A Modern, Elegant Wedding Report

Are you sitting comfortably?

On 26th October 2013, I got married. This will hardly come as a surprise to those of you that followed my planning thread, but even though I know it happened, I still find it hard to believe!

Everyone tells you that your wedding day will be the best day of your life. And you know what? It’s completely true - it was so perfect, and so happy, that at times I feel like I need to pinch myself.

I promised I would write a report, and so here it is - but in all honesty, I’m doing it as a treat for me as much as anything, because through writing the report I hope to be able to live through it all again in some small way at least, and that is just far too tempting to resist! I also think that by writing it down, it will help to reinforce all the wonderful memories that I have of our day.

We’ve just had our pro-pics back - not on disc, but in a protected online gallery. I can’t download them, but I can at least get screen grabs to use. I’m not sure how they will work on the forum done that way, but I can definitely give it a go.

But I’m getting ahead of myself - because the story of our wedding starts a couple of days before we said ‘I do’, right where my planning thread ended.

So - go and get a cup of tea, treat yourself to a biscuit, and curl up on the sofa, because I'm going to tell you the story of our own little fairytale.

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Posts

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    The calm before the storm

    For me, our wedding started the moment I finished work for the last time as a single lady, on the Wednesday before the big day itself. I actually had a really lovely day - my colleagues surprised me with a card, a gift, and a big box of doughnuts, so it was a really nice way to finishimage. However, I had to rush home, because MrJC and I had a big night planned.

    It was always really important to me that MrJC and I took a little time out immediately before the wedding, just the two of us, before all the stress and the craziness really kicked in. So, we booked a table at a very nice restaurant nearby that is a favourite of ours and had a date night.

    I would really recommend doing this - it was such a lovely way to start the celebrations, and it was so nice to have some time just the two of us.

    However, that didn’t mean there wasn’t a surprise in store! As we took our seats, the manager appeared brandishing a bottle of champagneimage. I assumed that MrJC must have arranged it, but he was just as surprised as me.

    As she opened the bottle, the manager explained that in fact, our secret benefactor was MrJC’s mum - MrJC had told her about our plans, and she had sneakily called the restaurant, explained what were celebrating, and arranged for the champagneimage.

    It really was fantastic, we were totally bowled over, and it really started our evening with a bang! We had a truly great meal, and we used the time to talk through all the arrangements for the wedding. It was celebratory and relaxing, and I loved every minute of it.

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Suiting up

    Thursday began bright and early - we headed off to Ealing to arrive at Moss Bros to collect two of the suits. MrJC’s and the T’s, the best man, were delivered there, while the ushers N and J had theirs delivered to stores near their home.

    As it turned out, this was just as well - N’s suit arrived a few days early and he went for it straight away, only to discover that it was too small! However, because he had a little extra time, they were able to source him a size bigger ready for him to collect before the wedding. Phew!

    Top Tip #1 - we found the flexibility of using a big national chain for suit hire, and Moss Bros in particular, really, really good. It meant the guys didn’t have to travel far for measuring, issues were easy to fix, and we were very happy with them.

    At the Ealing store, I made MrJC try on his whole outfit to make sure it fitted - he looked so handsome! The store assistant thought that MrJC’s sleeves were a bit too short, and wanted to do an emergency order for an extra-long jacket, but neither MrJC or I thought there was anything wrong, so we decided not to bother. I was very glad about this, as it would have meant collecting on Friday, and as things turned out, there was no way we would have had the time.

    On the day, I never even thought about MrJC’s sleeves, and I definitely don’t think they were too short. Plus, it meant that the boys got to show off their cufflinks - but more of that later!

    Here are some pics of the boys - I think they looked greatimage!

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  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Wardrobe crisis

    I’d spent the couple of weeks before the wedding wondering vaguely what to wear during the morning while we were all getting ready, without reaching any conclusions.

    I’d always thought it would just be PJs, but I decided I would just feel too ‘naked’ like that, and I couldn’t find any nice ones I liked anyway.

