“I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
All that preparation, all that work, all that worrying over forgetting the vows – it was all over. We were married!
Michelle and I have been 8 years in the making, but the last two months have been a whirlwind, culminating in 48 hours of frenzied planning to make sure nothing was forgotten. After checking the final preparations at the reception the previous night, we were separated to prepare ourselves for the big day. I went out for a a Last Supper at zizzi with the best man Jac and most of the ushers. We spent a lot of time discussing plans for the next day – where to park, who to usher where, precisely how much chocolate would be in the fountain, that kind of thing. I gave them a token rubbish present – Usher and Best Man boxer shorts, which they all promised to wear the next day. They perked up a little when I told them it wasn’t their main present, as did the lady next door to us who was looking on in horror.
And then a couple of hours later it was Jac and I, back at home and bedding down (separately, of course) for the last night of singledom. It would be natural for me to lie awake for a while, marvelling at the big event rthe next day and worrying about what would happen. As it was, I logged into the land of sleep within a few minutes. After all, it was too late to change anything now…
I slept surprisingly well, and was woken at 7am by the pattering of bloody rain on the window. “Brilliant,” I muttered, although there was a theory (thanks to my mother, who sent me copious weather reports over the week) that it would clear up by lunchtime. And so it did, earlier than planned. By 9am, the sun was shining through the clouds and Jac was busy thoughtfully preparing breakfast – a lovely touch that, when I told Nick about it by text caused him to write back, “For Christ’s sake, marry Jac.”
At 10am, the Cutting Edge film crew (of 1) turned up, ready for film the preparations for a documentary we’d excitedly signed up to a few months earlier. The camera was comically large on her small frame, and she swung it around for about half an hour, filming Jac and I struggling with how on earth to tie cravats and Nick actually ironing. Proof!
While I was doing up my shoelaces, she zoomed in and asked a few deep-and-meaningfuls on marriage and my expectations. I rustled up a few reasonable answers, and then she was off – off to make Michelle nervous as well.
And then, it was time. We all gathered the buttonholes that had been delivered, collected the Orders of Service and bundled into three separate cars and one scooter specially for faster orders. We travelled in convoy to the hotel and pub next door to the church, where I booked in for the night and the ushers homed in on the bar for a quick half-pinter. Mum and dad were also there, all dolled up and nervous, so after popping in to see them I met Jac and the ushers by the car. “Right,” said Simon H, “let’s get you married.” We began the march (well, slow meander) to the church.
It was a funny feeling, sitting down at the front of the long line of pews, waiting for the bride. I’d seen countless others sitting there, looking nervous, knees tapping, eyes furtive and darting. As I took my place after greeting guests with an introductory “I’m getting married”, it dawned on me that it was my turn in the hotseat, with the eyes of the whole congregation burning into the back of my head. I’d like to think it was my laid back attitude to life – rather than the Bach’s Rescue Remedy that I had downed earlier – that got me through it. To tell the truth at 1pm I was a bundle of nerves, but at 20 past, with still no sign of the bride, I was over the worst of it. Jac certainly helped with encouraging words, although our “comical” discussions we had to calm the nerves were worryingly captured on film and microphone…
And then she was there, a vision of wonderfulness in a stunning long, full-trained dress – and everything sped up. The 45-minute ceremony felt like ten minutes, and we were out in the sunshine quicker than you could say “Da Vinci Code”. Greeting everyone now with “I’m married”, we ploughed through the photographs and head for two glasses of champagne and Glyn’s shining Jaguar, ready to cart us off to the reception, half a mile away.
Glyn was a great chauffeur, taking us the scenic route so we could down enough bubbly nectar to see us through the rest of the day. And it was a hell of an afternoon…
This is the first part of a three-parter about our wedding. Feel free to read the other two – Part 2 – A Great Reception and Part 3 – Destination Thailand.
There are photos too – Official Wedding & Reception and Unofficial Wedding & Reception and Honeymoon.
Oh, and a Honeymoon Video. I spoil you.