Monday, 30 September 2013

07/09/2013 - WEDDING DAY!!!! :) *picture heavy*

 Man, we had the best sleep ever! We woke up so refreshed and relaxed and ready to start our special day!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I tell the funniest jokes!

I was fast asleep and Paul was dozing when just before midnight we heard a knocking on our door. We were a bit confused and disorientated when there was another knock and the door started opening!


Paul leapt out of bed, grabbed a dressing gown and headed to the door to find out what was going on. I was now wide awake and really confused myself!

There were two guys from the bar. One was carrying a bottle of champagne and the other had a cocktail glass full of strawberries.

"We didn't think you would be back until after midnight, these are a gift from Jodie, Mark and Amy!" Um, who?

We told them that we didn't know a Jodie, Mark and Amy. (Stupid, I know...damnit)

After a lot of awkward apologies and standing around, they left and Paul came back to bed. We lay there for a while, completely awake.

"We get married today" I said, looking at the clock.

Paul put on some clothes and headed down to reception to find out what was going on. Apparently the people that should have had the champagne and strawberries were supposed to be in our room but for some reason we were switched. Which is odd, considering we wanted the other room. We have since figured that the other couple were actually getting married at Formby Hall, and therefore got first choice as to which room they wanted, and also picked the same one we wanted. It's really not a big deal, except for the lack of sleep!

We eventually got back to sleep and woke up at a reasonable time. We also woke up to the sound of heavy rain on the roof over us. GREAT.

And thanks to Alanis Morisette, for the rest of the morning I was singing 'Ironic' to myself.

Paul decided to shower before breakfast, so while he was there, I packed up most of his stuff and tried to take some arty shots of our wedding rings before they were packed away for the best woman.

Not bad. Could do better. Never mind.

Once Paul was suitably suitable, we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. And watched all the rain as it poured down by the bucketload. Nice weather for ducks...and there were plenty of ducks!

Paul had a nice big breakfast to set him up for the day.

Me...well...I'd been quite sick during the night. I woke up feeling REALLY queasy at around 3, and put it down to nerves. Until I knew I was going to be sick. And boooooy was I sick! I don't think it was nerves that produced that amount of vomit. Not that you needed to know that!

So, my stomach feeling a little better, I had a lighter breakfast.

Actually, this isn't really my breakfast at all. I didn't eat those pastries! I took them back to the room and forgot about them! I had the yogurt and also a big bowl of porridge, which was perfect for me.

We went back upstairs and made our last few preparations before Katie (best woman) came to collect Paul.

He was collecting his toiletries from the bathroom when I had a call from reception.

"Just a courtesy call to let you know your florist is here."



That white van had all our flowers in it!

Jacqui arrived, who was looking after all our flowers for the day and boy, they did not disappoint.

I think I was too excited to take a picture but I think Mum did, so I'll be cheeky and steal one of hers.

Ignore the bumpf in front of the box.


From just a few pics I had taken in, they had done an amazing job at creating the perfect bouquets for my girls and I!

 Paul was still here and getting very nervous now. Katie was late.

My make up ladies arrived and started setting up but obviously I couldn't start getting ready until he left. So after a while I kicked him out! He was stressing me out! Jacqui took him downstairs to the bar and sat with him until Katie got to him and then he was her responsibility! I look forward to seeing what they got up to!

I got in the shower and then was put in the chair to get my hair done first. While I was in the shower, our photographer arrived and was raring to go when I got in the chair. I was having a 'curly blow'. Well, having never had one before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Certainly not this:

 Yes, internet - make up free Caroline. You're welcome.

You're also welcome for the image of me with over 40 hair brushes in my face. Why she couldn't just use rollers is beyond me. But they were heavy. And prickly!

I know I have a lot of hair but I kinda felt this was overkill!

Then they did my face.  That was when people started to arrive. My brother and parents got to us first, and my brother ran away before I was really able to talk to him! Then, while I was in the middle of being spray painted (I had airbrush make up) the bridesmaids arrived as well. And promptly had a picnic in the middle of the floor. Which I couldn't join in with as I was being painted. Humph.

We were running a little behind schedule, so everyone started to get their glad rags on while I was finishing up.

