HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I tell the funniest jokes!
I was fast asleep and Paul was dozing when just before midnight we heard a knocking on our door. We were a bit confused and disorientated when there was another knock and the door started opening!
Paul leapt out of bed, grabbed a dressing gown and headed to the door to find out what was going on. I was now wide awake and really confused myself!
There were two guys from the bar. One was carrying a bottle of champagne and the other had a cocktail glass full of strawberries.
"We didn't think you would be back until after midnight, these are a gift from Jodie, Mark and Amy!" Um, who?
We told them that we didn't know a Jodie, Mark and Amy. (Stupid, I know...damnit)
After a lot of awkward apologies and standing around, they left and Paul came back to bed. We lay there for a while, completely awake.
"We get married today" I said, looking at the clock.
Paul put on some clothes and headed down to reception to find out what was going on. Apparently the people that should have had the champagne and strawberries were supposed to be in our room but for some reason we were switched. Which is odd, considering we wanted the other room. We have since figured that the other couple were actually getting married at Formby Hall, and therefore got first choice as to which room they wanted, and also picked the same one we wanted. It's really not a big deal, except for the lack of sleep!
We eventually got back to sleep and woke up at a reasonable time. We also woke up to the sound of heavy rain on the roof over us. GREAT.
And thanks to Alanis Morisette, for the rest of the morning I was singing 'Ironic' to myself.
Paul decided to shower before breakfast, so while he was there, I packed up most of his stuff and tried to take some arty shots of our wedding rings before they were packed away for the best woman.
Not bad. Could do better. Never mind.
Once Paul was suitably suitable, we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. And watched all the rain as it poured down by the bucketload. Nice weather for ducks...and there were plenty of ducks!
Paul had a nice big breakfast to set him up for the day.
Me...well...I'd been quite sick during the night. I woke up feeling REALLY queasy at around 3, and put it down to nerves. Until I knew I was going to be sick. And boooooy was I sick! I don't think it was nerves that produced that amount of vomit. Not that you needed to know that!
So, my stomach feeling a little better, I had a lighter breakfast.
Actually, this isn't really my breakfast at all. I didn't eat those pastries! I took them back to the room and forgot about them! I had the yogurt and also a big bowl of porridge, which was perfect for me.
We went back upstairs and made our last few preparations before Katie (best woman) came to collect Paul.
He was collecting his toiletries from the bathroom when I had a call from reception.
"Just a courtesy call to let you know your florist is here."
THIS IS IT!
That white van had all our flowers in it!
Jacqui arrived, who was looking after all our flowers for the day and boy, they did not disappoint.
I think I was too excited to take a picture but I think Mum did, so I'll be cheeky and steal one of hers.
Ignore the bumpf in front of the box.
AREN'T THEY GORGEOUS?!
From just a few pics I had taken in, they had done an amazing job at creating the perfect bouquets for my girls and I!
Paul was still here and getting very nervous now. Katie was late.
My make up ladies arrived and started setting up but obviously I couldn't start getting ready until he left. So after a while I kicked him out! He was stressing me out! Jacqui took him downstairs to the bar and sat with him until Katie got to him and then he was her responsibility! I look forward to seeing what they got up to!
I got in the shower and then was put in the chair to get my hair done first. While I was in the shower, our photographer arrived and was raring to go when I got in the chair. I was having a 'curly blow'. Well, having never had one before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Certainly not this:
Yes, internet - make up free Caroline. You're welcome.
You're also welcome for the image of me with over 40 hair brushes in my face. Why she couldn't just use rollers is beyond me. But they were heavy. And prickly!
I know I have a lot of hair but I kinda felt this was overkill!
Then they did my face. That was when people started to arrive. My brother and parents got to us first, and my brother ran away before I was really able to talk to him! Then, while I was in the middle of being spray painted (I had airbrush make up) the bridesmaids arrived as well. And promptly had a picnic in the middle of the floor. Which I couldn't join in with as I was being painted. Humph.
