We arrived back with trepidation. It’s no mean feat to organise a wedding in a matter of weeks, no matter how small it is. Before I even begin this chapter of the blog, I must first thank all of the family and friends who helped us in the preparations, with the accommodation, with advice and support, with the photography, and who joined us on the big day. Special thanks to Ian and Cheryl for putting up the bride and groom, and especially to Cheryl for great advice on so many things. To U. Charles, A. Ju and Tracy for putting up the parents of the bride, and to A. Penny, Net and Midge for putting up the parents of the groom and helping me get ready on the day. To A. Lorraine for making the beautiful wedding cake, and to Nasen for organising the venue for us. To Deb for advice on flowers, and to Ravs for treating me to a well needed spa session, as well as joining me for manicure and pedicure – tough job I know! And to Ells and Sun for getting the groom to the venue. Our day was really special to us and it is because of those who joined us. We are so happy that you could be part of the day. Thank you to everyone that made the journey to Singapore for us. I must also express my sorrow to those who are very near and dear to us, but who were not able to join us. We will celebrate very soon!
It was a complete whirlwind of a week. We arrived back on Monday, were marrying on Saturday, then flying off to Australia the following Monday. I know my working role is organisational, but please! I’m supposed to be on holiday! Between registering the marriage, family and friends arriving, the prospective families meeting for the first time, arranging venue details, flowers, make-up purchases, general grooming, music and last minute stag and hen dos, I was slightly frazzled come the night before. I barely slept for fear of not waking up the following morning. I did awake, but I didn’t feel exactly as fresh as I was hoping. Thankfully I had bought some refreshing eye masks – what nature doesn’t do, you can do just as easily artificially. Off to the hairdressers first thing. I had to use someone that I didn’t know, and put my trust in them. This is very difficult for me. I would stick with the same good hairdresser forever if I could; owing to a haircut I had that looked very much like Paul Gascoigne’s when I was a teenager. But she cut, teased and fixed the flowers and it was all good. Now all I had to do was manage to put my make-up on without it all sliding down my face. And somehow this was achieved, along with putting on of the dress and shoes without falling over or tearing anything. And I had my something old, new, borrowed and blue.
By this stage I had passed from anxiety to highly excited while still slightly nervous. So many thanks are due to A. Penny, Net and Cheryl for getting me fed, helping to keep me (mostly) cool and calm, and for actually getting me to the venue. And thanks to Midge for giving up her room for Marks’ parents. I’ll never forget! I had my final cigarette as a single woman, squirted myself with perfume and ate half a dozen mints, and headed to the wedding-mobile. Just as I got in, my phone rang. It was the wedding solemnizer, Eileen. She was at the venue, and there was nobody else there. Now, I was running slightly late; keep the groom waiting and all that. I had no idea that, from all I knew, I would be the first to arrive. I told Eileen that I would call my cousin Elliot, with whom Mark was arriving, and find out how far away they were. I love Elliot and his jokes, but I could have happily killed him for telling me that he and his girlfriend Sun were almost there, but that Mark was not with them. I’m not sure, but I think I said “Elliot, am I being jilted?” He quickly realised that this was not the day to joke, especially about the groom going A.W.O.L. I think I swore in front of my A. Penny when I got off the phone.
To make it up to me when I did arrive, Elliot was the first to greet me with a glass of champagne to down. All was forgiven. Then the ceremony began. I was so happy and nervous; I didn’t waste any time getting to the ceremony table, because I just wanted to be with Mark. The ceremony was very quick and simple, exactly as we had planned, so that we could get on with relaxing and enjoying everyone’s company. But it was so lovely to tell each other in front of our loved ones that we were making that commitment to each other. And it was so lovely to be pronounced man and wife. We were married! We signed the register and then got on with the day.
Mum did a beautiful toast which I echoed, with so many thanks to all the family and friends, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible. The venue was beautiful, and we were very lucky with the weather, with no rain for the duration of the ceremony and reception. The food was stunning, a lovely mix of savoury and sweet, and much more than we had expected. Everyone who took photos did a fantastic job, none more so than Cheryl, Fred and Mark’s Dad Tony, who had been recruited especially. But everyone chipped in, and we couldn’t have asked for a better mix of pictures to tell the story of our special day.
The booze flowed and Mark and I were happy to see everyone enjoying themselves. It was so nice not to have a big formal affair; we felt we could really just be us and that we weren’t spreading ourselves thin by trying to talk to lots of people. We still did all the traditional bits, like cake cutting, formal photos, and bouquet throwing. The bouquet throwing did not go at all well. Obviously all the single ladies were not yet willing to throw the towel in, because I threw, and as one fair maiden screamed “Somebody catch it!”, they all simultaneously jumped as far away as possible. Take two was made better thanks to my second cousin Shawnna – although the photos clearly show cousin Net almost catching it and pushing it Shawnna’s way.
We ended the reception by lighting paper lanterns and watching them float up into the sky. It was a really fun finish to the day, and everyone joined in, including the staff from the venue, who managed to find a blowtorch in the kitchen that helped with setting the lanterns on fire immensely. Before this I think most of the lighters had almost exploded. We were slightly concerned that some caught in the trees around the venue, but we had been assured by the venue manager that it would be fine, so we didn’t worry about it too much, until the next day when we checked the newspapers to make sure there had not been any forest fires reported in the area!
We had ourselves a very beautiful honeymoon suite at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which we made use of to continue drinking wine, and to eat the beautiful cake that they had given us. We then had a quick change of clothes and headed out for a few more evening drinks. I was admittedly quite trashed, but I think I had sobered up slightly. It’s difficult to tell really. I just remember feeling very happy, very smiley, and a having a very general sense of wellbeing about the world. I remember meeting my cousins, Ravs and my Mum and Tony, I remember a full moon eclipse, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good omen or not. I remember Mum and I dancing a bit, then we headed to our hotel bar for more drinks. At which point I think it was close to 2am, and my cousins were going off to get supper. I wanted to go to, but Mark made the very valid point that it was late, we were drunk, and we were actually at our hotel, so why didn’t we just go up to the room. My response was something extremely slurry, but I think I was trying to say “So is this what married life’s going to be like, you stopping me going out partying with my cousins?” I then grumpily followed Mark upstairs, we had our first argument as man and wife, and we woke up to find his half eaten burger from his room service order at 2.30am still sitting there. And no, I’m not going to shed any light on whether we consummated.
And then it was over. We spent the following day at A. Penny’s for fake Christmas lunch, which was definitely needed for the hangover. It was great to just hang out with everyone again. And then we were off the following day. As always, I was really sad to leave. Each time I go, I really hate saying goodbye to all of my family. I was also excited about going on the next part of our trip to Australasia, but sad that the wedding day was over with too, so there were very mixed emotions on my part. Thankfully my husband (woo hoo, I have a husband!) knows how to cheer me up. We tried to get an upgrade due to our new marital status but the flight was too full. We did have a lovely stewardess that bought us champagne and first class toiletries, so we did quite well out of it. We fell into a slightly drunken slumber, and when next we woke, I was in a completely new country!