What I Really Meant To Say

‘Are you going make a speech?’ Neil asked me, before and during the wedding.

‘I’ll do one if you forget anything in yours,’ I said.

‘I won’t. But you should say something, anyway. I don’t want a sexist weddingslashmarriage.’

‘Reason a billion and 31 why I love you.’


During his speech, my Dad told a story I mentioned in this post, and said that Lorna’s Dad is the best title he’s ever had. Well, being his daughter is pretty awesome, too.

The best man brought George Bailey-Penguin on the stage with him.

And then my husband got up and said marrying me was better than winning an Oscar. It’s funnier in context, but that was my favourite part of the whole thing. Followed by the part where he thanked Morgan Freeman for narrating his life.


Since the boys seemed to be having a good time, I got up there. Without notes, and with tears in my voice.

Here’s what I think I said. I’m happy I did, but I forgot the bold bits, until now.   If I’d actually written a speech, it would have looked something like this:

Some of you may be surprised I haven’t written anything for this. I’m better on paper, but I wanted to thank everyone for sharing today with us. It would have been cool to get married on our own, but you guys made it awesome. I want to get around to everyone, but there it is.

I’d like to thank my family and friends, and my bridesmaids for putting up with me these 14 months and longer.

And thanks to my in-laws for having my husband.

I’d like to thank Jane and Amy for taking my cat. If it wasn’t for you guys, we might not be up here, either.

On that note, I’d like to thank my father for leaving the Seminary. That went well, aye?

My Dad.  Father of the Bride.  Not Father Jack.  (photo taken by my father-in-law, also kinda neat.)
My Dad. Father of the Bride. Not Father Jack. (photo taken by my father-in-law, also kinda neat.)

Thanks for going on, years later, to raise me to know that Neil was somewhere out there and that he’d want to marry me someday.

I know I’m good enough for him, because you loved me first.

And Neil, I arrived here 19 years ago, on your birthday. Scotland has given me so much, and I am most grateful for you.

I feel like I’ve known you a hundred years, and I’m just happy we made it legal.

Can we work on the cheese phobia now?

This Bride Really Did Cut The Cake

This was our wedding cake:



This was me actually cutting the cake.  With my concentration face on.  Apparently:



My thoughts went like this:  Are we actually s’posed to cut it?  Is this freaking marzipan?  I hate marzipan.  I specifically told the cake people ‘no marzipan.’  Oh, well.  The mint chocolate layer will make up for it.  And the toffee layer.  And the Baileys layer.  And even the gluten-free layer.  Is Neil actually holding the glass penguins in place so my knife-skills don’t cause a disaster?  Or is he moving them?  Such a smart guy I married.  I’m cutting this thing.  Are we actually s’posed to cut it?

I can think really fast.

And I think that this is my favourite cake shot:



Starting as we mean to go on, together.  Only without the knife for the rest of time.

Notice the glass penguins are in a safer spot?

Photos taken by a bunch of people who love us slightly more than they loved the cake.  Maybe.


Making It So

‘Where’s Neil?’

‘There he is,’ Dad says.


‘There. The guy in the kilt, waitin’ for you.’

‘Holy shit.’

For awhile, I couldn’t see him. And then he was all I saw.

Somehow, we made it down the aisle. And Daddy’s poking me in the shoulder. ‘Flowers,’ he says.


‘Give Jess your flowers.’

‘Oh, yeah. HERE!’ At which point I might have given my Maid of Awesome a giant paper-cut. In the face. Because, y’know, my flowers were paper.

And I’m going up the ramp to the stage. ‘You OK?’ I ask Dad.

‘Oh, aye,’ he says.

I flashback to other ramps and other stages. I’ve come a long way from Third Muchkin on The Left. Thanks for the lift, Daddy.

The look on Neil’s face is one I’ve never seen before. Really. I don’t know whether to kiss him or tackle hug him. So I touch him. On the knee. He has really nice knees.

There’s tape on the stage and I park on it. And the officiant is saying ‘Who gives this woman?’ And I’m like, what woman? And Dad’s hugging me, I hope I told him I love him. Because I do.

Neil looks terrified. But beautiful.

‘You’re gorgeous,’ he says.

‘So are you.’

We’re whispering. I hope.

And the officiant is talking and I’m listening. I hope. I hope. I know.

And then Neil lights a Yankee candle. I hope. I hope. I know. And then our mothers light one each. When we light the one in the middle, I hope I’m not shaking enough to burn the place down.

And then Jess reads Date A Girl Who Reads. We added ‘…and then marry her.’ And I’m trying not to laugh.

I talk to Neil with my eyes. My eyes say: Dude, why are you staring at me?

Because we’re getting married RIGHT NOW.

So we are. Holy shit.

And then I’m looking at his hands. Because Maud, our awesome officiant, is talking about them. And they are very nice hands. I greatly esteem them.

Neil talks to me. With his eyes. And his mouth. His voice cracks on ‘Mother of my children’, and I pray for the people that live in my heart.

