Wow, that was a full on few months. All I can say to anyone who is holding off from getting married because it looks like a lot to organise is just do it. Do it your way, with the people that you want there and in the style of you as a couple. D and I were very lucky to have had some serious financial contribution from my dad, brothers and sister, without which the day would have shaped up very differently. But with or without a slightly bigger budget you should aim to get together with all the people that you love in one room on one day of your life because it fills your heart up each time you remember it.
This day for us as a family was more than just a wedding; it was a benchmark that put the last year behind us and was a happy new memory for us all to hold in our minds for the coming years. Yep, Dad wasn’t there and neither was Mum but my fears of sobbing on the day went out of the window the second I arrived. I looked around and saw the love that I do have right now in that room full of people. (I had sobbed every single day the week before and I think I got it all out in time).
The day was rainy and pretty windy but the venue we had chosen mean’t that we didn’t have to think about weather issues. Pangdean Barn is about 5 miles out of Brighton and is a magical venue. The minute Dan and I looked round and saw the ceiling full of fairy lights and walls stuffed with hay bales we stopped our search and booked it immediately. Nicky and her team do all the food on site and we had a delicious salad, followed by sausages and mash; it was perfect. The team at Pangdean are seriously slick, but they are also warm and approachable and will do everything possible to make the day as you want it.
My mums sister, Caroline conducted an incredible humanist ceremony that we worked on with her very closely to ensure it was true to us. Caroline had done a huge amount of research for us and was such an amazing support to me in the run up to the wedding, I am so lucky that Mum had such great siblings (Charlotte, her other sister helped to do all the stunning flowers the day before as well).
Our photographer Anna Pumer was simply amazing (all the photos here are taken by Anna). I loved having her at our wedding, we got on so well that I spent time choosing to chat to her even with all the other guests there that I rarely see. (Anna also recommended my amazing hair and make up artist Nicky from Pretty Pout who was the calmest most patient person ever (I didn’t have a clue what I wanted during the trials and she was uber cool about it). She was like a ninja and had a tool belt (type thing) with her cameras attached. She is bubbly, always smiling and looked like she was having a ball taking the photos. My brief to her before was to try to get one of me, Dan and the boys and then the rest as she liked. I was over the moon with the photos that she captured of me and my boys, and here are some of my favourites.
The flowers had been curated by one of my best friends, Jade Goto . Jade is an RHS Chelsea award winner and a landscape architect. I’m pretty sure I was one of her trickier projects as I had no idea what I wanted other than “meadowy”. She was very patient with me and we got there; the end result was absolutely perfect and the flowers looked stunning. I couldn’t have asked for anything prettier.
I am not sure I can even begin to put into words how happy a day it was. D and I are so cliche but both said afterwards (bar the birth of each kid) it was the best day of our lives. Right now when I’m really missing mum and dad I just open up my photos (all 750 of them) and remember how very very lucky I am to have had such an amazing day. The day is over but the photos remind me of the love we have of all our incredible friends and family. What more could a girl want?