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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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.

Activity Holiday in Majorca

The suggestion to go rock climbing in Majorca at February half-term spawned from a rather drunken night out for a meal with friends at the end of last summer but unlike a lot of other ideas, this one got followed through. Alasdair had been there before quite a few years ago and the trip was based on his recommendation. Majorca didn’t disappoint us. I used to climb about 10 years ago but I tore the anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee a while back so now I’ve got to be careful of the stresses I put on it. Swimming and cycling are OK but any twisting or turning movement means I can be limping for weeks. However, not 1 to miss out on an outdoors holiday, I was going to use the trip as a photo opportunity.

Booking the Holiday

We booked flights with EasyJet from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Palma, secure parking with Imagine, accommodation in the Aquasol Aparthotel in Palma Nova and a hire car with Hiper Rent a Car. Isn’t the internet fantastic!!!

The Weather Forecast

I had checked the weather forecast for the week before we left and it looked really promising – 16 to 19 degrees Celsius with occasional cloud – but as we got off the plane, it started to rain. This lasted all afternoon until finally it rained good and proper that evening. And that was the last we saw of it. Over the course of the week, the weather just got better and better. It was always a good idea to carry a spare top or fleece just in case the wind picked up or the sun went in but generally we only needed t-shirts because we were so active. Beforehand, carrying sun cream seemed daft but we needed it most days. Going out at night, you need a top or a jacket as the temperature drops away fairly quickly. It was too cold to sit outside and eat.

Palma Nova

We stayed in Palma Nova which is just a stone’s throw along from Magalluf. It’s your typical resort with everything on hand to cater for Johnny Foreigner. Spar shops ( which were never open – must have been too early in the year ), English Breakfasts ( but not before 9am – guess they only cater for people with hangovers ), etc. Although it hadn’t even started to gear up for the season, there was still a constant stream of people around. It must be a complete nightmare at high season. I’m so glad we spent so much time driving around the island. It seemed a lot at the time but you get to see a whole different way of life than what’s in the brochures. Getting away from the resorts and exploring for yourself is highly recommended.

Eating Out

Having rubbished the resort, we did find a cracking French restaurant in Palma Nova. We were only there for a week but we ate at La P’tit Bistro 4 of the 7 nights. Each time, we all ate something different and none of us were ever disappointed. The food is just heavenly. Try any of the starters, the lamb and finish with the crepe white lady if it’s still on the menu. None of the other places we ate at came anywhere close.

Rock Climbing

We spent days climbing at Cala Magraner, Valldemossa, Sa Gubia & La Creveta.

  1. Cala Magraner – From Manacour, take the road to Porto Cristo. There is parking for 5 or 6 cars in a layby opposite the sign post but it is on a blind bend so be on the look out for passing cars. The walk in is easy and takes about 25 minutes.
  2. Valldemossa – Parking is limited as the crag is next to and overhangs the road. This means belaying can be dangerous as the road down to Port d’Valldemossa is narrow and surprisingly busy.
  3. Sa Gubia – Park up in a large layby on the MA-11 just outside Bunyola. The walk in is down a track about 100 metres to the south of the layby. Turn right to follow a dried up river bed which is rocky and uneven. This takes about 30 to 40 minutes as the gradient rises as you get closer to the crag.
  4. La Creveta – From Port de Polença, take the MA-2210 going to Cap de Forementor and park up at the viewing point. Find the old pipe line heading back down the hill. Without it, the trail to the saddle is much more difficult. Cross the saddle and scramble down and to the left underneath the outcrop. The path to the crag becomes more obvious at the bottom.

Scrambling the Cavall Bernat Ridge

To the north of Puerto Pollenca is the Bouquer Valley, lined on 1 side by the Cavall Bernat Ridge. This classic saw-toothed walk has been compared to the infamous Crib Goch scramble in Wales. Traversing the ridge can be made as difficult as you like. There are sections which are quite exposed and may require a safety rope but you’ll need a head for heights and reasonable level of fitness. The upside is the views are spectacular.