This is the final instalment of Vicky’s pre-wedding posts, next up we hope to share you details and photos from her actual wedding – so excited to see how all her plans turned out. Vicky and Steve have definitely been one of our most crafty couples in our TNWC Real Brides series, turning their hand to creating so many items for their wedding. If this sounds like you, then make sure you check out all her posts for some great ideas and how to’s.
But for now, over to Vicky…
The week before the wedding
The week before our wedding was one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve ever had and definitely the most tiring. I’m sure all the other TNWC Brides would agree the downside of a truly personal wedding is all the work you have to do in that final week. You 100% need a band of willing helpers ready to muck in, as at some point you do have to go off and just be the bride, like finding time to collect your dress – amazingly I nearly forgot that one in all my list making.
Steve had taken the week off work before the wedding to help get things done and my family and aunt were also down in Devon for the week, while the best man stopped work and joined in the chaos on the Thursday.
Rain rain go away
The weather that week was horrific. I had considered the fact it might rain a bit on the actual day, I’d even bought clear brollies and planned to accessorise my dress with a cardigan and leather jacket if it got a bit chilly, but I had not considered this level of rain. Suddenly a marquee reception in a field did not seem like such a clever idea.
It began to seem like an even more stupid idea when we found out that the farmer hadn’t had time to cut the grass in the field as it had been so wet and he was now on holiday. So we had to add ‘cut grass’ to our list of tasks. Steve did an amazing job getting the inside area mowed with an old machine as they built the marquee around him.
Luckily we then managed to get hold of another mower and my dad and brother spent the whole of the next day hacking down paths and areas around the marquee so we’d actually be able to walk about. It was exhausting and not what we had been expecting.
The weather finally lifted a little bit on the Thursday, calming everyone’s nerves, but not before I’d given my wellington boots a good clean imagining that they may be needed on the day.
Decorating the marquee
Thursday was spent getting various old fridges and freezers in place and setting up the tables while my family fluffed and hung a variety of pom poms. These took a lot longer than I expected.
We also laid up the tables as much as we could trying to do as much as we possible so we’d have time for the flower arranging.
I really enjoyed this time as all of the ideas and plans we’d had were finally all coming together and it was so lovely to see how it all looked. I was so excited about getting married that I hadn’t even been too fazed by the over grown field and the weather. The only thing that week that really turned me into a stressed bride was, oddly, the wedding rehearsal.
A rather stressful wedding rehearsal
We had planned this for Thursday evening as this was when one of my bridesmaids was arriving and all the key players would be there. We were having a ‘stand in; vicar as our local one was on holiday, and he’d kindly agreed to come out of retirement and perform the ceremony. The problem was that he hadn’t done a wedding in 17 years and the marriage ceremony had changed quite a bit since then. The two churchwardens were also new to the job and no one could find the marriage service book.
We muddled through with a variety of mistakes and some very odd vows, so by the end none of us had a clue what we were meant to be doing or when. I have to admit I ended up back at my mum and dads in tears, annoyed at myself for being bothered by it but really dreading the actual ceremony. A good nights sleep helped calm me down and it soon became a running joke that we might not actually manage to officially get married if the practice was anything to go by.
Fun flower arranging
In among all of the decorating we also had all of our flowers to arrange. My parents’ lovely neighbour, Madge, from Gloucestershire had agreed to help us and she bought down all of the flowers on the Thursday. That afternoon saw the flower team assemble at the church ready for action. I had been round all of the hedgerows a few days earlier collecting greenery and grasses and had sourced florist buckets from our local supermarket to put all of the flowers in once they arrived. These were amazing and if any other brides are planning on doing their own flowers you should definitely get some, as they are only £1 for 10, you just need to ask for them at customer services.
The flowers for the marquee were finished off on the Friday and the leftovers were tied onto the gates and steps of the church on the morning of the wedding. I loved this part of the preparations and it became quite competitive with us all battling to create the best display. Luckily we were going for the rustic look, which is quite easy to achieve, especially when you start to run out of time.
Madge was in charge of my bouquet and the buttonholes while my sister-in-law and I tackled the bridesmaid’s bouquets under her supervision. These were all hand tied with raffia and I’m pretty impressed with how they turned out and lasted throughout the day.
First dance practices
Throughout this last week Steve and I were also trying to practice our first dance. I had not wanted to do one but Steve had insisted. I agreed but only on the condition that we came up with a basic routine to avoid the awkwardness of just shuffling around for 4 minutes. Practising this proved to be hilarious and every evening found us out in the garden gamely trying to put something together without falling about laughing.
The night before the big day
The final night before the big day was actually really lovely. The village was packed with tourists as it was the first day of the school holidays and guests were arriving thick and fast. It really felt like a big party as everyone we saw was taking an interest in all of the wedding activity.
We managed to pop into our local where we were greeted by most of our friends and family who were all converging for a meal. After many good wishes and a couple of drinks we left them to it, being cheered out of the pub, and headed home. The rest of the night saw us practising our dance, trying to make my nails look more bridal and less DIY, writing Steve’s speech (last minute? Never!) and randomly baking a top tier for the wedding cake (I had decided it definitely needed more height).
We had chosen to break with tradition and spend the night together in our home. It meant we both got a good nights sleep and being with Steve really helped calm my nerves, it was just exciting, like waiting for Christmas day as a child. It also meant that we could be up early ready to sort out the final pieces before we became husband and wife.
Images: All brides own photos