04 June 2010

Choosing wisely

You know you’ve married the right man when

He buys you a set of fish knives & forks for your first wedding anniversary and thinks it's utterly romantic and so do you!

This past weekend, the DEB and I had just celebrated our first wedding anniversary – (can it really have been a year already?!) – and we had an incredible time.

Anniversary cake and cupcakes
(in our wedding colours)

Our rellies from up North came and joined us, dividing their time between our new house and that of the DEB’s brother, The Guru. It was absolutely wonderful playing hostess to Uncle C. and Auntie D.

They arrived late afternoon on Thursday, and after getting them settled, I launched into Domestic Goddess mode. I prepared my first "dinner for the family". The trout was a huge success. Here is the recipe I used:

Tangy Trout

4 trout fillets

100g breadcrumbs

1 tbsp butter, softened

1 small bunch parsley, chopped

zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

25g pine nuts , toasted and half roughly chopped

3 tbsp olive oil


Heat the grill to high. Lay the fillets, skin side down, on an oiled baking tray. Mix together the breadcrumbs, butter, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and half the pine nuts. Scatter the mixture in a thin layer over the fillets, drizzle with the oil and place under the grill for 5 mins. Sprinkle over the remaining pine nuts, then serve with the lemon wedges and a potato salad.

(I cooked the trout for a bit longer than suggested, and served with beetroot and spinach salad; asparagus; new potatoes and a parmesan cheese sauce.)

Our Darling Nephew, H., turned up for a surprise visit, and Hostess-with-the-Mostest that I am (or strive to be), I always have a bundle of sausages and a packet of chips at the ready in case he drops by. That's his favo(u)rite meal!

On Friday, the DEB and I took Uncle C. and Auntie D. to Charlecote Park for the day; and met up with The Guru and his partner,The Guru-ette, for an evening meal at The Peacock, an award-winning Warwickshire pub in the tiny village of Oxhill. Splendid.

Saturday was a busy-ish day, with last minute preparation for the Big Anniversary Bash on Sunday.

As noted in my “How should we celebrate our first anniversary?” poll, I was stuck on what would be the best way to commemorate the day. This is where gurus come in handy. A random conversation over dinner with The Guru in April, inspired me to opt for an evening “do” with a twist: Fancy Dress.

Who doesn’t love getting into costume?

Finally, my dream came true: a “We Are the 80s” fancy dress party! (Any excuse to remember the 80s, and dress up as Madonna is a good one as far as I’m concerned.)

The DEB glammed up nicely as Adam Ant, in full Prince Charming/Highwayman regalia – 'Stand and Deliver', indeed! And, I scoured the internet and successfully pulled together a Madonna “Like A Virgin”(MTV Music Awards 1984) outfit.

I found a designer, who calls herself “Princess Petticoat”, via eBay UK who custom-made a copy of Madge's iconic, billowy, white skirt. It was absolutely dreamy!

And, who isn’t a fool for tulle?

Princess Petticoat’s other specialty is custom-made versions of Carrie Bradshaw’s little tulle skirt from 'Sex & the City'. (Check her out on eBay UK!)

The party was a huge success, even the weather cooperated! Everyone really went for it. That’s the thing about Fancy Dress/Costume parties, it is so much more fun/funny when people make the effort and go all out. And in this regard, I was not disappointed in the least!!

Mr. and Mrs. Chef as 'Suzy Quattro' and 'Slash'

'Andrew Ridgeley' from Wham! and 'Adam Ant'

I have to say the very best moment was when the extended DEB family turned up en masse, and enacted a grand entrance through the garden. They came around the corner individually, for full effect to resounding gales of glee and applause.

The Guru-ette had fooled us all by saying that she was anti-Fancy Dress, and planned to take her cue from the Nirvana song “Come as you are”. She bowled us all over by turning up as Kelly McGillis’ leggy, blonde character from the quintessential 80s movie, Top Gun!

The other surprise was Auntie D. and Uncle C. representing "the definitive couple of the 80s”: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Even so, top prize had to go to The Guru who struck terror and admiration in the hearts of all the guests as a frighteningly uncanny Gene Simmons.

There is an old proverb that says: “In birth, we have the family we are given; in marriage we acquire the family we deserve.” I’m happy to say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this proverb is true!

My family, ladies and gentlemen, my family:
'Ronald Reagan', 'Gene Simmons' (from Kiss), 'Graeme Souness' (legendary Liverpool Footballl captain), 'Kelly McGillis' (from Top Gun) and 'Mrs. Thatcher'

Cyndi Lauper in full voice - "Girls just wanna have fun!"

The DEB and I had an "Anniversary First Dance" (to the appropriately 80s theme from Starlight Express); and I “performed” the ‘Like a Virgin’ video for the DEB, in front of everyone…well, after the Vicar had gone home, of course!

(NB. The Vicar came dressed as "Blackadder", Mrs. Vicar won the "Most Creative Costume Idea" award for coming as "an extra from the film Ghandi; Their Son thrilled us all with his impression of Freddie Mercury from the group Queen.)

“The first year of marriage is often considered the year of adjustment. As you celebrate this special 1st wedding anniversary, reflect on the both the delicate and hardy aspects of your marriage and of your love for one another.” – Sheri & Bob Stritoff

According to tradition, first wedding anniversary gifts are of Paper. However, more moderns trends are for practical gifts that reflect, as marriage gurus Sheri & Bob Stritoff put it, “the delicate and hardy aspects” of one’s marriage and love.

The DEB and I attempted to capture a bit of both traditional and modern aspects in our gifts choices for each other. We gave each other 'hardy', practical gifts: I bought the DEB a pair of (sexy to me) Hunter wellies for men; and he gave me a pair of (sexy to him) women's Craghopper trousers for our holiday adventures, and the Robert Welch 'Fish service' I have been coveting for over a year!

My 'delicate' gift from the DEB was a precious bouquet of a dozen, long stemmed, red roses. I combined the delicate concept with the traditional 'Paper' idea by buying the DEB an antiquarian book of old English ballads and folk tunes.

I have found the one whom my soul loves.
- Song of Solomon, 3:4


E said...


Victoria Plum said...

Congratulations on your first anniversary! Your party looked fantastic .... such amazing costumes! We are trying to convince mum and dad to wear their wigs full time :)
Have a lovely holiday

Frugal Life UK said...

Hi - go to You tube and search 'kate rusby the yorkshire couple' enjoy xxx happy wedding anniversary xxxx

Moni said...

Congrats on your first anniversary!!! It looked like a fun party!

Anonymous said...

Happy first anniversary! We also got married in 2009 (February)! Fantastic vintage ha!