Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

Something New

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Wedding

Sometimes I feel like I’m just not juggling enough things at a time so I go ahead and launch myself head first into another new, exciting project because hey, it’ll be fiiiiine.

Introducing… Cwtch the Bride! :)

Cwtch the Bride - New Welsh Wedding Blog

Remember our awesome wedding photographer, Maria Farrelly? She’s launched a new project called Cwtch the Bride – a brand new Welsh wedding blog – which is obviously right up my street since I love weddings and I love wedding planning (especially when it’s not my own wedding; all of the fun with none of the stress!).

Maria has asked me to contribute some content for the site (I’m the budget, DIY bride) and I can’t wait to see it grow. Our engagement shoot went up last week and our wedding is being featured on Friday, so if you want to see even more bloody yellow photos then head on over there ;)

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Mementos From The Wedding

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

Our wedding has been featured on Cwtch the Bride – the new Welsh Wedding Blog. I urge you to check it out, the whole site is beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I work for it, heh.

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We have a lot of fantastic memories from our wedding day – Maria did an absolutely incredible job of capturing it all for us. We received almost 1500 photos from her in the end and she shot for 15 hours, amazing! We’ve also amassed a small collection of mementos to help remind of us the day, and I thought some of you might like to see them :)

Wedding Mementos

We bought the plate at the museum gift shop, because we wanted a reminder from the venue (we got married in a maritime museum) and they didn’t sell snow globes which is what we usually collect. The badges were in place of buttonholes – Q wore the S and I wore the T :) The ships wheel was a gift from my uncle, which I thought was a really nice touch :)

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Our thank you cards, designed by the ever wonderful Leni Kauffman, to match our invitations. We had them printed with vistaprint as postcards but I wouldn’t recommend them, really. The service was just okay, the postcards are fine but a non standard size which meant when we printed 6×4 photos to go in with them they didn’t fit inside the envelopes (which I’d already pre-addressed and stamped. Oh well!).

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Lisa and her husband Peter bought us this beautiful print from our Etsy registry (which I highly reccomend, by the way) – the poem on the front is the one we used on our invitations so it was lovely to receive the original inspiration for it.

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My flower managed to survive the night (I cannot say the same for the girl’s flowers, heh) so we’ve stuck it in a vase. I can’t bear to throw it away after all the time Q spent making them!

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Another little souvenir from the museum, little boats – blue for Q and yellow for me (of course).

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Our friend Alice couldn’t make it to the wedding but sent us these beautiful Mr & Mrs forks (as well as some other lovely gifts).

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We made our guestbook ourselves, and asked our friend Adam to illustrate the cover for us, as we couldn’t print straight onto it. He did a fantastic job.

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We put some of our favourite photos from the engagement shoot in it, then added a little envelope for everyone and asked them to write us a note. It was so much fun to open them all, like getting 70 letters all at once! It’s not perfect by any means – the weight of the envelopes means some of the photos got a little crumpled and it doesn’t close without a ribbon holding it shut, but I totally and utterly love it all the same :)

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We also put copies of the readings from the ceremony in to remind us of them.

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I used Leni’s design from our invites to make them, and we also printed larger version to frame and give to the girls as gifts.

Two Become Chong

I also asked Adam to design a film poster as a surprise for Tzevai (the room we got married in looked like a cinema so we had a film theme for the ceremony), which we’re planning on framing and hanging in our new house.

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This tho, is quite possibly my favourite wedding gift, if only for the amount of time, effort and thought that went into making it! Rob, Carrie, Howard and Sam all spent time putting together the story of Pip (our littlest panda) and the wedding. We read it at the reception and I couldn’t stop laughing, it was all fantastic :) This is just a selection of the illustrations they did – they worked so hard on it and it really is fantastic. Thanks guys!

It might be corny to say but it’s nice to be surrounded by the things that remind us of such a happy day. So suck it, haters ;)

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Our Wedding – Ceremony & Reception

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Projects, Wedding

Our wedding has been featured on Cwtch the Bride – the new Welsh Wedding Blog. I urge you to check it out, the whole site is beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I work for it, heh.

