Last weekend, on 2nd June my brother Jason got married. We had all been a little bit worried as the weather the previous week had not been good, but when their wedding day arrived, the weather was glorious. Blue skies, sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.
We started the morning with picking up my cousin Derrick from Heathrow (poor Derrick was on the plane overnight from Toronto and only managed 2 hours sleep before we had to set off for the wedding) and a leisurely breakfast.
Suzanne and Peter had been invited by my parents as their guests at the wedding and arrived shortly after to join us. Suzanne helped all of us girls with our hair, and we had great fun trying on different hats to match our outfits once our hair was done.
I had asked a make-up artist Lola to come to do our makeup. She promptly arrived at lunchtime and began her magic on us. We were all transformed!
Here's each of us getting our makeup done.
Mum goes first.
Bonnie half way through her makeover.
I also get a makeover.
This is the finished result. We were absolutely thrilled with the results, and Lola made us all feel relaxed and pampered. I would definitely recommend her to anyone wanting a makeover for their special day!
Bonnie and me.
Mum looking fabulous.
After lunch and our makeovers, we drove down to Syon House. We got there in good time and went to the Great Hall, where the ceremony was taking place. It was a really beautiful setting and they had organised some amazing flowers, which filled the hall with a fabulous scent.
My brother Jason, the best man and the ushers were already there. Shortly after we arrived, Charlotte's family also arrived and we chatted and took photos before the arrival of the bride.
A photo of me and the little girl.
The groom's family.
My cousin and my brothers.
My in-laws with Lauren.
Charlotte arrive just before 4pm, and soon the ceremony was underway. We all finally got a chance to see the dress, and she looked absolutely stunning in it. Everyone was really excited and happy, and the ceremony was beautiful.
During the ceremony of marriage.
At the signing of the register.
The newly weds after the signing of the register.
After the ceremony, we all moved into the courtyard for drinks and photos. It was an opportunity to chat, nibble canapes (well, for some of us at least!) and drink champagne. I was sipping juice, of course!
Lauren and Michelle the bridesmaid.
The happy couple emerge at the drinks reception.
After the photos were done, we were all ushered onto the front lawn and Chinese lion dancers emerged to lead the wedding party down to the Great Conservatory for the reception. It was fabulous, and their dancing was symbolising good luck and long life for the newly weds.
The lion dancers lead the way.
Jason and Charlotte approach the Great Conservatory.
Soon, the dinner reception was in full swing and everyone sat down to eat. I was glad to be finally off my feet, even though my heels were relatively comfortable. Must have been the extra forward weight of the bump!
The top table, with the newly weds, our respective sets of parents, the bridesmaid and the best man.
Lauren and Daddy playing before the food arrives.
The reception in full swing.
At the end of the reception, there was the traditional cutting of the cake followed by the disco at the end of the night. I was really pleased with the wedding cake (which I baked last month; see this related post) which came out really moist and full of flavour. I was really proud of it!
The cake itself on the day. Fortunately, I didn't have to ice it (which can be quite fiddly) - that was done by a professional!
The cutting of the cake.
I had to leave with Lauren and Derrick at the beginning of the disco as both of them were shattered, but my parents, Hubert, Bonnie and Jase stayed to enjoy it right to the end with the happy couple. They all had a great time and fortunately took plenty of photos (and some hilarious video footage of the dancing) for me to see afterwards.
Jason and Charlotte enjoying the disco.
My brother strutting his stuff on the dance floor!
Bonnie, Hube and mum having fun.
The Ashby family: Richard (Charlotte's brother), Mary and Peter (Charlotte's parents).
Charlotte and Julia (Richard's girlfriend) under the bubble machine.
The happy couple enjoying a dance together.
More photos from the wedding can be seen at my Flickr website. I will be uploading a fuller set of photos to my Photobox website for people to purchase if they wish.
All in all, a wonderful wedding in an amazing setting. I am sure that Jason and Charlotte had an unforgettable day and were thrilled with how it all turned out!