Sorry this has taken me so long to write. I guess I just wasn’t ready to let go of my weekly blogs so put off writing the final ones! Then they were so long I had to split into 2 parts..
Anyway, as I write this we are pushing the 3 month mark since I became Mrs Hunter Wood. I think it is about time I put you all out of your misery and finally show you my big day and the all important, very sought after dress! After all… it had been two years in the making.
I woke up super early because I was SO EXCITED and did what I do best.. made a brew for all the girls. I had a slight panic because I realised at this point that I forgot all my bridesmaids gifts AND breakfast ingredients AND fizz AND an iron to get the creases out of the bridesmaid dresses. A quick call to Will (Tilly’s boyfriend) and he arrived with all of the above plus anything ginger based that he could get his hands on at that time on a Sunday morning because my sister has really bad morning sickness! Absolute life saver!
Laura and Amanda arrived to start all of the girl’s hair and make up whilst my Mum was tasked with entertaining my Nephews. The girls then surprised me with a beautiful pair of pearl earrings to wear as well as a pearl encrusted garter (to wear alongside my House of Snow garter that Harriet the owner gifted me when I collected my dress!) Callum had also given the girls some gifts for me to open on our wedding morning which included new Birkenstocks for honeymoon, an Emma Bridgewater mug with ‘Mrs Hunter Wood’ on it and Peony and Blush Suede perfume by Jo Malone. I had been banging on about wanting to buy a new scent for the day so that whenever I smelt it in future, it would take me back to fond wedding day memories (hopefully!) He also wrote me a very sweet card which made me cry a lot.
Luckily reading the card and bursting into tears prompted me to give my bridesmaids their cards and gifts before any mascara was applied! I curated a little gift box of treats for each of them as well as a piece of Monica Vinader jewellery.. Friendship bracelets for Kim and Gabri and monogrammed necklaces for my sisters. I now also was a ziggy pendant and chain in gold!
Mum helped me to get into my dress so that I could get the shot of all my bridesmaids seeing me in it for the first time… it didn’t disappoint! I wore ‘Mayfair’ by Suzanne Neville and I was absolutely in love with the dress!
Everyone went off to Peppers ahead, leaving Elliot (one of the Groomsmen) and I in the little red MG convertible- which had to be rushed to the Valet last minute that morning or else my dress would not have been white when I walked down the aisle! We were both extremely nervous but I was over the moon to have such a great friend by my side. We drove the short distance to Peppers and came down the main driveway past all the guests. I had to look at them all in order to prepare myself for what was coming.. That was the part I was worried about most as it is literally the one and only time in your life that almost everyone you have ever loved and cared about will all be in one place. Staring at you! Not you and your husband to be. Just you. It’s super intimidating. Genuinely think I would have found it really tough to walk down the aisle with no prior warning of what was coming.
I walked down the aisle to the Distractions Band playing Ludvico Einaudi’s I Giorni live. Callum tells me it was incredible but I can’t honestly say that I remember hearing it because I was concentrating on taking everyone’s smiling faces in (and not falling.) Mum gave me away whilst carrying my nephew (who wouldn’t let her put him down) down a very very long aisle wearing very very high heels. Callum wouldn’t even turn around to look at me because he couldn’t hold it together but luckily Gabriella had my back and stepped in and threatened him!
Emmerson did an unbelievable job with the ceremony, our readers also added a special touch to the proceedings and Callum and I both remembered all our words! I would say it was a storming success and again we walked down the aisle to Coldplay’s sky full of stars with REAL confetti today! At this point I was able to admire all the incredible flowers that Alice did. They were quite possibly my favourite thing (as well as the table plan) and I was utterly in love with my bouquet. I have told Callum that I would like a matching bouquet every Anniversary!
Callum and I had a glass of fizz, few minutes to chat and a couple of photos before being introduced as Mr and Mrs Hunter Wood in the Orchard (with more confetti!) we made a conscious effort to go around and speak to as. Any guests as possible but we also wanted lots of family photos which we kept having to dash off for! Guy was incredible at keeping us disciplined in this instance. We had chilled music from the band on the patio whilst everyone had drinks, photos and signed our guest canvas drawn by the wonderfully talented Sam White!
