Today’s love themed post is by Hayley from Devon Mama, a 30 year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict, who lives with her husband, baby and the world’s bounciest dog in rural Devon.
Our Wedding – Devon Mama
When I found out that there was an opportunity to talk about our wedding on here, I leapt at the chance. How often do you get to relive all those memories? Not often enough if you ask me, especially if you have kids! All the hours of painstaking planning, the agonizing over colour schemes and seating plans, the memories of dancing all night without a care in the world fade into a blur amongst day to day family life. So, indulge me… let me chat a while!
It was the end of June when we got married, a year and a half ago now. It feels like a both a lifetime and a heartbeat ago. I remember bits of it in minute detail and yet can barely remember hours of it! We live in a fairly rural part of Devon, roughly ten minutes away from my the house I grew up in and only a couple minutes further from the church we were using. It’s beautiful, truly beautiful, especially in the sunshine. Only, we all know you can’t trust the summer for bringing good weather! After months of searching, we decided to hold the reception at an estate house nearly half an hour away. Yes, it was a bit of a drive but it meant we could take over the entire place and have our friends and family stay there as well. We agonized over the decision but when we saw it, it just felt right.
Our wedding started the day before, at the church rehearsal on the Friday; bridesmaids, ushers, flower girls, parents, anyone remotely involved was there. As we sat in the pews giggling and practicing walking down the aisle, it seemed the most surreal of experiences. Once we’d practiced and practiced we made our way out into the car park and in the evening light made plans for the night; I would go with the girls back to my parents house and the boys? They ended up having an impromptu get together at the pub around the corner from our own. Perfect.
After an evening of barely eating, barely sleeping and a lot of worrying about the weather, the big day arrived. Due to the sheer numbers of us, we took over the downstairs of the house and kicked off preparations at 6am, apparently leaving just enough time to get four bridesmaids, two flower girls, one mother of the bride and one bride out the door for midday… talk about military precision! In amongst the girly time, I remember panicking about the boys. Dave, my now husband, is notorious for running behind time and I was terrified he’d be late. As we kicked my brother out of the house to go and find him, we made him swear to get them to the church on time. Little did we know that Dave wouldn’t be the issue. All morning my phone was updating with various texts and messages of good wishes from friends, in amongst it all I was eerily calm. This was happening. Today. Finally.
Thankfully the day was hot and bright. The morning passed at rocket speed and before long it was just me and my dad in the house, everyone else was at the church. As I stood on the doorstep, I could hear the church bells faintly ringing further down in the valley. We were late already, really late. Time seemed to take forever, I went to the toilet as many times as humanly possible before announcing that we couldn’t wait any longer. With that, I dragged my Dad out the door and off down the lane… we weren’t waiting for the car to come to us. We would come to them.
Nearly half an hour later than planned, we entered the church. Galloping down the aisle, all I could focus on was Dave at the far end. He looked overwhelmed, amazed and more than a little relieved. Pulling my veil back, my Dad handed me over to my soon-to-be husband and we squeezed hands tightly.
“You look beautiful, you’re late but you look beautiful”
“Thanks, I’ve got really sweaty legs”
Charming. Romance at it’s finest from myself right there! The ceremony passed in a blur of hand squeezes, mumbled words, remembering where to stand and giggling at song lyrics. As the vicar announced that we were husband and wife we kissed and Dave stole a glance back at the crowd. A moment of ‘see what we did’ which was captured on film forever. It’s one of my favourite memories.
From there we could relax. A sigh of relief between us as we realised we’d done the hard bit, now it was time for the party. We passed out sweets to our friends and family, posed for photos and did the obligatory confetti run to the car to go the venue. The world’s slowest car, the driver took it upon himself to take us through every village and town going so that people could see us. As we sat there, grinning at each other and waving through the windows, it struck me. This is the man I’m married to now.
At the venue, the afternoon went without a hitch. We had drinks on the lawn before going through to the hall for our meal. The room was an old theatre allowing us to sit on a small stage at the front with our parents; from there we had the perfect viewing spot of the festivities. The meals came out and silence prevailed as people filled their stomachs, some of the smaller children played out in the courtyard, dancing around with the bubbles in the afternoon light. And then, a lull. The director of events came out to tell us all that the chef was leaving today to return to Italy and he’d like to say a few words of thanks. Frustrated at the interruption to our day, we sat there in silence as he stumbled through some lines before miraculously bursting into song. Suddenly, a waiter, one of the men who had served us our wedding breakfast, joined him.
My sister caught my eye as she gave me a thumbs up and pointed at Dad. “This was him” she mouthed. As a surprise he’d arranged for us to be entertained by singing waiters. “Is it ok?” he asked, worried. “It’s perfect.” Before long we were up and out of our seats, waving napkins around and dancing along as the waiter, chef and director all took turns serenading us. In amongst the madness, I looked down at my Grandpa, studiously ignoring the mayhem around him whilst he ate his place setting; a peach. ‘I will never forget this moment’ I remember thinking.
The day went on, the speeches were spoken, cakes cut, dances danced. Before long it was 1am and we were sat in huge chairs, eating leftover bits of wedding cake surrounded by the few of our loved ones that hadn’t succumbed to bed. Our friends stumbled past, blind drunk declaring they loved us before going up to their room.
“Shall we go?” Dave said.
And with that, our wedding day was over and our married life had begun.
You can follow Hayley’s adventures here: