Monday, December 02, 2013

Dresses they wore to say 'I Do!' - Charlene & Scott '

This post is not really about 'the dress' but I felt I couldn't talk about my favourite fictional weddings and not mention Aussie sweet hearts Scott and Charlene aka Jason and Kylie. I'm not sure if I actually remember watching that episode (I was quite small) but it was definitely an iconic wedding.  A bit of a Romeo and Juliet story of young love bringing two feuding families together.  Their wedding was the same year Kylie and Jason released 'Especially for You' - 25 years ago on 28th November - which makes me feel so very old!

'Especially for You' holds a special place in my heart and Jim thinks it's particularly weird that I have it on 7inch vinyl (charity shop find) but when I explained it all made sense.  As tiny 3 year old Amy, I used to make my Dad dance with me to this song in our living room.  Our signature move was when a ran from the fireplace and jumped and he lifted me and spun me round - we'd show those Strictly dancers a thing or two!!

I'm not sure we'll have a father-daughter dance but if we did this would be our song!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Dresses they wore to say 'I Do!' - Maria Von Trapp

When I was little Julie Andrews was the star of 2 of my favourite films - Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.

The Sound of Music was never far from our video player and I could often be found swooshing round the living room imagining I was at a ball in the Von Trapp's chateau or dancing in the summer house with Rolf as the rain poured down outside.

I still cry when Maria and Captain Von Trapp have their first kiss. Their wedding was so beautiful and Julie Andrews looked so graceful in Maria's wedding dress.

The real Maria wore a floral garland in her hair on her wedding day similar to the one chosen for Julie Andrews.

Until my wedding dress arrives I haven't made any firm decisions on what way I will have my hair styled. Will I have a veil or some flowers incorporated into my hair like Maria? Possibly... I think flowers would probably look better with my dress than something really sparkly.

I loved the delicate string of white flowers that Natalie Portman wore on her wedding day (incidentally her whole wedding was also entirely vegan) 

Having a browse on Etsy I found this gorgeous Bridal Fascinator which would be a lovely alternative to fresh flowers. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Dresses they wore to say 'I Do!' - Carrie Bradshaw

I've always been a massive Sex & the City fan, I even dragged my brother on the tour when we went to NYC in 2006.

Like a lot of SATC fans I was over the moon when Mr Big flew to Paris to finally sweep Carrie off her feet for good!  The first SATC movie is one of my favourites and I love the Vogue wedding fashion shoot. It's a fantastic montage of gorgeous haute couture gowns which must have been incredible to film (although I guess SJP is used to rocking designer dresses).

The Vivienne Westwood dress that Carrie is gifted is gorgeous with its very structured corseted bodice and the fabulous volume in the skirt. I love how it was styled for her actual wedding day.  When Carrie thought Big wasn't coming, I was heartbroken for her.  The wedding machine had taken over and the whole occasion has become too big for Big (an important lesson, I feel).

When I first started looking at dresses I really wanted something that stood out like Carrie's dress did.  I wanted something that would be memorable and so looked online at some more high fashion, unusual design wedding dresses. I've always wanted to be a 'Carrie' but I've never been brave enough with fashion and quickly decided our wedding day probably shouldn't be the day I start! The dress I've chosen couldn't really be any more different from Carrie's extremely striking Vivienne Westwood dress, and my wedding day 'look' will be much softer. I've gone for something more classic and definitely more me. I'm pretty sure all the magazine quizzes I took told me I'm a 'Charlotte' anyway...I'm happy with that, look how stunning she looked at her wedding to Harry.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Dresses they wore to say 'I do!' - Audrey Hepburn - 'Funny Face'

I am working on a little series of short posts on wedding moments and wedding dresses that have been iconic for me. This is the first in this series.  I hope you enjoy it.

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Edith Head.  She died in 1981 but would have been 116 today.  Edith was the creative mind behind the wardrobes for many leading ladies (and gents) including my favourite actress, Audrey Hepburn.  One of my favourite Audrey Hepburn films that Edith worked on is Funny Face and the outfit that stands out in my mind is the gorgeous wedding dress she wears.

