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Category: Anniversary

2nd Wedding Anniversary: Cotton

Last month we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. TWO YEARS! Can you believe it. I look at pictures of that perfect day and I’m just filled with so much joy. There’s no other word for it.

Wedding - Oaks Farm
© Foden Photography

I decided that I’d like to stick to traditional wedding presents, so this year it was time for Cotton. If you don’t know what this is all about, here are the traditional UK wedding presents for the first 10 years of marriage:

  1. Paper
  2. Cotton
  3. Leather
  4. Fruit, Flowers
  5. Wood
  6. Sugar
  7. Wool, Copper
  8. Salt / Bronze, Pottery (depending where you read!)
  9. Copper / Willow, Pottery (depending where you read!)
  10. Tin

Gift giving on anniversaries dates back to around the Middle Ages, and supposedly in some forms back to the Roman Empire; however, the above is all a twentieth century concoction – for commercial reasons, no doubt. Even so, it’s nice to have a guide, though the Sugar and Salt ones won’t be easy…!

Last year for Paper I bought Martin a (paper) ticket to a football match with his friends – this year I wanted to do something slightly more romantic, so I headed over to Etsy. Etsy is a treasure trove for unusual presents, and I eventually stumbled onto FinchandCotter, a store based in Michigan, USA.

I liked the idea of our first dance song lyrics printed on something, and FinchandCotter do both wall hangings and cushions. I loved both, but we happened to be looking for a new cushion and I figured we’d see that much more than if it were a hanging in our bedroom, so the cushion it was! Our first dance was to Stay With You, by John Legend. The song was released not long after we got together and it was the soundtrack to the early part of our relationship, so a natural choice for our first dance together as husband and wife.

Here’s the final product, hand designed, printed and sewn all the way from Chicago. Definitely more romantic than a football ticket (though knowing my football loving husband, he’d probably disagree…!) It’s made of a seriously sturdy cotton,  and has an envelope opening at the back. I got ours in the 16″x20″ size and it is pretty big, but I quite like that – though it does come in 12″x18″ if that’s more your thing. You can choose from two different colours of cotton and loads of colours of text, and the order process was really smooth. I highly recommend them if you’re looking for an unusual anniversary gift!

FinchandCotter - Song Lyric Cushion 1

FinchandCotter - Song Lyric Cushion 2

FinchandCotter - Song Lyric Cushion 3

FinchandCotter - Song Lyric Cushion 5

FinchandCotter - Song Lyric Cushion 4

FinchandCotter - Song Lyric Cushion 6


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Reflecting on one year of marriage

Four weeks ago Martin and I celebrated our one year anniversary. Saying it came out of the blue would be a bit of an understatement – the last few months have positively flown by… all of a sudden, it had been 12 whole months since I’d stood in front of all my family and friends, agreeing that I would marry the love of my life, my soul mate, my best friend.

Our Wedding - Vows by Foden Photography
Our Wedding - Vows 2 by Foden Photography
Our Wedding - Vows 3 by Foden Photography
Our Wedding - Vows 4 by Foden Photography

Our Wedding - Vows 5 by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography

Lots of people ask me, “How is married life?”, or, “How have you found being married?” and I actually find it a really difficult question to answer. After being together for 8 years already when we got married, life post-wedding / honeymoon settled into our normal routine. It isn’t *technically* any different on the surface, but it’s just always difficult to know what people expect me to say. How deep do they want me to go? I generally reply with something along the lines of “Nothing’s changed, really… Everything’s great” and leave it at that. It’s true, but not the whole story – but like I said, how deep should you really go? I could tell them that while not a lot has changed on the surface I feel as though our relationship is stronger for it. There’s an underlying sense of This Is For Life. We’ve not quarrelled all that much since the wedding, and the arguments we do have are shortlived – petty arguments just don’t really seem worth the time when This Is For Life. Don’t get me wrong, of course there’s day-to-day gripes – usually because I haven’t tidied up or he hasn’t put the clothes on the line in the right way (YES, there is a ‘right’ way to hang clothes on an airer!!) – but it’s just not worth it.

