We all know that where you get married strikes the chord for the day. Once you have that, you can get a feel of how the whole day will look. Today’s post is is from Dawn and its how Our Boobless Bride Found her Venue. If you have missed the first post from this inspirational lady then click here.
Take it Away Dawn…….
Happy New Year fellow fans of Cwtch The Bride!!!! I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to 2016. Can you believe it? Another incredible CwtchFest planned and I am getting married this year!!!
Firstly please let me apologise for my absence over the past few weeks… I have been otherwise engaged under the care and watchful eye of the wonderful staff at Nevill Hall Hospital. So here I am, finding myself feeling almost human again following the last planned procedure – a full hysterectomy. (Honestly, the lengths I’ll go to – to lose a few pounds.) Having been diagnosed as having the BRCA1 gene, the odds of developing Ovarian cancer are heightened… and no way was this wedding not going ahead…so it was a simple choice to have them removed.
Mr Stokes (my incredible surgeon) asked if I had any requests before surgery… I told him just one small one ‘a tummy tuck’. Can you believe this is not deemed as essential surgery according to the NHS?! Gutted. However, I had to smile when I came around from the anaesthetic to him telling me “Dawn you will be pleased to know, I have removed approximately 4 grams. Every little helps.” 4 grams?! 4 bloody grams?! I could gain more than that in one meal! But it did tickle me. I’ve been so blessed, he was the second of two incredible surgeons. The first being Mr Gomez. Not only did he remove my tumours, he managed to take all of the infected lymph nodes and leave me with scars that are as neat as I could have hoped for. What incredible people. Without them I wouldn’t be sharing my wedding plans with you. So anyway… back to the wedding. Where to have it…
Steve and I decided the day we got engaged that time was precious and life too short, so we would not be prepared to wait a long time for a venue. We wanted somewhere that was
available on the 28th May 2015 and if at all possible – somewhere that had some emotional connection to us. So here lies a story…
February 2015 was the month I lost my hair. I was determined that this was not going to be a reason to hide away, it was my badge of honour and I would wear it with pride. It was the evidence that Chemo was working and in a strange way I found it almost a reassurance that the cancer was being fought. Plus, I could show other young women that breast cancer does not only prey on those in their 50s and 60s. It was my way of inspiring young women to check themselves. However, for my children it was not so easy. Both of my girls found this change in my appearance quite frightening.
So, I wore my wig when I was with them in public. A few months passed and the chemo cocktail was changed. This time I lost my eyelashes and eyebrows and started to look very poorly. My children had great fun applying my eyebrows for me and it ironically made them more comfortable with my appearance and told me I could stop wearing my wig. So our first venture as a family, without the wig, was the squirrel park – better known as Belle Vue Park, Newport. We took a bag of nuts and spent the whole afternoon finding squirrels, feeding them and making up stories about each squirrel we found… it was a moment of normal family life in a time of despair. It became our favourite place to visit to get away from cancer.
Another favourite place of mine during this awful time was the Parc Pantry in Malpas – a quirky, exciting and innovative café. I loved the fact that it offered an area to showcase local talent, handmade craft items and local produce in a warm and friendly environment that served delicious food made from fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients. It was THE place I met with friends during the brief times during chemo I felt well enough to venture outside.
Imagine my delight when I heard in July that Parc Pantry were taking over the tea rooms in Belle Vue Park…AND would be a wedding venue. It was as if all of the pieces fell into place. And because it was a new venue they could accommodate the 28th May!!! It was just meant to be. Spooky almost. It was then I met Matt and what an inspirational guy he is. He and his friend have launched a business that has not only changed the way many of us meet up with friends, they have given Newport a classy and affordable venue to go and sample local delicacies. Matt and Ellie have worked relentlessly to help me organise a wedding ceremony that I could only dream of.
So I will be getting married in a beautiful back drop…A room with authentic vintage décor (with a modern twist) in an authentic 1900’s Victorian Park Conservatory. I couldn’t be happier with the choice for the ceremony. Parc Pantry produce exquisite food and I had initially hoped that we would be able to hold the full wedding breakfast and evening reception there. Although I desperately wanted to use this venue exclusively, the ever growing number of guests meant it simply wasn’t feasible and my head had to rule my heart. You see this is not just any wedding… this is an M&S – only joking… but it is special for us as it is a chance to personally thank those that have helped us get through this past 14 months. So… with an even tighter timescale we decided to look for a venue that was large enough for larger than planned evening congregation. The wedding at this point was only 6 months away….Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!
I am delighted to say that after visiting a couple of venues I was starting to worry. Then once again as if someone was looking after us, everything fell into place. Steve remembered that there was a golf club in Bassaleg (his home town) that had relocated and had a new golf club built. I looked on line and immediately fell in love. Although a new building, the function room looked like a converted barn. Beautiful exposed beams, lots of natural light and incredible views of the course.
“There is NO way this venue is going to be available”. It is breath-taking…I immediately got on the phone… butterflies in my tummy as Kim checked availability. It was available…What?! Really?! How?! “We’ll come see you tomorrow!!!”. The next day we met Neil and we knew immediately that this was the venue. He was warm, accommodating and was happy to adapt the package we wanted to suit our requirements. Nothing was too much trouble. We sampled the Afternoon Tea there and the food was as beautiful as the location – instantly we confirmed.
So here I am… Venues (plural) booked meaning the invites can now go out. How exciting. The countdown has started and I have my first dress fitting tomorrow and centrepieces to organise. I’ll fill you in soon… so much more to share with you.
I’m amazed at how strong this beautiful lady is. I can’t wait to share the next installment with you. ~ Kate