To say the words "Thank You" to everyone that came along for the day and the evening seems do it a complete injustice, but honestly, from the bottom of my heart: Thank You. Truly.
Contrary to popular belief regarding weddings and the drama that is present at them, everything - every single thing - went perfectly, according to plan, and like clockwork. Sure, Kellie looked like she was about to burst into tears and/or puke/pass out, but she didn't.
The morning kicked off after a completely pointless night of "sleep" and I ended up just getting up at 6am. Had to leave at ten, so no point in getting suited up till at least half nine... And thus commenced the longest morning in history.
Every time I checked the clock, thinking "Must be time now, its easily been half an hour!" it had been about four seconds since the last time I looked.
James turned up to help out (because I knew I'd need help getting dressed!) so we stood around - him in a suit, be in a towel - chatting, drinking coffee, eating bacon sandwiches, waiting for the morning to piss off.
Finally, half nine rolled around, and because I'd been waiting all morning to shout it, I ran around screaming "SUIT UP!" much like Barney from How I Met Your Mother.
With one minor wardrobe malfunction, in that Jaysens shoes didn't fit, we were sorted, ready and out the door.
Looking damn fine, I might add...
|The Studly Groom|
|Team Dan, aka, The Dream Team|
And thus proceeded the longest journey in the history of journeys... Now, Brentwood is not THAT far from home, but it would appear some little f$cker was changing every traffic light to red, putting traffic on every roundabout, and plopping every member of the International Drive Like A Snail Car Club directly in front of us. One dick in a blue car decided to do HALF the speed limit. FIFTEEN miles per hour!
I didn't burst too many blood vessels on the way, but I may have been screaming at the driver. And noticing how many old ladies were waiting for buses.
We arrived, and to prove how damn STUDLY I am, I will add the following. The following is NOT made up, AND I had many witnesses!
We headed into the Registry Office, just to make sure everything was OK, discovered the wedding before ours was LATE (Grrr!) and as we were leaving, someone in the office said "See you in there soon!" to which I made a comment along the lines of "Assuming my bride turns up!"
Three women in the office laughed and replied:
Woman #1: If she doesn't, I'll marry you!Propositioned thirty minutes before getting married? Huzzah!
Woman #2: No, I will!
Woman #3: No, I WILL!
And so, we waited. Guests started to arrive, the four-person wedding before ours rushed in fifteen minutes late, and we stood around, twiddling our thumbs. Kellie and her procession were due to rock up at quarter to eleven.
A time that came, and went. Ten to eleven went. Five to eleven went. The previous four-person wedding rushed out. Eleven, time for me to get married, but there was no bride. The registrar called us in. No bride. I went inside with a couple of others, and as I stepped into the building, I head someone call out "Sheeeee's heeeeeeeere!"
OK, it may not have been in that voice, but you get the point. She was late. Shocking. Brides Prerogative, I'm told.
We finalised our paperwork, paid our fee, and had everyone filter into the chambers. Everyone in, I rocked in with a face that I could feel was split with a stupid grin. If I could have bottled the feeling I was feeling, I could cure global depression in an instant. Euphoric. Ecstatic. Over-The-Moon.
And so I stood, waiting. "Please Rise for the Bride" came the voice, and in she stepped.
|Kellie leaving the hotel|
She looked so gorgeous. Her dress - that she had had made specially - was black and white, and proper medieval-style dress. The bridesmaids - Molly, Tamsyn, Amy and Zoe - all looked gorgeous, but my eyes were fixed on Kellie.
Kellie, I should add, who was on the verge of a panic attack. Her hands were cold, her breathing was coming short and quickly (which, I should add, made her boobies bounce), and her eyes were on the verge of bursting into tears.
Reassuring hand squeeze, smile and wink.
I was worried I was going to be the wreck, but seeing her like it, I calmed instantly and just wanted her to breath and relax.
The Registrar had to ask, legally, if any person here has a reason why we should not be married... I had to turn. I had to look. So many times, over the years, I've threatened to stand up at other peoples weddings, and in the run up to ours, everyone was threatening the very same thing. There was much chuckling, several people gave nervous coughs, but no one was brave enough to face the wrath of the Bride ;)
We gave our declarations. We exchanged rings. We gave our vows. I didn't f$ck up at all. Kellies voice was threatening to burst into tears at any moment, but she got through it.
"I now pronounce you man and wife"
Cue much applause. Cue Kellie squeezing my hand as we kissed. Cue this idiot to turn around and throw his fists into the air in a victory cheer!
What can I say, I was so so happy!
We then had to sign the register, with our much-practiced-over-the-last-few-weeks signatures, and then we had a breather as our wedding certificate was signed.
|Signing the Register|
Cue me, whipping out my phone to take a photo of the Grooms Eye View. I HAD to upload a photo, I HAD to share with the world that we were, in fact, married.
|Friends and Family (couldn't get the whole room in!)|
Out we went, into the daylight. I should add at this point, 6am was brilliantly sunny. 9am it went very grey. 1030am it was overcast, windy and threatening to piss down. By 1130am, the sun was back out!
We stood around outside being congratulated, showing off our rings, thanking everyone, calming Kellie down, posing a bit... Sarah - our exceedingly-brilliant photographer for the day - then led us across to Brentwood Common, which is very green, very picturesque and even had ducks!
The next hour was spent getting different groups of people together for pictures. After they were all done, we got rid of the entire guest list, and sent them off to the restaurant, while Sarah took pictures of us together.
