So, at the ripe old age of 38 years and 51 weeks, Saturday June 22nd saw me finally become a Mrs !
Now, after much dallying and a final kick up the rear from the lovely T4yto, I get to write my very own Wedding Report– who’da thunk it ??!! :0D
Forgive me if it’s not a work of literary wonder, and I am known to waffle on endlessly– as I believe I have written shorter Uni assignments, I shan’t be offended if you just whizz through the photos on your coffee break !
So, where to begin?
How Did I Get To Be Mrs S?
Long story, so grab the hob-nobs!
Wayyyyyy back in May 1999, I had just begun a new job in our local friendly hostelry when a dark haired, smiley faced and smartly dressed guy came and introduced himself to me behind the bar as Mark, the Assistant Manager. Can’t work much, I thought– I’ve been here days and not even heard of him! Nice guy, possibly slightly *ahem* ‘in touch with his feminine side’, great bum too! We chatted and hit it off well. Good first impression, liked him– perhaps could be a future GBF?
I told him I was in a relationship (not sure if I admitted at that point what a total tosser my then OH was?), two young children blah blah blah...... Then the surprising bit– he had a FEMALE!!!!! partner and two daughters, the youngest being a fortnight old– he had just returned from paternity leave, explaining the 'not having met before now' thing.
Needless to say, I tried to stifle my surprise and the conversation continued to flow easily.
Fast forward several months and my relationship had gone from bad to totally, utterly dire. (Did I mention the ex was a total tosser?!)
Things finally came to a head one day rather nastily and I was left a nervous wreck. In stepped Mark– who, unbeknown to me at this point had also gone through a relationship break-up-...my knight in shining armour! He got my head and my trashed house back in order for me and sometime later, we shared our first kiss.
I think we both knew from that moment that what we had was something special– we fell utterly in love with eachother very quickly and were practically joined at the hip.... He would be the man I was to marry.... Wouldn’t he?
Then in April 2000, just days after celebrating his 26th birthday together, he broke my heart.
He left me unexpectedly and I was completely devastated. My world had fallen apart. I was bereft. (Years later he told me he had found it hard spending more time around my children than his own, so had tried, unsuccessfully, to make another go of it with their mother. He regretted the split almost instantly, but his stubborn streak prevented him from asking me to take him back.)
Time moved on, and we moved with it.
January 2002 dropped another bombshell on me... Mark served me at the bar , looking healthy and tanned. I complimented him on his ‘glow’ whilst we were all decidedly dull from the wintry weather.... To which his reply was he had just returned from his honeymoon in Cuba !
He had only gone and married the sour faced crone I used to work with behind the bar !! WTF ??!!!
Through gritted smiles, I offered my ‘Sincerest Congratulations’ (should have said “ Condolences ” :0/ ) and , I’m ashamed to say, gave in to the advances of my very good male companion, J, to take our relationship to the next level....
REBOUND !!!! BOINNNGGG !!!
Almost 4 years down the line, I had just split from J –my doing but fairly amicably- and he and his children went to stay at his mother’s whilst I was preparing to move into my new house. That Friday, 9th December 2005, is a day I shall unfortunately never forget...
I had just met up with J and the children at another family pub after chatting happily to Mark at the local. It was all very jolly. Then a text came through to my mobile ‘From: Mark. Message: My Mum is dead.’
Tragically, Mark had received the worst call of his life just after I had left the pub... His beautiful, 48 year old Mum had been killed in a road accident on her way to work.
I made my excuses and left J and the children, claiming illness– in fact, I wanted to scream, throw up, sob and run to Mark...
But he had a wife....
Useless does not do my feelings at that point justice.
Fate can be so cruel.
Just 2 weeks earlier, Mark had informed me he hadn’t spoken to his Mum or his two sisters in two years, predominantly over his marriage to K, but it was on the rocks, likely to not last much longer and he figured he visit his mum if / when they broke up. I begged and pleaded with him to make amends quickly as ‘you never know what is around the corner’. He promised faithfully he would get in touch... He had left it too late.
