Chucked Together Wedding 31.08.17 - The Report

Well, a month late but here is the report for our wedding on the 31st August 2017! I'm a bit late as I've been waiting for my pictures for ages and I also wanted to have some time for things to settle down. In the couple of weeks after the wedding I felt really disconnected from it, I couldn't remember large parts of it and I felt worried that people might not have enjoyed it and so I kind of shut it out for a little while. I think I needed to be me again and to get used to being a wife and the lack of a project as big as my wedding! 

 

 I'd like to preface the report by saying that I am so happy with how the wedding went and with being married. Our relationship doesn't feel any different now we are married but actually, in the months of prep prior to the wedding, we really bonded and evolved even more than we already had. It cemented my decision in marrying him, the way we planned and worked together to create our day and furthermore I love him more than I ever imagined I could love anybody. 

 

 When I was in my early twenties I never thought I'd marry because I suppose I didn't get it. I thought love didn't need a contract and that no part of a marriage would make a difference to me. Then when I met Jim I always found myself looking for a deeper level of connection. I wanted more, I wanted the commitment and the devotion that marriage provides, even if just in feeling. The legality of it means less to me than the symbolism of it but I love being married, I love my husband and I'm so glad I changed my mind as I grew older about committing myself to another person. 

 

 If you haven't read my planning thread then let me introduce myself!

 

Bride: Becca

Groom: Jim

Venue: York registry office followed by York Medical Society

Date: 31.08.2017

Planning time : 6 months

Budget: Full spend in the region of £8500 including honeymoon, but that is majority contributions from family. Of our own money we spent about £3000. I watched the budget like a hawk!

 


 

image

Posts

  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142

    To Begin

    When I begun planning the wedding, I didn't know what I was doing. My planning thread is titled 'chucked together wedding' because in that early stage of planning, it was exactly that! I focused on what I needed to do, like give notice, book the registry office and book the venue, then afterwards it took me a little while to understand what our wedding was about. It naturally evolved to take on a style and theme of its own. Our venues were historic and typical of York. Our atmosphere was relaxed and collaborative, artistic and boozy, understated but different. I didn't know any of that until I put the wheels into motion though. Some decisions were made for me, such as having a free bar as our venue didn't have a licence in which we could sell it. Others I had to think about, like whether to have a formal meal, whether to do speeches and when and things like that. The wedding took on a life of its own and so much of it felt meant to be, which I'll explain later. 

     

     I'm an artist so my wedding became a bit of an outlet for creativity, we made lots of things ourselves such as the invites, guestbook, signage, favours etc. It was a blessing to have the skill to create my own things therefore saving money but also a curse because I just didn't have a lot of time to do it the justice it deserved. 

     

     In some areas I felt restricted by tradition, pressured to make certain choices, especially with regard to the guest list and with my appearance. I had to go outside of my comfort zone a fair few times and just be decisive about what I wanted and was prepared to compromise on. My main piece of advice is that you must stay true to yourself and only stick to the rules that suit you and your husband. Tradition is pointless if it doesn't make you happy or comfortable. Keep what you want in your wedding, discard what you don't. Your wedding day is far too fleeting for you to compromise on what you truly want. I luckily didn't have to compromise too much, but I had to do a lot of soul searching to reconcile myself with my decisions. You don't have to manage other people's expectations, only your own but it's hard to know that until it's over!
  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142

    At this point I'd like to say a little about what kind of wedding we had, just to put it into context before my next lot of rambling begins! When we originally thought about getting married we thought we might just have the smallest wedding you can have at the registry office which is just two witnesses. We both felt a bit uncomfortable with getting married in front of lots of people and weren't really sure if we wanted an 'event.' After we made the choice to get married though, we realised that our family alone, people we would like there, although fairly small on both sides would be in the region of 20-30 people, so we decided to have a 50 guest room at the registry office and from there it evolved that we'd definitely have a reception and be a bit more traditional. 

