Just Married Part One: Sarah M

This is a wedding story by Sarah M.  The only glimpse we’ve seen so far of  her beautiful wedding is her Any Other Photo.  I’ve been chomping at the bit to read more; and readers, it’s worth the wait.  Sarah writes perceptively, with humour and grace.  Hers is a story of strength.  And a lot of swearing.  And the best one-liner from a groom I’ve ever heard.  Over  to you, Sarah:

For those who aren’t interested or can’t be bothered to read the detail, the abridged version of my wedding day is:

Got dolled up, got hitched, got a bellyful of food and drink, got dancin’, got laid. They lived happily ever after. The end.

All photographs by the supremely talented Murakami Photography

Ladies and gentlemen, grab yourselves a cup of tea, jar of gin, or whatever your tipple (and depending on the time of day you read this!), and get comfortable.  I make no apologies for the length of this reflection. It’s possibly my one and only opportunity to indulge myself in the minutiae of the day and indulge myself I shall!

In the weeks running up to our wedding, we still had a chunky ‘To Do list’ left to work through. We had planned to be organised so that we could just enjoy our last week together before wedding fever kicked in.  Ever since I was little, my mother told me that life was what got in the way of the best laid plans and, yet again, she was right!

Two and a half weeks before our wedding I had to have a tumour removed. Things were a bit of a whirlwind but it really did put into perspective for us that saying our vows was going to be the most important thing and that all of the window dressing was nice but, essentially, completely and totally irrelevant.  We kept it secret from most people and played it down with people around us – I was conscious of the fact that my surgeon had operated successfully and that we didn’t want to remove any of the excitement from our family and friends.  Seeing their jolly faces and hearing the excitement in their voices as the day came closer was a wonderful part of the build up and something I was adamant we, or they, shouldn’t be deprived of.

We continued with our plans, evenings spent sewing, cutting, gluing and tying and finally the Royal Wedding came around.  In London we were surrounded by street parties and saw the fly past through our window before the happy couple got a chance to!  Watching the ceremony unfold with my then fiancé at my side was pretty special knowing that just like Will & Kate, we would be saying our vows in front of those who meant the most to us (let’s gloss over the billions who also watched it!).  We used the weekend as an excuse to relax and just enjoy each other’s company. Just the tonic we needed.

We spent the few days immediately before our wedding running around collecting suits, trying (and failing) to sort out multiple issues with my dress, the usual stuff which until you reach that point you have no idea just how time consuming it will be!

Before I knew it, Friday had arrived and we’d spent our last night together before becoming husband and wife.

Friday morning was a hive of activity. We had piles and piles of stuff that needed taking to the venue and luckily there were three cars waiting to be filled. We had a big check list of things to be crossed off as they left our house but I was concerned that I had managed to lose my personal ‘To take/do’ list somewhere over night. As a list kinda gal, I was pretty cross (not to mention confused, I’ve still not found it!). Finally, at about 12.30 we were ready to leave. All three cars were decorated with ivory ribbon and were somewhat lower to the ground due to the weight of all of our wedding gubbins!

Two cars set off containing a combination of my sister/chief bridesmaid Zoe and her boyfriend Mike, our best man and his girlfriend/my third bridesmaid in the other.  We followed behind before taking the lead once out of London.  Mr M and I were extremely excited, laughing and joking, and singing stupidly loudly to everything on the radio. The sun was shining although heavy rain was forecast for the following day. I sat back in my seat and allowed the excitement to wash over me.

Suddenly the joy was shattered with me shouting a rather large and unladylike ‘FVCK! I’ve forgotten my bloody sixpence!’ frightening the life out of Mr M in the driving seat.  Trying to calm me down, he said ‘You can’t have, it was on your list and you had two to bring’. ‘Yes, the bloody list I lost’ was my terse reply.

We continued on our way and he was telling me how excited he was so he could take my mind off it and, to his credit, it began to work and I relaxed again. All of a sudden ‘FVCK! I’ve forgotten my bloody stockings that I was given!’ was blurted out by me. Again, poor Mr M jumped. ‘Don’t worry’, he said ‘We can buy you some more’. Bless him. I knew there was no where on our way, let alone no time to do this but for his sake I tried to put it to the back of my mind, although he could still hear me muttering about losing my ‘poxy ‘To Do’ list’ under my breath.

At this stage we were still about 30 minutes from the venue and people were beeping and waving to our convoy. The sun was still beaming down on us and there were texts flying between the three cars and being read out to much merriment.  My darling sister Z had sent me a text to say she’d bought me a sixpence just in case of this very scenario, proving not for the first or last time just what a super maid of honour she was.  Quite rapidly the laughter in our car, the lead car, was broken once more with, yep, you’ve guessed it, ‘FVCK!  I’ve forgotten my bloody wellies!  I even bloody cleaned them. Now what am I going to do when it pours with rain tomorrow?’.

