The Wedding of Natasha & James – 3rd July 2009

We got engaged on 10th August 2008 in what was turning out to be a very stressful and unhappy year. This gave us hope that the future would be brighter and happier with loads to look forward to as a married couple. We decided to just enjoy being engaged and not worry about starting the wedding planning until the New Year.

Neither of us are particularly religious and therefore we decided early on not to look at having a church wedding. January 2009 arrived and we started looking at local venues. Both of us wanted a traditional wedding with a unique setting. On our 3rd appointment at the end of the month we found the perfect venue, Lympne Castle in Kent.

The castle was set on the hills and the view was amazing (even in a rainy January!). We had planned to get married in March 2010 but their special offer was so good we booked for Friday 3rd July 2009. This meant we had 5 months to plan the whole wedding!

With the venue booked and deposit paid (thanks to both sets of parents), things progressed very quickly even though both of us were in full time employment and worked 12 hour days, James in London and Natasha in Surrey.

Bridesmaids and best man were chosen, lots of dress and suit fittings were organised. Only local and/or personally known businesses were chosen. Everything went absolutely to plan! James and his best man were to stay in the cottages on the castle grounds the night before the wedding and to oversee proceedings the next morning.

It turned out to be the hottest week of the year 2009 and we were happy that rain wouldn’t spoil the day. 2am – thunder, lightning and heavy rain kept us awake and worrying. Morning dawned misty and cold. Not a good start but we thought maybe the mist on the hills at the castle could make a good photo! Whilst the men were making sure all was going to plan at the castle and the best man trying not to be sick with nerves as he had been all night (not helped by a bottle of vodka!), Natasha and the ladies were tucking into McDonalds breakfast and drinking Asti Spumanti! 10am – the sun came out, burned away the mist and shone gloriously! It was going to turn out to be a beautiful day.

We were married at 2pm with 53 family members (including James’ brother on webcam from Texas) and close friends. We laughed, some shed a few tears but everyone had a fantastic day.

The traditionally English meal of melon, roast beef and apple crumble with custard was a hit and wine was flowing nicely through the speeches.

More guests turned up for the evening reception, drank freely and ate their way through bacon/sausage rolls and chunky chips. Lamb ciabattas for the Muslim guests of course. Maybe we weren’t so traditional with the food in the evening!

Our first dance upset James’ mum but apart from that we chatted, danced, drank and laughed our way through the evening (there was only one argument/fight from unruly family members!) only to realise at midnight we had only spoken as man and wife twice the whole time! Turns out, we were more worried about entertaining our guests than thinking about the fact that we were married!

It didn’t matter, we were happy to be Mr and Mrs Lythe and to share the most wonderful day with our closest family and friends. We all still talk about it and we still look through our wedding photos. No-one escapes our house without seeing them!!

James still works in London but Natasha now works as a freelance mobile makeup artist in Kent alongside her mum Wendy for ‘Made Up For You (Bridal & Special Occasion Makeup)’ and also as an Independent Beauty Consultant for ‘Mary Kay UK’.


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