Tag Archives: wedding

A wedding story. Part 1

Well we did it, we got married!! Its taken me this long to stop and think and be able to put it down here. But if I’m honest, one of the things that’s stopped me writing till now is being unable to find the words.

We really did have the most wonderful day. I’d even go so far as to say it was perfect. Not that everything was exactly ideal, if it was the day would have been a lot longer, the sun would have shone a bit brighter and we’d have had more time to talk to everyone. But everything went perfectly, smoothly, and the whole thing was exactly what we’d hoped for. How can I even hope to describe it? I’ve tried, in more words than I thought, to describe the day from the beginning, as much for me to remember as for the curiosity of whoever’s reading..

The morning itself came cloudy and a bit grey (but brightened up later!). We were certain we wanted to be together the night before, and didn’t even consider not being. We went to sleep saying ‘ooh its tomorrow’ and woke up and whispered ‘we’re getting married today!!’ with little excited squeaks, which was the best start to the day. Then we had a lovely breakfast with four good friends, my two bridesmaids and their other halves, sharing croissants, jam and coffee and gently waking up. It was really nice to be with friends, people we could relax with, which made it feel so natural, even if still a little surreal.

We girls went off to the hairdressers, the boys went to pick up the flowers and then to their hotel. We had a lovely time having our hair done and nattering about this and that! When we got back we did make-up and had a giggle or two, before the photographer arrived, closely followed by my parents. Tea was made, sandwiches were brought out, and all was impressively calm. With a bit of laughter. I was enjoying it all already- thinking about the day ahead, but just loving spending time with the people around me. My dad making tea, mum holding the dress up while it had its photo taken! Then I decided it was time to put my dress on, so I did. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and just thought ‘yes, this is exactly right’. I make me sound so calm, inside I was just bouncing and beaming all at once, but so excited.

We travelled to the church all together in a taxi- I decided I wasn’t going to spend money on a big car that no one but us would see- which was pre-booked and all fine until we got in and the driver turned to me and said ‘where to?’ I nearly said ‘do I look like I have a map on me?!’ A quick consultation with a smart phone and the church postcode was retrieved and we were on our way! Leaving 45 mins I thought would be plenty of time to get into central London- it was, we were there in 25, 20 mins early! So we got to sit and wait and watch all the guests arriving from across the road which was lovely! About 10 mins before the service was due to start we pulled up outside again, extracted me from the car, and then it was nearly time.

I had a brief flutter of butterflies just as we were round the corner from the church, but by the time I was standing outside, I couldn’t think what there was to be nervous about- I knew I was marrying the right person, all our friends and family were there with us, I was looking forward to every bit of the day. Just so exciting, I was just drinking in every last bit of it!

Then I think I decided it was time to go in, so we got ourselves in order, and away we went! My mum first with Benjamin carrying his precious box with our rings in, then Pippa and Jeni, and then it was my turn, with my dad beside me. Not giving me away, just sharing it with me. Everyone at the back turning round and smiling, so much happiness and support in one church was just amazing, and then when we rounded the corner at the back of the aisle and Chris came into view, and I just beamed. Having watched a video of this bit I can see from my face the very moment our eyes met!

At the front of the church we nervously whispered hello and ‘you look lovely’ and so on, and then relaxed when Sue leaned over and said ‘you can hold hands you know!’ And then it began. The service was taken by Richard, and the sermon preached by James, Chris’ university chaplain, with Sue, the minister at Hinde Street, opening and closing and doing the official bit! The readings were given, and prayers written and read, by those we care about, and the whole thing just felt so personal to us, which we weren’t the only ones to appreciate. Instead of the ‘who gives this woman/man’ line, each set of parents made a promise to support us both in our marriage, symbolising our choice to marry each other, and our parents support of that.

Standing opposite Chris saying our vows, with Richard prompting us, just felt so relaxed that my only fear was taking it too lightly! We had a whole church watching, but right then, we could have been the only people there. After the ‘I know proclaim that they are husband and wife’ bit, Richard gave me a hug and shook Chris’ hand. We had a lovely and thoughtful sermon from James. The hymns were just right and were sung with gusto! And the whole service went by far too quickly, as weddings tend to. Before we knew it we were signing the register and having photos taken, and on our way out! At the back of the church madness descended as everyone wanted to say congratulations, and there was much hugging and hand shaking and merriment, until the ever-efficient ushers began herding encouraging people towards the big red Routemaster buses and we made our way to our own car- our chance to have some us time in the middle of the day. We settled in, smiled for a few more photos as the photographer tried to get some from the front passenger seat, and then we were off. Waving at everyone and grinning manically.