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This is probably the slowest wedding recap in history (we’ve been married for almost 5 months, oy!) but here we go, onto the 3rd wedding post – the ceremony and the reception! :) These are mostly for me to be honest to be able to remember the day and what we did, so feel free to skip over if you’re not that into weddings, I won’t be offended, promise. (As always, all the photos in these posts are thanks to our amazing photographer, Maria Farrelly. Thanks Maria!)

Ring Bearer: Instead of having our best man as our ring bearer we had our pet panda, Eric. We tied the rings to his paw with yellow ribbon and sat him at the front of the theatre, ready for his big moment! Definitely less stressful that having a child or a real animal holding onto them ;)

Eric the panda - our ring bearer

Music: The bridesmaids walked in to You and Me by Penny and the Quarters and I walked in to a violin piece by Bernard Fanning. We walked out to Hold My Head Above the Water by Quiet Company.

Vows: We wrote our own vows and I was really nervous that I was going to be too emotional to say mine as I knew I was going second. Q was actually banking on me crying as he had a line in his vows about that, which I obviously didn’t know about at the time but lucky for him I was tearing up a little! Having our panda Eric as the ring bearer was great too, as he got a good laugh from the crowd and our registrar really got into the spirit of things with us :)

Vows - crying Vows - Q laughing First kiss as Mr & Mrs Chong!

Confetti: The venue asked us not to use confetti in our reception room – it’s so close to the balcony and makes an almighty mess, apparently. Instead we gave everyone party poppers in their order of service bags with the intention of popping them as we walked out of the ceremony. We changed our minds at the last minute, opting to pop them somewhere with better light, which meant all our guests had to wait about an hour while we had some couples photos done on our own, sorry guys ;)

(I couldn’t bear how ugly the labels were so I printed up some with our names and the wedding date to cover them up!)

Party poppers Party poppers Party poppers Party poppers

Favours: Our favours were homegrown wild poppy seeds courtesy of my parent’s garden, some bubbles and lottery tickets presented in lai-see (red envelopes given at Chinese New Year, as a nod to Q’s Chinese heritage). We tucked them into little pockets made from sheet music to echo our invitations, which had the same thing.

Our wedding favours
Our wedding favours - a winning scratchcard Our wedding favours - a losing scratchcard

Speeches: Tze and I decided to do a joint speech but didn’t really plan what we wanted to say past who we were going to thank and give gifts too. It seemed to go down well tho, so that’s a plus! :)

Joint wedding speechTom (our best man)’s speech was definitely funnier than ours, although he did make us a cocktail that I have no desire to drink again so he loses points for that ;)

Wedding speech - best man

First Dance: It took us a while to pick a first dance – for a few months it was going to be I’m Yours by Jason Mraz – but we eventually settled on Heart of Life by John Mayer because it’s pretty and (more importantly) short. I am not a lover of slow dancing and it was sort of excruciating having everyone watch us making a slow, shuffling circle around the dance floor, heh.

First dance First dance
The End: Our last song was Grace Under Pressure by Elbow (my favourite song, I have the title tattooed on my foot as a reminder to have more grace!) and it was my absolute favourite moment from the wedding. We twirled together laughing as our friends and family formed a circle around us and it culminated in a massive group hug, Maria included, recording it all for us. It gave me goosebumps to watch the video back :)

Group shot(our group shot, complete with yellow heart shaped balloons :) )

There are actually two more wedding related posts that I have lined up, but this is the last of the recaps so you can breath a sigh of relief if weddings really don’t float you boat. Falling Foward will be back to it’s regularly scheduled programming of lists, lists and more lists in no time ;)

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Our Wedding – Pre-Ceremony

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

Our wedding has been featured on Cwtch the Bride – the new Welsh Wedding Blog. I urge you to check it out, the whole site is beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I work for it, heh.

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I said I’d try and get the second wedding post up before Christmas, so I’m just sneaking in under the wire with this one, ha. But! It is Pre-Christmas and the second post is here, whoop! This one is all about what we wore. As always, all the photos in these posts are thanks to our amazing photographer, Maria Farrelly. Thanks Maria!

