While 2016 will be remembered as the ‘bastarding, legend-snatching death year’ for many, it was altogether a different kind of year for me. This was the year I married my best one and became a ‘Mrs’. I won’t try to pretend that it hasn’t been jolly bad luck that all these amazing talents keep dropping like flies and that Britain did an exit through the gift shop, and that an orange man is somehow in charge of my favourite country, but 2016 will always have a special place in my heart. Anywho, here is my year in review. Enjoy or ignore.

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Hosted a wedding with 150 of my closest friends and family. What a crazy, perfect day. Really, just wow. Also, I was bridesmaid for the first time in my life for my BFF.

Natalie & Graham at Northbrook Park

Where did you begin 2016?

In St Albans, not drinking in a bid to not wake up to a new year with a hangover, playing Cards Against Humanity.

Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My New Year’s Resolution from last year was ‘an intensive 10-month wedding dress plan’, which I sure as hell managed. This year I intend to maintain strength, physically and mentally.

What was your status by Valentine’s Day?

Engaged lady.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

There’ve been quite a few bubbas this year (it’s that age I guess). Most recently, I met the very expressive Eloise, G’s step-brother Michael and his wife Ann Marie’s lovely lamb.

Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year. Only famouses.

Were you in school?

Same answer as last year: School of Sony.

What countries did you visit?

Japan and the US (in a crazy round-the-world trip), Scotland, France, and Bali, Lombok and Singapore on honeymoon. G went to India for a month, which felt like an awfully long time to be apart.

Bali Volcano

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

New, exciting travelling adventures.

What moments from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Removing my bra from under my dress in a nightclub on my hen do (classy). Walking down the aisle and seeing G at the end of it. Dancing together to our first song, Daydreaming, with all our loved ones around us in a haze of happiness. Being lifted up on a chair in a room with perilously low ceilings. Then grinding with my girls to old skool garage.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I’ve said it before, but fitting into my tiny wedding dress and feeling body confident. I weighed less on my wedding day than I have in my entire life – probably since around age 12.

What was your biggest failure?

This is a difficult one. I was so wrapped up in wedmin that I don’t think I had time to fail…my schedule didn’t allow it! I achieved everything I wanted to for the wedding in October, then honeymoon. Maybe having gained a bit of holiday weight since? But I’ll lose it in January. No question.

Did you have to go to the hospital?

No, but I did visit a nutritionist, who recommended a dairy free diet, which I’ve been enjoying, sort of.

What was the best thing you bought?

Part of our honeymoon. The rest was bought for us by our incredible family and friends. We will never forget your generosity.

Where did most of your money go?

Same answer as last year: on wedding shizzle. What a racket.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My wedding day! I was surprisingly calm in the lead up – I think everyone thought I would be super stressed, but I wasn’t. I just literally wanted to run down the aisle to G.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2016?

Our first dance: Daydreaming by Dark Dark Dark.

What concerts/shows did you go to?

We were rubbish this year and didn’t go to any…but we’re starting 2017 with a bang by going to see the Harry Potter play (which we purchased tickets for in 2015).

Compared to this time last year, are you:

I. happier or sadder? Happier.

II. thinner or fatter? Thinner (even though podgier than on wedding day when I was basically a waif, I’m still half a stone down from 2015. I’ll take that).

III. richer or poorer? Poorer. Curse you, wedding, and your false DIY economy (turns out, crafting something yourself doesn’t mean it’s free). But saving up again, gradually.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Get out and about in London a bit more – go to shows, galleries, restaurants etc. Also, writing. Obviously.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying. It all turned out beautifully in the end.

How will you be spending Christmas?

Drunk.

What was your favourite TV programme?

Stranger Things, Black Mirror, The Crown, Orange is the New Black, Narcos – just basically a whole load of Netflix-y genius.

Stranger Things

What was the best book you read?

Aside from all the wedding magazines and trash I read on honeymoon, I loved Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last.

What were your greatest musical discoveries?

Didn’t do a great deal of listening to new music this year. Instead, I helped put together our Two Drifters wedding compilation which we gave out as favours for our guests.

What did you want and get?

To marry the man of my dreams, a slim bod, health, mindfulness – it was just the best year for ‘sharpening the saw‘.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Spent my 31st birthday in Edinburgh, going around Edinburgh Castle and the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions museum, and eating at The Witchery by the Castle. We then did a coastline drive of the Highlands for a few days, which was spectacular.

Bonnie Scotland

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

To have FINALLY finished the first draft of my first novel. It’s getting done, and it’s getting done soon.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Just throw some stuff at it. More is more. The best compliment I had on my wedding dress was “it’s very you”.

What kept you sane?

Same as last year: Man and cat.

Who did you miss?

All our American friends who I wish I could see all the time!

Who was the best new person you met?

Probably our amazing wedding suppliers – most notably Tapenade and Eden Blooms.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

Don’t worry, you nutcase.

Did you move anywhere?

Not this year.

What’s something you thought you would never do but did in 2016?

Have six massages in the space of two weeks.

Honeymoon Massage

What was your best month?

October, naturally. Halloween AND wedding?! Too good to be true.

Any regrets?

Brexit, Trump, talented people dying. Oh, you mean any PERSONAL regrets? Nope, none.

Overall, how would you rate this year?

It’s a tough one. Personally, it’s been a 10. Publicly, it’s been about a -4.5. I’ll award it a 9 (knocking off a point for the world’s ills).

What did you like most about 2016?

Sounding repetitive now, but getting married!

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

At work, with some cool people. I genuinely love my job.

Change your hairstyle?

Got the loveliest mermaid extensions which are still in. I’ll be so sad when they’re taken out in Jan and I’m left with my Jewfro (doesn’t grow down; grows out).

Get a new job?

Started some exciting new projects…still in the same job though.

Do anything embarrassing?

See comment on hen do above.

Get married or divorced?

Just in case you weren’t clear from any of the above, I got married and became Mrs Natalie Harris-Spencer.

Did you get sick this year?

A bit sicky, stressed, virusy and coldy a few times. Nothing too serious, thankfully.

Start a new hobby?

I re-kindled my love for art (which has been dormant since GCSEs), creating many a chalkboard wedding sign, menu, and, most notably, Pepe’s Bar.

Natalie & Graham at Northbrook Park

Are you happy to see 2016 go?

Not really. It’s been epic. But 2017 promises some amazing stuff…

What are you wishing for in 2017?

Last year I asked for good weather on my wedding day and honeymoon, which was granted. This year I’m wishing for exciting married adventures with man and cat. The three of us are an unbreakable trio.


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