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.

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

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!!