And the winner is…
WARNING MASSIVE SPOILERS
(Although since this is the end, is it really a spoiler?)
In 2010, two people who could be charitably described as morons started a blog. The blog was based around a frankly stupid bet to see who could get married first. Real life married. There were rules, but it took them a while to work out what they would be.
The berks even went to America to meet ladies but in the end the both found love a lot closer to home. One way of looking at it is that both of them won because they both grew-up and found the perfect person for them.
But that’s not entirely correct because Toast won the bet. In your face, Biscuit of 2010.
The Big Day for Toast
The Theatre Producer and I had decided to keep things as casual and calm as possible in the run up to the wedding. Even with a strict, ‘no getting stressed’ policy things got a bit fraught towards the end. We’d both had very little sleep because we’d been doing things in the evenings.
Fun things like making our rings, having intensive dance lessons for our first dance and making other wedding related flim-flam, but were both extremely tired.
We’d had a flurry of last-minute ideas for the wedding which required careful designing of crosswords, pouring things into tiny bottles or coming up with an interesting conversation starting fact about every single guest. Neither of us managed to to sleep before 2am for a week before.
On wedding-eve TP went to her parents house. I stayed at our home, enjoying my final night as a single chap with my brother.
We drank cider and ate dirty fried chicken while watching telly. There was a plan to go the pub but a footballery match was on so the local pub was all shouty.
Off to the wedding
The next day I woke up reasonably early and forced my brother to go for a run with me. I like running, he’s not 100% on-board with it, but understands it’s a thing he has to do with me.
After only a small amount of grumbling we set off, stomping through monsoon style rain to Regent’s Park and back. Chatting occasionally but mostly wheezing. The final section was limped but we managed it. As a reward for our good work we went for a posh brunch and ate a lot of bacon.
Once we’d cooled off a bit we got changed, washed, and bundled up all the things we’d need for the wedding (suits, shoes, ties, tie-pins and various other bits and bobs) before headed to Waterloo to get the train.
We arrived at the station ten minutes before our train left but the queues were huge and full of people who couldn’t understand how ticket machines work. Luckily at the station we bumped into a few of the wedding guests who were in a very jolly mood.
One of the guests decided to skip the ticket queue by loudly declaring that I was going to miss my wedding if I didn’t get a ticket right this minute. People smiled and stood aside to let her buy tickets for all of us. I felt like a king, a slightly sheepish one but thanks to the wedding guest’s actions we did get on the train in time.
On the train the guests and my brother drank booze while I fidgeted and told myself off for not having written my speech yet.
When we arrived everyone disappeared off to their hotels to change. My brother scampered off to his hotel to get into his suit and I sat down and finally wrote out my speech.
I had a good few jokes already worked out but I’ve was struggling with sentimentality. It makes me uncomfortable so I tend to go for silly instead. Most of my time spent hunched over the little desk in the room was spent trying to put feelings into the speech. I sort of managed it in the end.
My brother appeared sooner than I expected. I had to jump into my suit and we got a lift off MyLoveLifeInYourHands to the venue.
It was at this point that it felt real. Not just a blog. Not just a silly idea, but real. There were people there, and a really big room to put them in.
There was only a brief moment to chat to official types and make sure the people doing readings had their notes before I had to go and stand at the front of a room with my back to everyone. My bother and MyLoveLifeInYourHands were stood next to me in coordinating suits for moral support.
The rest of the venue was packed out with our friends and relatives. The room rumbled with the sound of 130 people trying to be as quiet as possible while they waited for the music to start.
Of course someone’s phone went off, with a comedy ringtone.
The long pause
We were waiting for a while. TP was late, but there was also a minor issue with the music for her to walk in with. Biscuit couldn’t get it to play. After some swearing and a bit of hitting the grumpy sound system sprang into life and started honking out the appropriate tunes.
The doors opened and The Theatre Producer walked in looking amazing. Only I didn’t know this because the photographer had told me to not turn around and look so I could only hear sighs and the soft rustle as she approached the front of the room.
It was only then that I noticed the beautiful medieval tapestries lining the room were actually depicting a pig being slaughtered. How romantic!
