So here we have the final part of the final chapter of Laura’s journey to become The Bedford Wife.
So far we have all ooh’d at Mrs Doubtfires dress and those legs… we have aah’d at the bouquet and the confetti… and we’ve chuckled at Laura’s unique grasp of language.
You will be glad to hear that we have more of all of these things in part 2, but throw a few Woohoo’s into the mix as the party moves towards the dance floor.
The Meet And Greet.
We did a receiving line outside the church – something that always happens at the Irish weddings I’ve been to. It gets the ‘hellos’ and ‘how are ye?’ out of the way early doors and you’re sure to catch everyone.
Meet Me By The Bridge.
And so we headed off to the venue – St Mary’s College at Durham University. On the way, however, we went down to Prebends Bridge and wandered around by the river so that our photographer, the talented Phil Smith, could take some pictures of us benig a bit, well, natural. Cue a load of Japanese toursits turning up and taking pictures of us. Surreal, but hilarious.
Oh, I should probably say what Adam was wearing, no? He went for a mid-grey suit from TM Lewin, a shirt the colour of an overcast sky and a tie from Victoria Richards (where Jon Snow buys items to decorate his neck). Walker wore the same. We were adamant we wanted lounge suits and we didn’t anyone to be too fancy-fancy/feel like they were auditioning to be an extra in a period drama.
Strike A Pose.
Our photographer, Phil was ace – he supplied a pop-up photobooth studio where our friends and family posed for hours with a mini blackboard writing us messages (hilarious/sweet/genuine/witty/rude) and posing in ridiculous positions – err, like the human pyramid some of my schoolfriends attempted. Thanks, guys. A couple of friends, who’ll remain nameless (NICKY AND EUSEBIO) seemed to turn the studio into, well, their own personal photoshoot space – I particularly enjoyed the shots of them straddling a chair backwards and ‘Vogue-style’ hands. We laughed our backs off the next day looking at them all.
We spilled out into Mary’s stunning gardens where Event Durham (the University events team-people – and I must say, they were an ABSOLUTE PLEASURE to deal with from start to finish – utterly sliky and professional and organised – the real stars of the day – AND OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES WAS CALLED MUSTAFA GUNN! Say it out loud. What a finishing touch. What a guy.) had set up tables. Garden-party gloriousness ensued. We drank Pimms with stripey straws. It was unreal.
The Gifts And The Gab.
We had speeches. They were t’riffic. We gave out presents – silver bracelets from Stella and Stokes for the girls, a tie pin for my brother, whiskey for our usher Matt and a framed ordnance survey map for Walker (there was a story behind it. It was perfect for him).
Stop. Refuel. Go!
We ate. We had bread and olives and fancy oil followed by a fancy fishcake with mustard-seed creme fraiche and buttered spinach, Northumberland lamb shank in a spicy Morrocan tagine-y type sauce and cous cous and lemon tart with vanilla icecream. After many food-related agonies, we went for what we wanted. No regrets. Everyone loved it – or said they did, anyway – and who’s going to say otherwise? It was bloody delicious.
And then the events people turned the room around for a party. We danced our first dance to Sam Cook’s Wonderful World (it was that or Winehouse’s Cupid…but it was a bit raunchy…and then she died) and then the band – the wholly brilliant Troubleshooters got underway. We first saw them in a working men’s club in Fenham and, despite the less than salubrious venue, they were unreal (I’m running out of positive adjectives here – apologies). They did two forty-five minute sets and were impossibly brilliant. Our DJ, Marky J, kept everyone going in between with a mix of anything and everything – Northern Soul, Motown, 80s classics (I remember running across the dancefloor towards Bedford at one point squealing ‘PAUL SIIIIIIMON!’), err, Lady Gaga…Later, we had sausage sarnies and wedges, as well as our cake (made by Mrs Addy, a customer of Adam’s from the milk round he used to do as a young ‘un).
The verdict? Um, well, the whole day surpassed every expectation we’d had. Not because of the dress or the shoes or ‘feeling like a princess’ or any of that crap which ultimately – let’s face it – boils down to nothing. We had a super day because we (well, I like to think) were true to ourselves – we had a relaxed ceremony in a beautiful church and venue that meant something to us with everyone we wanted there.
The Right People.
So my advice to y’all is this – and it’s not original but it’s TRUE and that’s exactly why so many people say it. Enjoy your day. Do it the way you want to (within reason – there’s no point in doing it ‘your way’ if it’s going to confuse someone you care about or make them feel pushed out). Make time to have a deep breath and take it all in. Because, all in all, it’s only 18 hours at the very most of what will (hopefully) be a very long life together. And while all the frivolous stuff is fun, it’s really not very important. Be true to yourself, surround yourself with the right people and you’ll have a belter of a day. You can’t fail to.
Thanks for all the comments and support. It’s been a blast.
And so I’m signing off – for the last time – as Mrs Bedford xx
Suit TM Lewin
Shoes Vivienne Westwood
Photography Phil Smith
Make-up Sarah Southwell
Flowers Wild and Wonderful
Favours Stella and Stokes
Entertainment The Troubleshooters
Mrs Bedford certainly has the knack of telling a good story.
I don’t think there is much left to say apart from a big old thank you to Laura and Adam for sharing their journey with the Rock My Wedding community. It has, as Laura proclaimed at the end of her report, been an absolute blast.