It's a bit last-minute, as I've only just signed up to this wonderful forum, but I thought I'd start a planning thread. It's good to have somewhere as an outlet to talk about it, as naturally there's certain aspects I'm wanting to keep a surprise from our guests. With only 2 months to go, the excitement is building!
How we met
We met at university in our final year studying Chemistry at York. We'd crossed paths a few times and I always considered my fiancé, Stephen, a pleasant enough person, but we hadn't spoken a great deal. A lot of people went off to do a year in industry, but we both decided to stay. One day, I was struggling to concentrate on studying at home, so I made the trip onto campus to use the computer room there, as I thought I wouldn't have so many distractions! Stephen sat at the computer next to me and we just started talking and realising we had a fair amount in common. He was looking to make some new friends as, like me, a lot of people he knew had left to complete a work placement. He asked me out for a drink and we ended up speaking on the phone every night over the Christmas holidays. My parents thought something was up, although we weren't 'officially' a couple at this point. We shared our first kiss a couple of weeks after term resumed and became boyfriend and girlfriend.
We've had a few challenges in our relationship - we had to be long-distance for four years whilst my fiancé finished his PhD, and our families are several hundred miles apart. His family live in Cumbria, whilst my family are down in Suffolk. I also suffer from anxiety and depression, which can put a strain on our relationship, as he is also not well (back problems that mean he's in immense pain a lot of the time). But, we've been together 11 years now and our relationship has grown stronger through the challenges we've faced, so it felt only natural to take the next step.
I knew something was up when Stephen was taking me on a date involving a meal and a cinema trip, and said how anxious he was feeling - in his mum's words, he's normally 'so laid back, he's horizontal', so it was out of character for him. We went to see Beauty and the Beast - this had significance, as we went to see the musical way back in 2009, and he confessed that he wanted to pop the question then, but was too nervous. He knew I'd hate a public proposal, so we got in the front door, I sat on the sofa and he asked me then. I said yes without hesitation, cried happy tears and threw my arms around him. I'm not always good at hiding my emotions, and I suspect I'll need a plentiful supply of Kleenex at the wedding!
He didn't have a ring, as he wanted me to choose (he also didn't know my size!). We went ring shopping a few days later and I selected this:
It's an aquamarine with little diamonds around the border. I wanted something a little uncoventional and 'vintage' looking, so this fitted me perfectly. He was very romantic and took me to a secluded spot in the nearby Abbey Gardens, where he put the ring on my finger. I couldn't stop staring at it for the next few days!
I always liked the idea of a church wedding, as I have a religious background. Whilst I don't practice it much these days, I attended regularly when I was younger, was confirmed and played the organ in the church in my parents' home village. It's fair to say that it has a lot of nostalgia for me. The church weddings I've attended have been very atmospheric and emotional.