Saturday, 11 June 2011

The day before the Big Day

I am sooooo excited! Look at the bar!! It's like a mini pub!!

Friday was insane.

I felt like I’d stepped through a black hole that was swallowing time. And it still seemed like there was much to do. And I still hadn't done my nails.

Firstly, the bar arrived, which was rather exciting. It looked like a proper bar! With optics and pumps and fridges and everything. We loved it! It was also one more thing to overload a socket with - we were already one plug away from a massive fire and several small explosions.

(We also named it The Three Kings - because that was the pub in London where we first met. And we made a pub sign out of a piece of slate from the Lakes, our favourite holiday place. We just wanted lots of very personal touches, and we covered a few off there I think!)

My future husband wrestles with the fairy lights, while my little brother wonders if anyone will notice if he helps himself at the bar

Then me and Mom and MILTB arranged the flowers in my teapots for the centrepieces, I realised I still hadn’t painted my nails, there was dash to the butchers for the pork pie cake (only to find it closed for lunch – inducing a minor bridezilla moment from me “what sort of shop closes for lunch in this day and age?! Don’t they know I’m getting married tomorrow!?!?”) then oh my word it was 3pm, the best men hadn’t arrived, and the rehearsal was at 4pm and I was breathing into a paper bag and oh dear lord I needed a drink.

I loved setting up the tables and I was relieved that my flowers-in-teapots idea looked OK. We'd also hired a load of gorgeous mismatched teacups to both make the tables look pretty and because I knew I'd be gasping for a brew at some point. Also there were lots of northerners coming, and they love tea don't they??

Because we had cupcakes, we had no cake to cut. And my hubby to be LOVES pies. Especially pork pies. Hence the two tier pork pie that I decorated with sage leaves and two love birds to make it more cake-like (it was delicious!!)

With outstanding timing, the best men arrived at 3.59pm and we raced up to the church for our rehearsal. You might remember me telling you that our actual vicar had a stroke, so we had a stand-in. And bless him, he seemed rather nervous. That's probably because he hadn't performed a wedding ceremony for nine years. I decided not to let this worry me - I mean how hard can it be?? (famous last words...)

The rehearsal itself was surreal. Suddenly all the faffing around with fairy lights and teapots and cake and toilets all paled into extreme insignificance, as we looked into each others eyes and practiced our vows. I started welling up, which gave a sneak preview into the state of my emotions the next day.

But there was no time for weeping and for being soppy (it wasn't on my To Do List after all). Back at the house, guests were starting to arrive in the holiday barns next door (a very convenient place for my best girls to stay!) and it was almost time for the groom to disappear, what with it being bad luck to see him the night before and all that.

And just at this point, my poor Mom burst into tears. It had all got a bit too much. Bless her, she had actually spent the last few hours trying to get me and my hubby-to-be on our own for five minutes to give us our wedding gift. She knew the day itself would be far too mental for that. But it was turning out that that the day before was possibly more mental than she'd hoped too. And now guests were arriving and people were suddenly popping up and it's no wonder she cracked really. I was on the brink myself.

I felt terrible - had we put too much on my parents? Should we have saved everyone's sanity and hired a pub/golf club/wedding planner/a Vegas chapel??? Was all this stress and socket overloading worth it!?? (and when would I ever get my nails painted?!?) My poor Mom, who's nerves could be heard jangling in Telford, assured me that it was all fine, and it had just all gotten a little crazy.

So I grabbed my man, my mom and stepfather and locked ourselves in her bedroom for 10 minutes, to take many deep breaths, blot our leaky eyes and shut the marquee madness out for a short while. And then they gave us the most wonderful, unique's hard to describe and my description will fail to do it justice, but it was this amazing twisted and curled piece of iron, made into a stunning candle holder by the blacksmith son of the posh Kennedy clan who live nearby. (the ones who own most of the land and like to go shooting and that - I think I've mentioned them before in a previous post). It's just so unique, so very 'us' and most importantly made in Muckley where we were marrying. What a lovely, thoughtful idea. I cried a bit. Again.

At this point, I was quite enjoying the sanctuary of Mom's bedroom and I think we were all reluctant to leave. But the time had come for my fiance to go, before he turned into a pumpkin. Or hit the bottle. Or ate some valium. Whichever came first.

I had a small cry (surely there was no fluid left in my tear ducts by now??) and he looked a bit nervous, but I think he was secretly relieved to be whisked away with the lads - I was still brandishing my Book of Lists like some sort of lethal weapon. He was probably wondering what on earth he was marrying, poor bloke.

By now I was in desperate need of a drink. And with brilliant timing, my Best Girls all seemed to arrive at once, along with their blokes and a few other friends, and I realised that finally, FINALLY, it was possibly time to stop, put the bloody Book of Lists down and have a little celebration with them all.

Bless my mates and their hubbies - they all turned up, marched into the marquee and immediately started putting bunting up!

There was a discussion going on here about whether to cut the bunting or string it up in one - and they did it in one. To this day I have no idea how.

Check out Emma's bloke Jonathan, who had come straight from a work meeting in Manchester, and was spending his friday evening wrangling with fabric triangles and a ladder

I had promised them all nibbles, and once again, in my head I had imagined myself being the serene, glowing hostess with the mostess, effortlessly producing a selection of beautifully prepared dishes of nibbles, pizza slices and glasses of ice cold white wine to refresh them all after their travels.

In reality, I couldn't be arsed. I just tipped a sainsbury's carrier bag full of food upside down on a table in the marquee, frisbeed in a few half cooked pizzas and told them to sort themselves out, vaguely pointing in the direction of the kitchen if they needed plates.

Thankfully, When you have friends as good as mine, you can get away with that kind of appalling behaviour.

Note the way the pile of food has just been dumped on the table - and they are still smiling! (and by the way - how good is the bar!?! I'll shut up about that now.)

And bless them, they didn't seem to care about my slutty serving skills. They simply busied themselves helping Best Girl Emma stick up the bunting that she'd carefully crafted for us (out of her nans nightie amongst other things it transpired). Her partner Jonathan spent a good hour up a step ladder, still in his work clothes, while I flopped down on the nearest chair to watch and drink pinot grigio straight from the bottle.

Note best Girl Jenny in the background eating pizza AND assisting with bunting.

Wow. Is the marquee finally complete? Let me just check my book of lists...and breathe...

It was 10pm. I had set all the tables. I was slightly pissed. (look at me - if there was sound on this blog you would hear my maniacal/delirious laughter.) It was time for some beauty sleep...tomorrow was gonna be big!

1 comment:

  1. I just love this blog!!!!
    And fri frisbeed pizza and nibbles were just perfect for us bunting workers!
    Sandra's comment of OK..... soon transpired into PERFECT after E and J were getting stressed at the depth of hanging and distance!! Phew!
    Len wasn't bothered as she was scoffing pizza, Best lady Claire did a sterling job of pouring our booze.... and thank goodness rich managed to compose himself to stop the tangles!