So, after eight months of planning, the deed is done. Mr and Mrs Bridges are married!
We’ve all had the most perfect weekend. It all kicked off the day before when we had to decorate the venue, the Black-E. As I’m not the most creative of people, I will admit to being hugely daunted by even the thought of this task but I shouldn’t have worried – our families were amazing and we were truly humbled by the phenomenal efforts everyone put in. Special mention must go to Wendy who decorated the entrance hall beautifully and made all the table runners plus 650 birds which were used for the bunting; Joanne, who created the fabulous centrepieces, and Liz who produced a quite epic sweet buffet.
The stunning hall
Once the hall was done it was time to dash home for a Shellac manicure courtesy of the legend that is Dave the Laugh, and a takeaway with some champers whilst watching Bridesmaids. Cliched much?! Maria also gave Mother Goose and Mad Tam some photo gifts of their parents on their wedding day, and we gave Maria her garter (something new and blue!) and a couple of trinkets to put in her bouquet – a badge that belonged to the late, great Auntie Lil, and a shell from Abersoch beach, a place that I’ve mentioned before as somewhere we hold very, very dear. Not a dry eye in the Crilly house at that point, I tells ye.
The actual day dawned…well, I’d like to say bright, but it was rather grey if I’m being honest. Nevertheless, the mood in camp was sunny enough to make up for this. I snuck off to get my hair did by the frankly marvellous Emily at Bobbers Hairdressing – Maria hadn’t wanted anything too formal or “done” for our hair, and this was what mine ended up like:
Just what I wanted!
By the time I got back the other bridesmaids were arriving thick and fast, and Kelly the hairdresser and Lizzie the makeup artist were hard at work. After I’d had my makeup done, the only task that remained for me was to ensure the drinks were a-flowin’!
All too quickly, it was nearly time to go. The brilliant wedding camper van arrived, as did the rather suave ushers, and off to the church we went.
Travelling in style!
Ushers, ushers, ushers...
The actual service was truly beautiful. Our Helen (maid of honour, voice of an angel) did a couple of solos which were spectacular, accompanied by the glorious St Julie’s choir. Also spectacular was the FULL ON STORM that started halfway through the ceremony – a torrential downpour and thunder galore – but even that couldn’t dampen our spirits as we danced down to aisle out of the church to “This Old Heart Of Mine.”
Off to the Black-E to get the party started – and, oh my, what a party it was. A couple of people said that it was “like a mini-festival” – and they’re right. It’s exactly what Mr and Mrs Bridges wanted. Sense of Sound performed (a surprise from the groom to the bride – you should have seen her face!); Sean and Kirsty Butler did a beautiful performance with a gentleman on mandolin whose name escapes me – sorry lovely mandolin man!; The Springtime Anchorage played a dancefloor-filling epic set, at what apparently was their first wedding, although you never would’ve guessed; the cousins did their customary parody song for the newlyweds, and then Phil’s mates did a sterling job of DJing. Special mention must also go to Maria and Phil’s amazing Strictly-esque lift during the first dance – brilliant! – and the boys (and Claire!) having the time of their lives on stage during an outstanding version of Everybody Get Up by 5ive, complete with dance routine. Hilarious.
All too quickly, the night was drawing a close and fond farewells were being said. We still couldn’t quite let go of the party vibe though, organising a breakfast the next morning for friends and family in Leaf for around 50 – I think people who’d popped in for a quiet brunch were rather taken aback by the standing ovation and round of applause that greeted the newlyweds upon their arrival…
A quiet breakfast - for 50...
I really can’t believe it’s all over. I’d like to thank everyone that made this day truly stunning. To everyone who helped with the planning, to everyone who made the effort to attend, whether they travelled from far away or from down the road. To the Black-E, for all their hard work and for providing the perfect venue for Maria and Phil. To the ushers, who looked oh so very smart and who tore up the dancefloor in a big way. To my in-laws (eeek! I have in-laws!), for helping out and getting into the swing of things so brilliantly. To my beautiful sister Helen, who kept the whole thing going, who sang so fabulously, and who looked amazing.
Finally, I’d like to say thanks to Maria and Phil. Without you two, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be at the best party ever. Phil, my brother-in-law, you’re a star – here’s to many more happy family memories together, yeah?!
And Maria, my sister, my midget Mazzrin, Mrs Bridges – what a stunning bride you made. Thank you for involving me in your special day. As you said in your card to me that made me SOB – we’ve had our ups and our downs, but, my word, Saturday was quite the “up.” We smashed it. I love you too, always.
Mr and Mrs Bridges ♥