The hopeless bride puts a ring on it

Even though James proposed over 2 years ago, I don’t think it had ever fully sunk in that we were actually going to get married. That was until we both went and tried on wedding rings, then shit got real.

First let me rewind a bit. We both realised we had got to the stage of our planning that meant we needed to start thinking about what wedding bands we wanted. Luckily for me James had put all the time and effort into the engagement ring, researching things like the different types of metal, setting and the 4C’s; cut, colour, clarity and carat (if like me you had never heard of these!) so he at least had some knowledge, the only trouble was that he had no desire to get a wedding band like an engagement ring so this changed the ball game entirely.

Sadly for us the lovely independent family jewellers that James had bought the engagement ring from had shut down after 20 years of business (talk about unlucky.) This meant that the wedding band designed specifically to go with the engagement ring was not going to be available 😦

So we started from scratch looking at different types online and in shop windows but it always seemed a bit daunting to go in and actually try any on, almost like it was far too grown up for us even though the wedding is this year!

Eventually we bit the bullet and went and tried some rings on in a local independent jewellers. To make life easier I chose to stick with platinum to match my engagement ring, James however had the choice of white gold, gold, rose gold, silver, platinum, titanium and palladium amongst others, making this possibly the only ever time that he has had more choices than me in this process.

As ever, I was completely indecisive and didn’t want to make a choice there and then, so we left and decided to try at least one more jewellers. One Saturday morning after a cock up on my part that meant we were in Milton Keynes before the shops opened, we looked in a few windows and decided to give a shop we’d never heard of a go. We googled the shop to find out that it was a chain of jewellers, something I’m normally not a fan of as I like to support local business, but to tell the truth the selection was bigger, better and nicer than the local shop. What made it even more appealing was that after trying on lots of rings, the one I liked the most was nearly half the price of an almost identical ring in the other jewellers and James’ was in the sale!

In between ordering the rings in our sizes to try on properly at the shop, I did some research into platinum. I wondered why there could be such a difference in the prices for what on paper was the same thing. I was worried that platinum might be like gold where you can get different levels of quality i.e. 14ct 18ct 24 ct. Apparently (correct me if I’m wrong) platinum is platinum, there are no different levels of quality or pureness. Within the world there are two levels of quality but in the UK shops only sell the higher level of the two. My research basically showed that the difference is the most obvious one, in that local jewellers often hand make their rings in their workshops and larger stores often have machine made rings.

For me at this stage of the planning/expense I was happy to go with the cheaper option as it looked identical and there were no obvious signs of why it would be any less of a nice ring. If in a few years time either of us decide we’re not happy we can always go back and look to take the more expensive, one off route. I know many brides wouldn’t want to compromise but it was the right decision for us and it means we can have a big cheese and pork pie cake at the reception, so priorities… I know anyone going will thank me for this later.

So the rings are sorted, all I need to do now is remember which ‘safe place’ in the house I’ve put them in, ahead of the day – wish me luck!

The hopeless bride gives notice

 Now this post may not be about the most exciting part of planning a wedding but it might actually be useful to someone planning a wedding – hurrah!

A year before the wedding when we booked our registrar ( get in early the good time slots go so quickly in peak season and no one wants to get married at 9am!) they told us that before the wedding we needed to ‘give notice’ so we nodded and thought no more of it.

However, when we got an email reminder about giving notice, I realised that I actually had no idea what that was, what we had to do and if it was optional. After speaking to friends and family it appeared that I wasn’t the only one, even couples getting married this year had somehow not heard of it!

So after some research spurred on by the fact they wanted us to pay £70 just for the appointment, I started to understand more. It turns out that if you are having a registrar marry you, then you need to ‘give notice’ before the wedding ( I believe it’s different for church ceremonies.) This is basically a load of legal paperwork to make sure you can actually marry each other and the cynic in me would also say another money making opportunity. Your intention to wed is listed publicly ( I have no idea where) and it gives people the chance to object to your marriage.

Once we understood a bit more we looked into what we had to do. You have to book an appointment with the registrar at the council that looks after the area you are getting married in. Really conveniently for this day and age the appointments are all Mon-Fri and 9am-4pm – great!

Getting an appointment also seemed tricky, no doubt because everyone else was also as shocked by this giving notice malarkey so were all booking last minute slots.

Having paid the £70 albeit begrudgingly, we were booked in and were given information to read and documents to bring with us. We had no idea what to expect,  so when we turned up I found myself feeling a little bit nervous. The whole point is to make sure we can legally marry and that the whole thing isn’t a sham, so were they going to interrogate us? were we going to have to answer questions about our life? I started to panic a bit:

  • What on earth was James’ favourite colour?
  • What was the name of his school?
  • Oh my god maybe I know nothing about him!

When we arrived the two ladies seemed really nice and informed us that we would be questioned separately. This certainly did sound like some sort of interrogation or test we had to pass which didn’t exactly calm my nerves.

James went first and when it was my turn the first thing the lady said was, “Oh my god he didn’t even know your favourite food!” I could have died but it turns out civil servants have a sense of humour and this was just a joke, thank god.

The questions were all factual and I needn’t have worried at all. So now our proposed marriage is publicly available to view so please don’t object otherwise the blog could come to a very abrupt end!