I love the neckline of Audrey's dress, it's the perfect ballerina style skirt for Audrey's delicate frame and shows off her tiny waist. On my wedding dress hunt I tried lots of dresses with a similar neckline to this dress and nearly chose one which was almost identical, except floor length.

I'm sure this dress inspired many brides-to-be at that time, as it continues too.  I love the dress (below) by Belfast designer Lizzie Agnew.

'Jackie' Picture from

Monday, October 21, 2013

208 Days: Our 11th Anniversary - The Story of How We Met

It's 11 years since Jim and I first started going out and althought that seems like a stupidly long time ago, I still remember the night we first met.

In the summer of 2002 my best friend Nicky and I went to a WTSS gig in the Yacht Club, Portrush. I think this was one of the first gigs we'd been to there but that summer spent a lot of our time in Portrush.

That night a punk band called MellowDramatic we're playing. As far as I can remember they played some NoFX covers and some Nirvana, and had a guitarist who sat down and played off a music stand. But it was the drummer, who I very shortly learned was Jim, who caught my eye. I thought he was gorgeous, and seemed really 'cool' and funny.  There was just something about him (check out the blurry pic below heehee)

A very blurry teenage Jim

A few weeks after the gig, in an attempt to get his attention I added him on MSN Messenger. As a pretty shy almost 17 year old I was terrified he'd ask a) who are you? Or b) why have you added me? Thankfully he asked neither, and we started chatting semi regularly online where Jim would recommend CDs and bands and I'd 'borrow' Mum's Amazon account details to order them.


I saw Jim again at a couple of gigs over the summer but he was often "on route to the bar". He says he was 'playing it cool', I  just thought he didn't seem that interested.

It wasn't until October that we met up again properly and spent the evening hanging out at a mutual friend's birthday party. I'd recently bought 2 CDs he'd recommended The Unravelling - Rise Against and Detailed Instructions for the Self-Involved - Pinhead Circus so we chatted about that for a bit and ending up spending most of the night together.  

This was also the night we first kissed...

It wasn't terribly romantic. Jim had asked where the bathroom was in the house and I'd offered to show him. After he'd finished in the bathroom we had a random discussion, in the bathroom ,about how it was weird to have carpet in there.

Then he kissed me. (he will tell you I kissed him, but he was definitelly the instigator!!)

I can still remember the butterflies I got in my stomach when we first kissed :) It was all very exciting and fast...then our friend's mum walked in (awkward!!)

We both left the party and went home. I remember thinking Jim was so grown up as he got a taxi home, where as Nicky and I usually walked home or got collected by my parents. When we got home we both got straight on MSN Messenger. He asked for my mobile number then proceeded to call me to check I'd  given him my real number.

A couple of nights late I was chatting with my friend Katie on MSN Messenger (it's clear I spent a lot of time on MSN!) We were gossiping about boys and she asked if there was anyone I liked and I told her about Jim. She got very excited and said she would subtly ask him if he liked me. Little did I know she was about as subtle as a brick when she sent him a message.

'Amy likes you do you like her?'

He didn't respond to her but instead he sent me a message saying

'I like you too.'

'Will you go out with me?'

And the rest, as they say, is history!

In our 11 years together he has run across town to rescue me from a spider in my car (which crawled up my neck – clearly an emergency!!) and has driven an hour to collect me in the middle of the night after my handbag was stolen, he has spoiled me with trips to London, Edinburgh, and Barcelona.  He cooks for me, surprises me with chocolate and hugs me when I need cheered up.  He loves my family and my family love him.  Knowing he’s with me (or at the end of the phone) makes me feel brave.  I love him with every ounce of my being and feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to go on adventures and grow old with the best person I know.

Happy Anniversary Jim!

Monday, October 07, 2013

219 Days: Haughty Culture*

I have an app on my phone called 'WeddingHappy'.  I downloaded it after watching this PopSugar Video on Best Wedding Planning Apps. It's not an app I use religiously but it is useful.  It creates a personal timeline of tasks based on your wedding date.  It has a great 'countdown to the wedding' function (which is useful for titling blog posts) and would be handy for brides-to-be on the go to keep track of supplier details and appointments. You can even add a certain number of your own tasks and deadlines on the free version.  Once you've completed a task you mark it 'done' and it drops off the list.  

