Friday, 27 June 2014

Alex and Claire's Spring Wedding

I am afraid that due to a technical hitch, I am only just now posting the blog for our first wonderful wedding this year. Sorry Alex and Claire! 

So it all took place on the weekend of the 9th May. Spring was in the air, the Wisteria was in bloom across the front of the house and the woods were teeming with wild flowers and Bluebells.

Wonderful wild flowers were a distinct theme. Alex and Claire's families arrived with car boots full of flowers from hedgerows and their gardens. Below is Alex's mum and Auntie (who had just arrived from Australia) flower arranging in the sunshine. There is something rather special and wonderful that comes through doing lots of the wedding preparations together as a family. It sets the tone of the weekend as everyone works together laughing and chatting.

The house was filled with their gorgeous creations.

I do love that time of year where the garden springs into life. An abundance of colour and glory was brought into the house.

Alex and Claire really wanted to create a warm and wonderful welcome for their guests. It started with the notes on the door...

then continued with these super breakfast baskets.

Not to mention Alex's mum's homemade marmalade, what a treat!!

Whilst Alex's mum had been busily making the marmalade, Alex's dad had been foraging for driftwood and making these fabulous candle holders and wood slices. What a talented bunch!!

The talent continued with Claire's family. Claire's sister, Laura, is a very accomplished cake maker. Enlisting the help of her partner John, the cake took shape (Poor John's back, it was a wonder he could walk after this!).

They painstakingly put on each of these handmade flowers...

with wonderful effect!

With all the preparations done it was time to relax and let the wedding weekend truly begin. Friday night kicked off with a seaside treat, fish and chips from a local company 'The Whiddon Fryer'. Delicious I hear!

Saturday morning, the wedding began. Claire looked stunning as her lovely dad escorted her down the stairs.

 Although they would have loved an outside wedding the weather was not quite up to it. So they opted for the intimacy and gorgeousness of the ballroom. There was not a dry eye in the house as Alex and Claire made their promises to one another.

After a welcome 'Pimms' to celebrate, canapes were followed by the speeches. There is a brilliant atmosphere whenever speeches take place on the stairs. Guests are both on the gallery above and below the speaker, which gives a really good dynamic - just right for plenty of guest participation! Both of the dad's did a speech, here Alex's dad is toasting the happy couple.

Next it was the turn for Claire's dad.

Find your seat, dinner is served!

Claire lived in Italy as part of her studies, which has inspired an affection for its culture and cuisine. Alex and Claire were therefore keen to treat their guests to the food they love. They also wanted a relaxed sharing feel to their meal, with guests chatting and helping themselves. Their delicious menu was antipasti, followed by lasagna, melanzane parmigiana and green salad with gelato to finish. More of Alex and Claire's food photos can be seen on Lee and Kristina's Facebook page 'Guess who's coming to dinner'.

Lee and Kristina make all of our wedding day food by hand, including their wonderful ice creams. They set up this gorgeous vintage seaside stand and service began.

The flavours were to die for.....I love salted caramel!

Lee even makes his own waffle cones, it really does make a difference to the taste (and the crunch)!

Claire very much enjoyed her gelato with a stick of Devon fudge!

With candles lit around the hall, the evening celebrations began.

Twinkling fairy lights were all around. Even the bar had some sparkle.

A romantic first dance kicked off the evening. John DJ'd from a play list put together from requests the guests made in their invitation replies. Such a brilliant idea as everyone enjoyed something they loved. 

It even gave the opportunity for the uncles to prepare a special something beforehand.....

Alex and Claire, we loved hosting your wedding here! We hope you have a wonderful time travelling for your honeymoon (all 3 months of it!) and wish you every happiness in your journey through life together! 

You can see more wonderful photos of Alex and Claire's wedding day from Georgina, their photographer, on her Facebook site 'Panache photography'. They really are lovely!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Joel and Kat - a family affair x

My nephew Joel married the gorgeous Katrina at the weekend. They started as a school romance and now we welcome the 5th 'Mrs Baker' into our family.

Joel is a graphic designer and fab DJ, and Kat is a nurse, and really creative too, with an amazing eye for detail. The grey, yellow and white colour theme came into every aspect of their celebration. 

This is the 'save the date' card.

The day before the wedding, Joel was found spray - painting these boxes in yellow. They were taken around to all our apartments and thoughtful breakfast items were displayed in them.

These were placed on everyone's bedroom door so guests knew they were in the right place! 

Joel and Kat were getting married in Georgeham Church so we were able to lay up on Friday. They had handmade every one of these boxes (which contained home-made fudge by Kat's aunty Bev) and the place names.

Simple and gorgeous. 

Joel's Nana made these amazing flower arrangements, which fitted the theme perfectly.

Sunflowers could not be more perfect in the middle of this heat-wave!

