A Devonshire Country Wedding - The Report!

Hello all,

I'm now Mrs Billing! And its time to tell you all about my day (if you would like to read it!)

I'm going to do quite a detailed report, so sorry if you get bored. I will put a lot of pics on though image

I’ll start on the Monday of the week leading up to the wedding, H2B and I went into work as usual, and then separately, we both got asked to go down to the students' union shop (where we first met). When we got there, the current manager of the shop had got us rosettes to wear, a bride to be sash for me, and a top hat for H2B! She then gave us a glass of bubbly, and got us to work back behind the till!

It was really sweet of her, and she had also put our faces on the shop widow mannequins!

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 Here we are behind the till. It was nice to reminisce!

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  • H2B finished work that afternoon, but I still had to go in on Tuesday. At the end of the day I was presented with a HUGE bunch of flowers, and lots of cards, it was a lovely send off. I was excited to get home because when I got there, the marquee would be up!

    I got back, and there it was, and it looked amazing! Plenty of space inside, and they had put all of the bunting up.

    On Wednesday we set to work – washing all of the teacups and saucers that we had gathered over the past year. It was also cake making day, and what a disaster that was!

    Those of you who read my thread know that we planned to make the wedding cake ourselves, and I did numerous trial runs of it. However, on this particular day, I just couldn’t make a Victoria sponge! The first one I did sank in the middle, so I thought I would try again, and the second one came out worse than the first! I honestly don’t know what caused it, maybe nerves? H2B came to the rescue and made the middle tier, the top tier (lemon) that I made came out fine, but it was a stress I could have done without, I couldn’t believe it was happening, I cried!

    Thursday was another eventful day.  I did some wedding prep in the morning, and then at lunchtime went off to have a massage and a manicure, which was great. Came home feeling very relaxed, to find H2B in a complete panic. He had gone to turn the generator on for the power to the marquee, and the key snapped in the lock! We had to drive out to Exeter services to pick up a replacement. Thank goodness it happened then and not on the morning of the wedding!

  • Friday I think was the busiest day. We had a very productive morning, all of the table linen and cutlery arrived in the morning, and the lawn games and a few other bits, so we were able to lay up all of the tables and decorate the marquee, and set the bar up. My family arrived around lunchtime, and we went out to meet them for lunch. This took longer than I would have liked, but it was nice! We then picked up the sandwiches for the afternoon tea. By the time I got back home, I was nearly an hour late picking up 3 of my bridesmaids from the train station! Rushed over to get them, and then we all spent some time looking around the marquee, and they pitched up their tents.

    Before we knew it , we were running late for the wedding rehearsal!

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  • JulyBugJulyBug Posts: 420

    Gorgeous! That's so annoying about your cake but it does sound like it may be nerves! The marquee looks beautiful. x

  • Thanks JulyBug! Think it must have been baking nerves, it all turned out fine in the end though!

    Wedding Rehearsal - the night before the wedding!

    We all rushed up to the church for the wedding rehearsal, apart from my MOH who got stuck in awful traffic!

    It was really surreal, being stood at the alter next to Tristan, knowing that we would be getting married there in just 17 hours! Alan the vicar was so lovely and took us through everything. The flowers were already in the church, and they looked beautiful. I'm not sure that anyone got any pictures, but on the window ledges of the church we had cream jugs filled with flowers, and then 2 pastel pots either side. I'm glad that I noticed them because I don't think I did at all during the actual ceremony!

    After the rehearsal we all went for dinner, and H2B and I gave everyone in the wedding party their thank you presents.

    Then it was back to the marquee for some last minute prep, and I packed up all of my bridal outfit ready to go to stay with my parents nearby. H2B gave me a big wedding present which I wasn't allowed until the next morning. We nearly forgot to exchange gifts, and he forgot my card!

    I was feeling pretty tired by this point, got to bed around midnight I think. I was hoping to fall asleep pretty quickly, but it took me a while to get off.

  • KatspupsKatspups Posts: 519

    The report I've been so looking forward to!!

    That was so nice of your co-workers! What a thoughtful group of people.

    The marquee looks soooo pretty & it's not even completely set yet in this pic! I love the bunting. Was the marquee set up on your property or was this a field you rented/borrowed?  I can't remember. Either way, the space looks lovely.

    What a pain about the cake. I had a similar experience with my make-up. I am well-trained at eyelash extensions but the morning of, my hands were shaking so badly, I couldn't do them at all!! Funny how these things happen.

    Can't wait to read moreimage

  • HdelHdel Posts: 132

    Excited to read more imageimage

  • Thanks both! Katspups, we rent a tiny cottage that is on the end of a lovely farmhouse, surrounded by fields, and our landlady very kindly said that we could have the reception there. Its a beautiful location!

    I will try and do some more today or tomorrow! image

  • KatspupsKatspups Posts: 519

    Wow, that was so nice of here. A perfect venue right in your own backyard. It looks lovely.

  • I woke up at 5.40am on Saturday morning, too excited to go back to sleep! I sat in bed writing my diary, listening to a playlist I had put together for the morning. Then I painted my nails, and my dad made me a cup of tea.