Top of its list of things I should have done by now is 'Book Florist' which is way past it's deadline and is now marked, in bright red letters as 'Complete as soon as possible'.

So...I guess it's about time that I share with you some ideas we've had on flowers and foliage for our wedding. 

When Jim and I lived in Belfast we didn't have a garden. We did have a 'beautiful' communal alley, full of bins, which overlooked a train line but this surprisingly didn't inspire us to be particularly horticultural.  We did grow a chilli plant indoors, but as we lived in an end terrace there was a ridiculous daily ritual of moving the pot from the front of the house to the back to maximise its time in the sun!!

Jim has always been more interested in gardening than I have and, ever practical, he grew lots of vegetables in a local community garden - mostly potatoes and red lettuce as the slugs seem to leave those alone.

Out the back of our new house in Leicester we have a little paved sun trap which means we have no excuse not to grow something!  This year, alongside some particularly vigorous mint (for mojitos obviously) I planted some freesia and some gladioli.  The freesias never appeared (Jim's mum informed me they are quite hard to grow) but at the end of August these beautiful pink galdioli appeared.

At the weekend I spent some time weeding some of our flower beds and I've planted some heather in what I hope will become a sort of wild flower bed. 

With most other aspects of our wedding I feel completely comfortable but I know next to nothing about flowers and floral arranging.  So although WeddingHappy (and I) felt a post on flowers was due, I have really struggled to write it.

I can definitely appreciate beautiful floral arrangements and have a few favourite flowers but because we would prefer to arrange the flowers ourselves I'm searching for the right place to start.

So far we think we'd like to avoid anything too formal or arranged, preferring the natural, more hand picked arrangements.  I love gypsophila (Jim also likes this as he read somewhere that it is pretty cheap!), lavender, white and green hydrangeas, and peonies. 

I'm really lucky to have Jim's mum to advise on what's in season and recognise all the random flowers I photograph and send to her. 

We like the idea of mixing potted plants in amount the arrangements and where possible sourcing in season flowers from the local area rather and than shipping in a million frozen tulips from Amsterdam.  

Our spare room currently houses our extensive recycled glassware collection and a few friends and family members have also started a similar collection on our behalf. We'd like to use as many recycled and upcycled pieces in our wedding decorations as possible.

Below are some pictures from our floral mood board.

So although we're not totally decided on what flowers we will, writing this post has definitely helped and has shown us that maybe, we have more of an idea of what we would like that we thought!
*Haughty Culture...Horticulture lol

** some pictures my own, others from magazines or online searches.

Leicester Bloggers Meet-up - 28-Sept-13

I've only been blogging for 4 1/2 months and was definitely still finding my feet when the Zatchels Factory store launched at the end of the July and all of a sudden my Twitter time line was filled with RTs of Midlands based fashion and beauty bloggers who'd attended the event! There were some brilliant blogs that up 'til that point I'd been missing out on, and I was in heaven as I chain-read their blogging back catalogue!

One of these was Hareem (Iheartmexo) who was organising a Leicester Bloggers Meet up.  Most of the girls attending were Fashion Beauty and Lifestyle Bloggers but I tweeted to say I'd definitely be interested in going along. It was a bit scary as I didn't know anyone and also I'm not a fashion or beauty blogger, just a massive fan of reading those kinds of blogs.  I was also excited and having up sticks and moved to Leicester I felt well rehearsed in going new places and meeting new people.

We all met at Highcross in the morning for the first show in their Autumn Fashion Fix.

This was followed by breakfast and some beauty browsing, then we all met back up at Bella Italia for lunch.  
It was really lovely to chat with other people who blog and I made sure to take advantage of their beauty knowledge when we went shopping after lunch! (Thanks to recommendations by the lovely Sophia of Tattooed Tea Lady - I went back to get the Bobbi Brown eye cream!)

I'm looking forward to meeting up with the girls again soon!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

HMPM : How My Parents Met

Over on today I've blogged some marriage advice that some friends and family have shared with us.

One of those happy couples is my Mum and Dad. Their story of meeting, falling in love and marrying is oh-so-romantic so I thought I'd share a bit of it.

