Things have been a little quiet around here lately, and we’re very sorry, but we have a good excuse – Tom and I got married last weekend!
Our civil wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall. If you’re visiting Stratford you will find this Cotswolds stone building at the end of Sheep Street and although it’s not generally open to visitors, it is pretty enough to look at from the outside! If you ever do get a chance to look inside, I’d highly recommend it. It is just gorgeous.
A grand staircase sweeps upstairs to the ballroom and antechamber, where our ceremony took place. This light, airy room has lovely high ceilings, opulent chandeliers, a grand Steinway piano and Shakespeare-themed busts on the walls. Though the Town Hall provided a couple of artificial flower arrangements, we didn’t do a jot of decoration ourselves and it felt just perfect as I walked down the red-carpetted aisle.
The ceremony was over so quickly, but it was wonderful. My dad passed away quite a few years ago, so my granddad walked me down the aisle to meet Tom, to the song Toothpaste Kisses by the Maccabees, one of my favourite bands. After some opening words by the registrar, our friend Ruth gave a reading; an excerpt from the book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. We chose this partly just because we liked it, but also as a nod to a past holiday to the Greek island of Kefalonia, where the book is set.
We exchanged rings and said our vows, then another friend, Kathleen, read a montage of short extracts from the book Yes Man by Danny Wallace. If you’ve only seen the film Yes Man, you could be forgiven for thinking “Why on earth would they choose an extract from that rubbish movie?!” Agreed: it really was a terrible film. But it was nothing like the book. The book is brilliant and sums up the way Tom and I feel about life. You should definitely read it.
As some of you will know (or will have gathered from talking to him!), Tom is mad about cricket, so it was a lovely surprise when the cricket team made an arch with their cricket bats for us to walk through when the ceremony finished! We walked out to the song Collection of Stamps by a band called I’m From Barcelona (they aren’t – they’re Swedish). The song is about being in love with someone who’s travelling the world, which again was a wink back to when Tom and I first met!
After confetti-throwing and a few photos at the Town Hall, we made our way from Stratford to the village of Temple Grafton – in the Go Cotswolds minibus of course! She looked lovely all decorated with purple ribbons and bunting 🙂
Our wedding reception party was held in a huge marquee right on the pitch at Temple Grafton Cricket Club. The afternoon started off with drinks and nibbles on the lawn, a few more photos and some games on the lawn such as croquet and boules. Then we moved into the marquee to hear Tom’s dad’s band! They’re called The Startled Ferrets and they’re a folk-skiffle band. It’s a long story as to why, but they had specially learned a song called Right Said Fred (no, not these guys from the 90s…this song from the 1960s!) which was thoroughly enjoyed by my family and we had a good singalong!
Speeches were given by my brother Andy (who humorously managed to sum me up to perfection!), by Tom, and by his best men Ben and Howard. Then we danced some more to the Startled Ferrets and tucked into pork and lamb roasted on and served from the spit – delicious!
Our first dance wasn’t the traditional slushy slow dance, rather we chose a track called ‘Photosynthesis’ by Frank Turner. Not only was this a nod to the fact that in my day job I work in a University plant science department, it was also another reminder of our philosophy in life. Give it a listen 🙂
Lastly, we danced the rest of the night away to an absolutely brilliant covers band called The Replicas. We’d seen them play a couple of times before and knew they would be perfect for our wedding. They are just amazing musicians and had us dancing until after 1am in the morning!
Although it’s traditional for the bride and groom to ‘depart’ the wedding reception and go off on honeymoon, Tom and I were among the last ones on the dancefloor, and stayed up around the campfire until (we think) about 4am. Yes, a campfire. We camped on our wedding night! But it wasn’t an ordinary tent, it was an absolutely amazing ‘glamping tent’, decked out with carpets, a sofa, a real bed and bed clothes, and best of all a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates! It really was the perfect end to the perfect day.
The fab photos here were taken by our friend Amy, but if you want to see more, you can visit the website of our official photographer, Tony Inwood at Anthony Paul Photography. Tony is based in Bourton-on-the-Water. Click on this link: http://t.co/xD4CMgJvnM and use the password 180814tl.