Well, we finally made it! The wedding day has been and gone!
We didn’t have our wedding rehearsal at the Church until the night before, which I thought was a bit late, but it was good really as we didn’t forget what we had to do on the day.
The vicar was in a bit of a mood at the rehearsal though and he’s a stickler for doing things right. He scalded Simon’s brother, Jeremy, for being late; he told my mum off for interfering and not listening; and then moaned at my step dad for standing in the wrong place. I thought we were in for a great wedding ceremony...
However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. He was flamboyant and jokey; he had our guests in fits of giggles and even ran a ‘best hat’ competition that my mum won – she was the only one wearing a hat though ha ha. Everyone commented on his service at the reception, saying that he’d made church enjoyable. Part of his service was about making sure you don’t let your marriage and relationship get stale, and to have occasions when ‘you must act like you’re six again’. I think too many of our guests took this to heart during the evening reception, but then again, that might have been the wine.
My morning was great and went without a hitch, in fact, we were so organised we were ready to go nearly half an hour before the car turned up. We had a production line of make up, hairdressing and getting dressed. My sister, Becky and I stayed up until midnight the night before moving chairs and tables around so that everyone had somewhere to work so that we weren’t queuing for the beautician and stylist.
One tip though ladies, don’t leave it until the last minute to take tags off dresses and stickers off shoes. We tried to get it all done on the Friday night but missed two stickers on the bottom of Becky’s shoes and a massive tag on the outside of my mum’s hat. That would have been a disaster if we hadn’t spotted it. Everyone looked, well, I can’t describe how beautiful the girls and my mum looked, and how handsome my step-dad, Gary, and my son, Allan, were.
When the car did arrive, it was a complete surprise. Providing the wedding car had been a gift to Simon and I from one of Simon’s work contacts. It was a black Bentley Arnage T Mulliner. We even had our own chauffeur.
I was unusually calm whilst we were getting ready, whereas Simon, I hear was a bag of nerves. We had an itinerary of who needed to be where and when; who was moving cars to the church; who was ferrying children to which house etc etc, kindly provided in flow-chart style by Simon’s dad, John. It was so popular it even got a mention in Simon’s speech and his cousin took a copy at the reception for his own mirth.
Unfortunately, in the commotion of getting cars and overnight bags to the church (without getting out of sync with John’s itinerary) My sister Becky left her wedding underwear in her overnight bag. Luckily the best man, Marcus, came to her rescue. He managed to get Becky's car keys from John and sped off to her car. He spent 10 minutes rooting around in the boot of her car “checking out her knickers” before finding them and bringing them down to the house.
Again, something that had to get a mention in the speeches. It was when Marcus bought round her underwear that he told us how nervous Simon was. I was absolutely fine until I got into church and took Simon’s hand – he was shaking like a leaf. This set me off and I spent a while choked up with a lump in my throat. He really does scrub up well!
Anyway, enough about the morning and the service.
As we left the church the sun was still shining as it had been all morning. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to have the church bells ringing as the church tower is unsafe, so Simon had sourced four fabulous hand bell ringers to play as we left the church. I’d forgotten about the bell ringers in the emotion of the day until I came out and saw them. They were amazing and sounded just like church bells, but added a more personal touch.
We had a few photos taken and I had handfuls of confetti stuffed down the front of my dress, courtesy of my cousin, Carole. It was lovely outside the church to see a few of my elderly relatives that could only make the ceremony. They didn’t feel up to driving all the way to Bosworth and felt they were too old to ‘stick it out’.
It must have been fate - as soon as we got into the wedding car, it started to rain and it rained all the way to Bosworth Hall.
Once we got to Bosworth Hall our photographer, Kate, wanted us to get the photos done before we got swamped by our guests at the drinks reception. As soon as we got out of the car, the sun started to shine again!
Kate and Andy (a fellow professional wedding photographer who she’d asked along to help her with the photos – well it was a long day for her) took us around the grounds of Bosworth Hall, taking photos. It felt like I'd walked two miles in stilts. I hadn't though, we'd only gone around the grounds to some of the picturesque places we'd already visited on our pre-wedding photo shoot, but as I mentioned, my shoes weren't ideal and the heels were so high because of mine and Simon's height difference. My feet were killing me!
