Our wedding day was the best day of my life, just like it is for every other bride and I can’t think of a less cliché way to describe it. There is something so special about having everyone you love in one room, sharing a special day that you’ve spent months and months planning.
The day itself felt like it was split into loads of different chapters: getting ready, the ceremony, the drinks reception, the wedding breakfast, golden hour and the party. I tried to approach the day with the attitude that it was loads of different mini events so I could take in each element on its own.
I want to give you the gossip on all the different elements on the day in individual posts and focus this one on the day as a whole. This is an overview of what we did, who our suppliers were and how the day ran from start to finish, it feels slightly more like a logistics post but I think it will help you when planning your day.
My alarm went off at 6.30am and my nephew, Noah joined me in bed for a cuddle which was the perfect way to start the day. Ruby Slippers were due at 7am to start hair and make-up so I spent 10 minutes doing an arm workout before I jumped in the shower. You may think I’m mad but this was a tip I got from one of my bridesmaids to ensure my arms would look their best on photos and I’d advise you to do the same.
We spent hours and hours and hours getting ready and it was so much fun, there was breakfast, champagne, chatter and make-up and I loved every single second of it. Ruby Slippers did all of our hair and make-up and Sam couldn’t have made me feel any more relaxed. I’d say that was the most interesting thing about the morning – I was relaxed! I couldn’t quite believe it myself, I assumed I’d be stressing and worrying about all the minor details but I just went with the flow and focused on enjoying the day. Opening my present and morning letter from Jonny was a really special moment for me and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears as I read it aloud.
The time soon came for the girls put on their gorgeous Maids to Measure dresses and for my Mum and Sister to help me into my dream Pronovias dress. It was at this moment that the nerves started and it suddenly dawned on me that I was getting married in less than an hour.
The grounds of Dorfold Hall played backdrop to my journey to the aisle, as I walked past the lake with my girl squad in toe I felt on top of the world. I felt beautiful, loved, supported, excited and nervous, it was an overwhelming sea of emotions but having strong women by my side meant the world to me. Candice from Dorfold Hall was on hand to calm nerves, reassure and more importantly get the leaves out of my dress, she was a god send.
As we lined up down the side of the coach house I could hear Samantha Murphy start to sing my Mum’s entrance song, (so extra!), she was walking my nephew down the aisle to Songbird and at this point I really started to feel excited. I couldn’t wait to see Jonny.
Heaven (the candlelight mix) started and I looked at the girls, this was the moment I have literally dreamt of since I was tiny. Each bridesmaid walked on their cue and as each one left for their entrance, the anticipation of taking those steps myself was overwhelming. When it was my turn to walk I was genuinely excited, I could see Jonny crying and you may think I’m an ice queen (he certainly did) but all I could do was smile, it was the best moment of my life.
Cheshire East carried out our civil ceremony and Tracey Hunter was incredible, she was warm and friendly which made the ceremony so lovely. We have three readings throughout the ceremony; my sister read a poem that my Great Aunt had written, my Mum read ‘These are the Hands’ and our close friend Pete who set us up read ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley.
One of my most memorable moments of the day was the confetti moment – I bloody loved it! It was just such a joyous moment and our confetti from Adam Apple confetti made for some beautiful photos.
The Drinks Reception
The first time we got to mingle with our guests was at the drinks reception but as expected a lot of our time was taken up having photos taken. I really enjoyed the photos though as I could still hear the buzz of our guests and the string trio, it also meant I got some alone time with Jonny as well as our bridesmaids and groomsmen.
I also made sure I had time for a couple of glasses of champagne and lots of canapés. Many brides say they don’t have time to eat but there was no way I was going to be that bride. I knew our food was incredible from the tasting but I also thought that as I was paying the bill for the food, I wanted to make sure I was getting some.
Tossing the bouquet was something I was unsure of for a while, I thought “Why do I want to ruin my bouquet by throwing it?” and “That’s a bit unfair on anyone who is single”, but I really wanted the photo… I decided to have an additional bunch of flowers created to throw for the bouquet shot and I invited all of the women at the wedding to catch it. It was perfect.
During the drinks reception, Jonny and I were also able to have a sneak peak in the marquee at the flowers by our florist David Beckham Doyle. The smell as we entered was incredible and there’s nothing more special than seeing all the plans and details come together whilst the room is untouched.
The Wedding Breakfast
As foodies, our first meal as husband and wife was always going to be an important one and we pushed the boat out with our catering from Catherine Skates so we could indulge in all of our favourite dishes.
Starter: Chorizo Arancini
Main: Steak, chips and onion rings
Dessert: Chocolate pave
Throughout the meal the string trio continued to play and we did our best to speak to our guests, although my priority was eating (I’ll never change). I really enjoyed seeing everyone of our guests enjoying themselves (and their food) whilst we looked on in such a beautiful venue, it was a great opportunity to take a moment and absorb all the emotions of the day so far.
The wedding breakfast a strange time because you can’t really speak to the other people on the top table and you are waiting for the speeches to start. We had four speeches as both my Dad and Stepdad did a speech so to avoid any boredom we had two speeches after the main course and two speeches after dessert. I would have loved to have a done a speech myself but Jonny asked me not to because he wanted the opportunity to say something for a change! I love it when Brides do speeches but because I didn’t do one it meant I could start to enjoy myself from the moment the ceremony was over and I wasn’t sick with nerves.
Oh golden hour, you beautiful moment. After the meal was finished John Holt arrived and was performing magic for both our day and evening guests who were arriving. I loved taking this moment to catch up with people and say hello to the evening guests.
Escaping for some semi-alone time with Jonny during this hour to capture some gorgeous shots with Jo Bradbury and The Lawsons was my favourite part of the day. By this point I was relaxed but extremely excited for the party, I was literally on cloud 9. I’d highly recommend using this ‘down time’ to get some alone time and just enjoy each other’s company.
The Furious Styles made our evening one hell of a party, we had the seven-piece band and boy did they know how to bring a dance floor to life. They started by playing our first dance song ‘Baby I’m Yours’ by the Arctic Monkeys and continued to fill the dancefloor throughout their two sets. I took the key role of dancing whilst Jonny did a lot more mingling with guests or as he calls it, ‘dance floor recruitment’. I sometimes feel bad that I didn’t quite talk to everyone but my priority was having a great time on the dance floor.
After the first set from the band everyone was invited outside to take a sparkler shot by The Lake. I’d been looking forward to this shot all day, but I somehow managed to trip over my dress and fall over backwards, with a sparkler in my hand – classy bride!
Having the sparkler shot by the lake was an elaborate ruse from my Mum who had surprised us by booking fireworks! Jonny and I were taken over to a giant button and as our guests counted down from ten I felt so overwhelmed, this was a really special moment. On the count of one, we hit the button and the fireworks started to the music of Take That, Rule The World. I will never forget this moment or the firework display which were the best I have ever seen. If fireworks are something you are thinking of then I’d highly recommend Blitz Fireworks.
Food-wise, we had a wood fired pizza oven open for a couple of hours so people could get food whenever they fancied. ‘I Knead Pizza’ were the gods behind the pizza and I got so many compliments from guests about how delicious it was, plus who doesn’t want a pizza after a couple of drinks?
The evening ended with a massive party on the dancefloor and when the band stopped, our guests became the music as we all sang together. It was an unforgettable party, although some bits are a little hazy…
Going to bed that evening wasn’t too rough though as I knew we still had the Sunday celebrations to look forward to.