Wedding AKA cheap bride alert

Taking a very very brief respite from the world travels to document something a ‘little’ important to me – our WEDDING!


Yeap after 11 and a half years the small furry one decided to make the best / worst decision of his life and ask me to be his wife.

The proposal happened on Feb 16th (super romantic, top of the Shard in London) and we spent every hour of every month for several years planning it in meticulous detail…

Just kidding, we got married just over three months later, on the same day as the Royals…. somehow we managed to snag a cancellation at Bakewell registry office!!

It was a small, quick and cheap do as neither of us are big white wedding fans and quite frankly the cost of weddings these days is an almighty mickey take!

Once the word wedding is used you can literally see pound signs in people’s eyes. So most stuff was sourced via the wonder that is the internet! Including this lovely confetti made from lavender and rose petals, the smell was divine.

Being a little bit crafty I like making things myself including this upcycled photo frame found in a local charity shop.


So . . my wedding dress was off Ebay – £50 of your English pounds for a Chi Chi gold lace tea dress, easily the prettiest and most girly item I have ever owned . . The man wore a navy suit that he already owned.


The dress was made a little more personal by adding a wide grey satin ribbon and pretty pearl and diamante patch again from Ebay.

Below are my bargain Ebay shoes with possibly the best things ever – clip on ‘shoe earrings’ from China that can be removed and added to other footwear – £2.99 per clip. Gotta love internet shopping!

Shoes £12.99

The shiny earrings I have had knocking around for years, I think they were from Accessorise many moons ago.


Also below is our cute little engraved ring box – bargain of the century as when it arrived there was a tiny crack in the lid so I got a complete refund and got to keep the box! Bonus!

rinf box 2

The little gold clutch bag was a steal from the British Heart Foundation for £2.99.

I made all the ladies corsages from individual silk roses from a local florists – Robert Young’s in Matlock and wrapped the stems with charcoal grey ribbon.

I am rather proud of them so enjoy lots and lots and lots of similar pics of them!

And a few more… complete with little pale blue name tags, designed online with the marvellous Canva design app and sneakily printed off for free . . . then tied with hessian string from The Range.

The bridesmaids bouquets were made from artificial silk flowers from Home Bargains and cost a mere £2.99 per bunch.

Again wrapped in charcoal grey, satin ribbon and finished with little lace ribbons. All from a local haberdashery shop.

My bouquet (which I am super proud of) was made by my own fair hands (with no prior floristry practice) from silk flowers from The Range and came in at around £20 in total.


The Bride and Groom coat hanger decals were a bargain Ebay buy (trend emerging here!) that were 99p each.

Ebay 99p

Basically I stole lots of ideas off Pinterest and made them much cheaper myself……..

A sparkly pearl and diamante headband (from China naturally) for £6 finished off my cheapo bridal get up and I have to say, I am pretty chuffed with the results.


Own makeup done and dusted I wait for the car to come get me. (With a little boogie to Billy Idol’s ode to White Weddings naturally)

Originally I was just going to drive myself but I got treated to a swanky Range Rover Sport complete with wedding ribbons, thanks to a friend of my new sister in law 🙂

So I got the full bridal experience after all… still not very elegant though I am afraid . . .


At 10.30am we rocked up at Bakewell Registry Office – not the most attractive of buildings but given that we were lucky to have stunning weather, we could get most of our snaps outside in the pretty market town by the river.

We kept the wedding party small – 16 people in total (which was about 13 people too many for my crowd phobic husband)


Here are a few informal phone snaps taken in the sensory garden by the river. I was incredibly lucky to have my very talented friend take the official pictures and I can’t wait to see those soon!

The large silver helium balloons were a last minute addition, grabbed the day before from Hobby Craft and amusingly transported home in my tiny car. Where obviously they refused to remain tethered and floated up to obscure my rear view mirror.



This coupled with the fact that, after biting my nails to the quick for the past 25 years, I decided to get full on fake nails for the do, created endless problems as I was basically unable to function in any way shape or form with the acrylic talons on . .

However I did feel very princessy for the day, which is a nice feeling, although not one I would want to do too often!

Following lots of snaps we head for some proper pub grub at The Gate, in Tansley. None of your insipid melon balls and tiny portions for us.

Nope people got to have whatever they wanted, whether it was a mixed grill or a burger and chips. Much better to actually have a choice of what you want!

