Our perfect damask and hot pink day x

Hi,

I like most other brides have found this forum such an invaluable source of inspiration and I have enjoyed reading everyone else's post so much that I thought I would share our day with you.

We got engaged when I was 21, we had been together just over 3 years, because I was still living with my dad we decided that we would wait until we had our own place before we set a date. Fast forward 2 years and because of my dads health I couldn't really move out and we wanted to buy somewhere rather then rent. So I said shall we set a date for 2 years time, this will give us time to save for somewhere to live and save for the wedding. He agreed so in May 2011 we decided that our wedding would be for May 2013. Now the exciting bit starts!

Someone I worked with mentioned that her daughter was getting married at a place called Ufton Court which was a manor house that had a barn for weddings, which wasn't too far from us. We made an appointment to go and have a look around. 

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 We liked the look of it, but the thing we didn't like was that after the ceremony everyone had to move out of the room and wait outside while they set up for the wedding breakfast and the same for the evening reception. So this venue was a no go for us!

So then I searched google for barn venues in Berkshire and stumbled across Rivervale Barn in Yateley and I fell in love instantly. I knew it was out of our price range but went and had a look anyway and it did not disappoint! Rivervale is a purpose built wedding venue so every detail has been thought of! It has a room for the ceremony, for the wedding breakfast and one for the drinks reception which is also where the evening reception happens.

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 Well it is safe to say we fell in love instantly and both of us wanted this to be our wedding venue. We had a look at the prices and other then having a week day wedding the next cheapest day was a Sunday. So I thought if we had the wedding on a bank holiday weekend it would give our guests the Monday off as well without them having to take time off work! We decided to go for the 2nd bank holiday weekend in May which worked out as the 26th May - Our anniversary! So this was definitely meant to be!

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  • We decided pretty much instantly on a theme of black and hot pink and I went a bit crazy buying stuff on Confetti (without doing price comparisons on Ebay first!!) but then when we bought our save the date magnets I fell in love with the damask print on them so this is when our theme developed into damask print and hot pink! 

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  • This next bit is horrible but needs explaining so a lot of my wedding decisions become clear.

    My dad suffered a very severe heart attack in October that year and while he is was in hospital my nan (his mum) was rushed to a different hospital and sadly passed away a few days later. Then 3 days after this I received the worst phone call anyone could ever receive and was asked to go to my dads hospital straight away. I was told that there was nothing more they could do for him and I would have to make the decision to stop treatment. At this point my whole world came crashing down, my dad was my absolute world. My brother and I had to plan my dads funeral and deal with all of his affairs. 2.5 weeks later I went back to work but on my first day back Andy phoned me to say that we had been served with an eviction notice by the council, I had to leave work immediately to deal with this. Well my work weren't happy with this and 3 days later I was told that it wasn't working out and could I leave straight away!

    I can honestly say that this was the lowest point of my life but I put every energy into fighting to keep our house! I had numerous meetings with the council and even wrote to downing street (I was a woman on a mission) and then in March 2012 we were told that we could keep the house! Now all of the things that happened after dad died were terrible but nothing as bad as losing my dad! I started to re-evaluate my life and just do everything I could to keep myself busy. 

    Through all of this Andy was my absolute rock! I don't know where I would be right now if it wasn't for him. 

  • I didn't work for a total of 7 months and it was absolutely soul destroying, it wasn't through lack of trying - I was applying for 30 jobs a week but not hearing anything back! In this 7 months I found crafts! I am not a crafty person and could never ever imagine making things for my own wedding! but as it turned out I made pretty much everything. I even enrolled myself on a flower arranging course and did my own weddin flowers!!

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     These were the invites that Andy and I spent hours and hours making! (for some reason this is the only photo I can find of them) It was tough and there were many points I wanted to give in and buy them but I am so glad we persevered with them, we had so many nice comments about them!

  • The finer details

    I have gone on a bit so will upload loads of photos of the details of the day!

    We went for black candelabra as our centre pieces with a damask print table runner and hot pink candles!

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     We were contemplating naming the tables after family who were no longer with us but decided against it as we wanted our wedding to be a happy day and not just a reminder that they weren't there so we named our tables after nicknames that we both have - from other people and for eachother. So our table names were:

    Blossom, Mimi-Belle, Reeda, Foston, Tandrew, Quakes, Fluffs, Drew and Frosty

    This was our table plan

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     These were our favours. It nearly killed me trying to get photos of all of our guests, especially those who weren't on facebook, but it was so worth it! This and the table plan we got so many amazing comments about and it was funny to see all of the little people in the photos and none got left behind as well

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     This is a frame that says in Loving memory and then all of our family who are no longer with us

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     Our fingerprint tree and some photos of us

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     This table was as you walked into the ceremony barn, in the baskets were packs of tissues and packs of confetti

    I also made for every table an "about us" card for me and Andy. This just had silly little things about us both that nobody knew! We did get teased quite a bit about some of the points Haha!

