It started with the frantic packing on Thursday night, and me setting my hair so that I could blow off the hairdresser's appointment the next morning and just head straight through to Nottingham Road at 6am instead of 11. (Incidentally, I remember why I stopped setting my hair - the sweet relief of removing those curlers, crushed tight against the soft skin of the scalp as the hair dries, is rapidly overtaken by the agony as the blood rushes back to the aforesaid soft skin, which has been dented by the curlers. Soft, silky hair just isn't worth it, I'm afraid.)
MadCat and I spent the trip down talking and laughing, before putting on the Stargate Atlantis interviews I'd downloaded and snorting at David Hewlett's machinations. Must say Chuck Campbell was a lot easier to listen to than hottie Joe Flanigan - he was whip-smart with his answers!
Upon arrival at Thatchings, we passed various members of the bridal party during our trips to and from town to get actual sustenance into our bodies. Oh, and by the way - the weather may have been 24, 28, 26, 25 for the week - but naturally it dropped to a cold, misty 15 the day we got there! Then it was off to Providence to help set up - poor MadCat found himself in the kitchen, helping prepare flowers for the bouquets, before we headed for the chapel to do a quick run-through.
This is where we met the reprobate MH, he who was being placed at my table as a bit of eye-candy. Great - fun enough, and Buffy was rather taken at the time, but once we'd returned to Thatchings for supper and drinks, things got way out of hand! Poor Deafboy and Adventure Girl only left JHB at around 16:00 so of course they hit peak-hour traffic, not to mention the horrendous mist on the East Rand. Naturally we had to wait up for them - they were coming to Thatchings to get dinner - and in that time Guttermind and Meestah had fallen prey to MH's wiles at the bar and were well and truly oiled.
Deafboy and Adventure Girl arrived at around 22:00 to be greeted by the sights (and sounds) of a bunch of complete hooligans - as can be imagined, poor AG plowed her way through dinner so she could rush off to my room with me and try to paint on the fake tattoo (which has not matured, to date). Then it was time for a little more venting (as though I hadn't been doing that all night anyway) and off to bed for an early rise the next day.
Up at the crack of sparrow-fart and off to brekkie; picked up the other bridesmaids on the way and listened to tales of horror about the hooligans and their late-night carousing. Seems even Sunshine lost patience with Meestah - as would I upon being awakened at 3:30 by some drunken sot trying to 'quietly' awaken my passed-out hubby! Buffy was so disgusted by the noise she even got up and had a bath at 2:30 because she couldn't sleep! Good thing MadCat and I were situated way on the other side of the house and heard not a peep of said commotion.
Fordoun is beautiful - exactly my style of building, soothing, gorgeous, perfectly laid out. Caroline was an absolute star, and couldn't stop thanking me for pre-preparing my hair so that she didn't have to stress about getting it ready. Rave went ape on my face and made me out as a super-dramatic bridesmaid, while Caroline worked her magic on Diva and Buffy (who ended up looking like a hot California chick with her wild waves and uber-intense eye-makeup).
Then it was back and forth to the room to get ready until time came to see our gorgeous bride, freshly coiffed and made up, slip into her etheral dress. I promise you I've never seen a more beautiful bride. She was everything I imagined, and more. She was calm, serene, and unutterably gorgeous. Rhino is a lucky man, and looking at his face as we came down the aisle, he knew it.
After all my scoffing at the other bridesmaids, telling them to stop being such wets and warning them that there was no need for tears, I couldn't stop several tears from sliding down my cheeks. They looked so lost in love for each other. It was absolutely perfect.
And now it's off to bed - I'll continue this tale soon.