Jules & Mark
Hello all, welcome to another instalment of The Rustic Wedding Diaries. I'm very excited about this one as I've been wanting to explore the view points from a Bride AND a Groom for ages and to see how they differ from each other: do the same things matter to us ladies as they do to men?
We'll also follow the couple on the rest of their planning journey until the big day and will get their thoughts afterwards too about how things went, was there anything they would have changed at all? We'll find out if all the guests enjoyed themselves and if my decorating of the venue was a success or not!!!
1. How did you guys meet? 1st Date?
JULES: We met at work, when we worked on the same team. I was new to the department and so there were a lot of people to get to know. I remember Mark always offering to make the tea! The first time I became ‘aware’ of him so to speak, we were working together one day and chatting about our hobbies and what we enjoy doing. I remember thinking how similar we both were and how much I had enjoyed our chats. I then remember another day at work maybe a few months later. We had been offered some overtime to stay on, and I remember thinking actually I could think of nothing better than staying at work with him. We probably spent about 14 hours together that day and then even after that I phoned him on my way home just to chat!
I think after that day something changed in me and I knew there was something between us. Anyway some time later we went on a first date. It was actually on my birthday. He picked me up and we went mountain biking for the day. It was perfect including him falling off showing off! He pretending he was ok but apparently it hurt like hell!
I knew he was the one when we were on a long weekend in Seville. I had surprised him with the trip for a special birthday. We were back at the hotel about to go out for the evening on his actual birthday, there was a lovely song on the stereo and we both shared a look. In that moment I knew he was the one for me. I had never felt that before and it was such a strong feeling. That song is going to be our first dance tune!
MARK: We met at work and I liked her from the start as she was caring, understanding & compassionate. We used to meet at the pub before we started dating and Jules used to talk about wanting to get married one day. I used to have lots of thoughts of being married to her because we seemed like we would be an ideal match and it would be real good fun. (Ok, how much are we all a little bit in love with Mark right now!)
2. How did the proposal happen?
JULES: We had been out for the evening with friends on New Year’s Eve. We got back to our place where we were surrounded by boxes as we were moving in 6 days. Mark asked me to get him a drink and when I got back to the living room and went to hand it to him he handed me a card. As I was then looking at it he then presented a ring, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was in complete shock, I started crying with sheer happiness and then asked him to say it again so I could take it in! Which he did. I then realised I hadn’t actually answered him so I then said a big fat yes!! When I woke up the next morning the first thing I did was felt my finger to find the ring there, I then woke him up and asked him if he had changed his mind! It was completely unexpected and I love the fact that he asked when he felt the time was right.
MARK: My children knew beforehand and I had asked Jules' parents for their permission and her best friend, but no one knew WHEN I was going to do it, mainly because I didn't know when I was going to either!! The actual proposing itself didn't take much planning
3. Did you feel pressure to begin planning straight away? Did you have a good idea of what you wanted?
JULES: No I didn’t feel any pressure. A few people asked when it would be but I didn’t see this as pressure. We had no idea what sort of wedding we wanted, so it took quite a lot of discussion to find out. We knew what we didn’t want quite quickly, nothing too formal or big. We could have had help from friends and family but at this stage we felt it was important to work out as a couple what we wanted and not to involve too many other people. We were very certain that it was going to be our wedding and no one else’s. Luckily my parents never expect anything too normal from me so although I wanted to take their thoughts into consideration I didn’t feel too pressured into doing something we didn’t want.
MARK: I wanted something rustic and natural that allowed everyone to feel at ease & be able to enjoy the day without formalities. We didn't have too much help as this has been something that Jules & I have wanted to arrange and plan ourselves without any influence from other people.
