Looking back, a year on

A friend who is currently planning her own wedding suggested I write this post. R and I are celebrating our first anniversary this month, so looking back with the  benefit of hindsight what were the most important aspects of the day? What do we still think about, talk about and laugh about and what really wasn’t as important as it seemed at the time. Maybe this will be useful to other couples planning their own weddings.

(c) Half a Dream Away

(c) Half a Dream Away

R and I actually had a civil ceremony with just our families to take care of the legalities before our real wedding where we made our vows to each other. That moment in the registry office, with just our parents, siblings and the registrar hit me like lightening. This is what it’s all about, just me and R committing to spend the rest of our lives together. It was such a special moment and really cristalised what marriage is about for me. I loved every minute of our wedding with all our friends and family, we had a great day and a big party. But that’s just the wedding, that’s not a marriage.

When I think back to our wedding day the thing I remember the most is laughing with friends. It’s the one time you’re likely to have all your friends and all your family in one place so cherish that. That was the most important thing to me, to have all the people I loved around me, that’s what made the say special. I felt like I was floating all day.

(c) Half a Dream Away

(c) Half a Dream Away

I remember dancing with my best friends to songs that we danced to when we were 17 (she’s a maaaaniac, maaaaniac on the floor, ahem, sorry). I remember being in the car with my brother and dad and wondering if this was really happening. I remember my face aching from smiling and laughing so much but I didn’t care. I remember that my earings actually cut my skin from all the hugging but I could hardly feel it because I was so happy. I remember getting ready with my girls and having a surprisingly calm morning. I remember the waitresses coming up to us with canapés when we were getting our photos taken because we had mentioned to the caterer that we didn’t want to miss them. I remember looking out and seeing my aunts smiling back at me during the ceremony. I remember so many of our guests complimenting the food, which had been a huge motivation in choosing Ballybeg House. I remembering bursting into tears when my dad saw me in my dress for the first time. I remember laughing so much. I remember feeling so happy I though my heart would burst.

(c) Half a Dream Away

(c) Half a Dream Away

So, things I’m glad we spent money on: The venue (Ballybeg House) but only because it had exactly the atmosphere we wanted, relaxed and informal and fun! The staff at Ballybeg were also really excellent, just fantastic. But a field with all your friends and family would also do. The food, mmm the food was so good, we had a buffet which again added to the relaxed feel to the day and oh my, the food was so yum (did I say that already?). And I’m so glad we have the most beautiful photographs that I still love to look through and smile at the memories. The dance floor was packed all night, I even had a lampshade on my head at one stage. So I’m glad we had good music, although you wouldn’t necessarily need to have a band for this. We had a jazz band and then a DJ who really listened to my request for 90s music.

Everything else is just window dressing, lovely window dressing but just not really all that important in the grand scheme of things. The shoes, the favours, the flowers, even the dress. They are wonderful to have but what a wedding is for celebrating your love and commitment to your partner with the most important people in your lives. That’s what it’s really all about.

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