My sister Fiona's marriage to her long term partner Simon, took place last Saturday. The service was held in a quaint village church, which has stood fast for many centuries a few steps along the road from their home. The bride and groom opted for a relaxed stroll in the warm sunshine to Church, Fiona's designer heels carried chivalrously by husband-soon-to-be Simon, as she clomped elegantly alongside him in cheery red wellies, clasping a delightful bouquet of sunflowers and red roses. They looked picture perfect as they arrived to the celebratory peal of St. Giles' church bells.
The ancient church was filled to capacity with family and friends eager to help Fiona and Simon tie their knot and the congregation looked fabulous in bright, summery outfits, exactly as Fiona had requested.
Guests arriving at St. Giles
The planning of Fo 'n Simon's wedding has been very much a family affair. One of my favourite pre-wedding tasks was to visit St Giles with my son, daughter-in-law-to-be and Grandson, on the day before the ceremony, to tie children's wellies planted with flowers to the end of each pew. The rows of brightly coloured boots looked absolutely gorgeous as bride and groom walked down the aisle together. After the service, guests collected the wellies and carried them back to decorate the newlyweds' garden reception.
My son and his beautiful family
There were many 'Wormshill Wedding Committee' planning and preparation meetings during the months prior and no detail was overlooked. In truth, there were moments when we wondered if everything could possibly be achieved in the time available, but with a concerted family and friends' effort, no detail was overlooked. The result was a wonderfully colourful, crafted celebration, with hand painted signage leading guests to the event, hand made garden decorations, invitations, flower arrangements, order of service cards and of course, a hand made teddy bear guestbook. There were even hand decorated glitter champagne flutes with which to toast the happy couple! The official photography was provided courtesy of our sister Tina and garden lighting, marquee and gazebo construction and a superb hand crafted cocktail bar, were erected thanks to the combined building and electrical skills of the men in our family. Stages designed and built by Groom Simon and his team of family helpers provided flooring for a live band to play our favourite 70's disco tunes and later, for my niece's DJ friend to ensure the music continued through to the wee small hours, so newlywed's and guests could continue to dance the night away on the smart black and white checked dance floor.
Pre-wedding drinks at the Ringlestone Inn, with Fay and Neil
My husband Stuart and I were asked to give readings during the wedding service - Stuart's from the 'Song of Solomon' and mine from AA Milne's 'Winnie the Pooh' (I think I had the easier part of that deal!) So on the day, we left early with my daughter and her boyfriend because traffic reports were threatening another nightmarish day of 'Operation Stack'. Thankfully our journey was unexpectedly clear and we arrived in the village with plenty of time to spare, so put it to good use in the Ringlestone Inn's lovely garden. A little Dutch courage soon eased away my pre-reading nerves and I am relieved to say, our speeches to the congregation were surprisingly word perfect!
My boys, collecting up the wellies
Meandering back to the garden reception to celebrate
The Church service was a wonderful beginning to Fo 'n Simon's married life, reminding us all of the solemnity of marriage vows and the meaning behind them, but there was also laughter, song and an important sense of family togetherness throughout the ceremony.
The newlyweds wedding dance
After the solemnity of Church, a celebration into the wee small hours, the best way we knew how! So much colour, music, laughter and love, a garden blooming with happiness for the new Mr & Mrs Winter ... and as a thank you to their many guests, a fabulous first dance, in true Hollywood style!
Not only is Simon now my sister's husband, he is also Stepdad to my two nieces and Grandad to my Great niece Ella, on top of which he has been a great friend to me and my family over the past decade; so I would like to mention how delighted I am to have Simon as my official brother-in-law at last! Not so much a welcome to the family, more a recognition of all you have quietly done for our family over the years ... you have always been a part of it.
And my family pic above, for this post not about me, my kids and my little Grandson, instead a nod to Dad and his presence on my sister's special day. Dad loved their home in Wormshill and the candle and glass of red hanging from the tree branch at the bottom of the garden, was their wedding day tribute to him. He would have loved the celebrations and just like his daughters, would have danced the night away given half a chance, but more importantly, he would have been so happy to see his daughter Fiona, married to his good friend Simon.
So to bring this special post to a conclusion ...
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Winter!
Here's to your future together,
may it be filled with everything your Wedding Day shared with us,
colour, fun, happiness, family, friendship and love ...
and in the words of Pooh bear,
“Oh, Bear!” said Christopher Robin. “How I do love you!”
“So do I,” said Pooh.”
Giles the Guestbook Bear