I am back! And also: married! Woo hoo!
Since I got back I’ve been trying to think of some nice, neat little way to sum up the wedding, but actually? I can’t. It’s just not possible to put it all into words without repeating that old cliche about it being the best day of your life, so because I’ve never been one to shy away from a cliche when it’s required, I’m just going to trot it out anyway: dudes, it was the best day of our lives. So far, anyway. I mean, I hope we will have many more “bests” to come, but this one will take some beating, mostly because it involved all (or most, at least) of the people we love being there with us and enjoying themselves, and that’s a pretty cool thing to happen. Oh, and because I got to wear a Vera Wang gown, obviously.
Because I’m quite old now and tend to forget things, I’m going to write down all of my memories of the day now so that I can read it back in my old age and remember it all. This will probably be quite boring for most of you, so because I’m all about keeping you entertained I’ve sprinkled some of the photos through this report too. These are the official photos, courtesy of the wonderful Michael Bennet, who went above and beyond the call of duty and even hung around until after the wedding breakfast (he’d only been booked until before the meal started) to take some more pictures because we were running late (not my fault!) and he didn’t get the chance to take all of the shots he wanted. So, needless to say, if you ever find yourself in need of a photographer, he’s your man. On with the show…
I’d been staying at my parents’ house the night before the wedding and, predictably, hadn’t managed to get much sleep, so I was up bright and early. Amazingly, given that we live in Scotland and last seen the sun in 1987, it was the most glorious spring day we could have wished for, and it stayed that way all day. Crazy.
We had a quick coffee and then began the strangely stressful process of loading up the car with all of the flowers and other bits of Stuff that we’d need. At this point my mum freaked out slightly, pointing out that my ripped jeans and comfy cardi would look a bit, well, crap, really in the “bride getting ready” pictures. “Ah, but we won’t have any pictures taken until I’m in my dress,” I pointed out, wise old owl that I am. Nevertheless, my mum gave me a white shirt of hers to wear. I think the look she was probably going for here was the “crisp white shirt and jeans” look, but actually, the shirt was too big so I ended up looking more “frumpy schoolgirl who is SO getting detention for wearing scruffy jeans with her baggy shirt”. I went along with this quite happily, secure in the knowledge that no pictures would be taken of me in this outfit, and that’s why I am now the proud owner of a whole set of pictures of me in my mum’s shirt, looking disheveled and also: pregnant. AND my hair is unbrushed – go me!
Anyway, we finally made it into the car and were only five minutes late picking up Maria, my flower girl, before heading to Orocco Pier. My parents had checked into their room the night before and had taken my dress, shoes etc there, so they were already waiting for me. Quick picture of me, Maria and That White Shirt:
At this point I called my best friend, Stephanie and her husband Nick, who had also checked into the hotel the night before, and they popped round to see us. It was the first time I’d seen them in a couple of years (they live in the south of England, by the way, I’m not just a really crap friend. Well, I mean, I am a really crap friend, but not that crap…) and she’s now 12 weeks pregnant, so needless to say it was really great to catch up with them (Maria: “Auntie Amber? You talk a LOT.”) and at this point I started getting really excited thinking of all of the other people we’d be seeing that day, some of whom we hadn’t seen for years. (Yeah, I am a really crap friend, come to think of it…)
Anyway, Stephanie and Nick left to let us get ready and my mum and dad started ferrying all of the bits and pieces they’d brought to decorate the reception room with downstairs. I, meanwhile, started putting my makeup on, but disaster struck! The weals? The ugly-ass red weals, that had been the very bane of my life for the entire week before the wedding? Well, they’d cleared up in time for the day itself, but they had not left without a fight, and they’d left the skin underneath my eyes drier than a camel’s behind. This made the process of putting on my makeup pretty damn stressful: because I hadn’t slept well the night before I’d also been blessed with eye bags bigger than my honeymoon suitcase, and also: wrinkles. Could I cover them up? No, I could not. So I concentrated on freaking the hell out, instead.
By the time my mum, dad and Maria returned, we discovered that we’d somehow been caught in some weird kind of time warp, and it was now time for the photographer to arrive and take his “bride getting ready” pictures. This was a problem because the bride? Was totally not ready. No one takes pictures of me without my makeup, so he took some pictures of my shoes and tiara instead, and also, those buttons on the back of my dress that the mad seamstress had cut off and my poor mum had had to laboriously sew back on:
See! Pretty buttons! Nice buttons! And yah booh sucks to the seamstress who didn’t want them!
Meanwhile, my mum, now working like a whirling dervish, did Maria’s hair, did her own hair, did my hair and also made up my bouquet. GOD, I was bad to my mum, wasn’t I? Sorry, mum.
Finally, she dressed Maria, dressed me, dressed herself (my dad managed to dress himself), and we were good to go.
All the time we’d been getting ready, my parents had been quite stressed (well, you can see why, really, especially in my mum’s case), and I’d been totally calm. “I’m the calmest one of us all!” I said smugly, before almost instantly becoming totally NOT CALM. In fact, by the time these pictures were taken? I was totally freaking the hell out.
