Thursday, 25 April 2019

Our Wedding - Part 2

This is part 2 of my wedding posts. Part 1 is here. As I started to write I realised I had wayyyy too much to say for one post, so I've split the day into 3 posts (4000 words!). I wanted to get as much down as possible to share with you guys (and for future me!) while it’s all still fresh in my mind, but I’m sure over time I’ll do more posts on the details of the day (I mean, let’s face it I have nothing better to do now!) when we get more of our “official” photos back. But for now enjoy a few of our amazing official photos (taken by the incredible Amy Louise Photography) and a few family snapshots. 

The church we got married in is my family church. Every Crowley family wedding I've been to has been there, every christening. It was where my parents’ were married and where we had both my grandparents’ funerals.

There was never much I’d planned about my wedding before we got engaged but I always knew it would be at Our Lady’s.

Phil and I are both Catholic so we decided to have a full Catholic mass, and we’d had several meetings with the priest in the months leading up to the wedding.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’d been really calm all morning (only stressing briefly when we were getting me into my dress!) but when we walked into the church entrance and I heard the opening bars of the bridal chorus, I gasped “Holy shit!” – not ideal to say in a church!

The doors opened and the bridesmaids started to walk down the aisle, and I held my Dad back for a minute while I had a moment. I took everything in, and then I was ready to go.
I’d spent so long practising walking in my dress, but when I came to walking down the aisle, I wasn’t focusing on that at all, and instead was looking around at everyone I loved. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t stop smiling. And then I could see Phil.

It was surreal when I heard “we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Philip James Cantillon and Charlotte Elizabeth Crowley”. I couldn’t stop grinning at Phil, who was being very focused and listening to every word the priest said!

The first hymn and readings which we had so carefully chosen – one from my Maid of Honour and one from Phil’s Dad, went by so fast and suddenly we were about to say our vows.
Guys, I was doing SO WELL seriously, and then in the middle of my vows the enormity of the situation hit me and my lip wobbled and my voice caught. I was marrying Phil! I was making my vows to him! I didn’t properly cry but I definitely had a wobble!

Then James, one of Phil’s best men, presented the rings, and there were those beautiful rings we had spent so long choosing, and I was slipping it onto Phil’s finger and oh my godddddd Phil is wearing a wedding ring. And there was my beautiful platinum ring with the tiny jewels that I adored.

And then, we were married!

The priest beckoned us to a side room to sign the register, and as soon as I started walking... uh oh. My garter was around my ankle! I walked very slowly and carefully to the room, trying not to trip on my dress or veil, then suddenly I couldn’t feel it anymore!

We got into the register room and my Maid of Honour whispered to me “your garter is in my bra”. Somehow, without anyone seeing she’d whipped it up off the floor for me!

Signing the register was one of my favourite parts of the day. It was just Phil and I, our parents, the bridesmaids and best men, and we were all completely giddy. It was such a nice moment with us all. And once we’d signed, we were officially married!

For the first half of the wedding we obviously had our backs to everyone, but for the rest of the mass we were sat at the back of the altar. I loved this because I could properly look around and see everyone! I could see my Dad and Mum and my bridesmaids and my cousins and aunties and Phil’s friends and family. I was looking around taking everything in and feeling so happy to be surrounded by everyone we loved!
We sang our final hymn (with clapping led by myself and the bridesmaids!) and then the wedding march starting playing and I beamed past everyone I loved holding my husband’s hand.

Outside it was like a celebrity meet and greet with everyone queuing up to congratulate us! The sun was just poking out through the clouds in time for our family photos and confetti! Honestly, I was finding confetti all day – how it got down the bodice of my fitted dress I’ll never know!

We decided to do the big group photo at the reception, so everyone dispersed – some into cars but lots of people onto the bus. Phil had the good thinking to grab him and I a glass of prosecco each for the car journey too!


The journey to the reception in the car with Phil is one of my favourite memories of the day. People on the streets waved at us in our car and we waved back enthusiastically. We were both absolutely buzzing to see each other and couldn’t believe we were married! We laughed at our almost-matching wedding gifts to each other – navy and gold watches – and we caught up on our mornings. Every now and again we just kept saying “we’re married!”.
The bus took a wrong turn, so we actually ended up at our reception before most of our guests, and we were greeted at  Mottram Hall with a glass of prosecco and a red carpet rolled out for us.

This is the one part of the day which is a bit of a blur! We had some group photos outside and photos of Phil and I on the bus, then we were whisked off to see our room for the first time! It was so bizarre seeing the dozens of sunflowers and beer bottles that had sat in our spare bedroom for months transformed into centrepieces on the tables, and we got a first glance at our cake!

As everyone was going into the room for dinner, Phil and I snuck off for our portraits in the beautiful Mottram Hall gardens. It was nice to get a little bit of time together especially as this was the point where I was started to get a bit overwhelmed! My Nan’s vintage white gold Rolex which I wore as my “something borrowed” wasn’t set so I had no idea what time it was and I was worried I was making everyone late!
As everyone sat down to dinner, our wedding co-ordinator Paul directed us where to go and we were announced as Mr and Mrs Cantillon for the first time!

During the meal it was so nice to see those seats we arranged on pieces of paper filled with our friends and family. I kept taking a moment to look around and enjoy the buzz of the chatter. 

And then, suddenly, it was time for the speeches!

We had six speakers at our wedding and we’d done a little sweepstake card per table where people could place a bet on how long the combined speeches would be. Our friends had done something similar at their wedding and we loved the idea! 
First up was my Dad, which I was dreading. In the weeks leading up to the wedding I’d had multiple texts from my Mum about how much my Dad was crying practising his speech! I’m a proper Daddy’s girl and we are so close I swear he cried every time he looked at me on my wedding day! He absolutely smashed it though, crying himself during the speech, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Which was a problem because... I was up next. I’d always wanted to speak at my wedding. I wanted to ensure it wasn’t just men speaking (there’s enough of that in the world, amirite?) and I also wanted a chance to talk about Phil. I’d only managed to go through it without crying once, and I faltered a couple of times but I’m so glad I did it.

Phil’s speech was lovely, and his toast to absent friends set everyone off crying again. And of course he got a Jurgen Klopp quote in!

Carrying on the theme of women speaking at weddings, my Maid of Honour was next. She absolutely smashed it! She even made a last minute addition to her speech to include the retrieval of my garter earlier in the day! She had me laughing, crying and cringing with her stories of our 18 year friendship.

Finally, Phil’s two best men did a brilliant joint speech. Phil was gently roasted, but it was also a genuine and heartfelt speech. 

The speeches are always one of my favourite part of a wedding so I’m so glad ours were so good – someone even told me they were the best wedding speeches they’d heard!


And then as soon as the speeches were over it was 7.30pm and the evening guests were arriving!

Read Part 3


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