Relaxed Wedding in the Chilterns : The Report

While I'm waiting for the professional photos to come through, I thought I'd make a start on my report!

I am absolutely thrilled to be Mrs Wyld and to start the next chapter with my HUSBAND 🥰 

Bride: Cecilia
Groom: Ralph
Best Man: Rod
Maid of honour: Nina
Bridesmaids: Bea, Naomi, Antonia, Soph, Ellie, Mei, Nona
Usher: Max

Our suppliers/details..

Photographer: Rebecca Need-Menear

Ceremony venue: Berkhamsted Town Hall

Reception Venue: my grandparents' garden

Wedding dress: Berketex Bride sample, purchased in Debenhams (Oxford Street)

Evening dress: Needle and Thread 

Shoes: Pinko ones from a charity shop (strap snapped twice so although beautiful I am doubting how well made they are!)

Bridesmaids dresses: various (from Temperley London via TKMaxx to Little Mistress to Quiz to Debenhams to ASOS.. etc)

Bouquets: handmade with crepe paper and wire by my amazing mum

Ceremony flowers: dried flowers from various Etsy sellers and arranged by me

Fresh flowers: 10 bunches from Sainsbury's!

Tipis: Country Tipis

Decorations for tipi: various sites including Ginger Ray, Amazon, etc

Curry: The Coriander, Amersham 

Desserts: various family members and myself

Cheese cake: the Fine Cheese Wedding Company

Wedding cake: cake made by husbands Godmother, compotes made by me, and decorated by me and my mum

Crockery, cutlery, glasses, jugs, tables etc: W A Carr and Son (good)

Waiters: W A Carr and Son (not good, will explain later!)

Musicians: Dixieland jazz quintet organised by Miguel Gorodi 

Car: beautiful classic limited edition Bentley belonging to by grandparents and driven by a lovely chaffeur called Alberto.

London bus: London Vintage Transport

Balloons: Little Cherry (biodegradable, plus biodegradable ribbon and paper straws - great for 'green' parties)

White wine: Weingut Rueff-Röchling

Red wine: sourced by grandparents from France

Beer: Hogsback Brewery and Tring Brewery

Gin: various supermarkets and about 12 different brands 😁

Other food: a giant Waitrose order

I'm sure I've missed important things from there, but I will post them as they come to me!


Thing I was most proud of (other than marrying my new husband): the fact that it was entirely personal to/ reflective of us, and the exact atmosphere I wanted!

Thing I regret  (in a way): While we managed without one, I totally understand now how great wedding coordinators are. We had to work VERY hard and luckily all turned out well but I think having someone else around to sort things out would have been very nice 😂.

I am back at work so not sure how frequently I will be able to update but I'll do a summary of the days before soon!


  • MrsW2020MrsW2020 Posts: 259 New bride
    So excited for this! 
  • Me too! 
  • I cant wait for this!!
  • Cannae wait! 
  • jjward2019jjward2019 Posts: 131 New bride
    Can’t wait to read this! We’re having a marquee wedding so any hints, tips, dos and don’ts you have would be amazing! X
  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride

    I've got most of the photos now, so will have a go (it might take me a while as I have an intensive residency next week and am preparing for that as well as digging up half our garden and planting things!).

    I'll start on the Wednesday (on the Tuesday we had a nice lunch with Ralph's family and then I had my first ever manicure and pedicure with my sisters and my mum which was good to have a bit of relaxing family time!).
    Wednesday was the day everything kicked off!

    The tipi company arrived early to start building it up! We had to make a decision about whether we would have the sides completely open, which was super stressful as the weather forecast was changing its mind every few minutes! But we decided to brave it... It was fascinating to watch them go up, and my granny was very surprised at how nice they looked (and was also enjoying all the young men carrying everything around!). 

    They uploaded in a funny order but there are various stages of it!

    For Ralph and me lot of the morning was unloading instruments, amps, decorations, gin etc into the house, moving a huge fridge and a couple of huge heavy plants around the side of the house, that sort of thing!

    My dad came over for lunch and stayed to help us carry up a load of tables and chairs from my grandparents' basement and we positioned them in the tipi. It took a while testing to make sure nobody was going to stand up into a pole, but we eventually figured out a good floorplan. We also panicked and added on an extra couple of tables to one of our orders due on the Friday, in case we didn't have enough for all the curry to be laid out on (which turned out to be a good plan).

    At this point I left to go into London to get my hair trimmed and see my sister; we ended up going for super fancy little eclairs which was nice because it had been quite an intense day.

