A day in pictures. A day with no tears at all, not a one. Certainly not a sister-of-the-bride who cried constantly throughout the service and barely stopped for the next couple of hours. And certainly not from all the family and friends gathered when my mum read her self-penned reading about her love for my sister, which was quite simply the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.
And my sister was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And I'm not crying now, remembering it, honestly I'm not.
Sadly, J-cub had a meltdown seconds before the ceremony was due to start, so he was banished to the foyer area with Jamie to watch live on the video link, and I acted as ring-bearer ;)
The ceremony was held at Haldon Belvedere, a stunning tower with views across the whole of Devon. Inside the tower, a spiral stone staircase leads up to the room where the ceremony was held. We were serenaded by music from the soundtrack of Amelie Poulain, which I didn't know about, and was very excited as it's one of my favourite films and it was a perfect accompaniment as Sebastien is half-French.
By the time the register was signed, J-cub had calmed down (the lovely staff downstairs took time out from preparing the drinks to blow some bubbles for him) and he came back up for the signing and photos. He managed to wander in and out of most of the official photographs.
My dad's sister Susie came over from Canada for the wedding, she sat next to me during the ceremony and held my hand throughout, which helped stem the tears a little. When we came downstairs again afterwards I kept making my mum and sister cry with my over-emotionalness, and I love this photo of us having a mummy-sandwich ;)
J-cub was still a bit ratty after the service so we jumped in the car and drove around for an hour, trying to get him to drop off. It didn't work but he did retreat into a restful bubble which seemed to revive him a bit. It meant that again we missed most of the official photographs, but we've had copies of them all and they're amazing. This is one of my favourite shots, on top of the tower. You wouldn't know it was swathed in mist and drizzling up a storm.
We had pink champagne with raspberries to match the flowers, and non-alcoholic raspberry punch for those of us who were driving. The bride got a little bit tipsy fairly quickly ;)
The wedding breakfast was held at the nearby Cridford Inn, and the food was gorgeous. Our dessert was a chocco cup - an edible plate, spoon and cup filled with the most delicious chocolatey yumminess I've ever tasted. I swear I took about 45 minutes to eat it, I just had to savour every mouthful (plus I had to change a rather disgusting nappy right in the middle of it).
After lunch we returned to my parents' house so J-cub could have a proper nap in his cot (for nearly 3 hours - yay!) and we could all have a rest. Meanwhile, my sister and her new husband went to their hotel in Exeter and quite possibly carried on drinking a fair bit. The sun came out at last, and they had some beautiful photos taken in front of Exeter Cathedral.
The reception was just across the Cathedral green, at the Royal Clarence hotel, where Seb's uncle (Michael Caines, superstar) has his restaurant. The hotel was sumptuous, and we'd arranged for a cot as we weren't sure where J-cub was going to sleep. He came up to check into our room with us, walked straight over to the phone on the nightstand and picked up the handset. J-cub rocks.
Our bed was massive, and our massive baby was dwarfed by it. He quickly found that it was big enough for him to stand up and run across (*argh!*).
After a bottle break, we joined the reception fun and my slightly-the-worse-for-wear sister happily sat and blew bubbles for J-cub. I'm sad these photos aren't better, as it was beautiful to see.
After more tearful family reunions (most of our extended family didn't come to the ceremony as it was very small, but everyone came to the reception), we sat down and dug in to the buffet while my Uncle Billy's fiancee Sue ran around after J-cub. It was great having so many baby-wrangling hands on tap.
I may have eaten several of the wedding cupcakes, they were AWESOME.
After the dinner we let off fire lanterns on the Cathedral green, and J-cub was transfixed by them.
J-cub then spent about half an hour running around in the dimpsy light on the green in his PJs while dusk fell. We went back in to join the dancing and J-cub danced for the very first time! I managed to get some of it on (very dark) video:
He ran out of steam not long after, and we retired to our room to try and get him down. Less than half an hour later (when he was still bouncing on the bed), my mum rang to say they were going home and they'd take him with him. He happily went off with them and we were left with no responsibility for the rest of the night. We carried on dancing until the end of the reception (and not drinking at all, oh no, as you can see from this photo):
Photograph © Brendan Barry
And after the reception was over, Jamie and I decided to go out for some proper dancing in an Indie club. And that's the last I remember...