When you get to a certain age you can guarantee that if someone asks for your address – it’s to send a wedding invite. So when one of my friends who I did my season in France with in 2008 ‘asked for my address’ I was thrilled she wanted me to be a part of the big day. Not least because 20 year old me was a lot more of a handful than 29 year old me and I was frankly surprised she trusted me in a Church.
The wedding took us to Stagsden in Bedford. I have literally never been to Bedford in my life but luckily it was super easy to get to from London so I was looking forward to a little weekend away somewhere with actual fields and cows instead of sweaty people trying to get into my pocket on the tube.
The journey was painless and upon arrival at the Garden Rooms B&B we were greeted by an incredibly friendly owner called Jo who made us a pot of coffee and told us there were freshly baked brownies downstairs in the kitchen we could help ourselves to. I was going to like Bedford. We chose it because it was near to the village hall where the wedding reception was to take place but I can honestly say whenever I am in Bedford again I will choose this venue. The rooms were comfy and pretty with homemade biscuits and an amazing shower – not to mention cute pink soap!
One thing I mentioned to my friend who was the Bride was how much I enjoyed the fact that she had planned out the whole day so the guests wouldn’t be bored. We arrived at the village hall for a bit of chat and then to our surprise were picked up by a big red double decker bus and taken to the Church.
Now if there is one thing places that are ‘a bit countryside’ do well it’s Churches and this is no exception. The Church was beautiful with huge stained glass windows which have always been my favourite and of course the obligatory organ player.
I must admit – I am the most heartless bitch you ever did meet, but when my friend arrived she looked so beautiful I shed a tear. Knowing her like I did, I was waiting for some sort of sarcastic comment during the vows but she managed to hold it together and put more appropriate personal touches to the ceremony – like playing the Sound Of Music soundtrack while we were waiting for the registers to be signed.
When we got back to the village hall we were finally allowed inside to see that it had been transformed into a beautiful afternoon tea. Literally every single last detail had been thought out and it was great to sit and listen to all of the speeches while eating sandwiches and scones (also helped the people on mine and my friends table didn’t show up so we had triple the food and wine).
After the speeches it was time to get the hall ready for hands down the best bit of any wedding – the disco. Instead of just leaving the guests to mill about with nothing to do it was announced that there were actually garden games outside. Like proper ones. A coconut shy and everything. This led to an exchange where my friend insisted I could spin plates (there were loads of circus games). It went on for a while and she walked away still insisting I could spin plates and I walked away thinking she may have accidentally taken some of my Amytriptaline. I swear I have never spun a plate in my life but we were pretty drunk for our whole season in France so who knows – if marketing goes tits up I might see how I go with that one.
When we got back in to a fully set up disco, there was also cake cutting. This was important because being the funner the Bride is she had a normal wedding cake and then one made of cheese. Are dreams really made of anything else than cakes made entirely out of cheese? Needless to say we ate a lot of cheese and drank a lot of gin. One of the most pleasant parts of the day/evening was that I hadn’t yet met my friends Son who could not be more like her if he tried and provided much hilarity, especially when he said a blatant “no” to all forms of food except cheese.
The end of the wedding saw an arrival of a fish and chip van which I must say I didn’t utilise because I was already drunk and had already eaten a fair amount of cheese. Usually in situations like this I would be somewhere less remote, crawl back to my Travelodge and leave in the morning on an empty stomach hungover with some cheap coffee inside of me. This is where staying in a small B&B becomes the most beneficial you can ever do in life. Hangovers, most of the time, are curated by the fact that you lay in bed and feel sorry for yourself. A quick go of the amazing shower made me feel a lot better, and of course so did walking downstairs to a home cooked breakfast.
The only thing I wouldn’t recommend on a hangover is travelling on three trains back from Bedford, stuck next to the loudest chewer in the world on a seat that feels like the rock they hold Simba up on when he is born.