Wow, where to start, I guess at the beginning!
I apologise in advance for the essay - I've really enjoyed reliving it by writing this, and remembering all the details that I'd forgotten about! I've dotted a few photos here, but if you want to see more, there are lots HERE taken by family and friends.
Thursday 19th June
We had arrived at my parents late on Wednesday night after I'd had my nails done, as thursday was going to be a really busy day!
In the morning I had my hair cut and coloured, which took about 3 hours! I'd managed to get some clip in hair extensions, so the hairdresser matched the dye to those to make them a perfect match. While I was there, Michael and Dad drove to the suit shop to collect all 8 suits.
We all met back at home and had lunch together, before going off to the venue to drop off all the bits and pieces! It took us about an hour to go through everything but it was nice to finalise things and put our minds at rest about all the little details! It felt really wierd in the afternoon because we had nothing lift to do, and we couldn't even fiddle with the little things because they were all already at the venue!
In the evening Mum and my sister, Em, went off to have their nails done, and then we went to the church in the evening for a rehersal. Me and Michael went along with my Dad, best man and my sister (a bridesmaid). It made everything feel so real saying the words and practising walking down the aisle - my sister got really emotional which is quite unlike her, I think she was quite overwhelmed by it all! We handed the suits over to Peter (best man) and off we went for a relaxing evening.
Friday 20th June
Friday morning we had a bit of a lay in and a relaxing start. Michael and I went out for a really nice lunch by ourselves and then went to his Dad's grave, which was emotional for both of us. After that I dropped him off at his mum's house. It was really wierd leaving knowing that the next time I'd see him would be at the altar!
I then dashed off to meet Cat, my chief bridesmaid, who took me to a spa for the afternoon where we jacuzzi'd, steamed and sauna'd. It was great to just chat and unwind, and we had a lot of laughs about old times! The spa had 4 levels of sauna - starting at mild right up to volcano - man that was hot!
We got back to mine at about 6pm and met with Em. They'd decorated the house with pink and green balloons, the marquee was up in the garden (ready for Sunday) and Mum had made metres and metres of bunting for the garden which looked gorgeous! Jess (michael's sister and the third bridesmaid) was meant to be arriving at about 7, but she was still curling her hair, which she'd been doing since 3pm!
We had a great snacky dinner which my sister made of potato wedges, chicken dippers, nachos and potato skins, and we watched a girly film with a small glass of wine. We played games on the Wii and had such a laugh! Mum and Dad arrived back home from dinner out with the family at about 10, and Jess still wasn't here! Cat went home - only just round the corner, and Jess eventually arrived at a quarter to midnight (I'd been planning to get to bed by 10!) and we all went straight to sleep.
Saturday 21st June
I slept really well, and woke up at about 6:30am so got up, had a shower and thenw ent downstairs where Em was waiting to present me with a big fluffy white "Bride" dressing gown! She'd also had them made up for herself with "Bridesmaid" and Mum with "Mother of the Bride" on. We got Jess up, and Cat arrived back at about half 7 in time for a breakfast of croissants and pain au chocolat with champagne or bucks fizz. I didn't feel nervous at all, I was just really excited, but my sister felt really sick with nerves. We later decided that we'd both transferred our nerves because Michael was alright too, but one of his ushers was terrible!
I had been getting really worried about the weather as it kept saying rain for Saturday - I knew there was nothing I could do but I really wanted it to stay dry. In the end it was dry all day and just perfect - slightly overcast so no squinting, and warm enough to stay outside but not too hot. Perfect.
At 8am the hairdresser and make up artist arrived. Em had her hair done first because she wanted to let the curls drop out a bit - the rest of us sat enjoying our champagne and having a good giggle. Mum had hers done next while Cat had her make up done. The Cat and Jess had their hair done and Mum and I had our make up put on. It was great watching the girls getting ready and transforming - they all looked beautiful and I was really excited to see my finished look! I hadn't really had a proper full hair trial so it was a bit of a surprise but I loved it so much!
We were all really laid back - it felt like we had loads of time. Dad had disappeared out to move cars around with Em's boyfriend Chris, and as they arrived back I had my hair done. The hairdresser had pre-curled the clip ins, so curled mine to match and then started clipping them in - it was so fantastic to have so much hair it felt really strange but I loved it!
The photographer and videographer had both arrived at about 10.30, so we got some shots of me having my hair and make up done. The two of them were really funny and put us all at ease. I was starting to get a little bit nervous, but I though I was hiding it really well until Cat said you're a bit jittery aren't you. It came and went in little waves, but it was all excitement! I was still having my hair done at 11.30 and at that point I realised that actually we really didn't have long left!
My hair was finished and so we banished the men and I got into my underwear and hoop, and we put the dress on. I was so so excited to wear it, and of course it fit absolutely perfectly! The photographer and video guy came back in to get shots of the girls doing up the lace back of the dress.
The florist arrived with the bouquets and buttonholes and they were absolutely beautiful, I couldn't have asked for more. Peter was meant to come to pick up the buttonholes but his car had got blocked in so in the end Em's boyfriend had to take them up to the church along with the orders of service etc. It was a shame because Michael had written me a letter but I didn't get it until the next day because of this. He also sent me flowers, a teddy and chocolates, but they only got delivered at 2pm, after we'd left!
Everyone else was dressed - my mum and dad, and the bridemaids all looked so wonderful I started getting a bit teary but didn't want to ruin my make up! We had some photos in the back garden and some of me in the house, then suddenly the car arrived and we all started to rush around (although I was struggling to get my hoop through doorways ) and get ready. We then figured that the car had come early for photos so we calmed down a bit! Me and Dad had a fake leaving as the photographer then dashed off to the church to meet up with Michael. Mum and the bridesmaids went off in the car, and it was just me and Dad left in the house.
