******I'm MARRIED and back with my report!******FLASHES p4******

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  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 0:40

    ******I'm MARRIED and back with my report!******FLASHES p4******

    I'm MARRIED!

    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.


    The Proposal:

    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 wedding abroad.

    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...


    The Dress:

    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 for nothing!


    The Theme:

    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... Smile

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 1:52

    Re: I'm MARRIED and back with my report!

    Such a lovely way to start your report!! I can't wait to read more!!!!! Big Smile

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 9:12

    Re: I'm MARRIED and back with my report!

    Wow what a lovely report so far - more please..........

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 9:23

    Re: I'm MARRIED and back with my report!

    This is a great idea and useful for other couples to read about some of the thought processes that can go into planning a wedding.

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 9:52

    Re: I'm MARRIED and back with my report!

    Already brilliant - more!!! & flashes of BM shoes!!!!

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 9:54

    Re: I'm MARRIED and back with my report!

    Love this so far, cant wait for more xx

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 11:35

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    more more more, type quicker Wink

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 17:44

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    Thanks for the positive comments! Part 2 coming up in just a sec...

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 17:52

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    Two Weeks Before Flying:

    With everything in place (other than the food – we were still umming and arrhing abut the BBQ and this wouldn’t be resolved until we were actually in Barbados!) I received a text on the Bank Holiday Monday from someone who had originally regretfully declined our wedding invitation...announcing that they had just booked their flight! Although thrilled that they were now able to attend, I was thrown into a bit of a tailspin trying to change the numbers for everything. Thankfully everything was do-able and Brenda from Rainbow Florists stepped in to make me a last minute corsage so that our new guest wouldn’t be the only one without one.

    That week I had Thursday off work, as I needed to take my cat to the vet for an on-going problem with his eye. I had taken my cat to several vets over the last year that had all said that there wasn’t a problem. The news from this vet, who was a specialist, wasn’t great but the problem at least was now recognised and manageable. Nevertheless I was in a furious mood with the previous vets who had all but branded me a hypochondriac for insisting that there was a problem. All I wanted to do was go home and spend the afternoon spoiling my cat but I had to go into work, on my day off, for a meeting that apparently couldn’t wait. I was in such a bad mood! It was chucking it down with rain and by the time I arrived at work at 4pm, soaking wet, for a meeting that was supposed to last three hours (THREE HOURS!!) I was ready to punch someone.

    We went upstairs for the meeting but no-one could find the right meeting room and the boss was missing. I was still soaking wet and stomping behind everyone else with a right face on me when my manager appeared and said that the meeting was in the big hall. The hall is freezing all year round, so in my wet angry state this was the last thing that I wanted to hear! I stomped into the dark hall behind my team to suddenly hear lots of cheering and the wedding march!! The young people that I work with had only thrown me a surprise party! The hall was decorated with streamers and pull out paper bells, there was a huge table filled with food, tables covered with confetti, and all of my colleagues sitting clapping and cheering! I have NEVER been so surprised in all my life. I was given a crown, a wand and a big bunch of flowers. The young people had prepared a presentation for me based around Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (I love that programme!) and then all made very heartfelt speeches about how much they appreciate me! There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Then there was so much food (including a cake and a giant cookie made by their parents) and then lots of comedy dancing and party games such as musical statues and limbo dancing. It was such great fun and a fantastic surprise. Bless them!

    By this point I was also getting slightly nervous about the whereabouts of my wedding cake topper – a life-like model of Mr J and me with our cats from an artist in China. The artist left it right until the last minute to finish and send, but it was finally on the way and I was mildly obsessed with checking it’s whereabouts on the Parcel Force website. I had a second brilliant model from Skyrocket which I would use as my cake topper if all else failed, but I really wanted to use Skyrocket's models as unique decorations on my drinks table immediately following the wedding service. Humph! Hurry up Parcel Force!

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 17:54

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    Type quicker. PLEASE! Loving it so far!

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 19:21

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    One week before flying:

    The topper was stuck in Customs, where it remained for most of that week. I veered dangerously between total despair, general acceptance and complete rage towards the artist for leaving it so long to post. To try to take my mind off things I busied myself by making personalised jute bags for all of our guests, and filling them with travel essentials such as adapter plugs, battery-operated fans, magazines and guidebooks.

