Back in May of this year, we marked the birth of our baby boys with a naming day celebration.
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times over the summer — I wrote about the pocketfold invitations that I designed, months after the event happened — but up until now have not had the time to sit and write a post for the day itself.
Dickie and I are not religious types, we do have spiritual beliefs but are not believers of any organised religion. That said, we felt it was important to mark the birth of the boys in a significant way and a naming day celebration seemed fitting.
And as I have said before, it was an extraordinary day.
The run up to the day was hectic to say the least! We had around 150 people coming along — 50 of them under the age of 14 — and planning the ceremony and reception was more time consuming than organising our wedding! Months of preparation, we had to organise a venue, caterers, decorations… the list went on and on.
But somehow, my boy and I managed to pull it off and on Saturday May 17th 2014 we hosted the most perfect, glorious day; worthy of our beautiful babies.
We were lucky enough to hold the event Staverton Hall. Our lovely friends, Rupert and Serena, had generously agreed that we could take over their home and grounds for the entire weekend and we spent the day before getting everything ready.
The marquee people came, put up the big tent, then left us with stacks and stacks of chairs and tables. One of the Twinkles guide-fathers owns an events company and loaned us two incredible full size trees, to dress the marquee, plus my favourite thing; some incredible LOVE lights.
At 7pm the night before, I started to despair that we would ever be ready for the next day; the marquee looked like a bombsite and certainly not as ‘Pinterest pretty’ as I’d envisaged. But armed with yards and yards of bunting, hundreds of tulips and buckets of wild-flowers, a little team of 6 friends turned a big draughty tent into a gorgeous haven, fitting for our babies’ celebration.
The big day dawned. Cornflower blue skies — as far as the eye could see — the house looking resplendent in it’s springtime finery. Yellow climbing roses decorated Staverton’s walls and the rape-fields in the distance cleverly joined in, to coordinate beautifully with our colour-scheme.
The Twinkles naming ceremony began at 11.30am.
Our guests started to arrive and, one-by-one, began to take their seats in the drawing room.
The soundtrack to the day was Mindy Gledhill’s ‘Anchor’. It makes me cry even now; music is so emotive and this track encapsulates everything I felt on that beautiful spring morning. Pride and elation, love, achievement, grief for the babies we lost, eclipsed by a sense of overwhelming gratitude; to name just a little of what the occasion meant.
The afternoon rolled on — the hottest day of the year so far — sunny and warm, we couldn’t have asked for better. The food was excellent, the wine flowed and my boy delivered a belter of a speech. It was a garden party and a half — surrounded by our favourite people in a beautiful setting — and in the midst of it all, two tiny figures. The guests of honour.
Our darling boys.
The party continued into the wee small hours. A big fire was lit and we all sat around toasting marshmallows, drinking and talking, until the very last of the sun’s heat had gone. It was a day to remember for sure.
A day that we never thought we’d see and one I’ll never, ever forget.