Just Married Part 2: Sarah M

You 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.  It’s got the pretty yes, but it’s got what’s behind the pretty, and Sarah tells it so well.  And the photography by Murakami Photography?  Simply incredible.  Readers, you’re in for a delight of a Wednesday.  Enjoy.  

Over to Sarah: 

Our wedding day, the bit it’s all about. 

I slept really well until about 4.30am when a clap of thunder woke me up. All I could hear was heavy rain against the panes of glass. It sounded glorious, very comforting, and in my dozy state I realised that it was the first time I’d heard rain in weeks as the weather had been consistently good in London. It crossed my mind fleetingly that rain on your wedding day was meant to be good luck. Like a smack in the chops, I remember vividly it hitting me at that point that it was my wedding day! So many nights before I’d woken and there was something wedding related floating around in the depths of my dreams but no, not that time, it was here!

I lay there listening to rain, thinking how fabulous my girls would look with their parasols, delighted that my friend was bringing me her wellies (as well as the copy of the reading, oops) and that I was a matter of hours away from saying the most important words I’d ever uttered before. I started to doze with an immovable smile on my lips.

Z got up to use the bathroom at about 5 and after she’d gone back to bed I got up to go. I was conscious that it was going to be a long day and we should both get as much sleep as possible. I got back into bed to discover that my sister had turned from Maid of Honour extraordinaire to a warthog competing at the World Snoring Competition (surely it exists?). My word! After about 15 minutes of silent sniggering, I elbowed her to shut her up! She rolled over and just as I thought could get another 30 minutes of dozing in, she sat bolt up right and said ‘Eeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkk you’re getting married today, yaaaaaaaaaaay!’.  That was it, we were both wide awake and there was no going back!

It was just after six.  We opened the heavy curtains and were met with dark skies and heavy rain. My sister got up to make the long trek to the kitchen and came back with two cups of tea. We sat there talking about fun things in our past, the day ahead and what the future might hold for us. It was a lovely moment for us both and really set me up for the day. She asked me if I was nervous and I didn’t feel it in the slightest. I wasn’t worried about the weather and was looking forward to a nice big breakfast!

We’d asked for breakfast at around 7.45 so at 7.15 Z went to wake the other bridesmaids whilst I had a shower. It was the only moment I had to myself all day.  I stood in this huge shower, with water pounding down, unable to stifle my giggles. I just felt so excited! When I’d finished, I wrapped myself in a wondrously fluffy bathrobe and scrutinised this single woman’s face in the mirror. I was looking pretty tired but the grin seemed to be surgically attached to my face!

As I came through to my room, the girls were there in their matching robes with huge grins on their faces! We were sat dotted around the bedroom when I remembered I had gifts to give them still.  Each one had a personalised tote bag with a few things in. Each had a necklace individually designed for them, my sisters had earrings, all had a beautiful silver beaded clutch bag and then a ‘my beautiful bridesmaid’ journal. They unwrapped their jewellery first and they each seemed to love them. Z unwrapped her journal, read the first page and promptly burst into tears!  She rushed over and gave me a fierce hug and that was it, both in tears!

So, presents done it was time to get stuck into some grub! The four of us sat in the lounge sharing a pot of tea whilst we waited for the staff to finish preparing breakfast.  We wandered through after about 15 minutes and cracked open our first bottle of champagne of the day.  We tucked into bacon, sausages, eggs, beans and mushrooms whilst the others made their way down.  My brother arrived, somewhat bleary eyed having finished the sound and lighting rigging at 2.30am and headed out to meet Mr M, the best man and the other ushers for breakfast at an old haunt of theirs.

I was asked several times if I was nervous and I genuinely wasn’t. I even managed second helpings of bacon and beans! Our make up lady was running a little behind and I could see the mums (who were up first in the hair and make up chairs) were getting a bit fractious. I think I was the calmest person there!

Kate, our lovely hairdresser, and Alexis, equally lovely make up artist, turned up almost simultaneously and started to get set up in my room. All of the ladies headed up with another bottle of champagne, lots of orange juice and the biggest pot of tea I’ve ever seen!