    Two days before flying down to London and my last day at work I walked into my office to another surprise party! There was bucks fizz and food and pictures all over the walls of my head photoshopped onto various brides from BFGW – brilliant! I was given lots of cards and a lovely big wodge of cash from my generous colleagues who weren’t sure what vouchers to get me so opted for cash instead. I had no idea at the time how glad I would be for this cash the next day!

    That Friday was also the day that my topper was finally released from customs. I spent the whole day manically refreshing the Parcel Force website and finally, at 11pm that night, it arrived at my local sorting office! Knowing that my topper was so close but still out of reach lead to a rather sleepless night.

    I set my alarm for 7.30am on the Saturday morning and rang the sorting office the second that they were open to plead my case to them. I asked if I could pay the custom charges over the phone and then come down to the office to collect it, explaining that it was for my wedding and that we were leaving the next day. The girl on the phone at first sounded like she wasn’t going to help, saying that if I paid over the phone the payment wouldn’t clear until the Monday and they couldn’t release the parcel until the payment was cleared. I was just inhaling a deep breath to scream and shout and burst into tears when she suddenly said “if you come down with the money we can sort everything out for you straight away. We’re open today until 12”. I was straight out the door, only pausing to grab the envelope full of cash from my generous colleagues on the way! Twenty minutes later I burst into the Parcel Force office and whilst I paid the customs charge a nice man shuffled off to find my topper.

    As soon as I got home I ripped open the box and carefully took out the topper – it was perfect! As were the models of our cats to go with it. Well worth the wait!

    That day Mr J got his hair cut and we bought last minute things such as shampoo and suntan lotion. Mr J also bought me a brand new bright yellow suitcase, with matching hand luggage to carry my dress in!

    That evening I did a last load of washing, ready for packing in the morning before our flight down to London in the afternoon. Worryingly, Mr J took himself off to bed early complaining of feeling a bit under the weather – he has recurring problems with his ear so wanted to try to head off anything nasty with an early night...


    To be continued...

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 19:42

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    More please !! Smile

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2012 20:38

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****


    On Sunday morning Mr J woke up with the start of tonsillitis. He went to our local walk-in centre while I stayed at home to check-in online and to pack. He had the misfortune of seeing the local hippy nurse who advised him on lots of holistic alternatives to drugs and refused to treat him, despite knowing that he was leaving for his wedding the next day. Helpful! When Mr J threatened to make a complaint she gave him the details of a local emergency GP service, but still refused to treat him. So with our flight just 2 and half hours away Mr J was desperately trying to make an appointment with the out of hours GP. Luckily the GP was much more receptive and the correct drugs were administered and Mr J was able to ward off a serious onset of the virus.

    Because of the carry on at the walk-in centre we were running late and panicking slightly, and just about to ring for a taxi to take us to the airport. Mr J picked up his suitcase to take it to the front door when the zip gave way and all of his clothes went spilling all over the floor! We both just looked at the empty suitcase in his hand and went into meltdown. Mr J shouted one or two choice words whilst I resigned myself to missing the flight. We grabbed my old suitcase (that I wasn’t using because Mr J had bought me the nice new yellow one) and started to repack as quickly as possible. With it being an internal flight we had *just* enough time to still get down there before check-in closed half an hour before the flight. We called for a cab and he put his foot down the whole way to the airport. We got to check-in with literally one minute to spare, and then had to be rushed through the airport by a lady in a high-visibility jacket and impossibly high heels (just like you see on that Easy Jet programme) to make it through security and down to our gate in time for departure.

    We made it down to Gatwick and checked into our hotel for the night. We were the first people to arrive from our group so I busied myself with making up the travel bags for our guests.

    My parents were the next people to arrive, and they LOVED their bags! My mum was shrieking over hers in the bar where we met them. Then everyone else arrived together and again the bags went down really well, especially with the children in the group. Most people used their bags for the whole holiday.

