Posted by: Louise | October 18, 2010

Day 18 – my wedding

A few months after we got engaged, my Dad took the precaution of booking a venue. Our laid back approach to wedding planning was stressing him out.

We got engaged in March and planned to marry in September. Ever practical, we already had a holiday booked with friends at the end of September so planned our wedding for two days earlier. If K could have he would have gone to Vegas, but I am an only (surviving) girl amongst many many boys. I didn’t want to deprive my family or myself of a wedding. It didn’t have to be big and fancy, but I did want to share the day with my family, at least.

It all seems so long ago now. It feels strange to talk about it. Two of my brothers have got married since, one only last month and they both had really beautiful weddings – not over the top fancy, just really lovely. Ours was very simple really.

We kept the budget low. Dad had money put aside, but he and Mum still live in our family home – a big Victorian house which had no central heating eleven years ago. We told Dad to spend the money on putting in heating. The house is still freezing, but at least they have the option now.

We traded favours – food, wine, musicians, catering. Mum made the cake.

The dress was made by some friends who had recently moved over from England and wanted some of their dresses to be seen. I loved my dress – a really simple bias cut. It was what I wanted when I approached them. Unbeknown, it was actually what they specialised in.

K’s nephew and niece were our ring boy and flower girl. At eight, his nephew was getting just a little old for dressing up (or so we thought) so we allowed him to choose what he would wear. His first choice, without a moments hesitation, was an electric blue tuxedo. When that proved difficult to find our neck of the woods, he settled on a blue velvet cape!

The wedding meal was in my family home. I grew up right across the road from the church and I really liked the idea of heading over for the ceremony and back. With immediate family alone, and partners, kids and a few stray cousins, we had about 45 for the meal. My aunt’s partner catered. We have grown up with her catering business and, as kids, would regularly have visited and found whole poached salmon in odd corners of the house, sitting there proudly with cucumber scales and olives where their eyes once were, glued on with cream cheese. This was our chance to have one of our very own.

What are the details I remember?

My Dad working on his own special cocktail to greet guests with after the ceremony. Every visit in the build-up to the day we had to sample another subtle variation. Of course he left my brothers in charge on the day and they abandoned his carefully considered recipe (and most of the juice) so a number of the older generation took themselves off for a little nap mid afternoon.

I remember going with my Mum to choose her corsage a few days before the wedding and the florist asking what the bride’s flowers would be. I hadn’t even thought about it. You can see now why our approach was stressing my Dad.

Since the day my parents moved into our family home we have never lived on the ground floor. It was an apartment initially, then my Dad’s business moved in. Briefly it was empty rooms before snooker tables, band equipment, etc took over. Then my brothers discovered the extra freedom that could be theirs if they moved their bedrooms downstairs. At the time we were getting married my parents had managed to empty, clean and paint one room which, at a tight squeeze would fit us all for the meal. The buffet was set up across the hall in a brother’s bedroom (lad pad). His bed was moved out for the event, but that was about it. All I see when I look at the photos of people clamouring for food is the topless posters on the wall behind.

I remember getting to the top of the aisle and K turning to me. He had got new glasses for the occasion and they were sitting crooked on his nose. I started laughing and laughed nearly all the way through the ceremony.

And I remember the party that night, where we invited all our friends……… and the dancing. K’s shirt let him down terribly, showing up every drop of sweat with gay abandon, but it didn’t stop him. Our legs and feet ached, but that didn’t stop the dancing. The bar closed and that didn’t stop the dancing. The bride and groom sneaked away and that didn’t stop the dancing. Eventually the venue shut down the electricity and reluctantly people headed home. I like that bit.

And I remember Dad saying that now he had his seventh son, and saying it with pride.

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