Monday, June 20, 2011

Wedding: the party

This is me and Evilstevie enjoying our first hours of married life:

After the ceremony described in my previous post, we bundled into a car with our Official Photographer (Steve's cousin) and went to a more scenic part of the venue to take some nice, couple-y photos. I'd recommend this to anybody. It allowed us to have some time to just cuddle each other and marvel at the fact that we were actually married, rather than having to dive straight in to a busy mishmash of family politics and being congratulated for a ceremony we were still getting our heads around.

This took maybe half an hour or so, and then we headed over for the reception. I had decided ahead of time that I would walk for the ceremony but use the chair for the reception, and I think this was a good idea. Our reception room was advertised as accommodating up to 160 people. Our guest list was about 80 and about 75 came. It did look a little bit sparsely populated - especially as the summery weather saw a lot of people hanging around the outdoor areas - but it also meant that I had plenty of room for manoeuvring the chair, that parents didn't have to worry about where to put buggies, that strangers weren't sitting more or less on top of each other - all of which are good things. If I was doing it again, which I don't intend to do, and if I had a free choice of room sizes that met my other requirements, then I'd probably go for something nearer the "seats 120" capacity for an 80-person guest list.

The reception was going well when we arrived. Rather than a disco drowning out all hope of civilised conversation, we'd opted for quiet chill-out jazz and this worked really well.

We'd invited all the kids (mostly little boys between 2 and 10) to come dressed as pirates. The idea was that this way their parents wouldn't have to fork out for uncomfortable suits that would be ripped and outgrown within minutes. We'd hired a bouncy castle shaped like a pirate ship, complete with giant purple octopus overhanging the prow.
purple octopus
We also had heaps of chocolate coins/pirate treasure on every table, in lieu of favours...
... and our cake table had several chocolate pirates on the beach, alongside their enormous treasure chest.
Cake table

We did have our Wii set up in one corner to entertain the kids in case of bad weather, or if the bouncy castle was too full. It was set to just scroll through a slideshow in the meanwhile. None of the kids even noticed it.

Lunch was an assortment of sandwiches, and scones with cream and jam. The venue caterers served these in large dishes to each table, a happy medium between the awkwardness of a buffet and the unwanted formality of a plated meal and seating plan. Obviously at this point Steve and I were both making our way around the tables, with the tragic result that I had to eat two scones. Just to be polite, obviously.

You can't put helium balloons and engineers in a room together without there being an effort to get something floating. At our wedding, this was one of the pirate ship table decorations...
The balloon ship
... shortly followed by the Stunt Bride And Groom.
Floating Stunt Bride And Groom

We only had one Stunt Bride and Groom which we really didn't want to lose, but we had plenty of table decorations. With this in mind, when a certain young lady begged for permission to take the floating pirate ship out and launch it... well obviously it's irresponsible and we couldn't endorse it, but we felt equally unable to say no. And it did look beautiful drifting off into the dusk.
launch successful

Technically the bouncy castle was for children only, although at one point Evilstevie and I did, erm, pose on it for wedding portraits that may have had a slight bouncing element.

By the evening some people had left and others had changed into more comfortable, less formal clothes. At Jiva's suggestion, I too had a less formal outfit of black trousers and a white top to get changed into for the evening. This was another one of the Really Good Ideas. My dress wasn't uncomfortable to wear or difficult to manage as wedding dresses go, but it was more effort than my normal clothes and I was starting to get really quite tired. Also, dinner was bangers and mash with vegetables and gravy. Getting changed was definitely a good way forwards.

The bangers and mash had another effect we hadn't predicted. All those little pirates, who'd spent the day hopped up on sugar enjoying sunshine, a big grassy area to play on, and an unlimited-access bouncy castle, suddenly had bellies full of a nice solid hot dinner, and very nearly fell asleep on the spot. It was magic.

The last guests left a little while after 9pm. By that point I wasn't making sense any more, but I was very happy and had enjoyed the most wonderful day.


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing them with us. I'm glad you had such a wonderful day, Congrats to you both again! BG Xx

Little Miss Adventure said...

Looks great and I love the pirate theme. If BF and I ever get married, I think I'd be tempted to have a whole pirate-theme fancy dress wedding.

Glad you got through the day well!

Ruth Madison said...

Congratulations! You look so lovely and so happy.

Mary said...

Thank you, ladies :)

The pirate theme was great for keeping it in perspective and also for keeping it as OUR wedding. I think without it we might have ended up with a whole lot of... you know... favours of five sugared almonds wrapped in tulle, glass votive candle holders, napkins embossed with our names and the wedding date... very pretty if you're into that sort of thing, looks marvellous in a million wedding magazine photo shoots, but SO not us.

I figure you make a lot of important promises on your wedding day, it's not a day for pretending to be someone you're not.

Sarah said...

Sounds fab! Well done you two!

Jaz said...

Lovely photos, congratulations! Hope you're doing ok recovering from such a big event ('nother m.e person here!)

Lorna said...

Thanks for your comment on my I'm the Bride... post!

Lovely photos and awesome pirate theme.

Belated congratulations!

I'm getting the tulle layer removed from my dress and the skirt is getting shaped to fit the chair. My bridal shop experience has been wonderful, but I was slightly worried before I started looking, as I'd heard horror stories.

And I have some tent dress photos, just for fun!

Again, it's good to meet you,