For Laura & John, their wedding day was about standing tall together to not only celebrate their love but all the hard times they have overcome together with Laura’s heart issues after a 9-year engagement. A classic navy and white wedding set in The Stables, Doncaster with some added rock music touches for these two music lovers.
I was a dancer at the Valerie Rushby School of Dance, and we held our annual show at the Civic Theatre Doncaster. I was pregnant with our daughter Lauren. We completed the show, and after the finale, Maxine Holland, the main teacher of the school stepped forward and asked everyone to stay in their seats as there was to be an announcement. John (who had agreed to take part in one of the comedy dances), entered the stage and lead me to the front, got down on one knee and produced a beautiful engagement ring. Everyone was cheering and the curtains closed around us. Our story was in the paper the following week! Unfortunately, after the birth of our daughter, I was very poorly and suffered a few cardiac arrests and had to have pacemakers fitted. Due to hospitals visits, many operations etc. it has taken us 9 years to fix a date.
Originally, our wedding day was going to be quite a small day. When we started to plan, just looking at the size of our families we realised this probably wasn’t going to be the case. If there was one person that had been willing us to marry from the very beginning it was John’s Nanna, Olga Mundy. Unfortunately, she lost her brave battle with cancer earlier on in the year, so in her honour, we donated money to Cancer Research UK, who also provided us with wedding favours in the form of pin badges. Another absent family member was my sister Sammy. She had the same heart condition as me and my daughter and she died at just 29. We had a special tribute to her incorporated in the centrepiece at the top table which was very special to us all.
Together, John and I have been through an awful lot, right from the very start of our relationship. I feel that our wedding cements us and standing in front of our friends and family was very emotional. We did not have a theme as such, although instead of table numbers for the wedding breakfast, we chose to name the tables after our favourite rock bands and the seating plan – that John created – resembled a heavy metal festival poster. We also had our table centrepieces designed to incorporate the band names.
We had a civil ceremony at The Stables at High Melton. As soon as we visited there we knew that was where we were going to get married. It had a lovely ambience and the staff were so helpful. There was a lodge that I and my bridesmaids slept in the night before, which was perfect and we were joined in the morning by my parents. The wedding breakfast and reception were at the same venue. We were so lucky with the weather as we had awful storms the week before and after, but on our day it was glorious sunshine all day.
Hair & Makeup
My friend, Terri Hordle is a Makeup Artist, so she did the makeup on the day. She was so professional and stayed cool and collected all day. She had so much to do in the morning but she had all the time in the world for everyone else that morning and was there for me all day. She started on me the night before, doing my eyelashes etc. She also did my hair on the day and was on hand with the emergency hair spraying all day.
Another friend, Rachel Cunningham was there helping with hair, makeup and nails and wherever else she was needed really! She also arrived the night before and did mine and my daughter’s toenails. Fingernails were provided by Victoria Overton, who has done my nails on a monthly basis for well over a year now.
My dad, Alan Claybourn is a hairdresser and he did the bridesmaids’ hair on the morning.
My dress is a Mori Lee. I originally purchased a secondhand Maggie Sottero but when I saw this dress I completely fell in love with it. I had a hoop from Jayne’s Bridal Wear and the staff there were so helpful. My dancing teacher, Mrs Valerie Fairclough took my dress up for me, and did some alterations on one of my bridesmaid dresses also, as she found out just before the wedding that she is pregnant!
I had some very simple pearls for my jewellery, a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. I bought the bridesmaids matching necklaces and earrings also. On my right hand, I wore my late Nans wedding ring.
Groom & His Men
My groom, his best man, usher and page-boy all had matching navy suits which were hired from Suit Direct. I really did not have to be involved in this part much, as we had already agreed on the colour scheme and John had a good idea of how he wanted to look and feel on the day. You can’t really go wrong with a navy blue suit.
My colour scheme was navy blue and ivory. I had three bridesmaids, who wore navy blue dresses, and my daughter in an ivory dress with a navy sash. I felt this colour was a very subtle but dignified colour. They all looked beautiful and they complimented the boys’ navy suits well.
