Sunday 14 July 2013

Our Wedding: The Music

There was music playing throughout our wedding day. When deciding what to have we wanted to strike the right balance between tracks that meant a lot to us, and ones that would suit the general mood on the day.

We had opted to have music playing over the wedding breakfast, and saw this as a good opportunity to play some personal songs in the background - we like a lot of country rock and acoustic music, which wouldn't necessarily have been suitable for a dance party. We decided to give our DJ (Tim Franklin, Franklin Entertainment) more free reign when it came to the evening disco as we thought he would have more experience in keeping a party going.

Apart from the first and last dances our DJ was asked to play a mixture of songs, using his own experience but also taking requests where possible. He did an excellent job of judging the mood of the room, and managed to keep the dance floor packed from start to finish! He was so good that many of our guests thought that we had picked the songs specially ourselves.

We don't have a record of every song that was played, but in case you're interested these are the ones that we had specifically requested.

The First Dance
I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack

The Last Dance
Sober - Little Big Town

(I had never heard of the concept of a last dance before. We told the DJ that if it didn't suit the mood at the time that he didn't have to play it, but he managed to work it in very well. The tracks leading up to it had started to bring everyone towards the dance floor, and the penultimate song "New York, New York" had everyone dancing with arms linked in a circle. Somehow we ended up in the middle of the room during that song, which meant that we were the centre of attention as the last song started. It's a love song, and it was lovely to end the night dancing together with couples dancing all around us. It was the perfect end to a perfect night of music.)

Wedding Breakfast Background

Paper Airplane - Alison Krauss
Lie Awake - Alison Krauss
A Simple Love - Alison Krauss
The Lucky One - Alison Krauss
Looking in the Eyes of Love - Alison Krauss
Dimming of the Day - Alison Krauss
It Doesn't Matter - Alison Krauss
Lord Don't Forsake Me - Alison Krauss
Sleep On - Alison Krauss
I Will - Alison Krauss
It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference - Alison Krauss
When You Say Nothing At All - Alison Krauss
Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
American Honey - Lady Antebellum
Just A Kiss - Lady Antebellum
I Got You - Jodie Marie
Ventura Highway - America
Coat of Many Colours - Dolly Parton
From Here to the Moon and Back - Dolly Parton
Roots - Show of Hands
Would You Go With Me - Josh Turner
Only You - Joshua Radin
Closer - Joshua Radin
I'd Rather Be With You - Joshua Radin
How to Save a Life - The Fray
London - Sandy Denny
Easy Silence - Dixie Chicks
Tornado - Little Big Town
Your Side of the Bed - Little Big Town
Can't Go Back - Little Big Town
Stay - Little Big Town
Self Made - Little Big Town
Boulder to Birmingham - Emmylou Harris
Deeper Well - Emmylou Harris
All My Tears (Be Washed Away) - Emmylou Harris
Wild at Heart - Gloriana
When the Morning Comes - Jon Allen
I'm Gonna Love You Through It - Martina McBride
Dancing Every Night - Paper Aeroplanes
Newport Beach - Paper Aeroplanes
Sing It - Paper Aeroplanes
Hey There Delilah - Plain White Ts
1,2,3,4 - Plain White Ts
Rhythm of Love - Plain White Ts
Write You a Song - Plain White Ts
The Scent of Love - Michael Nyman
The Heart Asks Pleasure First - Michael Nyman
Postcard from Paris - The Band Perry
Walk Me Down the Middle - The Band Perry
Perfect Day - Miriam Stockley
Adiemus - Miriam Stockley

We hope that you enjoyed the music on the day, and thank you all for dancing all night long!


Sunday 7 July 2013

Our Wedding - Part 4 (From the Bride and Groom)

Time to cut the cake. The DJ introduces us for the second time and we head to the cake table, now positioned in the centre of the room.

We cut the cake to a chorus of camera flashes, standing there for an eternity to make sure everyone gets the shots they want. We don't really know how long we're supposed to pose for. I nibble some of the cake from the knife - yum. We stand there for a bit longer until the flashes seem to have died down fully, and then the cake is whipped away to be sliced up for later.

Just the first dance to go, and then it's party time. Our choice is Leann Womack, 'I Hope You Dance'. I hadn't really been looking forward to this before today but I've had such a fantastic day and am so relaxed that dancing to one of our favourite songs is just the icing on the cake. The music starts and it's just Alan and me, just twirling gently round the dancefloor in our own little world, singing along to the lyrics. About halfway through, I nod to the DJ and he invites everyone else to join in, which they do.

 After a moment's pause at the end, the DJ launches into Scissor Sisters' 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing' (I've no idea if that was a careful choice based on our dance or whether it's just a good first tune for parties; either way, a great choice!) - the dance floor stays packed and the evening starts.

Around 10.30, the side room is open and the spread of evening food is revealed. We've gone for sausage, bacon and egg rolls, and fish and chips - there is also cheese (with crackers and chutney) and cake to sample. "It's breakfast!" one guest says to me delightedly. The dancefloor is abandoned and a huge queue forms. We hadn't thought people would be that hungry at that time so we're glad we listened to the venue on catering numbers, as boy, would we have been in trouble otherwise. My brother is slightly aggrieved that he misses out on the bacon - even though I point out that he already has one of everything else!

I grab a slice of cake as I can't summon up the appetite for anything more substantial. I'm a little sad about this as everyone keeps telling me how tasty the buffet is, but the cake is definitely very good.

