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Hannah & Jon… The Most Perfect Start (part 2)


Like A Dream

The ceremony went like a dream, we had readings from two of our oldest friends …who both know each other from primary school too! Andy read an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Rach lightened the mood with a humorous poem by Bee Rawlinson.

We said our vows…I cried again!

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We sat and signed the register… girls if I have one piece of advice… look at yourself in a mirror when you sit down in your dress, I tested sitting down to see if I could, but didn’t see myself… I know I wanted cleavage… but not so much it was indecent! Those pics, unfortunately won’t be making the album!

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I felt like I was in a film walking out through the guard of honour, mum being mum had made and handed out dozens of confetti bags full to the brim! It was a moment to remember when everyone cheered and gathered round to wish us well. We couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and with the Pimms flowing the day was off to the most perfect start.

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Keep The Weather At Bay

Anna our photographer, and now friend, did an amazing job of capturing all the moments. I had asked for as few group, posed pics as possible so we spent about half an hour having group shots and then managed to get some time as a couple having some fab pics with Anna. Gav one of our friends did a wonderful job of keeping the weather at bay with golfing umbrellas… which made for some equally brilliant pics!

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Something Different

We had the most scrumptious wedding breakfast ever! I know I would say that, but it really was gorgeous and we’ve had so many compliments about the food… we took the risky approach of having salmon, but people loved that it was something different, Jenkinsons the caterers did an amazing job! In fact I was so determined I was going to eat my chocolate trio of desserts, I trooped off to the ladies with mum to loosen my dress so that I could fit it all in!

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Plane To See

I decided to design all of the stationery for the day and wanted to make everything personal to us… So each persons menu could be folded into a paper plane (with instructions on the reverse)…this resulted in all sorts of competitions during dinner! The paper plane theme continued, with miniature planes for the guests to sign… I have assembled the planes into a picture for us to have in our new house in Anglesey. After having such great feedback on the stationery from the wedding I decided to take the plunge and set up love-doodle which I am hopeful will ‘take off’ (terrible pun I know!) and sustain me whilst I follow Jon around the country!

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After dinner the speeches commenced, all of the boys did an incredible job and had people in hysterics especially when Jons dad mentioned how Jon and I make such a great threesome with his brother, completely unaware of what he was implying, the room erupted with laughter!

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I had planned the wedding to within an inch of its life … my sister knew this, so she decided to surprise me by doing the most perfect speech, it was beautiful and a memory I’ll treasure forever.

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Enormous Cake

After the speeches the evening guests began to fill the barn and we gathered round to cut Jons mum’s enormous cake she had made! I was gutted I didn’t get to have any on the day…though we have two tiers left, wrapped ready for another special occasion.

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Sunday Morning

It took us ages to decide on a first dance song… we like lots of different music but none of it really suited the occasion of our wedding. Then one day when we were in the car, Maroon 5, Sunday Morning came on…it was perfect! They were the first band we’d seen together and the lyrics were perfect as we’d spent so many Sundays leaving each other (because of Jon being in the RAF) ‘Driving slow on Sunday morning, I never want to leave’ was a lyric that really meant everything to us… we were kicking ourselves that we hadn’t thought of the song sooner! Ashmore acoustics; a fab band we’d seen at a friends wedding rehearsed the song and played it for us.. they had everyone welling up, it was really the most amazing moment. The Ashmore guys were so energetic and engaging, it wasn’t long before everyone was cutting some shapes on the dance floor.

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Man & Wife

We danced the night away, enjoying ourselves with all our amazing friends and family. I really didn’t want it to end, but soon enough we found ourselves heading back the Granary. We stayed up until 5am! No, not doing what you’re thinking! We were re-living every moment, chatting into the small hours with salt & vinegar Pringles, a cup of tea and snuggled up together, best friends and now man & wife. The perfect end to the most perfect day and the start of something very special.

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Pre Wedding Hotel Granary
PJ’s hush
Maids Dresses – Various high street, including Phase Eight & Warehouse
Venue Dodford Manor
Blooms Thoughtful Flowers
Makeup Jodie Hazlewood
Hair Hair By Nikki B
Stationery – Love Doodle
Cake – Jon’s clever mum
Sweet trolley – Jon’s clever dad
Decorations – Hannah’s clever mum

Band – Ashmore Acoustics

Catering – Jenkinsons
Photography by Anna Clarke Photography

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Yay! Congratulations Hannah and Jon! I am so pleased for you both that now you are married you’ll be living together and there won’t be quite so many of those “Sunday mornings”… A beautifully executed shindig Hannah, all of your meticulous planning has totally been worth it.

