First off, a couple of disclaimers. 1) I’m not the writer in the family, I waffle, I construct sentences badly and I use !!!!!! far too much. 2) I’m writing this looking back, so its possible I may be underplaying the melt down’s I had about various projects – Possible! 3) I doubt any of these ideas are original but they all came from my and Tom’s heart. 4) I didn’t single handedly make everything; I had HUGE help, for which I will be forever grateful.
Some things you should know about our wedding:
· It was a bit untraditional. We had a civil ceremony with around 120 guests and an afternoon drinks and nibbles reception. We then took our bridal party and a few extras (25 of us) to an evening meal at Browns on the River Thames.
· My Mum gave me away as I couldn’t choose between my Dad and my Stepdad. (That and she is my world.)
· My maid of honour was my wonderful sister Bella.
· My bridesmaids were Suz, who I’ve known since I was 11. Shea who I’ve known since I was 5 and Ruth, who I met in 2009.
· Our readings were done by my brother and Tom’s Dad.
· Bella wrote and read the ‘address’. UNREAL. I cried. A lot.
· Our Mum’s were our witnesses.
· Each guest was encouraged to take the decoration home with them.
· We had a get in team of AMAZING people who saved our day.
· Tom and I are both in theatre so couldn’t help treating our wedding like a show.
· My Dad did a speech at the start of the reception thanking everyone and announcing Tom and I.
· My brother played the trumpet as we walked into the reception.
· The people I was working with at the time ‘gatecrashed’ (pre arranged with Tom and I and a few key people) and performed the play within the play from a Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was a children show. People were confused. I loved it!
· I changed dresses for the evening.
· We had a blessing on the river Thames before dinner.
· My sister magically provided sparklers at the end of the evening.
· My Dad arranged for Tom and I to stay in an amazing hotel.
Photo taken by my friend Ross.
From L-R, Henry, the director of the show who stepped in last minute; Fiachra my brother in law (!); Chris, Tom’s cousin; Ben, my brother; Bella, my sister; and Will, from the show.
From the minute Tom proposed we knew we’d be on a tight budget. Tom was quite up for a long engagement; I was quite up for being married before I turned 30 (11 days, eeeeeeeekkkk). Being 4 years older than Tom, my hissy fit about being married before I turned 30 was slightly out of the blue for him, but he dealt with it very very well!
Our parents were amazing and each set gave us a gift of money to help us out – we decided straight away that our budget would be that – we didn’t have any savings and we couldn’t afford to take out credit cards. (As it turned out, Tom had some well paid work before the wedding so he ended up paying for some little extras, and we were given gifts towards our honeymoon, but we still stuck within our ball park which makes me very happy! BUT, if we could do it again, I’d want to spend less – I’d want to make EVEN MORE!).
Anyway, projects. I don’t remember having a conversation about the fact that we (I) wanted to make a lot for the wedding, it just sort of happened (a bit like how we ended up moving in with each other – neither of us remember having the conversation!).
The first thing we talked about were the flowers – almost by mistake – I LOVE Gerberas and I think I’d always thought that’s what I would walk down the aisle with. This was not the case.
We were in Luxembourg visiting Tom’s parents and went to the Schueberfour – The 671st Schueberfour to be exact - check it out - ITS AMAZING. Anyway, we were wondering around and I saw some thin wooden flowers – and fell in love. I was obsessed. I bought a bunch then and there, in a variety of colours, and they STUNK. They sprayed them with air freshener so Tom and his brothers made me hold them out of the car on the way home, and we left them on the balcony at Tom’s parents house for a week. A WEEK! They no longer smell. Phew! So I trawled the Internet trying to find a supplier (I’ve later learned that markets over here are now stocking them but not in 2011!) – I found a website (which I can’t find now….) and we were all set. We needed to choose a colour theme before we ordered them but that was easy…. Right… erm…. 6 months later I ordered them! On a French website – In FRENCH. Go me! (I don’t speak French; whereas Tom is fluent… he was at work…)
They were so cheap and perfect – I mention the cheapness because all in all our flowers cost us around £65. We ordered 100’s of them and made:
4 x bridesmaid’s bouquets
Button holes for all parents, grandparents and best men (there were two!)
Vases for the ceremony room.
Thank you bouquets for our mums.
Thank you bouquets for the get in team.
Table decorations for the evening.
I loved them. Love them. My bouquet is sitting in a vase in our sitting room and will be for as look as I can imagine, I love that I have it forever. (Needless to say I didn’t throw it!).
My brilliant bridesmaid Ruth had some green fabric and brought that to my Mum’s were we, with my Mum and aunt, spent a Sunday putting them together, cutting them into buttonholes, counting them out so each guest could be given one as they exit the ceremony and making foliage. Ruth was AMAZING.
For my bouquet we attached a little white flower, which I had worn in my hair for my Mum’s wedding to my stepdad. And in Bella’s we added the blue one I had worn.
My Mum’s buttonhole – photo by Robert Workman (Our official photographer).
Bridesmaids Bouquets – photo by Bella.
My Bouquet – photo by Bella.
Parents and Grandparents buttonholes - photos by Robert Workman
Best Men buttonholes - photo by Robert Workman
Tom’s buttonhole - photo by Robert Workman
Ceremony Vase - photo by Rogerio Mendes
Us with our bouquet’s - photo by Robert Workman
L-R, Ruth, Suz, Me, Bella and Shea