We talked a little over the following days and my darling mother-in-law was laid to rest two days before Christmas.
K said some horrendously cruel things, Mark fell into a pit of despair and left her. He ran away. To his mother’s., where his youngest sister was.
A few days later, he called me. Then he visited. To take his mind off things a little, he helped me move into my new house, did a bit of DIY etc... He seemed to be holding up pretty well, given the circumstances.
One day, he walked down my stairs after fixing the bathroom radiator and the strangest feeling came over me as I looked at him– I knew then that I NEVER wanted him to leave again.
We kissed and that was that.
OK, so he was ‘delicate’, the timing was crap I know. Was I taking advantage? Did he see me as an emotional crutch? No and no.
Fate had thrown us back together and that is that.
Rest in peace, beautiful lady xxx
Sooooooooo..... 6.5 years into our relationship, a beautiful daughter completing the family unit, and having gone through some really difficult financial and emotional times, we had managed to pull through all the ups and enormous downs and in September 2012, Mark mentioned the ‘M’ word.
No romantic proposal, no shiny new ring (he gave me a sparkly ’commitment ring’ at Christmas some years ago so that would suffice lol), no seeking permission from my lovely Dad. We sat on the sofa watching TV and he simply said “I think we should get married”. Job done, let’s get planning !!!!!
Choosing a Venue :
So happy that Mark had even mentioned marriage, I took it as the green flag and ploughed headlong in to planning where, when and how our wedding might take place. Suddenly realising if we are always totally brassic, it will take FOREVER to save, perhaps a simple, intimate wedding was looking the most likely outcome– quick registry office ceremony followed by a lovely party and BBQ at my sister’s perhaps? Sounded great to me !
It’s not like we NEEDED a full on do. I mean, 5 children, Mark being a divorcee, 7 years together... We were practically married anyway, so it was only a matter of getting the piece of paper to make it official.
So, excitedly, I called my Mum. She was over the moon! And, Mum being Mum and desperate to see one of her rapidly aging daughters get married, she pulled a blinder and gifted us £5k. This opened up a whole new range of options.... With careful planning and budgeting, I was sure we could have a damn good wedding !
Laptop fired up, celebratory glass of red in hand, the net got more surfing that night than Hawaii has seen in decades!
Umpteen downloaded PDFs , menus, brochures, packages galore were bringing the laptop to a virtual standstill and even without visiting the venue, I KNEW where we would tie the knot. The Grand St Leger Hotel, Doncaster– perfect ! Affordable, intimate, beautiful and the complete shebang..... And there was a wedding fair on just the following weekend !!! Oh, I should mention that I did actually discuss this with Mark! So, Big Sis and I toodled along to the fair and fell head over heels with the place. We tried the food– delicioso! We saw the ceremony room set out and listened to Alexandra, the Electric Violinist... And cried like babies! We toured the bedrooms and chose which suite we would opt for. Sorted then yeah? All I needed to do was bring Mark along to get the go ahead, and we could put a deposit down. Cracking !!
Mum made trip to Donny from Mid-Wales, so we popped to the hotel for a girlie lunch– she was virtually getting her chequebook out there and then! Still, Mark needed to see it for himself...... And when he did, he loved it too! We could have everyone come from their relevant dwellings across Britain and France, and everyone could stay at the hotel– exclusively ours– for the whole weekend. Ideal! All we needed to do was choose a date and pay the deposit.
I don’t remember how or when things changed, other than Mark mentioning the Church.....
Really? You’d have ideally liked to have got married in Church? Oh, you were happy compromising for my sake ! Whaaaattttt???!!!!
St Lawrence Church has to be one of THE most beautiful parish churches in the country, and just happens to be one of my favourite places in the world.
