graceybloss0m

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Seen as though the majority of my posts on this corner of the internet in 2018 have mostly been about our wedding I thought it was only right to give a little update on our life following it. We’ve been married for just over 3 months now and although normality has resumed I won’t sugar coat the fact that the first few months post wedding are … odd. Particularly the first month and weeks following the honeymoon. After such an enormous high and months of pouring our lives into something I’m pretty sure this is normal for all newlyweds to feel a bit strange after its all done and dusted.

Luckily in the modern world we get to live with our partners before we decide they’re the ones to settle down and spend the rest of our lives together, so at least there aren’t any nasty surprises in that respect. And although nothing has really changed since we’ve been married (other than the fact we share a surname now) the sense that we are more bound together is more prominent. And while on the outside nothing has changed everything has started to change in the fact that we are now a unit. Husband and wife.

Somehow through all the strangeness of the last few months the newest thing we have both had to adapt to is realising that we have become family over night. That means letting go and putting each other above all else. We say our vows one day then suddenly it becomes the real thing. Marriage. Learning to live happily constantly requires a team of two people willing to communicate and make an effort to sustain a life that makes us both fulfilled. All relationships are ongoing journeys and this one feels like the start of a long adventure with my best friend…

There are certain people that you meet in your life that change you. They touch your life in some way or move you towards being someone better. Beryl was one of those people for me.

It was around this time of year back in 2015 I first met Beryl when she acquired my services to look after her feet. I recall her talking enthusiastically about her upcoming 90th birthday the following February. We clicked from the moment I walked in the door so it didn’t take me long at all to become fond of this sweet old lady. It soon became clear to me that what I did for Beryl went beyond just tending to her feet.

My field of work is largely end of life so it goes without saying that it can often be quite sensitive. But its also extremely rewarding to play a part in people’s lives in what will often be some of their final years. This was particularly true in Beryl’s case. I became one of her few connections to the outside world and she would often call me a ‘breath of fresh air.’ She was always eager to hear what I had been up to since the last visit and through my life she got to revisit and relive some of her own memories.

Beryl taught me that kindness has no limits. She also reminded me that you do not have to be related to someone or even know them that well to care or show consideration. I know that I am supposed to be a professional. But I’m also human. So when I received an email last night to tell me that Beryl had passed away peacefully in her sleep, I felt like I had lost a dear friend.

For making my job so rewarding and showing me that I can actually make a difference to other people’s lives. I will always be thankful for Beryl.

For my third and final wedding post I wanted to talk about all the personal touches that made our day so special. While planning each aspect of our wedding it always remained clear to me that where possible we would involve people we already knew and incorporate as much as we could that would make our day just that extra bit more personal and memorable for us. In doing this we also ended up supporting many local businesses which is always a nice bonus!

The minute we started planning the finer details there were certain aspects that were literally no brainers. For me I knew straight away that I wanted to have my uncle Nicholas’ vintage MG for our wedding car. Our wedding car once belonged to my great uncle, Nicholas Clay so it was an extreme privilege to have this lovely little vehicle be part of our day. It really is such a quaint, dear thing … I love the familiarity of the old leather seats and the way the engine smells and sounds as its driven. It really meant a lot to me to have Nick’s car take me on my last voyage as Miss Tree with my dad and then return home as Mrs Woodbury with my new husband. I know it would have meant just as much to some of my family too.

Another natural decision, particularly for Oliver, was that Rory, our best man, would be the only person we would have wanted to do our wedding photographs. Now when we told people that our best man was also going to be our photographer, the general reaction from most people was ‘how is that going to work?’ But honestly? I don’t really see how anything else would have worked better than Rory shooting our wedding pictures.

Oliver will often sing the praises of his best man’s endless string of talents. So for us having Rory also be our photographer was just another endearing feature of our wedding day. This is the person in which Oliver has spent hours and hours on end with, we knew were in safe hands…. at least as far as the photos were concerned! For any shots where we required Rory to be part of, his dad would jump in and fill his shoes momentarily.

