How to say I do when you don’t know how to

I haven’t planned the ”big day” my whole life and there was no dream wedding scenario. Despite this I have always assumed I would get married at some point. In fact when I accidentally stumbled upon his internet searches for engagement rings I was embarrassingly beyond excited. So much so that I even confided in one of my work colleagues, my best friend, my mum…the list goes on. I’ve always been determined not to be traditional, my folks didn’t tell anyone they were getting married until after the event! After courting for a rather traditional five years, living together for much of that and waiting for him to propose; I’ve been flying in the face of tradition from the get go. Our wedding planning all started with a hunt for a venue. From what I’ve heard, other couples have a few venues in mind. They visit them over a handful of sunny relaxed weekends and then fairly quickly select the venue of their dreams. I found picking a venue as stressful as determining a guest list, and it took nearly as long as the period left between booking our wedding and actually getting married. To be fair, moving to Shanghai shortly after getting engaged did not exactly speed up the process. We both liked a local stately home but it was massively out of our price range. The penny should have dropped when staff mentioned that their wedding caterer had catered several dinners for the Queen! In desperation I suggested just having the ceremony at said stately home, but he pointed out that any reception we had elsewhere would then be an anti-climax. We were both stumped, neither of us had anywhere else in mind. For several months I requested brochures for possible venues, but they were all too expensive or too naff. We came very close to just popping to a registry office in Shanghai and getting it over and done with, as it was all starting to feel like a hassle.   IMG_1788 (2) I received an email from a venue that we liked but could not afford. However, they were now offering late availability and winter packages for a very reasonable rate. As it happens they had a deal for 3rd January, and we were due to come back from Shanghai for a visit over Christmas and New Year. So there we have it. We are getting married in five months time, we are planning a wedding in the UK from Shanghai and we are back in the UK for a fortnight at the end of the year. In which time we need to have stag and hen do’s and a wedding!

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