So then of course we began finding negatives in the hotel... Has it got limited parking, there’s no outdoor space– if we want a Summer wedding with children around us, where will they burn off their energy? Where would we have the photos taken?
Needless to say, we never did pay that deposit....
Right then, let’s suppose Rev Wilson says it’s okay to marry in his church, given Mark’s prior marriage, the fact that we have been living in sin for years, had 5 children between us OUT OF WEDLOCK !!! and that really, I couldn’t have been a ‘white’ bride without turning back the clock some 20+ years .... Where the chuff would we hold a reception??!!!!
Moat House? No– that’s where Mark married the troll.
Green Tree? Hatfields? No– they are pubs with function rooms I dislike and still nowhere for the kids.
Hmmmmm............. Thinking caps on.
Cue Mother-To-The-Rescue again !!
Whilst sitting in a village hall a few miles from our house, waiting to see a local amdram production, Mum had that lightbulb moment....
Large hall, equipped kitchen, bar room, play park and acres of green space...... “Didn’t you sing at a wedding here a few years ago Andrea?” DOH !!!!!! Of course !!!
So, having had the nod from the vicar, we booked St Lawrence Church, Hatfield for a 3pm ceremony and Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall for Saturday 22nd June 2013..... 8 months away. Ages right? Like pregnancy.... And boy does that drag?!
And so it all began in earnest... I tackled planning with the frenzied energy and bullishness of a Donny bird at a Primarni sale.
Mark pretty much left me to it all, happy to know it was making me happy and just giving me the occasional yay or nay on things.
The Dress :
Given our budget limitations, and Mother’s skill with the sewing machine, I was looking for dress inspiration online with a view to finding a pattern for her to make up. Oh my ! There were so many amazing dresses to take inspiration from! I did fall in love with Gatsby by Maggie Sottero and Mum was dangerously close to buying a second hand one on ebay– bids even went in !!!
Thankfully, sense ruled out and I refused to let Mum increase her bids– I mean, I had seen photos of it on real brides and some looked lovely, others...well......... Besides, how could we risk that much money on a dress I had never even seen in real life, let alone tried on ?! No, we must do this properly...
I did the grown up thing and booked an appointment at Tickled Pink, our local bridal boutique, just over the road from church. Mum was over from Wales again, so , whilst the wee ones were at school, Mum, Lou (my sis) and I had a girly sesh. I made it very clear to Paula the shop assistant that under no circumstances were we there to even CONSIDER buying a dress– shop prices were completely out of the question and we just needed to see what shape and style may or may not suit me. Paula agreed that that was the best thing to do. Cool. She left us to select a few dresses from the rails whilst she went to google the Gatsby, as Tickled Pink didn’t stock it.
Ten or so minutes later, having dismissed all but 4 dresses on the hangers, purely on the grounds of dress weight, fabric and aesthetics, Paula had me try on my first dress. Despite me being 5’11 and of not-particularly-dainty proportions, the zip up ivory satin dress fitted me perfectly. Wow! It was lovely and really did look fabulous on– I was sorely tempted to buy it. But it felt like I was dressing like a bride, not dressing like Andrea in a weddingy dress if you know what I mean?
I knew the shape worked for me, it gave me a nice figure and mum and Lou both agreed it looked ace....
Seeing the temptation about to get the better of myself and mum, Lou asked me to try on the dress she had picked from the rail. Actually, it was more like a child begging for ‘just one more sweet pleeeeeaaasseee !!!’ OK then.
White dress, chiffon, bling front and back– that’s right... White! Just one more time.. WHITE !!! I’m a 38 year old mother of 5 for heaven’s sake !! Why the chuff would I wear white??!!! Oh, well, according to the good folk at Maggie Sottero, it’s not white, it’s ivory. Really? Looks funking white to me !!!
And so Paula laced me in it. Teracina by MS....
So there I stood in this WHITE frock, trailing round my flat feet, and looked at my scruffy haired– makeupless reflection.
SH1T !!! This wasn’t meant to happen !!!
