We married on a shoestring, literally. We had no money to speak of. Off the peg suits for us both, very cheap rings - because the rings were merely symbolic, for us it was about the vows, not what carat gold the rings were or how much they cost. I didn't have a bouquet, but a friend's young granddaughter waited for me outside the hotel when I arrived with a bunch of freesias - my favourite flowers. We arrived at the ceremony together in a chauffeur driven white Rolls Royce - a gift from his then workmate Nigel, who ran the business with his family. Nigel actually driving us too, which was lovely. We didn't have a proper wedding video, nor photos taken, relying on family and friends to take plenty and then give us copies. We didn't have a honeymoon either. One day, maybe? Despite the lack of fanfares and tiaras and champagne, it was the best day of my life. I think Mr G agrees. It went so fast, and I have an appalling memory, so it was lovely to look back at the two videos taken by my nephew and my Father, and piece it all together.
I cringed a bit as I arrived in view, completely dressed in lilac from head to toe. I had a thing about lilac, but let's just say it's not the most flattering colour for a big girl. Who was also three months pregnant. And no, it wasn't a shotgun wedding, we'd been engaged since October 1999. Honest. We watched as the registrar gave her speech and explained what would happen. Then. Mr G began to say his vows. And he managed one line. Before his voice broke and he started crying. And stopped dead. Complete deathly silence in the venue, before everyone starting whispering 'Awwwwwwww!'
Mr G - You're a bitch.
Me - Why??? *Gigglesnort*
Mr G - Look at you there. Look!
My back was to the camera and Mr G was facing it. Tears streaming down his face, so completely choked up that he couldn't speak. Me? My entire body was convulsing. You cannot see my face, but I'll leave it to you - dear readers - to decide. Was I too, racked with sobs? So overcome with emotion that the man of my dreams loves me so much, that he can't get his marriage vows out?
Nah. I was laughing at him. Laughing may not be strong enough a word there. He had tears of joy, I had tears of mirth. And that pretty much set the standard for our marriage. He makes me laugh every single day. One way or another. Either with him, or at him. It doesn't matter.
|Cutting the cake|
We watched the rest of the video which was a pretty bittersweet experience for us both. His parents were both there, they've now since passed away. My dear friend Emma was there, she passed away a few years ago. My Grandmother, also gone. The friend who was my witness, we haven't spoken for nearly 6 years, as it was a toxic friendship, she was passive aggressive, very critical and backhanded in her words and I decided I deserved better. But it was still sad to end a friendship of 15 years, no matter how badly I felt I was being treated. A cousin I no longer speak to. Several couples who are no longer together. The only constants are my parents, my cousin and her (then boyfriend) husband (by the way, you can catch her over at Netty Natters for baby talk, reviews, recipes and really great photos, and a brilliant series of posts on a Monday entitled 'Mock my Man Monday' - which she really should start a blog hop off with... HINT), and Mr G and I. Our Best Man hit the nail on the head when he said in his speech that my husband was the nicest person you could meet, and that nobody had a bad word to say about him, if anyone deserved happiness it was him, and he was so glad he'd found me. I hope I have made him happy.
|First Dance as Man and Wife to Semisonic's Secret Smile - our song|
I realised that we're so lucky to have remained the same. Much changed, but essentially the same. Older. Wiser? Greyer, definitely. Crazier. Grumpier. But still happy. Still very much in love. It's our 14 and a half year anniversary of meeting on Christmas Day (yeah, we still count the halves!) and although we've been through some pretty grim stuff these last 14 years, individually and together, it just goes to show, if you face things together, support each other and give as much as you take, then you can get through anything and come out the other end, smiling. I'd marry him again tomorrow, thank you Mr G for putting up with me. I know I drive you mad. I'm extremely hard work most (all?) of the time. But I'm a good cook. And I love you ;-)