It’s been a pleasure having you write for RMW and I hope your stationery business Love Doodle really does fly. All of your wedding stationery looks fab, I particularly love the elegant and clean design of the table plan.

Once again congratulations, and all the best for your future together with Jon.


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Hannah & Jon… The Most Perfect Start (part 1)


Adam here… Introducing the next w-day from our last bunch of lovely real bride ladies, today is the turn of Hannah who married Jon on April 13th.

If you are new RMW reader unfamiliar with Hannah’s journey so far then read no further!!! Firstly read Hannahs whole planning story right here. Go. Now. Read…. and then come back for this, the penultimate post from Hannah…

Hannah: Hello again.. It’s been a while! I can’t believe that I’m now writing this post as a married lady. It’s been a wonderful year or so and great fun having you all along for the ride. Not only have we had a wonderful wedding, but we’ve made so many friends because of this blog and there are lots more exciting things to come, with Jon & I moving to RAF Valley soon and we’re getting a puppy called Bear! …

I’m one contented wifey!

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But before I go into any detail, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us during the run up and on the big day itself. Family and friends were just amazing, as were all the suppliers who have now become friends. It’s been a really great time, and I’m pleased to report that I managed to take a step back and enjoy it all.

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The Night Before

So the big day actually started the night before, Jon and I had agreed that from midday on the Friday we wouldn’t speak to, or see each other until the ceremony the next day. He had all his friends over to our house and I left him under instruction not to trash the place, and to only have a beer or two. I know what the boys are like.

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I was joined that evening by all my family from all over the country, as well as most of Jon’s. It was lovely to get everyone together and to let relations have a good old chin wag. We rented out the Granary a beautiful boutique barn style hotel. They were very accommodating and laid on a wonderful spread.

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A Teary Start

In the run up to the wedding I worried over sleep… Or the lack of it and read up on all sorts of ‘just incase’ remedies but in the end I decided that sleep was just not going to happen….I had resigned myself to that fact, but to my surprise & delight I woke up at 3.30am having slept from 11! So I got up, had a cup of tea and read the lovely note Jon had left me… needless to say the day started with tears!

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I adorned my new hush pyjamas, ate a full English, gathered the bridesmaids and headed off to Dodford Manor, not before being jumped up at by an over excited springer puppy…so much for new white pj’s!

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All Hands On Dec

We got to Dodford Manor and it was all hands on deck to get the lovely barn dressed. We made 8ft blossom trees that were wheeled in, huge vases of lovely wild flowers from Juliet at Thoughtful Flowers, as well as hanging the 200m of bunting! At Dodford theres a lovely dressing room to get ready in, and it has a one way glass window into the ceremony barn. It was so humbling to see everyone dashing around putting the finishing touches on everything. Over in the main dinning room, there was a small army of people all working so hard to make sure the room was ready, we really do owe them all.

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A while ago I wrote about how nice it was to see all the family making so much of an effort making all manor of homemade goodies. Well I can honestly say that when I walked into the room, it took my breath away. All the beautiful bunting my mum had made had been diligently hung up, the tables looked perfect with the wild flowers on. Jon’s mum had got the cake in place, (no small feat I can assure you!) His dad, who had hand built the sweet trolley was carefully filling glass jars with pink and white sweets. What a cool set of in-laws. I felt this huge sense of satisfaction that we really had put our own stamp on the day.

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Meanwhile, Jon was at our house with his brother, the best man and all his close friends, no doubt not even awake yet. Unbeknown to my soon-to-be hubby I had been squirrelling away a bit of cash at the end of every month for the past year or so in order to buy him a pressie. I felt a little bad as we had agreed no gifts, only a letter on the day. Being a pilot I knew he’d always wanted a particular type of watch. There’s a whole other story to how I found out the right one and eventually how I got my hands on it, but suffice to say I was relived he hadn’t discovered it hidden away at home.


Play It Cool

With such a nice pressie in store, I couldn’t resist a little wind up, cruel I know, but it’s normally him dishing out all the banter. My mum called Jon to tell him that it was all panic stations at the venue and that he urgently needed to get something out of the cupboard upstairs. He was on speaker phone, I could tell it had got to him, but he was trying to play it cool especially in front of his friends! After a bit more fun and games, we led him to the parcel, which he duly unwrapped and I duly cried..again.