I had originally wanted my hair up for the wedding, knowing how hot I can get and how frizzy it can go. My make up lady's daughter, who had come to help, was dead against it, thinking I should have my hair half up as it had curled so nicely. We took a vote and everyone decided that it looked nice half up. Ok, I guess it did look nice, but if I had known I was going to have it half up, I would have planned a different style. Meh, hindsight!

Once the bathroom was free, I asked everyone to look the other way while I transferred my dress into the bathroom. I wanted the big reveal to be completely new. I didn't want people to catch a glimpse of the dress before I was wearing it. Ok, so Lucy, Mum and A had seen it before, but still. Not while I was all pretty!

I think they liked it!

Mum took pictures, but as they're hers I might not steal one this time.

Then the call came that the car had arrived. It was a bit early but still. EEEK!

My beautiful camper van!

Chris (Lucy's hubby) was driving the other girls to the venue, so they loaded up the car with my Dad's help so they could get on the way.

Leaving me alone for the first time. It was weird. I ate a banana and helped myself to a glass of champagne which my Dad had provided (and hardly anyone drank) and psyched myself up to go get married.

Oh, and take a selfie, of course!

Ready to see me as a bride?







Ok then!

Dad came back and said that he had spoken to the driver and that we didn't need to rush.

So Dad and I finished our champagne and topped our glasses up with that which was left by everyone else!

I also got a pic of my Dad with my flowers!


Then off we went!

I can't really tell you much about the day to be honest. Just as everyone tells you, the day goes by so quickly.

I remember have a laugh with Dad in the camper van on the way to the venue.
I remember the nerves setting in as we drove up the long driveway to the barn.
I remember seeing someone in a green dress running ahead of the van as they realised that we were coming and they would be late!
I remember nervous jokes with the registrar while we were confirming all the details.
I remember walking through a puddle and laughing that my dress would be getting dirty even before the wedding ceremony.

Before I knew it, it was time for the ceremony! We stumbled across the cobbles and headed to the back of the barn and the bottom of the aisle! A wouldn't walk on her own so S went first, followed by A and Lucy, and then Annabel (and bump) brought up the rear. Then it was my turn!

Next few pics are guest photos.

 I think it's fair to say that I was really excited and so happy to finally be getting married! :)

The ceremony was wonderful. It went really fast, but it was the important part of the day and so I was determined to savour every last second.

I have watched back the video and golly gosh I sounded posh! I think I recited my vows using my telephone voice!

We also had a couple of tiny bits of geeky stuff in the ceremony. I bet no-one really noticed one of them as it was less...obvious...than the other!

Our Unity Candles, which were made for us by Eden Candles, featured a Claddagh, which is a little nod to one of my favourite shows, Buffy! :)

The other was during the signing of the register. Our wonderful string quartet, The Manchester String Quartet played the song which got them hired in the first place, 'Concerning Hobbits' from Lord of the Rings.'s a Hobbit tune!

Time for a couple of close ups!

Aren't we pretty?!

From there it's a bit of a blur! We walked back down the aisle and headed out back for a couple of pictures. Then the rain absolutely lashed down and we retreated back into the rear foyer. It was time for confetti and in this weather I was afraid it wasn't going to happen!

I needn't have been afraid. They allowed us to do it part inside! After Mum had put so much effort into the confetti, we got to get covered from head to toe in coloured flower petals!

We headed into the coach house and greeted all our guests and chatted for a while before heading back to the camper van to go on a little drive around for 10 minutes or so.

In truth, we could have been gone for hours. I just had no concept of time!

We came back and had more pics taken and mingled some more! We got to sample our canap├ęs (which were delicious!), supped more fizz and had a great time!

Before we knew it, we were asked to head back into the barn to see how it looked before all the guests were in it.

It was perfect. I can't say it was exactly how I imagined it because I can't say exactly what I imagined! I knew what bits of the table would look like but had no idea on the flower displays, merely the holders.

It blew my mind. Absolutely breathtaking.

Plus, there was the cake. I mean, the cakeS! Plural!

Isn't it GORGEOUS! The cheese was just fantastic! We also had a proper cake cake as well, which was so pretty and beautifully decorated!

Skipping forward a little, here we are cutting said cake!


The wedding breakfast was very good indeed. We managed to speak to most people but we both seemed to miss the same table! Gah. Feel awful.

