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FAQ Frequently Asked Questions FAQ sponge
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ...ok, perhaps not asked that frequently, but still... Q1. Why the Isles of Scilly? A1. See the “deleted scenes” movie. Q2. We loved the band! Who were they and how did you find them? A2. The “Six Wet Fish”. Never having set foot on a Scilly Isle in our lives before going there to get married it was just as well we knew how to use telephones and the internet! After several weeks of determinedly phoning around and talking to various people, as well as some intensive Googling we eventually tracked Nick (the Head Fish) down to his Mincarlo guesthouse (01720 422513, www.mincarlo-ios.co.uk). Q3. Can we have details about your dinner-dance reception venue? A3. Of course! It was held at Sage House (which we can now very highly recommend) on St. Mary‟s. Contact Sabine, the owner, by phone 01720 422440 or via www.scillyguesthouse.co.uk Sabine is an amazing person – what a find! Just watch the movie of our party at her house and look at the set-up and catering (that she organised to Fern‟s exact specification and beyond) plus all the accommodation and hospitality she laid on then judge for yourself!!! (We discovered Sabine after Miriam booked a room there. Thanks Miriam – real serendipity, and a great relief after our all our struggles and frustrations with every other local venue we‟d considered then given up on). Q4. Go on, I bet you‟re dying to tell us something about the cake and we‟d love to hear out about the bike you‟re both riding away on! How on earth did you manage to organise all that? A4. Yes, the cake... well, Fern took charge of all the rest of the food but left Barry to organise the cake. When it comes to weddings he‟s really keen on a top-quality, properly iced, traditional rich fruit cake (specially handmade to order at least two months, though preferably longer, before delivery). This is particularly important, he says, for wedding cakes in general, and absolutely vital for ours! What a fuss-pot! However after some thought and quite a lot of discussion we agreed that most people would probably prefer fresh chocolate cream sponge on the day. That gave us quite a problem because Barry also felt it essential to have a substantial three-tier wedding cake with proper traditional classical pillars between each layer; He wouldn‟t have any of those metal or heavy duty wire framed shelving arrangements – all a terrible æsthetic compromise in his opinion, ugh! Now fruit cake is of course heavy whereas fresh cream sponge is soft and, well, spongy. Everyone he asked (and that was quite a few over a number of weeks and a lot of phone calls around the country) said it simply wouldn‟t work. Eventually he found a very patient and creative lady (Jackie Jarvis, www.jackiescakes.co.uk 01726 861354) who was willing to face the challenge. They discussed it over the phone and she emailed him a variety of proposals. He emailed back with counter-proposals and included engineering diagrams for various possible ways of supporting the heavy layers over the sponge (for example by carefully drilling through clear acrylic plates, screwing or gluing extra long dowels to them to go all the way through the sponge to the base bellow, slipping hollow readymade pillars over the dowels etc). She patiently corrected and refined his plans and solved all the remaining structural problems. It turned out Jackie was also artistic and creative; she was willing and able to make more or less anything we liked for the “topper”. Ideally we‟d have liked to actually ride off together on the bike after the reception, but of course being on a small island (and trying to get to another small island near by) that wasn‟t a very practical plan. Anyhow, having us riding around on the top of the cake on our bike seemed a much better idea. After plenty of discussion over the phone with Jackie we emailed her a few photos of ourselves and the bike. We also gave her the registration number and asked if we could have Fern holding a small suitcase with “just married” written on it. We also requested a few tin cans tied on and trailing behind in the age-old custom! We hadn‟t finalised our wedding outfits (the clothes we were going to wear on the day) till about three weeks before hand, though had known roughly what we‟d have. Once we had our clothes we dressed up in them, took more photos, emailed those to Jackie then crossed our fingers and waited. Jackie put the finishing touches to the “topper” (then emailed some photos to me for approval – but Fern didn‟t want to know what it looked like till she saw it on the day). Barry ended up looking a bit Indian (and Tony was very proud of him for it!) but even so we all agreed the finished result was brilliant. Getting the cake and its topper to the island was no mean feat. Even though Jackie is based in Cornwall she still had to drive all the way to