What you’re about to read was written on the 15 April 2018, 2 weeks after Ed popped ‘The Question’ and I said yes.  I didn’t published this post at the time as it was too emotionally charged and so it has sat in my draft inbox ever since.  But after what was without question the best few days of my life, I wanted to share with you my thoughts and feelings about our wedding when the planning phase had only just begun and how it all turned out in the end.

15 April 2018

The last two weeks since I got engaged have been a complete whirlwind.

I’m writing this at 7am on a Sunday morning –  when I should be enjoying a lie in – because my mind is racing a million miles an hour and I can’t sleep. (I may need to dig out my yoga mat later or get myself out for a run or something!)

Ed and I are hoping to get married later this year and I’m sure anyone who has been involved in planning a wedding will know, coordinating a venue/vicar/ key guests and a caterer last minute – I know it’s crazy that 6 months is considered quick in wedding terms – is like mission impossible.

I’m really trying not to be a bridezilla – a derogatory term that I’ve decided I already hate by the way.  But having, if I’m honest, never really wanted a ‘wedding’ and when I say this I don’t mean that I don’t want to marry Ed.  Just that I don’t want all the fuss and big formal affair that accompanies the marriage. I’m struggling to know what I want.  But guess what as soon as you get engaged everyone asks you! A lot!  All the time!

So in an attempt to figure things out and to try and fix a date, as that is the killer question that EVERYONE is dying to know and is something we are really keen to set;  I’ve taken my usual all or nothing approach and lined Ed and I up to meet with a number of local providers……  in the space of three days……. which alongside busy farm work has felt epic.

We’ve both been pretty tired and stressed not necessarily the best combination going in to it but the weather has been good here for a couple of days and so Ed has had to try and make the most of it to get a lot of field work in the tractor done to prepare the fields for ploughing.

We’ve also had a number of calves born and the usual yard work to do as the weather has meant that we haven’t been able to get all of the cattle out of the sheds yet. Thank  you to Margaret who has held the fort while we’ve been off the farm considering our options, we couldn’t have done it without you.

I think we’re finally getting there with a plan – I say half-heartedly because I’m also one of the most indecisive people ever!  And as I’m writing and trying to firm up our decisions, I’m reflecting on what is really important to us:

  • That we don’t loose ourselves and our personality and distract from the real purpose of the day which is for Ed and I to show our love for each other and make a life long commitment to be there for one another.
  • That we want to have an informal but special gathering of our close friends and family who for me are distant now so I’m keen to spend as much quality time with as I can
  • And that we have a fun evening party that all our local friends and neighbours can come and dance and celebrate with us

And on the trusted advice of close friends and family who all say how special their wedding day was, even friends like me who weren’t dreaming of their wedding day since they were 5 years old.

You reach the conclusion that you just have to go for it!

I think the good thing about it all is that I’ve got a completely open mind as to what the wedding could be like.

And as I write this I realise that actually I don’t want a traditional wedding, I want a ‘party’!

This may seem hard to understand or you may totally get it, but I’ve really struggled to get my head around planning a wedding – I think because it feels like it’s something for Ed and I – almost over indulgent.

Where as when I just wrote the word ‘party’ it feels like a lightbulb has just gone on in my head!   A party feels like something we host, for those we love to enjoy and that we will enjoy too,  something I can totally get excited about organising!

Wow – Language is so important isn’t it.

We love having people to stay with us, only this time it will be on a much larger scale with a marriage ceremony and a public declaration of our love thrown in to the mix too!

It’s perfect.  Ed and I have always said we want an intimate church ceremony and then a big party so that’s it, from now on the ‘wedding’ shall be referred to as the ‘party’ and I won’t be trying to uncomfortably squeeze our party vibe in to the traditional wedding top and tails.  Although Ed may still be wearing these 🙂

I’m still not sure exactly what all of this means our wedding will look like, but after a few deep breaths I think I’m ready to move forward with the planning.

I have to confess that even after writing this at the start of our wedding planning phase, things didn’t magically get better and I had a couple of melt downs along the way, and periods where I wished I had pushed Ed to run away with me on our own to make our vowels.

But I’m soooooooooooooo glad that I didn’t.

We’ve made memories that Ed and I will treasure forever, and have just had the best time ever.  I have to thank all of our amazing friends and family for making the last few days the most special of my life and for making the effort to come and travel to celebrate with us in Cornwall.  

I’m not sure I’ll ever get all of my loved ones around me like that again and it was truly magical.

So as a just- married-bride who didn’t want a wedding what can I say about planning a wedding when you don’t want a wedding……… 

1. It will be stressful one way or the other even if you’re a chilled out bride like me. But don’t be put off because for 99% of the time it’s also a lot of fun too!

2. Everyone tells you that a wedding is your special day and to do it how you want to regardless of everyone else.

To some extent I agree with this,  but I’ve also realised through the process that a lot of my enjoyment came from seeing other people happy and enjoying themselves.

Let’s face it giving is far more fulfilling than receiving, and whilst you don’t want to loose yourself completely in your wedding planning and let every detail / decision be down to someone else or feel like you’re being dictated to.  I found that including those nearest and dearest to you, who have your best interest at heart  in the wedding planning and allowing them to share those special moments like choosing your dress, or your caterers, or involvement in the wedding service – means a lot to them but will also mean a lot to you when you see how happy it makes them on the day.

3. I learnt that delegating certain responsibilities or decisions that perhaps weren’t as important to me but were to my parents for example, really helped to share the loadand meant that actually they did a far better job at it than I would because it was really important to them and they cared about it more than I did.

4. My other big piece of advice would be to choose suppliers for your wedding who can do a good job but that most of all you get on with!  We had the most incredible group of people involved in our wedding – they made our wedding the success it was and we found it so easy to work with them as we fundamentally liked them as people and got on.  

5. Finally and most importantly  for any bride and groom trying to plan their wedding is – don’t sweat the small stuff.  There’s plenty of other people around to do that sort of thing for you.  Yes this is probably one of the biggest parties you will ever plan but it will all come together I promise you.

After months of preparation, the wedding celebrations are over far too quickly so be sure to live in the moment when it comes, taking time to stand – back and take it all in, immersing yourselves in the love and positive energy surrounding you in whatever type of room you’ve decided to celebrate your marriage in, because the feeling is electric and will give you a better high than you’ll have ever had before.

To quote Big Chris from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels “it’s been emotional!” But do you know what I wouldn’t have it any other way.

From the newly married Mrs Hooper who has just enjoyed the best party ever – #nedwed