April, 2012 Archive

Trip to The Lakes and Gretna

We’ve just got back from an Easter weekend break to The Lake District and Gretna Green to round off our wedding renewal. We originally got married in Gretna Green and our original honeymoon was a few days in The Lakes. Here are a few pics from the last few days.

The kids getting ready to set off in Bob on Good Friday

On the way to The Lakes

Stopped off on the way in Kendal to have an instructed session at the Lakeland Climbing Centre, that has a scarily high 20m (66ft) climbing wall. The climber in the picture is already pretty high up with a long way to go.

Here’s Ethan doing a climb

On Saturday we headed to Grasmere where we had Gingerbread from Sarah Mason’s famous Gingerbread Shop and saw Wordsworth’s grave at St Oswald’s church.

Then we hired a rowing boat at the Faeryland Tea Garden, and enjoyed some Faery Grey tea afterwards.

It was then on to Newby Bridge and Lakeside which is at the bottom of Windermere and we went the scenic route along Coniston Water.

We then went to the Lakeland Motor Museum and looked at the impressive collection of old cars, as well as visiting the Donald Campbell exhibition with a replica Bluebird (it was massive).

On Sunday we headed up to Scotland, but enroute we stopped off at Dalemain, a big impressive stately home near Penrith.

Then it was up the M6 to the Scottish border and Gretna Green.

Here we are, the Old Blacksmith Shop in Gretna Green, where we got married back on the 4th April 1998. We ended up chatting to the resident bagpiper and the museum curator and sadly found out that Rev. Dennison who married us, as well as the bagpiper, who gave me away, had passed away a few years ago. We had to wait a bit to go into the museum, as there were weddings on, but we finally got to go through to the marriage room.

It hadn’t changed a bit

Back at the Anvil 14 years later 🙂

We then headed to the Gretna Chase Hotel for the night which is where we had a few drinks and some food after the original wedding. The bar in the hotel hadn’t changed at all really.

Day 3 of Renovations

Today there has been good progress on the inside of the house. For the last 2 days the builders have been busy outside pulling down the conservatory and then digging and smashing out the big concrete base. Once they had filled a huge skip today they made a start inside knocking the kitchen and dining room together.

So first we have the dining room before

and then after

and then from the Kitchen side before

and then after

Lots more still to do but so far so good and its already made a huge difference with it being so much more open and light, without any restricted views into the garden now the conservatory has gone. Loving it!

Starting on the Big Home Improvement project

Anyone that will know me, will know that I can’t not be doing anything, and even during the wedding planning over the last few months we have had a decorator in painting the sitting room, utility room, downstairs toilet, kids bathroom, our ensuite bathroom, so the house has been pretty upside down. So the wedding was on Saturday and with one days rest (well not really rest as we had to finish clearing rooms) we had a team of guys at the house first thing to start demolishing the conservatory. We’re not getting the conservatory rebuilt, we are just going to regain more outdoor space on the patio. I love my before and after photos so this is the progress so far today.

Once this is all cleared away, then new Indian stone patio slabs can be laid to match in with the existing patio, and then the interior wall comes down between the kitchen and the dining room.

A look back at yesterday

So yesterday on the 31.3.2012 Dave and I renewed our wedding vows after being married for 14 years. We only decided to do this in December so it was a big day to orgainse in a short space of time, so there are a few people that I would like to thank for all their help and for making it a truly amazing day…

Of course there is Dave and the kids, Amanda and Kelvin for all their help and support this weekend, and all the family and friends for turning up, but its the people behind the scenes that I’d particularly like to thank in this post.

So a big thank you goes out to Linda and Peter from The Old Deanery in Ripon for making the day so special. The venue is amazing, the staff are truly wonderful and they managed to fit us all in and make the day seamless. The food was top notch as always, and one of Dave’s aunts summed it up this morning as they checked out saying that it was like staying in a big family home.

The Old Deanery in Ripon

Proving the concept that we could get 70+ seated in the main dining room, meant lots of measuring and altering, but it worked!

