The one piece of advice you always get as a bride-to-be is to revel in every moment of your wedding day because it will go by in a flash. Throughout our honeymoon all I could conjure up from my fuzzy memory was a really hot day, and the vague sensation that something really important had happened. So to help my ropey memory along in the future, I wrote a not quite hour by hour account of mine and Chris’s wedding day. To be accompanied by our wonderful wedding photographs.
Our photographers were Jess Orchard, of Jess Orchard Photography, and her assistant Hana, and they have done us more than proud. If you are planning a wedding in London or the Home Counties get in touch with Jess because as you can tell from the photographs, she is wonderful.
I woke up feeling like Christmas morning and promptly re-wrote my speech. Because normal. Then I dug out my 3DS and played Ocarina of Time until it was time to get up at 6.30am. Yes, you read it here first, I am a colossal geek.
Me, my mum and my bridesmaids arrived at the hotel to get ready. There was a slight issue with the suite I had booked, in that the hotel hadn’t paid attention when I said I wanted it from 9am, and the previous occupant was still in it. I threw my bridal weight around a bit and threatened to start getting changed in their lobby, so in the end the four of us plus photographer ended up squeezed into a tiny double room up at the back of the hotel. With hindsight the way we were treated really pissed me off, but at the time I was really zen. I was riding the wedding train and you either jumped on behind or got off the tracks!!
Me, my mum and Chris’s mum grew/created all the flower arrangements for the day, including bouquets. I think we did ok! The two broaches pinned on the stems belonged to my Granny and Grandmother, who both passed away in 2008. I wanted to have a little memento of each of them to carry with me.
Also looking at these photographs you wouldn’t know that we were in a cramped, dark, overheated room. My amazing, scintillating, gorgeous bridesmaids worked their magic and transformed a frazzled little scruff into a rather respectable bride with flowers in her hair and everything. And props to Belle and Bunty for the most uh-may-zing dress. Seriously, I got so many compliments throughout the day and one person even asked if I had designed it myself! I wish.
Time to roll! My Daddy was waiting in the foyer downstairs and I was whisked into the back of this beautiful machine.
Let me introduce you to Daphne. She is a 1936 Austin 10 Open Road Tourer, bought by my dad in the 70s and his mechanical pride and joy. My cousins learned how to drive in her, but for many years she was tucked away in the garage at my Gran’s gathering dust and rust. A couple of years back my Dad and my cousin’s father-in-law met, discovered that they were both vintage car nuts, and so set about on a joint restoration project. I can’t begin to describe how much fun it was bowling along in the sunshine, winding through the country lanes to the wedding venue. We passed by another wedding car, to much mutual honking of horns and two brides waving at each other like crazy people. The ride was so much fun that I was actually a little sad when we arrived!
Ok, not that sad.
Our venue was Ufton Court Tithe Barn in Berkshire, and right from our first visit Chris and I knew it suited us down to the ground. During the week the Tudor mansion house plays hosts to groups of city kids doing countryside things, and at the weekend their beautiful tithe barn is transformed into a wedding venue. The money from the weddings goes back into giving those kids a great time, which was what ultimately swayed our decision. That and how simply amazing the place is! Plus they had PIGLETS. Nuff said.
Ba bum ba-bum, ba bum ba-bum…
Now we’re married, we drink! It sounds weird to say it, but I was really surprised to see everyone at my wedding. I know they had RSVP-ed, and we knew who was coming, but I didn’t actually think they would come. I had the time of my life running around and hugging everyone. Words were said, confetti was thrown, and croquet was played! Actually some seriously competitive croquet was played – serious smack talk went down, and there may even have been some minor gambling…
The beautiful silver pieces on the top of our cake were donated by my great Auntie. The wax flowers date from my great grandparent’s silver wedding anniversary in the 50s, and the little silver shoes are of mysterious origin but very apt!
I’m so happy that Jess captured this picture of me and my mum. It’s one of those beautiful, spontaneous images that I am so thrilled to have, and that makes me really appreciate how clever and semi-psychic wedding photographers have to be.
I started to loose track of time at this point. Jess whisked me and Chris away from the crowds to take some couple shots, which was lovely.
While wafting elegantly around the gardens having my picture taken, a lost little bee decided to crawl underneath the top skirt of my dress! I was very chilled about having a bee up my skirt, but Chris sprang into action and released the silly bumble onto a nearby lavender plant.
Then came the jolly job of rounding up the family for group photographs – my Pa had the knack of disappearing at the crucial moment!
Check out these guys! My lovely handsome brothers, who both scrub up rather well. They ushered heroically despite the heat, and managed to remain composed in three piece suits. Nick (the heartbreaker on the left) kept his jacket on long after the other wedding party men had discarded theirs!
I was pretty exhausted by this point. I am a bit of a hermit by nature, and find it very odd being the centre of attention! But I did enjoy getting up to give my speech. Not usual for a bride I know, but there was no way I going to sit back and let the men do all the talking!
Bring on the cake! And the dancing!
Chris is not a natural born shaker of the tail-feather, but I think we did pretty well.
After that everything dissolves into a giddy haze of dancing! I had a wonderful, slightly overwhelming day with all my most favourite people. And it is quite fun thinking up different permutations of husband to call Chris. Hubs, hubatron, husband unit, oafs-band (for when he steps on my feet)… the options are endless!