We were running a little behind schedule, so everyone started to get their glad rags on while I was finishing up.
I had originally wanted my hair up for the wedding, knowing how hot I can get and how frizzy it can go. My make up lady's daughter, who had come to help, was dead against it, thinking I should have my hair half up as it had curled so nicely. We took a vote and everyone decided that it looked nice half up. Ok, I guess it did look nice, but if I had known I was going to have it half up, I would have planned a different style. Meh, hindsight!
Once the bathroom was free, I asked everyone to look the other way while I transferred my dress into the bathroom. I wanted the big reveal to be completely new. I didn't want people to catch a glimpse of the dress before I was wearing it. Ok, so Lucy, Mum and A had seen it before, but still. Not while I was all pretty!
I think they liked it!
Mum took pictures, but as they're hers I might not steal one this time.
Then the call came that the car had arrived. It was a bit early but still. EEEK!
My beautiful camper van!
Chris (Lucy's hubby) was driving the other girls to the venue, so they loaded up the car with my Dad's help so they could get on the way.
Leaving me alone for the first time. It was weird. I ate a banana and helped myself to a glass of champagne which my Dad had provided (and hardly anyone drank) and psyched myself up to go get married.
Oh, and take a selfie, of course!
Ready to see me as a bride?
Dad came back and said that he had spoken to the driver and that we didn't need to rush.
So Dad and I finished our champagne and topped our glasses up with that which was left by everyone else!
I also got a pic of my Dad with my flowers!
Then off we went!
I can't really tell you much about the day to be honest. Just as everyone tells you, the day goes by so quickly.
I remember have a laugh with Dad in the camper van on the way to the venue.
I remember the nerves setting in as we drove up the long driveway to the barn.
I remember seeing someone in a green dress running ahead of the van as they realised that we were coming and they would be late!
I remember nervous jokes with the registrar while we were confirming all the details.
I remember walking through a puddle and laughing that my dress would be getting dirty even before the wedding ceremony.
Before I knew it, it was time for the ceremony! We stumbled across the cobbles and headed to the back of the barn and the bottom of the aisle! A wouldn't walk on her own so S went first, followed by A and Lucy, and then Annabel (and bump) brought up the rear. Then it was my turn!
I think it's fair to say that I was really excited and so happy to finally be getting married! :)
The ceremony was wonderful. It went really fast, but it was the important part of the day and so I was determined to savour every last second.
I have watched back the video and golly gosh I sounded posh! I think I recited my vows using my telephone voice!
We also had a couple of tiny bits of geeky stuff in the ceremony. I bet no-one really noticed one of them as it was less...obvious...than the other!
Our Unity Candles, which were made for us by Eden Candles, featured a Claddagh, which is a little nod to one of my favourite shows, Buffy! :)
The other was during the signing of the register. Our wonderful string quartet, The Manchester String Quartet played the song which got them hired in the first place, 'Concerning Hobbits' from Lord of the Rings. Because...well...it's a Hobbit tune!
Time for a couple of close ups!
Aren't we pretty?!
From there it's a bit of a blur! We walked back down the aisle and headed out back for a couple of pictures. Then the rain absolutely lashed down and we retreated back into the rear foyer. It was time for confetti and in this weather I was afraid it wasn't going to happen!
I needn't have been afraid. They allowed us to do it part inside! After Mum had put so much effort into the confetti, we got to get covered from head to toe in coloured flower petals!
We headed into the coach house and greeted all our guests and chatted for a while before heading back to the camper van to go on a little drive around for 10 minutes or so.
In truth, we could have been gone for hours. I just had no concept of time!
We came back and had more pics taken and mingled some more! We got to sample our canapés (which were delicious!), supped more fizz and had a great time!
Before we knew it, we were asked to head back into the barn to see how it looked before all the guests were in it.
It was perfect. I can't say it was exactly how I imagined it because I can't say exactly what I imagined! I knew what bits of the table would look like but had no idea on the flower displays, merely the holders.
It blew my mind. Absolutely breathtaking.
