Our perfectly simple wedding

For anyone who read my ‘wedding negotiation’ post it won’t be a surprise to know that just over a week ago we got married. For anyone who didn’t read that post, you can read it here!

The plan was to have a small affair which was romantic, easy to organise, not costly and well … soon. This translated into a wedding day just two months in the making and, I swear, very little stress.

Originally we invited just parents so with our children, us and both sets of parents the wedding would be just 8 people. As we prepared for the wedding though we soon realised that whilst we wanted a small affair, we did want to share it, so we invited siblings and their families. I was also lucky enough to have a friend who was happy to just come to take some photos at the ceremony.

Essentially we picked what parts of a wedding we wanted and what we didn’t. Here’s how it went:

11.30am – registry office ceremony in the beautiful town of Lichfield. We chose our own music and some personal promises but kept it simple. We surprised the Dads by asking them to be witnesses and my step son gave us the rings. It was all very relaxed but still felt like ‘an event’.

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nice family

12.30pm – after photos in the park we headed to Ego just across the road – a Mediterranean restaurant – where we’d booked a table for us all. They were fantastic – menus printed with our married names on, great food that suited everyone and brilliant service.

2.30pm ish (i wasn’t checking the time!) – went back to our house which we’d lightly decorated for Cornish cream tea, wedding cake and later some sandwich platters we’d ordered from Sainsbury’s.


The cake was Madeira bought from marks and Spencer’s – it tasted great but assembling it had needed the help of a friend who could fix the fact the layers didn’t fit together!

Finally everyone left about 7pm and we put the kids to bed before heading off for our wedding night at Hoar Cross Hall. It was something Richard had booked in secret and only told me about at the registry office in the morning. He equally hadn’t told Hoar Cross Hall that it was our wedding night so I have to say all credit to the man on reception who didn’t skip a beat when we turned up in our wedding gear, but simply said congratulations and quickly sorted out an upgrade to our room!

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This was our room (well part of it!):

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Hoar Cross couldn’t have been a more perfect end to the day. We sat on our private verandah drinking champagne and prosecco we’d been bought as a present and could not stop smiling. The hotel was quite simply a beautiful setting in which to end our day.

People worry about having to spend a fortune getting married and there’s no doubt that a small, low key wedding isn’t what everyone wants, but for us this was an intimate and relaxed day. It was our perfectly simple wedding.

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Simple birthday success

This week N turned 9. His birthday was actually Monday, but since he was with us on the Saturday evening and Sunday, we decided that Sunday would be his official birthday day with us.

In advance of the day my other half very sensibly asked him what he’d like to do. His answer (given without hesitation) was … eat sweets, play computer games and go to a fast food place for lunch. We added on presents, party food, birthday cake and that was the plan. Simple, but just what he said he wanted.

And so it was – presents were opened:

N presents July 14

My other half added a birthday banner and some light up balloons (think I may have liked those more than anyone else but seriously – they light up! Take my word for it my photography does not do them justice but they are brilliant!):

dark ballons cut
It was Macdonalds for lunch as selected by N and a day filled with the things he likes eating and doing.

His conclusion on the day was that it was the best – he even made a point of saying thank you specifically for the day being great.

So my learning from this – sometimes the simplest thing to do is to just ask them what they want and go with it. At age 9 he knows what he likes and…well…it’s his birthday.

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Wedding negotiation

A couple of months ago Richard and I decided we were going to get married. We agreed it would be a small affair and that would enable us to make it: romantic, easy to organise, not costly and well…soon. The latter being simply because there didn’t seem any point in having a long engagement and not, as everyone seemed to assume, because I was pregnant. I’m not pregnant.

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I then gradually discovered that even a small low key wedding involves an element of negotiation and thinking. Who knew! From finding the local registry office not being able to even see us for over 6 weeks, through to the fact that if you mention wedding anywhere the price of the item you’re looking at is doubled. The funniest bits though, as always, have involved the children.

When I asked Ellie if she’d like to be a bridesmaid. The conversation went like this:

‘Would you like to be a bridesmaid Ellie?’

awkward pause
‘Oh… there won’t be many people there if that’s what’s worrying you, but you don’t have to if you don’t want. You can just wear a pretty dress.’
‘I have a dress at daddy’s that I can wear.’
At this point my spidey senses were tickling…
‘What dress Ellie? When did you wear it before?’
‘It’s really pretty…I wore it for Daddy’s wedding.’

I am so utterly proud of myself that I didn’t blurt out – er no darling, you won’t be wearing that. Period. Instead I calmly said ‘oh no – we can get you a lovely new one.’ It’s highly unlikely the dress she’s referring to would fit her now anyway – but that wasn’t a risk I was going to take.

Several days and lots of ‘you can choose what you want’ comments later, Ellie finally got with the programme and started talking about getting her new dress. She’s also now decided she is going to be an official bridesmaid.

My step son has been equally entertaining. When asked what he wanted to wear for the wedding he paused and then very clearly, with a huge grin and look of steely determination on his face, stated: A suit, a bow tie and a sombrero.

I genuinely don’t yet know if he was serious but I really don’t mind what he wears (except no blue jeans), if that’s what he wants that’s what he can have. I was slightly more concerned though when my other half announced he would match the outfit and wear the same. I guess time will tell…

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