#2 Elliot Gets Married

Elliot proposed to Tom after they had been dating only a year.  Swift one might think but I think Elliot knew pretty early on that Tom was going to be the one.   Tom, being a teacher, wanted the wedding to be in the school holidays.  Makes perfect sense as he also taught Saturdays!

When Tom and Elliot were planning their wedding I was living at Elliot’s so I was often involved in wedding planning chat.  They came up with some frankly bonkers ideas.  I was constantly saying to them ‘just keep in mind the guest experience’.  There is little point organising a day that will cost you a substantial amount of money and invite your nearest and dearest to then have them stood in the cold with no refreshments for most of the day.  My constant reminding of the ‘guest experience’ earned me the role of Director of Guest Experience/Chief Usher.  Let’s be realistic, there are few roles that are more important in the wedding party!

When planning your wedding do keep the guests at the forefront of your mind.  You might want to have a wedding on a private island in the Caribbean but can your guests afford to get there?  You might want to get married on Christmas Day but will your guests want to come along?  You might want to do a photo shoot in your wedding finery on the beach near the venue but your guests might not want to entertain themselves for two hours.  You might want an outfit change between day and night but do your guests really want to spend the day changing their clobber.

Enough of my obsession with the guest expereince, and back to Tom and Elliot’s wedding.

Elliot and Tom are a christian couple but were unable to marry in a church.  They had a small civil service for family at the venue in the morning and then a blessing in the afternoon which had hymns, readings, and a blessing from a vicar.  It felt very much like a traditional church wedding especially as there is part of Elmore Court that feels a bit churchy.

Do check what you can and can’t do in a civil ceremony before you get married.  There are certain songs and readings that will not be allowed.

Elliot and Tom pondered for sometime as to where they would get married.  Should it be in London, Warwickshire (where Elliot grew up) or Gloucestershire (where Tom’s family live).  London was soon ruled out when the cost of the day became realised.  It was then a case of finding the venue that best suited them as a couple.  Elliot hates a marquee so it needed to be somewhere that could fit in all the guests without the need for a tent. Elmore Court has a great space that has been built specifically for weddings and parties.  The people who own Elmore Court also run the Secret Garden Party festival so they had a great attitude to making the day happen as Elliot and Tom wanted.  They weren’t rigid in their approach which was great and allowed them to get their perfect day.

There are a number of rooms at Elmore Court so the wedding party plus close friends stayed over.  This meant the party didn’t end until the very small hours for some of us.  I did think I might not recover from the hangover after Elliot and Tom’s.  It wasn’t the funnest trip back home!

Tom and Elliot relied heavily on their wedding party to help deliver a really great day.  Don’t shy away from giving tasks to your best man, ushers and bridesmaids.  It is what they are there for.  You should be enjoying the day but make sure you have someone who can be the point person for the venue and guests during the day.  This will save you so much stress and guarantee that you get what you want.

Do talk though your ideas with you bridesmaids or ushers.  They might be able to save you a lot of hassle and money by bringing a reality to what you’re planning.  Tom and Elliot had some crackers ideas at times and I really did despair.  Sometimes you need a party pooper who will point out you are wasting money and it will have no impact on the day.

Tom and Elliot kept the guests at the forefront of their mind when planning this wedding and it really paid off. The couple had a brilliant day and the guests loved every moment of it.

Tom and Elliot’s wedding has also been great inspiration for some of my comedy.  Take a peek at my take on their day.

Sarah Southern