I think my mum looks so beautiful and so happy in this picture :)

Before my mum was an amazing Midwife, she was an Air Hostess flying with small airline  to The Shetlands.  My Dad was working in the Shetlands for a while, and although I'm not sure of the exact ins and outs of the situation, I believe they met when Mum had to pretend Dad was her fiancé so he could get back to Scotland during an air traffic controllers strike.  She knew nothing about him except the name on his ticket! They met up a few times in the Shetland Islands but then lost touch and a random Christmas card reunited them 3 years later.  How very RomCom! Within a year of this they were married in Scotland (where Mum grew up) despite having only been in each others company about 13 times!

They'll have been together thirty years this December!! I can only hope that our marriage is as strong as theirs and I wish them many, many more happy years together!

Monday, September 16, 2013

243 Days: The Bridal Diet...

…is a ridiculous concept.  It puts a lot of pressures on brides-to-be and with everything else we've got going we don't need any extra stress!

Personally I’m not a big fan of diets anyway although having never had to do one I guess it’s not really my place to comment.  It does seems that there are a lot of diets out there offer a quick fix and the moment you reach your target weight and return to normal eating, the weight may return - possibly not immediately, but gradually.

I am lucky that I’ve not really had to worry about my weight (doesn’t stop the odd ‘fat day’ rant), but with impending nuptials and all the pressure to look good on our wedding day I wondered whether I should rethink my diet and exercise regime. 

I haven’t stopped eating chocolate or drinking wine and we’ll still have take-away (when finances and fiancés allow), but I’ve introduced some things into my daily routine which I know I can maintain.

Water: The first thing I’m attempting is to increase the amount of water I drink. I sit at a desk all day with access to water as and when I need it, but often during a busy day I find I don’t drink enough, or sometimes don’t drink anything.  Water is great, it’s cheap/free and a great way to flush toxins out of your body.  Sometimes when I feel hungry, it’s actually just dehydration.  If I’m drinking enough water I don’t get headaches, I notice my skin is clearer and looks healthier, and I generally feel like I have more energy.  I find it much easier to drink water in the summer when it’s warm but am determined to continue drinking as much water now autumn and winter are approaching. My mum bought me a Bobble Bottle which has an in-built filter and is BPA free.  This has definitely encouraged me to drink more water and I can also see how much I drink each day.

Fruit & Veg
Being a Vegetarian who really loves fruit and vegetables, you’d think I’d find it hard to prepare a meal with no ‘green matter.’  But often, when I’m tired, veggie sausages and mash or cheese on toast are my go to meals. I’m making a conscious effort to get my 5-a-day from 5 different sources, and eat at least 3 pieces of fruit on my lunch at work.  I find this stops me wanting to snack on crisps or chocolate (which will be helpful as we end up with lots of boxes of Roses/Cadburys Heroes over the festive period!).  We’re really lucky in Leicester to have an amazing fruit and veg market  - @LE1Market (which I’m relatively reliably informed is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe – or at least was at one stage). The produce is really great quality and really affordable, so we tend to do our fruit and veg shopping there rather than in a supermarket – I don’t know any supermarket where I could get 8 sweet peppers for £1!!

Exercise: When I was at school I played on a few sports teams (netball, hockey, athletics) and had after-school dance classes 3 or 4 nights a week.  When I started university I attended just 1 netball practice.  Some of the girls at the practice played for Northern Ireland and were extremely rough and ruthless.  I quickly realised I didn’t have the ‘competitive gene’ and didn’t return. (I also, ridiculously, got lost coming out of the PEC and Jim had to come rescue me from Ormeau Road!)  I never enjoyed going to the gym and always chose fitness or dance classes since I could keep fit, have fun, and make friends. After I finished uni, apart from walking to work, I didn’t really get much exercise.  

But about a year and half ago I started to see lots of tweets about Couch to 5K on my time line.  I’d always been interested in taking up running, but had been very much a short distance runner, and this seemed like the perfect way to ease myself into longer distance running.  The NHS had a great podcast, which I downloaded for free, and I began heading out early in the morning to run round the streets and parks near were we live.  Running early in the morning meant less people saw me, and I also found if I got up going first thing there were less things to distract me and put me off.  I really enjoyed getting out, putting my headphones in, and pounding along Great Central way, away from the traffic and away from whatever real life things I had going on.   