For some reason the whole “getting ready” thing had been weirdly rushed – both my mum and I commented later that we’d both spent more time doing our makeup for work than we did for the wedding – and by the time I was dressed I was starting to feel so emotional I was convinced I was going to cry through the whole thing. This was not helped AT ALL, of course, by the absolutely MASSIVE SPOT I found on my shoulder minutes after I finished getting ready. My dad did his best with Rimmel Hide the Blemish, but that spot has a staring role in many of the wedding photos. I named him “Jim”.
So, we were all ready to go, but the venue? Was not. Some of the guests, you see, had had trouble parking, so we were running late. We ran 25 minutes late, to be exact, during which I worked myself up into an absolute frenzy of emotion, and Terry, who was by this time waiting at the altar, so to speak, thought I wasn’t going to show.
Eventually it was time to go downstairs and meet the registrar, who was really lovely and got me to sign some paperwork saying that Terry wasn’t my brother, and we weren’t both the same gender and stuff. Oh, and we collected Jonathan, my little page boy (and nephew) at this point, too. He is so cute you just want to eat him. Individually, Jonathan and Maria are both super-cute, but together, they are almost criminally cute:
By now we really were ready to go and I was constantly choking back tears, as was my poor mum, who left us at this point to go and join the guests, looking like she was about to start bawling her eyes out. My dad, meanwhile, was left to strong-arm me off downstairs to get married:
While we were planning the wedding we’d decided that immediately before the ceremony we’d blast out The Proclaimers’ Let’s Get Married, to get everyone in the mood. As we stood waiting outside the door of the room I could hear it start up, but because I was so freakishly emotional by this point, I couldn’t listen to it, so I concentrated instead on holding my bouquet according to my mum’s careful instructions, which involved making sure the ribbon was pointing in a certain direction and stuff. I obviously concentrated on this really hard, because when I finally did walk in, for reasons totally unknown to me, I was carrying said bouquet AT SHOULDER LEVEL, and grinning like a loon. At least I didn’t cry, though.
This, as it turned out, was more than could be said for Terry. While I became weirdly calm as soon as I walked in, when I got to the end of the aisle it soon became clear (mostly because he wouldn’t look at me) that Terry was as emotional as I have ever seen him. In fact, while he was saying his vows, he actually had to reach out and turn my head away so I wasn’t looking at him. Or actually, now I come to think of it, maybe that was because of my totally rubbish attempt at concealing the red weals? Hmmm….
Anyway, the ceremony passed in a bit of a blur. My mum read the lyrics to The Beatles’ In My Life, which was also our first dance , and Stephanie read a poem called Love, and these readings almost made Terry and I start sobbing at the top of the aisle. The day was saved, however, when Terry, asked to “solemnly and sincerely declare”, decided to “sinsolemly swear” instead, and all of the “I’m totally going to cry RIGHT NOW” emotion was replaced with that slightly-hysterical “I’m going to laugh manically for about three hours, even although it wasn’t even that funny” feeling, which made it pretty difficult for me to sinsolemly declare anything when the time came…
Anyway, finally the vows were said, we were declared woman and husband, and it was time to sign the register, which we did with a large entourage:
I hope you’re all still reading this, by the way. I will ask questions at the end, you know… So, we walked out to Queen’s Teo Torriate (which is also what I walked in to, although I walked into an orchestral version), and headed back upstairs for more photos and also: champagne:
Barely had the champagne touched my lips, but Terry and I were being hustled outside for even more photos. I bet y’all are sick of the photos now, huh? I bet you’re all feeling REALLY sorry you even ASKED to see photos of this damn wedding. Well tough, because there’s PLENTY more where these came from…
So, remember that glorious, spring weather we were having? Well, we were still having it. While it was very, very sunny, though, it was also just a tad windy, and it was at this point that my hairdo decided that its work here was done, thanks very much, this wasn’t what it had signed up for, and it wasn’t going to put up with it for ONE SECOND LONGER. So in the rest of the photos I look like I’ve just newly escaped from the madhouse, and I retained this look throughout the cutting of the cake AND the wedding breakfast. GO me! Terry, meanwhile, managed to develop really painful blisters on both heels:
At least the Forth Bridge looked nice, though:
OK, so even I’m getting bored with this now, so I won’t say much about the rest of the day other than that the speeches made me cry (other than the best man’s which had us all in tears of laughter – John did a “This is Your Life” style slide show of funny pictures of Terry, and it was fantastic), Terry made everyone cry (seriously, even the staff at the venue) and the food was absolutely fab. The evening reception passed in an absolute blur of trying to make sure I spent some time with each of the guests, dancing and, yes, drinking too much wine, which meant that I spent ‘Auld Lang Syne’ terrified that I was about to throw up on each and every single one of our guests. Now THAT would have been a dramatic end to the proceedings, no? Instead, I managed to remain a little (but not much) more dignity. Worry not, though: I’ll be back tomorrow to bore you with the honeymoon pictures, and they’re not even remotely dignified… Oh, and if you want to see even MORE wedding pictures, you’ll find them over at Flickr soon…