The day before our wedding was a busy one! On Tuesday I had woken up with the feeling that the wedding was so close and found it very overwhelming, in a 'I need to sit down and take deep breaths' kind of way, so I was glad Wednesday provided lots of distraction.
In the morning, L, her mum and I drove over to Lichfield to spend the morning at a beauty salon getting our nails done. It was a fun way to spend the morning, and forced us into relaxing for at least a little while during our treatments!
We then dropped our fur baby Willow off at a dog boarding hotel, where she trotted off with one of the staff a little too happily! When we arrived home, we packed the car up of everything we needed to drop off at the venue for the wedding. There were tealight holders, electric tealights, table crystals, and all the other decorations, as well as all the DIY projects we had made ourselves, as detailed in our previous post. My parents arrived at ours whilst L was dropping off our car load at the venue, and she also saw her Grandparents, who had arrived at the hotel ready for the wedding the following day. Doing a quick turn around she then headed home to collect me and my Mum, and it was then time for us all to head off to our venue for the final time. It was an odd but very exciting feeling, knowing we wouldn't be returning home now until we were Mrs & Mrs!
|Outside our venue, with Lauren in her Tiffany blue Converse - last pic as Miss & Miss!|
My Mom started off the evening by ringing room service and asking for pink wine to be delivered to our room, which definitely helped us relax!
We then had an indoor picnic (one of L and I's favourite things!) of food I had packed, and had a chilled out evening watching TV and chatting. My Mom isn't the best at taking charge, organising or calming me, and by mid evening, I felt quite panicky and nervous, so decided to have a bath in the amazingly huge bath in the bathroom, with the bubble bath L and I had bought. We had chosen the bottles of co-ordinating bubble bath, shower gel and body lotion together, and it is now the scent we associate as being our 'wedding scent', as our rooms smelt of it, and we smelt of it, on the morning of our wedding!
Afterwards, before L and I went to our separate rooms, we had given each other our wedding gifts to each other, to open later, so I opened them with my Mom. This was probably a bad idea, as my Mom isn't the most emotional of people, and I knew the presents would make me cry!
L's presents to me were: a card filled with very lovely words that made me cry immediately, hot chocolate and bottles of Baileys to relax me that evening, Victorias Secret Angel perfume to wear on the wedding day, a 'wedding day' Yankee Candle, A Vera Wang mirror that L had gotten engraved, swarovski crystal bridal jewellery, and my favourite item, a white leather book that L had filled with quotes, feelings, and memories of us and our eight and a half years together. I couldn't read much of it at the time, as it was the kind of thing I didn't want to show anyone much of, even my mom, plus every bit I read made me cry more! I hardly slept at all, not great the morning before your wedding!
L: I have a very different relationship with my Mum than S does with hers, so I was very much looking forward to spending the evening with her, as we are very good friends as well as being mother and daughter, and she is one of the best people to keep my nerves at bay. The only problem is we needed longer! We had planned that Mum would do my nails for me, as she is a trained hairdresser and nail technician, so had brought all of her kit with her. The problem is, we can sit and drink tea and have a chat and suddenly a few hours have gone by, so we didn't end up starting my nails until 8:30ish, and we'd checked in at 6! It didn't help that we has to wait for ages for my bridesmaid to arrive, as although she wasn't staying over, our wedding cake was her present to us, and she wanted to deliver it on the evening. She promised me I wasn't allowed to sneak downstairs and look at the cake though as it was a surprise for on the day!
After Mum had finished my nails - french manicure with gel overcoat to help them last until honeymoon - I had a very long shower, again with the shower gel S and I had both bought. I managed to flood the bathroom, as there was some complicated plug system I really didn't get, so one of my funniest wedding memories is Mum and a few of the hotel staff trying to mop up the flooded bathroom with me standing in just a bathrobe waiting to be able to get ready. Oh the glamour!
The first thing I opened were a pair of very expensive, beautiful pyjamas from the White Company. It was one of those presents that to some people might not seem that exciting, but I cried when I saw them! I LOVE pyjamas, absolutely love them. S had warned me not to buy myself some (I was going to, she knows me too well!), because she had already got me some "cheap ones from Primark, but just so you've got new PJs for your wedding day."
But my gifts didn't stop there, I was also incredibly lucky to receive a Tiffany bracelet, pearls (because they're my favourite!) with a silver heart pendant, because I love Tiffanys, and I love pearls. My 'something blue' was a tiny little bottle that when you popped the cork contained a blue ribbon, onto which had been written our story - important dates, times, and places, it was adorable! My wedding jewellery were beautiful matching earrings and necklace, pearls with tiny heart shaped silver pendants, they are so beautiful. And finally, an Emma Bridgewater box containing tea! Someone who knows me inside out and back to front bought my presents, someone who could only be her, she just gets me, and I love that. Plus a card which made me cry SO much, at which point I knew our "no crying in the ceremony" rule would never ever work!
We then had left over Boxing Day buffet food from the day before (at about 10pm!), and just a little bit more tea, and finally settled down to sleep about half past midnight. I had to put my Headspace app on my phone to help us both relax as we were both full of nervous energy, an app I usually use after a hectic shift at work to help me clear my mind. But luckily it worked and we were both asleep by the time the 10 minutes was up!
My Mom woke me up really early, and throughout the morning, by her own admittance 'wasn't much help' to me! Her scattiness, coupled with the enormity of the fact I was marrying my soulmate that day hitting me, a wedding that had been our focus for two years, made me very very nervous, adrenaline filled, and queasy! I honestly thought I'd be much calmer.
