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Music-themed Wedding - Lindsay and James

The Chief Bridesmaid Real WeddingThe Engagement

Lindsay and James met while performing in a show at the Edinburgh festival in 2001 and decided in 2005 to go there for a few days in between Christmas and New Year.  After arriving late, getting lost (due to Lindsay's poor map reading skills), falling out, having lunch and making friends…James popped the question, with no ring as he wanted them to choose it together.  The next day they hunted around the shops, finding rings one liked but the other didn’t and vice versa, and eventually found one which they both loved…and was in their small budget!  

The Wedding Theme

As both the bride and groom are performers and lovers of music, they decided the theme would be based around music, with a hint of Scottishness and Yorkshireness – due to the bride's family’s Scottish connections and their mutual pride at being Yorkshire folk! The home-made invitations and stationery all had a musical theme and the Order of Service was like a programme for a theatre show, with information about the ‘Cast’ and ‘Act One’ events, ‘adverts’ etc. The male members of the Bride's family wore clan kilts and they saved money by giving Scottish ‘Murray Mints’ as their favours!  The home-made cake was three drums (the Groom, James is a drummer) stacked on their side with ‘The Sturdy’s’ (their surname) written on the ‘The Beatles’!

The Wedding Venue

James grew up in Leeds, and Lindsay grew up in North Yorkshire so they decided to get married somewhere in between, and found the Parsonage Country House Hotel just south of York to be perfect. They had a civil ceremony and although the room was a bit basic when they saw it, their family helped by decorating it with drapes and all sorts, and with the flowers it looked lovely.  For music, their friend Alison played the harp and during the signing another friend Moya joined her to sing.  The exit music was to a Scottish piper, who they hid from the guests before they went into the ceremony, so it was a big surprise for everyone when he started blasting out a Scottish tune!  Bride and Groom wedding cake

The Wedding Breakfast

The couple chose to have a receiving line into the dining area as this made sure they saw and thanked all of the guests. By way of free entertainment, they ran a music quiz for the adults!

The Wedding party! 

The couple saved money by asking a musical friend Andy to put a swing band together for them, which he did and it worked brilliantly!  The set was for an hour and a half, which got the oldies up onto dancefloor, and then afterwards they switched to a disco (with very specific instructions of what music to play) for the youngsters to dance to. 

Lindsay's top 5 tips for a great day:

Preparation, preparation, preparation: I was ridiculously organised during the planning but it made sure I knew how Bride laughingmuch I’d spent on what, what needed doing, who needed what and where, and made sure everything ran smoothly on the day.  I had lists and spreadsheets coming out of my ears but it was worth it!

The Wedding Dress: Try lots of styles, shapes and designs on.  What I had in my head isn’t what I went for.  I didn’t like my dress that much when I first saw it hanging up but Lisa in the wedding dress shop made me try it on and once it was on, I chose it!!

The Wedding Photographer:  I had an issue with the album as we paid everything upfront, and although she was fab on the day, we hadn’t agreed a date when I would receive the album by…and I didn’t get my album until 2 months after our 1st Anniversary!!  We got a couple of free prints but I wasn’t that excited about seeing the photos, just relieved that we had them which was a real shame.  So make sure you get something in writing and if possible don’t pay the balance on the wedding day! Pay on delivery of the album!The Chief Bridesmaid - Dream wedding day without the debt

Think of the wedding guests: Although it’s your big day, a great wedding needs happy guests.  I thought of them as an ‘audience’, so I tried to choose things to suit every taste, and really thought about the venue.  The ceremony room wasn’t that great but the rest of the hotel was perfect for guests, with the dance floor, bar and tables in one room.  There was a conservatory with softer seats for older guests or for people needing a break from the party.  I felt that this was more important than the ceremony room.  After all, we only spent 30 mins in the ceremony room and I just gazed at James the whole time!

Enjoy all of it:  I enjoyed every single second of getting married, right from deciding the date until, well, until today!  I did get a bit stressed at times but I kept telling myself all that needs to happen is that James turns up, I turn up and the registrar turns up – then we can be husband and wife and start our marriage, and that’s all that matters. 

Click through for Liz and Catherine's civil partnership London wedding or to read the Chief Bridesmaid blog.