From Part One, we have Part Two.
I woke to the start of a slightly snotty cold. Delightful. However, I’d slept well, and I dragged M off to the florist with me to start getting the flowers into the right cars. Dad was meeting us there, but unfortunately was running a bit late. We got everything sorted though, not without a couple of tears on my part though. The flowers were beautiful, I was so pleased with them.
I don’t know
much anything about flowers, and I certainly don’t have a favourite, so I was very grateful to our florists for recommending the right flowers. My bouquet was leonidas roses with hypericum berries. M’s buttonhole was the same. The other men of the party had a leonidas rose without the berries. My bridesmaids had a dolomite rose bouquet with some purple leaves (no idea what they are I’m afraid). I was thrilled with them. The ladies corsages were the dolomite rose. I had no idea that the mothers’ bouquets were going to be quite so big, so they took a little more careful placement in Dad’s van than originally thought.
From the florist, I nipped home to meet N, who was running late. It got to the point where I was due in the hairdressers and she hadn’t appeared, and I was beginning to feel stressed. I enjoyed having my hair done – and I was really surprised that the curls were holding. To be honest, after being placed in hot rollers then tonged, if they had fallen out, I probably would have needed to admit defeat entirely. N appeared, and shortly afterwards, so did P and my mum. Unfortunately, the heavens had opened by the point we were looking to leave the hairdressers. Thankfully, we all managed to dodge the rain and then it was on to having make up done at my mum’s. Dad was busying himself with setting up his band at Woodbury Park (I think it was probably a small makeshift sanctuary from all the girliness!). Mum and P’s make up had been done by Sarah before they came to the hairdressers, so N was first up when we came back. I have to admit, I didn’t much enjoy this bit. I felt like a bit of a spare fart and didn’t really know what to do with myself. I was glad when our photographers arrived and I had a bit of a distraction in making tea and coffee.
Then it was my turn in the make up chair. I struggled with the weight of the make up, as I don’t wear heavy make up at all, but I was pleased of it as it lasted well for the photos.
Once my make up was done, Sarah shooed me off to get my dress on, where Mum and I disappeared into the bedroom and started lacing me up.
At this point, our photographers disappeared to church to get some photos of M and the guests arriving. My father-in-law arrived to take Dad and me to church. David has a black Insignia, which he very kindly decorated with orange ribbons and drove us to church.
The weather had cleared up beautifully by now. The sun was shining, but the wind was bitter, and I was glad to have my cloak that Mum had made. Father Stephen met us at the church gate, and then quickly nipped back in to start getting things ready. As Dad and I walked down the church path, I started getting the nervous shakes. All I kept thinking was “don’t cry”. I didn’t want to cry – remember those awful You’ve Been Framed films of wedding where people can’t get their words out for crying. If I’d have started crying, it would have been like that, so I was trying hard to not start.
As we arrived in one of the backrooms, I took my cloak off, gripped Dad’s arm, the girls fluffed my train out, and Charpentier’s Prelude to Te Deum started. A few bars, the doors opened and we headed off down the aisle.
The ceremony went so quickly, and I enjoyed every second of it. We both tried hard to remember the hand placements, and I’m pleased to say that we got them all right. We were married!
Of course, then it was on to the official signing of the register.
We then had many photos outside of the church. My face ached at the end of it. I loved the couple of minutes that M and I had together at the church just after the majority of our guests headed back to their cars. As our guests headed to Woodbury Park, M and I had a few photos down the beach. It was incredibly windy, and it was at that point that my veil nearly flew away. It was great to be together and sharing a few moments.
We arrived a Woodbury Park to be greeted by our friends. It was great. Our friends and family really made the day so special. Every now and then, I’d be slapped by the realisation that people were there for us. They didn’t all know each other, but they knew us, and it was quite overwhelming to have people there to celebrate “us”. We had plenty of time to mingle before we were officially called in to the room.
We started with the speeches. Normally, of course, the speeches would be at the end of the meal, but because of a timing hitch with our DJ, we had to shuffle the speeches around. They were brilliant. I enjoyed each and every one of them. The food was served, and it was amazing. Woodbury Park were excellent – the food was so delicious. Not too long after our meals had been finished and cleared, our evening guests started arriving and more mingling ensued. I actually didn’t see M all that much in the evening really.
Probably the part I enjoyed least about the whole day was our first dance. It was awful having everyone watch. We’d chosen “How d’ya like your eggs in the morning?” by Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell, as it’s a song we always end up singing together, and we couldn’t think of another song. Not too long after that, the majority of our friends graced the dance floor for some wedding Gangnam Style. Oh yes… We were the epitome of cool!
One of the surprise parts which I really enjoyed was when my Dad shouted P and me up on to the stage, and point to us to get in front of the microphones. If I had known what he was about to do, I’d never have agreed to it, but it was perfectly timed and great fun. When we were little, one of the cars we had growing up had no radio, so we used to sing to ourselves. One of the songs was Cream’s Mother’s Lament:
And so, on stage, with Dad on guitar, P, Dad and I sang a Mother’s Lament. I belly laughed afterwards.
In the evening, my Dad’s band played. They were fantastic and very well received. I hadn’t seen the band for a long time, and it was great to hear how far they’ve all come on together.
Unfortunately, I had started running a temperature so had to go for regular trips outdoors to keep from overheating. M was holding up the mingling fort though. One criticism I’ve often levied at other weddings where we’ve been guests has been that the bride and groom didn’t mingle much. Well, now I understand quite how difficult it is – you want to get to see everyone, but because of the amount of people, you manage a few minutes with each and then motor off again. It was definitely worth it though.
The party ended at midnight, and a few of us milled around while Dad and his band were packing up. M and I grabbed a handful of cards to open in our room.
I can tell you now, while I loved my dress, I have never been so pleased to get into my pyjamas! We managed to open about 6 cards between us before our eyes stopped working and fingers couldn’t coordinate enough to open an envelope.
And that was that. Mr and Mrs H.
- My dress – Maggie Sottero’s Joanna, bought at Days of Grace. Special thanks to Lilly, the dressmaker (seamstress?) for the alterations.
- My veil – by Margaret (0151 639 5084). Margaret was recommended to me by some other brides to be on a wedding planning forum. She made exactly what I wanted, and the price was very reasonable. Margaret is also very knowledgeable about what would have suited me and the dress.
- Hairdresser – my normal hairdressers did my hair – Guys and Dolls.
- Make Up – Sarah at Topsham Beauty did all our make up, and my nails. I’ve known Sarah for nearly 7 years and wouldn’t have had anyone else do my nails or make up.
- Flowers – our florist was Daff O Dil’s. They were great on recommending the perfect flowers and sorting us out with car ribbons.
- Photographers – Ian and Kitty Wright were our photographers. They’re a husband and wife team, and they were so lovely. From our first meeting with them, we knew they were the ones for us. Their photography is beautiful and we couldn’t be happier with the photos that we have.
- Church – we were married in St John in the Wilderness in Exmouth. Father Stephen is so friendly and helpful, and delivered the perfect service for us.
- Reception – Woodbury Park couldn’t have been more accommodating and helpful. They were absolutely fantastic and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them. The food was awesome, they set the room up exactly how we wanted it, and the breakfast in the morning was delicious.
- Band – our band was my Dad’s band, Extractor. They really were brilliant. Sadly, I won’t be N&Ping our DJ, as there was nothing to praise really. Dad did us so proud with his set though – I am very lucky!