Yay, it is June. Summer is here, which also means that ‘wedding season’ is here too (though if you want to save money, you’ll get married out of season).
I have been married for 3 months, so it now feels like good time to share a post wedding blog with you.
There is nothing quite like a major life event, or milestone to provoke people asking those out there questions about your relationship.
So, how is married life?
This is a question we are being asked a lot of at the moment.
Before the wedding, and even before we got engaged. It was “has he asked you yet?” and “when are you getting married?” and soon it will be “are you thinking of having children?”.
I mean, how do you even answer those?
“Well, we are still married, so y’know it’s going pretty well thanks”
In all seriousness though, it is a legitimate question. You have had your nearest and dearest celebrate with you and witness you making lifelong vows. So asking how things are is their way of supporting you, and seeing how you are settling into a new way of life.
Although three months is not really that long, I feel that we have settled into married life well.
I have moved in with my husband, who had his own house already, and I have subtly began to feminise it, to make the house our home.
We began married life travelling. Firstly we had a ‘mini moon’ to Paris,
Although on reflection, we both agreed that a spa weekend would have been just fine. Paris is delightful, but we were still so exhausted after the wedding.
Not content with just Paris (c’mon, I am a travel blogger) we had a honeymoon in Asia. Again this was a busy trip, which saw us visit 6 countries in just under 3 weeks. We felt like we lived at the airport, but had an incredible time.
It is exciting to be able to discuss the future as a married couple. We now feel that we have so much free time on our hands, now that we aren’t planning a wedding.
Apart from the fact that it took up most weekends of the preceeding summer, we did enjoy some aspects of the wedding planning process.
In general we felt very organised and quite relaxed about it all. I had created a getting ready timeline and decorations were organised into specific boxes to be taken to the venue.
That all changed when the ‘beast from the east’ showed up on the week of our wedding, and temperatures got down to minus 10 degrees. This lead to one of the most stressful weeks of my life.
At first, it was just a sprinkling of snow here and there. Then it hit big.
As usual, our country came to a standstill and noone was able to get anywhere.
On the weekend prior, we had been for a walk on the beach and the temperature was postively spring like, with sun and a light breeze. We had high hopes for the following weekend.
The week of the snow, I spent most of my days obsessively checking the weather, hoping it would magically melt and and we would have a 10 degree sunny day.
The problem wasn’t just with the weather in East Sussex however. We had people travelling from all over the country. My immediate family were travelling from Northern Ireland, and we had friends as far up as Yorkshire, as well as one bridesmaid in Dorset, and one in Derbyshire.
As the week progressed, we had a number of people cancel due to not being able to travel. It was sad but understandable.
In the end we realised the true meaning of the day. A wedding day isn’t about the beautiful dress or fancy place settings. It is (mush alert) a day to express your love and committment to another person for the rest of your lives.
This leads me to talk about how we didn’t just have one wedding, but two.
We got married twice: Our barefoot church wedding
If you read my previous blog on planning a wedding, you will know that I talked about how to make a wedding more affordable. It was always our intention to get married in our local church, which we could do for minimal costs a members. However, we were unable to access the building due to other events until mid afternoon. This would have meant that after the ceremony, and with up to a 1 hour drive to the venue, it would have been too dark to have photos taken outside. We felt this would have been wasting the money we paid for the venue.
It was important to us both to have a church wedding, and as members, they facilitated our legal marriage the day before.
We had a private family only ceremony in the church. This is the day we are legally married from, and the day in which is written on our marriage certifcate, though we will most likely celebrate the next day in years to come, as this was more meaningful as it included both our friends and family.
It was a beautiful and intimate ceremony. However, it was conducted with me being barefoot.
In the packing up of the house with wedding bits, my wedding shoes accidentally got packed into the van.
As I got ready at the oast House we had rented with family before the wedding, I realised that the only shoes I had were my winter boots, as I had minimal belongings with me.
So for our legal ceremony, I made my way to the church in a dress and my winter boots.
I ended up getting married barefoot. Like a beach wedding, except it was minus 2 and snowing outside at the time.
Following on from the legal ceremony, everything seemed to be quite chaotic, as we started to decorate the venue. However, we had so many amazing people help us out. My now brother in law, who is a sound designer organised the entire venue with sound and lighting equipment. It did look a little crazy the night before, with speakers and boxes everywhere, but it sounded and looked incredible on the day.