So naturally I didn't stay in the stilts all night, I took them off and put them under the table during the wedding breakfast, which gave my feet a rest. I did wear them again though right through until after the first dance. Then I took them off and put them under my mum's table before walking around bare footed all night.
We finished outside the hall with a group photograph and made our way inside to enjoy the drinks reception and the sound of the harpist, Liath Hollins. Her music touched me exactly like it did the first time I’d heard her play at her home in Nottingham. She is amazingly talented.
Time was passing so quickly that we only had time to have a quick chat with a few of our guests before it was time to line up to greet our guests at the wedding breakfast. Where had the time gone – it was 3.00pm by now.We greeted our guests and walked in to take our seats at the top table. The room was overwhelming. It looked amazing! Everything we’d spent months planning had paid off big style.
We tucked into our salmon starter; orange and mango sorbet, roast beef dinner and citrus tart; followed by coffee and chocolates. I was stuffed. Simon’s mum, Christine couldn’t manage all her main meal, however, Marcus was at hand to help her out. In fact, he finished off most of our leftovers – I don’t know where he puts it.
The speeches were hilarious. Simon had chosen not to have a best man speech so in addition to Gary and Simon’s speech, John (Simon’s dad) did one too.
We all got a mention in some way, shape or form – not all of the comments were complimentary or even needed, but funny all the same.
Where had that time gone? It was 5.30pm and the end of the wedding breakfast already.
The afternoon entertainment started soon after. We’d paid for a casino to be set up, where guests were given a number of playing chips and could gamble on a black jack table and a roulette table. The guest with the most chips at the end of the afternoon won a bottle of bubbly. Everyone seemed to enjoy it but I’m not sure that anyone had any chips left at the end. I wonder who did win the bottle? I don’t think anyone really knows.
It was slightly worrying though that a few of Simon’s cousins were taking it a bit too seriously. Rather than playing for chips, they were betting on shots. I could see the evening reception getting very messy.
Simon and I had hardly spent any time together during the afternoon, other than 10 minutes in our honeymoon suite getting the confetti out of our clothes – it was getting uncomfortable.Another two hours had passed without us knowing and our evening guests were starting to arrive. The morning reception seemed to just merge into the evening reception seamlessly. I still can’t believe where the day had gone.
There was a stream of guests for the next hour and I’d completely lost track of time. It was soon time for us to cut the cake and have our first dance. We chose a song by my favourite band ever, Green Day. It’s a lovely song called Last Night on Earth. It was a song that seemed to be playing on my cd player every time I met Simon in the early days, so it seemed apt that we chose it.
The disco played for a while and then it was time for the band. I was so looking forward to hearing them play again. Mrs Miggins Pie Shoppe was a great hit with our guests. The dance floor was full from the start of their first set to the end of it. I’m not surprised though, they play something for all ages.
Then it was time for more disco and the evening buffet. I didn’t have any but it looked nice and after the wedding a lot of our friends and family commented on how good it was.
It was at this point that I remembered we’d done a sweet table. It looked really pretty and the Bosworth hall staff had set it up perfectly. It must have been popular as there were hardly any sweets left when we picked up the jars the day after the wedding.
Time for more Mrs Miggins. The dance floor went mental – even my mum had a dance. We didn’t want them to stop playing. Simon and I danced with our guests until the end. It came to a point where the dj on the disco had to call time at 12.00 midnight. They were only meant to play until about 11.30pm but our guests wouldn’t let them stop. I don’t think they even wanted to stop.
Finally we gave in and let the band finish their last song.
We’d lost a few of the older guests throughout the night but most seemed to stay until the end.
Simon was absolutely shattered and begged me to go to bed, but I was just starting to relax and wanted to join some friends in the bar for a late one. I managed to keep him awake until about 2.00am, unlike one of my friends who fell asleep in the bar. His girlfriend had to take him to bed!
I didn’t want the day to end. I’d had such a great day and everything was perfect, just as we’d imagined and planned it.
It did end though, but what a day we’d had. We will never forget it.