Mon 14th Nov, 2011
Today I'm so pleased to be able to share Cora and Reuben's wedding with you. And rather unusually but something I'm pretty excited about, is that this time the story is told by Reuben, the groom! You just must read it. It's the most brilliant and humorous account of their engagement...
Cora and Reuben first met each other in a bar with two groups of mutual friends. Both were in relationships with other people at the time. However, some months passed by at which point both were single again, and they started dating. Reuben continues the story... "Things seemed to be going well when one night we were in a pub (not that we always met in drinking dens) & Cora announced to me that she was moving to San Francisco forever!
So thinking that was it, when Cora moved, we parted company but always kept in touch, though the time difference did make it awkward at times. I decided to visit Cora (well why not – free accommodation and all) in San Francisco and together we had a great time. During this trip Cora announced she was going to return to London – though she made it very clear it was because she missed London and was nothing to do with me!!!!
Roll forward several years of flat sharing and house purchasing and one night I decided to take Cora to a lovely plush hotel to pop ‘the question’.
We had a lovely day in Brighton and although I kept on looking in various Jewellers’ windows at engagement rings Cora walked blissfully ahead (probably thinking about Champagne and chips on the pier).
After dinner that night we retired to the lounge where while drinking mint tea (it was a very large dinner – though I admit maybe not the drink of choice for such a moment) I sort of slipped off the sofa, pulled a £5 plastic ring bought from Claire’s accessories from my pocket and asked the love of my life, the lady that so nearly got away more than once whether she would do me the greatest pleasure and marry me.
Now at these times its always a bit nervous for us gentlemen – has he read the signals, what will she say, will she like the ring (well obviously not in my case), has he impressed her enough, WHAT WILL SHE SAY – well let’s just say that not in my wildest dreams did I expect the response that I received. I won’t repeat it but let’s just say it rhymes with ‘Duck off’.
A few moments later, after some clarification that went along the lines of... “Of course I mean it, we are in a beautiful hotel, have spent a wonderful day together and now I am on bended knee with a ring in my hand asking THE question– do you think I do this just for a joke?”
At this Cora said “yes” (Phew - thinks I) and started to phone her mother.
Apparently despite moving half way around the world for me, sorry London, living together for a few years, buying a house together, spending the day looking at ENGAGEMENT rings and being on bended knee in a glorious hotel it all came as a bit of a surprise to my darling Cora."
A big thank you goes to Stuart Cooper from Cooper photography for introducing me to Cora and Reuben. "Choosing the photographer was fun. I remember we were both feeling a little under the weather after a night of drinking wine while being served by the “World sommelier of the year”. We met Stuart in Hotel Terravina and after getting some tea he got out the big guns. His best and most beautiful albums! Needless to say we were totally smitten, and then he got out the price list.... slightly less smitten now! We did look at other photographers, but we just simply could not get past the quality and finish of the work that Stuart had shown us, in addition to his sparkling personality and how comfortable we felt with him, so that was the photographer booked."
Cora and Reuben were married at Breamore Church, near Fordingbridge, Hampshire. followed by their reception at Rhinefield House, in Brockenhurst.
Cora tells me how she found her perfect dress... "I first saw ‘the one’ at a wedding event in Jo Malone and thought ‘WOW! I wish I could wear a dress like that’. I fell in love with it immediately but didn't give it much thought as in the back of my mind I thought that it was more of a red carpet dress than a wedding dress. But as I was due to visit Ireland soon after, I arranged an appointment with a retailer who carries the Jenny Packham range. Joy was the first dress I tried on and I don’t think there was ever any going back after that. I was a little concerned what my Mum would think when I was putting it on as it’s not your typical traditional wedding dress. But it turns out that a couple of months beforehand, she saw it herself in a magazine and also thought ‘Wow!’ and she was the one thinking I would want more of a traditional dress. I did try on several dresses following this first visit but nothing compared to Joy. After about 4 months I arranged an appointment at the Jenny Packham shop in London and brought my Mum and a friend along. My Mum and I both were in tears when I tried on the Joy dress again and my friend immediately declared ‘that’s the dress’…. That was the dress sorted and then we had to convince my brothers, who were giving me away on the special day, to wear skirts, sorry kilts. They were both good sports and looked extremely dashing on the day."
Cora remembers her favourite moments...
"The whole week leading up to the wedding as we spent it with close friends and family who had to travel from afar, in the New Forest and we had such beautiful weather in October.
Getting ready that morning of the wedding with my Mum and 2 best bridesmaids. We were so at ease with our make up and hairdresser that it felt like a mini party.
Walking up the aisle with my 2 brothers…I felt so proud to be in between them and knew my Dad was looking down as proud as punch of us all,
Seeing Reuben in a kilt for the first time. He looked so handsome.
Saying 'I do' to Reuben….it was surreal how relaxed I was standing in the front of all our friends and family (and I hate being the centre of attention) and looking into Reuben’s eyes and giggling all the time throughout the ceremony.
My Mum’s speech… she was so nervous beforehand about standing in for Dad but she certainly did us proud and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Even my friends who hadn't yet met my Mum before kept coming up to me afterwards saying how wonderful her speech was. She is an amazing woman.
Just the complete fun of the day…it was fantastic"
Reuben’s favourite moments...
"Cora’s brothers and I plus my Groom’s party all stayed together the night before along with a few respective wives. I do remember the five of us standing in a line with my brother and me demonstrating how to get dressed. Well it’s not often most men wear a kilt.
Standing at the front of the church, having a small sip from my hip flask and just taking a moment to myself. I could hear everyone whispering, some with expectation about Cora, some giggling at me having a sneaky dram, all clearly enjoying the moment.
Turning round to see Cora enter the church, I remember the light sparkling off her dress, her hair, from everywhere. She truly was like an angel with a long flowing dress & a glow all around her.
Our mums each lighting a candle in remembrance of our dads, neither of whom could be with us in person, but both of whom were watching over us.
My speech. Now I am not bad a throwing a few words together, nor am I overly nervous at standing up and saying a few words to a group. But I had to deliver a speech sandwiched between Cora’s mother who regularly gives presentations and my best man who is a former journalist and professional speech writer – I am pleased to say it went well, but I was glad I had a chair to lean on every now and again.
The Ceilidh band. This was the one thing that I really wanted at my wedding. I lost the discussion on church bells peeling, I lost out on wedding car & didn't even bother raising a few other points as I know my place & that its Cora’s day. Anyway we got a band, but they could only play for an hour as after that we would have music “that everyone wanted”. Needless to say the band played all night; everyone was up dancing and generally having an absolute ball, including my beautiful darling wife. Hold on to that moment I said to myself, it may be the last time you get one over your new wife!"
Supplier info (UK):
Dress: Jenny Packham
Flowers: Little Lillies
Photographer: Cooper Photography
Caterers: Rhinefield House Hotel
Bridesmaids dresses: Jasmine Bridal
Groom’s suit: Kilt from Jakes
Transport: Premier Carriage
Cake: Linzi’s of Lymington
Make up: Holly Belm
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