Meet The Wedding Party

6 11 2018

I have always known who I would want to stand with me as I made the biggest commitment of my life.

Amanda and Jeanette were no-brainers. They are essentially my sisters and we have become bound to each other, just as family are. Twenty years of friendship means I have known more years with them than without them.


I also decided to ask Vicky. Vicky is a newer friend (about 6 years) and we get on very well, but more importantly she played a large role in my life during all the cancer stuff. She was with me when I got the phone call telling me that I had cancer. She came with me to my chemotherapy appointments. She included me in social gatherings but made arrangements for me to be able to easily duck out if I felt tired and the need to rest. She brought Halloween to me because that year I couldn’t attend (due to recovering from my hysterectomy) Sean’s annual Halloween Party. She lent me a wig when I lost my hair. She made me feel like I was invincible at a time when I was at my weakest. She was also the first friend to meet RJ and welcome him to the group. Obviously, she had to stand with me at my wedding.


RJ had asked 2 old work colleagues who shall remain nameless – mainly because they are no longer in his life… and to be honest they were not really friends. This is of course, very sad. I didn’t think it was a good idea to ask them, but truthfully, RJ doesn’t have that many friends. Don’t get me wrong, he has had many mates over his lifetime, but as the circumstances in which he met them changed or ended – so did the relationships.

Luckily, my friends are amazing and have adopted RJ – and he, them. So much so that his two groomsmen are my very good friends of 7 years.



Li and Sean have been great friends to me, and for better or for worse they are like my brothers. They embraced RJ and us as a couple and their support has been immeasurable. RJ felt that on such a nerve wrecking (but magical) day, he would do well to have people who support him and us as a couple. It was also important for him to have groomsmen who can keep him calm and light on the day. Enter Li and Sean.


I’m thrilled with my band of Merry Men/Women and I think the wedding party has been chosen with care and consideration. I know they will only add to an already life-changing day!

Tara xoxo


My Proposal

6 11 2018

In recent years a trend of asking your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to be a part of your wedding has become a bit of a production. I’m not a huge fan of the overly dramatic proposals, but I do like the idea of asking with a series of small gifts and knick-knacks in order to get everyone excited and set-up a pace for the wedding preparation and the day itself.

With that in mind I made up Bridesmaid Boxes for my ladies (as pictured below):


Included in the boxes:

  • Cadbury’s Chocolate
  • Peach Bath Bomb
  • The Knot: Bridesmaid Handbook
  • Bridesmaid Planner
  • Bridesmaids (Extended Addition DVD)
  • Mini Print of Colour Scheme
  • Gold Foil Tattoo/Nail Transfers
  • Gold, Orange & Blue Nail Polish
  • Diamond Pen
  • Mini Prosecco
  • Personalised Box

I was quite proud of my little box of goodies!

RJ’s Groomsmen Bags:


Included in the bags:

  • The Hangover (DVD)
  • Mini Jack Daniel’s & Coke
  • Cigar
  • Yorkie Chocolate Bar
  • Card

We both presented our proposal gifts to our maids and men during the Engagement dinner (to those whom attended – Vicky & Li couldn’t make it).

It was a nice way to kick off the celebrations and the beginning of planning although it felt very anti-climactic, and like it meant more to me than it did to them… which it probably did. Oh well, I still enjoyed it…

Tara xoxo

Wedding Mood Board (Colour Scheme)

6 11 2018

So now comes the fun bit: choosing a colour scheme.

Lots of things can play a part in choosing the colours for a wedding. Here are a few things to be aware of:

The colours used for your wedding will be looked at and poured over for months (possibly years in preparation for the wedding), so you need to choose them carefully. Looking at your favourite colour long enough will make you sick of it.

Having said this, taking into account you and your partner’s favourite colour(s) is an obvious starting point…

Colours that mean something to you – the colours of your national flag or the colours you were wearing when you met (or some other significant time) can be a source of inspiration.

The time of year that you are to marry (the season) can certainly help navigate colour choices.

Your chosen venue can make a difference to your colour scheme – as we found out. If you’re getting married on the beach, for example, not using different hues of blue seems like a missed opportunity – that’s not say you have to use blues, but you catch my drift.

Skin colouring. However you twist it, some colours just look better than others on certain skin tones. If you look good around any colour, you are blessed indeed.

Originally, we had chosen Hot Pink and Orange:


We loved the colours, but after considering all of the above, we realised the colours would make RJ fade into the background.

Our venue is an Italianate mansion and the colours were a little garish for the beautifully classic backdrop.

Although these colours look lovely together and have a fresh, vibrant and summery feel – I’ve never liked pink… any sort of pink.

So… we went back to the drawing board.

We felt we needed something classic and sophisticated that we would look good surrounded by, that our wedding party would look good in and that would do justice to our venue.

RJ was open to suggestions and very flexible on all accounts, so it was left up to me to present him with ideas and combinations.

I have always loved autumn and the colours associated with it. In fact, as a little girl I always wanted to get married in autumn surrounded by all the warm tones of the season with the crisp chill of the air.

When I described my perfect childhood wedding season, RJ quite rightly said “we may not be getting married at the time of year you would have liked but there’s no reason we can’t use the colours you love!”