As we both knew it would, everything ran extremely smoothly. We were both absolutely delighted with the photographs and I think I cried like a baby for about an hour when Rory sent some of the images over a few days later.

When it came to arranging flowers I thought it would be a nice touch to use the same florist that my parents used for their wedding back in 1984. Our wedding reception was being held in my parents garden, its wonderful that the same florist is still going all these years later and we would also be supporting a local business. It was the perfect choice! More on the flower details here.

Another easy decision for us was who we wanted to make our wedding cake. Not only is she running a highly successful business but Rebecca and Oliver go all the way back to sixth form days! We knew that as long as there was an availability in her busy diary, we wanted Rebecca to be the lady to make our wedding cake. And again to be perfectly honest there was nobody else who would have been right for the job, she is the lady of the moment for wedding cakes plus a long standing friend of Oliver’s. We were really fortunate to have her make our beautiful and delicious cake.

Lastly, the registrar who officially married us was actually a childhood friend of my dad. Once Oliver and I got engaged he was virtually straight on the phone to see if Sarah was available when we wanted to get married and asked her to be the one to do it. So having Sarah do our wedding was another lovely personal touch and it felt like it wasn’t just a stranger performing the marriage ceremony.

Needless to say, we really tried our best to go above and beyond when it came to keeping our wedding as personal as possible. And I can say that in doing this it honestly all felt that extra bit more special and meaningful to us both.

 

Wedding Photography – Rory Asten Bell.

The Groom:

Oliver wore a royal blue suit, a colour that we both thought was an ideal choice for a summer wedding because its classic while having a little more vibrancy than say a navy suit. Fitting in with our wedding’s colour scheme we picked out a lovely pink floral tie from M&S. Originally it was going to just be a plain pink tie, however when I began looking at other people’s wedding pictures I noticed that this was a fairly common choice among grooms. So knowing that Oliver doesn’t like to fit in with the norm too much we stumbled across this floral pink tie one day at Bluewater. It was perfect because it was the right pink, while having a subtle pattern that fit in excellently with our garden wedding theme. I think the tie with the suit looked gorgeous and his tie definitely received a few compliments throughout the day.

Oliver didn’t want a waistcoat and also decided against a pocket square. However the buttonhole was something we discussed and decided that his rose would be the same pink as the roses in my bouquet so we were all in keeping. Again I thought that the pink buttonhole with the tie and on the suit looked fantastic.

Oliver opted for tanned shoes which again looked colourful and smart for a summer wedding. Then being a man of minimalism anyway he kept the accessories to just a silver tie clip because his wedding ring is white gold and his Omega watch. For his wedding day fragrance he wore Tom Ford Oud Wood, a masculine spicy scent.

The Wedding Party

For the men within the wedding party we bought pink ties, so for example the fathers and best man all had a light pink tie on. It was also open for others to join in to wear a pink tie should they choose to do so too. We decided that the buttonholes for our wedding party would be different to that of Oliver’s so all our wedding party guests like parents and grandparents wore a white rose buttonhole, again these were the same white roses as those in my bouquet to match.

My mum wore an absolutely gorgeous beaded dress from Gina Bacconi. It was a mint coloured floor length maxi dress that again fit in well with our colour scheme (refer to last post) and she was also able to get a matching jacket from Coast. To finish the look she had on a darker hair band fascinator.  I think the whole look was very pretty and elegant . A lot of mother of the bride outfits are very frumpy and plain which is just something I knew my mum would never wear let alone pull off, so we were pleased when she found Gina Bacconi who specialise in lovely mother of the bride outfits.

The Bride.

My dress was the first and only dress I tried on. I put it on and it ticked every box for me, so I thought why confuse myself with hundreds of different dresses when this one felt like the one? This was the exact sort of style I visioned myself getting married in. There were certain things I personally knew I didn’t want – boob tube or anything without sleeves was a definite no for me as I just end up feeling uncomfortable even though they look lovely, I also knew I wanted something quite figure hugging.

