In a blink of an eye it was time to get Jen into her wedding dress. The v neck, fitted gown looked like it had been designed only for her. She looked amazing! Jen's gorgeous sister, Anna, and mum, Geraldine, were was on hand to help out.
The back of the dress had a bow as its centre piece. It proved to be a little troublesome during the tying stage, but that was a theme to be repeated later with the groom!
Over at the couple's home, things were purposeful and busy! Liz, the groom's best woman, was absolutely brilliant at keeping John on task and together (having spent the last week finishing off all the jobs until the early hours of each morning with him). They looked striking in the aubergine wear (socks were funky too)!
Once at the venue Liz made final adjustments to John's buttonhole made from old books and a board game meeple. This man is creative! Even his tie knot was a reference to his love of horror films and one of his favourite bands. It was an Eldridge knot for those of you who like a puzzle.
They were joined by ushers Ross and Alex and ring bearer Paris outside the tasteful, white ceremony room, which used to be a chemistry lab (now avoiding all chemistry/ alchemy jokes).
Whilst the ladies waited upstairs...
Paris was waiting downstairs with a very special ring book - another handmade item, with the couple's vows inside. Simply stunning.
At last it was time for John to see his bride. When asked how he was feeling, John simply replied that he has never been so certain of anything in his life. The love between them was palpable.
The ceremony was heartfelt, but also characteristically funny too. Alex had everyone laughing with his reading (and his animated delivery of it!)...
... whilst Ross delivered his beautifully with the sincerity that the words deserved.
Every phrase had been chosen carefully...
... and the power of words was evident as the couple exchanged rings and vows... ...and a number of us suffered from an odd watering of the eyes (which we put down to residual 100 year old fumes in the air ;-) )
Finally, John and Jen were married, much to the joy of everyone, and kissed in front of John's labour of love book arch.
The newlyweds made their exit in a shower of dried petals, most of which had come from the gardens of their guests.
After a few immediate family shots...
... the wedding party made their way over to the steps of the imposing, gothic Arkwright Building, which was built in the late 1870s.
After a select number of family and friend shots...
... we did sneak the couple away for some photographs in the glorious Autumn colours.
Despite John's spilling of blood from a wedding cake decorating injury the night before, this was no gothic horror; the couple just had a few moments to themselves and we had the privilege of capturing it.
There is no doubting the feelings of these two.
As the leaves fell it was time to go into the warm again. Just inside the doors is an original fireplace, which was apparently much appreciated by DH Lawrence.
The couple re-joined their guests upstairs in the old library for a sumptuous three course meal. The room was decorated with extraordinary game inspired vases with crafted paper flowers, library cards, homemade beer and so much more. The wedding cake was tiers of various flavours in a book design.
The couple were toasted, many times, with home-made elderflower champagne. Apart from being (apparently) delicious, it also helped all of the guests get in the right frame of mind to join in with the requested heart shaped group photograph underneath the glass ceiling with its pencil beams!
As the evening progressed, many of the guests connected with friends and made new acquaintances as they played various board games...
...or danced the night away.
The end to a gloriously emotional day and the start of a new phase of life. Congratulations to you both. True soulmates.
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Emily Bronte