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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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%.Β  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.