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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 07:05 AM   1
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Going Faster Than A Rollercoaster - A Whirlwind Romance- Our wedding report.


MEETING.

Hi! My name's Toni and I'm 23 years old. I was born in Edinburgh, moved to London when I was 8, Durham when I was 15, Sunderland when I was 16 (and went on to study health and social care), Edinburgh when I was 17 (and went on to study maths, English, sociology & psychology), Northern Ireland when I was 18 (and spent a month living and working in Spain), back to Edinburgh at 19 (and studied photography), back to Northern Ireland at late 19 and, finally, back to Edinburgh at 20.

I've had a very, very unsettled life both physically and mentally. There have been, and still are, many things that made me sure this day - our wedding day - would never come.

Colin is 24 years old and, at the time of meeting, lived in Northern Ireland, where he's from. It's kind of amusing that, during my first year in Northern Ireland, he was living in Glasgow. He studied something to do with computers... I'm not quite sure what though, hah!

Back in January of 2007, I joined a body modification forum. I got my first piercing at 11 years old and was hooked. For the first 5 or 6 years, it was all about piercings. Then the tattoo bug hit and, since then, it's been one of my biggest loves in life. This forum was a big part of my life for those first 5 or 6 years. I have a couple of mental health issues that are now, thankfully, under control but I was at my ultimate worst then. I never left the house. The forum was my haven. It's where my friends were! Eventually, said forum had a "forum meet". I stumbled along, terrified, and met who would go on to be 2 of my best friends at that meet. Those 2 friends went on to become my bridesmaid and bridesmale at my wedding.

Fast forward a little bit and I was now 22 and living on my own. I'd not long spent a stint in hospital and had been out with friends the night before. I was extremely hungover and decided to visit the forum. At this point in my life, I was very inactive on the forum. I rarely visited and, when I did, it was just to browse rather than participate. This semi-drunken-hideously-hungover morning, I stumbled into the "Pictures of You" thread - where members post photos of themselves - and there he was! As I said, I almost never posted on the forum anymore but I did browse although rarely. However, each time I came back there was always a photo of this guy in the Pictures thread. Ahh, he was gorgeous. Totally out of my league though. And there he was again this morning! As mentioned, although I was hideously hungover, I was actually still quite drunk too. And I'm guessing it was the leftover alcohol that lead to me leaving a simple reply to his photo.

"ooooooft!"

Urban Dictionary says it best: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ooft

I don't remember his exact reply but I do remember it left me thinking, "wait... is he saying he feels the same or is he dismissing me?!" Very confusing and very embarrassing!

"The" photo he had posted.


And me around that time.



 
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 07:05 AM   2
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At the same time, another thread had been made for another forum meet, this time in Glasgow. He commented that he was going to try and make it over. I saw that and commented that I would go. Those who know me know that I do not like Glasgow. I would never dream of going to Glasgow, especially for a forum meet. But I had to! If he was going, I was going. Time went on and he booked his tickets over. We still hadn't spoken past the comments in the picture thread!

The day came and he still hadn't said whether he would be there 100% or not - as I said before, he lived in Glasgow for 1 year so had lots of friends there - and I was panicking. I was due to leave for the coach in 10 minutes and I didn't even know if he was going to be there! Using my initiative, I got his facebook link off of his forum signature and sent him a message with my number saying if he was coming, to text me and I'd tell him where the group was.

I got to Glasgow and no text yet... I have never watched my phone so much! Finally, about an hour after arriving, I got a text; he was coming!! We were in Kelvingrove park at this time and I told him we'd wait. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, it was time for me to go home. He still hadn't turned up. By this point, we'd been to the pub and I was drunk. If you couldn't tell from the photo thread comment, alcohol gives me lots of confidence! We got to the train station and I called him (yeah, I know). He was literally 5 minutes around the corner. I said if his friends would wait, I would just come and say "hi" for 5 minutes. He told me they wouldn't wait. I was actually gutted! I said goodbye and made the walk to the bus station and went home.