Maybe they want to hear about how happy it makes me to be around him? How I love nothing more on a Saturday night than cuddling on the sofa together watching trashy TV? (quickly losing my street cred..) or maybe how I still get a little thrill saying, “my HUSBAND”? I don’t know. I guess I could say that – for now, for me – being married is being happy and content in each other’s company, knowing that we are building the rest of our lives together.


Our Wedding - Signing the Register by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography
So that’s life since, but what about the wedding itself? I have the worst memory at the best of times, but most of that day will stay with me forever. It’s the little things that come to mind, in particular…


…Getting ready in the morning, with my Mum, Mother-in-Law and bridesmaids at my flat, and our wonderful photographers (Matt and Brenda of Foden Photography) commenting on how calm it was!…
…Seeing my Mum look so beautiful in her new dress, getting made up by my lovely make up and hair artist, Lauren Reynolds
…Getting our bouquets from the florist (Well’s Flowers, Bromley) and being so proud of how good a job my Maid of Honour Katy, my Mum and I did when we spent a day putting the table flowers together! They just looked so perfect next to each other…


Our Wedding - Bouquet by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography
…In the cab on the way over with my Dad, and him saying something along the lines of, “Jen, I’m at great risk of getting emotional today” – if anyone knows my Dad, you’ll know why that’s such a big deal and why I was suddenly at risk of ruining my make up…
…Standing just outside our beautiful ceremony room (the Orangery at Oaks Farm) with all the bridesmaids, our ring-bearer Archie and Dad, and realising we’d not organised / rehearsed walking down the aisle…! Queue a panic and getting everyone in line, and my dad moaning that he hadn’t expected instructions for how to walk (slowly, one step at a time, a short pause for me to turn into the aisle so I could swivel my dress round, and to stop at the end so I could give him a kiss before he ran off!) – and not realising that he was on the wrong side of me until we got to the end of the aisle…


Our Wedding - Orangery by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography
…Watching my sister Vicky doing one of our readings – about dinosaurs – with aplomb. Anyone that can take a reading about dinosaurs and do it seriously, with confidence, is pretty awesome in my book (it was “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton if you’re wondering!)…
…Saying my vows, looking into Martin’s eyes and seeing the emotion and love in them. Then, catching a glimpse of my Dad over his shoulder, taking a big gulp and looking at the ceiling, and that’s when it really hit me. My voice croaked and I had to take a moment! Advice for future brides – make sure there’s some tissues waiting on the table!…
…Finding out our ‘welcome’ cocktails were absolutely lethal, even after being watered down with more juice…
…Our friends raving about our magician, Roberto Forzoni – who amazed everyone with his up-close tricks and mind-reading – best last minute booking ever (and they still talk about him!)…
…Having to do our confetti shot twice, after our over-zealous guests threw before the photographers were ready! luckily we’d bought extra…


Confetti by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography
…Despite not being able to find his notes (they were in an elusive suit pocket), Martin soldiering on and giving a lovely speech…
…Taking some time to have a chat with my Mum over the scrumptious dessert, plotting to steal my Dad’s and Katy’s (but they came back too soon!)…
…Watching the ‘there’s-always-one’ table, full of my friends from uni, school and our neighbours play drinking games at the end of the meal…
…Having 10 minutes to myself after dinner in our cottage on the grounds to let everything sink in – I. Am. Married!…
…Dragging everyone on the dancefloor for the Macarena. Good request, Vicky & Carlos…
…Jumping around to Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” with my two favourite Frogs, Julia & Rachel…
…Reading through all our cards and guest book before bed…


Our Wedding - Guestbook by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography
…The next morning, helping ourselves to the lovely breakfast in the cottage, just the two of us, before packing up the detritus of one of the best days of my life…


Our Wedding - Jukebox by Foden Photography
© Foden Photography
All photos copyright Foden Photography
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