I like you...Hearts and flowers... Sunday 26th August 2012

First of all I would like to thank everyone on here for your help and support over the past year. Our wedding planning never really ran smoothly with me being so indecisive. Therefore, I am so glad I had the help of this community to get me through it and keep me sane!

Throughout this report I will try and give lots of hints and tips of what to do and what not to do, as hopefully they will be useful to someone else out there. I’m sorry if it’s a bit wordy, I tend to babble, but I will do my best to keep it brief!

My reports title comes from one of the readings our best man gave in the church, I will take more about it later.

I will start with a few photo's that our friends took at the wedding, as we haven't got our professional copies on disk yet. And if you're like me you don't want to wait until the end of the thread to see any pictures from the wedding!




  • I will start at the very beginning...

    My husband (!) and I met two years ago on 23rd August 2010. I was 25 and he was 30. I had been single for 8 months before I met Ben and he had been single for about 2 years. If I’m honest I really wasn’t interested in a relationship with anyone after being horribly dumped in the Caribbean the year before, I had sworn myself off men forever! But, one of my friends had introduced me to online dating and I was loving the dates! (Both good and bad!). One day Ben’s picture popped up and I was so instantly attracted to him I messaged him straight away. Before then I was NEVER the first one to do the messaging, I let the boys come to me. So, I waited for a response...and waited...and waited. Eventually, I got a message from him saying that he had sent a message to me, but wasn’t sure if I got it, so he was messaging me again and tried to assure me he wasn’t a stalker if I had already received the message and just not responded. We pinged messages backwards and forwards for about a week, finding out about each other hobbies, interests and what we had got up to that weekend, before he eventually suggested that we meet for coffee. We met on Monday for coffee at Costa in our local town centre and drank two massive cups of coffee (I later found out that Ben doesn’t even like coffee and he went home and was really ill afterwards!). We chatted like we had known each other forever, we laughed together and it didn’t feel at all awkward, everything just flowed. When we were about to leave I gave him my number and we went our separate ways.

    I expected him to follow the three day rule but, he text me that evening. Saying how much he enjoyed our date and asking if I wanted to do it again. I think we met again on the Wednesday and went for a drink in our local pub. The second date was more awkward than the first as I had been working since 6am I was really tired and not feeling very sociable and the music was so loud in the pub we struggled to hear each other.

    We dated for six long weeks before we had our first kiss. Ben was quite shy and I wasn’t really into making the first move, I was of the impression it was up to the guy. But it was apparent after dating for six weeks he wasn’t going to make a move. So on our last date, when he still hadn’t kissed me, I slammed the taxi door and promised myself I wasn’t going to see him again. After all, he was unemployed, didn’t drive and was a little bit autistic, what would I want with a guy like that??

    First thing the next morning I woke up to a text message from him asking me to go round to his before work that morning. I decided to give him one last chance and popped round. We sat there watching TV, it was very awkward as we both knew what we wanted and neither of us had the guts to do anything about it. So in the end I jumped on him (literally!) and kissed him. It was a really long passionate kiss, we had waited so long for it and then his Mum walked in on us! Cringe! I think I went bright red and made my excuses, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

    It was my birthday the following week and we met in Costa again, where he gave me a present and card that said ‘girlfriend’ on it. We hadn’t discussed what ‘it’ was; I was just going with it. But, it was a few more weeks before we made it official.

    Here is a picture of us on my birthday night out. The first time he met my friends.


  • At the beginning of 2011 Ben finally managed to get himself a job, which made things less of a strain on me, little did I know that the tables would be turned and he would end up supporting me so soon! (More about that later)
    I had pretty much been living with Ben and his parents from when we started going out. But in January they dropped the bombshell that they would be moving to Bournemouth. It was still really early days in our relationship and we really had to consider what we wanted to do. I knew that I couldn’t move away, I enjoyed my job too much, but Ben was adamant that he didn’t want to go without me. So we decided that the best thing would be to find a flat together somewhere. We frantically went on a flat hunt and found a gorgeous two bedroom flat in the town centre. Neither of us had been saving so we had to scrimp and save every penny to pay our deposit. We finally moved in together on 31st March 2011.

    The proposal...

