Ness and Phil's Wedding - 8th March 2008

nessNess started her 'tell us the details' thread on the 8th August 2007 with this opening post :

"Hi guys. I'm new to the forum. Just thought id say hi. Getting married 8th march next year, cant wait.

I've been reading through some of your posts and thre are a lot of good tips etc. We have decided to do a lot of the preparation ourselves. We set a budget, which so far is on target."

[ Ness actually went on a fair bit in her opening post - a characteristic she never lost, as you are about to find out when reading her story below! You can read her full post here ]

By the day of her wedding Nessy had made over a 1000 posts on the forums, many covering all aspects of planning her wedding, many sharing advice and ideas with other members.

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 [pot of..] coffee and sit back and enjoy as Ness tells us all about her big day.

Ok are you sitting comfortably? Here goes!

The few days leading up to the wedding were really busy, Phil was making the cake and I was double checking we had packed everything, rechecking check lists.  A few friends took some of our stuff up to Leeds, so it was remembering who had what in who’s car.

We checked into the Travelodge on the Wednesday night and it also happened to be my birthday as well.  Phil had nipped out to the shops and come back with a seafood midnight snack, with crackers, pate, wine and mussels – it was fab, totally romantic and he gave me the most beautiful necklace. 

Thursday was busy as well, Phil was finishing off decorating the cakes and I went for my hair trial with Alison, she took me to her house to relax me a bit more.  The end result was perfect, I think when she put the veil on me, the penny dropped – I was getting married!   It’s funny that, when you are preparing, you know it’s going to happen but when it’s so close it kind of hits you like a brick wall.

The Butterflies Kicked In

ness 3Friday was great, I was really relaxed and happy.  I was so excited to see my family and friends later that day, most were staying at the hotel the night before the wedding.  My Mum and Sister arrived at about 2pm and we went for a massage and had our nails done.  It was lovely to spend girlie time and chill out over, yes a cup of tea!  A couple of friends came to my room and we started the party mode, I totally forgot about having an interview with Michael from MGH Productions for our wedding video.  He interviewed me and I had the total giggles, it was so funny, then Phil went in to do his bit. 

We met back down in the restaurant and had a lovely three course dinner.  As there were so many guests some had already gone in to the restaurant, but the table that we sat at had my Dad, step Mum, Sister, Brother in law, my Niece, Nephew, Matty my son, Romy Phil’s Daughter, my Mum, my step Brother and girlfriend.  I was lovely to have people around us.  We then had to go into the ceremony room to prepare for the wedding next morning.  When I went into the room, I was blown away, they had already done the chair covers and sashes and the table was there for signing the register.  Our flowers looked fab either side of the table, and the isle runner was glistening in the lights.  It really looked lovely.  I think the butterflies kicked in then!  

We headed back to the bar and had a few drinks with our friends and family.  I kicked Phil out of the hotel at 2 minutes to midnight as I didn’t want any bad luck and finally headed to bed at 12.30.   Pity there was a party in the next room to us, and at 3.40am I ended up knocking on next doors door telling them to shut up as I was up to get married in a few hours – seemed to work, all was quiet and me and Mum had a cuppa.

The Butterflies Had Turned to into a Herd of Elephants!

ness 10I came down for breakfast at 7am, feeling ill.  The butterflies had turned to a herd of elephants.  I didn’t know if I wanted to be sick or run to the loo.  I managed to have some toast and a cuppa and then before I knew it the hairdresser had arrived.   She took my mind off things straight away and had me laughing my head off in no time, the bridesmaid arrived then and flower girls so the room was bedlam.  My Matron of Honour was ironing dresses and then some friends popped in to say hi and have a cuppa with me. 

Before I knew it, it was 10.50am and I headed to the room with my Mum and son to get my makeup on and get into my dress etc.  I was quite surprised actually at how straight I managed to get the liquid eyeliner on.   The registrar came to see me in my room, she was called Ann and a lovely lady checking my names etc and reassuring me she would go through the ceremony really slowly.   By this time I was getting really nervous, and kept wondering how Phil was doing and hoping that he was enjoying his preparations.

