We met at Keele University in 2009, bonded over our love of snakebite and dancing!
Our ten years have been a mixture of travelling between Walsall and Liverpool to see each other, then living in numerous flats when Ben moved down to Walsall before settling in our home a few years ago.
I had my engagement and wedding ring made out of rings and diamonds from 4 generations worth of my family’s rings which made them super special. Even though we did this together, Ben still managed to surprise me with the proposal by collecting the rings in secret. We had a weekend away with friends but on the way to meet them we decided to stop off at a favourite childhood spot of mine in Berriew. After I’d finished playing by the river, I turned to go and Ben stopped me and proposed – the most prepared he’s ever been, ring, champagne and glasses at the ready!
We didn’t know what type of wedding venue we wanted so we were starting with a blank piece of paper really. We’d been to a couple of venues and one of them we were close to confirming our date with but then a colleague suggested Manor Hill. Although we didn’t really know what we initially wanted, we felt so comfortable in the house from the first meeting, we could definitely see ourselves spending our special day surrounded by family and friends there.
I don’t think we really stuck to a particular theme, we wanted the day to be a celebration of our ten year anniversary so we filled the house with things that were very ‘us’. For example, we were able to display large canvas photos from our engagement shoot and various possessions so it really felt homely. We made our decorations, we were adamant we wanted the place to feel as much like us as possible so I’m glad we made our seating plan, table decorations, bouquets, gift and confetti boxes. Very simple things; for example a friend designed the stickers to attach to empty champagne bottles for our centrepieces showing our favourite films.
I bought my dress from The Wedding House, in Walsall – it’s the only place I went to look at dresses and I think I was only out of the house for an hour and a half. I was very lucky that I found the one I wanted so quickly. Ben found his suits quite easily as well, he wanted something he and his Ushers/Best men could wear again so he went for a lovely grey Next suit. The bridal party consisted of a Brideman and Best man as well, their suits matched the Maid of Honour and Bridemaid dress – a navy colour with red accessories.
We wanted to go with hearty and wintery food that mirrored what we’d have normally on the ‘meal plan’ at home so our main was probably our favourite part of the wedding food – a lovely, warm, filling pie. We were both very excited that on our wedding day we’d be able to have pie and mash, alongside a pint of the ale we sourced from a local brewery – that was our ideal January meal! After a couple of hours having photos taken in the cold, we were very glad of our soup and pie choice.
We had Chris as our DJ, as recommended by staff at Manor Hill – he was there all day and did a brilliant job organising us and playing our ceremony music and readings. We had a full dancefloor all night which is exactly what we wanted – recreating the university nights from when we met, surrounded by the same friends and our family
Our official wedding hairdresser; Becky (Hair by Becky) was not only fantastic on the day but is also the hairdresser to a number of the wedding guests (including the Bride and Groom). Without Becky, I wouldn’t have been able to decide how to have my hair – she did all the research for me, completed trials, booked us in for a joint pre wedding couple hair appointment so we were wedding ready the week before our big day. Throughout the morning of the wedding, I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be there to keep me on track time wise, make sure everything ran smoothly with our hair prep. Becky even helped my Maid of Honour to get me in my dress and ready to go – I’d have forgot to wear my veil if Becky hadn’t made sure she was ready with that to put in to my hair.
A massive shout out to Emma Graystone Photography (including Amy Rose) and Stu – Skies Are Blue Videography for working so well together throughout the day and giving us photos and videos that we haven’t yet been able to stop looking at, it’s amazing to have our special day captured in such an amazing and relaxed way.
The top cake was from Marks and Spencers as well as a gluten free cake and then we had a tower of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts which went down extremely well with guests.
The photos and video really capture the fun we had, I feel like I spent the day constantly laughing, we felt so comfortable, it was the most relaxing day of our lives – exactly what we wanted.
Our favourite part of the day – me waiting to walk up the aisle to Ben with a massive grin on my face, so excited to get in to the room and Ben being able to watch from when I was stood against the back wall, before others could see us. It was lovely to have our special song playing from our first date whilst I walked up the aisle.
Ben’s recording of our first dance song was very special for us, we’d managed to keep that a secret until the moment everyone heard Ben’s voice.