You probably noticed that things got a little quiet over here mid August- mid September but that is because I was busy getting married! (And it was surprisingly busier than either of us anticipated!)
But now we are back, a few pounds heavier from our honeymoon, and as I love hearing about other people’s wedding days, I wanted to share some of the photos and memories from the day.
I also want to say a big thanks to our lovely photographers – Liv from fab blog What Olivia Did and her fiancé Joe – for their hard work on the day and for sending over so many gorgeous pictures!
As there are in fact so many pictures, I am going to do this post on the first half of the day/the ceremony and a second post on the rest of the day. So, here goes…
Venue : Northbrook Park, Farnham, Surrey
Date: Saturday 2nd September 2017
The Night Before
The families, bridesmaids, groomsmen and I had all stayed down in Farnham the night before. It had been such a lovely feeling seeing everyone turn up throughout the afternoon and to catch up over a meal and drinks before the hecticness of the wedding day began.
It also meant that I could give Marc the surprise wedding gift that I had made for him. As we have been together 9 years, with 3 of those years spent long-distance, I decided to surprise him by making a scrapbook filled with nearly a decade of memories. (And yes, I did feel like a cheesy romcom American teenager doing it)!
I included the MSN conversation (yes, MSN!) I had with my friend/Maid of Honour Rosie where I first admitted that I liked him (and where Rosie clearly told Marc, despite me saying not to). I included some of the letters we wrote to each other during our long distance years at Uni (I have written about that here), funny emails, pictures (that I had printed in a polaroid style through Cheerz.com), the cinema ticket stub from our first movie date and a letter that I had written to him the day before the wedding. I thought I had earnt ultimate fiancé points, until Marc surprised me with a gift of his own the next day…
On the morning of the wedding, we were (technically) able to have a lie-in as we couldn’t get over to the venue to start getting ready until 10.30am. However, I was up early as I hadn’t really slept very well, partly thanks to a busy mind running over the next day and partly thanks to a noisy family in the hotel hollering upstairs.
We did run a little late (thanks to slow moving family members, a dysfunctional SatNav and losing the makeup bags) but the fabulous hair and beauty team were prepped and ready to get started on us.
The hair stylist and makeup artists were provided by Blowout Ibiza, a mobile hair and beauty company that we had worked with lots at my previous bareMinerals job. The girls were absolutely fab, very understanding of us running behind schedule and kept cool, calm and collected, despite a bit of pressure from the venue’s wedding coordinator. I absolutely loved my finish look – thank you SO much to Blowout Ibiza for organising the team!
At this point I should also say a big thank you to my favourite hair stylist Colette at Charles Worthington (who I have raved about before here) for getting my hair long, blonde and healthy for the big day! I have been going to Charles Worthington for 2 years and over that time Colette has transformed my dry, knotty, bleached hair into something healthy, long and something that I could feel proud of.
During the morning, our florist Mel (a relative of Marc’s) had visited with the bouquets and corsages. As well as some creeping stress from running late, this is where we had the second stress of the day as we realised that we hadn’t ordered enough centrepieces for the tables! Somehow we had completely missed that we had ordered 10 centrepieces when we had 11 tables. A big thank you to Mel for thinking on her feet and constructing a last-minute centrepiece that looked almost identical to the rest!
The bridesmaids, mums and I did open some Champagne that Rosie had bought along but in between swapping between the hair and makeup stations and answering questions, I didn’t have much time to drink mine! I think a top tip for future brides-to-be is to have as much time as possible to get ready in the morning. We started at 10.30am for a 1.30pm ceremony, with 6 people getting ready together, and it absolutely flew by. (I didn’t realise before but you are asked to be ready 30 mins before the ceremony to chat to the registrar team before you walk down the aisle).
Just before I put on my dress, my beautiful bridesmaids had handed me their gift, a gold photoframe with a picture of the 4 of us from my hen do, and I was also able to open the gift that had been sent to me from Marc that morning. It was a very beautiful – and completely unexpected – eternity necklace from Tiffanys. (Not quite the same as a scrapbook!)
With a few minutes left, the bridesmaids helped me into my Lillian West dress, the hair team attached the veil and then we headed out to meet my Dad, who I think had been wandering around a little confused!
Then it was into the car with him to be driven round to the entrance….
I think this section is going to be pretty short as to be perfectly honest with you, it was all a bit of a blur!
I remember standing with my Dad in the little room connected to the ceremony room, as the Registrar ran through some details of the ceremony with us. I remember hearing our String Duo (the fab Manor House Strings) playing to our murmuring guests in the other room and suddenly getting nervous and a little emotional. I remember the venue coordinator cheering me up with some funny faces, the doors opening and suddenly seeing a crowd of faces, before Marc’s at the end of the aisle.
Then I don’t remember what on earth I said, as I was so busy trying to keep composed, to not think about everyone staring at us and to listen to the words I was supposed to be repeating!
I did snap back into action during the readings, which were read by Marc’s brother and groomsman Alex and my brother Gary. Alex read the Winnie The Pooh poem ‘Us Two’ by A.A. Milne, which he chose as their parents used to read Winne The Pooh to them when they were children. I actually wrote the second reading myself, which was a surprise poem for Marc! I did this as we were really struggling to find a reading that we liked, as they were either very religious, or emotional, or clichéd, so I though I would put my English Lit background to good use and get creative! I wanted to write something sweet and funny and it was such a good feeling surprising Marc, so hopefully it went down well with him too. (I’ve popped the poem at the end of this post, in case you are interested)!
Then there were some more words exchanged which are blurry to me and then all of a sudden we kissed, were signing the register and I was finally able to relax and look at the crowd!
I definitely wish we could do this again (in fact, the whole day again) so that I could properly take everything in. It all felt a bit surreal and throughout the whole day I kept having to remind myself that this was the real thing, after all those years of planning!
Then we headed out for our confetti line, spoke to a few guests and got whisked off for all of the pictures!
I think that is quite enough pictures for now (!) so I will chat about the reception in another post. For now, I shall leave you with the poem I wrote for one of the readings!
The Story of Steph and Marc
Like all great love stories,
It started with a Smirnoff Ice!
In a local social club,
Where students could afford the price.
Some MSN chats later,
And a friendship on MySpace,
We ‘made it official’ with a kiss,
Back in the very same place.
But our ventures there were short-lived,
As we headed off to Uni.
We were worried that it could mean,
The end of you and me.
But we stuck it out and rode the trains,
We didn’t want it to fail,
Squeezing in essays with weekend visits,
And spending our loans on national rail.
Since then we’ve been all over,
We moved from North to South,
(And all those countries inbetween,
Thanks to your job and persuasive mouth).
But the best place of all?
Well, it’s got to be Deptford, right?!
Where I can wake up to you every day,
(Now there is a scary sight!)
I’m sure you love the flat as much as me,
When I ask you to take out the bins,
And wake you up in the middle of the night,
When those bloomin’ mice come in!
And talk over all your boy car shows,
And bang on about avocados and diet,
But I can tell that you’re a keeper
Because you never ask me to be quiet.
And though I stress you out with cleaning,
On Sundays handing you the broom,
We have made our flat into our little home,
(If you ignore that messy spare room).
And now 9 years later here we are,
Taking our next step,
It’s a little bit scary walking down the aisle,
And trying not to trip!
But you have always looked after me,
So I know it will be alright,
And I can play my part when you hit the bar
And help to keep you upright!
Who would have thought that nearly a decade on,
Those two kids in the bar,
Would be getting ready to say their vows,
We really have come far.
I’m excited to call you my hubby,
And for married life to begin,
Although I hope you realise that even so,
You’ll still have to take out the bin.