Kelmarsh Hall - 14 December 2011

Kelmarsh Hall - 14 December 2011
Kelmarsh Hall

Monday 12 December 2011

Final Post (No. 139)

Today was about getting the final tasks sorted.

I popped down to the Post office to drop of the packages containing the wedding cake to all those not attending. Just my luck that it was the day when they had a major systems failure! The result was queues, queues and more queues! Anyway, mission accomplished and about another 100 or so people will get their slice of cake on Thursday.

John dropped in to transport all the drink and other bits and pieces to Kelmarsh Hall. It took two journeys – and he does drive a Volvo Estate!!

From our first post on Saturday, 17 July 2010, we’re all sorted now, and signing off - a mere 139 postings later. See you all at Kelmarsh Hall on Wednesday.

Thanks from both of us, in advance, to all of you who have got us this far – you know who you are, and we couldn’t have done it without you!


Steve and Ann

82... 81

Nicki’s partner, Richard is not attending as he’s down with a serious case of the sniffles and doesn’t fancy sharing!

Sunday 11 December 2011

84… 82

Kevin Perks hasn’t made such a speedy recovery from his recent operation as he thought, so he and Kerry won’t be attending.

That’s a Wrap!

It took much longer than expected, but Lee, Mum Ann and I sliced, collated, wrapped and popped-in-an-envelope, all the pieces of Wedding Cake going to those of our friends who we couldn’t squeeze into the Wedding itself – all 117 pieces! Phew!

Friday 9 December 2011

The Cake

We took the drive over the Hockley’s today to see the Wedding Cake. It’s very non-conventional!

Michael had also baked us a separate slab that we’ll be using to send to the friends that weren’t invited but still deserve a slice!

We’ll be posting those out on Tuesday.

Love Hearts

You’ll surely remember the sweets called Love-Hearts – they were around in my ‘yoof’, but like Spangles, they disappeared from the sweet counter sometime ago – never to be seen again, not even with a new name!

Ann and I managed to locate a supplier of packets of the former, and so we bought a truck-load intending to use them at Ann’s Hen Afternoon. We forgot, so time for a ‘Plan B’ as they’re taking up valuable space at home.

We thought it would be a good idea to use the packets as paper-weights for the lottery tickets that are being placed on each guest’s place-setting.

I’m not sure we allocated anyone to do this, so maybe you could sort that out amongst yourselves?

I’ll arrange for John, our guy who’s transporting all the bits and pieces to Kelmarsh on the Monday before to add these to his list.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

86… 84

Johnny and Mel have had to pull out because of a serious illness in Johnny’s family.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Spreadsheet Challenge

Roger called me and observed that the food-choice spreadsheet, emailed to you all last week, is a little tricky to print because of the number of pages – it’s certainly not going to sit neatly in your DJ pocket!

I think the work-around is to go into ‘print preview’, then ‘setup’ and then faff around with the ‘scaling’ setting. I adjusted mine from 100% to 50%, widened the margins and got it down to seven pages (from the original 20-something).

Hope this helps!

If anyone else is struggling and can’t resolve it, let me know and I’ll try and help.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Bills, Bills, Bills!

Less than two weeks to go and the reality of the event kicked-in yesterday as we paid most of the outstanding bills!

That certainly took some of the romance out of it – still, it’s only money!!!!

Saturday 26 November 2011

Wedding Rehearsal + Hen Night + Stag Night

Today was our wedding rehearsal at Kelmarsh Hall. All the key players were there. Wow! what an event. The singing brought a tear to the eye and musicians were just fantastic! A real worthwhile exercise overall, and it really helped to iron out the nitty-gritty. Thanks Jill, Thanks Emma for your advice..and your patience!

Hen Night:

Ann had her Hen Night at Rushden Hall…or was it Rushton Hall. Whichever one it was, as Ralph and I were the surprise guests to run the ‘Hen Quiz’, I managed to drive us to the wrong one! Doh!!!!

On arrival, just 45 minutes late, the girls were clearly in the mood for competition :) and we proceeded to run our ‘Love and Marriage’ Quiz. Yeeks! I thought blokes were competitive, but pitch a group of girls against each other and wait for the fireworks! Lucky it was only for fun!!!!

After announcing the winners, Ralph and I stayed on briefly, before tearing back to home, for a quick change of clothes ready for my Stag Night.


Stag Night:

My Stag Night was at The Raj in Kettering. Thanks to some superb organisation by Paul, we managed to conjure up enough cars to get there without needing a taxi. The Raj was already busy when got there, and after some drinks upstairs in the piano bar we were ushered to a separate room for main meal.

In a true and highly predictable nature of a Stag Night, it wasn’t long before some of the team were scheming! Drinks were flowing freely – a bit too freely in my direction – and I slowed down my intake considerably, if only to make it until the end of the night!

The meal was good and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Next up, back to the piano bar but not before the scheming played out in full and I was introduced to Belinda who together with her 34 friends were celebrating her 50th birthday via 35 bottles of wine and 15 bottles of champagne. In other circumstances, this was a young man’s dream come true, enhanced by the advice from our side that they’d apparently determined that Belinda wasn’t wearing any underwear!

My encounter with Belinda was short-lived – I wished her happy birthday, she wished me well for the wedding and i was soon following the boys back the piano bar. Clearly I wasn’t her type!

My glass only ever got to being half empty before some helpful soul (???) topped it up. I think all-in-all I only got through a couple of pints and a glass of red. My head was telling me otherwise though, and on reflection, I think some of my guests may have ‘topped up’ my beverage with other spirits. or maybe I just can’t hold my drink anymore??? – could I ever???

