It's very difficult to explain what happened to me today. Of course I can write down any number of words which explain in purely factual terms that I got married, and that the wedding took place in the form of a musical. These are all things that regular readers of this blog will already know. I don't know if I feel any different to how I felt this time yesterday. I feel relieved; like a great weight has been taken from my shoulders, but I'm still me. Nathan is still Nathan.
My friends all told me to take a series of mental snap shots of the day: moments where I should try to drink everything in.
I took as many as I could, and I shall attempt to list them. They may seem rather disjointed. I don't really have a sense of the narrative of the day, or the order that these memories occurred in, but they might offer a sense of the emotional roller coaster I've been riding.
Arriving at Alexandra Palace first thing this morning. Looking out across London at the sun burning through the mist. Blossom falling from the trees like confetti. Two magpies hopping about. A rainbow flag flying proudly. I understand that rainbow flags were flying outside every public building in England and Wales today. Feeling proud.
Walking into the theatre space at Ally Pally, and seeing the glorious twinkling lights inside. Watching choir members seeing the room for the first time and gasping.
Meeting Andy Bell, then hearing him singing Fiona's astonishing arrangement of A Little Respect.
Rehearsing our vows this morning, and rushing out of the theatre whilst Nathan practised his. Watching the skaters in the next door hall, whilst the spring sun glared through the atrium roof.
Walking down the aisle whilst The Feeling sang God Only Knows. Catching lead singer, Dan's eye, and then clocking Julian in the audience red-faced and laughing. Laughing because Julian was laughing.
A sea of candles during Love Conquers All. Llio and Julie forgetting to switch theirs on. God daughter Silver playing with her candle, noticing that Philippa was trying to get her to hold it still.
Hugging my mum to thank her for singing her song.
Listening to Nathan's vows in a sort of whirl. Feeling the tears prickling in my eyes and then running down my cheeks. Hearing him sing "my Benjy." Thinking how beautiful the song sounded. Feeling Fiona's presence through the orchestrations. Singing my own vows, as my legs started to feel all fizzy. Peering into Nathan's eyes as though no one else in the world existed.
Franschene, our delightful, beautiful, luminous registrar, standing bravely on the stage, singing her words so delicately, whispering in my ear just after I'd finished my vows that we were already married, even though we were only half way through the service!
A break in the service just after we were declared husband and husband, and feeling all silly, and doing a funny crab-like dance on the stage.
Peter Tatchell hugging me at the end of the service; telling us how lovely the music was and feeling so proud that such an important luminary would even attend our wedding. Talking to Lynne Featherstone and being invited to dinner at her house.
The reception in an old church hall in Wood Green. Little Lily bravely singing a song she'd written for us. Telling me I was generous because I'd given her a set of rubbers in the shape of kittens on a trip to Northumberland. John Hay, commissioning editor at Channel 4, whispering in my ear that she was destined to be the next "you."
Philippa and my brother delivering astonishing, and beautifully-written speeches at the reception. A sense of great pride at them both. Squirming as the embarrassing stories were trotted out. Feeling joy as my brother described ABBA as my very reason for being.
Daniel, Ellie and Izzy forming an unlikely allegiance and searching for music to dance to at the reception in the absence of a cable to link our stereo to our iPods. The same trio sticking a microphone next to Daniel's telephone and dancing like loons. Ian and Harry Bolcombe doing Morris Dancing. Me taking a series of weird selfies.
Uncle Bill telling me that the Rebel Chorus had bought us a present and unveiling the mini-piano I'd fallen in love with when we were last in London together. Me bursting into uncontrollable tears and burying my head in Nathan's shoulder.
So you see, it's been magical, surreal, love-filled, emotional, terrifying, glorious and above all fabulous. I feel loved and a sense of great pride. Well done England and Wales.