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.

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