    Then I thought about a vest top and jeans, since a nice, stretchy vest could be removed over my hips without disturbing my hair and make-up. However, I needed to keep all my vest tops clean for our honeymoon, and besides - I really wanted something white, and since I couldn’t wear a bra without risking leaving strap marks, I was worried about it being see-through.

    By Thursday, the situation was pretty dire - only one day left, and I still didn’t know what to wear. Luckily, as we were walking back to the car from Moss Bros, our route took us past H&M, and inspiration struck me!

    They had a rack of cardigans in pretty colours, as well as some super-cheap stretchy camisoles, so I dispatched MrJC to Superdrug to pick up the last minute bits that we needed for the honeymoon and scurried inside.

    As predicted, the white cami was very see-through, but the hot pink cardi spared my blushes and matched my colour scheme nicely - not that anyone particularly noticed, but it mattered to meimage!

    You can see it in this ‘getting ready’ picture, and it really was ideal:

    image

     

    As a side note - I felt really comfy in my jeans, I would definitely have felt a bit exposed in just PJs and/or a robe. It definitely worked for me!

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    DIY SOS

    When we got home from Ealing, it was time for lunch. I sat back to relax - we had our final meeting with the venue, but not until 2 pm, and we had a full 2 hours before we needed to leave. Then - PANIC! I suddenly realised that I had forgotten to finish off the table plan!

    I had deliberately left this until the very last possible moment, to make sure it would be as accurate as possible. All the elements were printed and/or cut to size, I just had to stick them on.

    I did it all in a terrible hurry, because we were very short of time, but I was very pleased with how it turned out.

    I chose to use double-sided sticky tape for this, rather than my trusty tape dispenser, because I thought it might have better sticking power. I can’t say whether this is true or not, because I don’t have a comparison, but I will say this - using the tape for the table plan made me incredibly glad that I had the tape dispenser for all my other stationary, because it was about a million times easier!

    Top Tip #2 - If you are doing a lot of paper crafting, then buy a 3M ATG (Advanced Tape Glider):

    Yes, they are more expensive than some of the equivalents, but honestly it must have saved me hours. And in terms of refills - the cheapest place I found to buy them from was actually direct from 3M.

    I’ve just realised that there aren’t any pro-pics of the table plan itself, which I’m a bit sad about - but I did take a couple myself, so this is what it looked like:

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    We left the cardboard corners on to keep it safe in transit, these were removed before it was displayed.

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Enter Phil

    Once the table plan was finished, it was time to load up the car with all our bits and bobs, and head to our venue, the Runnymede on Thames hotel and spa. We were due to meet with our wedding co-ordinator Jessica, and our Events Manager for the day, who we would be meeting for the first time.

    The purpose of the meeting was to run through the entire wedding with the Events team, since they would be the ones there on the actual day.

    We also needed to leave behind everything that the venue had responsibility for putting out - and it was a long list! There was the table plan, the confetti, the tissues, the postbox, the stuff for the sweetie jars, our hangover bags, our fingerprint tree, the aisle runner for the ceremony, all our bits for the wedding breakfast tables, our umbrellas, and a host of other things besides that I can’t remember now!

    It took ages to pack the car, because most things were delicate and couldn’t have anything stacked on top of them. MrJC got a bit stressed about it because it took a lot longer than expected, but he did a sterling job, and we made it to the venue only a few minutes late.

    The meeting was great - we got to meet Phil and Ben, our events team, and they were so clearly efficient and calm that I knew they would look after us really well.

    Phil talked us through the timings for the day, and put my mind at rest about a few bits and pieces - like how would I know when to leave my room for the ceremony? And where would the registrar’s meeting be? - and by the time we had finished, I was feeling like everything was under control.

    Then we headed out to the carpark to unload our car, and although I think the amount of stuff we had was a bit of a surprise, Phil was a consummate professional, and took it all in his stride!

    Goodies safely handed over, we headed home once more.

  • nenjennenjen Posts: 1,524

    Oh yey!!! I've been looking forward to this. Can't wait to read all about how your special day went image

  • LouBLouB Posts: 1,129 New bride

    Yay! I haven't been on the forum for days as so busy at work, just nipped on and was DELIGHTED to see this! Loving it already, you're an excellent storyteller image

    And I live in Ealing, woop image

  • Ooohhh looking forward to more!!!!

