I spent a long time thinking about our wedding, (possibly too long!) we had been together for a few years before we got married. From very early on I knew my other half was just that, the other half of me, a wedding was a formality really, a chance to get friends and family together and celebrate that.
I tried hard to involve my chap in the planning process, as a wedding is about what both of you want, 'our wedding' not just 'my wedding'! Though I'm not sure he was thrilled to be standing in the florists comparing four types of purple chair sashes!
Other really important people in our wedding were our parents, I think I underestimated how important some things were to them. Like most people I don't appreciate classical music as much as I maybe should, my folks fought hard to get us to choose classical music for the ceremony. Despite being rockers we fought the urge to include Led Zeppelin(!) in our ceremony and I'm glad we did. It was a grown up moment in life and when I think about choosing the music I think about my parents and that makes me smile.
The venue: for us a hotel was a necessity, our friends and families live far away. Then it was just a case of finding somewhere we felt comfortable in. Our venue was Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire and it was amazing. Set in the Oxfordshire countryside it is a Jacobean style country hotel with all the facilities you could need. The food was great and executed perfectly. They have a real skill for running weddings smoothly,we were looked after so well.
We are D.I.Y. kind of people, whilst we stood back on the big things and let professionals do their thing we added details where we could. I did my own cake and sugar flowers (that's my hobby). My dad made me these beautiful stands to hold vintage roses with flower arrangements in. We bought a bar billiards table and reconditioned it ourselves.
For the place card holders, the other half took an old oak skirting board that he bought from the wood recycling shop and made small blocks, then I burned Yorkshire roses and Sussex Martlets into them.
We chose most of our suppliers based on recommendations from the venue. A florist was the hardest thing to pin down, our date was December the 30th so most were closed between Christmas and New Year. We landed on our feet with pretty much all suppliers though, and luckily I didn't want any fancy flowers (I know to pick my battles!). I did collect these tiny gold birds which I wired up and the florist wired them into my bouquet.
The theme really did come once the date and venue were chosen, we were going for rich colours and a warm cosy sociable environment. As I'm from Yorkshire and the OH is from Sussex, we incorporated Yorkshire roses and Sussex Martletts (Swallows) in the theme.
My shoes were Irregular choice (second hand from e-bay) and my jewellery was all antique, my necklace was a Victorian gold and seed pearl swallow pendant and my watch was my Grannys.
The dress: this really was my thing (no groom involvement here!) choosing the dress was so difficult. I have a very fair complexion and I looked awful in white. My dress shop (The Big Day) looked after me so well and I ended up in a dress that I loved, it fitted in with the theme and I felt amazing all day. It didn't stop me from being nervous about the colour, just because I liked it everyone else might not! I nervously got ready...
Before the ceremony we had a brief pause at the top of the stairs whilst a couple of guests snuck in to the room below. I'm so glad we stopped, as we had time for a quick photo with my amazing bridesmaid Em! Which it turns out is one of my favorite photos of the day. (Em was a fabulous bridesmaid, who I put into a corset style dress a few days after Christmas eating drinking and merriment! I think she has forgiven me though!)
The husband isn't too keen on this picture but I think it's brilliant so I've put it in!
Post ceremony relief, celebration with his and hers beer glasses, we got a barrel of our favorite local beer for the reception.
We had crazy blue skies, despite the date being in December! I was prepared for rain and we planned everything inside but we we incredibly lucky and the sky really did look like is does in these pictures.
My new husband looking after me!
My cape came from a vintage clothes shop in Brighton (To be Worn Again, which is a great name for a shop!) I think it cost me 30 quid or so.
After the photos it was time to come back inside for some merriment. This is another one of my favorite photos and I had no idea our photographer took it. (and I have grown up to be very camera sensitive -I've seen too many bad off guard photos of me, so I pretty much always know where the cameras are!
The hotel was all dressed up for Christmas and as the night wore on it grew cosier, this huge Christmas tree was a great addition to the reception area.
After the eating and drinking there was dancing, our first dance was to The Lovecats by the Cure.
We are scientists and I like pretty colours, enough said! (again made by us)
Our amazing photographer was Mario Mage (Immage) and he captured the day perfectly, as these beautiful images show. Our wedding day was so special for us and the pictures capture the day which is already fading in my memory a bit (a mere 11 months later). I have had the best time writing this post as I have spent a long time looking at our pictures again.