The Alternative Wedding Ceremony Playlist

The final stage of the official, legally binding wedding paperwork was the return of the requested readings and music list so the full Order of Ceremony can be created. We were required to give details on all of the music that we were planning to use – as it is a civil ceremony there is no sacred music allowed – and this needs to be checked in advance to avoid any vetos happening on the day. In total, we had to provide a list of tracks totalling about 45 minutes, which will be used while the guests are arriving, when I walk down the aisle, when we sign the register and as we exit. Continue reading

A Wedding at Sherborne Abbey

 

I always love a good wedding, but when the bride is an old friend it makes it particularly special. For the last year our conversation and activities have been wedding oriented. We’ve looked through Pinterest and magazines, discussed endless ideas over cocktails and I went on her hen do last month.

She got engaged a few months before I did last year and at the time it felt like an age before the Big Day would arrive. However, after what seemed like five minutes since she first showed me her engagement ring, The Bloke and I found ourselves stood in our wedding finery in Sherborne Abbey (a 1300 year-old church which was built in 705AD). It was a blisteringly hot day and and we had navigated our way through the tiny streets of the town, arrived at the Abbey early and took the opportunity to take lots of photographs before everyone else got there. The groom and the groomsmen arrived shortly after us, all looking handsome in their blue suits. The groom took it all in his stride – he’s naturally quite a calm and collected person – it was only a few minutes before the bride arrived that he showed flashes of nerves.¬† Continue reading

Notice of Marriage Shenanigans

So, can you tell me if you are related to your fianc√©?”

Yesterday The Bloke and I went to the neighbouring town to declare our Notice of Marriage.

The process is essentially there to legally declare our intention to marry within the next twelve months. However, as simple as this initially sounded, I soon discovered that it would be a little more complicated than telling someone and getting a certificate.

We live in a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham. We’re getting married at a venue in Birmingham and because neither of us have a religious faith we have opted for a registrar from Birmingham Register Office to officiate the ceremony instead of a vicar. Continue reading

Why Children are Not Invited to Our Wedding

 

Why children aren't allowed at our wedding

It’s six months until my wedding day and while I have a few things still on my list to tackle, the large things are now booked and organised. Most of it (despite some of the horror stories I have heard over the years from friends and articles I have read online) has been an exciting experience. However, one thing that I found difficult was the guest list.

Why?

Because children are not invited to our wedding, including my own niece.

The Bloke and I don’t have children of our own. I have a very small family – mum, two sisters, one sister’s long-term boyfriend, a brother-in-law and a niece, who will be 10 months old on the day of the wedding. The Bloke’s family is considerably larger, but don’t have young children – the youngest are older teenagers, so it wasn’t a family issue to consider. However, my friends have lots of them. Continue reading

A Hen Party in Bristol

I found myself on a train up North to visit the family on Monday evening after just returning home from a two-day hen party (Bachelorette) extravaganza. I had blisters on my feet, a burn on my thumb, I’d had about six hours sleep thanks to a very hangry cat this morning who woke me up at 6am for his breakfast (and I had six hours the night before) and the hangover that I could once shake off in 24 hours in my 20’s was still going strong.

I’m not a huge fan of hen parties, but this one went really well. Four of us, including the hen, trekked to Bristol, where we were joined by nine others throughout the morning. We had been given strict instructions that there was to be no cliche items in tow – penis-shaped objects, L plates, cheap netted veils etc – but as she said nothing about other silly items I took the opportunity to put together a ‘Hen Party Survival Kit,’ complete with Disney plasters, water, chocolate, safety pins etc. We managed to start drinking (and spilling) the wine by 11am, so by the time we arrived I was already feeling a little on the squiffy side. Continue reading

How to Make a Beautiful Wedding Centrepiece Using Mason Jars

Wedding centrepiece cetnerpiece mason jarsFor the first few months after getting engaged, I threw myself into wedding planning. I’ve never been particularly into crafts, but I found myself maniacally scouring Pinterest for ideas, hoping to gain some inspiration for all sorts of things. In particular, I wanted to find different styles of centrepieces, with my criteria being that it had to be simple to make and cost effective. Eventually, I planned a theme and colour scheme, and from that I then amalgamated lots of different ideas to create something that was exactly what I was looking for. I showed The Bloke what I had come up with, and thankfully he liked them as much as I did.

