Where did you meet?
We worked together. I met Andrew on my first day, and he was tasked with training me up! It took nearly a year for it to progress from friends to a relationship, but he was a gentleman and worked his magic on me. Five years and a daughter later we thought it was the right time to get married.
We got engaged on the morning we were taking our daughter to Chessington World of Adventures on the day she turned 18 months. We'd packed the car, grabbing the last bits ready to go, and Andrew got down on one knee and popped the question. It meant we got to celebrate two things on the same day and have loads of fun with our daughter. To be honest, it wasn't a big surprise, I've been dropping hints for months (read years!) and we'd looked at rings together too. I was just waiting for Andrew to seal the deal! We decided on a short engagement, and set on a date 3 months from the engagement day!
Saturday 8th July. 1pm Ceremony at Reading Register Office and reception in our back garden. We had 30 day guests and 45 guests in the evening. We spent less than £2,000.
Why did you decided to have a homegrown wedding?
Were saving for a deposit for a house, we have a two year old daughter, I'm a stay at home mum, and we were paying for it ourselves so budget was limited! I've been thinking about my wedding since I was a little girl so, along with a great sized garden, my experience planning events and my enthusiasm for arts and crafts, I thought we could pull it off ourselves!
What elements were homegrown?
95% of it! Catering, we had afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast and a BBQ in the evening. All the decorations were handmade or borrowed from friends. I made my own bouquet and buttonholes for Andrew and all the guests. I even decorated our cake.
What are you most proud of?
We did it, and all in 3 months!! It was amazing to see everyone there, enjoying themselves, eating, drinking and being merry! Also it looked fabulous! I also have to give a shout out to my bouquet. I made it myself from Harry Potter book pages folded into origami flowers. Something to keep forever.
What help did you get from family/ friends?
Lots. We couldn't have done it without all the help from our parents and friends. From babysitting services, gardening, borrowing equipment, running around in the days before and helping out on the day. We had family members as our photographers and our best man James and maid of honour Sam were superstars.
Best bits of the day
Arriving at the register office. Seeing Andrew and Anna waiting for me. We got 5 minutes before the ceremony while we were filling out the legal stuff and that was lovely. We walked down the aisle together too which was perfect. The party went on late and some hardcore friends and family stayed to play games and drink prosecco, after they left Andrew and I had half an hour to just sit in the garden amongst the mess, in the glow of all the lights as husband and wife.
Advice for future brides and grooms planning a homegrown wedding
You can do it! Its hard work, but the money you save is incredible. Don't be afraid to ask for help, you'll need to borrow things and favours and you'll find people are more than willing and honoured you asked them. Keep tabs on your spending but be inspired, there are very creative ways of making things a reality.