Space hoppers and cream teas - our Devon wedding 26/07/08

I'll start by posting links to pictures before I start to upload a wedding report.

Our official pics are here:

Go to weddings; recent weddings; order online; martin and amy (password = williams)

Our guest photos we have so far are here:

Right. Going to get this report sorted now... image


  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Part 1 - The days before:

    Our wedding started feeling real at 9:30 am on the Wednesday morning when I went for my first appointment - a bikini wax - ouch!!!

    Hubby and I met in Exeter for lunch as he finished work and we ate at Giraffe (where that bomb went off the other month). Really lovely in the sunshine and it set the tone for the next few days.

    Unlike many brides, I was not frantic leading up to the wedding. We spent the evenings at various family bbqs, meeting with Martin's step brother over from NY with his new girlfriend, and drinking wine. On Thursday we went up to the venue for a rehersal. My dad and I had a great time practising walking up and down the stairs down which I had to make my entrance. Glad we went as the useless co-ordinator bloke had forgotten some of the finer details. Luckily, we met our -on the day' lady and she was fab.

    On Friday, I had my nails done and did a little panic as I said goodbye to hubby on my way to take my mum up to my venue. My mum has ME and our venue was in a different part of Devon to where we live so my sister and I took her up the night before so she could get settled. We had a really yummy meal in a nearby pub but all that driving etc meant I didn't get home until 8:30.

    My other 2 bridesmaids, SIL Josie and her daughter 4 year old Izzy, were already there. They had been to a wedding in the day and had come back late. The plan had been they'd eat at home then come over, but as they were late, her hubby had dropped her off telling her that we'd have food - which we didn't! All we had was bread and some eggs so bless her, she had to make scrambled eggs.

    Anyway, Izzy was supposedly in bed but far too excited. Upon stepping in the door she immediately demanded I read her favourites - Hairy McClairy and Slinky Malinky. I managed to get away by 9 to have a bath, but Izzy came into my room as I was drying very excitedly talking about being a bridesmaid. Eventually, bless her, she did settle and sleep when I'd done the whole -tomorrow will come sooner' talk and encouraged the cat to sleep with her.

    I then had to paint my toe nails and make the thank you bouquets for our mothers. As hubby has a mum and step mum that was 3 bouquets and the florist was quoting well over £100 so I got a whole trolly of flowers from Tesco and arranged them myself for half that price. I did start to wonder whether it may have been worth spending the extra money when I finally finished at 11pm.

    My sister went to bed and Josie and I stayed up until 12:30. I went to bed but couldn't sleep. I ended up watching old episodes of Star Trek as there was nothing on, and I know I saw 3am.

  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Part 2 - The big day - -getting ready'

    I woke up at 7am to the sound of someone slowly opening my bedroom door. In popped a little blonde head and a massive smile. It was little Izzy! ???????Hello Princess Isabelle??????? I said to her, and she jumped into bed with me for a cuddle telling me ???????You're going to have a wedding today???????. We sat watching cartoons on TV and talking about Izzy being a bridesmaid. At about 8, my sister and Josie popped their heads around the door and presented me with Martin's gift to me - a DKNY watch. It was gorgeous!

    We spent the moring watching more cartoons and eating marmite on toast. Izzy got masses of toys out and we were playing with zoo animals when I realised I really should get ready. Soon it was 10am and the Usher's wife, Saira, turned up to help us get everything to Tiverton. She drove her car and I drove mine. I didn't want to drive but the other's didn't have their cars and weren't insured. Unfortunately, Saira's car is an MX5 so with their cases there wasn't any room for any of our stuff, so my sister went in with her and everything else, Josie and Izzy were loaded in to my car with me.

    The M5 was a nightmare. There had been a 4-car pile-up on the M5 south. We were going North but cars were coming off on our exit and blocking the roundabout which meant we spent a very hot half an hour on the slip road coming off Junction 27. I thought we'd never get there and Izzy couldn't understand why on earth we were sat on the still road when the big road next to us was moving. Luckily, we had a Duffy CD on and all 3 off us were distracted by singing and dancing along to that.

