Category Archives: Flowers

The Wedding Day

And so the day of the wedding arrived.

I’ve already said a lot about our plans, but here are some extra details the day itself. Often unplanned details…

We had ordered breakfast to our room the night before, so that we could have a delicious feast and soon-to-be husband and wife in our dressing gowns, rather than dressing, dining with others, then returning to our room to change! …Perhaps it works for afternoon weddings, but for a morning wedding, it just seems silly! We had toast and jams, poached eggs, fruit, and a small pile of pastries which we devoured. It was an impressive breakfast!

Then we started getting ready. I had washed my hair the night before after swimming, but Guy showered and used Vanilla Vanilla body wash (as he doesn’t wear scent. I wore my usual scent, CK’s ‘Eternity Moment’, because I thought it was important to wear my signiature smell on my wedding day!).

He also made sure to give himself a good, close shave. This was something he had put a lot of thought into, because he wanted his face to be perfectly smooth. He’d picked up some tips for following the grain of the hairs on Groom Power (which also warned him not to leave any polish on his shoes before he danced with a woman in a white dress!). So, a few pratices, a nice new razor, and a little bit of advice from – stranegly enough – Neil Gaiman‘s blog, worked the trick (for those of you who are curious, I suggest you hunt out the reference yourself!).

First, Karina, our photographer, turned up, and took some artistic pictures of our wedding outfits before we put them on.

And soon after my mum turned up – with bubbly and cassis – and began attacking my hair whilst I was still doing my makeup.

Then my uncle turned up – and started photographing us!

And then Caz turned up for Guy! She whisked him away for his steadying pint, and he went outside before putting on his jacket and waistcoat so that I wouldn’t see him all prettied up. By this point, I was still in my dressing gown.

Finally James turned up. My mum whisked off back to her room, and he had to zip me up! And then he left with our case to join the taxi group up to the Town Hall and I went back to lure out my mother.

Walking through the hotel, an elderly couple crossed our path and realised that I was a bride, despite the blue dress. They wished us the best of luck (then said we shouldn’t need it) and we continued on our way, weaving crazily through a very complicated hotel layout until we found ourselves in the foyer. Our rickshaw was early and already waiting!

We arrived at the Town Hall in good time and picked up our flowers. Actually my mum got given Guy’s buttonhole, and my granddad didn’t get one so they swapped halfway through the reception! The ushers were a bit rushed off their feet – but you wouldn’t know it seeing the ceremony room!

Guy was, of course, in the ceremony room by then, and I had to go to see the registrars. Several people saw me on the way in and gave me the nod – as if it were a bit cheeky for them to notice the bride before the ceremony. Brian was striding backwards and forwards across the stairwell rehearsing his reading.

I went in to see the registrars with my mum and best man, but both quickly vanished to other tasks. I think my mum had a mini meltdown, but she was back to escort me down the aisle in no time. The chat with the registrars was very straightforward and quick, so mostly I just sat there waiting. They asked me to confirm some basic details and then asked what I was going to write when I signed my name. I was a bit confused and tried to describe my signiature…! It turned out they just wanted to check that I knew to sign my maiden name.

I’ve already covered the ceremony, so I’ll skip to after it finished.

Guy and I stood outside (me shaking) hugging people and shaking hands as they all filed out. It was great to talk to everyone and be able to look them in the eye without freaking out this time! Somewhere about now, I was told that my necklace catch had slipped round to the front (I adjusted it) and that the lemon layer of the cake was collapsing (I asked them to remove the top layers and leavethe rest out for us to cut – you’re supposed to cut the bottom layer anyway!). So much for big disasters!

Everyone assembled on the steps and we came out and got bombarded with confetti. A lot of the boys were really keen to mob Guy!

Then we took the rickshaws over to Somerville for photographs and drinks! We got cheered by a group on the way there and another on the return, not to mention the people standing staring at the town hall. It felt bizarre, like we were on stage or something – and the smart clothes we were wearing seemed out of place in the middle of a busy city filled with ordinarily clad strangers!

The drinks reception steadied me a bit. And we also got a nice surprise – a flypast! It was a lucky coincidence, as we were only outside for a couple of hours, but it came directly overhead and people took photographs!

‘Our’ flypast:

Before we left Somerville, Guy and I shared our first moment alone together as husband and wife! But if you think it was a romantic one, you will be amused… We were due to get the last rickshaw out, so we lingered in the quad as everyone was going. Then we had an idea – we would be busy at the reception and may not get chance to pop to the loo! So we scurried into the Somerville toilets whilst we had the chance, meeting again between the men’s and ladies and then wandering out through the college together (luckily my dress did not require assistance: I only buy clothes I could climb a tree in). Yes, that was our first time alone together as marrieds!

