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Wedding

Got Your Music For The First Dance Sorted Yet? My Advice Is Start Thinking About It Straight Away!!

Otherwise, you’re almost guaranteed to have to make a snap decision at the last minute. And snap decisions are never the most comfortable to make.

I gathered all the recommendations I could find on the internet into one long list and then went through it meticulously. It was easy to rule out about 90%; there were some strange recommendations. The rest took some time to decide on but we whittled it down to…

  1. All Of My Life – Diana Ross;
  2. Always – Atlantic Starr;
  3. Crazy For You – Madonna;
  4. Don’t Know Much – Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville;
  5. Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie;
  6. Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis;
  7. From This Moment – Shania Twain;
  8. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You – Van Morrison;
  9. I Swear – All-4-one;
  10. If Tomorrow Never Comes – Ronan Keating;
  11. My Girl – The Temptations;
  12. On The Wings Of Love – Jeffrey Osborne;
  13. Open Arms – Journey;
  14. The Power Of Love – Jennifer Rush;
  15. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill;
  16. Three Times A Lady – Lionel Richie;
  17. Tonight, I Celebrate My Love – Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson;
  18. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers;
  19. Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes;
  20. Waiting For A Girl Like You – Foreigner;
  21. When I Need You – Leo Sayer;
  22. When You Say Nothing At All – Ronan Keating;
  23. The Wonder Of You – Elvis;
  24. You to Me Are Everything – Real Thing; &
  25. You’re The Inspiration – Chicago

With hindsight, I might have approached this task from the wrong angle. I think the starting point should have been to look at our combined music collection and find the common elements we both share. Having said that, it wouldn’t have led us to the song we eventually choose…

Amazed – Lonestar

I’m also aware of the irony that I too have just added another recommended list to the internet.

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Wedding

A big thank you to the people who made it happen!

We tried, wherever possible, to use local suppliers for our wedding. Generally, that means small businesses or sole traders who may not have a big web presence, i.e. unless searching for them specifically, they are unlikely to appear at the top of any search results. We realise they put a lot of effort into our big day. As a thank you, they get a mention here.

Bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses from Wedding Belles of Otley

Alterations and veil from The Bridal Gown, Otley

Hair and make-up from Debonnesse

Shoes from Elegant Steps

Cake from Patisserie Viennoise of Otley – The glorious smell as you enter the shop had us both drooling almost immediately. It was hard to resist not coming away with a bag full of chocolate treats each time we went there.

Flowers from Hart Company – Despite being heavily pregnant at the time, Susie oozed enthusiasm for the country garden theme we choose and her creativity shone through in the personalised quote she gave us.

Live music from Tristan Mackay – To be honest, in the beginning, I was a little dubious that a soloist could create the party mood we were looking for but after speaking to him on the phone and seeing him perform, I can thoroughly recommend him.

Photographs from Ian Cave – We choose Ian simply because of the natural, “fly on the wall” photos he takes.

Wedding car from Classic & Vintage Travel Wedding Cars – It was a 1932 Rolls Royce Limousine! Do I need to say more?

Backdrop and seat covers from Ambience Styling

Transport from Steels Addingham – Steels stepped up to the mark without a fuss when I was having a mild panic about not being able to find a coach company with availability on the day who didn’t want a small fortune for the privilege.

Rings from A. Fattorinis of Harrogate – No fuss, excellent service with phone calls to update us as and when the rings were ready for engraving, polishing, etc.

Pilates from Studio Pilates, Ilkley

Physio from Airedale Physiotherapy Clinic – Vicky had a bout of Sciatica in the months running up to the day. It all got fixed by David Cook and his team.

Hen & Stag activities from Pots 2 Go, Harrogate and Holmescales Activity Centre, Kendal

We can comfortably recommend any of the above, confident that they will deliver to your needs.

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Wedding

The Groom’s Speech doesn’t have to be scary

The main purpose of the Groom’s speech is to thank a variety of people.  It should be short and informal but sincere at the same time.  It does have some scope for humour but don’t go overboard.  Starting your speech with the words “On behalf of my wife and I…” WILL raise a cheer and give you a confidence boost for delivering the rest of it.

The following is the structure of the speech I gave when I got wed.  I hope you find it useful.

TIP: Before you stand up to deliver your speech, think of something that makes you laugh or smile.  In that way, your guests will see you rise with a big smile and not a look of dread.