After that, we got in our very nice car and headed to the restaurant together, spending the first time together since the day before.
|Man & Wife|
The George & Dragon in Mountnessing is a gorgeous restaurant, and the staff could not have been more helpful. They were brilliant and accommodating and we cannot say thank you enough. Our guests were ushered in and seated, then we went in (to applause again I think!) and sat while starters were sorted. There was much chatter, much socialising and getting along. It was so nice to see our two families and closest friends sitting together and having a good time.
The meal was absolutely gorgeous, and neither Kellie nor I managed to spill any down our fancy clothes. From start to finish, the food was amazing. James was thrust into the limelight when he had to give a toast which was nice, though for an awful minute before he stood up, I thought I was going to have to stand up and say something.
After the meal, we went out into the garden. The sun was shining, the kids were bored, so fresh air and more photos were just the ticket. Sarah had us all posing, standing around looking cool and even pulling faces at one another. Again - she was brilliant. We cannot wait to see the photos.
We spent the entire afternoon at the George & Dragon, and at about five, everyone bar us and Sarah left again and headed to the hall for the reception. We then sat and had a drink together, enjoying the peace and quiet of rural Essex, just chatting and chilling out while waiting half an hour for our car to arrive. We chatting, discussed the day so far, and generally took a breather.
Once the car arrived, we finished our drinks, and were whisked off to the leisure centre in Pitsea for the Paaaaar-teeeeeeee!
Upon arriving, we were greeted by a small crowd that had already arrived, and looked at the hall that had been decorated before we got there. It looks absolutely amazing and wonderful. There were piles of food, balloons, banners, confetti, and we had our own specially-decorated table with extra balloons and stuff. The guest book was laid out, along with pictures of Bethany, Kellies Nan, and Nan & Grandad, and the DJ was playing background music.
And thus started the evening. Family, Friends, even our old couple living next door came along, kids, new partners... It was brilliant seeing everyone there. The music went up, and people started to dance pretty quickly, drinks were bought, and the evening went perfectly.
We cut the cake, posing for pictures holding a very sharp knife. We had our first dance to Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up
Which went so well, I should add. We both teared up, and the day became very real in front of all our guests. We held one another close, ignored the world, and just... Danced.
The rest of the evening went by far too quickly. Like the rest of the day, it started, then, suddenly, it was rushing by. We kept stopping to take stock, to live in the moment, to think about what was going on around us, but all too soon, it was time for us to leave.
We said our goodbyes, had another slow dance, thanked everyone for everything, and the now-officially 0dd Mother-in-Law drove us to the hotel. We said our goodnights, and went to the room.
Which, of course, had been decorated.
By this point, we were both running on fumes. I had to help Kellie out of her dress *nudge-nudge* and she had to help me our of my suit *wink-wink* A quick shower, then we literally fell into bed. Well, after clearing the presents, chocolates and confetti off the bed first.
When I say, we were exhausted, I mean just that. Completely and utterly dead. What a lot of people don't realise, is that that morning, Kellie woke up with a very sore throat, and had spent a lot of the day sucking on throat lozenges. By 1am, her voice was pretty much doing the off, and Saturday morning, she sounded like the Emperor from Star Wars.
All that remained was to take one last picture (minds out the gutter!) and hit the lights...
To everyone that helped out and did something for us, a huge massive thank you. I am sure I have probably forgotten someone, but it is NOT intentional!
- Kerry, the maid of honour. Thank you so much for doing EVERYTHING for Kellie. I'm sorry that our very secret love affair, involving whispered conversations, late-night text messages, and secret gift-giving, has come to an end. But you did so much for the both of us, thank you.
- James, for being my anchor in amongst all the crazy, for taking me to London to geek out for the day, for your toast, and running me and everyone else around. Can't wait to see the pictures!
- Jaysen & Dominic, for being the best Best Men a Groom could ever ask for!
- Molly, Tamsyn, Amy & Zoe, for being the most beautiful of bridesmaids.
- Toby & Harry, for being the most super-cool Page Boys.
- Diane, the 0dd Mother-in-Law (officially), thank you for being there for us both, during every minute of every hour of every day. For getting the Bridesmaid dresses. For running people around. For keeping Kellie sane.
- Sarah, our photographer, of Prideaux Photography. Thank you for being an extra-special part of our day. You were more a guest than "Just a photographer" and you were totally brilliant. We are so looking forward to getting the pictures, and honestly loved having you with us.
- The staff at The George & Dragon, thank you for catering to such a rowdy bunch, for the amazing food and drink and the brilliant, flexible service.
- My dad, John, for arranging the car and driver for the day. And what a car!
- Sue, Kelly and Hayley, for decorating the hall.
- Gemma, the 0dd Sister, for running me around when needed, for all your help, advice and information you collated for us!
- Grandad Jim, for giving Kellie away.
- Nan Oz, for buying the cake.
- Ed & Les, for letting us use your home like a storage locker!
- The staff at Pitsea Leisure Centre, for a brilliant venue.
- All our guests, for the day and that came to the evening, thank you for celebrating our day with us, and making it absolutely perfect.
- And finally, to Kellie... For being there for me, through everything, suffering through my quirks and nuances, my mood swings, helping me through the days and nights when it's all I can do to get out of bed, for helping me through the times when the pain is winning, for being there, through thick and thin, for being my rock, my love, and most importantly, for being my wife.