There must be wedding fever this year, because yesterday I attended another wedding. This time we went up to Hengrave Hall, near Bury St. Edmunds.
What can I say it was GORGEOUS. Driving up to the building through big gates was just stunning. The weather unfortunately wasn’t great but even through the rain and dark clouds the looming building was magnificent. Beautifully crafted out of stone and brick I could just tell from the outset that this wedding was going to be good.
Walking into the venue I looked around taking in as much as possible before finding the essential toilets as the baby was pushing on my bladder. Luckily sign posts showed me how to find the ladies with ease. (Some things I took for granted before).
Feeling more comfortable I followed the crowds of people who were waiting to be let into The Banqueting Hall. The location of the wedding ceremony. There is also a sweet delightful church in the grounds that can also be used for wedding ceremonies but my friends went for the civil ceremony inside Hengrave Hall.
I said my hello’s to the faces I recognised and did some catching up before walking into The Banqueting Hall. The walls were wood panelled and there was a wooden balcony at the top end of the room, light was streaming in through large stain glass windows and there was a large stone fireplace.
The chairs were lined up and decorated with a country feel, so wooden hearts hung off the back of some of the chairs. The ceiling was ornately crafted with wooden beams that arched and went across the room. The groom welcomed each and every guest and showed no signs of nervousness at all. And then the doors were closed as the bridal party made their way to the Hall.
Wearing a gorgeous fishtail lace gown with a diamante belt and buttons down the back with a full length cathedral veil that flared out around the train of the gown the bride walked down the aisle looking absolutely perfect. Her hair was half up and half down and slightly curled around her face. The bridesmaids wore yellow dresses, and the flower girls wore peach dresses.
As the wedding got underway one of my favourite readings was read aloud by a member of the brides family, from the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and written by Louis De Bernieres:
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being ‘in love’ which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
Now lets all have a collective awwww… and congratulate the new Mr&Mrs.
After the ceremony which I found beautiful (MrLondonMum did his usual and I’m not sure anything went in so he couldn’t comment on the ceremony) we were led to The Library for a drinks reception. MrLondonMum made sure he was drinking the champagne on offer while I drunk the pink lemonade. Both drinks were constantly topped up. Great for me and MrLondonMum!
While there were no canopies (which I was actually glad about because I tend to over eat them and then when you head for the wedding breakfast there isn’t much room left) there was something significantly better. An ice-cream man serving proper dairy ice-cream in real waffle cones… and I was allowed to eat as many as I wanted!!!! I got myself a yummy toffee nut one and it was delish!
Already feeling merry (MrLondonMum on booze, me on sugar) we headed off for the wedding breakfast which was held in the long gallery. A bright room with wooden floors and a gorgeous ornate ceiling which had chandeliers and was painted an olive green colour. Again Hengrave Hall provided yet another stunning room.
The circular round tables were dotted around the room seating eight guests at each table. Typically I was seated at the table that was named ‘London.’ Our favours were little jars of hot chocolate and marshmallows to take home.
The speeches were first and to make sure the guests didn’t get bored it was turned into a drinking game. On each table was a couple of cards and under each speech makers name was two words that you had to drink at if the speech maker mentioned them within the speech. Obviously it didn’t affect me much, but MrLondonMum had finished his toasting champagne before the last speech and so luckily he had mine to keep him going. The speeches were brilliant, the Father of the Bride did a very funny but moving speech, the groom did a thank you speech and spoke of his adoration for his new bride and the best mans speech was light and humorous with a dose of sentimentality and love. The perfect combination.
After the speeches were complete the food came out, we were given food choices before the wedding, each course had an option of three. Unfortunately I was unable to eat any of the starters. The choice was prawns/pate or Stilton. A pregnant woman’s nightmare so I allowed MrLondonMum to pick the two he’d want the most. For the mains we both chose a traditional roast beef dinner which was so tasty. (I’m sorry baby but mummy had to give in and eat the meat. It was on my plate and looked perfect. I know it was slightly underdone for you but it was cooked to how I like it. I tried to avoid the really bloody parts and eat the more cooked bits around the outside, although I do feel slightly guilty). Dessert we shared and so we had a combination of a chocolate brownie and strawberry pavlova.
The food was extremely tasty for a wedding breakfast and the wine flowed throughout the meal. MrLondonMum definitely drunk his fair share of however many bottles were used throughout the dinner.
Whilst eating dinner there was a background singer that kept the atmosphere going, he was a great singer singing some classic Buble tracks, and getting the bride and groom up during dinner to sing a song to them as they danced. He even got some of the more willing guests to sing with him. A hilarious way to keep guests entertained between courses.
After finishing off with teas and coffees we sat around and chatted with the other guests while the wine still flowed before the evening guests and dance started.
It was then that I spotted this…
Baby definitely had his share of sugar! There were flying saucers, candy floss, popcorn, jelly rings, foam prawns.. all my favourites!!!
We were then all called to go back to The Banqueting Hall for the evening dance to kick off starting with the bride and grooms first dance. Half way through the dance we were all encouraged to join them, so everyone took to the dance floor. This is when I realised dancing as a pregnant woman is really uncomfortable. I had to have my stomach to the side of MrLondonMum because I couldn’t get comfortable standing in front of him embracing as we danced.
We danced the first three or four songs and then we sat back down again as I’m really not able to dance! Plus the straps on my shoes were starting to do a Kim Kardashian.
Now that the bar was open MrLondonMum topped up on good old beer while I just stuck to tap water. Not long after the evening buffet was served but there was no way I could fit it in! I did have three macaroons from the macaroon cake/stand they had though.
As we left the party to continue their jollies, myself and MrLondonMum got back in the car for the drive back to London.
It may have rained for the wedding but supposedly that’s good luck and quite frankly the venue the couple picked really was the perfect venue. No one noticed the rain at all. Just the beauty of Hengrave Hall and the hard work the couple put in to make their day personal and memorable.