I agonised a little about using autumnal colours in summer but quickly got over it when we landed on French Navy (not quite as dark as regular navy), Orange & Gold with hints of Berry. It just felt classy and sophisticated, right for our venue, it fit us as a couple and would look good on our bridal party and around us.

So I present you with our official Wedding Mood Board:


Tara xoxo

The Venue

6 11 2018

We chose a date – which I will not be sharing until after the wedding. All I can say is it will be June 2019 (I’d like to keep some details to myself!)

The next step was to pick our venue.

Over the course of about a month we viewed 3 venues which we had short-listed after copious online research and prospectus reading.

We had really liked venue 2 and all but decided on it but decided to check out venue 3 anyway… and it completely blew us away!

We were in awe of how beautiful, classic and old world-y it looked. Very elegant and timeless. RJ loved it so much he had the idea that we should celebrate our anniversaries there every year… clearly we had a winner.

Bloggers – Welcome to Our Venue: Down Hall (front)


Down Hall (back)


Down Hall (main reception)


Down Hall (main reception, from sofas & fireplace)


Down Hall (ceremony room – our set up will be bespoke according to our chosen theme/colours)


Down Hall (gallery – where my Bridesmaids and I will get ready)


Down Hall (gallery bedroom)


To be fair, I don’t really have to say much else… the pictures (which do no justice to real thing) speak for themselves.

Tara xoxo

Engagement Dinner

22 10 2018

Traditionally, as far as I have understood, when two people get serious, they meet each other’s families and are brought into the ‘fold’ of each family respectively. Then, when the time comes, the man asks for the blessing of his partner’s parents before proposing.

This isn’t quite how things happened for us. We did it all a bit backwards. RJ was brought into the fold of my family, he proposed – I accepted, and then he asked for my parents blessing.


Late Summer 2017 we had a small engagement dinner at a lovely steak house in Barking called Cristina’s – in an effort to catch up with some of the steps we’d jumped ahead of.


We invited our immediate families and the people whom we were going to ask to be a part of the wedding party.

It was a bit of an excuse to celebrate but mainly for our families (in this country) to meet each other.


We had this gorgeous eggless cream topped cake as dessert (pictured above).

We gave favours of mini mason jars filled with orange, brown and blue M&M’s tied with twine and a thank you tag. We had heart shaped confetti which was cut out of romantic literature.


My parents got these beautiful flowers delivered to the restaurant in time for our arrival and my aunt in Trinidad bought us a bottle of champagne through the restaurant website to be served for the toast.

It was honestly lovely.

Of course, not everything went to plan…

One groomsman and one bridesmaid couldn’t come. The waitresses at the restaurant were rude, unaccommodating and disorganised.

Otherwise, it was really nice to have (nearly) everyone in one place and getting the opportunity to meet each other. It was nice that my family got to meet his and for everyone to meet (most of) the wedding party and get familiar with faces that they would be seeing over the lead up to the wedding.


My sister-in-law-to-be made me this lovely memory keepsake of all the engagement dinner bits and I love it! I’ve put it up in the hallway and every time I see it, I am reminded of all the best parts of that night and the excitement I felt at RJ and I celebrating our engagement with our nearest and dearest.

Tara xoxo


Wedding Stuff

18 10 2018


2014 was possibly my worst year (closely followed by the horror that was 2003 – but that’s for another post).

In 2014 I began my fight with cancer and had my world thrown into chaos when I had to re-imagine what my future would look like as a 27 year old losing the ability to have children, (losing my hormone making organs – like most things in life, you really take them for granted until you lose them) or even function as a 27 year old woman.

Fast forward to 2018, and here I am – planning my wedding. My life couldn’t look more different if I’d imagined it! I met a wonderful man, fell in love, got engaged, started working again – found a job that I actually enjoy and all of a sudden I have a future. My despair has turned to fierce protection of a future which I appreciate all the more because back in 2014, I thought I didn’t have one.



I have chosen three wonderful women in my life to be my involved in the wedding planning, however, my joy is mere noise in the busy confusion of everyone’s life… which I completely understand. We are older and packed down with responsibilities, bills and the struggle of trying to maintain a social life. As such, my girls haven’t had much time for me in getting excited about the whole wedding thing. Of course, they are happy for me, but it’s not quite as I imagined it would be.

Vicky – I don’t see her as much as I used to because I now work… but she is thrilled for me and enjoys hearing about the wedding stuff, although she has been unable attend a few events (engagement dinner & dress shopping).

Jeanette – Has been present at all events so far and is very supportive, but I feel like she almost doesn’t believe it’s happening… I sort of expected more of an emotional involvement from her. We really are like sisters, and I have always felt very emotional at the idea of one of us getting married – just never thought it’d be me first.

Amanda – Very excited and invested as much as her nursing schedule will allow her to be. She is only a phone call away but with her weird hours she proves difficult to get a hold of to really relish in it all.

My sister-in-law-to-be would be very involved if she were situated closer to us, but she works and has four children and lives about 2 hours away.

