Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, 9 years ago B and I got married, so I thought I’d share what we got up to. It was a fantastic day, loads of people have said it’s one of the best wedding they have been to! All we wanted was a stress free wedding, where people could have fun and eat well. We didn’t have a traditional wedding to be honest, although people did have to get dressed up, sit at named tables and have favours.
We had a Sci-Fi and Fantasy themed fancy dress wedding, on Halloween!
We set up a website with a list of characters people could choose from, and only allowed one of each character. Everyone took to it really well to be honest, we weren’t sure if people were going to go along with it but we made it clear that it was what we wanted. In the end we even managed to get individual favours for each guest that matched (ish) their costumes. Must of these were just toys that cost us less than a pound! To begin with, I think our parents thought we were joking when we said “Fancy Dress”, but they slowly came round to the idea, and lets be honest people get dressed up to go to a wedding anyway! The bonus being, B would still be the bride and it would still be our day, but she wouldn’t have to be wear a big uncomfortable dress that meant all eyes were on her all the time.
We had themed tables such as our Camelot table with a sword in the stone centre piece to our Red Dwarf table that had a curry container based centre piece. Initially we said we were not going to bother with doing flowers, but several people thought we should and B’s mum offered to organise them. In the end we’re really glad she did, because the florist did a really great job working flowers into our strange theme and it looked great. Making the flowers for the bridesmaids to hold when they were Tinkerbell, Medusa and Poison Ivy must have been a new one!
We did follow the tradition where B and I never saw each other on the day of the wedding ( I’d not seen her costume ). I stayed overnight at the venue with the Best Man and my Mum, and B stayed at her mum’s so that her and her bridesmaids could get ready together. During the previous day, before I left for the venue I’d driven B to her mums house and I spent a few hours there with them all. When I was there B and I decided we’d make a cake, we were already having a cake made but we wanted something to do and we’d wanted to try and make a cake. So, we stood there in B’s mum’s kitchen making a Castle Cake the afternoon before our wedding. We figured everyone that needed to be organised was either organised, or there was no time to do it now anyway! At one point B’s mum came in and asked us what we were doing. I’m not sure she could understand why we were calmly making a cake the day before getting married and weren’t panicking a bit more, so she went out for walk instead.
Because I’d stayed at the venue, I got to watch everyone arrive. It was great fun seeing how much effort everyone had put into their costumes, but there were several guests from B’s side that I’d never actually met. Usually, this is probably difficult anyway for grooms, but I also had the extra complication that some of them were wearing masks! I just tried to remember who was coming as which character from out list and then make sure I didn’t accidentally miss any of my relatives if they were too well dressed up!
Our ceremony was fairly normal to be honest, other than the audience. Of course, B hadn’t seen anyone in costume yet so as we were all watching her walk in through the back of the ceremony room, she was looking around at everyone seeing them all dressed up for the first time. We’d managed to arrange having seats to sit on at the front, so that B didn’t have to stand through all the general legal bits of the ceremony. I do remember that the registrar had to gradually decrease the number of words she asked B to repeat as she was getting a bit nervous and flustered and couldn’t remember long strings of words. The registrar finished off and after saying that usually she gives the certificate to the bride to look after, she looked at B, looked at me, and handed it to me!
We had a sit down meal at the same venue as the ceremony. Both B and I are both quite fussy when it comes to food, and would rather have “Real food”. We get quite worried at weddings as people try and do sophisticated / posh food that neither of us really like. We went for Venison Sausages, Curry or Steak Pie as our main options and people seemed very happy with that with people getting seconds and thirds. The venue and owner were brilliant at accommodating vegetarian, celiac, allergies and even someone who just wanted ham, egg and chips. We were still getting comments years later about how good the food was!
We even managed to organise and inter-table quiz on sci-fi and fantasy for just after the food and a crossword with clues and answers about both of us, so that people from both sides would have to work together to get all the right answers.
In order to get people from the ceremony and dinner to the evening venue, my dad managed to organise a coach. This picked everyone up from near where my parents live, which is near where the evening venue is. The idea being people could stay over near there, or walk back from there to their houses. Everyone was picked up after standing around (slightly suspiciously) on a street corner in costumes and brought to the daytime venue. The driver parked the coach and just had some lunch and made himself comfortable.
