2.11.16 – One Month On
Annie hadn’t got much sleep, but she had a relatively relaxing morning. The process of getting ready was a quiet and private affair. When it was time to drive to our wedding location, the chauffeur arrived in a perfectly polished, shiny blue Mustang, a beautiful vintage car with creamy white car ribbons. On the corner of our street stood a little old man, mouth dropped open as he saw our car approach. He must’ve loved the Mustang. He caught our eye and waved excitedly as the car drove past. Apart from him, the roads were quiet. I suppose that’s what happens when you plan your wedding for the Sunday morning after the start of daylight savings.
Annie arrived early. Very early. The car hovered outside for more than half an hour whilst guests milled around in the lobby. The chauffeur had pulled over by the side of the dirt track which led to the Mansion.
“There’s someone coming up behind us in a hell of a hurry,” he remarked.
Indeed, as we looked out the little rear window of the Mustang, we could see a large cloud of dust being spun up by the small form of a car near the horizon. We watched, intrigued, as a dusty, red P-plated SUV sped past us.
“That’ll be one of the wedding guests, I suppose?” asked the chauffeur.
When Jon arrived at the Mansion, there were already some exited guests waiting in the lobby. And the guests just kept coming. Jonathan was concerned that he would soon lose his voice from welcoming people all morning. How would he be able to say his vows without his voice? And how would he be able to get married without saying his vows? The whole day would be ruined. He wished that people would just stop arriving. And to make it worse, people kept asking him if he was feeling nervous. Jonathan was feeling very nervous, thank you very much. And all the people asking him should know that, having been married themselves!
Jon’s little brother, Daniel, was even more nervous than the groom was. He hurried everyone upstairs when he saw that Annie had been waiting outside for half an hour. That wasn’t how weddings were supposed to go. The bride was supposed to be late.
Upstairs, Jon waited at the end of the aisle. Daniel dutifully turned off the background music and the violinist got ready to play for the processional. Five minutes passed and nothing happened. The bride was nowhere to be seen. An awkward silence had lulled over the room. Daniel, in a state of confusion, went to turn the music back on. No sooner had he wrangled the iPod into submission, and tuned into the relaxing tones of Chopin did the Wedding Co-Ordinator re-appear to announce the arrival of the bride. Daniel dived across the altar and pulled out the iPod, just as the violinist played the first few notes of the processional song.
Jon felt very stressed.
Annie was very calm. She stood on the stairway with her four little flower girls and her mum and dad. When it was time to walk down the aisle, she could barely keep her eyes fixed on the groom. Instead, her wide eyes kept darting around the room, smiling as she caught the eyes of friends and family who had made it out for the big day.
The wedding ceremony passed quickly. It was full of sunshine, which poured in from the wide open windows, kind words, smiles and tears. It was a beautiful half-hour, and we’d like to share some words with you from our ceremony:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:9-12
It was time for photographs. We were lucky enough to have a golf buggy which drove us around the Mansion gardens to different beautiful locations. On the buggy, they offered us drinks – wine, beer, sparkling water…
“Do you have any soft drinks?” we asked.
The next time we rode on the buggy, they gave us fruit juice and Coke.
As we rode around the Mansion, we were photographed by several groups of international tourists who seemed very excited to see the bride. We were also approached by a small child, who wanted to compliment us on our looks.
After the photos were all done and dusted, we retreated to the Pool Room for a rest stop and to play some Snooker. Unfortunately, some of our party did not get the right directions, and ended up at the hotel’s swimming pool instead!
While waiting for the others to arrive, Annie and the girls ducked out to fix their makeup in the bathrooms. Jon was left alone in the Pool Room. Suddenly, a strange man poked his head around the corner.
“Is there a wedding here?” he asked, looking around.
“Uh, not exactly,” said Jonathan. “This room has just been booked for part of a wedding.”
“Any idea when you’ll be done?” asked the man. “I was really hoping to play some Snooker before I had to check out.”
“Uh, sorry,” said Jon.
When we finally left the Pool Room and went to the Reception Theatre, we passed the man who had been asking all the questions. He looked up at us, and I think he mouthed the word, ‘finally.’
The reception was a great success. We drank and rated our Lemon, Lime & Bitters (5/5 glasses by the way), and enjoyed dancing and catching up with family and friends. The food was good, as was the atmosphere. I think everyone had a pretty good time. Annie’s mum definitely did – we could hear her raucous laughter burst out loudly across the room every few minutes or so.
We had a beautiful day, and we feel so blessed to have been able to share it with so many of our wonderful friends and family. Thank you to everyone who shared the day with us, and for those of you weren’t there, thank you for sharing with us by reading this blog post.
xx Annie and Jonathan