After what felt like forever, I was finally given clearance to look at TP. Only she wasn’t TP any more, she was the person who was about to become my wife.
The ceremony was short but perfect. If you cut all the religious nonsense out of the way it’s a fairly simple job of repeating some lines and then signing a book. It was lightly spiced with three excellent readings. I’ll put the links to them here.
There was a lot of giggling, because the situation was so strange. The Theatre Producer and I do many interesting things together, but one of them is not solemnly look at each other, holding hands and loudly declare things.
We managed it with only the absolute minimum of giggling and everyone cheered. There was even a kiss.
After the ceremony we walked out and people blew loads of bubbles. Confetti was banned at the venue so we went with bubbles instead. Bubbles worked.
The guests finally got to have a drink and TP and I posed for a range of pictures. Some sensible (various mixes of family and ushers/bridesmaids) and the silly, including a couple posing with axes and one where TP was being a bridezilla chasing the entire wedding party. I can’t wait to see that shot.
While this was happening the guests milled around the gardens drinking cocktails, eating ice-cream and playing some extremely aggressive games of croquet.
The next stage lovely meal with all my favourite people in a room. We’d spent hours, no days working on the table settings.
People were carefully sat next to strangers, ones we were sure would become firm friends and whole tables were designed to have a good mix of interesting types. During the meal I didn’t sit down much and instead walked from table to table catching up with people, some of whom I don’t get to see very often.
It was lovely, but also a little strange because you don’t really get to talk to anyone for very long. Just flit around having snatched conversations.
It may be your wedding, but it some ways it feels like you’re not really there.
After the meal were the speeches, which were all excellent, short and extremely funny.
People had been briefed that bad speeches would be interrupted with a klaxon. They all performed brilliantly, mine went okay. I wasn’t that stressed about it, the thing I really feared was the first dance. I was terrified of the first dance.
I hate the awkward shuffle of the traditional first dance, so TP and I had got dance lessons. 5 hours of dance lessons, we’d learned the foxtrot.
Our instructor was forgiving and seem pleased with our progress but I was terrified of messing up the steps.To make things worse, TP’s dress was considerably larger than the one we’d practised with. It kept pushing me away.
We managed it though, even the fancy moves we’d requested in a fit of overconfidence and while I don’t think we would have won a dancing contest we would have been comfortably mid-pack, in the beginners section, of a small seaside town, where people don’t dance, and the judges are drunk, and short-sighted and we’ve bribed them.
Now that dance out of the way I could relax a bit more and catch up with old friends over drinks and observe the construction of the least impressive bomb I think I’ve ever seen. It was made out of party poppers so it didn’t have much to go on but I don’t think there is much a future in fireworks for the people who made it. Still it kept them amused for a few hours.
There was a lot more dancing. Dance cards were supplied for every guest and people were enjoying filling them out. Everyone seemed to have lovely time, apart from the people organising the ceilidh who had to physically herd people around the dance floor. Everyone was very enthusiastic but not very competent.
At about midnight the party stopped, or at least paused.
The venue closed. We got a car back to our honeymoon suite but the rest of the gang got a bus to their hotel and bravely partied on until at least 4.30am. Including a final burst of champagne when a minimum spend was needed at the last-minute and one guest splashed out on a few bottles to get the bar tab high enough.
The next day most of the party joined us for a bacon-based brunch and to re-cap what happened the night before. This was the time when most people signed the guest book, they’d been too smashed the night before. We also spent some time examining the photos and trying to piece together events from the last 12 hours.
All in all it was an excellent day. 10/10, A+, Would recommend to friends.
Lessons learned (over the course of the whole blog)
- If you want to meet someone right you have to meet a lot of people, like loads, and go on many dates.
- Even if those dates don’t work out, you’ll make lots of friends.
- Complete strangers will help you out with stuff if it’s in the name of marriage.
- Internet dating is the normal now.
- But everyone pretends on dates that they are new to it and they’re just trying it out because a friend insisted they do.
- If I make a bet with someone, I’m going to win it.
- Writing a blog really can change your life.