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.
Suits have been cut, dresses ordered and wines have been tasted. The venues are booked, we’ve got the RSVP cards back and today we are sorting out the seating plan.
This wedding is flipping happening.
There are now less than three weeks to go before – unless Biscuit does something surprising* or The Theatre Producer runs away to join the Navy** – I win the bet.
How we got here
We started over three years ago, with a contest to see who could get married first that was sort of a foolish jape, but it has got a bit out of hand.
If you look at the first page of posts you can see we only had a vague idea of the rules and neither of us was really in a very strong position to actually get married. We’d both had a string of disastrous relationships up till that point.
It was a silly idea, but it was also quite a good way of tricking ourselves into leaving that man-child space and growing up a bit. I suppose that’s the lesson I’m taking from all this.
To quote the immortal Mary Poppins, ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, find the fun and *snap* the jobs a game.’
Just don’t tell TP I referred to getting married to her as a ‘job that must be done.’ She might get a bit stabby.
*This wouldn’t be entirely out of character for him.
**Less likely because TP hates running.
Weddings are rum old events. People seem to make them in to a big ‘thing’ when really it’s just people you like (and relatives) in a room getting drunk.
The planning for our bash appears to be going well. There have been no fights and the ‘wedding police’ haven’t been called out once.
Here are a list of things we’re not fretting about:
- The flowers, can anyone remember the flowers from a wedding ever?
- Seating arrangements, put people next to people you think they’d like.
- Readings, find something we like, get someone we like to read it.
- Wedding speeches, keep them short, put in jokes, no being nasty.
- Food, people are mostly there to get drunk.
- Booze, Our friends aren’t demanding ‘In a glass’ is about as fussy as they get.
This means when people ask, ‘How is the wedding planning going?’ I don’t have a good answer, which sounds like I don’t care.
However there are some things I am fretting about/have fretted about:
- Are my suit trousers too tight? Or too loose?
- When I first tried my suit trousers on did I take to long so the tailor (who was out of the room) think I was up to something naughty?
- What is the correct thing to say to the tailor when you’ve finished putting on your trousers?
- If the tailor isn’t responding to your calls, is it okay to shout?
- If you are mid-shout when they quietly enter the room from a door you didn’t see is it best to apologise? Or style it out and pretend you are a bit deaf suddenly?
- If you went with the deaf option, should you shout for the rest of the fitting to stay in character?
- Also if you bump into a friend in the street, right out side the shop, should you stay shouty to not spoil the ‘story’ you’re maintaining.
- Even if it’s quite a long chat and someone else turns up?
On an unrelated note I’m a bit scared to go back to the tailors for my final fitting. I wonder if I can get someone else to pick up the suit for me, after all I have lost my voice after all that shouting.
The talk last night went very well, and not just because we had bongos. There was a stellar line-up including brilliant original stuff from MyLoveLifeInYourHands, Joel Golby, Nell Frizzell and Craig Taylor. There was a lot of laughter and quite bit of pity, especially the latter for the stuff Biscuit and I performed.
If you missed the show you can catch up on what we performed here:
- Biscuit told this excellent story involving dwarf porn, lego and accidental winky texts
- I stuttered through the tragic story of a lovely lady I met at a film party, how I messed things up, and then made them even worse.
The bongos worked pretty well, although our bongoist Phil (who is a professional drummer that we met in the bar) got a bit distracted and didn’t quite bong as much as we would have liked. Still the rareness of the bongs made them all the more precious.
I also learned that when you own a set of bongos you can guarantee that you are the worst person on any form of public transport, FACT.
Someone having a loud conversation on a phone? BONGO Not any more. Smelling the carriage up with stinky food? BONGO They’ll get off an the next stop. I even had some scary looking dude cross the road to avoid me as I bongo my way home from the bus. RESULT.
I’ve had to hide the bongos from myself so I don’t get drunk on bongo power, it’s a constant danger.
So I’m engaged now. I went to Paris and I proposed the SHIT OUT OF The Theatre Producer.
Here is what happened.
We were staying in a ridiculous hotel in Paris. Think a stately home plonked in the middle of the 16th (The posh bit of Paris).
TP had booked the room so that in included a ‘free upgrade’ which resulted in us having a ‘junior suite’ that was larger than our flat. I’ve not stayed in that many rooms with conservatories before but I am now a fan.
We dropped off our bags and went on a walking tour of Paris. It was a beautiful day, really sunny and we set off along the streets doing a long lap of the sights. I was a little quiet during this period because I was thinking about stuff.
Not regrets or anything just considering the enormity of what I was about to do. This would be the point when what started as a silly bet crossed into being an incredibly serious thing with legal implications. It’s a lot to take in. I was glad I had time to process it a bit rather than being on the end of a question.
