Monday, 24 May 2010

Part 2 - the ceremony

We arrived at the church slightly early so parked up the road a bit and Dad jumped out to go and check everything was hunky-dory. This was the first moment when I was really nervous, and as always when I'm nervous I needed the loo. The same had happened on Friday evening as we pulled up to the church so my bridesmaids had thought it was very funny to buy me some incontinence pads.

Anyway, everything was fine, and the men were told to go and take their seats in the front row. We pulled the bus forward, and had a couple of minutes to grab some photos with the buses, like a traditional father-daughter photo plus one of me on the back of the Routemaster (one of the key ones on my list for the day).

Then it was time to go. Mum said a quick prayer before we walked up towards the church to be met by the vicar,and then she headed inside. I had managed to get my shoe stuck between paving slabs on the path but this was a minor hitch, it did relieve my nerves somewhat as we all laughed.

We lined up by the door and I could see a couple of friends in the back row, suddenly the nerves hit. As the music started and we took our first step I had a sudden lurch in my stomach and thought I was going to cry. I was glad of my veil, and very glad I looked up to see J waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I managed to hold it together although through the first hymn my legs were shaking so much I thought I must have looked ridiculous.

The service was lovely and was very personal. It was great to have a vicar who had got to know us over the last couple of years, so he was able to relate to the people who were there with us.

In no time at all we were pronounced man and wife and kissing to a round of applause from all our friends and family. A lovely moment.

I didn't see but people keep telling me how almost everyone was crying at some point in the service, even my normally very together dad! For some people it seemed that it was the music that did it; I wasn't aware when we picked it, but one of our hymns was my great-grandma's favourite so this was rather poignant for some people, plus my mum was set off by my processional music which was the same as she had, Pachelbel's Canon in D.

We were not being followed by another wedding so made the most of a bit of time in the church vestibule catching up with everyone. From the photos I have seen I was looking rather crazy and certainly felt a bit like that too. I was quite speechless and so happy. It is also very strange being in the situation where you know (just about) everyone in the room and they all want to talk to you.

Just as we were doing this someone pointed outside - another bus. This time a Maltese bus, due to J's heritage, which had been renovated and shipped over! So our full fleet of 3 buses was ready to take us to our venue, J and I in the Maltese bus, the family in the green bus and the rest of the guests on the Routemaster...

--- more ---
It's funny what you include and don't when writing up something like this.
I thought I would also add that the rest of the music was lovely - we had the traditional Orthodox Cherubic hymn when signing the register, and we left the church to the Grand March from Verdi's Aida.
The readings were done by my grandma and J's uncle, which was really lovely.


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