Welcome back to Part Two!
I hope you all enjoyed Part One? I should imagine we’ll be touching on the ceremony and some of the reception here. I don’t think there’s going be a lot to say as the pictures will do most of the talking for me so I’ll do my best to tell the story with those.
We left off with little ol’ me putting on my dress and coming back down the stairs for my beautiful maids to button and zip me up. It felt like there were a thousand buttons on that dress! I felt so sorry for Hayley and Kirsty who were having to do it all because it was a royal pain in the butt and super fiddly! Not an easy task with manicured nails, I can tell you that from me doing Kirsty’s on her big day!
My Daddy came in and saw me – he had the proudest look on his face and he looked so smart. I think it was at that point it was beginning to sink in that the ceremony was minutes way as I could hear everyone in the next room talking amongst themselves and takes their seats. I still wasn’t nervous though.. I think my sister Sherie was bricking it most because she was the first one out and I’d forgotten to tell her about that (haha). She was worried she wouldn’t find her seat or would walk too fast but Rosie, who was basically the coordinator of the day, was really helpful and gave us all our ques on when we could go and guided us through a lot of it. Then Kirsty went out.. then Hayley.. then me. Dun dun duuun!
This is where I had a little blackout from getting a little overwhelmed. My brain seems to do this to me when I am in stressful or emotional situations and I don’t really remember walking down the aisle – I don’t even remember Karne’s face when I made my entrance but I had told him if he didn’t cry I was turning around and we were starting again! But I didn’t need to do that and from his brother Max’s reaction to Karne seeing me (he literally fell apart sobbing) I’m confident I had made the right impact!
It really was a beautiful ceremony. We were both able to hold it together and said our vows without tripping over our words. We had chosen standard vows because we knew we would be too nervous to recite or read our own but we were able to throw in a cheeky “I made you this ring” to personalise it a little bit. Because we had. We’d made our own wedding rings in Brighton 2 months before.. sure they were now engraved with the wrong date but they were still special to us and we’ve chosen not to change them because it meant someone else would have to fix it and would diminish the fact we had forged them ourselves.
If you decide to do this too and are UK based I highly recommend Elizabeth Anne Norris in Brighton. We had the best morning making them with her and she even provides little bit of bubbly at the end to celebrate once they’re finished! It cost about the same as buying the rings would have done but they now have that extra special sentimentality to them too.
Now it was time for photos! Karne and I had a minute to gather ourselves and chill before we headed back outside where everyone had gathered. We came back out and were showered with the petal confetti and greeted with cheers from our family members.
Everyone was then ushered into place as needed by our lovely photographer, Hannah Walker, and the typical wedding and family photos were all organised.
The ones of the groomsmen and the one with me and my bridesmaids were just some of my favourites. There are so many I would bore you to tears if I posted them all. I am so unbelievably happy with how they all came out. I didn’t look like the white whale I had feared I would and I didn’t hate a single picture of me.. hurray!
That last photo is quite special. It wasn’t just our wedding day – it was also the day I met my half sister (long story for another time maybe) and her first time meeting all of us. Her name is Emma and she’s the lady next to me in the blue dress. It took balls for her to be there and I was so happy she came; she was the sweetest woman and I could see a lot of myself in her. Same personality traits, same features, same mannerisms. It was spooky actually!
This picture is literally the only photo of my Mum with all of her children, and of course my Nanny is in there as well. I wanted to make sure it was taken because it’s very very rare that we are ever all together and of course with having met Emma for the first time it was extra special. She was nervous about being in the pictures but I wouldn’t take no for an answer. It’s a picture that is unlikely to happen again and I really hope my Mum, Nanny and Emma cherish it as much as I do.
We then ducked off for our couples photos to be taken and were just talking about the day so far and how weird it was to be photographed. Holding a certain smile on your face for a while hurts and we ended up laughing a lot which eased our nerves a little more. Even though we were busy it was nice to have a few moments “alone” while Hannah worked her magic with the camera.
On the way back round I joked about falling over in my dress.. moments later my heel sunk into the wet grass and I bowled over leaving a nice knee print on my dress. Sods law!! It’s okay though because my sister cleaned it all up with wet wipes in the couples cottage and got it off so it was barely noticeable. Clearly her mothers intuition and routine of needing to mop up her young boys came in handy at that moment! So thank you Hayley.
I decided swiftly after that I was putting on my rose gold trainers. There was no way I was falling over again on my big day in front of people.. or so I figured 😅
I will now proceed to spam you with pictures from our reception because it was so so beautiful and all the little touches were what made it ours.
I still can’t get over how lucky I am to say that was my wedding. Lesley did a truly phenomenal job and I literally cannot express how perfect it was. She took my very simple element requests of a boho touch with hessian and lace and the peach/rustic colour scheme we wanted and created something that resembled what can only be described as a Tudor/Elizabethan royal banquet hall. It was absolutely spectacular and I had to choke back the tears when we walked in to be introduced as the new “Mr and Mrs” because I hadn’t really seen it all finished before that moment.
I also need to take a moment to talk about my cake.. what a piece of ART. We had asked Leean for a rustic looking cake that resembled a silver birch tree but wanted warmer tones to match the rest of the decor. We trusted her completely and we were very sure we wanted detail over size, I mean who ever has their entire cake eaten at a wedding? No one in the history of ever.
Meet our cake – Neave.
I know, right?
When I saw it that morning it just blew my mind. I was so happy I had to give her a hug and thank her because it was just so beautiful and I had a hard time believing the flowers were sugar and that it was actually a cake. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of hours she put into that – but she did tell us she did and re-did our initials at least 20 times because she wasn’t happy with it until it was perfect. And it was completely and utterly perfect. Our top tier was salted caramel, the middle was lemon and the bottom was raspberry and white chocolate which was my favourite!
I also have to thank my sister Sherie and brother-in-law David for this because it was their gift to us and without them it would have most likely been a home baked monstrosity from yours truly.
We never ended up saving a piece to keep as I always find that a little odd – but I’ve kept the sugar flower decorations and they currently live in the fridge until I can think of a permanent home and preserve for them.
Clearly a Part Three is required because if I move onto speeches etc we’re going to be here for a very long time. So I hope you came back for my final (I promise it will be) installment of Happily Ever Gardiner!
* Photos by Casey Avenue Photography *