Wedding tales part II (A long time coming)
2016-06-01 | 11:34 a.m.

It's my birthday today! We'll ignore the "how old" part, shall we? *cough* 32 *cough*. I'm sure the 17-year-old me would be wincing but it's not that bad actually. Luckily for me it's court half term, meaning many days off this week (today being one of them) and it's also schools half term so Katie is trotting down to London at lunchtime, and we plan on going to a couple of museums (ratio of museums to wine 1:5, probably) and getting some food.

I had vague ideas of going to the gym this morning, whereupon I woke up at 9.30 as Ollie was leaving for work and chuckled at the notion.

So now is good a time as any to complete my wedding tales that I started 40 (yes...) days ago. I hope it was worth the wait; I highly expect it won't be.

*** WEDDING TALES PART II, approx. 12.45 pm - ceremony is at 1.30 pm ***

I really did love that wedding car! The driver had a SatNav that told us how many minutes away we were from the little castle where our ceremony was being held, which left many minutes for driving up and down random lanes and it was just relaxing having those moments with my dad and bridesmaids. The minutes eventually melted away and we arrived at the venue and the next bit is kinda blurry, but I had photos taken, met the registrar, did some legal bit and went to the toilet, hoisting my dress up high since I'd miraculously managed to avoid staining it with anything thus far and wasn't about to start with urine, lest we forget the time Jenn accidentally dropped the sleeve of her cow print onesie down the toilet and weed on it.

I was by now feeling very nervous but could hear a lot of laughter coming from the ceremony room, which helped enormously. As we waited outside Katie pointed to a large painting on the wall of a previous town mayor called Desmond O'Connor and said, "If you feel nervous just think of Des O'Connor!" and then the instrumental of Solsbury Hill began playing and it was time to go in!

The ceremony was actually fine. It took about 7-8 seconds to walk down the "aisle" and I didn't fall over, and I had Ollie to arrive at, who was looking at me with his gorgeous eyes (and had a slightly sweaty forehead as it was warm). In addition to the walking I also managed to not trip up on any vows (I was very fearful of "solemnly") and actually spent much of the ceremony gazing out of the window in front of me, focusing on some people who were eating lunch on a bench with their dog, as the castle is on public grounds and it was nice out.

After our lovely, short, circa 20-minute ceremony Ollie and I went to a separate room for a glass of fizz and a photo on a throne (haha) before going outside for confetti pics and spending the next hour with the photographer getting as many photos as possible around the castle grounds (including being well-wished by some folk drinking Special Brew on a bench). Then it was time for a little champagne and ride in the car (with the top March! We did have to get him to close it after about ten minutes though as it was cold and I also thought I would start to resemble Bridget Jones a la mini break with Hugh Grant) and that was my special alone time with Ollie (and Peter, our driver) for about half an hour.

We had our reception in a fantastic, unpretentious 18th century hotel and our time here went far, far too quickly as I was very relaxed by this point. The food was delicious although I couldn't eat masses I think due to residual nerves. The speeches, it turned out, didn't need to be anything to fear, even with Ollie's friends placing bets on how long Jim the best man's speech would be. There was then the small mishap of realising no one had brought my overnight bag and fearing I'd be going to breakfast and travelling home in my wedding dress the following day, to the point where I wanted to jump in a cab to go the 12 miles back to my mum's house. But Jenn and Nick saved the day by driving back to get it for me. They told me Nick drove as he has ME and as a result doesn't drink much usually but I learned just recently that he was hammered and was all over the place! JUST KIDDING. He had drank but it was Jenn who drove as unbeknown to all of us then it turned out she was/is pregnant for the second time, woohoo! Jenn, my old housemate, the onesie wee-er who once pretended to go on holiday (complete with wheeling a suitcase down the street) in order to get rid of a one night stand, who now is a fantastic mum and I couldn't be more proud of her!

By this point it was about 8.00 pm and all our evening guests had arrived (we did a cutting of the cake after the meal but totally swerved a first dance...just didn't have one and no one noticed or said anything!) That's not to say I didn't dance; I did a lot of it until my feet hurt and my 3-inch Rainbow Club heels which had done so well to not hurt me until this point gave me gip and were swiftly kicked off. And I have this just perfect memory of dancing with Ollie to These Days by Take That, my method of dancing involving pointing my index fingers at him and singing the "Theeese days!" part of the chorus as that was the only bit I knew.

(Have to stop here briefly as I need to wash my hair!)

(11.16 am, I'm back...)

Actually, there's not an awful lot extra to add. I started feeling sad at about 10 pm as I knew the whole thing would be ending at 11.30 pm and I really just wanted the day to last forever, so much so that when 11.30 arrived and our last song had played (Andy Williams - Can't Take My Eyes Off You) Ollie and I rounded up anyone who wanted to continue the night and trekked out into the deepest, darkest Hertford nightlife, abandoning one club due to too long a queue and ending up in some other bar/club where we were kindly whisked to the front and instead of having to provide ID and a £5 entry fee I was ushered straight inside and gifted a bottle of perry! This is the first and I imagine the only time I have been clubbing (a) in a wedding dress and (b) with my dad in tow. Ollie and I became knackered quite quickly and left the group to it, getting back to the hotel at 1.30 in the morning, where I passed out in my wedding dress (see two entries ago). Maybe I could have done without my overnight bag after all...

People ask what it's like being married and, really, it's just the same as it was before we were married. But then that's the whole reason I said yes to Ollie's proposal in the first place.

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