Michele and Stu's Wedding - 23rd August 2008

michele 1Michele joined the Wedding Forums on the 25th January 2007, over two years before her wedding, and introduced herself a few days later ;

"I suddenly realised that I haven't put all my plans on here yet. Naughty me!

So I am Michele, and my other half Stu proposed to me on New Years Eve just gone. We have been together 3 and a half years lived together for the past 2.

[...]

We get married August 23rd 2008. I'm from northumberland, but we are getting married where we live in Norfolk. (not sure my Mum has got over that one yet!)"

Read the full post here!

Here is the story of that day, in Micheles own words.

The whole thing really started on the Friday night, after a frantic last second run to the venue as wed forgotten to give them the table centers, and then a return visit to the nail bar as I had smudged my lovely French manicure within 2 minutes of leaving, I finally made it to the hotel.

Lots of my family and friends had already arrived from all over the country, and had all booked in for dinner at 7. So there was about 35 of us, on a huge table having a night before the wedding party! The oldies ended up propping the bar up and singing, while me and the bridesmaids went off at about 11.30 to get our beauty sleep.

I slept really well, I had the bridal suite with a four poster bed, and my dress was hanging at the end of it. Surprisingly I didn't wake up to think there was a ghost trying to get me. I had ordered breakfast in my room, so that I didn't see everyone before I got ready. I managed cereal and toast, but couldn't touch the poached egg and beans.

Dad was Having Whale of a Tme

I had given Mum and Dad their card the night before, which made them both cry, and as soon as the bridesmaids bundled in I gave them their cards, they all cried too! Clare set to work on my hair, and I felt so calm the whole time. Then the photographer and the flowers arrived at the same time, and I started to get a bit nervous. But with the aid of some M&S pomegranate sparkly I was fine. Mum had ordered sandwiches for lunch, as we weren't due to sit down until 4.30, me and my Dad were the only two who ate anything though. Dad was having whale of a time, keep popping in and seeing where we were up to, then out for a sarnie and a swig from his hip flask. He was getting very nervous.

Then all a sudden it was all go, the girls bustled round me, and my dress was on, and I was being laced into it. As soon as the coach left with the guests we were ready to go out and get in the cars. There had been a last second change of car for us, as the jag we had booked was broken, and they sent a replacement, but I just didn't care what it was, as long as it drove us to the church. All the staff at the hotel lined the stairs as I came down, and started clapping, I felt like a movie star!

I could Hear the Northumbrian Pipes

michele 2The sun was shining on the way to the church, which was great as it had been dull and damp all morning, me and Dad were just sitting chatting, I couldn't tell you about what though!

We got to the church dead on time, and ended up waiting outside a few minutes before pulling up to the door so we could be fashionably late. I could hear the Northumbrian pipes that my uncle was playing, they sounded so lovely.

Maddi (Stu's little girl) was waiting for me, with Stu's Mum. I could see she was very nervous, and she didn't want to come into the photos with us. She was getting a bit wound up so I suggested that she walked down the aisle first with Stu's Mum, and we would follow as soon as they got to the front.

So we gave the nod to the priest, got into position, the bridal march cranked up, and we were off. It was such hard work to walk, hold Dads arm, my flowers and my dress up so I didn't fall over! I caught Stu's eyes, and didn't look away until I was at the front. He was smiling his widest smile, and looked very nervous bless him. I did see my Mums eyes glisten though.

The Priest's Infection

michele 3The ceremony was lovely; I remember being very impressed that everyone was singing, especially after the weeks wed spent deciding on the hymns! We both said our vows nice and loud, so everyone could hear them.

The priest made a funny slip up at one point, during the bidding prayer that went some thing like: we pray that these two families grow in infection for each other instead of in affection! I don't think many heard it but it made me giggle.

I had to round up the bridesmaids for the singing of the register, as I was having trouble keeping my dress up, so they replaced me in the vestry, not the usual I don't think!

Pimms and Champagne

The photos seemed to take ages, but we got through them all, then it was off to Weston Park in a shower of confetti. The driver handed us an ice cold bubbly each, which went down very well.

We arrived at the reception, and were handed a lovely glass of Pimms each, as by now it was quite hot. We had more photos, with the girls and the ushers. At one point the photographer had me in the middle and the 3 girls trotting (and he did actually use the word trot) round me. Lord knows how that one will come out!

michele 7

I don't really know how long the photos took, but all the other guests were making use of the Pimms fountain, especially my friend Beks, the appointed Pimms monitor. Her job was to keep it topped up, and she was very tipsy after having to test each new batch she made.

We came inside for the line up, and the Master of ceremonies had whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, by telling them the table that cheered the most when we came in would get a bottle of wine!

Dads Speech was the Best Ever!

michele 6The marquee looked stunning when we saw it. All the glasses that wed personalized were full of the mini bottles of champagne. The table centers were beautiful and all the candles lit, and even better there were tables full of smiling faces. We had the speeches first, so that the boys could get it over with and enjoy their meal. My Dad was fantastic, the night before his asthma really quite bad, but buoyed up with Pimms and happiness he did the best speech ever.

His opening line was fantastic, "I think you'll all agree, this is no ordinary wedding, this is an M & S wedding (for Michele and Stuart!)." He presented Stu with a Newcastle T shirt, a Geordie driving license and offered to sell CDs with translations of his speech for 10. Stu did me proud too, bringing a few tears to my eyes by announcing a toast to the most beautiful bride ever, and Rick the best man had us all in stitches. The bridesmaids also did a speech, a poem they had written all about me.

The BBQ was Fantastic

michele 5Then it was finally time to eat, the BBQ was fantastic, they had made me the most amazing veggie dishes, and everyone commented on how good the food was.

All finished off by our extra special Chocolate cheesecake, which my friend Lindsey had made and brought all the way from Newcastle. Yummmm, it looked great before we cut it, all 3 tiers, topped off perfectly with models of Stu, me Maddi and even our greyhound Blue, all of which I ordered at the last second as a surprise for Stu!

The Dreaded First Shuffle Started...

Somehow it was time for the night guests to arrive, the disco began in the main house, and the dreaded first shuffle started. It was great to have the dance, but with so many videos and cameras watching it's quite daunting. My Mum and Dad joined in near the end and the dance floor was quickly packed.

I danced the night away, but also made time to get round every group of guests for a quick chat. Stu did the same, and we kind of met up in the middle every now and then. One of my highlights of the day was when I asked the DJ to play the Proclaimers 500 miles for my Dad. Its one of his favorites. So we dragged him on the dance floor, all the guests got up, and formed a huge circle, with me and Dad in the middle. It was just such a happy moment, he loved it and was dancing away with me.

michele 9

We Avoided the Bar and Went to Our Room...

The evening went so quickly it seemed only a few minutes from the first dance to the DJ announcing the coach was there to pick up the guests. We had arranged a late bar back at the hotel, but both me and Stu were exhausted and headed straight up to our room. I just had to loosen the ties on my dress, and let myself take a deep breath, and take out the hundreds of hair clips which were digging in my scalp (non of which I had noticed before wed arrived back at the hotel!)

I can honestly say it was the best day of my life. The build up was hard work, but absolutely everything we bought or made was so worth the effort. The whole thing just flowed so well, we had a fantastic venue, and the sun just shone and shone for us.

I have to say a huge big thank you to all my friends on Chaos, without them I would have gone mad over the past 19 months, and not have had half as many fantastic ideas for the big day itself!

You can read Michele's 'Tell us the Details' planning thread here.

michele 8