After the restorative cup of tea, I threw on last nights clothes and ran down to breakfast. That thing about brides not eating did not apply to me. One bowl of cereal, half a danish, half a croissant and three pieces of toast later, I ran back upstairs to get dressed before J came down (we had co-ordinated times to eat so we didn't see each other). On the way out, I clocked J's beloved old red car - a 16 year old VW Polo - festooned with ribbons and balloons, with a crooked 'Just Married' in the back window. I would later find out that he'd done it at 7am, unable to sleep, and that my best lady had helped him when his unsteady hands struggled to write on the window.
I pulled on dress number 1 - the short 1960s job that I'd managed to find at a vastly reduced price in an outlet store. A beautiful Kaliko lace dress that made me a feel a teensy bit like I should have kohl eyeliner and an unsuitable mod boyfriend. I put on the viking necklace that J had given me two weeks before, and my gran's 'something blue' - a necklace of Derbyshire bluejohn given to her by my stepgrandad. And with that, my charm bracelet - given as a Christening gift by an aunt and godmother, and added to every year. That's it in the top picture.
I felt the weight of ritual, that it was important to wear these things. I wore the dress with a comfy pair of peep toe shoes, and just as I was about to leave the room, realised I had no flowers. I grabbed two gerberas from a bouquet sent by a client and bought down the day before (shame to leave them at home) and wrapped them in a spare bit of lace I'd bought for something else and not ultimately needed.
Then with my mum and dad nagging me to hurry up (some things never change) we hot-footed it to the car, so that they could drive me to the register office.