Not only did all our lovely loved ones flock to the Isle Of Wight especially, but they all showered us in love and approval and everything one needs in order to be stood in good stead for a lifetime of matrimony.
At 7am on the morning of our wedding, Gareth and I went for a run. A run which we had announced on Facebook in the hopes our 103 guests would turn up and join us for a Chariots of Fire-esque moment of enthusiasm and team spirit.
But what a beautiful run it was. I'd been running in the rain all week, (I woudn't normally, I'm a fair weather runner, but I had become increasingly does my bum look big in this as the day approached. I ran in hail one morning. Dedication.) willing sunshine to arrive, willing the forecast for Saturday (0% chance of precipitation) to be true. And it only bloody was. The sun broke free from the horizon as we jogged along the seaside. I looked at my very-nearly husband, my three bridesmaids and my one fiance-of-a-bridesmaid and I thought wow. This. Is. Awesome. We are having a moment here guys.
Then I got a bit raspy because I kept trying to talk while running and I don't usually do that. But we were having a moment and I wanted to let my runner-buds know it.
The ceremony... Ah, the ceremony! Managed not to shed a tear because I didn't want to ruin £100 worth of make-up, but seeing so many friends in tears was the box ticked enough for me. So I committed to spending the rest of my life with Gazza, the lucky devil. I vowed to be a good person for him... and hoped the times when I'm grumpy and miserable because I'm tired and have eaten too much or not enough definitely count as me being a good person. We kissed, to seal the deal, the crowd went bananas, and then we were pelted by confetti by my rascal of a nephew. It was like being punched by rose petals. See picture.
The sun shone - thanks for that one, God. Who'd have thought he'd sort the weather out for such a fervent atheist wedding? Very kind of him indeed. The wine flowed, the people laughed and smiled and danced and posed for photographs. We ate, we cried (ok, I didn't cry) we cheered, we heckled the speeches. The fabulous speeches, to be treasured forever. My sister took to the stage to perform a rap about love. It had to be seen to be believed, it was mesmerising. Then we ate cheese.
The confetti throwing nephew came up to me while I was talking to my friend Olly and complained that he was bored. Olly asked what he'd like to do about it. Troy suggested, innocently, but with definite intent: 'Well, could you come outside and chase me?' Such a simple request, but he knew it would relieve the boredom. He's a clever kid.
Surveying the dance floor, I realised that all these people were getting their groove on - to Bohemian Rhapsody - to celebrate little old Gaz and me. I was hit with overwhelming gratitude. I was in a room full of people I absolutely adored, who might never fill one room again. I was smug that I didn't get too drunk and forget it all. Well, until the 2am beach-side shots, but I think I was allowed to get drunk by then. Three shots of Drambuie in as many minutes and I was suddenly ready for bed.
People love to know if a married couple consummate the wedding on the wedding night. I'm always slightly relieved to hear that they don't, because they were too busy having fun. Our truth? Did we heck. I don't even remember getting into bed and was quite surprised to see Gaz lying next to me the next morning. Or maybe we did and I just don't remember. Rest assured, we made up for it once the Drambuie headache wore off. It would now be complicated and expensive to break up, as Gaz charmingly pointed out.
As we packed up our bags and left the Royal Yacht Squadron (the most prestigious yacht club in the world, as my father pointed out in his speech, just to let people know how lucky they were to be there) Gareth turned to me and said: 'Goodbye wedding. Hello marriage.'
I couldn't have put it better myself. Hello marriage. I'm ready for you.