With a year to go until our wedding, now’s the time to start looking for a dress. This is what everyone keeps telling me.
Twelve months is, I’m told, the perfect length of time in which to look, try, be measured for, order, wait for and, finally, alter the dress for your big day. That seems like a lot of faffing about to me, but if I want a traditional wedding dress this is what must be done.
This time next year Chris and I will be getting ready for our wedding. The planning is well underway and we’re starting to get really excited. We’re also really pleased that we opted for 2017 and not 2016, because this morning the news that the UK is leaving Europe would have cast a shadow over much of the day.
It’s bad enough that we’re leaving Europe, but now Nigel Farage and others are billing June 24th as independence day.
‘I don’t want to get married on independence day,’ I told Chris this morning. ‘We’ll have to cancel the wedding.’
We have no idea where to go on honeymoon. To try and find some inspiration we headed to our local Kuoni branch, which happens to be Meadowhall in Sheffield.
We browsed the brochures. We weren’t really sure where to start.
‘There!’ Chris pointed to a brochure on the third shelf, two across, with the title Honeymoon Guide.
That seemed a good start. We flicked through it.There were so many lovely photographs of the most amazing places.
We were overwhelmed.
I approached a lady behind a desk. ‘Can you help?’ I asked. ‘We’re looking for a honeymoon, and we’ve no idea.’
The Kuoni advisor couldn’t have been more helpful. Within a second she was on her feet, taking brochures from the shelves.
Our wedding is in June, which means there are certain destinations, such as Barbados, which are no-go’s on account of it being their hurricane season. We’ve been to Barbados and absolutely fell in love with it (see pictures below), but we didn’t fancy going in hurricane season.
Barbados November 2007
Watching the sunset in Barbados, 2007
The view by the pool, Barbados South Coast
Only a few bottles
Breakfast in Holetown
We narrowed our selection down to the countries in the world which would be suitable in June.
Europe, Indonesia, USA, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles.
‘All you need to do,’ the sales advisor said. ‘Is to decide on the destination, then make an appointment and one of our specialists will take you through the options.’
It sounded perfect. The only problem is deciding where we want to go.
We left the shop, arms full of brochures, and headed to Pizza Express, where we could look at the brochures, discuss our options, and enjoy a huge pizza.
‘We need to decide whether we want an adventure, or a stop and flop honeymoon,’ Chris tucked into his romana padana.
‘Adventure,’ I said. ‘Definitely an adventure. Three weeks, with a bit of everything.’
The west coast of America seemed to be the favourite destination. The waitress was heading to LA this summer, so she was also excited for us.
We thought we’d got it sorted, but then I had the busiest week with work, and began to wonder whether a beach holiday may be better. By June next year I will (all being well) have finished a degree in English Literature, and a Master’s degree in Writing. I’m also working full time, planning a wedding, and running competitively.
‘With all this going on, I might not even make the wedding!’ I told Chris.
We started looking at other options. Chris fancied Santorini. He showed me a brochure. Santorini certainly looks like one of the most beautiful islands in the Med. It has stunning scenery, whitewashed villages and laidback tavernas. I could certainly see us spending time there.
‘But what about the adventure?’ I’d got my heart set on an adventure of some kind. I thought about it for a few minutes. ‘Let’s have two honeymoons!’
That was it! That’s the answer! Perfect.
Do you have any honeymoon recommendations? I’d love to hear your experiences.
AFTER months of dark nights and cold wintry weather, it seems that spring has finally arrived. And that means one thing. The wedding season will be here before we know it.
I’ve just had a stroll to the shop. The sun is shining, for the first time in ages I didn’t need my coat. It was positively tropical.
My thoughts started wandering. I started thinking about our wedding.
Since getting engaged at Christmas, things have been very hectic, so I’ve not had much chance to think about wedding planning. It’s been a blur of work, study, running training, racing, and looking after our various pets (currently, one horse, two ponies, two dogs and a rabbit).
We have made progress with the wedding planning, the key things, which I will be updating you on, but I’ve not really had time to get excited.
The short walk to the shop gave me the thinking time I needed. Before I knew it, I was smiling and there was a spring in my step. I entered the shop, went straight to the magazine section, and started searching for a bride magazine, just to have a look.
I didn’t intend to buy a magazine. I just wanted to see what publications were out there for when I do need them. On the front of Brides magazine was a headline about this season’s new dresses.
That was it! I bought it immediately.
Dresses. I love dresses. Dresses have always been my thing. Whether it’s a dress for an occasion, or just a dress for everyday, I love them.
Up to now, choosing a wedding dress has been way down on my list of priorities, but now it’s catapulted straight to the top.
It’s time to get excited for this wedding of ours.
Chris and I didn’t want to rush into anything, but after ten years together we’ve decided to get married.
There are two reasons for this decision: the romantic reason, and the not-so-romantic reason. We love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together, that’s the romantic version. The unromantic reason involves pensions and practicalities. Of course, it’s the former!
Chris is many things to me: chef, training partner, sub-editor. He’s also my best friend, soul mate and love of my life. When he asked me to marry him on Christmas day, it was a complete surprise, but I said yes. At the age of thirty-six, I didn’t think I’d be getting any better offers.
Plus, Chris is such a catch!
During the first few weeks of our engagement, there was a lot of excitement and celebrating. Friends and family gave us bottles in abundance. Some even passed on a few words of wisdom, sharing their experiences of weddings and marriage.
‘Don’t do it,’ and ‘Save your money,’ cropped up a few times.
There was one piece of advice that has stayed with us. ‘Enjoy the planning, because the day will pass in a blur.’
A few people said it. We’ve also been to enough weddings to realise it’s true. We’ve decided to enjoy every moment of the planning, which is why we’re launching this blog. It seems the best way to capture our entire wedding experience.
What better day to launch it than on Saint Valentine’s Day. Actually, we’ve been meaning to start for a while, but looking at possible venues has got in the way. Rather than admitting we were delayed, we’ll say it’s a strategic decision to launch on the most romantic day of the year. We couldn’t have planned it better.