Can't believe this day last week I was rushing around like a headless chicken, trying to find a hat to go with my dress for Ros's wedding (of course I wouldn't have needed a hat if I was headless, but that aside…).
Having tried a number on, it was thanks to a lovely lady called Iris who insisted on giving me marks out of 10 for each of the three I was posing in, that I decided on the black one. Success!
This was the last part of the grand build up to the big day itself, so just to put you in the picture, let me tell you a little about Ros and Chris…
I've known Ros since I was seven years old, as we both went to the same Junior School and then moved on to Wayneflete Comprenhensive when we were 11. Chris was also at the same school and although I wasn't in the same class as him, it's funny how all our memories of those years are shared ones.
Although Ros and I both married when we were 20 and moved to different parts of the country, it was when I started working on This Morning that we got in touch again and have hardly been apart since. She's like an angel in human guise – all her many friends agree. Nothing is too much trouble for her. I consider myself very lucky, as with so many of my girlfriends, if you need them, they're there and through some of the trickier times in my life, she's been 100% supportive.
The day of Sam's accident, it was Ros who met the ambulance at Bedford Hospital, Ros who called me daily to see how he was progressing, and she who advised me when things got worse. She and Chris were waiting for me after he went into theatre all those months later for the amputation, and between them they helped me through the six long weeks he was in ICU and then isolation.
She helped me pack to move house from rented to new home, and would always listen when I called her in the wee small hours because I couldn't sleep… I could go on and on, but in short, she's the best kind of friend anyone could have.
We divorced at much the same time, and not long after I started working at QVC, she went back to nursing. She is now a palliative care nurse in a hospice. Everyone loves her there too :) Infact it's the same hospice that nursed Chris' wife towards the end of her life some four years ago…
Ros and I met up with Chris again at a school reunion and it was from there that their friendship grew. He is quite simply one of the nicest men you could ever meet. He, like Ros, puts family and friends first, and will do anything to help anyone. So, you see they are perfectly matched :)
Colin and I, along with some family and close friends, arrived at the hotel the night before the wedding, and I have to say we had a ball. Mercifully the cake travelled well – I don't think I moved faster than 20 miles an hour the whole way there because of the traffic on the M25 – although the staff at the hotel had to cajole me to part with the two boxes and various decorations when I arrived!
That night we all ate together, and it was a hoot. I have to say I haven't laughed that much since the last time we were all together, and was still smiling the next morning as the preparations began. As a treat, I'd arranged for Ros's hair and make up to be done, and she loved it.
I rescued the cake from the hotel cellar (it was cooler there apparantly!) and set about assembling it – with a little artistic direction from Colin as to where best to trail the ivy (!) – and then it was time for the ceremony itself.
Ros and Chris had asked me to make a short reading of a beautiful poem describing their love for each other, but I hadn't realised I was to read it immediately after they'd said their vows! While blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, I heard my name mentioned and leapt up to do my bit. I only got through the first verse before I felt the tears pricking my eyes and my voice faltered… hopeless!
I'd read it through loads of times beforehand, but you know what it's like when something says it all so perfectly. Bless them, Ros and Chris didn't mind at all, and having signed the register and had their photos taken, we were all off to the garden for a Pimms! My kind of wedding :)
Such a happy day. The weather was warm, the food fabulous, the company delightful and the newlyweds content. Ros and Chris, like most of us, have had their share of lifes' up and downs, but I feel very much that whatever awaits them on the road ahead, they will come through it smiling…
Hope you like the photos, and let me know if you've got any weddings to go to this year – maybe even your own!! Would be lovely to share stories.
Enjoy the weekend, and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Love Ali xxxx