    My dress was hanging up in my parents wardrobe, so I couldn’t look at it! I showered around 8, and then we had some breakfast, and around half 9 ish all of my bridesmaids arrived to get ready. They brought strawberries, croissants and prosecco with them, so we all had a glass of bubbly, and the girls kind of took over upstairs to get ready. I made them personalised hangers to go with their dresses, which they loved image

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    My makeup artist arrived just after 10am, and set to work in the kitchen getting ready. My make up was beautiful, I was really pleased with it, it looked much better than my trial! I did have a panic whilst I was having it done, because the kitchen clock said 10 to 12! Luckily it was wrong!

    Whilst I was having my make up done, my florist delivered the bouquets and buttonholes. I don’t think I actually got a good picture of my bouquet, but it was beautiful. I had given the florist a horseshoe brooch (my something borrowed) and 2 rings from my grandmothers (something old) and I was expecting her to just tie them on to the bottom, but she wired them in to be amongst the flowers, which looked lovely.

    By that point, it was around 11.30, I had my hair and make up ready, wearing my tiara and I was actually jumping p and down with excitement, I wanted to get into my dress!

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  • KatspupsKatspups Posts: 519

    Hair and make-up looks lovely! Bring on the dress!

  • Ok! Here she is:

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     Time for me to put my dress on; had slight trouble at the beginning but it was all very smooth, with 4 bridesmaids and my mum it took no time at all! We secured my veil, and then I went to find my jewellery - just realised I forgot to mention this! H2B gave me lovely presents for the morning of the wedding - a horseshoe he made and decorated, perfume, lip balm a sixpence, and a beautiful pearl necklace, which just happened to go perfectly with my dress!


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     Here I am in my dress, with my bridesmaid Becky patiently doing up all the buttons!

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  • KatspupsKatspups Posts: 519

    Your dress is gorgeous! It suites you so well too!  I especially like the waist. A lot of the dresses I tried on, with all the layers and fabrics, made me look heavy at the midsection (which I'm not at all and clearly neither are you). That lovely detailing at the waist gives the dress a great shape.  You looked amazing.  I hope everyone told you so.

    What a lovely gift from the h2b.  I even love the packaging, it's so keepsake worthy.

  • It was getting towards 12 by this point, and as my bridesmaids and I had pretty much taken over all of the bedrooms, it was time to get out the way so that my parents could actually get ready!! We all went outside, to look at our bouquets and have some pictures.

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     Here's me and the bridesmids, who all looked stunning image

  • KatspupsKatspups Posts: 519

    They look great, but I have to say, with that smile, you were absolutely radiant!  Happy much?!

    I think the dresses looked very nice on them.  It's so hard to get something that flatters everyone without mixing and matching styles, but your girls all look amazing.  I like their hair too. How lucky for you they are had similar 'dos that could be styled alike. One poor b2b on here had a BM get fluorescent colored extensions last minute image

  • Yikes! Yes I was very lucky with my bridesmaids, they all did their hair and make up themselves, and I think the dresses were good for everyone, not always the case!

    I was feeling soo happy and excited, like you said Katspups, my expression said it all!
    My parents them came downstairs already to go - my brother and his girlfriend had already left by that point, as he was an usher and needed to be at the church earlier.

    I had some pictures taken with my parents image

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     And here is another one of me ready to go!

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  • At half 12, the cars arrived to take us to the church.  A white limousine for my mum and the bridesmaids, and a 1927 Austin Tourer for me and my dad. I was concerned about this, because the cottage my parents were staying it was a converted barn, and on a working farm. The walkway through from where you parked the cars to the cottage was cobbled, and muddy! The owners of the property had said no cars were allowed into the second courtyard area, so I had visions of everyone having to carry me into the car, haha! Luckily, they allowed the cars to come in right up to the house so I only had some grass to walk over.

    Everyone helped me get into the car, and I was ready for the off. I might also add at this point that my stomach was rumbling like mad! I was so worried it would be noisy in the church!!

    The bridesmaids set off, and my dad and I waited a few minutes before we set off.

    It was a lovely journey, only about 15 minutes but I remember the country lanes looking lovely, with the hedgerows full of flowers. I chatted with my dad, and asked him if he was ready to give me away. He said that he wasn't but he would anyway!

    We passed our house on the way to the church, so I could see the marquee from the road! Exciting.

    We arrived at Bickleigh Church at 12.50, so perfect timing. All of my maids and my mum were waiting for me. And my photographer!

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  • As I got out of the car, another car pulled up. It was my friend Barbara, who is 96. I signed up for a home visiting scheme with Age UK in my second year of University, and I got matched up with Barbara because we both like knitting and baking. I’ve been visiting her for nearly 6 years now, firstly in her home, and now she lives in a residential care home. Tristan and I both wanted her to be there but weren’t sure if she would be able to make it, so I was so pleased to see that she was able to come! I’m waving to her in this photo.

     

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    The vicar came down to meet me, and we waited for Barbara to get into the church (she has difficulty walking now so she was in a wheelchair). Alan the vicar also told me that there was a slightly nervous young man waiting for me in the church, eeee!

