Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Let's Talk Weddings: The Official Photos!

Did you think I was done with wedding blog posts? Well you were wrong! I thought that I'd take this opportunity to share with you some of our official wedding photos, and talk about our day from start to finish! So grab a cuppa and settle in, this is going to be a long one.

I didn't get much sleep the night before our wedding. If I recall correctly, I spent it on the sofa; tossing and turning. No surprise there though, right? I got up early to have a bowl of cereal, cup of tea and spend some time with the cat before I left him overnight for the first time ever! I'm not sure if I was more nervous about getting married or leaving the cat for the first time, to be honest. 

Of course, on my drive down to the Forest of Dean to meet my bridesmaid at our reception venue I got stuck behind every single slow driver possible! I was screaming expletives all the way and arrived, about ten minutes late. My bridesmaid was waiting for me at the venue to drive me on to my soon-to-be mother-in-law's house to get ready. The first, and only, disaster of the day happened shortly thereafter! 

One of my false nails pinged straight off as I was getting my stuff out the boot of my bridesmaid's car. Cue major meltdown. I was quickly driven down to the nail salon, which luckily was only down the road, and had to wait half-an-hour for a nail technician to be available to fix my broken false nail. I was actually quite glad of the quiet time, because the day was so full-on, hectic and stressful. My nail fixed, I headed back up to get ready. Meanwhile, our wedding photographer had been busy getting snaps of our dresses, shoes etc. And the make-up artist and hairdresser were busy styling the bridesmaids until I returned.

My husband, meanwhile, was getting ready at our reception venue with his best man. Whilst my father-in-law and friends got the car decorated ready for us to travel to the registry office. The rest of the morning passed in a blur of tea, nibbles, giggles, nerves, hairspray and copious amounts of make-up. Before I knew it, though, it was time to set off. I  was about to get married!

It's weird, but the whole morning felt totally surreal. I didn't really feel nervous. It felt like a dress rehearsal. None of it felt real. I don't think it really sunk in until I was in the car and driving to the venue. Then I was nervous. So nervous! 

The original plan was for my father-in-law to drive my bridesmaids up in his car first, then return to pick my grandfather and I up. Unbeknown to me, though, my father-in-law had arranged a car to take me to the venue. It was a total surprise, but a lovely one!

We were whisked into the registry office, and I was quizzed by the registrar and briefed on what to expect during the ceremony. Nothing could have prepared me for how short the ceremony was though, it passed by in a blur!

My mum says that when they opened the doors to let us walk up the aisle, she took one look at my face and thought I was going to do a runner! I was terrified, and the only way I got through it was to look straight ahead as I walked up the aisle, arm-in-arm with my granddad. I didn't look at anybody else but my husband, right up until we were sat down signing the registry book.

Finally, though, it was all over. I felt myself relax, finally. It was outside for some photos, then back into the car, this time with my new husband! We were driven around for ten minutes or so, whilst we let our guests make their way down to the reception venue. Then we were deposited at our reception venue to mingle with our guests. I quickly grabbed a glass of champagne, which I downed remarkably quickly. Dutch courage!

What followed was an hour or more of posing for endless photos, until we were informed that our wedding breakfast was ready. I was so relieved; my feet were killing me, and I was starving! 

The reception venue was beautifully decorated; and everything was done for us by the reception venue staff. The meal was perfect, too; although there was far too much food and I just couldn't manage it all! I had garlic mushrooms, to start, followed by roast beef with all the trimmings. For dessert, it was chocolate lumpy bumpy. Delicious!

Who decided roast dinner, with lots of gravy, was a good idea for a wedding breakfast? White dress + gravy? Never a good idea. Somehow, though, I managed to avoid disaster! Then it was onto the speeches. My granddad did me proud, giving an amazing speech that made me laugh and cry (happy tears)!

The best man and I had colluded on his speech. I bought a copy of the Haynes Manual for Marriage, and he used it as a prop for his speech. One of my favourite parts? His reading from the book that went something like this...

"If you have £20 and your wife has £10, how much money does your wife have? £30!

The room was cleared out after the meal so the reception venue staff could get it turned around for the evening disco. My new husband and I did a quick, fake cake cutting for the photos, and then it was outside in the sun for some couple photos!

Another hour, or more, passed taking yet more endless photos. I'm glad now, but I was cursing our photographer at the time! I had a killer headache, and was exhausted. I'd hoped to have a lie-down in our hotel room for an hour between the wedding breakfast and evening disco, but that was not to be!

After all the photos, I was desperate to get my wedding shoes off. So I went back to our hotel room and had a quick freshen-up before changing into my flats for the evening. What a relief! By now, our evening guests had started to arrive so I headed back into the fray and mingled with our guests. 

Instead of a first dance, one of my closest friends sang 'our song' for us. Perfect by Ed Sheeran. And she sang it so beautifully. It was a beautiful moment and meant so much to both of us. I'll never be able to thank her enough for singing for us.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur of Smirnoff Ices, shots, and lots of catching up with guests. Before I knew it, the disco was packing up and our guests were heading off, or retiring to their hotel rooms. 

I was knackered by this point. The emotions of the day had got to me, and all I wanted was a cup of tea and my bed. My new husband stayed with the last of our guests for another beer before their bus home, but I snuck off to our hotel room and switched the kettle on.

Finally, after popping next door to get my mum to undo my dress for me, I was in my pj's. Well, actually, I was in my father-in-law's tee-shirt, which my mother-in-law had fetched for me earlier in the day when I frantically realised I'd forgotten to pack any pj's. My new husband soon joined me, and we had a cup of tea in bed whilst reading our guest book.

Honestly, how many married couples consummate their marriage on the wedding night. I know we didn't; we were both so tired and worn out that after a chat and a cup of tea we turned off the lights and went straight to sleep. 

And that was it, our wedding day was over. We were now officially man and wife. What a day! Come the morning, we enjoyed a cooked breakfast with some of our guests who had stayed the night, my in-laws, and my family. Then we packed up all our gifts and cards and headed home, returning the hired suits on our way. It was over, and we came back down to reality with a bump!

Our wedding day was so special, and I had the best day. But if I could go back and do it all again? I wouldn't! The year of planning and then the day itself was just so stressful. I was just glad it was over, to be honest. I can now enjoy married life with none of the stress and pressure of wedding planning. And that's just the best!

Our wedding photographer was very talented Layla Gunter of Just So Productions. We were so grateful to her for her services, and she was a fantastic photographer. She blended in seamlessly, and took some wonderful shots. She captured the day perfectly, and I love looking back on our photos!

I hope you enjoyed this little look at some of our wedding photos. We had over 1000 photos in the end, so it was hard to choose just a few to share in this blog post. We've been married five months now, and I still can't get enough of our wedding photos!

Do you still look back at your wedding photos? 

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