This week’s Behind the Bride is with the lovely Zoe aka Lycra Widow, who celebrated her fourth wedding anniversary recently.
Hi Zoe! First of all, congratulations on your marriage! When was the big day?
We were married on the 26th October 2013. I still can’t quite believe it’s been 4 years. It still feels like yesterday!
Tell me a bit about yourself and your partner. When and where did you first meet?
Michael and I met for the first time in 2009. He was the designated driver at a mutual friend’s birthday. I was the drunk passenger trying to flirt in the mirror and not be sick in his car.
I fancied him as soon as I met him but didn’t like his attitude- funnily enough the feeling was mutual!
We didn’t speak again until almost a year later when I was in hospital recovering from a brain tumour, and he was coming to the end of a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
About 2 months after we started chatting we became “official” after I dragged him off to France, and he introduced me to all of his fellow soldiers at a mess do.
How did they propose? Or was it you who popped the question?
Michael proposed in the most beautiful way. Even though we had been discussing Marriage and the future his proposal took me completely by surprise.
April 2013 was wedding season and we attended quite a few weddings, it was all a bit hectic as Michael had only just returned from his second tour of Afghanistan to find that I was living on a friend’s settee after being made redundant and having to give up my flat in Stoke!
I had found a new job local to Mike’s military base, and we were focusing on finding somewhere to rent together.
We went up to North Wales to visit family and Michael suggested we should go and have a nosey at the Wedding Fair in Bodelwyddan castle as it meant we could get a free tour of the Castle which I had never seen despite growing up locally!
Before we left I spent about 10 minutes asking his mum if she was really sure she didn’t want to come with us as we could have cream tea after walking round the Castle. When she declined to join us for the 10th time I finally gave up asking her. Of course she knew Michael was going to propose and didn’t want to interrupt!
We strolled round the rooms in the castle, and walked in to the Portrait Gallery. As we walked in all the other visitors were ushered out by a staff member but I didn’t think much of it!
The room was beautifully laid out as a ceremony room and as I was taking it all in, Michael bent down to do his lace up (he was actually retrieving the ring box out of his sock- he didn’t put it in his pocket as I have a habit of putting my hands in his pockets!) it took me a few seconds to realise he was actually on bended knee, and by the time he started talking I was shaking and crying.
He held my hand then said “Miss Zoe Davison, will you do me the honour of being my wife?”
I always loved that he said that rather than “will you marry me”
Of course I said yes, and he slipped the most beautiful Sapphire on to my finger.
It was only once he’d proposed and we carried on our tour of the castle that Michael explained that he had already booked our wedding date- for just 6 months away in the exact room he’d just proposed in!
Tell me a bit about your big day. Where did you tie the knot? Did you have a theme or a colour scheme?
We had our wedding ceremony in the Portrait gallery in Bodelwyddan castle, followed by a glorious reception in the Faenol Fawr hotel.
Our colour scheme was Hunter Green (which is a very similar shade to British racing green, but any bridezilla will tell you they are NOT the same!) the colours tied in beautifully with all the military uniforms.
We added soft vintage hues to the venue, and the entire hotel was lit up in green to reflect our colour Scheme.
What was your favourite memory from your day?
I had to laugh when the photographer asked us if we could stop kissing for a minute so he could get some different photos! The entire day itself is my favourite memory, I absolutely loved every moment.
Sadly my Dearest Darling Daddy passed away just 4 weeks before the wedding, so my uncle walked me down the Aisle, and my Grandad did a speech in his place which was beautiful.
We didn’t have time to get my uncle fitted for a suit to match Grandad and my Father in law, but that didn’t matter. The love and support from everyone was overwhelming. Although there were a lot of tears on the day, they were mostly happy tears.
We also had a photo of Dad and a few other family members that were no longer with us on the top table, accompanied by a candle.
Michael’s speech was hilarious. My favourite line from his speech was the part where he said that I invited him to France, and that he thinks the fact that I’d had part of my brain removed a few weeks before hand was the only possible explanation for my actions.
Was there anything that didn’t go to plan? Or that you would perhaps have done differently?
I forgot to sort buttonholes, as my husband and his best man were in military dress, which doesn’t suit flowers, we only had two people in suits, by the time I realised on the morning of the wedding I didn’t actually care and rather than panicking to source them, I just said it didn’t matter.
My “walk down the aisle” song was Nothing Else Matters by Metalllica. It was played by a string quartet. In those few weeks leading up to the wedding I found strength in the mantra “nothing else matters” and things that could have been seen as disastrous, I just let go.
Do you have any advice for future brides to be?
Don’t cut corners. You only do it once. If you want everything, then have everything. We had a videographer, a string quartet, a harpist, the works. It is you and your husband’s day. You don’t want to look back and say “oh I wish we had this/that differently.
Bridesmaids: they are exactly that. The Bride’s Maids. Don’t let them add drama or cause arguments. Their role is to support and inspire. My bridesmaids were fantastic and my absolute rock on the days where I had bridezilla moments.
Seating plan; do not even attempt the seating plan before you have received all your RSVP’s!
If you’d like to take part in the Behind the Bride series, please contact me to discuss.