Saturday 8th June 2013 was the proudest day of my life and a day I will never forget. This was the day that my eldest son, Jamie, married his long-time girlfriend and fiancée Alice Hawkins.
The day began with me and my wife Sandra collecting Jamie, and his brother and best-man Luke and taking them to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, where the ceremony was to take place. Meanwhile, Alice and her party were assembling at her home in Eastwood preparing for the big day.
The bridal party travelled to the Railway Centre on a vintage London Routemaster bus which made the short journey to the Centre, arriving on time.
After the registrar filled out the relevant paperwork, the ceremony got underway in the Booking Hall. It was a short ceremony at around ten minutes, which was ideal in the confined space of the Booking Hall.
After photos and a short break to view the Wedding Belle train, guests got on board and enjoyed a few runs along the line while the meal and drinks were served. Breaks were included at Swanwick Junction station where guests alighted to stretch their legs and take photos.
The wedding meal was well received and everyone agreed it was an excellent place to get married. The Railway Centre certainly pulled out all the stops to make sure the day went without a hitch and was a success.
With everyone fed, guests returned to the Routemaster to make the journey to Eastwood Town Football Club, where the evening reception was held. Jamie’s old friend Johnny Torr provided the disco entertainment, and guests danced the night away until midnight.
I was surprised at some of the unconventional things that Alice and Jamie had planned for the day, from the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas‘ themed cake to the little gifts given to guests on the train. However, everything went exactly to plan and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves.
It was a perfect day – everything went to plan, the weather was ideal and everyone behaved.