My dress had lace embroidery throughout and had a satin belt at the waist which I think added a nice feminine shape to it. At the back it had see through material and many beautiful buttons! I just loved the back of the dress. It also had a small train which I thought was stunning. When Oliver and I rode home in the wedding car just after we were officially married he described my dress as ‘old meets new’ which is how he always describes my engagement ring as it’s got something about it that wants to be old fashioned yet it is still modern.

For my jewellery I kept it very simple and wore tear drop style pearl earrings. I also wore my Omega watch the same as Oliver because they are special to us. I know traditionally a bride doesn’t wear a watch but its my best watch and because its so dainty it can almost just pass as a bracelet. Then in my hair I wore a small comb which I purchased from Not On The Highstreet. My wedding day perfume of choice was Creed Aventus one of my all time favourite scents because it is fruity exotic and warms to a modern rose fragrance. I decided this would be my wedding day scent because I actually started wearing this at exactly the same time Oliver and I started seeing each other in 2016 so it made sense to wear this.

Wedding Photography – Rory Asten Bell.

Choosing our venue:

From the moment we got engaged we knew exactly the sort of wedding we both wanted to have. A garden wedding at my parent’s home was something we had spoken about way before Oliver even got down on one knee and popped the question. So, being the impatient woman I am meant that I was eager to get plans into place quickly. However, being that we were having the reception at home meant we were in a better position to secure a date that we wanted.

The first thing that we did upon becoming engaged was secure a date that we were happy with. We decided pretty much straight away that we would get married in 2018, and because we wanted a garden wedding we knew it had to be in the summer. I looked at Saturdays and a date that I quickly observed was 18-8-18. I think its important to pick a good date and I loved the fact it was symmetrical and all even! Coincidentally the day we became official was 16-7-16 so I liked the similarity of reoccurring numbers. It was even more perfect that this date fell on a Saturday.

We booked our wedding ceremony for 18-8-18 at 2pm. This was separate to our reception and I will talk about this in another post. So the next thing that we did was book and secure a marquee. Not only was this our vision for the garden wedding but it was also an essential factor to hire a marquee for our venue as a place for guests to sit down and enjoy a meal and also in case of any weather mishaps! Everyone retreated to the marquee for the buffet and then as a place to sit in the evening when it became a bit cooler. The company we used, JF Marquees cover Kent and Surrey.

       

Colours and themes:

Once our marquee wedding was confirmed it was time to start planning colours and themes. I will admit to taking the responsibility on this part as the inside of the marquee was mainly my vision as Oliver trusted me to take control of this. The main colours I went for were pink, white, mint and gold. I loved the idea of using pink – I’d describe the pink we used as baby pink – its bright and vibrant (it was a summer wedding after all) yet its also quite soft and romantic if you use it tastefully. In the ceiling we hung pink and mint Ginger Ray pom poms which made use of the height of the marquee and also broke up all the white in the ceiling adding a touch of colour and personality.

Because we were having a garden wedding it felt only natural to opt for a slightly rustic theme to the wedding – I’d like to describe our theme as elegant rustic! We got lots of wood chip confetti to scatter on tables and at the bar. Then we bought lots of chalk boards for signs and to decorate the garden with. I got heaps of decorative items from Ginger Ray, Hobby Craft and The Range that all fit in perfectly with our rustic garden wedding.

The flower arrangements which I adored were designed to be loose and airy like freshly picked garden flowers. There was lots of greenery and foliage in the table display in amongst the beautiful white and pink roses, and I just love the addition of gypsophila as it looks like thrown confetti pieces.

 

The DIY Effect.

We ended up doing lots of DIY decorations which I think really add that personal touch and just show you’ve gone above and beyond to decorate your venue. We hand painted a ‘BAR’ sign from Hobbycraft, painted the ‘Mr & Mrs’ hanging signs to fit in with our colour scheme, I created a personalised Bar Menu and framed it, we made a signpost from chalkboards and my mum wrote out all our signs. I think the effect looked brilliant and I was so happy with how everything turned out!

What do you think of our garden wedding venue?

 

Wedding Photography – Rory Asten Bell.