First day of my life...

I had to borrow this post title from the wonderfully beautiful Bright Eyes song. I am now married and I thought I'd share with you what Saturday 16th October was like. So many emotions, so much adrenaline, the strangest and yet most amazing day.

Peter and I had done so much running around the day before, all in the pouring rain. We were exhausted as we had dinner, which meant we slept well. But saturday was another early wake up, off to the hairdressers and then to pick up the flowers from the florist. We felt a little more relieved after the flowers were in the room and all that was left was to go home and get ready. I hadn't been able to eat and was such a bundle of nerves.

Peter and I began to get changed into our outfits, whilst Nina Simone and Duke Ellington streamed from the living room. The music suited the old school elegance we'd hoped to achieve. Very inspiring. We looked at each other across the living room and knew it was time to go and wait for the taxi. How strange it felt. We both laughed nervously and beamed at each other. It had rained all day on the friday and even a bit on saturday morning. But as we walked up the driveway, the sun shone. Amazing.

After almost beating a few late comers to the ceremony, we made our entrance. 45 people didn't seem like many on paper, but entering through a door where everyone is staring at you, it felt strange. But everyone was smiling, cameras were flashing and everywhere I looked were the happy faces of people who I adore. I must say it felt quite strange and almost like being outside myself. Standing at the front of the room, our wonderful Celebrant Jon von Goes took charge. A cheer for us, a cheer for our parents, some back story on how we met and that even though we've not know each other for a huge amount of time, we were indeed the loves of each others lives. And everyone was here to celebrate that.

Our vows weren't traditional, and even though we didn't write them ourselves, they were meaningful to us.

I want to be with you always
Just as you are.
I choose you above all others,
To share my life with me in marriage.
I love you for yourself,
And want you to become all that you can be.
I promise to honour
And tenderly care for you,
To cherish and encourage
Your own fulfilment as an individual
For the rest of my life.

Peter looked deeply into my eyes as he said them, and I know that he means every word. We are both very mindful of being closely connected, but not inhibiting each other. I found a quote from Goethe the other day, saying 'Love does not dominate; it cultivates'. We want to grow together, and be the person each of us should be. Not change ourselves for the other person.

Then it was time to involve two of our dearest friends, who were originally asked to be witnesses, and had now also been asked to add ring-bearer to their CV. Jon did a great job of making Daniel and Denise part of the ceremony and each got a cheer. Rings exchanged, and suddenly that was it. Time for the kiss and more cheering. The music came on (thanks to Alistair, another ace friend), the champagne flowed and the hugs and kisses began.

For the next few hours there was much food, much to drink, much music, much chatting and much smiling. I tried my best to speak to everyone, but alas it is impossible. My only regret is not being able to get to see everyone. But there were moments when Peter and I looked around the room, and saw people who'd never met chatting away. We beamed. The vibe was just how we'd wanted it to be. Smiles, celebration, laughter, good will. Apparently both Esther (Peter's Mum) and my Mum, Marlene had been working the room introducing themselves to everyone. In fact, the wedding was the first time our parents had met each other. People were in such a good mood. I don't think I stopped smiling for a second.

We made a speech, thanking everyone for coming, and for those dear friends who helped us on the day - Alistair, Denise, Daniel, Nej (and Anth) - our ushers helping direct and greet people and Gemma who baked an incredible amount of cupcakes for us, as our wedding cakes and as gifts for our guests. People are truly amazing. We really wanted those special to us, to be involved on the day. But more than that, everyone we invited is special to us. So many of them have been the support crew and the cheer squad over the last couple of difficult years. And I know that I could not have gotten through it all without them.

It was perfect.

It has taken Peter and I a few days to get used to calling each other 'husband' and 'wife' without giggling. Sitting on the couch in the cottage we rented in Daylesford for our honeymoon, Peter said how embryonic we were. In the scheme of things, our time together which lay behind us is tiny compared to the years that lay ahead. It made me smile. We are embryonic, whirlwind, new. But everything feels 'right' and 'as it should be'.

I have waited to see if being married would make me feel different. And in essence it hasn't. I've put that down to the fact that I've felt so differently about Peter from the beginning. It has always felt life-changing, immense and joyous being with him. I have caught myself over the last week, looking at his hand wearing his wedding ring, and my heart fluttering. For some reason this symbol of our connectedness has taken on a new dimension. To see us sitting across from each other, and the fact we have something matching on each of our hands makes me smile. Our rings were made by a local jewellery maker - they are silver and have a leaf print on them. You can see the veins and texture of the leaf. I love it that they match, but are unique. The same but different. The story of us.

I can feel that our relationship, our marriage will grow and develop and change as our lives become more entwined and we deal with the ups and downs. I know that it is a great relationship now, but that it will become more multidimensional as we help each other through the coming months and years. The future has begun and October 16th 2010 marked the first day of my new life...


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