Back to the house with three of my bridesmaids for a glass of wine and bed. I woke up early the next morning to a phone call from Patrick, informing me that my present had been hidden behind the bed for the past few weeks – a framed original sketch from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. I grew up addicted to the film and the read-along story book, and this was definitely a way to make up to me the fact that he won’t let me call our first daughter Aurora! Once the other bridesmaids arrived, we breakfasted on croissants and champagne while the make-up artist and hairdresser started work on making us beautiful! The all-important dress was by Disney Fairytale Weddings designer, Kirstie Kelley, and was found purely by fate! Some of you will know what a massive Disney fan I am; others may know my disdain for how strapless dresses sit on me. If I were I slender size 6, I might have fancied the look of one of the more ethereal styles that look so beautiful, but I am most certainly not – I wanted straps and boning and beautiful, beautiful material. It seemed like it just wasn’t possible to find a dress that addressed my three wants, but by some miracle I found this one – in my size, in a tiny boutique in a nearby town, within my budget, and as a bonus – with a Disney label! My veil was from Etsy seller Damselfly Studio, and I found the perfect lariat necklace at Liberty in Love. The shoes were hot pink Louboutin, with as killer heels as I could muster – my groom is a clear foot taller than me!
The girls and Mum went on ahead; it started to rain as we left the house, but all I could really focus on was not crying! I’m a big crybaby – anything can set me off, from Westlife songs to Cancer Research ads. I bawled for about half an hour when Patrick proposed!
Waiting outside the church was such a rush – nerves and excitement. The day had been so long in the planning, and now it was finally here! When you walk down the aisle, I swear it’s impossible to look elegant and ethereal – grinning hello at lovely friends and family on either side and clinging for dear life on dear old Dad’s arm. Some of the ceremony was a blur – I don’t remember the hymns. I do, however, remember how cool it was to hear and say those words that I’d seen at numerous weddings (excluding bridesmaid Helen’s – she went for the full “love honour and obey” malarkey!) and yet feel like they were completely ours.
Patrick’s Uncle Alastair, a former Baptist minister, gave the address based upon my Granny’s reading from Collossians. I can’t hear I Corinthians without thinking of Four Weddings and a Funeral, so we asked Patrick’s uncle to choose the reading for us. The essence of the address really meant a lot to us, especially as it is sometimes difficult to defend the choice of marriage when you are both children of divorced parents.
He spoke of the importance of “putting on” the behaviours and actions of love; and the message that a marriage takes work, and that it’s something we will always have to actively decide to strive for. I’d like to hope that I never got overly caught up in the superficial elements of the day to the detriment of its more sober meaning, but the address really helped to cement the more serious aspects in the middle of it all, and we were so grateful to Alastair for bringing it to the forefront in such a good way.
Our lovely friend Sam and his brother, Nico, sang an amazing a cappella version of a song that we love called Promise by Kellie Coffey. The song is played as Epcot, one of the parks at Walt Disney World closes down each night, and the lyrics are just beautiful. As we stepped out of the church, the bells began to ring, the rain seemed to disappear and the sun came beaming through. We just couldn’t have wished for better luck.
We moved up to the marquee at the rugby club where Patrick plays, where the reception was starting. After we were announced, we cut the cake. My sister-in-law and bridesmaid, Robin, started her bakery, Cakes by Robin, back in 2008 after being made redundant from the banking industry. Her cakes are incredible – not only beautiful but really delicious. We gave her basic guidelines, and requested a combination of grapefruit and vanilla, and she did the rest! She also has a store at Not on the High Street, where you can order her cakes directly – perfect with Christmas coming up! Our escort cards doubled up as favours – miniature bottles containing lottery tickets for that evening, with parcel tags indicating which table – named after pubs that had featured prominently throughout our relationship.
While we’re talking about suppliers, I just have to sing all of their praises. Hamish Roots, our photographer, did a spectacular job. He is the ultimate stealth photographer – he caught so many beautiful, candid shots of our guests, and all of the photos in this post are his work. I’m a complete flower newbie, so our florist – Wendy Lewis - was an enormous help. She managed to get just the right balance of rustic and romantic in my bouquet, and captured the gentle Alice in Wonderland theme in the centrepieces perfectly.