Wedding Arrangements

When Mr. TheBoyandMe and I got married, it was 2001. Legislation had only come into effect within the previous few years allowing couples to marry in anywhere other than a church or a registry office, and therefore it was still quite a new thing. Not many venues offered the opportunity to wed in their beauty, but one of them was Castell Coch in Cardiff, and this is where we 'got hitched'.

For anyone growing up in Cardiff, Castell Coch (or the 'red castle' as it's translation indicates) is also known as 'the fairy castle'. My father used to tell me that it's where Father Christmas set off from on Christmas Eve with the aid of the fairies that lived there, and every little girl grew up dreaming of it! Are you surprised?

Getting married in a castle though is no mean feat, and we were lucky to have one of the few dates available in November and booked it without question. However, they didn't close the castle for our wedding, it was business as usual! We booked the use of one room for an hour and a half and paid £450 for the privilige; half an hour to prepare, half an hour for the service (it took fifteen minutes) and half an hour for the photos afterwards. An attendant stood on the door and prevented anyone from entering during that time, and believe me when I say people did try and enter during our wedding, and couldn't believe that they weren't allowed to when they'd paid £3.50 to see the castle!

The room we were married in held thirty people, and for health and safety reasons that's all they would allow in. That included us, the registrar, her assistant, the photographer and the harpist. It left spaces for 24 guests which was problematic as we had to ask eight people if they could wait outside! Awkward or what? One of the other problems that arises when hiring a public building to get married in, and something that people might not know is that you have to have public liability insurance! We had to have insurance for £2 million worth of damage to the building and for any accidents. We ended up really searching high and low for a public liability insurance quote as they weren't common at the time!

At the time, my sister was incredibly jealous as she had always wanted to get married there, but it was a registry office jobby for her five years previously. Now you can get married just about anywhere!

One of the jobs I'd really love to do, it regular income wasn't an issue, would to be a wedding planner. How fun to organise a wedding in a castle or a barn, on a boat, or even a beach. Arranging the perfect flowers, transport, entertainment, decorations, invitations would be so much fun. And all with someone else's money! There are so many businesses out there catering for 'off-the-cuff' parties, you see them on Dragons' Den all the time. Huge ideas for human statues, robots, balloon craft, etc. And then the Dragons present them with the harsh reality of running a business, including finding business insurance quotes and supply vs. demand.

Thinking about it all, maybe teaching about subordinate clauses and changes within the 20th century isn't quite so bad. Now where was that marking?

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  1. says

    Wow honey, that does look like a fairytale castle. We have so much in common. Me and Mr G married in November 2002 in a castle – although ours was a hotel so we had no problems with members of the public popping into the chapel where we said our vows.
    And I think I've blogged about how wedding planner would be my dream job. But you're right. It's not really a viable career – unless you're the official wedding planner for a specific venue. And where's the adventure in that?

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