All about the wedding


Well, I guess the next time I’m preparing so much for a wedding it will be Maddie’s!

Who’d have thought that I would be writing my blog this month having attended the wedding of the year! My Mummy’s!

I’d just like to start by thanking you for your wonderful well wishes for them both, here on my blog and on Twitter. It has been so lovely and hugely appreciated. I found myself proudly sharing my news with most people I came across and was struck by the warmth of the reaction to it (even total strangers) I think there was a spark of possibility reignited for many, as I heard ” Oh how lovely, there’s hope for me yet…” on more than a few occasions!

Wedding 3

My own friends were so happy, both for her and for me, sharing in my delight that finally she has the chance to be happy… properly happy again, with a man who couldn’t be lovelier, kinder or more thoughtful.

I know everybody says after the weddings they attend “what a wonderful wedding it was”  but it TRULY was. From start to finish the atmosphere was one of joy and happiness and to see so many people from Mummy’s and Arnold’s lives come together for such a celebration was really quite something.


They had been part of each other’s lives in my younger days as our two families spent lots of time together, so many of the guests had memories to share of those early days before my Daddy had sadly died.

For me there were moments of nostalgia, the chance to talk about my father Tom with many people who knew and loved him. To reminisce about my youth with my best friend Gillian and to see that day how cared for and valued Mummy is amongst her many friendship groups. I felt immensely proud of her.

Throughout  her life she has had to deal with much sadness and many difficulties. Watching her sparkling with Arnold amongst their closest friends and family was a privilege. Love is a very precious thing, it has no age limit (don’t worry Mummy I will refrain from over sharing that bit of information!) and no boundaries and to have it once again in your life must be a wonderful thing to treasure. I think all of us there last weekend came away knowing we had just been part of something very special.

It has to be said though that the run up to it was really was quite a task and I am only just recovered I think!

Flowers 2

After three days of early starts at QVC the next day was a 3 am alarm call (goodness I probably should never moan about the 5 o’clock start any more). I headed up to London to the flower market to buy the flowers for all the table decorations. I loved being amongst all those beautiful choices and have always secretly harboured a little dream of being a florist. I was really pleased when I came home with my buckets of soft gentle flowers all toning in colour with the Memory Lane  rose she had chosen for herself and Maddie’s posies. It was only 6.45 am by that point…boy I got a lot done before my household sleepily emerged, though hit the wall later that afternoon and was virtually incomprehensible at tea time…early bedtime for me.

Unfortunately Mummy had chosen the day before Mother’s Day to get married! Though clever I thought as she guaranteed all her children would be with her! Unfortunately the cost of flowers really ramps up at this time, plus the florist that she had chosen was so up against it that it took some persuasion but they did agree to make  hers and Maddie’s  posies  and the buttonholes, and that I would take over and co-ordinate the flowers for the table decorations.

Flower Collage

We decided on a natural, just casually picked from the garden sort of look, grouping a number of  beautiful cut glass vases and things together so I then had to search out all the vintage glass Mummy and I had and luckily for me a lovely lady, Pam, lent us her glassware to us for the day, how kind was that!

My brother Neil who had flown in from Singapore early that morning helped me fill the 70 or so little vessels of all shapes and sizes that we used. I’m not sure how he kept going, adrenalin is a clever thing. Anyway, I frantically set about pretending to be a florist at the venue! We only had a two hour deadline and made it by the skin of our teeth!  I’m not fully convinced the end result truly showed the hard work it had taken, though when I looked into the room on the morning of the wedding I thought it looked really pretty and that was the plan so I was happy.

As Neil and I were pretending to be florists Mark, my eldest brother, was a dab hand preparing food as 29 of the guests who had travelled long distances and were staying a couple of nights were joining them at home for a birthday celebration as Arnold’s birthday was that day. Nothing like extra pressure the night before you get married! It  turned out to be a lovely evening and a perfect pre-wedding chance to chat, though I was conscious we needed to get to bed at a reasonable hour as the day ahead would be full on!