We thought we'd have a good 10 minutes but before we knew it the car was back at only 10 past 1, and only a 5 minute journey to the church! We told him to wait for a bit as I didn't want to get there early! It was lucky we did too as the bridesmaids arrived and were panicking because people were all still outside and they thought we'd be on our way! Eventually we got in the car and off we went down the high street with everyone waving and looking at us! The driver was so jolly it was fab!
We arrived at the church just as the last person was going into it, so perfect timing really - it was 1.28! There I met the second photographer for the first time - he'd been with Michael all morning. We left the car and the vicar, Beth, was outside waiting for us. She gave a few words of reassurance and we stood at the door waiting to go in. I'd made a last minute decision to wear my veil over my face so we sorted that out too! I'm glad I did because it acted as a sort of barrier between me and all those people and kept me a bit calmer!
We heard Beth give a few quick announcements and welcome, and then the music started - the wedding processional from Sound of Music. We started to walk in (you come in from the side of the church), and we knew that we had to go quite slowly as we wanted to turn the corner and walk down as the music hit it's peak. We got there a bit quickly so we stood at the top for what felt like ages - I was pulling on Dad's arm going come on, I want to get there! He made me wait until the right point and actually it was nice because I could have a goo look around, and I could see Michael up at the front beaming, but obviously really emotional too! He said later that he almost burst into tears at that point!
When we got to the front I handed my bouquet to Cat and she lifted my veil. We grabbed each others hand and the service started. It was such a beautiful service - the two readers read extremely eloquently and everyone sung the hymns so loud! We came to the vows and Michael said them perfectly. I started and then completely choked up - so I stopped as I would have burst into tears, my voice was wavering all over the place! Beth was great, really reassuring, and I managed to recompose my self and get through them from then on okay. Apparently it caused a bit of a domino effect though cos loads of people started crying We exchanged rings and Michael couldn't get mine on it just needed a good shove!
When she pronounced us husband and wife we were both beaming from ear to ear, it was totally amazing! We kissed before she even said you may kiss the bride we beat her to it! We went over to sign the register and Jess and Evelyn started singing Songbird - they sang it so beautifully. After that we had a blessing and then our exit music started up and off we went back down the aisle!
Outside everyone greeted and congratulated us, and we had a load of photos - both with small groups, large groups and just us. Everyone was milling around chatting and enjoying themselves. After about half an hour we finished the pics and the photographer arranged people for the confetti throwing - there was so much of it and it went everywhere, including all down my top!! Some people had already left, but some stayed to wave us off in the car. We got in and both took a deep breath We started to tell each other all about our mornings, but it was quite a short journey, only about 10 minutes so before we knew it we had arrived at the venue.
We had photos by the car and the videographer got us pink champagne from inside. We then got a bit of an oppurtunity to see some people before going off around the grounds for more photos and video. It was great to see people mingling and having fun. We dashed around and then the manager told us it was time for people to be called in for the breakfast - that drinks reception went so quickly! Once everyone was sat down we were annonced in as Mr and Mrs Naulls, which was quite surreal! The room looked beautiful - the table centres were stunning and everyone was even better than I thought it would be! It all came together wonderfully and I was so pleased.
We had the speeches before we ate - Dad went first and gave a lovely speech which was not too embarassing, but with some funny stories and a lot of sentiment. Michael went next, keeping it short and sweet, it was just a great speech. Peter was last and he did such a fantastic job - it was the perfect mix of warm, funny and just a little bit cheeky. I think we were all a bit stunned because we didn't think he was a natural public speaker but it was wonderful.
The first course was then served - bruschetta of rosted veg with raspberry vinagrette and was delicious! We had two more courses - chicken and bacon wellington followed by lime and kiwi cheesecake. All very yummy! In between the courses we took the oppotunity to go round the tables and see everyone - our table planning went well because everyone was chatting and mingling, which was so satisfying after all the stressing over it!
Once everyone had finished the final course Dad stood up and said a final thank you, and announced coffee in the pavillion so we all went back outside whilst the room was transformed for the evening. Evening guests started to arrive and the videographer set up the video diary for people to leave us messages - I can't wait to see it because I kept catching tiny snippits as it was going on and I'm completely intruiged by many of the things
We called everyone in for the cutting of the cake - which was the most amazing cake I've seen and totally what I was after! She did a fantastic job on it! Apparently she made it cake of the month on her website and having put it on on Saturday, by Tuesday had recieved 5 orders for very similar things - for someone who does it as a hobby thats not bad! Once the cake was wheeled away we had our first dance - Michael Buble's Everything sung by the band. We just winged it but lots of people said they thought it was rehearsed because did twists and lifts and shimmies It was such fun!
We then had Perfect Day, to which I danced with my Dad, followed by a really fast song, I can't remember which is was but my godfather Matthew grabbed me and we whirled around the dance floor - everyone else cleared off and they were all standing around clapping and cheering. I was totally exhauseted by the end of the song! I can't wait to see the video because it was so funny!
We both tried to get round and chat to everyone but it's so difficult, but I think we managed to see most people for more than a quick hello. It was great to see some people who we haven't seen for ages and everyone had such a great time - you can tell from the photos! The band were great and the evening barbeque went down really well, with hardly any leftovers.
The evening went quickly, but we managed to spend a lot of it together, and we both remember it well because we consciously made ourselves take it all in. It was great to step back and just watch everyone enjoying all the hard work.
For our last dance we had Can't Take my Eyes off you - everyone formed an archway all the way from one end of the room right to the other and we ran down it and out the door to the waiting taxi, waving to everyone. It was a great finale to the most amazing day ever.