As their turns came to speak, to recite the scared vows of marriage, Kelly and Andy, shoulders turned slightly to face one another and fingers entwined, shared a united expression of love and adoration. Music played out and conversations grew in tone and volume where guests turned in their seats to analyse the ceremony and catch up with friends, those seated at the front of the church stood first, followed by those behind them until the entire church was on it’s feet to grin, cheer and clap as the bride and groom, the new Mr and Mrs, walked hand in hand back along the aisle to The Wedding March by Mendelssohn, closely followed by their parents, bridesmaids, and groomsmen.
Back outdoors, the oversized white balloons by the door bobbed and bounced off of one another as the guests organised themselves into two neat lines stretching from the door of the church right the way down the path to the car park, armed with handfuls of confetti and awaiting Kelly and Andy’s final exit from the church. As the pair stepped into the dazzling sunlight a cheer and many happy cries erupted to a clattering of applause and the flickering rain of confetti which showered the married couple as they made their way between the rows of merry faces. The multi coloured confetti filled the air like tiny lights flashing overhead and stuck in Kelly’s long hair and veil, and to Andy’s spluttering lips. They both laughed, reaching out to kiss and embrace friends as once again the familiar sound of cameras clicked.
The newlyweds made their departure to the roar of an old engine and the sharp grinding sound of tyres on gravel, as a powder blue MG, it’s convertible roof down to show off it’s proud passengers, rolled out of the car park to leave and follow the coastal roads across the Island. The sound of tin cans, which had been painted in pastel shades and tied to the back of the car, tinkled against the tarmac as they pulled in to the lane.
Soon after, a stream of cars began filing in to the car park at the Newton House Hotel. The MG was still nowhere to be seen, as the couple and Nicola, their photographer, had made their way to the beach to take some candid shots. Everyone else however, was emerging from the heat of their cars into the persistent Summer sunshine, still fanning themselves with the pretty Order of Service booklets or anything else that they’d found fit for the job.
Everyone was keen to find a drink, and thankfully the hotel staff, who’d been so occupied all morning, were well prepared with glasses of Bucks Fizz to be handed out amongst the crowd. Each drink was complimented by an eye catching red and white candy striped drinking straw, which the guests sipped from between smiling lips as they continued to mingle and converse and catch up with old friends.
“Kel and Andy are here” said an Usher, waving his glass towards the car park at the rear of the hotel, where Andy had parked the little blue MG and was now leading his wife in to the hotel garden to greet their guests. The smiles on their faces were infectious, and despite the unrelenting heat the guests found a new source of energy in being around the newlywed couple.
Kelly grabbed herself an ice cream, stopping to talk to Julie Etele who was serving the traditional ice cream from her vintage bike. Meanwhile Andy began circulating the garden, everyone rising to kiss him on the cheek or shake his hand as he approached.
The tables in the reception room had been named to make it easier for the guests to locate them, each given the name of a destination that Kelly and Andy had visited whilst they travelled the world, including East Cape, Hava Supai, Barefoot Island, Mutianyu, Angkor Wat, Hoi An, Rarotonga, Tongariro, and Vang Vieng. The top table, where Kelly and Andy’s parents, Alec the best man, and Samantha were taking their seats, had been named “Sydney” after the iconic Australian city, where Andy had proposed.
The plan of the tables was displayed on an easel at the entrance to the reception room and had been handmade and framed in an ornate white frame, the tables represented by paper doilies, mounted on to a pretty floral background that tied in with so many of the details of the day. The tables at which the guests were seated had been treated with equal care and attention to detail. The white tablecloths were brightened by beautiful runners made from colourful floral fabric, edged with delicate lace. Folded into a neat triangle and laid elegantly on each side plate was a pink floral napkin, and a pretty name card had been attached to each wine glass with a wooden heart shaped peg, to direct guests to the correct seat. As wedding favours the couple had stored homemade jam in glass jars and topped the lids with mismatched floral fabrics.
Kelly looped her arm through that of her husband, who was fidgeting with nerves as the prospect of making his grooms speech to the gathered friends and family washed over him. He was relieved, as he knew he would be, that they’d agreed to present the speeches to their guests before the meal, so that at least he, Alec and Kelly’s Father Steve would be able to relax and enjoy the food and one another’s company without further public speaking hanging over their heads.
Steve was the first to make his speech, in which he thanked everybody gathered for the wedding and gave fabulous anecdotal stories about Kelly, her twin sister Samantha, and their younger brother Laurence’s childhoods. Not to mention the history of Kelly’s relationship with Andy, from the meeting when Kelly took a teaching job at the school at which Andy was also a teacher, to them being spotted out on a romantic evening at the theatre by Kelly’s Granny before they’d announced their relationship to their families, to their travels around the world and the purchase of their first home. He received rapturous applause from all of the guests, who gladly raised their glasses to toast the bride and groom and sipped their champagne eagerly as Andy stood slowly to his feet.
