Weddings have a strange effect on the perception of time. Suddenly an event that seemed months away was actually three days away. Bridget Fraser and I had delivered buckets of greenery to Fletching Church, Sophie and Alex arrived home on Wednesday, having been preceded by Sophie’s dress (hidden in the spare room) and Alex’s kilt, hanging in Sophie’s bedroom, and a fairly constant stream of signed-for packages to remind me how close the big day was. Then Anna and Tom came home on Thursday night, and on Friday morning the full wedding work force were in place. Sophie’s bridesmaids and schoolfriends Verity and Charlotte, who we’ve known and loved since they were 12 and 11 arrived, followed by Alex’s father Simon, brother Donald, and grandparents Anne and Charlie. There were still loads of jobs to be done: drink into the chiller, nail down the matting to get guests from the sand-school to the marquee, logs for the fire-pit, lamps to light the way to the loos, and loads and loads of fairy lights to be put up. Luckily the Fraser family seem to have an equal love of fairy lights to the Lewises and possibly own even more. Given that I have 500 fairy lights this is no mean feat.
We all squeezed round the kitchen table for a team lunch, joined by my step-mum Zandra and her friend David, and after another whorlwind of afternoon activity it was time for the rehearsal in the church. Then a strange farewell for Alex and Sophie, as Alex joined his family in the Griffin for the evening and we were joined by Sophie’s godparents for a lovely dinner at home.
I think we all woke up really early on Saturday, certainly I even had time to ride Emma round the village before pitching into my mother-of-the bride routine.
All the girls had their hair and make up done and lovely Claudia Savage did my make up, which I was so thrilled with - I haven’t seen my face looking so good for a very long time. Then suddenly it was time for everyone to get changed and Sophie to slip into her beautiful dress and become a bride.
Then we were all off to the church, plenty of excited tummy butterflies, but so looking forward to the ceremony. It’s very strange being the mother of the bride, as you are the last person into the church before the bride. Tom kindly walked me down the aisle, and then it was ready, steady go. The service went by so quickly, lovely hymns and beautiful readings, and Alex and Sophie exchanged their vows and couldn’t stop smiling. In fact Sophie never stopped smiling for the whole afternoon.
Charlie Fraser piped the happy couple out of the church, we all threw lavender and rose petal confetti and the new Mr and Mrs Fraser swept off towards home.
We had a really wonderful party, delicious dinner, perfect, heartfelt and amusing speeches from Mark, Alex and Donald, and then we danced the night away to the Fabulous Hurricanes. How lucky are we that both our daughters have married into fantastic, party loving families of unbelievably enthusiastic dancers. I think we might even have been out danced on this occasion. The Fraser men are formidable dancers in their kilts and certainly there was no chance of anyone getting cold - the dance floor was constantly full. We were so, so lucky to have a beautiful day amidst two weeks of pretty dismal weather, so that we had photos outside and Sophie didn’t freeze in her beautiful dress.
The next morning Mark collected Sophie and Alex from their hotel and 37 people squeezed into the house for brunch, before we said fond farewells to the Fraser family, and settled down for a quiet afternoon before Mark took the newlyweds to Heathrow for their flight to Japan.
By Monday afternoon you could hardly tell that there had been a wedding here at all, and on Tuesday morning the lawn was covered in snow.
Now we’re waiting for the honeymooners to return from Japan, and looking forward to seeing both the official wedding photos and the photos of Japan.
There are so many thank you’s to be said. Thank you to all our wonderful family and friends whose love, smiles and laughter combined to make Sophie and Alex’s special day just perfect. It was so fantastic to share the day with people who been special friends to us for so long, and have known Sophie since she was a baby.
Thank you to Amuse Caterers, County Marquees and Simply Wonderful Flowers who were all so fabulously professional to work with, no request was too much for anybody, the stage was set so beautifully for a fantastic party and the food was out of this world.
And for myself thank you to Steff, Izzy and Amy Muggridge who made sure that the yard ran seamlessly and that my day was unbelievably relaxed and easy, and last, but most definitely not least, Claudia Savage for doing my make-up and making me feel so good..