     We got married on a Thursday in the summer holidays as most of our family and friends are either shift workers or school teachers so we didn't feel it'd be too inconvenient and it was about half the cost of a saturday wedding. This meant booking a reception venue with short notice wasn't too difficult and all of the suppliers we approached were available too. 

    Our reception venue was 90% DIY. The basic space and furniture was all provided and as it was a lovely historic building it barely needed anything in the way of decor or additional furniture. We had to provide our own bar, caterer, flowers and music and because of the location of the building, parking was severely restricted without a special permit. However the cost of the venue was really very cheap and at the time of booking, I knew nothing about planning a wedding so was like 'how hard can it be!' (It's hard.) 

  • MrsDee7MrsDee7 Posts: 272 New bride

    Eeek, I've been waiting for this! 

    I'm so pleased you kept it real and said what you did about your feelings in the couple of weeks after your wedding. It's not yet 2 weeks since we married and what you've described is exactly the way I feel, except I wasn't able to actually express it myself. It's a weird feeling and I hope that seeing our professional photos, and just some time passing, will help me get over it.

    Can't wait to see more pics x

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    Love this, very eloquent and its barely even started yet!

    I love York, my nan and grandad used to live on the east coast and we'd stay with them every holiday. We would sometimes stop at york on the way.

    We always say well go to the christmas market there but we havent managed it yet, and this year will be a no go with our wedding so close. Maybe 2018!

    Looking forward to reading more

  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
    Bank Holiday Weekend - Wedding minus 5-3 days.

     

     I had a big list for the remaining weekend before the wedding. I knew that if I didn't get the list done, I'd have a shit day before the wedding playing catch up. The most important thing about the wedding reception was that I needed to bring EVERYTHING, the bar, the pudding table stuff, the guestbook table stuff, lights and decor, tablecloths, vases etc etc. In order to be able to do this, I borrowed lots of crates and boxes, divided my stuff into areas and made a complete list per box of what was in it and where it needed to go. It took me a couple of hours to pack everything and then we needed to load the car and drive it to our friends house which is very near to the venue and is where we'd arranged to be our meeting point for setting up. It took us four trips over two days to do this and it didn't even include the beer, the cake or any of the flowers. Once that was done though it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders, there was nothing else I needed to make or buy finally. Jim and I drove the last box to our friends house and then went to the pub to finish our thank you speech and celebrate! 

     image

     Our ring bearer best friend very kindly wrote the framework for our speech based on a list we gave him of everyone we needed to thank and why. He's an English teacher and an excellent writer and we just needed someone to help us with the starting point for it as Jim isn't a confident writer and my head was an absolute shed by this point. Our friend did a great job but we still needed to personalise it and write a bit about him as well so we spent an hour fleshing it out and getting a bit drunk and just generally relaxing. Jim would be reading the speech after dinner at the wedding. We thought about doing it together but I didnt think I could face it! 

     The only other things I'd planned for the weekend was all of our honeymoon prep. We were going away the day after the wedding and so I did lots of washing and I packed a bag in preparation, I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it until the day before the wedding but it was nice knowing it was underway. I also packed my bridal bag for the morning of the wedding. I bought a little box for my jewellery and make up and tried to think of everything I'd need. I was a bit apprehensive about getting ready at someone else's house for the very reason that I might forget something blatantly obvious and necessary, like a hairbrush. It didn't happen thankfully, my lists were effective!

     
  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Look forward to hearing more of your plans, you are both looking very calm and relaxed in your pub pic!

     

  • "My main piece of advice is that you must stay true to yourself and only stick to the rules that suit you and your husband. Tradition is pointless if it doesn't make you happy or comfortable. Keep what you want in your wedding, discard what you don't." 

    That comment is so lovely and true. 