Twenty minutes later, the waitress let me know that ‘36 women were about to join us’. It was Belinda’s group. Soon we were outnumbered 2:1…and it actually felt quite intimidating. Thirty-six feisty women in search of (and determined to) have a good time was a site not to be missed as they gradually took over the bar. Drinking gave way to slightly slurred speeches from Belinda’s group. Not to be outdone, Tom jumped up on stage and proceeded to ‘big me up’ in front of the girls as a great dancer (err, no!) and one of the best at spinning on my head (err, no!). Luckily for me, there wasn’t much encouragement for me to follow it through – clearly, the girls could see my potential as a dancer, just by looking at me! Phew!!!

I lasted until around 11pm, when the alcohol was winning and my duvet was calling me. I agreed to exit with a few others leaving Tom, Paul, Bev, Trevor and John propping up the Bar. It was probably wise to leave when I did as I learned on Sunday that Tom got home around 4.30am.

A night to remember (as all Stag’s should be), and I retired to bed just before midnight with a very, very, VERY heavy head and no recollection of being hand-cuffed to a lamp-post!

Thanks for sorting it all out Tom – I’ll try and return the favour some time!!!!


The Stags:

Bev R
Chris A
David A - Usher
David L
Ian McL - Usher
John C
John W
Paul J
Paul R
Ralph G - Best Man
Roger G - Usher
Roy C
Stefan B
Steve P
Steve S
Tommy T
Trevor L

Friday 25 November 2011


We dropped into George Tarratt’s in Leicester this afternoon to pick-up the wedding rings. They’re a bespoke design, a matching pair in white gold with diamonds on the front face.

…and they look FANTASTIC!

Ring Ring!!

I'm meeting Ann in Leicester and then we're off to the jewellers to pick up the rings!

Tuesday 22 November 2011


We dropped into Nigel’s Studio tonight to talk through the ‘must-get’ wedding photographs.

Friday 18 November 2011

Hen Quiz

Ralph and I spent some time today, working out how we'll run the Hen Quiz (ssshhhhh! - the girls don't know we're the Quiz Masters!)

Thursday 17 November 2011

David and Rosi

David and Rosi got together yesterday to practise their duet in a slightly larger environment.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Steve and Ann get a Title

No, not that sort of title!

I picked up the bespoke drawing of Kelmarsh Hall today from Joy, the Calligrapher. She has added some suitable wording at the top in grey ink - and in a font that closely matches the one used for the invitations.

Nice job Joy!!!

We’ll bring it along to the Rehearsal.

Monday 7 November 2011

Thank you for the Music

Something for discussion when meet on the 26th is the management of guest-selected music. Ralph has done a grand job of compiling all the tunes and the result is 4.6 hours of classics from the 80s.

The challenge is, how we try and ensure that it all gets played? We haven’t promised the guests that they’ll DEFINITELY hear their tune, but it would nice if they did!

Thinking caps on for the 26th please…

Here is the list so you can practise your karaoke:

Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
All Cried Out - Alison Moyet
All Night Long - Joe WaIsh
And The Beat Goes On - The Whispers
Anything For You - Gloria Estefan
Being with You - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Careless whisper - George Michael
Centrefold - J. Geils Band
Come on Eileen - Dexy‘s Midnight Runners
Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen
Do That To Me One More Time
- Captain & TennilIe
Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
Don't You Want Me—Human League
Faith - George Michael
Flashdance…  What a Feeling - Irene Cara
Hello - Lionel Richie and The Commodores
Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins
I Got You Babe - UB40
If You Leave Me Now - Chicago
Into The Mystic - Van Morrison
It's raining men - The Weather Girls
Karma Chameleon - Culture C|ub
Let's Hear It for the Boy - Deniece Williams
Like a Prayer - Madonna 
Like a Virgin - Madonna
Love Action (I Believe In Love) - Human League
Love Letters - Alison M0yet
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
Moving On Up - M People
Mr. Blue Sky - ELO
Ocean Rain - Echo and the Bunnymen
On the Wings of Love - Jeffrey Osbome
Owner Of A Lonely Heart - Yes
Perfect Day - Lou Reed
Piano in the Dark - Brenda Russell
Relax - Frankie Goes to Ho|lywo0d
Rio - Duran Duran
Sailing - Christopher Cross
Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye
Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves - Eurythmics
Slow Hand - Pointer Sisters
Somebody Else's Guy - Jocelyn Brown
Stand and Deliver - Adam and the Ants
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Take A Chance On Me - Abba
Take On Me - Aha
That's Amore - Dean Martin
The Look Of Love (Part 1) - ABC
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
The Power of Love - Jennifer Rush
Thunder In My Heart - Leo Sayer
Too Much Too Young - The Specials
True - Spandau Ballet
Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
Valerie - Steve Winwood
Video Killed The Radio Star - Buggles
Vienna - Ultravox
Wake Me up Before You Go Go - Wham!
We Built This City - Starship
Wherever] Lay My Hat (That's My Home) - Paul Young
Wild Boys - Duran Duran
Wired For Sound - Cliff Richard
Woman in Love - Barbara Streisand
Working My Way Back to You Forgive Me Girl - The Spinners
You Are My World - Communards
You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics
You're in My Heart - Rod Stewart

Sunday 6 November 2011

85… 86

That’s good news! Ann’s friend Nicki has got herself a fellah (Richard) and is bringing him to the Wedding!

Ribbons and Music

We popped round to Rosi’s on Friday night to take a look at the three ‘mock-ups’ of the Keepsake with a ribbon surround. One of the designs looked head-and-shoulders better than the others and we should have all ‘ribboned’ so you can see them at the rehearsal! The whole thing looks fantastic!!!

All the music requests are now in from the wedding guests via the web-form and it’s a really nice mix of (mostly) music-from-the-80s. Looks like we have over three hours’ worth.