Say thank you to…

  1. …the father of the bride – for his speech which normally precedes yours;
  2. …all your guests for coming.  It is worth mentioning specifically those that have travelled a fair distance and perhaps those who couldn’t be with you on your big day;
  3. …both sets of parents and families – include a sincere compliment;
  4. …your ushers – they have probably been busy in the background, fixing stuff so you weren’t bothered with it;
  5. …the staff at your reception venue – there is still quite a bit of the day to go after you’ve spoken so buttering them up a little won’t hurt;
  6. …any individuals you’d like to thank specifically for their contribution to the day’s events.  Don’t go overboard here or you will get tired of saying the words “Thank you!” after a while;
  7. …your bride – for agreeing to marry you.  You’ll score MAJOR browny points if you compliment her here.  In fact, it’s expected!

You should also thank your best man (perhaps with a bit of mickey taking thrown in – he’s about to have free rein on you) and the bridesmaids but hold off on these thanks until the end.  Your speech should end with a toast to the bridesmaids.

The second part of your speech should cover what marriage to your bride means to you.  Include some anecdotes from your courtship and/or how you proposed.  This is the ONLY time your mates will forgive you for being sentimental but again you can inject a little humour.

And, as I said above, end with the toast, “To the Bridesmaids!!”

I found the following web links particularly useful when preparing my speech…

After all the above, the rest is down to you.  Remember to practice, practice, practise!!  Deliver your speech to a blank wall or an empty room.  Do this out loud.  What reads well on paper or sounds good in your head may not sound so good when you actually say it.  It may not flow as well as you thought.

Finally, on the day, relax and enjoy one or two drinks with your guests.  One or two should be enough!

My Shutterstock Portfolio

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Wedding

We’re into the home straight now

What seemed like ages away not so long ago is now just around the corner.  Our frame of reference is now “This time next week…”

I feel it will be a busy week for us. So much so that we both let off some steam this weekend, kicked back to relax and spent a chunk of downtime in front of the tele.  Vicky went for a foot fish spa which she’s said only good things about.

There’s been lots of phoning suppliers up, confirming bookings, writing cheques and lists, etc. We’ve postponed quite a bit of running around until the 2 days before.  There’s enough bitty stuff to keep us both busy in the meantime.

We’ve been shopping separately for holiday clothes. It’s less stressful that way, let’s face it.

We’re both quite excited about the whole affair but it’s a toss-up which comes out on top – the “getting wed” bit and the honeymoon bit.

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Wedding

Finer Details Plus War Games Equals Ouch!!

We’re into the closing stages; The countdown is now being measured in days. There’s been a shedload of talking through the finer detail and setting the final arrangements in stone but it’s not quite finished yet.

For a time, transporting our wedding guests around looked like it might become a problem. There are some big shows on at the same time and many local coach companies are booked up. Enter Steels Addingham to save the day! The pessimist in me says that there may be a reason why they had spare capacity but I’ve been more than happy with how they dealt with our rather unusual request to-date. So a thumbs up from me!

The suppliers are getting paid and there might even be some cash left over for the honeymoon.

We’ve both been amazed by the generosity of people buying items from our wedding list. We can’t say thank you often enough.

The Stag weekend has been and gone. There was lots of big boys’ toys with engines, war games & adrenalin, eating & drinking too much and finally, hangovers & sore heads. I think I got away relatively lightly apart from all the bruises (some brilliant rainbow colouring going on).

The best man and I thought we’d foiled the evil marshals’ plan of making us run the gauntlet of so many fully-loaded, fully-poised paint-ball guns, completely unarmed. Unfortunately for us, the sheets of plyboard we ripped from the plane’s fuselage to use as shields weren’t quite wide enough.

The whole weekend can be summed up in one word – Ouch!!

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Wedding

Time to Pay the Ferryman

We’ve made another concerted effort this week to finalise details for the wedding. There were too many distractions at home so we took a handful of paperwork to the pub and worked through it there. By the end of the evening, we were both shattered but on the upside, we were also fed and watered. Task & Reward!!!

The reason for this concerted effort is we’re starting a period of “paying the ferryman”. We’ve let the venue know final numbers, etc. and there’s an invoice on it’s way. The flowers, photographs, wedding car and a number of other things are all to be paid for in the four weeks before the wedding.

Vicky’s had her hen do. They went to Harrogate at the weekend. From the stories I’ve heard, it was a success; everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Not seen any photos yet though… My stag do is arranged but still to happen.

