I had been planning my wedding day (minus the groom) since I was about five years old so I was overjoyed to marry my incredible husband (it still sounds weird calling him that), Mike, on 25 June this year. We met at the University of Birmingham, where we were both students and we have been together for somewhere between seven and eight years.
Although Mike and I had been together for a while, getting married was important to us. So many of our friends and family have strong, successful marriages, and we tried to incorporate that into a general ‘love’ theme at our wedding. Rather than celebrating the start of our life together, we wanted to celebrate the journey we had already been on and how our friends and family had influenced that, as well as making the formal commitment to each other.
Lots of brides that I know hated planning their weddings but I am a planner; I write our meal plans each week, book our holidays months in advance (and create detailed excel itineraries) and buy Christmas presents in February (the difficulty comes from hiding them for 10 months!). So it was no surprise to anyone that I loved every minute of wedding planning. I was involved in all the tiny details of the planning and Pinterest was my world for quite a while. In the end, Mike and I ended up doing as much as possible ourselves, including: making our wedding invitations and DIY blackboards (buying wood then cutting, sanding, painting and writing on them); learning to code so I could build our wedding website; roping Mike in on printing, cutting and sticking 108 ceremony fans (his favourite job!); and infusing homemade limoncello for our favours. There were times when we wondered what we had taken on; it was like working a second job. We were up well past midnight every night sticking, cutting and sorting all our bits and pieces and we would wake up early to start again and do as much as possible before going to work for a break!
From one brother playing the piano as I walked down the aisle to my other brother painting our cake toppers, we tried to make the wedding as personal as possible. All the detail had a meaning: my Grandfather had saved some fondant flowers that my Granny had made so we used those on our cake; Mike’s sister and my uncle did readings; and we had photos of all the family weddings on display to celebrate the wonderful couples who have influenced our relationship and helped us to get to where we are today. Our dog attended the wedding for some photos – Mike dissuaded me from allowing him to be ring bearer (wise decision). We wrote our own vows, and managed to make almost exactly the same promises to each other. The speeches were brilliant – a good mix of emotional, funny and personal – and the girls were well represented with two Maids of Honour, the Mother of the Bride, as well as my own impromptu speech (big up the girls!).
The day itself was perfect. I know everyone says that but it really is true; it was better than even I could have ever imagined. All my Pinterest boards came together and it was so good to see the ideas in my head becoming a beautiful reality. All our favourite people in the world were in one place for one day and everyone was so happy. The day was made even more special as several of our friends travelled from around the world to be in the same room as us, and we were touched by how many people made such an effort to be there. The day was filled with so much love and laughter and it is a day that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
The post-wedding blues have yet to hit us. We are still on a high, enjoying readjusting to married life, although in reality much is the same as it was before; Mike’s favourite phrase is ‘everything has changed, but nothing has changed’ and it’s so true!
I have started this blog to share my DIY attempts; my tips, my failures and to be brutally honest about wedding planning. I hope to help other DIY brides and save them time and (hopefully!) money – watch this space!