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The count down to the day of my wedding seemed to gather an alarming pace as the day loomed ever closer. When it came to the day of us setting off for our journey to the Scottish Borders we had great plans of leaving our home in West Wales for midday and taking a leisurely drive to the Lake District before continuing our drive up to Peebles; however, leisure was not the order of the day and to be blunt nor was order. Picture a scene of chaos and frenzy, as Rob and I tried to pack two children, a cascading wedding dress, grooms formal attire, balloons, wedding cake, bouquet, suitcases, table decorations and even a pair of knee length Victorian boots into a Volvo.

 

The Volvo is by no means a small car, but it was dwarfed by the sheer quantity of luggage that was to be squished and squeezed into every available millimetre of space. As Rob continued to battle with the intricate operation of packing the car; my four year old daughter, Libby was on hand to help and whilst I was engrossed with bubble wrapping my bouquet and her big sister was helping Rob, she decided that not everything would fit in the car and that sacrifices would have to be made; and that sacrifice would come in the form of our wedding cake. As I bustled into the lounge, clutching tissue paper and a cake box I couldn’t believe the sight that met my eyes; where my once beautifully decorated wedding cake had stood, there now stood a gnawed and chewed version. It seems that Libby quite likes the taste of royal icing and that fondant paste is quite divine to a four year olds palette.

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My cake stood in disarray, half eaten and nibbled at the edges. A shadow of its former glory and rather a crumby site; I felt myself crumple as I realised there would be no cake to cut on my wedding day. After a prolonged cry and a moment of despair I quickly got onto the internet and ordered a big chocolate and raspberry cake from a bakery in Edinburgh and instructed them to pipe on the top, ‘’when your four year old eats your wedding cake…eat chocolate’’, in addition to this I ordered a very apologetic Libby a ‘sorry’ cake to give to her Mummy. All was not lost and the Volvo was packed. Finally at eight o’clock that evening we were ready to begin our journey!

 

As we travelled to the Lake District we realised that it was just as well we had opted for a very small wedding as we had no room for anything as things stood. We arrived in the village of Dent at just after midnight and the climb up the stairs to our room seemed like the longest journey ever, but after a peaceful night’s sleep and a good breakfast we were ready to tackle the drive to our wedding venue on the Scottish Borders. A mixture of excitement and nerves filled me and this was replaced by relief once we got to our wedding destination and realised that I had remembered to pack everything, including things we didn’t need.

apple sorbet enrobed in a sugar case

apple sorbet enrobed in a sugar case

A trip into Edinburgh to collect the replacement wedding cake concluded our wedding preparations for the day and as I sat down to a delicious three course meal in the hotel restaurant; I realised that the very next day I would be a married woman and in all honesty the idea of being a ‘Mrs’ this time around delighted me. As I looked across the table at Rob I recognised that my faith in love and romance was restored. Yes, I wasn’t going to be a first time bride and things were hardly traditional, but for the first time in my adult life I felt a sense of being loved, belonging and support. So whilst it’s been a rough old time for me over the past few years on the romantic and domestic stability front it was worth hanging on to some of those notions from period dramas because now I finally had my happy ending.

Now I’d love to tell you all about the wedding day itself, but you are just all going to have to wait until next week because my photographs are not ready yet, but I will share with you some of the antics that went on in the morning preparations.   So the day of the wedding finally arrives and with an eleven O’clock ceremony booked there wasn’t any time for dilly dallying, the breakfast arrived via room service at eight o’clock prompt and the hairdresser followed. I’d already been awake for hours and had even managed to squeeze in a dip in the hot tub to relax the bride-to-be nerves.   No sooner had I gulped down my scrambled eggs and toast than a procession of artists, photographers, beauty therapists and the like began to arrive and busy themselves with their individual jobs; it was chaotic, daunting, exciting and ultimately fun. As I sat having my hair finished there was one tiny thing bothering me: the wedding dress. It had been four weeks ago that I’d had my final fitting for the dress and at four and half months pregnant there was no guarantee that I’d still be the same size as I was a month prior. I had a back-up dress, a nice little designer number, but I hoped above all hopes that the gold silk, corseted dress would fit and soon the moment of truth would dawn.

 

With my hair and make-up complete and the caricaturist scribbling frantically on his pad; I indicated to my hairdresser and general helper that it was time to try on the dress. With a deep breath in I stepped into the wedding dress and she began to try and fasten the tiny silk buttons on the back. I could feel a lot of tugging and jerking…things were not feeling positive. What we needed was some brute force and strong fingers, it may not be traditional but Rob was called to the rescue. With the hairdresser and Rob in some very compromising positions, the dress was tugged and manoeuvred into shape and my buttons were fastened. The dress was on and it fitted comfortably…mission accomplished, phew!

 

As the highland piper arrived ready to pipe me down to the lawn outside the hotel where Rob and I were to be wed, everything was perfect; but there was an owl and alpacas to be factored into the wedding day procedures so I was fully aware that anything could happen.

 

Next week I’ll be finishing off my wedding day tale, but until then I bid you fond farewell from West Wales.

Seren

 

 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com