Anyway. Food turned into speeches. First up was my Dad who did a cracking job. Then Paul, who was also fab. My turn was next. I can't bring myself to watch it but what I have seen, people were bored! Lots of serious looking faces. I had an 'Umbridge' moment. Talking about seeing a sea of smiling faces, and not actually seeing one! Ah well! Then it was Katie's turn and I think she did a wonderful job. She didn't slander Paul like a boy would have done, but just gave a lovely speech! Well done Best Woman!

Then it was time to leave the barn again so they could set up for the evening do. Evening guests started arriving and more pictures were taken!

Then time to PARTY!

Except it didn't quite plan...

You see, the band started and then the power went off. Everyone thought we were doing something a bit different, you know, some rehearsed routine.


The band blew the power! And couldn't put it back on again! So Paul and I were ready for our first dance and there was nothing to dance to! We were in hold and everything!

After what felt like ages (not that it really mattered - it meant I got to speak with people some more) and Paul's cousin, who's an electrician coming to the rescue, the show got back on the road and we got to dance our first dance.

Not a traditional first dance slow number. That's not our style. Our first dance was to this.

Orson - Happiness. Can only find a live version. Hope that's ok!


Luckily some people came to join in and that made it much easier to get to the end!

And then the party continued!

I took these pics. I needed to take a few of my own pictures of the day!

So we danced and we sang and other people drank (I was surprisingly sober) and had a blast!

Again, I had no concept of time. Paul and I snuck away from everyone when we managed to meet at one point and spend a few minutes just the two of us. I'm sure the people that witnessed us walking off into the darkness had other ideas but we just wanted a few minutes in each others' company! We didn't seem to spend that much time together!

Then back and more partying! HARD HARD WORK!

 The hair is looking a bit tired now.

Paul and Jim show the band how it's done!

I do believe that this was a mighty fine rendition of Mr Brightside by The Killers by my cousin and I!

By this point, I have to be honest, my feet were killing me! Lucky for me my Matron of Honour had some nice ivory ballet shoes for me in her bag. Unluckily for me, she had already gone. OUCHY FEET!

This was niiiiiiiiiiice! Check out the muck on the bottom of my dress! :)

All too soon it was the end of the night. The last song of the night was for my lovely cousin Adam, who sang us 'Yellow Submarine' with the band. He was amazing. So brave!

From then I asked my pretty drunk husband to call us a taxi (which he did!!! - without a nag!) and I realised that a) we had no cash and b) my parents were walking home! Dad had cash, and we had a taxi! I think this is a fair deal!

We got back to the hotel, and headed up to our room. I got out of my torturous shoes and into the hotel slippers! Paul suggested in his drunken state that we go down to the bar. Well ok! I was still sober and fancied myself a drink!

We got to the bar and lo and behold, the people behind the bar were the same people that woke us up 24 hours earlier! (Yes, technically it's after midnight so tomorrow, but I've not slept yet!) To apologise for everything they gave us some drinks on the house. A large G&T each and a glass of champagne!

We drank those and Paul was getting sleepy. So we went back  to our room where Paul fell asleep.

I was still wide awake, and so I headed to the internet where I was lucky enough to see a few pics that people had posted during the day. These made me weep like a baby. They also made me feel inspired enough to post a blog! You can read it (if you haven't already) here!

Then eventually it was time for me to scrape all the make up from my face, remove all the pins from my hair and go to bed.

It was well after 3 that I went to bed. A loooooooooong day!

A perfect day.

**this post has taken me AGES to write. I'm sorry. I will try to fly through the rest! I'm only 3 weeks behind...**

Thursday, 26 September 2013

06/09/2013 - Almost there...

It's the day before W-day! EEEEEEEEK!

We spent last night at Paul's parents' house as being in my messy I-DON'T-KNOW-WHERE-ANYTHING-IS house was making me a little nuts. Seriously. I was freaking out a little. I couldn't think what to pack, so we made the decision to come back to the house early to pack everything. Nothing like doing it last minute!

We also had to take the cats over with us as Paul's parents said that they would look after them while we were away. They love it in that house so it's the best place for them to be!

Barney loves lying there by the patio doors looking out over the garden at all the birdies he can't chase!

Maia prefers lying on top of that Rohan box on the wardrobes. Only my cat would want to be part of the Rohirrim! That's my girl!

We left Paul's parents a little after 9 to head into Manchester to pick up a couple of bits and bobs. A delivery or two hadn't arrived in time so we needed to get replacements.

