REPORT: Springtime Open Mic Wedding - April 2017

I got home from work to find a USB shaped package on our doormat... which means our photos have arrived! However J (hubby) is working until midnight and I am trying to be patient, so I have decided to distract myself with some report writing.

I never did do a planning thread so this will be something of an amalgamation. Here goes!

How we met

As is the way of the modern world, J and I met internet dating. Both of us had been in a few long-term relationships in our twenties – some disastrous and some just not quite right. A few of my friends talked me into online dating after they had found success. Tinder was a mere glow on the horizon at that stage so I signed up to the big free one at the time – POF – with an open mind and a bundle of apprehension.

Of course there were a few shocking dates – including one who had no money and asked me to pay for dinner and his train fare home! After about four no-nos, I was starting to lose hope but was finally contacted by my future husband. He was very warm and funny in his messages but his photos were a real mishmash… he looked completely different in all of them and I couldn’t fathom what he actually looked like. I was worried that I wouldn’t be attracted to him in person given that all the previous candidates didn't quite measure up to their pics, but we clicked so much in our messages, I decided to go for it. Fortunately he was a local boy just 5 miles away and for once I didn’t have to trek across London.


First date

We arranged to meet outside the train station near to where he lived (better pubs there!). I was a little early and stood waiting for probably five minutes but it felt long and I was incredibly nervous… I became more convinced that it was going to be another disaster. With that I looked up and saw the loveliest kindest face walking towards me. He had shaggy hair and a tanned complexion, very band-like and supercool. I wasn’t totally sure it was the guy from the pics, so I looked a bit vacant until he introduced himself. He was such a pleasant surprise!

We immediately relaxed and walked up to the pub, where we sat outside. Don’t get me wrong I was still quite nervous throughout the entire evening as I found myself really wanting to make a good impression - but I enjoyed every second. I became appreciative of the terrible preceding dates, as we had so much to talk about – some of his stories trumped mine (such as the woman who liked to photograph dead pigeons!). We are both heavily into music and had followed similar careers. It also turned out that we had mutual friends and frequented the same places. We couldn’t believe that we hadn’t crossed paths before. He had put all of his time and energy for the last five years into making a go of his recording studio, and so relationships had been put on the back-burner.

We soon realised that the bar staff were aggressively stacking chairs around us so we moved out to the street and sat on the wall of the nearby police station to finish our drinks – classy! I remember an old drunkard stopped in his tracks and asked if we were married. He introduced himself as Stan and said he had been married for 40 years and gave us advice on how to have a happy life together, then staggered on his way. I got my cab home and immediately had a message from J to say what an amazing evening it was. I couldn’t stop smiling. He sent a text in the morning to book in the next date, along with a photo of our empty glasses still on the police wall!

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Posts

  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 583 New bride

    Looking forward to reading more ☺️

  • LittlespiceLittlespice Posts: 665

    Yeeeea I love reports!

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Ah hey girls! :)

    [Continued...] We saw each other regularly after that and quickly met each other’s friends and families. After a year or so, I rented out my flat and moved into his place. Then further down the line we bought our beautiful cottage together.

    The Proposal

    Three years in and I was getting to the stage where I was ready for the next step, but we had spent a lot of money on our house so I wasn’t too optimistic. I knew that J would not pick an obvious date as he always said that special occasions are already special, so why not jazz up a regular day instead. Christmas came and went. A few trips came and went. His business was getting so busy, he had no time for anything and was very much in need of the holiday we had planned in Switzerland for his birthday. I mostly dismissed the idea that it might happen there, as for one, it was his birthday week so already a special occasion and secondly, I knew that he hadn’t really been anywhere but work or home for the last 3 months - so it was very unlikely he would have been ring-shopping or out asking for hands-in-marriage.

    We stayed in Geneva for the first two nights in a beautiful wooden chalet-style hotel by Lake Geneva, with a fantastic traditional Swiss restaurant underneath. The restaurant was so good the first night, and due to the unfortunate weather we went back again the second night. There were Swiss musicians playing accordions and those big mountain horns and we stuffed ourselves silly with fondue, raclette and of course chocolate fondue. It was particularly busy the second night and we were so full up we decided to go back up to our lovely room and watch a film. When we got back to the room he took my hand and sat me down and said that he had something for me, and with that he whipped out this beautiful sparkly ring in the box, then reminded himself to get down on one knee and popped the question! I was over the moon and didn’t hesitate to say yes. I couldn’t believe how well he had chosen the ring, it was exactly what I would have picked myself. Simple & classic with sparkle.

    We then called the parents and my sister who were all so pleased. It turned out he had been ring shopping with his Mother just days before and then called in to see my parents the day before we flew, but they were on their way to Newcastle! He’s not one for forward-planning bless him. He had to call them and they were pulled over by the Angel of the North. So hopefully we got the Angel’s blessing too!

