Today in a fabulous Civil and Hindu ceremony I got married to my beautiful wife Michelle. I thought it would be a good idea to finally update my blog for what can only be described as the happiest day of my life.
It is strange how when planning a wedding, the actual date of the event, slowly creeps up on you. Even with our eleven month build up, these recent weeks flew past like a runaway freight train. I had been counting down via my Facebook profile, with Priya, (my new sister-in-law) always the first to comment and her brother, Steve always leaving a funny comment, such as “until my birthday!”. There was a brief moment on Friday evening that I had to take a moment out from the festivities to truly appreciate the journey I was about to embark on. Was I nervous? Of course, extremely nervous, not just on a personal level but that months of extensive planning and undisclosed expense would not have been wasted away on what many would regard as just another Saturday.
Friday was always going to be a hectic day and as usual my family was running late. We ended up taking my cousins, Vishal and Rozy as well as my sisters Julie and Natalie into town. However we first had to stop at my old work place, Shell Cressex to get some fuel as I was running on fumes as usual. First stop, Tara Stores on Copyground Lane to buy a headpiece for my over hyped entrance. With little time or choice, we settled on a pagri which fit my big head and closely matched my sherwani. I then drove into town to drop my car off to be washed before we then finally got into Eden. I had booked a hair appointment at RUSH on the recommendation of my sister Natalie. Vishal and I were booked in for 11am and we made it just about in time. While my cousin from the States had just a trim from stylist Wayne, I had a colouring (number three on the chart, not jet black one like my first attempt in late May) before a small haircut myself. Not sure what happened with paying but for some reason they only initially charged me for my colour and cut and forgot about my cousin, only for me to have to be called back into the saloon to complete a second transaction. I did not spot the big frown the Indian receptionist gave to Vishal, as I had been heading out the door but my cousin made it clear, for a split second he felt like a two-bit petty criminal.
Afterwards we walked over to the bus station to meet up with my cousin Anita and my uncle Raman, who had wanted to pop into town to do a little shopping and generally just get out of the house for a while. Anita headed over to Toni & Guy as she had her hair appointment booked for 1pm and was close to losing her slot. I rushed ahead to inform the receptionist, to ensure they held her place. Now ideally at this point I would have gone home and got on with the hundreds of tasks I had to complete. Instead, I was left as chaperon to my uncle, cousin and first cousin, young Ramzi. We headed to Poundworld as that is where my uncle wanted to go and spent a good thirty minutes in here, going through all the assorted junk and picking up a few items for my uncle. He was searching for a whistle, which they did not sell, only whistles for pets or party horns.
We then moved away from the high street and back into the Eden Shopping Centre. I was desperate to get my last few things and head back home, but my relatives had other ideas. Thankfully I called my sister Samantha who would pop into town later to pick everyone up, so we headed to Marks & Spencer to get my last minute items and then I went to collect my car from the car wash. My Dad was waiting in the Baker Street car park and would collect the rest of the gang once they had finished. I headed back home, with so many things to do and no idea of where to start.
I am glad I took the day off, but I doubt it made much difference to my then fiancée, Michelle. Her day, I would later discover was going from bad to worse, with the majority of her family rushing around on her strict instructions, to finalise all the plans. On the other hand, I had a steady stream of well-wishers appearing at the door. It was going to be a long day.
I would also like to point out that I had no speech at this point in the day (lunchtime), I had written a few notes and taken a few internet suggestions into a Word document, while still at my previous workplace but nothing coherent enough to deliver to a room of two hundred guests. I had hoped that around 4pm I would be able to sit down with the laptop and complete my speech. Instead, it was not until around 10pm I finally got to go on the computer and complete my speech. It took me about an hour to finalise, as I had to write a new start, cut an extensive part of the middle and end on a rather romantic note. You should also be aware, that in typical bloke fashion, I left it until Wednesday 3rd August to order gifts for my best men and respective fathers and then had to call up to rush the order through to ensure it arrived on Saturday. Therefore at the time of writing my speech, I did not know if the gifts I would be presenting would arrive on time. I had already covered myself on this option with a gift-set of Glen Elgin whiskey of various ages. I was hoping I would not have to fall back on them. In the end, I did receive a confirmation of despatch e-mail and my order was scheduled to arrive on Saturday morning and I had planned for the package to be collected by my dearest sister Julie and brought to the venue. Around 11:30pm, I felt happy with the speech and closed down the laptop. I would print out a few copies of the speech first thing in the morning. I headed to bed, anxious. Would the day go as planned or would something go wrong?