An orange travel themed wedding in a barn-The Report

So here we are, nearly 3 months after the big event, and I have finally got around to starting the report!

If I'm honest, there was a little devil on my shoulder who was going on about me not really having time to be writing a report right now, as work is really busy, luckily though, the angel on my other shoulder managed to drown him out with her cries of 'EXCUSE ME, did you or did you not pilfer millions of ideas from other Y&YW brides!! Do you not owe it to other brides to share a few of your ideas?!?!'. So needless to say the angel won and as I finally have an evening of no work I thought I'd make a start.

Our story is taken directly from my planning thread which can be found at http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/an-orange-travel-themed-wedding-in-a-barn-the-planning/373730-16.html but thought I'd better copy it over for any newbies:

We met at college back in September 2002 in a geography AS level class, I say AS level as opposed to A level as J didn’t make it to the A level part! I was 16 and he was 17. I first noticed him as soon as he walked in to the room and, although I actually had a boyfriend at the time, I remember saying to my friend that the boy in the orange t-shirt was ‘fit’ lol (Who knew that orange would go on to be a massive part of our lives?!?). So, a week later, the boyfriend dumped me, I was heartbroken blah blah blah and a few weeks later J and I had become firm friends. Everyone was asking why we weren’t a couple but I didn’t want it to seem like I was ‘on the rebound’. Well, I soon gave up on that and on fireworks night I text him asking when he was going to ‘ask me out’. A few seconds late he rang me and officially asked me to be his girlfriend-aaaahhhh!

A year later J quit college as he decided it wasn’t for him. I thought that him not being at college with me would spell the end for us but we managed to make it work. Eventually, with a bit of gentle encouragement, he sorted himself out and started a training course as an electrician. I finished college and took a gap year when I didn’t make it onto the Uni course I wanted.  I worked for a bit and then went to Australia for a month. Again this could have meant the end for our relationship but instead it just made us realise that we couldn’t live without each other. On my return home I applied to Uni to do a degree in primary teaching. In September 2005, I started Uni and J started his apprenticeship in electrical engineering. We both worked very hard and fitted in seeing each other whenever we could, 4 years later we were finally qualified for our chosen careers.

After Uni I had no choice but to move home, but my parents kindly allowed J to move in. We saved for a year and in November 2010, 8 years into our relationship, we bought our first home and were finally in a position to start saving for our dream wedding!

The following summer while on holiday in Cape Verde (No this isn’t the engagement bit!) we were talking about where we would want to get married (We always knew we were gonna get married at some point we were just waiting for the money). J suggested we go and view a venue that I had found on the internet and fallen in love with (yes that’s right, I was not engaged, however I had already began the hunt for my wedding venue!). So after speaking to my parents they agreed to come and view Rivervale Barn in Yateley with us. Mum was a little reserved at  first, in her head her little girl was going to get married in the village church where I had been christened, however as soon as she step

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  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    The engagement bit!

    As you can imagine, after the venue had been booked I was desperate to get engaged so that I could start telling people about the wedding.

    In the run up to our 9 year anniversary, I started to get a little depressed that he hadn’t asked me already. He explained that he couldn’t afford the ring he wanted to give me yet so I had to stop thinking about it. On the week of our anniversary I asked him if he had booked anything, to which he replied “Well where do you fancy going?”  With much frustration I replied that I couldn’t believe he hadn’t booked anywhere yet and I didn’t care what we did just make sure we were doing something! On the Wednesday (3 days before fireworks night) he mentioned that we could go to a fireworks display in a local village with both our best friends (who happen to be dating) and although I was slightly disappointed that we weren’t going for a romantic meal just the 2 of us, I agreed because at least then we would be doing something. The following day my Dad rang and asked what we were doing Saturday night. I told him that we were going to the local fireworks and he told me he wanted to do fireworks in his garden and could we go.  I find it very difficult to say no to my Dad, so I agreed to change our plans and meet our friends at their's instead of going to the local event. So Saturday night rolled around and, after dinner at our favourite restaurant, we arrived at my parents’ house.