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I have had a lovely cup of tea while reading and I love how you have written your report so far. It is brilliant to read how everything went, so pleased you both had a fantastic day image looking forward to reading more image

  • VictoriaoVictoriao Posts: 1,536

    Sounds so good so far! Another report to hunt for ideas and tips from!!

  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    Hurry up and write some more!! Xxx

  • MrsM2014MrsM2014 Posts: 223

    Yay .. tea and biscuits at the ready .... have been looking forward to this image

    more... more .......image

  • Yay! I'm SO pleased to see this. Yours is the wedding I most want to hear about.image It's a funny thing...after reading all your planning, I'm so eager to see/hear how it all worked out. 

    Hurry up and tell us more! image

  • RinaGeeRinaGee Posts: 751

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand my life is now complete - can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this

  • JJ2013JJ2013 Posts: 628

    Yay! I came on here on the offchance but what a lovely surprise! Can't wait to read it all xx

  • Yay i cant wait to read your full report , date twin . We had the most truly amazing day and honeymoon . Im really sad its all over image x

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Hooray!! You are back! Noticed this last night when I was online on my phone but saved it for when I got to the computer! Cannot wait to read more MrsJC! x

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Jen, Victoria, D, Victoriao, Poppins, Mrs M, Songbird, Rina, JJ2013, and Toad (Phew!)image - Thanks so much! Sorry for the delay in transmission, I've been mad busy at work, and we had guests at the weekend so couldn't write much then. I've been writing some more posts today though - should be good to go soonimage

    Lou - Really?? Awesome! PM me if you fancy a girls night out some time!

    Michelle - Yay, date twinimage! Are there are pics for me to see yet??

    Actually, on the subject of pics - I know that's what I love the best about reports, and mine might be quite text heavy to start with. But bear with me - there will be lots, I promise!

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Packing

    Thursday was a loooong day! When we got back from the Runnymede, there was certainly no rest for the wicked, as we had to pack for our honeymoon.

    Our flight to Tanzania was on Sunday evening, and we knew we would have very limited time on Sunday to do any packing, so it had to be done before the big day.

    It was doubly stressful, because we were taking a couple of internal flights on light aircraft, and our luggage allowance was just 15kg each, including hand luggageimage! Factor in MrJC’s camera equipment that weighed in at a whopping 4kg on it’s own, and we were very tight on luggage space!

    In the end, it wasn’t as tough as I thought it might be - we got our main cases packed, and all our stuff for our hand luggage set aside to pack on the Sunday. I’m very glad we did it, because Sunday was busy enough without any packing stress.

    Even so, by the time we finally sat down for some dinner, (a take-away pizza, all I had the energy for!) I was totally exhausted! I slept pretty well on Thursday night - the last good night’s sleep I got in quite a while!image

    Top Tip #3 - If I could change one thing about our wedding, it’s the timing of our honeymoon. Once we got there, it was utterly fantastic and we had the most amazing time - but it added so much extra stress to the preparations.

    At the very least, I would want a gap of 2 - 3 days after the wedding to pack, but if I had my time again, II would seriously think about delaying by a couple of months, even though I’m not sure it would feel quite as much like a honeymoon then.

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    The day before the rest of your life

    Before I knew it, it was Friday - my last day as a single girl! After an indulgent breakfast (really, is there anything better than a McDonald’s sausage and egg McMuffinimage? Except perhaps a double sausage and egg McMuffinimage??), we cracked on with the final preparations. There was still so much to do!:

    1) Packing me and MrJC up with all our personal bits and pieces, all the stuff that we didn’t need the hotel to do anything with. This included: our outfits, our accessories, our gifts, the information booklets, other clothes we would need, toiletries and a few other bits and pieces. For instance, I had two of the BM’s dresses that I needed to take.

    2) Printing off copies of everything that I thought anyone would need to know - contact numbers, task lists, readings, seating plans. We had lots of paper!

    3) Collecting my wedding dressimage!

