Our story is one of the classic love stories. We knew each other from the tender age of 18/19 through a mutual friend. We would often meet in our local town for drinks at the weekend. Steven was always the sober one out of the group as he always had work the next day.
Poor Steven would then be left with the task of being a midnight carriage, driving us drunken lot home. A few years later, on a sunny September day, it would turn out that we would both be attending Doncaster horse races (again through a mutual friend). It was on the back of the coach on the way home, when Steven offered me a bite of his cheese and ham sandwich. From that moment I knew this was the start of something special.
Fast forward 5 years and we moved into our 1st pad together, a converted cotton mill turned into flats, in our local town Glossop. We spent time enjoying our younger years by going on beach holidays and partying hard at festivals (which has now led to us both having bad backs due to the air beds never staying inflated in the tent!).
It was on the 6th of August 2014 when our road to marriage would officially start. Steven told me to get dressed-up for a surprise date. He whisked me off to our favourite city, Manchester, and surprised me with a scrumptious afternoon tea at the oh so posh Midland hotel.
After we had eaten, while still sat at the table, Steven became very fidgety sweaty, and red faced. I thought it was because I was mithering to move on to our favourite bar before we missed 2-4-1 on cocktails.
To my surprise, Steven got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. As soon as Steven stood up, a waitress came to our table and presented us with a glass of champagne each, and the attention of the room was fully on us, which then turned Steven the colour of a tomato!
We then spent the rest of the day celebrating with 2-4-1 cocktails and burgers (the afternoon tea was lovely just not filling enough for us foodies). When we got off the train back home, we popped in to spoons for a quick one where we were greeted by our closest family & a few friends to celebrate our engagement.
Our engagement wasn’t a short one, but not overly long either. Unfortunately, some life events got in the way of our initial plans, which meant we had to put things on pause for a while.
That didn’t stop the Pinterest browsing or the wedding fayre attending. We would travel far and wide visiting fayres and venues. However, we always felt intimidated by the venues & the price tag, we never truly felt at home at such venues. This was vital for us as we wanted to feel comfortable on our special day.
However, we had a light bulb moment “why are we travelling so far when we have a beautiful venue on our doorstep with heavenly views and tummy filling food?” So, we popped to the Windy Harbour. We were greeted by Lee and the team, handed a drink and then we chatted for hours! We felt at home, so we paid the deposit that day.
Now the planning could officially start, one year to go. After a Pinterest overload, we had gathered ideas together for invitations, venue dressing, bridesmaids’ dresses, suits, cake and flowers! We had contacted a few suppliers for the invitations and table decorations, but again all we could see was ££ signs!
So, I popped into hobby craft, loaded 4 baskets full to the top with glue guns, card, Hessian and fake flowers. Over a 7 month period, I created all the little gems for our wedding day. However, this also involved drinking a lot of gin as we wanted the centre pieces of the tables to be our favourite empty gin bottles! I even made personalised gifts for the bridesmaids, groomsmen and personalised hangers for the bridal and groom party’s.
It was now also the time to book our photographer. We thought it would be a daunting task as Steven hates his picture being taken, so we wanted someone who would make him feel at ease during the day and not make us do too many cheese on toast poses.
However, this task wasn’t as bad as we first thought. At a local wedding fayre, we found Andy who also lived local to us. We instantly fell in love with Andy’s majestic work and arranged a consultation with him to chat further.
We knew Andy was the one for us when he greeted us with a warm welcome and a cold beer (the direct way to Steven’s heart), at our first meeting. We also did a pre-wedding shoot with Andy at our local reservoir, so that Steven could be eased into having a camera pointed directly at him for hours (for you Friends fans, think of Chandler Bing on his engagement shoot, that’s what we were working with!).
11th August 2018, all the planning had finally come to an end, and it was show time. It was finally time to put on the dress and suit that had been hung in our dressing room for a year!
Safe to say, emotions were high on the day as you would expect (people crying who we had never seen cry before). My dad’s first look at me in my dress will remain with me for the rest of my life. We had been piecing bits together gradually over months, when we saw everything come together, it was truly beautiful.
The flowers and cake were a surprise for us both on the day as we just gave colour ideas and left the rest in trusted hands (thank you Kirsty for our beautiful summer flowers). On the day we couldn’t have asked for more, we truly felt like a king and queen.
The sun was shining, and we were surrounded by our closest family and friends. Being “what you see is what you get” kind of people, we wanted an easy going, drama free day and that’s exactly what we got, thanks to Lee & his team at Windy Harbour.
They took care of everything and everyone during the day and night of our wedding, from placing all the knick knacks on the tables, to keeping the chips topped up on the buffet. If it wasn’t for Andy and his glamorous assistant on the day, we now wouldn’t have the most perfect pictures to look back on for the rest of our lives.
From ensuring buttonholes were put on correctly, to helping me into my dress, to heel stoppers for the women to ensure that their heels didn’t get mud on them in the grass, Julie’s bag of tricks is like the Mary Poppins bag every woman needs!
Although not initially planned this way, we had a small local wedding in the town we both grew up in, with local suppliers – and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Flowers – Special Days Flowers – www.facebook.com/specialdaysflowers15/
Menswear – Slaters – www.slaters.co.uk
Photographer – AW Photography – www.a-w-photography.co.uk
Venue – Windy Harbour – www.windyharbour.co.uk