Monday, 9 October 2017

Wedding Days Series #6

Welcome to my blog series 'The Wedding Days' where other couples (some bloggers, some non bloggers) share details about their big day by answering some questions. I LOVE weddings and seeing a few photos too! I'm really missing the planning of our big day which you can read about here where I've answered these questions about our own wedding *here*. So if you're anything like me, you're going to love this series too. If you want to get involved and share your wedding day with us too then email me on

Today we have Ruth Hitchcox telling us about her wedding to her husband Darren, I loved reading their story and now can't stop thinking about fish finger sandwiches...

Tell us a little bit about you and where you met your husband/wife? (include the proposal story if you want to)
We met online, I had been using Plenty of Fish since April 2013, been on several single dates and decided a second wasn’t an option and blocked many weirdos before meeting (that’s a whole different story the dating time). I’d just got back from Marrakech having met one very nice man twice, we parted in a pub car park with him saying ‘I think we have a great future together, get in touch when you get home’ when I returned I text him to see if he was free and got a rant back about how needy I was so I blocked him and decided to give it one more chance.

I went back on the site and saw a chap 6’2” who called himself a pyotechnician, lived in Plymouth and had a photo of him on a ship had clicked the like button. I thought Plymouth was a safe distance from Bristol so I’d like him back and we started exchanging messages. This was 20/10/13 a Sunday. He said he was going to move to Bristol but he didn’t know when, my Dad and his family are from Plymouth and we seemed to get on beautifully. We kept messaging and I found out he worked in an office so I wondered about the pyrotechnician, then on the next day he was moving to Bristol on Saturday 26/10/13……….I was becoming more suspicious but there was nothing to lose and he was good fun to message. No talk of sending odd pictures which seemed to be the norm and a proper conversation, we really hit it off.
We chatted all week. He wouldn’t have time to meet me on the Saturday as he was hiring a van to move so we arranged to meet on Sunday at 13:00. By now I was convinced he would not turn up, but I had a bus pass and we were meeting a mile from my home. Late on Saturday I got a message, he was in and exhausted but had forgotten his duvet. I really smelled a rat now and despite having a spare duvet I was not going to deliver that to him. As we chatted he said he had his cover and the rented house was warm. Next morning I was getting ready and got a message apologising for how he would look as the rented house did not have a mirror for him to shave……..curiouser and curiouser. By now I really thought he was pulling my leg but I so enjoyed messaging him I got my spare shaving mirror from the attic and jumped on the bus. I went to the car park we had arranged to meet at and got there very early, a few minutes later his little mini with his DAZ number plate turned up and I walked over to his parking spot.

He got out of the car and seemed to keep getting out, the first thing I noticed was his eyebrows, very curved and dark and giving him laughing eyes. Then he spoke and my stomach flipped, he has an amazing voice, rich, no accent and strong – he often gets compliments. I handed over the mirror and he told me he’d found the duvet in the car, after unloading a van he’d not seen it in the dark.
We did a walking tour of central Bristol, I pointed out the Nails, the gold ship and the best pub for a fish finger sandwich. We settled in a lovely old pub with an open fire for a few hours chatting all the time. We moved on to have dinner in a Japanese restaurant, then back to the cosy pub where he asked to be my boyfriend. In the early hours we were thrown out full of diet coke and he gave me a lift home. He drove off after we arranged to meet the next night. 5 days and 5 dates later including a work leaving do where I told him to meet me in the fish finger sandwich pub he’d seen once (yes he found it) he set off to spend a week setting off fireworks as his friend has a fireworks company so he really was a pyrotechnician!

On our second date he met my parents as they live in the flat below mine, that didn’t put him off and he moved in his coffee machine as I only had a plunge pot. By the end of the year he asked me whether I’d ‘like some jewellery, lots of jewellery or just live together’ I was 45 and had never lived with a boy so I said perhaps we could live together around February but that if he moved in he could never move out. He pointed out he’d not been home for a week so that was us moved in.
We’ve had lots of holidays and he’s had to help sort through documents going back to when I moved into the flat in 1992 to make space for himself and we were very happy. I did start to wish I’d asked for lots of jewellery. And at Christmas when his brother asked if we were getting married he said we would sometime.

On his birthday last year another Sunday 7/8/16 we went out for lunch and had a lovely day. Then settled in to watch a film around 10pm I thought he was coming in for a cuddle on the settee when as I went to hug him I realised he was on one knee and he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes, gave him a big hug and had a tear and had to be told to open the box with the ring in it.
I asked if we could start planning and his response was that he’d asked me to marry him not get engaged but what was the rush? I told him Grandma is 96 and I want her there so we were online looking at options that month.