Ralph will be busy compiling the MP3 playlist and we’ll be trying it out for volume at the rehearsal.

Thanks both!

Friday 4 November 2011

Rosi Reschedules!

Good news!. In a previous post, I mentioned that Rosi (one half of our singing duet) wasn’t able to make it to the rehearsal. Luckily for us, she’s been able to reschedule things and she’ll be there!


Thanks Rosi – you’re a star

Wednesday 2 November 2011

87... 85

Anthony and Gill, (who did the printing of the outer for the wedding keepsake) have double-booked, and aren’t able to make it.

Rehearsal Information

As you all know, we have the rehearsal on the 26th at 10am at Kelmarsh Hall. We’ve probably got two hours maximum there and then it’s back to ours for a light lunch.

Below is the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of the event. if you wish to comment, or you think we need to add in additional stuff to discuss, email me at the usual address (don’t reply to this email).

Who’ll be there?

Best Man - Ralph
Ushers x3 (Ian, Roger, David)
Ring Bearer - Oliver
Singer - David
Trumpeter - Thomas
Pianist - Derek
Reader – Karen
Jill – Kelmarsh Hall’s Wedding Co-ordinator
Emma – Catering

The Magician and Toastmaster will NOT be in attendance, nor will Rosi, one half of the duet – Valerie (David’s wife) may step-in to fulfil the definition of a duet :)

What we’ll be discussing:

Choreograph Ann's entrance
Choreograph Groom/Best Man/Ushers/Ring Bearer entrance
Listen to the Duet and the additional song by David
Listen to the Reading by Karen
Choreograph the Bride and Groom exit from the Service with the chosen music 
Check out the sound system for appropriate volume at the meal

After the rehearsal, Ann and I will need to spend some time with Jill and Emma, who’s managing the catering. This will probably last 30-45 minutes.

We also agreed it would be a good idea for Groom/Best Man/Ushers to have a final meeting. I’m not sure yet whether that will happen at Kelmarsh or we have it back at ours – I guess it all depends on how long all of the above takes.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Oh Joy!

I drove over to Northampton today to meet Joy, a professional calligrapher who’s going to add a title to the print we’ve had commissioned of Kelmarsh Hall. It should be ready in time for the rehearsal.

Monday 31 October 2011

89... 87

Steve and Linda Sillett can’t make it because of a double-booking

91... 89

John and Sue Merrell won’t be able to make it, as Sue (who is a Teaching Assistant) can’t get the time off work.

95... 91

After the tragic death of Martin, Angela’s partner, and Doug and Lesley not being able to get the time off, to fly back from Saudi, we’re now at 91.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Twitter Feed

Thanks to Jo, they’ll be a live Twitter-feed on the day too!


Friday 28 October 2011

The Cake Box Challenge

As we may have mentioned, not content with inviting almost 100 people to wedding itself, and giving them a slice of cake, we’ve got a ‘cake-list’ too – for those who aren't coming, but deserve a piece – that’s another 110 people!

Successfully sending cake through the post is something that has given us some cause for concern, but happily there’s a whole industry out there that can provide bespoke cake boxes to keep the portions in shape during their perilous journey through the postal system.

Having sent away for various samples, we finally settled on a design from – and the bonus is that we could also customise them with a message. We ordered them online and they arrived next day.

That was the easy part!
Obviously designed by Ikea, they come ‘flat-packed’ with some basic instructions on how to assemble them. Having tried, and tried again, had a beer, and tried once more, I did manage to get one to look like it should – my personal best being 47 seconds from start to finish!

The thought of having the repeat the exercise 109 times, wasn’t something we were looking forward to, but fortunately, our good friends Jo, Janet and Lee came to the rescue. In return for a bribe of alcohol and a fish-and-chip supper, the five us made light work of the assembly-line of flat-packs and by 8.55pm, we’d got them all done – averaging around 1 minute 20 seconds per box!!! Great stuff!

Our cunning plan is to send out the cake a couple of days before the wedding so that it arrives more-or-less around the time of the wedding itself.


Wednesday 26 October 2011

An Unforgettable Rehearsal

David and Rosi are getting together this Sunday for their first rehearsal of ‘Unforgettable’

Thursday 20 October 2011

Ribbon Time!

With the Keepsakes now collated and assembled, I dropped into Rosi’s to leave them with her for the final touch – a red ribbon. They should all be ready by the time we have the dress-rehearsal.

Rosi’s let me know she’s also sorted out a date with David for the first of their rehearsals of ‘Unforgettable’.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Assembly Line

Ralph brought the final insert for the Keepsake with him today, having delayed the printing as long as he could whilst I tried to find out some last minute detail for the ‘Ceremony’ section. We spent some time collating then inserting the 300 err, inserts into the 50+ brochures with the Bride-and-Groom Quiz.

It’ll go off to Rosi on Thursday to have a ribbon added to each Keepsake – nice!

Now would not be a good time to find a typo!!!
Now would not be a good time to find a typo!!!

Job done! 
Job done!

Wednesday 12 October 2011


I nearly forgot to post this! :)


Us old ‘uns will remember (just!), the song ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole. What is less well known is that his daughter, Natalie Cole sang a cover version, years later, where she took the vocal lead, and her dad was over-dubbed onto the recording, creating a duet combining ‘new’ with ‘old’.

In an earlier post, I’d mentioned that thanks to Ralph, a friend of David (not to be confused with Ralph our Best Man), he was working on a version for our wedding and the final result is now ready. It’ll be a duet (for David and Rosi) with piano accompaniment, and it’ll be sung at the Service.

It’s the loveliest song I’ve heard for ages, and just right for our wedding.

For those who can read music, wonder at Ralph’s composition HERE

96… 95

Our neighbours opposite – Trevor and Fiona - are coming, but their daughter, Becca, can’t make it.