We then needed to go to the garden centre to get some nice rose plants for our Mums as gifts. We didn't want to just give bouquets as they don't last long. We want a lasting reminder of our wedding day for many years to come.

While we were walking around the roses, Paul got a text from his Mum. Telling us that 3 people weren't coming to the wedding. Day guests (also known as the expensive guests). Um...cue melt down.

I was only going nuts for a few minutes. I needed to focus. Instead of trying to persuade the drop outs to reconsider and still come, we invited colleague T and her husband in their place! We also invited their teenage daughter but they decided not to bring her as she'd get bored. And we don't want boring people at our wedding!

So after texting T to tell her to find a hat, we carried on with our day!

We got back to the house and had a brew. I then started packing and it turns out that I had sorted most of the stuff that we needed yesterday, which made things a little easier! Then I did a bit of tidying up because around lunchtime Lucy turned up with my wedding dress! She had gone to collect it for me from the dress place to save us a journey! She brought A with her so we got a little play time in before having to head out!

Once we were confident that we had got everything we needed, we headed over to Formby and our posh hotel. The room was ready for us, and we had been put in the 'bridal' suite! It wasn't the room that we had wanted, although now I think about it, it was the best room for us to be in! It was HUGE!

Yup. Giant bed and seating area.

Nice big dressing table for us!

Double doors into the bathroom!

And the best part of the whole room:

Giant swimming pool bath!

We didn't have time to wonder and marvel at how amazing our digs were, because we had massage treatments booked! We had a tension couples massage (we weren't expecting to be in the same room) and it was looooooovely!

We were also allowed to use the facilities for a while, so we had a rest in the jacuzzi, some time in the steam room, a sauna and a relax on the hot stone beds. It was really nice and we felt so relaxed afterwards!

When we got back to our room, Paul headed out to the supermarket to pick up some fizz (because it's our wedding, damnit) and I unpacked everything. I also took a shameless selfie, which would end up being the penultimate picture I would take of myself as a 'miss'!

I was also allowed to check out my dress and make sure all was well (kinda too late if it wasn't) and make sure it was hung up well in the wardrobe. I couldn't let it hang completely as I didn't want to risk Paul seeing it! I know he would have stayed out the wardrobe if I asked him to, but still. No.

Yes - we spend the night before our wedding in the same room. It cost a bomb. Why shouldn't he enjoy it too?! He paid for it!

There she is! All ready for me for tomorrow!

There's Paul, showing just how big our bed was!

After some stalling, we dressed and prettified and headed down to the restaurant to have dinner. It was included in our package, which was good as it meant that we didn't have extra costs to worry about!

We were taken to our table which overlooked the golf course, and the waitress was very apologetic when she said that the weather was nasty and it wasn't much to look at. "We're getting married in this tomorrow, so we're getting used to it!" I replied.

We ordered our food and generally chilled out.

After our starters were eaten and plates cleared, the gentleman at the table next to us said "excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing - did you say you're getting married tomorrow?"

Yes, we replied.

"We were also married on the 7th September. 50 years ago. Tomorrow is our golden wedding anniversary!"


This was a complete coincidence, but a lovely surprise, so we chatted to them for a bit. It was lovely to see a couple still so completely in love, and happy after so long. I just hope that the same can be said for us after 50 years!

After dinner, we headed back to our room and opened a complimentary bottle of wine which was in our room. I also ran a bath. I wasn't going to let that thing go without a paddle!

It took FOREVER to fill up but boy was it worth it!

We had the TV on, and were watching Shaun of the Dead while making our final prep for tomorrow. We buffed, polished and moisturised, whilst slurping on some pretty average rose.

I also wrote my last blog post as a 'miss', which if you missed it (see what I did there?!) you can read it here.

It then came time for beddybyes. I put on my moisturising gloves, turned off the light (I was shattered) and left Paul finishing the dinner playlist while I got some much needed beauty sleep ahead of the next day!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

05/09/2013 - Reality Bites

Another day another weird 'I can't believe we're doing this' feeling!

Once we got up and had a couple of cups of tea so Paul could miss the rush hour traffic, we packed up the car with all the booze!

Ah, the booze. The part of the wedding that the guests look forward to.The 'free booze' portion of the day. And having met our families, there really does need to plenty of it. So we put the back seats down in Paul's car and filled the boot with treats galore!