The Dress: I bought it from a shop in Cardiff that has sadly closed now. It’s by a designer called Toki and Nabi and it was a steal at £90! I also wore a peach petticoat and 50s inspired underwear, both from Boux Avenue. My mum hand sewed all these tiny little gems on it so that I sparkled. Which was obviously awesome.

My something blue: our initials and the wedding date sewn into the label of the dress :)

I never wanted a traditional dress – I tried a few on and just felt so uncomfortable and weird – I actually bought this one a week after getting engaged, ha.

Those Shoes: Oh, my shoes. My beautiful, amazing yellow shoes. I loved these bad boys and since I bought them about a fortnight after we got engaged (never accuse me of hanging around) I had to wait what felt a lifetime to actually wear them. They were Reiss, via eBay and cost me £20 instead of over a hundred. Score!

Yellow Reiss Wedding Slingback Sho

Hair Accessories: Crown and Glory flower bobby pins (15% discount with the code WOLFWHISTLE thanks to Amy, btw) and a glittery heart clip from H&M.

Jewellery: My late grandmother’s earrings (that my sister also wore at her wedding) and my great Aunt’s pearls:

my mother’s bracelet:

a ring that was given to me by my father in law and his wife:

and a bracelet that Q and I made for each other. (we had one each).

We also wore heart shaped pins with each other’s initials in which were made by Love and Lovelier:

and my bridesmaids and I had heart shaped rings from H&M:

Q’s Outfit: Q wore a waistcoat and shirt from Next and a tie we bought from eBay. He already owned his trousers, and didn’t want to wear a jacket. It was a fairly easy outfit to put together once he actually decided what he wanted to wear (which took bloody forever ;) )

The usher’s wore white shirts, grey trousers and navy blue ties (again from eBay. They were about a pound each, total bargain).

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: the dresses were from ASOS in the sale and the petticoats were from Boux Avenue. They wore their own shoes, all in different shades of nude. I loved how the girls ended up looking, plus I now own one of the bridesmaids dresses (Tessa is tall and it was a tiny bit short for her without the petticoat!) which means I get to twirl like a girl in Mad Men whenever I damn well please.

The Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Flower pins from H&M, large glitter hearts from Crown and Glory, brooches from Love and Lovelier and yellow sashes made by my mother.

Crown and Glory Glitter Heart Hair Clip

brooches from Love and Lovelier

The girls had the love brooches, and the boys had cariad, which is love in Welsh :)

(Then my dad did this with them and I may or may not have lost my freaking mind. THANKS FOR GETTING CAT HAIR ON EVERYTHING, DAD.)

Hair: Done by another quarter of #TeamMASH, Sarah. THANK YOU SARAH, OH MY GOD. Seriously, I never would have been able to make it look as amazing as she did.

Hello gratuitous boob shot.

Make Up: I did my own makeup because I don’t really trust other people to do my face. It was the most makeup I’ve probably ever worn, no joke, but at least it lasted all day!

Pre-Ceremony
Our friends helped us so much in the run up to the wedding, my beautiful friends Jools (or Lady Velo as she’s better known online) and Ian spent the afternoon the day before arranging all our flowers for us and my bridesmaids fluffed all our pom-poms. Andrew, Mark and Jeff blew up all our balloons for us and my mother did so much sewing that she’s almost sworn never to pick up a needle and thread again. Oops.

We decided to have a first look on the local beach before our ceremony as I knew I’d be a bit nervous and I also thought we’d be able to get some really amazing photos there. Maria was well up for it and it was a lot of fun to walk across the beach with everyone wondering what was going on! My parents have use of a beach hut so we stood outside it to have some pictures – the people sitting next to us ignored us completely which made for some very comical moments. My bridesmaids and I also had a cheeky sit down on the bouncy castle before heading to the venue for the ceremony!

I designed a ‘film poster’ as a surprise for Q on the day, since our ceremony room was a lecture theatre and we had our order of services in popcorn bags. I didn’t get to see his reaction as I was waiting out of sight but lots of people commented on it and it’s great to have something we can keep as a memento of the day! Our friend Adam did it for us and I couldn’t have asked for better :)

We had a very last minute additional guest as my sister and her husband actually had their baby, Arthur, three days before the wedding (he was due eleven days after). They managed to bring him to the ceremony and he was the quietest baby ever, plus it was wonderful to meet him, although he did steal the show a few times by being so adorable!

