Welcome to 'One year to go...'! This is my story of our trip up the aisle starting with all the planning and a year to go!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thank you...

As amazing as our day was, it just wouldn't have been possible without the help & support of the following people...

Huge thank you's to my bridesmaids - Princess Kate & Claire - without you two the room just wouldn't have got finished, I wouldn't have got horrendously drunk the night before and I wouldn't have slept like a baby because of aforementioned drink : ) Ellie - thank you so much for our pamper day before the wedding (just what I needed) and for making me look half human again with my make up on the day! Daisy - than you for being the cutest flowergirl and for keeping us entertained on the ride to church!
Me & my girlies : )

The best behaved flowergirl...ever!

My poor Jack Wills t-shirt that had to be cut off me so I didn't ruin my hair!

Thank you to our ushers, Stew & Cox, you did a grand job of getting everyone sorted at church and then getting everyone into place for photos - not an easy job! You also managed to keep us entertained, Cox with his trousers splitting & Stew chasing Humphrey the cat round the garden after being convinced he was part of the ceremony and needed capturing! : )
Cox, Ali J, and Oli & Stew 'getting their lean on' - I've no idea! LOL!

Huge thank you to our best man, Ali J. Not only did you make us all laugh with your speech but you also managed to keep hubs cool as a cucumber of which I am extremely grateful to you for! Thank you for helping him set up the church in the morning too it looked great : )
Oli & Ali working their morning suits : )

The biggest thank you ever to my big little brother, Craig, for giving me away. Couldn't have done it without you! And I thank you from the bottom of my heart x

My big, little bro Craig & his lovely girlfriend Laura x
Thank you to Imo & Ben for doing our readings so well during our wedding ceremony. And a very special thank you to Ben for agreeing to be our Master of Ceremonies and sorting absolutely everything out for us on the day - there is no way we could have done it all without you!
Imo reading 'Til death us do part' a beautiful poem that made us all cry the first time we read it!

Ben, the best friend I could ever have had in the run up to the big day reading Love by Corinthians

The biggest thank you to my new family, ma & pa-in-law who without we wouldn't have been able to get half of the bits & bobs sorted! They've made me feel like family from day one of meeting them & I can't thank them enough! I was a bit disappointed not to be doing my own wedding cupcakes but Oli's  mum didn't let us down - she did an amazing job and everyone said how delicious they were...thank you!
Oli's grandma, mum, sister & dad

Our beautiful cupcake tower!
Another massive thank you to each and every one of our friends & family. It meant so much to have you all there to share our very special day. Huge thank you's for all of our lovely cards & gifts too - we now have THE best equipped kitchen in Coventry as well as some pretty funky furniture thanks to you very generous lot! : )
All of our friends & family : )
Thank you to Cheryl at Artlocke Designs for creating perhaps the cutest cake topper I've ever seen for us - it was worth every penny and took pride of place on our top table. I love the amount of detail in it right down to the markings on the World Cup 2011 rugby ball...amazing!
How cute are these?!
Big thank you to Gillian at Silver Daisy for creating me my beautiful bouquet. I originally wanted a posy of ivory roses but I saw Gillian's creations in a wedding magazine and fell in love with it! She also very kindly created bespoke wrist corsages for my bridesmaids. My bouquet now has pride of place on our bookshelf alongside our cake topper : )
My beautiful flowers : )
Thank you to Sheree at Cute Maps for designing us our cute map to go in our wedding invitations, we loved it so much we printed it off and put it in a frame on our welcome table too : )
Thank you to Gaynor at Hartwood Holistic Therapies for giving me gorgeous, luscious lashes ready for my close ups. They were worth every second of the two hours they take to put on : )
Thank you to Paul at Party People Disco for an awesome evening of music - can't recommend him enough - BRILLIANT! : )
When Princess Kate finally got everyone on the dancefloor...
Thank you to Minou at Holiday Inn Kenilworth for helping us plan the perfect day and not batting an eyelid at our random requests or ideas : )
Thank you to Christine at Furniture Hire UK for sorting us out with our fab silver chairs - they just completed the look we wanted  : )
This is just how it looked in my head during the planning : )
Thank you to Kristy at Beetlebugs for being our chaffeur for the day and providing us with Polly, our gorgeous VW splitscreen camper - love, love, loved it! : )