    As I opened the door of the car to get out, J grabbed my hand and asked what the hurry was, he gave me a kiss and told me he wasn’t very good at public displays of affection, which I thought was a bit weird but didn’t think much more of. As we walked down the drive I noticed that there were tea lights down the path leading to the garden. I mentioned to J that it was sweet of Dad to light the way (can’t believe I didn’t twig!!) and as I turned to look at him I realised he had picked up an orange rose (Did I mention that orange was our thing?). He told me that that rose was a rose for the first year of our relationship and listed all the big events that happened in that first year. As I realised what was happening tears began to fill my eyes and I was stunned into silence (which is a pretty rare occurrence for me!). He took my hand and led me down the path towards the garden and 7 more roses followed, each with stories from our past and how we had always been there for each other. As we walked out onto the patio, I noticed a huge ‘9’ had been mown into the lawn and was surrounded by tea lights. Inside the 9 was a tree stump with a ring box rested on top, by this time I was a quivering mess. He led me down to the lawn and gave me the final rose. He then took my hand and went down on one knee. Through choked back tears J told me how much I meant to him and said that he wanted me to be his princess forever, and as I replied ‘yes’ a firework went off at the bottom of the garden as if by magic (aka Daddy). He placed a ring with 9 diamonds, one for each year of our relationship, on my finger and it fitted perfectly. We stood and sobbed with happiness in each other’s arms before returning to the house to celebrate with our families and friends, who had been hiding in the house.

    After 9 years of being with the love of your life, you start to plan the many ways in which they might propose, but not in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined he would be so romantic!

    Us just after the proposal (Please excuse the scruff bag look, I wasn't prepared for photos lol)

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Well that's enough of that. The planning began, 23 months flew by (See my planning thread for details) and before we knew what was happening we were in the week of the wedding!

    The week of the wedding

    Wednesday

    It had been a choc-a-bloc week, with leg waxes, eyebrow threads, suit fittings and last minute purchases but everything slowed down and chilled out on the Wednesday as my amazing Maid of Honour had arranged that we would go, with my mum and J's mum, for a spa day at Chewton Glen. It was a lovely relaxing day and we all had our nails and toenails done in preparation for the big day. It was so nice to switch off as it had been so manic up to that point.

    Thursday

    Two of my bridesmaids live in Manchester and Bristol so they stayed down from the Wednesday, and this meant we had extra pairs of hands to help out with bits and bobs on the Thursday (THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING! Eeek!). We woke up early on the Thursday as we had so much to do. First job on the list was to sort the suits. This had been the biggest headache of the whole planning process as they had got the size wrong on a few of the suits and J's suit, which we had had made, was too short! Luckily we managed to get everything sorted and picked up, so that was a big relief.

    Second on the list, the boys and myself took all the bits and pieces to the venue, whilst the girls stayed in town to sort some stuff.

    Next up, the gift. I wanted to get J something special but as we had made a 'no present' promise, I had to be sneaky about it. J is a massive gooner and has always been on my back about becoming an Arsenal fan. I always maintained that I was not a fan of football and certainly not a fan of a particular team, and this used to drive him mad! So, I decided that instead of donning the usual sexy lingerie that is usually required on the wedding night, I would go for something different, in the form of an Arsenal shirt with my new surname on the back-my gift to him being that I would become an Arsenal fan for him. What a lovely thought, I hear you sigh, well yes it was, unfortunately this was not one of my priorities and therefore got left to the last minute. This meant that I ended up trawling round 5 different sports shops, in 3 different local towns, trying to find one with the right letters for the name! Nightmare! I eventually ended up meeting up with the girls in Farnborough, where we managed to get what I was after, thank goodness!

    The final, and some might say the most important, item on the list was the dress! We trooped off to Farnham and picked up my beauty and once we knew she was safe, we went for dinner. This was the first time I had really relaxed as I knew that anything that hadn't been done by that point wouldn't be getting done, and I accepted that what will be will be.

    The night before the wedding

    The night before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I stayed at my parents house. It was a lovely day so we sat out in the garden, with my folks, drinking pink champagne and playing silly games. At this point it dawned on me how lucky I was to have such incredible friends and family, and after reading a beautiful card from my auntie I did get a little emotional. We went to bed at a reasonable time and after the usual late night slumber party chat with mybestie I eventually fell asleep...

  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    Ooooh Looking forward to this as I missed your thread! Xx

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    The morning!

    My MoH and I both woke up at 6am-pretty much unheard of with us two-and had excited giggles. She gave me two lovely cards, one from her and one that my MIL had given her to give to me. They were both had such heartfelt words and once again I got a little choked up-awkward! She also gave me a little box which contained a beautful lace garter.

    My dad was already awake, and when he realised we were up, him and Mum started cooking a breakfast to die for-scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. We all sat round the table together and ate and I was suprised how relaxed I felt. After breakfast I got showered, my hair and make-up girl arrived and preparations began:

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  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Thanks Poppins! x

  • RinaGeeRinaGee Posts: 753

    Jeez - you nearly reduced me to a bawling mess with that proposal story, its AMAZING!!!!!

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    It was a very chilled morning and Dad kept us topped up with bubbly.

