I'm slowly coming back down to earth after the wedding and honeymoon, and weaning myself off looking at my wedding pictures, constantly. So I thought I'd share with you a few more updates before I have to end my moment in 'the white zone'.
Firstly - the wedding! Everything they say is true - I couldn't stop smiling; I would do it all again and again; it was the best day of my life; it went so fast…. But there are a few things I learnt from doing 'the day' to share with you fellow brides-to-be:
1. No matter how organised you are, you'll always end up doing the tableplan/the place cards/printing your order of services the night before. For me it was making the escort cards; for my brother writing his 'father' of the bride speech. But it all works out on the night - in fact my brother's 'spontaneous' style made his speech a roaring (with laughter) success, even if it's not the best for the night-before nerves.
2. One guest will invariably drop out the week of the wedding. I know for us, the brides, this is THE BIGGEST DAY OF OUR LIVES, however for some guests it's just another day. And whether it be sickness, other plans or going into labour, be prepared to do some last minute table plan shuffling.
3. It takes forever to get ready. I'm usually a half an hour up and out the door kind of girl, so it took some getting used to that on my wedding morning that I woke up at 7am and didn't leave until 12.45pm, that's five and a half hours of getting ready. Make sure you have an iPod full of music on stand-by. And breakfast. And maybe some magazines to flick through.
4. The weather is a fickle beast. I arrived in Oxford on Thursday in the pouring, driving rain. We spent Friday baking in the glorious sunshine, tying ribbons to trees at my reception venue, Friars Court. On Saturday morning it looked… a bit ominous. By the time we came out of the chapel the umbrellas were up and it was drizzling. I spent the whole 30 minutes drive to the reception asking my new husband 'See over there, is that where we're going? It has blue skies' between muttering 'I it rains they won't get to see my tree!' Luckily, it turned out we were heading for the blue skies. But do have a rain back up plan (we had an extra bit of marquee for drinks, and think about where you'll do family photographs) in case of a downpour.
5. It's impossible to have a proper chat with everyone, so don't beat yourself up. We did the table-to-table thing between courses to at least try to speak to all our 120 guests, but it's impossible to have a long chat with everyone between photos and cake cutting and first dancing. Be sure, they will be having a great time regardless.
6. Bring your dancing shoes! It's the biggest and best party of your life, so as soon as my first dance was over I was into a pair of ballet flats as we had our DJ friend Robbie Gittins on the decks and it was back to back our favourite tunes - so much so that I struggled to find a moment to leave the dance floor to go to the loo. It's your wedding day, you want to be able to enjoy every single last second of it. And you will not stop grinning from ear to ear all day.