Sunday 9 October 2011

94… 96

That’s good news: John and Trish, who couldn’t make it originally because John was going to be working away, now isn’t. So we’re back up to 96.

Name Cards for Table

Name Cards for Table

That’s another task sorted. I designed the Name cards for the Wedding Breakfast today. Where you see ‘Guests’, the names will be mail-merged once we have the final list of who’s coming.


Thursday 6 October 2011

Cake Boxes

We calculate that there are just over 100 people to send cake to, in addition to those that’ll be given a piece on the night. Luckily, we found a good site that supplies personalised cake boxes. I reckon it’ll take a degree in mechanical engineering to assemble them though! Personal best is 48 seconds per box at the mo’ !!!! :)

We plan to box up the cake and post it time for ‘the 100+’ to get theirs on the day of the wedding.

Commissioned sketch of Kelmarsh Hall – Front Elevation

I met Maureen today to pick up her completed sketch of Kelmarsh Hall, together with its doppelganger (we’ll use the doppelganger on the day in case any guests spill beer on it or it’s hit by a firework!)

As far the guests are concerned on the 14th, it IS the real thing (I can’t actually tell the difference!)

We’ll give you all an advanced viewing on the 26th November - the rehearsal day. The plan is that no-one else who’s been invited to the wedding will see it, until our wedding day.

So, just a reminder of our ‘cunning plan’ for the 14th:

- It is put ‘on show’ towards the end of the event (we need to agree where and exactly when)

- Guests are invited to sign the large white mount we’ve had put around it, as they prepare to leave the event

- We would like you, as Best Man/Ushers to encourage as many people as possible to sign. Ideally it’ll be a perfect record of who was there. I’m sure we can utilise the lungs of the Toastmaster to spread the word!

- It’ll take some judgement by you to ensure that as far as possible, the signatures are spaced equally around the frame (this could be tricky, so let’s talk about this on the 26th)

- We’ve purchased some pens (three of them) that are specially designed to write clearly (and dry quickly) on picture mounts. We’ll let you have those on the day

- Ushers: Would one of you be prepared to take charge of the sketch after the event? As lovely as it is, we’re not planning on taking it with us to Oz!

Any comments? email me at

Wednesday 5 October 2011

96… 94

Adrian Widrich… (who was originally Adrian Smith, a business colleague of mine from Sainsbury’s)… who is now returning to his original name, as Adrian Smith, won’t be attending with his wife Edith, (and their new arrival, Emily), due to family commitments.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Reserved Seating


Ralph’s sorted out the cards that will sit on the reserved seating for the Service

Monday 3 October 2011

98… 96

Andrew McMillan (my old mucker from my earliest days at Sainsburys c1974) and his wife Christine, won’t be attending. Andy’s been partially physically disabled since the late 70s, and he feels his mobility’s been getting worse recently. This makes any sort of travel very challenging for him.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Lottery Tickets

OK, as you may know, we’re planning to give everyone a lottery ticket ‘on us’ on the night. Being a Wednesday, it coincides with the mid-week draw. As you also may know, the draw results are shown late on the TV – around 10.30 but the actual draw takes place around 8.30. I therefore have a cunning plan to have the results relayed to us on the night. Then it would a simple matter of asking Ralph or the Toastmaster to announce the results to the congregation…



Our original thought was to place the tickets inside the keepsake and ask Best Man and Ushers to draw guests’ attention to it when the keepsake is handed out on arrival. Because of some complexity around date of purchase vs date of the draw, I’m advised that the best time to actually purchase the tickets is the week immediately before the Wedding – easy!

But of course, the keepsakes will all be finished and tied with a ribbon, and I don’t think any of us fancy un-ribboning and re-ribboning! :)

An alternative might be to slip the ticket behind the ribbon… I’m just a tad concerned it might be a bit naff…!

If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know by email – or give us a call.

Reminder: Don’t click on REPLY in your email, as it won’t reach me

Thank you…

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Scores on the Doors

David’s friend and colleague, Ralph, has kindly scored the song, ‘Unforgettable’ which will be sung during the Service. Rehearsals start as soon as David and Rosi can get together.

score for Unforgettable

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Rings Cushion

Bev sourced this really nice cushion for the rings…

ring cushion - thanks Bev

Tuesday 6 September 2011

100… 98

Richard and Trudi can’t make it. We’re therefore down to 98.

Sunday 4 September 2011


We learned today that Trish and John (part of our 'neighbours' group') won't be able to make it, as John works away from home during the week and it's difficult for him to get time off.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

103... 102...

The acceptances are starting to trickle in, but I received an email from Katrina yesterday – she’s unable to make it because of a double-booking.

That’s potentially just 102 guests then!

Saturday 20 August 2011

Progress: Wedding Cake/Hen Night/Keepsake/Drinks Package

It’s been another busy Saturday sorting out Wedding bits and pieces. Today, we spent time:

  • Finalising the address labels  for those who are going to be sent wedding cake by post
  • Reviewing the honeymoon trips taking account of Ian’s experience with The Great Ocean Road
  • Printing the name badges for Ann’s Hen Night
  • Agreeing the questions for the ‘Hen Quiz’
  • Designing the invitation for the Hen Night and preparing the invitation pack, ready for posting
  • Finalising the majority of the wording for the Keepsake inserts
  • Reviewing the cover for the Keepsake (freshly delivered yesterday from the Printers). There is still some tweaking required, but I plan to resolve it all by Monday and hopefully, the final versions will be delivered by Thursday
  • Taking a final look at the drinks package. As a result, we’ve decided to purchase all the drinks ourselves!

Saturday 13 August 2011

Progress Report – 123 days to go!

The invitation pack was dispatched about a week ago and responses and menu choices are starting to trickle in. So, we spent a busy day today going through ‘the next level of detail’ for the event.

Most of our time was spent working out who’s not been invited to the Wedding but is going to be sent some wedding cake after the event. We needed to create the list, work out how many pieces, design the labels for the envelopes. Fortunately, we’d already test-posted a jiffy-bag containing two pieces a week-or-so ago, and that all arrived undamaged. We calculate that we’ll need around 90 extra pieces of cake, in addition to the guests’ pieces, and we realised we’ll need to talk to cake-maker, Michael Hockley to determine the right size for the cake, as it seems like an awful lot of slices!

We’ve sorted out who’s getting a button-hole and the rest of the flower arrangements

We’ve also started work on the invitations for Ann’s Hen Night, and created a quiz for that too!

The To-Do isn’t getting any shorter! As we cross things off, they are replaced with new tasks, or existing tasks that spawn additional tasks!!

On a more positive note, we’ve finalised the following, ready for printing:

- The Table Menus

- The Bride and Groom Quiz

It certainly felt like that today has been our most stressful day so far!!!!

Friday 12 August 2011

Saturday 6 August 2011

Ring, Ring

We drove over to Leicester, specifically to look for a pair of wedding rings. Our first stop was our last, courtesy of George Tarratt specialist Jewellers, and after just 40 minutes of discussion and viewing, it was ‘mission accomplished’.

So, that’s two bespoke white gold rings with added diamonds now on order.


Thursday 4 August 2011

Artwork commissioned

I popped over to Kelmarsh Hall today.
maureen - full sketch from web

First job was to  meet Maureen to finalise the details for her ink sketch of the front elevation of Kelmarsh Hall (similar to the one above). She’s very talented and you can see her work HERE. We’ll also need to add a title to it and Maureen has put us in touch with a local calligrapher, Joy Daniels, who will also frame it for us. We’re going have the sketch mounted on art-board and ask all our wedding guests to sign a blank area surrounding the sketch* ON THE NIGHT.
After my meeting with Maureen, I touched base with Jill, the Wedding Co-ordinator, and we discussed seating-plans, PA systems, room layouts and music systems.

NOTE TO USHERS – Guys, the process of asking everyone to sign it, is going to need some thought, if only to avoid creating a large, unmanageable queue of 60 couples! I’ll contact you all a little nearer the time to talk specifics, but in the meantime, maybe you’ll give it some consideration.

*Actually, we’re going to use a COPY of the sketch on the night, just in case it gets covered in champagne – or something worse!

Wednesday 3 August 2011

107… 105!

My brother got in touch. Apparently, he and Debbie won’t be able to attend because of his recurring health (back) problems. Shame! So we’re back to 105 invites!

Mike and Jane were first to reply, closely followed by Alan and Mags, Paul and Sue and then Roy and Susan.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

105… 105… 105… 107!!!

OK, this IS the final tally of invites – it’s up 2, to 107!!!

Sunday 31 July 2011

Wedding Invitation Packs

We spent a couple of hours assembling the Invitation Packs today. They’ll go out tomorrow by first-class post.

Should arrive by December then!!!!


Here’s what was included:

  • The formal invitation
  • List of key information (venue, timings etc)
  • List of places to stay
  • Map showing directions to Kelmarsh Hall
  • Wedding Breakfast Menu
  • List of all those invited
  • Web link to donations page (in lieu of wedding presents)
  • Web link to menu choice
  • Reminder sheet

Next jobs:

  • Test the jiffy bags that’ll contain the cake
  • Finish off the keepsake
  • Get the Quiz printed

Monday 25 July 2011

Invitations – The final draft

At last, the invitations appear to be ready. Simon and the Printers, emailed over what they’ll look like, complete with the overlayed names from the supplied Excel database. I think the choice of font was a good one – the nearest we’ll ever get to a hand written calligraphic style!

Invitations merged with Database







         Click on the image for a close-up

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Thursday 21 July 2011

Paper Chase!

I’ve spent the past few days printing off the paperwork that’ll be included in the wedding invitation pack. ‘Plan A’ was to use this weekend coming to assemble it all and post it to those we’ve invited. Good job I had a ‘Plan B’ then! Ironically, the item that we started designing ages ago – the invitation – still hasn’t arrived. We can blame the post office for that one. The final draft was posted to me last Friday and by Wednesday of this week, it still hadn’t arrived. The Printer put a replacement in the post on Wednesday night and it turned up yesterday. The invitation is now signed off, but it’ll take a day to print them all and then another to over-print the names.

Invitation final version
        Click on the picture for a close-up

Still, at least we can collate everything else

- Cover Sheet

- Wedding Breakfast Menu

- Map to Kelmarsh Hall

- Tri-fold Brochure about Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens

- Neighbours’ Coach Tickets

- Support Document (that includes places to stay, taxis, timings etc)

- Personalised postage stamps

- Address labels

- Reminder Sheet

- Wax seals

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Saturday 9 July 2011

The Wedding Dresser

We met Janet at ours today – she runs a company called The Wedding Dresser. After a short discussion, we agreed on the colour for the chair bows and other decorations – a nice deep red. It’ll work well with the Christmas theme at Kelmarsh Hall and complement the flower arrangements too! – Perfect!!!

Thursday 7 July 2011

Wedding Stamp

We discovered that the Royal Mail provide a custom service where they’ll ‘stampify’ any chosen photograph. Here is ours – it will appear on the wedding invitations.


All together, say: ‘Ahhhh’ :)

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Friday 1 July 2011


We’ve set the date for the Rehearsal – Saturday 26 November 2011!

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Rosi and the Quiz

Rosi popped round to weave her magic on the Wedding Quiz. We now have a great layout, great questions...and the answers too!

