Here it is lovelies…part two of Tabitha’s delicious wedding to the very handsome Chris.
I’ve had the pleasure of bringing you several RMW Real Bride weddings – we love seeing all of the hard work come together and it actually makes us feel very proud!
We really love sharing details of wedding planning journeys with you, which is why we love our Real Brides so much. We’re already in the middle of wedding season for our current bunch, and the new lot will be chosen over the coming weeks – exciting stuff!
I’m sure all of the RMW Real Brides would vouch for the fact that we have a really supportive community here and that being able to ‘talk’ to you all throughout the process really helped them throughout their planning journeys.
Tabitha, I think, is the only RMW Real Bride to move house mid way through planning AND congratulations are in order again, as her and Chris are expecting a baby. Everyone at RMW wishes them both lots of love and luck. We’ll miss you Tabs!
RMW Real Bride Tabitha: After the ceremony we waved goodbye to our guests through a sea of confetti and jumped into our little car for the 10 minute journey to the reception. This was another one of my favourite parts of the day. It was so lovely having a couple of minutes just the two of us, we mostly just looked at each other smiling and giggling and not quite believing what we’d just done! I know it’s been said before but I would so encourage anyone to have a few precious moments just the two of you.
After some portrait shots, we joined the drinks reception, which we held in the beautiful gardens at The Fox And Hounds. We served Pimms in our customised jars and bottles of beers, before we all made our way into the marquee.
I absolutely loved seeing all our guests’ faces when they saw all our decorations. Everyone loved how personal we’d made everything. It made all that hard work and midnight finishes so worth it (Chris still goes on about how he never though marrying me would involve ‘sourcing’ a palette from an industrial estate and painting it white).
My pinwheels were a complete success, although I absolutely hated them by the end of it all. We cheated a little and bought the really large ones from Peach Blossom. Even if I do say so myself I think they looked beautiful and made such an impact, they also provided a perfect backdrop to our photo booth later on.
My little blackboards also went down a storm and they were such a cheap and easy way of putting up some nice quotes around the marquee; we also used them as our menus at the top of each table. I believe they cost about £10 for 8 from eBay…bargainous!
One really big tip I have is to raid the houses of your loved ones (but be sure to ask first!) So many of our decorations were not only from our own house but my family and friend’s houses too. You’ll be amazed how many lovely candle holders, frames, and decorations you can find without ever having to open your wallet.
My lovely Sister also created our photo washing line for us, a look back through our lives and time together. We tried to incorporate as many of our guests into it as well and I loved how much time people spent inspecting all the photos. It’s such a lovely reminder of how far we’ve come!
One of the best things we did was our ‘wedding branding’. The very lovely Blanka Biernat created the most gorgeous illustration of Chris and me, and very kindly let us use it as our branding. We took to Photoshop (with very little knowledge of what we were doing) and created stickers for our confetti bags (brown paper bags, cost about 10p for 200), drinks jars, favour jars (Hardie’s Hot Sauce for the boys and Tabitha Cherry’s Cherry Jam for the girls), and table plan. They looked so effective and added that personal touch everywhere you looked, it’s the thing that people have talked about the most since the big day.
At the very last minute we also decided to order some small stickers with the illustration on and this was the BEST thing we did. Each table setting had a sticker plus loads more stacked around, and they ended up everywhere! I loved seeing everyone wearing them and its great going to our guest’s houses afterwards and seeing them stuck in random places around their house!
Valter, Sandra and their team did us so proud with the food and service. It was totally scrummy! We started with sharing platters, then on to the tastiest lamb I’ve ever had, and finished with summer pudding and gorgeous homemade ice cream. It was the perfect menu for a warm summer’s day. Later on they created some massive pizzas (Valter’s speciality) to keep people going until the wee hours.
For a late night pudding we served our gorgeous cake made by the fair hands of my Nanny. It was a Mary Berry American style dessert wedding cake and went perfectly with the massive vat of raspberry sauce my Mum made to go with it. According to Valter (a connoisseur in chocolate puddings) it was the best chocolate cake he had ever tasted, and I would have to agree with him there. My Nanny has always made our birthday cakes from the year dot, and I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than for her to make my wedding cake. It meant so much more!
After cutting our lovely cake, it was time for the first dance. It then suddenly occurred to me that we hadn’t practised or discussed it at all (oops!) Once the music started though it’s hard to worry about everyone around you and it felt like it was just the two of us. We chose Tom Baxter’s ‘Better’ as our first song, it’s a song I’d had on my iPod for a while and when we heard it the lyrics just seemed so perfect that there was no other option. As soppy as it sounds, it’s true, life IS just better when he is around and it keeps on getting better every single day.
As the song reached it crescendo we invited everyone onto the dance floor and I loved sharing our moment with everyone.
From then on Plastic Pantomime took the stage and I don’t think I left the dance floor from then on (except maybe to nip to the ladies room). We knew we wanted live music and PP brought the absolute house down. I can’t recommend them enough to you, not only are they very talented but seriously lovely and fun people too. So many of our guests have mentioned how much they loved PP! They even learnt a song for us, which meant so much as the song means a lot to us too, it was The Zombies ‘This Will be our Year’…and it most certainly has been.
I will never ever forget dancing in the middle of a crushed dance floor with our entire wedding party jumping up and down and singing like they were at home in the shower. It was a magical magical moment and quite simply one of the best times I’ve ever had. I don’t really think I could ask for any more from our wedding day…full stop.
So I thought I’d leave you ladies with some of the lessons I learnt from the actual day. Nothing very big or groundbreaking, but the practical things that have stuck with me all these months later.
Leave way longer than you think to put your dress on…despite feeling like we had ages, the minutes slipped away and we ended up rushing. I would have left at least half an hour longer to relax in my dress before we had to leave.
Go with flow and don’t worry if you have to change things if they’re not working on the day.
After our ceremony we had planned to have family photos outside the castle but what with it being around 30 degrees with no shade, and me quickly turning into a shade close to that of a ripe tomato, we decided to scrap that idea and swiftly made our way to the reception to have them instead. It was the best decision in the end; everyone was getting really uncomfortable and the photos would have been of a load of thirsty people squinting at the sun.
If it looks like it’s going to be a hot day…FANS, FANS AND MORE FANS!
We certainly didn’t have enough but luckily my Father In Law had brought a mini hand held fan with him and all throughout the meal I had it hidden behind the flower arrangement to create some air. I also had my dress pulled up around my knees, so it’s a good job we had long table cloths or our guests were in store for a sight!
Don’t forget to hand out all the lovely gifts you wrapped so carefully for your bridesmaids! (Doh!)
Chris’ one bit of advice for all you to-be Grooms out there is to take a deep breath at the end of your speech and not forget to thank and toast the Bridesmaids.
So loves, I am signing off for the very last time *sobs*. All that’s left to say is that married life really does rock. I won’t pretend it’s all been perfect and you will live in a bubble of newlywed bliss for a year or so, life still goes on around you (redundancy package anyone?), but somehow having my husband next to me makes it all seem a little bit more bearable.
I will leave you with though this…come the start of June there will be a new little girl Hardie/Wood in the world and our little family of 2 will become 3! Yes we do not waste any time around these parts! Our next chapter is turning into a real page turner 😉