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 Laura! Introduce us to your family.
My husband and I have been married for very nearly eight years. We have two children – a three year old and a one year old and live in Berkshire, with our rather large Rhodesian Ridgeback Florence. We like to walk our own path and have been together since a week before my nineteenth birthday. We knew from about two weeks of getting together and making the transition from friends to more that we had something special.
We’ve had challenges, like a lot of couples – it took us years to get pregnant for example, health problems and loss, but it has only made us stronger and more determined. We are like opposites and unless you know us, sometimes people don’t work out how we work but we just do. I think we make each other stronger.
Let’s set the scene..
How did you meet?
We met at university, I am a singer and decided to join the amateur dramatic group to make new friends and do more singing. My husband admitted he joined… to meet girls. I guess it worked ;-).
We actually were friends for a while before we got together, and he first started talking to me because he fancied one of my friends! It wasn’t until his brother came to visit and told him how much he obviously liked me that he made his move.
How long have you known each other?
We’ve known each other for 17 years and been together for 16 years, wow writing that down that’s a long time. He was my first love 🙂
How did he propose?
We were on holiday in Corfu. We’d gone out for a lovely meal and he wanted to go for a walk back via the beach. However, I had a rather fab pair of shoes on and didn’t want them getting ruined. So I was a bit of a grump and said could we do it another a day – I mean the shoes…
After some coaxing I agreed to take them off and he took me down to the water’s edge and got one down on knee. I was a bit taken aback at first because I was only 21 at the time, and I don’t think I have ever lived down that my reply was – ‘err ok’!
How long were you engaged before you were married?
We were engaged for ages. Mostly because we were so young at the time. I was 21 and my husband 24 and I was still living at home and had literally just graduated from uni. So I had to get a job first and then we saved up and bought our first flat and then our first house and finally got married 6 years later.
Share Your Wedding
When did you get married?
We got married in June 2007, in a castle in Scotland.
How many guests, bridesmaids etc did you have?
Ahh the number of guests was a matter of contention and did cause some troubles. But we decided we only wanted a small wedding and decided on 40 people in total. It meant that pretty much only our family and very close friends were there. It was tough deciding on the wedding list, but it made the whole day so intimate and lovely without people there that you only would have invited because you felt you had to.
I had two bridesmaids – my sister and my cousin. My sister was always going to be one of my bridesmaids, we made a pact when we were small, it was the sort of pact a sister can’t back out of. My cousin was an important addition as we kind of grew up together and spent many a holiday together.
Tell us about the Venue: Day / Evening
We originally started looking at normal venues and then decided we wanted something a bit different. We toyed with the idea of getting married aboard, but there was the cost and also at the time my mother-in-law had never flown before and we had elderly relatives to consider.
One day, when I was googling around I came across a company that organised weddings in castles in Scotland. I knew as soon as I looked at the website this was the wedding for us.
So, we got married in Mansfield Castle in Tain in Scotland. It wasn’t a huge castle, in fact with our 40 guests we booked out the whole castle. Which meant that the wedding almost felt like a very grand house party. It was also kind of awesome walking down the sweeping staircase down to my Dad to take me down to the church. I loved it and it really was the perfect choice.
Did your wedding have a certain style?
I don’t know I guess you would say it was traditional. All the groom’s party and my Dad totally got into the spirit of things and all agreed to hire and wear kilts, even though they weren’t Scottish which was awesome. My wedding cake was made by my mother-in-law and had a castle on top and so many people were amazed by it and I really wanted roses to be the featured on the day too.
Tell us about the most important thing, the Dress?
When I first went looking for the dress knowing I was going to get married in a castle, I had it in my head that I wanted a dark red dress. But of course once you start trying dresses on things change. I was torn between two in the end, a corseted laced bust dress, which the wedding shop owner was going to create bespoke for me with red roses all over. Or the one I actually went for which was a vintage inspired dress covered in beading and crystals in a colour slightly darker than Ivory, I think the colour was actually called rum. It looks whiter than it actually was in the photos.
I then went for dark red bridesmaid dresses. I didn’t want a veil – I have a bit of a weird thing about net (don’t ask), so I had crystal, pearls and roses threaded through my hair instead. Oh and the shoes were fabulous from Russell and Bromley.
