Gak! I wanted to get loads of beauty sleep the night before my wedding. I wanted to relax, read my new issue of New Scientist, maybe blog a bit, or spend some time in the spa that is in the hotel. Alas, to no avail. I didn't even have time to go for a swim in the pool in the bathroom that was masquerading as a tub. (The hotel really came up trumps with the room, and gave us this gargantuan suite with a superking bed and shower you could throw a party in. And it was cheap. They really treated us like royalty.*
No, instead I was up dealing with cake things until bloody midnight. Miss Melville SHOULD have stayed over with me, instead she wound up taking a cab back to her hotel and breaking inn. (Did you see what I did there?) Ask her nicely and she'll tell you all about it.
After printing off the readings for the service tomorrow (which I'd completely forgotten to do beforehand, sending me into a panic about what other totally obvious things I might have forgotten), I took a sleeping pill and went to bed, worrying about the cake in the fridge downstairs and whether the soupy frosting would set overnight to something useable. (It didn't.)
I woke up, took a shower, pinned my hair up, put on some jeans (thank got the wedding wasn't until 3 pm), and went downstairs for breakfast, where I was assaulted by my family, all my parents' friends, my future in-laws, and all their friends. It took me 30 minutes to extricate myself and I never did manage to eat anything. 9 am is WAY too early in the day for social niceities.
I got the marvelous people at the hotel to get the cake out for me and take it up to the Forrest Suite, where the reception would be held. The frosting was still soup. I called The Cake on my mobile. "Cake, we need more frosting. Can you run to Sainsbury's and buy 6 tubs of whatever they have that's white?"
The Cake: "No, because I'm so bloated I can't zip my dress up. I have to go into town to buy expensive suck-me-in underwear. I'll send The Pud."
The Pud, bless his heart, showed up with 6 tubs of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting. Perfect. (I still haven't paid him back for that. I really must remember to do that.)
Big Wally kept Smally Wally entertained while Vi, MM and I frosted and assembled the cake. Except for the 2nd tier, which was too big and rather misshapen, it looked great. That took a while. My brother and Sister-in-law set up the place cards and favors, and MM took my phone away from me and made herself my P.A. for the day, so I wouldn't have to answer the 4,000 phone calls that came in.
Eventually I had to go get my hair done. The cake was assembled, but I hadn't put the crystallized flowers on it yet. MM and I ran to the hairdressers, where Zoe did an absolutely AMAZING job. It looked so beautiful I lost the plot right there in the salon and broke down in tears for the first time that day. I'd never felt so pretty in my life. It cost a bleeding fortune, but it was worth every penny.
It was a stunningly gorgeous blue fall day. After the shit pissing wet summer we've had, with cold and rain and blowing every day, the sun broke through and it was utterly glorious. MM and I walked back from the hair dressers holding hands and singing "Going to the chapel" and "Get me to the church on time" with the sun on our faces. I'm sure the local onlookers though we were lesbians. I'm OK with that.
Then I ran back up to the Forrest Suite to put the candied pansies on the cake. By now it was after 2, the service was at 3, and I hadn't even started getting dressed yet!
My dad came up (looking very dapper I might add) and took the flowers away from me, saying he'd finish it for me (which was great because he's probably the only person in the world I would trust to do that) and ordered me to go get dressed.
When I got to my room it was a frenzy of half-naked bridesmaids throwing clothes around and attempting to apply makeup while stuffing me and themselves into a variety of cumbersome dresses.
I put on my makeup (very minimal, only took 5 minutes), and then someone had to help me into my underwear. My aunt and my mother showed up at this point, and so got an awesome view of my uber-sexing wedding-night smalls as The Cake (and this bit is absolutely HEROIC) spent 10 minutes on her knees behind be, my ass full in her face, as she attempted to connect the tops of my stockings to the little garter strap thingys. The woman is a saint. MM can attest to this.
I did not feel at all on display while this was going on and random family members came in to watch. No, not at all. Why is it that watching a bride get dressed is such a big damn deal? Why do people feel the need to be a part of the audience??? You wouldn't believe how long it took me to convince the videographer and photographer that I didn't want them in there. They refused to believe me. The photographer showed up anyway and I sent him away and told him to get pictures of the guests arriving at the church. Argh.
Eventually we were all ready. I have no idea what time it was, nor did I care. (It's not like they were going to start with out me.) Dad, who was standing patiently outside the door and only knocked every 23 seconds to see if I was ready yet, gave me his arm and we, accompanied by my bridesmaids, headed over to the church.
Stay tuned for Part III!
*I'm accustomed to staying in youth hostels and cheap roadside motels, so it was a rather novel experience for me to be able to pick up the phone by the bed (the room was so big it came with TWO phones!) and say to the French accent at reception "This is room 504. Could you please arrange a taxi for me and send someone up with a luggage trolley right away? Thanks." And it would happen. Just like that. Ask, and it shall be done. It was frightening how fast I got used to being waited on hand and foot. Maybe obscene wealth isn't such a bad thing after all?...