    Five months after we had moved in together on 23rd August 2011 Ben popped the question. It was very early on a Tuesday morning. Ben had got out of Ben to get ready for work as I thought at the time. So I did the usual thing of rolling over and having a snooze until it was time to get up. Not long after he came back into the bedroom and said “I’ve spilt something, can you help me clean it up?” I got out of bed mumbling to myself about why he couldn’t clean it up himself.

    I stumbled into the front room, still in my pyjamas and with no glasses on and immediately I heard our song playing (Just the way you are by Bruno Mars) and the room was filled with tea lights sparkling everywhere I looked. Ben was on a picnic blanket in the middle of the room, in his suit on one knee with a little wooden box in his hand. I still have no idea what he said to me as it’s all a blur. But I remember laughing and then hugging him and of course saying yes! He opened the box and I told him that I couldn’t see the ring as I didn’t have my glasses on!


    It wasn’t even 8.30am by the time all this had happened but we got straight into the car and went to my parents house to tell them the good news (Ben’s parents were already in on the surprise!) and I called all my friends and my brother in Australia!

    A week after we got engaged (September 2011) we jetted off to Lanzarote for our first proper holiday as a couple, it was amazing, we relaxed, sunbathed and ate and drank. It was really good to have some time away before the wedding planning started!!


  • TripTrip Posts: 120
    Aaawww enjoying the reading so far,very similar to ours weirdly enough,we met on a dating site and first date was a cuppa, then he proposed in Lanzerote. So keep writing want to read the rest image.

    Rach x
  • Let the wedding planning commence...

    September 2011

    Ben grew up in Burnham which was in the parish of St Nicolas Church, although he had never been there, I always went to church when I was growing up and it was important to me that we got married in a church. The day after we got back from our holiday we had made an appointment to the Rev Alan Dibden the vicar at St Nicolas Church, Taplow. We had a look around the church and put our deposit down that day without even looking at any other venues. So, with that we had our wedding venue and date set. Sunday 26th September 2012.









    Engagement party

    At the end of that week we had our engagement party. We had ordered invitations from vista print before we went on holiday and got them all posted out, so by the time we got back we had all of our RSVP’s waiting and we went out and bought lots of food and drink. It was quite a small affair as we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the engagement party, we wanted more to spend on the wedding! So, we put a party tent up at my parents house and put some tunes on a CD player. It was lovely to catch up with everyone.

    This is the only photo we have of our engagement party! Not great!





    September 2011-April 2012

    Venue hunting...

    We started looking for venues the day we got engaged. The first place we looked at was Cliveden in Taplow. It was far too expensive! And to be honest not my cup of tea, although Ben loved it!



     Next we looked at Taplow House Hotel, the location was perfect for us but the price was to high! And I wasn't a massive fan of the function rooms. It's such a shame as we could have walked from the church to the hotel!



     Huntswood Golf Club, be both loved it but it was booked up on the day of our wedding!




    TIP: I would suggest that you find your reception venue before you book the church, we left ourselves very limited options as we had booked a bank holiday Sunday!

    Grovefield House. It was nice but the reception room felt very dark and the hotel didn’t really appeal to either of us.




     The Thames Riviera. It was a great price, but we booked to go for dinner there and it was so noisy we couldn’t hear what people were saying opposite us and we wouldn’t have exclusive use, which was a big thing for us!


     Flackwell Heath Golf Club – we both really liked the look of it and the price was right, we had a look round and provisionally booked the date, but no one ever got back to us, so that went out of the window.


     Maidenhead Golf Club – we booked an appointment and look around but it wasn’t really for us, it was quite small and stuffy.  We found out when we got there that our date wasn’t free anyway!



    TIP: Make sure that the venue has your date available before you go for a viewing so that you don’t get your hopes up, only to be let down.

    Lillibrook Manor. Almost everyone I know that has got married has got married at Lillibrook Manor and I really wanted somewhere a bit different. Actually, the woman who was supposed to show us around never showed up, so we never actually looked around it, but i've been there for weddings before. It also featured on Don't Tell The Bride not that long ago. 


     The Tudor Barn was beautiful! By far my favourite venue, but there was limited availability and it was quite expensive and a little too far out of the way.

     Lambourne Golf Club – As soon as we drove up to Lambourne Golf Club we loved the place, it had a beautiful long drive and the club house was amazing. It was a really good price too and compared to everything else we had seen it was a winner, so we booked it. We paid the deposit and I sent a couple of emails asking questions and got no reponses, the lady was really slow getting back to us always, and as the weeks went on my doubts began to grow about the place and I really started to hate it and couldn’t imagine having our wedding there. So, in December we cancelled it and went on a mad venue hunt again!