  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
    Wedding -2 Days

     

    I do art workshops with children with special needs during the school holidays and two days before the wedding I had my last one of the summer. I was a bit worried that it'd be a mistake to work in that last run up but I'd committed myself to the workshops before I even knew we'd be getting married so I got my head in the game and went off to do my job! It was actually a nice break to not be able to think about the wedding and to just focus on the kids and some creative stuff for a while. The month of the wedding was really demanding, emotionally and practically so I quite relished the moments when the wedding was on the back burner and I could focus on something else. 

     

     On my way home from work, I went to collect my dress and drop it off at my friends. The night before the wedding I was to be staying with our friend Tracey, who is also our ring bearer's Mum. She was an absolute godsend to me in that last week. She lives close to the centre of York so was near to the registry office and our venue and she looked after me so well, and my family too. I went to see her to drop off the dress and it wasn't until I got there and we put the dress away that I just realised the magnitude of what I was doing and the build up and tension rolled off me in waves and I just had a little cry. I'd been so dedicated to the wedding for a short but intense time and it felt so tangible and present that I all of a sudden felt afraid. She helped me to relax a bit and I went off home to have a rest and check my lists again and to collect some of the puddings our family and friends were making for the reception. Luckily our lovely caterer had agreed for us to drop all the puddings with them the morning of the wedding and they would take them to the venue with the rest of the food, which was amazing as we had about fourteen puddings in the end! 

     

     That evening we'd arranged a big meet up with our closest friends to have a little celebration and a chance to chat with them as we knew there wouldn't be much opportunity on the day. It was just a couple of hours down the pub and it was a great way to chill out before the full on final prep day that was to be the day after. My anxiety was at the limit by this point when it came to the wedding. All I could think was of things not going to plan and worrying that I'd forgotten something. It just wasn't how I wanted to feel and it was fuelled in part by the short planning time of our wedding. I only got to grips with what I was even doing at the four months stage so by six months I'd had an awful lot to cram in. It's kind of a regret. I'm glad we focused on the marriage and just went for it but if I'd known when I booked how hard planning it would be I'd have given myself a few more months!
  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142

    Wedding -1 Day

    Wednesday, the day before the wedding was the day I had been stressing about the most. I had to make the cake, Jim had to finish collecting things and dropping them off then at 5 o clock we had to go and set up the venue and hope beyond all hope that we'd get it right. 

     I woke up and got right to it, straight in the bath to shave my legs, and try and get my skin as clear as possible. The stress and post menstrual hormones had given me a break out, an annoying line of three spots on my forehead and a little one above my mouth. I don't wear make up except for lipstick and had decided not to wear it on the day so these little spots were a real concern. I'd been trying to drink more water and get into a proper cleansing routine and up until the week of my wedding my skin had been the best it's ever been.  I rang my friend to see if I ought to go and buy something to cover them up but I just don't know my arse from my elbow when it comes to make up. The reason I'd chosen not to even attempt it for the wedding is because I always feel very self conscious wearing it and it makes my skin itch like mad. I didn't want to risk smudging it or scratching it off and most of all making myself uncomfortable. Jim likes me for me and I actually don't think he'd have liked it if I'd gone down the MUA route as it's just not me and he's not marrying the perfect, flawless version of me. So I stuck to my guns and just stuck to my skin routine and hoped for the best. A friend had said that no one would notice as being happy makes you glow, I hoped she'd be right! 
  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142

    1 day Continued

    After the skin debacle it was time to make the cake.

    image

     

    I was a bit worried about this as I'd only had time to practice it once but that first attempt was an absolute belter and I never usually have much trouble with cake so I was quietly confident that it'd be good. It wasn't. I honestly don't know where I was going wrong but my hands were shaking and I think I was overthinking it and my first attempt came out like massive slightly burnt biscuits. I tried not to sweat it and I got more ingredients to make it again. By this point our ring bearer John had arrived to go with Jim to get his haircut and to help us finish stuff off and collect things. Jim was having his own crisis as his shoes still hadn't arrived so one of us had to be in at all times until they were delivered (don't get me started on why they were bought so late) and he'd not quite finished making one of the cask stands that we needed to put our beer casks on at the reception. Yes. I'd told him to do it weeks before. So he was hammering stuff and constantly checking his delivery tracker and I was trying to get a bit of peace so I could focus on my second attempt at the wedding cake.

