Today marks eight whole days since I married the love of my life, and it’s been just wonderful. We went to Bath for a few days, where we walked around in the rain, drank tea and ate cake (or, in The Boy’s case, bath buns), and generally had a lovely, relaxing time.
Now we’re back home, and before we return to work (and Earth), with a big bump tomorrow, I thought it would be nice to talk about the days leading up to, and the morning of, our wedding; I’ll tell you all about the wedding next week, and in the meantime, please enjoy this sneak peek from our photographers, Lina and Tom.
Let’s start with two days before, when my fabulous friend Lucy did my nails. You’ll notice a hint of sparkle (as my nan always said, you have to have a bit of bling), and a sneaky reference to The Legend of Zelda, one of The Boy’s favourite video game series (if we hadn’t decided on Doctor Who as one of our main wedding themes, I have no doubt that it would have been vintage-meets-Zelda).
This lovely couple of hours of pampering was followed by packing (lots of it), writing out the final, final, promise-this-one’s-the-last-one-no-more-changes version of the table plan, cross-checking the guest list with the place names, locating, losing and re-finding The Boy’s wedding ring (he still doesn’t know), tracking down a lost pair of bridesmaids’ tights. and triple checking everything I’d already done.
It. Was. Exhausting.
Ah, the day before the wedding, when I truly felt like I was going to burst, I was so stressed out. I spent my time wisely, wrapping beautiful ribbon around jam jars (which we didn’t use), putting the people who rang to offer help on speakerphone so I could carry on with the six things I was already doing while I spoke to them, and generally panicking.
Luckily, just in the nick of time, one of my bridesmaids showed up to take me to have my eyebrows and eyelashes done by the lovely ladies at Dollie Mixtures (who also did the hair and make up of the bridal party on the wedding day), before heading to Heatherden Hall at Pinewood Studios to set up. As we packed up the car with boxes, flowers, a wedding dress and various other bits and pieces, I was in awe of her skills – either her car is a TARDIS or she was bloody amazing at Tetris when she was younger.
Please, enjoy this photo of me getting my eyebrows tinted and lashes lengthened by the gorgeous Sarah. No, the eyebrows didn’t stay this big.
After a morning of beautification (while The Boy and his best men loaded three entire cars with the rest of our wedding stuff – having seen how much was still to pack when I left, I’m guessing they were all also bloody amazing at Tetris), we headed off to Pinewood Studios to see our event coordinator and meet our event manager for the day. Both of whom were ruddy lovely, and let us get on with setting everything up (as a stressed out, ‘Type A’ sort of a bride, I was very grateful). We had an army of helpers, including my mum, sister, a bridesmaid, an honorary bridesmaid and various ushers, so we got everything set up pretty quickly. Here are a few photos of the afternoon tea – fans of Gavin & Stacey, can you guess what’s in the wrapping paper?
While the boys made cake stands, the girls set up tables, and I ran around trying to do a lot but not really achieving anything, my lovely sister set up the cake table, with the wedding cake that she’d made (topper from The Pigeon’s Nest). And doesn’t it look ruddy amazing? The only suggestions we had were ‘Um…something very traditional. And a bit Doctor Who-y. Maybe something that mixes the two?’ and she came up with this absolute corker. On a related note, despite offering it to anyone and everyone who’s visited, we still have three and a half tiers left, so if anyone fancies some – please, come over!
Before long, it was time to head to the hotel, and just before we parted ways for the evening, The Boy told me that as it was our sixth anniversary he’d bought me six presents, which I would receive over the next couple of days (he’s a romantic soul), and offered me two to kick things off. The first was a bath bomb set from Lush, so I could ‘Have a bath and relax’ – read: ‘Chill out for God’s sake’ – and the second was a gorgeous flower arrangement, so I could look at something pretty while I was getting ready.
We kissed, said cheerio and went our separate ways; me, with the aforementioned mum, sister, bridesmaid, honorary bridesmaid to a local hotel, and him with aforementioned ushers and best men, to a different local hotel.
As luck would have it, after we’d checked in and were heading to get the rest of our stuff from the car (brides-to-be, be aware: you will have a lot more stuff than you think), the rest of the bridesmaids arrived, in surprisingly high spirits given they’d travelled during rush hour and arrived using the ‘scenic route’ – the way the satnav sends you that’s essentially a single-track road, and something I really should have warned them about.
