I started this blog post the week after my sister, Kim, got married. In case you’re wondering, today is her first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been one whole year and I haven’t yet written anything about the wedding on the blog, or even shared any photos on social media.
Wait, scratch that, I can absolutely believe it. I’ve been totally rubbish at keeping up with the blog in the last couple of years, so I suppose I should be impressed that I’m writing this before her 10th wedding anniversary.
Anyway, to catch you up, last August my sister Kim (the middle one) got married in a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. An awful lot of planning and prep went into the big day. Here’s how it all went down…
‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE….
The night before the wedding, the bridal party stayed at my parents’ house. We somehow managed to cram a bride, bride’s parents, 6 adult bridesmaids and 2 flower girls into a 4 bedroom house. It was cosy, but it was nice to spend the evening together.
We picked up some food (and drink) from Tescos and had a mini party in the living room while washing hair, painting nails and generally pampering ready for the main event.
Kim had put together little goody bags for all of the bridesmaids including matching PJs, slippers, toiletries and jewellery. It was really sweet and helped to get everyone even more excited.
We all crammed into one room for a while to watch “Bride Wars” before heading to bed for some much-needed beauty sleep.
A BRIDE’S WORK IS NEVER DONE….
I bet there aren’t many brides who can say they went to work on their wedding day. When she’s not walking down the aisle, Kim owns and runs her own hair salon so it was hardly surprising that she would want to take charge of the hair styling for the bridal party.
With a trusty team of hair stylists and beauticians, Kim managed to curl and pin each bridesmaids hair and still have time to have her own hair and makeup done. (Just!)
THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED
The venue for the day was Goosedale in Papplewick, Nottinghamshire. I’d never been there myself, but people who had been before told me it was a lovely venue. They certainly weren’t wrong.
The ceremony was to be held in The Crystal Hall, a stunning barn conversion with high beamed ceilings and the most amazing chandeliers.
We were able to access the venue for the whole day before the wedding to allow us to add some personalised touches to the room, including these “Reserved” signs for the bridal party and this amazing order of the day (which was completely hand made by our Dad!)
With 6 adult bridesmaids and 3 flower girls, you definitely couldn’t say Kim was short of female support on her wedding day.
The adult bridesmaids each wore a Veromia dress, in varying styles, each in a slightly different shade of blue. Although we each chose our own style and colour, by a stroke of luck no bridesmaid wore the same dress in the same colour so it worked out perfectly.
The flower girls wore beautiful white dresses, with gold shimmer running through them and a gold floral embellishment on the front. I think they came from the sales at Very.co.uk and were actually purchased almost 18 months in advance. We had to keep our fingers crossed that the sizes we gambled on would fit on the big day, but I think we can all agree they looked amazing.
The flowers for the bridesmaids (and also the bride’s bouquet) were artificial arrangements designed and made by Kim herself. They perfectly complimented the dresses and the best thing about them being artificial is that we get to keep them forever. ( I have mine in a vase on my bedroom dresser along with some of the table decorations.)
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
As we were getting ready there were so many extra little touches to our outfits that I could never possibly list them all, but you can see a few of my favourites below. From the personalised ring box, to my gorgeous jewellery, to the accessories for the flower girls and page boys, every last detail had been thought out beautifully.
HERE COMES THE BRIDE
Unsurprisingly, for a wedding with Disney themes, the bride looked like the perfect Disney princess. Her dress was also designed by Veromia, but had been customised with blue flowers individually sewn into the lace.
THE MAIN EVENT
The ceremony itself was lovely, with lots of giggles, smiles and a few tears (don’t judge me, I have allergies….)
I think this was the bit that Kim was dreading the most, as she hates being the centre of attention, so they didn’t go for a long ceremony. They skipped readings and the like, and instead got the legal bit over and done with as quickly as possible so they could get to the good bit – The PARTY!
While the guests enjoyed the sunshine and a glass of Pimms (always an excellent choice for Summer), we all posed for the obligatory wedding photos.
The official photographer for the day was Jason Parnell Photography, who is a long-time friend of both my sisters. What I particularly love about Jason’s photography is his ability to capture the candid, unplanned moments as well as the more official posed photos. He’s also great at working with adults and children alike, as you can tell from the fact he even managed to get Mini Mess to pose for him (She usually avoids cameras like the plague)
In this modern age, there were plenty of amateur photographers on hand as well (including myself!), so we definitely weren’t short of photographic evidence of the day. The photos in this post are a mixture of those taken by Jason and by friends and family, and I’ve tried to add credits in the captions where I could.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL…
By now, you may have spotted a bit of a theme at the wedding of Mr & Mrs Smith.
Both Kim and her husband Alan are big Disney and Harry Potter fans and so it seemed fitting that their big day would combine the two. They tried to keep it quite subtle (they didn’t ask the registrar to dress in robes!), but they did find lots of ways to incorporate the theme into the day’s proceedings.
Many of the signs and decorations for the day, including the Great Hall sign and the Marauder’s Map seating plan were made by my Dad, Kim and anybody else they could rope into helping out!
The tables were each allocated a “Chapter” number and were themed around either Harry Potter or Disney. Kim had found vinyl stickers on the internet which she used to decorate old wine bottles as centrepieces, and each guest was given a wine, beer or champagne glass with a themed decal on them as well.
Around the reception room were dotted further decorations, including a chest full of chocolate gold coins and a Hogwarts House points counter on the bar.
SANDWICHES AND SPEECHES
Instead of a formal sit-down dinner, the bride and groom instead opted for an afternoon tea for the guests to enjoy before the speeches. The food was delicious, including hot options like sausage rolls and chips and there was more than enough to go around the whole table.
The younger guests were treated to their very own picnic, served in these adorable little personalised boxes and milk bottles. The children were also lucky enough to have extra entertainment, provided by Tristan the Twister, who makes some of the most amazing balloon sculptures I’ve ever seen. It was all very relaxed and it was lovely to be able to sit, relax and chat after the busy morning.
Once everyone was nicely full, it was time for the traditional speeches from the father of the bride, the best man and the groom. I may be a tad biased, but my Dad also gives a good speech and I always enjoy listening to what hes come up with. I hope he made the most of it, as he only has one left to do now!
I’ll be honest and say that I really don’t know a lot about the cake, apart from the fact that it was incredibly simple, simply beautiful and kept in line with the theme for the wedding. I’m not a fan of a fussy cake, so this was pretty much perfect. (I’m not sure if I ever got a slice, though!)
THE EVENING RECEPTION
After all was said and done, all that was left to do was party! However, there were still plenty of surprise and treats in store for the guests. The happy couple had arranged for a candy-floss maker, popcorn maker, a photobooth and a Harry Potter themed sweetie trolley, as well as much more.
The guests had a lot of fun sampling the treats on offer, as well as dancing the night away. I think the biggest hit was definitely the photo-booth, with guests both young and old spending hours coming up will silly snaps to share with the bride and groom.
When planning the wedding, Kim really had thought of everything, and even provided care parcels in the toilets for those guests with aching feet, or who needed a little touch up.
All to soon it was time to pack up and head home (which would have been easier if our car battery hadn’t run flat – but that’s another story)
It really was a beautiful wedding. I’m not sure if any wedding every goes off completely without a hitch, but everything important fell into place and we all had a lovely time.
My other sister, Kirsty, should have been married this July, but we all know what happened there. (Thanks Covid!). Hopefully, it’s all rearranged for next year so one sister down, one to go…
To finish off this post, I thought I’d share a few more of my favourite photos from the day, all taken by the official photographer, Jason Parnell Photography.