From there, we were texting 24/7. All day, everyday. We were getting very, very close very fast; the fact that we hadn't even met didn't bother any of us and, 3 weeks later, we set a date for him to come over to Edinburgh to see me for the weekend.

The week before that date, I was on holiday with my mum and nephew. At the place we were staying, there was just one place I got signal on my phone; the childrens play park about 1 mile away from our chalet. It's safe to say my nephew and I spent a lot of time at the park that week!

We got back at around 2 on the Friday. Colin was arriving at the train station at 5:30. I had enough time to unpack, eat and gain alcohol confidence.

And the rest is history! He came that Friday and he has never left. We've yet to spend a night apart. He came here in the July, we were engaged in November and, this November 10th - 5 days short of a year engagement, we were married.

I've met and married my best friend and I could not be happier.



 
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 07:07 AM   3
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Our very first photo together haha!


About a month after he came over and never left...


Our first "date" was to the zoo.











 
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 07:45 AM   4
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Aww. You must have known on a deep level that he was the one. Most people would have given up after the failed forum meet You two look and sound perfect together. And you are so pretty (no appropriate smiley. Sorry. Haha)



 
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 08:01 AM   5
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haha thank you!!

-------------------

THE PROPOSAL.

It was November and Colin had been here with me for just 4 months and we'd already spoken about getting married. Sounds mad, doesn't it? But we both just knew. I'm sure it's a feeling everyone has had at some point over everything; no matter how mad and crazy it may sound to those on the outside - and even yourself - sometimes, something is just RIGHT. We were just *right*. And we both knew it. Our friends knew it. My family knew it.

It was a very, very cold November last year. I am so heavily into Christmas and was already panicking that we didn't have a tree, let alone have it up! So off into town we went on November 15th. We were going anyway; we'd decided to get a matching tattoo. Again, mad you say! A matching tattoo?! Yep, a matching tattoo. But not really. Hopefully it'll make sense!

I am flighty. I am so full of wanderlust it's unreal. My head is constantly in the clouds and sailing away to all these amazing fantasy worlds and the plans I come up are a little out there. Colin grounds me. He brings me back down to Earth, back home.

Colin got a bird to represent me. I got a birdcage to represent him. I am constantly flying off to other worlds in my head (the bird) whilst he keeps me grounded at home (the cage).


After that, we headed into town to hunt around. Neither of us had ever had a tree that we had to decorate ourselves so we played it safe and got a pop up, ready decorated one. Trudging home, I don't think I even took off my jacket I was so excited to get it up... Once it was up, Christmas had really begun!!

We spent the rest of that evening just chilling out, watching Christmas movies and snuggling on the sofa. At one point, I got up to check my email. I was sitting on the same couch as he was but with my back to him, the laptop on the arm of the sofa. He pulled me into a hug, kissed me on the forehead and asked me to marry him. I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when. Every little "big" thing that happened, every "special" day that happened, I was sure *that* would be the day. It never was. When we stood back admiring the tree, "right *now* would be perfect," I thought. It didn't happen. The fact that he waited until such a seemingly insignificant moment actually made it all the more memorable. And I loved it. I said yes immediately and, until now, I couldn't remember a time when I felt happier.

This was the ring her presented me with. I fell head over heels immediately for it. It was GORGEOUS and I was amazed.


Later on that night, I got on the phone to my mum. I have always been very very close to my mother. She's the most amazing woman in the world to me and I was incredibly excited to tell her. She took the news amazing! Despite us only being together for 4 months, she never questioned it. She congratulated us, was happy for us and, a few days later, was already talking about making plans.

If you noticed in the first paragraph, I said MY family knew it. Colin hadn't spoken to his parents since he moved over. Right now, I don't even remember what caused it but there was animosity. The contact was non-existant. He never told his family at this point.

