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Our civil partnership February 2020.

It’s taken me a little while to get this far and it’s going to take me a little while to get any further so please bear with me. 
Anyone who has read my planning thread will know that my beloved dad was terminally ill and had been very unwell at various points of the planning. 
He was guest of honour on the day and he had an amazing day. 
Sadly, at 12.45pm on the 20th of February, five days after the ceremony, he passed away peacefully in hospital. 
I’m dedicating this thread to his memory as we all had such a lovely day and he was so happy. He would be equally as happy for me to recount the happy memories of that day so I’m going to try to do that for him. 
My photography was done by my brother in law so there’s no pro photographs yet as he’s been too busy comforting my sister but I’ve told him it takes as long as it does. 
Enjoy the thread everyone. 
*In memory of my dad John* 


  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    Think it’s easiest to start with the essential info. 

    Civil partner 1 (bride): Andrea 
    Civil partner 2: (Groom) Paul 
    Best Man: Tim (Paul’s Dad) 
    Maid of honour: Teresa (My older sister) 

    Make up artist: Beauty by Tara Ladine Sharpe 

    Hair: Trendco Amber styled with hairpiece from Simply Wigs (I have alopecia and wear a human hair wig)

    Photographer: Stephen James Hipkin Photography 

    Ceremony venue: Loughborough Registry Office 

    Reception Venue: Ramada Hotel Loughborough 

    Wedding dress: ‘Jessica’ from Wed2B, veil and belt also Wed2B from the MetroCentre store 

    Evening outfit: Avon/Primark 

    Shoes: Irregular Choice Lady BanJoes (bought from the Irregular Choice shop in Manchester) 

    Bridesmaids dress: Showcase by Dorothy Perkins @Debenhams MetroCentre 

    Bridesmaids shoes: Irregular Choice Abigail’s Party (from the IC official website) 

    P’s suit: RG by Racing Green at Debenhams (London Oxford Street) 

    P’s shoes: Clarks Outlet, Somerset 

    Rings: Clogau (mine, from Birmingham Outlet) Warren James (P, from Leicester HighCross branch)  

    Bouquets/buttonholes: Denise’s Florists, Loughborough 

    Decorations for reception: Amy @East Midlands Weddings 

    Cheese cake: Tesco Finest 

    Wedding cake: M&S 

    Car: Daimler limo, Cloud 9 Classic Wedding Cars, Nottingham 

    Transport: Eleet Travel, Anstey, Leicester 

  • Ruth126Ruth126 Posts: 40 New bride
    edited 28 February
    Oh I am so sorry to hear that. You must be devastated but also happy he could share your day when his passing turned out to be so close, how special. 
    I am really looking forward to reading about the day but take your time. It’s lovely you are posting in memory of your dad, he would be so proud I am sure. 
    Look after yourself and your family first and can’t wait to read about your day when you have time to post. X 
  • I’m going to try and do this bit by bit as I remember it. 
    Thursday (2 days before) I went to stay in the hotel. I had loads of stuff with me- I felt so sorry for the poor Uber driver who had to bring everything in! 
    I had booked tickets to a comedy show at the Leicester Comedy Festival that night as I just wanted to relax. However P had managed to break the cafetière I had bought him for Christmas so I had to do a mad dash around the shops to buy him another before I went to the show! 
    I was feeling so sick I had to take a Rescue Remedy drop- and I was up past midnight that night assembling my favours. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on top of the covers! 
    Before I went to bed I plugged my phone into my power bank as there wasn’t a socket by the bed. I had to be up early the next day as P’s stepmum was picking me up to go and collect the cakes. 
    I woke up 10 minutes before I should have been leaving the hotel- my alarm hadn’t gone off as my power bank had turned itself off and my battery had died! What made it worse was that P’s stepmum was early and was ringing me asking where I was before I had even left! 
    Thankfully we collected the cakes without further issues and I arrived back at the hotel, intending to have a rest before I went to collect my best friend from the station. I had been told I was moving rooms so I would be a bit nearer the others, but had to wait for my new allocation. So I was all packed up and resting quietly when my peace was shattered by mum calling me. 

    My sister was in tears as my nephew had forgotten his shirt- could I go and get him another? It had to be white though. Now my nephew is a big lad (tall and broad) and needed a big shirt. Loughborough isn’t the biggest of places and I exhausted every single shop (not many) but thankfully I found him one in Tesco, the last shop I went in. Being exhausted I flopped down in Subway, thinking I would have a quick sandwich before my friend arrived. 

    My phone rang while I was in there- my friend’s train had been delayed, she had missed her connection and the next one wasn’t for an hour! Part of me was actually a bit relieved as it gave me a chance to finish my lunch and get my breath back (bear in mind I had been running up and down countless sets of stairs- I’m disabled as well- I was in a bit of a mess!)

