I stole that title from my friend Allison Kirk’s blog, because it is so beautifully apt for how we feel: after months (OK, just 3, but still) of planning, buying, crafting, searching, managing, travelling, laughing (crying) and general mayhem, we pulled off our perfect day (definition: ‘we’ = me, Wes and assorted friends and family). So, the Brits want to know about the day, warts ‘n’ all. And while I do have a post about the craziness that got us to the perfect day (including forgetting the catering, abandoning the groom with no buddies with him the night before and having no way to get the bride to the actual wedding – yes, all those fun and games), but it took away from a description of what was, as I keep writing, our perfect day (yes, I have the Lou Reed song going round and around in my head too, and no, it is not an apt soundtrack).
I arrived and stood in the house, with the ring bearer, bridesmaids, maid of honour. I looked out of the window, and the garden where the ceremony would be held just looked stunning. Wes’ Mum’s chairs were perfect, the arch was simple but eye catching and the lake added a serene feel. I could see Wes standing patiently at the front, the minister grinning happily, and Aaron dutifully handing out rose petals, also with a big smile on his face. It was a beautiful, and somewhat sobering scene but the happiness and joy was palpable, even from inside the house. My Dad asked me how I felt, and I simply felt very excited. So we went downstairs and I got to hear Nate’s gorgeous playing, a simple, delicate sweet song that was perfect for the occasion. After a brief dilemma about where the ring bearer went in the procession, which was solved by 10-year old Sasha, bridesmaid extrodinare (the answer if the at the front, but the way) – off we all trundled down the aisle. And trundle we did, until I suddenly giggled and suggested we all slowed down. My quiet giggle turned into a ranging ear-to-ear-grin when I saw my best buddy Kim, who had made it all the way from Boston. I suddenly realized how many dear friends and loved ones had come out and it made me ecstatic (hence the grin) and this was how I made it to my fiancé at the front:
Given the million degree heat (well, spot on 100 as I exited the car), we decided not to be American, but to be all British, and let people the wedding party sit for the duration of the ceremony. Scott was a wonderful, wonderful minister. He wrote beautiful, Godly words, and involved us so that they felt very personal and meaningful. He talked about the marriage, and what we were to each other, and what we would be, as man and wife in a partnership together. Kirk read an extract from C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Four Loves’ with feeling and heartfelt passion. Wes and I wrote our own vows (coming soon to a blog post near you – see there were some very-American-and-alien-to-Brits touches), and we said these to each other, before also saying the more more common ones (coming soon as well).
Before I knew it, it was time to ‘kiss the bride’. Which Wesley did. And did again. And tried to do again, until I whispered ‘Oi’ and pulled away 🙂
After being presented as man and wife, we receded down the aisle to Nate’s acoustic version of ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and people threw rose petals.
Then a brief photo session, during which Josh Vasa played beautiful music and all we had to do was party. And party we did! It was very nice not to be sitting at a table separate from our guests – it allowed us the freedom to go about chatting to everyone (which Wes was 100% better at than me, who missed a good few of her friends, although I think I did manage to speak to / introduce myself to all of Wes’ side). I changed into a simple dress, and did what I do best: ate, drank, danced and paddled in the lake. It reminded me of a big house party, and I am very grateful to so many people for chipping in and helping out.
Time flew, and soon it was time to cut the cake, listen to Papa’s speech
and have the first dance. We left at 11.15, but the party carried on until 5 am. In fact, I am not sure it had even stopped to restart when we returned at 12 the next day.
At the end of it all, people often ask us: did you have fun? And here, a few pictures really are worth more than a 1,000 words.
My favourite pics from the wedding can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/103552216493168738329/OurWedding?authkey=Gv1sRgCKubuveUiNGT3wE