My belated Great Fosters wedding report!!

Hey Ladies,

It seems forever since I was on here and it is so belated I am sure a lot of the woman I was planning my wedding with are long gone. I know there are still a few Great Fosters brides about though so though I would try and do a quick report!!!

The Background

Mark and I were initially a very whirlwind couple. I spotted him in my local gym instructing a running club. Although I was never a big runner I decided to sign up as he had caught my eye. Luckily for me the feeling was reciprocated and we quickly began dating. I cannot even really describe how I felt to begin with, I don't really believe in love at first sight but somehow we were just so quickly perfect together. I have been in other long term relationships but never that felt like this and within 4 months we had put an offer in on a flat together. In hindsight this was incredibly quick but both sets of parents were supportive and never once said "are you not rushing this?" because everything had gone so well by 18 months I was starting to think - will we get married. I knew he was the one and couldn't wait to make it official. Mark is the most laid back person in the world though so I was always met with "one day".

One day came on our 2 year anniversary and his birthday. We were in China, just having done a trek for the Royal Marsden along the Great Wall. To celebrate the end we had gone for a 2 night stay in a spa hotel in Hangzhou. Whilst getting the boat across the picturesque lake to dinner, the men stopped rowing and Mark proposed, saying that we had always spoken of getting engaged "one day, and hopefully one day is today" before getting on one knee and asking me to marry him.

The Morning of The Wedding

Mark and I had been engaged for about 20 months after having to wait for over a year to find a Saturday that both of our brothers would be guaranteed to make!! So to say I was excited when our wedding day actually came around and I got to marry Mark was an understatement. Bizarrely though I think I slept better than any of my bridesmaids or my Mum. I woke up to numerous text messages of "are you awake? I am too excited to sleep" to realise that my fears of not sleeping the night before the wedding were completely unfounded! All of the bridesmaids and my Mum had stayed the night before at Great Fosters so I woke up in the nursery suite and headed down to breakfast wearing my Bride to Be T Shirt and grinning for ear to ear!



  • After breakfast it was time to start on my colour coded timetable of getting everyone ready!! With four bridesmaids, a mother of the bride and of course myself there seemed a lot to do. I had two hairdressers come to the hotel from my local salon and who I know pretty well. My mum had purchased a load of girlie magazines and we had an I pod playlist going in the room. It was exactly how I wanted it - a real girlie morning spent gossiping and giggling. Downstairs my sisters best friend had set up camp in another room to do the make up. Originally my sister was going to do everyone's make up but 11 months before the wedding a very lovely surprise occurred and my sister fell pregnant, given that her first child had taken 4 IVF rounds this seemed a miracle and has made the past year even more special. However it did mean it would probably be too much to do everyone's make up on the morning and look after her new born. Up stepped Emma to the mark. She works in the beauty industry and had the opportunity to attend the Jemma Kidd bridal course. She fully embraced her role, held make up trials for everyone and spent the whole morning perfecting all the bridesmaids and my mother's make up. She was an absolute star on the day and I don't know what we would have done without her.

    The time quickly came for my hair to be done. I sat with Amy (my hairdresser) whilst my younger sister sat opposite having her done, making the hairdressers cry with laughter over her inappropriate comments!! Even though my hair trial had gone well on the morning everything just seemed to go right and it all fell into place. My hair was perfect on first attempt and I headed down to the make up area.

    Although Emma had been amazing doing everyone's make up it was really important to me to have my sister Joanna do mine. We are an incredibly close family and Jo has always done my make up for big occasions and what bigger occasion than my wedding day.

  • NavyNezNavyNez Posts: 370
    Hurray! I'd given up on you doing your report, Ljcsurrey! Congratulations btw!!

    Great so far...keep it coming!! Nez xx
  • Yay!! Looking forward to reading the rest!

    Thanks LJCSurrey!!

  • Just as my sister was finishing my make up our family friend arrived with my niece who came over and gave me a huge hug. This was the first moment I started to get teary and it all seemed to feel real. By this time the videographer had also arrived (Trevor miller) and there was definitely a real buzz in the rooms. It was a gorgeous day and I could hear the guests arriving and walking about in the gardens. I kept trying to look out of the window. Seeing what everyone was wearing but was quickly instructed to keep away for fear of someone seeing me.

