Sunday, June 25, 2006

Honeymoon in Maldives

On Sunday morning after the wedding we have a hearty breakfast at Dartington Hall and mingle with some of the guests that have stayed there overnight, and then drive back home to catch our flight to the Maldives in the evening.

We stay at a place called Laguna, a small island (you can walk around it in about 15 mins). But we were really looked after, with loveley buffets every day, and beautiful beaches with turquoise water, with loads of sealife in the coral.

We had a nice and relaxing time; lots of sun, read a few books, went snorkelling & scuba diving, saw the football, had a go at karaoke, and I avoided getting burnt (or any sort of tan at all).

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On one excursion we went night fishing. Jo managed to catch 3 fish, while I didn't get any.

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On one of our swims a big fish 50-sih cm went for us. It was only later we discovered it was a Titan Trigger fish - probably the most aggressive fish in the Maldives. We also found some footage online of the fish.

Our photos have been uploaded here. We've also separately uploaded our photos from our underwater camera here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wedding toons

Well this is the list of the Tunes we supplied to the DJ, recorded for posterity.

He didn't play most of them. Because he was shit. Oh well.

A-ha Take on me
andy williams music to watch the girls go by
armand van helden my my my
arthur conley sweet soul music
ashanti & fat joe what's love got to do with it
barry white my first my last my everything
beach boys good vibrations
beach boys then I kissed her
beatles twist and shout
beegees you should be dancing
beegees night fever
beegees staying alive
beegees more than a woman
beyonce crazy in love
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy KING OF THE SWINGERS (from "Swingers" soundtrack)
Blondie One Way Or Another
Blondie Atomic
bob sinclair love generation
boney M daddy cool
boney M rasputin
carl douglas kung fu fighting
chris montez lets dance
christina aguilera, mya & lil kim lady marmalade
chuck berry you never can tell
corner shop brimful of asha
daddy yankee lo que paso, paso
david bowie dance magic dnace
De la soul 3 is magic number
Deee-Lite Groove Is In The Heart
Donna Summer I Feel Love
dr dre next episode
eddie floyd knock on wood
elvis crespo suavemente
faith evans love like this before
Fat boy slim weapon of choice
Fatboy Slim Rockafella Skank
foundations build me up buttercup
Fun Loving Criminals Scooby Snacks (clean version)
GORRILAZ 19/2000 (Soulchild remix)
GORRILAZ Feel Good Inc
GORRILAZ Dirty Harry
gwen stefani let me blow your mind
Happy Mondays Step on
jay zee big pimpin
Juanes La Camisa Negra
KC and the sunshine band boogie shoes
kool and the gang oh la la la
kt tunstal suddenly I see
lion rock rude boy rock
lionel richie all night long
ll cool J hush
lumadee uh oh
marvin gaye heard it through the grapevine
MARY J BLIGE be without you
migthy dub katz magic carpet ride
Missy Elliott Get Ur Freak on
MYLO/GLORIA ESTEFAN Doctor Pressure (Mylo v's Miami Sound Machine)
New Order Blue Monday
perez perez prado mambo no 5 (orginal version - instrumental)
randy newman short people
Rolling Stones Sympathy for the Devil
sam and dave soul man
scissor sisters filthy/gorgeous
sean paul get busy
sean paul temperature
shaft mucho mambo sway
shakira objection
sophie ellis bexter murder on the dancefloor
sophie ellis bexter get over you
spiller groovejet
stevie wonder uptight alright
sugababes round round
the cure close to you
The Darkness I Believe in a thing called love
the white stripes hotel yorba
tom jones kiss
Trammps Disco inferno
usher pop ya collar
usher u-turn
van morrison brown eyed girl

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Big Day

Last hours of freedom
I had stayed overnight at Dartington Hall, and after a nice breakfast, I go for a mooch around the grounds with Sumit and Peter. Photos here. We have a bite at the White Hart bar and chat with Cristophe, Katrin, Ben and Gareth. We bump into a fair few people, as many are staying at Dartington.

