Our Georgian villa wedding report

I have been meaning to write a report for a while now, as I really enjoyed seeing how other brides' weddings had come together.

My husband proposed on my birthday, during a surprise trip to Prague. After six months we finally set the date, to be married in August 2014.

Very soon after finding our venue I spotted YAYW and I have enjoyed learning how to personalise our day and I honestly believe those little touches are what made our day so special. On the day we felt so honored to be surrounded by our family and friends and were particularly touched when a relative we haven't seen in ages really pulled out all the stops to help us set up our venue. Furthermore, on the day... when the rain came... everyone pulled together which created an amazing atmosphere. I honestly would not change a thing.

Before I ramble on about our wedding day I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone on here who posted their thoughts and opinions. Without you our day really wouldn't have been as fun!

Link to our planning thread; http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/our-georgian-villa-wedding/388491.html 

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  • laurapjlaurapj Posts: 726

    yay!!

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    What I would change during the planning

    #1- finding the venue

    Before setting the date I spent weekends and evenings checking out venues on the net. I had asked my partner to write a wish list, which was really handy as he pointed out things I hadn't thought of! We both agreed we wanted to keep the day small, relaxed and fun. 

    I picked out a few local barns... cringed at the price of the food (despite the dessert being our wedding cake) and went back to the drawing board. After visiting a fairly grand building (which clearly needed a lot of work) and two hotels we were starting to think it would be easiest and cheapest to go for a hotel package or have a wedding in the back garden. But it wasn't really what we wanted.

    Then... it suddenly occurred to me to do the logical thing and search for approved venues in our county!   http://www3.hants.gov.uk/registration/marriage/approvedvenues.htm and a venue which had not been featured on any of the other sites popped up!

    Hill Place 

    http://www.hillplace.co.uk/ 

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    We both felt the venue was perfect so invited the family along! The owner was a little surprised to show round about nine people, but it really made the experience wonderful. I loved watching everyone's reactions as we walked into each room and hearing my Sister recall seeing the building on Country house rescue episode.

    We did actually say the venue couldn't get any better, then Rebecca said we could go up to the roof!

    We had found our venue. Had the choice of every weekend in August 2014 and booked the next day. When we contacted them two weeks later they were fully booked for August 2014!! So we were extremely lucky and were very thankful we booked early! 

    Therefore make finding your venue easy by just searching for approved venues in your county, rather than looking at all the fancy venue searching sites.

    We were so pleased to find Hill Place as it is beautiful, small and none of our guests had heard of it! A good friend of ours (celebrated his 80th a few weeks ago) said he thought he knew the area like the back of his hand and loved that this little gem was hidden from the main track.

    For us the main box was ticked image

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    Thank you Laura image Loved reading all about your day image

  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    I'm excited even though I know about your big day! Ha! Xx

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    #2 Don't get upset if others aren't very keen during planning

    After a few weeks, the little pieces started to come together. I found out that my MIL was really keen to be involved (having visited every venue) and early on wanted a project. Unfortunately those I thought would want to be involved did not show any interest until two weeks before the wedding. But I appreciate sometimes its best not to have too many opinions. 

    #3 Set boundaries when looking for bridesmaid dresses

    Planning ran fairly smoothly, I particularly enjoyed planning little surprises for my husband-to-be (spoilers on my planning thread lol). By far the MOST stressful part was organising what the bridesmaids were wearing. Setting dates, sudden cancellations, being recommended dresses that wouldn't work together or that would clash with the colour scheme. From being on here a while at least I knew I was not the only one!

    In the end I took them to one shop, which I had previously visited. Pointed out a designer, set a budget and we chose a colour together (they could choose the style they wanted). If they wanted one more than £x they would have to contribute to it. I am sooooooooooooo thankful I finally did this as this was after months of stress. I was really surprised that they actually wanted the same dress! Job done.

    Anyone experiencing this pain, set restrictions and make it clear what you want. You might want to be kind by offering choice but actually you are likely to just give everyone a big headache, unless you have level headed bridesmaids!