    Mark had arrived at the hotel so I was escorted back up to the nursery suite where we had ordered sandwiches by my bridesmaid who had told mark to keep clear of the corridors for the next 5 mins. I hadn't really thought about walking around the hotel until this point and suddenly became petrified we would see each other and other marriage would be jinxed!!

    In my room there was a card and present waiting for me. Mark said how happy we was that our one day had finally come and had given me a bear around which was a ribbon in navy, our wedding colours, with an engraved links key ring of our wedding date and "one day is today". Cue more tears! It was so thoughtful and now something we hope we will give to our first child.

  • Ok turns out I cannot add the photos from my I pad so will do it when am back on the computer.

    The suits

    Mark went for grey tails with a navy cravat and grey waistcoat. He wanted an ivory cravat for himself so that he stood out. They all looked very handsome even if i do say so myself!!! 2 days before he was due to collect the suits the company (Renaissance in reigate) phoned to say the cravat company had gone busy and they were one down on the navy cravats. image they said there was no way they could find anymore. Mark didn't really want another boy in ivory so we were stuck with a dilemma. I hought I would give moss bros a ring on the off chance they had some in and we were In luck. The next day mark went to pick them up - drama over!!!

    final preparations

    Back in the room everyone had hair and make up all done. My future sister in law had also come up to get ready as I thought it would be nice for her to be with us all. I was sitting eating a sandwich on the sofa, people were coming and going, bringing flowers etc and one of the ushers girfriends walked into the room. I was a little taken aback as whilst i had invited my sister in law to get ready I really didn't want anyone else outside of the bridal party in the room as I wanted to make my grand entrance. My dress was also hung in the middle of the room image a quick word with one of the bridesmaids though and she was tactfully asked to leave as the time had come to get dressed!!!

  • the dress

    To say I had dress wobbled before the wedding would be an understatement. I spent quite a long time looking for my dressn i really loved shopping for it and the second dress i ever tried on (Ian Stuart premiere) stayed a top contender the whole way throughout. My final shopping trip before I purchased was to kinghtsbridge. I knew the dresses there would be more expensive byt after a web chat with Phillipa lepley where she said dresses ranged from £2k to £6k I thought we could squeeze things. I went to her shop very excited. I love her website and she has some beautiful dresses. As soon as I got there I saw a dress in the window i loved. I selected it amonst others to try on and went to the fitting room. Being one of the final trips I did have a bit of an entourage - mum, dad and sister so we were over excited but I asked as we got downstairs how much they were as i had read you should never try above budget. The shop assistant told me not to worry about it and a bit embarrassed i didn't push further. As soon as I got the window dress on I loved it. My dad had a few tears, mum loved it but still preferred Ian Stuart. After lots of twirling I asked the fateful question - so how much? ... £8,500. There was a very awkward silence from us all. It was just too much. No way could I justify it. There were a few tears on the way home but whilst I was lucky enough to have mybparents pay for my wedding I could never accept something like that.

    In hindsight my Ian stuart dress ( which I purchased the following weekend) was the perfect choice. I loved it on the day. Spinning around, i felt amazing. In between purchasing the dress and the wedding i did often fret about it having straps (something mark had always said he didn't like) and the size of the skirt. But in the end it was just perfect. I think is just fretted as it was such a big decision.

  • MarywedsMaryweds Posts: 133
    Wow, gorgeous dress! More please! xx
  • I love the dress. Was the picture with the dress open at the back taken as part of the preparation shots on the wedding day or for a boudoir shoot?
  • I'm sooooo excited by this report! Congrats Hun, you look fantastic! Keep it coming!
  • Thank you very much ladies - the picture with the dress open was taken as I was getting ready - I didn't have a boudoir shoot - I wish I had though.

    For my underwear I just went with a simple pair of ell and cee personalised knickers with "Mrs Smith". Even now I get excited about wearing them!!!

    I wore a really simple pair of ivory louboutins (until the evening where I put on flats to dance the night away!). They had blue in soles so I treated them as my something blue!


