even had to make up an excuse as to why I had to renew his son's passport!

    We had had various discussions in the past regarding whether we would get married. I wanted to but P was far more wary after his first one didn't work. I really didn't know whether it would happen or not.

    In Bulgaria we went out for tea one night and then P said we could go into the garden to get some nice family photos. This was a bit odd as it's normally me trying to get photos. He took some of me and the boys and then balanced his phone on a tree branch, set the timer and ran over to get in the shot. I was stood there grinning thinking 'why the hell isn't it flashing' then looked down to realise that P was on one knee. I was absolutely gobsmacked! I couldn't tell you a word of what he said other than 'will you marry me' and me crying and saying yes. Unbeknownst to me, he was actually filming the proposal. A family walked past cheering and congratulating us. My 2 boys reaction to the event was to punch P in a friendly way and giggle. 

    P did an amazing job at picking out a ring (and it actually fit!) I get so many compliments about it and everybody asks if I chose it. P gets annoyed at this as why wouldn't he be capable of doing it haha. I will try and post a photo later. I am on the laptop where there are no photos.
  • Planning

    Soon after returning from Bulgaria we started to think about venues. I had been recommended the Fleece Countryside Inn in Ripponden, West Yorkshire so we paid it a visit. We both loved it and the prices for a January or February seemed like an absolute bargain. We weren't specifically wanting a winter wedding but this time around my priorities are completely different and I really don't mind that it won't be cracking the flags. I got married in August last time and it threw it down. There is an amazing view from the venue so as long as it isn't misty/foggy I will be happy. Had we wanted a Spring/Autumn wedding it would have been double the price. In the Summer it is FOUR times the amount!! Now bear in mind that we visited the venue in August and it was cold and wet! I would be gutted to have paid that amount of money and had weather like that.

    As Paul is a teacher (although now won't be for long) we wanted the Friday before February half term 2020. It was already booked! We then realised it will be Valentines weekend so it was less of a surprise. I thought we were being organised looking to book 18 months in advance! Other dates available weren't as good for us but we went home to mull it over. I happened to look at the venue's Facebook page and saw an advert for the winter package weddings but in March (2019). I told P who said, shall we bring it forward 12 months! For several reasons (money mainly) this wasn't doable but I emailed the venue anyway to ask why the winter package wasn't available in March 2020 (it was the Spring, double price package). I never expected anything but they came back and said we could have the last Saturday in March 2020 for the Winter price! Erm, book us in. Immediately! So there we have a date, 28/03/2020.

    Whilst we were looking around the venue, the barman told us that the chef was now a part time  chef/ part time photographer and had recently photographed the wedding planners wedding. If it was good enough for her..... We asked if the chef was there and luckily he was so he came out to talk to us. He was a really nice guy and told us that he does documentary style photography rather than a load of staged photos. This appealed to us as neither of us like posing for pictures. He also offered a discount for people who were marrying at the venue and he knows the local land owners who let him use their fields/woods etc for photographs. I don't want photographs of me getting ready in the morning (I don't even know where I will be staying the night before) as I think I would feel quite uncomfortable so we booked him for 8 hours from just before the service until about 9pm (this is dependant on time of ceremony as we can't book that until 12 months before). Hopefully people will be up dancing before he goes and we'll get some good photos of our guests letting their hair down. 

    So with absolutely no shopping around we booked 2 of the most important elements of the wedding very quickly. Hopefully we won't regret that and i'll make sure I spend more time looking at dresses to make up for it!
  • God i'm going on a bit aren't I. Hope i'm not boring everybody to death but like I said, I can enjoy looking back on it later. All of the boys are in bed and P is out with his friend so i'm making the most of getting all of this down.

    The wedding party

    P's best friend Mark, and P's son (who will be 13) are going to be the best men. P's son is very confident and outgoing so i'm sure he will have no problems on the day.

    My best friend Lisa and my neice (who will be 8) are going to be my Maid of Honour and bridesmaid.