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     These were the place names

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     and this was the flipflop basket (I know that being on this forum we see this being done all the time but the great thing is that your guests probably have never seen it before and seriously they went down so well! We bought 25 pairs in total and were only left with 5!)

     

     

     

  • JJ2013JJ2013 Posts: 628

    aww what an emotional story, I had a tear reading. your day looks beautiful xx

  • JJ2013 wrote (see)

    aww what an emotional story, I had a tear reading. your day looks beautiful xx

     

    Thank you so much! It was a really tough time and he was definitely missed on the day, but we tried to include him in lots of subtle ways that nobody would know about! x

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    That is a lot to get through, but shows that you have a strong relationship together.

    I have to say your favours are AMAZING!! Must have taken ages to get all of the photographs of everyone!! But well worth it!

  • The dress

    This was a tough part as being a "plus sized" bride I didn't want the embarassment of going to a bridal shop and trying to find dresses in my size. I have heard some absolute horror stories of brides who have been to bridal shops and have dresses pinned to them because the sample size didn't fit. I ended up buying a Maggie Sottero dress from Ebay a year before the wedding, the dress was white and I bought a white veil with lace trim to go with it - sorted! Or so I thought!

     

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    I had conversations with other friends that were getting married and they said that one of the best parts of the wedding was going dress shopping and got me thinking that I really didn't want to miss out on that part of the wedding planning. So I came on here and found reccomendations on here for a plus size bridal shop in Essex called Curvy Couture so I made and appointment!

    Wow what an experience which I am so glad I did! I went in with a clear vision of what I wanted - Lace and not stapless!

    Well this was my dress

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     As you can see the actual dress is strapless and no lace to be seen! That is because the girls picked out dresses that would be the most flattering and would suit me the best! They really know their stuff! I hate my arms so I had a lace bolero made, and I absolutely loved it!

    From the word ago I really wanted some wow shoes. Then stumbled across a website called Milk and Honey where you design your own shoes. I had so much fun playing on their website but couldn't really justify the £200 price tag. Then 6 weeks before the wedding I decided I must have them - I have no idea why I did this to myself as I was getting very stressed thinking they wouldn't make it in time!  but luckily they did!

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     and the best part is I can where them again and again!

  • image wrote (see)

    That is a lot to get through, but shows that you have a strong relationship together.

    I have to say your favours are AMAZING!! Must have taken ages to get all of the photographs of everyone!! But well worth it!

    It completely does and if anything has made us so much stronger, and also just makes me realise how lucky I am to have someone like him!

    The stress with the photos was so worth it! Nowadays most people are on facebook (including Andy's nan haha) and anyone who wasnt we just had to ask for photos and we eventually got them 3 weeks before the wedding. Lucky for me I have a very crafty bridesmaid who loves doing this sort of stuff so we just spent a few evenings doing them. They are also relatively cheap to do - only cost about £25 including the ink and paper for their outfits!

  • Bridesmaids 


    I had 4 bridesmaids in total, my 3 best friends and Andy's sister. I knew I wanted them to have long dresses but other then that I didn't mind. One weekend we saw a bridal shop near me was closing down and selling off all of their sample dresses so we went and had a look. We found the most perfect Dessy dress that was so flattering, the downside being they only had one! We bought it anyway for £40 and I just thought that if we couldn't find any to match then I could always sell it on. I found another one on ebay for £60 and then when I was hunting for the other 2 I found out that they sell for £230 image

    I found a dress shop in the states that including postage and import tax worked out at around £120 each but I think you will agree they all look beautiful (but then I am biased)

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  • The Men

    Andy had no idea what he wanted, so we went and had a look in Burtons and he decided on Grey tails and then black cravat for him and hot pink for the rest of the men (as it matched the bridesmaids)

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     My bridesmaids little boy was page boy and I found a cute little pinstripe suit for him from BHS. The little monkey insists on wearing shorts and crocs! all of the time! image and because I didn't want him making a fuss on the day I agreed to have the trousers taken up into 3/4 lengths which made him very happy! 

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  • The flowers! 

