Married in the Bleak Midwinter - report

I’ve been thinking about doing a wedding report as I really want to get into words what happened on my wonderful day before I start forgetting the details. We haven’t had our photos back yet, and I’m a bit wary of putting up pictures of myself and others, but I shall try to add pictures if appropriate!

So a recap: I met my husband seven years ago online and have been engaged for over two years. We originally set our budget to be £8000 but promotions and generous parents meant we could add to it and final amount came to about £12000.

Our main ‘wants’ from our wedding day was to have a religious service followed by a party. We decided to save money by booking a town hall for the reception venue and by DIYing a lot of our decorations/flowers/favours etc. We wanted to have a traditional wedding, and as we both love Christmas decided it was going to be wintry themed.

We were married on Saturday 15 December.


  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride

    So here we go:

    I finished work on Friday 7 December. My work colleagues had bought some gifts for me which was lovely and unexpected.

    (The fiancé and I cracked open the bottle once we had both finished work!) (Excuse my colleague's foot - he always gets in the way)

    After work, a couple of my work friends went with me to meet up with my then-fiancé at a Christmas market, where we drank a lot of mulled wine and went on a carousel! Good fun.

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride
    edited 29 January

    I’m already forgetting what happened in the following week, so I’d best get it down quickly!

    On Saturday we had a friend’s birthday party in the afternoon/evening, so didn’t get much done, although we did spend a lot of time and effort on cleaning and tidying our flat. It was difficult as we had such a massive pile of wedding stuff in the living room, which I was desperate to clean because that’s where I was going to be getting ready!

    On Sunday my partner had to go to work (as he did on Monday as well) so I had time to finish the bouquets, which I felt like I had been working on forever! I made them out of paper and artificial flowers, but kept on taking them apart again as I wasn’t happy with them. I needed that to be the last day I worked on them, though, so I tried to stop being a perfectionist and just got on with it!

    I made three round bouquets for the Best Ladies, and a cascade one for myself.
  • MrsGtoBMrsGtoB Posts: 703 New bride
    Oooh a new report, can't wait to hear more :smile:
  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride
    edited 30 January

    On Monday I had to go to the dentist, which was a right pain (literally), and then I took a day off from wedding stuff to go Christmas shopping. Although we had decided we wouldn’t be buying people presents this year, I still wanted to get gifts for him so that there was something under the tree for him to open! I then went and watched the ROH Nutcracker in the cinema, which is a little Christmas tradition I do every year by myself. Annoyingly, there were two opinionated and rude ladies sitting near me who put me in a bad mood because they wouldn’t shut up moaning about everything! Worst of all, I bought a glass of wine during the interval and they loudly had a conversation about how expensive my wine had been and how they would never spend that much money on it. I would gladly have spent the same amount on another glass of wine and tipped it over them!

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride

    Tuesday was a sad day as I had agreed to sing at the funeral of my friend’s grandmother. It was nice to meet up with my choir friends and they were certainly grateful I had taken the time to do the funeral, but I felt it was something I needed to do for my friend, who was one of my bridesmaids. We then went to the cinema in the evening to watch a funny film and forget about weddings and funerals for a while.

    So Wednesday was the first day me and the fiancé both had off to seriously get down to wedding business! I think the fiancé had been panicking in the night about how much we still had to do, as he got up first thing in the morning and raced off to Macros to buy mini bottles of Prosecco to give as gifts as well as savoury snacks for the evening and a few other bits we needed. He then set off to Moss Bros to pick up the suits for himself and the Best Man.

    Meanwhile, I was not idle. I went down to the town hall with Best Lady A. As a theatre designer, I was hoping she could cast her eye over the space to work out how we could turn the image I had in my head into a reality! She was brilliant, asking all the right questions about plug sockets and extension cables, and then worked out a way by which we could put up lights to hang across the hall without having to use ladders to get them down. I’m very grateful that she was so enthusiastic about making our big day so perfect for us!

    Here's a "before" picture of the hall, just so you can be more amazed when I post an "after" picture!

    We of course then had to stop for tea and cake (I love lemon meringue pie) before racing around the shop buying batteries and DIY equipment for the setting up of the hall.

    The two of us then went back to our flat where we made up the seating plan and place settings ready to go to the hall. I also employed her bolt cutters to finish off the bouquets. Other little tasks included putting batteries in all the lights and other little things we wanted to get done before we got to the hall to set up. I really can’t thank my friend enough for how much she helped that day, it really was above and beyond!