    He said he had planned to propose in the restaurant but he thought I would be embarrassed with all the people around. We got up early the next day to take a coach & cable car trip up Mont Blanc. I have always wanted to go and he had considered doing it there, but he can’t stand heights and knew that he would be in a terrible frame of mind. I love heights but admittedly that was one hairy cable car ride! We were engulfed in cloud at the top so there were no views to enjoy and it was freezing. Needless to say, we quickly made our way back down.

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Engaged hand:

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    Me and the far reaching views from Mont Blanc:

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  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Day before the wedding

    The morning involved a bit of a panic shop for a photo frame that had not arrived, as well as delivery of our stray wedding favours! My Mother, J and I set off for the venue to drop everything off. It was strange being there knowing that in one day the place would be full and we would be preparing to walk the aisle! There was another pile of wedding paraphernalia in the corner for another bride and I did have a little nose through… her stuff looked far more fancy than mine and I did think about switching our postboxes 

    Here is our venue, Mulberry House in Ongar, Essex:

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    After the venue run, the three of us went for lunch in our village café and then my Mum gave us some space as we said goodbye for the last time as singles. My Mother & I were due to meet J’s Mum & sister for our nail appointment, which was wonderful. Mother-in-law had brought champagne and chocolates and I really started to relax and enjoy myself. I think because there was nothing more to organise! I stayed at my parents that night and my sister joined us. I think they were keen to go to the pub but I knew that would be a slippery slope and I really wanted to look fresh for the morning!

    Unfortunately we did have a last minute stress when my sister heard that my cousin & her daughter hadn’t made it over from Spain. It was a bit frustrating as I don’t think they were planning to let us know! But my parents invited two of their friends instead.

    I must say for me, the day before the wedding went by faster than the big day itself. No sooner had we had dinner and watched a film, than I found myself laying in my childhood bed, staring at my beautiful dress hanging in front of me. I didn’t even try to go to sleep early as I knew it would be a lost cause. I just read a trashy celeb mag until about 1:30am when I felt myself drifting. Next thing I knew I heard my sister’s voice from my bedroom door. It was 7:30am and time to rise & shine!

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    Ohhh Ongar, that's not far from my venue!

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    No way Hails? Where is yours?? Are you like me - live in Essex, commute to London?

  • Dora3Dora3 Posts: 1,218

    I'm an Essex girl toooooo. Looking forward to the rest of your report xxx

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476
    Dora3 wrote (see post):

    I'm an Essex girl toooooo. Looking forward to the rest of your report xxx

    Yay Dora! Essex has some beautiful venues, spoilt for choice. Can't wait to read all yours too x

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455
    Rosegold017 wrote (see post):

    No way Hails? Where is yours?? Are you like me - live in Essex, commute to London?

    Mine is Colville Hall in White Roding. I live right on the London/Essex border and work in London but can work from home sometimes.

  • August18August18 Posts: 247

    Look forward to hearing more! 

    I  live in Essex and work in London also! 

    We also viewed your venue! 

    Your day before sounds lovely ... what  nails did you go for? 

    X

     

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455
    Rosegold017 wrote (see post):
    Dora3 wrote (see post):

    I'm an Essex girl toooooo. Looking forward to the rest of your report xxx

    Yay Dora! Essex has some beautiful venues, spoilt for choice. Can't wait to read all yours too x

    Essex definitely has numerous amazing venues!

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Wow I didn't even know about Colville Hall - just googled some pics, it's stunning! So much character. I'm a sucker for a barn.

    We had the choice between the marquee in the grounds of Mulberry, or the barn. They gave us a great deal for the marquee as it is more expensive and J's Mum is friends with one of the managers, but we just loved the barn too much and decided to hold it all in there.

    Hey August2018, fellow Essex/London girl! I had a french mani in gels, with a slight shimmer. Never had gels before - they lasted throughout my honeymoon without a chip. Have you picked a venue?

  • August18August18 Posts: 247
    Rosegold017 wrote (see post):

    Wow I didn't even know about Colville Hall - just googled some pics, it's stunning! So much character. I'm a sucker for a barn.

    We had the choice between the marquee in the grounds of Mulberry, or the barn. They gave us a great deal for the marquee as it is more expensive and J's Mum is friends with one of the managers, but we just loved the barn too much and decided to hold it all in there.

    Hey August2018, fellow Essex/London girl! I had a french mani in gels, with a slight shimmer. Never had gels before - they lasted throughout my honeymoon without a chip. Have you picked a venue?

    i really liked mulberry house I could really see what I would do with it all if that makes sense ha! 

    Sounds lovely!!! Yes they last so well dont they! 

