Our Beautiful Spring Wedding

So I have finally managed to get round to writing a report from our wedding on 31st March this year. I didn’t comment a lot on this site but loved reading the wedding reports in particular for ideas and to keep me going until it was my turn!

I wasn’t going to do a report as things have been a bit of a whirlwind since we returned from our honeymoon in April. However we have been through a difficult few months and going back through our photos and memories has been a massive help, so thought writing a report would be a nice thing to do! Unfortunately we had a miscarriage in May at 7weeks (it was our first time trying). They gave me an emergency laparoscopy (they thought it was ectopic) then after a further 2 weeks of surveillance I was given a D&C as it wasn’t growing. Finally able to move on, we came to terms with the loss only to find out that the biopsy of my pregnancy showed that it had been a molar pregnancy (basically where the chromosomes were wrong and a rapid growing cluster of cells develops rather than an embryo). I then had to be referred to the Charing Cross Clinic to be monitored for 6 months (the cells can reactivate and spread in the same way as cancer)and then followed up in any subsequent pregnancies. So that’s where we are at the minute- 2 more months of testing until we are able to resume our lives as normal and pray it doesn’t happen to us again. Anyway, miserable stuff over with -the whole purpose of this is to relive our amazing day!

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  • Background Info

    My husband Rob and I met at university in Newcastle Upon Tyne back in 2004. We were inseparable from very early on and I knew we were meant for each other.

     

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     After uni, we had a dilemma as Rob was from London and I was from the midlands. Not wanting to be apart (and splitting up never being an option), we moved in with my parents for a year.

    After a year (in 2007), Rob was offered a job down south and as I am a teacher, it was easy for me to relocate, so we moved down to London (South Croydon) and bought our own house (with the help of a London key worker homebuyer scheme).

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     Soon after this came our gorgeous twin kittens- Tiger and Lily.

     

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     And so our happy little family was complete!

  • The proposal

    In December 2010, our friends Jon and Jess got married (Rob was the best man).

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     As Jon and Rob are bossom buddies, I was expecting Rob to pop the question around the same time, however over a year later, Jon and Jess were married and still no sign of a ring. I was starting to think it might never happen.

    Anyway, Christmas came and I was feeling unwell. We were up in Chesterfield, visiting my family and Rob had planned to take me to my favourite restaurant for dinner on  Xmas eve. I said I wanted an early night though and thought it was strange that Rob seemed so upset (going out for dinner is normally more for my benefit than his!). So off I went to bed at around 5pm and was just dropping off when I heard Rob and my dad mumbling about something in the room upstairs. I thought this was also odd, but was too tired/poorly to really think about it and dozed off to sleep.

    The next morning, on Christmas day, I woke up very early to find Rob wide awake next to me (also strange- he likes his sleep!) and he asked me to turn the light on so we could have a cuddle. We had a bit of a snuggle then I felt him tap me on the shoulder. I turned around and the ring was on the pillow next to me. It was so beautiful and simple-my perfect ring. A circular diamond with a thin platinum band.

     

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    I squealed and jumped up, not quite believing that it was finally happening to me! Rob got out of bed and got down on one knee at the side of the bed (or tried to- it was a squeeze). He said that he loved me more than anything and that all he ever wanted was to make all of my dreams come true, then asked me if I would marry him. I squealed yes and woke up the whole house.

    My dad already knew (Rob had asked his permission the day before) but had kept it secret from my Mum, who cried a lot. It was an amazing Christmas!

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  • The venue

    As soon as Christmas was over, we got going with our venue search. I was in charge of the time scale now and I didn’t want any more waiting about to get married! We settled for Spring 2012 as we needed more than a year to save and worked out a very strict budget as we planned to pay for most of it ourselves and I wanted my dream wedding!           

    We looked through websites and wedding magazines and made a shortlist of hotels/venues in our area. We already knew that we would get married in our parish church (Emmanuel Church, South Croydon), so made an appointment to meet with the Reverend and discuss availability.

     

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     After a few days of searching, we eventually settled on the beautiful Selsdon Park Hotel in South Croydon for our Reception.

