It's a surreal and terribly moving moment when you see your oldest friend get married.
I can recall so many sleepovers where Zannie and I - from the ages of 6 and upwards - would imagine what our future husbands would be like. At the time of Take That (the first time around), we thought she would be married off to Robbie Williams and that my husband would be Mark Owen. Funnily enough, we genuinely believed that, somehow, these famous popstars about 15 years our senior would find us in our little Scottish village and would fall head over heels in love with us - genuine! Oh how I would love to go back to those simple times where being realistic was of little importance!
Anyway, as we grew up (and once Take That had, devastatingly, split up) I moved onto lusting after Leonardo DiCaprio and I can't quite remember who Zannie liked...Ronan Keating perhaps? Well, peu importe now. Zannie and I would launch into wildly serious conversations about our future weddings. Not in any kind of detail, you understand. Don't get me wrong, there were no discussions about the fabric quality of chair covers and whether to provide strawberries and chocolate at the aperitif or just stick to canapés. No, we weren't that weird as children. (Although a certain Mrs Pegg would beg to differ.) In the naivety that only children have, we would find ourselves daydreaming about our celebrity husbands and how we would look like beautiful Barbie princesses. (Don't mock. Barbie was, at the time, our image of a perfect woman - obviously this was well before Cheryl Cole came bounding into our lives with her lolipop head, lucious locks and flawless skin. Living Barbie. The Brunette Version.)
When we were so young, getting married seemed so far ahead in the future. We hadn't even left primary school yet and 16 year olds were considered as adults from our perspective. I can recall wondering whether Zannie and I would even know each other by the time we made it to adulthood. And even though we could both fit our fore finger and thumb around each other's wrists (something that we learned at primary school which scientifically proves that you will be invited to the other's wedding), I wasn't entirely convinced two people could be best friends from the age of 6 right up to an enormously old age where one of them got married. Would Zannie be at my future wedding to Leonardo DiCaprio? Would I be at her wedding?
I was there. I had the honour of being a bridesmaid.
Sitting there, in the front pew of the church among the other three bridesmaids, I tried hard to fight the lump in my throat as I saw how beautiful and happy Zannie looked. As I said before, it's a surreal and terribly moving moment when you see your oldest friend get married.
As she turned to Venzo (her now husband!!) to exchange vows, the tears started to cloud my vision. Luckily, I had stuffed a Kleenex into my bouquet of flowers. It was used a lot and then passed onto one of the other bridesmaids who was in need. That's how beautiful the ceremony was.
(Venzo, for the record, is nothing like Robbie Williams. Robbie Williams is a cheeky twat and Venzo is a legend.)
(Venzo is also nothing like Ronan Keating who is a bit of a cheesy crooner and Venzo is more rock and roll and plays the drums.)
And Zannie, although her family name has now changed, is still Zannie. A sweet, loving, beautiful person. (And hilarious too. Funny things always happen to Zannie! Now I hope she doesn't mind me telling you this, but it made the ceremony so 'Zannie' that I just have to share! At the beginning of the ceremony, Zannie and her dad walked down the aisle to the beautiful tune of Ave Maria, followed by the flower girl and us, the bridesmaids. As we walked down the aisle behind her, the congregation all focused on Zannie and her beautiful princessy dress (not Barbie-esque though) but I was distracted because I had spotted - right there in the middle of the church aisle - a lacy white thing discarded on the floor. On closer inspection, it turned out to be Zannie's garter which had slipped off her thigh without her even knowing it! Well, as you can imagine, I got a fit of the giggles and at intermittent moments throughout the service when one of the other bridesmaids would remind me of the incident, my shoulders would start to shake and my face turned red as I tried to hold in my laughter. Of course this all became even more hilarious when, at the end of the ceremony as the guests were leaving, one of them came up to Zannie with the offending garter and handed it back. Oh I laughed so hard that my lovely boned bridesmaid dress almost burst!) Anyway, here are some pictures:
P.S. Happy New Year!!