I’m ashamed to admit there was even a bottom lip wobble.

At this point, the ever patient Mr M turned to me and said ‘Sarah, you’ve been so calm throughout all of this and I refuse to believe you’re going to have a tantrum over these things. We’re both here, we’re going to get married and I’m going to spend my life making you happy. Do any of the things you’ve forgotten matter to you because they don’t to me.’  Gosh, that shut me up. I managed a meek nod, only to be replaced by a beaming smile from me as I calmly told him ‘I’ve also forgotten to bring the readings for the service tomorrow, oops’.  Cue a huge smile from him and lots of laughing before I had to ring both of our very kind ‘readers’ and ask them to bring their own copies.

Lesson learnt – don’t lose your ‘To Do lists’.

We arrived at Bix Manor, our house for the weekend, and began to unpack everything. We showed those staying there for the weekend around and started to get on with the last minute things that we’d not had time to do (tie the Orders of Service, bag up the chocolate biscuit ‘midnight feasts’ etc) with more family members arriving all of the time. It so was nice to see everyone coming together and knowing that it was all for us.

We had a mad dash to the church for our rehearsal (one of the most surreal experiences of getting married) and then we went back to the house for a very loud supper with the odd bottle or three of champagne.

With that, it was time for the chaps to depart.  I was swept up in a huge hug and kiss by Mr M and then there were off, allegedly to visit ‘the fleshpots of Henley’ although I have it on good authority they had a couple of pints in an old man’s pub before heading to their hotel room as the groom was yet to finish his speech!

The ladies opened some more champagne and spent the evening chatting. A few times I headed over to the barn to see how my brother and his team were getting on with the lighting and to take them some more coffee as it was going to be a late one for them. The first time they gave me a demo of the lighting capability and the second time they showed me the best glitter ball I have ever seen in my life!

At around 11pm it was time for a final drink together and then it was off to bed. Z and I were sharing my room in the biggest bed you’ve ever seen. She’d gone up to bed a bit before so I tried not to disturb her as I crept into my side.  As I lay there thinking about the day that was about to arrive, I had a huge grin on my face, only made bigger by a rather sleepy ‘You’re getting married in the morning’ sung from the other side of the bed.  The running around, tensions and tiredness of the past few days caught up with me and I was asleep before you could say ‘FVCK! I’ve forgotten my pyjamas, can I borrow some, please?!’.

Categories: Wedding Planning, Wedding Reports
14 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Excuse my language but fucking hell Sarah, I can’t believe you went through that right before your wedding. Great post and I loved the story of the to do list, sounds like something I’d do.

  2. Mahj
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I literally have tears of laughter at all the f-bombs! And im with Amy. Sarah, how you managed to cope with surgery 2 weeks before your wedding I’ll never know. Go you!
    And by the day before my wedding, i was working off 3 to-do lists! I have never been so glad to see the back of them!


  3. Posted March 26, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Wow. & hurrah that there’s more…

  4. Ricki
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I loved it the first time I heard it and I still love it now.

    The best is yet to come folks!

  5. Sandra C
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Great stuff!! Bring the rest on !!!

  6. Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Oh how I loved reading this! You are one gorgeous, strong and brave lady!

  7. Jo
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I have a smile on my face every time I read this!

  8. Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comments, ladies! It was so nice to write this and re-live the day.

    SJM x

  9. Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Sarah this is brilliant, can’t WAIT for part 2! :-D

    K x

  10. Alex D
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Loved reading this, you ruddy amazing girl. Cannot wait to read more! P.s. replacing the “u” with a “v” is still swearing. Potty mouth. x

4 Trackbacks

  • By Just Married Part 2: Sarah M on April 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

    [...] loved Sarah’s take on the run-up to her wedding day; it was strong, and funny, and wise.  This part of her report covers the morning preparations, the family moments, the anticipation. [...]

  • By Just Married Part 3: Sarah M on April 12, 2012 at 7:02 am

    [...] is the final part of Sarah M’s wedding story.  You all loved her swearing-fit in the run-up, and her vivid description of the day prior to the ceremony.  Warning readers; this is sheer, [...]

  • [...] I think it looks like a fun wedding and some of you were kind enough to say this when I shared it here, here and here. Our smiles certainly tell that story, and goodness, it was full of love. So full of [...]

  • By B is for Best Man on August 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    [...] there was an announcement and much excitement. My new girlfriend and I were both delighted. Such lovely people getting married, and as best friends we’d be pretty likely to get invited to what would most likely be a most [...]

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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