I so want to go on a camping holiday in one of these - FAB!
And a massive, massive thank you to Andy at B72 Imaging for having a bit of fun with our photos, for joining in and feeling like one of the party by the end of the day and for making it so god damn hard to pick our favourite photos out : )
This one though, has been my ultimate favourite from the moment you took it, it's just perfect and I can't wait for the canvas of it to arrive!
My favourite photo...ever!
And last, but by no means least, the biggest thank you of them all goes to Oli, my best friend, my soulmate & now my husband. None of this would have been possible if you hadn't uttered those four little words on June 22nd 2010 so thank you, thank you for asking me to be your wife and giving me the happiest day of my life. I love you to the moon & back, Mrs C xx

The BIG day - Part Four...

And so to the evening...

Our guests began arriving just after 7pm - it was great to see some of my work colleagues - I'd requested a transfer to Coventry as that was where hubs & I would be living after the wedding but expected it all to happen in the New Year - I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to take on a manager that was going to be off for a good part of December. However, that wasn't to be, I was told on the Monday that I would be leaving on the Friday two weeks before the big day and so I hadn't seen some of my staff to say goodbye to as they'd been on holiday.

This was probably the first time all day I relaxed properly & enjoyed myself...all day long I'd been worrying about what everyone thought of the food, whether they were having a good time or not. After all the worrying about our first dance - should we do a routine? should we just shuffle? should we do a group dance? - even that didn't bother me & I think we both actually quite enjoyed it, although by the end of it Oli had sacked my chief bridesmaid lol!

 We'd agreed with my chief bridesmaid, Princess Kate, beforehand, that after about a minute she would get everyone on the dancefloor with us. A minute came and went and we were still the only ones on the dancefloor - I think Oli's probably whispering in my ear something like 'where the hell is she - she's so sacked after this!' LOL

I love how happy hubs looks in this photo!

We'd been to a couple of weddings of friends where they'd had sweetie buffets and with Oli being the world's biggest fan of Haribo - which reminds me I need to renew his fanclub membership ; ) - it only seemed right for us to have one too. So I set about creating 'Mr & Mrs Crofts' Candy Store'...

I didn't really see anyone eating them so was worried we'd gone a bit OTT with the amount of sweets, however, it was clear the day after when Oli's mum had condensed them down into just two jars that they'd gone down a treat! : )

The highlight of the evening though has got to be our 'Rave' with glo-sticks - it's such a shame Andy had left by then because a photo of Oli's mum going for it on the dancefloor with his godfather & their glo-sticks would have been priceless!
Music (that and rugby!) is the one thing we don't agree on, the only thing we both like is old cheesy 80's pop which is what most of the evening was thanks to my cousin Paul : ) However, Oli loves his dance music so we agreed to a 45 minute rave at 10pm lol!
My favourite comment of the whole day came from Stuart who, decked out in glo-sticks, took my hand and said 'Kirst, this was the best idea, ever! I haven't danced like this for 15 years!' - I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

By 11:30pm both Oli & I were seriously flagging - although it's the shortest day ever in terms of it flying by, it's also the longest day ever with so much going on non-stop. We decided to bid goodnight to our guests and head off to our honeymoon suite - all the while still chatting to each other about how mad, surreal, crazy but bloody awesome the day had been!

: ) xx

The BIG day - Part Three...

After our 'breakfast' we had a mingle with guests - it was so lovely to have that time to catch up with friends & family that we don't see often enough...you know who you are! : )

Andy then whisked us off for more photos - this was where we had a bit of fun with the piccies and had a few 'different' ones done. I'm a huge fan of Starbucks and especially their gingerbread latte at Christmas. I'd let this slip during the day & Andy said 'right I'm taking you into starbucks for a few photos!' Needless to say we got a few funny looks but after a few seconds you'd think it was normal for two people to be sat in there in their full on wedding attire!
Have to admit, the service in there wasn't great - Oli went to the counter to order & the guy serving him said 'These should be free as it's your wedding day' - umm we still had to pay!

