Ally and Neil's Wedding - 29th July 2007

allyAlly started her 'tell us the details' thread on the 26th Mar 2006 with this opening post :

"Hi, I'm Ally, I'm 24 and I live with my fiance in Herts. We got engaged 31st Jan this year and we're getting married 29th July 2007."

By the day of her wedding there had been a further 943 posts covering all aspects of planning her wedding, from the highs of getting the venue booked and secured, to the lows of receiving a dress that she did not like.

This is not the time to go over the ups and downs of planning the wedding, this is the time for the story of the wedding day to be told. Grab a coffee and sit back and enjoy as Ally tells us all about her big day.

Ok are you sitting comfortably? Here goes!

Not really sure where to start! I had my hair highlighted on the Thursday, blonde and purple. On the Friday I had my nails done, I was really gutted that I ended up having acrylic tips because I'd been trying so hard to grow mine and in the last week all bar 2 of them broke off. My 7 Dutch relatives had arrived earlier that day so we went out for a curry with them which was lovely, there were 13 of us because my nan, mum, her boyfriend, brother, me and Neil were there too. Only half the Dutch people speak English so it was, er, interesting! But they are a great laugh.

The Day Before

Saturday morning I was doing last minute bits and bobs, got some stuff for the bridesmaids emergency kits and packed my overnight bag. Went to my dad's to drop off his cravat and socks and we headed off to the hall about 3pm to put the tables out and drop off the booze. My mum stopped by with a giant balloon saying "Just Married" which we put on the stage. Neil's parents turned up with all the food. Then my mum and dad went home and the rest of us went to Tewinbury to check in and drop all the stuff off in their wedding cupboard. I went back tot he hairdresser to have my purple highlights made more vibrant - oh yes, they were bright purple!! But I was happy. Mum came to get me as I didn't want to leave my car outside the hairdresser with all the ribbons on it!

plume-of-feathersThen we went to a pub in Tewin called Plume of Feathers which was very nice but it was Saturday night, there were 11 of us and I hadn't booked so we ended up sitting outside which was fine but my mum and her boyfriend sat inside as they didn't want to get cold.

Anthea + Rob, Sarah + Robin, Jo + Neil, my mum and her boyf, Neil's parents and me were all there. Stayed for a drink after dinner, then went back to Tewinbury for the night. I was sharing a room with my mum which was fine but neither of us ended up getting much sleep. I just couldn't sleep. I slept til about 1:30am, then was awake til 5:30am, in the middle of that me and mum just ended up having a conversation for about an hour about completely random stuff!

The Wedding Day!!

My alarm went off around 7:30am and I sprung out of bed despite having only had about 3.5hrs sleep and I was singing and dancing round the room! Had a quick shower but wasn't allowed to get my hair wet as the purple may run! Went down to breakfast around 8:15 and met up with Anthea + Rob and Neil's parents. Then Jo and Neil turned up and then Nadine and Brendan, the hairdresser, make up lady and the photographer.

allys bridesmadesAll us girls went into Anthea's room for hair and make-up, we were parked there most of the morning drinking champagne and singing to Madonna. The blokes were sent off to the hall to help decorate it.

(left) My beautiful bridesmaids in their diamante'd tops!

People started to arrive and I started to get nervous, I wanted to go to the stable to check everything was being set up correctly but I couldn't risk Neil arriving and seeing me so I had to sit tight. Then I guess it must've been nearly 1pm and I went to the bridal suite where Anthea and Neil's mum had hung up my wedding dress. I'd been really good and not cried at all but when I had my dress on with the hair, make up, jewellery and shoes I couldn't help it, I did cry a little but I was determined not to cry so I managed to stop. Then the bridesmaids came over to get ready too and I mostly held it together.

The staff lady came to get us and I was like oh my god oh my god but I smiled and off we went.

Now seems like an appropriate time to have some pics of the cars as I'll forget otherwise! Mine is on the left.


Time to go in...

So we've got our bouquets and we're on our way to the stable when I caught sight of my dad standing in the doorway in his suit and for some reason that set me off crying and I was uncontrolable!! I just said "oh b******s!" and we all laughed, I had a tissue but it was pretty soggy at this point.