Fast forward a few months, we'd already started planning, and somehow he got talking to his mum and told her. His dad has advanced Motor Neurone Disease so we left it to his mum to tell him. To say his mum didn't react well would be an understatement and we'll leave it at that! We didn't talk again for a good few months. Not even once.

Eventually, his mum seemed to get over it although I don't think she ever liked the idea. At one point, just 3 or 4 months before the wedding, the 2 of them came over to visit. I was incredibly nervous; she is very traditional older mother who made no qualms about not liking his choice in partner because of my tattoos. She hadn't even seen a photo of me! But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and met her and his dad. From there, although she wasn't happy with our decision, she tried to help as much as she could and was involved. She would be invited.

A couple of images from the week we got engaged.




The following month, we travelled back to Northern Ireland to spend christmas with my sister and her family. At this point, he was talking to his mum but he'd yet to tell her we were engaged nor had they gotten past whatever had caused the animosity; she didn't even know we would be in the country for Christmas.

It was an amazing Christmas. My sister and her family - my nephew was born in the October - absolutely loved Colin and they all got on amazingly. It was really great to see her again too. Our first Christmas together was beautiful. It was incredibly fun and we all just had the best time.

On the train on the way to the ferry.


That Christmas, however, was the time I lost my engagement ring. We got home and spent boxing day with my brother and, after that, it was gone. I was adament I hadn't seen it since we were at my sisters. Colin is adament I had it on at my brothers on boxing day. To this day, we still do not know what happened to that ring! I was devasted. Really, really sad but Colin made the decision to get a new one. Initially, I was going to get the same one but then changed my mind. I'd constantly look at it as a replacement for the lost one and I didn't want to do that so I decided I wanted a completely different one. A set, this time. An e-ring and w-ring that came together. Colin wanted me to choose it. I wanted him to choose it again, he'd done such a great job the first time. Eventually, we compromised. I picked a "Top 10" and Colin picked the final one, secretly, from that. Once again, the boy done amazing.

My e-ring and w-ring together.


An awful photo but the detail is amazing.



 
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 08:43 AM   6
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My speech! I decided to put this at the start in the hope that it will give you more understanding of the people involved and what they mean to us!!

I decided to write a speech because there was so much that needed to be said to a couple of people specifically and I really wanted to be the one to say it. All in all, it took me about 10 minutes to write this and it went down a storm on the day. Everything loved it and there was not a dry eye in the house!!

----------------------------------------------------------

"

I know it's not a common occurence, for the bride to give a speech, but as I'm sure you're aware by now... it hasn't really been the most traditional of weddings so far has it, and why chance that now? There are some things I want to say to a couple of people so please grant me these next 5 minutes.





First of all, thank you SO much to everyone for just simply being here. Your presence is the best present Colin and I could have hoped for and it means the world to the both of us to share this day with each and everyone of you.





I'm going to start with saying thank you to Henri. Of everyone from London, you're the only one here and, despite not having seen you for 7 or 8 years, I just need to look at you and know nothing much has changed; isn't that what true friendship really is? It means more than I could tell you that you went to the effort of travelling to be here with us. When you think back to that horrendously cold, rainy day in London, lying in the grass listening to that Snow Patrol song on one of our phones... could you ever have imagined back then that we'd be where we are now all these years later? It's amazing and you're amazing. You've got the most perfect little family of your own and, today, I made a start on mine. Thank you for being here.





Thank you to Maurice and to Wendy for all the help we've received in the run up to the wedding and for welcoming me so well into the Gamble family. We met for the very first time not that long ago in the entrance lobby of a hotel and whilst Colin and I waited for them to come down from their room, I think my stomach was more of a mess than it has been at any point today! But the minute Maurice saw Colin, his face broke into the biggest smile I've seen and I was quickly pulled into a hug; any nerves I'd had vanished then and it's made me so incredibly happy to have the both of you involved in the planning as much as possible and so appreciative to the help you've give us. Thank you and I'm looking forward to a thousand and one happy years as a Gamble.





