Georgia & Chris had always dreamed of having a big over the top Disney wedding, but a sad loss made them realise they didn’t want to wait until this was affordable. Crazy in love and wanting to marry straight away they opted for a small intimate registry office celebration filled with love and laughter.
Chris and I had been together just over six years and were living together. We always talked about getting married and about how it would be a huge Disney wedding where we would pull out all the stops and put on such a cheesy and romantic ceremony with our own vows, surrounded by our best friends and family with a fantastic do in the evening where we could all dance the night away. But after Chris, unfortunately, lost two older family friends, Richard and Jean, who passed away, we had been at their funeral and just hearing how in love they were was just beautiful. Their life story wasn’t conventional and it didn’t even follow the typical childhood sweethearts storyline but it was so perfectly fitting nonetheless. That evening, after the funeral, we were just sat talking about Richard and Jean and Chris was telling me little anecdotes and stories, we both just stopped for a while in thought, remembering the lovely couple. We just suddenly decided, both together, that life was just too short. We loved each other to the moon and back, we knew we were eventually going to get married, so why not now. It was quick and crazy but I wouldn’t have chosen another way! After living with my mother for years, we decided that instead of a big Disney wedding, we could have a small, close one and save money for a house of our own instead. And to be honest, that is a much better way. We always said, after the wedding, that once we had our own house and are comfortable and settled, we would do a renewal of the vows as a sort of second, big wedding, where we would pull out all the stops, invite all of our family and friends and just have a really big celebration!
After our very quick engagement, we went through so many stages of what we wanted for our wedding. First of all, we wanted to elope. Just to somewhere beautiful where it could be just the two of us. We then thought we should probably invite parents. Then we decided we wanted our parents with us, and so decided on a small ceremony at a registry office. Then we decided to invite siblings. As long as we were together we didn’t care as long as it was a small intimate ceremony that showed our love in front of all of the important people in our life. There was no theme, just love. We were going to keep it very casual, but I fell in love with a beautiful dress a week before the big day and so it turned into a lovely wedding with dresses and suits. I was in a room with my husband and all the important people in my life and all I could think was that there was so much love in that one room. My three words? I’m so lucky.
Venue & Ceremony
Like I said, it was a quick and very small wedding. Ours was just a registry office. We had looked at other venues but they were much more expensive, which would defeat the idea of trying to save for a house. As is traditional, I was fashionably late haha! But we had a lovely ceremony filled with so much love and laughter, we then went back to the house for champagne (and so Chris and I could grab our suitcases as we were jetting off on our honeymoon that evening). After an hour or so of champagne, congratulations and catching up, we shot off to a lovely little Italian restaurant which we had been to many times before, where we shared a wonderful meal with wonderful people. We also opened all of our cards and gifts. We were even serenaded by the owner of the restaurant and one of the waiters as they played the guitar and sang to us and gave us each a shot of limoncello! We then shot off to the train station where we made our way to a quick night stop and then got our flight to our honeymoon in Malta the next day!
Again, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I didn’t want a huge puffy wedding dress. Just a nice long, pretty one. Looking as soon as we were engaged, I found THE most perfect dress online! It was long, it had beautiful embellished straps with a gorgeous back detail – and very cheap for a wedding dress! Ordering it as soon as I could, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive! After arriving almost a week later than anticipated, I ran upstairs, locked Chris out the room and told him to walk the dog whilst I tried the dress on! One thing, NEVER order dresses online that look good on the model. They never look as good. The material was cheap and itchy, the pretty embellishments were cheap plastic sequins, the straps were far too big, my boobs were too small, my bum was too big and I just felt like a potato in a sparkly sack. It was awful. I cried and cried to my mum and just sat in complete horror as there were only two weeks until my wedding and I still didn’t have a dress!!!!! Frantically looking in every possible shop, my mother and I went to the large shopping retail centre,
Frantically looking in every possible shop, my mother and I went to the large shopping retail centre, Meadowall, in Sheffield a week before the wedding. Leaving after work, we only had a few hours until it closed. We searched in every single women’s clothing shop. Starting at one end and going all the way to the other. We gave up and made our way back to the start, heading towards the start as the speakers clearly said ’10 minutes to the closing’. There was a shop, on the lower level, under the initial shop we started in. We were in there a total of 10 minutes. I had found my perfect dress. I fell in love with it the second I saw it. A beautiful satin finish, long, slim and elegant, with a beautiful simple ruffled material detail on the back. It was just perfect. Surprisingly very cheap for a wedding dress. It was the brand GHOST and was just everything I wanted.
As my wedding dress was a simple, pearlescent dress, my mother suggested a wedding belt. I found the perfect simple belt online which arrived within days. I also had, well it was almost a fascinator, in my hair. Almost a silver wine with small silver flowers with tiny faux pearls in the centre, it curved round about half my head and just finished my look completely. I had some lovely dangly, yet elegant, pearl theme earrings which matched everything. I had never felt so beautiful.