We all congregated in my room, when my sister handed me a big, sparkly box full of lovely, thoughtful presents. As well as a bow tie that used to belong to my grandad, to wrap around my bouquet, she’d bought me a wedding day candle, an ‘I can’t keep calm, I’m the bride mug’ – which she assures me wasn’t in response to a massive stress-related rant I went on earlier in the week (again, Kates, I am truly, truly sorry about that), a book with advice for brides, and a host of other things. She’s lovely.
Then, apart from my lovely mum, who went to bed with a truly hideous cold, we all headed down to the restaurant for dinner, where four of us had vegetarian fish and chips, read: halloumi and chips. Oh. My. Word. It was amazing. One of the bridesmaids also had her first taste of blue WKD, and I think I’m right in saying she’s not a massive fan.
Before long, it was time to head back to our rooms, and after a lovely hot bath (all the more glorious as our boiler had failed to light that morning, leaving me, running late and with no time to wait for the water heater, to wash my hair in freezing water over the bath), I attempted to get some sleep. My gorgeous friend and honorary bridesmaid kindly offered to spend the night with me, which reminded me of the many, many, many sleepovers we had aged 14, but thankfully, without the horror films this time.
My morning started at 5:30am, when I suddenly woke up for no reason (except, you know – getting married), and my lovely friend made the foolish, foolish mistake of asking me if I was ok, therefore alerting me to the fact she was awake. I played her ‘I’m getting married in the morning’ at full volume before hopping in the shower, while she made tea, watched television and reconsidered her life choices.
Before too long, the Dollies arrived, along with the rest of the bridal party (Mum dosed up on lots of cold and flu tablets, I suspect), and it was all go. Here are a few of the highlights:
- While everyone urged me to eat (so much so that I offered to throw pain au chocolat at the next person to suggest it), I tried to open a bottle of Buck’s Fizz and spilt it all down my silky pyjamas and dressing gown. I was not amused, but my quick-thinking sister threw the dressing gown on the towel rail and blasted the pyjamas with a hairdryer. So, although I smelt a bit curious, no lasting damage was done.
- Shortly afterwards, Mum popped to the shop, and asked if anyone wanted anything. “Oh, a large bottle of water would be lovely, please” said one of the bridesmaids. Mum came back with one that wouldn’t have looked out of place on top of a water cooler – she likes to be prepared.
- The Boy and I had a lovely conversation via text, where he told me he was pretty excited about the Sunderland vs Manchester United game.
- One of the bridesmaids came in with present number three from The Boy, which was a gorgeous St. Christopher bracelet, to keep me safe on my journey to the wedding (presumably chosen because The Boy’s name is Christopher, rather than him having any specific concerns about the entirely-normal-not-at-all-hazardous 15-minute trip to the venue).
- When the bridesmaids left, me, Mum and my sister had some time to ourselves, along with the lovely Lina, to breathe, relax, be calm and have some photos taken. It was lovely. Until I realised I was going to be really rather late, and had what can only be described as a major freakout.
- This was followed by the realisation that my dress was going to be picking up pretty much anything and everything all day. We reached this conclusion when, in the space of three minutes when I was doing nothing but standing stock still, I ended up with a coat hanger, polystyrene packaging and a plastic bag attached to my train.
- The car on the way to the wedding was beautiful. Unfortunately, our original plan stalled when Doris, the 1957 Austin my stepdad was restoring, needed a lot more work doing than expected, so instead, I had an Austin Princess limo, which took the bridesmaids then came back for me, Mum, Lina and Katie. While I was panicking (a lot) about being late, the time in the car with my two favourite ladies was very, very special.
As well as the proper wedding post next week, I’ll be posting The Boy’s best wedding moments, a comprehensive glossary of all the TV shows/films/geeky things we referenced, and a helpful list of our suppliers, in case you’ve seen anything you like, in the next few weeks. After that, what happens with the blog is anyone’s guess – it will still continue, but it could become a vintage style blog, I could start featuring other people’s weddings, or dedicate it solely to reviewing Disney films. Or, I could be one of those people that keeps banging on about their wedding, week in, week out, forever and ever and ever.
Let’s hope it’s not the last one – you’ve all had quite enough of that.