As I was about to walk down the aisle, I could see my friends – especially Jess (who’d introduced Andrew and I about 11 years previously!) and Ned smiling at me and giving me the thumbs up. It was really calming to see them just before I walked do the aisle.
Then the organist started playing the Bridal Chorus by Wagner, and it was time to start walking down the aisle.
It was so amazing to see Andrew at the end of aisle, and he was smiling so much at me that I had this crazy uncontrollable smile on my face too. I think we were both just so excited.
We quickly went into a hymn, Jerusalem, followed by exchanging vows and getting married. Our vicar recommended we got it over with quickly (ha!) so we could enjoy the rest of the service.
After the vows, which we both got through without crying (my voice cracked a bit – oops!), we had one of my closest friends Emily read Corinthians 13.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We spent hours and hours picking our readings, because we didn’t want anything we’d heard at other weddings or anything too sickly. I also don’t believe in soul mates and The One, so we really didn’t want anything along those lines and so many traditional readings are like “OMG, I was dead before I met you”. It’s simply not true, and we wanted our readings to really mean something to us.
The second reading was read by my eldest brother, Nick. It was Song of the Open Road, Part 15 by Walt Whitman. It felt appropriate to have my American brother read something by a great American poet, and the words are very us.
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like London.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Somethimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
Then it was time to sign the register, with our mums as our witnesses, and have some final prayers.
As we signed the register, my friend Lucy sang Your Song by Elton John. She is a professional singer, so did an amazing job. Loads of people came up to me afterwards and said they thought she should be on the stage, not realising that was her job. Haha.
After that, we were free to walk down the aisle and enter the rest of the world as Mr and Mrs Phillimore. The recessional music was Wedding March by Mendelssohn, again played by the organist. And the bells peeled out too. Cue many hugs from our friends, and some confetti.
After which, we hurriedly went and had some group shots done. We didn’t want to spend long on these at all, as we wanted to maximise the time we spent with guests and just enjoy the day.
All photos © Andrew Marshall