Sunday, 12 June 2011

Our Wedding Day. Part 2 - the service

St Mary's Church, very early in the morning on our wedding day

Isn't it gorgeous?

I loved the archway flowers

All too soon it was time to head up to the church. I was slightly late, but hey, that's a good thing isn't it? Isn't it the Bride's prerogative to make her man wait?

In the Rolls Royce that Mom and my Step-dad had so kindly organised, I started feeling very, very nervous. It was a kind of nervous I'd never felt before, a mixture of nice butterflies and excitement with a bit of "I hope I don't trip up" and "oh my word Im actually getting married" nerves thrown in for good measure. George the driver told me an inappropriate joke, cos he could see I was probably about to have a meltdown on his back seat, but it didn't help. (Thanks anyway though George.)

I was shaking like a leaf as Mom walked me up the path to the church, and just as we reached the doorway the biggest bumble bee on the planet decided to bury himself in my bouquet. There followed 30 seconds of me frantically batting my posy around like Tim Henman on the brink of a matchpoint, which took my mind off things. The next thing I knew, Cecil the organist was blasting out 'Here Comes The Bride.' This was it.

In hindsight, I think Rev Deakin was more nervous than me. Look at his face, poor bloke.

Just as I thought I'd got a grip, Mom whispered something lovely in my ear, and when I saw all our wonderful friends and loved ones filling the church, the walk down the aisle became a full on battle between me and my tear ducts. It was all I could do not to launch into a full-blown blubber and blow a massive snot bubble.

And the first look at my hubby-to-be was just a perfect moment – he looked so handsome and I could tell he was as nervous as I was. When I stood next to him he told me I looked beautiful, and I melted a tiny bit.Sniffle.

I love this picture. Doesn't he look handsome with his smiley, crinkly eyes?

And of course, as was completely expected, and to follow the sitcom-esque theme of this very blog, there were a few hitches. I knew our Reverend was nervous, but actually it turned out he was very, very nervous.

He started well with a lovely sermon about listening to each other and being there for each other, which bizarrely segued into a story about a murderer asking God to listen and she ended up dead. We all mentally moved swiftly on.

Then my MILTB did a lovely reading, followed by the uber-confident, Aunty Dy, who marched to the front and very loudly announced who she was before launching into her reading, which quite brilliantly broke the air of nerves and tension.

Here's Aunty Dy with the multi-coloured hair. She's hilarious, and certainly not backwards in coming forwards, as they say.

Then it came to the vows. And as the best man placed the rings on the Reverend’s open bible, we all watched in horror as, in slow motion, one of them completely slid off the book and rolled onto the floor.

“Ah.” Said the Reverend.

Luckily, there was no grating, or holes in the floor, but I did have to lift my skirts to find it. Thank goodness I shaved my legs.

There it goes. I honestly thought it was going to be a "has anyone got a spare ring?" moment.

Ring retrieved, we continued, and before we knew it, the Reverend was pronouncing us husband and wife. Cue more tears.

But the funniest moment came with the signing of the registers. With it being a tiny church there was no vestry or room to sneak off into to do the signing, so we went to the back of the church – in clear view of the guests – to put pen to paper.

The Reverend pointed where we were to sign and with moist eyes, we signed our names, on three different pieces of paper.

“Ah.” Said the Rev.

Alarm bells rang. He’d only got us to sign in the wrong place.

“I wonder if anyone has any tippex?” mumbled the Rev.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I attend a wedding I always make sure my handbag contains lippy, compact, tissues and some correction fluid.

The church warden and bell ringer, Bridget, came over to see what was going on, and the Reverend told her what he’d done, and in a flash, she was gone. I have never seen a bell ringer move so quickly. She returned, 10 minutes later, looking somewhat flushed and out of breath, brandishing the tippex. Bless her, she’d run to the Kennedy family's big house, just around the corner, where thankfully there was a small supply of tippex, and back again. I think she had a minor asthma attack on the way.

The ill-fated signing of our names. Good grief.

After this small kerfuffle and re-signing, we were relieved to put the pen down and return to the service. But the Rev said “Ah. No time for the last hymn let's walk you down the aisle and leave it there.”

I think he just wanted to get the heck out of there before he made any more major errors. So Cecil launched into the wedding march and off we went!

