In ‘A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds’ Immi Tolliman has six months to plan her wedding. But she also has six months to organise a fund raiser to build a children’s playground in Aysbury, a small village close to the lock and adjoining marina. This Christmas they will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Santa Ahoy Cruises and her grandfather, Earnest Tolliman (known to everyone as Tollie) who steps up as Santa Claus for the occasion, has his heart set on doing something special for the children.
Immi also works full-time and is overseeing the renovation of Lock Keeper’s Cottage while her fiancé Gray is away. Sadly, being busy isn’t the only reason why Immi ends up drafting in two special people to become her wedding planners. Immi isn’t a posh frock type of lady and, the mere thought of trying on dresses sends her into panic mode!
Gray simply wants Immi to have the day she’s always dreamt of having – except that Immi never dreamt about weddings and frothy dresses. She was more of an outdoor type of girl, living in jeans and shorts, and dressing up never was her thing. And as for being the centre of attention – well, the thought horrifies her. What if she can’t carry off that glowing, bridal look and sashay around elegantly?
That old saying ‘write what you know’ was never truer for me than when it came to writing this part of the story. I never dreamt about being a bride as a little girl, my head was too full of other more exciting things. My lovely mum was the driving force behind my wedding arrangements, as my soon-to-be husband and I spent every spare hour we had renovating our new home. And we were the first to leave the reception on the day, content to let our guests party on while we stepped into our exciting new future in our first home together.
And that’s why Immi is happy to hand over the arrangements to people she trusts, to deliver a vision even she struggles to put into words. She simply wants a cosy, country, romantic, Christmassy feel-good vibe. As for the dress? ‘I just want to feel like me. But a dressed-up version of me. Not like the bride on the top of a wedding cake,’ Immi explains.
Luckily, I married a man who was as laid back as I was about the wedding arrangements… and all that matters to Gray Adams is that his bride is happy. When I look at the cover for ‘A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds’ this is the dress I’d wear if my wonderful husband and I renewed our vows today. But we won’t, because every day we wake up together it is a renewal – we choose to spend it together and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?
Wishing everyone a truly wonderful Christmas – one spent in the company of loved ones with lots of laughter, joy and happiness. It isn’t money that puts a smile on people’s faces… it’s love and there’s plenty of that in Aysbury!
Start reading A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds now: