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 Charlene! Introduce us to your family.
My husband Graham and I live and work together in Brighton. We have a 15 month old son, Roscoe and a high maintenance cat, Saffy.
Let’s set the scene..
How did you meet?
We met volunteering on a children’s play scheme at university. A bit of a power move on my husband’s part – it was easy to fall for a guy that’s so amazing with children.
How long have you known each other?
About 15 years.
How did he propose?
We had a low key wedding and an even lower key proposal! We had planned a Christmas holiday to Goa and one night when we were organising the trip he asked if I’d like to make it our honeymoon! The night before our wedding, we had a fish and chip supper and my husband presented me with an engagement ring, which was a lovely touch.
How long were you engaged before you were married?
Around 6 weeks.
Share Your Wedding
When did you get married?
December 2010. I picked the date solely because I thought it would be easy to remember.
How many guests, bridesmaids etc did you have?
None, unless you count the two witnesses that we dragged from the street five minutes before the ceremony. One lady had her weekly shop with her!
Tell us about the Venue: Day / Evening
We had a very short and sweet ceremony at Gretna Registration Office and jumped on a train to London straight after. We then had drinks and a photoshoot at the Commonwealth Club in Charing Cross before heading home for a curry from our favourite take away and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on DVD.
Did your wedding have a certain style?
Intimate! There obviously wasn’t room for a theme but we wanted to incorporate the little things that make us both happy.
Tell us about the most important thing, the Dress?
I struggled with my outfit because I wanted to dress up but I didn’t want to go over the top and it was one of the coldest winters for years so I had to wear something that could accommodate layers. Around two weeks before the wedding I was walking past H&M and saw ‘my’ dress. I had heard brides say, ‘You know when you know.’ I agree, it was absolutely like a lightning strike! I was so excited I told the woman that served me it was my wedding dress and she just laughed nervously, I think she thought I was joking.
We took the train to Gretna from Brighton the day before and stayed in the Gretna Hall Hotel, which was full of couples about to be married. It had already been snowing for a couple of days and we were seriously concerned we wouldn’t make it! We were greeted with a beautiful snowy scene that made the whole day feel infused with magic.
The morning of the wedding we got ready together and got a cab to the registration office. We got a lot of knock backs when trying to find witnesses, the people of Gretna are probably sick of being hijacked on their way to the post office! But luckily we found two lovely locals to attend our ten minute service.
Following the service we wrote postcards to our family and friends, signing them Mr and Mrs! We posted them in the box outside the office and despite the snow most people received their announcement the next morning.
What was your favourite part of your Wedding?
We called our immediate family on the journey home, hearing their surprise and receiving their congratulations was such a joyful moment.
What extra touches made it special for you both?
The photoshoot we had following the wedding felt very decadent. As it was the two of us we had a lot of time to spend on it. We didn’t want to tell anyone what we were doing so we fibbed and told out photographer we wanted business headshots. She coped amazingly with the change of theme and made it so much fun.
Did anything not go as planned? Any funny stories?
Pretty much everything went like clockwork, we even managed to catch the very last train out of Carlisle before the snow stopped all travel. The only sticky bit of the day was that my husband’s colleagues kept trying to pull him into a work emergency and since no one knew we were getting married he didn’t want to say why he wasn’t available!
Would you do anything differently with hindsight?
I would have had a bouquet. I thought it was too formal for such a small wedding but I think it would have been the icing on the non-existent wedding cake.
What song did you walk into and what was your first dance song?
We didn’t have any music during the ceremony but we had a dance to Al Green’s, ‘Let’s Stay Together’ when we got home.
Do you have any advice for the soon to be married?
Listen to your heart. Make sure you’re having the wedding that you want and not what you think everyone else wants.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went on the holiday we had scheduled to Goa but also added a trip to Kerala and spent a few days on a House Boat in the backwaters. It was wonderful to experience something new together.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your wedding?
To my delight no one was angry (for long).
Wow Charlene you were so brave going with what you wanted but it sounds like it was a perfect day for the both of you- certainly very romantic and you look gorgeous!
Thank you so much Charlene for sharing your wedding with us all!