- 8 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!!
Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!!
Oh- I should also add… we did a sign of the peace during the service, and I shook hands with his side, and he with mine. That was a great decision. And my prayer for indigenous rights also went down well. Go me… (!)
Go on then… I’ll share more. I don’t have many pics yet, but here’s a taster of our reception venue. See that bunting? That’s 160m, made by me. And it nearly freaking killed me. It’s also all around the tablecloths. On the tables are silver trays of fruit, blue and white china cake stands with my… er… muffins (no longer cupcakes) and silver jugs with wooden flowers.
1500ish When Fiance (now DH!) and I entered the venue, I felt a degree of calm wash over me… like it was too late to do much now. I picked up a glass of champagne from the caterer with a hibiscus flower in it. I recommend them… they’re £25 for a huge jar and they open up inside your champagne and give it the wow factor. I got them in for the caterers.
We then looked out over the gardens… lovely… and caught our breath. Our venue was a registry office inside a 16th century house and gardens, so there were a few other brides out there having pics done. This didn’t bother me. The heat did a bit. It was now way over 30 and I knew I would start melting… but never mind! The chapers was great and soon the photographer showed up and started taking photos of us in the gardens. Within minutes then our guests were there and trays of our canapes (I made those!) were being circulated. They were delicious.
The photos took ages because of the difficulties of getting people into them. Word to the wise, guys… you need LOTS of time to do this. Fortunately, we had just about enough for the important ones, although I forgot to do the shots with my “wish you were here” board, which I took ages to make. At least it was displayed near to the card box, though, so people saw it.
After photos and mingling in the sun, we were called in for the main meal, and it was now taht we realised we were missing my speech. I took it all on the chin though, and decided to ad lib. That was a job and a half…
… but first, the food. We had really splurged on the food, so we were expecting great things. When it came out, I must say that it didn’t look great. Tiny portions, and the presentation was not great. But it was perfectly cooked and the flavours were spot on. Really excellent, award winning food. Plus, because it was so hot, we didn’t need lots. Any more would have been wasted. The wine was also great… that white van job to France really did the trick! Thanks to our friends for arranging that.
When the speeches came, DH’s and my Dad’s were excellent. The best man’s speech was great too, but it went on for a very long time. And then it was time for my speech. As is traditional, we did our speeches in port rather than champagne, and did them whilst our cheeseboards were being served. We passed to the left, and I thanked everyone and then delivered the loyal toast.
I was a bit nervous about the loyal toast, because I know it’s quite controversial. However, one of my republican relatives went up to me later and said that they originally thought it was the worst idea, but that the way we did it was really entertaining and funny. Let’s put it this way… it was along the lines of “… sort of like a matchmaker for us… so sad that she could not be here today… never mind, though, she’s not quite off our Christmas card list just yet…”. I thought it was appropriate for a couple who met in the TA… Anyway, the only place it went a bit wrong was at the end, where I forgot to tell people about the cake cutting and the lawn games, but DH jumped in and finished for me. Immediately after that, everyone filed out into the cool air and went to the loo, whilst DH and I caught our breath. Then we cut the cake and whisked out the lawn games!
Those lawn games really were a huge hit. DH wasn’t keen originally, but everyone loved them… especially the giant chess (we bought the largest commercial set… 2-3 feet tall) and croquet. He had to concede defeat on that. It was so hot that people just wanted to be outside. We also had so much booze with all that beer… and people loved just helping themselves. They all chatted and filled out the remaining games from the programs… like I said, those were also a huge hit!
Meanwhile, DH and I took more photos and mingled a little. About this time, one of the two haircombs came off my veil, so it was only held in place with one comb (not enough for such a heavy veil). I took this as a sign and as soon as our formal photos were done, I changed into my light, ankle length ivory dress, removed my corset, and changed my shoes for union jack ones (below). What a relief! It was also around this time that we lost a few casualties to the heat… one with heatstroke, two from old age, and one very small baby and her parents to bedtime!
My reception shoes… although abviously I didn’t wear black tights!
My bridesmaid’s dress (not my Bridesmaid or Best Man in it!)
The outside of my reception venue.
1830 onwards At this point I made a decision to just… let go and allow myself to drink and have a good time. I could have chosen differently… if I had, I would have remembered to set up my mini-photobooth guest book properly so that people could sign it, for example, and had a photo taken with our wish you were here board. Actually, it would have been a much better idea to just have cards at each table place on which people could write their best advice for us instead of that complicated guest book setup… it would have been much more successful and less time consuming! I also made some cat pinatas which were overlooked on the night and which we could have set up… but they won’t be wasted. They’re being saved for a post-wedding BBQ!
Around this time then our evening guests would have started arriving… were they not unable to come! And this was the sad part, because it was so hot that most of our guests didn’t want to come in and eat the evening buffet, and we had also ordered in far too much beer. So much went to waste! We should also have hidden the champagne after the champagne reception, because champagne keeps and beer does not. But we didn’t… anyway, never mind. The DJ also turned up around this time to set up, and he was initially sad that people weren’t dancing. To be honest, I’m just glad we didn’t order a live band in the end. It would have been a waste of money in that heat, because people just wanted to be outside in the garden. After an hour or two though, enough people were up and dancing. I’m not a dancing fan, and nor is DH, but even he managed a dance or two!
