I’m not usually the one for writing personal posts as, despite wearing my heart on my sleeve, I actually find putting my emotions and feelings into words quite difficult! However, I couldn’t let today pass without mentioning that 1 year ago today Bob whisked me away for a surprise weekend to a gorgeous little cottage in Shropshire where, after consuming 2 bottles of wine and playing numerous games of sh*t head, Bob got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Even typing those words brings a little tear to my eye so god knows what I am going to be like on our wedding day!

Words can’t really express the rush of emotions I felt when he asked me to marry him. Shock was the first emotion that took hold of me, quickly followed by the words oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! You see Bob and I had been together 7 years when he asked me to marry him and after a surprise trip to Paris a year before where I was convinced he was going to propose (the boy whisked me away to the city of love, took me on a boat cruise along the river seine where we had a 5 star candle lit meal with champagne – if you were in my shoes wouldn’t you think he was going to propose! I spent the entire meal beaming at him thinking ‘this is it, this is it!’ You can just picture it can’t you!) But much to my disappointment, it never happened so when he took me away to Shropshire I was convinced it was just another surprise weekend away and put all ‘this is it’ thoughts to the back of my mind! So I genuinely was in complete shock when he actually popped the question, to the point that I couldn’t speak for what seemed like hours (and I like to talk!).

Since then our lives have completely changed and not in the traditional sense! After the initial excitement of becoming engaged, making all those exciting phone calls to tell loved ones our news and then having the amazing task of asking my best friends to be my bridesmaids, the realisation of planning the wedding hit. Now don’t get me wrong, I have loved every single second of being engaged, it’s an amazing feeling and there’s this incredible sense of security that comes from knowing you are officially going to spend the rest of your life with the man you love. I felt like we were more solid than ever and I was so proud to wear my engagement ring. I lost count of the amount of times I was beeped at traffic lights where I’d stopped at a red light and been so busy staring at my ring that I hadn’t noticed the lights had gone green! Yes, being engaged is an awesome feeling but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit that I found the whole ‘wedding planning’ overwhelming. Suddenly we were bombarded with questions of when’s the big day, where are you getting married, what sort of wedding are you having, who are you going to invite, will you be marrying in a church, is great aunt martha twice removed going to be invited! And money…….money money money – how much was all this going to cost. Oh my god it was surreal! In that little cottage in Shropshire Bob and I were walking on cloud nine after the proposal – I swear the local people thought we had taken some sort of love drug as the smiles on our faces were permanent and spread from ear to ear, but when we left our little haven the pressure of planning a wedding hit and it hit hard like a ton of bricks! I didn’t know what sort of wedding I wanted or where to start in planning one! I hadn’t even realised there were wedding blogs at this stage!

So the wedding planning began………………we spent hours and hours looking for venues and trawling through websites. I started to freak out as all the ‘wedding venues’ just didn’t fit in with our personalities and I knew we craved something a bit different, something less traditional and that felt more like a big party with all the people we love rather than a lavish affair. I couldn’t relate to all the usual wedding fluff and fuss. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to traditional weddings, my best friend had a traditional wedding and it was one of the most amazing days of my life but Bob and I just didn’t fit the traditional mould.

We both love to travel so toyed with the idea of getting married abroad but then what about our guests? Then came the desire to have an outside wedding in some random field surrounded by countryside but what about the legal marriage part? We seemed to be surrounded by ifs and buts because England is too restricted with its law of marriage. In the US and Scotland you can get married practically anywhere and it would be legal, but here its either in a church, under a gazebo or in a registry office but what if you didn’t want to get married in any of those places!?

But after the initial storm there is always the calm, and in the calm we decided that what we really wanted was our wedding day to be surrounded by all our favourite people in the world. It didn’t matter where we got married, whether it was alternative or traditional. No, what mattered was the fact that we were going to be spending the rest of our lives together and when we realised this, everything else just seemed to fall into place. We decided that we were always at our best when there was music involved, whether it was at a gig or a festival. This quickly led into deciding to have a festival style wedding which then led to us finding our venue which then led to Kelly and I starting Festival Brides!

I guess what I am trying to say by writing this essay is that, in a year since becoming engaged I have finally chilled the hell out and started to enjoy all the best parts of planning our wedding. I am finally becoming the future bride who goes with the flow and its awesome!

Planning your wedding should be fun not stressful so if you have just got engaged and are feeling the pressure then just take a step back from all the marriage questions and planning and think about what it is that makes you two who you are. Really listen to your gut instinct and if its telling you to not invite Aunt Martha then don’t! If it’s telling you that you don’t want to get married in a church then don’t! If it’s telling you that you want a wedding that reflects who you are, whether this is traditional, vintage, festival or a lovely wedding with no label, then do it! People may not always understand the decisions you make at first but when they see all your ideas coming together they will finally understand why you made those choices and they may even leave your wedding knowing you a little bit better!

In 1 year today I will be becoming Mrs Dunstone – and I can’t bleedin’ wait!

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend guys. We’re off to the Lake District for a spot camping – better pack the waterproofs!

Until next week….

Big Love

Festival Brides xx

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