Everything was soaked and so dark; The trees looked miserable. The A202, which spanned the garden, was completely bogged down. It was a honking orchestra of anger. The rain was endless. Only then did I realize that I had forgotten the Loos. We imagined shivering, wet guests, heels digging in mud and eager to pee. It would have been a disaster.
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Instead, months later in September, on the most immaculately sunny day of the year, we had an 18-person wedding in Chelsea – our parents, siblings, their lovers, and a few friends. Oddly enough, the new plan was far more formal than the original. We had taken a massive step towards convention. And it felt great.
I woke up to a coffee my father made and delivered it to my nursery, where I lazed around and felt totally relaxed. Don’t worry about portaloos. I was wearing a sultry Vivienne Westwood dress that reminded me (in the best possible way) of a crumbling bowl of fruit. withered sexy flowers, snails and caterpillars in atmospheric oil painting colors. I furnished with a bunch of stunning burnt orange calla lilies.
My parents and I drove black to Chelsea City Hall while Ollie dutifully walked alone from our nearby apartment to meet his best man and brother for a whiskey in Sloane Square. Everyone was in masks and their distance for the ceremony. The registrar managed to misread our vows and the pen used to sign the register was cleaned up between signatures. We had The Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down” as our song. I wouldn’t have changed anything.
After the photos on the doorstep, we walked down the alleys to the Chelsea Arts Club – one of the coolest places in London. For us, three tables for six had been diligently separated from each other in their garden tent. My in-laws performed a poetic duet for us and my husband gave an exceptionally funny, beautiful speech. We drank Guinness and champagne; Mountains of croquettes were followed by steak and fries with bearnaise sauce.
We sat, ate, drank and laughed. I sliced a delightful mini wedding cake made for me by my friend Claire Ptak, and we later drank in the sun with a couple of cigars before Ollie and I hopped into a perfectly coordinated karma taxi that followed us for the evening Soho brought.
As a couple, we seldom think we’ve ever done anything right. But as we sat on an abandoned Soho rooftop at sunset, drinking in hand, we were utterly speechless at how happy the day had been. How perfect it turned out to be. And how much better was it so small.
I never expected or wanted my wedding day to be the happiest of my life and always hoped it would be one of many that blurs into the rest. But it turned out that it was.
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