Well the Gods were certainly smiling on us this last weekend weren't they? What an unbelievably beautiful day – as so many folk at Em’s wedding said, "If you could guarantee the weather in England, you’d never need to travel abroad!".
I know that some of you have already been away, but hope having written that, that you were indeed bathed in sunlight and enjoying the incredible warmth – I know it may not have been the entire British Isles who were treated, but for a wedding it couldn't have been better…
Colin and I drove down to my sister's on the Friday afternoon… well I say drove, you could have walked faster than we were travelling at some points of the journey! The M25 was gridlocked so we decided to circumnavigate via Staines, but could have travelled to John O Groats and back in the time it took us! All that said, Jenny and Linda were waiting for us with pizza and a glass of wine in the garden, so all was good
I think I mentioned I had been asked to do not just Em the bride's make-up, but my sister Jenny and her daughter Verity too (who was a bridesmaid). However, before that happened, Jenny and I went together to the hair salon where she was having an up do!
Not only was it good just to be together, but she wanted moral support incase the whole affair was a tad more bouffant than she wanted! She needn't have worried (although the backbrushing was a little fierce) as the finished effect looked fabulous with her hair in a beautiful chignon, sized perfectly to fit under her hat
Having returned home to gather our outfits and my mighty make-up case, we headed off to Em's to meet Verity and the other bridesmaids. Weddings are so exciting aren't they?! I hadn't seen Verity since Christmas, but Emily had popped in to see me in March when we'd talked about her wedding dress – my gift to her.
This was the first time I'd seen the dress, and it was beautiful…. I stood listening to her talk about how she was going to wear her hair and how each of the bridesmaids' dresses were slightly different…
It took me back to when she was a little girl and was so meticulous when choosing her outfits. She had stayed with us one weekend, and was heartbroken when a bright red iced lolly melted down the front of her sundress! Jenny was none too pleased either I remember, as we had the devil's own job trying to get the colour out! I looked at the beautiful cream creation hanging on the back of the door – complete with layer after layer of fine net and satin – and agreed with her that the wedding dress was the perfect choice for her very special day…
I found a suitably large spot on the bed to place my make-up case, and set to work… I have over the years managed to convert my sister and both her girls to using bareMinerals, and so getting the make-up right wasn't such a risk after all. Coupled with some of Laura Geller's beautiful colours and highlighters, all three were sorted in plenty of time, and very pleased with how they looked I felt really chuffed to have been just a small part of the big day!
There was just time to grab a small glass of champagne and have a bite to eat before the cars and Colin arrived and we were whisked off to the church. There we met mum, who had chosen a beautiful purple and navy dress with matching fascinator and shoes! She looked lovely, as did her partner Joe who had co-ordinated his shirt and tie in a rather fetching shade of lilac We had a brief chat before moving out of the bright sunlight into the relative coolness of the church.
Although we had spent time at Christmas with Verity, her lovely man Danny, and of course Paul, we'd never actually met his family before. I'd heard a lot about them over the years, but had completely forgotten that he had an identical twin.
This wouldn't normally have posed a problem except on entering the church, I thought it was a little unusual that the groom should be handing out the Order of Service, but gave him a big kiss anyway and said he looked gorgeous! He gave me a huge smile and said "I don't think we've met – I'm Paul's brother"…Oooops!!!
The service was beautiful, the setting perfect, and as you can see from the photographs, Em and Paul so very much in love. The venue for the reception was idyllic too, considering they'd booked it just four weeks previously, having been let down by their original choice!
There was Pimms, a Hog Roast and some brilliant speeches from Paul, his best man and the bride's Dad Jonathan. We used to go to school together and he and Jenny started dating when they were in their late teens… so many shared memories, including ones of my late father, whom Jonathan mentioned in his speech.
I admit to shedding a few silent tears as I remembered that it was almost 25 years to the day since Dad died… he would have so loved to have been there I know…
I think I must have eaten my entire body weight in pork crackling before Lucy and Richard joined us for the evening. As I stood up to greet them, I caught my five inch heel in the bow of my other shoe and went straight down onto my face like a ninepin!! The humiliation! Everyone was very concerned, but I was absolutely fine, although my nose was numb for a while
The evening continued with more food, fab music and dancing, and we all ate, drank and got slightly merry before venturing out into the still, warm night air and heading home. It couldn't have been more perfect. I hope you like the photographs, and thought it would make you laugh to see Colin with the 'headless woman' aka me – the pitfalls of wearing a large, dark-coloured hat on a cloudless sunny day!
This week sees Colin's 'big' birthday and a few nights with his family in Devon. Here's a picture of the cake I made for him, but I'll let you know how the weekend goes and promise there will be more photos to follow.
In the meantime, have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend, enjoy the Jubilee, and do keep in touch,
With my love, Ali xx