Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yes yes, the wedding!

Ok, so it's seriously flaky to fail to blog about one's own wedding for two whole months, but in my defence they've been pretty busy months.

Married life is treating us pretty wonderfully so far. I've started a new (and much nicer) job, and the munchkin has started his full-time schooling career. Big changes for all, but we're managing well enough.

And now I'll stop waffling and Show You The Pretty.

We expected to have pretty decent weather, given that we held our wedding in the middle of July. Unfortunately it was in fact the wettest July for a century. *sigh* Our wedding day was a little drizzly in the morning, but fined up just enough to allow outside photographs after the ceremony.

My mum arrived in Hertfordshire the day before the wedding. I hadn't seen her for more than two years and it was overwhelming and wonderful to have her there. She also kept us *just* this side of sane as various things went inevitably awry at critical moments!

On the morning of the wedding we went over to the reception venue and got it all set up with the help of Ellie's wonderful brother and sister-in-law. That all went off smoothly, and despite unexpected traffic we still got back to the house in time to meet the hairdresser. We got all dolled up and then dodged the drizzle to climb into a car with *no back doors* (yes that was quite a feat in those dresses!) and get down to the ceremony venue.

We got married at The Bury, Hemel Hempstead’s registry office:

Here we are waiting nervously in the small ceremony room before the ceremony, with my mum, the munchkin, and our flower girl:

More waiting:

A note on my jewellery - the crystal earrings and necklace were a gift from my maternal grandfather to my mother, decades ago. She's had them in reserve for me for years, and I'd always intended to wear them on my wedding day.

We walked down the aisle (such as it was - very short as we had to come in a side door instead of the main door due to some light rain!) to "Forever" by Debra Arlyn:

The song was one Ellie found on a youtube video of a German lesbian couple's wedding, and it struck both of us as just so perfect.

The ceremony was short but sweet. We only had one reading, and it will forever make us slightly cross but resigned that the woman who read it (not our lovely celebrant in the picture, but another registry official) flubbed the last line and changed the meaning entirely. Thankfully most people heard it the right way around anyway!

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

For anyone listening closely, there was a little gasp in the background. My lovely artist friend Sarah had, all unknowing, created a painting for us as a wedding gift... of two intertwined trees. She couldn't have chosen a more perfect subject!

Here we are moments after Ellie put my ring on my finger:

During the signing of the register, we listened to "Flora's Secret" by Enya.  It's one of my favourite Enya songs (and Enya is one of my favourite musical entities), and I played it for Ellie pretty early on in our relationship.

The signing mockup photo (we'd already done the actual signing when facing the other way!):

First kiss:

We processed out to "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone. This one was Ellie's idea as I wasn't familiar with it; but as soon as she played it I knew it was right. Civil marriage & partnership ceremonies cannot contain any religious messages or references, but to me (as a nature-loving pagan) this is practically a hymn.

Various set shots from the garden…

Me and my mum :)

One day when we were starting to think about ordering wedding rings, Ellie said "I think what I really want is a rose gold wedding ring." I'd never considered anything other than white gold, but again she was right. They are beautiful (and comfortable!) and I have only taken mine off once since the wedding day.

Our simple but happy-making d├ęcor at the reception:

We had home-made favours (bulk chocolates wrapped in baking foil and tied up in mesh bags, secured with a wired rose) and I printed the table numbers and labels at home, just as I did all of the other stationery.

The cake was one of the aforementioned 'awry' moments. We were planning to get our names and decals to match the stationery printed on a large sheet cake, but the cake printing machines at both local stores broke and it was too late to get to anywhere else, so we improvised. The crystal hearts were the only remnant of the original plan; they are napkin rings that were given to my paternal grandmother on her wedding day.

Our reception was just lovely. I had set up a slideshow of images juxtaposing my childhood with Ellie's - matching first days of school, awkward high school pictures, and so forth. It made for a great conversation piece and icebreaker, as well as allowing for nostalgia on the part of our families. It was also a way to ensure that our absent fathers (in Australia on my part, deceased on Ellie's) were there with us.

A good friend of mine read out a letter from my Dad, and my two maternal uncles also sent 'telegrams' that were read by my Mum during her speech. Ellie's brother made a speech too which brought the house down. He talked about Ellie as a child: "I remember her kind of as a giant book with curly hair and little feet. She'd come running after me... 'Matt! Matt! Matt! Did you know...' and I'd just know I was going to miss Dangermouse." We laughed until we cried. It was everything a big brother's speech should be.

I made a bit of a speech too, and I think I was fairly coherent if a little rambly from nervousness. Luckily when I was running out of things to say the munchkin came up to me and said "Christine, do you know what? I can see a CAKE." and that gave me the perfect out! The munchkin later made his own speech which entertained everyone mightily and is still discussed whenever my wedding is mentioned amongst friends.

Later on the dance floor got going, and despite not having "My Sharona" in his collection (WTF?) the DJ did a stellar job. Watching my Mum get up and do some well-known party dance (a British equivalent to the Hucklebuck) with Ellie's relatives and various British friends was a highlight of the evening. We were there until the waiters gave up, switched the lights on and started clearing up!

It was a brilliant, wonderful, fantastic day and I couldn't have wished for better - not even including wishing for sunshine as I can always reflect that at least it wasn't too hot!

I am very happy that all the months of planning went off so well, that the image I had in my head came to life closely enough that I was completely satisfied. Everyone and everything was wonderful, basically.

Next up: a recap of our GLORIOUS honeymoon. Brace for a picturesplosion!


Yay! I've seen all the pictures, it was such fun to read the story.

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