The Mathers-Rowley Wedding

The Mathers-Rowley Wedding
Saturday 30 June 2007
The Mill at Alveley, Shropshire

You can read a much longer write-up of our day on the Confetti website: http://www.confetti.co.uk/article/view/9253-7949-0-Leigh_and_Nathan_s_real_life_wedding_UK_national.do

You can also have a nose at the official pictures (which, as they say, are worth a thousand words) on our photographers’ website http://www.geminiphotography.fsnet.co.uk/ – click on ‘Recent Weddings’ and ‘Leigh & Nathan.’

I also made a little slide show of unofficial pics on my MySpace page www.myspace.com/leighrowley.

And I’ve uploaded a ton of them to Facebook, but you’ll have to be my friend to view those!

OK, grab a cuppa – it’s my wedding report!!!

Where do I start?

Well it rained! Torrentially. Put me in mind of that Alanis Morissette song – “It’s like raii-iiaaaii-nnn on your wedding day!” (Though I can’t quite see what’s so ironic about that.)

During the week prior to our wedding, the ground floor of our fabulous venue was completely flooded, resulting in new carpets having to be laid and the highly professional staff working around the clock to restore normality. My lovely Mum and some of my friends knew all about this, but didn’t tell me until the big day in order to minimise my stress levels!! I was very grateful!

Now a heavy downpour was the eventuality I was dreading most – but it’s true what they say, on the day you don’t care about the weather. It really is useless getting depressed over something you can do nothing about, and to be surrounded everyone we loved in one room was enough to banish any despondency.

And everything else went like a dream. Naturally I’d rehearsed my wedding day over and over and over in my mind for months beforehand, and I really did have the wedding of my dreams. In fact the reality was so close to the dream, it was almost spooky. Everything worked, everyone had a fantastic time, and it truly was the most euphoric day of both our lives.

From the moment I walked into that room on my mum’s arm and saw Nath looking all besotted and happy, my nerves evaporated. I’d been most jittery about saying the vows, possibly saying the wrong thing (wrong name?!) or tripping in the aisle and ending up on You’ve Been Framed, but I took my time and made a conscious effort not to gabble and rush.

It was an incredibly informal, relaxed civil service which reflected our personalities perfectly. A common comment from our friends and relatives is that we had exactly the kind of day WE wanted rather than going through the motions with a ceremony that would simply please our parents. This is exactly what we strove to achieve, and we are so glad it came across to people.

Our good friend Dave Howard gave a brilliant reading of the ‘Love is a temporary madness’ passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

During the signing of the register another friend and former bandmate of Nath’s, Ben Marshall, provided the music: a lovely Brian May guitar solo Last Horizon.

Both reading and music were applauded – no po-faced sitting in silence for our guests! My two bridesmaids – my sister-in-law Julie Mathers and best mate of 15 years Ros Thomas – looked absolutely stunning.

Our venue, the Mill Hotel in Alveley, Shropshire, has THE most beautiful grounds, hence my initial disappointment at the rain and consequent possibility that we wouldn’t get any outdoor photos. But our photographers kindly stayed a little longer than usual, in order to capture a few shots when the rain abated to a drizzle.

The speeches were wonderful and paid lovely tribute to us both. My mum (in lieu of Dad – who passed away in 2004) did a fabulous job. Nathan’s two brothers Jez and Nick as best men cracked us up with a few anecdotes from Nathan’s naughty childhood.

We were delighted that Nick and his wife Kristie were able to make it – Kristie (who had been due to be bridesmaid, but for obvious reasons had to bow out) was nine months pregnant, and just three days later gave birth to our first nephew, the gorgeous Samuel!!

Two days later, we jetted off on our mega honeymoon to Mauritius. I will never forget it, and we have never been so depressed about a holiday coming to an end. It really must be the closest place on earth to paradise. We had a total rest, beneath coconut trees on idyllic beaches, but were also on the go a great deal with activities such as parasailing (probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done – apart from get married), waterskiing and kayaking.

Once the experience was all over, I was actually rather relieved to “de-wedding” and get back to my life. Strange as it may sound, I certainly wasn’t sorry it was over. Having said that, it’s a cliche but were I to do it all over again I wouldn’t change one aspect of it.

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