Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The One About the Wedding...Part 2

Next day we had quite a lazy start, with M meeting up with the groomsmen for breakfast at Little Chef which was next door, whilst I had some extra time in bed.  Then, I started getting ready, first with the shower - which I nearly had a panic attack about, because the previous evening I'd had a shower and it was fine.  Wednesday morning and there was no hot water.  So I'm stood there in a towel, and telling M to ask the boys if I can use their shower (they were in the room next door to ours), when he comes back and says it's ok, one tap is the pressure and one tap is the temperature!  Well why didn't they put a set of instructions up on the wall for those of us that can't cope with complicated things???  Anyway panic over, I was able to concentrate on getting ready.  And despite having had plenty of practice with twirling tongs previously this time, I just needed a helping hand from M!  (One of these days I'm going to work out something else to do with the tongs rather than just twirl it and have my hair hanging loose - but no-one else at the wedding had seen my hair like that before, so it looked like I'd made an effort, and I know M likes my hair all twirly - he calls me curly top!)

The wedding was due to start at 2, but A wanted to get to the venue for 12ish, so we got there miles before anyone else, and sat in the sun.  

M and I took ourselves off for a walk around the grounds, and found a really lovely kitchen/rose garden where everything was in bloom.   

The staff had been getting things ready for the wedding, so there were outdoor games dotted around the place, so the boys had a game of tennis with some plastic rackets and a soft ball - in their brand new suits!

 Things started to get more interesting when the other guests arrived.  And it was fun to people watch to see what people were wearing, and how the girls had done their hair.  (Does anyone else do this, or is it just me?)  M kept going off for secret best man duties - nothing too exciting I don't think, just helping to move some tables and chairs!  Then at about 1:50pm we were allowed into the barn (which had been beautifully restored) we were allowed to go and take our seats.  As the partner of one of the best men I got to sit in the second row at the end, and had a really good view of everything!  The flowers that had been used were so so pretty, all in pinks and dark purples.  They had soft music playing as we waited, with the words 'going to the chapel, gonna get married' I'm not sure what the song was but it was light hearted and fun.

Then the curtain closed at the back, the music changed, and we were all asked to stand.  N's sister J (one of the bridesmaids) came in first with a little flower girl (who must have been between 1 and 2 years old), who didn't seem to want to be there, as she kept shouting for her mum, poor thing.  But she kept hold of her little basket with the confetti in and didn't spill any.

 Next up were two more bridesmaids M & D, all of them in dark purple strapless dresses that came to just past their knees, with matching shoes, jewellery and hair do's.  Did I mention that the first bridesmaid J was 7 months pregnant?  Well you could hardly tell with the dress, as it suited her so well!

 Then, in comes the bride, which is always the best bit I think, when she first sees the groom at the altar (is it still called an altar if it's a civil ceremony?), and when the groom first sees the bride.  

She looked lovely with her hair all up at the back with a stunning hair grip on one side.  The dress wasn't too fussy, which is just like N to be honest.  Of course there were tears as she walked down the aisle, and through the ceremony too, but the service was lovely, and they had a reading from Captain Corelli's Mandolin by a close family friend.  And then... they were married.

 And we all went out into the sunshine for photos, drinks and canapes (although these were quite tricky to get hold of as they went down so quick!)  There weren't as many professional photos as we thought there would be, a few shots with the bride, the groom and the family (including the bridesmaids as they were the brides sisters), and none with the groomsmen.  We were quite surprised as there were so many spots arounf the grounds that they could have had some stunning photos as, including the hidden garden we'd found earlier, but they had obviously planned in advance that they would rather spend their time with their guests.  The bit between the ceremony and the sit down meal is always the bit of the wedding tha I like the least.  There is always a lot of waiting, and you always end up eating your meal at a very starnge time (and as I'm sure people already know - I get very cranky when I'm hungry!)  But at half past 4 we were directed into the other part of the barn for the main meal.  It had been decorated with fairy lights around all the dark beams, with sprinkles on the table, and matching purple and pink flowers around the room.  As M was best man, he was sat at the top table with the bride and groom, and I was sat with M's friends from uni, who I know quite well, and had a laugh with.

 The bit we were waiting for though were the speeches.  First up was the brides Dad, who was so endearing, and kept being interrupted by his wife in case he forgot anything, who shared stories about the bride that I'd never heard before, and told us how A & N first met!  Then the groom's turn came along, and he read his pre-written speech from his phone, but unfortunately lost his place and had to stop at one point.  It didn't matter though, it just gave the speech and the day some more character.  Finally it was the best man's speech.  M had helped C write the speech, and although I had been asked did I want to read it, I declines saying I'd rather hear it for the first time at the wedding and not ruin the surprise (I think in hindsight if I had read the speech in advance - I would have told them to remove quite a bit of it!) Anyway, C was on good form though and made a joke of when the mike stopped working properly and sounded like he was rapping!  There were quite a few risky jokes and innuendoes, and something about the magic round about that I haven't been able to get out of M!

After the final speech we were all sent outside for coffee and biscuits whilst the staff cleared the tables and chairs away ready for the dancing.  The newly married couple had their first dance, and then encouraged the rest of us to join in.  

It was really hot and stuffy with all the dancing going on, so we decided to head outside and play a game of croquet!  It was really good fun, the others were a little tipsy (I'd offered to be the designated driver to I was still fully sober!) which made it very silly, with people just hitting the ball madly rather than aiming for the hoops!  The day ended with a big send off for the bride and groom thought an archway that the guests had made, and they went off out into the night together to a song about New York - which I can't remember exactly how it went, (and they aren't even in New York on their honeymoon, they're off on an island somewhere!) but it was a big band type song and it really suited their departure.  All that was left to do was to get the boys into the car and take them back to the Travel Lodge.

It was a fantastic few days, and it was great catching up with everyone.  And if you've made it this far with everything that I've written I'm impressed! 


Miss Smith said...

Croquet = COOL!

Glad you had fun!

dogmatix said...

Sounds like u had a great day. U looked lovely. It sounds like they started with Chapel of Love which was in Four Weddings and a Funeral but I could be wrong!

Sian said...

It does sound like a perfect day. And may I say how much I like your peacock blue dress?

Alison said...

Made it right to the end!...sounds like a lovely day (I DO like weddings!)and yoour hair and dress look spot on!
alison xx

Kimberlee said...

Awwww... how sweet. Great storytelling and lovely pics. :D

Nicola Greenbrook said...

Dear Gem, I am so sorry that I've only just got around to commenting! Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful blog and for giving me an insight into some of the things that Alex and I didn't see. I'm so glad you and Mark had a good time and were able to share such a happy day with us.
Love, Nxxxx