By Sarah

It’s not 1985. We’re not in detention. Neither one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal. But we are having a sit-down wedding breakfast!

I’m writing this post at 6am because life, at the moment, is just royally frenetic!

Most of my family are in South Carolina right now. Cousin Rich is marrying Caitlin tomorrow on the plantation where Blake Lively married Ryan Reynolds – how cool is that? That film, The Notebook, was also filmed there. Mum and Dad decided to tack on a visit to NY, Boston, Newport and Cape Cod so they have been gone a couple of weeks already. Uncle Nige and Aunty Lyn have been gone a week too which means Steve, Nana, Phoebe (my mum and dad’s cat, not Phoebe Miller!) and I are holding up the homefront.

I couldn’t go to the wedding as I have to be at school and it’s exam season. Little sis Laura was unable to go for the same reason plus she’s exam marking for one of the boards. We shall just have to gorge ourselves over the photos when they all get back home and in the meantime bravely mark some exam papers!

So… apart from the usual work mayhem and final stages of wedding planning, I’m currently on cat duty and keeping Nana company, so lots of evenings are spent scurrying around the lanes of Derbyshire between our house in Belper, mum and dad’s in Kirk Ireton and Nana’s bungalow in Allestree. It was Phoebe last night and it’s Nana tonight.  At least Nana will allow me to have a sit-down and put my feet up after standing up in my hot classroom all day. She’s said she might put the tennis on and make me a Pimms! When I go up to Kirk Ireton, all Phoebe does is miaow insistently until I drag an aquilegia seed head around the garden for her to chase. Rude.

So, the wedding breakfast, I hear your ask? Allow me to elaborate:

The master of ceremonies:

Uncle Nige, my godfather, has very kindly agreed to welcome guests into dinner and introduce our entrance as new Mr and Mrs. I think it creates a more personal vibe having someone you love being your MC. We’ve also opted to have formal receiving line. Not because we’re all about formality or anything. It’s just a great chance to introduce parents and have a proper chance to chat to each and everyone of the lovely guests – even if it’s just for a moment.

The seating plan:

We’re currently in favour of a more blended seating plan to encourage our guests to socialise with each other. We’re not having a top table. It’s all going to be in rounds. The only dilemma is whether Steve and I should sit with our immediate family or mix in with the other guests. I like the idea of being non-traditional and having chance to talk to people I’ve not seen in a while but can’t quite get my head around the idea of not sitting next to my dad and especially my mum who will be making a speech along with Steve and me.

The table names:

Ever since Mum said to me that table numbers could make guests feel like they have been ranked, Steve and I have been racking our brains for table-names. I like gardens and literature. Steve loves music and ale. It sounds awful but we don’t have that many interests in common, apart from each other! So this is what we’re going for: each table name will paint part of a picture inspired by a night, three years ago, when we were on our first holiday together in the Dordogne. It’s actually the night when we first used the word ‘love’ to say how we felt about each other. It was kind of romantic: there was a castle, starlight, fireworks, a meadow etc. A very happy memory.

The table decorations:

Like a million other women getting married, I’ve poured over pinterest thinking about styling for the venue and what the tables are going to look like. But because the venue is so pretty as it is, we’re ultimately going for simplicity. We’re having the aforementioned informal blue flower arrangements for the centrepieces. We’re using giant Douwe Egberts coffee jars, of all things, for the flower receptacles. Tealights will go in pretty glass votive holders. There will be the standard white linen and Shottle Hall’s gold and white chairs will remain unadorned. I’ve done a u-turn on marmalade favours (too much work for me and Nana) and am putting sugared almonds in tiny blue organza drawstring bags. My cousin’s girlfriend, Meg (she just graduated from her Graphic Design degree with a much-deserved first – well done, Meg!) is designing personalised labels for these which will double-up as name-cards.

The food:

We have chosen to have a sit-down wedding breakfast with three courses. Shottle Hall is a beautiful, petite country house with a light-filled conservatory as the main room so this option seemed perfect for that and so much more intimate and cosy for our small wedding reception than a buffet. We’ve chosen a seasonal menu of a tiny goats cheese tart, chicken in sorrel sauce and raspberry crème brûlée. Plus all the booze. The veggies will be eating Caprese salad and goats cheese in a filo parcel for their starter and main course.

Et voila…our wedding breakfast plans are coming along nicely! How are you having your wedding breakfast?

-Sarah- x

Follow me @sweetpeasandsighs

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