105 Plus/Fat Bride/Groom - Meet Isla & Phil

Wednesday, December 14, 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 

Isla & Phil
Oxford UK

Where did you meet your Bride/Groom?

We met in 1994 at work - a specialist treatment unit within the NHS supporting people with complex learning difficulties and severe challenging behaviours. We became good friends but didn't become "more than good friends" until 2005.

When did you get married and where?

We got married on Good Friday 2014. 9 years to the exact day after we "levelled-up" from "just good friends" to become "a couple". And the day before my 42 birthday (42 = the meaning of life!) We got married at Oxford Registry Office and had our after-party at The Rotunda in the grounds of Grove House. Grove House is about a 10 minute walk from our house, and The Rotunda was built by a previous owner of the house to display her collection of dolls houses. The dolls houses have all gone, but it is a beautiful round building, with a ceiling painted to look like a circus tent, and gorgeous gardens. We fell in love with building as soon as we stepped inside for a look around. And when we discovered that there was a huge glitter-ball in the toilet we knew it was our perfect venue...

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

Around a size 20 - 22.

What was your experience of finding a dress/suit?

I am not a "glamorous" person and I knew a traditional dress was not for me. My top priority was to be comfortable and I also wanted to find something I could continue to wear and use again after the wedding. The dress was a simple linen dress from Sahara. The linen trousers, my sandals and Phil's suit were from Next. The robe-thingy was from QVC. My whole ensemble cost less than £200. Essentially I just got fancier versions of the kind of clothes that I usually wear!

Describe your day.

We planned and pulled together our wedding in just 3 months. We had a budget of £3000 and needed to create a day that Phil could remember. Phil had a brain haemorrhage in 2009 which has left him with many challenges including significant memory problems, very limited vision and mobility, and Central Pain Syndrome (he is in constant pain). We wanted to create a day that was a celebration of our life and the friends who have been with us all the way through Phil's recovery and beyond AND it needed to have lots of memory "hooks" - the key to unlocking Phil's memory lies in small, quirky details!

Some of the details? Well, we walked into the wedding ceremony together to the theme music from Pirates of The Caribbean (we saw the film on our first date). My something blue was the TARDIS in my bouquet and my bouquet was made from the pages of a Terry Pratchett book. Phil's buttonhole was made from pages from The Game of Thrones. We had readings from Neruda and The Princess Bride. Our ceremony music was by The Velvet Underground, Matt Nathanson, Tim Minchin and Kate Rusby. 

We had joked with the kids that we would "probably just have pizza and ice cream at the reception" so we hired a gourmet pizza van who made heavenly pizzas to order from their wood-fired pizza oven, and a vintage ice cream van which also had popcorn and sweets. My mum and sister and I made a traditional cream tea, complete with vegan clotted cream. And cakes. Loads of cakes. There was an impromptu knitting group on the chill-out sofas. We had a meter long log of vegan chocolate fudge instead of a wedding cake, and it was decorated to look like a gnome home complete with a smiling Mr and Mrs Gnome (Mrs Gnome was knitting, naturally.) Our dog Eric joined us at the reception and he wore his Dr Who bow-tie. And there was a glitter-ball in the toilet.

And it worked: Phil can remember many things about our day! I just asked him what his favourite memory of the day is? He said it was that he was able to leave his wheelchair at home for the day and actually *walk* down the aisle side by side with me, to the Pirates of The Caribbean music and seeing our friend's son who came dressed as Batman. And that there was a glitter-ball in the toilet.

We didn't have an official photographer and my sister took most of the photos on the day.

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