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     The bridesmaids had their hair done at the local salon and it was so exciting seeing the different styles they had chosen (I didn't want them all to look exactly the same so told them to choose their own hairstyes)

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     The boys popped round on the way to the venue (needless to say J was ordered to stay in the car around the corner) and they delivered a card for me from J. I was completely shocked as he never does cards, and I genuinely thought he wouldn't think about getting one. When I read what he had written I had to stop myself from ruining my makeup!

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     When we had all done hair and makeup, I gave the girls their little gifts of bracelets and earrings (ring for my friend who doesn't have her ears pierced) which I had got as a last minute thing.

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     x

     

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Hehe thanks RinaGee. You can probably imagine the mess I was in! The worst thing was, he never does things like that-as in NEVER! So it was completely out of character lol x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    My brother came over mid-morning with my nephew, and although I was a little dubious, at first, about having a baby there with lots of makeup and expensive dresses, I was so pleased he did, as it was nice to have cuddles between preparations.

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    The photographer was on the ball all the time, and was constantly capturing pics of all the little extras we had:

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  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    There was a little worry when the flowers still hadn't arrived at 12pm but after a call to the florist who confirmed that they were indeed on their way, we could relax again.

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     Before we knew where we were, it was time to get dressed...

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    And that was it...I was in!

     

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  • LouBLouB Posts: 1,129 New bride

    Yay! So pleased you've made good in your promise! Was just wondering about you the other day! Looking forward to this image

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Hehe, thought I owed it to ya Lou! x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    After the preparations, we had time for some pics in my parents garden. I was really pleased we had time for these as we wouldn't have had time to get all the different group later in the day-plus the garden is obviously a very special place for me!

    Me and the awesome bridesmaids!

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    They suprised me with the funky glasses on the morning so we decide to make them part of the fun!

     

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    My hero of a Maid of Honour:

     

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    The incredible parents that made the whole day possible:

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    And in a slightly more sensible pose...

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    And the man who so stole my limelight (but I'll let him off):

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     x

     

     

  • iambiciambic Posts: 103

    Lovely report, thanks so much for sharing! Can I ask where you got the orange ribbon & bows for the wedding cars from, if you provided them yourself?. I saw the picture of your husband & you with the cars & thought the splash of colour from the ribbons looked lovely. The company I'm using provides white as standard but I'm edging towards something a bit brighter & as we're having navy & orange as our colours I'd be interested in getting hold of some orange ribbon image

     

    Thanks very much, looking forward to reading the rest!

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Hey Iambic and Lady, glad you found me!

    Iambic, the car company provided the ribbons. They were amazing-The 2 guys that drove the cars were really sweet and the guy driving me and Dad in the beetle even came in a colour coordinated suit and tie! I think my Mum got some ribbon for my brother's wedding though, a few years ago, and I'm pretty sure she got it from a card shop, so might be worth looking in Clintons or something? x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    So dress on, photos taken, it was now time for the photographer to shoot off to the venue, and us to have some down time and wait for the cars to arrive ('Scuse the pics, they were taken on my phone).

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     Moments later...the cars arrived!

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     That was it, we were in, and off we went. Time to get married!!!!

    x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Meanwhile, at the venue, the boys were sorting themselves out.

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     This is one of my favourites as I think J looks rather tasty hehe.

    Then they had some time for some posey shots.

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     x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    So, after a brief moment of panic when I'd asked Dad if he had his speech notes and he said he'd left them on his desk (being the coolest, calmest person in the world, this didn't bother him in the slightest so he'd managed to calm me down!), we arrived at our stunning venue-the place where all the planning had started, nearly 2 years earlier, when we'd booked a wedding without even being engaged!

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    Mum and the bridesmaids came in first, in our very cool orange camper (If I'm honest I was a little dubious that it'd be a bit garish, but it looked awesome!)

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     And then Daddy and I made our entrance.

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     I was introduced to the registrar and her assistant and they were the loveliest people ever. They both seemed so genuinely happy for us and were so complimentary. It was soo exciting knowing that J and everyone I love most in the world was on the other side of the door.

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     Our photographer was so amazing, he managed to capture shots of me arriving and also everyone within the ceremony barn.

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     Obviously I was unaware of what was going on inside at this point, but apparently the registrar asked J to turn and face the 'audience' and make the most of being centre of attention as she'd just seen 'the girls' arrive and from the moment we entered the room he wouldn't get a look in, hehe. Ever the shy, retiring type (HA!) he dutifully did as he was told.

     

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  • Echo SWEcho SW Posts: 72

    I'm looking forward to the rest. You look beautiful and so happy in these pictures. Kudos to Mr Clarkie on a spectacular proposal too - very romantic!

