As you can imagine we didn't have much time to plan a wedding.
We decided on the 13th of December for a couple of reasons. Firstly it seemed fitting to pick a day that was exactly 3 months since we met, secondly being a week day made it easier to organise as placed weren't booked and finally it means that every year our wedding anniversary will fall in the middle of a yearly meteor shower. Very romantic.
We knew that we just wanted something small. Both hubby and I can be quite shy. We have also both lost a parent and I recently lost my godmother too. A big wedding wouldn't have been right for us without them.
At the time we lived close to Brighton. It seemed the perfect place. Lots of places that we could potentially have dinner, hotels for the few relatives who were coming to stay at and I could spend the night before at my best friend's house in Hove.
We decided on the Town Hall. The little rooms are sumptuously decorated and the town hall itself is very grand looking. They're also so helpful (and a bit of a bargain too!).
After that we could do the boring bit of giving notice. No-one told me that they'd split us up into two appointments and ask us both questions about the other. I spelt hubby's middle name wrong and was a bit worried that they'd not let us get married... thankfully they did! Finally we could start to sort out the details...
We bought our simple wedding bands while visiting the in-laws one weekend and hubby bought a suit for the occasion too. That was pretty much all of the stuff hubby had to sort out... I still had quite a lot to do.
The first (and maybe scariest) thing I bought was my dress. I remember going home to tell my dad that I was getting married in 5 weeks time. He was delighted for me, which was wonderful as I was so worried that he'd tell me not to rush things. The next morning one of the girls who works with him, that I've known for ages dragged me "just to look' at a couple of dresses... reminding me that 5 weeks was not a long time.
I knew we'd be having a small wedding, so as beautiful as big puffy princess dresses are, it just wouldn't have been right. Initially I thought I'd get a 50s style calf length wedding dress but I went along with trying on some other styles. I loved the big princesses dresses and had such fun putting them on, but then I tried on something special. A full length floaty dress with sheer arms and little jewelled straps. Nothing like I had imagined but it was perfect. Even more perfect was the fact that the sample size fitted. So having just gone out to try on dresses for fun by lunchtime that day I had my beautiful wedding dress packed carefully and was carrying it home. Getting shoes ended up being an equally simple (but much less expensive) trip to Debenhams.
At the time of our wedding our youngest niece had recently been discharged from special care and still needed oxygen with her all the time. We needed to find somewhere to have dinner afterwards that meant we wouldn't be exposing her to lots of germs. A very short stroll from the town hall is the Hotel Du Vin. They have a beautiful little private dining room with an open fire and a good wine list. Two things that were very important to us. We decided to book there.
(I had to pinch the picture from www.myboutiquehotel.com)
At the same time I found they had some very lovely hotel rooms. The nicest room not only had two roll top baths in the bedroom but also a telescope. Perfect for watching the falling stars out of the window! Thankfully the room was still free with only a month or so to go, so we booked that too.
I often wonder what the people at the hotel thought when I was booking things so last minute. I'm sure that they thought I was insane.
Our invitations were from vista print, which thankfully arrived within a week of ordering them. I had all these dreams of beautiful handmade invitations but with such little time and so many other things going on at work it was never going to happen. I was so pleased with these invitations, it was important to me to have something special to send to the special few invitees and these were perfect.
I had planned to bake a small wedding cake myself and even went as far as buying two cake tins. Retrospectively this idea was complete madness. Luckily, in Costco of all places, we saw these beautiful glazed fruit cakes bursting with dried fruit and nuts. I decided to buy a couple of those and cut one smaller to make the cake layered. I decorated it with ribbon, shimmery dust and snow flakes. It looked beautiful and tasted delicious, not to mention that it probably saved me hours of tears in the kitchen.
The final thing I had to do was to organise flowers. I didn't have any bridesmaids so I just wanted something little for myself. Two days before the wedding I had been at a study day in Hove, and took a walk to the pretty florist nearest to my friend's house. I explained that I was getting married in two days and wanted a simple wintery bouquet. After the lovely florist lady had got over the shock of my last minute request she promised to make something nice and I told her I'd pick it up the morning of the wedding.
The next day, the day before the wedding, I just had a few loose ends to tie up. The friend I was staying with met me at my flat and helped me carry the cake, dress and shoes to her house. We popped out the shops in the afternoon and I spent an hour in the lego store picking the mini figures who looked most like us to be bride and groom on our cake. I think that I did pretty well!
With a whole 24 hours to spare I had everything organised and wasn't feeling stressed out in the least. It was the beginning of a perfect wedding...