This was when I told Chris the taxi driver didn’t know where he was going and that I’d arrived 20 mins early, which he countered with telling me they’d left the rings behind the first time they left the hotel.. alls well that ends well!

Outfits and other fun

I just realised when I came to write this post that I haven’t been back since just after we moved house. There are photos of the new place, and of the chaos which ensued in the moving. I plan to get around to posting those this week, to show off our lovely flat 🙂 We’re very pleased with it, loving having more space, and getting used to this idea of a spare room which is handy not only for guests but also for storing all sorts of junk important and useful stuff.

Anyway, trying to think about what else has happened in the weeks since I last posted.. my new job is going really well, I’m really enjoying being in a job where the work is interesting, the people are friendly and I feel accepted, and where the work I do is valued. It’s such an enjoyable experience it makes the still long commuting more bearable! My journey to work involves a train to the main train station and then a fairly pleasant 25 min walk to the office, which is really good and actually helping me feel less tired rather than more. And the exercise is no bad thing either!

In the last few weeks I have also been shopping for bridesmaid dresses for my two friends who are also getting hitched in the next year, and happy to say that both have excellent taste so no friendships are to be tested by huge peach meringues 😉 The wedding planning madness continues as the first of the weddings approaches, and after that it feels like things will gradually gain momentum through the second and before we know it it’ll be Christmas and I’ll be wondering how much pudding I can eat and still get in my dress!!

Talking of which (shameless girly moment, apologies!), I went and tried on the dress again yesterday, just to show my parents, not for selfish I want to see it again reasons, honest. But I was able to take a couple of accessories with me which I’d thought might work, but guessing from bad phone pictures and uncertain memories isn’t very easy. Anyway, I’m absolutely thrilled cos it all just came together perfectly, exactly right, it could have been designed that way. And the shop was virtually empty so there was plenty of space to see it properly. Can’t put photos here of course, if you want to see let me know and I shall send pics!

And I wasn’t the only one trying on outfits this weekend. Chris went off to have a hunt for his own wedding attire, with the help of Never Conforming and her missus who came down for the weekend. They went off to the local suit hire shop and spent what sounds like a happy hour or so trying on various combinations of suits, waistcoats and neckware, and came back more or less decided on an ensemble which is good news. I have no idea what of course, mutual surprise outfits is much more exciting (and NC has seen my dress so can be the informed opinion!). And he’s quite enjoying getting his own back for the teasing about my dress by suggesting he’s quite keen on the toastmasters outfit.. mm gotta love those gold buttons!!

Snowdrop

For those of you who wanted to see. And quite possibly those who didn’t too. There is a black and white version too, not sure which we’ll use depending on the design, but the printer wasn’t going to let me scan both without complaining.

Snowdrop

PS Hoping this works, this is the first time I’ve added pictures to the shiny new wibsite..

Endings and beginnings

So life has again moved on at quite a rate since last posting, hence the silence. We now have a place to move to, a nice little two bed flat in Ealing, which is actually not as little as our current place, and has the all important Spare Room, and is only about 5 mins walk from the station which is good for the morning commute! We pick up the keys and start the packing this weekend, and then move next Friday. All exciting, and it’s really good in lots of ways. Just have to get through the upheaval of the packing and moving and all that.

I now have less than a week left in my current job, which I finish officially next Friday but have Thursday and Friday as leave so we can move. I have things to finish off and make sure I’m not leaving too much work for other people, but not in a stressful way and the last week should be quite nice. And then the week after we move I start the new job. With the new flat most likely still in chaos, I start my commute to Reading, getting to know a new office and a new team of people, and doing this permanent job that I’ve been aiming for for ages. Exciting yes, but not a little bit scary too!

Wedding plans are progressing although not in a very concrete way (what with us having to move house imminently!). We’re currently trying to locate the various ‘suppliers’ (people wot do stuff) that we need to get booked earlier, the main issue at the moment being to locate a suitable (ie not costing the earth) Ceilidh band in London somewhere. Which it appears is easier said than done. The exciting development is that designs for the invites look like they might be getting somewhere. These are being done by Chris’ wonderful brother who has his own printing business, and is an absolute star! So we (or I) spent last night playing with images to make our very own mood board (I know, how professional does that sound?!) which I think turned out rather well. The other thing I managed to do was to more or less get the drawing done for the invites- I had wanted something floral, and being quite picky about getting the right kind of flower for the season came up with the idea of a snowdrop, which is in flower at this time of year and therefore fits with the time of the wedding. Chris is happy to go with my ideas on creative matters, while still taking the opportunity of mocking the botanical geek in me (“lots of brides want flowers, you want botanically accurate flowers!”). We liked the idea of having something of our own creation on the design, particularly if the rest is being professionally done. So now we have our very own snowdrop, and I’m quite pleased with it even if I do say so myself 🙂 When it’s a bit more finished I might let you see..