We had a make-up and hair practice run the previous week which went really well we thought until my brother said Mummy looked as though she had a black eye! Thanks Mark… not quite the look we were after.


It was quite different doing another person’s makeup and I take my hat off to make up artists the world over who transform all people regardless of age.

I wanted her to look pretty with some added colour because as you age your colour seems to fade a little, so a bit of eyebrow definition and some colour in the eyeshadow was a necessity . But then came the debate, do we go shimmery or  not shimmery?! The dress had shimmer, a goldy/silvery shimmery look, but once you get to an age it appears shimmer on the eye isn’t the top choice. But… it looked lovely, so we came to the conclusion that a whisper  of shimmer from my Tarte palette was the way to go and a pretty lip colour was vital.

I drew her lip line in with a pencil and filled it in to make it more long-lasting but then that scared her because she never actually utilises her whole lip shape, as beautiful as they are… so again there was the realisation she had to be happy and comfortable.

The most important thing is that she has a lovely skin and was perfectly prepped with her Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and it was either Lulu’s Timebomb or Liz’s SuperSkin that morning, which meant her foundation blended beautifully. I used my Doll  10 brush just to ensure even and long lasting coverage, though two minutes in and I heard the words “are you finished yet”. Honestly patience is a beautiful thing!

I curled her hair which was gorgeous but she refused to arrive at the venue in her rollers  to complete the get ready (she can’t be my real mother then!) so it had dropped a little, I think she secretly preferred it and I say again she had to be happy and comfortable.


What made me smile was that she didn’t want to be the centre of attention “all those people will be looking at me” (again I question is she my real mother?!) well she was the centre of attention, and yes we were all looking at her because she looked completely gorgeous in her beautiful dress. The  shoes were a tricky element as don’t forget she broke both her ankles last year (again) and they are more than a little painful at the best of times. The mere fact  she walked down the aisle and then danced back up it after the service was absolutely incredible to watch, this is one of my favourite pictures of her and Arnold, it captured the sheer essence of the day.

My three loved the day, Tom in particular adores an occasion chatting and socialising! He  spent his entire evening on the dancefloor strutting his funky stuff with most of the guests.

Wedding Collage 2

I was so very proud of the children, of how they behaved and how they looked. The boys and Dan of course looked so smart in their suits and Maddie was the perfect bridesmaid in her beautiful dress, I felt really emotional seeing her walking so carefully ahead of her Grannie up the aisle. To say I was thrilled to see that Lindsey our photographer had captured this fantastic one of the five of us (above) was an understatement… I cried! Mind you I did quite a lot of that on the day anyway… luckily I could rely on my Mally, Benefit and Laura Geller to stay the course!

It’s rare to get a “family shot” of the five of us all with eyes open and smiles in all the right places! I should’ve known she would have as she is such a fabulous photographer and makes everyone feel at ease resulting in perfect shots  (she also happens to be one of my bestest friends, visit her site to see more of her work, and if you would like to “like” her Facebook page it would simply showcase her brilliance to other prospective clients! We were lucky we had fine weather for the photographs to be outside, although twas rather cold… many of the guests were from the North so said it was positively balmy for them  though I for one was grateful for my wrap over my sparkly mermaid dress and my Tan Luxe‘d legs!

At Monday at work I showed a couple of the photographs and got a little tearful which prompted the worried question ” You are happy for her aren’t you, you do like the man she has married.”

Happy for her? I’m ecstatic.

Like the man she married? I love him.

It was the most PERFECT day and I wish them the happiest life together.

I hope you have enjoyed sharing our most special of days.

With my love, Claire xx


  1. Sarah Smith March 16, 2016 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Thank you for sharing, what is clear by your fairytale style narration, such a beautiful & perfect moment in your family’s living archive. It’s lovely to experience such a genuine & sincere outpouring of true love, joy & affection, it’s hard not to feel a little emotional myself! Congratulations to your Mummy & Arnold, & much sunshine to all 🙂

  2. Pebbles March 16, 2016 at 7:29 pm -  Reply

    On it was so perfect wasn’t it. You all looking amazing and Maddie was a little princess. I’m so happy it all went so well and yes he does look like a very lovely man xx

  3. Susan March 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm -  Reply

    Aw Claire, such a beautiful blog, so natural and elegant just like you and your gorgeous mum! All of you look totally stunning. Such a beautiful family. I love the location too. Where did they choose? And as for the outfits and! Love them!! You did so well with keeping going with work, looking after your 3 and my word getting up at 3am for the stunning flowers! I take my hat off to you! Fabulous day had by all it seems! Much much deserved. I wish them a lifetime of happiness x

  4. Christine March 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire You all look beautiful. Your mum looks so happy got luck to them both.
    X X

  5. Liz March 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful photos Claire… such a wonderful day for everyone!

    Good luck to the happy couple!

    Liz x

  6. Christine milnes March 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful pictures.

  7. Carole Wilcock March 17, 2016 at 12:59 am -  Reply

    Absolutely WONDERFUL. I am so happy for all your family and in particular for your Mum and her new husband. Second time around is wonderful…..i know. May they both have long, happy and days full of laughter and joy.

  8. Heather McMillan March 17, 2016 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    Claire Thank You for sharing this Lovely day with us , The Bride and Groom are a delight , and Maddie is a real Beauty . Super to see your Family together , those Teens are all Growing so fast ! May the Happy Couple have many years together , and Love to you all xx

  9. Mair Howell March 17, 2016 at 11:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire, thank you for sharing the special day you all looked so relaxed and happy,and Maddie looked a picture,you must be very proud of her and the rest of your family,your mum and Arnold looked very happy,so pleased everything turned out well,and many congratulations to the happy couple.

  10. Sue Dominey March 17, 2016 at 2:19 pm -  Reply

    Well Claire I hope my wedding goes as well as your mums did ,and like her I have a lovely daughter who will make sure it does . I get married the weekend after Easter so that won’t get forgotten . Your table s looked lovely and I know what hard work it is trying to get everything done . And what a lovely family photo which I am sure will take pride of place along with the one of your mum ,you and her granddaughter . And yes your right it is lovely to find love a second time around espaily when you have been on your own a long time . Happy Easter .

  11. Elaine Anelay March 17, 2016 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful to read. Thank you for sharing such a personal family day with us all. X

  12. Louise Donnelly March 17, 2016 at 9:12 pm -  Reply

    Claire. I can guarantee, that you will be over the moon, that your darling mum has been afforded another chance, at both true love, and companionship. My dad passed, in 2002, since which time my wonderful mum, who has always been my best friend, has been alone, through choice. She is 80 years old, and has a more active social life than I do.
    I don’t know how I would feel, if she found a partner. I like to think I would be supportive, and happy that she was happy.
    My mum is, undoubtedly, the most influential lady in my life. I have epilepsy and, throughout the ups and the downs, she has allowed my needs, to take priority over her own. Even now, at my age, she worries about me, more than I do myself.
    I sense that, like I do, you have a close bond with your mum; we are so lucky, as I have friends who do not have any kind of relationship with their’s, other than one of mother and daughter.
    I hope your mum and her love, enjoy each other, in what is, I feel, a misnomer: their ‘twilight years’.
    Take care.

  13. Claire sutton March 18, 2016 at 11:38 am -  Reply

    I’ve just looked and seen all your lovely responses to my blog. Thankyou all so much for such lovely Congratulations and well wishes for Mummy and Arnold…
    It really does warm my heart reading them and I shall pass on your super comments about the photos to Lindsey our photographer , she’ll be thrilled.
    To Carole and Sue, who also know this happiness again.xx .and “Happy Wedding Day” Sue….it’s count down time!!! Nearly time for your special day, I hope it goes beautifully .
    Susan , it was South Lodge in West Sussex and Louise, yes we are very lucky aren’t we…
    To all of you , again Thank you and have a very Happy Weekend!
    Love Claire xxxXxxx

  14. Pam March 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful photos and such a joyful description of a very special day. The flowers were so naturally beautiful. It was lovely to think that happiness can happen in a world that can be very challenging. Magical.

