Hello! Welcome to Share Your Wedding. The weekly feature that gives you the chance to re-live your wedding day and may just give soon-to-be–weds some inspiration.
This week we have an invitation to Susan’s wedding. Susan blogs at Happy Healthy Mumma and can be found on Twitter @Susan_HHM
Hi Susan, Introduce your family,
Hi I’m Susan and I write the blog Happy Healthy Mumma. I’m wife to Patra who’s Thai and studying for a PhD at Sheffield Business School and mum to Thomas who is 1 years old. I’m currently a stay at home mum, I was planning on going back to working in international development….but have decided to spend more time with my son. Time is precious! We currently live near my family in Buckinghamshire.
Let’s set the scene..
How did you meet?
I met Patra through his sister sister, Ploy. She was studying for a PhD at Bath University with me. One weekend Patra came to visit his sister and he came with us to the cinema. We went to watch Public Enemies with Johnny Depp in….it wasn’t very good…but we got to talking after the movie and kept talking ever since!
How long have you known each other?
How did he propose?
After knowing each other for just 4 months or so, he proposed, sitting on the sofa in his bachelor pad in Sheffield…..he tried to look so cool, but I could tell he was really nervous! Wow he’s a fast worker!
How long were you engaged before you were married?
Share Your Wedding
When did you get married?
July 2012, we got married on a Monday. To cut a long story short, a Chinese fortune teller in Bangkok gave us the date. It was the only auspicious date for us to get married on that year and as Patra’s mum is very superstitious, we had to get married on that date. This did mean we only had a couple of months to plan, but the good thing was that not many places were booked up on a Monday!
Was it a large wedding or a more intimate affair?
We kept it small, we had 40 guests and 2 bridesmaids. Only Patra’s mum and sister came over from Bangkok, the rest was my family. We had planned to go back to Thailand not long after the wedding to have another ceremony with his family, but are still living in the UK 2 years on!
Tell us about the venues?
We got married at the same church where my parents got married in a small village in North Buckinghamshire. It looks beautiful!
Then after the ceremony we all headed to The Dairy in Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury. It is a beautiful house set in amazing grounds owned by the Rothschild family. The Dairy is a specialised wedding venue, voted one of the top 10 venues in the UK to have a wedding in – and I completely agree it was amazing and I felt so lucky to be able to celebrate there. Stunning.
Did your wedding have a certain style?
The wedding definitely had an English country vibe. My family are all from small villages in North Bucks and I love the countryside. You look amazing!
Tell us about the most important thing, the Dress?
Well, I chose my dress in under 15 minutes in the first dress shop I went in! As I only had a few weeks to prepare I couldn’t get a dress made for me. I had wanted a lace long sleeved dress but it would have taken 3-4 months to make. To be honest, I never really could imagine myself getting married, it was so surreal trying on dresses! I went to the best dress shop in Milton Keynes, as I didn’t want to mess around going to loads of different shops. They only had 4 dresses in my size, two were too big and one was too tight, which left one dress and I snapped it up. I took Patra with me and he said he liked it….I’m not superstitious about the groom seeing me in the dress! He brought me a small tiara to go with the dress as a surprise as I was getting changed, he was so excited about it! The dress I ended up getting was a strapless Lusan Mandongus dress in ivory, very plain with a bow on the front. It was a bit too big so I got it taken in and it was ready a week before the wedding. Such a beautiful dress.
Describe your wedding?
My mum loved freesias, she had a freesia bouquet for her wedding. So I wanted to remember her on my wedding day by having freesias in my bouquet. I went with a ivory, lilac and peach theme and my husband wanted a few roses in there so I think there was a good mix of everyone’s tastes! The bridesmaids bouquets were the same as mine, only smaller and the table arrangements matched. I let each of my aunts and grandmother take home the table arrangements at the end of the day as they love flowers and I knew they would really appreciate them!
My husband chose a grey suit from Debenhams. He didn’t get a top hat or anything. My dad got the same suit to match.
The food at the venue was amazing. We went to a special food meeting a few weeks before to talk about what we wanted and to taste a few things. My husband loves to cook and we both love seafood, so we had loads of fun deciding on our menu. I was adamant that I wanted to blow people away. I was fed up with the mediocre food I got at most people’s weddings, so we made a big effort with the food, it was the most expensive thing we spent on our wedding. When people arrived at the venue they were met with Champagne and canapés.