I’d also made my own favours to pop on the pub table (thanks to Pinspiration! and Hobby Craft . . )

Even though I had not let on that it was a wedding (again, penny pinching) my wonderful sister in law had stepped in and arranged for the table to be decorated with balloons and confetti, again giving me the little wedding touches.

All in all it was a perfect day for us, laid back, informal, small and inexpensive.

Not everyone’s cup of tea and certainly not for anyone who has dreamt of, and planned her wedding day in meticulous detail for her whole life.


But I’d far rather save those thousands of pounds that get spent on the pointless stuff to fund our ongoing world adventures. Luckily we’re both firmly on the same page with what matters to us.

We’re not young, hopeless romantics that believe marriage is the be all and end all, or that it is a saving grace. In the end we just knew that the time was right for us. Not when other people thought we should do it, not because society told us we should, but because we wanted to.


That’s why the readings we chose reflect our attitude to love, life and commitment, knowing that it is not the superficial fluff, the staggeringly expensive ring, the big white wedding, the 100 head sit down dinner or the staged first dance. None of that is us.

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.

“Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. that is just being in love, which any fool can do.

“Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

“Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

And here it is – proof that we are now officially married and all grown up or something like that..

Boo ya!!!

Scaffolding, Seamus Heaney.

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Capri and Sorrento 2012

So back to Italy, for the fourth time! Despite swearing blind last year I would never spend my hard earned money in the grumpy rude fest that is Italy, back we go! Just can’t keep away from the culture, astounding architecture and glamourous beaches.

First off, the glorious wedding of a close friend in Rome. Married in the beautiful setting of the Campidoglio in Rome, it was every inch the Dolce Vita! Even though it was 38 degrees and no air conditioning!!

Here we are looking glam.

Next up a six am train ride to Naples, hopped on the hydro foil and headed to the home of glitz and glamour – Capri!

We actually stayed in Anacapri, the small, less developed little village higher up on the island.

We stayed in the fantastic Il Sogno B and B. Absolute bliss! Only three bedrooms and set just off the main square it is ideally situated, quite and set in gorgeous gardens. A perfect escape.

Check them out here

Here’s the Marina Grande – the ferry’s all dock here, in order to get to Anacapri you can either get a taxi or simply hop on one of the tiny, frequent buses that bumble up the steep hill.

Feel the fear as they wind up the impossibly high hill, with a sheer drop to the ocean on one side and barely an inch to spare between buses as they meet each other on the hair pin bends.

First glimpse of the Island.

Colourful houses line the Marina Grande.

The sea around the island is an incredible, azure blue. Almost too perfect to be true.

But always involving a very steep hill down, followed by the realisation it’s a private beach, followed by the hill you need to climb back up . . .

Next we visit the Blue Grotto and check out where the glamourous rich folks hang out – Capri!!!

Italian count down!

Not long now readers, a fortnight today I will be back in sunny, grumpy, rude, frustrating, marvellous Italy! (Yes I know I swore blind after last year that I wouldn’t set foot there again  . . )

Blame one of my best friends for having to have a super glam wedding in Rome!

So it’s back to the Eternal City for three days, then hopping on the train to Naples, grabbing a hydrofoil and onto the gorgeous looking island of Capri for a few days of watching the beautiful people.

Thenk it’s onto Sorrento to check out the Amalfi coast, Pompei and other Roman ruins!

Here’s an image of Capri to whet your appetite!

Expect lots more pictures of azure waters, tiny hidden coves and lush vegetation when I head back. Plus the obligatory whinging about how rude people are, how I hate flying and general grumpiness!

Back to Rome, who’d a thought it!

Well, what a turn up for the books, after swearing blind to the other half for the past five years that I “never go anywhere twice as there is some much more I want to see . .” what are we doing? Yeap heading back to Rome, my all time favourite city to date.

What you may ask has caused such a U turn on my part? . .  Well, you can blame a close friend for opting to go all continental on me and get married in the Eternal City in June.

Well I couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to:

1) See my lovely friend get hitched in the most romantic city in the world and

2) Make a holiday out of it!!

So three days in Rome, mopping up the sights we missed the first time and then onwards to the glamourous island of Capri for a few days before popping to Sorrento for some trips to the Amalfi coast, Pompei and some other Italian delights.

Already got the hotels booked and working up an itinerary, Capri is new to me, so far I’ve only got the Grotto Azure on the list, any ideas? . . . .

Watch this space for more updates on travels old and new, and plenty more pictures! 🙂