The mood was relaxed but excitable and everyone in the room had huge grins plastered across their faces. I loved being sat there, surrounded by the women most important to me, seeing them so excited and knowing they were enjoying being pampered.

The rain had been off and on (mostly on!) all morning but seemed to brighten up as I looked out of the window. Who should I see but my lovely photographers, Teri and David (from Murakami Photography), walking towards the house!  I opened the window, fighting my way through plant tendrils to give them a massive wave! It was so nice to see them there and Teri was looking particularly fabulous in her VoH frock – swishy swishy!

Operation hair and make up commenced – Kate and Alexis were so good at getting them relaxed and towards the finished bridesmaid article! My mother in law rarely wears make up but seemed to thoroughly enjoy being pampered.  I was amazed at the difference make up applied by a professional makes, everyone just looked so polished!

My mum had been really worried that she would cry throughout the whole day but was bearing up very well.  She was going to lend me some lovely pearl earrings that I’d had made for her on a previous holiday to South Africa (my ‘something borrowed’) and when she brought them into me, she also gave me a beautiful box.  It contained the most beautiful garter I have ever seen.  It was such a lovely gift.

We seemed to be whizzing through hair and make up but with lots of time left. A couple of the bridesmaids popped down to the kitchen and came back with cheese, crackers and pate to keep us going along with another bottle of Tattinger. I could get used to mornings like that!

Teri put everyone at ease and got various photos of the getting ready stage, lovely ones with my mum and my MIL as well as all of the detail shots.

 

 

 

 

My very glam mum!

The flowers arrived and were brought up for me to look at. Our florist had done a wonderful job. I had told her about my operation and she really stepped up to help us out. I had sent her a pretty vague list of the things I liked after we’d met and she took all of the pressure of me, ran with my descriptive (but probably wildly inaccurate) requests and produced the most amazing bouquets.

I never thought it was possible to love a bunch of flowers before but my bouquet smelt so exquisite that I wanted to cry. It was packed full of peonies, lily of the valley, stephanotis and other flowers with little spikes of rosemary peeking out to echo Mr M’s button hole. As I write this, the smell comes flooding back to me. I’m so glad I went for something that smelt so nice as I know whenever I smell those flowers in future I’ll be instantly transported back to that day.

At the same time, the gents were all together, having finished a substantial breakfast.  The hotel they stayed it had managed to lose their iron and ironing board so our fabulous best man popped out to buy both in the morning, without alerting the groom. There’s a calming influence! These are a few of my favourite photographs of their part of the day.

 

 

After much oohing and ahhing from us all, it was time to get ready. The girls got into their frocks and made me tearful at just how lovely they looked. All very polished but with their own personalities shining through.  I was so proud of them.  Then it was my turn.

The moment I stepped into it, I felt very hot.  It was a combination of adrenalin and lots of bodies in the room, I think! Z buttoned me into it whilst I held it in place, with the others looking on, and then it was time for the veil.  I was stood in front of the mirror in my room watching the transformation from potty mouth single woman to a bride. A real life bride! I felt like I was watching it happen to someone else as it was so surreal. I could feel myself welling up and so stared at my reflection, trying to take in everything I saw and I just felt so peaceful.  Coming out of my reverie I could see my girls and my mum in the mirror and I’ve never seen them look so proud.  We all smiled a lightly teary smile and no one said a word. A moment imprinted on my memory for life.

 

 

Still, it was my wedding day, no time to lose!  Teri took me off for a few photos whilst the girls finished up in the bedroom and then it was time to go. ‘Ready, girls?’, the beaming smiles told me everything I needed to know! I told my mum I loved her again and then we started to make our way downstairs. We posed for a couple of pictures and then I began to make my way outside.

 

As I got to the hall way, my darling dad had just walked in at the other end.  He looked incredibly handsome in his suit and he was looking out of the window, not realising I was there.  Quite poetically, the sun peaked out from behind a cloud and lit up the hall way just as I walked towards him, he looked up at me and his jaw dropped and his eyes filled with tears. I have no idea how I didn’t lose it at that point as I’m in tears as I recount this. He gave me a huge cuddle and told me that I looked so, so beautiful and that he never thought it was possible to feel so proud.  Another moment for me to lock away forever.

