[I wrote this post on Friday 29th April 2011. I was all set to publish it when my internet connection zonked out. Oh - and I have no digi pics of my wedding oddly enough so I've rather crudely taken some pictures OF my wedding pictures! Here's my wedding-y post - a couple of days late... ]
Right up until today, I can honestly say I really didn’t give too much of a hoot about The Royal Wedding. I mean, I wasn’t actively avoiding it or being publicly outspoken about my not caring much about it, I just didn’t really think about it. What business is it of mine that people I have never met, or am ever likely to meet, are getting married? “Prince William and Kate Middleton are tying the knot? Aaaaaw. That’s nice. “ And. Now to get on with my work/chores/sleeping ( I’m usually only ever doing one of those three things). That’s sort of how it went in my head in the weeks and months leading up to what everyone on tv was calling ‘The Big Day’. Phhht. Big day? Certainly no big shakes.
This morning, I woke up at 8am. A little woozy and having barely opened my eyes, I switched on the tv. “BBC 1! BBC1! Where is BBC 1?” (I hadn’t even allowed myself the few seconds required to put my glasses on). After some moments fumbling around, jabbing at the remote control and hollering at Smokey Cat to, “Help me find the right channel!”, I heard ol’ Huw Edwards’ voice coming from the far end of my bedroom. He wasn’t IN my bedroom. He was on the television, broadcasting live from outside Buckingham Palace. Oh hoorah for Kate and William! The Big Day has arrived at last… Oh my! And it would appear I’ve decided to give a shit? Surely not.
Indeed, it was true. I was caring. I was excited, even. By the time I was dressed and ready to leave the house, William & Harry were driving to The Abbey in a fancy Big Potatoes car. Why are my eyes watering? Am I shedding a tear? Am I feeling some sort of weird emotional attachment to two PRINCES I do not know? “Och, int’it a pure shame their mammy’s no’ there the day…” I began to question whether I might be having some sort of breakdown.
I quite often find myself questioning whether I might be having some sort of breakdown. I wasn’t as panicked by the possibility as you might expect a person to be when confronted by the very real notion they just might need to visit a mental health professional. I’d been through worse. However, when I started to get crazily uptight about being late for the start of the ceremony, realising too that since I took so long putting my make-up on (a gal needs to put her make-up on to ‘go’ to a Royal Wedding!), I no longer had time to stop off en route to pick up some supplies (you know – the things you need when you ‘go’ to a Royal Wedding like bottles of £2 Bucks Fizz and pan au chocolat) I was quite, quite sure I was losing my mind.
Having watched Kate and William say their respective ‘I do’s, I came over all a-mush and got to thinking about mine and Beardy’s wedding day. A sucker for a wedding and usually always the first guest to blub, I somehow managed to be a tear-free bride. Am I remembering that correctly? I think I am… I guess it really is amazing what a nip of whiskey can do for a gal if she whams one back before taking a stroll on down that aisle. Or maybe I had no tears left since I’d cried ‘em all the day before like a crazy goon! (Classic pre-wedding vodka tears).
A far cry from royal fanfares, maple trees and diamond tiaras, Beardy and I celebrated our union in a big stripey tent. It looked a little bit like a Big Top. It was decorated with flowery bits and enlarged, photocopied pictures of us looking smiley and in love. ‘Twas all very DIY. Just the way we intended. Our marquee-o-rama was pitched in the carpark of The Trentham Hotel in Dornoch. Owned by dear Beardy family friends and the location of much of Beardy’s teenage tomfoolery, we were dead set on the venue and we were dead set on throwing a super-relaxed shindig for our friends and family members. With tonnes of help from generous mums, dads, sisters, brothers, aunties, uncles, grandparents and pals – we had ourselves a merry little marriage celebration.
All our smiley faced wedding guests, in the carpark of The Trentham Hotel - outside our Big Top tent!
Natasha Bedingfield, These Words
I’ve heard since from several brides that this particularly troubling syndrome (let’s just call it Crazy Over-Emotional Bride Syndrome) is common amongst the ‘bride-to-be’ contingent. Under normal circumstances, you have a pretty great and varied taste in music. You know? Cos you’re cool. But there you are… The week before your wedding - in a shop, or in a cafe… A song comes on. A stupid, rubbish song. Ordinarily you’d ignore it or maybe make some sort of flippant comment about how stupid and rubbish it is. The week before your wedding though? It would seem that even the most poorly conceived musical/ lyrical combo can move a gal to tears. I heard a story once of a bride-to-be that cried infront of a sales assistant in a department store when she heard Ronan Keating, ‘Life Is A Rollercoaster’ on the shop music loop. I was lucky in comparison. I burst into tears in the privacy of my own house - when I saw this Natasha Bedingfield video on T4.
Badly Drawn Boy, The Shining
The song I toddled down the aisle to. Not a dry eye in the house… Not a dry eye here now either! Makes me blub every time I hear it still.
Neil Diamond, Forever in Blue Jeans
Beardy and I were super-particular about the music plans for our wedding. But you know what they say about the best laid plans… :/ We’d painstakingly put together playlists to see us through every waking minute of our day – from a slushy mix of quiet loveliness for guests to listen to before the ceremony, to an upbeat breakfast soundtrack and ambient background hilarity for the hotel bar – we’d planned it all. We’d even made up a whole bundle of songs for ‘the dancing’ at the reception. We’d settled on a traditional live ceilidh band for the first half of the reception and generous DJ pal Duffy agreed to be in charge of our cd playlists afterwards. Aherm. None of that came to fruition. Our ceilidh band had accidentally double booked and instead, we were met with a bunch of ageing hippies (and not the good, fun kind) that could barely play their instruments and who chose to play a full set of positively gruesome songs that no one knew. There was more than one comparison drawn between our wedding band and Pheonix Nights. However, the highlight of their performance (apart from when the drummer got a little bit over excited and fell of his stool, out the back of the marquee) was the first song. Forever in Blue Jeans :)
Madonna, True Blue
My sister and Maid of Honour, Marie, flew all the way from West Africa to be at our wedding. Her journey, as if not already crazy enough, was plagued with disasters and delays and she missed out on the ceremony in the end. But! All was not lost! She still had her chance to pull her ‘lil surprise at the reception. When I was little, I used to pop my head phones on, sing along to my favourite songs and record myself with the mic on my mum’s big black radio. By the time I was about 11, there must have been several tapes kicking about our house that had me wailing along to The Hits of the 80s (and a fair few that had my version of the entire soundtrack of The Slipper & The Rose on). Little did I know, that some 18 years after recording my ‘debut’, Marie had salvaged one of my secret tapes and shared the best and worst of its contents with our wedding guests! Despite my reactionary loud exclamation of horror, “Bastard!” (I couldn’t hold it in. “Yes darling, the bride did just holler ‘bastard’!”), turned out, my rendition of Madonna’s True Blue a la 1986 wasn’t nearly as awful as I thought. It was certainly more entertaining than the wedding band.
*I really, really wanted to share our ‘first dance’ song with you but you know what? I can’t find it on You Tube. If you want to have a search, look for I’ll Let Nothing Separate Us by Otis Redding. Beardy chose it. And it was perfect.
This is one of my very favourite photographs from our wedding day.
As wonderful as our wedding was 7 years ago, I’d love to recreate it – this time including guests that couldn’t make it and guests we hadn’t met yet! Maybe when we reach our 10th anniversary, we just might organise that :)
I like this one too - though my weird double chin kind of spoils it. Beardy looks nice in it though!