If anyone is getting married this summer, they are probably entering the panic zone. The countdown has started, and the details need to be pinned down. Wedding fares are on the to-do list. Bride-zillas all over the place are going into control freak over-drive.
This was me last year..sort of. The wedding was on the cards with no plans whatsoever. We always said we’d get married on a beach somewhere hot and great value, but driven by the impulse that feeds my ADHD, I suddenly decided in April that we were getting hitched in Ireland in June. It was going to be the ‘legal one’, not the ‘real one’. We’d do a big proper one the year after.
At first it was a private thing with the 2 of us & my sister as the witness, then we were going to our friends’ party after, then the guest list of friends started growing until we were actually gate crashing the party with our wedding.
We went to dublin and got rings to be made, I found a dress on ASOS for €100, booked a humanist celebrant and hunted on the internet for some place to have the ceremony. It had to be public with a specific address. The result was Bamboo Park in Bantry at 1pm. Next was a caterer to come to the party in the afternoon. Little bit of faff, but that was it. Done. Was I missing something? People who heard what was happening kept asking how the wedding plans were coming on, I didn’t feel I had a satisfying answer coz I didn’t have any more? I wrote a re-write for two of my friends to perform at the ceremony, what more could we need?
I had a fantastic hen party in Bristol that ended up being just 5 of us. We did exactly what we felt like doing when we felt like it, no giant numbers to keep happy and orchestrate. It was epic and hilarious, just what I wanted.
The original wedding plan was to go to that inflatable church that appears at some festivals, but I couldn’t seem to find it this year. That was the vibe we were looking for though; fun, light-hearted. Our friend Ollie’s party was the perfect venue, there was just one problem – our family.
It’s an amazing festival type party in Ollie’s garden in the depth of Bail Nablaith, he’s been doing it for years. House music fills the dance tent from evening till the next morning, while revelers unite by the ‘bar’, the fire, in the cabin, the greenhouse, the hammocks. It’s a pretty special place.
As much as it’s heaven to our crowd with peter pan syndrome, refusing to grow up, it’s certainly not the type of thing you can invite your family to. No family.. We’d now acquired 2 of his siblings and cousins, our 2 children & my Mother had gotten in just to the ceremony part on a babysitting Visa.
Before anyone could blink it was the night before the wedding. A small gathering were present in West Cork to set up for the next day, I’d made lasagna for 20 people and the celebrations began early that evening. We promised ourselves we would be sensible and be fresh for the next day, we knew we needed just one sensible person to make us go to bed at a reasonable time…oh dear. Unfortunately, the best man couldn’t have been further from that person, and my bridesmaid was as disastrous as me. My sister who was giving me away had managed to hit the bed, unable to steer me towards mine. It was about 1.30am when I said with a stagger and a slur “ooh, I should organize the food for tomorrow…” Bride-Zilla I am not! Ollie’s amazing girlfriend Marguerite’s face dropped with shock as I spoke, and immediately started to take down the instructions on her phone. The few of us still up sprang into action and sorted it all – better late than never! I hit the leaba at 3.30am. oops.
8am, my two faithful gals and I were driving down to Bantry to meet my mum with my daughter, hit the hairdressers and make-up artist. We ran from here to there, racing to meet appointment slots, dressing ourselves, grabbing a bite, back into the car and I’m tying my Doc Martins, worn to many a festival, like slippers but now painted gold.
The ceremony was more magical than I ever expected, mostly because neither of had ever been there so it was a total surprise. Late, with no idea where in Bamboo Park we were supposed to be, we luckily spotted someone in a suit coming out of a bush. “there!”. I’ll never forget that moment. we came round the corner into the clearing, our small party of maybe 40 people gathered and the sea fell behind them. As my song began, a pang in my heart pierced as I felt the absence of my dad. It was his song, we always said we’d use it when I got married. I blocked it out and we danced in. it felt surreal. I skipped through the crowd towards my groom who was beaming with his hands in the air, dressed in a sexy, colorful summer shirt & tie and denim shorts. Everything fell into place from there. The ceremony was gorgeous, my friends got rained on singing their song, but sang it again back at the party. The whole day seems like a dream, the night was expected to be so.
That was last June. #phase 1. Our honeymoon came in the form of a techno festival in Amsterdam a week after an adventure race in Mayo. It’s not our kind of music but we went along for the craic with our techno loving friends. We came to the realization we’d better start organizing #phase 2 soon after, and here we are again.
Wedding number 2 is on the horizon, June 2020 in Nerja, Spain. A slightly more family heavy guest list, a few originals and a lot of talk of the corona virus. I’m wondering what kind of bride I’ll be this time? Maybe if my dad makes it and it all works out well (and I win the lottery), I’ll make getting married an annual thing.