Well, it’s been an interesting few months to say the least. As the last time I blogged was in September, I thought I had better bring this baby right back up to speed. In the months that have passed I’ve become a Mrs, I have spent three weeks touring the Pacific Coast Highway, launched an LMP1 car and lost the most wonderful man I’ve ever met, my Grandad Sid.
To start from the first event of this quarter, in November I married by best friend Mark and became Ruth Harrison-Davies. The months of planning, stressing and sleepless nights all came good in the end and the day was everything we could have ever dreamed of and more. Huge kudos to my ‘bridesmates’ Scott, Lo and Jody for making the day go without a hitch and helping to keep the party raging until the early hours of the morning.
To all those brides-to-be out there, if I could share anything at all with you, it’s that I found that you don’t have to spend your entire life savings to have your dream wedding. A few thousand pounds and a handful of really awesome friends can get you a fantastic day without you waking up the next morning with a massive financial hangover. We spent money on the things Mark and I really wanted, but didn’t spend a single penny on things just for the sake of impressing our guests. Our ‘theme’ was ‘no theme’ – just stuff we liked and a relaxed, family get-together vibe.
If you want to get married in a church, obviously you have to pay the flat fee associated with a church wedding. It’s so easy to go wild and decorate the church with half of Interflora, but let’s face it, Churches are beautiful places (I am a little biased) and you’re really only in there for a short time. Rather than decorating it with flowers, I bought 200 tea lights from eBay for around £10 and filled the small church with them flickering in recycled jam jars. It was beautiful.
The Reception Venue
The venue was by far the most expensive part of the wedding, but that’s to be expected given they feed and water you all. However, it was a fraction of the cost of some of the £10 – 15,000 venues we looked at. How on earth can people charge you that much for a wedding? It’s insane. Put the word wedding in front of anything and they add a 0. We chose Bar 315 in Lepton because of its stunning views and even more amazing food. It was close to the Church we picked and we saved a packet by going for a Friday in November (I love Autumn). Plus, Emma, the events coordinator is absolutely amazing.
For table decorations, I collected a plethora of jam jars and decorated them with hessian and brown string to make my centrepieces. My uncle cut up some logs to make those funky log slices to place them on. For flowers, I saved myself £100’s by nipping to Asda two days prior to the wedding and picking up a load of roses, carnations and gypsophila and haphazardly popping them in the makeshift vases, at a cost of around £20. I also ordered hundreds of candles from China about a week after we got engaged and filled the rest of the jam jars with those. Our table plan featured some old stepladders decorated with fairy lights and string, with little brown cards with peoples names hanging down. Plus plenty more candles for good measure.
Well, I was one of those women who didn’t believe I would ‘know’ when I found ‘the dress’. I tried on about 20, then got fed up and thought ‘that one will do’. I just happened to stumble across another shop whilst having lunch with my mum. The shop, Marie Blanche Bridal in Barnsley was transitioning into a Plus Size Bridal shop, so were selling off all stock under a size 18. Winner. Although it was still too big for me, I fell in love with the dress when I tried it on. They also threw in the most beautiful head piece made of dried flowers, and a bouquet with flowers made of old ties, hessian and books. My shoes came from the Debenhams Blue Cross sale and I wear them regularly now. Can anyone actually remember what they looked like? No. Don’t spend a fortune on shoes you’ll never wear again.
The Supporting Acts
My maid of honour Lo looked incredible (it doesn’t take much mind you) and her outfit was from Zara, with her beautiful pumps customised by her own fair hands. Her accessories came from #swearword Primark. She looked the bee’s knees and her outfit was far more fitting with the laid-back vibe of the wedding that one of those samey bridesmaid dresses.
My auntie Lee-Anne supplied the most amazing cakes, one made of a plethora of Cheese bought from The Cheese Shop in Holmfirth (only £150!) and the other a sweet cake made by her own fair hands. (I didn’t get the chance to try either, but heard great reviews). Lo created her own chutney just for the occasion and that went down a treat.
Our guestbook came in the form of an old photo frame with the top cut off and clear PVC either side. People wrote messages on love hearts my husband had laser cut from wood at FASTsigns. He also cut all our table place names out of wood and made our table plan cards. Our ‘favours’ came in the form of Sparklers (eBay, £25.99 for 100) which we used to stage a ‘guard of honour’ photo with all our guests (day and night) as night fell.
There were so many amazing elements, but the photography by Tess Viera tells the story of the day far better than I ever could. We were reluctant to have a photographer as Mark and I hate posing for photos (I love a selfies, but that’s different). I had know Dan Bathie (Tess’ partner) for a while and after chatting to him about the need for a photographer who took photos but we wouldn’t know was there, it was clear he and Tess would do an amazing job. See the full collection here.
They listened intently when Mark and I explained “we don’t know what we want, just do whatever you think is best!” and did a fantastic job. I couldn’t recommend them more.
So, it’s been a rough few months, with incredible highs and lows. I’ve neglected this blog, but I hope you’ll forgive me. Thanks to everyone who’s been there for the ride.