Congratulations to Zoe Atkins who is the most recent winner of our monthly Power User Prize competitions and has won a one night pamper break for two at the Mercure Norton Grange Hotel and Spa in Rochdale!
Zoe Atkins and her fiancé Andy Hepple-Poole are hoping to get married within the next year or two – preferably next year but as we haven’t yet booked a date we may need to wait until 2022 as 2020 dates are rescheduled into next year, so we’re anticipating scarce availability. We’ve known each other so long that another few months to wait are not too much of a concern for us.
We moved to Grantham with our two cats about a year ago. Andy has spent most of his career working in hospitality, whilst I’ve been working in education – so at present we are, like many others, impacted by the world situation when it comes to work. We have been keeping ourselves busy tending to our beginners vegetable garden, and I have continued to work on my crafting YouTube channel (Ewe Sew You) which I’ve been running for almost two years now. However, our relationship story starts at work some 21 years ago. After graduating from university I moved to Harrow, near where my sister was living at the time, and got a job in a local bowling alley. Before long one of my work mates set me up on a blind date with another colleague who happened to be Andy. Whilst romance didn’t blossom at that time we remained friends. It took a further 13 years before we had a second date, but we’ve been together ever since and got engaged after a couple of years quietly and at home, which was perfect for us.
Having been engaged for a while we have gone through several iterations of what we would like for our wedding, from all out formal occasions in dedicated venues, to overseas ceremonies, and even some discussion of elopement. Having already postponed a wedding that was due for last year, due to unforeseen circumstances, we had elected to wait until we could afford the large-ish wedding we had planned. However the current situation has shifted our priorities somewhat, and we have decided to scale back somewhat and go for a much lower cost event so that we can become husband and wife sooner, without borrowing. As a result we are doing things a little backwards by organising our outfits and rings and things before we book our date so that we don’t need to rush around, or risk rescheduling again. I will be making my dress, and have already started knitting a beaded lace shawl for the day, and we will be investing in a nice suit for Andy. We have researched our local registry office, and found that not only can we arrange the day at relatively short notice (within a few weeks) but it is also large enough to accommodate all of our priority guest list, and coordinates with our preferred colour scheme, which is nice!
We are very excited winning the UKbride prize and at the thought of a night away with just the two of us, as we don’t often have the opportunity to get away as a couple – most of our trips have been to visit family as we are a scattered bunch! We’re particularly looking forward to using the spa, and will be booking in once restrictions lift.
I enjoy popping onto UKbride most days and browsing the real weddings and dress database, which is particularly useful for inspiration as I plan out the dress I will be making – I had originally planned to buy a gown, but now that my dressmaking skills have improved I feel confident enough to do it myself. I also find the forums very useful, not that I comment much, but reading the advice from other brides is helpful.