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    The grounds were stunning and they had a relatively good wedding package- More than we wanted to pay, but it ticked all of the boxes and they threw in a free cake/ weekend in Paris, so we were happy.

  • More to come later- have some things to do!

  • I am so sorry for all the heartache u have been through.  Fingers crossed everything improves.

    looking forward to hearing more of your story image xxxx

  • Sorry you've been through such a tough time.

    Looking forward to reading more of your report. We are attending a wedding at Selsdon Park at Christmas time image x
  • Thanks ladies- I hope it will all improve too. 2012 has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster!

    PinkandPearls you will have an amazing time- they are so fantastic there! x

  • The big things!

    The next 6 months felt like it dragged big time. During this time, we agreed on our colour scheme, booked our venues, researched bands and Rob booked our honeymoon.  However, it mostly involved me researching things we could do/make and letting my imagination go overboard!

    I designed ‘save the date’ cards using Zazzle.com (about £20 for 100 cards) and sent these out a year before the wedding.

     Some of my older relatives were a bit confused by this though and called my mum asking why we hadn’t included a venue or time on our invitations!

    We decided on duck egg blue for our colour scheme and my first big purchase was the adult bridesmaid dresses which I bought online at M&S for £99 each. Luckily they all fit as I found out a week after buying that they had been discontinued. For my flower girl, I found a beautiful ivory dress from Debenhams and added a duck egg blue sash.

    During this time, I went absolutely crazy researching dresses that I loved and collecting pictures.  My dress was the absolute most important thing for me and it had to be perfect. Luckily, I found the perfect dress in May 2011 when dress shopping with my friend Jess in ‘From This Moment Bridal wear’, Ewell. http://www.fromthismomentbridal.co.uk/

    I took my mum and maids of honour with me a couple of weeks later and it was unanimous- I had found THE dress!

     

    Meet ‘Nora’ by Maggie Sottero- It was true love from the first time I saw her and I felt like a true princess every time I tried her on (believe me I found enough excuses to keep going back and put it on).

  • Next, we found and booked our band- we went with 'Funk City' who are based in Croydon. http://www.funkcitypartyband.co.uk/

     They were great- played a range of music and appealed to all guests. They also do live gigs as an acoustic duo so we had a chance to go and see them before booking.

    We went with simple flowers by http://www.lisasflorist.co.uk/ who was recommended by the hotel. We had pink roses to compliment the duck egg (Cath Kidston inspired). My bouquet also had blossom to make it more seasonal and the bridesmaids bouquets were ivory with a few pink roses.

     

     

     

     

  • More to come tomorrow!

  • This all looks so beautiful. I'm so sorry to hear you sad news though and will keep my fingers crossed for you. More please!! xx

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    So sorry you've had a rubbish time. I have a friend who is going through similar and it can be soo tough.

    Your dress is stunning!!! And the colours are beautiful. Look forward to seeing more x

  • Thanks for your kind words girls.

    I was so happy with how all the colours went together looking back at our photos. You know when you have an idea in your head and you think it will work, but don't really know until everyone is all together in their outfits and the flowers have arrived!

  • After the summer, the next big thing to do was the invitations. I decided to make all of these by myself. This was partly because I couldn't find anything for a decent price to fit our theme but also because I wanted things to have a 'home-made' feel to them.

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    Looking back, I may have reconsidered- it was a LOT of work. Although this was also due to the fact that I made a lot of other stuff myself too and it all added up! Also, I underestimated exactly how much stuff I would need to buy based on my design. I lost count of how many times I visited Hobby Craft to buy ribbon!

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    TOP TIP: Choose just a couple of things to make yourself, but go for simple designs. Happy helpers are good if the design is basic, or if you have particularly creative friends. Find a good supplier that will have extra stock if you run out and overcompensate when budgeting!

  • The next big thing was the cake (one of my favourite parts). As we already had a cake thrown into our wedding package, this mainly just involved tasting the cake, looking at designs and deciding what we wanted!

