On Friday 7th February the day of Cathy’s Wedding Day dawned and by 10am the hairdresser had arrived and was sorting the bride, Cathy’s hair and then Kristina, the make up lady, arrived to begin with Cathy’s makeup. Sinead my hairdresser has her own place now in Otley called ‘Pulse Hair & Beauty’. She then did Beth’s hair before doing mine. It made me feel more glamorous, especially when Kristina’s skill with makeup made me look good; I had a fascinator in my hair that complemented my dress; I wore a sparkling purple brooch and a little angel brooch/badge given me by Joy to bring me confidence as mother of the bride.
Cathy looked beautiful even before she had her dress on, after her hair and makeup had been done, so my beloved just had to take a picture of her in her dressing gown; she just glowed with joy. We had a jacket potato each to keep us going till the reception but nerves suddenly got the better of Cathy and her appetite went. She looked wonderful and radiant in her dress. My beloved took a picture of her and I took a picture of my beloved with Cathy before we set off.
Suddenly time had run out and we were going out to the special taxi to be taken to the Registry Office for the ceremony. We had not got far fortunately when Cathy realised that we had forgotten the flowers so back we went!! We were not too delayed and arrived in plenty of time for the wedding, especially as the one before had finished late. Little Joseph joined Cathy and me; he looked solemn but so smart, but quiet for him. Cathy gave the registrar the final details and we were instructed on how to enter into the wedding room. Joseph was to walk in front of Cathy and me with the cushion with the rings on; he seemed unsure at first so Cathy held his hand but then he rose to the occasion and walked slowly in front of us; he would have originally liked to run to the front!!
Beth was trying her video camera for the first time and Ken had given permission for the ceremony to be videoed, so Beth moved to the front with the official photographer. Her video was punctuated with laughs so my beloved has edited most out. It was very moving to see that Cathy could not stop smiling and could hardly take her eyes off her beloved Ken. It was also very moving when Cathy and Ken read their special vows to each other. Cathy, I and Joseph entered to Joe Cocker’s ‘You are so beautiful’ which was a song that Cathy and Ken sang to each other; my beloved had made the CDs for the ceremony, including Andy Williams, singing ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’; Van Morrison ‘Have I told you lately’ during the signing of the register.
It was amazingly a beautiful day with blue skies and sunshine in between very wet days, which has been the norm for so long, but we here in the North are so much more fortunate than those in the south. We had some lovely photos taken on the steps of Bilton House, the registry office. It was funny to see Joseph rise to the occasion and put on a smile for the cameras! However, bless him, the reason he was more subdued was that he was not very well; I noticed when I held his hand after we had finished our part of the ceremony, that he sounded chesty. Unfortunately he went downhill after the ceremony and was quite poorly, even getting a rash; I expect it was a virus. He did not want to let Cathy down, as it was so important for her to have her best friend’s 4 year old son, Joseph to be a page boy at her wedding, as her best friend Kate could not be her bridesmaid, as Cathy had always wanted, after she had died from a brain tumour nearly 4 years ago.
We were taken from the wedding venue to Betty’s Restaurant in a vintage double-decker bus for the reception in the large upstairs room, which was formerly the Café Imperial. I stood with Cathy and Ken and his parents to greet the wedding guests; as there seemed to be an endless stream of guests I got a seat for Ken’s father Eric. We then moved to our table which I was sharing with Cathy, Ken, Margaret and Eric, Ken’s parents, Kathleen, my step mum, and Beth. We were given a selection of teas to choose from and each of us had tiers of sandwiches, scones and cakes, although Beth had her own special salad with meat slices and a few gluten free cakes. We were then offered some champagne for the toasts. It was all so lovely.
Soon I was called to do my speech, which went reasonably well, even though I did not completely follow my script, I was relieved to find that people laughed. Ken followed with his speech which was full of votes of thanks for Beth, Cathy’s bridesmaid in Switzerland, Kristina, who organised our makeup, Margaret, Ken’s mum and me and presented ‘the wedding ladies’, as he called us, with special presentation Betty’s boxes. It was a real surprise. Margaret had helped Ken with plentiful advice, helping Cathy choose her wedding dress and making a perfect cream angora cape to go with her alabaster dress. I thought Ken’s speech was just right.
Ken’s best man had known him for more than 30 years; they met at the age of 10 at primary school; in the photo he was dressed up as the baddie in the school play, although Phil said that he did not really believe he was the baddie! The second photo showed Ken at the age of 13 in his skiing outfit, as he was part of the junior British team. The final photo showed Ken later on in the teens with a mop of curls – he had had a perm! The final photo was when Phil met Cathy at the Mile Post, when she had a temporary job; that was where she had met Ken as he had trained Cathy in pulling pints. It was a lovely speech with no real bad stories, as Ken, Phil concluded, was such a really well brought up lad.
We wandered round the reception socialising and I maybe got a little tipsy, but it was lovely to see family and friends. After Cathy and Ken had set off to spend the first night at Rudding Park, Margaret and Beth and I began to sort out what we needed to take back for Cathy and Ken; we divided the remaining cup cakes up between Margaret and me. Beth and I were going to take the things back to our house and I was about to call a taxi, when Margaret’s brother John offered us a lift home. Beth then took her car and went home to rest. I was absolutely exhausted after my exciting day and was glad that I had a few days off the following week. It was a most special day and a perfect wedding.