Rachel's Wedding Part Four- The Party
Posted on November 06 2019
Whenever I meet brides who are getting really stressed or nervous about their wedding I remind them that the main thing is that you’re marrying your best friend, and aside from that it’s basically just a massive party in one amazing frock. So it’s pretty fitting that this is exactly what our wedding was (and it was!)- one massive big old party!
Now I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a musician- about ten years ago he set up his band, The London Essentials. They play all over the world and have played some incredible gigs from Princess Eugenie's wedding to singing with George Clooney on Lake Como and playing with Oprah. So we were pretty spoilt to have them in our back garden! People always ask me what kind of music they play, and it’s quite difficult to put into words in all honesty. Because it’s not just about the music- it’s way more than that. Whilst they’re all incredible musicians and singers, it’s all about the performance and they really do bring the fun to any event!
Did Somebody Say Music?
So picture the scene, you’ve enjoyed the speeches and some food and you’ve had a few drinks…when five guys suddenly appear at your table singing to you and playing- two guitars, one double bass, one drummer and a sax! And boy do they sing to you- anything from Frank Sinatra to Beyonce, Elvis to Dirty Dancing- and if you’re really lucky they’ll end up sitting on your knee or standing on your table whilst they do!
At our wedding we had pretty much twice the usual dosage of London Essentials, with ten of them playing at the same time rather than the usual five (Ben couldn’t resist getting involved of course- see below, singing Bohemian Rhapsody's "Mama, just killed a man..." to his mum). Combine that with a cosy marquee bursting with friends and family and a steady stream of drinks and it’s only going one way...
What was so lovely was that, with a garden full of musicians everyone just got stuck in and somewhere along the way Ben's dad got involved as well as good mate Freddie!
We’d planned a cocktail bar for the evening, serving passion fruit mojitos, whiskey sours and espresso martinis..but let’s just say the ‘evening’ started early! Our friend Chris manned the bar and did an absolutely incredible job- that man can make a mean cocktail!
I think it’s safe to say that by the time The London Essentials had finished their sets the whole marquee was bursting with the party vibe and that’s the way it stayed! What I loved most of all was that wherever I looked people were all mixed up and loving it- there were no separate groups. I’d look one way and my nephew would be dancing with someone from my work; another and a friend from uni’s dancing with one of the band.
Before our evening band I made a speech. I’d always intended to but as the weeks disappeared in the run up to the wedding I decided to leave it out of the Order of Service at the last minute. It had been super busy at work (did I mention we moved premises the weekend before the wedding?!), and having no one’s expectation really took the pressure off and meant I didn’t get nervous about it. If you’re not sure I’d recommend keeping it casual, then if you feel like it on the day you can make a speech but there’s no big build up and if you really don’t fancy it you don’t have to. As it was I’m really glad I did- I hadn’t scripted anything, but standing there in the marquee, looking out onto all the people I love was enough to inspire me, and it was so good to be able to thank my amazing family for everything, friends too and of course my new husband.
The First Dance
Our evening band were the incredible Jazzbomb, who I can’t recommend enough, they were awesome. A fantastic mix of classics and modern hits all performed in a funky jazz style, they got everyone dancing- young and old- brought so much energy, and really kept the party going.
To start they performed our first dance song, The Nearness of You, perfectly. It took us a while to choose, but it’s a beautiful song. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong sang a gorgeous version, who our cats Ella and Louis are actually named after (I mean, of course- I married a jazz musician, what else would they be called?!).
Dancing and Pizza
The rest of the night was an absolute scream, with dancing to Jazzbomb at one end of the garden, and cocktails and conversation at the bar at the other. Everywhere I looked people were dancing, chatting, drinking and just generally having a great time. A bit later on our amazing caterers, Sticky Fig Catering were back, having set up their awesome pizza van on the front drive. Everyone loved a bit of late night pizza, including some local passers by who were only too pleased to join in on their Saturday night walk home from the pub!
The Morning After
We hosted a really lovely, chilled Hangover Brunch the next morning for those who could make it (sore heads anyone?). Sticky Fig put on a gorgeous spread of granola, fruit and yogurt, fresh coffee and much needed sausage baps (including veggie ones, obvs). We actually ended up cutting the cake then too, as it had totally slipped our mind the day before but this was just perfect as everyone enjoyed it all the more I think!
The final guests left just after lunch then we just had enough time (and I mean, just- thanks to my folks, my aunt, uncle and Margaret for their superstar help!) to clean up, before our taxi arrived just before 4pm to whisk us off to Heathrow and the Maldives for our much needed honeymoon of dreams!
That’s it for now
This is the final instalment of my wedding series. I’ve so enjoyed putting it together and reliving all the memories of a truly magical weekend. Thanks so much for all the lovely messages you’ve been sending me, it really means a lot. I’d love to hear more of your stories too, and if there’s anything you’d like us to cover in the blog you know what to do- drop me an email or message us on social :)
Suits: Clements & Church
Catering: Sticky Fig Catering