14 Years

14 years ago this morning I would have been running around Steventon House near Oxford, pulling on my morning suit jacket, adjusting my pinhole flower, and polishing my shoes ready to make my way to All Saints Church in Didcot to get married.

It doesn’t seem like 14 years ago.

I remember arriving with my brother, and posing for photos outside in the sunshine. I remember the stream of Aunts and Uncles arriving - many of which I had not seen since I was young. I remember spending the longest time facing the front of the Church, watching the minutes tick by - half listening to the murmurs of family and friends behind me.

A loud whisper finally rippled through the assembled guests - “she’s here - she’s here!”. A moment or two later the pipe organ burst into “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”, and the vicar took her place in front of me. I glanced sideways as W arrived next to me, and smiled nervously.

The rest of the marriage ceremony is a blur. I remember a friend reading from Corinthians, and I remember there being a printing error in the order of service. I also remember stressing over the rehearsed holding of hands, placing of bands, and exchanging of rings.

I remember our fathers arriving alongside us to sign the register, but most of all I remember finally turning around for the first time, and being stunned that the church was full to the rafters. It’s one thing to make a list months before, and mail out invitations - it’s quite another thing to be hit by a sea of smiling faces.

14 years ago, but those moments could have happened yesterday.