October, 2013

27 October


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.

01 October


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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