So where to start?Well we began to discuss ideas about the kind of wedding we would actually want. I mean, having been together for a little while, we had already had quite a few conversations that started with "when I get married to you..." but none of them were set in the context that this was actually happening!
We talked quite a lot about time of year. You see with some things S and I are polar opposites; our favourite time of year being the one thing we just can't agree on. I LOVE winter, my favourite days of the year are crisp, clear, frosty days, winter sun shining low but bright, yet bitterly cold. S on the other hand likes the hotter the better! Being a fair redhead I have always shied away from the sun, scared of resembling a beetroot, but I had to agree with her that summer is the perfect time for a wedding. We want a long, warm, summery day, and even I agree that winter just wouldn't be right for the kind of wedding we have envisaged for ourselves. We want a fresh, pretty, girly, romantic day, with beautiful sunshine and pretty flowers, and although getting married in summer doesn't guarantee sun, we have more chance than in the winter! So we decided on late June / early July, hopefully warm (for her) but not too hot (for me).
We had a brief discussion about budget, which I have to say although this will change as your plans take shape. Its a good idea to have an estimate of how much you can afford, by taking the amount of months you have until your ideal date, and multiplying this by how much you can save a month. Get a few wedding magazines-we were really shocked by how much things cost!
Ok so that's 'what' sorted (a wedding!!), and also 'when'. 'why' is easy - we are meant to be together (there is a list I wrote about 6 years ago of why I wanted to marry her, which I will share one day, but not quite yet as it will be a part of the speech I will make on the day - and S has never seen it!). So that left where, and who, and that more or less completed our initial plans.
We both had a very clear idea about where we wanted to get married. We both envisaged a very beautiful, old, stately home type place, with long sweeping driveway and long sweeping staircase and gorgeous gardens and Mr Darcy to arrive on horseback (ok maybe not). But we were in agreement that we didn't want a quick ceremony in the Registry Office and then a pint down the pub type affair, and we definitely needed to be at home (as in, in the UK). And a Church was out of the question.
And finally, 'who' = possible guest numbers. Well, we agreed on this pretty easily too! Both our families are made up quite nicely of parents, a brother, Grandparents, a couple of aunts and uncles, and cousins. We are both fairly close to our families, so decided to make the ceremony and wedding breakfast very small and intimate and family - only. As lovely as our friends are we felt keeping this split would avoid the inevitable "well she and her girlfriend were invited to the day, whereas me and mine were only invited to the evening" etc. Therefore, we totted up about 30 for the day, and then friends / colleagues / other randomers for the evening, which equated to about 100. Ish.
Before making any other plans, visiting venues, talking to suppliers etc I am really really glad we had these ideas in place. EVERYBODY wants to know - when are you looking for, and for how many people. So go with these ideas in your head!
So for the time being we left the plans there, and booked tickets to a national wedding fair, which was, well, interesting! Discussion on that to follow....
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