Back at the reception, James announced us in his loud teacher voice, and we all happily tucked into our starters before the speeches (by then it was about 2.30, not that I was wearing my watch). My granddad did a nice speech, welcoming everybody to the event and then beginning, “I first met Rowena when she was 1 day old…” and including a story about me as a baby getting very excited about a gang of rough-looking hairy bikers. He managed to knock over some wine and call Guy ‘Clive’ once, but nobody minded!

Caz did a great best woman’s speech. She didn’t actually tell any embarrassing stories about Guy, but kept hinting that she was going to! Afterwards, she was definitely relieved that the speechmaking was over and she could enjoy her food.

Guy’s speech was a mishmash of parts of the proposal and relationship stories, with a few references in it just for me. He spent the entire speech bending over his chair and squeezing the back of it with his hands – I think he was nervous!

Then I said a couple of words and Guy and I did the thank yous together.

We actually called the caterers out to thank them, which apparently was appreciated and few people do – although they did point out to us that we hadn’t eaten most ofthe food yet, so our thank yous were a little bit premature!

Here are Guy’s parents’ faces after he revealed that I had named them the “sanest people” helping us with the wedding!

James didn’t make an official speech, but introduced them and recorded them on a little dictaphone I gave him. However, at the end of the reception, he decided to make an impromptu speech about how proud he was and how difficult he thought I would be to match, yet how perfect Guy was for me…

The reception food was amazing. I made sure to ‘share’ some of my vegetarian with Guy, but I was still massive when we finished. The caterers asked me if I would like a bit of all four layers of cake – yes please! – and the same for my “new husband” – so dessert wasn’t exactly dainty either. And a large slab of the rum cake went into our bag for the honeymoon along with the bag of cards the ushers brought us, the guest book and Cathy’s cork.

The Jaguar Royale was a little late, but it was worth it to see it sweep up and turn around in the road (cue more staring from strangers!). I put on my going away jacket and we jumped in (my mum was so enthusiastic about hugging us that she nearly came too!).

Then we waved our goodbyes and drove out of Oxford with the evening air rushing past us. We didn’t notice that we’d never had seat belts on until hours later!

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The Week Before the Wedding

My mega-super-over-organisedness was a godsend the week before the wedding. I had been working to a deadline in labs and been basically up to my ears, so being able to relax for the week beforehand was definitely needed. Not, of course, that we didn’t have plenty of wedding preparation left to do. Like prepare my speech, for example, bustle the cat off whilst we were on holiday, and, of course, bake the wedding cakes.

I really like this picture of me making the cakes because it shows my engagement ring bare of a wedding band. And I remember thinking, as I touched the cake, how loose the engagement ring felt on my fingers, and how it would be the last time I would wear it alone…

I also did lots of exercise, just some starjumps every now and then to ensure I would weigh in at dress size, and Tom and I went climbing on Wednesday after he turned up in Birmingham to help. I stuffed Guy and myself with vitamins and minerals and energy tablets to keep us going and as healthy as possible across the next few days and performed various “beauty” treatments on myself – like plucking my eyebrows and shaving regularly to avoid rash on my legs on the wedding day (needless to say, they came out in a rash anyway, but that’s what we have long dresses for).

Travelling to Oxford on the Thursday was tricky. I was incredibly paranoid about the cake, especially the lemon layer which was making a bid for freedom. We carried it with the metal sides of the largest cake tin around it in its box, just to add extra support for when the train wobbled. We got to the station really early and sat in the dark gloom of Birmingham New Street, chatting about rubix cubes (Tom is a rubix cube fanatic) whilst I periodically checked that the stationary cakes were okay.

It’s a straightforward journey to Oxford. We played cards. And arrived at the city we were getting married in about 10am. I hadn’t seen it since I graduated.

We went straight to Cecily’s, where we made the other two layers of cake, and then trotted out for a lazy pub lunch together, which was a really valuable time-out session and gave us a chance to catch up properly.

But soon we were all systems go again. Guy and I took the wedding stuff over to the town hall and then walked down to the hotel with only our outfits and the honeymoon case to burden us. Tom visited the florist and took them our vases.

