One Late Summer’s Day in Wiltshire

13 Oct
I remember reading a post on A Practical Wedding, where Meg talked about her fear of forgetting how it felt on her wedding day, and it’s something I can completely relate to. I’ve left it so late to write this down – I’m terrified of it slipping away. I loved every aspect of our wedding day, except how quickly it flew by.
  
We did all we could to drag it out – starting with a rehearsal dinner the night before at our regular haunt, Pino’s. We took over an entire room of the restaurant and tucked into their delicious pizzas before a swift last drink in our usual pub. It was really cool to have all our favourite people in our same-old haunts. One of the loveliest things about getting married in our home town was definitely the act of adding the special to the familiar.

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.

The food was spectacular – Patrick and I both agreed that it was the most important thing apart from the marriage itself! We used a local caterer, Moran’s, and the only thing stopping me from taking a third helping of their signature bay-flavoured creme brulee was the corsetry of my dress! Our marquee was provided by Marquee Vision, who just had the best customer service and quality product of any marquee company in the area.
 
Before this starts to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, I will carry on with the day! We spread the speeches out, so as not to bore people. My Dad, Patrick, and Patrick’s best friend George are some of the most verbose people I know, so they had to be broken up a little! My favourite part of other people’s weddings is the father of the bride speech, and Dad did not disappoint! There was laughter – especially when a slip of the tongue found him saying “fart” instead of “heart” (we’re a sophisticated bunch) just as he moved from joking about my ex-boyfriends to the serious part of the speech – and tears as he said how proud Grandad would have been, had he been alive today. Patrick brought the hankies out further, as he described what had happened a year earlier. George had people in stitches with his very management consultant-esque PowerPoint presentation, complete with pie charts.
 
It had been gently raining throughout lunch, but as soon as we got outside again, the sun burnt through and a game of rounders started up. Well, with Patrick’s friends, and my family, there was no chance of it being a competition-free day! I even scored a few myself, with some help from a lady-in-waiting to hold my skirts!
 
At around 6pm, the evening guests started to arrive, and the dancing began! We had ummed and aahed about the music situation, but in the end couldn’t bear to risk something so important being compromised by someone who liked the sound of their own voice, or who played too much current chart music, and the only good DJ we know was going to be a guest. The combination of laptop, iTunes and PA system worked like a dream, even when naughty youngsters had a go at making their own playlists! We had dance lessons in preparation for our first dance by REO Speedwagon, and our friends and family were very amused to see two klutzes actually move with some grace! Of course, dancing can result in some of the most awesome pictures ever, as evidenced by this masterpiece by our friend Chris. Thankfully the suit hire people didn’t deduct for the friction burns from Patrick’s kneeslide a few seconds before this was taken! The night finished off with a demonstration of Patrick’s party trick – downing a pint while standing on his head.
 
It was such an exhausting, exhilarating, wonderful day – just the right combination of traditional, sentimental and personal. I worried that I’d feel so sad once it was over, that it was something I’d never have to look forward to, but I’m surprised and pleased to say that hasn’t happened – I still feel so joyful that we were able to enjoy such an amazing day with the people who mean the world to us.
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6 Responses to “One Late Summer’s Day in Wiltshire”

  1. Peridot October 14, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Ahh, really enjoyed reading that, thanks! Whereabouts in the country did you get married? Just to know whether I need to take note of your suppliers… Thanks!

    • littleacceb October 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you! We got married in Wiltshire. Most of the suppliers were local, but Robin is based in London.

  2. Peridot October 15, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    I’m an idiot – it clearly said Wiltshire, sorry!

  3. Design Elements October 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    i enjoyed reading that. happy weekend!

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