The one where I become the bride I never thought I would be

I have never been interested in getting married or in weddings. I’ve never tried on a wedding dress, never imagined my wedding day, never bought a wedding magazine. I’ve mocked people who’ve spent a lot of money on their wedding day – ‘What are they even thinking?’ I’ve scoffed. ‘It’s just one day, it’s bonkers to spend that sort of money on a single day.’

And then we started looking at wedding venues.

We visited a few different wedding venues this weekend and the first two, if I’m honest, left me a little cold. They were totally fine, with plenty going for them, but when I pictured myself there on my wedding day it was purely practical; I started thinking about the logistics, what we’d do if it rained, where people would be while we had photos taken, that sort of thing.

“Is choosing a wedding venue like buying a house?” I asked my fiancé. “Do you walk into somewhere and just know?”

(I’ve never bought a house, but am led to believe, by Kirsty and Phil, that I will just know, when the time comes.)

“No,” he said, “it’s not really like that. You have to be practical and think about the weather and where people are going to stay and all of those things.”

I felt a bit sad. How was I ever going to make a decision if everything just came down to weighing up one set of pros and cons against another?

On Sunday we went to look at a third option. It was a bit of a wild card, as it’s about an hour away from where we live and not exactly cheap. It was a beautiful day of course, which helped a lot, but as we walked up the drive I was already smiling.

And then we stepped into the banqueting hall.

I say banqueting hall because it literally was; this was no bland space waiting to be perked up with decorations, this was the thing of fairy tales. Immediately in my mind it was full of tables and flowers and candles and there I was, in the middle of it all, looking like a princess. I didn’t think at all about whether or not it was raining or where the guests were sitting or standing – they could be lying on the floor or sat outside in a tree for all I cared at that moment.

I didn’t care how much it cost either, I just knew I would do whatever I had to do to make enough money to get married there. I wanted to hand over wads of cash for just one single day.

wedding dress

Me as a princess surveying my banqueting hall.

The longer I stood there, the more vivid the pictures in my mind, until I felt quite overwhelmed. It’s unusual for me to have that sort of emotional reaction to anything – ask my children and they will confirm that most things in life leave me feeling fairly nonplussed – ‘It’s fine,’ I will say, or, their favourite, ‘I don’t dislike it.’

I was quite unprepared then for having to take myself off into a corner and take some deep breaths to stop myself from crying at just how beautiful and perfect it was.

It turns out you do just know.

Photo credit – bride from Eduard Stelmakh/shutterstock




  1. 8 June, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    That sounds absolutely breathtaking and before I’d even got to that part I wanted to shout “YES! You will just know”. I’m very similar to you, I was never particularly fussed about getting married and had a very practical head on when it came to looking at venues. We saw one which I discounted straight away, one which I thought I could make work and that’s what I thought it was about.

    On a whim we went to see our wildcard one which I was totally uninterested in visiting because practical me had decided on the other one; we pulled into the car park and before I’d even been inside I turned to Pete and said “this is it, I just know” That was 8 happy years ago :) X

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 5:17 pm

      Hoorah for weddings! It sounds like you basically had exactly the same experience as us :-)

  2. 8 June, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    Ahhh this made me feel SO BLOOMING EXCITED and even a bit emotional. Yes, of COURSE you’re looking for ‘that feeling’ – although for many they have to just think about practical things for various reasons. So so happy you’ve found somewhere magical!

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      I was welling up writing it Alison!! I am turning soft ;-)

  3. 8 June, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    I’ve been engaged for about 18 months and have no plans of getting married any time soon as, like you, I’ve never really thought it, not interested weddings and don;t want to spend the money. I’m not TERRIFIED what has happened to you is going to happen to me and all my big talk about ‘stupid weddings’ and ‘waste of money’ is going to be thrown back in my face! Ha! x

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      I have basically had to just completely abandon everything I have ever said about weddings and I’m scared I may actually become a complete bridezilla – apparently I was actually quite scary and rude to the woman at the first venue we visited! Opps.

  4. 8 June, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    I felt like that about our wedding venue – it was just right and I came away skipping with happiness. On the practical weather/photos front I bought some white umbrellas, which in the end we didn’t need, but they did look very cool in a friend’s rainy wedding pics

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      Stylish rain accessories, I like your thinking…

  5. mand
    8 June, 2015 / 3:22 pm

    I think you definitely should go with your gut instinct. I knew which was the right place for us. Also on the subject of weddings, do you know about ‘wedpics’ its a free website/app where you and your guests put there photos and its free. My niece has used it for her wedding and its great to see everyone’s snap shots.

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 5:21 pm

      No, I’ve not come across that but I will check it out. We are already considering a wedding hashtag so we can keep track of everything people say!

  6. 8 June, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    it’s so great when something comes together and just feels so right in your mind. hope you will make it a reality!

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 6:20 pm

      Thanks Laura!

  7. 8 June, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    Where is it or are you going to tell us after?

    I don’t think we’ll ever get married but if we do I already know where we’d do the deed!

    • Jo Middleton
      8 June, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      I’m going to keep it secret for now – it makes it feel more magical!

  8. 8 June, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Aaaaah this sounds so lovely! Wait till you try on dresses…x

  9. 8 June, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    This made me REALLY smile. It’s brought back loads of memories of wedding planning too. Oh, I hope your day is perfect.

  10. 9 June, 2015 / 5:50 am

    I think I will end up being like this, if Mr C ever proposes that is ;) I am not really bothered about the wedding at all but I can imagine looking at amazing venues then deciding that it has to be the one! x

  11. 9 June, 2015 / 6:11 am

    We chose ours because it was the perfect place for the party we wanted to throw. Like you, I never imagined I would get married or try on a wedding dress. It was magical and I’m so thrilled for you that you’ve got this all to come. ‘the moment’ for me was when I put on my veil for the first time. Don’t know why. But it said marriage to me!

  12. 9 June, 2015 / 11:04 am

    Aw, this is all so lovely. I got married in a registry office as we had literally no money at the time. With that experience in my pocket I’d say do it if you can possibly afford it as tbh I always feel a little bit cheated on the wedding front. Can’t wait to here more about the planning.

    • Jo Middleton
      9 June, 2015 / 11:10 am

      You see this is my thinking – we don’t have the money either, but it’s something I’m definitely only going to do once, so you sort of feel like you should make the most of it don’t you?

  13. 9 June, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    aww this is so lovely Jo! I have to admit having arranged our wedding in a little over two months it was very makeshift and un-fancy but that was our kind of perfect but I can totally picture the scene and who wouldn’t want to look like a princess? xx

  14. 10 June, 2015 / 1:19 am

    Aww bless you :) how exciting! Yep you sure do just know! I remember when we saw our venue that it was the one. I can’t wait to read more about the wedding. x

  15. 24 June, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    Wow Jo so happy for you to finally have your special fairy tale moment and no wonder you felt emotional as all the pieces fall into place.. Good luck with the rest of your planning:-)

    • Jo Middleton
      25 June, 2015 / 9:20 am

      Thanks Camilla :-)

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