I woke up on the morning of the 6th July with a horrible thought.... you see I woke up in my old bedroom at my mums and for one awful moment I thought I had dreamed the last 10 years! Meaning I had not even MET Yorkie, much less was about to marry him. Then - thankfully - my Friend Jen (who had stayed with me that night and shared the room) spoke. She said "Happy Wedding Day!" and everything was good again!
The morning is a bit of a blur, with breakfast hastily troffed and then poor Jen abandoned at my mum's while mum and I drove over to Towneley to drop off various things and stack up the cheese tower before people started arriving at Mums, like my Dad, Jacs, Dave, Mai and Caitlin, the photographer and beautician.
Dad and Fay were the first to arrive shortly after we got back. Dad was all dressed up in his Highland wear and lookign very smart (if a little unhappy about the get up) and the three of them hung round the kitchen having tea and coffee when the beautitian arrived. I have to say this is something I had never expected to happen, Mum, Dad and Fay together having a chat and a laugh, but it was very nice.
Sally-Ann (beautian) arrived and whisked me up to the posh en suit room (the one with the mirrored wall I alsways dreamed of getting dressed for my wedding in) and she started work on putting rollers into my hair. Then Jacs and co arrived (bearing Mc Donalds! Love that woman!). The little girls seamed to spend most of their time flitting between watching us get ready, and sitting with my Dad (which he loved) while he watched various DVDs of Towneley and my Mum and her friends in costume at the Hall. Every so often Daivd would pop his head round the door and ask "Are you nervose yet?", and in all honesty, I wasn't. I think I felt to rushed to get nervous!
The photographer arrived (and my dad though he was john, my mum's other half - hee hee) and took a couple of shots before heading off to the hotel where Yorkie, Mark and Yorkie's family were staying to take snaps of them too.
Sally Ann did my mum's hait and make up, and Jacquies, and put a little on the girls too (including glitter which they loved) and then the car arrived - before I was in my dress (horror of horros) to take them to the Hall. I think David took Jen up in his own car, Mum, Jacs and the firls went in the Roller. The there was just my, Dad and Sally Ann to ge tme into my dress. Sally Ann got me into the basis, and then we called dad in to help strap me in! No easy task i can tell you!
And then we were ready and waiting. I seemed to take forever!!!! Butit was only a few short mins before Sally Ann told us the car was here and we went out (Sally Ann locking the door and posting the keys behind her). Something else they don't tell you when you see a wedding is just how damned difficult it is to get a wedding dress into a car!!!
All the way to Towneley Dad was making me want to laugh out loud. He would alternate from telling me how wonderful the thinks Yorkie is, to telling me it wasn't too late to change my mind: he could still get me on a flight to Geneva and drive me to his place in France, and then telling me he loved Yorkie again (daft ol' dad!), but nothing in the world was going to get me to leg it!
As the car drove me up to Towneley Hall I started to wonder why I wasn't panic stricken. Surely all brides are? But then again, there's no doubt in my mind that Yorkie is the one, and we've lived together for so long, it's not like I don't know who and what I am marrying.
Once at Towneley we had some snaps taken both in and getting out of the car, and then I was helped into the Hall (again, that dress is not easy to manouver!) and I was ushered in to see the registras and asked a few questions to ensure I am who I say I am etc. Then I got the worst case of dry throat!! I was asked things like "name" and "occuaption" etc and all I could say was "rasp croak" and was handed a glass of water that I sipped very carefully. Then I was fine again.
Next thing I know.... my music is playing. NOW I TREMBLE! I'm stood at the back of the green room with my arm in Dads, in front of me Jacs stands with her girls - all looking stunning - and ahead of them my Mum is already walkig down with the nephews (I haven't even seen their outfits yet) and I think OMG OMG OMG I'm not ready! My dress! My hair! I haven't checked myself yet! But we're off. Slow steps, dad whispers in my ear "Left foot first? Anyone would think you were a Mason" which makes me smile. In my sudden atttack of nervs I have forgotten!
We entered the read room and my eyes are scanning the room. I spot my Yorkie, standing there looking brilliant in his jacket - the first time I saw it completed - if a little scared himself. I smile and wink at him (why wink??) and as he has to take his eyes off me a moment to guide the nippers to their places I cast an eye round the room. All these faces! All these people who I know and love, friends and family, I feel overwhelmed and tears in my eyes which i swallow down fast.
And then we're stood there together. My dad takes a step back to find his seat, but I can't take my eyes off Yorkie, whos eyes also look like they are holding back tears.
The vows are a bit of a blur too. We are both clearly fighting not to let tears show, or let our voices crack, from the emotion. And it's a hard battle! Although I did have to supress a small laugh when as Yorkie was taked to 'take this ring' he got it half way down my finger and had to whisper to the registra 'do I put it on now?'. Well.... no one had told us that bit! All through the vows the look of intensity and emotion on Yorkie's face brought me so close to tears that I almost gave in to them, and I know how he felt. When it was my turn to speak I was terrified of getting them wrong, forgetting them, or tripping over my own tongue. There didn't seem like so much to say when we picked the vows out!
The readings were wonderful. Mum showed off her public speaking skills (well, years of being a teacher and now a re-enactor and tour guide for Towneley gives you that) and recited Shakespears Sonnet 116 from memory with confidence. Kate was clearly taken by the emotion of the day during her reading, which was beautful and heart felt. Both ladies were wonderful and made the cereminoy that bit more special.
I an think of no moment in my life to date that was more special than that first married kiss. I don't know if there were photos, applause, or anything else, and to be honest I don't care. I have never felt happier!
Shortly after returning down the ailse as man and wife we were whisked away together to have photos taken (on the wet grass, which made my train dirty and i am not thrilled about that, but hopefully the photos will be worth it when we get them back) being arranged and snapped, and trying to hide glasses of wine behind my bouquet so I don't look like a total boozer.
After the photos, Yorkie and I were stashed in the red room again while our guests were seated in the green room for the wedding breakfast, thn we re-entered to applause and took our places at the head table for food and speachs. And this is where I am proudest of my Dad. His speach was brilliant! Funny, sharp, well delivered, and not even slighly embarasing! In fact, I have kept the written version he brough with him! Mark and Yorkie did their bits well, making sure the gifts were presented to the wedding party, and saying a piece for those absent (like my dear Nan, and others sorely missed).
My one regret of the meal is that being to tightly laced into my dress I couldn't eat more than a few mouth fulls before finding there was no more room in me!
The one time I did finally cry was during our first dance. As Yorkie held me close and sang into my ear I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my face. And he didn't even step on my feet or dress once!
Beyond that the rest of the day becomes blurred again. The presence of good wine, and wonderful company whisking me off from one conversation to another so rapidly that it made my head spin left me wondering where the night had gone once we were told it was midnight and trasport was here to take us and our guests away.
The day was so wonderful, and I am sure there are a million and one things that i could have included in this post and haven't, but even just sitting here typing this the emotion of the day comes flooding back, and i am running the rish of blowing up my computer if any more tears of joy and happiness splash onto it. So I'll stop now, and post about our honeymoon instead.