Got into the venue and went straight into the bar area at the back. Had to do the official stuff like confirming my name and occupation etc but that was over in 5 mins. They'd put the candy buffet out in there but they also put the model car I got for the cake topper on the table so Neil saw it which I was gutted about as it was meant to be a surprise, but since that was about the only thing to go wrong I can't complain too much!!

We lined up ready to walk in and I was kinda expecting my dad to cry but he was completely fine. I heard the harp music and the bridesmaids walked in one by one, throwing their petals as they walked down the aisle.

I can't remember whether I looked at Neil or what or if he looked at me, it all seemed a bit surreal, like I'd been imagining it in my head for so long and now it was finally real it was like I was sort of hovering a few inches above myself and watching, if that makes sense!!

the kissBlubbering Mess

Well I was a blubbering mess for most of the ceremony but Neil managed to keep it together.

It was a really beautiful ceremony, the registrar was lovely. Neil's mum, my mum and Anthea all did their readings beautifully, no-one cried which I was a little surprised at but they were obviously better at not crying than me!

Then it got to the bit where the registrar says to Neil "Do you take this woman blah blah" and it's quite a long speech before he says I do, however she said the first line and the paused for breath and he blurted out "I do!", it was so funny! She's like "not yet but I'm glad you're keen!". Then I did my "I do", we did the rings and then we were pronounced husband and wife!

Here's the kiss (right)


So then we were taken back into the bar area and given a glass of bucks fizz each which I needed!! In the meantime everyone gathered outside and got their little bags of confetti ready, so when we were led outside they all threw the confetti over us, that was fun!

And then 10 mins or so of mingling before the posed photos were done. Here is just one, there are lots more back on the forum.

ally family

Ok so what happened next?

Food time! We did a receiving line with the two of us and both sets of parents, that took quite a while. My mum said she just said "hi person I don't know" to most people whereas I was saying thank you to most people as they told me how nice my dress was or congratulations etc. My face was beginning to hurt from smiling and I was sounding like a broken record!

I think people must've been bored of taking pics by this time as there aren't any (yet) of the room set up for dinner. The room looked beautiful with the flowers, mirrors, sprinkles, my home made table number/menus, etc.

cake cuttingThe food was lovely but we were running late so after the main course we did the cake cutting. Then we all headed off to the other venue, only half an hour late!! The evening guests had already arrived by the time we got there, that was a bit embarassing but I wasn't giving it too much thought at the time as I was too busy being spoken to by 12 people at once everytime I paused for breath!

I did make sure that Neil and I took a few minutes out together during the meal to go for a short walk around the building, that really helped us take a moment together to try to absorb what was going on around us but it didn't seem real!

The Evening

When we got there, my dad drove us up, they'd made everyone wait in the food area so that we could be the first to see the hall. Well it looked so beautiful, I was over the moon. The fairy lights and fabric from the ceiling, the balloons, the tea lights on the tables, the banner on the stage, the flowers and chair covers they'd transported from the other venue.... it all came together so well.

Then we went outside to do a quick practice run through of our surprise dance to Vogue, and then went for it inside!! It was so funny, we were so under-rehearsed but it was a great laugh and the looks on people's faces were priceless!!

vogue dance

Then we went back outside for more photos, poses with bubble and confetti guns etc. Then it was getting to dusk and the photographer took us round the back to a field for more photos:

Then we had about an hour left so we did as much mingling and dancing as we could cram in and before we knew it the DJ was calling everyone to gether in a circle around us for the last dance which was New York, New York. I wasn't expecting that and it was a lovely touch to end the evening.

We were the last to leave because there was a lot of clearing up to do and no-one was capable of making a decision without asking us what do you want me to do with this, can this be thrown away, where does this go, etc. So we finally got back to Tewinbury and the bridal suite around 11:30pm.

So that was it!

Our beautiful, perfect wedding day... over. Writing all this down has helped make it seem a little more real as I keep wondering whether it really happened or if I dreamt it!

It was wonderful, we had sunshine after all the rain predictions, everything was perfect.

neil and ally