You will need: Continue reading

The Wedding Planning Begins…

WeddingActually, if I’m being honest, that’s a complete fabrication. The Bloke and I got engaged in May (after an unbelievable proposal overlooking a 13th Century Scottish castle, and yes, I’m never going to get bored of saying that), and by June I had pretty much decided on what was going to happen on the big day. The Bloke laughed at my initial proclamation that I wasn’t going to do anything until the summer and he was right to do so – I started thinking of ideas the very next day.

Now, when I say ‘I,’ I of course mean ‘we,’ but with me having more free time than The Bloke does I’ve been able to immerse myself in Pinterest for ideas and fill out the necessary paperwork. He’s got used to coming home only to be greeted by my phone being shoved in his face with the question “Now, what do you think of this?” and to his credit he has given me his honest opinion and offered his own suggestions along the way.

I’ve never wanted a big, fancy wedding. I’ve been to a number of them, all which were fabulous and unique with loads of fantastic things to do, but as cliche as it sounds I’ve always liked the idea of a small ceremony and a lack of pomp and circumstance. We get married, we eat, then we get our dancing shoes on and have a great time with people that mean the most to us. I am determined that The Bloke and I get the chance to spend the day together, as one of the biggest regrets that my family and friends say they have about their own weddings is that they were so concerned about everyone else having a good time that they forgot to enjoy it themselves. Continue reading

Bridezilla

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I’m not going to even start looking at anything until the summer holidays.’

This was what I said about a week ago when one of my friends asked me whether The Bloke and I had set a date.

What a load of nonsense – if I could go back and slap myself, I would. I blame Pinterest – I created a secret board five days ago when I had a sleepless night and I’ve already got about 150 pins of ideas that I like.

It’s only been eight days since The Bloke popped the question, and I’ve got the whole thing planned. For me, I’ve always wanted a small, inexpensive wedding day, with the important part being the ceremony itself, followed by an amazing honeymoon to remember, which we know we can ask for help with from our guests instead of setting up a registry. I’m not one of those brides who has dreamed of walking down the aisle in a designer gown, particularly when it’s only going to be worn once and then shoved in a box in the wardrobe. I’m not bothered about tradition or pomp and circumstance. It’s about us.

Despite this, I know where and when it will happen (I’ve already spoken to the venue to check that they are available and will cater for what we want) the dress I’ll be wearing, invitations, colour scheme, flowers, bridesmaids dresses (I’ve asked my sisters – which is amazing because this is not something I would have done two years ago), favors, cake… Money is going to be tight, and we’re paying for it ourselves, so I’ve already found ways to save on the cost by mentally calling in some favours with some creative and crafty friends. Continue reading

A Wedding… at the Zoo!

imageI’ve seen a number of wonderful and unusual things in my thirty-four years, but a bride and groom, dressed in their full wedding outfits while feeding fish to a group of excitable penguins is certainly a first.

The Bloke and I attended the wedding of Mary and Sven yesterday – Mary is our friend and former colleague, and over the years we’ve managed to keep in touch. Their story is truly a modern day romance – Mary is from the UK, Sven is from Belgium and they met online playing ‘World of Warcraft.’ Awesome.

I suppose the title of the post is slightly misleading – the actual ceremony took place at a little church near the zoo, but after the ‘I Do’s’ had been said and the hymns had been sung, we took ourselves off to the reception area of the zoo, where we became a little tourist attraction in our own right as we posed for photographs in the glorious sunshine, right across from the orangutan enclosure. There was a little bit of time before the meal and speeches started, so we were given wristbands and told that we could go and spend some time in the main zoo area. I decided to wear trousers and changed into flat shoes after the main ceremony – it had rained heavily that morning and the ground was still rather soggy, but I wasn’t envious of lots of the ladies were in their dresses and heels.

So, off we went – the wedding party and guests all wandered round in their finest, prompting some rather amused glances from the general public as we attempted to negotiate our way through the mud while trying to remain as clean as possible. Continue reading

A Wedding in the Cotswolds

I’ve never been married, but after attending many over the years as a guest or as part of a string quartet, I have a decent idea of the sort of wedding I would like.

Picture this: a Christmas theme, held in a beautiful hotel in the countryside, with lots of candlelight, a simple ceremony and beautiful food, celebrated with a small group of our closest family and friends.

It turns out, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Charlotte and her partner John, clearly have similar tastes, and The Bloke and I have just returned from one of the most stunning weddings we have ever attended. Continue reading