This was a nervous time – our first wedding together! Heather travelled down on the Wednesday to help out with the organisation. Heather was the chief bridesmaid so was happy to lend a hand.
The morning of the wedding was pretty stressful I was informed as Amy had been organising as much as she could up until the day and was not impressed with the poor service and organisation from select parties. During the run up of the big day she had organised / hand made chocolate monkey favours, place cards, children’s goody bags, seating plan, wedding gift box, pick n mix sweet stall, chair covers and bonsai tree table centres. Heather seemed to enjoy helping out and spending time with Amy and Steve.
I joined them on the Friday night after work, travelling down on the train. This was a new experience for me as I had only been up to London on the train in the past. I am not a lover of public transport and normally find it is just as expensive as taking my own vehicle and not as convenient. I was nervous about getting the train in case I got on the wrong one, or ended up in the wrong place etc… I was lucky I arrived with enough time and had bought and picked up my tickets the previous night. The 1 way journey was only £15 which I thought was great value.
The journey was uneventful for much of it. As it came from London through Gatwick (where I work) there was no seating for the first 2 stops. This gave me time to think, I could have caught the previous train straight from work (Gatwick) and got a lift in on the Monday. Oh well, maybe next time. As I had time to spare I began reading my book, Paul McKenna’s ‘Change Your Life in 7 Days’. I managed to read most of the book in the hour and a half journey (same as driving). I had my headphones in and buried myself in my book. This was good until Chichester, when a few undesirables got on with a pack of shouting kids. This made me feel uneasy but I just kept reading. Luckily they got off at the next stop so was not a big issue.
The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. Just outside Southampton over the tannoy came a request to check the toilet. I looked at a lady opposite and asked “did he mean for one of us to check it?” she had the same thought and we both smiled. We struck up conversation for the 3 minutes before we terminated. As I gathered my things and made my way to the exit, I realised I needed my ticket to get through the barriers, this was deep in my pocket and having no free hands, like everyone’s nightmare I dropped my bits on the floor to retrieve the dog eared ticket. Once through the barrier I looked up to seem my brother and his girlfriend (Wren) waiting to collect me and take me on to the rendezvous point with Miss Wells.
This was the first time I met Wren and she seemed a lovely girl and I warmed to her immediately. We met up in a car park near Heather’s old flat she shared with Amy (not as dodgy as it sounds!) and made our way to one of the best student pubs in Southampton – Avondale. It was cheap and cheerful and all we needed. We chatted and introduced each other and had a good evening. I collected my shirt needed for the wedding from my brother and bid him farewell and returned to our hotel with Heather.
The room was nice, but the bed was uncomfortable – I would not recommend it to anyone. On Saturday Heather was up early to help and left me in bed, but text me regularly to make sure I was up. I was up and dressed, shirt ironed and looking as best I could in time to meet people downstairs. I mingled with the other guests, not knowing anyone. I made friends with some of Steve’s uni friends (Digby, Chris and John) I chatted to them until Louise (Heathers sister) and her boyfriend (Capon) arrived. I quickly transferred the items to decorate the honeymoon suite from Louise to our room ready for later. The ceremony was good, different from most other weddings I had attended, especially when the registrar made a gaff and almost married Amy to the best man! Heather looked wonderful in the bridesmaid dress. After the ceremony we were ushered outside for photos and being only a plus 1 I was in 1 group shot then left with the buck fizz – result!
Time was pressing on and I was starting to get peckish and all the canapés were cheese based, which was a big no no for me. The wedding breakfast was great with a buffet in an adjoining room after the moving speeches and presents given out to the wedding party it was time to party. I stayed on the free wine for most of the evening, then on to the beer (it was cheap) and partied the night away till 1 AM. Instead of a book to sign Amy and Steve had arranged for a Photo booth. You got 4 pictures in either black and white or colour. And no limit on the amount of times you could visit. Throughout the night different props appeared in the photos, all are available on Facebook to download. Some of the guests you could see the alcohol taking its effect throughout the evening.
Sunday morning we rose for a much needed breakfast and checked out, now needing to waste the day we went to gun wharf to meet Louise and Capon for shopping and a dirty burger for lunch. We browsed the shops until 3ish then headed back to Southampton to pick up some presents for a family birthday meal on the bank holiday Monday in the New Forest. Heather gave me a tour of Southampton and where she used to hang out during her Uni days. Being a Sunday and holiday time it was very quiet. At 5pm we heard from one of our hosts for the night (Luke) and he came home early from his Foo Fighters gig, unable to get a reasonable ticket from a tout.
We went to Luke and Charlotte’s house. It was my first time and it was very nice. We had a curry for dinner and chilled out for a bit then off to bed early #shattered. In the morning after it was a struggle to get out of the comfy guest bed we rose and got ready for the Birthday meal in the New Forest.
On Monday, we went to my Aunt Susan’s birthday meal. This was at the captains club in Tipton, (hyperlink) and was a nice day , a bit windy but nice temperature.. This was a good day to catch up with family and introduce heather and show her off to some of my family. We left the meal at 4 needing to get home, we arrived home on the Monday evening tired exhausted and went straight to bed not looking forward to work on the Tuesday.