Where was the big day and when was it?

We booked the Doubletree Hilton at Congresbury at their wedding fair 6 months to the day before our wedding on 5/3/17.
And moved in from the Saturday to Monday including Gran who was coming from Plymouth.

What did the Bride wear (where did you get your dress, what were your accessories, colour theme, flowers, shoes?)

I bought the flowers first (Mum and I made up the bouquets), not logical! Then asked the bridesmaids, Grandmas oldest great grand daughter and my friends daughter both 15. We went out for a shopping day with the bridesmaids and their mums (first time they had met) my longest shopping day ever at 9 hours including lunch, but we found the dresses in House of Fraser (but I had to order online as they were pulled in the shop) Lavender grey – great colour theme sorted pink and grey. And some designer silver sparkly shoes for us all to match that were the girls first high heels. I got some lovely fur wraps for the girls.

I ordered my dress online at £39 inc postage and was going for pink as a mature practical bride but it arrived and it was perfect so I splashed out on an ivory one. Then found a lace bolero (at the 4th online attempt and I didn’t open it until the day as it arrived the day before) and a fur wrap.

Mum asked her hairdresser to start doing my hair at home and we agreed she would come down on the day (12 miles from home). Every hair cut became a trial for the day. But the bridesmaids live in Warwick and London so she only saw photos of them. I ordered lots of different hair accessories online so we could pick on the day.

Mum altered the bridesmaids dresses and set the fur wraps with press studs (she’s a tailoress) and confirmed mine needed nothing.
I wore a new watch from Range, my Maternal Grans engagement ring – she died in 1987 and Grandad died in 1992 so it was my something old and something of them, earrings from Claire's accessories borrowed from Mum and blue nail varnish on my little toes.
I went to some make up counters for a trial and wore my own attempts to work to make sure they last.
What did the Groom wear? (did you hire suits? Were they the same as best man?)
Eventually I persuaded Darren to think about his suit at the end of January. We went to slaters and got it fitted, he went for black and I persuaded him to have a white shirt. We chose pink hankies and ties for him his Dad and my dad to match the pink in the flowers and table centres.

The wedding party? (did you have bridesmaids/flowers girls/page boys and what did they wear?)

2 Bridesmaids as above. Mum wore a blue 2 piece dress, Dad his own new suit. And the best Mam (a female friend of Darren for 30 plus years who quizzed me about my intentions my first New Year with him much more than his parent did) chose a lovely trouser suit. His dad wore a suit and his Mum decided on red. We made button holes for a few of the party including people doing readings.

Did you have evening entertainment? (include little extras like sweet tables ect)

We had a home made sweet table that doubled as favours with bags printed for each guest ‘You helped make our day complete, now please help yourselves to sweets. Darren and Ruth Hitchcox 5 March 2017'. Centre piece was a Ferrero Roche heart with celebrate in the middle so that we can use it again (along with the table centres we have at our parents 50th anniversaries that both happened later in the year). We did a crossword about us, and people bingo (a grid of facts or skills e.g. Someone who has been caving/to France/Climbed rigging/can touch their toes/speaks Polish) you talk to the other guests and write a different name against each fact. All the tables with children had a huge bag of toys on one of the adults chairs to bring out during the day. Including butthead which I took out of the box! Pictures of bridesmaids playing that are quite cool. We also had a video booth which has left us a lovely memento.
What’s the best bit of advice you could offer a future bride?

Don’t share too much about your plans, then people don’t have their input or have a clue on the day it was meant to happen if it didn’t.

Now the wedding day is over, is there anything that you regret spending money on?


Did you stick to your budget?
Didn’t really have one but under £6k for 70 day, 100 evening all the dresses and hair and the grooms suits plus the hotel for us, Gran and a cousin and all the extras I mention seems fine to me.

Finally, other than marrying the person you love - what was your favourite thing about your wedding day?
Having loads of people we love celebrating with us and enjoying an amazing day. The bar man even bought the groom a drink because it was such a lovely crowd – I think they were tipping him!

Our first dance still gets talked about too. Darren went and spoke to the DJ, who then announced the groom had changed the music. It went into 40 second of Slipknots ‘Devil and I’ with Darren head banging and me trying to look shocked and upset! Then 40 seconds of 15th century dance music we got into a ballroom hold for. At that point Darren pretended his legs had gone and there was a record scratch and the music changed to the conga, Darren led off, with me behind and the pre warned bridesmaids and we got the whole room up……..very us!

Ruth, your wedding day sounds so lovely and it's lovely to hear you don't regret spending money on anything too. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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