When I blogged that we were looking for wedding venues… I may have been fibbing a little bit. We actually planned our wedding just after we got engaged and kept it a secret. Once we had chosen our wedding venue and started planning the details, we asked ourselves… why wait? Why wait months or years for a wedding, when we could do it in a few weeks time? Mike and I knew that we wanted to be together and we wanted to marry each other and couldn’t see any reason to delay it. And so… with just the children and one witness each, we went to Gretna Green and eloped on 17th June 2017!
I married Tinderboy! WHOOP WHOOP!
Mike and I have both been married before. We have both done the big wedding thing. Weddings where seating plans, meal choices, decorations and collecting RSVP’s dominate the occasion. Weddings where the input of friends and family ends up taking a lot of time an energy and a vast amount of planning and saving is involved. Somewhere along the way, the romance is lost. The purpose of getting married is lost amongst the preparations. And in both of our previous cases, we had great weddings, but we married the wrong people.
We didn’t want that this time. We had found our soul mate in each other and we wanted a small, intimate, romantic wedding. We wanted a wedding that was solely about us. A wedding that celebrated our love for each other. We wanted to elope the traditional way, to Gretna Green in Scotland, because we knew it would be everything we wanted from our wedding and also because Mike is part Scottish. His heritage traces back to one of the famous Scottish clans.
So we kept our little secret wedding and planned it at our own pace. We budgeted carefully and only told our two witnesses, my mum and Mike’s dad.
We had knowingly taken a gamble on the weather as we had booked our wedding ceremony to be outdoors, but we couldn’t have gotten more lucky. Our wedding day was a warm sunny day with blue skies and not a cloud in sight.
We started the day with a plentiful buffet breakfast. Mike and his dad took the children to play in the park for a bit. I did my own nails and makeup and it was all very relaxed.
Mum and I had our hair done in the hotel salon and I did the children’s hair. Our three beautiful bridesmaids wore bridesmaid dresses that my talented mum had made for them. And after a short trip to Carlisle to buy some fresh flowers, my clever mum made my bouquet, the children’s bouquet’s and the men’s buttonholes too.
My something old, was my faithful strapless bra and my something new was my wedding dress. My something borrowed was some pretty earrings of my mum’s. My something blue was my lucky blue pants that Mike bought me in Surrey -on that weekend away where we forgot our suitcases.
Mike, his dad and Baby Bear (our gorgeous little page boy) went to the Water Gardens with the photographer, videographer and registrar to wait for our arrival. The wedding coordinator came to collect us and with my mum giving me away, we made our way around the garden to the ceremony. With Madilyn Bailey’s cover of “I was made for loving you” playing softly on the CD player, I joined Mike by the anvil and we held hands throughout our vows. Mike looked so handsome in his suit, that he gave me butterflies, just like he did when we first met. Just like he does, every single time we kiss.
We chose the extended version of the Scottish Wedding Vows, as we felt they were more meaningful. In addition to the standard wedding vows, Mike followed them with these words…
I give you this ring as a seal to our marriage,
let its constant embrace be the symbol of my love for you.
All that I am I give to you,
All that I have, I share with you.
I promise to love you, cherish and respect you,
and to be faithful and loyal to you,
today and always.
And I followed my vows with these words…
I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage.
It is my promise that I will love you always.
I will be there for you in good times and bad
and will support you in everything you do,
and I will be faithful to you for so long as we both shall live.
The ceremony was perfect. We followed it with a photography session in the Water Gardens of Greens at Gretna and we had hired exclusive use of the conservatory for a delicious three course dinner. Whilst waiting for our starters to arrive, we phoned family to tell them that we had just got married. After dinner, we moved to the main hotel lounge to finish off the celebrations, before heading back to our four poster room! *nudge nudge wink wink*
Our wedding was low key, romantic, intimate and so very sincere. It was a day devoted to love and companionship. I am so happy that we eloped, because it was all we wanted it to be.
We are so thankful to my Mum and to Mike’s dad for all they did to help make our wedding perfect. To Greens at Gretna Hotel, our wedding coordinator, True You Salon, Dumfries and Galloway registry office, our registrar, and Elite Wedding Photography and Videography for making our wedding both special and effortless. We are also thankful to all of those people who we told afterwards, who were happy for us, congratulated us and were supportive of our decision to elope. Sadly there were a few family members who were not supportive and actively tried to ruin it for us, because we chose to have our wedding our way, instead of the way they wanted us to have it. It’s sad that people couldn’t respect our wishes, but that’s life I guess. Our love for those people hasn’t lessened but it may take us a while to forgive them. Our wedding wasn’t about making other people happy, it was about our own happiness.
In order to share the celebrations with our family and friends, who we left in England when we eloped, we are also having a party soon. I will don my dress and Mike will suit up again to cut the cake and there we will take our first dance as husband and wife.
(We are actually waiting for our official hi-res wedding photos and DVD to arrive, but I’ll post them up on the blog when I receive them!)