Aldeburgh wedding 20/06/2009 V LONG

Hi Girls,

a little background for you, JOhn and i got together in 2005, moved in together 2006m bought our own place and had our son Jack in 2007, engaged 2008, married 20.6.2009!!

Tuesday 16th June

We went to Ascot today! John booked it as a surprise for us to see the first days racing. Luckily our lovely best man Adam let the cat out of the bag last week so I had time to find a hat!

We did quite well at first but lost all our prize money on the last couple of races.

We drank Pimms and I had packed a posh picnic for us with a couple of half bottles of rose and yummy food.

Adam stayed for supper after we got back, ran through various items on the wedding agenda. I started the packing up of all the wedding related items that we needed, using a huge list I had made, one tick for got it on the pile, two ticks for it's packed in the car. He wanted to borrow it for his speech (no way!)

Wednesday 17th June,

I was up early finishing the packing, John went to work and I took Jack to nursery for a half day so I could go and get my spray tan, I also had an eyebrow wax (the things we do for these weddings!).

Then I went home, packed up the car and checked and rechecked the list I had made.

By 12 everything was ready so I jumped in the car, picked up Jack and off we went to Suffolk. I was rather hoping that he would sleep but he only slept when we were around 20 miles from Mum's.

A lot of renditions of Old MacDonald (he now has a zoo, did you know?!) later and we were there, only to find Mum and Bernard (stepfather) out and the house locked up! Luckily she always hides the key in the same place, so I let myself in, popped Jack in my bed to finish off his sleep and began to unload the car.

Mum got back and we unpacked my car, piling stuff into the front sitting room - totally jam packed expect a clear area on the sofa around the wedding dress that was hanging up on the wall. Then sat down for a chat and a cup of tea. She was telling me all of the things that were going to happen over the next few days, who was arriving when, jobs that still needed to be done etc.

I told her how proud I was of her, she tends to get stressed and have a meltdown when things get on top of her but she seemed remarkably relaxed, she enjoys catering and organising parties - this was the mother of all parties for her (pun intended!)

Bernard got home and Jack woke up. We went for a toddle into the town, then met up with Claire the caterer to discuss last minute details.

When we got back my Godmother Wendy had arrived, being the star she is she had come to help out. We all sat down and planned with military zeal exactly what needed to happen, and when. Strangely I didn't have many jobs to do! I guess that's the joy of being a bride.

After supper I went out to the pub, I went to my local only to find the barmaid and one other guy playing chess. No one was around, it only occurred to me then that it was a Wednesday and no one tends to go out during the week, I'm so used to going there for the weekend. We had a good laugh and after a while and mate came in so it wasn't quite so depressing.

I went to bed after a quick shower to get rid of the excess tan, slept on mum's old towels so I didn't turn the sheets brown.

Thursday 18th June

Mum stressed me out this morning and I snapped at her, she was going off with Wendy to raid people's gardens for flowers and I had to collect the beer. I rang and ordered it over the phone and was just having my breakfast when she piped up -'you better get going or you won't be back in time for lunch''. Grr. How is it parents say the most innocent things and can get our backs up?

After trying to find the caterer to discuss amounts. I couldn't find Claire or Richard so took a guess (we're left with 3 cases, so not too bad a guess!)

I had rung before I left but when I arrived they knew nothing about it, Jack was asleep in the car and I had to keep running out to check on him, until they told me to park in the car park where he would be safe. I moseyed around the shop while they were getting the cases together and bought Dad a bottle of wine to say thanks for walking me down the aisle/father's day (day after wedding). I left John with instructions to get him something too. I told them I was just going to check on Jack and then run and buy some cigarettes, the chap serving me said -not to worry' and sent one of his staff out to stand by the car and keep watch over Jack whilst I finished the purchase and bought cigs. Now how's that for customer service!! You wouldn't find it in London.

By the time the car was loaded and I drove back to Aldeburgh, it was 12.15. See! Told Mum I would be back for lunch!

After lunch I went into the town to buy thankyou cards for the bridesmaids. Then got Jack back in the car to go and collect John. We waited on the platform for him, Jack was more excited about the train coming than seeing Daddy! That's 2 year old boys for you.