Mike said that we should go and have a champagne toast to the bridesmaids before the ceremony so I rang my friend Emma and asked her to come to the room.  When she walked in she welled up and nearly started me crying but I managed to compose myself, we then went into the other room where the rest of the bridesmaids and flowergirls were all standing looking gorgeous.  That was it, I had a major wobble and the waterworks started. 

I Saw Phil And My Heart Melted

ness 4We had a quick sip of champagne and then the Toastmaster  arrived and told us it was all stations go.  I remember walking along the corridor with my mam laughing and having major nerves at the same time.  I could hear the music playing and knew by this time that Phil would be waiting for me at the top of the isle.  The little ones then went down and then it was my turn, I got the fits of giggles as I entered into the room as I forgot to wait for my Sister to open out the train on my skirt and nearly dragged her behind me.  All I remember was all these faces looking at me and I went really shy and coy. 

Going down the isle I was shaking like a leaf and trying to look ahead but mainly stared at the floor.  As soon as I got to the front and saw Phil my heart melted, he looked lush and I was greeted by a huge smile.  He grabbed my hand and we stood side by side.  This was it, I was going to be married arghhh!  

My friend Emma read out the first reading, she did a smashing job, looking at us the whole time she read it.  We then moved onto the explanation of why the wedding ring was worn on the third finger of the left hand and I can remember Phil and I squeezing each others hands.  I think I had stopped shaking by then.  Now it was time to say our vows.  I forgot I had a scrunched up hanky in my hand and the Register (I thought) had asked me for my hand, so I went to give her my left hand, and she said no Vanessa, the hanky!  Everyone burst out laughing. 

Phil placed my ring on my finger and the whole time we looked at each other, I was beaming but as Phil was saying his vows to me the emotion took over and he welled up a little, pausing for a little while to compose himself.   I was thinking ohhhhh god, I’m going to cry, but managed to just hold his hand, squeeze it and he managed to get to the end, and then it was my turn.  My voice didn’t sound like my own, I was so nervous I squeaked through the vows, putting Phil’s ring on his finger I was so happy when the Registrar declared us husband and wife.  

ness 5We then had the second reading by Phil’s Sister Kim.  I never heard a thing, but just as she started the reading apparently a petrol lawn mower was started right outside the windows.   I was so intent on what was happening I never heard it!   We then sat and signed the register, we were both beaming at this point.  I signed my name and we posed for photos, Phil accidentally nearly signed in the wrong place and swore – loudly!  The room was in hysterics, and when I looked up, I couldn’t believe how many people were crying or wiping their eyes.  I hadn’t realised how much our vows had affected our family and friends and I was so proud that they had been there to experience our special day. 

We were then introduced as Mr and Mrs Mumford and our exit song began to play.  It was Leona Lewis, but we wanted to wait until she sang the chorus before we went down the isle.  We walked down as proud as punch and hesitated for an unprompted kiss before we left the room.  We were greeted by the Toastmaster with a glass of champagne.  Huge smiles all around yeyyyyy we had done it!!

Goosebumps Had Bumps

ness 11We posed for some group photos outside the hotel, it was really, really cold and windy so we tried to do the confetti snap as quickly as possible and then get everyone into the cars and head to Temple Newsam for the bridal party photos.    I swear to god as every minute passed on the way to the venue the temperature must have dropped.  It was sooooooo cold, my goosebumps had bumps.   We had a few family photos outside and then headed indoors. 

I was so annoyed at one point as they wouldn’t let us all up into the room that we had especially chosen for group photos, but Rob did the best he could with Mark his assistant and we had some great photos taken on the wooden staircase.   Phil and I then headed to the gardens and had some personal photos taken.  Blowing gales had appeared by this point and I was nearly blue with the cold. 

So we had a few more photos with the car and then headed back to the hotel to see our guests.

When we arrived back, Phil and I went into the ceremony room to check the outlay of the room.   I was blown away, it looked spectacular, all those months of planning with colour schemes and ideas in your head finally come together.  The candles had been lit on the tables and it looked gorgeous.   The guests were asked to enter the room whilst Phil and I waited to be introduced as Mr and Mrs Mumford, we heard the cue and entered into the room to a round of applause both laughing our heads off.

