Amie the Bride:
Tom and I met at University in Leeds. I remember on our first date we both turned up in basically the same outfit; jeans, blue top, white trainers, black coats! We had a wonderful evening and pretty soon I knew I had never felt this way about another person. It was the best feeling in the world. We partied hard in the first few years of our relationship and then together started working out how to be an adult!
Tom and I had been together for 8 years when he proposed. Over the years we have some amazing memories of time with our friends and families, holidays and buying our first house 4 years ago.
Tom has always been amazing with my sister Mollie. Mollie is autistic and has severe and profound learning disabilities. Some people can find it difficult to talk to Mollie or feel intimidated but Tom straight away was kind and accepting of her. Mollie loves Tom which is so important to me.
Tom proposed to me on his 30th birthday. I had no idea. We had been at one of my best friend’s weddings the day before and were feeling a little delicate! Tom planned a lovely walk with our cocker spaniel Hugo up Ilkley Moor. It was raining and I was tired and complaining (oooops!) It turned out perfect, the sun came out as we climbed to the top of the hill and I was taken completely by surprise. The best hangover cure ever!
I couldn’t wait to get started on the planning. We planned to get married 18 months later in order for use to save up and do as much DIY as possible. I loved the idea of DIYing with the help of family. Tom and I are both pretty laid back and it was our overall aim to have a relaxed day with the room filled with the people we loved most and have a party.
I always wanted to get married in or near to my home town of Portsmouth. I haven’t lived in Portsmouth since being a young child but it is where my family live and somewhere I have always returned throughout my life. Tom was happy for this too so we started looking at different types of venues from village halls to schools! When I saw the barn I immediately fell in love and we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. The old beams and fairy lights were what did it. It was completely dry hire so there was a lot of work involved and we had to hire everything including a bar, tables, chairs and all the crockery. The barn is a little rough round the edges but I quite liked that and the fact that we had no restrictions on suppliers meant we could do exactly what we wanted.
Tom picked his suit from Reiss
. He knew he wanted a light coloured suit and shopped around until he found the right one. Tom’s Mum made some alterations to make it the perfect fit. Tom’s shoes were from Kurt Geiger
and his bow tie was from French Connection
. He looked so good! I was really nervous about going wedding dress shopping, and I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I went looking for wedding dresses in various shops, both with my Mum and with my bridesmaids. I went to Glory Days Bridal
in York with my mum, we met the owner Hayley. She was so lovely and made me feel immediately relaxed. I looked at the collection of vintage dresses she has. They were amazing. I then looked at her own collection (Rolling in Roses
) and I fell in love, she is so talented. I went back to the shop on my own and picked the Pearl dress. Hayley helped me decide on a few changes to the dress. I picked a cape instead of a veil, also from the Rolling in Roses collection. It was very dramatic and I absolutely loved it. When else am I ever going to get the chance to wear a cape?! On the day I felt amazing!
The Decor & Styling
Pinterest was my best friend when choosing the decor and styling of the barn, though it was at times overwhelming and initially hard to define a theme but we got there in the end. I took inspiration from reading wedding blogs but also from non-wedding related things; I love the kinfolk style; sharing food, drink and time with loved ones. The food we picked was to fit in with this style; sharing platters of meats, cheeses and bread.
We did all of the decoration and flowers ourselves. Everyone pulled together to help, it really was a family affair! I made a lot of the decorations myself ahead of the wedding. A friend of ours, Jak, designed our invitations. He is so talented and should really become a professional!
My Auntie Lily helped me to decided on the flowers and I picked them from Dutch Masters
flower wholesalers. The staff at Dutch Masters were really helpful along the way. Lily and her friend Christine did all of the flowers for the venue and mine and the bridesmaids bouquet. It was a huge task and they did a fantastic job and did not stop all day. Tom’s Mum made the buttonholes which were just beautiful. She also made the cotton doily bunting. My Mum made Rhubarb and Ginger infused gin as favours for everyone and she made brownies for dessert. My Auntie Ella made the cake. My Uncle Mark provided all the strawberries for the dessert and Tom made 300 meringue kisses! My Dad made two incredible star marquee lights. My uncle Paul welded a giant metal star and heart which we wrapped fairy lights round.
The day before the wedding we were in the barn for 12 hours setting things up! It was definitely one of the most stressful days of my life. We had huge help from bridesmaids and their partners for the full 12 hours! Family were also incredible.
We had a civil ceremony, with neither of us being particularly religious. The ceremony took place in the barn on the stage. This was a little daunting, I was nervous about this bit and wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it. On the day I was taken by surprise. It was so lovely, I couldn’t stop smiling!
We didn’t have any readings, partly because we couldn’t think of anything that were meaningful to us and partly because I wanted to keep the ceremony fairly short for my sister to be able to cope with. She was so happy throughout the day and she really enjoyed it.
What can I say, our photographers are AMAZING. Initially we were going to have a friend do the photography but that didn’t work out so I started looking for a photographer. I came across Joasis Photography
online. I just loved the photos on Jo’s website. I love the creative way Jo captures moments; artistic, natural and informal. Just what we were looking for.
We had a pre-wedding shoot with Jo. This was brilliant because both Tom and I were so nervous and I usually hate having my photo taken. This shoot put us at ease and as soon as we met Jo I knew we were lucky to have found Joasis Photography. She is so kind and gave us a lot of helpful advice.
On the day Jo and Raf were such a pleasure to have at our wedding. Many of our guests commented on how lovely they are. I hardly knew anyone was taking photos! Jo helped me to relax on the morning of the wedding, she was so helpful and because I was quite busy getting ready she just got on and took photos, including making sure she photographed the rings and the stationary. We can’t thank them enough.
Choosing a first dance song was really hard for us. We had narrowed it down to Baby I’m Yours by Arctic Monkeys and Your Love Gets Sweeter Everyday by Finley Quaye. The latter was one of the songs that Tom had put on a mix tape for me early on in our relationship. But because it’s quite an up-beat song and neither of us has a talent for dancing we chose to have it as our exit song. We have both always loved Artic Monkeys and chose this song from a playlist that I made for Tom.
Both mine and Tom’s favourite part of the day was the ceremony. This came as a surprise to both of us. It felt really special and important. We looked into eachother’s eyes and it felt like it was just us, despite having about 100 people watching! I didn’t notice anyone else.
Be organised! Being organised doesn’t come naturally to me but there were definitely things I could have done earlier as opposed to the last minute (I was finishing things off at 5 am the day before and also putting together a playlist for the ceremony on the morning of the wedding!) If you have people helping out, make a list of everything that needs to be done and allocate the jobs to each person. I got overwhelmed on the day and couldn’t think of things for people to do even though there were lots of things to do! I tried to do everything myself a bit but that will never work!
Remember what it is all about and why you are doing it. Remembering this really helped me when I started getting carried away in the planning stage and also at the very last stages of setting up the day before. I was so stressed; we ran out of time so some things didn’t get done but no one else knew about those things and I was still getting married to the love of my life. On the wedding day I forgot all of the stress and got through the tiredness on pure joy and adrenaline!
Get an amazing photographer! The day went in such a blur of fun and happiness. When we got our photos it brought all of the memories back and it is such a precious reminder of this special day that we will have forever.