Weddings in August

It’s been a busy few weeks with weddings, so it’s time to catch up on our most recent couples.

Variety is the spice of life again, as no two weddings are ever the same, and these weddings vary by where they are, the type of venue, the wedding theme, and of course the couples themselves!

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The first of them was back to our most popular venue, Hazel Gap Barn, Bushby, the furthest north we went, and it was for the wedding of  the lovely Lucy and Luke. They were getting married and having their reception at Hazel Gap, so we were hired just to take the Bridal party to the venue. There were nine of them altogether, and quite a few bags and a baby buggy, so it needed three journeys from the nearby Hotel where they were staying.

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It was just eight minutes away, so it took around 50 minutes to get them all there, and as there’s a Bridal suite at the venue, the Bridal party could wait out of sight until the Bride herself, and her Dad arrived. Because we didn’t have to wait until after the ceremony, we didn’t get to meet Luke.

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Our next lovely couple were Alicia & Sam, and their wedding was right on our doorstep! Theirs was a Church wedding at All Saint’s Church, Sawley, which is just a couple of miles from where we live, and it has a wonderful tree lined drive leading to it, and many times I’ve driven by there and thought how lovely it would be to be hired for a wedding there! Their ribbon colour was navy which always looks good on Betty.

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Their reception was at Breadsall Priory, which has the distinction of being the oldest building in the whole of the global Marriott Hotel chain! There was a frisson of excitement when we arrived as the Leeds United football team were staying there prior to their match with Derby, and their team coach was out of this World! We think Alicia was hoping for a selfie or two with some players!

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Three weddings in three days followed, and it was the first time we’d done that. It’s not hard work, it just takes a bit of organising to make sure all of the different requirements are met. And of course, it’s important to give each one the special attention it deserves.

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First up were the lovely Katie & Stuart, and their wedding was all taking place in Derby. We collected the Bridal party from the Midland Hotel by the station, and took them to Royal Oak House, just five minutes away. We had to wait up a while as several of the guests were still not inside, but a bit of friendly cajoling got them moving, while the Bride was kept out of sight.

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They all looked fabulous with a colour scheme of blush pink and grey, and Betty’s ribbons were matching and again they looked good on her. One of the main Taxi ranks in Derby is right by Royal Oak House, so there were lots of ‘Bettys’ around as they were waiting for fares. This was the life Betty knew for 15 years before she came to us from London.

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It was just a short drive again to The Venue, which funnily enough was the venue for their reception!


 

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The second of the three couples, was Lisa & Rob, who got married at Loughborough Register Office, and we were hired to make two journeys there, first with the Bride’s Mother and Daughter, and then the Bride and her Father. There were two unusual features to this booking – firstly, Betty was a surprise for the couple on the day, as she was booked without their knowledge, (fortunately they approved) and secondly, the theme for the Groom and Groomsmen, was Peaky Blinders, after the TV series, and they all dressed appropriately.

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Their reception was just a short drive away at the Ramada Hotel, but we took them for a drive around in Betty while they enjoyed their surprise glass of bubbly! We’d been asked to provide personalised ribbons, and we had them done in the font used on the Peaky Blinders logo as an extra little touch.


 

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The final wedding of the three, was of the lovely Danielle & Glynn. We were back down in Leicestershire, as they were to be married at Quorn Grange Hotel, Quorn, which was our most southerly point in this group of weddings. When we left home, it was raining and that continued most of the way down, but fortunately it had mostly stopped by the time we had to pick them up.

Our role was to take the Bride to the Hotel from Coalville, which was a lovely cross country route in a part of the world that we love. The colour theme for the ribbons was purple and these too were personalised with the couple’s names and the date of the wedding.

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Unusually for a single venue wedding, we got to see Glynn, as we were asked to wait until after the ceremony so the couple could have some photos with Betty, We found this lovely spot in the gardens at the Hotel which gave us some pretty good photos, so I’m sure their own photographer will have some great ones!

Five more weddings completed, with five more couple starting their married lives together, and five more lots of memories for us.

We thank them all for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their special day.

To find out more about our services, please visit here

The day I nearly robbed a Bank!

Well, our first wedding has come and gone and it was a great experience! The Bride and Groom, Carla and Ryan, looked fabulous and Betty played her part in the proceedings.

 

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Photo courtesy of David Hector Photos

Being involved in someone else’s wedding was as good as I thought it would be, and our role was to get the Groom and his party to the wedding venue on time. The journey from the pick up point to the venue was about 20 minutes, so as wedding suppliers’ tasks go, it was pretty straightforward.

However, I was suddenly aware of how important our various services are, and the responsibility we all have, to play our part in making this the best day of the Bride and Groom’s lives! And it’s no little responsibility in truth, because screwing up is not an option!

