Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Bella Boda!

Remember Emma and Paul? They got married this weekend!  Emma is my baby cousin and the oldest of the cousins on my mum's side.  She and Paul have been together for what feels like donkey's years (it's something like 7) and they she has been planning their big day for about 18 months now.
On Friday Steve and I rushed home from work, got showered and changed, threw our stuff in bags, loaded the car, fed the cat and made sure we had some rock music ready to go.  The sun was shining, the roof was down on the convertible and we made our way to Essex.  We are still not entirely positive why we were going to Essex as the bride and groom and their families all live in Kent!  In retrospect we needn't have rushed.  We got stuck for an hour on the A12 at a single roundabout which was incredibly frustrating and meant we didn't arrive in time for the pre-wedding meal.  Instead we checked into our Travel Lodge room and ate dinner at the Little Chef next door.

I've not eaten at a Little Chef in years and I would be quite happy to wait years again. 

The next day we got dolled up (me in my new outfit that Steve had chosen and bought for me as a surprise - he did really well!) and made our way to Prested Hall near Chelmsford. 
We met up with my parents, sipped champagne, listened to the cello duet and admired the decor as we waited to go into the ceremony room....

 ...where the groom was very nervously waiting with his best man and ushers!
I said hello to relatives and friends that I have not seen in years, admired hats and dodged feathers and then we all took our seats to await the entrance of the bride. 
My sister and Emma's sister were two of the four bridesmaids with Emma's two best friends.  Finally they all came in, bridesmaids first, followed by Emma and her rather nervous and proud looking father.  She looked stunning.  Our family is a mixed heritage bag and Emma has Spanish grandparents on her mother's side.  There was a nod to her Spanish heritage with the beautiful mantilla veil she was wearing.  It's also why this post is called Bella Boda; it means beautiful wedding in Spanish. 

After the civil ceremony the new Mr and Mrs beamed as the guests came to take photos of them.
Then it was time for Bucks Fizz and Pimms out on the lawns as the photographer bossed everyone around into family groups.  I gave up walking on the lawn after a while as my heels kept sinking into the damp earth.  
When he realised that no-one had showered the brides carefully coiffed hair with bits of coloured paper, the photographer quickly organised the confetti tunnel!
It had turned a little chilly outside so my sister and I headed to the warmth of the sitting room and our rather large glasses of fizz.  We weren't the only ones retreating inside either as we waited for the photos to finish and take our seats in the marquee.  I took advantage of the time and met my littler cousin Jo's boyfriend for the first time.
We were called through to the receiving line and then made our way into the Reception.  The marquee was beautiful.  Emma had gone for variegated shades of white and cream accented with candles and crystals.  Orchids dripped from tall vases while baby's breath studded with butterflies was scattered around the tables in small ornate plant pots.
 The table plan was laid out in vintage style photo frames decorated with the bridesmaid bouquets. 
Food was good!  I had made my choices so long ago that I had absolutely no idea what I had chosen.  I was pleased to see I had pate, lamb and the biggest, richest chocolate brownie I have ever tasted.  I managed two mouthfuls and half the solid chocolate spoon before admitting defeat. 
After the moving speeches the bride went looking for her new husband to cut the tower of cupcakes with.  Unable to find him she settled for the next best thing, her sister!
 One wayward groom found and cake cut, it was time to get the evening party started.
 I don't get to see my sister that often so it's nice to be able to catch up with her when I do.
As the evening drew darker the newlyweds made their way to the sparkling white dancefloor for their first dance together.
At this point my camera battery died so I was forced to spend the rest of the night drinking and dancing with my mother and Steve.  I know, it's a hard life! I'll leave you with the final thought from my littlest cousin, Jamie (looking dapper in full dress uniform!) Cheers!

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