...as opposed to WW II, this is part 2 of wedding week, the grand finale - Saturday, the big day itself. I'd have blogged it before but I had other things to say and I didn't want to overdo the whole wedding thing.
I (and would expect Jacky (the bride) too) had been looking forward to this day with evergrowing excitement since she first mentioned the date to me in the spring. Simon just couldn't understand it, at all. And I don't think Kev (the groom) quite got it either...he'd managed to leave all (and I do mean all) the organising and planning to Jack, so not only did she decide what she was going to wear (a gloriously simple and elegant off white number) but as she was deciding the colour scheme she also chose what the men would wear and ordered it all and then made sure it all fitted. All Kev had to do (apart from turning up on the day) was agree with Jacky's choices and sort out the evening's entertainment - the booking of an Elvis impersonator Elvince, by day a mild mannered barber called Vince, by night a leather clad gyrating dervish, Kev was also supposed to get the best man a gift, but that went by the by (but I guess that's nothing new for the younger brother).
The wedding was at 1.30 and I spent the morning with the bride, trying to keep things as relaxed as possible, a feat required due to the ages of the bridesmaids (4, 5 & 9) who had to be kept calm and clean before meeting their public, my mission became a whole lot easier when all had had a big enough snack that they wouldn't decide to interrupt proceedings with a hungry wail, they had all had their hair done and we'd opened the prosecco. The photographer got them all successfully wound up again when it came time to get them dressed, I lost count of the number of times he had them bouncing up and down the stairs.
At Tyttenhanger Hall itself the groom was outwardly calm, although I do believe this was partly due to an excess of alcohol the previous night - but this could just be malicious gossip being spread by the best man!
Finally we were all in our places waiting on Jacky's arrival, the wedding itself was a civil ceremony and this was the first one I've ever been to, I was surprised to find out that any music that was played during the service could have no religious connections whatsoever, and instead of any hymns or vicar waffle we had 3 readings about lurrrrrvvvve. It was at this point that I started to feel nervous, not because I had any fears that Jacky wouldn't turn but because I was the 2nd reading, it's been years since I've had to speak in public and I was 2nd up. First to go was Anna, the professional (barrister and judge by trade, Kev's little sis) then there would be yours truly, the only reading out loud I do (apart from muttering to myself as I go round the supermarket) is either bad German in my lessons or evening Malory Towers sessions to Jas, and bringing up the rear was Beth, the 9 year old daughter of the bride and groom...
However, I survived, I didn't rush through at break neck speed, didn't stammer or stutter or miss out a verse of 'On your wedding day' and nor did I suffer a wardrobe malfunction à la Judy Finnigan, not that surprising given the amount of tit tape between my flesh and the dress, I even managed to make eye contact with the audience (hmmm, are they an audience at a civil wedding? They're not a congregation, guests maybe...) And that was that, finally they were married, the bridesmaids had behaved as though on Valium, no-one had stood up and announced a shocking reason that meant the wedding couldn't go ahead and after a 10 year wait the deed was done.
Then it was onto the rest of the usual wedding schedule, there were drinks outside (champers or Pimms, what a dilemma) or the bouncy castle (a definite no, no, given the narrow skirt on my dress) photos to be taken and canapés to be eaten - and there was always the possibility of a game of boules or swingball or even badminton - I stuck with the wine.
After dinner came the speeches, all very good, although I did have to miss part of the best man's as I was needed to escort the youngest bridesmaid to the toilet, joy. Until finally the 2nd highlight of the day - Elvis had entered the building, so reported the 20 or so children, who were so giddy with excitement you could almost believe they actually knew who Elvis was.
Elvince started off the evening in black leathers until he declared himself to be too hot and sweaty and required an urgent costume change, he reappeared very quickly in his Las Vegas white spangled persona and continued pretty much where he'd left off, singing his hits and swinging his hips (I know with Elvis it's generally his pelvis that's mentioned but I couldn't resist the 'hits' and 'hips', sorry) I thoroughly embarrassed Jasmine, as we'd both anticipated, she hates it if I even dance in the privacy of my own kitchen where no-one but her can see me, but to do it in public...she's had her revenge already and written in her 'what I did in the summer holidays' story all about my outrageous behaviour (drinking alcohol and dancing in public, the local authorities will be after me for sure once this gets out, having fun Frau Evans, es ist verboten).
A couple of thoughts from the day;
- there were 5 or 6 old Uni friends of Kev's there, I'd known them at the time (back at the dawn of time but hadn't been part of their group) isn't it weird how in 20 years some people age and change and others don't (and this is a group of blokes so there wont have been any tampering with nature going on) I mean they were all still recognisable as themselves but some still looked the way they should and others were mere caricatures.
- Jack and I both have short hair, are almost the same height and both have the same kind of figure/build is this why people kept asking if we were sisters? Bizarre.
- Kev's finally having to wear a wedding ring, which is inscribed (on the inside of course) with 'only fools rush in'.
- for the first time in ages I managed to maintain a steady level of inebriation, not falling down drunk and never in danger of slurring my words or babbling, just very, very happy & no hangover either - result!
It was a great day, happy memories!