Once the buffet has been torn apart, it's time to get back on the dance floor for the last hour or so. A combination of great requests from our guests and excellent work from the DJ keep the dancing going, with some cheesy country music favourites. At one point Alan and I are twirling round the room (it turns out my dress is perfect for twirling - I never thought to test it out for such qualities in the shop!); I become aware that everyone else has stopped and is clapping as we dance in the middle. It's like magic happens and we know the evening has been as much of a success as the rest of the day has been. It's an amazing moment.

 Eventually, the party begins to wind down a little as we begin to say goodbye to some of our guests who have to leave. The dancefloor is full for 'New York, New York'. Somehow Alan and I end up in the centre of the circle, which is perfect for the last song.

We picked a 'last song' but didn't know whether the DJ was going to play it. We knew it wouldn't be that well-known and we trusted him to know whether he thought it would work or not as we don't want the dancefloor to clear for the last song!

To our delight, the DJ announces the song we chose - 'Sober' by Little Big Town. To us, this song is the perfect, hazy, lazy tune for the end of a perfect day. Far from deserting us, the dancefloor is full with plenty of other couples and groups around us; as I glance around I am overwhelmed with the love radiating from everywhere. Alan and I sway together in each other's arms - I'm not sure I can call it dancing as we're so busy singing and smiling at each other - until the music finally fades away.

The lights go up and the music is over. I am still wearing my shoes where others have long-ago abandoned theirs, but even my feet are starting to ache now.  Many guests head to the bar to continue the party. In some ways I am reluctant to bid everyone good night, but we are both shattered so we leave everyone to it and head* upstairs. With hindsight, I wish we had stayed up with our guests a bit longer, but realistically I probably would have been falling asleep in a corner before too long.

Upstairs, the pixies have been visiting, and magically some cake, a bottle of champagne and a basket full of cards and gifts from our incredibly generous guests have appeared. Different, bridesmaid-shaped, pixies have visited and spread confetti, petals and balloons over the bed. A wonderful, magical, scene and it feels like a tiny, one-room world which is ours only.

Still reluctant to say the night is over, we potter round the room, bathing in 'newlywedness' and, less romantically, trying to get the feeling back into our numb feet (Toes? What toes?). Eventually, we can't avoid the need to admit defeat and get some sleep, as we have a long drive tomorrow. Our wedding day might be over, but our marriage is only just beginning.

*By 'head', I mean 'hobble' - my feet are suddenly no longer really working.


Saturday 6 July 2013

Wedding Day - Part 2 (from the Groom)

"Right, so, where are we going?"

This is what Colin, who is driving me to the church, asks as we pull out of the car

"I thought you knew?!"

OK, so not quite planned to perfection then.

I've driven to the church a number of times, but not from here. I quickly debate setting up the sat nav, but would rather not have us stop now that we have momentum.

There are four of us in the car, all dressed up in our finest tail-coats and sporting flowers in our lapels. We don't get as many looks as I imagine the main wedding car will have, but I revel in the double-takes we get as we crawl slowly through Ware town centre.

The church is only a 10 minute drive away, so we are there in a flash.

Guess this is the right place then!
(Photo courtesy of Maxine von Eye)

We're just over an hour from the ceremony time, but people start arriving right away. A worry of mine was how easy it would be for people to park, and there are more cars already parked in front of the church than I had expected, but the ushers do their job of shepherding people to the overflow and everything seems to work out.

Inside the church I say hi to the vicar, and run through some last minute details with the rabbi who had been unable to make it to the rehearsal. There are also a number of the regular church congregation there who all wish me luck.

Outside everyone is enjoying a brief moment of sunshine. There is a pub directly opposite the church, and I am pleased to see that most people are taking advantage. My parents arrive and offer moral support, but I'm quite calm.

Much mingling was done.

Groom and Mother
(Photo courtesy of Maxine von Eye)

Family Godfrey

It gets to 1 o'clock quickly and when a critical mass of people seem to have arrived, I make my
way inside and head to the front.

I remember turning around at some point and seeing that Frances's car has arrived. It's 1:20pm - 10 minutes early! Excellent.

It takes them a while to get to the entrance, but when they do all I can see is Frances, sun-lit and radiant in white, beaming at all around her. She sees me and gives me a wave full of excitement and joy.

The vicar takes the opportunity to read out some notices, and to give everyone an idea of what is going to happen next, and the rabbi gives a brief introduction as to why he is there and what he'll be doing. I can't recall exactly, but one of them makes a comment in reference to me, and I pull a face and shake my head. This gets a small laugh from the room and instantly I relax.

Groom and Best Man - looking relaxed!

Until this moment I'd been tense and staring at the floor, unable to make eye-contact with the room full of family and friends; but now I'm more comfortable and I can lift my head and take it all in.

The vicar and rabbi go to speak with Frances, and before I know it they are racing up the aisle towards me. I knew Frances wasn't planning on going for a slow procession, but with it being a small church and everyone slightly nervous they end up moving at quite a pace.

I watch Frances from the first moment to the last and she doesn't take her eyes off of me either; until we are stood side by side grinning like idiots and the service begins.

The Bride!
(Photo courtesy of Maxine von Eye)
The hard-working gang who made sure everything
made it back to us after the ceremony. Thanks all!!
(Photo courtesy of Maxine von Eye)