     Holiday Inn Maidenhead – we stumbled across the holiday inn by accident, we hadn’t even considered it as we thought it was too cheap and not very nice. But, we went and had a look around anyway. The room was OK but the price was great and there was EVERYTHING included. Ben hated it from day one, but we were both convinced we wouldn’t find anything else, so we booked that. 


    We paid the deposit for the holiday inn and made all of our arrangements and then we had the food tasting and were REALLY disappointed, we told the wedding planner and so we tried a different menu, which was OK. So, we were really disheartened.

    As we were getting married at church we had to attend a certain amount of times before the wedding, so one Sunday on the way home from church we saw a sign for a wedding fair, but it didn’t say where it was. We followed the signs and ended up at Moor Hall in Cookham. As soon as we walked in I knew that was where I wanted our reception. Ben tried to talk me out of it, even though he loved it to, but just on the off chance we checked if our date was free. IT WAS!! It was fate!

    We went away and thought about it, but I just wanted to book it straight away, but learning from past experience we booked our menu tasting before we put a deposit down! The food was good and so we picked a menu before we had even booked the place.

    So, only four months before the wedding we changed venues again! We had already sent the invitations out, so we had to send another letter with the new details on there.




     TIP: If you have any worries about your venue, make sure you discuss your issues together, if you don’t have a venue you love you won’t enjoy your day! Book a meal at each venue if you have to as the food is quite a big part of your day. Don’t be afraid to tell your venue what you don’t like, they need to work around you as it’s your special day! Also, don’t be influenced by what your family say, I started off trying to please everyone but in the end it’s really only between you and your hubby!


     Change of venue letter

  • Mrs BoundsMrs Bounds Posts: 1,311

    I'm having the grovefield for our reception image it's a december wedding though so will be really dark anyway! We're having lots of candles ands fairy lights lol xx

  • Mrs BoundsMrs Bounds Posts: 1,311

    I visited most of the venues you've listed lol xx

  • RosieBounds2b wrote (see)

    I'm having the grovefield for our reception image it's a december wedding though so will be really dark anyway! We're having lots of candles ands fairy lights lol xx

    I think it would be reallt cosy and lovely for a winter wedding, it just didn't work for ours as it was a summer wedding and we wanted bright and airy x

  • Invitations...
    Originally, we thought that we would try and save money and try and make our invitations. We had a few goes and they did look good, but neither I nor Ben had the patients to sit and make 60 odd invitations and it was working out to be quite expensive. So, in the end we went down the vista print route, it’s not particularly what we wanted to do but we figured invitations would end up in the bin anyway, so they weren’t priority for spending lots of money on them! Most of our guests lost their invites anyway as they kept calling and asking for the address!


     Homemade invites


     Vista print invitations


     TIP: When you sit down and work out your budget, make a list of priorities, things that you want to splurge on and things that you can save on. Whenever you mention the W word to suppliers, there costs suddenly shoot up! Try to DIY things, people really appreciate it, use your friends and families talents and don’t be afraid to knock people down on there prices!

    Dress shopping

    In October/November 2011 myself and my bridesmaids started wedding dress shopping. I really had no idea what I wanted, as I’m not one of the girls that planned my wedding when I was 3. I never really planned on getting married so I hadn’t given it much thought!

    As you may have gathered by now I am really indecisive, so I wanted to allow as much time as possible to choose the right dress. Luckily, I didn’t need as long as I thought.
    One Saturday we booked an appointment at a Bridal shop in Reading to try on dresses. I hated the whole experience. As, I had never tried on any dresses before and didn’t know what suited me I really wanted some advice, but I was just told to pick some dresses and she went out the back not to be seen for ages. We looked through all the dresses and found about 4 in my size! I wouldn’t say i’m massive but we were looking for a size 16. It had listed on the shops website that they cater for plus sizes which is one of the reasons I went there. None of the dresses looked right and didn’t fit properly and the shop assistant was very rude to one of my bridesmaids. So, we swiftly left there!