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The time comes when we have to get properly ready, and got to put on our suits. I am quite leisurely until I realise we're getting a bit close to the time when need to be at the church. So I dash about, and bash on peoples doors to hurry them up, getting hair gel to Peter, pick up the button holes, have a quick check that the Hall looks ok for the reception later, before rushing to the car to drive to the church.

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The church
We arrive a little later than planned at St Mary's Church, as a few guests have already arrived, so I set Peter and Chris to work ushing, and I mingle a little before making my way to the front of the church with Sumit (escaping the hot weather outside in the nice cool of the church). The photographer took a few shots of me, but I was a little nervous and found it hard trying to give a natural smile. I get a bit of a dry mouth and phone my mum to ask if she can bring some water with her.She takes her time to arrive, and I worry that I won't get my water, and then that she'll arrive after Jo does! My mum does arrive eventually (though is the last one in the Church before Jo) and I grab the water while she is chatting to someone at the back.

Pretty soon the bell ringers stop ringing, the church goes quite and the organist starts up (Chanson de Matin by Elgar) as Jo enters the church on the arm of her dad. As she walks down the aisle it is almost too much to take in, I don't think I even notice the bridesmaids or surprise pageboy until later on in the service. Both Jo and her dress look amazing - she has a huge train, and despite Colin's comments from the day before I was not expecting it at all, when I eventually notice it, she also has an enormous veil (Amanda's - her s"something borrowed"). The thing that stuck out about her short walk was quite how emotional she looked - and she seems to be practically hyperventilating. I try and hold it together myself - don't want both of us to loose it. I find out later that Jo's been drinking wine all morning to calm herself down - this also helps with the smiles for the photos later on. The first hymn, Lord of the Dance, provides a nice break to settle in to the swing of things. I sing ?I am the lord of the dance settee!? to help Jo calm down by making her Laugh. The other Hymns are "Lord of all Hopefulness" and "One More Step".

Danny Lawrence entertains in his reading of an extract from "The Velveteen Rabbit", Bill Seddon reads the bible reading from Colossians and Leslie speaks well in The Address.

The wedding ceremony goes well and we give our vows without stumbling over our words. Sumit struggles to open the string pull bags that contains the rings and I need Jo's help fit her ring on all the way down.

For the signing of the registers, Judy the organist plays Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring". We sign the register and to the corny poses for the photographer. Our mums sign as witnesses and my dad makes a funny comment asking if it was legal for women. That done, we all line up to leave the church as the traditional song for leaving the church is played - "Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream" (Mendelssohn). We stop on the top step before walking down the aisle together for a cheesy Kodak moment.

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Outside the church, we pose for photos with various family groupings, and we have the confetti thrown over us. Some of the confetti includes silver "just married" bits and my dad tries sticking one to my forehead. Eventually we are whisked away by our chauffeur for the day, Jo's uncle Tony, in the wedding car up the drive to the reception venue, Dartington Hall.

The Reception
Drinks of Pimms are served on the lawn of the gardens behind the Great Hall. The weather continued to be absolutely perfect, and it allowed people to enjoy Dartington's lovely grounds.People mingle as we pose for more photos (smile fatigue beginning to set in now). We pose with in the grounds of Dartington, and then with various groupings of people. Unfortunately the extended Seddons photo is missing most of them (apart from cousins David and Tom) as we weren't able to find any of them at that point, presumably exploring the previously mentioned grounds! They finish of the photography with an aerial photo from the top window of the Hall, before a short receiving line as people trickle into the Hall.

The meal was:

Starter: Gallia Melon with Citrus Fruits and Grenadine Syrup
Main: Roast Sirloin of Devon Beef (medium rare), Port Wine and Thyme Jus and Horseradish Hollandaise
Dessert: Chocolate Profiteroles with Whiskey and Bitter Chocolate Sauce

with a few bottles of wine on each table and Champagne for the toasts during the speeches.

