Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Our Wedding at Rowton Castle

Hello and welcome to the first of my wedding posts - I'm aiming to put one up every week for the next month or so, detailing the different parts of our amazing wedding at Rowton Castle in Shrewsbury. As this is the first post, I'm going to just give an overview of the day, if you want to know about anything in more detail, let me know and I'll add it to the list of posts to do.

Early in the morning on Friday 20th November 2015, my Dad and I set off from my parents house and drove to the castle. I was full of excitement and nerves, and could not wait to arrive at the castle and start to get ready. As we wouldn't be having a wedding car (the perk of getting ready, married, and the reception all being at the same venue) my Dad had put ribbons on his car, which was really sweet of him, and hilarious when they blew off half way there!

Rich had stayed at the castle the night before the wedding, so when I arrived there was lots of frantic phoning of friends to make sure they had him out of the way so we could unload the cars, and more specifically my dress without him seeing anything he wasn't supposed to, such as me. I swiftly headed up the stairs, met Caro, the hair and makeup lady, and began to get ready.

As there was only Nat and I to get ready, it was quite a chilled out morning of hair and makeup, and at times I was a bit jealous of Rich as I wished that I could be greeting all the guests too. Every time my Mum or Dad came into the room I was wanting updates on what was going on and what people were up to!

Whilst I was busy beautifying, Rich and his groomsmen got ready into their dashing suits we hired from Greenwoods. People have asked a lot why Rich didn't get married in uniform (he's in the RAF for those of you who are new), and the reason is that he didn't want to tie his wedding day to a career he may not be doing in 20 years time, and the fact he'd have had to get changed part way through the day. Personally I was happy with his decision, as I thought he looked better in tails, and I liked that he matched the groomsmen and Dads.

Eventually it was time for me to pop my Converse on (yes, I got married in Converse), and finally get into my dress. I chuffing love my dress and had been desperate to put it on. My Mum and sister laced me in, tight, my veil was added into my hair, and then it was time to wait to be summoned by the registrars.

When you have a civil wedding you don't get to choose your registrars, and I was hoping so much for nice ladies. A wedding can be ruined by having a bad registrar, and as (only a slight) bridezilla, I hated the fact that it was one part of the day I couldn't control. I got my wish though and had two lovely ladies, and we spent a while having a chat whilst having the last run through of "Are you related?" "No" "Are you sure?".

Eventually it was time for me to walk down the aisle, and as I was waiting for the music to get to the right part, I got seriously emotional and welled up. However, I made the decision not to cry, to save my makeup, and in all the photos I'm grinning like a loon instead. I loved walking down the aisle, seeing all my friends and family looking so good and dressed up, but was relieved when I saw Rich at the end of the aisle and I could hold his hand again.

To be perfectly honest, saying the vows just didn't seem real, it was a moment I'd pictured in my head so often in the lead up to the day, but Rich and I were in our little bubble, and just excited to finally be man and wife. Rich got my ring on my finger fine, but I couldn't get his past his huge knuckle. Typical,

We really didn't want the wedding to be boring and cookie cutter, so we personalised everything as much as we could. Including having an amazing reading by two of my best friends. Luckily Cat's husband filmed it, so you can check the full thing out on Cat's YouTube Channel. Everyone there absolutely loved it, and the registrars said it was one of the best readings they'd ever seen.

Once the ceremony was done, it was reception time! We'd decided to have a choice of drinks, either warm mulled cider (as it was November), or prosecco. They went down very well, and we greeted all our guests and gave many kisses on cheeks.

Then it was photo time, our photographer, Phil from PBArtworks did an amazing job, considering that in general Rich and I aren't the most photogenic people we have a lot of photos we really like. Oh, and see how lovely and warm it looks in the photos? It really wasn't, by the time we were done I could no longer feel my fingers, and spent a lot of time between shots with them inside Rich's jacket, and wearing Phil's gloves and jacket he brought with him.

Meanwhile the staff were changing the ceremony room into the dining room. We kept things pretty simple with the decoration as the castle is ornate enough on its own. As Rich's parents are divorced and remarried, we decided to make things simple and have a round top table where we could sit with all the parents, leaving nobody out, and meaning that we got to spend time with them on such a busy day.

The food was incredible, and the speeches were perfect. My Dad was the perfect mix of funny and proud, Rich and I did a speech together, and Dean, the best man, embarrassed Rich the perfect amount. We cut our yummy cake, drank copious amounts of wine, and then it was time for the party.

We slipped out before the party got truly underway to take some gorgeous night shots, and it even began to snow, so we got this stunning photo, which may well be my favourite of the day. Whilst this was taken I was smiling like crazy and saying to Rich "It's snowing" over and over.

I am a shocking dancer, so we stuck to swaying in a circle for our first dance, just kissing and whispering to each other, before getting to the fun part where everyone else could join in.

We had fish and chips as our evening meal, and spent a lot of time on the dance floor and mingling with friends and family. We all got pretty tired late on, but my work friends kept the dance floor going to the very end.

Eventually Rich and I got to go to our bridal suite, I took all 52 hair grips out of my hair, unlaced my dress and fell into bed very gratefully. It was the perfect day, and it really made all the stress and worry worth it, I loved every single moment and am loving reliving it all again for these posts.

Rachel x

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