Since then I have started going to evening Bootcamp sessions, run by our friend in a local park. It’s great as the class offers options for people of all levels of fitness and our instructor is also happy to tailor workouts for particular things if asked. (People of  Leicester follow Fit Start Bootcamp on Facebook & Twitter and come along and check it out!!) 

I’ve really missed all my dance classes, so as well as bootcamp and running, I have started Irish dancing!!  It’s an adult class and having never attempted Irish dancing the whole time I lived in N.Ireland I really thought I ought to give it a go.  I’m really enjoying it and the rest of the girls in the class are lovely. I am finding it difficult to keep my arms by my sides but hope as time goes on I’m getting better! The rest of the girls in the class are lovely.

So that’s it as far my bridal diet goes!  Nothing to out of the ordinary.  These are all things I think I would have started anyway and things I’ll definitely be able to continue once we’re married.  I think all things combined have given me more energy and I think when we get closer to the wedding having the exercise in place will be great for relieving any wedding stress I might get and give me something else to focus on.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Welcome to Always Amy Elizabeth dot com

Sorry the blog has been so quiet.  I've a few new posts on the way this week plus some more from me over on

More excitedly.... I have moved to my very own domain

My surname will soon change and I can't be The Amy Girl forever but I will always be Amy Elizabeth :D

Thanks to my fabulous friend Cormac for helping sort this out :) 

Follow me on Blog Lovin'

Sunday, September 08, 2013


This month I'm very excited to be sharing my thoughts on wedding planning on

My first post The Rise of The Mason Jar People is up now.

Guest Blogger featured on


Thursday, August 15, 2013

275 Days: He asked. I said Yes :)

I moved to Leicester 18 months ago to be with Jim while he studied for his Phd for 3 years. Some people thought I was a little bit crazy - I didn't have a job to move to and had only been to Leicester for short family visits, but in my mind not moving wasn't an option.

A couple of months after I moved I was due to be volunteering with a local arts organisation, so got out of bed extra early to fit in a Couch to 5K run, only to return home to a text message saying they didn't need me.

Jim took the day off Uni and I suggested we go into town as I needed to pick up some birthday cards for my parents. I guess I did have weddings/marriage on my mind as it was the 28th February and a few of my friends had joked that morning I should propose to Jim the next day as the leap year tradition dictated I was 'allowed'.  Also two of our best friends Paul & Jen had gotten engaged a few weeks earlier  

On the way in and half in jest, I tried to drag him to a jeweller shop window to look at engagement rings. Jim quite firmly told me to wise up and continued walking. I felt pretty embarassed and internally vowed not to mention it again.

We picked some cards, wrote and posted them then Jim said he had to drop bike lights back to his friend Neil. I said I would go with him, but he reminded me that on his bike he could nip out and be back at our house quicker if he went alone. I felt very strange, like he was not being completely truthful, and I didn't want to go home without him, so suggested I'd grab a coffee, have a browse in Topshop and he could meet me back in town.

A while later he returned, 'bike lights delivered' and we headed home. We still had most of the day ahead of us so Jim suggested a trip to Bradgate Park. Bradgate Park is gorgeous but it was a pretty grey day, I'd been for a run already and I just fancied snuggling up on the sofa with a book and some tea but was persuaded when Jim promised me juice and flapjacks and that he'd let me take some pictures of him where he wasn't pulling a face.

So off we went. I managed not to get lost on the drive there, we parked and began our climb to a stone memorial at the top of the hill. 

We got to see some deer really close up and  sang a bit of Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush as we tramped up the moors.

When we reached the top Jim unpacked our juice and flapjacks and I sat admiring the view.  I'd found a folder of saved text messages on my phone the day previous. They were lovely messages Jim had sent me when he had moved to Leicester and I was back in Northern Ireland considering the move. I told Jim, and he asked me read them to him. Unfortunately that phone, a relatively unreliable Blackberry is now defunct, but the general tone of, and meaning in the messages were exactly what made my move to England so easy, secure in the knowledge that I was moving to be with the person who loved me most in the world.

