Almost a year to the day since Richard proposed to Lucy, the long awaited Wedding Weekend had finally arrived, and with our car packed to the gunnels, we set off with Ros and Chris to the tiny village of St. Neot in Cornwall.
I thought I'd start with that bit so the madness of packing, wrapping, remembering and forgetting wouldn't take centre stage, as I couldn't believe how much stuff we had to take!!
My hat box was about the size of a baby seat, and then my wig on its stand had to be balanced carefully so as not to damage the beautiful 'up do'.
As Sam and Jack were heading down separately I had Jack's suit and shoes as well as all ours, and then what with the presents and Ros and Chris' bags, you'd think we were moving house rather than spending two nights away… but we made good time on the journey and only had to stop twice.
I have to admit to feeling somewhat victimised by a large poster on the back of the loo door that read 'Phew, made it!”'followed by 'It isn't normal to plan your journey around toilet stops!' …says who?? It's always worked for me! Our sat nav took us over the Bodmin moor and having negotiated the ponies and the cattle grids, we heard it tell us 'You have reached your destination!'
Arriving at the venue
The venue for the wedding was a large collection of converted barns with an adjacent farmhouse where dinner on the Friday night was served. The wedding was to take place in the largest of these barns, and the view across the moors was beautiful – I could feel the fizz of excitement as soon as I got out of the car!
I hadn't mentioned before, but a couple of months ago, Richard asked Colin to be his best man, so from 2pm on Friday Colin was involved in meeting the registrar and running through the schedule for the next day… all very exciting.
My mum and sister arrived not long after us, followed closely by Lucy's dad's family whom I've only seen a couple of times in the last twenty odd years, but it was such a happy occasion to all be together that the intervening years just melted away. Dinner that evening gave us all a chance to catch up, and although Sam and Jack had a little engine trouble, with Colin's help they arrived safely albeit a little late!
Lucy had breakfast in her room on Saturday morning, but the rest of bundled into the farmhouse again and were treated to a magnificent fry up. I breathed a sigh of relief that my outfit was in a stretch material as sausage and mash the night before had lain rather heavily on my waistline!!
As Lucy had her best friend Mel with her and Colin was with Richard talking about manly things and responsitilities, I wasn't needed until around midday. So I went for a long walk in the sunshine with my sister, Linda, Ros, Jo, and Chris. Once back though, it was time to get changed!
The girls hadn't seen my outfit, but they said all the right things, and apart from a shaky moment involving glue and false eyelashes I was ready.
I will never forget her being handed to me; this tiny bundle with dark hair and blue eyes. Her little fingernails were like shells and she was perfect… 'my Sweetpea' I called her. And now here she was – 26 years later, with a degree, a head of department teaching job, about to be married to dear Richard.
The day I had been focusing on throughout this year, had finally arrived…
Lucy looked simply beautiful. The dress, shoes, her hair, the special button and lace bouquet and headdress were perfect, and as she walked towards us with her Dad I thought my heart would burst with happiness
Richard, too, looked very dapper in his suit, and the smile he gave her when she stood beside him lit up the room. Their service wasn't made up of the traditional vows and readings. Instead Jo the registrar talked of love, and families and strength and happiness and there wasn't a dry eye in the house!
Hannah, Lucy's sister, read a piece from one of my children's favourites books 'The Velveteen Rabbit' which reduced Sam and Jack to tears, and then I had to gather myself to read the verse Lucy had chosen for me 'I will be Here'… something I have prayed for so often over the last nine months. The rings were exchanged, the register signed and my little girl had become Richard's wife!
The rest of the day passed in a whirl. The food was fantastic, champagne flowed, and everyone got on famously. We even had dancing at the end of the night, by which time I had removed my fabulous hat.
As Colin and I whirled around the floor, I was unprepared for the final 'dip' and as he expertly dropped me backwards, my wig flew off!!! Laugh?? We were all in hysterics!! A fitting end to the best of days…
I hope that you enjoy the photographs, and thank you all SO much for your good wishes, love and prayers for both Lucy and Richard and me too.