    It was at this point we got phone calls saying that the makeup and hair ladies were already at the venue and where were we - doh!!!

    Finally we got there and I was whisked upstairs to have my hair put in curlers. I was supposed to arrive at 11:15 but we arrived at 12. This meant I couldn't see any of the preparations or decorations which I'd hoped to see before the ceremony. I was going to have to wait.

    2 hours of -beautifying' ensued. Izzy had found various members of staff and was showing them her dress and shoes within minutes. The venue gave us champagne to sip and the co-orinator bought up my bouquets - they were perfect!

    My dad arrived at 1pm and was really funny and entertaining. He and my mum occupied Izzy so we could all get ready freely.

    At 1:30 we got the message that the groom had arrived. Ahhhh!!!! I needed the loo. To go to the toilet, I had to leave my secret room and risk being seen. My sister had to stand watch while I ran to and fro. Very funny!

    By 2pm, the hair and make up ladies had gone and I decided to get in my dress. How exciting! I thought it would take ages to get ready but it didn't and I had ages to wait but my photographer filled that time. It was very strange waiting. I could hear people outside and could see glimpses through the net curtain of people chatting in the sunshine. Izzy blew my cover by shouting ???????Hello Grandad!??????? out of the window and from then I kept well away just in case...

  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Part 3 - The important bit! - The ceremony:

    Suddenly the moment was coming. The registrar knocked on my door and I passed on the info for the marriage certificate in a complete daze. Then before I knew it I was standing poised to make my entrance. I was never nervous. Not once. I was excited!

    As the music (Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats) started, I walked forwards and from the balcony I could see hubby's face - he was overcome with emotion and began to cry. I had a permanent smile stuck to my face as I was so happy. My dad whispered jokes to me as we walked down the stairs - asking if I was sure if I wanted to marry someone who blubs! I was struck by the mass of faces and in awe that they were there for us. I didn't know where to look. Essentially I looked at hubby but I would catch the eye of various people as I went by. My Aunty said hello as I went by and I laughed as it was so surreal.

    When I got to the front we held hands. Both of us were both wet and sweaty and be chuckled about it. Hubby said ???????Amazing???????. We held hands whenever we could but were forced to sit in separate chairs for quite a bit. My best friend said her reading - True Love. Then we did the legal -No reason why we can't marry' bit. Then the usher, Dave, did his reading about the Chinese proverb why the ring is on the third finger. Then we read our vows. We had written a set of our own vows. We'd incorporated elements from the traditional, from Emmy on this site's and from our own selves. It was very emotive and we both welled up. I would have burst into floods but that I didn't say something right and got the giggles instead.

    I call upon these persons here present

    to witness that I ________________

    Do take you ___________________

    to be my lawful wedded ____________

    My partner in life and my one true love.

    I will cherish our marriage

    and love you more each day than I did before.

    I will trust you and respect you;

    loving you faithfully through good times and bad,

    regardless of the obstacles we may face together.

    I promise all my heart's devotion;

    a love that's ever true and ever growing.

    I give you my hand and my heart through each tomorrow

    from this day forward

    As long as we both shall live.

    Then we kissed. Then she announced we were married and we kissed again.

    Martin's mum did a final reading -May the Sun'. Finally, we signed the register. -Grow old with you' from wedding singer and -Tender' from Blur played while we signed it and after some photos we walked out to Jack Johnson -Better together' as people threw confetti.

  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Part 4 - the drinks reception

    We dispensed with convention and rather than have a line up, we waited outside the door to the grounds and greeted people as they came out of the great hall - that way, we got to see everyone at the beginning of the wedding, rather than 2 hours later.

    The annoying thing about weddings is that everyone hugs and kisses you, which is lovely except by the time we'd met all 100 of our guests my veil was totally pulled out and in doing so it had mucked up my hair, which meant my hair was nice for only 30 mins. Oh well! My veil fell out 4 times in the course of the drinks reception before I gave up on it!