     Well. The second was a bit better... Until I made a rookie mistake and opened the oven too early. Both halves of the cake sank. Quite a lot. I could not believe it. I had never had a cake sink. It looked like someone had dropped a football on it. Jim and John came back from the barber looking dapper and really pleased with themselves and I just had a bitch fit and went to bed to have a cry and a calm down. They were saying to make it again but I honestly couldn't face it and I just didn't have time. By this point it was twelve o clock. I needed to go to town to buy some foliage then had to be at our friends at four to meet the florist and then at the venue at five to meet my friends and start setting up and I wasn't even dressed, I rang my mum and had a rant and then I got in touch with my sister in law who is an excellent baker and who had already said would add some decoration to the cake and I begged her to make it look less like a bake off disaster. I sent her the photo and she was great and said she could rescue it. So I whacked on the jam and buttercream stuck the two halves together and hoped she could work miracles. The worst Victoria sponge you've ever seen was my wedding cake. (That's why you pay a professional!) 

     

    image
  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Aww I would definitely go to pieces trying to make a cake the day before! Your cake looks lovely such a shame the middle sank.

  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
    MrsS85 wrote (see post):

    Aww I would definitely go to pieces trying to make a cake the day before! Your cake looks lovely such a shame the middle sank.

    I know I was gutted, I've never had it happen before and it just felt like Sod's law! All was well in the end, with the decorations on you couldn't tell but I didn't end up seeing that until the reception! 

  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
    2pm-4pm

     

     I decided to get out of the house and go and get my foliage. My florist was lovely and was making me a posy jar for each table, and delivering two massive buckets of flowers that I could make arrangements from but I thought it'd be best to go and get a load of greens like eucalyptus, ruscus etc then gypsophilia or lavender. Nice filler flowers that would flesh out the vases, as I had over thirty small vases and milk bottles that I wanted to use to brighten the whole place. The flowers were my only decor so it was important to me to get this right. In the end I was really glad I'd made this choice as I still didn't have enough to fill all my vases, I probably could have bought double the amount of flowers and it wouldn't have been too much! I love flowers and so it was nice to get this done and have a break for a while. 

     As soon as I got home my mum arrived which was amazing and she'd brought loads of useful things to help us set up. I was so pleased to see her. She helped us pack up our car, Jim had finally got his shoes and finished his diy bits and was firmly onto collection duty. He needed to get the beer casks from the pub we'd ordered from, drop it off then drop off all our puddings at his mums before coming back to load the car again with the cask stands he'd built. It was strange at this point, as mum and I were getting ready to leave and I'd be staying the night at my friends whilst Jim would stay at home. I picked up my bridal bag and my handbag and had a little look around thinking 'wow, when I come home again it'll all be over and I'll be a wife!' We had time for nothing more than a quick kiss and 'good luck' then off I went, knowing I wouldn't be home again until after the wedding!

     

  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
    4pm til 8pm Florist and Venue set up!

     

     We arrived a little early to my friends house so I went up to my room there and unpacked a few things and had a couple of minutes to myself. Both my mum and my dad were in the military so I'm good at being very organised and I'd planned the reception set up quite carefully. My friends were helping me and I assigned them all jobs beforehand. I had two on flowers, two on unpacking boxes and setting up my guestbook table, myself my mum and tracey on table set up and furniture moving, one on lights, signs and fiddly bits, then seven guys on unloading the cars, setting up the bar and reaching high places! In my mind I'd planned on it taking between three and four hours to do but there were quite a lot of unknowns in the equation.