I Tend to Prattle On…

ness 6Oh my god, I suddenly thought, I have to do the first speech!  My legs went like jelly.  I hadn’t written anything down as I tend to prattle on when I am nervous anyhow.  I took the poem in my hands and stood up.  During my speech my stomach lurched as looking down I realised that the glasses hadn’t been filled with the champagne for the toasts.  It totally knocked my off my train of thought.   Phil lit the candle in memory of his Dad and I managed to read the poem without breaking down - I was so proud of myself.  

The best man then read a speech out from my Mum as she was too nervous to stand up in front of people, it was beautiful.  Phil then stood up and gave a lovely speech, making my nearly cry again, telling me I looked beautiful and he was so pleased that we had become good friends before anything else and we would remain friends and lovers forever and always.   He gave out the thank you gifts and then the best man had his turn.  It was really funny as I had given him some old photos of Phil as a youngster, the cringe worthy type.  He had blown them up and each table had a set of photos to look at during his speech.  It all went down great, expect no flipping champagne for the toasts, but by this time the best man was taking the mickey out of the hotel for the mishap! 

Our food was beautiful and everyone loved it.  The children loved their gift bags and personalised champagne flutes and all was going well.   The guests were taking photos of each other with the disposable cameras and they were playing with the mini quiz boxes on the tables.   Everyone was having such a brilliant time.  We took time out to watch from the top table our guests as a lot of people from Chaos had recommended that we do, it was such a moment of joy, all our hard work had come together and it had all gone great, apart from the odd mishap.  Phil and I posed for photos of cutting the cake, the guests were in awe of the spectacular cake that Phil had made.  I couldn’t wait to tuck into the white chocolate layer.

The room had to be cleared and the balloon decorations were to be taken to the Club for the evening do.  Phil’s mam had taken them down to transport to the Club, when she came through the door, I said “Watch you don’t take off like the Wicked Witch of the West”, oh my god, I had meant to say Mary Poppins but it came out wrong, I don’t think she was impressed!

Two Huge Salmon, Dressed in Cucumber

ness 7We arrived at the Club and the two Chefs, Billy and Sean, had done an amazing job of the buffet.  You would not believe the size of the Fish platters, there were two huge Salmon, dressed in cucumber so it looked like scales and between them a heart shaped array of prawns and oysters, it was stunning!  The chocolate fountains went down a storm as well, we couldn’t afford the big professional ones so opted for a home version and it did the job just as well.

Guests were wanting to buy us drinks and all I could manage was a mineral water as I was dreading getting up for our first dance.  I had been ushered into the minibus quickly and had forgotten to pick up my flat ballerina shoes for dancing in.  Our song came on, Barry White – Your My 1st, My Last, My Everything.  My stomach lurched as we took centre place on the dance floor.  I knew that we should have made time to have those dancing lessons!!  It wasn’t too bad but I was so embarrassed after  a few minutes our Chief Bridesmaid and  Best Man got up to join us and then it was party time after that.

I had to present Phil with his Certificate from Liverpool FC, so when we got on stage to say thank you and do the toast in memory of Phil’s Dad, that was my cue to give him his wedding gift.   You should have seen his face, he was absolutely gobsmacked – totally worth the effort in writing the letter to the Club.   

Phil was going to say the speech for his Dad and the toast, but he got very emotional, so I jumped in head first and took charge of the mic.  By the time I had finished explaining that Phil’s Dad was the very first person we had told we were getting married and how he was sworn to secrecy, he was bursting to tell people bless him.  I explained that Eddy had gone shopping with me to collect the centre pieces for the wedding breakfast and he was so looking forward to our wedding day.  I added that he would have been very proud of his son and that all the family had managed to get together and enjoy our lovely day.  His Dad was a great believer in having family get togethers.   

It wasn’t until afterwards when we came down from the stage that I realised what I had said really moved some of the family.  Phil’s two aunts who had travelled from Kent to be with us were very moved and thanked us for not forgetting their Brother on our special day.  I was quite honoured to have been strong enough to get out what I did.

ness 9

The dressing up video messages had gone down a storm.  Lots of guests got into the swing of it and I am told (until I receive the DVD) that we had 17 video messages which will be added to our wedding video.   I think it was a great way of helping people to relax and have fun at the same time, and also something different which guests will remember.

I Thought Someone Had Done A Number Two In Our Bed!

