After a proposal on a cold beach in Norfolk with a haribo ring, I finally got my diamond ring two weeks later. In the front room after tea on a Saturday in March, Steve got down on one knee in front of our two sons and asked me to marry him. I initially thought he'd lost something under the sofa but once I realised there was a ring box in front of me, I obviously said yes!
We'd talked about getting married a lot over the years. It was always 'when', not 'if' but finances were always a problem after having the boys and running a business.
Eventually we decided we should just get on with it - more family members had been very ill and we needed something happy to look forward to.
The planning stage was mostly fun...getting nearer to the day though was quite stressful if I'm honest! I actually didn't think we would get it all done and some of my plans had to be shelved..there just wasn't the time or the resources in the end.
|The Village Hall|
|Lots of scope for decorating...|
|My Mum and Dad standing outside the church where they also got married!|
Going down the DIY route is a lot of hard work but it was all worth it in the end.
I designed all of our stationery for the day - save the date, invites and RSVPs, madlibs for guests to fill in, wedding activity booklets for the kids, Order of Service and printed signs for the village hall...even 'oooh saucy' labels for the tomato sauce bottles!
We had an enormous amount of help from my Mum and Dad - nothing was too much trouble. They made our outdoor funfair games - coconut shy, ball in a bucket game, large beach hut backdrop for photos and a huge peep-through board that I painted.
They also made a table top sweet shop painted with Steve's Great Uncle's family name on the side as he used to own a 'proper' sweet shop!
We bought bright buckets and spades for all the children (31 of them!) tied their name to the handle and put a wedding activity booklet, colouring crayons and a sea creature finger puppet in each one.
We asked other family members to help too..my brother did a sign-written chalkboard to welcome guests on one side and the itinerary for the day on the other
We also asked Steve's sister to make our 'naked' wedding cake (she panicked!) Her cakes are delicious and we knew she would do a great job. However, it was not just great, it was stunning!! I cried when i saw it on the wedding day, it was so beautiful.
My Dad and Steve made all the wooden 'buoys' that stood in the centre of each table to hold a seaside postcard.
Steve and I made and painted signs for the church, guest book and Makey Cake-Off, made hundreds of sandcastle, lighthouse, helter skelter, and beach hut name place card holders that guests could take home to use as photo holders.
Mum also made an amazing amount of red, white and blue bunting for the hall and all the way along the church lane, a banner for outside the village hall, a banner for our wedding bake-off, 'Heidi & Steve' bunting for the top table, a tattoo backdrop and all the tablecloths and stripy table runners.
On top of all that, I asked Mum to make my wedding dress. I wanted it to be really special and knowing how brilliant my Mum is at dress-making, I couldn't have chosen anyone else!
She was very daunted at the prospect but I knew how beautiful it would be and thankfully she agreed!
As always, Mum went above and beyond what I imagined...the dress was a stunning 50s tea length style with a red satin sash and red petticoats underneath. She even made my veil and haircomb, my necklace and matching bracelet. She really is wonderful!
Dad grew some of my flowers for my wedding bouquet. We had hope for a few more but in the end we mixed these in with other local flowers and the result was gorgeous.
After our wedding rehearsal on the Thursday evening, Mum and I started on the flowers, We made posies of flowers to sit in jam jars for all the guests tables, 3 large enamel jugs of flowers for the church entrance and top table, buttonholes for Steve, the boys and my Dad and flowers for the pew ends in the church.
I also made my own bouquet with a mixture of dahlias, roses, gerberas, daisies and golden broom. I wanted it to look like we had picked the bunch from my Grandparents garden that I remembered as a child. I tied the bouquet with string and finished it with a nautical striped ribbon.
We set the hall up on the Friday with the help of other family members..aunties and uncles, sister-in-law, brother-in-law all got involved - we couldn't have done it without them!
Our wedding dawned with blue skies and glorious sunshine. I spent the morning with my Mum and Dad sipping Prosecco and eating pain au chocolat, having my hair done and generally having a lovely time.
Not everything went according to plan (the fish and chip van was late and our guests had no food for 2 hours, one of the videographers didn't make it as his car blew up on the way from Birmingham) but despite this, we had the best day ever.
It was truly a family affair and we loved every minute!
To see more about our wedding day, Parts 1, 2 and 3 are on Plans & Presents wedding blog here...
PART 2: Newlywed VW Photo Shoot
PART 3: The Fine Details
My lovely Mum wrote on her blog too! A Bit of a Do!
HUGE thanks to all our amazing friends and family for all the effort they out into their outfits, for travelling so far just for us (even from France), for the incredible effort for our wedding bake off and for making our day truly magical!
Mum and Dad for being THE BEST.
Adrian & Claire our photographers (some of their gorgeous photos are above) at Harvey & Harvey
My fabulous vintage hairstyle by Lucy at Lucille's Locks
David for Primrose the Beetle at Alfie's VW Weddings and Andrew for Burt the campervan
Lisa & Zoe with vintage ice cream van Bertie & Mabel
THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!!