Hello! Welcome to Share Your Wedding, a weekly feature that gives you the chance to re-live your wedding day and may just give soon-to-be–weds some inspiration.
Hi Sherry! Introduce us to your family.
There’s me, my hubster, our beautiful daughter J who is 2 and a half, and our lovely Golden Labrador Lexi who is 6.
Let’s set the scene..
How did you meet?
We actually met speed dating. One of my friends hit an age milestone and was convinced she wouldn’t meet the right person so we thought we would give it a go. It was about to start when they reluctantly let a latecomer in. I’m so glad they let the latecomer in, as he is now my husband
How long have you known each other?
7 years in May
How did he propose?
I always wanted to be proposed to under fireworks. Without me knowing he had arranged for my parents to set some off one late summer evening in a popular yet secluded beauty spot which we had adopted to be ours after many dog walks there. Present was a rug, champagne and lots of tears. Incredibly romantic and I just about said yes through the tears!
How long were you engaged before you were married?
13 months. We wanted a short engagement as we are both impatient and wanted to marry quickly
Share Your Wedding
When did you get married?
21st September 2011
How many guests, bridesmaids etc did you have?
There were only 11 people on the day including myself and the hubster. Present were my parents, his mum, my sister and her then husband, and my husband’s best man, his wife and their 2 children.
Our decision to get married abroad caused a lot of controversy with various family members, especially as we requested that only the above people attended. We wanted a small, intimate wedding with immediate family members and his best man, and wanted to celebrate with a big party when we returned to the UK
Tell us about the Venue: Day / Evening
I will have to talk about these separately as they were a month apart but the wedding day itself we married in a place called Leu Gardens in Downtown Orlando, Florida. We had never visited it before yet it resonated with me. The day itself was the hottest day of the holiday – the car temperature gauge said 100F! The evening party was based in the UK in a hall we hired with approximately 90 friends and family present
Did your wedding have a certain style?
The wedding day itself, no, just relaxed and quiet. The evening party upon our return we had a Halloween themed fancy dress party and we went as a zombie bride and groom. Everyone made soooo much effort, even our wedding cake was Halloween themed.
Tell us about the most important thing, the Dress?
Well I actually wanted to marry in shorts and t-shirt, but the hubster was not having any of it, so I chose a relatively inexpensive dress. My plan was to wear the dress on the day and then effectively ‘trash it’ into a corpse bride dress for the Halloween theme. The sentiment kicked in and I changed my mind upon returning to the UK.
Due to the temperature on the day I actually wore my wedding dress for approximately an hour, just for the ceremony and photos. I then swiftly changed into a white floaty summer dress to wear – you could effectively say I had 3 wedding dresses!
Description of your Wedding, as brief or as descriptive as you’d like, flowers, clothes, food, speeches, gifts?
I walked down the aisle to Bruno Mars – Marry You, and had a bouquet of white and yellow Gerbera Daisies. The plan was to do a walk in time to the music to take my mind off being nervous but my dad tried to dance and instead made me laugh. When I got to the gazebo we were married under I realised the hubster was close to tears and doing everything he could to hold it back
Following the ceremony we had a couple of group photos and then some additional photos of just me and the hubster round the grounds before returning for a picnic which my family and I had prepared the night before. Everyone had changed out of their suits and into shorts and t-shirts before we returned and kind of felt like a flash mob wedding.
We then drove back to our villa and had a pool party with a small cake purchased from the local supermarket and a massive takeout pizza (as per the hubster’s request). Once the evening was upon us the hubster and I left the villa and group, and went for a couple of hours to Downtown Disney. It was such a low key day and I loved every minute of it.
When we held the celebration party back in the UK we had a 3 tiered cake especially made for the occasion. It’s probably one of the most unconventional wedding cakes but it suited us to a tee. We had a disco, a buffet and even decorated the room to a Halloween theme.
Everyone came in fancy dress as requested and the hubster and I came as a zombie bride and groom. We gave out prizes for the best dressed and had a projector displaying some of the wedding day photos as I obviously didn’t look my best that evening. The hubster and I barely saw or spoke to each other that night as we were busy talking and mingling, so I’m really glad we separated the two.
What was your favourite part of your Wedding?
I loved that the wedding day itself was relaxed and at a gentle pace, and that I actually got to spend quality time with the hubster. The evening party had the most amazing effort put in by everyone and one of the memories that will stick in my mind is everyone in Halloween fancy dress dancing to the Macarena
What extra touches made it special for you both?
The fact our closest family and friends made it to the wedding day following our request and given the short timescale. Everyone’s effort for the evening party really made it special, one of my good friends is a devout Christian and didn’t want to come in Halloween fancy dress and instead came as a fairy because she couldn’t bear to miss it!
Did anything not go as planned? Any funny stories?
We were advised that we could get my dad on the car insurance for the wedding day to drive me to the venue whilst in the states. It turns out that this wasn’t actually possible and I had to drive myself to my own wedding as the hubster went with his best man after staying at his villa the night before.
Our wedding song had been decided very early on in our relationship, however when my sister was about to get married in May 2011 she told me the wedding song they had picked, and it was ours! We had 4 months to identify a replacement which caused some interesting discussions.
Would you do anything differently with hindsight?
I wouldn’t, the whole thing suited us just perfectly
What song did you walk into and what was your first dance song?
Our first dance song at our UK party was Bruno Mars, Marry You, which was also the song I walked down the aisle to
Do you have any advice for the soon to be married?
Don’t be afraid to do what is right for you. You may get grief, be called selfish and even cause controversy, but at the end of the day it’s the bond, love and union you are making official between you and your partner, and you have to meet your wants and desires.
Also, if anyone is particularly worried about finances, consider splitting it up. By having our wedding and evening party on separate dates we managed to spend 1/3 of the average cost of a wedding, and that’s including our honeymoon. The evening party was classed as a celebratory party, and therefore didn’t have the (sometimes) expensive costs associated.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Orlando, Florida. We had 10 days with family and friends which included the wedding, then a further 11 days after they had gone home to spend together as husband and wife.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your wedding?
Just that it is a magical day and to savour every moment, yes things may not go to plan, but the main thing is that you’re marrying your love and making that commitment official. We are actually going back to the spot later this year with J, I’m so excited to take her and capture some photos of her in the very location we married.
Sherry this is just brilliant. I love your dress and am glad you didn’t trash it- I am sentimental too! The evening do sounds an absolute laugh and I love that your friend came as a fairy instead, true friendship right there.
Thank you so much for sharing your wedding with us all!