    I think that was everything on the Wednesday.. sorry it's a bit rushed!
  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride
    Now the Thursday/ Friday! Sorry for the delay, my residency was super intense and I just crashed in the evenings and didn't do anything productive at all.

    So Thursday was cooking day! Ralph's godmother came over to make tonnes of buttercream together to stack the cake (she made the sponges and fruit cake) and then we went over to my grandparents' to stack everything up! 
    Now she was later than planned as her poor dog (Bailey) had been at the vets for a few days with a 'bug' and she needed to pick him up after an extra night stay. Of course we understood and were worried about him but he was picked up in the end and all fine. We didn't find out til after the wedding that the reason he was in the vet is because he'd managed to climb up onto the table, get through two layers of tinfoil and one of baking paper and EAT HALF THE FRUIT CAKE. HE NEARLY DIED! She didn't tell us because she didn't want us to worry about the cake, which is sweet but insane because we would have just worried about Bailey and gone and bought one from M&S or something. Apparently the alcoholic and raisins were making cells in his liver explode! Anyway, he is now totally fine and back to his (naughty) self, and the new cake was delicious (how she made one that tasted that rich and wonderful three days before I will never know).

    So while we were waiting for Aunty Wendy to arrive, I made: a jelly (which failed coz I tried to use vege-gel so vegetarians could eat it and it melted so quickly when it came out of the fridge), a spiced plum compote for the vanilla cake, a boozy Chambord and rapsberry compote for the chocolate cake, a dried fruit salad (soaked in honey, dessert wine etc and was amazing!) And some meringues. So it was pretty busy!

    Then Wendy arrived, we made a HUGE amount of buttercream (mostly vanilla, some chocolate to fill the chocolate and raspberry one) and then transported it all over to my grandparents house and stacked it.

    I don't have a picture of the finished crumb coat icing but we did that before going home  and crashing into bed totally exhausted!
  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride
    The Friday was a bit manic to be honest and I'm finding it hard to remember exactly what happened. 

    The delivery of all the cutlery, plates, glasses, jugs, drinks containers etc arrived that day so there was a LOT of carrying boxes. 

    Some of my lovely bridesmaids came and helped out throughout the day, as well as almost all of Ralph's family! So my day was mostly running around and bossing everyone around. A good hour or  two was spent fluffing out paper pompoms and lanterns, and Ralph's teenage cousins went up stepladders and I directed everyone in hanging them around the tipi. Our tablecloths went on; I was really pleased with these as my granny had a few old Provencal pink ones and I basically went to a haberdashery and chose some extra fabric that clashed but also went ok, and it ended up looking fantastic! It meant we didn't have to go overboard on the decor on the tables (part of my genius plan!).

    Extra little marquees went up, alcohol was carried from the cellar up to the fridges etc (many many bottles of wine) and a huge Waitrose delivery of tea, coffee, evening food and prosecco for the bridal party turned up in the afternoon; quite a lot of time was spent stuffing bags of salad into fridges (somehow we managed to fit it all in!). The cake got stacked (Ralph got all DIY sawing the dowels to the right heights!)

    At some point in the day I went to pick up my mum, and on the way to her I stopped at Sainsbury's (against all advice) and bought about 10 bunches of flowers, totalling shout £50. I just chose ones with pink and white and red, any combinations that stood out to me and weren't too expensive, and I am SO pleased I didn't go and spend loads of money because when we got back, the four bridesmaids (who had already been helping with everything, decorating and blowing up balloons, sweeping the decking, setting out bottles of gin etc) had a little flower arranging session. We just cut the stems down and arranged them in glass jars, and I have to say if was a lot of fun AND turned out beautifully!

    I was pretty pleased with how everything was looking by the evening! I may have been slightly stressed and snapping at everyone by this point 🤭 I have never been asked so many questions in my life.

    Just before dinner, my mum and I started experimenting with the oil-based food colouring and rice paper and gold leaf I'd bought to decorate the (now fully iced and stacked) cake. It was so much fun but I had to leave her to do most of it as the ENTIRE Wyld family had booked an Italian restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately the restaurant underestimated /undercounted / messed up and the three bridesmaids and myself ended up sitting at a separate table, which was a shame! But I did lots of hovering and spent a lot of time just chatting away from the bridesmaids table. 

    At some point we decided to create 'the last supper' 😂 I have no idea why but they were a bit tipsy at this point (I wasn't, I was driving) and they got quite excited, and it would have worked a lot better with all the bridesmaids, but it was quite funny!

