Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wedding Ceremony

Evilstevie and I were married at noon on Saturday, 21 May, 2011.

The day was everything we wanted it to be. Our friends and families all made a big effort to ensure that the day was as relaxed and happy as it could possibly be.

I don't have any pictures yet. There are about 700 pictures on Evilstevie's camera but we haven't had a chance to go through them! The lovely Carie has put up a few of her shots which can be seen on her blogpost here (I'm afraid I can't link them as images).

What we do have, though, is the text of our vows. Evilstevie had gone to a lot of trouble setting up our home server to tweet the vows at the appropriate time (much like he did for the engagement proposal). Unfortunately, this was thwarted by our plan of having our Wii set up at the reception - on the morning of the wedding, in the hurry of extracting the TV, Wii, and associated cables from the heap of tech in the corner of our lounge, the cable connecting the server to the internet got dislodged, and although the script fired as planned, it had nowhere to fire to.

So, for internet friends, here are our wedding vows, and the reading a friend did afterwards. If you want the music as well, here's a YouTube link for my entrance music - Reunion by John Williams, from the AI: Artificial Intelligence soundtrack.

Evilstevie: I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage and a symbol of our love. I will always be there for you, to comfort and support you, and share in the joy and happiness of our love.
Cherish my faithfulness, my loyalty, and my trust, they are yours forever.

Mary: I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage and a symbol of our love. As we face the future together, I promise to be a companion worthy of your friendship. I promise to support your hopes, dreams, and goals. I vow to be there for you always.
When you fall, I will catch you.
When you cry, I will comfort you.
When you laugh, I will share your joy.
On this day, together with our friends and families, we can cherish the memories of our individual pasts, and create new ones, as, through our union, we accomplish more than we could alone.

Reading: A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monckton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, HIS cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur's cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

'I like this Dinosaur,' thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. 'Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.'
'I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur,' thought the Dinosaur. 'She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.'

'But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times,' thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. 'He is also overly fond of Things. Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of Things?'
'But her mind skips from here to there so quickly,' thought the Dinosaur. 'She is also uncommonly keen on Shopping. Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on Shopping?'

'I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for Things,' thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. 'For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.'
'I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for Shopping,' thought the Dinosaur. 'For she fills our life with beautiful thought and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.'

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old. Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my friends, is how it is with love. Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The wedding looms ever closer. The craft-project chaos of my lounge is gradually turning into stacks of boxes with neat little contents-lists stuck to them, Evilstevie has confirmed his time off work, and really, everything's on track.

I keep telling myself, and anyone who has a tizzy at me, that the venue is booked and paid for, the registrar is booked and paid for, and we have the rings - therefore a wedding will take place. Everything else is fluff.

But fluff is fun, and today's fluff is the guestbook.

The guestbook isn't really a book. We're doing it in the form of lots of luggage labels, which our guests can write on or otherwise decorate as they see fit, and pin to a line at the reception.

I'd quite like to pre-populate the line, to get the ball rolling. So here's my idea. If any blog readers who aren't coming to the wedding would like to add a message to our wedding guestbook, then pop it in the comments, or email me, and I will be able to print it out and stick it to a label.

I know to new readers this may sound a bit "internet! validate me!" - no. If you don't feel you know us, or you've nothing to say, then there's no need to say anything. It just felt a little bit strange not to include the online side of our lives in our wedding day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Should have seen this one coming, really.

For several years now I've been considered by Social Services to need help in the mornings, to get properly and safely washed, dressed, medicated and generally ready to face the day. We only took it up a few months ago (whole other story), and it has been working well and has made a very welcome difference to my life.

This morning my assistant arrived and rang the doorbell - some people have key safes but since I can usually get to the door one way or the other, we've chosen not to have one. Normally that's fine, but today, the Roomba was running. I did not hear the doorbell. I did not hear the doorbell again. I did not hear the knock on the door or the call through the letterbox. The blinds were all shut (unsurprisingly as I was not yet dressed). The poor woman ended up basically running around the house knocking on all the windows with increasing panic. Eventually she reached the one by which I was sitting, but by the time I'd levered myself up to crack the blinds and see who was knocking, she'd already run back round to the front of the house and was about to call base and ask them to ring me... she was extremely relieved when I opened the door.

We've decided that while the Roomba is a wonderful thing, it's best not run when I'm expecting my care calls.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Peeling petals

Gazing down the final straight towards w-day.

I was a bit panicky over the bank holidays - not about the getting married bit, just about the co-ordinating the wedding bit. I don't think the fuss and drama around the Royal wedding helped at all. I mean, on the one hand, I don't have to try and decorate the entirety of Westminster Abbey with actual real-life still-growing trees, on the other hand, I would love to have access to start decorating the venue a week beforehand and a couple of dozen helpers in hi-viz jackets.

Anyway. Since then, we've settled a lot of the accounts that we had so far only paid deposits on, and we've checked and re-checked the budget to make sure that we definitely have all the money we need for the few on-the-day costs, and having that all sorted out makes both of us feel a lot better. Wedding Zen is returning, and the to-do list is down to chasing the last handful of RSVPs and finishing off a few details.

One of these details is the petals. I had this absolutely terrific idea that a few petals might be a nice finishing touch to the room decoration. There are four options for this:

  • Real petals, fresh, ripped off the heads of actual flowers shortly before the ceremony begins. This option was rejected because no one's going to want to dirty their wedding clothes by ripping up flowers that morning, and also the venue might get unhappy about juicy fresh vegetation getting crushed underfoot and then being left to rot.

  • Real petals, dried, basically pot pourri. This option was rejected because they look manky.

  • Fake petals, fabric. Wild variations in quality and quite expensive. There was also the consideration that the petals may get blown outdoors and the venue have asked us to be sure to only use biodegradable confetti.

  • Fake petals, paper. Again, wild variations in quality, but biodegradable and also a bit cheaper than fabric.

All things considered, I decided to go with paper petals. I ordered them from eBay - about £10 for about 1,000 of them. They're lovely - the colours are pretty, the quality is terrific, they're proper three-dimensional petal shapes, it's exactly the look I wanted.

The only thing I didn't realise, and I'm posting this as a warning to other brides, is that paper petals... well, I'm not sure if it's how they're dyed or how they're cut or shaped or packaged or stored, but the fact is that the fibres are ever so slightly stuck together. It's like when you spill a drink on a book, and then when it dries, the fibres of the pages are slightly stuck. You can pull them apart quite easily, but it also has to be done with care to avoid tearing, and one page at a time.

Or in this case, one petal at a time.

1,000 of the damn things. The box is full of little bags, and each little bag has five compressed stacks of about 80 petals each.

What makes it even more fun is that, once separated, 160 petals is more than enough to completely fill a 2.6l tupperware box. Can't squash them down, that would defeat the object of having bought these nice three-dimensional-shape petals. So they have to be reassembled into stacks, uniform enough to minimise storage space, but also loose enough to ensure that the paper fibres don't meld again.

I'm about three-quarters of the way through, but it is taking FOREVER.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

It is possible

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day 2011, hosted once again at Diary Of A Goldfish - and many thanks to her for this.

Last year I was in the early stages of wedding planning, and meeting with barriers, discrimination and disablism every step of the way, so my post, It's Not Bridezilla To Want Access, detailed a few of the difficulties I was running up against.

This year... well, the wedding is this month and I can't really think about much else. So this is a short, wedding-focused post. You'll forgive me for not posting the exact date, time and location online until after the fact.

I am pleased to be able to report that we have, after a great deal of time and effort, managed to find sensible, flexible suppliers for everything we needed and wanted. The registrars have agreed that it's not necessary to ask us or our guests to stand during the ceremony. The venue rep has been awesome about communicating mainly via email as this is easiest for me. We went out of area and found a couple of accessible dress shops who eagerly helped me to try and find the perfect dress. A lovely family business who deal mainly with repairs and alterations to leather motorbike clothing have created me a beautiful pair of ivory wheelchair gloves with padded leather palms, that are both practical and feminine. A terrific Folksy seller has created our flowers, including an extremely custom corsage for me to wear on my wrist for the ceremony, that is also the perfect shape and size to adorn the controls for my wheelchair during the reception.

The triumph is bittersweet. I really do feel that I should have been able to expect businesses to be accessible. I feel that, in 2011, I should be able to make my decisions based on things like cost, quality, and attractiveness of product, rather than on which businesses were willing to have me as a customer.

All that aside though - I'm getting married. I'm disabled, I'm overweight, I have bad skin, small boobs, and terrible posture, I wear glasses, I have extremely low earning potential, and later this month I am marrying a man who was entirely uninterested in the amorous advances of at least two of the non-disabled guests attending. As a couple that faces disablism (because yes, it affects him too) every day of our lives, we have managed to put together what promises to be a wonderful, enjoyable, accessible wedding ceremony and a relaxed, personal reception party. I believe as a society we CAN get past disablism.