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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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A Full Military Affair.

Jemma and James married at St Peter’s Church, Alton, Staffordshire with a reception at home on Fairfield Farm.

A visual treat is in store for you today, and I am not just refering to the men in uniform. The florals pop beautifully and will put a shine on even the dreariest of November mornings, the maids dresses are simple pastel perfection and Jemma looks stunning in her fish tail dress accessorised with an intricate head peice.

And capturing this abundance of loveliness was all down to Love Lust List member Jo Hastings. And she did so perfectly.

I Burst Into Tears

My dress was by La Sposa and had a lace bodice with a fishtail tulle skirt and a small amount of detailing on the bust. I’d seen a La Sposa campaign online and loved their designs so tracked down a local supplier (The Bridal Lounge – Newcastle-under-Lyme)
I put it on and burst into tears! I knew it was how I wanted to feel on my wedding day.

Simple Jewellery

I’m not into a huge amount of ‘bling’ so my bought a vintage inspired hair vine from Ivory and Co Tiaras. I also bought my cathedral length veil from there also.

My jewellery on the day was very simple, diamond studs, a diamond tennis bracelet which was a gift from my Mum and a diamond solitaire necklace which my lovely hubby gave to me on the morning of the wedding!

Shoe Fetish

I have an absolute shoe fetish so my wedding shoes were by Christian Louboutin. The heel was mid-height as I didn’t want to be in agony by our first dance! They were complete princess shoes, silver/gold and glittery!

Vintage Hair

I’m a trained Bridal make-up artist (London College of Fashion) so did my own make-up. However I had my hair styled. I love Vintage inspired styles so tracked down the very talented Bethany Jane Davies to do my hair. She’s a Vintage hair and make-up artist and did a cracking job of giving me a perfect 50’s Hollywood wave. My hair stayed in so well it still looked great the day after!

Country Garden

The flowers for our wedding were a mixture of country garden flowers, English roses, dahlias, sweet peas, (plus a few others I can’t remember the names of!)

I found our Floral Designer, Juliet of Thoughtful Flowers, at the National Wedding Show at the NEC. I put my complete trust in her as I was overwhelmed by her portfolio. I knew that our flowers would be grown especially, so whilst I had a rough idea of colours and varieties, the bouquets and displays were a lovely surprise on the morning of the wedding!

The flowers were the main decoration at the reception as they were so beautiful anything else would have detracted from them. The table centres were a combination of tall displays on mirrors, smaller arrangements in vintage crystal vases and individual stems in smaller crystal vases.

A Full Military Affair

The bridesmaids wore oyster pink prom style dresses that I bought from Coast that I had adapted slightly (I had a tulle skirt sewn in to match my dress) and oyster pink lace shoes that I found in New Look and were an absolute bargain.

As the wedding was a full military affair most of the groomsmen were in uniform. The Best man’s suit along with both the Father of the Bride and Groom’s were hired from Cameron Ross formal wear.

Complete With Sword

My husband is an officer in the Royal Navy so he was in full dress uniform, complete with sword! He was also in floods of tears which completely set me off.

We Were On The Same Page

Our photographer was Jo Hastings – I met Jo at the NEC National Wedding Show and loved her portfolio. After chatting our day through with her on the phone I knew we were on the same page so looked no further.

Heart Shaped

My lovely mother-in-law made our cake. It was a 3-tiered, heart shaped jam and buttercream sponge and was absolutely gorgeous.
I’d seen a few heart shaped cakes in wedding magazines (which I became slightly addicted to!) that I gave to her as inspiration.

Jazz Canons

During the reception and meal our DJ played songs by Ella Fitzgerald who I adore. It created a really lovely atmosphere. After our first dance the entertainment was kicked off by the 7 piece swing band we hired, The Jazz Cannons.

After that our DJ, Chris Bevans, kept us partying until the early hours. I put a song request on our RSVP’s so everyone had something played that they loved.

At Last

Our first dance was to At Last by Beyonce (from the Dream Girl’s soundtrack) The words of the song were really significant to the both of us. When I first played it to James he welled up! I insisted we have the Beyonce version as I’m a huge fan.

Plum And Damson

As the wedding was held at the family home I wanted as many personal touches as possible. We have a plum and damson orchard so after a fantastic harvest in 2011, we made plum jam and damson gin which constituted our favours. They were a labour of love as bottling it all took an eternity!

Candles And Trees

The flowers made up the majority of the decoration as they were so gorgeous we didn’t need anything else. We also hired bay trees to line the entrance of the marquee and had hundreds of candles throughout the venue.

A Stich Up

Because it was a full military wedding, touches like the sword arch, Naval toasts, the Naval flag flying at the church and the fact we cut our cake with my husband’s sword made it really special. Also, most of the women weren’t complaining that there were 20+ officers in uniform!!

I kept all the details I’d planned as a surprise so our guests were over-joyed to find a specialist Gin bar, free flowing champagne, restaurant quality food, fantastic wine, a reveal area that housed the club-style dance floor and stage, the 7 piece swing band, a photo-booth and a fish and chip van that arrived at 10,30pm! I also completely stitched my hubby up by arranging for him to sing a song with the band… He had no idea but was fantastic!

My advice to other Brides would be sweat the small stuff but don’t drive yourself crazy. I felt it was the little, personal touches I did that really got people talking. For example everyone really appreciated the basket of flip-flops and toiletries I put in the ladies bathroom especially when their feet were hurting and their make-up had worn off from so much dancing.

If you have time to organise things like this, definitely do it!

I’d also say try and make time on the day to have 10 minutes with your new husband. It all goes so quickly it’s great to just have some time to take it all in.

Dress – La Sposa

Boutique – The Bridal Lounge

Hair Vine – Ivory and Co Tiaras

Shoes – Christian Louboutin

Photographer – Jo Hastings

Band – Jazz Cannons

DJ – Chris Bevans

Florist – Thoughtful Flowers

Mmmm… Gin.

Jemma and James provided lots of things to entertain their guests, but Jemma is spot on when she says it’s the little personal touches that really make your guests feel special and sometimes that can be a budget saver too. A bit of home made jam (or gin in this case!) will always be remembered and it won’t necessarily break the bank either.