    BM2 had taken the day off work to come and help me, and in all honesty, I was wondering what she was going to do - after all, she couldn’t pack up my clothes and toiletries!

    In the end though, she was a god-send. She went off on last minute errands (collecting the emergency spare stockings I had ordered from the post-office, and picking up some Immodium for our honeymoon from the chemist), made cups of tea like a trooper and basically kept me calm - I did get into a bit of a tizz, checking, double checking and triple checking everythingimage!

    Finally, everything was ready, so me and BM2 finally managed to get out of the flat and headed for Richmond to collect the dressimage!

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    It’s all about the dress

    Originally, I was going to collect my dress on Thursday, and my Mum was going to drive. However, when she broke her elbow a week beforehand, there was no way she was able to drive. That meant BM2 had to drive me, and that meant it had to be Friday to collect.

    As it happened, it worked really well - we wouldn’t have had time on Thursday anyway, and collecting on Friday meant that I could take it straight to the venue rather than having to store it at my Mum’s flat.

    Collecting the dress went very smoothly, but it was a bit surreal - BM2 managed to park pretty close to the shop, we popped in, they handed it over and them we left again. It was the strangest feeling to be walking down the street carrying my wedding dressimage!

    BM2’s car is a lot smaller than my Mum’s, and it’s a 3 door rather than a 5, so it was quite entertaining with both of us trying to lay it on the back seat as flat as possible, but we got there in the end. It pretty much filled the back of her Golf, thoughimage!

    At this point, I think I really do have to make a recommendation - I was very, very happy with my bridal shop, BOA Boutique on Richmond Hill. My dress was at the bottom end of their price range, but even so, they never made me feel anything other that really special. They were unfailingly helpful, and the shop is so beautiful, calming and totally zen. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish.

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Checking in and zoning out

    BM2 and I arrived at the Runnymede at about 2pm, which was our earliest check in time. I wanted to be there bang on time for three reasons:

    1) I knew that a lot of people wanted to be there to greet guests as they arrived.

    2) I had appointments to get my nails and pedicure done at the hotel spa 4pm, and I wanted to time check in, get settled and relax beforehand

    3) Really and truly - I knew that from the point I arrived at the hotel, everything was out of my hands. There was no more I could do, and I could stop worrying and just get on with enjoying the wedding - the sooner the betterimage!

    I am so glad I got there early, as I had a really lovely afternoon. My room wasn’t quite ready, but all my bags (and the dress!) got put on a trolley, ready to be whisked upstairs, while BM2 and I settled into a sofa with a glass of wine and a lovely light lunch.

    While we were sitting there, my parents arrived, as did MrJC’s parents and god-parents, so we made a nice little group. There were several more glasses of wine on offer, and I had to be very disciplined not to drink too much! It was great fun, sitting with a drink and gossiping!image

    Eventually (and reluctantly), it was time for me to leave, and get ready for my spa appointment, so I headed up to my room to find my dress and bags waiting for me. I took my dress out of its bag, and hung it up over the curtain rail (the only place high enough for it not to trail on the ground)

    Then, the three of us examined it for creasing - and there was a bit down the back, just from where it had been packed into the bag. BM2 thought it would be OK, but my mum wasn’t convinced. I decided to leave it to see if it dropped out overnight, as I wasn’t sure how to steam it in the bathroom without getting it wet.

    Sadly, it was then time for me to say goodbye to BM2, who had to collect her daughter from nursery, and then I headed back downstairs to make my way to the spa.

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Pretty hands, pretty toes, pretty good idea

    I was so pleased I decided to get my nails done at the Runnymede - the nail therapist did such a lovely job, and I got the exact, subtle American finish that I wanted. They lasted perfectly right through the honeymoon too.

    After all my fretting about having nice hands for close up shots of the rings - there aren’t anyimage! But hey - at least I knew they looked good.

    After my nails were done, I went in for my pedicure. This was definitely a luxury treat - my shoes had closed toes so no-one could see them, and frankly I could have saved myself some cash just painting them myself, but I really loved my pedi!