Saturday 25 June 2011

Five Go Mad on the River (sort of!)


Image by Steve Palmer (UK) via Flickr


‘The Boys' - Ian, Roger, Ralph, David and me met up today for a river trip to The Cock in Hemingford Grey- a sort of Stag Do minus the Stag. By car, it would have taken just 10 minutes, but by boat, it was much more leisurely! Brilliant!!!

The slightly confusing start (me getting lost finding the Marina, and somehow not having David’s mobile number with me), gave way to a very enjoyable and useful day on the water. Setting off just after 10.30, we cruised in the direction of the Pub by way of three locks and mixed weather.

It was a long – three hour – journey to the Pub, but as luck would have it, we’d booked the table for 1.45, and walked into the Pub at 1.45 on the dot! Luckily, we were able to get a table outside and that worked really well in terms of space and privacy. Most of us were attracted to the ‘four-types-of-sausages/four-types-of-mash/four-types of sauce’ –delicious!!!

We had a very productive meeting in between courses looking at the nitty-gritty of the nitty-gritty. The result? Lots of great ideas and improvements for the ‘big-day’ Thanks guys – I really appreciate your practical suggestions!

Well done The Cock too, for excellent service and great food!

Suitable stuffed, we cruised back, eventually putting down anchor around 8.30. Ian and I headed off with Roger in the direction of home, with David and Ralph not long behind.

It was a long day, but a really good one! We all had a great time – thanks for thinking of using your Boat David, it was a great idea and perfect for the day!

Thursday 23 June 2011

Hand Maiden

Rosi popped round tonight with some ideas for hand-decorating the keepsake (the wedding booklet). I’ll bring the two examples with me on Saturday.

See you then chaps!! (This is the last blog before our boat-trip)


(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Test Drive

Ralph and Karen test-drove the ‘online menu selector’ today. Looks like the choices they made are filtering through to the caterers’ spreadsheet (just as they should). We feel more confident about this Google-driven technology now that someone has actually tried it out! I deliberately haven’t put the link in this blog, just in case it’s picked up by the search engines – and that would mean I’d end up dealing with another food choice – spam!!! :)

Sunday 19 June 2011


As there isn’t going to be a Bar (we’re opting for a waiter/waitress service), we finalised the drinks’ list today. The list will be part of the keepsake and they’ll choose from it straight after the Ceremony i.e. not when they arrive (we have other non-choosable drinks for that) and not before they go into the Breakfast (as they’ll be wine served with the meal)

Ushers – you’ll need to remind guests the list is there, as naturally, they’ll assume there is a traditional Bar!

Shoot Us!

After yesterday’s downpour - that lasted most of the day, today looks a lot brighter for our pre-wedding photo-shoot at Kelmarsh Hall set for 11am.

Thursday 16 June 2011


Obviously reviewing the wedding guest list only 853 times, wasn’t quite enough! The total number invited is now 105 (that’s 2 more guests since we last looked at it) …and that’s final …yes, final …there’s no-one else to add …surely…

(famous last words!)


Sunday 12 June 2011

Seating-Plan, Timings and Expenditure

We spent a significant amount of time today looking at the big-day. Specifically, we’ve re-looked at the seating plan for the 853rd time, and now it’s more-or-less finalised. We’re now up to 103 invites. Obviously they’ll be more fine-tuning once we know who’s actually coming!

Next, we turned out attention to the actual timings for the day and we’re now happy with that and it’s been added to the Keepsake.

Last of all, we looked at the expenditure spreadsheet – err, just plain scary... ‘nuf said!

I spoke with the Printer this week and we’ve agreed the design for the invitations – they’ll be sent out at the end of July requiring replies by 1st November. They’ll also be an opportunity for guests to choose their menu online from that date too, as well making a donation to a range of charities that we’ve chosen - as we’ve decided that we won’t be asking for wedding presents.

Big things left to sort out? Well, not that many actually: Seat covers, dress-rehearsal date and florists are where we’re next concentrating our energies – but not for another week or so!

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Sunday 5 June 2011

Paperwork – Even more fine-tuning

We spent some more time on the design of the invitation pack, formal invitation, coach ticket and keepsake today – as well as test-driving the online food selection form.

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Thursday 2 June 2011

Paper Boy

Inspired by Ralph’s precision work on the keepsake, I spent most of today working on the invitation pack – the content and the overall design. At this early stage, it’s all looking good and I’ll bring a draft version with me when we meet for the Stag Do!


(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Monday 30 May 2011

The Keepsake gets ‘Ralphed’

After Ann and I worked on the Keepsake in the morning, we somehow managed to squeeze in an internet connection at the Farmhouse (of sorts) and then emailed it to Ralph. As it turned out, it was perfect timing as he was just about to begin finalising the mock-up and print a few out for us all to look at.

Printing something like this, using a HOME printer is full of challenges - the limitations of page sizing and borders as well as colour reproduction within Windows OS means that printing with any degree of precision, requires the patience of a saint, lots of paper, a phenomenal eye for detail and plenty of room for rejects!

Luckily Ralph had all of these and when we met up in the evening, the result looked amazing!

I’ll bring it with me when we meet on the Boat.

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Friday 27 May 2011

Invitation Pack

Ann and I took advantage of the peace and quiet of the holiday to review a lot of the paperwork for the wedding. This included the final touches to the keepsake and draft 1 of the invitation pack.

Friday 15 April 2011

Registered Boast

Ann and I had our scheduled appointment with Ritchie at the rather unglamorous Kettering Register Office this afternoon.. It’s located next to the Court and the Police Station – how romantic!