Here's a couple of my favourites from Starbucks...

I know these aren't to everyone's taste but I love that they're a little bit different & a little bit quirky but very 'us'.

Because we had a bit of a rugby theme running through the day - the pew ends on my side of the church were done in Northampton Saints colours & the pew ends on hubby's side were done in Leicester Tigers colours, our guests got little bags of confetti in the same colours, the little cake topper people we had made were in a Tigers shirt & a Saints scarf (you get the idea!) the guys thought a few 'rugby' photos would be good.
A few ideas were bandied around - a lineout where the boys picked up Oli & the girls picked up me (I had visions of being too heavy & being dropped on my face lol) so I settled on a 'scrum' photo which I have to say is now one of my firm favourites from the day...

Love these! And the amount of detail is amazing - huge thank you to Cheryl at Artlocke Designs for creating these for us - they now have pride of place on our bookcase in the lounge : )  

 As it got dark Andy then took us back into town for some photos outside at night with all the twinkly Christmas lights and Kenilworth Castle gates as a backdrop...

I'm really grateful to Andy for taking us off again as it gave us another chance to be together & catch up on the day so far - it's so bizarre that the day is about the two of you but you hardly see each other until it's all over!

We then headed back to the hotel to greet our evening guests and get the party started! I'll leave you with this image...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The BIG day - Part Two....

As I said in the first part, the actual ceremony passed me by in a complete blur, and I remember very little of it. I think it was a mixture of nerves, a bit of 'oh my god this is surreal', a lot of 'someone actually wants to marry little old me, not wants to but is actually doing so' and a hell of a lot of 'crikey I love this man! So bloody much!' ; )

What I do remember is seeing Oli for the first time stood at the altar and thinking 'you look so gorgeous & I'm so lucky to be sharing the rest of my life with you' and thinking how nervous he looked but at the same time the biggest grin ever!
I also remember his lip beginning to go when he was saying his vows and me saying under my breath 'don't you dare!' : ) - I was trying my hardest to hold it all together and not cry buckets myself so if he was going to start there would be no stopping me!
I also remember signing the register - three times (I thought there was just one!) and saying to the vicar 'ooh I feel like a celeb at their book signing' cringe!! Why do I do it?? Lol!

Apart from that I remember little else which is why I'm just going to share a few photos from the ceremony, taken by the fabulous Andy at B72 Imaging.

I love how relaxed we look on this pic - inside I was doing cartwheels!

Signed, sealed, delivered...I'm yours. Forever & ever & ever : )

After the ceremony there were the obligatory photos, family, friends & group shots - more of those later! Oli & I then went off with Andy for a few photos on our own before returning to the hotel in our campervan as husband & wife. Have to say, I enjoyed the long way round a whole lot more on the way back - it was so nice to just be the two of us, catch our breath and chill with a glass of bubbly for fifteen minutes. I also took this time to change my necklace - a custom made silver sparkly 'Mrs Crofts' from Tatty Divine!

We arrived back at the hotel to a warm welcome from our guests and more bubbly - at this point I was still feeling a bit worse for wear from the night before & I couldn't stomach anymore alcohol for the time being. In hindsight I should have just knocked it back - I don't think I had a proper drink & finished one until much later on in the day!

I loved being announced to the room as Mr & Mrs Crofts, the nerves kicked in again shortly after we sat down, more for Oli than anything else - I knew how worried he was about doing his speech and getting it right in front of all of our friends & family. He needn't have worried at all, it was perfect. And yep, there would have been tears on my part if I had taken my eyes off him. If I'd have caught someone else's eye I'd have gone. He didn't let me down.

We chose to do the speeches before the meal, mainly because we'd heard so many stories of poor groom's that hadn't eaten a thing and not enjoyed the meal part of the day because they'd been so worried about their speech. I wanted Oli to relax & enjoy the day too and it was a relief for everyone to get them done first I think.

I loved everyone's reaction to our wedding breakfast too! It was just that - a breakfast - a traditional full English breakfast! And all credit to my husband for that one - it came about by accident really, he'd heard lots of people talking about the wedding breakfast and assumed it was what he ate with the lads getting ready in the morning. When I explained what it actually was  he went quiet for a bit and then said 'Wouldn't it be good to have an actual breakfast though?'  To which I agreed, I thought it was a fab idea and just what everyone needed after being out in the cold.