My flowers were various shades of blue in a teardrop bouquet consisting of roses and lilies. My bridesmaids had corsages on their wrists with blue and ivory roses. The men also had white and blue lilies as buttonholes. All of these were provided by JJ’s Glitter & Flowers.
We also purchased some bouquets to give as gifts to both mothers and other people who had helped us. We used eflorist, who managed to completely mess up our order. We had ordered six bouquets in total, to be delivered to our house the day before the wedding, but only three arrived and were in a poor condition. We ended up ordering the flowers on the day of the wedding from Interflora and had to pay nearly double the amount due to them being on a three-hour delivery schedule, this did not help the inevitable stress that comes with the day itself. The remaining three bouquets from eflorist arrived at our house the day of the wedding. Fortunately, we were offered a full refund when John phoned them on the following Monday.
We had a sit-down menu during the day, which most guests agreed was wonderful, especially since the venue sourced the meat from a local butcher. The venue also provided an evening buffet. A friend of the family also gifted us a three-tier pork-pie-cake, which went down very well!
We had a three-tier cake of chocolate, lemon and Madeira, with a free-standing fruit cake. Maxine Holland, a family friend, provided the cake, but I am unsure of who baked it. It was absolutely beautiful, ivory icing with a blue bow and decorations.
We had a DJ provided for us by the venue, who we liaised with beforehand and we provided a preferred setlist for him which got everyone up dancing! We also had a roulette table provided by Ace Party. I dealt with Joanne Rimmer who I met at a wedding fayre a year before. I can honestly say she was the nicest, most helpful person I could have hoped to meet during planning a wedding. We booked the table and I kept her card as I was aware she also specialised in other things. Closer to the date I booked her to do my chair covers also, which she did for me professionally and carried out on the day beautifully. I had booked my centrepieces elsewhere but this fell through so I set Joanne the challenge of linking the centrepieces with John’s seating plan design, which she nailed perfectly. We had a budget and she stuck to this and absolutely smashed it. We did not see the centrepieces until the day, I had all the trust in the world that she would provide exactly what we wanted and she did just that. I honestly cannot recommend Ace Party enough.
We had a wonderful photographer called Deborah Stone from Sheffield. She was amazing with the children and suggested having a pre-shoot so they could get used to the camera before the day. All of my photos are wonderful and I love them, looking through them is like reliving the day.
Throughout, our wedding planner was Sally, who was great, but on the day we were looked after by Debbie and Dave at the Stables who could not do enough for us and all of our guests. Everyone commented how attentive they both were.
My bridesmaids really were amazing for the whole weekend. The day before, Jo never stopped driving, taking us all to have our nails done, taking us home, picking flowers up. Jo and Sam took me and Lauren for afternoon tea, Laura then joined us at the lodge, and they all pampered me and I wanted for nothing all weekend and my glass was never empty. They really were the best bridesmaids I could wish for.
There were two major points that will always stay with us about the day. One is that of our first dance. We did one of “those” dances and it went down pretty well. Some family members recorded it and put it up on YouTube. We thought that we would be the only ones who would watch it, and were surprised when it ended up being viewed by over 2000 people!
The other is John’s speech; he is known for always cracking a joke or two and managed to shoehorn plenty of them into his speech. However, because of this, nobody expected the sincerity with which he delivered certain parts of it. He directly addressed our children in what was definitely the most emotional part of his speech. He is step-dad to our oldest child and he thanked him for allowing him into his life and even doing him the honour of taking his surname two months before our wedding. If you can bring a tear to John’s dad’s eye during a speech, then it can definitely be classed as a highly emotional affair!
Bride To Bride
I wish we had had a little more time together, it seemed to go by so quickly. We completely missed the buffet! We did go for a walk together for some photos, which was lovely, but I would say take some time together to take it all in.
Venue: The Stables ♥ Makeup: Beauty by Terri
Dress: Mori Lee ♥ Accessories: Jayne’s Bridal Wear
Grooms Suit: Suit Direct ♥ Bridesmaid Dresses: ebay
Flowers: JJ’s Glitter & Flowers ♥ Interflora
Entertainment: Ace Party
Photographer: Deborah Stone Photography