Oh. My. Days! I cannot believe I am typing this! Isn't it such a cliche? Finally, the wedding singer gets to tie the knot - and I couldn't be more excited!
I thought this would be a fabulous opportunity to start a little blog - to help ALL my brides to be - because now I truly understand how it feels to be getting married! We're going through this together!! I finally know the feeling of unbelievable excitement... daydreaming of colours, flowers, music, make up, venues.... to the overwhelming LOVE you receive from all your friends and family. Everyone from every corner of your life pour out to connect with you to celebrate the joyous news!
Let me digress for a minute and introduce Ali - my best friend, my partner in dancing crimes, the best drummer you ever did see, the kindest man you would ever meet and my soulmate... We met nearly 3 years ago in Weatherspoons in Accrington. How ALL amazing love stories begin. He joined my original-dream-pop-band, Indigo Rose, on the promise that one day we would play Glastonbury... (I had consumed 5 large wines by this point and for the record...we still haven't played at Glastonbury... yet?!) We really have spent every second of the past 2 years side by side. He supports me in every single way and we make a fantastic team. The rest is history... (I'm trying not to get too soppy here and remain professional!!)
As with all things Hannah & Ali (or Hali as my best friend Ash calls us...) we don't ever really seem to do things in the right order. So deciding to get married was just another "Hali Adventure"...
On Friday 21st June, I set off to play at Rebecca & Scott's Wedding at The Craven Arms at Appletreewick - just above Skipton, nestled in the glorious Yorkshire Dales. I have known Rebecca for a couple of years as I teach her daughter to play guitar. Rebecca had requested to keep the music quirky and folky - so a little different from our usual wedding setlist. I had the bright idea of asking Ali to join Adam and I on the Cajon (a sit on drum... great talking point!) to add a little extra to the set as he had for once got the afternoon off work.
I had never been to the Craven Arms before... and when we arrived it was like walking into a fairytale! It was the cosiest of pubs with a magical thatched barn at the back. The sun-drenched beer garden complete with a tipi of beer - you could pull your own pints! The toilets were labelled "Inspirational Ladies" and pictures of the Queen adorned the fireplace... perfection!!! The buffet food was fresh, healthy and truly scrumptious...
After playing our 2 hour set, Rebecca & Scott welcomed us to stay and join in with the evenings festivities... Whist stood in the enchanting thatched barn, Ali popped the question... well, popped a few questions...
"Do you like it here Han?"
"Would you like to get married here Han?"
A million percent YES.
We stood there and giggled... and decided that if they had the summer solstice available next year then it's fate and meant-to-be. They did!
So there we were, all newly engaged! No ring - but we had the venue sorted.
We have been engaged now for nearly three tiny weeks! The excitement is still unreal and I can't wait to share with you how our plans are going. The date is now less than a year away... so from being in the industry - I know that this is not a long time!! I have been booked years and years in advance...
We have safely secured All Hallows at Mitton to kick off the formal celebrations - this is the church where the entire Spurgeon family has been hatched & matched. Ali & I are beyond excited about sitting down with the Vicar to discuss all these details for our big day...
With both venues booked, our first priority was to let everyone know the date and locations!! Ali has a rather large family who are scattered across the country - so we wanted to get the word out to them quickly so they can start to arrange getting to our Wedding! We spent a good couple of evenings scratching our heads on where to get our Save The Dates... What they should look like? Do we need a theme?? Can we get one with a VW Beetle on them? (My beloved Ringo!) This was our first Wedding hurdle and it seemed pretty daunting as there really is EVERYTHING out there on the internet! In the end, Ali rightly said - it just needs to be a pretty piece of paper to welcome the family.
So that is exactly what we went for! I highly recommend WWW.PAPIER.COM - we found the perfect Save The Date that matched both our personalities and that we could personalise in every-way. They arrived super, super quick and the quality is impeccable! To save on a few extra pennies - we have also started a Facebook Event and invited our more tech-savvey friends!!
I will never forget the date Saturday 6th July 2019 - the day I got my engagement ring! In true Hannah & Ali style - this was again unplanned! Have you noticed we like to rely on the gods of serendipity? A pleasant stroll through Clitheroe... window shopping... turned into something a little more serious when we popped into Nettletons. Their customer service and experience was out of this world - the lovely lady really listened to what Ali had planned, what I described and took into account our humble, modest budget. She showed us a full range of pre-owned rings and made the experience truly memorable! When she presented us with this one - it was just perfect! Handmade in Birmingham in 1990... a bit like Ali haha!! It would have been rude not to celebrate at Holmes Mill..
I think it's safe to say we're feeling rather organised! Everyone we talk to is surprised with what we have achieved in such a short space of time. (Trust me... I've been performing at Weddings now for over 7 years... I've had plenty of time to daydream about my own!!) The one thing I vow is not to get stressed about anything in this magical process - it's a time to enjoy planning and creating our own little bit of magic. It's a time to include ALL members of our families - this is something we cannot wait to start sharing now we have the basics in place. Even my Auntie Debbie, who is no longer with us, has left me her 1985 wedding planner!! (How my mum found this in the garage I will never know - another moment of sweet serendipity I guess?)
I cannot wait for all the Friday nights ahead where we will get a-bit-too-tipsy and choose our readings, vows, flowers, food, hymns.... All the exciting bits! I genuinely believe the hardest decisions will be what music we have throughout the day - it's the thing that brought us together, so needs it's the thing that needs to underpin this celebration with class and great thought! Ali is already carefully curating the greatest disco playlist the world is yet to hear.
I just want to say a little thank you to all our Family & Friends who have wished us the greatest happiness - we were totally overwhelmed with the love!
I can't wait to keep you up-to-date over the next year too.
The wedding singer finally gets hitched!! I'm sure there is a film about that...