So, we and our guests were treated to rounds of toast & butter and a full English breakfast...NOM!! And I'll leave you with that...

Until next time! Mrs C xx

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The BIG day - Part One...

Well, we did it! We only went and got married! : )

Although it was only seven weeks ago, it feels like a lifetime ago, which for me is quite sad. But I guess with everything else that happened at around the same time it's inevitable. Not only did we get married but I started a new job a week before and we moved into a new house the week after – we don't do things by halves!

Anyway! The wedding! How was it? What happened? Etc, etc...

I'll start with the day before...

I'd spent the morning packing everything up, labeling every box, numbering every box and re-checking every list, every label, every box. I guess because we'd spent so long planning and we were so organised from an early stage I just wanted to get going – in my little head the sooner we got going the sooner the day would arrive and the sooner I'd get to marry my man!

Eventually two o'clock arrived (the earliest I could check in to my room at the hotel) and with a fully laden car we headed off. I hung up my dress in the bathroom & ran a hot shower to get any last creases out of it. I said a very emotional goodbye to Oli – the next time I would see him would be at the altar and I think it was at that moment that it all hit me, I was actually getting married and I was getting married tomorrow...eeeek!!

I spent the longest two hours of my life waiting for my bridesmaids to arrive – the plan was a quiet meal out and a couple of drinks to enjoy my last night as a single woman. Clearly, my bridesmaid Claire had other ideas!!
Two bottles of wine and two vodka & lemonades later my chief bridesmaid is dragging me out of the pub and back to the hotel at 11pm saying “Oli's gonna kill me if we turn up at church like this tomorrow!”

Needless to say I slept like a baby – I later learnt that Oli had the worst night's sleep worrying about his speech!

The alarm went off at 5:45am (it was going to be a long day!), we hadn't been allowed the room to decorate the night before due to another party being held in there so it was all hands on deck from 6am. A huge thank you goes out to my bridesmaids Kate & Claire and also my bridesman Ben, who without it just wouldn't have been possible to achieve what we did...thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I felt awful – hangover from hell! Claire had to get the hotel to open up the bar to get us each a pint of coke – a necessity if we were going to make it to church in one piece!! We worked like trojan's for a solid hour making each table perfect – the room looked just as I'd imagined it to look : )

It was then that the nerves really started to kick in – I tried to eat a good breakfast but just picked at everything, my stomach was slowly turning into knot upon knot and to make matters worse I'd got the shakes after drinking far too much the night before – what was I thinking?!

I left the guys just before 8am and headed across the road to my hairdressers – forgetting that I would need my veil, headband and clips (I was a jibbering wreck!) after a frantic phonecall to Ben who came to my rescue, my veil etc were here and I was ready to be prettified. I had a bit of a strange moment when my hairdresser put the radio on to disguise the quiet as there were only us there and she wanted to concentrate on what she was doing – the first song that came on was our song, out first dance song – Take That 'Rule the World'! She said I should see it as a good omen and sit back, relax & enjoy the rest of the morning.

It was after she'd done my hair I realised my second cock-up of the day – I'd come in a t-shirt, no way was that coming over my hair without ruining it! I had to be cut out of it – all £35 worth of Jack Wills t-shirt cut up and good for nothing but dusting!!

The next hour or so was a bit of a blur – my sister-in-law-to-be did my make up (beautifully I might add!) the photographer arrived, my dress was put on and laced up, Daisy, my flowergirl, arrived looking super cute in her fairy wings, my brother arrived looking very dashing in his morning suit (cue more 'almost tears' from me!) and the car – a gorgeous lowered VW splitscreen camper came to pick us up.

The journey to the church felt like the longest journey of my life, the nerves had well and truly kicked in, I felt sick, excited & nervous all rolled into one! I honestly cannot tell you what happened from the moment I stepped out of the car to the moment we walked out of church as husband & wife – it all passed by in a blur! It was the most surreal experience – obviously we got married, we said our vows (although I could not tell you exactly what I did say!) and from our pictures I can see I was ridiculously happy but it all passed me by so quickly!