Most of the food was locally produced and very British food. We tried to get a bit of Thai influence in there with the lemongrass in the dessert! For starters we chose chargrilled tiger prawns, seared red mullet and Devon crab fitter with roasted asparagus tips and sauce vierge. For mains we chose slow cooked lamb and braised shin of beef with dauphinoise potato, baby spinach, caramelized shallot, roasted carrots and Rothschild red wine jus OR lemon sole (I forget what was with it!). For dessert we had a trio of desserts which consisted of vanilla cheesecake with raspberry couils and fresh raspberries, lemon posset with lemongrass jelly, and finally chocolate torte with white chocolate mousse and hazelnut brittle. The cheesecake and chocolate torte are my favourite desserts and my husband wanted something fresh with Thai influence so he decided on the lemon posset. Yummy!
Our cake was from Hockleys cakes in Northampton. I saw the exact cake I wanted when we went to the Woburn wedding open day. It was the most spectacular cake I ever saw. It totally blew my cake budget 3 times over, but I HAD to have it!!! My husband had no say in the matter ha ha. I tried the chocolate and fruit versions and loved both so decided to get it made half in fruit and half chocolate.
What was your favourite part of your Wedding?
The favourite part was my husband’s speech after dinner. I thought he would be really nervous standing in front of all of my family; But he did such a good job and even brought a tear to my eye!
What extra touches made it special for you both?
Waddesdon gave us our own wedding planner, so we didn’t really have to do anything! She paid so much attention to detail she was really amazing! Also, the chef was so good and he really listened to us and our own tastes and came up with the best menu ever. But I have to say the most special thing was the ‘something borrowed’ from my mother-in-law. She brought her diamond earring, necklace and bracelet set all from her collection from Bangkok. She let me wear them for the wedding. I have never worn such expensive or sparkly jewellery before and did feel really nervous that I was going to lose them! But they looked wonderful and made me feel like a princess.
For our 1st wedding anniversary my mother in law told me that the jewellery set was now mine, she wanted to give them to me. So I got to keep them! In addition, it was my mother-in-law that got my wedding and engagement rings specially designed and made for me. I didn’t see them until we were getting married as they took a long time to get made. The designer used to design for Cartier and the main diamond in the engagement ring was 3 carats surrounded by small diamonds. It is a one of a kind ring and I am in love with it! It would never have been something I would have chosen for myself (I would have gone for minimalistic!) but it is true Thai-Chinese flamboyant style and so I love it!
Did anything not go as planned? Any funny stories?
Mainly the timing didn’t go as planned! Funnily enough most hairdressers aren’t open on a Monday! So I agreed to meet my hairdresser at 10am, but she didn’t turn up until 10.30 which made us late. Also, one of my bridesmaids left her suitcase on the train from Bath, so we had to go out and buy her a new dress the day before in the same(ish) colour as the other bridesmaid! And she didn’t have anything to do her hair, so the hairdresser also had to do her hair too which took ages! I ended up arriving to the venue an hour late so my cousin who did my make-up had to really rush. I saved a bit of time, but ended up at the church 30 minutes late! In fact, the whole day ended up running 30 minutes late! I would have been so stressed.
There were so many fun little things that I remember about the wedding….my mother-in-law is Thai and didn’t understand much English, so she ended up following us down the aisle after the ceremony instead of my bridesmaids who were suppose to look after my dress. She ended up stepping on my veil which was pinned to my hair and my whole hairstyle nearly fell out and I had to spend the rest of the day with a very loose up-do! I did think I should take it out as it wasn’t high enough but I decided just to keep it. Also, we had raw pork cubes tied to red string hanging from each the wing mirrors of our wedding car….. it’s good luck in Chinese culture…..I don’t think anyone noticed them!! And then there was my dad’s marathon speech after dinner….he took days to write it, but didn’t use any of it and ended up talking about Facebook! Arh the memories!! Ha ha
Would you do anything differently with hindsight?
Book my hairdresser 1 hour earlier and walk down the aisle more slowly!
What song did you walk into and what was your first dance song?
Walking into church we had Pachelbel’s Canon in D playing and leaving the church we had Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. For our first dance we had a trio jazz band play ‘Apple Blossom Time’, which is the song my grandfather used to sing to my grandmother when he wooed her! How lovely.
Do you have any advice for the soon to be married?
Don’t spend too long on the preparations, I think a lot of people get stressed out and spend far too much time going over every small detail. Just enjoy your day, whatever you chose it will be one of the most memorable days of your life- don’t stress over the little things! I am so glad I only had a few weeks to prepare!
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Two years on and we still haven’t gone on our honeymoon! We were waiting for my husband to finish his PhD- so should be at the end of this year. We are thinking of going to the Caribbean or South America- somewhere far away that we wouldn’t get the opportunity to go to usually. We can get to anywhere in Asia quite easily from Thailand so wanted to go somewhere different!
Thanks again to Susan for sharing her wedding with us.
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