The wedding of Suzanna Bell and Steve Mitchell – 10th November 2012

We were privileged to be among the guests present in Folkestone for the wedding of Suzanna (Suz) and Steve.

With Sarah’s parents kindly agreeing to look after the girls for a night, we left for Kent, having dropped them off at around 9.30am to allow plenty of time for traffic and delays.

We made good time and were able to stop for a brief coffee on the way down.

Once we arrived in Folkestone, we spent around 30 minutes driving around trying to hunt down the elusive St Peter’s Church.  Eventually we arrived and were greeted by Steve who seemed as calm as ever.

Steve greeting some of the guests

Steve greeting some of the guests

Thinking about what lies ahead

Thinking about what lies ahead

St Peter’s ‘maintain the catholic tradition within the church of England’ and there were many associated statues etc located within the stone church.  One thing which did seem to be lacking in the church, was any form of heating.  Given the rain falling and chilly November day outside, the warmth of the welcome was a little half-hearted and many of those gathered chose to keep their coats and scarves on during the service.

James and Steve

James and Steve

One thing immediately evident from the service was how personal it was for both the bride and groom.  A number of their friends helped out with readings, prayers or playing in the band.  All of this combined to make the day even more special and memorable for the happy couple.

The band for the service

The band for the service

Suz arriving with her dad

Suz arriving with her dad

Heading up the aisle

Heading up the aisle

Best Man duties were ably carried out by James Jury who remembered to produce the rings at the correct moment.

The presiding vicar, Rev John Leach, was a man possessing a dry sense of humour.  Before the service began he implored the congregation to ‘Please, please, please remember to turn your mobile phones…back on, after the service.’  Once the actual wedding ceremony was complete he announced that the couple could now ‘update their Facebook statuses’!

The service itself followed a largely Anglican pattern but was broken up with a number of modern worship songs – all led by the band.  The service began with Before the throne of God above, after which the wedding ceremony took place.

Exchanging vows

Exchanging vows

Lighting candles

Lighting candles

The 'first kiss'

The ‘first kiss’

After the exchange of rings, the congregation sang I surrender and Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons) before two readings from Ephesians 5:21-32 and Romans 12:1-2 and 9-13.

Following the readings, Owen Hylton, Pastor from Beacon Church in Brixton came up to deliver a short message on marriage using his wallet, mobile and keys to indicate the various costs of money, time and possessions that marriage takes up.  He also brought out the couple’s personal Christian faith.

More singing followed, this time with This is My Desire, after which three of Steve and Suz’s friends came up to pray for them.

The final song was This is our God after which the Signing of the Registers took place.  During the short break the band sung Take That’s Shine and Liam Gallagher’s Songbird, before the the wedded couple appeared and the service was over.

Steve and Suz coming down the aisle

Steve and Suz coming down the aisle

The Order of Service was particularly imaginative and was bookended with emails exchanged between Steve and Suz, following their successful first meeting.  The rest is history.

Following a few photos in the church, we all adjourned to the Burlington Hotel for the reception.

We had arranged to stay overnight at the Burlington and took the opportunity to check in when we arrived.

Sarah in our room at the Burlington Hotel

Sarah in our room at the Burlington Hotel

After leaving our luggage in our room, we made our way to the reception and enjoyed a pre-dinner drink and catching up with some of the few people who we knew at the wedding.

Before long, the wedding reception was under way and we were ushered past the receiving line of parents and the bride and groom and into a long room with the top table set out halfway down one side.

The 'top table'

The ‘top table’

The welcoming line

The receiving line

Each guest had a framed photo in their place on the table which made a unique gift.  My photo was of Danny Glover – but that’s a different story!

I was asked to take a few photos of people’s reactions as they looked at their photos for the first time.

Enjoying a close look

Enjoying a close look

One of the photos

One of the photos

Pointing out a familiar face

Pointing out a familiar face

Admiring their photo

Admiring their photo

Steve's dad working the room

Steve’s dad working the room

Each table also had a quiz on with questions asking whether the bride or groom had done various madcap things during their lives – judging by the list of items, it seemed that the couple were very well suited for each other.