Photos: The couples
4. Were you worried or stressed about any part of the initial planning?
JULES: Yes very. Before we really started talking about things I kept imagining a ‘normal’ wedding and feeling very anxious and uncomfortable. I don’t enjoy being the centre of attention and this aspect of the day was freaking me out. One day I think I had a little cry with Mark and we explored all our different options. Once we had done this I realised that this was our wedding and we didn’t have to do anything we didn’t want to. Plus we both wanted it to be similar and I felt really supported by Mark. (Couldn't agree more!!!)
MARK: No because we are both very organised people and enjoy planning.
5. Did you check out many venues before settling on the barn?
JULES: It was the second one we looked at! We had found out about it by someone when we looked at the first venue. We fell in love with everything about the barn when we got there. So much so we brought the wedding forward a year!
MARK: No, it was the second one we looked at. It had everything I dreamt of and therefore didn’t need to look any further (just like Jules!)
6. Was it easy finding your suppliers?
JULES: The owner of the barn supplied us with some contacts. I quite enjoy researching on line so it was quite enjoyable finding suppliers. We just concentrated on one at a time rather than being overwhelmed with doing everything at once. We started with the big things, I think caterers were first, so we then knew how much of our budget was left for other things!
MARK: Yes because we got good advice from the owner of the barn and because Jules' middle name is google!
7. What made you upgrade from me just helping out with props to a full styling?
JULES: I think firstly as time went on the styling of the venue kept playing on my mind. I had lots of ideas of how I wanted it to look but in reality I felt quite overwhelmed with the task. Even with the help of my amazing bridesmaid I just had a feeling it would be a regret to try and do it all on our own. I imagine a relaxing Friday before the wedding, perhaps a yoga class, final finishing touches to the barn and then home early to enjoy a relaxed evening. In reality I realised this would never happen without your help! Secondly we had a look at our finances and felt that we had saved well over the last couple of months and so felt safe to commit to the extra cost. We knew all other costs were accounted for by this stage.
MARK: I was told you were doing the full styling whilst finishing off a bottle of red! However i am very pleased with this as it relieves the pressure from us. (And I am VERY honoured to be helping you guys!)
8. How do you feel now you have a stylist helping?
JULES: One word... relief!! Oh and excitement! So much excitement. Before it was nervous excitement, as it could have not gone to plan, now it’s pure excitement as I know it will happen. I also now feel supported, sharing some of the responsibility, knowing you do this for a living, it’s made a really big difference to me. Thank you!
MARK: Relieved and grateful that we have the professional assistance as this allows us to enjoy our day without any worries and concerns.
9. What one thing are you most looking forward to on the day?
JULES: Actually getting married to the love of my life!! Then spending the rest of the day calling him my husband!
MARK: There isn’t one thing, it’s the culmination of the whole day’s activities, from having my sole mate become my wife, sharing the day with my family and best friends and everyone enjoying the day.
10. Do you have concerns about anything?
JULES: I am still a bit anxious about being able to relax on the day and not worry about people not enjoying themselves.
MARK: I suppose I want to be able to enjoy the day without the worry of things not running smoothly. This is something that plays on my mind as we are at a DIY venue.
11. What are your top tips for other couples just starting out?
JULES: Take time in the beginning to decide what you want your wedding to be and what’s important to you about the day. Keep communicating with each other to make sure you are both happy with how plans are developing. Maybe talk about what you don’t want from the day, which is sometimes easier than knowing what you do want. And above all enjoy everything. Life isn’t about the end destination it’s about the journey. I don’t see planning a wedding as just being about the one day. I hope that in years to come we will also remember the journey towards our wedding day, the conversations it sparks, maybe new things you find out about each other and working together to create a day that represents us both and our relationship. (LOVE this Jules!!!)
MARK: Plan early. Utilise the advice of people in the know. Be sure what it is that you want out of the day and don’t be influenced by others.
So there we go folks, a massive massive thanks to my couple for taking the time to chat about their journey so far and I hope you readers can relate and that it helps with your planning also.
If you are interested in appearing on The Rustic Wedding Diaries then we are always delighted to hear from couples so just give us a shout!