I had found the one.
I had boobage !!! I had a waistline !!! I felt comfortable... Yes ! That’s it ! I felt COMFORTABLE ! Like, like, like I could be walking out on stage under a spotlight and belt out a ballad. Yep ! This was definitely ANDREA’s DRESS.
“Amex? Mastercard? Visa? When can we take it? Wait a minute... Could you tell us how much this is please?”
“Oh, it’s in the sale is it? Great!” *quick peek at the label– hmmm cheaper than I expected, raised eyebrow, glint in eye* “Sorry, HALF the marked price?!”
So there we had it.... A little over twenty minutes after setting foot in a bridal shop for the first time in my life, I was now the proud, if somewhat shellshocked owner of a long white frock. With bling. And a long trainy thing at the back.
“Shall we go for lunch then?”
Rings and Other Things :
The thing with hiring a ‘naked’ venue is that literally everything has to be done from scratch. Now, I’m known to like my lists, but even I was going to find this a challenging one to draw up– there are just SO MANY things to consider! What I DID know, was that I wanted a gunmetal silver grey accent running throughout. Easy, yeah? Not particularly, no!
I don’t even remember where I began, but looking back, my head was awash with ideas, amendments to those ideas, budgeting and questions day and night for 8 whole months. And yet, somehow, whilst being tiring, I didn’t seem to get stressed, upset, disappointed or turn Bridezilla at any point. Lucky, maybe. Or maybe just so flipping excited that I didn’t really give a toss if spanners got thrown in the works– I’d just tackle any issues with the same eagerness and enthusiasm as I had all along. Perhaps, above all else, I was just mighty glad I wasn’t going to die an Old Maid...
When I first broached the subject of the wedding with my eldest daughter Jenna (19 years old, and at times rather tempestuous of character), her response was “OK, but don’t expect me to be a bridesmaid!”. Fine, I thought. I know she was never happy about me getting back with Mark but at least she was accepting our marriage, if not overly thrilled. So, I asked her to take some photos for us instead. Afterall, I wanted each of our brood to play an integral role in the day. She was cool with that. Phew!
That left 4yo daughter, 14yo tomboy stepdaughter, 15yo attitude-filled stepdaughter and 17yo grunting son to allocate roles to.
Easy.... 3 BMs and an Usher. Plus Lou as MOH and her little man Maxim (5) as Page.
14yo Chloe was prepared to don a dress for my sake but finding something she would feel comfortable in was a blummin nightmare. Still, persevere, I thought– she has agreed to wear a frock and however long it takes, we will sort it. Nope. After weeks of dress hunting, Chloe asked what a BM “actually does?” I explained, she had a silent freakout, and decided that having all eyes on her, even for a moment was terrifying. OK no probs, 2 BMs and an 2 Ushers, MOH and Page then yeah?
A couple of months before the wedding, I asked Jenna something minor about the day and she totally flipped out! I mean, tears, shouting, the lot. She said she didn’t want to talk about the stupid wedding and was angry at me. Why? Because I had asked everyone else to be my BM and not her. Oh no, not again.....
Let me explain... 2.5 years ago, Jenna almost lost her life in a road accident. In a strange series of events, she miraculously survived but despite her brain scans coming back clear at the time, she still suffers with memory issues. She will have total blanks, and unfortunately, this was one heck of a biggie. I explained our initial conversation and she had no recollection of it whatsoever– I was devastated. For months, my poor girl had been brimming with hurt that I didn’t want her walking down the aisle on my big day, when in fact there was nothing I wanted more. I begged her to become a bridesmaid but her stubbornness and anger made her question my motives and her feelings. I spoke to Lou about it and she said she would stand down as MOH and that I should ask Jenna to stand in Lous place. Thankfully, she agreed.
OK so 1 FG, 1 BM, 1 MOH, 2 Ushers. Sorted !!!!