Thank you to Leigh, my maid of honour and my sister. You look absolutely stunning today and there's no one else I'd have wanted by my side throughout the planning and here today. The fact that you never once questioned what I asked you to wear was not only very very surprising but highly appreciated! You've made a large portion of the planning process ridiculously easy so thank you for that, thank you for being here and thank you for the mountain of support you've given through the years; I was never the easiest sister to live with and you sure did let me know it the majority of the time but I couldn't have asked for better and I'm so proud to be able to look at you and say "yep, that's my sister!" Thank you.





To Katie and to Ross. You're 2 of the best friends a girl could ask for and you've both been there for me through numerous ups and downs and I know I can turn to either of you when I need it; you both look amazing and you've been such a calming influence on me throughout today. I couldn't imagine doing this without either of you. Thank you.





To Jarred and Pete. We met for the first time just 2 days ago but you're really, really great guys. It means so much to Colin to have you both here today therefore it means the world to me too. Thank you for being here with us today.





To Alan! My big brother. Growing up, my grandad so greatly filled the space my own father should have taken and he done an amazing job. When he passed, my big brother stepped up and followed in his footsteps and for that, I'll be eternally greatful. Now that I'm old and married, I suppose you can step down from that role now! And now you're even older, you've got your own beautiful children and I'm so proud of the man you are and the dad you became. I never had to think about who I wanted to give me away today; it was always going to be you. Thank you for everything you've done for me and thank you for being right by my side as I made the most nerve wracking walk of my life today!





Mum. Where do I even begin? Everyone says they've got the best mum in the world and, when they do, I just smile and nod my head because it just can't possibly be true... because I truly have the best mother anyone could ever ask for. I can't even put into words how much you mean to me, mum, and if I tried, it'd just be a hideously inadequate attempt.My childhood was an amazing one full of fun, love and laughter thanks to you and when I look at myself, Leigh and Alan, I'm constantly amazed at the job you've done raising us. When I was at my worst, there was just one person I could rely on to be there day in and day out, at any hour and that's you. Your love and support has been constant and unfaultering and to think of everything you've dealt with, put up with and done for me is just mind blowing. It's all thanks to you, this person I've become today. It's all thanks to you that I learned to love myself enough to allow someone else to love me. Everything I am today and everything I hope to be in the future is all thanks to you. If I grow up to be half the woman and mother you are, I'll truly be the happiest woman in the world. Thank you so much for everything mum. Like I've said, there are just no words to describe just how much you mean to me and how much I love you. You don't hear those words anywhere near enough as you should from me so I'll say it again: I love you, mum. And thank you from the bottom of my heart.





To Colin! I should probably fit you in here somewhere! Who'd have thought this day would ever come? It's been a complete whirlwind since the day you entered my life and I hope that whirlwind never stops. For those who don't know, Colin and I met online and he was meant to be coming over from Northern Ireland to visit me just for the weekend. He arrived for the visit... and just never went home! We've yet to spend a night apart, even last night, and I can say, honestly, I'm yet to grow sick of him! There's not a soul on this earth that I could even begin to imagine spending the rest of my life with but you; things I thought would be impossible are seeming possible now that you're in my life. You've awoken feelings and emotions in me that I never thought I'd be lucky enough to feel. You mean the entire world to me and the thought of our future fills me with the most intense excitement. Thank you for that. Thank you for being you. But, most of all, thank you for becoming my husband today. I can't wait to see what we can acheive together. I love you.





Lastly, I'd like to raise a glass to those who couldn't be here today. To my granny and my grandad White. My grandad McEwan. To Dani. I hope the view is as good up there as it is from down here."



 
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 16:50 PM   7
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I didn't even realise you hadn't been together that long before you got engaged, I thought you and your OH had been together for ages, just shows doesn't it!

Loving reading so far



 
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 05:19 AM   8
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Those are my favourite kind of proposals and the ring is gorgeous xx



 
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 08:36 AM   9
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Thank you!!