Us boys had a fitting for highland wear from Slaters. That was just hard work, far more taxing than it needed to be. Best bit: no inside leg measurement needed.

I’ve been reading through my speech time and again to get comfortable with each of the messages and the words I’ll be using to convey them. I’ve been dared to include a specific phrase so I’m working that in.

The wedding rings have arrived back in the jewellers. Mine had to be resized up; it must’ve been a cold day on the first visit or a warm day on the second.

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Wedding

It’s “…next month…” – Time’s Marching On!

I’ve had a mini wake-up call. I’d been counting down to the wedding in months and more recently, weeks now that it’s in single figures. This week, someone used the phrase “…next month…”. Whilst accurate, that’s a big realisation! And I’m guessing there will be a similar wobbly moment when it becomes “…next week…”

The selection of songs for the first dance is not quite in single figures yet but it’s close. We’ve both got a favourite. Importantly, it’s the same one but there are others still in the running.

The wedding list goes live next week. We’ve had a bit of grief with their wesite doing (not so) funny things to the selections we’ve made. So if you see some “interesting” pieces on there, go for the safe option – vouchers!

The next month or so will be spent getting confirmations from suppliers, setting out the detail for each of them.

I’ve almost finished writing my speech. Next is to learn it almost parrot fashion so I only need prompt cards. There’s a little bit of everything in there so it should go down well with everyone I think.

We’re getting there!

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Wedding

Shopping for “Schtuff” In Person and Online

The wedding rings have arrived in the jewellers but we’re struggling to find the time to go there and make sure they fit before getting them inscribed. Deciding on what went in the inscription was another of those “easier than I thought” tasks.

We spent hours in House of Fraser sorting out the Wedding List. We just need to go over it again one last time before it gets published because we went a bit crazy scanning things, then later removing them again & adding replacements.

It turns out we’ve got some flexibility with the seating plan. Now that all the expected RSVPs are back, we could give that some focus. However, Vicky’s PC gave up under the strain last week so that’s gone in for repair.  It turns out that the graphics card went “pop” at some point.

Writing my speech has stalled. “I’m ruminating over it!” is how I’ve justified that to myself.

We’ve sorted out all the accommodation for the honeymoon. There’s 1 place where we stay for 1 night only; that’s the price we pay for staying near Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for a whole 5 days. The plan now is to fully explore each place virtually as much as possible before pitching up.

I think it’s all coming together quite nicely.

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Wedding

Writing a Groom’s Speech and More Ring Shopping

The wedding rings are ordered. The look of glee on the jeweller’s face when we went back to Fattorini’s! She must be on some kind of commission. They’ll take a few weeks to be made. Then a quick check to make sure they fit before being inscribed. What with, we’re not sure yet.

I have no idea what’s being organised for the stag do. It’s all gone suspiciously quiet in my inbox.

Quite a few RSVPs are still outstanding even after the requested date. If you do get a wedding invite, please, on behalf of your hosts, return the RSVP as soon as you can and definitely before the requested date. It’s a slow torture coming home each evening to 1 or 2 replies, sometimes none for days.

Apparently “Thanks for coming – you’ve been a right laugh!” is not enough as a groom’s speech so I’ve done some reading and prep. work. The good news for me (and probably for everyone else too) is that it’s expected to be fairly short – about 5 mins. – and the structure is prescribed:

  1. thank everyone for coming and playing their part;
  2. say a few words about getting wed; &
  3. introduce the best man.

Easy! Even I can manage that I think.  I’ll post my speech’s framework after the big day.

The most exciting thing that’s happened recently for me is booking accommodation and a hire car for the honeymoon.  I’d opt for putting together a bespoke holiday any day over a travel agent’s package so we’re really looking forward to that.

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Wedding

Cheesy Music and Hiccups

So, the invitations have been sent out and the RSVPs are beginning to come back.  There’s an unspoken understanding between us that…

  1. neither of us rush to pick up the mail too quickly when we get in from work; &
  2. we each open half the replies that arrive back each day.

There was an unexpected hiccup at the Rendezvous Hotel.  We made a block booking of rooms for people staying over.  However, the hotel changed their computer system after I made the booking and now the reference number I put on the information sheet that’s gone out with the invites is useless.  I’ll admit I gave them a bit of a hard time over that.

