OMG indeed! It certainly feels like we have been waiting an eternity for our big day to roll around.

I asked Chelsea to marry me way back in December 2014. By the time we actually say ‘I do’ we would have been engaged for 996 days. Now that is a bloody long time! Worth every moment, but crumbs the waiting has been stressful.

So I’ll give you a brief rewind to how I proposed. It was a chilly December evening, the 3rd to be precise. This is the date we started seeing each other back in 2009, and the same day we found out Chelsea was pregnant with Bobby. So the 3rd of December has a slight sentimental meaning for us. My plan was to take Chelsea on a little road trip around to all of our old homes, where we met and other special places. My intention was that at each location we’d let off a Chinese fire lantern (very romantic, I know) then we were to come home and put the Christmas tree up which is when I’d get the ring out and say the words that every man hopes are met with a yes. No, not “can you make me a sandwich!” Duh! “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

However, this was not to be. I was struck down with food poisoning! Determined to still propose on this important date. I tried my best to make the evening special, shaking like an uncontrollable mess, pale, sweating, feeling like I’d shared a meal with a pigeon on a rooftop, I mustered up enough strength to get down on one knee. Although not my perfect moment, she said yes!

Like most couples, we had spoke about being engaged and all that, we seemed pretty content to wait it out and not rush immediately into planning the wedding. This was until wedding magazine started showing up, and Chels got the wedding bug. Pretty soon I’d caught it too.

We knew at first we needed a date. So we aimed for summer, summer of what year we had no idea! We toured around and found some places we thought were nice and booked in to have a ‘tour’. I like to think of these tours as ‘sales pitches’, where you are led around by a member of staff, who explains why you should pick their establishment for your wedding. Simple, you might think. Not really! Each place has their own pros and cons. So you really need to know what you’re looking for before you start looking for it. Oh and in some cases you may need to be a multi, multi millionaire!

Anyway, we knew we wanted a casual do, we aren’t a couple that’s massively into tradition. So with this in mind, we started thinking out side of the box, by out side of the box I mean Pinterest! Once we did this, we scraped a lot of ‘traditional’ wedding things and replaced them with our own take on things. For example, we are having a BBQ instead of a three course meal because well we love barbecues. We also have no seating plan because well, we want our guests to sit where they like. We wanted something more outdoorsy than indoorsy too. Alas, we eventually settled on a date, and two locations. One for the ceremony a beautiful 14th century building, and one for the reception, a golf course with beautiful scenery and the all important BBQ. Oh and by reception I mean PAR-TAY!

Perfect! Sorted, happy days, all done. That was easy!

Erm, not quite.

Below I will give you a list of a few things that we had to get sorted over the next 2 years to now:

THE DRESS, bridesmaids dresses, groomsman’s suits, Cars, DJ, Flowers, photographer, hair, make up, decorations, cakes, invites, evening invites, hotels, gifts, more decorations… This is only the ones I can think of right now, but trust me even these lists had lists, and those lists had lists!

Planning any big event is not without its hiccups though, we are all too aware of this now. We have changed our minds on many things. Our florist cancelled on us due to unforeseen circumstances, and our photographer cancelled on us with only 10 days to go! But, we got through it, we took a deep breathe, discussed it and got back on top of things.

It’s been a long 996 days but we are nearly there. We have pieced together a day that I hope we can be proud of and remember for the rest of our lives together. We have had a lot of help along the way from our families and our friends and will be eternally grateful. I for one can not wait for the 25th August 2017. I get to marry the most perfect woman, and I will be privileged to call her my wife.

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