I am delighted to introduce the very lovely Jessica Brown, who is the Showbiz Editor at the Daily Star, one of the top-selling newspapers in the UK. She got engaged the day before New Year’s Eve in 2011 to her boyfriend of two years, James. She has been interviewing celebrities and attending showbiz and fashion events for over ten years.
We will be following Jessica’s story in the lead-up to her big day, continuing with part 2 the awkward topsy-turvy proposal…
I thought I should start my second blog explaining that I didn’t get engaged during that hungover Saturday night, which saw me embarrassingly blubbing on my boyfriend’s couch.
Jimmy took me by surprise asking me to marry him seven months later, the night before New Years Eve. He’d sneakily already asked my Dad’s permission, brought a gorgeous, diamond daisy cluster ring and booked a moon-lit dinner cruise down the Thames.
He did himself proud.
I was surprised he managed to pull it off so perfectly, without me poking my nose in, or working out something was going on. Since getting engaged a male friend has asked me if they should get their girlfriend’s dad’s permission?
And should they get a ring first, or wait and choose one together after the big moment?
Well, I’m no wedding guru, but I think it’s a nice touch to ask the dad, especially if he’s still a big part of her life. But be prepared for a few tricky questions.
My dad thinks the world of my boyfriend but he played the firm father-in-law act very well, asking him a host of awkward questions about “our future” and his plans for it.
With regards to the bling I think all men should have a ring ready to propose with. I mean, you wouldn’t turn up to a house party without any booze, would you? And surely most girls have dropped a few subtle (or not so subtle) hints along the way about what kind of ring they’d like? But if not just get a token ring.
(Probably not a massive, rainbow heart plastic ring from Claire’s Accessories though – I know a lad that did that, yes Dave, I’m talking about you!)
Getting engaged was the really fun bit. Asking your best friends to be bridesmaids, having congratulatory drinks with everyone possible, bar the postman (we dragged that on for a least a month) and getting lots of cards and presents.
However, actually making a decision and starting to plan our wedding was quite daunting.
In everyday life I change my mind constantly. I struggle to make a concrete decision on anything, even the smallest, most mundane things.
I’m definitely the sort of person who says, “I don’t mind” a lot and “I’m cool to do whatever suits you”.
So choosing a wedding venue was a struggle… each one we looked at would have be “fine” but none of them felt perfect.
Me and Jimmy were seriously toying with the idea of running off to the Caribbean just the two of us.
The first thing that became obvious with wedding planning was… everyone has an option. And no-one is scared of voicing it. However my already-married brother and Jimmy’s already-marred twin sister gave us some valuable advice early on – “Don’t listen to anyone and do exactly what you want.”
We’ve now decided to live our wedding planning through this mantra. I advise you to too, or before you know it you’ll be having your mum’s perfect wedding day and be thinking, “How the hell did this happen?”.
So with this in mind we drove to my parents house, armed with a bombshell. We told my parents we’d been to see five venues in our home town Solihull but unfortunately didn’t like any of them.
We then asked, nervously, and with pleading eyes, if we could have the wedding in their garden.
My mum and dad’s initial reaction was, “No way, you must be mad. It’s far too much hassle.”
They were adamant that our dream of having a garden wedding, with a big tent and all the trimmings was never going to happen.
However, after a couple of weeks of toing and froing, us pleading, them refusing, us pleading, them refusing and then us finally throwing in the solo Caribbean curve ball (yep, we actually went there. Is that blackmail?) they agreed.
So we’re getting married in the local church in the village where I grew up and then having an almighty knees up in my parent’s garden.
Or if my mum and dad are reading this….
We’re getting married in the local church in the village where I grew up and then having a small, low key party in their garden with a promised curfew of midnight. Ahem.
If you missed part 1 of Jessica’s blog you can catch it here!