Monday, 31 January 2011

I'm not really updating this anymore but I have come across 2 disappointing (for me!) links in the last 2 days

First up, Emmeline Bride - nice handmade and real weddings

And then Vera Wang goes and decides to do proper affordable off the peg at David's Bridal


Friday, 17 December 2010

My outfit

I now realise why so many wedding blogs disappear so soon after the wedding. Suddenly my time and inclination seemed to vanish, not exactly sure why.

Anyway, getting back to putting together my day for you, I get to my outfit.

My dress was made by my mum, which was so special. It meant that it was completely unique and exactly what I wanted. We had had it specially designed by a friend of a friend who was studying fashion design. This, for me, was the most fun part. I had been to try on other dresses (1,2,3) so I had a good idea what I was looking for.

We then had the drawing made into a pattern by a professional pattern cutter - this bit wasn't cheap. If we had been a bit clever we could probably have utilised an existing pattern as I wasn't having anything that out of the ordinary.

Once we had the finished toile and pattern we set about chopping up the actual fabric and lining etc. I helped cut out some bits, but I left most of this to my mum who is much more experienced - and she has the sewing machine at her house!

I enjoyed cutting out the strips of netting to go under the train. This was even better when they had the unexpected effect of creating a feature out of themselves when I hitched up the train in the evening, as you can see in the pic on the left.

So, the finished article is best illustrated in this picture (that's my husband in the middle shaking hands with his best man - we'd just stepped out the church, which explains the crazy look on my face!). It had a full skirt with train, corsetted bodice, buttoned up the back, capped sleeves, and ruched skirt.

My veil had little pearls on it which matched those in my necklace, borrowed from my mum (it's her grandma's).
For the day I had plain cream court shoes, but I got my way and had blue shoes for the evening - and they were sparkly! I knew I wouldn't last in heels all day. Just as well, they managed to rub despite all the wearing in. Bridesmaid to the rescue with blister plasters.

I mentioned my tiara in a previous post, and even up to the day I still wasn't completely sure about it. I felt it was one of those decisions I had made without thinking and was slightly concerned that it wasn't what I'd been thinking of. But having spent more hours than sensible looking for alternatives and just coming up with variations on a theme, I decided there were other things which were more important - my sanity for one.
One of my favourite photos

Top photo from one of my pals, others from our photographer Sam Kesteven

Saturday, 10 July 2010

I just wanted to post a pic of the present J got me on our wedding day

Image from Rob Ryan

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Part 4 - reception 2

It has been nearly a month, I'm stuck right back into work, my name is changed on some things, but people are still talking about the wedding when they see us.

Back to the story...

As the evening guests started to arrive and we has our coffee and homemade tablet, the men did the speeches. Starting with my dad, who can be a bit of a loose cannon when it comes to public speaking, especially I thought, when he was a bit emotional. But it was suitably funny, soppy and full of advice (lists was the key thing). He managed to embarrass me by mentioning my secret shame from when I was 11 (I failed my cycling proficiency test!) while also make me feel like his special little girl.

J's speech was very funny, and I have the scrap of paper he made his notes on in my box of wedding bits. But it was also poignant as he raised a glass to absent friends.

The best men did a double act which worked perfectly with one doing the funny stuff and the other playing the straight man. They even managed to rib me with a joke about a silly comment I made some months back and had forgotten about.

After welcoming the evening guests we stepped onto the dance floor for our first dance. We danced to a cover of Elvis' Can't help falling in love with you by the Eels. Suitably classic but also suitably obscure and us. We asked the best men to dance with the bridesmaids, my parents and my brother to dance with J's mum, and for them to join us after a few bars into the song, which was lovely.
The dancing then proceeded through the evening with music from J's friend as DJ. This was a great idea as he knew what we like so well. We had a great mix of indie classics, motown, 60s and dancefloor fillers. No cheese was the rule!

The evening was so much fun, catching up with people, having photos, chatting and never having a dry glass. But it ended and we were taken to our proper black cab to take us to our hotel.