    That evening we all shared a drink in the hotel and then it was time for bed. With a 10am flight the next day we all met in the lobby at 7am and went straight to check-in...

  • Posted: 3 Jul 2012 8:24

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****


    On the flight we all had seats together and Mr J bought a bottle of Moet for us all to share. The flight dragged...but when we finally started to descend over the crystal clear bright blue waters I was so excited that I could hardly breathe! We were finally here!

    We were collected at the airport in a large 10-seater taxi and driven to the villas. The garden was as stunning as it looked in the photographs and the villas were perfect. We unpacked, freshened up and headed out for a welcome meal...only by this point it was dark and we were unsure of the area and we couldn’t find anywhere open! The restaurant at the end of our street, Mullins, was supposed to be open according to the sign outside but it was in total darkness. A wooden building literally on the beach, the restaurant had no doors or shutters, so we were able to walk straight into the dark and empty restaurant. The views were breath taking from the open wooden windows, but as no-one was around we left and continued looking for somewhere to eat. We eventually took a taxi to a local Italian restaurant, and had our first experience of the local reggae pirate buses – ‘illegal’ yellow buses driven by locals who have zero regard for road safety, roaring down the road without a care in the world for their passengers, blasting out reggae music, tooting the horn and leaning out of the open door to entice passengers on board. The passengers all sit on the bus like it’s completely normal, calmly texting on their phones or looking out of the window...when we were on it we were all clinging on for dear life and laughing at each other like it was the funniest thing in the world!

    That evening, tired from the long flight (9 hours) and the time difference (5 hours behind) Mr J and I had a small argument about the food for the wedding, which still wasn’t sorted. The BBQ caterers were trying to charge an astronomical amount for the food, which we were both unhappy about, but which I couldn’t see an alternative to at such short notice. Mr J was trying to blame me for not negotiating hard enough, whereas I was blaming him for not being interested in the planning and leaving it all to me to sort out. Mr J apologised and agreed he had been rubbish, and said that we would just have to pay what the caterer was asking. I made a throwaway comment about how nice the restaurant at the end of the road would have been as a venue and that was it – a fire had been lit under Mr J. He agreed very enthusiastically and announced “Leave it to me! I’ll pull my weight” before we went to bed.

    The next day was Tuesday and we were meeting the planner that afternoon to go over last minute plans and to apply for our marriage license. That morning Mr J and I went back down to restaurant on the beach. Before we had even tasted the food (which did look good!) Mr J had summoned the manager to our table. An hour later, after several phone calls to the boss, the manager and Mr J were shaking hands and we had exclusive access to the restaurant for our wedding meal that Friday! All drinks were included in the price, as well as serving staff, chefs and just about everything else we could think of. The manager of the restaurant knew someone who could play the steel pan for us to arrive to, cocktails would be served on the decking as everyone arrived, and the restaurant could be decorated and arranged however I wanted. We left clutching a handful of menus slightly nervous about what the planner would say...

    We needn’t have worried! The planner thought it was a great idea, told us not to worry about the other caterer, and agreed to source some battery candles for the tables (the ceiling fans in the restaurant would blow out normal candles) and vases for my flowers. On the spur of the moment Mr J, clearly relishing his new found talent for wedding planning, asked Jean if she could source us a pirate bus to transport everyone from the house to the restaurant! The restaurant was literally 5/10 minutes down the road from the villa, but with people in heels Mr J wanted to lay on transportation. The planner laughed and found the idea hilarious, but said that it wouldn’t be a problem, and to her credit she rang us the next day to say that the bus was all sorted, much to Mr J’s delight!

    Jean drove us to get our wedding license, where we had to place our hand on the bible and swear that we were telling the truth as we read aloud from a prompt sheet. Mr J got quite emotional and his voice cracked as he was reading. The magistrate overseeing our application said that not everyone read the declaration with such conviction, and that it was a good sign! We left with the license there and then, which the planner then took to Reverend while we enjoyed the next few days of our holiday.


    To be continued!

  • Posted: 3 Jul 2012 9:14

    Re: ****I'm MARRIED and back with my report!****

    Loving this ......can't wait for flashes Smile

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