And then Isaymynamereallyfast. And remember to breathe. I hope. I’m talking to Neil.

And hoping I don’t drop his ring. And it’s on. Because I say so. No, really.

And Maud says, ‘Make it so.’

And then we kiss. Like two eight-year-olds in front of our parents. Because that’s kindasortamaybe what it felt like.

And then we hug. After I figured out my husband wasn’t actually going to fall over. Best hug ever.

We sign a piece of paper while Bright Eyes sings First Day of My Life. I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed…

It did rain on our first date. And everything did change.

It didn’t rain on our wedding day, though.

After we were piped out by the wonderful Pickled Piper, we left the building. To have photos taken, apparently. With the wedding crew. And a bunch of strangers. It seems I spent my first married moments  among strangers.

My thoughts went like this: Who THE SHIT are all these people? Can we go back to our party? I hate tourists. Where’s my Dad?

And so, I asked Neil. ‘Who THE SHIT are all these people? Did we just leave our own wedding? Our friends who traveled far and around the corner to see us? I want to see them. I’m really pissed off. I don’t want to be angry at our wedding. But I’d like to go to our wedding. Can we go back? Who has my drink?’ Yes, I said all that. Ask my husband.

And then we went back. To take photos with family. Somewhere, I lost track of what my face was doing. Or my neck. Or my chin. I hope I don’t look crazed/hungry. I do believe we missed cocktail hour.

Neil and I take a minute by the lift. Then we’re waiting to be announced and piped into the reception. Where did the time go?

I hope I’m smiling at people on the way to our table, where there’s some whisky we’re meant to toast the piper with.

I’m all like, ‘OOOH, drink!’ And I down it.

‘You’ve never done that,’ Dad says.

‘I got married today, Pops. First time for everything.’

We needed to do the toast twice, because I drank so fast the first time. Yes, really.

Then there’s the Bride’s Cog. I stick my face in it. And then I make one. Not just for the camera.

I actually eat my dinner. Which is called breakfast.

I’m obsessed with my husband’s left hand. Because it has my ring on it. Fancy that.


Docs.  And some married people.  I might have fallen asleep.
Docs.  And knees. And some married people. I might have fallen asleep.


(Photo taken by our friend Dan, who was taking photos of the official photos.   Except the ones he’s in. Dan took all the photos I’ve used in the wedding series, so far.)




Are We There Yet?

Growing up, there was a church down the street from the house where my heart lived. Grandma and I would pass the church on the way to spend my allowance on baseball cards, Cherry Coke bubble-gum and Wintergreen Tic-Tics.

Most Saturdays, there was a wedding at the church and Grandma and I would try and catch a glimpse of the bride, but never stayed long enough to seem like we were staring, or wedding-crashers.

‘Think that’ll be me someday?’

‘Of course,’ Grandma would say. ‘You’ll meet somebody wonderful and the weather will be even better than today.’ I believed her, because that’s what I did. I never forgot what she said, but I was more interested in baseball cards.

Saying that, we came home from our shopping sprees and I’d make her break out her white photo album, looking at the photos and twisting her wedding set while it was still on her hand. That’s as close as I got to praying. For somebody wonderful. And good weather.


Nobody wanted to share a room with me the night before I got married. My sister-in-law drew the short straw, after being told ‘Lorna is a restless sleeper.’ To be fair, I didn’t sleep much anyway, restless or not.

My thoughts went like this: What time is it? Holy shit, I’m getting married! I gotta pee. I should practice my photo-face. PHOTO-FACE! Don’t do that neck thing. Or the other neck thing.

Gahd, I love Neil. Love him, love him, love him. I’m gonna barf. Grandma, be with us. Everyone be with us. And remember, rain is good luck, though. Thanks, Nana. I can’t drop the F-bomb during the vows. What time is it?

Five minutes after I asked myself the first time.

And repeat.

Somehow, the sun rose. I was on my fourth trip to the bathroom and there was a 90’s disco going on in the livingroom. Good times.

I don’t remember much of the conversation (sorry, bridal crew). But there was a lot of, ‘You’re getting FREAKIN’ MARRIED.’ With me answering, ‘I KNOW!’

My Dad stopped in for a flying visit, after picking up Neil’s wedding gifts from the engravers. And he dropped off the bouquets of paper flowers I found on Etsy, which my mother then spent a week putting together with my Nana’s brooches and cameos.

‘Hello, Daddy, I’m getting married,’ I said. We hugged and then he left on another secret mission.

I think I ate half a bagel, and took a shower. After figuring out how to get in the shower and then out again. It took a team effort, because my brain was elsewhere. What time is it?

I’m drinking pink bubbles and my Maid of Awesome is putting on my thigh-high things. When did I become a girl? What time is it?

My mother arrives. Everyone else disappears for a bit. ‘You look nice, Ma. I’m getting married.’ And after a few beats. ‘I miss Nana,’ I say.

‘She’s here. Everybody’s here.’

‘Here, here would be good, though.’