    Yes we're booked for next August (braxted park) 

    x

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Planning overview

    From the early planning stages, J and I had decided we only wanted a very small ceremony with immediate family, followed by a big evening party for all of our friends. As generally happens with weddings, it did escalate somewhat. I am close to my three cousins on my Mother’s side and really wanted them there, but they all have a lot of children between them so I quickly had 30 people on my list. J’s parents are divorced and remarried and all of our parents wanted one set of friends there each. This pushed the day guest list up to 60 which was more than we had wanted, but on the day it didn’t actually look like too many. There were certain friends I would love to have asked but it was important to maintain boundaries. Most friends have been very understanding and even admitted they enjoyed just coming along to the fun part, especially being a Friday wedding. There has been one who didn’t take it well, but I’m sure she will understand when she comes to plan her own.

    Cast:

    Maid of honour – my big sister
    Flowergirl – my 2½ year old niece

    Best man and ushers – J’s bandmates (here is the band as their normal slightly scruffy selves - hubby on guitar on the left!)

    image

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Wedding morning

    The ceremony was due to start at 3pm. My sister and I were booked into my favourite hair salon 5 miles away at 9:45am so I had a quick bath and drove us there. My hair was actually much quicker than my sister’s up-do and we didn’t get back home again until noon, where our lovely make up artist was setting up. She did my sister’s, my mother’s and my make up, as well as my niece’s hair braid. The photographer arrived at 1:30pm as I wasn’t too worried about getting-ready shots. I was busy chatting to him and the MUA, when my sister appeared and pointed out that I ought to think about getting my dress on – it was quarter to 2 and I had to get to the venue in 45 mins ready for my interview with the registrar!

    Alas my dress, veil & shoes didn’t take at all long to put on and I was at the bottom of the stairs ready to roll.

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    I played with niece for a while and watched the car arrive that my parents had booked as a surprise! My step-father-in-law took my Mother and bridesmaids.

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  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Here is my Dad and I outside their house:

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    En route

    I remembered my friend telling me how she got dry-clicky mouth on the way to her wedding and really wished she had water. So I took a bottle of water along and as soon as I sat in our beautiful car the nerves just hit me out of nowhere! I went into my own world and listened to my Dad and the driver talk about shortcuts. My Dad even nudged me at one point to tell me that people in the street were waving! I did feel very thirsty all of a sudden and was grateful for my friend’s tip.

    When we arrived I could see guests milling around and our coordinator ushering them inside the barn ready for the ceremony.

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    J must have just finished his pre-ceremony interview and I was taken upstairs ready for mine. The two ladies were lovely and I calmed down a lot when I saw how kind and cheerful they were. I remembered that it wasn’t a job interview and that I was about to have the happiest day of my life. All they asked was to confirm certain details so they could get the certificate right! Then they got up and said they would see me down there. I stood up and suddenly realised that I needed to pee really badly (all that water and as I realised, lack of breakfast!) but I knew that all of our guests were ready to go and I didn’t want to keep J hanging as we were both very nervous about the ceremony. All I could think about was when I would get a toilet break again and I didn't want that distraction at such an important time! The wedding coordinator suddenly appeared to take me down to the ceremony and told me that my flowergirl apparently needed an emergency nappy change so we would need to wait a few minutes! Thank God for my little niece. I ran straight to the Ladies!

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201

    Haha excellent excuse for a pee! I totally neglected my sister during her interview as I was bursting, so busy getting her ready in the morning!

    I love your dress, you look gorgeous!

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    you look beautiful! I bought those shoes but then found my dress and realised it would need silver, so returned them. They are lovely.

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Oh Jenni I always pick my moments and never learn! you were clearly a dedicated MoH!

    Thank you so much both you're very kind.

    Hails that's so weird I wonder what other similarities we'll unearth! Those shoes were so comfortable I wore them the next day too. Understand about you needing silver though as the straps had a gold tone to them.

  • VegasLouVegasLou Posts: 820 New bride

    Loving your wedding report so far. Your dress is beautifu, can't wait for more photos and what a lovely venue. I've been looking at those shoes, good to know they're comfortable.

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455
    Rosegold017 wrote (see post):

    Oh Jenni I always pick my moments and never learn! you were clearly a dedicated MoH!

    Thank you so much both you're very kind.

    Hails that's so weird I wonder what other similarities we'll unearth! Those shoes were so comfortable I wore them the next day too. Understand about you needing silver though as the straps had a gold tone to them.

    Yes and I was watching Debenhams like a hawk waiting for my size to appear back in stock and then had to send them back. They were so comfy without being frumpy!

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201

    I love those shoes!

  • CeeCeeCeeCee Posts: 134

    Just to say you have one of the nicest dresses ive seen. I'm in awe of it! Your photographer is super talented as well.

