Our wedding || The ceremony.

09.09

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Our car pulled up outside the church a little ahead of schedule (can you even believe it? Me, on time? I was as shocked as anyone!), and so Steve and I had a moment to pause before making our way in for the ceremony.

There was a strong wind blowing outside, and I remember seeing Jo and Francesca, my Mum, and Ruby and Sienna (my little bridesmaids) all standing outside the church with their hair and dresses being blown this way and that in the breeze, and feeling my heart ache with love for them all as I watched quietly from the car. It’s one of my most vivid memories from the whole day, I think mostly because it was one of the rare moments of calm that we had.

Jonathan, our vicar, came over to meet me at the car, congratulated me on my excellent time-keeping (I’ve got form, and he knows it ;), then made sure we were ready to begin before walking my Mum to her seat at the front of the church.

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As I made my way from the car up towards the church, the wind picked up so suddenly and with such strength that it lifted my veil up, pulled it out of my hair, and sent it rolling away like a cloud!

I’d not planned on spending the final moments before walking down the aisle watching my godfather chasing down my runaway veil, but I was so glad of having something to distract me from the butterflies that were beating hard in my stomach!

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I waited in the entryway of the church almost dizzy with anticipation, taking the deepest, most calming breaths I could manage. Inside, Jason was nervous too…

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Sienna and Ruby clasped hands just as the first notes of Pachelbel’s Canon began to play, and began their walk down the aisle.

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Jason had always said that he would want to stick to the tradition of the groom not turning around as the bride walks down the aisle, but told me afterwards that Jonathan had advised him, when he’d arrived at the church earlier that morning, not to miss that moment for anything in the world.

So many people had reminded me over and over again that I needed to soak in as much as I possibly could of my walk down the aisle, and looking back now, I think I managed it.

I paused at the very back of the church whilst Jo and Francesca straightened out the train of my dress, and tried to drink in as much of wonderful moment as I could. I remember seeing the tiny face of Darcey, my cousin Emily’s then three week old baby, sleeping in her carseat at the back of the church, and my Mum beaming with pride, and from afar, the tears that were welling in not just Jason’s eyes, but his brother Russell’s too.

I remember feeling like my face wouldn’t be able to contain my smile as I looked at my almost-husband for the very first time on our wedding day, and how the urge to walk as fast as I could to him was almost overwhelming.

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ABOVE :: I’d not managed to spot Julia, Jason’s Mum, or either of my now-sisters-in-law whilst walking up the aisle, and so turned round to find them just before the service began. I remember thinking how beautiful they all looked, and my heart danced again at the idea that we were about to become family.

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We’d asked my cousin Sophie and Jason’s Grandmother if they would do readings during our ceremony, which they both did so beautifully it brought forth yet another wave of tears.

Sophie read ‘I will be here’ by Steve Curtis Chapman, and Umamma (her unusual name is a long story, one I’ll tell you another time…), read from the Song of Soloman.

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Now, I’ll tell you- in the ceremony rehearsal we’d had two days previously, I’d been so excited standing in place at the top of the aisle, I’d struggled to keep myself from bouncing up and down!

‘Don’t do that in the actual ceremony, Rosie’, I’d told myself, ‘Try to act with some decorum.’

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When the time finally came for us to say our vows, though in the moment I felt I was a picture of calm and grace, it turns out I was bouncing on my heels and beaming so brightly that most of our guests’ first words to us afterwards were ‘do you think Rosie was keen to marry you, Jason?’! ;)

In truth though, we both were as excited as one another- Jason’s just better at controlling himself than I am!

The vows themselves tumbled out of our mouths without falter, though Jason won’t mind me telling you that it was him, and not me, who had to swallow a lump and choke back tears on more than one occasion.

And then, just like that, it was over! There’ve never been sweeter words spoken that those of ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife’. <3

A B O V E  :: I can’t remember what had made us laugh, in the photo above, but I think it’s one of my favourites from the whole day.

B E L O W :: And this shot, of the looks on my sister and best friend and Mum and Aunt’s faces as they watched us say our vows, makes me choke up each and every time I look at it.

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The final hymn of our service, sung after we’d been pronounced married and as we went off to sign the register, was the one I’d been most excited about. I’d picked it out even before we organised our flowers or the food or the band or any of those other vital elements of the day.

It came via Little Women, my favourite novel of all time. In the film, the hymn For the Beauty of the Earth is sung at Meg’s wedding, and it’s stuck with me always.

Jo and I used to sing it, only with a different arrangement, in assemblies and during Mass at school when we were in our teens, and so singing it during the service, right after Jason and I been sealed to each other forever and always, was the only time during the ceremony that my throat locked tight and the little wave of tears that had bobbed around my lower lash line throughout spilled over and down my cheeks.

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At the top of the aisle, once the register had signed and my name changed forever, we paused for a moment. The wedding march began to play, Jason took me by the hand, asked ‘Ready B?’ (it was a wonder he managed to say my actual name in the vows! ;), and off we went!

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It felt as though floated on air down the aisle, with cameras clicking and flashing away the whole time.

Our cheeks ached from smiling so hard, and outside, we were met by yet another gust of wind harbouring a grudge against long, gauzy veils!

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A B O V E  :: Another of my favourites from the day. And B E L O W …ready, confetti!

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Beaming and waving and beaming so more, we settled ourselves into the backseat of our car, and slowly pulled away from the church.

I can’t remember what Jason and I said to one another on that journey, only that we sat back in our seats laughing with happiness, and revelled in those first few precious minutes of being husband and wife.

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Onwards, to the reception!

{All photos by the wonderful Sam Docker.}

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