Diane and Sandy's Wedding - 11th April 2008

diane and sandyDiane started her 'tell us the details' thread on the 15th May 2008 with this opening post :

"Hi everyone, I have so enjoyed reading everyone else's plans I though I would start a thread and share some of my own. H2B proposed to me during a recent holiday in America. To say I was surprised is putting it mildly as we have been together for 13 years and I never suspected a thing.

H2B is a music teacher and I also play several musical instruments. We met through music and our main hobby is playing in our local brass band so we have decided to go a music themed wedding."

Read the rest here...

We shared many of the good points during Dianes journey, like when she secured a Ceilidh Band for a bargain price, the novel placecard holders shipped from the USA and probably best of all when her Aunt, Uncle and three cousins all confirmed that they were coming over from America for the wedding.

Our wedding story really started....

..... on the Wednesday evening when my Aunt and Uncle arrived from America.  My aunt is the closest female relative I have and suddenly having her there with me made it seem so real.  We spent a couple of hours with her at my dad’s then headed home to finish all the last minute things we hadn’t quite done – writing thank you cards for bridal party, packaging up table decoration etc.  Finally made it to bed around 12.30am.

The next morning Sandy was getting up early to head to the airport to pick up the first lot of  my American cousins who were due in at 8.30am.  I planned to lie in a little longer but as soon as his alarm went off I was wide awake going over everything again in my head to make sure it was all done.  I was so nervous and couldn’t manage any breakfast.

Champagne, Cake and Presents

diane makeupAt 10am I headed off to get my nails, eyebrows and lashes done.  Eleanor, my Bridesmaid, was already there getting hers done and stayed while I got mine done and we had a real good laugh.  I then had to pop in to my work as they wanted to do a presentation for me.  There was champagne, cake and presents and everyone told me I was absolutely glowing – I had to say I did feel good!  I then headed home to start to pack everything into the car ready to go to the venue. 

My American cousins were having a lie down and despite being asked to be wakened when I got home, we tried several times but they could not be stirred. Eleanor then arrived about 2.30pm and we were off to pick up the dresses.  The shop had our dresses all steamed and ready for us to pop into duvet covers (they recommended them instead of dress bags).  We loaded them into the car then headed off to the venue.

When we got to the venue they had two rooms booked for Sandy and I for that night – the bridal suite plus another room if I wanted to stay separately to him (although we are not into superstitions and had always planned to spend the night together).    When Eleanor and I checked the rooms out we decided to put the dresses in the spare room as it was huge and was going to be ideal for everyone to get ready in the next day.  The only issue we had with using this room was that it was at the top of another flight of stairs – I had visions of my falling down them the next day in my dress. 

A porter from the hotel was sent out to help me in with my dress and while we were getting it the car my Aunt and Uncle arrived.  Eleanor had never met them before and when I introduced them Eleanor burst into tears!  She said she was overcome at seeing them as she knew how important it was for me to have my Aunt there.  As we checked into our rooms the hotel said that more of my American family had checked in.  It felt great knowing that everyone had arrived safely.  Once the dresses were safely laid out in the room we headed back to the house to find the men.  Thankfully the venue was only 5 minutes from our house.

Little Miss Organised

venueBack at the house my cousins were awake and we all loaded up the cars to head down to the venue, check-in and meet in the bar for a drink.  When we took in all the boxes of favours, decorations the hotel staff were amazed at how organised is was with each box labelled with exactly what was in it and photos of how it should be set out on the table!

Our wedding ceremony was to be performed by Deaconess Muriel Wilson, who is a good friend of our family.  She arrived at 6.30pm for a quick rehearsal which was very light-hearted and good fun.  I remember saying that if we could be that light-hearted the next day then everything would be fine – I was convinced I was going to be in floods of tears during the actual ceremony.