Lou was to make my cake, which we would design together, inspired by my dress design, Marks 2 sisters, Sarah and Becky, would be witnesses, Dad would give me away and FIL would be Best Man. Coolio.
Roles sorted, it was time to sort some clobber. We had already bought Summer’s dress in her absence on our one and only trip to the bridal shop– another sale bargain! K and J’s dresses were from ebay, Chloe got kitted out on our first girly shopping trip together and George got a new suit from Tesco. Ace. Now to the men.....
Tickled Pink have a great menswear section, so it was a no-brainer that we head there to hire the guys’ suits. Besides, in the highly unlikely event that there should be any issue with any of their suits (particularly Dad as he lives in Cardiff and would be phoning his measurement through), the shop is over the road from church and just 5 minutes away from my house. So Mark, his dad and I paid them a visit. The staff there are so experienced and knowledgeable that the lady selected a suit and it was ideal. We had assumed that tailcoats would make the stumpy legged shortarses that Mark and his dad are look even diddier. How wrong we were– they looked great! Grey shiny tailcoat morning suits, crinkle ties and pocket squares with silver waistcoat and shiny shoes. Lovely !!!
Right, cake and clothes sorted. Now rings? After a couple of lone shopping trips whilst Mark was at work, and having tried on dozens of rings in various styles, I came across a ring I adored, in budget and would look lovely against my not-an-engagement-ring. White gold band with lots of little baguette cut diamonds inset. Beautiful! Where? The Argos sale !!!! We toyed with the idea of getting Mark a bespoke ring, but again, he plumped for an Argos ring– white gold plain band. Simple and lovely on his finger. I had it engraved inside with a little Latin– Duo Corda, Unum Vita (two hearts, one life) and he was thrilled.
I booked a friends band, Liberty Skank, and an old schoolmate DJ to provide entertainment at the reception, plus a bouncy castle and garden games for the children. Food was to be a Hog Roast for the main feed followed by an evening buffet, both provided by Doncaster Hog. Oh sod it, let’s get an ice-cream van too !
We booked a mobile bar to keep the booze flowing and bought in bubbly and wines for welcome drinks and toasts.
Despite wanting to DIY as much as possible, I cheated on the invitations– purely because I came across some that were perfect for what I wanted and cheaper than I could make them for. Guest list drawn up, invitations were sent. 80 for the day do and a further 25 for the evening. Excellent.
With our wedding fast approaching, we decided it was time to choose music, hymns and readings for the ceremony in readiness for our next meeting with Rev Wilson. Having carefully chosen, we waited for the call from the vicarage. And we waited. And then some more.... Finally, a letter landed on the invisible doormat. Oh, so Rev Wilson is leaving? In a couple of weeks? There’s no replacement vicar? Oh, okay.....
Well, I’m thrilled to say that we were eventually introduced to the wonderful Eleanor, assistant curate of the neighbouring parish and only recently ordained. She was lovely !!!! Thank goodness! I was dreading ending up with doddering George, the Dick Emery-like old fella of our church. Sweet guy, just past it to the point of cringeworthy.
Eleanor gave the thumbs up to our choices, the choir and bell ringers were booked and my BIL made a CD of the music we wanted.
Prelude: a selection of movie themes to include Forrest Gump, The Lakehouse, One Day, Awakenings, The Holiday, Legends of the Fall, The Notebook...... All films I adore with amazing soundtracks.
Processional: Theme from ‘Somewhere In Time’. This is quite simply one of the most amazing pieces of music ever written. It breaks my heart yet fills it with joy at the same time. The film is incredibly stunning and the music itself a family favourite, guaranteed to make us all blub. Yet choose it, I did !
Entrance: At Last by Etta James– lush vocals and suitably apt lyrics!
Recessional: Signed, Sealed, Delivered.... Perfect on so many levels!
Dad and my step-dad Mike were doing the readings. Both performers, so I knew they would make a good job of it!
