Well, I guess the next time I’m preparing so much for a wedding it will be Maddie’s!
Who’d have thought that I would be writing my blog this month having attended the wedding of the year! My Mummy’s!
I’d just like to start by thanking you for your wonderful well wishes for them both, here on my blog and on Twitter. It has been so lovely and hugely appreciated. I found myself proudly sharing my news with most people I came across and was struck by the warmth of the reaction to it (even total strangers) I think there was a spark of possibility reignited for many, as I heard ” Oh how lovely, there’s hope for me yet…” on more than a few occasions!
My own friends were so happy, both for her and for me, sharing in my delight that finally she has the chance to be happy… properly happy again, with a man who couldn’t be lovelier, kinder or more thoughtful.
I know everybody says after the weddings they attend “what a wonderful wedding it was” but it TRULY was. From start to finish the atmosphere was one of joy and happiness and to see so many people from Mummy’s and Arnold’s lives come together for such a celebration was really quite something.
They had been part of each other’s lives in my younger days as our two families spent lots of time together, so many of the guests had memories to share of those early days before my Daddy had sadly died.
For me there were moments of nostalgia, the chance to talk about my father Tom with many people who knew and loved him. To reminisce about my youth with my best friend Gillian and to see that day how cared for and valued Mummy is amongst her many friendship groups. I felt immensely proud of her.
Throughout her life she has had to deal with much sadness and many difficulties. Watching her sparkling with Arnold amongst their closest friends and family was a privilege. Love is a very precious thing, it has no age limit (don’t worry Mummy I will refrain from over sharing that bit of information!) and no boundaries and to have it once again in your life must be a wonderful thing to treasure. I think all of us there last weekend came away knowing we had just been part of something very special.
It has to be said though that the run up to it was really was quite a task and I am only just recovered I think!
After three days of early starts at QVC the next day was a 3 am alarm call (goodness I probably should never moan about the 5 o’clock start any more). I headed up to London to the flower market to buy the flowers for all the table decorations. I loved being amongst all those beautiful choices and have always secretly harboured a little dream of being a florist. I was really pleased when I came home with my buckets of soft gentle flowers all toning in colour with the Memory Lane rose she had chosen for herself and Maddie’s posies. It was only 6.45 am by that point…boy I got a lot done before my household sleepily emerged, though hit the wall later that afternoon and was virtually incomprehensible at tea time…early bedtime for me.
Unfortunately Mummy had chosen the day before Mother’s Day to get married! Though clever I thought as she guaranteed all her children would be with her! Unfortunately the cost of flowers really ramps up at this time, plus the florist that she had chosen was so up against it that it took some persuasion but they did agree to make hers and Maddie’s posies and the buttonholes, and that I would take over and co-ordinate the flowers for the table decorations.
We decided on a natural, just casually picked from the garden sort of look, grouping a number of beautiful cut glass vases and things together so I then had to search out all the vintage glass Mummy and I had and luckily for me a lovely lady, Pam, lent us her glassware to us for the day, how kind was that!
My brother Neil who had flown in from Singapore early that morning helped me fill the 70 or so little vessels of all shapes and sizes that we used. I’m not sure how he kept going, adrenalin is a clever thing. Anyway, I frantically set about pretending to be a florist at the venue! We only had a two hour deadline and made it by the skin of our teeth! I’m not fully convinced the end result truly showed the hard work it had taken, though when I looked into the room on the morning of the wedding I thought it looked really pretty and that was the plan so I was happy.
As Neil and I were pretending to be florists Mark, my eldest brother, was a dab hand preparing food as 29 of the guests who had travelled long distances and were staying a couple of nights were joining them at home for a birthday celebration as Arnold’s birthday was that day. Nothing like extra pressure the night before you get married! It turned out to be a lovely evening and a perfect pre-wedding chance to chat, though I was conscious we needed to get to bed at a reasonable hour as the day ahead would be full on!
We had a make-up and hair practice run the previous week which went really well we thought until my brother said Mummy looked as though she had a black eye! Thanks Mark… not quite the look we were after.
It was quite different doing another person’s makeup and I take my hat off to make up artists the world over who transform all people regardless of age.
I wanted her to look pretty with some added colour because as you age your colour seems to fade a little, so a bit of eyebrow definition and some colour in the eyeshadow was a necessity . But then came the debate, do we go shimmery or not shimmery?! The dress had shimmer, a goldy/silvery shimmery look, but once you get to an age it appears shimmer on the eye isn’t the top choice. But… it looked lovely, so we came to the conclusion that a whisper of shimmer from my Tarte palette was the way to go and a pretty lip colour was vital.
I drew her lip line in with a pencil and filled it in to make it more long-lasting but then that scared her because she never actually utilises her whole lip shape, as beautiful as they are… so again there was the realisation she had to be happy and comfortable.
The most important thing is that she has a lovely skin and was perfectly prepped with her Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and it was either Lulu’s Timebomb or Liz’s SuperSkin that morning, which meant her foundation blended beautifully. I used my Doll 10 brush just to ensure even and long lasting coverage, though two minutes in and I heard the words “are you finished yet”. Honestly patience is a beautiful thing!
I curled her hair which was gorgeous but she refused to arrive at the venue in her rollers to complete the get ready (she can’t be my real mother then!) so it had dropped a little, I think she secretly preferred it and I say again she had to be happy and comfortable.
What made me smile was that she didn’t want to be the centre of attention “all those people will be looking at me” (again I question is she my real mother?!) well she was the centre of attention, and yes we were all looking at her because she looked completely gorgeous in her beautiful dress. The shoes were a tricky element as don’t forget she broke both her ankles last year (again) and they are more than a little painful at the best of times. The mere fact she walked down the aisle and then danced back up it after the service was absolutely incredible to watch, this is one of my favourite pictures of her and Arnold, it captured the sheer essence of the day.
My three loved the day, Tom in particular adores an occasion chatting and socialising! He spent his entire evening on the dancefloor strutting his funky stuff with most of the guests.
I was so very proud of the children, of how they behaved and how they looked. The boys and Dan of course looked so smart in their suits and Maddie was the perfect bridesmaid in her beautiful dress, I felt really emotional seeing her walking so carefully ahead of her Grannie up the aisle. To say I was thrilled to see that Lindsey our photographer had captured this fantastic one of the five of us (above) was an understatement… I cried! Mind you I did quite a lot of that on the day anyway… luckily I could rely on my Mally, Benefit and Laura Geller to stay the course!
It’s rare to get a “family shot” of the five of us all with eyes open and smiles in all the right places! I should’ve known she would have as she is such a fabulous photographer and makes everyone feel at ease resulting in perfect shots (she also happens to be one of my bestest friends, visit her site to see more of her work, and if you would like to “like” her Facebook page it would simply showcase her brilliance to other prospective clients! We were lucky we had fine weather for the photographs to be outside, although twas rather cold… many of the guests were from the North so said it was positively balmy for them though I for one was grateful for my wrap over my sparkly mermaid dress and my Tan Luxe‘d legs!
At Monday at work I showed a couple of the photographs and got a little tearful which prompted the worried question ” You are happy for her aren’t you, you do like the man she has married.”
Happy for her? I’m ecstatic.
Like the man she married? I love him.
It was the most PERFECT day and I wish them the happiest life together.
I hope you have enjoyed sharing our most special of days.
With my love, Claire xx