It was such a fantastic day. Honestly the best day of my life.
Get ready for a lonnng report - I'm in the process of trying to write everything down before I forget it. Our wedding was just over a week ago and already it's one great big happy blur. When a wise OM tells you that your day will fly make sure you listen and enjoy and savour every second as it's all over so quickly.
So, are you sitting comfortably? I'll begin right at the beginning...
How we met:
January 2007. We were both volunteering as Special
Constables. Mr J had been volunteering for a few years, but it was one of my
first times on duty. I walked into the office where Mr J was and he became so
flustered that he started dropping things on the floor. We got on all night,
and at the end of the duty in the middle of the custody suite he asked for my
email address...but with no paper/phone to hand he had to memorise it...and I
assumed that by the morning he would have forgotten it. I was wrong! First
thing Monday morning I had an email from him and we’ve been inseparable ever
since. It was months later before Mr J admitted that he inadvertently emailed a
lot of other people before he managed to get my email right!
Our relationship was cemented with a last minute
holiday to Barbados in May 2007. We got on the plane ‘going out’ and came back
well and truly in love.
I love Disney films, so for my birthday Mr J whisked
me to Florida in December 2007. Watching the amazing fireworks explode over the
Magic Kingdom castle, I turned to say something to Mr J...only he wasn’t there!
Looking down there he was on one knee, asking me to marry him in the middle of
Disney Land! I said yes immediately and we watched the rest of the fireworks as
an engaged couple.
When we got back to the UK Mr J and I visited Hatton
Garden in North London, where he bought me the most beautiful 1ct solitaire
platinum engagement ring.
Planning the Wedding:
As we’d only been going out for a year before getting
engaged, we weren’t in any rush to set a date for a wedding. Every so often we
would start to discuss it, but then life would get in the way and the subject
of the wedding would be put to one side.
Over the years we discussed lots of different options,
from a wedding in the countryside, to a simple registry office wedding, to even
a wedding in Disney Land (it seemed like a romantic idea until we found photos
of Disney ‘cast members’ dressed as Mickey and Minnie and acting as witnesses
at one couple’s of wedding!). The one idea that we kept coming back to was an
intimate wedding in Barbados, the island where we fell in love, and in
September 2011 we set the wedding for June 2012 in Barbados.
As we wouldn’t be having a traditional wedding with a
wedding breakfast followed by an evening do we decided instead to make the
wedding a two day affair, with the wedding taking place on the Friday and then
a private chartered boat on the Saturday to take us all on a snorkelling trip
with turtles (Mr J and I did a similar trip on our first visit to Barbados and
it was amazing, so we knew we wanted to share the experience with our guests as
part of the wedding).
Jean from Island Bliss was our brilliant wedding
planner based in Barbados. Invitations were sent out and we were thrilled to
receive acceptances from 6 people – just the right amount for our intimate
Originally we intended to get married on the beach,
followed by a meal at the Lone Star restaurant. However, as plans started to
progress we realised that we didn’t actually much like that idea – no privacy
on the beach, just a small area of the restaurant as ‘ours’, an early finish
time and very expensive drink prices/corkage fees. So, four months before the
wedding, we changed everything. We decided to book three villas set in their
own acre of private garden. There was plenty of space in the villas for our
guests and we could hold a very private wedding ceremony in the beautiful
tropical garden. We planned to have a BBQ in the garden afterwards with a
catering company doing all of the work...
As soon as we had set the date I went dress shopping.
My mum and I went to just one shop and the very first dress that I tried on was
‘the one’ – Ireland by Maggie Sottero. I tried on a couple more dresses just to
be sure, but the first dress was definitely the right one for me (it made my
mum cry). My generous parents paid for the dress and the order was made. I was
border-line between two sizes and on the spur of the moment opted for the smaller
size...then spent the next few months and all of Christmas worrying about
putting on even an ounce of weight! When the dress finally arrived it was a
perfect fit and only needed taking up slightly at the bottom. All that worrying
The theme for our wedding was based around Cymbidium
Orchids – white and hot pink with an accent of silver to tone everything down
and to match the men’s dark grey suits.
We had bright pink shoes for the Bride, maid of honour
and bridesmaid. My dress was white with silver embellishments, my 10-year-old
bridesmaid was also in white and my best friend maid of honour was in a floor
length silver gown from Monsoon. The men and the pageboy were in grey.
The flowers, white with a pink centre, were artificial
from etsy seller Glam Floral. They were amazingly life-like, and travelled
surprisingly well, first all the way from America where they were made, and
then all the way to Barbados in my parents’ hand luggage.
The favours were also from etsy, orchid cufflinks for
the men and a bracelet featuring three silver orchids for the ladies.
We had dark grey coloured stones as the place
settings, engraved with our guests’ names.
To be continued...