Sarah & Simon ♥ | Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Sarah & Simon ♥

On holiday in Cornwall in 2010, just 2 weeks after my brother's wedding and a year after my sister's, Simon surprised the heck out of me by producing a diamond engagement ring! I had hoped that we would be engaged by the end of that year, but he completely caught me off guard, which was wonderful. We had a week on holiday before turning home to Plan The Wedding.

The reason that it's Plan The Wedding with caps is that I didn't realise how our wedding would take on a life of it's own. After taking part in my brother and sister's weddings, I had a pretty good idea of what it all entailed. Simon and I were both very clear on one thing - we wanted a marriage and weren't too fussed about a wedding, so decided we wanted a relatively small wedding, in a hotel by the coast in Newcastle, Co. Down. The Slieve Donard Hotel was the only one we looked at and, although we were happy with the smaller room, my family insisted we take the Grand Ballroom instead.

My sister acted as unofficial wedding planner, and along with my parents' desire for the last family wedding to be a big bash, our small wedding soon ended it with 140 people invited, and extravagances such as fairy light curtains being ordered. There were times when Simon and I sat together and despaired about how our wedding was becoming the antithesis of what we wanted - a low key, small, reasonably priced day. However, since my parents were unbelievably generous and offered to pay for everything, we felt that it was only right that they got their say in what we had, and - to a certain extent - got what they wanted to. (The aforementioned fairylight curtain was my mum's idea...)

As the day approached, we worried about how we would cope on the day with so many people staring at us. Both of us, Simon especially, are quite reserved in social situations, so the thought of 140 people staring at us gave us the heebee jeebees! Not that we weren't looking forward to it, we couldn't wait! But we were worried, and a bit confused at how we had ended up with the wedding we had.

The day dawned crisp and clear - cliched but true. At my parents' house the hairdressers and make-up artist arrived and, since I was to be 'done' last, I spent the morning fussing over my then 6 week old nephew, and ignoring that sick feeling in my stomach. I was beyond nervous - my stomach was clenched and I was shaking and sweaty. Not a good look on your wedding day. I could hardly eat, and my palms were soaked with sweat. I honestly remember hating every second of that morning! After a minor delay due to a miscommunication of timing with the make-up artist, my dad and I finally got into the car. 

I felt sick to my stomach. Along with the fear of all those people watching me, there was the genuine fear from all concerned that I may faint during the ceremony, as I have been prone to fainting in the past. A few Haribo were stuffed down me before we left the house, and an energy drink drunk carefully to try and avoid this. Another slight worry was that I would break down in tears, as I had done at my siblings' weddings, so tissues were on hand with various people who would be nearby. 

My dad and I arrived at the church, and after greeting the minister and seeing the bridesmaids off down the turn came. And something weird happened...suddenly I was excited! I couldn't stop smiling as I walked up the aisle past all my family and friends, and couldn't wait to get to the front to Simon. The ceremony went off without a hitch (unlike the rehearsal in which the minister called Simon 'Simon Gay' instead of 'Simon Jay'!) and I couldn't stop smiling the whole time! There wasn't a tear in sight from me. My mum, mother-in-law and Granny weren't quite as dry eyed though.

And, even better, Simon was the same! What we hadn't stopped to think was that the 120 people who turned up to the wedding weren't there to stare at us, they were there to celebrate with us, and they were our family, our friends, and all people we love. Instead of worrying, we enjoyed every second of chatting with our guests at the church, before enjoying a calm hour in the car on the way to the Slieve Donard. When we did arrive, we were thrilled with how the room looked. All those little bits my mum and sister had insisted on looked amazing, and I am so glad they bullied me in to some of the things that they did - including that fairylight curtain! 

The rest of the day was equally as wonderful - we mingled with our nearest and dearest, ate wonderful food, and danced the night away. I loved every second of the speeches - even though my dad had left his at home and had to improvise on the spot! 

By 1am we were exhausted, and were ready for bed, saying goodnight to many of our guests who stayed up to celebrate for us. We retired to our gorgeous bridal suite, where Simon helped me remove 120 hair pins, before we collapsed, without getting to sample our 'disco bath'. The next morning we ate a quick breakfast, before returning home and flying out on honeymoon later that afternoon to Cape Cod. We spent the first 24 hours asleep, exhausted!

So, our wedding wasn't quite what we had wanted. In fact, it was what we always said we DIDN'T want. Our wedding wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea (a friend actually told me that it was her idea of a nightmare - charming), but we have both said more than once that we are so glad we ended up with the wedding we did, and we wouldn't change a single thing about our day. Getting to share it with all - and I mean ALL - of our family and friends made it the most special experience, and I know we both feel blessed to have been able to celebrate the way we did.

We have two pictures from our wedding in our living room, and two in our bedroom, and I look at them every day and remember exactly how wonderful July 22nd, 2011 was for us.

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