Something I didn't factor in, was that when you are the bride, you have the most getting ready to do, but also, you're the person everyone asks for help and information. Our venue bought breakfast to our room but I regretted eating it as it made me feel even queasier!
My hairdresser, Julie, was the first person to arrive, who I really like. She commented how nervous I seemed but made me much better by chatting to me. I'm really glad we considered whether we'd be happy for that person to be with us on our wedding day as a factor when choosing vendors.
Next, my bridesmaid Steffi arrived. She had offered to arrive early to help me, and also had her hair done by Julie, as did my Mom.
The florist then arrived with our gorgeous bouquets, my second bridesmaid Nicola, with my dad and brother, and our photographers. My room was full of people, and this didn't help the stress! Luckily Steffi did most of the dealing with people and fetching things. As I later found out, our venue directed all our vendors (and even Steffi!) to Lauren's room, meaning we had to constantly call reception, or Steffi had to call Lauren's room to find things out.
I had planned to do my own makeup, after having a lesson at Mac, but ended up trying to apply my makeup in the bathroom mirror as the dressing table was too crowded, in grabbed moments between people asking me questions, and the photographer trying to take 'getting ready' shots, which neither of us wanted. In the end, my bridesmaid Nicola took me into the bathroom, closed the door, and applied my makeup for me! When I needed to get ready, my bridesmaid Nicola and our photographer were the only people in the room, so between them they got me dressed. My photographer tried to set up a shot of my Mom seeing me in my dress for the first time, but it completely passed my non-sentimental mother by! She did get my Mom to put my jewellery on though, so that she'd have some part in getting me ready, and I'm really glad for this as it was a lovely experience for us both.
Suddenly, everything was done - my Mom, brother and bridesmaids had all left the room to make their way down to the ceremony room, and it was just me and my photographer, waiting for my dad to come and wait with me for the registrar to fetch us. My photographer got some beautiful shots of my dad seeing me in my dress for the first time and giving me a hug - seeing these pictures last week with our photographer made me cry, I love how she captured the emotion on my dads face.The photographer left the room then, and me and my Dad waited in nervous near silence for seemed like an eternity. I didn't check my hair, my makeup, my jewellery anything, I just wanted to walk down that aisle! Plus, wedding dresses take a lot of getting used to moving in, so I was happy standing still for a while!
Finally, someone came and got us, and we made our way to my (very rushed through on my part!) interview, and then to the ceremony room. This is what I'd been waiting for, and I was suddenly so excited!
L: Mum and I had planned to get up around half 7, and had our morning planned from there. This changed when she decided it was time to get up at 6:30, and woke me up to ask if I wanted a cup of tea. Erm no, I want some more sleep! But that was it, time to get up. People had started to text me to say good luck for today, and it was really lovely to wake up to lots of good thoughts and wishes. My first question when Mum woke me up was "is it raining?", and I was very pleased when she told me it wasn't, it was slightly cloudy but no sign of rain, phew!
The next few hours past in a bit of a haze really. We spent a bit of time sitting outside, looking over the venue, drinking tea and talking about what the day would bring. People kept phoning me to check details - the florist, the lady who was coming to cover the chairs, my bridesmaid, my Dad! Honestly, you think they'd know I was a bit busy!
After a very small breakfast which neither of us really ate, Mum started on my hair. Not long after, my bridesmaid arrived as she was getting ready with us. From then on things all got a bit hectic - the phone didn't stop ringing, the men in my family arrived and were knocking on the door and asking questions, the photographer arrived, the florist arrived....and it was all handled by my wonderful bridesmaid. It really showed me that it is SO important to have someone with you who you can rely on. The last thing I needed was to have to go and collect our flowers from reception, or answer the phone for the millionth time, but Jo did it all. In addition to making us laugh, keeping us calm and helping my Mum with my hair. She was amazing, and I cannot thank her enough for what she did that morning. After hair, and in between the photographer wanting to take pictures of everything (which I am now grateful for as the photos are beautiful!), I put my make up on, and Mum got herself ready. I actually enjoyed putting my make up on, I wasn't nearly as nervous as I expected to be, and we had left enough time for me to take my time. I'm so glad we had the make-up lessons at Mac, as I was complimented quite a lot on my make up, and I don't think many people expected me to be able to do it, as I don't wear much make-up in day to day life. Finally, about 11am, it was time to get my dress on! It was quite an ordeal, getting it over my head, in place, laced up, pulled tighter and secured, but Mum and Jo made it look easy.
At 11:20am there was a knock on the door, the Registrars were ready for me! There was just enough time to apply my lipstick, have a final spritz of perfume, and we were off. As I stepped out of my room Jo held my hand, gave it a quick squeeze and whispered 'ready'? Ready I certainly was. My Dad was waiting at the bottom of the stairs that led down from my parent's room, waiting to see me for the first time. Well that was it, my tears began!
He gave me a hug, told me he loved me, and came with me to see the Registrars for the pre-ceremony meeting. During this (which seemed to go on FOREVER!) I was asked who I was (I could hardly remember by that point!), who I was planning to marry, and we quickly ran through the order of the ceremony. The Registrars were both so lovely, but I wanted to get on with things by then!
Tip: if you are in charge of the wedding rings, don't forget them. I did. The Registrar asked me where they were, and Jo had to make a very speedy trip back up in to the room, quickly search through my bags and locate them, with a few minutes to go before we walked down the aisle!
After an exciting morning full of happiness and anticipation, and eight years of love for my lady…it was time to make it official!