 

 

He took my hand and lead me out to the garden, which was suddenly and surprisingly, bathed in sunshine where we wanted to have a few photos. My parents did me proud, laughing and joking and happily having their photo taken together with me, something even a few weeks before I thought was unlikely to occur (divorced, partners meeting for the first time, enough said).

 

I gave my mum a hug as she left for the church and then it was time for us to leave.

My bridesmaids got into their car and my dad helped me into ours.  As soon as I sat down, I knew there was no need for the shrug I was wearing as it was so warm! I removed it and we began the very enjoyable journey to our church.

It took us about 15-20 minutes and it was a lovely part of the day. Other drivers were beeping and waving! My dad doesn’t know the area very well so I spent some time telling him about it. It was a good way to calm his nerves and really nice for us to have some time to chat. He was telling me how proud he felt and how he was so pleased to be gaining another son, awwwww.

Speaking of whom…

 

As we rounded the corner of the little village our church is situated in, I asked the driver to slow down a little. Right before the church is a little cricket ground and they were playing that day. The team playing happen to be captained by Mr M and when we arrived, they’d be playing for half an hour, fifteen minutes of which they’d had to endure the ringing of the bells from the church! As we drove past, they all stopped to wave and there were shouts of ‘Good luck’!  How very English!

As the car pulled up outside the church, my dad asked me if I was nervous. ‘Nope, just excited’ I said! Rev Kev was there in his finery and told me I looked beautiful which made me blush!

We walked down the pathway and stopped a little before the entrance. My sister adjusted my veil and they all looked a little nervous but excited.

Rev Kev asked me if I was nervous. I held out my hands to show him how calm I was only for them to betray me by shaking violently! I told him that perhaps I was more nervous than I realised and asked how Mr M was doing. He gave me a wry smile and said ‘He’s nervous but he’s here, just what I expect from all of my grooms!’.

He asked if we were ready and we were. We stood facing the vicar, me holding my dad’s arm, my matron of honour behind me and my other two bridesmaids stood next to each other behind her. The bells stopped. Rev Kev turned to face the congregation and asked them to stand whilst the choir sang.

I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, my eyes were filling with tears and yet I felt so peaceful. The music coming from the church was so serene that, despite my nerves I felt very calm. My dad and I exchanged a few glances and I looked round at my darling girls behind me and they were all transfixed on the sound. Those three minutes felt like a lifetime to Mr M, so he tells me, but to me they were such a calming part of the day.

 

And readers….part 3 still to come!

Categories: Wedding Reports
14 interesting thoughts on this

14 Comments

  1. Caroline
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Oh goodness, this has made me all ready eyed! X

  2. Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Oh so lovely to laze in bed reading this, listening to the music & remembering my wedding morning. Thank you Sarah. Looking forward to part three.

  3. Alex D
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Damn it, you made me teary again Mrs M! Beautiful bride, beautiful day. x

  4. Carly
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I love this. So amazingly written and I had butterflies reading it – you recreate the morning so well.

    And your dress! Oh my WOW!

    X

  5. Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Sarah I feel like I was there with you, you bring it all to life so wonderfully. Cannot wait to read part 3!

    K x

  6. Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Phenomenal. I love the story but also? Look. At. You. Wow! x

  7. Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Haha, The Swearing Bride!

    S, it was such a pleasure putting this together. The photos make it come alive. You are so beautiful and I love the moments with your family. K x

  8. Esme
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    So beautiful! A great story that took my right back to my wedding xxx

  9. Nicole M
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Like Alex I’ve read this and got teary….again! Can’t wait for part 3.

  10. Caroline
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Obviously I meant teary eyed!! Not ready eyed! Darn spellcheck!

  11. Emily
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Lovely! Less than 2 weeks to go for me so I can picture exactly what I hope it will be like; this is so vivid. Thank you! x

  12. Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    You can really feel the excitement in your words Sarah! This has made me wish my wedding was sooner.

  13. Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I love reading this! Obviously, you look a-mazing, but I am also in serious love with your mum’s whole look. xx

  14. Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I might even let my husband read something I’ve written for a change!

    Catherine – thanks! My mum looked fabulous and I’m so pleased she was able to have something made to reflect her ideas.

    SJM x

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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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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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