    I managed to collect my friend without too much more drama and we got back and my friend unpacked. My family arrived- or should I say descended- I’ve never seen as much luggage, mess and noise! I was again running up and down stairs as keys didn’t work etc. 

    Eventually everyone got settled in their room and we decided to all go out for a meal that night. It was raining heavily and my mum had the only umbrella- so my poor mum got mobbed! After getting back me and my friend decided to sneak out to McDonalds but we nearly got caught when my mum rang me asking how to work the WiFi! 

    I didn’t think I would sleep much and I didn’t- my friend has been married for years so we stayed awake for ages as she gave me helpful tips :D 

    Thats the story of the two days before in short- it was extremely stressful! Next will be the story of the actual day but again I’ll build up to that. 
  • MrsMidtobeMrsMidtobe Posts: 149 New bride
    I’m so sorry to read about your Dad. I’m so glad he could share your day with you though. Looking forward to reading the full report 😊
  • I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope it helps a little to have the memories of him being there on your big day.

    I'm enjoying reading about the build up to the wedding day x

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    I'm so sorry for your loss, but so pleased your dad was there with you and you will always have those memories of him. Congratulations x
  • ClareBClareB Posts: 87 New bride
    So sorry to hear about your father but great that he got to be part of your day. Sounds like you had a very busy few days leading up to it - hope you got to relax a bit and enjoy the wedding day!
  • Hi everyone 
    I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come back to the thread. With everything going on, life has been very difficult. Also still no pro photographs due to various reasons (both virus and non virus related) but I wanted to get the thread finished. I’ve been thinking about the day quite a lot recently and have been remembering things I had forgotten. When I finally do get the photos I will put some of them up.

    So the day itself! 
    I did manage to sleep, although I didn’t think I would. Everyone went to breakfast together in the big dining room, and I made sure I ate properly. I would seriously recommend eating properly- I know nerves make it difficult but strangely I wasn’t nervous at all and I enjoyed a hearty breakfast. 
    I honestly felt for our fellow guests that weekend. My family ran riot on the Saturday morning/early afternoon! We were all staying in different parts of the hotel and  all of us were constantly running up and down banging on each other’s doors. To add to that my poor brother in law was here there and everywhere trying to take photos. 
    After breakfast, I had a luxurious bath with my posh products (so posh I can’t remember what they were but they had come from the Boots Christmas sale :D alongside Sanctuary sets for mum and sister) and I put on my ‘bride to be’ t-shirt and white jeggings. 

    Meanwhile, mum and my sister’s friend were downstairs helping set up the reception room alongside Amy, our events decor lady and her team. I came downstairs to have a look at the room with the others and was dismayed to see it was raining! Just then, Tara my lovely MUA arrived and I went to meet her. I must have looked quite a sight, standing at the hotel door trying to direct her, not being able to go outside because I had slippers on and it was absolutely throwing down! 

    The wedding co-ordinator had helpfully given me the key to the bridal suite- my best friend who I was sharing a room with has the worlds biggest collection of potions etc that she carries with her and had taken over our room so I suggested Tara and I should go into the bridal suite. It was bliss- so quiet as she did my make-up. She kept remarking that she couldn’t get over how calm I was and she had never seen a bride as calm as me :D Looking back now it’s really weird how calm I was. When I look at my other big occasions- my graduations, the rugby club awards nights I go to every year- I’m the queen of getting into a huge flap and you can set your watch by me getting myself into a complete tizz. Yet this time I was just like... meh. Biggest day of my life and I was as cool as a cucumber! 

    When Tara had finished and left, I returned to my room to find my brother in law snapping pictures of my shoes! Time to do my hair. I had been so worried about it- I had had a bit of a nightmare, I had bought a second hand wig but the fringe was butchered and I couldn’t find anyone willing to sort it out. So last minute I decided to use my trusty old wig- but once again it had annoyed me that no-one professional was willing to touch it. I asked my best friend to try and do a plaited style but then she hurt her shoulder so in desperation I ordered a hairpiece from an online wig shop and a hair vine from Amazon. Now it’s no word of a lie when I say I can never ever get my wig to sit right. It’s a human hair one so a bit easier to work with, but I had tried painstakingly to curl it and then to put it up and it ended up looking a mess so to say I was worried was an understatement. 

    Amazingly, for the first time in the whole history of me wearing a wig (about 9 years now) it was perfect. First time. Took me all of 2 minutes. The hairpiece sat nicely in the back with the hair vine over it which hid the join, and the two loose pieces of hair I had left to hang down my face went into perfect ringlets first time. Relief was not the word! I fixed on my veil and... sorted. Big sigh of relief. 

    When I left the room to go and tell my sister I was ready for my dress, I nearly ran into the very bemused housekeeper- it made me giggle, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a veil on my head! 

