Wedding Ceremony

Welcome to the wedding posts! Aka a great excuse to share a load of photos and reflect back on our wedding day which was on Saturday 1 June 2019. All professional photos in these posts are taken by our bloomin’ lovely wedding photographer Hannah Mia. The rest are by friends and family.

Read about the morning of the wedding day here. 

Our ceremony was at St Albans Museum + Gallery in the Assembly room upstairs; it’s a grand white room with high ceilings and windows, incredible chandeliers and a balcony overlooking St Albans. 

I snuck in through the side entrance which wasn’t very ‘sneaky’ as it was on a busy street so the girl in the big wedding dress was getting a lot of attention – particularly trying to get out the car in that dress – but luckily, I don’t think any of the guests saw me. 

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

We had a few minutes in a private room confirming final details with the registrar and my mum started getting emotional just before walking me down the aisle. I had spent a lot of time feeling very reluctant about walking down the aisle but in that moment, all I felt was super eager to get into the main room and see people. 

I walked down the aisle to I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles. This was originally Gary’s suggestion after we’d been umming and ahhing a bit because we knew we wanted something that was upbeat and joyful rather than something perhaps more traditional. It was the perfect choice and also a nice nod to his mum, who was a Beatles fan.

I found out later that Gary and the registrar agreed that she would give him a nod when he should turn around and so he was actually the last person to see me walk in and see the dress (I wasn’t that fussed about tradition but he specifically asked to not see it before the day). I felt like I had tunnel vision when he turned around and – as lame and cheesy as it sounds – it did feel like a bit of a ‘movie moment’. 

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

I did wonder whether I would feel awkward stood in front of so many people saying the vows but it was actually just really lovely. We spent quite a lot of time agreeing on the wording for the ceremony as we didn’t like anything too ‘lovey dovey’ or too traditional or too prolonged. Fussy much! The registrar was very amused during our planning meeting when I showed up with the ‘ceremony planning’ booklet we’d been given, with notes and crossings out all over it!

So the ceremony was short and sweet, just as we wanted. I didn’t think it was going to be too emotional but it felt quite momentous and I still caught a bridesmaid or two welling up! We had just the one reading – I Like You – which was read by one of my oldest friends, Jordan, who did a fabulous job. Our rings were from Kings Hill Jewellers, approximately 95 yards from the venue (and even less from our flat). We got my antique engagement ring from there back in Jan 2018 and then we went back for the wedding rings; they had to design mine to fit around the engagement ring and I honestly adore them both. Which is a good job, given how long I’ve got to wear them for!

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

The cheers from our family and friends after we were announced as ‘Wife and Husband’ seemed to go on for ages and made me so happy. 

The song Nobody’s Empire by Belle and Sebastian kicked in straight after. I was very determined that this would be the song that would play just after we were officially married. During the first year of our relationship, Gary somehow managed to get me to go see Belle and Sebastian - his favourite band - live three times, including at Somerset House, and at the Royal Albert Hall. Nobody’s Empire was always their opening song and it always reminds me of Gary and the happy excitement of the first year of our relationship against the backdrop of London. 

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

Our witnesses were Dom, Gary’s best man, and Dan, another of my oldest friends. Considering it’s the legal, important bit, signing the register was a lot quicker than we imagined. The song was barely over before we were ready to walk back down the aisle! The registrar gave a final speech and said that, traditionally, I should walk on Gary’s left so he could keep his ‘sword hand’ free which made us laugh. She presented us with our marriage certificate which I then almost immediately handed to my dad and promptly forgot about it. He spent the rest of the day hoping he wouldn’t lose it! 

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

We walked back down the aisle to Ride A White Swan by T-Rex which I love because it’s such a happy, upbeat song and always makes me think of weddings. It’s the song that my mum and Andrew had at their wedding ceremony and we deliberately chose not to tell them we would be having it in ours so when the song kicked in, their faces were an absolute picture. 

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

We were brought champagne at the end of the aisle and that then kicked off the drinks reception which we had in the same room. Apart from taking a few mins for some formal photos, we spent the time chatting with all our friends and family. A bit of a queue formed of people wanting to come and congratulate us. It was so lovely to finally see everyone and I’m not sure I have ever hugged that many people in such a short space of time! Everyone had a glass of bubbly and there was a great buzz in the room. It just felt so darn happy. It was also freakin’ warm and I’m pretty sure I kept telling everyone how much I was sweating. Guess I was always too much of an over sharer to be a glamorous bride eh? 

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony

I remember it being a little chaotic – in good way – winding between groups of people and chairs, lots of people asking for photos, the littlest members of the family coming over to bring me horseshoes, ducking out onto the balcony to get some fresh air, and everyone just generally looking really happy. This period was probably only about an hour but it was a great way to revel in the post-ceremony buzz. 

And then it was to the pub! Gary called out to everyone, the bridesmaids hoisted up my dress train and we were off!

Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremony