“I haven’t married the woman I want to live with; she’s the woman I can’t live my life without”

Husband and I have been together for six and a half years, and in that time we’ve only been to one wedding…until this week when we have two to attend in the space of five days! Yesterday was the big day for our friends Sam and Alex. They’ve been together a similar sort of time to Husband and I and have a son who is about nine months older than Sausage – in fact they’ll both be starting school this September.

It was a rare day for Husband and I because it was a ‘no kids except for close family’ wedding, although for a while it looked as though we didn’t have childcare and the happy couple kindly offered to sort out an extra place for Sausage so we could bring her along, but we managed to rope her Nan in at the last minute, so all was well.

The ceremony was held in Holy Trinity church in Rayleigh, which was originally built in Norman times and has been renovated and updated over the last couple of hundred years, and although I’m not religious I thought the setting was beautiful. The church was just the right size for the ceremony to feel intimate and personal and the vicar who performed was affable and comical. He encouraged Sam and Alex, as well as the rest of the congregated friends and family, not to ‘give and take’ in a relationship but to ‘give and give’, which is a lovely message.

I didn’t take any tissues with me as obviously I’m not the sort of sap who cries at a wedding….until about three seconds into the ceremony when Sam, who looked simply stunning in her gown which was made of about a billion layers of tulle, walked down the aisle accompanied by her eldest son, who gave her away, followed by her gorgeous bridesmaids, her daughter who looked like a miniature of her Mummy, and their youngest son who looked so scrumptious that I wanted to pick him up and squeeze him harder than is probably healthy!

The ceremony was beautiful, a mixture of traditional hymns and contemporary music; while we were seated in the church we were pleased to hear mine and Husband’s favourite song played by a string quartet, but to be honest both the bride and the groom are heavily into music so we knew there’d be good tunes. The whole thing went without a hitch, although, Alex later told us that at the rehearsal last week, when the Vicar got to the “any reason why they should not be joined in Holy Matrimony” part, Sam’s eldest son shouted “YES, BECAUSE HE BEATS ME!”, which Husband and I found hilarious, but obviously had Sam and Alex holding their breath during this part of the real ceremony!

After they official pronouncement of ‘Husband and Wife’ was made and the signing of the register taken care of, it was off to Lords Golf Club for pre-dinner drinks and canapés, and some relaxing on the deck while the photos were taken. There was a lovely man tinkling the ivories with a mixture of contemporary hits and classical tunes, as well as a magician who really helped people to relax into the festivities. It was a really nice way to loosen up, chat to people before the meal and generally get into the swing of things. Obviously, the Pimms, Buck’s Fizz and mozzarella sticks helped a lot, too!

The golf club provided a really nice backdrop for the photos, with the greens, lakes and huge weeping willows and watching Sam and Alex interacting with each other and their family was a privilege – Husband and I commented on more than one occasion about how happy they all looked together. Of course they were happy, it was their wedding day, but it was deeper than that. There’s a closeness and bond between not just the Bride and Groom but between their three kids, Alex’s mum, brother and sister and their closest friends that just shone out and made everyone present realise that love is about more than just two people.

The meal was just A. MAZING. The starter was a rustic pâté with a tomato chutney and a green salad which was just so yum, I could have eaten it twice. I’m glad I didn’t, however, because the frigging HUGE lamb shank that I was presented with for my main almost beat me. Almost. It’s not often that I find a meal that’s too big for me to finish and if I’m honest I polished this off out of stubbornness and not wanting to waste such delicious food! Dessert was a lemon tart with cream, which was just perfect after such a hearty main. The speeches came next and ranged from the touching (the quote above is from the Groom’s speech and it got an ‘AWWWW!” from the whole room!) to the tear jerking (Alex sadly lost his Dad five years ago to the day and his Grandad a year ago and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when his Mum told us how proud they’d both be of him) to the downright hilarious (Alex’s brother’s Best Man speech had just the right amount of smut, innuendo and ridicule, without being too naughty and had the whole room in stitches. I heard several people say that it was the best Best Man’s speech they’d ever heard).

Once dinner was finished, we went back down to the deck for drinks while the main room was prepared for the evening’s festivities and a chance to cool off and chat for a while was brilliant. Everyone was well and truly loosened up by this point which was great as the evening guests started to arrive, the band kicked off in the main room and we watched Sam and Alex take their first dance as man and wife. I must say, the band they chose were absolutely brilliant. A mix of new rock and old party classics, they got the tone of the day completely spot on and were really slick and professional.

Sadly, as Sausage had been with Nanny for about 10 hours, we had to say our goodbyes before the end of the party (although, I must give a nod to the buffet which came out just before we left. Mini burgers and Yorkshire puddings filled with beef and chutney? GENIUS!), but Husband and I had SUCH a great day, catching up with old friends, making some new ones and just generally sharing the love that exudes from Mr. and Mrs. Bakonyvari (the Master of Ceremonies managed to cock-up the pronunciation of their name EVERY SINGLE TIME – apart from once, when his microphone decided to fail, which raised a huge laugh!) and their family. We’d like to thank them for such a wonderful day and feel genuinely lucky to have been able to share it with them, and want to wish them a long and happy marriage, filled with love and luck.

xoxo