 Kat's Grandmother Jean made this cake. The bottom 2 layers are fruit and the rest is a sponge made by Kat. Kat then decorated the whole thing herself - even doing a couple of finishing touches on her wedding day morning. 

To the Church! 

Kat comes from the Watson Clan in Scotland, so there were many a kilt on display (and many a question of what's underneath from certain members of the family!)

We were handed these luggage labels by the Ushers,

a pen,

and these gorgeous order of service books.

At the front of the Church my two old suitcases were displayed on a table.

Joel looked nervous, but not as nervous as Simon, the best man (take note of the trendy 'Shoreditch' beard, possibly the most bushy of all the guests but there was stiff competition).

Jen (Joel's Mum) gave the talk. My choice line was.. "This wedding is not a destination; it's a beautiful pause on the journey where Joel and Kat have forever changed the way they travel"...

Jonny (Joel's Dad) took the next bit. We were invited to write a prayer on the back of the luggage labels and pop them into the suitcases. 

Joel's brother Harry (aka 'World Champ Slam Poet') performed a poem he had written for them. My choice line from this was.."As we gather here to see these partners partnered. Part nurse. Part nerd"......and at the end...."Instead of watching Harry Potter, let's get JK Rolling".. Brilliant.

Introducing... Mr and Mrs Baker!

The young and beautiful ones, are Kat and Joel's friends from school days. They have all kept in touch and still love each-other even after all this time.

The even younger beautiful ones are Zac, Liza and two of their cousins. 

Zac and his cousin Jed, get the giggles every time they see one another, ever-since they were born. They got up to pure mischief all day.

It started with picking up all the used confetti from the ground..

and throwing it on all the guests from a high window. Later they heckled speeches, tried to down a glass of Pimms and asked the caterer's for extra crackling. *Note to prospective brides, adult-only invites work really well!


With the service over, confetti thrown and a need for a drink,

Jonny grabbed the suitcases, 

and we all headed back to Pickwell.

Yes, it's that way Harry - lead the way! (It did amuse all day that the button-holes were on upside down, but I noticed too late to change it - still they all looked lovely)

Back at home, The Grandmothers looked gorgeous as they posed for pics.

Just before we came into the Ballroom, I snuck in to have a look. 

The sparkly lights and the candles looked amazing, and just added to the yellow theme.

Joel and Kat opted for a long top-table.

Kelly from Offshore Blooms made the bouquet's and the buttonholes, and they looked amazing!

We stood to clap and cheer, and welcome in Mr and Mrs Baker to the Wedding Breakfast. 
(Wedding dress by Vera Wang - gorgeous layer upon layer of fabric, as seen here)

We settled down to a scrumptious meal, and then....

Speeches! First off - Kat's Dad. He had us all in hysterics as he handed Joel a gift of a pair of braces (Joel has had a long-held fashion statement of wearing his trousers, err, very low on his hips/thighs). It was the perfect gift!

Joel's Aunty, Nana and Grandma were all ears, as Kat then got up to speak - YES - I love it when a bride gives a speech. As her, now mother-in-law, recently wrote a book called Equals, she knew she had to do it.

Then Jonny spoke. Joel asked his Dad to speak as he has no sisters, and wanted Jonny to get the chance to speak at his wedding. For Harry and his cousin Sam, as well as the rest of us, it was a very emotional speech, but funny too!

Next it was the Groom's turn. It was a beautiful speech and again highly moving.

These three lovely women have known Joel, and been an important part of his life, since birth. They were in bits (so sorry Julia, I had to post this)!

Then Simon, the best man. So it turns out that on Joel's stag do, he was enrolled into a life-drawing class as the model. He had no idea, but apparently styled it out amazingly. It was two classes over ninety minutes. Half the room were strangers and the other half friends/family. Simon presented Joel with the final book of drawings as a gift. It did feel a bit odd passing it around afterwards, I have to say. Poor Joel!

After coffee on the Terrace, the room was turned around, the DJ (a great friend of the family, Heather) set up and we were ready to go!

The cutting of the cake. I heard Kat saying afterwards... "Well, that was weird!" It is a bit odd if you stop to think about it, but it's an old tradition and many do love what it symbolises!

Ahhh, the first dance.

Quickly rescued by Simon and Fiona, the Matron-of-honour.

The weather stayed brilliantly sunny, so there was nothing else for it than a Sunday morning game of footie on Putsborough beach.

I dont know how the boys managed it after the shots they were consuming the night before. Must be youth on their side.

The more elderly amongst us (except for you Georgia) just lay in the sun and read books. 

As they are currently lounging around in the Maldives, at the beginning of their new journey together, I want to praise them for this brave step of faith. It isn't easy these days to be willing to commit all that you are, and all that you have, to someone else. But they have done it, and we are all behind them.

Go well Mr and Mrs Baker. We love you x