    We waited outside for a few minutes, I was just chatting to the bridesmaids, when I felt something on my foot – my garter had fallen down. My maid of honour had to put it back on, ha! This was hilarious, and something I will always  remember as my last few moments as a Stevens!

    We got the nod from Alan, and with my bridesmaids looking after the back of my dress, we started the walk up through the churchyard! I was SO excited!

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  • I got to the door of the church, and had a few quick pictures outside with my dad and the bridesmaids. Then, we got ready to go in, and my dad put my veil over my face. There is a curtain in the door of the church, so I could just hear a bit of chatter and the organist playing a tune. Just writing this makes me feel all nervous excited all over again! The vicar gave us the nod, and then walked in, the curtain opened, and I stepped into the church with my dad.

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     (I love these pictures)

     Bickleigh church doesn’t have a straight aisle, we had to walk and then turn towards the altar, so my first view when I walked in was of some of my guests – friends from school. I remember grinning at them, and then we turned, and I could see H2B smiling at me. Big relief because I was so worried he might faint!! After that I don’t remember the walk, I just remember absolutely beaming at him! We navigated the steps up to the altar ok, and I was finally standing next to my groom, ready to say our vows together.

    The first thing he said to me was “you look amazing!” He gave me a quick peck on the cheek, even though I guess he wasn’t supposed to! We held hands, and the ceremony began.

  • Pig  BearPig Bear Posts: 447

    Awwww. Gorgeous photos 

  • susan28susan28 Posts: 268

    I'm really enjoying reading, beautiful pictures x

  • lola3lola3 Posts: 350

    I'm really enjoying reading this so pleased you had a great day x  

  • Glad you're enjoying it - I am enjoying writing it!

    The ceremony passed in a bit of a blur, I was trying to concentrate so hard on the words but all I could think was I’m getting married!! We exchanged our vows and rings, all without slipups!

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     My MOH and my brother did their readings, I teared up at the reading we had chosen but didn’t cry! Also at one point Bessie, who is H2Bs Gran’s dog tried to dash over to say hello to us, but his Gran caught her in time! That was funny!

    Then, the sermon was performed by Hannah, one of H2Bs friends from University who is also a vicar. Her sermon was really great, because she made it personal to us both, and she was so enthusiastic, it was wonderful. So many of the guests commented afterwards on how good it was!

    Then, all too soon it was time to sign the register, and I signed in the wrong place! Typical me. To be fair, the vicar did tell me to sign in the wrong line!

    (I don't have any pictures of us signing the register yet, still waiting on those ones from the photographer.)

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    When the ceremony was complete, we went and spoke to Barbara, before going outside. I sent the bridesmaids off to get the confetti ready, and we had pictures directly outside the church, before moving down to the road, where the ice cream tricycle was image We got showered with confetti there, and this is one of my favourite pictures from the day.

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    The sun came out, and all of our guests were chatting, and enjoying their ice cream. It was such a good idea, made better by the lovely weather.

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  • Also, Tristan and I are learning to ring the church bells at the moment, and some of the people we ring with rang the church bells after the ceremony for us, which was great. They also put bell ropes up around the church!

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  • The ice cream was very popular, everyone was queuing up to get some! We decided to start the migration to the reception, and requested that the hood be taken down from the car. We got in the car, posed for some pictures and then set off as husband and wife. The journey is very short – wish it could have been longer! And in no time at all we were back home ready for the reception. We were greeted with Pimms, and bit by bit all of the guests arrived, and we had reception drinks outside the marquee. It had turned into the most beautiful day!

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    Tristan had rolled up the sides of the marquee because it was really hot in there in the morning, so people were able to wander in and out of the marquee, and take in the scenery and chat by the river.

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  • We had lawn games too, for people to enjoy!

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     This is Tristan's Morris Minor, Aggie. She was going to be the wedding car, but we decided on the Austin and she became a centrepiece at the reception instead image

     

  • Here are some pictures of the marquee - after a lot of stress worrying that it wouldn't look good, I think it looked great! Better than I could have imagined image

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  • The tables looked fantastic, I loved the flowers and I think everything went together nicely. I ordered the hessian circles quite late, but I'm glad I did.

    My dad made the tree slices - he did get some from a sawmill, but then the weather was hotter than usual in April, and they dried out and cracked, so he had to rush out with a chainsaw and do these ones! They were great though.

    As you can see, our table names were our pet guinea pigs past and present!

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  • Just before we wanted people to sit down for the afternoon tea, we cut the cake. The cake as I have mentioned was a bit of a trial in the run up to the wedding, but Tristan set it up on the morning of the wedding, and it looked great! I made the toppers and the bunting to go round it image

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     I only have guest photos of the cake cutting!

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     Then we invited everyone to sit down, and my MOH announced us as Mr & Mrs Billing, and we took our seats for tea!

     

  • Mrs W2bMrs W2b Posts: 99

    Emilyrose, it all looks amazing, the photos are fantastic, glad you had a wonderful day image

  • Little JulesLittle Jules Posts: 1,538

    Just catching up with this - love your photos and your report! You look so gorgeous and so happy, congratulations. It looks absolutely beautiful, amazing work on the cake! 

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