    After dinner, we drove back to my grandparents' and put up a few fairy lights before Ralph had to go and let his best man into our house as he was staying with him the night before! 

    It was really weird saying goodbye to him. I didn't want to, but also just couldn't wait to go to bed and wake up and get to the town hall and marry him! I was so excited and fizzy and stressed about getting everything done! 

    But it was bed time. I actually did manage to sleep a bit, thank goodness!

    Next post will be on to the day itself!
  • jjward2019jjward2019 Posts: 131 New bride
    So excited to read this! ☺️
  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride
    The morning was quite stressful!
    I was trying to chop up strawberries, whip up cream, make sure all the bridesmaids had breakfast, direct my dad with carrying out amps and kegs of beer etc, and ended up running around like a mad person; not the calm and prosecco-filled morning I had envisioned! I managed one bucks fizz and a banana.

    But it was lovely having all my bridesmaids together, and my mum finally presented us with our flowers, that she'd handmade from crepe paper and wire. My bouquet was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL and I'd seen it before but it was still lovely having them all officially! Here is a picture of mine and my MOH holding her little spray too:

    We didn't have a MUA or hair or anything, unfortunately a lot of people wanted my bridesmaid Naomi to do their make-up as she's amazing and it ended up being quite stressful for her in the end. We did mine first, so that I could sneak out and have just one or two pics in my evening dress before I got into my main one. Here are some of us getting ready/me in my evening dress:

    Unfortunately it was quite sunny at this point and so quite a few pictures are a bit squinty!

    While we were getting ready, our lovely photographer went out to capture some details in our tipis / our bar (the gin was very important to me 😂):

    There was also a spot of present giving during the chaos. I had little bags of pocket mirrors, mini gin bottles, hair clips and hand creams for my bridesmaids and some gin and a candle for my mum, and they had bought me the most beautiful necklace. They had it made, and matched each bridesmaid to a gemstone so that when I wear it I have all 8 of them with me. That was the first teary moment of the day!

    I then retired to open my little gifts from Ralph. He had dropped them off and collected mine for him earlier in the morning (I had to hide in the kitchen) as he had to drop off some other things too. We had set a £30 limit as everything was costing so much. I got him some little cufflinks from Etsy that look like the moon, and wrote that his love takes me to the MOON and back in his card, as well as some colourful socks (he loves socks, these were parrots and dinosaurs) and a little book by Catana Comics about love. He got me a beautiful little irridescent vase and some salted caramel charbonnel et walker chocolates; he knows me well! I cried reading his card and I got SO excited and impatient to see him at the end of the aisle! So that was a nice little private moment :)

    Anyway it was a bit of a mad rush to be ready in the end for all of us but we managed to get a few photos together with our flowers before all the bridesmaids except my MOH got onto the bus (she came with me in our beautiful wedding car).
    When they got on the bus we had a few minutes so we took some extra portraits of me and Nina (MOH!).

    Here are photos up until us getting into the car!!

    Sorry they are posting in a funny order! I need to edit out the orange wire but forgot and don't have my laptop with me so please just ignore 😂.

    Anyway so I then set off with Nina in the car to the ceremony! It was this point that I suddenly got VERY nervous for a few minutes. I think it was more about the occasion of it and speaking in front of everyone that got to me, and I was SO excited as well. The car belongs to my grandparents and is possibly the most beautiful car ever (limited edition Bentley from the 60s) and it has no seatbelts so it has to go quite slowly. Everyone kept waving and looking in and I felt very special.. and I will leave it there and cover the ceremony with the next post!
  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride
    This is the beautiful necklace they got me:

  • There's so much to say - your flowers are amazing! I can't believe they are handmade. Your mum is seriously talented, and I love all your pictures. Your gift from your bridesmaids is beautiful, especially with so much thought and meaning behind it.

    Major inspiration from your gin bar - I'm planning to hopefully do something similar.  Can I be cheeky and ask how many bottles you brought for it, and how much everyone got through?
  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride
    I think I bought about 30 bottles of gin, liquers and vodka and we have TONNES left. I just bought them gradually over time when I saw something I liked so didn't really count or plan it, but literally all of them were tried and I now have a rainbow of gin and liqueur bottles on my windowsill! We also had a lot of sparkling wine/wine/beer, honestly I think more gin was consumed than anything else though!
  • Wow it’s all so wonderful, really enjoying your report. 
  • Have read through your planning thread and have just read your report so far and its wonderful. Hope you come back to finish it off it you have chance, can wait to read more!!! :)
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