Final wedding preparations

It has been a busy few weeks as I try to balance work-life with the final preparations for our wedding. I recently joined the BBC Breakfast team and over the next few months I’ll be reporting on stories all over the UK. Plenty of early starts…but it’s great to try something new.




Meanwhile the hunt for my wedding shoes is now over!

People say don’t judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes…and I agree. In my case I’ll be walking down the aisle in just a few weeks and only the right shoes will do!

I felt a little lost when it came to getting my wedding shoes. I didn’t want skyscraper heels as I plan on wearing them all day. I also wanted to make the most of them after the wedding too.

My search led me to British shoe designer Emmy. The whole team went out of their way to make my experience special.






I picked the pretty Leila gold kitten heels. After the big day I’m getting the cream suede dyed so my wedding shoes become a pair of cute party heels.

Throughout this wedding planning journey there have been many moments where I’ve been able to vividly imagine how happy I’ll feel on the 21st of September.




We recently had a church rehearsal and of course my dress fitting! Now I’ve got the shoes sorted…I’m SO ready to walk down the aisle and become Mrs Boleto.

Two months to go!

Wow time flies when you’re planning a wedding and with only two months until our big day I’ve suddenly started to feel that pressure everyone told me about in the beginning!

So to ease the strain we arranged a joint stag and hen BBQ with some of our friends and family to give everyone including us a chance to get together and talk wedding ideas but also a chance to chill out and relax too.


The day after we started to get our wedding invitations together and we found some beautiful flowers and ribbon from a shop in Portobello in London and we decided to make our invitations look extra pretty with a personal touch.


Then I headed to the airport to cover the World Cup in Brazil for CBBC Newsround. We covered the football group stages but we also spent time finding out about life in Brazil for children there. It was an incredible experience and an incredible country but now I am back home I’m very much ready for our wedding to take centre stage.

liveinRIO rio

Six months to go!

Six months is a reasonable amount of time to plan anything, right? It’s good enough to plan a holiday or maybe a trip to a festival… but in the world of weddings, the clock is ticking.

Anxiety levels have gone up a notch, I’m so glad we organised some of the big things like the church and venue last year.

In December we sent out fun save the dates from Lucy Says I Do. Our family and friends loved them and now we’re on the hunt for the wedding invites.





But with wedding planning in good shape Ricky and I were able to head off to London for a brilliant night at the Royal Television Society Programme awards.

Ricky picked up an award for the Best Children’s Programme for a documentary he presented called Hard Times. Brilliant programme with some really strong stories. Well done my husband to be!





Next month is my birthday and I’ll be marking it by celebrating the anniversary of that special night in New York when I became Ricky’s fiancée!

The one about the dress

You’ll usually find me in jeans and trainers so the thought of trying on wedding dresses thrilled me but scared me at the same time. But with my maid of honour in tow; Ricky’s sister, Daniela we headed out into the blustery weather to hunt down the perfect dress.

Without any real idea of what I wanted I was offered an array of puffy, beady gowns and I suddenly realised all the things I didn’t want in a dress. As I slipped on the first dress I remember thinking this is probably the most expensive and elaborate thing I’ll ever try on in my life.




Granted I wanted to feel like a princess but I didn’t want anything too structured or tight that would mean I couldn’t boogie later in the evening.

But with a trip to the Jenny Packham boutique it was the first time I started to feel like a bride. Years earlier I’d worked with Jenny’s brother Chris and I remember being in awe his encyclopaedic knowledge on all things wildlife.

The Packham family are incredibly talented and with Jenny’s exquisite dresses I stood looking at my reflection wearing the dress I would marry my future husband and I knew it was ‘the one’.

Our assistant on the day Gemma was brilliant because she made me feel welcomed, at ease and she was just great fun. In some ways for me picking the right dress felt daunting at the start but I can’t wait to pick it up two months before our big day.

Planning our vintage country wedding

Happy New Year everyone. Ricky and I had a brilliant Christmas break with our families. We ate loads, watched tonnes of TV and got to hang out with Ricky’s beautiful three month old nephew, Leo.




We also caught up with my niece Olivia who we always have lots of fun with. It’s not Christmas without a Christmas cracker hat!




But as the clocks struck midnight on New Year’s Eve Ricky and I could finally say we’re getting married this year!

Since then we’ve both got straight into planning mode. We had a meeting with our venue organisers at Gaynes Park where we went through our timings, our first dance and all the things that make the day run smoothly.