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Following the meal and the cutting of the cake were the speeches. Colin was up, and spoke from the centre of the hall so that his dad could hear. He spoke well (though he claims to have written it on the ferry from Dartmouth that morning) and was very complimentary about both Jo and me. I was up next and delivered my speech, before Sumit finished up with his off the cuff speech that revolved around a lack of dirt on me and our childhood love of G.I. Joe and Transformers.

We went upstairs for a coffee and a piece of cake while they cleared the hall for the disco. Our first dance was to the cheesy Bryan Adam's "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" and it went pretty well. I was relieved when we got to the end of it, and Barry White started up with the second song.

The rest of the night goes well, with more dancing as people have a few more drinks. Peter seems to monopolise the danicing with the chief bridesmaid towards the end of the night.

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When the time comes that the DJ finishes up we head to the White Hart bar for a couple of extra drinks and Jo starts taking the clips out of her hair. When we eventually make it to bed it is gone 2am.

The wedding photographer's website has been updated with our photos:

The photos from my camera are here - mostly of the reception, because I was somewhat busy during the rest of the day!

My friend Julie posts some comments about the day on her blog here.

My Wedding Speech

After Jo's dad Colin had given his speech, I rise to give mine...

Thanks to Colin for his speech and kind words. I hope I can live up to his expectations or at least gradually lower them.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are about to witness a unique event in history. This is the very first that I can speak 'On behalf of my Wife and I'. It’s also probably very last time I’ll be allowed. As an ex-presenter on university radio I'm used to speaking in public, but this however will be the first time to an audience that reaches double figures.

Colin is a jeweller and we'd particularly like to thank him for making our wedding rings, which makes them so much more personal to us. Jo's ring is engraved with the words "Jo and Mark 3rd June 2006", mine is engraved with "You hurt her, you die!". Thanks also to Jo's mum Sandra for organising the wedding cake and helping with the dresses. I would also like to thank you both on behalf of Jo for all the love you have given her over the years and for making Jo the loving, caring, sweet and kind person that she is today

My wife and I would also like thank my parents Penny & Tony for all their love and support. Thank you for giving me a great start in life and for your contribution to today's event. Thanks also for babysitting the wedding dress before it was moved down to Devon, and for accommodating many of the hen party for their night out in London.

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We would also like to thank Mel and Jasmine and for doing such a good job as the bridesmaids, and walking down the aisle so well without falling over. In fact Jasmine's mum & dad got married on this day 11 years ago, so happy anniversary to Simon and Mel.

Thanks also to the ushers Peter and Chris for all their hard work, a fantastic piece of ushing there. If you saw "The Unteachables" on Channel 4 you'll know that my brother in law Chris has some experience in dealing with difficult people and I admired the way he searched the ladies handbags as they went into the church with such discretion and subtlety.

Thanks also to my best man Sumit for his support and doing such a superb job. I have known Sumit since we were 8, and he has proven to be and I hope will continue to be a great friend. But of course that could all change in the next few minutes when HE starts speaking. So far Sumit's been the Model best man - in fact, so that I could better describe him, looked up I looked up the word "model" in the dictionary. It said "A miniature replica!", so there you go. I won't list his many other good qualities as I always have trouble reading his writing.

Thank you to all of you for coming here today and sharing our special day with us. It means a lot to me and Jo, particularly as I know many of you have had to travel a long way. I think my friend Katrin wins it, having come all the way from Norway. We'd particularly like to mention and thank Leslie, who performed the service so beautifully earlier, who has travelled down from Yorkshire. Leslie also did the wedding ceremonies for my parents and for my sister, so I would also like to apologise for any peculiar feelings of Deja-vu that he might be having. Thanks also to Jo's uncle Tony who has been providing the Chauffeuring duties for today.

