Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary. Apparently, we are to buy each other paper or cotton gifts but right now, both of us are still to do so. As my husband says, being together is enough for him. As he rarely says romantic things, this is lovely to hear.
We married after ten years together. We had talked of it pretty much from the start of our relationship but I kept getting pregnant and having babies. I was determined not to walk down any aisle with a bump but realistically, by the time I did get wed, my tummy was huge anyway with no pregnancy to use as an excuse.
We got married in 2008 for a variety of reasons. One big one was that we felt if we did not do it now, we never would. Also my mum had been seriously ill the year before and it does focus the mind as to what matters. Finally, my oldest son wanted us to have the same surname as him which is a combination of both our original surnames.
We planned every detail of the wedding ourselves trying to steer clear of those package weddings that you go to where apart from the couple involved, everything is so samey. We could not get married in church as my husband was divorced. However, we were delighted to find that York Registry Office had a lovely church-like wedding room with pleasant gardens for photographs afterwards.
My mum was amazing as she did not interfere apart from offering to get a cake done for us. We would not have bothered but on the day I was glad we did when I saw a simple and elegant cake with a bride and groom on top. Dad paid for my flowers but gave me free rein on what I chose. I selected a very vibrant hand-held posy with oranges and purples. The girls attending the event were given sparkly wands with roses on. Button-holes were in red as my groom, best man and pageboy were wearing cream suits. Mum had a corsage and said she wanted it to be very fancy and so it was.
The night before the wedding, my partner and 7 year old son and best man had their stag do in a local hotel room. They stayed overnight and at one point had to come back to collect the orders of ceremony to take to the venue the next day. Partner and I took this opportunity to have a very late-night last minute consummation of our living in sin before we became official the next day.
I woke early the next day and went for my hair and make-up doing. I had already had a trial so was happy with what they were doing and very relaxed in their capable hands. My hair was put up and I had a flower in it rather than a tiara. My make up was subtle and the lady who did it said it brought out my Irish features.
I returned home where my babysitter and videographer rolled into one was looking after my excited 2 year old son and 4 year old daughter. I dressed my 2 year old thug on small legs in his cream suit and he looked stunning, like a tiny gangster. My 4 year old was in a lovely crimson bridesmaid's dress acquired very cheaply at the Designer Outlet in Hornsea.
At this point the babysitter handed my son over to my husband so that he would not see me before the ceremony itself.
I got ready but shock, horror, my wedding dress did not fit. Yes, I know I should have checked that before the morning of the wedding but those who know me will tell you this is fairly typical chaotic behaviour for me. Fortunately, I had 6 dresses to choose from having had a lovely few months ordering them from ebay. The dress that did not fit was a compromise as I knew Mum would love it. So I was secretly delighted when it did not fit and I could put my first choice on which was a detailed embroidered gold bodice with a simple skirt. The finishing touch which my husband and mum said made the outfit was a stole for over my shoulders.
As I was strutting round in my hold-up stocking and bridal bra, my Dad turned up and brought me a garter to add to the proceedings. I will never forget that moment and being incredibly touched by it. I got ready and suddenly it was time to go the Registry Office.
I was really concerned that Dad would not know how to find it but my partner had given me a trial run the day before so I was able to guide Dad and we arrived safely and on time. Dad had put white ribbon on his car and I felt like pinching myself. As an older bride, it felt lovely to be finally having my Big Day. Also to have my lovely 4 year old daughter with me and dad for the ride.
My brother opened the car door as we parked in the special spot in front of the Registry Office reserved for brides. He said the three things I needed to hear, one that I looked beautiful and two that all the guests were in place and finally my partner had turned up!
I sat nervously in the foyer with Dad insisting on taking my photograph. I sent my daughter to her Dad in the ceremony room wanting to gather my thoughts. The Registrar took us into a side-room and explained what would happen and what we should say during the wedding service. I heard the strains of Pachebel and was standing outside the ceremony room ready to go. What happened next?