After the rehearsal we all (Sandy & I, Dad, Brother, Bridesmaid and Husband, Best Man and partner plus America family) all sat down for dinner (this was actually the first I had eaten that day).  During dinner Sandy and I handed out our gifts for the bridal party which went down well.  After dinner, Eleanor and I took my Aunt up to the room where we were going to be getting ready to show her the dress.  She absolutely loved it and a few tears were shed.  I also gave Eleanor and my Aunt the personalised tops which we agreed we would wear to breakfast the next morning.  Everyone then headed off to bed about 11pm having agreed to meet at 9am for breakfast.

Little Miss Sleepy Head

diane champagneOn the morning of the wedding I woke just after 7.30am having slept very well.   I finally got up around 8am and had my shower before heading down to breakfast.  I was pleased to say I was really hungry as I was worried I would have lost my appetite just like I had the day before.  Eleanor, my Aunt and I all had our sparkly tops on which everyone loved!  Everyone was asking how I was feeling and I had to say I felt great - not in the least bit anxious.  At 10am I said goodbye to Sandy and headed off up to the room to start to get ready.  He headed back to the house to type his speech! 

Catherine, the make-up lady, arrived at 10.15am and started to work on Eleanor.  The hairdresser (Cheryl) also arrived but headed off to cut Tom’s (Eleanor’s husband) hair and also my cousins.  Catherine then started on my make-up while the hairdresser got to work on Eleanor.  Cheryl also did Gillian (Best Man’s partner) and my Aunt’s hair before starting work on mine.  It was while she was doing mine that someone took what has turned on out to be Sandy’s favourite photograph of the day.  He says it just sums up the day  and I “radiate happiness”.   While we were getting ready, one of the hotel staff appeared at the room with champagne and orange juice which was enjoyed by everyone.  Also while we were getting ready, we got several texts from people wishing us well which was really nice.

During all this time I didn’t feel the least bit anxious -  it was more excitement than anything else.

dad tartan tewsBy now it was after 12pm and everyone headed back to their rooms to get changed, leaving Eleanor and I to get into our underwear before I helped Eleanor on with her dress.  Everyone then came back and helped to lift my dress up and over my head then my cousin laced up the corset before zipping it up before getting the crochet hook out to do up all the buttons.  We kept joking about how on earth was Sandy going to be able to get me back out of the dress at night and said don’t be surprised if I come down to breakfast in it  the following morning!

It was also about this time that I looked out the window and spotted my Dad in his tartan trews – he looked great.  We were on the top floor of the hotel so nobody could see us so it was fun to watch everyone arriving.  Our flowers also appeared around this time which were absolutely fab.  We then spotted Sandy, David (his Best Man) and Tom (our Usher) all dressed in kilts and having their pictures taken.  By this time it was 1.15pm and I was ready to go – only problem was the wedding wasn’t until 2pm!!!

Just after that, the videographer appeared in the room to do some filming, closely followed by the photographer.  It was at this point I had a big teary moment when the videographer gestured towards my Aunt and asked “is this Mum”?  I don’t think I had ever told him my Mum has passed away so he wasn’t to know.  However, I said that my Aunt was the next best thing – had a little cry then composed myself for some pictures.

We Poured Another Glass of Champagne

dianeAbout 1.40pm everyone left the room and headed down to take their places leaving Eleanor and I on our own.   Before they all left,  I remember asking what would happen next and was told that someone would come and get me when the time was right.  We poured another glass of champagne and kept peeking out to see more guests arriving. 

At 2pm the phone in the room rang and Eleanor answered it.  It was Garry (the assistant manager who was looking after us that day) to say they were ready for me!  One last sip of champagne then we tackled the bit I was dreading – getting down the stairs!  However, it turned out to be easier than I anticipated and when I got out into the little landing at the top of the main staircase, I spotted one of my work colleagues who had come along to see me.  I could also see all of the people who were having lunch in the restaurant looking up at me.  Rosie (my colleague) came running up the stairs with her camera telling me how wonderful I looked and took a couple of pictures of Eleanor and I. 