Un-niversary

Today is our minus one wedding anniversary 🙂 One year to go, countdown starts here! I’m feeling quite organised at the moment, and we actually have a big list now to organise all the random thoughts, so we must be ok! But this reminded me about my thoughts about the comments on the last wedding post.

I’ve noticed during these few months, especially as a couple of good friends are also planning weddings, how much opinion varies about all sorts of things, and also the way in which this can lead to so many wonderfully varied ideas which make every wedding unique. And I’m not just saying that and meaning ‘well of course you could do that but my way is better’. What I like about the whole process is the way each couple creates something different. This is just our way of doing that, and I love seeing and hearing about the different ways others have and will do the same. A big thing for us has been walking the line between embracing tradition and abandoning it. And a wedding has so many ‘traditions’ associated with it which we don’t want to just accept unquestioningly, but then some we like and want to keep.

We knew that we wanted the day to reflect us and the things which are important to us, which brought us to two things. Our faith- a huge part of our lives and something we share. We knew we wanted to make this commitment with not only our families but also with God, and in the church of which we are both members. The nature and style of the service is also important, that it be not just a marriage ceremony but an act of worship, with hymns and readings carefully chosen. Secondly, and harder to describe, our firm belief that we come to the marriage as equal partners (sometimes referred to as the scary feminist streak!), which challenges many of the ‘traditions’ linked with weddings, and also challenges many thoughts and assumptions!

Some things we have decided have been easy. That we didn’t want just the men (father of the bride, best man and groom) making speeches , and so asked the mother of the groom and a bridesmaid to counterbalance (this may be a decision we live to regret ;))! That we didn’t want me to be ‘given away’ in the normal sense, and so we will both enter the church with our parents, in some way or other, and when asked ‘who gives this woman/man’ both parents answer for each of us, symbolising the support and consent of each set of parents to their child’s marriage.

However, as much as we like the idea of subverting tradition and challenging people’s expectations, there are also things which it does no harm to embrace, and which are important to others. As Miss Lisa said about her ‘handing over’, things which mean a lot to someone who means a lot to you, become important to you also. My Dad would accept my wishes if I said I didn’t want to be walked down the aisle, but I know that will be a moment he would cherish, to be there with his only child, not to give me away to Chris but to be involved in this moment as he has been with so many others. And to be honest, I might need the support getting to the front!

Anthea- I don’t keep a constant record of how many months/weeks/days its been, but I don’t think I shall ever be able to forget the actual date that we got engaged- September 11th. Because Chris is such a hopeless romantic 😉

And Jack, yes winter weddings are fab, I’m glad there are some people who don’t think I’m crackers. And I may be stealing ideas from your flowers..

Not just a wedding blog

So I haven’t mentioned anything wedding related so far. I could say it was out of an effort to not turn this blog into a wedding blog. Or that there isn’t anything to report, or that there is but I’m trying to keep it quiet. But none of the above are true, although I am planning to manage the first!

In the… *counts on fingers* nearly 4 months (am I meant to remember that?) that we’ve been engaged the plans have come on apace. We had a good many ideas before the question popping- not the big stuff (as the wedding industry might have you believe) but the bits that to us were important enough that we just ‘knew’- the hymns we wanted, who we wanted to do the service, helpful-type people who we wanted to ‘do stuff’, which traditions to keep and which to ditch (none of the ’honour and obey’ or me being ‘given away’ in that sense), and more or less when (I’ve always wanted a winter wedding, and thankfully Chris doesn’t think this is too crackers to go along with it!).

But once we knew it was actually happening, all the so far unknowns had to become known, and we had the fun task of deciding on the ‘big things’. We made the difficult decision to get married in our church in London, which was far from both our families (mine in particular), but is the first place which has been properly ours, rather than mine or his. The first place we have lived together also has special significance. So now we have the church, and the reception venue booked, which means we have a date (January 2011) and an idea of what the day is going to be like. I now also have a dress, which I have duly begun teasing Chris about with images of meringues and pink and purple stripes! So, in short, by Christmas we had enough sorted to sit back and relax for a bit, knowing that we still have plenty of time to make the difficult decisions like how to cut the list of hymns down to a reasonable number, and what flowers to have (never ask a botanist to choose flowers, very bad idea!).

However, the best comedy moment over Christmas was Chris, when asked how the planning was going by someone at my parents Church, confessing “Well, it’s all kind of on hold at the moment…” Unfortunately we have no idea who this poor person was to explain that that’s not quite what he meant! Oops..