NB: Any old romantics among you readers MUST put Somewhere in Time on your bucket list.... Christopher Reeve and Jayne Seymour in a time-travelling love story..... truly wonderful !!!
Transport– costs a blummin fortune to hire vintage cars doesn’t it?! Not always..... We have a lay preacher who lives next door but one to the bridal boutique. He is an avid member of the Classic Car Club– dial Stuart’s number, quick chat, meet up and book. A 1924 Model T Ford and an equally old Austin. Half the price that it would have been for 1 car anywhere else and I got two !!! Mark’s step-mum would drive their car to take Mark,his dad, George and Chloe to church whilst the BMs and I went in the two old dodderers.
Photography was to be done by a keen amateur school friend of Jenna’s, Tom and my hair and make-up by Amanda Shaw (Mandy), a good friend who just happens to be a celebrity makeup artist, so if anyone could make me look anywhere near half decent it would be her!
What else? Oh yeah, that ugly, bare hall............. Remember I mentioned singing at a wedding there? Well, after the original hall was burned down, the Phoenix Centre rose form the ashes and in its early days, an old school pal held her reception there.... Complete with marquee lining. Cue call to AB Marquees and kaboom! Interior beautified!
Other than that, I had fun on the details...... Being a complete floristry virgin, I decided to create my own flower displays and set about planting bulbs and seeds. OK so only the sweet peas came up in time and Tesco provided the rest, but at least I gave growing a try—and I now have a rather lovely garden !!! So, oasis bought, trip to Tesco done, here are the flowers 3 days before the wedding....
I wanted to keep the children occupied, so made goody bags and activity books for each of them
Then it was buying decorative touches, items for the table centrepieces and preparing the table plan....
I then relabelled all the table wines to match the table plan and would let folk choose where at their designated table they sat.
Now to the favours.... As I earlier explained, Mark had lost his Mum just before we got together the second time around. I felt her absence terribly throughout the planning stages and was determined to include her in our day. Well, Sue loved poppies– to the point of obsession! It seemed a no brainer that we paid tribute to her through these, particularly as they are the flower of remembrance. I bought boxes and tags, sourced seeded favours and set about writing a poem explaining our choice of favour, which I printed on to mini cards and placed in each box. Each household received the favours, as did all Sue’s grandchildren so they could choose somewhere special to remember Grandma Natterbags that they could return to whenever they choose. We shed tears over it, but all 3 of Sue’s children agreed it was the right thing to do.
Dad painted us a thumbprint tree despite never having heard of them before...
Accommodation and flights booked for those who needed it, Mark’s holidays from work sorted and a post-wedding party at Lou’s was organised for the Sunday.... Then a luxurious night in a spa suite at Mount Pleasant hotel would follow and we were good to go!
The Build-Up :
Neither Mark nor myself were particularly bothered about having pre-wedding get togethers with anyone. We weren’t being boring as such, just not into all that ‘traditional’ stag and hen palaver and really didn’t see the need to celebrate the end of our ‘singledom’. Anyway, Jenna insisted we do SOMETHING, so a group of us girlies booked in at the new(ish) Indian restaurant down the road and figured we could just have a couple of drinks, a nice chat and be done. What fun we had !!! The food and service was extraordinary, the company even better– cheers, ladies !!!
A week before the wedding, we also persuaded Mark to have a boys get together– off to the banger racing they went. Mark, George, and a few buddies. Probably in by about 9pm they said. Cool. Around 10pm, George came home alone. He was hammered! Having worked 2 heavy shifts back to back, not eating much for 24 hours and necking 5 pints in the sunshine had taken its toll. Good mummy to the rescue, the poor tired and inebriated lad was grateful for the offer of a bacon buttie..... When he woke bright and breezy the next morning, his bed looked like a crime scene, covered in ketchup and he had a strange sensation in his head– yep, that would be the rasher of bacon welded to your face, son !!! Surprisingly, Mark came home around midnight relatively sober, and really glad that he HAD had a stag. Nice one :0)
Having happy, healthy loved ones is always a blessing.