     

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    Thanks Poppins! I saw you had started your report and thought I better get on with it while OH is still asleep!!

    Hen do

    So, zooming ahead. It was the start to the summer holidays. I had collected a crazy amount of little touches, filling our home, my Mum's and my future inlaws! lol A busy 'holiday' ahead. Stag, hen, wedding, honeymoon and moving house.

    My OH organised to go back to Prague the weekend before we got married, so I organised to go to Brighton at the same time...which I didn't realise was gay pride!!

     

    This was the second time I have accidentally gone to Gay pride and it was awesome image

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I orgianised my older Sisters and best friend's hen do's, so now it was there turn! I had told my bridesmaids I wanted to go to Brighton (close by, quirky and lots of things to do). They organised the day as a suprise and it was lovely how much thought they had put into it. My Sister had spend ages making bags for everyone, including snacks, drinks, comical oversized glasses, activities and a secret schedule! 

    After settling into the hotel and watching the parade my Sister had booked Bills. So pleased they booked, there was a massive queue down the street! I looked through the door and spotted my very best friend from Uni!!! I couldn't believe it, she was heavily pregnant and said she wouldn't be able to make it. (This was actually the second time I got tearful as I was so overwhelmed).

    The food was gorgeous and my friend bought me a glass of champagne! After the meal we went to the 'secret class' (unfortunately my Mum had spilled the beans the evening before- but didn't tell anyone). They had organised a chocolate workshop at http://www.chocoholly.com/ Educational and fun! We all made truffles and lollies. I even got to make a chocolate penguin for my OH lol

     

     

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    After the class we spent the afternoon shopping, followed by our vintage evening out. It was great to see everyone dressed up. But the best dressed award would definitely go to my younger Sister

    It was a great chance for the girls to get to know each other and break the ice. 

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    It was great to catch up and reminisce about our weekends. I was worried about the guys going abroad so close to the wedding, but it meant that our friends who didn't know many people were able to remember each other and had something to talk about. I know it isn't great to go to a wedding when you only know your partner and the couple.

    Setting up the venue

    Everything was packed up in boxes, I had written the room on the side.

    My FIL asked for a list of jobs and a map of how I wanted everything. I was worried that this might be viewed as 'bridezilla' but actually I was very thankful for the suggestion. Those who weren't sure kept calling me to double check. It was great they wanted to to get thinks how I wanted them, but it did mean running back and forth.

    On the Tuesday morning we set up the gazebos in the garden and ran through everything with the venue and parents. 

    On Wednesday morning we packed up the cars with all the little bits and pieces (it really is incredible how many things you can buy over two years!!) and put them in the correct rooms. My Mum clearly thought I was mad at this point lol  

     

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    Thursday!! Eeek! It was actually happening ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The furniture had arrived and everything was looking a bit too real lol. Annoyingly not all the items we wanted had arrived and two chairs were damaged. So we had to call them back. Later we realised one of the tables was faulty image I hadn't thought about the linen being creased, but with all the bits and pieces on hopefully it wasn't too noticeable! 

    Unintentionally our family and friends split into groups; fathers in the garden, bridesmaids organising the dining room, sweets & photos, Mum & Aunt arranging the bar and pots and us! It was honestly amazing to see them come together to help us out. It really made the experience for us. 

     

     The pots were a wedding gift from my Aunt image

     

     

     My Sister putting up the photos of us growing up / us with guests

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    A few photographs of the venue set up

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    In the hall table I had photographs from our engagement shoot, the venue had made a sign welcoming guests and a few 'fill the blanks' cards for guests. The next day we put the wedding cake the other end of the table, made by my Aunt, so guests could have a good look image

     

  • Lou85Lou85 Posts: 1,805 New bride

    Yay, loving this! I can't believe that after all our planning, most of the girls I got to know on here are all married! ???? x

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I know, its really bizarre seeing 2015 and 2016 planning threads, that was us not too long ago! Thank you for reading, its great to know I am not just talking to myself lol Although my computer is taking ages to upload photos!

