Life: long awaited weddings and garden celebrations

After 13 years of a blossoming relationship, happy times, and a daughter to complete the previously developed family, my auntie (and now official) uncle finally tied the knot last month. When the news broke out earlier this year I couldn’t help but be thankful my uncle’s years of persuasion eventually paid off and he was getting what he wished for – to marry the love of his life!

My auntie was adamant the second marriage doesn’t have to be as extravagant which I understood but I also believe it’s your day, your time to feel like a royal, for all attention to be on you whilst creating beautiful surroundings (and it was my uncle’s first (and most likely final) marriage so there had to be some dazzling surprises. After months of careful planning, they both decided on a tranquil day kept personal to themselves, friends and family and retained on a budget. The ceremony would be at the local town hall where the registry takes place, then the closest group of people would go back to the house with a garden reception, then the week after would be party time with the rest (read:hundreds) of the friends of both the bride and groom.

At first I was apprehensive, I’m not exactly the most experienced wedding-wise but as venues and folklore routines go, I couldn’t picture it. However, I was proved totally wrong when I headed down to the house pre-wedding to see an ordinary back garden transformed into a pretty paradise filled with flowers, satin chairs, and elegant decor, along with a beautiful bride in the most stunning bargain of a dress. I couldn’t quite believe how different it looked. Every inch of detail was perfectly furnished; a marquee for cover, a rose decorated archway, and their famous alcohol fuelled bar being all ready to be rampaged. Absolutely everything was made from scratch, the preparation was precise and you could truly tell just how much effort went into it. After seeing it all formed together and having extreme melting of the heart by how lovely everybody looked, excitement started to truly kick in.

The theme for the wedding, the dresses, the bouquets, the hair and the makeup was lilac, white ivory and silver, nothing remotely unusual but a trio of subtle colours that worked uniquely and suited my auntie down to a tee. Although it wasn’t traditional in the sense of no first dance, no official table sitting and speeches, no photographer and no hired cars (only my cousin’s swish BMW) the long awaited marriage was still so warm, inviting and tear jerking with the children as bridesmaids and pageboy, my mum as maid of honour, and my two cousins (her older sons) giving her away. That serene English vibe shone through, as well as the sunshine. That was the thing I was mostly worried about, we’re all familiar with the unpredictable northern weather but luck was on our side and it made an uber bright appearance throughout the day (even if I was freezing my bum off by the time sun had set, drunk dad dancing and too much chitter chatter happened). 

I was also privileged to have a huge part in my auntie’s big day as I was asked if I’d like to take on the photography – of course I said yes, there’s nothing I’d love more than to have such a major job on capturing precious memories, even if I was scared about the responsibility of snapping every special moment. I know I’m no professional but I was so proud to help out in any way I could and my work of the day has been so kindly appreciated and admired by everyone which I’m ridiculously pleased about. 

Being the ‘photographer’ as I was labelled by the host of the day, I was ushered to the front of the small but quaint room and given instructions on where to stand and shoot. By this point, I definitely felt a cross between an idiot and a counterfeit master. All eyes were on me until the intense wait was over and the gushing bride walked arm in arm with her two boys to a mellow Marti Pellow (and an unintentional rhyme). The ceremony was just as I imagined, simple and full of emotion. Sentiment ran high as the couple said their I do’s along with some nervous giggles, and the exchange of rings with passionate smiles and loved up kisses. There was even the presence of a FaceTime guest all the way from America; my uncle’s sister unfortunately couldn’t make it so she witnessed it through the power of an iPad which was the icing on the cake (no pun intended) and the cue for continued welling up actions. The magic of technology, ey?!

Trying to juggle both a video camera on a tripod and stretching in all positions to take dozens of photos reflecting the thrill in the air was extremely difficult but I did it, it was a success and it was time to head outside for some more photos. As the confetti flew, the crowd gradually gathered and increased in size as the suave guests were eager to have the customary bride-groom photo. It was lovely seeing everybody beaming as I took a step back and began clicking away again. 

Despite the rush of the horde, there’s always time for a quick outfit photo. My dress of the day was Miss Selfridge, my shoes an eBay staple, and my necklace New Look. I wanted something feminine and classy, accessorised with the cliche wedding items; a button hole, some diamond and pearl encrusted hair pins and matching jewellery. My hair was styled by my amazingly talented hairdresser and I was swooning over it for the duration of the day. I also paired a lilac clutch bag to finish off the themed piece but forgot to hold it for the photo (I just never realise until it’s too blooming late!). 

Heading back to the house was when the fun kicked in and congratulations were in order. The entire celebrations were a winner as everyone adored the finale just as much as I did. The buffet went down a treat, the kids finally had the chance to let their cuteness run wild, selfie sticks were out in full force, laughing was priority, and a glass (or two) of cava was toasted along with a near drunken informal speech from my uncle’s brother, the best man. That drunkenness seemed to treble towards the end of the night as my uncle had definitely endured way too much exhilaration for one day. He ended up collapsed in the spare room on top of all the honeymoon holiday clothes and was left there to sleep it off. That’s when I knew, the official declaration of marriage is never going to change the humour and love of my incredible family! 

I loved every part of their delightful day and it was so nice to grab that rare opportunity of gathering everyone together and sharing the essence. Visible radiance gleamed through from start to finish. I wish my auntie and uncle all the best for the future! I’d say I hope they grow old together but there’s nothing I’m certain of more. 

Bridie x

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