My parents and sister live in New Zealand so we went out to visit them and my sister’s new baby. We took a few days to ourselves to explore the west coast and see the glaciers, little did I know George had booked a helicopter flight to the top of the Fox Glacier where he planned to propose. We turned up for the flight but they were all cancelled due to weather so we decided we’d walk along the track in the pouring rain and take a look at the glacier from the base instead. We trekked for three hours in torrential rain, could barely see the glacier but we couldn’t stop laughing. We were completely soaked through so about half way along I spotted the outline of the ring box in George’s pocket and I spent the rest of the walk utterly elated. We took a break near the end on a bench by one of many waterfalls where George got down on one knee and finally asked the question I’d waited nine years to hear!
We were fortunate enough to be able to have our wedding in George’s mum’s home, on the front lawn in a marquee. This gave us the opportunity to really put our stamp on everything, from timings, colours, flowers, caterers, bands, what we served and how we served it and most importantly to us – what time we finished partying! Our colour scheme was a mix of greens, whites and golds. Our flowers where eucalyptus, trailing ivy, ferns, white roses and gypsophila. We had hand painted white signs with gold decals, white balloons filled with gold confetti, light up “G & J” wooden letters, a lined walkway entrance and a rustic wooden bar. My bridesmaids wore asymmetric green dresses with buttons down the back and the groomsmen wore dark grey tails, light grey waistcoats and matching green cravats and pocket chiefs, while the dads wore silver cravats and pocket chiefs and George stood out in gold. We had a £1 bar that became a free bar a little into the evening and we had a club-style DJ set up with saxophonist and confetti canons to entertain everyone until gone 4am.
I was so excited about shopping for my dress but there definitely feels like quite a bit of pressure, especially if you don’t give yourself enough time or you take too many people with you! I started looking for a few months before I was serious about buying it and I took a few different people each time before I was ready to make the final decision, which I did with my mum and sister only.
I tried on loads of different styles of dresses, even ones I knew I wouldn’t like before I settled on the style I wanted to make sure I didn’t just go off what I’d seen in magazines and on Pinterest! as it happens when it came to buying ‘The One’, this was a much harder decision than I expected! I loved two dresses, I felt amazing in one and beautiful in the other so I went with the one my family reacted the best to – and I didn’t regret it!
I had been to many bridal stores and boutiques before finally stopping at Emma Louise Bridal and I was completely blown away. It was everything I have ever wanted in a boutique, from the amazing amount of choice, to each individual room where I tried on many dresses! The team, Amber in particular, were truly amazing. They offered advice and help and friendly faces and I just knew I wanted to buy my dress from there from the moment I walked in. I’ve recommended Emma Louise Bridal to other brides to be since and who have even bought their dream dress from there too, having had an equally amazing experience themselves.
I really loved getting ready in the morning – I was so excited but also quite nervous. It was so nice to be surrounded by my family and best friend, they kept me calm when I started going a little bit mental! But my favourite moment by far was the church, we had always wanted a church wedding and the moment I saw George at the end of the aisle everything and everyone melted away and it was just us and the vicar, laughing and enjoying the moment.
We went on honeymoon to South Africa over Christmas. We have always wanted to go together and do a safari and it didn’t disappoint. We did some parts of the trip on a budget and other parts blow out so we got the best of both worlds and by going over Christmas it meant we spent the first married holidays as just the two of us, which felt really special.
Don’t buy too much you can’t re-use – you’ll have no where to put it! Make as much as you can, it’s a really fun part of planning the wedding and you can get other’s involved to help. In the days before, you’ll have loads of people, friends and family, asking what they can do to lend a hand so have a list of things ready to go – those last few days are a little hectic so it’s great to have a ready-to-go list of actions and who can do them. Something, whether big or small, will go wrong on the day but I promise you’ll be one of very few people who notice – don’t dwell on it and don’t let it take over the day! Lastly, sit together and create a proper list of must-haves and nice-to-haves before you start planning so if your budget starts to feel a little tight later down the line, it’ll help you prioritise what you want the most – the rest you can normally find a lower budget version for, or maybe even make.