    I have been thinking for a while about asking my oldest (who will be 10) to walk me down the aisle. I thought my dad would be ok with this but was worried my mum would be upset. How wrong could I be? She thought it was a lovely idea and my dad was happy also. I am undecided as to whether to even ask my dad to do a father of the bride speech as he has already done this once and covered my life story then! What are people's thoughts on this? I know he would probably be quite happy to not have to do a speech but I am sure he would if I wanted him to. Or at least my mum would make him haha. My oldest is very sensitive and quite shy so I don't know how he would feel about walking me down the aisle. I have asked him and with his limited knowledge of weddings, he said 'isn't it girls that walk with you? i'm not a girl'. Bless him. I am hoping in 12 months he will have a bit more confidence and be happy to walk with me. His dad (my ex) got married last year and our eldest did a small reading which really surprised both of us with how shy he is. I know bribery helped!

    As for my youngest (who will be 7), I would like him to read something if he wants to. He has more confidence that his brother but I don't know whether he will be up for it. Time will tell. Otherwise, I am happy for him to just walk down the aisle with his cousin. I actually can't wait to see the 3 boys in their suits.

    P's son was desperate for us to go on Marrying mum and dad on CBBC (think Don't tell the bride but the kids organise the wedding!) so that he could organise us a Star Wars themed wedding! Erm, no. Sorry. haha
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    Lovely thread, we are having a pub wedding too, and it's nice to have another planning thread from someone with children 😀
  • Aw thanks ladies, it's nice to think I'm not just writing this for myself. 
  • One thing I forgot to mention in the proposal story that a couple of days after the event, P's phone became corrupted and he lost the proposal video and any photos he had taken in Bulgaria. We were gutted but at least I had got to see it. It was actually quite a funny video as at the time, we hadn't realised that whilst it was still filming, my youngest had run up to the camera in a very dramatic way and then pulled the funniest of faces. Oh well, I guess most people don't get proposals on camera.
  • Flowers
    A couple of weeks ago, our venue had an open day so we could see it dressed up and there were a few vendors there. We spoke to a venue dresser who does a lot of wedding s there. I have actually already bought some second and tall vases for centrepieces as they were a bargain and I was kind of adamant I wanted it to be a DIY affair to save money. However, I have no artistic skill whatsoever and I don't want to put the stress in family and friends to have to decorate for me. It couldn't be done until the morning of the wedding and it just sounds so stressful. So therefore I imagine I will let the professionals do it and hopefully incorporate the vases I have already bought. She used words like lanterns on the aisle and I became all dreamlike! I'm awaiting a quote.

    We also spoke to a florist who looked expensive just looking at the staff! Haha. However they seemed very nice so we booked an appooappoin for Feb half term. I then mentioned to a friend at work about it and she told me her friend is a florist who does it from home and only lives a mile from me. So we are going to see her tomorrow night. I am completely clueless when it comes to flowers so will be open to suggestions. P's suit is dark blue so I would like to incorporate that into the flowers. The florist we are seeing I'm Feb sent me some suggestions of March flowers and they all come in blue so there shouldn't be a problem. 

    Vendors keep asking me what our budget is and I don't have a clue! We are in no way rolling in money, I just don't have a clue what these things cost. I don't know what flowers cost me 10 years ago. I know they are beautiful things but I can't bring myself to spend hundreds when they will be dead within a few days. 

    What are you ladies spending on flowers and decorating?
  • Hurray for a new planning thread! What a lovely story, I will also be 40 by the time it comes and I do sometimes think of this as my second wedding too, although it’s not actually but I was just days away from getting married in 2008 also when it all went tits up (another cheater 🙄). I also met R online and we’re having a winter wedding in a pub. So I definitely felt lots of similarities with your story, although I don’t have children. 

  • As ours isn't a typical wedding, we're only having bouquets made for myself and my 16 year old DD. These have been made from felt and fabric flowers and my bouquet coat £50 and my daughter's was £30. 
  • Cavalier Bride, yes I spent ages last night reading your thread and really felt for you. What knobs they are! Gutting that you spent all of that money but I guess you were better off finding out beforehand. I feel lucky that my boys were very young when we split so they don't recall us being together. I really hope your baby dreams come true soon. 

    MrsCarneige I haven't really thought about not having real flowers. I'd love to see some pictures if you have any
  • My lady has just given up her business, though there are many sellers on Etsy that do similar things. Here are our flowers...

    The photo doesn't do them justice, they are so beautiful xx 
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