The “Not A Wedding” Party

The family part of our wedding celebrations arrived, and for a long time Aimi was insistent that this was not a wedding. We didn’t want to do all the speeches and cake cutting traditional stuff, it was just an excuse to get together with family and friends and have a good time in the sun getting pissed.

I had made the executive decision yesterday to not put the tent up. There was no rain scheduled so it seemed a shame to hide from the sun. Although it would risk a bit of sunburn in the first few hours, the trees provided perfectly enough shade when it was needed.

But when I arrived we had to put the last few items out on the tables in full sun, which was hot work. The pots of flowers and candles, table cloths and napkins were very easy. But when David arrived about 11 with all the ice I had ordered, it all had to go straight into the wheelbarrows and buckets we were using as drinks coolers. With about 70 people coming I had no idea how many buckets of ice we would need but it would have been terrible to run out. I had ordered 40 kilos of ice which I thought would be enough. And even with the addition of an entire freezer load of ice blocks mum had frozen this barely touched the sides of the buckets. So I made a quick call and ordered another 40 kilos, clearing out majestic wines of all of their ice. David had to do another journey. Mike was also coming in his van so I asked him to go to Tesco’s and buy everything they had. It was so stressful just sitting in the sun at 12:00 with everything done watching the ice melt and no one get their drinks cooled. But with that amount of ice, it was just about enough for the day.

I was very keen after seeing how incredible Aimi looked in her dress that she would wear it again today. Hannah went to the hotel to help her get ready. I think Hannah should have done Aimi’s hair on the wedding day as it looked as good as the professionals! The girls disagree but that’s what I thought.

The best part about the day was that there were so many different groups of people that we dragged out of the woodwork that we don’t get to see very often. It was great to be able to catch up with everyone and I was very thankful that people traveled so far to celebrate with us. I tried to make sure that I spent at least 15 minutes with every group of people so as not to miss out on this opportunity as everyone is doing such cool stuff I wanted to hear about it all.

There’s some relatives that live internationally so its a really long way to come for just one day. I know Penny was sending photos to Australia and New Zealand, and Andy had made us a special virtual gift. This was an art gallery in cyberspace with a collection of photos from the life Aimi had and I had shared so far. He joined us in there virtually using the Oculus and gave us a tour. It was incredibly surreal to hear people talk to me in the background and also be able to hear Andy speaking in my ear as if he was at the party with us. Wilf then used his very snazzy phone with lidar to take a scan of the garden so we could even stand next to each other and chat as if he was here. It was very surreal, especially when Wilf scanned Aimi and I and we became digital attractions in the virtual art gallery too! It means I can see her in the wedding dress any time I like! Technology is so cool! 

We kept things simple with the food. Mum very kindly made masses of potato salad, pasta salad, couscous, nibbles and dips. But the main event was a pizza van to make everyone personal fresh pizzas when they wanted them. They were super tasty and everyone commented how much they liked them. Most importantly, nobody went hungry and actually there was a lot left over which is always better than running out. For pudding, Aimi’s favourite, trifle, would not have lasted the hot weather, so we got pastries and cookies and brownies on mass from Costco. These actually tastes better when they’re a little bit warm. 

By the end of the night the crowd had thinned to just the few that were staying very locally. We got a chance to sit down with each other and relax on one of the sofas. By this point my legs were killing me and I’m sure Aimi’s were too. It was nice just to cuddle under a blanket and the patio heater and chat and drink in one place for a while. 

Aimi and I are very grateful for everyone making the trip and hope that we managed to speak to all of you at the party but if not please can I make a heart felt apology. It means a lot to us both that you would join us to celebrate. I’m especially proud to show off my glorious new wife and start our lives together with your blessing.