Jane & Matthew ♥ | Modern Mummy

Monday, 9 September 2013

Jane & Matthew ♥

Matthew and I started seeing each other in 1995, the year I went to university. He followed me up there and we studied together and shared a flat. On my 21st birthday in 1997 he asked me to marry him. We still had another year of uni to get through so we knew it would be a long engagement, we were still young and that was fine.

We returned to Manchester in 1998 and began work, me at a local FE college and Matthew helping my Dad out at the printers (which Matthew now runs). In 1999 we bought our first house, moved in and started planning our future. We knew we wanted to get married and spend our lives together but we were put off by the idea of a large wedding with hundreds of guests; neither of us like fuss.

In April 2000 I slipped and broke my wrist, bored at home I took the plunge and phoned the Registry office and booked the wedding. 11am on 21st October 2000. I then phoned Matthew and asked if he was busy that day. He wasn't so we started making plans.

My parents had very kindly paid my way through university and I was insistent that they shouldn't have to pay for my wedding. In the event they insisted on paying for some aspects but largely it was funded from a very small budget by us. Being at the time fairly unconventional, and not particularly wanting to stick with tradition, we knew exactly what we didn't want from our wedding - but what we did want wasn't so easy to define. I knew I didn't want a big white dress, we'd been living together for 4 years so it didn't feel right. I wanted to wear trousers, Mum said no. I wanted to wear black, Mum said no. In the end I was persuaded into a purple 2 piece. The first time I'd worn a skirt since school and I've not worn one again since my wedding day. 

In the few months running up to the wedding I remember having a number of heated discussions with exasperated female relatives who were despairing of my lack of interest in all the frilly unnecessary aspects of the wedding, things I considered unimportant. To me what was important was that Matthew and I were going to commit to each other for the rest of our lives and, really (sorry friends), I couldn't give a hoot who was there, what I, him or they were wearing, what flowers were on the tables or what kind of wine people were going to drink. If there was no one else other than Matthew and I, and we were wearing our gardening gear, that would have been fine for me.

I was persuaded into a few frilly additions but the day was a simple and beautiful one. My Dad and I were driven to the registry office in a Model T Ford (chosen and paid for by parents), I had a purple and white bouquet and met Matthew at the registry office. We had no bridesmaids, best men or ushers. A coach picked up friends and family and bussed them to the registry office. The service was short and sweet, the music I hated then and I hate now (some dreary nonsense by Travis which was the only compromise we could reach and is one of few regrets that day). After the service we went to a great local restaurant for a delicious meal with a few impromptu speeches. A few of us retired to the pub where Matthew and I first met for a drink during the afternoon and we were joined in the evening by 80 or so friends and family at a local Cricket Club for the evening reception and were entertained by magician friends of my Dads and a disco.

The day after the wedding we were lucky enough to be given access to an executive box at the MEN arena to watch Manchester Storm ice hockey team play, and a congratulations card was sent to us signed by the team at the time. The following day we went to Sweden on our honeymoon, our first holiday together outside the UK. Sweden is beautiful and it kick started a real love for everything Scandinavian.

We didn't want a photographer, in hindsight an informal one would have been nice. We didn't want formal speeches, again in hindsight it would have been nice for my Dad, a natural raconteur, to say a few words. We could only have 30 people at the wedding itself, which was fine. It was a bigger event than we originally wanted it to be but it was a special day. All in for the wedding and honeymoon we had some change out of £3000. My parents paid for the car, coach, flowers, dress (£90) and the meal which was incredibly generous of them. If I were to do it all again yes I'd change things but it's been nearly 13 years since that day and 18 years with Matthew, it's just one day out of a few thousand days I've spent with him, a nice day, a memorable day but just a day.

A wedding doesn't need all the bells and whistles, it just needs two people who love each other to promise to continue to love and respect for each other forever.
Jane blogs at Hodge Podge Days and you can follow her on Twitter here.xoxo


  1. I absolutely love this! I am in total agreement about how it's just "a day". A wonderful, important day but it's the marriage that is the important bit and not the dress or the food. We had a very similar wedding without the tradition (although I did wear a dress... but I LOVE wearing dresses... it was from Monsoon and not a meringue in sight!)
    A beautiful wedding story!

  2. Love this Jane, you are so right. The true meaning of a wedding is not one day, its the marriage and relationship that is important. Jackie Moore

  3. Oh I loved reading this post, Jane! Sounds like such a beautiful day. Well done for sticking to your guns (and I never wear skirts either!) xx

  4. What a lovely post - we are currently struggling with ideas for a wedding that won't break the bank, we want to buy a house and have another child - to spend so much on one day seems silly - and I keep saying that single day isn't important, its each one after that x


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