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The next time I checked my watch I couldn’t believe it was mid day, I hurried back to the bridal room and put the peep hole to good use. It was so nice seeing everyone arrive, they all looked lovely and in good spirits.

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Here Come The Boys

Then the RAF boys turned out, all looking very dashing in their uniform to be followed by my very soon to be husband. He looked very handsome and suddenly it all started to feel very real.

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Jodie did a brilliant job of making me, the mums and all the bridesmaids look gorgeous and Nikki’s calm attitude to making hair she’d never seen before into fabulous creations really did amaze me…I still don’t know how they managed to get 4 bridesmaids me, my Mum and my Auntie Sarah all ready in less than 4 hours… we were even half an hour early!

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Deep Breath

Georgie, the youngest bridesmaid led the others down the isle, she looked absolutely adorable. Followed by Jade and my cousin, Sarah and then my sister and oldest friend, Rach. Kissing you from Romeo & Juliet was being played beautifully on the piano, echoing around the barn… I took a breath, linked arms with my dad and stepped out into the smiling faces of all my friends and family…I cried..again.


Pre Wedding Hotel Granary
PJ’s hush
Maids Dresses – Various high street, including Phase Eight & Warehouse
Venue Dodford Manor
Blooms Thoughtful Flowers
Makeup Jodie Hazlewood
Hair Hair By Nikki B
Stationery – Love Doodle
Cake – Jon’s clever mum
Sweet trolley – Jon’s clever dad
Decorations – Hannah’s clever mum

Band – Ashmore Acoustics

Catering – Jenkinsons
Photography by Anna Clarke Photography

More tears (the good kind!) later on folks when we provide a befitting end to this most perfect start… Tune back in at 2pm.

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What Hannah Did… Venue Visits & D.I.Y


Into 2013 and its all starting to feel very real! Jon and I just can’t believe how quickly 2012 went, so here we are with less than 3 months to go till the big day, we are both so excited.

Since my last post Jon and I have been finalising all the details which has been helped enormously by the Caterers and the Venue, the wonderful Dodford Manor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up with a start thinking how much we’ve got to do, only to have a meeting or two and realise that all is not lost and we’re in very safe hands.

One big decision has been to choose a delicious meal for all our guests… too many wonderful choices. After much debate we’ve decided to go for something a little different for the main course, fish! And though this might be a bit unusual I’m thinking it will be quite nice & fresh for a spring wedding… As yet the only guest who doesn’t eat fish is my lovely mum.. But she’s happy with her bespoke duck dish. Naturally, this will be followed by a selection of sumptuous chocolatey desserts. Yummy! Once we had made up our mind we passed our selections on to Jenkinsons and they are off to do the rest.

We also met up with Sabrina and the gang at Dodford Manor for our final meeting. It all felt so real, walking around the venue knowing that the next time I would be there I’d be all in white. Jon and I were happier than ever with our choice of venue, despite it only being a year old, Simon and Annabelle were busy making sure that every detail still looked perfect… They have taken time out in January to repaint and re-treat all the floors!… They’re such perfectionists, which is really what you want for the most important day of your life! We passed on all our contacts and entertainers details and left with the reassuring warm fuzzy feeling inside that everything is being looked after. Jon came away all chuffed because he and Simon had a good catch up and he’s decided to buy a barrel of beer in from a local supplier!


Our families have all been amazing as always and are doing all they can to help. My mum has been beavering away with an undying intensity making all manner of little lovelies to place around the venue. Her latest creations are a collection of hand stitched cushion covers in all shapes and sizes to adorn the furniture in the venue, who knows what’s next on her list.

Jon’s family have been equally busy, his Brother is in the midst of planning his stag do and hearing the list of his friends that are going I’ll just be pleased to see him again in one piece! His mum is still feeding the cake plenty of alcohol, as you can imagine it gets heavier by the day, I think it’s going to be quite something when she’s finished. Jon’s Dad also asked if he could say a few words after the meal. We had asked him before but clearly he’s changed his mind, much to our delight. We really feel humbled with all the love and support everyone’s giving us.

