There has never been, nor will there ever be (hopefully), anything quite like being a bride. As we whizz back towards Formby after a few days in Scotland, I’m starting to reflect on my favourite moments of the last week. Here’s a list of some of the best wedding week moments in the order that they happened!
1. Surprise! Hen Do (III): I had a lovely evening on the Monday with my girls from school who had arranged a brilliant Mexican themed hen do! Many of them hadn’t been able to make it to Greenbelt so it was fab to see them on wedding week. There was gorgeous food, games and drink, and it definitely started the wedding week really well!
2. Wednesday communion: before we spent the day doing the flowers in Church, Mum and I attended the mid week communion service. I was asked if I would administer the chalice, and despite feeling rather under dressed in Docs and a Greenbelt hoodie, it was a huge privilege. It reminded me of another call, separate and yet complementary to that of a wife, the call to be a deacon.
3. Grandpa, Nathan and the Gypsophila: the cuffs of the pillars in Church needed to be decorated with green leaves and white little flowers. As this was a high up job which required stepladders, Nathan and Grandpa were given the task of decorating the pillars. And what a fine job they did! They soon got the hang of it and were well away, artistically arranging the gypsophila. They knew they were doing well, and you’d think they’d invented flower arranging by the way they were talking! I had many a little giggle to myself that afternoon.
4. Pre-rehearsal tequila with Isabelle: I can highly recommend this. It wasn’t a planned thing, but as I opened the drinks cabinet, saw the tequila and remembered the left over slice of lemon in the fridge, it seemed the natural thing to do. It chilled me out and calmed my nerves.
5. Rehearsal Vows: Now, I wasn’t expecting to practise as much of the wedding service as we did at the rehearsal, but I’m so pleased we did. Martin, Nathan’s Dad, led us through the preface (because we’d be too distracted to listen properly the next day!) and we said all our vows, as Martin only had permission to do the service on the Friday, so the rehearsal wasn’t a legal service! I cried quite a bit. Looking into Nathan’s eyes, hearing and saying those words was beyond magical. Up until that point, I thought that he might not turn up to marry me, given the right combination of disasterous circumstances. But once we’d practised our vows, I could see that nothing and nobody could stop us getting married the next day. It was truly wonderful.
6. Face scrubbing: So I decided to get a spray tan to cover the white watch strap line I had gained over the summer. After the spray tan, my skin went a bit dark. So the night before, Mum and Isabelle took to my face in the bathroom with body scrub and a flannel. Potential disaster of an orange bride was narrowly avoided, and the three of us had a good laugh that night which we wouldn’t otherwise have had!
7. On the day: Lucy arriving! It didn’t feel like the wedding day properly until my second bridesmaid arrived! She’s absolutely fab, and I’ve always loved spending time with her and Isabelle, from dress shopping to Pizza Express! When she arrived on the wedding day, it felt like it was properly starting as the three of us sat there in the living room being pampered, having our hair and makeup done. This was a part of the day which I fought quite hard to protect. I wanted it to be quiet and low key with as few people around as possible. It was totally worth keeping the visitors to a minimum as the wedding morning provided me with the quiet, calm space which I needed.
8. On the day: Starbucks arriving! The very wonderful Ana arrived on the wedding morning with Starbucks. Starbucks is my favourite and I’m so pleased I could have it on the wedding morning!
9. On the day: Nathan arriving! In the middle of being laced into my dress, Nathan and best man Elias came over. They patiently waited a few more minutes for me to be ready. I then popped my head round the sitting room door and had my first glimpse of Nathan. He was stood with his back to the house, looking gorgeous in tails and hat. Nathan and I prayed together and he handed me a tiffany box! My ‘something blue’ was a tiffany chain with a blue heart pendant! We also had a time to chill and take a breath with God before the service, which was much needed and very lovely.
10. On the day: Dad ringing the bells: heading off to church hearing the bells was made even more special knowing that my Dad was ringing them too. The bell ringers even gave us a certificate to say who had rung on the wedding day, including ‘Tenor: Bride’s Father’.
11. On the day: Confetti! I wouldn’t dream of turning up to a wedding without my own box of confetti, but Pinterest implies that more and more couples provide confetti for guests at weddings. I wasn’t sure spending nearly £60 on pretty pieces of paper to throw on the floor was sensible. But as we walked down to the bottom of the church yard and our family and friends cheered, throwing confetti at us, I was absolutely delighted! It was such a nice moment, even as confetti went EVERYWHERE and got stuck to my eyelashes!
12. On the day: Dad, Dan’s and Elias’ speeches: although I loved what Nathan said in his speech, and I enjoyed saying a few words on the day, I really valued the speeches made by my Dad and the best men. This is mostly because: Nathan needs telling how great he is. All three of them did a wonderful job of building him up and they clearly think so much of him. I might ask for copies of these speeches and quote them when Nathan is doubting himself!
13. On the day: sweetheart table: The sweetheart table, intended to have time to share a meal just the two of us, kind of worked. We did have a couple of conversations on our own over the course of the meal. But as people walked past, said hello, smiled and stroked our heads, I distinctly remember having the thought ‘isn’t this lovely!’. So many of our favourite people were there in the same room, and kind face after kind face walked past saying hello. It was just beautiful.
14. On the day: Granny and Grandpa dancing: they know how to ‘proper dance’ and they show us all how it’s done! Legends.
15. On the day: leaving! It did get to the end of the first dance and I said to Nathan, ‘can we leave yet?’. It’s not that it wasn’t the most excellent and beautiful day of my life, it was, it was just so tiring! It was so wonderful that it was overwhelming. When the taxi came at half 11 and everyone waved us off at the door, I was so at peace. I expected to feel sad that it was all over, but I didn’t. I just felt utter contentment at what I had just done and the life-long adventure before me.
16. The day after: Confetti on the train platform: we were seen off by our parents and my grandparents at the train station the next afternoon. More confetti was thrown as we headed off for a few nights up north. Again, it went in the most unlikely places, but it made our departure extra special!
Apologies to the Retford Train Station Staff for the litter!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I feel so immensely blessed, more than any blog can say.
All my love,
Mrs Eleanor Poppy Thorpe