Real Life Weddings – Dinosaurs, Haribos and Bubbles

Once upon a time there was a Birthday Girl (Maisie) celebrating her 21st birthday and her Boyfriend – Patrick. Patrick had been doing lots of hinting that an engagement maybe on the cards, but despite this Maisie did not have a clue. Patrick had the perfect proposal planned out in his head at the beauty spot Monsal Head, but the weather thwarted this plans and gave him snow – and lots of it. Plan B was called upon, Chatsworth House was and it was just perfect! In a quiet little spot in the gardens Patrick popped the questions, with a Haribo ring. Maisie said YES and jumped for joy, before the beautiful sparkly real ring non edible ring was placed on her finger.

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“The original idea for the wedding was a rustic feel and we wanted a barn. This was harder to find than we thought until my cousin mentioned Tudor barn in Church Warsop and we loved it. It was used as a village hall and was part as the parish council and was an empty room that could be personalised in so many ways.”

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“We then had to think about the food as this was not provided by Tudor Barn. We had a few ideas but did not want the ordinary 3 course meal so opted for afternoon tea by Darby and Joan which was amazing and served using old china which fit perfectly.”

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“The evening food was also wanted something a bit different and had a few ideas but ended up having stone backed pizzas from Snack, Crackle and Hog and they were the best pizzas I’ve had! They were made and cooked in a stone oven right in front of us. They even let Patrick have a go at making his own pizza which he loved. We had lots of comments on the pizzas and how people thought it was a good idea and the quality was very good.”

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“That was the reception sorted but not the ceremony as we didn’t want a church wedding, we looked at a few places and ended up choosing Mansfield Manor as it’s a lovely building in a lovely park setting. Then a few months after booking they announced that the beautiful band stand in the park had been licenced for ceremonies and I knew our wedding had to be there! It was so lovely and much more relaxed than other weddings.”

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“On the day everyone gathered around the band stand, most of the guests were stood up, it was so personal and relaxed it just set off the day perfectly. One of my bridesmaids Megan read a reading which was a quote from Dr Seuss.”

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“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love”.

“This confused the registrars a little but made the guests laugh as they understand us and know how fitting it was.  My mum and dad also made the sign for the ceremony that said “Choose a seat not a side we are all family once the knot is tied”. And some signs for down the aisle with various sayings and song lyrics that related to me and Patrick which was a surprise when I saw them as I was walking down the aisle.”

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“Our wedding was very much a homemade affair, everyone chipped in. The flowers were grown in my Mum and Dads allotment, and arranged by my Mum (who is a florist), my Maid of Honour and a family friend.”

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“The flower girls wand was made by my Mum with willow from the garden and dried flowers. For the top table we had a teapot and tea cup with flowers in and some teacups planted up with violas (all old china which we sourced from many different places and searched for months to find) and some small crystal vases with flowers in.”

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“My Mum also planted up a bicycle planter, which we bought from a garden centre, using lots of purple, blue, pink and white flowering plants. We also bought and planted up some scented geraniums.”


“We had many crafting nights making invitations, bunting, glittery dinosaurs and decorating jars and bottles. My maid of honour hand wrote the name cards and chalk boards which looked amazing.”

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“My brother and his partner painted a head in the hole board that my dad made and it went down a treat, Ruth also drew and painted the house from up that we used for all guests to add a fingerprint.”

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“We are part of a classic car club and we own a mark 1 golf convertible that was used for the wedding as well as some members of the car club bringing their cars, including a jaguar e-type which my dad got a surprise ride in.”

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“Our evening entertainment was the best man who is a musician and hes amazing! The barn was decorated by us and friends and family.”

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“There were so many personal and unique touches that made the day so special! Our photographer was Mark Walker and he did a fantastic job capturing the day, and also did a dinosaur photo for us which he had never done before!”

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“The table names weren’t numbered instead we decided to use names of current and past pets of both families. The top table was Sheena as she was mine and Patricks first pet as a couple. The table plan was one of Patrick’s contributions and consisted of the names being printed out (as you can see on one of the pictures) and hung on a pallet with twine and pegs.”