We got really excited then! I drove him to Mums, then drove to Heath House (HH) to drop our stuff off, and some bits for the BBQ on Sunday with mum following us. We stopped at the shop to get some bits for supper. While John was in the Co-op I rang Buna (Tony), my dj mate who was playing for us at HH after wedding in the evening.

Hiring HH turned out to be the best idea we had had for the wedding. It is a huge house on the outskirts of the town, 7 bedrooms 5 beds in the main house with 2 in attached annex, 3 receptions, enormous terrace, games room, 15 acres of grounds inc 13 of woodland. Fully equipped for a weeks stay. We were putting up lots of our friends for £150 per room for up to a week

And we had it all to ourselves. We vaguely unpacked, explored the house and grounds and let Jack run riot. He loved it, especially the climbing frame and trampoline in the garden (the rest of the week was filled with the kids, and some of the adults shouting -Bounce, bounce!')

John and I crept into bed after supper and glass of wine on the terrace. And a few phone calls with our houseguests on arrival times etc. We felt so excited, only 2 more sleeps to go!

Friday 19th June

We were up early as usual with Jack. Drove over to Mum's to drop of Jack and John then raced back to the hairdresser for 9am, was only a couple of minutes late. She wanted me to have a trim before the big day so it would be at it's best, I'm so glad she did. I made final arrangements with her then shot off down to the Yacht Club to meet my big brother Charles for a sail in his Squib at 9.30am. I was disappointed to find the wind was up. In the club house my brother greeted me with the bad news that we were not going to go sailing. Boo! He said he did not want me to walk down the aisle with a huge gash on my head with his named tattooed into it with stitches! i.e it's too damn windy! Such a shame, I was looking forward to relieving the worries and stress behind and letting it all go out on the water. But totally getting his point we went to The Aldeburgh Market (Formally the Cabin where I used to work) for a couple of cups of coffee. We discussed times and places for getting Dad to pick me up the next day, and spoke to my sister in law who gave me some great advice: to take a step back and really take in what's going on during the ceremony.

By the time I got home, stopping via the chemist to buy some more disposable cameras for the tables and print off a photo of John and Jack for John's father's day present (nearly forgot!!) my sister and husband and 2 boys arrived. I shouted -hi' to them as I raced out of the house to go to Leiston to have my nails done.

The nail bar girls were lovely and chatty, put my mind at ease. About halfway through my appointment, my godmum Wendy arrived to have her nails done. I hadn't had time to have a proper catch up with her so it was lovely to do so then.

We both finshed about the same time and were sitting waiting for our nails to dry before getting back when Mum arrived to have her nails done. She thought she had caught us skiving!! My sister Alex was outside smoking so I nicked a cig from her, usually I roll but for obvious reasons I couldn't so nabbed a tailor made.

Adam (Best Man) and Garth (friend of ours and colleague of John's) had got there when I got back. At this point I got REALLY excited!! After bouncing about like a kid for a bit, the men headed off to collect the BBQ from the yacht club, we were borrowing it for the huge BBQ we had planned for the Sunday at HH. Jack, poor lamb was asleep on the sofa, my nephew had been looking after him brilliantly! I barely saw him for the rest of the day.

At 3pm headed off to the reception venue to see the caterers Claire and Richard who live next door to Mum. The cake decorating lady arrived when I was there and I got a glimpse of the cake but didn't have time to stop and chat. Mum and Wendy were doing the flowers, sweetpeas grown by the hundred by mum for the tables, the rest were pinched out of friends gardens and the hedgerows. Total cost of flowers for reception venue £0!! Total cost of cake, other than the cake tins and ingredients - £0! Mum made the top two layers - carrot and chocolate sponge, a friend and neighbour, Pippa, made delicious bottom layer fruit cake.

I tried to sort out the table plan but failed, then the name places but without table plan got no where fast, so sorted out kids stuff, and helped put up bunting in the garden with my Aunt who had just got down. Suddenly it was time for the wedding rehearsal.

Drove Mum to the church, then realised we did not have the order of services and John's birth cert so went back to Mum's to get those.

My best mate Sarah, her husband Mikey and Dylan who was my other page boy were there too. It was so lovely to see them though we didn't have much chance to gossip.