There’s an empty wedding list setup with House of Fraser.  We can’t add anything to it until 3 months before.  We moved in together over a year ago so many of the things traditionally bought as a wedding gift, we already have two of.  However, there are a few items we would like to replace.

As an alternative, we’ve setup up a JustGiving page to raise charitable donations for Mountain Rescue England & Wales.

I did some digging on popular first dance songs and got too long a list far too quickly so I’m in the middle of culling the non-starters.  I’ve made Vicky weep a couple of times when she’s heard a few of my first-cut choices.  Nothing by Aerosmith, Shania Twain or Bryan Adams made that cut.  Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re talented artists with some very powerful, emotive songs and I don’t mind them being played at the wedding; they’re just not going to be the first dance.

I’ve had a brand new, wing-collar shirt altered so that I don’t look like a short-armed gorilla on the day.

We’re getting there but I’ve still got a To-Do list as long as your arm.  At the moment, for every item I cross off, I seem to add at least two more.  I’m looking forward to the day when it starts to shrink again.

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Wedding

Invites and Dresses

Well, time’s marching on as predicted but there’s still loads of time until July, right?

The invitations are just about ready. There’s still 1 or 2 little niggles to fix on the latest proof. The wording is such that the evening invite only needs a couple of words changing. They will need to be kept separate though just to avoid an embarrassing mix up.

Vicky’s calendar is starting to fill up with appointments for hair trials and dress fittings. The bridesmaids’ dresses have been chosen and ordered. From the brochure, it’s strange (at least to me) what passes for a bridesmaid’s dress these days. Not only are there some unusual cuts but there are also some surprising colour combinations.

We ordered the wedding cake at the weekend so that’s another tick in the box. And we left the place without scoffing a load of the hand-made sweeties they make in the process.

The dates have been fixed for the stag and hen parties. I was in trouble with my best man’s wife because the stag do was scheduled to be on their wedding anniversary. But then I also got told by a new bride that anniversaries don’t matter. Is it any wonder us men get it so wrong with all these mixed messages?

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Wedding

Half Way There

Well, in a little over 6 months, it’ll be Mr. & Mrs. Alex Fleming.  I know we’re not the first but that’s big!

I swear by to-do lists and so I gathered some together to get an idea of where we should be up to by now and more importantly, what we might have forgotten.  It was quite satisfying to see that we’re pretty much on track.  There are a few things we haven’t done yet which we should have by now according to this list but we have already ticked off some of the up-coming stuff.  So it balances out quite nicely.

I started reading up on wedding traditions and related folklore.  I saw one about doing very weird stuff with lozenges.  I’ll leave the possibilities up to your imagination.  Suffice to say at that point, I stopped reading.

Last weekend, we both independently chose the same set of vows.  It’s surprising how much of a boost little things like that can give.  Some things we expected to be easy haven’t always been while other seemingly more difficult stuff just fell into place.

The florist is happy to put together buttonholes with heather and white flowers.  This was one of the things given more prominence than it really deserved.

I spent a whole day researching and booking flights and the first few nights of the honeymoon.  I found that Expedia do not always quote the cheapest price or the most direct flight.  We booked direct with both the airline (for the most direct flights) and the hotel (because it was much cheaper).  My credit card got such a shock I haven’t dared use it since.

The wording for the invites has gone off to the design/print company and so now we’re just waiting on them coming back with ideas.

All in all, a very productive holiday season.

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Wedding

Wording on Wedding Invitations

There’s a whole set of traditions and social etiquette that comes into play when putting together wedding invitations.  You can spend ages (as I did) reading up on the dos and don’ts only to realise that it really only matters if you let it.  Most people are happy simply to receive an invite.  If they’re going to bitch about something that trivial, you probably don’t want them on the guest list anyway.

So for those who are more pressed for time, here is the wording we decided on.  Feel free to reuse it.

Day Invitation

________________________________________

[bride] and [groom]

request the pleasure of your company
at their marriage
at [ceremony venue]
on [date and time]
and afterwards at [reception venue]

RSVP by [date] to [address]

Evening Invitation

________________________________________

[bride] and [groom]

request the pleasure of your company
at an evening reception
to celebrate their marriage
at [reception venue]
on [date] from [time]

RSVP by [date] to [address]

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Wedding

There’ll be Music and Flowers

Finally!!!  The music for both the ceremony and the reception is decided.