Transport: Since my dad works at a garage he was able to borrow a vintage Mercedes convertible to take me to the venue. We actually had an almightly row the day before over whether or not we should have the top down (he said yes, I insisted no), so much so that my mother had to mediate ;) Thankfully we sorted it out in the end and it was all okay on the day. I wasn’t expected anyone to see me arrive but we were so early a lot of people were still walking in! :)

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Phew! Sorry for the epic montage guys, but it’s nice to get it all written down to look at later on :) The next post definitely won’t be up before Christmas but I might be able to sneak it in before 2013 and it’ll definitely be up before 2014 ;)

Have a great Christmas if you’re celebrating. We’re in Cornwall to snuggle Arthur and eat all the food we can get our hands on. Hurrah!

Our Wedding – The Run Down

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

Our wedding has been featured on Cwtch the Bride – the new Welsh Wedding Blog. I urge you to check it out, the whole site is beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I work for it, heh.

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What’s that, I’m actually posting our wedding write up before Christmas?! Shocking. High five, anyone? No? Oh. Moving swiftly on…I’m going to split this into a couple of posts so that your eyes don’t fall out – it’s big! Yes, I am nice like that. You are welcome.

First things first, all the photos in these posts are thanks to our amazing photographer, Maria Farrelly. More like a guest than a wedding photographer, she delivered to us 1500 shots of our day and we barely noticed her on the day, like some kind of wedding ninja. Definitely book this woman, kids. She’s the best.

Second things second, the details!

The total cost: Some people might consider this vulgar (to those people I politely say “suck it”) but I’m always curious how much people spent. In the end we spent about £7500 (not including our honeymoon) which is about £6000 less than the ‘average UK wedding’, apparently. We saved cash by buying a cheap wedding dress and making most of our decorations, and also by not having that much money to spend in the first place, ha.

The Venue: We picked the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall. I grew up there and while we initially wanted to get married in Cardiff we couldn’t find a venue that matched up to the Maritime, so we decided to just go with it and have a wedding two hundred miles from where we live. No biggie! We had our ceremony, reception and evening do here (in three separate rooms) which meant more time with our guests, which was genuinely lovely.

The cake: Cupcakes from M&S and a cheesecake from Sainsbury’s for us. We’re not big cake people, to be honest. We added yellow marzipan hearts to the cupcakes and found a candle cake topper which spelt out ‘I Love You’ for the cheesecake.

cake

The flowers: We bought flowers from the supermarkets for the centre pieces the day before – and it was totally fine. Luckily for us, Jools and Ian arrived early and spent a couple of hours arranging them all for us. THANK YOU, A MILLION TIMES OVER. I’m also mega indebted to my bridesmaid Amy (a quarter of #TeamMASH, the best team ever) for finding a tutorial online to create the giant paper flowers. I wanted something different and also real flowers kind of make me sneeze a lot. Q ended up making them, to stop me from throwing them across the room in a fit of frustration. Bloody crepe paper.  Still tho, they were totally worth it in the end, right? Right.

giant yellow paper flowers - wedding bouquet, diy, instructionsmy gorgeous paper flowers
table flowers
and our wonderful table flowers!

The music: We set up a Spotify playlist and hooked it up to a PA system for the evening.   Simple and it meant we didn’t have to listen to a cheesy DJ trying to narrate or play ABBA. Double bonus.

Stationery: Our invites were designed by Leni Kauffman, and were fantastic. We then finished them off and printed them ourselves, along with the menus, table numbers, order of services and maps. Our panda film poster and pirate maps were designed by Adam Fellows, who also did a stellar job. Leni also did out thank you cards for us, because she is lovely and nice. Thanks, lovely nice Leni! :)

table numbers

Decorations: We made giant pom poms from crepe paper, word banners from cereal boxes and gold wrapping paper, blew up some yellow balloons and made a ‘library catalogue’ box to use for our guestbook. Everything was fairly simple (we are not into complex DIY) but it did still take quite a considerable amount of time, so if you’re going to go down this route make sure you have enough time for it.

pom poms

mr and mrs chong banner
guestbook

We bought a lot of supplies from Etsy, which was an absolutely godsend. I bought a customised stamp from Happie Stamps with our initials and the wedding date, which I used to decorate some tissues to put with the order of service, our favours and various other bits and pieces along the way!

