They are a great opportunity to share some laughs with the people who are closest to you. The greatest thing about a family wedding is that as people these days live further away from each other it's great to pick up comfortably where we left off. On top of that it's so amazing to bear witness to two people who have found each other, and have their own love story to tell.
My son and I travelled to Kent on Saturday morning. As any parent will tell you, a trip with a child includes packing everything for every eventuality. To stay overnight means you end up with a car-full.
The drive took an hour and a half and my son slept which was perfect. I don't have a lot of experience with the M25. I was hoping the signs upon joining the motorway would indicate whether I was joining clockwise or anti-clockwise. Instead you can either go toward Heathrow or Gatwick. After a few detours I finally found the area and the church. I actually got us both changed in the service station not far from the venue, and came out of the baby changing room wearing my glamorous hot pink dress with my dirty pastel pink Converse trainers. Funnily enough, I did get a few sideways glances as we left the services!
We arrived at the church and had to follow a line of parked cars right to the very top of the hill to find a space. At this point it was ten minutes until the service started, and I still had to change my shoes, readjust the fake eyelashes on my right eye, put my jewellery on, put the buggy up and make sure that my toddler had some toys to amuse him in the church. Luckily my mum arrived at the same time and an extra pair of hands is invaluable at times like these. She pushed my little boy in the buggy down the hill whilst I, after slipping on my heels (with a nice sock mark on my leg) tottered down quickly behind her, arm in arm with my sister, trying to apply lip gloss without stabbing my teeth with the wand. We then reached the bottom of the hill and the gateway to the church which was a beautiful traditional English village church. My sister and I stopped to compose ourselves for a photo, and then proceeded to fight for footing on the cobblestones leading up to the church.
My little boy was fairly well behaved in the service, and was kept amused by the books I had brought along. My first eye injury of the day was sustained by a rather generous tug he gave one book when trying to remove it from his bag. Luckily, I resisted the initial instinct to swear (a new skill I have aquired since my boy has turned into a parrot, and of course, I was in church).
Following the ceremony I had the perfect opportunity to scope out the talent whilst waiting to get the 'confetti shot' of the beautiful bride and groom. There were a couple of guys of whom I made a mental note to pursue later on. In my wandering 'what if' trance my son ran off and skidded in a pile of wet and muddy moss!
The wedding breakfast was lovely. There were a couple of rowdy tables, but everyone seemed to have a great time. My son was up and running around throughout the meal and I spent most of the time running after him (and I'm sure, flashing my underwear every time I got up)! He also threw a book at another guest. How embarrassing.
When the music started, my son ran around the dance floor on his own pretending to be a horse. As the night wore on and more alcohol was consumed I rocked him to sleep in his buggy before perching him in a quiet room with some non-drinking (responsible) adults.
I had a great evening chatting to random people, drinking, dancing and singing like a loon. There was a big basket of flip flops next to the dance floor to which I gratefully rummaged through and found my size. One of the guests - in an over enthusiastic dance move - knocked my glass of vodka and coke which sloshed up into my right eye. It burned.
My mum and my sister were probably close contenders for the top spot of drunkenness. My sister couldn't understand why her boyfriend wasn't answering his phone at 2.00am and was sure it was because he fancied me more than her (I've never met him). My mum was jabbering gobbledy gook and failing miserably to keep up with the topic of conversation. Of course, both of them were adament they weren't drunk. So I was back on the babysitting duties, trying to force a pint of water down my sister's neck.
When one of the fit guys finally came to speak to me I was in no fit state to hold a conversation. I thought it best to ignore and avoid him instead of making a bigger idiot of myself. I did, however, get drooled over by a rather mature inebriated chap, and politely declined the opportunity for some light groping on the dance floor with him.
My right eye took a third beating of the night when one of my little cousins opened a door on it. I did, however, stay upright. I also thought it was a great idea to have a puff on a cigar. It wasn't.
After finding a goblet behind the closed bar with which to put my final red wine of the evening (I can't even imagine how many Weight Watchers points I've used) I went up to bed. My mum was in bed with my son and I rolled into the room to join them at around 3am when I sent her back to her own room. I poked around in my eye (the forth right-eye injury) and retrieved my contact lenses and my fake eyelashes before removing my dress. I say I removed my dress because I must have, but I don't remember it!
In the morning I woke up with a start when a lady ran down the hall shouting 'Bob!!' at the top of her lungs. I got out of bed and surveyed the damage. My right eye was red raw and my dress had a red wine stain on it. I stood in front of the of the shower cubicle, perplexed. Despite pulling and pushing the levers I could not work out how to turn it on!! I had no signal on my mobile so I had to ring reception to ask how to ring my mum's room. She sent my sister to help navigate the shower and then took my key card with her. These key cards need to be in the slot in the wall in order for the electrcity to work. So there I was, in the shower, my son with his trousers around his ankles asking for a poo in the pitch black.
All-in-all it was a great night, although I am still feeling it now. My sore toe is in fact a blister which covers the complete underside of my little toe. No wonder it hurt!
Through all the pain and the near blindness in my right eye it was a perfect day. The bridesmaids looked stunning, as did the mother of the bride and the whole wedding was timeless and classically beautiful. I'm sure the bride and groom have fantastic memories to hold on to to mark the beginning of their long and happy life together!
Best wishes x
|The first dance|