An all day event which begins at 2pm but takes 3 hours to reach the destination. A tiring journey but worth it to see those calming green views and smell that fresh air. A few stops along the way and a full English breakfast. A bit of rain on the journey, a bit of fog, now turned into a silver sky with a hint of sunlight which frames the red brick building perfectly, accentuating the grandeur of the architecture of the castle-like palace and some gentle light is cast over the historical fountains and statues of the gardens. I can get used to that sight.
I feel fat. I’m wearing a sweater and a puffy prom skirt at a failed attempt to cover up my weight insecurity with yards of pleated satin. I stand centre of a reception room with a 10 foot golden mirror reflecting the antique replicas strewn about intentionally and fight away the fear of judgement of my non-traditional style of wedding attire.
A lady compliments the colour of my skirt and I feel slightly more part of the room and sit, arms across belly, smile painted on, I can play the social game more easily if it weren’t for the fact that all I can think about is starving myself as course after course is placed in front of me. The bride is beautiful of course, twinkling like a star in bejewelled silk and lace cut classically and tastefully, the wedding party well presented… and my forehead is shiny, oh for god’s sake! I feel like I’m tainting the room. Make-up cannot save my mood as I flit from room to room wishing to become invisible like the wallflower I feel. The dandelion variety, a weed out of place amongst the uniformly trimmed grass, my skirt blows in the wind during photo calls creating a balloon silhouette – that seems appropriate.
Third course is over, can we ladle in some more coffees and mints? My place is set in the walkway, and a constant beating of a door to the back of my chair triggers a sudden anxiety over the invasion of my peaceful bubble, that I had been maintaining since I plodded through the door. It finally pops and my eyes tear up as the loud conversations around me blend into one shouting voice that rattles my eardrums and I can’t breathe. One woman is staring from the other side of the table, she mouths ‘are you okay?’ I feel embarrassed, nod and paint the smile back on, but want so desperately to leave the room discreetly and never return.
I find a quiet place with the concierge sat ignoring me at her desk, drop on a comfortable armchair in the entrance of the building, to stare blankly at the decor and breathe calmly. I want to go home. Too bad my hotel room is at a bed & breakfast about 2 miles away. I must become steel.
If I go outside and breathe then come back in again, then maybe I’ll be okay.
The disco starts and the guests are preoccupied with drinking and dancing, I feel more at ease and plonk myself on a puffed up sofa watching the celebrations from a safe distance, waiting for my chance to escape to my room.
The wedding was the most beautiful I had ever seen, the building superb, the waiting staff exceptional. It was a shame I felt the way that I did, and that it couldn’t have at least waited until I had gotten to the safe confines of my little country room before rearing its ugly head over the dinner table to ruin the day and night. I wanted so much to enjoy myself.