I can’t believe it’s been a week since we got married! 2 years of planning, saving and stress cumulated in the most perfect day and now it’s all done – I’m totally suffering with the post-wedding blues and I’m going to be blogging like crazy to help relive it all! Over on www.quirkynuptials.co.uk I’ll be going into proper details to hopefully help those looking to plan a wedding, but today’s post here is just a run through of the day for those of you who (like me) love a good nose at someone elses life!
These pictures aren’t the professional ones of course, but I will be posting those when they come!
So our venue was the gorgeous Hush Venues in Norfolk. Most of our friends and family were thoroughly unconvinced when we told them about our day being in a forest and a field, but one they’d seen it all decorated, most of them changed their mind!
The whole day before was a whirlwind of activity with a team of our nearest and dearest helping set everything up. When you’re doing everything yourself, without the help of hotel staff, it is pretty intense but you can really make your day your own.
Despite having some pretty specific set ideas, when it came to decorating I was pretty chilled about it all. I knew I wanted bunting everywhere and we had boxes of lovely things to hang up in the trees, but I decided to just let people loose with a rough idea and see what they came up with – it was even better than I had hoped. It was a lovely sunny day, and I even got a bit of a tan setting things up. We spent the whole day showing off our perfect venue to everyone who came to help and it was lovely seeing everyone chipping in and all the children playing together.
The night before, me and most of my bridesmaids stayed in Colts Lodge, the amazing B & B on the site which made for easy access in the morning. We had a few drinks and some take out and although I fell asleep okay, I woke up wide awake around 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep!
In the morning, the Lodge was pandemonium. We had a photographer (Daniel Lightening of Lightening photography who became more like a friend by the end of the day), our two wonderful friends who were also our videographers, all the bridesmaids, my Mum, my Man of Honour, all the children (3 mini bridesmaids, 2 flower girls and 7 page boys!), my hairdresser and of course me! It was a lovely atmosphere with lots of teams (my Mum & big sister especially!) and although we had an early 11am ceremony, and everyone told me we’d struggle to all get ready in time, we were all ready and raring to go before 10.30am!
Walking to the actual ceremony area, we had to go through the most incredible wildflower meadow, full of giant sunflowers. Unfortunately, it was here that it started to drizzle a bit! Thankfully, I’d bought my girls some really cute umbrellas from Home Bargain and it looked pretty cool with such a long line of people with floral umbrellas walking through a meadow.
When it came time to have the actual ceremony, I was terrified. What if something went wrong? What if he took one look at me, decided I looked ridiculous and ran away? I was being walked down the aisle by my best male friend Paul and thankfully he kept me calm. (Although there was a few tears shed by him as we got closer!).
As soon as I saw Steven, albeit the back of him, I was buzzing. Just desperate for him to turn around and see me and the walk felt like it took forever! I was half crying, half nervous giggling. Steven finally turned around and his eyes welled up (thank goodness!). All I remember of the ceremony was a lot of giggling between us and holding his hand tighter than I ever had before (including all of the times we’d done anything at all scary or painful!).
My oldest friend Jo-Ellen did the first reading and sobbed her heart out. It really made me laugh because the reading was from a childen’s book and started “if I was a dinosaur…!”. She did a great job though! Dan did our second reading and started it in true Dan style by getting up to the woodshed and saying “Hi team”. His reading was a lot soppier – it was from the Amber Spyglass which embarrassingly I had never read!
We did all the vows and the legal bits and then we were bloody married! That bit feels like a total blur – I really imagined it feeling really stiff and scary but actually it was just lovely.
We walked back down the aisle again together and neither of us could stop grinning. People lobbed confetti at us and then we stood ready to hug every single person. I’m not going to lie, this was a long process. I lost count of how many times we said “Thank you!” and hugged people, but it was pretty lovely.
Then everyone stood in two lines for us to walk down so they could lob more confetti at us. I stopped half way down to show off the surprise in my dress (oh-er misses!). My amazing friend who had customised my dress had sneakily sewn in some pictures of me & Steven and some of our favourite quotes under some of the layers. When I saw it for the first time at my last dress fitting I cried so much and all of our guests were amazed too – although partly relieved that I wasn’t just flashing my knickers!
We headed back to the Tipis were our hampers were being delivered. We were having a sort of posh picnic and I was so excited for the food! We did speeches first and of course, I did one. I even included a very soppy poem I had written for Steven which a few people later told me they had a little tear at.
The food was amazing but I was too nervous and excited to eat much of it. I spent a lot of the time milling around, checking that everyone was having a good time.
We had an adult bouncy castle, garden games, a sweet table, a Photo Booth and temporary tattoos for after the meal and then later on a company called JoyPads came and brought retro games consoles for people to play on (A SNES and a PS1). We had a pizza van come and an ice-cream trike – it was like a festival/village fair/children’s birthday party!
I feel like I spent so much of the day floating from group to group and having our photos taken that I didn’t get to enjoy a lot of the stuff we’d organised – which is something we had be warned about!
The emotion and stress and happiness all hit me at once and I actually went for a short nap in the middle of the day. It was so great to wake up feeling refreshed again!
Later in the evening some of our friends acted as our band. We have several musical pals that we had put together and asked to sing a song or two and boy did they over deliver!
They played a whole load of amazing songs, some that we had chosen, some surprises and a load that meant things to us. They got Steven up as a surprise to sing High School Musical and Steven’s niece Georgia sang Reflection from Mulan (and you all know how much I love Mulan!) and it ended with a whole group of our friends singing Seasons of Love From Rent – I absolutely balled my eyes out!
We did our first dance to Patent Pending’s Spin Me Around which was so fun and silly and then we went straight into Bump N Grind. One of the best moments of the day was looking around at a full dance floor bumping and grinding with us. Even thinking about it makes my heart swell!
The rest of the night was a mix of dancing, laughing and saying goodbye to people as they peeled off. We were staying in a special bell tent in the field a long with a few other camping friends so we sat by the camp fire and chatted for a while before going to bed.
Over on QuirkyNuptials I’m going to be posting more detail posts, reviewing our different suppliers, showing some of the gifts, centrepieces and favours and writing advice posts. But I wanted to post something about the day for my lovely followers who have had to listen to my relentless planning for two years!