This is probably going to be one of the hardest blog posts to write as, for once, I can barely find the words - so bear with me!
On December 22, I married Beyonce.
I woke up from a broken sleep about 5am to the sound of solid drizzle on the tin roof of the homestead where I was staying at the venue. I pulled open the blind and my heart sank a bit. Yep, it was raining.
I spent the morning walking around trying to find things to do and having to remind myself "Oh, I'm getting married today". Turns out waking up so early makes for a really, really long day so by the time hair and makeup arrived around 10am, I finally began to feel a bit more "bridal". (I remember wandering around the house having an inner-panic thinking "I'm getting married today, I should feel different, shouldn't I?". Nope, turns out it really is just another day.)
Then everything sped up a lot (maybe with the help of a couple of glasses of bubbles) and before I knew it, I was in my dress, surrounded by my girls and my Dad, the music had started and I was walking toward my husband-to-be. And it was sunny. In fact it was roaring hot! It was a sign. Or something. Either way, I was overjoyed.
It was the most ethereal experience; to be walking through a scenario that I had played over and over in my head so many times. And then for it to become reality.
The only thing that was different? In my head-scenario I was crying and uncontrollably emotional and overwhelmed. In reality, I had the most surreal calm wash over me. I was just so damned excited! I couldn't stop grinning and I was just on top of the world. My face actually hurt because I was smiling so hard and I couldn't stop playing the fool once I got up to the front.
Beyonce, on the other hand, was a wreck. He was so nervous; it was so cute. As we stood in front of some of our favourite people, he whispered "How are you so calm?" and I just smiled wider and said "I don't know, I just am."
I have never felt more at peace than when we stood together holding hands listening to our celebrant recite our ceremony.
A few words and a kiss later and we were married! Just like that. I remember thinking "Man, that was easy!" Er, talk about bridal amnesia; I somehow had the inability to recall the past year of planning and blogging.
Annnnyway, after all the formalities, we had some photos and managed to catch up with a few guests before the reception started. Here's where the overwhelming part happened. There wasn't, reportedly, a dry eye in the house with everyone moved by the amazing things people spoke of during our speeches. They were unforgettable, yet at the same time so fleeting that I'm truly glad we hired a videographer so that I can replay it as there were times I missed what was being said because I was sobbing so much.
(I'll post a link to the video once it goes online!)
There was a whole lotta love in that room, and it was amazing to have that all directed at you as a couple for that one moment in time.
All the clichés came true. Was it perfect? For us - absolutely. Magical, incredible, memorable - yeah, yeah I know. I used to roll my eyes at people who said that too. But honestly, it was.
When dissecting it in the days and weeks following, there were only two things I'd change.
One: I would have written my speech earlier instead of in a panic on the morning of the day. I forgot to mention some people and feel as though I lost a lot of focus in what I was trying to say. That annoys me as I'm usually OK at public speaking but let's just say I had a hard act to follow.
Two: We would have rehearsed our first dance. We planned on just swaying to the music, which was fine, but we hadn't practised it to that song and we kind of looked a bit spazzy as we tried to find our rhythm.
But that's it. Those are the only two things I'd change.
But we're splitting hairs, really. Because who cares?
Things I am thankful for (among many other things):
Our amazing bridal party: They really went above and beyond and it was awesome. My poor maid of honour even broke her toe during rehearsals and still managed to wobble down the aisle. The boys also behaved and got my groom there in one piece - thank you, guys.
The amazing guests: Everyone had such a special part in our day. One of my favourite things was the photobooth guestbook we had and were able to flick through the next day. It is such a precious keepsake from the day and utterly hilarious to see everyone dressed up playing silly buggers and writing drunken scrawls next to their photo. So good.
Brilliant vendors: Everyone we had involved in our day - from the venue staff, caterers, videographers, photographers, beauty people, florists, hairdressers, everyone - was SO professional and did an incredible job. One of the nice things I heard back from guests was how great the photo and video folk were at not getting in the way, bossing people around or generally making a scene. I love that, and it allowed our guests to feel more comfortable and not as though they were on show.
Honeymoon: Oh my lord, the honeymoon. Eight days in paradise aka Tahiti was just what we needed after a hectic year. We recharged ourselves with cocktails and vitamin D and reflected on everything, while saying to each other a couple of times every day "Oh my god, we're married!"
Our families: They are so great and it was even better to spend a Christmas together days later. It was like an Indian wedding that went on for days - the celebrations continued!
My groom: Thank you for making me your wife. I couldn't be prouder and I love you to bits.
I don't know how this blog will progress now, but I'm still interested in writing about weddings in general. So I guess I have to decide what format that should take. Any ideas? What would you like me to write about - or should I hang up my birdcage veil?
In the meantime, and in lieu of professional photos that are yet to come through (and I will put a link up when they do), here are some of my favourite snaps from the day. The first one was taken by our professional photogs We Do, then I took that one of my flowers (I LOVE them, they were amazing), then that's our little flower girl Honor - she was a bridesmaid's daughter, and finally the big pash. I love that I'm going for the grope, stay classy Greer!
You can also email Greer here and share your wedding woes, feedback or questions.