I am absolutely wrecked after the most wonderful hot and sunny weekend spent down in Cambridge for my sister-in-laws wedding. She is the 6th of the 11 kids to get wed, so I suppose you could say that it is becoming quite an ordinary moment for us all, but the weather and whole day was just Perfect. It made me happy to be married to such a wonderful man and be a part of an amazing family.
I guess whilst they are pretty regular in our family and there are numerous ordinary moments throughout them, little traditions or roles we all take on, or stuff that seems to always reoccur at each one, weddings are never really ordinary themselves are they? Quite the opposite; they are always so special and unique to the couple and feel so lovely to a part of.
The groom is from Cambridge (hence we ended up with the southerners) and it meant that we had some traditional Cambridgeshire touches to it, including the reception at one of the colleges (which was absolutely beautiful and such delicious food) followed by punting on the cam. These picturesque scenes combined with Megsie being a flower girl were the more extra ordinary moments we had this weekend and definitely the ones we will love and remember for years I’m sure.
As I said when you marry a man with 10 siblings, weddings become rather a regular occurrence, so here are my 5 ordinary moments we have at every family wedding:
1. Bride/bridesmaids hair and make up duty:
Since the second wedding I have always been assigned to do hair and make up. Whilst many people would normally pay a professional for these jobs we always think one another’s skills are sufficient and so we just all pitch in and I love it. Though I do panic at moments that we wont be done on time (we always are) I love to transform the bride, help the bridesmaids look mint and slap some make up on the clueless ones.
As a result of spending most of the morning helping them it means I am lucky to have half an hour to get ready, yet somehow always manage to pull it off…and I wouldn’t change it, I enjoy that time with the bride & I enjoy sitting and seeing them so beautiful at the wedding. I love the banter with the bridesmaids, and whilst this time round I just did the bride, there was still plenty of that and I was really pleased with the result’s (as was she) and how well I scrubbed up in 25 mins!
2. Trying to keep the kids clean(ish) & entertained:
Big family, lots of weddings = now lots of grand kids. Where we once sat and enjoyed the moment, soaked up the love that was in the air, we now battle through the service to keep them quiet, try to distract them from needing the toilet so we don’t miss the event and try to keep them out of mischief between everything in between, keep them seated during the reception and keep them from having mammoth meltdowns.
This weekend we found angry birds, bubbles and a nap on the punt to work wonders.
3. Father in laws speech:
Always random, always hilarious, always unpredictable. I love that I married into a family with a sense of humour, with people that can let go and laugh at themselves, its always good fun when we all get together at moments liked these, and this wedding we weren’t disappointed either, when he pulled out all the stops and not only cracked a load of jokes and made up events, but also did a skit and dance as part of his speech…it was epic and I loved every minute!
4. A decent family picture:
This is always madness when you have like 18 adults and now 8 kids under 5 too. Its never a straightforward process and we always have a good laugh.
I love this one of me negotiating with megs who screamed about having to be taken from the bubbles for a picture.
And this was the final result (some are missing as kids were napping).
5. Family chats and banter:
We all get on amazingly well, I always have done with all of his family and one of my bestest friends that has remained close since teens is one of my sister in laws (So many stories there).
When I met her now husband we got on great too and the older kids in the family and now spouses would all hang during the dating years, we then all got married fairly close (3 of us couples in 14 months) and so all of our kids so far were born close too and get on great almost always (aside from the odd misunderstanding of course)! We enjoy spending time together and chatting about anything and everything. Marriage, time, parenthood and life experiences have changed us all in many ways but thankfully our relationships have evolved to accommodate.
My other /younger sister in laws have also all become amazing friends too over the years and with every single one of them and my brother in laws, I feel like they are, and see them as my brothers and sisters and we all just seem to mesh.
I am sure at times we all do each others heads in, its only natural in a family of so many personalities, but we all show a lot of love and tolerance too for each other, and though super different in some ways, we are also very similar in beliefs and humour and there are always a tonne of laughs, wind ups, debates, competitions, games, friendship and love. Though long and tiring and sometimes frustrating we absolutely love the times like this that bring us all together, times to chat and catch up, be ourselves and have some banter!
I/we thank the lord for family and the wonderful times we share, the ordinary and extraordinary moments experienced together that make life and traditions for all of us. It really was an amazing wedding, beautiful weekend and special day!
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It must be amazing to have such a large extended family, although totally chaotic I imagine too .. Love the pic of megs chasing the bubble by the way #ordinarymoments
Mary how wonderful to be surrounded by amazing family. The wedding sounds amazing and well done you for doing the brides hair and make up. You look stunning too and your pictures sum up what a fantastic weekend you have had with family x
Tracey it was so lovely, a bit chaotic at times with the kiddos but a lot of fun too. Thanks, I had a lot of compliments and people are so nice x
Oh I love this post so much Mary!! Firstly because you were in Cambridge which is my home town and I would love to go to a wedding at one of the colleges – it looks so so beautiful! Did you enjoy punting? We used to go all the time but now we need to wait until Zach’s a bit older to go again! One of 11 children is amazing, and I can imagine that is so much fun! Do you have many siblings too? I love that you do the hair and make up, I think it’s so nice to have family do things like that, it makes it all a bit more special! You look absolutely gorgeous too – I love that dress!! xx
Chantal it was GORGEOUS, felt so English an regal hahaha so much fun. I just wish I had taken flip flops for the punting, because walking down with my heels on KILLED! And thanks for the compliments, the dress was £6 in the charity shop, I was passing one day and was like I LOVE IT..doesn’t bother me wearing second hand…even to a wedding! haha
Ive always loved that Nath is one of 11 – its such a great time being together, a few years ago all the now teens were little kids and would run out to see us all when we came for the weekend, it was lovely. There are only 4 in my fam…all girls.
We took Meg punting when she was like 6months old – you should tots take Zach x
Wow Mary how unbelievably wonderful to have such a huge extended family. My family are all quite small and I would love a bigger one. Ten siblings, that’s insane! But wonderfully insane. And it looks like a beautiful wedding with the sun shining. I love you were in Cambridgeshire too! 🙂 x
It is wonderful and its amazing we all get one so well, whenever anyone joins the family its like BOOM all buddies haha I absolutely loved being in Cambridge, its only my second visit but man its so beautiful and English! x
Great tips! 10 siblings?!? Wow! The wedding looks wonderful, love the punting shots and Megsie is ADORABLE in that dress!
Aww thanks Sian – everyone said she was so cute too..its from BHS and she can’t wait to wear it again.
Punting was great, pretty busy and someone fell in (not from our party) which was pretty funny. x
Wow that’s a great find from BHS!
This is such a lovely post. It sounds like you have a wonderful family and the wedding sounds perfect. Good on you for doing the hair! x