‘Twas the night before the wedding…

…and all through the house,

the bride was in meltdown

BECAUSE THERE WAS A RED STAIN DOWN THE BACK OF HER DRESS!

This happened to me the night before my wedding day. How it got onto the dress (MY DRESS!), I’ll never know. It had been handled only in sterile environments for just shy of a year. Freshly showered, I had wrapped my face in a hand towel every time tried it on. It even had its own bedroom and visiting hours at my parents’ house. And now, with less that 24 hours to go, it. was. RUINED!!!!!

I cried and went to bed.

The next morning, I went to Marks and Spencer and bought some silk stain remover wipes. The morning I thought I would spend sipping champagne in a white robe, air-kissing and hand-wafting with my girls (in matching robes) was spent stuck behind a tractor on my way to Darlington town centre.

I learnt a lot from this. Yes, I had a bridezilla moment that I will forever be slightly ashamed of, but it made me realise what is really important. If someone had told me I would spend the morning of my wedding in Marks and Spencer I would have vowed not to. But, I’m glad I did.

Your day will be what it will be. Be thankful for what it decides to become. And if things don’t *quite* go according to plan, you will find your own Marks and Spencer stain remover wipes, somehow.

Trust me. We got the stain off. All was fine.

As Bruce Hornsby once said, “that’s just the way it is.”

Ab-stain

Abstain, you stain!

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‘Twas a year before the wedding…

…and all through the town,

the new bride (-to-be) had chosen

what she thought was probably going to possibly be the perfect wedding gown.

And it was.

Start as we mean to go on...

Start as we mean to go on…

Yes, I got my dress a whole year before our wedding date. Believe me, this is a big deal for possibly the most indecisive person in the world. However, when they say you find ‘the one’, it is true. Sort of.

I bought my dress from an outlet shop in Acklam, Middlesbrough. Sadly, the shop is no longer there. It was the second shop I’d visited and, as I’ve already mentioned, I knew the style I wanted. That was the style I was desperately trying to make my body look good in.

Initially, I tried on MY dress (THE dress) for a joke. My mum wanted me to so I thought I’d give mother’s choice a go. For a laugh.

And, as I stood on that little stool that all bridal shops have, I knew it was something special, but in a good way. A dress that I thought would never EVER work made me feel incredibly special. I felt like I was wearing a wedding dress; my wedding dress.

My mum bought me my dress there and then. It was an absolute bargain (>£300 anyone?!), fitted me perfectly and was a one-off. It took some doing but I made a decision and never regretted it. (Apart from my mini ‘dress-related’ meltdown the week before the wedding. Standard)

Now, I was certainly very lucky with my dress, but my advice to any bride would have to be: don’t rule out the outlet.

As Cilla Black once said, “life is full, full of surprises!”

 

 

“I am a princess and I want to go to bed!”

You are a princess.

We are all princesses. But, as a bride, you feel you need to be the most princessy princess of all, right?

I defy any bride to NOT want to feel, in herself, incredibly special, and there is no better way of doing this than with a perfectly princessy dress. And shoes. And hair. And teeth. And veil. And underwear. And shoes. And jewellery. And make-up. And skin. And nails. And figure.

I worried about all of these things. I worried that if, in any way, these ‘oh so important’ things were not perfect, MY day would not be perfect. I worried that if, in any way, I did not achieve and maintain ultimate, lasting beauty in each of these areas, I would (p)regret it.

I want to tell you so much about this. I want you to know how my perception was challenged and changed. I want you to share in what i learned. And I will.

But, for now, let’s just look at this.

Letting it go...

Letting it go…

This photo was taken at the end of the night. And, do you know what? I don’t care. I am having fun.

My sister recalls me sitting (in this state) pulling out my hair grips whilst stating, “I am a princess and I want to go to bed!”

I don’t think I was truly a princess until that point.

As Elsa once said, “let it go!”

Keep an open mind…

I had very clear views about the type of dress I wanted. I knew what I wanted to look like.

“long-sleeved, lace, pure white dress with no train, no veil and hair down”

This was me on my wedding day.

My dress

My dress

As you can see, the end result was somewhat different.

When searching for ‘the one’ (the dress, that is), my advice would be to keep an open mind. You never know what you may find.

As Dinah Washington once said, “what a difference a day* makes.”

*That day being the day I actually tried on the dress of my dreams and looked like a lace-covered letter T.

 

Don’t pregret it!

There were so many things I regretted about our wedding before they happened. But, when they had happened, I didn’t regret them.

Strange, that.

I am worrier, a splendid worrier, and I am always ready with the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘p(remature)regrets’.

A classic from our wedding was…

“I’m really going to regret it if I don’t get a photograph of us with everyone at the wedding.”

So, I bought a camera. And carried it around with me all day.

This was one of 9 photos I took all day.

No (p)regrets!

Que Sera, Sera…

Do I regret it? Not at all!

Don’t waste time worrying about the what ifs and pregrets.

As Doris Day once said, “que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.”

I call upon these friends here present…

 

I have always known that I am so lucky to have such a remarkable group of friends. But, I was truly overwhelmed by the support, generosity, kindness and indeed the talents of my friends in the build up to our wedding.

With a view to keeping it personal, my husband and I asked friends and family to get involved fully in the preparation and wedding day itself. The cake, the photographs, the music, the centrepieces, the invites, the favours (to name a few!) were all made with love by those we love most in the world. And this, quite simply, made the day even more beautiful.

Invite the people who know you best to help make your day best for you. They want to and they will.

As Dionne Warwick once said, “that’s what friends are for.”

Wooden Centrepieces by Matthew 'Whitwood' Whitaker

Woodcraft by Groomsman Matthew ‘Whitwood’ Whitaker

Cake by My Rachel

Cake by My Bridesmaid Rachel

Cupcakes by Jess

Cupcakes by Jess

Favour boxes by Lovely Kate

Favour boxes by Kate