For anyone who hasn't been keeping track, I've been dating the same man for a very, very, VERY long time. Kevin and I met at university and were friends for a while first before we started to date - in 2000, when I was 19. We went on to obtain matching "his and hers" degrees (we actually both have a 2:1 MEng in Electronic and Computer Engineering from York, graduating in the same year!), and both graduated and moved to Oxfordshire to pursue careers in software. Since then we've moved more times than I care to think of, bought a house together (on the fourth attempt - I've been blogging long enough that you can read about that if you like), and basically grown up a lot.
The wedding was arranged at relatively short notice - I surprised everyone including myself by proposing and we were married precisely 10 weeks later (it is absolutely possible to organise a wedding on that kind of turnaround. Be decisive and remember that actually, only a few things are really important). Neither of us really likes crowds or being the centre of attention so we'd always thought that a wedding wasn't for us ... I am so glad now that we realised we could do it any way we wanted!
So we had a small gathering, at a lovely venue local to our home in Leeds, with immediate family and a couple of friends, and a wonderful meal. We kept the elements of the traditional wedding that we wanted to - a best man, bridesmaids, the dress, the photographers, the rings. The things that don't mean anything to us, we just eliminated - speeches, dancing, large numbers of people.
Roundhay Mansion sits in a lovely park in Leeds and it's a place we visit often. Despite getting married in January in Yorkshire, the weather was nice enough for a few outside photos. Admittedly it was *freezing* but the cloak you see in the pictures was pure wool and I was also wearing woolly socks and my "wedding wellies" under my dress so those (and perhaps the excitement and the champagne) meant I was warm enough even if nobody else was :)
"Happy ever after" seems like a lot to ask, especially when things have run so smooth for us so far, but I am wishing for the grace, wisdom, and small dose of luck that will allow us to negotiate all the twists and turns that lie on the path ahead of us.