  15. Denise wilkinson March 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Happiness shines throughout your family photographs. Love and best wishes to your Mummy and Arnold and congratulations to all of you. What a wonderful day and thank you for sharing it with us.

  16. Kate Stewart March 18, 2016 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    This brings teas to my eyes. How beautiful this all is. Your mummy is gorgeous and, as others said, still hope for me. You can be proud of your gorgeous family. Here’s to the future for the newlyweds and everyone. Xx

  17. Denise March 18, 2016 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Claire, thank you for letting us have an insight into a very special day for you and your family. You all look amazing and although like you said it was a bit tense it’s plain to see all the hard work paid off. I have a few tears in my own eyes reading it. Your children are certainly growing up fast too.
    Lots of love to you all,
    Denise xx

  18. Angela March 19, 2016 at 11:55 pm -  Reply

    Claire.what a lovely blog. My mum was with my dad for 40 years before he died after being very ill for a long time and after being on her own for 15 years she has found love & happiness again. She said she was happy on her own and didn’t want anyone else. So this relationship came as much as a surprise to her. I have not seen her so happy for what seems like forever. It’s truly lovely to see,and the smile she now has on her face is all I need. It’s never to late for happiness. Love & best wishes.

  19. Teresa Karasavvas March 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    Claire all I can say is wow – what a special occasion and may the Happy Couple be happy for a long time to come

  20. Lin Brereton March 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

    What a fab day and blog! You are right -your mother looked gorgeous and so very happy. Lovely to see you with all your family – they brush up well. So very happy for all of you xx

  21. Claire sutton March 22, 2016 at 11:51 am -  Reply

    Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou!!!
    To you all for your replies and to those of you who have read and not replied ..Thankyou.
    Angela, happy again…isn’t it just simply lovely to witness..and Kate yes, hang on to that hope…
    Lin, Teresa, Denise, Pam…lovely to read your very kind words..and Mummy is also reading them so a lovely thing for her to see too.
    Have a lovely week ladies,
    I’m off celebrating my Birthday , tho after today’s news I’m now very tense…we are due to travel to Bruge…..
    With love Claire xx

  22. Susan Pringle March 22, 2016 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Happy Birthday for Friday.
    Loved reading all about your mum’s wedding. x

  23. Claire sutton March 23, 2016 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

    Susan Thankyou!!!

  24. Ruth March 25, 2016 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    What beautiful photographs and a magical blog. You are always so generous sharing your family life with us all… Your mum & Arnold look so very happy & your family portrait is fab – your children are growing up so fast..
    Hope you have enjoyed a fantastic birthday weekend x

  25. Steven March 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

    You looked lovely Claire as did your Mother. Hope you had a great day on Friday. Take care xx

  26. Claire sutton March 30, 2016 at 8:07 am -  Reply

    Thankyou Ruth, that’s kind of you xx

  27. Claire sutton March 30, 2016 at 8:08 am -  Reply

    Morning Steven, it was fab on way x

  28. Marverine Cole April 14, 2016 at 9:43 am -  Reply

    So lovely to read all about your Mum’s magnificent day, Claire. Both she and your new Dad look dazzling, as did you all. Wishing them both so much luck and love for a wonderful future of happiness together xxx from Marv & Austen x

  29. Lucy Dorling April 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    What stunning photographs Claire, it looked like a wonderful day. So pleased for your Mum and Arnold, may they have a very happy future together. Lots of love to you all xxx

  30. Charmaine April 19, 2016 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    What a wonderful day you all look lovely, your mummy looks so happy, FANTASTIC

  31. Lesley J Boath April 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    I’m so glad your Mum’s day went well, the happiness is evident in you all. The family group of the 5 of you is just perfect. I can’t believe how grown up your children are and you still look the same as you did pre children!
    Love always
    Lesley x

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