Sunday, 7 July 2013

Our Wedding - Part 4 (From the Bride and Groom)

Time to cut the cake. The DJ introduces us for the second time and we head to the cake table, now positioned in the centre of the room.


We cut the cake to a chorus of camera flashes, standing there for an eternity to make sure everyone gets the shots they want. We don't really know how long we're supposed to pose for. I nibble some of the cake from the knife - yum. We stand there for a bit longer until the flashes seem to have died down fully, and then the cake is whipped away to be sliced up for later.

Just the first dance to go, and then it's party time. Our choice is Leann Womack, 'I Hope You Dance'. I hadn't really been looking forward to this before today but I've had such a fantastic day and am so relaxed that dancing to one of our favourite songs is just the icing on the cake. The music starts and it's just Alan and me, just twirling gently round the dancefloor in our own little world, singing along to the lyrics. About halfway through, I nod to the DJ and he invites everyone else to join in, which they do.




 After a moment's pause at the end, the DJ launches into Scissor Sisters' 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing' (I've no idea if that was a careful choice based on our dance or whether it's just a good first tune for parties; either way, a great choice!) - the dance floor stays packed and the evening starts.



Around 10.30, the side room is open and the spread of evening food is revealed. We've gone for sausage, bacon and egg rolls, and fish and chips - there is also cheese (with crackers and chutney) and cake to sample. "It's breakfast!" one guest says to me delightedly. The dancefloor is abandoned and a huge queue forms. We hadn't thought people would be that hungry at that time so we're glad we listened to the venue on catering numbers, as boy, would we have been in trouble otherwise. My brother is slightly aggrieved that he misses out on the bacon - even though I point out that he already has one of everything else!

I grab a slice of cake as I can't summon up the appetite for anything more substantial. I'm a little sad about this as everyone keeps telling me how tasty the buffet is, but the cake is definitely very good.

Once the buffet has been torn apart, it's time to get back on the dance floor for the last hour or so. A combination of great requests from our guests and excellent work from the DJ keep the dancing going, with some cheesy country music favourites. At one point Alan and I are twirling round the room (it turns out my dress is perfect for twirling - I never thought to test it out for such qualities in the shop!); I become aware that everyone else has stopped and is clapping as we dance in the middle. It's like magic happens and we know the evening has been as much of a success as the rest of the day has been. It's an amazing moment.


 Eventually, the party begins to wind down a little as we begin to say goodbye to some of our guests who have to leave. The dancefloor is full for 'New York, New York'. Somehow Alan and I end up in the centre of the circle, which is perfect for the last song.

We picked a 'last song' but didn't know whether the DJ was going to play it. We knew it wouldn't be that well-known and we trusted him to know whether he thought it would work or not as we don't want the dancefloor to clear for the last song!

To our delight, the DJ announces the song we chose - 'Sober' by Little Big Town. To us, this song is the perfect, hazy, lazy tune for the end of a perfect day. Far from deserting us, the dancefloor is full with plenty of other couples and groups around us; as I glance around I am overwhelmed with the love radiating from everywhere. Alan and I sway together in each other's arms - I'm not sure I can call it dancing as we're so busy singing and smiling at each other - until the music finally fades away.

The lights go up and the music is over. I am still wearing my shoes where others have long-ago abandoned theirs, but even my feet are starting to ache now.  Many guests head to the bar to continue the party. In some ways I am reluctant to bid everyone good night, but we are both shattered so we leave everyone to it and head* upstairs. With hindsight, I wish we had stayed up with our guests a bit longer, but realistically I probably would have been falling asleep in a corner before too long.

Upstairs, the pixies have been visiting, and magically some cake, a bottle of champagne and a basket full of cards and gifts from our incredibly generous guests have appeared. Different, bridesmaid-shaped, pixies have visited and spread confetti, petals and balloons over the bed. A wonderful, magical, scene and it feels like a tiny, one-room world which is ours only.

Still reluctant to say the night is over, we potter round the room, bathing in 'newlywedness' and, less romantically, trying to get the feeling back into our numb feet (Toes? What toes?). Eventually, we can't avoid the need to admit defeat and get some sleep, as we have a long drive tomorrow. Our wedding day might be over, but our marriage is only just beginning.





*By 'head', I mean 'hobble' - my feet are suddenly no longer really working.


PHOTOS BY ROSS HOLKHAM PHOTOGRAPHY/ ALAN'S PARENTS

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