We opted to do a receiving line so that we 100% spoke to every guest at least once. It also gave everyone a chance to meet our parents. I carried my nephew William (my new bestie as I bought him a dinosaur backpack which my sister says she thinks might need to be surgically removed from his back) into the marquee to lots of applause.. obviously Callum was also in tow.
We had our wedding breakfast straight away as everyone was getting peckish. The food was off the scale! Sam and the team definitely pulled it out of the bag and delivered two wonderful courses. The wine was flowing everywhere except the top table where Ryder and I had a pact that if one of us messed our speech up, the other would copy so we both were equally worst! I was first which was so much pressure! The bride never traditionally does a speech and I felt that by choosing to do one, I had a lot to answer for. Now, I am not a nervous public speaker. I honestly don’t mind it, but my hand was shaking so much that you could see my paper waving super obviously. One paragraph in, ok maybe a sentence or two in, I then burst into tears. I think this was expected as I am quite an emotional person but I just couldn’t get my words out. I even asked for volunteers to finish reading it at one point but after a lot of encouragement from our very patient guests (and uncle David falling off his chair which cracked me up) I got there! I am so glad that I did it now because I had so many things I wanted to say to everyone and luckily it was extremely well received!
My mum gave her speech next which she started singing to the tune of Mcfly! She then graduated to reading a letter that Callum wrote her in our first year of uni about his intentions towards me. She finished her speech using various song lyrics and it was honestly brilliant!
Callum’s speech was extremely heartfelt as expected. One thing I did realise though was that the Groom gets a touch job due to their speech being dictated as being the thank you’s. I’m glad I didn’t have those restrictions when writing mine!
Now for Ryder, the best man. Most difficult job of all because everyone expects you to be hilarious! Unfortunately for Shaun, the best man goes last and by the time it was his turn, pretty much half of his speech was stolen by the rest of us… Sorry mate! It was still fantastic and he even awarded Callum the world record for most tears cried on a stag do.. obviously legit! Our speeches went on rather a long time but they always do don’t they?
As soon as Ryder finished his speech, the top table started drinking and boy did we drink. We cut the cake which ended up being a huge giggle because we didn’t realise there were boards under each layer and we got the knife stuck!
Our first dance was to Shiver by Coldplay which I heard again this morning for the first time since the wedding.. It still puts a huge smile on my face. We did consider something really classic like Nat King Cole’s LOVE but we kept coming back to Shiver and it kind of stuck. I almost forgot to throw my bouquet which was the number 1 thing I had been disappointed about at previous weddings! Luckily someone reminded me and I threw it (it split in half mid air) and half was caught by Ariane, Cal’s cousin and the other half by Magali (best man’s gf!)
I have since realised that I didn’t touch a piece of dessert all night which I am heartbroken about because I was so excited for it. Callum and I also didn’t try any of our Antiguan BBQ which is frankly really disappointing! We did however sample a good proportion of the bride and groom cocktails (gin, elderflower liquor, apple juice and grapes for mine. Vodka, ginger syrup, ginger beer and mint for Callum’s.) I also drunkenly discovered a case of prosecco I had put behind the bar for the bridesmaids (before I found out both of my sisters were pregnant) so I ended handing out glasses of that like I was Santa Claus at Christmas.
I believe that the party went on until 4am when Callum and I were escorted back to our cottage. He attempted to carry me over the threshold at the request of the Best Man, however he ended up dropping me in the grass.
Thank you to everyone who has followed our journey over the past year. It has been an absolute pleasure for Callum and I to share our plans with you all. I hope that I have been entertaining whilst still managing to keeping things true to how they happen. Some things have been really difficult for me to share but I hope that I have at least alleviated some of the pressure that comes with planning your wedding. You see, all isn’t as it appears on Instagram and Pinterest!
Finally I want to say thank you to Phoebe and all the other ladies at SYGM. You helped me to find a love I never knew I had for writing (as I’m sure is evident from my lengthy posts) AND most importantly, you gave me the courage to stand up and give a speech at my wedding. Thank you for helping me find the words I never realised that I needed to share!
If you want to find out what life after the wedding is like, please follow me on Instagram under my new name @hmhunterwood. You never know, I may just carry on writing!