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Ceremony - 3pm

    So we were all set now and waited inside the building reception until the coordinator gave us the signal to make our way across the drive to the barn entrance. Meanwhile J was waiting patiently at the front.

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    This was a surreal moment. My beautiful sister and niece went first:

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    And as my Dad & I got closer to the door I could hear our entrance music playing. We chose ‘The Way That I Live' by Ed Harcourt.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27nCUQa3qfk

    We love the song so much and the lyrics remind us of how we didn't meet until we were 31, despite the fact we lived a stone's throw from one another and had so many connections.

    As my Dad & I reached the door, the coordinator gave us the nod and Pops was like a greyhound out of a trap! He is renowned for his fast walk so I had to yank on his arm and he slammed the brakes on! As I mentioned earlier, I really wasn’t looking forward to the ceremony. All those eyes on us and having to say soppy things to each other with everyone watching. But I can honestly say it was one of the loveliest experiences I ever had. There was such a warm feeling in the room and everyone there was beaming at us. I could hear them whispering nice comments and saw tears and I got a little wave of emotion but then I saw J and I couldn’t not smile. I very rarely see him in anything but jeans and baggy clothes but he looked so smart in his blue Ted Baker suit.

    image image

    It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The registrar gave us our lines to recite in such small increments, it was hard to mess up. We didn’t have any readings as we had wanted to get it done and dusted quite quickly but every part of it was lovely.

    We played some Motown during the signing of our registers: Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness and Diana Ross – I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, with our Mothers as witnesses.

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    Then we were announced as husband & wife for the first time and we walked back down the aisle to Earth Wind & Fire’s Boogie Wonderland!

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  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    You ladies are seriously lovely! Your comments are giving me such a lift.

    Vegas Lou I definintely recommend Benjamin Adams. I usually wear sky high shoes but these were just 6cm so gave me posture but no foot burn! And they were a good width, though I did go a size up to normal. As Hails says, comfy without frumpy!

    CeeCee that means the world thank you so much. In fact you've inspired me to say a little bit about the dress now :)

  • Rosegold017Rosegold017 Posts: 476

    Dress search

    I found dress shopping hard as I knew what I didn’t want, but not what I did! I visited five shops in total and probably tried on about 6 in each. There were lots of lovely dresses but nothing that really stole my heart!

    In my third shop I tried on a gorgeous David Tutera for Mon Cheri (Nala). I have never worn anything strapless before as I am quite broad-shouldered, but I was told that straps could be attached. I felt like I had found the one, however when they named the price it was above budget, and the alterations would have been a lot extra. I decided to go away and think about it.

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    I was starting to worry that I was looking for something that didn't exist. Then my Mother booked me an appointment at a beautiful bridal shop on the outskirts of Brentwood. In the week leading up to that appointment, I browsed their website and one dress in particular struck me… I found myself looking back again & again and thinking that could be just what I was after! It was an unusual dress by Novia D’Art called Sade. However it was from a 2015 collection and I wasn’t sure how up to date their website was. My other fear was if they did have it, would it be in budget and would it even suit me?

    image

    The ladies at the wedding shop were lovely and had already picked out some dresses based on what I had told them on the phone. I told the shop owner about the dress I saw on their site; she said that she would dig it out. I tried the five dresses that she picked but none of them were right. She asked if I wanted to try any others and I reminded her of the Novia D’Art dress but she didn’t hear me! So I started to get dressed and suddenly it must have twigged, as she suddenly trilled ‘of course – Sade!’. And in she came with my dress.

    When I looked in the mirror, it wasn’t quite what I expected, it was too big and they didn’t use the clamps to pull it in, so it hung off me strangely. On top of that it had a very odd sash around the hips with a big satin bow on the front, which wasn’t in the website photo (above). However through all of that I could really see potential. My Mum looked at my face and said ‘you don’t like this one do you, I can tell’. But I told her it I liked it but wasn’t sure about the sash! The lovely shop assistant then emerged with a beautiful belt that she covered the sash with and that sold it to me. It really set the dress off! She put a stunning veil on me too and agreed to throw it in for free if we bought the belt.

    It was over budget and I did have a long period of spending guilt, but I will look at those photos forever and it will be totally worth it!

  • Dora3Dora3 Posts: 1,218

    Loving your report! You look stunning and the dress is amazing!!

  • SpacepuffinSpacepuffin Posts: 664

    Love your dress. Very unusual and you look stunning. X

  • MrsJamesMrsJames Posts: 405 New bride

    Absolutely loving your report, you looked stunning!! Your dress is gorgeous, really flatters your figure.

    Your photographer has got some lovely photos. I love the one of you and your niece looking out the door. She looked so adorable, her hair and dress were lovely. Makes me excited to see my little sister on my day (she'll be 6). 

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