It would appear that we are now suddenly in the middle of wedding season, and seeing my social media pages filled up with all manor of wedding pictures made me realise that I never told you about mine.
It’s been 6 months since I married my best friend and it feels like just yesterday.
We were already planning our wedding before we knew I was pregnant. It was going to be amazing! We were going to do the honeymoon first and wedding at the end so that we could fly to New York, stay in the Plaza hotel overlooking Central Park and then hire an RV. With that, we would zigzag all across America taking in the sites for about a month and a half before finishing in Vegas for a wedding where our family and friends would fly out to join us. It was going to be amazing.
Then I found out that I was 5 months pregnant, so the America trip was postponed ‘indefinitely’. I didn’t mind, it’s not like it was never going to happen, it just wasn’t going to happen when we planned.
However, when Dexter was born, I immediately didn’t like the fact that he and Liam were both Rickerbys and I, his mother, was Miss Allen. It didn’t feel right not having the same name as my son.
Now I know, in this day and age that’s perfectly normal/accepted and sometimes even expected (I myself grew up with a different surname from my mum from about the age of 10) but for me, it didn’t sit right. I didn’t feel comfortable with it.
I’m his mother, we are a family, we should all have the same name.
So I spoke to Liam, and we started planning a secret wedding.
Before knowing about my pregnancy, Liam had booked tickets to go and see The Lion King in London. He’d postponed the dates on them as I really wasn’t feeling up to it by the time I’d got to being big and heavy, so we’d already agreed that we would use them for our 10 year anniversary instead.
So we figured, as we’re going to be in London for our 10 year anniversary, let’s get married in secret while we’re there!
It didn’t need to cost us much, we didn’t need a big party or anything and because it was secret, we didn’t need to invite anyone.
The wheels were in motion.
But I decided I didn’t feel right getting married without my mum being there…. So we invited her along to join us. She then didn’t want to come without Gary, Olivia and Ethan. So we were in a bit of a pickle. If we invited that many from my side, we’d have to invite people from Liam’s side too. He already wanted his sister there as that’s his main family on his side. So we changed our minds. How about, we don’t have my mum and everyone because that’s too many, how about we have 1 sister each and their daughters… That way, we have 2 witnesses, 2 bridesmaids and the witnesses can double up as maid of honour and best ‘man’.
Sounded perfect. So we told them of our plans. And then I still didn’t feel right not having my mum. So we spoke about it some more. We figured if we invited Mum, Gary, Liv and Ethan, we would have to invite nan too. Also, if we have all of them, we couldn’t leave out Holly and Caleb, that’s not fair. And if we’re inviting more on my side, we would have to invite more on Liam’s side. Our secret wedding was growing by the minute.
The final guest list was my mum, step dad, 3 sisters, 1 brother, one nephew, 1 niece, Liam’s sister and niece, Liam’s aunty and uncle, Liam’s grandma and we figured with all those people, we really should invite our closest friends so we invited 6 friends (and 1 more child).
One friend couldn’t make it and Liam’s aunt, uncle and grandma couldn’t come for various reasons so it was still going to be an intimate affair.
So we got planning. We looked at registry offices and similar places in London that we could hold it. We originally looked at Westminster but it was closed for refurb on the date we wanted. We settled for Woolwich town hall. And figured while we’re over that way, we may as well eat at the O2. Why not?
Liam made the wedding invites and after a while our secret wedding became not a secret any more.
We booked the week off work, ordered rings, bought me a dress from eBay, bought Liam some wrangler jeans and a waist jacket. It was all coming together 🙂
We got Christmas out of the way and then it was time!
So January 6th, me, Liam, Dexter, Drinda, Tiffany, Sarah, Demi, Holly and Caleb all jumped on a train to London…
I kept hopping seats. I couldn’t sit still, it was too exciting.
As soon as we arrived at kings cross, we just had to do the Harry Potter thing so it looked like we were pushing a trolley thru the wall on to platform 9&3/4. We got a pic of all the kids doing it too. Then we jumped on a tube and headed off to the hotel.
