A lot of people did tell me that I wouldn't sleep much the night before our wedding, and they were right. The surprise was that this wasn't due to wedding-day excitement so much as my husband-to-be crashing back into our room in the small hours after an extended drinking session in the bar. Now I understand why couples who are getting married are supposed to spend the night before their big day in separate rooms. In two decades, I might be able to look back and see the funny side but suffice to say that - on saturday morning - I wasn't very happy with the best man, since I did ask him to make sure that the groom got to bed relatively early in preparation for our big day. Simon would argue, of course, that 2am IS early....
A few restless hours later, our alarm went off and D’ell, who does not need much sleep and is always full of energy, got up to go and get his hair cut. I managed to snooze for a bit but then also decided to get out of bed, get some breakfast and head down to the beauty salon. A few hours short on the beauty sleep, I needed all the help I could get in the hair and make up department!!!
A touch of champagne to help me forgive the best man; and Jacquie doing her best impression of Cousin It.
In the salon, I was greeted by my two wonderful bridesmaids and our hairdressers and make up artist. We chatted, shared some stories about the night before and the transformation started. A few coffees later, lots of foundation, highlighter, eye make up, mascara and lipstick and I started to feel like the bride to be. Malin, my hairdresser, spent a lot of time doing my hair and I must admit that it turned out beautifully! Jacquie and Jill also went through the transformation and we did all have some interesting hairstyles before the final versions! A good few hours later the three of us headed back to the hotel to get changed, looking and feeling like movie stars!
Transformation complete. Thank goodness for make up!
As we walked into the hotel, we narrowly avoided walking right into the boys as they headed down to the pub for a pre-ceremony drink. We were so short of time that I hardly had any time to get nervous at all. People in the wedding party went in and out of our room and I did feel a bit guilty when I shouted to my mum and my future mum in-law to get out of the room since I quickly needed to get changed! My bridesmaids joined me a few minutes later to help me with the final touches, and we enjoyed a quick glass of champagne and some snacks (chips and mayo less than an hour before the ceremony!) so we'd have energy for the rest of the day.
Where's a crochet hook when you need it?
Having successfully avoided smearing mayo all over the perfect make-up, the photographer arrived at 2.30pm and took some candid pictures. It was raining, so we had to quickly arrange a taxi for the mothers. Before we knew it, my Dad was knocking on the suite door to take me by the arm down to our stretch white limo. The Town Hall is only 300 metres from the hotel, but the weather in Sweden at this time is very unpredictable and we did not want to risk it by having to walk in gusts and rain ruining our hair and make up. Not to mention our shoes and dresses! In fact, Jacquie's heels were so high, I'm not sure she'd have made it if she'd had to walk!
Meanwhile, the boys were making their way on foot.
We effectively crawled from the hotel, as we had to give the photographer time to hoof it to the Town Hall in order to meet us! As we waited in the limo, I wondered how D'ell was feeling....
Photographer at the ready, it was finally time to climb out of the limo. With the groom and best man waiting inside, we had the honour of being met by Lloyd, Steve (friend of bride and groom) and John (Jacquie and D'ell's father) all dressed in their beautiful kilts. Trust me, they did get a lot of looks from the locals who don't see men in skirts that often!
My dad escorted me into the building and I was followed by my bridesmaids who made sure my dress did not touch the ground. Since we arrived a few minutes late (I thought I was supposed to do that!), we were welcomed by some glum faces in the waiting area. Turns out we were the first (late!) of 22 couples getting married that day. But when we walked into the room we were surrounded by smiles all around, with our friends and family standing in a semi-circle around the room. Up front, we faced a tiny officiant who looked like Frodo from Lord of the Rings, prompting a few cheeky glances among the group up front: my stunning bridesmaids on my left, my husband to be on my right, and next to him, the best man and my dad.
Married by Frodo. Lord of the Wedding Rings.
We wanted a brief ceremony, and - in the event - it was less than five minutes long. It sounds short but believe me if D'ell had had his way it would have been even shorter! My Dad did a fantastic job translating the ceremony from Swedish, but D'ell apparently just couldn't wait to marry me and kept on answering the questions in Swedish before the English translation, which raised chuckles around the room. A little after 3.05pm, we were pronounced husband and wife.
After hugs all round, we headed back to the limo, this time squeezing in the entire wedding party (both sets of parents, two bridesmaids, best man and Steve in addition to the new Mr and Mrs John D'ell Ross!). Simon - who may have enjoyed a little too much champagne already that morning - cracked open another bottle which we shared between everyone in the car.
Back at the hotel we were greeted by our family and friends. We had champagne and some lovely canapés. The photographers had prepared the photo shoot in the staircase at the hotel and we were all ready to have our pictures taken. This was superbly managed by my bridesmaid Jacquie. She had a list of all different groups and people were going up and down the stairs and I am sure that the photographer got a lot of exercise running up and down to change and make sure that people’s clothes were in order. I think that he arranged my dress a hundred times. He was very much into details. I must admit that I loved every minute of the photo shoot but perhaps my guests were a little bit bored. It did take a bit longer than planned. However they were getting plenty of champagne and after a few hours we all headed down to the dining room for the party to continue!
We felt bad for our guests that the photos took so long, but at least they were being plied with champagne and canapes in lush surroundings!
And what a night…the food was superb, the wine was amazing and the speeches were fabulous. My parents had prepared a wonderful presentation of photos of my life, to which they added witty anecdotes which got everyone laughing.
My parents during their presentation. They picked all the most embarassing pictures to embarass me!
One of the biggest surprises was when my husband started to say his speech in perfect Swedish. Later he admitted that he has been going to a private tutor for four months learning Swedish - just a perfect wedding present and a wonderful surprise. Suffice to say that he is truly an amazing man.
My brother, Fredrick, and Markus entertained us with a Swedish drinking song, although I'm not sure anyone needed encouragement with the seven course dinner, each course paired with a perfectly matching alcoholic beverage!
The Swedes were intent on showing the Scots they could drink more, faster, longer....
Steve contemplating the Schnapps...
This was beyond any doubt one of the best days in my life and something that I will never ever forget. Thank you to all our guests for coming to our big day and thank you to Jacquie and Jill for keeping me sane, plying me with just the perfect amount of champagne and reminding me to breath and to eat. Also for looking after my jewellery, mobile phone, my jacket and my flowers. Also a big thank you to Steve, Lloyd and Simon who made sure that the evening ran smoothly. And a big thank you to my dad and family, my new in-laws and all my friends for making this a truly memorable day that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Finally thank you to my incredible husband D’ell for making me a very happy woman and wife!!!
We've been nominated! If you enjoy our blog, please vote for us -->http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/35832