THE WEDDING July 25 2017, 0 Comments
It's been 10 whole months since our wedding day. It feels like longer, not because our marriage is dragging, but because so much has happened since then. We went to Tanzania and Zanzibar on our honeymoom, got a puppy, went to my sister's wedding in Australia and moved 2 hours north to a converted barn in Shropshire from our little terraced house in the centre of Bristol.
I wrote before about how I found organising the wedding stressful, and it wasn't the actually arranging that was problematic for me, but the anxiety that came with everything. I won't go into that now, but I will be quite happy to never plan another. (Stress induced acne just weeks before the big day isn't something I wish to re-ignite).
We wanted a simple barn wedding, our venue was the beautiful Kingscote Barn in Tetbury which is set in the most picturesque Cotswold countryside. There was accommodation on site which was perfect for Groomsmen with tiny babies, and the staff were super efficient. They have up to 7 weddings a week in the height of summer, so they know what they're doing. On the downside, this meant we only had the morning to decorate the barn so with that in mind, we kept things simple. I certainly wasn't going to be wrapped in fairy lights the morning of the wedding, and didn't want Nath to stress out about where 1000 tea lights should be placed. And fortunately, the barn is pretty stunning by itself.
We had hoped to get married outside as we first fell in love with the views before even stepping foot in the venue, but the wind and rain the day before put a stop to this. The weather on the day was actually lovely, but I didn't want people to be stood there shivering whilst their heels sunk into the wet ground, or holding their dresses in case there was a sudden gust of wind.
I spent the morning with mum and my bridesmaids, and it was the calmest I'd been in weeks. I think each of them had tears, and somehow I held it together. I left the hotel with my wedding hair and make up done, wearing a denim jacket, skinny jeans and my wedding shoes, deciding to put my dress on at the barn. There were no wedding cars, dad took us in his car and I made him play the Les Mis soundtrack in the car (his fave) so we could have a family sing-a-long and I wouldn't think too much about the day ahead.
As I'd predicted, walking down the aisle ruined me. I hadn't let myself think about it before the wedding as I'd well up in the most embarrassing places (on the treadmill, in Sainsbury's, at the Post Office...). Our super talented Groomsman Pete played Here Comes the Sun on acoustic guitar as I walked down the aisle, and I went from a demure tear in the eye to a Claire Danes in Romeo & Juliet wail within seconds. (Just the one wail, but there was definitely an awkward noise that left my mouth.) Strangely, once I got to the top I was fine, if a little delirious. Just giggly, and incapable of reciting the shortest of sentences after the registrar.
The rest of the day is a little of a blur, we tried to keep things as laid back as possible, everything was in the same place, nothing was over organised and there was no MC shouting at people to get anywhere, it just flowed. I remember being a little overwhelmed by having all of our most-loved people together, (although sadly, you don't get the chance to properly catch up with all of them), smiling ear-to-ear, feeling so lucky, so loved and so very proud of my favourites.
My dress was a Catherine Deane bodice and skirt with a custom made lace top created by the lovely ladies at Carina Baverstock in Bradford-on-Avon. I dreaded dress-shopping, and it made me super anxious, but I'm pleased with my choice. (Although I changed the lace, and bought another top as a back-up - dress anxiety is REAL!) It was more traditional than I thought I'd go, I strictly stated no beading or volume, but having metres and metres of the finest silk trailing around me was just so fun. (I got to do my best Stevie Nicks twirl to Go Your Own Way on the dance floor too.)
Nath's suit was made by our friend and neighbour Brown in Town. I know Nath had the best time picking fabrics and learning about stitches, cuts and cigars in his fittings with David. I was really pleased he got to feel pampered and spoilt too, I think the grooms can be overlooked in wedding planning, but it's their day too. He's already worn that suit twice since the wedding, and I know he'll be wearing it as long as he can fit into it, so I don't doubt it was worth the money.
It's quite nice being able to reflect after some time has passed. My sister got married 6 months later (to the day!), and it was so lovely to swap places and watch my favourite person enjoy the same emotions. Once again, I was the one sobbing uncontrollably whilst she managed to deliver the most beautiful, heartfelt speech with grace and poise. I always wonder if it's because I'm baby of the family that I'm the first to go to pieces in these situations, any other babies the same?
A special mention has to go to our florist Lily Violet May (you'll recognise her blooms from the most instagrammable spot in Bristol, right outside Temple Meads station!) and our photographer Jake Morley. Both were so helpful in planning, and so relaxed and efficient on the day. We had so many compliments on the flowers, and having Jake around felt like an extra guest.
I would relive it all again tomorrow, but I'm so glad I'll never plan another!