Impressive, no? What's even more impressive is that we had some left after the wedding! Granted, nowhere near as much as this, but even given the amount of hangovers I heard about, I was very surprised to see what was left! But let's just revel in the amount of alcohol in this car! Oh, and there's juice...and Schloer. For the non-drinkers.

Apparently the caterers decided to pour plain cava for people instead of the bucks fizz we had asked them to provide, yet we didn't get any orange juice back...hmmmm.

While Paul was delivering the goods, I was sorting boxes of stuff for each table, including decoration (except flowers), each person's place card and favour and all the other bits and bobs. We also decided to place a glass with sweets in on each table in case people are peckish. One of which I dropped on my toe.

Ow. Over two weeks later that mark is still there! It came up instantly and won't go away!

Guys, this afternoon was awful. I was sooooo stressed! Trying to get everything sorted in time to make a second trip to the venue before it closed was going to be tight.

Barney helped to a certain extent but mostly just left me be. To be honest, I could have done with the help!

We had to make one or two sacrifices to get everything done but I don't think it was the end of the world. I think the tables looked great!

We packed all 11 boxes into the car, along with a few other bits and bobs that needed dropping off today and luckily got to the barn in plenty of time. Then we were asked a myriad of questions about the day, what we wanted, where and how. It was terrifying!

As it was about 5pm when we finished, we went to the pub at the bottom of the driveway for a drink to wait for all the traffic to go down. There we sat. I was in quite a lot of shock. We had just delivered pretty much everything for our wedding. Anything else would be going on the day. Our work was nearly done! I needed a drink!

This glass of wine lasted me a good while as I went through a range of emotions. Mostly I was scared that we had forgotten something! Not that I could think for the life of me what it was that we could have forgotten, but I was sure that there was something!

The actual reality that our wedding stuff was all at our venue and there was little to nothing that we could do about anything now was such a strange feeling!

 The entrance to our venue. Next time I am here will be the wedding! ARGH!

We went back to the house and tried to pack for the next few days. I failed. There was too much to do and not enough time. We had to take the cats over to Manchester this evening! So we gave up! We decided to head back here tomorrow to get the final bits packed before heading off TO OUR WEDDING! EEK!

04/09/2013 - Busy Busy!

Another mad one today. As you can imagine! We managed to get a bit of a lie in this morning, which was nice, then I had to get up and go out to get my nails done!

There's a local place that would do both hands and feet for me. I just had to decide what I wanted!

I went for the classic french polish. I would have had a pale pink on my toes but the lady that was going to paint them said it was too pale for toes. I had no plans for people to be staring at my toes, but I didn't want to be awkward, so I went with her suggestion. How CLEAR polish is any more stand out than pale pink is beyond me...

I shellac on my toes for the first time. I'm really pleased with it! Will definitely have it done again! Much more reliable than normal polish.

Pretty, no? So there I am, all ship shape and ready to go!

Once I got back, Paul headed over to our photographer's house to go and pick up a few bits and bobs, and finalise details. He was greeted by two gorgeous faces!

That's Bill and Bob (not sure which is which), our photographer's dogs! They're just too adorable!

Paul's primary purpose was to pick up our photo guest book. Instead of a normal guest book BOOK we decided to flatter our egos and get a big picture of ourselves for people to sign!

 We're not bad are we?! I'm looking forward to it appearing at our wedding and people signing it! Although as we all know our wedding has passed, I can tell you that not as many people signed it as I thought would, and there are still plenty of gaps. So if you were at our wedding and didn't sign it, come to visit and then you can! Heck, you're more than welcome to sign it even if you didn't come to the wedding!

We needed to pop to the shops to get a few more bits and bobs (wedding are expensive) and while we were there I found my final wedding accessory.

As you all know, I've been checking the weather religiously numerous times a day. It forecasts rain. And lots of it. So there was only one last thing that could complete my wedding day look...

How cute are these?! My something blue! :)

I hope I don't have to wear them...but in some respects I also hope that they do!

Chris decided not to come over this week so he could do stuff for his own wedding, so we were able to keep sorting bits and bobs a lot longer without feeling the need to tidy up around us. The house is an absolute pigsty. Meh.

We were a little later to bed than we would have liked for a busy day tomorrow, but hey - we're crazy and reckless like that!