Everyone had finished off their food and chatting away when someone came in and said that the bus wouldn’t start. I have to be honest, that this point panic started to set in a bit… everything else had gone really well so to be honest, we should have been expecting something. We had about 30 guests who had no way to get back to the evening, or their homes. Those who had driven started offering spaces in their cars to anyone who needed to be driven back, even if they didn’t know them. I think we’d actually pretty much sorted everyone out so we all fitted into a car somehow. During this time, several “experts” had gathered around the coach and were offering useful suggestions to the driver as to how he could get it up and running… I imagine it was the highlight of his day to have a merry band including Dr Who, Indiana Jones and a Ghostbuster telling him how to fix his coach! As luck would have it, it did then manage to start and everyone piled on, or set off in their cars.
When it came to the evening do, we wanted something so we could have a few more people come along, but neither of us like dancing and neither of us drink so we didn’t just want a DJ and a Bar. So, in the end we did get a DJ, but we had more of a kids party theme with games to play, prizes and party food. So that’s what we ended up with, we didn’t play as many games as we’d planned, but to be honest I think everything was quite tired by the evening. There were prizes for winning the games, and we even did some prizes for best costumes. Some people really did go all out on their costumes for us!
We did manage to play “The mummy game”, where someone volunteers (Or at least they didn’t say no fast enough) and others wrap them up in toilet roll. I had to nip in to Asda on the way to the evening venue to pick up a massive pack of toilet roll. I was originally quite nervous given I was dressed as Dr Who, but then as I walked in I remembered it was Halloween and most of the staff were dressed up in costumes too. Everyone seemed to have a really good time, and people even joined mummy teams with people that they didn’t know.
During the evening we did the cake cutting. We actually had three cakes for our wedding. We had the castle cake we’d made the day before, a cool dinosaur cake brought for us by some friends (Thanks D,L,R) and a Star Ship Enterprise cake baked for us by my Aunt (Thanks Auntie J). We ended up cutting the Enterprise cake as it was a nice large round cake, but people had bits from all of them. We ended up with quite a lot of cake left over so a massive chunk went to the care home where my Mum works, so they got to enjoy our wedding too.
When the evening had wound down, my mum had her last few tears, and we’d eaten as much as we could manage, we said our good byes and started to head home. As I don’t drink, we’d decided to drive straight home that night (About an hour) so that we didn’t have to worry about staying over anywhere. To be honest, there wasn’t really anywhere else to stay as quite a lot of relatives had made the trip. We’d even organised flights for my relatives from Spain to come over so they could join in too and they were taking up my old bed at my mum’s house.
It was about midnight when we headed out so there wasn’t much traffic about. We were driving through some small villages and had just left one and started accelerating when a deer jumped across in front, I had just about enough time to start saying “That was close!” (Or more likely “Oh deer….”), when another jumped out… this one wasn’t quite so lucky and we hit it square on. I managed to pull into a lay by that was just a few hundred meters down the road, and to be honest started to freak out a little. B managed to calm me down and we sat and tried to figure out what to do… in the dark, in costumes, with a boot full of balloons! As it happens the car that was behind us saw that whole thing and had gone round a roundabout at the end of the road and come back to see if we were okay. They helped me get the deer out of the road, which had been killed outright. Asked if we’d be okay and went on their way (Thank you!).
I then did what lots people would do in that situation, I rang my mum… we figured she’d probably just about got home by then. She told us to sit tight and then rang us back to say she’d rung the local taxi firm (Who she knows) and they were sending someone to pick us up. We managed to turn the car round, which was still running but had no lights, got back to the little village and parked in a bus stop. Someone then pulled over to see if we were okay. We explained what had happened and also explained why our back seat was full of balloons and why we were in fancy dress. They offered to let us follow them all the way home, but we explained we had no working lights and had family locally. In the end they allowed us to follow them back through to where my mum worked and leave our car in their car park. That way we’d know where it was and it would be easier to sort everything. The taxi driver had reached us by this point and wasn’t sure what to do. But his boss said he was just to say with us / follow us and then give us a lift back to my mum’s from there.
We limped back to my mums work, took everything we could think of out of the car and got the taxi back to my mums house. As it turns out the guy we followed back played the farrier in the Robin Hood film that was coming out the following year… which would have fitted in at the wedding great! We thanked the taxi driver loads when he dropped us off, my mum paid him and we went in side. We had a few hours wait whilst we let my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin get a few more hours of sleep before their flight ( The ones from Spain) then we’d be able to use their bed. So, on our wedding night, we were snuggled under a blanket on my mum’s sofa pulling out B’s hair pins and waiting desperately to get a bit of sleep… it just doesn’t get more romantic than that does it! Oh, and I’d just taxed the car and it was the 1st of November, so I used about 30 minutes of that months tax… and it was B’s car that’d I’d written off, she’s never got another one!
Thank you to everyone reading this who was part of out wedding and got involved with all of our crazy ideas!