Description of your Wedding, as brief or as descriptive as you’d like, flowers, clothes, food, speeches, gifts?
I think I have covered a lot of this already. The food was amazing, do you know I can’t remember all of our choices – how bad is that? But I do remember we had a beautiful beef dish as the main.
In terms of the speeches it was my Dad’s I remember the most. We’d had a bit of a tough time of it leading up to the wedding my Dad and I. And horribly didn’t speak for a while, although we did make it up. His speech was very emotion filled, my Dad is very British and doesn’t talk about his feelings …ever. But in that speech he said everything he needed to. I’m not actually sure how I managed to keep from crying but I did, a lot of the guests didn’t manage it though.
What was your favourite part of your Wedding?
Oh wow, all of it? I was just like a giant party with all of our favourite people. Even down to the fact the live band heard I was a singer and completely unplanned and unrehearsed got me up on stage singing with them. It was such huge fun which is what my husband and I wanted it to be.
What extra touches made it special for you both?
We tried to keep it simple, this was also due to the fact we were flying up to the wedding venue so baggage space was limited and also down to budget. So we didn’t have things like wedding favours, we just had candles on the tables and flower petals, not arrangements. The extra touches were added by family – I have already mentioned the cake my mother-in-law made. But my Mum also made place names and tables plans and menus for us. All hand made with love which meant a lot. My Mum also did both of the bridesmaids’ hair, which actually made the getting ready experience a huge giggle. With my sister desperately trying not to exclaim over what the hair tongs looked like. I’ll leave that to your imagination …
Then there was really sweet things like the night before the wedding, my sister came in to bed with me for a while to talk to me as she knew I was struggling to sleep, we chatted for a while and the next thing I knew it was the morning and we’d ended up talking ourselves to sleep.
Did anything not go as planned? Any funny stories?
Well… This was actually quite a biggie. We flew up to Scotland early on the Friday morning, we were getting married on the Saturday. And well you see, the aeroplane caught fire… I kid you not. You couldn’t make this up! So we ended up doing an emergency landing in Glasgow (we were flying to Inverness).
I had been totally cool about the thing up until this point, at this point I hold my hands up and say that I turned into Bridezilla. I may have weeped, I may have had ‘a moment’ at the car rental place that managed to get us the last 7 seater car, and *ahem* I *may* have banned everyone in the car for stopping for a bathroom break.
In my defence, there was a reason for this. We needed to see the registrar to sign the documents to make our marriage legal on the Friday. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have actually been legally married the next day and would have had to come home and get married in a registry office. My husband (to be) tried to reassure me that this was ok, but to me it would have felt like we weren’t really getting married. The registry office closed at 5pm, we didn’t make it.
But… The registrar was a super lovely lady and came into work on her day off on a Saturday after hearing our story so we could sign (separately) the documents. How nice?
Would you do anything differently with hindsight?
Snort, fly up a day earlier!
What song did you walk into and what was your first dance song?
Actually this is one thing I would change. I don’t really like our choice in song. One thing my husband and I struggle with is our different tastes in music. We listened to CD after CD trying to come up with a compromise. I got to the stage I couldn’t take it anymore! We went with the very unusual choice of ‘Enjoy the Silence’ by Depeche Mode. The reason for my husband wanting this song was the lyrics ‘all I ever needed, all I ever wanted is here in my arms’. He said it said it all. But, I struggled because there is also the phrase ‘vows are spoken to be broken’ in the song which didn’t really seem the right sentiment. But my husband won me over.
Do you have any advice for the soon to be married?
Do what you want to do, it’s your day. It is so easy to get distracted by family and friends excitement and wishes. But this is your day which will hopefully stay with you forever. Make sure it remains your day. Also you don’t have to have all the bells and whistles to make it amazing. We cut out lots of more expensive bits and pieces and they weren’t missed.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to a Villa in Les Sables D’Olonnes in Western France, with a pool. It was peaceful and relaxing and just what we needed.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your wedding?
There is another story about the bestman missing the first dance, but I’m not sure he’d appreciate me sharing it! Let’s say he had other things to distract him in his hotel room ;-).
Oh dear I think I would have had a meltdown too if that had happened to me- you really can’t write that sort of stuff can you? What a kind registrar doing that for you! Love your final snippet about the best man haha!
Thank you so much for sharing your wedding with us all!