The black wedding and what I wore

Hello love bugs!

I thought I'd expand a little more on the great weekend we had up North for our friends wedding. The post is long, go get yourself a cuppa and a biccie.

We arrived in Bury on the Friday evening after stopping off to see a couple of friends in Manchester on the way. In the evening we met up with our friends M, T and A for some drinks in the hotel bar. As it was T's birthday the day of the wedding, James and I gave him his card and present that night so he could have a little celebration. We bought him a bottle of cinnamon liqueur called Fire Eater and we got about half way through it that evening when the barman wasn't looking. I call it giggle juice as I was still laughing my head off about an hour after we went to bed. Seeing friends you haven't seen for months + alcohol = good times.

We woke up the next day fairly chirpy despite leaving the bar at 2am (coffee helped!) and then we went over the road to the Town Hall in preparation for the wedding.

G, James half asleep, me, T // G, James, T & M // the happy couple x 2.

The ceremony was lovely and moving, and we all went outside to the lovely floral grounds of the town hall while the bride and groom had their photos taken professionally. Then we moved off to Whitehead Gardens next door to the Town Hall where a lot more professional photos were done in front of the imposing clock tower.

Selfie // M and one of the bridesmaids W, who is a friend // clock tower in Whitehead Gardens.

After that it was time for the reception. The speeches were all very moving and I cried often, no doubt lubricated by the assortment of free alcohol on the table in front of me. The food and decor were stunning (the red and black theme for the bride and groom's outfits was also used throughout, such as on the chair covers and table decorations), the service in the Elizabethan suite where the reception was held was faultless, and we all had a jolly old time. Here's what I wore:

Dress, Scarlett & Jo
Cropped leggings, Very
Shoes, Very sale
Hair flower, eBay
Hair flower used as brooch, New Look

After the speeches were over and we'd eaten, a magician came round to the tables one by one and he was bloody fantastic. His name is Jason Rea. He got T to sign a fiver at the beginning of his set of tricks and at the very end he pulled it out of a lime which he put on the table when he first arrived. He pulled playing cards from a sealed envelope in his wallet that T had signed and put back into the pack moments before. There were loads of cool tricks, too many to mention. He turned a piece of paper into a lollipop right in front of my eyes. If you need a magician for an event, he's amazing.

Did I mention it was hot as balls all day long? No? Well, it was hot as balls all day long, made worse by the sheer amount of alcohol finding its way down my gullet. We were all sweating all day and all night. I felt so sweaty and horrible that I went back to the room to shower and change about 5 pm, before rushing back for the evening fun.

T & M // me and Jimbob // A // us again

The evening's entertainment was fantastic. There was a Skid Row tribute act on who were brilliant and after that there was a rock DJ who played loads of great rock songs from hair metal to the current day. There was a LOT of dancing from me - sod the broken toe. I can shuffle along quite well as long as I don't bend it. I was pleased to say that my stamina has vastly improved from my birthday in April where I was unable to dance to any more than about 3 songs all night. This time I'd dance to 2-3 songs, sit down for a couple of minutes to have rest and a drink (I was almost entirely on soft drinks in the evening because it was still as hot as Satan's cleft) then get up again for some more. I probably danced for a few hours over the space of the 5 or so the evening entertainment was on, sod the pain and sod tomorrow. Sometimes you have to let loose and damn the consequences. (I didn't feel too bad the next day, surprisingly. I had strong painkillers before bed and some more in the morning, and it was manageable. I think the endorphins from all the fun helped me through.)

James commented the next day about me dancing, saying that I'm very light on my feet, and it's true. I might weigh a ton but I'm as light as air when I'm dancing, and I wasn't the only fat person showing them how it's done on the day of the wedding. There was a big guy, well over 6 feet tall and built like a brick shed, and he was ballroom dancing with his partner on the dance floor like you would not believe! He was twirling her around, turning on a dime and moving so fast I bet everyone in the room was thinking "Hell, that big guy can move!" Size does NOT mean you can't be graceful, agile, flexible or nimble. There's a myth that all fat people are clumsy, hulking, heavy-footed, graceless beings and it's bollocks, frankly. Myself and big fella are living proof you can be very abundant in size and still have all that good shit going on. Hashtag flawless, bitchezz.

Almost everyone was on the dance floor, especially the ladies, and more so as the night went on and people got more drunk, ha. This wasn't a shy and retiring wedding where most people are too polite to dance. Hell naw, people were flinging themselves around like rag dolls in a tumble drier. I bloody love weddings because dancing is such a celebration of joy and it's so good to see young and old alike getting up and having fun. Aside from seeing the happy couple get spliced, the dancing is ALWAYS my favourite bit of a wedding. If I've learned anything about the North/South divide from having so many friends up North it's that Northerners don't take themselves at all seriously and are always down for major fun. My mate R doing windmills with his arms all across the dance floor and his girlfriend W doing high kicks like Bruce Lee was one of the highlights of the night for me. I danced and laughed, laughed and danced. It was epic.

End of the night group photo - A, T, M & James // loo selfie // and again // A, T, M, me.

On the Sunday we were all a bit hanging in one way or another; it was a long day the day before. We went into Bury for a meal to make us feel a bit alive. I had sausage, chips, egg and beans. Just what the doctor ordered.

Bury is so pretty. There are flowers absolutely everywhere. James said to me "I don't get people who say it's grim up North. Have they ever been?!" I bloody love the North. I swear I was Northern in a past life. It calls to me, haha!

Pretty for the sake of it//gimme fuel//close up of flowers//lavender in pub beer garden.

I used to be really scared of all kinds of insects, but the older I get the more I see the connection to nature and all living things. I'm not afraid of bees or moths any more and am trying hard not to be afraid of spiders either. I was quite happy sitting next to a lavender bush with lots of bees visiting, especially when they stayed still long enough for me to capture them.

Lavender and bee // looking quite chirpy surprisingly // A, M, T // James

After lunch we had a nice walk around Bury, but I was really starting to flag, so we headed back to the hotel at about 4.30 for a nap and then we drove back overnight, arriving home in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was a fantastic wedding, and a great opportunity to catch up with our mates, who we don't get to see more than a couple of times a year due to them being spread all over the country - Manchester, Wiltshire and Hampshire amongst this small group alone. We stayed at the Premier Inn in Bury, right opposite the Town Hall and I'd recommend it to anyone. The staff were fantastic - friendly, warm and accommodating - and the hotel itself is really nice, with loads of seating for hungover mornings waiting for your brain to kick into gear, a Costa machine in reception for your caffeine fix, good food and a bar that stays open really late. There was secure underground car parking which is handy when you're not going to be using your car for 3 days. We left it and didn't have to worry about it. We'd certainly use it again. I think it's the nicest Premier Inn we've ever stayed at. All in all, the whole weekend was one big joyfest and one I'll be thinking about with extreme fondness for years to come.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

(I didn't put many photos in of the bride & groom as it's their special day - if it wasn't going to be on Facebook I won't show it here. Nor did name anyone in full to protect the guilty, hehehe.)

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