This was the first meeting of two, where we ‘announce our marriage’ to the wider community, but not until we’ve been separated (really!) and interviewed individually. We weren’t sure what to expect from the question-session, but we learned that we both  had to recite our address and describe the exact job title of the other, in order for Ritchie the Registrar, to formally accept our application. Apparently, one slip here and we can’t proceed! Additionally, we needed to provide as passport or birth certificate, proof of identity and proof of where we live – and in my case proof that I’m not still married. Ohh, and we parted with just over 60 quid for the privilege too!

Thirty-five minutes later, it was almost all over. All we needed to do to complete the process was to sign with the special ink provided and for the documentation to be printed on blue paper – blue apparently means an authority document round these parts - and it’s then official, our event is now in the public domain.

I appreciate that these things need to be done, but it’s soooooo unglamorous and unromantic.

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent, end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Sunday 10 April 2011

Admin: Bits and Pieces

We spent an hour or so looking into:

  • Fireworks and Sky Lanterns
  • Sashes for the chairs + table cloths/decorations
  • Postal Cake Boxes
  • Guest Books

(Techy note: Because the emails your are receiving are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for your information. Any replies sent end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Seating Plans – Version 1

We haven’t looked at the seating plans for quite a while and when we originally did, it was only a quick glance. Now that we’re up to almost 100 people, it was time to look at it all a lot more closely.

After some major tweaking of my original plans, we’ve now got something that looks much more sensible - and more importantly, much more workable, given that we’re now close to the room’s capacity.

No doubt they’ll be some fine-tuning as we get closer to the date, but we’re pretty confident we’ve got it as close to perfection as we ever will!

(Famous last words!!!!)

Sunday 20 March 2011

Wedding Admin

We spent a couple of hours today working on the following:

  • The Formal Invitation
  • The Briefing Pack
  • The Charities we’d like to nominate in lieu of wedding gifts

Early days yet, but we’ll gradually refine all of these over the coming weeks and when we’re comfy with it all, we’ll post something here that’s a  bit more specific.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Let Them Meet Cake!

We trundled off to Hockley’s today to discuss the wedding-cake. We’d been inspired by Jo and Janet’s at their do, mainly because it was a little non-conventional in design – and we DO like bucking the trend!

We arrived just before 10, and Michael Hockley met us straightaway. After a bit of discussion, and a tour round the demonstration area, the decision was made

Suffice to say, it’s really unusual!!!

Sunday 6 March 2011

Progress with Keepsake: Micro-design and Honeymoon Itinerary

Ralph’s done some great work this week on tidying-up and micro-sizing the inserts. We should get some time this week to see how they print out.

Meanwhile, I’ve been designing the honeymoon itinerary page based on Ann’s research. You can view it/download from HERE

Sunday 27 February 2011

The Wedding Breakfast Menu/Wedding Music

After Ann’s successful mission to bag some quality wines for the Wedding today, we turned our attention to the Wedding Menu design. Subject to the checking of our Italian, by err, an Italian, it’s more-or-less as we’d like it.

We’ve also sorted out the tune that’ll be played when Ann enters the ceremony, when we’re signing the Register and when we’re finally married and leave the Salon for a bit of socialising.

Ralph, David, Ian and Roger: I’ll bring you all up-to-date with the details when we see each other for our boat trip.

(Techy note: Because these emails are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for information. Any replies sent, end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)

Thursday 24 February 2011

No Room at the Inn?

availabilityFor a moment, red was most definitely, not our favourite colour! Note the picture – it shows our chosen hotel’s availability in December. There's no way we thought they’d be fully occupied that far ahead!

Fortunately, a quick call to them revealed that things weren’t as bad as they looked, and we were able to reserve two rooms (one for us and one for Ralph and Karen) for our chosen period.

A collective sigh of relief at this end then!!!!

Saturday 19 February 2011

Event Timings adjusted

Ann and I spent some time looking and re-looking at the timings for the whole event. The challenge seems to be that there doesn't seem to be much time to actually get round and talk to people! OK, there's the 'receiving line', but that's a bit formal - and if we leave the chatting until the fireworks display at the end, that's a bit late!

(Techy note: Because these emails are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for information. Any replies sent, end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)


Thursday 17 February 2011

The Cock

Seems appropriate somehow!

As part of our Stag Day/Planning Meeting/Boys go Mad in a Boat event on the 25 June, I’ve booked ‘The Cock’ at Hemingford Grey at 12.15ish 1.30ish for our planning meeting.

It’s on the boat-route and comes well recommended. Thanks for suggesting it David!

(Techy note: Because these emails are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for information. Any replies sent, end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to get back to me, use my email address – thanks!)


Sunday 13 February 2011

The ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of marriage

...and we’re not even married yet!

The ‘up’ being that after a lot of head scratching, we’ve settled on the songs that Rosi and David will entertain us with as part of the Service.

The ‘down’, is that the Salvation Army band that we’d hoped for, isn’t available to play the Carols during the evening, as they’re playing at another gig – the local prison! We have at least, secured the pianist.

Not literally!

Men Behaving – Sadly!…

David has offered his motor-cruiser as the venue for my ‘Planning-and-Stag-Day’ on the 25th June. Brilliant! Thanks David.

As a precaution:

1. Lock up your Daughters

2. Blindfold the fish

3. Ladies - hide the credit-cards

4. Open the Locks

I can’t wait – just need to get my main-brace spliced!

(Techy note: Because these emails are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for information. Any replies end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to reply, use my email address)

Let Them Eat Cake

Based on what we saw at Jo and Janet’s Wedding, we’ve decided to ask Hockley’s to design our cake. Although they do produce lots of traditionally styled cakes, they also offer a bespoke range – like nothing else you’ve ever seen – and about as far away from a traditional as you can get!

Perfect then!