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134

    Oh my goodness!! Loving all of this!! Your dress is a similar style to the one I have chosen so it's nice to see it on an actual bride! And short BM dresses! Really loving this report so far! Keep writing! xx

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Thanks ladies, just glad someone is reading! Echo, he did do good didn't he-I couldn't believe how much thought he put into it, they'd even done a dry run! Thanks Toadbride, I absolutely loved my dress and wish I could wear it again x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    The Ceremony

    All the hours of planning, the days spent papermacheing (sp?), the stress, and the organising all led to this moment. I can honestly say that this was the best 30 minutes of my entire life!

    After filling in all the details with the registrar's assistant, I spoke to Holly (our wedding planner at Rivervale, who was awesome!) and she told me that she would send down the bridesmaids, then she would give me a thumbs up and I would walk in with Dad.

    So without further ado...

    My beautiful Maid of Honour entered first.

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    Followed by the 4 others.

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    Holly gave me the nod, I took a deep breath to try and hold back the tears, and we went for it.

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    I made Jais promise to look at me, as I knew I'd be feeling nervous and his smile would help to calm my nerves. Seeing him stood there, looking so gorgeous and so happy, made me completely overcome with emotion, and as you can see, my 'look up to avoid crying' technique was not quite going to plan, lol.

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     It was soo incredible being in a room full of people who care about you, but if I'm really honest, all I could focus on was Jais. We had waited nearly 11 years for this moment and it was so overwhelming finally being there. As my Dad left me he gave my hand a big squeeze...

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     and I tried to fight back the tears as turned to face my future husband-my preferred method: cheesy grin!

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     We walked in to 'The Sleeping Beauty Waltz' by Tchaikovsky. I have an unhealthy obsession with Disney Princesses (To the point where I made Dad and my cousin queue up for 2 hours to meet them all at Disney World-when I was 18!) and Sleeping Beauty is my absolute favourite. (Non wedding photo-but pretty funny!)

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    Our string quartet were amazing, they slowed the track right down so that it was ideal for a slow walk.

    We may have broken the rules by stealing a cheeky kiss as this is just our natural response when seeing other, lol.

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  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Oh poops, spent ages typing the whole ceremony story and it's cut half of it off! Can't be bothered to type it all again now so will have to start again tomorrow!  X

  • MrsWildMrsWild Posts: 55

    Yaaaay! Looking forward to seeing the rest! Wasn't Rivervale amazing?! We couldn't fault it! Looks like you had the ame registrars as us, they were great! X

  • Echo SWEcho SW Posts: 72

    Love the cheesy grin! It's a really sweet moment.

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Well, as I was saying before I was so rudely cut off, (Will do shorter posts from now on to avoid that happening again!) I love this photo of my parents holding hands. Like me, they are not ones for soppy but they were both extremely emotional during the day.

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    I also love this one of my brother and nephew. 

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     Jais' little brother was our paageboy. He can be shy around people he doesn't know so we didn't want to ask him to walk down the aisle, but we did want him to have an important job so we asked him to help the best men with the rings. He loved having a job to do and was so excited about wearing his suit that he was awake a 6am lol.

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  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Our readings were done by our 2 best friends. My MoH read 'The Wonder of You' by Elvis. Jais chose this one because of its Arsenal link, but the lyrics are great too:

    When no-one else can understand me
    When everything I do is wrong
    You give me hope and consolation
    You give me strength to carry on

    And you're always there to lend a hand
    In everything I do
    That's the wonder
    The wonder of you

    And when you smile the world is brighter
    You touch my hand and Im a king
    Your kiss to me is worth a fortune
    Your love for me is everything

    Ill guess I'll never know the reason why
    You love me like you do
    That's the wonder
    The wonder of you

    My MoH has a beautiful voice, and we did discuss her singing it, but she was worried that she'd get choked up part way through so we decided to play it safe.

    Our second reading was by Jais's oldest and closest friend, who was one of our bridesmaids. She read 'The Perfect Man' a quote from Bob Marley:

    “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”

    The words sum up our relationship completely and it was so perfect that it was Sam  reading it.

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     After the readings we signed the register.

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     And they then presented me with the very important marriage certificate.

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     We exited to Journey's 'Don't stop believing' which is Jais' favourite song and it sounded great coming from the String Quartet.

    And that was it, we were husband and wife, Mr & Mrs Clarke.

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     x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    Mrs Wild, Rivervale were amazing. They were so organised and the whole day ran so smoothly.

    Haha thanks Echo, it's my go to nervous facial expression! x

  • ClarkieClarkie Posts: 586

    After the ceremony, it was time for the photo with the cars. Our photographer was so excited about this and managed to get some great shots.

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  • Ooh, reading this lovely report made me feel all emotional. What a fantastic wedding image Your photographer has captured some really special moments. Your dress is stunning....the bridesmaids look great in their unusual dresses ....your pageboys face when he gives the rings, he looks so proud bless him. 

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