(yes, those are the gyp hearts we made the day before, outside the front door)
A lot of the afternoon reception is a blur in my head now, we got to Crosby lodge before most guests, and while everyone went inside and were given their first drinks we waited for Anna to grab us for our photos.
We wandered around the grounds of Crosby lodge with her, and a little bit upstairs, but we didn't want to be too close to the guests while this was happening. I don't remember much after this until the speeches, but apparently what was happening was that lots of random groups chatted, laughed, caught up with each other, and in one case, which I wish I'd seen, James godfather did card tricks for the kids!
(possibly the best photo ever. IMHO. thank you Anna!)
Eventually, just after 5, we got into position for the speeches. We wanted to do them before dinner in the bar, a couple of people suggested it to us, for the sake of everyones nerves, rather than having to wait to do them after dinner. I have to say it worked well, relaxed everyone and meant we could all enjoy the meal after.
Then it was onto James. The 'speech' word had not been mentioned much around our parts, it's one that was met with tumbleweed most of the time. I know that it was mostly in his head but only went onto paper that morning, as the friend he was staying with rang me to check the bridesmaids preferred names. However it was lovely, he was greeted with a cheer when he started with 'my wife and I' which I think helped!
Then it was my turn. Yes, I did a speech. Anyone who knows me (ahem) will know I always have something to say, especially on my wedding day. I was the classy one who had their speech written on the back of an envelope that I'd taken to bed with me the night before, and scribbled down as I woke up. I'd sat down in a quiet room about 20 minutes before the speeches to read it through, and got lovely bridesmaid to read it too, who pronounced it lovely. Apparently she then went back to her husband and told him that I wouldn't get through it without crying, how right she was! It wasn't very long, but my toast and thanks was to James parents, and when I got to that bit I couldn't speak! Anna managed to get photos of both James parents at that bit, his dad is master if the art of hiding but she got him perfectly.
His speech was wonderful. Again, I think that this was written fairly late in the day, but he still managed 2 sides of a4 as well! He said some nice things, and then went on to give us some advice on marriage. Things like 'leave the toilet seat down' ( the only one I can remember). But the piece de la resistance came with the ending ( bear in mind we asked him to keep it relatively clean for the sake of my 2 great aunts...) 'becca, a man is like a tiled floor, lay it right the first time and you'll be walking all over him for years to come' ( I think the photo above was taken at the moment we realised what he was saying!). thankfully the aunts either didnt hear, or didnt understand, or just chose to ignore it, but everyone else loved it.
Anna left, and the disposeables took over, which just leaves me with about one post to write!