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The Wedding Blogger

Warning! Warning! this is going to be one incredibly long post so grab a cup of tea/coffee/pint of gin and settle in. And although i always welcome comments, this time i'm actively encouraging them as we want to print them off and keep them as part of the "memento box" for the day...

Right on with business... The civil partnership of Paul and Darren! On Friday night, we went out to dinner at the loft lounge with my best (wo)man Ruth and her girlfriend Lou which was just a lovely way to relax and chill out before the big day... the staff at the loft lounge - i think his name was John - were so incredibly friendly and enthusiastic it was hard not to order one of their delicious deserts ;) Darren practically had to role me home! Then we went into our apartment garden and took some practice photos (me and darren above, ruth and lou looking lovely below) for where we would take some more official photos on the day... then it was off to bed for about 4 hours sleep!

Saturday - the civil partnership of Paul and Darren! I was woken up at six am by darren prodding me rather hard yelling in my ear "ARE YOU AWAKE YET?!" repeatedly. It's pretty hard not to be awake when that is going on, so I decided I should probably get up. We were joined by family and friends for a rather chaotic wedding breakfast which just zoomed by as we got our hair cut by our brilliant hairdresser friend Paul Hair (that's not his real name - well his name is Paul, we just call him Hair to differentiate from me!), had showers and got our outfits ready for the day. Before we knew it, it was time for some photos outside before we left for the registry office...

What we didn't realise was that the sun would be directly in our eyes as we took the photos in the morning (as opposed to last night!) so everyone is squinting and grimacing big time, but it really was a happy occasion! The above pic is about the best one and from left to right is my dad, mom, me, darren, darren's mom and step dad...

Now as we walked to the registry office, Darren and I did that comedy moment where we both pretended we had forgotten the rings until we realised that actually neither of us had the rings. Cue an extremely few tense moments of unspoken blame and a very game Ruth running in the sweltering heat back to our apartment to hunt for them. Cue a ten minute phonecall with our other friend Bernice who was rolling round on our bedroom floor in her best dress searching for the rings, which I believe ended up exactly where we said they would be! Ruth then arrived at the registry office, make up and sweat pouring down her face with about two minutes to spare. And we appeared so ungrateful! We just snatched (but ruth likes snatch so its ok!!) the rings off her and ran in to do our pre ceremony bit! How Rude! but really we were incredibly grateful to Ruth - she really helped make the day go smoothly for us :)

Ahh, the ceremony - it seemed to go really quickly so I will have to watch the video back later (which i will YouTube post later in the week...) I remember getting very teary when we exchanged rings and pledged our love and devotion. And Darren's hands were very sweaty. Our kiss was very classy although to be quite honest I was so overcome with love I coulda just dropped to the floor right there and then and made nasty music, but its not the thing to do really is it? The lady in the pic above was the person who performed our ceremony and she was just lovely, put us at ease, made a few jokes and was just very warm and likeable. I really believe she made our ceremony special by being so nice :) PS - we look like extras from Oliver Twist!!

After the ceremony, with my ring feeling very new on my finger we posed for some more pics in the sweltering heat outside and heard all the crowds from the pubs cheer insanely - we thought for us of course, but no, England had scored a goal! Apparently there was some football match on today too. How inconsiderate of Becks!

Walking into the reception to a crowd of about 75 friends and family was way more nerve wracking than the ceremony itself... We came down the stairs to cheers and applause and thousands of camera flashes going off in our faces (love that we posed in front of the ladies toilets and darren had his bar tubos fan in his hand!). We were and still are truly overwhelmed by how lovely people were on the day and how genuinely pleased they were for us. At this point I have to say that the staff and owners of Glamourous show bar went way above and beyond our expectations with what they provided, including a cabaret show and a complimentary bottle of champagne... If you are ever in Birmingham, please pop into this bar, you won't get a warmer welcome and again, the efforts of the team at Glam really elevated our reception from amazing to unsurpassable.

Now the following photos are some of the guests at the party...

Above are Sweet and Sour Lizzie Maguire and I (top) and michael and Jackie - some of the people and friends I used to work with at Penderels where I was for four years and was a great place to work... which may beg the question why don't i work there anymore. Well I ask myself the same thing recently... but i was thrilled that so many of the penderels gang turned up and thanks to Lucy for being unofficial photographer :)

Best dressed apart from darren and I went to Matt and Claire (top) and Leona and her hunky new beau (bottom) Claire had this gorgeous red number on and Matt I think excelled in the smart casual look with his vaguely David Tennant Dr Who inspired ensemble with converse trainers that weren't converse trainers but actually from New Look! Well done that man! And Leona and her fella made a very stunning couple :)

Ruth and Harona did amazing speeches that made us laugh, cry and cringe with embarrassment (how dare Ruth reveal that I used to make her practice Steps dance routines with me!!) but were ultimately very lovely and touching. My dear friend Kirsty did a gorgeous reading for us from Captain Corelli's Mandolin which got a collective AWWWW and was extremely well read :)

Then Glamour (Pedro - co~owner of the bar with Paul) did some great cabaret for us and was gracious enough to pose for a pic with me and my very drunk friend Sue. Guess which one is Sue...

