We officially set our deadline for the 14th February, but for various reasons there were people who couldn’t tell us until closer to the time. The catering deadline for final numbers was two weeks before the wedding day, and whilst several people dropped out afterwards or failed to turn up on day, this was our final numbers check. And time to pay.
But when the catering deadline did come about, we were still waiting for a couple of people to get back to us with meal choices, which we told Cathy. Strangely, she didn’t seem that worried about our final payment being on time, and even after we confirmed numbers, the invoice was in no hurry.
I actually wanted it to arrive, wanted to pay off the catering, because then the bulk of the wedding would be paid for! It was exciting!
By April 20th we had paid for our food, our registrars, our cars, the florist and the town hall. All we had left to pay was a bit of cake ingredients and our first night accommodation.
It felt FANTASTIC.
Some of the suppliers were’t quite ready for the remaining deposit payment, but we were insistent – we wanted it all done and dusted. And once we started making the payments, we just couldn’t wait. We had actually missed the registry office and car hire deadlines by a couple of days – the registrars sent us a reminder only after we missed it, and Christopher Cars not at all. Luckily, they didn’t seem to mind (I presume they considered us in a pre-wedding frenzy of activity – in truth, I had a lab report due in and was trying to finish it before I took time off to get married!).
But it was done. And, with final numbers confirmed, we were able to finish off and stick together our table plan and place names with cork stands.
Since we named our tables after Oxford pubs, Guy and I decided to represent them in some way on our table plan. We had already included artistically rendered images of the pubs on the “book cover” table menus, so we didn’t want to do this again. Instead, we decided to make each table an old-style map of the surrounding area where that pub was to be found – or would, in the future, be found.
Guy got searching. And, before long, he managed to turn over a small mine of interesting, old maps covering different parts of the Oxford area. We chose one for each pub and he proceeded to size them appropriately for the plan, print them and cut out circles of map.
Meanwhile, I was making the main plan. I bought some large pieces of thick paper from Ryman’s (making the most of my student discount) and trimmed the ivory piece so that we could frame it within the blue card. I then drew out the room plan to scale and cut out lots of blue circles and rectangles to stick the table maps and various labels on. The glue made the plan a bit curly, but there wasn’t anything we could do about that – Guy even ironed the thing under a tea towel!
The place name tags were another matter entirely. We wanted to keep them simple, but still us and some fun. It was nice that some of our guests took them home with them after the wedding.
The corks came about because I had seem them done elsewhere and thought them appropriate to us, and simple. For a start, we both enjoy our wine, but more conveniently, I used to collect corks at one stage. We raided my old collection – there were about twenty. And got collecting.
We did pretty well, although we would not have made it without the aid of Guy’s parents – who nobly consumed cork over screw top wine in order to complete our collection.
We had champagne corks for the top table and ordinary corks for the other tables. I deliberately distributed them so that the widest range of corks appeared on each table. – I doubt anybody noticed!
The formula for name tags was simple: we printed people’s full names on the tags (if you have enough people at your wedding, there will always be a few people with the same name – we even had two people of the same full name!) and then underneath, Guy wrote down a role name (bride, mother of the bride, aunt of the bride…) or a nickname (either established or an “of the x story” variety). It took us a while to think of them all!