Luckily I got a lift with my brother, so I didn't have to drive for two and a half hours to the venue and managed to snooze some in the car.
After a few traffic delays and having to re-route, we arrived just in time to check-in, change into our wedding attire (see my outfit in yesterday's post) and hot foot it down to the ceremony.
As it was a civil wedding, the ceremony itself was really short. The bride looked lovely - her dress was so sparkly and pretty. I think my uncle was pretty nervous, bless him! He looked so happy though - it was great to see. I was seated in the second row, so had an excellent view, although my nan's head obscured many of my photos!
I was right in the eye line of the official photographer, so I spent the whole time trying to control my face and not look gormless. It was the perfect opportunity for photobombing, but I managed to restrain myself.
After the ceremony came the photographs - we all got rained inside for a while, so we amused ourselves with canapés, drinks and chatting with family members.
The only problem with weddings is that there's usually some waiting around between events. After leaving early and not really eating anything much, I was p-r-e-t-t-y hungry. We were getting impatient waiting for our food and then I didn't take any pics of it because I was too busy inhaling it.
I did get a snap of my niece, entranced by her ice cream though.
I hadn't wanted to cause a fuss with my awkward dietary requirements, so I just had the veggie options - goat's cheese tart, risotto and a trio of chocolate desserts. They were full of dairy, which whilst yummy, left me feeling bloated and rather gross. (P.S. The risotto wasn't a patch on mine!) I was also knackered by this point, so after the meal and speeches I retired to my room for an afternoon nap.
Oh, and a Superman onto the bed. It had to be done - hotel room rules.
Our room was cute and had a lovely view over the estate. There were sheep pottering around and I've never seen so many pheasants in one place!
The room was on the second floor, at the top of the house. The sloping ceilings, ditsy wallpaper and narrow corridors made me feel like I was in a Famous Five book (which is always a good thing).
We unfortunately missed the cutting of the cake. The cake itself reflected my uncle and his bride perfectly: they are both super outdoorsy and like climbing, caving etc.
We came down for the evening reception, where more guests arrived and there was a buffet. I was still grotesquely full, but managed to eat yet more cheese and stodge. Ugh.
I was too tired for dancing, so just mingled for a couple of hours before calling it a night. I didn't sleep well at all for some reason (probably my stomach hating me) and was then up at 7am in order to be ready to leave at 9am with my brother.
The hotel itself was quite nice, although perhaps masquerading above its station a little. My mum mentioned Faulty Towers, but it wasn't that bad at all. A lot of the staff working that day were young - possibly students? - and some of them were lacking a little in professionalism and enthusiasm. Some areas of the hotel were a bit shabby too, but on the whole it was a good experience. I couldn't help imagining what it would've been like before it was a hotel - to explore the place when it was just a country mansion. I bet it would've been awesome.
There were some interesting features, such as coats of arms - I had to take a photo of this one, there were several 'bastards' - along with the castle fireplace and a neat display featuring an old ship.
There was a double staircase, like in Beauty and the Beast, so when we were leaving I made Hannes walk down one side and me the other side, whilst singing Tale as Old as Time like a complete loon, haha.
After breakfast and goodbyes, we headed off. I felt so rough after my dairyfest and was very glad I didn't have to drive. We had left at 9am Saturday morning and arrived home 12noon on Sunday; we were only gone 28 hours, but it felt like days!
The rest of Sunday was spent crashed out on the sofa, napping, recovering and cuddling with Soldier, who I missed terribly.
What a whirlwind weekend! I'm looking forward to a much quieter one this week! But before then, I have my tattoo appointment - today at 11am I'll be adding to my ink collection, hurrah!
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