Ross is a childhood friend of J's (there were only 6 kids in the village, 3 quite a bit older, and J, Jo and Ross so they almost had to be friends). So Ross had asked J to be his best man, so we got there on Wednesday in time to go to the rehersal. It was a bit more of a thorough rehersal than ours was, going into how to co-ordinate the kneeling down of bride and groom (we just got told when we'd have to kneel down, Hugh (the vicar) left the details for us to work out). So after that we popped into the nearby pub for a quick drink (sets the theme of the weekend, really ;) Ken (father of the groom) is kinda notorious for going out drinking). Then back to J's parents place.
Thursday was spent being lazy most of the time - and also went into Consett to buy Ross and Helen's wedding present. They had a list at Argos and we got them a canvas wardrobe and a candlestick. We'd thought since the wardrobe was canvas then it'd not be too big in its flat pack. Umm, no. So as Ross and Helen live in Consett and as the wardrobe only just fitted into the estate so definitely wouldn't fit in Ross's car we dropped the pressies off there and then. Don't think Ross knew what was on his wedding list coz he seemed surprised at the size of the box.
So that done, we just sat and waited for Jo to arrive, which she duely did at about 10:30pm. J did the Guardian crossword while we waited, we'd bought a Guardian on Wednesday coz our two first choice papers weren't available by 10am (Daily Express and Independent). Jo arrived and we talked till about 2am (Anne (J's mother) went to bed at about midnight which was really late for her).
Friday was another lazy day. Wrote J's speech, short and to the point. I don't think I really appreciate how much J doesn't like to give speeches - I don't like it, sure. But I can forget about it for the rest of the time, do it, and then it's over. J twitched all Friday and Saturday morning about it, then shook for an hour after he gave it :(
On Friday evening Ross came round, he and Helen were doing the traditional thing of the groom not seeing the bride on the morning of the wedding, so he thought he'd visit us. On Wednesday when Ross's parents came to pick us up for the rehersal Judith invited them over for the evening too (Judith is Ross's mother). So we sat in the house and drank wine, then after Chris (Jo's fiance) arrived (about 9pm) we had a couple more drinks before heading across to the Crewe. I got Ken to buy me a pint *snigger* ... he's one of these old fashioned men who doesn't believe in girls drinking pints, though part of the reaction is just to tease, same as me sneaking it past him ;) So we staggered back to the house at about 1am where Judith and Anne had got supper ready for us (Jo and I kidnapped J's dad (another John) and 'made' him have another drink with us while the ladies got supper ready). So after some food and trying to get J's dad to drink some Newcastle Brown Ale, Judith and Ken left (Ross had gone about 3 hours earlier) and we all went to bed.
Up bright and early on Saturday morning (about 8am) coz Ross was coming to pick us up at 10am. I got into my finery, but the lads had decided to change at Ross's when we got there. Quick sidetrip into Consett to let Ross put a bet on at the bookies, then we picked up the usher and went back to Ross's parents house. Where we were served with lunch, by Judith, and then I got to help everyone get ready ("Can you do my necklace up, pet?", "There's a tag on my trousers, hinney, can you cut it off?" "Can you do my buttonhole?"). I don't think I've ever been called pet and hinny as much as that morning, and both Ross's parents kept that up for the rest of the day too - checking I was OK during the meal (I was sat with people I didn't know) "Alright, pet?" "Got enough to eat, hinney?"
So the service went well, except the organist was toooo slooooooow. "All Things Bright and Beautiful" should be a happy bouncy hymn, not a dirge ;) The bride looked lovely, as did the bridesmaids. Then the heavens opened when we were about to do photos, so they were done in the church and in the hotel where the reception was. After that was the meal - they did the speeches first, and J's was good :) The bride's father had an even shorter speech, and the groom's father finished up with a nice long speech (which was quite funny, though the people I was on the table with weren't so keen on it).
Food was good, soup for starters, a buffet for the main course (with plenty of food, they were asking us to come back for seconds), and some chocolate mousy thing for dessert which I didn't have. After that was just a little wait for them to set up for the reception, during which time J's parents, Jo and Chris arrived. Judith came over and did the first of her many "Oh I'm so proud of John that was a lovely speech" conversations with Anne :) Apparently one of the young ladies at the meal had though that J was gorgeous (he is) and she wanted to cuddle him. So even though we never found out who she was J was much embarassed by that ;)
The reception was the sort of cheesy disco that I don't really like, though after that much alcohol I joined in with the best of them ;) (or should that be worst?). Ken drank far too much and Ross eventually told him he was being a dirty old man and should leave the young girls alone.
They provided food at the reception too, which was nice, though I was stuffed by the end of the day :)
Sunday we had lunch with J's family then off to the station to get our train. After last time we'd decided to get a later train so that we'd have an hour's wait at Peterborough and there was no risk of missing our connection. Right. We were ten minutes late at Durham, 20 at York. And then the door locks broke at Doncaster so we had to wait for 40 minutes for them to be fixed. So we made the connection with only 5 minutes to spare so were panicing a bit :/
I started to feel really rough on the train from Peterborough, and then didn't sleep well last night coz I was really fevered. So I got up when the alarm went off this morning, staggered to the bathroom then decided I wouldn't make it to work even if I tried. So back to bed for me, and I didn't get up till noon or thereabouts. And I still feel like shit. Hopefully this is the worst day though.