Penny has been an integral part of the AOW community since the very early days, and we are honoured to bring you her take on her wedding day. There’s never been another wedding even close to this one, for so many reasons. I don’t think any of us will ever see photographs like this again. And of course, no-one captures a moment like Penny. Get some tea, sit back, take your time, and enjoy.
All pictures taken by the immensely talented Kev at BlackEyeSpecialist. Over to you, Pensky:
I am Penny, and on June 4th 2011 I got married to Sam, and it was amazing. We got engaged on New Years Day, so really didn’t give ourselves much time at all to get sorted. This is because I am excitable and impatient, and also because Sam won’t even get out of bed unless you give him a deadline for it. To be honest it was just as well. We couldn’t have fitted many more DIY projects into our house. Another month and we would have had favours poking out of the chimney.
People tell you how you’ll feel on your wedding day, but you never really get it til you’re in it. I spent the night before snuggled on the sofa with my closest friend, watching Dirty Dancing and eating (too many) scraps left over from the cakes and cookies I’d spent all day baking. In the morning I woke up in my own bed and everything felt weirdly normal. Like I was shoving lightning bolts in my ears, feathers on bum and a great big bouffy creation atop my bonce to do something absurdly normal like go to the cinema or round the shops.
We had our ceremony at the historic Leeds Town Hall, a beautiful old building with some slightly gnarly stone lions out front. It was small, just twenty people – pretty much family only. This was partly down to budget, but looking back I can see how much more comfortable we both felt knowing that everyone there knew us inside out. It certainly made me much less self conscious about the whole shebang. As it turned out, we managed to do everything just as we wanted it, on a relatively tiny budget, and never felt a moment of regret or limitation over anything. I feel very lucky indeed that we were able to so.
I tell you what though, nobody tells you that you won’t suddenly be able to float around pain-free wearing ridiculously high heels on your wedding day. I had my blue clompers on for approximately two hours (just about enabling me to get down the aisle to You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates) before kicking them off and spending the duration of our wedding meal sliding round in my stocking feet. Much more fun. Then I had the excitement of changing into our matching Converse that Sam had designed for the evening bash.
We did feel conscious that our friends weren’t at the ceremony, so we made sure the evening do kicked off early and had as much of the wedding-related fun included, including a riotous best man‘s speech and maid of honour poem written for the occasion (did I mention how much I love my best friend? Well I do). And lots and lots of cakes and sandwiches more or less immediately available to eat, as I’m allergic to people being hungry in my presence. Our Magical Unicorn Dessert Buffet was hosted by our mannequin, Ken. Ken likes cake, and he likes to party, so he was an obvious choice. Look at what a good job he’s doing!
Coming from musical families led to the creation of The Dad Band, a collection of our fathers, uncles and siblings getting together to rock out. This was easily one of my favourite bits of the wedding, and they completely upstaged our own wedding band (Penny & the Sausages) who really should have been the experts and played a bit more quietly, given that we are, er, a wedding band. On the flip side, nobody minds when you play You Shook Me All Night Long at brain-blowing volume at your wedding, because it’s your day. Win!
Both Sam and I busted our bums DIYing loads of tiny details to decorate the reception venue (a dance studio round the corner from our house), which admittedly not many people noticed but gave us a lot of satisfaction. In amongst the general Blue Petering of pompoms etc we made our own fanzine to take away as a favour (featuring a cut out and keep Nissan Bluebird, comic strips and more), and Sam made a P&S postbox and found a load of bizarre old 70s postcards on eBay from various UK destinations, which became our guestbook. We also had many, many varieties of cookies as I’m a bit obsessed with making them and putting my favourite chocolates in them….Caramac, Chocolate Orange, After Eight and Reeses Pieces (all guarded by our unicorns who did a rubbish job as they all got eaten – never trust a unicorn with your cookies).
We had our first dance to The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson/Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic. It was so late by the time we got round to it. I’d just imagined somebody would materialise to tell everybody what time things were happening and completely forgot that I was the only person who knew. And I wasn’t wearing watch, or paying any attention. It didn’t matter.
When I had imagined what our wedding would be like before the day – so many, many, many times – I’d pictured it being some kind of riotous and slightly debauched thing, where everyone was swinging from the rafters and puking in the bushes. As it turned out, it was so much more sweet, intimate and emotional than I could ever have imagined. With a hefty dose of ridiculousness. You just can’t take yourself too seriously in a puffball veil and feathers. You just can’t.