During my planning I had been a bit worried that I might cry all the way through the vows… until we had a ceremony rehearsal two days before the wedding, and I found that I couldn’t even look at J as I spoke because I just wanted to laugh all the way through. The entire thing felt too surreal for words, and apparently I laugh when I’m nervous – needless to say, I was suddenly quite concerned I’d completely spoil the effect of our wedding by bursting into laughter during the actual ceremony. Thankfully, the real thing is totally different. I managed to say it all in perfect, meaningful seriousness, and maintained eye contact. (And although my voice was cracking, I didn’t sob my way through it, either. A general success all round.)
There were a few silly little mistakes at the church – mainly that the clasp at the back of my dress opened at some point during the ceremony; a sad side effect of that stupid veil getting caught every three seconds! People kept mentioning it to me afterwards so I assumed it had been open the entire time, but since it’s not open in any of the photos it can’t have been that obvious! I also forgot to give my bouquet to a bridesmaid as I got to the front of the aisle, which meant I almost threw it at her while the minister was talking when I eventually realised (oops). I also forgot to take off my engagement ring, so I had to do a sneaky swap to a different finger before the rings were exchanged – you read all those little tips for things you need to remember, and then forget them all on the day!
The gospel choir sang two songs during the ceremony itself (the Beyonce version of ‘Ave Maria’, and ‘Oh Happy Day’) and a further three while we were signing the register (‘Higher and Higher’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and ‘Joyful Joyful’). Our guests absolutely loved the choir and we could hear them clapping, cheering, and singing along from our room behind the scenes!
After signing the register and walking back up the aisle, everyone arranged themselves outside for the famous confetti photo. Providing confetti had actually been a fairly last minute decision (I had kind of been like “ah, people will bring it themselves” during one of my tighter budgeting moments) but I’m so glad I bought it. It was biodegradable red and white hearts from eBay, and looked absolutely fab in the photos.
We then had our group photos taken, helpfully organised by the Best Man (I’d written a list for him, so he could call out the names of who needed to be on the steps!). This was near enough pain-free, despite J’s hatred of having his photo taken, and then we jumped into our wedding car as a married couple!
The rain started almost the minute we got on the road (luckily at the same time as our guests had got themselves onto the bus we’d provided) so it was perfectly timed. I really loved our drive to the venue; we were feeling so happy and talking about the night before, our mornings getting ready and how crazy everything was. The car company also provided a bottle of champagne, which we enjoyed a lot…
Our reception was held in a golf club, which despite being a nice reflection of J’s golf addiction, was originally chosen for the beautiful rooms and affordable pricing (because budgets are important). As we arrived we were greeted by our wedding coordinator who gave us each a welcome drink, and I suddenly had loads of questions: Does the room look nice? Did the chairs arrive? Did the table plan make sense? There had been another wedding at the venue the day before, so I hadn’t been able to set up the room myself and had a bit of a panic that it all might have gone horribly wrong. But the staff quickly told me that the room looked “the best they’d ever seen it”, so I felt much better! (The hired chairs were the main reason for this, I’m told. I knew they were worth it.)
First there was a drinks reception, held in a room that overlooked the golf course. Guests drank Pimms (through stripey straws and with personalised cocktail stirrers – both last minute eBay purchases when I’d reached those crazy stages of last minute planning when you start throwing your money everywhere) and ate canapés, while the bridal party crept away for some photos. I had given five Primark umbrellas to our photographer in the morning, to keep in her car just in case the weather wasn’t on our side – and it wasn’t!
Since I haven’t talked about the suits yet, I’ll do that now. The men all wore a mid grey suit from Slaters, with a red cravat. I had originally wanted ties, but J overruled me – and since he had made such a good decision on the matching waistcoat (I’m really not a fan of those swirly patterned ones) I decided to let the cravat issue go! J’s two younger brothers also wore the same, but without a jacket.
As the drinks reception continued, we were also able to take a look at the main room before anyone else was in it. I had arranged the majority of the decor myself, and had therefore spent a lot of time worrying that it might all look hideous in reality. There were numerous panics over my DIY centrepieces in particular… but thankfully, I was pleased with the result.
I decided very early on that I didn’t want floral centrepieces, mainly because fresh flowers are expensive and I was hoping that a DIY effort would save some cash. With some help from my Mum, we fixed Mitsumata branches into spray-painted plastic vases, and decorated them with silk roses and battery-operated jewel fairy lights from The Range. We had hired an LED dancefloor and backdrop, so the fairy lights contributed to a very sparkly room!
