In just over a month my husband and I will be celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s already been 7 years, it has gone so quick and when I think of our wedding day it seems like it was only a few months ago, yet we have achieved so much it that time that it also feels longer than 7 years, if that makes any sense at all. Either way we the 7 years we have been married is only a part of our journey as have in fact been together since we were 16. At 32 this now means we have spent as much of our lives together as we have apart, which is a crazy thing to be able to say but one I am blessed to say none the less.
Billy and I got engaged in Spain on holiday about 6 hours after he (accidentally) gave me the biggest black eye imaginable and although we didn’t rush into planning the big day straight away we already had a few ideas about what the perfect wedding meant to us. However, before we could start with any real plans I discovered I was pregnant so everything was put on hold until after our son was born as I just didn’t fancy being a pregnant bride.
When we first started planning our wedding we had our heart set on Lake Garda in Italy or a beach in Greece. Either way I really wanted an outside wedding where the weather would be almost guaranteed to be sunny and most importantly, dry as my hair and the rain really do not mix well. I had visions of a few days sunbathing beforehand so that my skin would look brown and gorgeous against my flowing white dress and then walking bare foot down the sand to marry the love of my life, followed by a peaceful boat trip with our friends and family and then straight on to our honeymoon in the Maldives.
But, well, life.
We had to be realistic, we now had to organise a wedding that would also cater for an 18 month old child. We also had to do this within a budget that was getting smaller the bigger our son got and had already taken a bit of a hit due to be being on maternity leave. Added to this was the fact that some of my husbands family made it clear they couldn’t attend if it was abroad and that as we knew this would be the case we would be selfish to go ahead with the idea. Adding all these factors together it was agreed that a wedding abroad wasn’t the best idea and we chose a venue that was within the safe traveling distance of said relative and decided we would marry at home and honeymoon abroad.
We found a beautiful venue that offered in door and out door weddings with a stunning back drop for pictures and plenty of self catering accommodation for the family traveling from other parts of the country. It was the perfect compromise, close to home but equally feeling like it was anywhere but home, pretty, romantic and everything we wanted.
As the wedding got closer and closer I was more and more determined that we would marry outside but I knew my husband would be devastated if he thought our wedding day wasn’t perfect for me so I said nothing in case it wasn’t possible and just prayed for clear skies, after all this was the middle of April in the North West of England where it rains about 90% of the time. I was starting to panic.
On the morning of the wedding the skies were clear but the winds were high and it was touch and go whether we would marry outside or in. I remember sitting the wedding car with my mum and my brother staring at the registrar as she explained about he winds being a little to fast and threatening to blow all her papers away but I think she could see the desperation in my eyes and after making us wait a few minutes outside the front of the building she finally allowed the wedding to go ahead and got all the guests seated outside in the summer house.
The moment I walked onto the aisle the sun started to shine and the winds vanished, we were outside, surrounded by friends and family and no matter where in the world I was at that moment I couldn’t have been any happier than when I laid eyes on my very soon to be husband.
As it turned out our wedding day was one of the hottest days that year and we spent the majority of the day outside, it might not have been abroad but everything about it was perfect.
Oh and or those of you wondering if we made it to our honeymoon destination of choice, well, no we didn’t. As the wedding got closer the thought of leaving our baby boy behind for any more than a few nights was heart breaking so we chose to have a weekend trip to Jersey instead. Which, I must say was one of the best weekend trips we have ever taken, even 7 years later we still talk about our honeymoon and how, one day, we will take the boys back there with us.
I’m not disappointed that we didn’t get married abroad in the end, it wasn’t right for us at the time but in three years we will mark our tenth wedding anniversary and I am hoping that we will be able to do this by renewing our wedding vows on a beach in the Maldives, although that might change as the more I check out Destination2 and the stunning places they offer for weddings and vow renewals the more I change my mind.
If you are planning your perfect wedding at the minute you might be interested to know that Destination2 are currently running a competition to win a honeymoon.
(This post was written in collaboration with Destination 2 but all opinions are my own).