Friday 13 July 2012

Wedding planning Spoonie Style - Pt 1

I get married in less than 2 months, to say im exicited and nervous is an understatement. However, hunting around the Internet for guides to organising a wedding, I'm struck as i often am, that very little information exists out there for a bride that might need to do things a little different and have needs that other brides don't..(I realise men get married too and LM is fully informed on all things..but when i talk colour scheme his eyes begin to glaze over)

Things you just wouldn't think of if you don't live with any kind of impairment, in my case a chronic illness that has the ability to strike at will and no amount of hoping or "resting" will prevent it.

I had to plan and think latterly with some things, this is just my guide to how Ive planned a big wedding for 86 Guests.

Once the excitement and gushing over the ring is our case the engagement also included a little old lady with a dog* shouting at us for daring to stand on the side of a gorgeous Northumberland River (well LM was I was on a bridge overlooking said river) - it turned out later she had dementia and had decided on a wander unknown to her family..which did make it a little better but did somewhat take the shine off his proposal..

Budget - £3K - compared to many weddings its a pretty modest budget.

Finding a Venue

Given our budget we couldn't just turn up to the nearest stately home with rooms and say there you go petal organise it we had to think about stuff so we looked at
  1. 3 place wedding (town hall, reception, close by hotel)
  2. 2 place wedding (town hall, hotel for reception and sleeping)
  3. 1 place wedding (all in hotel)
 A bit like Goldilocks we tried the 1st 2 ideas out for logistics and kept coming back to the simple fact trying to make sure I had enough energy to travel between 3 places, and not end up broken and in bed by the time dinner was served simply wasn't feasible.

I did try to pretend for a while it would be manageable as id found a lovely venue - but having a pretty venue that you fall in love with when the logistics don't work is simply adding pressure and the potential for ruining your day is huge.

Venue: Things to thinks about
  • Layout - how far is it between rooms, will you have to walk a long way to get anywhere?
  • How many steps does it have?
  • How far away are the loos?
  • If you use a wheelchair is it accessible?
  • How close is your room to the reception?
  • How willing are the staff to be flexible to timings?
  • Is there a room with no music to retreat to?
after a bit of a panic after loosing out on a couple of venues, and trying to find the right date..we spread out net wider and found a lovely venue in an old coaching inn.

Good Points
  • Its lovely with real character and charm as well as being well within budget 
  • The reception area is close together no long spoon sapping  walks down long hotel corridors
  • Its a ground floor venue - the ceremony room is next to the reception room that's next to loos no steps and enough space for Maude the wheelchair if i need it
  • The bar area is attached to the reception space again no steps or long walks. 
  • We have exclusive use of a downstairs bar so if the music is too much i can retreat but still be with guests
  • The staff have been very flexible with our requests* 
  • We have booked all the rooms the hotel has for our guests
Compromise Point
 I wont say negative as i don't think they are but unless you have a massive budget   you end up compromising somewhere
  • No lift to our rooms - I can manage stairs but when tired that's a struggle..however with the help of LM its just another night of being helped to bed :)
  • Tight on space at times so noise levels will hurt after a while - comes to my next point timings 

Yay you have found the perfect spoonie venue and now you can just get on and plan. It's all plain sailing,  you just need to find a dress marry your loved one and its easy right?

Sadly no not really, although its been fun planning and I'm sure I'm not different to many other brides to have to think round things but this is a big fat spoonie wedding.we have to add in nap time and think about how to manage a  whole day of talking, standing, laughing and generally being sociable with lots of people when my usual day is me my lap top and I, and even when i am out more than 5 people and a couple of hours can leave me so exhausted LM gives me the look and decides its time to go home eeeppp!!!

The 5 P's of planning

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.. there is another version but I'm be being a lady dontcha know. In other words be honest with yourself, and if you cant be make sure you have best women like mine that between them declare...

"Now who is going to manage Beth on the day" - lol i was both amused and  apart of me was saying but but but i will im a growd up..however im also a spoonie and think i can do all this stuff when i cant.

Ive realised this has turned into an epic blog and ive got as far as the perhaps this will be a series of blogs over the next week

 Episode 2 will see the bride work out the timings for the big day and find a dress
 Episode 3 will see LM worrying about how the bride will get through the day..Gin of course!

* LM pointed out that i needed a comma as it looks like the dog was shouting at us rather than the old lady..but for comedic value ive left it alone


  1. Errr thanks how sweet you even tried to pretend you weren't spam..but there is no wedding dress picure..tut tut

  2. Very interesting to read someone else's experiences :) I too had a budget of £3k. The venue I used also had the bar in a separate room, which had lots of seating for those who found the music too loud or the room too hot.
    One problem I had on the day was that I had made it clear that we were going home to our flat on the wedding night - I knew I'd be exhausted and need my own bed, my own things easily accessible and - most importantly - the next morning I could simply stay in bed the entire day to recover. However, a group of well-meaning but completely unaware friends of the groom thought this was "terrible" and bought us a hotel room nearby (the venue wasn't a hotel) and INSISTED we used it - even accompanied us there. I had an overnight bag with me (because at that point I hadn't moved my stuff into what was my husband's flat). The room was very nice and probably very expensive and I tried to be grateful, but it was extremely hard on me.
    I get extremely dizzy using lifts, so have to us stairs. When I book a hotel room, therefore, I alwasy ask for a ground or 1st floor - our room was on the 3rd floor and they had no alternatives.
    The next morning, of course, I had to be up get dressed etc and get breakfast before packing all our things (we had to take a lot of the gifts/cards etc with us) and getting a taxi home.
    No surprises, I had a terrible relapse the next day. I'm sure it would have come on anyway but that made it all the more likely. So my advice is, be stronger than me and just say NO to well-meaning friends! I should have said "I am going home, I don't care if that means "wasting" the room and the people's money, it's for my health". But I was too polite and didn't want to cause a row/fuss on my wedding day.

    1. Awww no poor you - I can totally understand what you were trying to do. we are miles from hiome but have booked the Sunday night too so i dont have to get up :)
      Thabk you for sharing

  3. Ah, you have my sympathy. I've been there, weddings and ME/fibromyalgia don't mix, especially when it's your own and you feel under pressure to talk to all your guests. My advice would be for you and your partner to decide what is going to be your special part of the day - the "I do's" probably, save your energy for that, and don't worry about leaving your guests at times when you need to go and rest. Good luck and try to make it your day!

    1. Yep :) we are getting to that point i relaised if Id written every bit down in the 1st blog it would have been a book.

      We have made sure the day is wrapped around my energy levels and the most important bits..I know I wil proably not follow my advice.

  4. Thanks for posting this hun, Still organising my day, timings still to be worked out for the morning - getting hair done, car packed, dressed and leave house in time. The whole thing will be made more stressful by fact that we leave house to go to ceremony and dont return until end of honeymoon. OH wants car packed and ready to go straight after meal. SO my anxiety and OCD will be high, locking up the house. One saving grace is I know that next door neighbour will be popping in that evening to check on cat and shes as paranoid about locking the doors as I am. Will also have mum there as we leave so she can come round with me and reassure me.

    1. Oh goodness my lovely - thats an added thing to think about. happy to help you paln if you need it. But try not to take it all on yourself. I knwo the OCD part will kake it hard to delegate but perhaps OH could pack the car? xx

    2. He will pack car, hes good at that, its just lots more to think about before locking up the house. Mum understands my OCD locking issues so I will get her to stay with me and tell me its all done xxx

    3. Awww I know :) hes a good un lovely. glad your mum will be with you. How exciting for both of us xx


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