How To Get Married

Hello blog.

So, this happened.

Reader, I married him

A post shared by Hayley Howells (@hayleyc) on

We kept things small and quiet, which is exactly what we wanted. It was quite nice not telling everyone about getting engaged and organising everything, but it did make finding out how to actually do the things difficult because despite all my Google skills, not many people seem to just get married. The majority of sites and forums I found were all geared around people who want the big event, which is fine, but not what we were looking for. So, I thought I would put together the stuff I found out in the hope that it helps other people. Hooray.

We got married in what is called the Statutory Room in Bristol. You can have 4 guests with you for this, and it cost £75 to book the room and to pay for the ceremony. You need to give notice in the district that you live in (so for us, that was South Gloucestershire) which takes 28 days to clear (in the majority of cases – I think it’s double if one of you is not British, but obviously it’s best to ask your local authority), and is valid for a year. Giving notice costs £35 each, and you need to be able to provide ID – we used our passports and driving licences to prove nationality and home address.

The site is fairly useful in telling you what is needed, but one of the things I didn’t realise is that you should book the venue first, then give notice because your notice is only valid for the location where you are getting married. Sarah was very helpful for this, because she had originally given notice to marry in one place last year, before booking the Forge and getting married at the registry office instead.

Something else I wasn’t able to find out is about rings – at least in our ceremony, it wasn’t a necessity. Alex doesn’t like the idea of wearing a ring, and I was prepared to make a dash to Argos to buy a cheap ring, but we had to go in before the ceremony to check over the details that go in the register and to choose the wording that would be said, and it was then that we found out that there’s just a separate bit to say about giving a ring. (Wording wise – there are three different parts for the two sections, and then about fifteen different ways to go “‘ere, have this ring”)

The ceremony took about 20 minutes I think – I didn’t really check the time (“A watch doesn’t really go with this outfit“) and we were able to take photos during the ceremony, and then afterwards with a fake register (You can’t take them when you’re signing the real register – I assume because it has the details of the people who have married most recently in there)

I think that’s about everything I know! If people are interested, I’ll post about what I wore – mostly because people keep saying nice things about my dress and I’m like IT WAS £22 FROM ASOS. TWENTY TWO QUID!!! MY LIPSTICK COST MORE THAN MY DRESS!

Hide the Credit Card: ModCloth

As many of my friends would tell you, I love old fashioned fashions. I also adore dressing up. So when a newsletter from appeared, collecting lots of things under the banner Vintage Wedding Style, I squealed in excitement. Here are a few of my choices of dresses that I wish I could wear every day. Admit it – things would be so much more fun if we dressed up everyday!

The Periwinkle Prance Dress ($99.99) was the first dress I saw on the website and actually coo-ed at it. Its the sort of dress that I wish I had worn to the Chap Olympiad recently. (Not that this is a particulary period dress, but its just so pretty and summery!)
Unfortunatly that neckline would do nothing for me with my chest. Damned boobs.

The Blue Ribbon Dress ($157.99) is slightly better on the neckline front, and is a beautiful colour as well. You might notice a bit of a theme with the dresses I’ve chosen here. They’re all of a pretty similar shape, with a nice big swishy skirt section – its all the better for dancing with!

I adore the Silver Screen Goddess Dress ($99.99). I love greys and silvers (I’m not sure why. Maybe because its a bit less harsh than black, and feels easier to match in different colours without looking like you’re obviously picking another colour to brighten up the outfit.) The neckline on this is similar to the Blue Ribbon dress, but I prefer this one because it looks like the top section is meshy, so not completely hiding away the decoupage. Is that the word I mean? I mean your boobs of course.

As much as I love the Bronzed Goddess Dress ($57.99), its not a dress I think I could wear. For one, its strapless. Can ladies with the bigger chest wear strapless dressees? And – the main killer for me – its bronze. I just can’t figure out how to wear bronzes and browns! I’ve thrown away so many brown bags and shoes lately because I don’t know how to wear them! This dress is gorgeous though, and I know it would go well with my colouring. I just don’t know what I would wear with it!

Finally for dresses, “She Knows Just the Dress” ($134.99) is a gorgous satiny purple dress which isn’t too dressy, but is pretty enough. Its actually a similar cut to the dress I have on at the moment, a sort of shirt dress with big skirt. I love this shape! Its pretty flattering, and will suit most people (well, I think so anyway)

You can’t really talk about dressing up without mentioning some lovely accessories. A large hair accessory or fascinator is the easiest way to dress up any outfit, and these three are just gorgeous!

