Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The Wedding: Your Questions Answered

Did you enjoy your wedding? I know that might sound strange but I know you put so much beautiful home made effort into your day and I often forget to enjoy things I've organised myself. So I know it was a really wonderful occasion for both of you - we can see it in your beaming photos - but did you manage to put yourself in the moment and really have fun and if so how and when?
Yes. I really did genuinely enjoy the day. Afterwards I know this because at no time did I think about the time or think about anything other than what I was doing. Aside from crippling period pains after the church service I also did not have any stomach related anxieties (which I often get at events) and I also managed to eat a plate of food without even thinking about it, which is *unheard* of for me at events when I am anxious or nervous.
I had so much fun all day, from getting ready with my family to marrying my Husband and then partying with my friends and family in the evening. I loved dancing with my bridesmaids and with my Husband and also with my Dad. I enjoyed gossiping with some of my school friends in the loos and the man who lived on the estate that had just returned from a sailing trip who we invited to join the party (who then kissed on my girlfriends). Those were the un-photographed moments which no-one ever mentions but really make the party.
Where did you get your dress and did you have a cake-cake or just a cheese-cake?

My dress came from Oxfam Bridal in Southampton which I then had re-tailored in a couple of places to fit me better. My lace shrug came from Monsoon Bridal and the sash was a silk ribbon custom dyed by Cam Creations to match my shoes (which were Rupert Sanderson). The silk scarf I am wearing in some of the photos was given to me by my Mother-in-Law and is the tartan of my new family name. I also wore a white and blue garter handmade by my sister and pearl earrings that were loaned to me by my Mother-in-Law.
Cam Creations also dyed silk ribbon the same colour which I used to tie the the bouquets and name labels to linen napkins.
The cake we cut was our cheese cake which had four local cheeses: Godminster Cheddar, Wild Garlic Cornish Yarg, Cornish Blue and St Edellion Cornish Brie. In addition to the cheese each of our mother's made a traditional fruit wedding cake with marzipan and white royal icing.
Wedding cake
Cake of local cheese

Is there anything you would have done differently? Do you think about that?
Every so often, yes. I would have asked the photographer to not take our portraits from 2 steps beneath us and wish she had suggested posing outside the church door instead. I wish I had asked her to take more details shots. I would have liked a photograph with Husband and his brother, and Husband and his friends. (But he isn't bothered, as he isn't bothered about photographs much anyway).
I would also have liked to have finished getting ready with my Mum and bridesmaids, rather than putting my dress on by myself and realising that the bridesmaids and Mum had already left in their car. But I did enjoy the extra time with my Dad. We had a quick last cup of coffee (which I narrowly missed spilling down the front of my dress when I walked into a low beamed doorway whilst holding the cup). We also forgot to drink the champagne...
I wish Husband had not had to do so much running around in the morning (but we did choose to do everything ourselves, so it was unavoidable).
I wish nature hadn't given me a period which arrived on the way to the church. I wish the friend who said he would video the ceremony had turned up on time so that we would have had a recording of the ceremony. (Neither of these were in my control though, so I couldn't have organised things any differently).
I also would have liked the vicar to have called my Godfather by the correct name, for the organist not to have started a hymn which was supposed to be played by my Godfather on the piano (despite us having rehearsed it the day before) and for him to have gone back on his promise for a 5 minute sermon and actually taking 25. But again, out of my control.
All in all though the things I would have done differently were minor. And of no real consequence: It was still a fabulous day. As for the place, the event, the decoration, the guests and so on, I wouldn't have changed any of it. Why do you keep banging on about your wedding?
A myriad reasons really, mainly that it's my blog and as such I write about my life. Though, as this post is pretty much the last you will hear about the wedding itself, you will be no doubt pleased to hear that I won't be "banging on" about it for much longer.
Did you have breakfast? And were the speeches good? (I always like them best!)
On the morning of the wedding I woke at 6am feeling like utter crap. Like I had flu: hot sweats, cold sweats and aching. {of course, this turned out to my period coming, but as I wasn't expecting it I didn't put two and two together until much later...}. So I had coffee and croissants and nurofen and paracetemol for breakfast, in bed with both my sisters. I would post the photo but I rather think my whole family would prefer that their nightclothed selves were kept well away from the internets. I had a few more cups of coffee later in the morning and some light lunch (soup and sandwiches cut into small bites by my Granny).
getting ready
The speeches were excellent. We opted to stick with the traditional three: my father, the groom and the best man, with Husband's father making a short fourth toast to absent friends. Husband didn't write his but spoke off the cuff, bringing down the place in gales of laughter, swearing twice and telling everyone how much they had touched us. My father spoke movingly of me flying the nest and about my childhood & Ben, Husband's best man, spoke eloquently of some of the misdeamours he and Husband had got up to over the years and about Husband and my relationship and future.
Favorite photos, details, and feelings are always good!
I still can't decide on a favourite photo. I like all of them, for different reasons.
13.06.09 (379)

Details wise, by some sort of fluke, the bunting I had made until I decided to stop fitted *exactly* round the dance floor. I was also very pleased how the mismatched crockery and peacock feathers worked to decorate the tables. I also like the way our top table was not really a top table and the reception line worked so that we were the last to eat rather than our guests waiting for us as if we were somehow more important than them.
wedding graduate post 2
I also liked that the whole reception felt like a house party and everyone seemed entirely comfortable helping themselves to drinks and food and then dancing and talking all evening. In every single photo everyone is smiling and everyone told me what a good time they had. For me, that is the mark of a good party and the only thing we strived for when planning the reception.
As for the ceremony, the moment when Dad and I reached the altar and Husband and I looked at each other for the first time summed up the whole reason why were marrying each other. It seemed so surreal saying those words to each other and knowing that we were becoming man and wife. I will remember forever saying those vows and giving each the rings and the way that I had to ask the vicar to repeat one of the lines because I became overcome with emotion. And then turning round during the last hymn, which was Jerusalem, and singing arm in arm, looking at all our friends and family, all singing, and catching people's eyes and having to blink back tears.
What did you learn about yourself through the planning process?
Cliched though it may sound, I was very reassured to find that together Husband and I make a good team. About myself specifically, I learnt (or perhaps, already knew) that I am somewhat of a control freak: I like things done properly and if delegated to someone else, I like them done to the standard I would have done it myself. (I have this problem at work too sometimes when my secretary hole punches things unevenly for example).