We settled down and before long enjoyed our wedding breakfast which consisted of vegetable soup followed by chicken and finished with a delicious lemon tart.

The happy couple posing between courses

The happy couple posing between courses

Lemon tart

Lemon tart

Steve chatting to guests before the speeches

Steve chatting to guests before the speeches

After dinner came the speeches.  Suz’s dad gave an occasionally emotional potted history of  his daughter’s life so far including mention of his other children.

Addressing the masses

Addressing the masses

Steve enjoying his father-in-law's speech

Steve enjoying his father-in-law’s speech

Suz's dad delivering his speech

Suz’s dad delivering his speech

James then called upon the groom to say a few words.

In a typically amusing and at times surreal speech, Steve talked about his own upbringing into a Christian family and spoke of how important their personal faith was to couple.  He talked of his love for his wife and how excited he was for them to be sharing the future together.  He also thanked a huge number of people who had efforts behind the scenes to make the day as memorable and successful as it had been before emotionally talking about how proud he was that James, his Best Man, had chosen to name his son ‘Mitchell’ after Steve and his family.

Steve

Steve

Some heartfelt words for his new wife

Some heartfelt words for his new wife

Another funny moment in Steve's speech

Another funny moment in Steve’s speech

Jonnie Mitchell

Jonnie Mitchell

Emotions running high

Emotions running high

James had a tricky act to follow and chose to do so by producing a folder of images which he used to back up a number of amusing tales which he regaled about the bride and groom.

James delivering the Best Man's speech

James delivering the Best Man’s speech

Steve wearing a lady's wetsuit

Steve wearing a lady’s wetsuit

James with a photo of Suz

James with a photo of Suz

After the speeches came the cutting of the cake and the happy couple posed beside the impressive structure for some time before taking the plunge with the large knife provided.

The wedding cake

The wedding cake

The happiest man in the room, with his wife

The happiest man in the room, with his wife

Smiling for the cameras

Smiling for the cameras

Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake

Formalities completed

Formalities completed

Before long, the formalities were over and tables were cleared and moved in order to make way for the hotel disco.

Steve and Suz took to the dance-floor to the strains of Beyonce’s ‘At last‘ and performed a surprisingly impressive array of moves.

Taking to the dance-floor

Taking to the dance-floor

Gazing into each other's eyes

Gazing into each other’s eyes

Mid dance

Mid dance

The grand finale

The grand finale

Steve with his parents, Trevor and Elaine

Steve with his parents, Trevor and Elaine

The disco continued into the night as a very enjoyable and successful day drew to a close.

Tea-lights

Tea-lights

The disco in full swing

The disco in full swing

Dancing into the night

Dancing into the night

In the morning, we enjoyed a tasty full-English breakfast at the hotel, before having a walk along the seafront as the sun emerged from behind the clouds.

Sarah enjoying a morning cup of tea in bed

Sarah enjoying a morning cup of tea in bed

The Burlington Hotel,

The Burlington Hotel, Folkestone

First glimpse of the sun

First glimpse of the sun

Sunshine over the sea

Sunshine over the sea

Clouds dispersing

Clouds dispersing

Sarah on the sea front

Sarah on the sea front

Colourful beach huts

Colourful beach huts

Heading back to the hotel in the winter sunshine

Heading back to the hotel in the winter sunshine

Eventually it was time to bid a fond farewell to Kent and enjoy a relatively traffic-free return journey along a variety of motorways in south-east England.

This entry was posted by philhbray.

2 thoughts on “The wedding of Suzanna Bell and Steve Mitchell – 10th November 2012

  1. Pingback: A Review of 2012 – 1st January 2013 | A Few Ramblings...

  2. Pingback: Belated Birthday Chinese – 27th February 2013 | A Few Ramblings...

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