The Perfect Fifth Hair Bow ($21.99) is such a pretty little handmade bow that would clip nicely into a up do or even onto a hairband. If only this came in other colours – I’m not sure a white bow would go well in my blonde hair!

The Cocktail Reception Headband($64.99) would go quite nicely with the purple dress mentioned above colour wise, although the net part might be a bit much! Maybe if you wore the hairband backwards, it would be a bit more subtle?

I love things like the Old World Elegance Hair Clip ($14.99), but I never know how to get them to stay put in my hair. Its seriously pretty and would go with so many things. But then, I would say that – I’ve been known to wear fascinators and tiaras around the house whilst in my PJ’s!

The Wrapped Around Your Finger Ring ($11.99) is a pretty little ring, which reminds me of a set of jewellery that my mum had when I was younger.

At the Chap Olympiad, there were so many ladies walking about with parasols, which looked really lovely! I was quite jealous, and wondered where I could find one myself! The Vanilla Skies Parasol ($49.99) would have fitted in quite well, and would stop any nasty sunburn – in theory at least!

Fortunately (or should that be unfortunately?), Modcloth do ship to the UK…uh oh!

Steph and Craigs Wedding (or why I hate travelling)

So on Tuesday, my little sister got married. It was a gorgeous day, the ceremony and reception were held at the Grosvenor Hotel in Pulford which is just outside of Chester.

I stayed at my Dads on Monday night, and we left Bristol at 7am. I do not travel in the car on long journeys very well because (quite embarrassingly) I still get car sick! I thought I was meant to grow out of this? Everytime we passed a service station on the motorway, I asked my dad to pull in so I could get a cup of tea – sadly he ignored me as he hates service stations, but we eventually stopped around 9am at a biker caf around Kidderminster. The lady there was pretty crazy, but very nice, and my tea quota was filled up a bit.

We got to Chester about half 10, but then had to carry on to Ellesmere Port which is another 20 mins. Not good. I think in total, we were in the car for about 4 and a half to 5 hours. Ugh. We got ready, and headed to the venue, where I went up to meet with my sister and the other bridesmaids. There was a small disaster, as Steph had forgotten her hoop underskirt, which was needed to make the net bit of her gown poof out more. Luckily it appeared 5 mins before we were meant to head downstairs, so everyone quickly helped her into it. Except me, because I was taking this picture:

Ha, she’s going to kill me for that!

Because it was so lovely out, the wedding was held at the lakeside, which was nice, except as a bridesmaid, I was inside the gazebo. And it was very windy. In shadow + wind + stupid veily decoration blowing over my face = annoyance and cold!

They didn’t have a “proper” photographer, but to be honest, I don’t think one was needed. Everyone had a digital camera, so I’m sure there will be hundreds of pictures, but its a bit of a shame that there was no coordination of them – perhaps the “master of ceremonies” from the hotel should have said “ok, group shots, family shots, etc”

The meal was a small group – maybe 35 people in total? The food was good – although nothing special. I’ve been to a few sit down meal weddings so far, and all of the meals have been average – nothing that would make me want to eat at that restaurant again anyway!

The speeches from the groom and the father of the bride were short and sweet – am very impressed with my Dad as he doesn’t do speeches, and he was coming up with some amusing (to us!) versions in the car. Luckily the best man managed to cover the points Dad wanted to and made a proper sort of speech.

We left there about 5pm, and headed back to Chester. Dad and my stepmum were staying at the Twirl of Hay Premier Inn, which is where me, my mum and my sister have all worked at some point. Apparently when Dad went to book the room, the lady on reception recognised the name, and asked if any of his family had worked there. I had been mainly restaurant based, but Steph and Mum were hotel workers, so she knew us all. Dad then tried to use this to get a discount – cheeky git!
I went into town to meet half of my Feet and finally give them their Christmas presents (Yes. In May. Shh.) then headed over to the evening do, which was held at Club Globe on the canal side. I had a quick drink before having to rush off to my train. Note to self: stop thinking “my trains at about half past”, remember to actually look at the time of the train so you don’t end up running like a special person down City Road.

The train journey was pretty boring – my iPhone had died, I didn’t have my netbook or even a note pad, so couldn’t write anything. I dozed off on the train from Birmingham to Bristol, which was a bit scary, since I didn’t have my phone to see where I was.

I got in at half midnight, and because of my earlier napnaps, I was quite awake. So glad I booked Wednesday off! Obviously best way to relax was to go shopping – but thats another story.

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