There were a few of my nearest and dearest who were cause for concern prior to the wedding and, of course, their wellbeing was never far from my mind. My gorgeous step-brother has been going through some tough times emotionally and had distanced himself from us all for 5 years. We all missed him badly, but knew that when the time felt right for him, he would make contact. He had never seen Summer, had not been in touch during Jenna’s times in hospital with kidney disease or following the car crash and not visited any of us since mums 60th birthday party in 2008. But none of that mattered. He made the difficult move to build bridges some time last year, and communications with Mum and Mike and so I was thrilled to have the chance to invite him to the wedding. And he said YES!!!! Words cannot begin to explain how delighted we were– this was our first chance for years at getting together as a family unit and it meant so much to me to have him there..... Providing nerves didn’t get the better of him and he could make the flight....
My BIL Andy has spent years on dialysis and has had two failed kidney transplants but he had seemed to be on the up and, just a couple of weeks before the wedding, had looked happier, fitter, slimmer and younger than he had done for ages. Gorgeous !! Nope... 8 days before the wedding, Andy was rushed to intensive care having almost died during his home dialysis session. He was recovering well and fingers crossed he could still make the ceremony at least...
And then there is my wonderful, brave Uncle John, mum’s brother-in-law. In January of this year, he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer but had a positive mental attitude and was responding well to treatment. I was praying he would be well enough to attend at least some part of the day, and it appeared he would be. Finally, the date was set for his rather major operation– 17th June! Being the optimist and general lovely guy that he his, John postponed his op until after the wedding, to ensure he would be there. I felt so humbled.
On Wednesday, just the day before Mum and Mike were due to arrive from Wales, I received one of those “I don’t want to panic you but...” calls. Mike had developed a nasty, mysterious infection in and on his ear and was in severe discomfort to say the least. Ok, painkillers yeah? Unfortunately not... I.V antibiotics! So a hospital stay? Just before the wedding? Not too much of an issue there surely? Oh yeah, my step brother and step sister each needed collecting from different airports the day before the wedding, just 36 hours from now. Marvellous! Anyway, it transpires that the medical teams in Mid Wales were exceptional and understood the urgency of everything. I.V averted, intensive course of oral meds prescribed and their car was loaded for the trip over– Mum driving, but at least they would get here. Worst case scenario, Bro and Sis could hop on trains to come up North...phew !!!
Final meetings were held with the caterers, musicians and TOG etc, hair and make-up trials had been done and Lou was working on the cake. Andy wouldn’t be out of hospital on time but Mike’s ear mankiness was rapidly improving. Little else to do, except collect the suits and dresses, have the rehearsal in church, decorate the venue and sort the flowers. Oh, and come up with a Superhero costume for Summer to wear to school on Friday for ‘hero’ day....
On Thursday I collected the outfits from Tickled Pink, checked them over (a few marks on my dress– I thought it had been cleaned??!!!*Grab baby wipes and sort it!*) and Mark came home from work looking forward to having over a week off....
So off to church we go, armed with the Orders of Service, CD and decorative bits. Once everything was in place, we all listened intently as Eleanor briefed us on how the ceremony would progress, took up our places and gave Summer one simple instruction– when you get the tap on the shoulder, walk slowly to the music down the aisle, towards Daddy at the other end.
The BMs music started, Summer took her first steps and the tears began to flow. She was incredible! A blubbering mess, I wondered how I would cope with the real thing. And then it dawned on me– it’s OK, I’ll be behind the doors so I won’t even SEE Summer, let alone hear the music! No messy sobbing before my walk...Excellent!
The rest of the ceremony went smoothly, Mum and Mike were safely ensconced in their hotel room and all the venue decorations were organised carefully into boxes ready for the several hours of work that lay ahead in the morning...
( I need to go out now, so I'll leave you thus far and continue when I get in....... xx)