    Here is the completed seating plan:

    We got the mirror in a charity shop for £10 (which I am delighted about, as it will go in the hallway of our new flat!) and the chalk board was £17 from Ikea (about £100 cheaper than any easel I could find!).  the names were printed on pearlised paper and stuck to the mirror with gold glitter tape. My MIL gave us the crazy little stick on trees which we added for laughs and then thought it actually looks good!
  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride

    So in rolls Thursday and I started the day with a pedicure. I’d never had one before so it was a bit odd getting my feet pampered so much. Anyhow, it was a nice change and the nail polish she put on is still there, so I got my money’s worth! Sorry, I didn't think to take a photo! As I was planning to wear boots on the wedding day, no one saw it anyway except my husband!

    When I got back, we started the mammoth task of sorting through all the bags and boxes of ‘wedding stuff’ that we had been dumping in our living room for the past year. We had to sort all the stuff into groups (e.g. stuff to stay at the flat, stuff to go to the church, stuff for different areas of the hall…). It took longer than we expected! And a lot of muscle! As we were decorating the hall ourselves, there was a lot of fairy lights and a dozen Christmas trees to shift around. Again, I should have taken a photo of the mountain of stuff!

    Once this was sorted the magic really began. We went to the church for our rehearsal, accompanied by my three Best Ladies (N, C and A), the Best Man, the Father of the Bride and two of the readers. As it was evening and the church was quite dark there was already a magical feel about the place. When the vicar and curate arrived we walked through the service step by step and ran through the words of the vows. It was a good thing we did because I got the giggles and he wanted to dip me for the kissing the bride bit, so we got to have our fun before the actual ceremony itself! It was only then that I really began to get excited about the wedding – any of you who have seen my posts in the past may remember I suffer bad anxiety and it was making the wedding planning quite miserable. But at that moment, running through the ceremony, it put everything into perspective again. The ceremony was the important bit. All the other bits I was worried about was just peripheral.

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride
    edited 12 February

    The following day was Friday, the day before the wedding! My phone was message central and everyone I was trying to organise wanted to know where to go and when! I had three friends who didn’t know each other each making a different layer of the cake so one of the big missions was to get the three cakes together to one person to organise them getting to the hall and being put together on the day. Then one of the cake-makers put her back out on the same day she had to drive halfway across the country to get here and ice the cake, so I wasn’t sure whether the cake would be ready! Meanwhile, I was trying to get my head around packing for our mini-moon and packing a clutch bag for the day, trying t work out what I would need and when. We also had to go out to the caters’ and pick up the tablecloths we were hiring ready for set-up that evening, as well as some last-minute shopping (flowers for the mothers, foodstuff for whilst getting ready, etc.).

    In the afternoon I went to get a manicure to get my nails wedding ready. Best Lady C joined me for the appointment (she had taken the day off work and seemed keen to spend every second of it with me, for which I have no complaints!). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to book appointments for her and Best Lady N to get their nails done with me, but did get them appointments later in the day. When they headed off, I stayed in the flat with one of their babies (who was about ten weeks old) who fortunately slept soundly for the whole afternoon!

    Here's my nails: I went for subtle because I didn't want to look back at photos in twenty years time and think "What was I thinking?!" My bridesmaids went for more flashy looks!

  • abiscottabiscott Posts: 39 New bride
    Pretty nails!

    More please :)
  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride

    The fiancé, meanwhile, had driven off with our luggage, firstly to check into his hotel for the night and leave his suit there, and the secondly to drive all the way to our mini-moon hotel (about forty minutes away) to drop off our luggage and leave the car.

    Whilst he was gone, my parents arrived with my dress, shoes and accessories (which they had been storing at their house). Best Lady C wrote a big “Do not enter” sign on my bedroom door so that the dress could hang there without fear of my fiancé seeing it when he got back.

    Apart from the cake worries, the most stressful thing that happened that day was when the supervisor at the town hall called to ask us what time we were arriving with all the stuff. I said we were booked from 7pm till 11pm but he asked me to be more specific. I was confused and repeated we had booked it from 7pm-11pm. It turns out he thought we were just dropping stuff off that night and wasn't going to be around! We had most definitely made it clear that we would be there setting stuff up, so I was quite cross, especially as he had been there when I was there on the Wednesday with Best Lady A discussing how we were going to set it up! Fortunately, we worked it all out, but it set my anxiety off and I was grumpy a lot of the evening.

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 365 New bride
    Our wedding photos have arrived! I was very naughty and had a quick look at them without my husband. Woops. As we're going out for dinner tonight for Valentine's Day/2 monthversary I shall show them to him when we get back. I'm resisting looking at them again till then, but I don't know how long I can hold out!
  • Just caught up on everything so far, I can't wait to read more :-) 
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