Jim suggested he take a picture of me on the memorial.

If I'd had any clue I was getting engaged that day I would have selected my outfit a bit more carefully and probably considered applying some make up before we left the house!!

After he'd taken the picture I said I would take one of him, and as he walked back he got down on one knee and said something along the lines of 'Not before you answer a question. Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife.'

I said 'Yes' immediately, no hesitation. I was shaking a little.  I didn't cry but had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I was shocked more than anything.  We sat, Jim with his arm around me, looking out on Bradgate Park for what felt like hours but was probably about 15 minutes. Neither of us had spoken, we both sat there with stupid grins on our faces. I was still holding the box with ring in it, and Jim finally said ' Well? Are you going to try it on?'

It was the most beautiful ring I'd ever seen.  I love it so much and looking back I'm glad Jim chose it for me as I couldn't have picked anything more perfect.
Happy People in a tree

As we drove home I tried not to be distracted by the new sparkles on my finger.  Jim had cleverly already booked dinner in a restaurant that evening, so we got ready to head out.  For the first couple of hours, as we walked around the house on cloud nine with our exciting news still a secret, it was nice that the moment was just between us.  Then the madness began.

Over a glass of champagne (pink, of course) we called our parents and grandparents first to let them know, then contacted our best friends and other family, before putting our phones down and heading out for dinner.

The whole day felt like a dream, I'm still not completely sure half the memories I have are correct!  Over the next few days and weeks we received messages and cards from family and friends.  We knew this was a special occasion for us, but just couldn't have imagined how many other people would be as excited as we were by our news. We'd been together 10 1/2 years at that stage and friends from all different times in our lives got in contact. We are still so touched by how much our engagement meant to other people and how many people wanted to wish us well.

I know we'd be together forever, with or without an engagement ring.  Jim is really the best person I know and I'm well aware I'm the luckiest girl in the world getting to grow old with him at my side.


Monday, August 12, 2013

278 Days : A post from Jim. The day we got engaged...

... was unexpected by most.  But why so?  Amy and I have been together for more than 10 years, are very much in love, and hopelessly committed to one another –  that our friends and family should be in any way surprised might seem odd.  However, those close to us (or me, more specifically) will probably have endured a diatribe or two on the state and religion, and in the institution of marriage we find the toxic entanglement of these two pernicious poisons.  Yes comrades, I’m an anarchist, and in the popular imagination anarchists are far too busy smashing Starbucks windows to even consider getting hitched.  In fact, they’re probably pointing out the historic role of marriage in the sexual division of labour (for the benefit of capital), the indoctrinating role of the family unit (for the benefit of state and church), and the subjugation of half of the world’s population (for the benefit of the bepenised half).  And I wholly concur!  The institution of marriage, like all institutions, is deeply flawed.  So how was it that I ended up on top of a windswept hill on bended knee with a sparkly rock (/small stone)?

(Previously ignorant readers might now understand the surprise of our friends and family.  And our friends and family are probably rolling their eyes at yet another Jim-rant.  Don’t worry, it lightens up – keep reading folks!)

The institution of marriage is horrid.  Fine.  But it would not have been tolerated for so many hundreds of years if it were not based upon some worthy kernel.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some special people show me the real value of companionship, deep mutual understanding, love, and how an expression of commitment bolsters all of that.  (Also, a wedding is a great excuse for a massive fucking party.)  This is the nail on which the institution of marriage hangs all its oppressive baggage.  The trick, as far as I see it, is to liberate the positive attributes of marriage from all the nonsenses that cling to, and eventually choke it.  For helping reveal this to me I thank Emma Goldman, Paul and Jen Michael, and (though she may be surprised to read it) my mum.  Amy has already explained a lot of the details of our wedding planning, and how we’re disposing with the negative aspects of tradition while preserving the most meaningful (and FUN) parts.  For me, put simply, our wedding day is an incredibly personal expression of love and commitment that we want to share with our friends and family – and I’ll be damned if I allow the state or church ANY interference in that.

(If you’ve stuck it out this long, well done.  You can have the gossipy goodness of the actual proposal now.  Hurrah!)

