- Brad and Kari’s big day in pictures
- Funniest best man speech ever!
- And how the happy couple made it one of the best days of my life
So it was finally here! All those months, no, years of planning and here we all were on Friday afternoon – at the prestigious surroundings of Loseley House near Godalming, Surrey, about to witness the marriage of my lovely boy Brad and his fabulous fiancée Kari.
Brad’s cousin Ricky was the best man and Lauren, my daughter, was one of the five bridesmaids. Ricky’s sister Becky is also pictured here. So lucky the weather held out! Even had sunny spells!
We’d had a few weeks of manic anticipation whilst the final touches were put to the outfits – mine was based on an Antthony Design which we do here at QVC, which I knew at first sight would be my ideal ‘frock’ for this important occasion!
Antthony, the lovely man and my dear friend, then did a one-off for me in the colour of my choice, a deep aubergine purple, and did some alterations and voila!
Bag tho, was a Lulu Guinness – the birdcage one, perfect for me, given what I had to carry and the fact that on the bottom is a button that plays birdsong – made it a kitsch must-have!
Brad decided upon the full regalia, with top hat and tails on himself and all his ushers – not only Ricky but school and uni pals Omar, Woody, Sam and Andy & co.
So inside we went into the marvellous hall, the exterior is superb – authentic, from the 16th Century – and it’s still used as a family home! (You can even see some of the family photos on display in the background of some of the shots).
Brad was waiting patiently before a massive family portrait from the 1700s and after a short delay (bride’s hair needed final touches!) they were here!
The bridesmaids looked gorgeous – again, all the work of the talented designer Antthony Mark Hankins from his JM Studio range – and consisted of Lauren together with Kari’s family and friends – Kiri, Kate, Gemma, and Chloe.
The service was lovely – they exchanged vows and yes, everyone got a bit teary! That was the moment when I wondered if my make-up would last! Having worn it all off at the Breast Cancer Care luncheon during the week (see last blog!) I had tons of tissues at the ready just in case.
But – although I welled up - it didn’t brim over. Yay! Then the rest of the day, I was just so overjoyed for them, and it had been such a long time coming, that I just felt happiness rather than tears… mostly! Lol. Then Lauren did her reading – beautifully.
Finally, the registrar took over for the signing of the register and it was official! The only thing was, having gone 26 years with a boy called Bradley Derek Gordon Flint Carter, it never once occurred to me it might be a bit of a mouthful during a wedding ceremony!
And yes, it raised a titter every time it was mentioned – and Kari only slipped up once! Again to much amusement!
So the trio started playing once more, everyone filed outside and finally, they were man and wife! See the newlyweds here.
Then it was time for everyone to go outside for one of those arty group shots with the photographer hanging out the window – I look forward to seeing that when they get back from their honeymoon!
Next, it was round to the White Garden – the walled area where a beautiful fountain and marquee were set up for drinks and canapés, where we had several more photos – here are just a selection of friends, family and the bridal party.
RECEPTION FOR THE NEWLY-WEDS!
Then we trooped across to the lovely picturesque barn conversion (me having changed into my reserve pair of comfier shoes for the walk, note!) and the feasting began.
The food was lovely – we chose the veggie option, the other option was lamb. And I allowed myself most of the dessert – a rarity for me (as you may know, I’m mostly macrobiotic! The next day I got a sugar hangover as a result – haha!) and it was all amazing.
The place looked lovely – the flowers they’d done were fab, plus ivy and fairy lights which looked very charming on the ancient oak beams.
Here’s a little snippet of what it was like inside during the reception!
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Brad and Kari had done little messages inside the name place settings too, made their own sponge-cake-on-a-stick favours, had party hats and fancy dress under the table too, all of which helped to make it a really fun occasion!
The food was delicious!
It was very special and alluded to the 'Friends' episode where Phoebe says "He’s her lobster!" – like swans, they mate once! Hehe! Well, according to Phoebe and that’s good enough!
Then, it was speech time – and Ricky’s cleverley delivered speech included a slide show of pics of Bradley – from when they were babies till the recent stag do in Ibiza – and only one was really embarrassing – fortunately! Lol!
Ricky had even included a short video clip of Brad’s TV ad when he was modelling as a child – so cute – he’s the youngster in this ad (click here to see it on YouTube but don’t blink or you’ll miss it!)
And at last it was strike up the band time! The band was a fantastic ensemble called ‘Rollercoaster’ (rollercoasterband.net) (click here to see one of their videos) whom I would highly recommend.
The thing that made it so special – apart from getting the music choices EXACTLY right – was the fiddle player – it added real character to the night and they were so professional and did everything they were expected to do – no fuss, no drama, no problem.
Plus they played disco music in between sets too. I’d highly recommend them so do email an enquiry if you have a special event coming up – they are busy but it might be worth booking your date around their availability – they were so brilliant.
In fact, if I … no WHEN I, get married again (#justGotToFindTheManfirst!) I would absolutely book those guys for the party! Here’s a snippet of the action!
I’d have included the Brad and Kari special dance – yes, they did a little funny routine, after fooling everyone into thinking it was just a normal ‘first dance’ – but I haven’t got their permission so I won’t, for now!
It was lovely to see so many people and so much fun and frivolity. And some special touches which really made it a night to remember. The photographer, Sarah Elvin Photography (.co.uk), also provided a quirky ‘photo booth’ fancy dress facility, which gave rise to some hilarious shots! Here’s just a few.
Also, in the foyer, Brad and Kari had left a ‘message tree’, where people could post their little luggage tags with little messages on instead of a guest book.
And they’d put a big collage of black and white pics of all the reception guests too – how lovely! And just in case anyone missed getting a pic with the newlyweds, they’d even produced a life-size black and white version of themselves for the purpose!
And then it was home time! Lots of sore feet, and I’m sure sore heads the next day. I was the last to leave, once the newly-weds had zipped through the ‘people-arches’ to their awaiting cab to whisk them away to their posh hotel for the night.
It was a lovely day, one of the best most memorable days of my life, and I can only thank them for making it so, so special.
One down, one to go! Hehe! Lauren, are you listening? Just kidding!
Next blog – on Friday, join me for my regular weekly blog, with a comp to win a Breast Cancer Care luncheon goodie bag, plus a wonderful FREE eBook that’s a steamy ‘raunchy regency’ from Claire Firth!
Mother of the Groom