We'd just like to mention those who haven’t been able to make it here today - my Auntie Alex who is currently on Stage in Blackpool, and also her husband Patrick, my Aunt Gill and Jo’s uncle Burt who are unwell. Also my friend Will Jelbert who can't be here today as he is working in Australia.

It was through Will that Jo and I first met. He had just started working at Reuters and one night I went with him to Timepiece nightclub in Exeter, where he was meeting up with some of his new colleagues. One of whom happened to be Jo and we clicked straight away. I wanted to see more of this new girl, and I knew that she would often go salsa dancing, so somehow I found myself going to Salsa dancing classes. After the classes I was able to show off my new dancing skills to Jo at the salsa night at the club.

It must have done the job as a little while down the line we started going out. (Mind you, that was in the days before she started wearing her contacts). We got a lot closer over the next few months and when Jo decided she would be going travelling, I realised that I couldn't let her go without me and so made the best decision I’ve ever had, joining her on a year abroad.

We had an amazing time travelling around California, New Zealand, Australia, South East Australia and living in Sydney for a few months. Spending all that time together we had some real highs, but also some stressful situations, which brought us much closer together. When we came back to England we supported each other and pushed one another forward as we started out in a new city and new career path. It was on our 4th anniversary of going out when I proposed, which also just happened to be the evening that my sister was going into labour. So I have no excuse for forgetting when little Jasmine's birthday is.

Jo knows know me better than anyone, but still agreed to marry me, so for that I'm grateful. Many people have told me how lucky I am to be marrying Jo, including Jo in fact.

I'd just like to say how wonderful you look. During all the preparations I thought to myself what you'd look like today but you really look more amazing that anything I had imagined. I'm so happy to be marrying you, and I very much look forward to our future together. They say you don't marry someone you can live with - you marry the person who you can't live without which I think is very true with us.

Jo, I just want to say, in front of our friends and family, that I love you and hope that every day will be as happy as today. Just not as expensive.

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Well, that's it from me. I hope I didn't make too many stale old jokes, as I wouldn't want to use all the best man's material. Before I pass you over to Sumit, Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand and lift your glasses and join me in a toast to bridesmaids…… "Ladies and gentlemen, (pause until everyone is standing with their glasses raised) to... the bridesmaids."

Friday, June 02, 2006


Jo had come down to Devon a couple of days beforehand to sort things out. I arrived in Devon on Thursday night with Amanda & family, kindly giving me a lift. As most of the organising seemed to be in hand, we decided to take a trip out and make the most of the nice weather and show Amanda some pretty Devon locations. We took a trip to Cockington, which is very olde worldey, a bit touristy, but lovely nonetheless. We had drinks on the lawn and saw lots of shire horses.

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It was funny to visit the day before the wedding, as we had looked at it already as a possible venue, and there was a wedding happening during our visit. We also stop at the seaside in Torquay so Jasmine can have a paddle and make a sandcastle. Making a seaweed castle would have been easier.

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In the afternoon we have our wedding rehearsal with Leslie, who puts us at ease for the next day. He is Amanda's godfather, and did the ceremonies for my parents wedding as well as Amanda's. During the rehearsal, Colin lets slip a remark about Mel giving Jo plenty of space to allow for the train on her dress. After trying so hard to keep the details of the dress a secret for so long Jo is annoyed that this is revealed, but I (purposely) didn't pay any attention to the comment.

In the evening I have a meal at Dartington Hall with my family & some of the family friends including Gay& Eric, Dick & Selina and Leslie & George. Dartington Hall was originally built in 1388 for John Holand, Earl of Huntingdon and half brother to Richard II, He was beheaded in 1400 after an unsuccessful rebellion against Henry IV.

Meanwhile Sumit goes in search of a restaurant in Totnes, running into difficulty as they all close or don't allow smoking, until he finds an Indian restaurant who give him his own palatial private room!