Plus, there was the cake. I mean, the cakeS! Plural!
Isn't it GORGEOUS! The cheese was just fantastic! We also had a proper cake cake as well, which was so pretty and beautifully decorated!
Skipping forward a little, here we are cutting said cake!
The wedding breakfast was very good indeed. We managed to speak to most people but we both seemed to miss the same table! Gah. Feel awful.
Anyway. Food turned into speeches. First up was my Dad who did a cracking job. Then Paul, who was also fab. My turn was next. I can't bring myself to watch it but what I have seen, people were bored! Lots of serious looking faces. I had an 'Umbridge' moment. Talking about seeing a sea of smiling faces, and not actually seeing one! Ah well! Then it was Katie's turn and I think she did a wonderful job. She didn't slander Paul like a boy would have done, but just gave a lovely speech! Well done Best Woman!
Then it was time to leave the barn again so they could set up for the evening do. Evening guests started arriving and more pictures were taken!
Then time to PARTY!
Except it didn't quite go...to plan...
You see, the band started and then the power went off. Everyone thought we were doing something a bit different, you know, some rehearsed routine.
The band blew the power! And couldn't put it back on again! So Paul and I were ready for our first dance and there was nothing to dance to! We were in hold and everything!
After what felt like ages (not that it really mattered - it meant I got to speak with people some more) and Paul's cousin, who's an electrician coming to the rescue, the show got back on the road and we got to dance our first dance.
Not a traditional first dance slow number. That's not our style. Our first dance was to this.
Orson - Happiness. Can only find a live version. Hope that's ok!
This song went on for AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS!
Luckily some people came to join in and that made it much easier to get to the end!
And then the party continued!
I took these pics. I needed to take a few of my own pictures of the day!
So we danced and we sang and other people drank (I was surprisingly sober) and had a blast!
Again, I had no concept of time. Paul and I snuck away from everyone when we managed to meet at one point and spend a few minutes just the two of us. I'm sure the people that witnessed us walking off into the darkness had other ideas but we just wanted a few minutes in each others' company! We didn't seem to spend that much time together!
Then back and more partying! HARD HARD WORK!
The hair is looking a bit tired now.
Paul and Jim show the band how it's done!
I do believe that this was a mighty fine rendition of Mr Brightside by The Killers by my cousin and I!
By this point, I have to be honest, my feet were killing me! Lucky for me my Matron of Honour had some nice ivory ballet shoes for me in her bag. Unluckily for me, she had already gone. OUCHY FEET!
This was niiiiiiiiiiice! Check out the muck on the bottom of my dress! :)
All too soon it was the end of the night. The last song of the night was for my lovely cousin Adam, who sang us 'Yellow Submarine' with the band. He was amazing. So brave!
From then I asked my pretty drunk husband to call us a taxi (which he did!!! - without a nag!) and I realised that a) we had no cash and b) my parents were walking home! Dad had cash, and we had a taxi! I think this is a fair deal!
We got back to the hotel, and headed up to our room. I got out of my torturous shoes and into the hotel slippers! Paul suggested in his drunken state that we go down to the bar. Well ok! I was still sober and fancied myself a drink!
We got to the bar and lo and behold, the people behind the bar were the same people that woke us up 24 hours earlier! (Yes, technically it's after midnight so tomorrow, but I've not slept yet!) To apologise for everything they gave us some drinks on the house. A large G&T each and a glass of champagne!
We drank those and Paul was getting sleepy. So we went back to our room where Paul fell asleep.
I was still wide awake, and so I headed to the internet where I was lucky enough to see a few pics that people had posted during the day. These made me weep like a baby. They also made me feel inspired enough to post a blog! You can read it (if you haven't already) here!
Then eventually it was time for me to scrape all the make up from my face, remove all the pins from my hair and go to bed.
It was well after 3 that I went to bed. A loooooooooong day!
A perfect day.
**this post has taken me AGES to write. I'm sorry. I will try to fly through the rest! I'm only 3 weeks behind...**