We had planned a relaxing session in the hotel pool and sauna before having pre-wedding dinner with the family (mine, mostly). We took full advantage of the free facilities and swam (read: played in the water), hot tubbed and steam and sauna roomed for a couple of hours. We also bumped into Abby, who used to be my babysitter when I was a child, and I introduced her to Guy.

And then we dashed off to change and meet the family. Guy had already met much of my family, but he hadn’t my my great aunt Catherine or – and neither had I – my great uncle Goff. My mum had told me stories about Goff, but I had never met him, although he sent us Christmas cards every year in beautiful copperplate. I know some people don’t like to invite people they haven’t met, but my family is not very big and gathering for this event did draw people together. Everyone was excited to catch up

Goff:


Structure and Timings

Circumstances thus prevailed that in the last summer of Oxford, the opportunity arose for the best kind of wedding research – another wedding! We were quite excited to go along, especially since we’d each only been to one wedding before, and I made sure to note all the little details and especially the pattern of the day, since Guy and I had really very little idea of the structure of a wedding.

It was a great day. One thing we did note, however, was the importance of organisation. The ushers need to know exactly what they’re doing and how the day will pan out so that they can provide support to you and your guests throughout it. What is more, buying matching ties/buttonholes/other items for the ushers is very important because it allows guests to identify them to ask questions.

I am a very organised person, and I was determined that our wedding day would live up to my high expectations. So we decided to tackle the issue with military organisation.

In their wedding album, Guy’s parents have a copy of the Op Order his dad wrote for his ushers and best man team (all friends from the army). We had absolutely loved this, and so decided to have some fun too. Each of the ushers and our best man and woman were given an instructions pack, indicating their roles and responsibilities chronologically throughout the day as gauged in mock-military tone. The pack included

– Step by step instructions for the day with initials/job roles to indicate who did what
– A contacts sheet, which contained the numbers for each other (with their names and roles) and of important contacts on the day: the florist, the Town Hall, Somerville, the rickshaws, the car hire company and the caterers.
– A list of the formal photographs we wanted with the groups arranged in a sensible order (Guy thought stripping people away would be easier than adding them in) for people to be gathered (do note to define terms though: we used “wedding party” to mean something similar to “bridal party” (i.e. all the ushers and best people) and some thought we meant everybody – every single guest. Oops).
– A quick guide to setting up the cake stand for Cecily (pretty simple, but you never know).

The pack contents were printed nicely on our wedding paper and handed out in plastic wallets (in case it rained) with the owner’s name on it (to avoid fights).

Not everything was done military style though! We produced non-military Orders of Celebration (neither of us liked the term ‘Order of Day’ – I thought it sounded German and Guy thought it sounded military) outlining the breakdown of the ceremony and then the various other components of the day so that the guests would have a clue what was happening and when. We printed enough for just over one between two and I think they were mostly snaffled as keepsakes.

And now I come to the other important thing we had learnt about weddings – don’t abandon your guests!

A lot of people are not familiar with the wedding location, so unless you have a church literally across the road from your reception venue, they will often need a bit of help. We did provide a map in the invitations, but felt it was important to go that bit further. If the venues had been far apart and parking was available, we might have organised car pooling, but as it was, Somerville is only a 15 minute walk from the Town Hall – in a dead straight line. So instead we arranged for ushers to guide the walkers and provided transport for a few people, with priority to ourselves, people we needed and elderly relatives.

And really, it’s a bit silly to hire pretty vintage cars for a 15 minute walk – they can get very expensive!

So we hired rickshaws.

The parasol you see here only got put up for the rickshaw rides, but I’m so glad I bought it (even hunting high and low for the off-white my mum insisted upon to match my dress and hat – which are different off whites from each other anyway). As we moved through town I had this big white orb around me and people recognised that we were a wedding party and cheered! It was lovely!

Some of the best rickshaw pictures were taken by my uncle Kevin, for our photographer was needed at Somerville to start taking the formal shots and spent much of the time we spent in a rickshaw in one herself. Kevin seems to have been very excited about the rickshaws and I have chains of second by second shots of them on their way.

We also used a rickshaw to transport my mum and me to the ceremony in the morning. I get carsick and hated the idea of getting into a taxi with a roof when I was nervous, so this was an extremely fun alternative!

The rickshaws were supplied by oxoncarts. Initially we had a lot of trouble getting hold of them (the only way to get an intial response is to leave an answer machine message – something neither of us like to do!), so I was very nervous about them being unprofessional and not turning up on time, especially for the morning journey. However, they were absolutely fine and in very good time on both occasions; we ended up leaving for the Town Hall a bit early because he was there waiting and I had to manoeuvre my mother away from another coffee (which would have got left or made us late)!