It was also really important to see the space empty to get a feel for how we want to arrange our tables and how we dress the Orangery – which is where we’ll greet our guest as husband and wife.

The overall look of the wedding will be very natural, relaxed with a hint of country/vintage. Everything is slowly falling into place and I haven’t turned into a bridezilla so far!

Although we have a long check list of things we still need to arrange we do have our photographer which is a big weight off our minds.




It’s always tricky finding someone who would be able to naturally capture the biggest day of your life. So we went for documentary wedding photographer, Bethany Clarke who is a photojournalist and will be able to tell the story of our day perfectly. Next stop is the really, really fun part – looking for the perfect dress! And with nine months to go that’s a lot of shopping to get in!

Wedding planning has taken a backseat…

Hello everyone

Well it has been a really busy month. With the date, venue and church sorted I feel a bit relieved.  We’ve just got our ‘save the date’ cards printed too.

However, planning the wedding has taken a backseat recently. Work has been full on as I’ve just returned from the Philippines where I reported on the terrible storm that caused widespread damage and huge loss of life.  I travelled to the island of Cebu for CBBC Newsround to see how children are coping during this desperate time.


Some of the children’s stories were heartbreaking but surprisingly many of the young people I spoke to remain hopeful and positive about the future. It’s so humbling to see how they’ve coped with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.



Now I’m back home, looking forward to a break over Christmas – some quality time with the family and my future husband! My last Christmas as Miss Gooding! “



Click here to my special report Surviving the Typhoon


Leah xx


Picking the perfect wedding venue

So after two wonderful engagement parties and a few glasses of Prosecco, it’s time get planning. We’re saving up for the big day, so decided not to go abroad this year. Instead we recently returned from a break in Ullswater in the Lake District. It was a good opportunity to think about what we want for our wedding day.




At first I was torn between a wedding in Italy and a reception in central London. Ricky’s half Italian and we thought about getting married in Tuscany, perhaps a vineyard or by the Amalfi Coast. But getting our family out to Italy would be a bit of a mission.

I’m from East London and love everything about our capital city -the chaos, the history and the architecture. But venues in London are often on the small side and they don’t come cheap. Ricky’s family is pretty large and we want somewhere big enough for our special day.

After a few weeks we finally set our hearts on Gaynes Park in Epping.



 ©Justin Bailey


The venue is just outside of London, surrounded by fields, ornate gardens, a barn and an orangery. I’m hoping our photos will look beautiful with a location like this. Fingers crossed the September sun will shine for us next year… mind you, that’s the least of my worries. Even with our venue booked, my wedding “things to do” list is growing by the day.

Next up, I want to find the right photographer. Someone who can capture our silly personalities and do something a bit different.

The proposal

So, just one year to go until the big day! Yep, I might be insanely biased, but Ricky’s proposal was remarkable, romantic and funny. He whisked me off to New York for a few days to celebrate my birthday – little did I know that he had something else on his mind.

A week earlier I was in the Middle East on an assignment for CBBC Newsround. Meanwhile, Ricky was busy at home choosing an engagement ring in Hatton Garden, London.


I later found out that during our break in New York, Ricky had the ring in his pocket the whole time!

On the morning of my birthday we found a stylish café opposite Grand Central station for some fluffy American pancakes. Lunch followed at a cosy restaurant in Greenwich Village called ‘The Little Owl’ and then a stroll along the High Line overlooking the city as the April sun shone. Later, Ricky booked a table for two at The Boat House, a beautiful restaurant right in the middle of Central Park. I still had no idea what was about to happen.


After a delicious two course meal, Ricky and I decided not to order dessert, which is odd. As you can probably tell by now we both like our food.

Moments later Ricky gave me my birthday card. As I began to open the envelope, he got down on one knee. “Open the card!” he said. By now I realised what was going on, my heart beating so fast. Inside, Ricky had written a note asking me to marry him… but he got down on his knee too early, so I already knew what was about to happen. I slipped the ring on my finger, we both started to cry and the rest of the restaurant joined in with our celebrations. It was magical.


We headed out in a giddy daze into the New York evening and chatted until the early hours. The next morning, the ring was the first thing I saw as I opened my eyes – a beautiful trilogy diamond platinum ring made especially for me. The best present I’ve ever received. We told our friends and family and were overwhelmed with texts, tweets and messages from the people we love. The next day we flew back home to begin our journey as we prepare to become husband and wife!

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