I’m not going to beat around the bush here. 15th July 2017 was the best day of my life. Bar none. There are few days I think could top it. Only the days our children are born and their wedding days are going to come even close.
But I thought I’d share a few highlights. Because sometimes there are moments. Moments that seem surreally perfect and you can feel your body taking an internal snapshot. Sometimes you have those standout memories and they’ll come back to you maybe years later. Every now and again, if you pay enough attention, I think you can feel your body recording.
Watching Charlotte Walk Down the Aisle
How on earth do I describe this feeling? I never at any point was touched by the wedding nerves others experience. Not once did I have second thoughts, nor did I worry Charlotte wouldn’t show up. These thoughts never even appeared on my radar.
But when I watched her turn that corner. I don’t even know what my brain was saying. It was just raw emotion. Happiness, joy, breathtaking beauty all hitting me at once. I cried as all of that hit me and more.
From the moment everyone stood up in all their finery to the moment Charlotte stopped beside me with her dad and telling me not to cry or she would. I will never forget that moment.
The Triple Tear Speech Giving
We had three speeches. Charlotte’s dad, mine and my dad’s as one of my two best men. And we all cried. We’re soppy buggers the Steedman-Whites.
But it was that feeling again. Jamie, my father in law saying such lovely things about me and his daughter. Tearing up himself. My dad getting choked up about mentioning my nana. My mum’s mum and having to pause himself. My mum started a chant ‘Come on, Phil!’ And the whole library joined in (we had dinner in a library – of course).
And my speech. I quoted Sleepless in Seattle which I am not ashamed to admit is a favourite film of mine. And I welled up before the end. Another moment. An intense wave of love I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
I’m honoured to share the speechgivings with two shining examples of dadhood. The sort of dad I vow to be one day.
Our First Dance – Traingate
‘At Last’. Etta James sings our song, and the sentiment is very apt. I’ve been told by more than one person that when we announced our engagement there was no ‘oo – bit soon’. There was just an instant thought of ‘when’s the date?’.
And here’s an important note to take away. A piece of advice to soon to be newlyweds. Some of your memories are going to be funny. Ones you’ll just look back on and smile.
Charlotte’s dress had a wonderful train. One you’ll see in pictures with what we describe as ‘maximum floof’. And we started dancing. Your classic arms around the shoulders slow circle.
…and the train followed.
Around and around, at least one and a half rotations before I realised we were becoming wrapped in gorgeous lacy floof.
Sophie, maid of honour, sister, floofer extraordinaire darted in to help but to no avail. So we started the half rotation, the sway one day and the romantic reverse. Laughing and kissing all the while.
Sometimes moments won’t go exactly as you planned. In a way they end up better.
Don’t Look Back in Anger
Our band were awesome. Teenage Kicks from Brighton absolutely killed it from first song to last. They even learned ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton for us. I always thought it would be my wedding song and they were very glad to oblige learning it. We were floof-experts at this point and had our romance moment.
But their last song. My god. There were a few central reasons why we wanted teenage kicks. Number one, they played ‘The Power of Love’ by Huey Lewis and the News. But for me, they had 3 Oasis numbers on their repertoire. They finished with ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. At least 30 of us, stood in a circle, arms around shoulders, dancing, New York New Yorking from side to side. Singing at the top of our lungs.
Unfortunately, I think it was far to party-dark to have a photo of that moment so I hope my description did it justice.
Never in a million years could I forget sharing such a perfect moment with all our family and friends.
So there you have it. I guess it’s customary in a review to leave a score. 10 out of 10. 5 stars. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. A perfect 10 on IMDb. Whatever rating that’s put in front of me, our wedding gets full marks.
And these moments are made by the wonderful peoples I shared it with. Most of all my wonderful, stunning, floof-followed wife.