So back in July I wrote about how we decided to get married when we did, and what that was like, in On Getting Married. I intended to also write a bit about the wedding, but kept forgetting, until I was recently reminded of this!
Once Josh and I decided that we wanted to get married in September (2009), leaving us the long summer after A levels for the rest of the preparations and before Josh got too stuck into his job in York, we picked our date. This was 19th September, 9 days after Josh’s 19th birthday!
Both sets of parents were really supportive in helping sort everything for the wedding. Lots of our friends from church and neighbours etc offered their help too- my next door neighbour who is a hairdresser did my hair, my Girls Brigade leader made the cake, my friend’s Mum made the sugar flowers for the cake. We had so much help from so many people for so many different things- church family helped sort details of flowers and setting up at the church, my friend took some ‘unofficial’ photographs and my Mum even made my dress!
We didn’t want a really big grand, formal wedding, as that was completely not us, and completely not where we were at in life. Naturally we wanted to get married at church, and I have been at my church since I was born, so it’s like a second home. We tried to keep things relatively simple with one bridesmaid, a best man, four ushers to help with orders of services and the like. My bridesmaid was my best friend and cousin, Kate, who I’ve practically grown up with. She’s been there throughout everything, when schools and friendships have changed. I would have loved to have all my friends as bridesmaids, as well as Josh’s sister, and my other cousin but that just wasn’t going to be practical, or simple!
Our service was at 11am, at church, and I arrived in the car with Dad. I walked down the aisle to ‘You’re beautiful’ by Phil Wickham, with so so many people watching, all our friends and family. I thought I would be embarrassed to be the centre of attention like that (I’m not a very extroverted person!) but because I knew everyone there it wasn’t like that at all, just lovely to be supported. My pastor lead the service and friends from both of our churches formed the band of musicians. Lots of people say that they’re nervous on their wedding day, but I don’t remember being nervous at all, just excited for us to finally be married, and eager!
It all seemed to go quite quickly- whilst we signed the register there was a slideshow of photos from parents, and we had photographs taken outside followed by a lunch buffet in the hall. We wanted to be able to spend time with everyone, and not just the people at the ‘reception’. Friends from all over were there, and even my primary school teachers came, which was lovely. We had canvases for people to sign instead of a wedding book (less formal, more us!) and speeches back in the church before we left in the car for my parents’ house.
Josh and I arrived first at the reception at Mum and Dad’s- we decided to have a garden party style bbq reception instead of a formal sit down thing in some room somewhere. We put up lots of borrowed marquees and gazebos in case of rain, and had tables and chairs so people could eat, but didn’t have specific tables or places! Luckily the weather was beautiful, sunshine all day, which combined with the lovely trees and flowers was great. Friends and family were able to chat and wander and eat. Josh’s mum and I decorated the tables and trees with ribbons and things, Josh’s friend organised a jazz band, and we had a lovely catered bbq and puddings, plus pick and mix sweets out on the tables.
We had a lovely evening there, and headed off quite early (in terms of wedding receptions) to our honeymoon, but we had started the day earlier than most weddings do anyway. We wanted time to get to our honeymoon without having to stop off a night anywhere on the way. Josh planned the honeymoon as a surprise for me, and we spent a wonderful five days in beautiful Bath, before heading to our new marital home in York!
All photos are by Jenny Stone Photography.