Penzance (stopping on the way to buy all the fresh cream and punnets of strawberries we needed, plus she made and brought all the flower table arrangements and most of the button-holes), took the ferry to St. Marys (an unusually rough crossing for the time of year, and much delayed, in heavy seas and she had three large heavy, delicate cakes and boxes and bags of other stuff to carry around everywhere on her own), got everything to Sage House, setup the cake, stayed overnight then another ferry trip and a long drive home. The cake was beautiful, the topper amazing, the flowers lovely, the chocolate sponge and strawberries a huge success. We haven‟t cut the fruit cake yet (but might have done by the time you read all this). We‟re planning to distribute slices from the middle layer. We‟ll save the top layer (the smallest one, but still big enough) for an important celebration one day to come... Based on everything else she did we‟re sure Jackie‟s fruit cake (especially now it‟s properly aged) will be spectacular! We‟d never heard of Jackie before finding her website & phoning, yet she did so much for us! Jackie was wonderful and we’re incredibly grateful to her. Q5. Fish & lobsters for dinner. Was it caught locally? A5. The lobsters most certainly were! Following Sabine‟s excellent suggestion we had 6 of them (perhaps to go with our “wet fish”!). They were caught in the morning. Wonderfully cooked and dressed for us that afternoon by Sabine, and eaten that very night. Remarkably fresh & truly scrumptious! Although the end result was almost as fresh and just as delicious actually getting seafood & fish to the table was a very different story: You‟d have thought being on an island that they caught fish locally which you could buy extra fresh, cook and eat. There is still some fairly local fishing but their catches are limited and anyhow whatever they do catch is almost all sold on the mainland. Having research this well in advance Fern therefore arranged for fish to be freshly “picked” & couriered down the country from a quayside far away, via Lancashire(!) the day before. It was then to be flown by helicopter to St. Mary‟s ready for preparation in good time for dinner. After going through this plan several times with all concerned everything then initially wrong “on the day” with the fish missing its flight, getting lost, confusing everyone but then, happily (and after several anxious phone calls) turning up at the last minute. Needles to say the fish were wonderful (mmm) and not a lot was left after dinner! [See www.redsnapperseafoods.co.uk/ for details. Their fish are excellent, nice people too, and normally superb service. We recommend them]. Q6. Who chose the rings? Did it all go smoothly (ok, silly question)? What‟s engraved in them? A6. Ha, ha, yes... the rings... well, Fern didn‟t have the slightest trouble buying a wonderful ring for Barry. (Yellow gold, single tiny diamond, perfect weight, perfect size... lovely). The same certainly could not be said of Barry‟s purchase for Fern (now there’s a surprise)! Barry had bought Fern a very nice engagement ring a couple of years ago from an old fashioned local jewellers (F.P.Turner & Sons of Surbiton). She loved it so he thought he‟d go back and ask them to make her wedding ring, too. Of course he‟d designed it himself and took a few sketches to show them. He explained exactly what was wanted, how it should look and what it was to be made of... fine white gold (18 carat) with a special design featuring three diamonds set in a slightly abstract (and of course unique) swirly pattern that could be “read” differently according to which way round you looked at it - symbolising (amongst other things) her year of birth and marriage. “Not a problem” they said, “leave it with us”. They had claimed would be ready to inspect, prior to setting, assay and polishing, in about 2 - 3 weeks. They said they‟d call to advise. Having heard nothing from them after 3 weeks Barry phoned – they made excuses and asked for another week. The same thing happened the second time he called a week later. The third time Barry went in to see them and they claimed the ring was unavailable as it was being assayed. Barry pointed out that he hadn‟t even seen it yet to check the design and they‟d promised not to set the stones till he‟d approved it. They tried to explain it all away. He asked to see the manager or jeweller. Nobody was available. Barry left in a sceptical mood. After several phone calls and a couple more visits to try and find out what was happening Barry was getting worried as the wedding was now only a few weeks away. He therefore asked for his money back (he‟d paid a deposit on confirming the order). They initially refused but after a big fuss did pay-up. Barry also wanted to complain; after all they‟d messed him around badly by claiming they could make the ring in time and to his specification (and even documented their claim in detail on his order receipt) when