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“I had printed off and cut out of card the table names which were then placed into small wooden holder which had been made by a friend. We had chair covers and hessian runners from Kelly at Touch of Charm in Mansfield and there were alternate hessian and purple covered with lace sashes.”

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“Our first dance was a last minute decision as I wanted to do a choreographed dance to something but we never got round to deciding on a song or finding someone that could teach us. So instead the week before the wedding we decided to make a dance up on the spot to lets dance by Chris Montez but sung by Martin as the first song of his set and after a while we got everyone up to dance with us.”

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“The Bridesmaids and my Mum all had their dresses made by a lady in Nottingham at Frock as we wanted 50’s style dressed in purple but couldn’t find any. My bridesmaids, my mum and myself all had irregular choice shoes. I loved them! they’re so quirky just like our wedding was.”

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” It was such a happy relaxed celebration, this is shows in the photos. Patrick and I could not stop smiling all day! Even our photographer commented on how he noticed that the day was such a happy celebration and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

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“I absolutely love dinosaurs and glitter so obviously had to have some glittery silver and purple dinosaurs at the wedding. These were plastic toy dinosaurs that Dad and I painted and covered in glitter. A lot of people a lot did not understand why I would want dinosaurs in our big day and but to me it was a no brainer. I adore dinosaurs, I adore glitter.”

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“The bunting was all hand sewn by me, my mum and my 3 bridesmaids Lottie, Megan and Sarah and Ruth my brother’s partner.  There was a lot of it and it was perfect, I did not want any old bunting and it took a while finding the perfect material to use but it came together beautifully.”

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“My dress was an Ian Stuart dress that I got second hand for a fraction of the price for new and I loved it. I hadn’t tried the style on but knew this was what I wanted, when I got it home it fit so well and did not even need altering. My tiara was given to my when I was 10 by a family friend when they got married. They now have a daughter who is 10, and I gave it back to her on the day of our wedding to continue a lovely tradition”

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“My Bridesmaids hair and mine was styled by Classic Hair and Beauty, my local hairdressers who we also used for my hen night to style our hair.”

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“Patrick knew before we started planning the wedding that he wanted a tweed suit and so he found a harris tweed suit that he loved and wore cord trousers to match, he had a best man but no ushers or grooms men as the wedding was too relaxed and informal for that he felt he only wanted a best man.  However his dad wore a full herringbone suit to look the part and my dad’s suit was a surprise until the day, and he looked great with a bright shirt and tie covered in butterflies! The buttonholed were also made by my mum and she used home dried by her lavender then bought dried wheat, oats, barley and briza which she tied together with twine.”

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“The cake was a present from some friends of ours from the car club. Like a lot of the things in our wedding it was so much better than I expected, I was so pleased with it when I saw it. The cake toppers by Lotty Lollipop were a last minute thing that I had seen and couldn’t miss out on. They were amazing and very fitting finishing the cake off perfectly with the handmade bunting topper I made using scraps from the bunting we had made.”

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“As a surprise on the day my Dad had two banners made up of photos of me and Patrick which were on the stage when we arrived at Tudor barn.”

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“There were also some sunflowers at the wedding as this is what Patrick had wanted so we had to have some!”

“I bought a lot from a local home and Gift Shop called Beau-ti-ful in Mansfield, like the light up M & P, the Mr Right and Mrs Always Right spoons, necklaces and gifts for the bridesmaids and my mum.  The vest tops were designed by Kat and printed by her and her husband who own the shop.”

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“With the help of friends I made the props and frame for the Photo Booth. Which was my camera on a tripod along with instructions of how to put it on timer, which got some fantastic and funny photos!”

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“I  bought colouring books and crayons as favours for the kids and to keep them quiet and entertained which I tied together with twine. The favours for the adults were half slate hearts that I wrote on with chalk paint, handmade soaps that myself and a Bridesmaid had made and handmade candles. All wrapped together lovingly in Hessian with a card luggage tag that I had written on and stamped on using stamps that said “Love” and “Thank You”.

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