    Later on that afternoon we had another appointment with a lady who had dresses in her home. It all seemed a bit dodgy to me, but we made our way there anyway. She had a much bigger selection of dresses and I found one that I fell in love with. It made me cry and every dress I tried on afterwards just didn’t match up! I found my dress Alyce Designs ‘Claudine’.



  • My second favourite dress











    The decision was made Claudine was mine; I went back to the lady in Reading and put the deposit down on the dress in December. And I even ordered it a size smaller to give me the motivation to lose some weight!

    TIP: When you go dress shopping take people that you know will give you an honest opinion and not tell you that you look great in everything that you try on. This is the one time when you need your friends/family to be really honest with you.

    Here I am wearing Claudine on our wedding day



  • NowMrsAbbot - so glad I have found your thread - I followed your lovely planning thread - well I read it all in one sitting one evening!

    I thought of you on your wedding day - it was a sunny day in amongst some pretty wet ones - I was very pleased for you!

    It's great to see your wedding pictures.  You looked so happy! And the dress looks fantastic x

  • thirdthing wrote (see)

    NowMrsAbbot - so glad I have found your thread - I followed your lovely planning thread - well I read it all in one sitting one evening!

    I thought of you on your wedding day - it was a sunny day in amongst some pretty wet ones - I was very pleased for you!

    It's great to see your wedding pictures.  You looked so happy! And the dress looks fantastic x

    Thank you Thirdthing! We were so lucky with the weather I can't believe it!

    I have to say it was the best day ever, I smiled and laughed the whole day, we were both SO happy!!

    Thank you I was having trouble with my dress, luckily you can't really tell from the photos!

  • Oh no what trouble? x

  • Nice to be reading a report of a date twin! Yes, I'm glad you had the perfect weather too, I couldn't believe my luck when the sun came out, but it wasn't too hot either! looking forward to reading the rest! image

  • Colour scheme...

    We never actually discussed our colour scheme it was just a given, both of our favourite colour is purple, so it just made sense, rather than to pick something that’s in fashion or trying to be different. I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to find two matching dresses in the same colour for bridesmaids that are completely different sizes! (More about that later) And Ben always knew that he wanted a grey suit, so our colour scheme of purple and gray was born.


    Wedding party

    Ben chose is best man the day after we got engaged, his brother Daniel.

     I chose two bridesmaids, one who I have been close friends with for a couple of years, but I only chose her as I was a bridesmaid at her wedding and the other was one of my best friends since school.

     We also had a flower girl, who is Ben’s niece, who enjoyed the day so much! Originally, I hadn’t even thought about having a flower girl, but as the months went on I thought it would be lovely for Millie to be involved. So, a few months before the wedding we asked her to be our flowergirl.

     Two ushers. These were old friends of Ben’s, one was really helpful and the other not so much! They are on each side at the back of this photo.


  • Flowers

    When we originally booked the Holiday Inn as our venue, they put us in contact with a florist who they worked with. We met with her once and explained our colour scheme to her and she came up with some ideas. They were ok but I was never in love with them. We had chosen white Rose’s and purple Lisianthus. As the months went on I tried to get in contact with her several times as I had other ideas and we wanted to add to what we had originally agreed. But, we had no response. After nearly 3 months of waiting for a response, I told her we wouldn’t but using her anymore and she sent our deposit back without any explanation!

    TIP: My advice would be to find your own suppliers. Look online and speak to people for reviews. If you have a feeling that it’s not right, don’t book anything until you are 100% happy!

    We then had a mad hunt to find a new florist only 2 months before the wedding. I asked friends and friends of friends and we found one local to our venue. We went in for a discussion and I was blown away by their ideas. By this time I had decided that I would like Sunflowers and they really did an amazing job. I really couldn’t recommend them enough.

    Here are our bouquets, mine is in the middle and the bridesmaids are either side. 

     Here you can see our pew ends

     Long and low top table display


     Cake topper


  • SadSack83SadSack83 Posts: 1,700

    Love the sunflowers! So colourful!

  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    Everything looks fab and the sunflowers are gorgeous and really unique- the pew ends are stunning x


  • great report, dont no if you remember but we was date twins x

  • This is the sunniest colour scheme I've seen in ages - gorgeous!
  • mandy503mandy503 Posts: 2,066

    Ooo, really glad I've finally found your report - I LOVED your planning thread and have been really looking forward to hearing about your day!

    Love the sunflowers, they're gorgeous! image

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