clearly they couldn‟t. He now had his deposit back but still didn‟t have the ring. He felt let down and worried as there wasn‟t much time left before the wedding. They weren‟t remotely interested so Barry left dissatisfied but at least he had got his deposit back. On returning to our office he decided to “google” them to see if he could find out who owned the company so he could escalate his complaint. To his great surprise he discovered that Kingston Magistrates had fined them £8,000 in 2004 under the Trade Descriptions Act for misrepresentation and that indeed there were several other cases where they‟d either misled or greatly disappointed customers. He also found that the firm of F.P.Turner and Sons was in the process of being sold to new owners. He even managed to get their name and number! (It‟s amazing what you can find via Google if you look). A phone call to the new owners (and a brief discussion not only of his complaint but awareness of the recent Trading Standards case) resulted in an urgent meeting at their request! The meeting led to an offer of compensation (they didn‟t want F.P.Turner back in court, especially over a wedding ring which would probably have been just too embarrassing for them). Being a kind hearted soul Barry didn‟t want to exploit their predicament (even though it might have been tempting); for a second conviction within 4 years the company faced a far larger fine and possible ruin, but Barry realised the new owners had only just taken over and were not the same as the people in the shop who‟d let him down. He therefore felt it wouldn‟t have been fair to push it so surprised them by accepting their apologies and suggesting a far smaller sum in compensation than was apparently on offer – just enough to be able to pay the extra need to get a different (but hopefully rather more competent and vastly more reliable) jeweller (Gerald O'Neill in Castle Street) capable of real craftsmanship and able to get the job done super-fast and ready in time for the wedding. Gerald had Fern‟s wedding ring made with great skill by hand from solid gold wire drawn in the selected cross- section (Court-D), cut to length, joined, accurately drilled twice for each stone to create the settings then deeply engraved for the design around the stones which were then set. The ring was assayed at the Goldsmiths Office in Greville Street for testing and hallmarking (being urgent it was couriered there and back and rushed through the whole process to save time). It was then polished and finally engraved by Gerald in Kingston together with Barry‟s ring (incidentally both rings rather aptly say “Somehow!” as well as “20 St. Martins 08” either side of their hallmarks). All this (for the Mark II ring) in just 2½ weeks and exactly to Barry‟s design! We got the rings back, engraved and sparkling, a few days before we headed to The Isles for our Big Day. Q7. I know it‟s covered it in the Dinner film but remind me about the Fireworks. A7. Sure; it took more than little organising and effort to ensure we could launch a few fireworks to celebrate our wedding... Alan was in charge of setting them off for us (and a fine job he did of it too). There were just 3 "multi-shot cakes" each in it's own box... We‟d needed to obtain prior permission from; 1. The Town Hall 2. The Fire Department 3. The Police 4. The Coast Guard (who wanted to know the time, duration, date & type of display, average deployment height, range & colours) 5. The Neighbouring land owner whose field we used. She wasn't keen at first, but did kindly consent in the end). To respect the sensitivity of the site we'd been told to avoid anything even moderately loud, high, bright or explosive. Getting these fireworks to the island wasn't easy as they're not allowed on planes, let alone helicopters and there are strict handling & maritime insurance issues on ferries.... Even buying them had been rather difficult mainly because the Beijing Olympics two weeks earlier (yes, 8/8/8) had created a world-wide firework shortage! [The opening of the new Atlantis resort in Dubai, due in November, was apparently responsible for depleting the world of any remaining firework production in 2008 not already taken by the Olympics]. Despite all that it had been fun and, we felt, well worth the trouble! Incidentally; Alan started launching the fireworks as planned just after 9pm British Summer Time. More precisely at 20:08 GMT, on 20/08/2008. Q8. What happened to George? Film 4 (documenting activities & adventures on the IoS) is over 6 minutes 30 seconds long yet there isn‟t a single photo of George after the first 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Not even going home on the helicopter. Why‟s that? A8. For George‟s 16th birthday we bought him a Reading Music Festival ticket, so he dashed off on the 1st helicopter out the next day, then took a train back to London then on to Reading to join his friends for a few hectic days of camping and