    Our cake maker was Lisa Broughton http://www.weddingcakesbylisabroughton.co.uk/ and I can not recommend her highly enough. Her designs are gorgeous and the cakes are out of this world delicious! We went to a few wedding fairs that she was at to taste samples as we were 'undecided' about our decision.

    I knew that I wanted to serve most of the cake as the desert part of our evening buffet, so went for a different flavour on each layer. However, we were a bit worried that there wouldn't be enough, so opted for an extra cutting cake (therefore 4 flavours altogether), which we paid for separately. Turned out we didn't actually need it- we were eating cake for weeks afterwards!

    We went for lemon sponge on the top tier, chocolate sponge in the middle and fruit cake on the bottom, then a victoria sponge for our extra cake. YUM!

    I bought our lovebirds cake decoration from ebay for £30, but they were actually too big for the cake and the wrong colour. I was gutted as I loved my lovebirds, so Lisa made replica birds to top our cake!

  • Next came the rings. We always knew that we were going to buy these from Goldsmiths. Although more expensive than some other jewellers, we had been saving up our Tesco clubcard vouchers for the last year, and they are one of the reward schemes that are offered. Luckily for us, they happened to be offering a Christmas special at the time, meaning that for our £120 of vouchers, we got £480 to spend! This was an amazing contribution.

    I went for a 2mm platinum band, as I didn't want to overpower my dainty engagement ring. Rob was a different matter- he does not do jewellery and getting a ring was a MASSIVE deal for him. In the end, he went for a plain 6mm band, but went for Palladium (basically with our bugdet, it was a trade off between ring thickness and price of metal).

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     TOP TIP: Make the most of reward schemes like Tesco Clubcard. You can use them to get money off hotels, restaurants, jewellery, flowers and loads more! We made sure we got all of our fuel there too to get extra points!

  • After lots of nagging, I managed to get Rob to sort out the outfits for the men. He decided to rent his suit and we went with Debenhams. This was partly because they had an offer on (rent 4 suits and get the 5th free) and partly because they were the only big retailer to stock a duck egg blue cravat!

    They all had a grey Prince Edward jacket and trousers, Ivory wastecoat and duck egg cravat. In contrast, Rob wore an ivory cravat (to match me!).

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  • Next, my absolute favourite part of the planning process, the menu tasting!!

    As we had booked a wedding package through the Selsdon Park hotel, a three course meal was included for all of our 60 afternoon reception guests as well as 2 glasses of Bucks Fizz during the champagne reception, 2 glasses of wine during the meal and a glass of champagne to toast.

    TOP TIP: To cut down on costs, but still secure our dream venue, we went for a smaller number of guests (60) at the wedding breakfast, but then invited significantly more to the evening do (150). At £89 per person, this massively reduced the price!

    As part of the wedding package, there was also a free food tasting for Rob and I, which we did around Christmas time. Both of our mum's also came along (£32 each) to help us out with the decision making- this was helpful as they were able to be a bit more objective about what the guests may like/what the safer options would be, whereas I had my favourites and just wanted to choose them.

    The food tasting was amazing- we each chose a different starter, main and desert then swapped and critiqued each. We were also given a bottle of each of the wines to try too (as Rob and his mum were both driving, this was a great afternoon for my mum and I!).

    Starter- Chicken liver parfait, ruby orange jelly and melba toasts

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     White onion and watercress soup for vegetarians

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     Main- Breast of chicken, spinach and wild mushroom filling, pomme fondant and glazed carrots

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    Grilled salmon fillet, parsley crushed new potatoes, asparagus and tomato beurre blanc for the vegetarians

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     Desert- Apple tatin, butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean ice cream (this was absolutely AMAZING)!

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    As it happened, on the day, I wasn't hungry at all and didn't eat much of my meal- I think that this was a combination of nerves/anticipation and being in a very tight corset!

  • We also decided on a buffet for the evening guests as we were concerned that, other than cake, there would be over half of our guests that we hadn't catered for. I didn't even see this food, let alone taste it, in the evening as I was too busy dancing and mingling. However, I have been told that it was delicious and it was much appreciated so I am glad we opted to do this!

