December, 2011 Archive

Christmas Parties through the Ages

At the weekend we had the big Bronco Christmas party at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, where there were 24 for dinner and we all stayed the night in the hotel running up a huge bar bill and ending up with extreme hangovers the next day, and lots of tales to tell. I uploaded the photos from the party today, which then got everyone looking at parties past. So here are a few pics of me through the ages from the Bronco Christmas party album archives. There are never many taken of me as I’m normally the one behind the camera snapping away.

2011 – Majestic Hotel, Harrogate

2010 – Majestic Hotel, Harrogate

2009 – Ripley Castle, Ripley

2008 – Trip to see Paddy McGuinness Live

2007 – 10 Pin Bowling at York

2006 – 10 Pin Bowling at York

2005 – The Bridges Hotel, Wetherby

Having our Wedding Vows Renewed

Over the last 3 weeks or so Dave and I have been busy planning the renewal of our wedding vows, which the date is set for the 31st March 2012. It’s been really exciting so far and we’re looking forward to having a really chilled out day with family and friends and to have a big party really.

So why are we doing it? Some of you may know that we originally got married back on the 4th April 1998 (coming up to 14 years ago) at Gretna Green. I’ve told the story many times before and I love the fact that we made our wedding into a bit of an adventure and went against the norm. We hadn’t originally planned to “do a runner to Gretna” but as the plans for the wedding started to be formed we soon realised that it was all going to get pretty expensive and stressful to try to keep everyone happy and being only young back then you always try to please everyone .. so we thought “sod it”. It was Dave’s second marriage too so he’s had his big church wedding and all I was bothered about was just getting married and not wasting a small fortune on one day of our lives when we were pretty skint with no savings, busy doing up the house and planning kids.

The day at Gretna was amazing. We were joined by a few friends and a small number of immediate family who all travelled up to Scotland in the morning for the 2pm wedding. We had booked to get married at the Old Blacksmith Shop (which is a museum and tourist attraction) in Gretna Green where you get married over the anvil. It was pouring with rain. We got changed into our wedding outfits in the public toilets (no white dress for me, just a nice suit) and had a few beers before the ceremony with Dave’s parents. My family was nowhere to be seen and we’d planned for my Mum to give me away, as I have a Dad and a step-Dad, but at 2pm I was escorted to the anvil by a big Scottish man in a kilt to the sound of bagpipes. Five minutes into the service in rushed in both my sets of parents and sister etc as they had gone to the wrong venue as there are two Blacksmiths shops in Gretna (we were at the nice one). It’s amazing to think that this sort of thing just wouldn’t happen nowadays, but back then not many people had mobile phones so there was no way to get in touch, you just arranged to meet somewhere at a certain time.

The ceremony was emotional and I think I cried through most of my vows. After the service we headed to the Gretna Chase hotel where my Mum had organised some champagne and sandwiches. That was after we’d nipped to the bookies in Gretna to put a bet on the Grand National that was about to start. We hadn’t arranged anything as a reception so this was great as we had group shots in the garden, taken by anyone who’d brought a camera, and then my Dad provided us with a wedding cake. Not just any old wedding cake either, but a Wallace and Gromit birthday cake from Tescos that he’s bought on the way up to Scotland just in case. My gran has this picture of Dave and I from our wedding day cutting the cake in true style on her mantlepiece!

So the second wedding is going to be on the lines of a proper wedding. We’re having the wedding in Ripon but we want to bring in a bit of the Scottish theme to the occasion. We’ve sorted out so far in the last 3 weeks the venue, hotel rooms, the registrar, the guest list, the colour scheme, the white dress, the bouquet and table flowers, the cake, the photographer, the bagpiper and ordered the invitations. We’ve just got Dave and the kids to get sorted with outfits, to choose the new rings, then to get the finer details worked out with the venue about the food and entertainment and the registrar with regards to the order of service. It’s been relatively easy so far, as usual I have lots of “to do” lists, but there has been no issue with getting people booked for the occasion. I’ve no idea why people have to book their wedding years in advance as I would think you would end up getting totally consumed with the planning of the day and fail to actually enjoy the planning.

What has been surprising is that a couple of the extended family didn’t even realise that we were actually married :)