The set up
When we got back to the hotel room we were both really tired (we’d walked miles) BUT I had a plan. So I suggested we have a quick drink in the gardens before retiring for a nap. Well demanded it.
TP wasn’t exactly pro this idea, okay lets be honest, she thought I’d gone insane and demanded to know why I was being so cruel to her by forcing her to put on a nice dress and some lipstick.
We went down stairs to the garden (with a bit of grumbling from TP about how tired she was) and I asked TP to pick a nice spot for a photo.
She wanted to just sit down but I was insistent that we had a seat with ‘good framing’. Again she’d thought I’d gone mad which wasn’t helped by the fact I had my bag with me for no real reason (real reason: holding a ring).
Once we were sat down I went off to buy some wine. I ordered two glasses of champagne and explained in pigeon-French how I was about to propose and how I’d like the waiter to take lots of photos.
The teenage waiter was so surprised when I started mentioning le proposal pour la marriage that he made the champagne he was opening explode everywhere and had to clean it up.
While he was cleaning that up I had time to quickly phone TP’s dad to ask permission. I got through to him and was so excited by me calling that he just wanted to have a lovely chat about PPI and India. I had to fight to speak and get the request in. He approved and I dashed back to the bar to pick up the waiter.
We sat down and clinked our glasses for the camera but it didn’t work.
TP said ‘Oh never mind we can do it some other time, to which I replied, ‘NO WE MUST HAVE PHOTOS’.
She thought I’d properly gone mad now. She fixed the camera and dutifully posed for the photos. The waiter carried on taking pictures and TP only got a little suspicious.
Then I started the talk. I had been toying with the idea of doing a silly proposal but a friend had said that was a bad idea. So I instead I said how happy TP makes me and how much I like her, stuff like that. She looked at me very strangely and thought I’d caught too much sun.
Then I popped on one knee and pulled out the ring. POW. Only then did she realise what was going on.
She said ‘yes, of course’ and did a little cry, sort of ignoring the ring I had held out until I prompted her to open the box.
Then we drank more champagne and she looked at the ring a lot. We also texted a picture to Biscuit of the ring and called him a loser.
She then said,’Well now we’ve got to plan a wedding’
And I said, ‘Oh blimes, I hadn’t thought of that’.
Proposal success rating 100%
Forethought of what this means (apart from a life together being happy): 0%.
This post, like all the ring related ones are made in real time and then posted much later to not spoil the surprise of the proposal.
Today I learned that I’d make an excellent spy. Now as we spies know talking about spy stuff is technically off limits but I think I’m allowed to share in this instance and they the ‘lay people’ or ‘civilians’ know what happened.
I want to get a motorbike, I had a vague plan to get one for the summer, but since we’ve not had a summer so it’s not been that urgent really. This is where the spying begins.
I told TP at the weekend I was going to look at motorcycles. It was a lie, well a bit of a lie. I did go and look at motorcycles briefly, but also I went to look at rings. She has no idea! I spent the whole time sending her texts about how I wanted all the bikes when really I was shivering outside a window full of precious rocks.
That’s some serious spying right there.
Also learned today: Rings are not as exciting as motorcycles and I still have no idea what makes a ‘good one’ only that they cost a lot and don’t seem to do much. Seriously though what is with that?
Double O Toast.
Holidays with a girl eh? Surely that can’t work? Especially a holiday focused around doing almost nothing for a week. That’s just asking for trouble right?
Not really. The sad an unexciting truth of the matter is that I went on a week long holiday with The Theatre Producer and it was lovely. We swam, I ran, we both ate a lot of seafood and developed an impressive Sangria habit.
The Sangria made total sense, it was just over a euro a bottle and tasted like fruit juice. I miss it terribly. We need it in England.
Here are the facts from the holiday
- We were staying a resort near a golf course, so the rest of the guests were very old, I’d say somewhere between two and three times our age. I have never felt more studly and youthful.
- The other guests spent all their time lying by the pool working on their tans. Their tans were great, they were like leather walruses. Ones with northern accents. Because of their busy tanning schedule we had the pool to ourselves.
- We spent a lot of time messing around on boats, lots of boats. Some of them looked like pirate ships and they gave us rum based drinks. They were my best boats.
- The lifestyle of wake up, have a run, relaxed breakfast, swim, food, swim, afternoon nap, walk, supper, booze, sleep is very nice. I need to find a way to fund that lifestyle.
- The flight over was pretty bad. It was about 1/3 toddlers. They screamed and made horrible smells for four hours. Luckily they weren’t staying at our resort.
- We didn’t even have anything close to an argument or an disagreement about anything the whole time we were there.
It was excellent, and since we got on so well we’re going to move in together. So that’s some pretty big news right?
Marriage percentage: 80% – Also in real terms moving in together is a HUGE step, so I’ve basically won.