LET ME TELL YOU EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED
My initial thought was to begin this post with an apology for my absence here over the last few months but, in all honesty, I’m not really sorry. I’ve been having a lovely time just living in the moment, as many exciting changes took place in my life. For those of you who follow me on social media you will probably have already heard – I got married! For those of you who have been checking my blog and wondering where on earth I have disappeared to…well…thank you for patiently sticking around and taking an interest. So let me tell you a bit more about everything that has happened…
Having got engaged in December 2017, and having set the wedding date for mid-August this year (2018), we knew the pressure would be on to bring everything together in time. Planning my own wedding whilst continuing to run Brambleolai was definitely a challenge – and at times, I must admit, my stress levels were quite high. By quite high you should actually read: very high! Thankfully my, now, husband and I (it still makes me smile to write that) have a wonderful group of friends and family who supported us through every stage and kept us both sane during the process.
THE HEN AND STAG DOS
The real excitement began at the beginning of August – two weeks before the big day – when our hen and stag dos took place. It’s not for me to tell you anything about Mr A.’s stag party but I’m happy to share a few details of my own celebration. My amazing sister, who is four years older than me (I had to mention that because we are so often mistaken for twins and now that we are getting older I no longer appreciate gaining any years), organised a lovely day with some of my favourite female friends and family.
It started at her house with some silly – I mean civilised – fun and games; including a pass the parcel where each layer revealed an amusing, if somewhat random, fact about me, and a ‘make Kerri-the-bride out of icing’ challenge – the results of which were hilarious, and not helped by the fact it was a ridiculously hot day so the icing kept melting in our hands.
Later we all headed to a riverside bar in Windsor, with a large selection of cocktails and mocktails to choose from (my sister knows me well!); my ladies all wearing ‘Team Bride’ wristbands and myself wearing a ‘Bride To Be’ sash. The photos above are of me and two of my good friends, and fellow entrepreneurs: Elisabeth Booth (a.k.a. The Giftsmith) and Jen Feroze (of Jackdaw Editorial), and my choice of mocktail – which unintentionally colour coordinated with my outfit.
After the drinks we all went to a little Greek restaurant, in the heart of Windsor, where they play live music during your meal. The food was wonderful, and getting to spend so much time with my ladies was something I will cherish for years to come.
By night-time the live music stepped up a notch and out came tambourines for the diners to join in, and of course I had to use one. What happened next still surprises me – I got up and danced! Now the dancing part is not what shocks me (I love dancing – round the house or at a wedding) but doing so in such a small space – between only four tables (including my party), and with only one other person on the floor (my close friend, Heleen) – that’s what makes me laugh. I’m not someone who enjoys being the centre of attention – far from it – but that day I just didn’t care. I had a grin on my face from start to finish.
The wedding day itself was really special…
Having been in love with weddings since the age of twelve, collating inspiration images with a passion, and having been surrounded by the industry for the past few years – I was a little worried our wedding would never live up to my own expectations. I wanted to smile, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to dance, and I wanted to make memories. I’m very grateful, we ticked all of those boxes – and more!
Our ceremony was at the Chelsea Old Town Hall, in London, as it holds a special significance to Mr A. I was incredibly nervous beforehand – not about marrying my husband, but about being the centre of attention once again.
I had intended to hold my dad’s hand in the elegant and traditional way, as he walked me down the aisle, but I was shaking so much I simply clutched his hand by my side. I tried not to look at any of our guests, my heart pounding, and just focused my gaze on my husband-to-be. The ceremony passed by very quickly; the vows, the rings, the signing the register, the readings from my grandad and our friends’ little boy, the kiss. It still feels slightly like a dream.
Out onto the famous Town Hall steps – where many notable people had gone before us – ready for the confetti shot. The photo above was taken by one of our guests (we’ve not had the official photographs back yet) and makes me smile every time I see it. We were both so instantly relieved and content once the ceremony was over, and walking down those steps together – with our friends and family around us – was like stepping into a new chapter of our lives.
Everyone made their way to our reception in Cobham, Surrey, where additional guests joined us for the rest of the day. Thankfully the weather was kind to us and both the heatwave and rain stayed away; it meant our guests were able to enjoy mingling and playing games outside in the garden – including Mr A.’s favourite sport: table tennis (we wanted to celebrate both of our personalities on the day).
We chose a dry-hire venue so we could style everything our way. We brought in festoon and fairy lights, gorgeous linen, tea-lights, white flowers, and fresh greenery table-runners. We had touches of Mr A.’s Chemistry passion, and my love for creativity, at the drinks reception – with lab beakers and flasks serving the drinks, and a test-tube flower arrangement; through to the meal – by naming the tables as if new chemical groups had been discovered, and each guest described like a chemical element on their place-card (think phrases such as: ‘solid under pressure’, ‘desirable qualities’, and ‘slightly flammable when mixed with the wrong elements’).
The details were just enough to celebrate what makes us, ‘us’, without tipping into being ‘themed’.
Our cakes (made by myself, of course) took centre stage on the dance floor. I have so much to tell you about them – that’s right, there was more than one – so I will save the details for another post.
We had a bar for the evening which included mocktails (you could probably have guessed that by now), and the day’s food included pizza for our wedding breakfast and Nigerian dishes for the evening. All of which were must-haves on our wish-list and none of which disappointed. Another non-negotiable was dancing, with our eclectic taste in music: from hip-hop to sixties, and from Nigerian songs (in Mr A.’s mother tongue) to eighties classics…oh it was a good day.
My parents, sister, and brother-in-law very kindly arranged for Mr A. and I to spend two nights in a luxury hotel in Dorking after the wedding. It was a gorgeous setting and the perfect way to relax after the excitement (and stress) of the previous few weeks. After a quick stop back at our home to pick up more luggage and put my dress somewhere safe, we then travelled down to Cornwall for our mini-moon.
It was seven days of pure contentment – mixed in with disbelief and pinching ourselves that we were actually husband and wife. Great food (no indulgence spared), wonderful beach walks, town explorations, a causeway crossing, off-road cycling, and snuggling up on the sofa to watch films. Bliss.
Part of me could have stayed in Cornwall, in our bubble of joy, forever – but another part of me was so excited to get back home, start building our future together, and begin designing and creating more modern and artistic wedding cakes in Surrey.
So there we have it – I hope you enjoyed hearing all about everything that has happened in my personal life. Be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram stories if you want to see more behind the scenes photos – I may well share one or two more from our wedding, as and when I get them.