105 Plus/Fat Bride/Groom - Meet Kate & Dave

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wedding Wednesday post where every Wednesday you get to find out a little more about the couples that shared their photos for the 105 Plus/Fat Bride/Groom Photos post HERE or the Youtube video HERE

I will also be doing more Budget Bridal posts. You can see previous posts HERE 

Kate & Dave
Kendal, UK

Where did you meet your Bride/Groom?

We met in 1997 on a minibus on the way to a Geography field trip to Scotland whilst doing postgraduate study at University.  I ended up sitting next to Dave on the way up and we just clicked – he was into dance music and science fiction books like me and had a very dry and appealing sense of humour.

On our return I had to leave to go to Spain to do fieldwork for 6 weeks not knowing whether he liked me or not (in 1997 we didn’t have mobiles and there was only intermittent power where I was staying let alone internet).  Meanwhile, mutual friends were plotting to get us together and gave Dave my address and phone number and told him I was bored and lonely and lo and behold I had a phonecall from him in the middle of my stay, plus two letters (I don’t think he’s written to me since!)

We got together properly the weekend after my return him having told me that he hadn’t made a move in case it ruined our friendship if I didn’t fancy him.  What a gentleman!

When did you get married and where?

We got married in the Elizabethan Courtroom at Sandwich Guildhall in Kent on April Fool’s Day 2000 (yes really)

What dress/suit size were you when you got married? (only answer if you want to)

I was a size 22 at the time

What was your experience of finding a dress/suit?

I didn’t want a meringue dress and I’d always known I didn’t want the big traditional white wedding.  I look terrible in white, I inevitably manage to get light coloured clothes dirty and I just knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable, so I needed to find something that would suit me. 

My dress finding experience was awful to start with.  I went to one Pronuptia shop and was looked at like something the cat dragged in by the women there.  They didn’t listen to the fact that I didn’t want white.  The largest sample size they had was a 14 (because obviously fat women are never going to get married…), and it was also massively too long.  So I had to stand on a box, pinned into these dresses which didn’t fit one little bit and I just felt like the women were completely disapproving of me.  The fact that they expected me to choose a dress whilst not actually having had a chance to try it on properly was utterly ridiculous.

You have to bear in mind that in 1999 when I was looking for a dress, the internet was in its infancy and body positivity, fatshion and fat acceptance had never been heard of.  There were no options for plus size brides.  I almost decided to cancel at this point as I thought that I would end up in a dress I didn’t like or didn’t suit me just because it was the only thing that fitted.

In the end a chance conversation with someone at work who had recently got married pointed me in the direction of a lovely lady called Jane who had been a costume designer for various theatres.  Jane lived in my town and was a lovely bubbly plus sized lady who totally got where I was coming from.  We designed a dress together, with Jane sketching out ideas as I talked.  We then had a wonderful day fabric shopping in the sari shops of Wolverhampton and the fabric shops of Birmingham.  I came away with a cloth of gold fabric for an embroidered overcoat and a heavy navy blue silk for the underdress.

Jane took my themes and ran with them.  I wanted sunflowers and embroidery so my coat was a riot of flowers on the back and collar.  She put 28 buttons up the back of the dress as I was 28 years old when I got married.  She also made the sleeves with a gusset under the arms so I could dance in the dress at the ceilidh without feeling restricted by the dress.

Dave and Luke the best man wore navy blue velvet Nehru jackets hired from Pronuptia which looked just amazing.  Jane made cravats and waistcoats for Dave, Luke and my Dad, and they looked wonderful. Small pieces of material from the waistcoat fabric were used to cover the buttons on my cloth of gold coat.

Describe your day.

Dave was waiting for me at the end of the aisle, and when I arrived, he burst in to tears which very nearly set me off.  We were both shaking with emotion all the way through.  We had a lovely ceremony, including everyone laughing when the registrar asked if “anyone knew of any impediment” as to why we couldn’t be married!  We walked out to the Star Wars overture.

The Guildhall in Sandwich is a beautiful old building which has both a dark wood panelled Courtroom with stained glass windows for weddings and a council chamber which was used to hold the reception. 

We had a cheap wedding reception as we were both in our 20s and only just starting out. I didn’t feel like we were missing out as I’d never been someone who hankered after a posh wedding, I just wanted all my friends there having a good time. 

We did so much of the decoration ourselves.  Dave and I made the invites, we collected stones from the beach in Kent and also from the Lake District to use as placenames and favours (so many people still have their name stones), we named the tables after different rocks as we are both geologists and so are lots of our friends.  We also made our own table decorations and mum sorted out streamers and balloons. The only thing we really splashed out on was a good ceilidh band for the evening.

We had an amazing evening.  It started off with me and Dave sneaking off to a holiday home where loads of our friends were staying for the weekend.  We had a few drinks and Luke the best man was able to give the unedited version of the best man’s speech which he hadn’t been able to give in front of parents and relatives!  We then went back to the hall where we had the most fantastic time dancing with our friends to the ceilidh band who were amazing.

At the end of the evening when it was time to go, the band led us and the guests in procession out of the hall playing “Mairi’s Wedding” which is one of my favourite folk songs.  I really, really didn’t want to leave because it was the best party ever with all of my favourite people, but we were staying in a hotel in a different town so a taxi was waiting.  I cried my eyes out all the way to the hotel to the extent that Dave worriedly asked me if I’d regretted marrying him!  No, it was just that I’d had such a wonderful, emotional and uplifting day with my friends and family and the man I’d wanted to marry since the moment I’d met him. 

16 years on from our wedding people still tell us how much they enjoyed it because of the dancing and the energy of all our wonderful friends and relatives getting together, having lots to drink and having a smashing time.

Mairi’s Wedding

Step we gaily, on we go,
Heel for heel and toe for toe.
Arm in arm and row on row,
All for Mairi's wedding.
Over hillways, up and down,
Myrtle green and bracken brown.
Past the shielings, through the town,
All for sake o' Mairi.

Anything else you want to add.

I hate having photos taken of me and I had got myself really stressed about having to have photography done.  In the end it was an OK experience and I’m glad we had a photographer to record the day even if he didn’t get many pictures of just me and Dave together.  There were certainly no endless poses, just a couple of family groups and then he spent the rest of the time doing “reportage” photos.  This meant that he got some beautiful photographs of my friends and family (some of whom sadly are no longer with us) which actually is probably more meaningful for us as these were the people who’d come all the way south to join in our wedding celebration and made it such a special day for us.

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  1. This was lovely, and really choked me up as it sounded like the perfect day. xx


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