From fighting back the tears to battling those pre-speech nerves, Scottish groom Barry Strachan reveals what went through his mind on his wedding day.
I’m not sure there was ever just one moment where I knew Polly was The One. It was more a case of the more time we spent together, the more I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It certainly helped when she told me she liked to bake cakes!
I was remarkably chilled the night before our wedding; it wasn’t until I was at the end of the aisle watching the guests take their seats that I was struck by an almighty wave of nerves. Suddenly, I was emotional. I knew if I turned around to look at Polly that I would burst into tears, so I just looked straight ahead until she was by my side. She made a cheeky face at me, which helped me hold back the emotions.
We had previously agreed with the minister that we would read our vows in a ˜repeat after me’ fashion (as most people do), but when it came to it, the minister read the whole lot out and asked me to repeat. I had to ask for a shot of his book because there was no way I was going to remember all of that! In a way, it made the whole ceremony more relaxed and reminded me that we should just enjoy the day.
When you hear the words, it all becomes real. You have the ring on your finger and all of a sudden, that’s the formal bit done. It’s such a small part of the day, but the most important. At that point, your mind automatically kicks into wedding mode.
The prospect of doing my speech weighed heavily on my mind for most of the morning. I’m not one to shy away from public speaking, but when it’s your friends and family in the audience, the pressure is most definitely on.
Once I stood up and read the first few lines, however, I became more relaxed. I had been reasonably prepared and had written the best part of the speech a week earlier (with the exception of a few last-minute tweaks the night before…) and I’d recommend taking some time to plan it and read it out loud several times. It definitely helped me feel more confident about the whole thing.
As I’m sure most grooms will testify, the wedding day went past in the blink of an eye. We are still hearing about things that happened that we didn’t know about. You are just so busy speaking to guests and having a good time to catch everything that’s going on!
I was pleased to be involved with all the wedding planning but I could see why many guys might find this as a good excuse to take a back seat. I think weddings have and always will be more bride-centric and there is probably a stigma that weddings are a ˜girly’ thing. I like to think I was a fairly proactive groom, but on the day I was happy for all the attention to be on Polly. I think every girl dreams of her wedding day so it was important to me that she had one to remember.
Marriage to me is the natural step when you find someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. It’s great now that we can look to the future as a married couple. I wouldn’t say that being married has changed our relationship too much “ we are much the same as we were before “ but it’s nice to know that Polly is officially my wife and part of the Strachan family.
BARRY’S BEST ADVICE?
Be prepared. Plan everything out well in advance as you’d be surprised how quickly suppliers book up. I’d also recommend getting a wedding film. You’ll be so busy running around on the day that it’s nice to have a video to look back and see all the goings-on that you missed!