    The drinks reception was lovely. We had sparkles for grown ups and pink lemonade for the children, with mini cream teas as canapes.

    People happily played with the various lawn games our venue provided: Giant Jenga, connect 4, quoits, dominoes, croquet and of course spacehoppers.

    If you have the opportunity to have lawn games have them as they occupied all our guests and kept them entertained while we had photos. They also kept my dad entertained all day which was a blessing as he has the attention span of a 4 year old!

    Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to have a turn with anything.

    When all our guests went in to settle in the dining room, we went for a walk for photos just us. But we managed to get a stow-away. That's right, Izzy wouldn't leave us! She followed us trying to pick tiny bugs off my dress. Our photographer almost went spare when she decided to belly flop a spacehopper behind us just as she was about to click the camera on a lovely shot. It was hilarious though as she went flying! In the end, Martin had to drop kick the spacehopper so Izzy was distracted enough by chasing it so that we could get the romantic shots done.

    Never work with animals or children eh?!

    [Modified by: mrs maylee williams! on August 05, 2008 08:54 PM]

  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Then we made our entrance into the dining room. It was so exciting being announced by the best man, and I felt like a celebrity!

    We decided long ago to do our speeches before the meal as hubby had been unable to eat at his brother's wedding for fear of doing his speech. My dad did a great speech that my mum had written for him to say (he would have written one on the loo that morning otherwise!) and my mum read out a poem she'd written as she is a keen poet.

    Then Hubby did a speech which was really lovely and I still have his written version he gave me in our wedding keepsake box.

    Then I did a speech. I have had a really difficult time of it since we'd first got together 6 years ago (my mum has ME, my gran has been really ill and I've had to care for both of them, and just this last 2 months I've become unemployed) and I wanted to thank him for his support and belief in me. That shed a few tears!

    Then the best man (hubby's bro) did a great speech which involved blown up photos of him on the stag night.

    Our food was fantastic. Our venue use only locally sourced, seasonal food. For starters we were a bit miffed they'd changed the pate but it was still yummy and went down well. For mains, people could choose between beef with red wine reduction or salmon with asparagus and lemon hollandaise. For pud we cut our strawberry cheesecake we had instead of a wedding cake. That was served with a whole ice-cream scoop of clotted cream and extra strawberries.

    I actually could hardly eat. Having stopped, I was now in a daze and my mind was taking everything in. I just sat and watched everyone else. Hubby got a bit worried but I was enjoying them all having fun.

    The great thing was that the children were free to move. We allowed them to go outside in between courses as they were so safe and secure, and they all behaved beautifully as they knew they had that freedom. I had made goody bags for all the children and they loved them - colouring bits, my little ponies, bangles etc.

    The only 2 problems were rather big. The food took ages to serve and it took a whole hour extra which meant we had to leave our day guests to their pudding as we greeted our evening guests, when we'd timetabled an hour to relax after dinner before they came. The second was the vegetarian food. My dad is a very fussy veggie and was paying for everyone's dinner so I was very keen he would have what he wanted to eat. However, they totally ignored my precise instructions that they had agreed to in writing and changed the veggie option to something he would never eat. I was livid as it was not remotely the same as the agreed meal and I will be asking for all the veggie's money back.

    And breathe... after all that was the only issue all day...

  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Part 6 - the evening reception and the big goodbye

    The evening was great. As we were so late out of dinner, the timetable went out the window. We were supposed to have our first dance at 8:30 but had it at 9:15 instead. It was funny in the evening as after a few drinks, Jenga became highly competitive and spacehoppers became massive footballs.

    We set out the candy bar to gasps of delight from the children before they gorged themselves on it. We were very glad we didn't put it out BEFORE dinner!

    At 9:15 we did our first dance. Our band was called Dave Can't Dance and I tell you they are awesome! They sang -Grow old with you' for us and then regaled us with disco funk music. Everyone was dancing and 3 friends have since booked them for their weddings. HIGHLY recommended!!!!!!

