Happiest Day of my Life

d and k Taking over from Palace’s play off final victory in 2004 as my best ever day, yesterday I married Kathryn Louise Hopkins.   It truly was the most fantastic day in so many ways.

Eighteen months of planning and preparation came down to one single day and almost everything went according to plan.  Following one of the wettest summers I can remember I awoke in my B&B to look out across the Usk Valley knowing that in a few hours the sun would have burnt away all the mist and we were set for the best Saturday weather in months.

Carl and I (and Jodie) enjoyed breakfast and got ready well in time and when we arrived at 12.30 were the second car to arrive.  Over the next hour our many guests arrived including many I hadn’t previously met including Kathryn’s friend Vee from work.

Ten minutes before the start time Carl and I sat down at the front and waited.  And waited.  And waited. Then Carl got asked to go out.  Then Carl took dad out with him.  At this point I was starting to geta little concerned.  Shortly afterwards though everyone sat back down and I later discovered it was just a bit of drama due to to locating the rings.  Then Paul the organist started up with Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and we were all set to go.

I must admit I did expect a heads up of when Kathryn would be coming down but didn’t get it and as I turned to look she was almost alongside me.  At that moment my head swirled as I stood there with my jaw dropped.  Kathryn looked fantastic and simply took my breath away.

We said our vows and I can guarantee we both meant every word of them but it was all such a blur, one second we were at the front, the next signing the registry and I can barely remember walking back out. Trumpet Tune was playing and I can’t remember it at all.

Mark, our photographer then took numerous photos before whisking us away for a few photos on our own and in no time we were back at Llangoed Hall and meeting our guests as man and wife.  At no point in all this do I think I stopped beaming.  Every time I looked at Kathryn I felt I had to pinch myself.

Several hundred more photos later we were taken to one side while the guests were seated for the Reception Breakfast.  We had a short time to chat and chill out before we were introduced.  In almost no time the food was over and it has to be said it was stunning.  I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and even though everyone was already full the trio of chocolate desserts all went down well.

During the meal I realised I’d left my speech in the car boot but although Carl offered to go fetch it for me I was never really happy with it anyway so took it as a sign and decided to just come up with it off the top of my head.  Kathryn’s dad was a bag of nerves by this point but he thrived on the pressure and his speech was excellent – no-one who was there will be able to read the words ‘Nil by Mouth’ in quite the same light again.

Dad’s speech was good, and mine went down well enough – it was shame the twins were asleep by this point so couldn’t have their bears.  Carl went fairly easy on me although he did come up with a video from when we were kids but Barrie came off worse than me so I’ll take that!

Soon it was onto the evening entertainment and this started with fireworks which were great – and only slightly spoiled by the grand finale celebrating the wedding of G and J.  To be honest it was a minor point and I think it gave everyone a bit of a giggle.

The entertainment was an Elton John tribute and while there were some initial reservations I think everyone enjoyed it – personally I thought it was great fun.  Then Sammy played some music to follow which was most appreciated and worked really well.  The evening wrapped up around midnight and we settled down by opening a few cards.

In the morning everyone was down at breakfast when we arrived and it was great to hear everyone saying how great the previous day had been.  We started to watch our guests depart and when our parents left we took a quiet walk around the gardens while we got our emotions in check before finally saying goodbye to Lynn and Bryan.

Since I’ve been home I’ve been humming Jesu Joy – I think because, for me, it signified the true start to the happiest day of my life.

It was a perfect day and I’ll post shortly with a list of thanks.

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