Do you remember, the 21st night of September?

Well in fact it was the 24th of September but I've found myself humming along to the 1978 classic Earth Wind and Fire classic September whilst writing this piece! Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary and I really don't need much of an excuse to talk about our wedding day. 17 years ago. It was truly a wonderful day and I have asked my husband many times if we can do it all over again!

Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier piece, I met my husband in Nottingham where we were both degree students. Having decided to get married in Nottingham we had the complicated task of co-ordinating arrangements with close family and friends that we wanted to share our special day with, many of whom live in London, North Yorkshire, New York and Barbados. We gave family and friends plenty of notice asking them to save the date almost 18 months ahead.

We arranged hotel and guest house accommodation for all those who made the journey. Many of them arrived in Nottingham the day before our wedding and joined us at the church for the rehearsal. We then enjoyed a few drinks and a bite to eat in the bar of theSwans Hotel in West Bridgford in Nottingham where some of our guests stayed and where we also had the bridal suite on our wedding night.

Mother of the Bride

My mum wore a fabulous Liz Claiborne three piece suit with beautiful Van Dal peep toe shoes, a matching clutch and a fabulous broad rim hat.

Mother of the bride

We had lots of fun shopping for my mum's outfit including finding an amazing traditional cobbler on Kings Walk in Nottingham who dyed my mum's shoes to match the colour of her clutch.

Our Wedding Day

Father of the Bride


My wedding dress was a fabulous bespoke number created by my wonderful friend and Chief Bridesmaid Alison.  I had 5 bridesmaids a page boy and 3 ushers. They were all friends and family who had travelled across the Atlantic and up and down the M1 to play their part in making our day very special. My husband, dad, brothers, nephew and cousins all looked very dapper in their matching tailcoats, grey pinstriped trousers, waistcoats and cravats.

We were truly blessed with the September weather as we enjoyed glorious sunshine for most of the day. I was driven to the church in a beautiful white classic Rolls Royce accompanied by my dad. On arrival at the church I could feel my usual calm self slowly disappear as I realised that I had arrived at the church without my bouquet! Luckily the church was only a few minutes away from home so the chauffeur whisked Alison back to retrieve my beautiful flowers.

We were married by Reverend Liz Carrington at St Leodegarius church in Nottingham and of course I shed a few tears at the altar whilst singing Hosanna!

Val and Mr M

Our reception was held in the Derek Randall Suite of Trent Bridge CricketGround. Although I am never short of a few words, I could not muster up the courage to make a speech so left that in the capable hands of my Husband and his Best Man and lifetime friend Keldy.

I am told by our guests that the food at our wedding breakfast and the evening reception was amazing but I can honestly say that I was so caught up in the moment that I don't remember eating much of anything.


Our friends Steve and Bryan provided the music for the evening with a selection of new, old, popular and some unheard of tunes! Our first dance was Breathe Again by Toni Braxton. We didn’t invest in first dance lessons but just decided to let the champagne, wine and brandy fuel our dance steps. I think we did ourselves proud!

I’ll leave you with the first couple of verses of September…..Happy Anniversary Mike!

Do you remember the
21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day

(September by Earth Wind and Fire c.1978)

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