    At 10, the evening food came out and it was well worth the money. We had a feast of pasties, potatoes and a huge range of salads. I couldn't eat anything though!

    At 11:30 we made an appearance on the balcony on the great hall and made a final farewell to our guests. I threw my bouquet and hubby's dad's partner caught it. They've been together for over 20 years and he still won't marry her so everyone cheered!

    Then we made our way out to a really posh car and waved frantically out of the window. It was brilliant!!!

  • mymanolomymanolo Posts: 273
    You look fab. Glad you enjoyed your day!

    Can I ask, where did you get your flowergirls sash? I'm looking for one that exact colour.
  • Coco-25Coco-25 Posts: 1,105
    Just quickly want to say WONDERFUL!! Now off to look at your pictures...

    Congratulations xxx
  • clarekellclarekell Posts: 6,666

    Great pics - really enjoyed your report!

    x x
  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Thanks girls!

    tartan princess, the flower girl dress is from 1 special day

    It was a complete set of dress and sash but I believe they have a section on the site where you can buy just sashes x
  • EnanjayEnanjay Posts: 1,012
    maylee - my washing machine has been bleeping at me for the last half hour but I couldn't tear myself away!!!

    Beautiful report, your pictures are stunning and I am so, so pleased that the day was as magical as you both hoped and dreamed for.

    Izzy was a star huh!!

    Congratulations to you both xxxxx
  • jillyjukjillyjuk Posts: 111
    Congratulations to you and your husband, looks like you had a fantastic day.

    I know what you mean about the veil (although your hair looks perfect) - my hair was lovely when I left my mums house but by the time I got to the reception it was a right mess. Nevermind!

    Love the shoes. xx
  • tt25777tt25777 Posts: 2,239
    Congratulations. Your photos are beautiful and it looks and sounds like you had a wonderful day xxx
  • katewasskatewass Posts: 1,692
    Ahhh i am actually rather teary! You looked so beautiful and the two of you looked so wonderfully happy. So glad you had an amazing day and that the sun shone so brightly.

    Lots of love Mrs Williams
  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    thanks for your messages girlies.

    How was the holiday w2w? x
  • bouncy35ukbouncy35uk Posts: 1,416
    congratulations!! loved your pictures, you look gorgeous. Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses from? Izzy looked like a little angel, i chuckled at the part when you mentioned her following you and H2B to have your pics done image
  • peeptoeukpeeptoeuk Posts: 264
    Absolutely gorgeous. I love the colour of your BM dresses and your shoes! Many congratulations to you both x
  • NonNon Posts: 495
    lovely report and your pics are beautiful.

    i love your bouquet and your little flower girl is a stunner!

    congratulations to you both x
  • You look gorgeous and so slim - beautiful- looks like a wonderful happy day - congratulations!

  • mayleecatmayleecat Posts: 2,001
    Thanks for all the comments girlies!

    Bouncy, did you mean my adult or child dresses?

    My adult ones were from Warehouse and there is the link above for where I got Izzy's x
  • NessaM26NessaM26 Posts: 80
    AWWW Maylee you look so beautiful!!!

    Am definitely looking into the garden games idea especially as we have lots of children and adults who behave like children!!

    So happy everything went well for you both, may you have a wonderful likfe together!!
  • Maylee how amazing I have had to dry my eyes after reading your report. What a great day and from your tone its sounds very warm and full of love. Congratulations wifey!!
  • ApeseyApesey Posts: 1,395
    congratulations - glad you have a fab day!!

    You look fanhtastic

  • Hi

    I've just read your blog and seen your pics! looks like it was a perfect day! Can I just ask where you got the guys purple ties from? that is the exact colour i am having but the suit hire places only seem to have lilac!! x
  • LottiukLottiuk Posts: 1,083
    Sounds and looks wonderful maylee!! x always nice to read about a fellow devon girl's day.
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