At first I was going to wait until tomorrow night, to write about the amazing Saturday I have planned: cooking slow pork, taking the boy to his first baby disco (courtesy of Big Fish Little Fish), and then going with my old university friend to a Manic Street Preachers gig in the evening. The Manics were my absolute favourite teenage band. And - wait for it - we have BACK STAGE PASSES!!!
I cannot think of a more perfect day planned. The problem is this: sometimes plans go awry, and sometimes great expectations can be dashed with disappointment.
So instead I am going to take this opportunity for a little reminiscing. It will be self-indulgent and soppy, and for that I can only apologise in advance. For this is the story of a truly perfect day - our wedding.
Here I am getting ready with my sisters, my soon-to-be sister in law, and my beautiful friend who was doing all our make up:
I loved my dress, just adored it. It was the first one I tried on and I bought it on the spot: a Justin Alexander strapless embroidered number, with a matching fitted long-sleeved jacket (with the train on the jacket). We went for a fairly vintage style of hair, to go with the little birdcage veil/fascinator thingy.
I woke up that morning absolutely petrified - not about getting married, really, but more about the weather! I needn't have worried: there was not a cloud in the sky that beautiful May morning. We made our happy way to Southwark Cathedral:
It was just a few weeks after the big royal wedding, and I got a small taste of what Kate M may have experienced upon rocking up to this Borough Market crowd outside the cathedral!
The actual ceremony passed in a blur, but I remember feeling so happy that I was marrying my best friend at last, and that this day marked a new beginning for us. A chance for us to reflect on all that we were committing to each other, and sharing, for the rest of our lives.
During the planning stage of this wedding, I realised that the most cost effective way to get 100 people from Southwark Cathedral to the National Liberal Club in Westminster was actually to hire a boat and sail everyone down the Thames. This proved a big hit with our guests, as we got to see all the major landmarks on the way!
The final part of the day was the traditional drinks/meal/speeches/dancing sort of affair. We added our own touches - such as a tiered pork pie "cake", a humongous croque en bouche for dessert, a large keg of Harvey's ale on tap and so on. It was brilliant to see all the little things I had spent months preparing for, finally happening!
All in all, I could never have imagined such a perfect day. And I'm pleased to say, three years on, that marriage itself is surpassing all expectations too. I love my husband more every day, especially as I see how great a dad he is, and how he has coped with the trauma of his wife's mental illness. He is stronger, more loving, more kind, more generous, than I ever knew back when I agreed to marry him. I am a very lucky bride!