The happy couple: Anna McKittrick and Charlie Marshall
Wedding date: Saturday 3 September 2016
Wedding venue: Ceremony at Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate and reception at The Old Stocks Inn in Stow-on-the-Wold.
So… this seems pretty surreal. Not just the engagement and whole getting married lark, but because as deputy editor of SoGlosWeddings, I have spent the best part of a year writing about and documenting other couples’ big days, and occasionally daydreaming about when I might have my own wedding to plan!
Well, after six-and-a-half years, my time finally came in September 2015 when Charlie surprised me with a night away in the Cotswolds. We had a trip to New York planned in October and all our friends and family were convinced that he’d propose over there, so it was lovely to be genuinely taken aback when he got down on one knee at The Old Stocks Inn in Stow-on-the-Wold. What’s more, he produced a beautiful vintage ring from Promenade Antiques, which I may have hinted that I liked!
Charlie and I met a year after I moved to Cheltenham when I was living in a flatshare with his school friend John – who I convinced to star in a real wedding feature for SoGlosWeddings – and we now live in a near The Brewery with our troublesome cat, Woody.
Oh my goodness, I can’t quite believe the wedding is so soon! The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, with us realising that we’ve still got a lot of things to get sorted before September arrives.
I’d been looking forward to having my hair and make-up trial with Di McDonald for ages so I was really excited to finally go, along with my mum, and get an idea of how I might look on the big day.
It was such a fun experience and Di was brilliant at suggesting ideas for both my mum and I, along with providing endless cups of tea and chatting about make-up, while I tried to pick up as many pro tips during the session.
It made me realise that it’s definitely worth having a trial, not only because it’s a lovely excuse to be pampered, but it also saves time and unwanted stress on the wedding day.
As soon as July rolled into August a slight wave of panic filled me, so it was lovely to enjoy a bit of TLC with a pre-wedding manicure and pedicure at Margaret Dabbs Clinic Cheltenham. My visit coincided with the launch of Margaret Dabbs’ brand new line of nail polishes, with the extensive range of colours perfect for every occasion, including weddings!
I also had my final meeting with my florist, The Flower Girls, to finalise details ahead of the big day, and I’m really excited about her ideas for flowers and styling.
The next couple of weeks are about tying up any loose ends and getting the last things ticked off my to-do list before becoming Mrs Marshall.
Until next time,
Spring certainly flew by and there was a bit of a lull with planning, but over the past six weeks things have been ramped up, especially as it’s now less than two months till we tie the knot.
Our busy calendar of wedding-related tasks included our menu tasting at The Old Stocks Inn, which was very exciting, getting the chance to sample what we’re going to be eating and drinking on the day – with plenty of wines to try as well.
We also went back to look at Lodge Park to work out the logistics and décor for the venue, which made it all feel very real, and I'm putting the final touches to styling ideas, with the help of The Flower Girls, that we’re going to have at The Old Stocks.
This month I also went to Madrid on my hen do, which was such good fun, with the gorgeous weather the perfect backdrop to a weekend of tapas, sangria, rooftop pools, and learning the art of flamenco!
The next few weeks are going to fly by, with lots of finishing touches to be finalised, including table plans, the wedding cake, favours, and thank you gifts.
Until next time,
I can’t believe it’s now April, which means the wedding is fast creeping up! I have to say, while there have been busy spells of wedmin, we’ve also enjoyed a bit of break from making decisions!
That said, we still got a lot done over the past two months and have just finalised our wedding invites, which I found on Pinterest and are from Etsy. While I absolutely love letterpress, we decided to save some money on our invitations and go for something a bit more affordable, albeit still lovely.
We also managed to tick off our wedding entertainment and decided to go for acoustic singer Vince Freeman who appeared on The Voice no less! He was recommended to us by a friend who had seen him perform at a wedding and after we saw him live earlier in the year, we knew he was just what we were looking for.
Our wedding transport has also been booked and we’ve opted for a vintage Stagecoach Routemaster to transport guests between The Old Stocks Inn and Lodge Park, while I’m going to arrive in style in a classic MG T that belongs to a family friend.
We’ve also booked our florist, the talented Emma Matthews from The Flower Girls, and after our initial brainstorming session and lots of Pinterest action, I now need to decide exactly what we’re going to go for.
Next month, our to-do list includes going to The Old Stocks Inn for a tasting evening, searching for wedding shoes, and shopping for Charlie’s suit, something we’ve yet to start hunting for.
Until next month,
We’ve been busy bees over the past few months and have managed to tick off quite a few key things on our wedding to-do list, which is something of a relief!
With the venue already sorted, our next task was to choose our photographer, so just before Christmas we went to Stroud to meet Bowtie & Belle. Both Charlie and I favour natural images so Samantha and Thomas’ relaxed fine art style was just what we were looking for, and we’re very excited to have them photographing our day.
I also began hunting for my wedding dress, which involved lots of fun trips to boutiques in Cheltenham and Bristol with my mum, sister and niece in tow. It is definitely true that you need to try on a range of different styles as what you think will look amazing in your head, is definitely not always the case once you put it on. I'm happy to report that the dress has been found, but I’m not going to give away any details till the big day!
I’ve also got my hair and make-up also booked in and I’m delighted that Di McDonald will be transforming me and the bridal party for the wedding day. I’m currently pinning lots of hair and make-up ideas so I’ve got lots of inspiration to take to Di when I have my trial in the summer.
And, finally on New Year’s Eve we went to Cheltenham Register Office to give our notice of intent to marry, which was a fitting end to an exciting year, with 2016 set to be even better.
This month, there’s still lots to organise, with entertainment, bridesmaid dresses, invitations and groomswear on our radars, so it’s going to be a jam-packed February!
Until next month,
We’ve finally recovered from the month-long prosecco drinking and celebrating. Now it’s time to get down to business and actually start thinking about our wedding day.
We knew from the offset that, in an ideal world, we didn’t want a long engagement, but we found that many venues were already booked up for 2016, especially as we want to have the wedding on a Saturday.
Even before our engagement at The Old Stocks, I’d mentally bookmarked it as a nice reception venue, after stumbling across it on a visit to Stow one weekend back in spring. The former 17th-century coaching inn had just been refurbished and as soon as we walked in for a nosy round I knew it was my kind of place, with its stylish interiors and contemporary design details right up my street.
Fast-forward five months and we both loved our stay there, the food was amazing and the rooms were incredible, which meant that a few days after our engagement, we decided to find out more about hosting our wedding reception at the boutique hotel.
We met with the manager, Charlotte, who talked us through what The Old Stocks offers for couples – an exclusive wedding weekend no less – and while they have yet to host a wedding, with two in the pipeline for next summer, we quickly realised that it was perfect for the relaxed and intimate autumn celebration that we envisaged.
Then, we had the task of finding somewhere that we could hold the ceremony at, as the hotel isn’t licensed, which proved to be much trickier than we thought, with endless searching for venues that were both practical and had that wow factor.
We went to view it on a miserable wet day in October and knew straightaway, even though the weather was awful, that it would be the perfect setting for the ceremony, with the added bonus that we can get married outside if it’s nice and sunny.
Last weekend we officially paid our deposits for the venues and the registrar is now booked, which, for six weeks post- engagement, I think is pretty good.
Now it’s time to start thinking about photographers, dresses, flowers and lots more fun stuff (my domain), while juggling wedding budgets and spreadsheets (Charlie’s domain).
Until next time,
Monday 16 November 2015
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