The Florist

It was Maytime, and we would be getting married in May. What better a time, I thought, than now, on the very same season, to look around and see what was in flower!

I had only been to one wedding before, my godmother’s, when I was around twelve. My mum had been her Matron of Honour and had given a speech. To involve her in the planning, my mum and I had wandered round a large warehouse-type store with her looking at small, decorative bits, and I remember especially looking at some of the artificial flowers and liking the blue thistles.

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And we could have blue thistles at our wedding – why not? We had decided our colour theme would be royal blue – the determination of which will be explained in the next post. So what else was blue? Not pale blue or purple blue, but really blue blue?

Well…

It turns out that there are only two really blue flowers around: cornflowers, which come up in August, and delphinium, which are around in… May.

So, delphinium anybody?

https://i2.wp.com/images.mooseyscountrygarden.com/mooseys-garden-tour/apple-tree-garden/blue-delphinium-flowers.jpg

These were also wilder looking flowers, and I liked that. We thought about white or cream flowers to go with them (or black, but we gave up on that!) and settled on sprays of delicate, wild-looking gypsophilia and lisianthus – very like roses, but cheaper and softer looking! I am not actually that keen on roses in a vase: I love them when they’re growing in bushes or on vines, but stem them and they look unnatural, the heads are too big, too sculptured. The lisianthus was smaller, rounder: just enough like a rose, and just enough not like a rose.

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The ceremony table was decorated with lisianthus only – and for a very special reason: Guy and I decided to incorporate a Flower Ceremony, more commonly known as a Rose Ceremony, into our wedding: not the traditional one of swapping a flower, but the one where you give a flower each to your mothers in recognition of everything they have done for you. The lisianthus was perfect for this, and we could each give a stem flattered by an array of buds.

The Ceremony Table

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My mother

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Guy’s mother

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It took us a while to find a florist to do our flowers. Most of my thanks should be extended to Orchis on London Road in Sheffield, who let me go through pictures of flowers in their shop and offered material advice, even though our wedding was in Oxford! I was really worried about the florist because it was so important to me that they were reliable: and I had no way of telling when it came to flower delivery.

In the end, of course, there was no problem at all, and the florists we chose did an excellent job – the ushers not so much so, because I had asked everybody to collect their own buttonhole, thinking it would save the ushers the work of distributing them. Industriously, however, they took on the task, despite not knowing the list of everybody who was meant to be wearing them, and thus developed the saga of the wandering buttonhole, where Guy’s buttonhole ended up not upon Guy, but upon my mother, and later on, my grandfather!

Buttonholes

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Eventually after some lack of enthusiasm from one Oxford florist, we booked with Joe Austin on Cowley Road – right beside our flat (although by the time we booked we were no longer living in it). And it was Robin from Joe Austin who helped me solve another problem I had with flowers: what to do with my own.

I knew I didn’t want a traditional bouquet – they seemed such a useless addendum, I didn’t feel inclined to toss it, and I didn’t wish to have my hands full. But neither was I happy with pinning something to the front of my dress. I considered decorating a parasol with flowers, or hanging them from its handle – any other option I could come up with! I had initially been uncertain about the idea of a wrist corsage: I seen several in pictures and was not particularly impressed, especially when the flowers were large and upside down, but Robin suggested them, and a bit of hunting about came up with a new phenomenon: trailing wrist corsages. I liked trailing bouquets – frankly I liked any flower arrangement which wasn’t too round and perfect and structured – and I liked trailing wrist corsages too.

My inspiration:

https://i0.wp.com/i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee408/RowenaFW/2.jpg

The result:

https://i2.wp.com/i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee408/RowenaFW/GRWedding101of530.jpg

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We provided our own vases for the flowers: we had always meant to, for simplicity if nothing else, and one of our ushers took them over to the shop the day before. But they would have to be fun vases, and they would have to be cheap. Recently, poundland has sported an impressive array of apothecary-like vases, and these were exactly what Guy and I were looking for: but at the time, found none. And thus in a like-minded way I wondered across a shop which sold science supplies, and found 250ml conical flasks at about £2 each – bargain! Guy humoured me, I think – for I was very excited about my chemistry vases – I kept the box they arrived in to transport them to the florist, and filled the bottoms with pretty blue glass beads, a simple but effective display.