    We went for a selection of sandwiches, spinach and fetta quiche, cajun spiced chicken tulips, cheese and tomato pizza, crispy beer battered mozzarella melts and crispy vegetable samosas. This came out as £15 per person and we had to cater for 75% of our guests.

    The final 'big thing' came after visiting a wedding fair with my friend Jess. We stumbled across a fantastic (and very expensive) photobooth by Boothnation. It was fantastic and we had loads of fun, but at £1495 for their most basic package it was just a stretch too far.

    I went away and did a bit of research and found much cheaper companies online. With a bit of negotiation on the price, I managed to secure a booth, guestbook, double prints (with a personalised message), box of props and 2 booth attendants for just £595! http://memoriestoremember.co.uk/photo-booth

    TOP TIP: Shop around, especially for extras such as photobooths or chair covers. Prices are so competitive, they always have room to offer a discount! I chose a few companies and sent out an email (all at once so they could see that I had emailed their competitors) listing everything that I wanted and asking for their best price.

    The photobooth was without a doubt the best buy of the wedding- it was worth every penny! Everyone raved about it and it added an extra element of entertainment. There is no way I could have managed to make my own on top of everything else that I had commited to doing myself and having the attendants meant that they made sure everyone stuck a photo and commented in our guestbook. The booth also had a video facility and after the wedding, we were given a dvd with all of the photos and videos on it. It was also a nice 'favour' for the guests as they were able to take home a little keepsake each. AMAZING!

    Here are some of the highlights...

     

    See the full album at http://memoriestoremember.co.uk/client-events/becky-robs-wedding

     

  • More to come later- hope this is actually helpful/enjoyable. Will put up a breakdown of our budget at the end FYI!

  • MrsFaulkyMrsFaulky Posts: 6,671

    I'm so sorry to hear of your terrible news but so pleased that you both had a fabulous day.  Congratulations on your marriage and wishing you the best of luck for the future x

  • Thanks Mrs Faulky x

  • The Details...

    So after Christmas came the endless list of things that I had given myself to do....

    Order of service- I wanted these to mirror the design used for our invitations, so more cutting out of flowery hearts and tieing on bits of duck egg ribbon. Annoyingly I forgot to spell check and did half before I realised the mistake. Grrr!

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     For our hymns, we went for Morning has broken, Make me a channel of your peace and Love divine. My friend also did a reading from Corinthians (13:1-13).

    Candle holders- I collected about a milliion different sized jars to add to our table decorations (to be honest we didn't really need these as we had flowers as centre pieces, but had a few comments about how cute they were from evening guests).

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     Quiz- for during the wedding breakfast. My original idea was to decopage little boxes with Cath Kidston napkins and put each question on a separate card (there were 28 questions), but ran out of time so instead made little floral envelopes and put a few on each table. The guests did seem to enjoy this, but don't think it necessarily added much to the day, considering the amount of work that it involved!

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  • Post box- I just bought a plain ivory post box for a few quid, from Ebay then decorated with floral paper/ ribbon etc and added a message.

     

     Favours- bought mini nests and chicks from www.BakerRoss.co.uk website and then chocolate eggs from one of the ebay stores. These were on the tables for each guest during the wedding breakfast.

     Place cards- more ribbon and duck egg blue! Bought the mini flowers from www.craftfairy.co.uk

     Sweetie Buffet- This involved visiting numerous car boot sales to look for glassware, then visiting a sweet warehouse in Croydon (the hotel set up an account for us to use as it has to be business use) to buy our sweet selection www.hancocks.co.uk/ This was a lot of fun to do!

     

     

     Gift bags for the children- We only had 3 children (older than babies) at our wedding breakfast, so I went a bit crazy with these. They were full of goodies including craft activities (bakerross.co.uk), colouring books and pens (WHSmith), sweets, a disposable camera and a checklist of photos.

     Pew Ends- I bought little wicker hearts from Ebay then added ivory chiffon and duck egg ribbon as well as pink foam roses from craftfairy.co.uk.

