How to have a Garden Wedding and associate ramblings.

So, the boy and girl fell in love. Yaaaay! Four and a half years later, they got engaged. In that four and half years they lived in three different counties, had three goldfish-though not always the same three, it has to be said-and they bought a bed.* The girl started and finished university and worked in three different jobs before she found ‘the one’. The boy worked his one job. Two flats and one house were lived in-though the boy and girl look back and realise that none of these places were ‘home’. They were ‘on a break’ at one point-the six months apart and the reunion that followed remains the most important period in their relationship. The girl has a notion to write about that time one day…but for now, the girl becomes me and boy the becomes Phil.

Eventually we settled down. Whilst we’d by no means lived a nomadic existence, we had moved around a lot. There’d been a great deal going on with both our families, including and not limited to; mental breakdowns, marriages, Social Services investigations, illness, domestic violence and a potential divorce. I promise we DO NOT live on The Jeremy Kyle show. For the record, that tat isn’t even allowed in my house. We just have very…um…varied families…! We’d been pulled hither and thither trying to help as many people as we could and eventually realised that ‘Hang on a second. We need to come first.’ So we got a map, picked a ‘small town’ a fair distance between both offices and both families and settled down with the laptop to perve over other people’s homes on RightMove. Turns out our ‘small town’ was a teeny village in a very rural area with old houses. Phil sensed impending financial ruin and tried valiantly to steer me toward the larger, more general, more affordable town down the road, but to no avail. I was hooked on the idea of village life. It was July and realistically, we couldn’t move until November. What did I do? Put house-hunting on the back-burner for at least 8 weeks to avoid falling in love with an unattainable dream casa? Pfft, you know me-of course I didn’t! I saw this picture…

And I fell in L.O.V.E. Hard, fast and non-negotiably. The more I waved the laptop under Phil’s nose, the more he seemed to like it to. He’s the brain in our relationship, I’m the heart. Cue many, MANY conversations like this…
Me ‘We should go and see it. Just SEE it. Like, just to look. With our eyes. Looking. Only looking…don’t you think?’
Him ‘No. We can’t move for 5 months, someone else will be able to move sooner. In fact it’s so lovely that it’s probably not even on the market anymore. You’ll cry, I’ll have to comfort you, it won’t work, you’ll keep crying.’
Me ‘But…’
Him ‘No.’
And repeat. Six or seven times a day for two weeks. He wasn’t budging, so I had to get aggressive. I showed my Mum the details of the house. Now Phil was listening to the above conversation twelve to fourteen times a day-me in one ear, Mama in the other! As suspected, he caved. We made the appointment to ‘look’ at it…
I was in my element. It was everything I’d imagined and more and I couldn’t even fathom the idea of not living there. I began to wish that I’d left well alone-it was going to break my heart to walk away from it. Phil was quiet, watching me slowly fall apart and taking in all the tiny details of the most beautiful teeny house and stunning humongous garden either of us had ever laid our eyes on. We stood on the far side of the stream, having crossed the rickety bridge, giggling all the while at the impossibility of the love affair we’d embarked on with a house that couldn’t be ours. Looking back at the house I sighed internally and tried to be thankful for having seen it at all. And then,
‘We could get married in this garden.’
The silence that followed was the kind that happens when you’re desperately trying to figure out if what was just said to you was mean and if it was, why that person would be so mean to you when you are so obviously upset. The silence continues even after you’ve realised that of course that person wouldn’t be that mean to you and so they must be telling the truth and OHHOLYCOWDOESTHISMEANWHATITHINKITMEANS?!?!
And that was how we got ourselves pre-engaged and a new home all in one moment. How do you have a Garden Wedding? Step One: Get yourself a garden. Preferably one the size of a football pitch.** And when people raise their eyebrows at your plans because the house attached to that garden is the size of a football boot? Ignore them.
*Before we had the cats and made decisions about babies and division of assets was a bit of a joke, we used to discuss who would get custody of the bed. It is THAT awesome.
** Obviously, it doesn’t have to be YOUR garden. It should probably belong to someone you know though. And actually, it’s going to be a hell of a lot easier on you if it’s NOT your garden-but I’ll expand on that theory at a later date.

See the first installment here.

Categories: Wedding Planning, Wedding Pretty, Wedding Reports
3 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted March 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Ooooh I can just imagine this…does the female power of persuasion know no bounds..? (Can I get tips on persuading my husband to let us have a dog..?) x

  2. Posted March 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I read this post late last night on my 'phone and ended up having a weird dream that I was married at my parent's home and they used horrid old table cloths on the family table in the dining room and I was worried about how we'd all fit in. It was all so not stylish… So thank you for the dream inspiration!
    Loving hearing your story and fitting the pieces together. You'll never be able to move from your home having been proposed to and celebrated there.

  3. Katie
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I've fallen for your garden too. Well done on being so persistent in persuading your hubbie to view both your marital home and wedding reception venue. Can't wait for the next instalment. xx

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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