    As mentioned previously I went on a flower arranging day course and decided I wanted to do my own flowers. For some unknown reason I decided to buy my flowers from Covent Garden flower market and got there for 3am on the friday morning. I went with the idea of having pastel colours but knew I definitely wanted orange/peach roses as when my dad died we had a memorial rose tree for him at the cemetary which had peach roses, I originally wanted to use a rose from the tree but unfortunately it had not come into bloom. However when I arrived at the market this all changed, I picked the flowers  was drawn to and absolutely loved my choices!

    My bouquet was white hydrangea, purple stocks (which smelt incredibly) orange roses and bright pink peonies!

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     The bridesmaids bouquets were blue hydrangea (which looked amazing against their dresses) hot pink roses, light pink peonies and white stocks

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     and the mens buttonholes were pink roses.

    I also made both mums bouquets

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  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    You looked amazing and the flowers are incredible! xx

  • LivelifeloveLivelifelove Posts: 1,024

    You're such an inspiration. 

    Gorgeous thread - our colour is hot pink too and the upholstered chairs for the wedding breakfast are damask print so I am loving seeing how you have incorporated it into the day. Can't wait to read more!

  • RinaGeeRinaGee Posts: 753

    My goodness - I can't believe all that happened to you at the same time, it must have been so difficult dealing with the loss of your Dad, never mind everything else. You must be one strong lady.

    Loving the report, your dress is beautiful!

  • Thanks everyone! I know I am not the only person to ever go through something like that and it's really tough but feel like I am getting there and keeping busy with the wedding planning definetly helped. x

     

  • The day before the wedding

    I had made up all of the bouquets on the Friday and put them in the shed, I became a bit obsessive about checking them! The buttonholes were put in the fridge but the day before the wedding I noticed they had started to wilt so off out to Tesco I went to buy some roses!

    I spent the day getting my nails and eyelashes done then in the evening 3 of my bridesmaids came over for takeaway, wine and a sleepover. We were going to watch some wedding films but never got round to it!

    I gave the girls the first of the presents

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     They absolutely loved them! I also made them a little frame - this is the only picture I have but after it was taken I added a little text that said Thank you for being our bridesmaid 26th May 2013

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     I also made each of them an essentials for the day pack which included a pack of tissues, Kirby grips, mints, deodrant, plasters, safety pins and their favourite chocolate x

     

  • The Big Day

    I made the mistake of letting the bridesmaid who talks in her sleep share my bed with me, so didn't get much sleep! I woke up at 6.30 and the first thing I did was go and get my presents from Andy - I was so excited! and oh my goodness I loved what he bought me. He bought me a rose gold Thomas Sabo necklace that I loved. and as a hobby I like paper cutting (cutting out stuff with a scalpel blade) and he had this made for me!

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     and then he made me this!

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     The the hairdresser came at 7.30am!

  • I put together a little box of goodies for Andy to open on the morning of the wedding and most things had a little note on them to explain why I had chosen them .There was a Fossil watch which I had engraved - so you make it on time, some Ted Baker pants, some socks with his name and our wedding date on - do you don't get cold feet, some cherry flavour whiskey - to calm your nerves, some mints - so your breath smells minty fresh and some of his favourite chocolates.

  • As we could get ready at the venue from 12 I decided not to spend the money on getting a car instead I drove myself there! Veil and all!

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     On the way there I stopped at the cemetary and put a buttonhole on my dads tree

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  • When I first arrived at the venue, the first thing I did was look around to see all of the ideas that had been in my head for 2 years, come to life. Honestly I was speechless as how amazing it all looked, the venue had done such a great job. I hadn't seen my cake at all, the cake lady said she wanted it to be a surprise on the day! and oh my goodness she had done such a fantastic job! I nearly cried when I saw it all!

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  • The ceremony

    This was the ceremony barn all set up. 

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     The original plan was to have a spare chair with a photo of my dad on it. The evening before the wedding one of our guests messaged Andy and said they had been let down by their childminder and could their son come. We managed to sort it out with the venue and even went up the supermarket to make him a goody bag! but this meant that we didn't have an extra chair for dad! So the venue put his photo on the desk where you sign the registar - it was the first thing I saw when the doors to the ceremony barn opened - This is where I became very emotional!

    I had this ring cushion made, the heart is made from one of my dads favourite tops

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    My mum and my brother walked me down the aisle to Lifehouse - You and Me

    I knew how nervous Andy would be and then I heard the registrar make all of the guests give Andy a round of applause and I couldn't wait to see him! 