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    In the lounge I decided to frame photographs of us growing up, including friends and family we had invited. Also this was my subtle way of including my Grandpa, my Gran was upset he wasn't there, but in a silly little way he was.

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     A guest said it was like they were in our house and made the venue homely image

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    For the evening I had collected more photos and had attached them to a folding screen. It was lovely when our photographer spotted her brother at my fifth birthday party!

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    In the hall we had also set up the seating plan, made of Polaroid photographs. I thought this would be more fun than the traditional layout and would help guests get to know each other. I tried to pick as many silly (but suitable) ones as I could and group couples.

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    I really wish I had seen guests spotting themselves!

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  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    For the top table we decided to have a round table to make it easier to talk to everyone and kept couples together. When I arranged the seating plan I had originally put all the groups together, but my OH pointed out that those groups will stick together throughout the day. So we divided the largest groups into two, to help people mingle without making anyone feel uncomfortable.

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    My MIL made the centerpieces (her project) and our technician made the table numbers out of oak image

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    My best friend and I made the favours. I wanted something fun and edible image

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  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    For the favours we had mint chocolate for the mustaches and vanilla (red and pink) for the lips. Each favour was different as we added different fillings (popping candy, caramel, honeycomb...) 

    Each guest also had a menu card, on the back there was a 'note for the new Mr & Mrs' for guests to draw an image of themselves and fill in the blanks. This went do REALLY well and it was funny how seriously some guests took it, some wrote really meaningful answers and others were just bizarre! We have kept all of them and I am looking forward to looking at them again for years to come image

     

    For the kids I bought little activities (books, puzzles and a cuddly peppa pig). But my favourite gift was a personalised book for my niece off; http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/itsyourstory/product/personalised_girl_s_dressing_up_box_book 

    My OH had also seen some personalised hearts on the tables of a wedding he went to in May, any excuse image

     

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    But the room which made everything real was the morning room.

    I remember just standing there looking at it. 

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  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    My OH turned up just at the right time and we held hands looking at it image

    It was beautiful and we were going to get married right on that spot tomorrow.

    We walked in together and stood at the top of the aisle. A mini rehearsal image

     

    I am so pleased we were able to set everything up, as the wedding wasn't really just over in one day. I can look back over the whole week image We chatted about everyone coming together and finished the last bits and pieces. It was great to see all our plans coming together. 

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  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    We had managed to set up everything inside the house. My OHs family had also brought over all the drinks and glasses (you can rent glasses for free from Waitrose!). The gazebos and bunting were set up, but the flowers and games would have to wait for the morning.

    During the day the best man had called to explain his suit had 'disappeared'. Everyone waited for a bridezilla moment, but what could I do about it? So I just asked him to turn up in a suit and I would hope for the best! We rented the suits from Moss Bros, I would never go back. They mucked up the order for two suits then managed to 'misplace' one.

    We went back to his parents and had a normal night in image Just what we wanted. I know its traditional to have a big meal with the wedding party then not see each other until you get married. We wouldn't of had time and we were all grateful to put our feet up. This also mean't we were able to experience everything together image 

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    Wedding day

    We are both known for being late.

    We woke up, had a shower, up and dressed. His family were downstairs putting together nibbles (MIL insisted on making cakes / canapes). I was beginning to worry about time, as I knew I was meant to be at the venue by 8.30 am. I went back upstairs and finally he got out of bed. I was hoping to arrive at the venue together and realised that this was not going to happen and there was no way they would be able to help set up the garden so had to go by myself.

    While driving my phone was going. Yes I was late...the last one to arrive out of my side of the wedding party! lol My Aunt and Uncle had turned up with my surprise cake!! It was beautiful. She was really nervous as I had requested for the design to be a secret. I knew she had asked my Sister about our theme and I wanted a little surprise for my OH. Panthro popping out of the bottom of our cake, like this;

    Panthrow took center stage at the top of the cake, but the cake was incredible! She had put so much time and love into the cake. It really was the best present. 

