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When I got divorced I worried that I would stop believing in marriage. I remember going to my cousin’s wedding soon after the split, concerned that I’d be all cynical and jaded about love. But I totally wasn’t – with Elfie as flower girl and a bow-tie on my date (Hux) it was a really amazing day and I went home excited and happy for my cousin and her new husband.
So when my best friend Bryony got engaged a year and a half ago I was completely made up for her. For one, she’s brilliant. Two, so is her new husband. And three, they were completely in love with two gorgeous girls. Having been together for years and years and years it was just glorious when he asked her to legally be together forever and she said yes.
And then she asked me to be her Maid of Honour when we were both half naked in a swimming pool – that and the subsequent awkward hug we had was the icing on the proverbial engagement cake.
By the way – Bryony and I are the best example of the fact that you don’t just meet weirdos on the internet. 5 years after meeting on Twitter and we’re still going strong. Thanks Twitter!
This weekend it was finally here – it was time to see Bryony (and Dean I suppose ;) get married!
I stayed with Bryony the night before and as we’re mums the day started as ours normally do, at 6am. It was pretty much an ideal Saturday from then on in – we went from fizz to smoked salmon breakfast to make up to hair salon to dresses to flowers. I helped Bryony get dressed which I think was second only in sartorial excitement to the first time I got my newborn babies dressed. I was the last person to see her naked as a single woman!! Toot toot.
I knew it was going to be an emotional day from the start. I think when a couple has been together for many years and you’ve seen them navigate the peaks and troughs of life together it becomes that much more beautiful to see them tie the knot. They were surrounded by people who loved them completely and who totally believed in the union and that felt just gorgeous.
Everything was perfect about the day. The church, the double decker bus to the farmhouse marquee wedding (I wanted to Pinterest ALL OF IT), the stonebaked pizzas to order, the puddings made by a neighbour, the bath full of wine, the porchetta, the disco, the decorations…
And Bryony was totally beautiful, just stunning.
But what will stay with me forever is the love. The way that Bryony’s dad looked at her when he talked about how fit to bursting with pride he was. The way that Dean talked about how completely he loved her, the emotion in his voice when he described what an amazing mother, best friend and partner she is. I looked at the palpable love that was between them in that moment and thought, if I have even half of that one day then I’m going to be a lucky bastard.
Then there was all the love I could see between the wider family and friends. Obviously including myself here ;) but those two have a really magnificently wonderful group of buddies. It was amazing to meet some I hadn’t before and see those I had and really celebrate two of our mutual favourite people together. Ditto to their families – Bryony has a brilliant new sister in law and the two loveliest sisters ever. I have to say that I’m kind of looking forward to muscling my way into more family occasions as the years go on…
Oh and also the bruise I got from getting in the bath of ice. That will stay with me for a while, too.
So to the new Mr and Mrs, I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful people you are and the the love that has poured out of you over the last week. It was an honour to be there on your big day and I can’t wait for all the love we will all share in the future. Congratulations lovely newlyweds!