Our regular male contributor to mrs2be’s discussion forums, BluefishJD shares his planning experience with us. The unusual thing about this groom is that is heavily involved in planning his wedding, and surprising, is actually enjoying it! In case you missed it, you can check out his first post: A Groom With A View. The countdown is on, with only 4 months to go. This week, he fills us in on how he met his belle, and the start of their wedding plans.
So here’s the story so far…
We’re together 5 years this January, living together four years, three and a half of those in our own home which was our first big step! With two kids …. and when I say kids I mean animals … we have a cat and a dog … at times the most loyal, loving, funny creatures you could meet … then there is the times when it is like having 2 three year olds running riot. I know this as I have nieces and nephews to compare, but we love them and at least I know the dog loves me back; the jury is still out on the cat!
Corny I know, but we met at work. At the time both of us were working in the same pub at weekends whilst during the week I was at college studying graphic design and she a hair stylist in a local salon. She was just fresh off the plane from Poland (not literally) and starting her first day when I saw her and new immediately I wanted to know more about her it was her enchanting green eyes that got me – hook, line and sinker. After scoping out the situation from her friends for a couple of weeks, I made my move at the work Christmas party (even more corny haha) but I can still remember that night she was a vision in canary yellow and I’m not going to say I knew then I wanted to marry this woman but definitely knew there was something there (and even better for me as she had felt the same). It was about a year after whilst on holidays and she had been looking at rings and other items of jewellery and I made a mental note to myself – the first ring I buy her is going to be a diamond one so like a typical Irish man I took my time and four years later popped the question in dramatic fashion no less on New Year’s Eve I even had fireworks and nearly a frozen knee, but that’s for another day.
Within 7 – 8 weeks of our engagement we started to plan. Throughout the last number of years living together, I find we are very much on the same wavelength on a number of levels and I think this has what has made the planning process for me that tad bit easier as I know if I see something I can usually tell if Bluefish Belle would like it too – or not in some cases, but I would push for it as I would think it looked right – the graphic designer head on me!
As a joint decision (although in the following words and posts throughout this blog it will be me doing the wheeling and dealing and sorting things) it was always us, together, who made the final decisions – we opted for a small wedding and to keep our costs down a very DIY wedding, as realistically this is more us just immediate family and our close circle of friends. We heard too many stories about people inviting people just for the sake of it – and in some cases we were those guests – just to bring up numbers so when it came down to it we just wanted the people that matter most to us now, who were there for us as we grew up and that we know will still be there as we grow as a couple in our marriage and into a family in the future to share our special day. So needless to say the guestlist didn’t take us long yes there was a couple of “what about them” or “should we invite them cause we got invited to theirs” (even though we don’t REALLY know them etc.) but we stuck to our guns, which became a mantra for us throughout this process and one I give to any of you reading this: Stick to your guns it’s you and your other half’s day! Anyhow, we were strict and kept the guestlist down. There was the element of what I mentioned above but also a budget to consider and to be realistic. One thing we both agreed on from the start was that we were not starting our married life in debt by taking out a loan and yes it’s going to be one of the biggest days of our lives but it is only one day the mortgage will still need to paid as will the car loan, the bills, groceries … you get the picture.
So happy with an approx number in our head and a budget in place, we ventured into the world of wedding planning I think this is when I knew I would really, really be involved in the planning of this wedding to a large extent. I had already sorted the church – I secured the date, time, priest and deposit as it just was easier for me being the local’ to arrange meetings, viewings, the all important haggling and to be able to throw down the you know my parents trump card only occasionally and it worked too – so lads don’t be afraid to get stuck right in. View the reception venue or any wedding supplier/service like a car you are selling or indeed trying to buy haggle and don’t ever be afraid to ask – as the saying goes if you don’t ask you don’t get. I remember the first thing Bluefish Belle said to me after our initial meeting with our chosen venue “Jaysus (yes after 5 years she has picked up a bit of local slang) you drilled her!” and I agree, and because of it we got a fantastic (affordable) wedding package with so many trimmings and extras that it is a whole post on its own. Being the first major thing we booked we really felt like this wedding ball had started to roll.
Soon after I started to get into the other elements necessary to make this wedding a reality all of which I will tackle and tell of my experience in future posts…