I grabbed both the boys hands and walked them down the aisle to show them what was going to happen the next day (it's hard to explain to 2 year olds!). My Dad was there which was lovely as I haven't seen him since early May at his 80th bday celebrations. He walks with a stick so we had to work out the best way of us walking down the aisle without him falling or anything. Then realised he would need a chair next to the BMs as he couldn't stand for long.

With all the intricacies sorted it was time for the vicar to walk us through the service. John made me giggle by getting his words muddled, then when I was saying my pretend vows he kept making subtle but silly faces at me! Vicar advised me to look at a picture over his shoulder if I couldn't keep a straight face, whether giggling or crying. We then discussed the surprise we had planned for when we were walking out and the route we would take to do it. And that was it.

Said goodbye to Dad and confirmed the time he needed to be at the house to collect me. Mum as being awkward about him coming half and hour early and insisted that he come at 11.25am, we secretly agreed 11.15am! Divorced parents can be a pain in the arse!

John and I then drove like mad things to get to the station where we were picking up John's son Mike, his friend Rui and my mate Matt. We were about 15mins late, not too bad considering. Loads of our friends had arrived by the time we reached HH. I got v excited saying hi to everyone, especially my oldest mate Bex who lives in Scotland and haven't seen for over a year. Just before I left I saw our friend and my colleague Tony arrive on his motorbike, I was thrilled not only because he rang at 11am saying he was just hitting the M25 and now it was 6pm - over 7 hrs for a 2 -3 hour journey!!! I ran through the house, slipped and hit my forehead on a chair! Oh no!! Shouted for Sarah my best mate for arnica (Thank god she had some for her kids) and slapped it on. Said hi to Tony then went back to the hall/reception venue after a quick good bye kiss and hug with John -see you at the church!'

Suddenly it was 7.20 and we were due to eat with my whole family (mum's side) at 8. I begged Mum to let me stay but she wouldn't, I knew I could get much more done that needed me (I was the only one who knew about various things i.e tableplan and nameplaces!) At Mum's threw on the plastic b2b tiara and hot pink sash my sister had given me to wear on my hen night (she was so pleased I had remembered to wear it again!) then off to the flat where my aunt and cousins were staying for the family meal.

My Aunt and Uncle Hugh, Uncle Frank and Patricia, Jonny and Fi and their 3 kids (in bed), Harry and Nigel and their 3 kids (in bed), Alex, Neil, Dean and Stu, Sarah and Boo (bm) and her boyfriend Tom, cousin Charlotte, Mum and Bernard were there, oh, and Mum's dog Florrie!

It was wonderful to see my family, and esp. my uncle Frank and his new wife Patricia as they had flown over from Calgary for 4 days to be with us on our special day.

We all sat where we could (older generation getting the comfy seats) and munched on Aldeburgh's famous fish and chips.

After the meal I raised a toast to Mum and Bernard for not only to amazing work they had put in to the wedding but also as they got married quietly last year (i.e no one in family knew) and we hadn't had a chance for all of us to be together to celebrate.

At about 10 I left with Boo and Tom and headed to DP's bar in my tiara and b2b sash! The pub was much fuller than it had been on Wednesday night. Lots of my friends were there and we all had a quick drink in celebration, except my neice Boo who was IDd! She is only 17 but could pass for 21. I couldn't argue as the bar maid is my friend!

I also saw the girl who was meant to be looking after the kids tomorrow, through bad communication she was under the impression that she could manage alone, with 9 kids under the age of 10?!!! Sent her off to find someone to help her, slim chance at 11 at night. (she didn't find anyone but was absolutely amazing!)

I fell into bed in the hope that I would sleep but it eluded me. Eventually I got up and started and finished the table plans that would go up at the reception venue first thing tomorrow. I finished about 2.30 and then went on the YAYW website, then Facebook, check emails and only then felt like I was actually going to get some sleep at last.

THE BIG DAY 20th June

I was woken up by my Mum at 7.30 saying the hairdresser would be there in half an hour. I jumped in the shower, washed my hair and used the matching shower gel to my body lotion and scent.

The hairdresser was late which sent Mum into panic mode! She did Mum's hair first, who then went down to the reception venue to take table plans down. After she had done my hair I jumped in the car down to the reception venue to help mum with the table names. It was a nightmare and I ran out of time to help, looking at my watch it was suddenly 10am and I only had 1.5 hrs to get ready!

