The Wedding of Whose Dreams?

A few people have been interested in my Wedding day recently, not that I needed a reason to write about it. It’s great to look back on a magical day spent with all our loved ones especially when we haven’t seen some of their faces for a while now.

So, if you didn’t know us you would probably think Natalie would have the ideas and the dreams and I would have to fight for the little things I wanted. Well it was quite the opposite. Natalie pretty much knew what she was signing up for when she said ‘yes’ in a private cabana in Turkey in 2013. I had big plans and she was happy this way. She is a pretty easy going Wifey for lifey ?.

She said ‘yes!’

I knew from the off that I wanted a castle, being Disney fans, it was essential. I also didn’t mind where, with people coming from Scotland, the south coast and China, it was going to be out of the way for someone. So why not make it out of the way for everyone including ourselves? I found Rowton Castle online, and after the 254-mile round visit, we fell in love.

We travelled down separately on the Friday before the wedding on the Saturday.  Natalie went, with her bridal party, to the a special castle annexe with a lounge, bedrooms and dressing room. Here she drank champagne knowing she just had to wake, get ready and walk a short walk to the main castle to get married. I went to a nearby hotel, chosen as it had a 6-course taster menu dinner, and had an early night ready for the big day.

Then came 1 am and a surge of wedding nerves. I was hot and clammy and couldn’t sleep, spending hours staring at the ceiling, but I just couldn’t clear my mind of the million things I had to think about.

On the morning of Saturday 18th February, me and my family arrived at the castle. Luckily this was to compliments of ‘I can see why you dragged us half-way across the country’ Phew. As I entered the castle, pandemonium seemed to begin. Everyone wanted to know something. ‘Wheres the button holes’, ‘Where can we go?’, ‘When can we get in the rooms’, and I had none of the answers. Lucky, moments later, the absolutely lovely and knowledgeable master of ceremonies was on hand to allay my worries and answer the multitude of unanswered questions.

As I waited at the front of the aisle the nerves returned. I hadn’t had chance to think about my speech or saying my vows up till now. I think I looked at my watch probably a hundred times over that very short wait.

The best men in my life. Matt, Stan and Jack

The music began. Our flower girl and the bridesmaids who all looked absolutely beautiful, entered and sat, and then my heart melted. As Natalie entered, looking absolutely perfect that words cannot describe, I felt the first explosion of emotion. Don’t cry Stephen. Hold it in.  

I still get speechless looking at this now.

The ceremony was equally beautiful. We had heard some people had experience of miserable registrars, but ours was a lovely, funny ‘Grandad’ type. Oh, and neither of us fluffed our vows either. Win win.  

No vows fluffed here

The food was fantastic (though hard to eat as the speech nerves approached). The tables were simple but beautiful with a bit of geek with paper flowers (Paper Petals) and wooden placeholders from VM bespoke. The cake, made by Natalies Aunt (Nannybobbobs), was Lego themed. I also got my geek in with Lego superheroes on the button holes and a homemade geeky photo booth (a very last minute idea of mine which just about came out as I had imagined).

Natalie’s Dad gave a truly lovely speech which made me feel really part of the family. Then came my speech and I am not a public speaker. I think I did my best though with few shakes. The two best men (two seems like a good idea but its twice the lies/embarrassment) then finished the speeches.

After the speeches the real party started. I distinctly remember running to some of my evening guests yelling ‘Guess whos (f***** expletive) married!). What followed could only be described as the best party of my life. We did our first dance to Tangled’s ‘I see the light’. Had to get a little more Disney in there!

At no moment did I not have a fresh beer, shot or cocktail. The dancefloor was packed, the DJ was amazing (DJ Will Tudor). There was an additional quieter room for the older guests, so everyone was happy. I managed to get my dream of the the king of evening food, a hog roast, which went down a treat. This quickly followed by hours of dancing and drinking until the early hours and a tipsy stumble to bed.

I was married!

What a day!

I think the main piece of advice we had before was ‘Make the most of every minute’. We ensured we spent as much time just me and Natalie. Having quieter moments together around the busier moments. Although the day went fast. We were happy we made the most of it ?

Oh and I think we can agree, it was the wedding of both our dreams.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy, two years before Munchkin.

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