The sequin table runners were a real labour of love too, after I’d spotted them in the H&M sale and knew they’d be perfect for my sparkly red theme. Unfortunately they were too short for the tables – so I spent hours hand-stitching fabric extensions on each one to make them long enough.
For obvious reasons, I made all of our wedding stationery. I had used a little red heart on our invitations, so carried this through the rest of the stationery on the day, with paper cut hearts appearing on the table plan and menus. I also made heart-shaped table numbers that hung from each centrepiece.
I made a simple white box for our cards to go in, with glittery red hearts and silver ribbon. We didn’t want a traditional guestbook, so I printed postcards with some prompts for an interesting message – and it worked, as some of the drawings we received are rather entertaining! I also spray-painted a shabby chic letter rack for the postcards to go in, which I’d found in a bargain store.
One of my good friends has a candy cart business called Sweeet Life, and she kindly set it up for us on the day. We had red and white striped bags, and all of the sweets were variations of the same colour scheme – yeah, I went a bit matchy-matchy Bridezilla. The sweets were even more popular than I expected though!
After a slight delay caused by a lost usher, we were all seated for dinner. Our raspberry vodka favours doubled up as place names, as each guest had a name tag tied around the neck of their miniature bottle. (The kids had heart-shaped chocolates in red boxes – no alcohol for them!)
I didn’t feel hungry at all but I ate because the food was put in front of me, and I’m glad I did – it was delicious. We’d gone for fairly safe options as we know a lot of fussy eaters, but it was all really tasty and seemed to go down very well: homemade vegetable soup, followed by seared chicken breast in Madeira sauce, and finally a trio of miniature desserts.
After dinner came the speeches and cake cutting. The speeches were hilarious, but I suppose they won’t make much sense without knowing us personally so I won’t share any of the jokes! Our cake was delicious too – we’d chosen a fairly simple design, with silver ribbon and red roses on top, and my friend made us an acrylic red heart as decoration. Each of the three tiers was a different flavour (Madeira, double chocolate, and white chocolate) and we had a separate, small fruit cake for the traditionalists. One of my only regrets of the day is not eating more cake.
The first of our evening guests started to arrive soon after, and the drinks began to flow. I had kicked off my heels sometime during dinner (I had broken Bride Rule #1 and hadn’t practised wearing them before the day) but I never bothered to find the glittery flats I’d bought in preparation, so I was bare foot for the entire evening. Classy.
Our first dance was ‘One Day Like This’ by Elbow, but even though I wasn’t limited by painful shoes it was still ‘dancing’ in the very loosest sense of the word… because I cried almost all the way through! I hadn’t cried all day, but as soon as I heard the first few notes of our song I lost it, and spent most of the time wiping away tears.
From then on the dance floor was full all evening, and the party was brilliant. There were drinking games, dance-offs and all sorts of crazy behaviour. It’s a cliché but it really was the best day of my life, and I would love to do it all again. Does anyone have a time machine I could borrow?
Im so glad you've come back to finish your report! We are having a'One Day Like This' for when we are signing the register, it'd such a beautiful song xx
Me too! It's been quiet on here without some of the 'oldies' Looks like a truly wonderful day
Thanks ladies. It took me forever but I finally got it finished! Hope your planning is all going well!
Lovely report. You all looked great & it is plain to see you had a wonderful special day. I also love your hair, think I will do mine something like that Any chance of seeing some more close up pics of you & your hubbie ?
Thanks for sharing it all with us
Thank you Angie. I never really had a hair trial as my bridesmaid was going to do my hair, but she had a family emergency two days before and wasn't sure she'd be able to do it, so my friend stepped in instead. She did a brilliant job, especially without a practice run! Here are a few more photos for you.
What a lovely wedding report! you all looked fab but that dress is amazing, love JP dresses! x
Aww yes, I'm so pleased I got to wear a Jenny Packham. Even if it cost much more than I intended to spend, it was worth it!
Nice pics, can see your dress more in those. Very pretty. It's nice to see such bright colours at a wedding too. Congratulations.
Just to say I am selling a few things in this thread, if anybody is interested:
(Will be adding more items over the next few days too.)
I am trying to catch up on planning reports from the people I can remember seeing around here while I was planning.
I love all of your details. The stationery and fonts etc are gorgeous.
Your hair looks amazing and I love how the colour scheme worked with it so brilliantly.
Can't wait to see more photos.
Thank you annacwc, I'm glad you like the details. It's nice to know all the hard work paid off!
What a beautiful wedding! You looked stunning! x
Thank you It feels such a long time ago now, I miss planning!