The realisation of this, took me back several decades to another time when I was driving another vehicle with a very important cargo, and I have to say I nearly screwed up! To be exact, I did screw up, but managed to resolve the situation.

I was 18 or 19 years old and had just returned to live in the Cotswold village where I’d grown up, and was working in the office of the local builder. One of their projects at the time, was converting a building in a nearby village into a Bank, to replace the old and no longer suitable building.

When the conversion was finished, the Builder asked me if I’d like to do a little driving job on the coming Saturday morning, which considering I’d get paid for it, I readily agreed to. It turned out that the little driving job was to move all of the Bank’s cash deposits from the old Bank to the new one! I’ve no idea how much it was but at a time before debit cards and electronic transfers, it must have been a lot!

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I’ve learned in recent years, from the son of the Policeman in charge of the operation, that the whole process was to be kept as quiet and as low key as possible, which was why a humble builder’s van and not a secure armoured vehicle was being used. I’ve also since heard from someone who was working at the Bank at the time, that most of the staff were unaware of the process beforehand.

I duly turned up at the old Bank at  the appointed time, and there were very few people around, just enough to load the cash boxes into my van. There was a police car sitting in a nearby street keeping watch, but nothing really to indicate what we were up to.

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Now readers, it came time for my starring role! A plain clothed Policeman got in the van beside me and indicated it was time to move off and that the police car would follow. The ‘journey’ was all of 200 yards from the old Bank to the new one, so not a lot of time for things to go wrong, you’d think! I knew where the Bank was and exactly where I had to pull up, but for some reason, my brain must have disengaged because I just drove straight past the Bank  and was heading who knows where! I really, really wasn’t doing a runner with the spoils, I was just a half soaked teenager, probably with thoughts on the evening’s trip to Cheltenham and the usual night at the Pictures! I could sense a slight unease in the seat next to me, and then a sharp retort of ‘it was back there!’ Somewhat embarrassed, I stopped, turned the van around and slunk back to where I should have been! I think it was a good job it happened in a different era, as I’m sure reactions would be slightly different nowadays!

In light of this, I think I did quite well to get the Groom and co to the wedding without mishap, don’t you?

UPDATE – April 2017

I’ve recently heard that this rural Branch is set to close. Should I offer my services again?

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Rites of Passage!

Weddings, funerals and other memories!

There comes a time when you only meet some people you know at funerals!

slaughter2A couple of days ago, I travelled back to the very pretty Cotswold village where I was born and grew up, and to the Church where I’d been Christened and attended Sunday School; where my Siblings got married, and where my parents are buried. The visit was for the funeral of one of the old villagers, and by that I just don’t mean his age, but that he was one of the people living in the village when I was born.

At that time the very small village was a mix of Gentry, Professionals and working people. We all lived alongside each other but this being England, we mixed mostly with people from our own social group. A lot of the cottages were ‘tied’ to the Manor, which was where many of the villagers worked. The ‘old villagers’ number about three families now, and the rest of the residents are retirees and weekenders who bought the cottages as the Manor estate was broken up.

slaughter4So I’d known Malcolm, the old villager, and his family all of my life, and his children were my friends and playmates, and we learnt our life experiences together, with all that that entails! Over the years we’d gone our separate ways to live our own lives and contact had dwindled to next to nothing. The last time I’d seen any of them was at the wedding of one of his daughters, getting on for 30 years ago.

Yesterday though, was a day when we all met and remembered Malcolm and reminisced about old times. There were several other ‘old villagers’ there too, although they’d long been elbowed out of the village by the ‘newcomers’ – some of whom it must be said, have lived there themselves for several decades now and would bristle at being referred to in that way, but that’s just how it is!

It was during this reminiscing that I shared with the family, a strong memory I have of Malcolm. It was from that daughter’s wedding many years ago. Malcolm, was a good, honest, proper working man, just like many in the village, including my Dad. He had no pretensions,  he liked his pub and darts, and a small flutter on the horses at Cheltenham races.

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At the wedding, it came the time for the Father of the Bride speech, and I doubt if Malcolm had ever spoken in public before. It’s well known that the fear of public speaking is right up there for many of us, so we were all probably expecting a nervous, stilted, and uncomfortable performance, but what we got was a total revelation – a Tour de Force!

He stood up without any notes, collected his thoughts as if thinking ‘now what shall I say’, and without a hint of nerves, just spoke from the heart and with great spontaneous humour. It was an unforgettable performance, had us all laughing, and still ticked all the boxes. It was a speech that any professional speaker or stand-up comedian would have been proud of. I’ve been to countless weddings since, and nothing has ever come near it!

It’s not a bad thing to be remembered for, is it?

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