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The Night Before Christmas

Bride Vs Groom, Wedding Blog

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the net,
Not a blogger was stirring, (well… not seen as yet!)
The keyboards are left with no fingers to care,
And not a wee dram of whisky can now be found there.

For tomorrow is Christmas and on this little blog,
We’re taking a day off; our brains to defog.
Though weddings are wondrous and a source of great joy,
It’s time to unwind and play with that new toy.

So relax wedding planners, it’s no time to plot,
There’s plenty of time to check all things are got,
Don’t worry dear grooms ’bout speeches with fear,
It’ll all come together once you pin that bouttoniere.

Two years ago today I asked one a great question,
And now bear a ring, one of great expectation,
Of happiness, love, of laughter and play
And that story we’ll share once again ‘pon this day.

So sit back, relax and see how it all began,
For a groom lacking knowledge and a bride wedding fan,
We hope all your Christmases are filled with great glee,
And great love to you all, from my bride and me.


the proposal


Bride Vs Groom, Wedding BlogSo, let’s recap on what we’ve learnt about my darling future bride so far:

1) She likes weddings. A LOT!
2) She has her own style and loves things with character
3) She loves stories

And now, introducing fact number 4… she is unbelievably good at accidentally messing things up every time I try to do something romantic for her.

Seriously, it’s amazing. There was the time I tried to send flowers to her Sunderland flat on valentines day (I was at uni in Edinburgh at the time) and she managed to miss the delivery so many times that they arrived two days late after I persuaded her flatmate to pick them up for me…apparently Dom was in the darkroom all week, surprise surprise. Then there was the time that I decided to make sure she got the flowers by turning up myself for a surprise romantic weekend. It was indeed a surprise when I found out she wasn’t there and wasn’t going to be until after I left. On that occasion I seem to recall she had decided to go last minute to Bradford to visit a photography museum. You may see a theme emerging here! These examples really are just the tip of the iceberg so it was with both trepidation and excitement that I started planning my proposal.

Fact number 5) Dom absolutely loves Christmas… and so do I!
We’ve always acted like massive kids at Christmas time, watching every Christmas film under the sun (or possibly under the snow), decorating every inch of the flat and wandering down the old Tudor streets of York doing our Christmas shopping together. It’s by far our favourite time of the year and always truly magical for us, so I decided that there could be no more perfect time for a proposal.

Christmas day is always a family day for us and that’s something we would never change, but Christmas eve is our day together, a day to watch films, go for a nice meal and just generally do nice Christmassy stuff together. It’s always a special time for us but I was going to make sure that this Christmas eve was one that Dom would never forget!

I had everything planned. I’d decided that I should ask her to marry me in York because it’s such a beautiful city and holds a lot of memories for us. Normally we would visit the town several times in the build up to Christmas but I’d deliberately ensured that we hadn’t been able to go together to make it a bit more special. My plan was for us to have a relaxed morning, maybe watch Miracle on 34th Street (one of Dom’s favourites and guaranteed to put her in a Christmas mood) then head to York, wander round looking at the decorations and go for tea at our favourite cafe. Then I had booked us into a great restaurant where we could have an amazing meal before going to midnight mass at York Minster. Where, on the stroke of midnight, (ideally on the doorstep with snow magically falling at that precise moment) I would pop the question.

Yes, that was the plan, and she’d love it. After I spent a day in York several weeks before the nerve-racking day booking the restaurant, finding romantic places for us to go and making plans I excitedly headed back to meet my hopefully soon-to-be fiancee for an amazing roast dinner at her parents house. As we sat around the table chatting happily and me trying not to let anything slip it happened. As we tucked into some beautifully cooked roast beef Dom’s dad began to speak:

“Now Liam and Leanne are going to be away for Christmas day and Dom and Matt will be spending half the day at Matt’s parents, So, what we’ve decided we’re going to do is this year we’re going to have our big family Christmas on Christmas eve so don’t make any plans ok.”


There was only one saving grace to be found in this situation: there was still plenty of wine left on the table. As I poured a fourth glass I tried to work out whether any of the plan could be salvaged. Sneakily scouring the web on my phone I found that York Minster was also holding an evensong service much earlier in the day. That would be nearly as good: everyone singing carols in the minster, what could be more christmassy than that? Fine. We’d head to York in the morning, change the dinner reservation to lunch, still do the proposal at the minster and get us home in time for Christmas dinner at the Shaw’s. I preferred the midnight thing but this would still be really special and she’d be able to tell her family over Christmas dinner which she’d love. Great!

So, the plan was in place and, as Christmas eve drew near snow had begun to fall readying us for the first white Christmas in years. Perfect. Though my initial hopes had been dashed at least I’d been able to salvage a plan and everything was going to work out just as well. Considering this was Dom I was talking about, if anything I was glad to get all the bad luck out of the way early!

I spoke too soon…
Stay tuned to the blog to hear how the proposal really went down!

…and you can find part II of the engagement tale HERE!

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