Since getting engaged, I’ve been in such a happy wee bubble. Even though I know right now we can’t finalise anything, and that we will be facing a backlog of people wanting to get married and not being able to because of the Covid pandemic, I know that I can start thinking about the process. I’m very lucky that Rob actually wants to partake in the process (particularly deciding the food and drink, in particular the beer available ha!) and I can’t wait to see what our wedding day actually looks like.

Getting engaged seems to have lit a fire in me. I’ve been setting new routines for myself. and new goals and just generally feel so happy in life, even if 2020 has got to be the most stressful year of my life.

For years I’ve watched ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ and laughed at the crazy weddings, the themed weddings, the wedding disasters and the sweet moments and been excited for when it would be my turn to plan a wedding. No way could I ever let Rob plan it though, I’ve waited far too long to use my organisation skills to plan a wedding!

My biggest fear of weddings has always been the cost of them. Yes I may have been sent to boarding school by my parents but that doesn’t mean I come from a family with money. Huge sacrifices were made to afford the school and university. My parents aren’t in the position to help pay for a big fancy wedding and it’s not something I’ve ever imagined for myself. I’m not into the big glam weddings or people pleasing and weddings are situations where you always end up making choices to appease others, and the day is supposed to be about the couple, not everyone else. Seeing the beautiful trends and knowing that the average wedding in the UK is costing in the tens of thousands, scares me. It’s not money I have, nor frankly, money I would waste on one day if I had it. If I did it would definitely be getting saved for our future.

Rob and I are both introverted, fairly quiet people who don’t like a lot of fuss so thankfully neither of us wants the big “fairytale” wedding. That makes it a lot easier when it comes to budgeting because there are things that don’t even cross our minds when it comes to planning!

Neither of us want our engagement to be a long drawn out thing where it just becomes something in the background of our lives that we will eventually get to. Nor do we want it to be some huge financial burden that weighs on our minds for years, as we’re sure it’ll take the excitement out of the process if we’re worrying about how to pay for it all and saving money for deposits here and there.

The first thing we could absolutely agree on is to keep it small and personal. It’ll come as no shock to many who know us that Albie our dog will be involved in some way or another. I mean how cute is this photo I found on Pinterest, I’d love to have a wedding photo like this with our boy!

I originally wanted to include all our family and friends in the wedding party but it’s just so expensive that unfortunately I just don’t think it will happen. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t have a best man and maid of honour, we just need to see how the planning process goes.

So, when it really comes down to planning there’s only two routes that really come to my mind. A registry office wedding (as neither of us are religious it definitely wouldn’t be in a church) or an elopement. I really love this trend I’m seeing of people going away and getting married either just a few people or family and then throwing a party afterwards for everyone else. This seems to be a really good idea especially given Covid times! You can still get married with the people there that matter the most, and then once all this pandemic is over, throw a party to celebrate! (Something that I think will be most welcome by the hospitality industry at the moment, the prospect of many people wanting to book parties and large gatherings again!)

My adopted parents story I think has influenced some of my decision making. My adopted parents are older and now retired and between proposal and marriage there was only 10 days! They wore their smart Sunday best, and my adopted mum (technically Aunty) wore a suit dress that she then had dyed after the ceremony to wear again! I love that idea, having a dress or clothing that is functional and beautiful on the day but that you can also rewear and keep using for years to come in your wardrobe. They got married in the registry office then booked a large table at their favourite Italian restaurant with their family and friends before packing up that night and moving to London from Glasgow! It really reminds me of Carrie and Big from Sex and the City haha!

Our biggest shared goal at this point in life is to buy our house. Obviously the covid pandemic has set this plan back a bit, but it’s still our big goal! After that, it’s renovating it so it’s an even better home for us and hopefully a family one day. So that is my main reason for not wanting to spend a lot of money on getting married, I need it so I can get the floors I want and the kitchen extension haha!

Another reason we’re not keen on a traditional wedding is that neither of us have our biological parents anymore and weddings are so heavily focused on family. Our families live allover the UK and the world so it’s really hard trying to figure out who to invite, whether it’s too far for them etc. So we’ve narrowed our ideas down to a few but here are two favourite ideas:

Idea 1: Eloping to Scotland

Eloping is my favourite idea as it makes it more of an intimate adventure! We both adore Scotland, it’s where I’m from and my family are mostly based and Edinburgh was our first weekend away trip together. We both love the idea of getting the car packed up, driving up to Scotland and having an elopement ceremony in the highlands or somewhere else picturesque before heading off for a few days exploring Scotland with Albie in tow. We can drive to visit my scottish relatives who all live near each other before going exploring. Rob has always wanted to try doing the North Coast 500 around the top of Scotland and I know for a fact the route would make an exciting vlog! Then once back in Newcastle, we can throw a party for our friends and family here. It’s lowkey, intimate, personal and so us. I can already envisage the beautiful photos with the Scottish landscape behind us.

I can’t really describe the feeling I always get when we cross the Scottish border and see the ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign. It really does feel like going home and I miss living in Scotland so much.

Idea 2: Registry Office then the beach!

This was our first idea really but it got put on the back burner once we realised we could really do anything we wanted!

Yet again inspired by another family wedding haha! I remember attending my Uncles’ wedding over in Whitley Bay as a kid and it is one of my fondest family memories. We attended their registry office wedding before heading to a local restaurant followed by the rowing club for the reception right on the beach. It was great as we kids ran around the beach all evening, playing in the sea, building sandcastles and just driving our parents mad as our smart wedding clothes were getting ruined haha!

I’ve always loved the beach and one of our favourite places is the coast, in particular Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. I’ve seen a few lovely venues around this area that we’re considering.

I really like the idea of getting activities that people can play on the beach together in a more relaxed type of wedding reception. Like beach football, volleyball or any other fun things like inflatable games or having buckets and spades and kids activity packs.

Do you have any wedding planning tips?