Once we’d check in and had a bit of lunch, we headed off to a couple of the museums for a nosey around and to give the kids something to do.
Liam went off to meet up with Tom (best man) for a few drinks before joining us and Tink for a bit of a chill out sesh in our room with some drinks before the big day…
I’d written out lists of how to get where we needed to be at what times for all of the guests and personalised them so that they suited wherever they were coming from. I’d detailed all of the car parks and charges too.
That morning we got up and dressed, Tink did my makeup and Liam bought me in a bacon roll. I wore a short white dress with my cowboy boots. Liam and Dexter both wore jeans and a waist jacket. Liam also had a pocket watch that I’d bought for him that I’d had engraved for the day. The bridesmaids all wore cream dresses and I’d made all of our flowers. The girls had artificial white roses and I had real white roses and ornamental cabbages in memory of my sister.
Of course, telling my sister, Sarah that we need to leave the hotel at 8.40 is bound to result in us not leaving the hotel until 9.00 so we took this into account and told her the wrong time. By 9.05 we were on our way to the first stop… Woolwich town hall.
Two busy tube rides and a 5 minute dash in the torrential rain, we were there nice and early so had plenty of time to dry ourselves off and make ourselves look presentable again ready for some pictures.
The town hall was lovely and still had fairy lights up left over from Christmas so looked very pretty.
Then it was our turn… My Step dad, Gary, was giving me away with Olivia as chief bridesmaid and Demi and Tiffany as my little bridesmaids. The 5 of us waited outside the room while everybody else was seated and had the order of ceremony explained to them.
The song I walked into was a version of The Lumineers – Ho,hey done by Lennon and Maisy Stella from the cast of Nashville. The ceremony was lovely. Perfect even.
We signed the register to Us by Regina Spektor with Sarah and Drinda as our witnesses and then we walked out to Time to Pretend by MGMT. Not the most conventional songs for a wedding but songs that hold memories for us which makes them perfect for what we wanted.
From Woolwich Town hall we headed to the O2 for a sit down meal at ‘The Slug and lettuce’ .
The staff were very attentive and accommodating, even offering to take a group picture of us all together and the food was delicious. I don’t think we could’ve picked a better venue for our meal.
After the meal, everybody headed home. We escorted Sarah, Holly, Drinda and the kids to Kings Cross, galavanting around London in my wedding dress and cowboy boots. Drinda took Dexter home with her and stayed at our house so she could have him overnight so that Liam and I could spend our first night as a married couple, in London on our own. I cried putting him on the train with them. I’d never left him before over night. I perhaps would’ve found it easier if we were still at home but being in a different city made it harder because he was so much further away.
So, that evening, Drinda text to say they’d got home and I relaxed a little and Liam and I went off to see The Lion King Stage show (at last)! I must say, If you haven’t seen this, do yourself a favour, GO! Put it on your bucket lists or whatever but make sure you go and see it.
After the show, we went for a lovely long walk along the Thames. I love walking around London. Its my favourite place ever. Liam and I walk quite often in the evenings but walking around London was different. Especially having just got married. It was just lovely. Dare I say, romantic even. The perfect end to the day.
Now I don’t want to bore you to death with a load of cliches of how Liam is the love of my life and I couldn’t live without him and all that rubbish… But, what I will say, (and I hope he reads this) is that I love him very much. I may not always show it the best that I can, but I do.
He is brilliant with Dexter and encourages him everyday and helps him learn new skills. He thinks of me all the time, even just little things like getting peanut butter or marmite when I’ve run out or getting me a new magazine. He runs me lovely baths. He lets me stay in bed so he can tidy up before I get up. He’s so good at tidying and cleaning where I’m unorganised and ‘cluttery’. He plans for the future, he’s good with money where as I waste it on all sorts. So in many ways we are opposites and balance each other out. But we also get on so well together, we talk, we share things, we never argue about anything and we support each other. He’s a good man, and I’m proud to be married to him. Happy 6 month anniversary Liam xx
* * * * *