     

     I'll just take a moment here to tell you about my toolkit! Doing a diy wedding you'll need a few things to help you that you may not have thought of, and maybe even if you're not doing a diy wedding they'd  be handy too! 

     

     In my toolkit was:

    Scissors x3

    Sellotape, masking tape, blue tack and glue

    Twine and string

    Secateurs for the flowers x2

    Pens, pencils and post it notes

    Stanley knife

    Tiny pegs

     

    There was more in there too but I used every single one of these things and would have been a bit stuck without them. I also recommend bringing an iron if you are laying tablecloths as even just being folded for a day or two will make them look a creased mess. 
  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
    Back to the flowers. So, at 4pm my florist came to deliver my reception flowers. She'd kindly agreed to bring them the day before and come back the next day with my bouquet and the buttonholes etc. She was bang on time despite the traffic and I was so made up with the quality and the colours of everything she brought.

    imageimage

    Once the flowers had arrived, myself, my mum, tracey and my friend annice walked down to the venue for a little bit of a head start. We'd originally planned to get there at five as that is when the pedestrianisation of the central York roads lifts and we could get the cars down. Now, the street the venue was on has no vehicular access whatsoever unless it's between 5-10am and a permit to park outside those hours costs 23 quid, even if you're only parking for an hour. So I only bought a permit for the pack up of the venue and not for the set up which meant that we had to use what we call 'sackbarrows' which are basically wheels used for hauling stuff too heavy to lift. I had four of these and some strong people and they had to walk or wheel everything to the venue which from the car was a distance of about 300 meters. Not far but far enough when you've get every tourist in York blocking the street despite the fact the shops were closing. 

     

     

     So before the boys started to arrive with the stuff, me and my lady team started setting up the dining area, moving all the furniture and putting tables into place, taking out things we didn't want such as a projector, a tv and a big notice board (the space is often used for medical conferences) and the ugliest fake flowers I'd ever seen. We went from room to room planning the basic layout. There were three rooms. The first was called the garden room and it was a room I'd planned to be a chill out kind of space. There needed to be enough seating for fifteen for dinner and then I also put the guestbook and gift table in there. The main room needed to seat forty for dinner and would be where we have the disco in the evening, the cake and it also had a lectern for the speeches. The oak panelled room was where the bar would be and where the caterer set up all of the food. 

     

     Whilst we were setting up the furniture and layout, my mil and her friend came to do the flowers, they were great and did some truly lovely arrangements and worked non stop til the flowers ran out getting them all looking beautiful. I'd hoped to help do the flowers myself but I was too busy running around managing everybody else to be able to do a particular task once things got underway. 

    imageimage

     

     
  • Becca87Becca87 Posts: 142
     The boys then started arriving, they were doing a relay, getting things out of one car, dropping it in the foyer where I had another person sending it to the right room. The cars needed to be unloaded fast because of the restrictions in York so myself and my mum went out to start grabbing stuff. So I found myself walking down the busiest street in York, covered in sweat, pulling a trolley stacked with wine trying to dodge tourists whilst moving as fast as I could. Jim wasn't there to start with and at first I'd been a bit cross as he was meant to be managing the boys team but when he finally appeared it turned out he'd been stuck in traffic with the beer and when he saw how hard everyone was working he just started crying. We had a little moment outside the venue, both overwhelmed and pumped up with adrenalin trying to get it done and the tears were all about how grateful we were and how lucky we were to have such friends and family. Jim just said 'I can't believe what people are doing for us.' He was right though, there was no way I could have had that venue and set it up without every single person that was there. From saying we were getting married to dragging beer up the street our friends and family were with us from the start and it was the most humbling and wonderful part of our whole wedding. How much people cared for us and wanted to help. It unbelievably only took about forty minutes to unload four cars on a relay and get everything in the venue. 

