So, the wedding. Firstly, the non-official pictures (disposable cameras were left on each of the tables at the reception for anyone to take whatever pictures they wanted) have been processed and are online, but I'm going to grab them from the supplying webpage and do some editing of them before I post them. Rest assured that they will be up shortly. I don't believe we can post any of the official ones, which means there will be little to no pictures of the actual ceremony, but at least you'll get an idea of what everyone looked like and how the reception was ;)
The time preceeding the wedding was pretty hectic, though I found that I had little direct involvement in things that were being done - usually when I asked "What do I need to do?" the answer was "Nothing, you can do what you want", which was quite an easy set of instructions to follow. I spent a bit of time with my family and Heidi's family, and both, which is/was great in its own way but I find being around people to be very tiring and get grumpy rather quickly, so after a couple of days I'd quite had my fill of people and wanted some alone time. Still, I survived without strangling anyone for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and come the day of the wedding was at the church by 2pm to help a little with the decorating - because the ceremony was on a Sunday, the church was busy until around 1pm, which meant that it was ultimately a good idea to have an evening ceremony as it gave enough time to get all the preparations done! Many, many people chipped in with that part of the work and they did a great deal to transform the room and give it the ambience that it had, for which I'm very grateful. If I can get a picture of how it looked I will.
We were ready by 5.30 for the portrait photos to start, and they took *ages* - poor Heidi was in nearly every one of them, and she was aching by the time they finished nearly 2 hours later (yes, we saw each other before the ceremony; no, it wasn't really avoidable and in the end we were more bothered about getting things done than adhering to tradition). Then it was nearly straight into the ceremony, with myself and my two sidekicks (my brother, Chris, and Heidi's brother, Jon) coming into the room from the back and through the floral arch from which the service was conducted by Heidi's parents, who are both pastors. Her mum and mine then lit separate candles, before the maid of honour (Susannah, Heidi's sister), matron of honour (Vicki, Heidi's best friend) and the flower girl (Ashley, one of her cousins) preceeded Heidi, escorted by her dad, to the arch, all to the sound of some gorgeous lute music.
The actual ceremony was quite concise: Heidi's mum performed the introductions, and then her dad gave a short sermon, before her Aunt Denise sang "Con te partirai" (I'm not sure what the actual name is, but it's the one that was badly translated into "Time to say goodbye" and sung by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli) beautifully. We then read our identical vows simultaneously, and our rings were exchanged. Finally, a unity candle was lit by both of us using the candles lit by our respective mothers earlier.
Okay, so I've vastly oversimplified that, but that's about it. There's a couple of video recordings of it available and I'll do what I can to get them online asap, but at the moment it's not easy for lack of hardware. Anyhow, I'm sure Heidi will post a description from her viewpoint at some time.
There followed the reception, which was held at the back of the church in a raised area seemingly designed for just this purpose, involving much in the way of sugary goodness as prepared by innostrantsa
and her cohorts, whose LJ names I momentarily forget. The cake - a light blue multilayered cake, pictures of which will assuredly follow - was also cut, of course, and we stuffed a piece into each others' mouths as tradition demands ;) There was NO DANCING. We don't do dancing. But everyone seemed to enjoy it and it was good to see everyone in one place, even those people who I didn't entirely know (Heidi has a much bigger family than I). By the end of the night though, both of us were very knackered.
The honeymoon was on hold for a couple of days, whilst people were still in town, but I'll post a description of this in a separate entry. I'd like to take the opportunity, though, to thank everyone who was there, everyone who helped to put it together, everyone who wanted to be there but couldn't and everyone who sent us best wishes in all forms - you all made it very special for us. Cheers :)