The idea for a separate wedding and reception came from my Mum – she’d told us about one of the ladies she works with whose daughter had recently married. They had a small ceremony, went off on honeymoon, and then had the reception when they came back. The more we thought about that, the better the idea sounded – after all, it’s two parties instead of just the one! Not to mention that everyone had told us that your wedding day seems to go so quickly that you rarely get a chance to talk to everyone. It also took away the problem of trying to find a castle for the wedding that allowed camping, so that we weren’t asking folk to shell out for a hotel room to come and celebrate our wedding with us. We decided to combine it with our leaving party, and to cut a long story short, after hunting for venues and much discussion, what had started off as a one night do with a live band and camping ended up escalating into a full blown weekend biker-style rally… the Wed’n’Fled Rally was born!

We originally planned to use the same venue that we met at, and to have the same band playing that we were dancing to (yes, we are both incurable romantics!), but had some difficulties with the site, the main one being that they didn’t have a marquee big enough for the size of do we were planning. This was going to whack the cost up immensely, as marquee hire doesn’t come cheap. After a lot of legwork and some asking around it turned out that the Boring Old Fartz MotorCycle Club had an enormous marquee that they were willing to hire to us at a reasonable cost, but we would have to transport it ourselves. Not a problem we thought, we’ve got a friend with a transit van. Then we went to visit the club and saw just how big the marquee was – a transit wouldn’t cut it, we needed a low loader! Doh! Looking around the BOF’s clubhouse and the Rugby Club that it was in the grounds of, we realised that it was a much better venue than our original one, and we decided to switch. That was definitely one of the best decisions that we made! The BOFs were absolute stars – they took over a lot of the running of the site for us and really made it easy – thanks guys!

In typical Tony & Sarah tradition we ended up sorting out some of the details at the very last minute, managing to book a Friday night band all of about a week before the event – luckily it all worked out right when it came to it. We ended up with Ode and the Bebops, a fun skiffle band for something a little different. The Saturday band had been booked for a year – it didn’t take much thinking for us to book Subway, who not only were the band that we were dancing to on the night we met, they’re also a top-notch party band to boot! They really pulled out all the stops and rocked our socks off.

The weekend was another success, with a great time being had by all.¬† We especially enjoyed the 400+ rocket balloons that our friends Heather and Nich had given us for a wedding present, although some of the BOFs who had to clear them up the next morning might disagree! It really doesn’t get much better than having your very own rally, filled with family and friends – a big thank you to all of you for coming and helping to create such a brilliant event¬† :-)

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