19 years ago I uttered those words after Big Welsh proposed and as soon as they were out of my mouth it seemed that everyone had an opinion as to what would be the best wedding ever. I think everyone wanted us to have things at our wedding that they didn’t have at theirs! We wanted a very small and simple wedding, with an evening reception the next day and suggested a Friday in May which prompted my paternal Grandmother to say marry in May rue the day. I suppose having been together for 7 years she wasn’t able to say marry in haste repent at leisure! Well she did have a a point as May was a very busy month what with Big Welsh’s birthday, 2 Bank Holidays and a half term meaning my pageboys wouldn’t be around.
We went for June. A Friday. Daring. Well we had to get married on Friday as opposed to Saturday because the ushers wouldn’t be there, the majority of guests wouldn’t either and more importantly neither would my brother and as he was giving me away it was rather important it was on a Friday. My brother had introduced me to Big Welsh at the cricket club 7 years before and if there were no players on the Saturday then there’d be no game and subsequently there’d be a riot and that’s just not cricket!
My Godmother, Judy, said she would make my dress for me and as I had no idea what I wanted but I had a very good idea of what I don’t want she suggested we went to see Beryl a pattern cutter in Romsey. Beryl took one look at me and said “simple, certainly not white, green trim and just brushing the floor”. I hoped she meant my dress was to be simple and I wasn’t. I didn’t dare question her as she wrapped a cream piece of material around me in a flourish, with her tape measure moving around me magically, pins in her mouth and gathering the material land tutting, smiling and repining! I was gobsmacked that this lady who I had never met before could decide what I wanted without me saying anything! I had tried on a big hooped, white, frothy thing and looked odd! The pageboys (aged 5 and 7) were dressed in green checked shirt, beige shorts, beige socks and green sandals. Judy had piped their outfits with the same green that she had piped my dress in and we all had the same green buttons. They looked gorgeous! The bridesmaids had green dresses that weren’t unlike mine and they too looked gorgeous. Big Welsh was in tails with a green tie. He looked dashing, I looked short apparently!
So, we got married on a Friday in June. A friend of my mother’s drove us to the Church in his green Jag . We had the hymns and music that we wanted (Dambusters, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Bread of Heaven, Jerusalem), I amazed everyone by saying obey, my brother was delighted to give me away and every one of the 50 guests looked fabulous. We then drove back to my childhood home for canapés and a buffet in the hottest marquee known to man as the temperatures reached 30 degrees.
After the speeches, I got changed into my going away outfit, handed my bouquet to my grandmother for her to lay on my father’s grave and we got back in the green jag and drove off to Cliveden where we watched the most amazing storm and had an idyllic evening.
The following day we went back to Mum’s and got ready for a casual evening reception where everyone let their hair down and we partied early into the next day, before spending the night at Cantley. Just as well we didn’t have any plans on the Sunday as we were exhausted and wanted to get back to our own home, open our presents and just relax!
Oh but we did! Mum had invited half the village, two thirds of the next village and one tenth of a small Outer Hebrides island. Back on went my going away outfit and back to Mum’s!
That night we eventually got home and just flopped, exhausted after a weekend of getting married! The following day we set off for Somerset for our wind down honeymoon week at Pennard Hill Farm, taking with us fizz left over from the wedding and stinking colds.
Our wedding gift to each other was a cold, that’s certainly not a gift to be sneezed at!