-------------

The Wedding Party.

As I mentioned before, we'd spoken about marriage a lot before the actual proposal. So much so I'd already told one of my friends numerous times, in a very drunken state, that she was going to be my bridesmaid haha!

The men were a little easier than the girlies so we'll start with them! We'd asked them to wear whatever suit they liked and we would provide little details. Not once was it questioned; our wedding party are pretty amazing! The men's bits and pieces, we picked up as we went along. If we saw something we liked and could afford it, we added it to their little outfit pile. Whilst they would be in mismatched suits, we wanted to provide the little details that would make their outfits and bring them all together.
The idea of mismatched suits really, really appealed to us. It wasn't just a budget based decision for us. We actually find wedding parties that are wearing the exact same outfit actually look quite stiff and awkward and too... put together. Too much effort. It just wouldn't match our wedding at all! So whilst we bought them little things to pull them together as the wedding party, those too were completely mismatched. Different colours, different patterns. We, and the boys, absolutely loved how everything came together and don't regret the mismatched decision one bit!

Bow ties are amazing aren't they? Colin never even considered your normal tie for his outfit; it was a bow tie from the start. We debated, then, having the men in ties to counteract his bow tie but inevitably settled for these. These were an amazing find and incredibly cheap but the quality was awesome and the men loved them! We also bought them, and Colin, really bright braces. I can't find the photo I took of them but I think these were the biggest hit with the men! These, alone, really finished off the outfit and were actually one of the last 3 or 4 things we bought. Very last minute but one of the best outfit decisions we made! The socks also went down a storm




When Colin first moved over here, he lost contact with everyone from back home so the decision was made to have one of my good friends be his best man. Colin was happy with the decision but something kept eating at me. This man was known for his flakeyness. He was known for agreeing to plans and then just not turning up. He was now living in England so that last point was an even bigger issue; every day, I wondered if he would even turn up. Eventually, the decision was made to drop him. It was a very easy decision to make and very clearly the right one; I haven't spoken to him once since then!

From there, Colin was best man-less! He had wanted from the start to ask his 2 best friends from Northern Ireland but never had because, as I said, he had lost contact. It took a little bit of pestering from me and, within a few days, Colin had regained both contact and 2 best men. The very same night he asked them, their travel over here and accommodation whilst here was booked. It was such a stark contrast to our first best man choice. They were so happy and excited to be a part of our day and went above and beyond to make sure they were there. I love them!



 
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 08:38 AM   10
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Another very important male member of the wedding party was Ross, my bridesmale. Another member of the aforementioned forum, this guy has been my rock many times and he was one of the first people to be asked to be with us on the day. He was so excited too, bless him! From the day we asked him, the excitement and honour of being asked was there. I'd frequently wake up to new messages with ideas and things we might like for the wedding. He was amazing.

Their buttonholes were very fun! We were always going to have pinwheels and I'd found some I absolutely adored from etsy. They were very cheap and exactly what we were looking for so I ordered them. Only for them to get grabbed by customs with a charge we just couldn't afford... for about half of the customs charge price, I bought supplies and eventually made them myself. I wished we'd done this in the first place as I'm so, so proud of how they came out and they look pretty much identical to the ones we bought!




But those weren't enough... so many people have pinwheels, we wanted to add something a little more "our wedding" to them and that's where these came in. Little toadstool brooches!


The buttonholes are actually quite amusing... I'd shown Colin how the men should wear them and trusted him to show said men.
On the day, ONE man was wearing the buttonhole the "correct" way; my Uncle Davy, our witness. The only person I, personally, had handed the buttonhole over to. So whilst he was the one person wearing it correctly, everyone else was wearing theirs the same (not correct) way so it looked like he had put them on wrong haha! Of course, there's no "right" or "wrong" way so it really didn't bother me; when I noticed, I laughed and jokingly told Colin off. Silly man hahaha!




 
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