Well, folks, I’m back and still on ‘Cloud 9’ actually. Our wedding was everything that we could have dreamed of. Can we do it all over again?? Just over 2 years in the planning, a lot of the planning took place when I was dealing with the big ‘C’. I wasn’t even sure I would be around to see the day, but alas, I married my boy, the love of my life, on May 11th @ 1230 pm in the most amazing magical place surrounded by our wonderful family and friends. It actually was like being in a fairytale.
It was actually a whole weekend event, we arrived on the day before, along with our friends staying in the venue with us. Bernie & Tony, Louise, Simon, Denis & Jeremy, Karen, Pascale, CJ & Sarah Jane and the lovely Amanda, who was our MC on the day. So much fun with this gang! Drinks were flowing, tunes a playin’ and the party actually was off to a start, accompanied by 9 huge pizzas from Dominos! The delivery lady asked if we were hungry, just a little we said haha! The look on her face was priceless. It was a great way to get the weekend off to a start.
It was touch and go as to whether we could get married outdoors in the Ty Hâf (summer house in Welsh), St Tewdrics House didn’t get the license until just 2 weeks before our big day, and we were actually at our 4th meeting with our lovely wedding coordinator, Charlotte (yes 4th meeting, most peeps only have 2!) when the news came in. We were just a little OCD (maybe more than a little) about the planning aspects. Either that or we really just loved coming back to the venue again and again. St Tewdrics House is in Chepstow, Wales and overlooks the countryside and the Severn Bridge which connects England and Wales. It’s such a marvellous place, we fell in love with it way back in April 2017.
So much love went into creating our special day, apart from the spreadsheet of course! We really wanted to make it special for us and for 130 of our friends and family. Live music all day which included a wedding singer with the voice of an angel, and an 8 piece live band for the evening (Nathan insisted on having a Saxophone player!) No lack of food and wine, champagne reception with canapés, 3-course meal and more food later in the evening. The best cheese toastie (or grill cheese as we say back home) you have ever tasted OMG. To top it all off a naked cake and Welsh cakes and shortbread.
Nathan is the creative one in our relationship and took care of all the decorating, along with our amazing florist. He has the eye and vision. Nathan created all of the 14 table centrepieces, decorated the reception rooms, even created the table stand for our wedding cake. I am the food and beverage guy so made sure we weren’t going to be short of anything. Our caterers did a stellar job and food was awesome and the presentation was en pointe. After all, it’s probably one of the biggest parties we have ever thrown, we wanted it all to be perfect. Yes, it’s a gay wedding, so it’s expected, I know lol. I actually have always hated attending weddings, I guess I have been to some pretty naff ones. This was more than we could have ever dreamed of. I guess I was ready now, at 53!
It actually still amazes me that so many of our guests came from abroad to spend this day/weekend with us. We had Karen from Canada, Thora and Una from Iceland, Janice and Dave from Spain, Kristjana (KJ) from New Zealand, Mandie from Australia, Hans Ru (duchess!) from Switzerland and Rachel and Fraser from the US, to name a few. My cousin Sandy, who I hadn’t seen it over 35 years came all the way from Montreal to be a part of our special day. Like wow, it was so great to re-connect like that, you have no idea. He was more emotional during the ceremony than I was. I was wearing some make-up, so was mindful of that 😉 So many of my friends making the trip from down south and Nathan’s friends from different areas in Wales, we were really touched. Nathan’s family really truly are amazing, and I am so lucky to call them my own family now.
We became obsessed with watching the weather forecast a few weeks before our big day and it wasn’t looking good at all, but suddenly the day before, the sun was shining and it was lovely and warm. They had forecast rain and we were almost resigned to the fact we would have to be married inside. Fuck me, the weather was expensive, but well worth it lol. It lasted all weekend luckily, especially as we were hosting a BBQ then next day. Many got sunburned it was that warm in the sun. Couldn’t have wished for better weather. The BBQ went on until 1 am with everyone keeping cosy by the firepits and blankets as the evening set in. Let’s just say we were just a wee bit hungover the next day. Denis managed to get down to the kitchen for coffee just as we had finished dismantling everything and re-loaded the vans for our departure. Thanks Denis! lol
We were so happy to be with our Best Gal’s; Karen and Louise, Best Men; CJ and Denis and our Bridesmaid Ceri. We were not very traditional in our approach, no one giving us away. We just walked down that aisle with our besties to a live version of ‘At Last’ by Etta James sung by Marianne our wedding siger. Lucky Bentley got to walk down with Uncle CJ 🙂 We always knew that Bentley would play a significant role in our wedding day. Got to love that springer spaniel, who even has his own instagram page! @_bentleyboo2_ I must say I was soo stressed that morning, can’t even explain it. I decided to have a few voddies and then get myself ready with Denis (Nathan and I didn’t see each other until we met for the ceremony) Once I got the suit on, the stress just left me. Then I looked out the window to the patio where the guests were arriving and thought to myself, all of these people are here to watch us get married! I was no longer in control of the events, it all just happened like magic.
The atmosphere throughout the day was electric, everyone chatting and laughing. The roar was so loud during the wedding breakfast that we could hardly hear the singer. That’s the sign of a people having a great time. There was no his side my side, everyone just joined together into one big gang. The speeches were awesome too, by CJ, Denis and Thora. All of them had everyone roaring with laughter and emotion. Our first dance was amazing, L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole. We didn’t rehearse our dance, I would have been shittin’ myself if we had. It was impromptu and just winged it, except for Louise and Sarah who had been rehearsing with the big blue fuck off feathers. It was brilliant, so much fun, I just let myself go, literally!
Both Nathan and I were so touched by everyone’s wishes, cards and contributions to our honeymoon fund. We really were truly overwhelmed. I couldn’t stop crying when we read all the cards after the weekend. Next stop is Florence in end of June. Back to where it all began and I asked Nathan to be mine. Can’t wait to go back to the places we went to and see how far we have come. My story is kind of like coming out of the darkness and into the light.
I have included a couple of short videos below that was sent to us. Bear in mind they are nothing professional but gives you a little idea of what it was like.
Thanks to our amazing photographer, Matt Tyler, for capturing the essence and emotion of our special day 11-05-19 – http://www.matttylerphotography.com All of the main pictures are by Matt. Can’t wait to see all of the photos. ❤
Love and light