The Wedding by Raising Mabel

I absolutely love weddings. Not just for the champagne, party dresses and bad dancing but also because they represent such an amazing celebration of proper, full-on love which is unafraid of commitment, and the coming together of two families to give away a brand new one. What a moment. Weddings are great.

Last weekend I went to cheer on a brilliant old friend as he wed his beautiful bride. It was a perfect day – I mean, it was Scotland in October and it didn’t even rain (clearly God must have been delighted with this pairing) – and it was just so wonderful to see so many old friends and do much catching up and chewing of fat.

However, attending a wedding since the bambino has arrived is not quite what it once was. Anyone who has tried to attend (and enjoy) a wedding with a three-month-old will understand exactly what I am talking about.

I had been excited for weeks – outfit planning, crash dieting (tremendously unsuccessfully), present buying – and when the day came I was pretty sure I had the whole thing nailed.

Part One: The Journey. The day started, admittedly slightly over ambitiously, with a five-hour car journey up to Edinburgh from North Yorkshire. I know, it’s already sounding bad. The first fatal flaw in the day came at 7 am, when my cheery mother standing at the front door in her dressing gown, handed us a large Tupperware container filled with homemade pea soup ‘to eat when we got home’ and placed it confidently in the boot. At around midday when we pulled into a service station in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, we noticed a strong smell coming from the back of the car. Yes, that’s right, before we had even arrived at the wedding we had coated the entire contents of our car (on the way back from a week’s holiday) in green, sloppy, fragrant pea soup. Pushchair included. After trying to hose some of it down using a bottle of water with a sports cap (embarrassingly unsuccessful) we just decided to shut the boot, pretend we hadn’t noticed and drive on, all the while quietly wondering how on earth we were going to get through the day without a pushchair. We were, after-all, now running quite late.

Part Two: The Ceremony. Parking in Edinburgh on a Saturday isn’t particularly straight forward, but after slamming into an unusually lucky spot, with 5 minutes to spare before the entrance of the bride, we thought we’d pulled it out of the bag. As I hauled baby out of her car seat and slung her under my arm to, quite literally, run down the street, I felt a fatal rumbling and, wondering if I could get away with ignoring it for the next hour, glanced down to see yellow poo seeping through her special red party tights and about to soak straight into my frock. For goodness sake. One whistle stop, slap-dash, ‘best of a bad lot’ nappy change on the passenger seat later and we were back on track. Huffing and puffing, wind-swept, clammy and, to be quite honest, pretty rank, we made it to our seats just in the nick of time to see the beautiful and serene bride glide down the ailse. I remembered doing that very thing myself and smiled in reflection (a little ironically) about how things have changed in the last couple of years. As we looked at eachother and down at our little bundle who was sitting there on our laps, happy as larry as if she wasn’t quite sure what all the flapping had been about, I thought yes, if life is messy then we are definitely living it. But there is nothing more wonderful than loving another – most certainly the very thing we were created to do. In that moment, the emotional tension of the morning was relieved. For at least the next 40 minutes.

Part Three: The Reception. The rest of the day was pretty hairy – we fought over who was going to drive home based on who was more desperate for the sweet relief of a large quiantity of wine, poorly navigated a sit down meal taking turns to bounce a manicly tired baby who was far to over-done to sleep, breast-fed and nappy changed in the changing room of a shop (the less said about that the better), breast-fed on the loo, pushed her round the car-park in the dark, did our best to catch up with friends with the distraction of wails and finally called it a day at 10pm. We slept blinking well that night.

Ok, so the day was slightly more mental than planned and I may have to distinctly adjust my expectation of such events in the future (boy, do they look different to the care-free, glammed-up, boozy, dance-offs they used to be) but of course it was well worth it. I wouldn’t have missed toasting the brand new Mr and Mrs Deans for all the tea in China, and we all know I love a good brew.