Hello everyone. I’m so happy to be here, and writing this!
My name is Beth, I’m 29 years old (dangerously close to the big 30!) and I live in Bridgend, South Wales. My friends and family call me Bethie, Bettie, or Bethany Jayne (if I’m naughty!)
I’m a journalist and radio producer, and my fiancé Ian, who is 35, works in the NHS by day, and is a musician and videographer by night and at weekends! I’m sure we will talk more about Ian’s videos and music as time goes on, and how his fabulously creative eye and ear will influence our day.
When we aren’t working, we both love travelling, great food, spending time with our amazing family and friends, going to see live music, watching Wales play rugby, binging on TV box sets and films, and hiking. We hiked the Atlas mountains in Marrakech back in 2014, and hopefully if we go on honeymoon we can go somewhere with great walks. we’ve also chosen a wedding venue near one of Wales’ best mountain ranges.
The next couple of years in our lives are going to be awash with celebrations and love, as lots of our closest circle of friends turn 30 and get hitched. Our lives are going to be completely overtaken by nuptials and hangovers, and we would love to share the journey with you all!
How We Met
August 2008. I was 20, and after a tumultuous relationship which had lasted most of my teens, I was enjoying the most carefree summer of my life to date. My friends had been my saviours, we spent most days and nights in my friend Hollie’s blue Suzuki swift – we went anywhere and everywhere that little car would take us, listening to music, talking, generally making the most of our time before university kicked back in.
In my heart, I felt that love had let me down, and though friendship was a healer, I wondered if I would ever be able to love again. After years of trying so hard to make someone love me, for the first time, I left love alone. Of course, they always say don’t they, when you stop looking, true love will be just around the corner.
Or in my case, in the shop next door. I worked in a shopping centre, my friend worked next door. After a shift one night I popped in to see her and say hello. She called me that night and said “someone I work with was asking after you” – it was Ian. He added me on MSN messenger (ah the naughties!) Knowing Ian as I do now, this was probably one of the bravest things he had ever done. We began a conversation and in early September 2008 – we met for the first time. Neither of us have looked back since.
Ian and I, on our wedding day, will have been together for 10 years, and I don’t regret a single day in that decade by his side. We have been through a lot together, had a lot of adventures together, supported each other, questioned each other, but most importantly, loved each other wholly.
Ian has supported me in a variety of different ways, in my career, through illness, in my desire to travel anywhere and everywhere (including me swanning off to America for half a year!) but most importantly he has rebuilt my sense of self worth and makes sure I know every day, that I am worth something.
I should explain a little about the illness reference, I have a condition called M.E, it’s a chronic condition, an invisible one, and I get quite acute spells of being really unwell. Ian is my rock, never once has he complained on the days when I am not Beth, but someone else, a person he has to feed, help out of bed, cook and clean for – I asked him once if he misses “me” on those days, but he replied that he loves me entirely, in good days and bad.
As Clementine Von Radics once wrote, I will love you when you are a still day, I will love you when you are a hurricane.
All I can say is I count my blessings every day to have a partner like Ian, I love him so much it scares me, and I just cannot wait to be his wife.
I should start our proposal story by saying that Ian proposed with an opal engagement ring (unlucky stone for some) on Halloween, and we found our wedding venue on Friday 13th. Some would say we are testing superstition to the limit!
The engagement was one of the biggest surprises in my life, and believe me it is hard to surprise me. Over the years due to my love of travel, I have often carted Ian off to far flung places. This particular year, 2016, he said he wanted to repay the favour and booked to take me to Madeira for my 29th birthday. The double bluff had begun.
Now I obviously thought, my goodness what a fabulous birthday present, and thought no more of it. On the first night we were in Madeira Ian said he was taking me to the Cliff Bay Hotel for a birthday meal. Again, what a nice present Ian thank you very much, no alarm bells yet!
Upon arriving at the hotel a waitress met us at the restaurant and started guiding us away from the tables and down the stairs.
Ian said to me “not sure where we are going” I replied, “I’m obviously not allowed in the restaurant because I’m wearing shorts, why didn’t you tell me there was a dress code!”
We arrived at what I thought was a cloak room, where a waiter met us and said he would be looking after us, now I was really confused. I walked into the room and it was completely empty, save for a table covered in roses, chocolates and champagne, and a solitary table set up in the corner with amazing views out over Funchal Bay.
At this point I asked Ian what was going on and he told me he had booked a private dining room for us for my birthday. Good grief I thought, he has pushed the boat out – I wonder what he will do for my 30th!
At the end of the meal I stood up to go and look out over the bay, when I turned around Ian was standing next to me with a small box in his hand. However, our attentive waiter mistimed his arrival and walked straight into what would have been the proposal! Ian hurriedly sat back down at the table, and when I asked what was that box he said “I bought you a new box for all your tablets” to which all I could reply was “oh, they wont all fit in there, but thanks it’s pretty.” As you can tell by now, we aren’t a slick couple!
A couple of madeira wines later, I found Ian down on two knees (!?!?) mumbling about taking medicines forever and being together forever, I forget his exact wording in the actual moment of proposal because all of a sudden my brain was pinging like a microwave, joining up all the previously unconnected dots!
Mr waiter came back in with a BOTTLE of madeira wine, a huge cake, and the rest as they say is history. My fave part of that night though was going back to our hotel and face-timing the whole world while drinking G&Ts. The rest of that holiday felt like paradise, a few days to really spend together and celebrate before returning home to tell everyone else. Oh yes, and the ring! It was the aforementioned opal. My great grandmothers ring, which I had always loved, Ian had been to my mum’s two months before to ask her for it – so she had known for months! Unfortunately it’s too precious to wear every day so Ian proposed a second time with a new ring just for me, but with a vintage style to remind me of the other ring, on Christmas Day.
So, we’re getting married! Wah!
The date is set, Saturday August 25th 2018. To mark a decade since we first met.
It’s the bank holiday weekend and we plan to make the most of 4 days of partying and fun. We have our venue booked from Friday evening – Monday morning, so we’re basically having a massive house party, who doesn’t want to pretend to be lord and lady of the manor for a few days! Our friends always say we throw good house parties, so we’re just upping our game slightly!
I won’t say too much now as we have months to get into the finer details, but I will say, my dream for the wedding is for it to be as close to the earth as possible. As true to all the important things in our lives as we can be. I guess if we have to put a tag on it, it would be ethereal and botanical, but with a heart of fire. While we love concentrating on all the little details, I never want to forget the bigger picture, which is of course, that we are alive, and surrounded by love – and that is more than enough.
I am so looking forward to sharing this journey with WWW readers. Watch this space.