The wedding planning also reinforced a lot of things I already knew about myself: that I prefer homemade to bought a lot of the time, that friends and family being involved in my/our life is extremely important to me, that I like to host parties, that I prefer local and seasonal food, that I *love* a bargain and if I can save money making or doing something myself then I will.

I have also learnt how to work side by side with my Mum and not resorting to shouting at each other and that being married makes me very happy. That problems that seemed insurmountable on my own are conquerable with my Husband.

And, reassuringly, we both like to throw parties in the same way: good food, good friends, music and lots of champagne.

{Photos by K T Thompson & family}

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A very merry Christmas


The ballet yesterday was wonderful: Clara and her Nutcracker Prince, danced beautifully but it was really the Sugar Plum Fairy who swept me away. I danced for over 15 years and still her duet with her Prince, her line of fouett├ęs and jetes made me gasp. I also loved the battle between the mice and the toy soldiers, particularly when the mice started fighting with their tails. Our seats were right up in the rafters but the view was spectacular. The last time I was in the Royal Opera House we had a box, which in it's own way was gorgeous, but I was so carried away in the spirit of the Nutcracker that I barely noticed how high we were.

And after the ballet we had lunch in Covent Garden before I finished my Christmas shopping in the market. Shopping in Covent Garden is not something that I do very often, so it seemed rather poignant that in celebration of our last Christmas in London* I spent the eve of Christmas Eve engaged in two of the most London-ish Christmas celebrations I could think of.

Last night Husband and I made two curries to take home to my parents this afternoon for supper with my family. We are spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them and then progress to Shropshire for the remainder of the holidays with his family. The presents are all wrapped, the chutneys are bottled and labeled, biscuits have been made and stashed in tins for presents, and in boxes for consumption with coffee and mulled wine tonight and tomorrow. The car should be packed (but isn't, because I am writing) and we are almost ready to depart.

And so, it is with the happiest of hearts that I wish you Happy Christmas, one and all, if you celebrate. And if you don't, then the warmest winter greetings.



{Image of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, by me}

*Somerset is to become our new home in the new year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas is coming

Snow in Islington

"Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat..."
Apparently. Here in London we have rather less geese but, surprisingly, rather more snow. Thankfully I have been at home this week getting on with exciting tasks such as de-cluttering and listing things on freecycle but I hope to turn my hand to more Christmas like projects tomorrow and Thursday.

Last night Husband & I made our annual edible presents: this year we made apricot and cranberry chutney. Last year it was chilli jam. We braved the snowy conditions and drove to our nearest Waitrose. Which should have taken about 5-10 minutes but ended up taking about 3 times as long. Still, we got our ingredients and then by 11pm we had 15 jars of beautiful pinky-orange chutney ready for tags and handing out.

Tomorrow my friend Liz is taking me to the ballet to see the Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. I am beyond excited, I love the ballet and what could be more festive than the Nutcracker. It also has had excellent reviews. And then home afterwards to wrap presents, make mince pies and gingerbread biscuits and drink port.

The wedding post is coming, promise, it is almost finished...

{Image by me, of my view from the kitchen window yesterday afternoon}

Thursday, 17 December 2009

My Christmas Newsletter to you all

Darlings, if I could work out to get the whole thing on the screen at once I would post it here. But I am crap with technology so I am afraid you will have to click HERE to read my letter to you all...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, oh christmas tree

I said last week that times they are a-changing & I promise I will share my news soon. And when I do, you will see why posts have been few and far between recently. In the meantime here are some really bad snaps of the tree, nay bush, that the Christmas tree fairy left for us. The news that I will share very soon meant that Husband and I had agreed no tree. But on Sunday it was our sixth month wed-iversary (can it really be that long since we said the big 'I-Do') & Husband rescued the most darling bedraggled odd shaped tree/bush hybrid that no-one else wanted. I guess he knew just how much having a tree meant to me, so he found a way to make it work. (I believe he told the tree selling man he wanted a tree as a joke present for someone and did they have any unwanted trees which he could buy on the cheap. Seriously, he paid about £9 for this one, which for London is very, very cheap). Now *that* is what being married is about.

Vintage round bauble

Vintage gold bauble (found in a charity shop in Manchester for 10p)

Vintage Bird Decoration

(Copper vintage bird decoration from Shikasuki)

Christmas Tree

And the tree, in all it's beauty and strange-shaped-gorgeousness in our *extremely* cluttered/messy sitting room. With candy canes. Love me some candy canes.

A long time ago a friend from America told my sisters and me that he would bring us anything from America for Christmas. Anything. We chose candy canes...

Back soon with the answers to the wedding questions. I am working on them, I promise!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Kentish Sunset

kent in december

The sun setting near Leigh, Kent. Saturday December 12 2009, 3.40pm.

{Images by me}

Monday, 7 December 2009


Darlings, I am still here. I promise. Although things are a changing. More soon & the answers to the wedding questions too...

Photo by Alex and poladroided by me. Posted here just because I like it.