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This month’s couple enjoy living life in the fast lane with thoroughly modern high-octane hobbies… fortunately, life slowed down enough to afford our bride and groom a picnic proposal and an altogether more sedate Lincolnshire wedding day…!
When and how did you meet?
The story of how we first met is perhaps no different to a lot of people who are au fait with technology these days; the internet!
We are both very outgoing, busy professional people with a wide range of hobbies and interests keeping us out of (and into) mischief! Richard is the Director of Ancaster Kart Racing facilitating bowling, karting, quad bikes paintball and archery and I work full time as Environmental Protection Manager at East Lindsey District Council. This means our time for socialising was limited.
A little over two years ago Richard and I found each other on match.com. We saw each other’s profiles and realised we had so much in common that meeting up was not so much a choice as a necessity.
Our main joint interest was racing. Richard has raced in the Sports 2000 Duratec Champion for three consecutive years and I had a motorbike and Caterham 7. Adrenalin sports are a definite interest for us both, along with the love of country life; shooting, riding and animals.
We both found there were very few people who could handle our rather unique 130mph personalities! We arranged to have lunch and ate, talked and soon realised we had both just reached a turning point in our lives!
When in the relationship did he pop the question, and how?
I can honestly say Richard’s proposal was a complete surprise! He hadn’t dropped any hints, and he as far as I was aware, hadn’t been plotting anything or acting strangely in the slightest. I had booked a Friday off as we were going for a hot air balloon ride in the afternoon.
That morning he asked me to pop to the shops to get food for our three labradors and two spaniels, as he was going to go around the bird pens and feed the pheasants and partridges that had arrived earlier in the morning. On my return to the house he rushed up to the car, frantically saying all the birds were escaping and there must be a hole in the pen. This was strange I thought, as he is very diligent with his gamekeeping, but nevertheless I didn’t stop to question it. I grabbed a pair of wellies, and we ran up to the pens — I was looking up and down to try and find the hole — after a while of intensely scrutinising, I stopped and looked up.
My alacrity prevented me from noticing that in fact the birds were still quite happily inside the pen, looking at some crazy lady running around their new home! I called over to Richard who was standing by a bush on the valley edge, to say it all looked fine; he said he knew with a big grin on his face!
I went over, ready to throw a wellington boot at him for teasing me, when just behind him was a beautifully laid out picnic! There was such a selection of food, comprising all my favourites! He dropped down on one knee there and then and proposed. He even said ‘please’ which I thought was so polite… it would be rude not to accept, so I said ‘yes please,’ and added a ‘thank you!’ The only thing was… we were both so excited we couldn’t eat the picnic!
What were the first things you decided on for your Lincolnshire wedding?
When we both look back at the day there is honestly nothing we would change… but it would have been nice for it to have lasted longer! Deciding on who was going to make the cake was the easiest part, as
Celebration Creation Cakes by Carol in North Willingham is owned and run by Carol, my Matron of Honour’s mum. She makes — without doubt — the most fabulous cakes!
Any differing ideas about how your Lincolnshire wedding should be or things you both wanted to do differently?
Organising the wedding was a lovely experience. The venue decision was made very quickly after both sets of parents Capt. Dennis & Dee Anderson and Les and Deanne Johnson offered to be the main contributors to making our special day possible… we thank you with all our hearts!
Was planning your big day fraught or enjoyable, did you both contribute ideas with equal enthusiasm?
Pre-wedding nerves were not really a problem… we definitively experienced excitement rather than nerves and we both cope very well with adrenalin! Richard stayed at a beautiful holiday home called Honeysuckle Cottage, in Oasby and had a ‘quiet’ night out the evening before!
I however had gone to pick up the dress earlier in the day only to find it wasn’t ready! It was completely different to how I’d imagined my dress would be, but as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. It was slightly medieval which suited our venue, Belvoir Castle, and the detailing was exquisite!
How did it feel walking down the aisle and taking vows?
I started my wedding walk at the top of a grand staircase in the castle, on the arm of my father who looked very dashing and handsome in his top hat and tails.
The music started and we took our first steps, pausing for a moment to take it all in. Standing in a beautiful dress, in a castle, and it was my wedding day: it was a very surreal ‘on top of the world’ feeling, which words just can’t describe.
As I looked around I could see everyone’s faces, I’ve never seen so many smiles in one room! It was difficult not to well-up when taking the vows, but I remembered that we must speak up so people could hear us in such a big room!
Where was the Reception held?
The wedding and reception was all catered for at the Castle so after the ceremony we had a wonderful time posing for our photographs in the various magnificent rooms and the guests were taken on a guided tour of the castle.
We cut the wedding cake — with a sword, no less! It was slightly heavier than the average knife, but did the cake justice!
The dinner was superb; Beef Wellington, cooked to perfection for the main course, and a Belvoir Mess for desert. On satiated tummies came the speeches. These were very funny, yet heartfelt at the same time.
Did you have a honeymoon?
We stayed at Langar Hall on our wedding night, before jetting off on honeymoon. The destination had been kept a secret, so Richard had asked the staff to deliver the tickets on a tray with breakfast! I could have choked on my toast when I saw flights to the island of Mauritius! We were very lucky to be upgraded to Club Class thanks to my Mum, who worked for British Airways and was one of the first stewardesses on Concorde!
Any friends or family you would like to Thank or recognise?
We’d like to thank our parents for making our dreams comes true with a fairytale wedding. We’d like to thank Belvoir Castle staff who were excellent in keeping the day running smoothly. We’d also, like to thank our family & friends for their kind gifts. I’d personally like to thank the Johnson family who made me so very welcome from the beginning and my family for their help and support. Special thanks to our attendants, lead by our Best Man James Wild and Maid of Honour Selina Smith and ushers and bridesmaids.
Anyone you would like to recommend?
We’d recommend Belvoir Castle and caterers, as well as our photographer Andrew Appleton of Lincoln. Also, our cake lady, Celebration by Carol, it was magnificent!
How are you finding married life?
We weren’t sure exactly what to expect from married life, as we were very happy before, but it really has changed! It has given each of us a great sense of purpose in life knowing that we are committed to one another. It’s a fabulous feeling to have someone special share your life with. We’re very proud and lucky to have each other!
Bride’s name: Anneliese Anderson.
Groom’s name: Richard Johnson.
Ceremony held at: Belvoir Castle, Grantham.
Reception held at: Belvoir Castle, Grantham.
Best Man/Ushers: James Wild (BM), Neil Bucton, Sean Markham, Nik Johnson, Christian Anderson.
Bridesmaids: Selina Smith (MoH), Nicky Sergeant, Rosie Johnson Emma Credland.
Bride’s Parents: Capt. Dennis & Dee Anderson.
Groom’s Parents: Les & Deanne Johnson.
Images: Andrew Appleton, Apple Photo, Lincoln; 01522 306241, www.applephoto.co.uk.