Okay, so I promised a wedding-related post, and this it it (finally) – the Big Day itself.
Be warned it’s a little longer than usual and I’ve written it as if I were telling my wedding story to my late Nan, she was one of my favourite people in the entire world. It felt only right to do so once I began typing.
We found out a couple of days before flying to Iceland that Joe and I had to drive to Iceland’s registry office, en-route to Seljalandsfoss, and provide proof of our identity/signatures before our ceremony. So we both got up (yes, I know we should have been in separate rooms but convenience ‘en all), had a little celebratory breakfast with the family, before getting ready separately for our drive. At this point, I had a regular outfit on – the plan was to get dressed on the guests’ minibus at the waterfall, so Joe wouldn’t seem me in my dress. You’d have loved my beautiful floral crown, make-up and hair though – it was beautifully done. One of the rare times in my life where I actually looked ‘girly’.
Getting into the car to drive to the office, the atmosphere was full of excitement and nerves. We chatted but not like our normal selves as we both sunk deeper into our thoughts. Arriving at the office, we met our Sheriff who would marry us, handed over our documents and signed our first document – you’ll be glad to know, we held each other’s hand and smiled, more excited than before.
Driving to the waterfall was the strangest part, knowing in the next half an hour we’d be a married couple. I thought of you, and I wished that you could have been there – I’d always dreamt of you being there above anything else, it was the only part of my ‘Big Day’ that I’d ever imagined. It was never about the dress or the surroundings, it was having you there watching me on my special day. I could imagine you looking beautiful with your smile lighting up the world as it always did.
We’d planned to meet our Sheriff and guests there, they were travelling in a rented bright green minibus – a bit like your old 1960s Fiesta. And so Joe, our Sheriff and I waited for them.
The problem is they were nowhere to be seen. I know, right!? Just my luck.
Next thing I knew, I had to call Mum to ask where they were. Stopped by the police is where they were, as the driver hadn’t filled out his legal paperwork! I panicked. The Sheriff had to leave in minutes, so having to make the decision that it’d have to go ahead with or without them, I dashed with my dress and shoes in hand to the attraction’s disabled loo. At this point, I can hear your laugh in my head. I’ve honestly never got dressed so quickly in my life but stepping out was an experience I’ll never forget. Swathes of tourists crowded around me to congratulate and take photos but all I remember was seeing Joe’s face – he was doing his broad smile that I love so much. I know you never had the chance to meet but you’d have loved him, you really would – he makes me endlessly happy, in the same way that you do – safe.
As tourists telling us to kiss for their photos were hounding us, we spotted the green mini-bus on the horizon. They’d made it.
Next thing we knew, we were all walking over to the waterfall for the ceremony. Even the attraction’s resident acoustic guitarist started playing wedding music, without us asking!
It was time.
We took position, in one of the most spectacular places on Earth, and Dad held my hand ready to walk me down our make-shift aisle. I will always remember his words, the words that only he would say before walking me – ‘Brace yourself‘. Just like one of our favourite scenes in the Bean Movie. You know he’s stupid soppy!
After I took my position opposite the most handsome man on the planet, the Sheriff read her legal lines, then Joe and I said our hand-written vows to one another, trembling. Both of us on the brink of tears, we rushed every word before we cracked. You could hear sniffles all around us from our wonderful guests; you’d have been one of them – if not the loudest! Then we exchanged our rings, with an ‘I do’ from me and a ‘Yes’ from Joe – clearly forgetting one of his most important lines! Then it was done and we both jumped for joy (no exaggeration). We were so happy we’d pulled it off and even happier to be man and wife. It was, without a doubt, the happiest day of my life.
Before I stop writing (because this post is a tad long), I just want to say one thing to you. When Dad did his speech that evening at our meal, you were in it. It’s a testament to you and how missed you are, that our whole family burst into tears and he didn’t even have to say your name – the rest of the room looked a little puzzled. You are still an amazing and overpowering influence in our lives.
Your not-so-little and now married, Chicken Pie.