Vases

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Table displays

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Paying for the Wedding

As of today – the last hour or so, we have now paid for more than half of our wedding (the biggest expense, caterers, isn’t due until May 1st). I’m very excited about it! Never been so excited before about paying money – the Fiance and I danced around the living room!

Earlier on, we wanted to pay for things in full as they came up, but suppliers don’t like you doing this. I can see their point when small changes incur huge faffs rearranging what is essentially small change on the scale of the total cost – and I have changed our flowers a few times, although they didn’t even want a deposit from us!

So we paid deposits, like good children. But then today we received a call from the registrars saying that they wanted payment 12 weeks before the wedding day, and we were overdue! It is now 29 days… We’d never known the payment date (or had an invoice for the amount!) so we looked up the fee on their website and paid it electronically, presuming we’d got the right amounts.

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Everything in the garden was lovely. The Fiance updated our budget spreadsheet and made a list of everything else we’d paid in parts – flowers, transport, food and drink… And thus began the furious invoice hunting.

I located two – the cars and the flowers. Christopher cars were out at a wedding when I called them, but are going to ring me back to let me pay. Their payment was due on the 18th – two days ago (oops – but at least we realised and I contacted him!).

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The flowers, as I mentioned, didn’t even have a deposit on them. I trawled through the email conversation I’d had with Jemma from Austin Flowers hoping to find out when they wanted our money. When I eventually found it, it wasn’t very specific either – payment was due before the week of the wedding – around the same time as the catering.

Well, I decided I didn’t want to do this again in two weeks time, and it’s a Friday afternoon, so they should be open. I called up Austin Flowers and explained my business to be greeted with a very cheerful, “Oh! I’ll just look up your invoice!” In fact she sounded delighted that she wouldn’t have to chase me at some later date; I suppose if you’re as relaxed about payment as they seemed initially, it does fall to them to do all the chasing.

Payment over the phone was quick and painless. Another expense sorted: hurrah!

https://i1.wp.com/i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee408/RowenaFW/JoeAustinFlorist-1.jpg

Meanwhile, the Fiance was investigating other suppliers. The Town Hall didn’t pick up the phone, so he left a message with them, and they replied by email shortly afterwards telling us that we didn’t need to pay them anything until the 5th of May – two weeks prior to the ceremony.


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He also emailed Oxon Carts – the rickshaw company. They hadn’t given a date for remaining payment either. A few minutes later he got a response: the balance was due tomorrow: they were going to email him then, but he’d beaten them to it. Excellent. So I transferred the rest across online, and the Fiance gave them our payee reference code and explained what we’d done.

Sorted!

The only thing left is the Somerville drinks reception, which the Fiance’s parents are in charge of. The Fiance is emailing them everything they need.

https://i1.wp.com/i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee408/RowenaFW/Somerville.jpg


Unconventional Bouquets

Flowers are nice, but people are beginning to realise that they don’t have to have flowers. And they can still have decorations – bouquets, buttonholes, corsages and table decorations. In fact, the world is swimming with ideas. I once came across a rather awesome website where the seller made little model boats, musical instruments and others for unconventional buttonholes, but unfortunately I didn’t keep the link.

Here are, however, some more of the ideas I have been encountering, many of these homemade by some of the Lovely Ladies from the forum.

Feathers

Feather table displays gradually morphed into feather bouquets and buttonholes. …And here are a few from MrsSmileyJuly’s cave wedding:

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I’ve also seen peacock feathers, grooms with feather buttonholes and feather adornments to other kinds of handmade non-flower bouquets. Like these…

Brooch Bouquet

This particular one was made by Tarnya. I’ve seen quite a few, but the thing I like about this one is the little watch hidden amongst the brooches, which immediately makes me think of Alice in Wonderland’s white rabbit – and amuses me when tied in to the bride’s attire – afterall, it is her peroragtive to be late, isn’t it?

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Pom poms

I’ve been on the blog of one of my own blog followers. I don’t follow her, but occasionally pop over to see what she’s been up to. I can preview the titles of her latest posts on my own blog, so it’s really rather like having an index. “Smartie” has been working on her pom pom bouquet, pom pom wrist corsage and pom pom buttonholes… which she makes using a fork!

Here are just a few of her images.

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http://idoonabudget.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/dsc00351.jpg?w=300&h=225

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Notably, she’s also been looking into other forms of alternative bouquet

Pin Wheel Buttonholes

Toni has been a very creative bride with her red and sky blue theme, doing lots of DIY. Especially of note is her pin wheel theme, which runs through some of the decorations and onto her groom’s buttonhole:

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Button Bouquet

Toni even managed to tie pin wheels in to her felt flower and button bouquet – here are some pictures of her progress:

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Apparently this might have cost more than an actual flower bouquet, so if you’re thinking of DIYing a bouquet, remember to think it out carefully first – it’s a labour of love, but mightn’t work out cheaper!

