Peace & Love (Continued)
As soon as Lee turned around (and burst into tears), I threw myself into his arms and planted a big kiss on his lips. After being told off by the Registrar ‘you haven’t got to that bit yet!’ we held eachothers hands and it was just me and him. This was our moment.
We chose three readings to add to the ceremony and three gorgeous girls to read them. Lee’s cousin Tara stole the show as the three of us hugged our way through her tearful reading from Les Miserables, followed by her sister Daisy & our mate Jess who both did us equally proud reading lyrics from What Is Life by George Harrison & an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
As soon as it was over I wanted to rewind and live it all again. It was like I was floating in a bubble and couldn’t quite snap out of it to take everything in. For someone who initially questioned getting a wedding video, I am now eternally grateful to Papertwin for being there and capturing every moment of that ceremony (even the bit where I almost fell flat on my face as Lee and I dashed excitedly up the aisle). Those memories are priceless and we’ll get to live them over and over again. They also created a short trailer for us which has me in tears every time I see it, it’s such a beautiful account of our day.
Thank You For Being A Friend
Still in our bubble, we snatched some time away from the party for our couple shots with Claire Penn, she surprised us with 12” George Harrison and Lady Gaga records and we dropped into Probe Records next door to the venue for some photos. It was a lot of fun entertaining the bewildered customers as we made out behind the vinyl.
What more can I say about Claire that I haven’t already – the sunshine and love just beam out of our faces in her photographs, and as we knew she would from the moment we met her, she has told mine and Lee’s love story better than anyone else we could imagine. I am so glad we met her, and so proud to now call her a friend. We returned to the party to find the dancing had already started as our buskers Rag Tag Misfits were bringing the house down.
Usually found playing to shoppers in Liverpool One, Helly and Andy rocked up and surprised our guests. We’d provided a load of percussion instruments in their guitar case so our friends and family could join the fun, they went down a storm.
Our table decorations ended up being a perfect jumble of old books, and flowers in crystal and pewter vases that I’ve collected from charity shops and car boots over the last 18-months, along with a mini-library table plan with it’s very own set of vintage golf clubs, book-page hearts and paper flowers scattered around the room. Everything that we loved, all thrown together in a perfect mess of us!
For favours, we had badges made with favourite movie quotes, song lyrics or little phrases that mean something to us. I have to confess, after spending many wrist-breaking hours with a Badge-It machine, I decided enough was enough and bought them from Awesome Merchandise with a little help again from Claire.
Sometimes there’s such a thing as too much DIY. Our mini-vinyl CD’s (a joint DIY effort between Thom who designed my stationery, me and Ian from Strange Case Collective) also sat at each place setting and provided the best soundtrack for dinner – putting the theme from The Golden Girls up against The Doobie Brothers was a musical masterstroke! Speeches were entertaining and emotional, as Lee, his best man Paul and my bezzies Liz and Phil all said a few words – with Margaret Cho, Kelly Rowland and HM The Queen all playing their part!
For place cards, I took inspiration from Rock My Wedding’s ‘Jar of Hearts’. Having already dished out the badges, we didnt include that part, but asked each guest to write their words of wisdom to be displayed on a big canvas and kept forever… there were some very touching and funny messages.
The cake was entrusted to my good friend and RMW regular, Sarah otherwise known as One Jolly Girl. Her ‘Nudist’ cake was absolutely delicious and looked amazing – a tower of decadent spongey, creamy, fruity joy just waiting to be in and around my mouth, topped off by little wooden versions of me and Lee, from Goose Grease, painted by Sophie at Strange Case Collective.
As we got up to cut the cake, my mate grabbed me and showed me her phone. Remember Claire I told you about? She had JUST given birth to the most beautiful baby girl. The whole wedding raised a glass to little Megan, it was a special moment.
A massive party with beautiful people
A couple of months before the big day, you might remember that Lee and I had a bit of a reality check about the limited guest list. There are so many people that we love, and those people love to party – so we changed the evening venue. It was a GREAT decision.
We called another favour in and a friend turned up with a vintage double decker to transport our guests up the road. We arrived at Parr Street Studios and once again, the girls from Strange Case Collective took my breath away – 250 metres of paper hearts were strung from the ceiling, turning the former recording studio into a cathedral of pretty!
The Rag Tag Misfits were playing Ho Hey, the girls thrust a pramaretto (yep – still drinking them!) into my hand, ‘Pumping Iron’ was playing on the big screen (we couldn’t resist… and it was followed through the evening by ‘Withnail & I’ and ‘In Bed WIth Madonna’) and I had another one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments. This is EXACTLY what we had in mind!
For our first dance, we’d tried to decide on various love songs or slowies from the huge list of music we’d already chosen, but nothing seemed right. Our second song was decided before we even got engaged, ‘Yes’ by McAlmont & Butler – but whatever way you look at it, it is not an appropriate first dance.
