Laura was our vintage-inspired Real Bride. Laura’s stories have kept everyone at RMW (and all you folk out in Blogland) entertained from the very start of her blogging days. But, like all stories, there has to be an end (Boo!) in the form of a massive vintage inspired W-day celebration of love (Hooray!)
Get ready then (cup of tea/coffee and bourbon/custard cream) for the final chapter, a chapter which is promising to be the best one yet…
Capturing the images on this most special of days was left in the capable hands of Phil Smith.
Bedford and I were married on the Saturday 30th July 2011. Never before have I experienced such an overwhelming outpouring of spontaenous love and affection and generosity from the people I am blessed to be able to call my family and friends. It was the happiest day of my life. Yes, I AM the cliche.
But I suppose I should take you through the whole thing step by step? Go on, then.
The day started early, with a slightly foggy head from the night before. On Thursday night we’d had a rehearsal at the church, Our Lady’s – the church where I’d made my first holy communion and confirmation. Crikey. Bedford and I sauntered in, blase and excited. I left shaking like a leaf. I had no idea we’d have to say the vows. Walker, the best man, spent most of the rehearsal laughing at the shock on our faces.
I wasn’t laughing. I woke up the following morning and my knees were shaking. I was lying vertical in bed and my KNEES were SHAKING. Not good.
Pale And Interesting.
And it wasn’t last-minute doubts, oh no. Don’t be silly. I’ve never, as I famously said very emphatically to a friend when slightly tipsy, felt so-very definite about ANYTHING in my WHOLE ENTIRE life as marrying Adam. Good job, really, given that we’re now wed. It was the whole spectacle of the event that I was nervous about. Walking in heels. Wearing a pale dress against my pale Paddy skin. The stress-induced spot the size of Mount Vesuvius that was steadily forming on my face. Brilliant. Thanks, stress hormones! Love you!
Last Minute Plans.
So we went to St Mary’s College on Friday morning. We had a God-almighty freak out about the band’s PAT test (advice? Get it sorted. Check it and check it again. Boring thing likes insurance and PAT tests are important. Who’d have ruddy thought it?) and the table plan (I’d bought fancy fabric to cover up the block of wood Walker had transported from his wood business. It looked bloody awful. We ended up using upholstery tacks to pin the tables cards on and a big sign that read ‘Seek And Ye Shall Find Your Seat’. It started to look pretty good.)
I Get By With A Little Help…
It was at this point that I realised how much I love my friends. And family. It was about the time when Adam’s dad was putting his two-hundreth gingerbread man favour into an appropriately-coloured stripey paper bag (blue for boys, pink for girls, like DUUUH) that I realised just how awesome my ‘new’ family are. Everyone lent a hand, from our mums checking the place settings with military precision, to Walker nailing the hen-do-manufactured bunting above the top table.
The Important Things In Life.
A quick pint in the pub with my nearly-husband and best friend Alex, and Al and I headed back to Washington, leaving Durham to suffer from the arrival of a 200-strong Angle-Irish contingent of wedding guests. I don’t think it’s recovered yet…
And so the wedding day dawned…
Gnome Is Where The Heart Is.
The shoes? Vivienne Westwood. I particularly like the snaps of them in the garden with my dad’s gnomes in the background.
A Journies End.
The dress? I’m about to reveal a dirty secret: I’m not very interested in clothes. Shopping for them makes me feel all hot and bothered – and this might be a bit strong – a little bit toxic. I know, I’m a freak. Well, after another almighty-freak-out, I was delighted with it. It was the result of a looong search, documented on these very pages, that took me from the high street to a vintage boutique to a local dressmaker with a scrawled doodle on the back of an envelope. It was short and simple and I felt like ME rather than the prow of a ship (anyone else get that in a long wedding dress? No? Just me, then), which was what the whole thing’s about after all, isn’t it?
Angel Of The North
Make-up – I was bloody lucky. Adam’s sister, Sarah Southwell, is a professional beautician and make-up artist. I know – talk about landing on my feet. She is truly amazing and I would recommend her to anyone of a West Yorkshire persuasion who wants to look and feel wonderful on their wedding day. I’m not just saying this because she’s now a relative. HONESTLY, she’s ACE. And it was mint to have a proper gossip on the morning to take my mind off all the stress.
Wild And Wonderful.
So we had a manic morning – who doesn’t? But all in all, it was grand. I had my hair done at a local salon after my hairdresser fell through at the (relative) last minute. Joanne my hairdresser was ace. “Err, can it look a bit messy and just, like, a bit pinned up?” I am fairly clueless with hairstyle-related stuff. She did a super job. The flowers arrived from Wild and Wonderful in Houghton-le-Spring. I’d asked for peonies which had looked a bit shabby when Kay from the florist had contacted her suppliers, so she went for big cabbagey roses instead. They were lovely.
The car – a red Riley – was generously lent to us by a farming friend of Adam’s. Richard, the aforementioned farming friend, volunteered himself as driver and was very much the dashing chauffer in his linen suit. One of the best moments of the day was realising we had a few minutes to spare and having a whiskey with Richard (who’s fairly deaf) and my father (who’s also fairly deaf). The door was a bit dodgy and Richard had to shoulder-barge it shut. The gauges were all wonky and it looked like we were doing about 15 miles an hour when we were actually powering along the A1 at 60 mph.
The Get Out.
And all of the neighbours came out of their houses and waved us off. And Norma from next door told us to have a lovely day. And I got a bit choked.
And so began the whole ‘I-am-massively-MASSIVELY-overwhelmed-by-everyone’s-goodwill-and-kindness’ thing which continued all day. It absolutely blew me away. But instead of being a big emotional wreck (as I’d feared I would be), I just felt ridiculously happy. And chilled. I was so serene I could have been a bloody swan.
It was all very odd and unexpected.
Anyway, so we arrived and the ceremony commenced. I tried to take in everyone on the way up knowing I would be euphoric and giddy on the way back down. I saw Bedford. I gave him a big grin. He winked. All was well with the world. Our lovely Uncles did the readings. Fr Sean delivered a nail-on-the-head sermon. We sang some rousing hymns. And soon enough, we were wed. I’d previously wondered how ‘the moment’ would feel. Would it be like someone had waved a magic wand? Not particularly. It was like putting the final piece into a jigsaw puzzle. Really obvious, but satisfying.
Dress Mrs Doubtfire!
Shoes Vivienne Westwood
Photography Phil Smith
Make-up Sarah Southwell
Flowers Wild and Wonderful
So… Good so far? Quite the page turner isn’t it? Well that’s all your getting folks, at least for now. At Rock My Wedding we love leaving you wanting more .
I promise you won’t be waiting too long though. But this afternoon is dedicated as per usual to our current crop of Real Brides. So pop back later on for today’s second dose of Real Bride inspiration the RMW way.