The menu we arranged was “Springtime Yorkshire Scottishness” and we started with a Trio of Scottish Salmon – Cured, Smoked and Croquette of Salmon with lemon oil and caviar

For the main we had Roast Fillet of Beef (well cooked in a water bath before being finished off so it was really tender), Yorkshire puddings, Horseradish mash, Roast potatoes & Spring vegetables

Then to finish off we had a Trio of Rhubarb (as I grew up in West Yorshire in the rhubard triangle) – Pureed, Poached and Sorbet of Rhubarb, with Vanilla cheesecake and gingerbread.

The flowers that we had for the wedding were created by Amy at the Greenhouse Florist in Ripon. The theme of Scottish Yorkshireness flowed into the flowers with white roses and thistles combined with heathery, moorland style flowers. My bouquet was stunning and the table decorations looked amazing.

The table flowers can be seen in this next photo along with the place name settings that I created with some help from Steve at Craft Shapes who was able to engrave the date onto the horseshoes and from there we constructed the place setting with the heart suspended in the middle with colour coordinating ribbon. The place settings probably took me the most time to sort as I had to make them all individually, but they looked really great and were also like a favour for people as they could take them away for some good luck.

I need to mention the dress now as that is probably one of the most important bits to get right. We did it the traditional way and Dave didn’t see the dress until I walked down the aisle. Many thanks to Sally-Anne and family at Carlton Couture in Ripon for doing such a great job helping me find the right dress by Sacha Jones and then doing all the alterations. The tiara also was made by Carlton Couture as well and it was stunning.

Next up is the cake. What can I say but not only did it look amazing but it tasted fabulous too. The brief for the cake was a square 3 tiered cake (fruit cake on the base, and 2 layers of chocolate), to have fresh flowers as decoration but also Wallace and Gromit. Bit of an odd request but if anyone knows about our first wedding in Gretna Green will know that my first wedding cake was a Wallace and Gromit birthday cake that my Dad brought with him to Scotland. Keeley at Sugar Crafted Cakes in Ripon made the cake and it was a real show stopper.

At the wedding, out of the 70 guests for the daytime, there were 18 kids so it was really important for me to make sure that the kids were entertained and happy, as there is nothing worse than a grumpy, bored kid. During the meal we had made them activity books to keep them happy (thanks to Kean at Bronco for making these look really cool) and they had coloured pencils and pencil sharpeners too. To stash all their stuff in we also got Swag Bags printed up with the same design, by Grant at UNameit in Ripon which could hang off the back of the chairs.

After lunch had finished there was a few hours before the evening do started so we brought in Toxic Tom from the Mad Science company and he spent an hour and a half wowwing the kids with pops and bangs in a series of cool scientific experiments which ended in them all making their own bouncy ball to take away.

For the evening do, we arranged for a hog roast and a live band. We had seen the Mirage band for the last 2 years running at the Bronco Christmas parties in Harrogate and they really impressed us with how amazing they are, so I got them booked. We had asked if Lorriane and her band could perform what we had chosen for our first dance song (Shania Twain – You’re still the one) and it was amazing, they sounded great.

The photos that I have been able to add to this post are just the ones that we took on our camera (plus a borrowed one from Jen of Toxic Tom) so I haven’t got any yet of the Registrar Sue Barker who performed the renewal of vows service, and made it a wonderful service. It was so emotional and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house, including Sue.

I would also like to thank Graham Hall, our bagpiper for the day who plays for the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Pipe Band. He was amazing and entertained the guests as they arrived, but most importantly piped me into the ceremony room to the tune of Highland Cathedral creating a really emotional atmosphere. Graham then piped us out after the service and stayed and played as everyone stood outside in the sun and chatted.

One person that also needs to be thanked is Morgan from Morgan Photography who hopefully did a brilliant job of capturing the precious moments, but was very patient when we were trying to get all the right people into the right group photo. We’re really looking forward to seeing how the official photos of the day turn out, especially the ones that were taken outside the Cathedral and of us strolling up Kirkgate with lots of onlookers (slightly embarrasing lol)

I think that is everyone .. but if I have missed anyone out then let me know and I’ll add you in 🙂
If it wasn’t for the individuals and the businesses above, the day wouldn’t have been such a huge success, and a lot harder to organise, so a big thank you and a big recommendation from me.

For more pictures of the wedding see here.