Right, so where were we, that's right, party time. One of the reasons I justified getting an open top bus was because we had to get all our guests from the ceremony venue to the party venue. OK it was only a 5 minute drive down the road (if you don't include the stop off at the beach and the extra scenic journey we took) but as you will see from my previous post I wanted a god damn bus, OK?! Now let me tell you about the party venue. When I was growing up, and all through my teenage years I was a member of the local brass band (Shanklin Town Brass Band), no honest, I really was that cool. We used to practice all over the place but at one point the band managed to get the permission to set up their band hall in this cool old chalet in the middle of a park. The chalet was (and still is) in need of a lot of renovation but it was great to have a space of our own to practice in. It meant that we did not have to share with churches, or schools, or practise in the back rooms of pubs. When Stuart and I had decided that we were going to do the whole Isle of Wight Wedding I knew straight away I wanted to use the band hall for the party. It may not be the most glamorous venue, but I spent so much time there as a teenager I couldn't see why I wouldn't ask to use it. It helped that the park/gardens the chalet is in are beautiful and overlook the sea, and that using this space meant we could do exactly what we wanted as well. Luckily for me the band were happy for me to take over their space for a weekend. They even gave the place a bit of a face lift with a lick of paint before we were due to arrive. However when we were setting up on Friday there was a strong smell of paint lingering and I was paranoid it was still going to be there for the party, and as we walked in on Saturday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was the smell of paint! I don't know if others noticed it as strongly as I did, but I honestly didn't care. You know how smell is one of the best triggers for remembering things? I sincerely hope that they way I am transported to Glastonbury Festival every time I smell a bonfire, or how the fresh salty smell of the sea reminds me of the ferry home, that the next time I smell fresh paint, I will remember the band hall, the effort folks went to to get it ready and how much fun I had that evening.
As we walked into the hall we were greeted by my bridesmaids serenading me with the Indiana Jones theme tune as a brass trio. And no, I didn't just choose those three for bridesmaids because I wanted my own ready made brass band, honest!
My sister had managed to find a whole bunch of embarrassing photos of Stuart and I as kids for everyone to laugh at, that she kindly displayed on a notice board for everyone to see as they walked in.
The band hall looked great, and although it might have been a little cosy with everyone in there, we had space to dance, eat and generally be merry. Kris, had offered to help with the music, and my brother, Allan had brought all the booze for everyone. So safe to say, there was plenty of alcohol and loud music, and honestly what more do you need for a party? At some point in the evening Stuart and I decided to get our first dance over and done with. I can't remember if this was before or after we broke the dragon piñata (which I'd named Smaug) we had hovering above everyone! We'd thought long and hard about what song we wanted to dance to. It didn't take us long to decide that we didn't want to slow dance, it's just not our style. One day when we were sat at home Stuart suddenly had an idea. He wanted to do our first dance to 99 Lufballons, in the style of JD from Scrubs. 'What the hell are you on about!' I hear you cry. Well watch this clip and you will see what I am talking about;
So that is exactly what we did. I can tell you something though, it's a bloody long song to prance around to but I tried to do my best JD moves! After the dance it was time for the cutting of the cake. I love my cake. I think it is the best cake in the whole wide world, I was so heartbroken to have to cut it because it was so beautiful. The cake was made by my Auntie Gail, and Lauren. When they offered to make our wedding cake, I don't think they were expecting to hear me say 'Yes please, and can it look like Bag End?' but they blew all other cakes out of the water. I really can't praise it enough. It even tasted amazing. And here it is in all it's mutli-coloured glory - isn't it just the best thing you've ever seen?
|A close up of our little Bilbo and Frodo, made completely from icing!|
After the cake cutting, it was back to dancing. Our photographer took Stuart and I outside for a few night time shots, and when he was done he headed off to leave us to our own devices. At that point some of our guests also had to make their way home but a lot of others stayed. I think that was the point someone suggested karaoke, or maybe Kris just grabbed the mic and started rapping. It was probably my favourite part of the whole day, not because I love karaoke, because I looked around and realised that everyone who was left were my favourite people and they were all getting involved, getting along, having a good time and generally being fabulous. There was my immediate family, my new family, George (of course) and my friends who had come down from London and they were all partying together. I knew then that these people were the ones that I wanted to spend my time with, and that although we might not party together that often, or I might only see others a couple of times a year they would always be there, and definitely up for a good time. And that's the most emotional lovey dovey thing you'll get from me! It was a great party; Allan took over the mic to sing 'The Drugs Don't Work' (not the most requested karaoke song, I imagine) Stuart turned DJ to mix Flight of the Conchord songs together just for me, Laura busted moves I haven't seen since we crashed a party at an Old Man's Social Club, I probably flashed my pants far too many times spinning around in my dress, Stuart and Paul duetted to 'Do the Bartman' and I made sure 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' was played, probably more than once.
From now on, I think photos sum up the rest of the evening.
With that our day was drawing to a close. People started heading back to homes and hotels. It was at this point a few people who hadn't booked taxi's realised that getting around the Island on a Saturday evening isn't as easy as it sounds. This meant Stuart (the non-drinker) kindly dropped some friends off to their hotel and then came back to give my (very tipsy) Mum and brother a lift home. If I'm completely honest I was a little put out that we had to do this on our wedding evening. I was knackered, sweaty and my feet hurt, I just wanted to take my husband home. However as I sat in the car as we headed to my Mum's I had an epiphany - this was one of the many reasons why I love Stuart and wanted to get married to him; unlike me, he really doesn't mind helping others, and he won't remind them or make them repay the favour in the future. It only took 30 minutes out of our whole day, a day that so many people had put time, effort, money and energy into making so special for us so I had no reason to complain. Looking back, I wouldn't have changed one single part of the whole day, plus we saw a badger on the drive back to our apartment, and who doesn't want to see a badger on their wedding day!