Rushing back to mum's I wanted to ring John and Jack but resisted, it was only the second night I had spent away from my baby boy and I missed him. I kept thinking of them all getting ready at HH. I knew that his best man Adam would have John under control, and that Sarah, my best mate would have Jack and Dylan under control.

My sister Alex was there to help me, basically I got her running up and down the stairs getting things I had left! Then she disappeared and my other sister Sarah appeared with Bonnie, John's niece and other bridesmaid. Boo was prancing about in her dress and trying to help me with my makeup. Bonnie was incredibly nervous and extremely shy, but brightened up as the morning went on.

Sarah told me she had been in to see me early in the morning but I was snoring!! Lol. Glad she didn't wake me up coz I had had so little sleep (around 3 hrs I think). She took loads of photos, for a story book she is giving us as a present. The best was probably me in only my pants, little white ones with a big satin bow on the back (Dorothy Perkins £3 in sale!)looking back over my shoulder at the camera.

Suddenly it was 11.15 and I was ready! It was a laugh getting me into my dress as mum's room didn't have much space left in it with all the people, my 2 sisters, Godmum and 2 BMs plus me and an enormous dress! Forgot my shoes until I was downstairs and nearly fell over trying to get them on. When I went into the sitting room Mum was sitting in the clothes she got up in doing her makeup!! She had only got back a few minutes before from the reception venue! Then I spotted the bouquets on the kitchen table, they were gorgeous - am really hoping Sarah got a photo of those!

My sister ushered me outside before my stress levels hit the ceiling and took lots of photos of me, and the BMs, at one point Frank L who had come to drive me over to the church in his smart car and one of the older male neighbours were holding the bridesmaids bouquets - another photo op!

The neighbours had lined the street opposite the house and were cheering me on. Then Dad arrived and it was time to go!! Except we couldn't because Mum was not ready (and it's meant to be the Bride whose late!!). Eventually I stamped my satin clad bridal foot and got her hurrying! And we were off, after a lot of awkward backing into the car and a neighbour feeding my dress through the car from the other side!!

The church was only a couple of minutes away, so we drive really slowly to give Mum a chance to get there. Frank also said it would give me time to reflect on what was about to happen. At which point I told him to put his foot down, anymore thinking about it and I might back out! The nerves were really churning in my tummy and I felt breathless.

Then we were drawing into the church car park and I spotted my best friend Sarah with our two boys looking like angels. Dad got out of the car and Frank went to help me out but I was pretty much already there, far too impatient to wait!

I greeted the photographer who got a couple of snaps before we went in. I burst into tears when I saw Jack properly; he looked so smart and totally gorgeous.

Then the vicar was hurrying us as we were running late (Thanks Mum!). Sarah was busily tucking jack's shirt in (for I nth time I found out later! He spent the rest of the day with it un-tucked and covered in chocolate!)

I grabbed Dad's arm and we were off. I honestly can't remember what the music was going down the aisle, I didn't hear it. The order of service says it was.......

I looked around and the church was fairly full. I looked ahead and saw my John, he didn't look at me. Then I passed my sister who had made it over from France that morning, I whispered -well done' to her as I passed. Grinning like the Cheshire cat I made it down to John, stopped Dad too early and the vicar had to usher us forward! Oops! Don't think anyone noticed. John and I stood before eachother and I noticed tears on his cheeks, there were probably some on mine too.

It happened so fast, we sang a hymn, said our vows and then turned around so our guests could congratulate us on being husband and wife. I then had the chance to see who was there. All my lovely friends and family, with some very noticeable exceptions namely John's younger sister and family, it also turned out that his other sister Karen's two eldest kids were no there either.

After a couple more hymns and signing of the register, it was time for the first surprise of the day: we went back down the ailse doing the conga!!! It was the funniest thing ever, the organist played so fast that I was practically running it! My mum kept telling me to slow down but I couldn't!

We hope that the guests would join in but they didn't, possibly due to the slightly confusing message the vicar had told them before the ceremony about leaving via a different door to the wedding party!