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     We had 2 readings:

    The one - this was read by my best friends mum

    When the one whose hand you're holding, Is the one who holds your heart

    When the one whose eyes you gaze into, Gives your hopes and dreams their start,

    When the one you think of first and last, Is the one who holds you tight,

    And the things you plan together, Make the whole world seem just right,

    When the one whom you believe in, puts their faith and trust in you,

    You've found the one and only love, You'll share your whole life through.

    and Maybe - this was read by my godmother

    Maybe we are supposed to meet the wrong people before we meet the right one, so when they finally arrive we are truly grateful for the gift we have been given.

    Maybe its true that we don’t know what we have lost until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until it arrives.

    Maybe the happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, but make the best of everything that comes their way.

    Maybe the best kind of love is the kind where you sit on the sofa together, not saying a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.

    Maybe once in a lifetime you find someone who not only touches your heart but also your soul, someone who loves you for who you are and not what you could be.
    Maybe the art of true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

    The other ceremony music we had was Jason Mraz - I won't give up, Aztec camera - somewhere in my heart (this was mine and my dads song) The Lumineers - I belong with you and we walked out to Michael Buble - Everything

  • After the ceremony we had bucks fizz and canapes and went and spoke to our guests for a while. The weather was beautiful so it meant everyone could sit out in the courtyard and enjoy the sunshine!. Then we went off into the gardens and had our photos taken

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  • Then we were called to dinner. This was the dining barn all set up

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     The food was incredible but I didn't feel very hungry. I made sure we went round to every table and spoke to all of our guests! We didn't want to do a receiving line but are so happy we did this!

    Our menu was:

    Stater - Scotch egg or Goats cheese spring roll

    Main - Roast Beef or Risotto of Cashell Blue

    Dessert - Trio of desserts Eton Mess, Brownie and lemon tart (all of our favourite things)

    We didn't want to spend ages giving out thank you gifts so I left the gifts where the people were sat. I bought all of the bridesmaids a different item of jewellery, that was personal to them. We bought the 2 people who did readings a bracelet each. Andy's dad and my mums husband engraved beer glasses. My brother a wallet and Andy's brother who is a poker fanatic a deck of playing cards with his photo on. As well as getting both of our mums a bouquet of flowers we also bought them a mirror which we had engraved. 

    Our photographer was a close friend of ours and as a little thank you we had some biscuits made for him and our friend who did the music!

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     For our speeches we had the Best man (who was Andy's brother) my brother and my mum! They all did brilliantly and my mums was very embarrassing! 

  • Because neither of us are centre of attention people and Andy really didn't want to do a first dance, we asked our friend to sing our first dance song and also sing for an hour while our evening guests arrived. Our first dance song was Ed Sheeran Kiss me and our friends version was absolutely amazing! 

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    One of the best things about the wedding was hiring the photo booth, our guests absolutely loved it! and it was busy all night. The deal we had meant that we got an extra set of prints given to us that night! It was amazing to go through them all the next day and if your budget allows I would definitely suggest getting one!

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  • I think that is everything but no doubt I have forgotton something! so will probably be adding stuff! 

    I loved every minute of our day and wouldn't change a thing. The only piece of advice I would give is don't make impulse purchases. I lost money on the first dress and veil I bought. I also bought so many bits for the day that I never used. 

    Also i was rediculously anal when it came to all of my instruction documents for the venue and I was really worried that I wouldn't enjoy the day because I would be stressing but you really do just focus on your amazing day and nothing stressed me out at all, even the 2 day guests that didn't turn up and everyone treading on my dress to the point that the train ripped! x

  • LivelifeloveLivelifelove Posts: 1,024

    Oooo I've come back from when I posted this morning and am so pleased to see you've updated with me droll-worthy posts! How fab you drove yourself!

    I'd love to see more photos of your sweetie table - how many different types did you have? (I am a bit obsessed with sweetie tables at the moment as I'm sourcing all my stuff) 

  • Haha! sorry I don't have any more from the day. The sweets we had were 1 box of Strawbs, 1 jar of chocolate raisins, 1 box of sour cherries, 1 massive tub of flying saucers, a box of popping candy, 10 boxes of matchmakers!!! 1 tub of cola bottles, 1 tub of strawberry cables, 1 tub of foam bananas, 1 bag of Jelly belly flops (these were my dads favourite sweets) and a few reduced pack of valentines love hearts. This is the photo that was my mock up of the table that I gave to the venue! Yes I am that anal! Haha. We bought all of our sweets from Makro

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  • LivelifeloveLivelifelove Posts: 1,024

    Lovely image I love the "LOVE" dishes, I definitely want to get some of those! 

    I'm such a sucker for sweets....

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