Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Making it happen

When Stuart dropped to one knee with a proposal of marriage in August of 2010, I had no idea of what was yet to come.  We sent announcement cards to our nearest and dearest and in return, received a flurry of congratulations, one of which came in the form of a telephone call from my delighted Dad, so eager to give his blessing to our marriage ...


I learned soon after, it is impossible to know what lies around the corner.  When I received a heart-rending telephone call from my sister Tina a little over three weeks later, breaking the terrible news our larger than life, indestructible, twinkly-eyed Dad, had passed away in the night, my world fell apart and our wedding plans were postponed indefinitely.


2012 heralded a fresh start when my amazing sister Fiona and her super partner Simon tentatively broached the subject of wedding arrangements again, kindly offering to host a reception at their home in the countryside of Wormshill, a place I knew Dad loved to visit.  We instantly knew it would be the perfect reception venue and suddenly, our wedding plans began to roll! We lost Dad on September 18th in 2010 and for me, setting a wedding date in September was hugely important because I wanted to be able to celebrate the season, just as I knew Dad would have been enjoying it, during his final days.   Naturally, the first step was for me to start planning an autumnal wedding cake - after all, we girls take our cake very seriously!


Despite the fact I still hadn't a clue what the more 'mature' bride should wear, my daughter convinced me we needed flowers, so plans to source a local florist to create a bridal bouquet, corsages and buttonholes were soon underway ...


A little hint of devilment told me Stuart would not be expecting a wedding car, least of all a VW Beetle (!) By some miracle, I convinced Stuart we couldn't get married without 'Polly Pootles', a very special 1960's vehicle, to escort us to our wedding venue and reception.  A vintage car for a vintage bride!


We have the good fortune that our local Registry Office is in the 'Archbishop's Palace', a lovely historic building, so there was never any question as to where we would be married.  Back in April we finally set the date, Sunday 16th September 2012.


That was when the work began in earnest!  Fiona and I formed a 'Wedding Committee'; the membership was made up of Stuart, our kids, their partners and Simon as our ' Committee Chairman'.  We had many planning and crafting meetings throughout the Summer months, sharing much laughter as we all worked together to create my dream 'Autumn Country Garden' wedding.


Hannah, Fay and Lauren made giant string baubles to decorate the trees



Fay and Hannah worked in the garden creating jam jar vases for table flowers ..


Simon designed tables for a wedding gazebo ...


The kids shifted, lifted and assembled ...


Fiona and I sewed table coverings and hessian runners  for the 
wedding gazebo ...


We ate, drank and made merry ...


Played games ...


Painted ...


Planted ...


Sewed ...


... and of course, planned.


The day before our wedding was crazy busy!  Fay and I bought a trolley full of gorgeous Autumn roses, carnations and freesias (the freesias were to remember my Gran because when I was a little girl, we used to take her bunches of freesias on a Sunday).  We filled my car boot, then drove to Wormshill to meet the rest of the Committee and begin the final preparations.


The boys built ...


My son wired the entire garden to indulge my inner 70's disco diva ...


And Simon converted his lovely conservatory into an Autumnal chiffon wedding dream (he even kept a smile on his face whilst so doing!)




The girls arranged flowers ...


Cleaned ...


Planned tables ...


And ate sticky buns!


Fo dashed around organising everything to perfection, until she was fit to drop!


Then finally, on the morning of 16th September, while I was putting on my wedding dress and titivating at home in my bedroom, angels came and worked their magic in Wormshill ... 


Flowers, balloons and butterflies were put into place ...


Garden tables were dressed and just as Dad always said they would, fairies appeared at the bottom of the garden!


My cake lady Charlotte arrived while we were at the Ceremony and quietly set up her fabulous wedding cake in our gazebo.  I hadn't seen the finished item until we arrived at our reception ... WOW!


I don't have enough words to express how grateful Stuart and I are to our 'Committee' members.  They have supported us with so much enthusiasm, hard work and love.  We certainly couldn't have made our special day a reality without each and every one of them.

Most especially, I want to thank my sister Fiona (shown here with her beautiful girls, my nieces Leah and Lauren) for all her support during tough times and fun times.  Sis, you are amazing x


And finally, Simon ... daft as a brush but also the most generous spirited man I've ever known.  He has looked after me throughout, been a true friend to Stuart and honoured Dad.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone and very specially thank you Fo and Simon, for sharing the warmth of your Wormshill home with us xxx

3 comments:

Elanor Clare Andrews said...

What a beautiful post Paula and what a wonderful family you have. I'm sure your Dad was looking down on you all so very proud xx

Kays Kids said...

What a lovely story. Families are the love and glue that holds us together. It looks wonderful.
Hugs

Amanda said...

That is one gorgeous, proper family wedding....love it all!

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