Looking forward to the few remaining months… I have a got plenty to be getting on with. I’ve decided to be organised and get all the other stationery including thank you cards done as soon as possible. A big thank you to everyone who has been looking at my stationery site, and sending in your requests, doing your stationery has been equally as enjoyable and rewarding… Here’s a pic of our stationery… We finally settled on a paper plane theme and we are both really pleased with how they turned out, and a massive thank you to print creative for printing them for us!


So, looking in my diary I only have two weekends available until the wedding! Every other is booked with hair trials, dress fittings and meetings with suppliers… I am loving it though, and kind of can’t imagine life without planning a wedding at the moment! As for the frantic list making I was doing… I think I have chilled out a bit now and I have to say a big thank you to all the brides-to-be who have offered their help and support over the past few months and especially the other RMW real brides. Even though we have only met briefly I feel like we all know each other so well and I’m really looking forward to a post wedding meet up. We could make it a rock the frock shoot… Any excuse to wear our dresses again!


Have any of you lovely ladies considered a RTF shoot post wedding? Or are you planning to keep your dress sacred. Or maybe sell it post wedding… I just don’t think I can bear to pack it away never to be seen again 🙁

Anyway, until next time… Lots of love,

Han xxx

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What Hannah Did… Wedding Breakfast And Bunting.

So I’m sitting here wondering what I can tell you… thinking ‘I haven’t done much since my last post’ then I remember we have done loads with the help of our families! It’s not necessarily really exciting like trying on wedding dresses but it’s all the little bits and bobs that go into making the day special…

Yummy Yummy… Food Fit For The Queen!

So after my last post we went to the venue for our food tasting which was lovely, all of the images above were taken by Stott Weddings. It was the first time we’ve seen Dodford Manor in the daylight and with the sun shining! We were on a table with two other couples… The only ones who hadn’t taken their parents with them! (eek! Sorry mums… we just thought it would get too confusing with lots of people there!) Jon and I have a fairly tight budget, so that ruled out sea bass and fillet of beef but we loved the duck and the goats cheese tart so went away feeling happy that whatever we picked would be tasty. So although we are yet to pick our final choices… we’re thinking we might go with salmon… although after speaking to people they say that’s a bit of a risky choice in terms of lots of people not liking it…(would love to hear your thoughts…?) We also recently found out that our caterers – Jenkinsons catered for the Queen when she popped in at Cosford Airbase! (does that make me nearly a princess!?)

Friends, Family & DIY loveliness

One of my favourite bits of wedding planning is the styling, after umming and arrring over the decorations for the barns, and several sketches later I have decided to stick with bunting, (I think it suits the British RAF theme!) so Mum, JLo (one of my bridesmaids… her real name is Jade) and I trekked off into Birmingham with a suitcase to pick up reams of patterned pink and blue fabric. We went to the ‘fancy silk store’… it’s totally amazeballs!

Floor to ceiling fabric in every type and colour you can imagine… we were there for three hours! We finally pulled ourselves away with enough fabric to make a village of Bedouin tents let alone bunting for one wedding!

So although I would like to claim credit for the beautiful bunting, (though I have helped to cut out the triangles, handy tip: buy a rotary cutter and make a wooden template = 10 times quicker than scissors!) mum is now the bunting queen and it’s looking beautiful! She has been sewing away and has finished the 50 meters of bunting and is now moving onto confetti bags!

As you can see by the pictures below… it’s been a bit of a DIY family affair for the past few weeks, Jon’s made two wooden templates to cut the bunting out, mums been busy sewing, Jill – Jon’s mum has made the fruit cakes for the wedding cake, Jon’s dad (Brian) is busy making a sweet trolley (he’s even making the wheels!) and I have made the bridesmaids and my hair slides, and we have all been collecting heaps of tea cups for favours! It’s so much fun to get everyone involved and I think (hope!) they’re really enjoying helping us to make our day personal and special, so a big thank you to our wonderful family!

So what’s next…?

So things on my ‘next to do list’ are: finish our wedding website… any ideas for good templated sites would be welcomed… currently using gettingmarried but not sure on their designs, looked at appycouple too… but missing some of the features I like e.g being able to see where all the guests are staying. Arrange some music/entertainment, find someone to make me look beauteous, find hotels for guests and write a list of hens to come on my hen do being arranged by Rach my best friend… would love to hear your ideas on hen dos, whether to stay in the UK or venture further a field and the general do’s/don’ts/disasters and delights!

Much love and happy planning,

Hannah xx