Well… from here on in, it was mostly a beer induced blur, but I think people had a good time. We ate, drank, and were merry. There were two arguments of note between guests, but I think they were quite funny (separate story). It was also good it was so hot, in a way, because we had to start packing up at 11pm, and that would have been far too early if it hadn’t been so hot. As it was, people were starting to wilt a bit, so it was a perfect end time. We couldn’t have done more than another hour or so without losing guests.
We had to chuck so much food and booze at this stage… really sad! We were even handing out polypins. At this stage then, somehow, about £250+ or table linen got chucked, along with my wish you were here board… but other than that. We also had a lot of trouble getting it all into the van. But we were out before midnight and then we had to wait for our taxi to our hotel… and our horrible hangovers!
There are little things I’m forgetting here, I’m sure… the bouquet toss was funny, for one thing… and the garter toss… we attached a scratchcard to it before we chucked it. That was pretty funny as well!
What an epic story! Want to see more pics!
I’m still laundering what remains of our linens to this day, as well… only a few days more to go. Cleaning up the glassware was pretty epic as a task as well, but at least we will never need to buy more glassware for the rest of our lives, probably. Plus, we are now the proud owners of a full set of mismatched silver plate, and so much bunting that I will use from now until eternity, as it took me so long to make!
Pics once I get our pro pics back. They came out really nicely, actually. The non-pro ones, I mean.
In summary, if I was to do it again:
– I would have just bought in some sandwiches from waitrose rather than making a buffet. It was too hot. I would also not have bothered with muffins and just bought in cakes/scones for the displays instead. Much simpler.
– I would have bought in far less beer and just gone to Dark Star… going to the London breweries was such a waste of time and we had too much.
– I would have hidden the champagne earlier and then we might have had some left!
– I would have had photos with the WYWH board and stopped it from getting chucked.
– I would have saved more of our linen!
– I would have set up our guestbook and/or put cards on the tables with “advice for the bride and groom” on them, for people to write on.
– I would have brought out our pinatas!
But what we definitely did right was:
– The ceremony. Fab.
– The LAWN GAMES.
– The games at the back of the programs… heck, just the programs, period.
– The food and free bar.
– The lack of a live band, due to the heat.
– The comparatively early finish time, again, due to the heat.
– The table plan… we seated people who didn’t know each other side by side, but we seated them according to common interests. People kept coming up to us during the whole night and saying “you sat us next to X! Did you know that X and I both love motorcycles/LARP/the work of Shackleton?”. Yes, we did. *Smug face*.
– No fireworks. I wanted them, but they would have been hell to arrange, and it was just too bright in the evening for them.
What would have been nice, if we’d have had an extra thousand pounds to blow:
– A wedding car or wedding carriage. I would have loved to arrive by horsie, but I just couldn’t justify the expense. I would have loved a pony and trap… really simple. I just live horses, and they were a big part of my life when I was younger. In an ideal world, I could even have ridden in side saddle on a pony… only Fiance can’t ride at all, so that was the problem!
– A harpist, magician, or caricature artist to provide entertainment outside on the lawn whilst people enjoyed the garden and played with our games. It would have been super!
I almost can’t understand the British-isms but I love it!
@Rachel631: My goodness, I’d been looking forward to your recap, but reading it (and writing it!) must have been almost as exhausting as actually doing it! I’m glad you had fun, and you are clearly way more of a trooper than I! I am going to need to have everything DONE the day before the wedding or I will be a wreck.
I can’t wait to see your pictures (and once more must compliment your beautiful Irregular Choice shoes)!
@chronicwhimsy: Yeah, I recommend doing as much as poss in advance… I’m also still doing the laundry now, but I’m almost done. Two more loads and I think I’m there.
The thing is, it could have gone either way. On a cold day, people wouldn’t have been satisfied with the cordon bleu meal we served, and would have attacked the buffet and the beer mercilessly. But because it was hot, a lot went to waste.
Anyway, because I’m too lazy and busy to blur faces at the moment, here are some pics to give you an idea!
Showing my receoption dress from Monsoon/ebay. Best. Decision. Ever. in that heat!
Our cake, in all it’s kitty glory!
Giant chess is AWESOME.
Cake in face! Om nom…
And croquet, which was the most popular game by far…
One of our guests…. er… drinking champagne… up a tree…
The view from the tree…
I would show you the party pics, but they all have faces. I’d also love to show you a pic of our sweetie buffet and cheese cake, but they seem to be missing! The sweetie buffet was a hit though… we started out with 5 kg of sweets and ended up with just under 1 kg left…
@Rachel631: Drinking champagne up a tree! What a brilliant idea! That’s now on my bucket list!
It all looks great, and the garden games were clearly the best idea ever! Also that beer collection looks AMAZING, and I love your cat cake, in particular those creepy cat cake toppers.
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