We also ended up making a lot of origami hearts (seriously, so many origami hearts) – little ones to go with the favours, medium ones to use as a backdrop for our handmade photo booth and giant ones to use as a ceremony backdrop.

Theme: Yellow, obviously. (So much yellow! It was the best.) Books, love. We wanted something fun, casual and filled with things personal to us. We also had a few pandas because how could we not, and quite a few red hearts seemed to sneak in.

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PHEW. Hope you enjoyed the peak into our wedding :) This has taken me far longer than I’d like, sorry! The next post is for the girls – i.e. it’s all about the dresses ;) I’ll try and get it up in the next couple of days but again, if it’s after Christmas I really wouldn’t be too surprised, okay? ;)

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Hi.

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

Gosh it’s been a while since I wrote an actual post, hasn’t it? Lists are all very well and good but it feels like I haven’t said anything real for months. Oops! Am I allowed to blame it on the wedding planning that I barely mentioned here but which took up a sizeable amount of my time? Or my new job which I also didn’t mention but which is fun but also demanding at times? No? Oh well. You live and you learn ;)

First Things First


Mr & Mrs Chong

Above photos taken by our amazing wedding photographer, Maria Farrelly.

Life has been good, in a crazy, whirlwind sort of insane way. I’m married now, huzzah! (I’ll do a proper post on that at some point (it was the best day). I won’t say soon because I never stick to that but, y’know, before Christmas. Probably.) We’ve been to Mexico for our honeymoon and returned tanned and full of food (double win!).

Taken on the day that we got up early to watch the sunrise from the beach :)

We came back and I cut all my hair off and now we’re in the process of trying to sell our flat so we can buy a bigger house. Fun/stressful depending on what day of the week it is at the moment. Whoever tells you wedding planning is as stressful as buying a house, it’s bullshit – house buying is much worse.

Hair cut :)

Second Things Second
In website news I’ve finally added the details to my project pages. Télégramme is here, Friday Thanks is here (it would appear I am most thankful for things beginning with S and P) and Grace in Small Things is here, if you’re interested.

I’m working on the next issue of Télégramme, slowly, and throwing myself into a couple of new projects to banish the post wedding blues. I taught a class, we’ve been cooking some fun new recipes and there are lots of exciting plans being made for the next twelve months and beyond. Yay for plans, right? :)

Lastly
Sarah and Amy both wrote lovely posts about the wedding, so if you’re dying for some news head over there, they’ll tide you over until I can write my post. (You should visit them anyway, being 50% of team MASH and 100% awesome)

What have you guys been up to? :) Tell me all your news!

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I’m Getting Married In The Morning

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects, Wedding

Dear Q,

Thank you for being everything I didn’t realise I needed. I’m so excited for our future and I really, really cannot wait to marry you tomorrow. I love you.

Love Sarah

See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

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Wedding Traditions*

Posted by in Wedding

*& why we’re not really paying attention to most of them.

Weddings are a tricky time. Everyone seems to have an opinion on most of the things you’re doing, and all the opinions are different (and quite often different to yours, too). There are a million traditions and so many people will tell you that you have to do this and you absolutely cannot skip this. Well. *ahem*. I say bullshit.

Do what you want to do. It’s your wedding, non? If you don’t want to throw your bouquet or have readings at your ceremony then don’t, nobody can tell you it’s not a real wedding without those things. Here’s a list of traditions we decided not to adhere to in our wedding, and why:

1. The bouquet toss
My flowers are made of paper and I have terrible aim. The last thing I want is to give someone a paper cut on their eye or worse.

2. The garter
Some people like them, I don’t. I certainly can’t imagine Q taking it off with his teeth in front of a room full of our friends and family. Awkward, much?

