Mr & Mrs Hodkinson

I’ve been lucky enough over the past 3 years to attend five wonderful weddings of various friends and family. Slowly but surely some of my best friends have started tying the knot, and the latest lucky couple were Katie and Tom who had a beautifully sunny September day for their wedding at home in Devon.

The day before, Adam and I had both taken the day off to help set up, which really is one of my favourite stages when your close friends get married. The anticipation lingers in the air all day and excitement slowly builds as months (and quite probably years) of dreams, plans and Pinterest pins start becoming a reality. Katie and Tom were to have their reception in the stunning house and garden at Mill House Retreat in Westleigh, Devon (which they’d been given special permission to use as it isn’t usually advertised as a wedding venue!).mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-25mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-14mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-20mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-24mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-21mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-12mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-23We spent the morning making up some fancy salads to accompany the BBQ Katie’s dad was preparing for lunch and a banoffee pie or two for afterwards, then headed the mile or so down the road from my house to the venue (ironically I actually live closer to it than either the bride or groom!)

Once in the marquee there was plenty to be done – tables to be laid, sweetie jars to be filled, bars to be prepared. Alongside the bunting and fairy lights, we were also filling an assortment of country garden flowers in all our jam jars that Katie, Kate, Rach and I had made one crafty afternoon a few weeks earlier. The day was a little rainy, but a lot of fun and between those present, we managed to get it all ready in reasonable order and calm (probably helped by the fact that the groom and ushers only rocked up at lunch time and spent the afternoon playing croquet!)mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-11mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-19mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-10mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-16mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-22On the morning of the wedding we cooked up a big fry up for Will, Kate, Adam and I to set us up for the day ahead, got ready in a flurry and luckily the sun had appeared and the day was set to be beautiful. I managed to get a few quick snaps of the church as people were arriving and somehow suppressed my nerves about doing the reading, which thankfully I didn’t actually muck up!

After an emotional service and a quick nip home to change cars, collect the gifts and sip on a cheeky G&T, we all headed off to the reception to be greeted by a cheery crowd, plenty of Pimms and a well received cone of local ice cream whilst the Bridal party headed off for photos in the gardens. I managed to sneak into the marquee before the crowds and take in how beautiful it all looked now the caterer had laid out the tablecloths and the cake was proudly in wedding breakfast was a raucous mix of chatting, laughter and an incredible afternoon tea, with some great speeches and lots and lots of wine (which continued into the evening as the caterers started to clear the tables, we sneakily got our hands on a few half empty bottles to keep us going!mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-15mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-8mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-26mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-7mr-and-mrs-hodkinson-5With too many selfies in the photobooth that Kate had made out of leftovers of her lovely homemade bunting, a whole load of hog roast and lots of dancing, we were lucky enough to catch a quiet moment with just our four girls to take a breather and tie up the brides bustle. Before we knew it, it was time for Mr & Mrs Hodkinson to leave and all the guests formed a huge long archway all the way to their taxi, whilst I ran along backwards in front of them filming the whole was tradition after nights out and parties when we were younger, Rach, Pete, Kate, Will, Adam and I all sat around the kitchen table once we were home and munched on toast and tea, reminiscing about the hours previous. A perfect end to a fantastic day of celebration with my best