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Spring and Summer completed bookings – April 2013

April blog

The Spring and Summer of 2013 have been fairly busy for me (although probably not compared to other toastmasters) with thirty bookings completed plus quite a few wedding shows. During these less busy Autumn / Winter months I’m going to do a separate blog about each month, so lets start with April 2013. The month started with a big wedding at Dunston Hall for 250 guests. NatashaNatasha Chidwick edit was a stunning bride for Laurie. Her family are from Sri Lanka and this was reflected in her beautiful dress. They provided two buses to ferry their guests from the church to Dunston where I welcomed them and guided them to the marquee for the drinks reception. Photographs were taken by friends of the couple Claire Morris and Anya who had travelled down from the North. My first rhyme of the season called all the guests to dinner in the Sunningdale Suite where everyone enjoyed the usual high standard of service from the Dunston staff. After the usual speeches I stayed on to introduce the cutting of the cake, throwing of the bouquet and the first dance. This was Bob Marley ‘Is this love’ (I wanna love you) and following this I took my leave and everyone else partied the night away.

Next was a trip over to Zest Rooms at Potters Leisure at Hopton on Sea for Rachel & Ben’s wedding day. This is a very modern venue with beautiful views over the golf course towards the sea. I had to slightly adapt my call to dinner at Zest as the table plan is displayed on a screen….”If the table plan you have not seen, it is displayed up on the screen”. A video of the day was taken by Clearview Video and entertainment for the evening celebration was provided by ‘Dynamite‘ who really helped the day end with a bang (sorry)! They played the first dance which was Savage Garden’s “Truly, madly, deeply”

It was back to Dunston Hall again to spend the day with Sacha & Joshua. They were married at the grand St John’s Catholic Cathedral in Norwich and then travelled over to have drinks in La Fontaine while being entertained by the SImon Brown Jazz duo. Elizabeth White took the photo’s and then we went upstairs to the Sunningdale Suite for the wedding breakfast. There was a Spanish flavour to the day as the Mother of the Bride’s family came from Spain. I managed a few of my introductions in Spanish which everyone was greatly impressed by. One of the Spanish traditions is to give five almonds to each guest as a favour. These represent health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. This was the first wedding where I came across a fingerprint tree instead of a guest book. A bit messy but wet wipes were provided. Sacha also had the brilliant idea of providing flip-flops for the girls whose feet were hurting by the time it came to the evening celebration. The first dance was to Alicia Keys ‘No one’ and then the brilliant Dominic Dominic-Uppiah 300pxs got the party really going. He really is one of the best singers at getting everyone up on the dance floor.

Then I was off to the beautiful house and grounds of Lynford Hall to help Vicki & Stuart celebrate their wedding day. This splendid venue, where some of the series Dad’s Army was filmed, provides first class service and a wonderful setting for photographs. These were taken, along with a video, by Dave & Alan of ‘Affordable photography’. The 80 day guests were joined by 100 more in the evening to see Vicki and Stuart take to the floor for their first dance ‘Amazed’ by Lonestar.

For my final wedding of the month I travelled to Drayton Old Lodge to share the day with Joanne & Matthew. This is another favourite venue in the Norwich area that provides a lovely ceremony room and an unusual setting for photographs in the ruins situated in the grounds. Photographer Michael Smithson, who actually specialises in race horse photography, did a rare wedding and the first dance on this occasion was ‘Angels’ by Robin Theake. “Dear Bob, we would like to say a big thank you for all of your help on our very special day. You were fantastic throughout the whole wedding experience and made my life stress free!! The day was perfect and that was down to a lot of your help. Thank you.” Jo & Matt

In between all these weddings I had the honour of being toastmaster at the Great Yarmouth Mayor’s Civic Ball. As well as Borough dignitaries the event was honoured by the presence of the Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk Mr Henry Cator. I welcomed guests, made announcements and conducted the auction which raised a goodly sum for the Lord Mayor’s charity. This was the first time I worked with excellent photographer James Neale. So that was April. Another four weddings in May to report on next.