In the run up to the wedding, I read so many blogs about the perfect wedding. Weddings that required years of planning, wedding planners, waiting lists, mood boards (I love a mood board) etc.
From the get go, I knew this wasn’t going to be us. I love a big white wedding dress, and I’ve always thought brides in them looked great. Grandma and I went into a bridal store and I tried to explain what I wanted (spaghetti strapped, delicate beading, slightly Grecian) and what I was given to put on was not any of the above, in fact it was hilariously bad. My grandma stifled her laughter in a napkin, and I couldn’t hide how unimpressed I was. Bless the shop owner, because she mistook this for me ‘not feeling spesh enough’ and stuck a tiara on me also, which just elevated how uncomfortable I was.
We were also told even in the sale dresses weren’t ever less than £1,500. Which nearly made me choke. We’ve never spent that kind of money on anything, and it didn’t sit right with me to spend it on a dress. Also, you have to put your name down for dresses a year in advance and have monthly alterations, what the fuck? I didn’t fancy being hot and flustered trying to get into a huge dress monthly.
I get that weddings in the UK average at £26k, if we had that kind of money to comfortably spend then maybe we would have pushed the boat out a bit. But, we are 22 years old, only Papa No + Ro works as I’m a student (and sometimes a mum when I can be arsed) and we have two, small, expensive children, so it was always out of the question.
I wasn’t going to tell everyone where I got my dress from because initially I felt a little embarrassed, but I’ve had so many messages about it since, this feeling has lifted.
After failed dresses from John Lewis and Needle & Thread (both stunning, but I knew I had to wear something I felt comfortable in and not be self conscious all day) on a whim I ordered a dress from ASOS bridesmaid section. It was the wrong size, too long and I was totally prepared in real life that it might be hideous! But it wasn’t, I loved it. And with the help of my very talented friend Janne, we altered it (3 days before the wedding) so that it was fitted properly. My biggest insecurity is my arms, and although some of the photos aren’t the most flattering of them, I decided to keep them uncovered because I didn’t want to be the bride who covered her arms because they’re not perfect.
Everything in our wedding was done close to home. I made all the decorations, slideshow, invitations, etc myself with the help of my friends. Our DJ was a friend who was fantastic, and we got married in the town hall which besides the food, was the most expensive part. Our photographer was another friend, who absolutely smashed it.
We had our reception in Smokestack which is Papa No + Ro’s favourite bar in Leeds and they totally got what I wanted from our wedding, a big party with everyone we loved. There was no seating plan, no sides, no set meal time. I wanted people to come and feel relaxed.
In true Noandroblog style, the day was not perfect. I forgot my vows and the registrar had to repeat them, I was so nervous I held onto my dress very tightly and in all of the chaos, I had to double check that we were ACTUALLY married. I chose to walk down to Al Green’s ‘let’s stay together’ which was a good shout. However I didn’t think about other music that would be required, so when we were signing all the legal shit, the registrar put on ‘all night long’ which is a great song, but also a tad inappropriate seeing as everyone knows what happens on a wedding night, then to walk out a bizarre David Guetta song started, to which I exclaimed, ‘turn that off!’ Our registrar also mentioned three times that we were over our capacity. Once was funny, after that it was like ‘we’ve got the message babe’
Honestly, I can say it was the best weekend of my life. I know that really the day you have your baby is meant to be the best, but they were painful, draining and intense also, the wedding was everything I could have wanted and more. Everyone made so much effort and I truly felt special (I think Papa No + Ro did too) and it’s brought with it a strange sense of completion, not something I anticipated from it all.
As I said in my wedding speech, if I had been told 7 years ago that I’d have two children, not live in London and be married to the person that I am, I would have thought you were mental, none of those things were in my teenage mind, but I’m so glad that my life didn’t follow the original plan.