Marshes Accounting: The big day and mixing love with business

 In Indie Oxford Interviews

Today on the blog, Phil from Marshes Accounting shares with us his and Danny’s beautiful love story, details of their big day and their advice for mixing love and business successfully. >>

Marshes Accounting

Where it all began…

Danny and I met via work in 2002, he was managing a community centre for which I was taking care of the day to day accounting at the time.

“Danny has made me feel valued, worthy and happy from the moment we met. He’s always given me so much love and support when life has been challenging” Phil shared.

We got engaged in May 2017. I knew Danny wanted to get married and he wanted me to propose to him. So, one day I put some champagne on to chill and asked him to meet me in the dining room. He said: “What’s all this in aid of?”. “I wanted to have a little chat”, I replied. “Oh no, what have I done now?” he said. I then got down on one knee and popped the question, which was received with joyous surprise – and, of course, an effusive affirmative.

Marshes Accounting

Planning the perfect wedding…

It took us a while to decide exactly what kind of wedding we wanted. We swung from wanting to tie the knot quickly and quietly, to romancing about a large, more lavish occasion, with our family and friends. The latter required more time and arranging, but, in the end, we decided that’s what we both wanted and that there would be an expectation amongst our friends for a “big do”. We planned the event over a series of “wine conferences” at home, and I don’t think we had one cross word between us when discussing the arrangements.

I was happy for Danny to take the lead on much of the detail, such as flowers, invites, the cake, booking the registrar, as he had clearer visions of how he wanted the day to look. As someone who often obsesses over detail, I was, uncharacteristically, easy going with most of this, until it came to planning the timetable for the day and jobs for the members of the wedding party (ushers etc.), when I made a spectacular return to form. I created a spreadsheet with everyone’s names on and a series of tasks, which were all allocated a three digit number and cross-referenced with the relevant member of party. I also put together an hour long video which explained the order of events and who was doing what. Many of the members of the wedding party had not met before, so, to lighten the video a bit, I did a series of photos of each member with their job title to the theme tune of “Dallas”, the 1980s US soap opera.

Marshes Accounting

The big day…

We knew we wanted to get married in, or near Oxford, so choosing The Oxfordshire Golf Hotel, just outside Thame, made the planning and day much easier, as the whole day took place there. Danny spent the night before our wedding at the hotel, with his Best Man and Matron of Honour, and I spent it home with my Best Man, Tony. On the morning, Tony and I were driven in a beautiful black Jaguar MK II (what I call a “Morse Jag”) from Cowley to Thame. We arrived around noon and the ceremony was due to commence at 1 pm, so we’d planned to keep Danny and I out of sight of each other until then.

After what was quite an emotional ceremony, Danny and I were furnished with a much needed glass of champagne and we mingled and greeted our guests before going outside for photographs. This was a little tricky as it rained most of the day (which, apparently, is good luck), but we were all so swept away by the joy of the occasion, it didn’t matter. Everyone was then seated for the Wedding Breakfast, with Danny and I hanging back and then making an entrance. When the evening arrived, we followed the cutting of the cake with our first dance which was “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland.

Marshes Accounting

“In the run up to the occasion, so many people said to me that the day would fly by. It did. We’ve said, we want to go back and do it all again.”

The honeymoon stage…

We took some time off at home the week after, to chill and come down and Danny diligently wrote to all our guests to thank them. We’ve had a few mini trips planned, including a night in Bath at the theatre, followed by climbing Solsbury Hill the next morning – one on my bucket list in honour of the Peter Gabriel song. Then a long weekend in Bournemouth in early September.

Marshes Accounting

Mixing love with business…

One of Danny’s previous careers was a Night Club Manager and I worked in a number of Financial Director roles alongside providing accounting services. Danny and I first started working together when he was made redundant and I was running a small company that was providing accountancy and back office services and needed to recruit some help.

One of the best things about working together is that we know and understand each other’s challenges. If one of us has a “problem at work” we can actually help each other. The challenge has been learning the discipline of leaving “work at the office”, and resisting the temptation to let it take over our lives to the extent it would be the topic of every mealtime discussion. This has definitely improved over time, though, with us exploring other interests in our own time and giving ourselves permission to park work matters.

The secret to juggling work and home life…

We each work in different parts of the house, neither of which include the areas where we eat. So although we’re not far from each other, we’re apart for most of the day and so there’s a bit of punctuation between work and home.

Marshes Accounting Oxford Phil and Danny

For any couples who are thinking of setting up a business, my advice would be make sure you set some robust boundaries between the work/life balance. Running your own business is very hard (but rewarding) work and so it’s important to take time for you, and enjoy the well-earned fruits of your efforts.

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  • Richard Dunne

    Congratulations again. such a great pair and couple.

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