I then headed down the rest of the stairs for another part of the day I was dreading – seeing my Dad for the first time!  My Dad and I are both very emotional people (especially since my Mum died) and I knew he’d probably cry when he saw me.  I was right – he took one look at me and the tears flowed.  I am amazed that I did not burst into floods of tears as well but something kept me strong and I called him over to me.  I said “you look great, I look great and Mum is looking down on us and that’s all I’m going to say”!  He composed himself fairly quickly and we headed out to the front door to take some pictures.  At this point the sun was trying to shine!  As we we’re getting our pictures taken, one of Sandy’s Aunts was just arriving – she had been having problems with traffic and was running late. 

I Felt Absolutely Amazing

diane bouquetWe then headed back in to be met by Muriel and it was time to go.  We headed through to the room next to the conservatory where the Ceremony was to take place and I could see the brass group waiting to play.  A couple of them gave me a wee wave and you could see they were excited to see me.  They started to play “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and it was time to start.  I let them play for a few seconds, took my Dad’s arm and started making our way into the conservatory.  I felt absolutely amazing with not a nerve in my body, it was all excitement!  I remember smiling at my family when I saw them then turned to see Sandy and David looking great in their kilts.  When I reached them I gave Sandy a quick smile then turned to give my Dad a hug before turning back to Sandy who said one word “Wow”!

Muriel welcomed everyone to our ceremony by recounting the fact that it was exactly a year to the day since Sandy proposed to me on the Golden Gate Bridge.  This was followed by a short prayer then it was on to the vows!

I handed by bouquet to Eleanor then took Sandy’s right hand.  Sandy went first and got through them with only one slight hiccup – a one point he started repeating before Muriel had finished!  I then said mine, another bit I had been dreading as I thought I would be in tears, but managed remarkably well.  We then exchanged rings and she pronounced us Husband and Wife!  Muriel had said at the rehearsal that she had prepared something special for the ceremony which she hoped would be enjoyed and understood by everyone.  It transpired that she had composed a fictitious conversation between Sandy and I made up almost entirely from the titles of Beatles Songs (Sandy is a huge Beatles fan as is Muriel).  It went down very well indeed!  

We Headed Out for a Glass of Champagne

cake topperWe then stepped forward to sign the register – during which the brass group played “Diane’s Number” (the piece Sandy wrote years ago for me to play in a solo competition).  Once the register was signed and photographs taken, the brass group struck up Charpentier’s “Prelude” from “Te Deum” and we left the Conservatory as Husband and Wife.  We paused by the brass group for a photo then headed out for a glass of champagne. 

It was at this point that I saw my cake for the first time which looked fantastic and Cheryl’s topper really finished it off.  We were then whisked outside to the gardens to have our photographs taken.  The sun had disappeared by this point and there was slight drizzle, but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm and excitement.  We did the photographs of the bridal party first before getting everyone out to do the family/group pictures.  It was a bit chilly but everyone was in good spirits and the rain dried up.

Then it was back inside to heat up and we had pictures taken pretending to cut the cake -  we decided to keep the actual cutting of it until the evening reception.  We had also taken along our Cornets and posed with them as we appear on our cake topper.

Garry then said that we were well ahead of schedule (it was about 3.45pm) and suggested that head through to sit down about 4.15pm.  This gave us time to mingle with our guests.

Conesrvatory Transformed - It Looked Great

cakeWhile we were having our photographs taken, the hotel staff had transformed the conservatory into the venue for our meal.  I went through with Garry to have a quick peek  to make sure everything was as I expected it to be, and it was – everything was looking great.

Sandy and I led everyone through into the conservatory where they all took their seats.  Everyone loved all of the little musical touches, including the music stand place card holders, favour boxes etc. 

We had decided that we would have the speeches before the meal so that everyone would be able to relax. Garry announced this is what would be happening, but asked everyone to study the menu and they would take our orders before the speeches thus ensuring the food would be ready as soon as the speeches were finished.