And then I drink. Where is everyone? Has Neil ironed his shirt? What time is it?

Jessica, Maid of Awesome, comes back with a gift that’s actually wrapped. ‘What’s that?’

‘It’s from Neil.’

It isn’t in a plastic bag. Must be a special occasion.

The card says, You May Now Change Your Facebook Status. I laugh. And he gave me the moon and stars. I cry. Everybody’s crying. Good times. Group hug.

The photographer arrives and my dress is half-way on, I’m still holding it up. My lovely dress people said it would take 45 minutes to get me in it. I count every one of them.

Dad and Anne arrive. Time moves faster. My face is on. My dress is on. Have I shit myself? No, that’s just my train. I have one of those, apparently. And I’m sitting on it.

My Docs are on. With a sixpence in them.

The veil goes on. I have one of those, too. I can’t feel my body.

Somehow, Dad and I are in a car. ‘Oh, I’m gonna barf. Are we there yet, Daddy? I gotta pee. How are my boobs?’

‘I wouldn’t know.’ Dad says. ‘But you look stunning.’

Dad’s phone rings and he goes into his sporran to get it. Because he has one of those. It sounds like he’s going over details with the Best Man, so I yell, ‘Hello, Brian!’

‘That wasn’t Brian, that was your husband.’

‘Holy shit,’ I say.

We arrive, and I’m guided into a sea of people taking photos. Of me. I don’t know any of them. Our wedding venue is a very public place, and it isn’t a private party yet.

I go in and my bridal crew is standing with the co-ordinator. We have a debate on whether a spot below my eye is some wayward make-up or a skin-tag. I think it’s the latter. I’m right. Because it’s my face.

‘The groom’s here, the bride’s here, let’s have a wedding!’ And the co-ordinator leads us through yet more people I don’t know.

On the way to the lifts, someone touches my arm and says, ‘Can I take your photo?’

I actually flash-back to watching brides from afar as a kid. I think I breathe.

‘Not right now,’ I say.

‘Well done,’ my Dad says.

‘Well, I am kinda busy here.’

We go up to a room with a view of Edinburgh. I get some fresh air on the balcony thing with my Dad.

‘What time is it?’

‘We’re early!’ Dad says. He is, shall we say, fashionably late for everything, and I was not-so secretly wondering if it we’d be late for my wedding. Apparently not.

‘You look like Madelyn,’ he says.

‘Don’t start me off, please,’ I say. But crying is my cue to go back in and get married.

The bridal crew is waiting to go downstairs before us. ‘Walk slowly please, I like the processional song,’ I say. But as the door closed on the lift, I said, ‘AndIloveyouall.’

And then the co-ordinator, speaking into a walkie-talkie, that might have been headphones, says, ‘I’m bringing the bride down now.’ It was all very Secret Service.

‘What? Who? I guess I’m the bride. Let’s do this.’

On the way to someone wonderful.  In a room full of people I actually know.
On the way to somebody wonderful. In a room full of people I actually know. Good times.

George’s Guide To Belgian Beer

I know I’m jumping ahead a bit here, but we had a guest on our honeymoon.  George Bailey-Penguin comes with us wherever we go.  And our honeymoon, I learned, was no different.

By the end of our week in Bruges, George  was being recognised by waiters and bar staff, who asked us, ‘Does he go everywhere with you?’

Apparently so.

Here’s George sampling some Belgian beer, so we didn’t have have to.  But we did anyway.


Smiske Extra.


Westmalle and Mystic Kriek.  George looks happy.  I’m not so sure.


GBP’s favourite Belgian beer is Kwak.  Which is, coincidentally, the easiest beer for a penguin to pronounce.


Steenbrugge Wit and Kriek Boon


Neil’s favourite beer, Préaris Quadrupel and me, his favourite wife with my new favourite beer, Pecheresse.


George and Hercule.  I approve.  My kriek beer, on the other hand, smelled like feet.


St Bernadus Abt 12 and Vedett Extra White, the only white beer I’ve had that doesn’t taste like piss.


La Chouffe, highly recommended by gnomes … and penguins.


Karmeliet Tripel, George says pay no attention to the woman blinking behind the beer.


We think this was Duvel … it was a long week.


With mussels to soak up the booze.  The fries were good, but not as good as advertised … they haven’t lied to us.


Straffe Hendrik Quadruple and Brugse Zot at De Halve Maan brewery.  The brewery was completely inaccessible, but the beer garden was not.

1279_10151559236924412_1130390053_nMe taking a picture of Neil taking a picture of George.  Meta, or something.

George Bailey-Penguin reminds you to drink, and blog, responsibly.

What’s your favourite beer?


Reader, I Married Him.

And so, this happened:

My husband is the one on the right.  ;)
My husband is the one on the right. 😉


Still trying to find words for the last few weeks.  There will be a bunch of them.  And they still won’t be enough to cover it.

For now, I want to share proof of our Double Docs wedding.

(Thanks to The Invisible Man, and our friend Dan, for the photo.)

And what did you do on June 15th?