As I have no doubt mentioned before, our upcoming wedding is taking place in the grounds of my parents farm, up in the north west of England- pictures above. As neither me nor Curt are regular church goers, it didn't really feel right to opt for a church wedding. Instead we wanted an informal, outdoor ceremony in a beautiful setting (though bearing in mind the English weather, the outdoor part is by no means guaranteed!)
The gardens of my parents farm offered the perfect setting- the grotto pictured below which is on one of the front lawns is where we will hold the ceremony with a marquee for the reception and as a back up venue for the ceremony if it rains. I think my mother has actually secretly been planning to hold the weddings of my sister and I there since we moved there when I was about 8 years old!
However the first stepping stone was the staid, somewhat outdated English law that only allows non-religious wedding ceremonies to be held in in 'licensed' premises or structures. My parents didn't really relish the idea of applying for a licence for our home/gardens so that all and sundry could get married there so we've got around this problem by deciding to get 'legally' married a week before the actual event.
On Saturday our parents and a few close friends will accompany us to our local register office in London (which by chance is a beautiful old country house set in gorgeous parkland- picture above) and there we will have a short civil ceremony and say the necessary words and sign the necessary papers that will mean we are legally husband and wife. We are doing it with the minimum fuss and ceremony as of course all that is being saved for our 'actual' wedding next weekend, when we will in front of all our loved ones, family and friends say our own vows, listen to our carefully chosen reading and songs and exchange our rings. And then eat some amazing food, get tearful at the speeches and dance the night away.
Although we will legally already be married at our 'actual' wedding, the bonus of this arrangement is that we have had a total free rein with planning and writing our ceremony and are not bound by anything as far as our choice or words, structure or music are concerned. Oh and we in effect get to have two weddings which is double the fun!
On a completely unrelated note, this is my lovely dog Skye (or as Curt calls him- 'Tripod'), who lives at my parents farm. Just found this picture in a folder of pictures of the farm and it made me smile. He got hit by a car a couple of years ago and had to have one of his legs amputated but he does so well on just three legs now and is the sweetest creature I have ever met.