We’d booked a double decker bus to take all our guests from Scarborough to Hackness, and both Sam and I expressed that we were both super bummed that we didn’t get to ride the bus with our guests. Luckily the wonderful Emma took some video footage, so I’ve been able to live that moment vicariously through her. All our guests were sitting out in the field behind the village hall, so we went into the hall straight after we arrived to avoid being seen. Our turnaround between arriving and walking down the aisle was so speedy that I can’t really remember it. My uncle was walking me down the aisle and he was waiting for us inside and said calming things to me whilst I alternated between being bossy, spaced out with happiness, and being a ball of nerves.
It was important to me that the bridal party stood with us at the top of the aisle, as is American tradition, versus them sitting down for the ceremony as per English tradition. Everyone found their groomsmen (usher) pairing and then down the aisle they went! One of Sam’s groomsmen was not walking down the aisle. I apologise for stealing his moment of glory but he’s an extremely talented musician so he was up front with Sam playing the guitar and singing to lead us down. Sam and I had chosen Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”. Not the most typical entrance song, but perfect for us.
I can’t remember the walking between our friends and loved ones. But I remember a feeling of floating on a wave of surreal excitement and happiness. It honestly felt like my mind and body weren’t connected. And then I saw Sam. I’d worried that I’d cry all the way through our wedding, but I just grinned like a fool when I saw his face. I knew that I must have had the biggest, silliest smile on my face because I saw it echoed on his.
Our lovely friend Shri officiated our ceremony, so we’d written every word of it ourselves with some of Shri’s improvising thrown in. (When you have talented actor friends, it’s a crime not to use them!) We’d also picked three readings for our ceremony to be performed by three special people. First off was Sam’s childhood English teacher and mother to one of his oldest friends, reading Phillip Larkin’s “Solar”. Then our friend Si read an excerpt from Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”. And last but not least was my bridesmaid Lindsay reading Carol Ann Duffy’s “Rings” .
The inevitable tears finally fell when I started saying my vows. Sam realised that it was becoming a struggle for me (after my voice cracked like a 12 year old boy’s) so he wiped a tear off my cheek, gave me a kiss and held my hand for the rest of the ceremony. We’d written our vows together and it was the best feeling to say them to each other. The ceremony was over in a flash, but it’s still some of the best bits of my life.
Then we exited into an absolute sea of confetti!
Here’s a big thank you to everyone who had a special part in making our ceremony wonderful. Thanks Nicky, Shri, Anna, Si and Lindsay.
***All photo credit goes to Neil Jackson Photographic****