     

    We then started setting up the bar which was the next biggest job. My godparents bought us 13 cases of wine which ended up being more than a bottle of wine per person, we had 100+ pints of beer, a crate of bud, a crate of cider, three bottles of rum, three bottles of gin, two bottles of whisky and enough soft drinks to sink a ship.

    image

    Everything got unpacked, the fridge got filled, I beautified everything to my exacting standards and people started to drift off as more and more got finished until there was only me, mum, tracey and her husband, and our ring bearers girlfriend Ruth who arrived just in time to see us finishing! It only took us two and a half hours to set it up and it looked absolutely mint if I say so so myself. We'd forgotten an iron so needed to come back with that in the morning and iron the tablecloths, so until that was done I couldn't put the flowers on the tables but otherwise, we were done. I couldn't believe it! Everyone kept saying how amazing the place was and how excited they were and I realised that I was somehow free now, all my planning had paid off, everything was here, it looked great, I hardly had anything else to do and I could enjoy my last night as a single woman, with a drink and dinner with my friends and not have to worry at all. 

    imageimageimageimage
  • Wibs77Wibs77 Posts: 414

    I am really enjoying your report and pictures. More please 

  • wed172Bwed172B Posts: 1,258

     Just caught up on all your preparations, everything looks fab, flowers are beautiful, we are having a DIY wedding as well so similarly lots of set up the day before so lovely to hear your thoughts / tips and see how well it went :)

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    The flowers are so beautiful, I love the colours, and the bar sounds fab 😍

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Ah so lovely that your friends and family were so helpful, your reception venue looks lovely.

  • MrsBeehanMrsBeehan Posts: 378 New bride
    Becca87 wrote (see post):

    1 day Continued

    After the skin debacle it was time to make the cake.

    image

     

    I was a bit worried about this as I'd only had time to practice it once but that first attempt was an absolute belter and I never usually have much trouble with cake so I was quietly confident that it'd be good. It wasn't. I honestly don't know where I was going wrong but my hands were shaking and I think I was overthinking it and my first attempt came out like massive slightly burnt biscuits. I tried not to sweat it and I got more ingredients to make it again. By this point our ring bearer John had arrived to go with Jim to get his haircut and to help us finish stuff off and collect things. Jim was having his own crisis as his shoes still hadn't arrived so one of us had to be in at all times until they were delivered (don't get me started on why they were bought so late) and he'd not quite finished making one of the cask stands that we needed to put our beer casks on at the reception. Yes. I'd told him to do it weeks before. So he was hammering stuff and constantly checking his delivery tracker and I was trying to get a bit of peace so I could focus on my second attempt at the wedding cake.

     Well. The second was a bit better... Until I made a rookie mistake and opened the oven too early. Both halves of the cake sank. Quite a lot. I could not believe it. I had never had a cake sink. It looked like someone had dropped a football on it. Jim and John came back from the barber looking dapper and really pleased with themselves and I just had a bitch fit and went to bed to have a cry and a calm down. They were saying to make it again but I honestly couldn't face it and I just didn't have time. By this point it was twelve o clock. I needed to go to town to buy some foliage then had to be at our friends at four to meet the florist and then at the venue at five to meet my friends and start setting up and I wasn't even dressed, I rang my mum and had a rant and then I got in touch with my sister in law who is an excellent baker and who had already said would add some decoration to the cake and I begged her to make it look less like a bake off disaster. I sent her the photo and she was great and said she could rescue it. So I whacked on the jam and buttercream stuck the two halves together and hoped she could work miracles. The worst Victoria sponge you've ever seen was my wedding cake. (That's why you pay a professional!) 

     

    image

    I was expecting worse than this! It was definitely save-able. Haven't seen the final product yet but sure it was amazing! Also it's all in the taste!!

  • Vicky105Vicky105 Posts: 140

    What the.......! i just read all this anthem it just stops! argh! more!

Sign In or Register to comment.