I decided to ask Amy to marry me after I had emigrated across the Irish Sea.  I missed her madly, and (after a month or two) she had shown massive commitment by moving to England to be with me.  2012 was a leap year, so I thought I might détourne convention and propose on the 29th of February (traditionally when women are ‘allowed’ to propose to men) – but the tedious obstructions of work schedules forced me into shifting to the 28th.  Despite having to do some creative ducking-and-diving (which Amy will fill you in on), everything was set-up - ring in hand, restaurant booked, and father-in-law duly noted.  That’s an ostensibly tradition-laden approach, which I probably ought to defend.

  • The ring.   I like the symbolism of the ring – an unbroken band to be worn ‘til death (apart from when kneading dough), though the price-tag was a tough compromise to swallow.  Ouch.  I had picked out the ring at a place called Robinson’s, because Amy’s surname was above the door, obviously.  I’m not much of a jewellery aficionado, but I had an idea of the styles that Amy might like, and in the end there was only one ring that really caught my eye – seems to have done the job!

  • The restaurant.  Any excuse for a good feed really.

  • And the call to the father-in-law?  It may stink of a vestige from the bad old days of wife-as-property, but I intended it as a mark of respect to Amy’s parents.  Fuck-the-law – yes; piss-off-the-in-laws no.  Seriously though, having Neil’s support meant a lot and actually telling someone about my proposal plan made the whole thing seem suddenly very real.

All I had to do was get Amy to a suitably lovely spot, on some false pretence, and go for it.  My two thoughts for question-popping places were: Bradgate Park, a very nice place indeed with some very ancient trees and free-roaming deer; or the top of a quite high slide in a nearby play park.  The logistical difficulties of persuading Amy to the top of a slide made the choice easy....  It was a greyish, cold day, and it took some exuberance to persuade Amy to drive us out there.  We marched up the hill with our cargo of flapjacks, juice, and a concealed diamond ring.  I was quite giddy with nerves, and still not exactly sure how I might ask the question.  Fortunately for me, Amy unearthed some aptly soppy texts I had sent her over the previous few months and read them out to me – probably to check I still meant it!  My gushy proclamations of love set the mood perfectly.  Once we were ensconced on the memorial at the highest point of Bradgate Park, I took my chance.  I readied the ring in my pocket, and stepped back to take a photograph, then whipped out the box, opened it, and said something to the effect of, ‘Would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?’  (Cleverer readers will have deduced this already, but...)  SHE SAID YES!

Organising the wedding day has been really fun, but the part I’m really looking forward to is spending the rest of my life with the person I love most.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

290 Days : Another Happy Development...

Jim & I are both keen to create a really memorable wedding day but lots of couples have told us that the whole day flies past so fast that having a good photographer to capture really great photographs is super important!

A couple of friends who've recently been married have told me that although they love their wedding pictures, they wish they'd spent a bit more time researching options and chatting with other brides. Taking their advice on board I started looking early in our engagement for wedding photographers and taking lots of recommendations.

There are lots of fantastic wedding photographers in Northern Ireland & Ireland so it was a huge task looking through them.

It was important for both of us that we felt comfortable with our wedding photographer (particularly Jim, as I'm a bit of a poser really!!) and we wanted a photographer who would take brilliant formal photographs, as well as capture all the moments of the day that we miss with some great social shots. 

Last September we were very lucky to stumble across both the perfect wedding venue and the perfect wedding photographer in one search! Lauren Rutherford had just posted pictures from a beautiful wedding that she'd photographed at Riverdale in June 2012.

Esther & Tim's Wedding

I believe they'd had a pretty difficult day as far as weather goes, but Lauren had captured the most beautiful pictures of the bridal party, guests and venue.  They are simply stunning!

All Photos by Lauren Rutherford 

I'm sure the Esther and Tim are over the moon with their pictures!  Everytime I look at them I get more and more excited about our wedding day at Riverdale and working with Lauren.

Jim doesn't want to have an engagement shoot. I'm a bit disappointed and initially I felt a bit worried as I thought an engagement shoot would be a great way for our photographer to get to know us so they capture us at our best on our wedding day.  Having met with Lauren for the first time in June when we visited Riverdale the worries completely disappeared! I know she'll do a fantastic job next May and I can't wait to see our wedding pictures!