Tag Archives: wife

Wedding Planning: The Dress

I found my dress about two days after getting engaged. It sounds utterly ridiculous, I know. The whole process of finding what is to be the frock I’ll wear when I go from Ms to Mrs has been incredibly painless and totally without setting foot in a bridal store. Go figure.

I know it’s not the done thing these days to admit you’ve thought about your wedding day for a long time. But to hell with being embarrassed, let’s be completely honest here – it had crossed my mind on a not-infrequent basis over the years. To the point where after I found out about Love My Dress, I began to regularly read, despite being three er, a couple of years out from getting engaged. For a long time I imagined having as fancy a shindig as possible, but by the time the concept of getting married had become more realistic, my tastes had changed and I began to naturally lean towards a simpler, much more chic aesthetic.

Gah, I am desperado to show you a picture of my wedding dress, but I know for a fact that Mr Hello reads this here blog and I want to maintain a bit of mystery for the grand day itself. So…as a compromise I have created the collages below, to give you an idea of my personal style, and maybe even a hint or two…

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Wedding Dress InspirationHello Sam Goodbye Samantha Wedding Inspiration

What do you think? Any favourites?

I was a little bit afraid that having bought my dress online I would feel like I had missed out on the bridal shop experience. Being a bride often feels like a real rite of passage, and I don’t want to miss out on meaningful experiences with my Mum or my sister, or in fact any of the significant women in my life. I was a little bit concerned that a one-time opportunity had been missed, before I came to the realisation that I genuinely despise clothes shopping with other people. I feel self conscious about my body, and I question my own style when I ask other people for their opinion, so in the harsh light of day, perhaps the decision to choose my dress from the comfort and relative privacy of my own laptop was for the best.

Soon after our engagement I was casually Googling wedding dresses, you know, like a totally normal person. When I saw a picture of my wedding dress, I knew within a second that it was the one for me. What I didn’t realise at the time (but did shortly after) was that it was also the wedding dress of a bride from one of my favourite real wedding features on Love My Dress (nope, not linking to it you cheeky thing!). But as luck would have it…..it was a 3 year old dress, and the company making it had sold out. Noooooooooo. This is where it took me a little more time to actually buy the dress I’d somehow chosen immediately. I hit up eBay, with no joy, then PreLoved, also no joy there, and the threads of desperation started to get their sneaky hands on me before at last, I found one in my size on OnceWed. With nary a second’s hesitation I send off an enquiry email. Happily, within a few weeks I had bought it from the lovely Bonnie in Virginia, US, who not only sourced the best postage deal for me, but sent me a beautiful engagement card along with my dress in its original packaging. It was very special. Now OnceWed uses Escrow.com for all financials, as supposedly it’s much safer than PayPal. In the end, Bonnie and I used PayPal to seal the deal and I had absolutely no problem. I can’t vouch for others, but I had a great experience.

Luckily for me, my dress is actually everything I never really knew that I wanted. Buying a secondhand dress actually feels really meaningful, almost as if it’s already a happy dress. That it gets to be a part of more joy, and in turn brings more joy with it. On top of that, it cost me $650 (£350) including shipping. Not shabby at all!

Wedding Planning: So it Begins

I’ve told a little fib already, in that I cannot in all honestly claim that I (we) have only just begun to plan the wedding. When Mr Hello and I became engaged over my three week pitstop in England in July, we made the most of the time I was there and used the last few days to make some crucial decisions.

It all happened really quickly, easily in fact, in the beginning. We had a shared vision of the kind of wedding we pictured for ourselves: simple, elegant, modern, and that favourite chestnut of wedding blogland (don’t judge me) a day that was “us”. We found a reception venue first, a local art gallery and tearoom that we could hire over a weekend. It will be their first wedding hire, which is quite exciting too if I am honest, and unlike most of the other venues that I saw in Kent, neither a barn, grand estate house nor a village hall. We’re a pretty contemporary couple. Despite my love for all things vintage – Mr Hello has a bit of a penchant for objet d’art of time gone by too I might add – I just couldn’t picture myself in another kind of venue. It would feel like dress ups, and that thought made me wriggle uncomfortably in my skin.