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  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I then went upstairs to find everything was under control image Mum had already had her hair and make up done and was in the garden arranging flowers! My Mum and Aunt had collected flowers from their gardens and put them in the jam jars. My Mum's partner had gone to get the canapes and the tables were out with tablecloths on! Woo!

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    There was still plenty to do- the remaining table cloths, lanterns, games and children area. So I went into headless chicken mode! 

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  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    We ordered a sample of those personalised hearts! I loved them but just never got round to ordering them! Its all looking so beautiful so far! I love how your family all pulled together to help you with everything xxx

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    Thankfully my OH's family turned up about an hour later and helped set up the garden. It then dawned on me that I might actually need to get ready, but I was pleased most of the garden was set up image

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    The bar was still a long way off being ready, but I left that to the boys!

     

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I ordered one lot of the hearts the week before, realised I wouldn't have enough and the second batch arrived the day before!! Thank you Poppins, looking forward to reading all the details about your day image Great to be able to share all the little bits. Although my computer keeps deleting my posts image

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    So upstairs I went, just in time for our hairdresser. I do regret being the last one to get ready but I wanted to know everything was as set up as possible!

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    Our hairdresser has been doing our families hair for years and Emily is a really good friend of my oldest Sister (and is setting up a make up business). So we knew everyone at the venue.

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    Both families were setting up the venue, it was lovely to hear my niece playing in the tent I bought her image We all took it in turns looking after her. Our photographers turned up while I had my hair in curlers. Our photographer Hayley had emailed me a few months before to explain she was expecting in October!! So she offered to bring another photographer free of charge! I know Hayley from school, which helped us all relax in front of the camera. I HIGHLY recommend Hayley, we booked her as soon as we knew the date! http://hayleysavagephotography.co.uk/ 

  • How I wish I could have a wonderful wedding like you,however,I just broken up with my FI,we planed to have our wedding March,2015.Anyway,I am glad that you are going to have a wonderful wedding!

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    While my hair was in curlers I looked after my niece, it was really lovely to have some time just the two off us playing. Guests started to arrive and the flowers arrived! I took my niece over to have a look as after a long intake of breath she said "Wow!!". All of us roared with "She is so cute!!" I wish I could have filmed that moment. 

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    My bouquet was stunning, exactly what I wanted! They had even managed to get some peonies!!

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    The bridesmaids had similar bouquets and I had a mini one for my niece, although I did anticipate it being deconstructed before walking down the aisle!! 

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    The buttonholes were cream roses and the florist recommended coordinating the corsages with the outfits. This did cost a bit more, but everyone seemed to like it. My aunt gave them all out image

    Remember, women are always right. (corsages on the right, buttonholes are worn on the left).

    I loved my flowers so much, that the next day when I gave them to my gran I didn't want to leave them!! lol 

     

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I decided to wear flowers in my hair, as I didn't feel comfortable wearing a tiara or veil. Both of our Mums wore fake flowers in their hair on their wedding days too image This also worked out a lot cheaper.

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     I decided to wear my hair up, as I normally have my hair down. Also when we had our engagement shoot my hair kept being blown round in the wind and didn't look as good as I thought. The shoot also helped us relax in front of the camera and know how to pose. 

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805
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     The flowers in my hair were larger than the one I bought a month before. But they made a statement.

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     Then I had my makeup and nails done. It was nice to have a girly room, everyone getting ready together and being able to hear guests arriving and chatting outside. My OH's side of the family got ready next door.

    I had planned to have a 'first look' photograph but there wasn't really time. I started to panic and was really worried I was going to be a crying mess during the ceremony. So I tried to keep it together and requested to see him before everything started. It was just a quick "love you!" before his interview, but it made me feel better image

    While he had his interview I got into my dress.

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     My sister did up all the buttons with a crochet hook, good tip from the bridal shop.

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