music... what a summer he had! Q9. The Bridal bouquet? A9. It was created by Carole in Kingston-on-Thames to Fern‟s specification a few days before we went. Stored in the dark in a very special (and well thought out) container by her, complete with cold packs. Transported (by car) all the way to Cornwall by Sandy and Tony. Helicopter over to the Islands the day before. Wonderful on the day. This unusual bouquet consisted of red viburnum (Fern thought “berry” sounded like “Barry”), white lilies (because Barry likes them) them, blue statice (because Fern likes them) and of course ferns for Fern! A very big THANKS to Carole Martin, as well as to Sandy and Tony. [Call Carole on 020 8255 7205 if you‟d like to order any flowers from her for any occasion]. Q9. Fern’s Reading? A9. As part of the wedding ceremony Fern read a poem by Louise Cuddon called “I‟ll be there”. The original is quite easy to find. Here‟s Fern‟s slightly personalised and customised version (with apologies to Louise); I‟ll be there, my darling, To be crooks in disguise Through thick and through thin When the food that you most like When your mind is a mess Brings you out in red rashes When your head‟s in a spin When as soon as you boot up When your bike just won‟t start The bloody thing crashes When they cancel your train When you work extra hard When life is just threatening On your building designs To drive you insane Then you find the dear Council When your thrilling whodunit Permission declines Has lost its last page When you gaze at the stars When somebody tells you And step on a nail You‟re looking your age When you know you‟ll succeed When your coffee‟s too weak But, somehow, you fail And your tea is too strong When your instincts tell you When the forecast said „Fine‟ You‟ll have a good day But they got it all wrong So you plan a great outing When you ordered a Korma But the kids say „No way‟ And they serve you Madras So my darling, my sweetheart, When you wake in the night my dear... And are sure you smell gas When you spill your beer When our deluxe hotel When you shed a tear Is more like a slum When you burn the toast And your holiday photos When you miss the post Show you so glum When you lose the plot When you park for five minutes When I‟m all you‟ve got In a resident‟s bay When you break a rule And return to discover When you act the fool There‟s a big fine to pay When you‟ve got the flu When the jeans that I bought you When you‟re in a stew In hope or in haste When you‟re last in the queue Stick on your hips Don‟t feel blue And won‟t reach round your waist „Cause I‟m telling you When the dentist looks into I‟ll be there Your mouth and just sighs I‟ll be there When our tenants turn out I‟ll be there for you. Q10. What did Barry read, and why? A10. It was Fern who‟d reminded Barry how fond he was of Pooh bear (which his mother had read him as a child). Therefore, with Fern in mind he read a short extract from “Now We Are Six” by A.A.Milne; Wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. Whatever I do, she wants to do, "Where are you going today?" says Pooh... "Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too. "Let's go together," says Pooh, says she. "Let's go together," says Pooh. "What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh, "Twice what?" said Pooh to Me. "I think it ought to be twenty two." "Just what I think myself," said Pooh. "It wasn't an easy sum to do, But that's what it is," said Pooh, said she. "That's what it is," said Pooh. "Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh. "Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me. We crossed the river and found a few... "Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh. "As soon as I saw their beaks I knew. That's what they are," said Pooh, said she. "That's what they are," said Pooh. "Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh. "That's right," said Pooh to Me. "I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh, And I held her paw and I shouted "Shoo! Silly old dragons!"... and off they flew. "I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said she, "I'm never afraid with you." So wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. "What would I do?" I said to Pooh, "If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said... "True, It isn't much fun for One, but Two Can stick together," says Pooh, says she. "That's how it is," says Pooh. Q11. I really like some of the music! Where can I get it from? A11. Ask Barry – he might be able to help you. Q12. Were your Wedding Vows standard? A12. Of course not! We had a bit of a correspondence with the Registrar who‟d kindly sent us a couple of templates and examples. There were “standard” words that had to be there then there were lots of optional wordings and even bits you could make up yourself (with the bounds of deemed good taste and decency, I suppose). The funny thing was there were some standard words that Barry really