So after 10 years together, I (Jen) decided to make an honest man out of Gav! We tied the knot on my 46th birthday in one of our favourite places in the UK-Great Langdale where we have spent many a happy camping trip at the Great Langdale National Trust campsite. This fabulous campsite is at the head of the Great Langdale valley, underneath the Langdale pikes, all of which we have climbed at various times.
We decided that we wanted to get married before our trip next year and didn`t want it to be a fancy affair. Those of you who know Gav and I will know that we don`t have a fancy bone in our bodies!! We also wanted as much of the time to be spent outdoors as possible and so a plan was hatched. We booked the lounge room at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Great Langdale for 1 hour for the ceremony and then emailed the Great Langdale campsite to see if they would let us all camp there for the weekend and have a huge barbecue after our wedding ceremony. The wonderful manager, John, gave me call and explained that it is not custom and practice to accommodate groups for weddings, stag nights, hen dos and the like, however once he realised he knew us from our many camping trips there, he said that as a special one off, he would allow us to do it! Yipppeeeee!! We decided that we would camp from Friday to the Tuesday-with the wedding on Monday and then our friends and family could do what ever they pleased. Most of them camped in tents or pods, with several staying in a local B and B or at the caravan site. My mum and dad were being driven up on the day.
We had a lovely weekend with typical Lake district weather! The Saturday was lovely and we walked and sat outside in the pub gardens (Sticklebarn). By Saturday evening most people had arrived and we were all in very good sprits-clearly the fresh air was good for us (and the copious amounts of alcohol!!).
We awoke to torrential rain on Sunday morning! My lovely friends Lindsay and David (who are usually 5 star hotel sort of folk!) had borrowed our tent and in the excitement of yesterday, Gav and I had not put it up properly. This meant that it leaked in the night and they were soaking! We found them a spare pod for the Sunday night, although they would have to move back to the tent on Monday! With 24 hours to go until the wedding we were all huggled under the gazebos that David, Gav`s Dad , had had the sense to bring! In the evening my brother and his partner were due to arrive oop North from London. We met them in the pub and David told me that the door to the pub opened and they were overwhelmed with the smell of bug spray as we all came in!! David and Lanre were staying at a lovely little B and B next door-although they were a little anxious as there were no locks on any of the doors at the B and B and no en suite facilities!!! Again this pair are 5 star sort of people! On our return to the campsite, Auntie Joyce and Sasha turned their campervan into a pampervan-and did their hair and nails ready for the following day.
Lanre was on music-he was great! The opening lines of "don't stop me now" by Queen rang out-and then it got to the fast bit where it all goes a little bonkers and in we danced! Well I did and Gav got carried along with me! It was fab, every one was clapping and laughing, including the registrar. We had 2 lovely readings at the ceremony, first my dear friend Lucy who read "The invitation" by Oriah mountain dreamer. Second came Leona, Gav`s sister, who read Pooh bear. Gav and I both also read vows which related to our travels. .
So it was all going rather well. Then the registrar uttered the famous line " Is there anyone here present who knows any lawful reason why these 2 people should not be joined in matrimony, please declare it now". Now I am not sure if it was the half a can of special brew that had kicked in. I am not sure if it was my Dad`s daft sense of humour. It was probably both. He decided to shout out in response to the registrar's very serious question "Yes-she`s not reet!" (translation-she`s not right (in the head). There was a split second of panic in the registrar`s eyes before the whole room erupted with laughter, my mum dug my Dad in the ribs hissing "John" and the registrar took it in the spirit in which it was intended! The rest of the ceremony passed without incident. we signed the register to Clean Bandit and Jess Glynn "No place I`d rather be" and walked out to the Kaiser chiefs "Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby...lalalalalala" for our lovely landy Ruby!
The rest of the day was just fantastic! We had a great barbeque which David, Sylvia and Jamie prepared and lots of food and drinks. My friends had bought plenty of bubbles and Sarah kept topping up mums glass and I sorted out Dad with the special brew shandy!! The sun came out and we had kite flying, rounders, piñata, and dancing!
After the speeches, I suggested a conga and whilst the conga was in progress, little Louis decided it was good time to lick the wedding cake! He had been eyeing it up all afternoon and saw his chance. Mum and Dad left about 5ish and got a right royal send off! Mum was a little squiffy and was singing the ring of fire da da da da da da da da (because it was the Liverpool FC European cup anthem in 2005) out of the car window as she left much to everyone`s amusement and then they all joined in! The campsite echoed with "da da da da da da da daaaaa!". Mum said that it took her about 5 days to recover!!
Later that day we went to the pub for our tea and then back to the campsite for a wonderful camp fire along with singing and a quiz-a perfect end to a perfect day.