In some ways, that feels like a lifetime but I can still remember exactly how I felt at 5am on Friday 16th September 2011.
The day I got married.
I couldn't sleep for excitement. When I did manage to drop off I'd be woken by a 'good luck text' or message from a friend. My dreams were filled with endless possibilities of what could go wrong and the first thing I did when I woke up was clean the bathroom because I was paranoid about my bridesmaids, flower girls and entourage judging how messy it was.
And then it began. One incredible day.
Weddings are funny things. In many ways they're the same and it would be easy to fall into thinking that once you've been to one wedding, you've seen them all but actually, I love how each couple's wedding expresses them. Of course I think my wedding was perfect, it was designed by me, for me, Matt and our family and friends.
No matter how many other beautiful weddings I attend, they'll never be as magical as my own.
So here is a quick glimpse into my wedding day.
After waking up super early at 5am, cleaning the bathroom and taking a shower I headed out to the local hotel where my Mum, sisters, brother and step-Mum were staying. I joined them for breakfast but was really too excited to eat. There was so much to do! We ate and then I walked with them down to the hairdressers where they were getting ready before I headed up to my hairdressers to have my hair curled and make up done.
I met everyone back at my house to finish getting ready. It was manic. There was no time to really sit down and breathe as my tiny home was packed full of people, make up and hairspray.
I always knew I'd only have my sisters as bridesmaids. It was important to both Matt and I to have our family involved - our Mum's signed the register, Matt's sister did a reading, my brother walked me down the aisle and Matt's Dad led the prayers during the service as well as being a groomsman. I then had two gorgeous flower girls.
I arrived at the church in a black London taxi owned by one of my Dad's best friends. Another of my Dad's best friends drove another taxi for my Mum and bridesmaids. It wasn't far from our home to the village church and I had to wait a bit longer at home so that our guests could finish getting seated.
I walked down the aisle to 'Marian at the waterfall' from the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves soundtrack. It built up slowly, working perfectly for my flower girls and bridesmaids to go first. I literally blubbed the whole way down the aisle. I was happy, overwhelmed by emotion and missed my Dad. So whereas in my dreams I imagined myself walking on air, a beautiful, graceful bride in reality I was a tear stained mess who kept waving at everybody...
After the ceremony and photos we headed to our reception venue, The Kings Hotel in Stokenchurch. We were greeted with a glass of Kir Royale and enjoyed some entertainment from our friend and Covent Garden street performer, Tom. He also performed later in the evening - donning a kilt and juggling knives over my sister who lay on the ground enjoying the view.
The speeches followed and ended up with me in tears again. My mum and sister presented the 'Father of the Bride' speech and Matt's speech was far more soppy then he would ever normally be. Of course, the Best Man was saved until last and gave a hilarious account of Matt's earlier mishaps. Thankfully, Matt's Grandma couldn't hear the story of how Joel dragged Matt along to Ann Summers when he bought a vibrator for his girlfriend...
It was nearly 3am before we got to bed. Matt and I sat on the floor of our hotel room and opened all our presents and cards, eating our wedding cake. A brilliant end to a truly amazing day.
The passed quickly, as the good days always do, but I'm glad I can remember so much and have great photos to look back on. I love to look through the photos with Lily and reminisce about the day with Matt. I sometimes like to think about doing it all over again but really I wouldn't want to risk it not being as good!