A friend of ours is a music teacher but she also plays in a string quartet and so we’ve asked them to play at the ceremony.  We’ve listened to those wedding music CDs I mentioned before.  For me, it’s not so much about demanding certain pieces; more about the pieces I don’t want.  I’ve told Vicky that she’d better not be too late, leaving me to listen to some obscure playlist.

For the evening reception, we’ve booked The Bedroom Orchestra (aka Tristan Mackay).  He’s a regular busker in Leeds city centre and there are loads of clips of him doing just that on YouTube.  I will admit to being a little dubious about whether, as a one man band, he could create the party atmosphere we want at the reception but after speaking to him on the phone, that fear quickly went away.  We decided against Three Men and a Bass in the end.  There were just too many instances of them not getting back in touch for long periods of time; they didn’t seem to want or care about the booking enough.  If it was going to be this hard getting in touch with them this long before the wedding, how hard was it going to be in the weeks and days in the run up to the big event?

We recently got a text message from our florist; she’s had her baby and all’s well.  We also got her quote along with the ideas she has for the various floral arrangements.  They look really good!  Having said that, there’s a discussion going on about what kind of button-hole I’m going to wear.  I’m told that traditionally, it should be a heather but I’m struggling to find out if that’s true.  Anyone got any reference points for me?

The best man now knows he’s wearing a kilt and is not nearly put out enough for my liking.  He’s still promising a speech to top all wedding speeches.  Apparently, his wife is vetting them and has ruled out three versions to-date.

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Wedding

There’s a Dress, a Magician and a Florist

We have a dress! Or rather Vicky has chosen a dress. I know nothing more about it other than it’s from Wedding Belles of Otley. I also know that the bridesmaids’ dresses are 2-tone pink. I’ve seen some cloth swatches and some pictures of flower bouquets and they look a really good match. As for sorting out my own attire, I must admit, I’ve done zip about that. There’s still loads of time! (Famous last words)

The magician is sorted. We met him at the Devonshire Arms to discuss what we were looking for. It’s bread-and-butter stuff to him. He showed us a couple of tricks and I could work out how one of them could be done; I just couldn’t see him doing it!

The guest list is pretty much there too. I don’t think(!) we’ve forgotten anyone . Now all we have to do is work out where people are going to sit. We had thought of just assigning people to tables and letting them place themselves but we’re mulling that over some more.

Sorting out the evening music (which is one of the things people will really remember) is proving more difficult than it really should be. Three Men and a Bass have been recommended to us but getting a dialogue started with them is like pulling teeth. We’ve given them a deadline so we’ll see what happens.

We met with our preferred florist yesterday. The deal with the Devonshire Arms includes table centre pieces but the room itself will need some inspired decorating as it’s a very bland space; it could be used for anything from a board meeting to a funeral service without too much effort. Susie loves it simply because, as a result of its sterileness, the scope of how it could be decorated is wide open.  Also, you’ve got to hand it to her; her dedication is unquestionable!  She met with us even though her 3rd baby was due any day now.

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Wedding

Wedding Fayres are an Eye-Opener

Oh my {insert your preferred deity here}!!!!!!

We went to the Wedding and Lifestyle October 2010 event at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate at the weekend.  The showground itself is massive but the event was relatively easy to find even with a smart-a%@e for a parking attendant.

Inside hall 2 were a myriad of stands and small business owners plying for trade, thrusting business cards and pamphlets at us, accosting us for contact details to put on their mailing lists “…for all the latest offers”, etc.  Under any other circumstance, I would be saying “I’m just browsing, thanks!” but I think I was just too gob-smacked by it all.  There were service providers there offering stuff that no bachelor would EVER dream of when organising a wedding.  Who’s bright idea was it to tie up the napkins with ribbon?

Eventually, I did get to chat with some “normal” people like the heavily pregnant florist from Ripon and the self-confessed would-be bridezilla photographer.  It was a little disheartening telling people like this that we’d already sorted whatever they were trying to sell.  Thinking about it now, I should have taken their business cards and given them a mention here.  I’m ALWAYS doing that; some of my best EUREKA moments arrive 48-ish hours late!

As for the rest, the catwalk show could’ve been a lot more polished to get the maximum effect.  As it was, it came across as cheesy. The “man creche” was empty; it just didn’t appeal.

For brides-to-be, I think events like this are a must.  For virgin grooms-to-be, I would say the same thing but for a different reason.