3. Flower girls & page boys
Altho Q’s nephews and niece are the right kind of age we decided to stick with the bridesmaids and ushers and forgo the little ones. No real reason, mostly just to save a bit of money! :)

4. Suits
My dress is rather informal and we thought it would be weird if Q and the boys were in super formal attire so he’s just wearing trousers and waistcoat (well, I say just – he’ll obviously be wearing a shirt too. It’s not that kind of wedding) and the boys will be in plain white shirts with navy ties. So what if they don’t look all the same? I once went to a wedding where the mother of the groom insisted they weren’t allowed to take off their jackets until the end of the speeches, which is pretty much my idea of hell.

5. Groom’s speech
Anyone reading this by now should know that I love to talk, so Q and I have decided to do a joint speech together, instead of just him doing one on his own and me sitting by demurely. Honestly – have any of you ever known me to be demure? ;)

6. Addressing the invites just so.
There are so many rules around addressing invites, it’s kind of ridiculous. In the end we wrote people’s first names (no surnames) on the envelopes and didn’t write their names on the invites at all. Who cares? Life is too short to double envelope everything and make sure you’ve got the right title for all your guests. Slap a name on, call it done and make yourself  a gin.

7. The cake smash
Just. No. No.

8. Not seeing each other the night before
I love Q. We didn’t really want to spend the night apart, especially since that meant one of us would be in a foreign room to usual. I’m going to be a mix of Christmas morning excited and first day of exams nervous so having him there to cwtch will be good, I think. We’ll have breakfast together the next morning and then he’ll go off to play golf and I’ll start getting ready :)

9. The groom not seeing the dress
I don’t believe in luck so it didn’t bother me showing Q the dress before the wedding day. I’m not supersticious, how can him seeing a garment curse our wedding? My dress is a little unusual, so I wanted to show him to make sure he liked it, rather than see a look of horror as I walked down the aisle ;)

10. The groom standing on the right hand side of the bride
I always stand to the right of Q and I’m not swapping that just because that’s the side he should stand on to be able to access the sword that he won’t be wearing. *rolls eyes*

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have these traditions in your wedding, I’m just saying they weren’t right for us so we decided not to include them. After all, your wedding should be about you and your partner, right? We’ve worked so hard on our planning and I’m so excited to see the whole day come together because I know it really represents who we are and why we love each other. 7 weeks and counting, kids!

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Stress

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Wedding

I should have spent the afternoon at work but instead Sky decided to royally screw us over time and time again and I’ve had to stay in to wait for yet another engineer to come out and “fix” our internet. (This is probably the fourth visit in a month, along with countless phone calls from Q to the apparent idiots on the other end. He is a much more patient person than I am, I would have drawn blood by now I think).

So. Instead of being at work I got to stay at home and catch up on Glee, 90210 and two episodes of the American version of The Office that I recorded before Christmas. Internet problems, apparently, have their small perks. I’d still trade it in to be able to download stuff again. TV gets boring, let me tell you.

I’ve also spent some time going through some honeymoon brochures, because that’s the most fun part of a wedding – right? The bit where you get to leave everyone else behind in cold, dreary England and then bore them to death with a jangly background music enhanced slideshow when you get back of eighty photos of you on a beach with a different cocktail in every shot. Personally, I can’t wait.

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Changes

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Wedding

Last Friday night Q and I went out to the Montpelier Basement supper club.  He wrote a fantastic write up of it here, I suggest you go and read it. I’d read some great reviews on some of the food blogs in my reader and when the opportunity to attend their ‘anti-valentines’ night arose I jumped at it like a shot. Unbeknownst to me, Q had actually picked up an engagement ring the night before, and had it in his pocket for the entirety of the delicious seven course meal. He actually ended up proposing at 1am, after we got back to Cardiff from Bristol, whilst I was in the bathroom taking off my make-up, heh. It’s a story to tell, right?

It might not seem like the most romantic proposal on paper, but all I’d ever asked was that he try and make it a surprise, and I genuinely had no idea what was happening until I opened my eyes and saw the ring. (Which is beautiful, and exactly what I asked for. He did very well :) ) When he got down on one knee my entire world started to gently spin and I’ve got to be honest – it’s a week later and I’m not entirely convinced it’s stopped.

I don’t think it can be underestimated how much I really love this man. I couldn’t be more honoured to be the girl that he picked to spend his future with. Thanks for making my dreams come true, Scampi. You’re my favourite, toujours.

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