Then it was CHEESE time. Photo after photo after photo! By the end I got a little stroppy knowing we were running late and hoping to eat at some point within the next millennium. But Shaun was fantastic and got pretty much every photo we ever could have wanted.

Just as we were having the last photos taken a car drew into the car park and John's sister, husband and kids had arrived. They had got lost (and they lived in the area the year before, when you go to Aldeburgh you are not going anywhere else except into the North sea!!). Jackie was in tears, sad about being late. We were thrilled to wee Layla, who had almost died at Easter following a house fire and 85% burns!

She was in a wheelchair and wearing normal clothes for the first time, and out of the hospital for the first time too so v special for us all to have her there.

We got into the car again, John being smothered by my dress and drove a couple of minutes down the road to the reception venue. It looked stunning! We entered the garden and immediately John disappeared to see his family the other side of the garden. I thought we were meant to be going round arm in arm making polite conversation to our guests. I barely got 6 ft in 10 mins!

The caterers supplied us with Pimms and canap????s - I only got a couple but they were delicious. I caught up with a few people I hadn't seen and then dragged John in to see the cake and our personalised cake toppers before everyone came in for the meal.

My sister Bridget told me she couldn't find her name on the seating plan. Her husband, my dad and brother had told me she was going straight back to France after the church so I wasn't expecting her to be there. Minor panic stations as there were exactly the right number of seats and no spares but I let the caterers deal with it. Then I thought I had rescued the situation by realising that the band hadn't arrived and so she could have one of their seats. Then they arrived!! I gave up and let Richard deal with it. She got seated in the end though.

Then it was time for the cake cutting, we had a cake slice that played the wedding march but when I pressed the button it wasn't working!! After some faffing we cut the cake anyway. Then sat down to eat.

The main course was fabulous (skipped starter due to canap????s). Chicken/veggie tagine with couscous followed by Eton Mess with raspberries. YUM! My new brother in law is Moroccan and he said the tagine was amazing!

At some point it rained during the meal, the lovely girl Jess who was looking after the kids sheltered with them under a table (although there were gazebos) and played games. At 4pm the kids entertainer arrived. I was gutted coz we had only just finished the mains and I wanted to watch him. Toby terrorised him I think!

Then it as coffee and cake followed by speeches. Dads was nice, he hadn't really prepared anything and pretty much stole most of John's by thanking various people. One person who he did thank was Fev, my other godmother who has been a major influence and strength in my life. She and I cried at that!

Then it was my wonderful new husband's turn. He had told me that he was going to include a quote from Homer Simpson and I was disappointed when it didn't appear. Just as he was standing up Mum pushed the cake slice into his hand telling him to show everyone. Not exactly how he planned to start his speech but it got the first laugh!

It was a beautiful speech and made me tear up. He's a lecturer by trade so it should have been good.

Then Adam stood up to speak and was also funny and wonderful. He told the history of our relationship.

After the speeches we went outside to chat some more to our guests while the band set up. Graham had to check with me what we wanted as our first dance, we hadn't decided on anything and we came up with have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with?!!!

They started playing and I was dragged in to do our first dance, it got a laugh and soon lots of people were on the dance floor.

We popped in and out of the building, dancing and chatting alternatively.

Then I was told the band were going to play their final song so I rushed in to dance with John. It turns out it wasn't the final dance after all coz just as the band were about to pack up Graham

remembered that John had requested a final song. It was a version of -Those Were the Days My Friend' and the best song to end a wedding with EVER! It started off with a couple of people linking arms and kicking their legs alternatively in and out, ended up with the entire wedding party, guests and all linking arms and kicking left and right. Then people took turns dancing in the middle, even my Mum and stepfather. At one point no one was in the middle to I went in on my own! It was great fun, everyone agreed that it was the best last dance ever!

Eventually I gathered my husband and sister in law up to get a lift with mum to HH. Jack was getting a lift with Sarah and her husband Mikey and Dylan. Erveryone else was making their own way there. One of the BMs stopped me to ask me how they were going to get back. By this point I was knackered and grumpy so pointed them in the direction of the best man and asked him to help them get a lift!