didn‟t like and asked to be changed. In particular he didn‟t like the ceremony starting off with the Registrar announcing “This place in which you are now met has been duly sanctioned according to the law for the celebration of marriages”. He said it sounded clumsy and he though the grammar was wrong. The Registrar was really helpful and agreed to change all sorts of things but insisted that some of those words had been written into the very laws of the land and simply couldn‟t be changed without invalidating the marriage! Barry patiently and relentlessly persisted and he was eventually vindicated when the Registrar finally confirmed that she could after all agree to use his modified (in his opinion corrected) form of words! She even went to the trouble of checking the relevant authorities who arbitrate over these things to make sure that the marriage would still be valid. They agreed it would still be perfectly valid. We were all so pleased! It‟s quite possible that Barry has never entered into any sort of contract or agreement in his life (and perhaps never will, either) without at least managing to change some part of it first! Here an outline of the whole ceremony including our vows as well as all the words we used, with notes on readings and music; (Music as guests assemble – Andante Cantabile from Paganini violin and guitar sonata No.12) (Music – “Here comes the Bride”, Joe Bongiorno solo piano) Introduction (Superintendent Registrar) This place in which you are now meeting is duly sanctioned according to the law for the celebration of marriages. You are here to witness the joining in matrimony of Barry Richard Selwyn and Phloen (pronounced “Plern”) Wongman If any person present knows of any lawful impediment to this marriage, he should declare it now. The purpose of marriage is that you may always love, care for and support each other through all the joys and sorrows of life and that your love may be fulfilled in a relationship of permanent and continuing commitment. Today you will exchange vows of marriage which will unite you as husband and wife and which are a formal and public pledge of your love and your lifelong commitment to each other. (Phloen’s reading – a poem by Louise Cuddon) Bride and Groom to stand. S.R. (To Groom): Is your full name ---Barry Richard Selwyn--- ? S.R. (To Bride): Is your full name ---Phloen (“Plern”) Wongman--- ? Before you are joined in matrimony, I have to remind you of the solemn and binding character of the vows you are about to make. Marriage according to the law of this country is the union of one man with one woman voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others. Now, I am going to ask each of you in turn to declare that you do not know of any lawful reason why you should not be married to each other. [Legal declaratory words] 1. I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful reason why I, Barry Richard Selwyn, may not be joined in matrimony to Phloen Wongman 2. I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful reason why I, Phloen Wongman, may not be joined in matrimony to Barry Richard Selwyn (Barry’s reading – from “Now We Are Six” by A.A.Milne, followed by short extract from prelude to JS Bach cello suites No 6 in D major - BWV 1012) Now the solemn moment has come for these two people to enter into a legally recognised marriage before you their witnesses. Would you all please stand. Rings are to be given; the SR instructs the man to put it on the woman‟s left hand and to hold it there whilst saying: [Legal contracting words] (1) I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Phloen Wongman, do take thee, Barry Richard Selwyn, to be my lawful wedded husband in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage, the love we share, our future together and my unending devotion to you. I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give. I promise to respect you for yourself and to realise that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own. (2) I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Barry Richard Selwyn, do take thee, Phloen Wongman, to be my lawful wedded wife in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage, the love we share, our future together and my unending devotion to you. I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give. I promise to respect you for yourself and to realise that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own. Barry Richard Selwyn and Phloen Wongman you have both made the declarations prescribed by law and have made a solemn and binding contract with each other in the presence of the witnesses here assembled. I am pleased to declare that you are now husband and wife together. (Music whilst signing the register – Louis Armstrong, “la Vie En Rose”) (Music as guests leave – Mr. Sid Philips & His Band, “Ain’t she sweet?”) And that, gentle reader, was how we were married!
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