The weather had been a mix of sunshine and showers all day, and as we came out of the church, the rain came down. So we had to wait for the shower to pass - but apparently it's lucky for a bride to be rained on. Not so lucky, however, if the bride has wispy hair that turns into an affro at the merest hint of moisture. A best man did dash over with a brolly - but it was a child's one, in the shape of a goldfish. Fins and a tail and everything. Actually, it might well have been Nemo. I thought it might clash with my dress so I politely declined. (I had bought some very pretty matching brollies in case it rained. But where were they? Goodness knows. So much for my efficient list making.)

A quick kiss behind my bouquet while waiting for the rain to stop.

But one minute later, the sun broke through and we all dashed outside so that Best Girl Emma could get busy with her camera. This resulted in a rather lovely light – dark skies and bright sunshine are the perfect lighting for wedding photos it turned out.

Oh my goodness we are Mr and Mrs Shipley!

Oh bless.

I look like I'm storming off here! Think I was keen to get some pictures taken before the heavens opened.

So happy!

By this point we were both completely dazed about the fact we were now married, bewildered by the attention and photos, and we were in desperate need of a glass of champers.

But above all, we were both incredibly happy and excited. Despite the blips and a Reverend who made Rowan Atkinson in the film Four Weddings look slick, it was all lovely. And somehow so very us.

Apparently, as the Reverend made a rather hasty exit (possibly cos he was scared I'd get all bridezilla and smack him around the head with my bouquet) he said to a guest, "I really fluffed that didn’t I?”. Poor bloke. I bet he's had sleepless nights ever since. I know he has another wedding to do in July, he must be worried sick.

And now, enough of my witterings for a moment, I'm going to indulge myself in plastering this post with lots of gratuitous wedding shots. Note how windswept I look - there was quite a breeze in between the sunshine and showers.

Doesn't my Mom look lovely!

My lot - from left, brother and Usher Josh, my husband and I (squeal!), Mom and Rob, my sister Helen and her fiance Paul.

My husband's lot - from left, Uncle Michael, cousin's hubby Matt with little Thomas, my husband and I (squeal!), the fabulous Aunty Dy, cousin Madelaine and little Eilidh, my Mother in Law (and hairdresser!) Pauline and her partner Lloyd. I think Aunty Dy instructed everyone to shout SEX as this photo was taken. Like I say, not backward in coming forward.

The boys - Best Man John, my hubby, Bets Man Chris and Usher and brother Josh. I don't know why they are kissing. Josh is an affectionate lad though.

Me and my wonderful Best Girls.

Ahhh I'm filling up looking at these again!

So, with all the photos done, we were really looking forward to relaxing a little into the celebrations.

“Is the bar open?” Uncle Michael hollered. He’d read my mind.

Just look at that view!


  1. Lou that was a lovely rendition of your big day, had me in stitches too (bee and the tipp ex). Brilliant pics too.

    PS, not sure how to post this without it being 'Anonymous", but don't worry it's Tony Clements not some weird stalker.

  2. Tes here....
    oh thats soooo gorgeous!you look so so happy and the views in your pics are something to die for. Thankfully the bee and tippex didn't ruin the day:)

  3. Ah thanks Tess and Tony! big hugs to you both ! xxx

  4. The tippex moment was quite something.... as was the hunt the ring. Luckily it gave me some more time to get snapping and papping with my camera!
    Shame about the All things bright and beautiful moment....or lack of it should I say. Must agree tho Loob vicar is prob traumatised by the whole experience. He looked ready to crumple at the end. Poor chap. I will never look at a bottle of tipex in the same way again!

    Hence the lack of return down the aisle shots as it was such a blunt ending!

    Beautiful beautiful day.... My OH keeps telling me .... Emma it WASNT your wedding day! I keep talking about it!

    Such a lovely lovely couple, so chuffed you met each other and had a fantastic wedding!

    (Is it wrong of me to wonder how I will call my pal Lou Day....Lou Chip Shop?!?)

  5. Congratulations both of you! I've loved reading this - and looking at the pictures: you look amazing! (not an afro in sight!) beautiful dress, I love love love your wedding hair as well - you're a stunning bride.
    Loved the bee, the vicar, the tippex, the nemo brolly, Auntie Dy announcing who she was... you have so many fantastic moments to giggle over along with the beautiful pics to remember your day by.
    ... delighted I still have part 3 to read. I'm putting it off - it's like the end of a brilliant book, what will I do next?!
    Claire xx