Hair & Makeup
I was always one of those girls that had exactly how they want to look on their wedding day etched into my brain. I knew exactly how I wanted my hair and makeup. Luckily, my next door neighbour, Melissa, is a beautician and has previously done my lashes and nails. I asked her if she could do me all up on the day and she was so happy to help. She was wonderful. I had been about a week before to a wonderful little hairdressers in a small town where the wonderful Molly really treated my hair. After doing all sorts to my hair when I was younger, bleaching, bright blue, purple, red, black, ginger, blonde, it was in terrible condition. Molly managed to absolutely get rid of any signs of bad hair and made me feel like an absolute Disney princess with beautiful flowing locks!
We had a trial about a week before the wedding where Melissa did it all to wedding day standards to see how long it would take on the day. She was fantastic, she did my lashes for me, waxed my legs, she did my hair perfectly, fitted my accessory in my hair, did my makeup perfectly. Even my nails, they were a pale pretty pink with a slight shimmer, and on my ring finger, there was a transfer that simply said ‘I Do’. Even my shoes. I am so short but I cannot, for the life of me, walk in heels. I fall over everywhere! Plus, I love looking up to Chris. It makes me feel safe. So I sad some simple flats. A pale pink, and some stick on gems (the internet is great for wedding things!) that said ‘I’ for one shoe and ‘Do’ for the other. It was super cheesy but so cute.
Groom & His Men
We didn’t have a big wedding with bridesmaids and groomsmen. Chris got his suit from a Burtons in town. It was well fitted, comfortable for him, and a beautiful silver/grey colour that just looked so perfect.
My mother actually got my bouquet for me. I have honestly no idea where she got them from, how much they were or quite a lot to be honest. All I know is that it was a mixture of red and white roses. A lovely pop of colour against my pale and pearlescent dress. It just fitted so well with everything.
Unfortunately, we didn’t actually have a wedding cake! I am actually a vegan and so catering for this small, intimate wedding was a task enough, let along catering for a huge wedding! That was part of the reason for picking the little local Italian. We absolutely could have had a cake if we wanted, vegan cakes aren’t that difficult to make, luckily! But we decided that as we were jetting straight off on our honeymoon, just to do puddings at the restaurant.
As previously mentioned, we decided to have a lovely sit down meal at a wonderful little Italian we have been to a few times. Not a traditional choice for a wedding meal but it was perfect nonetheless. Surrounded by all the people we love and cherish, one the most special day of our lives, sharing good food and good drinks was just perfect.
There was no stationary, unfortunately. As it was such a quick engagement to wedding time, we really didn’t even give a thought to invitations. Everybody we asked, we asked either face to face or over Skype/FaceTime. Of course, after the wedding and honeymoon, we did send out thank you cards to all those who attended and those who gave us gifts. They were beautifully simple cards, with a light blue metallic background with a simple white cursive “Thank you so much” on the front – blank inside so we could write personalised messages.
Like I say, It was a very small wedding, one we weren’t even going to tell anyone about! And so hiring a photographer didn’t even make my list until last minute! Again, we didn’t want to spend a lot as we would rather save for a house deposit first. What I did find out is that wedding photographers- very expensive. But of course, we couldn’t have a wedding day without photos of special moments by a professional.
Fortunately, my mother works with the wife of a professional photographer, John Mottershaw who passed on his details. My mother and father offered to pay for the photographer – a wonderful gesture as our family is not amazingly well off. I perused his website, and he was in fact, a fantastic photographer! Contacting him a few times and organising dates and schedules, we finally had our photographer – who ended up being so incredibly lovely and patient with all the chaos and hectic crazy day!
Just a bit of a funniness during the ceremony really. Chris’s last name is Ward and mine was Webb. So during the ceremony, Chris was asked, basically, ‘Can you confirm you are in fact Christopher Mark Ward” and he said yes, and the woman turned to me and said “Can you confirm you are in fact Georgia Alice Ward” and I panicked and said “Not yet, love” to which everyone laughed. This happened a couple of times through the ceremony actually. She kept referring to me as Georgia Ward before we were even officially married! To be honest, nobody else would keep that part in their minds and most would have probably forgotten, but it was funny and lovely. But other than that, honestly, it was just being so genuine, feeling so loved, being surrounded by wonderful people who I loved so much. Getting to marry my best friend and love of my life in front of our families.
BRIDE to BRIDE
Honestly, just do what you want to be happy. It is a day all about you and your partner! Don’t try and work around other people, they should work with you. This is the day where it’s actually okay to be selfish! This day is all about you, you, you! (And your partner I guess). Just do what makes you happy, what makes you smile – make memories. The day goes so quickly, cherish every single second!!!
Photography: John Mottershaw