Other

These images are from google.

https://i1.wp.com/pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2262/13432606/23993826/400455595.jpg

https://shapingpromises.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/cfdchilibouton.jpg?w=200

This latter picture I found after Rowan told me that her groom was having two chillies, two thistles and a black baccara rose in his buttonhole!


A Fayre Deal

So on Sunday I went to a wedding fayre at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Birmingham. This was my second wedding fayre – the first being at the Cotswold Lodge, Oxford, and very early on in our planning. This time we’re close to the end, so we told suppliers we were there for the finishing touches, which may be stretching the truth a little. We didn’t really have any intention of buying anything, but we decided to look, just in case, and cheifly we were there for an outing, a glass of champagne, and the general excitement of being an engaged couple out doing an engaged couple thing (it never occured to me that it would be worth going to a wedding fayre with anybody other than the Fiance, then again, he remembers someone at his old work whining about having to drive her sister to wedding fayres every weekend, so maybe nobody would want to go!). Then again, we went to the Cotswold Lodge wedding fayre with no intention of buying anything, and that’s where we found out about the rickshaws.

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When IS the best time to go to a wedding fayre? When you’re at the venue stage? Or when you’re looking for photographers? Or jewellery? Surely things like jewellery are going to get sorted much much later than photographers? So perhaps there isn’t a right time or a wrong time (well, there is a wrong time: there’s before you’re engaged or when you’re already married)…

The Crowne Plaza Hotel stands in the middle of Birmingham, elevated from the street on top of a massive concrete car park. This wasn’t a very good start, and I wasn’t that impressed with the inside of the hotel either, though the bar was okay. On the other hand, I was very impressed with the management – the hotel representatives at the fayre were friendly and interested, very hospitable and welcoming. The kind of people who made me think: Yes! I’d love to leave organising something important in their hands: I’d feel completely relaxed and assured they’d do a reliable job, probably better than I would. And I am very, very highly stung. Or so I am told…

We also got two glasses of champagne each instead of one, and the second one was massive because they “might as well finish off the bottle”.

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There were several interesting stalls at the wedding fayre, and we went round and chatted to all of them, but in a quick summary – there were some very nice but not especially exciting floristry, table decor and cake stands (we did get to try a cake, and I did admit we wanted to make ours and she gave me some advice), a singer, a guitar and flute playing pair, a rather fun DJ twosome who sounded veyr together about providing cover for emergencies and stressed that you could GET HOLD OF THEM, which is apparently a problem with DJs. There was a wishing well hire place, with a wishing well in our colours, a caracaturist who couldn’t spell “stationery” and a Sikh family business who put pictures onto glass (except it wasn’t real glass, but it looked like glass). There was also someone who made bridal jewellery, and although I said I didn’t like pearls, was very keen for feedback because it was her first wedding fayre. There was a woman called Karla Saunders who ran an exercise course for getting fit in the run up to the wedding and a few stationers I had a sniff around for final ideas for orders and table plans. Also, a couple of photographers.

There was also a rather interesting stall which caught my eye covered with fascinators priced from £5.99 and hair pieces et cetera. They will actually come to your house and let you try on all sorts of bits in a group of girls. They were called Fascination. They didn’t have a website on their card, though, just a telephone number. I loved the mini top hats.

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Now, one of the photographers deserves a few extra words. This is Jon Keeling Photography – and whilst we’re not even considering them, I’m going to big them up. Why? Because when we told them we had a friend doing our photography they gave us something.

This:

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You may need to open the image location in a new tab and zoom to read it – but the gist is, a helpful list of things to check through with your photographer to make sure the contract’s in order, you’re covered for eventualities and they have everything they need to do their job well – from the expertise to information about the venue. It is VERY comprehensive, and whilst we have gone through all this stuff already, it’s definitely worth checking off their list too.

I think it’s a great thing to do. In the end, if we make sure our photographer is good, we’re reassured because of the help we’ve been given, and will recommend them (um… like I’m doing now?), and if we’d found a fault in our photographer and decided we weren’t happy, we’d have someone we find trustworthy on hand (would’ve been a bit last minute for our wedding, but you get the idea). So anyway, I just wanted to say Thank You for this to Jon Keele Photography.