(Techy note: Because these emails are sent directly from our wedding blog, they are NOT designed to be replied to – they’re just for information. Any replies end up in a void somewhere, and I don’t get to see them. If you want to reply, use my email address)

Sunday 6 February 2011


Emma at Portfolio suggested a local specialist wine company Viva Vino to help us select suitable wines for the event. We’ve dropped them a line today and hope to set up a tasting session shortly.

It’s a horrible job, but someone’s gotta do it! :)

Thanks Emma!

Five go mad in ????

Calling the Best Man and my Ushers!

Ralph - Best Man
Ian, David and Roger - Ushers

I'm attempting to fix a date for the briefing session and build in an opportunity for a meal/drinkies somewhere. I'm thinking of June or July, and probably on a Saturday. Let's agree the venue, once we have the date sorted. Here are the Saturdays when I'm free. Would you drop me a line and let me know which dates you're free, and any preferences, ie 1st choice and 2nd choice.

It's probably safe to assume, you'll be gone for the whole day! ..and you will be home in time for breakfast :)



Thanks chaps!!!

Friday 4 February 2011

Coach and Photo Shoot confirmed

Coach: I confirmed the Coach today. All I need to do now is clarify the numbers and identify a suitable pick-up point in Kettering where boys in DJs and girls in heels and long dresses can board it easily – and without having to walk too far!

Photo-Shoot: We’ve settled on the 19 June (a Sunday) for the photo-shoot at Kelmarsh Hall with Nigel, the official photographer. Hopefully the sky will be blue and the flowers will be out!

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Coach and Horses

Well, maybe not the horses, but at least I’ve organised the Coach for the neighbours. My original plan, to hire specialist providers who use period buses and old Routemasters turned out to be frighteningly (and I do mean frighteningly)  expensive. And here’s the real frustration, none of them were prepared to do the return trip after the event.

Rosi mentioned a local coach-hire company, and I spoke with them this morning. Good news on all fronts – price and flexibility!

That only leaves 938 things left to sort out!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Tasty, Tasty!

Ann and I went for our tasting session today and the food was absolutely fantastic. Chefs Martin and Karl had done a great job and the presentation of it all was equally impressive. Emma was the perfect host and with her advice a few tweaks from us, I think it's safe to say that the guests' taste-buds will be in for a real treat on the day!

Sunday 23 January 2011

To-Do List (Version 5)

The To-Do list is now at version 5 (!!!!!) I’ve added in a number of design meetings with Rosi and the need to purchase Lottery tickets for everyone nearer the time

Ralph, Ian, David and Roger, if you wish, you can access it here – it’s a Word file. I’m hoping you might be able to think of something we’ve forgotten!

Saturday 22 January 2011

The Quiz gets a makeover

After my meeting with Rosi last night, I’ve had a few ideas about the design of the Quiz. I’ve now tweaked the cover with a shot of an interior from Kelmarsh and ‘washed-out’ the rest of the pages in a pale pink.

First test print and assembly will be done next week.

Friday 21 January 2011

Steve and Rosi get creative!

I popped round to Rosi's to discuss ways of enhancing the visual appeal of the keepsake. We had some great ideas between us, and the final version is going to be superb!

We're going to schedule in another get-together where we can experiment with various design add-ons.

Can't wait! - cheers Rosi!!!!

Monday 17 January 2011

Printer briefed

I’ve spoken with a business colleague (and good friend) Anthony, at He’ll be printing the outer-shell of the keepsake, whilst we concentrate on the internal content.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Keepsake: Update

Replaced ‘Quiz’ with ‘Our Honeymoon’ in the keepsake. The Quiz will be distributed separately.

Saturday 15 January 2011

The Quiz

Although the quiz is almost completed, Ralph and I recognised fairly early on that it’ll be a design-nightmare to fit it neatly into the keepsake as one of the inserts (it’s got too much information in it). Additionally, once the quiz is removed, and handed in for marking, it’ll leave a ‘space’ in the publication, that’ll make what’s left behind, look a bit ugly.

The solution, I think, is to remove the quiz as part of the insert-set, and replace it with another insert (about our honeymoon…?).

We can then create the Quiz as a separate document, and hand it out with the keepsake.

Sorted! (sort of!)

Wednesday 12 January 2011


Here’s something for us to look forward to – Emma form Portfolio Events dropped us a line to confirm the tasting session. We’re going there on the 29th January where we get the opportunity to try out all the food for the wedding.

I think that’s what they call an EWO*

Wink  Wink  Wink

* Elasticated Waistband Opportunity

Sunday 9 January 2011

Progress: Just 340 days to go

I think we’re pretty well organised so far. I’ve spent some more time on the wedding booklet (the keepsake) integrating Ralph’s section on 1984 and tidying up the page layouts. A fair bit of work still to do, but it’s taking shape nicely.

Ann and I have determined the passengers for the Bus – currently running at around 30. It might go up or down a bit as we get nearer the date – and I hear back about the price!
The table layout plan got another review today and we’re gradually working out who’s sitting where. We're going to have another go at it soon to try and finalise it.

The Toastmaster, Mike and Will, the Magician have all had a copy of the timetable for the day and a list their specific timings.

Next big things to sort out are the cake and the flowers.

Who said Sunday’s are a day of rest?

Saturday 8 January 2011

Progress with Keepsake

Ralph and I have been collaborating virtually using DropBox, working on the content of the keepsake. The ‘1984’ page is coming on a treat. Cheers Ralph!!!

Plenty more for us to do though!

Thursday 6 January 2011

Key Positions

No, not advice from the Kama Sutra!

David, Ian and Roger have all agreed to be Ushers – thanks guys!

Rosi is going to help decorate the booklets – I can’t think of anyone better. She may also sing at the Service together with David.

Saturday 1 January 2011


‘Roles and Responsibilities’ Checklist: Updated to version 2

‘To-Do’ Checklist: Updated to version 2