After a speedy change out of my beautiful wedding gown, greeting the DJs who were waiting for us in their car and pointing them in the direction of the room they would need to set up in I grabbed my beautiful new sister in law Karen and drove my car back to Mums (at this point I was stone cold sober! Having had one glass of Pimms, one or two of wine and sip of champagne). We had a cup of tea with mum and Karen put her bags upstairs, she was staying at mums so she could get a decent night's sleep, her daughter Bonnie, one of my BM's had been picked up by her dad a some point during the reception, so sad I didn't get to say goodbye to her! Karen's other daughter Claire and two of John's other nieces were staying at our b and b next door to Mums.

Then we went back to find the party in full swing! My lovely DJ mate Buna and Will had set up and were blasting out reggae onto the terrace and lawn, people were all over the house drinking, chatting , dancing, smoking etc. And that is how it continued with more and more guests arriving.

The band (minus drums) decided to set up in the kitchen so we had funky jazz jamming vs reggae.

Unfortunately it rained lightly a lot of the evening so I don't think Buna got the audience he deserved. I was there though dancing away with John and various others.

I have to say it was the best party ever. Apart from when John was able to get his younger nieces a lift home, one of them made a -sad face' and he went ballistic! She then went off in a huff! Teenagers! Later I found out that he had agreed that they could stay until he told them it was time to go and that they were not to make a fuss, no sad faces or anything.

The party carried on well into the night, stupidly I had not booked any taxis and the only other wedding in town had nabbed them all until after 3.30am. A large group of my family disappeared down the drive, I found out it took them 45 minutes to get back home!!

One incident I seem to remember is elbowing my new stepson in the goolies when bouncing on the trampoline.

I have no idea when I went to bed, not long after 1am I imagine as the DJ packed up just after midnight (didn't want neighbour complaints). The band in the kitchen varied from the original band (minus drummer) to various guests playing the guitars to my mate Sarah doing the percussion on a saucepan with wooden salad servers!!

Sunday 21st June 2009

We got up fairly early and started the big clear up, thank god for mates! Adam was up early and had made a good start already, but the time others had got up around 8.30 nearly everything was done. We all had breakfast of some sort before sorting out the bbq.

The kids were great, we had 3 toddlers and a baby with us, the baby was easy and the rest of them were either being bounced on the trampoline by one of the adults or sitting in front of a dvd.

Mum arrived armed with a dozen different salads and we started all over again. Various family and friends, and mums friends descended and we had a huge bbq.

Sarh M's parents arrived with Sarah's gorgeous baby boy Theo, who during that day I nicknamed T-Pot (coz he is little, short and stout!). Matt D left during the bbq at some point.

It went on until around 3pm and after the clear up operation, the second of the day, we all flopped into loungers, or wherever and relaxed. John and Jack went to bed and slept for 4 hours! There were loads of us staying, around 14 adults and 4 kids!

Tonight was the moustache evening! I had bought a set of various different moustaches in the 99p shop near work. Originally meant for another purpose, I had chucked them into the wedding box at the last minute. One of our ideas was to have the evening wedding reception as a theme where everyone had to come -in disguise'. This idea never got off the ground. It seemed right that Tony found them on the dining table and brought them out for everyone. We had just enough for everyone to have wither moustache of some sort of fake facial hair.

In the evening we mostly ate bbq leftovers, everyone helping themselves whenever they fancied it. We all sat around two large garden tables wearing our false moustaches and drank, talked, watched a hilarious video of my darling new husband dancing etc etc. The kids ran around until they collapsed, at which point they went to bed!

During the following week they all disappeared in ones and twos, leaving just us and our friends Christine and Dave with their kids Lydia and baby Rachel.

told you it was long, hope you enjoyed it, just realised can't access the photos on facebook at work and home computer down so can't put them on. did post some before though.


  • BamalooBamaloo Posts: 1,048

  • JAX1145JAX1145 Posts: 1,742
    Big congrats to you all..
  • louise1980uklouise1980uk Posts: 407
    congratulations loved your report x
  • Mayse29Mayse29 Posts: 118
    Wow, wow, wow - I saw you on your wedding day!! I live in Leiston and was in Aldeburgh that day, we drove past the church just after you had all come out!! Can't believe it. Congrats. X
  • mrshelen74mrshelen74 Posts: 9,282
    congrats would love to see some pictures
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