What does an old woman sucking a chin, diving with sharks, a seal and making omelettes all have in common?...
Life is a funny old thing, and the past 37 (almost 38) years of my life have been one heck of a rollercoaster ride.
My nearest and dearest would say "Kell, if you didn't have bad luck, you'd have NO luck at all!" and that has been a story I told myself for many, many years.
However I now come to realise that these "bad luck phases" were indeed just that, a phase, a standstill to allow me to move on to my next path in life.
And I have taken many paths in my time, that have now lead me here!
The biggest turning point for me was way back in 2008 when my Nan passed away. Her death affected me in so many ways even to this day, the grief that filled me had me swimming in some very deep and dark places. I was in the depths of a very serious depression, I had been for way over a year after her passing.
Until one forced cinema trip later had me swim back up for air and switching that light on to my passions and fueling me with inspiration again.
I hadn't realised how bad things had gotten until I had this crazy moment, in the cinema.
What was the film you may ask? Well it was Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell. What a masterpiece! Yeah it’s not the best film in the world, but that old woman chin sucking scene was horrifically hilarious, if you know, you know!
I was sat there watching the crowd more than the film, their expressions, emotions, laughs, screams, hiding behind their popcorn tubs, had me feeling inspired!
I WANTED TO DO THAT!
That moment in the cinema changed my life, that may sound completely dramatic but it did! I was in a deep dark place and I dread to think what had happened if I refused that cinema invitation.
I didn’t muck around! As soon as we got back from the cinema I looked into University degrees, I had gained a BTEC National Diploma in Media (film) Production some years prior so I had experience. I sent off all my UCAS forms for a Media Film Production course, I got an interview and low and behold I got an unconditional offer.
From that moment of clear intention to action brought me so many life changing, beautiful, traumatic and precious moments. I've used my intuition to guide me on so many paths in my life, and in those moments I've ignored it, I've found myself struggling and overwhelmed again.
For me both go hand in hand and help me through this crazy thing we call life!
Now my life experiences have given me clarity, especially when it comes to my love life, there has been MANY failed relationships over the years, but finding Jacob at a time in which I wasn't looking for love caught me completely off guard.
Our relationship has had more than its fair share of challenges, some things I will speak openly about on The Guest Book Podcast, other things will stay private.
One thing I know is that the only thing that has gotten us through some of the most difficult times in our relationship has been Love.
Love is the only thing that is real, everything else is noise, distractions, excuses or fear rearing its ugly head.
I have ways unconsiously felt lead by love but in turn consiously had fear rock up to have me doubt my ability, vision, mission and has on more than one occasion struck me down with major imposter syndrome, I was determined not to let it win this time!
Jacob and I got engaged on a freezing cold Saturday afternoon in March 2018 on the seafront of Ingoldmells SkegVegas (Skegness), which was three short months before our daughter, Gabriella, was due to be born. I can hear your laughter from here.
Yes! I know Skegness of all places! But it was something I found Jacob has taken great care in preparing. He wanted to be by the sea, the seaside is our happy place, he wanted to be on our own, away from his overbearing family members, and he wanted to get permission from my Dad. Old fashioned I know but its something we now treasure in knowing he asked my Dad.
He made me waddle all the way up a hill to the seafront, then over to some steps that led down to the shore, he went all quiet and weird on me, I thought he was about to break up with me! I know crazy pregnancy brain, my teeth were chattering and I was now feeling sick as I waited for Jacob to get some words out, then BOOOM! He pulled out an engraved ring box with "Kelly Gill Will You Marry Me?" on the lid.
I balled my eyes out and said "YESSSSS!" I couldn't believe it! We took that special moment in whilst looking at the waves lapping up onto the shore, only for us to see a seal looking straight at us. We'd never seen one in the wild before, it swam closer and just continued to stare, we laughed and looked at one another and by the time we looked back it had gone!
Its now several years later and we are still engaged, still planning our big beautiful day!
I felt lonely in the planning process, think its because traditionally Bride took on a huge percentage of the responsiblity of planning everything, I felt something needed to change and created The Wedding Planning Collective to help couples plan their wedding day all in one beautiful and inspiring space.
The Wedding Planning Collective took shape over an extremely difficult time in my life.
In fact have you ever manifested one of your worst nightmares into reality? Well I have!
Although manifesting it may be a bit extreme, even for me! But on 4th May 2022 my biggest fear became my waking nightmare, a day I knew would happen but one I wasn't prepared for quite so soon.
It was just past 6pm, Jacob had just walked in from work, Gabriella was sat on the kitchen side watching me make omelettes for dinner and my phone was ringing. My hands were covered in raw egg so couldn't get the phone, Jacob answered it was my brother, I was waiting for him to put in his order for vegan brownies as I was expecting him too but it was a call that I neither of us wanted to make or take.
"Kell, I've got some bad news... Dad's passed away." I fell to the floor, unable to speak, let alone breathe, my whole world imploded and from that moment I knew I was living my biggest fear. We all were. We are all still in the depths of grief, its still heavy and painful, we speak of my Dad often and Gabriella misses her Grandad tremendously, and to think of the fact my Dad won't ever walk me down the aisle kills me.
I know there are so many Brides and Grooms out there going through a similar experience to me that I wanted to create a supportive space for us to grieve, share ideas and remember loved ones on our special day.
Having said that as you can see The Wedding Planning Collective is soooo much more than just a space for overwhelmed Brides or grieving Grooms, theres space for learning, connecting, growing, creating and relaxing.
So in "short" thats me!
Yeah I do waffle on a bit, I go off on tangent and love telling stories but thats all part of the fun!
What about the shark dive? It's in the fun facts about me below.
Let's create weddings with personailty and let me help you to create YOUR DREAM DAY, YOUR WAY!
I have an irrational fear of Great White Sharks, however in 2016 I did a shark dive to raise money for Parayrus Charity, the dive was in honour of my Friend Matt Kell Campbell who passed away in our second year of university.
I did infact Graduate Staffordshire University with a 2.1 in Media Production and aspired to be a TV producer, imposter syndrome got the better of me and I stepped back from a career in TV/ Film.
I 'm an avid baker and have had several family members and friends ask me to apply to go on The Great British Bake Off but unfortunately I wouldn't be considered because I had my own baking business.
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