Well, it was a day to remember for sure …. And I’m delighted to say for all the RIGHT reasons!
Yes, after months of meticulous planning, our special day had finally arrived! On Sunday Lee and I renewed our wedding vows in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary in the warm presence of our family and friends.
The day was perfect, indeed, everything we’d hoped it would be. Even the weather didn’t let us down – thank goodness!
After a crazy week of rushing here, there and everywhere, with lots of last minute “oh that’ll be a great idea’ shopping for the party, not to mention trying to find certain things that we suddenly realised we probably needed that hadn’t occurred to us sooner (tablecloth weights anyone?), plus a trip to Gomshall for a day to take the first car load of stuff to my sister’s house and start getting some things ready, at last it was Saturday. We headed off for the weekend, with the car again full to the brim.
My sister and brother in law had very kindly offered us their wonderful garden for the occasion, and we can’t thank them enough. The garden is very large and beautifully kept, especially so with the magnificent flowers in full bloom; it looked absolutely stunning! We spent Saturday afternoon in the sunshine, putting up the decorations etc. to give it a party feel. Our niece, Kelly, had prepared some jars of flowers freshly picked from the garden for the tables, which was just the look we were after. We chopped the fruit for the Pimms and Fruit Punch, and set up the amp for the music. The microphone proved too much temptation to Kelly, who couldn’t resist a singsong using it, so we had a good old giggle too and were generally getting excited in anticipation for the next day. So a busy but fun-filled afternoon after which we had a nice meal out with my sister, brother in law and our eldest son Tom – so a very pleasant way to start the celebrations.
Just the job!
Early prep of the garden with Molly the dog wondering what all the fuss was about
We were up bright and early on Sunday morning as we still had a fair bit of last minute things-that-could-not-be-done sooner to do, such as blowing up balloons with helium and hanging them, putting the tablecloths and jars of flowers onto the tables, and arranging the sweets, old photographs and glasses onto various tables.
A few sweet treats …
… and table of memories
My talented niece arrived midmorning to do my hair and makeup (great job, thank you, Kelly!), then before we knew it was noon and the caterers had arrived! We used a company called Surrey Gourmet Catering http://www.surreygourmet.com/ They were absolutely fantastic, the food was tasty and really well presented, and the two waitresses and waiter were amazing. It was such a weight off our minds to know we were in their capable hands and didn’t have to worry about that side of things at all. As well as laying out all the food, they prepared the Pimms and Fruit Punch when they got there, and then handed out canopes and the drinks to guests on arrival. We can highly recommend them.
Time for a quick few piccies with our boys before the guests arrived.
Our friends and family started to arrive at 1pm so we were able to greet and mingle with them knowing they were being fed and watered!
We had asked everyone to bring a garden chair, and when the time came they made their way to the end of the garden where the ceremony was to take place at 2 in a little shack-like structure next to the pond and waterfall. A very peaceful setting which lent itself perfectly to the job in hand.
Our guests getting settled for the ceremony
The Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh started playing – a special song to us as it was our First Dance choice on our Wedding Day – and Lee and I walked along the garden beneath a wooden walkway, accompanied by our great niece and nephew who were as good as gold and cute as can be. Our original bridesmaid and pageboy were Kelly and her brother Ross who are of course all grown up now, however we just had to recreate the original photo:
Recreating a moment from 1986
We made our way into the “shack” (not quite sure how else to describe it!), and it was amazing to look out at the smiling faces of our friends and family. My lovely friend Trudy is a registrar, and we could have chosen no one better to take the ceremony. We had no idea of what of she would be saying beforehand, and her words were beautiful and very moving. As Lee and I reaffirmed our vows to each other I hadn’t expected to feel quite so emotional, and actually got quite choked up… it was even more special than we thought it would be.
Afterwards our sons, Tom and Ryan, gave out our thankyou gifts and engraved pens to everyone whilst the waitresses bought out the champagne.
Whilst all this was going on the caterers had been laying out the food on the large table at the other end of the garden. Everyone went to start tucking into the delicious spread, while we had some pictures taken in an especially pretty part of the garden, by the pond and amongst the flowers.
Lots of folk have asked, “who will be taking your photos”? Well, we had arranged for some photographer friends to take them and we handed over our cameras to them to use for the day, so I could edit them afterwards in my usual style.
They did a wonderful job so we have some fantastic memories to treasure 🙂
We’d booked an ice cream van to come along for a couple of hours in the afternoon which turned out to be one of the highlights of the day and went down a treat with all our guests! There we all were in the gorgeous afternoon sunshine enjoying our Mr Whippy’s and ice cream tubs, wonderful!! We used Bertie’s Vintage Ices http://www.bertiesvintageices.co.uk/ , they were excellent! We couldn’t fault them and everyone thought it was an inspired idea to have them there.
Haha, so glad I’d thought of it 😉
They even let Lee and I clamber into the van for some pictures – more great memories of the day!
Enjoying a “99”
If you’re having a party and fancy offering something a bit different – they were just ace and very reasonable, and such friendly folk too!
Of course we had a cake. Made by a company called the Brilliant Bakers https://www.thebrilliantbakers.co.uk/ , it was delicious – and went a long way! Our 70 guests all had a slice and we still have lots left (so still munching our way through it – diet starts again next week!!) What do you think of the 3D Mini Me’s on top? We thought they would make a great cake topper! They’re not edible so we now have a lovely keepsake.
Our cake with us on top!!
We had the 3D model done by Asda in Havant https://www.asda-photo.co.uk/bookings/asda-3dme-a-miniature-3d-figure-from-asda-photo We headed over there a few weeks ago to have our photos taken in their 3D photobooth, wearing the actual clothes we would be wearing on the day. Our model was ready a couple of weeks later.
So all in all, it was a lovely relaxing afternoon with everyone sitting back, chatting and enjoying the sunshine. We had a fantastic time catching up with our friends and family, some of whom we hadn’t seen for far too long. It all went by so quickly as these things do, and before we knew it, folk were starting to say their goodbyes, which is always the sad part of the day, especially as you feel you haven’t had enough time to chat to everyone as much as you would’ve liked to have done.
We then sat with a few close family into the evening and finished the night by opening the wonderful cards and gifts we’d been given.
Everything had fallen into place like clockwork and we couldn’t have hoped for a better day, as perfect as our wedding day had been back in 1986.
Our special day … now just a memory, but a great one for sure.
This week we’re still on holiday as we knew we’d need a bit of time to chill out after the rushing around of the previous couple of weeks, so we’re having a few day trips out and a few days at home to do just that before getting back into the swing of things next Tuesday.
And have to say, the good wishes you’ve been sending our way have been really lovely, thank you so much 🙂