Next up in my wedding guest post series is Donna from redheadbabyled.com
Take it away Donna...
Hubby proposed to me back in February 2008 and I decided there and then that I wanted the big white wedding - every girl's dream - although until meeting my Husband I hadn't even thought about marriage, I never thought it was for me. But Hubby changed my opinion of marriage and asked me to marry him during a weekend away in Hampshire.
After Hubby's proposal I went full steam ahead with the wedding planning. We set a date - 29th May 2009, and had 15 months to prepare. I gave myself Christmas as a deadline to have everything except the invitations done - and somehow I got everything booked! I had a spreadsheet with the cost of everything, suppliers details, name and phone numbers - that spreadsheet was my bible for those crazy months of planning. Having everything done by Christmas meant I then had 5 months to focus on relaxing, growing my nails and not doing much at all - it was lovely!
We got married in Hubby's family church in Sandhurst, Berkshire and then had the reception in a country house in Wokingham. It really was the best day of my life - everything came together perfectly, I wasn't stressed at all and the sun shone. It really was incredible!
We had a three course sit down meal, a three tier traditional cake, I wore an ivory dress complete with veil, tiara, garter and heels. We had a white Rolls Royce as our wedding car, a burgundy colour scheme and roses everywhere - a burgundy rose bouquet for me and ivory roses for my bridesmaids. Two friends were bridesmaids and I had my little Brother and Sister as Page Boy and Flower Girl. There were around 60 guests at our wedding, everyone that was important to us at the time was there and it meant so much that people came, stayed overnight and really enjoyed themselves.
Most of our guests stayed overnight in the reception venue. We had a bar until late along with our wedding band - who happened to be Hubby's old school teachers, random but perfect. The band learnt our unconventional first dance song - Yellow by Coldplay and I had a dance with my Dad 'I Loved Her First' By Homeland. We aren't really 'disco' kind of people and had spent our whole relationship going to as many concerts as possible so a live band was very fitting for us.
Our whole wedding cost just over £15k including the honeymoon - Mexico, one of the first flights allowed to fly there after the swine flu outbreak! Fifteen thousand pounds. Such a huge amount of money - a deposit on a house! But it is money that I would spend again tomorrow! The biggest expenses, aside from the venue and catering were the photographer and videographer. You only get married once (or you should anyway!) and having photos and video to remember it by are so important to me, I really think they are worth investing in.
Hubby and I have now been married 4 years and I still remember the whole day as if it were yesterday - getting my hair and make up done in the morning and relaxing with my bridesmaids, stepping into my dress, getting into the wedding car with my Dad and sitting round the corner from the church for a few minutes because we were slightly early, standing outside the church ready to go in, my heart pounding in my chest walking down the aisle as the organ played, my voice cracking as I said my wedding vows and kissing my Husband for the first time. I remember the relief when we sat down to listen to the vicar speak and the tears pouring from my eyes where I'd been holding in the emotion during the vows - my Dad passed me a hanky to compose myself! I remember the signing of the registers, our choir singing 'You Raise Me Up' and 'Ava Maria', walking out of the church to the sound of the church bells ringing and having a couple of moments alone with Hubby before the guests came round to congratulate us.
The whole day went so quickly. It was the best day of my life yet one of the quickest. I'm glad that during the day Huby and I took a moment or two to find each other, have a hug and share a moment - you find that on your wedding day you don't spend much time together at all and instead get swept along in trying to talk to all of your guests.
My advice to anyone planning a wedding - Plan everything as soon as possible and then relax. Spend a chunk of money on the things that you are going to keep and look back on - the actual day goes by so fast that the money is better spent on maintaining the memories. Take a moment to find your Husband/Wife during the course of your wedding day - hold their hand, have a hug, just be. Lastly, enjoy every single minute of it. It goes far too quickly!