This post in no way can encapsualate the emotions and laughter and joy that made this day memorable for me, darren and our friends and family. The two pics above I think says a lot - our handsome couple-friends Simon and Mark (top) sat in traffic for hours to attend, threw themselves into the preceedings with their and now our new friend Quick Finger Melanie Felony and just radiated warmth and enthusiasm throughout the evening. We were so glad they were there :) And Darrens friend Mark and his new boyfriend Craig bought that new exciting relationship vibe to the preceedings which i think is so romantic at weddings. Craig is a lovely guy and we had fun chatting to them throughout the day!

But all too soon the day came to an end. It was truly an amazing day and I can't thank enough all the people that made it so, and the many many messages I had from friends who couldn't attend, the random but lovely strangers who bought us champagne and the hotel for upgrading us to a suite! You all made a great day unforgettable :)



  1. xolondon said...
    Sounds like it was everything you hoped it would be!

    I wish I could click on the piccies and make them larger. :( Love the formal attire.

    Also wish there could have been a contigent of rich American wedding crashers surprising you...
    Ruth said...
    Good afternoon! Am very impressed with the speed you posted and am so glad some of the photos I took turned out well! ;) Can't wait to see the video!

    Just wanted to reiterate what I said yesterday (will hopefully sound more sober today!) It was such a special day yesterday and I was so happy and proud to be a part of it!
    I think you're both fantastic guys and an inspirational couple! Am so glad that everything went as well as it did (and that we found the rings!!) I know I have said it before but CONGRATULATIONS and well done on organising such a fantastic day!
    Lots of love from Ruth
    Emma said...

    Its weird cos the nature of our friendship is that we dont get all soppy n stuff (whereas with all my other mates im always telling them how much i love them!). In fact Darren actaully commented yesterday that the nicest thing i have ever said to him was that he wasnt geeky enough (because he doesnt like Dr who - whats wrong with him???). Anyway, im so glad that Darren found you back in 2000; you were just what he needed and you make a great couple.

    You are two of the funniest people i know and i love you both dearly although i dont often say it. It was a fabulous day yesterday and i wish you all the very best for the future.

    The only way that the day could have been better was if Ruth had thought to bring the Cabaret video...or if Darren had possibly worn his sexy glasses....

    Love ya both,


    Anonymous said...
    Glad to hear that u and Darren had a fab day :o)

    have a great honeymoon

    keep safe

    J'ason D'luv said...
    Yay! Big hugz to both of you handsome buggers, and great photos!

    Glad we've gotten to know each other (albeit electronically) at this happy point in your life!

    Joshua said...
    Just so you know, it took me about 8 tries to comment. I eventually had to finagle the script to open up this comment box in the same window! LOL

    An avid reader of this popblog, a GREAT appreciator of your sense of humor and passion for music, and a forcing-friends-to-learn-Steps-moves twin, and I'm of course VERY happy for you both. I can only hope to have the same joy one day!
    Paul said...
    8 times! thats commitment to the cause! thanks for perservering! I continue to walk round with a big grin on my face. I feel like the world should have changed somehow but it hasn't however, maybe for me it has! that probably makes no sense...

    emma ~ i would have died if ruth had bought the cabaret video. if i am feeling very brave i may put it on here for a very limited time period...but i would probably have to be more drunk (drunker?) than i was on saturday night ;)
    Adrian said...
    Congratulations to both of you.

    I'm loving the smart attire and the use of walking sticks. Helena Paparizou and Lena Philipsson would be proud!
    Dan Project 76 said...
    I don't actually know you but I live on Blogger (linked by Xolondon) and thought I would say that your wedding looked pretty awesome. Only 12 days until mine and my lovely man's one and I hope our photos are as sweet as yours. We won't have walking sticks though :-)
    Paul said...
    LOL - we loved the canes but they also had a purpose as darren had just gone through an operation on his back so part ornamental part necessity! So many liberty x routines with them though!

    I really hope your day goes well - and i will be checking your blog for photos :) Good luck and much happiness to you both

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