“On behalf of my wife and I…” he began, receiving a sudden burst of clapping, whistling and cheers from everybody around him, and so he continued with a round of jokes which maintained the merry atmosphere in the room and kept everybody laughing, before his speech took a more serious turn and he took the time to mention those people who had passed away and thus had not been able to share his and Kelly’s wedding day with them.
Andy passed over to Alec to make his best man’s speech, his friend stood slowly, his hands, which both clutched the paper on which he had written his well thought out speech, were visibly shaking. He spoke candidly of his memories of his friendship with Andy, how close they had been since meeting one another and how their friendship had grown within the security of a close group of friends, all of whom were present in the room. The guests listened attentively, nodding agreement and laughing heartily at each joke. Wine flowed from bottle to each glass as the room relaxed, drank, and listened to the final sentiments of the best man’s speech.
After the meal and with the full bridal party assembled Nicola, the photographer, with Kelly beside her leading the way, began to make their way out of the hotel grounds, turning left on to a small public footpath which lead to rugged meadow land. Everybody followed, some slowly, Djamilla stumbled on the uneven ground in her stiletto heels, grabbing hold of anyone who might be able to support her as she wobbled and tripped along the path. Andy’s friends who’d been asked to act as ushers, followed behind, their laughter and crude conversation bubbling ambiently as they picked their way over potholes and around stray bramble branches, pint glasses half full of lager clutched to their chests.
“You’ve got St. Mary’s Church in the background” Samantha smiled, pointing over the vast pale meadow to a spire which rose from the dappled landscape beyond. The setting Sun glinted off of the grass which thanks to a wet summer was still a vibrant shade of green and nodded in the stifling humid air. The sky was the colour of peaches and cream, the Sun streaking an orange line across the horizon and lighting the houses which lay close to the water’s edge beyond. It was a dreamy summers evening, warm and lazy, with soft light and no sound. By the time Nicola was satisfied and they turned to head back to the hotel to re-join the rest of the party before evening guests began to arrive, the Sun had dipped yet lower in the sky and the evening light was fading.
Meanwhile, back at the Newton, a DJ had set himself up in the corner of the room, where a sociable evening space had been created. Guests wandered back and forth from the bar on the other side of the garden, enjoying the balmy evening. Around the cake table guests jostled to get a photograph of Kelly and Andy slicing a large silver cake knife into one of their three cakes, lovingly hand made by Kelly’s Aunty Sandie. Their smiles were radiant and full of love for one another.
The catering staff at the hotel whisked the cake away as the couple made their way towards the dance floor. Giant A & K letters were illuminated by bright clear bulbs, creating an almost fairground atmosphere and Kelly looped her hands around her new husbands neck so that he could pull her close to him, their faces barely inches apart as the first few notes of Christina Perry’s “1000 Years” tinkled over the speakers.
As the slow tune drew to a close a second song, We Are Young, played out, and like a scene at the end of an American romantic comedy film, Kelly and Andy’s friends crowded around them, unprompted, with their arms around one another’s necks and shoulders, they swayed happily, their faces raised to the ceiling with closed eyes and smiles wide as they sung the words which seemed so ideally to sum up the day they’d enjoyed.
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the Sun
A Final Thought from the Bride
Planning our wedding was one of the funest things I’ve ever done. It is not often you get to spend oodles of money on fairly frivolous things, with the phrase ‘it is my wedding day after all’ sweeping away any remaining feelings of guilt. That said, it is a lot of money, so go with your gut and trust your instincts.
Our photographer, Nicola at Daffodil Waves was truly outstanding. Whilst the pictures speak for themselves, what they don’t tell you is how truly passionate she is about her work and how utterly friendly and kind she is. Since the wedding, we have spent hours and hours looking at our photos and I still can’t believe what a gorgeous set of images we have. In fact, it took us a whole WEEK to choose 60 photos from the 513 she sent us for an album. Seriously, how do you CHOOSE??!
Marie, our wedding planner was also brilliant and has so much knowledge and experience; you can’t help but feel safe in her hands. I guess what I’m trying to say is, surround yourself with people who take the time to get to know you and your partner and who show a genuine interest in what you wish to achieve and the rest will fall into place.
Finally, when I embarked on the ‘planning journey’ I never realised how many truly wonderful people I would meet along the way. To Charlotte, Adam and the RMW team you have made my year allowing me to contribute to your polka dot pages, thank you. To the RB’s of 2012 you rock and I always look forward to your news and gossip. To my Husband, I love you and always will.
Kelly (Mo) xxx
Photographer – Daffodil Waves
Videographer – Rupert Ward-Lewis
Car Hire – Vanilla Classics
Ice Cream Bike – Traditional Catering
Wedding Reporter – Ashleigh Millward
Wedding Planner – Isabella Weddings
Wedding Dress – Priscilla of Boston
Florist – Green Flowers Florist
Kelly Kelly Kelly! You little star – you’ve made our year too 🙂
I loved reading through your final report, which was a bit different to the norm and your final thoughts really hit the nail on the head.
Your contributions have been great fun and everyone at RMW wishes you all the best for a very bright and fun filled future with your boy.