    The first thing was for me to pick a colour. I chose a great hot pink shade, and even got to keep the bottle of polish. No-one could see, but I liked having toes that matched my colour scheme, and it was a nice reminder all through my honeymoon. In fact, they are still looking pretty good now! I picked the shade based on the colour, but I loved that it was called ‘Bikini Bottoms’ - how appropriateimage!

    When I went into the treatment room, I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t a chair for me to sit in, because because whenever I’ve had a pedicure before, it’s been done with me sitting down - but this time, I was lying on a treatment bed. The lights were low too, when I went in, and I wondered how the therapist was going to see.

    However, she put a lovely cooling eye mask on me so I couldn’t see anything, and then switched the lights on. It was just fab - by the time she finished, I was completely blissed out, just what I neededimage!

    When I was finished, I made my way back out to reception, said ‘Hi’ to my parents, who were both also having their nails done (yep - even my Dad!!!image), and then headed back to my room barefoot - one of the few things I forgot was a pair of post-pedi flip flopsimage.

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    The calm before the storm

    After my beauty treatments I went back upstairs to get ready for dinner. We had around 20 guests joining us, and I was excited to see them all!

    Before I went downstairs though, I got to do something that I have never done before but always wanted to - I filled out the little card to hang on my door handle, ordering my room-service breakfastimage! I was childishly excited about itimage!

    I decided I wanted something substantial enough that I wouldn’t be hungry, but fairly light all the same, so I ordered some scrambled eggs, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, with toast, tea and orange juice.

    Once that was done, I had just enough time for a relaxed shower and hair-wash, then I put on my lovely second wedding dress and shoes, and also my wedding gift necklace from MrJC (which didn’t really go, but I knew he wanted me to show it off)

    I had a fantastic meal, and the restaurants (very superior!) buffet. I got to chat to some of my very favourite people, and had a couple of glasses of wine to chill me out a bit more. When it got to about 10:30, I decided I had better call it a day and head off to bed. I said goodnight to MrJC, and then went up to my room.

    It all felt strangely normal, and a bit odd being on my own. Overall, I was glad I wasn't sharing a room though. I always thought I would prefer being alone with my thoughts, and I was right. It was definitely the right choice for me.

    Sleep didn’t come easily, as you might imagine! Unfortunately, I ate a little bit more than I really should have done at dinner, so I was very full when I went to bed and ended up fretting about getting indigestion on the wedding day. However, I’m sure I would have found something else to worry about, even it I had had more self controlimage!

    Just before I finally turned out the light, this was the view from my bed:

    image

     

  • TickleyJessTickleyJess Posts: 1,649

    Yay!  MrsJC - congratulations!  Loving your report so far - I can't wait to read more!  I hope it was the most magical day x

  • Love this so far! Can't wait to read more x 

  • MrsE2be2014MrsE2be2014 Posts: 1,458

    Oh yay a wedding report, cant believe I've only just seen this! More more more x

  • Angie jAngie j Posts: 448

    Briliant!  Looking forward to hearing more   image

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Jess - Hello! Lovely to (virtually) see youimage - yes, it really was magical, and in more ways than one!

    Pinkstars, MrsE and Angie - Thank you so much! I have lots more to postimage

  • MrsJCMrsJC Posts: 2,204

    Morning has Broken

    And in fact, it broke really, really early! I woke up at 5 am, and although I dozed a bit, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I lounged around and read a bit, then at 6:30, I got up and had a shower. I pottered around fairly aimlessly, trying to get my bags packed up (they were being moved to our bridal suite during the ceremony) and waiting for things to start happening.

    Eventually, at 8:00 am, there was a knock at the door - it was my breakfast arriving, and very nice it was too! I had just finished it when my Mum arrived to wait with me for the hairdresser (J) and MUA (K).

    J and K arrived just after 9 am, and to be honest, after that point, the morning is a bit of a blur! It all happened so fast, with bridesmaids arriving and then leaving again to get their own hair and make-up done, the flowers arriving, the photographer (Helen) arriving, my Mum popping in and out - it was pretty much chaos!

    I’m going to try and make some sense out of it though, and tell you about the various things that happened - even if they aren’t in quite the right orderimage!

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