It was incredibly difficult to leave. Best two weeks of our lives? You could say that.
Here's where it all began. This is my suitcase, crammed full of wedding dress, at Heathrow Airport.
After my hen do, I set about tanning my rump. I decided in the end not to go for a spray tan or a cancerific sunbed.I decided that looking orange was far worse than looking pale.
Pale might not be the most flattering colour in an ivory dress, but it's way fucking better than looking like Amy Childs out of The Only Way Is Essex.
I managed to get a substantial amount of colour in the week leading up to the wedding, just by sitting in a sun a few hours, on and off, every day.
I drove down to Natal with my bridesmaids - The Ant was driving so it was a particularly hairy Italian experience - but it was great. I got to catch up with the girls and take in the the Free State scenery.
We stopped in a dorp, ate a fuck off breakfast in this little place below. Dude. They served us coffees with real doilies. Real, knitted doilies.
This is our venue. Us, the bridal party and our families stayed here for three blissful days.
I'm not a religious person, but I did say a little prayer on the night before the wedding and to say thanks. As we had THREE FULL DAYS OF BRILLIANT, BEAUTIFUL, FLAWLESS sunshine. Seriously. The Brits had thought they'd died and gone to the ninth level of heaven. Like, they didn't want to leave. Some stayed extra nights.
The irony is, our first choice of date was the weekend before. But it was already booked. Apparently it pissed down - sheet rain style - the whole weekend. So if I'm a little bit all "oh my God, we are so blessed!" and "Oh my God, there actually might be a God," then it's because someone, something, orchestrated the most beautiful weather - highlighting everything that I love so much about the Midlands.
Being back in the Midlands always evokes various emotions for me. It was my home for 18 years, and it's the one place on Earth that I've lived the longest [thus far.]
Then we got our nails done.
In lots of different colours. Personally - and I realise this is subjective as fuck - but I think I was actually quite a chilled bride.
I know. Really. Mostly. Maybe 80% of the time.
Morning of the wedding was great. We ended up lolling about having our faces and hair done while drinking 8000 litres of tea.
Then I had my hair done, after my four bridesmaids. I opted for a "messy but neat romantic updo."
"Messy but neat" is a really important part of this job. I didn't want tendrils or weird shit coming out of it.
Check it out, with my roses. I kept my 'do in for 48 hours. That's two days if you're not concentrating. After the wedding we headed to the Oyster Box for a night, and by that stage it looked like seagulls had taken residence in my rat's nest, but it was held together with 67 bobby pins and I just loved it.
I always cry when I go there.
Winding, Midlands Curry's Post road.