    Just before the wedding I had been given a handmade garter to wear - it was something I had forgotten about but I loved wearing.

    I borrowed the pearl necklace and bracelet my sister wore for her wedding, my Mum bought me earrings to match as my something new.

    For my something old I had my grandmother's engagement ring sewn into my bouquet. I was always very close to my grandpa who died when I was about 11 and they had the happiest and most loving marriage of anyone I have known. My mum and dad are separated (but still friends) so it was so nice to include something from their wedding on our day.

  • And with my Dad pouring the champagne I was ready!! I thought I was getting ready a bit too early but with the usual pictures before heading down all of a sudden Martin (one of the event co-ordinators was in my room saying it was time to go). I couldn't believe it!! I was finally getting to marry my best friend

  • Ms_NatalieMs_Natalie Posts: 1,997
    That dress is gorgeous...really, it's stunning!

    Lovely wedding report..more please image
  • The Service

    Somehow despite me thinking I was ready so early Martin said it really was now time to go. Martin and David (the two event managers) were so fantastic on the day, I really could not have been in better hands. I was to be played into the ceremony to Canon in D and I really wanted to have as much of the song played as possible so I wanted to send our flower girl and then bridesmaids first. The dilemma being that who would fluff out my dress just before I walked down! Martin immediately offered.

    As we got downstairs my brother came out to walk my mum down the aisle. It took all my willpower at this moment not to cry.

    My gorgeous niece and sister went next, followed by each of the girls and finally it was my turn!

    I really didn't want to be sobbing as I walked down the aisle, my Dad was already starting to get emotional but we had a quick little pep talk to each other, I squeezed his arm and walked to see my husband. As soon as I saw him I couldn't stop grinning. It was the most surreal feeling ever. I didn't think I was crying but the wedding DVD says otherwise! I just felt so happy

    We had 2 readings - "The one" and "On your wedding day" both read by close friends. Probably what made the day most personal was having my bridesmaid sing Eva Cassidy "Songbird" during the ceremony

    I don't think there was a dry eye

    I really wanted the music to be music I loved, so I also had the string quartet learnt he instrumental part to Desree "I;m kissing you" for the signing of the register


    And a bit cliched but I loved it - we walked out to the string quartet playing the Beatles "all you need is love"

    I cannot really put into words how I felt during the ceremony - I thought I might be nervous, but I really wasn't. It was so exciting to know that this was when I was becoming Mrs Smith and for me those 30 minutes were the highlight of my whole day
  • Absolutely gorgeous hun you look amazing x x
  • Congratulations LJC - beautiful image

    love ECB

  • OMG - BEAUTIFUL dress. I WANT IT!!!!!!!! imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage
  • Elvie_MElvie_M Posts: 267
    You look absolutely gorgeous!

    Loved the exit song great choice!

    Keep it coming x x x
  • Oh no I missed the pictures image
  • Oh no, me too!

  • NavyNezNavyNez Posts: 370
    OHhh me three! Totally missed the rest of the pics...noooo!!
  • Missed out on the pics, try photobucket it won't delete them!
  • Do my pics get deleted?? I can redo on photobucket

  • NavyNezNavyNez Posts: 370
    Your pics should still be saved in your folder on photobox, but they just seem to disappear after a day when you post them on here. It's really odd. If you can, pleeeaaase can you redo on photobucket?x
  • MrsDMDaviesMrsDMDavies Posts: 1,794 New bride
    Oh pics pleeeease!!!

  • Ooh ok I am at my brother's this weekend but when get home will upload the pics to photobucket
  • pics updated!!
  • NavyNezNavyNez Posts: 370
    Beautiful!! Thanks so much for posting the pics again - it was worth the wait!

    I'm sooo jealous of the flower arch, it looks stunning in your pics. You both look so happy and your mum's look very smart!x

  • Congratulations ljcsurrey! You look amazing in your pics! I got married at Great Fosters too this summer and also had navy as our colour! Great mindsimage Do you have a website for Trevor Miller? Just googled but wasn't able to find one (I've been asked by someone for a recommendation and your pics are nicer than ours!) x
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