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Wedding

It’s ages away but it won’t be long in coming!

There are two phrases I keep hearing of late. The first is “oh it’s ages away yet!” and then in almost the same breath “It won’t be long in coming!”. How is it possible that both these statements are true at the same time? Still things are moving along quite nicely.

We’ve been to the local registrar’s office and given notice of marriage. The “individual interviews” were far from private. Anyone in the waiting room could hear the questions asked and the answers given. Including those put to the other couple who were there for the same reason. He was a fleet manager and she got his birthday wrong. Oopps!

We’re organising a buffet the night before the wedding for people who will have travelled a long way. It’ll be a very informal thing, just a “thanks for coming!” kinda thing. We’ve got an appointment at our local hotel to sort out that menu, etc.

Organising an appointment with the magician is proving a little difficult. The date & times we suggest don’t suit him and vice versa.

There’s still the music side of things to sort out and neither of us has done anything about wedding attire yet. Still lots to do!

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Wedding

Fountains Abbey

Ruins

Some friends got married recently in Fountains Hall which is in the grounds of Fountains Abbey.  While they were having their wedding photos taken, I took these shots. Enjoy!

_MG_7600 Arches

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Wedding

Sorting out bits and bobs

There’s not really been much progress of late. Other things have distracted us both from doing very much. So the To-Do list looks something like this at the moment…

1) select music for during the ceremony – I know that Vicky’s given this some thought as there are some wedding music CDs knocking about;

2) find a (jazz?) band for night do – we have listened to some samples online and we’re waiting to hear back from 1 enquiring e-mail;

3) sort out some kind of entertainment (magician?) for wedding breakfast – there will be quite a few kids at the wedding breakfast and rather than them getting bored during the speeches, we’re going to distract them in some other way;

4) contact the florist and room dresser about the colour scheme – I’ve always said that I was getting married in a kilt and so this is waiting on me finding a tartan. I’ve got 1 in mind; I just need to make a final decision. I haven’t told the best man that 1 yet. I’m not sure how that’ll go down.

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Wedding

All the big stuff – engagement ring, venue, registrar, stationery, etc.

The biggest development this week is that Vicky choose an engagement ring. We had a browse in Leeds last week but nothing jumped out at us. Secretly, I think her heart had already made her mind up. That’s not a bad thing because I hate shopping and especially browsing. So we went back to Fattorini’s at the weekend to order it.

The bonus was they had the “precious” in the right size so Vicky was able to wear it out of the shop. I’ve seen her ogle her own left hand a few times with the first ring on and it’s happening just as much if not more now.

We’ve been through the contract with the Devonshire Arms with a fine tooth comb. There’s 1 or 2 things in there that raise an eyebrow but no earth shattering surprises. For example, accidental insurance is not included. They also reserve the right to increase the contract value by up to 10%.  So that’s been signed and sent off. There’s still a LOT of TBCs on it; it’s more of a framework agreement at this point but that’s what the next 11 months are about.

We’ve got an appointment in September with the local registrar’s office to go and give notice of marriage. Our local registrar’s office is in a different county from where we’re getting wed so it’ll be interesting to see how joined up they are.

We’ve started looking at wedding stationery. All I can say is that there are some very clever marketing people. I’d never even heard of “Save the Date” cards before last week let alone been sent one. Most of the rest of it seems straight forward. We’ve decided against going overboard on table decorations and concentrating instead on dressing the room as a whole to create just the right atmosphere.

We’ve been talking about who will play a part on our big day. Some people already know because we’ve already asked them. Others don’t yet for various reasons. The other dilemma is I could easily fill the guest list with just the family and friends I would like to invite. Vicky doesn’t have as big a family but I think both of us are going to disappoint a few people.

Although it’s far too soon to decide on a cake, we’ve been browsing. Well I say browsing; we’ve been to two, Bettys and Patisserie Viennoise in Otley. Bettys put us off straight away by limiting the possible choices. Off-the-shelf options were nice enough if a little uninspiring. We could have a custom cake but we would have to visit the bakery and talk to their master baker.

Patisserie Viennoise were the complete opposite. For starters when we walked into the shop, the smell of cocoa was fantastic! It was a really hot day outside but I still fancied a hot chocolate there and then. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They had 5 or 6 albums full of custom designs from novelty to traditional and loads in between. All we have to do is place an order in the spring telling them what we want and it’s sorted.