Way-hey, we have a new Blogging Bride!
Judith was the lucky winner of our recent photography competition with Peter Carvill and as she’s such a sweetheart -and planning her wedding like a wedding planning pro- I thought it would be a lovely idea if we all came along for the spin!
Meet Judith Alexander and Josh Johnston…
“We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun”
Josh and I are both from Markethill – you could probably count the distance from our houses in field lengths! Most people look back fondly on their ‘high school sweetheart’, but I’m very lucky to be still be looking at mine.
Around nine years ago, Josh and I met at High school. We were each other’s first boyfriend and girlfriend, and to put it simply, we never really got rid of each other since. This meant we did the awkward teen years together (dodgy hairstyles included!) but it meant that we each had a steady partner through life decisions, the ups, the downs and in general when we were learning how to navigate the real world – which is priceless. We’ve watched one another leave school, get exam results, have no sense of direction for a bit (totally acceptable), figure things out, graduate from university and cautiously step into adulthood. Moving onto the next step seems relatively easy; when someone has been there for you since the beginning, you have no trouble trusting that they will be there for you through everything else too, and the incredible memories already built together only get you more excited for what’s to come.
We both graduated from Queens, but now Josh puts his wellies on while I put my courts on for the office. Josh is now working at home on his farm and I’m a Technology Consultant at PwC. Josh doesn’t tend to let me on the farm ever since I suggested we should keep the new born lambs as pets…..
I graduated from Queens’s summer 2015, just two years after Josh. Neither of us done the whole gap year thing, or any travelling throughout university, so we decided that when we graduated we would make up for it with a trip to New York and Cancun in August 2015. We had the most amazing time in New York, but it definitely exceeded all expectations on the Saturday night when Josh got down on one knee. I was in such shock that I dropped everything I was holding, and stood with my hands over my mouth! When this phase passed I was straight into the box to see the ring, and then I finally said yes, and there was nothing else for it but to go and celebrate in New York and begin our Process diet!
Josh is as indecisive as I, so I always imagined he wouldn’t manage to pick a ring himself, and I would know in advance. But he proved me wrong – and done ridiculously well at that. The next morning when I woke, I genuinely had to touch the ring to make sure it was real. We made a quick stop at the top of the Rock then packed up our things and set off to Cancun. I’m pretty sure I spent 99% of our four hour flight staring at my ring. At this point, it was just the two of us that knew about the engagement (other than my Dad who had given the seal of approval).
When we got to Cancun, Josh was sure to keep my ring in the safe at all times (apparently I can be clumsy, although this is up for debate). We spent the first few days in Cancun without telling anyone, but when we started to tell our family and friends it was so exciting, and then we couldn’t wait to get home and see everyone. We were very lucky to have a surprise engagement party when we got back, and were overwhelmed by the beautiful gifts we received.
Since being engaged I’ve realised something – ultimately it really doesn’t matter where you are, if the moment is right, what the ring is like or whether you have your nails done – the most important element is the right person is proposing to you. And as I have immersed myself in wedding planning, it just becomes more and more apparent that none of the material stuff matters – it’s all about you and your fiancée.
The planning begins…
Shortly after arriving home I started a new job and spent the weekdays in London; I had a short list of venues we thought about, and my dad drove around checking them out while I was away working. This proved that, 1. He is a lot pickier than I, 2. Spending every Sunday of our childhood on ‘Sunday drives’ around pretty much every castle in Ireland meant that a majority of the groundwork had unknowingly been completed and 3. It had to be a Castle.
We soon decided on Castle Leslie Estate in Glaslough, and that was us – all systems go for 15th September 2017.
Next on the agenda for me – bridesmaids. I was so excited to ask the girls. I got these cute personalised cookies made and left them behind the counter in Miel et Moi on the Lisburn Road – they then brought the boxes out with Prosecco. Initially the girls thought men at the next table had sent over drinks, but they soon realised when they opened the box. My third bridesmaid lives in England, so I posted hers over and we Face-timed her. They have been absolutely amazing, so I really can’t make them wear ugly dresses! On the 15th September, (one year until the big day), I got home to a card and chocolates that spelt out ‘365 days until the big day’, and then they surprised me with afternoon tea in Castle Leslie that weekend – if Carlsberg did bridesmaids…
Planning is now in full swing with less than a year to go, and being able to share it on here just adds to the excitement. I have been chipping away at various bits and pieces for the wedding, and look forward to sharing some of it with you guys in the next post.