Months ago news broke that my boyfriend’s cousin had got engaged to the son of a lord. This news became all the more exciting when it turned out that not only were they planning on tying the knot in the Houses of Parliament but that we were invited! Fast forward many months and much excitement, revision of ‘who’s who’, outfit planning and anticipation had occurred and the big day had finally arrived.
James’ family and myself all bundled into a hotel room at the luxury Apex Temple Court Hotel where the wedding party had rooms booked for the evening. 3 dresses were slipped into, 3 suits were donned, 7 pairs of shoes put on, 3 fascinators fixed and 1 kilt was wrapped all in twenty-something degree heat in front of the Lions game. It was a squeeze but we all managed to scrub up well. Click here to see my outfit in full.
From here we were ushered outside to The Strand where a traditional London routemaster came to pick us up. When we arrived at the Houses of Parliament we were greeted by swarms of tourists, some of whom took photos and who were perhaps falsely optimistic about our royal status…
The ceremony, which was beautiful and surprisingly comic, took place in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft. The chapel dates back to the thirteenth century and has been worshiped in by many a royal family and household so it will be no surprise to you that it was absolutely stunning. I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside but if you google it you will have some idea of what it looked like! I don’t want to give away too many details of the service because of course it was a private and special moment for the bride and groom but let’s just say there was a choir, organist, vows and rings and it was all lovely!
To celebrate after the service we headed out to the terrace which overlooks the river with views of the London Eye. The House of Lords terrace is distinguishable from across the river by its red awning (the green one is for MP’s rather than lords). We had champagne and canapes whilst being entertained by a magician who literally blew my mind! It was also a great spot to take some snaps…
Once we had all been adequately re-hydrated with champagne we were given a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. Again, I wasn’t allowed to take photos but it was as you would expect all very ornate but what was surprising was how much smaller everything looks in real life than on telly! Dinner was then served in the Peers Dining Room where we all had House of Lords place names and indulged in three courses of beautiful food. The speeches made everyone laugh and the odd tear was most definitely shed which suggests they were a success, something which probably comes as a great relief to those who had to get up and do the talking!
Dinner was followed by a ceilidh. I had never done a ceilidh before and I don’t think I even knew what one was but I was up for giving it a go. It is basically Scottish country dancing where the band plays a tune and gives you the steps and off you go! By the end of the night when shoes had been kicked off, sleeves rolled up and inhibitions forgotten everyone got involved and lines of us galloped up and down the dance floor, stamping feet, linking arms, skipping around and being swung and hurled about. It was great fun but is not recommended if you are in very high heels!
As the sun went down the terrace gave a wonderful view of London at night, all lit up. People sat around a chatted and shared old stories and anecdotes. It was agreed by all that it was a wonderful day and one of the most beautiful weddings. Macdonalds were consumed in the hotel bar once we had all returned back on the routemaster but we’ll keep that minor detail hush hush.