RJ – is as excited as groom should be. He wants to give his input and be consulted on choices but he doesn’t really know what he wants or have any strong feelings one way or the other. I have given him 4 main tasks:

1. Sort the wedding registrar

2. Sort his & the groomsmen’s suits

3. Sort his room for the night before the wedding

4. Sort some music choices that he wants/doesn’t want played at the reception

RJ’s parents are not involved at all. Sure his mother is happy for us, but otherwise she hasn’t asked about any of the plans. We arranged for her to come with us to see the venue and she cancelled… I can only rational that her daughter got married some years ago and all her excitement was spent during that wedding(?)

My mother has been amazing. I’m sure this is as much a dream for her as it is for me. She has enjoyed hearing the plans, sharing my excitement and giving her input. Sometimes she’ll just let me talk things though with her as a sounding board, and I know she enjoys this as much as I do, if not more.

My father is sort of doing the traditional thing of listening, trying to understand all the details and fuss, but mainly concerning himself with the bottom line. Having that “how much?!” look of horror across his face, before asking if it’s really necessary and then, as a good father would, going along with it anyway. I know that he is very happy for me to have such a bright future to look forward to!

This whole post is not just a moan or update but rather a request…

I am very present on social media but so are more than half my guests, so I can’t really post information or details regarding the big day on there.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to do little posts on here to keep a record of the process and to let my excitement rein!


I hope you don’t get bored of all the details 🙂

Tara xoxo

Chivalry Never Died. I Just Settled For Less.

24 11 2016

About 6 months ago I met a wonderful man.


We met at an unlikely place and at an unlikely time. As I had stated in my previous post(s), I had made peace with the fact that my future seemed relatively romantic-less. This was not a woe-is-me sentiment, but rather an understanding that what I had to offer was less than ideal.

Any single 20-30-something can rattle off the inst-clichés which we numbingly double-tap, half hoping that they’re true/false. Here are a few of my favourites:

Well, I am able to confirm that, for the most part, these are true. You only come to understand these statements when you’ve been disappointed by broken promises. You really come to understand them when you have seen words put into action. Little nuggets like “if he wants to see you, he’ll make time” are true! No matter how busy, tired, or far – when he’s in like with you, nothing will prevent him from making the effort and finding the energy to make time for you.

Enter RJ*


RJ has been a breath of fresh air for me. He is kind, smart, funny, caring, sweet, attentive, considerate, responsible, hard-working, humble, determined and has a wonderfully weird knack for knowing unusual trivia and tid-bits of information.


He’s a ferocious reader and a pretty talented writer (I’m trying to persuade him to let me post one of his many short stories on here). He’s easy going and I feel relaxed around him. He says what he means and means what he says. No game playing, no reading between the lines, no childish ploys. It’s not stressful and I haven’t spent hours agonizing, wondering how he feels or how I feel. It’s effortless, easy. Peaceful. It really is rather amazing.


We are still very new and I’m being careful to keep my wits about me, but I am very much in love.


I hesitated to write this piece in case it doesn’t last, but then I thought – all the more reason! If it doesn’t last, this post will serve as a reminder to me that good men exist and that they are out there. And if it does last, well – it’s a pleasure to share my happiness with you!

If mushy, isn’t your thing, then I’m betting you’re already reaching for a bucket – and I’m about to do you a solid by saying, you may want to stop reading here. It’s about to get names-in-hearts-all-over-my-notebook mushy.


I thought I would share with you all (in no particular order) some big and small moments/things that made me fall in love with him:

– He has a good relationship with his parents and siblings.

– He is a cool, loving and fun uncle to his 3 nieces and nephew.

– He handled my skeleton closet with empathy and attentiveness (including my cancer stuff).

– He supports me at my follow up oncologist appointments and takes an interest in my health and wellbeing.

– He has a good group of friends who are committed to his success.

– He opens doors, offers his jacket to me when it’s chilly and he walks on the outside of the sidewalk in order to keep me safe.

– He suffers through my girly movies and listens to me lust after Michael Fassbender and Ryan Reynolds.

– He invites me to spend time with him and his family.

– He accommodates my keto-dieting ways (even though he doesn’t approve).

– He gets on really well with my friends and understands the importance of forging good relationships with them.

– He is well mannered and respectful to my family.

– He supports me in my pursuit of my career (even though he knows it means that for now, he is the main earner).

– He encourages and applauds my feminism.

– He is racially aware and sensitive, and has even applauded me for standing up for myself in situations where others may have told me to just be quiet.

– He is able to be confident in his own views without tearing others down.

– He listens to my outpourings of emotions or gripes – and somehow he seems to know when to just listen and offer a hug or a hand to hold or when to join me in a rant, or when to completely break the tension by mocking my unreasonable-ness.

– He gives the best hugs.

– Every time he looks at me, it’s like it’s the first time.

– He really sees me.

– He really hears me.

– He lets me know how he feels.

I could go on, but we’d be here all day and I want to keep some things for myself  🙂 – and if you’ve made it this far you’re probably getting nauseous now!


On a final note I will say this: I am happier now than I have been for a long time and I can only hope and strive to bring as much joy to RJ’s life as he has brought into mine.


Tara xoxo