A friend, who is really creative made our welcome sign for us, which was awesome as things felt like they were falling apart with the stress of the snow and uncertainities of what guests could actually make it. Due to this, I couldn’t really think straight, or give any creative direction to the decorating process.
Both families also helped to set out all our little trinkets and table decorations, and the venue were incredible at letting us stay later to finish decorating.
Its a nice day for a white wedding
On the Saturday morning, I woke very early. The house was silent, and I was nervous, but excited at the same time. I had no idea what to expect, as I did not yet know who would be coming to celebrate with us.
I opened the curtains, fully expecting to see a blanket of snow, but there was none. Instead, there were blue skies. I was in shock. Could we have a sunny wedding?
At 7pm the day before, I learnt that one bridesmaid, who was stuck in Dorset had made it to the hotel near to the venue. Then at 7am I learnt that another managed to leave Derbyshire at 4am and would be with us by 9am. I could have cried with happiness.
I loved getting ready with family and friends around me. We loved our ceremony and being able to share with friends and family. It was so special, and we felt incredibly loved – overwhelmingly so.
It was generally all quite calm, until my mum walked in to the lounge in her PJs at 11am. Her hair and make up was done, but she was not ready and I needed help into my dress. Que a lot of faffing on my part.
Prior to getting in my dress, I realised that my fingernails had chipped, and so had a friend paint them again, and danced around untl they were dry.
As I finally got into my dress, things suddenly felt real. I loved my dress, and was considering selling it, but will keep it for a while at least.
For our journey to the venue, we were helped out by some friends. We had one friend use his beautiful mercedes as our wedding car, and transported mydad and I to the venue. Another friend, drove my husbands Audi with the rest of the bridal party.
The journey to the venue will remain one of my favourites with my dad. As we pulled off from the oast, we had arranged to have some of his favourite music played. At first he said nothing, then he looked at me, tearfully and said “did you arrange this”. It was so special.
As I arrived at the venue, and struggled out of the wellies and into my wedding shoes. I stood behind the curtian shaking for a few minutes.
The walk down the aisle was probably the fastest recorded in history. I was so nervous, and don’t think I looked up much. When I did though, I saw my friends and family smiling at me.
We loved our ceremony and being able to share it with friends and family. It was so special, and we felt incredibly loved – overwhelmingly so.
Our travel themed wedding
One aspect we decided upon quite quickly was the theme. As I am a travel blogger and we have both travelled to many places together, travel felt like a good theme option. We also had a few photography related aspects included on the day.
Below are some photos of how we incoroprated travel into our day.
Tips for newlyweds to be
- Get a decent make up artist. I paid for an amazing make up artist, and glad I did, as I have zero ability to do my makeup properly. Make sure you also have bits wth you for touch ups later in the evening.
- Don’t go cheap on photos. Get a proper photographer. One of my husbands oldest friends blessed us by capturing getting ready photos, as well as a couple shoot. Her images are used in various places on this blog, and she is credited as Victoria Brocklebank Photography. We also had another photographer, who is known to my husband (Colin Lavery – CPLavery Photogrpahy) capture the ceremony up to the first dance. Having two photographers gave us a varied perspective on the day, and it allowed our friend Victoria to enjoy being a guest at the wedding
- Allow some couple time. The day will come and go in a blur, and everyone wants a piece of you. Grab a few quiet moments as a couple together. We had a private room in our venue, and managed to have a few minutes to ourselves.
- Make a list (if not several). I am not a list person, but my husband is. As well as fogetting my wedding shoes the day before, I left them at the venue, and ended up wearing my wellies to the ceremony. I also forgot spare make up for touch ups.
- Have no regrets. There are a few things that I feel if I was to redo the day, I would do differently. Some things I do regret. I regret faffing so much on the morning, and not being as organised as I had liked. I regret not having a photo of my dad and I in the car, as I was too stressed over the fact I was running late. I also regret not having any of my work colleagues at any aspect of the day. In the end, you shouldn’t have regrets, but reflect on the good parts of the day.
We had an incredible wedding day, and I am so glad of the commitment we have both declared in front of those we loved. I am excited about the future which is to come.
Here is to the next chapter.