Finally, the last song came on and before we knew it, that was it, our wedding day had been and gone.  I was really sad, I hadn’t wanted the day to end it had been so emotional and such a beautiful romantic event which was shared by lots of close friends and family.  We headed back to the Hotel and had a few drinks in the bar before heading off to bed about 1.30am.   We were in hysterics when we pulled back the sheets, the bed had been crammed with confetti and I thought someone had done a number 2, but it was a sticky dough like replica!  I knew exactly who was responsible, our lovely BM and MoH.  It could have been worse I suppose.

ness 8Looking back on the day, I can only reiterate something that was said by a few members in the forum, take time to step back from the day and look around.  It’s amazing to see so many happy people who had made the effort to share in your special day.  It is also said, that it doesn’t matter how much planning and thinking ahead you do, it’s not always plain sailing.  Whatever is going to happen on the day will happen, and sometimes you have no choice in the matter, but as long as everyone enjoys themselves and you don’t end up with blisters on your feet, I am sure that your special day will definitely be memorable.  

A few tips that I would like to pass on are :-

  1. If you are using disposable cameras on the tables, make sure that the BM announces that the flashes should be used.  Out of 10 of the cameras we put in to be developed, we only got 23 photos which were of any quality.  It could be argued that some people think it’s a waste of money, but I think its a risk worth taking, we did get some lovely photos back from the ones which were any good.
  2. Before you enter with your guests to your wedding breakfast, check the outlay of the room personally.  When we went in, the tables were too squashed together and I couldn’t get through in my dress so they had to all be moved.
  3. It’s with regret that I didn’t recheck the tables, prior to be introduced as Mr and Mrs.  The Hotel had forgotten to fill the champagne glasses for the toasts.  As I was the first person to make a speech and toast “absent friends and family”, it somewhat put me off mid flow when I looked down and realised that the glasses were empty!   No jugs of water had been placed on the tables either and despite having it in writing that the guests were to be offered white, red and rose wine with their meal, only white was brought out until I made my presence known to the Toastmaster !! 
  4. As much as you try and stick to a timeline, you have to realise that it’s not the end of the world if you are a little late, guests do understand.  I was actually 7 min late for the ceremony even though it was only a few rooms from where it was being held.    It did have a slight bumper effect to having the photos taken at Temple Newsham.  Due to really cold windy conditions, we couldn’t spend as much time in the grounds and when we headed to the main house for photos, the house keeper decided that we were not allowed all in at the same time which was a great disappointment to some of the photos that we had planned.   Rob and Mike were masters in turning a negative into a positive and suggesting alternatives which I am sure when we see the end result will be fantastic.
  5. Speaking about photographers and videographers, I do think that it’s important to build up a good relationship between all parties involved.   It was fabulous to see that they had respect for each other and it didn’t end up into competition of who would get in first, they worked alongside each other and because of the perfect manner in which it was conducted, it made all of the bridal party and guests feel so relaxed.  It didn’t feel strained when being told to smile etc, there was genuine humour which reflected in the emotions being captured at that time.

Good Morning Mrs Mumford

On Sunday morning when we woke up, we opened some of the cards.  It really still hadn’t sunk in that I was now Mrs.  We headed down to the restaurant and had breakfast.  Some of our guests were in there already and it was lovely to hear “good morning Mrs Mumford”.    We said our farewells to guests who had travelled some distance and nearly every one of them thanked us for a beautiful day.  I was so glad that it had looked as if everything went perfect, despite a few hiccups.

We didn’t manage to get abroad for a honeymoon, but stayed a few nights in an old Tudor House with four poster bed and free standing Jacuzzi.   It was lovely to sit in the bath together and drink champagne with strawberries and reflect on our beautiful wedding.   That was once we moved about a tonne of bubbles – bubble bath and Jacuzzi’s are not a good mix lol!   We went to Knebworth House and had a guided tour of the house and gardens which was really nice and also visited a motor museum (I know it sounds boring but it was actually very good), some really old funny cars.

So back to reality and back home, I just want to thank all the members of Chaos for a fabulous time on line leading up to our wedding.  I made so many good friends and got lots of ideas for our big day.

So here’s to all the Brides to Be, hope your day goes as well and all your dreams come true!

ness 1

Photos (except fancy dress ones) courtesy of Rob from Curve Photography. For more information contact Rob via