Knowing what I know now, I wish we could do it all over again. I would relax, enjoy and savour every moment of the day. Instead I was just worrying about everyone else and whether they were enjoying the day!

More coming soon... xx 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

'London here we come!' - The Hen Weekend...

I cannot recommend a bloody good hen weekend enough to anyone getting married. It is an awesome way to de-stress, enjoy the girls and come back with a clear head.

For the previous couple of weeks I'd been getting extremely stressed out and worked up by a lot of things to do with the wedding and to be honest I couldn't wait for it all to be over. It got to the point where I didn't even want to go on my own hen weekend and was seriously thinking of calling it off - thank you hubstobe for talking me out of that one!

So, what happened...

I'm going to steal Kez's list of events and expand on them!
Imaginary friends & the gatecrashing lady our train journey - Kez was the only one boarding the train at Birmingham (the rest of us were getting on at Warwick Parkway) so had to pretend she had lots of imaginary friends so she could bag us two tables for the journey. There were seven of us so we piled our bags into one seat and took up the other seven, only for a lady to get on and insist she had that seat despite there being others nearby?!

Kirsty identifying Cox when she couldn't find Oli & Glee being their new song - the girls had arranged party games 'Guess Oli's body parts' and 'Mr & Mrs'. I however, managed to pick Kez's husband out a couple of times instead of Oli lol! I also found out that 'our' song according to Oli is Glee's 'Don't Stop Believing' despite our first dance bing to a Take That number?! BOYS!!

"Why are you Lebanese?" - Stoopid dance teacher. As we were having a Glee themed dance lesson the girls had arranged t-shirts like the cast wore in the 'Born this way' episode. Mine said 'Can't sing' - thank you for that one Lauren! Anyone who watches the show will know that Britney thought lesbains were Lebanese hence Lauren's t-shirt lol!

Don't stop believing/single ladies megamix requires a double vodka - we even managed to get a bit of the single ladies routine into it whoop whoop!

Short changing the taxi driver to Revolution - this bit I know nothing about?!

Cocktails, Elvis cocktails & the chilli shots (inc his & Lauren's 3!) - possibly the best bit of the evening, our cocktail lesson at revolution in Soho. Amazing fun, we were trollied by 7:30pm!! and there were chilli shots for those who lost each cocktail race - poor Lauren got 3 and informed us she had red pooh the next morning!
Shot train not working - poor Elvis, our cocktail teacher, was trying to impress us ladies with his shot train only for it to fail at the first glass!

Our fancy dress theme being ├╝ber popular...oh and Friar tuck - possibly THE best fancy dress theme ever! London underground stations - I was Maida Vale. 
A few more highlights from the weekend...
£50 rickshaw rides & "the chase" - beat that rickshaw & take them out if you have to
Robbie Savage welcome & Kez's attempt to sneak in free
Weird oriental pole dancing & old grannies
"My Frangita" is for pleasure
£17.40 for 3 shots of vodka & 1 can of monster
Singing Pink songs to the taxi driver on the way home
KFC & no zinga towers!
Dolly getting the night of her life
Late night fag stop with Imo in pj's, OCD t-shirt, blazer & no shoes
Wasted by 7.30pm & in bed before midnight
I'll leave you all to wonder about these ones lol! 
 A HUGE thank you goes to Kez for her amazing organisational skills and for giving me an even better hen weekend than I could have imagined or planned myself. You are a star and I'm incredibly lucky to have such fabulous friends xx 

Celebrations & Smiles...

It's been a week of good things all round for us really (at long last things seem to be working out & heading in the right direction!)
It started on Monday with the news that I had got the transfer I had requested to another store, which in turn meant we can now rent our first proper home together...excited muchly!

The happy week ended with Oli's graduation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral on Thursday 24th November. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of him and what he has managed to achieve.

For reasons I won't go in to, there were times when I thought we'd never get here and there were times when I thought he was giving up which is why these happy photos mean so much to me. It was a fabulous end to an awesome week - I only hope it continues! : )

All that's left for me to say is "Ol, I love you so much, I'm so very proud of you & I can't wait to be your wife!" xx