Keith & Tessa Batchelor

Posted by on July 23, 2013

THE WEDDING DAY BY THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE. (only read this if you enjoy weddings!)

JULY 6th 2013


July 5th. 10am.The Marriott Hotel. Room 201…

Knock on the door, Tash arriving for a quick pre bridesmaid check-up, flung open the door, but no, it was my ex, Bill, with 4 glasses of champers. Lovely idea, but there I was with JS, David, the best man from  number one marriage and me in curlers and the skimpiest negligee you have ever seen!

“Hello Vanessa, you haven’t changed a bit!”


Bill, Jill & David

The tray of champers was shaking!



Dressed and ready for the off, taxi organized for the mother of the bride wearing the bright pink (borrowed) Philip Treacy hat, and quietly wondering if the hat would fit into a T.O.A Harborne taxi, and JS, in dinner suit and matching pink bow tie and handkerchief, then Keith, my future son in law had organized a white Rolls Royce, with Parker at the wheel, directly from ”Thunder Birds are Go” and lady Penelope and her man were royally driven to the church.


2pm. St Alphege Church Solihull.

Minutes before the bride and Bill arrive; we are greeted by the two gorgeous looking beefy best men Bo and Mark. Big kisses all round, church congregation packed, and I am taken by the hand by Marc and route marched up past all the guests to the first pew. (Did hope he was about to elope with me!) and he said with a firm voice,

“This is where you and JS are sitting”

Slight problem. The ex’s wife, plus her upside down pudding hat, and entire family, relations and even distant relatives were fully occupying the entire pew! This proved no problem to Marc, who quietly, but firmly told the lot of them to budge along and make room for the brides Mum and step Dad! Sticky start to the day you would say!


The bride.

Tess was dressed in a Pronovias wedding dress, designed by the famous Spanish designer Manuel Mota.

A white dress featuring a tight bodice from just above the 34ff bust to mid-thigh and then cascading into multiple soft silk gathers with a small train and the exceptional detail of tiny swan feathers gathered close to the bodice, with a size 8 figure,5’10’’, Manuel Mota would surely have been very pleased indeed.

Five bridesmaids wearing long black Grecian style dresses and carrying white roses, with a page boy and a flower girl.


Tash with Keith’s Dad Stephen.


Tash with Franklin (the French 007).

Tash was complimented by all the guests, with the very special comment from my Mr JJ, ”What a stunner”.

JS said, “Quite quite magnificent”.


Emotional ceremony, tears buggered up the makeup, Tash wanted to know if Mum and Dad needed some tissues, but my hat stayed firmly in place and conveniently obliterated the entire view from the “budged up “lot!!

3pm. 29 degrees. (A typical   English day in July)


Outside the church, thank goodness for the little Provence number, and the largest sun hat there, we were greeted by guests that I once knew 25 years ago, with big hugs and kisses, and “You look just the same Vanessa” – what creeps!!


4.30pm. St John’s Hotel Solihull.

Back to the reception along with 250 guests.

Forgot to mention, Olif’s dress was French, hat cost… Val Jordan tells me I must never disclose this to Joe or you lot, and the shoes were from Topshop. However,  after being introduced to 6inch heels at the hen night, I just had to have a pink pair to match the hat, but, I was born with beach feet; square, and only made to fit into flip flops or wellington boots. These shoes needed triangular shaped feet, and possibly a Zimmer frame to walk in them. I reckon I was 6’3” from top of hat to stiletto heel, taller than JS but definitely taller than the plum pudding!


Quick hat change, from Treacy hat to Treacy fascinator, touch up by the makeup artist, quick flick of the hair by Mrs Jill Teeszy weezy, and I was ready for the top table.


Speeches from the two best men; Bo and Marc, Keith and finally his 92 year old Dad Stephen….which was told with such sincerity and eloquence, it moved the entire congregation to tears. Master of Ceremonies was brilliantly done by Keith’s sister, Beverly.


Keith, JS and Stephen


Tess and Beverly


8pm. The Evening affair.

Keith and Tess had designed a night club theme, absolutely amazing, with an 8 man band, disco, photo booth, flashing lights and the rest.


Then, the other 180 guests arrived. JS thought he had gone to Heaven, he suddenly came alive…mini skirted, tanned legs that went on forever, long blonde hair, the hen girls had arrived.

JS beamed from ear to ear; similar to when he goes past a patisserie, not knowing which cake to choose, so goes for them all!

2am. We retired to bed after a perfect day.


Finally, Keith and Tess gave JS and I a truly memorable present to commemorate their wedding…
A poem…

To Mum and Spuggy on my wedding day.
Down in France their lives a Mother
Superior to any other
She’s understanding, lively, kind
The nicest mum you’ll ever find.

Vanessa loves her two grown girls
And likes to entertain her pals
She’s fond of Mr Speer her man
And topping up her topless tan.

This bubbly mother of the bride
Is energetic and organized,
She’s keen on hearing wedding plans
And wants to help whenever she can
(It’s times like this the miles apart
Really breaks a mothers heart).

I’m very proud and very fond
Of this white wine loving blonde
Who’s always busy and likes to clean
Until she sees each surface gleam.

Her monthly emails to everyone
Are filled with stories news and fun,
To this grateful Mummy’s girl
Vanessa truly means the world.

Spuggy is a former vet
(We grew up with lots of pets)
He’s lots of fun and never bores
But wow, my stepdad really snores,
Mum has tried a range of ploys
None of which he much enjoys!
This cigar loving mellow chap
Likes to take a sneaky nap.

Spuggies also quite a groover
(Thinks he is a super mover)
He has been known to sleep walk too, as red wine lovers often do.

They love a game of golf together
Enjoy the hot un- British weather
They’re sociable, and doggy mad
A most supportive mum and dad.

I want to thank this brummie pair
For raising me with love and care
For putting up with teenage me
(the drunken rolling in at three)
For having absolute belief
In my getting wed to Keith.

And now it is my wedding day
There’s one thing I’d like to say
That though I’ll be a married lady
Mum, I’ll always be your baby!
I hope that when I say “I do”
I’ll be as happy as the two of you.

Bet you have got the handkerchiefs out! With all my love. The Mother of the Bride. xxxx


On Honeymoon in Barbados.


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