J had booked the hotel and I had the choice whether to know where we were going - but I chose to have a surprise. We went to Clerkenwell to The Rookery hotel, where a chilled bottle of champagne was waiting for us. It is on a pedestrianised street so the taxi had to drop us at the end of the road, and people were looking at us as we walked past in our finery. Someone shouted 'will you marry me?!' 'Too late mate' was J's response.

The next day we caught up with some friends for brunch, opened presents, and had a good read of all the lovely comments in our guest book, which my sister had organised. Sunday was such a chilled happy day, basking in our new found situation.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Part 3 - the reception 1

After our mad bus trip from the church to the venue - which got a lot of waves and a few bus geek photographers (who knows how they found out about it!)  - we arrived to a round of applause from museum patrons, and were handed yummy peach bellinis.

We then got the photos out of the way, largely painless, and even had a group photo of everyone. The photographer made everyone shout "sex!" instead of cheese. My shock will probably be evident on my face in the photo.

J and I were then taken off for a few minutes to do some shots of us, including by the walrus and the totem pole.

The sun was shining and the drinks were flowing. I was pleased with my mingling skills!
We had canapes (kudos to the staff who always made sure J and I got them first).

Everyone was then invited to sit for dinner by our toastmaster aka one of our friends from Uni. On our way to our seats we cut our croquembouche using the toastmaster's Sgian Dubh.

I had been so looking forward to our food since the tasting, and we got plenty of compliments on our choices. Our wine choices went well too.

Photo by one of our guests

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Blogs which have kept me going

I have read a lot of magazines, websites and particularly blogs as I have gone through these last 20 or so months.
Some of the blogs have come and gone, but some I have stuck with. I thought I would share:

There have been others and I'm sure there are some I have visited and never noted down, but these are the ones which stuck with me to the end.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Part 2 - the ceremony

We arrived at the church slightly early so parked up the road a bit and Dad jumped out to go and check everything was hunky-dory. This was the first moment when I was really nervous, and as always when I'm nervous I needed the loo. The same had happened on Friday evening as we pulled up to the church so my bridesmaids had thought it was very funny to buy me some incontinence pads.

Anyway, everything was fine, and the men were told to go and take their seats in the front row. We pulled the bus forward, and had a couple of minutes to grab some photos with the buses, like a traditional father-daughter photo plus one of me on the back of the Routemaster (one of the key ones on my list for the day).

Then it was time to go. Mum said a quick prayer before we walked up towards the church to be met by the vicar,and then she headed inside. I had managed to get my shoe stuck between paving slabs on the path but this was a minor hitch, it did relieve my nerves somewhat as we all laughed.

We lined up by the door and I could see a couple of friends in the back row, suddenly the nerves hit. As the music started and we took our first step I had a sudden lurch in my stomach and thought I was going to cry. I was glad of my veil, and very glad I looked up to see J waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I managed to hold it together although through the first hymn my legs were shaking so much I thought I must have looked ridiculous.

The service was lovely and was very personal. It was great to have a vicar who had got to know us over the last couple of years, so he was able to relate to the people who were there with us.

In no time at all we were pronounced man and wife and kissing to a round of applause from all our friends and family. A lovely moment.

I didn't see but people keep telling me how almost everyone was crying at some point in the service, even my normally very together dad! For some people it seemed that it was the music that did it; I wasn't aware when we picked it, but one of our hymns was my great-grandma's favourite so this was rather poignant for some people, plus my mum was set off by my processional music which was the same as she had, Pachelbel's Canon in D.

We were not being followed by another wedding so made the most of a bit of time in the church vestibule catching up with everyone. From the photos I have seen I was looking rather crazy and certainly felt a bit like that too. I was quite speechless and so happy. It is also very strange being in the situation where you know (just about) everyone in the room and they all want to talk to you.

Just as we were doing this someone pointed outside - another bus. This time a Maltese bus, due to J's heritage, which had been renovated and shipped over! So our full fleet of 3 buses was ready to take us to our venue, J and I in the Maltese bus, the family in the green bus and the rest of the guests on the Routemaster...

--- more ---
It's funny what you include and don't when writing up something like this.
I thought I would also add that the rest of the music was lovely - we had the traditional Orthodox Cherubic hymn when signing the register, and we left the church to the Grand March from Verdi's Aida.
The readings were done by my grandma and J's uncle, which was really lovely.

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