So we progressed. We were unsure of the date, hoping for a little more time to save and recoup after our year apart, but being quite the international couple we had to take into account when family could travel, and so it began to seem more likely that 2015 was the year. I have to say as well, once we’d found the reception venue it was hard to not feel overwhelmed with excitement and want to plan everything right now. We took a little spin around some civil service venues in our town, and before we knew it, we’d decided. A local wedding. A local contemporary wedding, in the town where we live. With the people we love. What could really be more us?

Now we’re apart, wedding planning isn’t quite so straightforward, and decisions have honestly not been quite so mutual. There were disagreements and terse conversations, and all of a sudden the wedding didn’t seem like quite so much fun to talk about. It became something that was our default conversation, to the point that we sort of stopped having a relationship. It’s hard enough as it is to feel connected to someone when you live on the other side of the world, and damn near impossible because you’re mad at them for not budging on some insignificant wedding detail. A pause was most certainly required. So we paused, we waited, we stopped talking nuptials for a month or so. Now the talking is coming back a little, but not so much that we have nothing else to talk about, and slowly we’re finding a path forward together, making decisions we’re both happy with to a certain extent.

So. The fun part. who wants a sneak peek of our wedding motif? We’re not doing a theme as such, but have something that will be echoed throughout the day. Friends, esteemed colleagues, I give you:

That's all, folks!
That’s all, folks!


Mr Hello designed it (among other things) in over a week or so. Without giving the game away, I feel compelled to say that this boy is so damned clever, I think I might keep him. I know – it doesn’t really give you all that much information, but HECK, that’s part of the fun of it! More will be revealed soon…

What My Marriage Will Mean to Me

Very recently, I got engaged to a wonderful man. The proposal took place at home one evening, just the two of us and what I now believe to be some pretty special lemon cake. I’ve got mad baking skills, it appears! I couldn’t be happier with the way we decided to make a marriage.

Interestingly, I really don’t believe that marriage is a necessity anymore, and I know I’m not alone in that opinion. I am vehemently pro-gay marriage, however, because I believe that everyone should have the same civil rights. I did know, however, that marriage was a ride I wanted to take. Why did I feel so strongly that I wanted to get married? I’ve tried to answer this question over the last few weeks, and I’ve found there is no clear answer for me.

In part, it’s to do with the fact that my parents divorced. Their marriage, until now, has been the most important marriage in my life and as I’m sure you can imagine it was incredibly difficult to deal with, despite being (technically) an adult when their separation occurred.

I’d like to place a happy full stop to that marriage and start a brand new chapter with my own.

As I’ve grown and developed my own adult identity I’ve clarified in my mind the qualities that I really value. Commitment is high up on my list. You can’t have a marriage without commitment, although conversely it’s possible to have commitment without marriage. I’m excited to wake up next to my future husband every day and know that what we have is still there. That the default position is that we love each other and we’re there for each other. That we’ve given permission to one other person to slightly take us for granted. Your spouse is the one person who should be able to take it for granted that you will be there for them. That if times get rough (and they will) that you will be there beside them. That you are partners.

I also want to be a wife. I really want to claim that label for myself! It’s not the only word I’d use to describe myself – I’m pretty sure enthusiastic, passionate, somewhat absent-minded and untidy would also make it onto that list – but being able to say I am someone’s wife will make me feel incredibly proud. I’ll take that responsibility bloody seriously. As much as marriage is a private bond made between a couple, these titles we bestow upon each other are a public declaration of the choice we made. I am in love, and I want to be an archetypal lovebird and sing it out to the world! I am in love! I am a wife!

Marriage is not sacred nor spiritual to me. It’s a precious man-made ritual that doesn’t even necessarily last our whole lives. I’m ok with that, but I’m going to try damn hard anyway. To me, marriage is a living promise, that calls upon me to be truly present in my relationship. My marriage will be a touchstone, a guiding force and loving filter through which I can view the choices I must make in my life.