It was about a week before the wedding when we were in the car and one of our favourite songs came on, ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s. We both looked at eachother and knew that was it. It was great to have an upbeat record to get the party started, the dancing didn’t stop until the early hours. I’ve never known a wedding DJ as brilliant as Paul from Wedding Jam, we knew he’d be great but he was the unexpected hit of the whole day.
Quality music from start to finish, guests didn’t stop telling us how brilliant the music was all night and they’re still talking about it now. He was a bit of a heart-throb too. As the night ended and we should have been drifting off to our hotel suite up the road, Lee and I ended up doing what we always do – carried on drinking!
It was very late but a few bars were still open and we ended up in a bar called La’Go. Just us, finally being able to sit together, relax and laugh about what a crazy day we’d had… although of course we drew a little bit of attention.
Let Your Hair Down
Many couples talk about finding time to spend together on your own, and its true – it was good to be alone finally, it feels like Lee and I barely saw eachother all night. But more than that, if I could give any advice, I would urge every Bride and Groom to let go of the stress, chill out and make their wedding day a real celebration of their love and happiness.
Lots of us obsess when we’re planning a wedding about the details and ensuring that we look perfect, and that’s fine. I loved every minute of that, but the most important thing I can share, is that once the day comes, put all of that to one side and enjoy yourself. Spend a little bit of money on having someone you can trust to decorate the venue and to be there on the day running the show like clockwork, so you can let go and just enjoy whatever happens.
I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without Colette from All Wrapped Up Events – what a woman! It left us to focus on with the people we love most in the world around us, and the rest just came naturally. Our friends and family are all such fun, wonderful people it was the best day ever to just see them all having a great time and making new friends.
It was the happiest, wildest, most emotional day of our lives and we shared it with the best people imaginable. Boss. Nothing else mattered.
Peace & Love
And here is that film lovingly created by Papertwin.
THE END….. Well. Not Quite…
It’s really hard to even describe what happened next without going back to the start. When we met Danny & Sophie (aka Papertwin & Strange Case), it was clear that we were going to become great friends and we did, very quickly. What we didn’t know was that even back then, Danny was hatching a plan. As the first wedding Papertwin had filmed, he wanted to do something special, and he managed to keep that plan a secret from Lee and I for the entire time.
Danny, along with Sophie and Claire contacted my Male of Honour Phil and organised the most beautiful and amazing surprise that has ever been staged. By anyone. Ever.
Earlier this month, we’d arranged to meet the couple for Sunday breakfast and the handover of our wedding video. We went along to our favourite little cafe to find them waiting outside, they hailed a cab – apparently breakfast wasn’t happening. A few minutes later, after noticing a suspicious looking camera we came to a stop outside Woolton Picture House, a beautiful old cinema in the Liverpool suburbs, on the steps outside were our families who had all come to join us for the ‘secret premiere’. We were gobsmacked.
Strange Case Collective had revived our beautiful paper flowers and heart garlands from the wedding day, along with some AMAZING movie posters. We stepped through the doors taking our retro yellow tickets (yep, tickets!) to find bucks fizz and sweets for everyone along with a stunning three tier cake from the legendary Laura’s Little Bakery.
It didn’t stop there, two seats were set up at the front for Lee and I with huge peace & love signs, popcorn and prosecco. The guests filed in a few rows behind, ready for the show to start – and the show, boy do these guys know how to make a wedding film. It blew us away. The whole experience was like re-living our wedding again, every emotion and feeling came rushing back as we watched it on the big screen with our families with us enjoying every moment. It was truly magical. It is impossible to express what this day means to us, and just how overwhelmed we are by the time, love and effort put in by our beautiful friends to do something so special. We can never thank them enough.
Of course no day with Papertwin & Claire Penn would be complete without capturing it on camera. They made most incredible heart warming, emotional film (only mildly spoilt by my sobbing minceface) documenting what happened. This is that day, in their words…
You can see images from the day on Claire’s blog here.
THE END (ACTUALLY).
Venues – The Athenaeum & Studio 2 at Parr Street Studios
Brides Dress – Eternity Bridal
Brides Veil – Sara Gabriel
Brides Headband – Glitzy Secrets
Shoes – Miu Miu
Groom’s outfit – Gieves & Hawkes
Maids Dresses – Warehouse
Bow Ties – Mrs Bow Tie (quote ROCKMYWEDDING for 10% off!)
Photography – Claire Penn Photography with 2nd Shooter Cassandra Lane
Video – Papertwin
Decor – Strange Case Collective
Planning & Co-ordination – All Wrapped Up
Cake – One Jolly Girl
Stationery – Thom Morgan
Cars – Classic Wedding Cars
Band – Rag Tag Misfits
DJ – Wedding Jam
Catering – Pickled Walnut
Flowers – Passion For Flowers
Well, I hope you all enjoyed that peeps, what a beautiful account filled with little tear jerky moments (yes even for a boy!)
And what an ending… No words for that.
It makes me a proud wedding blogger to see our little Karen & Lee all grown up and married and making their own way in the world… With one hell of a lot of love and support from their family and friends to help them on their way.
We’ll miss you guys – don’t be strangers