     I made a washing line of photos for our guest book table, showing pictures of our parents wedding and of each of us growing up. I attached these with mini floral heart pegs from craftfairy.co.uk and scattered paper petals on the table. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of this table from the wedding, but I do have my 'mock up photo' that I sent to the hotel in preparation!

  • The other thing we did which was a massive decision was inviting children from my school. Originally, I wanted the school choir to be involved, but this meant paying our music teacher and providing transport for all the children as well as enough adult volunteers. Plus the choir children were all KS2 and I teach the little ones. We agreed to invite my current Y1 class and the children from the year before (my class when we got engaged). I sent out an invitation, making it clear that parents would be responsible for their supervision and that they were invited to the ceremony only! The children (and parents) absolutely LOVED this. They were so excited and were exceptionally well behaved (we did a little lesson on behaviour expectations etc before the day). After the service they all came over and had a little cuddle. Then we (totally unplanned) stood on the church steps and performed one of our songs for the guests. Everyone was raving about this- it was truly amazing and I am so glad that they could be part of our day! I probably shouldn't upload pictures as I don't have parents permission, but was SO cute!

     

     

  • Better go and get the dinner on... Photos of the actual day to come tomorrow!

  • The big day

    The day before the wedding was taken up by lots of last minute tasks (e.g. rearranging the seating plan due to last minute cancellations) so on the day, I asked my mum and Rob’s mum to be in charge of any hiccups. I was happy to be oblivious as long as everything got sorted out. The evening before, some of our guests started arriving to stay in the hotel. This was lovely as it gave us a chance to mingle and chat to people before the busy day of the wedding!

    We had a rehearsal of the ceremony that evening, which all went well, then all of the girls headed back to our suite for a ‘girly night’ of nibbles, champagne and chatting- I had lined up a few romantic comedies to choose from but we had so much catching up to do instead! The boys all went to the pub for a few drinks and other ‘manly’ activities!

    That night, my mum and I shared the suite and Rob stayed at his mum and dad’s, so that they could ‘keep an eye on him’ (his mum’s words, not mine)!

    I made sure I was in bed for 12 o’clock but couldn’t sleep a wink! After a couple of hours of sleep, I woke up early to a very emotional mother! She handed me a gift bag from Rob (we had agreed not to buy pressies but both did anyway). He  bought me a beautiful pair of dangly pearl earrings, which were much nicer than the ones I had planned to wear!

     For Rob’s gift, I made him a little goody box. This included a bag of haribo (his favourites) with just the hearts and rings, a novelty “Don’ts for Husbands” book, a pair of socks (so you don’t get cold feet)

     and a pair of silver cufflinks. These were engraved with the date of our wedding and presented in a box engraved with a message (referring to his proposal “I want to make all of your dreams come true”).


     I also arranged for us to receive a letter of congratulations from Arsene Wenger (Rob is a MASSIVE Arsenal fan), which I secretly gave to Jon (the best man) to read out during his speech. Rob absolutely loved this!

     

     Anyway, back to the preparations...

    We had a lightish breakfast (I think I had eggs on toast) then at about 9.30 the hair and makeup lady www.kfuller.co.uk and our photographer  (my friend Emma- more about her later) arrived.

    I had been growing my hair ever since the proposal but it still wasn’t long enough, so I decided to wear a hair extension. As these are quite expensive, I asked for mine as a Christmas present. Mine was a flip-in hair extension from Halo http://

  • Mine was a flip-in hair extension from Halo http://www.halohairextensions.com/214/20-halo-remy-human-hair-in-chocolate-brown-4.aspx and was absolutely amazing! It looked so natural and stayed put all day. I knew I wanted to have my hair down and needed to incorporate a veil so we kept it simple with curls and flowers.

     

     

     


  • While we were being pampered, our flowers arrived.

    I had actually been a bit terrified about this- I felt it was the thing that I had the least control over and the fact that I wouldn't get to see them until the day was a bit scary to me. However, I needn't have worried. They were perfect!

     

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