My Dad was first to speak.  As I said previously my Dad is a very emotional person and I wondered how he would cope with making a speech.  My brother had offered to step in but Dad said he would do it.  He speech was short and sweet and said everything it needed to – I was so proud of him.

Sandy went next – he kept everyone waiting for the traditional “my wife and I” by referring to me as his “ex-Fiancée” or “former girlfriend” but did get a cheer when he finally said “my wife”!    You could then have been mistaken for thinking that he and Muriel had been in talks about what they were going to be saying.  Whereas during the ceremony Muriel talked about Beatles Songs, Sandy’s speech was made up of song titles by A-Ha – I was a huge fan of the group back in the 80’s!!  I’m not sure that everyone got all the song titles but I did and thought it was fab. 

David finished off the speeches with some great tales of he and Sandy’s friendship and in particular Sandy’s organisation skills – or lack of them as the case may be!  He also surprised Sandy by managing to produce Sandy’s Beatles “Help” sweatshirt which he had been wearing the night before.  David joked that he wondered if it was a reference to how Sandy was feeling!

The Food Was Fantastic

diane foodJust before the meal was served Muriel said grace and also proposed a toast to my Mum and Sandy’s parents which got the tears flowing, however I quickly composed myself and enjoyed my meal.  The food was fantastic.  As we had a relatively small wedding (only 37 guests) the tables were set out in a horseshoe and it meant that everyone could interact well.  Everyone seemed to relax and enjoy themselves.  During the meal Gillian (the Best Man’s girlfriend) said she had never seen a bride look so relaxed before!

When the meal was finished, Garry asked everyone to move next door to the function room where the reception was to be held.  By this time is was about 6.45pm and the evening guests were due to arrive at 7.30pm.  The break gave me time to nip back to the room to freshen up before the guests arrived.

A bus carrying most of the evening guests arrived at 7.30pm and it was great to see everyone and receive their congratulations.  Just before 8pm we did the official cutting of the cake so that everyone could get a picture then it was time for the first dance.  Fiona, the band leader, explained to everyone the story behind “Diane’s Number” and told them how Sandy had now arranged it into a Waltz version for us to use as our first dance – “Diane’s Waltz Number”.  We took the floor and were joined a few minutes later by David & Eleanor then my Aunt got my Dad up to dance.

Diane the Sausage Thief

dian first danceAfter that the night seemed to fly in.  We had a ceilidh band and everyone enjoyed getting up and taking part – I even managed several dances myself despite the dress!  My American cousins found themselves dragged on to the dance floor even though they hadn’t a clue what they were doing.    Before we knew it, it was 9.45pm and time to stop for the evening buffet to be served.  It looked delicious but I have to say all I managed was a sausage roll which I stole off my brothers plate.

It was then back on with the dancing but all too soon Fiona was calling the last waltz.  I found Sandy, dragged him back onto the dance floor for our last dance of the evening.  After that we got everyone in a circle for “Auld Lang Syne” with Sandy and I in the middle followed by “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” when we gestured for my Dad, David & Eleanor to join as.  It was the perfect end to what had been a perfect day.

All the guests started to drift away until it was only the ones staying at the hotel who were left.  Most headed off to bed but a few of us (Sandy & I, David & Gillian, Tom and Eleanor and a few friends) headed through to the bar for a final night cap.  It was nice being able to sit down and chill for a wee while and look back on the day.  We finally headed off to bed just after 2am!

Mr & Mrs McAughtrie

We said that night that we would probably have a long lie and skip breakfast however we were awake by 8am and decided to get up and shower and go down for breakfast.  Most of the others were already there and it was nice to be greeted as the new Mr & Mrs McAughtrie.  They were also amazed to see that I didn’t come down to Breakfast in my dress!

On the whole, it was an absolutely wonderful day from start to finish and I don’t think there is anything that I would have done differently.

diane and men