I met Laura at university 7 years ago and we pretty quickly became best friends, mostly due to our mutual love of Harry Potter. At the time she was in quite a difficult place but a few years ago she met a guy on World of Warcraft and it was very apparent that they had deep feelings for each other. Finally, three years ago, after years of agonising over what to do, she and Matt made it official and became a couple. It's not a secret that Matt creeped me out at first. I thought he was clingy and, quite frankly, a bit weird (Sorry, Matt!). Once I met him, however, all my fears subsided. Ok, he was clingy and yes, he was definitely a bit weird, but in the best possible way. Over the past three years, I've come to regard Matt as one of my closest friends as well as Laura, and he and Rich are like brothers to each other. Last summer, the four of us went to Florida where Laura officiated our wedding ceremony and it was the happiest time of my life.
At the end of October, Rich and I were honoured to witness Laura and Matt say their own vows, even more so when we were asked to be best man/ maid of honour, ring bearers, witnesses and, in my case, Laura's toilet-helper! No pressure then!
In fact, I think I was happier at their wedding than at my own. When Rich and I married, I was super anxious and, to be completely honest, just wanted to rush through it so people would stop looking at me! This time, I could take in all the emotions. Watching my beautiful best friend and the man who is so perfect for her that I couldn't even dream up a greater match say their vows to her made me happier than I could ever have imagined.
I can't thank Laura enough for everything she has done for me. She has been my rock through some incredibly traumatic times through the past 7 years and absolutely deserves every happiness that comes her way. I am so happy for her to have found someone who loves her exactly as she should be loved and feel so proud to call her my best friend.
Laura and Matt were married in their local town hall and we got ready in the hotel across the road from the venue. Poor Laura, who never particularly wants to be the centre of attention, was shocked by the amount of people beeping their horns and cheering at her as we walked between the two buildings. You would though, wouldn't you?
One of my highlights of the ceremony was that they played a beautiful piano arrangement of the Jurassic Park theme tune before we entered. It's something of an in-joke for the four of us and they thought they'd play it just to see if anyone noticed (Laura's brother did!).
After the ceremony, the guests headed back to the hotel while the wedding party popped around the corner for some photos at the castle. While we walked up the hill, an adorable little girl gasped and said to her parents "She's beautiful!" The whole time we were taking photos, this cutie insisted on standing behind the photographer and watching.
This is just a quick iPhone snap (since Rich finds it impossible to use my manual focus lens) but you can see how beautiful my dress is. It's so me but I didn't even choose it- Laura picked it out herself. She has such great taste! The dress went down really well (In fact, Matt's mum told me at the dinner table that I had "the best dress in the room". Excluding Laura, I'd assume!)
Our flowers were also absolutely stunning. Funnily enough, blue hydrangeas are exactly what I'd intended to have when I was planning to have a traditional wedding. Remember what I said about Laura's great taste?
The hotel conservatory decorations were a joint effort between Laura, her mum and Matt's mum, and the room looked absolutely lovely with fairy lights everywhere.
When I attended the wedding of one of Rich's friends in the summer, the bridesmaid gave a speech and it was so lovely that I asked Laura how she would feel about me giving one. As Rich has given a best man's speech before, and hated every second of it, it was agreed that I would give a speech on behalf of both of us. Oh, man! Spending my entire career talking to dozens- sometimes hundreds- of
This beautiful cake was handmade over several days by Matt's mum. Isn't it incredible? Cake decorating isn't even her profession!
...It's a long story! If you look really closely, you'll see that instead of kisses I've put sssssss. This is how we end our texts- they're Parseltongue kisses.
It was a truly beautiful wedding. To Laura and Matt (because I know you're reading): Both Rich and I are over the moon that you have found each other. You are so incredibly perfect for each other. Matt, I can't thank you enough for everything you do for my best friend. Genuinely, she has never been happier than she has been with you and I know you take such grear care of her. And also, because neither Rich nor I will ever be soppy enough to say this to you in person, thank you so much for being the best friends anyone could ask for. We love you both very much. Roll on our Centerparcs Christmas!