Immediately after the ceremony we were surrounded with friends and family giving us hugs and well wishes. There was so much confetti on us that we kept finding it throughout the rest of the day! Then we popped open the bubbles for all our guests. (75 people get through a LOT of prosecco on a hot day it turns out.) Because the wedding was very DIY there was no real catering staff, though we had a very lovely girl help us out with some odds and ends, so everyone poured their own drinks. It turns out that renting glasses can be exceptionally expensive so we had a random assortment of jam jars and honey pots. Later on in the evening, we unveiled a load of red solo cups. (This might seem really weird to all my American readers, but solo cups don’t really exist in England so people go crazy when they see the “red cups” because it’s like seeing a movie prop. Long story short, they went down a treat).
After barely managing a swig or two of prosecco, Sam and I were whisked away to take photographs with various family members and wedding party members, whilst everyone else enjoyed their cocktails outside to some music. (We DJ’d the whole day ourself with various iPod playlists for every section of the day.) I’d been a bit anxious about how smoothly the group photos would go, but it all worked out perfectly in the end. And then Sam and I went away with our photographer for some couples shots. It was the perfect escape – we had hit the point where we had really needed some alone time and sitting in the back of Neil’s car holding hands and laughing together was a welcome relief.
Because there was a bit of a gap before dinner, to tide everyone over we had various kinds of salsa and tortilla chips. With some spicy varieties in honour of New Mexico and all our New Mexican guests. This was the one aspect of the day that I truly missed out on. By the time the photos and mingling was even remotely wrapped up, the chips and salsa had been devoured. Because we had such a lovely field to play with, there ended up being a few ball games spearheaded by my brother.
Since the wedding was taking place in England, I still wanted to bring my homeland into things, so though it’s not a New Mexican wedding tradition (just a party tradition), we did have a piñata. To bring a bit more New Mexico into our day, we also made loads of luminarias for the evening. I refused the blindfold but did have my eyes closed and knocked the piñata off the rope with the first go – but it hadn’t broken open much to the consternation of Sam’s young nephew. He then proceed to really give it a thorough whack! (He might have even pulverised some of the candy.) Sam’s youngest nephew managed to ride the piñata around for the rest of the day.
When it was time for dinner, we all gathered inside and sat down for pre-dinner speeches. Sam set the pace with an absolutely wonderful speech. I know I’m biased but I’ve never heard such a great groom’s speech or heard a crowd so engaged. I cried towards the end of his speech, naturally. Then my best friend and maid of honour, stood up and gave the most heartwarming speech off all times. It was so special to me and definitely one of the highlights of the day. I cried, obviously, as did a few other people in the room. Sam held my hand tight during the entirety of GB’s speech to help me hold back my tears (unsuccessfully). Then Sam’s brothers gave a dual bestman speech which was just the perfect level of lovely and embarrassing.
Instead of having escort cards on the table, we decided to combine the idea of them with everyone’s wedding favour. Throughout the past few years, we’d collected a book for each individual guest (especially picked out for them). Then I found a set of old library cards and pockets and put them in all the books so that Sam and I could write a note to everyone on the library card.
For dinner we had the most delicious hog roast with the best stuffing I’ve ever had in my life. Plus a huge selection of salads and sides, and a vegan chilli for otherwise inclined guests. I know some brides say they didn’t get a chance to eat on their wedding day, but there was none of that issue here. I scoffed mine down! By some weird twist of fate – mostly due to being too busy talking – we ended up being the last people served which meant we didn’t end up gorging ourselves on as much stuffing as I would have wanted, but that’s my inner glutton talking! My brother had seconds before we even managed to have firsts, and that’s just so wonderfully in character with everyone.
***All photo credit goes to Neil Jackson Photographic****