    I had been so worried about fitting into my dress but all turned out fine. Before I knew it, I was good to go. I had wanted my brother in law to take a photo of when my dad first saw me in my dress but unfortunately my mum was busy trying to help him finish getting ready so I never really had my moment. His face lit up though and I’ll never forget that. 

    My mum had said that my flowers were lovely and when I got downstairs I finally got to see them- and they were. I was pleased to see the rain had stopped but unfortunately Storm Dennis was still making his presence felt and it was blowing a gale!

    The car arrived and it was as gorgeous as it had looked. As we set off I began to get nervous then- I realised there was no turning back then. 
  • AmyFSToBeAmyFSToBe Posts: 329 New bride
    Welcome back! Looking forward to hearing more about your day :)
  • Ruth126Ruth126 Posts: 40 New bride
    Looking forward to reading the rest of this and seeing the pics x
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    At the end of the ceremony. This was taken by my friend.
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    My dad walking me down the aisle. This photo is very special to me. 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    P and I on the balcony of the hotel. And yes I am holding a rugby ball- this was my brother in law’s idea! Both P and I are huge rugby union fans- and that day was the day of our team’s biggest match of the season, the local derby against Wasps and the battle at the foot of the table! 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    The end of the ceremony, again taken by my friend. 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    Signing the register, this one was taken by my brother in law (not the one who was taking the professional photos, this one was taken by P’s brother)
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    Apologies for this being the wrong way round :D here I’m making some finishing touches to my hair. I don’t actually think I’ve got my dress on at this point- thankfully my BIL managed to cut out my flimsy Boohoo top :D 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    At the reception. I can tell as I’m wearing the tiara that I forgot to put on for the ceremony! 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    In the reception of the hotel waiting for my car. 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    With mum and dad and P at the registry office. 
  • princessmaire1princessmaire1 Posts: 70 New bride
    edited 5 July

    I love this photo. What you can’t see is that I’m so calm and everyone is dashing round around me! 
  • Just a few photos. 
    I’ll carry on with the day’s report as well now. Apologies it’s taken so long, it’s been a really difficult few months. 

    It was just a short drive to the registry office but a very comfortable one. The car was fantastic and we certainly drew attention from the Saturday afternoon shoppers in Loughborough! 

    We soon arrived and had some photos outside the registry office. Storm Dennis was picking up so we mainly stayed in the car! Fortunately the driver had some magnificent wind proof umbrellas (which were lovely) and they got us to the door. There was a slight panic as P was stood at the door, and I let out a squeal and tried to hide- thankfully mum was able to usher him away from the door! 

    The ceremony before us was running late and the wait seemed to be interminable. There was a further delay as it transpired that we were the first opposite sex civil partnership to be held in that office and the registrar was a bit flustered! As we sat in the waiting room ready to go in, my dad turned to me and said ‘I promised I would walk you down the aisle and I will’ No-one had any idea. It had been a total secret but my mum told me later he had been practising at home. He wasn’t really able to walk more than a few steps but he was absolutely determined. 

    Finally, almost half an hour late, I walked into the room, on the arm of my dad, to the strains of ‘A Chi Mi Dice’ (Breathe Easy sung in Italian) by Blue. This song was very special to me- the first time I had heard it, almost 20 years ago, I had said that’s the song I’ll walk down the aisle to. And all that time later I knew that there could be no other song for me. However I did consider ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’ by ABBA as a joke (my favourite film of all time is Muriel’s Wedding, and my nickname is Muriel- don’t ask!) 

    We didn’t have a videographer but my best friend filmed on her phone my dad walking me in. She told me recently that she wasn’t going to but something told her to- alongside the picture above of my dad walking me in I absolutely treasure both of them, they’re such a special reminder. 

    Everyone was so surprised as no-one had been expecting it. The ceremony went without a hitch although the registrar got a big laugh when she asked if anyone knew of any reason why we should not form a civil partnership- she said ‘don’t look so worried Andrea’! P did brilliantly with his vows, he only stumbled once which given he has no short term memory was fantastic. 

    I fumbled a bit getting P’s ring on but thankfully his dad managed to get the rings there in one piece- something he had been very worried about! We weren’t given our certificate there and then, it seems the systems hadn’t been set up so all our details had to be sent to County Hall and the certificate sent later. We were given a commemorative certificate in a scroll though. 

    At the end of the ceremony we had lots of photos taken and then it was time to go back to the hotel for the reception. I was very glad- I had done a lot of standing without my stick and was ready for a sit down. 
  • CoffeeDogAddictCoffeeDogAddict Posts: 1,453 New bride
    Those photos are so lovely, and what an incredible moment for your dad to walk with you, I got goosebumps!! 
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